FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"Baby I'm Amazed"
"Let's Face the Music and Dance"
Part 3
by MyrnaLynne
Disclaimer: This is a work of fan fiction, not intended to infringe on any copyrighted material about "Roswell."
Summary: Post "Blind Date." Part 1, Max gets drunk and he and Liz run away and get married. Part 2 ("There's Got to Be a Morning After"), Max wakes up, doesn't remember a thing, but doesn't mind being married. Part 3 - they go home to 'face the music.'
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
* * *

There may be trouble ahead

But while there's moonlight and music

and love and romance

Let's face the music and dance.

Before the fiddler has fled

Before they ask us to pay the bill

And while we still have the chance

Let's face the music and dance.

Soon, we'll be without the moon

humming a different tune and then

There may be teardrops to shed

So while there's moonlight, and music

and love and romance

Let's face the music and dance. (1936)

* * *

Max Evans drove carefully down highway 285, heading home toward Roswell. He didn't want to get pulled over for speeding, and didn't want to get into an accident driving Kyle's car. He glanced over at Liz, sitting beside him in the passenger seat of the convertible.

It seemed hard to believe that in less than 24 hours, he had gotten drunk for the first (and last!) time, kidnapped Liz from her Blind Date Contest "dream date," stolen Kyle's car, and driven a couple of hundred miles north to Santa Fe, where he had Liz had gotten married at some wedding chapel at an Indian gambling casino. At least, that's what Liz told him he did.

He had a total memory blackout of everything that had happened from the moment after his first sip of liquor until he woke up this morning - remembering nothing., disoriented, frightened, and sick as a dog from his first (and last!) hangover - and married to Liz. That last part was the only good thing to come out of his 'lost weekend,' but now they were heading home to face their folks. He knew it wasn't going to be pleasant.

He thought about fighting with his dad on the phone... blurting out that he and Liz were married, and almost challenging him to do anything about it... and his heart sank. The other reason Max drove so conservatively down the highway was that he was in no hurry to get home. In fact, he'd be just as glad if they never actually reached Roswell in this lifetime.

He glanced over at Liz. She had her hair pulled back and held in a silver clip with turquoise stones on it - a wedding gift he bought for her before they left Santa Fe. Running off with him like that, she had missed all the parties, all the presents and showers, the fancy dress, and all the things girls usually dream about when they think about getting married. It seemed the least he could do with the little money he had left.

On her lap she held the other odd souvenir from their brief honeymoon - A toothbrush and tiny tube of toothpaste he'd bought from a vending machine at the motel. He thought about brushing their teeth together before they checked out... sharing the one toothbrush... ... just as they'd shared... everything... laughing and giving each other foamy toothpaste kisses.

He had a sudden thought of Liz brushing her teeth at an outdoor faucet on the school camp out. Telling her that taking a step back didn't mean that he wanted to break up with her, that he just needed some space. What had he been thinking of? Running through the woods, holding her hand, police dogs after them... So many times already she had put her life in his hands, had chosen to be with him. And now their lives were joined. He would never push her away again.

It's no wonder she had such beautiful teeth. She was really into taking care of them - she was miserable without a toothbrush. He hoped, if they ever had children... not that he really thought it would be biologically possible, with him being an alien and all... he hoped they'd get Liz's perfect teeth... and her perfect little ears. He ran his tongue self-consciously over the pointy tooth at the left corner of his mouth. Well, Liz thought it was cute. But then, she seemed pretty happy with everything about him lately. A satisfied smile lit up his face.

They'd grabbed a quick combination breakfast/lunch at McDonald's, because it was fast and cheap and his money was almost gone. Besides, he was too embarrassed to be seen again at Denny's, after Liz told him about the way he acted there the night before.

At least he had the gas card from his dad, so he could fill up the car before he gave it back to Kyle.

"You're awfully quiet," Liz said. "Last night, in the car, we were singing."

"I was singing? You left that part out of the story. I can't sing..."

She nodded, "At the top of your lungs. You were a regular... Michael Bolton," she laughed.

"Are you sure you didn't forget to tell me anything else I did last night?"

"Well... there was the Elvis impersonation.."

He shot her a worried look. "I didn't..."

"Kidding!" Boy, Liz thought, she could get years of teasing mileage out of this one night Max couldn't remember. He was so serious, he was awfully easy to tease. Not that he didn't do the same with her.

"That's a relief."

They drove along in silence.

"I'm just worried," Max finally said, "Trying to figure out how to handle this."

Liz nodded, "Me, too." She rested her hand on his arm and gave it a squeeze. "We'll figure it out, Max. Let's take it one step at a time."

"Okay. First, I want to get rid of Kyle's car," he said.

"Yeh.. because I have a feeling, once we get home... we're going to be grounded... till we're at least 18... or maybe 21."

He glanced at her, but realized she wasn't joking.

* * *

They pulled up in front of Sheriff Valenti's house.

"I guess we can't just leave the keys in it and run away," Max said. "I should probably... go and knock on the door... and give them the keys. And say thank you. Apologize." He looked at the Sheriff's front door. It was like getting ready to walk into a lion's cage, only without the whip, the gun, or the chair.

"Wait, Max... I'll go with you."

"Maybe he won't be home, and I can just drop the keys in the mailbox... and run."

"Well, afternoon Max... Liz." Sheriff Valenti opened the front door before they reached it. "You two sure caused a lot of people to worry about you last night. Quite a lot of excitement in town."

"I know, Sheriff. We're sorry if we caused any trouble," Max said, sounding contrite. "I wanted to return Kyle's keys first, and then we're going right home to see our folks."

"Got your message on the answering machine about the car." Valenti said.

"Kyle told you... didn't he?" Liz asked, "About last night?"

"Well, when I questioned him about it, he admitted he'd had a few beers too many last night and had asked Max here to be the 'designated driver.' Mighty responsible of him, I thought."

"Yes, that's Kyle... responsible," Liz agreed, even though it totally wasn't the Kyle Valenti she knew, and had dated briefly... before Max.

"Also heard Max here can't exactly hold his liquor..."

"Which Kyle gave him... practically forced on him," Liz added nervously.

"And I heard something on the radio about Kyle and Max breaking into your bedroom last night, and Kyle wrestling with your Blind Date, while you and Max ran off together. Quite a night." The sheriff put his hand over his mouth, as if to stroke his chin... or stifle a smile. "Gotta hand it to you, Miss Parker. You've certainly turned a lot of boys' heads in this town... First my son, Kyle... Now Max.. Wonder who the next lucky fellow is gonna be."

Liz held up her left hand to show him her ring - the silvery wedding ring encircled with alien symbols that Max had made for them out of a flattened beer can, using his powers. "No one's going to be 'next,' Sheriff. And it's not Miss Parker anymore - it's Mrs. Evans."

"What!" The sheriff tore his gaze away from the mysterious-looking design of the ring to look at her face.

"Max and I are married."

"You can't be married - you two are only 16."

"You should know the law sheriff - you can get married at 16 in New Mexico."

"I seem to remember something about needing your parents' permission. Did you two have their permission, Miss Parker... I mean, Miz Evans?"

"It's a.. long story, Sheriff."

"Yes, I bet it is. Mighty unusual ring. Where did you get it?"

"We bought them," Max said, "from some Indians up in Santa Fe."

"Yes," Liz said, turning around to show him her new hair clip, "We got this too. Max bought it for me, as a wedding present."

"Hmm. Nice," he said.

"We've really got to get going, Sheriff," Max said nervously. "Our folks are waiting for us."

"Well, why don't I just drive you over there, since you don't seem to have a car. I have a feeling you might be needing some police assistance with this domestic situation."

"Are you going to arrest me, Sheriff?" Max asked, his voice breaking.

"No, son, I don't think you've broken any laws... but I might just have to keep an irate father or two from wringing your neck. Wait here a minute, I'll be right back." Valenti went into his house.

"Should we run for it, Liz?" Max whispered, staring at Valenti's door.

"No more running, Max." Liz took his hand and they waited, hearts pounding.

"Well... let's keep our options open."

The door opened again and the Sheriff came out, put on his Stetson, and put one hand on Max's shoulder and the other on Liz's shoulder, and steered them toward his car. "Okay, right this way."

* * *

"I called your folks," Valenti said as he drove. "They're going to come down and meet us at my office." He glanced at the two young people, leaning their shoulders against each other in the back of the cruiser as if drawing strength from the contact.

"You did what?" Max put his hand on the back of the driver's seat and leaned forward.

"May as well face 'em together, on neutral territory... On my territory," he amended.

"Thank you, Sheriff," Liz said, putting her hand on Max's arm. He settled back again, but he was anything but relaxed. Being driven away in the back seat of Valenti's car was near the top of his worst nightmares.

"Y'know, I guess I was wrong about you, Evans," the sheriff said.

"How's that, Sheriff?" Max asked quietly.

"Well.. I don't know that I want to say what I was thinking about you exactly, but this damn fool stunt certainly seems like something a regular teenage boy might do. Especially if another fellow came to town and started kissing his girl."

"That's what I've been trying to tell you, Sheriff. I'm just a regular guy."

"Oh, I don't know how regular a guy you are or you aren't... But I know what it's like," he said.

"To be in love?" Liz asked quietly.

"To be the boy her parents can't stand," Valenti said with a grin.

* * *

They followed the Sheriff into the police building, glancing nervously around, but didn't see their parents' cars our front... or their parents.

"Can I see your marriage certificate?" Valenti asked, "I assume you do have one, and you aren't just making all this marriage business up."

"Oh, yes, sir, it's the truth, we have one... But why do you need to see it?" Max asked suspiciously, not sure he wanted to trust Valenti with anything so important.

"Don't you believe us?" Liz asked.

"Just thought it might be a good idea to make a few copies."

Max glanced at Liz and she nodded. He took the paper from his pocket, smoothed it out carefully, and handed it to Valenti reluctantly. "Even if you take it, we'll still be married," Max said.

"I know that, son. " He put the certificate into the copier and made several copies. He gave the original back to Max and an extra copy. "Now you keep that safe," he said.

"Yes, sir, Sheriff. I will."

"Thank you," Liz added. She had never expected to find an ally in Sheriff Valenti.

"Why don't you two go into my office and sit down. Can I get you something to drink.. a soda maybe?"

Max said, "No, we're fine." He didn't want anything from Sheriff Valenti.

But Liz smiled and said, "Thank you, Sheriff. It was a long drive. Anything to drink would be fine."

He brought her a bottle from the vending machine, hung up his hat, and went to sit behind his desk. Liz drank some, then glanced at Max and handed him the bottle. He took a long thirsty drink and handed it back to her.

* * *

They could hear the commotion in the hall before their parents arrived.

"Lizzie! Are you all right?" Liz's dad said, hurrying over to her to envelop his daughter in a hug. "We were so worried!" He stared at Max over her head for a moment, then cuddled Liz close.

Sheriff Valenti got to his feet.

"Oh, Max," his mother cried, "I'm so glad you're okay!" She grabbed him and gave him a kiss, then held him away from her to look at him, "You are okay, aren't you?"

"Yes, Mom, I'm fine... really" he said, looking embarrassed. "I'm sorry we worried you."

"Now, I know you folks have been worried and are kind of excited, but let's sit down and try and discuss this calmly. He pointed Jeff Parker to one of the chairs and gestured for the rest of them to sit down. "Seems like we have a... situation here." He handed the Parkers a copy of the marriage certificate and one to Mr. and Mrs. Evans.

Mr. Parker glanced at it, "Married! Is this some kind of joke? I don't understand..." His red-haired wife, whose mouth was held in a thin line, glanced at the paper and said, "Nonsense," and ripped it in two.

"Oh, Max.. is it true! And you didn't even invite us!" Mrs. Evans was too busy trying not to cry to do more than glance at it. Mr. Evans studied the marriage paper carefully, a small smile playing around the corners of his lips. He was a lawyer, marriage was a contract, and contracts were made to be broken. Especially this one..

"What I don't understand," Jeff Parker said, "is how did you two go from avoiding each other, not even dating, and hardly knowing one another... to suddenly running off and getting married? I mean, is it just me," he blurted out, "or did I miss something here?"

"I'm sorry, Daddy.. It's complicated."

"But Lizzie... I thought you were dating Kyle."

"Broke up with him when Max came along," the Sheriff volunteered.

Max's dad said, "I'm not sure I even know this girl! Have we even met her before?"

"Oh, yes, dear... She was the girl who got into the car accident with Max," Mrs. Evans said with a sniffle. "I met her in the hospital."

"Yes... she and Max do seem to get into a lot of trouble in cars lately. But I think I can take care of that-Max, you are grounded. Obviously, you are not responsible enough to have access to a car..."

"But Dad! How am I supposed to get to school without Bob?" Max cried.

"Bob?" Liz asked.

"Oh.. it's a family nickname for the Jeep," Max said sheepishly, and shrugged.

"Oh... Bob."

"Isabel can give you a ride...IF she feels like it... Although after all the worry you put your sister through, she might not want to. Or you can walk... I hear it's good exercise. I'll want your keys. Oh, and my gasoline card, too."

Well, thought Max, I expected to be punished. Dad didn't disappoint.

"Lizzie... You're so smart... like your Mom and like Grandma Claudia. Don't throw all that promise away for some small town guy like me... A guy missing a few brain cells from one hit too many off the wrong peace pipe.."

"Max doesn't do drugs, Dad. And besides... Grandma Claudia approves - She said Max is my soul mate."

"That damn old bitch is still meddling, even from her grave," Mrs. Parker snapped bitterly.

Mr. Parker turned to her and said, "I'd appreciate it if you show some respect for my mother!"

"And anyway, I do plan to finish school.. and go on and study molecular biology, and have a career... and maybe a family. I just want Max to be with me... forever... when I do. I love him..." she said, looking at Max. He took her hand.

"Liz, listen to me," her mother said, "Don't throw your life away like I did. Don't fall for some good-looking idealist with a guitar. He'll promise you that together you will change the world... And he changes it all right. Next thing you know, you're stuck living above a diner in Roswell, New Mexico, selling space burgers to crazy tourists!"

"But, Mom... I already do live above a restaurant in Roswell... What's your point?"

"Mr. and Mrs. Parker," Max said, clearing his throat, "I love your daughter. I've loved her since the moment I first saw her... back in 3rd grade. But I was always too shy to say anything."

"Max is shy," his mother agreed, to no one in particular.

"But then, when that shooting happened at the Crashdown and Liz... almost got hurt... things changed. I realized how much I cared about her-that life wouldn't be worth living without her.. And... I told her how I felt... and she started to feel the same way about me..."

"You see, Phil," Mrs. Evans said to her husband, "And you were worrying why Max wasn't dating like the other boys, and all the time, it was because he was just waiting for Liz."

"Will you please be quiet!" Mr. Evans snapped. "Let's face the facts. Fact-you are both 16, and both minors. Fact-according to what I've heard, Max was drunk when the two of you ran off, and probably drunk when you got married. He didn't know what he was doing-'diminished capacity.' Fact-minors can only marry with parental permission... and we all know that none of us granted that permission. I don't know how you got around that one, Max, but you're a bright boy. Fact-According to this so-called marriage document, there was only one witness... and I believe the state requires two. Do I need to go on? Just because you and your little girlfriend ran off, bought a couple of rings from a gumball machine, and shacked up together in some motel in Santa Fe for a night does not make you legally married, do you understand!" he thundered. "This marriage contract has more holes in it than a piece of Swiss cheese."

"We got a license!" Liz said, "The justice of the peace married us. How can it not be legal?"

"And how do you propose to support a wife," Mr. Evans went on, ignoring Liz. "From your part-time job selling UFO souvenirs to crack-pot tourists who believe in aliens! Come on, Max. Wake up! And where do you plan to live? You two certainly are not living in sin together under my roof!"

"We are not living in sin," Max said angrily, "We were legally married."

"Il-legally married," his father corrected. "I will not stand by while you throw away your life on some... teenage infatuation!"

"I love her Dad... Just like you love Mom. Being 16 doesn't make our love any less real. Can't you understand that?"

"But being 16 means you could love her today, and tomorrow you could decide you love.... baseball cards instead. You're both too young. You're thinking with your balls, Max, not your brain."

"That's out of line," Jeff Parker said, "And watch what you say about my daughter!"

"Dad! That's not fair!," Max cried, "How do you know what I think, or how I feel?"

"I was a teenage boy once."

"But you're not me. You've never been me." I'm not even really your son, Max wanted to add, but didn't. I'm not even human. You don't know the first thing about me.

The two Evans men glared at each other.

"It's time to go home, Max. There's nothing to discuss. Go get in the car."

"I have to be with Liz... She's my wife!"

"Didn't you understand? You are not legally married... at least, you won't be soon enough. I'll see to that. You can see Liz at school on Monday. Let's go..."

"No! You can't take her from me... You can't just undo things like that!" Max put his arm around Liz and she clung to him. Tears were starting to run down her face. Max was fighting back angry tears of his own.

"We are married in the eyes of God," Liz said quietly, "And by the state. And even by the Indian tribal law! How can our wedding not be valid?" she cried.

"I have a good mind to file a complaint with the state and get that Marrying Sam's license revoked," Mr. Evans said darkly.

"They were only trying to help," Liz said. "It's not their fault. They thought I was pregnant..."

An awful silence fell over the room. All eyes were on Liz.

"... which... of course, I'm not," she added hastily.

"Maybe a trip to the doctor would be a good idea for you," Mrs. Parker said. "If you're doing... this sort of thing... You should definitely see the doctor."

"Mom... I'm NOT pregnant! I just told you! Please, don't take Max away from me!"

"OK, let's calm down, now," Sheriff Valenti said. "Nobody's taking anybody away from anything. You two had a long trip, you're both tired. Probably need a hot bath, a good meal, a change of clothes. Why don't you both... go home with your folks for awhile... Give everybody time to sort things out, and figure out what's best for everyone involved. Let everybody settle down. Nobody is taking you or Max anywhere-except home to supper."

"If you love each other so much, you can wait until you turn 18," Mrs. Parker said.

"That's two years!" Max cried, as if facing a long prison term.

"It just sounds like a long time when you're young," his mother said.

"It's a long time, no matter what age you are, Mom."

"If you persist in this defiance, young man," Mr. Evans said, "I can arrange it so you and Liz can't come within 100 yards of each other." He gave Max a steely gaze.

Max looked about ready to launch himself at his father.

"Max!" Liz said, "Maybe Sheriff Valenti is right... Maybe we should go home... get cleaned up... get some rest. You'll want to see Isabel... and talk to Michael."

Max looked at her and his fear, anger, and frustration began to dissolve. "And I'm sure you and Maria will have a lot to talk about..."

"Yeh... girl talk," Liz said, smiling. "And probably Alex will want to know everything, too. Well... not everything." She blushed a little.

"So, it's settled then," Mr. Evans said.

"No, Dad, nothing is settled... But Liz is right. I'm tired... I have to see Isabel. We'd better... go home.

But Liz and I are together, now... and no one on earth can keep us apart. No one. I would rather die than be without her," he said quietly, his voice trembling with conviction.

"Nobody's dying," Sheriff Valenti said, giving the Evans' a meaning-filled look. The town didn't need any teenage suicide pacts. He hoped their parents could see that they couldn't push them too far.

"Of course you can see each other," Jeff Parker said kindly.

"Just not like husband and wife," Mrs. Parker added. "Let's go, Liz. We have customers waiting."

"Why don't you folks go ahead and open up your cars. I want to have another word with Liz and Max before they go. They'll be right out in a minute, I promise," the Sheriff said.

Mr. Evans looked at the Sheriff in annoyance, but nodded, took his wife's arm and headed for the door. "Five minutes, Max," he said over his shoulder. "Maybe you can talk some sense into them, Sheriff," he added.

Mrs. Parker turned and walked out without a backward glance. Mr. Parker smiled apologetically and said, "I'm sorry, Lizzie, that things didn't work out for you the way you hoped. But... it's all just... so sudden. It just came out of left field." He shook his head helplessly and walked out after his wife.

Max turned to Valenti, his face angry. "If you're planning on giving us another lecture... you can save your breath."

"I just thought you two might like a chance to be alone together... to say good-bye." His cruel face suddenly softened and looked almost kind. "I'll be right outside the door... But mind you, keep your clothes on. And don't keep your folks waiting too long. They are already in a pretty bad mood."

They were in each other's arms before the door was even fully closed, just holding each other close, hearts breaking, trying to memorize the feel of one another.

"I so totally misjudged Sheriff Valenti," Liz whispered.

"I still don't trust him... but.. he's certainly been more than all right to us," Max admitted.

"At least he treats us like people, and not dumb kids to be ordered around and dismissed," Liz said.

"Why are we wasting time talking about him? We only have a little time..." Max bent and kissed Liz's mouth-not hungrily, but tenderly, savoring her, full of sorrow. "I love you, Liz... there's nobody else for me... ever."

"When I took those marriage vows, I meant them, Max. I was the one who was sober... I knew exactly what I was doing... well, maybe not exactly. It's what I want... You're all I want." She hugged him to her, tears spilling onto his shirt.

"Shh... don't cry, Liz. We'll make it work. We didn't expect it would be easy." He rubbed his cheek against her dark hair, kissing the top of her head. "I just didn't think it would be this hard."

They heard a knock on the door. "Coming!" Max called.

"You go first, Liz. If I walk out there with you... I don't think I'll be able to let you go."

She nodded, kissed him one more time, and headed for the door. "I don't care what anybody says. I'm your wife now, Max... and nobody is going to change that. I love you..."

"Call me later... if they let you." His face looked bleak.

He waited till Valenti looked in again and said, "Well, are you coming too, or did you plan on just staying in my office?"

"Sounds tempting," he said. He held his hand out to Valenti.

The sheriff looked at him, then shook Max's hand.

"Thank you, Sheriff. I guess we both misjudged each other. I appreciate... everything you did for me and Liz."

"Things'll work out, Max... You just gotta go slow, give 'em time to get used to the idea. Give your folks a reason to trust you again. I'm sure they'll come around... Anybody with eyes can see you two are crazy about each other... Be a shame to try to break that up. There's too little love in the world already."

Max nodded. "Thanks. Unfortunately, yours seems to be the minority opinion around here," he said sadly.

Valenti put his hand on Max's shoulder and led him out into the waning light. The Parkers were gone. Max felt a stab of pain and loss.

Mr. Evans was halfway from his car, walking toward the front door. "There you are. I was beginning to wonder if you were coming..."

Max didn't say anything. He just got into the back seat. He leaned his head back and closed his eyes.

"I hope you were able to talk some sense into those two," Mr. Evans said. "I appreciate your help."

"Funny, Max just said the same thing... Like father, like son, I guess."

The older Evans' face looked troubled. "I used to think so, Sheriff. Now... I'm not sure."

"Don't be too hard on the boy. Love can do strange things."

"Puppy love, Sheriff. They'll get over it."

"I wouldn't be too sure about that, if I were you. The boy seems to know his own mind. And that Liz Parker is a bright girl. Pretty little thing, too. A boy could do worse."

Mr. Evans gave the sheriff a long look, and then turned and walked toward his car.

"I wonder if you'd be saying that if it was your son, Kyle, instead of my Max," he said, and got into his car.

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Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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