FanFic - Max/Liz
"Babysitting 101"
Part 1
by PrincessPassion
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters in my story. Max, Liz and the gang belong to "Roswell". Karen, Richard, Lauren, Katherine, Chris, Emily, and Courtney are all based on real people that I know, therefore I don't own them, either. I don't own "Blockbuster", the Volkswagon "Beetle", the "Jeep", "Marble Slab", "Barney", "Halloween 2", Richard Simmons, the "Care Bears", "Goosebumps", Die Hard, or Stir of Echoes. And I don't own, or have any rights to any of the songs I used. Please, don't sue me. (Wow, that was a mouthful)
Summary: THIS IS FLUFF. Just wanted you to know, in case you were looking for a tear-jerker. Two years in the future. Liz is stuck babysitting her neighbors' kids. Max drops by to provide some much needed re-enforcement. Spoilers: Kinda an alternate time line. Max and Liz never took a "step back." They're seniors now, and they are a couple in this story.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: (( ))indicates thought. **'s mean scene change. I am aware that it wanders a little off the subject in the beginning, but, bare with me. Also......please don't send me hate mail because of the scene with Michael and 'the other woman'. I am a firm supporter of the M/M relationship, but I couldn't resist. Dedication: To my best amiga, Sweetie14cg. I finally got it!!!! Aren't ya proud?!
Liz was lost in thought as she stared at the blank page of her open journal. She had her pen in hand, her thoughts were plenty, yet she wasn't writing anything. In fact, her plentiful thoughts were the problem. She had so many different feelings soaring around in her head, she didn't know where to start. She decided to start with a subject near-and-dear to her heart, Max Evans. ((Oh, and that doesn't bring up a zillion feelings.....)) She silently chided herself. The truth was, when it came to Max, her thoughts were centered around a few key points: first of all, the extreme love she felt for her soul-mate. She could write on that forever. Then there was the common twinge of nervousness; the cute nervousness that they both felt when they were around each other. She didn't understand this as much as the love; after all, they had been dating seriously for about two years, they had started 'going all the way' back in the summer before junior year, and she trusted him with her heart, her life, and her soul. But still, when they were together, it wasn't really awkward, but it was like they cared about each other so much, they wanted every word that came out of their mouths to be special. She had to admit, that feeling was rapidly fading as they both got older and started sharing practically everything.

The third feeling she had in abundance, when it came to Max, was savage need. Two and a half years ago, Liz Parker would have never embarrassed herself for a guy; she would never have put her heart on the line, to be possibly broken , for a guy. But then she met her Max, and ever since then, her knees went weak at the sight of him, her heart sped up rapidly at the sound of his voice, her blood boiled when her kissed her, and her voice caught in her throat when he looked at her with those deep, beautiful, brown pools that most people simply regard as eyes,(she knew they were much more, they were the window into his soul.) She would do anything for him. All of this was before they had gotten really intense. Now, they shared something on an entirely different plane, and her senses switched to overload whenever he was near.

The last, and definitely most overwhelming feeling she dared think about tonight, was how happy she was when she was with Max. He made her smile from her heart, and laugh from her soul. They could make each other crazy or deliriously content at the same time. Her favorite part of the night was when they would talk on the phone for hours, long after the rest of the inhabitants of their small desert town had gone to sleep. They could talk about anything and everything, they discussed serious issues, then they would coo sweet-nothings to each other. Quite often, they would fall asleep with the phone laying next to them, just so that they could hear each other breathe,(it seemed to help them both sleep better.)

Liz wrote all of these things down as she thought them, and even though she had expressed them with different words over and over again in her journal, she never tired of reading back over the words. They seemed to bring her peace, security in a not-so-secure world. What could she say, that's what Max Evans did to her.

"Liz.........." Came the oh-so-familiar voice from the alleyway behind her apartment. She smiled, face beaming, and got up from her comfy spot on the blankets she had spread out on the ground of her balcony. She walked over to fire escape just in time to meet Max with a kiss as he finished climbing up. He jumped over the brick ledge and deepened the kiss. After a few minutes, they were officially in the middle of a heated make-out session. As Max's hands traveled up the back of Liz's shirt, to her bra clasp, she knew where this was heading. With a deep sigh, she pulled reluctantly away, to look Max in the eyes.

"Please, Max, try to stay on task," Liz begged her boyfriend playfully. "Remember, you're here so that I can help you study for our physics final," she tried to clarify, for Max, and also for herself, because she was quickly getting lost in his eyes, so loving and kind.

"But I'm not in the mood to study," Max pouted, a sly smile accompanying the puppy- dog eyes he was giving his beautiful girlfriend. "I understand physics.......I do," he said as Liz looked at him with one of her 'oh, really?' looks.

"I'm sure you do, and that's exactly why you need an 'A' on this test to barely pass the class....." she lovingly scolded.

"What can I say, the girl who sits next to me is a real distraction," Max stated with one of his perfectly adorable smiles,(the kind he only gave her.)

"Well, then, if you make a good grade on this test, maybe that girl will reward you," she teased, and they both knew that there was a very good chance of that happening, even if he did poorly on the test.

"Then let's get inside and get to work!" he suggested, suddenly very motivated. Liz giggled as he took her by the hand and pulled her through her open window. He picked up Liz's textbook on the way to her bed, and then jumped onto the fluffy comforter and pillows, taking Liz down with him. He set the book down and stretched out, his girlfriend laughing as she lay on top of him. "I love your bed," he said. ((We've spent many memorable nights in this bed.)) He thought fondly, as Liz smiled and played with the hair that had fallen onto his forehead. He sighed and closed his eyes. Any time his Liz touched him, he had no choice but to give in to the wash of feelings that flooded his mind and heart. Liz leaned down, seizing the opportunity, and placed a light kiss on his parted lips.

"We should probably start studying, before both of us start to lose control," Liz whispered, not sure if that was what she really wanted at all.

"Too late." Max simply stated. He sighed and sat up, pulling Liz into a sitting position on his lap. "Where do we start?" he asked, actually starting to sound serious about the all night cram-fest they would have to pull tonight.

"I don't know, wanna start with acoustics?" Liz suggested, as she reached for her book.

"If we must...." Max groaned. He was usually a very good student, and didn't particularly mind studying or doing homework too much. When he acted like this, Liz knew he really hated the subject in question. He watched as she flipped through the pages of her textbook, eyes growing larger with every flip. "What?" Max asked, worried that something was wrong.

Liz said nothing, she just looked up at Max with a mixture of panic and dread, as she turned the book over, so that it was facing him, and showed him the page she was on.

"Romeo and, I didn't know they played a part in physics!" Max teased his already distraught girlfriend.

"Max....." Liz whined, in her cute voice.

"Okay, I'm sorry. I take this as a sign that you don't have your physics book?" Liz nodded slowly. "Well, no problem. We can just go and get it," Max replied calmly. Max was always calm.

Liz's eyes got larger, "No, Max, we can't. It's after eight, the schools locked up. You know that...."She had a pretty good idea what he was thinking, and she didn't feel like spending the night in jail, after being caught breaking into the high school, for a textbook.

"But Liz, it's my grade. You don't want me to fail, do you?" Max asked, pouting his sexy lips.((This has gotta work.)) He thought.

"Of course I don't want you to fail Max, I just don't want us to get arrested either." Liz responded just as calmly as Max was before, knowing what Max was trying to do to her.((It's not gonna work.)) She told herself.


"Max!" Liz whispered, hanging halfway out of one of the office windows of the school. "Max, I'm stuck!"

"What?! How can you be stuck, you're four feet off the ground!" He silently shouted back, a laugh in his voice.

"Max, my foot is tangled in a cord! I can't pull it, the computer will fall! Help me," came Liz's answer. He walked over to his girlfriend, who was straddling the window sill, clutching her physics book to her chest.

Max had to suppress a laugh. He had really loosened up in the two and a half years he had known Liz. He laughed at least once a day, now. "Hold on Liz, I'm coming," he told her as he hoisted himself over the window sill and used his powers to untangle the rather large knot Liz's foot was trapped in. Liz must have been pulling on the cords, because once Max had freed her, she went flying the opposite direction, falling out the window, into a not-so-comfy-looking bush below. ((Uh, oh....)) Max thought, as he lowered himself to the ground. "Are you okay?" he asked worriedly, while giving Liz his hand and pulling her up.

"I'm not going to answer that question," Liz said snootily, as she picked a leaf out of her hair. Max just smiled, because he knew Liz, and he knew she wasn't really mad. Sure enough, Max's smile provoked one of her own.

"Do you think you hurt anything?" Max asked, all of a sudden very serious again. He was always serious when it came to Liz possibly being hurt.

"I don't think the bush made out too good," Liz joked, pointing to the crushed bush that had broken her fall.

"Better it than you," Max said as he passed his hand over her body, checking for pulled muscles or sprained bones. When he found nothing except a slight head ache, he made that vanish and then looked Liz in the eyes. He brought his hands up to rest on her cheeks as he stoked the smooth skin there with his thumbs. "I love you," was all he said.

He didn't need to say more, Liz knew that he was grateful, and she returned his love with a meaningful kiss.


"So, now we have the right book, we have to go home and study. You can't get out of it again, Max," Liz scolded, as she and Max walked hand-in-hand down the street, toward the Crashdown.

((Oh, man.)) Max grumbled inside his head, as he nodded solemnly to Liz.

"Max, just out of curiosity, how did you know that window didn't have an alarm on it?" Liz asked as they passed a couple on the side of the street, making out.

"Oh," Max laughed, "well, every time Michael breaks into the school, ya know, for various unknown reasons, that's the window he uses," Max told her, as if it were completely normal. Liz just shook her head and laughed. They walked a few more minutes more in silence. They would look up to the sky and just stare at the stars. It was a quiet night, and the scenery was beautiful. ((I must have a thing for beautiful, shining things.)) Max thought as he looked over at his extremely beautiful girlfriend. Liz saw him out of the corner of her eye and turned so that she faced him. They stopped and leaned in to each other's embrace. Just as their lips met in a soft, gentle kiss, a thirty-something couple came around the corner of Liz's street.

"Ooops, sorry Liz, we didn't mean to interrupt," the tall brunette woman teased. Liz and Max broke away from each other and looked, embarrassed, at the man and woman.

"Karen, don't patronize her. We both know she's a smart, levelheaded young lady. If she wants to neck with some boy in the middle of the street, that's fine with me," the gentle-voiced man joked. He and his wife started to laugh, followed by Liz and Max.

"Richard, Karen, this is my boyfriend Max. Max, these are my neighbors down the street, the Vincents," Liz introduced them.

"It's really nice to meet you, Mr. And Mrs. Vincent. Max said as his cheeks blushed a deep shade of crimson.

"We're sorry. Really, Liz. Richard, say your sorry," Karen told her husband, a smile still on her face.

"I'm sorry Liz. Now, as a friend of the family, I have taken it upon myself to weed out hormonal teenage boys looking to woo you. Therefore I am going to need this young man's full name, age, and drivers licence," Richard said with as straight a face as possible. Liz, Max, and Karen all laughed. "You think I'm kidding?" Richard asked very seriously. There was silence as the group took in what was just said. "Good, 'cause I am." He then started to laugh and point. "Oh, I crack myself up!" he said while trying to catch his breath.

"Whatever, honey. Listen Liz, I was wondering if you were free tomorrow night," Karen asked in a sweet, motherly voice. Liz and Max looked at each other. Tomorrow was their physics final, and that night, they were going to go out with Michael, Maria, Isabel, and Alex, and celebrate the end of all high school exams. Liz eyed Max carefully, and when she picked up on his subtle nod, she turned to the Vincents and replied, "I'm free, was there something you wanted me to do?"

"Actually, it's Karen and my anniversary, and we wanted to know if you could babysit the kids," Richard said in a hopeful, childlike voice.

Max saw the brief flash of terror in Liz's eyes, as if it were a beacon, but it quickly vanished and the Vincents hadn't seemed to notice. Then Liz spoke up, "I'd love to watch the girls and Chris. What time do you need me there?"

((Said like a brave soldier, who knows he's marching to his death.)) Max thought to himself. He made a decision right there, that he wasn't going to let Liz handle this on her own. If the kids' parents objected to him coming over to help, they just wouldn't tell them, and hope the kids didn't either.

"Oh good, I have the information in my purse," Karen started to dig in her small weave tote. "Here it is." She handed a post-it to Liz.

"Thank you so much for helping us out, Liz. I know there must be other things you'd rather do tomorrow night than watch our four walking terrors," Richard said while shooting a knowing glance at Max.

"Richard......."Karen scolded. "Yeah, thank you Liz. We have to get going now. I guess we'll see you tomorrow night. Bye, it was nice meeting you Max. Hope we see you again." Karen said as she and Richard turned to go.

"Bye, same to you," were the responses, as Max and Liz waved goodbye.

When the kids were out of earshot, Richard said to his wife, "What a cute couple they make. I sure hope they last."

"Yeah, our kids could babysit their kids! That would be the ultimate poetic justice!" Karen exclaimed. They both laughed, while behind them, Max and Liz had picked up where they left off before.

"I love you," Liz whispered into Max's mouth, as he devoured hers. Their bodies, pressed tightly together, shimmered under the bright street lights, and for just a moment, the world was theirs.


Liz giggled loudly as she and Max climbed through her open window, stumbled over a trash can, and fell on the bed. "! You.....know......I'm.......ticklish!!" She screamed through her laughs, as she tried desperately to fight back tears while Max's fingers attacked her rib-cage.

"I know," he said devilishly, and he just tickled her more.

"Max!" Liz said breathlessly. She was near hysterics now. Liz was extremely ticklish, and she hated to be tortured like this. ((He'll get his.....)) she thought wickedly. Then Max hit her in her weakest spot. The place Max had healed her almost three years ago was a very sensitive spot, (to everything.) Max knew this, so he decided it would be the perfect place to drive her crazy with. Liz couldn't take it anymore. She had to fight back........hard. She mustered up all her strength and reached behind her to grab a pillow. She repeatedly hit Max with the fluffy, lace trimmed pillow, until he got tired and stopped tickling Liz. She breathed a sigh of relief and tried to catch her breath. Max also sighed, and fell back against the bed, next to his beautiful girlfriend. ((God, I love her!)) he thought to himself, as he watched her close her eyes and try to regain her composure. ((I wonder if everybody gets to feel this way about somebody in their lifetime. I hope so. To not, would be like living your whole life without air.)) Max closed his eyes too, and turned towards his lover, cuddling up as close to her as possible. He laced his arms around her thin stomach, and gently stroked the "special spot" that was so sensitive to her, as he rested his head on her tiny shoulder. They both sighed at the same time, as they started to drift off to sleep, equally exhausted from the previous battle.

"Oh, no you don't!" Liz yelled in his ear, just as he was falling asleep.{Insert evil cackle} "You are not going to go to sleep, we have to study for your physics final. I don't want you to have to be in summer school the next few months just because you say I distracted you during class. By the way, I don't distract you." Liz stated in one long breath.

"You don't think sitting there, playing with my knee and blowing in my ear is just a little bit distracting?!" Max countered.

((Maybe he has me there.......)) "That was only, like, one time! If you're failing because of that, there's something more going on besides me." Liz shot back. ((I'm not gonna lose this one)) she thought.

"Sweetheart, you know there's nothing in my life worth doing other than you." He tried to say sweetly. "Oh, wait, that came out wrong......" he mumbled, and started to try to rephrase it, but Liz stopped him.

"It's okay, honey. I know what you mean," Liz laughed. " But, we still need to study. It's past 10:00!" she exclaimed, as she looked at the clock.

"Fine......" he groaned. "Are your parents home?"

"Not right now, they're out for dinner, but they'll be home later. Why?" she asked mischievously.

"Because I wanted to go downstairs and get some food, I'm starving!" Max told her. At this, Liz got a mad/hurt look on her face. "I'm kidding! God, Liz, do you actually think I'm going to be thinking about food when I'm in a house alone with you?!" he asked.

"I hope not," she mumbled.



"Oh, Liz, I'm so glad you could make it!" Karen said, as she opened the door to her young neighbor.

"I'm sorry, I'm a little late, I had to run over to the store to get my dad something, and there was this strange little old lady, driving down main street in a Beetle, at like, 30 miles an hour." Liz explained while walking into the Vincents' house and dropping her bag in a chair.

"But the speed limit on main street is 55 miles per hour," Karen replied, clearly confused.

"I know......." Just then, two very young little girls ran up and hugged her around her knees.

"Lizzie, Lizzie, you're here!!" Lauren, the rambunctious three year old, screamed in excitement. The adorable18 month old, Emily, just gurgled and jumped up and down, clapping her tiny hands.

"They've been looking out the window for an hour, waiting for you," Richard informed her as he entered the livingroom, trying to finish the knot on his tie. "Katherine is finishing up a science project, and Chris is upstairs in his room." Richard told her. Liz asked if it was okay if they went out to rent a movie later, and the Vincents said yes. They left with her, the phone numbers of the restaurant they were going to, and the jazz club. Liz waved goodbye to the happy couple as they walked out the door into the beautiful twilight outside.

"Oh, and Liz..." Richard said, with a smile on his face, "don't wait up." And with that, Karen and Richard practically ran down the sidewalk, giggling like a pair of second graders who had just given each other their first peck on the cheek. Richard helped his wife into the car before getting in himself, and Liz looked after them in awe. ((I hope Max and I are like that someday.)) She wished silently.

No sooner than the car had pulled out of the driveway, Liz heard a shrill scream from inside. She quickly ran in, locking the door behind her, to see who had screamed.

When she got to the diningroom, Katherine, the quiet, calm, reserved seven year old of the clan, was standing over what Liz could only guess was her science project. "Liz, he ruined it! He knocked off the hand! Do something!" She squealed, almost in tears.

"It wasn't my fault! Her dumb paper-mache` guy was in the middle of the floor! Was I supposed to kick around it?!" Chris, the sarcastic, soccer-obsessed twelve year old big brother of the girls tried to claim his innocence.

"Chris, you probably shouldn't have been kicking that ball around in the house anyway," Liz said, then she looked around the room. She caught the sad look on Katherine's face, just before she burst into tears. Emily was playing with the paper hand that had been so abruptly amputated from her big sister's project, and Lauren was taking this opportunity, while no one was looking, to climb onto the counter in the kitchen and try to get to the stash of cookies on the top shelf. Chris watched his little sister strain to make her arms longer than they really were, then turned around again and started bouncing his soccer ball on his knee. Liz took in the sounds of Katherine wailing into her hands, Emily cooing as she slapped around her knew plaything, Lauren grunting as she stretched her little hand to the top of the cupboard, and the incessant banging of the soccer ball on Chris's knee. She closed her eyes and sighed, ((It's going to be a long night.)) Then she opened them, and in one fluid motion, she grabbed Chris's soccer ball out of mid air, snatched the paper hand away from Emily, shoved a pack of tissues into Katherine's open arms, and pulled Lauren from the counter-top, just as she started to teeter. "All of you, in the livingroom, NOW!" she said, trying to sound angry, even though she just wanted them to behave. It apparently worked, because all of the noise stopped. You could've heard a pin drop, as Emily, Katherine, and Chris stared at her from their positions on the floor, and Lauren, from her spot in Liz's arms, looked intently at the side of her head. Then they all headed into the livingroom, shuffling and dragging their feet. Liz, still holding Lauren, added, "Anytime in the next century people!" They all sped up, and as soon as they had all gotten settled in the livingroom, the doorbell rang. Liz hoisted Lauren up a little higher on her hip, and went to answer the door. When she opened it, she was thoroughly surprised to find her devoted and loving boyfriend standing on the front porch. "Max, what are you doing here?!" she asked, shocked.

"I just thought you might need a little backup tonight," he said with one of his sweet, charming, lady-killer smiles. Liz couldn't help but melt. Max always had that effect on her. She felt her knees go weak, so she quickly ushered Max into the livingroom, with the rest of the family, and sat down in a reclining chair, with Lauren in her lap.

Max noted all the kids in the room. A young boy, who looked eleven or twelve, sat on the sofa, a soccer ball clutched under one arm. A tiny little girl, no bigger than a baby, sat next to him, wearing a diaper and tee-shirt, and looking at him with a pair of big, glowing eyes. On the floor, another little girl sat. This one looked about six or seven, and she had obviously just been crying. Max noted the huge tear stains in trails down her cheeks, and the way she was protecting that box of tissues she held in her hands, as if it was her lifeline. He then turned around to see his lovely Liz, sitting in a chair with an adorable little cherub in her lap. Her eyes were sparkling blue saucers, her hair was fine, and pulled back into a crooked ponytail, and she had on a cute flowery dress, matched ( not too perfectly) with a pair of worn ballet slippers. He picked up immediately on the common trait in this family: their beautiful eyes. Each person had a different, unique, yet similar color to them, but they all had an unmistakable shimmer, ((like crystals)) he thought. He turned again, and took a seat a little ways down from the youngest member of the mutchkin gang. She looked at him, smiled, then turned her attention back to Liz.

"Everybody, I want you to meet a very close friend of mine, Max. Max, this is Chris....."


"That's Katherine...."

"Hi Max."

"This one's Emily...."

"Hiiiiiiiiii.........." she squealed.

"And this," pointing to the small girl in her lap, "is Lauren."

"It's vewy nice to meet you Max." Lauren said in her sweet little voice.

"Well, it's nice to meet all of you." Max said, taking the time to look at each of them as he said this.

"Liz...." Lauren whispered into her ear, "is this your boy friend?"

"Actually it is," answered Liz.

A chorus of "Ewww!" and "Cootie!" followed. Liz had to laugh. The innocence and wide-eyed wonder of the children all around her was so pure, so touching, it made her love each and everyone of them. Max then looked at Liz, and she looked back at him. ((One day this will be ours.)) They both thought at the same time.

"Do you two wanna be alone?" Chris asked in his usual smart-aleck tone, noticing the major eye-lovin' that was going on.

"No, smarty, we don't wanna be alone....." Liz replied, "but we do have to come up with a solution to your sister's science project problem."

Then Liz brought Max up-to-speed about the events that had marked their evening, so far. They agreed to separate into groups and deal with the problems that way. Max got to solve Katherine's paper-mache` hand problem, aided by Chris; and Liz had to, once again, explain the dangers of climbing on high places to Lauren, who couldn't seem to accept her gravity controlled life. Emily would help by, of course, sitting on the ground and eating crackers.


"We're done! We're finally finished!" Liz heard Chris and Katherine scream, followed by Max's velvety laugh. She had just finished her talk with Lauren, who didn't understand it anymore now, than she did before, that she couldn't fly, so she shouldn't climb. They jumped up and took off in the direction of the diningroom, Liz walking behind. When she got there, she almost fell over laughing. Katherine's paper-mache` man had been completely transformed. He now wore a parka, ski hat, ear muffs, goggles, snow boots, and of course, a bright red pair of mittens, which had been how they started the whole 'snow' thing. He was topped off by a shiny pair of children's skis, which were propped up in his left hand.

"Meet.........." Max said in booming, announcer-like voice, "Arctic Man!!!" All the kids cheered and clapped. Liz did too, because the sight of Max standing there, with such a look of pride on his face, like he was just one of the kids, made her heart do cartwheels in her chest. When the group stopped cheering and started running around, playing again, Katherine tugged on Max's sleeve and he bent down to her level.

"Thank you," she whispered into his ear, and gave him a huge, partially toothy grin. He smiled back and then watched her skip away to fight, or play, or whatever, with her siblings. He felt really good.

Liz came up behind him, put her thin arms around his broad middle, and rested her chin on his muscular shoulder. "I love you, ya know," she stated fondly and matter-of-factly.

"I know. I love you too," he replied. This time, the kids weren't watching them, so they took a brief moment, and shared a short, sweet, simple kiss. Just then, Lauren decided to bounce up to the babysitter and her boyfriend.

"Lizzie, Lizzie, Lizzie, Lizzie, Lizzie..........Max, Max, Max, Max, Max, Max......" she prattled on until they broke away and gave her their full attention.

"What is it kiddo? Max asked.

"Can we have ice-cream?" she asked in a small, innocent voice. All of her sisters and brother heard her, and came running at the mention of the words.... 'ice-cream'. A chorus of "Please?!" and "Can we?!" immediately followed.

"You could........." Liz said; they all got excited. "But you guys don't have any," she finished.

Max watched each of their faces drop, and decided that he just wouldn't have this. "Do you guys wanna go out for ice-cream?" he asked, and was quickly bombarded with hugs and "thank you's." "I guess that's a yes," he mumbled so that only Liz could hear. She smiled adoringly at him, and then joined the kids in thanking him by hugging him. "Okay, everybody, let's just go over here and get my keys......."he said as he shuffled his way over to the coffee table, his young friends, (and Liz,) still hugging and clinging to him. He had reached down to pick up his keys when Katherine sneezed, setting them off balance, and promptly sending them all tumbling to the floor. Katherine and Chris landed in a heap, a few inches away from Max, who had Liz stretched out on top of him, Lauren sitting proudly on top of her, and baby Emily still clinging to his ankle. Liz burst into a giggling fit, followed by Katherine and the rest of the girls. Chris and Max looked at each other and simply shook their heads. As the big, strong men of the group, they helped all the girls up, and before they could stall anymore, Max had them all out the door.

"Wait Max, I don't have shoes!" Lauren shouted in a panic. Max sighed and told them to wait there. He went inside and quickly fetched a pair of little girl shoes from Lauren and Katherine's room. When he came back down stairs, the kids were already in the jeep, and Liz was doing her best to strap four kids into three seatbelts, in the back seat. When he got to the car, Liz took his arm and pulled him off to the side.

"Max, I'm not so sure we should take your jeep," Liz said, "I mean, it's not very safe to have them double-buckled like that."

"Well we could take your car if you want, but it's even smaller than mine," Max offered. Liz looked concerned, so Max tried to reassure her, "Liz, you know that I would give my life before I ever let anything happen to you," he said as he put his hands on her shoulders. "The same goes for all of those kids. I'm not going to let anything happen to them," he stressed as he got closer to Liz's face. He placed a hand on her cheek and leaned in to kiss her.

"Max and Liz, sittin' in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in a baby carriage!" the group sang happily from the car. Liz and Max looked at each other and laughed.

Max then turned around to face the jeep-ful of kids, "That's the plan," he stated simply and honestly. Liz smiled as he smiled, and they resumed their quick kiss. Then, Max jogged over to his car, helped Liz in, and got in himself. He handed Lauren's shoes to her, and she and Katherine immediately started to laugh. "What?" he asked, pulling away from the curb.

"Those are my shoes, silly!" Katherine said, still laughing.

"Well, put them on anyway." Max replied, not willing to go back inside and search for another pair of shoes. Lauren slid into the shoes, four sizes too big.

It was only a ten minute drive to Marble Slab, but children get bored easily, so Liz had turned around to face the backseat. She had asked Max if they could go get a movie too, he of course said yes, and she was telling the kids this, when a giant beach ball flew into the open- topped jeep. Max pulled over to the side of the road and a crew of radio personnel hurried over to the car. They were informed that they were the 100th car that had passed them tonight, so they got some free CDs, tee-shirts, coffee mugs, and whatever else the kids wanted out of the back of their van. The kids ended up getting a giant beach ball for each of them, even though Lauren's was about the size of her, and Emily was much smaller than her's. Soon, they were loaded down with stuff, and they were on their way again.


"Hi, welcome to Marble Slab, may I help you?" the pretty brunette girl behind the counter asked as the group of six entered the shop, Max carrying Lauren because she couldn't walk in her sister's big, heavy shoes.

"Oh, yea, we'll take.........." Liz pulled out the list the kids had made in the car and read everybody's orders to the sweet-acting waitress. She took their orders and said that she'd be right back with them. Liz went over to where Max had corralled the kids, and sat down at the table, only to have Emily immediately crawl into her lap. She sighed and looked at Max. He had his arms outstretched, twirling Lauren around. She giggled happily as the world buzzed by her, going a million miles an hour. Max laughed when he saw how much fun Lauren was having, and he realized that he, too, was having a lot of fun. Katherine jumped down from her seat and ran over to Max, who was still spinning her little sister.

"Spin me! Please! Spin me!" she pleaded, as Max slowed down and lowered Lauren to the floor. Once down, she wobbled around, then, giving up, fell down to the cold floor. Katherine jumped into Max's strong arms, and he had no choice but to start twirling her. The two had fun spinning around in circles for a few more minutes, then their ice cream came and Liz said they could eat it on the way to the video store. The four children, including Chris, who had lightened up noticeably, and actually started to like hanging around with his sisters and babysitter, raced outside to Max's jeep. Chris won, of course, since he was the biggest and fastest.

When they were on the road again, Chris asked Liz if she had noticed the waitresses name. "Why?" she asked inquisitively, knowing the answer.

"Because......." he said. When Liz gave him a, "I know you have a reason," look, he sighed and said quickly, "Cause I thought she was cute." Max turned to face Liz, then smiled.

"Her name was you wanna go back, after we get a video, and ask what her number is?"she asked, jokingly.

"Noooooooo!!" Chris yelled as he jumped up from his seat. "You can never, I repeat, NEVER, embarrass me like that!"he told Liz, panicking.

"Don't worry Chris, she wouldn't do something like that," Max reassured him. When he had sat back down, Max mumbled under his breath, "I would, though."

Chris went absolutely berserk.


"Do we want one movie for the kids, like Barney, and then one for Chris, you, and me, to watch later on," Liz asked Max as they wandered hand-in-hand down one of the aisles in the local Blockbuster.

"That sounds like a good idea," Max said, as they turned a corner and ran into a pretty, blond woman, wearing a Blockbuster uniform. Her name-tag read, "Courtney", with a smiley face after it.

"Can I help you find something?" Courtney asked, cheerily.

Max spoke up, "Yes, as a matter of fact, could you suggest some good movies for little kids." he gestured to Liz. "We have a group of munchkins to watch tonight, and we don't know what kind of movie to rent," he explained.

"Maybe you can just let the kids roam around, find something they want to see....." Courtney suggested, waving her hands around.

"Well, see, we've tried that already," Liz started.

"And?" prompted the cheery Courtney.

"And they came back with Halloween 2, and a Richard Simmons workout video," she finished.

"Oh, I see your point," Courtney frowned, while she pondered the solution. "Well, how many kids are there and how old are they?" she asked, getting serious about finding the right videos.

"There are four: an 18 month old girl, a three year old girl, a seven year old girl, and a twelve year old boy," Max answered.

Courtney led them over to the children's section and picked up one of the boxes. "I would suggest this for the two youngest girls." She handed "The Care Bears in Space" to Liz, then went down the aisle to the older kids' part, and plucked another video from the shelf. This would be good for the twelve year old, and maybe the seven year old, if she's into a scare," Courtney said, as she held out "Goosebumps: The House Next Door." Just then, Katherine sped down the aisle, chasing Lauren. As they ran by, Liz caught Lauren, and Max snatched Katherine. As Liz hoisted Lauren into her arms, she asked her about the "Care Bears" video, and Max did the same with Katherine. They both said the videos were fine, and when they were put down, the kind-hearted Courtney introduced herself to them. She told them her name and shook their little hands, just like adults. This made the two tiny girls feel very special, and when they were told to bring the videos to Chris and Emily, to get their opinions, they strutted away with pride.

"You're very good with children," Liz observed out loud.

"Well, what can I say? I kinda still feel like one, myself, so I guess I connect with 'em." the trio laughed, and then Courtney excused herself, saying she had to go in the back and take stock. As she walked off, she said that she hoped she had been helpful.

"Oh, you have been!" Max replied, as she waved and disappeared into a back door.

"She was nice," Liz commented, as she took Max's strong hand once again, and went to find the kids.


Just then, unbeknownst to Max and Liz, their friend Michael walked in the front door. The little bell jingled, and while Max and Liz were looking through movies in the back, Courtney walked up to greet whoever had just come in.

((Wow!)) Courtney's mind screamed, as she eyed the hottie in tight black jeans and a worn white tee-shirt, that was looking through new releases. She cleared her throat, "Excuse me," she said. The mysterious stranger turned around to look at her. "Can I help you find something?"

Michael stopped dead in his tracks as he looked at the extremely beautiful creature standing a little farther than two feet away from him. He didn't even know her name, but he knew immediately that she was too far away from him. He walked slowly closer to her, taking in everything about her as he went. Her silky blond hair fell lightly onto her shoulders, her shiny blue eyes peered into his, and usually this would have made him uncomfortable, but, at the moment, he was very happy about it. He couldn't resist taking a quick look down at her large chest, rising and falling as she breathed. ((Wow!))he thought, ((she's absolutely amazing)). He risked getting slapped by this girl whom he didn't even know, and let his eyes travel down her legs. ((Those are really great too!)) he said to himself, despite the vastly unattractive Blockbuster uniform shorts she had to wear.

"Again," she said as Michael jerked his eyes back up to her face, "can I help you find anything?" she asked him with a big smile on her face.

He smiled back and said, "Do you know of any good, um," he thought for a second, then, bingo! "romantic movies!" he practically yelled out. Courtney jumped back a little, then giggled, as she led him to the romance section.

"So what exactly were you looking for?" she asked the cute guy standing next to her. He was too busy staring at her, and he didn't even hear the question.

"W...What?" he stuttered.

"Is there something wrong?" Courtney asked, a sly smirk edging it's way across her mouth.

"No, no, not at all, I.....just....well, I..." he stopped himself, took a deep breath, and let the words out in one big, unrecognizable clump of, "wouldyouwannagooutwithme? ((Whoa, boy, where had that come from?! I don't even know this girl, she could be an alien hunter or something. Plus.....I've already learned the hard way that alien/human relationships don't work.)) He thought briefly of Max and Liz. ((For me, anyway.)) he thought this on one side of his brain, while the other side just chanted,((please say yes, please say yes, please say yes....))

"Sure...." Courtney said a little apprehensively, ((it looks like the battle of Gettysburg is going on inside his head.)) "Can you at least tell me your name?" she asked, flirting.

"Michael," he got out. "What's yours?"

"Courtney," she said, smiling. Michael smiled back and they just stood there looking at each other.

******** MEANWHILE:

"Okay, so we have the classic horror movie, which is always good," Chris explained to his baby sister, as he walked her up and down the aisles of the video store. "Being scared is always fun. Then comes the romantic movie, yuck, they're just for girly-girls, and you don't wanna be one of those, do you?" Emily just smiled, showing two teeth in front. "Good...........I knew you didn't," he went on, "Next is comedy; anybody can like comedy, but if you're not careful, you'll pass right through 'funny' land, and head straight into 'stupid' territory. You must remember to pick comedy flicks wisely," Emily gurgled and squealed. "Now, we come to the best kind of movie, the action/adventure category. These are the best for a number of reasons: first, the blood and guts are really cool, not like in some cheesy slasher film. Second, the blood and guts are there for a reason, and usually, there's an awesome plot behind them. Third, and this is the most important, at the end, the super-hero-action-guy always gets the girl, who is always this total babe," he stopped talking to Emily and looked down at her. She was just staring up at him with that pair of big, shining eyes. "Well, that part shouldn't particularly influence you, but, whatever," he finished, after thinking for a minute.


"Hey, are you two ready to go?" Max asked, as he and Liz approached Lauren and Katherine, where they were looking through video games.

"Yea, but we need to find Chris and Emily," Katherine told her babysitters, not taking her eyes off the game in her hands.

" What? Wait, didn't you go show them the videos we picked out?" Liz asked. Her voice wavered, and Max knew she was getting tired.

"Uh uh. Chris is teaching Em about picking out movies. Over there...." Lauren said as she pointed in the direction of the action/adventure section.

"I'll go get them," Max started to walk away, but Liz gripped his hand for a second. She soon let go, and got her bearings. No one, probably not even Max, knew how tired she was, and that at the moment, her wonderful boyfriend was her only lifeline to sanity.

When Liz had been reluctant to release his hand, Max looked back at her and saw the fatigue in her eyes. He had to admit, he really sympathized for her. Taking care of four kids, their ages spanning the 10 year range, with one still in diapers, was extremely hard and exhausting. And right now, they were all being good. Max smiled gently, and broke eye contact with Liz and headed toward the movie section that Chris and Emily were looking in.

"Hey, guys, Liz and your sisters are up at the front waiting on you," Max said after a minute of searching the rows of action movies. Chris was showing Emily the back of a "Die Hard" video box, when Max came around the corner. "We picked out a "Goosebumps movie for you," he pointed to Chris, " and a "Care Bears" movie for you," he softened his voice and bent down when acknowledging Emily. She giggled and hopped into his arms, saying something in baby-language that he couldn't make out. Max turned around and started back towards the front of the store, with Chris following behind him, complaining about the "baby-movie" they had got him. Emily still in his arms, Max swung around and bent to the boy's level. Very seriously, he told Chris that Liz was tired, and that she didn't need any whining from him. Emily bobbed her head to back him up, and Chris nodded to show that he understood. Max gave him one last serious glare, then turned and continued making his way to the front of the store, a quiet Chris in toe. ((I'm pretty good at this 'fathering' thing)) he thought to himself, as images of him and Liz having children, playing with those children, and being the perfect parents to those children came to his mind.

A moment later, when they had all gathered in front of one check-out station, the girls were huddled around the candy, arguing about what kind was best, and Chris was busy wooing the ten or eleven year old daughter of the couple that was checking out ahead of them.

Max laughed to himself, and squeezed Liz's hand. "I love you," he mouthed. Liz smiled and mouthed back, "I love you too." They shared a short, sweet kiss on the lips, and then they went back to just staring into each others eyes. For Liz, it was like some form of therapy; therapy that worked really well. She could completely loose herself in Max's eyes, they were so dark, and soothing, and lusciously sinful. Drowning in those deep pools of emotion was like a drug, and she most definitely had an addiction. She laughed at her intense metaphor, and Max was glad to see that spark of life in her tired face.

They were rudely pulled out of their reverie by Chris's smart voice telling them to quit making googly-eyes and check out the videos. Liz looked up to see Courtney leaning on the check-out counter, her face in her hands, with a huge grin on her face.

"I wasn't going to disturb you, you both looked so relaxed. I thought if you fell asleep or something, I could intervene then," Courtney laughed happily again.

Max handed her the videos she had helped them pick out, and Liz handed over another video. Max looked at her questioningly, and she whispered, "I picked out something for us, too." He looked at the video, ((Stir of Echoes, that sounds good.))

Courtney checked them out and threw in four giant lollipops, and some movie-style popcorn, free. "Have a nice night...." she said cheerily, as the group walked out the door. Liz and Max thanked her gratefully, took their bag and the kids, and headed out. As Max held the door for the other five, Lauren gasped and clung to his leg.

"What? What's wrong Lauren?" Max asked gently; he could see she was terrified of something.

"I don't like the dark...." she whispered so low, that he could barely hear her. He nodded. Indeed it had gotten dark, as it usually does at 9:00 at night. He pried her tiny arms from around his left leg, and reached his hand out for hers. She took it, and they walked like that to the jeep, a bag of videos in one hand, and a tiny, frightened little girl squeezing the other. Liz was ahead of them, Katherine holding one hand, and Emily propped up on her hip. Chris was in the lead, and was the first to reach the car and hop in. Max opened the doors for the girls, and Liz strapped them in tightly. Then Max got in, turned on the radio to savage Garden's "Crash and Burn", and drove off into the hot desert night.

"Let me be the one you call. If you jump, I'll break your fall, lift you up and fly away with you into the night. If you need to fall apart, I can mend a broken heart. If you need to crash, then crash and burn you're not alone........"

Liz listened to the soothing music and let the wind blow through her hair, as Max drove down one of the more deserted streets in town. For only the second time tonight, she felt like her brain wasn't going to explode. Then, as always, her calm state was broken.

"Hey, don't do that! That's mine!"

"No it's not, it's mine!"

"Is not!"

"Is too!"

"Is not!"

"Is too!"

"She handed it to me!"

"No, she handed it to me! It's mine!"

"Nuh, uh!!"

"Hey, you two, stop it, right now!" Liz yelled to the backseat. Katherine and Lauren stopped their fight and looked up at her. ((She doesn't look happy)) Katherine thought. "Now, tell me what you're fighting about.." she said seriously and they both opened their mouths, "Katherine." she finished, just as they were about to start again.

"Lauren took my green sucker!" she yelled.

"Did not!" Lauren yelled back, then looked at Liz with those big, puppy-dog eyes that always got her everything she wanted. "Courtney handed it to me," she said calmly and matter- of-factly.

"She did not, she handed it to me!" Katherine said loudly, but not as loudly as before. Liz was thankful for this, and she would be even more thankful when they got home so she could take some aspirin.

"Okay, you know what?! It doesn't matter! Katherine gets the green sucker, and Lauren, you get the orange one. Got it?! Good. Now stop it!" Liz screamed, as Max placed his hand on her knee to calm her down and reassure her that he was there for her if she needed him. She turned back around, and took a deep, calming breath. She hadn't meant to yell at the girls, she was just tired, and stressed, and had too many things on her mind. She had taken her last final earlier that day, and the past week had put more on her shoulders than she could handle, but, as always, she had pulled through, and now she was losing it. Max turned onto their street and Liz turned to face the backseat once more. "Hey guys, I wanted to say I'm sorry for a minute ago. I didn't mean to yell, and I was wrong," she told the two girls.

They looked down, then Lauren said, with a sad look on her face, "No Lizzie, we were wrong, I'm sorry."

"Me too. I'm older, I should have handled it," Katherine said solemnly, as they pulled up to their house.

"I'll tell you what," Liz said after a second, both the little girls looked up, curiosity etched on their faces, "next time I see you, I'm gonna buy you all the green suckers you want," she promised with a big smile.

By this time, Max had gotten out of the car, walked around, and was helping Liz unstrap the kids. He watched her, as she struggled to yank the seat belt that she had secured so well, from it's holder. He leaned over till his lips almost brushed her ear, "You're gonna make a fabulous mom," he whispered to her, "but ya gotta leave some stuff for Dad," he said as he placed his hand over the seat belt holder, and it unhooked. She looked up at him, a smile stretched from ear to ear. He smiled back happily, as more images of Liz and his future danced through his head.

Once all the kids and videos were inside, Chris and Katherine attempted to talk Liz and Max into letting them stay up for one more hour, before they settled down to watch their movies. After a few minutes of convincing, with a little help from Lauren and Emily making puppy eyes at them, the babysitters gave in. Max went out in the back with Chris to show him tricks to do with a soccer ball, while Liz and the girls stayed in the house, put on music, and danced through every room, singing the lyrics at the top of their lungs. After a little while, Max and Chris came inside and joined the girls, Chris taking baby Emily into his arms and twirling her rhythmically to the different music, and Max and Liz alternating dances with Katherine and Lauren. As the clock struck 10:00, Clay Walker's "Live, Laugh, Love" came blaring through the speakers of the Vincents' sound system.

"I'm gonna live, laugh, love, just for a day. Gonna take all the troubles that tomorrow might bring and put 'em away. I'm gonna drink every drop happiness till they cover me up; I'm gonna live, gonna laugh, gonna love.........."

They danced, and laughed, and Liz made the kids colorful fruity drinks, with little umbrellas in them. It was almost 10:30 when they all got too tired to move anymore. Chris agreed that Katherine could stay in his room and watch the movie they had rented, but she had to leave right after it was over, so they went upstairs, and got ready for bed. Max carried Emily upstairs, Liz carrying Lauren right behind him. They helped them get their teeth brushed, and Max tried to convince Lauren that she should spit the toothpaste out, instead of swallowing it. But, unfortunately, she didn't understand this concept. When it was time for them to change into their pajamas, Max said goodnight, and hugged them both, before heading downstairs to clean up the livingroom.........and the diningroom..........and the kitchen............and the den.

Liz came tiptoeing down the stairs ten minutes later, to find Max pushing "Arctic Man" into the corner of the diningroom. She looked into the livingroom; it was dark, except for two candles that were lit and placed in the middle of the coffee table. Next to those, were two of the fruity drinks she had made them all earlier. A slow, soothing song was lilting through the air, as Max came up behind her and looped his strong arms around her slim waist. She looked up at him and kissed him sweetly. He took her hands and led her to the middle of the room. The Ricky Martin song, "Private Emotion" started playing, as the two lovers swayed in the candle light.

"It's a private emotion that fills you tonight;
and a silence falls between us,
as the shadows steal the light.
And wherever you may find it,
wherever it may lead,
let your private emotion come to me.
Come to me........"

Liz let out a long sigh, as she rested her head on Max's broad shoulder. He bent his head and kissed her hair. They didn't say anything, they just stood there, slowly moving to the melody, sharing brief kisses, for the longest time. Max had his hands wrapped around his girlfriend, as he softly played with her hair. Liz finally looked up and said, "I don't know what I would've done without you Max, I felt like passing out so many times tonight, and that was with your help," he smiled at her as she went on, "You're always like that......So strong, so caring, I honestly believe you could save me from anything," she closed her eyes as Max touched his forehead to hers.

"You had the strength in you the whole time baby, all I did was back you up," it was Liz's turn to smile at something her lover had said. "I love you so much Liz...." he said, his voice cracking a little at the end.

Liz opened her eyes again, and stared straight into Max's, which were tearing up. "I know exactly how you feel," she whispered. She stroked his cheek, as she leaned in and made contact with his lips. The kiss lasted what seemed to be forever, and the scene soon turned more passionate. As Max trailed a line of kisses down Liz's neck, he remembered the four children upstairs, none of which, he was willing to bet, was asleep. He groaned and came back up to her face, "Liz......" he said breathlessly.

"What?" she said just as breathlessly.

"Are Lauren and Emily asleep?"

"Probably not. I left them watching their movie, but they said they would go to sleep after it was over."

Max looked at her and raised his eyebrows, "And you believed them?"

"Nope, that's why I was going to go back up after 45 minutes," she looked at the clock on the wall, "and that's about now........." she untangled herself from Max and started towards the stairs. Max followed, and in a moment, they were standing in the doorway of the two youngest girls' room, watching the last few minutes of "The Care Bears in Space," and looking at the pair of sleeping beauties that apparently hadn't made it to the end of the movie.

"They're adorable...." Max commented. Liz smiled up at him.

"They are cuties, aren't they?" she said back. Max nodded.

"Do you think our kids will be that cute?" he asked, grinning.

"Sure they will be......" she said sweetly, "unless, of course, they inherit their ears from you," she turned around and smiled devilishly at him. Max just laughed and kissed her. Then they turned off the tv, shut the door, and went back downstairs to plop down on the couch. Once there, Liz snuggled up against Max, who cuddled comfortably with her.

"Do you wanna put in our movie?" Max asked, just as Liz was about to fall asleep.

"Sure," she yawned, "could you get up and do it?"

"Actually I'm kinda tired, would you mind doing it?" he responded.

They both opened their eyes and sat there, staring from the movie, lying on the table, to the VCR, which seemed so far away. There was silence.

"Maybe another time......" Liz said, as she adjusted her position next to Max.

"Okay with me," he replied, as he closed his eyes.

When they were completely relaxed and almost asleep, Max opened his eyes once more, and kissed Liz's forehead one last time, before he drifted off to sleep, in the arms of the one he loved.

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