posted on 14-Jan-2003 11:35:59 PM by ChrissyP47
Title: If I Collapse
Author: ChrissyP47 aka Shannon
Catagory: M/L angst ( Their might be minor CC later on )
Rating: PG13 through NC-17 ( you never know )
Disclaimer: I don't own Roswell or any of the music that might be used in this fic. No infringment intended
Summary: This is the EOTW a little differently. Liz goes back instead of Max and then things go a little differently from there.

The beginning starts out in the future and we'll work from there. I give forewarning on this kind of stuff, that this will be a dark fic. I will be dealing with situations like depression and attempted suicide, so if that at all makes you uncomfortable I wanted to let you know ahead of time.

Big thanks go to Kath ( Kath7 ) who is my beta. ::blows kisses:: And Anne ( Cookie2697 ) who told me that I had to start this fic first because it was about EOTW.

Alright, without furture ado.

For anyone reading Fight The Future, I promise not to let this interfer with that fic.

if_i_collapse

Banner made by myself

Part 1

Year: 2014. 15 days 4 hours and 13 minutes till the fall


The basement smelled of mold. It was cold and water from the massive downpour had been flooding in for a while. The place was dark, barely lit by the lanterns that were hung from the ceiling and by the one that was sitting on the main table. Three cots were set up next to each other at the far side of the room. Down a small hallway lay another room, much smaller than the main one, which only held an old mattress covered in blankets. It wasn’t quaint by any means, but it had been their home for the past four years.

Liz sat in one of the chairs around the table, rubbing her forehead. Their time was running out. She had been trying to listen to Serena talk, but with Michael arguing everything that was said, it was hard for anything to get accomplished. Ever since Maria had died Michael had become little more than a rough force. The only time he spoke was when they planned for battle and even then he usually only argued. He still blamed himself for Maria’s death.

“We have already run out of time Michael! I don’t want to hear your suggestions or your sarcastic comments! It’s over!” Isabel screamed at him in near tears.

Liz, being that she was sitting right next her, placed her arm around Isabel’s shoulder.

“Fighting isn’t going to get us anywhere,” Serena said, trying to bring reason in the group. Serena had been a Godsend. If it hadn’t been for her, the whole group of them probably would have died years before.

“Serena’s right,” Max finally said, placing his hand on Liz’s shoulder for support. “All we have left right now is each other. Let’s hold on to that and try and figure something out.”

Silence took over the table. They had approximately two weeks before Nikolas would fire the rocket. They didn’t know much about it, but what they did know was that the force of it would wipe out everyone living on Earth. They had been fighting Nikolas for the past four years in an attempt to keep him from leaving the planet and firing off the rocket, but without Tess’s power it was impossible.

The group figured she had died. They had tried looking for Tess, but it was nearly impossible. Most people on Earth were either dead or in hiding. The only people that roamed the streets were Skins, still hell bent on killing the Royal Four and the planet they resided on.

“Wait a minute!” Serena exclaimed and everyone looked at her. “Why didn’t I think of it before? The granolith.”

“We’ve been over this a thousand times Serena,” Max said, frustration in his voice. “All we can do with it is go back to Antar, which could possibly buy us an extra month to live, but that doesn’t really help everyone else on Earth.”

“No, no, no!” Serena shook her head as she started pacing. “We can change the granolith. Modify it. It’s quantum physics. It’s so simple, it’s almost painful. We can change it to make a tear in the time-space continuum. We could use it as a time machine and go back!”

“It’s as simple as that?” Liz asked, the skeptic as always. Her science brain went in over drive just thinking about the possibility. The idea seemed simple, but she knew there was more to it.

“No, of course not,” Serena said, sitting back down. “We have a couple of options. First we would have to decide who was going back and to what time.”

“That’s simple. I’m going,” Max stated, closing the subject. He wasn’t going to let anyone do this but himself.

Liz reached for Max’s hand and clutched it tightly. She wasn’t so sure she liked this idea at all.

“I don’t know if that’s going to work Max,” Serena told him. “Especially for what I’m thinking.”

They all saw the look that crossed Serena’s face as she looked at Max and Liz. There was sorrow, fear and above all there was a look of apology in her eyes.

“What?” Liz asked. She squeezed Max’s hand tighter and let her fingernails dig into his skin.

“We can’t just go back to any time. It has to be the right moment or else things could end up worse. You’ve heard of the ripple effect?”

Liz nodded her head, but everyone else was still confused, so Serena decided to explain.

“Every movement you make in time reflects on the next. If you drop a dime in the street it could cause you to not have enough money to buy an ice cream, so you buy a cookie instead, choking on the cookie and dying. Now if you went back in time and kept yourself from dropping that dime everything changes. You may have the money for the ice cream, but now maybe you get the ice cream and you end up choking on a nut, or you walk out with the ice cream and trip, knocking a little girl into the street and causing her to get hit by a car. Once you change one thing in time it ripples, just like when you drop a rock in a lake and it makes those ripples. Everything about the time we live in now will be changed in an instant. We just have to make sure we change it for the better.”

Everyone took it all in, but there was still an unsettled feeling in Liz’s stomach. They way Serena was looking at them was making Liz’s heart beat twice as fast. Whatever she had to say was going to be bad.

“So what time are we sending whoever back?” Michael finally asked. Liz heard the slightest bit of hope in his voice and she knew that it was the first time in awhile. If this succeeded, they would save everyone’s lives and Michael would have Maria again.

“Whoever we send back has to go to right before Tess left and keep her from doing so,” Serena finally told them.

“That’s fourteen years ago,” Liz said, a little shocked. She had been sure that they would only go back far enough to stop Nikolas, to start over again.

“It’s the only shot we have. We can’t chance it, going to some other time. You have to keep her from leaving by any means necessary.”

“What is that supposed to mean?!” Liz exclaimed as she jumped out of her chair.

“Liz, please sit back down,” Serena said in a calm voice. Liz took in a deep breath and sat back in her chair with Max still standing behind her.

“Ok. Liz when did Tess leave?” Serena asked.

“Why?” Liz countered. Tears were coming to her eyes. Her mind was starting to piece it all together, but her heart was refusing to listen to it.

“Liz, please.” Everyone was staring at Liz and she felt like she was going to break down at any moment.

“It was the day after... the day after Max and I... first...” She threw her hands up in the air in frustration, but everyone knew what she meant.

“You mean Tess left after you and Max first made love?” Serena asked, making sure she had it right.

“Yes! God, are you happy? Tess got pissed because we told her there was no way we were going to be apart anymore. She called me a whore and Max told her to leave and not to come back. Which she did.” Liz slumped back in her chair and tried to hold back her tears. Max was holding one of her hands, while Isabel took the other one. Everyone knew how hard it had been for Max and Liz that first year. Isabel was just glad that one thing had gone right the past fourteen years. By now, Max and Liz being together seemed like the only good thing.

“Well then there’s our solution. We’re going back to that time to keep her from leaving.”

“Serena, even if I went back and talked to Tess nicely, there is no way she would stay if Liz and I...” Max stopped mid-sentence, just by the look on Serena’s face.

“Max. Liz. You are both my family. You’re the only family I have ever had,” Serena started slowly. “The way you are together is incredible, but... I just don’t see any other options.”

“Will someone please explain to me what the hell you are talking about?” Isabel exclaimed. She saw the tears falling down Liz’s face and the look of despair that had crossed Max’s.

Then Serena had to voice aloud the plan that would change the future, while breaking up the only pure thing that still existed in this world.

“Max or Liz will have to go back in time to keep themselves from being together.”

Isabel gasped and Michael turned away from the table. They both knew it was their only option. They had first hand experience on how Tess had been and knew there was no way she would have stayed, even if they had sat her down and talked to her. In that time she wanted to be with Max so badly that after Max and Liz had gotten together, that was it for her.

Everyone sat in silence, not really sure what to say or do. They were all a jumble of emotions. What they were asking Max and Liz to do was big. They were asking them to give up their fourteen years of happiness to save the world.

“What exactly would we have to do?” Liz finally asked. She knew Serena was feeling terrible for asking this of them, but Liz also knew this might be their only chance at survival.

“One of you will have to go back in time, a day before this all happened and keep the two of you from... consummating. It’ll have to be more than that though. You’d have to keep each other apart, and make sure under no circumstances that you... end up... together.” Serena said.

Liz felt like someone had reached inside her chest, grabbed her heart and popped it. She tried to force the tears that were about ready to fall back inside her, but that was almost as hard as what she and Max were going to have to do. They were going to have to sacrifice their own happiness to save the world.

Max could barely breathe, he kept staring at the table, afraid to look at anyone, especially Liz. Liz had been his life for the past fourteen years. His every waking moment had been because of her. She was what kept him sane and whole. He couldn’t imagine his life without her, but that was what they were being forced to do. Live in a world where they couldn’t be together to save everyone else.

Max gave up with his inner battle for control and fell to the floor, trying to hold back the tears that were welling up inside of him. Liz sat up suddenly, causing her chair to fall over to the floor, as she dropped down to Max’s side and put her arms around him. Max held onto her tightly, afraid to let go. Soon he wouldn’t be able to hold his Liz in his arms anymore. Soon he wouldn’t have the right to cradle her close and sleep next to her at night.

Serena wasn’t a person to get too emotional, but as soon as she saw Max crumble to the floor she couldn’t stop the tears from cascading down her face. She wanted so badly to give them a piece of solace, but there was none to be found. Their only salvation was to destroy a love that was purer than the clearest water.
Serena wiped at the tear tracks on her face and looked over at Isabel who was trying to do the same, but was failing miserably. Even Michael had given up trying not to cry. Max and Liz had been the only good thing in the past fourteen years and now they had to destroy them to save mankind.


Year: 2014. 15 days 2 hours and 46 minutes till the Fall

Max and Liz sat on their mattress, while they left Michael, Isabel and Serena to talk about the plans for going back in time. They needed this time to discuss what was about to happen.

"Max?"

"Yes, Liz?" Max said, looking over at Liz.

"I'm scared." Liz always wore her emotions on her face and now they were covered with fear and pain. It coated her delicate face like horrible black paint that would never be removed.

"Come here." Max put his arm around Liz and held her close while she let a few of her tears slide down her cheeks.

"Max, I don't know what to do. A part of me knows that we have to do this to save the world, but a part of me just doesn't want to let you go."

Liz held tightly on to Max as she let her fears slowly begin to seep out. "I mean, if we do this, I'll never get to go to my senior prom with you. We'll never get to take that stargazing trip together. Never move in together or get married. This life that I’ve always wanted, that I’ve always dreamed of. I had it because of you. Without you all my hopes and dreams just fall apart. How am I supposed to become the person I am, if I don't have you?" Liz cried even harder and Max held her just as tightly.

"I don't know, Liz, but I feel the same way." He gently cupped her cheek so that her eyes would look into his. "You are my world, Liz. You make me whole and I can't imagine living my life without you in it, but… there has been so much pain and death and if we can stop that by not being together…"

"Then it's what we have to do." Liz finished for him.

A heaviness rested on her shoulders and she tried to shrug off the imaginary weight, but it wouldn't go away.

"I don't want to lose what we have Max, but I don't really see any other options."

Max just nodded in agreement.

"I guess we should go back out there." He suggested.

Liz curled up closer to him and looked up into his amber colored eyes. "In a minute."


*****

Serena, Michael and Isabel took a few minutes to get themselves composed before sitting back down at the table and discussing what needed to happen.

“It’ll take me a few days to reprogram the granolith. It has a lot of power in it. I just need to harness it properly. If Nikolas hadn’t destroyed the other crystal this would be so much easier. Then again if we still had the crystal we could have stopped Nikolas with a flip of the switch,” Serena pointed out. Isabel just nodded and Michael shrugged in agreement.

“It’ll be dangerous trying to get out to the granolith. Isabel I’ll need you to go with me, probably in the next hour. We’ll head out there and get started.”

“Ok,” Isabel replied and then nodded. She was still having a hard time accepting this plan. She didn’t want to do to Max and Liz what they were going to do, but at the same time she wanted to be selfish. She wanted her life back again. She wanted her parents alive. She wanted Alex.

A tear rolled down her already pale face and she brushed it off quickly. She didn’t want to start crying again. They didn’t have much time to get their plan into action.

A rustling was heard from the hallway and they all turned and looked up to see Max and Liz walk back into the room, holding on to each other with all their might.

“Liz... Max... I...” Serena started, but Liz cut her off.

“Max and I talked about this and there really is no other option. It would be selfish and uncaring of us to let the world end just so we could be together. I could never forgive myself for something like this. Max and I refuse to be the reason everyone dies, so we’re going to do this.”

“I’m going to go back and change everything,” Max said next. “I don’t know how yet, but I’ll find a way.”

“Max... I have a question I need to ask you,” Serena said. Max just nodded, which forced Serena to continue. “With who you are now, if Tess walked in the room right now, could you just accept her and turn away from Liz?”

Max stared at her in shock, like she was crazy.

“Of course not. I would never do that,” he replied quickly, without even having to think twice.

“Then that’s why Liz has to go, not you.”

Liz just stared at Serena. She was sure she had gone crazy. There was no way Serena expected Liz to go back and do this. It was bad enough making Max go, but Liz knew she couldn’t handle it.

“The reason you are going back is to keep Tess from leaving by forcing Max to move closer to her. When you go back you will be in your past body. You will be 17 again, but remember everything that has happened. That is why Liz has to go. I don’t want to chance it, Max, that you won’t be able to turn to Tess. Liz has to make your younger self turn to Tess, without ever knowing of this future.” Serena immediately hated herself for what she said. The look of horror that passed across Liz’s face would forever be embedded in her head. Even if forever would soon be non-existent in this frame of mind.

“Serena, I... I don’t think I can do that,” Liz whispered, trying to keep herself in control.

“Yes you can Liz.” Serena got up from the table and walked over to Liz. “You are the strongest person I know. If anyone can do this, you can. What we’re asking is huge Liz, but like you said yourself. You don’t want to be responsible for everyone’s death.”

Liz felt herself crumble at Serena’s words. She had to do it. It was hard enough thinking of Max doing it, but now she was going to have to be the one. She didn’t have a choice though. None of them did. This was their only hope for survival. Their only second chance.

“Ok. I’ll go,” Liz finally replied.

Serena hugged her tightly and kissed her on the cheek. This was going to be unbearably hard on Liz, especially since there were a few things she still hadn’t mentioned to her yet. She figured she’d wait till everything sunk in before she told them the other bad news.

“What were you guys discussing before we came in?” Max asked, trying to keep focus. He was turning his feelings off. If he didn’t he would fall apart and nothing would get done.

“Serena and I are going to head out to the granolith chamber soon. So we can start the procedure to reprogram the granolith,” Isabel told him and Max just nodded.

Serena took her seat back and the table and Max found another seat, pulling Liz into his lap and holding her close.

“Once we have the granolith set, we’ll be sending Liz back to the day before. I’m only giving you one day. That should be enough to change what we need changed. Like I said before, Liz will be in her seventeen year old body, with all her memories from here. As time goes by those memories will fade. They’ll become nothing more than a dream to which you can’t remember all the parts. As far as anything else, we don’t really know what’s going to happen. The future is unclear now,” Serena explained to them.

Liz just nodded. She knew exactly when she would be going back. It would be to the morning after Max sang to her outside her balcony. A smile formed on her lips as she remembered listening to his sweet voice float up to her ears from the alley below. He confided in her later how embarrassed after he did that and refused to ever sing for her again. She loved his voice though. Earlier in their relationship, she would catch him singing to himself in class or singing along to the radio. She never told him that she heard him though. Liz would never embarrass Max like that.

“Well... Isabel and I are going to head out then. We should be back within a few hours. It’ll take us about thirty minutes to get to the granolith and I’m going to try and get as much done as possible,” Serena said standing up and grabbing her coat off her cot.

Isabel reached for her cot and felt something inside of her. It was a feeling, she couldn’t quite place it, but she knew something was going to happen to her and soon. She could also sense a presence near her that she hadn’t in a long time. Someone she missed dearly.

“Alex?” She whispered softly to herself, but shrugged off the thought.

Isabel walked over to Liz and hugged her tightly.

“You know I always loved you,” Isabel whispered in her ear. She knew she needed to say everything to Liz now for she might not get a chance again. “You put life in Max like no one ever could. I don’t know what’s going to happen once things change, but I thank you for everything you’ve done. For the way you loved all of us and protected all of us. Make sure that I treat you right. I know in the beginning I didn’t always give you the consideration you deserved, but after all this, make sure I appreciate you for what you have done.” After Isabel finished her speech, she had to wipe away the tears rolling down her face that matched the ones falling down Liz’s. Isabel kissed her on the cheek and thanked her once more before both she and Serena left.

Year: 2014. 14 days 23 hours and 24 minutes till the fall

Isabel sat in the corner of the chamber with her coat wrapped tightly around her. It was amazing, really. New Mexico used to be so hot, but after all the fighting and destruction, it always seemed to be cold and rainy now. On top of that, Isabel kept having a chill run down her spine that just wouldn’t go away.

“Serena are we almost done for now?” Isabel asked through chattering teeth.

“Yeah, this is probably it for now. I’ll come back later with Michael and work on it more. It’s going to take longer than I thought and the clock is ticking.” Serena closed the metal panel with a wave of her hand and stood up, stretching her legs.

“I could use some hot cocoa right about now,” Serena said with a laugh. They had been low on food supplies for a while. It was hard to find anything. They usually had to scrap to find food and the only way to cook it was in the upstairs part of the house, which was risky. Skins were always checking houses for people who were still living. That’s why they stayed hidden in the basement. The Skins didn’t know there were a few basements in the houses in New Mexico, so it was a good hiding place.

“Let’s just get back. I want to crawl into my cot and never get up.”

Serena and Isabel carefully left the pod chamber, hoping that no Skins were on patrol. They kept a look out and ducked behind rocks whenever they could.

Isabel never heard the blast, or felt it hit in her the back. All she saw was the brilliant white light and felt the muddy, sandy ground as she collapsed upon it.

She saw two more blasts of white light and then thought she heard Serena whispering to her, but it all fell away to absolute darkness.

Year: 2014. 14 days 22 hours and 48 minutes till the fall

Max held Liz close to his body in an attempt to keep her warm. He knew it was impossible, but as they lay on the mattress trying to fall asleep, his thoughts went back to how he only had a few more days in which he could fall asleep with Liz pressed next to him.

He didn’t want her to be the one to go. It didn’t seem fair. She didn’t deserve to have to be put through this, but he knew she was strong. If anyone could do what she was about to do, it was Liz.

Max began to stroke her hair softly and tried to let his body relax so he could fall asleep. He was almost there when he heard Serena’s frantic voice in the main room.

“Michael they were too quick... it was too bad.” Serena cried, all her emotions showing through.

“What are you talking about Serena, and where is Isabel?”

“They got her Michael. There was nothing I could do.”

On reflex, Max pulled Liz’s body closer to him and placed his head in her hair. He tried to take in deep breaths to keep his tears from falling. His sister was gone now. He just hoped she would protect them and keep them safe in the next week so that Liz could go back and save her. They needed all their old friends help.

Liz turned around in his arms and buried her face in his neck holding him tightly.

“Max, it’s going to be ok. We’re going to bring her back. I promise.”

Max kissed her forehead and then leaned into her ear and did something he never did. He sang to her.

“Come to me now. Lay your hands over me. Even if it's a lie, say it will be alright and I shall believe.”

Liz cried softly against Max’s chest as he sang to her. She didn’t know how long he sang or how many times he went through their song, but eventually they both fell into a fitful sleep, afraid to face the morning. Because the morning meant they had one less day to spend together.

TBC

[ edited 4 time(s), last at 11-Feb-2003 12:41:45 AM ]
posted on 20-Jan-2003 4:09:57 PM by ChrissyP47
*Author's Note*

Wow! You guys have been really awesome. I'm so glad that you liked the start of this fic. I hope you will continue to enjoy it.

I'm going to leave you all to the new part now.

Lelea I'm sitting here biting my nails waiting to see what you think of this. It's going to be an interesting ride.

Part 2

Year: 2014. 7 days 18 hours and 29 minutes till the fall


It had been a week since Isabel’s death. Death didn’t seem to faze the group as much as it should anymore. Life as it used to be was over. In less than a week the world they were in now would no longer exist. It wasn’t that they didn’t mourn the loss of Isabel. They just knew it was pointless, soon she would be alive, eighteen again and her death would all be a dream in Liz’s mind.

Serena spent as much time as she could going to the Granolith. They had to be careful though. Michael went with her every single time and so far they hadn’t had any run-ins with Skins. She didn’t know if that was a good thing or not. It didn’t matter. She would have the Granolith reprogrammed soon and then it would all be over.

Serena still hadn’t told Max and Liz the other bad news. There never seemed to be a right time to tell them. She knew she needed to soon, even if it was going to destroy Liz even more.

“You ready to go?” Michael asked coming up behind her.

Serena turned and looked at Max and Liz, who were sitting on one of the cots, talking to each other in hushed voices and exchanging soft caresses.

“Liz, Max... I...” Serena walked over to them and dropped down to the ground so she was eye level with them both. “I have something that I need to tell you.”

“What is it?” Liz asked. She could feel Serena’s sorrow coming off her in waves. She knew whatever it was, was bad news. As if they hadn’t had enough of that in the past few years. There had only been one piece of good news she had gotten and that had been...

“Before you go back in time we need to... to... make sure your child doesn’t go with you.”

Instinctively, Liz’s hand flew to her abdomen. She was only about two months pregnant, but she knew it was a girl. Her and Max’s daughter. They had been trying so hard to get pregnant since college, but nothing had been working. Liz was even tempted to start taking fertility drugs, but then the fighting started. When she found out she was pregnant, she had been overjoyed, even if she was fearful for her daughter’s life. She just so badly wanted to have a baby with Max and now Serena was taking that away from her too.

“What?” Liz was trying to make sure she had heard right. She knew that her baby wasn’t going to exist at all, but to actually kill her unborn child before she left wasn’t a possibility. Liz knew she couldn’t handle something like that.

“Serena isn’t what we’re doing bad enough. Do you have to take everything away from us?” Max asked.

Serena closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Her guilt was starting to eat at her. She knew it was their only hope for survival, but she couldn’t imagine breaking Liz and Max apart. Or taking their daughter from them.

“I don’t want to do this. It’s wrong and isn’t fair to either one of you. The thing is, if Liz goes back to her seventeen year old body, I am afraid your baby will too. Liz being seventeen and pregnant when she’s never been with anyone, isn’t going to look good. It could jeopardize everything.” Serena never hated herself more than in that moment.

Liz Evans crumbled before them all. She cried harder than they had ever seen her cry before. Her hand ran over her stomach, where her unborn child lay, unknowing that soon it would never be. It would never be given the chance to draw in a breath or know that it had the most incredible parents ever, who would have given their lives to save her. They were giving up everything to save the world.

Max put his arms around her and held her tightly, trying to be strong for her, but failing miserably. Their only little bit of hope was being sucked from them. It was one thing to have their daughter never exist. It was a completely different thing to kill her.

Serena decided Max and Liz needed their time alone. To talk about it. She didn’t want to be the bad guy, she didn’t want Liz to blame her. Liz was her closest friend, but it looked as if Liz would always blame her for losing Max and their daughter. Even if it really wasn’t her fault.

She picked up her coat and grabbed Michael by the collar dragging him to the steps. Max and Liz needed their time alone. They didn’t have much of it left.

*****

Max and Liz went into their room in silence. They hadn’t spoken a word since Serena told them the second worst news they could ever receive. Max watched Liz lay down on the bed and pulled the wool blanket up over her head.

Max pulled off his shoes and decided to get into his sleeping clothes. He wanted to fall asleep and wake up and have it all be a bad dream. He and Liz would be married in their cute little apartment, with a beautiful baby girl and there would be no threat of the world being wiped out. Their biggest problem would be the baby diapers going up in price.

He pulled back the blanket Liz was hiding under even though she protested. Max knew she wouldn’t be able to sleep in her normal clothes. Leather just wasn’t comfortable to sleep in and probably wasn’t very warm for her. Max undressed her as quickly as possible and put her in warm bed clothes. He didn’t want her to be any colder than she already was.

Then he climbed under the blanket, pulling her body closer to his. Max stroked the soft skin of her arm and held her close to his chest, hoping it would help her go to sleep. She needed rest after all the emotional drain they had been through.

Liz had other thoughts on her mind as she wove her hands through Max’s hair. This was probably the last moment she would ever have with him alone, laying next to her and she needed to feel him.

She brought her head closer to his and let her lips brush his softly.

“Liz,” he whispered.

“Shh... Max. This may be the last time we are ever together. Make it special like every time we have ever been together. I need this to remember you by.”

Max didn’t even think twice. His lips crashed against her as he kissed Liz with all the passion he had inside for her. This was going to be the last time he ever made love to the woman of his dreams. His love, his other half, his wife.

A tear ran down his face as he dragged his lips to her neck, tasting the sweet skin there like he had so many times before. He loved the way she tasted, he loved her.

“I love you Liz,” Max whispered against her ear, before he kissed a path down her neck to her collarbone.

“Max.” Liz moaned like she had so many times before. Her mind was trying to memorize every feel, every caress, every sound. Everything about the moment was being burned into her memory. She hoped this would be the one thing she would never forget. The unimaginable pleasure she felt when making love to Max.

Max pulled her black top over her head and left fevered kisses on every inch of skin. They had done this so many times before. There wasn’t a place on Liz’s body that Max hadn’t kissed and worshiped in their fourteen years of happiness.

“How am I going to survive never being with you like this again?” Max asked in a whisper as he stared down into her brown eyes.

A sad smile formed on Liz’s face. She reached her hand up and caressed his cheek, like she had done so many times before. Soon those times would be faint memories, a dream you have a hard time remembering.

“You’ll never know what it was like to be together. You’ll have nothing to give up.”

Max took in a deep breath and forced back his tears. She was right, in a week he would never know of this life. Never know what it was like to touch Liz and to love her completely. To wake up every morning and have her beside him, to have someone he could share himself with, and even little things that people take for granted, like sleeping next to her. Never would he know what it was like to have this angel next to him all night long, or know the way that when she had a nightmare her legs would lock around him. Or how some nights, she would talk in her sleep and make little sounds that only he could find endearing and not annoying.

Liz reached for the hem of Max’s shirt and pulled it slowly over his head. She wanted to savor the everything. She watched as each piece of skin on his well-toned chest came into view. She knew she would never get to do this again. Never again experience what it was like to have his body belong to her. To listen to him talk to her before she fell asleep at night. Hear his deep breathing and light snoring that always came in the winter, whether he admitted it or not. They were such trivial things that many people would take for granted. Liz cherished every moment she spent with Max, because every moment was leading to her last.

“I’m not sure I can let you go Liz,” Max whispered near her ear before lightly sucking on the skin below it, just how he knew she liked it.

“In a few weeks it won’t matter, you won’t even know we were together.” Liz pulled his face away from her neck so she could stare into his eyes. She traced the line of his jaw with her finger and then over across the worry lines that had formed on his forehead, before cupping his cheek again. “Max, please, this is our last time together. Let me remember it so I have something to take with me.”

“Make me a promise,” Max said.

“Anything.”

“When the world is safe, when things are going the way they are supposed to, I don’t care if it is five or ten years after the fact, tell my younger self the truth. I would want to know you went through this, I would want to know what had to be done. Please promise me that.” It was all Max had left, it was all he could say and it was all he could hope for.

“I promise, that if I remember, I will tell you the truth, but only if I know that the world won’t still be at risk.”

That was all Max could have hoped for in her answer. He went back to kissing his wife the way he had done a million times before and making the experience one she would never forget. And she never would. Liz put it all to memory and as they made love she recorded every sound and touch that they exchanged.

Later, Liz found herself awake just watching Max as he slept. She felt the need to sleep to be useless and a waste of time. It wasn’t like the body she was in now was going to be any good to her after the week was over.

She watched every breath he took in, every rise and fall of his chest, the way his bangs fell over his face and the way his now longer hair, rested on his neck. Everything about Max was perfect in her eyes. She wondered, absently, if she would ever be with someone else. If in this other life she would find another. As soon as the thought passed her mind, she knew the answer. It was no. Max was her everything and everyone else would always be second best. There would never be another Max.

*****

Year: 2014. 7 days 14 hours and 52 minutes till the fall

Serena rubbed the sweat away from her forehead as she worked through the delicate wires of the granolith. Her brain was confused. Everything was falling apart around her and her guilt wouldn’t leave her be. She had a job to do, one simple job, but all she kept seeing was the look in Liz’s eyes as she crushed her final dream.

“Serena, you almost done? It’s fucking freezing out here,” Michael complained as he sat huddled near one side of the wall.

“Yeah. Yeah I’m almost done here.” Her hands were shaking. Not only from the cold, but her guilt. Her fear. Serena has spent years keeping herself immune to human emotions, but after meeting Liz, she found companionship, friendship and love. Along with that she felt pain, anger and above all now, guilt.

A tear traced across her face as she reached to cut the blue wire. She had everything planned out, all she had to do was make sure the settings would allow for Liz to finally forget about where she came from and live her life without the pain.

The image of Liz falling to the ground and crying appeared in Serena’s mind’s eye. She could see Liz, staring at her, tears mixed with pain in her brown eyes. There was hatred in those eyes. Serena closed her eyes, but the image remained. Liz staring at her with blame reflected in those eyes. The wire cutter slipped from her callused hands and Serena started to shake her head to clear the image from her mind.

“You ok Serena?” Michael asked.

“Yeah,” she replied, trying to get herself back together.

Serena closed the panel quickly. She wanted to get out of there fast and get back to her cot, where she could sleep away the guilt.

“Ok Michael, now we can go.”

“Thank God.”

Year: 2014. 2 days 3 hours and 04 minutes till the fall

It was colder in their basement home. Much colder than usual. Fate’s way of mourning what was about to happen.

Liz lay in her cot, staring up at the dirty ceiling. The light was low, casting an eerie glow around them. The wool from her blanket was scratching at her bare legs, not that she noticed it much. Her mind was on other things. On anything other than the pain she would soon endure.

Max was holding her hand tightly, but she barely felt it. Serena was giving them a few minutes alone before… before…

Tears coursed down her already tear stained face. She had never known what it was like to cry so much you were exhausted. It was hard for her to move, all she had done was cry for two days straight. Her body was worn and her muscles were tired.

Pain was a part of her now. It was all she could feel. Pain, sorrow, misery, sadness, melancholy, so many emotions fueling her depression. The only emotion that won over all of those was love. Liz loved Max with every fiber of her being. It was all she had to hold onto now. She was losing everything and it was happening too quickly.

The granolith was ready, the rocket would be launched in two days. The plans were made, the route was fixed, the setting were correct. There was one thing left to be done before she could go back in time and destroy her life to save billions of others.

Serena walked into the room, with Michael behind her. A cry tore from Liz’s dried lips and Max squeezed her hand so tightly, he might have broken a bone in her hand. They were about to do irreparable damage to Liz and it was causing heartache in all of them.

No one would ever understand what it would be like for Liz. Losing a child was an experience Liz had always feared. She remembered, years before the fighting, a girl she worked with had miscarried in the office. It was the most horrific thing to see a woman lose a child. It had been forever embedded in her brain and the fear had been suffocating. Now, one of her worst nightmares was to come true. In the next two days all of her nightmares would be reality, every single one of them.

Serena knelt beside Liz and removed the blanket from her. Liz stared up at the ceiling, her eyes were dry now, she had nothing left in her. There were no more tears.

The dirty ceiling was all she could see. All she could feel was the pressure Max was applying on her bruised hand.

“All you’re going to feel is the prick of the needle,” Serena said in a hushed tone. It was as if she talked any louder something would break. What Serena didn’t know was that Liz was already broken, nothing could keep her together.

Liz didn’t even nod, she just focused on the ceiling. Max was whispering in her ear, words to keep her relaxed, but nothing was going to help. The needle pierced her pale skin and the warm fluid burned into her womb. There was a moment when everyone held their breaths. Liz didn’t feel anything and then all at once, like someone had unleashed something inside her, pain flowed through her body.

She squeezed her eyes shut along with Max’s hand in her own. Pain coursed through her veins, pounding in her head with every thump of her broken heart. Warm liquid coursed down her thighs as life trickled out of her body. An animalistic cry tore from Liz’s cracking lips as the last of her daughter’s life slipped out. Then she was cold. The warmth from the deadly fluid and warmth of her daughter’s life were gone. She was frozen from the inside out. Everything was cold. Her life was over. Never again would she be Liz Evans or Liz Parker. She was just a shell. Never again would she be warm again until she felt that life back in her.

“I’m so sorry Liz,” Serena cried out before running from the room. Michael ran after her, leaving Max and Liz alone.

Liz could feel Max’s warm tears falling on her skin. She pulled the blanket around her, but knew it wouldn’t help the coldness that was deeply rooted in her body.

“Liz… I don’t…” Max started to say, but Liz put a slender finger put to his full lips.

“Don’t Max. There’s nothing left to be said. It’s over now.”

Max climbed in the cot next to her and she just held Max while he cried. Liz held onto the only thing she had left. Her love for Max, and soon she wouldn’t even have that.

TBC
posted on 4-Feb-2003 10:16:18 PM by ChrissyP47
*Author's Note*

First, before I get into the new part. Yes Kara I am giving Dreamer insurance. I promise for happiliy ever after, it's just going to take a little while to get there.

Second.

I kind of apologize for this being so angsty. I know life has been full of a lot of that lately and I don't mean to add to it, but that's what's flowing right now so I'm going to just go with it.

By the way Por siempre means "forever" in spanish. In case you didn't know.

Part 3

Year: 2014. 0 days 22 hours and 36 minutes till the fall


For the past 24 hours the four had been in complete silence. No one had said a word the entire time. There was an agreement among them to just spend their last few moments alone in the quiet There were just no words left to be said, no plans to be made, no promises to be sworn, no thoughts to be vocalized.

Their lives were ending soon. Liz would be the only one of them to go on, to be alive at the end of the day. As the time clicked forward things seemed so much more surreal. Life would soon be over, in the sense they knew it. Everyone was feeling the effects of it. Everyone but Liz, who was having a hard time feeling anything at all.

“What time is it?” Max finally asked after the long time of silence.

“4:24 AM,” Serena answered, looking at her watch.

“When are we leaving?” Max asked.

“Noon would be the best time. The skins will have already left by then. At least most of them will have” Serena replied and then again silence fell upon them like a heavy quilt thrown on a bed.

It was Liz who spoke next, astounding them all.

“Remember when we were sophomores in high school. Sometime after the shooting and Michael ‘abducted’ Maria?” Liz said with a surprising light tone in her voice.

Max snickered and tried to cover it up when Michael glared at them.

“I did not ‘abduct’ her.” Michael argued. “In my defense, she didn’t have to get in the car. Plus, she had numerous opportunities to get out.”

“When?” Liz countered. “While you were going 90 down 285?”

“Don’t act so innocent.” Michael said pointing at her. “You both got into plenty of trouble when we were in high school. Like that time senior year when the two of you ditched school and we found you in my apartment-” Michael didn’t get a chance to finish his comment before Liz jumped on him and clamped her hand over his mouth.

“Don’t you dare Guerin. You promised to forget about.”

“How could I forget something like that? That image was forever burned in my brain.”

Serena watched with a sad smile as they continued to joke about the past. They looked young again. There was a naiveté about the way they talked, almost like they were back in high school and knew nothing about war and death. It was an amazing sight, one that Serena wished she could remember. When she met up with the group they already had lost so much, parents, friends, loves. Never once had she seen them truly acting their own age. It was humbling, but unfortunately, that feeling could only last so long.

Year: 2014. 0 days 15 hours and 00 minutes till the fall

12:00 PM


Liz threw on her leather coat and stood by the doorway. Everyone was saying their last goodbyes to Serena. She wasn’t heading to the granolith with them, and Liz knew why. She didn’t want to blame Serena, she was like a sister, but it was hard not to let the blame fall in her direction. Liz hoped that would fade with age.

“Well wish us good luck.” Michael said, pulling on his coat.

“Good luck to all of you. I know you’ll make it, but, I give you my blessing.” Serena told them all.

“Thank you Serena. We appreciate it.” Max said to her before giving her a hug. “You’ve been incredible. Make sure you run into us in the next lifetime.”

“Count on it.” Serena said, holding in all her emotions.

“Yeah.” Michael added. “You’ve been a real help.”

“Love you too Guerin.” Serena said laughing slightly as she hugged him. Michael would never change.

“We should go.” Liz said coming up to stand next to all of them.

It was a moment of truth. Serena didn’t expect anything from Liz and that was nearly what she got. Nothing.

“It’s noon and I don’t want to waste anymore time.” Liz turned on her heel and headed to the exit.

Max and Michael turned to look at Serena, but she just shrugged. “All I can hope for is that she forgives me someday. I don’t want it now. I don’t deserve it now.”

Both nodded and said one last goodbye to their friend who they might never see again and would never remember before leaving.

Once everyone was gone Serena sunk down onto one of the mats and cried. Her emotions went haywire and energy shot from her hands blowing up the table and lamp near her. Nothing mattered as the green electricity of her power shot from her over-worked palms.

Moments later her tears began to dissipate and her vision, blurred from tears, started to clear. She looked down at her hands. Hands that had changed the granolith making Liz have to lose everything. Hands that were unable to save Isabel. Hands that had taken away Liz and Max’s child, along with the light that sparkled inside of Liz. Hands that had killed. Hands that had failed.

Serena brought that dirtied hand up to her temple and held it there as still as possible.

“Save her. Save us all.” Serena prayed before sending a blast straight through her head, killing herself instantly. Her hand glowed for 20 minutes after her death with unused and unwanted energy. It cast a green glow around the broken down basement, that only time could erase.

*****

Year: 2014. 0 days 13 hours and 56 minutes till the fall

1:04 PM


Max, Michael and Liz sat huddled together behind a grouping of rocks. They were only about a mile away from the pod chamber, but they all needed a short rest before they continued their long walk out there.

“This damn chamber was never this far away before,” Michael grumbled.

“It only feels further now.” Liz said absent-mindedly.

Michael and Max both exchanged looks before Max put his arm around Liz, holding her close.

“We’ll be in there soon.” He said to her.

“I know.” Liz said meeting Max’s eyes. “That’s what I’m afraid of.”

They all went silent again, not really sure what to say to one another. The three of them had been through a lot over the past 14 years and now that it was all coming to an end, not a one of them knew what to say to the other.

Michael most of all didn’t know what to say. He hadn’t voiced much of his thoughts in the past few years. What was killing him the most was Max and Liz. After Maria died he’d been with them the whole time. He had moved out of the small apartment he and had shared and had moved onto the couch in Max and Liz’s apartment. In those years that the three of them lived together, Michael had resented what they had. He’d lost someone he cared about deeply, but they always had each other. Michael had always been envious of what Max and Liz saw in each other. He wanted that with Maria, but it always kept falling apart. They would get together and then break up. Get back together and then break up again. Right before she died though, they seemed to find their balance. Moving in together as a ‘just friends’ thing until love was growing between them again and then before he ever got the chance to tell her he loved her, she died. Killed by his enemy.

He hated everyone after that and especially hated what Max and Liz would always mean to each other because they were able to love each other and be together without a single problem. Now Michael felt guilty. He wanted Maria back so much and to start all over again that he had no problem breaking up Max and Liz’s relationship to do it. He knew it was wrong to want something like that. Liz kept Max balanced and Michael feared what Max would be like in that other life without Liz to be at his side. The only thing Michael knew was that he would be with Maria and he prayed that he wouldn’t screw up this time around.

“I guess we should keep going.” Liz said, forcing Michael to come out of his thoughts.

“Yeah come on. I got your back.” Michael said.

They all began to move forward until the sounds of blasts were heard all around them.

The three of them ducked down behind a rock trying to take cover from all the blasts.

“How many?” Michael shouted over the blasting noise.

“Two!” Liz shouted back.

Michael and Max quickly began firing back their own shots, trying to take out the Skins before they got to them. Michael was starting to feel his energy drain. These two Skins were stronger than some of the other ones he had encountered before. They were almost impossible to hit. Out of the corner of Michael’s eye he saw Liz place her hand on Max’s shoulder. He could swear he saw a green light come from Liz’s hands and boost Max’s power, but he knew that was impossible. Liz didn’t have any powers, she wasn’t an alien.

The first Skin went down, but the other one was still standing there holding on and giving them quite a fight.

“I don’t think we can hold this guy off any longer!” Max shouted. “Liz you can sneak around the other side and head up to the granolith. We’ll hold him off for as long as we can and hopefully you’ll be able to get there.”

“NO!” Liz screamed hysterically back at Max. “I’m not going up there by myself. I need you with me. I can’t let this be our goodbye.”

Max turned to Michael with sad eyes. “Hold him off for a second.”

Michael just nodded as he continued to blast at the Skin. Out of his right eye he saw Max holding Liz as tightly as possible. He was witnessing what would be their final moments together. It was heart wrenching. As much as he wanted Maria back, seeing their pain made it hard for him to let them destroy what they had.

“I love you so much Max.”

“I know, I love you too Liz, just as much.”

Michael heard their whispers of love and his guilt began to grow. All he could think about is what Maria would want him to do in the situation. The answer was simple. Maria would want him to do anything that would give Max and Liz one last moment to themselves.

“Damn it!” Michael shouted and both Max and Liz turned to look at him. “I can hit the Skin if I get up a little higher. Problem is, I won’t have any cover.”

“Michael…” Max started, but Michael cut him off.

“Max I’m going to die here today anyway. I’d rather go out knowing that I protected the two of you instead of hurting you both more.”

Michael saw that Max was going to try and stop him, but he didn’t let this chance slip by. He jumped up and went at full charge at the Skin. The blasts were flying between the two of them and Michael could feel a few blasts coming from Max’s general direction.

He let one last blast go towards the Skin and saw an outburst come in his direction. The blast he sent out hit the Skin square in the chest, causing it to become nothing, but a bad pile of dust. That last blast from the Skin hit him directly in the shoulder. The pain tore through him and he stumbled along the rocks, trying to fall to the ground without hitting his head on anything sharp.

Max and Liz had both run up to him. Max was looking him over while Liz held on tightly to his hand.

“Max.” Michael choked out. “Get into the pod chamber before more of them come.”

“We can’t just leave you out here.” Max said in desperation.

“Max, in about an hour I’ll be back in my apartment arguing with Maria. It really doesn’t matter. Now get the hell out of here before we lose our chance.”

He felt Liz clutch his hand tighter and he looked up at the girl who had changed their entire world once and was about to do it again.

“You make sure I treat her right. You make sure I don’t screw up with her again. I want my second chance.”

“I promise.” Liz answered him, with soft tears coming down her face. “Don’t worry. I’ll make it all better soon.”

Max grabbed Liz’s hand and they said one last goodbye to their long time friend before running towards the pod chamber. It would be the last place they would ever be together.

*****

To Liz the granolith looked the same. Didn’t seem to be any different than all the other times she had to look upon it, but you could feel it in a new way. The vibes that always came off the cool metal were normally calm and relaxing. Now they were statically charged and Liz could feel the little hairs on the back of her neck, standing at attention.

She ran her dirtied hand along its smooth surface. The granolith glowed an odd purple light, wherever her caresses went. It recognized her, was programmed to take her away from the life she knew and into the unknown.

“Are you scared?” Max asked, coming up behind her. She could smell him. He always smelled so good to her. Would she never know that smell again?

“Not really. There doesn’t seem to be anything to be frightened of at this point. The world is going to be a better place where I’m going. I’ll have people to protect me.”

“You know I’ll always protect you.” Max whispered in her ear. “Even if we’re… we’re…”

“Not together.” Liz finished for him. She felt his arms come around her waist and he held onto her tightly. The warmth the flowed through his hands penetrated her clothing and seeped into her soul. It was the last time her soul would ever be alive. She knew that. There was no going back though.

“Max.” His name came out in a whisper. “It’s time.”

She heard him cry at her words, forcing her to turn around and face him. Her hand went to his chin and forced him to look up at her.

“Don’t Max. It’s not necessary. You’ve been protecting me and saving me since high school. Now its time for me to return the favor.”

“You already did.” Max swore to her. “The moment you came into my life you saved me.”

Liz felt her own tears forming now. How could this be happening to her? The reality of the moment was starting to crash down on her shoulders, but she couldn’t allow herself to feel it or she would never go through with it. Liz was prepared to die for Max. She would die with them too and know that they had lived happily ever after, but at what expense? The rest of the world had to die as well?

“Max…” A tear spilled from her right eye and trailed down her cheek. “Please don’t make this any harder than it is.”

“Liz don’t go. No one is going to know. It’s not our fault the world is ending. Please Liz. We’ll stay in here together. Die together, just like Romeo and Juliet did. Please Liz, I can’t let you go there. I can’t let us not be together. I love you.”

“Oh god Max.” Liz couldn’t get anything else out. She threw her arms around his neck and forced her lips onto his. It was to be their last kiss and Liz poured everything into it. She was leaving her soul with him, her very essence. Every moment they had ever spent together in their fourteen years flashed before their eyes. Liz saw all the kisses they shared, all the looks that passed. The first time they made love. Sneaking out of her house during their senior year to meet up with Max. Their wedding. Moving into their first apartment together. Finding out Liz was pregnant. The flashes began to fade, but their kiss intensified. Liz almost forget where she was and what she was doing, till she heard the blasts coming from outside.

“They’re here Max.” Liz whispered breaking off the kiss.

“Liz.” Max said forcing her to look back at him. They shared a look that seemed to pass for an eternity before he spoke again. “I didn’t want you to do this. I didn’t want you to have to go through with all of this. I wish more than anything this never had to happen.”

“I know Max.” Liz said bringing her fingertips up to touch his lips for the last time. “But this is the way it has to be. I don’t blame you for this. I won’t ever blame you for what happened today. I couldn’t do that. I love you too much.”

“Liz I know who I am, and I promise you I’ll never love another as much as I love you. No matter how hard you try and get me to turn to Tess, my heart always belongs to you. That’ll never change, no matter how many times we have to go back in time.”

Liz brushed the tears away from his face and stood up on her tiptoes to give him a kiss on the forehead. “My heart belongs to you too. Por siempre.”

Por siempre.” Max repeated.

Liz turned from him and placed her hand against the metal surface of the granolith. It started to glow under her hand and the glow began to spread. A flash of light crashed across the entire granolith. She took in a deep breath and a moment later she was in the granolith, the purple glow surrounding her entire body.

Max was looking up at her with such sadness in his eyes. Liz gave him a brave smile before turning pensive. The glow around began to trickle into her skin. She was becoming one with the purple glow. Panic crossed her face as she glanced down at Max. This was the last time she would ever see him this way. The last time she would ever see her husband.

She reached her hand out of him, and automatically his came up to touch hers. She felt the metal edge of the granolith keeping them both from linking hands like they had done so many times before. Max smiled up at her and mouthed ‘I love you’. Liz looked heavenward as she saw a blackness above her. Her eyes closed not by her own volition and then she felt air swirling all around her.

Her eyes stayed shut with the force of the wind. In her mind it seemed to all be happening too fast. For a moment her brain allowed her to think and she panicked at the thought that something may have gone wrong.

Then it all stopped. The wind stopped, the blinding lights stopped and she heard silence. Familiar sounds could be heard in the distance, but she couldn’t quite make them out.

Liz opened her eyes slowly and immediately recognized the mirror she was standing in front of and the person reflected in the mirror.

It was her, seventeen years old.

TBC
posted on 11-Feb-2003 12:40:55 AM by ChrissyP47
*Author's Note*

Do to recent events I am leaving the board. I don't wish to abandon this fic, but it is necesary that I leave the board.

I am continuing the fic though. It'll be on a new board which is here.

http://pub13.ezboard.com/fouterhaven45775frm26.showMessage?topicID=1.topic

If you want to continue to read this story, that is where it is at. I am really sorry I had to do this and I wish everyone the best of luck. You are all great.