FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"Finding Our Normal"
Part 9
by LivE
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
Rating: NC-17
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).
Isabel gripped the steering wheel of her mom’s car so tightly that her knuckles turned white. The moment she had been dreaming about and dreading at the same time has finally arrived. They were going to tell their parents who they were. Her mom and dad sat quietly in the back of the car, obviously confused and worried as to what was so important that they needed to be out of the house to discuss it. Max sat in the passenger seat, staring out the window at the passing scenery. He seemed more resigned to what was going to happen this morning and Isabel suspected that it was the work of Liz. She knew that Max had gone for a walk last night and returned around 03h00 after being dropped off by a car.

It had made up Isabel’s mind about something else. Liz needed to be at this meeting with their parents for the sake of Max. Even though he seemed outwardly calmer, she sensed her brother was still really close to losing it. His fear that the only parents he had ever known would reject him had taken on such gigantic proportions that he was barely able to think straight about the issue. So she had phoned Liz early this morning and asked her to meet them at the quarry. Liz had understood immediately and said she would be there. Isabel cast Max a sidelong glance. He had loved Liz and believed in her even before he really knew her and how right he had been about her. She had not only changed his life, but also that of Isabel and Michael.

Diane and Philip looked at each other when Isabel drove out of town. What on earth did the kids want to talk to them about? Diane had only just recovered from discovering that Max had been sleeping with Liz and now it looked like there was something even bigger that they wanted to confess. She saw how tense Max was and she worried about him. While Isabel had also been much more on edge lately, Diane was the most concerned about her reserved and aloof son who seemed to carry so much bottled up inside him.

Liz was waiting at the quarry. She had told her mother that she was going shopping with Isabel and her mom, after which she borrowed Maria’s car to make the trip. She had had very little sleep last night, thanks to her early morning rendezvous with Max. He had finally told her about his conversation with his mother, about them, and Liz had blushed at the thought of looking Diane Evans in the eye ever again, knowing she knew about her and Max’s physical relationship. But all her concerns about that had paled in the light of Max’s fear that his parents were going to freak when they knew what he was. So Liz had held him in her arms in the front seat of her dad’s car and told him: "Not WHAT you are, Max, WHO you are. You are still you."

And here she was again, waiting to stand at the side of the man who had become everything to her while he faced one of his biggest fears…

When they turned off the highway on the dirt road to the quarry, Max suddenly turned to Isabel and gave her a half-smile filled with relief. Isabel was puzzled until he said quietly: "Thanks for letting her come." She had forgotten completely that Max and Liz had this weird connection that lets them know where the other one was all the time!

Liz was surprised when Michael suddenly appeared at her shoulder. Looking up at him, she realized that this was very hard for him too. He was so used to not trusting anyone but Max and Isabel for most of his life that allowing anyone else that close to him was only done if he was forced into it kicking and screaming. Liz felt a rush of tenderness for this man who had not known real love for the most part of his life and was still prepared to go against his instincts to help his brother. She turned to him and hugged him, catching Michael by surprise. "Thank you. For doing this for Max."

Michael was hugging her back awkwardly when they heard the Evans’ car arrive. Michael saw the moment of vulnerability flash in Max’s eyes when he saw Liz in Michael’s arms. That Max could even for a fleeting moment wonder about what he was witnessing, made Michael even surer that they were doing the right thing. Max was starting to doubt things he knew were true. Like Liz not ever looking at another man.

Liz went over to Max immediately. She had also seen the look in his eyes and she was debating whether she should smack him for his stupidity or kiss him senseless for still getting jealous about her. She decided to keep it light when she remembered his parents were there too.

Max had other ideas. While Liz was still deciding if it would be okay to kiss him good morning in front of his mother, Max was reacting to the fear that had sliced through his body at the sight of Liz in someone else’s arms. His mind KNEW that it meant nothing but friendship, but his heart had gone into shock at the possibility that Liz might some day decide that she needed someone else… So he grabbed her to him in a desperate hug when she reached his side. He gave her quick hard kiss, one that reaffirmed his possession of her. You are mine.

Diane and Philip were even more concerned when they saw that Michael and Liz had joined them for this meeting out here in the middle of nowhere. Diane couldn’t stand the suspense anymore. "Kids, what is going on? " She looked at Max, who had finally managed to tear his eyes away from Liz, but who continued to clutch her to him. "Does this have anything to do with what we talked about last night? With you and Liz?"

Feeling Max tense up against her, Liz pressed herself closer to him and concentrated on how much she loved him. His fleeting look of relief told her that she had succeeded in diverting his attention to her feelings, even if just for a little while.

Isabel and Michael turned to Max, waiting for him to take the lead.

An eerie calm settled over Max. This moment had been inevitable ever since the Evans’ had adopted him and Izzy. Only, the present reality held so much more than he had ever anticipated. It had his best friend and brother here supporting him. It also had the girl that carried his heart in her little hands next to him, practically carrying him with her love.

Finding his mom’s gaze first, Max took a deep breath. "We… we are not from… from earth." He saw the shock and disbelief register in both his parents’ faces, but he decided to plunge ahead. "We were in a crash… the 1947 crash and we’re not…" Human. But he couldn’t say it.

"The 1947 crash? But that’s… that’s impossible!" Philip laughed nervously, wondering if the kids were making stupid jokes to get out of the real discussion. Whatever that was.

Diane, however, was watching her son. She didn’t know what to believe yet, but she had seen so many little things that she could never explain, that she couldn’t help but wonder.

"No, Dad. Its true." Isabel’s soft voice got everyone’s attention. "We WERE in the crash. Then we were in incubation pods until… until that day you found us. We’re… from another planet."

Max flinched as both his parents gasped. He watched them anxiously, waiting for any kind of response.

"When you say ‘we’, who exactly are you talking about?" Diane was looking at Liz.

Isabel answered. "We mean me, Max and Michael. Oh, and that girl Tess."

"Why didn’t you tell us before?" Diane was groping hard to find some normal subject to talk about while her mind was trying to cope with what she just heard. Her beautiful children were ALIENS!

"We didn’t want you to be in danger because of us--."

"Danger?!" Philip interrupted Max.

Max let the floodgates open. He told them about saving Liz and about Valenti and the FBI hunting them. About how Valenti finally came around and helped them and about the other aliens that they met out at the camp. The only things he left out were being captured by Pierce and tortured as well as the whole destiny and leader thing. His parents would have enough to think about without adding all that!

By the time Max was finished, Diane was crying. Her mind had trouble coping with the fact that her children had been through so much and that she had been oblivious to it all. "Max… Isabel…" But no words came out. What do you say to something like this? Her gaze fell on Max, who was still standing with Liz clutched to his side. His face was expressionless, but Diane, with the instinct of a mother, knew that he was afraid of what her reaction was going to be.

Taking two steps towards Max, Diane halted uncertainly when Max retreated involuntarily, taking Liz with him. Diane looked pleadingly first at Max, then at Liz. She watched in awe as Liz turned to Max and got his attention immediately. The way her son stared down into the face of the small girl in his arms made Diane fight back a fresh wave of tears. He looked at Liz like she was his salvation. She saw how Liz’s gentle touch to Max’s face seemed to comfort him and she was amazed when Max finally turned to her after seemingly communicating with Liz without talking. Diane’s heart was in her throat when Max started walking towards her, still keeping Liz’s hand firmly in his. He finally stopped in front of her and his eyes spoke volumes about his vulnerability. Not being able to stand this any longer, Diane wrapped her son in her arms, hugging him lovingly. The tears that have gathered in her eyes, finally spilled over when Max hugged her back with one arm. Diane caught Liz’s relieved look and she mouthed ‘thank you’ to her.

After that, pandemonium broke loose. Everyone was hugging everyone, including Michael, much to his chagrin. When they finally quieted down a bit, Diane turned to Max. "So that’s how you healed that bird? And put out the kitchen fire?"

Max nodded, smiling now. He felt as light as air, as if the weight of the world has been lifted of his shoulders.

"And how he saved me." Liz smiled up at him adoringly, making Max blush.

His father was still struggling to understand all of the information he had just heard. "How do you do it?"

"We manipulate molecular structures among other things." Seeing Philip’s confusion, Max thought he’d better just show his dad. He picked up a rock and slowly slid his hand over it. He didn’t see the surprise on his parent’s faces when his hands started glowing, but he did see their stunned fascination when he showed them that he had shaped the rock into a the form of a bird. He gave it to Liz, smiling his love at her. He turned back to his parents. "Maybe we should talk some more later." He nodded at a tearful Isabel, knowing she desperately wanted to talk with her mom. "Why don’t you guys go on home. I will go with Liz and Michael."

Diane went over to Max and hugged him again. "I love you. I always will, no matter what." She saw the tears shimmer in his eyes and knew she did the right thing. He had needed to hear her say that. She turned to Liz and pulled her into an embrace too. "Thank you for loving him. It means a lot to me to see him so happy." She was rewarded with one of Liz’s brilliant smiles. It was easy to see why Max thought she was the most beautiful girl in the world.

They were all on their way to the two cars when Nick suddenly appeared. Diane and Philip moved closer to their kids protectively when they saw how the teens froze at his presence. They also noticed how Nick aimed his request almost deferentially to Max.

"We have found one of them. What do you want us to do?"

Diane and Philip were amazed. Obviously their kids have not told them the whole story yet!

Part 8 | Index | Part 10
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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