FanFic - Other
"Out of the Woods"
Part 34
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
I'd give up my sight just to see you, I'd beg, I would borrow and steal I'd cut off my hands just to touch you, And tear out my heart so you'd know how I feel.

There's nowhere that I wouldn't follow There's no place that I'd rather be This life without you would be hollow This love is a gift and you gave it to me.

All that I am you have made me, And, baby, I know that it's true I'd give it all up in a heartbeat Just to spend every moment with you.

There's no place that I wouldn't follow, There's nothing that I wouldn't do 'Cause I wouldn't want to be me, If I didn't have you.

Amanda Marshall

Liz, Isabel and Alex huddled together in the cave for quite a while after Max had left.

Liz's tears had stopped almost immediately. Now she just felt numb.

Her mind was blank.

She knew it was a defense mechanism against the pain that would overwhelm her if she let herself think. To lose both Max and Maria on the same day...and even Michael...

To reflect on it would make her break her promise to Max. She had to be strong. She had to become the stone wall that Michael had always failed at being.

For the others.

None of them wanted to move...hoping against hope that it was all a nightmare - that they would all wake up and look at each other and laugh...and that Max and Michael and Maria would be there to share the joke.

Finally Alex spoke. "I think we better go back to the camp. We need to tell Kyle and Tess what happened. And we need to tell your dad Iz, and the Sheriff."

Isabel was leaning back against the wall of the cave, her eyes closed. They snapped open abruptly. "We have to stay here - for when they come back."

Liz bit her lip. Be strong Liz! Be strong! She put her arm around Isabel. "We don't even know if they'll return here Iz. They could come back anywhere."

Isabel shook her head stubbornly. "No. It will be here. I know it." Alex and Liz exchanged glances.

"Okay, why don't I go back and get the others and you girls can stay here and wait." Alex finally offered, clearly displeased to be leaving them alone, but seeing no alternative.

Liz glanced quickly at her watch. "It should be almost light." She told her friend. "Kyle and Tess might already be on their way here."

Alex nodded in agreement but said, "I think I should go anyway, just in case."

Isabel closed her eyes again, retreated into silence. Liz was more worried about the other girl than she was about herself. She had lost the two most important people in her life - other than Alex. Liz had known for a long time that despite all her posturing and snippiness, which had largely disapeared in the last year, Isabel was the most vulnerable of them all. She would try to go on for her parents' sake, but she would be dying inside.

Of course Liz wasn't allowing herself to recognize that she too had just watched the two most important people in her life disapear in a flash of light.

She would think about that later.

Liz sat down next to Isabel, put her arm around her. She looked at Alex. "Hurry."

Liz and Isabel sat in silence for several minutes after Alex had departed.

Isabel's form was tense. It was clear that her thoughts were a thousand miles away. Liz wished that her friend would say something. The quiet was beginning to make her think.

She DID NOT want to think.

She breathed a sigh of relief when Isabel suddenly relaxed and spoke. "Alex should be long gone by now. I knew he would try and stop us. It's time Liz. It's time to take matters into our own hands."

Liz blinked. "What can we do?"

Isabel pulled away, climbed to her feet. "We're going after them."

Liz swallowed. "How?"

Isabel turned to eye her. "The orbs of course."

"But Isabel, only Max could make them work." Liz told her. "And we're in human form. We'll never survive."

Isabel raised an eyebrow and just stared at Liz. Liz smiled weakly. "Okay, I admit it. I'm just playing devil's advocate. You convinced me at the first word."

She climbed slowly to her feet, went and grabbed the orbs where they had fallen to the ground after Max had left. They felt heavy in her hands. Looking down at them she flashed momentarily to the night that she and Max had first found one.

It had been the best night of her life - the first time that she had fallen asleep in Max's arms, the first night that she had truly realized how in love with him she was.

It was the first night that their connection had moved past high schoolers playing at being in love. The way he had looked at her, the way he had told her that he wanted to be her destiny...she had known that never in her life would she find anyone to equal him.

He was her soul-mate, her fate, her other half...and he had come across the universe to find her.

And now she would do the same for him.

Even if it killed her.

"Are you okay Liz?" Isabel asked. Max's sister had been examining the empty pod closely, but had now turned to gaze at her with concern.

Liz straightened her spine. "I will be. As soon as we get them back."

Isabel smiled. "Okay. Well, it looks like Max was right." She gestured at the pod. "This thing looks pretty useless now." She swallowed, her smile suddenly more forced. "We're just going to have to risk it."

Liz nodded. "Let's do it."

She went to stand beside Isabel, handed her the orbs.

Isabel stared down at them intensely for what seemed like forever. She turned to Liz. "I guess maybe you should hold on to me somehow. We don't want to lose each other."

Liz grabbed ahold of Isabel's jacket.

She watched Isabel close her eyes, her forehead wrinkled in concentration.

For the longest time nothing happened.

Just when Liz was about to speak, ask Isabel if anything was happening, she saw one of the orbs begin to glow...

She held her breath as the other one seemed to realize that it was falling behind its twin. It brightened much more quickly, until they both burned with an intense light that forced Liz to avert her eyes.

And suddenly the column of light erupted, pulling the orbs from Isabel's hands.

But something was different...

Liz grabbed ahold of Isabel's arm as her friend's eyes snapped open. They exchanged frightened glances.

"I think something's wrong Isabel." Liz finally murmered. "It wasn't red the last time."

Isabel's eyes narrowed. "I'm going Liz." She started to walk towards the portal. Liz was on her heels.

The both stopped abruptly when the light began to flicker.

And then the world seemed to explode...

Part 33 | Index | Part 35
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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