posted on 23-Sep-2001 10:09:14 PM by jezebel617
OK, I realize that it has been like years since I've updated this story, so I'm going to be nice Jezzie and repost the whole thing here so y'all can read it.

Tonight and the Rest of Our Lives

Author: Jezebel (imfromupnorth⊕
Rating: Uh, you must know what I write by now.
Summary: Another AU fic by yours truly--these are so fun to write. Liz
and Max realize that sometimes one night can mean forever.
Disclaimer: I don't own Liz. I don't own Max. I don't even own Riverdog,
for God's sake! Get off my back!
Distribution: Anywhere, just let me know.

Down to the Earth I fell
With dripping wings
Heavy things won't fly
And the sky might catch on fire
And burn the axis of the world, that's why
I prefer a sunless sky to the glittering and stinging in my eyes

Oh I feel so light
This is all I wanna feel tonight
Oh I feel so light
Tonight and the rest of my life

Gleaming in the dark sea, I'm as light as air
Floating there breathlessly
When the dream dissolves I open up my eyes
I realize that everything is shoreless sea
Weightlessness is passing over me

Oh I feel so light
This is all I wanna feel tonight
Oh I feel so light
Tonight and the rest of my life
Tonight and the rest of my life

Everything is waves and stars
The universe is resting in my arms
I feel so light
This is all I wanna feel tonight
I feel so light
Tonight and the rest of my life

Oh I feel so light
This is all I wanna feel tonight
Oh I feel so light
Tonight and the rest of my life
Tonight and the rest of my life

"Really," Liz protested halfheartedly. "I don't want to go."

Her best friend and roommate raised an eyebrow. "Elizabeth Parker, you are
celebrating your twenty-first birthday with me at someplace that actually
requires ID. So don't give me any of your crap. I know you really want to."

Liz groaned a little. "Finals start tomorrow, Maria. I don't know."

She shrugged airily, pondering the tops in Liz's closet before finally selecting
one that pleased her. "Are you ever going to turn twenty-one again?"

"No," Liz admitted.

Maria whirled around, pulling a red sweater over her head. "Then it's settled.
Let's go."


Max cursed as he entered the smoky bar, the lights inside flashing in his eyes.
"Shit, Michael. I really don't want to do this."

His coworker smirked. "You take a cab back to the motel. Really, I'll drive
myself. I've got the keys."

The thought of leaving Michael, likely drunk as a fish, to drive their rented
car home didn't appeal to Max at all. "I'll stay. But don't drink too much.
You know perfectly well what happens when we drink too much."

"See, that's the benefit of these trips," Michael said, as though explaining
to a child. "No one knows us here. They'll just think we're stinking ass

Max squinted, looking around. There seemed to be a definite lack of seating
and a lot of people were standing around, talking and dancing a little to the
loud music that pumped from the speakers. The strobes flashed, reminding him
more of a college club than a regular bar. And from the age range of most
of the people here, that's just what this was.

"ID?" a gruff voice near his ear said.

"Oh, right," Max said, pulling out his wallet. Michael already had his ready
and flashed it at the bouncer. He nodded them both through.

Max and Michael were both twenty-five, and they had grown up together, sharing
a common secret. They had stayed together at college, and gone to work at the
same up-and-coming Silicon Valley company. This, however, was their first
business trip together. Almost half the company had flown to Raleigh for the
conference by the "teamwork guru," Samuel Somers. After a full day of excruciatingly
boring "teamwork exercises" Michael had declared himself ready to party and headed
to the nearest club. Max didn't want to go, but Michael had managed to drag him along.

Max scanned the whole badly lit area for an empty table or barstool. He could
find none. He stood for a few minutes, waiting for someone to get up and leave.
No one moved.

"Shit," Max mumbled to himself. "I hate these clubs."

He rested a hand on the speaker nearest his head, looking as innocent as possible.
He looked away as the volume coming from that particular speaker soared almost to
an unbearable level. The people at the table closest to the speaker looked back
in irritation before getting up and moving. Max mentally clapped himself on the
back and let the volume fade as he settled into the cushiony seats...

Just as a petite brunette collapsed into the seat across from him. At first she
didn't even seem to notice him, and then she looked up and said, "Oh, shit, I'm
sorry. Do you want me to move?"

Max gaped. Move? Did he want her to move? Sitting before him was the most
beautiful creature he had ever seen. Her skin was like porcelain and her hair
hung over her face like a mahogany curtain. He was even taken with the old scar
across her brow, making her perfect features a little more unique.

She reached forward and for a second Max thought she was going to touch his hand,
which was lying on the sticky table. Instead, she brushed her shimmering dark
hair out of her eyes. "Uh, uh, no," he stammered, feeling tongue-tied around a
girl for the first time in his life. This particular girl looked to be a few years
younger than he--probably a college student, he told himself, and too young for
him. "You're fine."

She smiled. "Thanks. I thought I would never find a seat in this place."

Max's brain finally started to kick in. "Yeah, it's a little crowded, isn't it?"

She put her hand up in the air with her thumb and forefinger spread just a
fraction of an inch apart. "Just a little."

"So, uh, what's your name?"

She smiled, flashing beautiful white teeth for the second time. Internally
Max thanked whatever dentist had been responsible for those teeth. "Liz.
What's yours?"

"Max. You aren't from around here."

"And you're a little nosy," she pointed out. "But you're right, I'm not.
I just go to school here. And neither are you, from the sound of your
accent. Out west, maybe?"

He nodded his assent. "So do you want something to drink?"

She laughed a little. "Sure. Why not?"

Max motioned to a waiter. "She'll have a..."

"Tequila, straight up," Liz supplied.

"And for you?"

"I'll just have water, thanks," Max said. Liz frowned at him, and he
realized what it looked like. But he couldn't drink anything. His
inhibitions would all go straight down the drain after just a few sips. He
looked at Michael, flirting with several girls at the bar, including a
striking little blond with pixie-cut hair and a red sweater. He hoped to
God that Michael wouldn't drink anything.


Two hours later, Max was drunker than he'd ever been in his life. He'd only
had one beer, but it had served to make the whole world spin around behind Liz.
He had long ago lost track of Michael and the little blond, and he didn't care.
He had to resist the urge to giggle.

He also had to resist some other urges. Liz had loosened up considerably with
a few shots of straight tequila in her and had been confiding in him about some
of her first sexual experiences. He was becoming highly uncomfortable.

She was giggling as she told one story. "So we went back to his house-"

"His parents weren't there?"

"No, they were," Liz said, dissolving in helpless giggles. She gasped
for a moment, and then said, "We tried to sneak up the stairs, real quiet, but
we must've woke up his dad. We were just starting to-you know-when his dad
burst in on us. I've never seen a guy look so scared," she said, nearly howling
at the memory. "Then he...then he..." she put her face in her arms, laughing so
hard she could barely breathe.

"What?" Max asked. "What happened?"

Liz looked up, no longer laughing. Her eyes were dark. "Listen, do you want to
get out of here?"

Max was thunderstruck. "What do you mean?"

She smiled, her eyes glinting in the dim lights. "You know what I mean. So do
you want to?"


Liz slid the electronic keycard smoothly into its slot, her movements not betraying
at all how drunk she was. She was even nervous, but she wanted this. She wanted
it worse than she had wanted anything in her life. She just wanted to forget about
her stressful life for right now and spend one night with this unbelievably sweet
and adorable guy, who most likely she would never see again. She didn't know
was so unlike her. Undoubtedly everyone she knew would be shocked and upset. But
right now she didn't care.

She turned around, wrapping her arms around Max and pulling him through the door
to his hotel room. She stood on her tiptoes and kissed him, tasting the alcohol
on his lips. He stumbled a little, using her for balance. He seemed even drunker
than she was, though she hadn't seen him drink any more than one or two beers. He
kissed her harshly, his lips scraping against hers. They finally made it through
the doorway, and Max kicked the door shut behind them.

He reached for the bottom of her shirt. She lifted her arms and he pulled it over
her head. His hands moved next to the snap at the back of her bra, and, to her
amazement, he didn't seem to have any trouble with it. Her bra came open and he
lifted it gently off her breasts. She could hear him suck in his breath in awe,
as though he'd never seen any before.

Max lowered his head and sucked gently on her nipple, and she moaned at the sensations
that coursed through her. She pushed down on the back of his head, urging him to suck
harder. He obeyed, his tongue swirling over the soft flesh. Gradually he moved lower,
kissing his way down to the top of her skirt. He looked up at her and grinned, then
pushed up her skirt and ducked beneath it.

Liz groaned as he yanked her panties and nylons down. She lifted up her feet to help
him complete the process. Then she felt the soft warmth as he began to taste her. She
moaned, barely able to catch her breath. He slid one finger inside of her, and then
another, and began to pump vigorously. She tried not to pump her hips but was unable
as she fell into rhythm.

"Please...Max...please," she whispered, shivering at the sensations coursing through her.

He appeared again from under her skirt, standing up next to her. Liz slowly realized that
he was still fully clothed. She reached for the button of his slacks just as he reached
for his sweater, and together they undressed him.

Liz looked down and sucked in a breath. Was this really what she wanted? Did she...and then
all thought faded again as he kissed her. She could taste herself on his lips.

Max lifted her easily and set her against the door, obviously not willing to wait long
enough to make it to the bed. Without any pretense he slid inside her as her legs wrapped
around him. Liz hoped there was no one outside. Every time Max thrust into her, there
was a loud BANG. Her fingernails dug into his back as he moved faster and faster, his breath
coming harder and harder. Her muscles tensed and she could feel herself about to come. Max
looked up and saw it, and reached down. He flicked her clit lightly with his thumb and it was
all it took for Liz to simply fly away. She vaguely felt him explode inside of her,
and then ease her to the ground.

They managed to make it to the bed before falling asleep in each other's arms.


Liz awakened the next morning, shivering in the winter chill. She realized
the window was open, and faintly remembered Max opening it in the middle of
the night. Then she looked around.

Max was gone. Liz moaned, her head falling into her hands. How could he
have just left? How could this have happened? What had she been thinking?
He must not have been the kind of man she thought he was.

She never noticed the note, written on a napkin, that had blown under the
bed in the gentle breeze from the window.

Tonight and the Rest of Our Lives, Part 2

Max relaxed on the plane. The seat next to him was still empty, while the
others around him were filled with men in suits, most of whom had been at
the conference yesterday. This plane was full; it wasn't about to wait for
one person. "Michael, where the hell are you..." he muttered under his breath.

The man behind him leaned over his seat, a smirk marring his handsome face.
"So where's Guerin? Held up at the latest whorehouse?"

Max spun around, grasping his coworker by the throat, his bloodshot eyes
showing his rage. "None of your goddamn business, *Valenti*," he growled.

Valenti sank back into his seat, rubbing his neck. "Jesus, Evans, calm down.
It isn't my fault he's held up with some girl everywhere we go."

Max tried to settle back, but his clenched hands revealed his tension. He had
no idea where Michael was. And to add to that, he hadn't exactly had the best
morning. He had awakened next to a beautiful woman he only vaguely remembered
meeting. Not wanting to wake her, and having no desire to be embarassed by his
lack of memories, he left her a note, ordered some flowers for her and crept
out the door.

Now he felt like a coward. What would she think of him after awaking to find him

He burst out of his bubble of thought as Michael sat heavily next to him, huffing
and puffing from exertion. Sunglasses covered what Max assumed were eyes as red
as his own.

To his great surprise, Michael flipped the glasses back onto his head and grinned.
"Raleigh, North Carolina. I love this town."

His eyes weren't bloodshot at all.


Slowly but steadily, she rose from the bed and began gathering up her clothes. They
had been neatly gathered into a pile and placed on the stiff-looking chair in the
corner of the bedroom. She smiled faintly, recalling that they had been scattered
across the floor only hours before. When had Max left? And how had he managed to
do it without waking her? And he'd been even drunker than she was... she moaned
and rubbed her head. She had a terrible hangover already.

In addition to that, she was sore and sticky from last night. Suddenly it didn't
seem like such a good idea to just put her clothes back on.

She walked into the bathroom. It smelled like him. So he had taken a shower...she
laughed at herself suddenly, realizing that she was acting like last night had been
something it hadn't. It had been a one-night stand, and that was all. She just had
to remember that, and forget about how amazing it had been, and how safe she had felt,
lying in his arms.


Liz walked into her dorm room, vaguely expecting a chewing-out from Maria. But Maria
wasn't there either, and Liz thanked whatever gods were watching over her. With the
headache she had, the last thing she needed was a high-pitched lecture.

She looked at her single bed, then at the clock. Her eyes widened as she realized
that her first exam was going to start in less than a minute.

She bolted back out the door, running faster than she'd ever run in her life.


"So, Liz..."

Liz groaned to herself, knowing she'd had it now. Maria was home. The girl sat in
the blinding sunlight coming in through the windows, seemingly immune to the brightness.
Her shiny blond hair shone in the light. She didn't seem particularly stressed out,
at odds with just about every other person Liz had seen in the last hour.

"Where were you last night? I mean, I know where I was..."

"Let me guess," Liz said, putting a hand over her eyes to block the sun through the
window. "With that guy, the one I saw you with at the bar."

Maria grinned. "Damned straight, Lizzie, but at least I came home in time to make
it to exams. Now where were you?"

Liz mumbled the truth under her breath. No human could possibly have understood
it, but Maria stood up and shrieked. "You were with that hottie! Sweet, innocent
Liz Parker got it on with some stranger from a bar!"

"It wasn't like that, Maria."

"Oh, I know what it was like," Maria drawled, in the Southern accent she could
adapt whenever it suited her. "It was like, 'Oh, you're so hot! I'm so drunk!
Let's fuck like bunnies!'"

"Not funny, Maria," Liz said softly, walking over to sit at her desk.

Maria softened instantly. "I'm sorry, babe. I got a little carried away. So
was he any good?"

Liz grinned while looking at the floor, feeling sheepish.

"I'll take that as a yes!"

"What about your guy? The blond?"

Maria whistled. "Damn. I have never been kissed like that in my life. That man
could do things with his tongue - "

Liz groaned. "Too much information, Maria!"


The maid padded gently into the empty motel room. She wrinkled her nose at the
smell of sex and alcohol that permeated the air. She had thought that after six
months at this job, she be used to it, but she could never adjust.

She wanted to vacuum first, so she lifted the bedspread off the carpet. As she
did she revealed a plain white napkin. Cursing at having to bend over again, she
leaned down to pick it up. She was about to toss it when she realized the back
side was covered in writing. Unable to resist, she began to read it.

Dear Liz,
I know that you may think last night was a mistake, a one-time event
between strangers. But I want you to know that I don't, and I will
never think of it that way. Even if our memories are fuzzy, we know
we had something, because this morning, while I watched you sleep,
I felt more complete than I have in years. I felt whole again. Now
I have to leave in order to make my flight, but I don't want to.
More than anything I want to stay here with you when you wake up, but
I can't wake you. You're much too beautiful as you sleep.

Max Evans

4569 Parkway Dr.
San Jose, CA

The maid grinned and whistled. "Wow, honey, whoever you are. You're a lucky girl.
This one's a keeper.

[ edited 15time(s), last at 28-Aug-2002 6:23:15 PM ]
posted on 23-Sep-2001 10:10:10 PM by jezebel617
Part 3

Liz looked up as the professor literally skidded into the room, sliding on the
slick tile floor. It was the middle of January and dead center for the rainy
season. The class snickered a little as they waited for him to catch his balance.
He grabbed his desk and planted his feet on the ground as he looked up at the clock.

"Damnit!" he cursed. The class tittered. "Late again!"

The boy next to Liz leaned over and whispered, "His car must've gotten flooded

Liz choked, trying not to laugh. "Alex, shut up! Don't make him any worse than
he already is!"

The professor cleared his throat and glared at the giggly students. "You'll be
getting your exam scores today. This being a yearlong class, I have attempted to
take pity on you and be kind with your scores. However, you make that quite
difficult for me."

Alex and Liz winced simultaneously. Professer Wilder pulled a packet of papers
from his sopping wet briefcase, and began calling off names. "Aguirre. Anderson.
Appleby. Azrael. Baker. Blevins. Brunck. Covarrubias. Damien. Davids.
Dumont. Fox."

Liz watched the students receive their exams, one by one, and one by one their
shoulders slumped.

"Gruber. Helton. Lea. Lucifer. McCartney. McLaughlin. Neal. Parker."

Liz winced and rose out of her chair. Wilder handed her the paper without
looking at her. "Better luck next time, Parker." She looked down at her
score. 65. 65? How could she pass this class with a 65? How could she
graduate without passing this class? She sank heavily into her chair, tears
welling in her eyes. Alex looked at her worriedly.

"Pitcher. Roberts. Sciarani. Spender. Whitman."

Alex got his paper and Liz saw a smile of relief cross his face. She tried
to hold back the tears that were welling in her eyes, and the nauseous feeling
rising in her stomach. Alex looked over in concern. "Liz, are you all right?"

"No," Liz muttered, feeling bile rise in her throat. Suddenly she knew for
certain that she was going to vomit, and she ran toward the bathroom as fast
as her legs would carry her. She could hear the shocked silence of the
calculus class behind her. She had barely thrown her head over the rum of
the toilet when she began to retch, losing the entire contents of her
breakfast into the bowl. She leaned forward, trying not to faint while
her stomach twitched spasmodically.

She heard two voices behind her, one male, one female. "Liz, have you got
the flu again?" Alex asked as he opened the door. Liz hadn't bothered to
latch it.

"No, I could't have, I just --" she began to throw up again. Alex knelt
behind her and pulled her hair away from her face.

"Is she going to be okay?" the girl asked, and Liz recognized her as one
of the other students of her class. She flushed with embarassment.

"Yeah, Erin, she'll be fine. Tell Wilder I'm taking her home."

The dark-haired girl nodded her assent and left silently. "Well, you
shocked the hell out of Wilder," Alex said. "I think he thought the
exam made you vomit."

Liz coughed, trying not to laugh. She still felt queasy, but she didn't find
it likely that she could throw up anymore. There wasn't anything left in her
stomach. She sat back on her haunches, allowing Alex to rub her back.
"Alex, you're too good to me."

"I know," he said, and this time she did laugh. "Have you been sick in the
mornings lately?"

"I know what you're thinking, and no, I'm not pregnant."

"Okay. Just checking. It must have been the fish last night, what do you think?"

Liz wrinkled her nose as he helped her stand. "Don't mention fish to me
right now, unless you want me hurling all over your car."


"Hello, Mr. Evans," the petite, bleach-blonde, overly permed receptionist
purred. Evidently, she was trying to be seductive, but she was failing

Max ignored her, walking to the elevator and pushing the button for his
floor. "Christ," he muttered under his breath. "If that woman gets any

"She might as well start Heidi-Fleissing out of the office," Michael
supplied, sticking out his hand to keep the elevator from closing. He
was loud enough for the receptionist to hear and she whirled around
indignantly, an outraged expression on her face.

"Hi, Tess!" Michael called with a wave as the doors slid shut.

"Michael, you know you shouldn't mess with her. She's the boss's

"What's she going to do? Flail me to death with her fake blond curls?
You know she's trying to get in your pants, Maxwell."

"Mine and everyone else's."

"True, oh so true. Too bad the boss doesn't know how well his little
mistress gets around."

Max glared at his friend. "You're not going to be the one to tell him, either."

Michael feigned innocence. "Who, me?"


At first, Liz had suspected that she was pregnant. She had all the typical
signs--dizziness, nausea, weird food cravings. But when she had taken the
at-home test, a week ago, it came back negative. She decided it might be a
good idea to try again. It had been a little over a month since she'd been
with Max, and she had missed her period. How exactly it had all happened,
she wasn't sure. Well, of course she *knew*, but it didn't make any sense
at all. They had used protection--two forms, in fact.

Of course, she reminded herself, no protection is one hundred percent.
Then, almost as an echo, the words of her eighth-grade health teacher came
back to her. Except for abstinence!

She pondered the shelf of pregnancy tests in the pharmacy. They were all
expensive and she didn't have very much money. How would she be able to
afford a baby, if the first test had been wrong? There was just no way.
She couldn't...her lip trembled and she bit down on it, hard, willing
herself not to cry. No, this wasn't happening, she wasn't pregnant at
21. The father wasn't gone without a trace. It wasn't possible that
this could happen to Liz Parker, class valedictorian, voted most likely
to succeed. No one would ever believe it.

Finally, with a bitter laugh, she picked up the one next to the last one
she had used. What did it matter, anyway?


Back from his lunch break, Max noticed a note on his desk. It was from
Leila, the secretary for his area. Max didn't have his own, personal
secretary. He was too young, but he was moving up fast. His latest program
had been a national best-seller, allowing harried customers to do their tax
returns in half the time and at half the price of hiring an accountant.

Boss wants to see you. Hope it's nothing bad, but knowing you, I doubt it.


Max smiled. Leila was so sweet. Max and Michael had begun a campaign for
her to replace the irritating receptionist, but he doubted it would ever
happen. Tess made the boss too happy.

He walked over to the office and knocked lightly on the door. There was no
answer. "Damnit," Max sighed. "He must be at lunch."

Abruptly, there was a soft laugh from inside. It was so low, Max couldn't
tell if it was male or female. After all, if Jones was doing something
unbecoming of upper-level management, the CEO wouldn't be too happy to hear
it. And getting Jones fired was the current dream of everyone in the office.
Curiousity piqued, he tried the door.

It was unlocked.

Max opened it slowly, only to be shown a sight he had never wished to see.
The receptionist was on top of Jones in his plush leather chair, riding him
vigorously. When she saw Max, her eyes widened and she jumped off so fast
Max thought she might take Jones's dick with her. She dove behind the desk,
apparently digging around for her clothes.

Jones spun around quickly, and Max tried to shut the door when he heard his
boss's voice. "Miss Harding, you are dismissed. Mr. Evans, please come in."

Reluctantly, Max walked in, trying not to snicker. Tess hurried past him,
her clothes half-undone, not bothering to recover her dignity.

"Mr. Evans, is there some reason you didn't knock?"

"Uh, I did knock, sir. I guess you didn't hear me."

Jones turned red. "Well, uh, I wanted you to know that TaxMaster has
surpassed all our expectations. People are still buying the damn thing
and it's not even tax season. You're being promoted to the head of this

Max was speechless, his mind whirling. This meant he could get away from
Jones! He resisted the urge to jump up and down. "Thank you, sir."

"Yes, well, no reason to thank me, Evans. I'm moving up too. Did you hear
that our venerable CEO is retiring?"

"Retiring? He's only 33!"

"Well, this is the way things go now, in this fast-paced business. And
I'm..." Jones smiled. Max dreaded what he was going to say. "I'm in the
running for his spot."


Liz looked at the little stick, waiting for the window to show something.
She had been more than meticulous about the directions this time. She wanted
to know for sure.

She closed her eyes. The little egg timer began to blare. She held up
the stick.

It was negative.

Tonight and the Rest of Our Lives

Author: Jezebel (imfromupnorth⊕
Rating: Uh, you must know what I write by now.
Summary: Another AU fic by yours truly--these are so fun to write. Liz and Max realize
that sometimes one night can mean forever.
Disclaimer: I don't own Liz. I don't own Max. I don't even own Riverdog, for God's
sake! Get off my back!
Distribution: Anywhere, just let me know.

Down to the Earth I fell
With dripping wings
Heavy things won't fly
And the sky might catch on fire
And burn the axis of the world, that's why
I prefer a sunless sky to the glittering and stinging in my eyes

Oh I feel so light
This is all I wanna feel tonight
Oh I feel so light
Tonight and the rest of my life

Gleaming in the dark sea, I'm as light as air
Floating there breathlessly
When the dream dissolves I open up my eyes
I realize that everything is shoreless sea
Weightlessness is passing over me

Oh I feel so light
This is all I wanna feel tonight
Oh I feel so light
Tonight and the rest of my life
Tonight and the rest of my life

Everything is waves and stars
The universe is resting in my arms
I feel so light
This is all I wanna feel tonight
I feel so light
Tonight and the rest of my life

Oh I feel so light
This is all I wanna feel tonight
Oh I feel so light
Tonight and the rest of my life
Tonight and the rest of my life

Part 4

"Well, Liz, I really don't understand this. Now, granted, I'm a specialist
in this area, but all your symptoms point to pregnancy. I don't understand
what it could be if it isn't pregnancy."

Liz's eyes widened. "I don't know" was never, ever a good thing to hear from
the doctor.

"Now there is such a thing as a hysterical pregnancy -- where a woman's body
shows all the symptoms of pregnancy, but she never has a baby. Her body has
simply convinced itself that it's pregnant. But I don't think that's what's
happening in this case."

Liz didn't think so either. She thought she was pregnant. It was as if she
could feel a tiny life stirring inside her. It was an alien feeling, but
she was almost accustomed to it already.

Dr. Kingston smiled reassuringly at Liz, trying not to mislead her. "I don't
want you to think anything is wrong. This happens sometimes. We'll give you
an ultrasound, and settle it once and for all."

"Okay," Liz muttered.

The nurse took her back to a small, windowless room and took a bottle of jelly
from a cabinet under the monitor. She put it on a device that reminded Liz
oddly of a Bunsen burner.

"I'm just going to warm this up for the doctor, sweetheart. You just make
yourself comfortable."

Liz nodded slowly. Comfortable. Right.

Dr. Kingston stepped inside, putting on a new gown over her prim suit as she
went. "Do you know how this goes, Liz?"

She laughed a little. "Well, I've never had one before, but I guess you
just squirt that jelly on me and roll the little pad around, right?"

"Yup. You got it."

Liz squirmed a little when the doctor squirted the hot jelly on her skin.
That was definitely an odd sensation. The doctor fell silent, watching the
screen intently, and Liz tried to stop wiggling. She looked nervously at
the screen, not able to make anything out of the light blobs and dark
blotches on the screen.

Finally the doctor looked up with a smile. "Congratulations, Liz.
You're going to have a baby."

She pointed at a faint image on the monitor. "See? That's the baby.
Too early to really determine the sex, about six weeks, but definitely
there. Everything looks normal. I can't imagine why all those tests
came back negative, but clearly they were false-negative."

She looked back at Liz's small, white, frightened face, and reached out
and took her hand. "I know it's scary, dear. But knowing you, you've
picked a great father."

Liz tried to smile.

"I can give you a due date, if you want. Do you know the day of
conception? If you don't, the first day of your last period will do."

"I know the date of conception," Liz whispered. "December 7."

"December 7," the doctor said thoughtfully. "Just a second. I'll be
right back."

Dr. Kingston left and shut the door cautiously behind her. "Raeann?"
she called.

"Yes, doctor?" the elderly nurse appeared around the corner.

"Throw out every damn one of those pregnancy kits we've got left."

Raeann nodded, obviously confused, and wandered off.


Max stepped outside into the biting ocean wind. The parking lot was just
across the street, but it felt more like a mile as he pushed into the
cold air.

The thought crossed his mind that it might be warmer in Raleigh.

Shut up, he told himself. She didn't want to see you. She never called
you and you never even knew her last name. Forget about her.

But as hard as he tried to forget about the dark-haired siren with the
sparkling eyes, he could not.

He rubbed at his temples and pulled his keyring from his back pocket,
sorting through until he found the key to his Lexus. He climbed up
into the SUV, relishing the silence he found inside. A few quiet
moments...that was all he asked for.

He jumped with a start as Beethoven's Fur Elise started to play, in an odd
electronic buzz. "Shit," he muttered. "Why is it so much to ask for?" He
pried the phone out from under him and flipped it up. "Evans."

"Hey, Maxwell. Got some big news for ya."

Max groaned, his headache growing by the moment. "What now, Michael?"

"Guess who's announcing their retirement officially tomorrow? And guess
what favorite friend of ours is the front-runner for his spot?"

"The CEO is announcing that he's retiring tomorrow and the asshole of the
world, Jones, is probably going to take his spot."

"Dammit, Max. Why can't I ever find out anything before you do?"

"Trust me, Michael, unless you enjoy your worst and most disgusting
nightmares being played out before you, be glad that you didn't find
out when I did."


Liz opened the door and turned on the light, and abruptly jumped back
with a slight shriek.

"Whoa, babe! It's me! It's me!"

Liz almost collapsed at the sound of her best friend's voice. "Oh
Maria," she groaned.

"What? What is it?" Maria asked, her eyes concerned as she put her
arms around Liz.

"I'm pregnant," she whispered.


"I'm pregnant," Liz yelled, furious at having to say it twice. It was
bad enough that it had to be spoken aloud.

Maria stepped back in shock. "I thought you said it wasn't possible!"

"Yeah, I did, me and four pregnancy tests," Liz said, collapsing into her
plain yellow wood desk chair with a groan. "We used condoms, and I was
on the pill."

Maria cracked her usual grin, for the first time since Liz had walked in
the room. "That guy must have had super sperm."

"Super sperm," Liz muttered, and then began to giggle. They sat by themselves
in Liz's dorm room, giggling away at the insanity of life.

"Are you going to tell him?" Maria asked, back to business again in the
instant the laughter dried up.

"How can I? I don't have any way to get ahold of him. He didn't even
leave a phone number."

Maria winced. "Ouch, babe. Maybe you don't want to talk to him. Are
you going to stay in school?"

"Yeah, I've got less than a semester left. It seems asinine to quit
now and lose whatever future income I might have had. Especially now
that I'm thinking for two."

"Abortion's not an option, huh?"

"No...I mean, it's a woman's right to choose, you know? And I choose
to keep my baby. It's mine. I want it. And if that's selfish, then
too bad."

Maria smiled a little. "I guess adoption's out of the picture, too.
How are you going to deal with classes while you're pregnant? It won't
be easy."

"No, it won't. But I'll only be five months along or so when I graduate
in May. I'll still be able to fit in my graduation gown, Maria."

Maria sat back, observing her best friend and roommate carefully. "Are
you sure you're ready for this, Liz? It's just about the biggest step
you can take in life."

Liz frowned. "No, I'm not sure. But are any parents sure? I heard
my dad say once that he knew he was ready to be a father when the nurse
put me in his arms. Besides, I know you, Maria. You'll be there for me."

Maria was surprised, but she put her arm around her best friend's
shoulders. "You know it. I'll be there for you, always."

"Any more questions? Or is the Inquisition over?"

She laughed. "Just one. Did you get a due date?"

"August 30, Maria. Almost eight months from now. We've got a long
time to prepare."

"That's good, babe. Cuz this kid's going to be just about the most
loved on earth, daddy or no."

Liz tried to smile.


", I don't really care, anymore, to be totally honest with
you. I'm beginning to think that I should just forget about that place.
Move on, form my own company."

"That'd be good, asshole. Draw attention to yourself. Real good."

"Michael, we've been drawing attention to ourselves ever since we came to
Silicon Valley. Magazines have been trying to put me on their covers since
I first arrived, and I've had to tell them no every freakin' time. I can't
handle the secrecy anymore, Michael. And I'm beginning to think that even
if I did tell the truth, no one would believe me."

Michael's voice was tense. "What about those cops that hung around in high

"The FBI agents? I have no idea, Michael. They never tried to touch us.
They never said a word to us. We never really knew why they were there,

"Sure, Maxwell. FBI agents just like to hang around high schools, and I've
got your latest ingenious project coming out of my ass right now."

"Michael...oh, never mind. I'm home. I'll talk to you about this later,
Michael. Remember, if I form a new company, you're coming with me." Before
Michael had a chance to protest, Max closed the cell phone and put it back
in his pocket. He shook his head. Michael needed a more open mind, and he
needed it now. Max had given up on the whole deathly-secret thing in college.

He put his key in the lock and turned it. The door slid open smoothly, and Max
realized that the lights were on. "What the hell?"

He walked edgily inside, praying that it wasn't a burglary. All his information
was inside this apartment.

"Hello, Max Evans."

Max whirled around. Tess stood in front of him, acid in her eyes and a smirk
on her face.

posted on 23-Sep-2001 10:10:59 PM by jezebel617

"Holy shit! Tess! What are you doing here?" Max shouted, backing toward the door.

She shrugged in her typical airy manner. "Don't know, Mr. Evans. Maybe, I just
came to have a little chat." She traced her finger along the dusty end table next
to his couch. Max scowled at the thought of her touching anything of his, much
less leaving fingerprints.

"What do you want?" he asked, setting his briefcase on the kitchen table.

She blinked heavy-lashed blue eyes slowly at him. "I don't want anything, Max."

He snorted. "Yeah right, Tess. I may not know you well, but I know what kind of
person you are."

She moved a little closer. He backed away. "What makes you think you know what
kind of person I am?"

He shook his head at her. "I seem to remember you coming on to me at that Christmas
party a few years ago, then getting mad and trying to keep me from being promoted
when I turned you down. Ring any bells?"

She smiled. "What's in the past is in the past. What I want to talk about is
what happened today."

Max rolled his eyes. "Oh, what, you mean, you and Jones fucking around on company

Tess moved even closer, one finger in her stiff blonde hair. "I'd appreciate it
if you wouldn't mention that around the office."

"And why should I do anything for you?"

She managed to look hurt. "Max, I didn't know you hate me. I'm not a bad person,
you know."

The look on Max's face said that he thought otherwise.

"I wouldn't be a good time right now, you know?"

The phone started to ring, and Max groaned a little. "Whatever, Tess. Just get
the hell out of my house before anyone sees you, all right?"

Tess picked up her purse, swinging her hips as she walked past him. "Sure, Max.
Just remember that whatever it is you know about me...I know even more about
you." And with that she left, slamming the door shut behind her.

Max shook his head in confusion. "What the hell was that all about?" he muttered
to himself. Remembering the ringing phone, he leaned over the counter and picked
it up on the last ring. "Max Evans."

"Hi, sweetie. How are you?"

He groaned, sinking into a plush chair. "Thank God you called, Mom."


"Hungry, hungry, hungry," Liz chanted, going through the refrigerator.

"Hungry hungry hippos," Maria said, appearing from behind her.

Liz whirled around. "Now what is that supposed to mean?"

Maria rolled her eyes. "Give me a break, babe. You haven't gained any
weight. You aren't a hippo. Well, yet." She jumped to avoid Liz's badly
aimed smack. "I was talking remember that TV commercial, for
that little kids' game? Hungry Hungry Hippos?"

Liz frowned, trying to remember. "Oh yeah! Maria, tip one. Don't ever
mention hippos, or elephants, or any other form of large African animal
around a pregnant woman."

She laughed. "I'll try to remember...oh my God, what the hell are you
putting on that ice cream?"

"Pickles, rocky road ice cream, and tabasco sauce," Liz said cheerfully,
pouring all her ingredients into a bowl and stirring them together. Maria
looked like she was going to gag.

"Just the smell of that is making me sick. I've heard of pickles and
ice cream, but that tobasco in there...oh my God. That's the most disgusting
thing I've ever seen in my whole life."

Liz pulled a spoon from the silverware drawer and took a hesitant spoonful.
"Oh, it's good." She licked the spoon clean and pulled another one from
the drawer. "Want to try some?"

Maria practically turned green. "Not unless you want me to vomit."

"Not particularly. I've vomited enough for the both of us today."

"Gee, I wonder why."

Liz crossed her eyes at Maria. "No way. This stuff is like my morning-sickness

Maria started to laugh. "Whatever you say, babe. Just don't blame me when
that baby is born and you can't get it to eat anything but Mexican food."
She sat down at the table opposite her best friend, trying to avoid the
sight of the rocky road-tobasco-pickles mix. "So what did the doctor say

Liz swallowed another spoonful. "She says that I'm progressing 'quite well'",
she said, mimicking her doctor's British accent. "Only six and a half months
left, whoopee. She said that I'll probably start to show soon. She also
said that I'll start gaining weight." Remembering Dr. Kingston's words, she
frowned and pushed the huge bowl away.

Her best friend scowled and pushed it back in her direction. "Hey, don't get
that nasty stuff anywhere near me."

Liz's hands squirmed in midair as she looked unhappily at the ice cream bowl.
"Oh, screw it. The father's gone anyway. What do I care?" Then she grabbed
the bowl and started to eat with gusto.

Maria groaned. "Disgusting, Liz. Disgusting."


The next morning, Tess wasn't at the reception desk. Max and Michael exchanged
looks; the slutty receptionist never called in sick.

Max hadn't mentioned the encounter the night before. Instead he'd spent the
night searching for a locksmith who was open around the clock to come change
his locks, and toughen up the security system. No way was anyone getting into
his apartment anymore.

Max walked by Jones' office, and then doubled back to have another look. His
boss was gone, but Max couldn't fail to notice the unmistakable -- packing
boxes filled his office. He cursed to himself, and headed straight back
toward the elevator, ignoring Michael's questioning look.

He pressed the button for floor 25, the top floor of the building. For what he
wanted to say, he had to go all the way up.

The doors opened, and Max stepped out onto the shiny tile floor. The only
light was reflected by the seamless mirrors that covered every visible surface.
Max shuddered, feeling like he was in a carnival mirror house. The CEO
definitely had strange taste.

He kept walking. He'd been here before, and he knew the mirror hall ended and
became actual office space eventually. Nevertheless, he half expected a
disembodied voice to suddenly boom out, "I've been expecting you."

Luckily for his mental health, it didn't happen. Eventually the cold steel
tiles and mirrors gave way to plush carpeting and warm paint, and a desk
facing away from a picture window.

"Hello, sir," Max said, a little nervously.

The CEO smiled. "Hello, Evans -- it is Evans, isn't it? What can I do for you?"

Max swallowed and decided to get right to the point. "I've heard a rumor that
you're retiring."

He shrugged. "Rumors are sometimes true."

"And I heard that you planned to promote Jones to your position."

There was a pause. "Well, that was my current plan. Who did you hear this

"Well, from Jones."

A low curse. "Dammit all to hell, I told him not to say anything."

"Well, I guess that's what I wanted to ask you about, sir. Do you really think
he's the best choice for the job?"

"Are you questioning my judgement?"

"No, I just...well, I'm just trying to think of what's best for the company,
that's all."

"Let me think of what's best for the company, Evans. Me and the stockholders.
We've already decided, and it will be announced this afternoon."

Max was stunned. It was like a confirmation of his worst nightmare. He turned
and walked away. The CEO didn't say a word as he stumbled back toward the

He pressed the button for down, and to his surprise, the elevator popped right
open, and a little blond popped right out. She looked him cooly up and down.
"Max," she acknowledged, and turned down the mirror hall, her heels clacking
on the floor.

"Tess," Max muttered, the smell of her perfume making him feel physically ill.


Liz smiled a little as the road flew back behind her. Her car was old and rundown,
but when she needed it, it sure served its purpose.

She doubted that the beach would be too crowded. It was late February, a blustery,
windy day. She knew the ocean winds would be biting and cold, but they couldn't
be too bad. In a month and a half, the spring break crowds would start coming.

She wasn't showing yet, thankfully enough. And her calculus class seemed to think
she'd been the victim of food poisoning. But there were some changes she'd noticed,
not that anyone else had.

She'd gained a few pounds, and her breasts were a little tender, almost like they'd
been with her occasional bouts of PMS. But there were some other things, strange
things. Like the craving for tobasco. She had asked Dr. Kingston, and she'd never
heard of a craving like that before. She had said that cravings were different for
every woman. They could even change from month to month.

Then there was the small matter of the strange dreams. She dreamed of space, of stars,
floating from planet to planet in strange star systems, far away.

And she dreamed of Max. She'd only known him for a few hours, but in those few hours
he'd managed to change her life forever. And as of yet, she didn't know whether he
had changed it for the better, or for the worse.

She turned on the radio, trying to draw herself out of her funk. Why was she thinking
about him? He'd left her without so much as a phone number, or even a goddamn last

Liz paused on one station, where a mellow, delicate song caught her interest.

"When the rain is blowing on your face
And the whole world is on your case
I could offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love"

She sighed a little, listening to the low female voice. She didn't know who sang the
song, but now her interest was piqued.


Max got angrily into his SUV. There was no way in hell he was staying to hear that
announcement. No way in hell.

He pulled out of the parking lot so fast he almost hit the flimsy barrier before the
parking attendant had a chance to send it up.

Out on the road, he realized that he needed something to soothe his nerves. He needed
something to calm him or he might wind up crashing his car right into a tree. He
turned on the radio, tuning through the stations.

"When the evening shatters and the stars appear
There is no one there to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love"

Max smiled a little, the gentle beat of the song almost pushing him back as his taut
muscles began to relax. Suddenly the thought of Liz came into his mind; what was
she doing right now?


"I know you haven't made your mind up yet
But I would never do you wrong
I knew it from the moment that we met
No doubt in my mind where you belonged"

Liz was thinking of Max. One-night stand, father of her child. She knew nothing
about him, really. Yet at the time, she had trusted him enough to make love to
him, to sleep contentedly in his arms, to wake up and be devastated by his

Maybe they had seen it differently. Max, from the male perspective, had seen
a woman offering herself for one night. Liz, from the female perspective,
had seen a woman offering herself forever.

"The storms are raging on the rolling sea
And on the highway of regret
Winds of change are blowing wild and free
You ain't seen nothing like me yet"

She bit her lip, trying to force back the tear that threatened to roll down her


"I could make you happy, make your dreams come true
There is nothing that I wouldn't do
Go to the ends of the earth for you
To make you feel my love"

Max listened to the song close, and turned the radio off in irritation as an
obnoxious pop song followed it up. But the song, and perhaps his brief
encounters with Tess and the CEO, had made him think. What was he doing
with his life? Why was he wasting away in some corporation in Silicon Valley?

Was there any point anymore?

Author's Note: The song is "To Make You Feel My Love" by Joan Osborne.

I've had a little bit of a thing for songs

Tonight and the Rest of Our Lives

Author: Jezebel (imfromupnorth⊕
Rating: Uh, you must know what I write by now.
Summary: Another AU fic by yours truly--these are so fun to write. Liz
and Max realize that sometimes one night can mean forever.
Disclaimer: I don't own Liz. I don't own Max. I don't even own Riverdog,
for God's sake! Get off my back!
Distribution: Anywhere, just let me know.

Down to the Earth I fell
With dripping wings
Heavy things won't fly
And the sky might catch on fire
And burn the axis of the world, that's why
I prefer a sunless sky to the glittering and stinging in my eyes

Oh I feel so light
This is all I wanna feel tonight
Oh I feel so light
Tonight and the rest of my life

Gleaming in the dark sea, I'm as light as air
Floating there breathlessly
When the dream dissolves I open up my eyes
I realize that everything is shoreless sea
Weightlessness is passing over me

Oh I feel so light
This is all I wanna feel tonight
Oh I feel so light
Tonight and the rest of my life
Tonight and the rest of my life

Everything is waves and stars
The universe is resting in my arms
I feel so light
This is all I wanna feel tonight
I feel so light
Tonight and the rest of my life

Oh I feel so light
This is all I wanna feel tonight
Oh I feel so light
Tonight and the rest of my life
Tonight and the rest of my life

Part 6

Liz stopped her car, looking briefly around the deserted parking lot. Winter
winds had blown sand smooth across the beach and the road, though the brief
wet snow had melted a few weeks ago. The long stretch of sand looked untouched,
and Liz sighed in contentment. It was exactly what she'd been looking for.

She pulled a blanket from the trunk of her car and spread it on the beach near
the water. It was the ultimate relaxation -- on a deserted beach watching the
waves roll in.

She lay on her stomach, grunting a little as she tried to adjust for the new
fullness that had appeared in the last few weeks. She wasn't really showing
yet -- at least, no one who hadn't known her before would guess that she
was pregnant. But her body seemed to be reshaping itself, forming gentle
curves, and she had yet to adjust to the change.

As the cold sand warmed under her body, the rising and falling and swishing
of the water grew almost hypnotic, and Liz was unable to tear her eyes away.


Max pushed through the revolving doors of the office, dutifully stumbling
through the irritating device. The metal detectors didn't go off, thankfully --
for some reason, he had a tendency to set them off.

Tess looked up from her round, marble desk and smiled sweetly at him. "Good
morning, Max," she said.

He ignored her, heading straight for his floor. He'd decided last night that
the best way to deal with this situation, for now at least, was to simply
ignore it -- how different could it be with a different CEO? He'd never even
really noticed the last one's presence, so now, perhaps, Jones would settle
into that legendary mysticism. No one would go to see him, and no one would
really realize that he was there.

He sat down at his desk, rolling his eyes at the new stack of papers that had
piled up since his early departure the day before. "Frick," he muttered to
himself. "Top seller for the company, and they've still got me pushing papers."

His desk was in close proximity with the "watering hole," the area where employees
gathered for their daily jolt of java and for irritating in-company gossip. Right
now, the only people getting drinks were two thirtyish females, neither of whom
Max really knew. He ignored them and started sorting through the papers on his

He was interrupted, however, when they walked past and he clearly heard one of them
mutter, "Slimeball."

Max whirled around in disbelief. What? Had they been talking about him? Was it
because he was supposedly getting promoted now that Jones was moving up? He relaxed
a little. That had to be it. What else could it be?

"Evans, I want to see you in my office. Now."

Max groaned.


Liz awoke suddenly with a feeling of deep pervading cold. She was so cold, in fact,
that she was shaking uncontrollably. She couldn't feel her toes. That must have been
some nightmare...Wait! Had she fallen asleep?

She sat up suddenly and realized that she was covered in freezing water from her toes to
her chin. The tide! She'd fallen asleep without remembering about the tide! And there
had been no one to wake her...what if she hadn't awoken on her own? She shivered, and
this time not only from the chill that had infected her body.

Trying to control her trembling hands, she climbed unsteadily to her feet, trying and
failing to retrieve the sopping wet blanket before the tide rolled it out to sea.
"Shit," she muttered through blue lips. She reached in her jeans pocket and sighed
in relief as her numb hands found her key chain. She pulled it out and stumbled
toward her car.

She climbed in and started the engine; it was cold, of course, and instead of warming
her, the heater pumped cold air onto her wet skin. She flipped the knob to turn it
off entirely, knowing that for the time being it would harm her more than help her.
But she knew her little beater -- the engine would never warm up unless it was driven,
and how was she going to drive with her whole body shaking like this.

*Think warm thoughts, Liz.* She snickered to herself. Yeah, right. That hadn't worked
at home in the frozen north and it wouldn't work here, either.

Finally, her decision made by the fact that she actually seemed to be getting *colder*,
she snapped her seatbelt into place and put the car into gear.


"What do you need, sir?" Max asked, not bothering to keep the edge of sarcasm out of his

Jones glared at him. "I think a more fitting question, Evans, would be, what do you need?
Because clearly, there is something we are not providing you with here."

Max narrowed his eyes, totally unsure of what Jones was getting at.

He cleared his throat and said, "You might want to take a look at these, Evans."

Max grabbed the manila folder that Jones slid across his desk, and let the objects inside
fall gently into his hands. They were photographs -- full color blow-ups. He turned
them around to see the actual images and started, almost dropping them.

The pictures brought back memories -- a night, just a few months ago, when he'd found
peace and happiness for only a few moments.

They showed him with Liz -- entwined in sheets, obviously in the throes of passion, and
quite clearly taken from the window above their bed.


Liz realized that the engine was warming and turned the heat on full-blast, aiming it
directly at herself. After a few moments, she began to warm, and she sighed in
relief. It seemed a little odd, though, that a little bit of the warmth was coming from
the inside of her body.


Max cleared his throat and put the pictures back into the envelope. "So what are these
supposed to mean?"

Jones raised a furry eyebrow. "That is you, is it not?"

He shrugged. "Yeah, it's me."

"You...and a clearly under-aged young girl?"

Max gasped, totally unable to speak.

"I don't know what you know about the laws in this country, Max, but as far as I know,
all of them strictly prohibit minors from having sexual relations with adults."

He finally managed to spit out a sentence. "She wasn't -- she's not underage!"

Jones shrugged. "She certainly looked underage to me, and to the uh--the rest of the
office staff, as well."

Max glared at him, feeling a level of hatred that was totally new to him. "I get what
this is. It's blackmail. What do you want? It doesn't matter anyway. You won't get
it. You don't have any proof that she was underage."

"And you don't have any proof that she wasn't. Did you even know her last name? Did
you know her first name?"

He fought the urge to jump across the table and pound the hell out of the man who called
himself his boss. "So what the hell do you want?"

"I don't want anything, Mr. Evans, beside your resignation on my desk tomorrow morning.
That way, no one outside this office will have to know about this. Got it?"

Max rose from the plush Aeron chair, throwing the pictures in Jones' face. "I got it."


"Mother-fucking bastard," he added on the way out the door.


Liz sighed when she realized her clothes were still damp. Maria was going to have a
fit, she'd been gone for hours, and coming home all wet and covered with sand, Maria
would think -- well, who knew what Maria would think? Maria could be a little...odd
at times.

Before she had a chance to unlock the door, it was pulled open to reveal the angry
face of her best friend. "Where the hell have you been? Why are you wet? Why are
you -- were you at the beach?" She finished her questions before she was done
pulling Liz through the door.

"Yes, I was at the beach. I fell asleep. Don't harass me."

Maria rolled her eyes. "You are definitely pregnant. Attitude -- random spells of

"Whatever, Maria. Can you get me some dry clothes? I was freezing in these."

"Sure, babe. Just don't scare me like that again, okay?"

Liz laughed. "Yes, mom."

Maria furrowed her brow. "Well, young lady, let's see how much of a mess you've made
of yourself --" She gasped and stumbled backwards, falling in her frightened attempt
to get away. Liz frowned in consternation. "Maria! What the hell is wrong with you?
It's just me!"

Maria finally seemed to find her voice, and between gasps, she whispered, "Liz...
you're glowing."

Liz knotted her eyebrows and shook her head at her best friend. "Maria, have you
been smoking crack again? You know what they say about that stuff!"

She started to cry. "Liz...Liz...I'm not kidding! Go look at yourself in the

As she felt a tingle creep up her spine, her brain slowly put two and two together.
The weird nausea and floating feelings on the way home...the warmth from her belly...
she turned around and stumbled toward the bathroom.

Liz opened the door, not wanting to see what was there, not wanting to know that
there was something wrong with her baby. She lifted up her damp white button-down.
She squeezed her eyes shut, then looked down and moaned.

True to Maria's words, her slightly enlarged stomach was emitting a gentle, grayish-
green glow. The color actually seemed to swirl and move on her skin -- moving
with the still miniscule baby, she realized.

"Oh my God," she whispered. "What's wrong with my baby?"

posted on 23-Sep-2001 10:11:55 PM by jezebel617
Part 7

"Shit. Shit! Shit!"

Maria's head appeared from around the corner. "Whoa, babe! What's wrong?"

Liz threw the opened letter on the table in frustration and anger. "I forgot
to do my volunteer hours last month, and my GPA has dropped. They're revoking
my goddamn scholarship!"

"What? They can't do that! This is your last semester!"

"Yeah, go tell them that. They took my room and board. They would have taken
tuition, too, I bet, if it weren't already paid. But I can't stay here if I
don't have a place to live."

"I can't afford to live here without your share of the rent either, babe."

"I know, Maria. I'm sorry."

"It isn't your fault. Could you get a job?"

Liz laughed dryly. "Yeah, I'm such a valuable laborer at four months along. They'll
take one look at my belly and laugh their asses off right in my face."

Maria sighed and hugged her best friend, ignoring the bulge of her stomach. "There's
only one thing you can do then, sweetie. You can't drop out this late in the game."

Liz groaned. "Oh, no. No, I can't, I can't."

Her friend held her at arm's length and looked her in the eye. "Oh, yes you can, and
you have to. Just call them and explain! How bad could it be? I mean, they already
know you're pregnant, don't they?" Liz didn't respond. Maria's voice rose. "You
haven't told your own mother and father you're pregnant? You're not a damned fifteen-
year-old, Liz!"

"What was I supposed to say? 'Hi, mom and dad. I got knocked up by a mysteriously
sexy stranger on my twenty-first birthday and now I've got a green glowing baby
growing in my womb! I'm a human flashlight, ma! Aren't you proud?'"

"Whoa, calm down, sweetie. You don't have to mention all the...uh...weird stuff.
Just tell them you got pregnant and your boyfriend left town to avoid child-support

"Because that'll sound so much better to those people who rode my best friend out on
a rail for getting pregnant in high school," Liz said sarcastically, but she knew
her best friend was right. She had to think of something to tell her family. Since
that day at the beach, her stomach had glowed twice more, once with a miniscule
outline of a handprint shining through her skin. If she paid any attention to her
conservative upbringing, her baby was either some sort of miracle, or the spawn of
the devil. More likely her family, and especially the community, would think the
latter. Liz didn't know what was going on, or what was wrong with her baby. But
she'd had regular visits with Dr. Kingston and according to her, the baby was normal.
Perfect, as the doctor had put it. Liz trusted that, and she knew in her heart that
her baby wasn't anything evil or bad. A miracle perhaps, but nothing evil.

But there had been a few strange things about the father. Though in her own drunkeness
she had barely noticed, he'd gotten completely drunk after a glass of beer! Sixteen-year-
olds don't get drunk off one glass of beer! And then there was his unbelievable skills...
but she tried not to think about that. She'd never see him again. She didn't even know
his last name.

She sighed and put her face in her hands, her long hair hanging over her eyes. "Okay,
Maria. I'll call them."


Max let the wind blow through his hair, enjoying the fresh air with the top down. He
knew Michael would never forgive him for getting rid of his SUV, but he couldn't have
cared less. He loved his new convertible.

The day after being fired, he'd pulled all his money out of the bank. A considerable
amount of his fortune had been in stock options, but he was still a wealthy man. He
didn't need or want any more corporate bullshit, and he hadn't even started looking
for a new job. Instead, he'd packed his bags and taken off for his hometown.

It was a long drive from San Jose to Roswell, but Max was making record time, ignoring
the speed limits. The more distance he put between himself and that shitty little
hole of a town, the happier he'd be. For some reason, he had never noticed any real
corruption in Silicon Valley. But it was clear to him now that it was there, alive
and well. He'd been fired for something he hadn't done, in order to spare his company
bad press.

He knew why it had been done. On the way out he'd seen Tess, and her smirk had told
him volumes. Although he had not the slightest clue where she'd gotten the pictures,
he knew it must have been fulfillment of her threat to him. Why she thought he'd told
the CEO about her and Jones, he did not know. But she must have.

It didn't matter anymore. He was out of there, and he would never come back, despite
the phone call he'd received from Michael while he was packing. His best friend had
accused him of being a coward as well as a traitor, but Max didn't care. His home
was calling him.

Max glanced into his rearview mirror and then cursed. A cop was right behind him,
lights flashing. He slowed to a stop.


"Hello, Parker residence."

Liz almost laughed at the formality in her mother's voice, but then she remembered
that she was making a long-distance phone call on her own very limited funds. "Hi,

"Liz, sweetie! It's been so long since we've heard from you!"

"I know. I'm sorry."

"Well, you're a busy girl! Graduation's coming up, isn't it?"

Liz cleared her throat. "I don't know, mom."

Her mother's voice rose a little and she could sense her mother's frequent hysteria
creeping into it. "What do you mean, you don't know?"

"I might have to drop out, mom. They revoked my scholarship."

"What? Why did they do that? And in your last semester? Did you do something to
cause this, young lady? I can't believe you! What did you do?"

Liz ignored her mother's shrieks through years of practice and said, "Put Dad on
the phone, Mom."

"Oh no, young lady. You aren't getting out of this one that easily. You'll just
whine at your father and he'll break and give you whatever you want. Well, it
isn't going to be like that anymore. You have to take responsibility for your
own actions."

"Mom, you haven't even asked me what happened, for God's sake!"

"Don't you ever take the Lord's name in vain with me! You let your grades drop,
that's the only reason they'd revoke your scholarship, and you couldn't have
picked a stupider time to do it."

Liz sighed and said nothing. It was pointless to even talk to her mother, much
less argue with her. And the woman still wondered why Liz had gone very, very
far away to college.

"I want you on the next flight home, young lady. I'll send your tickets express."
And with that her mother hung up the phone.

Maria appeared from around the corner. "So how did it go, babe?"

Liz sniffled, trying not to cry.

"Oh, Liz! Are they really that bad?"

She wiped away a tear and laughed bitterly. "You have no idea, Maria. They want
me to come home."

"They what? You can't go home now! Finals are in a month and a half!"

"I know, but if I'm living on the streets, it doesn't really matter, does it?"

"Liz...there has to be some way. We could maybe get another roommate...split
the have some savings, don't you?"

"Yes, but they're for the baby, Maria. I can't go using that money for my tuition,
seeing as I probably won't be able to get a job right after graduation anyway. I
don't have any other choice. There's no way in hell they'd pay my tuition, especially
after they see that I'm pregnant."

They were both crying now. Maria managed to speak. "Well, babe, if you have to go,
you have to. I just can't imagine you back in that place!"

Liz sighed. "Me, neither."


"Hey, officer," Max said, attempting a grin.

The officer rolled his eyes. "Do you know why I pulled you over?"

"Ah...I was probably speeding, wasn't I?"

"You certainly were. The speed limit here is 75. You were going well over
one hundred miles per hour."

"Ah...yes, I'd have to agree with that."

"Going anywhere in such a hurry?"

"Home," Max said with a beatific smile.

A faint grin appeared at the corners of the officer's lips. "Well, you wouldn't
be the first, kid."

"Well, maybe we all think something we want is in California, but we never find it."

"Got that right. When I first..." the officer trailed off, realizing he was revealing
his past to a man he'd just pulled over for speeding. "Well, I've gotta ticket you,
but I'll give you one for ten over. Just slow down, will you? You want to make it
home alive."

"Sure thing, officer," Max said, and waited while he wrote out the ticket.


Liz shivered in the cold as she disembarked the plane. Even for Michigan, this was
unseasonal. It was April, and the temperature was well below freezing. She only
had her thin jacket; it was all she'd needed in North Carolina. It covered her belly,
though, and that was what she really wanted.

She looked around the little terminal as she walked in from the frigid air. After two
plane transfers and a whole day of travelling, she was bone-tired. She hated planes
to begin with. It wasn't that she got airsick, or that she had a fear of heights. She
just couldn't stand the smell, the old coffee and human sweat in the stale air. And
with the mild morning sickness she still suffered, the flights had been almost

She didn't see her younger brother anywhere. Liz felt like swearing but she held it
back. Cursing pregnant ladies were hardly appropriate in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

"Hey, sis!"

Liz smiled a little as she turned around to greet him, dreading the confrontation she
knew was coming at home.

Tonight and the Rest of Our Lives

Author: Jezebel (imfromupnorth⊕
Rating: Uh, you must know what I write by now.
Summary: Another AU fic by yours truly--these are so fun to write. Liz
and Max realize that sometimes one night can mean forever.
Disclaimer: I don't own Liz. I don't own Max. I don't even own Riverdog,
for God's sake! Get off my back!
Distribution: Anywhere, just let me know.

Down to the Earth I fell
With dripping wings
Heavy things won't fly
And the sky might catch on fire
And burn the axis of the world, that's why
I prefer a sunless sky to the glittering and stinging in my eyes

Oh I feel so light
This is all I wanna feel tonight
Oh I feel so light
Tonight and the rest of my life

Gleaming in the dark sea, I'm as light as air
Floating there breathlessly
When the dream dissolves I open up my eyes
I realize that everything is shoreless sea
Weightlessness is passing over me

Oh I feel so light
This is all I wanna feel tonight
Oh I feel so light
Tonight and the rest of my life
Tonight and the rest of my life

Everything is waves and stars
The universe is resting in my arms
I feel so light
This is all I wanna feel tonight
I feel so light
Tonight and the rest of my life

Oh I feel so light
This is all I wanna feel tonight
Oh I feel so light
Tonight and the rest of my life
Tonight and the rest of my life
Part 8

Jamie pulled his older sister into a behr hug. She returned it wholeheartedly.
He pulled away and peered at her, a strange look on his face.

"I'm pregnant," she said without any hesitation. "Don't tell Mom."

He blinked at her in disbelief. "I won't have to tell her. You know her.
She's practically psychic."

Liz's lip quivered. "I know. Just please...don't make it any harder for me
than it's already going to be."

Jamie grabbed her and hugged her again. "I never would, Liz. You know that."

"You're the only one I can trust in this family, Jamie."

The seventeen-year-old raised an eyebrow. "How did it happen? I've
always been the Responsibility Queen..."

Liz groaned. "Oh, don't start. I know. I'm the last person anyone would
ever expect to be an unwed pregnancy. But sometimes...things happen. And
he isn't with me, Jamie, and I don't know where he is. That's the hardest
part. I can' never thought this would happen to me. I never did

Jamie smiled and said, "Shit happens, sis."

She laughed. "Tell me about it."


Her mother was the one who opened the door on them. She looked at Jamie, a
question on her face. He shrugged as Liz pushed past both of them and
headed straight for the study.

"Daddy?" she said tentatiely, in a voice barely above a whisper.

Her father whirled around in his chair at the familiar sound. "Liz!"

Liz flew through the door into her father's arms. "I've missed you so
much, Daddy," she said into his shoulder. "I've been having such an
awful time, and I wanted you to --"

"Ssshhhh, shhhhh. It's okay now." She could almost feel him smile.
"I guess you're going to be making me a grandfather awfully soon,
aren't you?"

She didn't bother to question how he knew so quickly. "Yeah, I guess
so. I'm sorry."

"There's nothing to be sorry about, darlin'. I've been wanting
grandchilren. They're so enjoyable -- adorable little sweethearts for
me to play with; yet I won't have to change their dirty diapers."

Liz laughed, choking a little. "Don't tease me, Daddy."

"Oh, I'm not, Liz. I'm completely serious. You couldn't have made
me happier. Well...maybe I'd be a tad happier if you'd kept your

"I know. I was so stupid. I guess I just forgot about it, everything."

"Pregnant women are known for their forgetfulness. You're no
exception, and neither was your mother, when she was pregnant with

"I can't imagine mom ever being forgetful about anything."

"She certainly was. She even forgot her own doctor's appointments. And
speaking of the lady in question..." Liz watched as her father looked up
at her mother.

They were as different as two people could be. For the life of her, Liz
could not understand what her father, a sweet, gentle, intelligent man, saw
in her shrill, unstable mother. Yet his love was obvious in his eyes as
he looked at his wife. Liz sighed a little and put her head back into
his shoulder, longing for someone someday to look at her like that.

"Well, Elizabeth, I suppose we ought to get some sheets out for the hideabed,
hadn't we?"

Liz groaned. Hideabed? She hadn't bargained for any damn hideabed. "What
happened to my bed? It was still in existence the last time I was here!"

"Why, we made your room into a game room, didn't we, dear?" her mother said.

Liz looked at her father. He shrugged.


Max relaxed on the deck of his parent's home in sunny Roswell. It was a lovely
day; while hot, there was a pleasant breeze to cool the skin. He was deeply
invested in watching his drink. Since the air was dry, the condensation on
the outside of the cold glass beaded slowly. Max watched in fascination as
a drop ever so slowly made its way toward his thumb.

"Enjoying yourself yet?" an amused voice asked.

He frowned at his mother. "Yes, I really am. I think this is what I should
do for the rest of my life -- watch drink glasses."

"Productive. Honestly, have you given any thought to a new profession?"

"I have, but not any serious thought. The truth is that with the money I
made off the company's stock options, I'm pretty much set, as long as I
live frugally."

"I realize that, dear. But I know you, too. You're bored out of your mind
already with nothing to do. You can't spend the rest of your life watching
beads of water roll down glasses, as appealing as it may seem right now."

Max laughed. "I do know that, mom. But I can't go back to work right now.
I can't handle the corporate bullshit -- er, excuse me, bull *crap* anymore."

His mother raised an eyebrow. "I get the feeling there is something you're
thinking about, though. Or maybe someone?"

"Someone, I guess. A girl I met, back before Christmas. I left her my
phone number and my address, but she never called or wrote, so I guess she
wasn't as interested as she seemed. The thing is -- she's been on my mind
constantly ever since then. I can't get her out of my head. And I can't
figure out why she never called, I was so sure --"

His mother smiled. "It sounds to me like a case of mixed signals, Max.
Have you ever thought about calling her?"

Max hesitated, most definitely not wanting to go into detail about that night
with his own mother. "I didn't get her number."

"So find it, Max. Look it up. Call information."

"I don't think it will be as simple as that."

"It's never simple, but sometimes, it's worth it."


Liz lay in the dark in her childhood bedroom. In the dim light coming from
under the door, she eyed her surroundings.

Every sign that she had once resided in this small space was gone. Where
her dresser had been, there was a treadmill. Where once her little vanity
had stood, there was now a slot machine, complete with plenty of coins. In
the center, taking up practically the whole room, was a pool table. The
little couch that contained the hideabed barely fit into the room as it was,
and Liz had had to move the pool table to be able to unfold the bed.

It wasn't exactly the most comfortable mattress either. She felt like she
was trying to go to sleep on bare springs. With her growing belly sleep
wasn't easy anyway.

Shit. She knew she would never get to sleep like this. She rose from the
bed, putting on the robe that she'd tossed on the pool table and tying it
tightly around her midsection. She bashed her hip on the corner of the slot
machine in her attempt to make it to the door and cursed loudly.

She abruptly quieted herself when she heard her parent's voices.

"It just proves what I've said all along, Phillip."

"It doesn't prove anything, Nancy. You're being ridiculous."

"I'm being ridiculous? We raise her up, we thought we raised her right. And
she repays us by going out and playing the slut. I bet she didn't even know
his name. She's just that type of girl, I've known it since she was little!"

"You don't know anything. And if you think that about your own daughter, you
are a fool. She's a wonderful young woman who's made a mistake. You need to
stop thinking about how this will look in church tomorrow and start thinking
how your daughter is going to live her life. She can't live it here."

"She can live her life anywhere she damn well pleases, as far as I'm concerned.
She can go to Chicago and actually get paid for being the whore she is."

Liz chose that moment to step into the living room. Her father took in her
tear-streaked face and shaking legs and said, "Liz. You know she doesn't mean
anything she says. In five minutes she'll be begging your forgiveness."

She glared at both her parents through blurry eyes. "The problem is that she
does mean it. Even if she loves me, she only loves me because I can make her
look good. Or I can make her look bad, like I'm doing now by daring to have
a baby without a father. Well, I can't help that fact. If I could have
married this baby's father, I would have. But that doesn't matter to you
anyway, *mom*. So I guess I'll be going now. Maybe I'll stop in Chicago and
turn a few tricks on my way, huh?"

Her mother looked stricken. "Elizabeth, sweetie, I'm so sorry. I got carried
away, you know how it gets late at night after the..." she couldn't bring
herself to say it.

"After what?" Liz spat hatefully. "After your meds wear off? I know you have
a disease. But when I was little and you started ignoring me after Jamie
was born, you didn't have it then. You just had a preference."

"You sound like the spoiled child you are," Nancy snapped. "We give you

"Everything, like what? The free tuition and board I earned with my grades?
The plane tickets home for Christmas that I pay for with my own money? What,
exactly have you given me? And where is your part in all of this, Daddy?"

Her father simply looked sad. "I love you both so much. Please don't try
to make me choose between you."

"I won't. It won't be an issue anymore, because I'm leaving. You won't
ever have to look at me ashamed again."


Max rolled over sleeplessly in his cheap motel room. He was only halfway
to Cimarron, having taken off in the evening. He'd chosen all the backroads,
forgetting that good hotels weren't exactly freely available out in the
boonies. He wanted to go to sleep, but had a bad feeling that he might
become infested with fleas during the night.

Suddenly a wave of pain hit, striking him from his stomach on up. He
gasped, rolling out of bed and hitting the dirty carpet. He felt washed
in waves of nausea, and strangely enough the pain actually felt partially

After a few seconds it stopped, leaving him panting on his knees. "What the
hell was that?" he muttered to the dark night air.

posted on 23-Sep-2001 10:12:34 PM by jezebel617
Part 9

The Greyhound was crowded and dirty, but it would have to do. Liz couldn't
afford a plane ticket.

After leaving her parents' house, she'd taken the city bus to the Greyhound
station downtown. Using the ATM at the station, she'd removed almost all
of the money in her bank account. It wasn't very much, but she'd be able
to live off it for a little while at least.

She tried to ignore the jouncing of the bus underneath her. She had two
seats to herself, at least, despite the overcrowding. Everyone was
leaving her alone.

It was dawn now and they were nearing the Illinois border. She closed her
eyes, trying to sleep. She needed to sleep, and she didn't want to dream.


Max relaxed finally. It was still dark, and while logically he would not
have gone about setting up a tent in the dark, he couldn't have stood one
more second in that fleabag motel. The creepy-crawlies were bad enough,
but that little episode...he still couldn't figure out what the hell had
happened. It felt almost as though someone had been screaming in his head.

He sighed and lay down in his sleeping bag. The State Park was beautiful,
but he wouldn't be able to really enjoy it unless he got some sleep. He closed
his eyes, hoping there would be no more terror and pain in the middle of the


//Liz was dreaming of a place she'd never been before. The scenery was
beautiful, yet arid and somewhat desolate. She sensed that this was a
desert, though she'd never been to one before. In the distance, there
was a strange-looking rock formation. For some reason, she felt drawn
to it.

As she walked, the formation seemed to get farther and farther away. She
wiped beads of sweat off her forehead and realized she didn't have any water.
While some deeply buried part of her realized that this was only a dream,
and that she wasn't going to die of thirst, to Liz in the dream it seemed a
grievous error. Where was she? How could she get home?

She wasn't pregnant in her dream, but it didn't seem strange to her; she
never was in dreams. In many of them, she didn't realize she had ever
been pregnant.

She tripped and stumbled to the ground, wincing as she fell and scraped
her knees like a little kid. "Shit," she muttered.

"Mommy, you shouldn't swear," said a high-pitched voice not three feet
away from her.

Liz looked up. There was a child there, a little girl. "Did you just call
me Mommy?"

The little girl nodded seriously. "You're my mommy. I'm your girl."

"I don't have a little girl," said Liz.

The little dark-haired angel smiled. "You're silly, Mommy. And you're
lost too."

Liz nodded. "I guess I am. I can't get to that rock formation. I have
to get there, don't I? Why does it keep getting further and further away?"

"It's not getting further away. You just don't know the right way to
get there," she said in her solemn tone. "But I can show you. Come

She let the little girl take her hand and begin to lead her. Sure enough,
the formation started to get closer, despite the meandering path the
child was taking her on. Finally, they arrived. Liz was gasping for

"I need something to drink," she said.

The girl said, "Everything you need is inside."

"Inside?" Liz asked.

"Inside there," she said, pointing to a path that seemed to lead into the
actual rocks. Liz hesitated. "Go on, Mommy."

Liz frowned and started closer. There seemed to be a glow coming from
inside the rocks. She eased her way inside.//


//Max was in someplace he'd never been before. It was cold and snowflakes
whipped through the air, which made no sense. It was April, wasn't it?
Where was this? The Arctic?

Well, he didn't know. The landscape was pretty, like something out of a
picture postcard. Old, Victorian houses on a hillside were covered in a
white blanket by the falling snow. It would have been beautiful if it
weren't for the freezing cold. Max looked down at himself and realized
that all he was wearing was a T-shirt and jeans. No wonder he was freezing
his ass off.

He shivered, looking around for someplace to go. "Here, Daddy," said a
voice behind him.

Max whirled around to see an adorable little girl, perhaps five years old.
Daddy? he thought. "What, sweetie?"

"Daddy, you're cold. You need to get inside."

"What? Who are you, little girl?"

"I'm your girl, Daddy. Come with me. There's a place over here."

He allowed her to take his hand, still puzzling over this mystery. He
certainly didn't have any children, but this little angel looked just
like him. Dark haired, hazel eyes, deeply tanned skin. She looked
out of place in this winter wonderland, despite the pink coat and dark
purple scarf wrapped around her.

There were people standing outside these old houses. They were all
dressed warmly like the little girl, and they stared openly at Max
as he passed by.

"Don't pay any attention to them," the little girl said authoritatively.
"They just don't know why we're here."

Max tried not to puzzle over this. This was a dream, had to be, and
he had to try not to think too deeply over anything that happened.

The little angel led him through a neatly trimmed yard. Max's shoes
crunched in the frozen grass and snow. "Won't these people notice
we're here?" Max asked.

"No, Daddy, they don't notice anything here."

He frowned as she stood on tiny tiptoes and unlatched a gate in the back
of the house. "Where are we?"

She smiled at him. "You'll know soon, Daddy."//

posted on 23-Sep-2001 10:13:20 PM by jezebel617

Part 10

Liz shook herself awake and groaned. The man next to her raised an eyebrow,
looking at her with a keen interest. She looked away, out the window. Farms
and fields stretched as far as the eye could see. Well, *that's* certainly
indicative, she thought amusedly.

She turned back around and tapped the black-haired man on the shoulder. "Do
you know where we are?"

"Still in Iowa, I'm afraid. Rather a boring little state, I must say."

Liz smiled with pleasure at the stranger's deep voice and British accent.
"Where are you from?"

He chuckled. "That seems to be a common question of late. I'm from a little
town in Surrey."

She raised an eyebrow. "Any particular reason you're on a Greyhound in the
middle of nowhere?"

The man glanced down at her visible pregnancy. "I could ask the same of you."

"You could," she said. "You might not get an honest answer."

He laughed. "Well, I'll be the honest one, then. I needed to disappear for
a little while. Get away from things, you might say."

"Ah," Liz mused. "I know that feeling. Anyway, I could tell you the truth
about me, but you wouldn't believe it."

"Try me. I just might."

Liz seriously considered saying, "My one-night stand knocked me up with some
kind of warped baby and now I'm running from my parents and my mother, who
called me a whore without even knowing that my stomach glows bright green
from time to time." She looked up. The dark-haired stranger was studying
her with bright, almost unnaturally green eyes.

"It's all right," he said softly. "I don't need to know anything about you,
really. What's the name of that old film? 'Strangers on a Train'? Well,
I guess we're pretty close to it, aren't we?"

Liz wasn't at all certain that was the actual name of the old movie, but she
didn't correct him. "Do you like old movies?"

"Oh, yes. I've really just discovered them, but they're absolutely fascinating."

"How old are you, exactly?" she asked him.

He smiled. "I'm twenty-four. I've just been a little...isolated from the world,
you might say. In a whole other place."

"Hmmm, that sounds like yet another feeling I can relate to. We seem to have a
lot in common."

"Perhaps more than we realize." He pointed at her stomach. "I've got a little
one on the way, back home."

"Your wife?"

He nodded, a huge grin spreading across his face. Then it faded a little, his
eyes indicating he was deep in thought. "I rather do miss her."

"So why aren't you with her?"

"Ah, now, here comes the part where I become the dishonest one," he said, his
beautiful eyes looking almost desperately sad.

Liz rubbed his arm gently. "I'm sure you'll both be fine. All three of you,"
she corrected.

"Well, I do hope so," he said, and they both fell silent. Liz felt bad for
bringing up what was really clearly a sensitive subject.

She watched him out of the corner of her eye as he got up, heading toward the
back of the bus. She gradually drifted into a thankfully dreamless sleep,
and never noticed that the tall dark-haired man never returned to his seat.


Max had headed straight for North Carolina after leaving New Mexico, driving
straight through, stopping only for gas and meals. He'd felt an unexplainable
urge to arrive there as soon as possible; why, he didn't know. Feeling
exhausted, he headed for the main office of the huge college. He was pretty
sure Liz attended this one. There were several in the area.

He opened the heavy door and looked around, then headed straight for the
main desk. The dark-haired girl sitting there looked up at him, then frowned.
"Can I help you?"

"I need to find a student's address."

"Sorry. We're not allowed to give out personal information."

"What? Why not?"

She glared at him. "Would you want someone just giving out your address
to every single joe schmoe who wants it?"

"Well, this is important. I really need it."

"Yeah, well, you need this address just like I need a pay raise, huh? It's
never gonna happen."

Max groaned inwardly. "Listen..." he looked for the girl's name tag..."Erin,
I really, really need this address. I've driven from Roswell, New Mexico to
find this girl. Could you please just..." he hesitated to keep himself
from saying "stop being a bitch" and said, "be really nice and give me her

"No way in hell, buddy. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.
And if you want to cut down travel time, take a spaceship home, huh?"

Max tried not to strangle her as she chuckled, "Roswell," under her breath.

"Can you just hear me out?"

"Listen, Roswell, I'm a busy girl. Places to see, people to do, doncha know."

"Just...listen to me...for one second. All right? Just one minute of your
goddamn precious time."

She frowned, her hair falling in her pale face as she pondered his request.
"All right. You've got thirty seconds, Roswell."

"Back last December I was here on a business trip. I met a girl who was
celebrating her twenty-first birthday, her name was Liz. She told me her
last name, but I don't remember it." This prompted a snort from Erin, but
she didn't say anything. "She was the most amazing girl I've ever met.
She was so beautiful, and we...we spent the night together. I'm not
ashamed to admit it. It was wonderful. I had to leave early for my
flight back home, and I didn't want to wake her. So I left her a note,
instead, that had my phone number and address on it. But she never called,
never wrote. And despite that I haven't been able to stop thinking about
her. It's been five months now, and she's still on my mind. I dream
about her every night. And even if the fact that she never contacted me
means she's not interested, I have to find out for sure. I can live the
rest of my life in peace if she doesn't want me." He paused, realizing
as he said it that it was an outright lie.

The girl tapped her fingernails on the table, biting on her lower lip.
"You know, it sounds to me like she was probably pissed as hell at you
for not calling her. Why didn't you?"

Max looked sheepish. "I didn't get her number."

She smirked. "Didn't get her last name, either. Do you know how many
damned Elizabeths there are at this school?"

He felt that he was finally getting somewhere with this girl. "I know,
I can guess."

She pursed her lips. " you know what year she is?"

"She's a senior."

"And you said...she was celebrating her birthday?"

"Yeah, her twenty-first."

"What day was that?"

"Uh...December 7th?"

She typed some numbers into the computer to her left. He wondered how
on earth she could type at all with those long fingernails, but she
smiled a little and looked up. "Elizabeth Bailey?"

"No, no, that's not it."


"Yes! That's it! That's her!"

Erin brushed her hair away from her eyes and smiled at him, ripping a piece
of paper from her printer. "Well, good luck, dude. I've met her. We had a
class together last semester. She's a sweet girl."

Max grinned. "I know. Or at least, I want to find out."

As he walked away he got the suspicious feeling that she might be staring at
his ass. He glanced backwards just as she called with a grin, "Hey, if it
doesn't work out, come find me! I'll help you with the pain!"


Max looked at the little slip of the paper with the address written on it. It
had damn well better be worth all the effort it had taken to get it.

He knocked firmly on the door. It opened a crack.

"Are you here about the room? It's already been rerented."

Max hesitated, not sure what to say to the little blond. "I -- no. I'm looking
for Liz Parker?"

Her eyes narrowed and she glared at him. "Who are you?"

"Max Evans. I'm from --"

"Holy *shit*!" she shrieked, and slammed the door shut in his face.

posted on 23-Sep-2001 11:31:15 PM by jezebel617
LOL Anne! I did, didn't I! Well damn the man, I let you read the fun part! LOL!

"We are feedback junkies. It's like crack, only harder to get." --EKM 6/11/01

When in danger or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.

posted on 14-Oct-2001 10:20:02 PM by jezebel617
Author's Note: Thanks so much for the feedback everybody! It's really inspirational!

Part 11

Max just stood there, a look of stunned surprise on his face.

A second later it flew back open. "If you're who I think you are, you have a
hell of a lot of nerve, just coming around here six months later --"

Max gulped. This was not a good sign. Not only that, this little blond
looked familiar. Where on earth had he seen her before? "Miss, I swear to
you, I have completely good and honest intentions."

"Huh! Yeah, and you had just *great* intentions when you knocked up my
best friend and forced her to drop out of school!"

Max's jaw dropped. Never before in his life had his brain abandoned him so
suddenly and totally. He could not bring any coherent words to his mouth.


"You *what*?" she snapped, her eyes practically burning with anger.

"I didn't know," Max finally managed, his throat feeling like it was full
of crushed glass. His voice was even squeaky.

"I know you didn't know, you asshole! You just walked out the door and
never looked back! And what, now you're in town again, and you're looking
for another little quick screw? Well, you can forget it, *dad*!"

She started to slam the door shut again. Max's mind tried to put all these
pieces together, but somehow they wouldn't fit. His brain was warning of a
serious overload. "What? Wait a minute...I left her a note."

She leaned around the edge of the door and hissed, "Liar! There was no note!"

Max tried to focus, tried to remember that extremely hung-over morning almost
six months ago. Shit. *Had* he left a note? Yes, he could swear...he'd
written it on a napkin, writing something sappy yet genuine along with his
address. He'd put it on the desk. There was no way she could have missed
it. "I had to leave," he said, his head starting to clear. "But I *did*
write her a note, I swear to God. I left my phone number and my address."

She stared at him, sudden confusion mingling with the anger on her face.
"Are you Michael's friend?" she asked finally.

"Well, yes," Max said.

She scowled. "That bastard! He never called me!"


Since her neighbor had vanished, Liz had been using his seat to rest her
aching, swollen feet. Were her feet even supposed to be this swollen?
She was only six months along...she wiggled her toes and winced at the

She couldn't sleep anymore. They were coming into Denver and now it was
time for her to decide. Keep running, or stop? Call Maria? Call her
parents? No way, she decided instantly. No way in hell was she calling
her parents. They had no right to judge her, and that was all they would
continue to do.

She glanced out the window at the mountains in the distance. This was a
beautiful place, if somewhat colder than her adopted home state. She could
stay here, get a little apartment. She could still work. Liz was a fast
typer; she was sure she could get a receptionist's job someplace.

Well, as long as they didn't notice her swollen stomach.

Or the fact that it glowed from time to time.


Max hesitated a little as the pixie-haired blonde led him into the little
apartment. "We just moved in together," she said sadly. "It's too bad."

He swallowed. "What...what exactly happened?"

"Well, she had to drop her classes, because she lost her scholarship. She
was so busy with everything, she forgot to fulfill her community service
requirement. We tried to get it back, but it was a no go. So we weren't
sure what was going on, and Liz decided to go back home. Then, just the
night before last, she called me to tell me she wasn't coming back, ever.
I don't know where she was. That's why I was so rude to you. I'm worried."

Max looked at her. Somehow she hadn't seemed like an amateur with the
righteous anger.

"Well, maybe I'm not *always* like that," she admitted. "It's just that I
thought her parents might kick her out to start with. They're really
conservative. And I guess it must have happened, because she didn't call
from her parents house. She called from a train station, or a bus station,
or something. It was really noisy, even in the middle of the night." She
rubbed her temples tiredly. "I need some cedar oil," she muttered, and
began to rummage through a drawer.

Max stood in the middle of the little living room, having not a clue what
to say to the whirling dervish a few feet away. "Uh...what's your name?"

She spun around, looking surprised. "Oh! I'm Maria. Liz's best friend,"
she added. "One of just a few people who knows she's pregnant."

The word still hit him like a hammer to the skull. "Pregnant," he whispered.
"God. I didn't know that thing about condoms not being completely effective
was true."

Maria, in the process of sniffing her oil, snorted and choked. "She was
pretty surprised too. She took a bunch of pregnancy tests. They all came
back negative." Suddenly, as though she'd remembered something, her eyes
widened. She stared at him. "Oh my God," she muttered. "Oh my God." She
grabbed the vial of cedar oil and sniffed it again, inhaling so fast Max
was sure she'd suck some actual oil into her nostrils.

"Are you okay?" Max asked, concerned. It looked like she was about to

"It's you, isn't it?" asked Maria between gasps.

"What's me?"

"You. You're the reason there's something wrong with Liz's baby."

Max blinked in astonishment. "There's something wrong with Liz's baby?"

"Would you stop repeating everything I say, please?" Maria yelled.
"There is something wrong with Liz's baby. All her pregnancy tests came
out negative, even though she had all the symptoms. She's had the most
bizarre cravings I've ever seen and her stomach *glows.* It *glows* bright

"Wow," Max said softly, and sat down. Unfortunately he'd moved a few feet
away from his chair without realizing it, and he fell to the ground hard.
"Fuck," he muttered.

Maria giggled before she could stop herself. "Well, you seem normal
enough...but you don't think there's anything weird about Liz's stomach
glowing while she's pregnant?"

Max stared at the floor, then looked up at the cute blonde with her arms
crossed huffily across her chest. "Well, considering who I am, probably
not," he said calmly.


"Who...who are you, exactly?" Maria asked, suddenly looking edgy, as though
she might run for the door at any moment.

He smiled. "You won't believe me."

Maria's eyes widened. "Dude...don't even say that. I've seen her stomach
turn green, for God's sake. That's not natural. Don't tell me what I won't

"Well, I've never really told anyone this before," Max admitted.

"I'm honored," Maria said darkly.

"I'm an alien," Max said.

"You're a what?" Maria asked, looking confused.

"An *alien*," Max said, making sure to enunciate clearly. "You know, from
another planet. Not human. Little green men. That sort of thing."

She eyed him. "You don't look little or green to me."

"No, I'm a hybrid. A mix between alien and human. On the outside, I'm human,
and on the inside, I'm not."

"That's bullshit. If you alien, you couldn't get Liz pregnant."

"I didn't know if it was possible," Max said sheepishly. "Apparently, it is."

"Right, so I'm just supposed to believe that you're from another planet.

Max groaned. "I knew you wouldn't believe me."

And with that, he turned his attention to the chair that he'd just missed.
He held his hand out and concentrated. Suddenly, the old chair turned into a
rocking horse.

"Holy *shit*!" Maria shrieked. "What the hell did you do to my furniture, you

"Calm down, will you? I can fix it." With that, he reversed his actions and
the chair returned to its grungy old self.

Maria looked at her chair, then at him. "Oh my God," she muttered. "I think
this is beyond the realm of cedar oil."


Liz had never realized that stretching could feel this good. She picked up
her suitcase and began to walk.

She hadn't stopped in Denver. She'd gotten off the bus, but suddenly the
sight of the big city had overwhelmed her. She needed someplace smaller,
someplace friendlier. She'd purchased another ticket, this one south.
South to New Mexico.

And somehow she'd found herself in this tiny town, nestled between two
mountain ranges on the edge of a beautiful crystal lake. It was called
Eagle Nest, and it was like no place she'd ever been.

As she stood there, she heard a crack of thunder. She looked up, past the
lake and the mountains into the sky. While she watched, lightning flashed
between the two mountain ranges, reflecting onto the lake and seemingly
making the entire valley glow with unearthly radiance.

And then the sky opened up, and a deep, warm rain began to fall. Her clothing
was soaked, but Liz smiled. This was home.

posted on 29-Jan-2002 1:23:49 AM by jezebel617
I am so, so sorry, you guys, but there's probably not going to be an update for awhile. I posted part 12 just before the board crashed from my mom's computer, but when I got back to school after Christmas break, my computer's hard drive decided to commit suicide and I lost 30 gigs worth of stuff, including every single one of my stories, all my schoolwork and papers, and all my notes. I will try to find a copy of Pt 12 to repost here for everyone who didn't see it before the board crashed but honestly, I don't know if I'll be able to. If someone else has it and could repost it here for me I would be forever grateful to you. Oh and one note -- HP is evil! Evil!

posted on 29-Jan-2002 5:09:12 PM by jezebel617
Thanks you guys...I'm sending my computer out tomorrow, and hopefully they will be able to fix the problem. (crosses fingers)

posted on 11-Feb-2002 1:21:01 AM by jezebel617
Part 13a ~~Ted and Maddie's Story~~

Author's Note: Ahhh, the dreaded part 13! I know, I always
have the worst bloody time with this part in every story I write.
This time it was a suicidal computer harddrive! Bye-bye one
year's worth of notes! Argh. Well anyhoo, here's the part as
best I remember it.

And this is just an interlude really, while I get back into writing after losing my computer...grrr...

Liz volunteered to help with the dishes and Maddie accepted
reluctantly at a look from her husband, who soon retreated with
his granddaughter into the living room. "You should be sitting
down," Maddie said, obviously annoyed. "You look like you could
go into labor anytime."

Liz shrugged, accepting a wet plate from Maddie and drying it
with a hand towel.

" did you and Ted meet?" Liz asked, feeling more than a
little curious as to how two very different people had found in
each other in such a small place.

"'s quite a long story," Maddie said, the corners of her
mouth turning up. "It was a long time ago."

Liz smiled too. "Well, I always like a love story. And we've got
nothing but time." She caught Maddie throwing a glance at her
swollen belly and the regretful look in her eyes, and felt her
curiosity pique.

"Well, I guess we'd better start at the start then, hadn't we? I
was a war baby, and Ted was born during the Depression. They were
bad years, all of them. My father died two weeks after I was born
on the battlefield in France. My mother got his last letter a week
after he died, and it contained two names, one for a boy and one
for a girl. Madelaine and Jacques. I guess he must've really
liked France."

She chuckled to herself. "I can't even tell you the looks my name
got me on the reservation as a child. Madelaine? Who'd ever heard
of that name? I defended it and myself, of course, it was the only
thing my daddy had ever given me. Then when I was fifteen, my mother
killed herself. She never got over losing my daddy. People who knew
them said that when they were together the whole room glowed."

"Oh my God...I'm so sorry, Madelaine," Liz said, her hand over her

Maddie shrugged and handed her a glass. "It's the way it was meant
to be. My mother wasn't complete without her husband and she held
on as long as she could, for my sake. But she could only take so
much. I was an only child. My mother was only eighteen when I was
born and she never remarried, so I went to live with an aunt in San
Diego. I'd never been anyplace but the reservation so it was like
coming to a new world. My aunt was single, an old maid, and she was
nearly as devastated by the loss of her sister as I was. But she was
strong for me, same as my mother had been, and she introduced me to
the world. When I was sixteen I met Ted. He was...well, he was the
biggest asshole I'd ever met!"

Liz laughed aloud. "You're kidding!"

"No, I most certainly am not. He was a navy man and he was the
cockiest, most self-confident man I'd ever seen. He thought he was
God's gift to women and sailing. I told myself I wasn't interested
in him, and if I had been, my aunt would have been upset. He was
twenty-three at the time. But I believed it was up to me to knock some
of the wind out of his sails."

"You sound...well, a little self-confident yourself for a girl from that

"Oh, I was, Liz, don't you doubt it. Far too self-confident for my
own good. I'd gone from being teased for my odd name and odd mother
to turning men's heads from the instant I moved to California. Old
men, young men, they all looked at me. I knew how gorgeous I was, and
that Ted chased every woman but me caused me nothing but irritation.
Why, I *hated* him!

"So I decided to play a nice little prank on him. Little did I know
that the joke would soon be on me. I went to the base and announced
I had to see him, that I had some news for him. These men I was
talking to had no idea who I was, but they sure knew who he was. He
had a reputation on the base for being a womanizer and the men assumed
just what I'd thought they would -- that I was his latest conquest. I
looked at least three years older than I really was. He wasn't
immediately available, though, so I acted upset and asked to leave a
message. For the message I wrote, 'I'm having your baby, you bastard!'"

Liz choked on her laughter.

"Oh now, don't laugh yourself into a miscarriage," Maddie said, giggling
herself. "Now of course that message spread all over the base before
Ted even got back from whatever it is he'd been doing. He'd knocked
up some young lovely and was in a world of trouble. Of course he panicked
himself. I hadn't signed the note, and evidently he'd been with more than
one woman recently. He had no idea which one was pregnant!

"After a few days I heard from my older friends all the trouble he was in
and I was most satisfied with myself. I felt I'd gotten him back for all
those times he snubbed me.

"So a few weeks after this little adventure, my aunt went away for the
weekend, entrusting me with our apartment. I was nearly seventeen, so
she trusted me. The first night she was gone, there was a knock on the
door. I opened it to find an extremely angry Ted."

"Uh oh," Liz said, her eyes widening.

"I will never, in all my years, forget what he said to me then. Never
have so few words changed my life so much. He said, 'I know you were
the one who wrote that note. I thought you weren't like all those
other floozies. I thought you were better but I guess I was wrong.'
And then he turned for the door. But then he seemed to change his
mind, and he turned around and kissed me harder than I'd ever been kissed
before. He tried to leave but I wouldn't let him. And by the end of
that weekend, I'm afraid I was quite in the condition I'd written on that
note. But I didn't know it, of course. We hadn't even thought of
protection in our love or lust, whatever it was.

"The day before he was supposed to leave for several months, I saw a doctor.
He told me that sure enough, I was expecting. I was devastated. I had just
turned seventeen. This was 1959. I had shamed my family, and beyond that,
Ted was leaving. After this he'd probably be stationed at a different base.
They moved around all the time, those Navy men. I didn't know how to tell
him, so when I went to see him off, I just kissed him and said goodbye. Of
course, those men from the base recognized me and you wouldn't believe the
wolf whistles I got. But none of them understood why I ran away in tears.

"My aunt was, of course, disappointed in me, but she supported me and loved
me the way she always had. She'd had a young love once too, and lost him,
and she was terrified that I'd find the same fate."

"Madeleine, are you telling our guest awful lies about me?" Ted called
from the living room.

"They aren't lies and you know it, you baby-producing bastard!" Maddie
called cheerfully.

Ted laughed. "I never knocked nobody up but you, you overly-fertile
gorgeous woman!"

Liz sighed. It was almost painful to witness such strong, unending love.

Maddie cleared her throat. "Anyway! To return to the story I was telling.
Ted was gone, I was pregnant, and it was a very conservative era. What
you know as the sixties didn't occur for a few more years. Beyond that,
I was half-Indian and looked it, and despite my beauty, I was a social
outcast. Becoming pregnant was 'typical' of someone of my class and
the snobs descended on me. Life was very, very hard for the next few

"Then one day, when I was close to giving birth, I heard a knock at the
door. My aunt was busy and asked me to answer it. I did, and what I
saw sent me into labor.

"It was Ted, in his gorgeous uniform. As soon as I saw him I went into
labor, and as soon as he saw me, he fainted and hit his head on the wall!"

Liz was gasping for air, laughing so hard she couldn't see straight. She
struggled to put the pan she was holding on the countertop so she wouldn't
drop it.

"So my aunt took us both to the hospital, me in labor and helping her drag
Ted down the stairs to her car. He was completely unconscious. When he
came to in the hospital, they brought him to my room just in time for him
to see the baby be born. It was a little boy, Theodore Junior, of course.
Ted married me the next day in the hospital chapel, and we've been together
-- barring separations for his naval journeys -- ever since."

Liz sighed, trying to catch her breath after laughing so hard. "That's the
most amazing story I've ever heard, Maddie. You two are so lucky."

"Well, there's good luck and bad," Maddie said, but she didn't elaborate and
Liz didn't press her further. "So what's your story, dear?"

"Oh, well, it's kind of a long...well, no, it's really not. It's not a long
story at all." Liz closed her eyes.

"You don't need to tell me if you don't feel up to it, darling," she said

", it's not that hard. was my birthday and I met this amazing
man. We had such a connection, I've never felt anything like it before. It
was meeting my other half, I guess. And then we had a wonderful
night together. And we were careful. But the next morning he was gone. And
a month after that, I found out I was pregnant." She shrugged. "That's all
there is to it, really."

Maddie sighed. "Oh, you poor dear. So he doesn't know? And you've no idea
where he could be?"

Liz shook her head miserably. "You know what the worst part is, Maddie? I
miss him! I spent less than a day with him and I miss him so terribly! It's
like when he left he took a part of me with him!"

Maddie shook her head and rubbed Liz's shoulders. "You'll find him again one
day, dear. Of that I'm certain. He'll find a way to you, or you to him, if
you're meant to be together."

~~continued in part 13b...Max meets the parents...(gulp)~~
posted on 13-Feb-2002 12:11:27 AM by jezebel617
Wow, you guys, thanks for all the feedback! Though I have a horrendous amount of schoolwork for today and tomorrow, hopefully I will be able to work on it on Thursday and possibly have 13b out this weekend! *happy* *happy*

posted on 7-Mar-2002 11:09:02 PM by jezebel617
Yeah, Yeah, I know. So shoot me. I have mucho work to do, and not much time to do it in. But here y'all go.

13b 3/7/02

Max flipped through the radio stations as he sat at the gas station outside
town, newly purchased map in hand. Evidently Liz's parents lived in East
Grand Rapids, which, according to the gas station cashier, was a "ritzy"
part of town. He had somehow wound up on the opposite side of the city,
though, in a little town that smelled distinctly of manure. He could
see fields with cows in them and suspected the reason behind the nasty

"Ugh," he muttered, feeling frustrated by more than the stink. According
to the map, he had to take some sort of freeway labeled "scurve." He had
not the slightest idea what a "scurve" was or why someone would name their
freeways after it.

A truck pulled up into the station beside his, gunning its noisy engine.
Two men in flannel shirts jumped out and jogged into the convenience store.
Max glimpsed the Confederate flag draping the back window and began to feel
a little afraid. He hadn't accidentally taken a wrong turn and headed south
instead of north, had he?

Hmmmm. By the looks those guys had given him, maybe he was in the wrong area
to have a California license plate.

Maybe it was time to leave.


Max quickly discovered what a "scurve" was. It was a heart-poundingly tight
and twisty section of freeway, barely squeezing between buildings for almost
a mile. Before it was over, though, he had to merge onto another freeway.
Three people cut him off as he got into the merge lane. He sighed. He was
already beginning to understand why Liz had left this place.

He managed to find the correct exit and slowly wandered through a broken-down
neighborhood, until he crested a hill and found himself among modern brick
and old Victorian mansions. "Wow," he muttered. Then his spine tingled
horribly, almost making him nauseous. This place was familiar. Too familiar.

It was from the dream.

The snow was gone; it was May, after all. The trees were budding and the
grass was a light yellowish-green. But it was the same place. The same
neighborhood as the mysterious little girl who called him "daddy" had led
him through. **They just don't know why we're here.**

He shuddered slightly and managed to keep control of his car. Then he was at
the right place, the right house. He knew it without having to look at the
slip of paper on the passenger seat. This was the house where Liz Parker
had grown up. The rambling structure at the end of the street was undoubtedly
where she'd gone to high school.

Max took a deep breath and pulled into the driveway. It was a Sunday and
Maria had told him this was a religious area, but church had to be over by
now. His skin was covered in unnaturally large goose bumps. He wasn't sure
if it was some sort of leftover from the dream, or if it was because he was
about to meet the parents of the girl he'd unknowingly impregnated and

He steeled himself, putting the car in park and ignoring the trembling in
his legs as he climbed out of the car.


He knocked on the door, not bothering with the heavy brass knocker centered
in the thick oak. He stamped his feet uneasily on the plush rug in front
of the door. Glancing down at it, he reflected that putting such a nice
rug outside, exposed to the elements, was a rather egregious waste of money,
but then, this house didn't look like it belonged to people on a budget.
It was a beautiful house; all red brick and huge shimmering windows. It
rested on a hill that gave a lovely view of the surrounding neighborhoods.

Max heard footsteps from inside and swallowed uneasily. He could feel his
heart pounding in his chest.

The door swung open to reveal a face quite a bit younger than any he'd
expected. "Hello. Can I help you?" the face offered, and Max blinked.
He hadn't been aware that Liz had any younger siblings, but here was
the evidence in front of him.

"Um..." he cleared his throat in an attempt to stall. "Hi. I'm Max Evans."

The young man nodded slowly. "Okay, Max Evans. What do you need?"

"Uh...I was wondering if you, ah, knew where your sister was? Or is, I mean,

The young man's expression darkened. "Liz? Why do you need to know where
she is?"

Max could feel the cold sweat on his face. This hadn't been the way he'd
planned it, but the Parker parents weren't in sight. "I'm...I'm the father of
her baby," he said, his throat dry.

The kid's eyes widened visibly and Max was suddenly struck by the rather
extreme family resemblance. Then he heard more footsteps and a low-pitched
feminine voice murmur, "Jamie, dear, who's there?"

Oh shiiiiiiiiiit, Max groaned inwardly. Somehow he just knew this was all
going downhill faster than he could catch up with it. Maria had been
right, he shouldn't have come here. The woman appeared in the doorway,
appraising him, and he knew he was in a shitload of trouble. He felt
the urge to run as fast as his legs would carry him back to the car and
escape, getting away from this creepy town and the unnatural memories
he had of it.

"Mom...this guy, he says he's the father of Liz's baby," Jamie said, his
voice sounding a little strained.

Mrs. Parker's hand, which had been resting lightly on the lightly stained
oak of the doorframe, clenched the edge so hard her knuckles popped out,
appallingly white. "Oh, are you," she rasped, her dark brown eyes firey.

Max resisted the very very stronge urge to step back from her before she
did something evil, like biting him. "Yes, ma'am," he managed.

He watched a truly amazing range of emotions pass over her face, before
it finally landed on anger. "So did she send you for money?"

Max blinked. "What?"

"I'm sure she wants money, and apparently she can't even bring herself here
to get it. You can tell her to keep her little bastard! She won't be
receiving any help from us."

He gaped, trying not to laugh in utter astonishment. "Mrs. Parker, I'm not
looking for money. I'm looking for Liz."

The woman looked blank for a minute, then her face hardened again. "So
you've come here on your own, have you? Looking for what?"

"I'm just looking for Liz, that's all." He hesitated, then added, "She is
pregnant with my baby. I want to be a father to my child."

She sneered. "Oh, you would, would you? Well, if you find her, tell her
that she and her bastard aren't welcome here again."

The kid tried to intervene. "Mom, calm down. If he's really the father,
he has a right to know where his baby is. Maybe we can help him."

Mrs. Parker laughed. "Help him? After he's shamed our family? The best
thing we can do for him is call the police to remove him from our property!
He's soiling the front step."

Max held up his hands. "That won't be necessary, Mrs. Parker. I didn't
think you'd welcome me with open arms, but since you clearly don't even
care for your daughter's welfare, I doubt you can help me. Goodbye."

He turned to go and heard the door slam behind him. He was halfway down
the steep blacktop driveway when he heard rapid footsteps behind him and
turned around. "Hi," the kid, Jamie, said breathlessly.

Max glared at him. "What the hell do you want?"

He grimaced at Max's tone. "Hey, listen, I know my mom is a little crazy
sometimes." At Max's raised eyebrow, he acquiesced, "All right, more than
a little. But she can't help it. She didn't used to be this way. I mean,
I can't explain her now. But my dad and I, we need to know where Liz is.
We love her and we don't give a shit whose baby she's having. Uh, no
offense," he added, and Max grinned.

"It's okay," he said. "If somebody knocked up a woman in my family and took
off, I'd be pissed off too."

Jamie grinned. "Cool. Anyways, this is our address and phone number, and
my email address. You are going to find her, right?"

"I hope so."

"Well, when you do, let us know. We need to know she's okay. And tell her
we love her a lot, and we miss her."

"I will," Max said, touched.

The door at the top of the hill swung open with a crack and Max heard a yell.
"You'd better go," he said.

"Yeah," Jamie said, and bolted back up the hill. "Thanks, Max! Take good
care of my sister for me!"


Liz stepped out of the shower, wrapping one towel around her head and reaching
for another. She wriggled her toes in the bathrug and sighed a little, glancing
at the mirror. What she saw made her drop the towel she'd just grabbed.

Her stomach was glowing, and not faintly, like it had before. It was a bright,
luminous green, casting the whole room in an almost lime tinge. Liz touched
her stomach, her hands shaking in panic, trying to soothe the baby, or do
whatever was necessary to shut this off.

She almost jumped through the roof when Maddie called, "Liz, darling? Are you
quite all right? You've been in there awhile, you know!"

Liz whimpered, trying to cover the glowing with her arms and failing miserably.
And she was certain that if Maddie looked hard enough, she'd be able to see
the glow from the crack under the bathroom door.
posted on 8-Mar-2002 2:47:03 AM by jezebel617 can't come see you mom insists on me going home. Bleccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. How much am I not looking forward to that week of misery? But hey, I'll have a whole week to work on fic. So that's good anyway, eh?

posted on 8-Mar-2002 9:08:40 PM by jezebel617
Hi!!!!!!!! Hehe, I didn't realize you read my story either!! That totally rocks! It was awesome meeting you!! Are you going to come by Covina again anytime soon? Are they even filming anymore? Do you know? Fill me in dude!!

And hopefully yeah I'll update soon *happy**happy**happy*

posted on 11-Apr-2002 3:09:10 AM by jezebel617
AAAAAAGH I am so fucking sorry. I need to get my ass in gear in more ways than one. I can't wait for summer...oh wait yes I can, I won't be in Cali anymore...but hey you guys will probably be happy, I won't have anything to do but write fic. *happy*

Part 14

Liz grabbed the towel she'd just dropped and covered her belly
with it. The glow was so bright it shone right through the damp
terrycloth. She ripped the other towel off her wet hair and
wrapped it around her, too. That almost did the trick; at least
the room wasn't such a bright green anymore.

"Liz? Liz, sweet? Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm --" Liz let out a long, low moan as a sharp pain went
through her abdomen and shot through to her lower back. "Oh God."


Maddie heard Liz moan and took a closer look at the doorway.
Good lord...was that green light coming from the uneven crack?
She put down the laundry she was folding uneasily, kicking the
basket away from the bathroom door. "Liz?"

There was no response, no sound at all that she could tell from
where she was standing, but then, her hearing wasn't what it had
been. Had Liz fainted? Had she gone into labor? Dear God, she
hoped not. It was much too far to the hospital to get her there
in time for a premature baby. By her best estimates, Liz was
somewhere from one to two months away from giving birth, and though
Maddie had delivered babies before, preemies were always difficult.
And ones born two hours from the nearest hospital didn't usually

Not only that, Liz claimed to be only six months it
was possible that she was having twins, in which case this was
much, much too early for her to be going into labor.

"Liz, are you all right?" No answer. "Liz, dear, I'm coming in."

She prepared to kick open the door, but, being the sensible woman
that she was, she checked the knob first. It was unlocked and she
gently pulled it open.

Liz was huddled in the corner, several towels draped around her.
"It hurts," she whispered.

Maddie sighed, kneeling down next to her. "How does it hurt,

"I think I had a contraction," she said.

"Where at?"

She touched her lower abdomen gently. "Here."

"Well, unless it started in your back, it's probably just false
labor. It's your body's way of warming you up for the real

Liz groaned a little. "Are you sure? It's, it's too early. I
can't be having my baby yet."

"How long has it been since your last checkup?"

"A couple of months."

"Oh, Liz! You know that could be bad for the baby!"

"I know, I just -- there was so much going on, it slipped my
mind," Liz lied.

Maddie clucked her tongue. "Well, there's an obstetrician in
the next town over. I'll have Ted take you there tomorrow,

Liz shook her head. "Maddie, no. I've overstayed my welcome
already, as it is. I can't accept your hospitality."

"Liz, it's no hardship to us. You don't eat any more than a
bird, and besides, it's nice having you here. Elena is our
darling, but to tell you the truth, sometimes I enjoy a bit
of adult conversation that doesn't involve arguments over

She groaned a little as Maddie pulled her to her feet, helping
her secure the towel around her body. "I...I have to repay you."

Maddie looked at the young woman, little more than a child
really, and understood her. It was integral to her pride and her
self-confidence that she not be dependent on others, especially
strangers. "All right. If it suits you so well, you can pay us
back by letting us be godparents to your baby."

Liz blinked a little, still unsteady on her feet. "I...yes, of
course. I would love that."

"And since we don't want our god child to be born sickly,
tomorrow Ted will take you to the obstetrician."

Liz shook her head. It was clear that arguing with this
remarkable woman was going to get her less than nowhere.


Max sat in a roadside park in the suburbs of Chicago, watching
the gray-blue waves of Lake Michigan roll in, studying them as they
became breakers and dissolved into white foam against the sandy shore.
Seagulls darted in and out of the waves and landed on the beach,
pecking at invisible strands of nothingness.

It was such a challenge now. He was at the center of the country
and he could go anywhere. He had failed in his quest to find the
one girl he'd ever had any feelings for and to find his unborn
child. He felt the strangest urge to go home, but a nagging voice
in his head told him that running to Mommy was not the course of
action to take yet again.

He had called Maria and let her know that Liz had moved on. He'd
promised to call her from the road with new phone numbers, in case
she heard from Liz. For some reason it surprised him to know that
the spunky little blonde wanted him to find Liz every bit as much
as he desired to find her.

His head was turned by shrieks that quickly turned into wails. He
glanced to his side to see a little boy, pounding his fists into
the dirt in the throes of a temper tantrum. His mother stood by
helplessly, her face bright red as she tried to wrestle him from the
ground. "Joshua, stop that, you stop that right now," she said,
sounding near tears.

The boy's words were unintelligible as he screamed. Max watched,
feeling detached, as a man appeared and yanked him off the ground,
setting him on his feet. "Get in the car, right now," he said.
The boy, looking sullen but contrite, wandered off. Then the man
embraced the woman and kissed the top of her head. He murmured
something into her hair and she smiled through her tears. Then they
walked after the boy, hand in hand.

Max sighed. At least someone had it happy right now. He'd had an
awful dream last night to top everything else off, a dream of Liz
giving birth to a monster. But unlike his last strange dream, this
one didn't give any hints as to where she might be. He had a feeling
it was just his guilty subconscious eating away at him during his

He looked at the lake again. Dark clouds were moving toward it,
blotting out the spring sun, and he could see that the water was
getting choppy.

Maybe it was time for him to leave. Maybe if he just drove, the
answers would come to him. Who he was, where he needed to be. And
most importantly, where Liz and his unborn child were.

It was hopeless, he knew. But nevertheless, he grabbed his keys off
the splintered picnic table and headed for his car.


Liz managed to hold her doctor's appointment off till the next week,
and according to the doctor, everything looked fine. He estimated
her due date to be three weeks away. She hadn't mentioned the date
her previous doctor had given her, and had resisted the urge to cry.
What was wrong with her baby? She wasn't an idiot, for God's sake,
and there was no way she'd gotten pregnant in October. This doctor
was telling her that her hugely swollen belly and popped-out belly
button meant she was nearly full term.

And she had to admit to herself that the pregnancy had progressed hugely
in the last month. In April she had seemed pretty normal, but around the
time she'd lost her scholarship, everything had seemed to speed up. She
assumed she was just gaining weight. But now she'd seen another ultrasound,
and there was her baby, a little small, but everything correctly in place.
What was she going to do? Her baby was some kind of freak, a monster, and
she was all alone.

Well, not all alone. Ted sat in the driver's seat of his truck in silence,
his eyes on the road. Suddenly the silence seemed uncomfortable and she
blurted, "Why did you pick me up that day on the road?"

She expected some trite, cliche response about young girls in trouble,
but Ted said, "You looked just like my daughter did before she died."

"I'm...I'm sorry. I shouldn't have --"

"Don't worry about it. If I were you I'd want to know too. Sometimes it's
hard. Sometimes life isn't fair."

Liz waited, biting her lip to keep the tears that were just waiting to fall
from streaming down her face.

Ted hesitated. "She was...beautiful. I remember when she was born, we'd
never seen such a beautiful child before. Everyone remarked about it. But
she was an innocent. She couldn't understand evil. She got pregnant with
Elena by some man, we never knew who. Then, when Elena was a little girl,
we moved up here. Jana brought her to visit us and then went back to her
boyfriend. She called us a little while later to tell us she was pregnant
and that she was coming to get Elena. When she got here, she was covered
in bruises, just covered in them. I asked her who the hell had done this to
her, who would dare do this to my baby girl, but she wouldn't say anything.
She stayed for a few months, until she was nearly full along. Then she got
a phone call in the middle of the night and left. I followed her, or tried
to. I figured that she would try to go back to that bastard, whoever he
was. And I was right. But I got there too late. She was dead and her baby
died inside her before I could get her to a hospital."

Liz was crying heavily, her chest heaving with sobs. Ted turned to look at
her, studying her face. "That was ten years ago. The resemblance is
remarkable, really. For one second, driving down the street, I thought you
were Jana the way I saw her last. And I knew I had to take you home with me,
that you were lost."

Liz wept unashamedly, and Ted continued to drive.

Author's Note:

I have to give credit to John Mayer and "No Such Thing" for completely
describing my entire life for the last year and inspiring me to start
writing again. It's getting harder and harder for me, so please put
up with me.

posted on 11-Apr-2002 9:07:50 PM by jezebel617
Me? Cackle? NEVER!


posted on 7-Jun-2002 1:07:43 AM by jezebel617
More soon...I'm working on it as we speak!!!

posted on 7-Jun-2002 1:53:32 AM by jezebel617
Part 15

Author's Note: I can't even guess how many times I've asked you guys to
bear with me on this fic, and I can't blame you if you're long gone at this
point. Everything in my life seems to interfere with this one, my
creative writing class, my love life (wow, who'd have guessed love could
suck so bad?), my classes, everything -- it's never been my favorite to
write, I admit, and I like to make excuses. But I'm trying, you guys,
and that's the truth -- I've never given up on this one. *happy*

Liz got up from the couch and let out a groan. Elena peeked her head around
the corner inquisitively. "You okay?"

"Yeah," Liz said. "My stomach is so massive I have trouble getting up

"You need any help?" the younger girl asked, coming into the living room.

"Nope, I made it. In another week...well, never mind. I don't think it's
physically possible for my stomach to get any bigger than this."

Elena laughed. "I hope not. Cookie dough?" she asked, producing a spoon
filled with the creamy substance.

"Oh, yes," Liz said.

They sat at the kitchen table, munching on their cookie dough in
companionable silence. "So how are your finals going?" Liz asked.

"Pretty well," Elena said. "It feels weird that I'm going to be an
upperclassman soon."

Liz nodded. "It only gets weirder, trust me. When you realize that high
school is over and college is only weeks away..."

Elena's eyes widened. "I don't like to think about it. I want to leave,
but I don't, you know?"

"You love your grandparents," Liz said.

"Yeah, and this place, of course. It's boring, you know, but it's home.
I don't want to go far away."

"You might be smarter than I was. I went a thousand miles from home, and
look at me now."

Elena looked down. "You seem pretty smart to me."

Liz chuckled. "Well, as much as my mother might like to think so, I'm
just kidding you. I don't think that me going so far from home is related
to this --" she indicated her gargantuan tummy -- "so much as it's related
to me hating everything my parents stood for."

"You're lucky to have your parents. I've got Grandma and Pop, but they
just aren't the same."

Liz took in the beautiful young girl with the sad eyes. "Elena, I think
you're the luckiest girl alive."

"How so?" Suddenly sullen teenage angst kicked in, and Liz resisted the
urge to smile.

"You may not have your mother. But you do have two people who love you
more than anything else in the world, and they're wonderful, generous
people. You're strikingly beautiful. You're smart. No one can meet you
without falling in love with you."

Elena smiled shyly. "That's not true."

"It is. Take it from the experienced old woman," Liz said dryly. "You've
got it going on, sister."

They both started to giggle, and they stayed that way until Maddie arrived
home half an hour later. She eyed them and they burst into fits of laughter.
Maddie shrugged and hung up her coat.


Max threw the roadmap down in disgust. He was totally and completely lost.
He'd been driving through Nebraska, and had somehow managed to miss the
turnoff south through Colorado into New Mexico. That's what I get for
trying to take smaller roads and actually *enjoy* my trip, Max thought
acidly to himself.

He drove around until he found the road he'd come in on, then turned in
what he hoped was the direction he'd come from. God knew it was hard
for him to tell north from south in this endless heap of corn. It was
also hard to avoid sleeping at the wheel, although he suspected that the
roads were straight enough that if he did fall asleep, no one would
notice, and he would wake up hours later with a crick in his neck, still
on the same road through endless fields of corn.

He had a slight suspicion that the corn was evil. Sure, corn
was an interesting kind of food, but who really ate that much of it
that thousands and thousands of miles of corn was necessary? Did they
grind it up and put it in dog food? Or was it more sinister than that?
Were there secret government installations hidden from view inside the
endless fields?

Max groaned and rubbed his temples, letting go of the wheel. He was going
crazy. He had to get the hell out of Nebraska, soon, or he was going to
lose it.

**Daddy, watch out.**

Max looked up in confusion to see a little girl in the road directly in
front of him. Everything slid into slow motion as he grabbed the wheel
and slammed on his brakes, his car sliding across the empty lanes of the
road, leaving burning rubber marks in its wake. A singed smell crept
into Max's nostrils as he prayed inwardly to somehow avoid the child.

The car finally halted, turned in the opposite direction he'd just been
driving. Without bothering to move it out of the path of potential
traffic, he bolted out of the car to check if the little girl was all

There was no little girl. Max's heart, which had only in the last few
seconds begun its retreat from his throat, crept upwards. Where the
hell was she? Had she darted into the corn? She had to be all right,
then. But the corn wasn't high yet, it was only spring, and he should
be able to see where she'd gone.

There was no sign of her at all. Max sagged to the cement. What the
fuck was going on? He could have sworn that was the same tiny dark-haired
girl who had featured so prominently in that vivid dream he'd had. The
one that had also shown him features of Liz's hometown. That must have
been it...he must have fallen asleep at the wheel. Well, he was awake
now, thank God, and he'd have to stop for some coffee at the next town.

He climbed back into his car, willing his heart to slow down. He pulled
its nose out of the dirt and looked up.

A large green sign, barely visible through the corn, bore the words
DENVER 207. It also had a large arrow, pointing at a road he'd missed
while caught in his daydreams. "Jesus," Max muttered to himself,
and looked around. There was still no sign of the little brunette.
He sighed and started the engine, making a right turn onto the road
heading south.


Liz sat in the biggest, comfiest chair in the house. She tried to
look at her belly. Maddie and Elena were watching in fascination as
the baby kicked and actually made small impressions in the skin of
her stomach. While Liz could definitely feel the future soccer star
in her stomach, she could not see her. She groaned in frustration.
Maddie looked up and smiled. "Not too long now," she said

"God I hope not," Liz muttered. "I don't know how much more abuse
she can give my kidneys."

"Are you so sure it's a girl? The way you're carrying, old wives
would tell you it's a boy," Maddie said.

"I'm sure," Liz said. "I've always felt that she's a girl."

"Do you have a name picked out?"

"Yeah...Selia Aurora."

"That's beautiful," Elena said.

"Unusual," Maddie added. "What does it mean?"

"It means blind dawn," Liz said. "I thought it was fitting,

Maddie smiled and looked up at the clock. "Oh, dear," she said.
"It's gotten awful late."

Elena looked up at the clock and gaped. "Oh my God, I have a
final in the morning!"

Liz laughed. "Go to bed!"

Maddie looked at her. "You, too," Liz said.

"You can't sleep, can you? The baby's too big."

Liz groaned. "No, I can't, Maddie. It's impossible, I've tried
every position imaginable. I'm so tired, you'd think I would fall
asleep no matter what, but I don't. I would take something, but I
know it would be bad for my baby. So I just...sit. And don't sleep."

"Well, feel free to sit here and read or watch one of the videos if
you like," Maddie said.

"I will," Liz said. "You won't hear anything?"

"Ted and I sleep like the dead," Maddie assured her. "We won't hear a

"All right," she said.

Maddie turned toward her bedroom, but as she reached the hallway, she
turned back around. "Do you have a name picked out, in case it's a

Liz shook her head sheepishly. "No. I never even considered it."

The old woman laughed and shook her head.


Sometime during the night, Liz drifted off. She awakened with a start
and looked into the kitchen to see Maddie preparing coffee. A sleepy-
eyed Elena drifted into the dining room and poured herself a bowl of
cold cereal. Maddie scolded her before noticing Liz.

"Awake, are we?"

Liz nodded. "I guess my poor brain finally gave out."

"It does that," Maddie said. "What would you like for breakfast?"

Knowing that if she tried to scoff at breakfast she'd get twice the
scolding Elena had, she gave in. "A few eggs would be fine."

"All right, but you don't eat enough to keep a bird alive."

"I know," Liz said to herself as she waddled into the bathroom. She
was half-convinced that she wouldn't fit through the doorframe, but
she slid inside and shut the door behind her.

She emptied her bladder and washed her hands, shaking her head at the
knowledge that she would be back in here within the space of an hour,
no matter what she had to drink. She felt a mild pain in her abdomen,
but ignored it.

"Liz, dear?"

Liz opened the door and walked back into the hallway. "Yes?"

"What kind of jam do you want with your toast?"

"Blackberry would be -- oh my God," Liz said as she felt a warm trickle
seep down her legs.

"What?" Maddie asked, looking up at the horrified expression on Liz's
face, then down at her pants. "Oh dear," she said.

"Was that my water breaking?" Liz asked faintly.

"Yes, I'm pretty sure," Maddie said. "I'll call the doctor straightaway."

"Oh my God," Liz said, sitting heavily.

"Whoa," Elena said.

Maddie picked up the phone and started to dial. Liz grimaced, knowing
suddenly that no doctor would be able to help her. God knew they'd try
to take her baby away from her, or something. She didn't want Maddie's
family to know about whatever was wrong with it -- but they were better
than some doctor or hospital.

"Don't call the doctor," Liz said.

"What? Why?"

"Please, please, just don't."

"Liz, dear, you're a tiny thing and this is your first. You need a doctor."


"You can't just have the baby on your own!"

"Yes, I can."

"Liz, dear...I don't want anything to happen to you!"

"I'll take that chance," she said.

Reluctantly, Maddie put the phone down in its receiver. "How about we strike
a deal. Right now, I'll coach you through it, no doctor. I've seen plenty
of babies born. But if anything goes wrong, I'll call the doctor."

Liz squeezed her eyes shut as the pain blossomed through her body. "All right."

"Okay," Maddie said, and closed her eyes and began to pray for the young girl
who'd become such an integral part of her family.

Author's note: Again: I know this part was short, but that's because the next
part's gonna be pretty long. And hopefully the evil writer's block won't strike

posted on 14-Jun-2002 5:37:55 PM by jezebel617
Thanks for all the feedback and the bumping you guys...I am currently working on part 16 and will have it out in the next couple of days, I promise.

posted on 19-Jun-2002 3:50:19 AM by jezebel617
Part 16

Liz screamed in agony, sweat pouring down her body and soaking her nightgown and
sheets. The nightgown had become transparent and her hugely pregnant body and
swollen breasts were evident.

"Push, dear, just push," a soothing voice came from the end of the bed. Clearly
the voice of an old woman, experienced in these matters.

She let out a groan and pushed so hard the strain was visible in every line of
her body. Panting, she held it as the woman counted to ten, then collapsed back
into the mattress.

The woman clucked her tongue. "It's not coming."

Liz moaned. "I can't take any more! Get it out of me, please, just get it out
of me!"

The men stood in the shadows and turned to each other, the dark lines across
their faces arching as they spoke in low tones. Then the doctor stepped forward,
and knelt between Liz's legs. Her eyes widened. The old woman had vanished.
"Oh my God, who are you? What are you doing?" She abruptly cut off as the doctor
reached down and visibly, graphically, began to *pull.* A baby appeared, but
it was not human. Oh, no, that was as clear as anything. It was dead; it did
not cry. It was horribly greenish black, and deformities sprouted throughout
its pitiful body.

Liz screamed again. "What did you do to my baby? Where is my baby? Where is
my baby?"

Then she stilled and went quiet, and the sheets surrounded her turned reddish black
as a flow of blood erupted from inside her. She moaned softly as her skin paled.

"My baby..."


Max woke up choking back a scream and covered in cold sweat. He waited for his
eyes to adjust to the darkness and willed his heart to slow, knowing it had only
been a dream. Liz was fine, wherever she was. She couldn't be in labor yet
anyhow. She wasn't far enough along.

**Or so you think,** his guilty conscience nagged at him. He'd given her a baby
that was part alien, and who knew how her pregnancy had progressed since she'd
left Maria? For all he knew, she could have given birth already. He might have
a baby out there somewhere, a fatherless child that would never understand why
he had to be different from all the other kids.

And recently he'd been contemplating why the pregnancy had occurred at all. He
was certain they'd used a condom, and neither he nor Michael had ever impregnated
anyone to the best of their knowledge. If they had some kind of alien super-sperm,
no one had ever bothered to let them in on it before.

Max sighed and flipped on the bedside light. Suddenly he realized with a start
that he had not talked to Michael in over a month. He wondered, half-amused,
if Michael had classified him as the certain victim of government experiments,
or whether he had used what little common sense he had and called Diane Evans.

He picked up the phone next to the ratty motel bed and dialed Michael's number
on the chipped yellow keys. Much to his amusement, a female voice answered,
croaking out, "Hello?"

"Hello, may I speak to Michael, please?"

"Sure," the voice said in a half moan, and Max heard mumbling as the phone changed

"Do you have any fucking clue what time it is?"

Max held the phone away from his ear and winced. "Michael, calm the hell down."

"Max? Is that you? Where the *fuck* have you been? And why do you feel the desire
to call me at 5AM? You know I don't get out of bed before 9!"

"Yeah, it's me, Michael. I've been...soul searching, I guess. I'm in Denver,
I'm going to head down to Roswell today."

"When the hell are you coming back here?"

"I don't know. Maybe never."

Michael groaned. "You've got to be shitting me. You won't believe what's been
going on here since you left."

"No, what?"

"You mean you haven't been watching the news?"

"No, not really."

"Oh, man. Jones went down hard."

"Huh? What do you mean?"

"The CEO, man, he'd been skimming profits off the top for years, you know we all
suspected, but there was never anything we could prove. And apparently when
Jones took over he continued in that venerable tradition, only he multiplied his
personal profits by about five. And that tipped off the feds. He was arrested a
week ago in his office. Caught with his pants down with Tess Harding, of course.
They dragged her in too, something about conspiracy to commit a felony."

Max sat in stunned disbelief for a second, then started to laugh. "That's great."

Michael grunted. "Yeah, it's funny as hell, I've been getting a big laugh at work.
Especially when the feds raided my office and took my files."

"Well, it's not like you had anything -- us-related in there, did you?" Michael
hesitated. "Michael? Tell me you didn't keep any us-stuff in there."

"No, I didn't. But I could have, Maxwell."

"Yeah, right. Here's two key words for you, Michael -- don't panic. Stay cool."

"I think you should come back here."

"Why? I don't work there any more."

The woman whimpered in the background. Max couldn't make out what she said, but
it sounded pathetic and tired. "I gotta go, Max," Michael said gruffly. "Get
your ass back here, soon."


Elena was off at school and Maddie was hovering around like a nervous little bird,
reading a pregnancy and labor guide that looked to date back to sometime near
Elena's birth. Liz was settled comfortably in the master bedroom, and Ted sat
across the room in a huge easy chair, beads of sweat dotting his face. He
watched his wife pace the floor and winked at Liz. She held back a laugh.

The wind was whipping outside in a rare late spring thunderstorm. It was like
an extended version of the one Liz had spent an afternoon immersed in, and it
wasn't letting up.

The contractions weren't too far apart now, and Maddie told Liz that while she
couldn't check to see how far she was dilated, full dilation would come with a
frantic desire to push. Liz rolled her eyes. She wanted to push already. Now.
She wanted this kid out of her, so her insanely overflated stomach could relax.

She felt another contraction coming on and closed her eyes tightly, balling her
fists at her sides. She opened them as she felt a cool hand enclose hers. Ted
massaged her small, warm hand lightly with his large cool one. "Breathe," he

Liz did, drawing in slow breaths as best she could until the pain passed. She
relaxed and lay back on the bed. Maddie was looking at her with worried eyes.
"I wish you'd let me call the doctor," she said.

"No," Liz said forcefully. A cup on the table next to her bed flew across the
room and shattered against the wall.

"Oh dear!" Maddie murmured anxiously, and went to pick up the shards of porcelain.
"Liz, there's no need to throw things!"

"I didn't throw anything," Liz said, looking confused.

"Dear, I just saw that cup fly across the room!"

"I didn't touch it!"

"Ted, you must have seen her throw that cup!"

"I didn't see her throw it," Ted said mildly, his eyes on Liz.

Maddie harrumphed and went into the kitchen to throw away the pieces.

"Liz..." Ted muttered, looking uneasy. Liz had never seen a look like that on
the old man's face before.

"What?" Liz asked. She was already anticipating her next contraction.

"Honey, why don't you want to go to the doctor?"

She sighed. "I can't explain it. But I can't go to a doctor."

"There's something abnormal about your pregnancy, isn't there? Or perhaps it's
something about you."

Liz's heart jumped into her throat. "What...what are you talking about? What do
you mean?"

"Liz, when that cup flew across the room, a little green spark came from your
hand. I saw it."

"Oh my God," Liz said, her whole body turning cold with dread. "Oh my God."

"What is it?"

A tear creased its way down her face. "I don't know, I don't know. There's
something funny about my baby. glows green, sometimes, my stomach. And
I don't know why, but I'm afraid something will happen and the doctors will want
to take my baby away. You know, like in the movies, I can't...I can't let that
happen. This is my baby! It's mine!"

The washcloth that Maddie had used to wipe Liz's brow rose into the air and hit
the ceiling with a wet smack. "I see," Ted said. "Liz, we won't let anybody take
your baby from you."

"You can't," she whimpered. "You can't, you can't."

"We won't," Maddie said, wiping her hands with a dishtowel as she stepped around
the corner. "Well, that certainly explains quite a lot, doesn't it?"


Max stuffed his doughnut in his mouth as he pulled away from the motel. He still
had that listless feeling, the feeling of having a destination but no idea where it
was or how to get there. His "soul searching" as he'd referred to it was apparently
not over.

He had called his mother and let her know he'd be there by tonight at the latest.
She sounded pleased that he was coming home, and she hadn't asked about his search,
as though she'd known it would be fruitless. He hadn't told her about any of the
weird things, like the little girl who had him half-convinced he was going insane.

He was headed south into New Mexico. He passed the border with the sun high in the
sky, sending a bright light over the canyons and buttes that stretched as far as the
eye could see. There was little traffic and Max relaxed, knowing his route home
by heart.

He passed the little town of Raton and saw the sign for the exit just past it,
New Mexico Highway 64. That was the two-lane road that would take him to Cimarron
and Taos. He ignored it and continued south on the 25.

Then he sighed and wrenched the car hard to the right, just making the exit.
Maybe the beautiful locale where he'd first dreamed of the little girl would hide
more clues to the whereabouts of Liz and his unborn baby. And even if nothing
came of it, it was one of the most beautiful diversions the world had to offer.

He rolled his eyes at himself. What was he going to do, fall asleep in the middle
of the day in hopes of having another ridiculous dream?

But he didn't turn back toward the freeway.


"Maddie, I think it's time to push."

"Are you sure, dear? It's your first...they can take a long time."

"Oh God, yes, I'm sure. I need to push."

"All right," Maddie said. "You just...wait until your next contraction, and then
push. Go with your body."

"Oh, I will," Liz said.


Maddie looked at Ted worriedly. Liz had been pushing for quite a while and not much
seemed to be happening. "Did I ever take this long once I started to push?"

"No, never."

"Jana never did either to the best of my knowledge. Oh, God, I'm afraid something's
wrong. She's getting too tired."

They looked at the young woman, covered in sweat and laying back on the bed in a
state of exhaustion. They doubted she could even hear them. During her earlier
contractions, anything too near her would lift off and soar around the room. Now,
though, even that bizarre activity had stopped.

"Well, let me take one more look," Maddie said, and leaned down between Liz's
legs. Maddie stiffened visibly as Liz barely sighed at the intrusion.

"What's wrong?"

"Breech," Maddie said tonelessly.

"Shouldn't she be able to deliver a breech?"

"Most of the time, yes. But it's not a regular breech. The feet are coming out
first. And I think her pelvis is so small it doesn't want to let the rest of the
baby out. She must have never dilated all the way."

"What?" Liz asked, her voice barely audible. "What's wrong?"

Maddie and Ted shared a long look, then Maddie said, "Liz, honey, something's gone
wrong with the birth. We need to call a doctor right away."

Liz moaned. "No, I can't, I don't..." she tried to sit up and failed.

"I'll call," Ted said, and ran for the phone. "She's in no condition to consent or

Maddie sat at Liz's side and took her hand. "Dear, I know this is the last thing you
want, but you and your baby could die at this point if we don't do something. And I
promise you we'll do everything we can to make sure that nothing happens to your baby
once we get to the hospital."

Liz's eyes barely opened. "Okay."

"Oh thank God," Maddie said, and stroked Liz's hand.

Ted rushed back into the room. "I called. They said they'll get here as quick as
possible, but they can't send the helicopter because of the wind, and they don't
know how long it'll take for the ambulance to reach us."

Maddie tightened her lips as Liz moaned in preparation for another contraction.


Max sighed as he looked around the roadside turnoff. Well, he'd certainly arrived
back where this whole strange odyssey had started from, but he'd had no more portents.
And no more little girls.

He sat at the picnic table and chewed thoughtfully on a sunflower seed. The water
gushing down the rock behind him was soothing and he felt at peace for the first time
in weeks. That was something, anyway.


An hour later, the ambulance still hadn't arrived. Liz was barely conscious, her
skin oily and her hair greasy but dry. She wasn't sweating anymore and that worried
Maddie greatly. She wouldn't take anymore ice chips either.

"Do you think we could help her?"

"Help her how?" Ted asked doubtfully.

"We could pull on the baby during its next contraction. I don't know, Ted, I don't
know if the baby's even alive anymore, but we have to try."

Ted chewed his lip. "I guess we've got nothing to lose. The poor thing isn't going
to be able to help herself anymore."

They knew when he next contraction came by the stiffening in her back, but Liz herself
barely reacted. Maddie was sure she'd been in the early stage of labor nearly all night,
and now it had been another twelve since her water had broken. She just didn't have
anything left in her. Maddie reached down and pulled as gently as she could on the
baby's feet, praying that this wasn't the absolute wrong thing to do.

To her amazement, the baby came free and made its way down the birth canal into Maddie's
waiting arms. Liz came alive and let out an ear-piercing scream as her baby finally
made it into the world. Maddie looked at the baby, horrified. It was purple from lack
of oxygen and not breathing. She started to cry, knowing it had all been in vain.

Ted took the child from her and slapped it on the back. The baby gurgled, then sucked in
a breath and began to wail. "Oh, thank Jesus," Maddie said, accepting the baby back into
a clean sheet and wiping blood and mucus away from its face. "She's beautiful, Liz.
Selia Aurora, just like you thought."

"Liz," Ted said softly. "It's your little girl, Liz. Don't you want to hold her?"

She didn't respond. The couple looked at her and let out mutual groans. Her skin was
so pale she almost glowed, and the sheets around her were soaked in blood as it
gushed from inside her.


Max had finally found the road south into Santa Fe, and was looking forward to dinner
at one of his favorite restaurants, a little hole in the wall in the middle of town
with fantastic enchiladas.


The scream sounded in Max's head and he jerked the car to the side of the road, terrified
to see that little girl in the middle of the road again. She wasn't there, and his heart
pounded, knowing that something had to be wrong.

Author's Note: You guys better appreciate this, I stayed up til 4am for it!!! And please forgive any of my ignorances about pregnancy, I did some research but I'm winging it here.

posted on 20-Jun-2002 1:01:52 AM by jezebel617
LOLOL kittens!!! I thought the exact same thing when I was writing this last chapter!! damn baby's smarter than all of

posted on 5-Jul-2002 2:43:58 AM by jezebel617
Thanks for all the feedback, and the bumping you guys!! The new part is almost finished but I'm exhausted right now so I'll post it ASAP...
probably tomorrow or Saturday...gotta see how much I screwed it up by writing it when I was too tired.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 5-Jul-2002 2:49:19 AM ]
posted on 6-Jul-2002 5:33:32 PM by jezebel617
You guys are SOOOO lucky that I love you...because my internet's down! I'm at my friend's house...

Part 17

Max was still sitting at the curb, trying to steady his erratic breathing, when
not one or two but three ambulances rushed by.

"No way," he muttered. "It's not possible, those are not...they're not, they
can't be."

They weren't heading for Liz, he told himself. That went beyond the realm of
any aliens he'd ever heard of. But there was the little girl, shouting at him.
She hadn't steered him wrong yet.

He watched the ambulances race by, their sirens wailing and flashing in the
light rain that was falling. Max watched the red patterns reflect on the wet
ground, then cursed.

He turned to follow the them, wherever they were going.


They led him up a steep, curving mountain road with breathtaking views. Max
didn't have time to appreciate them; between the speed of the ambulances and the
steadily increasing rainstorm, all his concentration was on driving. One edge
of the drive fell off into a canyon, and the other side was solid rock, with
water flowing steadily down its sides to puddle on the road, making things ever
more treacherous. The ambulances swerved from side to side erratically, making
Max's heart pound as he tried to keep up with them. He was angry with himself.
It should have been easy, his car was faster by far...but he just didn't have
any experience with this kind of terrain.

He could feel a sense of dread growing steadily within him, bringing with it
nausea. Something was terribly wrong, but he didn't have the slightest clue
what it was. He wished the little girl would come back and let him know what
the hell was going on.

Max laughed at himself shakily and gripped the wheel. It was official, he
was going completely insane. Soon the men in the long white coats would come
to take him away, and somewhere along *that* line they'd discover that he
thought he was an alien too, and they'd lock him up and throw away the key.
Either that, or spend lots of time experimenting on him.

The other thing was, the further he drove up this mountain, the stronger the
feeling of terror and pure wrong-ness grew in his belly. Something bad had
happened up here, something that wasn't meant to happen.

He glanced up and jumped. The ambulances were gone! Where the hell had they
disappeared to? He kept driving, then caught flashing lights in his rearview
mirror. They'd gone down some kind of driveway or turnoff. Max pulled a
hard U-turn and followed them, trying to choke down the nausea that kept
rising in his throat.

The ambulances came to an abrupt stop at a beautiful wooden cabin, and Max
slammed on his brakes, throwing the car to one side to avoid them. The
paramedics were already rushing inside, equipment in hand, as one of the
ambulances pulled around, preparing to leave, he supposed, as soon as
whoever was hurt was inside the van.

Max opened the car door and ran outside. The rain was pouring so hard he
was drenched instantaneously and the wind whipped him around. He grabbed
the side of his car and squinted. He wanted to go inside, but held back.

He took a deep breath. Yes, Maxwell, you are crazy, but somebody's sick in
there and you know you might be able to help them, whoever they are. He
started toward the house, knowing he'd never, never be able to tell his best
friend about this. Michael would kill him, literally. He could hear his
voice already. *What happened to secrecy, Maxwell? What happened to our-

He walked toward the cabin and through the open door. There was barely any
sound from inside. A few hushed whispers and a low buzzing were all he heard
as he followed the paramedics' wet footprints into a back bedroom.

As he got closer he heard a male voice sternly call "Clear." Then there
was the familiar sound of an electric shock and a body jumping. As the
voices muttered, Max burst into the room.

It was filled with people and Max took them all in with a glance. There
were two older people, both looking to be in their sixties or seventies,
with tears running down their faces. The woman was cradling a bundle of
cloth. There were also several younger people --two women and four men
-- paramedics, crowded around a bed with red sheets. There was a heart
monitor next to the bed emitting that continuous whining sound. The line
on the screen was completely flat.

With a sudden jolt Max realized that the sheets weren't red...they had
once been white. They were stained with blood. He jerked forward, pushing
aside the paramedics as they prepared to jolt the unresponsive body once

And with that, Max's worst fears and greatest hopes came true in the same


Liz lay on the bed. He barely recognized her. She'd lost weight and her
skin was so pale that she was almost vampirish. He choked back a sob. He
didn't know how he'd come here, how his search had come to this. Had come
to death. He could tell that she wasn't breathing and hadn't been for
some time.

The quiet in the room was broken by the man holding the paddles, who
angrily demanded, "Who the hell are you?"

Max ignored him and leaned forward, caressing her cheek. She was still
warm; there was hope. He hesitated and looked at the older couple. The
man looked befuddled but not hostile, and a look of understanding framed
the woman's face. The paramedics, on the other hand, looked sad and

"What happened to her?" he asked, feeling tired. He could guess well
enough from the evidence all around them, but he had to know for sure.

The paramedics looked at each other, then one of the women said, "She
hemorrhaged during a difficult labor. We couldn't take the AeroMed
because of the storm."

This was his fault, then. Everything that had happened to her, this sweet,
innocent young girl -- it was all his fault. And now there was only one
step he could take to make it right. Even if it meant sacrificing himself.

"How is the baby?" Max asked, knowing it had to be much too soon and any
baby born so premature couldn't still be alive, not without thousands of
tubes and monitors. Why hadn't they gone to the hospital? Had there
been no time, or had it been the storm?

"Fine," the old woman said, jiggling the bundle she held. The blankets
stirred and let out a tiny coo.

Max gasped a little, hearing the cry of the baby. "That's...that's good."

"She's beautiful. Her name is Selia Aurora. Do you want to hold her?"

He stared at the old woman. Did she know? How could she know? Who he
was, to Liz, to the general? "I'd love to," he choked

She handed the little girl to him and he stared down at her in amazement.
She was miniscule, but somehow it didn't matter. She was sleeping, the
falling and rising of her chest barely noticeable through the blankets
that wrapped her. A lock of dark hair fell over her brow and her silky
smooth cheeks were a rosy pink. "Selia," he murmured.

He took a deep breath and held her out to the old woman, who took the
baby back with a tiny smile. Then she looked at him, her eyes keen and
observing. Then she gave the paramedics a pointed look and said, "There's
nothing more you can do here."

They started to argue with her, and in the confusion Max climbed onto the
bed next to Liz, ignoring the blood that stained his khakis. He put one
hand on her belly and left the other on her cheek. He closed his eyes,
pouring every ounce of strength he had within him into her.

For this moment, there was no one in the world but the two of them. Max
winced, feeling the internal damage the labor had caused her and
the massive loss of blood. Not that that hadn't been obvious from the
soaked sheets and splatters that were visible from here on the beige

Liz's eyes flew open as she took a monstrous breath of air and her heart
started beating again. "Look into my eyes," Max said. She was in no
condition to argue. He looked down at her, losing himself in the deep
chocolate brown of her irises as he tried to find and repair the injury.

As her color returned and her bone marrow pumped new blood into her veins,
Max felt himself begin to weaken. His heartbeat slowed and became irregular
and he moved his hand from Liz's cheek onto the bed, using it to prop his
weight on his shaky arm.

As Liz became aware of herself and her surroundings, her eyes widened and
she pushed him away. "Max, STOP!"

Liz was definitely back in business. She pushed him so hard he landed on
the floor with a thud. His breathing was shallow and irregular but no
one noticed.

The paramedics were looking between the two of them. One of the women was
crying openly, her body shaking with sobs. They all stood back, their
fear obvious. Liz climbed off the bed, leaning over Max. "Max? Max?
Are you okay?"

He nodded, groaning a little. "I will be. Just...give me a few minutes."

Maddie was the only one to brave forward from the cluster of people on
the other side of the room. "Your daughter," she said. She gave the
baby to Liz, who looked at Maddie, then at it, in awe.

One of the paramedics, who had been silent through all he'd just seen,
cleared his throat. "I think it's clear that this lady's okay. I think
we should go."

The head paramedic looked at him incredulously. "She needs to get to
the hospital, now!"

Liz glanced down at her nightshirt, completely soaked through with her
own blood. "I'm fine," she said. "I guess it was just a false alarm,

"But..." he protested. "Look at all that blood! No one can lose that
much blood and live, it's just not...what did he do to you?"

"He didn't do anything," Liz said firmly. "I was fine, I just needed
to be woken up. I guess I must have passed out."

The man was sputtering. "He did something to you! I saw him!"

Ted spoke up. "Don't be ridiculous. What could he have done?"

"Well...I don't know...but people who have lost more than half the
blood in their body don't just get up and walk around!"

"Sir, I'm sorry we scared you all by calling you out here as an
emergency. We thought we had one sick young lady on our hands, but
clearly we were wrong. You can go now."

"But..." the paramedic looked at Liz, covered in blood and holding her
baby defiantly, and the older couple standing firm. Over in the
corner, Max managed to stand up.

"They're right. Let's go," said one of the other men, leading the
head paramedic away. Before he guided the others out the door, he
looked at them and smiled a little. "Miracles happen, you know?"

Ted smiled back. "Sometimes they do, son."

The six paramedics clomped out of the house, their ambulances leaving
without turning the sirens back on.

Ted put his hand on his wife's shoulder and raised an eyebrow at Max.
"I'm guessing this is the father," he said in a low voice.

Liz nodded, looking down the baby in her arms. "She's perfect," she

She turned around, looking at Max, her eyes flashing. "Max, what the
*hell* did you do to me?"


Max almost sat down on the bed, then thought better of it and leaned
against the wall. "I healed you. You weren' were dead, Liz.
I brought you back to life."

Liz looked at him, her lower lip trembling. "You, uh, you have a lot
to explain, but I..." she looked down at her nightgown in disgust,
"I need to take a shower."

"I can clean up your nightgown for you," he offered.

She looked horrified. "Please! No more...weird stuff. I've had
enough of that for one night. I'm just going to go take a shower."

Maddie spoke up. "Do you think you're quite strong enough?"

"Yes, I feel fine, I guess. Maddie, could you come with me? I
need to talk to you, and you could watch me, you know, make sure I
don't fall or anything."

"Certainly, dear."

Max and Ted looked at each other through narrowed eyes as Liz and
Maddie went into the bathroom.


"What did he do to me, Maddie? What happened?" Liz asked as she
washed blood off her skin, watching it turn the clean white tile
on the shower floor a grimy pink.

"What do you remember?"

"I remember...the baby wasn't coming. It was breech. And then
nothing, really. The next thing I saw was Max's face, and I felt
the pain inside me disappearing. Then I saw that he was shaking
and looked like he was in pain, so I pushed him away."

Maddie sighed, shifting on the chair she'd dragged inside with
her. "Well, the paramedics showed up and you weren't breathing
and your heart wasn't beating. Max was right, you *were* dead, Liz.
The baby was fine, we'd finally gotten her out of you, but when she
came out, so did a whole lot of blood. And I guess you'd lost so
much that by the time they'd gotten here it was too late. Then,
about five minutes after the paramedics arrived, this young man
comes bursting in and pushes the paramedics out of the way. I
looked at him, and down at little Selia, and I'm telling you, I've
never seen two people look more alike." Maddie looked down at the
baby, now squirming around in her arms, but not quite yet to crying
stage. "I figured he was probably the father, and I don't know how
the hell he got up here, but here he was, and when he asked me how
the baby was I knew for sure. He took her and looked down at her,
and he looked just like any new daddy with his baby girl. Then he
gave me back to you, and he put his hands on you, and a few minutes
later you were up and he was on the floor."

"God," Liz said tonelessly. "I...God, I can't think about this
right now. Do you think the paramedics knew anything?"

"Does it matter if they did?"

"Well, Max saw...powers, or whatever, and I can't believe
that there's not some person out there looking to exploit something
like that."

"I suppose you're right," Maddie said thoughtfully.

"You don't find this all strange?"

"Well, certainly it's strange, but I've lived a long time and seen
some unusual things. Once I saw the medicine man of my tribe heal
a man close to death with chants. Stranger things have happened
than your young man, Liz."

The baby finally let out a piercing wail, and Maddie grinned. "I
think she's hungry, dear."

Liz poked her head out from behind the shower curtain. "Really?
Uh, what do I do?"

Maddie laughed. "Well, first thing, finish getting cleaned up!"

"Oh, right," Liz said, and ducked back under the spray.


"So," Max said nervously. He held out his hand to the old man.
"Max Evans."

"Ted Johnson," the old man said, but didn't extend his hand. Max
looked down at his own, and realized it still had blood on it. He
winced and grabbed a Kleenex off the nighstand.

"So," he repeated.

"I don't approve of young men who abandon the young ladies carrying
their children," Ted boomed.

Oh God, Max thought. "Sir, I had no idea she was pregnant until a few
weeks ago."

"Really. I was under the impression that it takes two to make a baby."

"Well, I mean, I knew that know, but I had no way of knowing
that she was actually pregnant."

Ted glared at him. Max gulped. He knew that this guy wasn't her father,
and he was pretty sure that he wasn't her real grandfather since her
family hadn't thought to look here, but whoever this guy was, he was
more protective than any of Liz's family that he'd met. "Sir, I looked
everywhere for her as soon as I found out. And I want you to know...I'm
going to spend as much time as it takes to make it up to her. The whole
rest of my life, if necessary."

"Hmmmm," Ted growled.

"Where's the baby? And who's the hunk?" Elena burst into the room.

Ted said, "This is Max Evans, the father of Liz's baby. Max, this is
my granddaughter, Elena."

"Hi," Max said.

"Oh," Elena said, looking him up and down with an expression of distaste.
"You. Where's the baby?" Then she caught sight of the bloodied bed
from behind Max and her eyes widened. "Is there normally that much blood?"

"No, dear, but Liz is fine. She and Maddie and the baby are in the
bathroom getting cleaned up."

"We're all finished, but somebody was hungry," Maddie beamed, leaning in
the door behind Elena. "Max, Liz wants to talk to you. Come on, she's
in the living room."

Max followed Maddie out, Elena not far behind him. Liz was in an easy
chair in the living room, breast-feeding Selia. She looked up at them
and smiled. "I guess I got the hang of it."

"Wow," Elena said. "She's so little. And pretty," she added, taking
in the smooth skin and shiny hair.

"Thanks, honey."

"Come on, Elena, Liz wants to talk to Max alone." Maddie practically
dragged her granddaughter from the room.

"Hi," Max said nervously, sitting on the couch across from Liz.

She raised an eyebrow at him. "What are you?"

Max hesitated. "I'm an alien."

"A what?"

"I'm an alien, Liz. Not human. Well, I am part human, that's
got pregnant."

"Right," Liz said. "So you're an alien. You knocked me up despite two
forms of birth control, with a baby that glowed green through my stomach
at the strangest times. When I went into labor, at six months along I
might add, not nine, things started flying around the room."

"Oh, yeah, Isabel does that sometimes."


"My sister. She's an alien, too."

"So we have a whole family of aliens here, or what?" Liz asked, her voice
dripping sarcasm.

"Listen, Liz, I'm really sorry," Max offered.

"I'm sure you are. But what are you going to do about it?"

"Whatever you want me to do."

She sighed and pulled Selia away from her breast, the nipple popping free
before Liz tucked it back into the thick bathrobe she was wearing. "I
don't know if there's anything I want from you, Max, besides child support."

Author's Note: Well, this part is interesting even to be honest with
y'all, I only had this fic planned through part 16. So whatever happens
from here on out is going to be as much a surprise to me as it is to you.
posted on 16-Jul-2002 12:10:21 AM by jezebel617
LOL you guys!!! to be honest I haven't been working on it. but, I'll start now, to appease you. the reason I haven't been working on it is because I've been fanatically car shopping, and tonight my shopping came to a conclusion with the purchase of my first ever car!! well not the first one I've driven, being that I'm 19, but the first one that's actually mine. but now I'm happy, so I'll start writing. *happy*

posted on 11-Aug-2002 2:56:27 AM by jezebel617
LOL!!!! Thanks you guys!!! For not giving up, and the congratulations on my car, and everything!! Now the part isn't too long, but it does offer some resolution, I guess. Here you go! I stayed up late again for you guys!

Part 18

I honestly never expected this story to be so long...LOL!! And it's
nowhere near the end really!

Max was speechless. It wasn't really an uncommon occurrence for someone
like him, who'd struggled with social acceptance and deadly secrets for
his entire life, to suddenly lose the powers of conversation, but he
struggled, choking as he tried to form words. "Liz...I mean..."

She looked away, her lower lip trembling. "I need to get my life in
order right now. Maybe in a few months I'll be ready for you to be a
part of Selia's life, but now...I just need some time."

He fought past the lump in his throat that was choking him. "Liz, no.
I can't accept that. I need to be a part of my daughter's life."

She glared at him. "I don't think you get to decide this, Max."

"Yes, I do. She's my baby as much as yours. Any..." Max swallowed and
steeled himself. "Any court of law would tell you the same thing. I
have as much a right to her as you do."

" couldn't take it to court. I mean, you're not, you're not
even human!"

"I don't think any judge will believe you if you tell him that, Liz."

"It doesn't matter! left me, you abandoned me, God, you have
no idea what I went through. I was kicked out of school, my parents
abandoned me, I've been wandering the country looking for someplace to
belong, and when I finally think I've found it, you appear!"

"Liz, I know it's been hard. But if it weren't for me, you wouldn't have
a life at all."

"If it weren't for you, I would never have gotten into this situation
in the first place!" her voice was getting higher and higher in pitch.
The baby squirmed and let out a little squeak in her arms.

"God...would you calm down? You're going to wake the baby."

"Oh, so now you're telling me how to mother my own child?"

"I'm not telling you anything. No matter what happened afterwards, no
matter who we are or who we used to be, we created a child together.
That's what matters. And all I want is what's best for our daughter.
I'm not going to let you take her away from me, not after I searched so
hard to find you both."

Liz sniffed a little. "How did you find us? I thought you must have
used alien radar or something."

Max laughed shortly. "No alien radar here. I wish it had been that
easy. I went to North Carolina and talked to your roommate. I went to
Grand Rapids and talked -- well, I *tried* to talk to your family.

"You talked to my family? Are you crazy?"

"Yeah, Maria tried to warn me, but I didn't listen. Suffice it to say,
I didn't get the warmest reception, but your brother and dad are worried
about you."

Liz said nothing and looked away. He could tell from the pain on her
face that problems with her family were nothing new. He cleared his
throat. "Anyway, I drove all over the damned country looking for you
and what finally made me find you made me think I was crazy."

She couldn't help it; her scientist's investigative instincts were
kicking in. "What was it?"

He hesitated. "I'm not sure...but I think it was Selia."

"Yes..." Liz said doubtfully. "I'm sure she just took a vacation from
my womb to tell you where to find us."

"Well, I mean, I don't know because, it wasn't Selia as she is now. It
was a little girl, about four, maybe, and she called me Daddy. And she
looked just like me. And at that point, I had no idea that you were
pregnant. I'd just started out looking for you."

There was something in her eyes that told him he'd just hit something in
her memory. "Was it in a -- I mean, how did she appear to you?"

"Once in a dream, and twice, I guess, in my mind while I was awake. I
thought I was crazy, but I guess not, because I ended up here. The
first time, I dreamed that she led me through a town where it was
snowing, which struck me as odd, because it was springtime. And that town
turned out to be your hometown. When I drove through there, my hair
practically stood on end. And the second and third time -- she showed me
where to go, literally, while I was driving here."

"I had a dream, too," Liz said softly. "A strange dream, awhile
ago, with a little girl. And now that I can see your face again -- she
did look like you. And she led me through this really strange place
in the desert. I was trying to get somewhere and I couldn't until she
helped me. She led me to these rocks, they were glowing." Liz laughed a
little. "And I was going to say, this sounds crazy, but why? I'm talking
to an alien."

Max was staring at her, the expression on his face clearly indicating
he was thunderstruck. " were the rocks glowing?"

"What? Well, I don't know, it was a dream."

"Try to remember," he said hoarsely.

"Well, they rocks themselves weren't glowing. It was like this green
light was coming out from some cave inside I couldn't see."

"God," Max managed. "Well, I dreamed about your hometown, and you
dreamed about mine, Liz."

Liz shifted and pulled the baby closer to her, her robe falling open a
little. She pulled it closed and looked at him expectantly. "What do
you mean?"

"That glowing cave...that's where I was born."

"Oh, okay," Liz said. "Well, that just explains everything. Our baby
shows you where I was born, and shows me where you were born, and then
bam! you show up where she was born." The pitch of her voice was rising
again and Max cursed himself. Clearly, she needed to be introduced to
these things a little at a time.

They sat in uncomfortable silence for a few moments before Max asked,
"Can I hold her?"

She jerked away. "No! I mean, not yet, I can't give her up yet."

"Liz...all I want is for things to work out for the three of us."

"I know. That's what I'm trying to want, too."

Liz wasn't looking at him, and it frustrated him to know that he didn't
know her well enough to know why, or what that meant. Maybe he should
have dragged Maria along to talk sense into her. Not that he could blame
her...he had left her, and leaving some lame ass note on the table -- that
Liz had clearly never found -- was a pretty cold thing to do to a woman
you'd just spent a wonderful night with. He didn't know how to explain to
her that he'd had an early morning flight and that he hadn't wanted to lose
her, but the thought of losing his job hadn't been very appealing either.
He didn't want to tell her about his past or the pictures that had
circulated around his office of them in flagrante delicto -- he had no
idea how she would react. She hadn't reacted well to his alien heritage,
even though it had saved her life, and even though her daughter might
display traits like his in the future.

Max sighed and left her alone. He didn't realize the reason she had turned
her head away was to hide her tears.


Liz sniffed to herself, looking at her baby when she heard Max shut the
door. "Hey, Selia. For a while there, it looked like we weren't going to
be able to be together, huh?"

Selia squeezed her eyes shut tightly and squeaked. Liz laughed. "He's
right, though. You do look like him, you lucky girl."

The baby snuggled into her chest and seemed to drift off to sleep. Liz
smiled. Being born had to be pretty tiring. She tried to clear her mind
of everything Max had just said. She just didn't want to -- couldn't think
about it right now. It hurt too much.

She picked up the old rotary-style phone and dialed the digits she knew by
heart. She tried to think what time it was on the East Coast now, and she
knew it was late, but somehow she knew the person on the other end would be
glad to hear from her, no matter what time it was.


"Hi, Maria," Liz said, and suddenly had to choke back a wave of tears she
thought she had gotten rid of.

"Chica!" Maria cried. "Where the hell are you?"

"I'm safe, Maria." Liz didn't feel like explaining the whole situation, and
she knew Maria would want details.

"Thank God, thank God. Why the hell haven't you called me?"

"I just...I needed the time to myself, Maria. I can't explain it, really."

Maria let out the exasperated sigh Liz was so familiar with. "Whatever.
I know what you were going through, but don't you ever do that to me again,
you hear? Did Max find you?"

Liz was still. Max had been telling the truth about seeing Maria. "Yes, he
did. And just in time, I guess."

"What do you mean?"

"I...Maria, can you just be quiet for a few minutes? I want to tell you
everything that's happened to me since I left there."

"Chica, you know me!" Liz let her silence speak for her. "Oh, all right.
I'll be quiet. Just tell me!"

Liz told her the whole story, from the terrible reunion with her family to
fleeing cross-country and winding up in a tiny town in northern New Mexico.
A place where she felt safe and loved, where she could let her troubles out
of her mind. A place where she had given birth to baby Selia and had nearly
died doing so.

"God, Liz, I should have been there for you!"

Liz finally let the tears go. "I know, honey, I know. I was stupid. I
couldn't...I still don't know how to deal with this. I just let Max leave,
and God only knows if he's gone for good."

Maria sighed. "You know, he came here to see me, and at first, you know, I
was all freaked as hell by the whole alien thing, even though it explained
your whole pregnancy. And he swore to me that the morning he left you, he
left a note with his name and number and all that stuff on it so that you
could get ahold of him. And he never understood why you didn't, he said. He
said that he thought you must not want him, and that he'd come across the
country to find you again to try to convince you that you two had something
special." Maria hesitated, not used to fibbing to her best friend even when
the fib was practically true anyway. "And you know what, Liz, I think he's

"How so?" Her voice was quavery.

"I think you two must have had something special, because I know you, chica,
and you would never sleep with just any guy, no matter how drunk you were.
It's not like you. And I love you, sweetie, and I want you to be happy."

"God Maria...I don't know what to do, I don't."

"Just follow your heart, Liz. I know it's so cliched, but it won't steer you
wrong. I feel so weird giving *you* of all people advice, but you have to do
what's right for you and Selia now. You know?"

"Yeah, I guess so." Liz looked down at the tiny bundle in her arms, sleeping
peacefully. "She's so amazing, Maria. I can't wait to show her to you."

"I can't wait to hold her!"

"She's so tiny, I can't believe it."

Maria laughed. "Well, considering that she's about three months premature,
that's not a big surprise."

"Maria, don't talk about stuff like that!"

"Yeah, yeah, I get it, alien stuff, hush-hush. Whatever, chica. As soon as
you come back here we are going to have a long discussion about sex with


Liz got up, lifting the baby with her as she went. Selia leaned against her
so naturally it made her want to weep. To be so trusted, so inherently
loved...she could barely stand it.

She opened the door only to jump in surprise, squeaking at the appearance of
Elena right in front of her. "Liz," Elena said tersely. "Maybe you
shouldn't --"

The baby opened her eyes and let out a wail. Liz shifted her anxiously,
feeling the warmth of her tiny body through the robe she wore. "What's going

Elena winced at the baby's cries and looked away. "Max is gone, Liz."


For those of you who asked (well okay there was only one of you, but that's okay)
the baby's name is pronounced Sell-e-yah Aurora. Not Celia. Although I like
that also. LOL.

Also -- I hate to leave you hanging again, especially in my current circumstances,
so let me assure you that the situation for Liz is not dire. Max will be back!
And in a few days, I'm leaving and won't have internet access again until the end
of the month -- at which point I'll be insanely busy, so I have no idea when I'll
even get to work on this fic again, much less post it, but I promise you guys, I
will try. *happy*

posted on 28-Aug-2002 6:21:40 PM by jezebel617
Hehe thanks you guys...I'm back in beauteous California and getting a little less busy, so now I've actually started working on the new part...being as I have to help the freshmen starting today, then have class starting the 3rd, I don't know when it'll be finished, but I promise I'm chugging along. *happy*