by Lady Victoria
|Disclaimer: All of these characters except for Nell, Conroy, and the Bishop, belong
Summary: Max and Liz uncover a secret about her past.
Author's Note: This may not be consistent with the show, but it can't be more confusing than Roswell's second season.
|They both went out to the waiting room and sat down. For a long moment neither of them spoke, and Max couldn't help remembering the awkwardness they'd both felt when he'd first told her the truth three years ago. Like deja vu, he thought. Then he spoke her name at the same time she spoke his. They both stopped and smiled.|
Max gestured towards her. "You first." She took a deep breath.
"I just wanted to thank you again. First me and then my father. You seem to be making a habit of saving the Parker clan." She stopped, and he waited as if expecting her to say more. When she was silent, he cleared his throat.
"I didn't save him, Liz. It wasn't like I did with you. All I did was slow it down. I didn't dare go the whole way with him, in case . . .well, you know."
"In case of changes." she finished for him. He nodded.
"I wasn't a hero, Liz. I was scared to death. I was tempted to just call 911 and let them handle it, but the way he looked . . ." Max's voice trailed off for a moment, and then he said, "I just couldn't risk it. If anything happens, I'm sorry . . ."
"No, Max. Don't say you're sorry. Don't say that because my father is alive, just like I am. That's what I had forgotten when I wrote you that letter. I was just thinking about these changes, the fact that your healing me may have caused them. I felt so alone and cut off. So . . ." She struggled to find the right words, and Max supplied them.
"Abnormal? Different?" She nodded, remembering the last time she had heard him say them, the night of the Crash festival.
"Yes, like an adopted child, almost. It was like I wasn't human any longer, like I didn't belong anywhere, not with Maria or with my parents, not even with you. And then tonight . . ." Again she broke off. Max took her hand, and she didn't pull away.
"You don't have to tell me now. Take your time. We can talk later."
"No, I want to tell you now. It's important. I felt it, Max. I felt it faintly, but it was there, that power surge. I felt dizzy for a minute, and then I was seeing you or sensing you with my father. It was that same feeling I got when you healed me. That's how I knew, Max, how I knew where you'd be, both of you."
Max swallowed hard. "You knew that I had . . ."
Liz nodded. "I knew something had happened, that one of you was using your powers, and that Dad was in trouble. I wasn't in Vermont. I was on my way to see Maria, so it didn't take me long to get here." She paused and looked at him. "Is it normal to . . .sense things like that?" It was like a novice asking an expert. He nodded.
"When one of us uses the power, the others usually sense it." One of us. Was Liz becoming one of them?
"I felt a jolt and then I knew that I had to go home. And tonight when I saw Dad lying in that bed, I was so ashamed."
"Ashamed?" Max stared at her. "Ashamed of what?"
"Of myself. Of that letter I wrote you. Here I was blaming you for what was happening to me, and if it hadn't been for you, nothing would be happening to me. No Harvard education, no career, NOTHING! I would have been just as dead as my father almost was tonight. When I looked at him, I saw what a fool I'd been. Oh, Max, can you forgive me?"
"Of course. You had a right to some anger. I've always asked too much from you since this whole business about our destiny started. Kyle was right. You should think of yourself. I'm just glad you don't hate me."
"I could never hate you, Max, and as for thinking about myself, that's why I'm here."
"How long are you here?"
"For good, Max. I'm not going back to Vermont."
Max stared. "Are you sure? The year isn't over yet."
"I can attend summer school or have home schooling. I'll finish up my senior year somehow. I'm not running back to Vermont, Max. That's what I was doing, and it doesn't work. Maybe I am changing, evolving, becoming one of you, whatever. Whatever it is, I can't run from it, anymore than you and Michael and Isabel could run away from what you are. I have to face it, and I have to face it here where there are people who can help me, not some place where I'm not known."
"People who can help you, Liz?" Max stressed the word people and Liz smiled.
"Well, hybrids, I guess." Max gazed at her. Her eyes were bright, and there was color in her cheeks. She was strong. She could face this, and she wanted his help. Max was proud.
"I have to know," he told her. "I have to know about the changes you've experienced. It's important, Liz, because if they were caused when I healed you, that means that I have to be careful. Careful how I use my powers and when I use them."
Liz thought for a moment. "I can sense when the power is being used. I can move things a little, levitate them, I guess. But I can't really control it, Max, and that's what's so scary. It's like trying to catch a mad horse . . like. . " she stopped.
"Like Michael when he's freaked out." Max supplied.
Liz gave a definite nod. "Exactly."
"Michael's more in control now, more confident. I guess it really happened when he realized he wasn't alone, that he really had friends." He looked at Liz intently. "You're not alone, Liz, not ever. I know what you're going through. I went through the same thing myself, realizing I was different, dealing with it, and I'm hear if you want me."
Liz laid a hand on his arm. "I want you here, Max. It concerns you as much as me. I'd like for us to meet with all the others and discuss this."
Max nodded. "Including Maria, Kyle and Valenti. I should like to talk to Kyle. After all I healed him too once. He may've started changing too."
Liz shrugged. "He wasn't showing any when I left, but it's been a while. Maybe things are different." Her gaze shifted to something else, and Max turned in the direction she was looking. A woman in her mid-thirties had entered the hospital lobby and had stopped to talk to the receptionist. Max couldn't see much except a cloud of soft brown hair tumbling about her shoulders and a trim figure. Then Liz stood up and approached her.
"Nell?" she asked. The woman turned, and Liz ran to her with open arms. The woman seemed just as happy to see Liz. She embraced her warmly and kissed her cheek. Over Liz's shoulder the woman caught a glimpse of Max, and her eyes widened. Max saw her face then, the clear complexion and finely molded cheekbones, the eyes set very far apart. They were grey and shining and were an odd contrast with the rest of her face. She gazed him up and down with interest. Liz turned back to Max and made an introduction. "Oh, Max, this is my godmother, Nell Troyer. Nell, this is my good friend Max Evans." The woman held out a hand.
"Max of biology class." It was a statement, not a question. Max took her hand. Her grip was a firm as his own.
"That's right. I see Liz had mentioned me to you. She's never mentioned you to me." That was true, yet Max couldn't help feeling that he had seen Nell before.
The grey eyes were full of light, and Max wondered if she wasn't blind. "She doesn't see very much of me, Mr. Evans. I don't get to Roswell as often as I'd like, but when I do, I'm glad to see her."
"The feeling is mutual." Liz said, giving Nell's arm a squeeze. "Will you try to see Dad? Nell?" Nell's eyes hadn't left Max's face, and she answered hesitantly.
"No, I don't think so. He is better?"
"He'll be fine, thanks to Max and the medics." Liz added 'the medics' almost as an afterthought, but Nell Troyer didn't seem surprised. She looked again at Max.
"The Parkers are very fortunate to have you for a friend, sir. I hope you'll be my friend too."
"You can call me, Max. Mr. Evans is my father, and 'sir' makes me feel old." Nell inclined her head just as Nancy Parker entered the waiting room. When she saw Nell, she quickly became hostile.
"What is she doing here?" she asked Liz.
"She came to see how Dad was." Liz answered.
"I don't see that it's any of her business." Nancy snapped.
"Anything concerning Liz is my business, ma'am. And I'll thank you to address me directly. I'm not invisible." Without waiting for a reply, she again kissed Liz and turned to Max. "A pleasure to have met you, Max. The Parkers are grateful, and so am I." Again her eyes held his for a moment; again Max got the feeling he was being judged like a throughbred race horse. Then she was gone. Liz whirled on Nancy.
"Really, Mama, you shouldn't have been so rude!"
"She knows how we feel about her. Why did you call her anyway?"
"I didn't. She just keeps an eye on me. And I'm glad she does!" Liz's eyes were angry as she faced her mother, and the woman grew flustered. Without a word she turned away and went back into Jeff's room.
"Seems I wasn't the only one you were forbidden to see." Max said, gazing after Nancy.
"Oh, they're so overprotective! With you I guess it's normal. They thought we were being Bonnie and Clyde in Utah, but with Nell . . . I just don't understand it. They've never told me why they don't trust her. They just say they know best." Max thought about the dark-haired woman with the luminous eyes and the way she'd looked at him. He couldn't help feeling that he knew her from somewhere and that she also knew him.
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