|"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.
|As Liz's eyes fluttered open, she was immediately aware of Max's soft breathing above her head. During the night, she had managed to crawl practically on top of him as they slept, and she decided she didn't want to wake up any other way for the rest of her life. She lifted her head and drank in the sight of him, his face totally at peace, his breathing regular, his bangs fringing his beautiful eyes.|
She nudged him gently. "Hey."
His eyes remained closed, but a smile tugged at the corners of his mouth. "Hey," he mumbled. He had no desire to move. Ever. He would just stay in this room with Liz and let the world, the universe, be damned.
"I'm not moving," he informed her.
Liz had no intention of arguing with that, so she snuggled closer.
There was a knock at the door. "Liz! Max! Uh, time to get up!" Paul Hernandez stood at the door to Max and Liz's room, awkwardly waiting for someone to answer the door. Somehow, he always felt like an intruder around them, like the world they lived in was just a bit apart from his, and he needed permission to enter it.
Liz sat up quickly. "Just a minute!" She scrambled out of the bed.
"What are you wearing?" Max asked, giving her a lingering once-over, eyebrows raised. Liz looked down, absorbing with some confusion that the nightgown from their conversation with her grandmother had mysteriously disappeared and she was back in the towel she had worn to bed.
"I had no clean clothes, Max. I rinsed mine out in the tub, but you were already asleep when I came out to see if you wanted to do the same with yours."
"I was asleep all night next to you in nothing but a towel? What a waste!" He looked amused, but Liz was all too aware of Paul Hernandez waiting at the door.
"I've gotta get dressed!" she stage-whispered to him, irritated at his grin. She ran into the bathroom to retrieve her clothes, which, to her dismay, were nowhere near dry.
Max was at her side in an instant. "What's wrong?"
"Oh, sorry. I didn't mean 'I'm in trouble' help. It's just my clothes are still wet. Could you . . . ?"
Max sighed with relief, and in a few seconds her clothes were dry.
"Thank you!" She went up on tiptoe and kissed his cheek. "You'd better get cleaned up. You're disgusting!" she giggled and closed the door, leaving Max to face his dirty body, hair, and clothes.
After giving Liz a moment to change, he walked back into the bedroom, his body and his clothes completely clean. "No fair," pouted Liz, as she opened the door to Paul.
"Good morning. I hope you had a good night." He was sorry he said that as soon as it was out of his mouth, but Max and Liz were completely at ease, apparently happy to see him. "We've got to make some phone calls. First, I'll leave a message for the Holbrooks that we decided to drive back to Roswell so they won't come meet you tomorrow. Then, Liz, I'll call your dad?"
Liz nodded. "Yeah, I know he's a little worried, so let's not make it sound too bad. Not much detail, okay?"
"Agreed. Max? You just want Jeff to talk to your mom?"
"Yeah. I'm afraid if my dad hears about this before I can tell him myself, it'll be rough."
"Fine. Claudia came to talk last night. Said she'd been in to see you. We looked at the artifact you found in the tunnel. I think it could be the Criston. I really do."
Max and Liz knew this was a possibility, but to hear Paul say it out loud struck them both. What would it mean if it were the Criston? What were they supposed to do with it?
"Mr. Hernandez, Grandma told us last night that she had been drawn to the Supernova Petroglyph up at Penasco Blanco. And when Max and I were here last week, we felt a strong pull to the area where the Anasazi roads converged. We'd really like to stay here today and check those two places out . . . if you don't mind."
"I remember her talking about that feeling. We must have hiked up to that site at least three times. Whatever it was, she felt it was important. But we never saw anything except the imprints of a crescent moon, the supernova, and a hand."
"One other thing." Max spoke hesitantly. "I know this sounds odd, but I have felt an unnatural pull toward Liz recently, too." He looked at Paul to see if he believed him, or was chalking it up to an infatuated boy.
Liz glanced sharply at Max. "Really, Max? Because I've felt that, too. Whenever I've had to leave you, it's almost like two magnets pulling apart. It only started since our first visit here."
Max, too, looked surprised. "I didn't know you were feeling it, too," he smiled, reaching for her hand.
Paul studied them for a moment. "I have no reason to doubt you. We have seen and felt enough unbelievable things, I guess this is just one more." He smiled at them reassuringly. "I'll make those calls and we'll meet in the restaurant in 20 minutes, okay?"
"Bring the Criston, please, Mr. Hernandez. We may need it," Max reminded him.
Paul left, and Liz immediately reached for her grandmother's journals. "Let's go back and reread the parts about the petroglyph and the roads." She handed one book to Max and lay face down on the bed with another. Max stretched out next to her and started to leaf through the journal.
"Liz, you feel it, too, don't you? The pull, I mean? You didn't just say that to persuade Mr. Hernandez? You know, backing me up?"
"I felt it when we came home from here last week, when we had to leave each other at the Jeep behind the Crashdown. I wasn't sure if it was a good thing or not."
Max nodded. "That's exactly when I noticed it, too. I guess we'll learn eventually what it's about," he sighed.
They began to peruse the journals again. Liz found nothing new regarding the petroglyph, only that her grandmother had felt strongly that it was important in some way. She jumped when Max reached over to get her attention. "Liz! Look at this! It says that the Navajo were afraid of the Anasazi roads--something about it being the home of the Big Monster. But the Anasazi claimed the roads were a path to knowledge and enlightenment."
Liz looked over his shoulder at the notes her grandmother had written. "Big Monster. What could have scared off the Navajo but not the Anasazi? What's that newspaper clipping?"
Max reached over and unfolded the yellowing paper and began to scan it. "It's from 1990. Some archeology student, Carla Van West, says it couldn't have been drought that drove the Anasazi from Colorado; they'd survived those several times before. She says, 'The peculiar character of the abandonment is its completeness, its rapidity. This suggests some kind of pull was operating as well--or an ideology favoring migration.' Liz! You know what this could mean? Your grandmother told us that they left because the conflict between the two groups of aliens had dragged the Anasazi down, making them turn their backs on everything they had built. This fits right in! What if they were 'pulled' here by the same feeling we're having. What if there was something here? What if it's still here?"
Liz's eyes grew wide as Max speculated. They jumped off the bed and began to pace. The pieces were beginning to fit.
"Max, what if whatever that thing is that was pulling them is the 'Big Monster'? The hybrid Anasazi felt drawn toward it because of their alien side. And they would have brought others with them--they would have felt it was a good thing. But if the Navajo saw it, they might have been afraid. They had no connection with it!"
Max gave Liz a quick hug. Could they really be getting close to figuring this out? he wondered.
"Let's get to the restaurant. We're late to meet Paul. I wonder what he'll think of all this."
When they arrived at the inn's restaurant, Paul was waiting. He could see the two teens were excited about something. They swooped into the booth and rushed into their theory. Once they had finished, they watched him expectantly.
Paul ran through their hypothesis in his mind, trying to find a flaw, an inconsistency. With what they had to go on, it made more sense than anything he and Claudia had come up with. "You might be on to something," he commented cautiously. "I'm not sure how we prove it, though."
Max and Liz beamed at him. "First, we go up to the petroglyph and see if we can figure out what it was that made Grandma so interested in it," announced Max, clearly ready to take control of the situation. Liz smiled to herself. That was the first time Max had let himself call her "Grandma."
"It's quite a hike," Paul warned them. "We'd better get breakfast over with and get going. I'll grab us some stuff for lunch."
For the first time since this whole journey had begun, they felt they had a plan, a chance to finally learn the truth.
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