FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"Taking A Step Back"
Part 43
by Mary N.
Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
Tommy carries a tray of food to a table and sits for the first time all day. Across from him sits Drill Sgt. Hanson who is watching him very closely. He observes Tommy just sitting there staring at his food. "You have only fifteen minutes to eat, so I'd advise you to get started."

Tommy is warn out and extremely sore. He takes a bite of food and ponders the events of the day. *This has to have been one of the worst days of my life, and it's not even over yet. If they make me go through that obstacle course one more time I think I'm going to risk what other punishment they could come up with. As if the yelling isn't bad enough. Hanson voice drilling into my head is torture in and of its self. Then to add the repetition of his statements. Pick up your pace, I can't hear you, drop and give me twenty, I said do it, that means now, Move it, move it, move it, and my all time favorite, did I say you could talk? As if anyone has the right to make someone else do something they don't want to do.* Tommy feels the hair on the back of his neck stand straight up, as images of his dream flood into his mind. He talks a deep breath and pushes the images way and continues to complain about the day. *Why am I even putting up with this, it's not like I didn't anything wrong? All I did was try to have some fun with Sandie, it's not like she wouldn't have enjoyed it.* Once again, Tommy gets that prickly feeling on the back of his neck, but this time it's not so easily dismissed. *This is just too weird, why are my own thoughts affecting me this way? I haven't done anything wrong, and I have the right to be upset about being put through this so called boot camp.* Tommy looks up at Hanson with disdain in his eyes. *He doesn't have the right to put me through this, to make me do things I don't want to do. Like that obstacle course, I must have run that thing twenty times so far and I have the blisters on my hands to prove it. Not to mention the blisters I'm going to have on my feet from all the hiking they're making me do.*

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

Maria is excited about the development of hers and Michael's ability to hear each others thoughts, but she hasn't had any time to discuss it with Liz. Because as normal, Saturdays at the Crashdown Cafe are extremely busy. They finished their shift only fifteen minutes ago. Since then they have placed their own orders for lunch, quickly changed clothes, picked up their orders and sat down in their usual booth. Both relieved to finally be off of their feet, they sit across from each other with their feet propped up in each others seat. They are relishing in the fact that they have the rest of the weekend off, and they get to spend it with their perspective other and their friends.

"I am looking forward to the rest of this weekend. Me and Michael, you and Max, Isabel and Alex, and of course Kyle and Sandie. We are going to have so much fun. There is only one thing that could make this weekend better."

"And what's that?"

"No meeting with Topolski. This whole meeting scares me. She's had too much time to prepare for, and for all we know she's planning some sort of trap. She could even be planning a way to talk us all away."

"It's possible she'll try, but don't forget we have a few surprises of our own. Besides we'll all eight of us there, and Alisha, Robert, and Sheriff Valenti as back up if we need them; she hasn't got a chance. So I for one plan to take advantage of this time with Max and with you guys."

Maria relaxes a little, she knows Liz is right. Together they can handle anything that comes their way, with a little practice that is. All week Maria has been hearing Michael talk about how strong their powers are getting and how they are learning to control them. That's everyone except her, Max, and Liz. Maria plans to take advantage of part of the day learning what the others have been working on all week. Speaking of learning about control, "Liz, this hearing each others thoughts, can you tell me more about what to expect? Have you learned any more about it?"

"In the beginning it really made it hard to concentrate on school and other such stuff, but now it's not as bad. I think that it was just the initial shock of the whole thing. The key is to remember you can't take everything he thinks literally. Be honest, do you always take everything anybody say literally? Michael's going to have thoughts that may surprise you. Just remember thoughts run through all of our minds that we would never say out loud, and with Max, that's been part of the fun of it. You wouldn't believe me if I told you some of the things he thinks about, which I'm not so don't ask."

"Fine, I'll take it under advisement." That's not exactly what Maria was wanting to know about. She's already talked about all of this with Michael, and understands the problems that could arise, and she really doesn't want to talk about it further with Liz. What she want's to know is if there have been any developments that she needs to prepare for. "How's it going with Max and you? Anything new happening on the home front I should know about?"

"Things between us couldn't be better. The dreams are great and the time we have together is incredible."

"Why do I think there is a but coming?"

"It's my mom, I think she's suspicious about how close Max and I have gotten. Last night when Max and I were heading to my room, you know after everyone left, she was practically waiting for us."

"What did you two tell her?"

"That Max came up to get my gear for tonight because Kyle didn't have enough room and he didn't have the time to wait while I finished packing."

Maria chuckles and says, "Liz, you were done packing before I was."

Liz joins in the laughter, "Thank goodness she didn't know that."

Maria lowers her voice to make sure no one over hears her question, "You two didn't, you know?"

Liz is surprised that Maria would even need to ask. "Are you crazy, and risk her catching us? We my ave been a little out of control. . . ."

Maria interrupt, "A little?"

"Fine a lot out of control, but we're not so out of control that we're stupid. Besides she insisted we leave the door open."

"Ah, the truth comes out. You two didn't, because she made you. . . ."

Liz's turn to interrupt, "No, we just wouldn't want to risk getting caught. Come on she was awake and waiting for Max to leave before she went to bed."

"Right" Maria answers not really believing her. "So, everything else is normal? No more weird stuff happening like x-ray vision, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, or fly faster than a speeding bullet?"

Liz laughs and shakes her head, "We're not turning into Superman Maria."

"How do you know, Robert and Alisha can't even tell us what abilities we'll have? So, no developments?"

"There is one." Maria's eyes grow wide with anticipation. "Last night when Max was heading home, we could still hear each others thoughts."

"That's nothing new."

"From over a mile away."

"Wow! I see what you mean." Maria has a sudden revelation. "Now it makes since."

"What makes since?"

"The way your face seems to light up today when we were work, just like it does when he's in the room. You were talking to Max."

Liz bits her lower lip, and smiles. "Yes, and it's so great. Think about it Maria, we don't have to be anywhere around each other and yet we're still able to talk, and believe me we are taking advantage of it. From now on there isn't anything my mom or anyone else can do to keep us from talking."

"You're forgetting the mile limitation."

"Not really, I'm just thinking positively. If the distance has increased from being in the same room on Monday, a different room on Wednesday, and now just over a mile on Friday. Who's to say where it will end."

"What do you know, our own private line. One that no one can listen in on, and we don't even have to dial."

"Max will be here soon."

With all of this talk about hearing each others thoughts, Maria assumes Liz just got another message from Max. "Did he just tell you that?"

"No Maria, I looked at the clock." Liz points to the clock showing Maria that it's noon already. Hold on, let me find out how long he's going to be." *Max, are you almost done? *

*Hey beautiful, you must have read my thoughts. I'm getting ready to sign out now. Are you excited about tonight? *

*Do you even have to ask? *

*Not really, are you and Maria ready to go? *

*We're finishing our lunch now. Do you want me to order you anything? *

*Now that you mention it, I am kind of hungry. How about my usual? *

*You got it. I see you in a minute.*

*I can't wait.*

Maria watched Liz intensely as she communicated with Max. She wonders if her face lights up like that when Michael is in the room, or if it's just a Liz and Max thing. When Liz attention seemingly returns to Maria, she asks, "So what did Romeo say?"

"He'll be here in a few minutes, and we'll leave right after he gets a bite to eat."

"Don't tell me, he placed his order?" Maria starts to laugh, finding this whole thing rather amazing.

Liz doesn't see what's so funny, and feels that Maria is laughing her and Max. "What, it's convenient, and it saves time, which I'm surprised I would have to remind you that today we have some place we need to be." Liz gets up from her seat and walks over to the counter. She picks up an order pad, and writes down Max's order then turns it into the kitchen. After replacing the order pad to its proper place she walks over to the soda machine. As she picks up a glass, she hears the bell on the door as it opens. She quickly looks up hoping its Max. She is reward by Max with a smile meant just for her as he says, "Hey." Liz smiles back, "Hey, yourself. I'll be right over." She shows him the glass in her hand.

Max sits across from Maria never taking his eyes off of Liz, "How's it going Maria?"

Maria smiles to herself shaking her head side to side. *I know someone who plans to have some fun tonight.* She answers his question not really sure if he is even going to hear her he is so lost watching Liz. "Great, did Liz let you know about Michael and me?"

Max looks briefly at Maria as he slides over making room for Liz to join them. "Hearing each others thoughts, yeah."

Liz scoots in as close to Max as she possible can without sitting on his lap, and sets down his drink and a bottle of Tabasco sauce on the table. They share several much needed kisses keeping them from growing too deep, not wanting to get carried away. After pulling back, Liz smiles at Max, * I hope there is more where those came from.*

*You can count on it.* Max kisses Liz on more time before they turn their attention back to Maria.

Liz knows she interrupted something, so she asks, "What where you two talking about?"

"Maria's and Michael's connection." Max answers before Maria has a chance. "Which is something I've been thinking about every since you told me it's happening to them as well. I keep wondering why it took them four days, and us only two?"

"I was thinking about that last night, not exactly that. What I was wondering why they hadn't started hearing each other yet. I think it may have to do with the fact that you and I have been together more steady than Maria and Michael. Michael broke up with Maria for longer than we were apart, doing that I'm a stone wall' thing. I think it also has to do with the fact that each of us develops at different rates."

Maria figures if these two want to analyze this thing to death, so be it. But she isn't interested in doing so, she slides out of the booth and goes to check on Max's food figuring the sooner he eats the sooner they leave. Even though she's trying not to show it, she is anxious to leave and join Michael and the others out at the house. Especially Michael, and from what she's heard; the three of them have a lot of catching up to do in the training department.

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

Isabel and Alex are cuddling on one end of the couch, and Kyle and Sandie are cuddling on the other end. Michael is sitting in the chair, explaining an idea he has for tomorrow's meeting when Maria walks in followed by Max and Liz who are holding hands. Maria walks up and sits in Michael's lap giving him a heated kiss hello. * Hey baby, have you missed me? * She asks.

"What's going on?" Max asks as he sits on the ground pulling Liz into his lap wrapping his arms around her waist.

"We were thinking that since none of us trust Topolski, and she doesn't know about Sandie and Kyle yet; they should be the ones to monitor the Monitors in the study tomorrow. We'll keep her in the dark about them as long as we can. The less she knows about our secrets the safer we'll be."

"Sounds good." Acknowledges Max. "Did you say monitors?"

"Alex has been a busy beaver." Kyle informs them.

Michael corrects Kyle, "You mean a busy little Q."

Everyone in the room, except for Alex simultaneously asks, "Q? What is a Q?"

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

Once they refined their plan for tomorrow, the eight of them headed out a little way from the house into the desert in order to spend sometime practicing control of their powers. Kyle has his arms wrapped around Sandie's waist while she is explaining what they need to work on.

"Isabel and Alex can you two work with Maria and Michael. Michael you'll have to help Maria learn to concentrate like we did with Kyle and Alex, start simple. Max and Liz, you two are with Kyle and me." Sandie takes Kyle's hand in hers and leads them all off to the right of the others. "The key is, you have to concentrate on what you want to happen. The more you focus together the strong the force will be. I want you to start with. . . . ."

Sandie and Kyle worked with Liz and Max. They both are absorbing the information quicker than Sandie thought they would. She suspected it is because of their connection, but knows there could be more to it especially when she sees the strength of their powers. After talking about it, they come to a possible explanation. Because their relationship has advanced beyond that of the others, so have the molecular changes in their bodies. Meaning Max and Liz molecular cells have advanced further in the changes then the others.

**** Isabel has been patient with Michael and Maria, but her patients has run out. She is tired of trying to work with them. Both of them are felling to concentrate on the tasks at hand. Isabel finally gives up and storms pulling Alex with her.

Both Maria and Michael are struggling. They have both have been trying to concentrate, but it's hard to when they're hearing stray thoughts from each other.

Maria was relieved when Isabel left with Alex. She knows Isabel has only good intentions, but she feels this is something that Michael and her have to work through themselves. "Michael, I keep thinking about something Liz told me earlier. She said that when she went through this with Max, it was as if they were more heightened to each others thoughts because it was so new to them. And the more the time that passed, or the more they used this new connection, the stronger their connection has been getting and the less distracting. I think if we practice and concentrate on talking so that were not just hearing thoughts, that we may be able to make this work for us."

Michael admires Maria's determination and is willing to give a try. He kisses Maria on the gingerly on the lips, *I'll try, it you'll try. What do you want to talk about first? *

Part 42 | Index | Part 44
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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