FanFic - Max/Liz
"Always With You - Part Three"
Part 9
by Watcher Tara
Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Roswell.
Summary: Max and Kyle have to team up to save Liz from an unexpected threat.Meanwhile, the rest of the gang returns to Marathon, Texas looking foranswers and finds more than they anticipated.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG
Authors Note: You REALLY should read Always With You part one and twofirst, but if you haven't, here's what you've missed: Tess was evil and notthe fourth alien, the gang killed her and Liz discovered she has powers,too. They find an alien weapon called the Shield and learn about theexistence of the Sword, another weapon. Please, please e-mail me with yourthoughts.
As they drove through the quiet streets of Roswell, Max gently woke Liz. "Liz. Come on. Wake up. As much as I enjoy carrying you around, your parents will feel a lot better if you're not comatose upon arrival."

Trying not to squish Max any more than she already had on the long drive, she stretched her cramped muscles.

Max also shifted in his chair to settle her into a more comfortable position. "I have no idea what kind of story Valenti made up," he told her. "So tell them you don't want to talk about it until we figure out what to say."

She nodded, already having come to the same conclusion herself. "Are you ok?" Kyle asked as she sat up in Max's lap.

"Yeah. I think so."

Max waved his hand over her, and her nightgown grew several inches longer. Since she was barefooted, he would have to carry her from the car into the restaurant, and he didn't want to embarrass her by having it travel up in the back. Another pass of his hand and the white lab coat she was still wearing turned back into his leather jacket. "Hey, don't forget mine." Kyle said. "I'm still Curtis over here." He looked down at his University of Arizona jacket.

"Sorry. I forgot." A pass of his hand, and Kyle was back in his comfortable letterman's jacket. He checked the front, and the lettering had once again become 'Kyle'.

"That's much better."

Within minutes, they pulled up in front of the CrashDown. Max opened his door and holding Liz in his arms, stepped out of the low slung vehicle. It was a maneuver that would have been nearly impossible for a human to do.

"Here we go," Max said, and they both steeled themselves for the onslaught.

Kyle walked in front of them and held open the door. As soon as they cleared the entryway, Max set Liz on her feet. She ran to her parents and flung herself in their arms. The Evans' went to Max and embraced their son. Kyle waked over to his dad, not really knowing what to expect, and was startled by the quick hug the other man gave him. The volume of sound in the room was in direct proportion to everyone's joy at Liz's safe return. After a few minutes, the Parkers went over to Max.

Jeff shook his hand and said, "Thank you for bringing my daughter home to me."

Max said, "I'm just glad that she's ok." He turned to Nancy who enfolded him in a big hug that lasted forever. At the end of it, she whispered, "Thank you." Max was speechless. Diane and Phillip looked on proudly. It looked like their son had won her over after all.

In the meantime, Liz was passed around to all of her friends who were relieved to see her back in one piece.

After a couple of minutes, Nasedo made his presence known. "I need to speak with Liz and Max for a few minutes, then I'll be on my way to see that justice is served."

He pulled them into the kitchen where he quickly got all of the details of what had happened in the rescue attempt from them. He told Max about finding out that he had a leak in his department, and how he'd discovered that one of the videotapes from the surveillance camera at Michael's apartment was missing. It had taken him only a few days to find the leak, and he'd dealt with Agent Harrison earlier. The discussion was over in minutes, and then he was gone.

Before they returned to the others, Max pulled Liz into his arms. It was their first moment alone since her rescue. He didn't have the words to say what he was feeling inside. His fear that he might have lost her, his happiness that she was ok. A hundred different emotions swirled inside of him as he pulled her close and lowered his head. He kissed her for an eternity, passionately, and as always, she kissed him back with the depth of emotions he brought out in her. He touched her hair, her back under his coat, the soft skin of her neck and cheek. He kissed her brows, her cheeks, her temples. He couldn't get enough of her as he pulled her closer still. She was clutching his neck and threading her fingers through his hair, grateful to have this moment alone with him. She had needed to be close to him, to reaffirm her feelings for him ever since he'd arrived to rescue her. Through everything that had happened the only thing that kept her sane was the knowledge that Max was coming for her. Now that he had her, she wanted never to leave his arms again. He, his warmth, his scent, and his touch surrounded her. She'd gone from being in hell to heaven in just a few hours.

After a few long moments, they came up for air, and rested forehead to forehead. Each was breathing hard. They gazed deeply into each other's eyes.

From the doorway, there was a loud, "Ahem." Maria was standing there. "You guys, it's getting late, and my mom wants to go, so I wanted to say goodnight."

Liz went to embrace her friend. Maria whispered, "I'm so glad that you're ok. We were so worried about you."

"Thank you."

"I love you," said Maria, giving her one final squeeze.

Liz looked at her oldest, dearest friend and said, "I love you, too."

Max came to stand nearby and said, "We should all meet tomorrow. I want to hear about everything that happened to you guys in Texas."

Liz looked from one to the other. "What happened in Texas?"

"Oh, wait until you hear about this. It was incredible," Maria gushed. "Alex was possessed by the ghost of Atherton, and I somehow connected with Riverdog's spirit through one of the Healing Stones. We found out so much stuff about Nasedo and everything that happened after the crash."

Both Liz and Max were staring at her in shock. Amy stuck her head into the kitchen. "Maria, are you ready? Let's go. You can talk to your friends tomorrow."

"I'm coming right now mom. So," she said to her friends, "I'll see you tomorrow. Let's meet for lunch. Umm, where? Here?"

"Anywhere but Senor Chow's." Liz hadn't forgotten her trip to the hospital, was it just yesterday? "Here is fine."

"Ok, so we'll see you then." She started to follow her mom out the door, but on impulse turned back and gave Max a quick hug. "Thank you."

He was startled, then pleased. It was the first time that she had ever done anything like that. He returned the embrace but didn't say anything. In seconds, she was out the door. Taking Liz's hand, he led her back into the restaurant where the others were waiting. Amy was saying goodbye to Valenti. Kyle had already left. Max and Liz joined the rest of the gang, and they made plans for the next day. Michael told them about their plans to go to the reservation to talk to Riverdog, then Nasedo's intention of coming back out after he'd taken care of things in Arizona. After that, the six of them talked about other things, since they weren't free to discuss what had happened that day. They laughed easily, happy to be back together. Max and Liz stood with their arms around each other. Maria and Michael were holding hands. Alex was standing behind Isabel with one hand on her waist. Looking over at them, Nancy mused, "Isn't that strange the way things worked out?"

Diane followed the direction of her gaze, and agreed. "They're like their own closed circle."

"What do you mean?" asked Jeff.

"Well look at them. Isn't it strange how Liz and her two best friends in the whole world: Maria and Alex are dating Max and his two best friends. It's like the six of them were tailor-made for each other," Nancy clarified.

"Or like some cosmic force brought them together," was added by Diane.

"They're like matched pieces on a game board."

The four grown-ups watched the six teenagers with loving smiles on their faces. Diane finally said, "Well, it's late, and you two must be exhausted. We should be going."

Nancy enfolded the other woman in a warm embrace. "Thank you both for coming over. I don't know what we would have done without you here."

"It was nothing. We were glad to do it." Jeff and Phillip shook hands and Mr. Evans said, "You and Nancy have to come over one day soon. We'll have a bar-b-que and toast Liz's return."

"We'll bring the champagne."

"It's a deal."

Throughout the long, agonizing afternoon the four adults had shared their lives with each other and bond had begun to form. They had established a relationship through their love of their children that would continue to grow over the months and years to come. It was amazing how one moment in time... how one decision to save a life... could result in changing the lives of so many people.

In groups, the families made their way out of the small restaurant, leaving the Parkers alone for the first time in twenty-two hours. With her arm around Nancy's shoulders, Liz and her mother made their way up the stairs.

For the first time in many years, Nancy put her daughter to bed. She pulled the covers up to Liz's chin and kissed her forehead. Jeff leaned in and said, "Good night, honey."

"Goodnight, dad. I love you," she said to both parents.

"We love you, too," said Nancy.

They reluctantly left her side and turned out the light. Nancy looked at her one last time as she closed the door.

In his apartment, Michael was sitting on his sofa, staring sightlessly ahead. The trip to Marathon had been everything he'd hoped for and more.

How different it was from the last time. They found the Sword but also, and perhaps more importantly, they'd gotten some long awaited for answers. They now knew how Riverdog and Atherton fit into their lives and they gotten a better look at Nasedo. There were still so many more questions that would keep him awake at night, but he felt better about himself than he had in a long time.

He looked down at the hand carved chess piece that was in his hand. Erik. A man who was named for his father's strength and courage.

Once upon a time, he'd had a father... A father who was respected and liked by others. One who was a warrior figure, strong and courageous in battle. Michael had waited so long to find out about his father... He hoped that Erik hadn't taken his father's love for granted. He prayed that if and when he returned home Erik's father would be waiting for him, just like Aurora's mother had said she'd be waiting to hold Isabel and Max in her arms.

To finally know what unconditional love and acceptance were... To know the love of a parent toward a child... He clutched the black king in his hand as he laid down. Like a child with a favorite toy, he couldn't bear to let it go just yet. He fell asleep that night dreaming about the kind of homecoming he'd always wanted. The kind of homecoming he'd always known awaited him in the stars.

At the Evans' residence, Max was going through the motions of getting ready for bed. Actually, he was planning to go over and spend the night on Liz's balcony, watching over her as she slept. Between her getting food poisoning and being hospitalized and then kidnapped, he knew that he would never be able to get to sleep unless he was certain she was safe.

There was a knock on the door, and Isabel entered his bedroom. "Max, can we talk?"

"What's up, Is?"

"Well, it's about what happened at Atherton's."

"That must have been really weird. Maria said that Alex was nearly possessed and that she had connected with Riverdog through one of the Healing Stones."

"Yeah, but there was something else I wanted to talk about."

He sensed that whatever it was, Isabel was disturbed by it. She began, "Before Atherton tried to take over Alex's body, he attacked me and Michael. That's why Maria had to use the Healing Stones. I didn't even know that she had brought them with her." Isabel shook her head. "But when I was laying there I heard this... voice. I don't know who it was, but she said she knew me... all of us. She said that she was there to help."

Isabel sat next to Max on the bed. "She told me what was happening to Alex, and how to stop it. I don't know, I trusted her, somehow I knew that I could trust her. Who was she, Max, and why did I trust her?"

"I've heard her, too."

"What?" Isabel looked at him in surprise. "When?"

"The first time I ever heard her was the day after Tess died. I went back to the pod chamber and dug up the remains of the fourth alien, and moved her out to a spot near the cliffs. When I was done, I felt this... I don't know... this presence. Then a voice whispered to me that she loved me and that she would always be with me."

"What does it mean?"

"I'm not sure, but I think the voice belongs to the fourth alien from the pod chamber... my... wife. I think her spirit is watching over us. Keeping us safe." He stood and paced to his dresser where he moved some things around. He turned back to his sister and said, "I think she's been watching Liz, too. I think that everything that's happened this summer hasn't all been a coincidence: Liz's powers, the fact that the Shield responds to her when it shouldn't, how I'm drawn to her so completely with no equivocations, no doubts. I think she might be the answer why. Since she's dead, she preparing Liz to take her place at my side."

He came back and sat back down. "I don't know if I'm right, or not. I mean, everything could have just been an amazing coincidence, so please don't say anything to Liz or the others about what I've told you."

"Ok." She got up to leave. At his door, she stopped and whispered, "Don't forget to take a blanket. It'll get cold on Liz's balcony tonight." He didn't say anything and she just smiled at him before closing the door behind her.

It was nearly dawn as he lay with his arms behind his head staring up at the fading stars, listening to Liz's quiet breathing coming at him through her open bedroom window. It had been a strange day, he reflected. He wasn't sure, but it was entirely possible that after he'd spent an entire day with Kyle Valenti they might have declared a truce. He didn't think that they were friends, but they'd found a common ground. Their feelings for Liz Parker.

He'd have to work on finding Kyle a girlfriend, he decided. Maybe if he had someone else, he'd stop being so protective of Liz. Still, he was grateful for the other boy's company during the long day, Max decided. Maybe he'd see if his parents wanted to invite the Valentis over for the bar-b-que next week. He'd always wanted to play a game of basketball against Kyle. "Of course, I'd win..."

Smiling at the thought, Max closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep. Overhead the stars twinkled down on him as a soft presence floated closer. She was thankful that everything had worked out ok. She had come so close today to losing not only those she'd been created to love, but those she'd come to love over the past ten years so that she couldn't rest until she'd visited each one of them. She wasn't surprised that when she'd reached Liz's bedroom, she had felt Max's presence near by, and thus had spent a few moments with both of them. She was on her way now to visit Maria then Michael. After that, Isabel and Alex were next.

She brushed a hand lightly against Liz's cheek. Her friend had survived everything they'd put her through today with such courage that her admiration for this human grew tenfold. She, like Max, would guard her most carefully in over the next few days. Liz sighed softly and smiled in her sleep, aware of the gentle presence in a way that she wouldn't have been if she'd been awake. She looked at the sleeping girl a moment longer, then floated to the balcony where she pressed a soft kiss to Max's cheek.

She thought of her other friends. Maria and Alex had also been incredibly brave during the ordeals of the day. She felt such pride in the three humans that her family had come to love. They were becoming everything she'd known they would. Their love and loyalty for each other would see them through any problem, she was certain. Isabel and Michael, too, had come out on the winning side of the trials they'd had to face, first with Atherton then the Sword. Her family was growing stronger day by day.

As she moved away, she recalled what Max had been thinking just as he had fallen to sleep. He was right. They did need to find Kyle a girlfriend. She would have to put some thought into it, she decided. There was no need to rush, after all, relationships took time. She'd been working on bringing Liz, Max, Isabel, Alex, Michael and Maria all together for ten years now.

Nevertheless, it had been so easy. A little push here, a few nudges there. And the occasional whisper in their ears. A quiet giggle broke the silence of the night.

Now, the bonds of friendship and love that bound them together were unbreakable. It was not too soon either, she thought, for they would need each other for what was coming. There was a darkness that was heading toward Roswell and the six people she loved. The orbs had sent out a call to the four corners of the globe, and danger was on its way. She vowed to help them, to always be there for them, as she had before, in any way possible. However, she could only do so much. In the end, it would be up to them to survive what was coming. She only hoped they were ready.

As dawn broke over the sleepy town of Roswell, her wraithlike figure floated away from the balcony out back of the CrashDown Café, and toward the north side of town.

Part 8a | Index
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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