|"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.
|It was late when they arrived at the entrance to her road. Max woke up
as the jeep turned onto the gravel. He watched as Liz reached for the
dash and pushed a button. The gates across the road slid silently open
and then after they were through, they closed again. \\Who is this
mystery woman and why does she trust me enough to take me to her home?\\
Max's befuddled brain could not even begin to answer this. He could only
sit there passively and watch to see what would happen next.|
Liz slowly drove up the long road toward her home. She couldn't believe what she was doing. Her brain was screaming at her not to trust this stranger, but coming from somewhere deep inside her was the feeling that this was no stranger, just a friend she hadn't met yet. She shook her head and sighed. Maybe this was all a dream and she would wake up, vowing to give up spicy food before bedtime. Yeah, right.
She pulled the jeep around to the back of the house and into the garage. Looking over at her passenger she said simply, "We're here." Then she went around to his side of the jeep and helped him out. "Careful, now," she cautioned him. "Lean against the jeep for a moment— I just remembered something." Liz gave Max a small smile and went over to the other side of the garage and retrieved a pair of crutches that were hanging from a nail. She grabbed a rag, wiped the dust off and handed them to Max with a flourish. Max just looked at her in tired amazement. He placed the crutches under his arms and followed her into the house.
Liz unlocked her back door and pushed it wide so Max could enter. After he was inside she locked the door and led him through the kitchen/dining room into the living room. He just stood there so she guided him to the couch. He was so out of it he just did what she wanted without argument. She grabbed a small pillow, placed it on the coffee table and gently put his injured ankle on it. He leaned back and closed his eyes. She stood looking at her guest. \\Okay, smart girl. Now what.\\
Max's stomach chose this moment to give off a loud rumbling sound. He opened his eyes and glanced at the offending organ in dismay. Liz could not help but giggle at him. Max looked at her in mock anger. Her giggles grew into serious laughter and she bent forward, holding her middle as she laughed uncontrollably. Max joined her and for a time they were both lost. Eventually, they regained control; their laughter tapering off into occasional giggles. Liz was lying on the living room floor holding her aching middle. "A good laugh is food for the soul," she said. "Thanks."
She rolled over and got to her feet in one smooth motion. "Back to business." Looking at Max she asked, "What's first? Food or look at your ankle?"
"Food, obviously." He looked at his stomach and back at her again.
Liz shook her finger at him. "Stop it. We're not starting that again." She chuckled and went to the kitchen to find the much-needed food.
As soon as Liz left the room Max sat up and began to probe his ankle. His nap on the way there had given him just enough power left to determine that it wasn't broken, just badly sprained. He sighed in relief and leaned back again. He could hear sounds coming from the kitchen around the corner. \\Such a homey noise,\\ he thought in his exhaustion. \\I feel like I've come home.\\
He looked through the wide archway into the dining room; he could see a round table in front of curtained French doors. There was a hallway going who knew where. Max looked idly around the neat living room. There was a wood burning stove to his left near the stairs that led to the upper level.
Nice normal things, so comforting after the recent bizarre events that had complicated his life since he and his friends were recruited by the future Al'Centrans. He saw a recliner beside the couch he was on, a love seat, TV and a group of photos on the wall across from him. Photos. Max sat upright.
Photos of her family, no doubt. Max groaned to himself, his guilt crashing down upon him again. He had really messed up this poor innocent woman's life. And she had saved him from falling into a ravine, brought him into her home and offered him sanctuary. When he thought about his sister Isabel, his misery compounded itself.
Liz arrived with a tray of food at this time. She looked at his expression and accurately judged where his thoughts were. "Stop that," she ordered. "Tomorrow's soon enough to think about that. Eat some dinner then we'll look at your ankle." She set his dinner tray on the coffee table. "Let me help you get up. The bathroom is down the hall; you can wash up."
"Yes, mother," he said facetiously.
Liz stuck her tongue out at Max and gave him his crutches. She went back to the kitchen. When he returned she was sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of the coffee table staring into space, her aura disclosing her melancholy thoughts. She got up and helped him sit back down.
"Thanks." \\For everything.\\ His hunger was aroused by the odor of some seriously spicy chili and he dug in with gusto. The sweetness of the applesauce she had also served him complemented the chili nicely. He looked at his hostess. She was lost in thought again, holding her empty spoon. Max felt his heart tighten in sympathy; she looked so incredibly sad. Her aura was almost completely covered with the deep purple webs of grief. He moved uncontrollably, trying to reach out to comfort her.
Liz looked up, startled. She put a surface smile on and quickly got up. "Need anything else?" she asked as she took her all but untouched dinner into the kitchen.
Max heard the water run and the dishes clatter in the sink as she cleaned up. He struggled to his feet, picked up his tray and limped out to the kitchen. She hurried over and took his tray then turned her back on him as she cleaned his dishes at the sink. "You okay?" he asked hesitantly.
"Sure," Liz said and gave him that surface smile again. "Let's look at your ankle. Sit over there in the dining room and prop it up on another chair." She bustled him over to the chair and went down the hall to get a pair of scissors and the medical kit. When she returned she found him trying to remove the splint, struggling with the knots he had tied. "I think it will hurt less if you do it yourself. Here. " She offered him the scissors for the knots and watched as he removed the splint.
Then he took off his sneaker and sock. His ankle was quite swollen and colorfully bruised. Max moved his foot gingerly and winced in pain. "Well, I can move it so I don't think it's broken."
Liz went to the freezer and came back with an ice pack. "Let's get you upstairs and settled for the night. You can keep it raised on a pillow and the ice pack will help with the pain." She handed him his crutches.
He looked up at her horribly bruised face and thought, \\I should be taking care of you.\\ But the closed look on her face advised him to keep his mouth shut.
Liz led the way to the stairs and turned around. "Give me your crutches, I'll go up and open the door. Sit down scoot backward up the stairs. It's the safest way." Without waiting for an answer she walked up the stairs and opened the door on the left. Max watched as she stood in the doorway as if she didn't want to enter. Just as he was getting ready to say something she walked into the room and out of his sight. He gave a mighty sigh. More questions to be added to the already huge pile he already had.
When he arrived upstairs, Liz reappeared and returned his crutches. He followed her into the bedroom. Her aura hurt to look at, it was so filled with grief. \\Oh my god, what is going on here,\\ Max wondered. Liz's face was totally closed off and she wouldn't look at him. He listened as she talked; her voice was emotionless.
"I've put out a robe and there are clean towels in the bathroom." She pointed out the door to the bathroom that was at the top of the stairs. "The bathroom closet has extra toiletries; help yourself. And we'll do something about clean clothes in the morning." Then she all but fled the room.
Max just stood there, taking in this new development. He sat down on the twin bed and looked around. Stereo on a bookshelf; stacks of CDs; a battered roll top desk with school books piled neatly; snowboard leaning in a corner; a series of colored martial arts belts hanging from a rack; photos of teenagers pinned to the wall, most of them starring on a pretty girl with short dark hair. He walked over to the desk and opened the top schoolbook. The name Dave Parker was written inside the cover.
He replaced it on the stack and sat back down on the bed. This was a teenage boy's room. Max put his elbows on his knees, rested his head in his hands and spent some time deep in thought. He could hear Liz downstairs cleaning up. Not knowing what else to do, he took a shower and stretched out on the bed, his ice packed ankle propped up on the pillow Liz had left. Exhaustion overcame him and he fell asleep.
Liz moved quietly about the downstairs, putting things back in their proper place. She was doing her very best not to think of anything. Soon she heard the shower running upstairs and she went out onto the front porch. She sat down in her favorite rocker and pulled the quilt that was draped over the back around her. She sat there, silent tears running down her cheeks and rocked for several hours.
Finally, way beyond exhausted, she made her way up to her bedroom and fell asleep on top of the bed, still wrapped in her quilt.
|Part 5 | Index | Part 7|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|