FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"Whiter Shade of Pale"
Part 11
by Anne
Disclaimer: I don't own Roswell or any of the characters. I have no affiliation with the WB television network or the author, Melinda Metz.
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
Last Day of School before Summer Break --

Liz Parker stood at her locker shuffling her two remaining books around, so she could pull out some of the more personal items she kept stored in there. Her backpack was ridiculously light now that most of the day was over. Two more classes, and her sophomore year would be over. With a sigh, she decided to just go ahead and clean out the whole locker now, rather than have to come back and do it later. There wasn't much left anyway . . .

Closing the door on the empty compartment, she stood still staring at the lock for a moment. The frown on her face concerned Max as he walked up to her slowly, wondering what was going on. She looked like she was a million miles away.

But she was actually only a few feet away. Her mind had wandered to yesterday afternoon and a small locked room just down the hall from where she was now. Max had grabbed her hand after lunch and told her to meet him there. She had barely closed the door, when she felt his hands and his mouth everywhere . . . .

She closed her eyes . . . . remembering . . .

Max: (wrapping his arms around her waist and whispering in her ear) "Better be careful. The way things are going with you, it might melt." (staring pointedly at the locker)

Liz (relaxing into his embrace): "I know. . . . "

Max: (turning her around to face him) "What's wrong?"

Liz: (sighing) "I'm going to miss you this summer."

Max (startled): "Why? (now concerned) "Are you going somewhere?"

Liz: (quickly reassuring him) "No. It's not that."

Max: (swamped with relief and then searching her face) "What is it, then?"

Liz: (blushing a little) "We just won't have as much time together . . . "

Max: (smiling) "I think I see the problem."

Liz silently wonders how to take Max's attitude. Maybe he didn't feel the same way that she did. Maybe he didn't . . . .

Max: (sensing the direction of her thoughts) "Stop. You know I can't stand to be away from you." (putting his hands on her face and kissing her)

Liz's eyes drifted shut as she felt the pressure of Max's lips on hers and the incredible feeling of contentment and peace that always came with his kiss. She almost cried thinking how long it would be in between kisses for the next couple of months. Reluctantly, Max pulled away. He needed to reassure her that they wouldn't spend that much time apart, but they were dangerously close to being late now. Problems with teachers at this point did not fit into his plans at all.

Max: (putting his arm around her shoulders and walking towards their class) "Don't worry, Liz. We'll talk about this tonight. Right now, we better go."

Liz: (smiling at him in spite of her concerns) "You're right. Let's go."


Maria glanced over at Liz, while they changed into their uniforms, and wondered what was wrong with her best friend. She whistled quietly to herself, knowing it would irritate Liz to no end, and she'd finally tell her what was wrong. As she thought over the plans she and Michael had made right after school, she noticed the scowl on Liz's face. She had to work hard to keep from grinning, but when she finished dressing, Liz still had not opened up.

Maria: (unable to stand it anymore) "What?"

Liz: "You are whistling."

Maria: "Yeah . . . so?"

Liz: (under her breath) "Why is everybody in such a good mood today."

Maria: "What?" "Look, Liz. I have no idea what is going on, but you should be in a fantastic mood right now."

Liz: (confused) "I should?"

Maria (suspicious): "Didn't Max talk to you after school today?"

Liz: (sadly) "No. He got tied up and couldn't meet me. He said he'd be here later, though." (consoling herself)

Maria: (smiling) "Ah, so, you don't know yet . . . "

Liz: (frowning) "Don't know what?"

Maria: "Nevermind. Thank God. I was beginning to really worry about you. I mean, who is ever unhappy on the last day of school before summer break? I'm sure Max will have something to say to cheer you up when you see him."

Liz: (threatening) "Maria!"

Maria: (groaning) "Ooohhh, Liz. I can't tell you. They'll kill me. Please? . . . "

Liz: (putting her headband in place and backing out the door) "Oh alright. I'll wait. But, you owe me."

Maria: (mouthing silently an exaggerated "thank you")

Liz: "What are you doing tomorrow on our first day of freedom?"

Maria: (grinning) "I can't tell you."

Liz: (exasperated) "O.k. What can we talk about?"

Maria: (frowning a little in concentration) "Maybe we shouldn't talk until after you talk to Max . . . "

Liz: (laughing in spite of her mood) "You're kidding!"

Maria: (smiling) "No . . . no, I'm not. You'll know soon enough. Here comes Max, now. See ya, babe."

Max: (to Liz) "Hey."

Liz: "Hey. What are you doing here, Max? You said tonight."

Max: "I know, but there's something I need to talk to you about, and I'm really sorry about after school today."

Liz: "It's o.k. I understand."

Max: "No. It wasn't o.k. I'm sorry."

Liz (smiling at his attitude): "You're forgiven. What's up?"

Max: "Can we talk for a minute?"

Liz: (looking around the restaurant) "Well, I just started my shift . . . "

Max: "Please?"

Liz (taking in his anxious expression and wondering what this was all about) "Well, I guess it would be all right, just for a minute."

Max grabbed Liz's hand and pulled her back into the back room. Once the door closed behind them, he opened his mouth to say something, but suddenly stopped. Liz looked at him expectantly and waited, but he still didn't speak. Finally, he stepped towards her and kissed her passionately. Liz returned the kiss and immediately saw flashes of Max after school that day, meeting with someone and exchanging money for a key. As her mind dealt with the images, her heart embraced the kiss and for right now, she didn't care that she was supposed to be working and that it was completely irresponsible for her to be doing this. Right this minute the only thing that mattered was getting closer to the most precious person in the world to her. Finally, Max pulled away, albeit reluctantly. He stared in wonder at Liz's closed eyes and parted lips. She constantly amazed him with how much she loved him. Her eyes fluttered open and were filled with love and longing that she reserved only for him.

Max: "I love you."

Liz: (smiling) "I love you, too."

Max: "Can you get away for a couple of days?"

Liz: (surprised) "I'm not sure. Why?"

Max: (mildly irritated) "Well, it was supposed to be a surprise, but Michael and Alex blabbed. I got a place big enough for all of us to stay for a few days."

Liz: (mentally putting the pieces in place) "You did? Wow. That explains a lot."

Max: (confused) "It does?"

Liz (chuckling): "Yeah . . . everyone was in such a good mood today . . . and, the key . . . "

Max: (still lost) "The key?"

Liz: "I saw you getting a key after school."

Max: "You saw me? I thought you'd already left."

Liz: "I did. I saw it just now."

Max: (smiling) "Oh. I guess if I want to surprise you, next time I'll have to remember not to touch you."

Liz: (grinning) "Surprises are overrated."

Max: (barely restraining himself from kissing her again) "So, can you go?"

Liz: "When?"

Max: (wincing) "Tomorrow morning?"

Liz: (smiling again as she realized how reluctant he was to be without her, too) "I should be able to arrange it."

Max: (relieved to have at least the next few days taken care of . . . now all he had to worry about was the rest of the summer . . . sigh) "Isabel will pick you and Maria up in the morning."

Liz: "Sounds good. I better get back to work."

Max: "See you tonight?"

Liz: (leaning towards him for a quick kiss) "Yes, but only for a little while. I'm going to have to convince my parents to let me go."

Max: (kissing her quickly) "O.k. Just for a little while then."

Liz: "Right."


Very early the next morning, Isabel and Maria and Liz headed away from Roswell, as quickly as possible, before their parents had a chance to change their minds. The guys had gotten away much easier than the girls under the guise of going camping. Isabel had stopped by Max's room late last night to give him one final glare. He had hatched this plot after all. True, they all benefited from it, but he sure did leave her in a bind with their mom and dad. She closed her eyes at the very thought of how close she had come to blowing it with them. It was just a little bit too much coincidence that all three guys were going away at the same time she was asking to be gone. She had finally convinced her parents that she just really needed some "girl" time. Quality female companionship. And, she did, too. The 45 minutes in the car should more than cover it, she thought, grinning to herself. Four days. They had four days. Four wonderful days to spend with Alex . . . alone. Well, sort of, she thought, as she factored in the other two couples.

Liz was daydreaming, too. And, what a sweet dream it was. Her time with Max last night had been short, but no less passionate for lack of time. Her parents had even welcomed the sight of him at their front door, as they delighted in the fact that their daughter was taking off for a few days to spend some time away from him. Liz almost felt guilty about the lie, but, at the same time, what choice did she have? She needed Max like she needed to breathe. Lying to her parents about needing a few days away from him to spend with just the girls had saved the day. They were not about to let her go anywhere, until she convinced them that she just needed some time to be herself without Max. They had been so happy to see her making what they felt was a mature decision to seek out some "balance" in her life. Hah! Keeping Max's visit to a minimum last night had helped to convince them that she was serious about it. The thing was, she didn't even exist anymore without Max. How could she possibly explain that to her parents . . . She could still feel his arms around her as they'd sat out on the roof together. They hadn't even had to talk much. Liz knew exactly what Max was thinking anytime he was holding her. Both of them had been lost in thoughts of the upcoming four days that they now had to just be together with no work or school . . . no interruptions or outside distractions . . .

Maria: "Earth to Liz . . . Wow, I never thought that would be so apropos."

Isabel and Liz both turn to Maria with frowns on their faces.

Maria: "What? . . . It was just a joke. Lighten up."

Liz: "Just wait until it's you, Maria."

Maria: (practically squeaking) "Me?!?!" "On no. Huh-uh. Not me. Besides, Michael and I already talked about it and neither one of us is in any hurry to follow you and Max off that cliff."

Liz (chuckling while Isabel looks thoroughly disgusted): "It's not like we're dying here, Maria. Don't you think you're overreacting a little?"

Maria: (shocked but not speechless) "Overreacting?!?! Let's review. You were a human. Now you're an alien. Nope. No way to possibly overreact to that."

Isabel: "Come off it, Maria. If you and Michael had been the first ones to . . . achieve a state of physical intimacy, you'd be the one who morphed."

Maria: (blushing a little) "Point taken, but still . . . "

Liz: "No buts, Maria, it is what it is. Just be glad we found out, so you had a choice."

Maria: "You know, Liz, sometimes I think you would've done it even if you'd known."

Liz: (smiling now) "Don't be ridiculous."

Maria: "No. I mean it. I really think you would have."

Isabel: (interrupting and changing the subject) "So, how did you two manage to get away?"

Maria: "It was no problem. My mom was thrilled to death for me to be liberating myself from the male gender for a few days."

Isabel: "In other words, you lied."

Maria grinned but said nothing. Isabel turned to Liz then.

Isabel: "Well, Liz, what did you tell your parents?"

Liz: "Same as Maria. I thought my parents were going to go into orbit, they were so pleased at the prospect of me spending some time away from Max."

Maria: "I can't believe they believed you."

Liz: "I was very motivated and very convincing."

Maria: "Better hope they don't find out what you really did, or you and Max will be the one's in orbit . . . around Saturn."

Liz: (grimacing at the thought) "I know."

Isabel: (teasing now) "One wonders how you two will survive this summer without a handy eraser room . . . "

Maria: "Yeah. No one else even bothers to try to use it anymore, because it's always occupied by you two."

Liz: (blushing) "C'mon. We weren't that bad."

Isabel and Maria: (in unison) "Yes you were."

All three girls cracked up laughing and spent the remainder of the drive planning what they were going to do for the next couple of days . . .


Max checked the sky as he pulled up to the cabin, which looked a whole lot more like a lodge. It was perfect. Plenty of room for all of them. The weather, on the other hand, was not. He turned to Michael and Alex.

Max: "Did you guys hear anything about a storm?"

Michael: "No, but what difference would that make."

Alex: "I checked the weather before we left and there was nothing worth mentioning." (glancing up at the sky with a grimace)

Max: "I hope the girls get here soon."

Michael: "Doesn't look that bad. Maybe, it'll pass over."

Alex and Max both look at him in disbelief.

Michael: "O.k. Maybe it won't."

Max: "C'mon, let's get everything inside before it starts raining."

There were five bedrooms inside and three of them had their own bathrooms. The third bathroom was downstairs with the largest of the bedrooms. The guys walked all through the house and picked out the rooms they liked best. In the end, each chose a room with a bathroom and Max and Liz would be downstairs. Just as they brought in the last of their things, lightning cracked across the sky and thunder clapped less than one second behind the flash.

Max stepped up to the window and looked outside. Where in the world had this storm come from? It was close. Too close. Michael and Alex joined him, and all three devoutly wished they'd see the girls pulling up immediately. Waiting for them now was going to be an exercise in worry and frustration. The worst thing was that they should've already been there . . .


Isabel clutched the steering wheel tighter with every passing mile. The rain was coming down in sheets now, and the lightning was blinding at times. Maria and Liz sat quietly and did their best not to cry out whenever the thunder threatened to deafen them. They were very close to their destination at this point, if they could just make it a few more miles, they'd be safe. Liz's mind wandered to Max and in an instant she knew he was worried sick about her and the others. It wasn't just intuition. She knew as if she were inside his mind right now. She wished there was some way to comfort him and let him know that she was all right, but she had no idea how to do that. Maybe if she just focused and concentrated really hard . . .


Max stood perfectly still by the window, refusing to move away from it for even a moment. With every passing minute, his fear grew more and more out of control. They were a half hour late now. That just couldn't be good. Michael rested his hand on Max's shoulder and tried to convince him to sit down for a while, but Max felt too restless to sit. Finally, Alex joined them once again at the window and all three stood, watching and waiting . . .

Suddenly, Max felt her . . . He could almost hear her voice inside his head. What was she saying? He closed his eyes and forced out every other thought from his mind. Focusing in on only her voice . . . her thoughts . . . She was telling him that they were o.k. and that they were very close. Max relaxed for the first time in the past half hour. They were o.k. Wait. She was trying to tell him something else . . . Once more, he closed his eyes and knew an overwhelming sense of being loved . . . completely. How was she doing this? He turned to Michael and Alex and told them that their girls were o.k. Michael looked first incredulous and then accepting, while Alex just looked stunned. All three wore expressions of profound relief. That sense of well-being was short lived, because in the very next moment Max heard Liz scream out his name in sheer terror . . .


Part 10 | Index | Part 12
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