FanFic - Max/Liz
"A Stitch in Time - Revised"
Part 15
by Lynda
Disclaimer: Dear Ms. Metz and Mr. Katims, can Max and the others come to my house to play? I'll try to have them back in time for dinner. Thanks, loon.
Summary: AU Fic. No spoilers. Max had thought just being an alien would fulfil the 'weirdness quotient' for his whole life, but now he had to cope with the concept of aliens from the future. And not just 'good' aliens from the future. There was a whole organization of 'bad' aliens from the future and he, Isabel and Michael had been recruited to help stop them.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: Dedication: to Addison, my first fan.
"Oh my god, what have we done." Max crouched down and completely healed his gashed leg. He didn't want it to slow him down. Then he stood up and ran out after Liz.

Maria and Alex stood there in stunned silence. Maria said with tears in her eyes, "Did you see the look on her face? We did that." Alex wrapped her in a comforting hug, but he felt like he was the one with the most guilt in this situation.

Max ran out the door and caught a glimpse of Liz disappearing up the road, long hair flying loose behind her. He sprinted after her but could not catch up. \\Damn, she's fast!\\ He ran on, trying to at least keep her in sight, but eventually the altitude got to him and he had to stop, panting and gasping. He bent over, hands braced on his knees and tried to think what to do.

Max stood up, still gasping for air, and cleared his mind. He closed his eyes and heightened his senses, trying to feel any trace of Liz's emotions. If it weren't for those damned shields she would be broadcasting loud enough to be felt two counties away as upset as she was. He didn't feel any trace of her so he started running up the road again.

Stopping at a fork in the road Max closed his eyes and listened with his heart. Somehow knowing, hoping he was right, Max sprinted down the left side road until he was out of breath again. He bent over again, bracing his arms on his knees, trying to get more oxygen in his lungs. His eyes randomly focused on a rock near his feet. Blood!! There was fresh blood on the rock. Liz's blood. Oh god. He didn't care about oxygen anymore, he ran on.

Wait. He caught a glimpse of something. Liz. He stopped and looked closer. She was sitting in the sparse grass, arms wrapped around her knees, head buried in her arms. She made an awfully small bundle all huddled up like that. Max waited until he had somewhat regained his breath, using this time to think how to repair this horrible situation. He had caused Liz pain; she felt like she was a freak. This was inexcusable; he couldn't allow it. To hell with secrets.

Max walked over to Liz and sat beside her. In his softest, gentlest voice he said, "Liz. Sweet Liz. Will you look at me?" He carefully moved closer and continued coaxing her. "Please, Liz. Look at me. I need to see your beautiful brown eyes. Please, Liz. It's important."

She kept her face hidden and shook her head 'no'. Max moved even closer. "Liz, I'm going to touch you. Please don't hurt me…"

She gave a half laugh, half cry at that. "Go away, Max."

"No. I'm never going away. You've been alone too long." \\I've been alone too long.\\ "Here I am, I'm going to touch you now. Don't be afraid." And he cautiously reached out and smoothed her hair away from her face. Now he could see her bruised, tear stained face, long dark lashes wet against her cheeks. "That's better, I can see you now," he said quietly.

He scooted even closer, almost touching her. "I'm going to touch your face now, Liz." He reached out with both hands and cupped her face, bringing it up to his. "Open your eyes. I want to see your eyes." She shook her head, beginning to tremble. "Please, Liz. I need you to look at me. It's very important." Unable to help himself Max softly kissed Liz on the forehead. "Please, Liz. I want to show you something." Liz opened her eyes to see Max's concerned eyes close to hers. "Take slow, deep breaths and empty your mind, Liz. Look at me; I want to show you what I am."

Max did not attempt to create a normal two-way connection, he simply opened his mind and invited her in. He showed her the three of them coming out of their pods and wandering in the desert until the Evans found them. He shared the feeling of loss as Michael, too afraid, ran away and to hide again, not be reunited with them until several years later. He showed her the home the Evans provided them, offering them love and acceptance. He shared with her his trauma at feeling not human, so different from everyone around him and needing to hide it to be safe.

Liz felt his loneliness and isolation as he tried to protect Michael and Isabel and be the leader the expected him to be. She watched as they met their mates and formed lasting attachments all the while Max stayed alone, looking after them. She felt his guilt over his part in her kidnapping, his rage at Leon for hitting her, his wonder at her trust.

The feelings and images were coming faster and faster. She felt his horror and anger when he discovered the secret of Dave's conception. She felt compassion and sympathy, not the disgust and distaste she had always feared would be the reaction if anyone found out. Instead, she felt his growing love for her.

The connection was ending. Max was still close, still holding her face. He moved slowly closer and very gently kissed her on the lips. It wasn't a fiery, passionate kiss; those would come later. This was a welcome home kiss, sweet in its innocence. "You're not alone, Liz. Not a freak. We're the same."

Liz sat up slightly, still allowing Max's touch. "Thank you, Max." She reached up and touched his cheek, trying to share herself with him. "I can't do it for you." Tears began to form in her eyes. "I'm broken inside." She buried her head again and cried like it was her heart that was shattered. Max wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into his lap. He rocked her and stroked her hair until she had cried herself out.

Still wrapped in the comfort and safety of his arms, Liz told Max about the attack. "I was walking home from work one night; I had a steady babysitting job about half a mile from home. We were really poor and Mom needed all the help I could give her. It was dark and I noticed a man following me. I tried to get away but he caught me. He tried to rape my mind, Max. I put up my shields and he couldn't get in. It threw him into a rage. I don't think he was sane, the images I got from him were so distorted. He beat me unconscious and raped my body.

Max hugged her tighter and put his cheek down onto her head. "You are such an incredibly strong woman, Liz. You didn't allow what that monster did to you affect your ability to be a loving mother. I…"

"Oh god, I saw in your memories that Dave knew about this, oh my poor baby." Liz began to cry again. "I tried to protect him from this, I told him his birth father had left before he was born. He didn't deserve to have to deal with this horror."

"Liz. Liz, listen to me. When I got the flash from Dave's journal I not only saw what he saw, I felt what he felt. He didn't feel diminished as a person because of the conditions of his conception. You raised him with such unconditional love and support that this knowledge could not destroy that. He felt grief at your pain, he felt compassion and determination to protect you so you would never be hurt again."

They sat there for a time, each absorbing the events of the evening. Finally Liz stirred and gently released herself from Max's arms. She smiled at him and kissed him on the cheek. "Thank you."

Max lovingly cupped her bruised cheek and said, "No. Thank you." He got to his feet and reached down for her hand. It felt so good to finally be able to touch her. She placed her small hand in his large one and allowed him to help her rise. As she began to walk back to the road she gave a small cry of pain and almost went down. Max scooped her up in his arms, alarmed. "Are you hurt? What's the matter, Liz?"

She hid her face in his chest and said, "I'm embarrassed to tell you this. I feel like such a fool."

"Tell me what's wrong. You should know that nothing will change how I feel about you."

"I cut my feet up running barefoot. That's why I stopped."

He sat her back down on the grass and inspected her dusty and bloody feet. "The bleeding has mostly stopped, but we need to get you back to the house as soon as possible and clean these cuts up." Max looked at her regretfully. "I'd heal them but I need a two way connection and your shields prevent that. I'm so sorry, Liz"

"It's not your fault, Max. Remember what I said about assuming guilt for situations beyond your control?"

"I'll work on that if you promise me something."

"What," she said guardedly.

"Ask for help if you need it. You're not alone anymore."

"Okay." She reached out her arms toward Max. "Give me a ride home?" she asked impishly.

"With pleasure!" Max swooped her up in his arms again, dropping another kiss on her cheek. It felt so good to have her in his arms.

"Oh, Max, what about that gash on your leg? You shouldn't carry me with that."

"Don’t worry. I healed it before I set out after you and it's a good thing I did or I never would have caught up with you. Boy, you're a fast runner."

"You caught me because I stopped," Liz said smugly.

During the long walk home in the growing darkness Max filled her in all the secrets he had been keeping from her. He explained how her injuries were healed on the scout ship. They discussed his Al'Centran heritage, the future Al'Centrans and the dissidents.

"Max, I still want to help stop them. Whatever resources I have are yours to use. I'll tell you about them later."

"Okay, Cleopatra," Max teased.

"No, silly goose. We're almost home and I can see Maria and Alex sitting on the back porch. They must be worried sick."

Alex and Maria walked hand in hand towards them. Alex looked at Liz with such shame on his face that she felt sorry for him. "Liz, I want to offer my most sincere apologies for my behavior. It was inexcusable. You have generously and graciously welcomed us into your home and I really wouldn't blame you if you asked us to leave. I really wasn't calling you a freak…"

At this point Liz held up her hand and silenced him. "I know I'm not a freak, Alex. I'm an odd duck. And without the help of my friends— that's you three here, in case you didn’t know — I'd quack up.

Alex groaned, "Oooo, Liz, that's really bad."

Maria gave Liz a tentative hug and said, "What he said."

They all returned to the house amid laughter and hugs.

Part 14 | Index | Part 16
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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