FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"Taking A Step Back"
Part 23
by Mary N.
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, but I wish I did! But the ideas for this story are mine.
Summary: What happens in the lives of Max Evans and Liz Parker and their friends after Max tells Liz that they need to ‘Take a Step Back'. What twists and turns await them as they try to discover the truth about who they are, were they come from, and the truth about what binds them together.
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
Authors Note: My story starts off when Max tells Liz they have to take a step back at the end of Balance.
Michael and Maria walked out of the racket ball court leaving Isabel, Alex, Liz, and Max behind. As they head toward Maria's car Michael spied the man that had followed them earlier waiting for them in the parking lot. Michael knew that they had lost him before coming to meeting with the others, but he figures that the man must have spotted the car. In a small town like Roswell it's not to hard to find a car that sticks out like a big red thumb.

Michael's expression turns mischievous; he whispers to Maria, "I want you to play along with me. Let's give this guy something to think about." Maria smiles and agrees, she doesn't know what Michael's up to, but the idea of making one of these guy squirm a little sounds like too much fun to pass up.

Michael guides Maria from their original course straight towards the guy. As they get closer he asks, "Is this the guy the same guy that was following you earlier!?"

"Same car." She looks over the car, and then the man. "Same face. Yeah that's him!" On the inside Maria is laughing, when she sees how uncomfortable this guy looks. On the outside she clings to Michael as if he's her great protector, and she's a scared weakling that needs protecting.

"Then he's dead meat!" Michael stands a few feet in front of the guy. "My girl here says that you've be following her, and I don't like it. Give me one good reason why I shouldn't beat you to a bloody pulp."

The guy looks puzzled, "Who me? I'm not following your girlfriend or anyone else for that matter."

Michael looks like he's about to strangle the guy. "Don't think your fooling me, if she says your following her, then your following her!" The man calmly shakes his head no. Michael knows he's right about this guy, He has no doubts. "So, why are you stocking my girl? You better not have any plans regarding her, because if you so much as look at her again, I'll make sure she the last thing you ever see."

Just then Isabel and Alex start to make their way out of the racket ball court and see Michael yelling at this guy. Alex sticks his head back in and calls Liz and Max out.

Liz and Max step into the opening and see Maria clinging to the back of Michael's shirt and he's still yelling at the guy. Max and Alex exchange looks and take off to stop Michael.

Isabel and Liz follow closely behind.

"Michael what are you doing?" Max yells as he gets closer to Michael.

Michael turns his head to face Max and flashes him a typical Michael grin. He then retorts in an angry voice, "This guy has been stalking Maria, and I want him to know that I won't put up with it." Because Michael's smile and voice don't match, Max and Alex catch on pretty quickly. "Michael you can't hurt every guy that you think has the hots for Maria. Don't you remember what happened the last time." Spews out Alex.

Max gets in front of Michael, placing himself between Michael and the guy. He presses his hand to Michael's shoulders making it look like he's trying to stop Michael from doing something rash. "Calm down Michael, your scaring Maria. You don't want her to see you hurt this guy do you? She's still having nightmares about the last guy you pulverized."

"You just don't get it, what if it were Liz this guy was stalking. Would you just let him get away with it?"

"Michael's right Max, if any guy were to ever hurt or scare my girl, or any of our ladies, then I'd have to take him to the cleaners." Alex glares at the guy leaning against his car.

"What is wrong with you guys." The man says, Max quickly bites his lip, trying not to laugh. "It's like I told this friend of yours, I'm not following anyone, I'm just passing through." This guy stands his ground, but his voice tells another story.

"See Michael, it was just in your imagination." Max announces. "He's not foolish enough to be following Maria, let alone be thinking about hurting her." Max turns to face the stranger. "And besides he knows if anything happens to her or any of our girls, we'd all be coming after him. So I suggest that we let him move along. I'm sure that we won't be seeing him any more."

"Okay, but if I ever see his face around her again, there's nothing you'll be able to do to stop me."

"I suggest you take the hint and fly." Alex motions for the guy to get into his car and clear out. After the guy drives away Max turns to Michael, "I take it that was the guy that's been following you."


"You know that wasn't smart Michael, we don't know who he is or what him and the others want." Max says sternly

"I'm just tired of looking over my shoulder. Besides he simply thinks that I'm a overly protective boyfriend, looking after his girl."

"Come on Max, you have to admit that was sure was funny. Did you get a look at that guys face?" Alex says with a large smile spreading across his face, and they all burst out laughing. Alex slaps Michael on the back. "Anytime you want to try that again, count me in."

After the laughs calm to a dull roar. Max looks around making sure that none of the other tails have located them. Max spots a dark burgundy car parked across the street with someone sitting inside looking their way. "Looks like we may have another one." They all look in the direction Max is looking. "I suggest that we head out of here. You guys be careful, until we figure out what they're all about."

Max wraps his arm around Liz, and leads her to the other side of the park were they parked the jeep. Michael and Maria say their farewells and head back to her car.

Isabel and Alex decide to stick around for a while. The head over to the swings where they watch to see if the burgundy car follows the jeep or the car. Isabel sits in the swing. Alex stands behind her pushing the swing.

The car doesn't depart, it stays where it is. However they do notice another car pull out just moments after Liz and Max.


Liz and Max walk into the Crashdown and are greeted by Jeff Parker. He tells them that Liz has a guest waiting upstairs for her. As Max and Liz start their way upstairs they see Amy DeLuca and Sheriff getting very close in the corner booth. The Sheriff whispers something in her ear, and they both begin to laugh.

"At least we know were he is." Liz says quietly to Max as they enter the Cafe kitchen. "Shall we see who's waiting for me?"

Alisha isn't surprised to see Max and Liz coming up the stairs together, in fact she was hoping that they would be. "Hello Liz, Max can we talk?"

Max and Liz exchanged glances. "Sure" answered Liz "Is the Living room fine or would you prefer my room?"

"The Living room will be fine." The three of them move into the living room and sit down. Max and Liz sit on the couch. They are holding hands with their fingers inner woven. Alisha sits on the love seat facing them both. "Let me get straight to the point. I know that you are still skeptical about me, and I understand that, believe me I do." She shifts in her seat, she planned out what she was going to tell them, but now she's struggling to tell them. "I wanted to be honest with the you, the both of you. I figured that you could either pass it on to the others or not, I'll leave that to your discretion. When I greeted you at the door last night. I used my abilities to search your memories."

Shocked, Max asks, "You invaded our privacy?" He hates it when Isabel and Michael dream walk. That's bad enough, but purposely searching someone's memories is unacceptable.

"I had to know if I could trust you, that you wouldn't be a threat to me or my family. We were taking a big risk by telling you about me." Max and Liz both look upset by her revelation. "First I didn't have to tell you any of this, so please hear me out. I know that you still feel the need to protect yourselves. I just don't want you to feel that you have to protect yourselves from me. More so, I'm worried about Sandie. She doesn't know that you've lied to her about the house in the cliff, and she doesn't know about the files, and those men sleeping in the pods."

Max and Liz exchange a worried looks. Alisha stands up and starts to pace. "Liz when you and Sandie were younger you played together a lot. One day I caught you two playing a game that you two made up using Sandie's powers. It scared me, I was afraid that you would tell someone about your game, and Sandie's and my secret would have been relieved ." She paused for a second and sat back down on the love seat. "We choose to leave Roswell, so that we could protect her, and keep that from happening. Her powers were developing faster than my had. We figured that is was because I slept for so many years.

I was afraid to put her into public schools, so I home schooled her. When I was sure that she understood the risks of exposing her secret I gave in and let her attend public schools. The thing is, because I hadn't allowed her to play with other kids, I isolated her, she didn't know how to act around her peers. Basically she became the outsider wherever we went. We came back here, because of my mother's ill health, where she met you and Maria again, along with your friends.

Now to why I'm telling you all of this. Sandie, for the first time feels like she belongs, fits in. She's finally feels like she has some friends that understands her, and care about her. I don't want to see that destroyed. If you don't trust me that's fine, I can live with it. But if you hurt Sandie, because of it, that I can't live with. So now I'm asking you, what can I do to help gain your trust?"

Liz shifts forward in her seat, "Mrs. Gates, Alisha, it's not so much that we don't trust you, it's that we've learned that we have to be extra careful. People, even your people have agendas of their own, and they're not always good ones. We don't want to risk being used for those agendas."

Alisha, you've told us more about what to expect than we could have hoped for. We don't want to hurt you or Sandie. We all like her, it's just become habit to protect ourselves, to protect each other, we're a family." Max thinks about how Kyle became apart of their family rather unexpectedly. He was one of the last people that he would have trusted with their secret, and yet now he would trust him with his life. "There is only one way that we can learn to trust each other, and that's time."

"There is another." offers Alisha. "We can make a connection."

"How do you mean ‘Connection'? asks Liz

"In the past, when Robert, Sandie, and I have had to discuss matters that we didn't want to risk someone over hearing, we would make a mental connection. In this connection we are able to sense things about each other, to know what the others are feeling."

Max and Liz both think about the thoughts that they have been having, the more personal ones, and they both turn red, "I don't know if that's such a good idea. There are something's that I don't want everybody knowing about." Liz responds awkwardly

Sensing what Liz is talking about, Alisha reassure her, "It's not like that, I wouldn't make a connection with both my daughter and husband at the same time if it were. Basically, it elevates the possibility of deceit. You feel things from each other you don't hear their thoughts, we still have to vocalize what we want each other to hear."

"When should we do this?" Max is convinced that the only way they are going to be able to truly trust Alisha, Sandie, and Robert is to try this. He's sure that the others would agree. "We have to be very careful right now. For some reason we are all being followed."

"Followed? Do you know by whom?"

"We don't know what organization, if that's that what you mean?" Liz senses that it's not.

"Not exactly, Can you point out who's watching you?"

"Yeah, why?"

"Just like I found out that I could trust you, I can find out about him."


Isabel and Alex headed back to his place, they realized why the burgundy car didn't follow Max, and Liz. It was because it was the one following them.

Upon entering his house, Alex's father calls him into his study. He is surprised to see Isabel beside his son. Alex usually doesn't bring anyone to the house. On occasion Liz and Maria had come over, but even that was rare. Alex's father smiles slightly when he notices that Alex and Isabel are holding hands. "Alex, who's this young lady."

"Dad, this is Isabel Evans, Isabel this is my dad." Looking at his father Alex explains, "We're going to work on some computer stuff together."

"Are you related to the Max Evans that Alex has been spending so much time with these days."

"Yeah, he's my brother."

Smiling with amusement, and a note of disbelief that his son could hold the interest of such a beauty. Mr. Whitman retorts, "Now I see why Alex is spending all of his time at your place."

Isabel catches the look of disbelief and smiles back at him. "Although Alex may come to see Max, he mostly comes over to see me. We enjoy a very CLOSE relationship."

Alex pulls Isabel away from his father before this conversation can continue. He wants to get on to what they came here for. Not to fill his father in on his relationship with Isabel, and definitely not to impress his father. "Dad we really have to work the computer. We'll talk later."

Once in Alex's room Isabel asks, "You haven't told your father about me?" She stands with her arms cross in front of her chest.

Alex turns on his computer, "Issy, I don't tell my father much of anything, and knowing about you is not something that would normally interest him." He stands up and faces Isabel. "I think the only reason he's interested even now is that he can't believe that someone a beautiful as you, is interested in a computer geek like me."

"Computer wiz. Yes. Geek, no." She lightly kisses Alex and the lips. They part when they hear a ‘beep' from the computer. Alex sits down in the chair. "You can sit right there." Alex says while motioning to his bed. He accesses the net, stands up and grabs a book off of his shelf. After retrieving a piece of paper with Topolski email address on it, he sets the book back in place and returns to his seat.

Isabel and Alex compose a note for Topolski telling her it's urgent that they meet with her, and for her to contact them for a time and place.


Outside the Cafe Alisha accidently on purpose bumps into the guy who has been following Max and Liz. She touches his arm to steady herself, and makes eye contact. She walks over to her car, retrieves a map, reenters the cafe and heads back upstairs. She rejoins Max and Liz, and is surprised to see Michael, and Maria who is wearing her uniform, sitting in the living room as well.

"We all ready filled them in on what you were going to do." Max answers to her questioning eyes.

Alisha sits back on the love seat, "He's working for a man that's trying to find out what happened to Teomner. He doesn't know the specifics, but it does have something to do with money not received for services rendered."

"Why are they watching us?"

"Teomner used these guys to watch you before. They believe that you are of some great importance to him. They're hopping that will you lead them to him."

Michael stands to his feet and raves, "This is great, how are we supposed to lead them to a dead man? We can't show them where he is without basically telling them we killed him."

"Hold on Michael." Max's mind goes into overdrive. "Have they been to Teomner's house? Do they know where he lived?"

"I can't be for sure about the others, but this guy doesn't."


Maria and Liz are both working the night shift. Max and Michael head to Max's house after giving the girls strict instructions not to go anywhere without them.

The place gets really busy around 6:30 p.m. and doesn't calm down until 8:45.

"My feet are killing me Liz, how are we ever going to get out of here tonight. I swear if one more person comes through that door I'm going to scream." As if on cue Kyle and Sandie walk through the door. "Okay maybe not the next ones." Maria walks over to where they sat down. "Hey Kyle, Sandie. Have you to spent the whole day together?"

"Not, quite." Responds Kyle before asking, "So where is that big lug of yours?"

"Michael?, he'll be here shortly, him and Max both. They went to Max's house for some down time, while Liz and I slaved here all evening. Would you two like anything?"

"Cherry Cola?" Kyle asked Sandie.

"Sounds good"

"Two Cherry Colas."

Maria walks from the table, around the counter and fills their order.

"Do you think that those two are turning into an ‘us'?, asks Liz as she joins Maria behind the counter.

"Hmm, I don't know." Maria looks back at Kyle and Sandie. "Either way, I'm glad to see Kyle out with someone, even if it is as friends."

Max and Michael walk in followed by Alex and Isabel. They see Kyle and Sandie sitting at the booth and join them. Both Maria and Liz walk over to the table. Both planting a short kiss on their respective guy. "Together again. How many times are we going to run into each other today?" asks Maria as she sets down the two drinks.

Part 22 | Index | Part 24
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
Crashdown is maintained by and . Design by Goldenboy.
Copyright © 1999-2004 Web Media Entertainment.
No infringement intended.