FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"The Way You Love Me"
Part 40
by LivE
Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
A timid knock on the door stopped the baby talk before it even began. Nick went to open the door and found Shilla on the other side. "I brought some water and drinks for everyone," she said breathlessly. She had thought she would hate catering to royalty who in general were notorious for their demanding personalities, but so far she liked the Antarian Royal Couple. And if being nice to them would gain their favor and some really great gossip for her, all the better.

Nick showed her where to put everything and told her that Max and Liz would call her if they needed anything else. Shilla exited the suite disappointed that she couldnít stay and hear more about the royal couple. How did they meet? Where did the fake Queen fit into all this?

Max emerged from the room, his damp hair still clinging to his forehead. His searching gaze went to Liz immediately, ascertaining her position and her health in one long sweep.

Food! Liz attacked the spread of breads and other things, her hunger finally catching up with her. It was only after she had eaten two pieces of bread and returned with a plate laden with food she didnít recognize, that she noticed the amused looks from Max, Nick and Grace.

"Yes, youíre definitely pregnant," Nick laughed. "Grace made me crazy with her cravings for weird foods and her constant eating."

Max ended up moving their whole discussion to the dining table, so that he could have brunch while Liz would be close to more food if she needed it. He cast a look at Liz, who was still happily tucking into her food, before asking Nick and Grace: "So tell us what to expect?"

It was Nick who answered. "We can tell you how it was for us, butÖ"

"But what?" Max was immediately alarmed.

"It might be different for you two, becauseÖ"

"Because weíre different?" Max sounded slightly bitter. Why could he not just have been a normal guy? What if something happened to Liz, the center of his universe? Or to his baby? He would justó

"Max!" Lizís voice halted his thoughts. She scooted closer to him and put her arm around his neck to pull his head down to hers. Kissing him softly, she murmured, "Stop that!" against his mouth.

After getting him to nod, Liz turned to the other two people in the room again. "How long does an Antarian pregnancy last?"

"Six months," Grace grinned. "A lot better than the human nine monthsÖ" She faltered a bit. "ButÖ"

"Mine might take anything from six to nine months because Iím human?" Liz helped her out.

"Yeah."

"What about the birth?" Max didnít even want to think about Liz having to go through some weird alien birth thing.

"Just like the human one." Max wasnít sure if that was better either since it meant Liz would go through all that pain. "Only the father does not attend the birth, we have other women in the room. Our children are bonded closely with their mothers, not really with the fathers, butó"

"No way!" Max said immediately, not noticing Nickís grin. "Thereís no way Iím letting Liz do this alone."

"But," Nick continued as if Max had not interrupted, "we know it will be different with you two." He was amused that Max still thought none of them knew how he got about Liz. That Max thought that any of them would have any illusions about him letting Liz out of his sight for more than a few seconds during the pregnancy, let alone the birth.

"What was that about weird cravings?" Liz asked when she saw that Max had calmed down.

"I wanted food at strange times at night," Grace replied. "And I couldnít eat anything sweet. But you might have different cravings. It differs from person to person."

Sharing a glance with Max, Liz wondered how to approach the issue of sex. She desperately needed Nick and Grace to assure Max that everything was fine, but how do you ask someone that? Why didnít she buy that book about pregnancy like she planned to just before they left? She felt Maxís hand closing around hers under the table in an effort to calm down her babbling thoughts.

"And I slept a lot," Grace continued, unaware of the small interchange between her leader and his wife. "I was dead tired a lot of the time."

Liz saw Maxís eyes widen and she sighed. Now he would bug her to sleep more. She threw him a sly grin and deliberately thought: I promise to take a nap every time you make love to me. His small gasp made Nick and Grace look at him strangely.

"What about morning sickness?" Liz asked Grace innocently, ignoring Maxís stunned glare.

"No, nothing like that for me. Why are you sick?"

"Yeah, I get nauseous late in the mornings. Nothing serious, though," she added for Maxís benefit. "Could you-could you feel Maddie? Sense her? Before she was born I mean."

This seemed to confuse Grace and Nick answered. "No. Grace only formed a link with her after she was born. She had to make a connection with her first." He stared at Liz intently. "You mean you sense the baby?"

"I do too," Max said after Liz had nodded silently. He squeezed Lizís hand. "Itís like a third person has become part of our connection. I can feelÖ Itís like a small hum of life. Nothing more yet."

"Wow!" Nick sounded awed. It seems that somehow this intense connection between Max and Liz that was there even when they hadnít been bonded yet is going to exist between them and their children also. This reiterated Nickís belief that his race had done the right thing by sending their young King across the galaxies, because in the end fate had decreed a different path from the one they had worked out for him. Fate had decreed that he had to meet a tiny dark-haired human girl with eyes like chocolate that would steal his young heart and keep it forever. And this one event meant that the Antarian people were slowly learning how to incorporate strong emotions into their bondings. Max and Liz had amazed him once more.

Staring into each otherís eyes, Max and Liz missed Nick picking up a bundle from next to his chair. He cleared his throat to get their attention and they turned to him after Max touched Lizís cheek softly with his fingers. "I brought you some traditional Antarian clothes," Nick announced. "If you like it you can have some more made on the ship."

Liz clapped her hands in glee. "Antarian clothes? Can I go try it on?" She looked at Max expectantly.

"Since when do you ask my permission to wear anything?" he asked in amusement, only to kick himself when he saw a dark shadow flicker over her face.

"Iím justÖ" Liz sounded subdued and she got up to take the clothes Nick held out and left the room in a hurry.

"LizÖ" Max jumped up in a panic. What happened just now? What had upset her? He glanced at Nick who also looked concerned and an amused Grace. "What justÖ? I have to goÖ"

"Her hormones are going crazy, Max. Itís nothing she has control over. You will just have to be patient about her being so emotional," Grace informed him kindly.

"And give her whatever she wants!" Nick cried after him as Max dashed out of the room. "Itís the best way to ensure no tears."

He found her sitting on the bed, staring at the heap of clothes next to her. Falling to his knees in front of her, Max looked at her anxiously. "What is wrong, love?"

"These are Antarian clothes, Max," Liz said softly and Max cringed.

"I-I know, Liz. And I-Iím sorry that Iím notÖ human. This must be soó"

"No!" She looked at him with wide, moist eyes for a moment, touching his lips with her forefinger. "Itís not that. You are perfect for me."

"Then what?" Max was both relieved and confused.

"Iím notÖ"

"Not what?" He grabbed her hands in his, urging her to meet his gaze. She wouldnít.

"Not really Antarian," she finally whispered, trying to pull her hands from his grasp. "I shouldnít be wearing this."

It dawned on him then. Liz would be as much of an outsider on Dendar as he had been on earth. And he remembered vividly how terrifying that had been. Fearing that you would be outcast for what you were. Wanting so desperately to be part of something, but never really achieving it. Not until Liz Parker had let him into her heart. He felt his chest constrict with emotion. "No, youíre right. You arenít Antarian. Youíre the Antarian Queen. And my wife. The person who makes my life perfect. Thatís all that matters."

Tears filled Lizís eyes. She understood a little better about Maxís life on earth now. How he mustíve felt being one of a handful of very different beings on earth. She risked a tentative peek at him. "So, it would be okay for me to wear this?"

He tucked a wayward strand of hair behind her ear. "I think Nick would be offended if you didnít. And so would I. I want the universe to see you are mine." He kissed the backs of her hands before saying with one of his crooked smiles: "And you better listen to me, Iím the King around here."

She flung her arms around him, nearly toppling him over backwards. "I love you so muchÖ King Max."

He chuckled against her hair. "Groveling will get you everywhere!"

Pulling back, she gave him a sizzling look. "Will it get you inside me? Soon?"

His groan was heartfelt even as his hands brought her closer to his body. She was going to be the death of him! His head was spinning with all the emotional changes he had to cope with. First she wrings out his heart with her soft words and pain, and now she made him want her again. Disentangling himself from her hastily, he lifted her back onto the bed and stood back. "Why donít you try on the clothes and Iíll go talk to NickÖ Iíll send in Grace." Lord, was that his voice that sounded so strained?

He literally fled the room.

Grace arrived a few seconds later, looking concerned. "Max was in a state! Are you okay?"

"Yeah," Liz said with a secret smile. "Iím fine now."

Grace laid out the clothes while Liz got out of her jeans. It consisted of a long flowing robe, a tight-fitting top and a sheath skirt with two slits on the sides coming nearly to mid thigh. It was white with some dark-green trimmings at the seam of the skirt and around the edges of the robe. It had the symbol that was on Athertonís pendant on the two flaps of the robe too.

"Thatís the seal of the Antarian King," Grace pointed out. "Your seal now."

This made Liz inhale sharply and she touched the seal in awe. Who knew when she went to River Dog so long ago, she had been clutching the seal of her future in her hands? She dressed slowly with Grace fussing around her. Grace had tears in her eyes when Liz was finished.

"I never thought Iíd see someone in this again," Grace said softly. "My Queen."

Liz hugged her spontaneously, ruining the solemn moment. "Thank you."

"Letís go show Max." Grace was smiling. "He will be stunned."

"Wait, Grace!" Liz urged her back into the room. "I-I needed to ask you something."

Grace looked at her sympathetically. "I didnít want to say anything in front of Max. I know you twoÖ uhmÖ I needed to warn you, though. I didnít want sex when I was pregnant. Poor Nick wasÖ" she trailed off when she saw Liz look at her in total consternation. "What?"

"You didnít?"

"No. I just wanted to be left alone. Why?"

The blush creeping over Lizís face told her even before Liz started talking. "I-I donít have that symptom. In fact, I feel the exact opposite!"

It was Graceís turn to be speechless. "You mean youÖ Uhm, wellÖ Donít tell Nick, he will be disappointed that he doesnít have a human mate after all!"

"Yeah, but Max treats my like Iím going to break!" Liz burst out. "And itís driving me insane! I need to know for sure if it would be okay for us to, ahh, you know."

"Iím sure it is," Grace assured her. "Besides, you two would know if something went wrong with the baby through the connection."

Liz bit her lip and nodded.

Out in the lounge area, Nick was looking at Max seriously. "You need to keep an eye on her for a while." He met Maxís concerned gaze. "This is the first time a human is pregnant with an Antarian baby. We donít knowÖ I mean, her body might rejectÖ" Nick felt awful when he saw the distress growing in Maxís eyes. "Iím sure everything will be fine. We must just make sure in the beginning. I didnít want to alarm Liz." He knew he was babbling now. "Just watch her carefully. The connection with the baby will help." Max was staring at the floor now, his jaw clenched. "Itís just a precaution, Max. Iím so sorry to even say it. Your body is mostly human, so Iím sure sheíll be fine."

But Max had heard only the first part. Liz could be in danger from his baby.

"Max?" Lizís voice made his head snap up. She stood a few feet from him.

He stood up slowly and heard a roaring in his ears as he stared at her, looking so familiar in the Antarian royal garb. Dizziness was overtaking him as he kept staring at her in shock. A rush of images he knew, but didnít know flew through his mind.

"Max!" Liz cried, rushing forward as she saw him stumble back into his chair, white as a sheet.

Still staring at her, he whispered: "ShaniÖ"

Part 39 | Index | Part 41
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