FanFic - Max/Liz
"Baby I'm Amazed"
"Even Though We Ain't Got Money"
Part 5
by MyrnaLynne
Disclaimer: This is a work of fan fiction not intended to infringe on any copyrights held on "Roswell."
Summary: Started post Blind Date: Part 1 - Max is drunk, M/L elope (Baby, I'm Amazed). Part 2 (There's Got to be a Morning After) Max doesn't remember, but likes being married. Part 3 (Let's Face the Music and Dance) - They go home to Roswell to 'face the music.' Their parents are upset, want to annul the marriage, etc. Part 4 ("Lonesome Dove") Max tells Isabel and Michael, pines for Liz, they manage to get together for .. ahem.. lunch.
Category: After Hours
Rating: R
Authors Note: To Squanto-glad you are better, and to all my Roswell family at Crashdown.
Disclaimer: * * * Danny's Song (Kenny Loggins)

People smile and tell me I'm the lucky one And we've just begun. Think I'm gonna have a son He will be like she and me, as free as a dove Conceived in love. Sun is gonna shine above

And even though we ain't got money I'm so in love with you honey, And everything will bring a change of love And in the morning when I rise You bring a tear of joy to my eyes and tell me, everything is gonna be all right.

Seems as though a month ago, I was Beta-Chi Never got high, oh I was a sorry guy And now a smile, a face, a girl that shares my name Now I'm through with the game this boy will never be the same.

And even though we ain't got money I'm so in love with you honey, And everything will bring a change of love And in the morning when I rise You bring a tear of joy to my eyes and tell me, everything is gonna be all right...

* * *

Liz shook her head, in a daze, and began picking up the lunch plates to take back to the Crashdown, just like nothing had happened. Just like Max had not made love to her on a table upstairs in the UFO Museum in the middle of the day. She straightened her clothes and, while looking around for her underwear, had the sudden irrational thought, 'I'm glad I brought a lot of napkins with me, for lunch.' She managed not to giggle. She knew if she did, it would sound a little hysterical. She grabbed the napkins and cleaned up as best she could. She handed a handful of paper napkins to Max.

Max was shrugging back into his shirt and yellow museum employee vest, avoiding her eyes.

"Oh, Max... we are so bad," she said.

Max felt shame wash over him and he suddenly hated himself. "I'm sorry, Liz... that was..." He shook his head. He didn't even know what kind of animal would do something like that. He didn't like knowing that kind of animal lived inside him someplace. "It's just so hard... being away from you. I guess... I went a little crazy."

"It's okay, Max... really. I've missed you too. A lot."

"I love you, Liz. I'm sorry." He hung his head and looked like the sorriest little boy in the class.

She put her arms around him and hugged him. "I love you, too, Max. It's okay." She tilted her head up and kissed him, rubbing his back with her hands. "But... I'd better get back to work."

He nodded. "Me, too." He helped Liz with the tray. "When can I see you again?"

"I don't know, Max. We'll figure it out."

"Well... we can always... do lunch," he said, with a shy smile.

* * *

"Did you and Max have a fight or something?" Maria asked, as Liz washed up the lunch dishes at the Crashdown.

"What do you mean, Maria?"

"A food fight, maybe?"

"No, Max and I just... ate lunch." She avoided Maria's eyes and concentrated on the dishes.

"Well, that may be... But then how come there's a big gob of pie right in the middle of your back?"

"Oh, no, Maria, really?"


"Well... maybe we didn't just eat..."

"Oh, Liz... don't tell me you were the dessert!"


"That is so tacky, Liz... I mean. At lunch time.... on the lunch. You two are totally out of control."

"Well... we were... done eating. And...we are married. Help me wipe off this pie, Maria, before my folks see it, or they'll kill me!"

* * *

Liz looked up later and saw Alex Whitman walk into the Crashdown. He just stood awkwardly in the middle of the room, looking at her, his arms hanging down at his sides like he wasn't sure exactly what to do with> them.

"Liz?" he said. "Hey. I see you're back."

"Alex!" she cried and went to grab him in a big hug, "I wondered where you'd been hiding!"

Mr. Parker came out from the back room and cleared his throat loudly.

"Hugging another boy, Liz? I'm having trouble keeping up."

Alex dropped his hands from Liz like he'd been burned, and Liz spun around, her cheeks red, but she laughed, "Da-ad! This is Alex! You remember-the guy who has been like my best friend since forever?"

"I thought Max was your 'best friend' now, Lizzie," her dad said. "I'm just trying to keep score."

"No, dad-well, yeh-Max is my husband. That's better than a best friend... that's the best friend a girl can ever have. But that doesn't mean Alex and I aren't still friends," she explained patiently. "You know... friend-friends."

"Just checking," her dad said with a little smile. He stood and looked at his daughter for a long moment, a sad look in his eyes. Then he sighed and turned away, disappearing into the back rooms of the restaurant.

"I'm... glad to hear you say that, Liz. That we're still friends," Alex said.

Liz pulled Alex into a booth and sat down. "Why would we stop being friends, Alex?"

"Well... you know. You and Max..."

"Yeh, I know what you mean. Everything is different now... But not so different that I would ever stop being your friend. That is never going to change. I'm still me. I'm still Liz Parker... well Liz Evans, I guess-we still haven't figured the name thing out exactly. But definitely-me."

"So it's true-you guys ran off and got married? Liz, what about advancing the frontiers of science.. what about molecular biology?"

"Well... I guess... another kind of biology... kind of got in the way," Liz said glancing down at the table shyly, wiping away a crumb. "But I still plan on going to school and having a career... it's just..."

"Way more complicated now?" Alex finished for her.


"And aren't you a little worried about... you know," Alex dropped his voice to a whisper ".. alien biology? You're dealing with stuff that... nobody really has any idea about, Liz. I mean, you can't call up any intergalactic Dr. Ruth!"

Liz nodded. "Yeh, it is... a little scary. But so far... oh, how can I say this without getting embarrassed..."

"Hey, it's Alex here... you know, just like your girlfriend, only with different equipment? You can talk to me. That's what friends are for." He gave her his most charming grin, and waggled his eyebrows, encouraging her to spill all the dirt.

"Well... all I can say is," Liz said, knocking on the wood of the bench for luck, "So far... so good."

"Good? Nothing too strange? No... webs?" Alex remembered the horror and fascination he felt at what happened to Michael when he got sick.

Liz shook her head, her eyes shining. "Just... very good."

"Glad to hear it," Alex said, his thoughts straying as they often did to Max's beautiful sister Isabel.

"And besides-you marry a person for better or worse, Alex."

"Well, for your sakes, I hope it's only 'for better,' " he said with a kind smile.

"Oh, but since we came back, it's mostly been for worse-our parents aren't taking it well, to say the least."

"Yeh, I can see your dad is a little cranky, and he's the mellowest guy on the planet after Jerry Garcia..."

"And Jerry's dead," Liz agreed.

"In both senses of the word," Alex joked.

"If you think my dad is bad, you should've seen my mother. Glaciers aren't nearly as chilly as the reception we got when we came back... You'd think they'd be grateful, that we came back."

"You guys didn't really have a lot of choice. I mean, where would you go?"

"Anywhere that wasn't Roswell, I guess-but this is our home. Everybody we love is here..." Liz said.

"Yes, and you and Max aren't exactly the Bonnie & Clyde type, as a rule."

Liz giggled. "No. We are usually so boring and sensible!"

"Everybody has an off day," Alex shrugged. "They just don't usually spend it stealing cars and running away in the night to get married."

"We borrowed the car -Kyle gave Max the keys. But, yeh, I guess, when we do something wild and impulsive, we do it in a big way!"

Alex nodded, "All those years of repression, all those straight-A report cards... You two had to crack sometime."

"But Max's dad-you know, he's a lawyer-and he's threatening to have our marriage annulled. He says it's not legal."

"Well, he's a lawyer, so he might be right."

"I don't care if he's right, Alex-Max and I are married. Forever. Max says if they break us up, he'll die."

"Pretty melodramatic for such a quiet guy," Alex observed.

"But.. what if it's true, Alex? As you said yourself... we just don't know." Liz bit her lips together and looked worried.

"Hmmm, 'dying for love.' I know there are a lot of old folk songs about that, so I guess it's possible." He saw the stricken look in Liz's eyes, and hurried on, "Not... of course... in Max's case. I'm sure he's just being... you know... Mr. Romantic Guy. I mean... look at you Liz. What guy wouldn't say he'd die without you?"

"Thanks," she said shyly.

"Hmm. You know what, Liz, you two need a good lawyer."

"Alex, how am I supposed to hire even a bad lawyer with the little money I have?"

"Not to worry, Alex Whitman is on the case. Think I'll head over to the library and see what I can find out." Alex unfolded his lanky frame from the booth and stood up. "I'll check the Internet, too."

"Oh, Alex, would you? That would be so great!" Liz got up and hugged him again. "Thanks! I love you!"

"Hey, waitress!" a customer called, "are you through hugging that guy, because I need some more Coke!"

Liz rolled her eyes at Alex, "Sorry! Be right there!" she called.

* * *

Max was walking home from work. He decided it was easier than having to ask Mom or Isabel to pick him up. He passed the basketball court, and saw Kyle Valenti alone on the court, dribbling a basketball around, shooting hoops and practicing his free throws.

"Hey, Kyle," Max said, coming around the wire fence.

Kyle looked up, and walked over toward Max. Max was suddenly reminded of the way two strange dogs acted when they approached each other, cautiously, their legs stiff, the hair on the back of their neck standing up, waiting to see who will bare his fangs and lunge first...

"I wanted to thank you, for telling your dad the truth about the car.. and everything," Max said.

Kyle shrugged. "Well, with my dad, you don't have too many options, but 'the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.' But he's pretty gullible, so I... edit things a bit. No point telling him everything. I'm not stupid."

"Nobody said you were stupid, Kyle. Anyway, I just wanted to say I appreciated it -Or we would've been in even worse trouble than we are already."

" got Liz in trouble. Is that why you two had to get married?"

"We didn't 'have to get married.' We just... sortof... did. It's a long story."

"Yeh, I bet-do me a favor and spare me the details, okay." Kyle practiced dribbling the ball, switching it from hand to hand.

"I don't want you to hate me, because of Liz. I mean... I know you two had a history. I know she cares about you.. and you care about her. So.. at least we have that much in common."

"Oh, Liz explained all that to me... something about fish and biology. Way over my head. Besides, I don't hate you because of Liz, Max. I just don't like you on your own merits."


"You know, Evans... you're all right-when you're drunk. I thought for a minute there, maybe we could even be friends...."

"I'd like that, Kyle. But I have to tell you-my memory is pretty hazy about what happened while we were drunk."

Kyle thought about that, and about making up some really awful stories to torment Max with, but decided it was too much effort. Besides, his memories of that night were none too clear either. "Yeh, it's just too bad you are such an uptight boring prick when you're sober," Kyle concluded, bouncing the basketball lazily. "I mean, you don't even screw Liz without marrying her first. How old-fashioned can you get?"

Max suddenly slapped the ball away from Kyle and began bouncing it. "How about it, Kyle? You and me. One on one?"

"With you, Evans? I play on the team, remember? And I've never seen you even break a sweat."

"Oh I sweat... I just don't ever let anybody see me do it. Isn't that what they say: 'Don't ever let them see you sweat?'"

"You're weird, Max. I don't know what Liz sees in you... except maybe she's kind of weird too. I don't envy you, man--all those nights at home together, watching 'chick flicks' from the video store..."

"Oh, it that what you and Liz did together, Kyle?" Max bounced the ball tantalizingly close to Kyle and then darted around him. "We usually spend our time... doing other things."

"One on one, huh? Against me? You've gotta be joking, Evans."

"Well, the way I look at it... I've got the height... I've got the speed... I've got the moves... I am much better looking... And I've got Liz. I'd say that makes me unbeatable."

Kyle lunged for Max, shoving him aside and grabbing the ball. "You're on!" he yelled, and a fierce game of no-holds-barred, down-and-dirty, one-on-one basketball began. Sometimes sports could work things out between guys that words could never even approach.

* * *

Maria was working behind the counter of the Crashdown, cleaning up before closing. Michael came over and leaned on the counter, and said, "Hey." He crossed his arms and made a show of looking anywhere but in her direction.

"Hey, yourself," she said, ignoring him right back.

"So..." Michael began.

Maria put her hands on her hips and looked at him. "Look, Michael, do you think you can manage to say at least two words together in a sentence - I'm tired and I don't have three hours for a two minute conversation!"

Michael straightened up. He was ready to tell her two words that immediately came to mind 'F--- you' and storm out of there. But this was important. He managed to control his temper, and nodded. "I guess you heard," he finally said.

"Ah, a miracle - four words at once!" Maria cried, "Heard about what?"

"About Max... and Liz."

"Uh-huh. You mean, about them running off and getting married, right?" she asked, wondering if there was some newer news that was even better... or worse.

"Yeh." Michael licked his lips, not sure if he wanted to continue. Maria was obviously not in a receptive mood. But then, when was she ever in a receptive mood? No time like the present. He took a breath. "So... it looks like it's okay."

Maria began wiping the counter again, "I don't know how 'okay' it is-their parents are totally freaked. I mean, it's going to ruin their chances of getting into the college of their choice..."

"No, " he said, "I mean.... safe."

Maria cocked her head to the side and gave him a questioning look.


"For them to.. you know.. be together." Michael suddenly found the toe of his boot intensely interesting - Boy, his shoes were really crappy looking. Well, he didn't suppose Hank would spring for any new ones... not in this lifetime.

"Ahhh... in the married sense.. of together... you mean." Maria tried not to smile.

"Yeh." He glanced up at her.

"Don't even think about it... Unless you're suddenly hearing wedding> bells."

"No! What... are you crazy? I just thought you'd be glad.. you know.. to know... that it was okay." He shrugged. "'Glad'?" she said.

"That... we could... potentially... do it... and not die." There. He'd said it. He felt enormously better.

Maria looked at Michael's sweet, earnest face, and started to laugh. She laughed and laughed and leaned against Michael for support and laughed some more. "You... were afraid... it would kill me?" she whooped, "Is that what it was all about.. all the distance... why you dumped me?"

Michael wanted to shove her away and leave, but she was holding onto his shirt. And besides, he couldn't just go off and leave her, when she'd obviously just gone insane. "Yeh. I couldn't take the chance. I didn't want to hurt you... But you don't have to laugh at me.. a simple 'No' would probably be enough."

"Oh, Michael..." Maria wiped the tears from her eyes. She reached up, wrapped her arms around Michael's neck, and kissed him on the lips.

"So... does that mean... yes?" he asked, when they came up for breath.

Maria shook her head 'no' and snuggled her head against his shoulder. "It means maybe... a definite... potential... maybe."


"Oh, Michael... you are just too much." She patted his cheek with her left hand, gave him a peck on the right cheek, and picked up her dishrag and began wiping up again.

Michael wasn't sure what she meant by that, but it didn't sound bad. Women. Hank was right about one thing at least-who could figure them out? He saw that Maria was putting the chairs upside down on top of the tables, and he started to help her, glancing at her, matching his actions to hers.

He wondered why they did such a stupid thing at night in restaurants-and wondered if people who had actual families and houses did stuff like that at night in their kitchens, too. He kind of doubted it, though. Way too stupid. There was just so damn much he didn't know, or had never taken the time to figure out. He tried to put the chairs up just right.

Maria glanced at Michael and saw the look of concentration in his face, completely focused on this new and totally uncharacteristic effort at being helpful... and she smiled. Maybe... just maybe... there was hope for this boy yet.

* * *

Liz came into her mother's room and stood in the doorway, watching her mother brush out her long beautiful red hair before bed. She used to feel like such an ugly duckling, with her plain dark hair like her dad's-until she met Max, that is. Liz saw her mom's blue eyes looking at her in the mirror.

"Mom, I know you hate the idea of me and Max together... But it's a fact. We're married. We love each other. He's my husband."

Her mother put down the brush and turned to look at her. "Liz, you're so young. You don't marry the first boy you fall in love with... or even the first boy you have sex with."


"I know we always told you to wait till you got married. But that's what parents are supposed to say. It's our job."

"But I did wait... and I did marry him, Mom. I'm his wife. Max and I... we're so different, but we're so much alike. He.. completes me. He's like the other half of the puzzle. He's what I need, Mom.. and what I want." Liz swallowed and went on, "And I know he feels that way about me. Don't make us be apart."

"You two are so young. I just hate for you to... decide the course of your whole lives at 16, to rule out... anything that might come along in the future..."

"I'm not ruling out having a future, Mom... I just want Max to be a part of it."

"But people who marry so young can grow and change. They can grow apart and break up. I don't want you to get hurt.

"People who get married at any age have to take that chance, don't they Mom? They have to trust in love, and work to make it last?"

"You really love this boy," her mother said softly. Liz nodded.

"This isn't just teenage hormones carrying you two away?"

Liz shook her head. "I don't think so."

"But Liz, it's so easy to be certain at your age... and be wrong."

"You can be wrong at any age, Mom. But you can also be so right. Max and I are right for each other-I just feel it."

"I don't know..."

"Talk to Max's Dad-please. We've got to make him understand," Liz begged.

"Oh, I don't know about that, Liz-I can't go meddling in the Evans' family's affairs."

"But it's our family now, too, Mom."

Liz's mother looked at her daughter and nodded. "I suppose I could have a talk with Diane..."

Liz threw her arms around her mother and hugged her. "Thank you, Mom! I love you!"

"But I can't promise anything..."

"Can I call Max and say good night?"

"Don't push it, young lady. Go to bed. It's late."

"G'nite, Mom."

* * *


Max slapped the alarm clock into silence. Oh, gawd, Monday. Back to school... Between lunch with Liz and basketball with Kyle yesterday, he hurt in places he didn't even know his body had. Kyle had tripped, elbowed, body-slammed, and hit Max at every opportunity. Max held back, but gave Kyle his share of abuse-he didn't want to be too easy on him, and he didn't like the thought that Kyle had dated Liz before him either.

They had played to a dead tie. Afterwards they got soda from a vending machine and sat around awhile, sweating and catching their breath, trading a few half-hearted insults. Once he'd cooled down, Max started to walk home.

He'd been walking awhile, when Kyle pulled up beside him in his car and stopped. "Walking, Evans? Lose your car?"

"My dad took it," he said. "Didn't think I could be trusted with a car."

Kyle laughed. "Your old man has a point. Too bad he didn't take Liz away instead."

Max took a step toward him and Kyle saw something in Max's eyes that made him hold up his hands in a peace-making gesture and say, "Hey, just kidding! Anyway, you took pretty good care of this baby-" Kyle leaned over and threw open the passenger door. "Hop in," he said, "I'll give you a ride."

"Thanks," Max said gratefully and climbed in. He thought about Liz sitting in that seat, driving with him, and his hand idly caressed the upholstery, wishing it were Liz.

"Just try not to sweat too much on the upholstery, Mr. Never-See-You-Sweat," was Kyle's last crack before he drove Max home.

Max smiled, remembering. He thought hings were probably going to be okay with Kyle, and he was glad. They didn't need any more enemies. And he was pretty sure that jealousy and ex-boyfriends made for the worst kind of enemy.

* * *

Liz sat in homeroom. There was a substitute and she was calling the roll from the attendance book.

"Liz Parker?" she called.

"Here," Liz answered, "but... It's Liz Evans now. Max... well, you don't know him, but... Max Evans and I... got married on Friday," she said proudly.

The homeroom erupted in noise and conversation.

"That will be enough!" the substitute said, slapping her hand on the desk.

"Well, Miss Parker... the book says Liz Parker, and until your parents contact the office and change the school records, Liz Parker you will remain. In fact, I think it might be a good idea for you to go on down to the guidance office and talk to them about right now."

"I don't think that will be necessary..." Liz said.

"The office. Now."

"Yes, ma'am," Liz said, gathering up her books.

* * *

Max entered the classroom and his eyes anxiously scanned the room for Liz. Her seat was empty. He swallowed, wondering if Liz was home sick. Wondering if she was sick because of him, imagining all sorts of nameless terrors.

"Hey, Evans, way to go, man!" a boy in a red plaid shirt said to him. Was his name Donnie?-Max wasn't sure. "Liz announced to the entire homeroom that you two got married over the weekend! Substitute freaked and sent her down to the principal."

A blonde girl, Lindsey, leaned over and said, "So, Max-is it true?"

Max nodded, embarrassed by the sudden attention, worrying about Liz.

"Far out!" she said and hurried off across the room to a group of giggling girlfriends, to breathlessly confirm this juicy gossip.

Max had the sudden desire to turn around and leave. He was worried about Liz. Maybe he should go to the office and make sure she was all right... He got to the door and Liz almost collided with him, hurrying in to class.

"Hey! I was just coming to look for you," Max said, as Liz stepped back out into the hallway.

"The stupid substitute sent me to the office. I don't know why."

"I heard you made a big wedding announcement to your homeroom," Max said.

He was embarrassed, but also proud of Liz-for being proud of him, for being willing to announce her love for him to the world. He wished he had half her courage. And that he wasn't so damn shy.

"It wasn't like that at all, Max-I just told her my name was Liz Evans now, because we got married, and everybody started talking, she got mad and said unless it was changed officially, they would keep on calling me Liz Parker. And then she sent me to the office! It was completely unfair."

She stared up into his eyes, her anger and frustration at the petty bureaucracy that was high school melting away. He bent to kiss her. Their lips had barely touched....

"Uh-uh, Maxwell.. this is not the time or the place..." Michael Guerin said, grabbing Max's arm and propelling him into the classroom doorway.

"There'll be plenty of time for that... other stuff... later."

"Sorry, Liz," Michael said, "Just trying to keep you and Max out of trouble. You're going to be late too."

Liz smiled. "I never thought I'd see the day when Michael Guerin was worried about anybody being late to class."

"It was Maria's idea. She figured you two would... need some help... focusing," he said, trying hard not to smile.

"Thanks, Michael. I just hope you're right," she said.

"About what?"

"About there being plenty of time, later!" She smiled and hurried to her seat, just as the teacher said, "Thank you for joining us, Miss Parker."

Maria was peeking out of her classroom a few doors down the hall, and gave Michael a quick thumbs-up for a job well done, before she ducked back into her own class.

* * *

Alex caught up with Liz in the hallway between class. "So, Mrs. Evans -the news is pretty much all over school already."

Liz smiled.

"Nothing like keeping a low profile, not drawing attention to Max."

"Well, I'm not going to hide it, Alex. Max and I are married and it's the most wonderful thing that's ever happened to me, and I am not going to go around acting like I did something wrong!"

"Hey, okay! Don't kill me!"

"And besides-what's more normal than getting married, I mean, wouldn't that make him less suspicious, being with me?"

"Less suspicious about being gay, maybe. But getting married at 16 isn't exactly normal, Liz. Some people might have a hard time with it, that's all."

"Tell me about it! Any luck with your research?"

"Yes, I've found out a lot. I'll tell you at lunch, okay?"

"Great. Thanks Alex, I appreciate it."

"What are friends for?" He gave Liz a dazzling smile and went down the hall to the computer lab.

* * *

Michael and Maria were whispering in the cafeteria line at school, glancing at Max and Liz, deep in conversation at one of the lunch tables.

Michael came over and put a bowl down in front of Max.

"What's this, Michael?"

"It's a salad."

"But, I don't want a salad... and besides, it's just a bowl of plain lettuce!"

"It's a honeymoon salad-lettuce alone. Get it? Let us alone?" Max groaned and Liz giggled.

"Don't quit your day job, Michael," Max advised.

"Right," Michael agreed, "that would be school."

"Yes, a mind is a terrible thing to waste," Liz said.

"Did you at least bring me any dressing for this salad?" Max asked.

Maria was standing behind Michael, biting her lips. "No, I think honeymoon salad comes with un-dressing" she said, and began laughing.

Michael gave her a high five for that one and the two of them pulled up seats to join Max and Liz for lunch.

Max could feel his ears turning red with embarrassment. Liz reached across the table and took his hand.. and smiled.

* * *

Alex joined them in the lunchroom. Liz filled them in on Alex's offer to help, and then Alex outlined his research on the marriage laws in the state of New Mexico.

"So... let me get this straight. If Liz is pregnant, we can stay married?" Max asked.

"Pregnant or has given birth to a child, you can be married at 16 no problem -that's the law," Alex agreed.

"So, I have to get Liz pregnant, to make our marriage legal?" Max said incredulously.

"Well... I'm not sure about that part. Liz said that the people who married you thought she was pregnant... If you purposely misled them, that might be grounds to rule against you."

"We didn't lie to them. They drew their own conclusions," Liz said. "They asked Max if I was in trouble, and he just figured, kidnapping me, running away and all that -he considered that trouble! He was drunk. And even sober, Max doesn't have a dirty mind like that."

"Oh, Liz... he's fooled you, too," Maria said sadly. "There is not a man on I mean, a guy alive who doesn't have a dirty mind. Trust me."

"Hey!" Michael said, acting offended.

"Just calling 'em as I see 'em," Maria said.

"Sounds more like your mother talking," Liz said.

"Well... yeh. Maybe," Maria admitted.

"So you have to get Liz pregnant," Michael said. "Hey, it's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it."

Maria slapped his arm. "You guys are disgusting. Liz is not getting pregnant. Getting married at 16 is bad enough!"

"I'm sure you can handle it, Maxwell. Unless of course.. you aren't up for the job." Michael said, salaciously.

Max gave Michael a punch. "If we need any help-don't worry, we won't call you, Michael."

"Yes," Alex chimed in, "In fact, I would certainly be glad to offer assistance. It'd probably be a lot more pleasant than giving blood."

They all stared at him, remembering switching Alex's blood for Max's in the hospital to cover for him. Max felt the hairs prickling on the back of his neck. If Liz couldn't have a child with him, because of their different genetic makeup, would Alex really do that? Would Liz want him to? Would he be able to accept that, Liz having someone else's child?

He'd read about artificial insemination, test tube babies, even those home-grown "turkey-baster babies" some gay women were having together-with a little help from their male friends. Not having been 'born of woman' himself, in the usual way at least, not really knowing how he came into being, before he stepped from the incubation pod, Max had always found the subject of human reproduction and scientific advances fascinating. Well, maybe it would be okay, as long as Liz and Alex didn't actually have sex... He'd kill Alex, if they had sex.

"Well," Max said, continuing his thought aloud, "I'll tell you one thing--nobody touches Liz, but me." He put his arm around her possessively, hardly conscious of the gesture.

"Ooo, Liz, don't you just love it when they get all possessive and masterful like that?" Maria kidded, trying to break the tension.

"Well, let's keep looking for other possibilities. And... let nature take its course," Liz said, smiling.

"We have to talk to my Dad soon, before he tries to get the annulment," Max said.

"Well, as your legal advisor, I would be happy to accompany you," Alex offered.

"Thanks, Alex," Liz said.

"Yeh," Maria added, "A geeky 16-year-old rock 'n roll lawyer kind of seems appropriate, under the circumstances."

"Hey, who are you calling geeky!" Alex protested.

* * *

The Evans family sat around the dinner table. Philip Evans cleared his throat.

"Some legal papers were missing from my desk this morning. Does anyone know what might have happened to them?" he asked.

"Papers, Dad?" Isabel asked blankly and shook her head.

"No, sir... You know we never touch any of your stuff, Dad," Max said.

"Not even if they were petition for annulment papers?" he asked, studying Max.

"If I had seen them, I might have been tempted to tear them up... but, no, it wasn't me."

"I took them," Mrs. Evans said.


Everyone stared at Diane Evans, quietly looking at her plate, picking at her food. She glanced up. "I think you were being too hasty, Phil. I mean, we were all upset, and surprised... it was quite a shock, what Max and Liz had done. But, I had a talk with Liz's mother.... and I don't think you've considered their point of view."

"Point of view, Diane? They're children!"

"And that's your point of view. But, honey, Max is a young man. He's always been very mature for his age, even when he was little. And... well, there are other people's feelings involved here, besides your own disappointment and wounded pride."

"I think I've been more than fair," Mr. Evans began-and then looked at the incredulous expressions on the faces of his family. If he were in court, he would have said 'I retract that last statement, your honor.'

"And that's why I've invited some company over to join us for dessert," Mrs. Evans concluded.

The doorbell rang. "Oh, that should be them now," she said, getting up.

"I'll get it!" Max offered eagerly, and hurried to the front door. He came back in a minute, holding hands with Liz. Her mother, Nancy, came in, along with Alex Whitman. Alex was wearing a long-sleeved white shirt and a stringy black necktie that barely reached halfway down his chest. He carried a black briefcase, obviously borrowed for the occasion.

"What is all this?" Mr. Evans asked.

"Looks like an intervention," Isabel guessed. "Hey, nice look, Alex."

Alex's already-red cheeks colored further with pleasure and embarrassment. He'd been so focused on helping Liz , he'd almost forgotten that Isabel would be there too. Well, maybe not completely forgotten...

"And what's he doing here?" Mr. Evans asked. "Alex, isn't it?"

"Yes, sir.. Alex Whitman."

"Of course, you were on that camp out," Mr. Evans said pleasantly. He suddenly remembered that evening as another time when Max had run off and disappeared... and frightened him, and his smile faded. "And how do you figure in all this?"

"Well, Mr. Evans... since you have been threatening to take legal actions against Max and Liz... my clients... and... the parties of the first part.." Alex began.


"And since the law guarantees the right to an attorney..."

"Only we can't afford a real one," Liz put in.

"I'm representing them," Alex said with more poise than he actually felt.

Mr. Evans had trouble concealing his amusement. "And... where did you say you studied law again, Counselor Whitman?"

"Um... I'd have to say, like Abraham Lincoln, I'm self-taught, sir." Alex said calmly, with a smile.

"You do have Honest Abe's height," Mr. Evans admitted, "And his nerve... Well, it looks like the whole family-both families-and friends, in fact, have conspired to gang up on me. In my own home, no less! Okay, I'm listening. Make your opening statement, Counselor." Max's dad sat back and crossed his arms, skeptical, but prepared to give his full attention, ready to be entertained.

"Yes.. well.. my clients... while they admit that their recent behavior was... uncharacteristic, to say the least... and there may be... mitigating factors... that would... cause you to seek annulment.. It is my clients' belief that you are letting the legalities of the case cloud the primary issue."

"Which is?"

"That Max and Liz love each other, were married in accordance with the laws of the state of New Mexico, and in the eyes of God, and they want to stay together."

"Forever." Liz added.

"Ah, yes... that's the problem right there, Whitman.. those laws of the state. Which my son violated in more ways that I have the patience to list for you."

"Well... in the case of Hernandez v. Henderson, on the matter of witnesses at a wedding, it was ruled that the marriage stood, even with only one witness, as the judge performing the marriage signed as both officiate and witness.."

"What case was that? What year?" Mr. Evans asked.

"I think... um.. 1967," Alex said nervously.

"Well, what about the lack of parental permission. Falsifying parental permission?" Mr. Evans asked.

"The justice of the peace accepted the written parental permission as valid. He is not required by law to.. um.. verify the veracity of such permission... but only to accept or reject it."

"The man must've been drunk himself to accept some kind of fake permission," Mr. Evans grumbled.

"The age of marriage in New Mexico is 18, or 16 with parental permission. However, according to the law, younger parties may obtain a license in the case of pregnancy or the birth of a child. So, if the bride happened to be pregnant... or was assumed to be pregnant... the requirement for parental permission can be waived."

"Pregnant!" Mrs. Evans said. "Liz?"

"But Liz told us herself at Sheriff Valenti's office that she definitely was not pregnant. Isn't that right, Liz?" Mr. Evans asked.

"Well... yeh... but... sometimes it's hard to tell, if you're pregnant or not. I mean... it takes awhile to... show up and all," Liz stammered. She hated lying, but... it was possible, so it wasn't completely a lie.

"So, you are looking for a postponement until such time as we ascertain whether or not Liz is expecting?" Mr. Evans asked.

"I think they have those kits at the drugstore," Isabel offered.

"I think I'd rather have a doctor decide that," Mrs. Parker said.

"We're not looking for a postponement of your trying to annul our marriage-we're looking for your blessing," Max said quietly. "But we'll take what we can get."

"But... the longer you two are together.. the more like this.. uncertain pregnancy, will become a reality. Quite a Catch-22!" Mr. Evans marveled.

"Yes," Alex grinned, "Don't you just love the law?"

"In fact, I do. But I also love my son. And I want what's best for him. And what's best is not some rash lovestruck whim and a contract entered into while he was drunk."

"We'll, we all want to do what's best for our children," Liz's mother spoke up. "We're just not sure it's up to you to make that decision yourself, Phil. You may be a lawyer, but you are not the judge and jury. My daughter loves Max. She has convinced me that this is not just what you call a rash whim."

"And while my client Max admits he had.. a small quantity of alcohol-to which he reacted... very badly, the justice of the peace determined that he was competent enough to understand his actions," Alex added.

"And how do you know that? Did you get in touch with him?" Mr. Evans asked suspiciously.

"Yes, sir, I did. He remembered Max and Liz very well. He said that Max was a polite boy, and you must've raised him right."

Mrs. Evans smiled at Max.

"He also said he'd performed a great many weddings in his time, and he had developed a sort of sense of which couples were going to last and which ones were going to be fighting before they got out the front door. He said, and I quote, that Max and Liz were 'the real deal.'" Alex put down the paper he was referring to. He smiled, but his hands were shaking.

"Real deal? What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Mr. Evans demanded.

"I would interpret it as true love....true and lasting love and commitment. And I would like to add, as my closing argument," Alex said, folding his hands like a minister, "What God has joined together, let no man put asunder."

Mr. Evans nodded. "An admirable sentiment... except they weren't married in a church, and that wasn't part of the ceremony. I'm not even sure they belong to the same church."

"But they were married," Alex persisted, "and neither one of them wishes to be... sundered."

"And how, may I ask, does your client propose to get the money to support a wife at 16?" Mr. Evans asked.

"Is that what it always come down to for you, Dad, money?" Max demanded.

"No, Max, that's what life always comes down to. More marriages come apart over money-and the lack of it-than for any other reason. Your mother and I have provided you a very comfortable life, Max. Maybe we've spoiled you and Isabel, sheltered you too much from the realities of life."

"Dad, I know life is tough. I'm very grateful to you and Mom-you're great parents. You took me in... me and Isabel... gave us a home. And we've never wanted for anything, ever," Max said.

"Except for Liz" his father said. "The one thing you want that I don't want you to have."

"My daughter is not a thing," Nancy Parker said sharply.

"We didn't plan this, Dad. It just happened. I didn't mean to disappoint you, and I'm sorry I let you down. But... what's done is done. I love Liz. I probably would've married her in a few years anyway-if she'd have me." Max looked at Liz and she smiled and nodded. "And I'm hoping you and mom will understand. Because... to make this work, I know we're going to need your help---a lot of help. I know we're young, and there's a lot we don't know, and we need to finish school..." Max stopped. He wasn't going to beg.

"Where do you propose to live, then , with this wife of yours, Max? Up in your bedroom? I don't think so," Mr. Evans said.

"I don't know, Dad. I have a job... my boss might give me a raise.."

"You can't just throw Max out," Isabel said, unable to contain herself.

"Nobody's throwing anybody out," Mrs. Evans said soothingly.

"Impressively argued case, Alex. Are you planning a career in the law?"

"I don't know, Mr. Evans. I'm kind of leaning toward computers."

"That's exactly my point-you kids don't know anything! You have no plans," he began.

"They can stay with me," Liz's mother said, surprising even herself. "There's plenty of work to do at the Crashdown-we can use Max's help. And there is plenty of room. I think there is a store room they might be able to clean out and turn into... an apartment of sorts.."

"Mom!" Liz launched herself at her mother and hugged her. "Oh, thank you!"

"Well, I'd like to settle this pregnancy question that Alex raised," Mr. Evans said, still not giving up his hope of ending this foolish marriage business.

Mrs. Parker stood up. "I think that's a matter between Liz... and her husband."

"Oh, won't you stay and have some coffee.. some dessert?" Mrs. Evans asked.

"No, thank you, Diane. I've got to be going."

"Can I bring him home now, Mom?" Liz asked eagerly, as if her mother had just bought her a puppy.

"Um... I think we'd better go home and discuss this with your father first, Liz. Maybe... once you've fixed up a little place..." Now that Mrs. Parker had committed herself, she realized she hadn't really give it much thought.

"Oh, that'll be fun," Isabel said, "I'll help, Liz. I love to decorate."

"Phil? You're letting Max move out?" Mrs. Evans said.

"I'm not going far, Mom. I'll be over here all the time, I promise," Max said reassuringly.

"Phil? Aren't you going to say anything?" she asked.

"How about a cup of coffee, honey. I think I have some room for dessert," Mr. Evans said evenly.

"Oh... oh!" Mrs. Evans hurried toward the kitchen, her hand pressed to her mouth, trying hard not to cry in front of the company.

Max wanted to follow her, but Liz put her hand on his arm, and he walked Liz, Alex, and Mrs. Parker to the door to see them out.

"I don't know how to thank you, Mrs. Parker," Max said. "You saved my life."

"You can thank me by taking very good care of my daughter, Max, and making her happy. And promise you'll treat her with respect and never, ever stop loving her."

"Yes, ma'am. I plan to. That's a promise."

She smiled at him and Max impulsively leaned up and kissed his new mother-in-law on the cheek. "Thanks... Mom," he said, his cheeks turning red. She smiled, pushed his bangs off his forehead, and turned to go.

Liz caught Max's eye and mouthed "later" to him.

He nodded. He felt his hand reaching for her almost on its own, but he managed to pull it back. He wanted to touch her. He didn't want her to go.

"Hey, Alex," Isabel said, coming to the door to say good-bye, "That was pretty amazing. Where did you learn all that legal stuff?"

Alex looked over his shoulder toward the dining room, to make sure Mr. Evans wasn't listening.

"Oh, TV mostly. Actually, I... made most of it up," he admitted with a grin. "So... you think I'm amazing, huh?"

"Do you think you could've found a shorter tie?" Isabel asked, not wanting Alex to get too confident.

"Thanks, Alex," Max said, shaking his hand. "But... don't start getting ideas about my sister. I don't think Mom and Dad could take any more romance in this family right now."

"Max!" Isabel said, giving her brother a sisterly smack.

"I've gotta go talk to Mom," he said, heading for the kitchen.

* * *

Diane Evans was getting the dessert and coffee ready, tears streaming down her face.

"Mom... do you need any help... with dessert?" Max asked.

Mrs. Evans hastily wiped her tears away. "Oh, Max!" She turned and hugged him. "I'm sorry I'm being so silly. Parents know that their children are going to grow up and leave home somebody... but... it's all happening too soon. I'm not ready!" she said, trying to smile.

"I'm not sure I'm ready, either, Mom," Max said softly. "I'm a little scared."

"Maybe you're never really ready," his mother said, putting her hand on his cheek, shaking her head. When had her little boy become a man?

"I'm sorry, Mom. I never meant to hurt you, or Dad."

"I know, honey. You can't help falling in love. It just happens. She's a nice girl. I think your father will come around-you know how pigheaded he can be."

"Yeh...just like his son," Max agreed, picking up a plate of brownies to take into the dining room.

* * *

Isabel came to the door of Max's room.

"Max... I can't believe you are going to leave."

"I've got to be with Liz, Isabel," he said. "I told you how it is. It's not a choice for me."

"But-we've always been together, Max," she said.

"I'm still your brother, Isabel. We're still together. My... room is just going to be a little farther away from yours, that's all."

"And what about finding out who we are-are you going to stop looking, Max? Because Michael and I need to know. Michael is definitely going to keep looking."

"Nothing's changed, Isabel-well, everything's changed-but I still want to find out where we're from, what we are. Liz was involved before all this, Iz-I think she's part of my destiny. She wants to help us. She's on our side."

"But you won't leave her, Max."

"I don't think I could. But-it's probably not going to come to that. I mean, do you really think a big space ship going to land in the middle of town to fly us home?"

"I don't know, Max. We don't belong here-but this is the only place we've known."

"I know, Iz-it's hard. It's hard to have to stay here-because this is where the crash happened, this is where they'd come to look for us--but it's hard to think about leaving."

"It's our home."

* * *

"Max, would you come here for a minute? " his dad called.

"What is it, Dad? I have a lot of homework," Max said when we went to see what his father wanted.

"Well, son, that's another thing you're going to have to learn to do if you're married. Balance a lot of responsibilities."

"Yes, sir."

"Sit down, Max."

"You look kind of busy, Dad." Max looked at the checkbook, the calculator, the stack of monthly bills, the roll of stamps and return address labels all neatly laid out on the table.

"You're going to help me. I'm going to teach you how to write checks and pay bills. And Saturday, we'll go down to the bank and change your savings account into a checking and savings. If you're going to be... the man of the house... I guess you'd better learn how to handle money. It's not easy, Max, taking the responsibility, being a man," his dad said.

"I'll do my best, Dad. Hope I don't make all your checks bounce!" Max joked nervously.

"Well, I didn't say you had to do it on your own-I'll supervise. Oh, and Max..."

Mr. Evans reached into his pocket and pulled out a ring of keys, and set them on the table next to the bills.

"I guess, if you're going to be commuting back and forth between Liz's parents' house and here, you're going to need your Jeep back. Your mother is going to want to see a lot of you."

"Oh, Dad, that's great! Thank you! You won't be sorry!"

Mr. Evans smiled at his son. "Consider it-a wedding present."

* * *

Max drove over to the Crashdown. It was late. He'd paid the bills with Dad, finished his homework, thought about what to pack when he went to live with Liz.

"Liz... it's me... Max." He looked up the ladder to the balcony. She peeked down at him, her long dark hair hanging down toward him. Max thought about the story of Rapunzel. He was up the ladder in an instant.

Liz had a coat on over her striped flannel pajama shirt and pants. She as holding a screwdriver.

"I'm almost done, come look." She and Max stepped through the window into her bedroom. Liz went to the door. "Can you help me do this, Max? I can't get the screws all the way in."

Liz had installed a sliding bolt lock on the inside of her bedroom door.

"I figured... we probably don't want Mom and Dad walking in on us...I don't know why I didn't think of this years ago!" she said, shaking her head.

"Because you were young-and you had nothing to hide," Max said, easily tightening the screws the last few turns into the wood. He slid the bolt home and looked at Liz, his beautiful bride.

"I still have nothing to hide, Max-I just.. don't want to embarrass them! It's kind of a hard concept for parents-their baby girl-being with a boy...." she draw in a sharp breath. Max was unbuttoning her pajama top. "Skinny dipping tonight?" she asked with a dreamy smile, reaching out to undo the buttons of his shirt...

* * *

[The beginning of the rest of their lives together.. but the end of this story!]

Coda: Can You Read My Mind? (John Williams/Leslie Bricusse) Love theme from 'Superman' sung by Maureen McGovern

Can you read my mind? Do you know what it is you do to me?

Don't know who you are Just a friend from another star.

Here I am like a kid out of school Holding hands with a god, I'm a fool- Will you look at me quivering, like a little girl shivering You can see right through me.

Can you read my mind Can you picture the things I'm thinking of?

Wondering why you are All the wonderful things you are

You can fly, you belong to the sky You and I, we belong to each other

If you need a friend I'm the one to fly to If you need to be loved Here I am, Read my mind

Would you look at me, quivering like a little girl, shivering You can see right through me

If you need a friend I'm the one to fly to If you need to be loved Here I am read my mind.

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