FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"Open Connections"
Part 1
by Audrey11
Disclaimer: All characters, etc. belong to WB. I'm just borrowing them.
Summary: It's after EOTW. Will Max find out the truth?
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
Authors Note: Time: After MITC. Max and Liz are friends, rebuilding and growing.
Max walked home, deep in thought. His mind was going a hundred cycles a minute, but he knew that all of this meant something. He knew that, no matter what his eyes saw the night of the Gomez concert, something wasn’t right. Max also knew that he wasn’t in denial. *Liz has never been a flaky girl, so she must have a reason. I have to trust her, especially because she trusted me with all those weird goings-on with Tess. Tess. Now there is someone who I have trouble with. I know how she thinks she feels about me, and I do care for her. In the same way I care for Isabel and Michael. What worries me is that I don’t entirely trust her.*

Liz went outside on the roof and looked up at the stars. She wanted to cry, but she was tired of crying. Liz reached for her journal, and began to write. *I am so confused. I miss Max. There, I said it. I wish there was another way, but Max thought that this is the right way. He told me that I had to let myself change. I’m changing alright. Something, maybe Max healing me, has given me newfound abilities. There’s a reason for them. I was able to return Max’s favor. I just wish I wasn’t the reason for the hurt in his eyes.*

Max attempted to push all thoughts of Tess and Liz out of his mind. He needed at least one good night’s sleep without grappling with his love for Liz or his distrust of Tess. The problem was trying not to think about Liz. *I don’t understand this. I saw Liz in bed with Kyle, but I still have total trust in her. Tess does nothing but express her loyalty to me, but I’m still unsure of her. Plus, I love Liz, not Tess.* Max made a decision, a plan of sorts. He smiled, turned over and went to sleep.

Liz knew that she couldn’t tell Max the truth. Not that it had ever been a question. At least Max wanted to be friends again. Sometimes, when it was late and the world was quiet, she wished that there could have been another way. When she allowed herself to wonder about the things Max, the other Max, had told her, she was overcome with it all. *Knowing what might have been makes everything better and worse at the same time. According to Max, the reason that the world ended is because he loved me. Because of our love. I used to think that love was supposed to be beautiful. That was before I broke Max’s heart.* Liz sighed and closed her journal. She looked up at the sky and let her silent tears fall.

Max was walking on a beach. Up ahead, he saw Liz. She was talking to someone, but Max couldn’t tell who it was. As he neared Liz, he could see that she was talking to a man who looked somewhat familiar. Max got the feeling that he had seen the man before, but he couldn’t figure out where. He called out to Liz. She turned and looked at him, with a gaze that held Max’s. Max began to run towards her, wanting to gather her in his arms and never let go. After what seemed like forever, Max stood in front of Liz and he saw both sadness and love in her eyes. “Liz, what is it? What was that man saying to you? Why are you so sad?” “Shh, Max. Just kiss me. Please, Max.” He bent down to kiss her. As their lips touched, Max and Liz both felt relief. Relief and completion. They pressed into each other, tangling fingers in hair, caressing tongues. Max picked Liz up and she wrapped her legs around his waist. He carefully lowered them both onto the sand, without ever breaking the kiss. Max continued to get lost in the feeling of being inside Liz’s mouth. He could hear small sounds coming from Liz. Sounds of contentment and arousal. He moved until he was completely on top of her. Liz gasped at the feel of Max’s body on top of her. She arched into his body, but it wasn’t enough. Liz had to touch him. She ran her hands up his shirt and began exploring his back and shoulder muscles. Max moaned and Liz responded with purrs of contentment and approval. Max broke their connection first. “Liz, neither of us is ready to go further at this point. We have to stop.” Liz knew he was right. They both wanted more, but something was holding them back. She snuggled up against Max and said, “Just hold me, Max.” They lay for a while, basking in the sun.

Max woke up with a feeling of happiness. *Wow. Liz and I. Wow. Liz-* he stopped, and it all came rushing back to him. Something about his dream bothered him. “What was it? What else was there besides Liz, me and the beach? The man! The man who was with Liz before I got to her.* Max sat straight up in bed, trying to figure out who the man talking to Liz was. But he just couldn’t get past the expression in Liz’s eyes. Because he realized that it was the same expression he’d seen in her eyes since the night he’d found her with Kyle. “Kyle! That’s who she’d been talking to. No, it wasn’t Kyle. The man didn’t look like Kyle. I don’t know who he was, but I want to find out.*

Liz gradually came awake. When she realized that she was no longer lying on the sand next to Max and that she was back in the world, the chilling loneliness pervaded her body. “Why did I dream about both Maxes? What was he trying to tell me? And why did the other Max look different than the Max that came to me the night of the fortune teller. The Max who told me of all the beauty and horror the future held?* Liz sighed, and got out of bed. She went outside and let herself get lost in the stars.

Max tossed and turned, trying to figure out who Liz had been talking to. He knew it was just a dream, but it felt like and important dream. Max thought that if he could recognize the man causing the pain in Liz’s eyes, that everything would be all right. Then Max remembered the decision he had made before going to sleep. He knew that he had business to take care of. Quietly, Max got dressed and slipped out of the window. It was time to test his instincts.

Liz shivered, partly from the chill in the night, but also from her thoughts. *That dream felt so real. I could feel the sun warming me and the sand beneath me. As for Max, well, I might’ve been remembering what it feels like to kiss him, to touch him. That’s what it was. I was missing Max even more than usual tonight and dreamed about kissing him again. But what was the other Max trying to tell me?* She shivered again and went inside to grab a blanket. When she came back, Max was there, waiting for her.

“Max, what are you doing here?” Liz gaped at him, wondering why he was on her roof. “Liz, I have to talk to you. My eyes can lie and my brain can lie, but my heart can’t lie. And no matter what, my heart still says that what I saw is a lie and that everything I’ve felt my whole life is what’s true.” Liz sat down as though she’d been shot, again. Max waited for her to say something, but her brain was still trying to process. He moved to sit down in the chair next to her, and the instant before he sat down, Liz realized what was about to happen. She opened her mouth to tell him to stop, but it was too late. Max saw the man he’d seen Liz with on the beach. The man was him, only older. Along with the flashes, Max felt devastating pain coming from both Liz and the older version of him. Understanding began to dawn and he got up to reach for her. “Liz, what’s going on? Who was that man, the one who sat on this chair?” Liz took a deep breath and appeared to make a decision. “Max, you have to touch me, connect to me.”

Max crossed the short distance between them. A thousand thoughts went through his head, but the one that screamed was the one pleading with Liz to show him that his eyes were liars the night he saw her with Kyle. He touched her face, looked her in the eyes, and opened their connection. Max saw it all. Everything from the visit to the psychic until the night he saw her with Kyle. He heard everything that Liz knew about their future, their previous future. He understood now what the grief in her eyes meant.

Liz felt Max’s guilt and pain at having hurt her so badly. She pushed feelings of love and forgiveness to the forefront of the connection. As Max felt the love, joy began to fill his heart. Joy that Liz had allowed him to see the truth. A truth that his heart had already known. Max was filled with joy, love, pain and longing as he realized how much Liz loved him and what she had given up for him. Max became even more determined to find out what Tess’ deal was.

He turned to Liz. “Liz, I love you so much. I wish you had been able to tell me all of this to begin with. But we don’t have to lose our future, our marriage, us. It’ll be a rough road, it seems, but I need you. Without you, life isn’t worth living.” “Max, I love you too. And you’re right. If we’re not together, life isn’t worth living. But I feel like all I’ve been doing lately is facing the future. Please, let’s pretend that the world doesn’t exist. Just hold me for tonight, love me, and let’s watch the sun rise.” Max nodded. He didn’t want to deal with the future anymore tonight, either. He sat down and reached for Liz. She curled up in the chair with him and he wrapped his arms around her and buried his face in her hair.

The light was beginning to break over the horizon when an even brighter light appeared, like a flash of lightning. Liz felt sick to her stomach. The older Max had accompanied that last flash. Max, feeling her worry, drew her closer to comfort her. Then Max saw her first. “Liz?” She stepped closer and Max and Liz found themselves looking at a thirtysomething Liz.

Liz felt the grief coming from her, and asked, almost wearily, “Why are you here? And why can I see you?” The older Liz spoke, “ I don’t know why you can see me like this, Liz. But I do have something I need you, both of you, to do.” She began to explain how it had been her idea to send Max back in time, thinking that Tess was the key. “The future is different now. No one dies. The war has been over for a while. Liz, it turns out, I, you, we, were the key. By cementing with Max that night, both of you quit developing your powers. We were defeated because of that, not Tess.”

Max spoke up, “I thought you said that the war was over.” “In the future I come from, it is. But not the future that you came to Liz from.” “I don’t get it,” Liz said, “If the war is over, what do you need from us?” The older Liz answered, “Yes, the war is over, but Max and I want to have our lives back.” “What are you asking Liz and I to do?” “We want you two to love each other again.” “That’s it? You want Max and I to be together?” “That sounds easy enough,” Max smiled at Liz. “Max and I want you to be together, but you’re not listening.” “Wait, are you telling me that I can’t ever make love to Max?” “No, you two will be able to make love. One day, when your powers have developed, then you must make love in order for your powers to continue to grow.” “How long will that take?” Max asked. “A year, maybe two. You’ll know,” the older Liz smiled.

“That’s all? You just need Max and I to get back together? That’s what you came back here for?” “We need you in order to make things right between us. We need you to do all of the things we were never able to do because I was busy pushing him at Tess and he was heartbroken, thinking he’d been betrayed by me with Kyle. Our pain from all of the years apart is making it difficult to rebuild.” “So you want Liz and I to be together now, so that we can be together in the future?” “Kind of, yes. I know it’s hard to understand. All you have to do is let go of all of the hurt and pain between you.” The older Liz got up to leave, and turned, “ Oh, and we’d still like to elope, just like last time. Have fun for us. Make our lives happy and worth living again. Rejoice in your love, our love.” With that, she disappeared.

Max began crying first, followed by Liz. The cried from relief, joy and most of all, love. She settled back against him and they watched the day break over the horizon. They dozed, and woke up in the morning sun. “This feels just like the sun on our beach,” Max said. Liz turned to face him. “Our beach?” “Yeah, the one where the older me was with you and then I was with you and we kissed in the sand,” Max replied. “That was a dream I had, Max.” “I know. I had the same one. I recognized it when I connected to you.” “Max?” “Yeah.” “Quit talking and kiss me.” He obliged, with a grin on his face.

*18 months later. Max and Liz, with difficulty, have restrained themselves from cementing their bond. They have been focusing on developing their powers, which grow rapidly. For the past two months, their powers have not changed at all, and some of their newer powers have weakened.

Liz tossed and turned, unable to sleep. For the past week, she and Max had been having dreams which involved cold showers by both upon waking. Liz got up, going to sit outside on the roof. As Max came up over the ladder, he saw Liz step onto the roof. He smiled, knowing that they were both up for the same reason. “Hey beautiful.” “Max, what are you doing here?” *Stupid question, Liz, you know why he’s here. Quit sizing him up like your next meal.* Unconsciously, Liz licked her lips as her eyes traveled up his body, taking it all in. He may have been fully clothed, but they’d had enough dreams lately that it didn’t matter.

Liz’s eyes continued to move up Max’s body, finally reaching his eyes. When she saw her hunger mirrored in Max, she let out a slow breath. It was going to be a long night. Max walked over to Liz, and kissed her hard and fast. Liz moaned, and ran her hands through his hair, pulling his mouth closer to hers. *More, more. I have to be closer. This isn’t close enough.* In answer, Liz and Max pressed their bodies against each other, trying desperately to become one body. Max ran his hands up and down Liz’s back, finally tangling his fingers in her hair. Liz was exploring Max’s back and shoulders, running her hands under his shirt in an effort to be closer.

As they continued to kiss, Max and Liz became aware that something was different. They pulled back, unable to understand what the difference was. Finally it was Liz who spoke up. “Max, do you feel free? As though you’re flying?” He nodded. “Liz, I haven’t had heard that little voice that always tells me we have to stop.” Liz nodded. “I know what you mean.” Liz and Max looked at each other, relief mixing with passion and longing. They knew it was time to complete their bonding. They were connected at every level but one. As Max and Liz acknowledged that it was time to cement their bond, two stars twinkled brightly overhead.

Max kissed Liz again, this time unleashing his passion. He picked her up and carried her into her room. He broke the kiss long enough to put her down. Liz pushed him into a sitting position at the edge of her bed and sat on his lap. She kissed him all over his vace and made her way down to his neck, making little noises as she went. Max ran his hand up and down her side, the other gently holder her at the waist.

Max shifted, moving farther onto the bed. Liz turned, straddling him and kissed him, letting his tongue caress hers. He ran his hands under her shirt, stopping at her bra clasp. Liz pulled back. “Max, what?” “Liz, I want to touch you.” She leaned in to kiss him. “Touch me, Max. Everywhere.” The flame in his eyes grew brighter. He kissed her, running his hands over the thin material covering her breasts. He teased her nipples until he couldn’t stand it any more and unclasped her bra.

Liz was kissing Max’s neck when she felt Max’s hands on her breasts. She whimpered, needing to be closer to him. With trembling hands she pulled Max’s sweater over his head. Her fingers caressed his muscles, tracing his collarbone, down to his chest. She ran her thumbs lightly over his nipples, feeling them harden beneath her touch. She dragged her fingers across his abdomen, and Max sucked in his breath.

He lowered his mouth to her breast and suckled gently teasing her nipple with his tongue. Liz leaned her head back, moaning with pleasure. She rubbed her thumbs over the back of his neck, arching into Max. She pulled his head back to her mouth, snuggling her chest against his. Max deepened the kiss, caressing her mouth with his tongue. Liz shifted to get closer and felt his arousal harden beneath her heat. She rubbed against him and shivers ran through them both.

Max slid his hands down her back and ran his fingers around the waistband of her pants. “Liz, may I?” Liz looked up at the need in Max’s eyes. She stood up and pulled Max to the edge of the bed. Liz waited for Max to strip her of her clothes. When she didn’t feel his hands on her, she looked down at him. Max just sat there, admiring her in the moonlight. “Max,” Liz whispered. Max looked up to see pleading desire in her eyes. Desire for the feel of his hands. He put his hands on here waist and tugged her pants down, falling to the floor with her shirt and bra.

He stroked his way up her legs back to her waist. He ran his hands over her abdomen, up to her breasts and back down to her lower belly. “Max, touch me, please,” Liz moaned. He reached down and felt her heat through her satin underwear. He ran his thumb across her heat, but Liz’s moans began to make him lose control. He dragged her panties down and watched her in the moonlight until they could stand it not longer.

He pulled her to him. Liz fell across him, lining up their bodies. She felt his arousal hard against her bare stomach and began to move against it. She felt Max roll her onto the bed and she was kissing him all over his chest until he brought her back to his mouth. He began an exploration of her body with his hands, stopping at her dark curls. When Liz felt his hand above her warmth, she stopped her attentions to his beautiful body. “Max, I want...I need...touch me.” Max smiled, a smile of love, and of hunger. He kissed his way down her body, stopping to give special attention to her breasts. He stopped only when he felt her need for him to touch her heat.

He paused, in awe and wonder as he took her in. “Liz, you are so beautiful. My beautiful Liz.” He leaned down and ran his tongue along her folds, delighting in the sounds she was making. Liz couldn’t think. She could feel him tasting her. She arched up as she felt his tongue inside her. His fingers began to explore her heat. She shrieked as his fingers found her small nub. Liz felt her impending orgasm and moaned Max’s name, her hips in wild motion. The orgasm ripped through her. Max felt her walls clench and he tasted the hot liquid. Max was overwhelmed by the pleasure he had given Liz, his dream girl.

He kissed his way back up Liz’s body and reveled in the look on her face. Liz reached for him and brought him down onto her lips, caressing his mouth, reeling in the taste of her and Max. Max moved on top of Liz and felt her rubbing against his arousal. He groaned. “Liz, please. I need to be inside you,” Max pleaded. Liz reached for the button on his jeans. After several attempts she was pulling jeans and boxers over his hips. She desperately pushed them down.

Max kicked his pants off, sucking in his breath as Liz ran her hands over his legs and hips. She reached for his arousal. She ran one hand up and down lightly over his arousal, the other circling at the tip. Liz enjoyed the beauty of him, licking her lips. “Liz, please. Liz, let me make love to you.” Liz withdrew her hands to stroke his cheek. She kissed him and nodded. Max sat up, reaching for his pants. He barely managed to retrieve the condom from his pants. He tried to open the wrapper, but his hands wouldn’t stop trembling. “Max, let me.” Liz sat up and took the condom from him. She tore the wrapper and put it over his arousal.

In as provocative a voice as she could muster, she said, “Let’s make love, Max.” Liz moved back on the bed and pulled Max to here, wrapping her legs around his. Max paused at the entrance to her heat. Holding her eyes with his, he pushed in, stopping at her barrier. Liz grabbed Max and pushed hard, breaking her barrier. Max was overwhelmed by the feeling of being inside Liz. Her eyes told him that she, too, was overwhelmed. He began slowly, stroking her walls. Liz began to push him deeper, never breaking eye contact. Max could feel Liz’s orgasm building. “Max, I love you. Always you, Max,” Liz panted as her walls began to tighten around him. Max followed her over the edge, moaning Liz’s name over and over. “I love you, Liz. Forever, only you.”

Max lay on top of her, still connected to her. They held each other, feeling the love that was between them. The unbreakable bond between them. Max was the first to speak. “Liz?” Liz met his eyes. “Marry me, Liz. Be my wife.” Liz smiled and said, “Let’s go to Vegas.”

*Somewhere in a dive outside Phoenix, six couples are dancing. Two are friends, but the other four are married. Alex Whitman and Maria DeLuca are the first to sit down. They watch the two couples. There is no hurt in the group. Alex and Maria see that Isabel and Michael are truly in love. Isabel and Michael Guerin sit down next, joining Alex and Maria. Max and Liz keep dancing, lost to the world. The first strains of “I Shall Believe” can be heard. Liz smiles up at Max, as, at long last, Max and Liz Evans have their wedding dance.

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