FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"Whiter Shade of Pale"
Part 17
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: For Miranda, always. Also, for Gale, and Irina, and Diana.
"I envision the Lord as strong, handsome,
with dark hair, and electric eyes. He is
protective and passionate, the master of
manifestation, who holds the energies of
the universe in his hands."
--Michele Morgan

Max watched the car ahead like a hawk. It wasn't difficult to discern the red "X" in his eye as it trained on the car that carried his mate . . . the mother of his child. Liz was in that car. They'd ridden most of the way back together in an effort to dispel everyone's fear of what had happened before when they'd travelled separately. But now, she was up there . . . and much too far away. They still hadn't told the others about the pregnancy. There really hadn't been time. They'd left so early that morning that no one was much for conversation. They'd be back in Roswell soon. Max couldn't help the disappointed feeling that flooded his soul at the prospect of returning home. While Liz had been beside him here in the passenger seat, he had been okay. But now . . .

His mind wandered to last night and the slow, sweet way they had made love after the discovery of her pregnancy. He had been terrified of hurting her and their baby, but in the end he couldn't control the fierceness with which they always came together. Clenching his jaw in an effort to maintain some semblance of control, he blanched when Michael's pointed gaze turned in his direction.

Michael: "Do you want me to drive?"

Max: (looking at him with a disgusted aire) "No."

Michael: "Are you sure?" "I mean, I'd hate like hell to have to explain to an officer of the law that you couldn't concentrate because . . ."

Max: (grinding the words out) "I'm. Fine."

Michael (smirking) "Okay. Just thought I'd offer . . . "

The silence stretched ominously in the jeep . . .


"The Lady is hauntingly beautiful, with
flowing black hair that reflects the light
of the full Moon as it dances above her."
--Michele Morgan

Maria: (glancing away from the road momentarily to stare at her friend in concern) "Liz?"

No answer.

Maria's eyes flashed in the rear view and Isabel sat forward with a worried frown on her face that no less distorted the perfect features . . .

Liz's silence thus far had not gone unnoticed by either of the women travelling beside her.

Liz's expression hadn't changed since she'd taken up residence in the passenger seat of the small car. It was passive . . . almost to the point of pain for anyone who happened to be watching, and cared.

Isabel and Maria exchanged worried glances once more. How in the world would these two make it back in Roswell if they couldn't even survive one car ride apart??

Isabel surveyed Liz's totally absorbed expression, and groaned inwardly. Max was going to get his ass chewed for this at some very near date in the future. He couldn't just go around *entrancing* people. Well, okay. Not people, exactly. Liz. He couldn't go around putting her in this kind of an obvious state. It just wasn't . . . prudent. And, what the hell was wrong with her anyway??

Maria slid one more sideways glance at Liz's averted profile and decided it was time to take this matter firmly in hand.

Maria (shouting): "LIZ!!!!"

Liz's head snapped around with the lightning speed of a whip, followed by a thunderous expression that spoke volumes on the indelicacy of being interrupted while in the midst of one's most personal thoughts.

Liz: (eyes stormy) "What?!?!"

Maria: (somewhat startled) "Um, well, uh, . . . nothing, really. You just seemed . . . . distracted. More than usual."

Liz: (chagrined) "I . . . was. I'm sorry."

Maria: (expression softening to understanding) "It's o.k. I understand. . . . I think."

Liz: (under her breath but no so low that Isabel's sharp ears didn't pick it up) "I don't think so."

Maria: "What is it Lizzie? Are you just sad that we're going back?"

Liz: (smiling in grateful humility for the friend she had in Maria) "Yeah. That's exactly what it is, Maria. I just can't stand to think about facing the rest of the summer . . . alone . . ."

Isabel sat back again in her seat with a contemplative expression on her face. Liz was lying. No doubt about it. She might be good at a lot of things, but lying wasn't one of them. How could Maria be so gullible??

Maria: "It won't be so bad, Liz. You know Max won't let you out of his sight for long."

Liz smiled at this and the smile spread into a grin as she heard Isabel groan from the backset.

Liz: (chuckling) "I know . . ."

But Maria and Isabel both watched with concerned expressions as Liz's grin faded into a sad smile and her eyes slid away to stare out the passenger window once more.


Alex took in the harried expression of his passenger and wondered for the fifth time in 13 miles, what in the hell was wrong with Max. Michael was passed out and snoring obnoxiously in the backset, while he and Max were riding in uncompanionable silence. No big deal on most days, but this was strange, even for Max.

Alex (clearing his throat) "Uh, . . . Max. You know, if there's something on your mind . . . "

Max (turning sharply with a dark expression but softening almost immediately as his mind focused on the present) "No, Alex. (gently) I'm fine. I'm just . . . already missing Liz, that's all."

Alex swallowed a scathing retort in the face of what he was certain had been a load of hog wash. After all, what good would it do to add injury to what was already obviously something very heavy . . .

Michael's snoring resounded in the jeep for many more miles . .


The road sign that read "Roswell Next Exit," broke the reverie of Liz's convoluted thoughts, and brought an unexpected command from the passenger seat.

Liz: "Isabel!!!"

Isabel whirled around to face the summons with an immensely displeased expression. Liz almost laughed out loud at the speaking glance. It practically shouted, "You dare?" without so much as a verbal syllable. She had to be a princess or something equally majestic in another life. As Isabel's eyes pinned her to the passenger door, Liz contemplated the consequences of calling forth a power greater than oneself . . .

On the other hand, she was an alien herself, and a pregnant one at that . . .

Liz: (finding the resolve she needed) "Stop the jeep."

Isabel: "What?!?!" (accompanied by another speaking glance. This one, so much more telling.)

Liz: (shouting) "Stop the damned jeep!"

And, with that last, Maria sputtered her way from warm sleepiness to the unpleasantness of cold reality.

Maria: "What the hell?" (as she felt the jeep leave the road with an uncomfortable swerve)

Isabel: (practically hissing) "God, Liz! This had better be good."

Without so much as a word, Liz bolted from the car. She didn't even need to see with her physical eyes to know that Max was off the road right behind them and already running full out towards her. Alex looked so bewildered, she thought, just before Max's arms wrapped around her like they might never get to do so again.

Liz: (pulling back marginally from the frantic embrace) "Max! I'm scared!!"

Max: (brushing her hair back and steadily looking into her eyes) "I know, baby." "I know."

Liz watched his eyes and felt some of her anxiety recede . . .

Max: "I don't know how, Liz, but we will be all right." "I promise." (and then pointedly) "All of us."

Liz (chin trembling) "But, Max, how can we go back?"

Max: (taking a deep breath and willing some of the strength he didn't even know he possessed to transfer to her) "We just can, Liz. We will make it through, this. It won't be forever. Don't you understand?? I could never let you go, Liz. Not now. Not ever."

Liz visibly pulled herself together, drawing heavily on the measure of peace that Max had willed to her. Laying her hand along the side of his face, she did her best to silently communicate that she was ready to face whatever lie ahead . . .


One month later, Liz stood behind the counter in the Crashdown scrubbing at stains that weren't there anymore and wondering how she would survive one more day like this. She'd seen Max so seldom in the past month that her mind could barely wrap around the reality of their situation. She was an alien now, and a mate, and a mother, and her husband was still living at home with his watchful parents while hers scrutinized her every move. They simply couldn't risk bringing down any more censure on their lives. She didn't really think things could get any worse, until . . .

Diane Evans: "Liz. Can I ask you a question?"

Liz: (looking up startled and wondering when Mrs. Evans had come in) "Yeah. Sure. Of course."

Diane: "Will you come over tomorrow afternoon? I'd really like to spend some time with you and just get to know you better."

Liz almost sagged in relief before the ever present caution raised it's antennae in response to the strange request.

Liz: "Ummm, I guess, . . . okay. Yeah, that would be fine. I'll come over after I finish here . . . about three or so."

Diane smiled warmly and Liz felt alternating shivers of fear and joy run their steely fingers along her spine. What in the world was this about???


Max sat up from his lethargic position in front of the TV and wondered what was going on. His mom had a very funny expression on her face. Instantly alert, he shut off the TV that had been no source of comfort whatsoever. He missed Liz. It was pure torture to spend so much time away from her. Maybe those few days together had been a bad idea. It had only made him want more. And, there were other more pressing consequences now . . . Although, he had no doubt, those would have arisen no matter whether they had gone away or not. It was only a matter of time. After all, she was destined to be his mate. He would have called her wife, except that the term had lost so much significance here on Earth. A mate, to his people, was forever . . . He didn't even know how he knew that, but he was quite certain . . .

Diane: "Max. There you are. I hope you don't mind, dear, but I invited Liz over tomorrow."

Max: (doing his best to pretend that all the air in the atmosphere hadn't just been sucked out) "You (swallow) you did?"

Diane: "Yes. Now that the two of you are so close (expression pointed and knowing) I'd really like the chance to get to know her a little better." (Max would have just sworn that all the time he and Liz had spent apart this past month was for nothing. She knew.)

Max: (auto pilot) "You would."

Diane: "Yes, I would." (looking somewhat puzzled by her son's obvious distraction)

Max cast about frantically for something coherent to say, but all he could hear in the back of his mind was "Red Alert. Red Alert!!"

Diane: "Are you all right, Max?"

Max: (mentally shaking himself) "Yeah. I'm fine, Mom. A little tired, that's all."

Diane: (relief flooding her features) "Oh, well, why don't you have a nap before dinner."

Max: (turning gratefully towards the hallway and the sanctuary of his room) "Okay."

Diane: "Max?"

Max: (pausing without turning around) "What?"

Diane: "Just in case I never told you before, I think Liz Parker is a very special girl."

Max didn't make a single sound in reply. He couldn't without howling in frustration. His steps labored heavily towards his room. As the door closed behind him, he breathed a sigh of relief and closed his eyes, leaning against his closed door. The relief was immediately followed by panic. Reaching for the phone, he prayed that she would answer . . .


Liz: "Hello?"

Max: "Liz."

Liz's face lit up for the first time since yesterday, when she had seen Max briefly.

Liz: (exuberant) "Max!"

Max: (closing his eyes in order to concentrate around the feelings that she always called out of him) "You are coming over later?"

Liz: (confused) "Yes. Your Mom . . ."

Max: (abrupt) "I know."

Liz: (fighting tears and whispering) "I'm sorry . . ."

Max: (forcing himself to get a grip for her sake) "No. Liz, you have nothing to be sorry for. I was just surprised. Just be careful."

Liz: (still confused) "What do you mean?"

Max: "I'm not sure." (obvious helplessness flooding his voice)

Liz: (trying to understand) "Okay, Max. Don't worry. I'll be careful."

Max: "I'll meet you on your balcony afterwards."

Liz: (a little taken aback) "Okay." . . . "Max, what is this about?"

Max: (exhaling audibly) "I wish I knew, Liz. I'm just worried about you."

Liz: (smiling) "I know. I can feel it.

Max: (eyes finally rising from the pattern on the spread to focus on the picture of Liz beside his bed) "You do?"

Liz: "Yeah. I feel a lot of things lately."

Max: (quietly contemplating) "How do you think this happened, Liz?"

Liz: (smiling a little at his intention) "You mean the baby?"

Max: (stifling a surge of pride at her words) "Yes."

Liz: "I'm not sure. I suppose I could have developed a tolerance to the pill after a certain amount of time because of my new blood type and cell structure."

Max: "Maybe we should do some more tests. Just to be sure what we are dealing with."

Liz: (chuckling) "I'm not sure slides and microscopes will help us now, Max."

Max: (unable to resist her mood) "No, I suppose not, but still . . ."

Liz: "Okay, later tonight, we'll do some more tests."

Max: (thinking over what she'd said) "I think we need to talk, too."

Liz: (almost giggling) "As opposed to other things that we might be doing?"

Max: (closing his eyes in resignation and almost grating out the words) "I want you, Liz."

Liz: (feeling the space in the room become uncomfortably small and the air impossibly heavy) "I want you, too, Max."

Max: "Tonight, then." (every nerve in his body was screaming for him to go to her now)

Liz: (nodding her head in agreement even though he couldn't see) "Tonight." (and she wondered for not the first time, how they would survive that long . . .)

And, then the line was dead, and she replaced the receiver in the cradle and wondered what the day would bring . . .


Diane Evans put the final touches on the snack she had prepared for her visit with Liz and smiled to herself. Max had been so adorably confused at her invitation to his girlfriend. Very soon, now he would have to be told the truth . . .

Max silently entered the kitchen as he always did, but Diane's smile reflected the maternal pride that she felt everytime she thought of one of her children. His presence was never a surprise to her, no matter how quiet he was.

Diane: "Where are you off to, Max?"

Max: (one hand on the back of his head and eyes filled with reluctance to leave) "I dunno exactly."

Diane: "Well, have a good time, dear, and be home in time for dinner."

Max kissed her cheek and headed toward the door, but paused before walking outside. Looking back, he wondered for the 100th time what was going on.

Part 16 | Index | Part 18
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