FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"Taking A Step Back"
Part 32
by Mary N.
Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
Max and Liz turn and look at each other as soon as Isabel closes the door. "Max, she looked mad, I mean really mad."

"I know, but we'll have to worry about her later." Max climbs out of bed. "We better get cleaned up and get you to work before you end up in trouble with your parents."

"Oh, and Maria, I am going to be in so much trouble when she sees me."

******************************

Max and Liz walk quickly down the hall and head straight for the front door. "And where do you two think your going. I'm not done with you. I haven't even started."

"Isabel, I have to get Liz to work or she's going to be in a lot of trouble."

"She's already in a lot of trouble," Isabel announces.

Max looks at his sister with a warning, letting her know that she better back off.

Isabel accepts the fact that Liz has to leave, but she's not willing to let Max get away until she gives him a piece of her mind. "Fine! Alex can take her, right Alex?"

I don't want to miss this."

"Please Alex?" asks Isabel

"Fine, but I want details' Michael, lots of detail. Hey Max is there a video camera in the house?"

Both Max and Isabel glare at him. "Don't worry. I'm gone." Alex opens the door. "Seriously though, if there's a camera I want tape."

*Good luck Max.* Max and Liz exchange a quick kiss. *You too. I don't know which of us has it worse, Me with the Ice Princess gone berserk, or you with a crazed firecracker on the rampage.*

Alex grabs Liz's arm and gently pulls her out the door. "I don't want to miss the whole thing, come on."

Isabel stands there tapping her foot impatiently waiting for Max to move into the living room.

Max walks in like he's heading for the firing squad. He remains standing, ready to defend his actions to his sister, Michael, and Sandie if they choose to get involved.

Michael is sitting on the recliner leaning forward, ready to watch the show. Sandie is sitting on the couch looking anywhere but at Max. She wants to be involved in what's going on with her friends, but she feels this is something between Max and Liz, and no one else.

Isabel stands there waiting for Max to say something, anything to explain why Liz and he were taking risks and scaring the others half out of their whits. After a long silence she takes it upon herself to get things started. "Do you realize how worried we were about you and Liz?! When you didn't return to school and Liz didn't show up for work, we thought Mr. Woods came back and took you prisoner or worse!"

Max thought this was all about Liz and him having sex. But clearly there was more to his sister's anger than that. "I'm sorry Isabel. We wanted time alone together."

Isabel's Ice Princess facade was blazed away as she begins to rant and rave like a made woman with her hands flying through the air. Michael would swear if she moved them any faster she would take flight. "I saw that! Didn't you get enough of that last night? That is where you went, right? I know you didn't sleep here last night, I checked! How could you be so careless? Do you know what would have happened if mom or dad caught you two like, like that?" Isabel tries to shake the image of Liz standing there holding her clothes in front of her while Max tried to cover himself from her mind. "You would have been forbidden to see Liz for who knows how long. Not to mention what would have happened if they grounded you to the house over the weekend. Did you forget we need you Sunday when we confront Topolski? Do you even think about the consequences of your actions' anymore Max? Or do you let you lower extremities do all of your thinking these days?"

"Low blow. Sorry, no pun intended," comments Michael

Isabel ignores Michael, "Well do you? What about the changes Max? Have you forgotten this is going to cause chemical changes to you, to her? What it she gets pregnant Max, have you thought about that? She couldn't even go to the doctor. Have you thought about what could go wrong and she wouldn't even be able to go to the doctor? She's not like us, she gets sick, and she can't even go to a stupid doctor.

"Isabel, Um, I hate to interrupt, but once the changes started my dad stopped getting sick. He's always talking about how other people have to reserve their sick days for when they get sick, and how he gets to use them like vacation days when he wants to play hooky for a few days. If Liz did get pregnant, my mom would help I'm sure. She's spent a lot of time in the lab with my grandma. Even so, if you felt comfortable, we could ask my grandmother, she know more about the alien similarities and differences than anyone."

Isabel puts her hands on her hips. "You're not helping my case Sandie?"

"No, but she is helping mine. Thank you Sandie." Max and Sandie exchange smiles.

Isabel turns to face Michael, nods her head to the side, motioning that it's his turn. Michael just stares at her, you can tell that he doesn't know what to say. He looks like he's debating on something. Isabel wants Michael to back her up, and to do it now. With urgency and frustration in her voice she verbally asks, "What about you Michael? Aren't you going to say anything?"

"Yeah, It feels great doesn't it?" Everyone turns to look at him in shock. Isabel's mouth is hanging open.

Michael had no doubt that by admitting this he would once again be releasing the wrath of Isabel. He only hoped that she was a little deflated by now. Besides, he knew she wasn't going to let him get away with saying nothing, and he wasn't going to lecture Max about something he himself had done. Not being the dummy that a lot of people take him for, he also figured, if the two of them stood together on this, alone with the information that Sandie just provided, they had a case that Isabel couldn't win. As if she ever could, this was a choice Maria and he made together as did Max and Liz. They all knew the risks and accepted them.

"What, don't look so surprised." Michael declared, the surprised looks on the faces of Max and Isabel irritated him.

"You and Maria?" Max asked, knowing that he didn't have to bare through this alone any longer.

"Michael, you're just as bad as he is!" Isabel screamed in disbelief. Isabel had just surpassed angry. She is now enraged, frustrated, infuriated, and any other word you can think of. Basically she was aghast to the point of speechlessness. Which not unlike Maria, is difficult to do.

"Hey at least we didn't lose any sleep, or skip school to do it." Michael stated in his defense.

Max mumbles "That will change soon enough."

Michael looks sharply at Max, "What was that?"

Acknowledging that Michael must have heard him, he restated, "I said, that will change soon enough."

Puzzled by Max's statement Michael asked, "Why would you say that?"

"Let me ask you a question first? When, when did you and Maria first . . . ?"

After debating whether to, or not to answer, Michael figures that Max wouldn't ask for now reason. "Maria was a little shaken up from yesterday. I went to keep her company and it happened. Last night it happened. Now why did you want to know when?"

"Saturday night, Liz and I were together Saturday night. I went to her for pretty much the same reason. The woods and those guys following us (he lied.) Then last night when I dropped her off we were reading each others minds. I knew what she wanted and she knew what I wanted, and it wasn't to say goodnight."

Isabel sits on the couch beside Sandie and puts her face into her hands. She can't believe what he's saying. *The changes have already started happening.*

Michael scoots forward a little more in his chair. His curiosity is peeking. "Two days after, and your hearing each others thoughts. I don't know if I like that. My thoughts are just that my thoughts. They're not something I want someone else listening to."

"Not that I'm an expert, but I don't think it's your choice anymore. Liz and I suspected it might become a problem as well. You know how things are Michael. When I see Liz, I can't keep from fantasizing about her smell, the touch of her hair, how she fells in my arm, the touch of her lips." Max takes a deep breath and sighs, then shakes his head to clear the images he's conjured. "Anyway, she could hear all of my thoughts. All of them, and I could hear hers. We tried to think about other things. We even tried taking to each other with our thoughts. It worked for a while, but obviously not completely." Max looks over at Isabel. "We came here, because I knew mom and dad would be gone for hours. We planned to return to school, but because we didn't get enough sleep last night, we were both tired and fell asleep. The rest is history."

******************************************

Meanwhile, at the Crashdown.

Liz walks in through the alley door. She figures if Maria is going to yell at her, she doesn't want it to be in front of the costumers. She looks around, and is relieved Maria is no where in sight, and assumes she is out front. She walks over to her locker and changes into her uniform while trying to figure out what she was going to tell Maria.

She would have figured it out on the way over from Max's. Alex however made that impossible. He went on, and on about what he was missing at the Evans' house, and about how upset Isabel had been when she thought something happened to them.

In a way she was relieved Alex talking continually instead of bombarding her with questions. A small part of her felt he was doing so in order to keep from asking her questions about what's been happening between Max and her. She wondered if was because he felt uncomfortable asking about it, or if he felt she would be uncomfortable talking to him about it, either way she was relieved.

Once completely in her uniform, Liz stood in the doorway and waited for Maria to notice her.

It didn't take her long and she practically ran to where Liz was standing. "I'm sorry Maria. Alex told me that everyone was worried, but. . . ."

Liz was still talking when Maria grabbed her by the wrist and pulled her away from the doors, and back to the break area. She waving her hands beside her head and signaled Liz to stop. "Hosh-posh, I want to hear about you and Max. You two were at it again, you know IT. I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner. I mean I knew you two got together Saturday, and then this morning you both looked so tired and deliriously happy, but it didn't hit me until lunch when Isabel was going on and on about how Max didn't sleep at home last night, and that you both acted like you were keeping some big secret. That's when it hit me like a brick. So, tell me, is as good the second time? Did you and Romeo do it all night, is that why you were so tired today? Then you two did it again today? If only Michael was that energetic. We did it once last night and nothing since."

"You and Michael? When did this start?"

"Oh I didn't tell you, that's right, I never got the chance. You took off with Romeo for seconds."

"Sixth & Seventh."

"Wow! He's the energizer bunny! What was this from Saturday or since last night?"

"Since Saturday."

Jeff Parker peeks his head through the door from the front of the Crashdown. "Girls, there are customers out front wanting their orders. You do still work here, don't you? "

"We'll be right there." Maria informed him. "I told your dad you had to stay after school to finish a Biology assignment. It least I wasn't completely lying."

Throughout their shift Maria and Liz shared information. Liz told her only the basic details of what has been happening between Max and her for the last couple of days. She also explained that they were hearing each others thoughts.

Maria then told Liz about how out of control Michael and her were while they were stalling for time yesterday, and how Michael showed up at her window last night and they picked up where they left of in the desert earlier.

********************************** Alex was relieved when he dropped off Liz. There were so many things he want to know, but something about having a discussion with Liz about sex didn't feel right. If he was going to get details, he wanted them from a guy's prospective.

For most of the trip back to the Evans' house Alex wondered what he missed, and for the rest, he ran through several possible scenarios of what happened. By time he pulled up in front of their house he half expects to find the roof missing. He walks up to the door, *It so quiet in there, I hope she didn't kill him.* Alex rings the doorbell and steps back; readying himself for anything. Well, almost anything, he is very surprised when a much calmer Isabel opened it. "Come on in Alex," she said before turning and walking back into the house.

Alex watched her with squinted eyes and raised eyebrows. * Was that the same Isabel I left here earlier? I wonder what happened to extinguish her flaming temper? * Alex steps into the house closing the door behind him, and quickly follows Isabel into the living room. As Alex enters, he notices Michael is still sitting in the same chair. Max is no longer standing, but is now sitting on the floor beside Michael's chair across from Isabel and Sandie. The girls are sitting side by side on the couch, leaving room for him to sit to the right of Isabel.

Alex takes the available seat, and soon grows uneasy at the uncanny silence. He takes it as a challenge to break the awkwardness in the room and to get everyone talking again. "Okay folks, either tell me what I missed or show me the tape."

Isabel doesn't remove her glare from Michael and Max. "It seems that Max isn't the only one to cross the line, Michael's just as stupid.

Alex, who was watch Isabel as she spoke, turns and looks at Michael. "You and Maria?"

"Why does everyone sound so surprised?"

"I'm not surprised you two are together. We've all know for a long time about your feelings for each other. It's just your timing." Michael seems to accept Alex's explanation. "Where do we go from here?"

"There's no where to go. What's done is done, now all we can do is wait to see what other changes will occur."

"Other changes? What changes have already occurred?"

"I'll explain on the way out to the house. I don't want this day to be a total disaster, besides our mom should be home soon and I don't think we want to discuss here." Isabel stands to her feet and heads for the door.

The others follow. "Can you drop me off at the school on the way? Kyle's practice should be ending soon, and that way I can explain to him all of this to him?"

Isabel is grateful for the change in subject. "You and Kyle have hit it off really well, haven't you?"

"Yeah, we have." Sandie climbs into the back of the Jeep beside Isabel and Alex. Max and Michael sat up front, Max driving of course.

"How is he? I hear he hit Tommy today? What was that all about?," questions Alex.

Surprised, Max jests, "What's this, Kyle hit Tommy? I skip a half a day at school and I missed it."

"Tommy was being a jerk, and Kyle refused to let him get away with it."

"Tommy was being a jerk, so what. He's always a jerk, Kyle's never hit him before. There's more to it then that." Alex is concerned about Kyle. Hitting someone without cause isn't Kyle, and he wants to know what Sandie's not telling them. "Look Sandie, we all know that Kyle will do whatever it takes to defend the people he cares about. We've seen it more than once. What we want to know is, what did Tommy do or say that made Kyle feel he had to stop whatever Tommy was doing."

Knowing Isabel is already upset with her discovery about Max and Liz's current relationship status, and also knowing how upset Max will be by someone talking badly about Liz; Sandie really doesn't what to tell them what Tommy said. She knows that it won't do any good, and it could make things worse. "It really wasn't that big of a deal, and besides Kyle took care of it."

Max looks in the rear view mirror. Seeing the worried expression on Sandie's face figures that Alex is right, there is more to this. "Sandie, what aren't you telling us?"

Sandie looks into the mirror and catches the look Max concern in Max's eyes. She then looks around and realizes that everyone is looking at her waiting for an answer. "Really, it's fine. I'm sure he was just making things up, you know to get a rise out of Kyle. You know, to make himself look like he's all that, in front of his friends."

"What was he saying Sandie? What kinds of things did he make up?" Michael asks more assertively.

Sandie knows they aren't going to let this go until they know the truth. "He was saying that Kyle couldn't keep me happy; just like he couldn't keep Liz happy, and that he wanted to do to me what you Max, have been sneaking into Liz room and doing to her."

"What?" Max yells as he pulls the jeep to the side of the road.

Isabel throws her hands into the air. "Great now everyone knows Max and Liz are sleeping together."

"I don't think Tommy really knows anything. He was simply saying anything he could think of to get under Kyle's skin. Like calling all of us a bunch of misfits. I think Kyle would have walked away, but Tommy wouldn't stop. Like I said, he was trying to look big or something in front of his friends."

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