FanFic - Max/Liz
"Taking a Step Back"
Part 3
by Mary N
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters, I just wanted to barrow them and the situation that they are in.
Summary: What happens after Max tells Liz that they need to "Take a step back for a while." in the balance.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG
"Max, what took you so long?" Isabel asked as he closed the front door of their house behind him. "I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't followed"

"It doesn't take three hours for that." Isabel smiles a knowing smile. " You talk to Liz?"

"Yea, we talked." "And?!" Isabel asked impatiently "And what?" He answered, unable to keep the smile off of his face and the note of delight out of his voice. "Max, stop teasing me and tell me what happened." "I don't know if we should talk about this. You being my sister and all." "Are you saying that you two did something that you can't tell me about? Did you to, you know"?

"No!.. NO!! We didn't. This was deeper, we some how made a shared connection

Max motions Isabel into his room and closes the door behind her once she enters. They both sit down on his bed. "Isabel we shared a connection. We both were able to feel every moment, and every memory that we had ever had with each other. I know every thing that she has ever felt about me. It was incredible, and now I know how Liz really sees me and how she feels about me."

"A shared connection?"

Yeah, you know how it is when you get flashes from people? It was like that, except it was both ways. We were both able to see and feel each others deepest most intimate thoughts and feelings."

"How could this have happened?"

"I'm not really sure. It just did."


Liz is sitting on her bed unable to sleep. The memories of the night are still fresh on her mind. She retrieves her journal from its hiding place in the wall and sits back down on her bed. She writes:

Today is February 3, tonight has been unbelievable. Max and I are back together. I was a little scared at first, scared that he could sense my need of his touch. That he was just trying to comfort me or even worse it was just another dream. Nevertheless when he took me into his arms and I felt his lips touching mine every cell in my body knew it was real. He was so gentle, ever stroke of his hand I felt any and all apprehension I had just wash away. I couldn't have denied him anything to night. I want to share everything with him. It was as if last night never happened. The strange part is I did share everything with him, but not in the traditional sense. We shared ourselves, our real selves. I felt everything that he has ever felt about me. The jealousy he felt over my relationship with Kyle. The times he worried for my safety. The sadness when he thought I had doubts about us being together. I also felt his pain from last night when he told me we had to take a step back. I now know that he is scared of what our futures hold for us. But most of all Max is scared of his own desires. He's always been in such control of himself, and now he feels out of control. He doesn't want to move forward to quickly. It feels fantastic to know that Max wants to put my feelings before his own. Max really does loves me! Something bad happened tonight as well. Something that all of us who share this secret have to worry about. The two out of towner's that witnessed the gun going off; came in to the Cafe tonight. I'm sure that they are here to try to find out what happened that day. There is something about them that frightens me. We are going to have to be really careful. It has been bad enough with Kyle, Sheriff Valenti, and Ms. Topolski always watching us. At least with Topolski and the Sheriff I know they have rules they have to follow. Something about these other two tells me they make-up their own rules.


Maria wakes up she heard a noise outside. "Oh my gosh, there's someone out there. What if they followed me." She slides off of her bed and on to the floor. She reaches over to the phone, when she hears a knock on her window. She lets out a scream and drops the phone. "Maria, it's me Michael"

She cautiously moves to the window, looking out to make sure that really is Michael. "Michael? You scared me! Don't you ever do that again." She unlocks the window.

"Maria, Honey are you okay." Amy DeLuca opens Maria's door. Maria turns to face her mom. "Yeah, mom I'm fine I just had a bad dream."

"If your sure" Maria just nods. "Good night than dear." "Good night Mom." her mom closes the door behind her. Maria turns back around and opens the window for Michael.

"What are you doing here?" "I couldn't sleep, normally I would go to Max's, but I was worried about you. I wanted to make sure you got home check on you. (pause) Can I come in?"

"Sure, sorry." Maria moves back from the window allowing Michael to climb in. "We have to be quiet."

"That's fine by me." Michael pulls Maria into his strong arms. "I've been lonely." Maria smiles at him knowing he came by for more than to check on her. "How lonely?" Michael smiles his most devilish of smiles and raises his eye brows at her. She can't help but laugh. He places his index finger over her lips. "We don't want your mom in here any time soon, do we?" Maria wraps her arms around Michael and pulls him towards her. They share a lustful kiss." "Michael, you shouldn't have come here, but I've been lonely too." They continue to make out on Maria's floor. They stop when the hear a noise in the Hallway. They both sit completely still until they hear footstep moving away from the door. "Michael, we have to stop. You have to go." "Why, it sounds like your mom has gone back to her room?" "I'd have you stay all night if I could, but we have to be careful." "For a second you sound like Max." Playful she hits him on the shoulder. "Be serious for a moment will yea, someone saw us that night at the Crashdown and told my mom. She pretty livid at me right now. She told me to come straight home from work to night. That she wanted to talk to me about something. When I got home she read me the riot act. My mom wanted to know who the guy was. "

"What did you tell her?"

"Of course I didn't tell her it was you. I simply told her that it was over, and that she didn't have anything to worry about. If she ever knew that it was you. She'd never let me see you again."

"What, the guy from the wrong side of the tracks?" He said with a big grin. ******************************

Max and Liz are sitting in biology class holding hands and whispering to each other. The class bell rings. Ms Hardy is passing out yesterdays lab sheets to those who turned them in. "Today I want to start by talking about you lab sheets from yesterday. Now if you haven't turned them in, don't worry. You won't be graded on the assignment.

This assignment was in fact to help you prepare for the work we will be starting today. I have noticed that many of you wrote down differences that don't show up under a microscope. There is only one difference that you would be able to see between male and female blood. The blood of a normal health male will have a higher bed blood cell count than that of a normal healthy female. Guys if your red blood cell count was not higher than your partner's than your not a normal healthy guy ..... your anemic. The true purpose in this assignment was not to find the differences, but to find those commonalities between male and female blood cells. In biology research it is just as important for you to find the similarities as it is for you to find differences."


Michael is standing at an easel in the art class; staring off into emptiness. His art teacher walks up behind him. "I see you have found a new subject to draw. I am pleased that you have moved on from the dome. He continues to look at the picture. "Do you mind if I ask what it is that you are drawing?"

Michael hadn't really been paying attention to what he was drawing. He had been daydreaming and his subconscious just took over. When he looked down first he felt fear, and that excitement, he had been drawling the symbols from the cave, as he looks at his work he realizes that it's more than a map. There's a message there as well, and he is starting to understand what it says. One symbol was in reference to ‘mission', and an other was something like ‘the last'.

"What is it?" his teacher asks again.

"I'm not sure, it's just doodles that came to me."

"They look a lot like the hieroglyphics that where on that Ancient Indian Architecture they tore down about 20 years ago. That was before your time, have you seen these symbols some place?"

"No, there just a bunch of doodles."

"Hmm........well keep up the good work Guerin."


Class bell rings ending the 5th class period. Liz and Max walk up to Ms. Hardy. "Ms. Hardy, Liz and I were wondering if we could come into the lab after school today, and run some test on the differences between species. We both find this really intriguing."

"Sure, I'll be here until 6, I'll have to step out for about an hour, so I'll leave the door unlocked and a few things out for you to look at."

"Can you give us any ideas of things to look for?"

"I'll be sure to leave you a list to help you get started."


Outside the high school in the yard; sitting at their usual lunch table are Michael, Maria, Isabel, and Alex. Michael is straddling the bench and Maria is leaning back between his legs against his chest. Alex is sitting next to Isabel, They are all talking about Larry and Jennifer when Max and Liz walk up hand in hand.

"I heard about your problem last night. Do you think they will keep snooping around?" You can hear the concerned in Alex's voice.

"Those two could be real trouble." Michael voices what they are all thinking.

"Yea, there still around. They followed Liz to school this morning, and we just spotted them hanging out in the student parking lot. They must figure that if they follow her around long enough that she'll lead them back to me."

"What are we going to do? We can't have them following us around, let alone snooping around into what you did to Liz.

"Right now they are mainly interested in me and Max. If they continue to follow us it still allows the rest of you to move around freely. Alex, you are our Ace. They don't know that you are a part of our group. It's a good idea to leave it that way for now. We all still need to be careful, there is something about them that scares me. I get the feeling that they would break the law if it served their purpose."

"I have an eery feeling about them as well. It's feels like their the kind that would do what ever it takes to find out what happened that day; regardless of who it would hurt. They didn't even hide the fact that they were watching us. No Scruples, you know?" Isabel is very in tuned to other peoples personalities."

"As long as those two are hanging around; we need to be extra careful. We don't know what they are capable of doing. Alex, can you try to find out who they are. Run the licence plates or something?" (This is one of those times that Max's leadership skills really shines through.)

"Sure, I'll look into it."

"Michael, keep an eye on Maria. They know that you both were there that day. They might think that one of you knows something." Michael and Maria smile at each other, there going to keep more than an eye on each other. "

"Max, Isabel I have some news." Michael is sure that Isabel is going to loose it when she hears about what happened in Art class earlier. "The writing in the cave is more than just a map." "How can you be sure?" Max questions

"Today in art class I was daydreaming, and when I looked down at what I had been drawing, it... hit me. I was drawing the symbols from the cave."

"Michael, how could you be so careless." Scolds Isabel

It's not like I meant to okay. The thing is I'm starting to understand what it says. I recognized two of the symbols. One was ‘mission' and the other was ‘the last'. If I work on it I am sure the rest will come to me. There's one other thing, My teacher saw it. He said that there was and old Indian structure of some kind that was torn down about 20 years ago, and it had the same kind of writing. We need to find out what ever we can about that building. Maybe River Dog will know something about it."

"My grandmother wrote a book about ancient Indian artifacts. She gave me a copy before she .... Anyway there might be something in that book that could help." "Okay Michael keep trying to figuring it out. But first run by Liz's and pick up that book. It might come in handy."

"Isabel, try to gets some pictures of these two. They may come in really handy." Isabel knows exactly what he wants her to do. There is only one really good way to use photos .... Dream walking.

Alex asks, "Are we still meeting in the Bio Lab after school today?"

"Liz and I are still going, we already set it up with Ms. Hardy. We'll get started on some tests, but I think that we need to postpone any real tests until things settle down again. We need to deal with this other problem A.S.A.P." (They all concur.) "Alex if you find out anything, anything at all let Liz or Maria know at the Crashdown. Isabel, Michael we need to act as normal as possible. Lets not give them any reason to suspect you, or me any further.

Kyle is sitting a few table away watching them all very profoundly. He knows that their up to something. He plans to find out what it is. ***********************

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