Fanfic - Max/Liz
"The Seed"
Part 12
by Lady Victoria
Disclaimer: All of these characters except for Nell, Conroy, and the Bishop, belong to WB.
Summary: Max and Liz uncover a secret about her past.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note: This may not be consistent with the show, but it can't be more confusing than Roswell's second season.
On the way back to town, they said very little. Liz was busy concentrating on how she would approach Nancy with her questions, and Max was worried about her. Michael was trying to get some kind of response from Maria who kept her face turned away from him. Isabel eyed them all as if trying to break the silence, then gave up with a shrug and shifted her gaze to the window closest to her. In the end it was Michael who spoke. "Max, not that it matters now, but that journal business, what gave me away? I mean, what'd I do to make you suspicious?"

"Nothing. That was the problem."

"What? Nothing?"

"That's right. I told you that Liz had written about us in her journal, that it was missing, that someone might know all about us, and you didn't so much as raise your voice. I mean, face facts, Michael. When you feel threatened, you flip out major time. It's your trademark. I was almost afraid to tell you about the journal, afraid of how you'd react, and there you were, calm and silent. I knew something was up. When you left school that day, I followed you, and well, you know the rest."

"Well, I don't know it!" Maria snapped. "Suppose you fill me in." Max proceeded to explain how Michael had returned the journal to Liz at the Crashdown with apologies and assurances that then he knew he could trust her. Maria turned her angry gaze on Michael. "You knew you could trust us then, after you'd read her private thoughts! You shouldn't have needed to go snooping through her journal!"

"Maria, please." Liz sounded weary, but Maria persisted.

"Well, he shouldn't have! Who came up with the plan to get Valenti off their backs at the Crash festival? You did. Who went to that sleezy trailer park home of his and warned him about Agent Topolsky snooping through his file? You!" Michael winced. Even after moving into his own place, the "sleezy trailer park" still haunted him. He had always been ashamed of it; Liz had seen that when she'd shown up there that day. Maria was definitely angry, and she still wasn't finished. "She's stuck her neck for you since the day this all started; we both have! We've lied to the police and our families, everyone! And you still have to snoop through another person's journal!" She might have said more but broke off. After a minute she said, "Stop the car, Max. I'm close to my house. I can walk from here."

"Come on, Maria." Michael caught her arm, but she pulled free. The car slowed and stopped. Maria got out and walked quickly away. "Can't we talk about this?" Michael called after her.

"Just steal my journal and read it." Maria said over her shoulder. "You really get a kick out things like that!" Her footsteps faded away. Liz sighed.

"Don't worry, Michael. I'll talk to her." Michael stared at Liz, taking in the weary tone and the pale face. Liz was worn out practically, and here she was worrying about his relationship with Maria. He touched her shoulder, something he probably wouldn't have done three years ago.

"Don't bother. She's right, anyway. You both have stuck your necks out, and I shouldn't have had to read your journal. I didn't think about that at the time. I don't know why."

"You can't help yourself, Michael. You're paranoid." Max answered. Michael shot a look at him, and Max was quick to explain. "Oh, I don't mean that as an insult. I'm just stating a fact. We've all been on the cautious side ever since we came out of the pods, but you most of all. I felt it ever since you didn't take my hand that day, the day Isabel and I were found." A wave of tension rippled through the car. Max's hands gripped the steering wheel tightly. Michael drew a breath and closed his eyes. Isabel leaned her head back against the head rest, and Liz thought she saw her shake. She knew they were all thinking of that day, and strangely enough, she thought of it too, that wide open space in the desert, the heat, Max holding out his hand to Michael and Michael running away. Lonliness and desperation, they were both there, and the sensation was getting stronger. I'm evolving, Liz thought, growing more like them every second, and she didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Her mind was running in circles, in the midst of an identity crisis. Her hand began to shake. Max gripped it tightly in his own, and the tension was gone. "I felt even then that trust was going to be hard for you. It causes problems for us, sure, but then my love for Liz causes problems too. I can't help feeling the way I do, though, and neither can you. That's why I didn't say anything to you before about the journal. We all just have to make allowances." He pulled the car up in front of the Crashdown Cafe. "Liz?" He nudged her. "Here you are."

"Oh, yes." she nodded. She had been so drawn into his conversation with Michael, she'd failed to notice where they were. "I suppose I'd better go." She climbed from the car.

"Would you like us to come too?" Isabel asked. Liz and the boys looked at her in amazement, surprised that it was Isabel making the suggestion. "No, thank you. I think this is something I've got to do by myself."

"Liz, if it gets too rough, we're around. And Maria too." Max told her. Liz nodded and waved as the car drove away. They were around, they and Maria. Funny, they were more like family to her now than Jeff and Nancy Parker were. She took a deep breath and walked to the door, not noticing the tall figure lurking in the shadows behind her, the tall figure in Amish garb.

Part 11 | Index
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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