FanFic - Max/Liz
"The Hyades "
Part 1
by Heidi
Disclaimer: Roswell and its characters belong to Jason Katims and Melinda Metz. No infringement on their creative genius is intended.
Summary: Liz & Max face some difficult decisions as the time to go to college approaches.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: This was conceived of and partially written previous to the airing of "Blind Date" wherein Aries was established as the constellation in Michael's vision. For the purpose of my fic, Taurus is the constellation.
Glowing softly, the flames of the candles lit around her danced, mimicking the glittering stars that hung above. It was a peaceful evening in the small city of Roswell, New Mexico. The only sound she heard was the light rasp of her pen travelling across paper. Liz Parker set down the pen and closed her journal with a sigh. Like most nights, she was sitting in a lawn chaise on top of the roof of her parent’s cafe, The Crashdown.

Where was he? Liz wondered. She looked down at the watch on her wrist. It had been almost a half an hour since he called and said he was on his way over. Maybe his Jeep broke down. It wasn’t unusual for that to happen. But wouldn’t he have called and told her? She glanced over to the open window of her bedroom which was level with the roof. Should she try and call him at home? Stop it, she told herself. He’ll be here. He probably got sidetracked or something.

Sighing again, she looked down at the journal laying on her lap. Wedged between the last few pages of the book was an envelope. When it had arrived in the mail a few days ago, the paper had been white and crisp. Now, it was already beginning to show the wear and tear of being constantly handled. One corner was creased where it had been inadvertently folded, and there were faint smudges left from the natural oils in her finger tips. With what seemed to be the hundredth time, Liz pulled the single sheet of paper out from within the envelope.

It still seemed like a dream. She had worked so hard, wanted this to happen for so long, and it was finally coming true. Gingerly fingering the paper, her eyes focused on the crimson insignia and the word printed within: “Ve Ri Tas.” It was Latin for “truth,” and the motto of Harvard University. Her application to attend college there had been accepted. She was going to Massachusetts to study molecular biology. Liz closed her eyes briefly and brought the paper close to her chest. If only her other dream would come true, everything would be perfect.

Liz knew the names of the colleges her boyfriend, Max Evans, had applied to attend: Amherst, Cornell, University of Michigan and the University of Southern California. She had been immensely disappointed when he didn’t apply to Harvard with her, but she understood. Just as she had chosen to apply to Harvard for their world renown research in molecular biology, he had chosen colleges who were equally distinguished by their astronomy programs. She prayed that he would attend Amherst so they could be close to each other.

Her lips spread into a small smile as she considered how both she and Max had chosen to major in a science. She already felt such a strong connection to him, and this was only another reason why.

Laughing quietly, she recalled how much things had changed over the past two years. Not only in the big things, but in the little things as well. Like how during her sophomore year at high school, Liz had thought Max wasn’t cut out to be a good scientist.

They were lab partners in biology that year, and Max had always avoided assignments that involved dissecting. He would insist she do the cutting while he recorded their observations.

At first, she didn’t understand his squeamishness. Liz knew that as a scientist, one had to probe the inner workings of the things around you and discover their secrets. However, once she did know Max’s secret, she realized why he avoided dissecting; He couldn’t escape the fear that if anyone found out what he was, he’d be the one being examined and cut apart.

Yes, that year had completely changed her life. It was then Max risked his own life to save hers. In an instant, everything she ever knew was turned upside down and even more so when Max told her he was an alien. But after the shock wore off, it was like she was able to see him for the first time.

And she fell in love. It didn’t matter to her that he “was not of this earth.” Tilting her head, Liz looked toward the stars and whispered a fervent wish. This next year would be another time when everything could change for her. Would Max be there by her side?

Liz’s eyes sought out the familiar V-shaped constellation. Finding it, she leaned back onto the chair and kept her gaze locked upon the luminous cluster. Somewhere among those stars was where Max’s people came from.

Astronomers referred to them as the Hyades, one of the nearest galactic clusters to Earth. She wondered what the inhabitants of Max’s world called their home.

Together, she and Max had gathered every bit of information they could regarding the yellow giants. And during that time, Max made the decision to study Astronomy. It didn’t surprise her. Of course he wanted to try and learn more about where he came from. It was the next logical step for him to take, a natural progression in his search for answers.

What would she do if the time ever came for Max to go home? Liz asked herself. The Hyades were 150 light-years away from Earth. She didn’t know if she could endure such a distance between them. She was already having trouble facing the prospect of being separated from him when they went to college. Max just had to go to Amherst. He had to.

She shifted her eyes away from the sky and looked at the letter in her hands again. No, she couldn’t be selfish. Max would never keep her from her goals. He had always sacrificed his happiness, his comfort for hers. That was what true love was. No matter what the future held for them, she would help him pursue his dreams. Even if it meant she had to be strong enough to let him go. With that thought Liz’s eyes began to water.

Quickly, she blinked away the tears and chided herself. She was being silly working herself up over mere possibilities.

Her thoughts again returned to where her boyfriend could be. Looking at her watch she realized it had now been an hour since he called. She decided she wasn’t going to wait any longer. She would call his house and see if something had kept him from their date.

Sitting up, she returned the letter to its place in her journal. Then she moved toward her bedroom window and stopped. There, standing in her room while leaning out the windowsill, was Max, smiling at her with adoration in his eyes.


It seemed as if he had always been watching her. Ever since he first met Liz, Max couldn’t keep his eyes off of her. He was repeatedly stunned by her incredible beauty, and left equally amazed that she returned his love.

Tonight was no different, except he had a new vantage point. All of the other nights he had come to join her on the roof she heard his ascent up the ladder. By the time he reached her, she would be waiting for him expectantly. And while he knew it was her routine to sit amid candles writing in her journal, he had never been witness to her quiet reverie. Until now.

Leaning out the open window, Max watched as Liz sat back in her chair to gaze up into the sky. He knew what her eyes were searching for - The Hyades. Countless nights before they had sat up here together peering out into the darkness, always in the same direction. Always wondering who might be up there looking back. For them, the stars held deep meaning and mixed potential.

All the answers he was looking for could lay within those spheres of glowing matter. At the same time, those answers could tear him away from all he had grown to love. Everyday he lived with the uncertainty of what the future held. So did Liz. With all they had endured, gone through together, she knew just as well as he how precarious life was.

The past two years had held so many changes and Liz stood staunchly by his side through it all. The various close calls and near misses of being discovered. The many trials and struggles to maintain the semblance of being normal. Even when he tried to push her away, she remained. He had wanted to protect her, but in the end realized she was the one protecting him. Liz was his stronghold, his shelter from the brutal feelings of alienation that assaulted him when things were their worst. Yet, as strong as their love was, Max couldn’t help but feel some regret.

He still woke up every morning and thanked the gods for giving him such a miracle in her love. However, he recognized how the circumstances of his life had changed her.

Liz was still the indomitable spirit she had always been. Her inherent nature had remained unchanged. Instead, it was the little things only lovers notice that concerned him. Those who did not know Liz as intimately attributed the difference to the quiet sophistication of maturity. Max acknowledged some truth in their assessment, but also saw more.

Before the shooting at the Crashdown, when he had healed her, Liz had been so open to every experience life offered. She had an innocence, a simple trust in those around her to be as honest as she was with them. She had laughed more and worried less.

Now, her outlook was tinged with suspicion and new faces were greeted warily. No longer did she play along with the UFO obsessed customers who came into the cafe looking for a good story. The fake alien photo was long gone, and her response to inquiries was a firm denial of any belief in extraterrestrials. Caution was paramount.

Max would never find fault with his girlfriend for these tendencies, nor did he love her any less because of them. How could he since they were an integral part of his nature as well? Indeed, his love was strengthened by Liz’s determination to share in the peculiarities of his existence. He merely wished his secret had not been the catalyst to the changes in her behavior.

Hearing the rustle of movement, Max’s thoughts returned to the present. He watched lovingly as Liz stirred in her seat. Her hands, which had been folded on her chest, were now holding a sheet of paper. She looked at it intently.

Grinning, he gently shook his head. He didn’t think that letter had left her sight since it arrived. She kept having to reassure herself that she really was going to Harvard University. Even before high school Liz had made up her mind to go there. For her, there was no other alternative. Max envied her confidence, how she knew exactly what she wanted. His decision regarding college had not been so easy.

More than anything, Max wanted to be with Liz. Attending Amherst would be an easy choice since it would allow him to do that.

Yet, there was still too much uncertainty in his life. Too many questions left to be answered. And as long as they remained he felt like he couldn’t be fair to Liz. She deserved so much more than he could offer. Like security and stability. He didn’t want her to go through life always looking over her shoulder, or having to worry about him leaving someday. Time and again, Liz told him these things didn’t matter to her and that there were no guarantees in life, but Max longed for something more. He looked for a time when he could promise her his heart and his life unreservedly.

Determination filled his countenance as he continued to gaze at the woman he loved. One day he would make that vow. Until then, there were some difficult choices to make, including where he would attend college. He had come specifically to talk with her about it tonight. Except before he had the chance to talk with Liz, someone else had needed to talk with him. It was ironic, they wanted to know what his future plans were, like Liz did. And that was why he was late.

As if on cue, Max saw Liz look at her watch to check the time. By watching her, he had made himself even later. He knew she would be concerned about him and even indignant when she found him standing there. He didn’t mind though. He’d let her find him staring at her. Why shouldn’t he? No man in love could or would want to stop looking at what he adored. So, as she turned toward him, he smiled and let all that he felt toward her shine out through his eyes.


“How long have you been standing there?” Liz was surprised by the tone of her own voice. It was supposed to be upset, yet it merely sounded subdued and mildly curious. But even accomplishing that much was a struggle, she thought to herself. The intensity with which Max was staring at her had completely disarmed Liz and rendered her breathless. Any and all thought was gone, including her plans to berate him for being late.

Although Liz had found Max watching her on many occasions before, none of those times were like this. There was no trace of the reserved expression Max usually wore in his day-to-day life. Instead, his face was completely open. It seemed as if he was pouring his soul out through his eyes, revealing all of the naked emotions he held inside. And all of it was directed toward her, caressing her, washing over her in intoxicating waves. She felt the heat of a blush begin, and suddenly, Liz’s knees didn’t seem to want to hold her up any more.

Unwillingly, she broke eye contact with Max to sit back down on her chair. Her eyes focused on the ground as she tried to concentrate on breathing normally. Could Max see how deeply he had affected her? Liz tried to regain her composure as she watched Max’s shadow approach. When the shadow stopped, she looked up and saw him standing next to her, a half-smile playing on his face.

“I’m sorry I’m late,” he said simply, and the spell was broken.

Max leaned down to kiss her gently and she reveled in the warm touch of his lips against hers. The familiarity of it was calming and she was able to find her voice again after he pulled away.

“I was getting worried, Max.” Liz replied. “I thought maybe the Jeep had broken down again and I was just about to go to my room to call...” Her voice trailed off as something else interrupted her train of thought. She looked questioningly at her bedroom window and then back to her boyfriend. “Why were you in my room? I mean, you’ve never come up that way before. You always come up the ladder. What’s going on Max? Why are you so late?”

“Liz, nothing’s going on,” Max immediately reassured her. “I drove straight here after I called. But after I parked the Jeep and started toward the ladder...” He paused and turned his eyes heavenward, away from her piercing look. “Your mom sorta stopped me. I guess she was waiting for me to come over. She and your dad wanted to talk.” He looked back at her then and smiled wryly, shrugging his shoulders. “That’s why I’m late.”

“Oh, no.” Liz’s hand moved to partially cover her face as what Max said sank in. She felt her face redden again, this time from embarrassment. “Please, tell me they didn’t give you ‘the talk’, Max.”

“I’m afraid so.” He said, confirming her fears.

Rolling her eyes, Liz groaned in frustration. “They gave me the same talk last night. I never thought they would do it to you too though. And it’s not like we’re little kids who have no idea what’s going on. We’ve already talked about this a million times, even before we filled out our college applications.” Liz shook her head in disbelief. “I’m sorry, Max.”

“Don’t be. They’re your parents. They have a right to be concerned about you. Anyway, my parents gave me the same talk a few days ago.” Max recalled that night at the dining room table, and considered how much it had affected the decision he eventually made.

“But it’s like they are afraid we are going to elope or something!” She exclaimed irritably.

A mischievous twinkle appeared in Max’s eyes. “I can’t say I haven’t considered the idea.”

Liz was surprised by his remark and laughed. She recognized the half-joke, half-truth of his comment. “Really?” She asked lightheartedly, as she stood up from her seat and shortened the space between them, putting her arms around his neck. They both loved each other so much. Everyone around them saw it as well. Except, no one knew what the future held in store for them, least of all themselves.

“Yeah.” Max answered quietly, then cupped her face in a hand and kissed her a second time. A passionate kiss that spoke of the belonging and fulfillment they discovered in each other. A kiss that intimated promises of more to come between them.

After awhile they parted, their breathing uneven, standing together silently. Max pulled Liz close to him so her head rested on his chest. It was time, he thought to himself. He couldn’t avoid this any longer. “Liz,” he spoke softly. “We have to talk.”

Instantly, Liz stiffened in his embrace. She knew that tone of voice. Max only used it when he had to say something she wouldn’t want to hear. The panic began to rise in her throat, but she quelled it, diverting her attention to the steady rhythm of his heart beating against her cheek. This was Max, the man she loved. Whatever happened, they would face it together. Their love was resilient and she had absolute confidence in it. Liz let her body relax against his once more. “What, Max?”

As he felt Liz tense within his arms, Max struggled to find the words to explain what was on his mind. What should he say? How could he start this conversation? If he wasn’t careful, this could blow up in his face before it even began, which was what he specifically wanted to avoid. But his brain wouldn’t cooperate. All of the words he had practiced, all of the certainty he had mustered up evaded him now. He heard her exhale against his chest and felt her body mold itself to his anew. Liz trusted him with her heart and soul. He knew it, felt it in the way she waited patiently for him to answer.

Awkwardly, he started to speak, groping for the right thing to say. “Liz, the first time you looked through a microscope, you knew you wanted to be a scientist. You’ve looked forward to studying at Harvard for as long as I’ve known you. And while we did talk about going off to college, I think our parents are right. We’ve always envisaged things working out exactly as we wanted. All we cared about was that we’d be leaving Roswell behind and getting a fresh start.”

While Liz understood the words Max was saying, it didn’t register why he was saying them. What was bothering him? What had precipitated this anxiety on his part? Was it something her parents said? Or could it have to do with something completely different? She pulled away from him enough to search his face, trying to discern where these concerns stemmed from.

“Max, is this because you haven’t gotten a letter from Amherst yet? Liz guessed. “You know there’s still several days before the response deadline, April 1st. It’ll come, I know it.”

“That’s not it, Liz.” Max responded, tucking a stray lock of silken hair behind her ear. For a moment, he let his fingers play in her dark tresses, allowing himself to simply enjoy the feel of her. Then he inhaled deeply and continued. “I don’t want to keep you from accomplishing your dreams, Liz.”

“How could you do that?” Her voice was perplexed, and a little worry was beginning to seep in as well.

“No matter where I go, I won’t be able to escape what I am. There will always be the threat of being discovered, the uncertainty of not knowing, hanging over me. My life will always consist of staring at shadows and looking for danger signs. With me, you’ll never be able to have a normal life.”

With those words, Liz wrenched herself from his grasp. Why was he bringing this up again? They had spent months debating this issue long ago, before they became a couple. Liz had worked so hard to convince Max that it was okay that he was different, that their relationship didn’t have to be normal. But now, to hear him utter those same insecurities once more, she felt betrayed.

Her expression remained composed, yet her voice wavered as she spoke. “What’s normal, Max? I don’t really think it even exists. With everything that goes on in this world, whose life is normal? People get sick and die, there are accidents and tragedies all around us every day. Who going through those things would say it is normal? It’s all relative, Max. Normal isn’t a way of life, it’s just a perspective.”

Listening to her words, Max thought of how Liz had always possessed the inner fortitude she displayed now. When he came to the roof tonight, he had no doubt that she’d be able to handle his news. Rather, it was his own qualms over his decision that caused him to fumble this discussion.

“How come you always have an answer for anything I say?” He asked dryly.

“How come you always bring this up?” She retorted.

“Because I have to.” And Max really felt that he did. Liz would give up everything for him, and he knew it. He couldn’t let her though.

“Exactly, Max.” Liz’s voice had grown calm again. “How could I not have the answers, especially when you are the most important person in my life? How could I give up without a fight?” She took advantage of the room between them to study him. Some kind of struggle was going on within, she saw it in his eyes. “What is this really about, Max?”

Max shoved his hands in his pockets and shifted his weight from one foot to the other. Finally, he met her penetrating gaze and slowly pulled a piece of paper out from his back pant pocket, holding it out to her. Seeing the grim expression on his face, Liz’s stomach somersaulted with fear. There was no way Amherst rejected his application, was there? Her hesitation in reaching for the document was barely noticeable to Max, but she felt as if the world around her had slowed to a virtual standstill.

Desperately, irrationally, Liz wondered why there was no envelope. It was obviously a letter, but an envelope could have somehow prepared her for whatever information she was about to receive. Unfolding the paper, she looked for the purple seal of Amherst college and found none. Printed in its place was a red and gold Trojan. And without even realizing it, Liz began to read aloud. “Dear Max Evans, Congratulations and welcome to the University of Southern California.” She stopped and looked up at her boyfriend, a solitary question in her mind. “Amherst?”

“I was accepted, Liz. But I’m not going there.” Max’s voice was sad, sadder than Liz had ever heard it before, but it was also resolute.

Wordlessly, her eyes communicated to him what she needed to know: Why?

“The last thing I want to do is leave you, Liz. But I think it’s best if we follow our own paths in life for awhile. Allow you some time to concentrate on becoming a molecular biologist, and give me some time to find some answers - if I can. I don’t feel right being with you not knowing who I am—who you’re in love with. When I’m with you, I want to give you the stars, I want to promise to be everything to you, but I can’t when there is so much I don’t know. I’ll never stop loving you, Liz. I just need time to try and figure some of this out. And afterward, no matter what I have or haven’t discovered, I’ll come back to you and swear to never leave your side again.”

Leave you. Liz, reeling from the knowledge that Max would be going to USC, could barely believe her ears. Had Max really said those words? She forced herself to pay attention to what he was saying and knew she had heard correctly. Each additional word from his mouth felt like a crushing blow, pummeling her down into darkness. Life without Max? She had considered it before, but only as a very distant possibility. Never once did it occur to her that it would happen this way. And now he was trying to soothe her heartbreak with promises he couldn’t possibly keep. How could he promise to never leave again? She knew he wasn’t being insincere, but what would happen if Max ever found where he was really from? How could she possibly keep him from going home? Yet, that wasn’t the circumstance now, was it? Max wasn’t going away to some unknown galaxy millions of light years away, he was going to California. But for what reason?

Max’s eyes strained to make out her reaction to his answer, praying she’d forgive him for his choice. A tear raced down Liz’s cheek and it felt like he’d been stabbed through the heart. He wished he could reach out and wipe it away, but didn’t dare. She needed to decide how she felt about this without him confusing her more. So, he waited.

“Why USC?” Liz inquired after a long silence, biting her lip.

“Because of who is there.” He paused and took a few steps toward her, his arms aching to hold her close to him again, to reassure her of his love. “Remember when we researched the Hyades cluster? How we scoured every scientific journal for the latest findings regarding them?” Max saw Liz nod, her eyes widening with curiosity. He continued, excitement building in his voice. “Well, in one of those articles, there was mention of a professor, Dr. Kulkari, who was studying variable stars. Specifically, BU Tauri, a variable star within the Taurus constellation. His theories explaining BU Tauri’s unusual variation were radical, unheard of in the field, but it interested me. So, I’ve been following his work since.”

He stopped for a moment, trying to calm himself down, remembering how recent developments were the instigating factors for him to leave the woman he loved. “Liz, Dr. Kulkari was comparing BU Tauri to another variable star within the Hyades, T Tauri, and he found something. He’s not sure, but he thinks he might have discovered a planet orbiting T Tauri.”

The elation in Max’s face, the passion with which he was speaking swept up around Liz, shaking her out of her self-pity. She couldn’t remember the last time she had seen him like this before. There was a complete change in his demeanor from when he announced he wasn’t going to Massachusetts.

This is his dream, she thought to herself, and he’s trying so hard not to disappoint me by leaving to chase after it. But it’s there in his eyes. He needs to find out for himself whatever it is this star might hold for him. And in order for him to do it, she would have to be brave. Because if she was selfish, if she held him back from his dream, she wouldn’t be worthy of his love. Banishing all thoughts of herself, Liz smiled softly at the man she adored, her voice even softer. “A planet? Really, Max? Do you think it could be where you’re from?”

That was all Max needed. With two long strides he was by her side, crushing her to him. She understood, his angel would forgive him for leaving her, if only for a little while. “I don’t know, Liz. I know the chances that it is are slim, but I have to find out. Kulkari himself isn’t certain it’s a planet. There is too much gaseous matter surrounding the object. The important thing is that he just received a major research grant in conjunction with another Professor at the University of Hawaii to study T Tauri and find out exactly what it is. That’s why I have to go to USC.”

In this gigantic universe, Liz mused, she never felt lost or afraid in Max’s arms. And here he was, planning to seek out explanations behind the mystery of it all in Los Angeles, far away from where she would be. The thought made her shiver uneasily, and Max felt it.

“Are you cold? Come here, let’s sit down. We can keep each other warm.” He directed them toward her chair, grabbing the blanket she kept nearby. They sat down and snuggled close to each other, their bodies fitting together perfectly. Liz could feel Max’s breath against the side of her neck and considered how few nights like this were left to them now. It would be hard for them to be apart, but this would be another obstacle they’d overcome. Max was her soul mate. They had been destined to find each other, and wherever life took them, they would always return to each other’s arms.

“Max,” Liz said quietly, resting her forehead against his, “I want you find what you are looking for. And I hope you find it soon. But even if you don’t, I want you to know that here is where you belong.”

“In Roswell, Liz?”

“No.” Liz laughed. “In my arms.” While she was still giggling, his lips pressed against hers. This kiss was sweet and tender and held within it the delicious reassurance of their unyielding love and complete trust in each other.

“I guess I’m going to have to start saving up for the long distance phone calls.” Max said when they broke apart.

“Does that mean I have to invest in stamps?” She joked, brushing her fingers through the hair resting on his forehead. Liz saw the smile on Max’s face and matched it with one of her own. Then, she directed her gaze out into space, toward that same V-shaped constellation. “Tell me more about T Tauri, Max. Which one is it?” As Max lifted his arm to point out the star to her, she listened with rapt attention.

The stars were full of possibilities, she thought. And just a few years ago, she would have never guessed that falling in love with an alien was one of them.

The End

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