|"Finding Our Normal"
Disclaimer: Sadly nothing Roswell is mine!
Summary: This is a sequel to The Experiment. It was supposed to be less angsty, but the plot has overtaken me! Here are the basics: Max and Liz are back in Roswell. It’s nearing the end of their summer holidays and one (or maybe more) of the aliens from the opposing race has found them. They are also trying to conduct their relationship under the watchful eye of their parents.
Category: After Hours
Authors Note: Recap of Experiment (Post Destiny fic): An alien from their home planet (Nick) took Max, Isabel and Michael to a camp where a group of survivors from their destroyed planet stays. The aliens also brought Liz, Alex and Maria there to observe the interaction between them and the pod squad. Max and Liz exhibit a strong connection: they "feel" the other’s presence/location and share dreams. While in the camp, Max and Liz go through a bonding ceremony (alien equivalent to a wedding) and Max asks Liz to marry him when they graduate. They also make love for the first time. Nick tells them that their parents perished along with their planet and that they now have to integrate with humans to survive. He also says that the other alien race that destroyed their planet was on earth with the purpose of destroying M/M/I/T (and would also eliminate their human partners to reach their goal).
|Liz woke up to voices in the den of the apartment. She recognised her mom and dad, but the other male voice momentarily confused her.
"…was outside taking out the garbage when the guy practically ran me down. I thought he had robbed the café and ran down the street after him to see if I could see his car or something. When I came back, Nancy told me about the gun. Sheriff, you have to try and find the guy!"
Liz sat up when she heard her dad saying ‘Sheriff’.
Nancy was speaking now. "And he seemed to know Max. Liz’s boyfriend. It was really strange, Sheriff." Liz’s heart sank. Was her mother STILL suspicious of Max? "But he did save Lizzie’s life…" Nancy sounded unsure of herself.
"Yes, they love each other very much." Liz sighed in relief. ‘Thank you, Sheriff Valenti!’
Jeff sounded concerned. "There’s something else, Sheriff. These two men have been hanging around the café a lot during the summer. They seemed to be watching Liz and she seems to know them, but the whole thing was just weird to me. What if they were helping this attacker from today?"
At that, Liz jumped up and went to the den. Everybody looked up when she appeared in the door. Liz looked at the Sheriff desperately, trying to convey with her eyes that she needed to speak to him.
Jim caught on immediately. He looked at Liz’s parents. "Would you mind if I talked with Liz alone for a while? I need to get her version of the story." He took her arm and steered her down the stairs to the café. Finding the café mostly empty before the dinner crowd, he settled them both in a booth. "Tell me what happened, Liz."
Liz told him everything she knew about the afternoon. They had seen the sheriff a couple of times during the summer after their return from the camp and he had been informed about the existence of the group of survivors. But now she finally told him about her bodyguards, Max being the leader of his race, and finally about the other alien race that is seeking to destroy them all. Jim was increasingly stunned as the story unfolded before him. The magnitude of what these kids had to face was overwhelming and he felt a renewed sense of responsibility towards them. He owed Max Evans the life of his son, and he would never forget that.
Liz felt Max coming closer and hurried into the request she had wanted to make to the Sheriff. Jim looked stunned at first and then grinned. Little Liz Parker truly had spunk. He could see why Max was so smitten with her.
Liz looked to the door even before Max was opening it. "Don’t tell Max about this right now, Sheriff. I’ll talk to him later."
Max made a beeline for Liz as soon as he came through the door. Everything he heard from Nick this afternoon was threatening to overwhelm him and he needed her calming presence. He slid into the booth with Liz and leant in to kiss her, slowly rubbing his lips over hers. Their eyes were warm when they pulled apart, both of them remembering what happened earlier this afternoon.
Max was leaning in for another kiss when Jim cleared his throat, amused that the two in front of him had become completely oblivious to anyone else. He watched as they pulled apart, startled by the unexpected intrusion. Jim’s eyes narrowed as he saw Max pull his hand away from Liz’s thigh under the table. Was it his imagination or were these two becoming comfortably intimate with each other?
"Hey Sheriff. How are you?" Max’s voice was level. Frankly, he just had too much on his mind to worry about Jim Valenti seeing him kiss Liz.
"I’m fine, which is apparently more than I can say for you."
Max looked down at the table for a few moments, but when he met Valenti’s eyes, his face was full of determination. "Sheriff, I need your help with a few things." Jim just nodded, trying not to look impressed with the young man in front of him.
Liz nudged Max. "If you let me out, I’ll go get you guys something to drink." He gave her a small smile and slid out of the booth.
He held out his hand as soon as he was standing and pulled Liz out and upright. Max stopped her from moving away and turned his back on Sheriff Valenti, in effect shielding Liz from him too. Rubbing his hands over her arms and staring deep into her eyes, he asked: "Are you okay? Did you sleep a little bit?"
Liz grinned up at him. "Yes Master!" She sobered up when she saw a shadow flicker across his face. "Are you okay? You look tired and…" She caressed his jaw and felt him sigh and lean into her hand. She had wanted to add ‘worried’, but didn’t want to upset him further. She could feel his tension and wished there was something she could do to help him. So she did the only thing she could think of right now, she pressed herself against him and whispered: "I love you, Max Evans," in his ear.
Max laced his fingers with hers and held onto her hand when she backed away to go get their drinks. It reminded the Sheriff of the time at the old mine just after they had sprung Max from Pierce’s compound. He would never forget the way these two looked at each other during that terrible day. Like they were each other’s salvation. And how they couldn’t stop touching each other and how reluctantly Max had let her hand go when he told Liz to go into the mine so he could speak to the Sheriff.
Max slid back into the booth after he had watched Liz go. The seat he was in was an unfamiliar one. It faced away from the back of the café where Liz was so he couldn’t stare at Liz. He met the Sheriff’s eyes and took a deep breath. Time to be the leader of a people!
Max and Jim made plans until the dinner crowd started coming in and taking up tables close to them. They had decided that some of Nick’s men will be working for Jim as Deputies (not getting paid, so he didn’t have to explain anything to his superiors) allowing them to act as bodyguards to the teens and their loved ones without too much suspicion. Jim would also start looking into any newcomers in town, trying to find the other aliens that have apparently arrived.
When Liz came back to bring them yet another refill, the sheriff looked at them both. "I think you need to talk to your parents. It will be very difficult to keep you all safe being scattered all over town like this. You need to be in one place as much as possible."
"No! We can’t…" Max sounded agitated and Liz linked her arm through his, leaning her head on his shoulder. Max’s fear for abandonment when his parents found out what he was, was still ruling him. He never wanted to have anyone, let alone the only parents he has ever known, to look at him in fear and revulsion.
Jim saw that the subject was a touchy one for Max, so he dropped it with a final remark. "Just think about it. I have to go. Tell your parents I’ll start looking for that gunman. And you two be careful!"
Liz kept on hugging Max as the Sheriff left, wondering how she could make him see that his fears were probably unfounded. Anybody that would take in two six year-old kids and raise them as their own, would probably accept their children being ‘not human’. And there was one thing Liz was sure of, Diane Evans loved her children.
Max sighed. "I have to go. Nick asked that I meet with our people’s council tonight… Will you be okay with Tess coming back to town and working with us?" He looked at her probingly. "Because I could--."
Liz stopped him with her fingers on his mouth. "I’m fine with it, Max. You guys need her help and I," her eyes starting twinkling, "I’ll just keep you too tired to be able to do anything with her…" She giggled as Max’s eyes widened in shock. Shock that was quickly replaced by indignation. Liz kissed his mouth before he could retort. "I’m only kidding! I know you would never…" She kissed him again, softly and gently. Her wonderful, loving and loyal Max. "I have to tell you something, but you have to promise me that you won’t freak out like last time."
Looking confused, Max mumbled: "Last time?"
"Yeah, uhm…I sort of… I asked the Sheriff for details about some self-defence classes. I think I need some professional help this time…"
Liz was grinning by the time she got to her new class that night. Max had actually NOT freaked, trusting the judgement of the Sheriff. He had even dropped her off at the class on his way out of town to meet with Nick. However, she now has a training partner by the name of Marcus.
She stared around the motley group of people waiting for the instructor of the class to show up. Everybody looked nervous, making Liz smile. At least she was not the only newcomer here! Then her eye fell on a tiny blonde coming through the door. The latest arrival was gorgeous and she made quite and impression on the male population of the class. She actually looked a little like one of Liz’s favourite TV characters, Buffy. The girl looked around the class until she spotted the empty space next to Liz. She came over and smiled hesitantly at Liz. "Hi, I’m Sarah. Do you mind if I use this space?"
Liz liked her immediately. "Sure! I’m Liz." She caught Marcus’ warning frown over Sarah shoulder, but decided to ignore him. "Are you new in town? I haven’t seen you around before."
"Yeah, I just moved here with… with my boyfriend a few days ago." Sarah looked away from Liz, but not before Liz had caught her frightened look.
Liz had been involved with Max for far too long to not wonder about the new girl and her barely concealed fear. She wondered if it was a coincidence that Sarah had shown up around the same time the other alien was trying to find Max? Liz glanced at her again. Well, she LOOKED harmless enough…
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