FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"The Language of Longing"
Part 13
by Meredith
Disclaimer: Don't own, yada yada yada.
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
Authors Note: This is the next to the last part. Basically the climax of the entire story. If you are a Tess-lover, or pro-Tess in any way, please don't flame me, okay? I don't like her, and this is how I portray her. End of story. Thanks :) ~*THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HAS SENT ME ANY KIND OF FEEDBACK ON THIS STORY. It's been a long road, and it's winding down now, so I hope you've enjoyed the ride. ;)
"To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage."
-Lao Tzu

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"Okay, we have to have a plan." Alex said, sighing. "We can't just barge in there..."

"What?" Maria asked, her hands gripped on the steering wheel of the Volkswagon Jetta she shared with Michael, not taking her eyes off the front door to Morgan's condo. She was in an obvious daze.

"Maria...a plan. We need a plan." Alex said. He was sitting in the passenger's seat. He looked over at Maria and noticed her obvious distress. He put his arm around her, kissing her head.

"Y-yeah I know. A plan. But what, I mean are we just going to sit out here? I mean until we just LET Tess kill her? I mean I have a plan, how about this, how about we GO IN THERE and get Liz and the baby out of there?" Maria said, extremely close to losing control of her blinding rage.

"Maria, we know you're upset. We're all upset...but we have to be rational about this. If we just run in there, Tess and God-knows-who else will just go ahead and kill Liz without a second thought." Isabel said, sitting in the backseat, breastfeeding Michaela.

Maria's eyes filled with angry tears. "No. I'm not going to let that happen...I can' will kill me. It will kill Max. I can't see him hurt like that, he's too important to us- too important to Michael." As she uttered Max and Michael's names, she looked outside of the car window. Michael and Max were crouched on the ground, hiding behind Max's Jeep Cherokee parked across the street. Adam-Michael clutched his father's arm protectively.

Max's entire body was shaking. This was making it very hard for him to speak. Instead, his words were coming out in jolted, fragmented parts of sentences.

"Max- we really need to go in there. It's not going to do Liz any good to sit out here." Michael said firmly.

"What...we, what are you..." Max uttered.

"I'm going to talk to Tess...try to talk her out of it. You know, a brother-sister pep talk." Michael rolled his eyes to mention the thought of he and Tess actually being related somehow. "Then you'll come in, bring Adam-Michael..." Michael turned his gaze to the young boy sitting snuggly between them. He looked deep into the young boy's eyes, and it still shocked him with every glance- he was so much like Max. "Adam, buddy, you remember what we talked about?"

Adam looked up at his uncle and nodded. "Daddy's going to pick me up and take me that house over there." He pointed to the front door of Morgan's condo. "Mommy has Lizzie in there. She's hurting Lizzie. You're going to talk to Mommy then Daddy's going to pretend to hurt me with that." Adam-Michael pointed to the knife Michael was holding in his left hand.

Max looked over at the knife with disgust. He would never even think about harming Adam-Michael to get to Liz, but threatening his son's life did seem like a viable option in getting Tess to release her. "I...I can't hold my th-that, Michael."

"Well, I can't do it, Max. She'll only believe that we'd really do it if it's you. I'm sorry, but it has to be you. It's the only way." Michael said. Max looked down at his son and kissed the top of his head.

"You know I'd never hurt you, right Adam-Michael?" Max asked the tiny boy.

"Yes, I know that Daddy. You're doing this to help Lizzie and Jordana. Because you love them, they're your family. I'm your family, right Daddy?" Adam said.

For the first time since he walked through the apartment door to find Liz missing, Max actually smiled.

"I love you, son. Very much." Max said, holding his son tightly to him.

"I love you too, Daddy. So let's stop Mommy ok?" Adam said, extending his hand to his dad's.

As their hands touched, Max got a flash.


Liz, still bound to the steel chair in Morgan's living room, was looking down at her belly and cooing at it.

"Max...he's outside." She said softly.

"He's here, he's come to get us, your Daddy's here, baby girl. Don't cry anymore."

Just then, Tess walked over and smacked her across the face.

"I TOLD YOU NOT TO SPEAK!" She screamed at Liz. Liz's bottom lip quivered. Her soft brown hair cascaded down her face. She closed her eyes as the sting from the slap washed over her.

Nasedo, who had shape-shifted back into Morgan's form, ran over to them then.

"I just spotted Max's car, along with a Volkswagon Jetta, parked out front." Morgan/Nasedo said to her.

Tess smiled devilishly. "Perfect! The gang's all here, back together again. This will be fun, kind of like a West Roswell reunion, huh Liz? Now they can all be here to see you die."

Liz was outwardly upset, but she was ecstatic inside that they were so close to saving her.

"Max...Max...I love you..." She thought as she closed her eyes.***

Just then, the flash ended, and Max felt a wave of empowerment rush through his body. He felt Liz's love, he felt his purpose. Where the fear of what might happen used to live inside him, rage took its place.

"It's time." He said firmly to Michael and his son. Michael nodded, handing Max the knife. Max slipped it into the inside of his coat pocket. Michael stealthly crept back into the Jetta, climbing inside the backseat next to Isabel.

"Ok. Here's the plan." Michael said, out of breath.

Alex raised his hands up in relief. "Finally, someone who has some ideas...spill, Michael."

"I'm going in there first. I'm going to try to initially talk to Tess, try to get her to stop it..."

"Brother-sister pep talk? I know those well." Isabel interjected. Michael nodded, embarrassed to be considered the brother of such a great evil.

"Then, Max is going to bring Adam inside."

"Then what?" Alex asked.

Michael paused before continuing. "He's going to pull a knife on him."

"WHAT?" Alex, Isabel, and Maria screamed in unison. Michaela woke up then and started screaming.

"No way, Michael, no way, that's crazy." Maria said, shaking her head furiously.

"Yeah, Michael, Tess will go psycho-mom on us! Then Liz is a goner for sure!" Alex pleaded, rubbing his crying daughter's back as Isabel cradled her.

"It's the only way. We get Tess to back off by threatening to take the most precious thing to her..." Michael said.

"Her son..." Isabel said, looking off in terror. She rocked Michaela back and forth on her shoulder, cooing in her ear, trying to get her to calm down. It was almost like she could sense that something was wrong with her family.

"I can't believe Max would go for this plan,'s horrible, it's an awful plan, it's going to backfire, Adam's going to end up scarred for life, Liz is going to end up...dead!" Maria screamed, banging her head against the steering wheel.

"MARIA-WOULD YOU GET A GRIP ALREADY?" Michael screamed at her, which only caused the baby to cry louder to try to compete with him. "Freaking out is not going to help the situation at all. Adam will be fine. We've already talked about what's going to happen. He knows that Max isn't going to really hurt him, he's only going to pretend. Adam wants Liz and his sister out of there as much as we do..."

"But you have to agree with Maria...I mean, this is going to cause some lasting damage...pitting his mother against his father- using him as a pawn?" Alex said.

"A little bit of Mommy/Daddy conflict- that's better than watching your whole family die now isn't it?" Michael said to Alex pointedly.

The group of four shuddered at the thought of losing Max and Liz.

"That's not going to happen." Isabel said. "We can't let it."

"Well, I'll go in there with you, Michael." Alex said.

"I'm going too." Isabel chimed in.

"No, you're not going in there... it's too dangerous. Michaela can't lose...both her parents." Alex said firmly.

"I'm not letting you go in there alone." Isabel said. She locked gazes with her husband for a moment. "Besides, what if you guys need me or something? I mean, my powers..."

"Well if Isabel and Alex are going, I'm going in, too. I'm not going to sit out here and let that bitch take my best friend away from me. No way." Maria said, shaking her head.

"" Michael said firmly.

"What, Michael? Save your breath. You know you can't stop me." Maria replied.

Michael reached over and grabbed Maria's hand. He leaned into her, giving her a soft, sweet kiss. "I love you, you know that?"

"Ditto, spaceboy." She said, smiling up at him. "Just be careful, okay?"

"I'm not going to let anything happen to you." Michael said, rubbing his hand through her soft blonde hair.

"That goes double for me." Alex said, playing with Isabel's gorgeous golden locks and kissing the top of his daughter's head.

* * * * *

"Tess! Open up, it's Michael!" Michael screamed at the door, banging it forcefully. A long minute went by with no response from inside Morgan's condo, so Michael pounded again. "TESSA, OPEN UP! WE KNOW YOU HAVE LIZ IN THERE! WE'RE NOT LEAVING WITHOUT HER!"

Just then, the door swung open, and Tess's piercing blue eyes stared back at Michael.

"Hello, brother. So nice to see you." She said, smiling. "What brings you by so unexpectedly?"

"You know why, Tess. Where's Liz?" Michael asked, pushing his way into the condo.

"I assume she's with Max, how should I know where he keeps his whores?" Tess asked sweetly, trying to block his entrance into the living room, which was proceeded by a door. She held her small body up against the door. Michael smirked.

"I know Liz is back there. Now move, before I have to move you myself." Michael said firmly.

"Don't you want to talk first? Have a cup of tea? I miss you, dear brother, we need to catch up." Tess said, trying to push him towards the kitchen.

"I know what you're trying to do, it's not going to work."

"What?" She asked, fluttering her long eyelashes up at Michael and smiling.

"You're going to get me in the kitchen, then you're going to put one of your voodoo mind hexes on me and I'm going to forget you're in there torturing my best friend's girlfriend and baby. No way, 'sissy'. I'm not falling for that."

"Well then why are you here? You think you can just waltz in and save Liz? Surely you're smarter than that, Michael." She said, chuckling.

"Actually, I was going to come in here and try to convince you to stop it." Michael said, smirking.

"Well sit down. I'd like to hear what you have to say." Tess said, leading him to two small chairs set up in the foyer, right in front of the door.

"Well, I do have one strong case..." Michael said. "MAXWELL!" He cried loud enough for Max to hear him outside the door. Max pushed the door open, holding Adam-Michael in his arms, a knife to his throat.

"ADAM!" Tess cried, jumping up from her chair. She ran towards them.

"NOT so fast, dear Tessa. Give me Liz, and Adam will live." Max said, his hand steady, gripping the knife. Michael came between Max and Tess.

Tess's eyes were filling with tears. "You'd kill your own child...for that...whore?"

Michael pushed her away. "No, Tess. You're the monster. Now let Liz go. She's completely innocent. Her baby is completely innocent. You're going to kill two innocent beings- you're the monster."

"I'm not...I'm not a monster...LET GO OF MY SON!" She screamed, lunging towards Max. Max backed away. Michael restrained her, pushing her up against the living room door.

"Give us Liz." Michael said firmly. "And we won't hurt your son."

Tess's eyes blackened with rage. She opened the door to the living room, where Liz was tied up.

Michael quickly followed her in there, but was too late. Tess had run towards Liz and slashed her arm before Michael could get to her.

"OH MY GOD!" Liz screamed. The sight of Liz in pain was too much for Max to bear. He let go of Adam-Michael, running towards his love. Adam quickly followed his father. Michael had wrestled Tess to the ground, pushing the knife out of her hand. It slid across the hardwood floor.

Max placed his hand over Liz's wound on her arm, healing it instantly. He showered her with tiny kisses all over her face and neck. "You're safe now." He said breathlessly. "We're not going to let her hurt you."

Liz's eyes brimmed over with tears. "I love you, Max. I love you so much." They rested their foreheads together in relief.

"She may not have hurt you, Liz...but I can!" A voice came from the other side of the room.

It was Nasedo. He bent over, picking up the blood-stained knife that had slid across the floor during the scuffle between Tess and Michael.

Max, Liz, and Adam looked up at Nasedo in terror. "Oh, God, Max..." Liz said. Max huddled Adam behind Liz's chair and quickly stood up in front of Liz.

"You're not getting near her, Nasedo. Not this time." Max said firmly.

"Is that so, Max?" Nasedo asked.

"Yeah, it is!" A voice from outside the living room screamed. It was Maria. Nasedo turned around and smirked. Maria was holding a large vase she'd picked up from inside the foyer as she crept into the condo. Without another thought, she smashed it over the top of his head. This sent Nasedo to the ground, unconscious.

"MARIA!" Michael screamed. He let go of Tess and ran over to her. He held Maria tightly in his arms and she quickly grabbed the knife Nasedo dropped in his fall.

"I told you I wasn't going to sit in the car." Maria said, smiling up at Michael. He kissed her.

"Aww, what a sweet reunion. Too bad you're going to have to watch her die now." Tess said, raising her hands toward Maria as a blinding white light pulsed from her body.

"NO!" Michael screamed, putting his body in front of Maria's and acting as a shield. He harnessed his own energy and anger and thrust it back at Tess in an even more powerful and deadly light.

With that, Tess was knocked to the ground.

Max, who was still shielding his son and fiancee, looked up in shock. Michael stood in front of Tess's lifeless body, frozen. Maria clutched onto him in complete fear.

"Michael..." She whispered to him. "You...killed her."

"Oh my God...I killed her...I killed my sister..." Michael said, his eyes filling with tears. The realization of what he'd done began to sink in.

Max ran over to Michael, hugging him. "Michael, don't beat yourself up again, okay? She was going to kill Liz, Maria...You saved us. You didn't mean to kill her."

"I actually did it..." Michael uttered, in shock. He sank into Maria's arms, sobs rocking his body. She couldn't support the weight of his body so they fell to the ground. She rubbed his hair and kissed his head and cried with him.

"Michael..." Liz uttered out in choked sobs. "Thank you... I can't thank you enough...I'm so sorry you had to..." Adam-Michael hugged Liz tight to his chest. "Oh, God..." Liz said, realizing the little boy in her lap just saw his mother being killed.

Max sunk down, clutching Adam into his arms. Adam's bottom lip quivered.

"Mommy's gone." Adam said to Max.

Max could barely speak...he felt like the most awful person in the world for doing this to his son. "Yes, Adam. She's gone. We never meant for it to happen like this."

Adam fell into Max's arms, silently crying. "I loved my Mommy."

"She loved you too, Adam-Michael." Liz said, soothing his soft black hair.

Adam looked up into Max and Liz's eyes. They knew explaining this all to him wasn't going to be easy. He wiped his tears with the back of his hand.

Just then, Nasedo started to move around, rubbing his head in pain. Michael grabbed Maria, pulling them closer to Max, Liz, and Adam. Nasedo walked over to Tess's body, pushing her eyelids closed.

"So you killed her, Michael." Nasedo said. "All for a human? How could you?"

"I would have done the same thing for Liz." Max said to him firmly.

"You two don't know anything." Nasedo said. "You've just lost something precious...don't you see that?"

"No!" Max cried. "Our life is here! We've made our own destiny! And it's with Maria, with Alex...with Liz." He said, grabbing her hand and kissing it.

Nasedo shook his head. "Well, I don't care if you don't think you're are...and the day will come when our people will need you again...I can't risk losing the three of you. I've already lost one..."

"You don't want to lose us?" Michael asked, his eyes stained with tears. "Then stay away from us- all of us- that includes the three of us, Maria, Alex, Liz, Adam-Michael, Michaela, Jordana, everyone..."

Nasedo looked at them, then nodded. "I understand. But I will be watching you."

"Fine, you can watch, be our guardian...whatever you have to do...just don't interfere..." Max said, putting his arm around Liz and kissing her head.

Nasedo nodded, picking up Tess's body and taking it with him as he walked out of the door. The door shut behind him and Liz screamed out in relief.

"THANK GOD!" She screamed, kissing Max and grabbing Maria and Michael into a huge embrace. "I love you all so much. You saved us. God, I've never been so scared in my whole life..."

Michael started to speak, but was interrupted by Alex, Isabel, and Michaela, who had just walked in the door.

"Was that Tess's body Nasedo was carrying?" Alex asked them. Michael looked up at him, his eyes red with tears. Max calmly explained.

"Michael wrestled Tess to the ground, and she dropped her knife. Nasedo came in and picked it up... then Maria came in and Nasedo was about to go after Maria smashed a vase on top of his head. He fell to the ground, and Tess used all her energy and power to try to kill Maria. Michael put his body in front of Maria's to block the field, and returned it back to her doubly strong. Tess died." Max finished, winded. He hugged Adam-Michael, kissing his head.

"Oh my God!" Isabel gasped. "So they're really gone? Adam, honey, I'm so sorry." She leaned down and hugged her nephew.

Adam broke away from them, climbing into Liz's lap. "Lizzie?" He whispered.

Liz leaned in to him, smiling. She put her hand on the side of his tiny face. "What is it sweetie?"

"I want you to Mommy." He said quietly. Liz smiled. Everyone in the room was crying now.

"I would love to be your Mommy, Adam-Michael. You precious thing. I love you so much." Liz said, hugging him tightly to her. "Now we can really be a family."

Max held her hand, kissing it.

"Well, there is one more thing we have to do..." He said, smiling.

Part 12 | Index | Part 14
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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