|"The Way You Love Me"
Disclaimer: I own nothing Roswell..
Summary: This is the third story in a trilogy that I didn’t intend to write! It started with The Experiment and Finding Our Normal. For the most part, this story is about Max and Liz and how wonderful their relationship is!
Category: After Hours
Authors Note: It is advisable to read The Experiment and FON first, otherwise you're going to be a little lost. Also, if you like Tess, don't read this fic!
|Hearing Liz’s soft gasp, Max turned to her and held out his hand. Liz rushed to his side, feeling his arm drape across her shoulders as he pulled
her into the warm comfort of his body.
Nick held up his hands. "Don’t worry! It’s good news actually."
Max relaxed visibly and he hugged Liz closer instinctively. "Is it about Tess and Nacedo?"
Nodding, Nick thrust his hands through his hair. "Yes. I don’t think they meant to, but they’ve actually done us a huge favor."
Max motioned Nick towards a chair in the living room and sat down with Liz on his lap. He unconsciously rubbed his hand over her back comfortingly.
"She told them that everyone from our race but her and Nacedo had perished with the planet or in the subsequent crash here on earth. She has convinced them that she is the only surviving royal and she is being treated like a queen on Dendar."
"Dendar?" Max looked perplexed. "Is that the planet where Eric and his people come from?"
"No. I guess I should explain better. I had hoped we could put everything behind us after you and Eric made peace, but…" He looked over Max’s shoulder in contemplation. "You see, there are… WERE five planets in our solar system. Our planet, Antar, and Eric’s, Tresar, were at war most of the time. The other three planets were always sort of neutral, mostly due to the fact that they had no real natural resources that were of value to us, so nobody bothered them. We assumed there were spies all over the other three planets, so we decided to send you all to a planet no one has ever heard of when the war came to a head. Earth was the only place we felt certain you could be hidden for a long period of time without detection. When Antar was destroyed, my group had to decide whether we would go to one of the other three planets and claim refugee status or whether we would come here. We came here in the hopes that you were still alive… and that we could find you."
"But… can you leave? I mean…"
"No. Apparently your… I mean the Earth’s atmosphere was… We could land, but our ship didn’t make it in an effort to return to space. It was the same thing that happened to the ship you came on."
"So how did Tess and Nacedo leave?" Max had a crushing grip on Liz’s hand by now.
"I’m guessing that there is new technology by now. That whoever contacted Nacedo from Dendar was able to pick them up in Frazier Woods and leave again."
Max nodded. He was too stunned to speak. This was a lot to take in.
It was Liz’s turn to slide a comforting hand over Max’s shoulder now. "Uhm… Does that mean you guys are stuck here? Forever? And that everyone thinks Max is… is dead?"
"Yeah. Essentially." Nick was watching Max who was staring at the floor with an unreadable expression. "We have people we can contact on Dendar now, if you want to…"
Max was shaking his head before Nick even finished. "No. Let them think we are dead. That means they will stop looking for us." He paused before continuing softly. "My planet’s name was Antar?"
"Yes. It was a beautiful green planet, filled with life. A little like earth in some places, I guess."
Max has lapsed deep into thought and Liz and Nick give each other a knowing glance before Nick got up to leave. "I’ll see you guys again soon. Good luck with going back to regular old West Roswell High, Liz."
After seeing Nick out, Liz returned to find Max leaning forward in his chair, his elbows on his knees. Climbing in behind his back, Liz straddled his hips, slipped her arms around his waist and pressed her cheek against his warm skin. "Are you okay?"
His fingers laced through hers as he sighed. "It’s just weird, you know. My planet was always this… this far-off dream. Hearing the name has made it more…"
"Real?" she asked, rubbing her face against his bare back.
Liz wrapped her legs around his waist, enveloping him with herself as completely as she could. "What can I do?"
He was quiet for a long time. "Just-just be you. And be with me."
"Always." She kissed the indentation of his spine and felt some of the tenseness leave his muscles. "Max… You know you should probably… discuss this with Michael and Isabel." She was almost afraid to mention this. What if Michael decided that he wanted to go? What if they all went to this other planet to see what it’s like?
Max tugged at her arm. "Come here," he commanded. She moved around until she was straddling his lap. He cupped her face and stated: "You KNOW I will not leave you here. If the others want to go, we’ll go. All of us." He looked at her for a few more seconds before he kissed her sweetly. Their lips clung together as their tongues dueled and danced for a few endless moments. His voice was rough when he spoke against her mouth: "Now can I stop pretending that I don’t notice you aren’t wearing anything under this robe?"
Grinning, Liz wiggled in his lap. "I noticed you noticed!" She ran a hand over his face. "I’m sorry about just now. I-I just can’t be without you."
"I feel the same way, so I guess we can stop badgering ourselves about it. We’re never going to be apart again for long periods, I won’t allow it." He slid his hands under the edges of her robe, parting it and baring her to his eyes.
Liz clutched at his shoulders, her head falling back and exposing her neck to him. His lips descended on her throat, nipping and licking at her skin until she sighed with pleasure. "You should… probably-probably call… Michael and…"
"Later," he mumbled against her, his breath feathering over her heated skin. "Much later…"
They finally called a meeting with the others late the afternoon. Lunch with Liz’s parents had dragged past for Liz. She was truly worried about especially Michael’s reaction to the news of the possibility of visiting the other planets.
Everyone sat around Liz and Max’s living room like they have so many times before. But it felt different this time. There was tension in the air.
Liz ran around bringing everyone sodas until Max finally put an end to her restlessness by grabbing her hand and pulling down next to him. They looked into each other’s eyes for a long moment before Max turned to the other four.
Watching Max as he quietly but firmly explained what happened to Tess and Nacedo and that the possibility existed that they could visit these other planets if they wanted, Liz couldn’t help but be impressed with him. He had an inner strength that was inspiring to watch. Liz wondered at the fact that he was so… intact, in spite of the insanity that had taken place around him for most of his life. He had remained the gentle soul that she first got to know so long ago. But now she knew that underneath that gentle exterior ran a vein of steel. He absolutely deserved to be the king of an entire race. This stray thought made Liz’s heart stop in her chest. He deserved so much more than a mundane life here on earth. A life with an ordinary human wife, a white picket fence and a boring office job…
As the odd gasp indicated, Max had his little audience’s complete attention as he relayed all he knew. Observing the reactions of everyone, it became clear to Liz that this afternoon was going to have a definite impact on the group. Michael was starting to clench his jaw while Maria was sending little worried looks at him. Alex sat with a stunned look on his face and Isabel’s eyes were filling with tears. Liz unconsciously moved closer to Max and he put his arm around her to fit her to his side.
"We need to discuss what we want to do," Max said as he met everyone’s gaze in turn. "Iz?"
"I don’t know. I don’t think I can decide that right now…. I need to think about it first."
Max nodded. "Michael?"
Michael stared at the floor before glancing at Maria quickly. "I need time too."
Maria seemed a bit surprised that Max would want her opinion too. "I…" She looked at Michael. "I can understand it if you want to go find out more about the other planets. I-I could support that." Her voice was soft at the end.
Giving her a small encouraging smile, Max looked at Alex.
"Hey, travelling through space? I could do that… You know, if… you guys wanted me to go." He avoided looking at anyone in particular.
Hugging Liz harder, Max answered for both of them. "We would rather not go right now. They think we are dead, so we have time to be normal for a while. We could finish school first and maybe go later. I don’t think this is a one time only opportunity." Max and Michael were looking at each other now. "But if it’s really important to any of you that we go soon, then we’ll go."
Liz held her breath to see if Michael was going to fight Max about the way he was handling this whole thing, but it didn’t happen. Instead, Michael got up and said to Maria: "Let’s go. We’ll talk about this again later, Maxwell."
It was quiet after everyone had left and Liz busied herself with tidying the living room. Max stood at the window, his hands shoved deep into his pockets. When Liz finally joined him, his beautiful hazel eyes were solemn. "I’m going to ask you this for the last time." He took her hands in his. "I know you love me. But… I thought things were going to be normal from now on. That you and I will have the future we’ve always dreamed of. But Liz, I-I don’t think that is going to happen. There is always going to be something that crops up." His gaze wavered from her steady one. "Are you really prepared for everything that will result from being with me? To give up on so much? To have no security about the future? To maybe go to some strange planet without your family…"
Her smile made him falter.
"Yes," she answered simply.
"Liz…" he sounded dubious.
"Yes, Max," she stated more firmly. Moving closer to him, she speared her fingers through his hair. "You matter more to me than any of those things you mentioned. And the only security for the future I need is that you will continue to love me. And you will, I know that."
"Yes!" he said fiercely. "Yes, I will."
Hearing his vow ringing in her ears, Liz buried her face in his chest and felt his arms wrap around her. Please give me strength to never disappoint this man! she prayed silently.
After that, things went back to normal. They went to school, they studied, wrote exams and went to the movies. It was like everyone had tacitly agreed not to discuss the possibility of leaving the planet again. However, as the weeks progressed, Max and Liz realized they had a much more immediate problem to deal with. One that had nothing to do with alien destinies or interplanetary travel. No, it was very much a teenagers-living-on-earth problem. And for once, it was one that alien powers couldn’t solve…
|Part 20 | Index | Part 22
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours