posted on 28-Sep-2001 4:04:13 AM by Cookie2697
How about I pull up a fic from WAAAAAAY back in the ANCIENT fic archives!!! Well...this is ALL for AvengingAngel. I haven't TOUCHED this fic since June '00...which is something like a year and 5 months or something like that. Man...that's a long time. Anyways...she's been dilligently requesting new parts...and she asked this morning, and I pulled it out, reread the whole fic, and Part 7 just fell into my head...and eventually from my head onto my computer...and now onto the board. So I hope you enjoy!! Feedback is ALWAYS welcome...I guess I'm going to finish this fic after all!

Title: Safe At Last?
Summary: A follow up to the fic “Starting Over”. Takes place 1 year later. Starting Over can be found here:
Background: Just be sure and read Starting Over. Starting Over was written with Tess-spoilers before actually seeing the Tess stuff.
Category: M/L
Rating: PG-13/R I think...I don’t plan on going further at the moment, but who knows what could happen!
Author: Anne
E-mail: dreambehr⊕
Disclaimer: They’re not mine. The characters of Roswell belong to Melinda Metz, the WB, Jason Katims, and all the wonderful people who we all love for starting this wonderful story. I’m just borrowing them!
Dedication: I love you nice RANA peoples! You guys inspire me! I’m writing twice as fast right now as I was before I joined the club, and I owe it all to you! You guys rock my world!

Part 1

The warm California sun shone down on Liz Parker, and she smiled, feeling the warmth of it on her face and shoulders. She walked down the beach, little grains of sand sliding over her feet and sticking between her toes.

Liz couldn’t help herself, and she let out a small sigh of contentment. It had been a year since she had settled down in the small, ocean side town of Santa Cruz, California, a year since she had left her lifelong home of Roswell, New Mexico, with the dawn, cutting herself off from all her friends and family, never to contact them again.

It didn’t matter. Liz was deliriously happy. She loved her new life: she loved Santa Cruz, she loved the ocean, she loved her little house, just a short walk from the beach, and she loved the man who had stood by her side, supported her and protected her, constantly for the past year.

Liz glanced at Max Evans, who walked beside her, and she quickly slipped her hand into his, threading their fingers, and squeezing him slightly. Max’s eyes fell on their entwined hands, and returned to hers, smiling lovingly.

“Come here.” He grinned mischievously, pulling Liz towards him. She fell into his arms easily, and quickly his lips found hers. Lightening shot through Liz’s body, as Max devoured her mouth with all he had in him. Regardless of how many times they kissed, each one was different: new and exciting. After spending the past year of their lives completely wrapped up in each other, their passion hadn’t even begun to fade. If anything it had intensified.

Liz looked up into Max’s eyes, dark with passion, and realized that somehow while she was lost in the sensations tied to his kiss, he had lowered her to the sand, and was now crouching above her. His mouth slipped from hers, and slowly made it’s way down her neck to her shoulder. He quickly slipped one spaghetti strap off of her, and his lips caressed where it had been. Liz groaned in anticipation of his next move. She was on fire!

The two lovers found themselves shocked back to reality, as one wave swelled a little further than the rest, rushing up and drenching them both.

Liz laughed evilly, and shoved Max as hard as she could. He stumbled, and fell backwards, his butt landing right into the ocean.

Max stared up at Liz in shock, and Liz giggled giddily as another wave broke over him.

“Ooh, you’re going to get it!” Max threatened playfully, pushing himself to his feet.

“ACK!” Liz squeaked, as she jumped up and ran away quickly. She didn’t get very far, though, when Max grabbed her from behind, and dragged her kicking and screaming to the water, dumping her face first into a crashing wave.

Liz twisted herself around so that she too was sitting in the ocean, and glared at Max.

“I can’t believe you just did that!” Liz cried, trying as hard as she could to sound angry.”

“Well, I had to get revenge!” Max protested with an innocent shrug.

“Don’t give me that!” Liz groaned. “Just help me up.”

Max grinned and pulled to her feet, and up against him again, kissing her softly.

“You know…” He whispered seductively. “…You look kind of sexy when you’re soaking wet.” Liz laughed at his tactics.

“Come on, let’s go home.”

As they walked home, Liz remembered back to how they had gotten to where they were today. Sometimes her life seemed so perfect that she could almost forget that she and Max WERE fugitives, running from the law.

It had been a year earlier when Max had been captured by the FBI, and she, Liz Parker, had been given the assignment of dissecting and studying the one true love of her life.

Liz couldn’t do it.

She had taken one look at Max Evans, lying there bruised and beaten on HER lab table, and she set him free. Together they had escaped from the compound, and Liz nursed him back to health, until they were able to run off.

They had left Roswell in the early morning hours, heading due north into Colorado. Max’s cousin owned a cabin high in the Rocky Mountains, and they had settled there for the first few weeks. For Liz, that cabin had been a safe place of refuge. It was nestled deep in the woods, with no paved roads for miles around, and tall trees all around, hiding them from the outside world.

It was there that Liz and Max had made love for the first time, cuddles up in a blanket in front of a warm fire.

The days in that secluded cabin were some of the most incredible of Liz’s life. Looking back on them, she had been walking around in a haze of amazement, marveling at the fact that just a few days earlier, she was going to marry someone else, and now she and Max Evans were together…forever. And she had been fearful at the realization that she could never go home to her friends and family…ever again.

Max had been wonderful, comforting her and loving her. What had become Liz’s new fears were things that Max had been living with for ten years, and he understood everything that Liz was feeling.

While they hid out in the woods for those weeks, Max taught Liz all that he knew about life on the run, about changing who they were and concealing their previous lives. Liz caught on quickly, and soon they decided that it was time to return to the world outside of their little cabin.

Liz still remembered the day that they decided where to go…

Max and Liz, together, leaned over the U.S. map that Max had rolled out onto the table. He was quivering with excitement, as they studied the country, wondering where was safe, and where wasn’t. Liz’s eyes fell on the little dot labeled Roswell, and she couldn’t help, but feel an ache deep inside of her. She knew of one place that definitely wasn’t safe…

“Where should be move, Liz? We could go anywhere, as long as it’s not New Mexico.” Liz remained silent as Max rambled on about all the different placed he had lived over the years. “Come on, love, there’s got to be someplace you’ve always desired to go. Something you’ve always wanted to see. What is it?”

“The ocean…” Liz breathed. “I’ve never seen it.”

Max smiled. “It’s incredible. Let’s do it. Should we go east or west?”

“How about west…to California. It’s supposed to be incredible.”

Max laughed. “Okay, California it is! We’ll just pick some small ocean side town, settle down, and pass as newlyweds. It’s going to be perfect!”

And that was how they found Santa Cruz. It was perfect for their purposed. It was a small, college/tourist town, with lots of people there all year round. Big enough for them to hide, but small enough for them to not have to suspect every other person that they passed on the street. They settled into a fairly normal life. Max had a job working for a high tech computer company over the hill in San Jose, and Liz was working as a biology professor at UC Santa Cruz. Their lives were simple, but very, very happy.

Part 2

Liz and Max slowly made their way through the few blocks inland towards their small home, hand in hand. They were in no hurry to get there. Although they were both dripping wet, they didn’t care. They just enjoyed each other’s company as they headed home. It was late afternoon, and a cool breeze broke the warmth on Liz’s bare shoulders. She shivered slightly as they headed up the driveway to the front door.

“Why don’t you go take a hot bath, and I’ll start dinner.” Max suggested as he slipped his key in the lock.

He stopped suddenly, staring at the door fearfully.

“What is it, Max?”

“It’s unlocked. We never leave it unlocked. Someone’s been in here. Stay behind me, Liz.” Max ordered, as he cautiously eased the door open, and they slipped inside silently.

Liz found herself shivering once again. Who was here? How had they found them? It had been so easy over the past year to forget everything, to not think about the fact that they were on the run. Their lives had seemed so safe and quiet for the past year, and all at once that security had gone crashing to pieces on Liz. It was overwhelming, and incredibly frightening.

Max took a look around, and noted that the light was on in the kitchen. As he slinked towards the room, he heard angry voices emerging into the rest of the house. Whoever it is was still in the house!

“Of course it’s them! It has to be them! We’ve checked up on everyone else on our list of suspects. These two are the only ones left. It can’t be anyone else.” The male voice shouted out.

A female voice responded, fear and frustration creeping into her voice. “But what if it isn’t.”

“Then we’re in trouble and hopefully the others had more luck. We need them.”

Max sneaked closer to the kitchen door, and breathed a slight sigh of relief when he spied who was standing in his kitchen. He took Liz’s hand, and together they stepped into the brightly-lighted room.

“Michael! Maria? What the hell are you doing here?” Max asked in amazement. “How did you find us?”

“You two scared us half to death.” Liz threw in angrily. “Didn’t you realize that when you’ve got two people hiding out from the FBI, that breaking into their house and surprising them might not be such a good idea?”

“Max! Liz! We’re so glad to see you two!” Maria greeted them happily, ignoring their shock.

“What the hell happened to you two?” Michael asked, gesturing to their soaking wet, sandy clothes.

“Oh…we were at the beach.” Liz explained, blushing slightly.

“You were at the beach?” Michael asked incredulously. “We’ve got an emergency situation that we need your help with, and after spending weeks looking for you two, we finally found you, but you two were off building sandcastles?”

“We didn’t know.” Max exclaimed defensively. “So what’s going on? How did you find us? What’s the big emergency.”

“I’ll tell you, it was hell finding you two.” Michael groaned. “Like I said, we’ve been looking for weeks.”

“But how? We’ve done a pretty good job of covering our tracks.”

“We noticed.” Michael groaned. “You have become a master at hiding yourself Max!”

Max grinned. “Thanks, but you would too if you’d been running from the FBI for half your life.”

“That’s probably true.” Michael laughed.

“So how?” Max repeated once again.

“Mostly it was a lucky guess.” Maria admitted. “I know how much you’ve always dreamed of the ocean, and I figured that Max would do anything to keep you happy after the hell he put you through for the past ten years.”

Max glanced down, shame filling his heart. It was true. He still felt bad for all that had happened with Liz in high school. Maria was right. He’d do anything for Liz. She was his world. Without her, he was nothing. He'd be back to wandering the world, alone and depressed, always wishing that he could turn back time, and fix his past mistakes, loathing himself for being what he was. That was his life without Liz, and he never wanted to have to go back to that.

“Anyways, Alex was a huge help. He went online and researched any house purchases in the past year to young couples in ocean side towns. We made a big list, and split up, Michael and I taking the West Coast, and Isabel and Alex on the East Coast.”

“It’s been really tough…the West Coast is pretty big. But then we got into Santa Cruz…” Maria trailed off.

Michael finished for her. “…And I could feel you, Max. You were the one who told me that we would always be connected, and I knew you were nearby the moment we got here. Then it was just a matter of finding you.”

“And we did!” Maria smiled happily.

“So why all the frantic searching?” Max repeated curiously. They still hadn’t explained why everyone was trying to reach them.

“Oh God…we haven’t told you yet.” Maria whispered, her face going slightly pale. “I’m so sorry Max.”

Max’s heart began to thump nervously in his chest. He didn’t like the fearful look on Maria’s face. He turned to Michael to see him shifting his eyes uncomfortably as well. Michael finally took the initiative and broke the silence.

“It’s your parents, Maxwell.” Michael told him flatly. “The government’s taken them. And you need to help up get them back.”

"Destiny is a two-way street. On one hand, there is a destiny that chooses you. But on the other…well, you also have to be willing to choose that destiny back. Take love, for instance. You can't choose it. Who you love. Why you love them. Or even when. But doing something about it…well, that's a choice. You can either reach out and embrace it...or you can let it go..." -Where We Were Before by Ashton
posted on 28-Sep-2001 4:05:02 AM by Cookie2697
Part 3

“My parents?” Max whispered in shock. “Damn it, why them? They’ve never done anything wrong!” The shock began to slip away and Max began to get angry. “It’s because of me, isn’t it? They’re using them to try to get to me.”

“They know that you’ll do anything for your parents. They expect you to come running to them, turn yourself in, if it means they’ll free them.” Maria responded quietly.

“They know that they’re one of my biggest weaknesses.” Max mumbled, studying his feet. His worst fears were coming to life right before his eyes. The people he cared about were being hurt, all because of what he was, and he hadn’t been there to protect them. He had to do something. He had to save them.

“You can’t do that, Max, you can’t give yourself to them. We’ll find another way.” Liz swore to him. He still clutched her hand tightly, and Liz slipped her arm around his waist, gently rubbing his back, trying to calm him down. He needed her to be there for him right now, the same way that he was there to comfort her so many times over the past year.

“That’s why we’re here.” Michael pressed. “We need to find a way into the compound to get them out without turning ourselves in. We were hoping you could help us with it, Liz.”

“Me? Why me?” Liz stammered suddenly fearful. These were the people she had been running for all year. Who knew what they would do to her if they caught her? She had pretended that Max had kidnapped her, but half the world probably knew that she and Max had run away together. By now they had probably learned of her history with Max, and suspected the truth.

“We need you because you used to work there. You know the facility.” Michael stated firmly.

“They’re holding them there?” Liz asked, her mind caught in a haze. It was as if everything she had spent the past year trying to forget about was coming crashing down on her all at once. It was just too much too fast.

“When do we leave?” Max asked quietly.

“First plane back to New Mexico.” Michael pressed. “We’ve been looking for you for weeks, Maxwell. As it is, it may be too late. We have to act immediately.”

Max nodded in understanding. Liz slipped away from him and fell into one of the two chairs at the dining room table. It was all so overwhelming… Everything was happening so fast. Five minutes earlier, she and Max had been playing in the sand, carefree and happy, and now, suddenly, they had to plan a rescue mission into a top-secret government compound! Was this normal? Was this the way life was supposed to be?

Regardless of all the fears clouding Liz’s brain, one ray of sunshine broke through, bringing a slight amount of peace to her. She was going home…

Quickly and silently Max and Liz moved around their bedroom, packing their bags for their trip home. Trip home…when Liz thought of it that way, it sounded like they were going on vacation, taking a little trip for pleasure. This was far from that. They were moving into danger; their lives would be at stake.

Liz looked up at Max, digging through the closet, and she could just feel the shock pouring off of him. He hadn’t said anything since Michael announced their departure, just silently moved around the house preparing to leave. Liz sat on the bed and watched him. She knew he was in pain, and that he was terrified for his parents, but he wasn’t showing it. He was closing himself off once again, refusing to let anyone see his emotions.

Max could feel Liz’s eyes following him around the room, and he knew that she was worried about him. To be honest with himself, he was worried about him too. Max had no idea what would happen when they returned to Roswell. Would they be able to free his parents without giving themselves in? He had to be prepared to do it, if it meant his parents lived. All that mattered was keeping them, and Liz safe. God, Liz! He knew it would kill her if he turned himself in. She had risked everything, her job, her life, her family, her whole world, in order to keep him out of there. If she knew that he was even considering giving up his freedom, it would destroy her. It seemed like there was no way for him to win.

Max finally turned around and met Liz’s eyes. He saw the raw fear protruding out of them, and his heart melted at the site. She looked so delicate, like anything could break her at any moment. He knew that for the third time in her life, her entire world, and every sense of security inside of her, had just been shattered. And he wasn’t doing anything to help her.

He found himself sitting beside her, his arm around her, pulling her to him again. And then it came, the torrent of tears from deep inside of her. He could tell it wasn’t going to take much to set her off. Her body shuddered with each raging sob, and he felt the moisture on his shoulder, where she had buried her face in him. Gently Max rubbed circles around her back, supporting her and trying his best to calm her down. He patted her hair, running his fingers through the silky soft threads, noting that she was still wet from their playful afternoon. It seemed like an eternity ago already, almost another lifetime. So much had happened in less than an hour.

Finally he felt Liz’s breathing slow, and she pulled away slightly, looking up at him.

“Promise me you won’t turn yourself in Max. We’ll find another way.” She repeated, her eyes pleading with him.

“I can’t do that, Liz.” Max whispered. “What if we run out of options. I have to get them out of there no matter what.”

Liz didn’t say anything for a long while. “I know.” She finally admitted. “I know you, Max, and I know that you’ll do the right thing, whatever it is, but at least promise me you won’t give up too soon. We have to give it a good shot at doing it the hard way, before we risk ourselves.”

“That I can swear to you I’ll do, Liz. I promise I’ll do whatever I can do get them out without jeopardizing myself.”

“Thank you Max.”

“Liz…whatever happens with us in Roswell, there’s something you have to know. I love you, Liz, with all my heart. The past year has been the happiest of my life. In fact, it’s what I always dreamed my life would be like, ideally. And I never want to give that up. If there is any possible way for us to return to this life, after we fix things back home, I want to do it. And maybe, if you want that is, we could make…us…official.”

“What are you saying Max?” Liz asked, completely dazed. Was he saying what she thought he was saying?

“Liz, we’ve been posing as a married couple for a long time, now, and you own my heart completely. I think we’re happier together than any normal couple ever is. Why don’t we do it, Liz? Let’s get married.”

“Oh Max!” Liz gasped. “Yes! I’d love that more than anything else in the world.” Tears began to seep back into her eyes, but this time they were tears of joy, rather than those of fear and sadness.

“I love you Liz.”

“I love you too Max.”

“Come on, it’s time for us to go home.”

Part 4

“MAX!” Isabel shouted at the top of her lungs as she pushed through the crowds at the airport towards her brother.

Max smiled to greet his sister, but he couldn’t hide the worry that plagued his otherwise happy smile, as he took note of his sister’s appearance. Her eyes were red and swollen from crying, and she hadn’t even tried to fix it with her powers, let alone cover it up with makeup. Her clothes were rumpled and her hair was tied up in a messy ponytail. It was obvious to Max that their parent’s capture was effecting her, for the worse.

“Izzy!” Max called back, rushing forward and pulling his sister into a tight embrace. She clutched to him as if her life depended on it, and he felt his shoulder slowly getting damp. Apparently she wasn’t done crying yet…

“I’m sorry, Iz, I came as soon as I heard. I’m here now, and I’m not going anywhere until we get them back.” Max whispered soothingly, as he rubbed little circles in Isabel’s back, trying hard to calm her down.

“I’m just so glad you’re here.” Isabel sobbed.

“Hey Liz.” Alex greeted, coming up from behind his girlfriend.

“Alex!” Liz smiled. “It’s so good to see you! It’s been entirely too long.”

“Yeah…not since the wedding. I wish it were under better circumstances though.”

Liz frowned, processing Alex’s words. “The wedding…” She mumbled. “Yeah…”

“He’s fine, Liz.” Alex told her softly.

“What?” Liz stammered meeting his eyes.

“David. He’s fine. You were about to ask me about him, weren’t you?”

Liz grinned slightly. “You know me too well, Alex.”

“Okay, well…David. It took a little work, but he finally managed to move on with his life. He has a new girlfriend now, and they are very happy together. His life is good. We hang out on occasion. He’s still a good guy.”

“I’m so glad!” Liz exclaimed, feeling genuinely happy for her ex-fiancé. “David is wonderful, and he deserves the happiness that I would never have been able to give him. He doesn’t…resent me or anything, does he?”

“No, he doesn’t. He understands. I think.”

“I’m glad. Especially because I want to enlist his help on our little mission.”

“What do you mean?” Max asked, as he and Isabel joined them.

“David still works at the lab, right Alex?”

“Yes.” Alex affirmed slowly.

“Then he may be able to get us in.” Liz confirmed.

“How do we know we can trust him?” Michael asked, his usual suspicions still breaking through, even after ten years.

“Well, we don’t for sure, but he did help me get Max out of there a year ago. That has to count for something. Hopefully I’ll be able to get him to help us again. He did used to be my fiancé, after all.”

“Your fiancé who you left at the altar.” Isabel reminded her.

“Still, we were together for a really long time. We trusted each other, and shared everything with each other. A friendship like ours doesn’t just fade overnight.”

“Overnight, yeah, but what about over a year?” Michael asked.

They drove through the middle of Roswell as they headed to the apartment that Maria and Alex shared across town. Max had suggested that they use it as their base of operations, due to the fact that the Evan’s home probably wasn’t safe, and they couldn’t go anywhere else without clueing more people into their arrival.

Liz sighed and smiled nostalgically as they passed through the place where she spent most of her childhood: the ice cream parlor down the street, that weird little half Chinese half Mexican diner where Max had taken her on their first date, the UFO Center, and of course, the Crashdown Café.

The lights were on in front of the Crashdown, and the doors were open. As they drove by, Liz caught the familiar whiff of grilling burgers drifting out the welcoming doors to the street. Liz wondered if her parents were inside right then…

Max slipped a hand into hers, and marveled at the distant look on her face at she stared at their old hangout spot.

“I’ve spent so much of my life there…” Liz wistfully told him. “From the time I was able to walk I was playing under the tables and drawing funny alien pictures for the walls. As soon as I was old enough, Mom and Dad had me waitressing there.” She turned and smiled at her fiancé.

“And then you started coming in, always watching for me, always sitting in my section. Maria used to laugh and tell me that you had a crush on me, but I laughed it off, thinking that it was too good to be true. And then the shooting happened…” Liz trailed off.

“And we were finally brought together.” Max finished for her with a smile.

“Yes.” Liz responded lovingly. “It was fate, for you to be there that day, being the way that you are, and loving me the way that you always have. Suddenly your stares weren’t in the background, and weren’t so laughable anymore. And then we were together, and it was perfect. But it all still seemed like a dream to me. Like I was walking around in one of my own fantasies. I was so happy, so naïve.”

Liz’s smile dropped. “And then Tess came, and everything changed. My whole fantasy world crumbled into nothingness. I couldn’t stand the Crashdown anymore. I hated it. Everything there reminded me of you, and I couldn’t take the pain of it. And then you would come in with her, and I felt like I was dying inside.”

“I am so sorry.” Max whispered, his voice cracking with emotion.

“And then graduation came, and everything happened, and you left…you ran…without even saying goodbye, and I knew it was her fault. I used to think that I hated Pam Troy, back in high school, but I never even learned the meaning of the world hate until I watched Tess Harding destroy your life without a second thought. I wanted to kill her.”

“That was when I left home. I stopped working at the Crashdown and moved away, off to college…partially because I had to, ‘cause it was college, but mostly just to get away from here. I couldn’t deal with all of the memories. Everything reminded me of you. I couldn’t stand it. I was never able to let go of you completely. Even now, every time I come back here, I’m plagued by the memories of all that happened here.”

“We found out way back to each other, Liz. That’s all that matters. We’ll never be apart again, regardless of what happened in the past.”

“I know.” Liz smiled lovingly at him. “It was worth it, Max. All of it.” She leaned over and captured his lips with her own, and they hungrily drank each other in, with no regard for the people around them.

Maria smiled as she watched them in the rearview mirror. They had pulled into a space in front of her building, but the two lovebirds hadn’t even noticed.

“Hey, whenever you two are done, feel free to join us inside!” Maria joked loudly. Max and Liz broke apart quickly, straightening themselves out, and blushing brightly, as they headed into their new home base.

"Destiny is a two-way street. On one hand, there is a destiny that chooses you. But on the other…well, you also have to be willing to choose that destiny back. Take love, for instance. You can't choose it. Who you love. Why you love them. Or even when. But doing something about it…well, that's a choice. You can either reach out and embrace it...or you can let it go..." -Where We Were Before by Ashton
posted on 28-Sep-2001 4:05:39 AM by Cookie2697
Part 5

“So how do we break in?” Alex asked, leaning forward slightly in his seat. The six friends were crowded in the front room of Maria’s small apartment.

His question was answered by silence shouting out from all the corners of the room.

“It isn’t going to be easy.” Max finally responded. “This isn’t just any facility. We’re talking about breaking into a top secret government lab. Security is going to be tight, and they’re probably going to be expecting us.”

“Yeah, a secret government lab that Liz used to work in.” Michael pointed out.

“Oh! I have an idea!” Maria looked up in excitement.

“What is it?” Isabel pressed.

“Maybe Liz could get us through security! I mean, you used to work there, maybe your security codes still work.”

“Doubtfully.” Liz told her flatly. “I broke Max out of there. When he and I disappeared together they probably figured that out. I’m probably not one of their favorite people right now.”

“Okay, never mind!” Maria laughed nervously. “It was just an idea.”

“And it was the only one we’ve gotten so far.” Max pointed out. “That counts for something.”

“Thanks.” Maria smiled.

“The only way…” Liz started, frowning as she spoke. “The only way in I that I can come up with is to use a present employee’s codes. Unfortunately we need one on our side, because there’s an optical scan in the security system.”

“Real high tech stuff.” Alex commented.

“Well it IS a top secret government lab!” Maria stated matter of factly.

“So you still want to try to get David on our side?” Michael asked her.

“I don’t think we have any other choice. We have to at least try. He’s our only semi-friendly connection to inside the lab.”

“So are you going to approach him?” Isabel asked.

“Yeah. I’ll go to see him at home.”

“Do you want me to come with you?” Max asked her softly.

“No, I should go alone. You guys just wait here. I’ll be back in a bit.”

Liz’s heart pounded as she stood out on the street staring upwards at her ex-boyfriend’s house. It felt like a lifetime since she had been here. So much had changed since then…she had changed. Liz prayed that he hadn’t changed too much. Maybe if he was the same old lovable David, she stood a chance when she begged him for his help.

Liz was nervous. She had never planned on confronting David again. It was a part of her life that she had completely let go of. Liz hadn’t expected to ever come back here.

But now here she was, slowly making her way up to David’s front porch, and she had to keep going. She couldn’t chicken out here…for Max’s sake.

Slowly Liz lifted her hand and knocked on the door, the loud rapping echoing the steady, nervous beating of her heart.

She stood there waiting for his answer, but was greeted only with silence. Liz growled in frustration. She needed to face him now, and she didn’t want to have to wait. Liz pulled her keys out of the back pocket of her jeans, and slipped a key into the lock. She sighed with relief when the lock easily turned, and the door opened. David hadn’t changed his locks in the past year.

Quietly Liz slipped into the house and locked the door behind her. She circled the house to confirm that no one was there. Liz had to pause in David’s bedroom, when she spied a framed picture of the two of them sitting on his dresser. Liz picked up the picture and seated herself on his bed, as she studied the picture of the ex-couple.

She remembered that day so clearly. It was about a month before the wedding, and she and David had been out doing preparation with Maria. They had been so happy, so in love, so full of life. Liz and David were holding each other, laughing and laughing, so hard that their stomachs hurt.

At the time she had been so comfortable, so sure of her relationship with David. She never even considered the fact that a month later she would leave him at the altar and run away with Max.

It’s amazing how quickly so much can change in one’s life.

That was how Davis found her 10 minutes later. Sitting on his bed, with their picture in her hands.

The moment he opened the door he knew something was up. He didn’t know how he knew. He could just sense another presence in the house.

David couldn’t deny the fact that he was shocked to see Liz Parker sitting on his bed. She looked like an angel from the past, sitting there looking as beautiful as she did the last time that he saw her.

What had brought her back to Roswell after all this time? She should know that it’s dangerous for her to be here. Especially with the new head of the lab, the agent sent over by the FBI.

David shook his worries out of his head, and slowly approached the figure on the bed.

“Liz…what are you doing here?”

Liz jumped up from her seat on the bed and stared at David in shock.

“Oh my goodness! David! You startled me!”

“How do you think I felt? It’s not every day I come home to find my ex-girlfriend who disappeared a year before sitting in my house.”

“I’m sorry. I just needed to see you. It’s been a long time David, you look good.”

“So do you, Liz. How have you been? How’s what’s his name?”

“Max. Max is good. I’m good.”

“Did you get married?”

“No…not yet. I’ve only walked down the isle with one man.” Liz grinned at her one time fiancée.

“And that of course was a complete disaster.” He grinned.

“Yeah. I’ve never been able to forgive myself for hurting him.” Liz’s eyes searched his sadly.

“Liz, honey. Don’t worry about it. It’s ancient history now. I’m over it. You should too. What you did really was the best. You needed to be with who you loved, and I guess I needed time to find myself too. I’m really content with my life now.”

“I did love you David.”

“I know. Just not in the way that I loved you.”

Liz nodded slowly. “Yeah…I suppose.”

“So what are you really doing here, Liz. This is the worst place for you to be. They did eventually figure out that you left willingly with Max.”

“Yeah, I figured they would.”

“So what’s this about, Liz?”

“Okay…um…something has happened. Something awful, that should have never happened, and Max and I had to come back to Roswell to fix it.”

“Max is here too? That’s really dangerous, for you both to come here together.”

“Yeah we know, but we didn’t have a choice.”

“So what happened? And what does it have to do with me?”

“Well, we need your help. Um…It’s Max’s parents. The Evans’ have been taken by the FBI, probably in an attempt to get us back here. Anyways, we need to get them back. They don’t deserve to be locked away. Supposedly they’re being held at the lab, and we were hoping that maybe…” Liz trailed off.

“That I could get you in. So that you can break them out.”


David dropped himself down on his bed, and raked his hands through his hair.

“You do realize that this could cost me my job.”

“I know.”

“I’m lucky that they didn’t fire me after the last time. I didn’t exactly try to stop you from breaking Max out of there."

“And I’ll be eternally grateful to you for that. Whether or not you help us this time is your choice. The Evans’ are good, kind people. They’ve never done anything wrong. They don’t deserve to be locked up in that lab. Please help me right the government’s wrongdoings.”

There was a long moments of silence, as David thought about what Liz was asking of him. Up until recently he had loved his job. It was a good place to work, interesting research. He had gotten so much out of working there. But things had changed lately, for the worse, and he didn’t like the direction the lab had turned to.

“I’ll help you.” David finally stated.

“Are you sure?” Liz asked.

“Yeah, I’m sure. You have to understand what is going on there, Liz. The new head of the facility is this agent sent over from the FBI. She’s a really nasty character. I’m not too fond of her leadership. Who knows, maybe fighting against her like this will help out somehow.”

“Uh oh. That doesn’t sound too good. We didn’t expect anything like that.”

“You have to be careful, Liz. You and Max both. This agent is insane. She’s obsessed with finding Max.”

“What?” Liz whispered her face paling.

“I suppose she’s the one who took his parents. You see, they looked for you for a while after you left, but after a month or so, they gave up and forgot all about you. Until this agent showed up. Now it’s like the lab’s sole purpose is to hunt down Max Evans, and dissect him, and that’s not a battle that I particularly want to fight. I want to do research, learn more about molecular biology, not destroy a life form. Especially someone who is connected to you, Liz. I do still care about you, and I don’t want to see anything happen to you either.”

“Thank you.” Liz slid herself into David’s arms and pulled close to him. Suddenly she was scared, the danger more apparent to them all. This was going to be harder than they had ever anticipated. Especially with this…who was it?

“David, who’s in charge of the lab?” Liz shivered at the cold look on his face as David obviously thought about his new boss.

“Agent Tess Harding.” He told her flatly.

Part 6

“Tess Harding?” Liz gasped in shock.

David’s eyes grew worried as he studied the significant changes that flew across Liz’s face after he said her name. All the blood had rushed from her face, and she suddenly looked weak and frightened, like a small child in the midst of some horrible nightmare.

“Here, Liz. Come sit down.”

Liz allowed David to lead her back to his bed, and she slid down to sit again, her knees suddenly feeling weak. He slid an arm around her, gently rubbing her shoulder, and whispering calming words in her ears. Slowly he felt Liz begin to loosen up again, although the fear still hadn’t left her eyes.

“Are you sure it is Tess Harding?” Liz asked once again, pleading with her eyes for him to tell him that he was lying, or that it was all a cruel prank, but knowing all at the same time that he was telling her the whole truth.

“Yeah…I take it you know who she is?” David asked carefully, studying Liz’s face for a response. Her eyes tightened painfully, and she stiffened, obviously remembering back to whatever horrible experience she had with Agent Harding.

“Yes. I know her.” Liz replied bitterly. “She made my life a complete hell in high school.”

“She went to high school with you?” David asked in surprise. “She never mentioned going to Roswell High!”

“Yes, she went to school with me. And she was a horrible, nasty bitch then too.”

David laughed. “Nice to know nothing has changed.”

Liz smiled slightly, and David breathed a sigh of relief. At least he had pulled a smile out of her. That probably helped a bit.

“Well, if she’s still out to get Max, then you’re right. Nothing has changed.” Liz shook her head sadly. “Do you remember me telling you about Max and my relationship in high school? How it ended?”

“Yeah, something about a girl who broke you two up and tried to seduce Max into revealing his alien identity…oh…you’re not telling me…” David trailed off, realization coming to his eyes right as Liz nodded and firmly stated:

“Tess Harding.”

David nodded in understanding. The events at the end of high school had been earth shattering for Liz, to the point where five years later, when they met at the lab, she had still refused to talk about it. David had been with Liz for five years, and only as their relationship ended, did she finally open up enough to tell him the story about the horrible girl who was responsible for Liz’s breakup with her one true soulmate.

“The last time I saw her, Tess tried to kill me.” Liz whispered softly, her voice cracking as she fought back the tears that threatened to break through her eyes. “She would have killed me, if I had been anyone else, and if I was loved by anyone besides Max. She just shot me, in an attempt to expose Max for what he is, and she succeeded. He risked everything to save me, and because of it, he’s been running from the FBI ever since, for over 11 years now. All to save my life.”

“He’s a good guy Liz.” David comforted her softly.

“Yeah, he is. And she’s the antichrist. Her entire purpose is to destroy the life of a man who has never done anything to hurt anybody in his entire life. It’s just not fair. Max doesn’t deserve this. He deserves to be able to live his life out happy and in peace, but every time we try to find some happiness, something happens to screw up his life, and half the time it’s stems from Tess Harding. Why? Why can’t she just leave him alone?” As Liz spoke, she grew angrier and angrier. Her eyes began to flash dangerously, and her voice was raised and sharpened. She clenched her fists so tightly that her knuckles turned white with the pressure of it.

“The idea of aliens just scares some people, Liz. They have trouble accepting anything that’s different from them.” David explained gently.

“Yeah, but Max really isn’t different than us. I mean his blood’s different, his cells are different, but the things that count: feelings and emotions and intelligence. Those are the same as us. In his heart and soul Max is just as human as you or I. And he doesn’t deserve the hell that his life has become.”

“I know, Liz. I understand honey. I just wish that I could do something to make this all easier on you.”

Liz looked up at David in surprise, her eyes softly studying his. “Thank you, David. What did I do to deserve this from you? I’ve never done anything except cause you heartache and pain, but you’ve stuck by my side from the start, and helped me at every turn, do everything I’ve ever asked of you. You’re too good to me.”

“It’s my pleasure, Liz. I still care about you, sweetie, and it’s nice for me to pretend that maybe a part of you still cares for me.”

“I do still care for you.”

“Yeah, but it’s not the same.”

Liz pondered what he was saying. “Yes, I suppose it’s not the same.”

David chuckled slightly. “But for the sake of my fantasy world, I will still help you out. Why don’t you meet me tonight, around 6pm, at the diner on the road to the lab? We’ll get in there tonight, and help Max’s parents.”

“Okay. Thanks again, David. I’ll see you tonight?”

“Of course.”

David let Liz out, and he stood by the window watching her go. A small smile crept to his lips as she turned the corner and walked out of site. He turned and walked to his telephone, and hit a few buttons, before it started to ring.

“What’s the situation?” A female voice is heard through the phone.

“She bought every word of it. Everything is falling into place.”

“And she doesn’t suspect anything?”

“No, your plan was perfect. She bought every corny word that I fed to her. And you should have heard the crap that she was feeding me. ‘Max is really just the same as us. He doesn’t deserve all that we’re being put through. Why can’t we just have a happy life? It’s not fair. It was all I could do to not laugh in her face. She’s so naïve.”

“Good. You’ve done a wonderful job, sweetie. Tonight we’ll get rid of Max Evans and Liz Parker, and then tomorrow we can happily settle down, in our safe, alien free world.”

“It sounds wonderful, Tess.”

“Yes, and I have –special- plans for you tomorrow honey. I’ll take you places that you’ve never even dreamed.” Tess whispered seductively into the phone.

David smiled an evil smile, and groaned at the thought of another night with Tess. It had been too long since they had been able to be together. They had to do everything in their powers to ensure that Liz would trust him. Tonight they would get rid of the alien scum, and then tomorrow, things would be right again. He and Tess, together.

“I can’t wait.” He whispered, hanging up the phone. All he had to do was get through tonight…

"Destiny is a two-way street. On one hand, there is a destiny that chooses you. But on the other…well, you also have to be willing to choose that destiny back. Take love, for instance. You can't choose it. Who you love. Why you love them. Or even when. But doing something about it…well, that's a choice. You can either reach out and embrace it...or you can let it go..." -Where We Were Before by Ashton
posted on 28-Sep-2001 4:06:07 AM by Cookie2697
Part 7

The street was deathly silent as Liz walked back to Maria's apartment, with nothing but the sound of her own steady, measured steps filling the early evening air. Her heart pounded nervously as she made her way through the streets, her head bent low, face hidden by her hair in an attempt to avoid notice. Darting her eyes around to make sure there was no one else around, Liz quickly cut through some side streets and back alleys, desperate to avoid any area that might have traffic or people roaming about.

It was strange how the world could totally change for her. A few years earlier, these streets had seemed like the safest place in the world…but now any movement, any sound, whether it was the wind moving a stray branch, or the leaves rustling, or a car horn honking a few blocks away, made Liz jump nervously. Life on the run made everything seem dark and dangerous…particularly when she was in the one place that she was most at risk.

Sighing to herself, Liz wistfully thought back to the day before, when life had seemed carefree…just her and Max, playing on the beach, like there was nothing wrong in the world. They were naïve to think that they could stay hidden away in their quiet, safe world forever.

Relief pounded into Liz's heart as she finally made her way up the stairs of Maria's building, and found herself safely letting herself in the front door.

Max was on her the instant she walked in, quickly pulling her into his arms and holding her close to his chest, as he stroked her hair gently. He clung to her desperately, like a precious gift that he was afraid of loosing…and it made Liz feel safe and warm to finally be back in his arms.

"I'm so glad you made it back okay." Max finally murmured, before kissing the top of her head and leading her into the kitchen, where everyone else sat waiting for her.

"Liz…how did it go?" Alex asked instantly, his caring, concerned eyes studying her carefully, while she sat, her hand still engulfed in Max's.

"Actually…it went surprisingly well." Liz admitted, watching as everyone visibly relaxed. "Sorry to scare you all…I was just really on edge on the walk back. You know that was how Max got captured a year ago…just walking down the street."

"We're glad you got home safe." Maria soothed her.

"Why don't we cut the small talk and get the answers here." Michael jumped in. "What did he say, Liz?"

"He said he'd help us." Liz replied simply.

Again, the group visibly relaxed, breathing a sigh of relief, as Liz continued.

"He'll meet us at the Lab's north parking lot tonight at eight. Someone needs to distract the guards so that they're not watching, while he gets us inside the security gates. From there it's all on us to get your parents and get out."

"We'll need to move quickly." Max added in, as they formulated their plan. "We can't risk that they'll catch us in the process…otherwise…" He trailed off, unable to voice that all their biggest fears would come true if the FBI got their hands on any of the rest of them. He only prayed that they were in time…that nothing else had happened to his parents.

"And most importantly we can't let them get you." Liz added quietly, looking up to Max seriously. "You're the one most at risk, Max. You're the one they want…" Liz trailed off nervously.

"There's something you're not saying, Liz." Isabel stated, reading her expression. "We need to know everything."

"I know…it's just…" Liz paused searching for words. "It's not just speculation anymore that it's Max they're after…it's certain."

"How do you know?" Michael asked.

"Because David said that there's a new agent in charge at the lab." Liz closed her eyes painfully, as all the painful memories of their past came surging back, as the realization hit her that they would have to face demons tonight that they had thought long gone. "It's Tess."

"Oh shit…" Maria groaned.

------ ------ -----

Plans were made quickly. They wanted as few people to be at risk as possible. Michael, Isabel, and Max all would be needed in the rescue because of their special gifts, and Liz was necessary because of David's assistance. Alex was responsible for distracting the guards while Maria was in charge of manning the car, staying behind the wheel, ready for a quick getaway. Their plan in action, they prepared themselves for what would be a dangerous night.

----- ---- ---- ---

The evening had been a flurry of activity, that it was a mere hour before everything was to begin, when Max was finally able to catch Liz alone.

"Let's go out front for a few minutes." He whispered in her ear, pulling her away from the group and out the front door.

Leading her down the stairs, Max headed through the alleys between the various buildings of Maria's apartment complex, until he found a small yard-like area, with a few small trees and a lawn, a park bench resting beside a small playground. Veering towards the bench, they sat, and Liz rested her back against Max, his arms engulfing her.

"I feel like we've barely seen each other since we left California." Max murmured. "I know it's not true, but I haven't been able to just hold you, kiss you…tell you how much I love you…I'm not used to not having the luxury to be with you all the time. I guess you've spoiled me this past year."

Liz shifted so that she could look up into Max's eyes. Instantly his hand found her face, and he stroked her cheek lovingly as he stared into her eyes.

"It's not just you, Max. I've missed it too." Liz sighed happily, as Max's lips searched hers out, drinking her in lovingly. As they connected, Liz felt Max's emotions pouring over her, along with vibrant images of their history together…but she ignored it all, completely focused on the fact that she could sense a deep fear clenching Max's heart. The intensity of it tore at Liz's emotions, and tears filled her eyes as she pulled away.

"Max…what's wrong?" She asked desperately, her hands pressed to his cheeks, as she searched his eyes anxiously.

Max lowered his eyes, ashamed that he had allowed Liz to sense the fear that he was trying to hide. Taking a deep breath, he pressed his lips to her forehead before meeting her gaze again.

"I just wish there was another way to do this." He admitted. "Call me controlling, call me over-protective…but I don't want you anywhere near that lab, Liz. I would be able to do this much easier if I knew you were safe in Maria's apartment, waiting for me to come back. I'm just terrified that something is going to happen to you."

"Nothing is going to happen to me, Max." Liz insisted, meeting Max's eyes bravely. "I promise you, Max…I'll be glued to your side the entire time, so that you can protect me if anything goes wrong…but you can't leave me behind Max. You need me. David may be getting us in, but I'm the one who knows my way around the lab."

"I know." Max sighed.

"Nothing will happen to me." Liz emphasized again. "And you need to focus on your parents, now. They need you, Max. Come on." She stood, pulling Max up with her. "We have to go."

"Destiny is a two-way street. On one hand, there is a destiny that chooses you. But on the other…well, you also have to be willing to choose that destiny back. Take love, for instance. You can't choose it. Who you love. Why you love them. Or even when. But doing something about it…well, that's a choice. You can either reach out and embrace it...or you can let it go..." -Where We Were Before by Ashton