FanFic - Max/Liz
"A Stitch in Time - Revised"
Part 32
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 began to call for Isabel or Michael. Maybe they knew something. "Dave, I'm trying to contact my sister or Michael. It's early for our regular meeting, but maybe we'll get lucky. I'm going to give you their images so you can help me call." Max telepathed their images to Dave. They both called and were rewarded by seeing Isabel running toward them.

"Oh Max! It's good to see you again. They have really tightened security around us and no dissident is allowed to be near us alone. They have to bring at least two others. I think they've realized that they won't be getting any more women and that there are not enough to go around." She accepted Max's hug and hugged him back tightly.

"Is Liz being kept with you? We were unable to make any sense out of her dream. It was just an ever-thickening mist. We eventually had to leave so we didn't lose each other in there." Max released Isabel for a moment. "Iz, I'd like you to meet Liz's son, Dave. Dave, this is my sister Isabel." They nodded to each other in greeting.

"Max, I'm sorry, but Liz isn't being kept with us. We've heard that Pokran keeps her locked in his quarters. The other dissidents are not pleased."

"What else can you tell us? Have the Al'Centrans who stayed on the ship agreed to help you? We need a complete update as rapidly as possible. We need to save our energy so we can make contact later tonight." Max looked grim.

"We've made contact and they have made plans but they don't want us to be moved over to their parts of the ship until you are ready to come aboard. They think that they can move us safely in all the confusion that will be occurring. They're afraid that the dissidents will initiate search and destroy missions if they show their hand too soon. They are pretending to negotiate with the dissidents to find a peaceful solution."

"Is there any way they would side with the dissidents?" Dave sounded worried.

"Oh, Dave, I trust them. They are a true and wonderful group of people. When you get here and all this is settled you'll be able to find out for yourself." Isabel moved over and hugged Dave. "I met your mom when they first captured us. She is an incredibly brave woman and I know she'll come out of this okay. Not once did I see her even begin to give up."

Max put his arms around their shoulders. "We'll get her back safe, Dave." He stepped back and continued, "Izzy, we have to go now. We'll be back every three hours to see if you or Michael have anything else to tell us."

"Bye for now, guys." Isabel kissed Dave on the cheek and gave Max one more big hug and then she was gone.

Max turned to Dave and tried not to smile at the blush on his face. "Let's get back, Dave." And he returned them to the reality of Dave's cabin.

Dave sat up. "Wow. That was quite an experience." He caught Max's amused look. "The dream plane, I mean."

Max stood up and stretched. "Dave, I want you to get some rest. We'll be using all our energy to do these check-ins. I'm going to report to Gregory but I'll be back in time." He left Dave's cabin and went to give his report.

Dave stretched back out on his bed, hands behind his head, thinking about the new things he was learning. He wanted desperately to contact his mother; he could feel that she was terribly afraid and he wanted to protect her from her nightmares. Closing his eyes, Dave went back to the dream plane and looked for his mother's orb. It floated over to him like it had missed him.

Remembering what Max had done, Dave enlarged the orb and entered it. The thick, dark mist still dominated everything. Dave could feel his mother's fear. "Mom! I'm here! Help me find you!" Dave called out loudly. He began to run frantically through the mist, calling out to her but never finding her. He could hear her sobbing in fear, he could hear the sound of her running footsteps but he could never reach her.

Finally, unable to continue any longer, Dave collapsed into a gasping heap, listening to, but not able to reach his distraught mother.

Dave returned to reality to find Max sitting in the chair, studying him with a resigned expression. "You have a good heart, Dave Parker. Were you able to help her?" Dave didn't even bother trying to look abashed at being caught dreamwalking instead of resting. He just shrugged and smiled a sad, crooked smile so like his mother's that Max's heart spasmed. Max looked down for a moment to collect himself and then continued, "There's good news. We're going to be there a lot earlier. The computer repairs are progressing faster than they had anticipated and that has helped with the engines. ETA is sometime tonight."

Dave's face all too clearly showed his exhaustion and sadness. "Can't get there quick enough for me." He rubbed his face in frustration. "Max, I couldn't reach her. I could hear her and feel how afraid she was, but I just couldn't find her in that damned mist."

"Lie back. You're going to take a nap whether you like it or not." Dave opened his mouth to speak. "No, don't argue with me. Liz let me do this when she needed to rest." Max reached out and put his hand on Dave's forehead and 'encouraged' him to sleep.

Then he leaned back in the chair and tried to take his own advice. Not much time was left before they would try to contact Isabel. Max tried to doze, and surprised himself by succeeding.

His internal clock woke him when it was time. He looked over at the sleeping teenager; his face looked so young and defenseless. Max decided to let him sleep through this contact, he had used up so much energy trying to reach Liz alone.

Max made contact with Isabel and quickly returned. They didn't have the energy to spare for anything but giving quick reports. The good news was that the dissidents didn't know they were coming. The bad news was that Pokran was still keeping Liz locked away where no one could get to her. He stepped quietly out of Dave's cabin and returned to his before he called Gregory and made his report. That done he picked up Liz's quilt and brought it back to Dave's cabin. Maybe it would give him the comfort it used to give her.

When he entered Dave's cabin again he covered him up with the quilt. Dave seemed to sense it and curled up on his side, nestling his face into its soft folds. Max watched him, an affectionate smile on his face. Then he stretched out on the floor, determined to sleep until the next contact time. He didn't want to be caught short of energy when he needed it. He set his internal clock early enough for them to eat a late lunch before the next contact. Max filled his mind with pleasant memories of Liz and drifted off to sleep.

Max awoke to a gentle tapping on Dave's door. Opening it, he was surprised to see Gregory, but he stepped aside and let him enter. Max put his finger to his lips and shushed Gregory when he started to speak. Max whispered, "Let the kid rest. He's had it rough." He gestured for Gregory to take the chair and he sat on the floor, leaning against the wall. Gregory was studying the sleeping teenager. He reached out and touched the 'odd duck' signature on the quilt. Max remembered his reaction the first time he had seen Liz's quilt. "Are you a quilt fan? You seem fascinated by this one."

Gregory looked up, startled. He'd been unaware Max had noticed his reaction. After thinking for a moment he seemed to come to a decision. "So this is her son? I haven't met him yet. They were trying to keep him isolated." Gregory stood up. "They told me you two hadn't eaten lunch yet. Would you consent to eat with me?" Max nodded. "Exactly when I'm from is still off limits to him, you understand."

"Please stand over by the door. No need to startle him by having him wake up with two people standing over him." \\And you may not know it, Gregory, but you don't want to startle this young man.\\ Max reached down and gently shook Dave's shoulder, initiating just enough of a connection to reassure the awakening teenager. "Hey, wake up, Dave. It's time for lunch." He smiled gently at him. It's not easy to wake up with two relative strangers staring at you. "Dave, I don't think you've met Gregory."

Dave stood up and offered his hand to Gregory. "Please to meet you, sir." They shook hands. Dave's stomach growled and he rolled his eyes. "Did someone mention lunch?"

Max laughed, remembering his own noisy stomach and Liz's reaction. It was a good memory. Impulsively he 'pathed Dave and shared it with him. He was rewarded with an amused expression on Dave's face. The communication and Dave's reaction happened quickly and Max didn't think Gregory had noticed. It was rude to exclude him, but that was a private memory and he didn't want to share it with Gregory. "Well, let's not keep a starving man waiting, Gregory."

They all headed for the cafeteria. During lunch Gregory made an effort to get to know Dave even though he wouldn't answer any questions about himself. Max was mostly quiet, thinking sad thoughts but trying to keep them off his face. He missed Liz dreadfully and he'd known her for less than two weeks. What must it be like for Dave to be kept away from everyone and everything familiar?

Finally it was time to contact Isabel. Max said, "Gregory, it was nice talking to you, but we have an appointment with my sister Isabel. Dave, are you ready?" He and Dave returned to Dave's cabin. On the way there Max worked on getting positive thoughts firmly planted in his public mind. He didn't want to bring Dave down by exposing him to his sad thoughts.

When they were all settled in Dave's room Max made the suggestion, "Dave, let me show you how to initiate a connection then I'll let you bring us into the dream plane. It'll be good practice." He reached over and touched Dave's arm to begin. Once they were connected he 'pathed to him, **Alright, Dave did you feel how I did that?**

**Yes, thanks for showing me. Get ready 'cause here comes the dream plane.** And he brought them smoothly into that separate reality. "Will Mom's orb be waiting nearby like it was the other times, Max?"

"That isn't how it usually works, but your mom is unusual… I mean that in a good way."

"Yep, she's unique..." Dave looked at Max with a wicked twinkle in his eyes. "Sorry, the rest of that sentence has been consigned to joke hell. Mom sent a lot of my jokes there." He rolled his eyes and gave a crooked smile. "But that's where most of her duck jokes came from." Dave looked over Max's shoulder. "Hey, there's Isabel!" He waved and shouted, "Hi, Isabel."

Max turned and greeted his sister. She looked tired and stressed. Max would be glad when he had her back safely and she was her normal happy self. "Hey, Iz. Anything new to report?

"Not really, I haven't even seen Michael lately. We usually check in with each other here in the dream plane since it's so difficult to communicate in the real world.

Dave looked thoughtful for a moment then asked, "Isabel, you said you knew my mom? If you linked with us maybe we could find her in her dream orb. All we can see in there is dark mist."

"Oh, Dave, I don't know if I have what it takes to go into Liz's dream. Last time I tried that flames roared up all around me so close it really shook me up. It was almost like I would have actually been burned, it was so real…" Isabel shuddered, then noticed that Dave had turned white as a sheet.

Dave closed his eyes and turned away from them, attempting to hide his distress. He groaned and rubbed at his face. Wasn't it bad enough that he had been burned in that fire? Why. Why. Why did his mother have to experience it along with him? He knew the instant Isabel told about the fire in his mom's dream that she had been linked with him when the fire had burned him. The memory of the agony and terror flashed across his mind's eye, blinding him for a moment.

Isabel turned in confusion to Max, not understanding why Dave had such a severe reaction to her statement. Max 'pathed the answer. **Izzy, Liz has that dream because Dave was badly burned in a fire set by the dissidents in an attempt to kill him— that's another story and I'll tell you later. He just realized that his mother experienced that burning with him and when the Al'Centrans on the space ship transported him out of the fire, she thought he had died.**

**God, Max. I had no idea. What can I do to fix this?**

**Iz, you had no way of knowing.**

Isabel went over to Dave and turned him to face her. She put her hands on his shoulders and looked him squarely in the eye. "Dave, I want to help you find your mother in her dream orb. She helped me even though it cost her a beating." Isabel cringed when she said that last part. Dave probably didn't need to hear that part, either. \\God, where is my brain lately?\\ She gave his shoulders a little shake, trying to get a response from him. "Please forgive me for being thoughtless earlier when I said I wouldn't help."

Dave's face was closed off, displaying no emotion, but he could see the remorse clearly displayed on hers. "Isabel, don't be so hard on yourself. This whole business is more than anyone should have to endure. I would be pleased to accept your help."

\\Poor Dave has had to grow up so fast.\\ Isabel looked over her shoulder at her brother. "Well, Max. What are we waiting for? Let's find Liz." She reached out a hand for him. "Your mother is a unique individual; I must admit I've never heard of anyone being lost in their own dream orb."

Max and Dave shared a quick, sad smile at Isabel's words. Max walked over and put his hands on their shoulders. "Dave, remember how to initiate the connection?" Dave nodded. "When you're ready then." Max relaxed his body and prepared his mind for the effort he knew would follow.

They connected and used their combined energies in a futile effort to clear the dark mist from Liz's dream orb so they could find her. Finally they had to stop, their energy depleted. Dave dropped out of the connection and out of the dream plane a sad 'thanks'. Max and Isabel exchanged worried looks and said good bye.

Max returned to the reality of Dave's room to find it empty. There was a scribbled note on the bed. 'Gone to the gym to work out— Dave'. Max decided to follow Dave and be there in case he needed to talk.

After asking directions from a passing crewman, Max quickly walked down the corridor. The small gym was empty except for Dave when Max entered. He had already changed into sweat pants and was stretching out. Max sat against the wall and watched. Shortly Dave rose to his feet with cat-like grace and began slowly going through a series of martial arts moves. His face was impassive but his aura betrayed his distress. Dave continued, gradually speeding up his movements until he was a blur of motion moving across the mat. Soon the motions no longer resembled a stylized dance. They were violent, barely restrained, as though Dave fought demons only he could see.

Dave continued until sweat ran freely from his body. He slowed his movements gradually, until he was again at rest, breathing deeply but not out of breath. Max could see that his aura had cleared slightly and when Dave turned to look at him he said, "Remind me never to make you angry at me." Max chuckled, "And I thought dealing with your mother was difficult…"

Dave flashed him an engaging grin and began walking toward him. "Did I hear you volunteer to be my sparring partner?"

Max laughed and shook his head. "I'm smarter than I look.

Dave sank to the floor beside Max and stretched out full length on his back. "If you'd like, I'll teach you sometime." He took a deep breath and rolled to his side. "The good guys have to stick together, you know."

They sat there for a time in silence. But it was a good silence, each comfortable with the other, not needing to fill space with unnecessary talk. When Dave was rested he turned to Max. "There are clean sweats in the locker room. Go get changed and I'll teach you how to fall without getting hurt."

"And why would I need to know that?"

"Because you're going to be doing a lot of falling," Dave told him with a wicked gleam in his eyes.

Part 31 | Index | Part 33
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
Crashdown is maintained by and . Design by Goldenboy.
Copyright © 1999-2004 Web Media Entertainment.
No infringement intended.