FanFic - Max/Liz
"Back From Vegas But Far From Home"
Part 1
by Terri Carter
Disclaimer: Don't own em, just enjoy em.
Summary: A new girl comes to Roswell and has a strange connection to Max. Is she a friend or foe? Will Liz and the others discover her true identity before it is too late?
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: This story picks up right after Viva Las Vegas and is dedicated to all the Dreamers out there. J Let me know if ya like it!
She walked into the UFO Center and down the stairs, taking in all the alien paraphernalia. She couldn't help but smile as she passed the photographs depicting flying saucers as the thought crossed her mind, "If they only knew." She saw him across the room and her heart leapt inside. Suddenly her mouth went dry and fear crept into her. She hesitated and then he turned and saw her standing there and smiled at her. He turned back to his work. She continued towards him. It was a quick look, a glance really the first time. He stopped in his tracks, suddenly frozen in place and looked at her again. What was it he saw? A flicker of recognition flashed through his eyes and he wondered where he had seen her before. He didn't think she was from here, but where? And then she spoke.

"Excuse me, but is this where I come to find out everything I ever wanted to know about alien encounters, but was afraid to ask?" Her thick British accent let him know that she was definitely not from here and surely they have never met before. He brushed off the prickly feeling growing in the back of his neck and smiled again, giving her his full attention. She was pleasant to look at, pale skin, blue eyes and long brown ringlets that hung almost to her waist. She was standing next to him now and he thought he caught a whiff of something familiar. "What is that?" he thought to himself.

"Well, you know I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you." What was that? He turned red at his own stupid remark. He was not the flirting type and suddenly he felt embarrassed and shy at his own forwardness. A giggle erupted from the girl and he laughed in response suddenly aware that he had been holding his breath. He had no idea what to say next and was relieved when her attention was drawn somewhere else.

"Brody! Come give your baby sister a hug!" Brody entered the room and upon seeing his sister threw his arms open wide and ran towards her. Brody picked the girl up and swung her around. The pair laughed as they tripped on each other's feet and nearly stumbled into Max.

"Max, I would like you to meet my baby sister Larissa. Larissa this is Max." Brody beamed like a proud big brother.

"Oh, we've already met, haven't we Max?" It was an innocent enough remark, but as she made it she looked directly into Max's eyes, no, into his soul and he was paralyzed by it. He stared back at her, transfixed, his mouth moving to speak but the words were stuck somewhere between his brain and his throat. "Brody's sister?" he thought, "He never mentioned having a sister." Then again they weren't really all that close. He hadn't even known Brody had a daughter until Liz told him. "Why is she looking at me like that? Why does that suddenly make me feel as if I should know her?"

She broke the spell as she laughed again and Brody tossed her a puzzled look. "Max was going to reveal the secrets of alien encounters to me, weren't you Max?" She opened her eyes big in a teasing kind of way.

Max managed to tear his eyes away from her and laughed in Brody's direction, "Not really."

"Well, seeing as how you two have already met why don't I suggest we go get some dinner so you two can get better acquainted and you, missy, can fill me in on what's been going on in your life for the past year." Brody directed them to the door and Max felt curious and nervous all at once. Who was this girl? Why did he feel so strange all of a sudden? With all the weirdness in his life lately he knew one thing, whether friend or foe, he was going to find out who this girl was and why she was here.

*** The Crashdown was hopping with customers as usual. Liz and Maria were busy serving the Friday night crowd when Max, Brody, and Larissa walked in. Maria was the first to see the trio. Immediately she looked for Liz; caught her eye and gestured with her head towards the door. Liz looked up to see Max, Brody and who was this? Liz couldn't help but notice the pretty girl they were with. Max saw Liz and grinned at the quizzical look she had on her face. Liz rolled her eyes and smirked back at Max, he knew her too well. Liz approached them as they chose a booth to sit in. She smiled at Max again, then fixed her eyes on the new girl and said, "Hey Brody, how's it goin'?" as if to say, "who is the girl and where did she come from?"

Brody smiled and said, "Liz, I'd like you to meet Larissa, my sister. She's come all the way from England for a visit, so naturally I had to take her to the finest restaurant in town right off the bat!" Brody turned to Larissa and said, "They make one killer sandwich here called a Galaxy Sub; you simply must try it."

"Brody's sister? From England? Hmm," Liz's mind raced a mile a minute with questions. "Stop it Liz!" she silently chastised herself for analyzing everything and everyone she met who was new to Roswell. How could she help it though after all they had been through? "Hi Larissa it's nice to meet you." Liz smiled and hoped the girl didn't notice her staring.

Liz took their orders for drinks and headed back to the kitchen. She walked through the door and Maria immediately accosted her. "Well?" Maria demanded, "who's Rapunzel over there?"

"Maria will you stop it? She's Brody's sister ok?" Liz tried not to smile knowing the same questions were running through Maria's mind as hers. "She's just here visiting from England."

"Visiting from England? Why in the world would she want to come to Roswell?" Maria queried suspiciously.

"I dunno, to visit her brother maybe?" Liz answered a little too sarcastically. "Maria, we've got to stop being suspicious of everyone new who comes to town. She seemed nice; let's give her the benefit of the doubt ok?" Liz said this as much to convince herself as Maria.

"Benefit of the doubt huh. Well ok, it's just that everyone else whose been new to Roswell has turned out to be a shape-shifter, or a skin-shedding hussy, or a skin-shedding little punk, bent on destroying our Czechoslovakian friends - not to mention present company, or an alien-blue-crystal-bacteria-carrying-crazy person! Still wanna stick with that benefit of the doubt thing?"

Liz looked at Maria with her "ok, don't you think you're going a bit too far" look and turned to take the drink orders out. Just then Michael approached Maria, "What's up with the new girl sitting with Max and Brody?"

Maria turned her gaze on Michael, "Look space-boy, she's new but that doesn't mean we have to jump to any conclusions about her okay? Jeez, everyone is so paranoid around here! Liz says she's Brody's sister from England."

"Yeah well what's she doing in Roswell?"

Maria shot Michael her "I can't believe I have to spell it out for you look". "To visit her brother?" Maria rolled her eyes as she looked up and saw Liz staring at her through the window with a "well, well, look who's changing her tune" look on her face.

Liz raised an eyebrow at Maria while she gave Michael her order. "I need two Galaxy Subs, hold the Mayo, extra pepper-jack and a Sigourney Weaver with Saturn Rings."

Just then Alex walked up to the window next to Liz. "Hey who's the new chick? She's cute!"

Together Liz and Maria said a little too loudly, "Brody's sister!"

"Sorrrryyy!! Gee, can't a guy ask a simple question without getting his head bit off? What, is it that time of the month for you two?" Alex quipped.

Michael leaned over the counter and said, "Forget it man. Can't live with 'em… can't kill em." To which Maria gave him a sound left elbow to the ribs.

"Watch it space-boy or you'll be playing patty-cake all by yourself!" Maria turned on her heel and left the kitchen and Liz turned back to Alex. Before she could speak Isabel walked up.

"Whatever you do, don't ask," Alex warned her.

"Don't ask what?" Isabel said looking around.

"About the new girl with Max and Brody. She's Brody's sister, isn't that right Liz?" Alex looked at Liz with a smirk. Liz closed her eyes, shook her head and walked away.

"So she's Brody's sister, what's the big deal?" Isabel demanded.

"She's NEW, that's what," said Michael.

"Oh Michael," sighed Isabel. "Can't we put our paranoia on the shelf for just one lousy day?"

"Yeah we could, but then we'd all be dead." Michael blinked, turned up the corners of his mouth in his usual fashion then went back to flipping burgers.

Back at the table Brody and Larissa were exchanging bits of news about what they had been doing for the past year. Larissa turned to Max and said, "When I heard that my brother had up and bought himself a UFO Center I simply had to come and see for myself!"

Brody dipped his head embarrassingly and tried to defend himself to Max. "My family is a bit worried that I've gone mad recently - since my abduction anyway." He looked briefly from Larissa to Max waiting for some kind of reaction to his last statement.

Larissa laughed and said, "Brody dear, I hate to break the news to you, but you've always been mad. That's why we all love you so much!" She leaned over and planted a loud kiss on Brody's cheek then laughed as she attempted to wipe off the lipstick she left behind.

Max smiled. He knew Brody's secret. But even Brody didn't know what was REALLY happening to him. Poor Brody, he wished he could tell him the truth, but knew he couldn't. He wondered what Larissa thought of the abduction story. He couldn't read her yet. He was determined not to jump to any conclusions as Isabel and Michael had about Brody, but he was going to keep his guard up anyway. Just the same he couldn't help but like Larissa. She was funny, she seemed smart and he liked that about her. She was pretty too. Suddenly Max found himself drifting off in thought. Something was forming in the back of his mind when a loud clatter brought him back to earth.

"Ok, one Sigourney Weaver with Saturn Rings, and two galaxy subs hold the Mayo with extra pepper-jack. Will that be all for you? Is there anything else I can get you?" Liz looked at Max, silently pleading with her eyes for him to show her a sign that everything was ok. She noticed the glassy-eyed-Tess look on his face and it made her nervous.

Max smiled up at Liz and said, "No, we're fine right now, thanks." He didn't want Liz to know any of what he had been thinking just yet; he knew she would get nervous and tell him to stay away from Larissa, yet he knew he couldn't do that. There was something about this girl; he just couldn't put his finger on it and he was determined to find out what it was. He thought, "Yes, keeping Liz in the dark is best. For now anyway."

*** Back at the UFO Center Max and Brody went back to their tasks. Larissa told Brody she would see him at home. They talked a little about arrangements and then Larissa approached Max; "It was really nice to meet you Max. I hope I get to see you again soon. Maybe you could come over to Brody's one night for dinner while I'm here."

Max looked at the ground sheepishly, smiled and mumbled something incoherent.

Larissa noticed Max's getting uncomfortable, "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to embarrass you Max."

Max looked up at her, "Oh um no, I'm not embarrassed, it's just that…"

"Are you with somebody?" Larissa asked.

"Um, no, I mean yes, I mean well… it's complicated." Max smiled at his own inability to understand his situation let alone convey it to anyone else.

"Well I wasn't talking about a date; I mean we haven't had a chance to get re-acquainted - I mean acquainted yet! I was thinking more along the lines of the three of us again, you know, you, me and Brody. I love my brother but it's always nice to make new friends too." "There, maybe that undid the damage," she thought. She laughed nervously; maybe he didn't notice the slip.

Max noticed the slip. "Re-acquainted?" he thought. "What did she mean by that? Was it an innocent slip or something more?" Now he was really curious. "Um, dinner, yeah, that would be great. Why don't you set it up with Brody and let me know ok?"

"Great! It will give me a chance to show off my newfound culinary skills to Brody! He still thinks of me as a little girl I'm afraid!" Larissa laughed and then turned to head up the stairs and out the door. Halfway up she stopped and turned back to Max, "I promise, you won't be disappointed."

Max tucked that one away in his head to ponder later and then headed to Brody's inner chamber where Brody spent all of his time. As Max walked into the room Brody turned to him beaming.

"Isn't she great?" Brody didn't wait for a reply. "She's all beautiful and grown up now. It's hard for me to accept that sometimes. She was such a quiet child you know? Always kept to herself. I didn't think she would ever be quite so gregarious! Especially considering all she's been through."

"Why, what has she been through?" Max hesitated. " Uh, if you don't mind me asking." Max was about to explode with questions but he knew he had to play it cool.

"Oh, not at all! I don't think she'd mind my telling you. You see, Larissa is adopted. We found Larissa walking down the side of the road all alone; well actually, my parents did. I was about ten at the time and she was about six, I guess; we don't really know how old she is. She doesn't remember her birthday or anything else for that matter before we found her. The most horrifying part was that when they found her, she hadn't a stitch of clothing on! I'd like to find whomever she was with before and beat the bloody "you know what" out of them! Think of it! What could possibly be so traumatic that you have no recollection of it what-so-ever…".

But Max had stopped listening. The words, "found her, walking down the road, hadn't a stitch of clothing on…" rang through his head. "What could this mean?" he thought. His mind was desperate to find answers. To him it could mean only one thing. She was an alien like the rest of them. His mind raced, "Is she good or evil? Why is she here? What does she want?"

"Max, Max?" Brody was looking at Max with a puzzled expression.

"Oh, uh sorry, what were you saying?" Max's mind had taken off and he had to concentrate hard to bring himself back.

"Just that she seems to be ok now. Whatever it was that happened to her doesn't seem to have affected her too adversely. She's quite a girl, well, young woman I should say now shouldn't I? We are very close. She's the only one who didn't try to commit me when I told my family I had been abducted by aliens. She never even commented on it. She just shook her head sympathetically as if she knew."

"I'll bet she did," thought Max. This was going to be tricky. How was he going to find out what he needed to know without making Brody suspicious? He would have to be careful, take it slow. He was glad none of the others knew any of this information. The last thing he wanted was for the rest of them to jump to any conclusions before he had a chance to find out the facts.

*** The next day found Michael and Maria in the kitchen at the Crashdown debating the new girl. Michael threw a towel onto the counter. "I say we blast her right now and ask questions later."

"Earth to space-boy!" Maria rapped on Michael's head as she yelled into his ear. Michael ducked away from her hand, annoyed. "Could you knock off the Rambo act for just a minute here? Jeez Michael, blasting the crap out of something every time there is a conflict is NOT the way to handle things okay? Although it would come in handy in case we ever encounter anymore shape-shifting, skin-shedding alien freaks, but that is not the point here. We have to approach this more intelligently than that. Find out who she is first, play it cool."

"Now you're starting to sound like Max." Michael rammed a toothpick into his mouth, lifted a large bag of flour and slammed it onto the prep-table.

"Well maybe that's because Max is always right! Well, most of the time anyway." Maria looked out of the order window and saw Liz ferociously wiping down the countertops. Every now and then Liz would glance over to the booth where Tess and Kyle were seated. " It's Liz I'm really worried about. It's bad enough Tess wants Max all to herself. Now she has Kyle wrapped around her little finger."

"Why would Liz care about Kyle? And besides, I thought she and Max weren't seeing each other any more." Michael was truly clueless to the romantic twists and turns of the group.

Maria turned back to Michael to try and explain; then stopped and shook her head. "Michael look, you obviously have no understanding of the workings of the female mind or anything having to do with the dynamics of romance, so you're better off just remaining clueless and keeping your mouth shut, kay? All you have to do is keep that charged up alien testosterone of yours in order and everything will be just fine."

"Whatever." Maria won these debates because Michael was always too exhausted and confused by the end of them. It was easier to let her win rather than continue arguing with her. She frustrated the heck out of him. He knew he wouldn't have it any other way. He turned back to the grill with a slight grin on his face not daring to let Maria see.

Liz was wiping the counter in front of her in jerky scrubbing motions. Her eyes locked onto Tess and Kyle seated at the booth directly across from her. Thoughts and feelings were rampaging through her mind. "Why didn't I tell him? I had the opportunity right there in Las Vegas! I mean he SAW us! He had a flash of us getting married! But what was I gonna say? "Yes Max it was real, but it didn't really happen, or it was going to happen but I had to change the course of history to save the planet." Not a conversation you start on a dance floor. And there she sits, with Kyle. Obviously Kyle is reason enough for her to stay, right? I mean it doesn't appear she's interested in Max anymore, right? Or what? What is she thinking? That she can get what she wants from Kyle while she is waiting for Max to wake up and embrace his destiny with her?" Liz was completely oblivious when Isabel walked in and sat slightly to her right.

"If you keep that up you're going to wear a hole into the Formica." Isabel smiled at Liz knowingly. "You know, you may have developed death ray eye power too, so if you don't watch it you may actually burn a hole through Tess, Kyle and the wall."

Liz smiled and stopped her mad wiping frenzy. Suddenly she felt exhausted and reached up to rub her shoulder, "Was I that obvious?"

"Yes." Isabel was looking at her amused. "But understandably." Isabel didn't know all the facts between Liz and her brother, but she did know one thing: Liz was still hopelessly in love with him.

Under her breath Liz replied, "You don't even know the half of it."

"What was that?" Isabel heard but didn't let on.

"Nothing, nothing. Can I get you anything?" Liz asked but never really took her eyes off the booth.

"Yeah, I'll have a pink flamingo, with a side order of blue crystals." Isabel realized Liz was still somewhere else but couldn't resist teasing her a bit more.

"Ok, great, coming right up." Liz turned to go then stopped and turned back. "Sorry. Did it again didn't I?"

"Yep." Isabel laughed and tossed her hair back. "Ok Liz," Isabel suddenly looked serious. "Look me in the eyes."

Liz turned hearing the serious tone in her voice and obliged, feeling that Isabel was about to tell her something very important.

Isabel looked directly into Liz's eyes; she enunciated each word slowly and clearly. "I'll have the breakfast platter, bacon instead of sausage and a large glass of orange juice." Isabel flashed Liz a smile. Liz rolled her eyes, smiled and turned away to place her order, grateful for a diversion from her obsessing.

Isabel turned to view Tess and Kyle sitting across from each other lost in conversation, their hands occasionally touched. Isabel recognized the tiny signs of intimacy and was glad they were happy together. She thought of Grant and how they never had a chance to develop their relationship. She thought, "Yet another casualty of war. A war he never knew about or asked to be a part of. Is it always going to be this way? Will I ever find what everyone else around me so obviously has? And when or if I do find him will he be alien or human?" Isabel continued her silent questioning. She was lost in her thoughts when Alex entered the Crashdown.

"Boy, that's a pretty serious look you've got going there. Care to unload on an understanding ear?" Alex sat next to Isabel at the bar and leaned his elbows in her direction.

Isabel turned to Alex. Alex, her faithful friend. She knew he had at one time, longed to have something more with her, but recently that changed. Ever since he returned from Sweden he seemed different, more mature. "Hey Alex." She didn't really want to tell him what she was thinking for fear that it might hurt him somehow. "Just pondering the universe."

"Hmm, pondering the universe - that's where my mind always wanders when I have some free time." He wasn't buying it but respected her enough not to pry. He turned his attention to the order window and yelled, "Hey, can I get some service around here?"

Liz walked out of the back with Isabel's order and placed it on the counter in front of her. Maria came up to Alex and remarked, "You know, you'd better be nice to the waitresses here, they have a tendency to do nasty things to the food when people give them a hard time." Maria looked at Alex sideways and pulled out her order pad. Cheesily she smiled at Alex. "Now, what would you like?"

"Hmm, maybe I'll just skip breakfast." Alex gave Maria a wary look.

Maria reached across the counter and slapped Alex on the shoulder. "Just kidding! What do ya want?"

"And now they're abusing the customers! Jeez! I can just go to gym class for this kind of treatment!" Alex smiled as he looked around him at Tess and Kyle, then Michael at the order window and then at Liz. "Well it appears the gang's all here! Except Max."

Liz took this opportunity to pump Isabel for info. "Um, yeah where is Max by the way?"

Isabel replied, "He's at the UFO Center working."

"Oh of course. Saturday, right. Um, will he be working late you think?" Liz tried not to be too obvious but Isabel knew better.

Isabel looked down, tried to repress a smile and said, "Um, no actually he's going over to Brody's later for dinner, so he'll probably leave early." Isabel raised her eyes to see Liz looking at Maria, Maria looking at Michael, Michael shaking his head and Alex raising his eyebrows at everyone.

Alex was the first to speak. "Did I miss something here?"

Isabel looked at the group disgruntled. "Yeah, rampant paranoia."

"Not paranoia, just being cautious that's all." Liz was always the first with a rational response.

Maria piped in speaking in low tones, "Yeah I mean what do we really know about this girl other than she's Brody's sister from England?"

Michael looked at Maria with confusion. "I thought you said…"

"Forget what I said Michael…" Maria waved a hand behind her at Michael.

Alex looked from person to person trying to figure out what was going on. "Are we talking about Brody's sister? The one from yesterday? I don't get it, what's the big deal? Is she an alien or something?"

Isabel looked at the front door and said, "I don't know, why don't we ask her?" The group all turned to see Larissa walk in.

"Hullo everyone!" Larissa stood just inside the doorway looking a bit lost.

Isabel was the first to greet her. She jumped down out of her stool and walked over to where Larissa was standing. "Hello! We haven't been introduced yet. I'm Isabel and this is Alex." Isabel gestured to each of the group members, "Maria, Liz whom you've met." Liz waved weakly. "That's Michael behind the counter, and over here we have Tess and Kyle…. I said, Tess and Kyle!" she said a little louder trying to rouse them from their deep conversation.

Kyle turned around and waved politely not knowing exactly who this was or why he was being introduced. When he turned back to Tess she was staring at the girl with a shocked expression. Her mouth moved to speak but no words came out.

Isabel continued her introduction noting the odd response coming from Tess, "and everyone this is Larissa, right?" She looked back at Larissa and then to Tess again. "She's Brody's sister from England."

The room was suddenly silent as everyone turned to Larissa and Tess who had locked eyes. No one was sure what to do or what was going to happen next.

Kyle was the first to move. He rose out of the booth and offered his hand to Larissa. "Hey, how ya' doin'?" She reached over without looking and shook his hand, her eyes still fixed on Tess.

After what seemed like an eternity, Larissa walked over to Tess and said, "Is there somewhere we can go to talk?" Tess nodded and as if in a trance, turned and walked out the back door with Larissa close behind.

Like statuary, the group watched the door swing back and forth after Tess and Larissa had long disappeared.

Eyes still on the door, Kyle said, "Well that was weird."

In unison both Michael and Maria said, "This can't be good."

They all looked at each other not knowing exactly what to say next.

"Ok, let's just be calm and not jump to any conclusions." Liz picked up her rag again and began to scrub the countertops with renewed zeal.

Index | Part 2
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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