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Crazy, Part Four

Reply to Shelly and Sherri

Posted to the RoswellSlash mailing list March 1, 2001

Title: Crazy
Author: Shelly and Sherri
Fandom: Roswell/The Pretender crossover
Rating: just consider NC17 for all parts
Archive: please email to inform of desire to archive, thanks! :)
Disclaimer: The characters of these shows don't belong to us. We just like to do fun things to them...<EG>
Warnings: Underage sex though consenting...

"Hello, Sydney." said Jarod into the phone, glancing wistfully back towards the bathroom as he heard the shower running. He could very well imagine Max in the shower, standing beneath the hot spray of water, soapy hands gliding over slick skin. The mental image was too distracting so with a great deal of regret, he shut it out and focused on Sydney's voice.

"Hello, Jared." responded Sydney. "I have that information that you requested. I'm emailing it to you now."

Sinking down onto the bed, Jarod turned on his computer and waited for the email to arrive. It would pass through a number of servers before it finally reached him; it made it virtually impossible for them to track him down. And since he changed the pattern of servers periodically, it made it all that more impossible.

"A curious interest for you, Jarod." said Sydney with a soft chuckle.

"Let's just say that I'm looking to have a close encounter." returned Jarod. "Thanks, Sydney." He disconnected and replaced his cell phone in his brief case, focusing on the information contained in the email.

Sydney had connections that allowed him access to information only those high up in the FBI possessed and so the file that he had sent Jarod was rather extensive. There had been a special unit dedicated to hunting aliens; hunting, not investigating. Before its disbanding, an Agent Pierce had been head of the unit and he had focused the unit's attention on Roswell. He had been passionate in his search...and then had suddenly had a complete change of heart, dismissing the unit's findings as inconclusive and claiming to have falsified reports. There had been a Senate committee hearing on it, which he had testified at, and shortly afterwards he had vanished.

Last known whereabouts: Roswell, New Mexico.

Scrolling down, Jarod found a list of those that Agent Pierce had been focusing his attention on.

And at the top of the list was Max Evans, followed immediately by his sister Isabel and their friend Michael.

" look I should-should go..."

Startled Jarod looked up to find Max standing just a few feet from him, hair damp from the shower; he'd dressed so hurriedly that he hadn't taken time to dry himself off properly, evidenced by the way that T-shirt clung to his skin. He flashed Jarod a nervous smile and made his way quickly to the door, Jarod watching him go.

Waiting till he got to the door before he spoke. "Did you happen to meet up with an Agent Pierce when he was in town, Max?"

Max froze at the mention of Pierce's name, his whole body stiffening, and when he slowly turned to look at Jarod, his amber eyes were dark with pain and ugly memories. He didn't even bother to deny that he had known Pierce; it was all too obvious from his reaction that he had. And that their meeting hadn't been pleasant at all.

"Talk to me, Max." entreated Jarod. "You can trust me." He didn't think that Max had anything to do with Blair's death...but he might know who did.

Mutely Max shook his head and pulled open the motel room door to slip out of it. Sighing, Jarod let him go, sitting for a long moment on the bed as he contemplated what he knew and what he'd guessed. If Max wasn't one of those that Pierce had sought...then maybe he knew who was...and that was why he'd had a painful run-in with Pierce. Someone was willing to kill to protect their secret...and he was afraid that Max might get caught in the crossfire. * * *

Max ran home as fast as he could, legs and arms pumping, heart thudding in his chest. But that was more from fear than exertion. It was obvious now that Jarod knew too much. The problem being...too much what? And that was a question Max wasn't sure he wanted an answer to.

Reaching home, Max was relieved to discover that his parents were gone, as was Isabel so he had the house to himself. Ran upstairs and jumped in the shower again, scrubbing hard as if he could wash away all thoughts and fears. But as he returned to his room and dressed in jeans and a red t-shirt, Max knew that he couldn't wash away his problems.

"You okay, Max?" Isabel asked from the doorway. She had been there, watching her brother for the past five minutes. He had been totally oblivious to her presence. That worried Isabel.

"Don't sneak up on me like that!" Max snapped as he turned to face his sister. Realized he was being too harsh. Wasn't her fault he was scared to death right now. He had been the catalyst that had put them all in danger. Max had no one to blame but himself. "Sorry," he whispered, as Isabel moved into the room.

Isabel smiled at Max and reached out to pat his shoulder. Was surprised when his arms wrapped around her and she was pulled into a hug. "What's wrong, Max?" Isabel prompted, as she felt her brother trembling against her.

Max sighed into Isabel's hair, then replied, "Jarod knows about Agent Pierce."

"What?" Isabel was stunned by this revelation. She nudged Max away from her so she could see his face. "How does he know?" Isabel demanded.

"I don't know how," Max replied. "I don't even know what he knows. He says I can trust him."

Isabel shook her head. "Trust no one...remember, Max?"

Max nodded as he pulled completely away from Isabel and began to pace. "Words to live by," he whispered, feeling scared and alone and miserable. Max knew that they had to find out the truth about Jarod. He had to be able to protect Michael and Isabel and the others. And there was only one way to do that. "I'll find out everything," Max promised.

"How?" Isabel countered, snagging Max by the arm when he strode past her, heading for the door.

"How do you think?" Max shot back, unable to meet his sister's eyes. Then he tugged free of her hold and almost ran out the door.

* * *

Jarod spent the time after Max left doing research. He now knew that Agent Pierce was missing...or dead. Dead was his guess. There was a Congresswoman Whitaker connected to him, also dead. And both trails led back to Max. "Interesting," Jarod commented out loud. Was about to dig deeper when a knock sounded at his door. Jarod figured it was the pizza he had ordered. But, when he opened the door, it was Max who was standing there. "Hey," Jarod said softly. Took note of the fact that the boy looked scared, but determined.

" I come in?" Max asked.

"That depends," Jarod countered, leaning against the door frame. "You come know what's going to happen, Max. Can you live with that?"

Max didn't hesitate. He had no choice. "I can live with that," he whispered.

Jarod smiled and stepped to one side. "Then come on in," he invited. And when he closed the door behind Max, Jarod made sure to lock it.

* * *

She watched Max enter the motel room with a frown and drummed fingers on the steering wheel of the stolen car. She had known that there would be another one coming but somehow she hadn't thought it would be this soon. It wasn't like Blair belonged to a police agency or something, he was simply a member of an oft-ridiculed organization. Someone that wouldn't be taken seriously...without evidence.

But he'd gotten very close to getting that evidence. Closer than was comfortable. And so she had eliminated him, to ensure that he wouldn't find out more. And to keep him from the royals.

Hard to protect them when they so willfully went into danger, trusting people that they shouldn't, she thought with more than a little irritation. Their curiosity, their insistence on learning more about their origins, had ultimately cost her predecessor his life. She was pledged to do the same, to shield them at the cost of her own life, if necessary, but she was also of the mind that prevention was the best means of protection. And if that meant eliminating a few humans that had learned more than they be it.

This Jarod was also from the same agency as Blair, from what she'd gleaned so far. He too would be asking questions and so it was better to remove him before it went too far. This body she would dispose of properly...or perhaps she'd even take his place. That had certain possibilities to it...but she had yet to make full use of this body. And she wanted to remain around here longer.

But for to take him out. When she explained it to him, the King would understand her actions, she was certain.

Slipping out of the car, she strode across the parking lot for the motel room.

* * *

Once he'd locked the door, Jarod went to sit down on the edge of the bed and patted it, nodding for Max to sit there. Nervously licking his lips, Max remained where he was and unbuttoned shirt with trembling fingers, stopping with the shirt unbuttoned and his fingers clenching tightly on the collar. Rising Jarod went to him and grasped the edges of shirt to ease it back, lifting hands to place them on Max's shoulders. One hand slid in to stroke fingers up and down the arch of his neck, pressing into the tender flesh as his other hand came up.

The door to the motel room crashed open and Jarod released Max's hands to stare in disbelief at the woman standing at the threshold. Young, maybe mid-twenties, tall and willowy of form, with long curly red hair, and looking nowhere near strong enough to knock the door off the hinges like that. She held a hand up and the palm started to glow white as she advanced one step and then two, the glow brightening as she came forward.

Then Max was moving between them, placing his body directly in the path of the light that the woman cast at Jarod. He hung frozen for a moment, body convulsing, and then as the light winked out, he crumpled bonelessly to the floor and lay still.

The woman looked down at Max's fallen form and then up to Jarod, fury flaring in her eyes. She started to raise her hand again, for another strike, and Jarod dropped down to his knees beside Max, meaning to shield him with his own body.

"Hey! Hey!" called a voice from outside. The woman's head snapped around to look behind her at the desk clerk standing uncertainly outside the door and then she was whirling to run out and past him, shouldering the desk clerk roughly aside as she disappeared.

"Is he okay?" The desk clerk again, venturing into the hotel room to stare at the fallen Max.

"I don't know..." said Jarod tightly. He could feel a pulse but it was weak and sluggish. No outward sign of trauma that he could detect...but if the woman was an...alien...then who knew what she could do? Alien, laughed a little voice in his head, and he told it firmly to shut up. Carefully he lifted Max into his arms and Max stirred a little, blinking up at him. "It's okay, it's okay...I'm going to take you to a hospital." Get him checked out, see what was wrong with him...

Max started to struggle feebly in his arms. " hospital...home...wanna go...home..." he slurred, reaching up a trembling hand to touch Jarod's cheek. "Home...please..." And then his eyes fluttered closed again as his body went limp in Jarod's arms.

"Dammit..." muttered Jarod aloud. It would be stupid to take him home instead of the hospital...but home it was. And then if he got worse...he'd make sure he went to the hospital.

* * *

Because he had done his homework, Jarod knew where Max lived. He drove there at breakneck speed then pounded on the door. Was relived when Max's sister, Isabel, answered quickly. "Max is hurt!" Jarod said in a rush.

"Where is he?" Isabel asked, her face going pale. For some reason, she instinctively knew that Jarod hadn't hurt her brother or been the cause of his injury. Or so she wanted to believe.

"He's in the car," Jarod replied. "I wanted to take him to the hospital but he insisted I bring him here."

Isabel nodded. "You did the right thing," she said firmly. "My parents are gone for the weekend. Can you bring Max inside?"

Jarod was already turning towards the car. "Be right back," he tossed over his shoulder. A moment later he carried Max into the house and followed Isabel to the boy's room. Gently, Jarod laid Max out on the bed.

"He's so pale," Isabel commented, even as she reached for the phone by Max's bed. She punched in a number, waited for the pick up and blurted out, "Michael...Max has been hurt. Get over here now...we're home." Didn't wait for a response, she simply hung up and moved to the bed. "What happened?" Isabel asked Jarod as she reached out to smooth dark hair off Max's forehead. Hadn't seen him so pale and still since he'd gotten hurt in a car accident with Liz last year. Isabel knew that Max could heal himself, even when unconscious, for he did it on a subconscious level, but she sensed that he was hurt badly this time. Fingers slid to Max's neck and Isabel wasn't surprised to find a weak pulse. "Hurry, Michael," Isabel whispered beneath her breath.

"I'm not sure what happened," Jarod replied to Isabel's question. He watched the girl with Max and could see that they were close. Isabel loved her brother. "Max came to see me and suddenly the door burst open and an alien blasted Max. Young woman with red hair. I think she would have blasted me too if the desk clerk hadn't shown up. She was an alien," Jarod repeated, trying to get used to the word, and the concept. "There really are aliens," he whispered.

"No shit, Sherlock," Michael drawled as he entered Max's window. Had raced here on his motorcycle at over one hundred miles per hour, thanks to a boost from his powers. Reaching behind him, Michael pulled Tess over the threshold. "She was with me when you called," Michael explained before Isabel could ask. "You know I can't...heal very well...but Tess can. Sort of."

Isabel was surprised that Michael wasn't trying to hide the truth from Jarod, but then she realized that nothing mattered right now but Max. They could kill Jarod later if necessary. But her instinct still insisted that Jarod could be trusted. "I think Max is dying," Isabel whispered.

Michael looked at Max. It was creepy how pale and still his friend was. "He can't die!" Michael hissed, pulling Tess over to the bed. "We have to save him," Michael ordered the girl.

"I know," Tess replied, reaching for Michael's hand. "Give me your power," Tess ordered, then she closed her eyes and pressed her free hand over Max's chest.

There were no bright lights, no hum of power, nothing that Jarod could sense, that would tell him whether or not this Tess was successful in what she was trying to do. She knelt beside Max, one hand pressed over his chest, her other hand gripping hard at Michael's, her eyes closed tightly and forehead furrowed with the effort of concentration. Isabel hovered anxiously beside them, watching the still Max as intently as Jarod did, and for one long moment there was just *nothing*.

And then Max's chest hitched in, drawing in a deep ragged breath and exhaling it, his eyes fluttering open to look dazedly around him. Tess sagged, Max's hand slipping from her now limp one, and Michael drew her up, supporting her as he guided her to a nearby chair. Isabel stroked damp hair back from pale forehead, tears shimmering in her eyes, and Max's gaze focused on her.

"How do you feel?"

"Better..." said Max hoarsely. He closed his eyes briefly, trying to remember what had happened. He'd been in Jarod's room...and then the door had flown open and a Skin had come through to attack them. He sat upright and grasped at Isabel's hands, clinging tightly to them as a sudden wave of dizziness rocked him. " was a Skin..."

"Max!" said Isabel warningly, with a furtive glance at Jarod.

Max merely shook his head. "You think he doesn't know now?" he admonished her.

"I'm not sure *what* I know..." said Jarod with a rueful grin, rubbing the back of his neck. The relief he felt at seeing Max alive and seemingly healthy made him near giddy. Odd that he felt such a strong emotional connection to Max after such a short time...

"What he knows...he can forget." said Michael ominously, glaring darkly at Jarod.

"I'm not going to tell anyone." Jarod assured them. "Even if I did...who's going to believe me? Aliens..." he marveled, with a shake of his head. Even coming on this Pretend, he hadn't really believed...but like the saying went, seeing *is* believing. "The one that attacked us...she killed Blair, didn't she?"

The three of them exchanged an uneasy glance and Max slowly nodded. "It seems likely." He pressed a hand to suddenly aching temples and leaned back against the headboard with a sigh. Had his life *ever* been normal? If it had been so long ago that he'd forgotten what it was like.

"You need to rest." said Jarod firmly and gave the other three a stern look, nodding to the door. Michael glared at him in response, till Max nodded for him to go, and muttered something under his breath as he went to help Tess from her chair, guiding her out of the room. Isabel lingered long enough to give Max a squeeze of one hand and then left the room as well.

"Lie down." Max swallowed hard as he obeyed Jarod's order and Jarod pulled the blankets up over him, bending over to press a kiss to his forehead. Just that, a soft kiss and parting caress of hand down his cheek, before Jarod straightened and left him alone in the room, to sink into an exhausted sleep.

End of part 4

Continue to Part Five

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