|"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.
|"Mom?" Max scuffed into the kitchen wearing the South Park boxers Isabel had given him for his birthday, telling him those guys were having alien problems, too. "Where's Dad?"|
"He just left, honey. He has court again today and needed to do some prep. You didn't say much about your trip, but I noticed you all headed out together last night. Something going on?"
"Yeah, actually, there is." Max poured himself a glass of juice and sat down at the table. "Can you sit for a minute?"
Diane Evans turned to look at her son, a serious expression clouding his face. Was this a Liz problem, a Michael problem, or an alien problem? She wasn't sure she was prepared to deal with any of them. Still, he didn't look panicked, so that was a good sign.
"What's up?" she asked, joining him at the table.
Max felt drained from all the talking they had done about this last night, but he pushed himself through another litany of what had happened in Chaco Canyon, and what they planned to do next.
"No, Max! Liz? Part alien? And her father? This is unbelievable! We keep wading in deeper and deeper. Is this all real? I mean, how do you know?"
"Believe me, Mom, there is overwhelming evidence. Besides, I feel it. I realize now that this is the bond we have shared. We just never understood it before."
"This sounds dangerous, Max. How can Jeff Parker allow Liz to venture out there like this? That doesn't sound like the father you've described."
"Mom, we have it worked out, but we really need your help here. Mr. Parker is going to arrange for some camping friends of theirs to be our hosts. It's all quite respectable. I think we'll be joining one of those Sierra Club campouts in Mesa Verde, too, with a guide Liz's grandmother worked with. The thing is, for the sake of appearances, Tess is going to make Dad and Mrs. Parker 'see' us going off on an astronomy club outing. There won't be so many questions that way."
Mrs. Evans shook her head. "Max, I hate this lying to your father. Why can't we just tell him? Do you know how hard it is to keep something like this from someone you love and trust?"
Max looked directly at her, conveying the utter absurdity of what she had just said. Did he know what it was like to keep a secret from loved ones, like his mother? Like Liz? How could she even ask him that?
"I'm sorry, Max. Of course you do. I can't believe I said that. I just hate it. I feel like I can't be completely open with him for fear of what might come out."
"Welcome to my world, Mom."
In that instant, Diane Evans understood her son more clearly than she had ever thought possible. Even more than the day she discovered his darkest secret. Suddenly she saw the little boy, wandering naked in the desert with his sister. Even then, from the apparent brink of his existence, he had harbored his secrets. Clinging for support only to Isabel and Michael, never trusting completely in his parents, who showered him with love and attention, he had spent his days learning how not to be noticed, how to blend into the background; fear was his constant companion. How lonely an existence he had led. And what awesome responsibilities he had carried. He had always seemed older than his years, and now that she thought about it, she realized he had always played the role of leader within his tiny family.
Her heart broke for what he had suffered in the last 10 years. Isabel had managed to adjust, to at least participate in the human race. But Max had always held himself apart. Until that day. The day he made a choice to save Liz Parker, the girl of his childhood dreams, his adolescent dreams, and now his almost-adult dreams. She had turned his life around, given him understanding, acceptance, love, and joy. But with all that, she had inadvertently given him even more responsibility. Diane knew her son valued Liz even above himself, and this new discovery about her only added a new and more complicated dimension to their relationship. When would he find peace?
"You know I'll help you however I can, Max. Thank you for trusting me with this."
She stood and leaned over to him, kissing him on the forehead. "I love you, Max Evans. Don't ever forget that."
Max gave her a small smile, and for the first time she could ever remember, he swept her into a strong embrace and said the words, "I love you, too, Mom."
The next morning, Philip and Diane Evans and Jeff and Nancy Parker left for the school to see the astronomy club off on their weekend trip. They waved as the dozen or so students climbed aboard a school bus, accompanied by two teacher chaperones. In another part of town, Isabel was driving Max and Liz to the airport where they would board a plane for Durango, Colorado.
|Part 14 | Index | Part 16|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|