posted on 31-Aug-2001 11:07:07 AM
Whiter Shade of Pale: Max and Liz Story
author: Anne M.
e-mail: annemccartney⊕juno.com
Rating: NC17
Category: M/L
disclaimer: I do not own Roswell or any of the characters. I don't have any affiliation with the WB television network or the author Melinda Metz.
Author's note: immediately following Blind Date ep.

Liz is impatiently waiting for her shift to be over at the Crashdown, so she can go upstairs and shut her door, and lose herself in memories of last night. She hadn't seen Max or heard from him, since he walked out at the concert. She was dreading the moment when she would actually come face to face with him. What in the world would she say? How could she just pretend like nothing had happened? In the next instant, she was going to have to answer these questions and more.

Maria: "Liz." (looking toward the front door)
(Liz looks up and sees Max walking in alone.)
(He sits down at a booth.)
Maria: "Do you want me to . . . ?
Liz: "No. It's o.k. I'll go."
Maria: "Are you sure, Liz?"
Liz: "Yeah. Thanks."
Maria: "You know I want to kill him right now for doing this to you."
Liz: "I know how you feel, but try to resist. They just really aren't like us, Maria."
Maria: "You can say that again, babe."
(Liz walks over to Max's table.)
Liz: "Hi. What can I get for you?"
Max: "Just a cherry coke, please, and could I talk to you when you have a minute?"
Liz: "Yeah . . . I don't think . . .
Max: "Please."
(Liz looks extremely reluctant.)
Max: "I know I really messed up your date last night, and I am so sorry." "Can't we at least talk about it?"
Liz: "Max, the thing is that you can't remember a thing that happened last night, but I will probably never forget." "It's . . . awkward."
Max: "Maybe, you should tell me exactly what happened."
Liz: (very sad) "I can't do that, Max." "You don't know what you are asking."
Max: "Liz?" "You are really causing my imagination to hyperdrive." "How bad could it have been?"
Liz: "I never said that it was bad."
Max: "Then why do you look so sad?" "Why can't you talk about it?"
Liz: "Because, it wasn't bad at all." "Don't you understand?" "It was . . . (under her breath) all my dreams come true."
Max: "No, I don't understand." "That's why I want you to tell me what happened."
Liz: "I'll think about it, Max, but not tonight." "Besides, here comes your drinking buddy." "Maybe he can shed some light on the whole thing for you." (Max turns to see Kyle striding toward him like a heat-seeking missile.) (Liz leaves to get his order.)

Kyle: "Mind if I join you?"
Max: "What are you doing here, Kyle?"
Kyle: "Isn't it obvious?" "I came to find out how Liz is reacting to our . . . entertainments of last evening."
"How mad is she?"
Max: "Not mad, exactly, but something."
Kyle: "That sounds bad."
Max: "Yeah, I know."
Kyle: "Well, what are you going to do."
Max: "Try very hard to remember what happened last night, and see if I can repair the damage."
Kyle: "You mean to tell me that you don't remember anything from last night?"
(Max just looks at him.)
Kyle: (sympathetic) "Oh man." "You're in trouble deep, my friend."
Max: "What do you know about it?" (threatening)
Kyle: "Hey, man, take it easy." "All I know is what you told me." "I don't know what happened while you and LIz went running off into the night."
Max: "Liz and I went somewhere alone last night?"
Kyle: "Yeah. You were gone for quite a while."
(Liz approaches with Max's drink.)
Liz: "Here you go."
Kyle: "Hey, Liz."
(Liz gives him a frosty stare.)
Kyle: "What did I do?"
(Liz walks a way without even taking his order.)
Kyle: "I see what you mean. It's worse than mad."
Max: "Yeah."
Kyle: "Well, that's my cue." "See you man!" "Good Luck."
Max: "Thanks." (totally perplexed as to how he and Kyle got to be so friendly all of a sudden)
(Max leaves and goes home.)

Liz is in her room and getting ready for bed and . . . remembering . . .
"What happens tomorrow when all your fantasies go away . . .?"
"I'll still have you."
Max kissing her on the stage . . .
Max leaving . . .
She goes out onto the roof and sits down under the big red heart Max left behind and remembers . . .

Max is at home in bed racking his brain, but coming up with very little. Isabel walks in.
Isabel: "Why don't you do a little dream walking tonight and find out the easy way what happened."
"I hate to see you torturing yourself like this." "If you don't do it, I might just do it for you."
Max: "No, Isabel."
Isabel: "Max, this is ridiculous." "Find out what you need to know and get out." "What's the big deal?"
Max: "It's Liz and I respect her." "I can't just invade her privacy like that."
Isabel: "Seems to me that you already have." "The only hope you have of salvaging this situation is to find out what happened." "Not, that I'm endorsing the idea of you and Liz together, but you can't go on like this." "Just think about it." "Good night, Max."
Max: "Good night, Is."

Later that night, Max makes his decision and enters Liz's dream only to find out he can't. She's not asleep. Where in the world is she at 3 a.m.? He gets up and gets dressed and heads for LIz's house.

Max arrives at Liz's house and climbs up to the roof. He sees Liz sitting there just staring at this huge red heart on the wall.
Max: Liz?
Liz: (startled to see him) Max? What are you doing here?
Max: I really need to know what happened between us, Liz. (He looks at the heart and smiles.) Redecorating?
(Liz just looks away almost in tears.) (Max doesn't understand, but wishes he could take back whatever he said that was wrong.)
Max: Liz, we can't go on like this. You have to tell me what happened.
Liz: I can't.
Max: Would you let me make a connection with you, since you don't want to tell me?
(Liz hesitates for a moment, but finally agrees.)
Liz: "Alright."
(Max sits down beside her and touches her hair and then her cheek before he puts both of his hands on either side of her face.)
Max: "Just breathe slowly and try not to think about anything." (staring into her eyes)

He sees himself showing Liz a glowing red heart on the wall outside her bedroom. Their initials are in the center. "As long as we're together nothing else matters." (musicbox plays) "What if I believe you tonight?" "Then we live happily everafter." "And then, what about tomorrow, when you go back to realizing who you really are and all your fantasies go away?" "I'd still have you." "This could never be normal." (showers of sparks fly through the air) "What's so great about normal?" He sees himself on a stage kissing Liz. He sees himself walk away. He sees Liz run after him and understanding rips through his heart. What had he done? He never meant to hurt her this way. She didn't deserve this.

Max lets go of her face and closes his eyes and takes a deep breath.
Max: "I remember what happened last night."
Liz: "You do?"
Max: "Yes."
Liz: "Oh." (very uncomfortable)
Max: "I never wanted to hurt you, Liz."
Liz: "I know."
Max: "All the things I said . . ."
Liz: "You were drunk, Max. People say things they don't mean when they are drunk."
Max: "But that's just it. I meant every word."
Liz: "Max . . .
Max: "I know what I said and it was all true." "I never told you before because I thought it would just cause us both to suffer more." "I am tired of trying to pretend like I don't love you, and hiding."
Liz: "Max, I'd really like to believe you, but how do I know you're not drunk right now and in a few minutes you won't walk away without a backward glance?"
Max: "Liz, I swear I am not drunk. I am not going to walk away."
Liz: "Yes, you will." "You have."
Max: "I am so sorry for everything . . . for hurting you. Please, don't give up. We can make it work."
Liz: "Why?"
Max: "What do you mean?"
Liz: "What makes you think that we can make it work now, when you didn't even want to try before?"
Max: "What else can I do, Liz?" "I can't make myself not love you." "The more I stay away from you, the worse it gets." "I thought I could force myself to move on, but I was wrong."
Liz: "I don't know if I can trust you, Max." "I can't think logically about this."
Max: "Don't."
(Liz looks up at him and realizes for the first time how completely vulnerable he was.)
(He looked so lost sitting there and pleading with her to give him another chance.)
She reaches up and touches his cheek with her fingertips. She closes her eyes and the tears start seeping out through her lashes. Max is watching her intently and feeling like his heart is breaking. It was an eternity before she finally opened her eyes again.
Liz: "I love you, Max." (she throws her arms around him and holds him like he might disappear any second.) (It would be a long time before she completely trusted him again, he thought to himself, but he had time.)

And although my eyes were open,
they might just as well been closed.
And so it was, later,
as the mirror told it's tale,
that her face, at first, just ghostly,
turned a whiter, shade of pale.

At school, the next day, Liz is at her locker and wondering what new bumps in the road today will bring in her relationship with Max. After last night, she could almost believe they had a chance. But still, so much had gone wrong and still could. What would she do if he got scared and decided they weren't meant to be . . . again. When had she become so insecure? She had always known exactly what she wanted and how to get it. She had to get a grip. This weakness where Max Evans was concerned was becoming frightening.

Maria approaches Liz.
Maria: "How ya doing?" (very concerned)
Liz: "O.k."
Maria: "O.k.?" "Really?" "I mean after last night, I gotta be honest, I didn't expect to see you here today." "It really looked like you couldn't stand to even be in the same room with Max."
Liz: "Max came to see me last night and we came to an understanding."
Maria: (looking deeply suspicious) "What kind of an understanding?"
Liz: "We're gonna try to make things work."
Maria: "You can't be serious!" "Liz, how can you trust him?"
Liz: "I don't know . . . I just . . . do."
Maria: "or you just want to."
Liz: "O.k."
Maria: "Don't go overboard there trying to convince me."
Liz: "Well, I'm trying to trust him."
Maria: "Why?"
Liz: "Because . . .
Maria: "you love him."
Liz: "Yeah."
(Liz opens her locker and finds a red rose inside with a card that says, "I love You." She looks around quickly, but Max is no where to be found. Disappointed, she puts it back insider her locker and looks for the books she needs.)
Maria: "O.k. Maybe . . . and I stress the maybe . . . it's worth another shot." "Better hurry or you'll be late."
Liz: "I know. I'll meet you after class."
(The hall empties as everyone goes to their classes. Liz closes her locker and turns around. Max is standing right in front of her.)
Liz: "Max!" "You scared me to death."
Max: (smiling) "Did you get my surprise?"
Liz: (smiling, too.) "Yes, I did. You are very sweet."
Max: (leans down and kisses her lightly) "You are the one that's sweet."
Liz: (staring at him intently) "I don't know what you have done to me, but don't stop."
Max: "We're going to be late . . . "
Liz: "I don't care."
Max kisses her again. Liz wraps her arms around his neck and he deepens the kiss. Liz leans into him and the kiss becomes a connection between them that joins their thoughts. Liz sees Max in ways, she never has before. She seems him trying to cope with all the things that come with being an alien. It's almost too much. She feels a little dizzy and pulls away.
Max: "What's wrong?"
Liz: (laughing at herself) "I'm just . . . a little dizzy."
Max: (smiling) "Well, maybe we better get to class and save this for later."
"I'll see you at the Crashdown after school."
Liz: "O.k. (feeling a little disoriented)
Max: "Are you sure you're o.k.?"
Liz: "Yeah. We better go."

At the Crashdown, after school, Max and Michael and Isabel are discussing the previous evening's events. Max is trying to think of way to tell them that he got drunk in the presence of the sheriff's son, and, oh yeah, by the way, Liz and I are back together, too. They were not going to be happy. They weren't happy anyway. Michael's plan to signal Nasedo had apparently failed.

Isabel: "Max, you look like you have something to say." "What is it?"
Max: "Well, I had a little trouble a couple of nights ago."
Michael: "What kind of trouble?"
Max: "Kyle Valenti dropped by."
Michael: "And?"
Max: "And, he was drunk and asked me to drive."
Michael: "What?!?!"
Max: "Before, you say anything, let me finish. He was going to the concert, and for some reason wanted me to come. I guess he thought we had something in common. (looking at Liz) Anyway, he got me to drink with him, and I got extremely intoxicated. Also, Liz and I are getting back together.
(Isabel's face turns as white as a sheet.)
Michael: "My, you've been busy." (uncharacteristically calm)
Isabel: "Are you crazy?!?!"
Max: "Not last time I checked."
Isabel: "You are getting back with Liz?"
Michael: "What's the damage with Valenti?"
Max: "I don't think he knows anything except how I feel about Liz, and he already knew that anyway."
Michael: "You don't think?"
Max: "Well, I couldn't remember a damn thing about any of it until I connected with Liz."
Isabel: "Connected?" (looking horrified) "What are you saying?"
Max: "Mentally not physically." "I saw Kyle yesterday and he didn't say anything to imply that he knows about us."
Isabel: "I don't like this."
Michael: "That's quite an evening's work, Maxwell. Any other news to report?"
Max: "Isn't that enought?"
(Michael and Isabel are quiet, and Max feels really guilty about taking risks with their safety becaue of his lack of control around Liz.)
Isabel: "What changed your mind about Liz?"
Max: (pleading with them to understand) "I can't help it, Is." "I tried to stop."
Michael: "Be careful, Max." "You can't get in too deep."
Isabel: "Max, I'm afraid you're already in way over your head where she's concerned."
Max: "I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I've got it all figured out, because I don't." " I just know that I have to try."
Isabel: (seeing how hard this is on her brother) "We love you, Max, you know that."
Max: (relieved) "I know." "Thanks, Is."
Isabel smiles at him.
Michael: "Well, I'm outta here."
Max: (looking up) "Where you going?"
Michael: "Just a few more details I want to clear up on the Nasedo thing." "See you."
Isabel: (to Max) "He hasn't been the same since night before last when we tried and failed to contact Nasedo.
Max: "I know he's disappointed, Is, but I'm relieved that nothing happened."
Isabel: "I think it's a little worse than disappointed. He's completely out of character. I'm worried about him, Max."

---------------------------------
LYRICS FROM GOO GOO DOLLS.

AND I'D GIVE UP FOREVER TO TOUCH YOU
'CAUSE I KNOW THAT YOU FEEL ME SOMEHOW . . .
YOU'RE THE CLOSEST TO HEAVEN THAT I'LL
EVER BE AND I DON'T WANNA GO HOME RIGHT NOW.

CRASHDOWN -

Liz has just finished her shift and is in the back changing her clothes. Max said he was taking her somewhere so they could "talk." Liz didn't know whether to be happy or sad about this. What did he want to talk about? Was he going to tell her again that he needed "space." Liz really didn't think she could handle it if he did that again. She might actually lose her temper. She devoutly wished that he didn't really have any intention of talking to her at all tonight, but that would be a leap into the realm of improbability. Well, all she could do was wait and see . . . and hope . . .

Max: "Are you ready to go?"
Liz: "Ready as I'm going to get. Where are we going?"
Max: (smiles) "It's a secret."
Liz: (smiling, too . . . that sounded promising) "Oh . . . yeah . . . hint?"
Max: "Nope."
They walk out of the Crashdown together and get into the jeep. They ride beside each other just listening to the radio and content just to be together.

AND ALL I CAN TASTE IS THIS MOMENT
AND ALL I CAN BREATHE IS YOUR LIFE
AND SOONER OR LATER IT'S OVER.
I JUST DON'T WANT TO MISS YOU TONIGHT.

They are headed out into the desert as far as Liz can tell, and she wonders what in the world Max is up to. The night is clear and cool and the sky is so beautiful . . . all those stars shining . . .
Liz: "Well it certainly is beauitful out here tonight."
Max: (turning to look at her) "It certainly is." He grabs her hand and Liz gives him a supremely rewarding look. He swallows hard and accelerates.
For the first time in weeks, Liz starts to relax and let herself enjoy this time with Max without worrying about the past or the future. Just this moment was so perfect. With a mischievious glint in her eye, Liz makes up her mind to see if she can get Max to forget all about talking to her. Liz casually leans over and rests her head on Max's shoulder. He puts his arm around her, and Liz lets her hand rest on his knee. She could've sworn she heard him say something under his breath, but decides not to pursue it. She starts drawing little circles on his leg just above his knee, seemingly without noticing she was even doing it. Max is doing an admirable job of acting like Liz's closeness hasn't affected him, but Liz thinks his breathing sounds a little different. Max is thinking that if she doesn't stop that soon, he's never going to make it to the place he wanted to take her tonight. He shifts a little in his seat, trying to get comfortable, but finally gives up, realizing how ridiculous it was to even try in his present condition.
Liz: (dreamily) "Max . . .
Max: "What?"
Liz: "Where did you say we were going . . .?"
Max: "I didn't say . . . besides, we're almost there."
Liz: (surprised) "We're in the middle of nowhere . . . "
Max: (completely serious) "Exactly." (returns his attention to driving as fast as he can and still be safe)
Liz is smiling to herself now and just about to laugh because Max sounds so . . . strained. His physical condition has not escaped her notice either. Liz is pretending to just be resting and she's having an awful time not laughing out loud at Max. When she's sure she has herself back under control and won't bust out laughing, she slides her hand a little higher up on Max's leg. She can feel his whole body tense beside her. She starts dragging her fingernails around in circles again and is delighted to feel him shift a bit forward in his seat . . . again! Well, well, well, it was better to give than receive. She was actually make him squirm for a change. Liz is fighting hard to keep a straight face, but she takes a deep breath and presses on. Her hand slides higher still up Max's leg dragging her fingernails the whole way. Max takes a deep breath and Liz risks a peek at his face. He doesn't give much away in his expression, but she can tell he's very much aware of her at this moment.
Liz: "Max?" (still sounding a little sleepy)
Max: (strangled) "Yes?"
Liz: (pulling her hand up to the top of his thigh and resting it there) "I just want you to know that I'm not going to make it easy for you . . . "
Max: (completely misunderstanding and having a hard time thinking straight anyway) "What?!?!"
Liz: "I'm not going to make it easy for you to keep secrets from me." (laughing, now)
Max: "Hasn't anyone ever told you that it's dangerous to tease?" (looking at her with a completely unreadable expression on his face)
Liz sits back in her own seat, thoroughly disgusted and more than a little insecure. She just knew she had been getting to him, darn it! How did he do that? It just wasn't natural for a guy to have all that . . . control. While Liz is busy being disappointed that her machinations hadn't pushed Max over the edge of his control, he's busy breathing a sigh of relief for the reprieve. If she hadn't sat back when she did, he didn't know what he would've done. She was making him crazy, and he had a sneaking suspicion that she had done it on purpose. This only made it more difficult to control himself, knowing that she wanted him that way was just too much to ask of a guy. Finally, Max pulls off the highway and drives a short distance from the road. He practically leaps out of the jeep and reaches in back for a bundle that was tied up behind his seat.
Max: "We're here." (walking around to Liz's side of the jeep)
Liz: "I see" (watching Max and trying to figure out what in the world is going on)
Max: (holding out his hand to help her out of the jeep) "Are you coming?"
Liz: (puts her hand in his and feels an overwhelming wave of desire crash through her) (She just stares at their hands for a minute before she realizes that she's supposed to be doing something) (She slowly brings her eyes up to meet his and sees that Max is not impervious to her after all.) (He almost looks like he really could maybe be dangerous.) "Oh . . . my . . .
(Max pulls her out of the jeep gently but steadily toward him but he doesn't kiss her.)
Max: "Let's go."

I DON'T WANT THE WORLD TO SEE ME,
'CAUSE I DON'T THINK THAT THEY'D UNDERSTAND.
WHEN EVERYTHING'S MEANT TO BE BROKEN . . .
I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW WHO I AM . . .

He leads her out into a beautiful clearing and unties the bundle. He spreads out a blanket and Liz sits down on it while he builds a fire quickly with the wood that was inside the blanket. Max sits down beside her and grabs her hand. He is more prepared this time for the onslaught of emotion that comes from touching her, but still . . .
Max: "I think there's something I should tell you . . ."
Liz groans to herself thinking, "Oh no, here it comes."
Liz: (searching his eyes for some clue as to what he's going to say) "What?"
Max: "I wasn't going to bring you here tonight."
Liz: "You weren't?"
Max: "No . . . but I couldn't drive another 15 miles to the place I really wanted to take you."
Liz: "Why not?"
Max: (kisses her gently and rests his forehead against hers) "Because someone was doing her best to drive me completely insane all the way here."
Liz: (swatting him lightly) "You jerk!" "I was getting to you!"
Max: (serious) "Liz, you get to me if you're anywhere in my immediate vicinity and sometimes that's not even necessary."
Liz: "Well, I'm glad we had this little chat. I was having some serious concerns . . ."
Max: (pulling her astride his lap facing him) (Liz gasps in surprise. ) "Let's just put those to rest right now . . ."
(kisses her again, this time with all the passion she could've hoped for . . . and then some."
------------------------------------

Liz did not feel well this morning. The reflection in the mirror agreed with her physical findings. She and Max had taken their relationship to the next level last night . . . as far as she was concerned, this new level stunk. She was pale and a little dizzy this morning after a sleepless night. She understood his concerns; she really did. He was so worried about what could happen if they actually made love. Liz was worried, too, but not for herself the way Max was. She was worried about him, as usual. What if something happened as a result that she couldn't hide, and he was discovered. Nothing was worth that risk . . . was it? The way she felt this morning, she was no longer sure. This was awful. She ducked out of the bathroom and out into the hall. She saw him standing there at the end of the hall, and the plan began forming in her mind. Without even thinking about it, she gravitated toward him with a dazed look on her face as her brain sorted through various ideas discarding some and keeping others. She came to a halt in front of him, and looked up into his face, which was now focused on her with a puzzled expression. Michael Guerin had a really bad feeling about this.

Liz: "Michael, I need to talk to you."
Michael: "To me? Why?"
Liz: "I need a favor . . . and I don't want you to ask me a lot of questions about it."
Michael (looking cornered): "I'm not making any committments until I know what this is about."
Liz: (taking a deep breath and embracing the plan) "I need to borrow your apartment . . . without you in it."
Michael (eyes widening and mouth open just a bit): "I, uh, . . . why?"
Liz: "I can't tell you why, . . . please, Michael."
Michael: (pretty much having guessed the reason now that he'd gotten over the shock) "When?"
Liz: "This afternoon . . . and maybe even this evening." "Can you be gone that long?"
Michael (smiling a little now): "Yeah . . . I can manage. I've been meaning to take Maria out anyway."
Liz: "Thank you. I appreciate you not asking me a lot of questions."
Michael: "Liz, I hate to tell you this, but a lot of questions aren't necessary. I'm not stupid."
Liz (blushing): "Oh . . . "
Michael: (thinking to himself that Max Evans led a charmed life) "Don't worry, I won't say anything."
Liz: "Wait. There's one more thing . . ."
Michael (frowning): "What?"
Liz: "I need you to ask Max to meet you there after school today."
Michael (confused) "Me? Why?"
Liz: "Just do it, please."
Michael: "O.k., but just remember this if I ever need your help."
Liz: "Absolutely." (feeling so relieved, and probably the lack of sleep muddying her brain, she reached up and kissed him on the cheek) Liz walked out the doors to go meet Maria for lunch.

Michael smiled at her a little bemused, and wondered what Max Evans had ever done to deserve this kind of devotion. But, then again, he'd only saved her life and risked his own. Heading down the hallway, he paused when he saw Max staring at him. He almost laughed out loud at the expression on his face. He was mad as hell, and understandably so. He'd probably just witnessed that whole scene at the other end of the hallway.
Michael: "Max, glad I ran into you. I need you to stop by my place after school today. Can you make it?"
Max: (struggling to tamp down on his emotions) "Uh, sure, I guess so. Why?"
Michael: "I'll tell you when you get there. Don't be late." (slapping Max on the back, he goes off down the hall, grinning like an idiot at Max's predicament)

Max, on the other hand, was not grinning. In spite of the fact that he knew he'd had very little sleep, and there had to be a reasonable explanation for Liz being with Michael, he could not shake off the anger that was still slamming around inside of him. Maybe sexual frustration deteriorated the brain's ability to be reasonable. That had to be it. He felt like hell today. After the second trip through a cold shower last night, he had finally given up and accepted the inevitable. He didn't know how, but he was going to have to think of something. This just could not go on. Liz hadn't looked any better this morning than he felt. He could tell she hand't slept much last night either. Maybe they should stop seeing each other. Man, he really must be tired, because that was the stupidest thing he'd ever come up with. Not seeing her was the only thing more torturous than not making love to her. He headed outside to find Liz.

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

Liz skipped her last period that day, and headed over to Michael's apartment. She wanted to shower and change her clothes before Max got there. She found the key under the mat, and made a mental note to tell Michael that it was a terrible habit to leave it there. She felt nervous and excited and a little afraid. What if she couldn't convince him that this was best for both of them? At least, she felt better than she had earlier in the day. Hope was a powerful thing. She closed the bathroom door behind her and set to work.

Michael couldn't believe he had forgotten his wallet at home. He couldn't very well take Maria out with no money. She would just love that! He'd asked her earlier in the day if she'd like to do something after school today. When she'd recovered from the shock, she finally said she'd love to. He liked to keep her off balance a little. It made him feel a little more in control, even though he knew darn good and well that he wasn't. She had wrapped him around her little finger a long time ago in a motel room a long way from Roswell. Now, where was his wallet? He stepped inside the apartment, and heard the water running in the bathroom. He needed to get out of here quick. He went to the bedroom after a cursory inspection revealed nothing in the outer room. He finally located it behind the nightstand. Opening it up to see how much money he had, he began to make his way out of the bedroom. Leaning against the doorframe, he paused for a moment to get a better look at the too small contents of the wallet. Just then, Max stepped inside the apartment and Liz stepped out of the bathroom, wearing very little. Michael's mouth fell open and so did Max's. Liz's expression was purely horrified.

Liz: "Michael, what are you doing here?!?!"
Michael: "Liz, I'm sorry, I forgot my wallet . . . "

Max's ears were ringing . . . he couldn't even hear what they were saying to each other. He wanted to kill MIchael. He backed out the door he had just come through and headed for the jeep. He had almost gotten there, when he felt a hand on his shoulder pulling him around. When he saw that it was Michael, he almost lost his temper and hit him. Barely, restraining himself, he spit the words at him, "What do you want?"
Michael: "Max, have you lost your mind?" "Think about this. Liz is so in love with you, and she asked to borrow my apartment today, so she could be alone with you." "I wasn't supposed to be here, but I forgot my wallet."
Max: (hearing the words but struggling to accept them) "I saw you with her earlier today . . . she kissed you . . . "
Michael: "She was asking me for the apartment and thanking me when I said yes . . . that's it." "I should've told you earlier when I knew you'd seen us, but I didn't want to ruin her surprise, and I was sort of enjoying your discomfort."
Max just stared at him and tried to sort out what Michael was telling him, but he was so tired and angry, and it was difficult to face the logic of what he was saying.
Michael: "Max, Liz is really upset. If you have any sense at all, you will get your butt back in there . . . NOW!"
This last comment finally made it through the red haze that had been clouding Max's mind. She had only tried to surprise him, and now she was probably scared to death wondering what he was thinking. He was an idiot. He knew better than this. If he hadn't been operating all day with no sleep, he would've known immediately that there was nothing going on between Liz and Michael.
Max: "Michael, I'm sorry . . . . . "
Michael: "Understandable . . . now GO!" "You can apologize to me later when I can enjoy it." "Right now I'm concerned for my life."
Max (smiling for the first time all day): "I'm going."

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

Max stepped back inside the apartment, and stopped in his tracks when he saw Liz sitting on the couch with her face in her hands, crying. He couldn't believe he had hurt her like this. As punishments go, this was pretty horrible. He deserved it, though. He sat down on the couch and pulled Liz onto his lap. She stopped crying abruptly and looked at him and threw her arms around his neck.

Max: "I'm sorry, Liz. I don't know what came over me . . . I saw you with Michael earlier today, and . . . there's just no excuse. I'm sorry."
Liz: "It's o.k. I can't imagine how I would've reacted under similar circumstances. Well, yes, I can, but I'd rather not think about it."
Max: "So, what was this all about, Liz?"
Liz: (chuckling but looking like she might cry again any second) "A fairly spectacular failure at trying to seduce you."
Max: "Seduce me?" "I hate to tell you this after you've gone to all this trouble, but all you have to do is be in the room."
Liz: (embarassed) "I know, but after last night . . . "
Max: (comprehension dawning) "Oh . . . you mean you wanted to . . ."
Liz: (blush becoming magenta) "Yeah. I had a really miserable night last night, and got no sleep whatsoever, and it seemed like a good idea at the time . . ." (She finished weakly.)
Max: "Do you still think it's a good idea?"
Liz (head snapping up and eyes wide): "Do you?"
Max (laughing): "No, I absolutely do not, but I can't help myself." (eyes falling to her pretty mouth)
Liz: (anticipating the kiss) "Max . . . "

Max closed his mouth over hers and sighed inwardly as his emotions settled into place, finally. She was warm and soft and smelled heavenly, and what was this thing she had on? She looked sexy as hell on a bad day, but this . . . . .
Max squirmed underneath Liz's bottom in an effort to get more comfortable. It didn't work. Liz brought her hand up to Max's face and delighted in the feeling of his rough skin against her hand. For the first time today, she felt content. Abruptly, Max tightened his arms around her and stood up. The constricted space in his jeans had become distinctly unpleasant in a sitting position. Liz didn't even think about where they were going. She was too busy being kissed. Even the smallest details were perfect. Maybe it was just that he was perfect. Some awareness did register in her foggy brain when she felt the cool sheets from the bed against her skin, but the next sensation drove out all thought of the last, when Max followed her down and stretched out full length on top of her. He was heavy, and he seemed so much larger than her normal perception of him. She didn't think she'd ever get enough of kissing him. It was a form of making love all by itself. She opened her mouth a little wider and Max didn't hesitate to take advantage of the invitation. Liz kept getting that funny falling feeling in the pit of her stomach every time he kissed her this way. She ran her hands inside his jacket and started to push it off his shoulders. Understanding what she wanted, Max sat up and finished taking off the jacket. Liz sat up, too, and started to work on the buttons on his shirt. Max watched her hands move from one button to the next, and fought against the rising tide of desire that was threatening to consume him. She pushed the shirt off his shoulders and it slid down his arms and pooled on the bed. Liz placed the palm of her hand flat against his chest and felt the heat of his skin under her fingers. She slid her hand down to his stomach, exploring as she went. She was fascinated with his body and the way the muscles shifted under his skin. She moved on to the waistband of his pants and stopped to look at him, almost as if she were asking for permission. He swallowed hard, and tried to breathe, and Liz realized how much he was struggling. She said, "Tell me what to do for you." He picked up her hand and placed a kiss in the center of her palm, and unfastened his pants with his other hand. He stood up and pushed them down and off quickly along with the shorts. For one peaceful moment, he was distracted by the problem of her outfit and how to remove it. Having no such distraction, Liz poured all of her concentration into the pleasure of seeing this part of Max that she had only felt before. Max sat back down on the bed and pushed her backwards gently by placing his hands on her shoulders. He leaned over her and brought his lips close to hers but didn't kiss her. He held his face just above hers and looked into her eyes, and shifted until he was lying on top of her again. Liz gasped at the new sensations that were coursing across her nerve endings. He slid his knee between her legs separating them, and rocked his hips forward pressing against her. Max was still watching her face, and gauging her reaction closely for any sign that she may have changed her mind. Finding none, he kissed her again slowly rubbing his lips across hers. He left a trail of kisses down her chin and throat before moving out across her collarbone. He pushed the spaghetti strap off her shoulder and continued leaving hot, wet open mouth kisses all the way across her chest to the other strap. Without concious thought, Liz arched her lower body, blending her movements with the rhythm of Max's. Max slid down her body and slipped one hand under her back pressing upward until her head fell back, and then he opened his mouth over her breast and teased her with his tongue right through the lacey material that still covered her. Max lifted his head and found the material covering Liz to be quite transparent now that it was wet. That destroyed what was left of his resolve to slow down. He sat up and reached for the snaps that held the teddy together between her legs. Finding the material soaking wet did nothing to help him regain his control. His body ached for release. Liz sat up a little as Max pulled the teddy the rest of the way off of her. She was even more beautiful than he had imagined and his imagination had been darn good. He pressed her back down again and once more fitted his body to hers. Liz found that every nerve she had responded to the places where Max's body touched hers. She felt like she was drowning under these new sensations. Her body was drawn tight . . . waiting. Max, looking into her eyes, silently asked her if she still wanted this. Without speaking, she communicated that she did. Max kissed her again, this time with a ferocious intensity that stole her breath. Now she was aware of how much he had been holding back. She kissed him back, and he slid his hand between their bodies to find her wet, swollen passage with his fingers. He caressed her until she was writhing against his hand, and he couldn't wait another second. Positioning himself at the entrance of her body, he slowly began pushing inside her. He paused for just a moment, until Liz opened her eyes and looked into his. He could see a little fear in her face, but no pain. He pushed again, and stopped when he heard her suck in her breath. She felt stretched and unbearably full, but not really in any pain. He waited and then rocked forward a little more, and her body yielded, relaxing and then contracting all around him. Liz felt her mind open up right along with her body, as she adjusted to having Max inside her. She felt his heartbeat merge with hers as it changed pace to fall in line. She felt her breathing change to match his, so that it was as if they were one person. He heard her thoughts in his mind and knew everything she was thinking at this moment. The thought that hit him the hardest was the overwhelming knowledge of how much she loved him. She felt his emotions as if they were her own, and the certainty of his feelings for her almost brought her to tears. She felt the control he was exerting over his body, because now she could feel the sharp, insistent need in him. She pulled her legs up just a little, but it was enough to press him deeper into her. Max desperately did not want to hurt her. He wavered for a moment, and Liz tentatively moved her hips, silently telling him that she was fine. He took over then, slowly at first, but building quickly into a much faster pace. The violence of orgasm was a shock to Liz, as it raged through her and left her completely spent. Max was just as surprised as Liz at the intensity of the bond that been forged between them. If he had thought to put an end to being frustrated by making love to her, he had made a serious tactical error, because now he needed her in a way that defied description. Liz wondered, too, at this new direction her life had taken. She felt different inside . . . like somehow old things were missing and new things had taken their place. She would never be a whole person again without Max. He would never be a whole person again without her. They didn't know it yet, but soon they would find out just how true that was . . .
TBC

Title: Whiter Shade of Pale, Pt. 6
Author: Anne M.
E-mail: annemccartney⊕juno.com
Category: M/L
Rating: NC17
Disclaimer: I don't own Roswell or any of the characters. I have no affiliation with the WB television network or the author, Melinda Metz.


Liz came awake slowly, somewhat groggy and disoriented. Where was she? Consciousness returned with a flood of awareness. Max. How long had she been sleeping? She took a moment to savor the weight of Max's arm around her waist and the feel of him pressed all along the back of her body. She could feel his breath on her skin. Oh, but this was glorious. And, they absolutely had to get out of here. Long shadows were falling inside the apartment and she knew it had to be getting late. Once in this lifetime was quite enough to be discovered unclothed by Michael. She turned over to face Max and he opened his eyes. Liz watched his face and thought that those were the most amazing eyes. She could feel him waking up and putting things into place in his mind. She held her breath a little waiting to see if he was going to regret what they had done. She really didn't know how she would deal with that. In all of her planning this morning, she had left out that teensy, weensy detail. Now all of a sudden, it seemed the size of the Grand Canyon. What if he resented her for . . .

He kissed her then. A slow, deliberate sort of a kiss, and in her mind, she heard him reassuring her. He wasn't having second thoughts. Only concerns about the possible consequences for her. As he continued to kiss her, she also felt the tremendous love he had for her, and she felt completely undone. It was humbling, and overwhelming, and a little frightening to be in love like this. She would literally cease to exist without him now. She could never go back to being just Liz Parker. Herself. She knew with absolute certainty that somehow they had made a deep and abiding committment to each other that superceded any sort of legal or moral obligation. It was as if the bonds were made up of invisible, physiological changes in her body and altered chemical reactions in her brain. Finally, he pulled back and looked into her eyes once more, pushing her hair back behind her ear. She didn't want this moment to ever end. Right now, right here, her life was perfect. Who knows what tomorrow would bring?

Liz: (quietly) "We had better go soon. I would really hate for Michael to come home and catch us."
Max: (expression serious and intent) "Are you o.k.? I mean, physically, how do you feel?"
Liz: (laying her hand along his jaw) "I'm fine."
Max: (searching her face and feeling satisfied that she was telling the truth) "O.k. I guess I better get you home."
Liz: (feeling a little disturbed inside at the thought of him dropping her off at her house) "Max? . . ."
Max: "I know. I feel the same way. We're just going to have to deal with it the best we can, though."
Liz: "Do you suppose it's just normal to feel this way?"
Max: "I'm not sure. It doesn't really matter. It's normal for us, and that's all that counts."
Liz: "You're right." (sliding off the bed and dragging her clothes on as quickly as possible)

As soon as they finished dressing, Liz picked up her bag and headed for the door. Max was right behind her. He put one hand on the door knob, but before twisting it, he held out his other hand to Liz. She slid her fingers in between his and watched in amazement, as their hands began to glow. Max stared at their fingers and felt everything inside him respond to the sight. More than just wanting to take her to bed again, although that was enough, he just wanted her beside him. Always.

The front door opened, and Michael and Maria almost ran over top of them. Michael stared at their glowing hands, and found he couldn't find his voice. Maria had no such problem.

Maria: "Oh my God." "What the hell is that?"
Liz (breaking out of the spell) "I don't know."
Maria: "You don't know. What do you mean you don't know?"
Michael: (recovering marginally) "Max, I'm sorry. I thought you'd be gone by now . . . " (unable to take his eyes off their hands)
Max: (prying his gaze away and looking at Michael) "It's o.k. We were just leaving."
Maria: "Maybe you should like, let go now, before you short out the power or something."
Michael: "Maybe you should stay here a little while longer and see if anything else happens." (worried)
Max: (looking at Liz) "Maybe we should . . . "
Liz: "Yeah . . . "
Maria: (suspicious now that the shock is beginning to wear off) "What did you do . . . . . . ?"
Liz: (blushing) "Maria, just don't freak out, okay? It's fine. Just . . . "
Maria: (looking at Liz like she'd lost her mind) "It's fine. Liz, glowing hands? You call that fine. Who knows what else might happen to you? Oh God. I think I need to sit down." (she slumps into the nearest chair)
Max (pulling Liz over to the sofa): "We'll just stay for a little while and see." (let's go of her hand and puts his arm around her shoulders pulling her close to his side) (whispering to Liz) "Tell me if you feel anything strange."

Liz nodded her agreement to Max, but inside she was thinking, "Boy! Howdy! I haven't felt anything but strange! Wonderful, but strange nonetheless." He smiled at this, because, of course, he heard her thoughts as clearly as if she had said it out loud. Liz looked at him in consternation, because she realized with some alarm that her private thoughts were not private any time she was touching Max. She wasn't sure how she felt about this, but it was certainly disconcerting. Not bad . . . just different.

Michael was sitting on the arm of Maria's chair and watching her with concern. She looked like she was in shock. No telling what was running around in that mind. He was actually glad at this moment that he didn't know. They had been having a wonderful time on their "date." It was the first time they had ever really relaxed with each other and just enjoyed being together. Michael found that when he was with Maria, the past and all those answers that so eluded him didn't matter as much and didn't hurt nearly as bad. Ever since the night when she had let him stay with her, he had started to feel different inside. He still wanted to find Nasedo, and he was darn close to figuring something out with that map, but the urgency was gone. Now, he was just worried about Maria's reaction to Max and Liz's apparent decision to move forward. She looked like she'd just witnessed a train wreck.

Max: (to Liz) "Are you hungry?"
Liz: (looking a little startled at hearing his audible voice) "Uh, yeah . . . a little."
Max (smiled at her again and thought how cute she looked when she was off balance) "Maybe we should order a pizza. Does that sound good to you?"
Liz: "Pizza's good."
Max: (to Michael) "We're gonna order a pizza. You guys wanna join us?"

Michael nodded his agreement, but just then Maria broke out of her reverie.

Maria: (aghast) "Food? How can you even think about food right now?"
Michael (trying to be soothing) "C'mon Maria. It's not like we didn't know it was coming." "Had to happen sooner or later."
Maria: (looking at him with an expression of utter disbelief) "Have you lost your mind?" "What if something happens like that . . . that hand thing . . . what if someone sees . . . what if they find out about . . . (swallowing and finishing weakly) you?"

Liz blanched as Maria uttered her worst fears. Max felt the sadness and regret from Liz wash over him in a wave and it made him angry inspite of the legitimacy of Maria's concerns. Michael, on the other hand, was catching a glimpse of what the real problem was with Maria. She wasn't nearly as worried about Liz as she was about he and Max and Isabel being discovered. This was very interesting and unexpected. Unless he missed his guess, she was terrified of his identity being revealed. He reached down and picked up one of her tiny hands and held it in his until she looked at him again. She finally did look him in the eye, but it took a minute.

Michael: (staring into her wide, frightened eyes) "Don't worry. We'll handle it. Whatever happens . . . we'll deal with it."
Maria (whispering and looking unconvinced) "What if we can't . . . ?"
Michael (giving her hand a reassuring squeeze): "We will."

Maria finally took a deep breath and accepted the inevitable. There was no going back now and no amount of worry would change things. She looked at Liz and felt a pang of guilt at her friends tormented expression.

Maria: "Liz, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you. I just . . . I'm sorry."
Liz: (smiling a little) "I know. It's o.k."

Max knew this was far from over. Liz appeared to relax a little on the outside, but he could see the shadows in her eyes and feel the emotions she couldn't hide. He got up and went to the phone and ordered the pizza. Maria got up and went over to sit beside Liz giving her a quick hug.

Maria (pulling back from the embrace) "You and I have a lot of talking to do."
Liz (blushing and grinning at the same time) "I don't know, Maria. It was . . . personal. Intensely personal. I'm not sure I even could . . ."
Maria (smiling): "Try!"
Liz (trying not to laugh and hissing) "Not now!"
Maria (backing off slightly) "O.k., but SOON!" (grinning mischieviously)

Max and Michael are talking quietly with one another across the room.

Michael: "Has she forgiven me, yet?"
Max: (confused) "Huh? . . . Oh, yeah, I, uh, I don't know. We didn't talk about it . . . "
Michael (smiling) "Big surprise there."
Max: (smiling, too, but keeping a watchful eye on Liz): "Yeah, we didn't exactly spend a lot of time talking . . ."
Michael: "I figured that out. I suppose it goes without saying, but you did take precautions, right?"
Max: (blushing) "Yeah, we did. Well, actually Liz did. She told me the other night that she was on birth control pills."
Michael: "Bet that was hell on your, er, willpower."
Max (rueful): "You have no idea."
Michael: "That why you looked so grizzly today?"
Max: "Yeah."
Michael: "Well, I don't know, but you certainly couldn't go around like that indefinitely."
Max: "I know." . . . . "I'm worried about her, Michael."
Michael: "I know." "I'll be here if there's anything I can do."
Max: (in a rare moment of letting himself lean on someone else) "Thanks."

Michael thought to himself how nice it was, for once , to be the one helping someone else who had done something totally out of control. For one shining moment in time, Max Evans, had let go and done something irresponsible. Michael couldn't help smiling at the thought, even though, he too, was worried about the consequences. A knock on the door brought the four of them out of their individual thoughts. They all looked at each other. It was too soon for the pizza to be here. Michael went to the door and peeked out. It was Isabel and Alex. He opened the door.

Michael: "Hey. What's up?"
Isabel: "We just thought we'd stop by. Alex wanted to see your place. Is this a bad time?"
Michael (rolling his eyes): "Like you'd care."
Isabel (smiling): "Well, can we come in?"

Michael stands asides to let them in and says, "Sure. Everybody else is here. Why not?"

Max: "Hey, Is."
Isabel: (surprised) "Max. Hey. What are you doing here?"
Max: (glancing at Liz as if to tell her not to worry) "We're going to have dinner with Michael and Maria. You guys want to have pizza with us?"
Isabel: (wondering what was up) "Sure. Alex?"
Alex: "I love pizza."
Max: "Good."

Max goes to sit back down beside Liz, but he's careful not to touch her this time. If and when he told Isabel about the current state of his relationship with Liz, he wanted it to be at a time of his choosing and not here in front of everyone. Liz seemed to understand and gave him a sympathetic look. So far nothing else strange had happened. Maybe . . .

Just then there was another knock on the door. Michael went to answer it and Max also got up to pay for the pizza. The six of them went to work on the pizza and soon everyone was situated with a plate in hand. Liz picked up her pizza and took a bite out of it. She chewed it for just a second before turning pale and looking like she might head for the bathroom any minute. Maria noticed her expression right away.

Maria: "Liz! What's wrong?"

Liz couldn't answer because her mouth was still full of the offensive pizza. Max stopped eating to look at her and was alarmed to notice the green tinge to her skin. Not an unusual green, but just a sea sick sort of green.

Max: "Are you o.k.?"
Liz (finally managing to swallow and reaching for her drink): "Yeah. I'm sorry. That just didn't taste right."

Liz brings her drink to her lips and takes a sip and notices that it, too, tastes terrible. She sets her glass down and wonders how she's going to get through this meal. She doesn't want to call any attention to herself, but how was she supposed to eat this stuff? It was terrible. No wait. Everyone else was eating and seemed fine. It must just be her. Maybe she was coming down with a cold. No. That wasn't it. She sat there puzzled and glaring at the pizza on her plate as if she might be able to make it disappear by sheer force of will.

Isabel: "Are you o.k., Liz?" "You're not eating."
Liz: "I, uh, I'm just not very hungry."
Isabel (grinning): "What's the matter? Did you get in a fight with my knucklehead brother?"
Liz: (too stunned to speak properly) "Uh . . . "
Max: (disgusted) "No. We did not have a fight."
Isabel: (vaguely suspicious) "Sorry. I was just kidding."
Liz: (finding her voice) "No big deal. You know, he ticks me off on a regular basis, so it's no wonder you'd think that."
Max (snapping his head around to look at Liz and almost blowing it before he realizes what she's doing) "I, uh, yeah."
Isabel: "Well, you shouldn't let it interfere with your appetite. He's not worth it."
Liz: (laughing now at the look on Max's face) "I would have to disagree with you there."
Max (somewhat mollified): "Thank you. I think."

The six of them finish their dinner, all except for Liz who simply cannot handle it. Max and Liz get up to leave and Max, once again, is careful not to touch her until they get in the jeep. Once safely inside, he reaches for her hand and is deeply relieved to see that everything is normal. Liz lets out her breath on a long sigh.

Max: "Well, maybe it was just because it was so soon after . . ."
Liz: "Yeah . . . maybe." (smiling at him and melting inside at the memory)

Max didn't even have to be touching her to know what she was thinking this time. The thought had an immediate and pronounced affect on his body. He leaned over and kissed her then and Liz almost moaned in delight at the taste of him. He pulled away and she ran her tongue across her lips trying to figure out what tasted so good. Eyes widening in surprise, she sat back in her seat, and stared at the road.

Max: "What's wrong?"
Liz: "You are not going to believe this."
Max: (alarmed) "What?"
Liz: "It's the tabasco sauce."
Max: (confused) "What is?"
Liz: "What tasted so good when you kissed me, besides you, of course. It's the tabasco sauce."
Max: "You're kidding. I didn't think you liked it."
Liz: "I don't. Didn't. (she amended) But, I'm definitely going to find some when I get home. I'm hungry."
Max: (perplexed) "Is that why you didn't eat your dinner tonight?"
Liz: "I think so. Nothing tasted . . . . right." (shrugging)
Max: "If that's true, then . . . "
Liz: (following his train of thought) "Yeah, what other things have changed?"
Max: (shaking his head and feeling really helpless) "I don't know, Liz. I'm sorry."
Liz: (reaching out and grabbing hold of his hand) "Don't be. I wanted this. It was my choice. No regrets."
Max: (brightening a little but still worried) "Are you sure?"
Liz (smiling) "Positive."
Max: "We better get going."
Liz: "O.k."

They reach Liz's house quickly, and Max walks her to the door. He pulls her into a quick hug and kisses her lightly. When he pulls back, Liz can see that his eyes are filled with longing to stay with her and regret that he can't. She touches his face and kisses him one more time before heading inside. It was one of the hardest things she'd ever had to do. Walking away. Even if it was just for tonight. She knew she would see him tomorrow, but still . . .

She goes up to her room and turns on the shower. Stripping off her clothes she steps into the shower. That was odd. The water felt so cold. Looking at the handles she wondered if something had happened to their hot water heater. She'd ask her parents when she got out, which would be soon darn it. The water was just barely warm. Turning the hot water on as far as it would go seemed to help and she made it through the shower in relative comfort. Dressing for bed quickly, she turned toward her bedroom door to head for the kitchen but the phone rang. Turning back to answer it, she sat down on the bed and smiled. It had to be Max.

Liz: "Hey."
Max: (thrown off by the way she answered) "Liz? How'd you know it was me?"
Liz: "I don't know. I just did."
Max: "How are you doing?" "Everything o.k.?"
Liz: (feeling better just for hearing his voice) "Stop worrying. I'm fine." "How are you?"
Max: (laughing) "Now who's worrying?"
Liz: "Well I can't help it."
Max: "Did you get something to eat?"
Liz: "No, not yet. I decided to take a shower first. Wish I hadn't."
Max: "Why?"
Liz: "I think something's wrong with out hot water. I'm going to talk to Dad about it in a minute."
Max: "Don't do that."
Liz: "Why not?"
Max: "It's not the water. It's you."
Liz: "What?"
Max: "I have to turn the hot water on full blast when I take a shower and that's usually still not as warm as I would like it." (feeling exasperated) "God, Liz." "This is getting strange."
Liz: "You're telling me! I'm glad you called when you did. I can't imagine trying to explain to my Dad."
Max: "Why don't you go eat and call me before you go to sleep and let me know what's going on."
Liz: "Max, I'll be fine. You didn't get any sleep last night. Go to bed. I'll see you in the morning."
Max: (reluctantly) "Are you sure?"
Liz: "Yeah. What can happen while I'm sleeping?"
Max: (groaning) "I wouldn't even hazard a guess."
Liz (laughing): "Thank you, Max."
Max: "What for?"
Liz: (quietly) "For making my first time perfect."
Max: (swallowing hard and closing his eyes) "Perfect, huh?"
Liz: "Yes. But, I hope this doesn't go to your head."
Max: (glancing at his lap) "Too late."
Liz: "What?"
Max: "Nevermind. . . . . Liz, I love you."
Liz: (blinking back tears) "I love you, too, Max."
Max: "Good night."
Liz: "Night, Max."

Max drifted off to sleep with the sound of her voice telling him she loved him still echoing in his mind. He was so tired he didn't even worry about what would happen tomorrow.

Liz snuck downstairs to the Crashdown and grabbed a bottle of tabasco sauce off one of the tables. Slipping it into her pocket, she went back to her room with her dinner. Her Mom had been a little concerned that she hadn't already eaten, but Liz just explained that she'd been busy studying and forgot. When had she become such a good liar? Must've been when Max's life began to depend on her ability to prevaricate. For him, she'd do anything that was necessary--gladly, and without remorse. She sat down on her bed and uncapped the bottle. Just the smell had her mouth watering. After finishing her snack, she sat back on her bed and realized how exhausted she felt. Atleast, the food had tasted right this time. She was just so very sleepy . . .
--------------------------
Title: Whiter Shade of Pale, Pt. 7
Author: Anne M. (Vigilante Girl #3)
e-mail: annemccartney⊕juno.com
category: M/L
rating: NC17
disclaimer: Don't own 'em. Have zero affiliation with anybody, darn it!
*******************
Author's note: Due to much prodding, pleading, and a few threats of violence, here it is.
Provence--Glad you are enjoying this one so much. Mandy--That otter thing was an inspiration. Here you go. ABS--Hope you're not disappointed. Linda--As always, you encourage and inspire me. Much affection and gratitude to all of you.
********************

Max awoke the next morning feeling considerably better than he had the previous one. He sat up and scrubbed at his face and looked at the clock. If he didn't get moving right now, he'd be late. He definitely did not want to be late today. He wanted . . . no, he needed to see Liz before school this morning for at least two reasons. First, he needed to reassure himself that she was o.k. today and that nothing else strange had happened to her. Second, he just had to get his hands on her . . . soon. He wasn't sure which one was most important, but he was vaguely suspicious that it was probably the second. Although, Liz's strange reactions yesterday were enough to off-set some of his unruly hormones. Some, but certainly not all. He smiled to himself as he got out of bed. Well, she certainly had managed to surprise him. Surprise hell! It was more like an ambush. And, he hoped she did it again in the very near future. He had always thought it would be simply impossible for him to actually have sex. He had even accepted it to some degree, hanging all of his hope on the possibility of finding out where they were from and returning home. But, now what was done was done. They would just have to handle the consequences as they arose. He realized something else this morning. The empty place inside of him that usually ached all day long every day, was gone. In it's place, was the sweetest knowledge that he was not only not alone, but loved with such an intensity that it made him feel complete for the first time in his life.

AT SCHOOL --------------

Maria and Liz are sitting in the parking lot, getting ready to go inside. They are a few minutes early, so Maria is taking advantage of the opportunity to "talk" to Liz about last night.

Maria: "Are you sure nothing else weird has happened since last night? Besides, the tabasco sauce thing, and may I just add, that is totally weird."
Liz (laughing a little): "No, nothing else. I just can't wait to see Max, but that's normal."
Maria: "Uh-huh. O.k. So . . . . "
Liz: "So . . . . what?"
Maria: (exasperated) "Details, girl. I want details."
Liz (blushing) "Maria, I don't think I can even begin . . . "
Maria: "I'll help you. You asked Michael for the apartment. He consented. Max came in while Michael was there. Got jealous. Came back. Your turn."
Liz: (reeling from the lightning synopsis) "Uh, . . . o.k., Max came in and I was sitting on the couch. He apologized for getting so angry, and one thing led to another, and . . ."
Maria: "Wait. Wait. What thing led to what other thing?"
Liz: (flushed but not from embarassment) "We kissed, and Maria, (turning to look at her squarely) it was indescribable. I can't even think of any words that would be right. Incredible, wonderful, amazing, too good to be true--None of this even comes close."
Maria (sitting back and exhaling) "Oh my God." (thoughts turning to Michael without conscious provocation)
Liz: "I know. I'm sorry, Maria. I just don't know how to tell you . . . "
Maria: (very distracted now thinking about her own relationship) "It's o.k. I think I'm beginning to get the picture."
Liz: "We better get inside. Max is looking for me."
Maria (losing her train of thought completely): "What did you say?"
Liz: "I said, Max is looking for . . . . me."
Maria: "Liz! How do you know that?"
Liz: "I don't know, Maria. I just do."
Maria: "Oh my God. Be careful, Liz. You know it doesn't matter with me, but anyone else who heard that . . . . "
Liz: (solemn) "I know." "Let's go. I need to find Max and talk to him."
Maria: "Just be sure that's all you do."
Liz: "It's a little late for that now."
Maria: "I know. I'd just hate for you to get hauled to the principal's office for being caught with your . . . well, you know."
Liz: "Yeah. I get the point. Let's hurry, we're almost out of time."
Maria: "O.k."

Liz practically ran through the hall to her locker and as predicted, Max was anxiously waiting for her arrival. He smiled when he saw her, but she could tell he had been getting worried.

Liz: (walking straight into his arms) "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to worry you. Everything's fine, but I do need to talk to you."
Max (relieved to see her and concerned about what she needed to talk about): "O.k. Let's go."

They slip unnoticed into the eraser room. Max locks the door and turns around. Liz is standing there looking at him with an expression on her face that sends a wave of lust crashing through him. He reaches out and grabs her around the waist and pulls her close, setting his mouth down on hers and sliding his tongue inside. Liz forgot everything she had wanted to say in an instant. Fire flew through her body as it melted against his. Max groaned into her mouth, and deepened the kiss. Liz felt her body changing. She felt the wetness and heat between her legs. She whimpered in the back of her throat, and silently begged him not to stop. Max heard her thoughts as if she'd said them, and raging need exploded in his stomach and sent shock waves out through his chest and then down low into his belly, finally settling in his already straining erection. He lifted her up against him, carrying her with him to the counter. Setting her down, he ran his hands up her outer thighs, pushing her skirt up as he went. Liz shoved her shaking hands into his hair, cradling his skull as she began to suck on his tongue. Max lifted her slightly and pulled her underwear down and off. He slipped his hand between her legs sliding one of his fingers inside her. He felt how ready she was and it nearly cost him any semblance of control. Liz was frantic now. Her body arched and she shivered from her head to her toes in one long convulsive motion. Max tore at his jeans and in less than a second, he was buried inside her. It was a good thing she was right with him, because he didn't have it in him to slow down. He moved back just slightly before rocking his hips forward again thrusting harder each time. He felt the tightening of Liz's muscles around him just as he let go in a mind-bending release. He could hear Liz screaming out his name in his head, as she went over, as well. He could hear himself telling her how much he loved her. Her body shuddered as the narrow muscles that held him contracted endlessly. He held her close and tried to understand what had just happened. He hadn't meant to do this. He had only intended to kiss her, but he couldn't stop. He was still pulsing inside her, as he kissed her tenderly on the forehead. She nuzzled her nose just under his jaw and kissed the side of his throat. He smelled so good. Tasted good, too.

Max: (humbled by his lack of control) "I'm sorry, Liz." "Did I hurt you?"
Liz: (smiling) "No, you didn't." (looking at him with so much love on her face that it took his breath away)
Max: "I think we're late." (He reluctantly pulled back from her picked her underwear up off the floor and held them out for her to slide in her feet.)
Liz: "I was going to tell you something before we . . . "
Max: (amused) " . . . lost our reason . . ."
Liz: (glad for the rescue) "Yeah. The thing is, I was talking to Maria this morning, and . . ."
Max: "A-ha. That explains why you were so late."
Liz: (giving him a mock frown) " . . . and, I could feel that you were waiting for me. I told Maria that I needed to go because you were looking for me. I didn't even think about it. I just knew that you were."
Max (finishing his own clothes after having set Liz's to rights but pausing as her comments sunk in): "Like, you read my mind?"
Liz: "No. I can only do that when we're touching." (meeting his gaze steadily)
Max: (taking a deep breath as the return of desire made itself felt): "So you just somehow knew that I was looking for you, sort of intuitive."
Liz: "Yeah. That's a good word for it."
Max: "Liz . . . I think maybe we should check some things out in the lab this afternoon. We've been needing to work on that project for bio anyway. Maybe we can make a few slides and see if anything shows up."
Liz: (frowning in concentration as the point of the exercise sinks in): "What exactly are we looking for, Max?"
Max: (tucking her hair back behind her ear and looking in her eyes) "I don't know, Liz. I'm sorry. I just don't know."
Liz: "You think something's changed, though, in my body, I mean."
Max: "I think it seems possible with all the things you've described."
Liz: "So, we'll have to do some slides from you as well, so we can compare."
Max: "Yeah."
Liz: "O.k." "I guess we better get out of here and get to class."
Max: "Probably. . . . . "Liz, . . .."
Liz: "What?"
Max: "You know something has changed, don't you?"
Liz: "Yes. I can feel it. I felt it yesterday. It was like I wasn't an individual anymore. I couldn't explain it then so I didn't try. I can't really explain it now. It was just like . . ."
Max: ". . . . becoming half of a whole."
Liz: (nodding her head, relieved that he had felt it, too.): "Yeah, in a very permanent sort of way." "Not even like marriage, but something else . . ."
Max: "Marriages can be dissolved."
Liz: "I don't think this can, Max." "I don't know what I'm saying; it's just a feeling."
Max: "It's not just a feeling if I feel it, too."
Liz: "What does it mean, Max?"
Max: "I don't know. The only thing I can tell you for sure is I will never let you go willingly."
Liz: (nodding) "That's good, because I think I would die . . . . not just of a broken heart, but physically."
Max: (smiling) "We'll just have to make sure it never comes to that." "Let's go."

Searching around quickly and checking each other to make sure everything was in place they hurried out the door and to their respective classes.

LUNCH TIME --

The six of them are having lunch together today outside. It's a beautiful, cool, day, and they're all enjoying a chance to just be together as friends. Isabel hasn't said anything, but she's secretly delighted with this group of people knowing who she is and being able to just "be" without fear of exposure. It was so . . . . refreshing, after so many years of hiding and keeping herself apart emotionally. She was just a tad suspicious of Max and Liz right now, though. Something was not quite right. They looked even more besotted with each other than usual. Isabel wondered how that could even be possible.

Alex: "So, Maria, are you up for singing with us Friday night?"
Maria: "Sure. I'm always up for that. I'll even try to make it onto the stage without hyper-ventilating this time."
Alex: "You were terrific. There's no reason for you to be so nervous."
Liz: (remembering that night and eyes darkening in pain) "You were so good, Maria." "Can we come, too?"

Isabel didn't miss the way Liz said we without even asking Max first. Like she wouldn't even think of going by herself. And, like there was no possible way that Max would have anything else to do on Friday night. Strange. Max didn't miss the look of pain that flashed across her face at the reminder of that night. He tightened his arm around her and leaned close so he could whisper in her ear.

Max: (to Liz) "You don't ever have to worry about me walking away from you again. I'm sorry I hurt you."
Liz: "The funny thing about that night was that it was the most wonderful and the most horrible all at the same time." "Knowing how you felt about me and still watching you walk away was really hard."
Max: "I know. I'm sorry."
Liz (smiling): "Well, I'll let you make it up to me later."
Max (chuckling): "Sounds . . . . intriguing."
Liz: "Just you wait."

Michael: (to Maria) "Can I come, too?"
Maria (struggling with the idea and then reaching a decision) "Of course. Yes."
Michael (wondering why she hesitated): "I'll be there."
Maria (distracted with her own thoughts): "Good." "Alex, do you think the band would be up for something a little different?"
Alex: (feigning exasperation) "Why not? We just love complete departures from our original composition and style."
Maria: (throwing a french fry at him) "I promise this won't hurt a bit. Just relax and enjoy it."
Alex: (cocking one eyebrow at her) "That sounds dangerously close to something you would say to someone right before fu . . . . ."
Maria: (holding up her hands) "Don't say it. Don't you dare say it. Alex Whitman! I can't believe you were going to say that!"
Isabel: "Yeah, Alex. Where's your mind?"
Alex (blushing): "O.k. fine. Whatever it is just bring it with you to rehearsal and we'll try it."
Isabel: "Would you mind if I came to see you play?"
Alex: (rocking back on the bench and staring at her): "Mind? . . . . "I'd be . . . honored, yeah, that's what I'd be, honored."
Isabel (smiling) "O.k. Looks like we'll all be there."
Maria: (sarcastic) "Oh goody." (wondering how she would ever survive the nerves)
Liz: (quietly) "You'll be spectacular and you know it."
Maria (smiling, too): "Thanks." (deep breath) "Well, I think I'll just go start practicing right now."
Alex: "Maria, it's only Tuesday." "First rehearsal isn't until tomorrow night."
Maria: "That's easy for you to say. I need all the help I can get."

Everyone gets up to leave since it's time to head back to classes and various and sundry other activities.

BIOLOGY CLASS -----------

Max and Liz are setting up their project and all the while running test slides under the guise of getting their class work done. They had each made slides from skin cells and were just about to compare them. Liz opened her text book to a picture of what normal, healthy, not to mention human skin cells looked like. She slid Max's slide under the microscope and sure enough, it was pretty different from the picture. Her hands were shaking just slightly as she removed the slide, creating a mental image in her mind of what the slide had looked like. It was way too risky to draw it. She'd just have to remember. She passed the slide to Max and he erased all traces of the cells from the slide leaving it completely blank. Next came hers. She slid the slide underneath the lens and brought her eye down to focus. She almost gasped out loud when she saw the pattern of cells on the slide. She quietly removed the slide and handed it to Max as well. He did a quick check to see where their teacher was before erasing this slide, too.

Liz: (whispering) "How do we get the blood?"
Max: "Give me your hand."

He held the slide under her index finger and concentrated. Painlessly, a drop of blood fell from Liz's finger to the slide. She gave him a grateful look as she took the slide from him. He made his own slide the same way, and passed it to her, as well. Liz sat hers down and placed Max's under the lens. Flipping the text book to the right page, she turned her attention back to the microscope. She drew another picture in her mind of what his blood looked like, and removed the slide. Max took care of it the same way as the others. She placed her own slide under the lens and took a deep breath. A million thoughts raced through her brain as she brought her eye down to the focus, and then just one thought emerged. Her blood and skin cells were identical to Max's. She withdrew the slide and handed it to him, unable to even look at him in that moment for fear of losing control right there in the classroom with 25 other people staring at them. They completed their assignment and the bell rang signalling the change of classes. Liz gathered her books and made her way silently to the door. Max was pretty sure by the way she was acting what the slides had shown, but he still wanted to know for certain. He put his arm around her as they walked down the hall and for the second time that day, they ducked into the eraser room.

TBC

Edited by - hipntrendy on 09/14/2001 12:12:57
posted on 31-Aug-2001 11:09:39 AM
Title: Whiter Shade of Pale, Pt. 8
Author: Anne M. (Vigilante Girl #3)
e-mail: annemccartney⊕juno.com
category: M/L, M/M, I/A
rating: NC17
disclaimer: Yeah, right! I'm so sure if I owned any of this stuff, I'd be spending my time writing fanfiction. (sorry, feeling a little out of sorts today, no doubt spoiler related--my attitude, not this story)
author's note: Lyrics by Extreme

Max locked the door of the eraser room for the second time that day and turned to face Liz. Her expression was significantly different from the one she had worn that morning. Her eyes were wide and a little shocky. Her lips trembled, and his heart ached for her. What had he done to her? Would she be able to accept it?

Liz: (shaking) "M-max. My c-cells and blood, look j-just like yours." (swallowing around the lump in her throat)
Max: (wrapping his arms around her and holding her close) "I know, baby. I'm sorry." "I shouldn't have let myself . . . . "
Liz (brittle laugh): "Like I left you a whole lot of choice there, Max." "I practically begged you."
Max: (mind racing over all the implications): "Are you sorry now Liz?"
Liz: (forcing herself to think about his feelings and putting her fear aside) "No. I'm not. I guess maybe I should be, but I'm not." "Please don't ever think that."
Max: (relieved more than he cared to admit) "I'm glad. I am so glad. Liz, everything will be all right."

He could feel the tremors coursing through her body. He wished there was some way he could make it all better for her, but . . . .

Liz: (choking back more tears) "You know what's funny?"
Max: (wiping tears off her face) "What?"
Liz: "I used to try to put myself in your place and understand how you feel, and I really thought that I had. Now, I can see that I didn't have any idea."
Max: "Liz, don't worry. You're not alone. You have me. You have Michael and Isabel, too. I know that may not seem like a lot right now, but . . . "
Liz: "You're wrong. Just you is more than enough. I'm sorry I got so upset. It's just a little shocking."
Max: "I'm going to need to tell Isabel and Michael what we found out. Do you want to be there when I do?" (hoping she said yes, because she needed to accept the fact that she was one of them now)
Liz: (feeling the reality settle in all around her) "Yeah. I think I should be there."
Max: "Good. I'll get them to meet us at Michael's later tonight."
Liz: "O.k."
Max: "Do you think you can finish your last class, or do you want me to take you home?"
Liz: "I can do it."
Max (very proud of her): "O.k. We better get going then." (starting to pull away from her)
Liz: "Max . . . wait."
Max: "What?"
Liz: "I love you."
Max (hugging her again): "I love you, too, babe.

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

That evening, six people sat together staggered by what they had just been told.

Isabel: "I knew something was up with you two." "I just knew it!"
Alex: "What are you saying? Liz is an alien now. Just like that."
Max: (dryly) "Not exactly, just like that."
Alex: "Yeah . . . I, uh, gathered that."
Liz: (coping better now than she had earlier in the day) "We ran some tests. It's more than just the tabasco sauce and temperature change. We checked some skin and blood cells, and mine are identical to Max's now."
Michael: "Well, I guess that explains the glowing hands thing."
Liz: "Yeah, I guess. When Maria and I were talking this morning, I had a feeling that Max was looking for me inside the school. I can't explain it. I just knew."
Maria: "Oh my God." "Liz." (reeling from shock) "You are one of them now?"
Michael (biting back a sarcastic remark) (gently): "It's not like a disease Maria. She'll be o.k." (putting his arm around her)
Isabel: (solemn but completely serious) "Welcome to the family, Liz."
Alex: "Not to be completely indelicate here, but, how could this actually happen?"
Liz: "I've been thinking about that, and I've come up with a theory . . . (blushing but pushing bravely forward) . . . I think it had something to do with the type of birth control we used."
Alex: "I don't follow."
Liz: (throwing embarassment out the door--it was too late for that now anyway) "We used pills, not condoms. It had to have something to do with the exchange of fluids."
Alex: "If that were true, then wouldn't it include kissing."
Liz: "I don't think so. First of all, we've all done that and no one else has experienced anything strange. Secondly, well . . . wrong fluid." (looking at her hands)
Maria: "What do we do now?"
Max: "Nothing. We just act completely normal."
Maria: "You're kidding, right?"
Max: "No, I'm not."
Maria: "Right . . . . normal." (eyes focusing across the room on the wall)
Max: "We just wanted you guys to know, in case anything else happens, and so you can be careful yourselves."

Max took Liz home, and Alex and Isabel left at the same time. Michael sat close beside Maria, but neither one had much to say. They were each lost in their own thoughts. Michael wasn't even sure what he was feeling, but somewhere underneath it all he was worried about Maria. She was not taking this well. Maria was thinking about the plans she had made, and how close she had come to walking a mile in Liz's shoes. What concerned her most right now, was that in some weird way, even knowing what she did, she still wanted him. She was more than a little surprised at herself. The risk was incredible. How could she even consider a sexual relationship with Michael now? Ludicrous. Well, maybe, but still . . . .

Michael: (turning to look at her) "Are you going to be o.k.?"
Maria: "Me? Of course. Liz is the one who . . . "
Michael: "Maria, I know it's freaking you out right now, but she really will be o.k. Different, but o.k."
Maria: "Are you sure? I mean, how can you know that?"
Michael: "I just do. I can feel it."
Maria (feeling so on the outside now): "It must be nice to have all these 'feelings'."
Michael: "Sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn't."
Maria: "What do you mean?"
Michael: "In this case it's good to know that Liz will be alright, but it's those same feelings that drive us crazy trying to find out where we're from and drive us to find a way home."
Maria: (taking a deep breath) "I think I understand."
Michael: "Good."
Maria: "I think I'm just gonna go home now."
Michael: "See you, tomorrow?"
Maria: "Yeah. Lunch?"
Michael: "Why don't we go somewhere . . . "
Maria: "O.k."

----------------------------------------------
Max and Liz are sitting outside the Crashdown in the jeep.

Max: "Are you sure you're o.k.?"
Liz: "Yeah. I'm fine, Max. No problem."
Max: "Call me if anything at all happens."
Liz: "I will. I promise."
Max: "I'll call you after I get home anyway."
Liz: (smiling) "O.k."

Max leaned over then and placed his lips on her forehead, closing his eyes and breathing in her scent. It was going to be a long night. He placed tiny little kisses over both of her eyes and the tip of her nose, before closing his mouth over hers. She tasted so sweet. Liz parted her lips underneath Max's and sighed as their tongues met. She hated being apart from him at night. It felt so wrong. The only time she really felt at peace was when they were touching, even in the smallest way, it was enough to banish her unease. Liz leaned in closer to Max, pulling him toward her with her hands grasping his shirt. Max wanted to lay down with her so badly, but this wasn't the time. It was getting really late, and the last thing they needed at this point was suspicious parents. He pulled back slightly, and whispered into her mouth, "Liz. We have to stop. You need to get inside." Liz practically groaned out loud, but she knew he was right. Max grabbed her hand and gave it a squeeze, saying "C'mon, I'll walk you inside." They said a very quick good night at her door in order to keep from torturing themselves any more than they already were, and Max left to go home.

----------------------------------
Friday night finally arrived amidst a flurry of activity for Alex and Maria. Even though she had practiced until the wee hours of the morning, Maria still felt nervous. It was bad enough, but tonight, would be even worse, because Michael would be there . . . watching . . . and hearing the words in a song that she wished she could say to him. Some of her nervousness stemmed from the song she had chosen. It had taken a great deal of whining on her part to get the band to accept it, but in the end, they had. Even more, though, she was nervous about the decision she had made. She loved Michael and she wanted him. Somewhere over the past few days, she had come to the conclusion that no price was too high to pay. Who knows? Maybe condoms were the answer. She didn't know, but she was ready to find out.

Max picked Liz up and they headed to the club. Max was glad they were doing something normal for a change. Their lives always seemed to be so frenetic. He wanted to just relax and enjoy being with Liz tonight. She looked incredible. His body responded to the sight of her in the usual way. He was actually getting used to it. Sort of. She was beautiful, of course, but it was something more than that. He couldn't quite put his finger on what it was, but something was different. Her hair seemed shinier than usual and her eyes were deeper. Her skin fairly glowed, but not in a weird way. His eyes ran over her taking in every detail of her appearance. He frowned a little as he tried to figure out what it was . . .

Liz: (wondering what he was staring at) "What?"
Max: "I don't know. You look . . . different."
Liz: (laughing a little) "Different bad or different good?"
Max: (puzzled) "It's good . . . I just can't . . . "
Liz: (cutting him off with a kiss) "You can figure it out on the way. We're late."
Max: "O.k. Let's go."

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

At the club, Max and Liz joined Michael and Isabel who were already there. The band had already started the set, and everyone in the club seemed to be thoroughly impressed with them so far. Maria was doing o.k. so far, once she was singing the nervousness fell away. It was just the time right before getting on stage that almost did her in. Right now she was totally absorbed in the music and almost unaware of the audience. It felt wonderful.

Liz (whispering to Max): "Did you figure out what it was?"
Max: (shrugging) "Not really. "You were already the most beautiful girl I've ever seen. Now, you're just more so."
Liz: (smiling) "Thank you." (quietly) "Watch."

She turned Max's hand over where she had been holding it, and she slid her other hand over the back of it. At first, he couldn't really see any difference, but then she pulled his other hand up and placed them side by side on the table, and he was astonished at the change. If he hand't seen them together he never would've known. The skin on the hand that she had touched was completely flawless and the color was perfect. It even felt different . . . softer. He looked at her, and realized what she was saying. She could change molecular structure now, too. He silently communicated to her to change it back, and she did. Then he intertwined their fingers again and stared at her tiny hand in his. Liz leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. It felt warm and soft and he wanted so much more. Just then, Maria's voice broke the spell, and they both looked toward the stage.

Maria (surprised that she wasn't about to faint) "Our last song tonight is a little different and it's dedicated to . . . well, he'll know." Maria steps back and the music starts. She closes her eyes and begins to sing . . .

Saying I love you is not the words I want to hear
from you. It's not that I want you not to say, but
if you only knew how easy it would be to show me
how you feel, more than words is all you have to
do to make it real. Then you wouldn't have to say
that you love me 'cause I'd already know . . . .

Max and Liz got up to dance and Liz thought that she had never felt so wonderful in her life. It was surreal. She whispered to Max, "What are we doing after this?" Max looked down at her and smiled, "We're going to be alone if that's what you're asking." Liz smiled and nodded and relaxed into the dance once more.

What would you do, if my heart was torn into?
Then you couldn't make things new, just by
saying, I love you.

Michael sat forward in his seat and stared at Maria, as the words to the song sank into his heart. Her eyes were open now and she was staring at him, too. He could hardly believe what he was hearing.

What would you say, if I took those words away?
More than words to show you feel that your love
for me is real . . .

Isabel had been watching Alex all night, and she was proud of him. A couple of times he had met her eyes and smiled at her, and it made her feel like the only girl in the room. He was someone so special, and deep down she knew she was falling in love with him.

Now that I've tried to talk to you and make you
understand. All you have to do is close your eyes
and just reach out your hand, and touch me, hold
me close don't ever let me go . . .
More than words, is all I ever needed you to show,
then you wouldn't have to say that you love me,
'cause I'd already know . . .

The song ended and Maria thanked everyone in the audience and said goodnight. She turned to walk backstage with the band and then she changed her mind. She turned back around and walked across the stage and down the steps. Michael was on his feet and met her half way. She walked straight into his arms and knew she was home. Even if home was on another planet.

Michael: "Are you sure you want this, Maria?"
Maria: "You ask me that after I serenaded you in a public place?"
Michael: "I see what you mean."
Maria: "I can leave now if you're ready."
Michael: "Let's go home."

Alex comes out a few minutes later and sits down at the table across from Isabel. She smiles at him, and he can't remember the last time he was so glad to see someone.

Alex: "So, what did you think?"
Isabel: "You guys were fantastic, Alex."
Alex: "Thanks. Maria really made a good choice with that song and we fought her every step of the way." (shaking his head)
Isabel: "Maybe, next time you should listen to her."
Alex: "Yeah . . . maybe." "Where are you off to now?" (resigned)
Isabel: "No where. I don't . . . have any plans tonight."
Alex (brightening): "You don't?"
Isabel: "No."
Alex: "Wanna hang out with me . . . rent a movie . . . ?"
Isabel: "That sounds really great."
Alex: "Let me grab my stuff and we'll go."
Isabel: "I'll wait here."

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

Michael opens the door to his apartment, without breaking the kiss he was currently engaged in. He put his hand over the lock and breathed a sigh of relief when it actually opened instead of exploding. He shoved the door open and pulled Maria inside walking backwards. They only made it as far as the couch. Michael pulled Maria down beside him and then quickly under him. Maria opened her mouth and pulled his tongue deeper inside her mouth. He struggled out of his jacket and threw it on the floor. Maria wriggled underneath him trying to get closer and ease the aching in her body. In a rare flash of awareness, Michael slowed down , running his hands down the sides of her face and kissing her gently now. Maria looked at him with wide confused eyes. He stood up then, and held his hand down for her to help her up. She took it and Michael pulled her into the bedroom and shut the door.

On the other side of that door, Michael slowly pulled Maria's sweater up and over her head. She was so beautiful, perfect. He stared at her and didn't miss the way her body changed as he looked at her. In a hoarse whisper he said, "I know I asked you before, but if you have any doubts, Maria, now would be the time to tell me." She looked up at him and the certainty reflected in her eyes was all that he had been waiting for. He stepped forward and kissed her again, pushing her down on the bed and following her there pulling her underneath him once again.

----------------------------------
Max and Liz have been driving for quite a while now, and she leans over and rests her head on his shoulder. Max puts his arm around her shoulders and holds her close to him.

Liz: "You never did tell me where we were going, Max."
Max: "It's a surprise."
Liz: "I seem to remember you telling me something like that before."
Max: "Yes, I did." "And, you did your level best to torture it out of me before we got there sabatoging the whole project as best I remember."
Liz: (laughed) "I am so happy, Max." "It's strange.
Max: "I know what you mean. Everything's been so crazy. I feel it, too, though. Happy, I mean."
Liz: "Max, I think you should hurry and get whereever it is we're going."
Max: (concerned) "Why?"
Liz: (looking at his lap) "Do you really want me to elaborate?"
Max (swallowing hard and fighting down the reaction she had cauesd) "No. I do not want you to elaborate." "I will personally turn you over my knee if you start this again before we get there."
Liz: "Really? Wow. That sounds . . . exciting." (grinning mischieviously)
Max: (a little shocked) "Liz!" "I can't believe you said that."
Liz: (laughing) "Neither can I." (laughing harder)
Max: (a little desperate) "Behave yourself. Please!!!"
Liz: (sitting back) "O.k. I wouldn't want to mess up your surprise . . . . " (still grinning)
Max: (teasing) "Liar."
Liz: (chuckling) "Well, what can I say? Priorities are priorities . . . "
----------------------------------------

Alex and Isabel have settled in for the evening with a movie, popcorn, soda, and even some candy. They sat down on the floor of the living room in front of the t.v. and pulled the coffee table in front of them with all their snacks spread out on top of it. It was a remarkably intimate experience to sit here together this way. Contributing to the sense of intimacy was the fact that Alex's Dad was away on business and the house was empty except for the two of them. The movie started and Isabel absently reached up to get the popcorn. She stopped abruptly as her hand collided with Alex's. He looked from the screen to their hands and blushed a little, mumbling an apology. Isabel smiled to herself and decided she could have a whole lot more fun than watching this stupid movie.

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

Title: Whiter Shade of Pale, Pt. 9
Author: Anne M. (Vigilante Girl #3)
e-mail: annemccartney⊕juno.com
category: M/L
rating: NC17
disclaimer: Don't own 'em or even rent 'em. More's the pity. Zero affiliation to anybody pertinent. Unless you count the DG's or the Sisters of the V'hood. They're pretty pertinent.
********************************
Author's note: This segment was written in direct response to the angst created in my soul everyime Max and Liz get interrupted in the process of trying to be intimate. To recap: In Heatwave we're 3 for 1(3 attempts/1 success due to teacher's bad timing, not to mention Kyle's), Balance 1 for 0 (thank you Maria), Blind Date 2/1 (fantasies interrupted by blaring car horns don't count), Sexual Healing 3/0 (due to visions, Maria--again! , and bleeping orbs), Crazy 1/0 (thank you Ms. Topolsky--) GROAN! Just once, couldn't we have pure, unadulterated. uninterrupted . . . . well, you know . . . .
********************************

Michael stared into Maria's eyes where she lay trapped underneath him. Her eyes were intent and filled with so much desire that it took his breath away. He pulled her legs up a little as he slid forward trying to ease some of the tension in his overly eager body. Maria felt his hands burning right through her pants on the backs of her legs. She pushed her hips up to meet him and sighed in pleasure and relief.

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

Isabel stared at Alex and contemplated her next move. She just needed a way to let him know that she wanted their relationship to . . . progress. He was so careful around her that she wasn't sure how she was going to accomplish this. The movie continued to drone on and on, and Isabel absently watched as she planned Alex Whitman's seduction. Would he be afraid of her now? He may not want to take the risk now that they had seen what had happened to Liz. She finally decided that the only thing she could do was talk to him and find out. She took a deep breath and held it for a second before letting it out.

Isabel: (turning toward him) "Alex, I need to ask you something."
Alex (not looking at her but at the movie and eating popcorn): "Sure. What?"
Isabel: "How do you feel about me, Alex?"
Alex: (choking on his popcorn and gasping for air) "What . . . (dragging air into his lungs) do you mean?"
Isabel: "I mean, are you afraid of me now?"
Alex (sufficiently recovered to speak properly now): "Uh, Isabel, I know you can do some pretty amazing things, but fear is not the emotion I would use to describe the way I feel about you."
Isabel: (rolling her eyes) "I know you're not afraid of me right now, but that's not what I mean."
Alex: (confused) "What do you mean?"
Isabel: "God, Alex! . . . (trying to find the words) What I mean is, now that we know about what happened to Liz as a result of . . . . . well, you know . . . would you be afraid to . . . . "
Alex (finally getting a clue and shocked at what she was saying) "Isabel, I may not be the most macho guy you know, but I can assure you of one thing. Fear is still not the underlying emotion I would use to describe this situation."
Isabel: (concerned) "You wouldn't be afraid that you would have the same problems as Liz."
Alex: "First of all, I'm not so sure that Liz sees her current situation as a problem. Secondly, they told us they didn't use condoms and if Liz's theory is correct, and I happen to think that it is, then there's really no risk at all."
Isabel: "Oh."
Alex: "Wait. (shaking his head) "I don't think I'm going to be able to live with that 'Oh.' What brought all this on?"
Isabel: "I was just wondering . . ."
Alex: "About . . . ?"
Isabel: (staring at his mouth now) "About us and . . . . "
Alex: (leaning forward) "I think I get the point." (pressing his lips firmly against hers)

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

Max and Liz finally arrived at a cabin on a lake just outside the city.

Liz (looking over at Max) "Where are we?"
Max: (smugly) "This cabin belongs to my parents. We come up here sometimes in the summer for vacations."
Liz: (smiling) "How . . . convenient."
Max (smiling, too): "Yeah." (getting out of the jeep and walking around to open her door)
Liz: (stepping out of the jeep) "It's beautiful out here."
Max (staring at her) "Yeah. It is."

A million stars glowed in the sky tonight and the moon was full and brilliant. They had no trouble seeing their way to the front door, where Max unlocked the door with the key he found hidden nearby. He opened the door and they stepped inside. Max put the key down on the counter by the door and turned to look at Liz. She was looking around at her surroundings with a curious aire that made him smile. She was ever the investigator, and he loved it when she turned the force of her inquisitive nature in his direction. She made her way around the room and came to a stop in front of him. Placing her hands on his shoulders she waited for him. He stared down at her for a moment, trying to capture the way she looked in his mind. He wanted to always remember this night and how good it felt to be with her. She leaned in closer to him and he kissed her after what seemed like an eternity to Liz. She brought her hands together behind his head and stepped closer to him. She could feel his response to her pressed against her tummy.
She smiled to herself and stepped back staring at him. He started to follow her but she held out her hand to keep him where he was. She reached up into her hair and slid the pin out that was anchoring it in place. It fell, swinging across her shoulders and cascading down her back like a waterfall. Without taking her eyes off of his face, she slid the zipper down on the side of the dress from just under her arm to her waist. Max felt his breath shorten as he watched her undressing. She slid the straps off her shoulders and peeled the material away from her body, letting it drop to the floor. Stepping out of the dress. She straightened and faced him again. She stepped toward him wearing nothing but her underwear and bra and her high heeled shoes. Max smiled at her as she ran her hands under his sweater bringing it up with her as she went and slipping it off over his head. She made another sweep with her hands and the t-shirt went the same way of the sweater. She exhaled softly, as finally, she could put her hands on his bare chest. She leaned a little closer fascinated with every little detail of his body. She brought her hands down in a slow carress all the way from his shoulders to his waist. It felt so good to touch him and she'd been aching to do this all night. She wound her hands around his waist and pressed her lips against his skin. Max felt that kiss all over his body. His brain exploded in sensation, his heart raced, and his blood slowed down to a crawl through veins that were much too constricted. He could smell the perfume she had worn tonight, and something else that was just her own scent. She left a trail of kisses across his collarbone and out to his shoulder. Her hands were splayed across his back and occasionally she flexed her fingers and he felt the hint of her fingernails pricking his skin. She retreated again, this time removing her shoes by sliding the straps off the back of her heel and letting each fall to the floor. She stepped toward him again, and this time her hands settled on the fastening of his pants. Max tried to breathe but it was getting difficult to get enough air. She slid the zipper down slowly and watched his face as the pants loosened their hold on him. His eyes narrowed slightly as he waited to see what she was going to do next. She pushed the pants the rest of the way down and he stepped out of his shoes and pants legs in one motion. He stood up and waited. She stepped toward him, dragging her hands across his chest as she walked around him to face his back. She traced his spine with her index finger from his neck to the waistband of his shorts and back up again. He shivered a little and she opened her mouth and slid her tongue down the same path her finger had just taken. Max felt his chin fall down on his chest without realizing that he had let his head drop. She slid her hands around his waist and pressed them flat against his stomach, while she continued exploring the muscles in his back with her mouth. Max felt his control slipping away like a fading memory, as he reached up to push her hands down from his stomach to where he so desperately needed her to touch him. As Liz's fingers came into contact with his shorts, she sighed in impatience and slipped her fingers over the edges and pushed them down. They fell to the ground and Liz brought her hands back up to his hips, dragging her fingernails the whole way, and then sliding across his stomach and finally . . .

Liz: (very low and sultry) "Max . . . . do you ever think about having children . . . . ?"
Max: (clenching his fists and trying hard to concentrate on what she was saying) " . . . children? . . . yeah, . . . sometimes . . . . why?"
Liz: (sliding around to face him again and putting her arms around his neck) "I've been thinking about it."
Max: (looking into her eyes and running his hand down the back of her head) "You have?"
Liz: "Well, maybe that's not exactly the right word for it. It's more like an obsession."

Max tried to think, but it was so difficult with her hands on him and her mouth sliding down his chest. She was going to torture him to death if he didn't get inside her . . . soon.

Max: "Liz? . . . (fighting against the demands of his body) . . . What do you mean by an obsession?"
Liz: (practically purring and dipping her fingers lower exploring his body) "I can't stop thinking about it. I want to have a baby."
Max: (almost torn in two by the emotions that raged inside him at her words) " Liz . . . (closing his eyes and struggling to get control) . . . . "
Liz: (bringing her hands up to either side of his face) "I'm sorry, Max. I didn't mean to upset you." (trying hard to hide the hurt she felt at his reaction)

If she hadn't been in so much pain, she would've been able to feel Max's emotions, but . . . .

Max's mind grappled with what she had said, and logic warred with instinct, as rational thought died a quick, painless death in the face of blinding need. He had never felt anything like this before in his life. He had never even imagined this kind of lust. He opened his eyes and looked at her after what had seemed like an eternity to Liz. His eyes looked so strange to her that she took a step back, and whispered, "I'm sorry."

Max knew that he had hurt her and he could feel her confusion, but he couldn't gently tell her what he was feeling right now or how her words had incited a riot inside his body. He took a step toward her and wrapping his arms around her waist, lifted her effortlessly closing his mouth over hers. This kiss was different. Liz could feel the intensity behind it as well as the force of the pressure against her lips. She was crushed against him as he held her tightly, walking toward the back of the cabin. As he carried her, Liz's mind settled and one thing became perfectly clear. Max wasn't repulsed by what she had said at all, nor was he angry, or any of the other things she had imagined. As his emotions crashed across her nerve endings, she realized the full extent of the affect that her words had had on him. He was just about a breath away from violence. The tenuous hold he had on himself was shocking, but he was beyond caring. He came to a stop beside the bed and let her slide down his body, without breaking the kiss. He brought his hands up to unfasten her bra and removed it quickly. Stepping back, he pulled her underwear down and off. He straightened and looked down at her. Her body pushed him to the brink of sanity when she had clothes on. Like this, he couldn't even think . . .

He propelled her back down onto the bed and came down on top of her. He couldn't stop or even slow down. He brought his mouth down over hers again, and this time Liz responded by opening her mouth wide and dragging his tongue inside and holding it captive there. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he realized that she felt as out of control as he did. She wanted this. From the moment he had come down on the bed and Liz had felt him stretched out over her, she had lost all desire to be in control or even safe for that matter. Liz's thoughts had set up a litany in his brain, and every single one of them told him what she wanted from him in graphic detail. He clenched his hands on either side of her head and closed his eyes, but he couldn't stop his body's reaction to her thoughts. Liz pulled her foot up the back of his leg from his ankle to his knee. Max reached down and pulled her leg up even higher bringing her foot almost in line with his hips. Her other foot crept up seemingly of it's own free will, as Max pushed inside her body with a force that matched the need they were both feeling. Oh God, Liz thought, . . . finally. Max heard the roaring in his ears as his heart threatened to explode. It wasn't enough. Liz tangled her legs around his waist and forced her hips up as he drove into her. Then, she arched her back and shuddered at the sensitivity of her breasts pressed up against his chest. Almost there. Max pushed forward harder and deeper, no longer able to have the slightest restraint. He could hear her begging him not to stop, as he rocked her up a little higher, holding her hips. Using all of his breath, he plunged into her body one last time. He felt her release and he was pulled into the void with her.

He felt a wave of tenderness wash over him as he watched the world come crashing down all around her face. She cried, but he knew it was in reaction and not pain. His heart continued to slam against his ribs refusing to stop now even though the demand was gone. Liz opened her eyes and looked at him then. The moonlight across her face made her look surreal. She looked into his eyes as if she were searching for something. He could feel the questions in her mind and the uncertainty that came from not knowing her own body anymore. She didn't understand why, at the age of sixteen, she suddenly wanted a baby. It wasn't logical. It was instinctive and very, very strong.

Max: "Liz, I understand how you feel."
Liz: (quietly) "I don't think you can." . . . . "Wrong gender."
Max: "That's not true. I feel it, too."
Liz: "You do?"
Max: "Yeah . . . (closing his eyes as the thought wreaked havoc in his body, again) . . . Maybe this is just the way we are, and it's natural for us."
Liz: (smiling at the way he said us, including her as if she had always been one of them) "I don't think I'll ever get over it."
Max: "What?"
Liz: "Feeling more like I belong . . . like I fit somewhere, than I ever did when I was human."
Max (smiling down at her): "I can vouch for where you fit."
Liz: (smiling, too) "What do we do now, Max?"
Max: (feeling his body responding to her again) "One idea comes to mind . . . "
Liz: (serious) "That's not what I mean."
Max: "I know. I can't help it. This conversation is having a pronounced affect on me. "
Liz: "What do you mean?"
Max: "I mean that, imagining having children with you is powerfully erotic."
Liz: "Oh." . . . . .
Max: "Let's hope we can make it out of high school before it gets any worse."
Liz: (starting to relax) "Surely we can manage that. It's only two years away.

They both looked at each other, as Liz's 2 year pronouncement rang in their ears. Max groaned knowing there was no way they were going to be able to suppress these feelings for 2 years.

Liz: "Maybe they'll go away, Max. Maybe it's just seasonal or something . . ."
Max: (very skeptical) "I don't think so, Liz."
Liz: "O.k. Well, I'm on the pill, so we'll just agree that I'm going to stay on it. Right? That should take care of it. We'll just decide . . . (fading at the look in his eyes)

Max was beyond conversation at this point. These feelings were overwhelming. The very idea of Liz being pregnant was setting off small charges all over his body. He could feel the tremors course along muscles that ached to be freed into action. He kissed her again and felt her body responding to him in a hundred different ways. God, she was amazing. It was like she had been created just for him. And, in a way, she had been. The first time he made love to her, her body had changed to become half of his and she had become his mate for life. Right now, he just needed this time with her. They would just have to stick with the pills, because condoms were completely out of the question. They'd never make it. Neither one of them had the fortitude for that. But, they had to wait. They had to wait until after high school.
TBC . . . soon!

Title: Whiter Shade of Pale, Pt. 10 (for Mandy -- You Rock, girlfriend!)
Author: Anne M. (#3 Sister in the Vigilante 'hood -- Manifesto provided upon request)
e-mail addy: annemccartney⊕juno.com
category: M/L
rating: NC17
disclaimer: I don't own Roswell or any of the characters. I have no affiliation with the WB television network or the author, Melinda Metz.
*******************
Author's Note: Thanks to Linda for the incredible feedback and encouragement and to ABS for loving this story and all the wonderful things you've had to say about it -- XX00 Anne)
*******************

Maria wiggled around just a little in her sleep before settling down and drifting back off. Michael knew this because he was wide awake and watching her intently. He couldn't believe the way she affected him. His ability to maintain distance had been shattered the day he'd hauled her to Marathon. Since, then, she had slowly but surely permeated every waking thought he had, and almost all of his dreams, too. What in the world had she done to him? She opened her eyes and looked at him first in question and then, realizing that he had been watching her, in adoration.

Maria (serious): "I hope you're not disappointed."
Michael: (confused) "Disappointed about what?"
Maria: (blushing) "You know . . . the condoms . . . "
Michael: (understanding) "No. I'm not disappointed. To be honest, Maria, I'm not sure I'm ready to live at the same level of stress that Max and Liz seem to enjoy so much."
Maria: (relieved) "I'm not sure I could handle it either, Michael. It's just so weird, the way she's changed. I don't know . . . "
Michael: (kissing her forehead) "Hopefully, we won't have to worry about that . . . unless we want to."
Maria: (wistful) "Do you think we ever might . . . want to, I mean?"
Michael: (staring intently into her eyes) "You never know . . . "
Maria: (getting lost in that stare) "No . . . I guess not . . . . Michael . . . . "

Michael closed his mouth over hers, pulling her underneath him again, and hoping she would be o.k. and not too sore for this, because he couldn't help himself . . .

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

Isabel stretched and yawned daintily, and then stared at her reflection in the bathroom mirror. The lighting in here was awful. She looked "green." Not a comforting color at this point in her life, for a multitude of reasons. Not the least of which being, that it was usually the color most often associated with alien beings. Damn fluorescent lighting anyway! Who's stupid idea was this? She killed the switch and headed back out of the bathroom with a scowl on her beautiful face.

Alex watched her approach with mounting anxiety. What in the world was wrong? She looked really upset.

Alex: "Isabel?"
Isabel (snapping out of her thoughts and focusing on him) "What?"
Alex: (obviously concerned) "Are you all right?"
Isabel (smiling at his expression) "No. I'm not all right. . . . I'm wonderful, Alex."
Alex: (visibly relieved) "You looked so sad . . . "
Isabel: (shrugging) "Just a little insecurity . . . sorry. The lighting in the bathroom gave me the creeps."
Alex: "Why?"
Isabel: "You know . . . fluorescent lights . . . "
Alex (following as best he could): "Green tinge . . . oh, I see. Isabel, don't be ridiculous. You can't seriously be having doubts about yourself, and certainly not about myself either, at this point."
Isabel: (smiling at the memory of how sweet it was to be loved by Alex Whitman) "No . . . not really . . . I guess the whole idea of how different we basically are just makes me afraid."
Alex: (smirking) "I think it's a very good thing how different we are . . . "
Isabel (rolling her eyes) "You know that's not what I'm talking about . . ."
Alex: "I know . . . but, the fact is, I don't care about anything else . . . don't you understand . . . I love you, just you and whatever that entails."
Isabel: (letting go of her doubts and fears) "I love you, too, Alex."
Alex: "I mean this, Isabel. I don't care what you are or who you are or how different we are . . . none of it matters to me."
Isabel (closing her eyes briefly and taking those words into her heart) "I'm so glad, Alex. Thank you."
Alex: "Thank you? You must be joking. Thank you, for trusting me . . . for letting me in . . . for everything."
Isabel: (smiling) "I guess I should probably be getting home soon . . . (looking at him pointedly)
Alex (not missing the intent in her eyes) "Then I guess we'd better hurry . . . (kissing her deeply)

---------------------------------------
Max stole a glance at Liz as he drove back to Roswell. It had been one of the most singularly difficult experiences of his life to get up and prepare to take her home. He needed her . . . not just once in a while, but all the time . . . not just to be inside her . . . but to just be beside her . . . . . all the time . . .

Liz: "What?"
Max: "Nothing . . . . "
Liz: (frowning) "What is it?"
Max: "I was just thinking how hard it is to take you home . . . I wish . . . "
Liz: (nodding) "I know." (reaching out and grabbing his hand and holding it tight)

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

Two months later, the six of them had become inseparable. After all, who else could they really hang out with. They all knew each other in a fundamental way that no one else could even begin to understand. They needed each other. Michael and Maria's relationship had undergone a sea change. They were never seen without each other, unless it was absolutely mandatory. Alex and Isabel seemed to have developed an intolerance to separation from each other, as well. They all spent a great deal of time at the Crashdown, since Michael and Maria and Liz all worked there. Max and Alex and Isabel occupied a booth most of the time, but today they were spread out all over the place. Alex was in the back trying to repair one of the appliances for Liz, with Isabel closeby. Max was sitting in a booth studying . . . or rather trying to. He never seemed to be able to concentrate when Liz was in the room, and that was most of the time. He almost couldn't bear to be away from her now. It had only grown worse over the past couple of months. Sometimes, at night, he would sneak out and go to her house just so he could hold her for a little while. He didn't even notice the lack of sleep, because the alternative was not seeing her and that was just not acceptable. This week had been difficult for both of them. They both had big projects due at school and between her work schedule and his, they just hadn't had very much time together. He hadn't made love to her in a week. As he watched her go about her shift, he noted for the third or fourth time that day, that something wasn't right with her. She was tense . . . nervous . . . she smiled, but her eyes remained wary . . .
Tonight, he would ask her what was going on. He watched her disappear into the back and frowned wondering what it could be . . .

Isabel: "Hey, Liz." "I think Alex is almost done."
Liz: "Oh, yeah, that's great. . . . "Listen, can I talk to you for a minute."
Isabel: (a little worried) "Of course."
Liz: "Not here."
Isabel: (definitely worried) "O.k. where?"
Liz: "Let's go up to my room."
Isabel: "Alright." "Be back in a minute, Alex."
Alex: "Oh sure you will . . . . "

Isabel rolled her eyes, but smiled at him just the same as she followed Liz up the stairs. They made their way inside the room and Liz shut the door. Stripping off her headband and sitting down on the edge of the bed, she looked at Isabel steadily.

Isabel: (starting to overreact) "O.k. Stop that, and tell me what's wrong."
Liz: (sighing) "I skipped my last two periods, Isabel."
Isabel: (paling) "You did?"
Liz: "Yes . . . I did."
Isabel: "Oh my God."

The two sat in silence for a few moments as Isabel tried to come to terms with what Liz was saying. After a few moments, she looked up.

Isabel: "Wait. How long ago did you and Max first . . .?"
Liz: (understanding) "About two and a half months ago. Why?"
Isabel: "And that's when you started changing right?"
Liz: (a little lost) "Yes. It was pretty much instantaneous."
Isabel: (taking a deep breath) "I don't think you need to worry about this, Liz."
Liz: (very confused) "Why not?"
Isabel: (smiling and feeling not so alone in a new way that Alex couldn't provide) "I don't menustrate."
Liz: (absorbing the information) "You don't? . . ."
Isabel: "No. Never. . . . So, you don't need to worry."

Isabel watched as Liz's face fell and she almost looked like she might burst into tears. Suddenly, she understood the problem. Reaching out to put her arm around Liz, Isabel held her as she cried.

Isabel: "You and Max . . . I just don't know what it is about you two, but I understand Liz. I really do. I'm so sorry . . . " Liz cried uncontrollably for several minutes before getting a hold of herself. Wiping her eyes, she gave Isabel a watery smile and picked up her headband replacing it behind her ears.

Liz: (embarassed) "I'm sorry, Isabel. I don't know what came over me. Of course, that was the best possible news."
Isabel: (gently) "Not for you. I mean it when I say that I understand Liz. It's o.k."
Liz (relaxing): "Yeah. I guess if anyone would understand it would be you. Thanks."
Isabel (smiling): "Anytime."
Liz: "I better get back downstairs before someone misses me."

Max shut the door behind him quietly and looked at the two girls sitting on the bed.

Max: "Somebody already did. What's going on Liz?"
Liz (looking up startled) "Max . . . "
Isabel: (getting up and heading for the door) "I was just leaving." (giving Max a sympathetic look that really worried him)

Max walked over beside the bed and knelt down in front of Liz grabbing her hands and holding them in his. He looked at her face and the evidence of recent tears and wondered why she hadn't come to him with whatever it was. Liz drew in a shaky breath and willed herself not to cry anymore.

Liz: "I'm sorry, Max. This is ridiculous . . . "
Max: (gently) "What is?"
Liz: (taking a deep breath) "I missed a couple of periods, and I was concerned about it, so I asked Isabel, and she said that she doesn't have them, so don't worry . . . "
Max: (silently watching her face) " . . . . . . . You thought you were pregnant . . . . . "
Liz: (feeling her control slipping again) "Yeah, but I'm not so everything's . . . (tears spilling over and sliding down her face) f-fine now."
Max: "You're sad, Liz. It's not fine."
Liz: (wiping tears away as fast as she can) "I'm sorry, Max. I'm being irrational. . . . I should get back to work . . . . "
Max: (understanding) "You're disappointed that you're not pregnant, aren't you?" (knowing how she feels and feeling it, too)
Liz: (quietly) "It's just that . . . I really thought I was pregnant, and I've never felt anything like that before. And now, I just feel so sad . . . . and completely stupid."
Max: "You're not stupid. You've been through so much in the past few months, Liz. If you want to be sad because you're not pregnant, then I think you're entitled. The truth is, I understand how you feel, and I've only known about it for a few minutes. You had a lot longer to think about it, so it was more real for you. Do you think you could take the rest of the night off?"
Liz: (wishing she could--she needed to be with Max) "I can't, Max."
Max: "If I can get someone to cover for you, would it be all right?"
Liz: "I guess so . . . but, . . . "
Max: "Stay here. I'll be right back."

-------------------------------
Isabel and Alex watch Max as he descends the last few steps into the room. Isabel looks at him with worry etched into her features.

Max: (coming to a halt in front of her) "Is, I need a favor."
Isabel (concerned): "What is it?"
Max: (solicitous) "Can you cover for Liz tonight?"
Isabel: (stifiling a groan) "Yes, of course. Is she o.k. Max?"
Max: (expression solemn) "Not really, but I think she will be."
Isabel: (feeling an unprecedented connection to Liz) "Take care of her Max."
Max: (surprised) "You know I will, Is."
Isabel: "It's just . . . it's weird . . . all of a sudden, I don't feel so alone now that she's like us. I want her to be all right."

Max (understanding): "We'll make it . . . don't worry."
. . . . "Uh, Is, I need to ask you something . . . " (blushing)
Isabel: (mildly concerned about what was coming) "What?"
Max: (really uncomfortable) "You don't . . . I mean, you haven't . . . (deep breath) have you felt like Liz does?"
Isabel (not even pretending to misunderstand) "No. I haven't felt anything like that, Max. It's like she's just devastated that she's not pregnant."
Alex (snapping his head up): "Whoa. Pregnant? Liz?"
Isabel (turning towards him): "No. I'll explain later. It's complicated."
Alex (shaking his head and going back to work) "Is it ever anything else?" (teasing)
Isabel (smiling at him inspite of her concern for Liz) (turning her attention back to Max): "Tell, Liz, I'll take over for her and not to worry."
Max: "I'm sorry to ask you to do this."
Isabel: "It's o.k." "You know, Max, maybe, it's just normal for her to feel that way. She's so in love with you it's scary. Maybe . . . " (The words fell away at the look on Max's face.)
Max: "I don't think it's that simple, Is. I feel it, too. It's not just Liz." "It's like this consuming drive that just gets stronger everyday."
Isabel: (a little panicked) "Max . . . you can't. You just can't."
Max: (shaking his head) "I know. Don't worry. I should get back upstairs. Thanks, Is."
Isabel: "No problem."

-------------------------------------------
Max climbs the stairs once again and let's himself back into Liz's bedroom, quietly closing the door behind him. She looks up into the mirror where she's sitting brushing her hair. She hadn't changed clothes, but she had taken her hair down. He was glad to see that she had stopped crying. Maybe she was feeling better . . .

As he got closer to her reflection in the mirror, that hope died quickly. Her eyes were so solemn, and he had no idea how to help her through this. He didn't even know exactly what was happening to her . . . or to him for that matter. Why didn't Isabel feel this way, and what about Michael and Maria? Of course, they're relationships were different from his with Liz. They were all still human/alien relationships. He and Liz were the same now . . . .

Max: "Are you ready?"
Liz: "Are we going somewhere?"
Max: "Yes . . . unless, you don't . . . ."
Liz: "I want to go. Should I change?"
Max: "No. Let's just go . . . "
Liz: (putting down her brush) "O.k."

-----------------------------------------
Max drove away from town and truth be told he had no idea where he was heading exactly. He just knew that he needed to get Liz away for a little while and he needed to be with her. He glanced at her and noticed that she was sitting perfectly still with her hands folded in her lap staring straight ahead, deep in thought. He hated the way she'd withdrawn, and tried to deal with the hurt all by herself. He wanted to help her.

Max: "How long did you think you were pregnant?"
Liz (pulling out of her reverie): "Oh, uh, just this week." "I know it seems like I should've known sooner, but I wasn't paying attention."
Max: (a little hurt) "Why didn't you tell me, Liz?"
Liz: (focus sharpening at the pain in his voice) "Max . . . I wasn't sure, and I didn't want to worry you. I knew you'd do what you always do. You'd take care of me and make sure that I was o.k., and you'd suffer in silence. This time, I just wanted to look out for you for once. I didn't want to put you through any of this, if it wasn't necessary. Do you undersand?"
Max (a little taken aback) "I think so. . . . But, next time, if there is one, please come to me, Liz." "I want to know . . . I want to take care of you . . ."
Liz: (smiling a little) "I don't think there's any doubt about a next time, do you?"
Max (so relieved to see a smile even if it was a small one) "No . . . probably not."
Liz: "Where are we going?"
Max (shaking his head) "I have no idea."
Liz: (smiling a little more now) "I think you should pull over . . . "
Max: (turning his head to look at her) "Why? . . . Oh, . . . . " (pulling off the highway)

As the jeep came to a stop, Liz unbuckled her seat belt and threw her arms around Max, who caught her as she came to rest practically astride his lap. He leaned his head back as their lips met and fire flew between them in tiny little sparks bouncing from one to the other and back again. Kissing her this way always reminded Max of making love to her. Being inside of her . . . deep inside of her . . . The snaps on her uniform came apart with laughable ease and Max pushed it off her shoulders and down until it caught around her elbows. There were only two scraps of underwear beneath that uniform. Liz reached for the edge of his shirt to pull it off, but he caught her hands and held them behind her back. Liz pulled away and looked at him in question. His eyes reflected all the passion she'd felt in his kiss. She started to reach for his shirt again, but he pulled her uniform the rest of the way off, drawing her arms back and then freeing them. Before she could move again, he leaned forward and pushed her toward him at the same time with a hand pressed flat on the small of her back. His breath was warm as it came into contact with her skin. Liz's head fell back, arching her back, and Max brought his free hand up to her chin, dragging his fingers down the column of her throat and stopping at the fastening of her bra. He'd become quite good at opening lingerie in the past two months. Liz's hands moved out across his shoulders in a restless motion, as he peeled the material away from her breasts. He closed his eyes for just a second and willed himself back under control. He loved her body. Everything about her . . . every single detail. If he'd special ordered a woman, she couldn't have been any more perfect for him than Liz Parker. He opened his eyes again and immediately felt his hard-won self control slip away once more. Liz seized the hem of his shirt and pulled it up in a jerky motion that told him exactly how she was feeling. She let it fly towards the back of the jeep, having no idea where it landed and not caring at all. She settled down onto his lap and opened her mouth along his jaw, slipping her hand down to the fastening on his pants. Max let his hands drift to her waist as she opened his pants and pushed the material aside. She wrapped her hand around him sliding her fingers up and down in a rhythm that could only lead to a rapid end. Max whispered hoarsely, "Baby, please stop. I don't want it to be over yet." Liz forced herself to let go, but it was an effort of will that she didn't know she possessed. She put her hands back on his shoulders, as Max pressed his forehead to hers. He opened his eyes after a moment and looked into hers. He lifted her up and she brought her hands up to either side of his face and pulled him toward her until his mouth opened over her breast and pulled her inside. Liz wasn't sure which one of them enjoyed this more, but it was amazing how quickly it set fire to her blood. Her head fell back and she could feel her hair sweep across the bare skin on her back. Max was still holding her around her waist, as his mouth continued to push her steadily toward madness. He had been gentle at first, but somewhere along the way, lust had taken over, and the pressure of his mouth had increased almost to the point of pain. Liz waited as long as she could before reaching for him again. Max released her tender flesh and the cool air across her skin made her gasp in shock. Max brought one of his hands down between them and slid her underwear to the side, as Liz brought him to the entrance of her body. Max moved his hands to her hips and brought her down steadily, feeling the muscles in her body stretch and give way all around him. He thought again about how perfect she was for him. He closed his mouth over hers in a hot, wet kiss that pushed Liz even closer toward release. Max pulled away and began to move her up again, shuddering at the sensation of her body sliding along his. He tried to go slow, but he'd waited as long as he could. He pulled her down hard against him, thrusting up into her at the same time. Liz's breath rushed out and her eyes widened in surprise, as Max lifted her again, faster this time, and brought her body down harder than before. Liz dug her fingernails into his shoulders, and tried to watch his face, but her vision was blurring as she got closer and closer . . . Finally, her eyes drifted shut and she whispered his name. In the very next instant she would have screamed but her breath was gone once more, forced out by the impact. As her body let go, Liz found the first peace that she'd felt in a week. All of a sudden, it didn't matter that she wasn't pregnant. The only thing that mattered was that Max was with her and they belonged together. A week had been much too long to go without this. Max felt not only Liz's physical release, but also the incredible sense of contentment and peace that flooded her mind, and he knew she would be alright. He came inside of her just as her eyes opened again, and she watched his face in fascination. His breathing was ragged and his chest rose and fell as he tried to adjust. As she looked on, he slowly opened his eyes and took in the expression on her face. He'd never have believed it was possible to love or be loved at this level. Her name sounded hoarse in his own ears as he whispered it. She lifted one hand to his face and pressed her lips lightly against his. She whispered, "I love you," against his mouth. They knew then that they'd be able to withstand anything as long as they were together . . .
TBC


Title: Whiter Shade of Pale, Pt. 11 (for the VG's and DG's and most especially Mandy)
Author: Anne M.
e-mail: annemccartney⊕juno.com
category: M/L
rating: NC17
disclaimer: I don't own Roswell or any of the characters. I have no affiliation with the WB television network or the author Melinda Metz.

***********************
Last Day of School before Summer Break --

Liz Parker stood at her locker shuffling her two remaining books around, so she could pull out some of the more personal items she kept stored in there. Her backpack was ridiculously light now that most of the day
was over. Two more classes, and her sophomore year would be over. With a sigh, she decided to just go ahead and clean out the whole locker now, rather than have to come back and do it later. There wasn't much left anyway . . .

Closing the door on the empty compartment, she stood still staring at the lock for a moment. The frown on her face concerned Max as he walked up to her slowly, wondering what was going on. She looked like she was a million miles away.

But she was actually only a few feet away. Her mind had wandered to yesterday afternoon and a small locked room just down the hall from where she was now. Max had grabbed her hand after lunch and told her to meet him there. She had barely closed the door, when she felt his hands and his mouth everywhere . . . .

She closed her eyes . . . . remembering . . .

Max: (wrapping his arms around her waist and whispering in her ear) "Better be careful. The way things are going with you, it might melt." (staring pointedly at the locker)
Liz (relaxing into his embrace): "I know. . . . "
Max: (turning her around to face him) "What's wrong?"
Liz: (sighing) "I'm going to miss you this summer."
Max (startled): "Why? (now concerned) "Are you going somewhere?"
Liz: (quickly reassuring him) "No. It's not that."
Max: (swamped with relief and then searching her face) "What is it, then?"
Liz: (blushing a little) "We just won't have as much time together . . . "
Max: (smiling) "I think I see the problem."

Liz silently wonders how to take Max's attitude. Maybe he didn't feel the same way that she did. Maybe he didn't . . . .

Max: (sensing the direction of her thoughts) "Stop. You know I can't stand to be away from you." (putting his hands on her face and kissing her)

Liz's eyes drifted shut as she felt the pressure of Max's lips on hers and the incredible feeling of contentment and peace that always came with his kiss. She almost cried thinking how long it would be in between kisses for the next couple of months. Reluctantly, Max pulled away. He needed to reassure her that they wouldn't spend that much time apart, but they were dangerously close to being late now. Problems with teachers at this point did not fit into his plans at all.

Max: (putting his arm around her shoulders and walking towards their class) "Don't worry, Liz. We'll talk about this tonight. Right now, we better go."
Liz: (smiling at him in spite of her concerns) "You're right. Let's go."

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

Maria glanced over at Liz, while they changed into their uniforms, and wondered what was wrong with her best friend. She whistled quietly to herself, knowing it would irritate Liz to no end, and she'd finally tell her what was wrong. As she thought over the plans she and Michael had made right after school, she noticed the scowl on Liz's face. She had to work hard to keep from grinning, but when she finished dressing, Liz still had not opened up.

Maria: (unable to stand it anymore) "What?"
Liz: "You are whistling."
Maria: "Yeah . . . so?"
Liz: (under her breath) "Why is everybody in such a good mood today."
Maria: "What?" "Look, Liz. I have no idea what is going on, but you should be in a fantastic mood right now."
Liz: (confused) "I should?"
Maria (suspicious): "Didn't Max talk to you after school today?"
Liz: (sadly) "No. He got tied up and couldn't meet me. He said he'd be here later, though." (consoling herself)
Maria: (smiling) "Ah, so, you don't know yet . . . "
Liz: (frowning) "Don't know what?"
Maria: "Nevermind. Thank God. I was beginning to really worry about you. I mean, who is ever unhappy on the last day of school before summer break? I'm sure Max will have something to say to cheer you up when you see him."
Liz: (threatening) "Maria!"
Maria: (groaning) "Ooohhh, Liz. I can't tell you. They'll kill me. Please? . . . "
Liz: (putting her headband in place and backing out the door) "Oh alright. I'll wait. But, you owe me."
Maria: (mouthing silently an exaggerated "thank you")
Liz: "What are you doing tomorrow on our first day of freedom?"
Maria: (grinning) "I can't tell you."
Liz: (exasperated) "O.k. What can we talk about?"
Maria: (frowning a little in concentration) "Maybe we shouldn't talk until after you talk to Max . . . "
Liz: (laughing in spite of her mood) "You're kidding!"
Maria: (smiling) "No . . . no, I'm not." "You'll know soon enough." "Here comes Max, now." "See ya, babe."


Max: (to Liz) "Hey."
Liz: "Hey. What are you doing here, Max? You said tonight."
Max: "I know, but there's something I need to talk to you about, and I'm really sorry about after school today."
Liz: "It's o.k. I understand."
Max: "No. It wasn't o.k. I'm sorry."
Liz (smiling at his attitude): "You're forgiven. What's up?"
Max: "Can we talk for a minute?"
Liz: (looking around the restaurant) "Well, I just started my shift . . . "
Max: "Please?"
Liz (taking in his anxious expression and wondering what this was all about) "Well, I guess it would be all right, just for a minute."

Max grabbed Liz's hand and pulled her back into the back room. Once the door closed behind them, he opened his mouth to say something, but suddenly stopped. Liz looked at him expectantly and waited, but he still didn't speak. Finally, he stepped towards her and kissed her passionately. Liz returned the kiss and immediately saw flashes of Max after school that day, meeting with someone and exchanging money for a key. As her mind dealt with the images, her heart embraced the kiss and for right now, she didn't care that she was supposed to be working and that it was completely irresponsible for her to be doing this. Right this minute the only thing that mattered was getting closer to the most precious person in the world to her. Finally, Max pulled away, albeit reluctantly. He stared in wonder at Liz's closed eyes and parted lips. She constantly amazed him with how much she loved him. Her eyes fluttered open and were filled with love and longing that she reserved only for him.

Max: "I love you."
Liz: (smiling) "I love you, too."
Max: "Can you get away for a couple of days?"
Liz: (surprised) "I'm not sure. Why?"
Max: (mildly irritated) "Well, it was supposed to be a surprise, but Michael and Alex blabbed. I got a place big enough for all of us to stay for a few days."
Liz: (mentally putting the pieces in place) "You did? Wow. That explains a lot."
Max: (confused) "It does?"
Liz (chuckling): "Yeah . . . everyone was in such a good mood today . . . and, the key . . . "
Max: (still lost) "The key?"
Liz: "I saw you getting a key after school."
Max: "You saw me? I thought you'd already left."
Liz: "I did. I saw it just now."
Max: (smiling) "Oh. I guess if I want to surprise you, next time I'll have to remember not to touch you."
Liz: (grinning) "Surprises are overrated."
Max: (barely restraining himself from kissing her again) "So, can you go?"
Liz: "When?"
Max: (wincing) "Tomorrow morning?"
Liz: (smiling again as she realized how reluctant he was to be without her, too) "I should be able to arrange it."
Max: (relieved to have at least the next few days taken care of . . . now all he had to worry about was the rest of the summer . . . sigh) "Isabel will pick you and Maria up in the morning."
Liz: "Sounds good." "I better get back to work."
Max: "See you tonight?"

iz: (leaning towards him for a quick kiss) "Yes, but only for a little while. I'm going to have to convince my parents to let me go."
Max: (kissing her quickly) "O.k. Just for a little while then."

iz: "Right."

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

Very early the next morning, Isabel and Maria and Liz headed away from Roswell, as quickly as possible, before their parents had a chance to change their minds. The guys had gotten away much easier than the girls under the guise of going camping. Isabel had stopped by Max's room late last night to give him one final glare. He had hatched this plot after all. True, they all benefited from it, but he sure did leave her in a bind with their mom and dad. She closed her eyes at the very thought of how close she had come to blowing it with them. It was just a little bit too much coincidence that all three guys were going away at the same time she was asking to be gone. She had finally convinced her parents that she just really needed some "girl" time. Quality female companionship. And, she did, too. The 45 minutes in the car should more than cover it, she thought, grinning to herself. Four days. They had four days. Four wonderful days to spend with Alex . . . alone. Well, sort of, she thought, as she factored in the other two couples.

Liz was daydreaming, too. And, what a sweet dream it was. Her time with Max last night had been short, but no less passionate for lack of time. Her parents had even welcomed the sight of him at their front door, as they delighted in the fact that their daughter was taking off for a few days to spend some time away from him. Liz almost felt guilty about the lie, but, at the same time, what choice did she have? She needed Max like she needed to breathe. Lying to her parents about needing a few days away from him to spend with just the girls had saved the day. They were not about to let her go anywhere, until she convinced them that she just needed some time to be herself without Max. They had been so happy to see her making what they felt was a mature decision to seek out some "balance" in her life. Hah! Keeping Max's visit to a minimum last night had helped to convince them that she was serious about it. The thing was, she didn't even exist anymore without Max. How could she possibly explain that to her parents . . .
She could still feel his arms around her as they'd sat out on the roof together. They hadn't even had to talk much. Liz knew exactly what Max was thinking anytime he was holding her. Both of them had been lost in thoughts of the upcoming four days that they now had to just be together with no work or school . . . no interruptions or outside distractions . . .

Maria: "Earth to Liz . . . Wow, I never thought that would be so apropos."

Isabel and Liz both turn to Maria with frowns on their faces.

Maria: "What? . . . It was just a joke. Lighten up."
Liz: "Just wait until it's you, Maria."
Maria: (practically squeaking) "Me?!?!" "On no. Huh-uh. Not me. Besides, Michael and I already talked about it and neither one of us is in any hurry to follow you and Max off that cliff."
Liz (chuckling while Isabel looks thoroughly disgusted) "It's not like we're dying here, Maria. Don't you think you're overreacting a little?"
Maria: (shocked but not speechless) "Overreacting?!?! Let's review. You were a human. Now you're an alien. Nope. No way to possibly overreact to that."
Isabel: "Come off it, Maria. If you and Michael had been the first ones to . . . achieve a state of physical intimacy, you'd be the one who morphed."
Maria: (blushing a little) "Point taken, but still . . . "
Liz: "No buts, Maria, it is what it is. Just be glad we found out, so you had a choice."
Maria: "You know, Liz, sometimes I think you would've done it even if you'd known."
Liz: (smiling now) "Don't be ridiculous."
Maria: "No. I mean it. I really think you would have."
Isabel: (interrupting and changing the subject) "So, how did you two manage to get away?"
Maria: "It was no problem. My mom was thrilled to death for me to be liberating myself from the male gender for a few days."
Isabel: "In other words, you lied."

Maria grinned but said nothing. Isabel turned to Liz then.

Isabel: "Well, Liz, what did you tell your parents?"
Liz: "Same as Maria. I thought my parents were going to go into orbit, they were so pleased at the prospect of me spending some time away from Max."
Maria: "I can't believe they believed you."
Liz: "I was very motivated and very convincing."
Maria: "Better hope they don't find out what you really did, or you and Max will be the one's in orbit . . . around Saturn."
Liz: (grimacing at the thought) "I know."
Isabel: (teasing now) "One wonders how you two will survive this summer without a handy eraser room . . . "
Maria: "Yeah. No one else even bothers to try to use it anymore, because it's always occupied by you two."
Liz: (blushing) "C'mon. We weren't that bad."
Isabel and Maria: (in unison) "Yes you were."

All three girls cracked up laughing and spent the remainder of the drive planning what they were going to do for the next couple of days . . .

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

Max checked the sky as he pulled up to the cabin, which looked a whole lot more like a lodge. It was perfect. Plenty of room for all of them. The weather, on the other hand, was not. He turned to Michael and Alex.

Max: "Did you guys hear anything about a storm?"
Michael: "No, but what difference would that make."
Alex: "I checked the weather before we left and there was nothing worth mentioning." (glancing up at the sky with a grimace)
Max: "I hope the girls get here soon."
Michael: "Doesn't look that bad. Maybe, it'll pass over."

Alex and Max both look at him in disbelief.

Michael: "O.k. Maybe it won't."
Max: "C'mon, let's get everything inside before it starts raining."

There were five bedrooms inside and three of them had their own bathrooms. The third bathroom was downstairs with the largest of the bedrooms. The guys walked all through the house and picked out the rooms they liked best. In the end, each chose a room with a bathroom and Max and Liz would be downstairs. Just as they brought in the last of their things, lightning cracked across the sky and thunder clapped less than one second behind the flash.

Max stepped up to the window and looked outside. Where in the world had this storm come from? It was close. Too close. Michael and Alex joined him, and all three devoutly wished they'd see the girls pulling up immediately. Waiting for them now was going to be an exercise in worry and frustration. The worst thing was that they should've already been there . . .

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

Isabel clutched the steering wheel tighter with every passing mile. The rain was coming down in sheets now, and the lightning was blinding at times. Maria and Liz sat quietly and did their best not to cry out whenever the thunder threatened to deafen them. They were very close to their destination at this point, if they could just make it a few more miles, they'd be safe. Liz's mind wandered to Max and in an instant she knew he was worried sick about her and the others. It wasn't just intuition. She knew as if she were inside his mind right now. She wished there was some way to comfort him and let him know that she was all right, but she had no idea how to do that. Maybe if she just focused and concentrated really hard . . .

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

Max stood perfectly still by the window, refusing to move away from it for even a moment. With every passing minute, his fear grew more and more out of control. They were a half hour late now. That just couldn't be good. Michael rested his hand on Max's shoulder and tried to convince him to sit down for a while, but Max felt too restless to sit. Finally, Alex joined them once again at the window and all three stood, watching and waiting . . .

Suddenly, Max felt her . . .
He could almost hear her voice inside his head. What was she saying? He closed his eyes and forced out every other thought from his mind. Focusing in on only her voice . . . her thoughts . . . She was telling him that they were o.k. and that they were very close. Max relaxed for the first time in the past half hour. They were o.k. Wait. She was trying to tell him something else . . . Once more, he closed his eyes and knew an overwhelming sense of being loved . . . completely. How was she doing this? He turned to Michael and Alex and told them that their girls were o.k. Michael looked first incredulous and then accepting, while Alex just looked stunned. All three wore expressions of profound relief. That sense of well-being was short lived, because in the very next moment Max heard Liz scream out his name in sheer terror . . .

TBC
Title: Whiter Shade of Pale, Pt. 12
Author: Anne M. /Thing2/VG#3
e-mail: annemccartney⊕juno.com
category: M/L
rating: NC17
disclaimer: I don't own Roswell or any of the characters. I have no affiliation with the WB television network (and if I did things would darn sure change around that place) or the author Melinda Metz.

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

Blinding rain was all that could be seen through the windshield of the jeep, as Max fought the steering wheel in an effort to keep on the roadway. Every few seconds he asked if anyone had seen anything, knowing that they hadn't or he would've already heard about it. His chest hurt from the effort it took to breathe right now. Something had happened to them, and whatever it was, Liz had stopped communicating with him and hadn't tried since. He knew they couldn't be far, but it was almost impossible to see through the downpour. Exactly three minutes later, the searching was over. A tree had fallen across the road and on the other side of that tree, their car was just barely visible. Obviously, they had swerved in an effort to avoid hitting the tree, because the car was completely perpendicular to the highway. They were too far away at this point to see if anyone was hurt, and without a moment's hesitation Max and Michael and Alex were racing toward that small car on foot. As they got closer, the car doors flew open and a frantic Isabel and a hysterical Maria jumped out.

Isabel: "Oh my God, Max. Liz is unconscious. She must've hit her head on the windshield when I swerved.

Alex quickly enfolded Isabel in a hug, as Michael dragged Maria to him and held her as if his life depended on the embrace. The two couples made their way to the jeep, and once the girls were safely inside, Alex and Michael ran back to help Max with Liz.

Max was leaning over Liz and the freezing rain was dripping off of him and all over her, while he checked her for various injuries. There didn't appear to be any . . . except her head. He put his hands on either side of her face, and tried to form the connection with her, but when he did, all he could see or hear or feel was . . . darkness . . . nothingness. He quickly broke the connection and picked her up, cradling her against his chest as he carried her to the jeep.

Michael and Alex stayed behind to deal with Isabel's car and clearing the road. The tree wasn't huge, but it was an obstruction and very, very heavy. Alex watched in amazement as Michael split the wood apart and sent it flying across the road. In short order, the road was cleared, and Michael and Alex were on their way back to the cabin. The rain had dwindled down to a small monsoon at this point . . .

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

Back at the cabin, Maria and Isabel sat by the fire trying to dry their clothes and get warm, while Max sat right next to Liz, who still had not regained consciousness. Max was almost to the panic stage, when the front door burst open and Michael and Alex walked in.

Alex: "How is she, Max?"
Max: (swallowing hard around the fear that was choking him) "I don't know."
Michael: (frowning) "What do you mean you don't know? Didn't you try to connect with her?"
Max: (wearily) "Yeah. I couldn't reach her."
Maria: (standing up and walking over to Max and Liz) "I think, maybe, you should try to let her reach you . . . "

A startled hush fell over the room as Maria's words left a trail of shocked expressions in their wake.

Michael: (quietly) "What do you mean?"
Maria: "Right before the accident, Liz was trying to let Max know that we were all right and on the way. She said she could feel how worried you were. Maybe, you just need to let her reach out to you . . . "
Michael (suspicious): "How do you know that, Maria?"
Maria: (glancing up but not comprehending the direction of his thoughts) "I don't know."
Max: (prepared to try anything) "What do I do?"
Maria: "What were you doing before?"
Max: "I was standing by the window, watching for you."
Maria: "Go back over there, and think about what you were thinking about before. Try to remember what you were feeling."

Max got up and went to the window, while Alex and Isabel and Michael stared in stunned fascination at Maria. Max closed his eyes in concentration for a moment and then remembered they had been open until he'd heard from her. Opening his eyes, he forced himself to remember the anxiety he'd been feeling. It only took a moment for the pain and fear he was feeling now to translate into what he'd been feeling then . . .

Liz's whole body levitated off the sofa as she screamed out Max's name once more, this time from the safety of the cabin instead of from the inside of a careening car.
Max was almost afraid to turn around . . . afraid that his mind was teasing him with the possibility that she could be awake. But, turn around he did, and then she was in his arms. Crying hysterically, but in his arms and most importantly she was awake. He didn't even remember crossing from the window to the sofa. It had happened in a blur. He kissed her eyes and tasted the salty tears as her hands came up on either side of his face. He wanted to talk to her, to reassure her, but he couldn't. His throat was so tight, there was no possible way he could speak, so once again his thoughts went out to her and drifted into her mind, calming and soothing and ultimately loving. Her tears subsided and she opened her eyes and looked into his, noting the concern and strain of the past two hours.

Liz: "I'm all right, Max."
Max: (finally able to move air past his vocal chords) "Are you sure?"
Liz: (smiling shakily) "Yeah. I'm sure. I feel fine."
Alex: (shaking his head) "Shouldn't she at least have a headache?"
Max: (remembering his own experience with a head injury) "No. Probably not. Once I woke up, I felt fine."
Maria: (face still filled with concern) "You scared me, Lizzie."
Liz: (grabbing Maria's hand and squeezing it) "I'm sorry."
Isabel: "Maybe you should lie down for a while and rest. We'll bring all the stuff in from the car and make lunch."
Maria: (seeing that she was about to protest) "That's not a bad idea, Liz. It can't hurt to make sure you're o.k."

Liz finally gave in as the wisdom of the idea sank in. Better to be safe than sorry, but she really did feel just fine. Max picked her up and carried her to their bedroom and sat her down gently on the bed, kneeling beside her.

Liz: "I could've walked, Max. I'm o.k., really."
Max: "Humor me, I've had a rough day."
Liz: (smiling) "I'm sorry. Why don't you take a nap with me?"
Max: (standing abruptly) "Because there is absolutely no way I can get in bed with you right now and sleep."

He bent down and kissed her lightly on her pretty mouth, before turning to walk out of the bedroom. He stopped at the door as she spoke.

Liz: "Max, wait. Please don't leave me in here by myself."
Max: (turning to face her with a confused look) "Why? What's wrong?"
Liz: (fear filling her voice) "I don't want to be alone right now, Max . . . please."
Max (sensing she was being more sincere than coy): "O.k. sweetheart. I won't leave."

Pulling the chair over by the bed, he sat down and held her hand in both of his, and waited for her to tell him what she was so afraid of.

Liz (taking a deep breath): "I couldn't wake up, Max. I tried and tried. It was like being lost. I knew you were looking for me, but I couldn't find you anywhere, until I felt that fear from you again just the same as before. I've never been that scared before. I didn't think I'd ever get out of that dark place . . ."
Max: (brushing the hair away from her face and smiling) "But you did, and you're o.k. now."
Liz: (smiling bravely) "I know. At least my head knows, but my heart . . . needs a few minutes to catch up."
Max: "Why don't you just try to get some sleep and I'll sit right here until you wake up."
Liz: (smile slipping) "I'm afraid to go to sleep. . . . Hold me, Max."

Max stood up without a word and moved around to the other side of the bed. Grabbing a blanket off the rack beside the bed, he climbed in beside her and pulled her up close to him spreading the blanket over top of them both. Liz shivered once, but not from cold. She didn't think she would ever get used to the feeling of being held like this by Max. Her head was resting on his arm and his breath was warm in her ear as he whispered that he loved her. His other arm wrapped around her waist and his hand rested flat against her tummy causing that familiar flutter. Surprisingly enough, now that he was here with her, she did feel tired and her eyes drifted shut almost immediately. Max felt her breathing even out as she fell asleep and wondered at the ease with which she had done so after being so afraid. It seemed that all she needed was him. That was only fair, because all he ever needed was her . . . His thoughts centered around this extraordinary love as exhaustion claimed him and he, too, fell asleep . . .

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

Alex and Isabel brought in the last of the girls' things and set everything down on the floor to sort out later. The rain had finally let up to a drizzle, but they still made their way over to the fireplace to warm up and dry off. Isabel rubbed her arms and stared into the flames.
Alex wrapped his arms around her and pulled her back against him.

Isabel: "What a way to start a trip, huh?"
Alex: "Could've been worse . . . "
Isabel: "True."
Alex: "Hey, are you o.k.?"
Isabel (turning to face him and in a moment of rare weakness let the tears fall): "God, Alex. I was so scared. She wouldn't wake up. There was nothing we could do."
Alex: "Shh. You did fine, Isabel. Don't cry."
Isabel: (whispering) "I'm sorry."
Alex: "Don't ever be sorry. That's what I'm here for. I want these tears, and the smiles, and everything else that goes with you. They belong to me, too."
Isabel: (pulling back to look into his eyes) "Who are you, Alex?"
Alex: "Just the guy who's in love with you."
Isabel: (wide eyed) "I'm in love with you, too, Alex."
Alex: (bending his head to kiss her) "I'm deeply relieved to hear that. "

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

Out in the kitchen, Maria and Michael were working quietly together, but the tension that was building between them was palpable. Finally, Maria slammed the knife down on the counter top and turned toward Michael with an angry countenance.

Maria: "What?"
Michael: "What do you mean, 'what'?"
Maria: "I mean, what is wrong with you?"
Michael: (going back to chopping) "Nothing."
Maria: "Don't hand me that bull shit, Michael."
Michael: (putting his own knife down and passing his hand quickly over his forehead in a now very familiar gesture) "Look. Just calm down, alright? I just don't understand how you knew all that stuff about Max and Liz and what to do. It was . . . weird."
Maria (fighting hysteria) "Weird?!?! Have you lost your mind, Michael? What isn't weird?"
Michael: "That's not what I'm saying. I just don't understand why you would know all that."
Maria (raising her chin as understanding crept in) "You're afraid. You're afraid that I'm becoming like Liz. No. Like you."
Michael: "I'm not afraid. We just agreed that we wouldn't . . . "
Maria: "And, we didn't or have you forgotten that small detail?"
Michael: "Then, how?"
Maria: "I'm sure I don't know. You're the resident alien in the room."
Michael (quietly): "Would it be so bad, Maria?"
Maria: (nonplussed) "What do you mean?"
Michael (sighing): "Would it be so bad for you to be . . . like us . . . like me?"
Maria: (stunned) "No, Michael. It wouldn't."
Michael: "But you said all those things and you seemed so horrified . . . "
Maria: "But, I willingly took the chance, didn't I? I'm o.k. no matter what happens. I signed up, remember?"
Michael: "Are you sure, because it certainly seems like something strange is going on?"
Maria: "I'm sure, but I think you're worrying over nothing. Liz always had a connection with Max even when she wasn't an alien. Maybe this is just something like that. Or, maybe it's just intuition . . . Who knows?"
Michael: "I want to know for sure, Maria. I need to know."
Maria: (walking up to him and wrapping her arms around his waist) "O.k. As soon as we can, we'll find out if it means that much to you."
Michael: "It does."

They stood there quietly for a long time and just held each other, both wondering what the future would bring.

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

Max felt something pulling him from the depths of an extremely sound sleep. What was it? Something insistent . . . urgent . . . And, then he heard her. Liz was whimpering in her sleep and starting to get restless. Her soft cries were becoming louder and more desperate, as Max quickly made the connection with her. Once inside, he searched through the darkness that wasn't quite black. Where was she? He had to find her and let her know that she wasn't alone . . .

He turned another corner in what felt like a huge maze. No wonder she hadn't wanted to go to sleep, if this was what she had been expecting. Finally, Max gave up walking. It seemed that the more he moved, the farther he was from her. He stopped and closed his eyes and listened with his heart for her presence. Now, he could find her. He sensed her as he began walking again. The maze fell away and in the space of a breath he saw her. She looked so scared and so alone. He sat down on the floor in front of her and let her adjust to his presence here. He watched as her face revealed her shifting emotions. She reached out her hand to touch him and with that small contact, they were both instantly awake. Liz turned towards Max and buried her face in his neck, breathing in the scent of him and forcing her mind to accept that he was real. She didn't cry. It was unnecessary. Right this minute, there were far more pressing needs . . .

TBC
posted on 31-Aug-2001 11:12:25 AM
Title: Whiter Shade of Pale, Pt. 13
Author: Anne M. /Thing2/VG#3
e-mail: annemccartney⊕juno.com
category: M/L (everybody)
rating: NC-17 (very)
disclaimer:
Author's Note: Lyrics -- Counting Crows . . . Sullivan Street
------------------------------------------

I'm almost drowning in her sea.
She's near me, falling to her knees . . .

Liz pulled back from Max just slightly. Just enough so that she could see his face. It was completely open to her, as it always was. She needed him so badly, and she knew her feelings were being communicated straight to him, almost as if they were intravenous. His expression changed from caring and concern to the most intensely blatant form of lust. Now, it was her turn, to feel his emotions and see his thoughts. The experience was . . . riveting. The recent fear had left in its wake a passion that threatened to burn out of control. It was intense to the point of pain, but not hurried. Liz sat up and carefully unbuttoned her shirt with shaking fingers, while Max watched her in rapt fascination. It was still so hard to believe how much she wanted him . . .

As soon as the tedious garment had been dealt with, Liz turned her attention to Max. Reaching for the buttons on his shirt, she worked tenaciously at each one until it fell open. Sighing in pleasure, she ran her hands across his bare chest and down across his stomach. His body was such a source of amazement to her. He was absolute perfection. Max closed his eyes as her thoughts about him tripped across his already straining nerves. Her hands on his body were enough to push him right to the edge, but her thoughts in his mind were just devastating . . .

I'm almost drowning in her sea.
She's near me, crawling on her knees . . .
She's down on her knees . . .
Down on her knees . . .

Max opened his eyes and stared straight into Liz's. The look in her eyes stopped his heart and stole his breath. Her eyes never ceased to draw him in. They seemed to go on forever, never revealing their depth. He reached out and took hold of her with unsteady hands, pulling her on top of him. Her breath was warm and gentle as he came closer to her mouth with his own. His hands slid across her back, as his mouth opened under hers. Her skin always felt like silk and right now it was extremely warm. Tasting. Touching. Smelling. Seeing. Feeling. Every sense came to life whenever he was with her like this . . .

Liz felt herself falling farther and farther under the wave as it crashed over her. Her hands had suddenly taken on a life of their own. Her mind was centered on his mouth, where it met hers, and the heart breaking intimacy of just a simple kiss . . . He tasted so sweet, and the glide of his tongue against hers caused a chain reaction throughout her body. Every nerve and cell felt the effects of the kiss . . .

Max opened his mouth wider and pulled Liz deeper into the kiss that was already consuming her mind. Her hands were the driving force behind Max's near frantic need to be inside her. She was driving him insane, as she made long sweeping passes along his thighs and hips, pausing occasionally to slide her hands underneath him and squeeze, pressing their bodies closer together. In an answering caress, Max's hands found their way to the small of her back before gliding down to her hips.

Liz's whole body ached to get closer to him. Every passing second increased the pressure of that need. He felt so good . . . even through their clothes . . . Liz loved the way they moved together without thinking . . . it was completely . . . natural.

Max held her to him and rolled over until she was beneath him. Burying his face in between the base of her neck and her shoulder, he slid his hand over her ribs and around until it covered the satiny material of her bra. Liz whimpered in the back of her throat and the sound vibrated against Max's face, as her back arched. He felt the helpless reaction of her body under his hand, and groaned against the soft skin where his lips met her throat. Liz brought her hand up to cover Max's and press it more firmly against her aching breast. Max felt the breath leave his body, as he watched her stormy eyes reflecting the desperation that surged through the connection they shared.

Hers.

His.

Theirs.

He moved quickly to unfasten the clasp between her breasts, and brought his mouth close enough for her to feel his breath against her skin. She needed to feel his bare skin against hers. She needed to feel his mouth closing around her aching flesh, sucking it inside . . .

Max felt his body respond to her thoughts and desires as they collected in his conscious, and sent his nerves scrambling for purchase. Yearning was becoming outright pain as his sex throbbed against hers, and his mouth sought out first one nipple and then the other.

Liz felt the rising tide of urgency in her body, expanding, empty . . . She also felt Max's erection pressed up firmly against her, along with the need that pushed him mercilessly . . .

Gasping, she pushed her back up as far off the bed as it would go and then gave up in frustration as she realized that what she really needed was to get their clothes off . . .

Max stood up abruptly and pulled her up to stand in front of him . . . Watching her eyes, his hands unbuttoned her jeans and slid them down her hips and to the floor where she stepped out of them along with her underwear . . .

I'm almost drowning in her sea.
She's near me, falling to her knees . . .
I'm almost drowning in her sea.
She's near me, crawling on her knees.
She's down on her knees.
Down on her knees.

Kneeling on the floor in front of her, Max closed his eyes and willed himself under control . . . Closing his eyes had been a mistake, because it only heightened his other senses . . . hearing her breathing change perceptibly and smelling her scent drove him even closer toward the end of temperance . . .

Liz felt her knees weaken and reached out to hold onto Max's shoulder. Placing his hand on her hip, he guided her to sit on the edge of the bed. Liz looked at him questioningly, but in an instant that expression changed as she realized what he intended. Placing his hands on her knees he spread her legs wider apart and settled between them on his knees. She watched as his eyes pleaded silently for her permission. She pulled his face close and kissed him lightly in acceptance.

Grasping her hands together in one of his, he held them behind her back, as he slid his open mouth down her throat and through the hollow between her breasts. His other hand cradled her hip, as he explored her stomach with tongue, lips, and teeth . . .

Liz struggled against her bound hands, as her body struggled to cope with this new experience. Max's mouth had travelled past her navel and further down, while his free hand slid around to her upper thigh and down to her knee. Her whole body trembled in reaction, as he pushed her closer to the edge of the bed, holding onto her hands all the while . . .

I'm almost drowning in her sea.
She's near me, crawling on her knees.
It's almost everything I need . . .

Liz felt reality slipping from her grasp . . . the room receded, the ceiling flew away, and the only thing that made sense now was Max and what he was doing to her body . . . She cried out as his tongue explored her in ways she had scarcely even dreamed about . . . It didn't even matter that they were in a house full of people . . .

Max heard her cry out and reason suggested that he stop, but he could not. She tasted unlike anything he could've ever imagined. Her soft skin against his tongue was a pleasure he hadn't even dreamed existed. He prayed she wouldn't scream, but then again he needed to hear her scream like he needed to breathe . . .

Liz felt control slipping further and further from her grasp, as Max continued to hold her hands behind her back. Somewhere along the way her legs found their way over his shoulders . . .

Into her mind came an insistent plea. She didn't want to concentrate on it. She didn't want to take any of her attention away from what was happening between her legs, but the sound came more frequently and urgently. Finally, she held the thought long enough to form it into something she could understand.

One word.

Scream.

He wanted her to scream . . .

"Scream for me." "Please."

Oh God. She was so close . . .

Liz's head fell back and her eyes squeezed shut as the whimper in her throat gained momentum along with Max's mouth . . .

Liz pulled her wrists harder against the bonds that were his hands. Not because she was distressed, but because she just needed something to hold onto in a world that was quickly disintegrating. Max slid his tongue inside her, trembling visibly from the spasms he felt wracking her small body. She was the only person in the universe who could make him feel this way . . .

He closed his lips over her and pulled gently just before opening his mouth wider and sucking her tender flesh deeply into his mouth. He felt the scream he had been so fervently pursuing erupting from her belly . . .

He moved in the space of a heartbeat to cover her mouth with his own, just before that scream would've been heard by the entire household. Later, . . . much later, he would wonder what he had been thinking, but right now, all he could concentrate on was his mate and the way she fit him in every way . . .

Liz breathed in raggedly around Max's mouth covering hers. She felt like her nerves were on fire . . . What had he done to her? This was something different . . . something new . . . something she had never felt before and would have been afraid of if she had. But not now. There was no room for fear now. She'd felt his control slip towards the edge before, but not hers . . . not like this. She wanted him. She wanted him tied to the bed and at her mercy . . . Helpless . . .
Just like she had been moments before . . .

Max pulled away from her abruptly and struggled to draw in enough air, as her thoughts assailed his straining control. God. She made him feel . . . wreckless . . . like he wanted to lose control for the first time in his life . . . he wanted someone else to be responsible . . .

Liz pushed him back just enough so that she could force herself to stand on shaking legs that threatened to collapse any moment. Max watched her carefully to be sure she wasn't going to fall. Her eyes sought out his and without speaking he knew what she was asking him to do. He kissed her stomach before standing himself. Looking up into his face, she felt, more than saw, him unfastening his pants. Her eyes were captive . . . not that it mattered . . . she could sense everything he was doing without having to actually see. His eyes had grown so dark and now they took on a light that made them seem somewhat ominous . . . like a sky that harbored a storm that was wildly beautiful but terrifying in it's very nature to be unpredictable . . . and it's capacity for strength and endurance . . .

His pants and underwear were gone and he stood in front of her as naked as she was. She reached out closing her hand around him and tightly shutting her eyes. Her expression changed dramatically as her other senses heightened from the loss of eyesight. Touch. Warm. Almost hot. Silky skin . . . vulnerability . . . a million sensory receptors . . . pleasure beyond description. Pulsing blood . . . hard . . . aching . . .

Her ears caught every indrawn breath and ragged sigh, as her hands moved in no particular motion . . . learning, communicating pictures to her mind without sight . . .

Max watched her face as changing emotions pushed and molded her expressions. He was captivated . . .

As she continued, Max felt his knees weakening and remaining on his feet began to take all of his effort.

Understanding his emotions as they tumbled through to her awareness, she opened her eyes and wondered at the obvious control he was still exerting over himself. Looking into his eyes intently, she let her mind ask the question, she had never had the courage to voice. He knew everything about her. He'd read her past, felt her emotions, seen her fantasies. Now, she was asking him to let her into places she hadn't been before. Places inside his soul that no one had ever seen . . .

Within the space of a single breath, her vision clouded and her mind was flooded with images of them . . . in a shower with him holding her up against the tile while hot water poured down over them and steam filled the small space . . .

As soon as one image faded another took its place. The stars over her shoulder were brilliant where Max looked up at her from the floor of a canyon she'd never seen before as she sat astride his hips . . .

His bedroom at home, with all of his things that were so unique and personal, displayed all around them. Liz saw herself on her knees in the middle of his bed. Max knelt behind her with his arms around her, and his hands seeking out every place on her body that could respond to his touch. His mouth left a trail of wet kisses out over her shoulder . . .

Liz came back to reality in a rush as the images faded from her mind. Her breathing became completely erratic . . .

Max watched her struggle for a moment before picking her up and lying down with her on the bed. He placed his hand alongside her face, and waited for her to open her eyes. When she did she saw concern and a tinge of pink flagging his cheeks. She wanted to smile at that adorable expression, but the experience had left her unable to brush it aside so quickly.
Rather than trying to explain how much it meant to her that he had shared these things with her, she pulled his face close to hers and kissed him sweetly, rubbing her thumbs across his closed eyes from the inside corner to the outer one. Sliding her hands to his shoulders, she pushed gently until he rolled over onto his back, pulling her up on top of him once more.

Liz stared into the eyes that met her own and opened up avenues of communication that shouldn't be possible . . .

Liz: "Do you know what I'm thinking?"

Max: (breathing in deeply before answering) "Yes."

Liz: "Do you know what I'm feeling?

Max: (struggling a little to answer as her emotions ran riot, intermixing with his) "Yes."

Liz: "Do you know what I want to do?"

Max found that the ability to speak should not be taken for granted, as what she intended to do was displayed clearly inside his own mind, completely robbing him of speech.

Max's hand slid up her back to her shoulder and down her arm until it met hers, in submission to the request she had made silently. His other hand travelled the same way a moment later until both of his hands were held in Liz's smaller ones. Max closed his eyes and concentrated on breathing as he fought his body for control. Their fingers intertwined on either side of his face, as Liz closed her eyes and kissed the corner of his mouth. The kiss was so light he wondered if he hadn't imagined it. Her tongue slipped across his lips, and then was gone too quickly, teasing him with the kiss that was replaced instead with her open mouth sliding down his chest. Max wondered how long he could possibly be expected to stay in this position without physical restraint when her mouth covered first one and then his other nipple, lightly sucking before moving on. Liz felt the flood of excitement throughout her own body as the depth of his response to her teasing mouth filled her mind and heart. His fingers tightened almost painfully around hers, and his breathing was fast and shallow.

She stopped then, and waited for Max to open his eyes. Another silent question was answered through the shared stream of perception that flowed so effortlessly between them. Liz gently slipped her hands away from Max's, knowing he wouldn't move unless she wanted him to. Now, she was free to explore his body the same way he had hers. Max closed his eyes and felt the anticipation in tightening muscles . . . The reality, on the other hand, did not belong in the same universe with the imagination . . .

The hand she had rested on his stomach, felt muscles contract and jump, all because of the close proximity of her mouth . . .

Her breath fanned out over skin that pulled taut with the need to be touched . . .

No barriers remained between his thoughts and hers. Without moving his hands from their assigned position, her hand slid down from his thigh to cradle the oval glands that created the source of his almost desperate state of mind. Liz hadn't willed her hand to move, but Max had, and the heightened state of their connection made the distinction nonexistent. Without really knowing what she was going to do, Liz opened her mouth and took him inside. She didn't have to wonder what she was supposed to do. Her mouth and hands moved in accord with Max's thoughts. His desires were communicated to her nerves and muscles, moving her body along with his as if they were one person.

Liz knew what she wanted, but she could feel Max's reluctance and . . . fear. Fear that she would be repulsed by his body's natural reaction to what she was doing . . .

Max felt the pull of her determination, warring with and destroying his preconceived ideas about the limitations of her capacity to love him. She was planning to tear down every last one of those doubts. Her mouth pulled insistently before gliding back down . . . hot and wet . . .

Max squeezed his eyes shut and felt the sound slipping from his throat before he could stop it. If this was what it felt like to die, then the experience didn't get enough credit. He felt the tiny amounts of air he had managed to draw in making their way to lungs that needed much more . . .

The helpless sound he made and his labored breathing urged her on. She noted with some satisfaction that his hands were right where she had left them . . . He had put himself completely at her mercy . . .

Trust was a heady emotion, and she realized in that moment that she could trust Max implicitly. Without reservation. With her life. Without fear. With total abandon . . .

Liz felt the change in his body through the hand that rested between his thighs. The tightening. Drawing away from her hand . . .

She knew instinctively what those things meant. Pushing her tongue in toward her teeth, she reduced the space inside her mouth. As she increased the pressure, Max's well-ordered existence dissolved as he gave himself up to her.

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

Later that night, as the six sat around the dinner table together, Liz noticed the small, barely perceptible changes in the other couple's relationships and wondered if they noticed the change in hers with Max.

She didn't have a thought that she didn't want to share with him or a breath that didn't feel like it wasn't meant for both of them.

As they passed the bread around, she watched the way Michael stared at Maria without meaning to. Almost as if he was trying to see inside her head and into her heart. The moment was brief, but there nonetheless. Alex had been as close to Isabel's side as he could get all evening. The interesting thing was that she didn't seem to mind in the least. If anything, she seemed to be drawing strength from the newfound intensity of their relationship.

Glancing at Max, her mind was suddenly taken back to that afternoon and the way he had looked when he had finally opened his eyes . . .

Max caught her staring and stopped chewing and sat motionless, hovering between the desire to carry her back to bed and the need for food. There was no question what she had been thinking about. Since that afternoon, everything that she thought was as much a part of his conscious awareness as his own thoughts were. As his eyes darkened, she knew they were dangerously close to missing still yet another meal and quickly averted her gaze.

Who knew what the future would bring? For tonight, they were together and couldn't be happier. In fact, they were the only place they could ever be safe. Each one was half of the other. They were necessary to each other's survival. Looking a little deeper, it wasn't too hard to see that they were also critical to each other as a whole. The six of them made up an indescribable entity that depended completely on each and every one for its survival . . .

TBC

Title: Whiter Shade of Pale, 14
Author: Anne M. (Thing2/VG#3)
e-mail: annemccartney⊕juno.com
rating: NC17
category: M/L, M/M, I/A
disclaimer: I don't own Roswell or any of the characters. I have no affiliation with the WB television network or the author, Melinda Metz.
***********************
Author's Note: Lyrics are from "A Whiter Shade of Pale" by Procol Harum.
***********************
SUMMARY: Immediately follows Blind Date ep, exploring Liz's reaction to Max's inability to remember the evening's events. Reconciliation is followed quickly by a rapid progression in physical intimacy, as a night in the desert leaves them both sleepless and hurting in a new way. Liz's behind the scenes attempt to persuade Max that they should continue in more intimacy leads to an alliance with Michael that goes completely awry. Max and Liz make love for the first time and find that the experience has far reaching ramifications as changes in Liz become obvious. Some simple tests of skin cells and blood reveal what they both already suspected to be true. Liz's physiology has changed completely to match Max's. These changes become more pronounced as they experience the drive to procreate that is much stronger for them now that Liz has basically become an alien in her own right. As school draws to a close for the summer, the six set off an a trip to spend some time together that begins in near disaster as the girls are caught in a terrible storm. Michael and Maria discover that changes are occurring for them now, too, as Max and Liz discover new levels of their evolving relationship.
*******************************************************

Part 14

She said there is no reason,
and the truth is plain to see.
But, I wander through my playing cards,
and would not let her be.

One of 16 vessel virgins,
who were leaving for the coast,
and although my eyes were open,
they might just as well been closed . . .

And, so it was, later,
as the mirror told it's tale,
that her face at first just ghostly,
turned a whiter shade of pale . . .

With dinner finished and the dishes all cleaned up and put away, the small group sat around the living room in front of a fire that threw shadows all over the darkened walls. The atmosphere was quiet and peaceful. The storm from that morning was no more than a fading memory at this point. In it's wake, a stillness settled around the house.

The guys had taken up a round of Poker, shortly after getting comfortable on the floor. Max and Liz sat side-by-side, unable to bear not touching in some small way. Liz wasn't worried about the increased need to be near Max. Instinctively, she knew that it would fade soon. It was just the result of all that had passed between them that afternoon. She smiled to herself as Max's thoughts on the issue floated across her awareness.



Looking at him, then, she saw that he was smiling, too, but trying to give the impression he was concentrating on the cards in his hand. Liz thought briefly about how much fun it would be to *really* distract him from the game, when he looked at her with a knowing expression. Somewhat irritated that she couldn't sneak anything past him, she sat back in reluctant acceptance. Max played the cards in his hand, keeping one eye on the game, as he leaned in close and whispered to her.

Max: "Don't worry. We have four nights before we have to go back. Not to mention days."

Liz turned to look at him then and caught her breath at the expression in his eyes. Shivering slightly, she felt the anticipation build in her body just from those few words and the intent plainly visible in his countenance. Closing her eyes, Liz willed her heart to stop racing and her breathing to settle back down to normal. She wasn't entirely successful . . .

The game finished with quite a few barbed comments from Alex and Michael about Max's uncanny winning streak. Especially since he only seemed to give about half of his attention to the game, no matter how hard he tried to make it appear otherwise. After the teasing subsided, and a few minutes of silence had passed, Michael brought up the accident and what had happened afterward. Clutching Maria's hand and searching her face to be sure she was ready, he revealed to the group their concerns.

Everyone listened intently but with varied reactions to the idea that Maria was changing. After the way Michael summed up the events from that morning, it was pretty difficult to say that he had no grounds for his suspicions. The evidence was incriminating to say the least and every last detail had a basis in fact that couldn't be denied.

Michael (finishing up): "We just want to do some tests, you know? Like you and Liz did.

Liz sat back in stunned silence. After all, Maria and Michael had made it clear that they were in no hurry to go down the same road that she had taken with Max. How had this happened? *Had* it happened? Pulled from her thoughts by the look on Maria's face, Liz got up quickly, and went to kneel in front of Maria, hugging her best friend and communicating silently all that words couldn't say.

Isabel was torn between the desire to leap for joy and the plummeting of her heart with one more added complication to her already overly complex life. The positive and negative force just about equaled out, leaving her motionless, staring with a blank expression on her face. Alex sat back and wondered how in the world they could possibly withstand anymore "situations" in their lives . . . .

Pulling away from Maria and pausing a moment to make sure her friend was o.k., Liz went back to her position beside Max. He watched her walking towards him and looked up into her face, holding out his hand to help her down. She sank slowly, holding his hand and mightily resisted the urge to melt into a mind searing kiss. With one last look into Max's eyes, Liz forced herself to focus on Michael and Maria and their newfound dilemma.

Liz: (quietly) "All we really need are some slides and a microscope."
Alex: (extremely sarcastic) "Right. We'll just pop over to the 7-11 and grab a couple."

Michael looked at the floor not really trying to hide his irritation as Maria put her arm around his shoulders, knowing how important this was to him. Isabel met Alex with a speaking glance that promised severe retribution if he didn't behave. Properly chastised, Alex reached for Isabel's hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze, willing his emotions under control for her sake. His eyes sought out hers in a sincere apology, letting her know that he would never hurt her on purpose. Isabel smiled, knowing the truth and loving him for being so sensitive to her.

Liz turned to Max then, wondering if he had any suggestions. He thought for a moment before answering.

Max: "It's only about an hour's drive into the nearest town. We can pick up a microscope and some slides as long as it doesn't have to be too fancy. (looking at Liz in question)
Liz: (smiling) "No. It doesn't have to be fancy. Thank you."

Maria suddenly had a disturbing insight into just exactly what those slides were for.

Maria: "Um, . . . Liz? . . . What exactly are you planning on doing with those slides?"
Liz: (matter of fact) "Looking at your skin and blood cells."
Maria: (really struggling now) "But, . . . that would require skin, and . . . b-blood." (her eyes sought our first Michael's and then Liz's)
Liz: "It's o.k. Maria. It won't hurt a bit. I promise. Thanks to Max, that is. (remembering how he had painlessly extracted her blood that day in the lab)

An inconsolate Maria visibly paled and Michael pulled her onto his lap, wrapping his arms around her in reassurance that he would be beside her every step of the way.

Maria knew it was a little thing, but spilling blood was never a pleasant thought. No matter how small an amount or how much people told you it wasn't going to hurt. It had never *not* hurt. As she focused on these small details, she kept her mind off of what was really bothering her.

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

Later that night, Michael held Maria as she tried to go to sleep, 'try' being the operative word. He felt so sorry for her. He suspected that the results were far more critical to her sleeplessness than the actual tests to be performed. Finally, he couldn't stand it anymore . . .

Michael: "Do you want to talk about it?"
Maria: (choosing bravado over breaking down completely) "Talk about what?"
Michael: (exasperation with a tinge of disgust) "O c'mon, Maria. You're scared to death."
Maria: (bordering on incensed) "I AM NOT."
Michael: (patiently) "You are."

A few moments of a very thick silence passed uncomfortably before Maria finally surrendered.

Maria: (quietly) "Just hold me, o.k.? No questions.

Michael held her close and felt his heart breaking for her. Now, he was certain that she was far more concerned with the results than the process. Would she ever be able to accept it if her body had begun to change like Liz's had? Would she blame him?

Much later, Michael looked on as Maria finally slept. He was so grateful for her peacefulness that he didn't even mind the fact that he was still awake. He let his mind wander to tomorrow and all that they'd planned to try in order to discover what was happening. Tomorrow . . . He stood to lose her tomorrow . . .

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

On the way to the nearest small city, Max and Liz, kept stealing glances at one another. Last night had been an extension of the unforgettable afternoon, and they were both feeling the affects of the torrent of passion today. Shortly following a wonderful breakfast, put on by Michael and Maria, who were quickly becoming the resident chefs, they had set off in search of the diagnostic equipment they needed. Maria had been subdued but trying hard not to show her apprehension. Liz could completely sympathize with her friend. Although, acceptance had come quickly and easily to her, she wasn't so sure Maria would respond the same way. Michael and Maria were so at home in the kitchen together that preparing the meal had been a very good distraction for them that morning. Liz hoped they were holding up o.k. now, while they waited.

Max kept his eyes on the road mostly, but every so often he couldn't help but indulge in a sideways glance at Liz. Last night she had surprised him yet again. She'd left the group a little early saying she wanted to rest for a while. When he'd returned to the bedroom, she had been in their bathroom. After quietly opening the door, she had gone to work drying her hair without so much as a "How do you do?". She'd seemed totally preoccupied with whatever she was thinking about . . .

He had slipped into the shower wondering what was going on in her head. He missed knowing all of her thoughts. After Liz had left the room tonight, the connection had faded. Much as it surprised him to admit it, he really enjoyed having her inside his mind and being inside hers.

After quickly taking care of basic hygiene, and unable to stand being away from Liz another moment, he opened the bathroom door.

Max: "Liz, is everything . . . . "

His voice trailed off as his eyes raked over the sight that met them. Liz . . . on her knees . . . in the center of their bed . . . her hair falling down her back . . . and her beautiful face smiling at him over her shoulder . . . her eyes inviting him to join her . . .

Shaving could wait.

Liz watched him walking toward her from across the room and couldn't help appreciating the sight of him in nothing but a towel. He made his way to the bed, and kneeling behind her, his fantasy came to life.

From inside the jeep, Liz stole a glance at Max and knew immediately the direction his thoughts had taken even without the benefit of hearing them in her head. A blush crept steadily over her cheeks. She still couldn't believe the way they were with each other. The way she was. Without conscience when it came to pleasing him.

At the nearest department store, they quickly purchased a microscope complete with slides and all the rest of the paraphernalia they would need. Walking hand in hand back to the jeep, they both knew they were ready for whatever happened next. Michael and Maria would be all right. They would have each other and friends who would stand by them no matter what.

Max helped Liz into the jeep and quickly kissed her before walking around to climb in himself.

Max: "Are you hungry? We can stop somewhere for lunch."
Liz: (smiling) "Not really. Breakfast was so good. They should open a restaurant someday."
Max: (optimistically) "Maybe they will."
Liz: "Besides, I want to get back as soon as possible."
Max: (concerned) "Are you that worried about Maria?"
Liz: "No. This has nothing to do with Maria."

Max sat in confusion for a moment as her meaning finally made itself clear. Leaning over, Liz slid her hand along his thigh stopping just short of a very long ride home, and kissed him lightly. Max wasn't sure whether to groan in relief or frustration . . .

Pulling out of the parking lot and back out onto the highway, Max thought about the turn his life had taken in such a short time. He was actually happy. Delirious, in fact. He felt . . . almost normal . . .

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

Maria paced the small confines of the living room for the 26th time in the last hour before Michael finally pushed her outside where all that walking wouldn't wear a hole in the floor. Once outside, Maria found that it was easier to handle the waiting. It was truly beautiful here, and without saying a word, she and Michael walked all around the property that surrounded the house. Being here, away from Roswell, made everything seem so much calmer and safer. Like, no matter what, it would all be o.k. After a while, Michael stopped and pulled her close, kissing her forehead. Maria looked up into his eyes and realized for the first time all day how afraid he was.

Maria: "Michael? What's wrong?"
Michael: (quickly) "Nothing. Just worried about you."
Maria: (frowning) "You look scared, not worried."
Michael: (wondering how she could tell the difference) "I'm worried about how you're gonna feel if . . . "
Maria: (understanding) "I'm changing like Liz?"
Michael: "Yeah."
Maria: "O.k. Now what are you afraid of?"
Michael: (exasperated) "I'm not afraid."

Maria watched his face intently with an "I don't believe you" look on her face and an "I can wait here all day if I have to" stance.

Michael finally realized the futility of trying to hide his fears from her.

Michael: (quietly) "I'm afraid that you'll blame me."

Maria was so stunned she couldn't even speak at first. The moment was short lived, however, as outrage replaced shock.

Maria: "Blame you?" "That's ridiculous!"
Michael: (confused) "No, it isn't."
Maria: "I think we already had this conversation." "It was my choice. I knew the risks. What's really bothering you, Michael?"
Michael: (cornered and out of ideas, opts for the truth) "I'm afraid you won't want to be with me anymore."
Maria (expression softening as his words hit her heart) "I love you, Michael. I'll always want to be with you."
Michael: (smiling) "Aren't you going to threaten me with certain torturous death if these tests are positive?"
Maria: (wrapping her arms around his neck and moving closer once more) "Nope."
Michael: (quirking one eyebrow) "Maybe just torture? After all, death would mean no one to take out your frustrations on anymore."
Maria: (seductive) "I don't have any frustrations . . . at least not anymore . . . "

Raising up on tip toe she kissed his open mouth before he could voice his surprise over what she'd said. His face spoke volumes, though, before it drifted out of sight as Maria's eyes slowly closed. She almost laughed out loud, but the desire to kiss him had suddenly become intense and completely distracting. Her mind remained free of visions, but her heart . felt something strange. Something shifting, revealing things that were previously hidden. Something *felt* different. Familiar. A deep sense of recognition and belonging pervaded Maria's soul on the deepest levels. Wondering if Michael was feeling it, too, she pulled away just enough to look into his eyes. He read the question in hers without missing a beat, and nodded to let her know that he felt it, too. Putting his arm around her, they walked back to the house and towards the answers to their questions. Towards their future . . . together.

TBC

Title: Whiter Shade of Pale, 15
Author: Anne M. (Thing2/VG#3)
e-mail: annemccartney⊕juno.com
rating: NC17
category: M/L, M/M, I/A
disclaimer: I don't own Roswell or any of the characters. I have no affiliation with the WB television network or the author, Melinda Metz.
***********************
Author's Note: Lyrics are from "A Whiter Shade of Pale" by Procol Harum. Thanks to Mandy, without whom this would be filled with grammatical errors . . .
***********************
SUMMARY: Immediately follows Blind Date ep, exploring Liz's reaction to Max's inability to remember the evening's events. Reconciliation is followed quickly by a rapid progression in physical intimacy, as a night in the desert leaves them both sleepless and hurting in a new way. Liz's behind the scenes attempt to persuade Max that they should continue in more intimacy leads to an alliance with Michael that goes completely awry. Max and Liz make love for the first time and find that the experience has far reaching ramifications as changes in Liz become obvious. Some simple tests of skin cells and blood reveal what they both already suspected to be true. Liz's physiology has changed completely to match Max's. These changes become more pronounced as they experience the drive to procreate that is much stronger for them now that Liz has basically become an alien in her own right. As school draws to a close for the summer, the six set off an a trip to spend some time together that begins in near disaster as the girls are caught in a terrible storm. Michael and Maria discover that changes are occurring for them now, too, as Max and Liz discover new levels of their evolving relationship.
*******************************************************

Part 15

We skipped the light fandango . . .
turned cartwheels across the floor . . .
I was feeling kinda sea sick . . .
the crowd called out for more . . .
the room was humming harder . . .
as the ceiling flew away . . .

And, so it was, later . . .
as the mirror told its tale . . .
that her face at first just ghostly
turned a whiter shade of pale . . .

Liz pulled the last slide out from under the microscope as a frisson of awareness made its way through her relatively new chemical balance. A few months as an alien and the changes were still making themselves felt. Two things registered in her brain at once. Max wanted her . . . again . . . always . . . and with an intensity that took her breath away. And, Maria was definitely not an alien. At least not yet. Even without the slides as proof, she knew . . .

She looked up from her completely focused task of the past half hour to meet five pairs of anxious eyes. She briefly wondered why she didn't feel fatigued, but then remembered that she really never felt tired anymore. Having no idea at this point what to expect in reaction, she hesitated to give them the results they were so eager for. As her eyes met Max's again, having circled the whole group, she allowed herself to get lost for a moment in thoughts of this afternoon . . .

As soon as Max had parked the jeep, and maybe a little before, they had been locked in an unshakeable embrace, as he carried her into the house and to their room. He had held her securely with one hand under her bottom and the other around her back-- a single destination in his mind. His only goal in that moment had been the privacy of their room. As soon as the door had closed behind them, he had released his tight hold and let her slide down his body until her feet made contact with the ground. Her hands had found and unfastened his pants before he could take a complete breath. She could still feel him thrusting into her hands . . . and her body . . .

Small coughs and shuffling feet broke her mind away from her memories . . .

As her vision cleared, her eyes focused once more on Max and the body that set hers on fire, and the eyes that mirrored her own. By the set of his jaw and his rigid stance she was fairly certain that he had shared her memories . . .

Forcing herself to look away before they did something really embarrassing, Liz cleared her throat and looked up again, this time with the expression of the molecular biologist that she hoped to one day be. At this point, she was almost sure that Maria would not take this news well. Something had changed in her best friend lately . . .

Michael had his arm tightly around Maria, almost as if he could keep her there by sheer strength and force of will . . .

Liz: (quietly) "Maria . . . you are not an alien. Whatever is happening to you is not physiological."

At her quiet words, Maria stood with a fixed stare and slightly parted lips. Her eyes spoke volumes as she kept them trained on Liz's. So many thoughts passed between them in that sliver out of time. What can I do? . . . . You already did.>

Then, slowly, she turned away and walked outside without saying a word and stringently avoided Michael's eyes for fear of completely breaking down.

Liz took a step to follow her, when Michael grabbed her arm gently, stilling her progress. Her startled eyes flew to his and they told her all that she needed to know. He would take care of Maria. Liz silently acquiesced as she watched him walk outside. It wasn't really hard to let him take over the job that had always been hers. It was just a natural progression . . . It was just that the devastated look on Maria's face was hard to accept without a fight.

As Michael disappeared out the same door through which Maria had made her escape, she felt Max behind her . . . his breath close to her ear, his arms sliding around her waist, pulling her back to rest against him. Her body, released from it's pressing responsibilities, immediately sought out it's mate. In a way, it seemed peculiar to be so . . . animalistic. On the other hand, it seemed completely right. She kept waiting for her skin to change to a glowing green. The really amazing thing was that she didn't even care if it did . . .

------------------------------------------
Michael: (softly) "What is it, Maria?"

Maria didn't turn or answer for quite a while. She stared up at a clear, star filled sky . . . and ached inside.

Michael: "Maria, please, tell me. Isn't this what you wanted?"

Maria: (ragged) "I thought it was. But . . . "

Michael: "But what?"

Maria: (turning to the side but still not looking at him) "I just . . . (shifting from one foot to the other and staring at the ground) . . . I don't know . . . I didn't want you to feel so all alone here. I thought maybe . . ."

And then, she turned the rest of the way around to face him, and the force of her pain slammed through his heart and mind as her eyes met his. He almost wished she hadn't turned around . . .

Michael: (rushing to do anything to stop that flood) "I don't feel alone. I have Max and Isabel . . "

Maria: (eyes clearly expressing her disagreement) "You *feel* alone and I feel it every moment of everyday."

Having no idea what to say to that, Michael pulled her close and held her, hoping for wisdom from the King but knowing it was unlikely . . . after all, he hadn't done the homework . . . and Solomon had been dead a long time . . .

Damn. What did you say to a woman who actually hoped she was turning into an alien . . . ??? <"Hey, baby. I know how to fix that."> Hrumph. Better not. Might as well thank Solomon for that bit of wisdom, cause it sure as hell wasn't internal.

Michael: "Maria, I'm a big boy. You don't have to turn yourself into another life form just so I don't have to feel lonely."

Maria watched him closely, but remained silent.

Michael: "I mean, I'm o.k. I'm more than o.k. I love you. Human or whatever."

Maria: (stepping back) "Wow. That was damn near eloquent, Michael."

Michael stood dumbfounded watching her and having no idea whatsoever what to say now.

Maria: (shrugging and rubbing tired eyes that had yet to form a single needed tear) "Okay."


Michael: (exasperated) "Okay?!?! What do you mean, 'Okay.' What is that?"

Maria: "I mean that if you don't feel alone and I'm out of my tree wanting to help then, okay."

Michael (wearily) : "Damn."

Maria: "I know. Relationships are a bitch, aren't they?"

Michael: (commiserating) "Damn straight."

Silence stretched.

Michael: "Help me out here, Maria. What in the hell do you want from me?"

Maria: (quietly) "I want you to love me so much that you wish I was like you even though I'm not. And I want you to love me so much that you don't care that I'm not like you."

Michael: (shaking his head) "But I do."

Maria: (eyes meeting his) "Then that's enough."

Michael stumbled forward in his haste to get to the most maddening female on the planet. He sought out her mouth with his own, but found that it wasn't nearly enough. The ideal would have been to make it back inside the house, but who was interested in the ideal anymore? Night had fallen, and the canopy of stars and a silver moon shown over two people who desperately needed reassurance. Maria felt grass and dirt and leaves and a few stray roots as her back made contact with the cold ground, but more importantly she felt Michael and his wants and his needs and the desires of his soul . . .

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

Isabel kissed Alex softly as they curled up together on the sofa. Alone at last. Liz and Max had disappeared shortly after Michael and Maria and they were blessedly alone. Alex wondered if all of this were just some sort of crazy dream . . .

Liz turning into an alien. Maria possibly following right behind, but then, oooppps, nope. Guess not. Now what?????? His mind churned and without realizing what was happening, Isabel grabbed his hand and pressed her lips to the back of it in a gesture of unreserved affection. His heart stopped. It really did. He felt it. How did she *do* that? One brush of her lips across the back of his hand and nothing else mattered . . . nothing. Stroking one hand down the back of her head and feeling every strand of silky hair as it slid along his sensitive nerves, Alex consigned his worries to the pit and opted for the only peace he would ever find in this life . . .

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

Liz turned off the bathroom light and made her way as quietly as possible across the quiet bedroom. Max was sound asleep. A smile turned into a grin as she thought about how exhausted he must be right now . . .

As she passed the window, the full moon and silver trees stopped her feet and stilled her mind. Gliding towards it soundlessly, the grin slipped and faltered altogether. The night seemed peaceful, but the stars hung knowingly in the sky and their light shown down on this one small but distinct piece of the Earth. As her gaze rested on the wilderness that surrounded the house, her vision blurred at the edges, and her mind set sail, leaving moorings and reality behind . . .

*The day was bright and clear and cool. The scene was the same. Six friends getting away together in a remote location. Much different people than they were today. Not so very much older, but different. People who had been torn apart and put back together in slightly different packages. People who had been changed. Shaped and refined into who they would become by events they would have never even believed possible . . . *

Max: (quietly coming to a halt behind her) "What are you doing, Liz?"

Liz: (so absorbed in the vision, she started) "Wh-what?"

Max: (concern changing his tone dramatically) "Hey. Are you o.k.?"

Liz: (still pensive) "Yeah. I'm sorry. I was a million miles away. Literally."

Max: (blunt and totally unconcerned with making polite conversation when it came to Liz's wellbeing) "Why?"

Liz: (surprised) "What do you mean?"

Max: (intent) "I mean, why were you a million miles away?"

Liz: (smiling at his forthrightness) "I don't know exactly. I was walking by the window on my way back to bed, and . . . got distracted."

Max: (somewhat worried now) "By what?"

Liz: "Sort of a vision, I guess. We were here again. All of us. Together. But, different."

Max: (hands resting on her shoulders) "How?"

Liz: "I think we were older, but not a lot. And, life had changed for all of us."

Max: "Go on."

Liz: "I'm not sure I can explain it, Max."

Max: "Try."

Liz cast about for words that wouldn't come no matter how hard she sought them out, so in the end, she pulled his hand down from her shoulder and brought it to rest flat against her stomach.

Liz: (softly) "Look. Outside."

Max watched steadily, and at first saw nothing at all. Just as frustration began to unfurl, he caught a glimpse of something strange. Something from the future . . . their future . . .

*Michael's face relaxed into lines he'd never witnessed before as he watched Maria stretched out on her back on a blanket in the yard . . . holding a baby straight up over her with her elbows locked. The infant giggled and grinned and waved tiny arms and legs in the air above her as Maria laughed. Looking on, he next saw Alex and Isabel curled up together under a tree. His sister's hand clutched a book as they read it together, and an engagement ring sparkled distinctively from her ring finger. They all looked so . . . happy, but somewhat different. What was it? Age? Maturity? Having seen too much? . . . Battleworn . . . They'd all suffered something together and it had changed them.

As his eyes travelled further through the layers of the unfolding scene, he saw Liz. He also saw himself. It was almost as if they were one entity. You couldn't see one without superimposed images of the other. In a way, he knew he should've been frightened by the message, but there was no fear . . .

He watched as the future version of each and every person was revealed. Liz grabbed his hand and laughed in a carefree manner that belied the tension they had grown so accustomed to. As they played together in the yard, she suddenly stopped, raising up on tiptoe to kiss him quickly before dashing inside the house. He shook his head in total bewilderment as to how she had heard that smallest of sounds. Mother's were notorious for being able to hear what most mere mortals could never fathom. A few moments later the screen door slammed shut behind her as she walked back out into the yard, carrying a sleepy, hungry, and somewhat irritable 9 month old baby. The baby squinted against the glare of the sun and surveyed his environment with a critical stare. After a few moments of adjustment, and a bottle that had been made ready earlier, life was deemed good enough not to warrant a serious protest. But, it was a near thing.

Sometimes he wondered what he had ever done to deserve this kind of happiness. A wife . . . a beautiful, perfect, son. It was much more than he'd ever dared hope for . . . *

Max came back to reality with a thud. His heart beat erratically in his chest for a few seconds before returning to a normal cadence. His eyes slid shut almost in relief as the vision faded from view.

Max: (strangled) "Liz?"

Liz: "I'm here."

Max: (pulling her close and hugging her to him tightly) "We need to talk about this."

Liz: (kissing his jaw and up to the corner of his mouth) "I know. . . . Later."

Her hands slid through his hair as she sought to bring his head down closer to hers. Tracing his lips with her tongue, she banished the vision from her mind . . . for now.

Max: (eyes sliding shut) "I can't think . . .

The rest was silenced as her mouth opened under his in a kiss that only made him want to taste her everywhere. But the scene he had just witnessed was still trying to find a home inside his mind. A reconciliation of the present and the future . . .

Max: (tearing away and shaking with the effort) "Liz. We . . . should . . . talk . . . "

Liz: "We will."

And with that, her lips parted and slid down his throat, pretty much stamping out any remaining will he had left to stop her. His mutinous body gloried in every touch of her tongue, and nip of her teeth . . . But, the small remaining tyranny of the vision distracted him once more.

Max: "Liz, . . . please . . . "

Whatever he was going to say got lost in the indrawn breath as Liz made her way lower still . . .

Liz: (stopping just briefly, unable to resist teasing him just a little) "Please what? Please stop or please don't stop?"

He looked down into her radiant face and eyes on fire with contented resignation.

Max: (swallowing so he could speak) "We'll talk later."

Liz chuckled a little but the moment was short lived, as Max swung her off her feet and headed determinedly toward the bed . . .

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

The next morning, breakfast was once again produced by Michael and Maria, with everyone commenting on their future in the hospitality industry. Alex leaned, hunched over the counter, and distractedly munching on a leftover piece of bacon, when Maria came to sit down beside him. The others were working on the clean up and insisted she was exempt since she cooked. She wasn't sure how that let Alex out or why Michael had cooked and was still cleaning up but, hey, who was she to argue. Pushing back from the counter and staring pointedly at Alex, she cleared her throat . . . loudly . . . and with no result whatsoever. Frowning intently, she leaned forward once more and gave up the subtle approach. Swatting him on the shoulder and smiling sweetly, Maria waited for his reaction. She didn't wait long. He whirled around with a startled expression, dropping the bacon and very nearly sending the entire contents of the countertop to the floor. As both of them scrambled to stop the avalanche, arms outstretched to grasp everything they could hold, order was finally restored. Sitting motionless and staring at each other in shock, Alex finally found his voice.

Alex: "Was that absolutely necessary???"

Maria: (laughing out loud) "I'm sorry, Alex. I was just trying to get your attention."

Alex: "Well, you did." (said as he surveyed the almost catastrophe)

Settling down to just a little chuckling here and there, Maria finally remembered that Alex had been lost in thought and that was what had started the whole thing in the first place.

Maria: "Where in the world were you, Alex?"

Alex: (still reeling from the possibility of so much damage) "Huh? . . . Oh, I was just thinking . . . "

Maria: (curious) "About what?"

Alex: "Well, actually, . . . . you."

Maria: "Me? Why?"

Alex: "Well, if you're not changing physiologically, then what is going on, because something is definitely off."

Maria: (blank expression) "What do you mean?"

Alex: "I mean that, yesterday, you knew exactly what was going on with Liz and what to do about it. Where did you get that information from, Maria? And, and, remember when you said that you sort of focused for Michael when you were at Atherton's house? What was that all about? If it's not physiological, then what is it?"

Liz: (walking in before Maria could answer) "That's a very good question, Alex. I've been wondering the same thing myself."

As Liz's statement hung in the air, stillness settled over the room. Michael and Max stopped what they were doing and came to stand beside the others, Michael with his hands on Maria's shoulders and Max automatically pulling Liz to his side. Isabel wrung out the cloth she had been using to clean up and tossed it haphazardly in the sink, making her way to Alex. The six of them stood together, the silence stretching out, as each and everyone lent their support and energy to the group. Answers were critical to all of them now. Max and Liz had seen the future and all that depended on them finding the truth . . .

TBC

*Author's Note: Don't you just love how Liz never says, "What do we do now, Max?"*
posted on 31-Aug-2001 11:14:36 AM
Title: Whiter Shade of Pale, 16
Author: Anne M. (Thing2/VG#3)
e-mail: annemccartney⊕juno.com
rating: NC17
category: M/L, M/M, I/A
disclaimer: I don't own Roswell or any of the characters. I have no affiliation with the WB television network or the author, Melinda Metz.
***********************
Author's Note: Lyrics are from "A Whiter Shade of Pale" by Procol Harum. And by, Sade, "By your side" and "The Sweetest Gift." I do not like Sade, but . . . get this CD if you don't have it! It's called "Lovers Rock."

***********************
SUMMARY: Immediately follows Blind Date ep, exploring Liz's reaction to Max's inability to remember the evening's events. Reconciliation is followed quickly by a rapid progression in physical intimacy, as a night in the desert leaves them both sleepless and hurting in a new way. Liz's behind the scenes attempt to persuade Max that they should continue in more intimacy leads to an alliance with Michael that goes completely awry. Max and Liz make love for the first time and find that the experience has far reaching ramifications as changes in Liz become obvious. Some simple tests of skin cells and blood reveal what they both already suspected to be true. Liz's physiology has changed completely to match Max's. These changes become more pronounced as they experience the drive to procreate that is much stronger for them now that Liz has basically become an alien in her own right. As school draws to a close for the summer, the six set off on a trip to spend some time together that begins in near disaster as the girls are caught in a terrible storm. Michael and Maria discover that changes are occurring for them now, too, as Max and Liz discover new levels of their evolving relationship.
*******************************************************

Moving quietly out of the kitchen and into the big living room, they all settled in to talk about Maria and the sudden moments of insight that seemed to be coming at a more and more rapid pace lately. They needed answers. No one really knew where to start. Max shifted somewhat uncomfortably, knowing that he had to tell them about the vision he had shared last night with Liz. But how exactly did you tell people that you had seen the future without completely freaking them out? As he sorted through the possibilities, his mind wandered.

The six of them.

When had that really happened?

Max tried to put a name on the exact date when the walls had all come down and the six of them had become something much more than just a group of friends trying to keep an important secret. So much had happened since then. Alex and Maria and Liz, especially Liz, had risked so much for them over and over again, and yet, would never even think of doing anything else. Alex had been terrified for Liz before he found out about their alien status, but then he had become as determined a friend as one could ask for. Max looked around the room at each and every person seated there, and wondered where to begin. As he hesitated, he felt Liz slip her hand inside his and at the same time, felt her strength and support slip inside his heart and his mind. His eyes fell to their hands and then slid slowly up to her face. Her eyes reflected the love for him that he always saw there, but now they also said that she was here beside him and always would be. Smiling slightly, he turned to the others.

Max (quietly): "Liz and I have something to tell you."

A collective groan could be heard around the room from the other four.

Alex: (whining dramatically) "Oh my God. What now? Haven't you two done enough?"

Isabel: (whispering) "Oh no. Not again."

Maria: (slapping her forehead and falling back against the couch) "More? There's more?"

Michael: (quietly) "Just say you're not pregnant. Anything but that. (heartfelt) *Anything*."

Max and Liz looked at each other and shrugged at all the fuss. Man, a little thing like Liz turning into an alien and now every move was suspect? Good Grief.

Max: "We're not pregnant."

Michael: (falling back against the couch, eyes closing, breath rushing out) "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."

Maria wondered at Michael's reverent gratitude but decided to ignore it. "That was awfully p/c, Max. *We're* not pregnant. "

Max: (ignoring Maria's sarcasm) "Yet."

Alex: (throwing his hands up in the air in exasperation) "Oh My God! I knew it! I just knew it!"

Isabel: (eyes narrowed in a particularly threatening manner that only Isabel could achieve) "What do you mean 'yet'??"

Michael sat forward again and clasped his hands loosely between his knees, hoping that would be enough to banish the dizzy sensation swamping his weary brain. It would be really embarrassing to have to actually hang his head to the floor in an effort to keep from fainting. Maria, on the other hand, felt no such insecurity, openly pulling in large amounts of air, in between something that sounded a lot like a mantra.

Isabel (sitting back and fixing Max and Liz with an expression bordering on parental displeasure): "Maybe you should explain before we have to call an ambulance." (casting disgusted looks at Alex and Maria and one for Michael, too, just because she knew what he was thinking even if he was doing a damned good job of hiding it.)

Max: (completely out of ideas) "I'm *trying*."

Alex: (sighing) "Just give it to us straight, Max. We already know to expect the most unlikely, completely impossible, and truly bizarre news, so lay it on us."

Max: (nodding in agreement) "You're right. Okay. Last night, Liz and I . . ."

Maria: (hands outstretched, palms out as if they could deflect anymore) "Whoa!!! Hold on there, Romeo. I know we're all close and all, but I *really* don't think I'm ready to share in the graphic details just yet.

Liz: (losing patience) "Ma-ria!" "Would you just give him a chance to explain?"

Maria reluctantly acquiesced.

Max: (determined) "Look. Last night, Liz had a vision. A vision about us. All of us. It was like some kind of glimpse into the future."

Michael: "Wait. If she had the vision, how do you know what it was like?"

Max: "Because I had it with her."

Maria: (almost under her breath) "Oh boy. I *knew* I didn't want to hear this."

Isabel rolled her eyes and then fixed Max and Liz with an "I. Am. Wait. Ing." stare.

Liz cleared her throat and tried to fight off the images that had been left behind by the vision, as she struggled to reconcile who they were now with who they were going to become. Turning to Max, she smiled a little weakly and silently let him know she would try to communicate the rest.

Liz: "I . . . we, saw the six of us, together again. We were back here at this same house, only this time, we were outside in the yard. At least most of us were."

Stopping there and closing her eyes for a moment, she paused briefly. Images of babies and happy parents drifted across her mind's eye all wrapped in a swath of peace that belied what the circumstances dictated.

Alex (sitting forward and urging gently) "Go on, Liz."

Liz: (opening her eyes and pressing on) "The first person I remember seeing was . . . Maria." (turning to look at her best friend)

Maria: (incredulous) "Me?"

Liz: "Yes. You were . . . so happy."

Maria: (smiling smugly) "I was?"

Liz: "Yeah, and your baby was only a few months old."

Michael assumed the position once more and just knew this time he really was going to faint . . .

Maria: (staring open mouthed at Liz) "My what????" (staring at Michael now) "No. No way. That is so not happening. Are you crazy?!?!"

Max: "No. No she's not crazy, Maria. I saw it, too. I saw you with your child in the yard, playing and more content than I've ever known you."

Maria stared at Max with absolutely nothing left to say because there was no doubt this was for real. Her mind sought the only safe place it new and found him almost supine on the floor.

Maria: (swatting his shoulder) "Michael!! Get up here and be comforting, dammit!"

Michael grunted in a most unsatisfactory manner, which left Maria to her own devices momentarily. Those mostly included trying to bring Michael into enough consciousness to make sure he was as tortured as she was right now.

Isabel: (eyes turning first towards Alex and then back towards Max and Liz before dropping once more to the floor) "What . . . what about us, Liz?" (her eyes left the floor and stared deeply into the one's of the only sister she had ever known.)

Liz: (fighting tears of joy and some other emotion she couldn't identify) "Oh, Isabel! You--you and Alex--the two of you, you'll be together and happy. I promise."

Isabel's eyes slid shut in relief as Alex's hand found hers and they held on to each other, trying to hold off anything that could separate them. As if they knew, harder times were ahead . . .

Alex: (clearing his throat and looking up from his hand where it lay encased in Isabel's) "How exactly do you know that, Liz?"

Liz: (unable to fight the tears any longer) "I-I saw you. I saw the two of you. Together, Alex. Isabel was wearing your ring. You were planning your wedding." (unable to say anymore, Liz turned her face into Max's shoulder and cried for all the joy that was coming at such a cost . . . )

Alex turned Isabel into his embrace and held her as she cried happy tears. But, he knew it was always darkest before the dawn and Liz and Max hadn't told them everything yet.

Michael finally felt the last remnants of incapacitation leave his body and lifted his head to find Maria staring at him with an expression of horror that seeped into disbelief whenever it could.

Michael: "Maria . . . it'll be okay."

Maria: "It can't be true . . ."

Michael: "Why not?"

Maria: "Because . . . Oh God."

Michael: (compassionate) "Maria. You never know what a person is capable of until it's really important."

Her stare wasn't very encouraging.

Michael: "I promise you, you have nothing to worry about. I'll be here for you."

Maria: (breathy) "And, will you go through child birth for me, too?"

Michael: (stunned) "Uh . . . (shaking his head to clear it) Um, no. I don't think so. Sorry."

Maria: (malevolent) "You so owe me."

Michael: "I know." (pulling her close to him and kissing her forehead) "I know."

Isabel finally spoke up, recovered from the brief onslaught.

Isabel: "How do we know that any of this real?"

Alex: (not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth but unwilling not to listen to logic) "How do you know this was a vision? Maybe it was just what you had for dinner last night not agreeing with your new alien physiology?"

Liz looked up from Max' shoulder with a haunted expression, but before she could offer any more, Maria stepped in.

Maria: (certainty that brooked no argument) "No. It *was* a vision. She's right."

Maria searched Liz's face and the absolute conviction of the revelation, settled over the two and eventually covered the whole group in a wave.

Everyone in the room sat in bewilderment at this new development, but knew no answers would be forthcoming tonight.

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

*Quietly, while you were asleep,
the moon and I were talking.
I asked that she'd always keep you
protected.*

Max and Liz had finally managed to divulge the details in their entirety, but no one found it particularly comforting. Everyone did their best to put the vision behind them for the duration of their stay, but it was difficult at best. All that really came of the exercise was everyone trying to deal with the future on their own.

*She promised you her light.
that you so gracefully carry.
You bring your light and shine

like morning.*

As their time together dwindled rapidly, the three couples huddled together outside under a beautiful night sky. Almost time to go home . . .

Every single one dreaded going back tomorrow. Even though the time they had spent here had been majorally stressful, it was at the same time, the only way they could ever feel "whole." They *needed* to be together.

As they all stretched out on blankets under a full moon and an incredible show of stars, each couple sat wrapped in the arms of his or her mate, together but alone, wrestling . . . coping.

While each one faced the version of the future that they'd made up based on what Liz and Max had said, the stars shown and the moon hovered over head, casting blessings on the six of them that they had no awareness of. When they chose to surface from personal reverie and take in the beautiful night and the presence of the others, they would feel the peace that was available to them if only they looked for it. The disjointedness was painfully felt by one and all as the worry and no small amount of fear reigned supreme for the moment.

*And then the wind pulls the clouds
across the moon.
Your light fills the darkest room.
And, I can see the miracle that keeps
us from falling.*

Liz watched the sky with it's thousands of tiny points of light and breathed in the cool night air. As her mind cleared, her heart embraced the reality of who she was now, and she realized that she had no regrets. She snuggled into Max's embrace a little closer, knowing that nothing mattered to her anymore except that she be with him. That was all. Everything. No other home mattered anymore. No conventional wisdom applied. She *was* an alien now, and he was home for her.

*She promised all the sweetest gifts,
that only the heavens could bestow.
You bring your light and shine like morning.
And, as you so gracefully give her light as
long as you live,
I will always remember this moment . . . *

Max kissed her forehead gently and then drew in his breath before whispering, "Look."

She turned her head away from him and towards the sky just in time to see a bright, fluorescent light streak across the night sky. It wasn't a shooting star or even a meteor. She knew what those looked like. This was something else. Something she'd never seen before.

Alex and Isabel looked askance at the other two couples. Alex finally breathed a, "What the hell?" not really expecting an answer, while Michael and Maria sat speechless . . . waiting . . . but for what they had no idea.

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

Later that night, Liz contemplated the last few hours she would spend here and stared into the full length mirror in the bedroom that she'd shared with Max for these past few days. How could she possibly go to bed without him now? How? Her hands drifted over her bare stomach as her eyes drifted shut imagining the way he'd held her last night while they slept . . .

Her hand moved automatically to the stereo on the dresser and switched on the CD that Max had given her on their return from their brief visit to the nearest town. He was amazingly innovative at finding gifts for her.

She heard the water still running in the shower and knew that he was still in the bathroom . . .

As the music began to play, she stared at the image of herself in the mirror and listened to the words . . . having no idea that Max was listening, too, and watching her intently . . .

Standing in the doorway in a towel, Max forgot about asking her to join him. As he watched her, he really didn't have to wonder what she was thinking at all.

Liz's head fell to her shoulder as her eyes softened in an expression of wonder . . .

*You think I'd leave your side, baby.
You know me better than that.
Think I'd leave you down when,
when you're down on your knees.
I wouldn't do that.*

Her hands unclapsed the fastening of her bra and let it fall to the floor as her hair swung across her back and her eyes closed.

Max absently turned the water off without looking away from his mate . . .

She never heard the sound of silence that replaced the rushing water.

Liz's hands drifted over her stomach and across her breasts, lifting her hair off her neck, while her eyes remained closed.

Max wondered how much longer he could stay a bystander, until her hands made another pass across her abdomen.

*I'll tell you you're right when you want.
And, if only you could see into me . . .*

Her hands slid under the waistband of her panties and slid them down with her eyes still closed and her hair falling foward over her shoulders . . .

*Oh, when you're cold, I'll be there.
Hold you tight to me . . . *

The song played around her and she was lost in the music and he was lost in the fantasy that made up the reality of Liz Parker . . .

Her feet stepped daintily out of the scrap of lace that lie on the floor at her feet. Her eyes still remained closed.

*When you're on the outside, baby, and you
can't get in,
I will show you, you're so much better than
you know . . .*

As she straightened, her hands slid once more across her stomach, one remaining there and one sliding across her breast as a smile shown on her face, telling him that she was thinking of his hands tracing the same path . . .

*When you're lost and you're alone,
and you can't get back again.
I will find you, darling and I'll bring
you home.*

Her hands fell to her sides, revealing the stark glowing, silver mark just about 2 inches below her belly button . . .

Liz: (without opening her eyes) "Where's your home, Max?"

Max swallowed hard, but didn't hesitate, or even wonder when she knew he was there . . .

Max: (certain) "With you."

*And if you want to cry, I am here to dry
your eyes.
And in no time, you'll be fine . . .*

Max (stepping towards her but not within touching distance yet) "What's going on, Liz?"

Liz: (dreamily) "Don't you know?"

She still hadn't opened her eyes but her hand unquestioningly displayed the small glowing mark on her stomach.

*You think I'd leave your side, baby.
You know me better than that.
Think I'd leave you down, when you're
down on your knees. I wouldn't do that.*

*When you're on the outside, baby.
And, you can't get in.
I'll show you, you're so much better than you
know.*

Max: (huskily) "No. I mean, I'm not sure."

Liz: "That's us. Together. The two of us. In one person."

Max felt the helpless response of his body to her words, but his mind needed the reassurance of explanation . . .

Max: "Liz?"

Her eyes opened, finally, and immediately took in his tortured face with an expression of empathy as her hand reached out, in a beckoning gesture . . .

*And if only you could see into me.
And, oh when you're cold,
I'll be there. Hold you tight to me . . .*

He crossed the short distance between them, falling to his knees in front of her, and resting his cheek against her stomach, knowing . . .

*You think I'd leave you down, when
you're down on your knees;
I wouldn't do that.*

Max looked up into the eyes of the only woman he could ever love. Ever share himself with, his body, his soul . . .

Liz: "I'm pregnant, Max." (expression opening from the fear of the unkown into the joy of what might be . . . )

His eyes closed against his will as his hand traced the small mark on her stomach . . .

He could feel her breath inside his lungs . . . her heartbeat inside his chest . . .

His mate, his wife, the mother of his child. She was so much to him . . .

Liz: (insisting) "Where's your home, Max?''

Max: (without hesitation) "With you."

Liz: "Are you sure?"

Max: (weighing the depth and breadth of his answer) "Yes."

Liz: "Then, come in."

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

TBC
Title: Whiter Shade of Pale, 17
Author: Anne M. (Thing2/VG#3)
e-mail: annemccartney⊕juno.com
rating: NC17
category: M/L, M/M, I/A
disclaimer: I don't own Roswell or any of the characters. I have no affiliation with the WB television network or the author, Melinda Metz.
***********************
Author's Note: For Miranda, always. Also, for Gale, and Irina, and Diana.

***********************
SUMMARY: Immediately follows Blind Date ep, exploring Liz's reaction to Max's inability to remember the evening's events. Reconciliation is followed quickly by a rapid progression in physical intimacy, as a night in the desert leaves them both sleepless and hurting in a new way. Liz's behind the scenes attempt to persuade Max that they should continue in more intimacy leads to an alliance with Michael that goes completely awry. Max and Liz make love for the first time and find that the experience has far reaching ramifications as changes in Liz become obvious. Some simple tests of skin cells and blood reveal what they both already suspected to be true. Liz's physiology has changed completely to match Max's. These changes become more pronounced as they experience the drive to procreate that is much stronger for them now that Liz has basically become an alien in her own right. As school draws to a close for the summer, the six set off on a trip to spend some time together that begins in near disaster as the girls are caught in a terrible storm. Michael and Maria discover that changes are occurring for them now, too, as Max and Liz discover new levels of their evolving relationship.
*******************************************************
"I envision the Lord as strong, handsome,
with dark hair, and electric eyes. He is
protective and passionate, the master of
manifestation, who holds the energies of
the universe in his hands."
--Michele Morgan

Max watched the car ahead like a hawk. It wasn't difficult to discern the red "X" in his eye as it trained on the car that carried his mate . . . the mother of his child. Liz was in that car. They'd ridden most of the way back together in an effort to dispel everyone's fear of what had happened before when they'd travelled separately. But now, she was up there . . . and much too far away. They still hadn't told the others about the pregnancy. There really hadn't been time. They'd left so early that morning that no one was much for conversation. They'd be back in Roswell soon. Max couldn't help the disappointed feeling that flooded his soul at the prospect of returning home. While Liz had been beside him here in the passenger seat, he had been okay. But now . . .

His mind wandered to last night and the slow, sweet way they had made love after the discovery of her pregnancy. He had been terrified of hurting her and their baby, but in the end he couldn't control the fierceness with which they always came together. Clenching his jaw in an effort to maintain some semblance of control, he blanched when Michael's pointed gaze turned in his direction.

Michael: "Do you want me to drive?"

Max: (looking at him with a disgusted aire) "No."

Michael: "Are you sure?" "I mean, I'd hate like hell to have to explain to an officer of the law that you couldn't concentrate because . . ."

Max: (grinding the words out) "I'm. Fine."

Michael (smirking) "Okay. Just thought I'd offer . . . "

The silence stretched ominously in the jeep . . .

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

"The Lady is hauntingly beautiful, with
flowing black hair that reflects the light
of the full Moon as it dances above her."
--Michele Morgan

Maria: (glancing away from the road momentarily to stare at her friend in concern) "Liz?"

No answer.

Maria's eyes flashed in the rear view and Isabel sat forward with a worried frown on her face that no less distorted the perfect features . . .

Liz's silence thus far had not gone unnoticed by either of the women travelling beside her.

Liz's expression hadn't changed since she'd taken up residence in the passenger seat of the small car. It was passive . . . almost to the point of pain for anyone who happened to be watching, and cared.

Isabel and Maria exchanged worried glances once more. How in the world would these two make it back in Roswell if they couldn't even survive one car ride apart??

Isabel surveyed Liz's totally absorbed expression, and groaned inwardly. Max was going to get his ass chewed for this at some very near date in the future. He couldn't just go around *entrancing* people. Well, okay. Not people, exactly. Liz. He couldn't go around putting her in this kind of an obvious state. It just wasn't . . . prudent. And, what the hell was wrong with her anyway??

Maria slid one more sideways glance at Liz's averted profile and decided it was time to take this matter firmly in hand.

Maria (shouting): "LIZ!!!!"

Liz's head snapped around with the lightning speed of a whip, followed by a thunderous expression that spoke volumes on the indelicacy of being interrupted while in the midst of one's most personal thoughts.

Liz: (eyes stormy) "What?!?!"

Maria: (somewhat startled) "Um, well, uh, . . . nothing, really. You just seemed . . . . distracted. More than usual."

Liz: (chagrined) "I . . . was. I'm sorry."

Maria: (expression softening to understanding) "It's o.k. I understand. . . . I think."

Liz: (under her breath but no so low that Isabel's sharp ears didn't pick it up) "I don't think so."

Maria: "What is it Lizzie? Are you just sad that we're going back?"

Liz: (smiling in grateful humility for the friend she had in Maria) "Yeah. That's exactly what it is, Maria. I just can't stand to think about facing the rest of the summer . . . alone . . ."

Isabel sat back again in her seat with a contemplative expression on her face. Liz was lying. No doubt about it. She might be good at a lot of things, but lying wasn't one of them. How could Maria be so gullible??

Maria: "It won't be so bad, Liz. You know Max won't let you out of his sight for long."

Liz smiled at this and the smile spread into a grin as she heard Isabel groan from the backset.

Liz: (chuckling) "I know . . ."

But Maria and Isabel both watched with concerned expressions as Liz's grin faded into a sad smile and her eyes slid away to stare out the passenger window once more.

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

Alex took in the harried expression of his passenger and wondered for the fifth time in 13 miles, what in the hell was wrong with Max. Michael was passed out and snoring obnoxiously in the backset, while he and Max were riding in uncompanionable silence. No big deal on most days, but this was strange, even for Max.

Alex (clearing his throat) "Uh, . . . Max. You know, if there's something on your mind . . . "

Max (turning sharply with a dark expression but softening almost immediately as his mind focused on the present) "No, Alex. (gently) I'm fine. I'm just . . . already missing Liz, that's all."

Alex swallowed a scathing retort in the face of what he was certain had been a load of hog wash. After all, what good would it do to add injury to what was already obviously something very heavy . . .

Michael's snoring resounded in the jeep for many more miles . .

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

The road sign that read "Roswell Next Exit," broke the reverie of Liz's convoluted thoughts, and brought an unexpected command from the passenger seat.

Liz: "Isabel!!!"

Isabel whirled around to face the summons with an immensely displeased expression. Liz almost laughed out loud at the speaking glance. It practically shouted, "You dare?" without so much as a verbal syllable. She had to be a princess or something equally majestic in another life. As Isabel's eyes pinned her to the passenger door, Liz contemplated the consequences of calling forth a power greater than oneself . . .

On the other hand, she was an alien herself, and a pregnant one at that . . .

Liz: (finding the resolve she needed) "Stop the jeep."

Isabel: "What?!?!" (accompanied by another speaking glance. This one, so much more telling.)

Liz: (shouting) "Stop the damned jeep!"

And, with that last, Maria sputtered her way from warm sleepiness to the unpleasantness of cold reality.

Maria: "What the hell?" (as she felt the jeep leave the road with an uncomfortable swerve)

Isabel: (practically hissing) "God, Liz! This had better be good."

Without so much as a word, Liz bolted from the car. She didn't even need to see with her physical eyes to know that Max was off the road right behind them and already running full out towards her. Alex looked so bewildered, she thought, just before Max's arms wrapped around her like they might never get to do so again.

Liz: (pulling back marginally from the frantic embrace) "Max! I'm scared!!"

Max: (brushing her hair back and steadily looking into her eyes) "I know, baby." "I know."

Liz watched his eyes and felt some of her anxiety recede . . .

Max: "I don't know how, Liz, but we will be all right." "I promise." (and then pointedly) "All of us."

Liz (chin trembling) "But, Max, how can we go back?"

Max: (taking a deep breath and willing some of the strength he didn't even know he possessed to transfer to her) "We just can, Liz. We will make it through, this. It won't be forever. Don't you understand?? I could never let you go, Liz. Not now. Not ever."

Liz visibly pulled herself together, drawing heavily on the measure of peace that Max had willed to her. Laying her hand along the side of his face, she did her best to silently communicate that she was ready to face whatever lie ahead . . .

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

One month later, Liz stood behind the counter in the Crashdown scrubbing at stains that weren't there anymore and wondering how she would survive one more day like this. She'd seen Max so seldom in the past month that her mind could barely wrap around the reality of their situation. She was an alien now, and a mate, and a mother, and her husband was still living at home with his watchful parents while hers scrutinized her every move. They simply couldn't risk bringing down any more censure on their lives. She didn't really think things could get any worse, until . . .

Diane Evans: "Liz. Can I ask you a question?"

Liz: (looking up startled and wondering when Mrs. Evans had come in) "Yeah. Sure. Of course."

Diane: "Will you come over tomorrow afternoon? I'd really like to spend some time with you and just get to know you better."

Liz almost sagged in relief before the ever present caution raised it's antennae in response to the strange request.

Liz: "Ummm, I guess, . . . okay. Yeah, that would be fine. I'll come over after I finish here . . . about three or so."

Diane smiled warmly and Liz felt alternating shivers of fear and joy run their steely fingers along her spine. What in the world was this about???

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

Max sat up from his lethargic position in front of the TV and wondered what was going on. His mom had a very funny expression on her face. Instantly alert, he shut off the TV that had been no source of comfort whatsoever. He missed Liz. It was pure torture to spend so much time away from her. Maybe those few days together had been a bad idea. It had only made him want more. And, there were other more pressing consequences now . . . Although, he had no doubt, those would have arisen no matter whether they had gone away or not. It was only a matter of time. After all, she was destined to be his mate. He would have called her wife, except that the term had lost so much significance here on Earth. A mate, to his people, was forever . . . He didn't even know how he knew that, but he was quite certain . . .

Diane: "Max. There you are. I hope you don't mind, dear, but I invited Liz over tomorrow."

Max: (doing his best to pretend that all the air in the atmosphere hadn't just been sucked out) "You (swallow) you did?"

Diane: "Yes. Now that the two of you are so close (expression pointed and knowing) I'd really like the chance to get to know her a little better." (Max would have just sworn that all the time he and Liz had spent apart this past month was for nothing. She knew.)

Max: (auto pilot) "You would."

Diane: "Yes, I would." (looking somewhat puzzled by her son's obvious distraction)

Max cast about frantically for something coherent to say, but all he could hear in the back of his mind was "Red Alert. Red Alert!!"

Diane: "Are you all right, Max?"

Max: (mentally shaking himself) "Yeah. I'm fine, Mom. A little tired, that's all."

Diane: (relief flooding her features) "Oh, well, why don't you have a nap before dinner."

Max: (turning gratefully towards the hallway and the sanctuary of his room) "Okay."

Diane: "Max?"

Max: (pausing without turning around) "What?"

Diane: "Just in case I never told you before, I think Liz Parker is a very special girl."

Max didn't make a single sound in reply. He couldn't without howling in frustration. His steps labored heavily towards his room. As the door closed behind him, he breathed a sigh of relief and closed his eyes, leaning against his closed door. The relief was immediately followed by panic. Reaching for the phone, he prayed that she would answer . . .

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

Liz: "Hello?"

Max: "Liz."

Liz's face lit up for the first time since yesterday, when she had seen Max briefly.

Liz: (exuberant) "Max!"

Max: (closing his eyes in order to concentrate around the feelings that she always called out of him) "You are coming over later?"

Liz: (confused) "Yes. Your Mom . . ."

Max: (abrupt) "I know."

Liz: (fighting tears and whispering) "I'm sorry . . ."

Max: (forcing himself to get a grip for her sake) "No. Liz, you have nothing to be sorry for. I was just surprised. Just be careful."

Liz: (still confused) "What do you mean?"

Max: "I'm not sure." (obvious helplessness flooding his voice)

Liz: (trying to understand) "Okay, Max. Don't worry. I'll be careful."

Max: "I'll meet you on your balcony afterwards."

Liz: (a little taken aback) "Okay." . . . "Max, what is this about?"

Max: (exhaling audibly) "I wish I knew, Liz. I'm just worried about you."

Liz: (smiling) "I know. I can feel it.

Max: (eyes finally rising from the pattern on the spread to focus on the picture of Liz beside his bed) "You do?"

Liz: "Yeah. I feel a lot of things lately."

Max: (quietly contemplating) "How do you think this happened, Liz?"

Liz: (smiling a little at his intention) "You mean the baby?"

Max: (stifling a surge of pride at her words) "Yes."

Liz: "I'm not sure. I suppose I could have developed a tolerance to the pill after a certain amount of time because of my new blood type and cell structure."

Max: "Maybe we should do some more tests. Just to be sure what we are dealing with."

Liz: (chuckling) "I'm not sure slides and microscopes will help us now, Max."

Max: (unable to resist her mood) "No, I suppose not, but still . . ."

Liz: "Okay, later tonight, we'll do some more tests."

Max: (thinking over what she'd said) "I think we need to talk, too."

Liz: (almost giggling) "As opposed to other things that we might be doing?"

Max: (closing his eyes in resignation and almost grating out the words) "I want you, Liz."

Liz: (feeling the space in the room become uncomfortably small and the air impossibly heavy) "I want you, too, Max."

Max: "Tonight, then." (every nerve in his body was screaming for him to go to her now)

Liz: (nodding her head in agreement even though he couldn't see) "Tonight." (and she wondered for not the first time, how they would survive that long . . .)

And, then the line was dead, and she replaced the receiver in the cradle and wondered what the day would bring . . .

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

Diane Evans put the final touches on the snack she had prepared for her visit with Liz and smiled to herself. Max had been so adorably confused at her invitation to his girlfriend. Very soon, now he would have to be told the truth . . .

Max silently entered the kitchen as he always did, but Diane's smile reflected the maternal pride that she felt everytime she thought of one of her children. His presence was never a surprise to her, no matter how quiet he was.

Diane: "Where are you off to, Max?"

Max: (one hand on the back of his head and eyes filled with reluctance to leave) "I dunno exactly."

Diane: "Well, have a good time, dear, and be home in time for dinner."

Max kissed her cheek and headed toward the door, but paused before walking outside. Looking back, he wondered for the 100th time what was going on.

TBC