|"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.
|Diane Evans felt restless. There was so much about this she didn't like. She had let her son traipse into the wilderness with his girlfriend and a complete stranger to look for an alien artifact. She had helped deceive her husband into thinking Max and Liz were on an astronomy club trip. And she was only just now beginning to realize the broad implications of what her children really were.|
At first, she had dealt with things rather well, she thought. Knowing the truth didn't affect how much she loved her children, and she had been willing to accept what used to sound like science fiction. But now the reality was sinking in. She could no longer protect her children. There were obligations, responsibilities, and dangers associated with this that she hadn't considered. And now, for the first time, she felt fear.
She needed to talk. But to whom?
She picked up the phone. "Crashdown. This is Jeff."
"Jeff, it's Diane Evans. I've been thinking . . . maybe too much." She laughed nervously. "I could use someone to talk to. Do you have any time?"
"Of course, Diane. I guess you sort of got lost in the shuffle. Want to come by the restaurant? The crowd's thinning out and I'm not too busy."
"Thanks. Half an hour?
Diane felt better just hearing another rational voice. She tried to repair her haggard appearance and headed out the door. When she arrived at the restaurant, Maria was clearing off some tables. "Hi, Mrs. Evans. Isabel with you?"
"No, she's with Alex this evening, Maria. I just came to get some coffee and shake off a little restlessness. Is Jeff here?"
"In the back. I'll get him for you."
Maria told Mr. Parker that Max's mother was out front and went to find Michael. "Mrs. Evans looks like hell, Michael. I think maybe she's starting to crack."
"What do you mean?" Michael frowned. "I thought she was fine with all this."
"Well you should see her now. She looks like she's having a nervous breakdown."
Michael peered out from behind the pass window. Mr. Parker was sitting across from Mrs. Evans in the back booth. They were talking seriously.
"Jeff, I'm sorry. I'm just a little shaken up by all this. I was doing well until I realized that I can't keep Max and Isabel in Roswell, in the house, where they'll be safe. I don't think I fully understand what they are facing, feeling. You've been living with this for a long time. I thought you could give me some advice."
"I haven't really faced this side of myself for a very long time, Diane. I just wanted to live a normal life and provide the same thing for my wife and daughter."
"Nancy doesn't know, does she?"
"No, and I never intended to tell her . . . or Liz. But Liz and Max falling in love . . . well, that changed everything."
Diane smiled at him. "That's the one good thing I see here, Jeff. They're both wonderful kids, but I don't think you can understand what Liz has done for Max. He has always been so guarded, so unwilling to open himself up to anyone, including me. From what Isabel tells me, he's been in love with Liz since the third grade, but the shooting forced his hand, and now that Liz knows and returns his feelings, he has let more people into his life, and I can see him growing into his role as leader."
"Yeah, I'm a little unclear about that leader thing, actually. But I know what you mean about Max. I've seen changes in him. In Liz, too. What they have been through this last year, without any help from us, it scares me to death. But they seem so strong and confident together." Jeff shook his head. "What are we going to do about them, Diane? I mean, they aren't an average teen couple, are they? Do you realize how committed they are to each other? If you could have seen what I saw on that campout . . . I don't know how to describe it."
"You don't have to. I've seen it. They're like two halves of a whole. Sometimes they don't even say anything. I swear, I've seen entire conversations that involved no words at all. But I don't know how they've coped. They've been threatened, drugged, tortured . . . ." Her voice broke as her eyes teared up. "What they did . . . to . . . Max!" A sob escaped her lips. Jeff reached over and took her hand in both of his and leaned forward.
"Diane, it's over. They're alright. They've come through it. Don't get upset about what's past." Easier said than done, he thought to himself. He hadn't slept well since Liz told him the story in the tent the other night.
"You're right, Jeff." She took a deep breath. "About the past and about Max and Liz, too. There is something older, wiser, deeper about their relationship that I don't even understand. They don't ever want to be apart. And a piece of me doesn't think they should have to be. Then the rational, mother part of me screams, 'What are you saying? Have you lost your mind?!'"
Jeff chuckled. "I've had that exact same conversation with myself."
They sat quietly for a moment. Diane gave him a grateful smile and rose to leave. "Thank you, Jeff. I feel a little better just getting this off my chest. I appreciate your time." She reached up to hug him, and turned to leave.
Michael and Maria had been observing this from the kitchen. "That was interesting," muttered Maria.
"What the hell was that? I didn't even think they knew each other that well," Michael whispered warily.
As Mrs. Evans left, Maria turned to get back to work. There, standing right behind her, was Mrs. Parker, looking like someone had just slapped her. "I can't believe it!" she whispered. "And right here, in the restaurant!"
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