|"Always and Forever"
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em, just borrowing 'em. I'll return 'em the way I found 'em.
Summary: Lots of my faithful readers wanted to know what happens to the eight kids in the end. What do Liz and Max's parents say when they tell them they are pregnant? Do they tell any of the parents that Max, Michael and Isabel are Aliens? Does Liz safely deliver the babies? What about the other couples? And what about Nasedo? For he's still out there...somewhere...
Category: After Hours
Authors Note: If you haven't read my previous stories, "Us Six Against the World" or "Sense of Completion", it is recommended before reading this one. This is the last in the Trilogy. And, to make the time frame work in my story I have to make my characters start the timetable with Max saving Liz in their junior year, instead of their sophomore year of high school. Hey, what can I say? Author's license.. ;-)
|Isabel was at the kitchen table when Max finally came down Saturday morning. She glanced at him and frowned with concern. He looked terrible. Probably another sleepless night from the looks of him. And from what Liz had told her, probably filled with nightmares as well.
She watched Max go to the fridge and pour a glass of juice, and then he just stood in front of the kitchen window, above the sink, and stared out at nothing.
"Max." Isabel said softly and came to stand beside him. She saw him finally turn toward her and for the first time he realized she was in the room. "Don't tell them anything more than you have to today. I think telling Mom and Dad about the babies will be more than enough. I...it can wait. The rest I mean. Until you're ready." She swallowed seeing the pain and fear that flashed in his eyes.
He lifted his eyes to hers. "What if I'm never ready, Is?" he asked quietly.
Isabel took a deep breath and swallowed again. "We'll worry about that later...We'll talk about it later. But for right now, just get through today okay?" She smiled softly and put a hand to his cheek.
Max returned the smiled and felt a little bit of the tension leave him. Isabel wouldn't push it. At least not today.
Isabel saw the relief cross Max's face and she went back over to the table to grab her bag. "I'm going to get the heck out of here so that when all the parents gather here I'll be long gone." Isabel winked and strolled toward the back door.
Max grinned and mumbled, "Coward," as she opened the back door.
Isabel laughed. "Of course! We'll be at the Crashdown when you guys get through. Come let us know how it went okay?" she bit her lip.
Max nodded and went back to look into the fridge.
Isabel started toward the Jeep when she saw Liz coming up the walk. "Hey. You ready?" Isabel asked with concern. Liz too looked tired.
Liz nodded and took a deep breath. "Yeah. I mean I can handle anything as long as I have Max, but I'm worried about him, Is. He had another nightmare last night and this time in it your mom was so disgusted with him she screamed for him to get out of her house. And she kept calling him a monster." Liz trembled holding back tears.
Isabel's own eyes filled with pain and sorrow at her brother's emotional state. "I told him not to worry today. Just to tell them about the babies. I think that will be enough for one day." Isabel said softly and touched Liz's arm. She knew Liz was hurting for her brother as much as she was.
"Isabel, I know your mom would never be like that." Liz exclaimed.
Isabel nodded, "I know, I know, but it's Max's fear that I'm worried about." She sighed. "Go on in. I think he needs you right now. He's in the kitchen but he's not doing so well." Isabel told her.
Liz swallowed. "I know." She said softly.
"Of course you do! How could I forget?" Isabel laughed at herself. No one knew Max better than Liz. It used to bother her, but not anymore. She was glad her brother had found his other half. "What time are your parents coming over?" Isabel asked as she got into the jeep.
"In about two hours. Your parents should be back from work by then. It will give me a little time to get Max to relax some." Liz added and headed toward the kitchen door.
She came in softly and saw him standing in front of the fridge. He looked dejected and Liz's heart went out to him. She came up behind him and wrapped her hands around his waist and leaned her head against his muscular back.
Max took a deep breath, loving the feel of Liz against him, and closed his eyes just enjoying her touch.
Finally she released him and he turned around to her. He shut the fridge behind him and smiled at her. "You're early." He said nuzzling her neck and putting his hands on her hips and pulling her tight up against him.
Liz made a noise that sounded like agreement, but she closed her eyes and just let him kiss a path to her ear and then he nuzzled that the way she liked. "You left before I got up this morning. I needed a proper good morning greeting from you." She teased and let her hands slide around his back and caress it.
"You're right. Sorry, let me fix that." He murmured and then placed his hot, open mouth over hers.
When they came up for air, Liz smiled and walked to the table to sit down.
"Did you eat? Did you have your chocolate milk?" Max asked opening the fridge again and this time pouring a big glass of milk and squirting chocolate in it.
Liz just smiled watching him putter around the kitchen. She could get used to seeing him in a kitchen. She watched the curve of his butt and how they fit so well in his jeans, and she sighed just enjoying the view as he worked at the counter.
"Where the heck is the Tabasco now?" he mumbled looking in different cupboards. Liz took her eyes off of his cute butt and glanced at the table where she was sitting. It was right in front of her.
"I had my milk this morning already." Liz sighed and frowned, not wanting to be forced to drink more.
"Don't pout love, you know it's good for the babies." He smiled and turned around to look at her from across the room. His eyes were warm and happy. At least she knew he didn't regret the babies or her.
"What if I don't want any?" Liz asked raising her chin in defiance, a little teasing glint in her eyes.
"You don't have a choice. I want you to drink another glass. I read that you should drink several glasses of milk a day when your pregnant." He grinned, coming toward her with the glass.
"You can't make me." Liz teased back, glad to see a smile on Max's lips as they joked.
Max raised and eyebrow and a slow wicked smile formed on his face as Liz was pulled in his direction without moving her feet.
Liz laughed and put her hands on her hips. "Since when did you learn to do that? Let me go!"
"Make me." He mocked with a glint in his eyes.
"Well, here's the Tabasco sauce." Liz grinned and looked at the Tabasco and watched it come off the table, hover over it a second and then go shooting toward Max.
He caught it and swore. "Liz! God you know I hate it when you do that!" he said and couldn't help but laugh. Then he sucked in his breath and all the color drained from his face.
Liz spun around to the kitchen entry where Max was looking, and saw his mother standing there in shock.
Diane Evans took a deep breath and saw her son's face. She tried to calm her own spinning emotions and concentrate on the total fear and devastation she saw there.
She glanced at Liz who also looked worried, but looked more worried about Max's reaction than anything else. And when she met Liz's eyes she saw them almost plead with her. She tilted her head in question and then realized that Liz was pleading for Max. She raised an eyebrow and then sucked in her breath when she turned back toward her son. Max was shaking, frozen in place, looking as pale as death and his eyes were wild with fear. The pain she saw in her son's eyes almost made her own heart burst.
"Max--" she started to say, coming toward him.
Max moved finally and backed up against the counter behind him.
Diane Evans stopped and met his eyes with shock. He was afraid of her! She realized. Of what she had seen and heard. She took a deep breath. She had to be very careful about how she put her thoughts into words she realized.
"What--are you doing here?" You're not supposed to be back for another hour or so!" Max finally choked out, shocked that he had so stupidly been caught after all the years of care he had taken.
"I got out of the meeting early. I knew something was...bothering you two when you said you wanted to talk to all of us, but...I..." Diane didn't know what to say. She could tell from her son's eyes that he was ready to run. She didn't know what to say that wouldn't upset his delicate stability right now.
"How long have you been here?" Liz asked softly since neither mother nor son could think coherently enough to speak.
Diane focused on Liz for a second and calmed down. "I...since Max told you you needed milk because..." She swallowed. "Are you--?" she tried to ask. Max making Liz move without touching her, and the bottle spinning through the air was still too overwhelming in her mind. She was having a hard time taking it all in.
Liz nodded, meeting Mrs. Evan's eyes calmly. "Yes." She said then looked from Max's still terrified eyes, to Mrs. Evan's own shocked face. "But that's not all you saw was it?" Liz asked. She knew that it was time, whether Max was ready or not. And since neither of them seemed able to talk about it, Liz took the initiative, and slowly walked over to Max and took his cold hand in hers. She tried not to cry when he grabbed onto her hand like he needed saving.
Liz looked at Mrs. Evans again and saw that she too noticed Max's tight grip on Liz.
Then she looked up at Max again and bit her lip to hold back a sob when Max watched his mom's eyes go from their clenched hands to his face once again, and he flinched when his mother looked at him.
Diane took a deep breath and realized the pain her son was in. Nothing was more important that getting rid of that look in his eyes. "I saw Max move you without touching you. And I saw you move that bottle without touching it." She answered steadily. She tried to meet Max's eyes again, but he was looking down, as if waiting for something horrible to happen. "This has to do with the healing you can do doesn't it?" she asked softly.
Max nodded, and finally looked up. He had to just get it out. Get it over with. It was too late to do anything else. He took a deep breath and met her eyes. He knew how this played out. He'd been through it so many times in the last week. He could get through it one more time.
"I--I'm not just a healer Mo--." Max stopped. He couldn't say mom. He didn't know if she would want him to call her that after he told her what he had to...What he was.
Liz squeezed his hand tighter trying to tell him it would be okay. Her vibes of love came through, and gave him the courage to just get it out.
"You were right when you said I was different. And I know you wanted me to be honest with you awhile back, but I couldn't. I...The reason I've always been able to heal animals...and other things you've noticed is--when you found Isabel and I in the desert that night, we had just come out of incubation pods from the '47 crash. I'm really an alien from that crash." Max finished and his voice was like sandpaper.
Diane's mind went numb for a second, and she wanted to laugh at the ridiculous joke, but then she saw how very serious both of the teens standing in front of her. Her mind spun around and she thought she might faint. But she knew now why her son was afraid, terrified of her, and in pain.
And it started to make sense.
She had always wondered what they'd been doing out there in the desert that night with no clothes on, and not able to utter a word in any language. How quiet and careful Max had always been, and except for Liz, he had never let anyone close, not even her or her husband. Now she knew why. And she knew his fear of rejection and her heart ached seeing that look on her son's face.
"Max--" Diane started to say and came forward, pain evident in her own tear-filled eyes.
Max flinched, waiting for the blow. Whether physical or verbal he didn't know, but he lowered his eyes, unable to look at the pain that now filled his mother's eyes. He swallowed and waited. He wanted to run, to not hear the words he'd heard so often in the last week, but he couldn't get himself to move.
He was frozen in fear and dread.
When his mom touched him he actually make a choking sound like a sob, and then she was embracing him and crying as she told him she loved him and she didn't care what he was. That he was still hers and always would be.
Liz let go of Max's hand when his mother put her arms around him, and she put a fist to her mouth to hold back her own sobs. The tears were running freely down her cheeks as she watched the shock and amazement on Max's face as his mother's words finally penetrated.
And then he let out a sob and with shaking hands, he wrapped his arms about his mom, hugging her back.
"Mom." He cried out and just hung onto her, letting the sobs come now.
"Max, baby. My baby. I love you...I'll never stop loving you. You and Isabel were mine the minute we found you and you will never be anything but our children, always." She said through her own tears and hoarse voice.
Diane just soothed her son and held him tighter as his sobs racked his body. She closed her eyes and thanked God her son had finally opened up to her after all these years. She had always thought she would lose him one day, but now that she understood why, she knew she'd never let that happen.
Then she glanced over at Liz and she held out her hand to the girl who loved her son unconditionally. She realized that if this small woman hadn't given that love so unconditionally to her son, she would never have had this talk with Max and she probably would have lost him. She smiled and reached a hand out to her son's love.
Liz saw the gratitude in Diane Evan's eyes and she took her hand and smiled through her own tears. They both loved him, and that was the only bond they had ever needed.
When Max finally stopped the shudders and had quieted down, Diane lifted his head from her shoulder and cupped his sweet tear ravaged face in her gentle hands. "I love you. I always will." She smiled through her tears, but met his eyes with all the seriousness she could put in her own.
Max nodded finally realizing she meant it. He blushed at how he had cried so openly in front of his mother, but her look told him he'd better not even try to look embarrassed.
"Now!" Mrs. Evans said with her hands on her hips. "What is this about Liz being pregnant!?" she asked with a raised eyebrow and concern in her eyes.
|Part 3 | Index | Part 5
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