amazing banner by behrbabe
Title: The Intimacy of Strangers
Disclaimer: I own nothing Roswell
Summary: The night of Graduation took a very different turn.
Max never made it to the stage to make his heartfelt memorable speech. Instead he was forced to make a heart wrenching choice that would change his life and the life of the only girl he would ever love forever, making them strangers, strangers of the most intimate kind. How could he have known that ten years later he would have to face the past and the girl who was now a woman that demanded answers to splintered memories that made no sense, to a past that was wiped clean, to a love that refused to be forgotten…
Author's note: I know this is starting out dark, ok very dark, but I promise a dreamer ending, and intense romance. Also, Liz has no powers, and Max has one he has kept secret for a very long time.
Agent Thomas Harris, son of Major Adam Harris, one of the men murdered in the destruction of Edwards Air force base had Max in his cross hairs.
Revenge over the death of his father blinded him; his only thoughts were of ending the life of Max Evans, the one he felt was responsible, the monster, whose mere existence had not only killed many of our militaries finest but was a threat to the entire human race.
Collateral damage was justified in his vengeful heart as he aimed his gun at the head of Max Evans, only something went horribly wrong.
From the balcony looking down onto the crowd the agent had him in sight until the lights in the auditorium shut down suddenly as the principle ordered the spot light onto the podium for the speeches to begin.
Not willing to lose the shot Thomas began unloading his semiautomatic weapon upon the crowd below.
Unaware of agent Harris’ plans the other agents fired towards the intended targets setting off a chain reaction between the off duty police officers who were hired as security for the graduation ceremony.
Chaos ensued as a stray bullet hit the lighting system causing an array of sparks and an ultimate raging fire that instantly engulfed the thick curtains on the stage soon burning down the entire auditorium.
Blinded by smoke and what the FBI assumed were the aliens fighting back with their powers, the secret government agency was ordered to exterminate their targets by any means necessary.
What was deemed by the special agents as collateral damage could only be described as a bloodbath.
As police and news trucks arrived the cover up was already in play.
Another tragic teen school shooting was blamed for the murders of several students and parents.
It was made to look random so nothing could be connected; innocent lives were lost that night because of revenge and fear of something they could never hope to understand therefore would always fear.
It would be a night no one would ever forget.
In all it would be twenty four students and family members that were mercilessly gunned down that night.
No suspects in what would be later called the Roswell graduation massacre were ever found.
It would go down in history as one of Roswell’s most tragic unsolved cases.
June 21, 2002
Two am, somewhere in the desert
“Max I’m so tired, please… we have to stop.”
Sobbing uncontrollably Liz collapsed against a large boulder covered in blood exhausted, in shock, shivering her arms wrapped around her young body as images of everyone she loved dying around her still fresh in her mind.
Touching the dried blood on her face she could still see Maria throwing herself in front of her body blocking her from the bullets that were marked for her from the FBI’s special force.
Her words broken up by the harsh chattering of her teeth she tried to wipe the metallic red liquid from her face.
“I can’t believe they’re all gone… Maria, Isabel, Kyle, m-my dad… oh my god Max… our parents… w-what are we going to do?”
Sliding down the rough stone Max caught her in his arms pressing his lips gently to her temple holding her as close as possible desperate to hear her still beating heart convincing himself that she was not harmed.
Despondent tears joined hers as he whispered against her cold skin willing the power in his hands to warm her.
“I’m so sorry Liz.”
Useless words fell like dust beneath his feet, inconsolable to the depth of her loss.
To save her he’d have to let those he could have healed drown in blood that would forever remain on his hands.
Never did he imagine that fear could insight such need for worthless bloodshed that human lives were thought of as mere collateral damage.
In these dark hours roaming aimlessly, running for their lives in the barren desert he came to understand how naïve his thoughts had been, his plan of distraction, of believing they would never harm innocent lives.
It was a foolish boyish notion; a mistake of believing the human heart was incapable of such heinous corruptions.
It was a mistake he would never make again.
He now understood that if you dare to tempt those that live in darkness, if you challenge such evil by staring into the abyss of blackness sometimes that evil looks back.
Somehow now being burdened with the knowledge that Michael was right, that they should’ve ran, that he was the one that drove them to their death gave him a level of clarity he had been searching for his entire life.
As if almost on cue he heard the rumbling of the dirt bike as it sped towards them.
Lost for words, still in disbelief hoping that somehow Max could make this all right just like he always had before, Michael shuffled towards them.
Watching as Max shook his head slowly back and forth confirming what he already knew to be true Michael fell to his knees in despair.
Sobbing Max grabbed onto his brother pulling him close whispering in his ear, “They’re all gone, everyone.”
Nodding Michael wrapped an arm around Max gripping the back of his hair tight choking back tears of his own.
Fumbling onto her feet her dress caked in blood Liz stumbled close to Michael resting her hands on his shoulders clutching his jacket tight her voice shook with fear.
“Did you hear anything? What are they saying? How are they possibly explaining this?”
Blinking away the memory of Maria’s body in the ambulance as he hid in the crowd Michael rubbed the back of his neck nervously.
“They’re saying it was a massacre, blaming it on teenagers possibly from a different town. It’s all over the news, just another school shooting, since it happened before the ceremony when all the kids were together wearing their caps and gowns they believed they blended in making it easier to kill so many. There’s no leads, no suspects of course because its all a god damn lie.”
Raking her fingers through her damp hair Liz sat back down by the jagged rock her legs unable to carry her any longer.
Leaning into Max out of Liz’s ear shot Michael whispered urgently. “What are you going to do now; it won’t be long before they realize they didn’t get us. We can’t run from them, it’s only a matter of time before they find us. Look at her, she's a mess, she won't be strong enough to run. If they find her with us you know what they'll do to her.”
Staring out into the blackness of the starless night Max whispered softly his intentions to Michael as his eyes widened with disbelief.
“You’re not thinking straight, this isn’t you, you’ll never be able to live with this.”
Seeing the resolve set in his eyes Michael shook his head as he watched Liz sink into the brittle sand shattered and in shock.
“This isn’t what she’d want, you can’t do this, you have to give her a choice.”
Picking up Michael’s bike Max gave him a pleading gaze as he shouted back to Liz.
“Michael’s going to get help, it will just be a few minutes.”
Moving in for a hug Max quickly spoke lowly, “Circle back in ten minutes, she’s going to need a ride.”
“What about the FBI agents? It won’t be long before they realize they don’t have us. What are you going to do about them?”
Closing his swollen bloodshot eyes a look of firmness hardened his boyish features as he felt his heart already beginning to break.
“What I have to, just get her somewhere safe."
Michael took one last look at Liz before spinning his bike around and disappearing into the night.
Years of youthful indecisions, of wading in murky muddled waters weighed under mountains of responsibilities were now lifted from Max’s weary shoulders.
The precise path he had to take was clear; there would be no misgivings or regrets.
There was only one way to right the wrong, to salvage what could be saved of a life that had been torn apart by knowing him, by loving him.
Kissing her tenderly upon her tearstained cheek he gently cradled her trembling face.
With only Michael aware of the power that was given to him by the one he couldn’t bring himself to name out loud in a moment of weakness, only realized long after her departure Max finally understood the good it could be used for. It was the only way to keep her safe in the present he had to erase the past.
He knew Liz would have no idea what was happening until it was too late, it was the only way.
Trusting wide ebony eyes gazed into his stoic amber stare as he memorized her, as if creating a painting inside his mind he captured every loving shaded hue, each undying shadow of devotion, every divine precious kiss they had shared.
Colors of a portrait frozen in time would have to last forever, memories, snap shots, glimpses of endless nights in her arms, the brightness of her smile, the soft touch of her skin, words of love deeper than the ocean that she had whispered in the most intimate of moments.
It would have to be enough; it would have to last forever.
Softly crying he gently kissed her lips for what would be the last time.
Breathing her in, the soft sweet taste of her mixed with the salty tears of his own would be the divine torturous remembrance that would never leave him, an unforgiving wound that would never heal but would stay with him all the days of his life.
“I love you, I will always love you… tonight I am giving you my heart, please carry it forever with you, I have no need for it now… “
His voice cracked with emotion realizing that this would be the last moment she would look at him this way that she would remember all of it… all of them, and what they were.
“ … Somehow I always knew it belonged to you, I could never love another Liz… it was always you… only you.”
A horrific pain struck him when she looked back at him for a spilt second realizing what he was doing, her eyes widened with blind horrific urgency before his power took hold.
“I am Max Evans, your lab partner from biology. I helped you during a fight at the crashdown, you fell, broke a bottle of ketchup on your way down and hit your head. We are nothing but causal friends from school. You have no feelings for me, no memories of anything after that incident at the crashdown. We are acquaintances at school, which is all we are and all we will ever be, Michael, Isabel and I are nothing to you but normal students you know from class, you never… loved me Liz… you never felt anything for me. I am nothing to you. There was a shooting at the school tonight, you saw nothing. We were standing by the exit door, I grabbed you and ran, we were scared so we headed for the desert and waited for help.”
Falling hard against the boulder exhausted panting Max sobbed watching as her expression changed.
Crossing her arms in front of her she moved backwards almost tripping over her own feet.
There was distance in her eyes, in the space between them.
An unfamiliar nervousness about the way she angled her body away from him, a heartbreaking indifference in the way she held herself, as if she were alone, as if she barely knew him.
But it was only when he heard her say his name that he knew it had worked.
It was then that he knew he had truly given his heart away; only such pain could leave a void so deep and endless.
He wished for death, for mercy, for an end to his pain.
What he didn’t know, couldn’t have known, is that destiny is patient and enduring, it will lay in wait for years, it will make you suffer if necessary.
There is no escaping what is meant to be, fate will find a way.
June 21, 2012
Deep mountains of Maine near the Canadian border
Panting harshly gripping onto a tall pine tree attempting to catch his breath Michael swore profusely as he finally spotted the roof of the cabin through the thick brush.
Walking laboriously up the mountain to the clearing in front of the impressive log cabin Michael smiled awkwardly at the man he hardly recognized anymore.
“Hey Max, I see you’ve added on a few rooms to the old house.”
Nodding his focus stayed on his work turning over the soil in his extensive garden.
His hair was long and straggly matching his dark five o’clock shadow, his body was hard and muscular from the demanding work he’d grown accustomed to having to make his way alone in the wilderness.
He was far from the young innocent boy of long ago, in its place was an angry, cold, bitter man who was never able to let go of a life that was ripped away, of a girl he'd never hold in his arms again.
Clearing his throat he wiped the sweat from his forehead before throwing down his hoe and acknowledging Michael.
“Yeah, just keeping busy, it’s really not much. I designed a few traps, just in case someone gets curious, a new bedroom and a hidden room underground…”
Michael looked down as Max’s voice trailed off, he wasn’t used to talking, or people for that matter and it showed.
If it wasn’t for Michael’s visits every three months Max wouldn’t have any communication with anyone.
Max told Michael that it was best to keep a low profile that the sight of him could bring back memories for Liz, or worse any lingering agents that still had a death wish.
But Michael knew the truth, he knew that being around people, was too painful, that any reminder of what he had or the possibilities of what could have been was blindly unbearable.
Michael felt just the opposite, to be alone was torture, it was all superficial though, nothing permanent, no attachments, ever.
“Hey come inside, get those supplies off your back, I’m sure you’re starving, you always are.”
Sitting down at the kitchen table Max felt the tension immediately; he waited ten years, ten long years for this.
He prayed the day would never come and begged desperately in the night that it selfishly would.
“What is it?”
Sighing heavily Michael pulled out a folder from his back pack and slid it over hitting Max in the chest.
“You know I hate spying on her.”
Grazing his fingertips over her name Max despondently mumbled as he pictured her in his mind like he had a million times before.
“You’re protecting her, just like you promised me you would, if I could do it I would but you know if she sees me -”
“If she sees you it might trigger her memory, well Maxwell it seems she’s doing that all on her own without the help of your rugged handsome mountain man face.”
Standing up quickly Max shoved the chair out of the way slamming his hands down on the table.
“What the hell are you talking about?”
Patting the folder on the table Michael glared up at Max like he did the night of graduation.
“She’s having dreams… dreams about you.”
Max’s nails dug into the wood as his heart beat furiously inside his chest not knowing how to feel.
“She hasn’t mentioned you by name, but… well if you read it you’ll understand, it’s definitely about you.”
Shaking his head trying to wrap his brain around this Max began pacing back and forth.
“I don’t understand, why now, why after all these years.”
Leaning back in his chair Michael tapped his fingers on the table anxiously.
“Well the shrink she sees every week believes it’s the combination of her divorce being final this week and the ten year anniversary of … well graduation night.”
Halting his footsteps Max whispered softly shocked although knowing he had no right to be.
“She was married?”
“Just a few years, but she’s divorced now.”
Leaning over the sink Max looked down at his hands as they began to shake along with his voice.
“Children… does she have any?”
Shoving the chair back down on the floor Michael rubbed the back of his neck hating the fact that he was put in the middle of this, hating the constant reminder of memories he had tried so hard to forget.
“Hey, you said you didn’t want to know anything personal, from the start you’re the one that thought it would be best if you didn’t know, so I didn’t tell you.”
Keeping his voice calm and very quiet Max fought to keep his emotions under control.
“I’m asking now.”
Picking up the file Michael threw it on the counter by the sink.
“No, no children. Read the file Max. I did some digging on the shrink; he’s ex-military, a referral from her general doctor. I don’t like it. He’s wants to put her under, hypnotize her, she’s declined so far but if she lets him… I don’t know Max, I don’t think she’s safe.”
Taking a deep breath Max flipped open the file and began to read Dr. Dexton’s notes.
His shoulders slumped suddenly; Michael could hear the paper cringle under Max’s grip.
There was a finality, an intense conviction in the annunciation of each word as he stared down at the words on the paper.
“Go get her, bring her here.”
Shaking his head Michael tossed a recording device on the table.
“He documented their sessions, but this is personal stuff Max, it doesn’t feel right invading her privacy like this. You know what I’m gonna have to do, she can’t see me, she can’t know where this place is.”
Turning his back on him unable to look him in the eyes Max braced his hands on the doorway of his bedroom.
Slinging the back pack over his shoulder he walked out the door without looking back.
“She moved to Connecticut after Yale, I’ll have her here Saturday night, be ready Max.”