FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
Part 25
by Mama Dee
Disclaimer: Love 'em and leave 'em 'cause they don't belong to me. That honour belongs to the WB.
Summary: The kids take off for Mexico to continue their adventure.
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
Authors Note: This is the final installment of the trilogy.......please see Fantasies (part 1) and Realities ( part 2). I had to move the geological location of some sites for literary purposes.
One last big trip was planned at week's end to visit the Carlsbad Caverns. This time, all 31 were going to accompany one another. The bus was rehired for Saturday and they all met at the Hotel to leave by 9:00 a.m. They dressed appropriately for the cooler weather. Max had called Charlie Grimes at Balam's request to arrange a meeting. Unfortunately, poor Charlie was in the hospital. He had come down with pneumonia and it was expected that he would require a long period of recuperation.

Balam was very sad to hear this and hoped that he would recover fully. Max said they could probably go and see him anyway, since he would like to check up on his condition. He had a fondness for the old codger and wouldn't want to see him suffer unnecessarily. He would just tell his parents and Brody that they had met him on their trip to Carlsbad in the fall and had heard about his illness and wanted to pay him a visit. Liz would accompany them.

They were dropped off at the hospital and Balam said he would go with them to meet the old man. He told them that he'd heard some interesting stories about him and was curious to meet him. They said they'd catch up with them later. All three exited the bus and entered the hospital lobby. They enquired of his room number and ascended in the elevator to the third floor. It wasn't regular visiting hours but they made the excuse that they were from out of town and asked if they might allow them to visit for a short while.

Permission was granted and the three made their way down the hall to Charlie's room. They were surprised to see Miss Emily sitting by his bedside and she looked up and smiled as she saw them approach. She asked about their condition, concern etched on her wrinkled face. They told her what happened and she asked for their friends. They assured her that they were all recovering nicely. Max introduced Balam to her and he shook her hand graciously.

Charlie stirred in the bed and he cracked open his eyes to see what the chatter was all about. Liz looked down on him smiling, and he immediately beamed with pleasure at seeing her.

"Well, pretty lady," he rasped. "Fancy meetin' yer here."

She held his hand and he gripped it with his grizzled old hand. "Hi Charlie, we heard about you being sick and we thought we'd come for a visit," she smiled.

Charlie looked at her crutches and Max in the wheelchair and he was immediately worried.

"What happened to you youngin's?" he asked, his eyebrows scrunched in a worried frown.

Max again explained what had occurred in Mexico, but reassured him of their present well being.

"Well, I'm mighty glad to hear that," he sighed, as his head sank back on the pillow.

Max introduce Balam again.

"I'm very pleased to meet you, Charlie," he extended his hand politely.

"Well, any friend of these here kids is a friend of mine," he grunted, as he stuck out his hand.

Max and Liz tried to hide their grins at Charlie's typical gruffness and Miss Emily put her head down to cover her smile.

Balam had been prepared for this earlier and he just smiled back pleasantly, nodding his head in greeting.

"So Charlie, how did this happen?" Max inquired.

"Well, young feller, I wouldn't be stuck in this here bed if it t'weren't for Miss Emily here. Never been inside a hospital befer. Too much fussin', if yer ask me," he humphed, as he started to cough.

"Now Charlie," Miss Emily interrupted, clearly agitated at his condition. She patted him on the hand until he settled down. She turned to the visitors. "He's been coughin' now fer three weeks," she frowned, " and he wouldn't see a doctor, so I had the doctor come to see him and he right away put him in here."

Liz could see Max struggling with his conscience....wanting to do something for Charlie but afraid of exposing himself. She touched him on the shoulder and nodded her head as if to say, "later."

Miss Emily got up from her chair. "Well, if you folks are gonna stay fer awhile, I think I'll visit my sister down on the second floor. Drop by the house later,' she winked," fer some sticky biskits."

"Thanks, Miss Emily," Liz grinned, as she gave her a hug. Miss Emily bent down to hug Max.

"You take care now," she smiled through sparkling eyes.

"See you later, Miss Emily," Max said, as he and Liz waved goodbye to her.


"Charlie, do you think you're up to talking a bit with Balam?" Max asked, when Miss Emily left. "He's from Mexico and he's Mayan. He'd like to ask you some questions about the cave you showed us," Max said.

"So yer one o' them Injuns, 're ya?" he asked. "And I s'pose yer want to hear all 'bout yer ancestors?" he squinted at him. "Well, like I told the youngin's here, my granpappy tol' me the story an' I'm jest repeatin' what he tol' me. I cain't tell yer much more'n that. Cept'n his great, great, great granpappy found some Maya artifacts in this cave, right 'bout eighteen hundred and naught," he nodded matter of factly.

"He was a prospector, an' he'd been followin' the river down b'low. He was settin' on the opp'site bank when a glow caught his eye from up 'bove. He climbed the bank and went inside the cave and found these ol' tools and bowls on the floor. He scooped them up an' put 'em in his pack."

"When he got back to Otis, he giv'em to his wife and she used 'em in her kitchen. They was good strong bowls and they came in handy. Well, they was kept in the family all them years an' roun' 'bout 1925, this fancy feller from the University in El Paso comes by. He sees them bowls an' he goes nuts. He asks my granpappy where he got 'un an' he tol' 'im the story. This feller offers him a whole packet o'money for 'un an' since times was hard, my granpappy took the money."

"Funny thing is, when he tol' my granpappy what they were, he don' laugh in his face. He never heard o' the Maya tribe befer an he thought this feller was off his rocker. Then, a real tragedy took place. The train that feller was travelin' on, went off the tracks. They was all killed an' that was the last we heard o' the whole story. I never gave it much thought after my granpappy tol' me the story until that young feller, who was a dead ringer for young Max here, asked me to take him up into the mountains an' show 'im the cave."

Balam sat down on the chair, flabbergasted at the story. Such a strange turn of events.....a discovery that could have been made over 75 years ago, all for the mere fate of a train wreck! Truth was stranger than fiction, he thought ironically.


They sat with Charlie for a while longer and then got up to leave as he began to nod off. Max hesitated as he heard the poor old guy wheezing so badly and then he made up his mind. He glanced at Liz and she nodded her approval. She went over to the door to stand guard and then Max wheeled himself closer to the bed and laid his hand on Charlie's chest. It began to glow as Max concentrated all his strength on healing his lungs. He grimaced with the effort and it was particularly hard on him since he was still recovering himself. Finally, he felt it working and he removed his hand.

Charlie was sleeping soundly, now, with no hint of rasping in his chest. Balam looked at Max in wonder as he realized what had just happened. Max looked embarrassed and lowered his eyes as Balam touched his shoulder in recognition. Then Liz opened the door and they left the room quickly, escaping from the inevitable questions that would follow. They headed outdoors and Max rested in the sunshine trying to regain his strength.

Of course, there would be all kinds of quesions from the hospital staff and the word *miracle* would be used several times, especially when they saw the silver handprint that remained, but it was worth it to Max. He couldn't bare to see anyone suffer, especially anyone close to him, and he did whatever he could, whenever he was able, to relieve the suffering.

They decided to get a cab to the Caverns to meet their companions. They were able to locate a van service so that Max and Liz could get their crutches and wheelchair aboard and within 45 minutes they were waiting in the lobby for the rest of the group. They had them paged and soon Brody appeared to lead them down into the cavern. Max told them that Charlie was feeling much better, as he winked at his friends, who knew immediately what he was talking about.

Michael looked a little perturbed as usual, but Maria gave his arm a tweak and he settled down. They were on a different tour this time, one that included guides. Their friends thought that Max wouldn't need a reminder of their last trip here, and he was grateful for their thoughtfulness. After the tour ended, they decided to go outside for some fresh air and sunshine.

It was getting close to lunch time and the younger kids were getting restless, so they decided to head to a park area so that they could burn off some of their excess energy. There was a canteen and snack bar located on the park grounds, so they ordered some food and sat at the picnic tables to eat. It had warmed up considerably and it was quite pleasant sitting outdoors.

Max managed to round up the gang and give them a brief rundown on what Charlie had told them. Kyle whistled as he heard the unbelievable tale and they were all amazed at the turn of events. No wonder there was never any reference to Maya habitation in New Mexico. The evidence had disappeared long ago.

And what was even more amazing, was that, in perhaps another hundred years from now, when the broken shards of the bowls were discovered by the site of the old train wreck, there would be a new uproar about the Maya living in western Texas so many thousands of years ago! The irony was astounding.

One could even extrapolate by saying that the tools and bowls that Charlie's ancestor found in the cave, may have been left there by some earlier traveller, and not necessarily a Mayan. Their only piece of tangible proof that it was occupied by an alien presence, was the phenomenal exhibition that took place right before their eyes. And if they were correct in assuming the connection between their race and the Maya, then they had to believe that the bowls belonged to them and that they had lived there.


They spent the remainder of the afternoon exploring outside. Everyone seemed to have had their fill of caves and they were glad to be able to spend their time in the sunshine. They scoured the many souvenir shops and toured the canyons. By mid-afternoon, they were all getting a little tired and returned to the bus to head back to Roswell.

They dropped off their visitors at the hotel and boarded their cars that they'd left in the parking lot.

"Max, sweetie, you look a little pale. Was this trip too much for you today?" his Mom asked with concern, as they drove home.

"No, mom, I'm okay really. I guess I'm just a little tired," he acknowledged, as he yawned. "I think I'll take a nap when we get home," he stated.

"Yes, I think that would be a great idea," his Mom agreed, as she glanced worriedly at Philip."I'll bring your dinner up to you later," she decided.

"No Mom," Max insisted. "I'm not an invalid," he sighed.

"Max! Look at you! If you're not an invalid, I don't know who is!" she exclaimed. "Now, you are going to listen to your mother, young man, and you are staying in your bed for the rest of the evening and I don't want to hear any more about it!" she finished with a flourish.

"But Mom, Liz and I........"

"Max!" she cut him off. "What did I just say?!"

Isabel glanced over at her brother and couldn't suppress the wide grin on her face. Max stuck out his tongue at her and screwed up his face. Then she just laughed out loud. He slumped in the seat, pissed off at the juvenile way in which he was being treated. His Dad looked at him in the rear view mirror as he grinned at him and shrugged his shoulders. Max knew he had no allies in this camp. When his Mom spoke up, her word was the law and even his Dad had to obey.

Diane turned around in her seat. "If Liz would like to come over to our house for a nice quiet visit after you've rested, then I would be only too happy to see her," she added as a peace offering.

Max looked at her in consternation but nodded in agreement. At least she would let him see Liz, he thought angrily. "If she only knew the danger we put themselves in on a daily basis, she wouldn't be making such ridiculous demands," he fumed to himself.

"Max, dear, sit up straight please. You know how I hate to see you slouch," she reminded him.

"My God," he thought. "Is this crap on Max day?!" he frowned, as he sat straighter in his seat.

By this time, Isabel was shaking with silent laughter as she stared out the window. Soon, their car pulled up into their driveway and they all got out. Philip helped Max get seated in the wheelchair and pushed him inside. Max wouldn't admit it, but healing Charlie today had seriously depleted his already weakened condition. He didn't protest as his Dad helped him out of his chair and sat him on the bed. He lay down, sighing as his head hit the pillow. Philip pulled his comforter over him and he was already asleep before his Dad closed the door.

"How is he?" Diane asked as Philip entered the kitchen.

"He's sleeping," Philip smiled, as he came up behind his wife to hug her waist. "You were right, you know. This was too much for him today. He practically collapsed on the bed," he sighed.

"He'll be alright," she patted his hand. "He just overdid it today. It might be a good idea, though, if he takes a few more days before he returns to school. He seems to have been under a lot of stress lately. And that accident in Mexico didn't help any."

"Well, let's see how things go over the next few days. He is almost eighteen, you know. We can't baby him forever."

"I know," Diane admitted. "It's just that we've had them for such a short time. I can't bear to see Max and Isabel grow up so fast."

"Yeah, I know," Philip agreed. "But their not going anywhere for awhile yet," he reminded her.


Max slept for three hours. When he woke up he hopped out of bed and straight to the bathroom. He looked in the mirror after he had relieved himself and was shocked at his reflection. He had dark circles under his eyes and he was still quite pale. He felt slightly nauseous and leaned over the sink as a wave of dizziness hit him. It soon passed and he splashed some water on his face. After he dried off, he hopped back to his room and collapsed on his bed.

Diane had heard him and came in to check on him.

"Max, sweetie, are you okay?" she asked worriedly.

"Yeah, I guess," he nodded weakly.

"I made some soup. How about I bring you some?"

"Yeah, that would be great, Mom. Thanks," he replied, as he smiled weakly at her.

"Oh, by the way. Liz called and I told her you were sleeping. I said you'd give her a call when you woke up."

"Thanks Mom," Max said, reaching for his phone. He dialed Liz's number and she answered on the second ring.

"Hi Max," she said excitedly. "How are you feeling? Your Mom said you were really tired when you got home. I was so worried about you," she whispered.

"I'm okay, Babe," he reassured her. "Just a little wacked out, that's all. Are you coming over tonight?" he asked hopefully.

"I don't know. Maybe I should let you rest a bit."

"No, please. I want to see you, " he pleaded.

"Okay, I'll be over in an hour, is that alright?"

"Yeah, that'd be great. I feel better already," he admitted.

Part 24 | Index | Part 26
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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