FanFic - Other
"Out of the Woods"
Part 28
by Kath7
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters. I am just borrowing them. Lyrics to songs by Joe Cocker and Amanda Marshall.
Summary: This story is derived from a challenge from Actrez. The gang heads back to Fraser Woods (from Into the Woods) during their junior year. Tess and Michael join the Evans, while Maria goes with the Parkers. This story is post-Destiny. Liz had just returned from a lengthy stay in England. She returns to find a completely different Max and Michael.
Category: Other
Rating: PG-13
Liz could not believe what Max had done to them.

Isabel and Liz had joined Alex and Max at the highway after their short conversation. Neither of the guys had said anything, just looked at them inquiringly. When Liz and Isabel refused to tell them what they had been talking about, Alex shrugged and extended his hand to Izzy.

Max had continued to eye Liz worriedly. "Liz..."

"I'm not telling you Max so just forget it." She had told him firmly. He had frowned slightly but had finally nodded his acceptance.

"Fine. Just promise me that you are both going to do everything I tell you to when we get to the Hot guys really don't understand what we're dealing with here."

Liz had smiled at him reassuringly. "I promise Max." She had lied with a perfectly sincere expression on her face, while carefully crossing her fingers behind her back. There was NO way that she would not interfere if it meant the difference between saving Max and losing him.

Max had looked unconvinced, but had gently pulled her into his arms, kissing the top of her head. "Okay then. We're almost there. I just want you to know something before we get there Liz..."

Liz pulled back, reached her hand up to trace his beloved features. "I already know Max. I love you too."

His gaze had been scorching as he had lowered his head, capturing her lips in a fierce kiss that Liz had never wanted to end.

She knew now that he had been saying goodbye.

Max had led them across the road, through some underbrush and they had emerged on a dirt road. A sign nearby read "Santa Anna Hot Springs - 1 mile."

The smell had been strong...exactly like the cheese Maria had described. Liz had felt her heart starting to beat faster...they were going to face Michael soon...or whoever it was that Michael had become.

Liz had clutched Max's hand tightly, taking comfort in his presence. Isabel and Alex had been close on their heels. Max had paused briefly, pointed ahead to an opening in the slope they had encountered suddenly. "There it is..." He had whispered, glancing back at the three of them.

Isabel had a slight frown on her face. "It looks different then I remember." She said quietly.

"You were only ten Izzy." Max had replied impatiently. "I remember it." His tone had been the one only know-it-all older brothers employ. Liz had been forced to supress a giggle at the irritated expression on Isabel's face, but she had finally nodded.

"Okay." Max instructed, briefly pulling Liz against his side. "You guys know what you're supposed to do. In to get Maria and then OUT. I mean it. I'm going to talk to Michael, try to reason with him."

"And if Michael doesn't suddenly re-transform into human mode?" Alex had asked sarcastically, clearly not at all happy with the plan.

"Then I'll come back and find you guys and we'll figure something else out." Max replied quietly.

Liz had kissed Max quickly and had followed Alex and Isabel to the entrance of the cave. She expected Max to be right behind her.

Liz turned when she realized that he wasn't. He was still standing exactly where they had left him, gazing after them, a strangely sad expression on his face. Liz frowned slightly, ducked through the low overhang into the cave. "Max isn't coming..."she had whispered ahead to Alex and Izzy.

"Oh my God!" Isabel was in the lead. She whirled suddenly. "Go back! Liz, go back!"

But it was too late. A giant rock had suddenly appeared where the entrance to the cave had been. "Max!" Liz yelled, suddenly realizing what he had done.

"Liz, please! I need you to be safe." He was still on the other side of the rock. "I'm sorry. You guys can't come with me. I have to do this alone. You'll be able to get out in a while."

"Max! You let us out of here right now!" Isabel shrieked, fury radiating off her in waves.

Liz motioned for her to be quiet. "Max, what have you done?"

"Remember I love you Liz - and you too Izzy. Take care of them Alex...please."

"Max!" Liz screamed, suddenly panicked, pounding her fists against the rock. Isabel joined her. They pushed against it with all their strength, but even with Alex helping, it didn't budge.

"How the hell did he do this?" Alex demanded, stepping back and staring at the rock in amazement. "It weighs a bloody ton!"

Isabel kicked at the rock, her expression furious beyond belief. "I don't think it's's an illusion. I think Max has developped Tess' power."

Liz stared at the stone wall in front of her, still not quite believing that Max had locked them had to be a mistake. "I don't get it." She looked at Isabel in bewilderment. "It feels real." And suddenly she remembered the blood that Tess had created on her to fool Max into giving up his anti-Max act. Max had actually FELT the blood, not only seen it. It seemed like days ago, but really had only been earlier that day.

Apparently Tess was not the only one who had been practicing.

Alex was running his hands up the pile of illusionary rocks, trying to find an opening, anything that could help them to get through. He was muttering to himself. "I just can't believe that guy...who the hell does he think he is? Superman? Why can't he ever just accept a little help?"

Isabel was finally calming down. She had continued to pound and kick at the stone wall, her frustration and anger almost scary.

"There has to be something we can do!" Liz said finally. She could feel her desperation mounting. MAX! She had to get to him...had to stop him. Isabel was staring at the illusion, her expression intent. "Can you reverse it Iz?" Liz asked hopefully.

"I don't know." Isabel replied. "I didn't even know that we SHARED some powers. I mean I can't heal a fly!"

"Wait!" Liz said suddenly, remembering something Maria had once told her. "Didn't Michael heal River Dog last year? You know, when we were on the camping trip and you guys found the signal from Nasedo?"

Isabel looked perplexed. "He did?"

Liz could feel herself getting excited. "Yeah! Michael told Maria about it later, when they were back together. She asked him one day about his powers and he mentioned that he didn't really know what he could do - and that he couldn't control them like you and Max could...."

"No kidding." Alex muttered, clearly remembering some of Michael's bigger past fiascos.

Liz frowned at him, shutting him up. "Anyway, Michael told Maria that he did think that he had a little of Max's healing power because he had been able to heal River Dog's ankle when he had broken it on the way to the signal."

"So what are you saying Liz?" Isabel asked. "That we all have specific powers that we're most talented at, but that we all have a little bit of each other's ability?"

"It makes sense, doesn't it?" Alex inserted. "I mean, didn't Tess tell Max that your powers are mind-based? You should all be able to develop the same powers if these are all abilities that lie genetically dormant in humans."

Isabel was nodding slowly, clearly thinking quickly. "Just let me try something..." She closed her eyes, started taking deep breaths.

Alex and Liz watched her hopefully. The seconds seemed to fly by...Liz glanced at her watch. Max had been gone for at least ten minutes. They had to get out of

Finally, Isabel screeched in frustration. "Dammit! Nothing...." Her eyes snapped open. "I can't figure it out..."

Liz stepped forward, took her friend's hand. "Try again. I know you can do it Izzy. Remember the pact we made. We have to save him from himself."

Isabel stared at Liz, finally nodded. "I think I'm too upset. I can't concentrate. Alex, I need you to help me."

"How?" Alex asked, confused. Isabel smiled lovingly at him.

"You know how." Alex blinked, suddenly grinned wryly.

"Ummm...I don't really think this is the time Isabel."

Isabel rolled her eyes. "Get over here Whitman."

Liz watched Alex make his way to Isabel's side. He pulled her into his embrace, started stroking her hair. Liz suddenly felt like she was intruding, but she couldn't tear her eyes away.

Isabel closed her eyes, rested her head against Alex's shoulder. She began taking deep breaths again. A slight frown marred her face as she concentrated.

Liz felt tears begin to fill her eyes. She had never realized that the bond between Alex and Isabel ran so deep. The trust the other girl placed in Liz's best friend - it was beautiful.

Max! The thought that Liz was going to lose the one person with whom she shared such a bond....she clenched her hands to her mouth, trying to control the sob that threatened to erupt. She couldn't distract Isabel.

Liz turned to stare at the stone wall hopefully. Please Izzy, please...she chanted in her head.

And suddenly a cool breeze drifted through Liz's hair.

The wall was gone.

"You did it!" Liz threw herself at Isabel and Alex, throwing her arms around both of them. "It's gone!"

Isabel's eyes snapped open. She looked amazed. Alex kissed her quickly. "Good work Iz."

"Let's go you guys!" Liz was out the entrance in a split second.

She halted abruptly when she realized that she had absolutely no idea where she was going. She turned around in desperation. "Isabel!"

"I knew I remembered what it looked like." Isabel was muttering as she took off down the dirt road. "I should have known he was lying to me."

Alex and Liz raced after her. Liz's desperation helped her to run faster then she had ever run before.

And then she heard it....A voice screaming her name. "LIZ!"

It was Maria. "Liz! Where are you? Alex! Isabel!"

"Maria!" Liz yelled back. "Where are you? We're coming."

Maria appeared suddenly in the distance. She was having difficulty running in her ridiculous furry boots. Liz felt a hysterical giggle working its way up from her chest.

Liz threw her arms around her friend when they finally reached her. "Maria! Are you alright?" She managed to inquire though she was breathing hard. Isabel was leaning against Alex, trying to catch her breath.

"There's no time! Hurry you guys...I don't know what those two intergalactic imbeciles are doing but it doesn't look good to me...we have to stop them!" Maria turned on her heel, ran back down the road, Liz, Isabel and Alex right behind her.

Part 27 | Index | Part 29
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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