FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"The Way You Love Me"
Part 29
by LivE
Disclaimer: I own nothing Roswell..
Summary: This is the third story in a trilogy that I didnít 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
Rating: NC-17
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!
Leaving Liz on Friday morning was one of the hardest things Max had ever had to do. He had held her against him until the very last minute, not knowing what to say, but knowing he needed her near. She had walked him to the Jeep, clutching his arm and Max had kissed her desperately and lingeringly, crushing her tiny body against his before he finally left. She had looked so small and vulnerable standing in front of their little house when he looked back at her in the rearview mirror.

He had told her over breakfast that they needed to talk. Them having a baby was such an important topic that he didnít want to rush it. And it worried him that Liz seemed so scared about his reactions. Had he somehow given her the idea that he didnít want a baby? The thought of Liz pregnant with his children made him dizzy and the possibility that he might someday have a child of his own was just magical to Max.

Yes, he and Liz really needed to talk. Right now would have been the perfect time to start their family, but instead this feeling that something was about to happen to them just wonít go away, and sadly that would have to take precedence right nowÖ

A shiver of apprehension ran down Maxís spine as he worked in the lab. He knew it was from Liz again. For some reason, their connection has spiked to previously unknown levels and it literally felt like he was inside her body, experiencing everything with her. And all she wanted from him now, was to come homeÖ

~*~*~*~*~*~

It was lunchtime when Nick, Grace and little Madelaine finally arrived at the Evans house in Albuquerque. They had stopped often for Grace to feed the baby and for them to stretch their legs.

Liz came out to meet them when she heard the car arrive and Nick hugged her impulsively. He could see sadness lingering in her eyes and wondered if somehow, she knew that he has come to turn her life upside down once again. But Liz said nothing and played the perfect hostess.

Grace showed Liz her daughter proudly. Liz was their Queen after all and, in spite of years living on earth, that was still a big thing to Nickís wife. While the women cooed over little Maddie, Nick carried their luggage inside and settled things in their room. He noticed a lot of changes in the little house, it was clear that Max and Liz had worked hard on it since he had last been here. The place looked like a real home, cozy and filled with loving reminders of the life shared by its owners.

They had lunch outside in the garden in the shade of a big old tree and Nick and Liz caught up with each otherís lives. They had a soft spot for one another and it showed. Maddie slept right through her parentsí lunch and only woke up when they went back into the house.

"Why donít you guys go rest until Max comes home? Iíll look after Maddie," Liz offered. She could see that both Nick and Grace were tired after the long drive and probably also from the pajama drill of the night before. Their grateful acceptance confirmed her suspicions.

While the tired parents napped, Liz lay on the living room carpet with Maddie propped on her little mattress next to her. She was really tiny and really perfect to Liz. The thought brought fresh tears to Lizís eyes. Would she and Max ever have a little perfect person like this in their lives? A tiny version of them both rolled into one?

When Max got home a little later, he found Liz still in the same position, watching Madelaine sleep. The sight nearly took his breath away and he had to lean against the doorframe to steady himself. For a brief moment, he could picture his own little family together like that.

After he recovered, he walked over to Liz quietly and knelt down next to her to kiss her cheek. She turned her face to him and he whispered: "Hi." Placing his hand on her hip, he rained light, soft kisses on her lips, making her smile.

In between all this, Maddie woke up and started to whimper. This got Max and Lizís attention immediately and Max helped Liz upright so she could pick the baby up. He sat with his back against the couch and watched as Liz gave Maddie a bottle. Another kick of raw emotion in Maxís gut caused him to sit up straighter and gently brush Lizís hair back from her bent head. She gave him a watery smile and he knew he needed to hold he again. So he pulled her back until she could rest between his legs, lying back against his chest while she fed the baby. Max put his arms around both of them, just staring down at the beautiful scene in awe.

Grace arrived in the room in a rush a few minutes later, clearly concerned that she had left her baby alone too long and imposed on Liz in the process. She faltered when she saw the scene in front of her.

"Hi Max," she said softly and bowed her head at him without thinking.

Max smiled at her. "Sorry, that Iím not getting up. Itís good to see you again!"

Grace hurried forward and lifted Maddie from Lizís arms. "Iím sorry! You shouldíve woken us!" She looked embarrassed. "I guess we were more tired than we realized."

Max had felt the tiny shiver that went through Liz when Grace took the baby and he hugged her tighter against him fleetingly before getting up. Nick had also arrived and the two men greeted each other warmly.

"Congratulations with Maddie. She is beautiful," Max told Nick.

"Yeah, itís hard to believe she is mine, right?" His comment made everyone smile.

"Okay," Liz announced brightly, "I have a LOT of people coming over for a barbecue tonight, so I have to get started on the preparations." She was holding on to Maxís hand tightly while she spoke. "So you guys have to go do the men stuff outside."

"Iím on it," Max informed her, "just let me get out of these work clothes. Would you all excuse me?" He gave Liz another quick kiss and left.

Liz and Grace went to the kitchen to start with the salads and Nick watched some TV while he waited for Max to finish showering. Max had sort of hoped Liz would come to their bedroom, because he suspected she needed a hug, but when she didnít he sought her out in the kitchen.

He smiled at Grace who was sitting at the counter and put his arms around Liz from behind, resting his chin on her shoulder. Liz stopped working and leaned back against him with a sigh. They stood like that for a few moments, no words were needed between them. Then Max kissed Lizís cheek and went outside with Nick.

Not long after that, Michael and Maria arrived with Alex and Maria immediately took to playing with Maddie instead of helping with dinner. "What can I say, Space Boy is not with me for my cooking!"

"Lizzie, looking good!" Alex yelled when he came in, resulting in a startled whimper from Maddie.

"Alex! Do you mind!" Maria hissed at him. "Baby in the kitchen here!"

Holding up conciliatory hands, Alex made a show of tiptoeing over to Liz to kiss her cheek. "Hi Alex."

Michael preferred looked at Maddie from a distance. She seemed real cute, but he had no experience with babies and felt uncomfortable around them. "Nice baby," he told Grace before hightailing it outside with Alex.

Isabel arrived later and the group was complete. They ate outside in the garden at a huge old wooden table that Liz had found in some thrift shop. And for a little while it seemed that everything was just as it has always been. Isabel and Alex continuing their weird friendship/relationship, Michael and Maria bickering and Max and Liz holding hands.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Later that night, when everyone had finally left or gone to bed, Max took Lizís hands in his. "Sweetie, I know we have to talk about some things. About-about us starting a family for one, andó" He saw her pale and hastened to add. "I WANT a family with you, Liz. Please donít think otherwise. We just have to discuss a few things first, okay?"

She nodded, feeling more relieved than she hoped she let on.

"So, letís make a date to talk on Sunday night after everyone has left." He brushed his fingers over her jaw line before pulling her flush with his body. "Weíll be alright, I promise."

Liz so desperately wanted to believe him, but some things were too big even for a King to fix.

Max lay awake for a long time, wondering what Nick wanted to discuss with him. Nick had cornered him just after the others had left and Liz was still outside saying good-bye to tell Max that he needed to talk to him about something urgent. And that it was better that he and Max talk alone first. He unconsciously held Liz tighter to him. He had a horrible feeling about thisÖ

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Although Max had been very reluctant to let her go, Liz and Grace left for the city early on Saturday morning to do some shopping. Grace claimed the shops in Roswell seriously lacked when it came to baby stuff.

Max didnít really want Liz to go because he could feel the sadness and worry come off her in waves. It was very strange to him, because on the other hand, she seemed to be glowing. Not literally, but something inside her just shined.

Nick watched as Max practically hung onto Lizís hand until they were in the car. Max kissed Liz through the open driverís window and made her promise that she would drive safely. Even Liz looked a little amused by his anxiety attack. It made Nick feel even worse, because just like they did so many years ago, Max and Liz were aware of something brewing on the horizon.

Max was wary as he sat outside with Nick in the garden and Nickís jittery actions just confirmed his suspicions that something was up. "Right, what do you need to tell me?"

Staring at his feet, Nick wondered where to begin. "A war is brewing between the four planets. Peace talks are starting soon."

All the blood was draining from Maxís face. No, no, no, noÖ

"The Tresarians specifically asked that our planet be represented before they would come to the talks. Max, Tess is going to represent our planet during those talks." Nick paused. "Unless you goÖ"

It was all he could do not to say ĎNOí immediately and hope that the whole mess will just go away. Instead, he took a calming breath and asked: "Why do we even need to be there? Itís not like we have a planet left." Please donít make me go to another planet without LizÖ

"Ericís planet is by far the strongest in the group. If Tresar does not agree to peace, there will be war. Alliances are being formed, Max, and we need to end this once and for all. We cannot hide here forever. Would you really want your children to grow up like you did? Forever hiding from something? Because the possibility would always exist that the Tresarians could find out where you are. That you are still alive. And that you have kids."

The vice around his chest was tightening. "When would I have to go?" His voice was soft, strained.

"As soon as possible, there have already been skirmishes and lives lost," Nick sounded very serious. "Max, I know this might look like itís not your problem, but your father used to dream of uniting the five planets in a federation. Many people up there still believe in what he stood for. And you could save millions of lives. I donít think we should leave our heritage and the future of four planets on the shoulders of TessÖ"

Max was staring at the tabletop. Silent. Thinking.

"I would propose that you take Michael and Isabel too. So that the whole Royal family is there. Strength in numbers as they sayÖ"

When Max still didnít say anything, Nick prompted him. "What do you say, Max? Will you do it?"

There really was only one answer, Max could give his friend. "YesÖ"

Part 28 | Index | Part 30
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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