FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"Exploring Avenues"
Part 40
by Mary N
Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
Tess was sitting on her bed with her knees pulled snugly up to her chest. The side of her face resting against her knees as she stared out the window at the dark sky. She was trying to block out the sound of Kyle's voice coming though her door. Relief never came until after she'd heard Maria telling Kyle to go downstairs, as well as something about giving her sometime to cool off.

Shortly after she heard another voice coming through the door, it was Liz's. "Tess, Maria has personally escorted Kyle down stairs and given him orders to get into his car and stay there until we get to Elida. Do you think it would be okay if I came in so we could talk for a minute?"

Tess slowly climbed off her bed and moved to the door, unlocking it, then swinging it open for Liz. Without saying a ward, she turned and returned to the edge of her bed from where she watched Liz hesitantly stepped in and closed the door behind her.

"Tess, I know you must be feeling pretty hurt and angry right now. To start, Michael should have kept his big mouth shut. I know how it feels to have everyone teasing you because, well you know. Not to defend Kyle, because he really did screw up. But I really don't think he meant to hurt you. Unfortunately he didn't think before he opened his own big mouth. You should see him right now, he knows he messed up, he's really scared he's blown it with you."

"Liz, why did you really come up to talk to me? Is it because you're worried I'm going to start pursuing Max again if I'm not with Kyle? If that's it, then don't bother. I've come to believe that you and Max were telling me the truth about your flashes, and in a little while I have a feeling you'll have all the proof you need."

"Honestly, that's not it. I wanted to talk to you because I'm concerned about you."

"Why would you be worried about me? It's not like we're friends or anything, if you really wanted to be honest you would admit that you don't even like me."

"I never said I didn't like you. I don't really know anything about you. All I know is you were doing what you thought you had to do and caused us all a lot of pain. However, I don't blame you for all of that. You only did what Nesado had lead you to believe you had to do. I want to change that." Liz could see how what she said shocked Tess, and she really couldn't blame her for her reaction. She was surprised herself. "Don't you think it's time for us to put the past behind us, and move on? I know it may not be easy at first, but I hope that we will be able to become friends."

Liz sits on the bed beside Tess and focuses on trying to make her feel as comfortable as possible. "The way I see it, you, me, Max, all eight in our group need to be able to trust each other. And more than that, we need to be able to turn to each other for support in the good times as well as when times get tough."

"When I look at you, I see the girl from the flashes Max and I shared. The one Max played with as a child, and trusted and loved in his last life. You were both robbed of sharing that same connection in this life, you more than him. He was fortunate to have Isabel, buy you, you had no one."

"The thing is, it doesn't have to be that way now. Granted we can't turn back the clock, but we can make things right now. It can be like it was when Michael and Isabel joined you and Max in your last lives. You four found a special connection, a connection like the one I've enjoyed with them, Maria, and Alex for the last year. I believe you and Kyle can be apart of that. Kyle has already started to fit in, sure he's still struggling with all the voodoo, hocus-pocus, alien stuff, but he'll get used to it just as Maria, Alex and I have."

"You, on the other hand are still so much of an outsider. You're having a harder time because the group is having a hard time getting over your active pursuit of Max. They all know how that has hurt both me and Max. It's going to take them sometime to put it behind them. That's where I come in. I they see that I can put it behind me, and you can do the same, well then I think they will as well. So what do you say? Are you willing to give it a try and move past all of this and try to be friends?"

While listening to everything, Liz was saying, Tess maintained a cryptic expression until the end. A small, but a genuine smile appeared on Tess's face. "I think I would like that."

"Good, with that settled, I suggest we head on out of here and go find ourselves an orb." Liz led the way to the door, before opening it, she turned back to Tess. "Do you want to ride with Kyle? Because if you don't that works. Maria said she wanted Michael to suffer for his part in what happened earlier and Isabel wants to ride with the guys. She was really vague, but said something about finding out what Kyle won in some bet Alex, Kyle, and Michael made." *~*~*~*~* Nesado woke up to the sound of Max's jeep coming alive. He knew it had to be sometime either really late, or really early depending on how one would look at it, because it was still so dark out. He glanced down at his watch and realized it was about ten after four. He couldn't help but wonder where they were all heading at this hour. He waited till the reached the end of the street and started his own car. Leaving the head lights off, he followed the Jeep and the convertible out of town till they reached seventy north. Once on the hi-way he laid back a bit and turned on his lights. He was sure even though the traffic was light, he wouldn't have to worry about them suspecting that he was following them. ~*~*~*~*~ "If one of you guys don't tell me about what Kyle won in this bet of yours, so help me, I will make you regret it."

Michael and Kyle exchanged quick glances, then looked back at Alex. They both had a feeling if anyone was going to crack and tell Isabel about their agreement it would be Alex. He was the only one of them that really had anything to lose at this point. Michael was already getting the cold shoulder from Maria, and Tess had turned down right frigid toward Kyle. No it looked like either one of them told Isabel or Alex would be getting the same kind of treatment.

Alex felt stuck, if he told Isabel about his and Michael's agreement, he would lose the trust of the guys. They would doubt his ability to keep a secret. If he didn't, he'd be in the same boat as Michael and Kyle when it came to the woman of his desires. "I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place on this guys. If this going to become a pattern around here, I don't want any part of it." Alex let out a loud sigh as he turned to Isabel. "Sorry Issy, I can't betray by comrades here. It's got to be Kyle choice. However, Kyle, if I were you, I would tell her. It wouldn't hurt to have a woman's point of view on this, not to mention Isabel's help."

Kyle looked in the review mirror at Alex, he couldn't believe that he was even suggesting bringing Isabel in on this. "Are you crazy Alex? If she even had an idea what we are up to, who's to say she won't turn around and tell, someone else?"

"I hate to admit it Kyle, but I think Alex is right about this. Isabel would be the ideal choice to help us out. I'm sure she could come up with some ideas that we would never have thought about."

Kyle was really skeptical about trusting Isabel with his plan. Not that he really had one. The key to everything was he and Tess being alone together. Last night had proved that she was as attracted to him has he was to her. If Tess were to find out, he was planning to fabricated reasons for them to be alone together, it would never work. If that were to happen, what chance would he have to win her back? He turned to face Michael, with a hopeful expression. He could see how having Isabel on his side could work in his advantage as well. "Do you really think she'd be willing to help? More importantly, that she wouldn't tell anyone what I was up too?"

"Who's to say? However, I'd almost bet that she would want this to workout for the same reason Alex and I do. Nothing personal, but we all want to see Tess out of Max's hair for good. And if the best way to insure that is to help you two get together, than it works out best for everyone involved, right?"

"Excuse me? Did you just say what I think you did? You're going to help Kyle with his and Tess's relationship?" Suddenly Isabel burst into a fit of laughter. The mere idea of Michael helping anyone with their love life was just too funny not to.

"Shut up Isabel, I don't see what you find so funny about that?" Michael was growing more annoyed by the minute as Isabel started laughing even harder, and Alex and Kyle joined in as well.

"Oh come on Michael, it's funny. When have you ever been good at giving advise about relationships? You've been going to Max for advice, and even then you some how manage to screw it up. You and Maria can't even go an hour, in the same room, without yelling at each other about something stupid. The only way you could help Kyle is if he did the opposite of everything you told him to do."

"Bite me!" Michael barked before he crossed his arms over his chest and turn back in his seat staring out the front window.

"Whatever Michael. You know I'm right, and you just don't want to admit it."

Alex was so glad to see that argument come to an end. Maybe now that could get back to the subject at hand. "Isabel, will you or won't you help Kyle make amends with Tess?" Isabel sat there quietly staring out the window thinking. It wasn't until Alex asked her again that she turned her attention back to Kyle. "Well, will you or won't you?"

"Fine, but under one condition."

Kyle glanced over his shoulder trying to gage Isabel's expression. "And what would that be?"

"You learn to keep your mouth in check from now on. I swear if I'm going to help you work things out with Tess, and then you turn around and blow it again with another egotistical sexist statement like the one you said this morning, I'll personally make sure you never get the chance to do it again. Do you hear me?"

As they continued their trip, the four of them laid out a plan of action. Nothing specific because in many ways they would have to wing it. But Kyle agreed to do something special to show Tess that he was sorry for how he'd screwed up that morning. And from there out, they would see that Tess would have to spend lots of time alone with Kyle. If they'd known what was happening in the Jeep, they would have realized their first opportunity to put Tess and Kyle together was rapidly approaching. *** Liz couldn't believe how easy it had been to get Maria and Tess talking to each other. It had been as simple as bring up the date she had with Kyle last summer when he'd gotten drunk and then proceeded to get sick. Mentioning that one date, lead into a whole gripe session about how inconsiderate some guys could be. Before long, all Liz had to do was sit back and let Maria and Tess entertain each other. Which freed her up to do what she really wanted to do, which of course was to turn her attention to Max.

While talking to the girls in the back seat, she's turned herself to face them best she could and stay buckled. With that no longer necessary she turned to face the gorgeous dark haired, dark- eyed man beside her. Doing so, she caught him looking at her out of the corner of his eye while he had a smile of pride on his face. "What are you thinking about Max?"

"You." He answered simply. He was proud of the way Liz had so easily accomplished what he would have considered the impossible.

Not wanting to draw Maria or Tess away from their current conversation, she shifted a little closer to him. "What about me?"

He reached for on of her hands and brought it up to his lips, kissing the palm of her hand. "You never cease to amaze me Liz Parker." With a nudge of his head, he motions to the girls in the back seat. "Only you could have come up with a way to get those two talking civilly to each other. I only see one problem."

She glanced behind her to see if she could tell what he's referring to, then returned a questioning stare at him. "What problem?" As she waited for his answer, she noticed he was trying to look serious, but there was a hint of a smile on his lips and his eyes were lit up with mirth. Here he had her worried of a second, but now she knew he was just giving her a hard time. Instead of spoiling his fun, she decided to play along and let him have his fun. "What problem is that?"

Turning his attention from the road to look directly in her eyes, he answered with a note of humor the matched the merriment in his eyes. "You've got those two so worked up, I wouldn't want to be in Michael or Kyle shoes when we get to Elida."

Liz smiled to herself, and looked back at Maria and Tess catching just enough of their conversation to realize they were still going strong. However, she picked up on a slight change in their conversation. Their voice where no longer carrying the note of anger it had when they first started this trip, instead she heard how the fringe on the edge of laughter. *** From the corner of his eye, Max watched as Liz glanced back at Maria and Tess then returned her gaze to him. Recognizing the playful look on her face, which he was sure mirrored that of his own, made him start to wonder what she had up her sleeve. Within seconds she'd leaned in closer to his side and was moving her small hand slowly up and down his outer thigh and he heard her speaking in a sultry tone. "Oh I don't know Max, I can think of one reason why being in Michael and Kyle's shoes could be a good thing. That is if they play it right."

He turned his head to look her straight in the eye questioningly. As far as he was concerned, there could be nothing good about having a fight with Liz. If they were fighting there would be no way she would be touching him like she was and stirring the feelings she was currently bringing to a rapid boiling point. With a raised eyebrow, he asked, "Really, and what would that be?"

"Obviously Maria and Tess are still crazy about Michael and Kyle. Now that they have had time to cool off and do a bit of venting, all Michael and Kyle would have to do is apologize, and then. . . ."

"And then what?"

"You know what they say, making up can be so much fun. And in Michael's case, he has an extra advantage."

"What do you mean?"

"Did you forget how Maria feels about cemeteries? I have a feeling she'll be clinging to Michael in no time. After all she'll want to cling to someone she feels safe with."

"I see your point, Michael made her feel safe when they went to the cemetery back in Roswell." Max felt Liz's hand shift from his outer thigh to the upper most part of his inner thigh and nearly came out of his seat. He was completely surprised by her actions, it wasn't like Liz to act this way around the other people. To stop any further progression of her hand, he grabbed hold of it.

In an attempt to figure out exactly what she was up to, he turned his head completely toward her and away from the road. He had to look back quickly, or he would never have been able to. He was suddenly harder than he had been, it was if someone had just turned on the light, he needed to touch her. It wasn't anything she was doing per say, it was just the sight of her.

"You feel it to, don't you Max. It's like someone shook up a can of pop and the pressure has built up to the point that it's ready to explode." Liz was sure Max was feeling the same thing she was. One moment she'd been having fun just joking around with him, and the next she felt this sudden flux in her desire to have him. The only thing keeping her in her seat and out of his lap was the fact that he was driving, and the knowledge that Maria and Tess were in the back seat. The only problem with that, was her need for Max was continuing to grow, and she was rapidly approaching a point where she no longer cared who was watching them.

Max was experiencing the same need to kiss, touch, completely embed himself in Liz, and it was driving him to the brink of insanity. He tried to think of anything other than his need for Liz, but it wasn't working. It was as if an outside force wouldn't let him. A light went off in Max's head, an outside force, the orb. He quickly pulled to the side of the road, jumped out of the jeep, and made his way around to Liz's side. Their lips joined in a scalding kiss of epic proportion as their hands move freely about each others body. *** Kyle was caught off guard by the sudden swiver of the Jeep. Unable to pull over safely behind it, he pulled to the side after passing. It took him a reasonable amount of space to bring his car to a stop, after doing so, he threw his car into reverse and backed up, closing the space between the two vehicles. Once they were stopped, Michael was out of the car yelling at Max as he stormed back to the Jeep. "For Pete's sake Maxwell, are you trying to get us all killed or something. You could have at least signaled." He stopped in his tracks abruptly and felt someone bump into his back, nearly pushing him off balance. His temper had elevated too new heights when he saw Max and Liz engaged in a heated embrace.

Tess and Maria were staring at the Max and Liz with their mouths hanging open. They were shocked by the sudden stop as well as by the sudden display of affection between the lovers.

Isabel, Alex and Kyle had quickly followed Michael from the car, and if not for Alex's quick reflexes Isabel would have ended-up on the ground. Michael stopped so quickly that she didn't have time to avert colliding into his back. She'd lost her balance and luckily fell back against Alex. When steady on her feet once again, she thanked him and they joined their gawking friends.

Max could feel that the orb had suddenly gone into over drive, and suspected that it was trying to tell them something. He'd rushed around the jeep and pulled Liz into his arms taking her mouth urgently. Almost immediately they were both bombarded with the same vision of the orbs location, but this time there was more. They saw a small dirt road leading away from the highway. The road lead to a poorly maintained cemetery with and dilapidated building beside it.

The sound of their friends angry voices ended their kiss and the vision as well. "What is it with you two, can't you even keep your hands off of each other for a lousy one hour . . . ?" Michael had been screaming, but abruptly stopped when he noticed that everywhere Max was touching Liz, she was glowing.

Even though the glowing aspect of what was happening intrigued Tess, it wasn't what she was concerned with the most. "You had another flash, didn't you!?"

Everyone looked at Tess, then turned back to Max waiting for his answer. "Yes, it was the weirdest thing. It was the same series of flashes as before, but this time there was more."

To clarify, Liz added, "Right, like someone just traveled where we are going, and then showed it back to us."

"What I want to know is way you stopped like that, and started kissing in the first place, and what's with the glowing." Alex was more interested in what brought on this sudden need to make-out.

After the kiss Max and Liz hadn't even thought about what they had done in order to receive the flash, only on the things they had seen. With their sudden need for physical contact pointed out to them they realized just how out of control that kiss had been. One of his hands was holding her upper arm, while the other hand was still up under the front of her shirt cupping her breast, while his shirt had been ripped open exposing his chest. He removed his hand allowing Liz to straighten her shirt, as he pulled his closed. Liz then buried her face against his chest trying to hide her extremely very flushed faces leaving it up to Max to try and explain.

"Uh . . . we . . . uh. The best I can describe it is to say that the orb made us need to connect. Don't ask me to describe it further, because right now I just can't. Tess, do you mind riding with Kyle, I need Michael to dive right now. Liz and I need to watch for this dirt road. We don't want to miss the turn off."

"Sure, no problem." Tess answered and made her way to Kyle's convertible where she climbed into the back seat.

Part 39 | Index | Part 41
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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