|"Epiphanies 2: The Anasazi Road"|
Disclaimer: I would be the happiest woman on Earth if I owned any of these people, but sadly, only Josh, the Holbrooks, and Paul Hernandez are mine.|
Summary: This is the sequel to EPIPHANIES 1: The Ties That Bind. It picks up the evening of the Evans barbeque that ended the first story. Here, Max and Liz must come to terms with a shocking revelation about Liz and her Grandma Claudia. They search the past among Native American ruins and history to find the truth and each other.
Authors Note: I have done extensive research on the Anasazi for this fic. Most of what you will read is either factual or widely accepted speculation. I have, on occasion, filled in a gap or made an assumption that suits my purposes. The alien connection, of course, is my own Roswell-loving imagination.
|Liz looked stricken. This was not a possibility that had even crossed their minds. The irony! Could she finally have evidence that humans and the descendants of the alien-Anasazi were compatible, only to learn that she and Max might be different in still another way? Instead of her being part alien solving their problems, it had only complicated them.
Max, too, looked shocked. Hadn't they been through enough? What would it take to finally have the confidence to begin their life together? This was more than he could cope with right now. Suddenly, he was exhausted.|
Jeff was struck by the anguish he read on their faces. Their feelings for each other were extraordinarily deep and strong. Here was yet more evidence that this was not a teen romance. This was a binding love that had already weathered terrible adversity, obstacles unheard of to any ordinary couple. He was moved as he saw Max reach for Liz and Liz fall into his arms with a wrenching sob.
"Max!" she cried into his shoulder.
"Liz, we don't know the truth yet. But we'll find it. I swear to you, we'll find it."
As they held each other, Jeff rose, surprising himself with his willingness to give them this time alone together. The rules were going to have to be a little different for them, he realized. Not acknowledging that would be hiding his head in the sand.
He took a long walk, marveling at how his mother had gotten her way after all. Somehow she knew, even before she died, that Max and Liz needed these answers. How did she see that when he didn't, even being with them every day? She was always very intuitive, he remembered. She always knew when there was something he wasn't telling her, something bothering him. And she had respected his wishes regarding telling Liz the truth, at least in life. I guess she knew they were out of time, he thought. Where were they supposed to go from here?
When he returned to the tent, he opened the flap tentatively, not wanting to intrude on a private moment. What he saw just brought home again all that he had been feeling. There in front of him were the sleeping forms of Liz and Max, still holding each other as if afraid to ever let go. Both of Max's arms were wrapped around Liz, who was snuggled close, her head nestled under his chin, one leg bent on top of his. Jeff would have found this sight disturbing yesterday. Now it seemed perfectly natural. He couldn't deny them this comfort.
"Honeybear, Max, Jeffrey, it's time for us to talk."
Max and Liz responded immediately. They had almost expected this visit. Jeff was confused. "What's happening? I must be dreaming."
Liz smiled at him. "You're not dreaming, Dad. Grandma is really here. With everything we told you tonight, I guess we left out the most recent development. Grandma has come to us once before and told us that she would come to guide us on a journey. We weren't sure what she meant, though. Max and I didn't even know if we had just somehow had the same dream, for some strange reason. But she's come again, so it must be real!"
"Who's us? I don't remember this."
Liz hesitated. She wasn't sure how her Dad would take this. "She came to Max and me on the campout last weekend. She told us our combined force when we are together makes this possible, but there are too many distractions when we're awake, so we must be sleeping."
"You were sleeping together last weekend?" he asked with raised eyebrows.
"Nothing bad, Dad, just sleeping, like now."
"I guess that explains why you look so comfortable like that." He threw a pointed look at Max, but said nothing more.
"Loosen up, Jeff," interjected his mother. "I'm sure you've figured out this is much bigger than teen hormones. You all had a very emotional evening. I knew it would be hard. For all of you. I need to know if you are ready to proceed now. Max, Liz, I know you want answers, and I'll help you find them, but I told you this wouldn't be easy. This is only the beginning. You have to be sure. And Jeff, are you willing to help them? You know you'll have to make decisions that Nancy won't like, but I don't think she's ready to hear the truth. This could be hard for you, too."
Max finally spoke. "Mrs. Parker . . . ."
"Grandma," she reminded him.
Max felt awkward, but started again. "Grandma, why will this be so difficult? Why can't you just tell us the answers?"
"Because you are not just finding out about your and Liz's past. There is a conflict on Voya, Max, and it is spilling over to this world. It revolves around a revered symbol of power that was hidden here hundreds of years ago so that it would not fall into enemy hands. Now the enemy is here, looking for it as well. They are bringing the conflict to Earth and there is no one to stop it but you and Liz. I've done as much research as I could, but I wasn't done yet when I had my stroke. My journals will guide you through what I have learned, but you need to pick it up from there. I don't know if you and Liz finding each other was predestined or the greatest stroke of luck imaginable, but you two have created a force unlike any that has been felt here. It has given us hope that you are the ones to resolve this. I think I know where to find the artifact, but until it is retrieved and restored to your family, Max, peace cannot come to your planet."
"So you are saying Max and I are the same?" Liz asked hopefully. "That we can be together?"
Grandma Claudia smiled sadly. "I'm not sure, Liz. I think so. But I already know what your roots are. Max, Isabel, Michael, and Tess are something of an unknown. Latecomers, if you will. I suspect there is a strong connection because of what I feel from you both. Your alien ancestors, Liz, are from Voya, as are Max's. But as Max has already learned, he was engineered. He is not the natural product of alien-human contact. The truth is, I don't know if you are compatible or not."
Her heart broke at the disappointment on their faces. They were so young to have to deal with this. She wished she could have prepared them better. If only Jeff had let her work with Liz before this.
"You have a lot of tools at your disposal: My journals, your flashes, and a colleague of mine, Paul Hernandez, who has agreed to help you. And I will visit as much as I can." She winked at Liz, knowing that her son still didn't fully understand the circumstances under which these visits were possible.
"What are 'flashes'?" asked Jeff.
Max looked up quickly and turned to Liz, hoping she would handle that question.
"Dad, remember my saying I'd had experiences I couldn't explain? You said you'd never seen me exhibit any powers, and I sure don't know which ones I might have, but one thing has happened." Liz hesitated. Her poor father! How many more surprises could he absorb?
"Well, when Max and I . . . kiss . . . ." She swallowed nervously. The expression on her father's face told her he wasn't sure he wanted to hear this. "When Max and I kiss, images come into our minds. They could be about the other's emotions or memories or experiences. Once, I actually think I saw the crash. We can't control them very well, but we've learned to block them occasionally. They're so intense that they can be very disruptive if we're not alone or . . . um . . . ."
She looked at Max for help. This was not going well. Her father must think they made out all the time and "intense" had probably been a bad word to use.
Max looked cornered, but gave it a try. "We've learned a lot from the flashes. It helped us find the orbs in the desert that night." That had been one detail they'd left out the first time. "They helped Liz learn to trust me after I saved her at the Crashdown, too. She could see that I would never hurt her." Liz reached for his hand and smiled at him. "We never understood why it was happening to us but not to Michael and Maria or to Isabel and Alex. Michael and Isabel can get the flashes, but not the humans." He looked at Liz. "I guess now we know why."
Jeff shook his head. There was no end to what he was learning tonight. And to think, his daughter had been living with this for a year! How had she functioned? Working at the Crashdown, going to school, and dealing with four aliens in a world of trouble all the time. He looked at Liz with a new respect. He'd always thought she was wonderful, but now he knew how strong she was, too.
"Well?" asked Grandma Claudia. "Are you ready to press on or not?"
Max deferred to Liz. This was really her decision. His search had been ongoing for years. She didn't disappoint him. "I'm ready, Grandma," she said quietly. "Whatever it takes."
"Well, Mom, I don't see how I can say no this time. You always get your way, don't you?" He shook his head and smiled in resignation.
"I can be a very stubborn woman, Jeffrey. You should know that by now," she smiled back. Her image faded.
"Tomorrow, Chaco Canyon," said Jeff, and the three campers settled back into a deep sleep.
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