posted on 4-May-2002 12:35:48 PM by Lauren21
GamePromo
Author: Lauren Coffman (LCoffman21⊕aol.com)
Rating: R – contains some “adult” language.
Timeline: Pre "Crazy"

Disclaimer: Roswell and all characters associated with the show are property of the WB Network and Melinda
Metz. Don't bother to sue me, because I don't have any money anyways. Also, as a side note, I refer to some other stories in The Game such as - Roswell Elementary (usage of Dogface, etc) and Roswell High Series (usage of auras).

Feedback: is a MUST. I love getting feedback and e-mail!

Challenge Info: This story is answering one of the Challenges by Christina found at: www.geocities.com/emerald_roswell_freak and this is the challenge:
1. M/L, M/M, A/I
2. Max meet Nacerro/Nasedo (however you want to spell it - I'm from AZ and here we roll our R's!)
3. He is forced to go back one year before and see if things would be the same if the shooting hadn't occurred.
4. He has to get the courage to get Liz to go out with him and become intimate without telling her he is an alien. (Intimate doesn't necessarily mean sex, this is any rating)
5. He has to get Michael and Maria together - he does this by locking them together in a room.
6. He has to get Isabel and Alex together, but this is new because they aren't together in the other universe.
7. If he doesn't accomplish this in thirteen days, he has to leave Roswell and go with Nacerro to another place as his slave.
8. The story must be very tense.
9. You have to post it on my board (www.InsideTheWeb.com/mbs.cgi/mb1058889) and
anywhere else
********************
Dedication:
To my friends at IRM (you know who you are) thanks for the support and friendship.
To Brigitte – thank you for editing and for always remembering this story.
And, finally, to Jason – Thank you for showing me what love is and putting up with me.

Authors Note: I started this story the day after Destiny two years ago - and with the way Roswell turned out, I was content on not finishing it, it was too painful. But, when Kath7 asked me to finish this to be included in the SMA Project - I agreed to finish it. I hope that you like it. *happy*

Prologue:
Okay, I'll admit in retrospect that I should have realized that my life was going a little too smoothly. I was in love with the beautiful, smart, wonderful Liz Parker, who accepted me for who I am and loved me for it. My best friend, Michael Guerin, was actually letting someone other than Isabel and myself past his defenses... That someone? None other than the quirky, passionate Maria DeLuca. Michael was far happier than he would ever admit, but I could see the change in his eyes. What about Isabel you ask? Well, Izzy and Alex Whitman weren't going out yet, but I could see that she was warming up to the idea of having someone to talk to about all of this craziness. And finally, I had a circle of friends that I could trust completely and I think deep down, I knew nothing could separate us if we were together.

I think I was the happiest 17-year-old alien in Roswell...

That was, until I met Nasedo.
***************
This whole problem started on May 17, 2000. Exactly 9 months after I saved Liz's life in the Crashdown Café, the moment that changed all of our lives forever. I always consider that day when my life really began. As I write this, I realize that maybe Liz and I were always destined to be together, no matter what the circumstances... But, I apologize; I'm getting ahead of myself.

I woke up early that morning because I was planning on visiting Liz before going to school, she had been sick lately with allergies and I wanted to cheer her up. All thoughts of aliens, obs, and angry parents were far from my mind. I just wanted to be with Liz.

"Max Evans." I heard a muffled voice say behind me from my window as I got up from my bed.

Surprised, I turned around to see a strange older man in a suit standing there. He looked to be about 50 years old, with a thin long face. "Yes?" I asked very cautiously, my mind already worrying about the implications of this strange man at my window.

"So, we finally meet. I am the one River Dog refers to as Nasedo." Nasedo raised one hand, opened my window and effortlessly stepped through it. I was in shock, I couldn't believe that Nasedo was here and I could feel that he was every bit as dangerous as I believed him to be. His dark gray eyes stared at me as he spoke again. "I've seen Max, that you've been a very naughty little alien. Falling in love with humans? Tsk, tsk... Now, don't you think that your human is only in love with you because you saved her life and you're... different?"

"Don't question our love, Nasedo. Liz would love me no matter what." I said through clenched teeth, furious that he could challenge our love for each other.

Nasedo laughed, a dark evil laugh, and continued. "I doubt it. Besides, your predestined mate will be arriving in Roswell shortly."

I stared at him, laughing at my love for Liz. "Predestined mate?" I asked. "Don't bother, Liz is my soul mate, my reason for living, my life and my love." Shaking my head, I started to turn around.

Unfortunately, this was a bad move to do with Nasedo. He promptly used his powers to pin me against the wall in my room and moved towards me angrily. "I don't believe that you could throw away your life for... for... just a HUMAN!" He roared.

"Believe it Nasedo. Besides, the others... are in love too, with humans." I whispered quietly. I watched the shock register on his face. I knew in that instant, he knew about Maria and Michael, Isabel and Alex.

"This ruins ALL my plans... You were supposed to go so far... Now, you're in lloove." Nasedo spat as he began to pace around my bedroom. "No. I won't believe it, nor will you..." The evil grin returned to his face. "Max Evans - are you willing to put your love for Liz on the line? Are you willing to test the love that your friends have?"

From my pinned position against the wall I whispered, "I would do anything to keep my love for Liz, to keep my life, to keep the love my friends have." I shook my head. "You don't scare me Nasedo."

Nasedo stopped in mid-pace. "Oh you will be Max Evans. You will be. I say we'll play a little game... a little game that will determine your fate and prove to me what this llloooove you're talking about is made of. I am sending you 9 months back in the past, into your old body... Once there, you have 13 days to prove to me, and you bet that I'll be there too watching, that Liz Parker loves you and will date you if she doesn't know you're an alien, that Maria DeLuca loves Michael and will date him if she doesn't know he's an alien and that Alex Whitman loves Isabel and will date her if he doesn't know she's an alien. If you cannot accomplish these three tasks within the 13 days - you lose. If you tell ANY of them what's really going on - you lose. If you use your powers and get caught - you lose."

"What happens if I win?" I asked forcing myself to look calm and collected.

"If you win - and I seriously doubt you will... You can live your life with the humans. All of them can be happy and your fate when you discover it, will be important but not as important as the bond the 6 of you have. If you lose - you will become my slave for eternity, away from Liz and married to your pre-destined mate. You will always remember Liz but can never be with her again." Nasedo began to laugh. "You will lose this game, Max Evans."

With some concentration, I broke the force connecting me against the wall and I dropped free. "When does the game begin?" I asked, hoping to tell the group of this before the game began.

Nasedo snapped his fingers, instantly changing the scenery from my bedroom to across the street from the Crashdown Café.

"The game begins now."

Chapter One
Day One - September 16th, 1999

My eyes widened as I realized I was suddenly transported from my bedroom to the outside of the Crashdown Café. Looking down, I was wearing my usual black t-shirt and dark pants, instead of the old t-shirt and boxers I had worn to bed. Confused, I looked to Nasedo, who was standing there with a smirk on his face. "What's going on?"

"Don't you listen, Max?" Nasedo stared at me. "I have transported your soul, your essence, into your body from September 16th, 1999. Which is now.... In fact, I suggest you get movin' lover-boy, because you have 12 days, 23 hours, 58 minutes and 21 seconds complete your three tasks." With a slow turn, Nasedo turned and walked away, leaving me alone in the street.

My heart was pounding in my ears as I realized what was going on. I had 13 days to prove to him that my love with Liz was... forever... eternal.... lasting... Oh my god, what was I going to do? It took me years to act on the fact that I was in love with her... I shook my head and mentally told myself to calm down.

Forcing my wobbly legs to cross the street, I decided to go into the Crashdown to think and to observe the situation. If it is really September 16th, 1999, they should be preparing for the Crashdown Festival, Liz won't really notice me and I should be able to allow myself an hour or two to get my plan straight. After all, I had to win Liz's heart, get Michael and Maria together, and get Izzy and Alex together; this wasn't going to be an easy task. But if it meant that I was proving that the love Liz and I shared was a valid and tangible
thing, I would do it.
*************
The theme from Close Encounters jingled slightly as I entered the Crashdown Café and sat down in my usual booth. I couldn't believe that I was reliving my past and this meant if I was reliving my past... I could do it right with Liz, instead of breaking her heart over and over before finally admitting my love for her.

"Can I get you anything?"

Liz's sweet voice snapped me out of my daydreaming. Looking up, I saw her, my beautiful Liz in her Crashdown Café uniform, smiling at me. Oh, you wouldn't believe the urges I had to suppress to simply not pick her up and drag her into the backroom and kiss her senseless. Okay Maxwell, I thought to myself, time to start putting in the charm.

"A cherry coke, please, Liz." I said with a smile. Liz smiled her usual "waiting-on-a-customer" smile and walked back over behind the counter, where I saw her giggling with Maria. I sighed quietly, missing being able to talk to both of them and realizing that I only had 13 days to accomplish so many tasks.

The Close Encounters theme rang out again and I turned to see Kyle Valenti saunter in the Crashdown. Groaning quietly in the booth, I had totally forgot that Liz was going out with Kyle before the shooting. Now, I had to get Liz to focus on me, not Kyle. Kyle walked up to Liz and quietly asked her something. I saw Liz blush and I could feel the anger course through my veins at the thought of Kyle saying something to Liz that would make her blush.

Suddenly, I noticed that Maria saw I was staring at Liz and Kyle. I watched her smile a little and then pull Liz away from Kyle to whisper something. I mentally made a note to give Maria an entire case of Cedar Oil when I got back for at least noticing that I was crazy in love for Liz. Always a quick one, that Maria, I mused as Liz brought over my cherry coke.

"Um. Here you go Max." Liz said as she smiled at me again.

I took a deep breath, "Liz, please sit down for a moment." I asked gesturing to the seat across from me. Liz's eyebrows rose in curiosity, but she sat down anyways. "Ummm... well... I was wondering if you ...." I stammered nervously, trying to think of something "could help me study biology tonight?"

Liz looked surprised. "Max. You're a straight A student... I'm sure you don't need me help you..." She nervously tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ears. "Didn't you ace that quiz yesterday in biology anyways?"

Damn it all to hell, why did I have to be an overachiever? "I guess I did, but I just wanted to prepare for the test next week. Besides, we're starting to study the molecular structure of the human body and I thought you would enjoy it." I quickly answered, not really thinking about what I was saying.

"How did you know I like molecular biology?" Liz asked surprised.

"Uh.. I heard you mention it to your friend Maria, one time..." I took a quick sip of my cherry coke, trying to act casual.

Liz relaxed, "Well, Max how about we meet here at 7:30pm tonight?"

I nodded and replied, "Sounds good to me." Liz smiled and turned around, heading back towards the back of the Crashdown. When she was out of sight, I let my head fall to the table top with a satisfying "thud." Everyone, meet Max Evans, world's biggest idiot. I couldn't believe I mentioned molecular biology, at this point in my non-existent relationship with Liz, I shouldn't know anything about her. I shouldn't know her favorite ice cream flavor, her loyalty to her friends, how she loves getting kissed behind the ears... uh.. never mind. Moving on...

Quickly, I laid down five dollars on the table and scurried out of the Crashdown before I did anything really stupid.
***********
I realized as I walked home from the Crashdown, I only had 13 days to bring all of my best friends together and I was beginning to get really nervous at the complexity of the challenge Nasedo gave me. I was also worried that I might never see Liz again, I would share my secret with her, I wouldn't be able to win her love... I wouldn't be able to be there for her and she would... die... tomorrow.

"There he is!" I heard Isabel shout out suddenly from behind me.

I turned at saw Isabel and Michael walking towards me. Oh no, what didn't I do, I thought in a panic. I couldn't reveal to them what was really going on and that saddened me. I remember how much we all wanted to learn about our past at this point in our lives. It's almost funny, I don't think learning about us is as important anymore.

"Hello! Earth to Max!" Isabel called as her Michael reached my side. She looked really annoyed at me. "Where were you today after-school? You were supposed to meet us at the Jeep?"

"Yeah, and gee... I had to listen to Isabel complain about the heat for 45 minutes. Thanks EVER so much, Maxwell." Michael drawled out with a smirk.

"Uh... I forgot." I muttered, hating that I had to lie to them.

"Whatever." Isabel said and tossed the keys over to me. "You drive. Michael almost got us killed, like 5 times, while we were looking for you."

The hot New Mexico wind blew against our faces as I drove to my house. I briefly wondered why I was supposed to Michael and Izzy today. If you've ever had Deja-Vu (okay, not the popular strip club) then you'll realize what a nightmare this is for me. Then on top of that, consider - tomorrow is September 17. The day that Liz gets shot in the Crashdown Café and I heal her. The only problem is that if I heal her this time, I lose the game. So, now I have to save her life without revealing my secret.

I looked over a Michael while I drove and I couldn't believe the difference I saw in him without Maria. He looked so sullen, lonely and miserable. Maria made such a change in Michael; I never realized it until I could visibly see the Michael of old. Isabel was back to ice princess mode, sometimes I felt that even she could treat me coldly. Liz, Maria and Alex, I thought, you guys changed our lives in so many ways. I'm so sorry that I never thanked you three properly for it.
************
I won't bore you with the details of my study "date" with Liz. Nothing happened, to my disappointment, but I seriously doubted that Liz would suddenly make out with me or something like that. It was nice just being with Liz. However, I missed being able to really talk to her, not make some idle chitchat about our school and lives. I missed MY Liz.

I laid in bed a long time that night, full of fears that I wouldn't be able to save Liz tomorrow without using my powers. I knew deep down that if in some way Liz or Maria would get shot tomorrow that I would use my powers to heal them. I would not allow my friends to die, I will not ever allow them to get hurt again and yes, and I would sacrifice my future life to save Liz again. Would you expect anything else of me?

Finally, sometime hours later, I fell asleep and that's when I was visited by an angel, my Liz.

I was walking on a plain gray state of ground, in fact the whole world was gray and I, Max Evans, was lonely and scared. Then, suddenly I saw her - my angel.

"Max!" She yelled and flung herself into my arms. She smelled of goodness, strawberries and just Liz. "Oh my god, Max! Where are you?" She stared at the vast gray background of nothingness.

I looked at her, in my arms where she should be and kissed her forehead. God, I missed her and I wasn't sure about the rules so I STILL couldn't reveal what was happening. "Liz, honey..." I murmured, "I can't tell you this right now. You have to trust me that I'm okay and totally safe... Liz, how did you get into my dreams like this?"

Liz looked deep into my eyes. "Isabel found your clothes lying in a heap in your room and you were no where to be found. We all gathered together at my house and Isabel managed to bring me into her dreamwalking to find you." Liz hugged me close to her. "Oh Max... Please, promise me that you'll be safe."

I held Liz in my arms for a moment before breaking away. I pulled off my silver necklace that Liz gave me for my 17th birthday and then slipped it over my head. "I promise I'll come back to you, Liz. This necklace is my promise and will keep a small piece of me with you while I'm gone." I smiled at her softly.

Liz's eyes filled with tears as she took off the delicate gold chain that she always wore. "Max... Wear this and think of me. I hope it will bring you strength." She whispered as she pressed her necklace into my hand.

I leaned over and kissed Liz, missing her so much it hurt. "I have to go Max," Liz whispered, "Isabel can't hold this for very long."

"Okay. I love you Liz Parker and I'll be home soon." I murmured, not wanting to let her go.

Suddenly, I woke up with start. LIZ! My mind screamed for her, missing her touch. The sweat dripped off my face as I clenched my hand tighter around...
Liz's gold necklace.

continued in the next post...

[ edited 5 time(s), last at 2-Sep-2002 7:54:10 PM ]
posted on 4-May-2002 12:37:25 PM by Lauren21
Chapter Two
Day Two - September 17,1999

The sweat dripped off the side of my face as I stared blankly at Liz's gold necklace dangling in my hand. My breath was coming out in shaky pants as I swore to myself that I would save the life of this reality's Liz Parker to save the life of MY Liz Parker back home. Today was September 17, 1999 - The day of the Crashdown Shooting.

I slipped Liz's necklace around my neck, enjoying the feel of the cool metal against me. The necklace was also a constant reminder of Liz and my challenge.

Quickly, I got up from bed and took a shower (no, I'm not giving you the details of my shower! C'mon now! Is my being totally naked and wet ALL you girls think about?) and got ready for school. I was hoping that I could run into Liz before classes started today so we could talk. As I trotted out to the Jeep I heard a very angry Isabel yell the front door, "MAX! Where are you going?"

I turned to see my sister angrily striding across our lawn, backpack in hand, to the Jeep that we shared. Uh oh, I thought, Isabel looked furious. I wondered what I had done THIS time as I jumped into the drivers seat and started the car.

Isabel hopped into the Jeep and let me pull out of our driveway before she tore into me. "Max! What is wrong with you? Were you really planning on leaving me at home?" Her blue eyes narrowed, "What has been going on? Ever since yesterday afternoon you've been acting... strange... Max... it's not... anything bad... is it?"

I sighed as we pulled to a stop at a red light. If only you knew, Izzy, I thought sadly. "Uhh... I'm sorry Iz. I've just been preoccupied with thinking about someone lately. You know her, Liz Parker." I muttered, hoping that it wouldn't make her angrier and hoping that maybe my sister would understand.

"ARE YOU INSANE!?" Isabel screeched.

Okay, so I was wrong.

"Earth to Max!! There are two things wrong with Liz Parker. 1: She's HUMAN. And we swore we wouldn't get involved with humans... 2: She's dating Kyle Valenti... the Sheriffs son? Why make enemies with him?" Isabel huffed angrily as we pulled up to West Roswell High School.

"Isabel... Don't you ever want to... I don't know... be close to anyone else besides Mom, Dad, Michael and I?" I asked quietly as I pulled into the school's parking lot. "I just have this... feeling that some human companionship will be a good thing for us."

"I don't know Max..." Isabel said. "I don't want to trust people with our secret."

I sighed again. "Isabel... listen... I'm not saying that we have to tell anyone our secret right away... What I want is for you to give them a chance."

"Why does it sound like you're already talking about someone, Max? You're not planning any weird blind dates for me are you?" Isabel raised an eyebrow at me as I parked the car in our usual parking spot.

Damn... At least I didn't say Alex. "Izzy... I just meant... them as in humans... you know. Can you at least consider it... for me?" I asked.

Isabel nodded, grabbed her backpack and headed off to her first class.

I exhaled in relief as Iz left. I grabbed my backpack out of the backseat of the Jeep and started walking to my first class; already deep in thought on how I was going to save Liz.
***************
By time my 5th period biology class with Liz had rolled around, I had come up two possible plans that would protect Liz, Maria and Michael today in the Crashdown. Plan A: I would wait until the two thugs came into the Crashdown, and then have Michael and I bring Liz and Maria to the back. I'll tell Liz that I saw one of them had a gun and to call the police, because we didn't know what he might do with the gun... Then Sheriff Valenti comes, arrests those two guys and yay for everyone because we're all alive and well... Sound good to you?

I hope so. Now, are any of you wondering why I'm not going to use my powers to just stop the whole thing from happening? Well, I don't want to rely on my powers, because I'm not sure where the thug has the gun and I'm not sure if I can alter the metal in the gun to a point where it wouldn't do any damage to anyone.

As I remember, Maria is standing closer to the thugs that Liz... and if the gun blows up or still goes off... it's too dangerous. I don't want any additional unpredictability to this situation. I don't want anything to be unpredictable when Liz's life in concerned. However, I'm not too sure if I want do use Plan A or not.

Here's Plan B: I sit in the same booth with Michael and wait for the thugs to come to the Crashdown. Then, when they start to argue, jump up, run to Liz and knock her down. Hopefully we'll both avoid the bullet, Liz will be alive, I won't have to use any of my powers... and maybe Liz will fall in love with me all over again. I'd like to point out in Back to the Future (yeah, I'm a sucker for old 80's movies) the Marty McFly's mom fell in love with him because he saved her life... so maybe it will be the same with Liz.

"Max?" Liz's voice again snapped me out of my deep thoughts.

I smiled at Liz, who was looking concerned. "Hi Liz."

"Max, you were totally out of it awhile ago... I had been calling your name for awhile now."

Oops. I shrugged a little bit and smiled again at Liz, just happy to see her. I'm just used to seeing her so much during the day that I had been going through 'Liz Withdrawals' and act like a dope every time I see her. "Sorry about that Liz... I guess I'm just kinda lost in thought about something."

Liz smiled and nodded. "Wow..." Liz suddenly exclaimed. "Where did you get a necklace like that?" She said reaching out and briefly touched the gold necklace that was around my neck.

My breath caught in my throat. Liz noticed HER necklace! I swallowed nervously, wondering how I was going to get out of this one and praying that the necklace wasn't engraved. "My Grandma Claudia has a necklace, almost exactly like the one you're wearing." Liz commented.

Cautiously, I reached up and touched the gold necklace gently with my fingertips. And suddenly - I was caught in a series of flashes.
**FLASH**
A young Liz, sitting on Grandma Claudia's lap, looking at the gold necklace around her neck.
**FLASH**
Liz, crying beside Grandma Claudia's bedside at the hospital.
**FLASH**
Liz at the funeral of her Grandma Claudia and she's being handed a small package. She
opens it and finds the gold necklace inside.
**FLASH**
Liz, Maria, Alex, Michael and Isabel all sitting in Liz's room preparing to help Liz go into the dreamwalk with Isabel to find me.

With a loud "thud" I fell off my chair and hit the ground in my biology classroom. As I lay there, dazed about the images I had seen, I could faintly hear the giggles of Pam Troy, the nosy girl that sat a few rows behind Liz and I.

Liz had jumped down by my side and was looking at me concerned. She probably thought I was a freak, fainting dead away in class. Everyone look at slick, suave, Max Evans. Trying to be cool with Liz, but ending up falling off his chair. Great.

"Max... are you okay?" Liz asked as she was suddenly at my side. She pressed a soft hand to my forehead. "Can you get up on your own?" Actually, I wasn't on planning on getting up, hoping that they would just ignore me on the ground and I could slink off somehow.

"Mrs. Hardy!" Liz called out to our teacher. "I'll take Max to the nurse, I'm sure he fainted because of the heat." Liz held out her hand and pulled me up from the ground and helped me out of the classroom.

I was stunned, Liz was acting so concerned about me. My heart ached to hold her again, to tell this Liz who I was. As we made it outside the biology classroom, Liz turned to me, "Are
you okay now Max?"

I smiled softly and squeezed her shoulder gently. "Yes... Thank you Liz, you saved me back there. I guess I owe you one, huh?"

Liz blushed, "It's okay Max... I don't mind. But why did you faint, was it really the heat?" I smiled again (okay, I am perfectly aware that I look like a goofy love sick fool, but c'mon now, this is Liz.) at Liz. Her strawberry perfume still filled my nostrils, strawberry shampoo from her hair... I looked at her, wearing cutoff shorts and a tee shirt... Liz's body against mine as she helped me...

"Yeah, it was definitely the heat." With that I excused myself and headed to the nurse's office before Liz could see her effect on me.

I laid on a cot in the nurse's office for a while, contemplating Plan A or Plan B. Each plan had good and bad points, but I wasn't sure about which one I was going to use this afternoon. I only had a couple of hours to figure out my plan... for the first part of the game.

"Max Evans?" The nurse suddenly was next to my side.

I sat up on the cot and looked at the nurse, who looked a little different all of a sudden.
"Yes?"

"Very suave and debonair, Max. I like the fainting in class excuse." She said as her cold eyes stared into mine.

What the hell is wrong with this nurse? I wondered and couldn't do anything except look at her.

With a smirk, the nurse raised one hand and flashed me an image of who she really was... Nasedo.

Oh man. "Why are you here, Nasedo?"

Nasedo, with a hand still raised, turned to lock the nurse's office shut from where he was standing. Then, with a cold glance, he returned his glare back to me. "What do you think, Max? That I'd be stupid like all humans, to let you do whatever you pleased during the game? That I would let you walk all over and possibly win?" He chuckled evilly. "Oh no... I will be around, watching your EVERY move... So that I will ensure that no cheating has been going on, during MY game... But I'm sure that little Maxwell Evans wouldn't be a bad boy now, would he?" Nasedo turned his cold glare on to me. "Besides, you have 12 days left and
you have accomplished NOTHING. I'm sure little Lizzie doesn't even know you're alive."

My blood boiled at the words 'Little Lizzie'. When I got the chance, Nasedo was going to pay for doing this to me. I returned his cold glare and stood up. "Nasedo, I don't have the time to deal with you." I brushed by him and quickly left the nurses office. It was 2:30 and I had little time to deal with Nasedo and his head games within this hellish game itself.
****************
Furious about my encounter with Nasedo, masquerading as a nurse, I nearly forgot to bring Michael with me to the Crashdown. He was a little later than usual meeting me at the Jeep, but I needed to bring him along, in case anything got too weird. Besides... maybe he might fly through the air and save Maria or something.
I could only hope right?

Michael came trotting up to the Jeep a few minutes after I had sat down. He was wearing dark sunglasses, so I couldn't see his eyes, but I knew as soon as I saw him that something was on his mind.

I put the Jeep into drive and left the West Roswell High parking lot and headed to the Crashdown. Michael waited until we were on the road before he hit me with his question. "So... Isabel told me that you want us to date humans now." Michael said casually, but I could tell by his undertones that he was really unhappy with the idea.

Sighing, I took a quick glance over at Michael. "Would it be such a terrible idea, Michael?" I didn't really want to get into an argument with Michael right now... I remember the tongue-lashing he gave me when I told Liz about us the first time. I thought he was going to pee his pants... He was so agitated.

Michael shook his head. "I don't want to become the subject of an FBI man-hunt, Maxwell. You were the one who made us *promise* not to tell anyone of what we are..."

"Michael, I was thinking that we should date... not reveal our secret." I quickly answered.

Michael shrugged. "Like any girl would want to go out with me anyway."

"You never know what might happen Michael, if you just take a chance." I told him as we pulled up in front of the Crashdown Café. "C'mon, let's get something to eat." Jumping out of the Jeep, I quickly headed into the Crashdown to stake out our usual table to we... I mean I could prepare for what was to come.

The Close Encounters theme rang out as Michael and I entered the Crashdown. I quickly scrambled for my normal booth and suddenly I realized that the two thugs were already in place at the table across the way from Michaels and mine.
What was happening? I wondered.

Chapter Three

Michael and I entered the Crashdown to see the two thugs that would shoot Liz already here. The two thugs didn't come into the Crashdown Café until 3:45pm in my past. But here... it was only 3:15pm and they were already in place. I knew something odd was going on, but I was too concerned that any moment, the bullets would start to fly. I guess I was forced to go with Plan B, ya think?

The Crashdown was bustling, complete with tourists that wanted to "experience the alien experience" by visiting every tacky Roswell themed store in Roswell. I'd hate to see their reaction if they knew two aliens were sitting in the same café with them, drinking Alien Blasts.

Liz and Maria were standing behind the counter, looking at all the people. I noticed that Maria pointed to our table and nudged Liz. (Did I mention I was buying a case of Cedar Oil for Maria?? Well, she's up to two cases now.) Liz started making her way through the crowd of people to our table, while Maria approached the table in front of the two thugs. I could feel my heart beating faster as she approached.

"Hi Max... Michael." Liz greeted us. "What can I get for you today?"

"Uhh... just an Alien Blast for me?" I said, nervously watching the two thugs over Liz's shoulder. The one closest to the window... he just looked... odd.

"I'll take a Will Smith." Michael said, as he looked at me funny.

Liz smiled as she wrote down her orders and started to walk away. As she started to make her way to the back counter, I heard the words that I had been dreading to hear all day.

"NO! I WANT MY GODDAMNED MONEY NOW!" One of the thugs screamed as he jumped from his table. Every thing started to go into slow motion. Maria standing there, a few feet away, yelling something... Liz... standing in the back... frozen... Michael... just sitting across from me, totally stunned... The thug... with a familiar grin on his face...

Ohcrapohdamnohcrapohdamngogogogogogogo! The thoughts raced though my head as I jumped up and ran full speed towards Liz, who was standing towards the back, watching the men in shock. I could only feel my heart beating as I tackled Liz to the floor.

BANG! The gunshot rang out at the moment Liz and I hit the floor with a thud. Quickly thinking, I tightened my hold on Liz and rolled with her until we were underneath were behind the counter. I held on tight to Liz, feeling her body shake in fear underneath mine.

"Are you okay?" I whispered quietly as my face was just inches above hers.

Liz nodded. "I'm okay Max."

Thank god. I looked at her again, alive and beautiful as ever. "Just stay here, okay? Keep low and just stay behind this." I whispered and moved my body off of hers. I carefully extended my powers, peeking out around the corner. The thug was pointing the gun at Maria!

And the thug wasn't any ordinary thug... the thug was Nasedo.

From behind the counter, I was furious. Nasedo wasn't playing fair and it was my future that was at stake. I quickly peeked out from around the corner of the counter and I still saw Nasedo with his gun aimed at Maria. Maria, was standing motionless, completely scared. My heart went out to her, but I knew as soon as I left the safety of the counter, Nasedo would probably shoot Maria or me.

Suddenly, I caught a small movement from the corner of my eye. Michael! He must of slipped underneath the table when the shooting started. C'mon on Michael, I silently prayed, please save Maria. Michael was crouched low and I didn't think Nasedo saw him as he slid around so he was completely hidden in the dark.
C'mon Michael...

As I watched Michael move, I felt Liz slide in beside me, peeking around the corner as well.

"What's happening Max?" She whispered.

"I guess we're being held hostage, Liz... Maria and Michael are still out there."

"Maria!" Liz gasped and peeked around, seeing her best friend with a gun pointed directly at her. I turned to look at Liz, whose tears were starting to drip down her cheeks onto the floor. Quickly, I pulled Liz into my arms and held her as she quietly cried for Maria. Liz was still Liz, in any time, reality, whatever. I couldn't stand to see her in pain.

As I held her, I noticed the cordless phone sitting on one of the shelves under the counter top. "Here Liz, call 911." I said as I handed the phone to her. Liz nodded, slid out of my arms (darn!) and quietly dialed.

Around the other side of the counter, I could still hear Nasedo talk. "You there... Blondie... you'd better stay still and not doing anything stupid because I'll kill you right here and now!" He yelled. "And you, you bastard... Where's my money!"

I watched Maria nod as Nasedo yelled at everything and everyone. Suddenly, I saw Michael start to inch forward, out from underneath his table. That's it Michael, surprise him, you got it Michael... I mentally cheered him on. "Max... The police will be here in 5 minutes." Liz abruptly whispered from behind me.

Five minutes? Would Michael save Maria by then? C'mon Michael, be the hero.

I could see Michael's fists clench as he slid forward, signaling his anger. Michael suddenly glanced over and saw me peeking out from the counter. He smirked and shook his head at me... typical Michael. I believe in you, Michael.

Suddenly, Michael sprung from the table and launched himself at Nasedo. And from there, everything went back into the slow-mo replay. It was almost like one of those nightmares where you know everything is going wrong and you can't stop any of it... Michael hit Nasedo with a thud and they both fell to the floor. The gun flew across the room; drinks flew everywhere as they hit a table on the way down. They were wrestling and rolling around, as Maria still stood near them, motionless. Michael somehow, managed to throw a punch into Nasedo's face... causing him to shout in pain as his nose broke. Thick red blood spurted over
Michael's white t-shirt.

By this time, I had managed to run over and grab Maria's arm. "C'mon Maria... Let's get out of here."

"No way!! That son of a bitch! I'm not going to get a tip and he scared the HELL out of me!!" Maria yelled. She strode over to the rolling forms of Michael and Nasedo and with a quick kick to the side of Nasedo, distracted him long enough for Michael to pin him to the ground. (Yes, I almost felt like it was the Roswellian form of the WWF. Where's the Rock? Triple H? Should I go grab a chair?)

"Max!" Michael yelled over all the screaming from other customers. "Would you stop standing there and give me a hand?"

With a grin, I picked up a skillet (think Denny's) and walked over to where Michael had Nasedo pinned. Kneeling down to look at his broken nose, I smirked. "Seems like the shoe is on the other foot, eh? Who's in charge now?" I whispered.

"F--- you." Nasedo spit out. "You'll get what's coming to you. You think you'll win this round... Just WAIT." He thrashed around on the ground, still trying to break free.

"Why don't you wait." I muttered and with a loud, satisfying thud, I took the skillet and brought it down on Nasedo's head, knocking him unconscious.
**********
The entire Crashdown Café was in a state of utter chaos when Sheriff Valenti and a troop of Roswell's finest arrived on the scene minutes later. People were crying, Michael and I were trying to keep Nasedo from thrashing about, Liz's father was on the phone, and Liz and Maria were sitting at the counter amongst it all.

Pinning Nasedo down by his shoulders, I looked over my shoulder at Liz and Maria. Both of them seemed stunned by what had just happened. Maria had one arm slung around Liz's shoulders and was quietly talking to her.

"Uh, excuse me gentlemen..." Sheriff Valenti said as he loomed above Michael and I. "I think we can handle it from here." I stood up quietly, noticing that the Sheriff still hadn't removed the mirrored sunglasses from his eyes. Michael stood up from behind me and ran a hand through his spiky hair. I knew that Michael felt uncomfortable about being too close to the Sheriff any point in time during his life. I nodded my head at the Sheriff, but before Michael and I could make our way out of the Crashdown, the Sheriff called us again. "Gentlemen... Please don't leave just yet. I still need to take statements from both of you. Why don't you go and stand by the young ladies?" The Sheriff pointed to where Maria and Liz were standing.

Hey, thanks Sheriff. No problems on my part... In fact, you made my life a lot easier. Michael on the other hand, wasn't too thrilled about staying. "Max." He urgently whispered as we made our way through the mass of deputies and random people. "I don't like this. I don't like the Sheriff, I don't like how you're too calm about all of this..."

Plastering a concerned look on my face for the girls, I quickly hissed to Michael, "Michael, it would be weird if we left. Just act... normal... human..." We finally reached the countertop where Maria and Liz were sitting quietly.

Michael snorted. "Human. Thanks a lot Maxwell."

"Hi Liz, Maria. Are you guys okay?" I asked, concerned. Liz's face was full of worry as she sat on a lone barstool. She brought a shaky hand up to her face and absentmindedly tucked a stand of hair behind her ear.

"Well... I'm pissed that I had to wait on Beavis and Butthead and I didn't even get a tip." Maria grumbled.

Michael snorted again from behind me.

Liz just stared straight-ahead and sighed. Immediately starting to worry, I walked over and wrapped one arm gently around her shoulders and gave her a small squeeze. "It's okay, Liz." I whispered into her ear, "Please, don't worry about this."

Liz suddenly jumped up and ran for the back of the Crashdown. Maria started to go after her, but I held out my arm. "Maria. I'll go and talk to her." I could feel the intense look in my eyes as I stared into Maria's curious blue eyes.

Maria smirked. "Hmph. She's all yours, Max." She turned around to stare at Michael. "And as for you..." I hear Maria say as I started to walk after Liz. Hmmm... I thought as I left the scene. I'll have to ask Michael what happened later.

I walked to the back of the Crashdown, behind in the pantry-room where it was quiet and free from the racket of people currently occupying the Crashdown. Suddenly, I could hear the soft sobs coming from behind a stack of strawberry crates. Peering over the edge, I saw Liz with her knees locked up against her chest. I dropped down on to my knees and scooted over near Liz so I could talk to her. "Hey." I whispered

"Hey." Liz whispered back and smiled at me.

I moved over so that I was in a sitting position next to her. "Are you okay? I mean, I understand that you must be freaked about what happened, the gun, Na.. the thug.."

"Yeah." Liz shrugged, but then she turned to face me. "But Max... I think I'm in shock because you saved me. I mean, you totally saved me. When you and Michael were fighting with that thug, I went and saw where the bullet hit in the wall... it hit right behind where I was standing..." Liz smiled at me. "Thank you Max... You saved my life."

I was completely floored. I knew there was a reason why I loved this girl and that was it. Liz Parker, so caring and fantastic. She looked at me with complete and total trust when she spoke to me. The trust that I knew she was capable of, after all she protects my secret, trusted the three of us during crazy plans and did everything under her power to protect us. I love this girl. I knew it in third grade and I know it now.

"You're welcome, Liz." I looked at Liz nervously. "I didn't want you to get hurt... I couldn't bear it... if you were hurt today." I smiled at her.

"Max..." Liz breathed. "I don't know what's happening... but..." Liz leaned in and kissed me on the cheek gently. "But, I don't care." I could smell her strawberry and vanilla perfume, the soft feel of her lips on my cheek, the look in her soft brown eyes as she thanked me...

"Hey!" I heard Maria shout from the outside the pantry room. "The sheriff... yeah, remember him? Tall? Mirrored glasses? Wears a badge? Yeah, him... well, he needs to talk to the four of us now."

I stood and stuck out my right hand to help Liz. I pulled her up to her feet and together we walked out into the Crashdown, ready to talk to Sheriff Valenti.

~~~~~~Michael and Maria Interlude~~~~~~~~~

Maria smirked. "Hmph. She's all yours, Max." She turned around to stare at Michael. "And as for you..."

Michael raised an eyebrow at Maria. "Yes?"

"Thanks for beating the crap out of that guy and saving my butt." Maria said, staring intently at Michael.

Michael was surprised by Maria, he had never thought that anyone could be thankful for something he had done. Usually, everyone was always saying he did something wrong, his teachers, Isabel and Max, Hank... No one was ever... pleased over something he had done... but this small pixie of a girl... was actually thanking him.

"Uhhhh... You're welcome." Michael muttered and kicked at some dirt on the ground. He ran his hand through his hair nervously.

"Oh!" Maria said, noticing how swollen, bruised and cut Michael's right hand was. "Let me get some ice for your hand. It must hurt like hell." She reached out and gently held Michael's hand in hers. The knuckles were red and bruised from Michael punching the thug. Maria could see that they were starting to swell.

Michael found himself enjoying the feel of Maria's soft hands running over his bruised one... until he remembered... Michael pulled his hand out of Maria's and grumbled, "It's okay. It doesn't hurt at all."

"Oh... c'mon." Maria tsked and grabbed for his hand again.

Michael was about to say no when he remembered Max talking about dating humans. He looked into Maria's blue eyes and only saw caring tenderness for him. "Alright." He grumbled as Maria walked around the counter and grabbed a bag of ice. "So, how did you know to punch him like that?" She asked while she was filling the bag.

"A-Team reruns." Michael said as he sat on a barstool.

Maria laughed. "You lie."

"I'm serious." Michael said. "It was either from A-Team or Batman reruns." He smiled a half-smile at Maria. Michael couldn't believe he was enjoying the conversation with the same girl he had called "Dogface" in 5th grade. Maybe, he thought, that same special feeling I had about her back then will come back. "Dogface..." Michael muttered.

"Please. Cheeto-brain." Maria said with a laugh. "You didn't think that I could forget 5th grade with you? I never had so much fun staying after-school as I did almost every afternoon with you."

Michael smirked at her. "Yeah, teasing you definitely made 5th grade bearable."
Maria leaned across the countertop and pressed the cold bag of ice to Michael's hurt hand. She felt him jump at the cold of the ice and held his wrist so she could keep the ice on his hand. Maria was surprised that Michael Guerin, the same one from 5th grade didn't seem as bad as everyone in school said he was. Maria looked up into his eyes and smiled at him...

Is it just me or can I feel sparks between us? Maria thought.
Is it just me or is this little pixie something special? Michael thought.

Michael smiled back and was about to say something when Sheriff Valenti called for the four of them to come to the small booth he was sitting at in the front of the Crashdown.

Maria sighed... "I'll go and get Liz and Max." She jumped up and walked towards the back of the Crashdown, dropping an ice cube down the front of her shirt when her back was turned to Michael.

~~~~~~~End of Interlude~~~~~~~~~~~~

The four of us talked to Sheriff Valenti for an hour, answering all of his questions. I was surprised, but I realized throughout the conversation that I was no longer scared of Sheriff Valenti. It almost seemed like he was just trying to help us... in my time, and here he was just the Town Sheriff trying to get all the facts. Michael and Maria, Liz and I answered all the questions, truthfully this time.

When it was over, we all seemed relieved. And I knew that maybe this would be the best time to ask the question that might be the trick to getting Liz and I together and maybe even Michael and Maria as well.

"Do you guys want to all go to the movies Saturday night?" I blurted out.

Chapter Four

"Do you guys want to all go to the movies Saturday night?" I blurted out. I watched the surprise register on Liz's face, an amused smirk come over Maria's and heard Michael choke suddenly behind me. Nervously, I stared at the ground, waiting for Liz to say that she was washing her hair that night.

Okay, so I didn't really consider the consequences of asking, but I'm going to blame it on post-traumatic stress syndrome. However, the way I consider it, is that I only have around 10 days to get everyone together. If I didn't start the ball rolling now, I doubt I would ever win this game with Nasedo - regardless of Michael's amount of choking behind me.

"Sure, Max. It sounds like fun." I heard Liz say and my heart leapt at the possibility of her saying that she would go. Looking up, I saw Liz smiling sweetly at me as Maria was grinning at the still-shocked Michael. "Besides, we're all just friends, right?"

Just friends!? I never thought that two words in the English language would cause me more pain. Then again, I guess what goes around, comes around and man, it does hurt when it comes around.

"Just friends." I stammered.

"Well, since you guys are okay, Max and I better head home." Michael announced as he grabbed my arm and pulled me towards the van. "Bye Liz and Maria."

Liz and Maria waved, but I couldn't concentrate on Liz because as soon as Michael and I neared the Jeep... Michael couldn't hold back his displeasure anymore. "Maxwell Evans. Have you officially LOST your mind?" Michael said in a cool voice, struggling not to scream at me. "Dating... Hell, not even that... DOUBLE dating, for crying out loud! Listen, I know that you have this schoolboy infatuation with the Parker-girl, but c'mon! You're breaking EVERY rule that we set up to protect us!" He did his trademark Michael as he ran his hands through his spiked hair.

"Don't try to worm out of this. You're going Michael. Maria already said she would."

"Like I care! I'm not going. It's against all the rules, against own pact, Max." Michael said as he angrily stomped to the Jeep.

I shrugged. "Michael. Maybe it's time for us to set up some new rules." I jumped into the drivers' side of the Jeep, started the engine and effectively ended the conversation, until we were further away from the Crashdown.

"Michael. You need to give someone a chance." I shouted over the roar of the wind as we drove back to my house.

Michael looked at me if I was completely insane. "Max... I can't open up to anyone and neither should you!" He stared at me, his mouth turned down in his frown. "Listen, I know you like the Parker-girl, but you can't put Izzy and I in danger because of what you feel towards her."

"It's not like that, Michael. I don't just LIKE Liz Parker... I'm in LOVE with Liz Parker." I said, shaking my head in frustration.

"That's bullshit, Max and you know it! How can you love her when you barely even know her?" Michael yelled. "You're completely, totally insane now... now I'm sure of it."

"Listen, just trust me, Michael... Just trust that the love I have for Liz Parker will be returned. Trust that sometimes things aren't what they seem to be."
******************************

Feeling totally drained from my argument with Michael, I couldn't wait to go to sleep because I hoped that Isabel would dream walk Liz into my dreams once again. I wanted to talk to Liz, find out what was happening in MY time, MY life... I didn't like the idea that I suddenly disappeared in my time period and hopefully the gang created some excuse that would buy me some time to play Nasedo's game.

Nasedo's game... I sighed as I thought about what little progress I had made so far. I needed to get all of the couples together, and I knew at this moment in time, Isabel probably didn't know Alex was even alive.

I don't know when I fell asleep, but suddenly I found myself walking on the same gray slate background where I had met Liz before. Looking around, it was a vast wasteland of nothingness and I briefly wondered why I couldn't put us in a more "comfortable" setting... say Hawaii.

"Max!!" Liz's voice rang out as I tried in vain to change the setting of my dream. Liz suddenly appeared from a section of the gray nothingness and ran into my arms. She was trembling as I held her against my body tightly, not wanting to let her go.

"Are you okay, Liz? What's wrong?" I looked closely at her and noticed the tears falling down her cheeks as she leaned into me.

"Max... Nasedo's been impersonating you in our time." She said between her quiet sniffles.

"He almost tricked me today into going somewhere with him... but at the last moment I noticed that he wasn't wearing the necklace I gave you the other day." I started to say something, but Liz shook her head, wanting to continue as she brushed the tears off of her eyes. "I didn't let him know that I knew where you were... I yelled at him to let us know where you were.... He... he.. said that he would return you... but not to me... To your... destined mate."

At that moment, I could of killed Nasedo. It's fine that he was messing with me, but it was evil to mess with Liz.

I hugged Liz to me tightly. "It's okay, hon... He can't force me to love someone else... No one can force me to love anyone, but you." Smiling at her, I tenderly kissed her forehead. "Don't worry. I'll win the game that Nasedo has challenged me to, just believe in me, Liz."

"I always believe in you Max." Liz stretched up on her toes and kissed my lips softly. "I have to leave now... Izzy has been practicing, but she can't hold the connection for a real long time."

Reluctantly, I let Liz slide out of my arms and back into the gray nothingness. The minute she disappeared, I could feel the emptiness settling back inside of me. I knew then that I needed Liz Parker, just as much as she needed me.
**********************

Most of Friday came and went uneventfully. West Roswell High was all-abuzz about the shooting at the Crashdown and how I had pushed Liz away from the bullet and "saved the day." Liz and Maria seemed fine and they both came up to me at lunch to get mine and Michael's phone numbers, so everyone could plan out what we were doing Saturday night.

"Max!" Liz and Maria called out to me as I walked across the West Roswell High quad during lunch hour.

"Hi Liz, Hi Maria." I said as they made their way across the pack of students to my side.

"So, I was thinking about Saturday..." Maria announced. "If you want to, maybe we could go out to dinner at the new restaurant by the highway and then, maybe we could rent a video and watch it at Liz's house... since her parents aren't going to be home this weekend..." Maria singsonged suggestively. Maria waved her hands around in the air as her eyes twinkled mischievously as she told me her plan.

Liz's parents... not home? I inwardly cheered for parental vacations and seized the golden opportunity that it was. The fact that I could possibly spend the night with Liz was just too much of a good, great, fantastic thing.

"That sounds perfect, Maria. I'm sure that Michael would love it too." I smiled at Liz, who was surprisingly quiet, and then at Maria.

"Great. Well, I gotta go, because if I'm late to history again... Mr. Smith is going to flip." Maria waved and walked away, leaving me alone with Liz.

Liz looked a little shaken and quiet, her eyes downcast as she stood quietly next to me.

"Uh... Liz are you okay?" I said, peering at her nervously.

Shaking her head slightly, Liz looked around before quietly whispering, "Max, I need to talk to you. In PRIVATE." She stressed, grabbed my arm and began pulling me in the general direction of the eraser room. (A room that I will fondly recall many, many wonderful private moments with my Liz.)

As she pulled me across campus, I wondered what was going on that would make Liz act this way. She never acted really unhappy and I couldn't understand what could be troubling her... I never told her I was an alien this time!

Once inside the eraser room, Liz turned to face me. "I broke up with Kyle today."

Chapter Five

"I broke up with Kyle today." Liz repeated in a quiet voice, her eyes shimmering with tears. I was shocked because in my past, Liz was never so upset over breaking up with Kyle. Besides, I didn't think Kyle was that important to Liz to be crying... I didn't want to see Liz cry over anyone... myself included. Liz was Liz in any time period and no matter what I needed to be there for her. Even if we were just "friends" at the moment.

"Liz... Come here." I pulled Liz into my arms and gently hugged her. "You know it's going to be okay..." I murmured against her dark brown hair, secretly enjoying her smell of strawberries.

Liz pulled back, out of my embrace to face me, suddenly. "No it's not Max, because Kyle asked for a reason why I wanted to break up with him... and I don't even have a reason myself! I totally have no idea, but this morning... I woke up with this feeling that I couldn't be with Kyle anymore. He's a good guy, loyal, nice... but I just knew that he would never make my heart skip a beat when I see him, never make me feel safe, warm and protected and never be that one guy that was just..." Liz paused and sank down on a small stool in despair.

"... just perfect?" I quietly whispered as I knelt down next to Liz. Liz nodded as a tear dripped down her cheek. "Liz... Listen to me... There are many other people out there in the world; it's not necessary that you stay with one high school boyfriend forever... Besides..." I brushed the tear off of Liz's cheek before continuing, "If it doesn't feel right to you... then that's all enough reason to break off a relationship."

Liz smiled at me as I finished. "Thank you Max... You don't know how much I needed to hear that." Suddenly Liz grabbed my hand and squeezed it softly. "Max, I don't know why I feel this way, but I knew I could trust you with this... I feel like I could trust you with anything. I'm so glad we're friends."

I chuckled softly at Liz's words... It was almost like Liz knew, even in this time that there was something special between us... something unordinary... something... perfect. "I'm glad we're friends too Liz." I stood up and offered my hand to Liz. "Are you ready to face West Roswell High being the strong, independent, newly-single girl that you are?"

With a sigh, Liz stood up and gave me a brief hug before turning the doorknob handle. "Yeah, I think I'll manage as long as you're by my side, Max Evans." With a smile, Liz exited the Eraser Room. "Bye Max... I'll call you tonight so we can set up our plans for tomorrow!" Liz called out quietly.

Swallowing down the lump in my throat, I nodded and waved to her as she left. There are some things about Liz Parker that still astounded me, even today.
***********************

Meanwhile, on the other side of campus in the quad...

Alex Whitman was too busy looking around for his best friends, Maria and Liz, to notice that he was going to bump into someone.

"Hey!" Isabel cried out as Alex bumped into her. She didn't really see him coming until the last minute and he had knocked her books out of her hand.

"Oh! I'm so sorry." Alex said as he was turning around and then he noticed whom exactly he had bumped into. "Oh, oh... Let me pick that up for you... I'm sorry." He quickly apologized while mentally chastising himself for doing something SO stupid in front of the Elle MacPherson of the sophomore class - Isabel Evans.

Isabel was about to do her usual "Ice Princess" routine, since she practically WAS the Elle MacPherson of the sophomore class, when suddenly she remembered the conversation she had with Max yesterday... He said that opening up to others would be good for them and maybe, just maybe Isabel wanted to agree with him.

Isabel flipped her hair over her shoulders as Alex stooped over to pick up her books. "It's okay... Things like that happen all the time, Alex."

Alex looked up at Isabel surprised. "You... know who I am?"

"Yeah, I know who you are. You're Alex Whitman... I mean, we've had classes together since 5th grade. Plus, you're Liz Parker's friend..." Isabel quietly explained as Alex stood up and handed her the books that fell. "Thanks."

"No problem, Isabel." Alex said and started to turn away when Isabel stopped him.

"Alex?"

"Yeah?" Alex said as he could feel his palms get sweaty from being around Isabel too long.

"Um.. I was wondering... Since I can't find Max or Michael and that's who I eat lunch with everyday... I was wondering... maybe you'd like to eat lunch with me?" Isabel asked feeling surprised that she was actually nervous about Alex turning her down. In fact, the more she thought about it, it would actually... hurt... if he turned her down and she didn't know why.

Alex tried desperately not to look like a kid on Christmas morning as he nodded. "Sure... That's cool with me."

Isabel smiled, a real genuine smile that was only reserved for Max, Michael and her parents, and felt relief and... happiness. Weird, Isabel thought, as she walked to a shady spot underneath a tall oak tree in the quad. But Alex seems... seems like I've known him forever, she reasoned. Her doubts about humans and opening up to them slowly started to vanish as Alex began to talk to her.
*******************

Slipping out of the eraser room about five minutes after Liz left, I quickly headed to my English class... the only class of the day that I shared with Isabel. As I walked down the eerily quiet hallways of West Roswell High, I noticed Kyle Valenti standing against the wall near the guys bathroom - looking completely pissed off to say the least. His jaw was clenched and from where I was walking, I could almost see his hands balled up into fists. Apparently, Kyle's been having a rough day, I mean, I would too if Liz had broken up with
me. In fact, I would be devastated. Kyle looked completely furious, but he wasn't the type of person to hurt someone for breaking up with him.

With one last glance over at Kyle, I shrugged and figured that he was just storing up some sort of "jock-rage" for football practice after-school or something. I was already 10 minutes late to my English class and I didn't need to get into some argument with Kyle at the moment. Besides, my English teacher, Mrs. Schaffer was the kind of teachers that deducted points off your total grade for every tardy to her class and I needed to still go to classes so no one would suspect anything.

Finally reaching Mrs. Schaffer's classroom, I reached out and grabbed the door handle... mentally preparing myself for the wrath that would ensue.

"Maxwell Evans." Mrs. Schaffer stopped in mid-lecture and pinned me with a stare that would turn ordinary students to dust. "Nice to see that you've decided to show up to English today. You know that I'm deducting points off your grade and here..." She leaned down and scribbled on a small paper. "is detention, as well." With a smile, Mrs. Schaffer handed me the paper and continued talking about the fascinating world of personal pronouns.

I hurriedly walked across the room and slid into my seat, easily ignoring the small giggles from Mrs. Schaffer's lecture to me. However, Isabel's wrath was something that wasn't to be ignored that easily. Isabel sat directly in front of me (you know, alphabetical order... I before M) in my English class, so I was in the line of fire, so to speak.

"Max!" Isabel hissed at me as I sat down. "What is going on with you?"

I turned to look at Isabel and shrugged at her, pretending that I had no idea what she was talking about. Knowing Isabel, she's probably pissed that she couldn't find me during lunch today. My sister isn't the type to suddenly change plans on and not tell her...

"Where were you at lunch today?" Isabel asked, lowering her voice a notch, so Mrs. Schaffer wouldn't throw her second fit of the class period.

"Ummm... I was in the library studying, Izzy. You couldn't find me? What did Michael have to say?"

Isabel rolled her eyes and flipped her long blond hair over her shoulder. "Michael... Michael didn't bother to come to school today and I looked in the library and I still couldn't find you." Isabel looked at me. "Is something wrong Max?"

I shook my head briefly and then realized something. If Michael wasn't at school and I was in the eraser room with Liz most of the lunch period, then who exactly did Isabel eat with? I didn't see her usual water bottle with her, meaning she finished it at lunch like she usually did... so, I figured that she had to eat with someone... but who? "Hey Iz..." I whispered as I leaned forward a little bit. "So, who did you eat lunch with?"

Isabel's slightly widened and I could see a faint blush creep over her cheeks. "No one." She whispered quickly and spun around in her seat.

Ah ha! I thought. Payback is a bitch, Isabel... I thought gleefully. "C'mon Izzy... Who did you eat with? I know you had to have eaten because your water bottle is gone." I whispered behind her.

Isabel mumbled something intelligible and pretended to look busy taking notes. I could see that she was trying to get me to leave her alone. However, no matter how sensitive everyone may think I am... there are things way too good to pass up and this was one of them.

With the tip of my blue pen, I poked Isabel in the ribs, knowing that she was very ticklish there. "Tell me Isabel."

"No." She whispered and slapped my pen away from her side as she turned to face me. "Do that again and I'll..." I raised an eyebrow at her defiantly, "I'll... melt the damned thing." She whispered.

"Tell me."

"All right!" Isabel looked exasperated. "I had lunch with Alex Whitman. There? Are you happy, Mr. Nosy?" With huff, my sister turned around in her chair and started taking notes again.

Alex Whitman. I could hardly keep the goofy grin from coming over my face as I thought about the situation. Isabel, my sister... the Ice-Princess, had lunch with Alex? Maybe, things were going to work out after all.
******************

Detention sucks. Did you know that? Well it does, because I'm sitting wasting an hour of my precious time in a shoebox of a classroom staring at a wall. My legs ache from sitting in a desk that belonged to a fifth-grader, my head hurts from trying to concentrate on not sleeping in the middle of detention and in all honestly, I have to go to the bathroom pretty badly.

Finally, after what seemed like hours of hell, I was let go. Quickly, I stood up and headed out the hallway to the nearest men's bathroom when I heard a somewhat familiar voice start to yell in the next hallway.

"Do you think that you can ruin what's going on? Huh... HUH? TELL ME!" A male voice yelled from around the corner.

I stopped completely, listening to the conversation.

The person continued... "I can't believe you're doing this to me... So tell me... LIZ... what's going on?"

At the moment that I heard the name Liz, I was started to run towards the hallway with the voices. When I rounded the corner, I saw Kyle Valenti holding Liz by an arm and had her pinned against the wall while he continued to berate her.

"Kyle. Get off of me." Liz said with a certain amount of determination in her voice, but I could feel the fear coming off of her as I ran over.

Kyle was so absorbed in yelling at Liz, that he didn't even see me heading over to where they were standing. I'm sure that if he had, he would of seen the furious look on my face and how I couldn't help but ball my hands into tight fists. With a quick shove, I pushed Kyle's hand off of Liz's shoulder and then knocked him back on to the ground. "Get off of her." I ordered him as I stood above him. "You have no right to be touching her like that!" I shouted, Hopefully getting the message into his nit-wit brain.

With a smirk, Kyle rose to his feet. "Evans. Listen, I'm sure that Liz is swooning over your heroics, again... but I can talk to her however I want." Kyle sauntered closer to me and peered up at me slightly.

"Go away Kyle and regrow the brain that you've apparently lost." I told him with my voice tight with anger and restraining myself from knocking back against the wall with my powers.

"Whatever." Kyle reached out and put his hand on my shoulder and pushed. The contact was brief, but when he touched me I knew... completely, totally KNEW that this wasn't even Kyle Valenti I was dealing with anymore.

It was Nasedo. Nasedo/Kyle smirked at me again, understanding that I had realized what happened and walked away, down the hallway of West Roswell High.

I turned to Liz and hugged her briefly once Kyle was out of view. "Are you okay?" I asked her.

Liz nodded. "Thanks Max. That's the second time you've saved me." She smiled at me. "I wasn't too scared. I mean, it was only Kyle. I know him and I know how he is... He really wouldn't hurt me."

I could only nod. If Liz only knew.

continued in the next post...

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 4-May-2002 12:51:33 PM ]
posted on 4-May-2002 12:38:42 PM by Lauren21
Chapter Six
Day Four - September 19th, 1999

I'm Max Evans and for once in my life, I slept in today. I guess always being the responsible and dependable one wears thin and I needed to relax. Since tonight is the big "double date" with Liz and Maria - I had the feeling that I should be saving my strength. After all, Liz's parents weren't going to be home tonight, I certainly didn't need to be falling asleep during the movies that we all planned to watch - that wouldn't be the smooth "look-fall-in-love-with-me" moves that I needed to put on tonight. So, I slept in until noon today.

Yesterday was a big day, Liz broke up with Kyle, Nasedo posed as Kyle and tried to scare Liz, and Liz and I planned our date. We decided that it shouldn't be anything fancy because none of us had money to go to a super fancy restaurant. Liz suggested going to a new restaurant in town called BJ's (okay, this isn't a phallic reference or anything - geez, you all are perverts!) which served pizza and sports bar kind of food. After that we were going to head over to Liz's house to watch some old movies and just have a good time.

Some of you still might be wondering what happened after Nasedo/Kyle ran off yesterday. Liz was shaken at the encounter with her "ex-boyfriend," mainly because she didn't ever think that Kyle could act like that. Technically, Kyle Valenti would never really act like that, because I know even though he seemed stalkerish in my past... (You know, trailing us down 285 South, having his friends beat me up...) Kyle really did care about Liz and just worried about her. I took Liz straight to the Crashdown after the incident, however. The idea that
Nasedo could shape shift into anyone scared me and I hoped that if Liz was safe at home, hopefully Nasedo couldn't get to her.

I took my time getting ready for tonight, because I was really very excited about our big double date. I mean, in my time, Liz and I never really got to date without worrying about Sheriff Valenti or someone else drooling down our necks... so this was going to very enjoyable for me. Besides, the closer I got to Liz, the closer I was to finishing Nasedo's challenges. Remember, I only have ten days left and I have to get Michael and Maria and Isabel and Alex together.

Staring at myself, clad only in a towel wrapped around my waist (Stop! I can hear all the catcalls from here! It's making me blush!) I wondered what I should wear and if I should do anything special to my hair. Furrowing my eyebrows in concentration, I waved one hand over my hair, spiking it up slightly. Not bad, I thought. Then, I waved my hand across my hair again, adding blue tips to each of the spikes.

"Nice touch, Maxwell. Although I'd go with green spikes to match your aura."

I turned around to see Michael leaning casually against the wall in my room. A small smirk played across his lips as he eyed the towel around my waist. "You know, Max, I'd also suggest wearing a pair of pants, we don't want Liz to think you're a pervert."

I rolled my eyes and turned back around to the mirror and grabbed my razor off the counter. "So, Michael. You're here early... Something up?" I asked as I started to lather up white shaving cream on my cheeks and looked at Michael in the mirror.

Michael shrugged and began to pace. As he did, I glanced at my reflection in the mirror and I took a moment to change the tips of my spiked hair to green. "I guess I came to borrow a shirt, all of my shirts were dirty because Hank never bothers to clean anything." Michael said in a rush. His eyes looked down to the floor for a moment. "I guess I want to look good tonight."

Putting down my razor, I walked over to Michael and clapped him on the back lightly. "Why don't you try this red and black button-down flame shirt that Izzy gave me for Christmas last year. I never wear it and besides, the red would match your aura." Michael nodded and headed over to my closet.

As I continued my shaving, I thought about how Maria really effects Michael. He usually never asked me for help and couldn't give a rats ass about looking good for anyone. It was just nice to see that the "stonewall" that he had placed around him crumbling. Michael was very different in my time and to tell the truth, while I've been back in the past, I've missed that Michael.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A couple of hours later, I sat calmly on my bed, wearing my dark green button down shirt that matched my hair, with a white T-shirt underneath, and black pants. Michael, on the other hand was pacing around my room again, ranting and raving about our upcoming date. He was dressed in my red and black button-down flame shirt and black jeans, really dressed to impress, in my opinion.

"... Maxwell, what on this planet possessed you to set this sort of thing up? Are you trying to kill me? First of all, we have dinner... then watching a movie... at Liz's house... without her parents there? I'd swear that you were trying to get some with Parker, but that's not your style. Then, I mean, it's dinner with Parker and DeLuca... Freaking DeLuca! She's the girl I would call dogface in the 5th grade. Besides, she's weird, annoying and what's up with all that sniffing..."

"It's because you like her Michael." I called out over the ranting as I grabbed a new magazine and idly flipped through it. Michael only freaked out like this whenever things were changing and he knew he couldn't stop them. I remember the earful I received in my past when Michael spent the night after he found out that afternoon that I had told Liz our secret. He may seem oddly quiet, but Michael really expresses his opinions around Isabel and me.

Michael ranted for another minute, before my words hit home. He stopped in mid-pace, with his/my red and black shirt swishing and started at me. "Listen, Max." He said through gritted teeth, "I-DO-NOT-like-DeLuca. She hates me and I don't like her."

I sighed at stood up to face Michael. "Michael. Please, you don't even know if Maria doesn't like you or not. That entire name calling thing back in the 5th grade was... interesting, but I think that she probably liked you more than anyone else in the class." I raised an eyebrow at Michael. "C'mon, give yourself some credit. Afterall, you DID save her life in the Crashdown the other day, so HOW can she possibly hate you?"

Michael shrugged and looked at the time on my alarm clock. "Well, it's 5:00pm and I guess we're supposed to meet Parker and DeLuca at the Crashdown soon. I guess we'd better go." Michael started to head out of my room.

"I'm glad you're warming up to this idea, Michael." I said as we left my room.

"Whatever, Maxwell. I'm just along for the ride, I guess."
*******************
It was 5:25 on Saturday afternoon, when Michael and I drove up in front of the Crashdown, all ready for our "double date." We had stopped before we got to the Crashdown to buy each of the girls a small present, so we were running a little late. I had bought a small bouquet of wildflowers for Liz and after some prompting; Michael picked out a sunflower for Maria.

Michael and I jumped out of the Jeep and headed inside the Crashdown. Before entering, I quickly prayed that Nasedo would leave all of us alone tonight. If I could only hope, right?

Liz and Maria were both seated at our usual booth waiting for us and they each looked amazing. Liz was wearing a semi-transparent purple blouse (she had a tank top underneath, I believe) with black cargo pants and black shoes. She looked totally stunning, as usual. Maria had on a very tight blue shirt and dark blue jeans with sandals. I thought she also looked fantastic and I think Michael agreed by the way he gasped slightly when he saw her. (Being his best friend, I pretended not to notice.)

"Hi Liz and Maria. You guys look great!" I said as I approached them at our table. "Here Liz, this is for you." I held out the wildflowers to her and enjoyed the smile that came across her face.

"Thank you Max, they're so pretty!" Liz exclaimed. Chalk up one love point for Max Evans, I thought.

Michael was standing behind me and shuffled towards Maria slowly. Maria eyed him warily as he came closer. "Here." Michael muttered. "I thought you would like this." He handed Maria the sunflower.

Maria's eyes narrowed for a second and then smiled. "Thank you Michael. How did you know that sunflowers were my favorite flower?" Maria asked as she held her sunflower and sniffed it.

"Because I remember you drawing them all over your notebooks in 5th grade..." Michael said matter of factly. "Sunflowers - they just suit you, you know?"

Maria smiled again at Michael and then turned to Liz. "Let's put these in water real quick before we go, I don't want mine to die." She grabbed Liz's hand and pulled her towards the back room of the Crashdown. I for one was shocked. Michael never told me that he knew Maria's favorite flower or that he even remembered it from 5th grade. I think that Michael has known that there's something special about Maria and just never admitted it to himself.

I elbowed Michael in the side. "Nice." I whispered to him.

"You think?" Michael muttered, unsure of himself. After all, this was our first dates with girls in our lifetimes.

"Yeah. You impressed her. Girls like to know that you pay attention to them." I whispered back as Liz and Maria walked out of the back room and headed towards us. I walked over to Liz and helped her put her jacket on and asked, "All ready now?"

Liz smiled. "Yeah, Max. You know, I think I'm going to have a great time tonight."

"I certainly hope so Liz." I murmured and the four of us walked out to the Jeep officially starting our first date.

Chapter Seven

As I was driving to BJ's Restaurant about 10 minutes after we left the Crashdown, I hoped that Nasedo wouldn't be able to ruin this night for any of us, but in this time period, Nasedo could be anywhere. The thought scared me but I had to prove to him that I was capable of handling him and handling my own life. I had to prove to him that I could beat him at his own game.

"Max?" Liz's quiet voice interrupted my thoughts and I looked over at the beautiful girl sitting in the passenger seat of my Jeep. "Maria asked if you like horror movies... we were trying to decide what to rent after dinner tonight."

"Yeah, either horror or alien movies." Maria chimed in from the backseat. "Since, Roswell video has about a million of them and practically nothing else."

I glanced in my rearview mirror as Maria asked about aliens to see Michael smirking in the back seat. "Nah... I'd rather watch a chick-flick than an alien movie, Maria. They're just not - realistic to me." I said with a small smile.

"Thank goodness that someone finally agrees with me about not renting horror or alien movies." Liz said with a stare at Maria. "Maria hates that I can't watch alien movies with her. I think it's because the science geek in me can't believe the situations the aliens are put in and I can't believe that all aliens are a threat."

Michael and I stared at Liz in semi-disbelief until Liz caught our stares and blushed.

"Don't worry guys. I don't even believe in aliens anyway." Liz said with a giggle.

I thought I heard a small sigh of relief from Michael in the backseat before I spoke up. "It's okay Liz. I agree..."

Michael coughed violently in the backseat, interrupting me before I could finish.

"That we should rent a chick-flick." I said with a smirk.

"Ooh. Let me see your CD's Max." Maria suddenly called out from the backseat. Leaning over, I handed them to her and then tried to turn my attention back to driving. "Metallica... blah... Counting Crows... blah... Ooh. Stone Temple Pilots - very cool..." I heard Maria say in the back and I bit my lip and waited for the inevitable reaction from Michael.

"Blah? Blah is all you can say about the best band in rock?" Michael challenged Maria.

Maria looked up from the CD case into Michael's eyes. "Blah is only the KINDEST thing I could say about those Grungy wannabes. Don't push your luck and make me tell you what I really think about them."

"Whatever! Grunge wannabes? You wouldn't know true talent if it came along and smacked you in the face!"

"Whatever yourself! How could you have such pathetically low standards to like Metallica? Besides..." Maria sputtered and was about to turn into a full fledged "Hurricane DeLuca" before Liz suddenly intervened as we pulled up in front of the restaurant.

"Maria, c'mon. You can tell Michael later what you think about Metallica. And besides, I like Metallica too." Liz said with a small laugh.

"Well, at least Parker here as some taste…" Michael grumbled as we got out of the car and headed over to the restaurant.

Later that night…

Liz and I both sighed as we watched Michael and Maria argue before us as we left the restaurant and headed back to the cars. I guess that the dinner was very nice; Liz and I got to sit around and talk to each other while we tried to ignore the arguing of Michael and Maria. Maria seemed angry at Michael from the start and poor Michael had no clue as to why Maria was angry. From my perspective, what happens is that Maria sees me open doors for Liz, pull out her chair, all that and Michael doesn't really think to do that sort of thing for her. Maria gets angry and Michael then doesn't realize how mad she is getting and says something that pisses her off even more. Fighting is their primary form of communication, no matter what time period I'm in, apparently.

However, I think that they enjoy arguing because in my time, Michael always commented that he enjoyed "making up" with Maria later. Maybe Maria provides a challenge to Michael that no one else can give him. As we reached my Jeep, they were still at it.

"Whatever!" Maria humphed and angrily got into the Jeep, leaving Michael standing next to the Jeep running his hands through his hair in total frustration. Michael cast a quick glance in my direction, spotting Liz with her arm linked through mine.

I chuckled softly and shrugged my shoulders at Michael in an apology and pulled Liz in closer to me. I had felt her soft hands slide between my arm and start to walk in sync with me a few moments ago and I enjoyed the feeling of her next to me. Looking down at her, my eyes met her warm brown ones and I gave her a quick smile. Her eyes were twinkling as she warmly smiled back at me, warming my body from head (not that one - geez, you guys need therapy!) to toe.

Michael slamming the door brought Liz and I out of our moment and we both started to laugh at Michael and Maria's antics. "You know that they're both so crazy about each other." Liz said as I walked over to the passenger door to let her in.

"You think so?"

"C'mon Max. I've never see Maria as riled up as when she's with Michael. It's impossible to ignore that they're crazy for each other. I doubt that they would go to such lengths to insult and tease the other, if there wasn't something behind it." Liz reasoned.

"Maybe you're right, Liz" I said as I gave her my hand and helped her into my Jeep.

*********************

How was I supposed to know that all hell was going to break loose after we had chose the movie and went back to Liz's house? I guess it was too easy for Max to have a nice, normal date with Liz… way too easy. No, it wasn't Nasedo, he was mysteriously absent tonight, my problems were with the bickering of Michael and Maria. I usually don't mind the angry sighs, snappy comebacks, Maria stomping off, whatever because I've seen this all before. Literally. All I asked for was one quiet date with Liz, just one, and I would deal with everything else afterwards. I didn't get my wish.

What happened you ask?

At the video store, Michael and Maria argued about what movie they wanted to watch. Maria wanted to see Forces of Nature, Michael wanted to see Gladiator. Liz and I just stood back in shock as they argued about the movie and I know that we were both silently kicking ourselves for not leaving them in the car and choosing the movie ourselves.

Finally, we rented (wait, I forgot, Michael didn't have any money…) *I* rented both Gladiator and Forces of Nature, hoping that I would be able to appease both of them. My future with Liz was resting on Michael and Maria getting along as well as Liz and I.

Then we reached Liz's house and immediately, Michael and Maria got into a fight about which movie we were watching first. I think that the angry look I finally shot at Michael allowed him to cave in and agree to watch Forces of Nature. As I settled down on the couch with my arm comfortably around Liz and Michael and Maria seeming to be getting closer… Michael had to open his big mouth.

"This movie sucks."

Maria couldn't of slid further away from him faster if she had jet rockets attached to her sides and I don't think that Liz or I could cover our sighs of frustration. Leaning down to Liz, I whispered, "Are you as sick of them as I am?"

"Yes." Liz whispered back into my ear, causing my entire body to tingle.

"Then I'm going to do something about it." I said as I stood up, confidently and headed for the small side supply closet next to the kitchen. Looking inside, I saw various types of food, including ice cream cones. Perfect, I thought as I put the ice cream cones on the highest shelf - ALL the way in the back. Then I headed over to the freezer in the Parkers kitchen and looked for some ice cream. The Parkers had two large containers of chocolate and vanilla ice cream and I grabbed both of them and some spoons - making sure that my arms were completely full.

"Hey Maria." I called out as I walked out of the kitchen. "Can you do me a favor and grab the ice cream cones for me? Liz and I decided that we could use some ice cream as we watched the movie." I walked over next to the supply closet as Maria got up. Maria looked around the closet and then spotted the ice cream cones on the highest shelf.

"Max. I can't grab them all the way up there. They're too high up for me." Maria said.

"Hey - Michael! C'mere!" I called out still pretending to juggle the ice cream containers. I watched as Michael reluctantly get up from his position on the couch and walk over to the closet where Maria was all the way inside and I stood right out by the door. "Look - can you grab those ice cream cones for Maria?" I asked. "She's not tall enough to reach up that high."

Michael grumbled. "Whatever, Maxwell." As he stepped into the closet, I made my move. I quickly dropped the ice cream containers on the ground and pulled the door of the supply closet closed and ran my hand over the lock. Connecting in quickly, I fused together the bolts with the wall knowing that not even Michael could break out of that room without using his powers. I also knew that Michael couldn't control his powers very well at the time, so there was no way that either one of them were getting out of that closet without my allowing them to. Plus, to Liz, it looked like I had simply locked the door.

"MAXWELL!!" I heard Michael roar as Michael realized what I did. "LET ME OUT OF THIS DAMNED CLOSET RIGHT NOW!" He tried the handle that didn't turn and started to pound on the door. I heard Maria's hands join him as they both started to yell.

"Liz! Max! This is NOT COOL! I can't spend any time this close to someone, someone like this!"

By this time, Liz had gotten up from the couch and had joined me by my side. "Maria. I think Max is doing the right thing, you two need to learn how to get along without fighting."

"WE DON'T FIGHT!" Both of them yelled.

"Don't worry guys. I'll unlock the door when I think that you two can get along without yelling at each other." I calmly said on my side of the door. "Have fun."

"You're dead, Maxwell." I heard Michael yell as Liz and I walked away from the supply closet, laughing. Secretly, I was proud of my achievement because now I had set myself up for moving forward with my Liz. With Michael and Maria locked away safely in the closet, I finally had the chance to spend time with Liz. The date so far had been perfect for us, great conversation in the car, restaurant, during the movie... I love this girl and I wanted her to make sure that she knew this.

I stood up, nervously because I was going to do something I had never done before. "Umm, Liz..." I asked.

Liz looked at me from the couch. "Yeah Max?"

"Do you want to dance?" I shyly held out a hand to help her up.

Liz's smile practically lit up the room. "Okay." She said and placed her small hand in mine and I pulled her to her feet.

"Stay here, okay? Let me set up the CD." I whispered to her as I quickly moved across the Parkers living room to the CD player and pulled the CD that I had made out of my pocket. I had heard the song on it one day in the car and had instantly thought of Liz. Being an alien certainly had its advantages I thought to myself, as I placed the CD I had "burned" this afternoon into the CD player.

After a brief pause, "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys, started to softly play over the speakers. I walked back across the room and pulled Liz into my arms. I marveled at how perfectly Liz fit into my arms as we gently swayed to the lyrics.

I may not always love you
But long as there are stars above you
You never need to doubt it
I'll make you so sure about it
God only knows what I'd be without you


What almost pains me is that I wished I had been able to do this with MY Liz and let her know this is how I felt about her. The thought made me pull Liz closer to me instinctively, missing MY Liz so much it hurt. Although, I was with Liz, it wasn't the same Liz that had been through so much with me.

If you should ever leave me
Life would still go on, believe me
The world could show nothing to me
So what good would living do me?
And God only knows what I'd be without you


I think that Liz and I were made for each other, I couldn't care less about Nasedo had planned for me. What it came down to was this was MY life and I was going to life it the way I wanted to. Alien or not.

And God only knows what I'd be without you
If you should ever leave me
Life would still go on, believe me
The world could show nothing to me
So what good would living do me?
God only knows what I'd be without you

God only knows what I'd be without you...


Liz and I continued to dance, long after the music died down. I know that I couldn't leave the warmth of her body and her presence. God Only Knows simply reminded me that I missed my Liz and I wanted to end this challenge so that I could be with her again. I enjoyed feeling Liz pulled close against my body and I knew that - deep down - this Liz was slowly falling in love with me.

Looking down into Liz's eyes confirmed it. She smiled at me tenderly as we swayed to a stop and I slid my hand up to her cheek, feeling how soft it was. With a small smile, I lowered my lips to hers and gently kissed her. I felt Liz's lips relax against mine as I started to lose myself in the softness of her lips and the sweetness of her strawberry-vanilla lip-gloss.

I was kissing my Liz, finally… but as we reluctantly pulled apart I realized something that I had never ever would have believed.

When Liz and I kissed - we didn't have any flashes. I didn't see into her soul.

Chapter Eight

The absence of our connection between Liz and I shocked me. Every time that Liz and I have kissed our connection has always been there. Images of Liz, myself would roll in my mind in waves of intense emotion. Kissing Liz was like seeing into both of our souls at once.

I figured that the reason why I didn’t form the instantaneous connection with Liz was because in this reality I didn’t heal her and form the first original connection between us. I was about to pull away when Liz's lips softly captured mince again, reminding me of the night in Michael’s apartment. I pulled Liz closer into my embrace and as I felt her in my arms again, I realized that despite the lack of our connection this was still Liz, I still would love her even if we didn’t share our connection and I still had to get her to be interested in me without knowing my alien status. My mouth fused over hers and I lost myself in the sweetness of her lips.

“Max?” I felt Liz whisper against my lips, momentarily stopping our kiss.

“Yes?” I peeked open an eye to look at Liz and saw her blushing.

Liz saw me peek at her and smiled as I did so. Her smile was infectious because I grinned back at her, looking like the lovesick fool that I am. “Max.” Liz whispered. “No one has ever really kissed me like that before... I really liked it.” Her dark brown eyes were full of expression as she stared thoughtfully at me.

Chuckling softly, I pulled Liz back into my arms. “Don’t worry, Liz. I haven’t kissed anyone like that either.” Which was technically true, if I really was the Max Evans of 1999 - that kiss would have been my first kiss.

“Good.” Liz whispered with a smile and pulled me back down to her lips, effectively ending the discussion and causing me to indulged myself in her once more.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(What you cry!? What else happened with Liz and I at her house that night!? Okay horn-dogs, I could explain what else happened that night, but I think that your imagination could create the mood and the scene much better than I ever could. Besides! All of you all are just too interested in my life, it’s not healthy. Kidding, you know I love the attention. See, I have to talk about what happened with Michael are Maria for two reasons. 1: It’s really interesting because I didn’t expect it all to happen and 2: I think some of you candygirls are rallying to kill me because I haven’t talked about Michael and Maria enough! On with the story!)

“Goddamn, it’s dark in here. I wonder where the light switch is?” Maria wondered aloud in the small, dark supply closer. She started to run her hands along the walls, searching for a light switch, when she accidentally ran her hands over Michael’s broad chest.

“I don’t think that copping a feel on me is going to help. Groping me in the dark isn’t my idea of getting us out of this stupid closet! Michael muttered, still extremely pissed that Max had tricked him. Michael was planning on seriously beating the crap out of his best friend if he got out of this closet alive. That is, he reasoned, if he could survive Hurricane DeLuca.

Maria whacked Michael on the shoulder. “Like I would ever WANT to grope you in the dark! Please! Brad Pitt - oh yeah! Ben Affleck - definitely Yes! YOU?? Ha!” Maria angrily spat. She started to move past him, continuing her search for the elusive light switch.

“Listen, Maria... Don’t lie to yourself. I *know* I’m irresistible.” Michael replied, secretly enjoying the inevitable rise he always got out of her.

“Whatever, mushforbrains.”

Michael suddenly reached out and grabbed Maria’s slim waist and pulled her flush against his body in the dark. He leaned over and whispered in her ear, “Now, I know that no one can resist my charms.” Michael felt Maria involuntarily tremble against his body at his words and Michael was amazed that he could have such effect on Maria. He never thought that he, Michael Guerin, could make a girl tremble.

Maria couldn’t help, but tremble at Michaels words. His lips were softly whispering against her ear and it was causing all sorts of unexplained reactions in her body. His body that was against her back was lean and very sexy and the low growl in his voice was simply too much. I guess having this crush on him is too much for me, Maria thought. She almost started to reply that he *was* irresistible when she realized that Michael at started to softly chuckle behind her.

(Bad move, Michael. I thought - yes, this is Max, just couldn’t help myself to add that little comment in there.)

Maria lashed out, surprising Michael by sharply elbowing him in the gut, causing him to double over in pain. Spinning around, Maria pushed Michael upright by his shoulders and in the semi-darkness, stared him in the eye. “Don’t push your luck, Michael Guerin. Apparently, I have resisted.” Maria continued down the wall, feeling for the light switch and left Michael leaning against a shelf, wheezing softly as he got his breath back.

When his breathing became normal again, Michael stood up and carefully made his way to the supply closets door. He figured that Max had locked the door using his powers and while his powers weren’t as strong as Max or Isabels, maybe they would be enough to get Maria and him out of this closet. Maria was busy examining the walls for a switch, so Michael laid his right hand against the door and tried to melt the fused together metal. After a minute of trying, Michael didn’t melt any of the metal and had only succeeded in causing all the paint to wilt off the Parkers closet door.

“Damn!” Michael yelled and punched the door hard enough to indent it and slice open his hand on a stray nail as well.

Maria had whirled around at Michaels extort and dimly saw him holding his hand in pain. She grabbed what felt like a kitchen towel off a shelf and quickly pressed it against the wound. “Hurting yourself isn’t going to get us out of here.” Maria whispered to Michael as she warmly held Michaels wounded hand in her own and rewrapped the towel around his fingers. Maria pulled Michael down to the closet’s floor in a sitting position, so she could better hold the towel to his bleeding hand.

Michael looked at Maria’s small hands gently wrapped around his and smiled softly. Surprised at gesture, Michael let Maria hold the towel around his hand even though his cut wasn’t that deep or bleeding too badly. Hpmh. Michael thought to himself, I always wanted to control my powers like Max so I could heal any cut or bruise, but I like how Maria is holding my hurt hand. Michael looked over at Maria and smiled at her, in his own way letting her know how much he appreciated what she was doing.

Maria looked at Michael and was momentarily shocked that Michael Guerin was smiling at her. Shyly, Maria smiled back quickly, then looked at Michaels hand. “Don’t worry Michael, you didn’t even cut yourself too deep.” Maria said as she carefully peeled back the towel. “Does it hurt a lot?”

“Nah. I’m tough.” Michael replied and flexed his left arm for show.

Wow. Maria thought. The big lug works out.

Ha ha! Michael thought. I’ve impressed her, thank goodness Max talked me into lifting weights with him this summer.

Maria unglued her eyes from Michaels impressive physique for a moment to look at her watch. “Oh my god! We’ve been in here for almost an hour! Why are Liz and Max being mean to us and I wonder what they’re doing right now.”

Michael snorted. “Maria - you probably don’t wanna go there.”

Maria looked at curiously for a second and then her eyes widened in understanding. “Ew! Michael!! You don’t think that they could be...” Maria screeched out before Michael clasped his unhurt hand over her mouth.

“No, you big nerd. That’s Prince Max out there with Little Lizzie Parker. I’m almost positive that there’s nothing freaky happening between those two at the moment.” Michael said as he looked at Maria. Besides, he thought, Max should KNOW better than to let his hormones get the better of him. After all, we’re still aliens.

“Mmpphs!” Maria said and pulled down on Michaels arm to uncover her mouth as Michael gave her a strange look. “I couldn’t breathe - you jerk!” Maria huffed and gave Michael a light push. Michael rolled his eyes at Maria - which only made her madder. “Just because you’re big and buff doesn’t mean that I can’t beat you up!” Maria yelled.

Michael started laughing at Maria’s comments. “Whatever.”

With a growl Maria quickly jabbed one of her hands into Michaels side and used the side of her shoulder to knock him over to the ground completely. Leaning on him with her weight, Maria tickled the Michaels sides lightly and kept him pinned to the ground. “Ha ha! Like that Guerin!” Maria said triumphantly.

“You are toast DeLuca!’ Michael muttered from the ground as he shifted his body, causing Maria to lose her balance and fall to the ground next to him. Michael then pushed down on both of her shoulders to ground. Staring down at Maria, Michael was the triumphant one now, until he noticed how beautiful Maria looked as she lay there on her back looking at him. Only then Michael realized how close his face was to hers.

“Michael.” Maria whispered, her mind racing at the possibilities of what could happen.

“Yeah.” Michael whispered back, nervously wondering if Maria wanted the same thing as him.

“It’s okay.” Maria whispered and then smiled as Michaels lips found his way to hers.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A few hours later....

“Max?”

“Yeah?”

“Do you ever think about where you’ll be in 5 years?” Liz asked me quietly. We were laid snuggled up together on her couch with an old quilt wrapped around us. Liz was laying to my side and I had my arms wrapped around her shoulders as we talked and occasionally kissed each other senseless. Unbeknown to this Liz, we had laid in this exact same position many many times before.

I looked over to Liz and brushed her dark brown hair off of her forehead. “I don’t know.” I answered her with a slight shrug. I honestly didn’t know where I would be in five years. How long could Michael, Isabel and I pretend we were human? How soon would we discover who we really are and why we are here on Earth anyway. I never liked to think about the future because it was so uncertain and I, Max Evans, enjoy certainty.

“Well, I know that in five years, I’ll most likely be in college somewhere... probably either really far away from Roswell or somewhere close by.” Liz whispered. “I just feel lately everything is changing... a few weeks ago I could of told you exactly where I would be in five years, but now, I’m not sure.”

“Liz... Everyone has a change of heart now and again. You’re only a sophomore in high school - your destiny isn’t planned out for you.” I replied and kissed her temple softly. I felt Liz sigh next to me. “Don’t worry. I’m positive that somewhere along the way, you’ll realize exactly what you want in life.”

Liz nodded her head and then was silent for a moment. “Do you think Maria has killed Michael in that closet yet?

I laughed. “I haven’t heard any yells, screams, or loud noises for a few hours. Maybe they’ve bickered themselves into twin comas.”

“Or maybe they’ve killed each other.” Liz replied and sat up. “C’mon, let’s go see if we hear anything from outside the closet.” She slid her body over mine to get to the other side of the chair and then pulled me into a sitting position.

Quietly, we both snuck over to the supply closet and listened for any noises. Nothing so far. I inched a little closer and noticed small pile of white flakes at the bottom of the supply closet door. What the hell, I thought to myself and walked over to the front of the door. Upon my closer inspection, I noticed that all the paint was wilted off the front of the door and laying in little flakes on the carpet.

Slick Michael. I thought, knowing that he tried to use his powers to get the door open. As Liz walked across the room to turn on the lights, I quickly waved my hand over the door and restored the paint. I know for a fact that my little scientist would definitely analyze why all the paint flaked off the door for no apparent reason. Also, I changed back the atomically structure of the door lock, so that it only appeared to the locked from the outside.

As the light flooded the room, I waited for Liz to return to my side before opening the door. “Ready for the inevitable carnage?” I joked.

“Undoubtedly.” Liz replied. We both quietly gasped as I opened the door and saw Michael and Maria curled up in each others arms sleeping soundly. I also noted that a good deal of Maria’s lipstick was smeared all over Michaels lips, face, neck and I could almost see a small love bite on Maria’s neck. “Well, I didn’t expect that to happen.” Liz muttered.

“Hey, neither did I.” I whispered back.

“Why don’t the both of you just shut up.” Michael whispered, suprising us both. “This is the most quiet I’ve ever had with DeLuca around, and honestly, I kinda like it...” Michael cracked open an eye and peered at Liz and I. “So why don’t the two of you go back to whatever you wanted to do in the first place and leave us in peace?” Michael closed his eyes and wrapped a free arm around Maria’s waist as I shut the closet door in shock.

Chapter Nine
Day Six - September 21st, 1999

All I could see was Liz’s frightened look as Nasedo brutally gripped her neck and held her in front of me. Liz’s dark brown hair was matted down to her forehead with sweat and I could see how her eyes were calling out to me. Quickly, I felt the rage inside of me building as Nasedo smirked at me gleefully. “Little Lizzie, ahhhh in quite a bind now, huh Maxie?”

I ignored Nasedo completely. “Liz...” I whispered. “Just stay calm, honey.”

Liz nodded, her brown eyes wide.

Nasedo watched us communicate with interest. “Awww! How cuuute!” He said and tightened his arm around Liz’s neck. “You know, it almost makes me take pity on your ‘Star Crossed Lovers’ crap.” Nasedo grinned at me suddenly. “But, wait... she has to DIE before you can become star crossed lovers... Okay... I’ll be a pal and help you out.” Nasedo quickly pulled out a knife from his jacket pocket and slid it across Liz’s beautiful, delicate neck. As the dark red line of blood slowly dripped from the wound, Nasedo released his hold on Liz and in slow motion, she crumpled to the floor.

“NNNNNOOOOOO!!!!!!” I screamed and ran to Liz’s side, but it was too late. Sobbing, I tried to place my hands over Liz’s wound, but there was too much blood and in my panicked state of mind, I couldn’t properly connect with Liz to heal her. “Liz...” I sobbed and grasped one of her lifeless hands in my mine which were coated in her blood. Liz’s blood. I slowly sank my head down to hers in defeat and gently kissed her lips for the last time and closed her blank eyes. As I did, I heard Nasedo cackling in the background.

Completely full of rage, more so that I have ever felt, I stood and faced a grinning Nasedo. “I’m going to f**king kill you.” I whispered and clenched my fists. When Nasedo failed to respond, I launched myself at him and we topped over backwards, hitting the floor with a thud. Pinning him to the ground with my body, I reeled back and landed one solid punch to Nasedo’s face. I heard the crack of his cheekbone and before I could land another punch to his face, Nasedo suddenly began to change. His grey hair morphed into curly blonde hair and his body shifted to that of a young teenage girl.

“Maxxxxx...” The Nasedo/girl breathed. “I’m soooo glad that you feel this way.” She pushed her body against mine and attempted to hold me against her.

I screamed and leapt off of that thing as fast as I could. Without warning, her face was all around me. “Max... I’m your true soulmate...” The words kept reverberating off the walls around me, sinking into my skull as I pressed my hands against the sides of my head in desperation as I tried to drown out her voice...

I fell to my knees, screaming...

With a start, I sat up straight in my bed completely drenched from sweat from what was probably my absolute WORST nightmare EVER. Slightly shaking, I recounted the nightmare, in which I had lost the most precious person in my life. I swallowed down the bile that had arisen in my throat and glanced at my alarm clock - 2:41 am. Ugh, still too early to actually get up for school, even though I’d rather just stay awake to avoid any more nightmares. With a sigh, I wiped the sweat off of my forehead and before I settled down into my pillow again, I wondered if my Liz was okay and my nightmare wasn’t a premonition of some sort.

You ever have one of those nights where it seems like you can’t stop dreaming? Well, this was apparently one of those nights, because as soon as I fell back asleep, I was dreaming again. This time, I recognized the grey slate that I was walking through as the background that I met Liz in and I eagerly looked around for her.

“MAX!” I heard Liz call out my name and as I spun around I caught Liz in a hug. Holding her tight against me, I was extremely thankful to have my Liz with me. “We’ve been trying to get through to you all night Max.” Liz whispered.

“Maybe you couldn’t get through because I’ve been having nightmares all night. But now it’s okay...” I whispered and I pulled my lips to hers. I guess that with all that had been happening, I let myself go completely to Liz and with that our connection roared to life. In the myriad of flashes, I saw the group trying to get me home - Nasedo posing as me - Liz sobbing as another attempt to get me home failed - Michael and Izzy working on a new plan to get me home. In return, Liz saw the whole situation with Nasedo - him confronting me - the shooting - the rules of the game - everything. As our kiss and the connection faded, I looked down into Liz’s eyes that were wide with surprise and amazement.

“Max... I.... I can’t believe it.” Liz whispered. “You would do all of that for me?”

I smiled down at Liz. “I would risk my life for you, over and over in any lifetime.” I ran my hands through her hair and pulled her close to me. “Always, always remember that Liz. It will always be that way.”

Liz nodded with tears in her eyes and kissed me again gently. “Max, I’d better go... Have sweet dreams, Max.”

“I can, now...” I whispered as I watched Liz walk off into the grey darkness.

*****************

“MAX!!!!!!” Isabel’s piercing yell jolted me awake the next morning. Rolling over, I peeked open one eye cautiously to see my sister standing next to my bed, hands on her hips, tapping one foot impatiently.

“Blah...” I muttered and pulled the covers over my head in disgust. Damn it Izzy, your pretty pretty princess groupies could live without you for one morning. I swear, it was like they checked their outfits with my sister like she was the fashion police. Besides, last night I had the worst nightmare of my life and I didn’t feel like bounding out of bed to suit Isabel's demands this morning, damnit. “Go AWAY, Iz.”

“Max! We’re going to be late for school!” Isabel screeched. “I’m NOT getting detention because of you.” With that, my sister spun on her heel and stalked from my bedroom.

With a sigh of frustration, I relented to Isabel’s wishes, for two main reasons. One, honestly between you and me, I couldn’t take all of the never-ending complaining if we were late and Isabel DID get detention and two, if she got detention, I would have to wait for her and it would be that much longer until I would be able to see Liz.

(Hey, listen... I need my daily dose of Liz in an alien themed restaurant uniform. It’s just like all of you need a daily dose of me. I know it’s true.)

After Isabel left, I threw the covers back and got out of bed wearily. The stress of playing Nasedo’s game was starting to get to me because it was all I thought about anymore. I wandered over to my dresser, clad only in my plaid boxers (okay, are all those catcalls really necessary?) and grabbed some clothes. With a quick wave of my hand, I used my powers as the alien version of a shower, got dressed and ran out to the Jeep to meet my ever impatient sister.

*******************

Luckily for me, Isabel and I made it to school on time. Hell, we even had time to spare. As Isabel and I were getting out of the jeep in the West Roswell High School parking lot and made our way onto the campus. Isabel started to act - well, strange.

“Okay Max.” She said pushing my shoulders. “Thanks for the ride, go away.”

“What Iz? Is my inferior social status simply too much for you? You can’t even walk with me now? I am your brother, I am the person you got out of bed early, you should be spending time with me.” I told her, raising one eyebrow. I looked closer at my sister, who was nervously peering around me. “Isabel... You look -- almost flushed...”

“Flushed? I’m not flushed.” Isabel replied and fanned herself with one hand.

“Yeah you are. Look - your face is starting to get red.” I pointed at her cheeks.

“Max.” Isabel pinned me with her coldest stare. “I am NOT flushed and if I was it was because of the heat. This is New Mexico in the middle of September afterall.” Isabel looked around me and then continued. “Now, gooooo.”

Okay, my sister had completely lost her mind. Or maybe it’s just PMS. I’m a guy, what the hell do I know about weird mood swings? I shrugged and walked away from Isabel, planning on looking for Michael when I heard a voice call out my sisters name.

“Isabel!”

I had a look of complete, total surprise as I turned around to see Alex Whitman meeting up with Isabel. For a panicked second, I was scared that Nasedo was posing as Alex to hurt my sister, but after extending out my powers for a moment, I knew that it was really Alex. Besides, it had to be Alex because Alex was the only person that I knew who would wear button down shirts buttoned to the top button in summer. That’s Alex for you.

With a shake of my head and desperately trying to cover up the smile on my face, I turned back around and started to walk across campus to my first class. I guess that Isabel and Alex might work out on their own, I thought as I walked. Since my class was on the far side of campus, I decided that I should stop in the guys bathroom to pee.

Guys bathrooms are disgusting, even from my male point of view. They smell, they are unbelievably dirty and at West Roswell High’s Pam Troy’s telephone number is written so many times on the walls that even I know the damned thing. This particular bathroom was empty as I entered it and did my business, but as I was washing my hands, a thin, tall, red haired freckled kid entered. At first, I paid no attention to him, but then I felt him looming behind me.

“Why, hello Maxwell.”

Oh shit.

“I’m glad everything has been going so wonderfully.” Nasedo sneered. “But I’m going to make damned sure that it won’t be happening again.” His face broke into a distorted grin.

“Alright Nasedo. If that’s what YOU think, but I know that I’m going to win your game... no matter what you do to me.” My eyes narrowed at him, showing that I wasn’t scared of him in any form. “I will go home to my life and my love... no matter what you do.”

“We’ll see Max.” Nasedo shrugged and walked away without another word to me, leaving me, as usual, worried.

********************

I spent the rest of the day at school constantly worrying about where Nasedo would pop up next. With his little speech to me, I knew that Nasedo would be up to something - something different that I didn’t expect. I think that a part of me was still worried about my nightmare the night before, was Nasedo controlling my dreams? Considering Isabel’s dreamwalking powers and how Nasedo was more powerful than Isabel, Michael or I, it might be possible. Especially if my nightmare last night was a premonition. All in all, I needed to be careful to protect Liz, Isabel and my friends.

So, with those thoughts planted firmly in my mind, I found myself on the Crashdown Cafe’s patio precisely at 3 o’clock when Liz and Maria both were supposed to start their afternoon shift. I was about to step in the door when a small movement near the alleyway caught my eye. Instantly on my guard, I glanced around before I stepped over to the alleyway to investigate.

“mew.” said the little grey kitten that was laying there against the wall.

I breathed a sigh of relief and stooped down to look at the kitten. It’s green eyes looked at me as I gently petted the top of it’s head, carefully testing if it was going to run away. The poor kitten cried out in pain when I petted it and I felt an immeasurable amount of sadness. I knew that this kitten had been hurt and most likely was going to die. Unless.. of course, if I stepped in and helped out. I’ve always been a sucker for hurt animals; I don’t like to see anyone or thing hurting.

Cautiously looking over my shoulder, around the alleyway and saw that no one was around. “Everything is going to be okay, little kitten.” I said as I lowered my hands down to the kittens side and concentrated. The succession of images were unintelligible to me and flashed before my eyes in quick succession. Just as I was finishing, I felt a hand on my shoulder, pulling me backwards.

Oh crap... I quickly stood up and turned around, with the little kitten still in my hands, seeing both Liz and Maria standing in front of me curious.

“Max!” Maria’s said. The look on her face showed her confusion. “What are you doing to that poor kitten? I found it in the alley before I came to work and I think that it’s hurt really bad. I left it here and then ran in to get Lizzie.”

My eyes glanced over to Liz as Maria mentioned her name and I think a part of me resigned in defeat. I had just lost the game, Liz and Maria are going to think something weird is up because I healed this little kitten (which was sleeping contentedly in my arms) and shown my powers. I lost the game and I lost Liz.

“Maria... Are you sure that kitten was hurt?” Liz suddenly spoke up.

“I think so, Lizzie... I mean, it was crying and meowing when I touched it.” Maria looked flustered.

Gently, Liz reached up and patted Maria’s shoulder. “Maria... look at the kitten now. It looks fine.” Liz stepped over in front of me and gently (you know, if I say this wrong, it can be straight out of a porno... so I’ll use my words carefully...) petted the kitten in my arms. The kitten started to purr in its sleep happily. “I’m sure that you only thought it was hurt. Isn’t just the cutest?” Liz asked Maria with a smile.

Maria smiled and nodded. “Are you going to keep the kitten Max?”

Dumbfounded, I just nodded at Maria because my mind was reeling about what had just occurred. Why had Liz covered for me? I know that my Liz would have been asking more questions than Maria and wouldn’t have accepted that Maria was just wrong. Something was going on here and I didn’t like it. Stalling for time, I started petting the little kitten when Liz cleared her throat.

I looked up and Liz’s brown eyes were watching me eerily. “Max? I need to talk to you for a second.” Liz looked over her shoulder at Maria. “That cool Maria?”

Maria nodded. “Just don’t take too long, Liz. I can’t cover your tables for too long.”

“Don’t worry Maria... I just gotta tell Max something.”

Damn it. I thought that this was bad to begin with but now... I had just exposed my powers in front of Nasedo. I had a funny feeling that something was off and I was very uncomfortable.

Suddenly, Liz flung herself into my arms, knocking me back against the far alley wall. I smelled the goodness of her strawberry shampoo, the usual curves of her body, but something was still off. Grabbing Liz by the arms, I pushed her out to arms length so I could look at her.

“Max... It’s me.... Liz....” She said her eyes meeting mine.

I didn’t respond, my eyes locked on hers in a silent standoff.

“Max... It’s YOUR Liz from YOUR time.”

continued in the next post....

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 4-May-2002 12:49:25 PM ]
posted on 4-May-2002 12:39:50 PM by Lauren21
Chapter Ten

Dumbfounded, I could only stare at Liz, all rational thought and words failing me. It couldn’t be - could it? It was simply too good to be true. Swallowing thickly, I bent down to place the grey kitten on the ground, where it simply sat and stayed next to me.

“Max. You have to believe me. It’s YOUR Liz...” She pressed her lips together in frustration as I still didn’t respond to her. “Please Max... Look...” Liz reached one hand up to her neckline and pulled out my silver necklace from out underneath her alien uniform. The silver caught the sunlight and shone as Liz spoke. “This is yours Max. If I wasn’t who I say I am, how could I have this when you gave this to YOUR Liz in a dreamwalk??”

Hesitantly, I reached out and touched the silver necklace that was in Liz’s hands. As soon as I did, I received a brief flash of myself handing that necklace to Liz in the dreamwalk and Liz coming out of the dreamwalk with necklace in hand. “Liz!” I exclaimed and pulled her close to me. If this was my Liz she still had to past one more test, I figured and I lowered my mouth to hers.

As soon as our lips met, the connection was there and we were both assailed by flashes. Flashes of our life together, my healing Liz, the Crashdown Festival to escape the Sheriff, being stopped on 285 South, our first kiss, our first date... As we kissed I threaded my hands through Liz’s silky brown hair and held her close to me. This felt like my Liz, talked like my Liz, smelled like my Liz... “Liz...” I whispered against her lips, “How can you possibly be here?”

Liz pulled back and cupped my face in her hands and laughed softly. “Max. Do you ever think that I could bear to be apart from you any longer?” Liz smiled. “As for how I managed to get here, well, it’s a long long story...”

“LIZ!” Maria exclaimed abruptly. “C’mon you have to get to work, chica! You can talk to Max after your shift ends, you know!”

Liz sighed. “Alright Maria.” Before Liz turned to leave, she ran back into my arms and hugged me. “Max, I’ve missed you SO much. Please come to my patio tonight at 10 after my shift and I’ll tell you everything. I promise.” Liz whispered.

I nodded and quickly kissed the top of her head before reluctantly letting her go again. Seven long hours until I could find out how on earth my Liz managed to find me and seven long hours until I could hold her again.

********************

Liz’s outside patio - 9:56 pm

I arrived at Liz’s patio a little earlier than she had asked. I had spent all day thinking about what happened this afternoon, trying to come up with any reasonable explanation how my Liz in here, in the past. Taking care of the kitten, who was still unnamed, but determined as a girl kitten, took my mind off the situation for awhile. I knew that I couldn’t keep the kitten, since my mom was allergic to cats and I had decided to give the kitten to Liz as a present.

I have to admit that I was very nervous as I stood on the street, below Liz’s patio. The kitten was all ready to go, I had put her in a box earlier and placed a red bow around its neck. “Mew.” The kitten told me from inside its small box as I tied a string around the sides of box, then looped the string over my head and started up Liz’s side ladder.

“Yes, fluffhead, you’re going to your new home.” I told it as I ascended the ladder quickly.

“Hey Max.” Liz said as I reached the top of the ladder. She was sitting in her lounge chair on the other side of the patio, but she quickly rose and walked over to the ladder when she saw me slightly struggling. “Here, let me help you.” Liz leaned over the railing, grabbed the box and pulled it over. She untangled me from the string and held the box. “What’s in here?” She asked.

“Open it and see.” I replied anxious to see the look on Liz’s face.

Liz carefully set the box on the ground and opened the sides. “Oh Max!” She exclaimed and pulled out the kitten. “It’s the kitten you healed today!”

“Yeah, well... I figured that you two have something in common.” I said with a smile.

Liz smiled at me and gently placed her kitten in the box and patted her on the head. “I’m glad that we can relate.” She picked up the box and moved it away from the far edges of the patio, closer to the lounge chair and motioned for me to follow her. Sitting down on the lounge chair, Liz held up her journal to me. “The first thing I did when I got here was read this... I guess, kinda as an update to what’s been going on in my life. It’s strange reading my journal, because I remember everything that happened until September 17th 1999, but after that...” Liz shrugged her shoulders. “It’s like reading about someone else’s life. I don’t know how to describe it.”

“I know that it must be strange, Liz.” I said reaching out and holding one of her hands in mine.

Liz looked at our hands and smiled. “I missed you so much Max. I know I owe you a pretty big explanation of how I got here. Remember the first time Isabel managed to place me into your dreams and we switched necklaces?”

I nodded and slid one of my hands underneath my black t-shirt to pull out Liz’s gold necklace that I had been wearing ever since. “I was honestly surprised that the necklace managed to transfer over.” I admitted.

“Yeah, I did too and that’s what got me thinking about transferring over. That and I happened to come across an episode of Quantum Leap on the Sci-Fi channel the next day. Max, have you ever watched Quantum Leap? I mean, do you understand the general premise?” Liz asked as she squeezed my hand.

“Occasionally, I’ve seen it... It’s about how the one doctor is ‘leaping’ from body to body in order to establish good in the world.”

“That’s right, but what happens is that while his essence leaps into one body, that person’s essence is transferred into his body. So, it got me thinking... If it was possible for Isabel and I to dreamwalk you, inserting me into your dream... Would it be possible for Isabel and I to dreamwalk 1999 Liz, inserting me into my own dream and basically switch us?”

Oh my god. I couldn’t help but smile at Liz as she explained this. My girlfriend was a GENIUS. “Liz! That’s amazing!” I exclaimed.

Liz grinned. “Well, when I explained my idea to Michael, Isabel, Alex and Maria they were excited too... However, there are some problems with switching. First of all, once I was inside 1999 Liz’s dream I would have to convince the old me to head off into the fog. Allowing our essences to be switched would occur when I would walk far into the fog and Isabel would ‘grab on to me’ per say. Can you imagine how difficult it is to figure out what to say to yourself that would convince you to walk off into fog?” Liz paused and then grinned. “I told 1999 Liz that in order to conduct our molecular biological experiment, she would have to pick up the instrumentation; instrumentation that was over there in the fog.”

I laughed. “She actually did it?”

“Yeah, I guess I’m lucky that my dream logic is bad because in real life I wouldn’t of gone anywhere.”

I pulled Liz into my arms and hugged her. “Well, I am glad that you’re here because I couldn’t live any longer without you.”

“I couldn’t either and that’s why I had to go. I went rather than Michael, which was problem number two.”

I released Liz from our hug and bit my lip thoughtfully. “That’s a good point Liz... Why didn’t Isabel and Michael go?” I asked.

“This is what I figured... Nasedo probably can ‘feel’ you, Michael and Isabel. If Michael switched with himself, I was afraid that Nasedo would be able to feel the difference between 1999 Michael and 2000 Michael. Also, I figured just in case something happened back in 2000, we needed Michael and Isabel’s powers to control it. Since I’m human, I would be undetected by Nasedo and I would be protected in 1999 by your powers.” Liz explained.

“Okay. I follow your reasoning. Where there any other problems?” I said.

Liz hesitated and looked at me. “Yes. The last problem was something I didn’t know how to handle, but I assumed full responsibility if something goes wrong because it affects mainly myself. The last problem was how to tell 1999 Liz where she was, why she was there and how to help her deal with everything. That Liz doesn’t know ANYTHING about aliens, weirdness the FBI - nothing. The jump from being ‘normal’ to involved with alien activity can be difficult. I am also afraid of the repercussions of when I switch back with her because possibly I could be changing the past. The new past would have it where I know you’re an alien, but the 1999 Max doesn’t. This new past - where you never healed me.”

Wow. That could affect a lot. “I know we can figure out a way to avoid that, Liz.”

She nodded her head. “I know we can, but first and foremost... We have to win Nasedo’s Game. I figure that I can be your ‘Ace in the Hole’ because I can work with Maria and Alex with their feelings about Michael and Isabel. Also, you know how I feel... You don’t have to worry about getting me to like you.” Liz bit her lip and smiled at me. “You know that you are my everything.”

My response to Liz was to slowly lean over and cover her lips with mine in a soft kiss. As we kissed, I inhaled the strawberry scent of her body and reveled in the fact that my Liz had found me. Maybe I’m being a sap, but I think at that moment in time, I knew that we were soul mates, because somehow she figured out a way for our souls to be together despite impossible odds. If that’s not soul mates, I don’t know what else is.

After awhile (okay a LONG while) we finally came up for air. “Max, I have to ask you one thing... I cannot believe you locked Michael and Maria in my supply closet just to spend time alone with me! And... can you paint my room?” She giggled.

I laughed. I knew Liz was referring to how I painted the outside of the supply closet door after Michael wilted off all the paint, she must of seen that part in our flashes. “How much do you know about my time here?” I asked Liz.

“Pretty much all of it, from the flashes and from my journal… We need to get started on a plan, Max. I know for one thing, I'm not losing you to Nasedo." Liz quietly whispered as she laid snuggled up against my side. We had been sitting together on her chaise lounge chair for hours, talking, explaining and for the last hour, just contentedly laying next to each other, staring at the stars.

"I know Liz." I sighed. "It just seemed to hard to get Alex and Izzy together, I mean, even in our lifetime they aren't together." I stared at the midnight sky, filled with small twinkling stars. "It seems like there is so much against us, Liz."

Liz propped herself up on one elbow and faced me. "Max... I know that it seems like the fates are stacked against us, but we've beaten the odds before and we'll beat them now. I know we can beat anything as long as we're together." Liz's soft hands gently caressed the side of my face.

Pulling Liz tighter to my body, I kissed the top of her head and felt like the luckiest alien on earth. "So, what's your plan, Miss Parker?"

"Get Alex to admit to me that he's in love with Isabel. I know he's liked her since the fifth grade, but he won't admit. Admitting he likes her is the first step..." Liz replied. "Max, you need to get Isabel to dreamwalk Alex."

Maybe it was late, maybe I wasn't quite thinking about Alex and Isabel with a warm Liz by my side, but I wasn't seeing where Liz was headed with this. "Why have Isabel dreamwalk Alex?"

"So, she'll his true nature and how he feels about her. She did it in our lifetime... Isabel told me this during one of our sleepovers while you were missing." Liz whispered. "We talked a lot while you were gone. We needed each other for support."

Suddenly, interrupting our quiet moment together my watch beeped. Looking down, I knew that it was time for me to go... As much as I wanted to, I couldn't stay out all night and never head home. "I have to go..." I whispered softly kissing Liz's lips.

Liz made a face at my statement as I stood up and adjusted my slightly rumpled clothing. "I wish you could stay."

"Me too... But, I think we should be concentrating on beating this game so we can go home." I whispered. Liz nodded and quietly waved as I headed over the side and down the emergency ladder. It's amazing, I missed her the moment I left her side... However, it had been a long day for the both of us, I mean, it's just not any old day that Liz crosses through the dream realm to find me in the past. Then again, would you expect anything else in Roswell, New Mexico?

Chapter Eleven
Day Nine
September 23, 1999

The waves rolled in from the ocean, the sand was almost too hot to touch and the weather in Hawaii was just completely perfect. Sandy beaches spread out for miles, there was so much room that in our section, no one was around for 30 feet. Ahhh, the wonders of a vacation, I mused. Stretching out on my beach towel, next to Liz, I looked over at her - she was contentedly sleeping on her side. With an evil grin on my face, I slid over to her and started kissing her neck and shoulders, trying to wake her up in the best possible way. Liz smiled in her sleep and rolled over closer to my warm body and I slowly slid my hand up her body...

"Gross Maxwell!"

My eyes snapped wide open to find a smirking Michael laying next to me on my bed. "AAHH!" I yelled and in the process to jump back and away from him, I got tangled up in my bed sheets and rolled backwards - backwards off my bed. I landed on the floor with a heavy thump as I heard Michael laughing hysterically. "What the HELL, Michael?" I snarled as I stood up and glared at him as he lounged on his side, still on my bed.

"Well... I was just coming in through the window when I saw you grinning stupidly in your sleep." Michael said between gasps of laughter. "So, I decided to mess with you, knowing you're dreaming of Parker. But, geez! I didn't even do anything when you suddenly starting running your hand up my leg!!" Michael smirked again and looked at me, still disheveled from sleeping. "I think someone needs a good old fashioned blowj....."

"Michael!" I threw a pillow at him before he could finish.

"Hey-Hey!" He laughed, putting his hands up in defense. "Just trying to give you some tips, so you can help me in return."

"Tips?" I asked as I pulled on a pair of dirty blue jeans sitting on the floor in my room. (Hey, I'm a guy - what do you expect?) "Ohhh.. tips. Michael. You need to shower once... well for you, twice a day... Brushing your teeth would also be a plus too. I mused, putting one hand to my chin and pretending to tap it thoughtfully.

"No - dumbass. Tips about how to impress Maria. She's been acting strange lately." Michael said.

Strange? Maria? Nah....

"Well, Michael, you could try helping her with her books and maybe walking her to class... Unexpected presents are good... You know, you could lay off calling her 'Dogface' and 'Dumbass' - don't you think?"

Michael made a face at me. "Funny - Maxamillion. She likes being called that. It's like our language."

"Sure Michael, what's next -- you going put flaming bags of dog crap on her doorstep next? I'm sure she'll love that too." I said, somehow keeping a straight face.

Michael stood up and glared at me. "You are of no help. Hell, I should just give up and go to Isabel. At least, she'll only say that I can't coordinate and not completely insult me." Michael shrugged his shoulders.

Laughing, I looked at Michael. "You don't have to go the Christmas Nazi, Michael. I'll always help you with girl problems." He did look sullen and I did have a stake in their relationship, even in Michael didn't know it.
**************
Today, Isabel made me late to my first class.

And, of course, guess who decided to pay me a little visit.

I was walking down the semi-deserted hallway when the same red haired, freckled kid came up next to me.

"What - Nasedo." I replied and stopped to face him. "Just spit out your daily threat, okay?"

Suddenly, time seemed to slow down as Nasedo furiously grabbed me by my neck and slammed me into the lockers. "WHAT DID YOU DO?" He roared. His eyes looked dark black as his face contorted into a mask of rage. "The balance is off... something is wrong in this time... WHAT DID YOU DO?"

"Nothing." I whispered as loud as I could with his hand closed around my neck. Honestly, at the time, I was doing my complete best to keep Liz out of my mind, in case he had the ability to read my thoughts.

"Something, is WRONG." He whispered through now gritted teeth. "I don't know what it is, where it is, all I know is that something on this time is unbalanced." His eyes glittered at me. "I DO know that it is YOUR DOING."

I could only stare at him as he held me slightly in the air against the row of lockers as Nasedo stared me, evaluating my statement.

"I cannot be for sure that you have broken a rule in our Game, Maxwell Evans... But since there are other reasons why the balance is off, I will let it go... Be forewarned, however... now, all bets are OFF. We'll see who wins." Nasedo sneered as he released me from his grip, allowing me to drop the ground with a heavy thud. He spun on his heel and I could only watch in horror as Nasedo purposefully strode away. From my position on the floor I could only think that Liz has pulled the balance off when she traveled back... Wiping my face wearily, I got up from the floor and headed to my first class, my mind racing with ideas.
*************
School is boring, have I ever told you that? It just seemed like a waste of my time – compared to all the other more important things I had to do. Besides, I had lived all of this once before and I didn't want to go through it again – schoolwork that is. At least, thank god, my Liz was now suffering through the same thing. Despite my witty banter with Michael this morning, it was still in the back of my mind that I had FOUR DAYS left... Four days to somehow pair up four people... Four days to fix everything... Sometimes, four days seemed like an eternity and sometimes, four days didn't feel like enough time. All I knew was that I needed to win the Game - so Liz and I could back home.

Home -- it seemed so far away. Yet, it was close every time I'm with Liz, because she is home to me as well.

I was pondering life and the game during Biology class. We were having another quiz that I remembered all the answers to and I was bored. Looking up, I caught Liz's eye and smiled to her. She grinned at me - then crossed her eyes and made a face that almost made me laugh out loud. Who know that Liz Parker could be such a goof?

"Alright class. Hand in your quizzes and you may leave early for lunch." Mrs. Hardy said as the last person finished their quiz. The class stood up and gathered their things when Liz walked up to me. "Max," she whispered, "Go find Michael and Isabel for lunch, then meet me at the usual table." Liz's eyes twinkled mischievously at me as she turned and walked away... allowing my eyes to wander and completely appreciate her beautiful, wonderful body. Before my body reacted to Liz's body, I pushed all other bad bad thoughts out of my head and handled in my quiz.

Walking over to the usual spot that I met Michael and Isabel for lunch, I thought about what Liz said... The "usual" spot... It could only mean that she wanted us to all eat together in our usual table outside the cafeteria. After Alex had found out our "secret" Michael, Maria, Isabel, Alex, Liz and myself and gotten into the habit of all eating together at lunch at a table far back in a isolated corner of West Roswell High school. Liz was always trying to get the whole group to blend better in our time - it made sense that she would want to get this group to blend as well.

"Hi Max." Isabel greeted me as she walked up.

"Hey Iz. Do you mind eating in the quad today?" I asked her.

Isabel looked at me with a curious expression on her face. "Sure Max, I don't mind... but is there a certain reason... Oohhh..." Isabel laughed. "There is only one reason - could it be?? Could it be... Liz Parker??" Isabel teased me.

"Shut up Izzy." I told her, mildly surprised. Usually, Isabel pitched a fit when I mentioned Liz Parker... or any human, for that matter. It was strange, but I believe her spending some time with Alex has made her appreciate humans more than she could ever know. Also, this hopefully meant that she was starting to feel something for Alex - it would definitely make my life a lot easier. "I'm sure Alex will be there." I teased her back expecting some fireworks.

"I sure hope so." Isabel said. "I need to return his Save Ferris CD... I loved it... Alex has great music taste." Isabel said as she pulled her hair back from her face.

I smiled. Alex did have the best ear for catching great songs, new bands and music trends. When Alex started talking about music and good bands, I always listened because Alex knew what he was talking about. Wistfully, I missed the Alex from my time...

"Hellllllloooo!" Michael waved a hand in front of my face. "Max..."

I snapped out of my thoughts to answer Michael... "Yeah?"

"Well, let's go eat with Liz, Maria and Alex." Michael said knowingly.

"Huh? What do you mean?" I tried to play dumb.

Michael snorted and shoved his hands deep into his pockets. "Bull Max. You know if you're eating with Parker, then DeLuca and nerd boy..."

"Alex." Isabel corrected.

"Alex will be there too." Michael finished. "We're not stupid, Max. Besides, you don't have to hide things from us."

"Okay, Okay." I said as we all headed towards the quad.

Surprisingly, while our lunch together was short and sometimes we had to force ourselves through a few awkward pauses, but I could see and more importantly, feel, the friendship that existed. My shyness, Michael’s gruffness, Iz’s insecurities, Maria’s quirkiness, Alex’s intelligence, and most importantly, Liz’s total devotion. The small circle of people that I could trust my life with.

And I thought that I was lonely before.

Chapter 12
Day Ten
September 24, 1999

Hi everyone, I'm Max Evans and I have three days left to finish my little "Game" with Nasedo. Now, I know what you're thinking… "Max, you and Liz are together, Michael and Maria are definitely hooking up, and look at Isabel and Alex – you didn't even have to do anything with that one and they're so close! Geez Max, you are such a worrier!" I agree with you guys, I know I'm really close, but I have this feeling… the feeling that I'm not as close as I think I am. And hey, worrying has kept me alive and well all this time, it's something that I always paid attention to.
*****************
It was a warm, especially sunny afternoon – the afternoon of September 24th 1999. Michael and I were causally walking over to the Crashdown Café to meet the rest of the gang (I miss saying that!) for dinner. I couldn't help but think what an amazing girlfriend I had in Liz Parker. In the few short days that she had been here with me, she was getting everyone as a group closer together. Her bright smiles, open nature was slowly drawing all of us together and then Liz always backs away, contentedly allowing us to form our own bonds and friendships.

However, despite the wonderfulness of Liz… I couldn't fight the growing tension, the growing feeling of dread deep down inside of me. Sometimes, my throat would constrict, the dread would be so intense. As I walked, I knew deep down that something was bound to happen today, but I had no idea what that could be. I was so lost and consumed within my fears that I barely noticed that Michael and I had arrived in front of the Crashdown.

"C'mon Max." Michael called at the door. "Let's go already, I'm freaking starving!"

I nodded and walked inside the Crashdown, listening to the faint Close Encounters Theme ringing in the background as we entered. I immediately scanned the restaurant for Liz, with all of my nagging doubts I HAD to see her and see if she was okay before I could start functioning normally again.

She was a vision, dressed in a light blue alien themed uniform. To me, it seemed like Liz was magically gliding from table to table, her smiles and laughs warming my heart and momentarily calming my dread. As I stood there, mesmerized by her beauty, Liz looked up and saw me. "Max!" She called out and waved. Liz leaned over and poured some coffee for an older man, then rushed over to me and kissed me on the cheek. "Hey there." She whispered.

I couldn't help but grin down at her. "Hey yourself."

Liz smiled and brushed back a loose stand of her chocolate brown hair. "Let me finish up my shift and then we'll all sit down for some dinner."

"Okay, Liz." I replied and went to sit down with Michael, who was very obviously watching Maria ring up an order at the front counter. "What's going on with you guys?" I asked as I slid into 'our' booth.

"Nothing." Michael grumbled, his eyes still following Maria's every move.

"Sure. It really looks that way Michael."

"Shut up, Maxwell."

I snickered to myself and watched Michael watch Maria. Maria must of felt his stares on her, because at one point she looked up from the cash register and grinned at Michael. She then stuck her tongue at him for good measure. I wasn't surprised when I saw Michael's face break into a smile that he quickly tried to cover up. "Max... I think… I think…" He stammered.

"I know Michael. Trust me… I know." I replied my eyes finding Liz across the room. "What are you going to do about it?" I couldn't help but ask as I returned my gaze over to the flustered Michael.

"I think I'm going to ask her out." Michael replied, nervously. His eyes glanced up to me. "Should I?"

I grinned. "Michael – go for it. I'm positive Maria's not going to turn you down."

Michael breathed an obvious sigh of relief and nodded his head.

"Hey Max. Hey Michael." Isabel's voice interrupted our conversation as her and Alex strolled over to our table… hand in hand?! I was completely floored. I hadn't even mentioned to Isabel to dreamwalk Alex yet… but here she was happily holding hands with Alex. "Max… Close your mouth." Isabel commanded as her and Alex slid into the booth. "Who says that you're the only one that can act like this?" Isabel asked me, her blue eyes flashing with amusement.

I raised my hands in the air. "Hey… No comment from me."

Michael snorted from across the table. "You better watch out Alex. Isabel's got this mean coordination streak in her… Right now, it might be not wearing plaids and stripes, but one day, one fateful day, she'll be over at your house making sure that your underwear coordinates with your shoelaces."

Alex laughed. "Michael, I wouldn't be complaining. I like Isabel for who she is… even when she goes into super coordinator mode." Alex laughed again and comfortably slid his arm around Isabel's shoulder. Isabel laughed along with Alex and snuggled into his arms – like they had be dating forever. Hey, but I'm not complaining… I swear!

So, with the interesting turn of events, I just HAD to get up and go talk to Liz. Excusing myself from the table, I tracked Liz down in the café and pulled her into the back workroom. As soon as the swinging door shut, I hauled Liz into my arms for a huge bear hug. "Have I told you?" I asked her breathlessly.

"No Max… What's wrong?" I saw the concern her eyes.

"I've been bad Liz… very bad… I haven't told you that I loved you more than life in the past hour. And… Alex and Isabel are dating." I whispered her ear and then for good measure, slowly licked the outside edge of her ear as well. As I did so, I could feel Liz's body slowly shudder against mine.

"Mmm Max… huh? Alex – Izzy?" Liz whispered and tried to pull back to look at me, but I wrapped my arms tighter around her.

"Noooo… Miss Parker, the Future Mrs. Evans… there is no way on earth or whatever planet I'm from that you're escaping me right now." I whispered and leaned in to kiss her lips.

Liz didn't fight me an slowly arched up into my long kiss, obviously enjoying every minute of it. I started to move us back across the room, so that Liz was pinned against the wall as I continued kissing her. Our tongues lazily grazed each other and I was about to let my hands wander when…

Someone used a large amount of alien power.

As aliens, I could usually briefly feel whenever Michael or Isabel used their power, but it never EVER anything as powerful as this. There was nothing I could do except drop to my knees, clutching the sides of my head, trying desperately to block out the amount of power that I felt was being used at the moment. The power was so strong that I could smell the ozone drifting in the Crashdown in waves. My head was consistently throbbing and I could faintly hear Liz next to me, holding me and begging me to tell her what was wrong. The usage of power was so strong that I couldn't even form coherent words.

And then just as suddenly as the power surge began… it was all over with. I knelt there for a moment, my breathing heavy as I tried to comprehend what had just taken place.

Someone used a large amount of alien power – it could only be Nasedo, but why and where did he use the power? Something was definitely wrong. In a daze, I looked up at Liz and saw the concern in her face. "Max? What happened?" She whispered as she gently brushed the hair out my eyes."

"Nasedo… used his power. A lot of it." I whispered, still partly in shock, my mind still racing with ideas and possibilities. My mouth had gone completely dry during the moments of pure pain that I felt when Nasedo used his alien powers. What could Nasedo be doing if he used that much power?

"Max!" Liz called suddenly. She was peeking out the swinging Crashdown doors when I slowly stood and walked over to her. "Michael and Isabel are heading back here, they must of felt that power surge too… what are you going to say to them?"

Michael and Isabel? Oh Crap!

Quickly, I looked around and spotted the row of glass ketchup bottles next the row of Tabasco Sauce bottles. Well, it worked in my lifetime… why not now? I quickly grabbed the bottle of ketchup and grabbed Liz by the arm. "Liz… Lay down and pretend that you've fainted… Quick!" I helped Liz to the ground and then broke the bottle of ketchup with my hand and wiped it all over her wrist.

Suddenly, the swinging doors of the Crashdown burst open. Michael and Isabel walked in, both looking at me with wide eyes. I knew they had felt that tremendous amount of power and I would have to resort to the only thing I could do at this moment.

Lie like a dog.

"Maxwell! Did you feel that??"

"Max? Are you okay? What's going on?"

I took a deep breath and pointed to Liz. "I healed her."

"WHAT?" Both Michael and Isabel screeched. Michael starting running one hand through his spiky hair in a complete panic and Isabel looked like she was going to kill Liz herself. "What the hell happened to her anyways?" Michael whispered.

"She cut her wrist open with a knife and it was bleeding heavily – but don't worry, Michael… Liz fainted, she'll never even know that I healed her." I said, thankfully knowing that Michael didn't know about the silver handprint. I don't like lying to my best friend and my sister, but I couldn’t just tell them… Oh gee – you felt that super surge of power too?? Well, let me tell you, it was only the evil shape-shifting lunatic from our home planet named Nasedo. Nothing to worry about there! I wish.

"Well, Saint Max. Let's go before she wakes up and wants to know what happened." Isabel snapped and grabbed my wrist. Both her and Michael pulled me through the swinging doors and out into the Crashdown. I longingly looked back at my beautiful Liz, who was doing her best to stay still and pretending to be unconscious. Don't worry Liz, I'll be back with you soon. As we left the Crashdown, Isabel stopped quickly at Alex's side to kiss him lightly on the cheek and mention that I wasn't feeling too good and had to leave. I saw Michael look around for Maria, but she wasn't anywhere to be found.
*************
Liz lay motionless on the ground as Max, Michael and Isabel left the backroom of the Crashdown. She listened to the sound of their footsteps grow faint before she opened her eyes and quietly surveyed the back room. A small smile grew on her face as she looked down and wiped the ketchup off the wrist. Carefully, she stood and thought about what Max had said before Michael and Isabel pulled him out of the Crashdown. Nasedo had used a lot of power… enough power that would bring Max to his knees in pain.

"Strange." Liz murmured out loud and then realized that she had left Maria all alone in the Crashdown on a very busy afternoon. Liz quickly walked back out into the Crashdown and looked around the room for Maria. "Alex? Have you seen Maria?" Liz called over to Alex who was still sitting at their normal booth eating.

"Yeah. She went out into the back alley to dump some trash, but that was like, 10 minutes ago." Alex replied.

Liz nodded and quickly checked the Crashdown customers, who were all thankfully happy and content. She then headed out the back door to find Maria.

"Lizzie!" Maria suddenly exclaimed as Liz walked out the back door. Maria was standing against the back wall, apparently taking a break.

"Hi Maria." Liz looked at her best friend, wondering why Maria would just be standing in the alleyway not doing anything. "Is there something wrong?"

"Totally babe… I mean it's so hectic in there… I just had to come out here and sniff my oils for a while. You know… to calm down." Maria explained and quickly pulled out a small vial of oil from the front section of her waitressing uniform.

Liz nodded and was about to walk away when she noticed something strange about Maria. "Hey Maria… I was thinking… I really like the smell of that oil you're using… what is it's name again?"

Maria turned over the small vial in her hands. "It's Eucalyptus oil. Smells good huh?"

Liz nodded. "Yeah. It's… totally great. I… um… gotta go back inside now. Are you coming in soon, Maria?" Liz started nervously rubbing her hands together as she awaited Maria's answer.

"Yeah chica… I'll be in there in a sec."

Liz turned and quickly ran into the Crashdown. She needed to talk to Max afterwork…
****************

Michael and Isabel chewed me out the WHOLE WAY HOME. Sometimes, despite how much I care for the both of them, I could seriously slap the both of them! I can't stand these lectures! Honestly, I don't know how I managed to survive it the first time around. Also, I felt so bad about leaving Liz on the ground after she essentially saved my ass yet again. Liz Parker is the most selfless person I'll ever have the pleasure to meet.

"… are you even listening to me Max?" Isabel yelled.

Always, Iz.

"We have to be careful about using our powers! Can you imagine how Michael and I felt when you used all the power? It nearly knocked us out of the booth! Since when did you know how to use all the power anyways?" Isabel asked.

"I… don't know."

"It doesn't matter." Michael responded gruffly. "Do you think we should leave Roswell?"

"No." Isabel quickly answered.
****************
I waited around my house for a few hours because Liz wasn't off work until 8pm. For the first time I had been transported to this time, I wasn't worried about winning the Game, because everyone at the end of tonight would be together! Liz and I were together, Michael was going to ask Maria out tonight and Alex and Isabel were officially dating. No, I’m going to refrain from patting myself on the back, just sit here smug and satisfied on my bed. I was actually relaxing… (Okay, I don't have a shirt on right now – are you all happy?)

"Maxwell!" Michael called from the other side of my window. I quickly jumped up from my bed and let him into the house.

"How did it go?" I excitedly asked.

"Kiss my ass Max!" Michael yelled as soon as he faced me. "She said NO. She turned me down in a SECOND. See, I knew something like this would happen. No one likes weird, dirty, poor, beaten, Michael Guerin. I don't deserve to have anything because I'm who I am and we have something else in store for us. I knew that no one could like something like me. You – you put me through all of this. If I thought that not having a goddamned family hurt, well this just takes the cake. Having my heart ripped out by a girl." Michael stopped his furious angry pacing and looked me straight in the eye. "Just because you think Liz Parker might accept that you're 'not of this earth' doesn't mean she'll accept who you really are. No one wants to date what we are and it's for the goddamned best. I cannot wait until I leave this damned town. I know that there is something better than Roswell, New Mexico." Michael shook his head and just as quickly as he had came, he scrambled out the window.

I was completely stunned. What the hell had happened? I'm sure Liz had told me that Maria wouldn't turn Michael down.

As I sat in amazement on the edge of my bed, the phone rang. I picked it up on the second ring. "Max? It's Liz… We need to talk, I think there is something wrong with Maria."

continued in the next post....

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 4-May-2002 12:45:19 PM ]
posted on 4-May-2002 12:43:07 PM by Lauren21
Chapter 13

“Something’s wrong with Maria?”

“Yes.” Came Liz’s breathless reply.

I stared stupidly at the phone, stunned at Liz's words. Something was wrong with Maria? It's not like my life was ever easy in the first place, or I knew that this "game" of Nasedo's would be a piece of cake, but this was getting tiring.

The dread that had settled in my stomach during my talk with Michael, roared back with full force as I realized what may have happened. “Liz, lock your doors and keep an eye out for me on the balcony. I’m coming over right now for you. I don’t think that you’re safe.”

“Got it Max. Just… hurry okay?” Liz responded, her voice tight with worry.

“I will.”

I dropped the phone back into the cradle and grabbed my jacket and car keys as I ran from my room, my mind full of anticipation and worry. Being so consumed with worry for Liz, I didn’t even notice if anyone was following me.

Hindsight, after all, is 20/20.
****************************************
The tires of the Jeep squealed as I came to a stop in front of Liz’s balcony. I hardly felt the cold metal under my hands as I scaled the rungs of her ladder to her room. A cold wind blew over me as I walked over to her window and peered inside.

“Liz?”

“Max!” I watched Liz run to her window and undo the lock to let me inside. Once my feet hit the ground, Liz tightly hugged me around the waist. “I was so worried Max.” Her bright brown eyes looked up into mine. “Something is wrong with Maria.” She whispered.

“I know, Liz.” I replied urgently. “It’s not safe here… I think that Maria…”
Suddenly, a loud knock rang out on Liz’s bedroom door. Her eyes frantically looked at mine as we both started to think of where I could hide. “Quick!” Liz hissed. “The closet, Max, now!”

In one stride, I had firmly slid inside the closet. I was close enough to Liz to stop whatever could happen and well hidden enough to get past her father. Maybe I looked calm on the outside, but my heart was frantically beating in my chest.

“C’mon in…” Liz called. “Oh….. Maria.” She said loudly.

Somehow, my heart managed to complete the jump from my chest to my throat in a matter of seconds. I peered through the crack in the door, watching Liz look at Maria cautiously. “What’s up ‘Ria?” Liz leaned down to pick up the grey kitten on her bed, to look nonchalant, but the kitten had different ideas. She hissed and spat angrily at Maria, all of her ashen grey fur standing on end. Maria tried to step closer to pet her, but resulted in almost getting her hand swiped.

Maria laughed, a dry hollow laugh. “Chica, I think that cat needs some Eucalyptus oil.”

“Right. Eucalyptus oil.” Liz murmured.

Maria continued on, not hearing Liz’s remark. “I was thinking about us going over to the Dairy Queen and getting some ice cream… What do you say?”

If my heart could beat any louder, I’m sure they would of heard it. I didn’t know if I should step in and intervene, but that would blow the fact that we knew what was happening and hopefully, HE didn’t know this yet.

“Nah. I have a ton of homework to do tonight, Maria. Maybe next time.” Liz replied, keeping her voice even. But through our connection, I knew that she was scared.

Maria shrugged. “Alright, Liz.” She turned and started to leave. “I guess, I’ll just see you tomorrow. Hey, do you think Alex is home?”

My god. He’s going after all of them.

“Uh… No, actually, he’s not home tonight, remember Maria… He told us in fourth period that he had to help his Dad and his Uncle move some furniture to Devore. Remember?” She implored.

“Oh, yeah…. Right. Well, maybe we can meet tomorrow before school or something.” Maria said quietly.

Liz nodded. “Sure… Well, goodnight, Maria.”

“Night, Liz.” Maria replied and left the room.

I heard the door shut with a click and as I stepped out from the closet, I saw Liz spring forward and lock the door. Her normally vibrant face was ashen with fear. I quickly laid my palm above the lock, sealing it closed further before enveloping her in my arms.

“Oh my god, Max.” I quickly gathered Liz into my arms and held her shaking body against mine, to hopefully calm her down.

“I know, Liz… I know. Nasedo’s got Maria.” I buried my face in her sweet smelling hair, taking in the pain of losing Maria to my still-rapidly beating heart.

“But,” I said as I pulled her away and looked into her eyes. “We’re getting her back – right now.”

Liz swallowed hard and nodded at me, her eyes focused and determined. God, I love her. She moved across the room and grabbed her jacket. “Let’s go.”
***********************************
Minutes later, we were both sitting in my Jeep, watching Maria’s bright red Jetta pull out from in front of the Crashdown. “When do you think Nasedo was able to get his hands on Maria?” Liz whispered.

“I don’t know. But I don’t think he’s been impersonating her for very long.” I replied as we followed Nasedo down the deserted Roswell streets at a safe distance. After a few minutes of twists and turns, I started to recognize the road that he was following. “Oh my god, Liz. He’s going to the Pod Cave.”

“He must have been keeping Maria hidden there so he can impersonate her.” Liz reasoned. “Just don’t let him get too far away from us, Max… We don’t know for sure if he’s going to the Pod Cave…”

But I knew that was exactly the place where Nasedo would go.

Back to where it all began.
*************************************
Have you ever been so anxious about an upcoming confrontation that you started imagining all the possible outcomes for it and trying to plan out your reactions for each one of them? I won’t lie to you – I was scared about the upcoming confrontation with Nasedo. Scared that I could lose The Game, scared that Maria could get hurt, scared that my powers wouldn’t be enough to defeat Nasedo…

Scared that I could lose Liz forever.

I knew that this could turn very ugly very quickly, especially with Maria present. Liz told me once about her reaction that Michael, Isabel and I were all “not of this Earth.” Maria screaming and running around was one of the last things I needed at the moment.

I took a deep breath and looked over to Liz. “Liz… If things start to get ugly in there, I want you to get Maria and run. Don’t worry about me.”

Liz’s dark eyes looked over angrily. “No way, Max Evans. I will NOT leave you in that cave by yourself with that – that monster!” She shook her head defiantly, her pony tailed hair whipping around in the wind. “The only way that I’ll be leaving that cave is if you’re walking out right beside of me. Max, I can’t just run away from any of this.” She tugged up her edge of her tank top, exposing her smooth stomach. “The day that you healed me here, Max, is the day I gave up my normal life, to continue living, to protect your secret and to be with you. As long as I’m here, I’m going to be helping you fight and I’m going to help you win.”

I chuckled softly. “That’s my Liz.” I reached over and grabbed her hand and gave it a squeeze. “I love you, Elizabeth Parker.”

“… and I love you, Maxwell Evans.” She whispered. “Now, lets go get Maria.”

******************************
Moments later, we pulled to a stop about 50 yards away from the Pod Chamber. I could still see the bright lights of Maria’s Jetta in the distance as Maria-esdo stopped the car outside the entrance. Liz and I jumped from the Jeep and started the long walk to the Pod Chamber, thankful that the clear desert sky was lighting the way.

As Liz and I crept closer and closer to the Pod Chamber, I started to wonder if we were walking straight into a trap. After all, Nasedo never seemed this nonchalant about his activities before. He was always so – stealthy in his actions, never made it easy enough for Michael, Isabel and I to trace. He was always gone in a flash of light, with almost nothing solid for us to grab onto. Like, I’ve always said, I should have been wary that things were a little bit too easy.

We were about 10 feet from the Pod Chamber entrance when everything went to hell.
******************************

One minute I was on my feet, hand clasped tightly around Liz’s, my eyes focused on the surrounding desert. The next, my hand was ripped from Liz’s, my body being roughly spun around to face the person behind me. Reflexively, I threw up my other hand. A wavy green barrier suddenly shot out from my hand, knocking back the unknown person that had grabbed me. Where the hell did this come from? I dimly heard Liz cry out from beside me, but my eyes were focused on the person that had been thrown back by the force of my… protective shield.

“What the HELL is going on, Maxwell?” I heard Michael’s voice cry out.

“Michael?” I called.

“Yes, dumbass. It’s Michael.” He grumbled as he got to his feet shaking the dust off of his dark black jacket. “You know, the Michael that you neglected to tell that you told Miss Scientist that we’re Aliens. Slick, really. The Michael that’s wondering who Nasedo is… The Michael that wants to know where you learned the green shield trick… The Michael that’s wondering why you’re lurking out by the Pod Chamber in the middle of night! So, I’m going to ask my original question – WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?” His words grew in volume and by the end of his sentence he was shouting in fury. He stalked closer to me in anger.

I started to close the distance between us. Why couldn’t my life be just simple – once? Sometimes Michael was a little too headstrong for his own good (and hell, mine as well). “Michael, please, for once in your life… Just shut up and let me explain.”

“Ya, think?!” He yelled back. “How come you get to know what’s going on with our background and I have to be kept in the dark? Damn it, Maxwell.”

I looked over my shoulder at Liz, who was watching the scene like a tennis game. She shrugged her shoulders at me, clearly it was up to me to resolve this situation before it turned really ugly. She quickly retreated along the side of the mountain, partially hidden in the shadows, obviously not wanting to interfere in our upcoming argument. I sighed. “Michael, can you lower your voice… I don’t want him to hear us?”

“Who, Max? Who are we afraid of?” Michael asked.

As I opened my mouth to explain the whole thing…

“I should say, my dear little aliens… You should be quite afraid of ME at the moment.” Nasedo cackled as he exited the cave, in his regular old man form.

Well, I never quite imagined this happening.

Chapter 14

Nasedo walked towards Michael and I quickly, angrily. His face was twisted into an ugly mask of hate and evil – I didn’t want to admit that we were the same race, species, anything, if he was capable of being this evil. The thought of Liz being hidden along the mountain wall came to mind and I quickly banished the thought away, in case Nasedo would try to read my mind. Right now, Liz was my Ace in the Hole, my hidden advantage over Nasedo in case things got ugly.

“So, ‘Prince’ Maxwell – have you forgotten to tell Michael what’s going on?” Nasedo sneered at me when he had finally reached my side.

“Who the hell is this guy?” Michael yelled.

“Why, poor dirty, weird, beaten, Michael Guerin.” Nasedo tsked. “You should be able to feel deep down inside exactly what I am. Your alien blood calls out to another of the same species.”

Michael’s mouth dropped open, then his eyes narrowed suspiciously. “Bullshit. I don’t believe you old man. I think you’ve spent too much money on booze.”

Nasedo shrugged evilly. “Well, I know that Max over here believes me. Or else, he wouldn’t have come out here to meet me in the middle of the night.”

Michael looked at me and I was surprised to see a glimmer of hurt in his eyes before it was pushed away to his normal stonewall. “I’m not Maxwell’s keeper, old man.”

Nasedo simply shrugged at Michael and raised his hand to him. “Well, then… I suppose I should say that I’m sorry… but I’m not.” A bright flash of light lit up the New Mexico desert as the light shot from Nasedo’s outstretched hand and hit near Michael’s feet, throwing him backwards a good 10 feet in the air. A scream died in my throat as I watched, frozen, as Michael’s body hit the hard desert with a thump. I watched as Nasedo turned to me, still smiling evilly with his arm outstretched. “It’s too bad, Max Evans, because I had everything planned out for you… To meet the fourth alien, Tess, to impregnate her and give Khivar his rightful heir. Afterwards, I would simply kill you and finally, your retched planet would be ours.” He shrugged. “But since you fell in love with that human girl and she ruined everything… I’ll just have to kill you. It’s too bad that you’ll never know more of your true nature.”

The light flashed from his hands and I threw up mine in my last stand defense. My newfound green shield flashed up at the last moment, deflecting Nasedo’s power back at him. He managed to move out of the way at the last possible moment, as the power grazed the outside of his leg.

“You’re wrong Nasedo. No one has anything planned out for me! I am Maxwell Evans, alien, but I’m human too. I refuse for you to plan out my life and to denounce the love that I have for Liz!” I shouted back at the still standing form of Nasedo.

He chuckled again. “Finally, the King learns another power. I could tell you the whole story about why you and the others were sent to Earth to save your dying planet. You are so clueless, but that’s because I killed your assigned protector many years ago. I have been watching you since the day you erupted from your pod, waiting for the right opportunity to place my dear Tess into your life and to have her ‘convince’ you of your rightful nature…” His eyes narrowed as he slowly advanced towards me, his back towards the Pod Chamber. “I was going to in fact, until I realized how much you loved that silly human girl.”

I watched him advance closer to me and watched at the same time, as Liz silently pulled a knocked out Maria out of the cave. All I had to do was to keep Nasedo focused on me and give Liz enough time to get Maria far enough away from the cave.

“I don’t understand, Nasedo.” I called out into the desert. “Why did you have to kill our original protector?”

Nasedo shrugged. “It doesn’t really matter if I tell you – I’m going to kill you in a minute here…He was the one who would have informed you of the original plan – why you were sent to Earth. Your planet, Antar, was dying. Your Father – the King of Antar and his Royal Court decided that if you, Antar’s only Prince, were able to meet an Earth girl and fall in love, it would be easier to convince the Antarians and the Earthlings about reaching an alliance together against the Skins. It’s too bad that your Father never realized that I was a spy for the skins the entire time, reporting back to them every detail of every plan he made.” He stopped only a few feet away from me, close enough so I could the evil intent in his dark grey eyes. “I never imagined that you would have enough balls to save Liz Parker that day in the Crashdown Café. I never imagined that you could pull off this Game so well.”

“You underestimated me.” I whispered quietly.

“I did. That was my mistake. However, I will not commit that mistake again.” Nasedo said with quiet determination as he started to close the gap in between us.

I looked through the desert, searching for any sign of Liz and Maria, but came up empty. I was hoping that Liz had finally brought Maria to safety.

Time was running out for me.

I needed a miracle to get out of this.

Chapter Fifteen

Nasedo closed the gap between us quickly, his arm raised to the same height as my chest. “Goodbye, my Prince.” He whispered. “Game over.”

My eyes locked with his as I prepared to throw up my shield and run for cover.

Suddenly, a bright light from behind us lit up the desert sky, blinding Nasedo’s eyes. I took my cue and dove for Nasedo, dropping him quickly to the unforgiving desert. I quickly landed one solid punch to his cheekbone before he was able to regain his composition and roll me underneath him. His lip was bleeding heavily from where I landed my punch and his eyes and hair were wild as he looked down at me.

“Nice trick.” He wheezed and started to lower his hand toward me. I shoved him backwards with my hands and tried to detangle myself from him. I was starting to panic as I couldn’t get away from him. “You’re going to die…”

“No… NO!” I screamed as I watched his hand creep closer towards me. Blissfully, my world went suddenly black as a bright flash was the last thing I remember.
************************************
“Max!” I heard Michael call from seemingly far away. My head pounded as I tried to ignore his persistent voice. “Maxwell.” I carefully opened one eye and viewed Michael’s bruised face grinning cockily at me. “Good morning sweetums.” He crooned.

I sat up woozily, blinking hard and trying to regain my sense. The last thing I remembered was…. Nasedo! Liz! The thoughts rushed back at me with a tremendous force. “Michael, what… whe..” I sputtered indignantly as he tried to hold me down.

“Calm down.” He told me.

Taking a deep breath, I looked around at my surroundings. It was day with bright sunshine steaming in and I was inside the Pod Chamber. Michael was crouched down next to me, bruised and dirtied. “Michael. What happened?”

He looked over his shoulder. “Max. Meet – Apollo. Our protector.” He pointed over his shoulder to a tall, older man, dressed casually in jeans and a t-shirt. His bright white hair was tied back into long ponytail.

I was stunned. “I thought that Nasedo killed our protector…”

Apollo grinned. “He thought he did. I just did my best to let him think I was gone and he could do what he wanted…. But I was always there, watching over the three of you.” He extended his hand. “It’s nice to finally meet you on this planet, Max.”

I shook his hand. “Yeah.” I looked around the cave again. “But… about last night… what happened…. And where is Liz?” I added frantically.

Michael and Apollo laughed. “She’s taking Maria home in the Jetta. I told her that you would meet her at the Crashdown after we talked, to send the both of you back to your time together. She’s a smart girl… Ingenious, really, how she figured out the true nature of Isabel’s dreamwalking powers.”

Relief washed through my heart at hearing that Liz was safe.

“But…”

Apollo gestured to the floor. “Max, this is a long story. You should sit down for this…. Because I want to explain it to you from the beginning.” I sat down expectantly. “Many decades ago, Antar was in disarray. We were being invaded by the Skins, a power hungry group of people that traveled from planet to planet, invading and conquering peoples for enjoyment. We Antarians put up a brave fight, but we could only last so long against the large and nearly indestructible Skin Armies. Your father, the King of Antar realized that he needed a strong ally in the future to rid the planet of the Skins once and for all. I was his closest advisor and together we scoured the galaxy for another planet that could fight the Skins with us. Finally, we found Earth.” He paced back and forth around the Pod Chamber as he spoke.

“The King realized that in order for Earth to fully cooperate, they would have to be more “involved” with our people. Our hopes were to send his Sons and his Daughter to Earth to fall in love with the humans there.” Apollo looked over at Michael. “Yes, Michael. You’ve always been Max and Isabel’s brother… just because you weren’t found at the same time and placed in the same home, never meant that you were not their family.”

Michael grinned, a very rare sight, at Apollo.

“I was chosen to accompany you to Earth and serve as your protector. However, I did not know that Nasedo was a stowaway on the ship, looking to destroy the mission. When we crash landed on Earth, he used that opportunity to try to kill me. I let him think that he had succeeded, so that I could carefully watch him execute whatever plan he intended to carry out for his race. When he came to your room, Max, that early morning, I was lurking nearby and was able to travel through time as well to protect you in this lifetime as well. In a way, I needed you to accomplish the tasks he had challenged you to, because I needed to see the love that you and your Liz share.” His kind eyes looked down at me. “It is very strong, that was proven when Liz risked everything to come across in Isabel’s dreamwalk.”

“I love her. There will never be anyone that could replace her in my heart.” I told him.

“I understand completely, I also understand the love that Michael and Maria share as do I understand the love that Alex and Isabel share.” He grinned. “I think that’s its time that we head back into Roswell. I have the feeling that a certain Miss Parker is anxious to hear the whole story herself.”

I stood and looked at Apollo. “Thank you. You saved my life last night, didn’t you?”

He grinned again. “What are protectors for? I was afraid that I wasn’t going to make it in time… but when Liz put on the Jeep’s high beams and distracted Nasedo, that gave me the opening to go in, revive Michael and combine out powers to… disintegrate Nasedo.”

“Thank you…” I whispered.

Apollo threw an arm over my shoulders. “Don’t worry about it. C’mon. Let’s get you back to Liz so we can all go home.”

Epilogue:

In the end, things amazingly worked out pretty well. Liz and I were easily sent back to May 2000, our proper timeline… The other Liz being sent back to her timeline as well – avoiding any strange timeline quirks that you would hear about in Back to the Future… Alex and Isabel, Michael and Maria had bonded in 2000 over the loss of Liz and myself. I should say that Liz and I were definitely surprised when the four of them were all paired off together when we arrived back.

They were more surprised with the sudden appearance of Apollo. However, in his easy going manner that I’ve come to admire, he explained the whole situation easily. Apollo is around Roswell, watching over us, protecting us and in Michael’s case - being a close friend.

I’m not saying that my life was any easier after playing Nasedo’s little game, and if I can brag for a second here – totally kicking his ass in it, there were the usual trials and tribulations that we all faced… but we faced them together, as a group and most importantly with love on our side.

As for Liz and myself…. Let’s just say that after 14 years of marriage, living here on Earth and having the opportunity to grow old with her, love her and be with her, is something that I could never give up.

Truthfully yours,
Maxwell Evans
Roswell, New Mexico
October 31, 2014