posted on 14-May-2002 2:46:57 AM by Insanity02
Title: Dreams of Reality
Author: Megan, but post-Departure plot is from my friend, Esther.
Category: M/L
Rating: R (Eventual NC17)
Disclaimer: I don't own anything. Please don't sue me.
Author's note: This takes place right after the S2 finale, 'Departure'. Nothing in S3 has happened, but there may be some similarities. Hope you give this a shot! Feedback Please!!!

Part 1

In the Crashdown

Sheriff Valenti burst into the Crashdown. "What are you guys still doing here? Where's Tess?" he said looking at Kyle, expecting an answer.

Max stood up slowly with his hands in his pocket, "Um, there's something you need to know... Tess killed Alex..."

"What?!" Jim was in total shock, "Max, I think you've made some mistake."

Kyle spoke up, "Dad, he's right. I'm the one who carried his body to the car after she killed him."

"Why didn't you ever say anything about this?" Jim was starting to get angry at how heedless his son was.

"Sheriff, Tess mind-warped him into thinking his body was a duffel bag." Jim was speechless. "It's kinda a long story, so maybe you should sit down."

Max went on to explain the whole nightmare of Tess to the group.

After Max's lengthy account, everybody was stunned. Michael spoke up first, "I think we all need to go home and think about this, Maxwell. We'll talk about it tomorrow." He turned to Maria, "C'mon. I'll take you home."

She glanced up at him and said, "Wait, I just need to talk to Liz for a second."

"'Kay, I'll wait in the car." Michael said, letting go of her hand and giving a soft peck on the lips.

"Hey Max, do you need a ride." Jim asked as he walked to the door.

Max looked up blankly, "No, it's okay. I'll walk."

"You sure, Max?" Jim didn't think it was a good time for him to be alone.

"Yeah."

"Okay, I'll see you tomorrow, Max. C'mon, Kyle." They were headed for the door when Kyle saw Isabel.

"Hey," he called out to her, "Do you want a ride?"

She tried to smile at him through her tears, "No, I'll be okay. I just gotta go." She says quickly walking out the door towards the cemetery. She needed to see Alex.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Maria walked up to Liz in full determination. "I need to talk to you."

Liz glanced over at Max asking him silently if he'll be okay. He smiled sadly. "I'll wait for you here."

Maria practically dragged Liz into the back of the Crashdown and eyed her carefully. She looked like hell. All of a sudden, Liz burst into tears and rans into the kitchen, knocking down everything in her path. Maria let Liz get out her emotional frustrations and before long she slumped to the floor, hiccuping through her tears. Maria pulls her into a hug.

"Liz, I'd tell you that everything's gonna be okay, but I just don't know anymore." Maria's eyes filling with tears.

The two best friends sat on the cold tile floor and cried. After several minutes, Liz finally got a hold of herself. Crying had made her feel a little better, and Maria's friendship helped, too.

"Thank you..." Liz whispered, her voice still shaky.

"For what?"

"For being my friend."

"No problem." Suddenly Maria remembered that Max was still outside. "Liz, I think you have to go talk to him."

"I don't even know what to say, Maria. I know that she mind-warped him into doing it, but..." Liz looks down at her hands.

"No, you have every right to be angry, even if it's not entirely his fault. You trusted him and you put your faith in him and she used it against both of you, but you still need to talk to him. He needs you Liz. Now, more than ever."

"Yeah, I know." Liz said, finally getting up and moving to the door.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Max was slumped over in his chair with his hands over his face. Liz walked over to him and gently put her hand on his shoulder. "Max." He jumped out of his chair and whirled around.

"Liz!" he exclaimed, but quickly regaining his composure and softening his voice. "Are you okay?"

Liz smiled at him in spite of herself. He was so caring even though he was obviously shaken. "I think I should be asking you that."

Max tried to smile at her, but so many things were going through his head. He had a weird feeling. He had never even felt remotely uncomfortable around her, but right now it felt kinda off...

"Um, well if you're okay, then I should go." said Max quickly and turned to leave. He had to think.

Liz looked at him, confused. After a year of utter hell from being apart how could he want to leave so suddenly and abruptly? The anger and frustration from all the events that had taken place over the past year came flooding back.

"Fine." Liz said simply turning and going upstairs, all the while trying to fight down her anger. How come she was acting like this -- so childish. Max just needed to be alone. What was the big deal? Tess was gone and they had all the time in the world to be together, but it was just her head talking.

Max watched her leave. Dammit! He had hurt her... AGAIN!!! After all the pain she had been through trying to do what was right, he had to push her away! What the hell was going on! This was LIZ! His Liz. The only woman he had loved, and would ever love. So why was he feeling so weird about this? Max turned and walked out of the Crashdown.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Liz stormed upstairs getting angrier by the second. She was upset that she couldn't stop being mad! The rational part of her told her that she was being stupid, but there was something in her... the emotional part that she had been holding down for weeks and weeks, that was ready to burst.

She tramped into her room, slammed the door and flopped onto her bed, closing her eyes trying to gather her thoughts. After a few minutes, she decided that Vanilla ice cream would make her feel better so she forced her tired body off the bed and trudged downstairs to the kitchen.

When she opened the fridge there was no ice cream. She felt her anger boil up again, but she suppressed it and went to the storage freezer to have a look. Nothing.

*Okay Liz,* she told herself, *Calm... 1... 2... 3... 4...* she couldn't contain it.

"DAMMIT!!!" she screamed, "This is a restaurant and we have no damn ice cream! CAN'T I JUST HAVE A DECENT BOWL OF ICE CREAM?!!!" she hollered into the empty kitchen.

Fuming, she stalked back up to her room. When she opened the door, there sitting on her desk was the most gorgeous bowl of ice cream she had ever seen, complete with a spoon and napkin. Usually ice cream just looks like ice cream, but there was something different about this. Liz looked out her window to make sure that no one had come into her room. Nope, nobody.

She walked over to the bowl of ice cream and examined it. It looked absolutely brilliant. She knew that she shouldn't eat it since she didn't know where it came from. But she knew that this was different. It wasn't melting -- at least, not until she put it into her mouth. She ended up finishing the entire bowl. This left a wonderful relaxed feeling in her body. She realized that she hadn't felt like this since... since she had been with Max -- over a year ago.

She decided that she shouldn't dwell on the past. Instead, she should take advantage of this calmness that she was feeling and get some much-needed sleep. She was asleep almost before her head hit the pillow.

Liz dreamt.

She was six years old and playing outside at recess with her friends. It felt like she was looking in on the dream and she could feel what everybody was feeling.

Noticing that this was the first flash that she had gotten from Max, she immediately looked to the school bus to see if he was there. He was.

The only difference was that, this time, the six-year-old Liz looked up and met the intense gaze of the dark haired boy. When their eyes locked neither of their gazes wavered.

It was Max's first day at school and the minute he saw her he was spellbound. He couldn't take his eyes off her. Even when she looked straight at him to see him staring openly at her... he realized that he could never turn away again...

Young-Liz looked at him for a while, falling into his eyes when suddenly she mouthed to him, "I know..."

Liz sat up in her bed. *Okay, that was a really weird dream* she thought to herself. She looked over at the clock and saw that it was almost noon. The lunch rush should be starting right about now. She had to do something to keep herself occupied so she put on her uniform and went downstairs.

TBC...


[ edited 29time(s), last at 2-Jan-2003 11:49:59 PM ]
posted on 14-May-2002 2:49:54 AM by Insanity02
Part 2

***One Week Later***

"Maria, these dreams are driving me crazy! I have them everytime I fall asleep!" Liz hissed into the phone. It was 3:00 in the morning.

"Liz?" Maria was still half-asleep. "What are you talking about? Do you know what time it is?"

"Oh c'mon, it's Saturday night. It's not like we have to go to school tomorrow."

"Still! It doesn’t mean that I don't sleep!"

"Maria, that's not why I called you, okay! I'm desperate! I'm losing my mind! I need to talk to someone!"

Maria caved. "Fine. What do you want."

"Those dreams that I'm having about Max and me. They're taking over my life! The one when we're six and we're in the park and I look at him and say, 'I know'? What is that?! 'I know' what? God! What does it mean?"

Maria tried to reason with Liz. "Liz, you just miss him and you want to be with him like you were last year. You know, before everything got so complicated."

Max and Liz had been avoiding each other because they both thought that the other was mad at them.

"Right." Liz was unconvinced.

"Really, Liz. I'm sure that's the case. Sheesh! Why do you always have to over-analyze every little thing?!" Maria teased.

"I do not!" Liz retorted.

"Whatever, Liz! Anyways, I'm gonna go to sleep now, unlike some people. I'll see you tomorrow at the Crashdown."

"Okay. Bye."

Liz sat back on her bed. She wasn't convinced that her dreams meant nothing. Ever since Max Evans stepped into her life nothing meant nothing.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Late Saturday night when Liz is on the phone with Maria

Max was determined to talk to Liz. The last week had been absolute torture for him. After he had finally gotten Liz back, he pushed her away again. Why did he have doubts about their relationship? He never did before, even when he saw in bed with Kyle. Granted, he was really hurt, but he knew, in his heart that there had to be an explanation for it.

He was at the bottom of her balcony. His heart was thumping in his chest. What if she was still mad at him and she didn't want to talk to him? *Well you'll never know till you talk to her, will you numbskull?!* He said to himself.

"Max?" her voice called out to him.

He glanced up. She was leaning over the edge, looking at him.

"Hi." he said softly.

"Hey. What are you doing here?" she was afraid that he came here to tell her that he had decided that he needed to end their sort-of relationship once and for all.

Max immediately thought that she didn't want him there. "Oh, sorry. I'll go if you want me to." he said, turning to leave.

She involuntarily reached out her hand. "No! Don't leave." she said, quickly retreating her outstretched hand. He stopped and turned to look at her, but remained silent.

"You can come up." she offered.

"Okay." he said softly before climbing up.

"So, what's up." she said avoiding his eyes. She was afraid of what she would see if she were to look at him.

Max felt stupid for showing up at her balcony like this. *Damn. She's still mad at me.* he thought to himself. *She can't even stand to look at me. Why did I have to push her away?*

"Um… look Liz I don't really know how to say this…" he began.

*Please don't say what I think you're going to say.* Liz sat down on the lawn chair and looked down at her hands.

"I'm really sorry…"

*Ohmigod! He's leaving, again!* Liz tried to keep the tears from overflowing.

"…for being such a jerk this week."

Her head snapped up. She wasn't sure that she had heard him properly. "What?"

"Liz, I know we haven't talked in a week, but I can't stand not seeing you. I miss you." he added softly, looking down.

Her eyes filled with fresh tears -- tears of joy. She got up and gently placed her hand on his face.

"I missed you too, but I need some time." She stepped back and continued.

"You slept with her, Max…"

"Liz…" He didn't know what to say because she was merely stating the facts.

"Even though your mind told you that I slept with Kyle, I know your heart told you something different. You were so angry. You said we couldn't even be friends and you left me to go to New York."

Max dropped his head. "I know… There's nothing I can say that will make this better, but I just wanted you to know that I'll always be here… whenever you need me." He began to leave.

"I need you now, Max."

He stopped to look at her.

"But just as friends."

He was disappointed, but he understood. "Okay."

There was a little bit of an awkward silence.

Liz spoke first. "Do you wanna come in? We really need to talk."

He smiled warmly at her. "Sure."

They climbed through her window. Liz sat on her desk chair and Max sat across from her, on her bed.

"You're probably wondering why I made you think I slept with Kyle."

He tried to sound lighthearted. "No…" Liz gave him a skeptical look.

"Liz, I understand why you did it…"

She interrupted. "Max, you don't know the whole story."

He had trouble concentrating. She looked so beautiful with her sleep-tousled hair and her voice coming out with that slight catch that he loved so much. He wanted nothing more than to kiss her, but he didn't have that liberty. She wasn't his, anymore.

Finally managing to process what she had said, he responded. "What do you mean?"

She hesitated, but finally found her voice. "Um… You remember the night that you saw me with… uh… with Kyle?"

A flicker of despair flashed through his eyes. Even though he tried to conceal it by nodding quickly, she still saw it and it made her heart ache because that was exactly how she felt about Max and her.

To stop her train of thought she continued with her explanation with a mirthless chuckle. "Okay, this is kind of hard to explain… see, you… well, not you, but you from the future came to me a couple of nights before you saw me…"

"Wait, Liz, I'm not sure I follow. What do you mean me from the future?"

"The granolith. Future-you used the granolith to travel back in time to tell me that we were going to… um… 'cement' our relationship the night of the Gomez concert."

"'Cement' So, when you say 'cement', you mean…" Liz realized that he was using the same words she used when Future-Max told her about that night that changed everything.

Recovering quickly, she interrupted him, "We made love."

"Made love?"

Realizing that she had said it out loud, she dropped her head to hide the dark blush that rushed to her face. "Yeah, and he said that if we did… it, then it would drive Tess away and bring about the end of the world." she said softly.

"Oh." he whispered, completely stunned. "So that's why you were trying to get me and Tess together?"

"Not just that, Max. He told me that I had to make you…" her voice started to shake, "I had to make you fall out of love with me."

Max was shocked. "Don't you realize that nothing can make me stop loving you?!" he said fiercely taking a step forward to accentuate the importance of his words.

Not knowing what to say she shrugged slightly and shook her head. Max didn't know what else to say.

Liz didn't know how to continue with her explanation. There was so much to remember and she was already so exhausted that she didn't know if she would be able to tell him everything. So she did the next best thing.

"Max, there's so much you need to know and there's no way that I'll be able to tell you everything, so I'm just gonna show you."

He nodded his agreement. She took one of his hands in both of hers and closed her eyes. The sudden rush of images caught Max by surprised. He could feel her shock when she saw Future Max. The anguish when he told her that she needed to help him fall out of love with her. The torment she went through to build the courage to tell him that she didn't want to die for him and how her heart and soul had shattered when she saw the devastation on his face when he saw her with Kyle. And last, the desperate hopelessness that invaded the remains of her heart when Future Max disappeared and she fully realized that she would be alone forever.

When the surge of flashes had stopped, he felt even more terrible. Before this, he thought that she was just really hurt about what happened with Tess, but now he understood what she had meant when she said that she had been in 'so much pain' in the past year.

"Come here." Max said, taking her arm and pulling her beside him and into a hug.

When he finally released her, he noticed how exhausted she looked. "You should get some sleep."

"Okay, but can you just stay with me for a while?"

"Of course." he leaned back and pulled her close to his side. He only intended to stay until she fell asleep, but he was just as tired as she was. They were both so emotionally drained. Max ended up falling asleep with her in his arms.

TBC…

Feedback please!
posted on 16-May-2002 3:11:42 AM by Insanity02
Part 3

The next morning, Liz woke up first. She had been using Max's shoulder as a pillow. His arm was draped across her waist. Her own arm was flung across his stomach and her leg was on top of his thigh, resting in between his legs. She couldn't remember the last time she had slept so soundly.

Just then, Max began to stir, but he wasn't awake yet. Instead, he inhaled deeply and pulled her closer, pressing her body even more firmly into his. A shiver went up her spine to feel him again. The last time they had been this close, physically, they were in the desert, which was over a year ago.

Liz decided to stay in his arms a little while longer and watch him sleep. He looked so serene -- completely content. He shifted again and murmured, 'Liz'. When she heard what he said, she couldn't help the smile that spread across her face.

Suddenly, his eyes fluttered open and he looked down at her. He was surprised to see her smiling at him.

"Hey." He smiled back.

"Hey."

"How long have you been watching me?" he asked.

"Not long."

Looking at her again, he wanted more than anything to kiss her good morning, but he remembered that she just wanted him as a friend… for now.

Removing his arm from around her waist, he sat up and began to put on his shoes. He had kicked them off sometime before he fell asleep.

When Max sat up to put on his shoes, Liz couldn't help but feel disappointed. She wanted him to kiss her, but she had told him the night before that she only wanted him as a friend, which was entirely NOT true! She just needed time to truly get past what had happened with him and Tess and she didn't want to hurt him by involuntarily making him feel guilty about it by being together.

"Max, I have something else to tell you." she said as he finished putting on his shoes.

He immediately stopped what he was doing and turned around to face her. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing, I've just been having these really weird dreams." she paused to see what he would say. He just looked at her with concern.

She continued. "I just keep dreaming of the first vision I got from you."

He waited to see if she was finished. She just looked down so he responded. "Oh. Is that bad?"

"No! I just… okay, you know in the vision, you just stop and look at me when you get off the bus and I don't notice that you're watching me, but in my dream I look right at you and say, 'I know'."

"Well, I'm sure it's nothing. I mean, after everything we've been through, you know… I'm sure it's nothing." Max tried to sound lighthearted because he had been having the exact same dream, but he would always wake up right where she always did.

Liz couldn't believe that Max could be so casual with possible significance of the dream. He, of all people, should be freaking out right about now. Maybe it was nothing.

"Yeah, you're right. It's probably nothing."

Max could tell that she was discouraged by his nonchalant response.

He broke the silence. "Well, I should go before your parents wake up."

"Okay." She agreed even though her parents were out of town again and she knew that they wouldn't be disturbed.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

***Monday***

Liz slammed her locker shut and turned around to see Maria running towards her.

"Hey Liz!" Maria called out, waving at her like a mad woman.

"Hi Maria." she said softly. She was tired because she was still having the dreams, except for Saturday night. The night that Max stayed over.

"Liz what's the matter? Are you still having the dreams?" Maria looked concerned. She had immediately noticed how drained Liz looked and sounded.

"Yeah." Liz was kind of surprised that Maria actually paid enough attention to her that she knew what she had said on Saturday night.

"Yeah? And?" Maria prodded.

"But it was only on Sunday night. On Saturday night, after I called you, Max came over and…

Maria didn't give her the chance to finish. "Ohmigod! Did you do it?!" she yelled.

"Thank you, Maria. Maybe you could say that a little louder. I don't think that my parents heard it from across town!"

Maria was too excited to care who had heard. "So you did do it!"

Liz was shocked. Maria was totally jumping to conclusions. "No!" Liz protested loudly, partly to let all whom had heard that nothing had happened to the untouched Liz Parker to take her innocence away and partly from exasperation at Maria's over-assertiveness. "If you could just listen, I'll tell you! Jeez! Sniff some cedar oil, Maria!"

"Okay, okay. Don't need to spaz at me. So, what happened?"

"I just told him all about Future Max and why everything happened the way it had to."

"Oh. That's it?" Maria said blankly. Liz tried not to blush, but she couldn't help it. She couldn't stop thinking about the way she had felt when she had woken up in his arms.

"Liz, that's not it, is it?" Maria said, her eyes narrowing in suspicion.

Liz tried to sound casual. "Max fell asleep at my house."

Maria stood disbelieving in front of Liz. "And nothing happened?"

"Nope."

"Okay, then tell me this. Where did he sleep?"

"Maria! What does that matter? I already told you nothing happened!"

"I know, I know…" Maria paused and pretended to look at something past Liz before shifting her attention back to her friend. "Bed or floor?"

"Bed." Liz answered quickly. As much as she wanted to keep it to herself, she had to tell someone and Maria was the only one she would ever tell.

Maria squealed. Liz began to walk away. "This is not a big deal."

"Ohmigod, Liz! This is such a big deal!" Maria gushed as she rushed after Liz.

*Look what I've started.* Liz thought to herself as she walked to class.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

***Lunch Time***

The whole group was sitting outside together: Max, Liz, Maria, Michael, Isabel and even Kyle. Max and Liz were, as usual, stealing glances at each other. If one of them caught the other's eye, they would smile shyly and look away.

Maria and Michael were bickering about whether or not they should work the same shift at the Crashdown when school ended in a week. He finally shut her up by pulling her to him and giving her a quick kiss on the lips.

Isabel was sitting quietly picking at her food. She missed Alex so much. Just as she had finally come to terms with her feelings for him, he was viciously ripped from her life.

Kyle was also sitting quietly eating his roast beef sandwich. He noticed that Isabel was really quiet. He felt bad for her. She loved Alex so much and that *bitch* had to take him away from them. He really cared about Tess, but when he realized what she had done to Alex, all of his feelings for her were whipped away.

Liz had caught Max's eye again, but this time instead of smiling at her, he stuck out his tongue and crossed his eyes. She chuckled softly and rolled her eyes at him and then made a face back at him. He smiled happily. Even though they were 'just friends' he liked being normal with her.

Suddenly, she looked past him towards the door. For some reason some girl caught Liz's attention. Max knew that she was the new girl who had transferred to West Roswell the week before. Max thought that it was really strange that somebody would change schools at the end of the year, but he hadn't thought much of it.

Liz didn’t even know why the new girl had caught her eye. Usually when Max and Liz were together, practically nothing could tear their attention from each other. Liz thought, maybe it was because she was wearing bright blue earrings that caught the sunlight. Liz also noticed that the girl was wearing all blue. Even her other accessories: hair tie, watch, and shoes.

Max's voice broke into her thoughts. "Liz?"

"Yeah!" she replied quickly.

"Are you there?"

"Of course. Why wouldn't I be?" she smiled at him.

Max decided to tease her a little. "Are you sure?"

"Yeah."

"Are you absolutely sure?"

"Yeah."

"Sure?"

"Yes!"

"Really?"

"Max…" she said, trying to sound stern, but burst into giggles.

He couldn't get over how much he loved seeing her face light up. He realized that he hadn't seen her really laugh this entire year till now.

She noticed the way he was looking at her and her laughter subsided. She looked down shyly, her hair tumbling over her face to hide her blush. Whenever he looked at her like that, she couldn't help but fall in love with him all over again.

He unconsciously reached over and brushed her hair away from her face and tucked it behind her ear. He kept his hand there a little longer than necessary and brushed his thumb across her cheekbone before removing his hand.

The second she felt Max touch her hair, she couldn't stop herself from staring into his soulful amber eyes. She knew that he kept his hand on her face longer then needed, but she was glad he did. She missed his touch. He was always so gentle when it came to her. Even when he was mad and he grabbed her arm at school just a few weeks before. It was a firm grip, but it was nowhere near painful.

Just then the bell rang and everybody began to go back inside. Liz began to get up, but Max's voice stopped her.

"Hey."

She turned around. "Yeah, Max?"

"Wait for me. We have Bio together, remember?"

She smiled sheepishly. "Oh, yeah."

TBC…

Feedback please!
posted on 20-May-2002 12:06:06 AM by Insanity02
Part 4

***Crashdown***

Liz was getting ready for the after-school rush. She had just unlocked the door and was putting on her alien apron and antennae headband, when her first customer came in. It was the new girl.

She looked at Liz, smiled and waited for Liz to tell her where to sit. Liz nodded over to the closest booth, where the girl took a seat. Liz picked up her notepad and walked over.

"Hi! Aren't you the new girl at West Roswell?"

Liz had to admit that she was very attractive. She had long hair that was so dark it looked black and when it caught the light there was a dark blue sheen that seemed to emulate off it. Like her hair, her eyes were almost black and they had the same navy glimmer in them. She looked a little Latino and Hawaiian and even a little Chinese.

"Yeah, I just transferred there. I'm Leila."

"I'm Liz. So, what can I get you?"

"Well, what's good here?" Leila smiled easily at Liz. She had a gorgeous smile. Full lips and perfect teeth.

Liz smiled back. "The Alien Blast is good."

Leila seemed to be slightly thrown off at the name, 'Alien Blast'.

Liz chuckled. "It's just a theme."

She nodded and the smile came back. "What color is it?"

"Huh?" Liz was thrown off at the question. "It's green."

"Ugh, no. Do you have anything that's blue?"

"Um, yeah. We have blueberry pie and…"

"Okay, I'll have a slice of that."

Liz looked at her incredulously for a second before scribbling down Leila's order. "Okay, I'll be right back with your pie."

Liz walked to the counter to get a slice, but she saw that they had no more pie so she had to get another one from the back.

"Oh!" Liz exclaimed, startled. It was Michael arriving for work. "Michael! You startled me."

He smiled his famous half-smile. "Ditto."

She smiled and walked past him to the storage area to get the blueberry pie. When she went back out to the main seating area, Leila was gone.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

***Later that night***

Liz had just gotten out of the shower when the phone started to ring. She knew immediately that it was Max. She picked up on the second ring.

"Hi, Max." she said as calmly as she could. She, herself, was wondering how she 'just knew' that it was him.

"Hey, Liz. How did you know that it was me?" he asked casually.

"I dunno. I just knew."

When Max didn't say anything she tried to strike up a conversation.

"So… what's up?"

"Um… I, uh…" he stammered. He berated himself for not think of an excuse to call her. "I, um… I need help on the bio lab." he finally managed to get out. He didn't know why he was so nervous because he knew that she was happy to hear from him.

*You know why you're nervous.* he said to himself. *It's because she just got out of the shower.* He didn't know how he knew that, but he did and it had a profound affect on him.

Liz smiled into the receiver. She knew that he called because he missed her, and she also knew that he knew that she had just gotten out of the shower. She tried to ignore that thought because the affect on him was also affecting her!

She decided to pretend to buy his story about the lab. "Okay." but she couldn't help not seizing the opportunity to make him sweat a little. "But Max, it was an in-class lab. We already handed it in."

"Oh, right…" he cursed under his breath.

"Max, it's okay, I know why you called."

"You do?"

"Yeah. It because you wanted to just talk."

"Yeah." he said, relieved that she understood so easily.

"Actually, I wanted to talk to you too. You know that new girl at school?"

Max nodded. "Yeah, what about her?"

"Today she came into the Crashdown after school and it was just kinda weird."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, first of all, she wouldn't eat anything that wasn't blue."

Max chuckled. "What?"

"Yeah, I know! It's so weird! And then when she ordered her food, she left without even waiting for it to be served."

"Okay… so what's the problem?"

"I don't know. She's just kinda… off."

Max tried to reassure her. " It's probably because of the whole Czechoslovakian thing that we've been through this year." he said, using Maria's word for it.

"Yeah, maybe." she said drifting off, pondering Max's reasoning. "Hey! How did you know that we called you guys that?"

"Flash." he stated simply.

"Oh."

"So…" Max began.

Several hours later, Max and Liz were still talking about nothing in particular. Just school and finals. Sometimes they would drift back to the topic of how Max was different, but it wasn't like their serious, 'we're-in-danger' conversations. It was usually brought up when Liz said something about how much she liked his 'differences', like their connection that they both felt was growing.

He would usually answer semi-flirtatiously, but he was afraid to push her too far because she had made it clear that she needed some time to sort out the whole Tess situation in her own mind.

Liz didn't realize how much she had missed pouring her heart out to him and having him do the same. In short, she just loved hearing his voice because it comforted her.

She knew that the both of them enjoyed talking to the other, but the tension between them over the past year had been so acute, they barely managed to get out more than a few sentences to each other at a time. Now was the perfect opportunity to make up for lost time. Without the threat of the FBI or evil aliens or traitors.

Liz and Max both yawned into the phone at the same time. Max spoke first.

"I think we'd better get some sleep. It's almost 2:00 and we have to go to school tomorrow."

"Whoa, it's 2:00, already?!" Liz exclaimed, looking over to her clock. "Wow! Did you notice that we've been on the phone for over 5 hours?"

"Yeah, I know. I just noticed, myself." he said.

Neither of them said anything for a moment. Even though they both knew that they would see each other in the morning, they were still reluctant to say goodnight and hang up. Again, Max spoke first.

"Well, goodnight Liz." he said quietly, almost reverently.

"Goodnight, Max." she said with the exact same tone that he used.

But neither of them put down the receiver.

"Um, I think this is where we hang up." said Liz. Max could hear the smile in her voice clearly.

"Yeah. That would be appropriate."

"Okay… Goodnight, Max." she said, repeating what she said a few moments ago.

"Sweet dreams, Liz. I'll see you tomorrow."

They both slid the receiver from their ear slowly and put it down so carefully, you'd think that it was sacred.

Liz took the towel that she was still holding, hung it on the arm of her chair. She took off the robe that she was still wearing and began to change into a tank top and PJ bottoms and proceeded to slide into bed.

When Max hung up. He sighed to himself and then got up to get changed. He pulled off his shirt and jeans, and collapsed onto his bed in just his boxers.

Max and Liz fell asleep at the same time and immediately they both had the dream again. This time they woke up at exactly the same time, and they instinctively reached for the phone at the same time. Of course the line at the other end was busy.

*Who could Max be talking to at 2:00 in the morning?* Liz thought to herself.

Just then they phone rang, and she knew immediately that it was Max.

"Max!" Liz almost yelled into the phone, but caught herself.

"Hi. You had the dream again." It was more of a statement than a question.

"Yeah. How did you know?"

"Because I had it, too." Max said so quietly that Liz almost didn't hear him.

"Really? We had the dream at the same time?" She was stunned.

"I guess this connection thing is getting stronger. I mean, not only the dreams, it's you knowing when I call you and stuff like that."

"Yeah. So, do you know what the dream means?"

"No, but I know we're gonna find out sooner or later."

TBC…

posted on 23-May-2002 11:00:33 PM by Insanity02
Part 5

***Next day at school***

Liz was standing around the corner from the front door. She wanted to 'accidentally' bump into Leila. Maybe then Liz could see if she had any other weird tendencies. Max saw Liz sneakily looking around the corner towards the front door. He knew exactly what she was doing.

"Liz." She nearly jumped out of her skin.

"Max! You scared me!"

"I know. Sorry. So, what are you doing?" he asked, feigning ignorance.

"I… um… I'm waiting for…"

"Leila."

"No! Of course not! Why would you think that?!" she said, trying to keep her voice normal, but completely missing the mark.

Max raised an eyebrow at her. "Liz…"

"What?" she asked, valiantly trying to act innocently.

Just then, Leila turned the corner and walked by.

Liz saw her. "Max!" she exclaimed, trying to keep her voice down, but finding it very difficult. She ended up just nodding in the direction that Leila was headed.

Max looked up and to his surprise, Leila was standing a few feet away, looking directly at him.

Liz saw Max freeze. When she turned around to see what Max was looking at, Leila was standing right there. Then she did something very surprising. She dipped her head. It was like she was bowing to Max, like he was her superior. Then she smiled at Liz and walked away.

"Now, do you know what I mean by her being off?"

All Max could do was nod.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

***Lunch***

As usual, the whole group was eating lunch outside at the tables. Everybody seemed to be relaxed and carefree. Max felt bad for having to break the collective calm that they rarely shared. Clearing his throat to get the group's attention, he began.

"I… we…." he corrected quickly, putting his hand on Liz's shoulder, "have something that we think you should know."

Isabel spoke first. She knew that this was serious both from the expressions on Max's and Liz's faces, but also the tone in his voice.

"What is it?"

This time Liz took over, "You know that new girl?"

"Yeah, she's nice. She's in my Lit class." Maria piped in.

"Well, we don't think that she's as normal as she seems." said Max.

"What do you mean, Maxwell?" Michael said getting impatient.

"Here's the thing…" Max and Liz said together. They looked at each other. Max nodded to let Liz take the floor. She smiled softly at him and continued.

"The other day, she came over to the Crashdown and she wouldn't eat anything that wasn't… um…"

"Blue." Max filled in for her, knowing that she still wasn't comfortable explaining it because when it was said out loud, it sounded absolutely absurd.

"Okay, Max." said Kyle, completely skeptical.

Max was about to protest, but Liz chimed in. "It's true! She even asked me specifically what kind of blue food we had!"

"Are you serious?" Maria asked, kinda freaked with this information.

Max and Liz nodded and confirmed it, "Oh, yeah."

Michael still wasn't convinced, though. "Is that it? Maybe the girl just has a fetish for blue. It doesn't mean that she's out to get us."

Everybody looked at Michael, disbelieving. Usually, he was the one who would be freaking out right about now, but this time he was keeping his head and trying to tell them that this was a misunderstanding.

Max spoke. If he still didn't believe after this then there would definitely be something wrong with Michael. "Okay, fine, don't believe us. But after she finally decided what blue food to eat, Liz went to go get it."

"So?" Michael interrupted.

Now it was Liz's turn to get impatient. "Well, if you just let him talk maybe he can get to the point."

Everybody turned to look at Liz. Normally, she was quiet and contained, but she was actually being assertive and standing up to Michael. And that was saying a lot because sometimes, even Ms. Isabel 'ice queen' Evans was intimidated by him. Man, the things that love can make you do.

Liz was getting a little uncomfortable with the unwavering scrutiny, but Max began speaking again to take the attention off of her.

"Okay, Liz went to go get it, but when she came out, Leila was gone. She just left for no reason."

Nobody said anything for a while. They were all trying to absorb the information.

"God, I thought all this would be over for at least a little while." Isabel said.

"I know, me too." said Liz, completely empathizing with her. When did their lives get so complicated? The girl had just lost the love of her life, for crying out loud. Couldn't they at least catch a break?

Max patted her hand and gave her his, I'll-take-care-of-it look. She smiled sadly at him, trying to blink back the tears. Just then the bell rang, abruptly interrupting everybody's thoughts.

"So, what do we do, Maxwell?" Michael asked.

Max looked at Liz. "Is it okay if we all talk about it some more later tonight at the Crashdown?"

She nodded at him. "Of course."

Max looked back to the group. "Okay, tonight at the Crashdown when it closes."

The group nodded their agreement and went to class.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

***After School***

"So, Liz…" Maria began.

"Um-hmm?" Liz responded, not letting Maria beat around the bush.

"What's up with you and Max?"

Liz was kind of thrown off. "What do you mean? Are you talking about our so-called 'relationship' because we don't have one right now. I'm still trying to deal with the whole Tess situation and I don't wanna make him feel guilty. I think being together would make it worse, so we're sorta taking a break, for now."

Maria gave Liz a funny look.

"What?"

"That's not what I meant. I was talking about what happened today at lunch."

"Huh?"

"You two seemed to know exactly what the other was thinking. You practically finished each other sentences, you said the exact same thing at the exact same time, and you even told Michael off! Even I'm kinda if-fy when he gets pushy like that."

"Yeah. You know that Max and I always had this… connection, right?"

"Yeah."

"It's getting… I don't know… it seems like it's getting stronger."

"Whoa."

"Yeah, and we're starting to share dreams."

Maria was silent for a moment. Then she whispered, "That's big."

"Oh yeah."

Maria was getting uncomfortable with getting such personal imformation on Max and Liz. Usually, she liked getting the juicy details, but this time it just didn't feel right to prod. So, she decided to change the subject.

"So, what do you think is up with the Leila chick?"

"I don't know. She's weird and everything. You know, with the obsession with the color blue and her disappearing from the Crashdown for no reason. But I feel like I know her. She seems… familiar, somehow. I think she knows who I am too and that's not even the weirdest thing. She seems to know Max, too."

"What do you mean?" Maria asked, feeling both curiosity and fear.

"We didn't mention it at lunch, but this morning, I was sorta spying on her and Max caught me. At first, he didn't believe me so he was trying to convince me to let it go. But then she walked by and before she left, she bowed at him."

"Wow… so you don't know if she's Czechoslovakian and if she is, whether or not she's on our side."

"Yeah."

Maria really had nothing to say, but Liz, on the other hand looked like she did. Even though she dreaded what she would hear from Liz next, Maria still asked.

"What?"

"You know the dreams that I've been having?"

"Yeah, what does this have to do with anything? Oh God! Don't tell me that Leila popped into them!"

"No, nothing like that, but I… um… Max and I have sorta been having them at the same time."

Maria didn't know what to think. Her mind was going on overload. "Oh God… Liz this is getting too weird. I can't do this anymore! First we find out that they're not even the same… race and then I fall in love with one of 'em and then they decided to leave and then they don't and then more of them come and then…"

"Maria! You're babbling!"

"Well, what do you expect me to do?! Be happy that we share one night together and then he has to leave?!"

Liz was shocked. "Whoa, whoa, whoa. What are you talking about? You 'shared one night together'?"

Maria realized what she had said. Her face turned bright red and she looked down, studying her shoes and nodded. Liz was speechless.

"Ohmigod! Maria! I'm so happy for you! You have to tell me everything!"

"Not everything!"

"Yes, everything!!!" Liz insisted.

"Okay, fine." Maria began. "You'd never guess how he set it up!"

Liz quirked her eyebrow at Maria. "He 'set up' how you were going to make love for the first time?"

"No! I don't mean that. I mean telling me…" Maria faltered for a second. She still hated even thinking that he would leave, "about the plan. First he made this incredible dinner, with candles and everything. It was so romantic. Then he told me that the reason I never got the flashes was because he was too scared to open up. Then he did it."

"You mean…"

"Yeah, he let me see him. And then it just happened."

"Wow." Liz murmured, surprised. She didn't think that Michael would do that, especially since he found out that he was leaving and that he would probably never see her again. As a matter of fact, Liz was kinda hurt that she couldn't share herself with Max the way Maria had with Michael. *That's okay* she thought to herself, *we have time now.*

"How did… you know… how did it… feel?"

Maria glanced at her watch. "Uh-oh. We better get going or else Agnes is gonna flip that we're late for our shift. C'mon. I'll give you a ride."

As Maria pulled her out the door, Liz followed obediently, but protested to Maria's avoidance to the subject. *Oh well, I'll get her in the car* Liz thought. Neither of them noticed that Leila was near by and had heard the entire conversation.

TBC…

Feeedback please!

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 23-May-2002 11:16:04 PM ]
posted on 28-May-2002 12:35:55 AM by Insanity02
Part 6

Liz was quiet all afternoon during her shift. She had a weird feeling, like she was being watched or something. The feeling had escalated when Maria and Michael left early to go see a movie after the dinner rush. There was only a couple more tables left and they were almost done.

Just then, Leila walked in. Liz looked over to her and signaled to an empty booth. Liz approached the girl to take her order.

"Hey, Leila. How's it going?"

"Good."

"So, can I take your order?"

"Oh, I'll have that blueberry pie that I didn't have last time and a cherry coke."

Liz quickly scribbled down her order. "Okay, I'll be right back with your cherry coke."

Liz got the girl's drink and pie and was going back to her booth when Max walked in. Liz smiled at him. She couldn't help it. Whenever she saw him, she couldn't stop. He smiled back and sat down at his usual booth. Liz put down Leila's order and went over to Max. Leila watched as Liz fairly bounced over to Max.

He looked at her worriedly, asking her with his eyes if she was okay. He had seen whom the order had gone to and he didn't like Liz coming into contact with someone they had suspicions on.

"I'm fine." she mouthed to him. The look on her face thanking him for being so caring then continuing in her normal voice, "What can I get you?"

"Nothing, I'm just waiting for you to close up for… you know…"

She raised her eyebrow at him and tilted her head. "Max, it's only eight."

"I know. So sue me, I'm punctual."

"You're 2 hours early."

He quirked his eyebrow. "Well, maybe, I missed someone and wanted to see her."

He was flirting with her! He didn't usually do that, but he was! She hardly ever saw the playful side of him.

"And who might that be?"

"Why do you ask? Are you jealous?" he asked getting out of his seat and standing directly in front of her.

"Maybe. Depends on who it is." she bantered back.

"What if it was you?" he asked leaning closer.

"Then that would be okay." she smiled tilting her face towards his. His gaze shifted to her lips and he leaned even closer.

"Uh, Miss?" a voice interrupted their moment. "Bill please."

Liz was disappointed, but was semi-grateful because she still needed time and she knew that she wouldn't have stopped it if it weren't for the interruption from the customer.

Max and Liz almost jumped apart. Liz looked at the customer standing a couple feet away and stammered, "Of course, sir. I'll go get it."

Max slid guiltily back into his seat and looked around to see if anybody saw the expression on his face. His eyes locked with Leila's just as she got up to pay. Again, she bowed her head at him like he was her superior and with that she turned to leave.

When Liz finished with the money, she went back to Max.

"Did you see that?" he asked.

"See what?"

"Leila. She bowed again."

Liz didn't say anything. What could she say to make this better? She couldn't tell him that it would be okay. Leila hadn't even done anything to make them think that she was out to get them. In fact, she seemed to be on their side. But that was the thing. She only seemed to be good. They didn't know that. If they had learned anything in the last few weeks, it was that nobody was who they seemed to be.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

***Later***

"Okay, where's Michael?" Isabel whined. "He's fifteen minutes late already! You know, the rest of us have lives too!"

Max tried to calm her down. "Don't worry. He'll be here. Just give him…"

"…a few minutes." Michael interrupted as he came into the Crashdown.

Isabel immediately jumped on him. "Where the hell have you been?!"

"Whoa. What's with the third degree? It's just fifteen minutes. Since when did you get so concerned about punctuality? If anything, you should be the one waltzing in twenty minutes late. I just didn't want to waste my time, so I waited a while."

Isabel stared at him, not willing to admit the reason she was losing her head was because she wasn't sure of anybody's safety and that even if they were a little late, she would worry about whether or not they were alive.

Liz came to Isabel's rescue. "Okay, so everybody's here. Can we get started?"

"Yeah." Max agreed. "So, what do you guys think we should do, with this situation?"

Kyle spoke up first, which was very surprising, considering he was the one who usually never said anything during these types of discussions. "I think that we need to just leave it for now, but keep an eye out for any unusual behavior with our new friend."

As usual, Michael protested. "Leave it? How can we leave it? She could be out to get us and you want me to sit still and wait for her to come to us?"

"No, I’m not saying that you wait for her to come get you." Kyle explained. "I’m saying that we should keep tabs on her so that we can see what we're dealing with."

"If you're implying that we should spy on her, that I can live with." Michael said.

Kyle nodded. "Yeah, that's what I'm implying, which is more than I can say for Liz and Max, over here."

Everybody laughed. They were thankful that Kyle was able to lighten the mood even under the circumstances. But this made Isabel remember Alex. Usually, he was the one who would do that whenever they were having the alien discussions.

"How does tomorrow after school sound?" offered Michael.

Max spoke first. "Sounds good, but who's gonna go?"

Isabel looked at Max questioningly. "What do you mean?"

"Well, it would look kinda suspicious is all six of us went."

"Right."

"So, who's gonna go?" Liz asked.

Michael immediately jumped at the opportunity. "I'll go."

"I better keep an eye on him." said Kyle half jokingly.

Max stood up. "And I think someone needs to keep an eye out on you two. Iz can you go, too?"

"No can do, Max. I have a test after school. How 'bout you?"

"I can't. Mr. Krewlik wants me to do a make-up assignment."

"I'll go." Liz said.

Max immediately objected. "No, it's too dangerous."

"Max, we're only watching her. It's not like we're gonna confront her or anything like that. Besides, I have these two manly men to protect me if something does happen." she said, indicating Michael and Kyle.

Max thought about it for a second and looked at Michael and Kyle warning them silently, that if anything happened to Liz they would be in enormous trouble, but finally he reluctantly agreed.

Liz nodded. "Okay, now that that's solved for now, how 'bout some music." she suggested.

Everybody agreed. Liz got up from her seat and turned on the CD player. A smooth sultry beat began to play and as she made her way back to her seat, she unconsciously began to sway her hips to the music. Max couldn't take his eyes off her. He wanted nothing more than to pull her close to him and move with her. Feel her again.

When Liz sat down, Maria looked at her devilishly.

"What?"

"Nothing. It's just that Max is practically stripping you with his eyes."

"He is not!" Liz protested, not daring to look at him because she already knew the expression that would be on his face and she didn't want to embarrass herself by doing something… out of character.

At first only Maria was dancing. She tried to get Michael to dance with her, but he refused, so she pulled Kyle onto the dance floor. She began to dance seductively around him. Kyle stood as still as possible. He was extremely uncomfortable with this because he only thought of Maria as a friend and it didn't help knowing that Michael was ready to kill him.

Maria knew this would drive Michael crazy and he would soon pull her away from Kyle and dance with her. After a few moments of moving around Kyle, Maria noticed that Michael still hadn't pulled her away, so she decided to ham it up a little bit more. She maneuvered herself in front of Kyle with her back to his front. The minute Michael saw this, he jumped up and grabbed her arm and pulled her to him.

"Don't do that!" he said through clenched teeth.

Maria smiled at him, amused at his jealousy. "Do what? I'm just dancing. And since you wouldn't dance with me, I got Kyle to. What's the big deal?"

"The big deal is, you're mine and you'll only dance like that with me!"

Maria sighed and pretended to think about it.

"Okay. If you say so." she said feigning exasperation.

Liz watched this whole exchange take place. Even though Michael was usually closed off and didn't like to show his feelings, when he did, he really meant it. She smiled to herself, a little woefully. She remembered when she could be like that with Max. She missed it.

"Liz?" She realized that Max had sat down beside her.

"Yeah, Max?"

"Um, I don't want to pressure you or anything like that. I was just wondering if you still think that it's a good idea to… you know, just be friends?"

Liz didn't say anything. She wanted, more than anything, to officially be his again. To be able to touch him, hug him, kiss him. She wanted him.

Fortunately he came to her rescue again. "I know you still need time. That's okay. The reason I'm asking is because my parents want to know what happened to you. They really like you and they thought it would be nice if you could join us for dinner on Friday."

Liz looked at him, grateful that he could read her so well. She knew that he knew that she wanted to be with him again. She just needed to sort out the jumble of emotions inside of her.

"So, how 'bout it? Dinner with me and my family this Friday?"

"Sure." Liz said, flashing a brilliant smile at him.

Maria interrupted their moment. "Hey Liz! You're the one who chose the music! Dance!"

The music had changed to a slow ballad. Liz looked at Max from under lowered lashes, wondering if he would ask her to dance.

He smiled at her and got up. Her heart fell a little. Then he turned around and offered her his hand. "Would you like to dance with me?"

"Of course." she said placing her hand in his.

He led her a few steps away from the counter and pulled her close slipping an arm around her waist. She placed one hand on his shoulder and the other, which was in his left hand, was pressed to his heart.

They swayed to the music. Each of them cherishing the memory of finally being allowed in each other's arms again without having to worry about who saw them, even if it was just as 'friends'.

She breathed deeply, savoring his scent. She loved the way he smelled. It wasn't some cologne he wore. It was just… him. She could stay like this with him forever.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

It was nearly midnight and Max and Liz were still dancing.

"Max, I think we better get home." Isabel said, getting up and putting on her jacket.

She hated to disturb the couple. They looked so happy. They happiest she had seen them all year. But Max and her had to get home. It was a school day tomorrow and Isabel had to get up early to write an exam.

Max lifted his head, which was bent so he could bury his face in Liz's hair. "Hmm?"

Isabel sighed dramatically, then smiled at her brother. "Time." she said, tapping her watch.

Max and Liz both looked at the clock hanging on the wall. 11:48.

Max leaned back a little so he could look at Liz. "Isabel's right. It is pretty late. I better go before my parents start to worry."

Liz nodded. "Okay." she said softly. Her gaze went fleetingly to his mouth.

Max let his arms slip from around her waist and he stepped back. He had to, before he lost control and kissed her. He had seen the way she had looked at his mouth and the need to kiss her was becoming unbearable.

"Bye, Liz. I'll see you tomorrow." His eyes clinging to hers, showing how desperately he wanted to touch her.

Liz seized this opportunity, telling herself that it was because Max was on the verge of losing his dignity and attacking her… not that she minded, but that was beside the point. She wrapped her arms around his neck and gave him a hug and his arms came around her waist naturally.

"Bye." he repeated. His mouth needed something to do. Not that talking was that particular something.

"Bye, Max." Liz said when she finally let go of him.

With that Max and Isabel turned and left.

"Yeah, Liz. It's late. We're gonna go, too." Maria spoke up. "C'mon Spaceboy. Let's go."

Michael got up and followed Maria to the door. "See ya, Liz." he threw over his shoulder as he walked out.

"Bye, guys." Liz called after them as she locked the door. Tomorrow was gonna be a big day. They were finally gonna figure out who Leila really was.

TBC…

posted on 30-May-2002 11:16:43 PM by Insanity02
Thanks so much to all of you guys who have left feedback! I appreciate the support so much! I was just wondering if any of you guys have heard of the story called Perfect Partner by ML4ever. I started reading it a really long time ago, but I lost track of it. Recently, on the Fanfic Nomination Forum, they brought it up again and I was wondering if anyone knows where to find it. If so, can you please post the url here, please?! Thanks! *happy* Okay, now on with the story!


Part 7

When Kyle and Liz arrived at Kyle's car after school, Michael was already there, waiting impatiently for them. "Took you long enough."

"Well, some of us actually took the time to write notes so we could legitimately skip." Kyle threw back.

Michael was about to say something sarcastic, but Liz jumped in. "Okay, you two, but we're all here now so let's just let it go."

Liz was getting into the back when Michael grabbed her bag and pulled her out. Liz let out a shriek and spun around. "What are you doing?!"

Michael pointed at Kyle. "I'm not sitting with Mr. Smart Ass."

Liz rolled her eyes and sighed. "Okay, that's all you need to say. You didn't need to physically drag me out of the car!"

When they finally got the seating arrangements sorted out, they sat quietly in the car and waited. Several minutes went by.

"When's that stinking bell gonna ring?!" Michael huffed.

"Have a little patience, Guerin." Kyle shot back.

"Now boys. You have to play nice or else one of you are going to have to get out." Liz said jokingly.

Michael quirked an eyebrow at her. Liz laughed. "I was just kidding!"

Just then the bell rang. Everybody's eye's shot to the door.

"C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon…"

Kyle gave Liz a pleading look.

"Michael, will you please stop mumbling."

"I will when she comes out."

"Look, she's out." Kyle said, nodding over to the doors, "and she's walking in our direction! Why is she coming towards us?"

Liz tried to calm him down. "Kyle, just relax. She didn't even see us." They all held their breaths and sure enough, she changed directions and went to her car.

Kyle didn't drive too closely for fear of her seeing them. After about a fifteen-minute drive, she stopped in front of a fairly large house. She got out the car, got her stuff and went into the house.

"Great. Now how are supposed to see her?" Michael grumbled.

"I have binoculars." Liz said, reaching into her bag. She handed them over to Kyle as she closed her bag.

Michael leaned forward from his seat at the back. "What do you see?"

Kyle squinted into the binoculars. "She's going upstairs. Wait, I don't know where she went. No, there she is. I think she's in her room. Whoa! She's changing! Nice bra! That girl's got some goods!"

Liz grabbed the binoculars from Kyle. "Gimme that! Pervert!"

Now, Kyle had Michael's undivided attention. "What color bra?"

"What does it matter?!" Liz snapped.

"If it's black, it means she wants some action."

"What?! Where did you get that from?!"

"It was royal blue." Kyle said, completely ignoring Liz.

Michael nodded and smiled. "Niiice."

Liz shook her head. "Jeez."

"Okay, what's she doing now?" Kyle asked after a while.

"She's in the kitchen. I think she's getting something to drink. It looks like… what is that… it looks like it's blue. I think it's blueberry juice or PowerAde or something like that."

"So? What's the big deal?"

"Nothing." Liz replied. "Maybe I'm just being neurotic."

Kyle scoffed. "Got that right."

"Or maybe not." Liz said, making a face.

Michael jumped forward from the backseat. "What?"

"She's dumping sugar into her drink. That's really gross."

"Yeah, but what about Max? He puts loads of Tabasco in everything, so what do you say about that?"

Kyle and Liz looked at Michael, expectantly. After a while he finally realized that they were talking about exactly that. The reason they were so worried was because since she had a dietary quirk similar to the other Czechoslovakians, she could be 'different' too.

Liz leaned back in her seat and put on her seatbelt. "Let's go. I don’t think we're gonna find anything else out."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Max sat across from Liz pondering what she had just told him. Kyle and Michael had just dropped Liz off and left. Michael mumbled something about needing to meet Maria and Kyle said that he needed to meet some jock friends for a game of basketball.

Liz was getting a little antsy about his silence. She wanted to know what he was thinking. "Max? Can you please say something?"

He smiled at her, knowing that she was getting uncomfortable. "I'm not sure there's anything to say. I guess the only thing to do is to keep watching her. We don't know what she's up to so we should be watching her as often as possible."

Liz nodded. "Okay. Is that it?" Max nodded. "Then I better go change and get to work. I don't think Maria is going to be able to handle the dinner hours herself."

"Isn't somebody helping her?" Max asked.

"Yeah, but Agnes doesn't count." Liz said.

"Oh, enough said."

Liz turned and headed towards the back so she could go get changed. She went upstairs to her room and got her uniform. She was buttoning her last button when Maria came barging in. Liz jumped and frowned at Maria for coming in without even knocking.

"One of these days, I'm going to kill Agnes!"

Liz sat down on her bed and began to tie the laces on her white sneakers. "Why?"

"Do you know how many breaks she took during the after school rush?"

"I don't know. Five?"

"No! She took nine!" Maria threw her hands in the air, to emphasize what she was saying. "Nine breaks in ninety minutes! I don't think I even take nine breaks when I work eight hour shifts!"

"Yeah, I know. I really need to talk to my dad about her, but I'm here to help you with the dinner shift."

"Thank God!" Maria said pressing her hands together and looking up. Then turning back to Liz she said, "Okay, I'm done ranting. I better get back downstairs before Agnes starts giving out food." With that Maria left Liz's room and went back to the main area of the Crashdown.

Liz was tying her second sneaker when she noticed that one of her laces was starting to unravel at the end. She got up and went over to her desk to look for some tape. When she opened the drawer she saw a little box. She picked it up and opened it. It was the switchblade that she had given Max. The same one he had given back to her a couple months before.

Before she knew it, tears were welling up in her eyes. She quickly brushed them away and put the box away and continued to look for tape.

Max was standing at her door and he saw the entire thing. He had knocked twice. When she didn't answer he opened the door and peeked in. He saw what was in the box, through the mirror, and he also saw the expression on her face when she realized what was in the box. He felt terrible, knowing that it was because of him that she had that expressio. He closed the door silently and went downstairs to leave.

When Liz got back downstairs, she planned on sitting with Max until the rush began, but he was already gone.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The next couple of days were somewhat strained between Max and Liz. Nobody knew why, including Liz. She thought that she and Max were starting to rebuild their friendship, but after he had disappeared from the Crashdown on Tuesday, he began to avoid her.

He would eat lunch with the rest of the group, but he would be careful not to sit with her. Liz couldn't understand why. Was it something she had done, that upset him? Or worse, he had figured something out about Leila and he was avoiding her to keep her out of harms way. She made a mental note to herself that she would talk to him at the Crashdown after school.

***Crashdown***

Max came in with Michael and sat down. Max tried not to look at Liz, but as usual, his eyes were naturally drawn to her graceful movements as she filled peoples' cups of coffee.

When Max finally managed to tear his eyes away from Liz, he turned to look at Michael. "Do we have to eat here?"

"Yeah, Maria's gonna get off in about an hour and we're gonna see a movie." Michael looked away from Max at Maria as she breezed in from the back of the Crashdown.

"I'll be right back."

Max sighed and got up to leave. Since Michael was going out with Maria, he wouldn't need a ride anyway. As he was walking towards the door, Liz intercepted him.

"I need to talk to you."

Max avoided her eyes. "What's up?"

Liz was thrown off by his indifferent attitude. "Um… I was wondering if I was still invited to your house tomorrow for dinner."

His eyes immediately flew up to meet hers, but he quickly looked away. "Yeah." he said trying to sound nonchalant, but coming across as cold instead. When she didn't say anything, he maneuvered his way around her and headed towards the door.

Liz stood there stunned for a minute. What was wrong with him? She made her decision quickly. She turned and grabbed his arm.

A shiver shot up his arm at the touch of her small hand. He stopped and turned to look at her.

"Well, I'm not coming tomorrow." she said and walked away.

He came after her and it was his turn to grab her arm. "Why?!" he said. His voice was strained and even desperate.

She didn't so much as look at him. "Because you clearly don't want me to go." she said and shook her arm free and went to the back of the Crashdown.

He followed her and as she came out and she almost slammed the door into him. Hastily, he put out his hand to stop the door from hitting him in the face. She looked at him and breezed right by. Liz wanted him to tell her what was going on with him, but she wanted to use a different tactic. She wanted him to open up to her and tell her the truth, without her directly hounding him.

"Liz…"

She ignored him.

"Liz, wait." he said grabbing her arm more firmly this time.

She submitted. "What?" she said, sounding incredibly annoyed.

"What do you mean, you're not coming?"

"I told you already." she said looking him straight in the eye.

"I know, but…"

"But what Max? I thought that we were trying to rebuild our friendship and maybe soon, we could get back what we had before, but you're pushing me away again and I'm not going to put up with it. If you don't want me in your life then just…"

"Liz, that's not fair. You know that's not tr…"

"What's not fair, Max?" she said raising her voice slightly. Max noticed that there were people nearby starting to stare.

He guided her to the back of the Crashdown and let her go. She continued. "Huh? Tell me, what's not fair?" she paused for a microsecond and when he didn't seize the opportunity to speak she continued. "You know what's not fair? You treating me like this. One minute you're hot and the next you're cold. You can't even talk to me!"

"You know why I can't talk to you?" Max said grabbing both her arms, his eyes burning into hers. "Because when I talk to you, I don't hide anything! I tell you everything about what I'm feeling and what I'm feeling isn't what a 'friend' is supposed to feel!"

Liz looked at him incredulously. "Don't you think I feel the same thing?!" she cried. "I hate just being your friend, but I have to right now!"

"Why?!"

"Because!" she took a breath and calmed herself, "Because…" she said more calmly, "I just need some time. Please Max, just give me a little…"

"Time." he finished for her.

"Yeah."

Both of them looked at each other for a few moments. Max realized that he was still holding Liz's arms down. He released her and apologized.

"Did I hurt you?" he asked, his voice trembling slightly.

She ran the back of her hand across his face and shook her head. "No."

They stood staring at each other again. Max cleared his throat and asked her, "So are you still coming?"

She smiled at him. "What do you think? Of course."

"Good." he said smiling back. "My mom really missed you. She said that you were healthy for me."

Liz smiled again. "Thank you. I think."

"Well, I guess you gotta get back to work." he said, smiling crookedly at her.

They walked out together and Max sat back down in his usual booth and Liz went back to work. Max ended up staying until it was time to close. He helped her clean up and they talked until it was late into the evening.

TBC…
posted on 4-Jun-2002 12:43:14 AM by Insanity02
Part 8

After talking having the long conversation with Max about nothing in particular, Liz went upstairs and called Maria.

"Maria, I'm so confused." she said warily.

"About what? You love him. He loves you. What else if there to say?"

"I just… I don't know…"

Maria knew what Liz wanted to say, but couldn't, so she said it for her friend. "Tess."

"Do you think I'm being selfish?"

"Of course not." Maria said, not missing a heartbeat. "That bitch, killed one of our best friends and mind-warped pretty much everybody, including Max."

Liz remained silent and Maria continued. "I don't think you need to forgive him because you've already done that. You need to forgive yourself, Liz, because whether you realize it or not, you keep blaming yourself for what she did."

"Yeah…" Liz knew that Maria was right.

~*~*~*~*~*~

"Max, honey, can you please set the table?"

"Sure, mom." Max said cheerfully.

"You sure are in a good mood, Max." his mom said, as he took some dishes out of the cupboard.

Diane liked seeing her son so happy and carefree. The mere thought of the beautiful, petite brunette had him grinning from ear to ear.

"Yeah, well…" Max said, softly. *She's gonna be here in a few minutes, of course I'm happy!* he thought to himself.

Just then, the doorbell rang. "She's here!" he cried, almost dropping the dishes. He placed them hurriedly on the table and practically ran to the door. Max didn't even know why he was so excited. After all, he had seen her just a couple of hours ago.

Max threw the door open. "Hey!" he exclaimed excitedly.

She smiled at him. She liked seeing him smile and she liked when he was carefree and relatively worry-free. She had noticed this morning that he hadn't bothered to shave and again she had noticed this. She thought he looked incredibly sexy. "Hey, Max." she said shyly.

"Come in." he said, stepping aside so she could enter.

She was wearing her red tank top with a denim jacket over it.

"Can I take your jacket?" Max offered.

"Sure, thanks." Liz said, as she took it off.

Max hung it carefully in the closet next to his jacket. Then he lead her to the kitchen where his mom was finishing setting the table.

"Liz!" Diane exclaimed. "It's so nice to see you! How have you been?!"

"I've been all right. And you?" Liz said politely.

"Good." Diane said, nodding.

"Do you need any help, Mrs. Evans?" Liz offered.

"No. It's all right. And just call me Diane." she paused for a second. "Why don't you and Max just go upstairs while we wait for Philip to come home? I'll let you know when he gets here."

"Okay, Mom." Max piped in.

Max and Liz headed upstairs to his room. "So, did you do your Trig, yet?" Max asked, as he shut the door.

"Yeah, some of it." Liz replied, staring at him.

"What?"

"What are you what-ing at?" Liz said, confused.

"Why are you looking at me like that?" Max asked, but he already knew the answer. It was because of the stubble on his chin. He knew that she liked that look and that she found it very attractive.

"Nothing." she said, quickly looking away. "It's just that you look kinda like Future Max. You know you should grow your hair long." she said jokingly.

He looked at her and then went over to his closet. He pulled out a dark chin-length wig and put it on. "How do I look?" Liz started to laugh.

"Where did you get that?!" she exclaimed, still chuckling. He really did look like Future Max. Without the gray hair and the worn look, of course.

*She's so beautiful* Max thought to himself. "Halloween costume from a couple years ago." he managed to say. He loved the way her face lit up when she laughed.

He pulled the wig off and threw it on his desk. She walked over to the far side of it and touched the wig, a little reverently. Max watched her touch the wig. So gently. He wanted her to touch him like that again.

He walked over to her and took her hand in his. Her eyes immediately came up to stare at him. His eyes burned into hers. She had been fighting this for so long. Even when he had kissed her in the jeep when he had told her that he was leaving, she had been blocking him so he wouldn't see what happened with Future Max.

Max walked around the desk to stand in front of Liz. His eyes showed her his barely restrained passion and even though he could see the returned desire burning in hers too, he wasn't sure if she was going to pull away.

Max brushed a few loose stands of hair from her shoulder and he dipped his head and gently placed his lips on her shoulder. When she didn't step away, he ran his warm lips up her neck. She tilted her head to the side and bit her lip to keep from moaning out loud.

Now, he was kissing her along her jaw-line and she couldn't take it anymore. She placed her hand on his face and made him look at her. She gazed into his eyes for a second, silently begging him to kiss her.

Liz didn't know who moved first. Him or her. Their kiss was gentle, but intense. Max's tongue slipped into her mouth asking for her's to respond. Their kiss was of pure contentment.

Liz wrapped her arms around his neck and deepened the kiss. It turned from a slow mating to a fiery duel. Max maneuvered Liz over to the edge of his bed. He didn't want to push her, but he felt his own knees beginning to buckle from the scorching passion-filled kiss.

Liz was almost desperate. She wanted him so much. After the long chat with Maria the night before, Liz had finally come to terms with the situation. But her lungs were screaming for air and she tore her mouth away from his lips and he trailed hot, open-mouthed kisses down her neck.

Liz sat down on the bed and lay down, pulling Max with her. She shifted higher so that they could lie down properly. He came willingly. His body pressed her into the bed and she welcomed the weight.

Max's hand was on her hip. He moved it higher and felt bare skin where her tank top had ridden up. Liz gasped at the touch of his warm hand. Max continued his trek upwards under her tank top and stopped at her ribcage. This time Liz moaned.

"Please, Max…" she pleaded against his lips.

He brushed the back of his hand along the edge of her bra. Liz was going crazy. Did he have any idea what he was doing to her?!

Well, two can play this game, she thought.

Liz slipped her small hand into his shirt and brushed her hand lightly up his back feeling the muscles shift at her touch. Max sighed into her mouth and Liz's hand moved to the front. She ran her hand down his chest and across his washboard stomach, this time drawing a groan from Max and causing him to finally stop the torture on her body.

He cupped her breast gently through her bra. She sighed his name. "Max…"

All of a sudden somebody knocked and entered. Max quickly pulled his hand from under Liz's shirt. "Hey, Max. Din…"

A stunned Isabel stood staring at them.

Liz looked up guiltily from under Max. "Hi Isabel."

Max and Liz got ready for the tirade they were sure to receive from Isabel.

"Well, it's about damn time!" she said, beaming at them.

"What?!" Max and Liz exclaimed simultaneously.

"C'mon, you guys! Don't you think everybody noticed how miserable you two were? Michael and Kyle were even making bets on when you two would get back together!"

Max and Liz were speechless. They just stared at her.

"Max, you better get off Liz before Mom sees you two." Isabel laughed.

He sheepishly slid off Liz and he helped her off his bed. The couple headed over to the door, but Isabel blocked the way. "Before you go downstairs, why don't you make sure you guys look presentable." Isabel suggested and left.

They looked at each other.

Max's shirt was half unbuttoned and his hair was completely mussed.

Liz was beginning to get a glowing spot on her neck and, like Max, her hair was in total disarray.

For some reason, they both began to laugh uncontrollably.

When they finally got a hold of themselves again, Liz stepped up close to Max and began to button his shirt and he put his hand on her neck to remove the hickey.

And before going downstairs to join everybody for dinner, they both went into the bathroom to straighten up. Max handed Liz a brush and she combed the tangles out of her hair and Max just ran his hand through his a couple of times.

"Where were you two?" Diane asked, when Max and Liz finally meandered into the kitchen.

"Ohh… They were just…"

Max smacked Isabel on the shoulder before she could finish because he knew that she was going to say something to embarrass them.

The rest of dinner went by relatively smoothly, aside from the major sexual tension between Max and Liz. They did a valiant job of feigning indifference. Mr. and Mrs. Evans noticed, but Isabel made it very evident that she did.

TBC…

posted on 7-Jun-2002 12:11:49 AM by Insanity02
Hey! Again, I'd like to thank all of you guys who've given me feedback! It really helps with inspiration. *happy*

Megan


Part 9

"Thanks for the ride, Max." Liz said shyly as Max approached the Crashdown. "I had a really nice time, tonight."

"Yeah, me too." he said softly as he pulled up at the Crashdown. "So… We, um… never really made it clear before, but are we… you know… back together?"

Liz flashed a brilliant smile at him and then she did something he totally did not expect. She grabbed him by the front of his shirt and yanked him towards her. Her mouth crashed into his and her tongue immediately thrust deep into his mouth, demanding him to respond. Instinctively, his arm wrapped around her waist and crushed her to his chest causing her to moan deep in her throat. After a few minutes of wild, passionate kissing, Liz broke the kiss.

"Does that answer your question?" she asked breathlessly.

Max was so dazed that he honestly didn't remember what he had asked in the first place. "Huh?" he mumbled, all the while trying to recapture her lips. Every time he was with Liz, she would amaze him. Whether it was being the sweet, small-town girl that she was and making him fall even more deeply in love with her or the incredibly sexy and incredibly alluring woman who could drive him out of his mind with desire.

Liz ran a provoking hand down his chest. "Down boy…" she said seductively against his mouth before flicking out her tongue to lick his bottom lip.

Now it was Max's turn to groan. "Liz…"

Liz immediately pulled back. "Yes, Max?" she said looking at him innocently. She liked teasing him.

Max growled and cupped her face in his hands and pulled her to him, kissing her again.

Before long, Liz was straddling him and unbuttoning his shirt. When she finished the task of opening all the buttons, her hands were once again in his shirt touching him and teasing him mercilessly.

The rational part of Max told him that this had to stop before he lost control and took her right then and there. The other part of Max told him to rip off her clothes and fulfill both their needs, NOW!!!

The rational part won.

Max finally found the strength to speak. "Liz…" he mumbled into her mouth.

"Yeah?" she mumbled back, still kissing him.

"Please…" He meant to tell her to stop before he lost control, but he ended up urging her on with the plea.

Liz knew that what she was doing was completely out of character, but the last year had been so trying on her. All the pent-up frustrations, physical, mental and emotional, came pouring out. She wanted him so badly. She always did, but this time it was with a blinding intensity that almost scared her. She knew she had to stop, so she began with taking her hands out of his shirt.

When Liz's warm hands left his chest, Max regained a little perspective, but her mouth was still assaulting his lips. "Liz…" Max managed to mutter again.

"I know…" Liz said, as she slowed the kisses down. It quickly turned from searing and passionate, to deep and intense.

Eventually, Max was able to find the strength to tear his lips away from Liz's sweet mouth. They were both panting like they had run an entire fitness course.

They held each other until their heartbeats slowed. Max wondered to himself what it would be like to actually make love to her. If just making out was this intense, what would going all the way be like?

Finally, Liz climbed out of Max's lap. "I better go."

"Yeah." Max said, still a little dazed.

She began to get out of the car, when Max gently caught her hand. She turned to look at him questioningly and immediately knew what he wanted.

She leaned back towards him and planted a sweet kiss on his lips, but pulled back before he could deepen it because she knew that if they started again, she wouldn't be able to stop.

"I love you, Liz." he whispered looking deep into her eyes, ensuring that she knew that he meant it with all his heart. He kissed her softly on the lips again.

"I love you too, Max." Liz said softly.

They stared at each other for a little while longer and then she and headed into the Crashdown.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

***Monday***

Liz was practically skipping to her locker where, as usual, Maria was waiting.

"I take it you and Max are back together." Maria said.

Maria had gone camping with Michael over the weekend, since there was only two days of school left and the teachers weren't giving out any more assignments.

"Is it that obvious?"

"Well, you have a grin that's permanently etched to your face, so you tell me." Maria said teasingly.

Liz rolled her eyes and opened her locker. "So how was your camping trip?" Liz said trying to change the subject.

"It was great! I never knew that Michael could be so sweet! I think your Prince Charming is rubbing off!" Maria enthused.

"Really? That's fantastic!" Liz exclaimed.

"What's fantastic?" Max said coming up behind Liz and draping his arms around her waist.

Liz tilted her head back so she could look at him. "You are."

"Me? Why, thank you." he said jokingly.

"Okay, you two. I'll see you later. I have to go to class with Miss Possibly-Out-To-Get-Us."

"Oh." Liz and Max said together.

They had completely forgotten about Leila. Even though she hadn't done anything for them to suspect something, Max and Liz were both feeling pretty guilty about forgetting something so potentially disastrous.

"Maybe we should be the ones to check on her today since we flaked over the weekend." said Liz.

"Yeah." Max said while staring at her lips. He had suddenly realized that he still hadn't kissed her hello.

A voice interrupted their moment. "Hey Liz."

It was Leila.

"Um… Hey Leila." Liz said, trying to sound casual.

"Hello Max." Leila said, quickly bowing her head at him.

"Hey." Max responded. "Can I ask you something?"

"Of course." Leila responded with her head still bowed.

"Why do you keep doing that?" Max asked.

Liz elbowed him in the gut, lightly and asked him silently what he was doing. Max was thrown off for a minute because he could have sworn he heard her voice as clearly as if she had said it out loud. He just looked at Liz telling her with his eyes that she didn't have to worry.

"Doing what?" Leila said.

"That bowing thing." Max and Liz said together. They immediately exchanged looks, wondering if Leila thought that it was weird they talked as if they could read each other's minds, but she wasn't even phased.

"Because." Leila stated simply.

"Because what?" Liz asked.

"You know why, Liz. It's because he's a king." Leila said as the late bell rang. "Shit. I have to get to class with your friend, Maria. Later." she said nodding to Liz. "Your majesty." she said to Max and with that she walked away.

Max and Liz looked at each other. There was no question about it now. She was 'different'. They had to keep an eye on her at all times.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

***After School***

During lunch, Max and Liz had told the entire group about the meeting with Leila. They had all agreed to watch her closely until they found out exactly what the deal with her was.

So now, Max and Liz were sitting in the jeep waiting for her to come out.

Suddenly, somebody punched the door on Liz's side. "Hey!" Max immediately put his arm around Liz's shoulder and raised his hand to attack.

"Leila!" Liz exclaimed, silently telling Max to calm down. "You startled us."

"Well, guess how I felt when you your friends started following me home last week. By the way, did the guys like the show?"

"Wha… Oh my God." A slight blush crept across Liz's face as she remembered that Kyle had seen her take her shirt off when she was changing. "I'm…"

"Don't need to apologize. It's okay."

"Okay." Liz said, eyeing her suspiciously. Max was getting more and more agitated by the second.

This time Leila looked at Max. "You don't remember, do you?"

"What are you talking about?" Max said through clenched teeth.

"You're the man. The King. Remember? You were in love but you had to marry that bitch 'cause of the war."

"What?" Max was confused. He knew that he had married Tess, but he thought that it was because he was in love with her not because he was forced to. How could he ever even contemplate that he actually cared about Tess?

Leila laughed. "Liz? How 'bout you?"

Liz just looked at her blankly. "What about me?"

"You guys really don't know? I knew that Liz wouldn't remember, but Max… tsk, tsk, tsk. I'm disappointed, man!" Leila laughed at Max's stunned expression and giggled. "I'm just kidding. C'mon. You were gonna follow me to my house anyway. I'll explain there."

TBC…

posted on 11-Jun-2002 12:41:33 AM by Insanity02
Part 10

When Max and Liz arrived at Leila's house, Max turned to Liz.

"I'm not sure about this." he said.

Liz knew that the reason he didn't want to go in was because he was afraid that Leila would try something and Liz would be in danger.

Liz tried to reassure him. "Max, it's okay. She's not gonna do anything. And besides, it's kind of late to turn back, now."

"You're right, but stay close to me. I don't want anything to happen to you."

"I know. Don't worry, Max."

"Hey, are you guys gonna come in or not?" Leila said tapping on the window.

Max and Liz got out of the car and followed Leila.

"Hey, you want anything?" she asked as she shut the door behind them.

"No, it's okay." Max and Liz said simultaneously.

Leila looked at them and shook her head. She knew that Max would find his one true love in this life, but she didn't expect it to be this perfect. Leila headed to the kitchen to get something to drink and, like Liz had seen before, she began dumping massive amounts of sugar into it.

"What's with the sugar?" Max asked.

"Oh. This?" she said gesturing to the 2L bag of sugar.

"Yeah."

"Don't you have something that you dump in your food?" she asked taking a sip of her blue drink.

"Um… yeah… I use Tabasco."

"There you go."

"Okay." Liz said, "That answers that question, but what's with you and the color blue?"

"Oh, that?" Leila paused. "Well, this is where I start telling you about everything."

"Everything? As in everything?" Liz asked.

"Yeah, I mean pretty much all the little details that you wanna know, for now."

Max and Liz were silent. They both knew for sure that Leila was on their side, but they didn't know what her role in all of this was. Nasedo was the one who was supposed to answer their questions, not her. But he had ended up betraying all of them so maybe their planet sent someone else to help them.

"C'mon, you two." Leila said, breaking the silence.

She led them to the living room and gestured to the love seat while she sat in a leather recliner.

"Okay, let's see where I should start…" she said to herself. "Well, maybe I should start by telling you that my name isn't Leila… It's Sarina."

Max felt Liz stiffen. He wrapped her arm around her shoulder and looked at her questioningly and then he heard her voice inside his head asking if she could talk to him in private. He nodded and turned back to Lei… Sarina.

"Would you excuse us for a sec?" Max said as he stood up with Liz tucked neatly under his arm.

He led Liz out of the living room and into the kitchen. "What's wrong?"

"Future-you told me, one day, I'd have a friend named Sarina."

"So?"

"She was the one who turned the Granolith into a time machine."

Max was shocked. "Whoa." he finally said.

"Yeah. I don't think we have to worry about her anymore, Max." Liz said.

"Why?"

"Because Future you already said that she was a friend of ours and… I dunno… she seems kinda familiar - like I know her. She's a friend."

"Okay. But you're fine, right?" Max asked.

Liz smiled and nodded at him. "Yeah." He was always so crazy when it came to her.

"Yeah, crazily in love with you." Max said, reading her thoughts.

Liz chuckled. "That was really cheesy, but I gotta admit, I'm crazily in love with you too."

Max dipped his head and kissed her. He only meant to kiss her for a sec, but as usual, it spiraled out of control and before long he had her pressed against the wall and his hand had traveled underneath her shirt, caressing her back.

Sarina looked around the corner to see what was taking so long and was surprised to see them involved in a scorching kiss. They were so involved with each other and so clearly in love that she almost felt bad to disturb them, but she really didn't want it to get too out of hand. "Ahem." she said loudly.

Max and Liz jumped apart guiltily and looked towards the entrance to the living room, but Sarina had already disappeared around the corner, back into the living room.

They quickly fixed their clothing and hurried to join Sarina again.

"Okay." they said together as they sat down. Both of them were trying not to make eye contact with Sarina

Sarina looked at them silently asking if it was okay to continue with her explanation.

"Sorry." they said together, both of them blushing profusely.

"Well, I'm Liz's protector."

Their embarrassment faded away and Max and Liz began to laugh. "What are you talking about? Since when was Liz some royal queen?!" Max exclaimed jokingly.

"Since she was born." Sarina said seriously.

"But I'm human and my only claim to fame is that my parents own the Crashdown. That's it. I'm just regular, little Liz Parker. Nothing more."

"I don’t mean in this life." Sarina said. "You've lived a life before this one… with Zan."

"What?"

"You were the queen of Keyne…"

"Keyne?"

"Yeah. It was your planet… Do you even know what the constellation looks like?"

"Yeah, that we know."

"Okay, Liz, your planet was the one closer to Max's planet. The one on the right."

Sarina paused to gauge their reaction to the information and then she continued. "The sad thing is that you guys didn't find each other until after Max was ordered to marry Ava. See, you two were supposed to be together. Everybody knew that you two had a connection even though you were babies at the time."

"What do you mean we were babies?"

"Oh, sorry. You're parents were really good friends and they would always be together and so you guys were too. When you were in the same room, you two would cry until you were put within touching distance of each other. And whenever you touched each other you would glow! Isn't that cool! Betcha didn't know that!" Sarina exclaimed.

"Actually we did know that." Max and Liz said a little sheepishly.

"Really? Wow you guys have gone further than I expected, but you haven't consummated your relationship, have you?"

"Oh, uh… not yet."

"So that means the glowing was only one-sided right?"

"Yeah."

"Okay. Well, when you cement your relationship the glowing will be… what's the word… mutual."

"Okay." Liz was incredibly elated when she heard that and, in turn, so was Max because he could feel the happiness flowing off Liz.

"Okay, on with my story. Even though you were incredibly close your parents had to separate you two and go back to their own planets because of the war. They still intended for the two of you to be together when you grew up, but nobody knew that the war would last for so long. So, the next time you saw each other you were already grown and Max was arranged to be married to Ava."

"Wow…" they said together.

"Okay, I have to ask," Sarina said, "What is with the talking?"

They looked at her with wide eyes and asked blankly, "What?"

"That! It's like you guys can read each others mind or something!"

"We can." they said.

"Whoa! I knew you guys were destined to be together, but I didn't know that it would be like this!" Sarina chuckled.

"So, we were really meant to be together?"

"Yeah. Like I said, you two were supposed to be King and Queen of Antar, which was Max's planet by the way, but Max was at war with Kivar, whose daughter was…"

"Ava." Liz mumbled.

"Yeah. Max's dad, the King at the time, thought that it would help take the pressure of the war off if Max married Ava but instead it lead to his own assassination."

"How did I ever agree to marry Tess?" Max asked, almost desperately. He couldn't believe that he would actually give Liz up for anything, even if it was for the sake of everyone. He knew, in his heart, that he couldn't live without her even if this took place in a past life.

"Well, since two of the planets were originally neutral Kivar only had to worry about two planets. Yours and Liz's. Two of Kivar's most advanced scouts mind-warped Max's planet to think that Keyne had betrayed Antar and two others mind-warped Keyne to think that Antar had been overthrown and destroyed."

"So, I thought that Liz had betrayed me?"

"Yes. When I was born, I only had knowledge of Liz and what happened to her, but recently, I found out what happened to you, too." Sarina smiled solemnly. "You just wouldn't give up on her. You kept sending out signals hoping to find her, but you would never get an answer. You spent years trying to get a hold of her and at the same time fight the war. I don't know how you did it for so long, but every man has to break sometime and you only did when they made you think that Keyne had been annihilated along with everyone living there, which included Liz."

Max leaned back in his seat and sighed. "Wow."

"Yeah." Sarina said. "I was pretty impressed with you when I found out about all that you had been through. Your faith in Liz, even though you hadn't seen her in so long, was undeniable. You were a great man, Max. I always knew that you and Liz would be together, but I never thought that it would be in another life."

Liz finally spoke. "What do you mean?"

"Your relationship before was just like this one. When you guys looked at each other you could see into each other's souls and both of you would do die for the other. When you first saw each other, 20 years later, both of you just knew. You should have seen the look Max's face when he saw you after all that time. And the look on Ava's face when she saw the way you were looking at each other! It was priceless!" Sarina chuckled.

"Well, that's the gist of what happened. Is there anything else you'd like to know?"

"Yeah." Max and Liz said. "We were just wondering why our planet would send Tess along. If she betrayed us before, then…"

"The reason is because only we knew that she was a traitor. We didn't know that Kivar also had them keeping tabs on us 24/7. Ava sent someone to kill us before we could tell."

Liz decided to break the silence. "So, what was I called?"

"Called?" Sarina echoed.

"Yeah."

"Kaiya." Max whispered softly.

"Kaiya?" Liz looked at Max. "How did you know?"

"I don't know. I just did."

After a long silence, Sarina realized that the sugar rush was starting to kick in. "Okay. Do you guys have any more questions? I have to do my workout."

"Yeah, the blue. Why do you only wear blue, eat blue food, drink blue drinks…"

"Because our planets have our respective colors. Antar's color is green. That's why Max's shield is green, by the way. And Keyne's color is blue."

"Do I have powers?"

"Not yet."

"Oh. Okay."

"And what's with the workout?" Max asked.

"Well, my nosey King, I have to workout everyday. After all, I have to be prepared for anything. If anything happened to your precious Liz Parker, you'll zap me into oblivion!"

"That's true." Max nodded solemnly, but she could see the laughter shining in his eyes.

Sarina rolled her eyes at them and then nodded. She led them to the door. "Okay. I'll see you guys tomorrow. Last day of school! Thank God!"

"You've been here for less than a month!" Liz laughed.

"Yeah, but I'm a protector, not a student."

"That's true." Liz laughed.

TBC

posted on 14-Jun-2002 12:20:34 AM by Insanity02
Again, thanks so much for all of you who have taken the time to read this and to reply to it. I really appreciate the support!

Megan


Part 11

***After school***

"I'm free! I'm free! I'm freeeeeee!!!" Maria screamed, bounding down the hallway, eliciting numerous stares.

Liz quirked an eyebrow at her friend. "Yes. That's very good."

Maria ignored Liz's feigned tranquility. "We're sooo gonna have a blast this summer!!!" Maria squealed. "For once we can all have a good time without somebody sulking!"

Liz continued to stare at Maria as if she were crazy, but if you looked closely, you could see the glimmer of excitement in her eyes.

Maria paused to judge Liz's reaction. "How's Max?" Maria asked suddenly. This caused a grin to spread across Liz's face. She tried to hide it by looking down.

"He's… good."

"Good." Maria said, pleased that she got a reaction out of Liz.

Liz sneaked a glance up and saw Maria looking slyly at her. "What?"

"Nothing. It's just nice to see you happy again."

Liz didn't know what to say. Suddenly, Maria laughed. "C'mon! Let's go! Don't you want some private time with Max before the meeting?"

Liz chuckled. "Do you even have to ask?"

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

***Crashdown***

"Okay, Max what do you have to report?" Michael asked, as he and Maria walked into the Crashdown.

"Leila." was Max's simple reply.

"Uh-huh… Care to elaborate?" Isabel piped in.

"Her name isn't Leila. It's Sarina and she's one of us. Sorta."

"What do you mean, Maxwell?" Michael said.

Liz filled in for Max. "She said that me and Max were destined to be together in our past life, but Ava got in the way because of the war and she…" Liz faltered for a second and Max picked up where she left off.

"She killed all of us."

"Wait a sec. How do you know she's not BS-ing? She already lied to us about her name. How do you know she didn't lie about everything else?" Kyle asked.

"Because… because we just know what she says is true." Liz said.

"And what do you mean that you were destined to be together in the past life?"

"I was the Queen of one of the planets." Liz explained.

"Really?" Maria enthused. "That's so cool! What was your planet called?"

"Keyne."

"Oh, what a beautiful name!" Maria gushed.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah." Michael jumped in. "How do you just know that she's telling the truth? She could be just doing this so that we'll start to trust her and then, BANG!" he exclaimed, hammering the table, causing everybody to jump.

"Michael." Max said, trying to get him to understand. "We know her..."

Michael opened his mouth to speak, but Max interrupted him.

"We don't know how we know, but we just do. We remember being with her in our past life. She was Liz's protector."

"You mean, like bodyguard?" said Kyle.

"Yeah." Max and Liz said.

"Well, how do you know that she didn't plant those memories like Tess did with me?" Kyle asked.

"Because even though Tess did that, I think to a certain degree, we knew unconsciously that she was doing it."

Everybody looked at Max skeptically.

"C'mon… Michael? Isabel? You both know what it's like to be mind-warped. It felt so distorted. Like it wasn't us. We didn't even take our thoughts there. It was like it invaded our mind, or something. Right?" Max said, looking at them expectantly.

When they didn't respond, he took it as a sign of agreement. "Well, this felt normal… familiar. We know that it was there all along. You know, in our subconscious."

"Okay." Maria nodded. "But isn't Liz supposed to be human? She wasn't adopted or anything like that. I've even seen Liz's birth certificate and everything. Sarina isn't telling you something."

Max and Liz looked at each other. They were so overwhelmed with information, they didn't even realize that, that part of Sarina's explanation didn't fit.

"We'll go talk to her tomorrow." they said.

"Okay, but we're coming with you." Michael said.

"We really don't need…"

"No, Max. We're coming with you." Isabel insisted. "We're a part of this too."

"We realize that." Max said, "It's just that…"

"…we don't want to scare her away." Liz filled in. "We don't think that she knows who you guys are, yet. She only knows the details about me and Max. She knows that you guys were there, but she doesn't remember you, like she does us. We're really sorry. The minute we finish meeting with her, we'll talk to you guys and let you know what happened, okay?" Liz said.

After a long pause, Michael finally came to a decision. "Okay, fine. You better call us as soon as you're done with her."

Max and Liz smiled gratefully at him. "You got it." they said.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

***At Sarina's house***

"So, what's up? I thought I told you everything that you needed to know." Sarina said as she opened the door.

"How did you know that it was us?" Max asked.

"Because, I can sense when aliens are near."

"How did you know that it was us? What if we were 'skins'?" Liz asked.

"Normally I wouldn't be able to tell, but I can sense you two. You guys have this, like… this chemistry. I just knew." she answered as she stepped away from the door, gesturing for them to enter.

"Hey, how come you don't do the 'your majesty' thing anymore?" Max asked as he stepped inside.

"Oh, I never did. Why should I start now? I was just doing it before to freak you out." Sarina laughed at Max and Liz's incredulous expressions. "And to see if Max would remember that he was King. I didn't know how much you guys knew!"

The three of them went to the living room and sat down.

"So, what else do you wanna know?"

"Liz is human."

"What?"

"She's human." Max stated again.

"Not she isn't."

"Yeah, her mom gave birth to her. Liz can't be alien if her mom and dad are her biological parents."

"Oh, that? That's easy. Keyne had a different way of sending Liz down. We sorta planted Liz into her mother."

"What?" they said, disbelieving.

"It's true. Before we planted Liz, her mother couldn't have a baby and she knew that, but she just wouldn't give up. She and your dad just kept trying, but nothing worked…"

"…until you planted me." Liz supplied.

"Yeah." Sarina said, unsure of what Liz's reaction would be. What if she found this discovery absolutely horrendous? What if she couldn't accept it?

Liz and Max sat in silence until Sarina couldn't take the quiet anymore.

"Please say something." she said.

The couple looked at her with almost blank expressions. Then all of a sudden, emotion filled their eyes as the reality of her words sank in.

At the moment, Sarina could almost fathom how completely connected they were. In every way possible. Almost. They had yet to consummate their relationship, but she knew that, in their minds, they already had. They both mirrored what the other was feeling.

After a long silence Liz asked, "So, can you show us our past?"

"What do you mean?" Sarina asked.

"Well, Max, Isabel and I can develop this connection with each other so we can reach out to someone if we ever need them. I was just wondering if you could do that too."

"Oh, that? Yeah, sure. Compared to the other stuff that you're gonna get, this is nothing."

"Okay, so you can do it?" Max asked leaning forward in his chair.

"Of course, but I'm not sure if you guys should see it yet."

"Why?" they asked.

"Because when Liz actually finds out the complete story of what happens in your past life she can get hurt, but until then the Skins can't touch her."

"What?!" Liz exclaimed, disbelieving.

"I know it sounds really weird, but it's true. You're completely safe from the skins right now. Why do you think they haven't attacked yet?"

"Yeah, but what about the time they wiped out all of the human population in Roswell? I disappeared too."

"See, to the… cosmos you're still mainly human. That's why you can't make Max glow and why you don't have any powers like Max does, except for the telepathy. And until you find out the complete truth of each other's pasts and consummate your relationship, you won't have any powers."

"So, if Liz finds out about our past she still won't be in any danger because we haven't consummated, right?"

"Yes, but when she finds out, I'd recommend for you guys to consummate soon so she can practice her powers so when the skins attack you'll be ready."

Max and Liz opened their mouths to speak, but Sarina held up her hand to stop them and continued.

"The skins will know when Liz finds out and they'll get ready to attack. They know how strong your relationship is. So, after Liz finds out, the longer you wait the more dangerous it will be for everyone."

Liz spoke up. "So, when if we decide to find out, how long would you say we have before they're ready to attack?"

"Three months, if you're lucky."

The three of them sat there in silence for a while.

"So… have you two decided what you're going to do?" Sarina asked, knowing that Max and Liz were silently talking to each other.

"Yeah." Max said.

TBC…

posted on 17-Jun-2002 11:28:54 PM by Insanity02
Part 12

"We're gonna wait a while. Just until we build up our relationship again." said Liz.

Sarina nodded. "Okay. I think that's a good decision." she paused. "So, what are you guys gonna be doing this summer?"

"Hmm… we don't really know." Max said, "We're probably gonna just relax and just be normal teenagers."

"Yeah," Liz filled in, "Go to movies. Hang out with our friends. Stuff like that… Hey, do you wanna come back to the Crashdown with us? You can meet the others!"

All of a sudden Liz felt a tap at the corner of mind and she heard Max's voice.

*Are you sure this is a good idea?*

Liz immediately looked at him to find him staring back at her.

She responded. *Don't worry, Max. We both know that she's on our side.*

*I know, but what do you think Michael will say?*

*I think he'll be okay once he meets her. She's real, Max. He'll see it. *

*Okay. *

Sarina saw the entire exchange. She know that they were talking, but if anyone else saw this it would be very weird since both Max and Liz all of a sudden fell silent in the middle of a conversation.

"You know, you guys should be careful." Sarina said.

"Sorry, what?" they said.

"I'm just saying that the silent discussions you two have could be a little weird around people who don't know about your… situation. Just be careful who you use it around."

"Oh, sorry."

"No prob, I'm just reminding you because your 'normal' is still pretty weird."

"Okay." Liz smiled. "So how 'bout it? You wanna come meet everybody?"

"You know I do!" Sarina smiled.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

***Crashdown***

When Max, Liz and Sarina walked into the Crashdown four pairs of eyes immediately fixated on them.

"Hey guys." Max said as he slid into a booth, pulling Liz into his lap. He did it so naturally -- like he had done it all his life and Liz just sat down without a second thought.

Maria looked at Liz curiously. I'll explain later, Liz mouthed to Maria completely misunderstanding why her friend was looking at her with such careful examination. Maria wanted to know if Max and Liz had done something the group should be aware of.

Michael, on the other hand, was pissed. Why the hell did Liz and Max bring, presumably, the enemy to one of their group meetings. Maybe she mind-warped them.

Max caught Michael's look of cynicism. "Well, I guess all of you are wondering why we brought Sarina here with us."

"Damn straight." Michael mumbled.

Max ignored Michael and continued, "As you know, she's Liz's protector and this afternoon, she explained to us how Liz is not human. It turns out that Liz's planet has different technology and she was 'planted' into her mother."

"Ew…" Maria murmured.

"Yeah, I know, but that's how our planet did it. And it's better than being cooped up in a slimy pod for 50 years… No offense to any of you guys."

Max chuckled. Michael and Isabel looked at him incredulously.

Isabel got up from her seat. "Max, can Michael and I talk to you for just a sec?" she said through clenched teeth.

Max exchanged glances with Liz. "Yeah, sure." he said as he gently picked Liz up and put her on her feet and got up taking her hand firmly in his and walking over towards the swinging door.

Michael cleared his throat. "Just you." he said, trying to keep his voice even.

Max looked at Liz again. *It's okay. * she said. *I know that they're just scared. I would be too. Maybe it's better for you to talk to them alone. *

*Really? Are you sure?*

*Yeah, I understand. I can stay out here and make sure that Kyle and Mr. Valenti don't get too freaked out. *

"Max!" Michael yelled. "We would like to talk to you for two seconds. We're not taking away your precious Liz Parker. You don't need to have another staring contest with each other!"

"Okay. Calm down. I'm coming." Max said, as he trudged to the back.

As soon as the three of them stepped through the door, Max was bombarded with questions.

Who is she, Max? Are you crazy?! What were you thinking?!

"Whoa, whoa, whoa. Just hold it! Let me explain." he said.

"Fine, Max. You can start by telling us, what were you thinking?!" Isabel was almost yelling.

"She's a friend. We know it."

"How, Max?!" Michael shouted.

"Shh!!!" Max and Isabel hissed.

Michael ignored them both. "Well?!" he exclaimed, not bothering to lower his voice.

"Because everything that she says makes sense and like I said before, we know that we know her from before."

"Max, you know that it's gonna take a lot more convincing than that, don't you?" Isabel said.

"Yeah, but I can't give you any more proof. You just have to trust us."

Isabel sighed. "Okay. Fine. I hope you know what you're talking about."

Max smiled gratefully at his sister and turned to Michael.

Michael threw his hands in the air and stormed back into the main area of the Crashdown.

Max looked at Isabel and smiled at her before turning to the door.

"Wait, Max. About the way you talk?"

"Yeah? What's wrong with the way I talk?"

"Nothing. It's just that I was wondering why you don't use words like 'I' and 'me' anymore. It's always 'we' and 'us'."

"Oh. I dunno. Liz and I are connected now."

Isabel's panic stricken eyes flew up to meet his. "Did you…"

"No, Iz. Not yet. Don't worry. I know that Liz and I are really intense, but it doesn't mean that we're that out of control. I mean, we've gotten pretty close a few times, but…"

"Okay, Max. I don't need to know the details. I'm sorry I asked." she said as she walked away.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Sarina, Liz, Kyle, Maria and Jim were sitting quietly. One of them occasionally tried to strike up a conversation, but it would always turn into an awkward silence. Suddenly, Michael walked out looking very frustrated.

*Well, I guess it's good that he doesn't look completely po'd. * Liz thought to herself.

Michael slid into the booth next to Maria and pulled her close. He just needed to be close to the one person he had never doubted. Sure she could get on his nerves, but that's what made him fall in love with her. Someone who could challenge him, but didn't act like she always knew better.

Shortly after Michael sat down, Isabel came out from the back, followed closely by Max.

"So…" Kyle said, drumming his fingers nervously on the table top.

"Everything's fine, but we'd like to ask Sarina some questions. Is that okay?" she glanced at Liz then Sarina.

"Yeah, sure. What would you like to know?"

"Prove to us that you're real." Michael said.

"Michael!" Max exclaimed. "I thought we agreed that we wouldn't give her the third degree. I said we can trust her!"

"No, Max. It's okay." Sarina spoke up. "What can I do to convince you?"

Sarina spent the next three hours answering everybody's questions, but she was careful not to reveal too many unnecessary details because as soon as Liz found out everything there was to know, she would be in serious danger.

TBC…

posted on 17-Jun-2002 11:29:33 PM by Insanity02
Whoops! My Internet's going crazy again! Accidentally posted twice! Oh, well. I'll just take this opportunity to once again to thank you guys for all the wonderful feedback! Thanks for showing so much interest in this story! I love that you guys are posting what you think will happen! Thanks so much!

Megan

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 17-Jun-2002 11:33:04 PM ]
posted on 21-Jun-2002 11:32:50 PM by Insanity02
Part 13

"Zan!" Liz shot up in bed. She had to get to Max right now because she needed him and she knew that he needed her.

They were starting again. After four weeks free from these puzzling dreams they began plaguing her. This was the forth night in a row that she had one.

But this one was different. It started out just like the other ones; with Max getting out of the bus and staring at her, but this time the surrounding scenery mutated into what looked like an elaborate hall and Max grew up before her eyes. He looked like he was in his mid-twenties and he was standing by a group of people listening to someone talk as they gestured animatedly.

Liz looked down at herself and realized that she had 'grown up' too. She was wearing a gorgeous rich blue gown that flowed down to her ankles.

She looked back up to see Max staring openly at her. They began walking towards each other, never breaking eye contact. All the noise in the background faded away as they drew closer.

They stopped just out of touching distance from each other.

"Kaiya." he whispered reverently.

"Hello, Zan."

"I… I missed you so much." he said softly.

"I missed you too." she said, her voice catching slightly.

Suddenly she saw a bright blast of light and she felt herself being launched into the air. She landed hard on the marble floor and slid a few feet further. She looked up to see Max also flying through the air and landing harshly on the stairs. They both got up quickly despite the pain radiating from their chests and began running towards each other, but before they could even take three steps a woman stepped in between them, preventing them from seeing each other.

"Ava." Max said frigidly. She walked towards Max until she was standing behind him. He meant to stop her, but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't move.

"Say goodbye." she said coldly as she raised her hand towards Liz.

A bolt of white light shot from her hand and hit Liz in the stomach catapulting her into the wall. Pain exploded from the point of impact and shot through the rest of her body as she slumped to the floor.

"Kai! Nooo!!!" Max screamed and whirled around bashing Ava on the side of the head knocking her unconscious. He ran to Liz and lifted her head.

"Kai…" he sobbed. "Kai… look at me… please Kai…"

She opened her eyes and smiled warmly at him through the pain. "Zan…"

"Shh, don't say anything. Let me help you." He was on the verge of panic. He put his hand on her stomach and concentrated on healing her.

"Zan…" she said weakly. "We both know… that there's nothing you can do for me…" she gasped as another stroke of pain shot through her body.

"Kai… don't leave me…" his voice cracked. "Please…"

She brought her hand up to his cheek and wiped away the single tear that had slipped down his cheek.

"Please…" he whispered again as he placed his hand over hers.

Her gaze traveled back to his eyes and she looked deeply into his deep amber orbs and she said the three words that she had waited her entire life to say to this man.

"I love you."

And her hand slipped out of his, as her body became limp in his arms.

"Kai..." the panic rising in his throat. "No! Kai!"

He pulled her convulsively against him and began rocking back and forth. He didn't know how someone could be in so much pain. Not only had his heart shattered, but his entire soul had exploded into a million pieces.

Liz abruptly woke up screaming his name. Thank God her parents were out of town again. She jumped out of bed and immediately buckled over in pain. She stumbled over to the mirror and lifted her tank top to find the normally flawless skin, sickly discolored.

The bruise spanned over her entire ribcage and down to her lower abdomen. She pulled down the tank top and slowly reached for her shirt and painstakingly began to put it on. She had to see Max.

When she finally finished dressing almost fifteen minutes had passed and now she had to face the agony of getting down the stairs and making her way to Max's house.

Suddenly, the door to her bedroom swung open and Max rushed in. "Liz!"

He was completely panicked. "Liz!" he repeated and moved to pull her into a bone crushing hug.

"Wait, Max!" she yelled. He stopped dead in his tracks. "Before you do anything… look." she said lifting her shirt so he could see the sickly bruise on her stomach.

"Oh, my God, Liz! What happened?!" he exclaimed worriedly, rushing to her side and helping her sit down.

"You know what happened, Max." she winced as she sat down on her bed.

"Here, let me see that." he said gently nudging her so she would lean back on her elbows. He placed his hand delicately on the discolored spot and she felt a tingling warmth spread throughout her abdomen and the pain dissipated.

When she looked down the massive bruise was gone. "Thank you."

He bent his head and kissed her stomach. "You're welcome." he murmured against her skin.

"Max…" she sighed, quickly forgetting the disturbing dream. "We can't." she managed to utter softly.

"I know." he whispered, slowly making his way up her torso.

"Max." He reached under her shirt and began caressing her back.

He was pleasantly surprised when he felt that she wasn't wearing a bra. He cupped her breast and began gently massaging it, drawing another moan from her.

"Max, please, we… we can't." she gasped.

"I know." he said again. "I know." He slipped his hand from under her shirt and pulled it down.

"Sorry." he said, a little embarrassed at losing control again.

"I'm not." she smiled at him and then became serious again. "But I think we should see Sarina soon before this gets too out of hand."

"Yeah, and we can tell her about the dreams, too."

"Yeah. These last four days, have you seen every one?"

"Yes. This one was more intense than the other ones."

"And more real." Liz said softly.

"God, Liz. What's happening? I don't want to you to get hurt. And we can't even control this!"

"I know, Max. Don't worry about me. I'm fine. And we're gonna see Sarina tomorrow. I'm sure that she can answer any questions we have."

Max pulled her into a tight hug. "I hope so."

TBC…
posted on 25-Jun-2002 11:19:23 PM by Insanity02
Part 14

***Sarina's house***

"So what's up?" Sarina said as she popped two more sugar cubes into her mouth.

"Our dreams are beginning to be real." Liz started.

"Yeah. The other night we dreamt of our former selves."

"Really? Tell me about it."

"Well it started like one of the visions that I got from Max and then it kinda transformed into this really elegant dance hall. I think it was a party or something. It was like I was just walking in and then Max sees me and we…"

"You do the staring thing." Sarina cut in.

"Um, yeah." Liz looked down trying to hide her blush. "And then we walk towards each other, but Tess attacks us and she ends up killing me."

Max tightened his grip on her hand, squeezing it reassuringly. Liz looked over to him.

He heard her whisper to him. *Thank you*

Max smiled at her and rubbed his thumb over her hand tenderly.

This exchange was not lost upon Sarina.

"What?" Max and Liz asked her when they saw her looking at them.

"Nothing." she said smiling. "It's just the connection thing. I still find it really amazing."

They blushed and looked down. "Thanks." they said softly and then looked at each other finally realizing that they have the ability to know what the other was thinking without even realizing it.

Sarina got them back on track. "So, back to the dream. How was Liz killed?"

"Tess did it with this… I dunno… this really bright light. It hit her in the stomach and…" Max paused to collect himself. The image of Liz slamming into the wall was still fresh in his mind, but he continued. "And it knocked her into the wall. When she woke up she just had this huge bruise from the top of her ribcage to her lower stomach."

Now, it was Liz's turn to stroke Max's hand. *It's okay.* she whispered to him.

*I know. It's just hard to deal with. You know… the images… the emotions. They just felt a little too real, you know?*

*Yeah. But, I wasn't scared of dying, Max. I was scared of losing you, again. Because if I died and went... wherever you go after you die... if it wasn't with you, then…* she trailed off.

*Yeah… I know the feeling.* he whispered to her.

"Um… Max? Liz?" Sarina said, gently interrupting them.

"Sorry."

"Since you knew that Liz had that dream, did you spend the night with her, Max?" Sarina asked. If they had consummated their relationship, that meant that Liz could get all the information about their past.

"No." Max said quietly. He didn't like that he had to report to her about how far they had gone in their relationship.

"Well, I'm not really sure why Liz's dreams affect her physically, but I'm almost positive that it's not some alien tampering with her because I don't sense any immediate threats." Sarina said.

"Okay, that's good."

"But I think you should stay close to her, Max." Sarina said and then hurried on when she realized what she had implied. "I don't mean that you should rush your relationship. That's totally up to you guys. I just don't want Liz to get hurt."

Max gave her a weird look.

"Hey, you're even worse than me when it comes to her!" Sarina defended. "And besides, I'm her protector! It's my job to be worried about her!"

Max smiled at Sarina and then became serious. "Yeah, but she's my destiny and I already lost her once and I'm not gonna lose her again."

At that moment Sarina realized how deeply affected Max was in this life and in the past one with Liz's death. She chose not to say anything.

There was a peaceful silence between them with Max and Liz reveling in the emotions that they were feeling and Sarina sitting over to the side watching her queen and king contentedly.

Finally Max and Liz broke out of their peaceful reverie and turned back to Sarina. "Well, thanks." they said. "We better go."

"Yeah. Sorry I couldn't give you guys more answers."

"No problem. As long as we know that we aren't in danger right now."

"Yeah."

"Well," Max and Liz stood up. "We better get going. Thanks for answering our questions, Sarina" Liz said again.

"No, prob." Sarina paused. "My queen." and then bowed dramatically.

Liz laughed and gave her a playful push.

"Still don't like it, huh?" Sarina said. Liz looked at her questioningly. "You never did like anyone treating you like a royal. You insisted that all your friends and 'servants' call you by your name instead of 'My Queen'."

Max smiled at her. That was his Liz. She always treated people the same. She never thought of herself as being better than someone.

"And, you almost never asked your 'servants' to do things for you. They were more of your girlfriends than anything else." Sarina broke into a grin.

"There was this one time when we were sitting at the top of this cliff overlooking the water and we were joking about who would dare to jump off and everyone was throwing the dare around because we knew nobody would do it, except for you. That's why no one dared you to because if King Zan ever found out he would go out of his mind! Delia, she was one of your 'servants' and she was new, dared you to jump off. Everybody got so quiet because we all knew that you would never turn down a dare. At first, you just sat there and stared at her and we all thought that we had finally found something that you were afraid to do, but then you jumped up and started stripping. You should have seen the look on her face!"

Liz broke into a huge grin and looked over at Max who was deathly pale. Sarina and Liz burst into uncontrollable laughter at the look on Max's face.

"Don't worry, your highness." Sarina managed to gasp out through her laughter. "She was fine. She did it because she knew that you were on the balcony. It was like you guys had never been separated."

"Yeah, but I thought that Ava killed us right away when we met." Max said.

"She didn't do it at the party, like in your dream! That would be suicide! Well, not that it mattered because obviously she was killed too, otherwise she wouldn't have been sent down here with us."

"So how long was it until she decided to murder us?" Liz asked.

"Oh, about two and a half weeks."

"She really did jump off the cliff into the water?" Max asked.

"Yeah."

"So, she actually physically jumped?"

"Yes, Max. I physically jumped."

Sarina sighed. "Okay, you guys can sort this one out. I'll see you guys around." she said almost pushing them out the door.

When Max and Liz got into the car he asked again. "You really leapt off the cliff?"

"Yes, Max!" She exclaimed, and then she lowered her voice teasingly, "But didn't you hear that I also stripped." she said seductively and ran her fingers through his hair and down his chest.

"Liz. I don't this is a very good place for this." he said huskily.

She leaned closer and whispered in his ear. "Well then you'd better hurry up and get us somewhere more private, before I do something like this." she said tracing his ear with the tip of her tongue.

Max jerked away, shocked at her boldness and then gunned the engine and drove as fast as he could towards the desert so he could ravish her in private.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

***A little later at the Crashdown***

"Michael!" Maria said throwing her order pad at him. "What are you staring at?!"

"What?!" He yelled.

"What are you staring at?"

"Nothing! What is your problem?!"

Maria paid no attention to his last statement. "You were staring at Sarina, weren't you?!" she fairly shouted.

"A little louder, I don't think she heard you!" He hissed at her.

"Then stop staring!" Maria shouted.

"Shhhh!!!!" Michael said turning around quickly and pretending to flip burgers.

Maria glared at his back and stormed into the kitchen. "Michael! Do you have the hots for her?"

"What?" he turned to look at her.

"You do, don't you?!"

"What, no!"

"Oh, I can't believe you!" Maria huffed and stormed out of the kitchen.

"Wha… Maria!" Michael went after her and caught up just as she was going out the door to the alley.

He spun her around. "What is your problem?"

"You like her." Maria said, surprisingly calmly.

"No, I don't!" he lowered his voice. "Where did you get that idea?"

"You were staring at her, just now."

"That's it? C'mon Maria, what's wrong."

"Flash."

"What?"

"After that day when she answered all our questions when you kissed me I saw you say that she was hot and just waiting to get laid."

Michael chuckled.

"You're laughing at me?!" Maria cried, raising her voice again.

"No, no, no, no! Me and Liz and Kyle were spying on her and Kyle saw her changing and said that her bra was blue and I remembered this thing I saw in this movie I watched that said that if girls have black lingerie then they wanted to get laid. I was just trying to get a rise out of Miss prim-and-proper. I didn't mean anything by it."

"Really?"

"Yeah." he said looking at her gently.

"Oh." Maria looked down, embarrassed.

"So, we're good?"

"Yeah." Maria paused. "Where did you learn how to handle that so well?"

"Max."

"Yup, that explains it." Maria nodded and chuckled.

Michael smiled at her. "Well, Max never taught me how to do this." he said and pressed his lips to her's, silencing her laughter.

TBC…

posted on 2-Jul-2002 12:51:31 AM by Insanity02
Part 15

*Oh my God* Max thought to himself. Liz was insatiable! They were sitting in the jeep in the middle of the desert and she was in his lap.

The minute he had stopped the jeep, she was in his lap and kissing him. He decided to enjoy the moment with her, but before he knew it, she had undone all the buttons on his shirt and she was reaching for his belt buckle. The ache inside her was almost too much. She always wanted him, but now it was beyond her control.

"Whoa…" he managed to gasp out. "Liz… we can't…"

"Why not?" she asked still kissing him and brushing her hand over his very obvious arousal.

"Because…" he gasped then took her hands in his to still her movements. "Because I don't want our first time to be like this."

"I know. Don't make love to me, but just make it stop. Please..." she stared into his eyes pleading him.

Max was immediately alert. "What do you mean, Liz? Make what stop?" he was getting scared.

Her eyes welled up with tears. "I don't know, Max." she said choking back a sob. "I don't know what's wrong with me. I just… I want you so badly."

"I want you, too but we can't. You heard what Sarina said. We just gotta wait a little while longer."

She sighed heavily trying to calm herself down. "I know…" she whispered. "I know. It's just… something's happening, Max. I can't stop it… and I don't want to." she ended softly.

"Yeah, I know what you mean cause, I'm starting to feel it, too." Max said, knowing exactly how she was feeling because with each passing day he spent with her, his desire for her got more and more intolerable. At first their heated make out sessions in a way helped to make the hunger a little bit more bearable, but they, at the same time, made him go into overdrive.

"Maybe we should just go back and cool it a little." Liz suggested.

"Yeah."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

***Crashdown***

Sarina rushed in. "Maria! Where are Max and Liz?! I need to see them!"

"Whoa, girl! Slow down! What are you talking about? Why do you need to talk to them?" Maria said taking her by the arms.

"I don't have time to explain, I just need to talk to them, NOW!" Sarina said shaking herself free and running into the back of the Crashdown, nearly taking Michael out.

"Hey!" Michael shouted.

"Michael! Where are Max and Liz?!"

"Not here. Why?"

"Because I just got a flash and I need to tell them what I saw!"

"Why, what is it?"

"What's what?" Maria said running through the swinging door.

"Flash! And I don't think you guys wanna know. It's sorta private. Just please help me look for them!"

"No prob." Maria said and picked up a phone that was mounted in the wall and dialed Liz's cell. It rang twice and then Liz picked up.

"Hello?" she said her voice still a little shaky.

"Hey, chica. You okay?" Maria asked hearing the tremble in her friend's voice.

Liz cleared her throat and tried to sound normal. "Yeah, fine. What's up?"

"Nothing, Sarina just burst into the Crashdown and started freaking out over you two. Where are you?"

Sarina snatched the phone from Maria's hand. "Where are you?!" she cried.

"Whoa!" Liz said holding the phone away from her ear, "Sarina?"

"Yeah! Where are you?!" she demanded again.

"We're on the road." Liz said softly, hoping her calm demeanor would help to calm Sarina down.

"Where on the road?"

"We're coming back from the desert."

"The desert?!" Sarina shouted into the phone. "Did you guys do anything?!"

Max's gaze immediately went from the road to Liz. "What?!" he hissed.

"No, we didn't." Liz said calmly.

"Oh thank God!" Sarina whispered.

"And you didn't need to say it so loudly. Even Max heard you!" Liz said.

Sarina chuckled sheepishly. "Sorry. I have some newfound information that I think you guys would be interested in."

"Really?"

"Yeah, can you come meet me at the Crashdown?"

"Sure, we'll be there in about twenty minutes."

"Good."

When Sarina put down the phone, Maria immediately jumped in. "Okay, what the heck was that major freak out about?"

"Trust me." Sarina said. "You really don't wanna know."

"Why, it can't be that bad!" Michael joined in.

"Yeah it can." Sarina said nodding her head.

"Oh, c'mon! We're their best friends! We know all their embarrassing secrets!" Maria whined

"Not this one." she insisted.

"Please!" Maria begged.

"Okay, but you asked for it." Sarina paused. "They're… they're… are you sure you wanna know?"

"Yes!" Michael and Maria exclaimed.

"Well, my dears. Max and Liz are… they're in heat."

Michael and Maria burst out laughing. "What do you mean? They're like cats?"

"Yeah." Sarina said seriously.

Maria and Michael looked at each other.

"Too much information?" Sarina asked.

"Mm-hmm." Michael and Maria both nodded.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Liz kept stealing glances at Max as he was driving. He had buttoned up his shirt but he had left a couple undone at the top and every time he changed gears she caught tantalizing glimpses of his chest. She wanted to see more, but more importantly she wanted to feel him. She wanted to run her hands down that beautifully sculpted chest and feel his muscles shift at her touch.

*Whoa, girl! Slow down!* she berated herself. If she kept this up, they wouldn't make it to the Crashdown. Maybe if she could just hold his hand it would help the craving a little bit.

When Max felt her hand slide into his, he glanced over and smiled at her. Before long, she began sensually stroking it.

"Liz." he warned.

She leaned closer and put her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes. They sat like that for a while, but then Liz put her hand on his leg and began trailing her fingers up and down his thigh. Max took a shuddering breath and stopped her with his hand.

"Liz…"

"What, Max? Don't you like that?" she asked seductively. "How about this?" she asked as she climbed into his lap and began rubbing against him.

Max immediately pulled off the highway and stopped the car. Thank goodness they were still a few kilometers outside of town.

"Oh, God." he groaned. "Liz… please…" he said as he put his hands on her hips stopping her movements.

"Max…" she groaned in frustration wrapping her arms around his shoulders and pulling him closer. "Just touch me."

"I can't… not here." he said reluctantly.

"Please…" Liz begged burying her face into his neck. She didn't know what was wrong with her. Why couldn't she control herself?

"Just a couple more days, until we figure out a plan."

"Days?! I can't… I don't…" Liz stuttered unable to get a hold of herself.

"Let's just go talk to Sarina first." he said running his hand through her hair soothingly.

Liz nodded sadly. Her gaze traveled lower to his shirt and she buttoned up his shirt. When her eyes went back to Max's she saw the questioning look in his eyes.

"Just in case." she said softly. "That's what started this."

He chuckled and hugged her to him. "I love you, Liz Parker."

She breathed in deeply and sighed. "I love you too, Max." she said nuzzling closer to him.

They sat like that for a long time until both of them got a hold of themselves.

When Liz finally sat up, she kissed him quickly on the cheek and turned to sit properly.

"Ready to go?" he asked her.

"Yeah."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

"Where are they?!" Sarina cried barging into the back of the Crashdown for the third time in less than ten minutes.

"They'll be here!" Michael yelled from the kitchen. "Relax!"

"She said twenty minutes! It's been a friggin' half an hour!"

"Hey! Take a chill pill!"

"Michael! Do you want me to kill you?!"

"I'd like to see you try!"

"Hey, guys. Whatcha yelling about?" Max asked as he stepped came through the swinging door with his arm draped over Liz's shoulders.

"Max! Liz!" Sarina cried almost launching herself at them.

"Yeah. Hi." Liz wasn't quite sure why Sarina was so enthusiastic.

"Right after you guys left, I was doing my workout and I got a flash."

"Really?" Max said his attention catching immediately.

"Yeah and I think you guys need to know what it is, right now."

"Okay. That's fine, we actually have some more questions to ask you."

TBC…
posted on 7-Jul-2002 11:31:16 PM by Insanity02
Part 16

"So what did you want to tell us?" Max said softly to Sarina. He was trying to make sure nobody heard what they were talking about.

"Well, after you guys left, I got a flash. It was actually pretty sudden. Usually, I can tell when I'm gonna get one, but this one just kinda surprised me."

"Okay… and?" Liz pressed gently.

"Okay, let me just ask you guys, have you been getting kinda out of control lately?"

Max and Liz were both surprised that Sarina would ask something like that. She had said that she didn't wanna pressure them.

"What do you mean?" they asked.

"Uh…" Sarina stumbled over her words. She didn't think she could get any more embarrassed, but she did. "Um… just… you know, wanting to be together…"

"Um, you mean be together?" Max asked, wanting to make sure he really knew what she was talking about."

"Uh…" Sarina avoided his eyes and nervously looked over to Maria and Michael who were listening intently.

"Maxwell, she wants to know if you guys wanna jump each other's bones. Well, I mean, more than usual." Michael said bluntly.

Max, Liz, Maria and Sarina looked at him incredulously. They knew that he was blunt, but that was totally unexpected.

"What?" Michael said spreading his arms. "I’m just trying to make this less humiliating for you guys."

"Uh, thanks Michael, but I really think Sarina can handle it just fine." Max said, his face beet red.

"Okay, okay, I know when I'm not wanted." Michael got up and headed back towards the kitchen.

"Yeah, I, uh, better get back to work, too." Maria said softly. She was about to get up to leave when she leaned towards Sarina, "I’m very sorry."

"Yeah, no problem." Sarina said, trying to sound casual.

After Maria disappeared behind the swinging door leading to the back, the three of them sat there in uncomfortable silence, trying to get over their embarrassment.

"Yeah, so… I'm very sorry to have to intrude on you guys like this." Sarina said softly, "but I really need to know. Because if you guys are more… you know… lately, then I think I have an answer."

Liz sneaked a glance at Max and noticed he was studying the table very closely, so she decided to answer for the both of them.

"Yeah, we've actually kinda been pretty… uh… eager… for the last week or so."

"Oh, that's good. I mean, that's not good. Well, it is, but… uh…" Sarina said, stumbling over her words.

Liz smiled. "Yeah, we know what you mean." she said.

"Okay, well you guys, are kinda… in heat."

"Um… what?" they said together.

"You know, like cats. I don't wanna make you sound like animals, but what you're experiencing is… primal."

"Okay…" Max said, not really sure what to make of this newly found information. "So, how can we control it?"

"You can't." she stated simply.

"Well, that's not good." Liz said softly.

"Yeah, but you guys have been handling this really well. At least we have time to think of a plan."

"Wait, we're just gonna go into battle? Isn't it a little soon?" Max asked. No matter how great the temptation, he could maybe still hold off for a couple of days until this wore off. *Or maybe not* he thought to himself when he felt Liz drape her leg over his and began sensually stroking his calf with her foot.

"Uh… how long will this last?" Max managed to choke out. Why did his voice sound so strangled?

"It'll last until you cement your relationship."

"What?" Liz asked, her attention completely diverted from Max back to Sarina.

Max on the other hand was completely speechless. He couldn't hold out anymore. Even right now with Liz so close and knowing that she was oh so ready made him agonizingly hard within the confines of his jeans. He always wanted her, but now in their current 'situation' it was literally painful.

"It's because you guys are going into the 'developing' stage. On Antar and Keyne, everybody gets to this after a certain point in their relationship. I'm surprised that you guys haven't experienced this yet. I mean, I knew you were on a break last year, but before that..."

"Actually we did get to this point, but it wasn't this continuous. And last time, we kept… we kept getting interrupted." Liz couldn't believe she had actually said that.

"Oh…" Sarina fell silent and an awkward silence once again settled between the three of them.

"Well, we gotta formulate a plan, right?" Max asked.

"Yeah. There's really nothing really specific we can plan right now, because Liz doesn't know everything and you guys haven't cemented yet. All I can say is that when you guys do… make love then Liz should start trying to figure out what her powers are almost immediately."

"Okay, but how are we gonna know what they are. They could be anything from healing to dream walking to blowing up stuff."

"Yeah, but I think your powers will be pretty similar to Max's, just because he's your mate."

"Okay. We'll let you know as soon as we can."

"Alright. Well I'm gonna go back to my training. Oh, I almost forgot. You guys said that you wanted to ask me some stuff."

"Oh, we were gonna ask you about what you just told us."

"Oh, okay. You sure?"

"Yup."

"Alright, just call if you need anything. I'll talk to you guys later." Sarina smiled warmly at them and got up to leave.

"Bye."

Max turned to Liz. "So what do you wanna do now?"

Her eyes darkened and she was about to say something when he stopped her.

"Besides what I'm dying to do, too."

"Okay." she said giving in. "Let's just get something to eat and then we'll go see a movie or something."

"Okay, sounds good."

TBC…

posted on 14-Jul-2002 6:34:42 AM by Insanity02
Hey, guys! I'm so sorry it's been taking me so long to get the next part out! Thank you so much for replying. I've been working as a counsellar at a music camp for the last week. I finished yesterday. It was so much fun, but I'm so wiped out! I had to get up at 6:30 in the morning and I didn't finish until 10:00 pm.

Okay, enough about my week. I just wanted to let you know that I'm going to Florida for two weeks. I'm leaving in five minutes to go to the airport! I'm so excited! All right-y, that's all I wanted to say. On with the story!

Part 17

Max and Liz sat in silence across from each other as they ate their food. They were at Senor Chow's just to get a little something to each before they went their separate ways to get ready for the movie later that night.

Liz noticed that Max kept sneaking secretive glances at her through lowered eyelids. They hadn't done this in such a long time and it really did feel like a 'first date'. The nervous energy that buzzed between them was undeniable.

They both knew that after the movie later in the evening, the night could have one of two endings. One would start a chain of events that would once again change their lives forever. The other would leave them both feeling extremely frustrated and yearning for the other until they could at least be close again.

"So…" they both started, trying to make some conversation.

"Sorry."

Max felt a twinge in the corner of his mind *Why am I so nervous?* he heard her say to herself.

"Because tonight could be the night." he answered out loud.

She looked up, surprised that he had heard her thoughts, and she was immediately drawn into his gorgeous eyes.

"Yeah… Should we… you know?" she finished softly and looked down at her food.

"I don't know." he stated honestly. "Why don't we just try not to think about that and just enjoy being together?"

"Yeah."

*I'm so gonna need a cold shower after this* she heard him think to himself.

She immediately looked at him. She was still surprised that she could actually hear his thoughts without even trying.

"Did you hear that?" he asked her. She didn't answer but her blush told him. "Wow." he said, "That's embarrassing."

Liz chuckled softly.

*She's so beautiful.* she heard him think to himself.

"Thank you." she replied.

He looked at her for a while and when she began to squirm under his close inspection, he decided that he really needed to at least hold her.

"Would you like to dance?" he asked gently extending his hand out to her.

"Of course." she said airily.

They both stood up and Max pulled her into his arms, holding her close. She lay her head on his chest and breathed him in. *God, I love him.* she thought to herself for the millionth time.

Only this time he heard her and he smiled to himself. *I love you, too.* he thought, knowing that she would hear it. She raised her head and smiled shyly at him before placing her head back onto his chest. He rested his cheek on the crown of her head breathing in the smell of her hair. They began swaying to the soft music, both of them enjoying the feel of the other.

"Do you think it's weird?" Max asked suddenly. The rumble of his voice sent shivers down her spine and it almost made her knees give out.

"No." she whispered never having a second thought about what he meant. Of course, he was talking about their rapidly developing connection.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

***Crashdown***

"So, I'll see you in a couple of hours?" Liz asked as she got out of the car. It was still early and the movie didn't start until 8:00. They both agreed that they would go home and get ready before meeting up again.

"Yup. Seven on the dot." he said leaning over and catching her hand just as she slipped out of the car.

She smiled and leaned over and gave him a lingering kiss before turning and going into the Crashdown.

"God, look at you." Maria said to her as she entered the Crashdown.

"Aren't you supposed to get ready for the dinner rush?" Liz said trying to divert Maria's attention.

"Did it. Why are you back so early? I thought you guys were gonna seize the opportunity to..."

"Maria!" Liz cried stopping her from finishing.

"What? It's not like your parents are here."

"So?! But there are other people here! And besides, it's not that simple. It's not just whether we're allowed to do it. It's whether or not we're ready."

"Oh my God, Liz! Trust me! You guys are ready! You've been ready for over a year!"

"She's right." Michael called from the kitchen before sticking a couple of alien toothpicks in some burgers. "Hey Maria! Orders up!"

"See?! Even Michael heard!"

"I'm coming!" Maria called to Michael and then turned her attention back to Liz. "Okay, okay! But you guys really should…"

"Maria!" Liz said again.

"What?! I know! I'll be quiet. But, trust me, chica, you guys are so ready." she said as she headed towards the kitchen to pick up the orders.

Liz was astounded at Maria's audacity, but she knew that she was right. Something was gonna happen soon. Very very soon. She smiled to herself and headed upstairs to get ready.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Max pulled into the driveway at home and went inside the house.

~~~~~

Liz walked leisurely upstairs with a grin plastered to her face.

~~~~~

He immediately rushed upstairs to find something to wear.

~~~~~

She went into her room and opened her closet to decide what to wear. After a few minutes of careful selection, she picked a snug pair of jeans and a red button down sweater that he told her he liked. She smiled at herself when she thought of him. God, she wanted him so badly! The effect he had on her was alarming, but she didn’t care. She knew that he would never do anything to hurt her and he'd sacrifice everything for her. And in turn she would do the same for him. The thought that someone as wonderful as Max could choose her made her feel incredibly empowered.

~~~~~

At first, he picked a black muscle shirt that showed off his physique because he knew that she liked the way he looked, but then decided against it. It was an open invitation to get into trouble. A grin appeared on his face at the thought of her. The way she looked. The way she smelled. The way she felt... The way she tasted. Whoa! Slow down! That shower definitely had to be a cold one! He ended up settling with the black button-down T-shirt that he knew she also liked and a pair of khakis.

~~~~~

After picking out her outfit for the night. She picked up her towel from the hamper and went into the bathroom.

~~~~~

He went into the bathroom and turned on the shower. He waited until it was cold before getting in.

~~~~~

Usually she liked to take hot showers, but in her current position, she needed to cool off so she wouldn't attack him the minute she saw him. She picked up the soap and began washing herself. Her thoughts automatically wandered to Max. What would it feel like touching him without clothes getting in the way? Would he let her? She knew that it wasn't a question of whether or not he wanted her. She knew he did. She felt it. Literally. She imagined herself running her hands down his beautifully sculpted back and around his waist to his washboard stomach. God, how she wished she could do that!

~~~~~

Max picked up the soap and began to scrub himself from head to toe. Suddenly, he felt someone touch his shoulder blades. His body automatically responded because the minute he felt those hands, he knew they belonged to Liz. His erection came back at full force as he felt her hands run down to his lower back and then travel around his waist and caress his stomach. He turned around slowly, knowing that she wouldn't be there, but his disappointment still surfaced. It felt so real. He shook his head to try and get rid of the images of Liz all wet and naked and sexy. It was gonna be hard to stop tonight! Maybe he wouldn't have to… but he knew better than that. No matter how hard it would be, he'd have to because knowing that she was safe was all that mattered to him… even for his own sanity it wasn't worth the risk!!!

~~~~~

What would it feel like to have him touch her she wondered as she ran her soapy hands down her silky legs. She imagined him standing behind her, his hands caressing her hips and then they'd travel to her waist and then higher still to her ribcage. Then he'd slip his hands forward and touch her breasts, making her nipples tighten in arousal. She closed her eyes and tilted her head back slightly. It was like he was really there. A soft moan escaped her lips.

~~~~~

No matter how hard he tried, nothing could rid him of the images of Liz, so he decided to indulge himself. He imagined that she was standing in front of him with her back to him. His hands started on her hips and then he'd move them higher until he cupped her breasts in each hand. Her nipples hardening at his touch. He imagined her leaning her head against his shoulder, her eyes closed. Suddenly, he heard her moan softly. Holy crap! His imagination was running away with him! He had to stop this, before it got out of hand. He didn't want to 'relieve the tension' himself because somehow, he felt like he was being unfaithful to her in some way. This passing thought made him think of that night with Tess. How could he do that to Liz? All his sexual thoughts stopped.

The thought of Tess repulsed him. *How could I do that to Liz?* he asked himself again for the millionth time. He knew he had hurt her deeply and the minute that she had let him back in her life, he had vowed to himself that he would spend the rest of his life trying to make it up to her.

~~~~~

The image of Max dimmed. She didn't know why the thought of him being with Tess suddenly entered her mind, but it did. Except this time, the heart-wrenching pain was accompanied by a glaring stab of guilt. She found it odd that she should think of this so unexpectedly. Maybe she wasn't as 'over' the Tess situation as she thought she was. But, the guilt wasn't hers. It was like she was experiencing someone else's feelings. Regardless, Liz quickly pushed the thoughts out of her head and finished her shower.

~*~*~*~*~*~

When Liz heard the buzzer sound at 7:00 sharp, she nearly fell down the stairs in her haste to get the door. This was like their first official date since… well, just since. She was excited and nervous all the same time and she knew that he felt the same.

She almost ran right into the door but stopped in time. She took a deep breath and opened the door. Her breath caught when she saw him, like it always did. He was wearing his black button down shirt, a nice pair of khakis, and a pair of worn sneakers.

"Hi, Max." she breathed.

"Hey." he said smiling at her.

She was stunning. He'd seen her in an outfit similar to that almost every day, but she still had that effect on him. He suspected that it would not only last forever, but also grow stronger for he fell more and more in love with her every minute of his life.

He realized they'd just been staring at each other for a while now. "So, should we go?"

"Yeah." she smiled at him, as she grabbed her jacket from the coat hanger and brushed by him as she locked the door and went down the stairs dragging him along by the hand.

TBC…
posted on 30-Jul-2002 1:26:20 AM by Insanity02
I'm back! I'm back! It's so nice to be home! I missed this site so much! I can't believe I survived without the Internet for a full two weeks! Florida was beautiful, but it did rain a few times. Oh well. I like rain. I'm thinking Max and Liz could have some fun in the rain sometime in the fic. ;)

The flight back was horrible. I fell asleep on that folding table thing and just when I began to drift off, the flight attendant came down the aisle with that drink trolley and whacked me in the head! Ah, well. That's okay. Just wanted to let you guys know.

I'll try to get a new part out within the next couple of days! Hope you'll be patient with me!

Megan
posted on 2-Aug-2002 2:12:28 AM by Insanity02
Hey guys! Sorry it took me so long to get this out! I hope you like it! Please leave feedback!!!

Megan

Part 18

They were through less than half of the movie and already both of them were ready to jump out of their skin. The temptation was becoming too much.

*Just one more hour* Max kept telling himself. As much as he wanted to, he knew he couldn't just drag Liz outta there right then. Knowing that she'd be more than happy to go someplace 'more private' made it even more difficult. But he also knew that if he did, then nothing would ever be the same. No matter how hard it was, they'd have to wait a little while longer.

*Why?!* he heard her shout silently.

*Liz…*

*Don't 'Liz' me! Why do we have to wait?!*

*Because… because I don't want to put you in any danger!*

*Max, there's nothing you can do about it. Even if we try and stay away from each it's not gonna work. This is gonna happen sooner or later. We both know that.*

*Yeah, I know. I just need to think about it a little.*

Liz sighed. *Okay, Max. Whenever you're ready.*

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Max and Liz managed to get through the movie without embarrassing themselves, but the sexual tension between them was so thick that they were sure anyone who saw them could see that they were dying to just jump each other.

"So, you wanna get something to eat?" Max asked Liz as they walked out of the theatre.

"Sure." she said, trying to sound casual.

"Okay. Give me a sec. I just gotta go to the bathroom." he said.

Max walked stiffly into the bathroom. He needed to calm himself down. He was rock hard. He'd been like that for a couple of hours now. He splashed some cold water on his face and then leaned against the counter willing his over heated body under control.

He closed his eyes and sighed. *Be cool. Just be cool* he told himself. He stood like that for a few moments. Suddenly, he felt her. She was right behind him. He looked into the mirror and sure enough, she was standing by the door, a few feet away. His arousal immediately came back.

"Liz. What are you doing here?"

"I got lonely." she said simply.

"I was gonna be right out."

"Yeah, but I couldn't wait." she said, still not moving from her spot by the door.

"We can't…" he felt so bad for resisting, but her safety was more important.

"I know…" she said finally walking towards him. "Just kiss me, Max."

That was a request he just couldn't resist. He never could. He pulled her firmly against him and his mouth descended onto hers, his tongue immediately seeking hers out. She could feel his arousal pressing into her stomach and it just made the ache in her increase. It was becoming a permanent thing, now.

She slid her hand into his shirt and ran her hand across his hard stomach. He growled and cupped her bottom with both hands and lifted her up and she instinctively wrapped her legs around his waist. He walked them back until she was pressed against the door of the bathroom. She pushed her hips into his so that her center was rubbing against his arousal in hopes of easing the perpetual ache.

When air was a necessity for Liz, she tore her mouth from his and took great gulps of air as he trailed his hot mouth down her neck. He had managed to undo most of the buttons on her sweater and he pulled the material away, exposing her lace bra. He cupped her breast through the material.

"Max!" she gasped and arched into his hand.

If possible, he got even harder. It was almost painful now. He wanted her so much. *I want you!*

*Then take me!* she silently yelled back, her hands undoing the button on his pants. Just as she reached for the zipper, someone knocked. Max immediately pulled away guiltily and nearly dropped Liz.

"Sorry." he whispered and let her slide back down to the ground.

She smiled sheepishly and reached for the buttons of his shirt and began buttoning them.

The knock came again and this time a muffled voice came through the door. "Is anyone in there? Can you please unlock the door?" the person paused for an answer. When he got none he said, "I'm going to get someone to open the door."

Max and Liz looked at each other surprised at how easily they had gotten out of control again.

Liz began to button up her shirt, but he brushed her hands away. "Let me." he said softly.

When they finally got themselves relatively straightened out, they quickly slipped from the bathroom, hoping that no one saw them and hurried outside to the car.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Max and Liz went to a ice cream store to get some desert and then they went to a nearby park to take a walk.

"So, how are you feeling?" Max asked as he ate his ice cream sandwich.

"I'm good." she said and licked her ice cream cone.

"That's good."

They walked in silence for a while hand in hand.

"Liz, I know this isn't really the best time, but I just want you to know that I'm so sorry for what happened with… Tess." he said the name as if it had left a bitter taste in his mouth.

"I know. It's okay."

"No, it's not." he said a little angrily.

Liz stopped walking and looked at him, surprised at his tone.

"It's not." he whispered shaking his head. "I don't know why I did it."

"It wasn't you." Liz said, trying to reassure him. She didn't know what brought this on. She just wanted to change the subject because even though she had come to terms with it, it still hurt to think about it.

"It was." he said, barely audibly.

"Max, why are you doing this? I've forgiven you. Yeah, it still hurts, but I've accepted it. I've moved on. You have to, too."

His eyes began to fill with tears and he looked away from her. He couldn't bear to look into her eyes. The guilt was consuming him. "Why?" he asked, "Why did you forgive me?"

"Because…" She brought her hand to his face and turned his face towards hers. He dropped his gaze "Max. Look at me." she said softly.

He reluctantly looked into her eyes. "Because… it was you."

A single tear rolled down his cheek. She brushed it away and pulled him into a hug. A soft sob erupted from him. He wrapped his arms tightly around her waist and clung on for dear life.

"It's okay." she said softly, running her hands through his hair. "It's okay."

When he pulled back, she looked into his tear stained face. She took his hand and led him to a nearby park bench and sat down.

"Max, the reason I've forgiven you is because you've sacrificed your entire life to save me two years ago…"

"No, Liz…"

"Max, just listen. Every time I walked away was so you could lead the life you were supposed to lead. From the very first time we connected and I saw the way you saw me, I knew that no matter what you did I couldn't turn away from you. I'd do anything for you because you'd do the same for me. Yeah, to someone else, it sounds stupid, but to know that you love me that much… it just outweighs everything else."

"Even after last year?" he whispered.

She though about it for a second. "Yeah." she said simply.

"Why?"

"Because I love you that much. No matter what. I'll always love you."

"I love you too, Liz." he said pulling her into a hug. "Always." he whispered into her hair. *And I'll spend the rest of my life making it up to you.*

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

***The next morning***

Liz stretched languidly and turned over to find herself facing a sleeping Max. She closed her eyes and breathed deeply. His eyes fluttered open.

"Hey." she smiled.

"Hey." he echoed.

"You're looking better." she said.

"That's because I got to spend the night with the most beautiful woman in my arms."

"Really?"

"Yeah." he said and brushed his lips across hers, slowly deepening the kiss.

They didn't even hear the door open.

"Liz? It's time for… Oh my God."

TBC…

Feedback please!!!
posted on 6-Aug-2002 9:09:09 PM by Insanity02
I've recently started to get writer's block on this story so I decided to take a little break from it. I ended up writing a short story called New Beginnings. It takes place during Graduation when Max and Liz are in Michael's apartment. It centers upon the question, 'what if Liz hadn't gotten that flash?' *wink wink*

So for all of you who are frustrated that Max and Liz keep getting interrupted in this fic, maybe New Beginnings will (hopefully) get you un-frustrated. :D

Here's the link!

viewthread?forum=dreamer-fanfiction&id=214552

Megan
posted on 11-Aug-2002 9:39:55 PM by Insanity02
Sorry, it's taken me so long, but I've finally managed to get the next part down. I'm still struggling through writer's block, though. :( I hope I get through it soon. It's so frustrating. Well, please leave feedback! Maybe the more you leave the more insentive I have to try and break through it. *happy*

Megan

Part 19

Max and Liz immediately jumped apart and Max fell off the edge of the bed. He didn't even see who was standing at the door. He slowly peeked over the bed to see who it was. It was Maria.

"Oh my God." she repeated. "I'm so sorry, you guys. I had no idea."

"Maria…" Liz began.

"I'll leave you two alone. Liz, take your time. I'm so sorry." she stammered and quickly closed the door.

Max and Liz looked at each other and burst out laughing. Liz pulled Max off the floor and back into bed with her.

"You better get ready for work." he said, softly kissing her.

"Yeah. In a minute." she said, as she pulled him in for a deeper kiss.

After a while, she finally pulled back and stared into his eyes.

"I'll see you later?" she asked.

"Yeah, but how 'bout breakfast first?"

"Okay, but I gotta shower and change. Gimme a few minutes." she said as she got up from the bed and she gave him a quick kiss before grabbing her towel and heading in to the bathroom.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The minute Maria got Liz alone, she demanded for her best friend to tell her all the details.

"Nothing happened." Liz said.

"Yeah, right, whatever."

"No, really. He was gonna leave, but he was really upset last night so I asked him to stay and I guess we fell asleep. Nothing happened."

"Darn."

"Why?" Liz said. You could hear the amusement in her voice at Maria's obvious disappointment.

"Nothing, just annoyed that I still don't have someone to talk to about it." Maria said good-naturedly.

"Oh. So, what's it like?" Liz asked, her curiosity piqued.

"I don't wanna tell you."

"Why?! You've never not told me anything before!"

"Yeah, but this time, it's different." Maria said, willing Liz to drop the subject. She knew that if Liz wanted to, she could get anything out of Maria.

"Please!"

"Nope!" Maria said, intent on not telling Liz what it was like. "Now maybe it'll give you some more motivation!"

Liz laughed and rolled her eyes. "It's not me that needs persuading." she said.

"Really?" Maria was surprised. "Everytime he looks at you, it's like he's stripping you with his eyes! I'm surprised he's kept himself in check for so long!"

"Yeah, but Maria, he almost never lets himself get too out of hand! Believe me, I've tried to get him to lose control and I've come really close, but we're always interrupted or he manages to stop it."

"Wow, maybe he needs some help in losing control. Don't worry. Let Dr. Deluca take care of it."

"Maria, no!" Liz cried. Who knew what Maria had up her sleeve and Liz didn't want to push Max into doing something he really didn't want to do. Wow, she never realized it before, but it was usually the guy keeping himself in check, not the girl. Liz smiled at herself. Maybe Max's control wasn't as strong as she thought.

"Liz, please! I promise I won't ask you to do anything too slutty or…"

"Okay."

Maria looked at Liz, surprised at how easily she'd complied. "Okay! That's great!" Maria exclaimed excitedly. "Leave it up to me. And you'll give the okay, of course."

"Okay on what?" Michael asked coming out of the kitchen.

"I'm gonna help Liz seduce Max!"

"Maria!" Liz cried, blushing to her toes.

"Sorry, but maybe he can help up. He is Max's best friend. He can go undercover for us!"

"'Undercover'? Maria you're taking this way too seriously."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

There was a knock on Max's window. He went to open it and outside, stood Michael.

"What are you doing here? Is something wrong?" Max asked, worriedly. Michael hadn't come stay at his house since he got emancipated and Maria was keeping him pretty much occupied.

"Nothing. Just bored. Wanted to see my ol' buddy Maxwell Evans and see what he's up to."

Max raised his eyebrow at him. "What's going on." he asked flatly.

"Nothing! Jeez, can't a guy want to hang out with his friend and not get the third degree?"

"A guy, yes. You, no."

Michael decided to try a different tactic. "Fine. I'll leave." he said climbing out the window.

Max felt bad. Maybe he was being a little too skeptical of his friend's intentions. "Wait. You wanna stay for a while? I've been meaning to talk to you about something."

Michael sighed and pretended to think about it. "Fine." he said, after a brief pause and climbed back inside. "What's the matter Maxwell?"

"Liz."

"As usual. What about her? Not putting out?"

"No… it's the opposite." Max said slowly.

"Then what's the problem?"

"Sarina said…"

"Screw what she said." Michael said bluntly.

"No, Michael. She said that as long as Liz and I don't consummate our relationship, she'll be safe and the skins won't move in."

"Maxwell, you shouldn't be basing the actions in your relationship on this. Yeah, take it into consideration, but don't let it dictate what's going on with it."

Max was speechless. Was this the same Michael that just a few months ago couldn't even hold his relationship with Maria together?

"What?!" Michael asked spreading his arms and shrugging. "Maria gave me a relationship book for my birthday and she made me read it with her and she's told me to 'observe' how you're with Liz."

"Oh… why?" Max really didn’t know what to say. His relationship with Liz the past year wasn't exactly smooth sailing.

"Maria said that no matter what, you guys would find your way back to each other and that you still loved her even after you thought she slept with Kyle and she still loved you after you slept with Tess."

"That's just the thing. I feel like shit for what I did. I don't even know why she's still with me."

Michael was surprised. Max hardly ever swore. "It's because she loves you. And you're everything to her, just like she's everything to you."

"I know, but…"

"No, 'buts' Maxwell. Do you love her?"

"Of course!"

"Do you want her?"

"No question."

"Then what are you waiting for?"

"I don't want her to see me and Tess."

"Oh, flashes?"

Max nodded.

"That could be a problem…" Michael said. Now he knew why Max had been resisting for so long.

"What should I do?" Max asked. He knew that if Liz saw him and Tess together, it would tear her apart and he knew that neither of them could take any more of this torment.

"You gotta show her."

"What?!" Max shouted.

"I know it's seems impossible to do, but think about it. Would you rather have Liz see it while you two are sharing something really special or would you rather discuss it and have her prepare for what she's gonna see?"

"I can't." Max said, simply. "I've hurt her enough. I can't do it anymore."

"Maxwell…"

"Michael, I said no." Max said stubbornly.

"Fine. I was just trying to help you."

"I know you're just trying to help, but I gotta figure out how to deal with this first before I put Liz's heart in danger again."

Michael sighed. He didn't know what to tell Liz. He didn't know if she would be heartbroken or glad that Max was finally starting to put her first again.

TBC…


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 11-Aug-2002 9:46:27 PM ]
posted on 17-Aug-2002 9:38:24 PM by Insanity02
Part 20

***Crashdown***

"Maria! Hey!" Michael jumped when she smacked him on the arm to get his attention. He was think of a way to tell Liz about why Max was so scared.

"So, how'd it go?"

"Fine." he said.

"Okay, so why isn't Maxie putting out?"

"Nothing. Guy stuff."

"Oh, c'mon! Don't pull that with me! We already know they're in heat okay? Nothing can be worse than that!"

"Yes, it can." Michael mumbled. Fortunately the sizzling of the hamburger patties covered it up.

"What?"

Michael chose not to reply.

"Michael…" she said a threatening tone entering her voice.

Michael thought about whether or not to answer. He really needed to tell someone, but he didn't know if he should.

But, Maria knew that when Michael stopped to think about what he would say, it usually meant that he would tell her.

"Man! I'd never thought I'd say this to you, but you are really whipped!" she said jokingly.

When Michael didn't even acknowledge her joke, she became serious.

"What's wrong?" she asked seriously

"He's scared." Michael said, honestly.

"What do you mean? He can't be scared of Liz… can he?" she asked uncertainly.

"No, that's not it. It's Tess. He doesn't want Liz to see them together."

Maria suddenly became infuriated. "Bitch!" Maria cried. "Even now, with her gone, she's totally screwing up our lives! I wish… I wish I could just take the memory out of Max's head!"

"What did you say?" Michael said, suddenly hopeful.

"Huh?" Maria stopped her rambling.

"Take the memory out?"

"Oh, I was just…"

"That's a great idea!"

"What?"

"Isabel! I wonder if Isabel can just take the memory away! I mean, she can dreamwalk and get into peoples' heads, but I don't think she's ever tried to really change anything; she's too scared. Maybe if she tried, she could change things!"

"Michael, that's really dangerous. What if she accidentally erases Max's entire memory?"

"Well, of course we gotta try little things first. Maybe she can just try to direct peoples' memory and stuff first and then gradually she can maybe alter a little…"

"You mean like mindwarping? No, mm-mmm. That's not even an option."

"C'mon, Maria. Don't you wanna help them? This was your idea!"

"Yeah, but I don't wanna use another alien thing to fix it! Especially since it was Tess' gift!"

"I know, but this isn't bad, Maria. Don't you trust Isabel?"

"Of course, but…" she trailed off.

Michael sighed. Maybe she was right. "Okay. Maybe you're right. I guess we'll just have to think of something else." he said dejectedly.

Maria saw this. "Okay fine, how 'bout we just go ask her what she thinks about the idea first and if she agrees then she can try some stuff on either one of us. But just really little things so that she can definitely control them."

Michael smiled. "Okay." But he still saw how worried she looked. He pulled her into a hug. "It'll be okay. We'll fix this. You said it yourself. Max and Liz will always find a way to get back to each other."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

***Crashdown***

Liz was thinking to herself as she cleared a table at the Crashdown. She still didn't know why Max was so scared to consummate their relationship. Maybe he didn't want her as much as he said he did.

No. She knew that wasn't true. He did. She knew he did with every part of her -- mind, spirit and body.

So why was he avoiding this? It was driving them both crazy and she didn't know how much longer she'd be able to hold out. This was complete torture! She wanted him, and soon! She decided that she'd go talk to him after her shift, which ended in a little over an hour.

Suddenly, strong arms enveloped her and she felt soft lips brush across her cheek. A soft husky voice whispered in her ear. "Hey."

A soft smile tugged at her lips and she couldn't resist tilting her head back so she could see him. "Hey."

Max smiled softly at her and then bent his head to kiss her.

"Hey, get a room." Maria elbowed Max in the side as she walked by, making him break his kiss abruptly with Liz. As usual, he had forgotten where they were. They looked around, embarrassed. They saw a couple of tables nearby looking at them. To their surprise, instead of being disgusted at such a public display of affection, they were smiling warmly, as if they were happy to see a young couple so in love.

Max released her from his hold and slid into the booth that Liz had just finished wiping.

"Usual?" Liz asked him.

"Yup." he said, taking her hand and pulling her back when she turned to get his drink.

She turned to him and tilted her head to the side in question. He lifted himself out of the booth and leaned over till their faces were inches apart. He kissed her soft and long.

"Just wanted to finish that kiss." he whispered against her mouth. He slid back into the booth.

Liz looked at him, surprised. It had been a while since he'd kissed her so gently. He always was gentle with her but this had that hint of innocence. It was like the first kiss they'd shared more than two years ago. Her knees felt as if they were about to buckle.

Liz gave him one last glance and turned to get his drink, a look of utter contentment on her face.

"Whoa, what did Max do?" Maria asked as Liz filled a cup from the soda machine.

"Hmm?" Liz asked smiling.

"Are you okay?"

"Never better."

"What did Max do this time?" Maria asked again as she picked up a couple of orders.

Liz looked down and blushed. "Nothing." Now that she thought about it, it was just a kiss.

No, it wasn't just any kiss. That kiss gave back what she'd thought she'd been forced to give up. It pledged his heart to her permanently. It promised her the lover, the husband, and the friend in him. It had warmed her entire body and she was still experiencing the sensation of floating.

"C'mon, Liz." Maria insisted.

Liz looked Maria in the eye. "It was nothing." she assured her best friend and walked around her, towards Max.

Maria stood dumbfounded, holding the cooling plates of food.

"Hey! You gonna deliver that or do you need me to do the waitressing too?" Michael yelled from the kitchen.

Maria threw him a scowl and walked around the counter towards the table that ordered the food.

TBC…
posted on 31-Aug-2002 6:25:54 PM by Insanity02
Part 21

"And then Michael just socked him. He had a black eye for two weeks!"

"Michael did that? Aren't you supposed to be there to stop him?" Liz asked Max jokingly.

Max just pulled her closer with one arm as he drove and chuckled.

As they approached the alley to her house, Max suddenly got serious. He knew that he was going to have another sleepless night tossing and turning, fantasizing about the girl of his dreams.

Max pulled over to the side of the alley, near her balcony, shut off the engine and got out of the car. He went over to the passenger side to help her out. The minute he touched her hand, a spark shot up his arm. He looked into her dark passionate eyes and was immediately captivated.

After a brief staring contest, Liz broke the silence. "Max." she said softly, not wanting to disturb the magical moment they were sharing.

"Hmm…" he continued to stare at her. She raised one eyebrow. "Oh, uh, yeah. I guess you gotta go inside, huh?"

"Yeah." she whispered staring at his mouth. She wanted him to kiss her so badly. She never got sick of him. The way he smelled. The way he felt. The way he tasted… Oh, God…

"Yeah." he said walking her to the bottom of her balcony.

Suddenly, Liz saw a figure from the corner of her eye disappearing around the end of the alley. She looked at Max to see if he'd seen it. From the way he was looking at her, she didn't think so.

"Max, did you see…"

She didn't get a chance to finish her question before he captured her mouth in a passionate embrace. All thoughts of the figure flew out of her head. Before long he had her pressed up against the brick wall beside the ladder leading up to her room.

When air became a necessity she tore her lips away from his mouth. He began trailing hot open-mouthed kisses down the side of her neck. Soon, his hand had snaked underneath her sweater touching the soft skin of her back.

"Max…" she whispered, her head thrown back against the wall so he could have greater access to her.

Her soft moan had brought him back to reality. He trailed his kisses back to her mouth. When he pulled back she moaned at the loss of contact.

"You should go." he said breathlessly.

"Yeah." she whispered, equally breathless. "Night."

She kissed him one last time and climbed up her fire escape ladder. When she disappeared around the edge of her balcony, he turned towards his car and climbed in.

Liz walked over to her window and began to climb in. Suddenly she got a flash. It was so unexpected; she didn't have the opportunity to brace herself for it. She nearly fell into her room. She saw a figure climbing into her room, just like she was doing now. Even though Liz couldn't make out the face, she knew that it was a girl. At first she thought that maybe it could be Tess, but then she told herself that it was impossible. Tess had left the planet!
Liz pushed the thought out of her head and began getting ready for bed. She reached up and undid the clip in her hair. Sitting down on her bed, she opened the drawer and again, a flash bombarded her, rendering her unconscious.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Max climbed the stairs leading to his room warily. He was willing his body under control, but as usual, it was no use. Even looking at Liz turned him on, never mind touching her and kissing her and…

He needed some air.

Upon entering his room, he knew immediately something wasn't right. He looked in all potential hiding spots and finding nothing, he just walked over to his window to open it. The second he touched the latch a bright image entered his mind. Earlier that evening when he'd been out with Liz, someone had entered his room.

He spun around expecting to see the intruder standing there, but there was nothing. Max picked up his phone and dialed Liz's number. He let the phone ring for some time, but nobody answered. He climbed out his window and hopped into the jeep and hurried to Liz's place.

When he got there, he called for her at the bottom of her balcony. No answer. Maybe she was in the shower. He climbed up the ladder and let himself in. To his surprise, she was lying asleep in her bed. She hadn't even bothered to take her shoes off.

*She must've been exhausted* he thought to himself. He took off her shoes for her and without waking her, he pulled her blanket from underneath her body and covered her with it.

Kneeling at the side of the bed, he reached out and smoothed her hair away from her face and watched her sleep for a little while. Now that he knew that she was safe, he suddenly realized that he was pretty tired, too. He decided to put his head down for a while just to rest his eyes.

Before he knew it, he had fallen asleep as well. But just before he drifted off, he subconsciously took her hand and entwined their fingers together.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

***Next morning***

Stretching languidly and then opening her eyes, Liz realized that she wasn't alone. Max was sitting on the floor beside her bed with his head resting on his arm and he was holding her hand. She shifted a little closer to him and kissed the hand that was grasping hers. He barely stirred, so she leaned over and nuzzled his ear.

"Max." she whispered.

"Liz." he mumbled.

She was surprised that even in sleep he was thinking of her.

"Max." she whispered again. "It's morning."

His eyes fluttered open. "Liz?"

"It's time to get up." she said smiling at him.

"Morning." he said, trying to get up. His entire body was cramped from staying in the same position all night. Then he realized that he had stayed far longer than he had planned to.

"What time is it?" he said, sitting up and immediately wishing he hadn't. His back was stiff too and a dull throb assaulted his muscles.

She looked over to her nightstand. "It's 5:30."

Max finally managed to pull himself onto the edge of her bed. "Okay. Good." he smiled. At least he didn't have to rush out of there.

"What are you doing here?" she asked.

When he remembered what had made him dash over here last night his heart dropped.

Liz saw the way his expression changed. "What's wrong?"

"Liz, I don't want to freak you out, but last night when I went into my room, I got a flash of someone going in."

That triggered her memory. "Me too."

Max couldn't believe this! "What?"

"Yeah. When I was climbing into my room, I got a flash of some girl coming in and I got another one when I was getting ready for bed." her eyes widened in shock. "Oh my God, Max! The second one knocked me out!"

"Are you okay?!" Max smoothed his hands over the side of her face.

"Yeah, I'm fine, but who do you think it is?"

"Skins?"

"But Sarina said that they can't do anything until we… you know."

"Yeah. We'll talk to her later today. Just get a little more sleep. I'll come back to pick you up at around 10:00."

"No. I'm not tired anymore. Can you just stay for a little while longer and then we'll go back to your house so you can shower and then we'll go to Sarina's."

"I think you should…"

"Max." she stopped him gently. "I'm really not tired."

He looked at her skeptically.

"I'll take a nap this afternoon."

"Promise?"

"Yeah."

He looked at her for a while and then realized that since they woke up, he hadn't even kissed her yet. Leaning closer, he lifted her chin and kissed her long and soft.

"Mmm… morning breath." she said when they broke apart, a teasing note tingeing her voice.

"You, too." he teased back, "But you don't care."

She smiled at him. "Neither do you." she said, kissing him again.

"You should get ready." he said after a while.

"Okay." she looked at him for a few seconds before sliding out from underneath him and getting off the bed. She fairly bounced over to her laundry hamper to retrieve her towel. She loved waking up with him beside her. *I could get used to this* she thought to herself.

"Me too." he said. Surprised, she spun around and looked at him. He was lying on her bed with his head propped up on his left arm and he was smiling almost slyly at her. She had forgotten that they knew what the other was thinking at any given time.

She recovered quickly. "Good." she said confidently.

Max chuckled, then got up and walked towards her. When he got about a meter away from her he held out his hand, silently asking for hers. She placed her much smaller hand in his larger one. Without warning, he spun her into his arms.

A surprised giggle escaped her, but it was swallowed when he captured her mouth.

"What was that for?" she asked when he pulled back.

"Nothing." he smiled.

She laughed softly.

"Now, go get ready!" he said releasing her and smacking her playfully on the butt.

She was shocked at his sudden playfulness. "No way! I'm gonna get you back for that!" she cried, barely containing her laughter. With that, she launched herself at him, tickling him. He fell back onto her bed laughing and trying to fight her off at the same time.

Before long, he had flipped her over and pinned her hands above her head with one of his and was tickling her mercilessly with the other.

"Max! Okay!" she managed to gasp through her laughter. "You win!"

"Really?" he asked.

"Yes!" she exclaimed, trying to regain her breath.

He lowered his face so that it was only a breath away from hers. "Good." he said, as he nuzzled her neck.

"Max…" she sighed.

This was definitely going to take a while!

TBC…
posted on 15-Sep-2002 8:34:35 PM by Insanity02
Hey, guys! I'm sorry it's taking me so long to get out new parts, but school is totally overwhelming me so the only time I actually get to write are the weekends. I'll try to speed it up. Thanks for reading!

Megan

Part 22

"Um-hmm…" Sarina nodded after she heard what Max and Liz had to say about their intruder.

"You don't seem surprised." said Liz.

"Yeah." she said slowly. "I'm not."

"You mean, you knew?" Max jumped in.

"Well, I always sense them, but I didn't know that they'd get so close. As far as I knew they hadn't even started to assemble yet."

"What do you mean you always 'sense' them?!" he asked trying to stay calm but not quite managing it.

Liz reached over and grabbed his hand, willing him to calm down. He looked over at her and his eyes immediately softened and she offered him an explanation. "She means that she knows when they around because they have a different energy than humans. But we already knew that, Max." Liz said gently.

Then she heard his voice in her head. *I just can't lose you*

It wasn't the first time he'd said it, but everytime she heard it she knew he meant it and she could completely relate because she felt the same about him.

*I know.* she said back to him.

*I'm so scared.*

*Me too. But we'll get through this. No matter what.*

*I wish… I wish we could go somewhere, where no one knows us.*

*Max…*

*As long as we're together, nothing else matters*

*Max…* she repeated.

*I know, we can't.*

"No, it's not that." Liz didn't even realize that she had begun to speak out loud. "Do you remember when you were drunk? That was one of the things you said to me that night."

Max was confused for a minute, but then he remembered that night that Liz won that contest that Maria entered her in and ended up going on that blind date. What was the guy's name? Doug something… Shallow! Yeah, his name was Doug Shallow. Maybe. Or was it Shellow? He couldn't remember.

During that entire exchange, Sarina was still sitting there, but it seemed like both of them didn't even notice anymore. She felt almost guilty for being there, even though it was her own house. She knew that, for them, this was another shared moment that no one else could possibly understand. But when did Max get drunk? She, being an alien, knew the consequences of it and it could be very dangerous. Alcohol affected aliens the same way that it did humans. Pretty much all inhibitions would vanish and this could lead to exposure.

"Guys?" she interrupted gently.

"Huh?" they both looked at her. "Oh, sorry."

"No problem. But now we just gotta figure what we're going to do."

Max nodded. "But we're already doing all that we possibly can. Unless we're together twenty-four hours a day there's nothing more we can do."

"Yes, you're right. And I’m not expecting you to do that. Your parents would kill you! What I'm suggesting is that I'll camp outside on Liz's balcony at night and then first thing in the morning, you'll come over."

"Um, excuse me." Liz spoke up. "I don't mean to be difficult, but I am sitting right here. Can I have a say in this?"

Max and Sarina sat quietly. They both knew that it was their job to protect her and they sometimes forgot that Liz was one of them and that she had her own opinion about this. After all, it was she that they'd be protecting.

Liz continued. "I wouldn't mind if Sarina camped outside, but it's not exactly the most comfortable place to sleep." Liz turned her attention to Max, "And what about you? She's been your house too and even though you have powers and stuff, we don't know what they're capable of doing."

Sarina answered first. "Well, believe me, I've had to live in much harsher conditions than your balcony and as far as Max goes, I think he'll be okay because Isabel is right there in the next room…"

Liz opened her mouth to protest, but Sarina continued, "Don't worry, Liz. I don't think they'll be going back to Max because they know that he has powers and can fight back and I'll know ahead of time if one of them is going to harm one of you."

Reluctantly, Liz finally agreed. Max squeezed her hand and nodded reassuringly at her. "Don't worry, I'll be fine. Nothing's gonna happen to me. I promise."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

In the Crashdown and Michael and Maria had just proposed their idea of removing the memory of Max sleeping with Tess from his mind to Isabel.

"No. I can't do it." she said.

"Can't or won't?" Michael asked.

"Can't. And even if I could do it, the answer would be the same." she said.

"You haven't even tried before."

"And I don't intend to." she said stubbornly.

Michael looked to Maria, "A little help?"

Maria just stared back at Michael. "Hey, it was your idea. I never said that I'd help you. I just said that I'd let you tell Isabel the idea and if she were to agree, I'd go along with it. That's all."

Michael narrowed his eyes and shook his head. "Whatever." he huffed and concentrated on grilling Isabel. "C'mon! I'd do it for you!"

"Yeah, but I wouldn't want you to!"

"Why not?!"

"Because this isn't happening to me! It's happening to Max. You don't know what he's going through! We don't even know if he'd even conceive of this idea, Michael! I know you're trying to help him, but you can't go around making decisions for him."

Michael sighed and then tried again. "Is there any way that I could convince you otherwise?"

"Yes." she said and Michael's face immediately lit up. "If and only if you can get Max to ask me himself, only then will I consider trying it."

Michael's face fell as quickly as it had lit up. How would he ever convince Max to ask Isabel for her help?

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Just as Max, Liz and Sarina were heading out for lunch, Liz's cell phone rang.

"Hello?… Hey, Michael… Yeah. Why? Is something wrong?… Okay, we'll be there in about ten minutes… Okay. See you then. Bye."

"Is something wrong?" Max asked as he drove.

"No, Michael just wants to talk to you about something. He told us to go meet him at the Crashdown."

"Did he say what he wanted to talk about?" Sarina asked.

"No, he just said to get there."

"Okay." Max said, "We're going there anyway so it's not a big deal and if Michael's actually calm about it, then it definitely isn't something to worry about."

When the three of them got to the Crashdown, Michael burst from the swinging door followed closely by Maria. He didn't look panicked. Just really eager, like he had something to say.

"Hey, Michael. What's up?" Max asked.

"We have to talk to you about something." he said, hastily and shoved Max in the direction of the kitchen. Max followed obediently, dragging Liz along by the hand. Maria took Liz's free arm and pulled her into a booth.

Max turned. "What are you doing?" he asked Maria.

"Michael needs to talk to you."

"I know, but anything he needs to say can be said in front of Liz."

"Listen, Maxwell. I gotta talk to you privately. You won't be apart from her for more than fifteen minutes. It's really not that big a deal."

Max looked at Liz questioningly to see that she was trying not to laugh at his possessiveness of her. She didn't mind, but Max could be a little crazy with it sometimes.

"You can go, Max. You don't have to ask for my permission." she chuckled.

He smiled sheepishly at her and leaned over and placed a sweet lingering kiss on her lips.

"Okay, okay! Break it up!" Michael yelled. "Max, let's go."

Max pulled away from Liz at the sound of his name. "Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm coming." He turned back to her and whispered, "I'll be right back." and planted another quick peck on her.

Max followed Michael into the kitchen. "What do you wanna say that Liz can't hear."

"It's about Tess." Michael saw the immediate change in Max's expression. "What if Isabel tried to take the memory out of your head?"

"What do you mean?"

"She'll dreamwalk you and while she's at it, she'll just take that memory out of your head."

"Uhhh, I don't know, Michael…"

"C'mon, Maxwell! Don't you wanna get it on with Liz?!"

"Michael!" Max cried, completely mortified.

"Well, don't you?!"

Max just looked away.

"Exactly!" Michael exclaimed. "So, if you don't have it there, then you wouldn't have to worry about Liz seeing it!"

"Look, I appreciate the offer, but I gotta get through this with her, without using more alien crap. That's what started this and I’m not gonna risk trying something that we don't even know that much about."

"But, Max…"

"I said, no." Max stated firmly. "I really thank you for trying to help us, but Liz and I have to work through it together."

Michael nodded reluctantly, conceding his acceptance of Max's decision. He understood why Max refused.

"So can I get back to my girlfriend, now?" Max asked.

Michael chuckled. "Yeah." he answered, but Max was already through the door.

TBC…

posted on 22-Sep-2002 1:53:34 AM by Insanity02
Hey, guys! I've once again ended up writing something else besides this fic. [blush] I'm almost done with the next part. Hopefully I'll have it out before Monday. Cross your fingers! :D

Okay, if you'd like to read my latest M/L (NC-17) fluff piece, here's the link!

'Clothing Optional' - Max and Liz Style!:
viewthread?forum=dreamer-fanfiction&id=253800

Megan
posted on 27-Sep-2002 2:00:49 AM by Insanity02
I'm so incredibly sick! I'm all congested and I'm coughing and I think I'm getting a fever! :( I can't afford to get sick! Too much school work! Can't give up any time! :(

Well, sorry it took so long to get out this new part. I hope you enjoy it though.

Megan

Part 23

"So, what did Michael wanna talk to you about?" Liz asked Max as she propped herself onto her elbow. They were lying out in the desert on a blanket just talking and looking up at the stars.

"Nothing much. You know Michael. Just making a big deal out of something that's nothing."

Liz felt a tug in her mind. *You're lying.* she thought to him.

Max looked at her in shock. The thought of covering it up came into his mind. When he looked into Liz's eyes he saw a flash of anger and hurt.

"Why do you have to lie to me?" she asked trying not let her emotions do the talking for her.

"I… uh…" he stammered.

"Max, I thought we agreed to talk to each other about what's going on with us. I mean, that's why we came out here in the first place, right?" she said calmly, but inside she was anything but.

"I… Of course. It's just that…"

"What, Max? That you don't trust me?" she said her voice raising slightly.

"No! Of course not, Liz! It's just…" he sighed and sat up, raking a hand through his hair.

"What is it, Max?" she asked placing her hand comfortingly on his shoulder. She managed to regain control of herself.

"It's about Tess."

Her heart clenched painfully at the sound of that name and at the defeat and sadness she heard in his voice. She took her hand from his shoulder and sat up fully. When he felt her small hand lift from him, it felt like he'd lost her again. He turned around and saw her hug her knees to her chest. Tears shimmered on the surface of her beautiful eyes. He hated knowing that he was the one who put them there.

"Liz, I…"

"I'm sorry." she whispered.

He was shocked. Why was she apologizing to him?!

"I should have put this behind me by now." she said softly, answering his silent question.

"No, Liz. You have nothing to be sorry for. It was my fault. I… I'm the one who made the decision to…" he couldn't even say it. "I'm sorry." he said, his voice shaking with unshed tears.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

"So, would he do it?" Isabel asked when she strolled up to the kitchen counter in the Crashdown.

Michael just threw her a scowl and turned back to the fryer.

"See! It told you he wouldn't do it." Isabel said triumphantly. Suddenly, she felt something wet soak through her new skirt. Michael had spilled a bottle of oil onto her.

"What the f… Michael!" she cried.

"Hey, relax." Maria said as she walked into the kitchen. "Just use your powers to clean it up. It's not like anyone saw."

Isabel scowled and waved her hand over her skirt and cleaned up the mess.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

They both sat there in silence for a little while. "I suppose you want the truth." Max said softly.

"Yeah. I do, but if you feel that this isn't the time then it's okay. Just promise that you'll tell me one day."

"No, I'll tell you now if you want. I just don’t want to hurt you again."

"I know, but lying to me will hurt more, Max."

"Yeah, I guess so." he sighed. "Part of the reason that I've been saying that we should wait is because I don't want you to see me and Tess together."

"Oh." She didn't want to see them either. Even the thought of it repulsed her. To know that he had given a part of himself that she thought he was saving for her, like she was for him, sickened her.

"Liz." he said, clamoring for something to say. "Please…" He could see the tears shimmering at the surface of her eyes and it killed him.

"What are we going to do?" she asked.

"I don't know…" Max raked his hand through his hair and then he remembered. "Michael said something about Isabel being able to remove the memory…"

"Like… mind-warping?" Liz frowned.

"No, she'll just take it out. Isabel won't manipulate anything."

"Isn't that really dangerous? I mean, what if something goes wrong and she makes you forget who you are?" *What we are?* Liz silently added.

"I could never forget what we have." he said almost desperately, grabbing her hand, but he still knew that the risk was there.

"Please, just make sure that Isabel knows how to do it."

"I promise." he said shifting closer to her and pulling her into a hug.

After long moments of just holding her, he pulled back and looked into her eyes. "So, do you wanna let Isabel try it? I won't do it unless you're okay with it."

Liz thought about it for a moment. "If Isabel is sure she can do it then I think it'll be okay, but if she has even a little bit of doubt then I don't want her to try."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Behind a boulder, cold eyes witnessed the sickening display between the couple. "I'll get you. You may be the former king of Antar, but that's just it… you're the *former* king. You're nothing… I'll get you. I swear."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The week passed by uneventfully and everyone had returned to their normal routines. Both Liz and Maria had their work hours increased at the Crashdown since school was out and because Liz's parents went out of town for another one of the annual conventions that they attended. Occasionally Max helped out in the kitchen and took over for Michael. Liz insisted that she pay him, but he refused. The only reason he went was because the girl he loved was there.

The bell at the front rang signaling the first customer of the day had entered. Liz looked up from where she was standing behind the counter to see her protector enter. She glanced over at Liz and smiled. Approaching the counter and getting onto one of the stools, she asked for a Cherry Coke. Liz told her that the grill wasn't quite ready yet and she nodded in acknowledgement.

Liz turned around, grabbed a cup and filled it up. When she placed it in front of Sarina she looked up at her and her lips curled up, but the smile didn't reach her eyes. Liz felt like she was magnetically drawn into those dark eyes. Without breaking eye contact, Sarina reached for the Tabasco and added a liberal amount. Understanding dawned in Liz's eyes. That wasn't Sarina.

Then the dark eyes suddenly flashed to a cold blue. Liz took a step back, astonishment and fear seizing her heart. *Max!*

Max had just entered from the alley door and he was in the backroom by the lockers when he felt her undeniable panic. Then he heard her voice in his head. *Liz! What's wrong?" he asked as he burst from the back kitchen door.

The person who looked like Sarina turned from the counter and looked directly into his eyes stopping him immediately. He instantly knew that it wasn't Sarina. It was Tess.

He couldn't move. With heart-wrenching terror, he realized this was exactly what had happened in the dream. This was how she was going to kill them. *No! Liz!* With everything he could, he reached for her both physically and mentally, but it felt like he was paralyzed.

Liz could feel him desperately trying to get to her, but he couldn't. She could feel his matching panic as he reached out to her with his mind. Tess had now shape-shifted back into her former body and she walked in between Max and Liz blocking their view of each other. She strolled over to Max and stood next to him with the front of her body pressing against his side.

At the contact, Max had to fight back the bile rising in his throat. Suddenly images assailed him and he knew. He hadn't touched the bitch. They hadn't slept together. Overwhelming relief and grief stormed through him. Relief that he hadn't been unfaithful to her, that it wasn't real. Just a memory planted by a hateful and bitter enemy posing as an ally. Grief because he would never truly understand the bond he would have had with his Liz if they had been given the opportunity to make love.

He looked over to her and sent her his sorrow and regret, but mixed with that was undeniable love. *I love you!* he said with unquestionable conviction. Tears pooled in his eyes blurring his vision of her. He blinked, letting them roll down his face.

*I love you!* she cried out to him even as Tess threw an arm out and hit her with a blinding blast of light. She was thrown back into the counter like a rag doll and she dropped to the floor. He could only see her shoulders and her head. The rest of her was hidden behind the counter. "Liz!" he cried out, suddenly finding he could move. Just like in the dream he bashed Tess across the temple rendering her unconscious.

He ran to Liz's sprawled body and lifted her head. Weakly, she opened her eyes and met his pain-filled eyes.

*I'm sorry, Liz. I'm so sorry." he whispered to her as his tears fell. His chest felt unbearably tight, like his life was slowly being squeezed from him.

"Kiss me." Her voice shook as she fought for life. He bent close until their foreheads were touching and gently he pressed his lips to hers. As he drew back and looked into her eyes she whispered to him. "Don't forget me, Max… I'll be waiting for you..." her voice caught as painful heat darted through her body.

"No." his voice choked. "Don't…"

What was he supposed to say? 'Don't leave me?' If it were up to either of them this never would have happened in the first place.

She brought her hand to cup his cheek. "I love you. I'll always love you." she gasped again and then she said something he would never forget. "This is our destiny, Max."

He didn't understand. "Not being together?" he asked.

She managed a weak smile. "Yes."

"No!"

"It is, Max. But I don't have any regrets… Thank you for loving me…"

"No…. Liz…." his voice cracked.

She paused and looked weakly into his eyes. "Goodbye Max."

Her hand slipped from his face and fell lifelessly onto the floor as she went limp in his arms.

TBC…

posted on 15-Nov-2002 3:49:57 AM by Insanity02
Sorry! I'm so sorry! I'm going though writer's block. Well, I'll give you a little clip of it now, but I can't figure out how to end this part! And school is killing me! I have 3 weeks left and I have 3 midterms, 2 major presentations and 3 papers due! Then I have finals after that! Then the day after my finals end I have to get my wisdom teeth out on Dec 19th! :'( That's only 6 days before Christmas! I'm gonna have to eat my turkey through a straw! Waaahhhhhhh :'( *sniffle* Okay, I"m fine, I'm fine.

Okay, here's that little clipette I promised you. *happy*

From Part 23

"Kiss me." Her voice shook as she fought for life. He bent close until their foreheads were touching and gently he pressed his lips to hers. As he drew back and looked into her eyes she whispered to him. "Don't forget me, Max… I'll be waiting for you..." her voice caught as painful heat darted through her body.

"No." his voice choked. "Don't…"

What was he supposed to say? 'Don't leave me?' If it were up to either of them this never would have happened in the first place.

She brought her hand to cup his cheek. "I love you. I'll always love you." she gasped again and then she said something he would never forget. "This is our destiny, Max."

He didn't understand. "Not being together?" he asked.

She managed a weak smile. "Yes."

"No!"

"It is, Max. But I don't have any regrets… Thank you for loving me…"

"No…. Liz…." his voice cracked.

She paused and looked weakly into his eyes. "Goodbye Max."

Her hand slipped from his face and fell lifelessly onto the floor as she went limp in his arms.

Part 24

"Liz?" he bile was rising in his throat again. "Liz…" he couldn't breathe. "Liz!" Panic exploded from him as wracking sobs were torn from him. Convulsively, he pulled her against him, rocking back and forth. He wanted to die. Why was life so cruel as to take away the one thing that kept him feeling… that kept him alive. He couldn’t remember a time when he lived without her.

Faintly, he heard the door to the Crashdown slam open. Sarina burst through the door.

"Is it too late?! Am I too late?!" she cried as she darted behind the counter to where Max was convulsively rocking Liz back and forth.

"Max!" Sarina cried again.

He looked up. His eyes were filled with tears. When she met his eyes, she felt like her heart was being wrenched from her chest and helpless anguish was burning through her body… She wanted to die. For a second she couldn't move or think. It was Max's desperate grief slamming into her.

"Max. Listen to me. I can help you save her. We have to hurry." He just stared vacantly at her. "Max!" she cried. "You have to help her!"

"I can't…" he whispered helplessly.

"Yes! You can, Max! Please Max! Hurry!" Sarina was panicking now. She couldn't fail twice. He just sat there blankly... unfeeling.

He felt a crushing blow land on his left cheekbone, jarring him back from his devastating misery. "Sarina?"

"Yes! Max, you have to help her!" Sarina was screaming now.

"I can't! Can't you see that?!" he screamed back at her.

TBC...

Okay, I know, I'm really mean, but I can't seem to get the darn thing right! I think I almost have it, though. I promise I'll have the new part out by the end of this weekend! I'm sorry for torturing you guys like this!

Megan


posted on 19-Nov-2002 12:03:51 AM by Insanity02
I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I finished it last night, but I had to get up at 6:00 this morning and I really didn't have the patience to wait for my stupid internet to work. But the bright side (for me anyway) is that I'm going to be getting a new computer in about 2 weeks. :-D I get my paycheck next week and I'm gonna have enough for a brand spanking new computer! Yay!!! Kay, here's the new part FINALLY!!

Oh, one more thing... I'll tell you ahead of time this time... I don't know how long it'll be before I get the next part out because I'm really really busy at school and I'm holding down two jobs to pay for tuition and stuff... HOWEVER, I do PROMISE that the next part will NOT take as long as this one. I swear it'll be out within a month.

Okay, now, on with the story!

Megan


From Part 23

"Kiss me." Her voice shook as she fought for life. He bent close until their foreheads were touching and gently he pressed his lips to hers. As he drew back and looked into her eyes she whispered to him. "Don't forget me, Max… I'll be waiting for you..." her voice caught as painful heat darted through her body.

"No." his voice choked. "Don't…"

What was he supposed to say? 'Don't leave me?' If it were up to either of them this never would have happened in the first place.

She brought her hand to cup his cheek. "I love you. I'll always love you." she gasped again and then she said something he would never forget. "This is our destiny, Max."

He didn't understand. "Not being together?" he asked.

She managed a weak smile. "Yes."

"No!"

"It is, Max. But I don't have any regrets… Thank you for loving me…"

"No…. Liz…." his voice cracked.

She paused and looked weakly into his eyes. "Goodbye Max."

Her hand slipped from his face and fell lifelessly onto the floor as she went limp in his arms.

Part 24

"Liz?" he bile was rising in his throat again. "Liz…" he couldn't breathe. "Liz!" Panic exploded from him as wracking sobs were torn from him. Convulsively, he pulled her against him, rocking back and forth. He wanted to die. Why was life so cruel as to take away the one thing that kept him feeling… that kept him alive. He couldn’t remember a time when he lived without her.

Faintly, he heard the door to the Crashdown slam open. Sarina burst through the door.

"Is it too late?! Am I too late?!" she cried as she darted behind the counter to where Max was convulsively rocking Liz back and forth.

"Max!" Sarina cried again.

He looked up. His eyes were filled with tears. When she met his eyes, she felt like her heart was being wrenched from her chest and helpless anguish was burning through her body… She wanted to die. For a second she couldn't move or think. It was Max's desperate grief slamming into her.

"Max. Listen to me. I can help you save her. We have to hurry." He just stared vacantly at her. "Max!" she cried. "You have to help her!"

"I can't…" he whispered helplessly.

"Yes! You can, Max! You have to connect with me! I can help you heal her! Please Max! Hurry!" Sarina was panicking now. She couldn't fail twice.

He felt a crushing blow land on his left cheekbone, jarring him back from his devastating misery. "Sarina?"

"Yes! Max, you have to help her!" Sarina was screaming now.

"I can't. Can't you see that?!" he screamed back at her.

"No! You have to connect with me! Help her, Max!" she cried, taking his hand in hers and pressing their joined hands onto Liz's chest. "Help her!" she screamed again.

Numbly, Max shut his eyes and concentrated. He felt his power surge forward and meet Sarina's energy. It flowed smoothly into Liz and he felt the injury starting to heal, but it was still dark. He couldn't find her.

*Liz?!* he called for her when he entered her mind. He couldn't feel her. All he could feel was this void at where she used to be.

*Liz!* he shouted again in his mind, trying desperately to find her. Then he found a slight glimmer.

*Max?* he heard her sigh weakly.

*Liz! Come back, Liz!*

*Max?* she whispered again.

*Yes, Liz! It's me! Wake up! You're okay, now.*

*Max.* she stated, now knowing where she was as her strength returned as he healed her.

When the wounds were nearly healed, Sarina slowly pulled her hand away to let Max and Liz reconnect without any other distractions.

Slowly, Liz opened her eyes. "Liz!" Max pulled her into a tight hug, tears of relief clouding his vision. "Liz." his voice caught as a sob escaped him.

She just hugged him to her. "I love you, Max." she whispered in his ear as she stroked his back. Another strangled sob tore through him.

"I thought… I thought I lost you." his voice thick with emotion.

"But you brought me back." she said, sending him all her interminable love for him through their connection.

"Liz…" he voice caught again..

She pulled him against her and let him bury his face in her hair. *I love you.* she whispered once again to him.

"I love you." he said, with so much emotion that it even brought tears to Sarina who was witnessing another one of their amazing connections. After several moments of assurance and whispers of love from the couple, they finally found the strength to stand and stumble to the closest booth.

Suddenly, Sarina remembered Tess. She stood and looked over the counter to the swinging door, where Tess' crumpled body lay just minutes before. She was gone.

"Hey, guys." she interrupted gently. "We better get outta here before she comes back with reinforcements."

"But what about the Crashdown?" Liz asked, glancing at her protector and then focusing her attention back onto a still distraught Max.

"Is someone going to be coming soon?"

"Yeah, Michael and Maria should be coming any minute."

"Okay. Michael can look after Maria. When they get here we'll tell them what's going on. Max do you think we can get Isabel here too?"

"Yeah." he said still feeling numb.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Half an hour later Max and Liz were sitting in his room with Sarina in the living room near the stairs. They were both sitting on his bed. She was situated between his legs and he had wrapped his arms tightly around her. After Maria, Michael and Isabel had arrived at the Crashdown, Max hadn't said a word. He just held Liz, keeping her plastered his side.

He had never been so scared in his life and the words, 'this is our destiny' plagued him. Did she mean it?

"Did you mean it?" he finally whispered.

Liz knew exactly what he was talking about because she had heard all of his troubled thoughts.

"Max, I never thought I'd find my soulmate… but I have, so no matter what happens I'll never regret any moment I have with you. I chose my destiny… We… chose our destiny. We both knew that somewhere down the line we would get hurt…" she paused as a brief image of when Max told her that two years before in the biology lab flashed in her mind. She sighed waiting for her head to clear. "Max, I'd do *anything* if it meant being with you."

"Even give up your life?" the tears clouded his eyes again.

"*Anything*, Max, because I know you'd do the same for me."

"Liz." he buried his face in her hair breathing her in. "I can't lose you."

"I know…" she rubbed her hands along his arms trying to comfort him.

But they both knew that that wasn't part of the deal. There would always be risks, so they had to cherish every moment they had. It went unspoken that tonight was the night. They couldn't wait any longer.

~*~*~*~*~*~

"Should we call them?" Maria asked. Michael, Isabel and Maria were gathered in the back of the Crashdown wondering what was happening with Max and Liz and Sarina.

"Yeah, I think so. The lunch rush just ended, so…" Isabel agreed.

Maria practically attacked the phone and quickly punched in the Evans' phone number.

Maria, Michael and Isabel knew that something horrible had happened that morning in the Crashdown, but Max, Liz nor Sarina would say what. The phone rang three times before someone picked up.

"Hello?"

"Hey, Sarina. What happened?" Maria demanded.

"Listen, I don't think I should tell you over the phone…"

"No, we both know that we're don't have time for another get together. We have to come up with a plan and we can't start coming up with one if we don't even know what's going on."

There was a brief pause on the other end of the line and then Maria heard Liz's protector sigh heavily. "You're right… Liz was attacked this morning."

"But I thought you said that can't happen until they…" Maria said quietly, the panic rising in her throat.

"I know, but it wasn't a Skin. It was Tess."

"What?! Tess is back?!" Maria screamed into the phone.

"What?!" Michael and Isabel echoed with equal hysteria.

"Listen, just stay together for now. She's not going to come back. We know that there's only one person who can do anything to us right now and she's not strong enough to fight more than one of us. Just finish your shifts and then come over to Max's place. Phillip and Diane decided to stay in Albuquerque for a couple more days so they won't be back until the end of the weekend."

"Okay… I guess we have a little time then?"

"No. It's happening tonight.

TBC

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 19-Nov-2002 12:08:51 AM ]
posted on 2-Jan-2003 11:49:00 PM by Insanity02
Hey guys! Happy New Year! Hope you guys had a good time! It's amazing how time flies, huh? *happy* Well, you're probably wondering where the new part is. It's half done. It'll be out either Saturday or Sunday evening. But in the mean time, here's the link to another little one parter thing. Just scroll down. Hope you enjoy it!

viewthread?forum=dreamer-fanfiction&id=253800

Megan

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 4-Jan-2003 3:53:34 AM ]