When He Returns (CC, M/L, Mature) Complete 11/28

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Daydreamer23
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When He Returns (CC, M/L, Mature) Complete 11/28

Post by Daydreamer23 » Wed Feb 28, 2007 4:10 pm

Title: When He Returns
Disclaimer: Wish I owned them, but sadly I don't. The characters of "Roswell" belong to Jason Katims, Melinda Metz, WB, and UPN
Category: Max and Liz, CC
Rating: Mature
Summary: Begins after season 2. Tess didn't kill Alex, but she did become pregnant with Max's child. Now it's been two years since Max, Isabel, and Tess left Earth for Antar. Life has finally started again for Liz Parker, but how will that change when Max walks back into her life? And how will they stand against the old enemy that still threatens to destroy them?

A/N: This is my first Roswell fic, and constructive criticism is always welcomed (it's the only way we can improve!) Just a little warning though, school is ridiculously busy right now, so I might not be able to update as much as I'd like. Well that's it from me, hope you enjoy!


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Thanks to Beautiful86 for the banner!

Chapter 1


November 27, 2003

Why is it that when life seems so predictable, when you feel like you finally know your path and purpose, that fate intervenes and turns your world on its ear? It’s been almost two years since my last entry, the one I wrote the day he left. It’s funny how after all this time, Max is still simply “he”; a man so integrated into my life that I need not even mention his name. It’s as if no other man ever existed.

Don’t get me wrong though, I haven’t spent the entirety of the past two years in mourning for Max Evans. Yes, it’s true that I was inconsolable for months. Maria and Alex were afraid to leave me alone, afraid that I would do something unspeakable to myself out of despair. But as time passed, the pain I felt began to dull. I say dull because that kind of hurt never goes away. I had lost the love of my life, and that knowledge would always be with me.

I spent most of my senior year acting like a machine. Class, work, homework, bed. Machines are devoid of emotion, and I thought it better to feel nothing at all rather than pain. Even being with my friends was difficult. I know they meant well and that they love me, but being around them only brought the memories closer, only caused my wounds to open again just when I thought they would heal.

But little by little I started to step back into the world. It began with graduation and my acceptance to Northwestern. Alex, Maria, and I had a combined graduation party at the Crashdown. For a while I felt like myself again, on the verge of being truly happy. Of course that changed when I saw Michael and Maria tucked away together in a far booth. He had stayed here on Earth for her while Max and Isabel left for the stars. Now he was giving her a graduation present, and from her reaction it seemed that his gift-selection skills had vastly improved. I wanted to be happy for them, but I couldn’t fight back the sadness and the jealousy that were overwhelming me. It wasn’t until most of the guests had left that they finally noticed I had locked myself in my room for most of the night.

But then the first day of college came, and even through the Illinois fall the sun seemed to shine a little brighter. I felt like a new Liz Parker, like a girl who didn’t have to walk around with the weight of the world on her shoulders. And that’s when I met Chris.

I was walking through campus, unsuccessfully trying to locate Lunt Hall on my map. I turned to the body nearest me to ask for directions, when I looked up into a gorgeous pair of eyes and a broad smile. I hardly noticed that my smile had widened as well. When I asked for directions, he offered to walk me to my class and carried my book-bag for me. I remember getting caught up in the way he tousled his sandy hair as we walked. He was a running back for the football team and the student government treasurer. He was open and outgoing, and nothing at all like Max. I thought that was the best thing for me- there would never be another Max, and I didn’t want to try to find one. When we reached the classroom, he asked for my phone number. That weekend we went on our first date, and we have been together ever since.

So why am I writing all this now? Why has Max Evans been on my mind and in my dreams lately? Why do I feel his presence all around me and smell strawberries and roses on the wind? I thought my life was finally the way that it was supposed to be, but I suddenly find myself laden with questions that I don’t know the answers to. How can your whole existence be wrapped up in one person, even years after they’ve left you? And what do you do when he returns?


~.~.~.~

Hearing footsteps down the hall, Liz stopped writing to study the door and draw her journal close to her chest. She knew her roommate wasn’t supposed to be back until 11:30, but even now she felt the need to protect her journal. She had once thought that it had fallen into the wrong hands, and the fear was enough to make her forever cautious. Noting that the footsteps had passed, she returned her attention to the pages in her lap and her mind wandered back to the events that had happened earlier that night.

The weather had actually been fairly nice, despite the fact that winter was nearing. But for Liz, it might as well have been 10 degrees below zero. She still hadn’t become accustomed to the weather in the Midwest, and while her friends slipped into sweatshirts she was putting on her heavy winter coat. She locked her door behind her as they left for their excursion into Chicago. It was an adventure of sorts, as nothing was actually planned; there were no predetermined destinations. The girls excitedly spoke of the stores they wanted to shop at, not noticing as Peter, the sole male among the group, ran his hands exasperatedly through his hair. Liz began to lose track of the conversation as she felt a familiar pull in her stomach. Her brow furrowed as she looked about, unsure what she expected to find. Just as the group passed a streetlight, a dark figure walked past them. Something instinctive caused Liz to turn back toward the figure, and she stood alone under the streetlight. Her breath caught in her throat as the dark form slowly turned to face her.

“No,” she whispered to herself. This wasn’t happening, Max couldn’t possibly be here. She closed her eyes tightly, willing the illusion to disappear. But when she opened them again he was standing right in front of her, close enough for her to feel his warm breath.

“Listen,” she began, trying to keep her voice steady, “I don’t know who you are, or…or what you are. Some kind of shapeshifter?” She shook her head emphatically, “It doesn’t matter. Max Evans walked out of my life two years ago and I haven’t spoken to him since. So whatever you think I can help you with, I can’t. So just…just stop looking like him and leave me alone!”

She put her hands to his chest to push him away, but as her hand met his body, a rush of images inundated her mind. Pain and pleasure, good memories and bad floated before her eyes. Most of them she recognized, but there were also some that she didn’t. She stumbled back, overcome by the blazing emotions within her. The worst part was that she was unsure whether they came from within her or from Max. She was certain now that he was indeed the man before her. She was still in shock when Peter rushed over and grabbed Max by the arm.

“Is this guy bothering you Liz?” he asked, eyeing Max suspiciously.

Liz’s eyes danced about for a moment while she tried to compose herself. “Uh, n-no, Peter. He’s fine. This is Max, Max Evans. He’s a friend from home. I’m just surprised to see him, that’s all.”

Peter released Max’s arm, but his eyes remained focused on the stranger. Liz felt the heat rise in her face as the rest of her friends gathered behind her. So many questions swept through her mind, but there was no way she could ask them with everyone around, even with the special code that she and Maria had devised to talk about the “Czechoslovakians.”

“Are we going or what?” Serena called from the back, standing on her tiptoes to see past her other friends. She tossed back the flowing blonde hair that the wind had forced into her face. “Who’s the hottie?”

An amused smile played across Max’s lips as Liz lowered her head to hide her embarrassment. “Guys, this is…uh, this is Max.”

Liz looked intently into Max’s eyes as she leaned in closer to him and dropped her voice, “Can we go somewhere? You know, to talk? There are so many things I need to know.”

Max glanced nervously at the group standing around them, knowing that they were hanging on every word. “It looks like you and you’re friends have plans. We can talk tomorrow.”

Liz kept her voice low, “Max, I don’t know that I can wait that long.”

Max’s smile faltered and Liz noted the insecurity in his voice, “The truth is there were so many things I wanted to say to you. But now that you’re here in front of me…” His eyes fell to the ground, “I can’t seem to think about any of them. Give me tonight to think so that I can say everything that I need to.”

Liz nodded slowly, reluctantly accepting. Her voice was unintentionally quiet as she said goodbye. “I’ll call you tomorrow.”

Liz linked arms with Serena as they once again moved toward the parking lot. Serena took the opportunity to glance over her right shoulder at Max as he walked away from them.

“Nice butt!” she called out loudly.

“SERENA!” Liz scolded her, but Max could hear the laughter that laced her voice.

When they finally reached the car, Liz feigned being sick so that she could quietly slip back to her room. She had to convince Serena that she didn’t need a nurse, just a little rest. But rest wasn’t going to come to Liz Parker that night. Her mind churned, thinking of what Max could possibly say to her, of what she would say to him.

“A girl could go crazy thinking about all these things,” she said to herself as she rolled onto her back and stared at the ceiling. All the emotions she had felt at seeing him again had pooled in her stomach, and she felt like she was going to be sick. When the sun finally rose, Liz was awake to greet it. After a couple of hours of lazily flipping through the channels on TV she tried to eat breakfast, but her throat tightened at the mere smell of it. She opened her cell phone and took a deep breath as she searched for a long ignored name in her address book.
Last edited by Daydreamer23 on Fri Nov 27, 2009 11:49 pm, edited 47 times in total.

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Post by Daydreamer23 » Thu Mar 01, 2007 10:38 pm

Thanks to everyone who's reading and those of you leaving comments (and to alizaleven for following me over from the newbies board!)


Well I'm back with chapter 2, but I have an exam coming up, so chapter 3 may take a bit. On with the show...



Chapter 2


“I’m still not convinced that this is a good idea,” Max said gruffly as he tied his shoes.

“Well I am,” Isabel countered confidently, tying her long blonde hair back into a ponytail as she stood in front of the mirror. She strode over to her bed, waving her hand over it and pulling the floral blanket perfectly into place.

“This room is disgusting,” she mumbled, wrinkling her nose as she glanced about the motel they were staying in.

“It’s the best we could do, so you’re just going to have to deal with it.” Max’s voice was curt and angry.

“You don’t have to snap at me!”

Max’s face softened. “I’m sorry, Iz. My nerves are just…raw.”

Isabel relented, accepting her brother’s apology. “After what we’ve been through, Max, that’s natural.”

She poured a cup of coffee and handed it to him. Max accepted it with both hands, staring down intently at the wisps of steam. After a few minutes of silence, the question that had haunted him for months slipped from his lips. “What am I going to say to her?”

“You’re going to tell her the truth,” Isabel answered simply, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.

The truth? Max wasn’t even sure if he knew what that was. The only truth he’d ever known for sure was Liz, that he loved Liz. She was his center, the only place where he felt safe. He knew where he belonged, and the only world he needed swirled within Liz’s dark eyes. But he lost all that the day he left her. It was his fault, and he knew it. Even after Kyle, after the pain and betrayal, Liz was still his home. But then he had crossed a line with Tess, a line which had grown into a canyon that divided him from Liz. Tess was pregnant, and for their son he had to give up Earth, his life…his soul mate. But could he even call her that anymore? Her path had separated from his long ago, what right did he have to try to insinuate himself back into her life? It was too much, just too much for him to handle. He couldn’t deal with the possibility that she could hate him, or worse, that he would hurt her again.

He was on his feet now, pacing back and forth. “No Iz, I can’t. How do you know she’d even want to see me? She has this whole new life now…without me. I can’t ruin that for her.”

Isabel marched over to her brother, and placing her hands roughly on his shoulders she spoke sternly, “Get it together Max! I’m not telling you to go in and sweep her off her feet. I just think that she deserves to know.”

Isabel rolled her eyes as she released him. “We both know how crazy in love with you she was. It’s not fair to leave her in the dark about this, Max.”

“It might not be fair, but maybe it’s better for her this way,” Max said, falling back onto the bed dejectedly.

“I don’t believe that,” Isabel responded softly, sitting down beside him.

“And what about Alex, do you plan on telling him?” Max regretted the question when he saw how it affected Isabel. She opened her mouth to speak, but only silence hung in the air.

She stood then, wiping the misty tears from her eyes. “We’ll decide that later.”

Max nodded, unwilling to press her any further. All this time and they still had no idea what they were going to do. Go home? Would their parents even want them anymore, knowing what they really were? And how would they explain their absence to everyone else? He didn’t even know if it would be safe for them there.

Isabel’s voice suddenly cut into his thoughts. “You better get going.”

Max reluctantly slipped his arms into his suede jacket and grabbed the keys to the rental car off the dresser. As his hand met the cold brass doorknob, everything suddenly felt heavier, as though some outside force knew what he was about to do and wanted to stop him. He felt a pressure against chest, making it difficult for him to breathe. A cruel voice growled inside his head.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing? You’re only going to hurt her. That’s all you ever do, to everyone around you. Think of all the innocent lives blackened and turned to dust by your mere touch. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can end it…you can end it all…”

Max shook his head, trying to push away the voice. His voice? He wasn’t sure. He turned and looked uncertainly at his sister. “Iz?”

She pulled him into a tight hug, offering him the strength and comfort he had so often given to her. “You can do this. I know you can. You just have to believe in yourself…believe in her.”

As Max stepped through the door, he took one last look back at his sister, searching her eyes for the courage that he would need to get him through this. And with a soft reassuring smile, Isabel watched him disappear into the bright sunlight.



After finding the perfect parking spot and going back two times to make sure the doors were really locked, Max found himself without any more reasons to stall. Every now and then the wind would sweep through the campus, twirling the leaves around in a dance of orange, yellow, and red. As the leaves fell back to the ground, Max reached into his pocket and pulled out a folded piece of paper. On it was written Liz’s residence hall and room number. He must have looked at it a thousand times, tracing her name reverently with his finger. Isabel had threatened to hide it if he didn’t stop.

With Liz’s room number and a map in hand, he made his way to her dorm, up the stairs, and down the hall until he was standing in front of her room. He raised his hand, ready to knock on the door, but it hung suspended in the air. After a few seconds, he pulled it back, forcing his hands into his front pockets. He looked apprehensively up and down the hallway. He leaned forward, trying to see in through the peephole.

“Um, is there something I can help you with?” a sharp voice incredulously called from behind him.

Max jumped at the sudden noise and spun around quickly. As he faced her, the girl’s scowl melted into a broad smile and she flirtatiously twirled her hair with her finger.

“I mean, are you looking for someone?”

“Uh, I was just…um…Does Liz Parker live here?”

“Liz? Oh yeah. I’m her roommate Samantha.” She extended her hand out to him. “And you are?”

Max licked his lips nervously. “I’m just a friend of hers. Is she here?”

“Sorry hun, ’fraid not,” she replied casually, unlocking her door and leaning against the frame. “She has a chem lab until 3:30 and then after that I think she’s going out. I have to work at 6:00, but you can come in and wait for her if you’d like.”

“I don’t think so. I’ll just come back later or something,” Max answered, quickly slipping past Samantha.

“Well do you want me to tell her you stopped by?” she called after him.

This time Max didn’t even respond. He strode to the end of the hallway, stepping out into the stairwell. He moved to a corner where he could keep an eye on Liz’s door, and sliding down to the floor, he waited.



Hours later Liz still hadn’t returned. Max glanced toward the window, noting that the sun had was setting and night was beginning to settle in. He decided he wouldn’t be seeing Liz that night and by now Isabel was probably wondering where he was. He got to his feet and tried to stretch out the stiffness in his limbs. He trudged down the stairs and directed his feet toward the parking lot. As he neared it, his breath began to quiver and he felt his heart race. She was near, he could feel it. It had always been this way- a tingling that ran through his whole body, a deep rumble in his stomach that occurred whenever he came close to her.

He turned a corner and there she was, illuminated by the orange glow of the streetlight. He still loved the way that light danced on her silky hair, and he wanted nothing more than to stride up to her and run his hands through it, to tell her everything he had felt for the last two years. But she wasn’t alone. He hadn’t even noticed at first, he had been so caught up in the sight of her.

And then the heavy weight of guilt fell upon him, suffocating him. She was laughing, laughing like he hadn’t seen her do in so long. He remembered days when he had listened to that laughter from a distance, when he only dared to hope that he would someday be able to share in it. But his presence in her life had only served to end that laughter. And in that instant, watching how happy she finally was, all the courage he had built seeped out of him and evaporated into the air. As Liz drew near, he lowered his head and slipped as far off to the side as he could, hoping to pass by unnoticed. He let out a deep sigh as the group passed him. Then suddenly his body stopped, unwilling to go any further. Without even having to look he knew that she had stopped as well. His mind screamed for him not to do it, but every cell in his body was drawn to her and they compelled him to turn and face her.

“No.” It was so quiet, barely imperceptible, but he had heard it. Max knew for certain then that he had made a mistake. She didn’t want him there. He stood frozen, not knowing what to do. Should he say something? Should he turn and run? He didn’t have time to decide as her angry voice berated him.

“Listen, I don’t know who you are, or…or what you are. Some kind of shapeshifter? It doesn’t matter. Max Evans walked out of my life two years ago and I haven’t spoken to him since. So whatever you think I can help you with, I can’t. So just…just stop looking like him and leave me alone!”

In the next instant her slender hands were against his chest, and he knew that the connection had been formed. As much as he wanted to stop it, he couldn’t prevent the images and emotions from flowing through him to her. As she stumbled back, he moved to pull her into his arms. He told himself that it was only to steady her, but the truth was that he yearned to hold her, to smell her hair and feel her skin against his cheek. But as he reached out, he felt something hold him back. The man who had been with her. A boyfriend perhaps?

But as he watched Liz react to this man's presence, he could see that there was nothing between them. And then suddenly they were surrounded, as the rest of her friends came over to see what had happened. Now what? Max struggled to even remember what he came to say.

“Max,” the melodic voice floated to his ears. “Can we go somewhere? You know, to talk? There are so many things I need to know.”

Stall, Evans, stall! He was able to convince her to wait for tomorrow, and he knew he had a long night ahead of him. He felt his heart pull as they walked away from each other, but then a voice came from across the distance.

“Nice butt!”

“SERENA!”

Max’s cheeks immediately flushed, and he knew that Isabel would have a field day with this one. Probably best not to tell her. A short drive later Max was back at the motel. He slid his key card into the card reader and opened the door, hoping Isabel wouldn’t ask him what happened, but knowing that she would.

“What took you so long? Were you getting all sweaty with some hot college girl?”

Definitely don’t tell her.
Last edited by Daydreamer23 on Thu Jun 05, 2008 7:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Daydreamer23 » Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:33 pm

Thanks again to everyone who's following along! This chapter's a bit on the long side.


Chapter 3


To anyone in the restaurant passing by him, Max Evans would appear to be calm and collected. He was sitting up straight in his chair, casually glancing at the menu and humming softly to himself. But underneath the table, his left leg was bouncing anxiously, outward evidence of the turmoil in his mind. He was giving very serious consideration to dashing back to the car and driving away, going to any place other than where he was. But just as his mind began forming directions to Brazil, Max saw the hostess directing Liz to his table.

He stood as she came close, his hands diving into the front of his pockets as they always did when he was nervous. Both of them glanced awkwardly from the other’s eyes down to the ground, wondering who would be the first to speak. Just as Max opened his mouth, Liz threw her body towards his, wrapping her arms around his neck in a tight embrace. Max’s arms instinctively embraced her, pulling her body even closer to his.

Finally she pulled away, tucking her hair nervously behind her ears. “I just, uh…” The words came out just above a whisper, “I really needed that.”

“I know what you mean,” Max said, pulling out her chair and motioning for her to sit.

He slowly lowered himself into the seat across from her. “I can only imagine what you must be thinking right now.”

Liz smiled, her eyes darting off to the side. “Yeah, this whole thing is really crazy and surreal. But at the same time it makes sense, you know?”

When Max gave her a quizzical look, Liz explained herself.

“For the past couple of weeks I’ve been having these dreams about you…about us. To be honest, I still think I may be dreaming all this.”

They both released a soft chuckle, relieved that the tension between them was thinning.

Max was the first to break the silence that followed. “I don’t even know where to begin…”

He was stopped short as the waitress came over to take their order. Liz still had no appetite, but the grumble in Max’s stomach was growing louder by the minute. After the waitress took his order and left, Liz reached into her bag and pulled out a small bottle. She set it down on the table and spun it around so Max could read the label.

His eyes lit up with amusement. “Tabasco?”

An embarrassed smile crossed her face. “Yeah, they’re not real big on it out here, and I figured you’d need it.”

“Thanks Liz.”

An uncomfortable silence once again fell between them. Max nervously pulled at the corners of his paper napkin.

“Why did you come back, Max?”

Max cringed at the hurt in her voice. He hurt her while they were together, he had hurt her when he left, and now he was hurting her with his return. Maybe Brazil wasn’t far enough; Antarctica would be better.

“The truth is that I wasn’t even going to tell you that we were here. But Isabel-”

“You weren’t going to tell me?!” Liz couldn’t control the anger in her voice, nor did she really care to.

“I thought…I didn’t think you’d want to see me. I didn’t want to bring all my problems back into your life.”

“God, Max. Two years and you are still making decisions for me! You’re not MY king. You have no right to do that.”

“I’m sorry.” He truly was, but those words didn’t seem to be enough to even him.

Liz leaned back in her chair, folding her arms across her chest. “Tell me what happened. I want to know everything.”

He looked up into her eyes, eyes that were begging for answers. “I…I guess it started while we were still in the Granilith. The trip took longer than I thought, but I suppose I should have expected that. Tess was being so quiet. I mean we all were but…but I could tell something was wrong with her.”

Liz watched him with cold eyes, concealing the wounds that her name still inflicted on her heart. “Go on.”

Max took a deep breath before continuing. “We arrived in this empty room…it was so dark. But I could hear her whispering something. She kept saying that she was sorry, so sorry. That she didn’t have any other choice…”

Liz leaned forward, laying her hands out on the table. It was at that moment that the waitress arrived with the food.

“Is there anything else you need?”

“No,” Liz answered hastily.

The waitress gave her a sideways glance before walking away.

“What happened then Max?”

“The room filled with this…blinding light. I felt Isabel and myself being forced back into a corner. I called for Tess, but she didn’t answer. Then the light died down and I saw about a dozen soldiers. And behind them was Tess. But she didn’t look afraid or upset…and the soldiers didn’t seem the least bit interested in her. I didn’t understand what was going on. I yelled to her, but I was thrown back by a power blast. Then a man entered the room. All the soldiers stepped aside to let him pass.”

“Kivar?”

“Yes. He had the coldest, cruelest smile I’ve ever seen. I…I…”

Max’s voice began to break. He turned his head to the side, trying to keep Liz from seeing the tears that were forming in his eyes.

“Max, I know this may be…crossing the line, but maybe if it’s too hard to talk about, you could like, show me?”

Max looked down and noticed that her hand was resting gently on top of his. Following his gaze, Liz too noticed and quickly withdrew it.

“I don’t know Liz. Some of the things that happened there…It might be painful.”

“I can handle it Max, I’m not going to break.” Her eyes pleaded with his. “I need to know. Please?”

Max knew that he could never say no to her. An alien king with an arsenal of super powers, and his will could be bent with one look from Liz Parker.

“Where?”

“We can go to my dorm, my roommate’s away for the weekend.”

Max nodded, pulling out his wallet to pay for the meal he hadn’t even touched. Inside were a couple of old receipts, a few pictures, and a single dollar bill.

“Uh, Liz?”

“Don’t worry Max, I’ll take care of it.”


It was a short time later when they arrived at Liz’s room, Max’s wallet now containing eighty dollars that Liz forced him to take. She took their jackets and hung them up in the closet. Turning back to him, she shrugged her shoulders.

“Should we, like… sit down?”

Max nodded sheepishly and followed her over to her bed. He swallowed back the lump in his throat and placed his hands on either side of her face. The connection formed effortlessly.

“My Lord Zan, it is my honor to welcome you home.”

Liz felt a shiver go up her spine as Kivar’s smooth, charismatic voice rang in her ears.

His eyes roamed over Isabel’s body, partially hidden by Max’s protective stance. “And Lady Vilandra, looking lovely as ever.” His brow furrowed in feigned confusion. “But you both seem surprised to see me. Didn’t your young bride inform you that I would be here to greet you?”
Kivar looked over his shoulder at Tess, clucking his tongue. “That’s the problem with young couples, you don’t communicate. I suppose it falls on me then to make sure you are thoroughly informed. We’ve had a longstanding agreement with the man you call Nasedo. We ensured his safety and that of his charge, in exchange for the rest of the royal four. And of course a rightful heir to the throne that would ensure my reign.”


Liz felt such betrayal as she looked at Tess through Max’s eyes. His steely gaze bore into her, making her squirm uncomfortably.

“This need not be an entirely unpleasant experience. All I require of you, Zan, is that you officially abdicate your throne; tell your rebel supporters to cease their struggle. We can finally have peace and end all the death that has plagued my kingdom. I promise that no harm shall befall you so long as you cooperate.”

He took a step closer to them, offering his hand out to Isabel. “And Vilandra, you shall always have a place at my side.”

“I’d rather die.”


Liz flinched at the restrained fury that flashed in Kivar’s eyes.

“I’d choose my words carefully if were you, my dear.”

Liz’s breath came in shallow gasps as the images picked up speed, flashing quickly before her. Her jaw clenched tightly as a wave of pain swept over her, flooding her senses.

Max and Isabel were being dragged into separate cells. Faceless forms applied cruel torture, trying to extract answers that were unwilling to be released. A terrible pain ripped through Liz’s head as a device was forced into the back of Max’s skull. She could hear Isabel’s screams echoing down the hallway into Max’s ears, and she felt his anger and utter hopelessness. Suddenly the pain stopped, and a quiet female voice spoke soothing words of comfort. The phrases were beginning to blur together, but two words suddenly became crystal clear: Elizabeth Parker…

Liz strained to hear what came after her name, but it was gone. Everything she had seen and felt had suddenly stopped. It was then that she noticed Max wasn’t even touching her anymore. He was staring at her, hurt and disbelief radiating from behind the tears in his eyes.

“Max, what is it? Did you see something?”

“How could you do that to me Liz?”

With those words it dawned on her. Chris.

“Listen Max, I know I should have told you right away that I had a boyfriend, but it just-”

“I’m not talking about that!”

Liz’s mind stirred with complete confusion. If it wasn’t about Chris, what could he possibly be referring to?

“Max I don’t understand…”

She was beginning to cry now, but Max was so enveloped by his own pain that he couldn’t control himself.

“I saw it, Liz. All of it. Kyle…”

“Max you know that I didn’t sleep with Kyle.”

“But now I know why you lied to me about it.”

The same look of betrayal that Max had given to Tess on Antar was now directed at her.

“Oh God.”

“Why didn’t you come to me when he…when I…” Max struggled with the words. “When you found out what was going to happen. Why didn’t you trust me?”

“It was never about trust, Max. But the entire plan would have failed if you ever found out the truth. I couldn’t have the blood of so many people on my hands.” Liz spoke in a gentle voice, trying to make him understand.

She tentatively reached out a hand to his arm, but he pulled away from her as though her touch burned him. She felt her heart tear into innumerable pieces; she was unable to bear the look in his eyes, and yet unable to look away.

“So how does it feel to be the savior of the world? The all-powerful Liz Parker, changing the future all by herself!”

Liz looked at incredulously. “I can’t believe you are reacting like this! Do you have any idea how it killed me to do what I did? How hard it was for me?”

“It didn’t have to be that way, Liz. You could have asked for my help. We could have found another way. But instead you chose to hurt me in the deepest way possible. God Liz, I still carry the scars!”

Liz nervously chewed on her lip, afraid to say anything more. “I…I’m sorry.”

Max simply shook his head and walked out the door. He was half-way down the hall when Liz came running after him, tears freely running down her cheeks.

“Max, please don’t walk away!”

“You once told me not to put everything on my own shoulders, to have faith in other people. I guess you're just above all that, huh?"

When she didn't respond, he took a step closer to her, speaking in a cold tone that to her was worse than the shouting.

"I can’t even look at you right now.”

Max threw his hands up in the air in frustration as he turned away from her again.

“Max wait! There were things I heard, things that I don’t understand.”

“I guess you’ll just have to figure them out for yourself. Seems like you’ve gotten pretty good at that.”

Liz watched helplessly as Max disappeared down the steps. Her mind futilely tried to comprehend what she had just experienced. Tess had betrayed them? How could that be? They needed Tess. She was the reason that Liz was forced to give Max up, to break his heart. If her relationship with Max didn’t bring about the end of the world, then what did? And would it still happen? And why did that woman know her name?
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Post by Daydreamer23 » Thu Mar 08, 2007 12:56 am

New chapter! (And on a related note, I doubt I'll pass any of my classes this semester)

flyawayraven- I'm so glad you're enjoying the story! There are definitely questions that need answering, but we'll get to that soon enough.

alizaleven- They're both definitely suffering right now, and it's gonna take some time to work through that. I guess you'll have to keep reading to find out if you're right. :wink:

rie482- I think they both bear the responsibility for what happened, and they need to own up to that. Thanks for the compliment!

begonia9508- I think we're going to see more of Antar later. It's definitely not out of the picture yet.


Chapter 4


Max could still feel the rage coursing through his blood as he entered the motel. His entire body felt red hot, and he was certain that anything he touched would instantly go up in flames. He took a steadying breath as he closed the door behind him, resisting the urge to slam it. Isabel was lounging on her bed, carefully painting her nails.

“Isn’t there an easier way to do that?”

Isabel didn’t look up as she answered him. “You know, two years ago I would have used my powers without a second thought. But right now I want to get as far away from my alien side as possible. It makes me feel more human, more like I’m home.”

She closed up the bottle and gently blew at the set of nails on her right hand.

“So how’d it go?”

Max fell face-first onto his bed, his voice muffled by the pillows. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Why? What happened?”

Max reluctantly sat up and recounted to Isabel everything he had seen in the flash when he and Liz had connected. He grabbed a pillow, squeezing it between his hands as he continued.

“And thinking about it, all of this is her fault. If she hadn’t done what she did, if she hadn’t pushed me towards Tess, then Tess never would have gotten pregnant. You and I would never have gone to Antar and we wouldn’t have had to suffer through what we did. God, Iz, we could have avoided everything if she had just been honest!”

“Max, you’re my brother and I love you. But shut the hell up.”

Max’s head snapped towards his sister, unwilling to believe what he heard.

“I know that Liz hurt you, and maybe it wasn’t the best solution. But no one forced you to sleep with Tess and no one told you not to use protection. That was your mistake and you have to deal with that. So don’t you dare blame our situation on Liz.”

“When did you get so protective of Liz?”

“I guess when I found out that she sacrificed her happiness to save all our lives. But you didn’t think about that, did you Max? Imagine for one second that someone tells you that the fate of the world rests on you walking away from the person you love. If someone put that on me….I don’t know if I could have been as strong as she was.”

Max sighed as he reached a hand behind his head and scratched up and down his neck. “So…I’m a total ass.”

“Let’s just say that you’re lucky you’re so cute.”

“I have to go apologize to her.”

“Later. First I want to know how she handled everything.”

Max’s face flushed a deep red. “I didn’t exactly tell her.”

Isabel ran her tongue across her lips, annoyance evidence in her voice. “What do you mean you didn’t tell her?”

“When I got the flash I just…exploded. I stormed out without explaining anything. I said terrible things to her. It wasn’t like me at all, but something inside me just kept pushing. It was like I had no control over what came out of my mouth.”

Isabel resisted the urge to slap her brother upside the head. “You’re going back there right now.”

Isabel grabbed Max’s jacket and threw it at him as she pushed him towards the door.

Max dug his heels into the carpet, but his sister was surprisingly strong. “But it’s late. She’s probably asleep by now.”

“Somehow I doubt that. And if you come back without talking to her, you can expect a night out in the car.”

“Iz, I have a key. You can’t lock me out.”

“Trust me, Max. I have my ways.”

~-~-~-~

Max felt his whole body shaking as he approached Liz’s door. Why was this so difficult? Talking to Liz had always been so easy and natural. She was the first person he had ever shared his secret with. She was the one he was always able to confide in, because she was the one who knew him better than anyone. But at this moment, everything within him was struggling to pull back. With a great amount of effort, his knuckles made contact with the door. He heard the creaking of a mattress and the sound of slippers shuffling along a carpet. As the door slowly swung open, Max’s eyes met Liz’s blood shot ones. His stomach churned as he imagined how many tears must have fallen to have that effect on her eyes. Those tears, caused by him, had taken the sparkle out of her dark orbs, and pangs of guilt tore through Max’s heart.

Liz was the first to speak, her voice a hoarse whisper. “I didn’t think I’d ever see you again.”

“Yeah, well I guess I’m like that piece of corn that gets stuck in your teeth. I just never go away.”

When a smile tugged at Liz’s mouth, Max matched it with a sideways smile of his own. It didn’t escape his notice though that the door was only partially open, and that Liz was blocking entrance to her room.

“Liz, the things I said tonight-”

Liz broke in, shaking her head. “No Max. I understand that you were hurt.”

“I was out of line. Isabel knocked some sense into me, made me understand what you did. I’m sorry, Liz. So sorry.”

Liz stepped to the side, sweeping her arm out as a signal for him to enter. Max pulled off his jacket and slung it over a chair. He noticed that Liz’s journal lay open on her bed. Max knew he shouldn’t read it, yet he couldn’t help but run his eyes across the page. It was stained with tears and the ink had run in several places. When Liz saw what he was doing, she grabbed the journal protectively up into her arms and held it against her chest.

“You…had some questions for me?” Max spoke softly, not daring to look her in the eye.

Liz sucked in her bottom lip and wordlessly nodded her head.

“Before we do that though, there’s something I want you to see.”

Liz took a step towards the bed, hesitated for a moment, then got down on her hands and knees. She pushed aside piles of blankets, books, and
other forgotten objects, searching for something hidden in a box against the far corner. Max’s eyes wandered down from the chocolate tresses that fell haphazardly across her shoulders to the creamy skin of her exposed lower back. When Liz emerged, she held in her hand a stack of envelopes wrapped together with a rubber band. Max’s features were contorted in confusion as she handed the bundle to him.

“I wrote you a letter just about every day that you were gone. I wasn’t sure if I was going to let you read them. But I just…” Liz stopped, unsure of what she wanted to say. She wrapped her arms around herself, running her hand up and down the side of her arm.

“Can I?” Max asked, fanning through the edge of the envelopes.

“They’re yours now. But Max…” she waited until he looked up into her eyes. “You’re not leaving here until I get some answers.”

There was a determined look in her eye that dared him to defy her. They both climbed onto the bed, resting their backs against the wall. Liz’s head rolled back and she allowed her exhausted eyes to close for a moment as Max unwrapped the letters. He bypassed the first few envelopes, opting instead to pull one from the middle.

Dear Max,

I find myself looking at the stars so often now, wondering which one is yours. There was time when the stars used to be comforting, a sign that there was a greater power, that I wasn’t alone. But looking at them now, I’ve never felt so alone. I try to imagine what you might be doing this very second, and that’s when it occurs to me that I have no idea what your life is like anymore. And that thought scares me down to my core.

I feel like there is this void inside of me, an emptiness that is taking over my soul. I know that it was always there, until the day that you touched me and changed my life. The difference is that before I knew you, really knew you, the emptiness didn’t hurt. I didn’t know what was supposed to be there, what it felt like to have your heart connected to someone else’s. Now I’m afraid that no one is ever going to be able to fulfill me like you did. What do you have left to look forward to when you’ve found and lost your soulmate, all before you turn 18?


Max looked up from the letter to find Liz staring at him. She had been watching him since he started reading, gauging his reaction to every word. If packing the letters away had helped bury her pain, then giving them to Max had unearthed it. Liz choked back a sob as Max pulled her close to him, enveloping her with his warmth. She knew how his healing touch was able to soothe not only her body, but her heart as well. She rested her head in his lap, allowing him to gently run his fingers through her hair until they both fell asleep.

Peace and tranquility wrapped around them like a blanket, and seemed to settle over everything around them. The stars that lit up the night sky faded as the black melted into a spectrum of blue and purple hues. The sun began to rise, chasing away the night. The light of dawn slowly trickled in through the window of Liz’s dorm. Her head was still in Max’s lap, her arm draped casually across his legs. Max’s left hand was resting on Liz’s waist, and sometime during the night his right hand had become entwined in hers. Both were lost in a lazy slumber, and would have remained so long into the morning, had someone not entered the room.

“Liz babe? What’s going on here?”
Last edited by Daydreamer23 on Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Daydreamer23 » Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:14 pm

Emz80m- Well you knew we had to meet the boyfriend sometime! Liz is a pretty quick thinker, she might be able to worm her way out it...for now.

rie482- I'm sure Max appreciates your forgiveness, but I don't think this issue is completely cleared yet. The Ice Princess has melted since we last saw her on Earth. She's figuring out how important it is to let people in.

begonia9508- Sorry to say, but it's going to be just a little bit longer until we get to Antar. But Max and Liz will have that talk soon.

Natalie36- Just like the boyfriend to interrupt, isn't it! He's going to be sticking around for a little while though.

alizaleven- Thank you! Life on Antar has definitely changed Isabel. It's going to effect how she relates to everyone. Sorry to keep you waiting on the news, but it is coming, I promise.

confusedfool- Thanks for reading!

kittens- It's safe to say that it's something alien-related, something he learned on Antar. But you're not going to find out just yet.

Erina- Max and Liz definitely need to sit down and have a good talk.

83 AlienAngel- Thanks! We've almost gotten to 'the talk.'

Thanks to any lurkers who are reading as well!

A/N: This chapter got a little long, so I split it into 2 parts. Hope you enjoy!


Chapter 5


“Liz?”

Liz’s tired eyes fluttered open at the sound of her name. She smiled softly at Chris, who was standing in her doorway. She tried to stretch her arms out above her head, but felt something tugging at her hand. She looked up and saw a set of fingers entwined with her own. Her eyes trailed up the fingers and along the arm until they landed upon Max’s sleeping face. Her mind now registering the position she was in, she jumped up, knocking Max out of his slumber.

“Chris!”

“Surprised?”

Liz’s attempt at a smile turned out embarrassed and unsure. When all she received in return was a sternly-set jaw and cold eyes, Liz pulled on a sweatshirt and timidly approached Chris. She grabbed the lapel of his jacket and took him to the other side of the room. She wasn’t sure why she felt so guilty; she hadn’t cheated on Chris with Max. Maybe it was because waking up with Max still felt so right to her, because being in his arms felt like home.

But she couldn’t allow herself to think like that. Yes, a part of her heart would always belong to Max. But she couldn’t allow his return to change the direction her life was taking. She was with Chris now. He was sweet, romantic, and stable, and that was what she needed. No more complicated pasts or distant beckoning planets. And then her Grandmother Claudia’s words rang in her mind, “If it isn’t complicated, he probably isn’t a soulmate.” Liz blocked out the voice as she formed a hurried explanation.

“Chris, this is so not what it looks like. This is my friend Max from New Mexico. We were just watching some TV and we fell asleep. I mean I know what you must be thinking but it’s just not…” Liz paused for a moment as a thought entered her mind. “How did you get in here?”

“Samantha gave me her key so I could surprise you,” Chris answered as he handed her a bouquet of red roses, glancing suspiciously towards Max as he did so.

Max dipped his head to hide his smirk. Red roses. Chris obviously didn’t know Liz as well as he did.

“Thank you, Chris. They’re beautiful.”

“Max, it’s nice to meet you. Liz doesn’t really talk about home all that much.”

Chris offered his hand out to Max and the two men shook hands. He seemed nice enough, and he appeared to be genuinely interested in Liz, but Max just couldn’t bring himself to like the guy. It wasn’t as though he wanted Liz to be alone. Just the opposite. But he never expected to meet the man who would take his place.

Chris smiled as he took his hand back and wrapped his arm possessively around Liz’s shoulders.

“So Max, are you going to be staying here long?”

“No, my sister and I were just stopping by on our way back to Roswell.”

Tension hung heavily in the air between the three people.

“I should probably get going. I’m sure Isabel is wondering where I am. It was nice meeting you Chris. Liz, I’ll talk to you later.”

“Right. Good bye Max.”

Liz shifted her weight nervously under Chris’s arm. She wanted so desperately to stop Max, to ask him all the questions that had plagued her earlier. But there was no way to do that with Chris still here. And from his demeanor, it seemed he wasn’t ready to leave Liz’s side as long as Max was around. Once Max was out the door, Chris closed it and turned to Liz.

“So what’s the 411 with you and this Max guy?”

Liz quirked her brow. “411? Chris no one talks like that except 14 year old girls.”

The stern look on his face told Liz that this was not the time for jokes.

“I’m sorry. Look, Max is just an old friend who I haven’t seen in a long time. He and his sister were passing through, he came by so that we could catch up and we just fell asleep.”

“You two looked pretty cozy in that bed.”

Liz placed her hand on her hip and raised her eyebrows. “Excuse me?”

“Did you ever date?”

Liz debated with herself about how much detail she should actually give up. Hopefully if she said the right things he would drop the issue. “For a little while, in high school. We both knew it could never work out though. About three years ago we broke up and he moved on with another girl. At the end of our junior year his family moved away and I hadn’t talked to him since.”

Chris nodded his head to signal his acceptance of her answer. He closed the distance between them, a seductive glint in his eye. He gripped her hips and pulled her close to him, drawing her in to a deep kiss. He smiled inwardly as he slipped his tongue into her mouth and she gasped with pleasure. Chris didn’t know that it wasn’t his caresses that caused Liz’s reactions, but a memory of a first kiss shared on a balcony in the glow of candle light. And once again, guilt tugged at the corners of Liz Parker’s heart.

Chris’s attempt to lead Liz to the bed was interrupted by the sudden ring of Liz’s cell phone.

She flipped open her phone and was assaulted by a familiar female voice.

“Oh thank God you’re alive!”

“What? Maria, what are you talking about?”

“Well since you haven’t called me in, oh I don’t know, forever, I figured that some terrible disaster had befallen you. Like you were working in the lab and had accidentally created a poisonous fume that killed you instantly. Or an icicle fell off a building and pierced your brain. Or you were, you know, abducted by aliens.”

“Yeah, you know it’s funny that you would say that. Because I got a visit from a friend of ours the other day.”

“Who?” Maria gasped before rambling on. “Not Joe ‘The Pro’ Russo? You know when we were in junior high he told me that he was related to John Gotti and that if he really wanted to he could make me disappear. Did he try to get you to join the mob? Did he threaten you?”

“Maria, stop it you’re being ridiculous. Listen, you’re my best friend, please don’t lie to me. You really have no idea who’s here?”

“Babe, I am so in the dark right now.”

Liz questioned whether she should really tell Maria about seeing Max. Maria wasn’t exactly what you would call ‘level-headed.’ Liz had always found it a bit strange that they were such good friends, considering how radically different they could be. Apparently opposites really do attract.

“Liz? Are you ever going to tell me, or were you just throwing the question out there to toy with me?”

Liz glanced behind her at Chris, rubbing at the back of her neck in an attempt to hide her mouth. “Max Evans.”

“Come again? There must be something wrong with my phone because I know you did not just say Max Evans.”

“Yeah, Maria, I did. They’re back. He and Isabel.”

“SHUT UP!”

Liz pulled the phone away from her ear, certain that the girls down the hall had overheard that part of the conversation.

“So needless to say, there are a lot of big conversations to be had.”

“Babe, ‘big’ doesn’t even begin to describe it.”

“Right. So I don’t know if Michael knows or not, but please, please, please, PLEASE don’t say anything to him yet.”

“Uh, he better not know anything about it. Cuz if he did and he didn’t tell me, he is in for a long dry spell if you get what I’m saying.”

Liz smiled, knowing the fight that awaited Michael should Maria discover he knew something and didn’t tell her. “Okay, so you won’t say anything?”

“Come on Liz, when have I ever let you down?”

“Thanks Maria. I’ll call you later, ’kay?”

“You better.”

Liz closed her cell phone and placed it back on her desk. Her attention was drawn to a small piece paper lying on top of her notebook. She glanced over her shoulder at Chris, who was sitting in a chair flipping through her Cosmo magazine. She turned to keep the note hidden from him and unfolded it.

Meet me at the Super 8 motel on Sheridan rd, room 205, tonight at 9:00.
M


Liz stuffed the note in her pocket and turned back to Chris.

“Honey, I’m feeling pretty hungry. Do you want to go to the café and get some breakfast with me?”

“I was kind of hoping we could have some alone time.”

Liz swept her hair back and settled herself on his lap. “I know you were, and we will. I just don’t think I’ll be able to focus…” she accentuated her point with a slow kiss, “if my stomach is growling.”

Chris pulled her lips to his again and a groan of frustration rumbled in his throat. He really thought he was going to score some points with those roses, but the events of that morning seemed to be conspiring against him.

“Alright then, let’s go get something to eat.”

“Great, let me just go brush my teeth.”

As she left the room, toothbrush and toothpaste in hand, she glanced at the clock on her desk.

9:30, only 11 ½ hours until I see Max again. Stop it Liz, she scolded herself. This isn’t about Max, this about finding out the facts and rationally making any decisions that need to be made. Once it’s over, Max Evans is going to walk out of your life…just like he did before.
Last edited by Daydreamer23 on Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Daydreamer23 » Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:16 pm

Liz’s mind drifted back to the night when she thought she was saying goodbye to Max forever. Her mind was still swimming in the pain as she slipped her hand into Chris’s and followed him over to the café. She picked at the flaky crust of her toast as she remembered his last words to her.

“Just tell me one thing, do you love her?”
“Not like I love you.”


At the time she needed to hear those words, to know that his love for her had been real. She thought that it would give her comfort and something to hold on to, but in the end the words had only served to torture her. They had been a constant reminder of everything she had lost and everything she could never have again. And now she was using them as a defense to protect her heart. If he loved her that much and was still able to leave her then, he would be able to do it again. This time she promised herself that she wouldn’t allow him to take her heart away with him.

“And then yesterday I jumped off the top of Swift Hall and broke both my legs and a couple of football players had to carry me to my room.”

Liz shook her head, clearing away her thoughts and trying to focus on what Chris was saying.

“What?”

He angrily dropped his fork onto his plate. “I knew you weren’t listening.”

“I’m sorry; my mind is just on something else right now.”

“Something else, or someone else?”

“Since when have you been the jealous type?”

Noting the resentment in her voice, Chris softened his. “I’m not. I’m not. It’s just something about this guy. Like when I walked in this morning, I felt like I was interrupting this perfect moment between the two of you. I felt like the intruder.”

Liz reached over and gently rubbed his hand. “You have nothing to worry about. Max and I have been over for years.”

Even as she said it, Liz knew she was lying. No matter how much she wanted it, and no matter how hard she tried, it would never really be over between her and Max. But that didn’t have to stop her from moving on and leading a happy, normal life with some one else. Right?

Liz looked up to see a mess of blonde hair and caffeine-driven energy cheerfully bounding towards her.

“Good news, Lizzie dear. My friend Dave finally came through.” Serena chirped as she sat down beside her friend.

“Good morning Chris,” she added as she grabbed a grape off his plate, tossing it in the air and catching it in her mouth.

“Um, came through with what?”

Serena smiled mischievously as she reached into her purse. She paused for a moment, an attempt at dramatics, and pulled out a small card.

“Ta-da! They’re our fake IDs!”

Liz rolled her eyes. “Serena, I told you I didn’t want a fake ID. What am I going to use that for?”

“I don’t know, maybe to loosen up a little? Come on, Liz. They’re perfect. I was thinking we could give them a test run tonight.”

Liz looked uneasily at Chris. “Actually, um, I can’t tonight. I’m gonna be in the lab really early tomorrow, so I’ll probably be in bed by 10.”

Serena’s disappointment was evident as her smile faded. “No problem, we’ll do it some other time.”

It was hours later, after some ‘alone time’ with Chris and some time spent getting homework done, that Liz was finally climbing the stairs to Max’s motel room. Her heart raced faster with each step, fear and eager anticipation pushing her on. She shifted herself into ‘scientist’ mode, determined to get the answers to her questions and not allow Max Evans to sweep her away with those soulful eyes and that smooth voice…and those strong arms and washboard stomach… Stop it Liz! Her mind screamed. She stopped in front of his room and knocked on the door. She steeled herself against Max’s smile as he opened the door and ushered her in. This time there would be no sleeping until she knew everything.
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Post by Daydreamer23 » Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:01 pm

Natalie36- Our girl is definitely being a bit risky.

Timelord31- I don't know how well I'd take it if my significant other spent the night in a motel room with an ex...

aussietrueblue- Chris has tried to be understanding, but that can only go so far.

begonia9508- Liz is really struggling with what it is she truly wants. Her feelings for Max are still there, but she also has feelings for Chris. At this moment she's really trying to guard her heart, knowing how hard it was the first time it was broken.

Emz80m- She's going to have to make some tough decisions, cuz we're not through with 'the boyfriend' yet.

Thanks again to everybody who is reading this!


Chapter 6


Since the day she found out what Max Evans was, Liz had been mentally preparing herself for every possible contingency. Alien attacks and abductions, mysterious illness, FBI surveillance, interrogations, persecution. But nothing she had done prepared her for the situation she now faced. Isabel Evans was…hugging her. Liz had barely stepped both feet into the motel room when Isabel had offered a cheerful greeting and flung her arms around Liz’s small frame. A bit taken aback, she looked past Isabel to Max, who offered her a bemused smile but no explanation.

Eh, what the hell. Just go with it.

Liz raised her arms and returned Isabel’s embrace. “It’s nice to see you too, Isabel.”

“Are you hungry? We could order some Chinese or something.”

“Oh no, that’s alright. I think we should probably just get right to it and lay everything out on the table.”

“I completely agree,” Isabel responded, throwing a dirty look at her brother. Apparently Max was not privy to the kinder, gentler Isabel who had just had her arms around Liz.

The three of them gathered around a small wooden table in a corner of the room. They made themselves as comfortable as possible as they settled in for a long talk. Liz reached into her purse and pulled out a folded up piece of notebook paper.

“You made a list?” Isabel’s voice reminded Liz of the mothers on those old TV shows: cheery enough, but a bit patronizing at the same time.

“Uh…yeah.”

Isabel quickly tried to reassure her. “No, no. That’s good. It’s very…organized.”

Liz looked between the two of them nervously. “Right. Um, Isabel, did Max tell you what he saw when we connected?”

Isabel nodded. “I should thank you for what you did. I can only imagine how much you must have suffered, having to carry around that burden for so long.”

“Oh no, I wasn’t looking for gratitude. There’s just something that confuses me. Max, that is, Future Max, told me that the world ended because our relationship drove Tess away and you needed her to fight your enemies. But all this time Tess was working against you?”

Max furrowed his brow. “I don’t know how to explain that. Maybe the future version of me didn’t know what Tess was planning. Another reason why you should have come to me first.”

Liz turned her head away, feeling shamed by Max’s words. Judging by the way his body jerked, Liz guessed that Isabel had kicked him under the table.

“I’m sorry. I guess I’m still dealing with it.”
You wouldn’t need to deal with it if you just walked away from it all right now. It’s not as though she needs you anymore. It’s not as though anyone needs you.
The voice that had spoken so coldly before returned to Max’s ear, bringing with it a dull ache at the front of his skull. He brushed it aside, knowing that he could become easily irritated when he was tired.

“But that’s not what we came here to talk about.”

Liz continued. “My point is that if our relationship didn’t cause the world to end, then what did? Can we still stop it?”

There was no mistaking the look that passed between Max and Isabel. They knew something, and it was serious.

“What? What are you guys not telling me?”

Max leaned forward and took Liz’s hand in his own. She felt the warmth spread from her hand throughout her whole body, and it was making her head swim.

“They know about you, on Antar.”

“They know about me? What do you mean they know about me?”

Max’s eyes went to Isabel again, and she gave him a reassuring nod.

“For a long time, they have been abducting humans and experimenting on them.”

“You mean all those stories about people being abducted by aliens are true?”

“Rule of thumb: If they don’t mention an anal probe, they’re probably telling the truth.”

Isabel smirked at her brother’s joke. She was relishing that one moment where the weight was lifted from the room, when talk was able to turn from a serious and painful subject. She held to it tightly, for she knew that in the next moment it would be gone.

“They wanted to know the effects that our powers would have on humans. They learned that in cases where humans’ molecular structure was manipulated, that it caused…other changes.”

“Molecule manipulation. Like what you did to me when you healed me.” It wasn’t a question but a statement of understanding. “So what kinds of other changes did it cause?”

“They noticed that those who had been altered began developing some semblance of alien powers.”

“A-alien p-powers?” Liz was unable to control her stuttering.

“Without the proper teaching or nurturing they would go undeveloped.” Isabel added.

“So you think I’m going to…” Liz trailed off as she opened her hand and spread her fingers, making the motion that Max, Michael, and Isabel did whenever they used their powers.

Isabel nodded. “Yes. If you want to, we can help you learn how to use them.”

“But you said people know about me. What makes me so special?”

Isabel’s voice had lost its brightness and Liz noticed that her face had paled. “Kivar has a group of men, called the Praedico. They have visions, foresee the future. They made a prediction about a human from Earth, Elizabeth Parker. They told Kivar that she would be essential to the resistance against him.”

Liz shook her head in disbelief. “That’s ridiculous, no one can see the future. I mean they must have found out that Max healed me and they just-”

“Kivar doesn’t think it’s ridiculous. And he’s not willing to take any risks when it involves his throne.” Any trace of happiness that once existed in Max’s voice was gone now, replaced with serious concern.

Liz’s throat tightened. “So, what? You think he’ll come after me?”

“Eventually, yes.” Isabel was horribly blunt, but there was no way to soften the truth.

Liz found it hard to breathe as the reality of what she was being told settled in. She turned a pair of rage-filled eyes on Max. “And you weren’t going to tell me this! What, you were just going to let him kill me?!”

Max angrily pushed his chair back from the table. How could she even think that about him?

“God, of course not! I had every intention of making sure that you were safe.”

“How, Max? How?”

“I would have watched over you.”

“What, for my whole life? You were just going to wander around unseen as I got married, had kids, and lived my life?”

There was a long pause before Max spoke again. “Yes.”

His soft, simple answer nearly brought Liz to tears. He was willing to give up having any kind of life to make sure that she could live a safe and normal one. The second they spent looking into each other’s eyes seemed to stretch into eternity.

Isabel held Max’s hand in both of hers. “Tell her the rest.”

“There’s more? My God, how can there be more?” Liz threw her hands up in exasperation, a mirthless laugh escaping her throat.

Max tried in vain to make his voice remain steady as he went on. “The Praedico, they made another prophecy. They told Kivar that one day you and I would…we would have a child, and that child would possess power beyond any that had ever been seen. Our child would end Kivar’s rule and bring peace to the warring planets, uniting them all into one nation. Eventually he would act as a diplomat, establishing a relationship between Earth and our planet, creating a unity that would ensure safety for everyone.”

Developing alien powers… our child…power beyond any ever seen…peace…safety for everyone…

The whole world seemed to stop spinning for Liz Parker. She gripped the arms of her chair so tightly that her knuckles were turning white. She struggled to keep her breathing even, certain that all the oxygen was slowly being taken from the room. Her senses were failing her as everything became hazy and the voices that called to her were distorted and muddled.

“Liz? Liz, are you alright? Max, get her some water or something”

“I need some air.”

“What did you say?”

Apparently the words came out as slurred and quiet as they had sounded in her head. Liz stood from her chair and shakily made her way to the door. Isabel followed behind her, calling her name and trying to bring her back to reality. But reality was the last place that Liz wanted to be right now. She unsteadily crossed the distance to the door, but as she made her way outside she felt her legs go out from under her. Isabel reacted quickly, her arms catching under Liz’s, stopping her from falling. Max was instantly at her side, scooping her up into his arms and carrying her over to the bed. As he laid her down, Isabel rushed over with a cold washcloth to place on Liz’s forehead. Liz felt the darkness close around her, her mind drifting off as she heard Max’s voice in the distance.
Last edited by Daydreamer23 on Wed Mar 14, 2007 7:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Daydreamer23 » Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:14 pm

Addicted2AmberEyes- That is a lot to drop on a person. Max shouldn't dismiss that voice in his head so easily.

Buffsteraddict- I'm so glad you like it so far!

alizaleven- Try not to be annoyed with yourself, hun, it's not good for you! :D Thanks for the 'WOW', that one word totally made my day.

Natalie36- Another 'WOW'?! I'm starting to think I should quit while I'm ahead... :wink:

rie482- It's not like Max to act without having a plan, but I think everyone is a bit overwhelmed at the moment. I don't think it will be easy for Liz to just go back to the way things were.

behrluv32- I guess you'll have to keep reading to find out! :wink:

Timelord31- Thanks for reading!

Emz80m- A lot is being asked of Liz (not even so much 'asked' as 'told'), her reaction is definitely understandable.

Flamehair- Glad you're reading! I'm about the same age as Liz in this story, and if someone had told me that, I would be out for days.

83 AlienAngel- That's a tough decision to make, but our girl will figure out that right thing in the end.

katydid- A different theory about the voice, interesting. I'm kind of curious to know who you think it is. And yes, Liz's circuits are on overload right now!

begonia9508- It's especially difficult for someone at that age who feels like they have their whole life ahead of them.

Strawberry88- Thank you so much!

Lurkers- I love you guys too!


Chapter 7


“How is she doing?”

“I don’t know. She’s been sleeping peacefully for a little while now. Maybe the nightmares have finally stopped.”


Liz could hear Max and Isabel talking about her. She pulled her blankets up to her chin and closed her eyes. She wasn’t willing to join them just yet. Despite what Max thought, Liz hadn’t had a peaceful moment all night. How in the world could she, knowing what she knew?

And then there were the nightmares. They weren’t vague or indistinct; they were crystal clear and seemed more real to her than anything that had happened the night before. In some she was captured, forced to undergo the same torture that had been done to Max and Isabel. In others her death came quickly, but only after the slow, painful death of the ones she loved. But the worst were the ones that involved her child. Max tries to protect them, but he isn’t strong enough against Kivar’s forces. As she lay on the ground, desperately clinging to Max’s dead body, an outstretched hand releases a blast of energy directly at her abdomen. She can feel as the life within her is destroyed. But the constant thread that runs through each nightmare is the pain. She would wake up each time still feeling it coursing through her whole body.

She wished more than anything in the world that Kivar was wrong, that in some incredible coincidence there was some other Elizabeth Parker who was destined to end his rule. It wasn’t an altogether uncommon name, right?

“Do you think we should wake her up, get her to eat something?”

“It’s probably better to just let her get her rest.”


Liz had never been the type of person who believed in destiny. What was the point of living if all of your choices were already made for you? But then Max came along and changed everything she’d ever believed in. He did have a destiny, written in stone and recited before her eyes by his mother. But his supposed destiny hadn’t turned out the way it was meant to, maybe hers wouldn’t either. She could make the decision right now to walk away from it all. Besides, who knew how accurate those prophets were?

“What do you think will happen now?”

“That all depends on her.”


Well that certainly helped to ease her mind. For the past year the most responsibility she had was making sure that she fed her goldfish. Now the entire universe seemed to be suspended, awaiting a response from her. She could remember a time as a little girl in Roswell when she dreamt of being an important person, someone whose work would truly make a difference. If she only knew then what was to become of her life…

“I don’t think she’s handling it very well.”

“Would you?”


But even if she chose to ignore everything that she’d been told and continue on with her life as planned, there was no denying the alien powers developing inside her body. And Chris. Poor, sweet, innocent Chris. How could she drag him into this? It wasn’t fair to him at all. It wouldn’t be fair to anyone; anyone could potentially be in danger just by knowing her. Even her friends and family. How could she ever be near anyone without worrying that she was putting their lives at risk?

Max was drawn from his conversation by a light whimpering coming from Liz’s bed. He knelt down beside her and brushed her hair back from her face.

“How long have you been awake?” he asked quietly.

Her sobbing grew louder, a quick breath penetrating between each of her words. “Just – a – little - while.”

She sat up and drew her knees to her chest, wrapping her arms around them. She rhythmically began rocking back and forth, her eyes fixed on some randomly determined spot on the wall. Max moved her blankets aside and sat beside her. Not knowing how else to comfort her, he gently ran his hand up and down her back. He didn’t push her to talk about her thoughts or feelings. For the moment he decided to just let her be.

Isabel quietly excused herself out through the sliding door onto their patio. She rolled her head from side to side, trying to soother her aching neck. She was certain that none of them had slept well the previous night. Liz’s sleep was broken every hour or so by her nightmares and Max was always quick to turn on a light and rush to her side, whispering words of consolation and reassurance. Isabel couldn’t help but be slightly envious of Liz and Max. It was completely foolish and she knew it, especially given the circumstances that they were faced with. But the way they were able to depend on each other, the way they were able to communicate their needs without words, it was something that Isabel had always wanted but had never been willing to admit to herself. She didn’t think she had the luxury of falling in love, and she had been determined to make sure she never would.

That was a problem when it came to Alex Whitman. He was so freaking determined to get her to notice him, to break through her cold veneer despite all the times she had tried to push him away. That’s probably why he had come closer than anyone had before him. Perhaps with time she could have really, completely loved him. He had suspected before anyone else that behind the beauty and confidence was a girl who was afraid to let anyone in. It still amazed her how he could know her so well. Yes, he really could have been ‘the one.’ God, she was starting to sound just like Max. Even though she had tried to stand in his way, she secretly admired the courage Max had to reach out for love. If she ever saw Alex again, she knew she wouldn’t hesitate. If she had learned anything in the past two years, it was that you can’t live your life afraid of tomorrow. Embrace the people you care about, do whatever it is that makes you happy, and life will found a way to work itself out.

“Is?”

Isabel turned when Max called her name. He and Liz were standing at the threshold between the patio and the room, their hands linked together. Her cheeks were stained with tears, and from the look of his eyes, Max had apparently been crying with her.

“We’re going home.”

Isabel waited patiently in the car while Max and Liz went to her dorm to gather up some things. Despite the chill in the wind, Isabel found that she quite enjoyed the fall. She loved how the air could be so crisp and refreshing. No matter how she was enjoying the season though, she was anxious to get on the road. To go to Roswell. To see Alex. God, she wished Max and Liz would hurry up.

“You know you don’t have to do this, right?”

“Max, this thing with Antar and Kivar…it’s really big. I just think it would be right if we let everyone in on what’s going on.”

Max stopped mid-step and pulled Liz to the side of the hallway. He waited for a group of people to pass them before he spoke. “This is your decision, Liz. You’re the only one who can make it. Screw what anybody else thinks. I’ll be here for you no matter what you decide.”

“Thank you.” Her smile widened. “But I have made a decision. And my decision is to go home and talk about this with everyone.”

“What about school, classes, your friends?”

“Max everything I do from now on is going to be affected by that prediction. How can I even think about how to handle any of those things until I’ve settled this? Right now, I just need to go home and talk about this with Maria before I go completely insane.”

A soft smile crossed Max’s face as stared into Liz’s determined eyes. “If that’s the way you want it.”

Liz tore herself from his gaze. Remember to keep your distance. You can’t afford to get caught up in him again.

She opened the door, Max right behind her, to find Chris worriedly talking on the phone. He glanced up as she entered, relief and utter fury apparent in his features.

“Never mind sir, she’s here. You can tell campus security not to worry. Thank you.”

As he hung up the phone, he threw away all restraint.

“WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN?”

“Chris, I-”

“I came by here this morning, Samantha said she hadn’t seen you all night. Serena hasn’t heard from you since breakfast yesterday. I tried calling your cell phone but it’s turned off. Do you have any idea how fucking worried I was?”

Chris’s eyes turned to Max as he noticed him for the first time. “What the hell is this? What do you think you’re doing with my girlfriend?”

Liz stepped between the two men as Chris began to advance. “Chris just stop it, alright. Enough already. This isn’t his fault.”

“No, I guess you just fell asleep again, right?”

Liz felt the muscles in her body tighten at his accusation.

“I trusted you, Liz. And this is how you treat me? If you want to break up with me then just fucking do it. But don’t run around behind my back.”

“Nothing is going on with us. You can trust Liz.” Max’s attempt to diffuse the situation, however well-intentioned, was definitely misguided.

“Hey man, who the hell asked you? You’re lucky I don’t pummel your ass.”

“I said that’s enough! Max, could you please give us a couple minutes?”

“I’ll be in the car.”

“He’ll be in the car? What the hell does that mean? Liz what is going on?”

Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m panicking. But I never panic. Think, Liz. Come on, you can do it. What can you say to him to get him to back off but not push him completely away?

“God Liz, you look terrible. What happened to you?”

“Thanks Chris, that’s really…that’s fantastic.” Sarcasm had always been Maria’s strong suit, but now on her own Liz seemed to be excelling at it.

“You need to just calm down and listen to me, ok? Max called me last night because his sister Isabel was really sick and he was worried about her. She looks really bad, so we’re taking her home to Roswell. We’re going to take turns driving and taking care of her.”

That sounds at least semi-plausible, right?

“You’re going with him back to Roswell?”

“I’m going with Isabel back to Roswell to make sure that she’s ok. I should only be gone for like, a couple of days.”

Chris eyed her suspiciously as he tried to decide whether or not to believe her.

“Do you want to come down and see her? I should warn you that you’ll probably get puked on, so you might want to take off your oh-so-expensive shoes.”

Chris drew in a long breath. “Promise you’ll call?”

Liz leaned onto her tiptoes and placed a light kiss on his lips. “Every day.”

Chris stood back while she quickly threw some items in a duffel bag. She pulled her disheveled hair into a messy bun and tied a sweatshirt around her waist.

“Okay, I think that’s everything I need. Like I said, it should only be a couple of days.”

After a final goodbye-kiss, Liz hurried down the hallway to the stairs. As her foot made contact with the first step, she felt someone grab her elbow and spin her around.

“Liz…I love you.”

Chris looked at her expectantly, his eyes searching her face for a response. Only one person had ever told her that he loved her before, and somehow this didn’t feel the same. Her heart hadn’t skipped a beat, she didn’t have an irrepressible smile, her soul didn’t automatically say it back.

When Liz finally found her voice, all she could manage to say was, “Thank you, Chris. That is so sweet.”

When Chris looked like he was going to say something else, Liz quickly silenced him with a kiss. After a final “I’ll talk to you later” she was gone.

Chris watched from the window as Liz got into a car sitting outside the dorm. He could see Max in the driver’s seat and a tall blonde in the back. Her hand was hanging daintily out the window, yet she didn’t appear deathly ill as Liz had described her. Chris flipped open his phone and dialed his house.

“Hey Dad, I need you to do me a favor. I’m gonna need to catch a flight to Roswell, New Mexico. Could you book me a ticket for tomorrow?”
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Post by Daydreamer23 » Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:52 pm

behrluv32- Thanks!

aussietrueblue - Yes, strange behavior from Chris. But since when is anything normal in Roswell?

Timelord31- Don't give up on him just yet...

begonia9508- Liz is trying to protect him by keeping him in the dark, but at the same time she's not ready to give him up yet. She wants to hang on to this new, normal life and Chris is part of that. She can only hope that things work out.

Flamehair- Those are terrible nightmares, especially considering that they could come true. There are going to be some interesting reunions in the future.

83 AlienAngel- Something is up with Chris, but what?

rie482- I'm getting the feeling that you don't like Chris :lol:
I do kind of understand where he's coming from- she's been missing all night and no one knows where she is. That can be pretty scary.

Asabetha- Thanks so much!

alizaleven- It seems like you guys could start an "I Don't Like Chris" club!

Emz80m- Chris is going to be an interference. But Liz does seem to think he's a catch, and apparently she wasn't ready to toss him back.


A/N: This chapter is what I like to think of as a 'transition' chapter. There's not a lot of excitement, nothing really big happens, but it's necessary to get the story from point A to point B. Anyways, I hope you still find it at least amusing.



Chapter 8


They were pulled over at the side of the road again. It was the fourth time in less than three hours, and the sickness seemed to be coming more frequently with each mile traversed. Isabel was pacing the empty highway, taking the opportunity to stretch her legs.

Liz was leaning over a ditch, her hands trying to soothe the spasms running through her stomach. Max held her hair back and gently ran his fingers against her scalp. He wished he could do more to ease her pain, but there wasn’t any physical symptom for him to fix. Her mind and heart were heavy and overwhelmed, and it was spilling over into her body.

“Liz?”

“Just…one more min-” Liz was unable to finish her sentence as her stomach heaved again.

She hadn’t thrown up since the seventh grade, when her parents made her go to school despite her protests that she wasn’t feeling well. Even then she might have been alright if Katie Lewis hadn’t thrown that basketball at her stomach during recess. Katie followed her around making puke-noises for a week after that. And while she was grateful to Max for holding her hair, this was an experience she definitely did not want to share with him.

“Here, drink some of this water,” Max offered.

Liz gratefully accepted, using the cool refreshment to rinse the taste of bile from her mouth. She stood up straight and took some steadying breaths before turning to Max and holding his arm for support.

“Okay, I think I’m done.”

“I can’t imagine that there’s anything left in there. Where does all that keep coming from?” Max asked, eyeing her stomach.

“Shut up!” Liz playfully slapped his arm, still leaning on him as he led her back to the car.

As she stepped up the embankment, Liz’s foot caught on a rock and her ankle turned. She felt her weight tumbling back and a strong arm grabbing her around the waist. As Max caught her, his hand accidentally slid up the back of her shirt. He pulled her back onto her feet and nervously cleared his throat.

Even though Max’s hand only met the bare skin of her back for a moment, it pushed him towards a frenzy that had been building since he saw Liz again under that streetlight. There was a passion and a longing there that had been repressed for such a long time. He had spent his time on Antar training himself not to feel. The only thing ever felt there was pain. So Max had buried every emotion, set aside every happy thought that seemed forever out of his reach.

But in Liz’s presence, those feelings were undeniable. They were surging inside of him, threatening to explode, and it took all of Max’s energy to keep himself under control. Even the simplest touch or look was enough to send his mind spiraling from reality into his fantasies. But he couldn’t allow it, couldn’t allow himself to ruin her life again. He willed his heart to stop racing as he took his seat in the front next to Isabel and fastened his seat belt. He gave her nod, signaling for her to start the engine.

As she did so, her eyes flicked to the rearview mirror where she could see Liz. “Anyone in the mood for sushi?”

Liz meant for her voice to be threatening, but all she could muster was a low groan. “Soooo not funny Isabel.”



By the time they reached Oklahoma, Liz was feeling better. With her stomach finally settled, the group was able to stop for dinner. Isabel insisted that they ‘splurge’ and go to a restaurant where waiters bring the food to your table. Around seven o’clock Isabel pulled into the parking lot of a small Italian restaurant. Liz, Max, and Isabel discussed their plans as they shared family-sized helpings of chicken primavera and fettuccini alfredo.

Liz was certain that Alex, Kyle, and Maria were home on Thanksgiving break. She couldn’t help but notice the light that flickered in Isabel’s eyes at the mention of Alex’s name. Max and Isabel weren’t ready to see their parents, still uncertain of how they would react. They had simply got up and left one night, leaving behind only a videotape stating that they were, in fact, aliens. They would need to test the waters slowly and gauge their parents’ reactions. But the first order of business was to gather the group together and explain the whole, exhausting situation.

An hour or so later, their hunger satiated, the three companions suddenly found themselves very tired. They were a little more than half-way home and thought it best to finish the trip in the morning. Max’s suggestion that they just sleep in the car was vehemently protested by both women. They instead selected a modest hotel room, with two twin beds a pullout couch. Max stayed awake for a time after Liz had fallen asleep, wanting to make sure that the nightmares didn’t return. Isabel offered to dreamwalk her, but Max feared that would be worse for both of them. Even after he had fallen asleep, every movement she made instantly made him alert. Maybe things would be better once they were all together again, when he knew there were more people to care for her and keep her safe. In the back of his mind though, Max knew that wasn’t true. He’d never stop worrying about her so long as something threatened to harm her.



Liz awoke in the morning to find Max sitting in a chair across from her, reading the newspaper.

“Good morning sleepyhead.” A sly smile played across his lips.

She pulled the pillow from behind her and tossed it towards him. Max raised his hand in front of him and the projectile changed course in mid-air.

“Cheater,” Liz said with a pout.

“Isabel went to get gas; she’ll be back in a minute. You should go get dressed. We can eat breakfast in the car.”



As they neared Roswell, the grumbling in Max and Liz’s stomachs grew to a roar. The toast and orange juice they had in the car that morning hadn’t been enough to sustain them when Isabel refused to stop for lunch.

“Come on you guys, we’re almost there. Stop complaining.”

Liz rested her head on the right shoulder of the passenger seat in front of her. Her lips next to Max’s ear, she whispered, “She’s been saying that for the last 200 miles.”

“I can hear you.”

Liz retreated back into her seat, looking almost like a child who got caught stealing a cookie. She rolled down the window, letting the wind play through her hair. She breathed in deeply, inhaling the warm, fragrant scent of home.

“Why don’t we stop at Maria’s first? I kind of told her you were here. I can have her call Alex, Michael, and Kyle and tell them to go to The Crashdown.”

“The Crashdown? Are you sure that’s safe?” Isabel turned in her seat to face Liz.

“Oh yeah. My parents are spending the holiday with our relatives in California, so the restaurant is closed. There won’t be anybody there.”

Isabel shrugged her shoulders and turned the car onto Maria’s street. She noticed a familiar red Jetta parked in the driveway as she pulled up in front of the DeLuca house.

“She’s still driving that thing?”

“Her mom bought a new car a year and a half ago. She let Maria keep the Jetta.” Liz stepped outside, resting her arms on the passenger-side door and speaking through Max’s window. “I’ll just go in, tell her we’re here, and get her to make the call. It should only be a minute.”

When Liz made that prediction, she wasn’t prepared for the verbal storm that is Maria. From the moment Maria opened the door and pulled Liz into a tight hug until the time she and Liz were sitting in the living room, she had thrown around questions and comments without stopping for even a second.

“MARIA!” Liz finally shouted. In an instant her voice was almost whisper-quiet. “Take. A. Breath.”

“Fine.” Maria took in an exaggerated breath. “So spill it. The whole story. Leave out no detail, however sordid it may be.”

“No, Maria. I am telling this story once and only once. I need you to call Alex, Michael, and Kyle and get them to meet us at The Crashdown. Then you’ll get your story.”

Maria narrowed her eyes. “You drive a hard bargain, missy. Although I must say that as your best friend, I’m still disappointed that I will be getting the news along with the rest of the club. I thought we had something special.”

With a wink Maria reached for her cell phone, dialing each number in turn and giving cryptic orders to meet at the restaurant. Each call ended with a very forceful, “Just do it, alright?”

When the last call was made, Maria turned to Liz with a gleam in her eye. “Alright babe, let’s go.”
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Post by Daydreamer23 » Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:21 am

A/N: I'm glad everyone seemed to enjoy the little filler. Don't worry about Liz yet, she'll be alright. Just a little overly stressed.

And to Emz80m: I mentioned in the summary at the beginning that I departed from canon a bit by keeping Alex alive. Don't worry, it's easy to miss. :wink:

Oh, and Beautiful86 made me this wonderful banner for my story! Thank you so much!

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Chapter 9


Nice girls don’t laugh at other people. Nice girls don’t laugh at other people. Nice girls don’t laugh at other people.

Liz repeated the admonishment to herself in an attempt to stifle her laughter.

Guess that means I’m not such a nice girl after all.

Liz had to cover her mouth to muffle out the sound of her giggling. She knew she really should step in, say something to help, but this was too good to waste. Maria’s wide eyes pleaded for help.

From Isabel’s shoulder she silently mouthed, “What the hell?”

Isabel tightened her grip around Maria and rocked her excitedly back and forth. She was truly looking forward to getting to know Maria and Liz as more than just Michael and Max’s girlfriends.

“Isabel…” Maria tried to hide the awkwardness in her voice. “I’m…really glad you’re back.”

Liz was on the verge of running from the room when she felt a hot breath on the back of her neck. That sensation, that scent, they made her immobile.

“You’re terrible, Parker.”

With a slow turn of her head, Liz was looking into Max’s amber eyes. He was smiling widely at her, amused at her enjoyment of Maria’s torture. She wanted to match his smile, to be able to joke with him, but she was drawn in by those eyes…and she was drowning in them. Her mind screamed at her to pull back, but those eyes wouldn’t release her.

The smile faded from Max’s face as he looked down into Liz’s hazy eyes. He could feel the desire coursing through her body, and yet he could sense how she was trying to resist it. He felt her conflicting emotions mirrored in himself; it was as though he were being divided in two. Hoping to ease the heavy tension that hung between them, he stepped away from her to where Maria was still Isabel’s captive.

Just when Maria thought she would pass out, Isabel finally released her. She rubbed the side of her ribs, certain that they had been bruised by Isabel’s tight embrace. That chick was stronger than she looked.

Max offered Maria a small smile as she turned towards him, her head tilted to the side.

“You look great,” he commented as he opened his arms to her.

Maria put on a southern drawl as she accepted his invitation. “Why thank you, kind sir. I do return the compliment.”

As she pulled back her face instantly turned serious, the tone of her voice matching it.

“Okay. You two, kitchen, now.”

She let out a frustrated sigh at Max and Isabel’s quizzical looks. Must she explain everything?

“How do you expect everyone to react when they walk in here and find you two sucking down Tabasco cocktails at the counter? I mean no one’s heard from either of you in two years, and suddenly you’re just back? We need to ease them into the fact that Luke and Leia have landed on Earth. So Liz and I will set them up, and then you can make your grand entrance. Now scoot!”

She pushed Max and Isabel back towards the kitchen, swatting playfully at their backs with a towel. Once they were safely behind the door and out of hearing distance, she pulled Liz over to the stools in front of the counter.

“Okay, I understand that anything alien-related is out-of-bounds until everyone gets here, but I just need to know one thing. You and Max?”

Liz reacted quickly to Maria’s question. A little too quickly, Maria noted.

“No, Maria. Max and I…no, that’s all over. You know more than anyone how much I went through when he and Tess…” she tried to swallow back the emotion that ran through her voice, “And then he just picked up and left the planet. I can’t…I can’t deal with something like that again. I don’t think my heart could take it.”

With forced confidence she continued. “Besides, I’m with Chris now. And he’s great. I mean really great. And he, you know…he really cares about me. We’re great together. It’s just…”

“Great?” Maria finished for her.

Liz threw her an annoyed glare.

“Okay, so you and Chris- perfect couple. You and Max- no spark at all.”

Liz cleared her throat and looked bashfully at the ground. “I didn’t say there wasn’t any spark…”

Maria’s lips turned up in a half-smile. “Dish.”

Just as Liz opened her mouth, the bell above the door rang and three bodies filed into the restaurant. Kyle and Alex’s faces lit up with surprise as they noticed Liz at the counter. Michael looked on with slight indifference as the two men took turns greeting Liz. He crossed his arms across his chest and loudly cleared his throat.

“So this was the big deal? This was why we all had to get here? Because Liz is home?” On his periphery he could see Liz glowering at him. He hastily added, “No offence.”

“None taken. Actually I’m not the reason we wanted you all here. Well I kind of am…part of the reason. But not the main part.”

Kyle spoke to Alex out of the side of his mouth. “And I thought I needed a friggin translator to understand Maria.”

Michael was less indirect. “What the hell is she talking about?”

Maria decided to take charge. “Ok everyone, what my eloquent friend here is trying to say is that this meeting is less about her and more about Max and Isabel.”

Alex furrowed his brow. “Max and Isabel? Nobody’s heard from them for two years.”

“Not entirely true,” Liz muttered quietly.

Michael’s head snapped in Liz’s direction. “What is that supposed to mean?”

Liz looked at Maria, Alex, the half-empty jar of sugar next to her. Anywhere but at Michael. “They contacted me a couple of days ago.”

When she finished she dared to steal a glance at Michael out of the corner of her eye. He reminded her of a teapot that was ready to be taken off the stove. His face was a deep red, and she half-expected steam to blow out of his ears.

“And we’re just hearing about this now?”

When Liz didn’t respond, Alex offered out a question. “What do you mean ‘contacted’? Like they called you on the phone?”

“Um, no. It was a bit more…personal.”

“Would the two of you please stop dancing around the issue and just spit it out already?” Michael was growing impatient with their stalling. And he didn’t have that much patience to spare.

Maria and Liz exchanged looks before Liz hopped off her stool and walked over to the kitchen door. She backed into it, keeping her eyes on her friends. The suspicion she saw on Michael’s face worried her. She stepped aside as Max and Isabel nervously entered.

A surprised grunt escaped Kyle’s mouth. Alex would have made a joke of it, were he not so hypnotized by the vision in front of him. He had seen her so often in his dreams, but even then he hadn’t imagined that she could be so beautiful. A glow seemed to emit from Isabel’s eyes as they locked with his.

“Alex,” his name floated off her lips on a relieved whisper.

The next moment he had her in his arms, his fingers clinging to the fabric of her shirt. She nestled into the crook of his neck breathing in his scent.

“Max,” Kyle acknowledged with a nod of his head.

“Kyle.”

“Welcome back.”

“Thanks.”

A loud pop came from the back of the room as a jar of ketchup exploded. All eyes suddenly turned to Michael, who was looking with disbelief from Isabel and Max to Maria.

“You knew about this?”

Maria’s nod was practically imperceptible, but enough to confirm Michael’s suspicion.

“How long?”

She winced at the anger and disappointment in his voice. “3 days. I called Liz and she told me-”

Before she could finish Michael was storming past everyone and out the back door.

Max made a move to follow, but stopped as Maria grabbed his arm. “Don’t. He’s upset. He just needs some time to cool down.”

“We don’t have time for his temper tantrums right now,” Isabel said, pulling back from Alex and allowing her hand to slide down to his. “We have a lot to say, and Michael needs to be here.”

Kyle raised his hand to volunteer. “I’ll go get him.”
He took two steps towards the door and then stopped, apparently struck by a thought. He walked back towards Isabel and placed a light kiss on her cheek.

“Welcome home, Isabel.”

As Kyle disappeared through the door, the rest of the group gravitated to what used to be their usual booth. Liz settled in against the wall, Maria and Max sliding in beside her. Alex and Isabel sat at the other side of the table, their hands still linked. Alex absentmindedly drummed his fingers on the table while Isabel appeared immensely interested in the designs on the wall. As Maria’s eyes roamed from Liz on one side of her to Max on the other, she couldn’t help but think that neither of them was very good at concealing the aching way they looked at each other. And she detested being stuck in the middle of it. As Max met Liz’s eye and hers darted away for the thousandth time, Maria decided she had her fill of it.

“So, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ was pretty cool, huh? Anybody else see it? Aliens aside, of course.”

While Maria attempted to strike up a conversation inside, Kyle was attempting a dangerous mission outside. He stepped out into the alley to find Michael taking his anger out on some discarded cans, and Kyle feared he might be next.

“Hey man. What’s going on?”

“She spent so much time lecturing me about how I need to be open and honest with her, how we need to talk about things. Where was the fucking honesty when she found out they were here?”

“Listen, I’m not saying you don’t have the right to be pissed-”

Kyle stopped short as a bottle shattered into thousands of pieces. His eyebrows were raised as he took a cautious step backwards.

“Royally pissed. But don’t take it out on Max and Isabel, ok? Isabel has something really important to say, and you need to hear it. And you can’t tell me that you don’t want to know about…wherever it is you’re from.”

Michael’s eyes squinted as he considered Kyle’s words. “You know Valenti, sometimes you can be really smart.”

“Thanks…I guess.”

“I think I’m gonna need another minute before I come in.”

“Yeah, sure. Just uh, make it quick, ok? Isabel sounded serious. And man-to-man, I’m a little bit afraid of her.”

“Right.”

As Kyle pushed open the door, he was met with Maria’s voice rambling enthusiastically about Johnny Depp.

“I just can’t believe that he still hasn’t won an Oscar.”

“I hate to interrupt this…absorbing conversation, but Michael will be joining us-”

“Now.”

Michael pulled a chair up to the booth and spun it around, straddling it as he sat down. Clearly his exercises in the alley had done nothing to settle his nerves. His intense glare fell upon Maria, causing the heat to rise up into her face.

“You and I will talk later.”

He clenched his jaw, trying to bite back the flurry of emotions boiling inside him. “Max, Isabel…”

Isabel reached across the table and took his hand. They both understood Michael’s difficulty with expressing his emotions. It was something they both had experienced- the necessity to hide because of who and what they are. While they at least had each other and the Evanses, Michael had to deal with the added burden of feeling alone in the world.

“Before you start, you need to tell me something Maxwell. Why did you go to Liz before me?”

“Liz is…important. More important than any of us understood.”

“Did I miss the memo that today was cryptic conversation day?” Kyle gazed around at the blank faces looking back at him. “No takers? Anyone? Well, ok then.”

“The whole story starts on the day that we left.”

Max began the tale, unsure if he would be able to tell it completely through. For two years his emotions had been twisted and tortured without reprieve. He was exhausted in every way. Thank God for Liz and Isabel, who could help fill in the details.

But those at the table were unaware of the extra set of ears listening from behind the kitchen door. The figure had been half-way up the steps to Liz’s room when the voices had drifted in from the restaurant. With a piqued interest, the intruder had made a change of plans. Listening in on the conversation could provide a good deal of knowledge. And after all, knowledge is power.
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