FanFic - Max/Liz
"A Stitch in Time - Revised"
Part 21
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.
The afternoon passed slowly and the tension built. When the phone finally rang they both jumped in reaction. It was Maria's turn so she answered it. "They're on their way back! Alex said the meeting was 'interesting' and they would give us all the particulars when they get back. ETA about 3:30."

"Well, at least there is a set time we can anticipate. Open-ended waiting is not my favorite activity."

They occupied themselves as best they could, and as the time approached they decided to walk down to the gate to meet their secret agents. There they are!" Maria pointed down the road. Suddenly she had a thought. "Liz, don't tell Max or Alex about me being preggers. I want Michael to know first."

"No problem, girlfriend." Liz gave her a quick hug.

The gate opened and Alex's car came to a stop beside them. Max got out and hugged both women. "Would you ladies like a ride to the house?" He gestured to the open car door.

Maria spoke up quickly, "I call shotgun."

Max smiled to himself, silently thanking her and held the seat forward to help Liz get into the back of the car. As she leaned forward to step in he exclaimed, "Liz! Your hair!"

She sat down and turned toward Max. "Pardon me?" She looked confused for a moment. "Oh. Maria and I went to town and I had it cut. It's easier to manage at this length… what's the matter, Max?"

Realizing he could put his foot into it he recovered nicely. "Just a shock, I guess. Seeing half of it gone like that. It looks nice." He put his arm along the back of the seat and stroked her silky hair, enjoying the feel of it.

"Thanks," she said shyly, smiling up at him.

"Oh, Alex, if you're my buddy you'll let me press the button for the gate," Maria said from the front seat, "It makes me feel like some grand Lady coming home to her estate." Maria was giddy with relief at their safe return. She lifted the portable device and dramatically pressed the button to close the gate and then got down to business. "Alright, guys. We want to know what happened and we want to know now."

"You do the honors, Max. Gregory mainly talked to you," Alex said.

"Could that possibly have been because you had a guilty conscience about hacking his files and kept hiding behind me?" Max asked. "Well, Gregory wasn't pleased about something he wouldn't talk about. And Pokran was even less pleased."

"Who is this Pokran fellow and did he mistreat our intrepid secret agents?" Maria hadn't heard the name before.

"He works with Gregory. Rude fellow." Alex made the pronouncement that Max was too polite to make.

They arrived at the house and Max took Liz's hand to help her out of the back seat. She smiled her thanks for his help and when Max didn't release her hand she looked up at him. He smiled at her and his love shone in his eyes.

Liz looked up at him and said softly, "I'm so glad you made it back safely, Max." And they walked hand in hand into the house.

When they took seats in the living room Max contrived to sit beside Liz. He put his arm along the couch back and continued to stroke her silky hair. He would have preferred to pull her into his lap and bury his face in her hair but he settled for this. He and Alex related the events of the day. Max did most of the talking with Alex making Alex-type comments.

"First of all, Liz, I want to assure you that I didn't tell them anything about you or where you live." Max snorted derisively. "Not that you saved my bu… rescued me from the edge of that ravine, not that you risked your own safety to offer me sanctuary when I was injured, I didn't even tell them that you were the main reason I was able to get back into contact with them." He shook his head, chuckling to himself.

"Liz is our secret weapon," Alex piped up.

"Max, they sent you three in there to do a very dangerous job. Now maybe it all didn't go to plan, but I have every confidence that all of you working together will stop the dissidents." Uncomfortable with the praise, Liz tried to redirect the attention away from herself.

"Have they received the signal from the beacon yet?" Maria wanted to know.

Max tried to conceal his worry. "I'm afraid not, but it's not something that can be rushed. Michael will wait for the proper time so his actions do not endanger them."

"What happens if the two weeks are up and they still haven't received a signal?" Maria was worried and her face showed it.

"Worse case scenario— we go through the portal in force and shut down the matter transmitter. It will leave the dissidents stranded here on Earth for another two weeks and the future Al'Centrans will help locate them. Their star ship will start for the Asteroid Belt in anticipation of receiving the beacon signal.

"How will they know where the portal will open?"

"Gregory let it slip that they suffered some sort of catastrophic computer malfunction when they arrived in our time. They've done enough repairs to their systems that they'll be able to locate the portal after it opens. That gives us 18 hours to get there and go through."

Looking at Maria's worried face Alex stood up and offered her his hand. "Let's go take a walk. It'll do you good." She looked up at her friend's compassionate face and stood up to hug him.

"You're my buddy, Alex." They walked out the front door and started down to the lake.

As soon as they left Max gave into temptation and pulled Liz into his lap and buried his face in her hair. He nuzzled her neck and kissed her ear lobe. He gave a happy sigh. It was hard to worry when he had Liz in his arms. "I could definitely get used to this," he teased. "How did you and Maria occupy the day. Besides getting half of your hair cut off…"

Liz was enjoying the new sensation of being cuddled by this large, strong man she had invited into her home and who had found his way into her heart. \\I definitely could get used to this myself.\\ Teasing back she admitted, "Smokin' opium and foreclosing on old ladies' homes."

Max put her arms around his neck and drew her closer for a tighter hug. "I knew I could count on you to distract Maria. She's really worried about Michael and Isabel. Maybe Alex can get her to open up." Liz hid a smile against his chest.

Max was content to hold Liz closely and stroke her hair for a while. Then he released her slightly and cupped her face in his hands, his thumbs stroking her smooth cheeks. He loved looking into her dark eyes. Slowly, ever so slowly he moved closer to her, anticipating the touch of her soft lips. Just as their lips touched Liz's cell phone rang. They both jumped slightly then Liz started to get out of Max's lap. "Do you have an answering machine?" Maybe he could salvage this opportunity.

"Sorry." She smiled, gave him a quick sweet kiss and went to answer her phone.

Max leaned back on the couch and groaned to himself. He was trying to take it slow with Liz, not knowing much about her past and not wanting to scare her, but it was so difficult. He found her irresistibly attractive. He wished his responsibilities with Gregory were finished. He could imagine spending the rest of his life showing Liz how much he loved her.

His eyes never left Liz as he was thinking. He heard her soft voice as she began her conversation, "Hi, Julie…" and watched as her aura grew more and more webbed with the deep purple of grief. She walked slowly into her office as she listened to this Julie person. After a time she came out and he could hear her starting dinner.

Max got up and walked into the kitchen. Her aura did not look very receptive and her face was closed off. He wondered what had happened to distress her. "Hey, are you okay?" he asked gently.

Liz nodded her head but did not meet his eyes. She continued mixing up the casserole she was preparing for the oven. "Max, would you get me a can of stewed tomatoes from the pantry?"

"Sure." Max opened the pantry and found the proper can. As he was closing the door he noticed a calendar on the inside. He noticed a big red heart on Friday of the coming week. Inside the heart were the words: Dave's Day.

Max held the can out to her but when she took hold of it he didn't release it. She looked at him quizzically and he pulled her slowly towards him. When she was close enough he wrapped his arms around her and hugged her gently. "Tell me." He felt her take a ragged breath. "Please."

"Julie was Dave's girl friend. She wants to come up soon and say goodbye before she leaves for her semester abroad; she's going to be a foreign exchange student."

"Thanks for telling me." He hugged her tighter and kissed the top of her head. She began to move as if to leave his arms and Max quickly released her. She reached up and brushed her hand along his cheek and turned to finish her casserole.

She had just put it into the oven when Max remembered. Oh, I almost forgot. Here's the ID and credit card you gave us." Max handed them to Liz.

"Thanks, Max." She got a thoughtful look on her face then said, "Come into the office and I'll show you where I keep them." She led him into the office and opened the closet. Careful not to block what she was doing from his view Liz pressed a hidden switch and a portion of the wall between the clothes rod support and a narrow set of shelves on the side of the closet slid open.

Placing the cards in the hidden compartment she told him, "There are more IDs and credit cards; two male IDs and two female. Also, I keep a stash of cash here." She closed the compartment and turned to face Max. "If for any reason you need these, please help yourself."

Max stood and looked at Liz with an unreadable expression on his face. "Liz, why are you showing me this?"

Liz met his eyes with a matching expression. \\Because I'm getting the beginnings of a 'feeling.'\\ "Max. I told you that you could have access to any of my resources. I'll let you show Alex and Maria in your own time."

The oven timer went off just then. \\Saved by the bell.\\ "Excuse me, I need to stir the casserole."

Part 20 | Index | Part 22
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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