FanFic - Max/Liz
Part 10
by Miranda
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with the WB, Jason Katims or Melinda Metz.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: This was written during season 1, so there are no references to Tess or other aliens.
An hour away. All these months she had only been one hour away from him. He should have felt her presence from that distance. Max threw his hastily packed bag on the passenger seat as he swung himself behind the wheel. He thanked whatever gods existed that today was Saturday and he wouldn’t have to deal with the infamous Chicago morning rush hour.

He glanced at the address in his hand. It meant nothing to him. He didn’t know his way around Milwaukee, so he would have to stop and buy a city map when he got there. Waste more precious minutes.

Isabel had refused to comment on Liz’s condition. All she told him was that he should be there for the birth of his first child; that Liz needed him; that he should get there as quickly as he could. He asked her what was wrong. She backpedaled. Nothing was wrong, she just wanted to be sure he got there in time for the delivery. But don’t break any major traffic laws. Drive sensibly. Arrive in one piece.

He didn’t believe a word of it.

Isabel’s fear was nearly palpable across the telephone wire. Something was seriously wrong. Not that he had needed her to confirm it. The noise in his head nearly drowned out everything else.


Alex jerked his head, startled at the sudden sound. He still gripped Liz’s hand between his own. Isabel sat on the opposite side of the bed, continuously wiping Liz’s face with a cool cloth.

Liz had deteriorated rapidly since their arrival. Her breathing was growing more shallow, her pulse thready. It was as though she had just been waiting for someone to be there with her. That she had been afraid to die when she was alone. She didn’t appear to be afraid any more. She had stopped fighting back. She was accepting it, waiting for it.

The noise that had awakened Alex sounded again. Someone was pounding on the door. Isabel looked over at him.

“That’s probably Maria and Michael.”

Alex nodded and rose from the chair. He steeled himself as he swung back the lock and opened the door.

Maria shoved her way past him, her eyes quickly taking in her surroundings. She whirled on him. “Where is she?”

Alex gazed at her for a moment, searching for the right words. He abruptly turned to Michael and stuck out his hand. “Michael, it’s been a while.”

Michael blinked in surprise, then accepted the handshake, nodding. “Hey, Alex.” He started to release his hold on Alex’s hand, when Alex gripped his more tightly for a moment. Their eyes met and an understanding passed between them. Michael sighed and steered Maria towards the sofa.

“What’s going on? What are you two keeping from me?”

Michael pushed her onto the sofa and sat beside her. “If you can keep your mouth shut for two seconds Alex may be able to fill us in.”

Alex crouched in front of Maria, his hands on her knees, his expression serious.

“I think I’m gonna be sick,” Maria whispered.

“Liz isn’t doing so good,” Alex started. He shifted his eyes from Maria’s, unable to meet her frightened gaze. He bowed his head, trying to maintain control over his own emotions. Breaking down would only cause Maria to get hysterical and he knew she was borderline already. “Apparently she’s been sick for quite a while and… it all got to be too much for her. She’s too weak.”

Michael leaned back into the lumpy cushion of the sofa and stared at the ceiling, a million thoughts running through his head. Liz had never let on to them that there was anything wrong. When either of them questioned her she just complained of being tired. Maria had begged her to come to Seattle, but Liz wouldn’t budge. He closed his eyes as he considered how devastated Maria would be if Liz didn’t make it through this. And… he hated to even think about it at a time like this, but since Liz had gotten pregnant he had been thinking more and more how he would like to start a family with Maria. He had just been waiting to see how things went with Liz before he brought it up. He was sure Maria had thought about it, too. He shook his head. It was wrong, selfish, for him to even think about himself right now. His thoughts should be on Liz… and Max. Shit, Max was going to--

“We should have told Max where she was.” Michael leaned forward, his eyes darting from Maria to Alex.

Maria vehemently shook her head, her eyes were filled with tears. “No. Liz didn’t want him to know and she’s my best friend.” She struggled against the tears, her voice cracking. “I wouldn’t ever betray her.”

Michael stared at her in disbelief for a moment. “Well, Max is my best friend and he has a right to see his wife before she dies.” Michael pushed himself off the couch and headed for the telephone.

Alex stood, opening his mouth to speak, but was stopped by a voice behind him.

“He’s already on his way.”

All three swiveled around. Isabel stood just a few feet from them. Her normally impeccable appearance was less than perfect with her hair pulled back in a hasty ponytail and the makeup around her eyes smudged.

Maria stood and faced her, her face a mixture of confusion and fear. “Max is… is what Michael said true? Is Liz dying? Because Alex didn’t say anything about dying.”

Isabel nodded and walked to Michael. He pulled her into his arms, holding her close for a moment. She turned back to Maria.

“She is dying and Max is the only one who has a chance of saving her. Do you still think he shouldn’t be here?”

Maria’s mouth worked, but no sound issued from it.

“So what exactly is wrong with her?” Michael asked. “Could you and I… together…?”

Isabel shook her head. “No.” She exhaled heavily. “Michael, I found out some… things… about us.”

He scowled. “What do you mean?”

“No,” Maria interrupted. “You can tell us all that later. I want to see Liz. I need to see her -- right now.”


Michael emerged from the bedroom a short time later and leaned against a wall. There was no way he and Maria could even consider children now. He could never risk what was happening to Liz happening to her. And if Max was the only one who could save her he’d better get here quick, because Liz wasn’t going to hold on much longer.

Michael turned his head to where Isabel was watching him from down the hall. He pushed himself away from the wall and walked past her into the living room where he again sank into the sofa.

“What did you find out about us?”


Max pulled over to the curb and slammed the gearshift into park. He grabbed the map that was lying on his duffel bag and studied it, then rolled down the window. He stuck his head through and tried to ignore the noxious odor of the brewer’s yeast that permeated the air as he checked the street signs posted on the corner.

He drew his head back in the car. “Damn one-way streets,” he muttered as his finger traced a path across the map.


“I… hell, I don’t even know for sure, but I think I connected with the baby. But, that doesn’t make sense….” Isabel pushed her hair back from her face and tried to organize her thoughts. “I was trying to find a way to help Liz – to heal her – when… I don’t even know how to explain it. It was like, suddenly, I knew all this stuff about our people… about the way they have children.”

She looked up then and noticed that she had the undivided attention of both Michael and Alex.

“There’s no such thing as divorce on our planet. It isn’t that it’s against the law or anything, it’s just there’s no need for it. When we fall in love, it’s for life. We always tease Max and Liz about being soulmates, but I think it’s true. We have babies the same way they do here on earth, except that it takes two. I don’t mean just for the fun part, I mean, both parents are there for the birth. The man lends his strength to the woman and he shares part of her pain.”

“And Max hasn’t been here to do any of that.” Michael nodded.

“So Liz is dying just because Max hasn’t been here to share the experience with her?” Alex looked from Isabel to Michael in amazement. “What if he… were away on business? What if he were dead?”

“It doesn’t work that way,” Michael spoke up. Now they turned to him. “The father always knows. He knows when the baby is about to be born. And… it waits until he is there.” He shrugged, clearly just as bewildered as they. “Hey, don’t ask me how I know this.”

Isabel smiled briefly. “It’s weird, isn’t it?” She shifted her attention back to Alex. “If the father is dead, then the baby is born just as if there were no problems. It’s like… the connection is released.”

Alex cleared his throat. “This all makes a weird kind of sense. You said that Max called you out of the blue last night, asking if Liz was all right, if she had had the baby yet.”

Michael nodded. “He knew.”

“But,” Alex continued, “this whole system seems rather… I don’t know… harsh. Having to wait until the father is there… I mean, look at Liz. So, if the father is half-way around the planet the mother waits in agony, hoping he’ll get there before she dies from it? And does the baby die then, too?”

“No,” Isabel shook her head with a frown. “It’s not like that. The labor just doesn’t start until he can be there. I suppose if he chose to not come right away there could be problems, but… that’s—“

“It’s not really a choice,” Michael cut in. “It’s more like an instinct. He would know and he would be there as soon as he possibly could. It would be top priority and everyone around him would know that.” He looked at Isabel. “You’re right, it is hard to explain.”

Isabel swallowed and shifted her gaze from one to the other. “I think the problem here is that Liz is human. The alien part of the baby is waiting for Max, while the human side and Liz’s own body are saying that there is something wrong. That’s what’s killing her. Her body can’t handle the wait. It’s saying it’s time for the baby to be born, but the baby is refusing.”

“But she said she’s been sick for months. She hasn’t been able to eat hardly anything.” Alex was trying to process what Isabel and Michael were telling him, but the whole thing was far more alien than anything he had encountered with them before.

“I don’t know,” Isabel admitted. “Maybe it was just the whole separation from Max. Liz was depressed and passed those feelings onto the baby somehow and it just threw everything out of whack.”

“Or maybe she just didn’t eat what she was supposed to.” Michael looked at them both and shrugged. “Who knows what this pregnancy has done to her physiology.”

“Or maybe she would have been sick like that even if she was with Max and did eat what the baby wanted. Maybe the human body just isn’t designed to carry an alien baby.” Alex turned away from them, watching the dust motes dance in the streams of sunlight coming through the window. “And maybe Max’s arrival won’t make any difference.”


Max pulled to a stop and squinted against the morning sun as he tried to make out the number on the building across the street. He quickly parked the car in an area clearly marked as a tow away zone and sprinted across the street.

He ran up two flights of stairs and strode down the hall directly to her door. He didn’t need to doublecheck the address. He could feel her now. Just like in her dreams. He didn’t knock. He grasped the doorknob and pushed the door inward.

Part 9 | Index | Part 11
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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