FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"Goodnight Elisabeth"
Part 10
by Anne M.
Disclaimer: I don't own Roswell or any of the characters. I have no affiliation with the WB Television Network or the author, Melinda Metz.
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
Authors Note: Langley Vineyard . . . Eternity . . .
Alex stared balefully at the incensed prisoner, no longer willing or able to hide his loathing for her presence. The very idea of someone pretending to be his Isabel was just outrageous. No one could even hope of taking her place . . . she was unique, and precious, and . . . Isabel. At least the cheap imitation had the good sense to stop defending herself with more lies.

Michael tested the security of the bonds that restrained their small insurance policy with a wary eye on Max. He could only imagine one other circumstance in which he would be this coldly furious, and that would involve Liz.

Stepping quietly around the intruder, he made his way carefully toward the man, who was devastated but unbroken. Glancing quickly at Alex, he'd never had more respect for him than he did now. Instead of going off in a random fashion that might have gotten them all killed, he possessed a quiet self-control that was no less deadly for all its restraint.

Michael: "What now, Max?"

Max: (silent for a few moments before bringing his eyes up to meet with Michael's) "One good turn deserves another."

Alex: (overhearing and joining them) "What do you mean?"

Max: "I know where Isabel is. The child, Alex, is with her."

Alex: (face paling) "What?!?!"

Max and Michael both looked askance at Alex's reaction but said nothing.

Max: "I want her out of there as soon as possible. Isabel is in a lot of pain."

Alex: (pouncing) "Why? What's wrong with her? Dammit! I knew something was wrong this morning. I never should've left her alone for a second."

Max: "C'mon, Alex. How could you know? Let's not waste a lot of time with blaming ourselves. We've got to get her back."

Michael: (putting his hand on Alex's shoulder) "Yeah, man. Don't freak out now. We need you."

Alex (closing his eyes and reaching once more for control) "What about Alex? Is he o.k.?"

Max: (questions casting shadows across his face) "I think he's fine . . . physically."

Alex: (frustrated) "What the hell is he doing there?"

Max: "It was really difficult to connect with Isabel. I'm not really sure. The obvious reason is he's been kidnapped, too. I just don't know why.

Michael: (glancing once more towards their prisoner) "Maybe it's time for some answers."

Max went still for a moment before nodding in agreement. The would-be Isabel had a lot of explaining to do.

The guys continued to hammer out the details of the rescue, as Maria got up from where she'd been sitting beside Liz and pulled her friend to her feet. Walking together quickly, they overheard the tale end of the conversation between Max and Alex and Michael.

Max: "We have to switch them . . . . "


Isabel held as tightly to Alex's hand as her throbbing head would allow, and prayed silently for Max to hurry. She could feel herself slipping towards unconsciousness with every passing second. The only thing keeping her awake was the knowledge that the small child beside her would descend into deathly fear if she left him alone. What she didn't know or was too weak to grasp at that moment was that her silent prayers weren't. The boy heard each and every one of them and added his own . . . The connection between them had never been stronger . . .


Max looked up sharply from his position, checking on the safety and location of the others. From this vantage point, everything that needed to be was visible. He, on the other hand, was not. Liz crouched down beside him, feeling very small next to his much larger frame. But, no matter how diminutive in stature she might be, she knew something inside was changing . . . growing stronger . . . making her stronger with every passing moment. She didn't even know how yet, but she could feel it, just like she could feel the presence of her unborn children inside her body. She also knew that Max had been torn into a few more pieces over the decision to bring her with him. He hated putting her in danger by bringing her here. But, he couldn't stand to leave her behind in case Tess in the guise of the widow was still lurking around. That was the one useful piece of information they had gleened from the pitiful captive that now lay completely motionless at Michael's feet. She would regain consciousness, eventually . . . but not today.

It was almost time. Max could feel the desperation from Isabel pouring through the rock wall of the tomb-like structure. Turning to Liz, Max studied her face for a moment, almost as if he was memorizing every detail. There was so much that needed to be said but there was no time to say it, so closing his eyes, and evening out his breathing, his mind opened the door to hers. Precious memories and feelings of something so much more than love flooded her mind. The moment was priceless, and she knew that someday, when all of this was over, she'd relive it in a time and place that wasn't filled with danger. She knew everything would be all right. But, even so, she couldn't help the tears that slipped between her lashes. Opening their eyes, and facing each other with souls unveiled, he had to leave her, and she had to let him go. The kiss was just the gossamer sensation of something you're never quite sure was even real. And he was gone.

He disappeared for a few moments before reappearing in front of the opening to the cave. Michael's eyes scanned the area, leaving not one square inch unseen. Maria and Alex kept their eyes trained on their prisoner, ensuring that nothing could hinder Max's progress toward that cave. After a few moments, Max disappeared inside and Liz slid quietly down the slope to join them and wait. As her feet landed solidly on the ground below, the danger of the situation crashed into her mind, and she swayed. Something was wrong. Max had only just entered the mouth of the cave and somewhere near the belly, death waited for him, salivating in anticipation . . .

Maria and Alex both caught at Liz's arms as she tried to steady herself. Michael fought against every instinct he had to keep his eyes moving and ignore whatever was happening to Liz. His mind screamed at him to give his attention to her, but Max's life depended on him not listening . . .

Maria: (frantic) "Liz! What's wrong?"

Liz said nothing but her hand reached out to clutch Maria's arm, letting her know that she'd heard her and that she was all right. As Maria and Alex looked on with panicked expressions, Liz's heartbeat slowed down to normal and then just a little slower still . . . Her vision cleared and became sharper, and everything around her seemed to slow down. Before she or anyone else knew what was going to happen, she was gone, running full out toward the cave . . . and Max.

Try as they might, no one could catch her . . . and more importantly, stop her. Michael, Alex, and Maria followed Liz into the opening about three seconds after it swallowed her image. Somehow losing sight of her was an even greater fear than having watched her running toward the cave in the first place.

Liz only heard the sound of her own pounding footsteps ringing in her ears as her eyes frantically fought the gloom inside the cave. She only needed to see one thing. One person. One face. Max.


Max crouched over Isabel with one hand on either side of her face, desperate to form a connection with her unconscious mind. Sitting back in frustration, he felt a small hand guide his to the back of her head where he immediately felt the dried blood matting her hair over the split in her skull. He spared a glance for the child, who had faced sheer terror and blinding grief with the bravest soul he'd ever known. He knew by now that his mother was likely dead, and yet he clung to Isabel's hand as if he could keep her alive just by force of will. Max thought briefly of his own son and daughter and knew he'd move this world and the next to keep them safe. Cradling Isabel's head, he began the process of repairing the fracture hoping that she would regain enough consciousness for him to completely heal her. Isabel's eyes fluttered open but no sound passed her lips. She wanted to scream in agony, but couldn't bear the noise . . .

So intent was Max as he labored over Isabel that it was several minutes before he noticed that Alex had gone completely still beside her. He tore his eyes away from his sister's face, long enough to see the wide eyed fear in the child's face that was just giving way to hopelessness and utter defeat. He didn't even have time to snap his head around to see what was happening before he heard Liz's voice . . .

Before his mind could even process that Liz was actually in the cave, Tess's form bled from the rocks in front of him as if she'd literally crawled out of the woodwork. The cruel intent in her murderous eyes was unmistakable. The towering rage in Liz's voice coupled with the sudden appearance of Tess brought Max to his feet faster than the eye could see. Isabel was beside him before he could move another step with a hand restraining him. Her eyes were finally open wide and had lost that vague look which had terrified Max for some of the longest minutes of his life. She tried to speak, but had to begin again after the first attempt went completely awry.

Isabel: (gaining strength every second) "Wait, Max. She'll be fine, but you won't if you get in the way."

Max: (looking at Isabel askance) "What do you mean?"

Isabel: "Look." (eyes shifting in the direction of the two women who had come to rest a few feet from one another)

While Max took in the situation, and warred inside himself against the instinct to protect his wife and children, Isabel quickly scooped up Alex into her arms. Her brother was good. Damn good. Her head didn't even hurt now.

As they looked on, Tess circled Liz with a look of smug satisfaction on her face. Yes, it was her face now. No more need for a disguise. No more living in the shadows. No more failure. Her mission was almost complete.

Tess: "I see you got my message."

As it became obvious that Liz wasn't going to respond, she continued, annoyed that she'd been unable to get a reaction.

Tess: "Max was never in any danger. It was a trap. I knew you'd come charging to his rescue."

Max (to Isabel and on the verge of abandoning any semblance of caution): "What the hell is happening?"

Isabel: "History . . . repeating itself. It's time."

Max (confused) "What are you talking about and how do you know that?"

Isabel: (uncharacteristically patient) "Just watch."

Liz: (righteous anger suffusing every quiet word) "I'm not afraid of you."

Tess: (shrugging) "I never did think you were all that bright."

Max had never, ever heard such a strange tone to Liz's voice before . . . maybe it was because just now she was dangerously close to defining controlled rage, and he was quite grateful he'd never experienced it before . . .

He could almost feel sorry for Tess, if she wasn't so treacherous.

Liz: (shaking with the force of emotion and then suddenly still) "We don't have to do this, Tess. There's another way."

Tess: (laughing bitterly) "Not for me."

Liz: (sadness replacing anger with the approach of the inevitable) "Why not?"

Tess: (hands spread wide) "This is all I was ever created to be. Your destruction. It's what I am. I have to serve my purpose . . . fulfill my destiny . . ."

And so said, she launched herself at Liz, fully expecting to do all of those things. Max watched horrified that he hadn't moved closer to Liz so that he could stop this, but before the emotion could even settle over his mind or heart, it changed to shock and then bewilderment.

In a flash of light that looked a lot like an exploding sun, Tess was repelled from Liz's body with the force of a canon shot. Somewhere in the back of Max's mind, he dimly thought about polar opposites and how you can't bring them together. Tess's body slumped against the granite wall, eyes wide open in stunned amazement. How?

Liz: (approaching cautiously) "Why, Tess?"

Tess: (weakly, as the last of her life drained away) "It's who . . . I . . . am . . . "

Liz: (eyes closing as a myriad of emotions washed over her) "No, it's who you were . . . "

Max and Isabel and Alex were quietly joined by Michael and Maria, and finally by a dishevelled, frantic with worry, and now relieved Alex Whitman. Everyone had seen the end of Tess's reign of terror at Liz's hands, and each one had known there was nothing they could do but watch . . . Michael had taken his life in his hands trying to restrain Maria, but in the end, she had calmed down and accepted there was nothing she could do.

Max quietly extricated himself from the small group and made his way toward *his* destiny . . .


I will be yours You will be mine Together in eternity . . .

Two days later, Alex and Isabel stood together under a clear sky, holding a small boy, while he alternately sobbed and went still in their arms. The service for his mother was performed as expediently as possible by a bone weary and heart sore leader. Liz watched her husband with varying degrees of compassion and desire that just wouldn't be quieted even now . . . She felt the helpless tears slide down her face for Max and all that he had endured, for Alex and his loss, for the woman who had died in such a heinous manner, and even for the relief that it was finally over . . .

Our hearts of love Will be entwined Together in eternity . . . Forever in eternity . . .

Maria held on to Michael and silently cried, not even trying to hide or stop the tears from falling down her face. It was just too much. The overwhelming grief for a woman she'd never even known and a boy who had stolen the heart of every single member of their small group . . . The emotion attached to the knowledge that she and Michael would never be separated again. The realization that the threat to their lives was gone. There was a long way to go yet, a lot of diplomatic work for Max to do with the remaining factions that Tess had led, but he was confident that most if not all could be brought to a peaceful existence.

As he held Maria and felt her tears inside his own soul, Michael wished he could cry today . . . he needed the release of emotion more than anything he could remember, but they wouldn't come . . . his emotions were so raw, he couldn't even begin . . . His peace would come later . . . when he could finally be alone with Maria . . .

No more tears of pain In our eyes No more tears of shame For I will be with you . . . Yes, I will be with you . . .

Alex shifted the smaller Alex to a more comfortable position in a less tired arm, and pulled Isabel closer to his side as Max approached them with an even more solemn expression than the one he'd worn previously during the service.

Max: (coming to a halt in front of them and sharing a moment of silent communication with the child before addressing the adults) "Are you sure?"

Alex: "Yes."

Isabel: (looking at Alex and grateful for his quick response. It wasn't everyday you took on a wife and a child.) "Absolutely."

Max: (studying their faces for any sign of doubt and finding none) "Alex, are you willing to live with Isabel as your mom and Alex as your dad?"

The boy stared deeply into Max's eyes and remained quiet for so long that Max began to fear he wouldn't answer at all. Finally, he looked at Isabel and with fresh tears in his eyes, he touched her hair almost reverently.

Alex: (to Isabel) "You'd be my mom?"

Isabel (swallowing with a great deal of difficulty) "Yes."

Alex: (quiet for a long moment and then earnestly) "I'll be good."

Isabel lost the battle with her emotions completely in that moment and pulled him close to her, holding the child who was her son in every way now except for the formality of the adoption. He would have been devastated to know he'd made his new mommy cry, except that the connection between them revealed more clearly than words the reason for her tears. He knew she wasn't really sad . . . not because of him.

I'll run to your arms . . . No more tears, No more pain, No more fear, No more shame, No more tears, No more pain, No more fear, No more shame . . .

Alex put his arms around the two of them and lent them his strength and support and all the love that came along with his devotion to his new family . . .

All three looked up in startled surprise a few moments later when the image of Alex's widowed mother appeared before them, smiling serenely at all their plans and the peace she had found in knowing that her son was loved and well cared for . . .

Alex: (whispering and waving sadly in spite of his new found happiness) "Bye Mommy."

Isabel watched through a haze of fresh tears, as the image raised a hand in farewell to her son and blew him a kiss.

Isabel was certain it was the first time she'd seen the widow smile . . .

The woman's eyes pierced Isabel's soul in the final moments of her appearance . . . her request was clearly understood even though no words had been spoken and no sound had been heard.

Isabel (whispering to the fading image) "I promise."

Nothing will ever come between us, when I come home . . .

I will be yours, you will be mine, forever in eternity . . .


Later that night, Michael kissed Maria gently, before lying down on his back, staring up at the canvas that provided their only shelter . . .

Maria: (sitting up on one elbow and leaning over him) "What are you thinking about?"

Michael: "What will happen when we get back to Roswell . . ."

Maria: "What do you mean?"

Michael: "Will we just go back to going steady in high school, Maria?"

Maria: (totally taken aback at the direction of his thoughts) "Of course, not."

Michael: "Care to elaborate?"

Maria: (sultry) "Yeah, as a matter of fact, I do." (sliding across him until she was stretched out over him completely)

Michael: "We can't just live together in my apartment, Maria."

Maria: (distracted by the way his mouth moved when he spoke) "Why not?"

Michael (somewhat annoyed) "Two words. Your mother."

Maria: "Michael, do you love me?"

Michael: "You know I do."

Maria: "Do you know how much I love you?"

Michael: "I think so."

Maria: "I don't, because if you did, you wouldn't be worrying about this . . ." (kissing him with little butterfly kisses all over his face)

Michael: "Then, you tell me what's going to happen . . . "

Maria: (sighing hugely at the interruption) "We're going to go back, get through high school as quickly as possible, and you're going to marry me and we're going to have ten children. How's that?"

Michael: (smiling . . . almost) "Are you asking me to marry you, Maria?"

Maria: (nonchalantly) "No. I don't really see it as asking, exactly. More like accepting a matter of inevitable fact."

Michael: (quietly) "Yes."

Maria: "Yes?!?! Yes? What is that, yes?!?! I didn't ask!"

Michael: "Did, too."

Maria: (outraged) "I did not."

Michael: (laughing now) "Yes, you did."

Maria: "That is such a gross misrepresentation of the facts . . . "

Michael silenced her quickly and effectively cutting off any further slanderous remarks on her behalf towards him in general or his character in particular . . .


Alex and Isabel tucked in their child for their very first night together. Isabel couldn't help sneaking glances at Alex. Ever since this afternoon, he looked somehow different to her. Maybe being made into a father and a husband all in one day was a bit much for anybody . . .

Isabel: "Are you okay, Alex?"

Alex: "Yeah, of course. Why?"

Isabel (shrugging) "It's just a lot to adjust to."

Alex: (taking her hand across the sleeping child) "No, it's not. Not at all. I know he's not your son, Isabel, but in some weird, cosmic way, he's part of you. I love you. I love him, too."

Isabel wiped tears away from her eyes . . . again . . . and, Alex stepped around the small bed quickly and took her in his arms. Whatever happened now, they'd face it together. The three of them . . .


Max pulled Liz close to his side and placed one hand protectively over her stomach, overwhelmed with gratitude that she was still with him and so were their children. Liz, for her part, was still worried about her husband, who seemed to be carrying the weight of not one but two worlds on his shoulders . . .

Liz: (pensively) "Max?"

Max: (burying his face in her hair) "Hmmmm?"

Liz: "Whatever happened to the fake Isabel?"

Max: (inhaling deeply and comforted by the scent that belonged only to Liz) "She's o.k. Michael woke her up and made her change back into her normal state."

Liz: "So what does she look like now?"

Max: "Are you asking me if she's green with three fingers?"

Liz: (chuckling) "No, you idiot. I just want to know it if I'm about to share her space. I'd hate to be standing right beside her and have no idea."

Max: (smiling, too) "Oh. Well, she's short with blonde hair and big blue eyes."

Liz: (exasperated) "You're kidding."

Max: (laughing now) "No. I'm not."

Liz: "What did your planet do? Mass produce the type?"

Max: (suddenly serious) "I'm sorry, Liz."

Liz: (confused) "For what?"

Max: "All of it."

Liz: (eyes narrowing and lips barely moving) "All. Of. What?"

Max: (uh-oh) "Um . . . just, you know, you being in so much danger."

Liz: "I don't recall being in any danger."

Max: "No, I don't suppose you were."

Liz: "So, you have nothing to be sorry for."

Max: "How about remembering that 18 months from now, when you're having twins."

Liz: (grinning) "Oh my God. Is that how long I'm going to be pregnant?"

Max: "Isabel, thinks so." (his mind wandered to eighteen months of a pregnant Liz and the mental images were amazingly erotic . . . )

Liz: (blowing out a breath) "Oh boy. O.k. . . . I guess. Not like I have any choice. Have you thought about what we should name them?"

Max: (chagrined) "Not really. I've been a little busy . . ."

Liz: (laughing out loud) "A little."

Max: "Have you?"

Liz: "Actually, yeah."

Max: "Well, tell me. Don't keep me in suspense . . ."

Liz: "I want to name the boy Isaac."

Max thought it over for a moment and before he could even wrap his mind around the name, the mental image of his seventeen year old son, who looked just like him slammed through his mind, and he knew.

Max: (reeling from the vision) "That's . . . perfect."

Liz: "Are you sure?"

Max: (still recovering) "Yeah. I'm sure."

They were silent for a few minutes before Max spoke again . . .

Max: "Liz?"

Liz: "Yeah?"

Max: "What about Olivia? We could call her Liv for short."

Liz rolled over to face her husband and cradle his face in her hands.

Liz: "I love that. I can just picture her . . . "

Max: (ruefully and still staggered by the thought of a 17 year old son) "I know what you mean. I love you, Liz."

Liz: (nodding her head in agreement) "I know. I love you so much, Max."

Max: "We won't be here much longer, Liz."

Liz: "I don't care."

Max: "Things will change."

Liz: (suddenly afraid) "Change how?"

Max: "We'll have to get married for real . . ."

Liz: "And this is a problem?"

Max (smiling) "No. Not for me. Your parents might be somewhat upset about it, though."

Liz: "Oh, I see. So might yours."

Max: "True."

Liz: "What then?"

Max: "I think we should just be honest with them, Liz. If we're going to get married and have kids, they're going to have to know."

Liz: (quietly) "You won't regret telling them."

Max: "I know."

Liz: "Our folks are gonna flip."

Max: "I'm hoping that the realization that we're actually alive might help me to remain so after they find out you're pregnant."

Liz: (quietly) "How long before we'll be leaving?"

Max: "I hope not more than a week."

At her stricken expression, he immediately wished he could recall the words.

Max: "That's not what I meant. I'm not in any rush to go home and give you up to your parents for any amount of time no matter how small, and it *will* *be* small."

Liz: (contemplating the future) "I'm not sure I can get into a bed without you now."

Max: (kissing her forehead) "I'm glad to hear that. Trust me, Liz. It won't be long.

And with that, he pulled her closer still, meshing their bodies together. Liz felt his body's automatic response to her and smiled to herself, loving the knowledge that she affected him so strongly.

Liz: "Is it really over Max?"

Max: (hesitantly) "Yes. For now . . . "

And with that, he set about making her forget anything else that was on her mind tonight . . . .


The peace lasted twenty years before the next outbreak of hostility intruded on their lives . . .


Part 9 | Index
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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