|"A Stitch in Time - Revised"|
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.
Authors Note: Dedication: to Addison, my first fan.
|Maria was sitting on the back porch steps waiting for them as they rode
up. Looking at Liz's face she could see traces of the emotion she'd gone
through that afternoon. But she also saw the new closeness between the
couple. \\This might work out all right,\\ she thought. \\For both of them.\\|
Alex came to the back door when he heard the ATV. "Max, you have an email from Gregory."
Max took Liz's hand and they walked towards the door. Maria greeted them and Liz stayed there with her as Max went inside.
The two women sat down on the porch steps. "So, how are you doing?" Maria asked. She was sending out 'talk to me' vibes as hard as she could.
Liz looked at her, assessed the situation and chuckled. "Want to walk down to the lake and you can ask me whatever it is you're dying to? This seems to be my day to answer questions."
Maria looked startled, then laughed at herself. "Oh, I'm subtle, yes I am." She stood up and smiled at her friend. "Sounds like a plan." They got up and began to meander down toward the lake.
Liz said, "You know, I could get used to having a girl friend to talk to. One that knows about me, I mean. I had two good friends when I was teaching, but there was so much we couldn't talk about."
"I know what you mean. Alex has been my best buddy since forever, but sometimes a girl just needs to have a good chick talk. Then when Isabel and I became friends it was great, 'specially since I knew of her Czechoslovakian background. We didn't have to have any secrets. We could tell each other anything."
"You're being subtle again, Maria." Liz kept her face straight only for a few seconds then she laughed at the expression on Maria's face. "We don't have secrets, Maria. Just things we haven't told each other about yet." She gave Maria a one armed hug. "You seem like quality best friend material to me."
They walked on down to the lake and sat on the bench. "I like this bench, Liz, although it's more like a platform than a bench. It would take a mighty wide butt to fill it. What is it, a whole sheet of plywood?"
"You guessed it. Dave and I built it when we moved here. I have a mattress that fits it stored in the garage. It's a great place to sunbathe." She laughed softly in memory. "Even in winter if the wind isn't blowing. Dave used to sled down the hill on the mattress and catch some rays on sunny days."
"Must have been fun dragging the mattress back up the hill."
"This is 'Dave the Inventor' we're talking about here. He attached a rope to the mattress and used a small motor to pull it back up the hill. There was a remote control gadget he used to turn the motor on. He wanted to get a bigger motor so he could ride up too, but he never got around to it." This last part was said somewhat sadly.
"Well, set your skinny butt down here, Liz, and let's have us a good chick talk." Maria smiled her best friend smile.
Liz smiled back and sat on her end of the bench. They talked of inconsequential things for a while, both enjoying the ordinary-ness of it. After a comfortable silence, Maria turned to her and asked, "I really don't mean to pry, Liz, but how are you doing with all this? So much had happened in your life, even before Max kidnapped you…"
Liz laughed and lay back on the bench. "Are you guys ever going to let him live that down?" Directing questions away from things she didn't want to talk about was such second nature that Liz didn't even realize she had done it.
"Probably not. It was sooo out of character for our quiet, reserved, always in control Max to do such a barbaric thing." Maria lay back and they both watched the clouds for a moment. "This may sound odd, but I'm glad he did. I'll admit he picked an unusual way to meet you, but I think my lonely friend is smitten with you."
Liz blushed, sat up and began to undo her braid. She looked at the lake as she finger-combed her hair. Then she peeked over at Maria and hesitantly admitted, "I'm kinda smitten myself."
Maria squealed and sat up. "Oh girl, I'm so happy for you." She turned to face Liz and sat cross-legged. "Tell Dr. Maria all about it." She grinned in happiness for her friends.
At this inopportune point they heard a shrill whistle and saw Alex motioning for them to come to the house. "Rats. Such timing! Just when things were starting to get interesting… We'll have to continue this later."
Liz smiled affectionately at her and they began to walk toward the house. Liz braided her hair as they walked. "Depending on what this email from Gregory says and what the guys have planned, do you want to go to town with me tomorrow? I need to check my mail and do some other things."
Alex and Max were sitting in the living room waiting for the girls to join them. When they had taken seats Max leaned forward, elbows on knees and informed them, "Gregory wants a face to face meeting tomorrow."
He looked directly at Liz. "I will not bring him here. This is your home, Liz, and I think we put you at risk quite enough with us just being here. I'm not going to have Gregory's group coming and going. Alex found us an isolated spot we can reach by jeep. It's about an hour and a half away from here. Alex and I will rent a jeep in town. I don't want even your jeep associated with us when we meet Gregory. Michael is afraid that the dissidents have subverted someone close to him. I don't want to take any chances at all."
"Will you be safe?" Liz asked, concerned.
"Take my cell phone," Maria offered. "At least you'll be able to keep in touch with us. Wait. If you take my phone how will you call us: Liz doesn't have a phone. Liz, this is the twentieth century how can you not have a phone? Don't laugh at me, Alex."
Liz tried to keep a straight face. "Maria. I have a cell phone. Give yours to Max and Alex and we'll make them call us every hour on the hour." She looked at Max. "Is there anything else we need to discuss about tomorrow's meeting with Gregory?" Max shook his head no.
Liz stood up and said briskly, "Well then. Let's have a nice normal dinner and spend the evening in nice normal conversation. Things have been far too exciting lately and tomorrow's time enough to worry about Gregory. I'm going to start our nice normal dinner." And she walked into the kitchen.
Alex tried manfully to restrain his humor but was unsuccessful. Quietly, so just Max and Maria could hear he said, "Mr. Responsibility meets Cleopatra, Queen of Denial…" He ducked quickly to avoid the couch pillow Max threw at him. Picking it up to throw it back, his eyes were drawn to the words on the pillow: 'If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.' He held it up so Max and Maria could see it and he totally cracked up. They both laughed at the pillow and at Alex's loss of control.
Liz stuck her head around the corner to see what was so funny and saw Alex still holding the pillow. She waited for an explanation but none was forthcoming. "Okay, I'll buy a vowel. What's so funny about my Pleasantville pillow?"
Max said, "Pleasantville?"
Liz explained with a bemused expression on her face. "Well, I made that pillow so I could throw it at Denny. He had a tendency toward rather radical views and when I couldn't handle the intensity I'd hit him with it. We had a three-strike rule: if he got hit three times in a week, he was banned from the house for a while. I think he thought it was funny. He's the one who named it the Pleasantville pillow."
"Oh," Max said, striving for his most innocent look. He really didn't want to explain what had just gone on.
Maria came to his rescue. "Why don't I help you with dinner, Liz. Then we'll make the guys cook tomorrow. It's only fair to trade off." She stopped and innocently looked at Max. "Or would you rather help Liz tonight and Alex and I will take tomorrow's shift?"
Max got to his feet and headed for the kitchen. "Why thank you, Maria. I know you've been needing some quality time with your old buddy Alex," he said in his most insincerely solicitous voice.
And they all enjoyed a nice normal dinner followed by a nice normal evening. Alex only got hit once more with the Pleasantville pillow and it was for his taste in jokes so Liz decided that didn't count toward his three strikes.
|Part 18 | Index | Part 20|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|