Part 1 - by Bandbabe

Summary: This is what Max should have done in "Departure".
Author's Note: This story is very long. It's very different from any other fan fic I have ever wrote. First, I wrote this on Notepad (the same program I use to write HTML for my various web sites) instead of Microsoft Word. I guess that deserves a mention because it gave the story a raw feel. Second, I totally did this story on a whim. I had the scenario in my head for weeks but I had trouble putting it on paper (so to speak). So I started writing it off the top of my head, never expecting to post it because I totally made it up as I went along. I hope it doesn't contradict itself or become repetitive too much. Third, when I see a really bad finale I feel compelled to rewrite it for peace of mind. Anyway, I know it author's note is way too long. On with the story.
Disclaimer: I own nothing except the plot.

Part 1

"Fine go, but this isn't over," Max told her. He then turned to leave the room. He walked away from her knowing this could be the last time he ever saw her. He was so angry and confused, he just wanted to be somewhere else. Away from all this.

Each step he took felt heavier as the finality of his actions started to sink in. When he reached the pods he thought of the first time he saw her in this life. He had just came out of his pod but she was still in hers.

He often wonder how things would have been different if he stayed. When he was young he didn't understand how that one moment would forever change his life. Now he felt like that little boy again. He was at another big crossroad, except this time he could change the outcome.

Max rethought his decision. Could he live without her? Right now he didn't understand her and he was so hurt, angry, and confused. But he knew he loved her. And what she felt for him was real. He felt like he didn't know the full story. His walking slowed to a stop.

"Max." He looked up to find Isabel waiting for him near the exit.

He stared back at her briefly with sad eyes. He loved his sister, Michael, and his parents. But he knew if he let Tess go he would regret it forever.

She looked at him and realized what he was about to say. Her eyes began to fill with tears.

"Goodbye Isabel." He turned and went back to the granolith chamber.

She didn't try to stop him. She stared after him wordlessly.

Tess was shocked to see Max re-enter the room. She watched him come closer to the granolith. He didn't say anything, suddenly he was inside too.

"Max, what are you doing? Get out while you still can!" She didn't want him to go to Antar. It was dangerous. Kavar would most certainly try to kill him. She loved him too much to see that happen.

Max was surprised to hear her say that. She was worried about him?

He looked directly into her eyes. "No," he said with much intensity. "I'm not going to leave you again."

Tess didn't know what to say. She thought he hated her.

Suddenly the whole room shook. They were leaving. They were both nervous and scared but Tess didn't expect Max to wrap his arms around her and hold her close. She looked into his eyes for reassurance. He gave her a small smile. Seconds later they left the Earth's atmosphere. They were taken aback by the view of the Earth and the moon.

Max watched in wonder as the only home he'd ever known drifted farther and farther away. He looked at Tess, and knew what he was gaining was worth it. He thought of his son. He didn't know what was in store for them but he knew he'd rather live with them than without them.

To Be Continued...

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