FanFic - Other
"Secret Combinations"
Part 5
by Daizy
Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.
Category: Other
Rating: PG-13
She’d already checked Michael’s apartment and the Crashdown. So far, Tess hadn’t seen any sign of him. He’d ditched her at the first possible moment, which hadn’t surprised her, but the fact that he wasn’t in one of his usual haunts did. The only place left to go was Max’s house. She knew that if she went, she’d end up telling Max the whole story and Michael would kill her when he found out. But she couldn’t count on Michael, she didn’t know what he’d seen or what he was going to do about it. Max had to know. She thought of going through his window, but though her task was urgent, it wasn’t private.

Besides, she’d been over at the Evans’ house enough in the last few weeks that her coming over shouldn’t have to be a secret. All the same, Mrs. Evans seemed surprised to see her.

“Max is rather popular today,” she mumbled to herself as she showed Tess in. That was when it occurred to Tess that Michael might be here. Sure enough, there he was, the first person she saw as she was shown into Isabel’s room. She would have blown up at him had it not been for Max and Isabel and…Liz?

“You’re just in time,” Michael said in a mocking tone.

“In time for what?” Tess asked.

“For Liz to tell us about the granilith. And about Max from the future.”

Tess could feel the tension in the room, so she sat inconspicuously in a corner and waited.

“You see,” Liz said, struggling to come up with the right words, “Max just showed up one day. He told me he was from the future. I didn’t really believe him, but he looked so different and he seemed so upset and—“

“And what?” Michael prodded.

“And he knew things,” Liz said.

“What kind of things?” Isabel piped in.

“Like he knew exactly when Max was going to show up and what he would say and do. And when Max did show up and there were two of him, I didn’t have much choice but to believe him.”

“He could’ve been an enemy,” Isabel said. “He could’ve taken on our form or something, you couldn’t know for sure.”

“No,” Liz said, “You don’t understand. It was Max. He knew things about me. The way he talked to me, everything. I knew it was him. There was no doubt in my mind.”

“When was this?” Max said. It was the first time he’d spoken and Liz was frozen by his words.

“A month ago, I don’t know exactly. The week of that Gomez concert.”

Max nodded absently.

“But he told me…he told me that—“ This could change everything, Liz realized. It could change it all back. I could reverse everything and then it would all be in vain. Michael doesn’t really know, he couldn’t for sure.

So she made up her mind. “He told me that I had to make you, Max, fall out of love with me.” She was looking at Max now. “He told me that if we ended up together everything would be terrible. It would all fall apart, people would die. And most of all, we wouldn’t make it. He said that we would break up eventually, that all those years would have been in vain. He told me that if I could get you to fall out of love with me, then maybe I could be with Kyle instead, and have some kind of a normal life. He told me that if I chose Kyle, everything would work out.”

It wasn’t a complete lie. She comforted herself with that. It was just enough to keep things as they should be.

“So what happened?” Isabel said after a long silent pause.

Liz didn’t know what she was supposed to say. I slept with Kyle? I sent Max reeling into an emotional downward spiral so he could be comforted with my arch-rival? She looked at Max, from his face it was evident that only the first of these options mattered to him.

“I- I didn’t go to the concert with Max, I changed things. And he disappeared. That version of the future vanished.”

Liz’s voice wavered, she felt herself getting tearful. It was hard to talk about it all in front of Max, in front of Tess, and in front of others who had no right to know.

“And what does this story have to do with anything? So now we know we can use the granilith for time travel if necessary?” Isabel asked.

Tess shot a look at Michael. Liz sent a hesitant glance in Max’s direction and saw him hunched over, staring at the floor. He stood suddenly and left the room, shutting the door behind him. Liz felt tears threaten again.

Isabel was barely aware of Max’s exit. It was all starting to fit together in her mind. “You found out,” she said to Michael. “Somehow you found out about all this and you used the granilith. You did it, didn’t you?”

Michael gave a non-committal shrug.

“Whatever you did, you found out about Vilandra,” Isabel continued.

“You told me yourself,” he said. “You told me to tell you.”

Dread filled Isabel’s heart. She’d imagined too many times what could happen if she never revealed to Max what she knew. She had horrible dreams, worse than any reality could ever be, where she would turn against him, dreams where she would kill Max herself. But those dreams were always so hard to believe, she forced herself to think they’d never come true. And now she was faced with the fact that they could really happen. She rose immediately to her feet and followed Max out of the room. Michael was right on her heels. Tess and Liz, left uncomfortably alone, followed them.


They’d gone into Max’s room, but Michael stood at the door like a miniature bouncer. He stepped in front of Liz as she followed Tess inside.

“Sorry, you can’t come in here,” he said. “Alien business. Confidential.”

“Hold on,” Liz said, “you just made me tell Max things I never wanted him to hear. You’re going to keep me out now that you’ve got what you want from me?”

“Pretty much,” Michael said.

“Michael, wait.” It was Isabel from inside. “She can come in. It doesn’t matter if she hears this. I can’t keep it a secret any longer. And besides, she’s helped us enough times that she’s already in this whole thing over her head. That is, if it’s okay with Max.”

All eyes turned to Max, who sat apart from the others, facing the wall. “Fine,” he said softly.

Michael grudgingly opened the door wider and let Liz inside.

Isabel stood facing them all, looking afraid. “I have something to say. There’s something I’ve been hiding.” Max looked up at her, confused. She felt guilt flow through her again. She should’ve told him as soon as she found out, she knew that now. But she also knew why she’d waited, because as she could feel in her heart at that very moment, it wasn’t an easy thing to say. “Before Congresswoman Whittaker died, she told me things. Things about our former life, about what happened to us, and why we died.”

“What kind of things?” Max asked.

“That it was me, it was my fault. That I, Vilandra, had betrayed you. I worked with the Skins. I turned against you. That was the reason we died.” Tears began to fall from her eyes.

“But it’s not your fault, Isabel,” Max insisted. “We’ve talked about this before. Our former lives have nothing to do with us now. You’re not the same as you were.”

“It’s easy for you to say that, Max. And it should be easy for me to believe it. But I’ve tried, Max, I’ve tried. Ever since I found out, I’ve been haunted by it. I keep thinking, what if I do it again? What if I’m not strong enough for this?”

“That couldn’t happen,” Max said.

“Yes it could,” Michael said.

Max turned his head. “What do you mean?”

“I mean I used the granilith.” Isabel and Max stared at him in awe.

“You did what?” Isabel said.

“When I found out what happened to Liz, I wanted to use the granilith, to see why I died. I needed to know.”

“But Liz said the future changed,” Max said.

“I had to be sure, Max. I had to see it for myself. Tess showed me how to use it.” Tess gave Max a penitent look.

“What did you see?” Isabel asked.

“That maybe nothing changed at all. Except maybe the day we die, the order we get bumped off, just little things. But in ten years, that’s it.”

“We were dead?” Tess asked.

“You were,” Michael said. “So was I. And Max, too.”

Liz noticed Michael getting a little shaken. He wasn’t adding that he’d seen Max die. “I found Isabel. And—“

“And I’d done it again, hadn’t I?” she said. “I betrayed you.”

Michael nodded gravely. “But you told me to change things, you told me to make sure you told Max about Vilandra.”

“But what if that doesn’t change anything?” Isabel said frantically. “What if that’s our destiny? What if no matter what we do, we die in ten years?”

“We can’t know that for certain,” Max said, going to her side and trying to calm her.

“Yes we can,” Michael said.

Max stood a little straighter and turned to Michael. “No, Michael. We won’t be using the granilith anymore. We can’t just jump into the future whenever we feel like it to make sure things go the way we want them to. It’s too dangerous.”

“But what if we’re doomed?” Tess asked.

“Wait,” Liz interjected. “You’ve already changed the future, don’t you see? You all know about the granilith now, you all know you can travel through time. That means that in the future, if something that terrible was happening, one of you wouldn’t hesitate to do something about it. You’d go back to the past and set things right, just like Max did.”

“Liz is right,” Max said. “The granilith is only to be used in cases of dire need. And not right now. Maybe in the years to come. And even then, with the greatest caution.”

“What if they kill us all in one shot,” Michael said.

“We have to take that risk,” said Max. “Besides, we’ve had this problem before, the problem of destiny. This is something we’re familiar with, the belief that no matter what we do, there are certain things we can’t change. Personally, I don’t think that’s true. I think we can do whatever we want with our lives, that we’re the ones in control. We make our own decisions. Isabel, you can choose to be strong, to be close to us. We can all choose to fight.” Max paused and turned to give Liz a poignant look the others couldn’t see. “You can’t be ruled by the future or the past. You have to follow your heart.”

Isabel nodded and took Max’s hand. “I’ll try, Max.”

Tess joined them. “Me, too.”

They looked at Michael who shrugged. “Why not?”

Liz watched them, impressed by how strong and hopeful they all looked. Nothing could ever stop them, it seemed. Not when they were united together. Liz felt a small satisfaction that she’d helped to create such a unit. But then she remembered Max’s words. You have to follow your heart. And she couldn’t help but notice that while he strengthened Tess and Michael and Isabel, while he did his best to be their leader, he couldn’t keep his eyes off of her. For the first time in weeks, Liz realized that maybe something could still happen with Max. But there was also Kyle. And who knew what would happen with Michael and Maria. She couldn’t say for sure. Maybe they could find some happy medium, some way to keep their alien/human relationships from going sour. It was the hope of it, the glimmer of something in the distance that brought a smile to her face. The impending doom of the future had been hard to bear and now it had lifted leaving only the present. Only Max standing in front of her, smiling, letting her know that whatever happened it would be alright.

Part 4 | Index
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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