FanFic - Max/Liz
"A Stitch in Time - Revised"
Part 18
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.
Max sped up the smooth dirt road thoroughly enjoying himself. He heard Liz laugh gleefully as he took her over the whoop de dos again. A few miles past where they had stopped the first time out the road branched and he took the uphill road. They rode along enjoying the scenery.

Suddenly the road veered sharply to the right and then dropped down, a wide stream crossing it. There was no time to slow down so Max just went on through getting his jeans wet and his sneakers full of water.

Liz laughed and teased, "You're supposed to hold your feet up when you go through water, Max." He looked back and she pointed down to her dry feet she was holding up in the air. He gave her a mock scowl that made her laugh more. Then when he slid his foot out of his sneaker and held it up to drain the water out of it she totally lost it.

Max stood up and picked Liz up in his arms. She was laughing too hard to stop him and he walked out into the middle of the stream. He tipped her up and began to lower her feet towards the rushing water. She screamed with laughter and kicked her feet. "This is very tempting, but I'll be a gentleman." Max carried her back out of the stream and had to drain his sneakers again. They both got a good laugh out of it this time.

Liz recovered first and took the quilt from the storage box. "Come over here in the sun, Max." She spread the quilt in a sunny area near the stream.

Max sat on the edge of the quilt and took off his sneakers and socks. They spread them to dry and settled back to enjoy the sound of the rushing water.

Max picked up the end of Liz's braid and began to tickle her arm with it. "Liz."

"Hmmm?" She was leaning back on her arms, face to the sun, eyes closed.

"I want to thank you for allowing us to invade your home."

"It's no problem, Max. I've already told you that."


"What is it, Max?"

"Whose turn is it?"

"Well, now it's mine." She laughed at his expression. "Max. What do you want to ask me?"

He put the end of her braid horizontally under his nose. "Do you think I'd look good in a mustache?"

Liz laughed and said teasingly, "Coward. What do you want to ask me, Max? I know pretty much all of your secrets."

"Will you stay Liz or will Cleopatra show up?"

She looked warily at him. "Ummm… Who knows?"

Max took a deep breath and hoped Maria was right. He reached out and gently took one of her hands in his. "Do you know what your nightmares are about?" He watched her unconsciously move from a very relaxed position to the small tense bundle he found the other night after she ran away from them. He moved over and put his arms around her. Max was very relieved that she accepted his contact. "Liz, let me help you. Please talk to me."

Her face was buried in her knees so her voice came out muffled but Max could hear her. "I wish I didn't know, Max."

"Will you tell me, Liz?" He smoothed her hair back from her face.


"It's not good for you to keep it bottled up inside. I can't change what happened, but if you tell me, I can help you behr it." He kissed her temple gently. " You shouldn't have to do it alone."

"Why." She raised her head to look at him. "Why are you doing this, Max?"

Max cradled her face with both hands and looked into her anguished eyes. "Because all my life I've had a hollow place inside me and since I met you, it's not hollow anymore. I love you, Liz." He kissed her softly. "I love you and don't want you to go through this alone anymore." Her eyes filled with tears and she hid her face again. He pulled her closer and hugged her to him and rocked back and forth. "Please let me help you."

Liz kept her face hidden, but began to talk. "Oh, Max, I wish I could trade my life for his. If only I could have gotten there sooner… Why did he have to die the death I feared most?" Max couldn't do anything but hold her tighter.

"I woke up in the middle of the night. The bad feeling was strong, so strong it hurt. I didn't know what was happening but I knew it was Dave." Her voice was tight and strained as she fought to keep it even. "I'd made it to the outskirts of town when I felt Dave." Liz raised agonized eyes and looked at Max. Her breath was coming in gasping pants. "I felt Dave burn. I felt my son burn to death, Max. Why couldn't it have been me? Why, Max. Why." She began to cry with great racking sobs. "It hurts so much. He hurt so much as he died."

Max's heart was gripped with sorrow. "Oh Liz, I'm so sorry." He held her tightly and rocked her to try to ease her agony. She didn't cry long, which surprised him.

"I'm so tired of crying, Max. I've used up all my tears and it still hurts." Max gathered her up and cradled her in his lap. He smoothed the hair from her face and gently kissed her tear stained cheek. He was just beginning to doubt Maria knew what she was talking about when Liz began to talk again. "Max. Thank you for holding me."

Max cleared his throat, trying to achieve a normal tone of voice. "Thank you for trusting me."

"I always have, Max. Even when I didn't know why."

"You said you were a good judge of character…" Max teased her gently.

Liz shifted within reach and kissed his cheek. "That's a fact."

Max hugged her tighter, burying his face in her hair. "I can't believe how incredibly lucky I am. It scares me to think of losing you. Now that I've finally found you I don't think I'd survive losing you. When we were still with the dissidents and I saw you make that suicidal dive into the ravine I… I almost died right then."

"That wasn't a suicide attempt, Max. That was a gamble. One with rather long odds, I admit, but sometimes those pay off." She gave a private smile then sat up straighter in his arms so she could look him in the eyes. "Max, I don't want you worrying about me." She cupped his cheek with a small hand and he turned his head and kissed it. "I know we've teased about me being the Queen of Denial, but I'm not really denying that these things happened. I'm just choosing not to think about them until I'm ready to. There's a difference, Max." He smiled gently at her, his expressive eyes telling her he loved her. "I'm pretty tough, Max. I'll get through this. But I must say it's a lot easier to behr when you're holding me.

Max stretched out on his side, cuddling Liz to him. "I think you are one of the strongest and most courageous people I have ever met."

Liz rolled over onto her back and looked up at Max. "Oh, I bet you say that to all the girls you kidnap."

"Nope, only the ones who rescue me from falling into ravines. Twice." He leaned down and gave her a kiss. She snuggled closer to him and sighed in contentment.

"Nobody's ever held me like this. It's so nice."

"Is it because of the attack you suffered that you've never let anyone close to you? You were so young and rape is such a horrible violation."

"Oh, Max." Liz's voice is full of concern. "Don't worry. That was a long time ago. I don't remember that part of the attack. I was thankfully unconscious by then. And the mind attack thing— it's over. I don't remember the bad parts. And, no, I'm not being Cleopatra. I had some pretty extensive head injuries and parts of my memories are just gone. The worst long-term damage from the whole thing is my stupid shields being locked in the 'on' position."

Liz smiled up at Max and said, "The reason nobody's ever held me like this before is… I hadn't met you."

The only thing for Max to do was kiss her and hold her closer.

After a minute she continued, "Can we pretend the rest of the world doesn't exist and stay here forever? Or at least until we get hungry?"

"Sounds good to me." He stroked her face with his hand and watched as her eyes closed and she gave a small sigh.

They stayed cuddled happily for over an hour then Liz opened her eyes and looked up at Max. "Alex and Maria are worried about us. We probably should get back."

"How do you know? Did you get one of your 'feelings?" Max was curious. "What does it feel like?"

Liz thought seriously for a moment. "Well, sometimes I get an uneasy feeling, a feeling of anticipation before I suddenly 'know' something. Other times I just know right away. It's hard to explain. I haven't really talked about this kind of thing with anyone." She shrugged her shoulders slightly. "Do you or your Czechoslovakian friends get 'feelings' like this?" Max shook his head 'no'. Liz sighed, then said, "Quack."

Max laughed softly then said, "Yes, but you're MY odd duck." He took her hand and kissed her fingers. Then he looked closely at her left forefinger and exclaimed, "You really did cut the tip off! I thought you were just distracting Alex."

Liz looked at her finger and said, "Not really the tip, I just cut off the corner down to the bone… Yeah, I gave myself quite a flat spot there. But it's not near as obvious as it used to be."

"Show me." And Liz did. "You know what, Liz? I think you're re-growing the lost part. What kinds of things could you do before the attack? Maybe your subconscious is working under those shields of yours."

Somewhat sadly, Liz answered, "That part of my memory is gone. I know I used to be able to do things, but I can't remember how I did them. Mom thought my… my attacker inflicted so much damage to my head because he couldn't get through my shields.

"I have noticed that you can be very hard headed about some things…" Teasing Liz was turning into his favorite pastime. "Has your subconscious done any thing else besides re-grow missing fingertips?"

"Ummm. My hair grows extremely fast."

"How fast is extremely fast."

"18 inches a year. That's about 4 times faster than 'normal'. But I don’t know if it's me or what Mom did." Max nodded for her to continue. "The emergency room doctors shaved my head when… you know, Max, this is really yucky. Are you squeamish? And are you sure you want to hear this? It happened a long time ago."

Although Max had paled slightly he said, "I want to know."


"You ask that question a lot. Are you sure you're not a two year old?' He kissed the tip of her finger. "Tell me."

"Do I have to?" Max nodded his head. "Fink." She hid her face in his chest and continued her story. "They shaved my head so they could stitch up all the cuts." She peeked at Max then hid her face again. "There were a lot of them. And I had a concussion and some other injuries." She felt him take a breath to speak and said "No."

"Okay. Go on from there. I know this is rough, sweetie, but I want to know."

Liz took a ragged breath and continued, "Mom told me this part. I was out of it for a long time. Anyway, she pulled a fast one and got me out of the hospital and we left town that night. I'm sure you know why. Then she set about putting me back together. I don't remember anything for a long time but she told me I was a very crabby patient. So I wouldn't be so conspicuous she 'encouraged' my hair to grow back fast and it's grown fast ever since. And when I was finally me again…" She stopped and took a deep breath. "I've never told anyone about this. Why do I have to start now, Max?

"Liz, when I… the other day when I showed you…"

"When you let me look into your soul you showed me what an incredible person you are, Max."

Max kissed her temple, the only part of her face visible as she hid against his chest. "Thank you," he said softly. "When I shared my feelings, my loneliness, my sense of isolation with you and you accepted me and trusted me, it lightened a burden I've carried all my life. Liz, when you care for someone you want to help them… just like I want to help you. Share your burdens with me, please."

Liz raised her head and looked into Max's eyes and saw his love for her. She gave up at that point. She quit holding onto the shield she had around her heart and fell helplessly in love with this wonderful man who had come into her life. "I love you, Max." She raised her face for a kiss. "Where was I?"

"You stopped right after telling me what a crabby person, I mean, patient, you were."

"Don't look at me. I know it's silly, but…" She shrugged her shoulders. " Max just smiled indulgently and pressed her head back into his chest. She felt him chuckle silently. "This wasn't an easy time for Mom and I. It took a long time to heal all my injuries and fix the worst of my scars. I still have some that my hair hides." Max did not like to think about scars and Liz. "She used my energy like you did the other night." Liz paused and her pause lengthened into a silence.

"When did you find out you were pregnant?" Max wasn't going to let her avoid this.

Liz took a ragged breath and continued. "Mom suspected right away. When I was finally able to… when she felt I was able to handle it, she told me. I think I was four months along. Neither of us ever considered aborting that innocent life.

"Anyway, to cut a long story short, I never went back to school— Mom taught me at home. Being fourteen is difficult enough, but add in being a mother at that age and trying to cope with middle school age kids' reactions to my situation— we took the easy way out. The three of us were very happy together. However he got started, Dave was a bright light during a dark time."

Max was silent, thinking about what Liz had confided to him. She was an amazing woman to have survived all this. "Was Dave's birth difficult? You're so small and you were only fourteen…"

Liz scrambled to her feet. She bent down and gave Max a quick kiss. "I'm done for now. We don't need to go over my whole life in one afternoon. Alex and Maria are really getting worried now."

Max looked up at her stubborn face and decided she'd been through enough for today but he was not going to let her go back into her shell. He had quite a reputation for being stubborn, too. He reached up his arm and drew her face back down for another kiss, this one he let go beyond innocence. "You're the best thing that has ever happened to me, Liz Parker."

"I feel the same way, Max Evans." As they walked to the ATV Liz hurried Max along. "Maria is really worried. Let's hurry."

"Liz, I know you have trouble being around people…"

"Just large crowds and some individuals, Max. You know, as much as I knew in my heart that Denny was a good person, I had trouble being around him for long periods. I don't know why. But I'm very comfortable with Maria and Alex. I feel like I've known them forever, not just a few days."

"What about me?" Max turned his best puppy dog eyes on her.

Liz teased, "It's a tough job putting up with you and your questions, Max. But somebody's gotta do it."

Part 17 | Index | Part 19
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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