FanFic - Max/Liz
"Stranger In This Town"
Part 1
by FordonBuffy44
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters of Roswell. The title of story is taken from Bush's "Letting the Cables Sleep"
Summary: What if things had gone a little differently for the three aliens the night they came out of the pods?
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG
Authors Note: This is my first time attempting an alternate universe story, all kinds of feedback is welcome.
The streets of Roswell were emptying as the sun dipped towards the horizon and casted tall shadows on the sidewalk. Liz Parker walked down the street, the grocery list her father had given her in her hand. The air had a slight chill to it and Liz shivered slightly. A gust of wind suddenly blew by and she turned her head, pushing a strand of hair behind her ear. And she couldn't help the catch in her breath when her eyes rested on Max Evans walking down the other side of the street.

Max rarely came into the town of Roswell. He made an appearance about once a month, same black stetson on his head - mysteriously covering his eyes - and always the same small, spotted cattle dog trailing at his heels. The dog was there now, obediently trailing behind Max. Liz's eyes followed him. Max Evans was a mystery. He and his sister, Isabelle had been found on the side of the road - some said the middle of the desert - ten years ago. They lived out on the Evans cattle ranch, were home schooled, frequented the Mesaliko Indian Reservation and were hardly ever seen in town.

Max saw Liz Parker from across the street and he smiled slightly when he did. She was the entire reason he'd come into town. When his mother had suggested pizza for the night he had jumped at the suggestion and offered to pick it up. He'd only seen her for a brief moment from across the street, but it was enough for him.

Liz didn't know how her father had expected her to carry all the groceries. Not only were they heavy - but they were incredibly bulky and awkward to carry and she cold barely see the sidewalk she was walking down. She could make out Max however, walking out of the local pizza parlor, a pizza box in his hand. The funny looking spotted dog was waiting obediently outside for him and Max walked over to his aged red pickup truck, placing the pizza in the passenger side and opening up the bed of the pickup and letting the dog in. Liz continued struggling down the sidewalk and soon the giant box of salt in front of her head lost Max from her peripheral vision.

"Hey," a voice suddenly called and Liz almost dropped all the groceries, she was so startled by it. And then a hand was effortlessly lifting off the ten bag pound of flour and the box of salt. "Let me give you a hand." And it was Max. Liz was flushed slightly and she hoped maybe he would just think it was because she was startled.

"Thanks," she mumbled

"You shouldn't have to carry all that," he shrugged, beginning to walk down the street with her. "So where're we going?" he inquired and something about the statement seemed to catch Liz off guard.

"Just the uh - the Crashdown, it's right up -"

"I know where it is," and the way he said it made Liz look at him quizzically. The rest of the short walk down the block was in silence. She had no idea what to talk about with him and he seemed just as uncomfortable. They lived two such different lives.

The powerful chestnut horse thundered beneath Max, rapidly eating up the ground to the Mesaliko Indian Reservation. It was a good ten miles to the reservation from the ranch, but Max had discovered that at a good gallop the horse underneath him, Aldo, could make it there in under a half hour. He visited the reservation once a week; sometimes twice. It was his second home. River Dog, the old Indian he visited, his second father. It was River Dog who had found him and Isabelle in the desert that night. He had taken them to the orphanage where they had been taken in by the Evans. River Dog said that there had been another. That after he had given Max and Isabelle to the orphanage he had driven back out to the desert and looked and looked and looked. And he had found him. It was a boy, scared and huddled behind a rock and though it had taken some coercing - he had gotten the frightened child into his car and back to the orphanage. By the time he had returned Max and Isabelle had found a home.

Max always asked questions about the boy. What he had looked like, what his name had been and River Dog didn't have many answers. The boy had disappeared after only two weeks. He had been at the orphanage with them for the first few days, but Isabelle and Max remembered nothing. And so every time he came to visit River Dog, Max asked about the boy and he asked questions about himself and about Isabelle. About who they were. River Dog knew about them. He had known since he had first picked the two up. He knew they were different, that there was something special about them. He had shown them the cave, he had told them about Nasedo. They still were no closer to discovering anything about themselves then they'd ever been. But they could talk to River Dog and they did and any sort of questions they had he would try to answer.

The reservation was always a bustling place, with people of all ages, dogs and horses all over it. Max rode in atop the sweating chestnut horse, greeted all around by smiling faces and nods of the head.

"Hello Max," a weathered looking man tipped his hat to Max and Max just smiled and nodded his head. "Where's your sister today?" the man inquired, Isabelle usually accompanying Max when he came to the Reservation.

"Uh - she's up with my dad bringing a herd down from Heatherford," Max explained, hopping off of the horse.

"Whatcha got up in Heatherford?" the man inquired, having no knowledge of any Evans livestock pastured up at Heatherford, nor of any livestock they'd be interested in up in Heatherford. "Wild mustangs," Max answered, "they're kinda a pest problem up there..."

"Mustangs? Whyn't your pa take you up?" Max's way with animals was known by most of the ranchers around the area and the man seemed perplexed by the statement. Max was especially good with wild and injured animals. More than once he'd helped to remove a wild coyote from the property of someone in town. Max just shrugged.

"Isabelle wanted to go," he responded quietly, tying Aldo's reins to a tree and beginning his search for the old Indian.

River Dog was mysterious and always hard to find. He was an outsider on the reservation and that suited Max just fine. The fact that he came to visit the enigmatic old man didn't hinder his popularity on the reservation though and as he looked around and walked down the dusty road in search for his friend, the greetings from everyone continued. He was offered to join a game of baseball among a group of teens, or questioned if he wanted to visit the new colt that had just been born in the far pasture. Max declined to all the invites however and promised another day as his eyes continued to scan the area. Finding River Dog was always a challenge and Max was lucky he spotted Eddie, his real only link to River Dog, when he did - over by a corral coursing an Appaloosa over with a brush.

"Hey Eddie," Max called, stepping towards the tall, lanky and equally mysterious man. And Eddie glanced to him briefly.

"He's by the creek," Eddie responded shorty and Max immediately headed that way.

The summer season was always the busiest for the Crashdown Cafe. Liz's parents were crazed, the cooks were crazed, the customers were crazed and most of all so was she. It was the summer, more importantly now it was the end of the summer, and the more customers that flooded in, the more she wanted to go out and enjoy it. Kyle Valenti, the sheriffs son and West Roswell athletic superstar, had - as of late - been expressing interest in her as more than a summer fling and he had begun to drop by the Crashdown more often than normal.

A customer seated at one of the booths began bellowing for his Will Smith Burger and Liz ran her hands through her hair quickly, biting her tongue and mumbling to herself, as she walked briskly back into the kitchen.

"I'm going to kill someone," her best friend, Maria Deluca brushed by with two plates in hand, echoing Liz's thoughts exactly. "I'm telling you, LIz I cannot take this - I cannot take one more day of these.." Maria looked out and her eyes rested on a twenty-something seated at the counter with spiky green hair and a black shirt that read I BELIEVE. Maria stared at him as he sipped his fountain drink. "Actually," she looked to the alien enthusiast a moment longer and a smile formed on her lips. "He's kinda cute if you look at him the right way." And Liz just grinned at her friend's antics.

"Maria," she shook her head and Maria looked into the shiny medal stove and ran her finger over her teeth quickly, preparing to go back out and talk to the green-haired customer.

"Speaking of cute.." Maria smiled widely as she eyed Kyle Valenti step through the doors and take a seat at the nearest table.

"What?" Liz looked outside as well and her face reddened immediately when she saw him.

"So what are you two like - are you actually a couple now?" Maria interrogated.

"I don't - I don't know..he asked me to this party at Tommy's tomorrow night," Liz admitted and at the news Maria became ecstatic. "And you didn't tell me??"

"He just asked me yesterday," Liz shrugged . "But it's like - it's formal, it's like official 'cos his friends are all gonna be there," Maria pointed out and Liz smiled and began to walk outside towards Kyle, who had just dismissed a waitress and merely sat there in his blue and gold varsity jacket, waiting for her.

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