FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"Taking A Step Back"
Part 26
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.
Sandie and her mom, Alisha, are sitting in their living room having a Mother/Daughter heart to heart talk. With these two it's more like two friends talking rather than Mother and Daughter. Sandie has always turned to her mother when she has problems or concerns, she never had a real friend to share those moments with, she just had her mom.

"Mom, I know that Kyle likes me, but for some reason he's holding back. He still hasn't even held my hand. Do you think that he's afraid to get too close because I'm not... normal?"

Alisha can see the hurt in her daughters eyes. She's not eager for her to grow up too soon, too fast. Alisha knows from her own life, as well as from what Max and the others told her, that with their people Sandie's on a normal time table. She's almost sixteen and growing close to the bonding age. She wonders if Sandie has the same feelings that she had for Robert the first time she saw him, and if so would Kyle ever be able to return those feelings. She also realizes that her daughter seems to be avoiding another subject that's bothering her. She's picked up on the fact that her friends don't truly trust her. They're afraid to let her in, to share their secrets with her.

"Sweety, I know this is hard for you, I'm not sure what Kyle's thinking about all of this, but if you feel that special bond with him don't rule him out. Be patient, it's going to take time for him and your other friends to learn to trust you. To learn that you, your father, and I don't mean them any harm.

Max, Michael, and Isabel have kept to themselves for years. Never telling anyone about their secret. Max took a big gamble letting Liz know their secret, and from there it spread to Maria and then Alex. They feared Kyle, much like they fear you now. He only became a part of the group, because Nasado took the chance telling him their secret when Teomner tried to gain control over Max through the possession of Liz's mind. They learned to trust him out of necessity."

"Mom, your saying that they're scared of me. Why, I still don't understand. I'm like them, why would they be afraid of me?"

"Sandie, I think it has to do with me, your father, and grandparents's connection to the government."

Sandie's eye brows raise, she doesn't understand why they would fear that connection. It's never been a problem for her. Yes, she's had to learn to block them from learning the strength and capability of her powers, and she has to be careful that they don't learn all that she's able to do, but that's always been easy for her. The testing has become habit for her. She's never known any other way. It's like going to the doctors for a well checkup. It's just something that she's always done.

"They're scared we will tell others of their existence, and that they will be experimented on. Which I believe they would be. If it was know that there are more of our kind living here on Earth, they wouldn't think twice about dissecting one of us to find out more about what the differences are between us and them. As long as it's believed that we are the only ones then we are all safer."

Mom how do I gain their trust. I have dreamed of having friends that accept me for me. I've always been afraid that if someone found out that I was only half human they wouldn't like me, they would be scared of me, and of course they wouldn't keep my secret. In all the dreams I've had of there being others like me, I never once dreamed that they would fear me."

Alisha pulls her daughter into her arms and holds her, and tries to reassure her that it will happen. It's just going to take time.


Kyle, Michael, Alex, and Maria walk into the Sheriff's station. Michael, Alex, and Maria look nervous. Kyle on the other hand looks right at home. He walks up to the counter and talks to the deputy sitting behind it. Kyle knows him well, he's been working for his dad for about two years now. He's in his mid twenties, single, with an eye for the ladies. "Hey Joe, how's it going?"

The deputy looks up from his paper work, "Same old, same old, you know dull. How about with you Kyle?"

"Complicated." Joe looks at Kyle with interest. "There are some strangers in town giving me and my friends a hard time." Joe nods understanding what he means. "Is my dad in his office?"

"Yeah, he's in there with a guy and a couple of really hot numbers." Joe raises his eye brows a few times indicating what he'd like to do with those the girls currently with the sheriff.

"Really!? I dated one of those girls last summer, guaranteed not your type." Joe realizes that he may have just put his foot in his mouth. He shifts uncomfortably in his seat. Kyle continues, "Those are the friends I was taking about, well they're some of them, and they're expecting us, so we're going to head on back. See ya."

"Yeah, take it easy Kyle." Joe returns to his paper work.

Kyle turns to face Michael, Maria, and Alex. He motions them to his father's office.

Joe looks up from his paper work, "Hey Kyle," Kyle looks back at Joe, and Joe continues. "If these guys keep giving you problems..."

"I know, give you a call. Thanks Joe." Kyle heads down the hall and takes the lead to his father's office. He knocks once on the door then opens it. Kyle looks into the office; and sees Max sitting in a chair between Liz and Isabel. He has one arm wrapped around Liz's shoulders and the other arm out reached holding Isabel's hand in his hand..

It's obvious that both girls are a little shaken up and Max is trying to comfort them. The question is; is it from being in the office with Sheriff Valenti, or have the events of the last few day and weeks finally caught up to them.

For a moment everything is quiet. Alex walks over and takes Isabel in his arms and whispers, "Are you okay?"

She nods her head against his chest, and feels her fears subsiding. She relaxes in Alex arms feeling protected and safe in his warm embrace.

Maria and Michael enter hand in hand. They stand behind Max and Liz. Maria rests her free hand on Liz's shoulder, and meets her gaze when she looks back at Maria. Liz and Maria both try to smile, but it doesn't come easily, because both feel uncomfortable in the Sheriff's office.

Sheriff Valenti watch the group as the four additions to the group enters. He finds it interesting the way the all support each other, and cling together in time of crisis. He finds it most interesting the way Michael stands behind Max, an obvious sign of support, glances at Liz, and looks over at Isabel, making sure that their okay. ‘This is a close group, a very close group' he tells himself.

"Hey dad." Kyle says as he settles into a chair against the wall.

"What's up Kyle, I didn't expect to see you here."

Isabel turns her head so that she can see the sheriff's face, "I called them, we were supposed to meet at Alex's and from there go see a movie, but because of what's been happening... I didn't want them to worry."

The sheriff stands up, walks to the front of his desk, and leans against the edge. "How much of this do you know Kyle?"

"Only what Isabel told Alex over the phone, and what Michael told me of the events at the park yesterday after I left with Sandie."

"Tell me what that is and I'll fill in the rest." Sheriff Valenti looks at Kyle with curiosity. He wonders how much he really knows about this group he calls his friends. Does he share their secret, or have they left him in the dark?

Kyle expected this, he knows his father better than his father thinks he does. "Michael told me that yesterday when Maria and him were leaving the park he recognized some guy that he spotted several times through out the day. He pointed him out to Maria, who also recognized him, but not just from yesterday, she recalled seeing him several times throughout the week. Michael confronted this guy, and told him to stop following Maria. The guy denied following her, of course.

Then today when Michael, Maria, and I arrived at Alex's he told us that Liz, Max, and Isabel were down here. That someone followed them into the desert when they went out for some, I don't want to say four wheeling considering that jeep of his, but I guess that's the only thing to call it. Anyway, they lost that guy in the desert, and as they returned to town someone else started following them. Knowing Max like I do, I'm sure he made a few quick turns to make sure he wasn't suffering from a case of paranoia. Which I'm sure he wasn't, because instead of being at the movies like we planned we are all sitting here in your office." Kyle sits forward in his seat, matching his fathers gaze. "What's going on dad, why would anyone want to follow a group of high school kids?"

Valenti clears his throat and looks directly at Max. "Shall I tell him or do you want to do the honors Mr. Evans."

Max acts puzzled by the Sheriff's question. He refuses to let on that he understands what the sheriff is implying. "Excuse me Sheriff, how would I know why we're being followed? I was hopping that you could figure that out." Max pulls Liz closer to him, and turns his gaze toward Isabel. "Sheriff, we came to you, because your supposed to protect us. For some reason, unknown to us, it appears that Isabel, Liz, and Maria are being followed. And I don't know about you Sheriff, but I don't like that idea of people that I care about being followed. It's scaring them, and it scares me to think that something could happen to them."

"Why do you think it's the girls that are being followed?," The sheriff ask curiously.

"Simple, when I go out alone or with Michael, Alex, or Kyle we haven't noticed anyone following us. It's only when we're together that we've seen these cars following us."

"Do you often watch for people following you Mr. Evans?"

Max is getting annoyed with the sheriff's pointed questions. "I wouldn't say I watch for them, but I do watch my rear view mirror like any good driver."

Kyle's own growing annoyance at his father's unrelated questions is showing, "What's that got to do with anything? I watch out my review mirror, does that mean I know why these guys are following me and my friends? I don't like what you are insinuating dad. I know if Max knew anything that would help, he wouldn't be keeping it a secret. If you haven't noticed he's just as puzzled, and worried about this whole thing as I am." Kyle stands up and moves closer to the others. "Your job is to uphold the law, so the question of the day is, what are you going to do to protect us?"


The seven friends walk quietly out of the Sheriff's station. "I can see why you guys didn't want to go to my father with this yesterday. The way he was acting... he doesn't think he can do much."

Liz knows how close Kyle and his dad used to be. Ever since the sheriff started trying to find out Max's secret, they have been drifting further and further apart. She's worried that because of all that has happened; Kyle will lose what little faith he has in his father. She tries to reassure Kyle. "Kyle you have to remember that your dad probably thinks these guys are FBI. If they were, he probably couldn't do anything about it."

Kyle looks doubtful, but he takes comfort in the fact that Liz tried. "You may be right, however, I still suggest we come up with a way to get rid of these guys ourselves, like we originally planned to do."

Michael is irritated by the whole situation. He can't believe that Max, Isabel, and Liz actually thought the sheriff would do anything to help them. He really can't believe Isabel went along with this. He knows how scared she is of the Sheriff, but what's done is done. Now he wants to take matters back into his own hands. He only hopes the others learned they can't count on the Sheriff to help them out. "I'm with Kyle, I didn't like bringing the sheriff into our business in the first place. I say the next time we see these creeps; we ask them straight up what they want."

"I don't like it, but think Michael's right on this one."

Michael smirks at Max's statement the adds, "Which don't you like Max? The idea that I could be right or that we have to face them?"


The gang heads to Alex's as previously planned, so they can brainstorm and come up with a plan to finally end this nightmare. When they arrive, Mr. Whitman looks surprised to see them. He gets up from his chair in the study next to the entry way. "Well are you going to introduce me to your friends Alex?" Mr. Whitman looks amused by the unusual mix of kids. He sums them each up as Alex introduces them. "You remember Isabel."

Isabel he remembers from the other day. The one that looks like the prom queen herself, which he still can't believe would be dating his son. "Nice to see you again."

"You remember Liz Parker."

One of the girls that Alex has been friends with since we moved to Roswell. She's grown into a fine looking young lady. I see she's found a love interest. "Liz"

Liz clings to Max's hand. Ever since the first time Liz met Alex's dad; he's made her feel uncomfortable. Something about the urgent tone in his voice makes her uneasy.

"This is Max Evans."

Clean cut, looks like the athletic type, nice looking kid. I'd bet he makes his father proud. Why couldn't Alex have been more like him? "Ah, the infamous Max Evans. I hear Alex has been spending a lot of time at your place. So, how do you feel about my son and your sister?"

Max is through off by the question. "Sir? Um, Alex treats her right and makes her happy. What else could a brother ask for, for his sister?"


"This is Kyle Valenti"

Another athlete, how did Alex get hooked up with this kids. They probable need help with their studies and of course they'd turn to the nerd. "The sheriff's son?"

"Yes sir."

Looks like Alex has connections I never gave him credit for.

"You know Maria DeLuca."

The other of Alex's trio. She too has grown into a pretty little thing. I'll bet she's still a firecracker. "Good to see you again, Maria."

Thank you Mr. Whitman."

"And this is Michael Guerwin."

Doesn't look like someone I'd place with this group. He looks more like the kind that would end up in jail somewhere rather than a guy who would hangout with athletes and nerds. I wonder what his story is. Looks like Maria sees something in him. What's with the hair, does he ever brush it, or does he make it do that on purpose? "Your kind of the odd one out. How did you end up with this group?"

Michael's eyes narrow. "You'd be surprised how well I fit into this group." While still holding Michael's hand, Maria wraps her arm around his waist and leans against his chest.

Would you all like to come into the living room. We could get to know each other."

"I thought that we would just head back to my room. I'm going to show them some sites that I came across on my computer."

Don't you think it would be a little crowded in your room?"

"We'll be fine dad. Thanks anyway."


As the plan unfolds the seven friends sit around Alex's room, either on his bed or on the floor leaning back against the wall or what ever maybe there. The room is comfortable enough thanks to the ceiling fan, which is spinning on high.

Max knows that if this is going to work everyone has to do their part. He hates part of this plan, but Liz didn't give him much choice in the matter, and to boot, he was out voted. Way is it always Liz and him who get the risky parts of their plans? "Does everyone understand what they need to do?"

"Yeah, just remember you two, don't get carried away this time," jokes Alex.

"I don't know I kind of liked it the last time, and from where I was standing so was Max. " Michael couldn't resist getting in another jab at Max.

"Gross Michael, I have no intention of watching my brother and Liz get all hot and heavy."

Liz gives everyone that look, and Max speaks up also getting tired of them holding that night over their heads. "We told you, we're not doing that this time." He made it very clear to all of them that, under no circumstances would he allow for Liz and himself to be put in a situation were they had to expose themselves in any way, shape, or form.

"Tomorrow then?" Confirms Kyle as he stands up from the floor.

"Are you sure that we shouldn't involve a few other people in our plan, Alisha and Sandie might come in handy?" Maria hopes that the group will reconsider her idea. She knows that they don't truly trust Sandie and Alisha, but this could be one of those times that it would be worth the risk.

Michael pulls Maria tightly into his arms, "Maria, hon you know we can't do that. It's not worth risking our lives to find out if we can trust them or not. As long as we stick to the plan and work together we can do this."

Liz understands Maria's fears for they are her own. She's also afraid that something could go wrong. However she finds comfort in the knowledge that these guys are human and they've dealt with worse. She truly believes that if they work together as at team, as they did before, everything will work out. They can handle anything and everything that comes their way as long as they do it together.


After the gathering broke up Max drove Liz straight to the Crashdown, they cuddle in the back seat of his jeep. Both longing to feel each other the way they did the night before, but unsure if they should risk getting caught. They both fear the fact that Max's mother may have informed Liz's mother of the late hours Max has been keeping. Which they feel would have clued her into the fact that Max was sneaking in at night, and spending time with Liz that she knew nothing about.

Liz in an effort to avoid what she's feeling starts to talk about what ever comes to mind. "Max you know these changes that are supposed to happen to us, do you think they will happen slowly or..."

"Are you regretting last night?"

"No, Max never! I've been wanting it to happen for a while now, it's not that. I've, um, curious what kind of changes we're going to experience. Alisha was vague about what changes her and Robert experienced." She sighs as she feels the warmth of Max's body so close to her own. "I am looking forward to dreaming with you without the use of the phone. I've waken up many mornings all tangled up in the cord.

"You too?" He asks as he give a slight chuckle. He knows he should leave before things get out of control, but he can't make himself pull away from her warmth. "Should we.. try it tonight. See if we can make the connection... without the phone?"

Liz swallows hard, "I don't think we should risk it tonight. If we didn't make the connection... then I think... I would have a rough night."

Max feels his resolve slipping away, he knows that Liz's is as well. He starts to push her away so that he can move back to the front seat. He stops dead in his tracks as his eyes meet Liz's. In them he sees his own desires reflecting back at him. He wastes no time pulling her back into his arms kissing her lips with all the hunger and desire that has built up within him.

Breathlessly he pulls away, "I should go, Liz. We can't do this here."

"Then lets go somewhere, anywhere, I..." Liz sees the battle ragging in Max. "I'm sorry Max. I know we can't go anywhere until things are settled."

He shakes his head grateful that she understands. "Can we... can I come up... I mean do you think that your mother might suspect?"

"I don't know, but come up anyway. If nothing else, we can at least try."

Liz slowly climbs out of the jeep only to quicken her step the closer she draws to the stairs.

Max also climbs out of the jeep, he heads toward her fire escape, never taking his eyes off of Liz until she's safely inside. He finishes the journey and quickly ascends to her balcony. They both arrive at her window at the same time. Liz unlocks it and steps back allowing Max to enter. Once in the room he looks to the door. "Did you lock it?," he asks. Liz's only response is a meager nod of her head just before she wraps her arms around him. Pulling him as close to her as humanly possible. Their kiss, strong and hungry, urges them onward.

Never breaking their kiss they move toward her bed. Max with ease pulls her shirt up, separating their lips for only a split second to pull it over her head. Her hands move to the button on his shirt, and unbuttoning them with ease. His hands join hers to finish the job she had started, unbuttoning his shirt, which is quickly discarded to the floor carelessly. Max grabs hold of the bottom of his t-shirt removing it with as if there is no time to waste.

As he did so, Liz slid her pants to the ground. Now standing in only her matching panties and bra. Feeling the lose of his touch, she moves quickly back into his warm loving arms. Their lips meeting and their kisses grow more desperate, hungry, and full of passion. Their tongues moving as if dancing to a dance they both have known all of their lives. Knowing each step, each move the other would make.

Liz hands move to release the button on his jeans, only to find one of his hand already in the process of doing so. She runs her hands up his contoured back and then pulls away. Never taking her eyes from his she lays down on her bed, and waits for him to completely shed his shoes and jeans, and join her.

Max, with desire in his eyes, eagerly joins Liz on the bed, laying beside her, drawing her into his body which hungers for her warmth, her touch, for the presences of her. Their need driving them closer and closer to fulfill the desires of their heart, mind, body, and soul.

Max glides his hands up her sides and around her back to release her bra, which hides her breasts from his passionate gaze. Once discarded, he touches her with feather light strokes, knowing that it drives her crazy. Max tries to slow things down just a bit, but finds it difficult. He wants her, needs her so badly. He's never know this kind of need before. But finds it true, he NEEDS to be one with Liz again, to be joined as one.

At every touch, every stroke of his hands, Liz fights back the urge to cry out, fearing being overheard. Time passes more quickly now, as they draw toward the moment of their anticipation, and yet it seems to move in slow motion some how.

From the moment of their physical connection, an other connection is formed. They are able to feel what the other is feeling, to know of the others desires. Liz assumed that the connection was formed by Max, but as she looks upon his face, she sees bewilderment written in his expression. She wonders if this is one of those changes she had been wondering about. Was this something that they would always share. She hoped so, because it made her feel more complete, they were truly of one mind and one body as if it was always meant to be.

***** Later as they rest in each others arms, longing that the night would never end, wishing somehow that they could stay like this forever, they hear a soft knock on her door. The moment is spoiled and panic sets in. They both know that he can't be caught in her room, not like this. Neither of their parents would understand this was the way of his people, and that their union was one neither could fight. How could they explain that their love is of the purest kind. Beginning with knowing each other more than most married couples in a life time. For they saw into each others souls.

Max quickly and quietly grabs his close and heads into her bathroom, hoping that they don't check inside. Liz follows him inside, turns on the shower to warm, and grabs her robe off the hook on the back of the door. "Don't worry Max, it will be okay," she assures him as she heads out the door.

Liz walks to her bedroom, and waits for the next knock, knowing it will come. When it does it comes a little louder this time. She opens it just a crack. "Yes?"

"Liz, Max's mom is on the phone. She wants to know if he's still here," her mother says.

"He left a few minutes ago. Tell her he should be there any minute." Liz lies knowing that he will leave soon, and that they will never know.

Liz closes the door, locking it, and quickly moves back into the bathroom. Max is half dressed, but Liz realizes that he must have showered off, because his back still glistening with water. "Your mom called." she says with a smile as she picks up the towel from the sink and dabs the remaining water from his back.

Smiling back at her he picks shirt up his from the counter, putting it on. "I should go then."

Liz bites her lower lip and nods slowly. She wants him to stay, but knows that he can't.

Carrying his shoes and socks in his hand he moves into her room, sits down on her bed to put them on. With one farewell kiss his slips out the window. "I hope to see you in my dreams, but if not I'll pick you up in the morning before school."

Liz watches him climb over the edge of her balcony never taking her eyes from him until he disappears. She leans back against the window frame and sighs, closing her eyes to relish the moment. After a long pause she moves to the bathroom to take her shower.


Max quickly climbs in his jeep and heads for home. His mind drifts to the event of the night and the great love that they share. He wonders if any two people are as happy tonight as Liz and him are. A feeling of peace washes over him like a blanket on a cold night, he has never felt so at home, so relaxed in his life. As he pulls up in his driveway, only now does he realize that he again was being followed. He quickly moves into the house, not wanting to risk a confrontation on his own. He quickly moves to the phone and calls Liz.


Max breaths a sigh of relief. "I just wanted to say good night, and to remind you to lock your window. We don't want any strange guys crawling in at wee hours of the morning. He jokes.

"I'll lock it now, but there is one very strange guy I wouldn't mind crawling in my window at wee hours in the morning, but then he knows how to open my window even if it is locked."

"Good night Liz."

"Good night Max."

Part 25 | Index | Part 27
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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