|"Whiter Shade of Pale"
by Anne M.
Disclaimer: I do not 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. 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
|Liz knocked tentatively on the front door of the
Evans' household with no small amount of nervousness.
Her knock was answered with startling speed.
Diane Evans stood facing her in the blink of an eye with a wide smile and an assuring expression that really didn't do anything to make Liz feel better.
Diane: (affectionately) "Hi, Liz!" "Thanks for coming."
Liz: (hesitantly) "Yeah, um, sure, Mrs. Evans." (smiling shyly and nodding) " Of course."
Stepping inside, Liz surveyed more meticulously than she usually would have the interior of the home that belonged to the man who was meant only for her. Diane watched Liz carefully, weighing every detail of the girl's facial expression and the signals that her body sent out without her awareness.
Diane: (warmly) "Let's sit down in the kitchen, Liz."
Liz: (feeling the first release of tension since the invitation) "Okay."
The two made their way into the brightly lit alcove and sat together, chatting, and snacking, and even laughing. Liz couldn't believe how relaxed she suddenly felt. It was ironic really. Here she was pregnant with Max's child and she was sitting here giggling like she didn't have a care in the world with his mother. It was all so welcome after the strain of the past month.
Liz sighed as she realized she couldn't eat another bite, and then it occurred to her that she had eaten a great deal of food without Tabasco sauce liberally coating each and every bite.
Liz: "Um, Mrs. Evans?"
Liz: "What is in this recipe? I really enjoyed it."
Diane: (smiling) "Max and Isabel love it, too. I'll have to copy it down for you later, but right now there's something I want to show you."
Before Liz could further question the strange meal, Diane was ushering her out of the room and down the hall.
Diane: (enigmatic) "There's something I'd really like you to see, Liz. I guess you could say, I just want to share it with you."
Liz couldn't imagine what in the world was coming, but she followed behind Diane without hesitation. After all, this was Max's mom. Why should she feel uncomfortable??
As Diane's hand closed around the knob to the first bedroom off the hallway, Liz's heart quickened in response. The door opened and her senses opened right along with it. Her focus sharpened, and her breathing deepened and evened to a steady pace. She could sense Max here. Not just on the periphery of her mind where he always lingered, but in the tangible things that made up his life. The way he smelled after a shower, all clean and soapy, or after waking up in the morning, warm and unique. Her eyes picked up traces of recent events in the room as if they were photographs suspended in the atmosphere. Some were sitting in a chair with a book. Some were lying in bed listening to the CD player on the nightstand. Some were . . . restless. Her breath hitched as the room gave up it's remembered events to her sensitive mind's eye.
Diane: (curious and ever watchful) "Liz. Are you all right?"
Liz's eyes fell shut as her mind opened to a sensory perception beyond physical sight. She could barely believe the scene that was unfolding behind her closed eyes.
Diane: (becoming concerned) "Liz!"
Liz knew that even if she opened her eyes, the scene would be the same. There was no escaping the emotional onslaught of this room. So, she quickly forced herself to open her eyes and concentrate on the present and the past at the same time. What she couldn't have known was how the tide of emotion would ebb and flow. As Diane's affectionate gaze rested on her face, Liz felt at peace for the first time since walking into the bedroom.
Liz: (somewhat embarassed) "I'm sorry, Mrs. Evans. I'm a little distracted today."
Diane: "I understand, Liz. I just wanted to show you something that's been very special to Max for a long time and then we'll call it an afternoon. Okay?"
Liz: (relieved but wary) "Sure . . . um, okay."
Liz watched as Diane turned to open the closet door and reached in to extract a small package from the top shelf. The closet itself hadn't really revealed anything that she didn't already have a sense of, but as Diane turned toward her with the wrapped bundle, Liz felt the world slide sideways and reached out to steady herself on one plane, while standing perfectly still on the other. Diane's smile faltered as she began removing the protective covering from a little toy house. It was very difficult for her to even see it without reliving Max's first weeks in their home. That's why it usually remained wrapped up and out of sight. Liz stared in rapt fascination as the object was revealed. The paper fell to the floor, but Liz didn't hear it as her hand reached out to touch what could only be a harmless, childhood possession.
Once again, Diane carefully monitored every fleeting glimpse into Liz's mind through her rapidly changing expression. At the first contact her face had manifested sheer terror. But, then the fear gave way to such intense sadness that Diane wasn't sure she had done the right thing. Liz wrestled with the devastating loneliness of a small child abandoned and homesick, as Diane found the answers she'd been searching for. Finally, she could not watch the girl suffer any longer, so she gently pulled the toy from Liz's weak grip.
Diane: (gently) "I'm sorry, Liz. Perhaps, you weren't up to a visit today."
Liz quickly pulled her mind and emotions together in a rush to hide what she was certain had been a very incriminating reaction on her part. How could she possibly explain to Mrs. Evans what had just happened?? She had to get through the next few minutes. She just had to. There would be time later to deal with the tiny shards of her heart that were desperately trying to put themselves back together.
Liz: (voice strained) "Yeah. I'm sorry, too."
Diane: (reassuring) "Don't worry. I really enjoyed our time together, dear."
Liz: (struggling still to pull her mind away from the past) "I better go."
Diane: "Of course. I'll show you out."
As Diane opened the front door to allow Liz to pass, she smiled again.
Diane: "Tell Max not to be too late tonight."
Liz: (smiling weakly) "I will. Thank you."
Diane closed the door gently and contemplated all that the afternoon had revealed about Elizabeth Parker.
Liz hurried on her way home and never once thought about the recipe she had forgotten to get from Mrs. Evans.
Phillip Evans walked into the home he shared with his small family, only to find his wife staring off into space with an expression of deep concern that did not bode well for a relaxing evening.
Diane (turning her wide blue eyes in his direction) "We're out of time."
Her words were precise and her tone was even more so.
Phillip: (starkly) "Why?"
Diane: (sighing and torn between happiness for Max and sadness for herself) "Because Max has found his mate and if we don't tell them quickly, they might do something . . . foolish."
Diane's mind flew back over the events of her visit with Liz and the way she had so thoroughly enjoyed the meal and her reaction to Max's toy house. What if they already had done something foolish?? They were certainly bonded, but to what extent? The recipe for their snack that afternoon had been filled with Tabasco sauce and Liz had not only tolerated it, she had enjoyed it.
Phillip: "Are you certain they need to know right now?"
Diane: (compassionately) "I know how you feel, but yes, I'm certain." (hands smoothing her slacks as if they needed something constructive to do)
Phillip (blanching) . . . . . . . . . "We'll lose them both, Di."
Diane: (bereft) "We always knew we would someday."
Phillip: (anguished) "I just thought we would have more time with them."
Diane crossed the small room and wrapped her arms around the man she had loved through two lifetimes and across the vastness of space. They would make it through this. They had to.
Liz crawled up the stairs and into her room, profoundly grateful that her parents weren't home and would not be for a couple of days. They'd informed her of their impending departure just a few minutes before her meeting with Diane Evans. She'd been so excited to get home once she knew that she was going to have the house to herself. But, now, she couldn't stop the tears that had started tracking silently down her face the moment she had turned her back on the Evans' house. Thank goodness she hadn't had to go through the Crashdown to get in! As she sank down on her bed, the feelings that she had wrestled into submission began making their way free, leaving her completely undone. How could he have coped? How could any child have survived that kind of loneliness and fear? And what about Isabel? As her mind tried to comprehend what they had suffered the silent tears gave way to wracking sobs. Her hand gripped her pillow and brought it up to cover her face in an attempt to muffle the sound, even though no one was home to hear her. She wanted to get in the shower and let the hot water wash away this ache in her chest, but she was too spent to move. Eventually the sobs quieted and there were no more tears. Just the labored breathing of a broken heart and the small, sharp inhalations that punctuated her restless sleep and testified to the pain that had gone before. Her meeting with Max on the roof fled her mind as exhaustion pulled her further away from conscious thought.
Max anxiously climbed his way to the roof top outside Liz's bedroom, even though a very informative conversation with one Maria DeLuca had revealed that her parents were not at home. As his eyes swept their meeting place, Max's heart sunk in a swirl of disappointment. She wasn't there. He missed her so desperately and couldn't begin to understand what could have kept her from meeting him. Was she still with his Mom? He didn't think so, since it was way past time for his Dad to be home. Max's mind reeled back to the two miserable hours he had spent in the Crashdown . . . waiting. And waiting. And waiting. He had been so impatient through that first hour that no one could have convinced him it could get worse, until Maria's announcement shot a flood of adrenaline through his body that threatened to explode on impact. That last hour had been pure torture as his determination to be alone with his mate took on new proportions. Liz didn't know he was going to be waiting in the Crashdown and he had hoped to surprise her when she came in, but she never did. It seemed strange that she would use the side entrance, since she almost never did, but he hadn't been concerned. Until now . . .
Walking slowly towards her window, he felt his heart beat slow with dread that she wouldn't be there either. The late evening sun streamed in through her window and cast a hazy glow inside the room. Even from his position outside the window, he could clearly see her sleeping form outlined by the light that danced all around her. Relief that he had found her was quickly consumed as his eyes focused on her face. She lie on her side on the far side of the bed, with the sun illuminating her face, making it impossible not to see the traces of tears that still lingered there.
Lifting the window and crawling inside, he wondered what had happened that had caused her such distress. Unless his mother had grown another head when he wasn't looking, this just didn't make sense at all. He sat down on the bed, carefully watching her face over his shoulder, as he flipped his shoes off. Stretching out beside her, he lay on his side and faced her, gently removing the pillow that she was clinging to, almost as if it could some how ward off further pain. Pulling her close to him, he smoothed the hair away from her face and felt her wake up. Her eyes met his as her arms circled his neck, pulling closer still. He closed his eyes and breathed in the scent of her that he had been craving for a month now. Her lips were pressed against his throat, but instead of the familiar slide of her tongue and teeth against his skin, he felt the wetness of more tears, and tremors along her body that would have ordinarily meant one thing, but today something else entirely.
Max: (stroking her hair) "Liz? It's okay. Whatever it is. I promise, it will be okay."
Liz knew she was worrying him half to death, and in spite of her roaring emotions, she gulped in a few deep breaths and dried her eyes, while he patiently stroked her hair and took the entire burden on himself without even knowing what the problem was.
He didn't ask. He didn't have to. She knew he was waiting for her to tell him what was wrong. She could hear the question in her mind as clearly as if he had spoken it out loud. And just as clearly she felt his anxiety . . .
Liz's eyes widened in frustration as she sought for the words to explain what she had experienced that afternoon . . .
Max's hands slid to either side of her face, and in a gesture that had become second nature to them both, the connection between their minds opened and expanded to allow all that words couldn't say.
Lunch and Max and Isabel's favorite dish being served to Liz.
Max's bedroom and Liz's reaction to it.
The paper around the toy house falling to the floor in a soundless heap . . .
Liz's complete and total sense of devastation as his childhood feelings flooded her awareness . . .
As the visions subsided Liz found her voice.
Liz: (the faintest whisper) "Max . . ."
Max: (finding his own voice hoarse with remembered fears that had been buried a long time) "I'm . . . (faltering) sorry . . . you had to . . . . "
Liz: (finishing his sentence) "see that?" "Please don't say that, Max. I'm not sorry." (pressing her forehead to his and closing her eyes against the remembered pain)
Max felt the sincerity of her words long before he heard them. But, what had his mother been thinking to show her *that*? Why would she have done such a thing???
Liz: "Max, I just can't understand how you and Isabel could have possibly . . . "
Max: (serious and determined and cutting off the rest of her sentence) "Liz. (eyes completely focused on her and not the past) "I'm not scared anymore."
Liz: (surprised) "Why?"
Max: (simply) "I have you."
Liz knew that she probably should have felt the walls closing in on her at that point but she didn't. It was an overwhelming responsibility to be the key to someone's else's peace, but not when it was Max.
Liz: (almost afraid to ask) "How did you choose?"
Max: "How did I choose what?"
Liz: "How did you choose . . . me?"
Max swallowed and smiled slightly before running his hand down her hair, the gesture so new to them but so old in some other place, far away . . .
Max: (quietly) "You're . . . all I know."
Liz fought the sudden rush of fresh tears that his words caused with their simple, child-like, profession of faith. How was she supposed to live up to that?
Liz: "I don't understand, Max."
Max: "I know. I don't understand it either. I've just always known. Since the first time I saw you, I knew. It was always you, Liz."
Liz: (thoughts drifting and turning towards the knowledge that her parents weren't home) "Max . . . "
Max: "I know."
Liz: (surprised again) "How?"
Liz: (stifling a chuckle) "Ah, the font of all worthwhile information."
Max: (capturing her gaze with his intent one) "Shhhhhhh."
Liz let her eyes slide form his eyes to his mouth just before it closed over hers. It had been much too long.
Two hours later, Liz lay awake watching Max as he slept and gently swept the hair away from his forehead before kissing it softly. He always loved her with a thoroughness that took her breath away and she never wanted it to end. As the moon shone softly through her window, she could only see half of his face clearly, while the other half was completely consumed by darkness. She laid her head back down on his chest with her ear over his heart and tried to go to sleep, but it eluded her. She'd fallen asleep right here an hour ago and it was her favorite place in the whole world.
Max's sudden voice into her quiet reverie startled her.
Max: "We can't go on like this."
Liz: (confused) "Like what?"
Max: "We have to tell our parents."
Liz: (understanding but not seeing any feasible answer) "What good will telling them do, Max?"
Max: "I don't want to wait any longer. I want us to get married . . . legally."
Liz: (stunned) "Now?"
Max: (expression haunted) "As soon as possible. . . . "I . . . can't be . . . without you. Maybe they'll understand if well tell them the truth."
Liz: (quietly and shaking her head in sad understanding) "Max . . . "
Max: "Liz, I know it's not reasonable. I just know that I can't go through another month like this past one. . . . I just can't."
Liz: (expression softening) "All right."
Max: (somewhat taken aback) "So, you're saying, yes."
Liz: "What else did you expect?"
Max smiled as he absorbed her answer.
His expression suddenly became very serious as he stared up into her face.
Max: (brushing her hair back and letting his hands come to rest on either side of her face) "Elizabeth Parker, will you marry me?"
Liz: (suddenly quite serious, herself) "Yes . . . . I will."
Max felt the punch of air leave his lungs just before he rolled quickly, pinning the love of his life securely beneath his body . . .
The same moon still shone through Liz's bedroom window and cast her protective glow around the two, who couldn't begin to know just exactly what they're destiny would truly be.
Later that same night, Max and Liz tested slides in the lab, and once again abolished any semblance of evidence. The slides revealed very little and proved nothing, except that Liz was still an alien. There did seem to be a strange new color-cast to her cells, though. They didn't match Max's exactly anymore because of that new glow. They could only assume that it was the baby producing this new effect, and their eyes met over the microscope with a mixture of hope and wonder. Their baby was real. Their future was sealed. And the smile that started out on Max's face quickly spread to Liz's.
They searched the lab to be certain that they had left nothing behind and then, Max and Liz left hand in hand, contemplating the upcoming disucssion with their parents. It wasn't easy to reconcile pure joy with dread and worry, but maybe that was just what it meant to grow up.
Max carried Liz over the threshold to her bedroom door pretending they had just been married. She giggled up at him and wondered how she would survive a life time of being loved by this man who held her so tenderly. His lips found hers, expertly, and the familiar sense of desire unfurled deep within her at the very first touch. She prayed they would always feel this way . . .
As the mattress met her back, Liz's whole body relaxed in an effort to accommodate her lover. She felt ligaments and tendons give up and loosen, while adrenaline pushed her body into action. Max slipped her shoes free of her feet and then quickly rid himself of his own. Their hands worked frantically to rid each other of their clothes, sometimes at cross purposes. Finally it was done and Max stopped and openly stared as Liz's last scrap of clothing hit the floor. She smiled at the look on his face and practically glowed knowing how she could make him feel. She slid into bed and looked up at him expectantly. Max desperately wanted to go slow but in the end came down on the bed beside her with much less restraint than he had planned on. Her breath rushed out as he settled over her and before she could breathe in again, his mouth had covered hers in a kiss that was as needy as it was giving. She could feel the loneliness again, but this time it wasn't nearly as overhwhelming as it had been when he was little. Now, it was interspersed with her presence in his life, and it involved hope. Something he hadn't had when he was younger . . . before he'd met her . . .
His voice whispered across her lips in a barely restrained plea.
Max: "Liz . . . I lied."
Liz didn't know what in the world he was talking about but now wasn't the time she wanted to hear any great big confessions.
Liz: (breathless) "About what?"
Max: (steadying them both for a moment) "Sometimes . . . I am still afraid."
Liz: (face registering the confusion she felt) "Why?"
Max: (struggling to swallow and speak) "I'm afraid of the way I feel when I'm with you like this."
Liz: (staring at his solemn expression and trying not to smile but failing miserably) "I know."
Max: (sighing) "No. I . . . don't think you do. Sometimes I'm afraid that I'll hurt you or upset you with the things I . . . "
Liz: (simply) "Want?"
Max: (eyes sliding away) "Yeah."
Liz: (capturing his face and willing his eyes to meet hers) "There will never be anything that you want that I won't want just as much. Don't you understand, Max? You're in my heart and my soul. I already know everything you feel."
Max's mind eased and his eyes stung,, but nothing could calm the rage of desire in his soul that was spilling over into his body.
Max: (barely restrained) "L-iz."
Liz: (confused) "What? Just tell me . . . "
Max tried. His mind searched for words but none would come. In the end his patience was lost and he couldn't wait any longer.
He sat back on his knees and with his hands on either side of her waist, he turned her over until she lie on her stomach. Liz struggled between the uncertainty that she thought she probably should feel and the excitement that she was sure of. This wasn't exactly new for them, but it just *felt* different this time. She could sense him giving up some of the control that had always tempered this aspect of their relationship. It was always wildly passionate and even fierce, but she had wondered if there wasn't something he was holding back . . . afraid to show her . . .
Max's hands sought out her hips and pulled her up almost roughly against his. One of his hands pressed down on the mattress as the other wandered down her back and across her hip. His lips slid across her shoulder blades and his tongue left a trail of goose flesh in it's wake. His arm circled her waist and hugged her tightly to him as he wrestled against instinct and the need to keep her safe . . . even from himself.
Liz reached out blindly for the pillow, dragging it partially underneath her upper body and shuddered as she felt Max let her go. The warmth of his body against her back was replaced with the cool air in the room and the startling contrast caused her breath to catch in her throat.
He could feel the excitment building in her and there was no mistaking it for fear. Liz felt his eyes as they travelled over her bare body and she squeezed hers shut and curled her fingers into the pillow in an effort to calm down her racing heart.
His hands on her hips almost caused her to leap out of her skin, but she didn't have time to dwell on that sensation before she felt the warmth of his palm pressed against her and the slide of his fingers inside her. He teased her until she was shaking with need, and slick with sweat. Her hands clenched into fists as she came so close, but never close enough.
Max's hand was sopping wet now and he could feel the desperation pouring off of Liz in waves. His nostrils flared as he breathed in the scent of her. God! He had missed everything about this! Liz shuddered and whimpered when he pulled his fingers away from her. Her body screamed in protest, but she didn't have long to wait. His hands found her hips once more and pulled hers up higher, until finally he was inside her. Max closed his eyes and felt whole for the first time in a month. The vulnerability of her position humbled him. She trusted him so completely.
It began slowly, but soon Max was frantic. Liz more so. Max's hands moved from her hips to her waist and higher still until they rested very near her breasts, before sliding back down again. Liz felt the beginning stage of release and arched her back, bringing him deeper into her body. Max groaned and gripped her hips hard enough to leave bruises tomorrow . . .
With one last conscious thought, Liz let her muscles relax and arched her back again, this time lifting her hips higher still . . .
Max felt the new angle and the depth of possession right before he heard Liz scream his name . . .
He fell over her back, panting her name in a staccato rhythm that spoke volumes on the intensity of what they had just experienced.
|Part 17 | Index
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