FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"Whiter Shade of Pale"
Part 12
by Anne
Disclaimer: I don't own Roswell or any of the characters. I have no affiliation with the WB television network (and if I did things would darn sure change around that place) or the author Melinda Metz.
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
Blinding rain was all that could be seen through the windshield of the jeep, as Max fought the steering wheel in an effort to keep on the roadway. Every few seconds he asked if anyone had seen anything, knowing that they hadn't or he would've already heard about it. His chest hurt from the effort it took to breathe right now. Something had happened to them, and whatever it was, Liz had stopped communicating with him and hadn't tried since. He knew they couldn't be far, but it was almost impossible to see through the downpour. Exactly three minutes later, the searching was over. A tree had fallen across the road and on the other side of that tree, their car was just barely visible. Obviously, they had swerved in an effort to avoid hitting the tree, because the car was completely perpendicular to the highway. They were too far away at this point to see if anyone was hurt, and without a moment's hesitation Max and Michael and Alex were racing toward that small car on foot. As they got closer, the car doors flew open and a frantic Isabel and a hysterical Maria jumped out.

Isabel: "Oh my God, Max. Liz is unconscious. She must've hit her head on the windshield when I swerved.

Alex quickly enfolded Isabel in a hug, as Michael dragged Maria to him and held her as if his life depended on the embrace. The two couples made their way to the jeep, and once the girls were safely inside, Alex and Michael ran back to help Max with Liz.

Max was leaning over Liz and the freezing rain was dripping off of him and all over her, while he checked her for various injuries. There didn't appear to be any . . . except her head. He put his hands on either side of her face, and tried to form the connection with her, but when he did, all he could see or hear or feel was . . . darkness . . . nothingness. He quickly broke the connection and picked her up, cradling her against his chest as he carried her to the jeep.

Michael and Alex stayed behind to deal with Isabel's car and clearing the road. The tree wasn't huge, but it was an obstruction and very, very heavy. Alex watched in amazement as Michael split the wood apart and sent it flying across the road. In short order, the road was cleared, and Michael and Alex were on their way back to the cabin. The rain had dwindled down to a small monsoon at this point . . .


Back at the cabin, Maria and Isabel sat by the fire trying to dry their clothes and get warm, while Max sat right next to Liz, who still had not regained consciousness. Max was almost to the panic stage, when the front door burst open and Michael and Alex walked in.

Alex: "How is she, Max?"

Max: (swallowing hard around the fear that was choking him) "I don't know."

Michael: (frowning) "What do you mean you don't know? Didn't you try to connect with her?"

Max: (wearily) "Yeah. I couldn't reach her."

Maria: (standing up and walking over to Max and Liz) "I think, maybe, you should try to let her reach you . . . "

A startled hush fell over the room as Maria's words left a trail of shocked expressions in their wake.

Michael: (quietly) "What do you mean?"

Maria: "Right before the accident, Liz was trying to let Max know that we were all right and on the way. She said she could feel how worried you were. Maybe, you just need to let her reach out to you . . . "

Michael (suspicious): "How do you know that, Maria?"

Maria: (glancing up but not comprehending the direction of his thoughts) "I don't know."

Max: (prepared to try anything) "What do I do?"

Maria: "What were you doing before?"

Max: "I was standing by the window, watching for you."

Maria: "Go back over there, and think about what you were thinking about before. Try to remember what you were feeling."

Max got up and went to the window, while Alex and Isabel and Michael stared in stunned fascination at Maria. Max closed his eyes in concentration for a moment and then remembered they had been open until he'd heard from her. Opening his eyes, he forced himself to remember the anxiety he'd been feeling. It only took a moment for the pain and fear he was feeling now to translate into what he'd been feeling then . . .

Liz's whole body levitated off the sofa as she screamed out Max's name once more, this time from the safety of the cabin instead of from the inside of a careening car. Max was almost afraid to turn around . . . afraid that his mind was teasing him with the possibility that she could be awake. But, turn around he did, and then she was in his arms. Crying hysterically, but in his arms and most importantly she was awake. He didn't even remember crossing from the window to the sofa. It had happened in a blur. He kissed her eyes and tasted the salty tears as her hands came up on either side of his face. He wanted to talk to her, to reassure her, but he couldn't. His throat was so tight, there was no possible way he could speak, so once again his thoughts went out to her and drifted into her mind, calming and soothing and ultimately loving. Her tears subsided and she opened her eyes and looked into his, noting the concern and strain of the past two hours.

Liz: "I'm all right, Max."

Max: (finally able to move air past his vocal chords) "Are you sure?"

Liz: (smiling shakily) "Yeah. I'm sure. I feel fine."

Alex: (shaking his head) "Shouldn't she at least have a headache?"

Max: (remembering his own experience with a head injury) "No. Probably not. Once I woke up, I felt fine."

Maria: (face still filled with concern) "You scared me, Lizzie."

Liz: (grabbing Maria's hand and squeezing it) "I'm sorry."

Isabel: "Maybe you should lie down for a while and rest. We'll bring all the stuff in from the car and make lunch."

Maria: (seeing that she was about to protest) "That's not a bad idea, Liz. It can't hurt to make sure you're o.k."

Liz finally gave in as the wisdom of the idea sank in. Better to be safe than sorry, but she really did feel just fine. Max picked her up and carried her to their bedroom and sat her down gently on the bed, kneeling beside her.

Liz: "I could've walked, Max. I'm o.k., really."

Max: "Humor me, I've had a rough day."

Liz: (smiling) "I'm sorry. Why don't you take a nap with me?"

Max: (standing abruptly) "Because there is absolutely no way I can get in bed with you right now and sleep."

He bent down and kissed her lightly on her pretty mouth, before turning to walk out of the bedroom. He stopped at the door as she spoke.

Liz: "Max, wait. Please don't leave me in here by myself."

Max: (turning to face her with a confused look) "Why? What's wrong?"

Liz: (fear filling her voice) "I don't want to be alone right now, Max . . . please."

Max (sensing she was being more sincere than coy): "O.k. sweetheart. I won't leave."

Pulling the chair over by the bed, he sat down and held her hand in both of his, and waited for her to tell him what she was so afraid of.

Liz (taking a deep breath): "I couldn't wake up, Max. I tried and tried. It was like being lost. I knew you were looking for me, but I couldn't find you anywhere, until I felt that fear from you again just the same as before. I've never been that scared before. I didn't think I'd ever get out of that dark place . . ."

Max: (brushing the hair away from her face and smiling) "But you did, and you're o.k. now."

Liz: (smiling bravely) "I know. At least my head knows, but my heart . . . needs a few minutes to catch up."

Max: "Why don't you just try to get some sleep and I'll sit right here until you wake up."

Liz: (smile slipping) "I'm afraid to go to sleep. . . . Hold me, Max."

Max stood up without a word and moved around to the other side of the bed. Grabbing a blanket off the rack beside the bed, he climbed in beside her and pulled her up close to him spreading the blanket over top of them both. Liz shivered once, but not from cold. She didn't think she would ever get used to the feeling of being held like this by Max. Her head was resting on his arm and his breath was warm in her ear as he whispered that he loved her. His other arm wrapped around her waist and his hand rested flat against her tummy causing that familiar flutter. Surprisingly enough, now that he was here with her, she did feel tired and her eyes drifted shut almost immediately. Max felt her breathing even out as she fell asleep and wondered at the ease with which she had done so after being so afraid. It seemed that all she needed was him. That was only fair, because all he ever needed was her . . . His thoughts centered around this extraordinary love as exhaustion claimed him and he, too, fell asleep . . .


Alex and Isabel brought in the last of the girls' things and set everything down on the floor to sort out later. The rain had finally let up to a drizzle, but they still made their way over to the fireplace to warm up and dry off. Isabel rubbed her arms and stared into the flames. Alex wrapped his arms around her and pulled her back against him.

Isabel: "What a way to start a trip, huh?"

Alex: "Could've been worse . . . "

Isabel: "True."

Alex: "Hey, are you o.k.?"

Isabel (turning to face him and in a moment of rare weakness let the tears fall): "God, Alex. I was so scared. She wouldn't wake up. There was nothing we could do."

Alex: "Shh. You did fine, Isabel. Don't cry."

Isabel: (whispering) "I'm sorry."

Alex: "Don't ever be sorry. That's what I'm here for. I want these tears, and the smiles, and everything else that goes with you. They belong to me, too."

Isabel: (pulling back to look into his eyes) "Who are you, Alex?"

Alex: "Just the guy who's in love with you."

Isabel: (wide eyed) "I'm in love with you, too, Alex."

Alex: (bending his head to kiss her) "I'm deeply relieved to hear that. "


Out in the kitchen, Maria and Michael were working quietly together, but the tension that was building between them was palpable. Finally, Maria slammed the knife down on the counter top and turned toward Michael with an angry countenance.

Maria: "What?"

Michael: "What do you mean, 'what'?"

Maria: "I mean, what is wrong with you?"

Michael: (going back to chopping) "Nothing."

Maria: "Don't hand me that bull shit, Michael."

Michael: (putting his own knife down and passing his hand quickly over his forehead in a now very familiar gesture) "Look. Just calm down, alright? I just don't understand how you knew all that stuff about Max and Liz and what to do. It was . . . weird."

Maria (fighting hysteria): "Weird?!?! Have you lost your mind, Michael? What isn't weird?"

Michael: "That's not what I'm saying. I just don't understand why you would know all that."

Maria (raising her chin as understanding crept in): "You're afraid. You're afraid that I'm becoming like Liz. No. Like you."

Michael: "I'm not afraid. We just agreed that we wouldn't . . . "

Maria: "And, we didn't or have you forgotten that small detail?"

Michael: "Then, how?"

Maria: "I'm sure I don't know. You're the resident alien in the room."

Michael (quietly): "Would it be so bad, Maria?"

Maria: (nonplussed) "What do you mean?"

Michael (sighing): "Would it be so bad for you to be . . . like us . . . like me?"

Maria: (stunned) "No, Michael. It wouldn't."

Michael: "But you said all those things and you seemed so horrified . . . "

Maria: "But, I willingly took the chance, didn't I? I'm o.k. no matter what happens. I signed up, remember?"

Michael: "Are you sure, because it certainly seems like something strange is going on?"

Maria: "I'm sure, but I think you're worrying over nothing. Liz always had a connection with Max even when she wasn't an alien. Maybe this is just something like that. Or, maybe it's just intuition . . . Who knows?"

Michael: "I want to know for sure, Maria. I need to know."

Maria: (walking up to him and wrapping her arms around his waist) "O.k. As soon as we can, we'll find out if it means that much to you."

Michael: "It does."

They stood there quietly for a long time and just held each other, both wondering what the future would bring.


Max felt something pulling him from the depths of an extremely sound sleep. What was it? Something insistent . . . urgent . . . And, then he heard her. Liz was whimpering in her sleep and starting to get restless. Her soft cries were becoming louder and more desperate, as Max quickly made the connection with her. Once inside, he searched through the darkness that wasn't quite black. Where was she? He had to find her and let her know that she wasn't alone . . .

He turned another corner in what felt like a huge maze. No wonder she hadn't wanted to go to sleep, if this was what she had been expecting. Finally, Max gave up walking. It seemed that the more he moved, the farther he was from her. He stopped and closed his eyes and listened with his heart for her presence. Now, he could find her. He sensed her as he began walking again. The maze fell away and in the space of a breath he saw her. She looked so scared and so alone. He sat down on the floor in front of her and let her adjust to his presence here. He watched as her face revealed her shifting emotions. She reached out her hand to touch him and with that small contact, they were both instantly awake. Liz turned towards Max and buried her face in his neck, breathing in the scent of him and forcing her mind to accept that he was real. She didn't cry. It was unnecessary. Right this minute, there were far more pressing needs . . .


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