FanFic - Max/Liz
"Acting Alien"
Part 3
by Carol
Disclaimer: No one in the WORLD would take ownership of this one but me! The characters aren't mine, though. Life's a bitch.
Summary: A teen sci-fi show's director is unhappy with the chemistry (or lack thereof) and believability of his characters. He gets permission to take them to Roswell for a bit of atmosphere and a reality check. (You may notice some similarities between these characters' names and those of our beloved cast and creative team.)
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: Acknowledgment: The premise for this story is really based on a fic idea from Jane of my Roswellnet list. She has not only allowed me to use the idea, but to warp it just a bit for our purposes. Thanks, Jane! Caution: Most of you who read my fics are used to some serious plot, character development, etc. Quit looking. This is a fluff piece I wrote over the holidays. The readers at Jenn's board VOTED on what would happen at the end of each installment from 3 choices I gave them. They dictated the direction and emphasis. (I've kept the choices they had to choose from in here, so you could see what they DIDN'T choose!) So don't think too hard! Just sit back and enjoy! Here's what I told them to begin: Setting: We want everyone getting along in this one, so let's say it's just after "Sexual Healing"
Before anyone else could react to Jamison's statement, Maria exploded from her seat, her eyes shining.

"Please, sit here!" she offered exuberantly, practically pushing him into the booth beside Michael. Michael's nonplussed expression completely escaped her as she tugged at another chair and pulled it up next to Alex.

"Is this about the band?" she asked excitedly.

Jamison smiled. She was motivated, he had to give her that. "No, this is a completely different sort of proposition. I hope you'll hear me out."

None of the others had responded to him in any way; there was a wariness about their faces that unnerved him. He suddenly felt he had intruded and wondered if his instincts had steered him wrong this time.

"As you know, 'UFO Undercover' will be filming here for a few days. One of the reasons we came here is because of the mythology of Roswell. This town has become known as the town where aliens landed, and naturally, that sort of atmosphere suits our purposes perfectly. But the other reason we're here is to give our cast members a chance to soak in the way of life in a town that's very similar to where their characters on the show live."

The faces were still wary, but they were listening.

"It might be hard to imagine the life of a young actor, but it's not what you could call typical. Between the crazy shooting schedule, the personal appearances, and the media coverage, it's hard for them to have a normal life. And it's just as hard for them to know what a normal life is. I wanted them to come to Roswell and get a feel for the place and the people because they can't be believable to their audience if they have no frame of reference. But just being here isn't enough. That's where you come in."

The tall blonde glanced quickly at the quiet boy, whose arm slipped tighter around his girlfriend. The wild-haired boy just glowered as the excitable one responded predictably.

"That is so cool! What do you want us to do?"

"What I had in mind was, instead of my actors staying at the hotel, what if you each hosted one of them during the filming. You know, they could stay at your house, meet your friends and family, maybe spend a day doing everything that you would normally do."

Jamison was slightly startled when the tall boy let out a snicker. When he looked over, though, the boy was working to control his facial features and returned his look innocently. Jamison had expected an enthused reaction. Most kids would jump at the chance to have a celebrity stay with them. He could almost feel the bonds that held this group together tighten around him.

"What are your names?"

Maria jumped in again. "Oh! Let me introduce everybody. These are my two best friends, Alex and Liz. This is Max and his sister Isabel and their good friend Michael. He's my boyfriend. Oh, and I'm Maria, in case you forgot."

"It's great to meet all of you. Say, could I go get my food over there and talk to you for a while? I'd like to get to know each of you a little, and then, if you and your folks are willing, I can make the best match-ups with the cast. What do you think?"

Max spoke up. "Could you give us just a minute to talk about it?"

Jamison couldn't keep the surprise off his face, but he didn't want to push too hard. "Sure, I'll be right over there."

As he returned to his own booth, he noticed Max nod his head toward the back of the restaurant. Liz walked to the front door to turn over the "Closed" sign as the rest followed him through a swinging door at the rear. She smiled at Jamison as she walked by and then joined the others in the back. How odd, he thought. Maybe he shouldn't have offered so quickly. Maybe these weren't kids he wanted hanging around his cast after all.

In the end, the debate was predicable and the conclusion inevitable. If they said yes, they were letting someone from the outside into their lives when secrecy was paramount. If they said no, word would inevitably get around that they had turned down the opportunity of a lifetime to rub elbows with teen celebrities, and it would increase the speculation about their tight-knit group, bringing them even more attention. The only option was to accept Katsin's offer and tread very carefully. After all, it was only for a few days.

When they emerged, Katsin eyed them expectantly, wondering if the reluctance had to do with awkward family situations or a group secret. He would bet anything that these kids weren't involved in any illegal activity, but they certainly had his curiosity piqued. Once again, it was clear who the leader was. Max spearheaded the group's return, looking deadly serious for a boy who was going to meet a group of celebrities. Michael was scowling also, a startling juxtaposition with his animated girlfriend who fairly bounced at his side.

"So, what have you decided?"

Max stepped forward. "We'd be happy to help. We need to talk to our parents first, though."

"Absolutely! That's great. Please, have a seat and we'll talk. Let me get to know you a little and see which pairings would benefit the actors the most."

They talked for the next hour. It didn't turn out to be so hard; their lifelong attempts to blend in and be normal kids had given them a fašade of normalcy that came in handy. When it came out that Michael was an emancipated minor, Jamison hesitated. "You don't have to participate in this, Michael, if you don't want to. It seems you have plenty to handle without taking in a houseguest."

Michael stared at his hands for a moment and then looked over at Maria. He secretly loved how excited she got about everything, and he could see she was ready to burst about this. He maintained his scowl, but his heart softened at her shining eyes, and he turned to Jamison.

"No problem. Somebody hangin' out for a couple of days won't bother me."

"Great! Well, then, can you all meet me after your school lets out tomorrow? Come over to the hotel and I'll reserve a small conference room where you can meet the cast and we'll get you guys paired up. It's Friday, so maybe you can show the cast around Roswell and get them settled. How does that sound?"

Liz turned to Max, a smile on her face. Max couldn't look at Liz's smile without smiling himself, and his face transformed as he responded to her contagious enthusiasm. Alex nudged Isabel until she gave him a sidelong glance and let the corners of her mouth turn up. This was going to be interesting.

***********

The group arrived at the hotel around 4:00 and found Jamison waiting for them. He ushered them into a large conference room with a smile.

"The cast will be here any minute. They're finishing up their read-throughs on some script changes. Before they get here, I just want to let you in on a few things. First, we've arranged a little party for tonight so you can all get to know each other. Just a casual meal and some time to talk. I'm sure you'll all have stories to share that will help everyone get comfortable with the group and allow each person to gain a little perspective on a different kind of life. Then we'll send you all off to introduce the cast members to their new temporary homes, okay?"

At that moment, the cast members came through the door, laughing at a story Rick was telling. They sobered when they turned to see the nervous faces of their local hosts. Jamison hurried to make the introductions and had them all sit down so he could explain who was staying with whom and why.

He turned to address the actors. "I've talked with our Roswell contingent here and tried to match up the personalities of the 'UFO Undercover' characters with our hosts. They aren't exact matches, of course, but I think there are enough similarities of personality and circumstance that it will be a real eye opener for each of you. Mason, you'll be staying with Max, here. Cheryl, you'll be with Liz. Brent, you'll stay with Michael, and Marla, you'll be with Maria. Rick, Alex will be your host. Isabel, we haven't introduced the other human friend who will get involved with this group, so I'm afraid that actress hasn't joined us yet. Perhaps you can help Max show Mason around."

Isabel just smiled her understanding. She didn't know whether to be relieved or disappointed.

He turned back toward the Roswell teens and laughed. "Now please don't read too much into these pairings. Just because Mason, Brent, and Marla play aliens doesn't mean I'm making any comments about you! Cheryl and Rick may play the human friends, but they all get into plenty of trouble. We've just shot the episode where Cheryl finds out Mason is an alien, so things will be heating up there, too, both in suspense and romance." He caught the look that passed between Max and Liz. "Shouldn't be too hard to model that part, eh?"

They all grinned at Max and Liz's embarrassed faces.

"Almost dinner time! Everybody in the van. We've got a private room reserved at a place called "Senor Chow's." Do you know it?"

"Definitely," Maria responded. "Most definitely."

*************

Mason was bored again. Why Jamison thought he needed to follow this local yokel around like a poodle he couldn't begin to imagine. Not only that, but his guy, Max, was the dullest of the bunch. So serious, so guarded. All he did was watch the others, especially that Liz girl. Man, he had it bad for her. It was pathetic.

He eased over toward the side of the table where Max had been sitting. His half-consumed Coke was sitting on the table unattended. Mason smiled to himself. Maybe he could get that guy to loosen up after all. He slipped his hand into his pocket and, glancing around him one more time, pulled out a small flask. He loosened the cap and poured a generous amount of its contents into the glass. Then he quickly moved back to his own seat.

Reaching for his glass, he lifted it high. "Friends! I'd like to propose a toast to our new friends from Roswell. We are in your debt."

Everyone gathered around the table and raised their own glasses. Then each took a drink to share the moment. Just then, the waitresses rolled in the carts with their meals and they all took a seat.

Max looked at Liz sitting beside him at the table. They'd had no time alone since last night and all he'd been able to think about was holding her and kissing her. He had a feeling that their "shadows" over the next few days would make time with her almost impossible, and he was getting restless.

As the food was served, Max felt a warm flush spread through his body. He felt slightly disoriented and confused. Then he turned toward Liz and his heart began to race. God, she was beautiful, and looking at him that way made him want to ravish her right there in the restaurant! He slid his hand under the table and rested it on her thigh. She jumped slightly and whipped her head around to look at him. What she saw was totally undisguised passion. As inappropriate a time as this was, her body responded immediately, and he saw her expression go from surprised to sultry.

All through dinner, Max's hand teased and stroked her leg. Liz was trying to make light conversation, but kept losing her train of thought and stopping mid-sentence, a distracted look crossing her face.

"Liz, what is up with you?" asked a suspicious Maria. "Half of what you're saying makes no sense."

"Oh, um, I was just, just thinking about 'UFO Undercover.' What was it like auditioning for those parts?" Liz was hoping someone else would pick up the conversation and leave her to enjoy the tingling, dizzying things Max was doing to her with his hands. She looked around the table to make sure she and Max were not the object of anyone's attention when she saw Michael frowning at Max, watching him carefully. She looked back toward Max and saw him gazing at her again, a dazed and happy look in his eyes.

This was strange. Max didn't behave like this . . . in public. She hadn't seen that look since the night . . . oh! She leaned toward Max. "Max, have you been drinking? I mean, alcohol?"

He shook his head. "Nope." The goofy and proud look on his face said otherwise. "I don't do that . . . anymore."

Liz looked back at Michael. He nodded his head imperceptibly toward the door. He wanted Liz to get him out of there. Max's hand was inching up Liz's leg again, higher than she could deal with in a crowd, even if it were under the table. She needed to get out of there, too.

"Max, I need to get something out of the van. Will you walk me out there?" Liz asked loudly enough for at least a couple of other people to hear.

Max raised his eyebrows, a glint in his eye. "You bet!" he agreed happily, and they rose to leave. Liz steadied him as subtly as she could, and they walked out of the room. Mason's eyes followed them. Brother! That kid couldn't hold his liquor at all!

Liz led Max to a small, deserted room off the restroom entrance. She sat him down on the couch but found herself pulled to his lap in the same motion.

"Liz," he whispered an instant before his lips found hers. She melted in the heat of his mouth, her head swimming in sensation. Every day she loved him more, even though she'd never had the courage to tell him.

"I feel the same way," he murmured against her mouth. She pulled back, eyes wide.

"Max, you read my thoughts?"

He looked at her, confused. "I guess I did." He smiled broadly at her, looking mischievous. "Let's see what else I can find out." He began to draw her toward him again.

"Max!" He stopped, looking hurt like a scolded little boy.

"At least let me shut the door!" At that he smiled and nodded, watching her every move.

"We should never be apart," he stated matter-of-factly.

"What?"

"You and I should never be apart. Because when I'm with you, I feel happy and complete, and . . . ." He grinned again and locked eyes with her. "And horny."

"Max! You have been drinking."

He reached for her and pulled her down on the couch, shifting her underneath him and began to kiss her eyes, her jaw, her lips, her neck.

"Max, I can't think when you're doing this," Liz sighed, secretly hoping she would never have to think again. She just wanted to stay in Max's spell and swim in the heavenly sensations that swept over her in waves when he was loving her like this. She turned her face toward his and lifted it toward his lips, brushing them lightly against him, teasing him with her tongue.

First he gasped, and then he began to devour her, as if all inhibitions were gone. He plunged into her mouth, seeking out every warm and sweet recess he could find. His hand slid up her side and moved up and over her breast, causing her to moan into his mouth. That only fueled his urgency and his mouth grazed toward her neck where he began to nibble and lick at her. She was spinning out of control and she didn't care. She would go anywhere Max Evans wanted to take her. She wrapped her arms around his neck, pressing him to her, wanting more of him.

Nothing like this had happened since they had found the orb. They had tried to control this aspect of their relationship, but at the moment, Liz had no idea why they had bothered.

*************

Cheryl wandered over toward Mason. She hoped this change in environment would give them a chance to come to a better understanding about each other. They hadn't exactly hit it off. Mason seemed cynical, closed off, and not really happy. She didn't know much about him, but it made working together difficult at times.

Alex and Rick were having a great time. It turned out they were both fans of the old radio comedy routines, so they were entertaining the others with old Abbott and Costello routines, Burns and Allen, even some Bill Cosby stuff. Even the reserved Isabel and the usually scowling Michael were chuckling at their antics. Jamison was looking very pleased with himself.

"Hey, Mason. Where's your host, Max?"

Mason threw her a rare smile. "Not sure, but I may have overdone my 'loosen up the yokel' campaign."

"What are you talking about?"

"Well, I was wondering if there was a cure for our uptight local boy, so I slipped a little fun into his drink."

Cheryl stared at him, appalled. "You don't mean to tell me you spiked his drink!"

Mason's smug expression answered her question.

"Yeah, and then he and his lady love went out to the van and I haven't seen him since."

"I noticed Liz was gone. What if he's allergic or something, Mason. What if he's really sick? We've got to find them."

Mason hesitated, but relented. "Yeah, okay. They can't have gone far. You know, he hardly drank anything. He can't be that bad off."

They left the room and walked out into the parking lot. The cars were deserted. They did a quick circle around the restaurant without finding them, either. "Maybe they're still inside," Cheryl suggested. They walked back through restaurant, checking the restrooms and coat room. Nothing.

As they turned to head back toward their banquet room, Cheryl noticed a faint pulsating glow coming from under the door to a side room near the restrooms. "Mason, look at that."

He turned to follow her eyes and saw the light, first dimming, then intensifying. As they approached it, they heard faint sounds. Mason grinned at Cheryl. "Unless I'm very much mistaken, someone is making out in there."

He reached for the door. "Mason! No!" Cheryl tried to pull his arm back but she couldn't prevent him from opening the door. His expression went from gleeful to stunned, however, as he opened the door.

It wasn't the passionate make-out session they were witnessing that froze them in their tracks. It was the fact that everywhere Max was touching Liz, he left a trail of glowing skin!

WHAT HAPPENS NOW?

1. Michael and Isabel have come looking for them, too. They find the actors watching this glowing thing and knock them out, hoping that when they come to, they'll believe whatever plausible explanation they come up with in the meantime.

2. Mason and Cheryl leave unseen. They discuss what they've witnessed and pledge to try to find out more through conversation with their hosts and by checking out their rooms.

3. Mason and Cheryl break up the kissing and demand an explanation. Max is a little too forthcoming in his inebriated state. Liz covers as best she can. Mason and Cheryl remain suspicious.

Part 2 | Index | Part 4
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