FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"The Unknown"
Part 7
by Anne B.
Disclaimer: Sadly none of this belongs to me…Roswell belongs to the WB, Jason Katims, and all of those producer people, and Melinda Metz…please don’t sue me…The song Unknown is by Lifehouse. I don’t own that either, surprise, surprise!
Summary: Post-Viva Las Vegas…
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
An hour later, dressed back in their regular night out clothes from the night before, Max and Liz made their way back into the hotel, leaving Liz’s wedding dress at the front desk to be picked up at check out. They made their way back upstairs, and let themselves back into the room.

The sight before them took them by surprise. Alex, Isabel, Michael, and Maria were all spread around the room, sitting with their heads in their hands, and Michael was running a scratching him head in frustration.

“What’s going on guys?” Max asked cautiously at the site of them.

“You guys just missed all the action.” Isabel responded. “Sheriff Valenti found us, and he was pissed. He took Tess and Kyle home, and he’s going to tell all our parents about what we’ve done.”

“Damn.” Max swore softly under his breath.

“You guys are lucky you missed it.” Alex groaned. “We’re in so much trouble.”

“Well!” Liz started with a cheerful tone in her voice. “The trouble isn’t going to start until we get home…we have 2 hours until our flight…we should make the most of it! Enjoy the rest of our time here! Why don’t we all go out for breakfast?”

Everyone turned to stare at Liz with their mouths hanging open. Liz Parker…little innocent, responsible, do-the-right-thing, Liz Parker was suggesting that they ignore the trouble they were in, and just enjoy themselves while they can. Michael, for one, had been bracing himself from a lecture from Liz, on how they were getting what they deserved and they should live with the consequences.

“Liz. Are you okay?” Maria asked her flatly. Even Liz’s best friend couldn’t believe her reaction.

“Yeah, I’m fine.” Liz laughed. “I just don’t see the point in consuming ourselves with worry when there’s nothing we can do about it now.”

“Well…the little lady does have a point!” Alex agreed. “We do have to eat…there’s a little café down the road…let’s go.”

After a filling breakfast of pancakes, bacon, and eggs, smothered in syrup, and tobasco for the aliens, the gang packed up their bags, and loaded up into the hotel shuttle to the airport. Pairing off on the airplane, Alex and Isabel immediately sat together, their special friendship having been renewed the night before, and Maria quickly steered Liz away from Max with a quick: “We have to talk, babe.” Leaving Max and Michael staring at each other awkwardly, as they sat down beside each other.

Knowing that he needed to fix things, Max turned to Michael. “Can we talk?” He asked him uncertainly.

“Yeah, talk away.” Michael responded shortly.

“You were right. I do act like a machine sometimes.” Max admitted. “I did a lot of thinking last night…and I realized just how closed off I’ve been lately.”

“Forget it. I probably said too much.” Michael interrupted, knowing that he did get carried away in his moment of anger.

“No. It's all right.” Max insisted as he continued. “It was something I needed to hear. You needed a friend and you got a chaperone. I'm sorry. I guess I just...feel so responsible for you and Isabel and even Tess...sometimes I let that get in the way of letting you all know how much you mean to me. But without you I'd…I'd really be lost, Michael.”

Michael listened to Max’s confession, letting it sink in, and realizing that it wasn’t just true of Max…it was true of all of them…and not just the 4 of them…the whole group. They needed each other…all of them. Michael knew it was true, even though he let himself forget it a lot. He hated admitting that he needed anyone, but looking across the isle to where Maria was gesturing wildly to Liz, he knew it was true. He could never make it on his own.

“Whoever sent us down here was smart. You know why? Because they sent us together. And as long as we stick together we're gonna make it.” Michael responded sincerely, knowing that things between him and the closest thing he had to a brother were fixed.

Max nodded in agreement, realizing that both he and Michael had taken a big step in their friendship today…they were always there for each other, but they never opened up to each other, ever. And it created a lot of tension between them…tension that exploded when they were in jail together the day before.

“So what’s up with you and Liz?” Michael asked suddenly, surprising Max. “You guys getting back together or something?”

Max looked up at his friend in surprise, reminding himself of their decision to let things go back to normal. “No, not at all. Why would you think that?”

“I dunno, you guys looked pretty close last night on the dance floor.”

“I was just being her friend Michael. That’s all she wants from me anymore. Things are just too complicated between us.”

“You guys should really work things out.” Michael pushed.

“Excuse me?” Max laughed. “Is this Mr. We-Can’t-Get-Involved talking? Whatever happened to not needing the humans?”

“I guess you could say I’ve had an epiphany, Maxwell. They don’t make us weaker…and it’s pretty nice having them around, you know. Liz keeps you balanced, Max. You need her. Just like Maria does the same for me.”

“I know that, Michael. One of those things I realized when I was thinking last night. I’ve been acting like a machine, because I was afraid if I let myself go, if I let myself feel anything, then I would just break down, because I didn’t have the one thing I wanted most in the world. But last night, when Liz and I were hanging out, I realized that I do have her, Michael. Maybe not in the way that I want her, but I do have her friendship there, supporting me when I need her, and maybe that will be enough to keep me going.”

“I don’t know, Maxwell. How long do you really think that you can play the friendship game with Liz before you finally break down and need something more?”

This time it was Max’s turn to peer across the plane at Liz, and was surprised to see her looking at him as well. They both quickly looked away, afraid of letting anything show that they didn’t want their friends to see.

“I don’t know.” Max sighed sadly.

“We have to talk, babe!” Maria insisted, pulling Liz quickly away from Max’s side, to sit with her across the aisle from their respective men. Liz peered up at Max apologetically as she followed her best friend obediently to their seats.

“What is it, Maria?” Liz giggled slightly, watching as her best friend immediately went into Maria mode, shooting questions left and right at Liz, as she smiled innocently back at her best friend.

“What’s going on with you and Max?” Maria probed, waiting expectantly for a response.

“What’s going on with us? What do you mean what’s going on with us? Nothing’s going on with us, Maria, you know that! Nothing can ever go on with us.”

“Liz, babe, don’t even give me that. You were out all night with the love of your life who you can never be with, and you came back acting completely cheerful and un-Liz like. Something definitely happened between the two of you last night, what was it?”

“Absolutely nothing happened, Maria. We just hung out together…saw the sights. We were just being two friends on vacation together. Nothing more, nothing less.”

“And you’re telling me that not once all night did you guys steal a forbidden kiss, or anything like that?”

“Maria!” Liz cried. “Of course not!”

“Oh come on, Liz! I saw the way you two were looking at each other on that dance floor. It was the whole look-into-my-eyes-soulmate thing…like the rest of the world disappeared, and nothing mattered except each other. You can’t tell me that nothing romantic spawned out of that.”

Liz’s mind flashed back, remembering their lovemaking a few hours earlier, and couldn’t help peering over at Max. She found herself meeting his eyes, and quickly turned away, not wanting Maria to catch them staring at each other like that.

“Nothing romantic, Maria.” Liz insisted.

“Okay then, if he didn’t have something romantic on his mind, then why did he stay? He was so set on leaving!”

Liz decided that she needed to be honest with Maria about something, so she decided to go with the truth on this one.

“He stayed to talk to me…he had a flash when he was leaving for the airport.” Liz explained.

“Ooh…a flash!” Maria’s voice perked at the thought. “That’s good, that’s good. So what kind of a flash.”

“He had a flash of the two of us getting married in Vegas…as in from Future Max’s reality.”

“What?” Maria asked, completely thrown by that. “That’s not possible though, right?”

“Apparently it is, because he saw it, and he couldn’t know anything about that whole situation. That’s why we ran off together after you sang last night, which was great by the way. You did amazing!”

“Thanks.” Maria responded happily. “I did, didn’t I? So, what did you tell him?”

“I told him the truth.” Liz confessed. “I told him everything, about Future Max, and Kyle…everything. I couldn’t lie to him anymore, Maria. And he understands now…why we can’t be together.”

“Oh, Liz!” Maria whined. “You’re not still going to cling to that now that Max knows, are you? I mean…so much has changed since Future Max left!”

“Yeah…a lot has changed.” Liz agreed. “But as long as there’s still potential for disaster here, and there still is, Max and I can’t be together.”

Part 6 | Index | Part 8
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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