FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"Whiter Shade of Pale"
Part 16
by Anne M
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.
Summary: Immediately follows Blind Date ep, exploring Liz's reaction to Max's inability to remember the evening's events. Reconciliation is followed quickly by a rapid progression in physical intimacy, as a night in the desert leaves them both sleepless and hurting in a new way. Liz's behind the scenes attempt to persuade Max that they should continue in more intimacy leads to an alliance with Michael that goes completely awry. Max and Liz make love for the first time and find that the experience has far reaching ramifications as changes in Liz become obvious. Some simple tests of skin cells and blood reveal what they both already suspected to be true. Liz's physiology has changed completely to match Max's. These changes become more pronounced as they experience the drive to procreate that is much stronger for them now that Liz has basically become an alien in her own right. As school draws to a close for the summer, the six set off on a trip to spend some time together that begins in near disaster as the girls are caught in a terrible storm. Michael and Maria discover that changes are occurring for them now, too, as Max and Liz discover new levels of their evolving relationship.
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
Authors Note: Lyrics are from "A Whiter Shade of Pale" by Procol Harum. And by, Sade, "By your side" and "The Sweetest Gift." I do not like Sade, but . . . get this CD if you don't have it! It's called "Lovers Rock."
Moving quietly out of the kitchen and into the big living room, they all settled in to talk about Maria and the sudden moments of insight that seemed to be coming at a more and more rapid pace lately. They needed answers. No one really knew where to start. Max shifted somewhat uncomfortably, knowing that he had to tell them about the vision he had shared last night with Liz. But how exactly did you tell people that you had seen the future without completely freaking them out? As he sorted through the possibilities, his mind wandered.

The six of them.

When had that really happened?

Max tried to put a name on the exact date when the walls had all come down and the six of them had become something much more than just a group of friends trying to keep an important secret. So much had happened since then. Alex and Maria and Liz, especially Liz, had risked so much for them over and over again, and yet, would never even think of doing anything else. Alex had been terrified for Liz before he found out about their alien status, but then he had become as determined a friend as one could ask for. Max looked around the room at each and every person seated there, and wondered where to begin. As he hesitated, he felt Liz slip her hand inside his and at the same time, felt her strength and support slip inside his heart and his mind. His eyes fell to their hands and then slid slowly up to her face. Her eyes reflected the love for him that he always saw there, but now they also said that she was here beside him and always would be. Smiling slightly, he turned to the others.

Max (quietly): "Liz and I have something to tell you."

A collective groan could be heard around the room from the other four.

Alex: (whining dramatically) "Oh my God. What now? Haven't you two done enough?"

Isabel: (whispering) "Oh no. Not again."

Maria: (slapping her forehead and falling back against the couch) "More? There's more?"

Michael: (quietly) "Just say you're not pregnant. Anything but that. (heartfelt) *Anything*."

Max and Liz looked at each other and shrugged at all the fuss. Man, a little thing like Liz turning into an alien and now every move was suspect? Good Grief.

Max: "We're not pregnant."

Michael: (falling back against the couch, eyes closing, breath rushing out) "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."

Maria wondered at Michael's reverent gratitude but decided to ignore it. "That was awfully p/c, Max. *We're* not pregnant."

Max: (ignoring Maria's sarcasm) "Yet."

Alex: (throwing his hands up in the air in exasperation) "Oh My God! I knew it! I just knew it!"

Isabel: (eyes narrowed in a particularly threatening manner that only Isabel could achieve) "What do you mean 'yet'??"

Michael sat forward again and clasped his hands loosely between his knees, hoping that would be enough to banish the dizzy sensation swamping his weary brain. It would be really embarrassing to have to actually hang his head to the floor in an effort to keep from fainting. Maria, on the other hand, felt no such insecurity, openly pulling in large amounts of air, in between something that sounded a lot like a mantra.

Isabel (sitting back and fixing Max and Liz with an expression bordering on parental displeasure): "Maybe you should explain before we have to call an ambulance." (casting disgusted looks at Alex and Maria and one for Michael, too, just because she knew what he was thinking even if he was doing a damned good job of hiding it.)

Max: (completely out of ideas) "I'm *trying*."

Alex: (sighing) "Just give it to us straight, Max. We already know to expect the most unlikely, completely impossible, and truly bizarre news, so lay it on us."

Max: (nodding in agreement) "You're right. Okay. Last night, Liz and I . . ."

Maria: (hands outstretched, palms out as if they could deflect anymore) "Whoa!!! Hold on there, Romeo. I know we're all close and all, but I *really* don't think I'm ready to share in the graphic details just yet.

Liz: (losing patience) "Ma-ria!" "Would you just give him a chance to explain?"

Maria reluctantly acquiesced.

Max: (determined) "Look. Last night, Liz had a vision. A vision about us. All of us. It was like some kind of glimpse into the future."

Michael: "Wait. If she had the vision, how do you know what it was like?"

Max: "Because I had it with her."

Maria: (almost under her breath) "Oh boy. I *knew* I didn't want to hear this."

Isabel rolled her eyes and then fixed Max and Liz with an "I. Am. Wait. Ing." stare.

Liz cleared her throat and tried to fight off the images that had been left behind by the vision, as she struggled to reconcile who they were now with who they were going to become. Turning to Max, she smiled a little weakly and silently let him know she would try to communicate the rest.

Liz: "I . . . we, saw the six of us, together again. We were back here at this same house, only this time, we were outside in the yard. At least most of us were."

Stopping there and closing her eyes for a moment, she paused briefly. Images of babies and happy parents drifted across her mind's eye all wrapped in a swath of peace that belied what the circumstances dictated.

Alex (sitting forward and urging gently) "Go on, Liz."

Liz: (opening her eyes and pressing on) "The first person I remember seeing was . . . Maria." (turning to look at her best friend)

Maria: (incredulous) "Me?"

Liz: "Yes. You were . . . so happy."

Maria: (smiling smugly) "I was?"

Liz: "Yeah, and your baby was only a few months old."

Michael assumed the position once more and just knew this time he really was going to faint . . .

Maria: (staring open mouthed at Liz) "My what????" (staring at Michael now) "No. No way. That is so not happening. Are you crazy?!?!"

Max: "No. No she's not crazy, Maria. I saw it, too. I saw you with your child in the yard, playing and more content than I've ever known you."

Maria stared at Max with absolutely nothing left to say because there was no doubt this was for real. Her mind sought the only safe place it new and found him almost supine on the floor.

Maria: (swatting his shoulder) "Michael!! Get up here and be comforting, dammit!"

Michael grunted in a most unsatisfactory manner, which left Maria to her own devices momentarily. Those mostly included trying to bring Michael into enough consciousness to make sure he was as tortured as she was right now.

Isabel: (eyes turning first towards Alex and then back towards Max and Liz before dropping once more to the floor) "What . . . what about us, Liz?" (her eyes left the floor and stared deeply into the one's of the only sister she had ever known.)

Liz: (fighting tears of joy and some other emotion she couldn't identify) "Oh, Isabel! You--you and Alex--the two of you, you'll be together and happy. I promise."

Isabel's eyes slid shut in relief as Alex's hand found hers and they held on to each other, trying to hold off anything that could separate them. As if they knew, harder times were ahead . . .

Alex: (clearing his throat and looking up from his hand where it lay encased in Isabel's) "How exactly do you know that, Liz?"

Liz: (unable to fight the tears any longer) "I-I saw you. I saw the two of you. Together, Alex. Isabel was wearing your ring. You were planning your wedding." (unable to say anymore, Liz turned her face into Max's shoulder and cried for all the joy that was coming at such a cost . . . )

Alex turned Isabel into his embrace and held her as she cried happy tears. But, he knew it was always darkest before the dawn and Liz and Max hadn't told them everything yet.

Michael finally felt the last remnants of incapacitation leave his body and lifted his head to find Maria staring at him with an expression of horror that seeped into disbelief whenever it could.

Michael: "Maria . . . it'll be okay."

Maria: "It can't be true . . ."

Michael: "Why not?"

Maria: "Because . . . Oh God."

Michael: (compassionate) "Maria. You never know what a person is capable of until it's really important."

Her stare wasn't very encouraging.

Michael: "I promise you, you have nothing to worry about. I'll be here for you."

Maria: (breathy) "And, will you go through child birth for me, too?"

Michael: (stunned) "Uh . . . (shaking his head to clear it) Um, no. I don't think so. Sorry."

Maria: (malevolent) "You so owe me."

Michael: "I know." (pulling her close to him and kissing her forehead) "I know."

Isabel finally spoke up, recovered from the brief onslaught.

Isabel: "How do we know that any of this real?"

Alex: (not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth but unwilling not to listen to logic) "How do you know this was a vision? Maybe it was just what you had for dinner last night not agreeing with your new alien physiology?"

Liz looked up from Max' shoulder with a haunted expression, but before she could offer any more, Maria stepped in.

Maria: (certainty that brooked no argument) "No. It *was* a vision. She's right."

Maria searched Liz's face and the absolute conviction of the revelation, settled over the two and eventually covered the whole group in a wave.

Everyone in the room sat in bewilderment at this new development, but knew no answers would be forthcoming tonight.


*Quietly, while you were asleep,
the moon and I were talking.
I asked that she'd always keep you

Max and Liz had finally managed to divulge the details in their entirety, but no one found it particularly comforting. Everyone did their best to put the vision behind them for the duration of their stay, but it was difficult at best. All that really came of the exercise was everyone trying to deal with the future on their own.

*She promised you her light.
that you so gracefully carry.
You bring your light and shine

like morning.*

As their time together dwindled rapidly, the three couples huddled together outside under a beautiful night sky. Almost time to go home . . .

Every single one dreaded going back tomorrow. Even though the time they had spent here had been majorally stressful, it was at the same time, the only way they could ever feel "whole." They *needed* to be together.

As they all stretched out on blankets under a full moon and an incredible show of stars, each couple sat wrapped in the arms of his or her mate, together but alone, wrestling . . . coping.

While each one faced the version of the future that they'd made up based on what Liz and Max had said, the stars shown and the moon hovered over head, casting blessings on the six of them that they had no awareness of. When they chose to surface from personal reverie and take in the beautiful night and the presence of the others, they would feel the peace that was available to them if only they looked for it. The disjointedness was painfully felt by one and all as the worry and no small amount of fear reigned supreme for the moment.

*And then the wind pulls the clouds
across the moon.
Your light fills the darkest room.
And, I can see the miracle that keeps
us from falling.*

Liz watched the sky with its thousands of tiny points of light and breathed in the cool night air. As her mind cleared, her heart embraced the reality of who she was now, and she realized that she had no regrets. She snuggled into Max's embrace a little closer, knowing that nothing mattered to her anymore except that she be with him. That was all. Everything. No other home mattered anymore. No conventional wisdom applied. She *was* an alien now, and he was home for her.

*She promised all the sweetest gifts,
that only the heavens could bestow.
You bring your light and shine like morning.
And, as you so gracefully give her light as
long as you live,
I will always remember this moment . . . *

Max kissed her forehead gently and then drew in his breath before whispering, "Look."

She turned her head away from him and towards the sky just in time to see a bright, fluorescent light streak across the night sky. It wasn't a shooting star or even a meteor. She knew what those looked like. This was something else. Something she'd never seen before.

Alex and Isabel looked askance at the other two couples. Alex finally breathed a, "What the hell?" not really expecting an answer, while Michael and Maria sat speechless . . . waiting . . . but for what they had no idea.


Later that night, Liz contemplated the last few hours she would spend here and stared into the full length mirror in the bedroom that she'd shared with Max for these past few days. How could she possibly go to bed without him now? How? Her hands drifted over her bare stomach as her eyes drifted shut imagining the way he'd held her last night while they slept . . .

Her hand moved automatically to the stereo on the dresser and switched on the CD that Max had given her on their return from their brief visit to the nearest town. He was amazingly innovative at finding gifts for her.

She heard the water still running in the shower and knew that he was still in the bathroom . . .

As the music began to play, she stared at the image of herself in the mirror and listened to the words . . . having no idea that Max was listening, too, and watching her intently . . .

Standing in the doorway in a towel, Max forgot about asking her to join him. As he watched her, he really didn't have to wonder what she was thinking at all.

Liz's head fell to her shoulder as her eyes softened in an expression of wonder . . .

*You think I'd leave your side, baby.
You know me better than that.
Think I'd leave you down when,
when you're down on your knees.
I wouldn't do that.*

Her hands unclapsed the fastening of her bra and let it fall to the floor as her hair swung across her back and her eyes closed.

Max absently turned the water off without looking away from his mate . . .

She never heard the sound of silence that replaced the rushing water.

Liz's hands drifted over her stomach and across her breasts, lifting her hair off her neck, while her eyes remained closed.

Max wondered how much longer he could stay a bystander, until her hands made another pass across her abdomen.

*I'll tell you you're right when you want.
And, if only you could see into me . . .*

Her hands slid under the waistband of her panties and slid them down with her eyes still closed and her hair falling foward over her shoulders . . .

*Oh, when you're cold, I'll be there.
Hold you tight to me . . . *

The song played around her and she was lost in the music and he was lost in the fantasy that made up the reality of Liz Parker . . .

Her feet stepped daintily out of the scrap of lace that lie on the floor at her feet. Her eyes still remained closed.

*When you're on the outside, baby, and you
can't get in,
I will show you, you're so much better than
you know . . .*

As she straightened, her hands slid once more across her stomach, one remaining there and one sliding across her breast as a smile shown on her face, telling him that she was thinking of his hands tracing the same path . . .

*When you're lost and you're alone,
and you can't get back again.
I will find you, darling and I'll bring
you home.*

Her hands fell to her sides, revealing the stark glowing, silver mark just about 2 inches below her belly button . . .

Liz: (without opening her eyes) "Where's your home, Max?"

Max swallowed hard, but didn't hesitate, or even wonder when she knew he was there . . .

Max: (certain) "With you."

*And if you want to cry, I am here to dry
your eyes.
And in no time, you'll be fine . . .*

Max (stepping towards her but not within touching distance yet) "What's going on, Liz?"

Liz: (dreamily) "Don't you know?"

She still hadn't opened her eyes but her hand unquestioningly displayed the small glowing mark on her stomach.

*You think I'd leave your side, baby.
You know me better than that.
Think I'd leave you down, when you're
down on your knees. I wouldn't do that.*

*When you're on the outside, baby.
And, you can't get in.
I'll show you, you're so much better than you

Max: (huskily) "No. I mean, I'm not sure."

Liz: "That's us. Together. The two of us. In one person."

Max felt the helpless response of his body to her words, but his mind needed the reassurance of explanation . . .

Max: "Liz?"

Her eyes opened, finally, and immediately took in his tortured face with an expression of empathy as her hand reached out, in a beckoning gesture . . .

*And if only you could see into me.
And, oh when you're cold,
I'll be there. Hold you tight to me . . .*

He crossed the short distance between them, falling to his knees in front of her, and resting his cheek against her stomach, knowing . . .

*You think I'd leave you down, when
you're down on your knees;
I wouldn't do that.*

Max looked up into the eyes of the only woman he could ever love. Ever share himself with, his body, his soul . . .

Liz: "I'm pregnant, Max." (expression opening from the fear of the unkown into the joy of what might be . . . )

His eyes closed against his will as his hand traced the small mark on her stomach . . .

He could feel her breath inside his lungs . . . her heartbeat inside his chest . . .

His mate, his wife, the mother of his child. She was so much to him . . .

Liz: (insisting) "Where's your home, Max?''

Max: (without hesitation) "With you."

Liz: "Are you sure?"

Max: (weighing the depth and breadth of his answer) "Yes."

Liz: "Then, come in."

Part 15 | Index | Part 17
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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