“You don’t have to worry; all your daughter’s paperwork has been changed to her official identification” Doctor West was telling Liz. “She’s a strong little girl.”
“When do you think she’ll be able to go home?” Liz was asking as Isabel came into the hallway and couldn’t help but overhear the conversation she was having with the doctor.
“She’s improved by leaps and bounds in just the last few weeks, surpassing our expectations. She definitely is an impressive girl.”
“You have no idea,” Liz mused as Isabel smirked underneath that it had to be her alien hybrid genes that were helping with her healing abilities.
“I would expect maybe in a week or, so she’ll be able to be released… she may need some rehab to help with her limp she has, and her arm injuries but overall she’s a miracle.”
“She definitely is,” Isabel commented as she thought of step-daughter and niece.
“So, if we find a facility back near our home do you think she’ll be able to fly,” Liz asked softly.
“She might need a few days once she’s out of the hospital before she flies just because of the nature of her recovery and the adjustment she will need once she’s out of the hospital, but I don’t see how she couldn’t go back to where she is used to…”
“Thank you for all you have done for my daughter,” Liz smiled as she was profusely thrilled at the news that she could be close to getting her daughter back home.
“You are welcome as she has been a pleasure…” Doctor West remarked as she remarked at the resemblance between her patient and her mother. "But know it’s still going to be adjustment no matter how well she overcomes the experiences she has suffered.
“Oh, I know,” Liz nodded as she thought of the adjustment her daughter will need to go through to overcome the switch to being Bella again. “I will do anything to help her with the transition. In the meantime, I’ll go to billing to make a plan to pay the bill…” Liz sighed as she thought of the nightmare of bills that would come…
“That isn’t necessary,” Doctor West smiled as she checked Isabella’s chart.
“What do you mean?” Liz asked confused as she didn’t understand what the doctor was trying to say. “My ex-husband and I will definitely be able to help with the bills.”
“What I mean Ms. Parker is that Detective Evans has indicated that he will be paying for all of Isabella’s care here at the hospital and I believe he has already started paying the bills.”
“Excuse me, what!” Liz squeaked as Isabel’s eyes rose at the news. “But we can pay.”
“He’s already taken care of it,” Doctor West confirmed with a smile. “You might want to talk it over with him.”
“Oh, I will,” Liz said softly as she thought of how much Max would be forced to pay in hospital bills as the doctor left to check on another patient.
The shock was still seeping in as she tried to comprehend the news. “I can’t believe it.”
“I can,” Isabel smiled as she knew this was precisely the brother she knew and loved. “My brother would do anything for you, and for Bella.”
“I don’t need him to pay her bills. I can handle it. Kyle and I can handle it together.”
“She’s his daughter Liz, it’s the one thing he can do to make up for not being there all these years.”
“But it’s going to be a lot of money…” Liz asked in almost a trance. “A lot of money.”
“I know,” Isabel nodded as the elevator nearby opened as she saw Max come out of it and start walking as he saw Liz and Isabel in the hallway. “I sense this is only the beginning…”
“Is everything okay?” Max asked.
“Kyle is visiting with Bella,” Isabel confirmed for Liz. “Michael and Maria took Betty to get a small snack before they visit with Bella. We wanted to give Kyle time.”
“Oh,” Max nodded.
“You’re paying Bella’s hospital bills?” Liz asked. “Why?” she asked as she still tried to process it.
“She’s my daughter Liz,” Max smiled. “I would do anything for you and our little girl. Plus, I arranged it before I even knew the truth and I went fully in once I knew.”
Liz didn’t know how to feel. She was touched and yet it was proof that life had changed and maybe she wasn’t so alone anymore. “You don’t have to. I could have handled it. Kyle and I can both handle it.”
“Liz, I have been alone all this time…” Max said. “I know how much hospital bills cost from my own time in the healthcare system. Just like your own parents picked up your recent stay. I am picking up our daughter’s. As I said, I know how much it costs and given my house is the only extravagance I have really put any money into in the years since I paid off my own debt. I can afford it. I know how much of a strain it will put on you and Kyle. Let me do this for Bella. I haven’t been able to do much else until now, but I can do this…”
“I don’t know what else to say?” Liz asked.
“Thank me and that will be plenty,” Max said as Isabel could only watched slightly amused and slightly tearful as a tear came to her eye at how life was finally stepping up. Liz could only stare at him in slight trance because as much as she had tons of friends to count on, she never had someone who truly would do anything for her and that she could count on to be there and given their history, she was beginning to think that maybe this time was different.
“Liz are you okay?” Max asked softly.
“Thank you, Max,” Liz said softly. “Thank you…” she trailed off as she leaned up and gave him a giant kiss that grew heated as the elevator doors opened, and Maria, Michael and Betty walk out, and their eyebrows grew at the sight of the kiss. And Kyle picked that moment to come out of Bella’s room and looked at his wife, who could only burst out laughing.
“She wanted to see you?” Kyle was saying as he couldn’t help but stare at both his ex-wife and brother-in-law. “I see that you are more than okay.”
“Kyle don’t okay.” Liz muttered as she walked past her ex and walked into the room that held her daughter while Kyle only looked at Max with a slightly more concerning face.
“I don’t want her hurt Max,” Kyle warned at he glared at his brother-in-law as he tried to pass, which prevented from moving around Kyle, so Max stopped.
“I don’t plan on hurting her again Kyle,” Max muttered as he knew Kyle had a right to be protective of their mutual ex. “I love her, and I plan on proving to her that she can trust me to be there for her and for Bella.”
“You can say all the right things Max,” Kyle muttered as he warned Max as Isabel only shook her head but didn’t step in. “But you have a life here… Isabella and Liz have a life in Roswell…”
“Just as I can’t force any decision on Liz, you can’t either Kyle. Why don’t you leave our lives to us…? I promise you that whatever we decide will be best for both Liz and especially for Bella. I am not looking to hurt them, and the past is the past and all we can hope for the future is that it can be anew, whatever that may be…”
“All I am asking for is for you to be careful,” Kyle warned as he let the conversation die and pass his brother in law as he took Isabel’s hand “Let’s get something to eat” and they walked towards the elevator to seek some time together in the cafeteria.
“Interesting,” Maria mused.
“Not you too…” Max groaned. “I am not in the mood.”
“Can we see Bella?” Betty whispered as she looked up at her parents and then again at Max. “She’s okay, right?”
“She’s not going to look like you remember her Betty, but I promise you that she is doing alright.”
“Can we see her…”
“Of course,” Max nodded as he left the doorway.
“Take her in Maria, and I’ll be there in a minute okay…” Michael asked of his wife because they both knew that their daughter was anxious to see her friend. Maria nodded and took Betty’s hand, and opened the door and tentatively walked in, closing it behind them.
“What do you want to say to me?” Max asked wearily.
“We all want Liz happy. And you happy, but you are both risking a lot by going into this without a clear way this is going to go…” Michael muttered.
“Michael, don’t you know that I know this… I have no idea where this is going, and I suspect Liz likes it that way right now. We have Bella to worry about and that is already big stakes. I know she has a life in Roswell. And until now, I have had a life here… Therefore, decisions will have to be made, and neither of us are in any state to be making any final decisions.”
“Just be careful, okay?” Michael asked.
“I promise you too that I am not looking to hurt Liz. In fact, right now she probably has more capacity to hurt me. I know she’s not looking at the future. I hurt her a decade ago, and she’s still hanging onto that… even though we are having fun now… I suspect I probably want it more than she does right now but then I am based here, and she is based in Roswell, so she has reason to be wary since she’s not only looking out for herself, but Bella.”
“I just hope you know what you’re doing” Michael muttered.
“I will be careful I promise” Max promised as he walked back towards the door to his daughter’s room. “Let’s look at something positive okay, Bella…”
“Right,” Michael nodded as they opened the door.
Maria walked over towards Liz who was smiling at the reunion. “I can’t believe it, she’s really back in our lives?” she asked softly to Liz who only smiled and nodded. “You got lucky.”
“She’s our miracle,” Liz sighed as she lovingly glanced at her daughter who was showing Betty her cast, and Betty was signing the arm with a marker her mother had given her daughter. And before long she had signatures from all who came into the room.
“Max,” Bella smiled as she saw Max walk in with Michael as everyone in the room could see the bond the child had with Max and it didn’t come from knowing the truth about her paternity. She lighted up as he glanced at her and was a very mother-daughter trait it appeared.
“You look like you’re getting some ink on that cast,” Max smiled. “Can I add something?” he asked.
“Sure,” Bella said handing the marker to Max and he wrote, “Hey beautiful… Love Max”
“Thank you, Max,” Bella said as she touched the cast.
“My pleasure,” Max nodded as Isabella lifted her focus off her cast as she saw Michael. “Michael, right?” she asked as she looked at Michael warily for a split second to make sure that her memory was telling her the right information.
“Right,” Michael gave a large smile. “You don’t know how long we’ve been looking for you, and I am glad we have now…”
“You’ve really been looking for me?” Isabella asked the room as her glaze went to her mother.
“Every single day,” Liz promised her daughter. “Uncle Michael has been a great help for me, so has Aunt Maria. Everyone has honey… All your grandparents miss you.”
“I miss them too,” Bella said. “When can I see them…”
“Soon, honey, very soon…” Liz assured her daughter as she looked at Max who looked away because it only reinforced the notion that eventually Liz would be leaving Los Angeles and going back to her life in Roswell. “The better you get the quicker it will be until you see them…”