|posted on 30-Aug-2001 8:31:33 PM|
Rathing: PG-13 (may be R later)
Genre: M/L, Future Fic, Spoilers up to Departure
Max Evans woke up on a couch he had never seen, in a room he had never been in before. This room was presumably in an apartment he had never seen before. He knew, he knew he should be running out of the door about five minutes ago, but something held him there.
The picture. Him and Liz, on their wedding day.
He had seen that picture on the wall, across from the couch, and he had practically sprinted over to it. Liz was gorgeous in her elegant white dress, and Max had had to stop and look at himself to make sure it was really himself.
He was ecstatic. Happy, thrilled. The past year, whenever Max had looked in the mirror, he saw a face in the mirror that looked like it could never hold any of those traits again. Liz was gone, in the ways that mattered. There had been a flicker of contentness, when he and Liz had become close again. And then Alex had died, and he had snapped again. And then Tess had...
But here he was, in an apartment he didn’t know, slowly becoming reanimated again. They say a pictures worth a thousand words He thought to himself, and then grimaced. Michael was right. He did have a shitty sense of humor.
There were three doors in the spacious apartment. It had an amazing view, the city stretched out under the windows like a palace overlooking its country.
Max looked down at the picture again.
This time, he studied Liz’s face. The grin, and a happiness that-almost-rivaled his own shinning on her face. She was thrilled.
He felt a gun press into the back of his head, and before he could move, he heard a voice hiss in his ear.
“Who the fuck are you?” Liz.
“Who are you?” Liz demanded again, shaking the gun slightly. But Max knew Liz too well. She was shaken.
“It’s me. It’s Max.” His voice was gentle and cautious as he kept his gaze on the wedding picture in his hands.
“Like hell you are! Put that down. Are you a Skin? One of Khivar’s men?” Max didn’t answer, shocked into silence.
That wasn’t a smart thing to do, it only fueled Liz’s anger, “Who are you. Tell me, now” Her voice was calculated, pronouncing each syllable with equal force.
“It’s me!” Max yelled, and then he grabbed her wrist and connected. Proved his identity to this Liz he was standing in front of. He didn’t take any of her memories, or thoughts, just gave her his own.
Liz didn’t breathe for a second, as Max broke their connection. Oh God, it had been so long since she had felt him in her mind. But this Max...he was so young. He didn’t even know that Tess had been mind warping him into believing she was pregnant and that he had sex with her. He didn’t even know about Future Max.
Liz stumbled back, but never dropping the gun. It was her only anchor to reality at the moment. Max moved in to support her, but she held up her hands, halting him.
Max looked down at Liz, completely baffled by now. Suddenly, her shoulders started to shake. He moved into comfort her, but stopped when she looked up at him.
She wasn’t crying, she was laughing, “Oh...oh my God!” Liz doubled over in giggles again, dropping the gun at both of their feet. “Figures that I would not only get a Future version of Max but a-” She paused, snorting, “Past Max as well!”
He stared at her, getting a little angry. What was she talking about? Where were they? Why did Liz look like she was in her late twenties? And what in God’s name was Liz holding a gun to his head for? He was about to start asking questions when she stopped laughing and looked up at him, tears of laughter still in her eyes.
“I’m going to kill Surena!”
“What’s going on?” Max looked at Liz, his jaw clenching. She was his Liz, not an impostor, but something was terribly off.
Liz calmed herself down, seeming to put a wall over herself. Suddenly, she was the Liz who was standing behind him pointing a gun at her. It was disturbing to see Liz like this, she reminded him of...Michael.
Liz took a breath, rubbing her temples for a moment. “Stay here Ma...Stay here. I’ll be right back.”
Max watched as she walking into a room, softly shutting the door behind her. He heard voices, and decided to sit down. Liz was obviously taking charge here, and he was just going to half to wait. For awhile.
20 minutes later, Liz came back and sat down next to Max, looking directly at his forehead. “Here’s what's going on. You’ve been transported 15 years into the future. I’m 33 years old.” She paused, watching him look down at the picture of hers and Max’s wedding. Her throat clenched, Max had always loved that picture.
“We get married?” His voice was soft, hopeful.
Liz looked at Max in disbelief, “Yes Max. But please. Focus. The Granilith transported you into the Future.”
“I’ll explain later. The important thing to know is that we can’t get you back for at least another two weeks.”
“I’m getting there. Listen, let me get dressed alright? Grab my bag by the door. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”
“Wait, where are we going?”
“I’ll explain on the way. Get my bag.”
Max looked over at Liz in surprise when she walked out. She was wearing fitted black pants, with a tight black tank top. Her arms were muscular, as was the rest of her body. She had drawn her hair back at the base of her neck.
They walked outside quickly, Max trailing behind Liz. He still had no idea what was going on, but he trusted her. She walked to a car and pulled out a silver square, and touched it, unlocking and starting up the car.
They climbed in quickly, and Max turned to Liz. “It doesn’t fly?”
Liz smiled, pulling out. “Only in rush hour.”
They drove for a few minutes in silence.
“Liz..” Max began.
“I know, I know. I’m just trying to figure out where to start. Ok, first of all...ok, your from May of 2001. Great.
Ok, in October, I pretended to sleep with Kyle.”
Max winced, “Noticed.”
“I did that becuase you traveled from the future to make me fall out of love with you.”
Silence. Then, “WHAT?!”
“The Granilith is capable of being turned into many different things. A transporter, a weapon, a time machine. The Granilith generates pure energy. The Crystal you used to transport Tess is just one of many. Each changed the Granilith’s purpose. You can create your own crystals to serve your purpose.
Anyway, using a crystal, a Max from the future was able to transport himself to my balcony. In his future, Tess runs away from Roswell after we cemented our relationship. And she was necessary to your survival, your powers weren't strong enough without her.”
Liz stopped when she looked over at Max, whose eyes were beginning to look wet. “Stop.” The cold tone of her voice covered up her urge to comfort him. “So I pretended to sleep with Kyle, and have you see, so you would fall out of love with me, be with Tess, and insure she stay in Roswell.
“You know what happens next. After Tess left, we learned that we could fight without her, through a series of events. I’m only telling you what you need to know, nothing more. Point is, we kicked Khivar’s ass. We freed your planet.”
Max smiled, they had actually done it, “So then why am I here? And what about my...”
“Your son? There is no baby Max, it was all a mind warp. And the reason your here is...when ‘you’ used the Granilith, your pattern was stored in the Granilith. Surena, my science advisor has been working on the Granilith a tripped...something that we didn’t even know existed, transporting you here.”
“But why the me from...my time?”
“I didn’t ask. Surena’s meeting us, she’ll explain then.”
“Your not telling me something. Why won’t you look me in the eye?”
Liz took in a shuddering breath, and the mask fell momentarily, and Max saw the real Liz. her face held an expression of someone who had seen too much alone. “The Skins, though we drove them off of Antar, are still alive. And their preparing to take over Earth.”
Max sucked in a breath, “How long?”
“Until they attack? Two weeks. We’ve turned the Granilith into an unimaginably powerful weapon, but there's something wrong with the aiming sequence. I have to find a way to fix it before they attack.”
“You have to find a way? What about the others?”
“Well, yeah, and the others.” Max was grateful he knew Liz so well, she had gotten better at lying. He jerked the car off the road, and stopped it.
“What the HELL do you think your doing?” Liz shrieked.
“Tell me the truth. Now.” He demanded, grabbing her chin, and forcing her to look at him. She snapped as soon as she looked into his eyes.
“You want to know the truth? Fine. Here it is. You were the King and I was the Queen. You ruled, I advised. Unfortunately, when we got back to Earth a year and a half ago, I had to be the leader of our little gang, our planet, and lead the fight against the Skins on Earth.”
Max’s eyes widened, “Why?”
Liz ignored the question, years away, “We got word of what the Skins were planning and headed back to Earth, but on the way back..”
She didn’t speak, and Max shook her gently, “Liz? Why are you leading?” He knew the answer, but could not face it.
“Because your DEAD Max.” Her voice dropped. “Killed by Khivar himself.”
“And Maria died with you.”
Liz spoke in a montone, her words droning on without any emotion. “Max, Michael, Isabel, Maria and myself went to Antar when your mother sent for you. Maria came along with us for Michael, but Kyle decided to stay on Earth. We were 21 at the time. Max and I were married when we were 20.
“The point is, we won. Khivar and his followers were driven off the planet. We stayed, trying to get everything back in order. A small base was set up on Earth lead by Surena and Kyle, but we really didn’t see any reason to invest in it. We were arrogant.
“The Skins didn’t give up. We got word two years ago that Khivar was moving his army towards Earth. The five us of immediately headed for Earth, but we kept most of our army on Antar, to keep control while we were away, and protect Antar from attacks.
“We had no idea how much force we were facing. Intelligence told us that Khivar was ordering almost all of his ships towards Earth. Shortly after we found that out, Max and Maria were...they were killed by Khivar. I walked into the apartment and-”
Liz stopped talking abruptly. “We had to reorganize, and fast. I stepped up to the position of leader, trying to figure out a way to save Earth. Michael is my second in command, with Isabel and Kyle as my advisors. I called on Surena to look into the Granilith, I knew that with all the energy it had, it could be an asset.
“Soon, Surena created a crystal that could turn the Granilith into a weapon powerful enough to save Earth. It can only be used once, but once will be enough. The problem is that we can’t fire it without taking out Earth along with the Skins. But Surena’s working on it, and shes never let me down. Max hadn’t wanted to kill all of the Skins, only drive them away. It was a mistake we’re not going to make again.”
They arrived at the base shortly afterwards. It was underground, hidden from humans. Liz stood, entering various codes, and submitting to several scans before the door opened. Max looked around in shock at the people all standing at attention towards Liz. Liz’s words were finally sinking in.
They walked into a room, and Max looked around. Michael, Isabel, Kyle, and a women he didn’t recognize, but guessed was Surena. Liz sat down at the head of the table.
“Surena? Tell me have any idea of what’s going on.”
“Well, some.” Surena’s light brown hair glimmered in the light, and she when she turned to Max, he was taken off guard by her eyes. They were purple. “The crystals that are used to power the Granilith are complex. A transporter crystal for example can take a person to where ever they want, but can also take them back to the Granilith, but only once.
I’m assuming that when I tripped the circuit that brought you back here, it chose your time period because you had recently just put in a crystal into the Granilith. So-”
Liz cut her off, “Surena! Bottom line, can we get him back home?”
“Yes, I think so. After the weapon fires, I’ll create a crystal to send him home.”
Michael spoke up, “We should wipe his memory too.” Max stared at his tone. He sounded dead. Maria. Max knew that she was the only reason he got up sometimes, and now that she was gone...
Isabel nodded, “We can’t risk contaminating the time line. Our Max didn’t know the future, so this one can’t either.” Max felt a shot of pride for his sister. She had finally grown up.
Liz nodded, “Max?”
Max looked at Liz, startled at being addressed.
“Your free to look around. Kyle will join you in a second.”
“You told him they were dead!?” Isabel yelped, straightening in her chair. Isabel and Michael were the only ones left in the room. Kyle and Surena had left after Liz had told them how she had slightly changed their story around when she spoke to Max.
“I did.” Liz stayed calm, adopting the mask of non-emotion that she had aquired from Max years ago, “He doesn’t need to know what's about to happen. What happened to him.”
Michael spoke up, using the same reserved voice tone he had since Maria had been taken. “Liz is right Isabel. There’s no need to tell him what happened to him and Maria.” His voice cracked on the last word, and for an instant, you could almost see the old Michael.
Isabel stared at the two, disbelieving, “How can you say that? They were possessed by Skins dammit! They are NOT dead.You were married to the two! Max is my brother! And now we’re going to kill them!”
Liz’s temper flared, “Thank you Isabel, we completely missed that. It’s not like we haven’t had this conversation before! Max isn’t Max anymore Isabel, you know that. You’ve seen him yourself! Khivar took over Max’s body. He’s as good as dead. My husband isn’t my husband anymore! And my best friend was taken over by Tess! Khivar’s fucking right hand!”
No one spoke.
“We don’t tell him.” Liz said evenly, “And if anyone does, there will be hell to pay. Understood?”
Michael nodded, leaving the room moments afterwards.
Isabel stared at Liz, trying to figure out what was going through her friends head. She stood up and went to the door, pausing before she exited, “I won’t be the one to tell him.”
The door shut, the dim light of the room making shadows on the wall.
My mind is almost gone. I can feel it, slipping away. It’s fading, faster than it was before. Liz is the one thing that remains constant. My other fhoughts come and go fast, leaving me confused, but Liz is always there.
I can’t believe it, but I can feel her still. The other’s think she’s changed, but she hasn’t. She’s built up a wall around her. She’s even started lying to herself. That’s something I had hoped Liz would never have to go again. Not after Future Max.
God Liz, I love you. Can you feel that? Do you know I’m still here, that I still love you? I’m sorry baby, I didn’t mean for you to have to do this. But I’m so proud of you. So proud. God, I love you. Your going to win, beat Khivar.
Khivar knows me Liz. He knows where my priorities lie, and he can play any of my memories on will. Kill him Liz. Make him suffer. He’s destroyed us. Reveled all the secrets I had, even the ones I didn’t know.
He uncovered a memory I hadn’t even been aware of. Of traveling to this future, right after Tess left. He knows Liz. He sees all that you’ve told this past Max. But he doesn’t know the ending Liz. Nor do I. But Liz...
Liz, he knows. And now he’s coming.