FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"Growing Up, Growing Apart, and Falling in Love"
Part 16
by Dee
Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
"Hello?" Tess said groggily, jarred awake by the ringing of the phone at, she glanced over at the digital clock beside her bed, 3:27 in the morning.

"Put Max on," Maria ordered as she sped down the highway, holding her cell phone in one hand and guiding the steering wheel in the other. In the passenger's seat Liz was in the grips of another contraction.

"Who is this?" Tess demanded, shaking off the last vestiges of sleep and sitting upright. She tried to be careful not to disturb Max, but he began to stir beside her anyway.

"Tess, this is Maria DeLuca. Put Max on the phone!"

"Are you crazy?" Tess said, ignoring Maria's order and lowering her voice to a bare whisper, "Maria, it's three o'clock in the morning! People are trying to sleep, including Max! So you can just-"

"Who is that," Max asked as he came awake, "Did you just say Maria?" Why would Maria be calling him at three o'clock in the morning. How would she even have the number unless. . . Max didn't wait for Tess' reply but rolled over and grabbed the phone from her fingers. "Maria, what's going on?"

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Max was striding purposefully through the corridors of Roswell General Hospital twenty minutes later. Tess had to half run, half-jog to keep up with him.

"Max! Slow down!"

He didn't slow down. Max had only one thing on his mind. Liz. She was three weeks early. She wasn't supposed to be in labor now. What if something was wrong with her, wrong with the baby? Max's heart raced with a frantic fear that caused his breath to feel as if it were being squeezed from his lungs. What had made matters worse was that Tess had insisted on coming with him. He didn't want her there. And it didn't make any sense that she would want to be there considering they hadn't been on speaking terms for a few weeks.

It had all started with the cease and desist of their sex life and had steadily progressed from there. Tess didn't buy Max's "I'm tired, I just need to rest" line. The truth was Max simply didn't want her that way anymore. For the last few weeks they had shared the same bed but that was it. Max couldn't bring himself to touch her. He and Tess pretended at having a relationship. Suddenly things between him and Tess weren't simple anymore.

When he'd been mad at Liz it had been a simple matter of Liz being unfaithful and Tess loving him. Max loved Liz, but she had cheated on him. Tess loved Max and made his happiness her priority. Liz cheating on him had been a major blow to Max's pride and his manhood. Tess and her adoration of him had given him back some of his lost dignity. At the time he and Tess had begun seeing one another Max had really needed that. But it wasn't love, at least not for him. And it wasn't enough. Not anymore. The problem was that he was afraid. Afraid to take things forward with Liz, afraid of being hurt again. The one thing Max was absolutely sure of was that Tess wouldn't, no couldn't hurt him. Not at all. Not like Liz. Liz had devastated him.

But was all that so important now, Max asked himself. Liz's life could be in jeopardy and so could the baby's! He didn't know about labor. He didn't know if it was normal for a woman to have a baby 3 weeks before her due date. All he knew that he was more frightened than he'd ever been in his life.

He continued to ignore Tess' pleas for him to slow down and rounded the corner straight for the admissions desk. "I'm looking for Elizabeth Parker." Before the receptionist could look up his information Max heard Maria call his name. He made his way over to her quickly. "Where's Liz?"

"She's dilated two centimeters. They admitted her."

"What room is she in?"

"203. I called her folks, but they won't be here for at least five hours." Max nodded, walking around Maria and heading for the elevator.

Tess grabbed his arm. He looked back at her with impatience. "What are you doing?"

"Where are you going?" she asked almost desperately.

"Liz is having the baby, Tess," Max said as if that explained everything. In his mind, it did.

It wasn't enough for Tess, however. "You're not going to stay with her, are you?"

"She's having the baby, Tess," he said again, "My baby."

"Max, please don't go to her," Tess pleaded, tears in her eyes, "I love you. I don't want to lose you."

Max looked at her and felt waves and waves of guilt. But he also felt anger. He focused on that. Liz's life could be in danger. Didn't she even care? He jerked his arm from her iron grip. "This isn't about us, Tess! Liz is in labor. She needs me now. We'll talk later."

"I can't believe you're going to her!" Tess cried.

Max stepped into the elevator, pushing the up arrow key. "That's exactly what I'm doing," he said as the elevator doors closed.

Maria watched the entire exchange with a smirk of satisfaction.

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Max rushed into Liz's hospital room frantic and out of breath. She was in bed. It was tilted at an obtuse angle and Liz was reclined back against the pillows propped behind her. Max thought he had never seen her look so beautiful. She looked so serene, her hair lying across her shoulder in a thick, shining braid. She was engrossed in the Rosie O'Donell show. At his skidding entrance, however, she glanced up in surprise.


"Are you ok?" he asked, coming towards her, "You're early. Is something wrong with the baby?" He sat down beside her on the bed, held her hand.

"No. Dr. Bolivar said she's right on time. He said he might have been a week off since I was unsure about my last cycle."

Max heaved a heavy sigh of relief. "I'm glad. Are you scared?"

"Not really. Just a little apprehensive."

"Apprehensive? Why?"

"I'm just afraid things are going to get weird during the delivery."

"Weird how?"

"Max," she confided in a low tone, "when my water broke it was glowing."

Max digested what she told him. If things got freaky it would be impossible to explain the situation away. "Well I called Michael. If push comes to shove we'll handle things. We might have to use some mind control."

"Whatever you have to do," Liz said solemnly.

She was glad he had come. Not that she had expected him not to. All the fears that had been plaguing her for the last thirty minutes receded considerably. Just his presence alone was a source of comfort to Liz. Somehow nothing could go wrong with Max around. Liz sighed with contentment. "Did you call Isabel?"

"She's on a plane headed to Roswell as we speak."

"So is Alex," Liz said, "It will be weird, the six of us together again."

That was a huge understatement, Max thought wryly, their reunion would be explosive.

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And it was. Within minutes of Michael's arrival he and Maria were bickering. There were in the middle of a heated argument when they entered Liz's hospital room. Both Max and Liz looked at them as if they'd gone crazy. Michael and Maria's insults instantly choked off in their throats.

"Hi!" they both exclaimed in unison. They had the grace to appear chagrined. For about a second and then they were back to arguing.

"Almost like three plus years didn't go by," Max muttered to Liz.

She would have giggled but she was seized by a contraction. Max's expression became immediately concerned as he watched Liz grit her teeth in pain. He rubbed her back consolingly while she gripped his free hand in a tight squeeze.

"Baby, it's gonna be ok," he whispered into her hair. The endearment slipped out. Max wasn't even aware of it. Michael and Maria noticed, however. Michael frowned. Maria smiled. Max and Liz were oblivious.

When the pain passed Liz collapsed back against the pillows, exhausted. "You don't mind that I came, do you?" Max asked as he wiped back sweaty tendrils of hair from her forehead.

"No," Liz said, panting heavily, "I'm glad you're here." She smiled at him, a pure, radiant smile of naked love and longing. "Let's have a baby."

Max kissed her forehead, smiling in return. "I love you." He didn't regret saying the words. At that moment they seemed appropriate and right. So very right.

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Liz was already in the delivery room when her parents arrived. Isabel and Alex arrived shortly after them. It was 8:43 a.m. Outside in the waiting room they could all hear Liz screaming. Isabel and Maria both cringed to hear Liz in such agony.

"Oh God, Maaaaaaax! I can't do it! I CAN'T DO IT!" Liz's face was contorted as she fought to expel their daughter. She gripped Max's hand, bearing down hard.

"Come on, Liz! Just a few more," Dr. Bolivar coached.

"You said that ten minutes ago," Liz groaned.

Dr. Bolivar flashed her a smile. "This time I mean it."

"No, no, no, no, no!" Liz chanted, shaking her head, "I can't push anymore."

"You have to push!" the doctor commanded.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" Liz pushed, feeling as if her body were being ripped in two.

"Push hard, Liz!" Max encouraged, stroking her back.

Liz glared at him in a moment of angry pain. "I'm pushing hard, dammit!"

Max wasn't perturbed by her sharp words. "Push harder!"

Liz pushed harder.

"She's almost here," Dr. Bolivar reassured, "Her head's crowning."

A moment later Liz felt a pain so intense that she screamed in agony. Max crumpled, in agony himself to witness her pain. Several times he had to stop himself from easing her with his powers. Liz felt the baby being pulled free of her body and sighed with relief. Her sigh became a grunt as she delivered the afterbirth.

Liz anxiously awaited a view of her baby. Dr. Bolivar didn't disappoint her. He laid the squalling red infant in her arms. Liz was overcome. Claudia was beautiful! Even slimy and covered with blood she was glorious. And loud. Liz laughed softly. She quickly counted ten fingers and ten toes. Claudia Dyanne Evans was perfect in every way! No glowing hands or anything. Liz gazed up at Max, speechless.

He was smiling though tears were shining in his eyes. Max reached forward and tenderly touched the baby's soft cheek with his index finger. She immediately stopped wailing. Twin sets of amber brown eyes met. Father and daughter, falling in love with one another. The moment was beyond words.

Max looked down at Liz smiling up at him with her open smile and he did it. He kissed her. Slowly. Tentatively, at first. Reacquainting himself with her soft, sweet mouth. Her lips were yielding beneath his. They parted at the slightest intrusion of his tongue. Oh god, he'd almost forgotten what she tasted like! But when Liz touched her tongue to his the kiss exploded. Their mouths slanted over each other's hungrily, eating, sucking, wanting. The first kiss they had shared in nine months. Neither of them could get enough.

Neither of them ever wanted to stop.

TBC. . .

Part 15 | Index | Part 17
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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