Solar Eclipse M/L Book 1 (ch. 1-34);Book 2 (ch. 1-20) [SAVE]

Finished Canon/Conventional Couple Fics. These stories pick up from events in the show. All complete stories from the main Canon/CC board will eventually be moved here.

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max and liz believer
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Postby max and liz believer » Sun Feb 23, 2003 11:21 am

Chapter 12

Santa Fe, New Mexico – 2005

Elizabeth had tried everything in order to retrieve her memory. She had been put under hypnosis and she had been to a psychologist. From the psychologist she had received the advice that people who suffer from amnesia could get their memory back by coming into contact with objects that meant something to them in the life before the memory loss. However, Elizabeth did not come into contact with something that was even a reminiscent of her former life. She knew that she had been taken, or kidnapped, and had been hurt and suffered the amnesia as a cause of that. That much she had managed to figure out on her own.

No doctor could explain why she was always sick. She had been to countless physicians and they had found nothing wrong with her - that is, nothing except her symptoms. However, the fact that Elizabeth’s interior tissues were slightly burned could be a source to her symptoms. She suffered from headaches, resembling migraine attacks, every day. She had frequent nose bleedings. She could not keep much food down and was very thin as a cause of that. A month ago, her eyes had started to hurt and sting. She often suffered from dizziness and often had to sit down and take a breather. Finding out her past was her number one priority. Perhaps her medical history told of some genetic disease. She had a child to take care of - she did not want to leave her child in a world where someone was after her. Her daughter was no older than four years old, she could not be left alone.

”Mommy, mommy, mommy!”
Elizabeth turned around to find her daughter running towards her - with a drawing in her hand and excitement shining in her eyes. Those eyes. When Elizabeth had looked into those eyes for the first time, she had found them strangely familiar. She couldn’t place them, but she instinctively knew that they were the eyes of her daughter’s father.
”Look what I paint,” Emma exclaimed as she crawled up into her mother’s lap.
Elizabeth looked down at the drawing that Emma was clutching in her hand.
”It’s a pwincess,” Emma explained.

”That’s really beautiful,” Elizabeth said, smiling. But then her smile started to slip off her face as she saw the symbols that Emma had drawn around the princess. They resembled...cave paintings.
”Honey, what’s this?” she asked her daughter.
”Dat I see in Daddy’s dweam,” her daughter answered seriously. Elizabeth flinched when Emma used the word ‘daddy’. She hadn’t even spoken to her daughter about daddies yet, how did she know the word?
”What do you mean, sweety?” Elizabeth asked.
Emma yawned.
”I’m sleepy,” Emma said.
Elizabeth smiled and stood up, Emma bundled up in her arms. They walked into the bedroom and Emma was asleep before her head hit the pillow. Elizabeth sat still on the bed in the growing darkness for a long time, thinking about what her daughter had said - once again wondering who she was.

Roswell, New Mexico - 2005

Max was thrown out of his dream by a sound outside his window. He laid still and listened for a few minutes, giving Michael a chance to knock on the window before Max decided to go to attack. He could only hear the deafening silence. His alien DNA made his hearing a little better than that of the human. His eye-sight was even a little better at night than at day. He quietly eased up into sitting position, grabbing the baseball bat beside the bed in the movement. His feet softly touched the carpet on the floor and as gracefully as a cat, Max made his way across the cold floor. He unlocked and opened the window with his powers in order to make it as soundlessly as possible. As he climbed over the window-ledge he propped the bat up against the wall at the inside of his room -thinking that his alien powers were probably more effective as a weapon, but wanting to keep the bat close in case he had to defend himself and protect his secret at the same time.

”Max Evans?” a low voice said from the shadows.
Max jumped at the sound of the voice and then tensed up - all his senses directed into the direction of the voice.
”Show yourself,” Max demanded.
The man, walking out from the shadows into the moonlight, recognized the voice of authority and knew instinctually that he had found him.
”Don’t be frightened, I’m not here to do any harm,” the man said and stepped closer to Max.
”Stay where you are,” Max ordered.

Max eyed the man suspiciously. He was tall - about an inch taller than Max. He was quite muscular built, but his stance was not at all intimidating. Max could sense that he meant no evil - that he was one of the ‘good guys’.
”Who are you?” Max asked.
”Can we go some place more private and talk?” the man asked.
”Not before you tell me who you are,” Max demanded.
The man held the human’s gaze, the human body that carried the soul of his latent king.
”I’m your protector,” he answered.
Max looked at him in disbelief.
”Our protector is dead,” Max said.
”The man you believed to be your protector was a fraud. Let’s go somewhere and I’ll tell you more.”

Max hesitated for a few seconds and then came to the decision that he could at least her him out. He had a good feeling about him.
”Okay, I know a place. But I want Michael and Isabel with me.”
”I would be surprised if you didn’t,” the man said.

”So, what’s all the fuss about, Maxwell? You have nothing better to do than to wake slee-”
Michael stopped abruptly as he saw the stranger standing over at one of the walls of the UFO center. He automatically raised his right hand in front of him - prepared to fire if he needed to. There was a stranger standing inside the closed UFO center, at three o’clock in the morning and in the same room as this potential enemy, was his (in another life time) king standing and the king’s sister and Michael knew that his role in this life was to protect them. But on the other hand he was also standing in the same room as Isabel and Max - the only family he had ever known, which he would protect with his life not only out of loyalty but mostly out of love.
”And you most be Rath,” the stranger said.
”Who are you?” Michael said menacingly.

”Michael, this man have something to tell us,” Max said before the man had a chance to answer Michael.
”Max, what are you thinking? He could be mindwarping you, just waiting for the right opportunity to kill you so that he can be a hero at home!” Michael said, getting pissed off at Max, who once again risked their lives.
”Michael, let’s hear him out,” Max said and said a little lower when Michael came closer to him, ”But be prepared to strike, okay?”
Michael nodded and the teenage group fell silent, waiting for the stranger to speak. When he didn’t, Max spoke up, ”I believe you own us an explanation,” he prompted.
”As I told Zan-”
”Max,” Max corrected him.
”Right. As I told Max I am your protector-”

”What?!” Isabel and Michael cried out in unison.
”You cannot be our protector, our protector’s dead,” Michael said.
”The one who called himself your protector...what did you call him...Naeda?”
”Nasedo,” Max corrected.
”Yes, anyway...he was a traitor.” The man expected them to arguing against him, but they were all silent. He didn’t know that it all made some sense to them. Nasedo had always been cruel. Even though he made them believe it was because he was completely alien and they were hybrids - they never felt comfortable with the easiness in which he killed anyone that stood in his way, just in order to protect the royal four.

”So, you’re our protector, huh?” Michael said. ”If you are our protector, then where the hell have you been for the last...I don’t know...sixteen years!”
”I’ve been around,” their protector said calmly.
”You’ve been’ve been around!!!” Michael yelled. ”Where the hell were you when I was being transferred from foster ‘situation’ to foster ‘situation’, to end up with Hank. Where the hell were you when Hank beat the crap out of-”
”Michael,” Max said calmly, putting a hand on Michael’s shoulder to calm him down.
”No, Max! You don’t understand. You had the perfect life - I was left out in the dirt-”
”Michael, stop it!” Isabel said.
Michael turned to look at her, with his mouth open, ready to tell Isabel one thing or two but he didn’t say anything when he saw that Isabel was on the verge of crying. He had made her upset, and he slowly calmed himself down.

”I’m sorry that I wasn’t there, but we couldn’t interfere too much. Firstly, it would have looked suspicious and secondly you had to become a part of the human society. To blend in with the humans was probably your best life insurance. If I had taken you under my wings, you would not have learned the human norms as well as you were able to do on the inside - being part of a human family.”
”Why did you let us believe that Nasedo was our protector?” Max asked. ”He could’ve killed us!”
”We had him under strict surveillance....”
”So you have been watching us the whole time?” Isabel asked, feeling exposed.
”Yes, in order to keep you safe. Although, we were pretty convinced that Nasedo would not hurt you. He would not win anything on killing you.”
”What did Nasedo want?” Max asked.
”He wanted you Max.”

”You’re the only one who can work the Granolith.” ”Not the Granolith again,” Max thought, groaning inwardly.
”What do you mean?” Michael asked.
”The Granolith is a means of transportation between Earth and Antar.”
”Antar, that’s...home?” Michael asked.
Their new protector nodded.
”And Nasedo wanted the Granolith?” Max asked.
”He wanted you to operate it so that he could get to Antar, with you. I guess he had made some deal with our enemies on Antar.”
”And the deal was to...take Max to Antar?” Isabel asked.
”Yes, probably in time for his own public execution,” the protector said.
Isabel instinctively stepped closer to her brother and took his hand.

”So you can understand why Nasedo didn’t kill Max. He neither killed Michael nor Isabel since he wanted to earn Max’s trust so that he would be easier to convince to take him home. Most likely, he kept away from your human friends for the same reason.”
”What do we call you?” Isabel asked.
”Kira,” the protector said and understood by Isabel’s question that she had accepted him.
”Why are you here now?” Michael asked.
”It have come to our knowledge that an heir to the throne has been born,” Kira said.
”What does that mean?” Michael asked and as he and Isabel kept their eyes fixed on Kira for an explanation, they failed to notice how Max seemed to space out - thinking about a night spent with Liz five years ago.
”An heir to Max has been born.” All eyes turned to Max, who met their eyes with an expression they couldn’t quite interpret.

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Postby max and liz believer » Sun Feb 23, 2003 11:24 am

Chapter 13

Roswell, New Mexico – 2005

”Did you sleep with her?” Michael asked Max, without even feeling the need to mention her name - everyone knew that Max hadn’t been with anyone else, let alone thought about anyone else, since Liz had disappeared.
”Why didn’t you tell me, Max?” Isabel wondered.
Max was looking at some point behind them, the reality of Kira’s statement starting to sink in.
”Didn’t you even think of using protection?” Michael asked. ”The always so cautious Max Evans didn’t use protection?”
”Max...?” Isabel tentatively asked and put a hand on Max’s shoulder as he didn’t answer them. ”When did this happen?”
Max struggled to keep his voice even as he answered them.
”The night before the night when I held her dead in my arms.”

He was a turmoil of emotions. Sadness that he hadn’t been with Liz when she gave birth, hope that she might actually be alive somewhere, a small sense of panic to be a father...
”Oh Max,” Isabel said, feeling sorry for her brother.
”Did you know about this, Maxwell?” Michael asked, still irritated with Max’s lack of responsibility. Max shook his head, his mind somewhat detached from what was happening around him.
”Do you know where she is?” Max asked, his voice merely a whisper.
Kira looked puzzled.
”No. That’s why we contacted you. We thought she was with you.”
”No, she disappeared five years ago,” Max said.
”If you keep so close watch at us, why haven’t you noticed her missing?” Michael asked.
”But we thought...Isn’t Tess the mother?” Kira asked, confused.
”Tess?” Max asked in disbelief, while Michael had to stop himself from laughing out loud at the absurdity of that statement.
”Max would never be with Tess,” Isabel said.
”But she’s Max’s mate,” Kira said. ”Actually, Max can’t reproduce with a human.”

Isabel, Michael and Max looked at each other.
”Well, it seems as if you were wrong,” Michael informed Kira. ”Max has only been with Liz.”
”Liz Parker?” Kira asked.
Max nodded, starting to feel a bit freaked out about the whole situation. His relationship and his child was being discussed like a missile crisis.
”Wasn’t she murdered?” Kira asked.
”Max doesn’t believe that,” Isabel said. ”He felt her a couple of years ago.”
”He ‘felt’ her?” Kira said.
”Yes, they have this whole connection-thing going,” Michael explained.
”But she’s completely human?” Kira asked and watched all the hybrids in front of him nod their heads.
”This doesn’t make sense,” Kira mumbled.

Max started to get worried. ”Why?” he asked.
”You aren’t suppose to be able to connect with humans and you are absolutely not suppose to be able to reproduce with one,” Kira said.
”Perhaps something happened when you healed her, Max?” Isabel said. ”She was able to reach you that day in New York - of course, I had to help her, but Ava said that you had changed her.”
”What?” Kira said. ”You healed her?”
”She was shot...and...and I couldn’t let her die,” Max said.
Kira sank down onto a bench, his hand rubbing his forehead.
”I have to consider this recent information,” he said. ”But this makes the situation worse.”
”How’s that?” Michael said.
”Your enemies are soon going to find out about your heir too and they will try to get to him.”
”What do you mean?” Max whispered, as dread started to fill him. He knew exactly what Kira meant.
”We have to find Liz and you heir before your enemies do - or they are as good as dead.”

Santa Fe, New Mexico – 2005

”So what do you wanna do today?” Elizabeth asked her daughter. They were standing in the kitchen, making pancakes.
”I wanna see a movie,” Emma answered.
”You wanna go to the cinema?” Elizabeth said and tried to fight of the dizziness that tried to take its claim on her.
”Yes,” Emma said, grinning from ear to ear.
”Then...then we’ll do that,” Elizabeth said, her fists clenched. Emma, who was used to her mother’s symptoms (despite Elizabeth’s thorough efforts to try to hide it from her), watched her intently.
”Mommy, are you awight?” she asked.
”I’m fine, honey,” Elizabeth said, her eyes closed in concentration as she blindly reached out for something to steady herself with. Her hand came into contact with something hot - something really hot. She withdrew her hand with a cry of pain.

”Mommy, you hurt yourself,” Emma said. Elizabeth was looking at her hand - she had put her hand on the hot plate of the stove. Before Elizabeth had time to react, Emma had put her own little hand in Elizabeth’s, which had started to get really red from the burn. Elizabeth looked at her four-year-old, who closed her eyes - a frown of concentration on her forehead - and Elizabeth could feel a small tingling in her hand and the pain gradually decreasing. Elizabeth looked down at their clasped hands and saw for a split second a white glow radiating from between their palms. The glow started a series of flashes in her mind. The flashes were so strong that she had to take a hold of the sink to stop herself from falling. There was naked skin, lips, warmth, passion, much love and that glow. That glow was radiating from the skin. She came crashing down to Earth with a gasp.
”What happened, mommy?” Emma asked. Elizabeth looked down into the frightened eyes of her daughter, her thoughts still on the flashes that she knew in the bottom of her heart were memories from the night Emma was conceived.

Roswell, New Mexico – 2005

The old gang was gathered in the park in Roswell. The old gang - minus Liz Parker. Kyle was at some seminar about buddhism in another part of the country and Tess...well, perhaps she never was part of the gang... They were all going to the same university, but had made an old unspoken tradition of returning to Roswell on the weekends and holidays. In some respects they were still holding on to the past. Max more than anyone else, since he couldn’t let go off Liz -still convinced that she was out there somewhere. Nevertheless, they knew that their enemies were still out there, even though nothing had happened since Liz’s death. Max, Michael and Isabel knew that they would probably be living their whole lives constantly on guard, but they also knew that Maria, Alex, sheriff Valenti and Kyle were just as tangled up in this now as well, so they had to keep together in order to protect each other. Michael and Maria were sharing an apartment close to the university. Max lived on campus, as did Isabel. Alex was sharing an apartment together with Kyle. When they had decided to share an apartment Michael had to contain himself not to laugh out loud. That was just a nice couple!

”Do you really think that it will be easier to find her now?” Michael asked. ”You’ve already looked about everywhere!” They were once again discussing Liz.
”I can’t look everywhere,” Max said. ”I’ve only searched the public institutions - like hospitals, police... I can’t go knocking on every door and she certainly isn’t Liz Parker anymore, because Valenti hasn’t been able to locate her using her name.”
”Well, I hate to break it to you, Maxwell, but perhaps she doesn’t want to be found,” Michael said. Max’s eyes glazed over with sadness and Maria punched Michael on the shoulder.
”Ouch,” Michael shouted out. ”What are you doing?”
”Don’t say that, Michael. She might be hurt, or something even worse. Perhaps she’s held prisoner. But I know that Liz wouldn’t avoid us. She wouldn’t hide from us voluntary...only if she was trying to...protect us,” Maria said and jerked her head up. ”Oh my God, that’s it! Liz is doing her trying-to-protect-everyone-else-at-the-cost-of-her-own-happiness thing again. I’m telling you, she’s probably hiding because she knows that the enemies will come after her baby and she doesn’t want to lead them to Max too. God, it’s just the future Max thing all over again!”

Max’s head jerked up.
”What did you say?!” he asked.
Maria met Max’s gaze while she replayed what she had said in her head. Oh, crap! She had revealed her best friend’s most treasured secret.
”No, no I didn’t say nothing,” Maria stuttered.
Isabel, Alex and Michael all looked at Maria and Max. Max looked like he was on the verge of a breakdown, but simultaneously seemed more determined than they have seen him in years, and Maria looked extremely guilty. Thoughts running through his mind, Max held Maria’s gaze. She knew something and he was gonna make her tell him what it was.
”Yes, you did, Maria. Tell me! Liz was keeping secrets from me, wasn’t she?!”
”I-I-I promised not to tell you Max,” Maria said.

”It might be relevant to the situation,” Isabel said. ”Perhaps it will help us find Liz.”
”No-no, I don’t think it has anything to do with that,” Maria stuttered, inwardly kicking herself for giving Liz’s secret away.
”It can’t hurt now, can it? Liz is gone,” Michael said.
”Liz isn’t gone,” Max said.. ”She’s just...missing. Now, tell us Maria. What was Liz keeping from us?”
”You have to keep in mind that she was doing it for you,” Maria said.
”Spill Maria,” Alex said.
”Okay.” Maria took a deep breath, and held Max’s gaze - focusing only on him. ”Max, you know this whole Liz slept with Kyle thing...” Maria said.
”Like I could ever forget,” Max thought but said, ”Yeah.”
”Okay...I’m just gonna say this...and even though it might sound a bit freaky - it’s actually true...either that or Liz was a whacko-”
”Maria, please. Tell us,” Alex whined with an exaggerated painful expression on his face. ”You’re killing us here, you’re worst than a FBI-agent at giving away information!”
Maria took a deep breath.

”Okay, here goes nothing... The Granolith is very powerful and it could obviously be used for time-traveling,” Maria was met with four sets of mistrusting pairs of eyes, ”Anyway, a future Max - from year 2014 more exactly,” now everyone was looking at her like she had grown antennas, ”decided to pay Liz a visit and ruin all her future hopes! Future Max told Liz that she had to get present Max to fall out of love with her.”
”What?!” Max exclaimed and stood up.
”Max, calm down,” Isabel said.
”Why did he..I...the future version of me-”
”Now you know how I feel,” Maria mumbled.
”Why did he tell Liz to do that?” Max asked.
”Because you, girlfriend, decided to treat Tess like trash while you were making goo-goo eyes with Liz, and Tess got fed up with it and left,” Maria explained.

”So...? What’s the crisis with that?” Michael asked, not really seeing a loss with Tess leaving. Since Liz disappeared she had been an even bigger pain in the ass - which Michael didn’t even think was possible - crawling all over Max.
”As I understood it, you were all part of a complete unit - the royal four, or whatever,” Maria causally waved her hand, indicating how ridiculous she thought that was, ”some sort of fighting unit, and without Tess you were lacking something. In 2014 the enemies arrived to Earth and there was a war and people started dying and your powers weren’t as strong without Tess. So Max comes back from the future to prevent Tess from leaving, so they wouldn’t all be dead in the future. That’s basically it.”
Maria looked around her and was met by one speechless human and three stunned hybrids.
”Welcome to the life of Maria Deluca,” Maria sighed.

Santa Fe, New Mexico - 2005

”Oh, what a cutie!”
Elizabeth turned around to see an old lady leaning over her daughter, sitting in the shopping cart.
”Is she yours?” the old lady asked, looking the young woman over.
”Yes,” Elizabeth answered.
”She’s just adorable,” the lady said and then her voice pitched a level higher as she talked to Emma, ”And what is your name, sweety?”
Emma looked worriedly at her mom. Her mom always told her never to talk to strangers. Elizabeth smiled at her daughter and nodded her head, giving her daughter approval to speak.
”Emma,” Emma answered.
”What a beautiful name,” the old lady said and looked down at the ice-cream box the little girl was clutching to her chest.
”You like ice-cream, huh?”

Emma nodded seriously, but her attention wasn’t really on the old lady any longer. She could feel that her mother wasn’t feeling too well. Emma looked at her mother, but Emma was a smart girl and she knew her mother. She didn’t want to put her mother in a difficult situation, since she knew how hard it was for her mother to ask for help. Emma focused on her mother and tried to send her energy and power.
Elizabeth felt the energy and was not for the first time reminded of the energy surge she had felt when she had given birth to Emma. She had thought about it a lot but she still couldn’t truly understand it. It had felt as if a warm presence had walked into her mind, showering her with encouragement, calm, strength and love. It was the most beautiful, calming and wonderful thing she had ever felt. When she now felt the surge again she wondered where it came from, but it made her feel a little better. The pounding headache was alleviated and the burning in the back - always there to remind her of the scarred skin - came to an end.

”Would you like a lollipop?” the old lady questioned Emma.
Emma once again looked at Elizabeth and Elizabeth felt a sting in her chest. She had
made her daughter that suspicious, so untrusting of people. It was not the childhood Elizabeth wished for Emma. Emma should be able to carefreely play with other children. The reality was that Emma had never met anyone else in her own age, she had never played with another child - only with her mother. She lived a protected life and Elizabeth had on more than one occasion thought about that Emma almost was a prisoner, just because Elizabeth was so anxious to protect her from all harm. More than once had Elizabeth thought that she also ‘protected’ Emma from all the good things in life as well by keeping her away from the real world. Emma wasn’t really living... she had to grow up too fast, worrying about her mother.

”It’s okay, pumpkin,” Elizabeth said.
”Yes, dank you, I-I...would like a lollipop,” Emma said.
The old lady smiled a warm smile. She felt so bad for the child. Her mother was so young and her heart ached as she realized that the young woman looked like a drug-addict. The young woman’s clothes were washed out, she was thin and pale and her hair had no shine. Although, the old woman had to admit that the little girl looked well cared for. It looked as if the mother spend all her money on the girl. The girl had nice clothes, her hair was newly-cut and neatly pulled up into two pig-tails and she looked healthy. And she was just so darn cute!
”Here you go, sweety,” the old lady said and gave Emma a lollipop. Then she opened her handbag and pulled out her purse. Elizabeth realized what she was doing and started to shake her head.
”Oh, no. That’s very kind of you, but you don’t have to pay.”
”Oh, but I want to. It’s no problem,” the old woman said.
”Okay,” Elizabeth agreed, not having the energy to argue over a lollipop with an old woman in the middle of a store, only because she didn’t like being treated as a charity case.

”Here you go,” the old woman mused and pressed some bills into Elizabeth’s hand. To use all of those money, you had to buy at least five hundred lollipops.
”This is too much,” Elizabeth said.
”I’m just trying to help you out,” the old woman said, somewhat offended by the young woman.
”Yes, I understand that, it’s very nice of you,” Elizabeth emphasized, ”But I can take care of myself, I’m sure you have some grandchildren to spend those money on.”
”Yes I do, but you’re child most certainly need it the most!”
Elizabeth shook her head and put the money back in the old lady’s hand.
”Thank you, but no thanks,” Elizabeth said firmly and put her hands back on the handle of the cart and started to push it towards the meat section.
The old woman shook her head, thinking about that poor child who had to live with that stubborn and too proud drug-addict of a mother.

”Hi! My name is Elizabeth Owens,” Elizabeth said in the phone. ”I would like to register my daughter, Emma Owens, at your day-care center.”

Emma walked beside Elizabeth down the street, their hands clasped together.
”Did you have fun today?” Elizabeth asked.
”Yes, we did a rattle, and we had toilet baper...”
”You had toilet paper?” Elizabeth asked softly. ”Do you mean the cardboard roll inside in the middle of the toilet paper?”
Emma nodded excitedly.
”Yes, yes,” she said cheerfully. ”We put peas in the dwoll and Maria put a pea in her nose!” Emma’s pearl laughter tinkled through the air, but was only partly noticed by Elizabeth, who at the mention of the name Maria had experienced a momentary flash of a blonde beautiful girl with green eyes.
”...and then she had to go to the hospidal, but then she had awready pick it out,” Emma continued.
Elizabeth pushed her own thoughts away and focused on her daughter.

”She sure was lucky,” Elizabeth said. It warmed her heart that she had obviously made the right decision to put Emma in day-care so that she could meet other children, and play and not be so alone. She was so much happier now. Emma needed to meet other people so that she could widen her world and her perspective, not only seeing everything from her mother’s point of view. It had also been good for their economy (if one looked beyond the costs of having Emma at the day-care), since Elizabeth had been able to work a longer shift when Emma wasn’t home.
”Mommy, what’s the hosbital?” Emma asked and looked up at Elizabeth with those soulful amber eyes, that pulled at Elizabeth’s heart strings. Elizabeth had never taken Emma to the hospital - there was never any need to go there since Emma had never been sick. She hadn’t even suffered from the normal cold. Elizabeth had always hired a baby-sitter to watch Emma when she had gone to the doctors for her medical problems and when she had gone to therapy in an effort to retrieve her lost memory. So Emma had never been anywhere near doctors or hospitals.
”When you’re sick you go to the hospital,” Elizabeth said. ”There are people there - doctors - that help you feel better.”

”Why don’t you go dere, so you can feel better?” Emma asked.
Elizabeth felt her chest tighten. She sat down on her heels, so that she was on eye-level with Emma.
”Honey, you don’t have to worry about me,” Elizabeth said gently, pushing a strand of Emma’s dark brown hair behind her ear. ”Mommy’s fine.”
”Then why do you hurt?” Emma said, tilting her head to the side desperately trying to understand.
Elizabeth studied her daughter carefully. How did she know that? Elizabeth was always so careful not to give her symptoms or feelings away. She knew her daughter - she took everything on her own shoulders, she worried too much. Emma was too young to worry that much. If Elizabeth had remembered Emma’s father she had understood more where that trait came from. Elizabeth didn’t like keeping things from Emma, she wanted them to have an honest relationship but Elizabeth also wanted Emma to be a kid - a normal kid. Not be worrying about her mother’s health.

”Emma, I just feel that way sometimes, but it’s nothing dangerous.”
Emma studied her mother. Not wanting her mother to feel uncomfortable she gave her a hug and hugged her tightly.
”I love you, mommy,” Emma said.
”I love you too, sweetheart,” Elizabeth said, tears stinging her eyes.
”So, can I have an ice-cream now?” Emma asked, her eyes dancing.
”Uh huh,” Elizabeth laughed. ”I knew there was a catch hidden there somewhere!”
Emma giggled.
”Okay, come here you!” Elizabeth said, lifting Emma off the ground and turning her upside down in the air. Emma’s warm laughter filled the air.

Twenty minutes later they walked through the door at their home. Emma rushed to the TV and turned it on, and soon the house was filled with the sound of cartoons. Elizabeth shook her head at her daughter and smiling walked into the kitchen to fix them a snack. As she was opening the refrigerator door to take out the milk, the phone rang. It was not many people who called them. The only ones who had their number was the day care, the baby sitter, Elizabeth’s employers and her doctor. Fearing that it was the baby sitter, calling in sick, she answered the phone.
”Hello,” she said.
”Is this Elizabeth Owens?” a dark male voice asked. He didn’t sound friendly at all.
”Yes,” Elizabeth answered warily.
”Do you have a daughter named Emma?” the voice continued.
”Who are you?” Elizabeth demanded, not liking this conversation at all.
”Who I am is not relevant,” the man said.
”Oh yes. It’s very relevant to me,” Elizabeth said.
”How old are your daughter?” the man asked, ignoring Elizabeth.
”Okay, I’m hanging up!”
”You should not be so bitchy, it could be dangerous,” the voice said and Elizabeth hung up the phone. The snack forgotten, Elizabeth walked into the living room, sat down beside Emma and pulled her into her lap, holding her close. Emma was so focused on the cartoon that she didn’t notice her mother’s shivers.

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Postby max and liz believer » Sun Feb 23, 2003 11:26 am

Chapter 14

Santa Fe, New Mexico – 2005

”Mommy, mommy. Guess what, guess what!”
Elizabeth captured her bouncy daughter in her arms.
”No, I can’t,” Liz laughed after thinking about it for a few seconds.
”Oh, you have to twy!” Emma wailed dramatically.
Elizabeth pondered it, putting on a broody face.
”You’ve won a beauty contest and will spend your future days petting pets and looking beautiful.”
”No,” Emma giggled.
”You’re...getting married?” she suggested.
” I got it! You’re moving to Hollywood to be a very successful actress.”
”You’re hobeless,” Emma giggled. ”We are going on a bield trip!”
”You’re going on a field trip?” Elizabeth asked.
Emma nodded her head feverishly, obviously struggling to contain her excitement.
”Where?” Elizabeth asked.

”We going to see ALIENS!!” Emma shouted and started bouncing up and down, as if seeing aliens was the best experience in the whole world.
”You are?” Elizabeth asked incredulously.
”Yes,” Emma said her eyes sparkling.
”Where?” Elizabeth asked, believing it was someplace in Santa Fe she hadn’t heard of.
”In Rosbell,” Emma said.
”I’m sorry, honey, what was that?” Elizabeth asked, her mind searching for something named Rosbell located in Santa Fe.
”We’re going to Roswell - home of the aliens,” the voice of Emma’s teacher Ms. Harris said, stepping up behind them. If Elizabeth had held a memory that run further than about five years, she would most certainly know what Roswell where - even if it wasn’t for the fact that she actually was born there. But she didn’t know that.
Elizabeth looked at the teacher. She was young to be a teacher - but on the other hand, Elizabeth was young to be a mother. They were possibly at about the same age.

”Really, is it far from here?” Elizabeth asked.
”You’re kidding, right?” Ms. Harris said with a hesitant smile. ”It’s here in New Mexico, just a couple of miles from here.”
Elizabeth realized that she was suppose to know this place and played along.
”Right, Roswell!” she said and put on a wide smile.
Ms. Harris relaxed and gave a more natural smile.
”We’re going to visit a UFO museum. It will be fun. Of course, I need your consent and there is a small fee.”
”I-I have to think about it,” Elizabeth said.
”Sure. But it will not only be me there. There will be other teachers as well. I could not imagine myself alone with twenty one-meters tall rascals,” Ms. Harris laughed.
Elizabeth laughed as well.
”Yeah, I can understand that,” Elizabeth said, even though she couldn’t really understand it since she only had contact with her daughter and her daughter acted like a responsible, calm eight-year-old.

Ms. Harris sat down on her heels.
”I’ll see you tomorrow, darling,” she said to Emma.
”Yes, Ms. Harris,” Emma said.
”Bye,” Ms. Harris said.
”Bye, Ms. Harris,” Emma said and grasped her mother’s hand.
”Bye, Mrs. Owen. It was nice to meet you,” Ms. Harris said.
”Oh, just call me Elizabeth and it was nice to meet you too,” Elizabeth said, not bothering to inform her that she wasn’t married.
”Okay, Elizabeth. Just call me if you have any questions about the field trip, okay? You have my number?”
Elizabeth nodded.
”Yes, thank you. Bye.”
”Bye,” Ms. Harris said.

Roswell, New Mexico

”Max...Max,” Brody called.
Max turned towards his boss. Max was still working in the UFO center in the weekends. It was not so much for the humble pay, but more to keep himself and the others updated on all alien activities.
”What’s up, Brody?” Max asked.
”We have to make some plans,” Brody said with his English accent, ”We have a whole class of four- and five-year-olds coming from Santa Fe tomorrow.”
”Right,” Max said and his thoughts wandered to his own child. His child would be about the same age as those kids.
”C’mon, Max. Let’s do some planning!”

Santa Fe, New Mexico - the next day

”Now, you be careful, Emma. Stay with the group, okay,” Elizabeth said, her concern for letting her baby ‘on her own’ for the first time, displayed on her face.
”Mom, don’t worry,” Emma said seriously and hugged her worried mom once more. ”I will hold Maria’s hand the whole time.”
Elizabeth nodded. She knew that it was just a field trip. Children went on them all the time. She was just another worried mother. Right, a mother who didn’t know what could come back and hunt her, and maybe even her daughter, from the past she couldn’t remember.
Elizabeth followed her daughter with her eyes as she stepped onto the bus and sat down beside her friends and waved goodbye to her mother, grinning from ear to ear. Elizabeth waved back and looked after the bus until it had disappeared from her sight.

Roswell, New Mexico

”Okay, Max. Here comes the bus, hold your weapons ready,” Brody joked.
”They’re not that bad are they?” Max asked slowly.
”Well, you obviously have never met a couple of four-year-olds,” Brody said and chuckled at Max’s somewhat frightened expression. ”Don’t worry, Max. You’ll handle it!”
That’s when the children started to get off the bus and the sound level more or less shot through the roof. The blurry noise of children’s voices filled the air and they had not even entered the UFO center yet. Two or three were crying. Then the door opened and Max wished he had called in sick.

” will be okay,” a young woman comforted a crying child who held a strong grip with both his hands around the woman’s leg. ”There are no aliens here. No one is taking you away.” She stepped up to Brody with an apologetic smile and offered her hand.
”Mr. Davis?”
”Yes,” Brody answered and took her hand.
”Hi, I’m Anne Harris,” Ms. Harris said and shook Brody’s hand firmly. ”Sorry about this,” she added and waved her hand over the child still clinging to her leg. ”He’s a little afraid, but he will come around.”
”This is Max Ev-” Brody started but stopped as he saw Max kneeling down in front of the boy.
”Hey, what’s your name?” Max asked gently.
”Andy,” the boy piped.
”Hi Andy! Do you wanna see something really cool?” Max asked in a secretive voice.
Andy looked very interested, but he fought very hard to not let his curiosity take the best of him.

”But you have to let go off your teacher’s leg or I can’t show you,” Max said.
After some thorough thinking the boy let go off Ms. Harris leg and took Max’s outstretched hand. Max led the small boy past all the scary alien dolls and alien pictures, past all the autopsy models towards the exhibition of the flying saucers. There was a large flying saucer there, which was large enough to squeeze in a four-year-old into. Keeping one hand hidden on the back of the saucer, Max kept the spacecraft in position as Andy climbed in. The saucer would have fallen down from the strings that was holding it in place under the weight of the child, if it hadn’t been for Max’s ‘assistance’. Soon all the children had gathered around their new playmate and was all very eager to sit in the saucer.

Ten minutes later, Max’s powers were starting to grow a bit weaker - he was getting tired. The high-pitched voices, the laughter and the yelling of the children didn’t make the situation any easier. He was a bit startled by the touch of a little hand on his hip.
”Mister,” a small voice said.
Max turned around and almost fainted. In front of him stood an almost exact replica of the girl he had lost almost five years ago, the girl who he would have traded his life to get one minute more with. But could it be...? He shook his head to clear his mind and focus on the little girl standing in front of him, looking up at him with a concerned look on her face. Her small body was that of a four-year-old, however her beautiful face spoke of a wisdom and maturity that was not only four years old.
”Yes,” he said, his voice a level higher than usual.
”Are you awright?” the girl asked.
Max couldn’t help but stare at her. God, was she....was she Liz’s daughter? Had he been searching so long and so hard for Liz and his child to just have them found him? Max felt drawn to that little girl, and it was not only due to her similarity to his long lost soulmate. It was something else.
”Mister?” the girl asked again, her small hand now having slipped into of Max’s large one.
Emma didn’t know why she had gone up to that man. She felt that he was tired...and lonely. She felt that she should comfort him. She knew that her mother had told her not to talk to strangers, but he didn’t seem like a stranger. He seemed kind.

”I’m Max,” Max said and smiled a little. ”What’s your name?”
”Emma,” the girl answered.
”Hi, Emma,” Max said. ”Now, is there something you wanna see here?”
Emma looked at him. He reminded her of her mother, how she always tried to talk about other things when Emma asked if she was okay.
Emma shook her head and then lowered it a bit in embarrassment.
Max only saw Liz.
”I-I’m hungwy,” she murmured.
”You’re hungry?” Max asked.
”Uh huh,” Emma said, looking up and nodding her head.
”I know a great place where they have great food,” Max said. ”But we should probably talk to your teacher first. Maybe more of your friends are hungry.”

”Yes, my mommy said that I shouldn’t leave the gwoup,” Emma said.
”Your mommy,” Max repeated, mainly to himself.
”Yes,” Emma said, having heard him and smiled a little as she continued. ”She is so worried, she’s worried all the time - ALL the time.”
Max smiled at the little girl, which he already liked. She was so much different from the other kids. She didn’t act her age - she was very mature. She seemed to have a big heart, and seemed to care and look out for the people around her. ”Just like Liz,” Max thought.
Max felt something soft against his palm and looked down to find the girl’s hand tucked in his. It made him all warm inside.
Ms. Harris smiled at the couple approaching them. That cute guy, Max, had not only seen to it that all the children had had a fun time, but now he seemed to have won the trust of the suspicious Emma Owens in only a couple of minutes. Now that she saw them beside each, she noticed that there was a certain resemblance between them. Max’s eyes reminded her a lot of Emma’s.
”That’s a weird coincidence,” Ms. Harris thought.
”There you are, Emma,” Ms. Harris said and looked at Max. ”Thank you for taking care of her.”

”No problem,” Max said, ”Actually, she’s one of the less difficult ones.”
”Yes, she’s a very responsible little lady, aren’t you Emma,” Ms. Harris said.
”Yes, Ms. Harris,” Emma said as on commando.
Ms. Harris and Max smiled in unison at the politeness of the little girl.
”Emma told me that she was hungry, and I know this great place across the street where they have everything from hamburgers to blueberry pies,” Max said.
”Well, I guess most of the others are hungry as well,” Ms. Harris said, ”And we were planning on feeding them anyway so if you say that this place is good then it’s a good finalist.”
”They have this alien theme that I bet the kids will find funny,” Max said.
Ms. Harris chuckled.
”I’m sure they will,” Ms. Harris said.
”Are you eatin’ too, Max?” Emma asked.
Max looked down at the little angel.
”Yes, I guess,” he answered.
”Good,” Emma said.
Max couldn’t stop himself from smiling. There was something about that girl that made him happy. Or maybe it was just that she reminded him so much of Liz.

”Okay everybody,” Ms. Harris said in a little louder voice to be heard over the chattering of the children. ”We’re going eating across the street. Everybody - find a friend and do not let go of that friend’s hand. Do not start walking across the street until I say so and...stay calm!”
Ms. Harris turned to Emma as the other children started to group into two and two.
”Emma, you should go and find a friend,” Ms. Harris said as Emma hadn’t made any indication of any movement in the direction of finding a friend.
”Can I go with Max, Ms. Harris? He’s eatin’ too,” Emma asked. She felt very safe with Max and wanted to stay with him.
Ms. Harris smiled at her and thought it was just so cute how they had bonded so quickly.
”Of course, Emma,” Ms. Harris approved. ”If it’s okay with you, Mr. Evans?”
”Sure,” Max said.

”Oh no! What’s that?!” Isabel asked, sighing dramatically while staring out through the windows of the CrashDown with a frightened look on her face.
Michael turned around in his seat to take a look for himself.
”Shit! You must be kidding me!” he exclaimed as he saw the wild herd of little people approaching, heading for the CrashDown.
”Don’t tell me they’re gonna eat here,” Isabel said under her breath. The doors to the CrashDown flew open and the chatter and laughing of twenty four-year-olds seeped into the restaurant.
”Oh God,” the two aliens heard Maria murmur beside them.
Then Max stepped in. But he wasn’t alone. He was holding hands with a little girl.
”Oh my God,” Isabel whispered, ”Michael!”
Michael looked at Isabel and after seeing her mixed expression he turned into the direction of her gaze. Michael saw that Max was holding one of the four-year-olds hand. The little girl had his back to him, but she had long brown shiny hair...and then she turned and Michael found himself looking at a miniature Liz Parker, with eyes that Michael would recognize anywhere. Brown, deep eyes with flickers of amber - Max’s eyes. The girl holding Max’s hand so tightly was unmistakably Max’s and Liz’s daughter.

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Postby max and liz believer » Sun Feb 23, 2003 2:38 pm

Chapter 15

Maria gasped at the sight of the girl holding Max’s hand. It couldn’t be. She looked just like... No, how bizarre wouldn’t it be that Liz’s daughter walked into the Crashdown, holding hands with Max Evans. She inhaled deeply and moved towards Max and the little girl, oblivious to the rest of the hungry children crowd.

Max looked up and saw Maria approaching. She looked like she had seen a ghost, and she couldn’t stop staring at Emma.
”Hi...Max,” Maria said slowly, her eyes still glued on Emma.
”Hi, Maria,” Max said. Maria obviously had seen the same resemblance to Liz in that girl as he had.
”Now...aren’t you gonna introduce us,” Maria said, her voice monotone, like she was being hypnotized by the girl with the amber eyes.
Max smiled. He had never seen Maria having such difficulties with speaking before.
”Uhm, Maria - I like you to meet Emma.”
Maria kneeled in front of Emma and put out her hand to the girl.
”Hi, Emma. Nice to meet you.”
Emma held Maria’s gaze, something that reminded her of how Liz had always looked into her eyes - not looking away. Maria had always felt like she couldn’t hide anything from Liz. Liz had always been able to see right through her.
”Hi. My best friend’s name is also Maria,” Emma explained.
Maria smiled. ”Really? Another Maria? Well, you have to introduce us then.”
Emma eyes immediately began searching the restaurant and landed on her blonde friend.
”There she is,” Emma said and pointed. She let go off Max’s hand and went to fetch her friend. Maria looked up at Max.
”Max...” she said.
”I know, I know,” Max said. ”She looks a lot like Liz. I was a bit spooked too.”
Maria stared at him. Was he joking?
”Max, you’re not telling me that you don’t see that she is Liz’s daughter?”
In the seconds to follow, a thousands emotions were displayed in Max’s expressive eyes. Panic, joy, grief, nervousness, denial, disbelief, hope, love...
”What do you mean? That she is Liz’s daughter?” Max asked dumbfounded.
”That’s what I said, didn’t I?” Maria whispered, herself completely shocked by the situation.
That’s when Isabel and Michael decided to join the conversation.
”What’s going on, Max?” Michael demanded.
”I-I...” Max stuttered, his eyes fixed on the little girl who was talking with her friend at the other end of the CrashDown, emphasizing her words with exaggerated movements of her hands.
”Max....she looks just like Liz,” Isabel whispered, her voice not strong enough to speak in a normal conversational tone.
”Is that your daughter, Maxwell?” Michael asked, cutting right to the chase.
”We don’t know,” Maria said as Max wasn’t answering. ”But it’s pretty obvious, isn’t it. I mean, we all see that she looks a lot like Liz and she has Max’s eyes.”
”Has someone taken Max’s eyes?” Emma’s voice questioned. Everyone turned their heads to look at her.
”No, Emma. We were just talking,” Maria said. ”And this is Maria, I presume.”
Emma nodded excitedly, her concern for a possible removal of Max’s eyes quickly replaced by her excitement to show them her friend.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

”Elizabeth, god damnit! Can you get anything right today?!” her boss yelled. Elizabeth closed her eyes and focused on pushing the pain far back in her head.
”I’m sorry, Mr. Manes. It won’t happen again,” Elizabeth apologized.
”So you say. Should I remind you that you said that the last time you messed up an order too - and the time before that and before that. I’m telling you, Miss Owens. There are probably many who would want to have an extra income. You would not be difficult to replace!”
”I’m sorry, I really am,” Elizabeth murmured and swallowed hard, forcing down the nausea.

Roswell, New Mexico

Emma’s stomach churned, and she rubbed her hand over it unconsciously. Max noticed the movement right away.
”Emma, are you hungry?” he asked.
Emma contemplated about that for a few seconds. She had been feeling really hungry just a minute ago, but now she felt sick to her stomach. With a small grimace she shook her head.
”Are you all right, honey?” Maria asked.
They had all settled at one booth. The sight was actually a bit comical. Four adults in their early twenties with one little girl at four - while all other four-year-olds were grouped in adjacent booths with their teachers.
Emma nodded her head - already picking up on her mother’s classical behavior.
”Don’t you wanna eat something?” Isabel asked. ”You probably haven’t eaten anything for hours.”
”I..I want a soda, please,” Emma said hesitant, suddenly feeling uncomfortable sitting there. She wanted to go home. She wanted her mommy.
”I’ll get it,” Maria said and stood up. Maria didn’t work at the CrashDown anymore but she still knew her way around the familiar restaurant and Mr. Parker didn’t mind that she helped herself around the kitchen.

”So, Emma. Did you have a good time at the UFO center?” Isabel asked.
Emma nodded, excitement grazing her features.
”It was weally funny! Max help us climb into space plane!”
Isabel looked at Max and smiled. She couldn’t quite interpret Max’s expression. Max himself couldn’t sort his feelings. He didn’t know what to feel. The others all seemed convinced that the little girl sitting beside him was his daughter - the daughter he had searched after for four years. Instinctually he somehow knew that it was in fact his daughter.
Maria came back with Emma’s soda and put it down in front of her.
”I picked cherry coke, is that okay?” Maria asked.
”That’s my favewit,” Emma said, smiling broadly.
”I guessed that much,” Maria said, unable to not smile.

”Emma, we have to leave now. The bus leaves in ten minutes,” Ms. Harris announced, stepping up to the group.
Fear slammed into Max. He couldn’t let her go now!
Emma rose and took Ms. Harris hand.
The whole group around the table looked at each other - not knowing what to do.
”Uhm, excuse me Ms. Harris,” Max said.
”Yes,” Ms. Harris said and smiled.
”What’s the name of Emma’s mother?” Max asked bluntly, not knowing how to sugar-coat the question so he just blurted it out there.
Ms. Harris looked confused.
”Why do you wanna know?” she asked, thinking of a conversation she’d had with Emma’s mother. Elizabeth had made it absolutely crystal clear that no one was to know Emma’s surname or who her mother was. Ms. Harris had of course wondered why, but Elizabeth had only told her that she couldn’t tell but that it could be dangerous for Emma if someone knew that information. That a strange man now was asking for her name, made her very suspicious of his intentions.

”,” Max stuttered, taken aback by the unfriendly tone of Ms. Harris.
”It’s just that Emma looks exactly like someone we knew growing up,” Maria said. ”We lost touch with each other and it would be incredible to meet her again.”
Max shot Maria a grateful look.
”I really don’t like handing out that information just to anyone,” Ms. Harris said.
”Sounds like Liz wants to stay hidden,” Michael thought.
”Hey Emma, where did your mother grow up?” Michael asked Emma, thinking that it perhaps was easier to go through the girl.
Emma thought hard and then shook her head.
”I dunno,” she said.
”It’s just that she left without a trace, she never said anything. One morning she was just..gone,” Max said.
”She was my best friend,” Maria said, ”and I would love to know what she has been up to all these years.”

Ms. Harris looked around the faces of the people who had spent about an hour with Emma. They seemed to be about the same age as Emma’s mother. They didn’t seem like bad people, but you never know, right? However, Mr. Evans had been awfully sweet today and helped with the children. He and Emma had sort of hit it off with each other immediately as well.
”Okay...,” Ms. Harris said and sighed, ”she lives in Santa Fe and her surname is Owens. But more information than that I will not give you.”
”Thank you so much, Ms. Harris,” Max said, ”and I’m sorry if we put you in an awful situation here.”
Ms. Harris smiled. He sure was sweet...and cute too.
”No problem,” she said.
There was a pause and everyone looked at Emma, which would be separated from them in just a few minutes. Okay, everybody except Ms. Harris who was checking out Max. He was really cute and he had been so good with the children. And they were about the same age. Well, she knew where he lived. Maybe she would pay him a visit sometime.
”Okay, Emma. Are you ready to leave?” Ms. Harris asked.
Emma nodded. Her nausea had disappeared but that meant that her hunger had returned, and now they had to leave and she didn’t have time to eat.

”Bye, Emma. It was nice meeting you,” Maria said crouching in front of Emma. Before Emma knew what was happening, she found herself wrapped in Maria’s arms. Maria couldn’t help herself. This was Liz’s daughter.
Michael smiled and shook his head at his girlfriend.
Maria pulled back and Emma could see tears in her eyes. Being Max’s daughter Emma wondered why she was crying. Was she hurt?
”Why are you cwying?” she asked.
Maria smiled.
”Oh, it’s nothing. Just being a bit sentimental,” Maria said.
Emma nodded, not really understanding the word ‘sentimental’.
”You take care of yourself, okay?” Emma nodded again, puzzled by Maria’s tears, ”And take care of your mother.”
”Yes,” Emma said.
”Good girl,” Maria sniffed, quickly wiped the tears away from her face with the back of her hand and straightened up.

Max took Maria’s position in front of Emma and looked into her eyes. To the observers it seemed as if Max and Emma were talking with their eyes, forming a connection so deep it could only be understood by themselves. Max was watching Emma, memorizing her every feature. He didn’t want to let her go, but he had to. He would make sure that they met again.
”You keep safe,” Max said and Emma nodded, and then she got a sense of something familiar and warm. Like she was being wrapped in a blanket of security and she suddenly just knew.
”Are you my daddy?” she asked, her voice so low that only Max was able to hear her.
Max was startled by the question. He nodded his head slowly. Now more certain than ever that she was his child.
Emma smiled and jumped into his arms. She was so soft and so warm...and so small. Max wanted to protect her from everything. His arms went around her and he held her tightly, feeling tears stinging his eyes. His hand went into her hair, the same hair as Liz’s and tears started to run down his face.

Emma was safe. She felt safe. She knew that this was her daddy and she couldn’t wait to tell her mommy that she had found her daddy.
”I’m sorry to interrupt, Mr. Evans, ” Ms. Harris said, deeply touched by the whole scene. ”We have to leave.”
Emma reluctantly left her daddy’s embrace.
”Why are you sad?” she asked, seeing his tears.
Max looked at her and smiled softly.
”I’m not sad, Emma. It’s happy tears,” he answered.
Emma grinned.
”Bye daddy,” Emma said and took Ms. Harris hand and walked out of the CrashDown, leaving her daddy still crouching on the floor watching after her.
Max felt Isabel lay her hand on his shoulder.
”My God, Max,” Isabel whispered. Max stood up and hugged Isabel to him. His emotions were running overdrive.
”How did she know, Max?” Michael asked, referring to the fact that Emma had called Max ‘daddy’.
”I don’t know, Michael,” Max said and stepped out of Isabel’s hug, ”I don’t know.”
”Come on you guys,” Maria said, having found a napkin to dry the tears that kept running down her cheeks. ”We have a Liz Parker to find!”

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Postby max and liz believer » Sun Feb 23, 2003 2:39 pm

Chapter 16

Santa Fe, New Mexico

“Mommy, mommy!” cried a familiar voice behind her. Elizabeth turned around and found her daughter running towards her. Elizabeth caught her in a hug and spun her around.
“Thank you,” Elizabeth thought, relieved that she had Emma back into her arms again – safe.
“Hi darling,” Elizabeth said. “Did you have a good time?”
“Yes,” Emma said and was so wild with excitement that Elizabeth had to put her back down on the ground. “First Andy was weally sad ‘cause he was ‘fraid of the aliens, but I wasn’t ‘fraid. And then he was happy again ‘cause he got to fly this space..uhm...plane and all other got to fly too and it was weally fun. And then I met another Maria and we ate at a”
“A restaurant?” Elizabeth asked with a smile at her daughter’s rambling.
“Yes, a,” Elizabeth gave up on that and continued, her words going a mile a minute, “and then guess what, mom?”
“What?” Elizabeth asked.

“No, you have to guess!” Emma scolded.
Elizabeth laughed softly.
“Hmmm...maybe you met an alien?” she guessed, not knowing how correct she actually was.
“Nooo,” Emma sighed, but before her mother could make another guess it was out of Emma’s mouth.
“I found daddy,” she said.
Elizabeth stopped dead in her tracks. Her heart was slamming against her ribs.
“What?” she whispered, her voice not holding up any longer.
“He was at this home where the aliens lived,” Emma continued, referring to the UFO center, “and then we went to eat together. Maria is daddy’s friend and she gave me a soda, but I felt sick to my stomach...”
Emma was already on the next subject, unaware of the fact that she had lost her mother’s attention several sentences ago.
“What’s his name?” Elizabeth whispered, interrupting Emma’s thorough description of how the restaurant looked, with painted aliens and all.

“Whose?” Emma asked, confused.
“Uhm...daddy’s,” Elizabeth said.
“Max,” Emma answered.
“Oh my God,” Elizabeth said, a male face flashing by in her mind. A dark-haired, handsome man with Emma’s eyes. “Come on, Emma. Let’s get home.”

The TV was on, but Elizabeth was neither watching nor listening to it. She was thinking about him. How could Emma know that he was her daddy? Was it Max that was after her? She couldn’t know that, could she? Maybe she had run away to escape him, and he had kidnapped her instead or something like that. No, that didn’t sound realistic. Anyway, he didn’t seem like someone she couldn’t trust. Elizabeth stood up to turn off the TV, and then it hit her. What if he came to look for her and Emma? Oh my God! What if he was to take Emma away from her? She couldn’t let that happen. Emma was her whole life, without her she would die – she wouldn’t have anything left to live for. Nothing! Elizabeth sank down on the couch again and felt like crying. Her eyes burnt and wanted the relief of tears, but she couldn’t cry. She hadn’t cried for as long as she could remember, that is since she had woken up in that motel somwhere out in nowhere, with no idea of who she was.

Roswell, New Mexico

“What’s the big emergency?” Sheriff Valenti asked.
Max had summoned a meeting. It had been a long time since Max had last called a meeting. Everybody was there – Maria, Isabel, Michael, Alex, Kyle, Kira, and Valenti. Of course, Tess had not been invited.
“So, why isn’t Tess here?” Kyle asked, annoyed that Max had once again ignored Tess – who actually was a part of the group.
“I don’t trust her,” Max said simply, as if that explained everything.
“Oh,” Kyle said. “So, it’s like general knowledge just because you think so. What if she needs to hear this?”
”She doesn’t need to hear this,” Michael said, defending Max. If it was something they agreed upon it was Tess.
“Why’s that?” Kyle asked, not letting the subject go. Those aliens shouldn’t think that they could just do what they wanted to, and hurt other people’s feelings in the process.
“It’s about Liz,” Max said.

Kyle looked at Max (all thoughts about Tess forgotten), trying to decide if he was serious or not. Oh yes. He was serious.
“What do you mean? What’s going on?” Kyle asked.
“Kyle! I guess that’s what we are here to find out,” Valenti said, silencing his son. “Who’s that, Max?” Valenti pointed at Kira, who kept himself on the fringes of the group, hidden in the shadows.
“Yeah, that’s what I want to know,” Alex said.
Max sighed and rubbed his forehead. Were they ever gonna get started or was this just how competent he was at running meetings?
“Sit down everybody, and Max will tell you,” Michael said, after having thrown a concerned look in Max’s direction.
Max shot Michael a grateful look before he began.
“Okay, guys. About a week ago this man showed up outside my window. He said we – we the aliens that is – should summon a meeting and talk. He told us that he was our protector-“
“What? I thought Nasedo was your protector,” Alex said, already confused.
Max shook his head.

“No, Nasedo was a traitor-“
“And we don’t think he’s dead,” Kira spoke from the shadows. Everybody turned to look at him as he stepped out of his hidden place.
“What do you mean?” Max asked, adrenaline starting to pump through his veins.
“My men have reported that there have been traces of Nasedo all over Roswell-“
“Of course, he was here for some time,” Kyle interrupted.
“-and they are very fresh,” Kira continued, ignoring the interruption. He was still a little unclear to why Max had invited all these humans.
“What does this mean?” Isabel asked.
“Nasedo is a very dangerous man-“
“Alien,” Kyle mumbled.
”-and when my men find him, he will be prosecuted for his crimes,” Kira said.
“Which means?” Maria prompted.
“He will be executed,” Kira said matter-of-factly.
“Of course,” Maria said, and turning towards the others. “What else would happen to him, right?”

Max was pacing the floor. He did not like the fact that Nasedo was still out there. That he was still out there where Liz and Emma were as well.
“Max, why are we here?” Alex asked, noticing how Max had totally spaced out on them.
Max’s head jerked up.
“Right, right,” he said. “Well, Kira told us that an heir had been born.”
There was a short pause as the others pondered the meaning of Max’s statement.
“What?!” Kyle said, almost yelling, when it became clear to him just what that meant. “Does that mean what I think it means?”
Max nodded.
“Shit, Max! Who have you slept with?! I thought you weren’t interested in anyone with breasts since Liz died,” Kyle said.
“I wasn’t,” Max said, his voice calm and even.
“Wha-“ Kyle said, and then it him. “Was it with Liz?”
Max nodded.
“Ohhhkkkkaaaayyy,” Kyle sighed and sat down.
“You didn’t think of using...I don’t know – protection?!” Maria scolded.
Max shook his head.
“That’s great. That’s just great,” Kyra mumbled.

“But wait, how can there be a heir if Liz is dead? She would not have gotten the chance to give birth to a child,” Alex said, not getting two and tow together.
“Liz is not dead, that’s what I’ve been telling you,” Max said.
The incident in high school four years ago came to Alex’s mind.
“So you could feel Liz giving birth?” Alex asked.
Max, understanding what Alex was referring to, answered: “Yes, I think so.”
“Okay, that’s really freaky,” Maria said. Maria knew a little more, since she had actually met Liz’s daughter. But she had yet to hear all the background information. When she had seen Emma she had been positive that it was Max’s and Liz’s daugther, but she had never really thought about how that was possible, what really had happened.
“We’ve met her,” Isabel said.
“Met who?” Valenti asked.
“Max’s daughter. She looks just like Liz, but anyone can see that Max is the father,” Isabel said, a proud I’m-an-aunt-to-that-beautiful-girl-smile playing in the corners of her mouth.
“You’ve met her?” Alex asked in disbelief.
“She’s just so adorable,” Maria said, smiling broadly.
“You’ve met her too?” Kyle said accusingly.

Kira quietly watched the whole group interact. They were natural around each other, but when Liz had came up everybody had tensed up – reminded of her absence to the group. However, when Liz’s daughter had started to be discussed, everybody who had met her had a ridiculous smile on their faces. Even Max smiled a little – despite the fact that he was so worked up and worried at the moment.
Maria nodded proudly as an answer to Kyle’s question.
“Well, did you meet Liz too?” Alex asked, wondering why no one had told him about the meeting with his former best friend. Was she dead?
Max smile disappeared and the sadness returned.
“No,” he said, “she wasn’t there.”
“It was a field trip, for kindergarten or something like that,” Isabel explained.
“As in no parents allowed...?” Kyle asked.
“Right,” Max answered. The group grew silent, thinking about a loving, warm and caring gril which they had all lost almost five years ago and the fact that she was alive, with a daugther. Max looked around the faces of the only people he trusted in the world. He realized that the meeting hadn’t gone as he had planned. He wasn’t sure if he had gotten out the most important information or not.

“Look guys, that’s why I called this meeting,” Max said, and everybody looked up at him. “We have to find Liz.”
“You know where she is?” Alex asked, hope of seeing his friend sparkling in his eyes.
“We know her surname and that she lives in Santa Fe,” Max answered.
“Then it’s only a matter of time before we find her,” Valenti said.
Max turned to Valenti, his leader-mode kicking in.
“And I want you to find her,” he said to Valenti.
Valenti nodded.
“Sure, I get right on it,” Valenti said.
“I’ll get my men on it too,” Kira said.
“Good,” Max said, “but don’t approach her if you find her. I don’t want to scare her off. For some reason I think she’s hiding, I mean, she has a different name and has told Emma’s teacher that she’s not to tell anyone anything about them. She might be very suspicious and...afraid...and...and I want to be there when we first approach her, is that clear?”
“Yes, sir!” Kyle said, making a salute in an effort to lighten up the mood.
Max smiled, some of the weights had been lifted from his shoulders. Now they had a plan, now they weren’t only passively sitting by and watching any longer. Now they were going to find Liz. His knees suddenly went weak and he had to sit down. He was going to see Liz.

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Postby max and liz believer » Sun Feb 23, 2003 2:40 pm

Chapter 17

”Okay, are you sitting down, Max?” Valenti said in the other end of the line.
Max immediately knew that it had something to do with Liz. Only one day had elapse since their meeting, but finding a person when you had a surname and the name of the daughter was not really hard science. Especially not if you were a Sheriff, with resources.
Max took his advice and sank down on his bed.
”What’s up?” Max asked, trying to sound very casual but failing miserably.
”We’ve found her,” Valenti said.
Max exhaled the breath he wasn’t aware that he had been holding. His hands were suddenly shaking, he felt like he was about to hyperventilate. That three such small words could cause such stir of emotions inside of him.
”Max, Max. Are you there?” Valenti asked, concern etching his voice.

”Yeah, yeah,” Max said and tried to get his emotions back under control and start to breathe. In and out. That’s right. That’s how you breathe!
”Are you okay?” Valenti’s concerned voice asked.
”Yeah,” Max said slowly. ”Have you seen her?”
”No. I don’t know about Kira’s men, maybe they have. Perhaps you should discuss it with him.”
”I’ll do that,” Max said.
”So are we going there?” Valenti asked.
Tomorrow was Saturday, it would be perfect to go there.
”Yeah, I’ll tell Isabel and Michael...and perhaps Maria as well - she was her best friend. Can you fix with the rides, we’re going to need two cars.”
”Consider it done,” Valenti said.

Max stepped out of the car and looked up at the building complex in front of him. This was it. This was where Liz lived, with their daughter. This was where Liz was breathing, sleeping, eating... He felt Isabel’s hand on his shoulder.
”Are you okay, Max?” she asked concerned.
Max nodded, although he was far from ‘okay’. His emotions were running overload, he could not sort out one specific feeling. Name a feeling and he was experiencing it. He even found himself somewhat angry with Liz for hiding from them....from him. He couldn’t understand why she hadn’t contacted him, or told him that he had a child...or even why she just hadn’t come home.
”Are you ready?” Isabel asked her brother.
Max nodded again, he did not trust his voice enough to talk. He was as ready as he ever could be. Maria was almost crawling out of her skin with anticipation. She too had very many emotions. As Max looked calm on the outside, Maria was showing exactly what she was feeling. She was practically jumping up and down, not able to contain herself. Michael, with a frim grip around her waist, was the only one who kept her from running down Liz’s door.

”Let’s go,” Max said.
”About time,” Maria said, and started walking...or running.
”Hey, slow down,” Michael said sternly.
”For your information, I’m not slowing down,” Maria half-shouted, but all stress she had experienced the last couple of hours were finally wearing her down and her anger was slowly turning into sobbing. ”I just found out..where my friend in the whole world is,! I’m not slowing down! I love he-” She broke down sobbing and Michael took her in his arms, soothing her.
”Come on, let’s go,” Isabel said as Maria had calmed down somewhat. They climbed a flight of stairs and found themselves in a hallway that looked like a balcony, lined with several doors.
”Number 23,” Isabel said. Max nodded. Like he would ever forget which number that led to his soulmate.
The seconds it took for them to reach door number 23 were the longest in Max’s life. They all stood in front of the door, time standing still, only Maria’s sobbing was heard.
”So is anybody going to knock, or what?” Michael said bluntly, being his normal self.
”Michael!” Isabel scolded. Michael just shrugged his shoulders.
”Max?” Isabel said dumbfounded, searching her brother’s face. He was staring at the door, his face blank. To an outsider it might seem as if he didn’t feel anything at all, but Isabel knew the turmoil of emotions that were right at this minute going on inside of him.
Max took a deep breath and raised his hand to knock.

”Mommy, wab aw we gwoing to dwo twoday?” Emma asked around a mouth full of cereals, covered in Tabasco sauce.
”Emma, don’t talk with food in your mouth,” Elizabeth said.
”Sworry,” Emma said, still eating. Elizabeth gave her a stern look.
There was a knock on the door. Emma and Elizabeth looked at each other, the surprise evident in their faces. However, Elizabeth’s expression was mixed with slight horror. Who was that? No one ever knocked on their door, no one even visited them. Only the baby-sitters, but they hadn’t hired anyone for today. While thousands of thoughts ran through Elizabeth’s head, Emma was already up - heading for the door.
”No, Emma! Don’t op-”
But she was too late. She heard the sound of the lock being unlocked by her daughter and then she heard a voice.

”Hi Emma,” the voice said.
”MOOOMMMYYY!” Emma yelled, overjoyed about the visit. ”It’s daddy and Maria and...”
”I’m Isabel,” the same voice said again.
”And ISABEL!” Emma continued.
Elizabeth was still in the kitchen, unable to move. They had found them...what was she going to do?
”Is your mom home?” the voice belonging to the woman called Isabel asked.
”Yes,” she heard Emma answer. ”MOOOOOOOOMMMMMYYYYYY!”
She knew that she had to go out there, she couldn’t just leave her daughter there with those strangers. She felt like she was moving in slow-motion. And then she found herself in the living room. There her daughter stood, looking up in admiration on a dark-haired man who stared intently at Elizabeth. Oh my God, it was him! But before she could react on it, a blonde-haired girl was running towards her, encircling Elizabeth in her arms.

Two minutes earlier

The door opened and there Emma was.
”Hi Emma,” Isabel said to the girl who had excitement written all over her face.
”MOOOMMMYYY!” Emma yelled, obviously having forgotten to greet Isabel back in all the excitement. She was so excited to show her new friends to her mother. ”It’s daddy and Maria and...”
Isabel realized that she had never introduced herself.
”I’m Isabel,” she said.
Emma turned around, yelling towards a room in the back which appeared to be the kitchen:
Max now had his eyes fixed on the doorway of the kitchen, waiting for Liz to appear. He knew that she was in there. He could feel her presence.
”Is your mom home?” Max heard his sister ask his daughter. She was the only one sane enough to speak. Maria was a bundle of nervous energy. Michael was busy holding Maria in place, and Max didn’t know what to do. He had dreamt of this moment for so long - it was almost surreal to actually be here.

And then there she was. Max partly registered Isabel’s gasp behind him. She looked so sick. She looked one of those prisoners from the concentration camps in the Second World War that he had seen pictures of in history class. The clothes hung on her body, her cheek bones were extremely prominent and she had dark circles under her eyes. She looked like a ghost, a pale and washed-out version of the former Liz Parker. But Max still thought she was beautiful. It was her - it was really her. In those seconds as he stood there, watching her, he realized how much he had missed her - how much he still loved her, how much he would always love her. He didn’t notice the tears that were running down his cheeks. All he could feel was his heart fluttering to life. Then Maria was out of Michael’s grip and running towards Liz. Liz was staring at him, her eyes vacant and a little contemplating - like she tried to figure out who he was. Maria almost knocked Liz over as she took her long lost friend in her arms. Max saw how Liz closed her eyes, her forehead folded as if in deep concentration. But then Max saw how Liz winced and an expression of pain settled itself over her face.

The images were coming fast. Images of the girl who was hugging her. ”She was my best friend,” Elizabeth thought. The images started to come faster - too fast - and her head hurt. It felt like someone was trying to squeeze something inside her brain - there wasn’t enough room for all the images, feelings and sensations.
”Maria,” she heard his voice and tried to open her eyes. But the light was too bright - it stung her eyes.

Michael looked at Max as he heard him utter his girlfriend’s name. His voice was a desperate plea and when Michael saw the agonized expression on Max’s face, he stepped up to Maria and prized her off Liz.
”Maria, c’mere,” he said. ”Let’s calm down a little.”
As soon as Maria let go off Liz, Liz stumbled backwards ending up with her back against the wall, her eyes remaining closed.
”Liz?” Max whispered.
He could see tears starting to run down her cheeks and noticed that his vision was being blurred by his own tears.

She let go of her and the images stopped. She felt like she was falling and she stumbled backwards, soon feeling the wall push up against her back, supporting her slight weight.
”Liz?” It was his voice. It was so soft. So warm and gentle. So safe. And it was her name. She felt feelings of relief overwhelm her and for the first time in five years tears were filling her eyes, spilling over and running down her cheeks. She couldn’t really place why she was feeling so secure, so relieved and so...loved. It was only instinct - natural.

Max didn’t even know that he had moved his legs until he found himself in front of Liz. She was still keeping her eyes closed. He traced the journey of one of her tears with his eyes and lifted his hand to remove it. He hated seeing her cry. They both felt the jolt of electricty surge through their bodies at the touch, and then she was crying even harder.
”Liz...” Max breathed, mesmerized by the feeling of her skin under his fingertips. She brought up her hand and encircled it around his, which was now caressing her cheek.
”Max,” she sobbed, and stepped into his arms. Max slipped his arms around her and held her tight, her sobs rippling through her whole body. She clenched the front of his shirt in her fists and her salty tears wet his shirt. She was standing so close to him that the next step would be to crawl inside of him. Max buried his face in her hair, his tears wetting her hair. She still smelled the same...a mixture of strawberries and Liz.

Michael held the crying Maria in his arms, while watching the interaction between Max and Liz. It really was Liz, a very much alive Liz. Even if she looked like a living dead. As soon as Liz had stepped into the room, there had only been her and Max - just like old times. The air around them seemed to sparkle, sizzle with electricity. They were now holding onto each other like the other would disappear if they let go. Michael closed his eyes and shook his head and then opened them again. Nope, it was no illusion, it still looked like they were one entity, not two separate individuals. He couldn’t see where Max began and Liz ended. That’s when Liz and Max were being surrounded by a silverish light.
”Michael...” Isabel said slowly.
”I think it’s okay,” Michael said, not wanting to interrupt.

She knew him. She knew his mind, his heart - his soul. She recognized his eyes, his voice, his smell, even the feel of him - his body - was so familiar to her. It felt like coming home. She had been lost for so long, but now she was finally safe. She wanted to stay there in his arms, forever. Images flashed by in her mind, but even though they were overwhelming, she welcomed them. She needed to feel all her old feelings, needed to go through all the old memories that had been kept hidden from her. She felt everything, she was in a sea of warmth and love. Her knees were starting to get weak, her tired body finally giving up. She knew that he wouldn’t let her fall, she knew that her daughter was safe. She could give in. She could finally sleep.

Max felt her slump against him and the now familiar feeling of panic seized him.
”Liz?” He moved his right hand up to her neck, feeling after her pulse. It was there - weak, but there was a pulse. He let out the breath he had been holding. He couldn’t lose her now, not now when he had finally found her again.
”Max, what’s wrong?” he heard Michael ask.
”She fainted,” Max said. ”I guess this was all too much for her.”
”Mommy?” Emma asked in a small voice.
”She’s gonna be all right,” Isabel said, ”she has just fallen asleep. Your mommy was very tired.”
Emma nodded, not really convinced because her mommy didn’t feel asleep to her.
”Daddy will help her?” Emma asked. She had been watching how mommy hugged her daddy and her mommy had cried. But Emma knew that everything was all right. She felt that she had to leave them alone. She was a very smart and mature four-year-old.
Max held Liz close to his body with one of his arms, while he put his other arm in the hollows of her legs, lifting her slack legs off the floor and cradling her limb body against his strong chest.

”Emma,” Max said.
”Yes, daddy,” Emma said, immediately curious to what her daddy wanted.
”Where’s your mommy’s bedroom?” Max asked.
”Oh, oh,” Emma said excitedly and started running into the direction of the kitchen. ”I know, I know. I can show you!!”
”Great,” Max said and smiled.
Emma opened the door at the end of the small hallway and entered with a proud expression on her face.
”Thank you, Emma,” Max said and carried Liz over to the bed, carefully laying her down. She was sleeping so deeply that she didn’t even move as Max reluctantly removed his arms from her body.
Max extended his hand towards Emma and Emma took it without hesitation.
”Let’s leave mommy alone for a while and let her get some rest,” Max said.
”She’s weal twied, huh?” Emma asked.
”Yes, she was really tired,” Max said as they walked out of the room. Max closed the bedroom door slowly, careful not to make a sound.
”Why was she sad?” Emma asked and looked up into her daddy’s eyes, her inquisitive eyes big.
”Uhm...” Max didn’t really know what to answer to that, ”she has been missing all her friends and she was happy to see us again.”
”So they were habby tears?” Emma asked.
”Exactly,” Max said and smiled as Emma grinned because she had been correct. They came out into the living room hand in hand.

Isabel was still standing by the door. Michael was sitting on the couch, with one arm looped around Maria’s shoulder. Maria’s eyes were red and puffy, but she had stopped crying.
”How is she?” Isabel asked as soon as Max and Emma stepped in, straightening up a bit.
”She’s sleeping,” Max answered.
”Mommy was cwying habby tears,” Emma informed them all matter-of-factly.
”She sure was,” Isabel said and smiled.
”Did you daddy also cwy habby tears?” Emma asked and looked up at her father. Max squeezed her hand and nodded.
”What are we gonna do today, daddy?” Emma asked.
Isabel took one look at Max’s worn appearance and decided that he did not have the energy to go anywhere.
”Emma, what do you say about going to the zoo?” Isabel said.
Emma uttered a shout of joy, released Max’s hand and started bouncing her way to the door.
”Come on, daddy. We gonna see anibals!!” Emma said, excitement written all over her face.
Max opened his mouth to answer but Isabel beat him to it.
”Emma, daddy needs to rest too. He is also very tired,” Isabel said and shot Max a warning look, warning him to say otherwise.

Emma’s excitement disappeared and was replaced by disappointment.
”But can’t you come, daddy? Pwwweeeeeeaaaaaaaasssseeeee,” Emma begged, her beautiful small lips formed into a pout.
It was sure diffcult to resist her, but Isabel was too concerned about her brother’s sanity to let herself be convinced by that little lady.
”I-” Max started, having great difficulties in refusing his daughter, alredy showing the typical signs of a daughter-and-father relationship.
”No, Emma. Daddy’s very tired. But I will come with, and Maria and Michael. We can feed the monkeys and we can even buy you an ice-cream if you want to,” Isabel said.
Emma squeled in excitement.
”Jay!” she exclaimed, starting her bouncing all over again. Her disappointment vanished in her babbling about everything they could do at the zoo.
”We’ll be back in a couple of hours, Max,” Isabel said. ”Rest now, okay.” It was no question, but an order.
Max nodded and smiled at the antics of his daughter as she was bouncing around, trying to make everyone hurry up, and with a ‘bye, daddy’ from his daughter, the door slammed shut and Max was alone - with Liz.

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Postby max and liz believer » Sun Feb 23, 2003 2:41 pm

Chapter 18

Max stood there in the middle of the living room - in Liz’s apartment. He let the silence fill him - flow into him through every pour. He tried to gather his thoughts and his feelings. It all seemed like a sweet dream, and he feared that he would soon wake up. He was not more than six meters away from Liz. He had felt her, he had been able to touch her, he had heard her voice speak to him, and it had been sweet music to his ears. He closed his eyes and listened to the silence, trying to get himself to grasp that the real world had for once given him a break. His feet took him to her bedroom door, and he slowly turned the doorknob and slightly opened the door. It creaked a little and Max winced as the sound ripped through the silence. His eyes sought out her still figure easily. She hadn’t moved since he had left her. She was deeply asleep. He quietly entered the room, carefully closing the door behind him. There she was - like an angel sent from heaven. He moved to the bed, kneeling beside her. She was laying on her side, her legs pulled up into a fetal position.

He traced her face with his eyes, letting her scent envelope him. The last time he had seen her, she had been a teenager, now she was a woman - a mother. A smile couldn’t stop itself from tugging at the corners of his mouth when he thought about the fact that he was a father. That he and Liz had made a daughter together. He knew that she had changed in more than her appearance, that she was probably not exactly the same Liz he had known. He wasn’t the same either. But he still recognized her. He recognized her aura that was uniquely her. He recognized her very essence in how she breathed, how her lips were slightly parted letting in the oxygen to fill her lungs. Nothing could ever changed that.

He slowly lifted his hand to her face, tracing her cheekbone. It was more prominent than what he had remembered it to be. He moved his hand to gently brush over the bruises under her eyes, and sadness filled his heart. She had been all alone all these years - raising a daughter on her own. And something was definitely wrong with her. His eyes drifted over her fragile body. She was so thin - too thin. For not the first time, he wondered what was wrong with her. Was she sick? She looked extremely weak, the exhaustion was infested in every detail of her face. He traced the delicate lines on her forehead - lines of time and hardships - and marveled over the fact that her skin was just as soft as it always had been. How could skin be so silky? He tenderly moved his hand down the back of her nose, to lightly hover over her dry and parched lips. The lips that had been so lucently red and soft. He moved his lips to her forehead, intending only to leave a brief kiss, but his lips lingered at her soft and warm skin. He reluctantly pulled away, the taste of her skin still tingling on his lips.

Liz moaned slightly as he moved away from her, and started to wiggle her body - her body unconsciously trying to seek his out again. Max sat back, watching her - his mind still not fully comprehending that he was here with her. Liz turned around, her back momentarily towards Max, before she turned again to seek out the calmness and familiarity his presence provided. She stopped moving, her body relaxed and peace settle itself over her face as she once again positioned herself facing Max. But Max was already raising from his position, having seen something on Liz’s back, where her shirt had ridden up due to her movements, before she had turned towards him again. He slowly climbed up onto the bed and moved up behind Liz. He gently took a hold of the hem of Liz’s shirt and pulled it upwards.

He inhaled sharply as the appearance of her back revealed itself to him. Her back was not the soft, lean and porcelain texture he remembered. Her skin was whitish, and shiny - the texture inelastic. She had been burnt - badly. Her whole back was merely scarred tissue. But that was not the worst thing. In some areas of her back were water-filled blisters, and in others were open wounds - some as big as three centimeters in length. Max was slowly slipping deeper and deeper into his sea of guilt. He had not been there for her. She was obviously in pain every day, and he hadn’t been there to help her. He swallowed - feeling sick, and pulled down Liz’s shirt again.

Liz started moving about again, and turned towards him. When she found what she was searching for, she sighed contentedly and snuggled closer to him. Max pushed all his feelings of self-blame and guilt away, and concentrated on the fact that Liz was here now. He laced his fingers with hers and pulled her closer. She cuddled up against him, tucking her head under his chin, covering her face in his shirt. Max felt her warmth flow into him, and his body relaxed. Slowly he drifted off to sleep.


”...and he eat the peanubs,” Emma’s voice sifted into the living room as the front door opened.
”The monkey sure did love those peanuts, didn’t he,” Maria said.
Emma nodded fervently. Michael stepped up behind Emma and Maria, shopping bags dangling from his hands. He was never gonna go shopping with Isabel and Maria again. Now he knew why Max always said he had other things to do when Isabel asked if he could take her to the mall. Man! After the visit to the zoo Maria and Isabel had suddenly reached the decision that Emma was in serious need of new clothes. And they had to go into every store. And that was so cute, and that was so sweet, and that was adorable. With a sigh Michael sank down on the couch, not even possessing the energy to remove the shopping bags from his wrists. On top of that, the shopping demons (read Maria and Emma) had both agreed upon that Michael needed some new clothes as well. So against his will - and co-operation - he was now the new owner of one pair of pants and two shirts.

Isabel snuck out of the living room to check on Max and Liz. She lightly knocked on the bedroom door. Hearing no reply, she carefully pushed it opened. She found them both sound asleep. Liz was snuggled close to Max, as if she was trying to crawl inside of him - shielding herself from the harsh and cold reality with his warmth and calmness. Isabel looked at her brother’s peaceful face. He had not slept one entire night since Liz’s disappearance, and Isabel realized that no medication in the world could have helped Max with his insomnia. Liz was his only cure. As Isabel looked at them, together again, she thought that once again everything was right in the world. Sure, they probably still had some issues to discuss, but as long as they were together again, there was hope.


”Are they still sleeping?” Maria asked Isabel as she came back into the living room after having checked up on Liz and Max for the second time. Emma had joined them in the bedroom too. Somehow Emma had been able to snuggle herself in between Max and Liz, and Isabel admired that little girl for being able to break the hold Liz and Max had on each other in their sleep. Max and Liz were now sleeping on their sides, facing each other and Emma laying on her back sandwiched between them - looking very content to have it like that. Max’s and Liz’s hands were clasped together, resting on Emma’s belly.
”Yeah, both must have been really exhausted,” Isabel said.
”Liz looks really sick,” Maria commented, concern and fear evident in her voice.
Isabel nodded, and turned to look at Michael who had positioned himself on the couch - the TV on.
”I think we’re going to have to think about the sleeping arrangements. It looks as if we’re gonna have to stay here for tonight,” Isabel said to Maria.
”I’ll take the couch,” Michael said quickly.
”Hey,” Maria protested. ”Who gave you that right?”
”I said it first,” Michael said simply.
”Well, the last time I checked we were not in Kindergarten...but I begin to wonder,” Maria retorted.
”I deserve it ‘cause I had to be a pack-ass against my will,” Michael said.
”Oh, how noble of you,” Isabel said sarcastically.
”Yeah, you’re a true gentleman, Michael,” Maria said.

”Well, I try,” Michael said and shrugged his shoulders. ”Besides, I’m a man, and I need to get a proper night of sleep in a proper bed to be able to regain all my powers in order to save your asses if it’s required, remember?”
Isabel could practically see the steam coming out of Maria’s ears.
”Well, if you are such a man, then I think you should go and buy some sleeping bags,” Isabel said, before Maria had the chance to start a fight with Michael.
”I’m watching TV,” Michael said, as if that was reason enough.
”Michael...” Michael heard the warning note to Isabel’s voice and looked up in time to see a small hint of the Christmas Nazi returning. Michael was quickly on his feet.
”Okay then, I’ll get those stupid sleeping bags. But then you have to do the woman thing, fix something to eat!” The door was closed behind him before neither of the women was able to yell at him for that sexist statement.
Maria picked up the phone and threw it to Isabel.
”Pizza?” Isabel asked.
”Yes, and extra cheese for space-pig,” Maria said.
Isabel ordered the pizzas and then the women sank down on the couch, changed canal and waited for the food to arrive - ready to be eaten - like any other modern woman.


Max slowly drifted up to the fringes of consciousness. He felt a warm body pressed up against his. It all came rushing back to him as he noticed the small hand that was entwined with his. He slowly opened his eyes. The light of the morning sun was sifting through the window. He turned his head and his eyes fell on the two persons that meant more than life itself to him. Liz was facing him, her body close to their daughter who was positioned between them. They were both sound asleep. The covers were only partly covering Liz, since Emma evidently had tried to kick the covers off. Emma’s cheeks were flustered, having been heated up by her parents’ warmth. However, Liz looked cold. Due to the alien blood that flowed through his veins, Max was less receptive to cold than humans - and Emma probably had some of that as well. But as he cupped Liz’s cheek with his hand he felt how icing cold her skin was. If he hadn’t heard her soft and even breathing he would have feared the worst. He pulled up the covers over his two girls and rose to retrieve a blanket. If Liz was anything like the Liz he had known, she would have a blanket in the closet. On the top shelf of the closet, he found a blue and green blanket which he draped over Liz’s body. With one last look at his sleeping family, he left the bedroom - closing the door quietly behind him.

Isabel looked up at him as he entered the kitchen.
”Morning, Max,” she said with a smile. Max looked really relaxed, thoroughly rested. Some of the worry and sadness, that had became like an integrated part of him during the years of separation from Liz, had vanished.
”Morning, Izzie,” Max said and rubbed his hand over his eyes. ”How long have I’ve been asleep?”
”Well, dear brother...about twenty hours,” Isabel answered, casting a quick glance at the kitchen clock. ”You must have been really exhausted.”
Max just nodded - a little absent-mindedly - and sat down in one of the kitchen chairs.
”You want coffee?” Isabel asked.
”Sure,” Max answered. He watched his sister as she poured coffee in a cup and placed it in front of him. She sat down across from him and searched his face.
”Is Liz still sleeping?”
”Yes,” Max answered.
”She looks really sick,” Isabel said.
Max guilty avoided her eyes.
”What’s wrong with her?” Isabel asked.
”I don’t know,” Max whispered, the guilt and self-blame extremely prominent in his voice.
Isabel worriedly searched his face.
”Max, it’s not your fault,” she said.

”I haven’t been there for her,” Max said.
”You had no chance to do so,” Isabel said. ”She hasn’t contacted you - you didn’t know where she was.”
”But she’s in so much pain,” Max said. ”Her-her whole back is burnt.”
Isabel’s thoughts went back to what Max had told her about that night of Liz’s ‘death’. He had experienced an intense pain in the back, but Isabel had dismissed it to be the cause of the knife Liz’s body had been penetrated with.
”Is that what you felt?” Isabel asked.
Max nodded.
”I think so,” he said.
”But you can just heal her, right?” Isabel asked.
Max nodded again, but Isabel could see that his mind was elsewhere. Something was really eating him up inside, and Isabel had a feeling that it was just not Liz’s health condition.
”Max, what’s really bugging you?” she asked.
”Nothing,” Max said - starting to fiddle with his spoon in the cup of coffee.
”I know you, Max. There’s something else.”
Max took a deep breath, and then he looked up into her eyes.
”She’s blocking me,” he said. ”She’s blocking our connection.”
”What do you mean?” Isabel asked.
”I can’t feel her,” Max said. ”I’ve always told myself that it was probably because she wasn’t close to me - that there was too great of a distance between us. But that doesn’t make sense any longer. I’ve been...close to her now for hours and I still is unable to feel her.”

They both jerked out of their reveries as they heard the bedroom door open.
They looked expectantly at the entrance to the kitchen to see who was to appear. It was Liz, and she too looked as if some hours of sleep had been good for her.
”Morning, Liz,” Isabel said. Liz smiled softly, which warmed Max’s heart.
”Morning,,” she said and walked into the kitchen.
”You want some breakfast? Pancakes, cereals, coffee, tea...”
Liz smiled at Isabel’s enumeration.
”Coffee would be great,” she said.
”Coffee it is,” Isabel said and turned to pour another cup of coffee. Liz sat down on the chair next to Max. She looked up into his face, and she instantly was lost in his warm eyes. She timidly reached out and put her hand over his on the table. She had this need to constantly touch him.
Isabel put down the cup in front of her.
”There you go, Liz,” Isabel said and sat down again.
”Thanks,” Liz said. ”Why do you call me Liz?”
Isabel’s hand froze in the movement of taking a slice of bread and she stared at Liz.
”That’s your name,” Max said, confusion in his voice as he looked at Liz.
”I thought my name was Elizabeth,” Liz said.
”I guess it is,” Max said, ”but we’ve always called you Liz. Don’t you remember?”
Liz shook her head.
Isabel felt lost.
”What do you mean?” she asked.

”I don’t remember that my name used to be Liz, and I don’t remember who you are,” Liz answered, and Max felt unable to breathe.
”You don’t remember us?” he whispered. Liz squeezed his hand, and looked deep in his eyes - her eyes so familiar to him. She had always been able to look at him as if she saw right through him - saw him as the person he really was.
”I remember you,” she said in a low voice to Max.
Isabel slowly lowered her hand, staring at the girl who Max had searched for so many years - and realizing that she hadn’t really hid from him, she simply hadn’t remembered him.
”I think we have to talk,” Max said.


Max closed the bedroom door to Emma’s room behind him and watched Liz as she nervously walked around the room, picking up toys here and there - organizing them.
”Liz, calm down,” he said.
Liz looked at him, and nodded.
”Right,” she said and inhaled deeply before she positioned herself on the edge of Emma’s bed.
Max looked at her, as she was nervously twitching her hands in her lap - staring down at the floor. She had no memory of them, which meant that she didn’t know about his, Isabel’s and Michael’s true origin. She didn’t know that her daughter was half-alien. He wasn’t really feeling up to telling her once again that he was an alien. Been there - done that. It had not been the most pleasurable experience.
”Do you remember anything at all?” Max asked.
”I remember you,” Liz said so softly that Max barely didn’t hear her. ”But only you as a person...not anything we’ve done or said.”
”You haven’t remembered anything during these years?” Max asked.
”I have gotten some glimpses...but it’s only if I come into contact with something that reminds me of the past,” Liz answered.
”You don’t remember anything...uhm...special about me..and Isabel and Michael?” Max asked, hoping that she would remember, so he didn’t have to give her the shock of being a mother to an alien child.
Liz looked up at him, confusion in her face. Max could see how she was searching her mind in order to truthfully answer his question.
”No,” she said honestly.
”Okay,” Max breathed. ”Has anything...out of the ordinary..happened with Emma? Has she done anything that you couldn’t quite explain?”
Liz looked down at the floor again, and Max understood that Emma had done something.

She couldn’t tell him, could she? He would think that she was crazy...
”Liz, just tell me,” Max said, as if he could read her thoughts. Liz looked up into his eyes and the love and reassurance she found there gave her the courage to tell him. To tell him anything and everything.
”One day she said that she had been in daddy’s dream,” Liz said, keeping her eyes locked with his. To her surprise he didn’t even flinch - he didn’t show any sign of being surprise by what she said or even thinking that she was delirious.
”Anything else?” Max asked.
”She....healed me,” Liz said.
”She healed you?” Max asked.
”It’s really stupi-”
”No,” Max interrupted. ”It’s not stupid - nothing about you could ever be stupid.”
A feeling of familiarity surged through her.
”Have you said that to me before?” she asked.
”I...I don’t know,” Max answered. ”Maybe I have. Did you remember that?”
Liz nodded.
”It was like that when Emma healed my hand....there was this bright light and I remembered-”
She stopped as she realized what she was about to say.
”What?” Max asked.
”Uhm...the night...of Emma’s..uhm...conception,” Liz answered.
Max couldn’t help but blush and he lowered his gaze to the floor.
”I want to try something,” he said slowly and raised his eyes to hers again.
She nodded slowly. Max went up to the bed and sat down next to her.
”I have to touch you,” Max said. Liz felt the strangest feeling of déja vu and she nodded her permission. Max tenderly cupped her face between his hands. They both tried to ignore the electricity that momentarily cursed through their bodies at the contact.
”Take some deep breaths, and let your mind go blank,” Max instructed her.

Liz calmed down her breathing, drawing deep breaths in and out. She felt her whole body relax, and then she felt as if she was falling. She felt herself being wrapped up in Max - in everything that was Max. She could feel all his feelings. Most of all happiness, relief and love. She felt as if her whole heart was beginning to warm up - thaw - returning to life. That’s when the images started to flow through her mind. Max’s memories. She saw a small brown-haired girl playing with a friend, and she realized that she was looking at herself. She saw herself growing up from a little girl, to a young woman through Max’s eyes. Every flash was etched with admiration and love. The images changed and she saw herself laying on her back on the tile floor, bleeding from a gunshot wound in her stomach. She felt Max’s panic as he watched her gradually lose hold of life. Liz watched him put his hand over the wound, and there was a bright light. When Max removed his hand the wound was healed. Then she saw the fear on her own face as Max told her that he was an alien, and she felt Max’s sadness. Then the images started to come faster. Max and her kissing, Max telling her that they shouldn’t be together - that it wasn’t meant to be, Max kissing Liz the night he had been drunk. She experienced all the heightened feelings that they both had felt during those days in February before they found the orb. She re-experienced the desire that had surged through Max as she had lightly moved her fingers over his bare chest in Michael’s apartment.

Then there was much fear and panic as Max realized that Liz had been abducted by Nasedo. She relived his emotions during his captivity. She felt his confusion, his panic, his fear - fear for himself but mostly of anyone hurting any of his friends. She felt the pang of utter misery as Pierce had shown him an engineered image of her death. Then she was looking at herself in the van, feelings his longing for her. His love. The first time he had told her that he loved her. She found herself in the cave after Max, Isabel, Tess and Michael had received the message of their purpose here on Earth through the hologram. She felt Max’s confusion and anxiety as she watched herself run away from him. She felt Max’s loneliness when she was away during the summer in Florida. She felt how much he missed her. She experienced his pure joy and happiness as she returned to Roswell. But then she saw herself laying half-naked in her bed with Kyle, and she felt how his heart broke. That’s when the feelings changed.
She felt Max’s suspicion towards Liz - initially not wanting to believe what his eyes told him was true. She felt Max’s alienation as she was pulling further and further away from her. The flashes were penetrated with betrayal, and anger. But she could still feel the constant love in the background, but it was buried under all the dark confusing emotions. Then she felt him feeling worried about her as she was getting paler. She felt his love for her start to come up to the surface again as she saw herself standing outside his window in the middle of the night - in the pouring rain. And she gasped as the intense feelings of joy, happiness, gratitude, and love filled her when she accepted him back into her life.

Then everything became a large blur of dark emotions. The feelings of agonizing grief and desperation devoured her. She could feel herself being pulled into a world so dark, so lonely - and she witness the cause to the gradual dying of his soul. She saw herself laying pale and cold in his arms. She saw his tears fall on her still body. She saw blood - on the ground, on his hands, in her hair. Then the images were coming faster again, but there was a lack of emotions attached to the images. It was as if there were no emotions left to experience. She only felt an overwhelming feeling of emptiness. Next she was in a church, surrounded with people she’d known more or less her whole life. Her parents, relatives, neighbors, people from high school...people she didn’t even recognize. She was witnessing her own funeral. Then the images changed and she saw Emma. Several images of Emma started to flash through her mind, and they started to mix with images of her. With a gasp he pulled out of her mind.

He leaned his forehead against hers, gathering his strength. It had taken a lot to send all those images and to keep the connection open for so long.
”Max...” he heard Liz whisper, her voice cracking with emotion.
He leaned back and looked into her eyes, and he knew. He knew that it had worked.
”I remember,” she said and wrapped her arms around him, holding him as close as she could. ”God, Max. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.”
”It wasn’t your fault,” Max murmured, feeling how Liz was returning to him. The Liz he knew. His Liz.
”I love you, I love you so much,” Liz whispered, her voice filled with thousands of emotions.
”I was dead without you,” Max murmured, closing his eyes and let his senses be filled by her. Everything that was her. ”I’ve missed you so much.”
He could feel her tears soaking through the front side of his shirt.
”Liz? I need to heal you,” Max said. He could feel her nod against his chest. She knew how much it meant for him to be able to do that for her. She knew that he was withering away under his own guilt, being devoured by his conscience for not being there for her....or Emma.
Still in his arms, she began to take deep breaths, trying to calm herself down again from the intense trip on the emotional roller-coaster. She felt how he too started to relax against her. Then he was inside of her mind again.

He felt her blood flow through his veins, her heart beating in unison with his. He felt the air flow into her lungs as if it was his, and then all the pain hit him. The wind was knocked out of him, and he had to concentrate really hard to push the excruciating pain far back in his mind and instead focus on her - on their body. He searched her internal organs, finding the liver, the kidneys, the stomach, the heart, the lungs and the lympathic system to be damaged - slightly burnt. He continued to move to heal the external traces of her ill-health. He healed the bruises of her skin, and the open cuts that hadn’t been able to heal properly on their own. Next he moved to the skin of her back. He started to heal the blisters and the open wounds - melding the skin together. He focused on the damaged epidermal cell layer of her skin, repairing it - repairing the damaged cell functions. He continued to look over the neural pathways connecting her brain to the rest of her body. He traced the nerves, seeing to it that they were not damaged. Finally, he checked her over and then he pulled out of her.

They both shivered from the cold the withdrawal of the other’s soul left them with. Liz put her arms around her body, in an effort to fight of the cold that was penetrating into her very bone.
”Did it work?” Max asked, fearing the answer from the sad look in her eyes.
She shook her head.
Max closed his eyes, and inhaled deeply. What was wrong? He had healed her, he knew he had.
”I’m still having a headache, and the nausea is still there,” Liz whispered.
”I don’t understand,” Max murmured, and then he looked into her eyes.
”Liz, pull up your shirt,” he almost ordered her.
”What?” Liz asked, confusion written all over her face.
Max rose and sat down behind her instead, and she realized what he was doing. She took a hold of the hem of her shirt and pulled it upwards. Even though she anticipated his touch, she still inhaled sharply as he gently brushed his finger over the naked skin of her back. His hand was lightly moving across her skin, and she could feel the desire that had been buried deep inside of her for so long - awakening inside of her. A desire only his touch could bring forward.
”Max?” she asked, as he didn’t say anything. ”How does it look?”
”Fine....perfect,” Max whispered, pain in his voice.

”What’s wrong?” Liz asked slowly. There was something he wasn’t telling her. He pulled the shirt down again, covering up her now flawless skin and Liz turned towards him. He was staring at his hands positioned in his lap.
”Why are you blocking me, Liz?” he asked, hurt etching his voice.
”What do you mean?” Liz asked.
Max looked up, and Liz was somewhat taken aback by the amount of emotion in his eyes. Especially the hurt.
”I can’t feel you through the connection,” Max said.
”Oh God, Max,” Liz said slowly. ”I haven’t even thought about that. I can’t feel you... I had no memory of the connection that’s probably why I blocked it.”
Max nodded, her words sinking in and the hurt in his eyes gradually vanishing.
”Try to unblock it,” he said, his voice encouraging.
”I-I don’t know how to,” Liz said insecurely. ”I never had to do anything to get the connection - one day it was just there.”
”Try to reach out for me,” Max suggested, having no clue to what to do himself.
Liz nodded and closed her eyes in deep concentration. She concentrated on him. The way he was looking at her, the way he softly caressed her cheek, the way he brushed the hair off her forehead, the way he looked into her eyes, the way he kissed her, his smile, his scent - everything that was him. Everything he meant to her. She tried for almost two minutes, but then she had to give up - unsuccessful in her efforts.
”I can’t," she whispered, her voice husky with exhaustion.
He pulled her close up against him and she gratefully sank into his arms. They both held on to each other, both desperately trying to fight off the coldness and loneliness that threatened to overtake them.

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Postby max and liz believer » Sun Feb 23, 2003 2:45 pm

Chapter 19

”So, where’s Max, Liz and Emma?” Maria asked as she was unpacking the groceries from the paper bag.
”Emma’s sleeping,” Isabel answered as she relieved Michael from one of the bags. He was just standing there, an expression mixed with boredom, irritation, tiredness and hopelessness on his face, in the middle of the kitchen, two grocery bags dangling from one hand and three dangling from the other.
”Maria, what did you do to Michael?” Isabel asked suspiciously.
Maria turned to look at Michael.
”Oh, he’ll just have to get used to it! I guess he never has shopped more than three products at the same time when he has gone shopping. He’ll get over it.”
”O-kaaay,” Isabel said, unable to grin at Michael.
”Don’t start,” Michael said menacingly.
”I haven’t said nothing,” Isabel said, while burying her face in the refrigerator to hide the wide grin on her face.
”Where are Max and Liz?” Maria asked again, while filling the cabinets with sugar, cereals, etc.
”They’ve been in Emma’s room for about an hour - talking,” Isabel answered.
”Talking, huh,” Michael chuckled. Maria turned around and slapped him on the arm.

”Ouch, what are you doing?” Michael cried.
”That’s for you being an insensitive pig,” Maria answered, and when seeing that Michael actually didn’t get it she continued, ”they’ve just found each other, do you think they will jump each other’s bones the first thing they do?”
”Well, yeah,” Michael said as if it was a well-known fact, ”we’re talking Max and Liz here...”
”Yes, we are. The two most controlled people I know,” Maria said.
”As I recall they have a daughter together,” Michael said, ”and I don’t know if you missed those biology lessons, but you have to loose some major control-restrains to make a child, you know.”
”OOOOHHH,” Maria exclaimed.
”There is something I need to tell you,” Isabel interrupted. But it was too late. Maria and Michael was already in one of their bickering contests.
”Hey, quit it!! TIME OUT!” Isabel practically yelled, holding her hands in front of her in the form of a capital T.
”What?” Michael huffed. He was just about to win the argument for once!
”There’s something I need to tell you,” Isabel repeated.
”Okay, shoot,” Maria said casually, having had years of practice to calm herself down from ‘talking’ with her dense boyfriend. She was not as hyper as she once was....okay, she was still hyper but...right, she was about one percent less hyper.
”I think Liz has suffered from amnesia all these years,” Isabel said.
”What?!” Maria said, already getting herself worked up again.

”She didn’t remember us, she didn’t remember her old life, she didn’t even remember her own name,” Isabel said, ”that’s why she hasn’t contacted us. She wasn’t intentionally keeping herself hidden, she only wasn’t aware that there was someone out there to contact.”
”Oh shit,” Michael mumbled - finally putting the grocery bags down on the floor.
”Oh my god, poor Liz,” Maria mumbled. ”What she must have been suffering. She must have been so lost. I can’t even imagine how it would feel like to not remember anything - anything at all !”

Just then they heard a door open, and Liz and Max walked in hand in hand. But as soon as Liz stepped into the kitchen, she was in Maria’s arms.
”God, I’ve missed you,” Liz said, her tears streaming down her cheeks. Even though she actually couldn’t remember Maria, her whole being had unconsciously missed her.
”I’ve missed you too,” Maria said, herself crying, ”I’ve missed your calm and your advice and I missed you! If we hadn’t found you I had probably gone insane sooner or later being around your devastated boyfriend, ice-queen over there, and my oh-so-annoying boyfriend.”
Max watched the interaction between the two former friends with a small smile on his face. It was good to see those two together again. Even though Maria had tried to put up a brave face and act normal after Liz’s disappearance from the group, she had not seemed the same. That fact had not passed Max unnoticed, even though he was pretty much lost to the world without Liz by his side.
Liz left Maria’s warm embrace and turned towards Michael, now sitting on one of the kitchen chairs.

”Michael,” she said, ”c’mere! I’ve missed you to!”
Michael hesitated a bit. After all these years, his ability to show affection hadn’t really improved. Nevertheless, Liz had always been there for him - even though he had been very skeptical of her in the beginning. As he had seen it, she had tried to manipulate Max into leaving him. Michael could not let a simple human do that - he had only put his trust in two people and that was Isabel and Max. After a while he had started to like that small woman with the warm big heart, and when she had died (even though he hadn’t admitted it to anyone) he had grieved just as much as everyone else....well, except Max then - whose grief was something in its own category. Max had done him a favor that day when he had healed Liz. By his decision to tell Liz their secret, Max had opened up their closed-up existence to a real life, with real friends. Friends Michael would now die protecting just as much as he would die protecting Max or Isabel.

Michael rose and stepped up to Liz, capturing her in a big bear hug.
”Thank you for taking care of Maria for me,” Liz whispered in his ear - only for him to hear. Michael swallowed and had to concentrate not to let the emotions get the upper hand. Why did Liz always do that? It was like she could see right through him, and she didn’t care that he put up a tough exterior because somehow she could see the real him.
”I’ll do anything for her,” Michael said, his voice low. The emotional touch to his voice wasn’t unnoticed by Liz. Michael cleared his throat (in order to free himself of all the uncomfortable feelings - uncomfortable because he never knew what to do with them) and stepped out of Liz’s embrace.
”So, where’s Alex?” Liz asked, missing her best male girlfriend.
”He’s in Roswell, holding the forts,” Isabel answered.
”As always,” Liz smiled.
”So, Liz. What’s this I hear that you forgot about us?” Michael said, his mask put back into place quickly, effectively hiding the feelings Liz had felt radiating from him a couple of seconds earlier.

Liz smiled at him. She knew how much Maria had always meant to him, and she had a hunch that she meant more to him now than ever. But in so many respects he was still the Michael she once knew. Somehow she was comforted by that. It was almost as if she could pick up where she left, that wasn’t going to be quite that easy. She had changed a lot. She had a child now and she had lived a hidden life in the dark for five years. Even though it didn’t at the moment seem as if her friends had changed at all, she knew that they too had changed. As she thought about it, her smile faltered. She had missed so much of her friends’ life. In theory they should probably be strangers by now.
Michael watched the emotions play over Liz’s face. She always had such an expressive face - showing almost exactly what she felt.
”Liz...?” Michael asked, worried that he had upset her with bad memories or something.
Liz jerked out of her dream world and found the concern faces of three of her best friends in the world looking at her. ”However,” Liz thought to herself, ”we had something unique, and we were bond in a way that will not be separated by some years of absence. We will survive.”
”Sorry,” Liz said and smiled again, ”I just spaced out, I guess. I’m not used to all this people here. It’s usually only Emma and I here.”
”What really happened five years ago?” Maria asked.

Liz inhaled deeply and sank down on one of the chairs. She knew that the questions would come sooner or later. She had hoped that it would be later.
”Uhmm, well...I’ll just take it from the beginning...But it will be easier if you wouldn’t interrupt me okay?” She was met by three persons nodding their heads in agreement.
Liz took another deep breath.
”Okay...” She hadn’t had the time or opportunity to think this through herself. She had just remembered what had happened. She had never gotten the chance to process it...”I kept having these nightmares...five years ago. They started about two weeks before...uhm..the attack. My nightmares were always about the same thing. I was walking home...and it was night...and dark...and cold...and...and...and then Max was there but I knew that it wasn’t really him. There wasn’t anything Max about him, except his appearance that is. This...uhm...person..wanted to follow me home, but I kept trying to assure him that I was fine, that I could get home on my own. I really didn’t want to walk with him. But he kept insisting and I thought that if I agreed there would perhaps be a pedestrian who would spot us and I could ask for help or something, I hadn’t really thought it through. Then everything happened so fast. me into an alley and k-kiss me and I pushed him away and we...uhm..fought a while and then I got away and started to run and that’s when I fell and he was over me. I felt his hand on my back and then...I was...being burned alive,” Liz swallowed hard to force down the sobs that threatened to come, ”and then I woke up. The dreams felt extremely realistic, more like a warning of the future than a dream-”

”Liz, why didn’t you tell me? I could’ve hel-” Max began, his voice filled with guilt.
Liz held up her hand to silence him.
”Max, please. Don’t interrupt, okay?”
Max just nodded, his thoughts occupied with everything he could’ve done to prevent Liz from being separated from him and her best friends in the first place. Liz searched his face and knew that he was beating himself up. He was still her Max - blaming himself for something she had decided not to tell him.
”Anyway,” Liz said, ”the day of my attack I was feeling really jumpy - paranoid. All my feelings were running high and I just knew that something was about to happen and still I messed up. I had all these warning signs going off around me - I even felt weird when Tess stepped in and I’ve never trusted Tess anyway.” Liz felt Max tense up at the mention of Tess.
”What are you saying?” Maria asked. ”Was Tess involved in this somehow?”
”I’ll get to that,” Liz said and tucked a strand of hair that didn’t exist behind her ear (everything that could be tucked behind her hair had already been done so). A classical sign that she was nervous and was getting agitated. ”That night I had been at Maria’s and I was heading home. Maria offered that I could stay the night - but it was as if some weird force dragged me out of that house even though every fiber of my being resisted. I had only walked a few meters when I met him and my dream started to repeat itself-”
”Oh my God,” Maria whispered, putting up a hand in front of her mouth.
”Even though I tried to change what I said and by that hoping that I would change the whole chain of events, nothing was working. We always seemed to get back to the dream-conversation. If I tried something new it was as if the conversation took a detour only to return again. That’s when I reached for Max-”

”Ehh..what?” Michael said, totally confused by the whole story Liz was telling them.
”You know, like I did when Max was in New York,” Liz said.
”But that was with me,” Isabel said.
”I’ve apparently become stronger,” Liz said and shrugged. As she continued she kept her eyes glued on Max’s face. Even though she lacked the connection she knew that it was really difficult for him to hear all this - to go through it again. She had to stay strong, for his sake.
”I told him where I was-”
”Wait. You told him?” Isabel interrupted. ”But last time Max couldn’t hear you.”
”I guess I was strong enough to do that too,” Liz said. ”But it was really difficult and it took a lot of energy. I just wanted to tell him my whereabouts - and the most important things that he needed to know.” Max knew what she was talking about. The fact that she had practically told him goodbye in her final words ‘I love you’.”
”The last thing I-I-I remember is..uhm...falling to th-th-the ground and...dying,” a sob escaped her.

Max was at her side in a fraction of seconds, kneeling by her chair and taking one of her hands in both of his. Liz smiled at him gratefully.
”You don’t have to tell us everything today,” Max said.
Liz shook her head.
”No, I need to tell you this now,” she said.
Max nodded in understanding. He focused on Liz and tried to pour love and support through the connection. But as before he only encountered the stone wall. Liz had felt his love and support - even though she didn’t feel him through any connection. She saw as he slumped together, failure written over his countenance. Liz turned towards him and put her free hand on his cheek.
”Max...thank you,” she said softly.
Max looked up at her surprised.
”How do you think that other couples help each other?” Liz asked, a smile grazing her features. ”Even though I can’t feel you through the connection I can still feel you. I don’t need a connection for that.”
Max smiled at her, his heart swelling from the words from this incredible woman.

”What about Tess?” Maria asked, trying to get Liz’s attention before she lost herself in Max’s eyes. Liz eyes left Max’s face and drifted to hers.
”Tess was there that night...helping Nasedo,” she answered.
”What?!” Isabel and Michael said in unison. Max was taking deep breaths, trying to subdue the anger. This was not the right place to lose it.
”Liz...Nasedo’s dead,” Isabel said. ”He was killed by the skins, remember? And then when we tried to heal him with the healing stones he crumbled to dust.”
”I don’t know how it’s possible,” Liz said. ”I just know that it was Nasedo there that night, trying to kill me.”
”Why didn’t he kill you?” Michael asked bluntly.
Maria shot him a deadly glare, and Michael hurried to explain himself.
”I mean..Nasedo can easily kill in a matter of seconds, why did he fail to kill you?”
Liz looked directly at him and Michael once again felt as if she was looking straight through him.
”I think he didn’t want to kill me...The fact that I knew what was going to happen from my dream sort of ruined their plans,” Liz answered.
”Then what did they want to do?” Max asked.
”I don’t know,” Liz said.
”Perhaps rape her,” Michael said simply, turned towards Max.
Max flinched at the statement and took a tighter grip on Liz’s hand.

”Why?” Liz asked, her voice thin.
”He was impersonating Max, right?” Michael said and continued as Liz nodded. ”And when we found you-”
”Wait. You found me?” Liz asked confused.
”I guess that was a mindwarp that bitch made us believe,” Maria said. ”Max found you dead in the alley and later the coroner said that you had been raped before you was murdered. Perhaps Tess came up with that little fact just because it had been a part of the plan. That gerbil was never known for her imaginative skills.”
Liz looked at Max and found tears pooling in his eyes. She reached over and put her arms around him. He clutched her to him tightly, as if trying to assure himself that she was really there.
”It’s okay, Max. That didn’t happen,” Liz whispered.
”I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry,” Max murmured repeatedly.
”No, Max,” Liz hushed. ”It wasn’t your fault. Tess and Nasedo pulled a number on all of us.”
”At least we can be happy that their plan didn’t quite work out,” Maria said.
Liz nodded against Max shoulder.

”But what happened later...when you woke up?” Michael asked. Liz reluctantly pulled away from Max. Everything was slowly catching up on Max. Everything that had happened the last couple of days, everything that had happened the last time he had seen Liz. Liz softly smothered the tears away from his cheeks and laced her fingers with his, squeezing his hand. Then she turned to Michael, ready to tell them all about what her life had been like since they were separated.

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Postby max and liz believer » Sun Feb 23, 2003 2:45 pm

Chapter 20

Liz clasped Max hand more firmly. They were both holding onto each other for support.
”The next thing I remember since becoming unconscious was waking up in what seemed to be a motel room. At first I was really weak, so I just laid there and tried to gather my strength. Occasionally Nasedo and Tess would come in and talk. I couldn’t figure anything out since I couldn’t remember anything of what had happened. But now I’m certain that they were talking about you, Max.” Liz looked at the love of her life. ”Obviously Tess was trying to take my place.”
”No kidding,” Maria said and snorted. ”She must have consumed lip balm like an addict as an effect of her lips getting completely parched from all the ass-kissing.”
”She’s been on Max’s back ever since...well, your funeral,” Isabel clarified.
”But too bad for her, Max wasn’t the least bit interested,” Maria said.
Liz nodded.
”I remember how frustrated Tess was that things weren’t going her way. I’m not quite sure why they wanted you though.”
”Isn’t that obvious,” Maria said. ”That bitch has always had some problems taking rejections and she probably just wanted Max to herself as her personal sex slave or something.”
”Maria, please,” Isabel pleaded. ”That’s my brother you’re talking about.”
”So? It’s not like there’s any chance of that happening now, is there?” Maria asked casually, shrugging her shoulders.
”No, but that doesn’t keep me from getting those really weird images in my head of Tess and Max ‘playing’ together,” Isabel said, the disgust evident in her voice.

”Okay, I’m I the only one a little uncomfortable with this subject?” Max asked.
Liz smiled at him.
”Anyway,” she said, in order to save Max from the present conversation. ”One day they left the door unlocked-”
”They did?” Maria asked incredulously. ”Some nerds they are!”
”-and I escaped,” Liz continued. ”I was so tired, but I was afraid that they would come after me. I didn’t have the courage to walk along the road, where it would’ve been easier to walk, so I walked across the desert until I saw a bed and breakfast a mile away. The man there and his mother took really good care of me. I got food, but I still paid for it-”
”How did you do that?” Michael asked.
”I had stolen some cash from Nasedo at times, and fortunately he never noticed,” Liz answered.
Maria shook her head.
”Wow, leaving the door unlocked and leaving money without noticing some of it disappeared...They really weren’t professionals, right,” Maria said sarcastically.

”The mother of the man who owned the bed and breakfast was really sweet,” Liz said and smiled at the memory. ”She gave me some clothes which once belonged to her daughter. That’s how I found out that my name was Elizabeth. Her daughter’s name was Elizabeth and when she told me I just knew that Elizabeth was my name. That’s what I’ve called myself since then. It was also that old woman who told me that I was-I was pregnant.”
”You didn’t know?” Isabel asked incredulously.
Liz shook her head.
”I couldn’t remember anything and I was just the same feeling sick every hour of the day,” Liz answered. ”I never suspected anything. If I had...uhm...remember some things...,” referring to the night of Emma’s conception, ”...I would perhaps have suspected it, but I didn’t. I couldn’t remember where I was from, how my parents looked like, how my...friends looked like. I didn’t even know if I had any friends or family. For all I knew, I could’ve been a wanted criminal, kidnapped by enemies when trying to flee.”

”But you weren’t - you had friends waiting for you, missing you like hell,” Maria said, her voice filled with sadness and hurt.
”I’m sorry, Maria. I would’ve come home immediately if I had remembered. I’ve always known that I was safe as long as I was with you.”
”But you weren’t,” Max said, ”we let you get hurt. We let them rip you away from us.”
”Even you can’t prevent everything bad from happening,” Liz said. ”Stop beating yourself up, Max. That’s in the past...and it’s more important to see what we are going to do now. Now I’ve found you again - or you found me more precisely - and we will get through this.”
Maria watched her best friend and was amazed by the fact that even though Liz looked completely shattered to the exterior, the stubborn strong willed Liz Parker shone through brightly. That streak was probably what had saved her from laying down and dying.
”How did you find me?” Liz asked. ”I’ve taken so many precautions to keep anyone from finding me...and it scares me that it was so easy to find me. I was lucky enough that it was you who found me first.”

”It was Emma,” Maria said. ”You had to be blind to not see that she’s a splitting image of her mother, with her father’s eyes.”
Liz nodded, a smile spreading in her face - a mother’s pride of her daughter shining through.
”Those eyes always held a certain meaning to me. From the first time Emma opened her eyes they struck a cord inside of me - it’s weird that I didn’t know right then, that I didn’t remember you, Max.”
Max squeezed her hand, assuring her that it was okay.
”We sort of got some information out of the teacher,” Michael said, turning back to the previous topic at hand.
”You did?” Liz said, her voice hinting some trace of fear. ”I specifically told her not to give out any information.”
”Well, it was not good at all that she did,” Isabel said. ”But it was pretty good for us that she did, wasn’t it?”
Liz nodded - she had to admit that even though the teacher had broken her trust, she felt more like thanking her than punishing her.

”After that it was easy,” Max said. ”We only had your surname, but we also knew Emma’s name.” Liz momentarily closed her eyes to repress the dizziness that was putting its claws in her.
”Liz?” Max asked, worried.
Liz gathered her strength and opened her eyes.
”I’m fine,” she said. ”I just need to...lie down for a while.”
”What’s wrong?” Max asked.
Liz drew her hand out of Max’s grip and stood up. The room spun and she put her hand on Max’s shoulder for support.
”Liz?” Maria asked. Liz didn’t look so good. She was pale...well, paler than before.
”I’m fine, I’m fine...I just....Max, can you help me?” Liz asked, but Max had already decided to help her even if she wanted it or not.
”Sure,” he said, rising from his kneeling position beside Liz’s chair and putting an arm around her small waist. Liz felt her body instinctively relaxing as she felt the side of Max’s body and his strong arm around her waist. She leaned into him, letting him support most of her weight - which Max didn’t mind at all.

”I’m sorry, guys,” Liz said.
”Stop it, Liz,” Maria said. ”You need to rest, and you don’t need to apologize because of it!”
Liz smiled weakly.
With the kitchen behind them, Max spoke to Liz:
”You’re feeling sick, right?” he asked.
Liz hesitated for a few seconds and then nodded.
”I’m feeling dizzy...but it’s pretty normal-”
”That’s not normal,” Max said as he slowly opened the bedroom door.
”It’s normal to me,” Liz said, her voice a little lower as they stepped into the bedroom, where Emma was still sleeping in the bed.
”I’m so sorry that I couldn’t heal yo-”
”Max, stop it! If you apologize one more time, I’m going to yell at you,” Liz said. ”Nothing of this is you’re fault. You did everything you could. I’ve learned to live with this sickness. But now you’re here - supporting me, and it can never be that bad as it has been ever again.”

Max smiled warmly at her and reluctantly released the grip around her waist to allow her to lay down on the bed. Emma instantaneously curled up to her mother and Liz put an arm around her daughter, holding her close. Max took the blanket (which Emma in her sleep had kicked to the floor) and spread it out over his small family. He leaned down and kissed Liz lightly on the forehead. At the contact of his lips on her skin, Liz closed her eyes as thousands of emotions rushed through her. It felt as if time stretched out, and then his lips left her skin.
”Get some sleep,” Max said softly.
Liz opened her eyes and the turmoil of emotions inside of her only allowed her to nod.
Max couldn’t stop himself from tucking a loose strand of her hair behind her ear. He had this deep need to touch her. His fingers lingered at the side of the soft skin of her cheek. The touch of his fingers left a warm tingling feeling where they had touched, when Max removed them. Max smiled a little self-consciously.
”I’m just gonna...” Max said as he pointed at the bedroom door and Liz smiled.
”Yeah, you do that,” she said.
”Okay,” Max said and had to gather all his strength to get his feet to leave the room.

”What do we do about Tess?” Michael asked. ”She hopefully doesn’t know that we know.”
Max clenched his fists tightly at the side of his body. ”I know exactly what I wanna do with her,” Max thought.
”Should I kill her for you?” Michael asked, not being completely serious. But as Max looked up in his face and Michael found himself staring into Max eyes, he doubted that his humorous touch to the statement had fulfilled its purpose. Michael had seen a lot of emotions in Max’s eyes - but he had never seen what he saw there now. Max’s eyes were dark with hatred - pure hatred and anger for the people who had made Liz suffer.
”Uhm..Max, I was sort of joking,” Michael said.
Max flinched, seemingly jerking out of his thoughts.
”Yeah Michael, I know,” he said and the intense emotions were deliberately removed from his eyes. But Max’s stance still held much anger. Max took a deep breath in order to be able to think rationally again.
”I guess the best thing is to act normal. That would make us one step in front of her. She would not be suspicious of us, and we can monitor her and find out what her intentions are. We have to be very careful what we say to her - she’s dangerous.”
Michael nodded.
”Sooner or later, she messes up,” Michael said. ”And that’s when we get back at her, right?”
”I don’t want neither Liz nor Emma anywhere near her,” Max said, his voice determined.
Michael nodded. He watched as Max rubbed his forehead - a movement that he had done millions of times since all hell broke out, namely since Liz was taken from him. ”Maybe we should keep you away from her as well,” Michael thought, as he watched how Max obviously was trying to get his iron control back. Michael didn’t trust that Max wouldn’t strangle Tess the moment he saw her.

Emma yawned and blinked with her eyes in the bright light. She turned her head and saw that mommy was sleeping beside her. Emma was just about to wake her mother as she heard voices outside the bedroom door and the events of the previous day came rushing back to her.
She pulled the blanket off her, accidentally pulling some of the blanket off her mother as well. But she was already too excited to get out to the living room to notice. She climbed out of the bed and stretched up on the tips of her toes to be able to reach the door handle and open the door.

”But something is wrong with her,” she heard Max’s voice - her daddy - say.
She found her daddy standing beside the couch in the living room, speaking into the telephone. She didn’t see that funny blonde girl...uhm...Maria or..uhm... Isabel anywhere. Not even Michael who she had gotten to give her a piggy-ride at the zoo.
”I’m sorry, your Highness,” Kira said at the other end of the line.
”’s only Max,” Max said tiredly. Why did they keep calling him that?!
”Max,” Kira said apologetically. ”We don’t know why she’s ill - we don’t know much about human diseases.”
Max rubbed his forehead and sighed. This was leading nowhere! As he let his hand fall to his side again something soft and warm captured it. He turned his head and saw Emma standing there - her face etched with concern, his hand clutched in hers. He felt a feeling of calmness flow into him, and he relaxed remarkably.

”Uhm..can’t you find anything? Don’t you have men in health facilities or something?” Max asked as he smiled at his daughter.
”As we never get sick we haven’t felt the need to infest ourselves in health compartments and organizations,” Kira answered.
”Of course,” Max sighed. ”But perhaps it’s not human, perhaps it’s alien.”
”But you said that she was one hundred percent human,” Kira said.
”Well, maybe she’s not one hundred percent human any longer,” Max said.
”Daddy?” Emma’s small voice made Max turn his head towards her again.
”Not now, Emma,” Max said softly.
Emma started biting on her bottom lip somewhat nervously.
”Who was that?” Kira asked suspiciously.
”That daughter,” Max answered.
”The heir?” Kira asked, his voice a little warmer.
”No, my daughter and she has a name. Her name is Emma,” Max said.
”Yes, Emma,” Kira said.

”Daddy?” Emma said again, now tugging on the bottom of his shirt.
Max covered the speaker with his hand and kneeled in front of Emma.
”What is it, Emma?” Max asked.
”I-I need to pee,” Emma said.
Max just stared at her. Had she just said what he thought she said?
”Uhm..can’t you do that on your own?” Max asked.
Emma shook her head.
Max took a deep breath.
”Okaaay,” he said as he exhaled and removed the hand from the speaker.
”Look, Kira. I need to go.”
”What’s going on?” Kira asked.
”Uhmm..nothing- nothing important,” Max said. ”I’ll call you later!”
”Okay, sir,” Kira said and Max couldn’t help to roll his eyes as he put down the receiver. This ‘your Highness’-thing was really starting to get on his nerves.

Max put the receiver down and turned to his daughter, who was clutching her knees together, bouncing a little on the place.
”Uhmm...let’s see if we can find your aunt Isabel here somewhere,” Max said and took Emma’s hand, leading her to the kitchen. To his horror, the kitchen was empty.
”Where is everyone?” Max mumbled. They had been here a minute ago.
”Daddy? I weally need to go potty,” Emma said.
”I know, honey,” Max said. ”Just hold on a second.”
Just then Maria stepped into the room.
”Maria!” Max exclaimed, his voice not being able to hide the relief.
Maria eyed the scene in front of her. Max looked nervous and scared, while Emma was holding his hand looking very much in the need...of a toilet.
”Emma needs to-to use the toilet, could you take her?” Max said.
Maria grinned broadly.

”Actually Max, I have other things to do,” Maria said, feeling up to see Max beg.
”Please Maria. I-I-I need to call-call Alex,” Max said and winced at his own lame excuse.
”You can’t do that later?” Maria asked, arching her eye-brow.
”It’s really important,” Max said meekly.
”It will probably only take thirty seconds or so,” Maria said.
”Daddy, please hurry,” Emma said, her small voice strained.
Max helplessly looked from his daughter to the gloating Maria.
”Maria, please,” he practically begged.
Maria made a big deal out of showing how much she was contemplating the whole thing.
”All right,” she said and took Emma’s other hand, ”but you, girlfriend, owe me big time.”
Max nodded, relieved, and released Emma’s hand.
”Okay, honey. Let’s go on the potty,” Maria said and let herself be led away by a very-much-in-hurry four-year-old towards the bathroom.

Max sank down on the couch. Wow, this fatherhood was really..tricky. He would definitely let Liz take care of those...tricky situations...
He lifted the receiver again and pressed the re-dial button.
”Yes?” Kira answered after the second ring.
”It’s me,” Max said.
”The situation taken care of?” Kira asked.
”Yes,” Max said. ”Have you found something out?”
”None of my men know anything,” Kira answered. ”But you said that Liz wasn’t completely human.”
”Well, something might have changed in her when I healed her,” Max explained.
”Right, the healing,” Kira said slowly, as he contemplated this. ”Maybe that’s what’s making her sick.”
A feeling of cold spread inside Max. That was one of his worst fears. That who he was could hurt her....even kill her.
”What do you mean?” Max asked, his voice strained.
”We don’t know the effects of a healing on a human. Actually, healers - of your ability - are very rare.”
”How’s that?”
”We all have different abilities - gifts.”

”But aren’t all our gifts completely human?” Max asked confused.
”Did Nasedo tell you that?” Kira answered.
”Yes,” Max answered.
”He didn’t tell you the whole truth. Your gifts are human, but they all have an alien basis.”
”Please elaborate,” Max said, once again rubbing his forehead.
”In your other life, you were a healer, Michael was a warrior, Isabel was a dreamwalker, and Tess was a mindwarper. The human mind has an immense capacity, that humans haven’t even begun to comprehend yet. You were able to plug in on the right areas of the human mind to be able to use your natural gifts again.”
”Okay,” Max said, slowly digesting the information. ”What does this have to do with Liz?”
”As I was saying, we don’t know much about the consequences of the healing of a human - actually, we don’t know anything about it. You might have changed the molecular structure of specialized cell functions. Cells might start to send out false signals in her body, causing the breakdown of her health that you mentioned.”
Max was feeling nauseous. When he had thought that he was saving Liz from that gunshot-wound he had in fact started a process inside of her that was slowly killing her.

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max and liz believer
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 809
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2002 10:45 am
Location: Sweden

Postby max and liz believer » Sun Feb 23, 2003 2:46 pm

Chapter 21

”I-I have to go,” Max said into the receiver.
”Well...okay,” Kira said, his voice etched with insecurity.
Max put down the receiver and sank back in the couch.
”Daddy, daddy,” Emma cried and jumped up onto the couch, bouncing beside Max. ”I’m finished.”
”That’s good, honey,” Max said, his voice emotionless.
Maria, walking in behind Emma, took one look at Max and knew that something was wrong.
”Emma, why don’t you go and see if you can find some ice-cream in the freezer,” Maria said.
”Yay!!” Emma yelled and bounced up and down on the couch before hopping down and running towards the kitchen.
Maria kneeled in front of Max.
”Max, what’s wrong?” Maria tentatively asked. ”Oh no, is something wrong with Liz?”
Max looked at Maria and slowly - like a zombie - nodded his head.
”What?” Maria said, fear spreading throughout her whole body.
”I’ve killed her,” Max murmured, oblivious to how that really sounded.
”Max...” Maria said slowly, her voice slightly trembling, ”what are you saying?”
”When I healed her, I probably triggered the process that is going to be her death,” Max said, his voice empty.

”Who told you this?” Maria asked.
”Is he sure?” Maria asked.
Max shook his head.
”But then you can’t blame yourself,” Maria said.
”She’s sick and I couldn’t heal her,” Max said. ”I can heal all human diseases.”
”You couldn’t heal grandma Claudia,” Maria pointed out.
Max sadly nodded his head.
”Yes I could, but it wasn’t meant to be.”
”But we don’t know for sure what’s wrong with her,” Maria said. ”Maybe Nasedo did something to her.”
”She was sick already before Nasedo attacked her, remember,” Max said.
”But that was nothing like now. She only had headaches...and dizziness.”
”Right, the same symptoms as she suffers from now - they are merely heightened.”
Just then Liz stepped into the living room. Max and Maria looked up at her and Liz eyed them suspiciously. She had heard them discussing her and the tone of their voices didn’t bode good.

”What’s up?” she asked, trying her best to act casual.
”Nothing,” Maria said quickly and rose. ”I’m just going to see what your daughter is doing.”
Maria disappeared into the kitchen and Max and Liz were left alone.
Max was avoiding Liz’s eyes and Liz felt fear building inside of her. He was pulling away from her again.
”What were you talking about?” Liz asked suspiciously. Liz stepped closer to Max and were just about to sit down on the couch beside Max when Max quickly rose and walked away from her. It was almost as if he was afraid of her. Liz stared at him, trying to control her emotions.
”What are you doing, Max?” she asked.
”I’ll just...uhm...go and see what Emma is up to,” Max stuttered and started for the kitchen.
”Maria has already taken care of that,” Liz pointed out to Max’s back and his body came to a halt. Not turning around, Liz could feel the tension in the air. This was not good. Not good at all.
”Max, you’re going to tell me what’s wrong and you’re going to do it right now,” Liz said, unconsciously stepping closer to him. As her hand touched his shoulder he practically jumped and stepped away from her turning towards her in the process. Liz wrinkled her forehead. What the hell was he doing?
”Stay away, Liz,” Max said warningly.
Liz tried to catch his eyes that kept darting around the room.
”Max, look at me,” she demanded. Max didn’t obey. ”Max...Look. at. me.”

Max slowly rose his eyes and meet hers. Liz flinched back at how much hurt and guilt she could see in his eyes. Instinctively she stepped closer to him, intending to comfort him.
”No, Liz,” Max said, his voice a little harder. ”Don’t touch me. I’m only hurting you.”
”What are you talking about?” Liz asked, hurt.
”Look what I’ve done to you. You’re sick, Liz and you’re probably going to die,” Max said.
Cold infested itself in her heart. She had known for a long time that she didn’t have a long time left of this life - but to hear someone else say it made it more real. To hear Max say it, the one person she thought would be the last to give up on her, made her heart stop.
”What do you mean?” she whispered.
”I couldn’t heal you-”
”Max, I’ve already told you,” Liz said, her voice mechanical since she knew that Max knew something that she didn’t know, ”you did your best.”
Max shook his head.
”When I healed you the first time, I killed you.”
With Max’s words hanging in the thick air, Liz sank down on the couch.
”I don’t understand,” she said.
”I’m so sorry, Liz,” Max said, his voice filled with hurt and guilt. ”I never meant to hurt you. I couldn’t just let you die.”

”You don’t make any sense, Max,” Liz said, her voice stronger now.
”I asked Kira what was wrong with you,” Liz didn’t even care who the hell Kira was, she only wanted to know what the heck was going on, ” and he said that I had probably changed molecular structures inside of you, damaging the normal functions of your cells and that’s what’s making you sick. That’s what killing you.”
Liz closed her eyes and leaned her back against the couch. That frightened her. That frightened her so much because it made more sense to her than any of the expert opinions that the professional doctors had ever given her on her condition. Of course it had to be something alien.
”I’m so sorry, Liz,” Max whispered. ”I’m so sorry.”
She didn’t blame him. He had no chance of knowing what healing her would result in. The only thing she could blame him for was saving her life - and that she could never hold against him. By saving her he had showed her true love, he had given her a daughter. She couldn’t blame him - she loved him so much. She needed him. She rose and stepped up to Max, and flung her arms around him.

It all happened so fast that Max hadn’t the chance to pull away from her. As he felt her body pressed up against his and her smell surrounding him, all fears and insecurities were washed away. This was Liz - his Liz.... But then it hit him again, he had signed her death-note. He was going to lose her again - this time for good - and it was all his fault. He couldn’t live without her. He would rather kill himself. He could feel Liz small, yet so strong, arms clutching him to her. She had trusted him. She had trusted him with her life and he had blown it. And still, here she was, hugging him, still trusting him. Not screaming at him, not hitting him, not running away, not crying. However, he wished that she had done all of the above. Perhaps then he wouldn’t have felt like such a low scum. Max’s arms naturally encircled Liz’s body, pulling her even closer to him. His heart and body was pulling her towards him, while his mind was pushing her away.

Liz felt the conflict Max was experiencing.
”Max,” she whispered and stroke the nape of his neck. That’s when she realized he was crying. Soon his whole body shook with sobs. She had never seen Max cry like that - she had never seen any man cry like that. She released her grip on him and tugged on his hand, while leading him towards the couch. Max was sobbing, his hand repeatedly running over his face to take away the tears. But they were falling too fast. She pulled him down on the couch beside her and pulled him towards her. He folded his arms around her and rested his head on her chest - crying for her. Crying for the loss and grief he had experienced when he had thought that she had died, crying because he had finally found her again, crying because he was going to lose her again. Liz slowly stroked his hair. She couldn’t cry, she didn’t know what she felt. She was afraid that all her emotions would suffocate her, so she pushed them away - focusing all her energy on Max. As she sat there, Max holding on to her for dear life, she felt the feeling of nausea coming over her again. ”No, not now,” she thought as she was suddenly hit with the overwhelming need to vomit. She swallowed hard, trying to push the nausea back. If she could just concentrate, she would be able to stop it from happening, right?

Even though Max was on the verge of a breakdown, he was still so in tune with her that he immediately noticed when she tensed up.
”Liz?” he whispered against her chest.
”Shh, don’t talk, Max,” Liz said.
Max rose his head and looked at her. His eyes were read and puffy and his cheeks were wet.
”What’s wr-” but Max never got the chance to finish that sentence, because before he knew it Liz had effectively released herself from his grip and was running towards the bathroom. Seconds later her retching could be heard in the house.
Maria poked her head out from the kitchen. Her concern was immediately peaked as she saw Max’s distraught appearance and found that Liz was nowhere in sight. Max sobbed as he looked at her.
”What’s happening?” Maria asked, not sure she even wanted to know.
Max buried his head in his hands and didn’t answer.
”Oh my God,” Maria murmured as she made her way to the bathroom. ”This is not good. This is not good.”
She opened the door and found Liz kneeling on the floor hunching over the toilet. Maria kneeled down beside her and pulled away Liz’s hair from her face.
”Babe, are you all right?”

”I’m fine,” Liz said as she slowly rose. ”I have to take care of Max.”
Liz opened the tap in the sink and splashed water in her face.
Maria watched Liz in confusion. She couldn’t really say that she was surprised that Liz’s first thought after she had emptied her entire stomach content was of Max and his well being.
”Maybe you should sit down a bit...or drink some water,” Maria said.
Liz turned around and looked Maria straight in the face.
”I have to take care of Max. He needs me. He’s always there when I need him, and I’m not going to disappoint him. I’ve probably messed everything up now because I once again confirmed to him that I’m sick.”
What that she brushed past Maria and left the bathroom.

Liz was right. Max’s conscience was slowly devouring him. Liz kneeled in front of Max and prized his hands off his face. He had stopped crying, but he still looked bad - really bad.
”Max,” Liz said, her heart breaking at the sight of him. ”Thank you...for saving my life. Thank you for giving me at least six more years to live. Thank you for giving me the best friendships in the world. Thank you...for giving me you... Don’t you understand, Max? You’re everything to me. I’ve loved you for so long...I still love you. Nothing can ever change that. What you did...healing me...was amazing and I’m grateful everyday that you did it. If you hadn’t done it I might never have known you. I’m even in some way grateful for the men shooting me. If they hadn’t, I wouldn’t have seen the real you. The real Max Evans. It’s always been you, Max. Even when I wasn’t consciously aware of it has always been you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I want to raise our daughter with you. I want to die in your arms - even if it means that I might die tomorrow.”
At this Max closed his arms around her and pulled her to him.
”I love you so much,” he murmured. ”I don’t know what I’ll do without you.”

”You have to promise me that you’ll live on Max,” Liz said. ”You have to promise me. You can’t leave our daughter alone. You have to take care of her, be there for her. Promise me, Max.”
Max heart was falling apart. She was saying goodbye to him. This proved that she knew that she was going to die.
”I don’t know if I can live without you..not again,” Max whispered.
”You have to, Max. Please, take care of our daughter.”
Max loved Emma already - with all his heart. He didn’t want to leave her alone in this world - where someone probably sooner or later would put a price on her head. If it wasn’t their alien enemies it would be the FBI or some other nutcase wanting fame and fortune - ignoring the lives he destroyed in the process. But did Max possess the strength to go on without Liz? Without the love of his life. Without his soulmate? Well, he just had to. If that was what Liz needed, he would do it.
”I promise,” he said. With that promise Liz’s barrier broke and she started crying.

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