FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
Part 15
by Mama Dee
Disclaimer: Wish they were mine..............but thrilled they exist. Thanks WB!
Summary: Sequel to Fantasies
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
Authors Note: Note all the food references in both parts...............I've just started a diet.......can"t you tell? Even writing about sex makes me hungry! LOL. On a slightly more serious vein, I have noted, with interest, the amazing amount of information provided by posters on the boards concerning the resemblance of the Alien symbols to ancient languages, in particular the Etruscan culture. Please note* I acknowledge this fine sleuthing on behalf of all those who have made contributions. However, for the purposes of this piece of *fiction*, I have chosen the Maya culture as a focus, mainly due to its proximity to New Mexico, and I have taken much *literary license* with this story. Remember,people, like the T.V. series itself, THIS IS JUST FICTION. Enjoy and Have A Happy Holiday!
The next morning, they were up before their friends, showering together and making love again. When they finally vacated the bathroom, their flushed faces clearly indicating what they had been up to, Michael and Maria were sitting at the kitchen table, sipping coffee and giving each other knowing glances.

"Oh, ..h..hi," Liz stuttered. "How long have you guys been up?" she blushed.

"Long enough," Michael muttered

"Well, that's good," she replied, trying to hide her embarrasment. "We can get an early start, right?"

"I think you're way ahead of the game, Chica," Maria smirked, "Don't you?"

"Uh, well yeah, the early bird gets the wo........," she trailed off as she saw the two bent over, shoulders shaking, trying to suppress their laughter.

Max stood in the hall behind Liz, with his head slightly down, and his eyes raised, watching their two friends laughing at their expense. He shrugged his shoulders in resignation, and went to get dressed. Liz followed him, and when they closed the door, they heard a loud guffaw coming from the kitchen. They looked at each other, and they, too, burst out laughing, seeing the humour in the ridiculous situation.

They soon exited the bedroom, prepared for a ribbing, but their friends had disappeared into the bathroom, as they heard the shower running. They made some bacon and eggs for all of them, and toasted some homemade bread. Everything was ready, when Maria and Michael returned to the kitchen.

"Sooo," Maria leered, "did you guys sleep okay?" she said sweetly.

"Ha, ha, Maria," Liz answered as she threw a cushion at her friend, " you think you're so funny. Yes, thank you, we slept very well. How about you?"

"Not as well as you, apparently," Michael grinned.

They took the teasing good naturedly, as they ate their breakfast in good humour. They were to meet their other friends at 10:00, out by their vehicles, so quickly finished their meal, and cleared away, before going outside to begin their tour of the caverns.They waited by the jeep, as Isabel kept everyone waiting, as usual.

Alex was so patient with her, but this didn't carry over to the others. When they finally appeared, Kyle was shaking his head in frustration at her tardiness.

"How do you get to school on time, anyway?" he wondered.

"Skip it, Kyle," Alex shook his head in warning. "We're here now and that's all that matters, okay?"

They all climbed aboard their respective vehicles, and headed for the park entrance. They had decided to stick together for the morning, at least and then maybe split up in the afternoon. They passed through Whites City, where you could get accomodations and visit the many souvenir shops. They drove on to a narrow, winding road, climbing up for seven miles through a limestone canyon, until they reached a plateau.

They parked in the huge lot, and entered the immense visitors complex to pay the fees for entering the caves.They were offered three choices: The Big Room Tour, The Natural Entrance, and The Kings Palace. They decided to take the first one on the list, since it was a self-guiding tour, and they could go at their own pace.Just as they entered the elevator, to descend the 900 feet to the cave floor, a man brushed up along Max, pushing him off balance.

"Excuse me," he apologized, bowing his head as he moved to the back of the elevator, before anyone could get a good look at him. Max just nodded, shrugging his shoulders at his companions, as he regained his composure. The trip was fairly quick, and they found themselves in a large rest area and lunch room.

They bypassed this, and took the wide passage to the main cave which was 1800 feet long and 250 feet wide.The mile long path through the cave itself followed a circular route, so they took their time, marvelling at the many spectacular formations and the myriad underground pools, lit quite effectively by artificial light.

Even though the cave was huge, there were many people taking the tour, and at certain intervals, it almost seemed crowded. Their were young children running around helter skelter, being chased by over- eager older siblings, and pursued by even more over- anxious parents.

It was amazingly easy for the man to follow their progress through the cave, keeping a close eye on Max, all the time. As the path wound around, the route could not be seen from the other side. There was a steep drop off at the bend, protected by a barrier. As the teens rounded the bend, the man made his move. He barrelled into Max, forcing him over the barricade, and took off down the path, running into people and scattering bodies in his haste.

"MAX," Liz screamed as he hung precariously from the steel rail, which was slippery from the constant moisture in the cave. His grip loosened as he began to fall several hundred feet below. Kyle pushed passed Liz and grabbed Max's hand just as it let go of the rail. Max hung onto Kyle for dear life, as Kyle pulled on his arm, his muscles bulging with the effort.

Michael and Alex joined him quickly, and with their combined efforts, they soon had him back on solid ground, trembling but alive. Liz hugged him to her tightly, sobbing in relief, while Isabel clung to his back as she, too, showed her emotions. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief, as two Rangers ran up to investigate.

"What happened here?!" they demanded, as the teens filled them in.

"Are you alright, Sir?' they asked.

"Yeah," Max nodded. "I'm okay, thanks to my friends here," he smiled in gratitude.

"Did you get a good look at the man?" they asked.

"No," they all shook their heads. "He was wearing a baseball cap pulled down over his eyes," Tess replied, "and he was hunched over, so we couldn't see his face."

"You'd better come with us, Sir. You'll have to fill out an incident report."

"No, that's okay. I didn't see anything anyway, so I can't really report anything," Max hedged.

"I'm sorry, Sir, but we must insist. It won't take long. Come with us, please."

Max and his friends reluctantly followed the men back up the elevator, to an office, where he was seated, and was asked to repeat the story. Soon, they were able to leave as promised, and went outside for some fresh air. They were all still a little shaken, and agreed they'd had enough of exploring caves, for now.

"Maxwell," Michael said. "I'm sure that's the same guy who pushed you in the elevator."

"I don't know, Michael. I didn't get a good look at him in there, and I sure as hell didn't see him when he pushed me from behind."

"Look, Maxmillian, you can't deny there's something fishy about all this. Remember that old guy, last night.....and now gotta face it man.....someone's out to get you!"

"Michael!" Liz shouted. "Stop it! You're scaring me! Why would anybody want to get Max?!"

"Remember the message we got from Max and Isabel's mother?" he asked sarcastically.

They all stopped to think about this, and it slowly dawned on everyone that maybe Michael had a point.

"So you think that someone tried to impersonate me last week, and now they're trying to kill me!" Max verified.

Liz's face fell as she heard Max express what everyone was feeling. She became panicked at the thought of anything happening to him, and turned away from the group, to assimilate this gruesome revelation. He immediately sensed her anxiety, and went to her, wrapping his arms around her waist. No one knew what to say or do....they just hung back, absorbed in their own thoughts.

Kyle was the first to speak. "I think we should go find that old man, and find out what he knows. Maybe he'll have some answers. It can't hurt."

"Yeah," Alex agreed. "But how are we gonna find him. I mean, we saw him at the club last night, but did anyone get that good a look at him to be able to describe him to anyone else?"

"I think I could," Max responded. "I know it was dark, but I think I could describe him. I'll go back to the club, and see what I can find out. I don't want to ruin everybody's day, so you guys stay here and enjoy the rest of the tour."

They all protested, but he refused to listen. He couldn't convince Liz to stay, though. She was determined to keep him in sight, so they retraced their route and soon pulled up in front of the club. Unfortunately, it wasn't open yet, but they could see someone clearing away inside, and they knocked on the door, urgently, until they could hear footsteps shuffling to the door.

It was opened by a disgruntled employee. "Yeah," he griped," Whaddya want?"

"Uhm, we'd like some information?" Max asked with a degree of trepidation.

"What kinda infermation?" he growled.

"Well, we were wondering if you could tell us the whereabouts of someone we met here last night?" he asked politely.

"Mebee. Mebee not." he replied grudgingly."Depends.......we git a lotter customers," he grimaced through rotting teeth. "What's he look like?"

Max described as best he could, the old man who had accosted him last night.

"Oh, you must be talkin' about ole Charlie.........Charlie Grimes.....yeah...yep.....ole Charlie......yeah....yeah....he's one 'a the reg'lars. Come's in here most Satady nights. "Whaddya want with ole Charlie.....he ain't done nothin', has he?" he asked suspiciously, through squinted eyes.

"Uh, no Sir," Max replied. "I just .....we just.....need to talk to him about something, that's all."

"Hhumph," he answered sceptically. "Well, I ain't sure I should be tellin' yer anythin about the ole feller."

"Sir, it's really important. It's a matter of life or death."

"Life or death?" he cackled. "Well, since yer puttin' it in them terms, I s'pose I could tellyer where yer might find 'im."

"We'd really appreciate it, Sir," Max breathed a sigh of relief.

'Well, it bein' Sunday an' all, ole Charlie's more 'n likely hangin' out at Miss Emily's over on Main street. She runs a Boardin' house, an' Ole Charlie's had a hankrin' fer her sticky biskits fer years. She let's the ole buggar come set at the kitchen table and gum dem buns purty fierce," he gave them a cadaverous grin. "Yer might be tryin' over there...yeah, yep."

Max thanked the man, and quickly returned to the jeep with Liz. They turned it around and headed for the small town just west of their accomodations. They drove down the main street, until they found the sign for Miss Emily's Boarding House. They pulled up in front, and went to knock on the door.

Soon they heard the sound of light footsteps, and the door swung slowly open. A tiny lady, a few inches shorter than Liz, stood before them, her hair as white as snow and her eyes a twinkling blue. She smiled up at them and asked," Yes, what can I do for you folks.....are yer lookin' for a room?" she asked hopefully.

'No, M'am," Max replied. "We were told that we might find Charlie Grimes here. We were wondering if we could ask him a few questions?"

"Yes, Charlie's in the back settin' at the kitchen table. Come on through, and have some coffee an' biskits." she offered graciously.

"Charlie," she called out, "Yer got visitors."

Charlie looked up from the table, immediately recognizing Max from last night.

"Well, well, well, lookie here. If it ain't the young man who never seen me befer," Charlie goaded him."Set yerself down," he said as he motioned to two chairs, with arthritic hands.

Miss Emily set two cups of coffee down in front of them and motioned to the plate of biscuits sitting on the table. She produced two plates with knives and pushed the butter their way. They thanked her and tasted the biscuits, rolling their eyes at how delicious they were. Miss Emily just laughed and went about her kitchen chores.

"I'm sorry sir, if I offended you last night, but I honestly don't remember meeting you ever before. I'm here because of something that happened to me today, at the Caves, and we think it may have something to do with the person who was pretending to be me last week" Max gave him a brief account of the incident and asked if he could tell him where he had taken the man last week

Charlie peered at him through deep set grey eyes, as he pushed his salt and pepper coloured hair off his wrinkled brow.

"Well now, young feller," he gave him a toothless grin, "we headed up into the hills just above Carlsbad. He said he was lookin' fer some good fishin' holes and mebee he'd be lookin' to buy him a place up there. I took him around to some of the best places I know'd, but he didn't seem to find nothin' to his likin'. An' that's the last I saw'en him 'til I seen you last thinkin' he was you," he hedged.

"Could you take us there, Sir?" Max asked hopefully.

"What, t'day?! It's Sunday, boy. Cain't take yer nowheres on Sunday. It's the Lord's day. If yer still around t'morrow, I c'n take yer then," he said with finality.

Max looked suitably chagrined. "Yes, that would be great, Sir. What time do you want to go?"

"Well, I'm usually up at 5:30, so we can leave 'bout 6:00 if yer like," he said as he raised bushy white eyebrows.

"Uh, well, maybe we should make it closer to 8:00," Max gulped.

"Suit yerself." he shrugged. "Yer c'n pick me up at the gas station over on Elm, jest 'round the corner," he added.

"Okay, great. We'll see you at 8:00. Thanks, sir."

"Don't be thankin' me yet, son, 'cause yer got a powerful lotter walkin' to do t'morrow," he wheezed laughingly."And don't be late....I hate waitin' around!"

Max grinned back at him, and said he'd try to keep up and he'd be there on time. Miss Emily handed them a box full of biscuits. "Now, you make sure you share those with yer friends," she chuckled as she showed them out. And don't mind Charlie," she winked. "He's like an ole dog......his bark is worse than his bite," she threw back her head in laughter, gumming to mimic his lack of teeth.

Max and Liz joined her in laughter, thanking her profusely for the biscuits. She waved goodbye as they drove off in the jeep."Such a nice young couple," she thought. " Too bad they's havin' so much trouble," she shook her head.

Part 14 | Index | Part 16
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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