Fanfic - Max/Liz
"(Human) Development"
Part 7
by Etoiline
Disclaimer: I don't own anything, just my dreams. No infringement intended.
Summary: Transformations, connections. . . Max reaches his human side, and Liz becomes something more than human. . .
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note: This takes place sometime before TEOTW, but I won't change anything. This story already has an ending, so watch that epi. This is just my version of how it got there. I kind of ignored the whole skins deal, but you can imagine that it's happening.
"Who is that girl?" I asked my bahrein.

"Which girl, sire? There are only hundreds here, vying for your hand, or at the very least, your protection." he said dryly.

"That one." I pointed. "Over there by the kitchen."

"With the blond hair? That is Lady a'Vere T'arin. She is actually one of those seeking a fiefdom, being betrothed already to the Baron a'Rosschil. He is with Marquis a'Brism, by the light-fountain. But a pretty one, to be sure. I shall endeavor to introduce you, milord." The girl in question glanced my way, smiling shyly before turning to her friend and giggling behind her hand.

My bahrein left my side without realizing I had been pointing at rather a different girl, a brunette standing just to the side of the kitchen portal, behind where Lady a'Vere had been standing. I saw now she had a much plainer dress than those around her. But the simple dress did not detract from her beauty; in fact, it enhanced it. I realized she must be a kitchen servant when she disappeared for a moment, only to reappear with a tray laden with sweetmeats. She walked towards the table closest to me; of course, the king must be served first. I moved to intercept her, only to be intercepted by my bahrein and Baron a'Rosschil.

"I am so pleased you have noticed my relessa, sire. I do hope this means you will be favorable to our petition for your protection?" the Baron asked, with a mixture of condesention and fear. Of course, he was worried that I would steal his betrothed from him, thus the sarcasm, yet he could not insult his king, young though I was, and on my coronation night.

"The royals have always been generous with our protection. And the Rosschil land shall, of course, be included." I let my mind wander as I performed my kingly duties, returning again and again to the servant girl's face. I wanted her. And in my naiveté, I thought it would just be a dalliance. A king and a servant; how could there be love?


"Your Majesty, the Baron a'Rosschil."

My barhein announced the baron as he opened the massive doors to the throne room, motioning said baron into my presence. He glanced, once and quickly, to my right where the queen's empty throne stood. He thought he might be sereptitious, but I saw. I saw many things others wished I had not. And even things I wished I had not, such as that servant girl, the night of the ball. . . even now thoughts of her swirled in my head, a not unwelcome distraction. I shook my head imperceptibly as the baron began to speak. Time later to dream of the girl.

"Your Majesty, I wish to express my undying thanks that you have extended your courtesy and protection to the Rosschil lands, in this, your first year of coronation. My deepest sympathy for the death of your father; yet I am sure you shall continue his just rule . . ."

I waved a hand at him to continue. Banal condolences never failed to annoy me. Yes, my father was dead this last maurean, and yes, I grieved for him, but I did so in my own way and did not wish to be reminded of it by every simpering syncophant of the old regime. Sometimes I wish the old man had managed to find that scientist that prolonged life, just so I could continue my life as, if not a normal youngling, at least a princely one - and not a zitan. Everyone, even I, knew that I was terribly young to carry the coronel upon my brow.

". . . and I would hope, that with the protection you have so graciously provided to the Rosschil lands, that you would grant us the favor of a visit? We, that is, my relessa and I, have planned a spectacular event for the eve of our marriage, three weeks hence. . . we would be doubly honored by the august royal presence."

I blinked once, dispelling the image of the girl, before I could respond. "Hm, well of course the royal schedule must be consulted before we could commit to such a gathering. But rest assured we will take your request into account." I always felt silly using the royal "we", but my father had told me to always use it in official dealings, and I took all his words to heart.

"I thank you for the indulgence, messire. My relessa and I greatly hope my lord may attend. I shall look for your correspondence?" the baron said, almost wheedling.

"Yes, of course. You may go." With a wave of my hand, my bahrein once again opened the hall doors, and escorted the baron out.

"Yessul," I said to my bahrein when he returned, "what was the company that served at my coronation ball?"

"Sire?" he looked at me askance.

"The serving company. The food, drink, the tables? Surely you remember, Yessul, you always take care of these things."

"Ah, yes, Sire. That was Lari'ing's company. She always provides for the royal feasts."

"Yessul, I want you to write to the baron a'Rosschil and recommend to him Lari'ing's company for his wedding three weeks hence. And make sure you leave no doubt that I shall not attend unless he obtains her services. Oh, and write to Lari'ing and tell her she must make herself available to him - and she must not let any worker go until after that night."

So I was using the baron's wedding as an excuse to meet the girl; what did I care for the baron or his relessa?


"Milord, why do you not dance? Is the music not to your liking?" the baron's voice jolted me from my fixed stare at the kitchen portal.

"Nay, dear Baron, simply the many things that weigh on our mind. I shall dance soon enough." With the girl, I hoped. She had not made an appearance, but surely Lari'ing was sufficiently obeyant to royal edict and kept the girl.

"Actually, Rosschil, we would like to inquire on the quality of the service tonight? We highly recommend the company." I said sweetly.

"Sire, the service could not be better. We have never seen such-" "We wish to tour the kitchens, Baron. We wish to see the company in action as we could not at our coronation. But we do not wish to make a fuss. Announce our retiring for a short while. We shall return, and your party shall not be much perturbed."

"As my Lord wishes. . ." he stammered, standing as I stood and motioning to the light-orchestra. As the music tinkled to a halt, I inclined my head and walked from the table, in the direction of the bedrooms. That hallway, however, connected to the kitchen so the heat from the ovens could be utilized. A clever construction, and most convienient for me.

I entered the kitchen silently, almost enjoying the moment when Lari'ing noticed me and immediately dropped to her knees, dragging on the skirt of the girl next to her. Who, in the moment before the girl bent her head, I saw to be the one I was after. As every other company member felt my presence and knelt in obeisance, I walked toward the girl, knelt myself, and said to Lari'ing, "This one, I take tonight. Ask no questions and answer none. I thank you for your service and rest assured I shall not forget your compliance," I said, looking deeply into Lari'ings eyes, until she realized the significance of what I had said, and not we. I took the girl's hand, lifted her to her feet, and left the room silently as I had come.

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