Chapter 5: 'Cause you miss Heaven
Liz watched with horror as Max's knees weakened and he stumbled forward. She hurried over to his side, catching him around his waist and grunting when his weight became too much for her.
She fell to her knees, Max wrapping an arm around her waist as he breathed heavily, obviously trying to stay conscious. He rested his forehead against hers while she searched his eyes frantically, her free hand going to his face and widening when she felt how clammy he was.
"Max," she gently urged him to his feet. Max just shook his head. "Max, you need to get up." She pulled him up and they staggered over to the couch.
Liz managed to get him onto the couch without falling over on top of him before she cupped his cheeks.
Max grabbed her hands, holding on as he opened his eyes to meet hers.
"Sorry," she whispered. Max shook his head, breathing heavily as he closed his eyes again. Liz was getting worried about Max. She knew that Max never spoke of his time in the white room. She had seen the flashes but she never told anyone either.
She knew telling him the truth would have gotten a reaction but it seemed like his body was trying to shut down.
"Max," she smoothed back his hair, her fingers brushing against his clammy forehead and she frowned. "I'm going to get you a cold cloth, okay?" she stood up and was about to walk away when Max grabbed her hand.
She turned to see his dark eyes locked on hers, pleading.
"What happened, Liz?"
"Tess was captured by the F.B.I, and Eagle Rock…it was never shut down."
Liz got a wet cloth and placed it over Max's forehead as he tilted his head back, trying to deal with everything.
"I thought Naesdo shut it down," he muttered.
"I don't know if they faked it but it was never shut down, just run by another agent." She shrugged. "They knew of Agent Pierce but they never said anything about it being shut down."
"How do you know?" Max frowned
"Because…" Liz bit her bottom lip before she sighed at his pleading look, "Because I was also in the white room Max."
Max stared at her with horror in his beautiful eyes and she felt tears fill her eyes.
"Max," she touched his cheek as he shook his head in frantic denial. "Max, I'm here."
"How long?" he asked.
"How long Liz?"
"A year," she whispered. Max closed his eyes, his hand going to his eyes. She felt tears on her fingers and her tears slipped free.
"Max, don't blame yourself," she pleaded, she knew what he was feeling, what he was thinking. Ever since the connection, Max had always been an open book to her.
"I am so sorry," he whispered.
"Max no," she shook her head; "It's not your fault. The F.B.I had been watching us and they were waiting for us to slip up. When Tess left, it was their chance."
"They were watching us?" he demanded, fear clear in his voice and she nodded.
"They were suspicious of Naesdo shutting down the Special Unit," she slowly admitted. "It also looks like Naesdo didn't quite do a good job either." Liz huffed out, anger simmering underneath, "He was either sloppy or he just didn't give a damn."
"Why didn't they come after us?" Max whispered.
"Because of the length we went to get you out," Liz explained, "It clear that we would have done anything for each other and since none of us actually showed any signs of leaving each other's side, they couldn't do anything."
"Until Tess," Max sighed and Liz nodded.
"She didn't know Max."
"They weren't nightmares Max," Liz told him with a sad smile. "They were premonitions. I was seeing what was going to happen to Tess."
"So…how did you find her?"
"Ava. When Ava left Roswell, she gave me a cell with her number on it and told me to use it if I ever needed to get in contact with her. I couldn't go to any of you because I didn't know what would happen."
"You also thought we might get back together," Max slowly countered. Liz froze before she sighed.
"That was also a fear but in the end, I had to trust in myself, Max. My heart was telling me to go after Tess so I did. I got something that belonged to her and I focused. I found her and I went running."
"So…that was when the F.B.I caught you?"
"Er no not exactly," she gave a nervous laugh before she twisted her fingers together. "I did an astral projection," Liz told him, "The same thing I did to you when you were in New York." His eyes widened. "It turns out if you are in trouble, you can grab the connection and…yank me through. Tess yanked me through."
"…Fuck…" Max hissed, shaking his head.
"She was terrified Max and they were hurting her. They were surprised to see me materialise out of thin air, but that's another story." She shrugged. "They ended up capturing me as well and well…it wasn't a fun stay, that's for sure."
"Liz," he stared at her. Liz just swallowed before she nodded.
"Not a great time for jokes," she whispered.
"Ever," he shot back at her as he stumbled to his feet, "Don't joke about it, please."
"Max," she grabbed his hand as she stood up, "Max I'm here." She brought his hand up to her cheek.
"It doesn't matter Liz, you were in the White Room. For a year," he gritted out. "That…" he choked back a sob, "You should have come to me!"
"Max, I needed to get to Tess! She was in danger!"
"And you should have let us know! We could have helped!"
"And how would you have helped? By going on the run from the F.B.I again?" She shook her head. "We don't have Naesdo to help us cover up anymore. Jim lost his job as the Sheriff. By going to you, I would have put us all in danger."
Max just stared down at her and she sighed. "Max I would do anything to protect you and this was the only way."
"You don't know that," he countered softly.
"I do," she whispered, staring up at him. She watched as he sighed before shaking his head.
"So, Tess yanked you into the room with her?" He whispered and she nodded.
"She felt me reaching out to her just as they…" Liz swallowed, "They were cutting into her. She grabbed the connection."
"…Fuck…" Max whispered, rubbing his forehead.
"By Tess grabbing the connection between us, we formed a bond. I felt everything," she emphasised her word and Max's eyes widen, "And she felt everything. We went through everything together." She wrinkled her nose. "Except the birth – that was all hers." She laughed softly. "She was actually pissed off with me for that. Said it wasn't fair." She smiled softly at the memory.
"Liz," Max shook his head.
"There's something else," she whispered. "The room they had me in…it was the same room, the one you were in."
Max swallowed, a hand running through his hair.
"How do you know?" he was dreading the answer.
"I got flashes."
Max stared at her before he let out a broken moan. It shot through her heart as Max fell to his knees. She dropped to her knees in front of him, her hands going to his cheeks again. She could feel his horror and fear of what she had gone through, what she had seen.
She didn't have the heart to tell him that she had seen most of the stuff they had done when she kissed him after they broke him out of the White Room.
"Alexis?" Max finally asked, clearly getting his thoughts together.
"Tess was pregnant when she left Roswell Max. She never had an argument; it was because she found out she was pregnant."
"Why didn't she come to us?" Max asked.
"Because it wasn't your child," she explained. Max frowned and Liz sighed. "That time, in New York…Nicholas mind-raped her."
"Yeah," Max nodded, "He was trying to get information."
"But what Tess didn't know was he also planted directives in her head. She was to get pregnant with your child and return to Antar with all four of you."
Max frowned, shaking his head in confusion.
"But she cared for another and she fell pregnant with his child. Because Tess failed Nicholas's directive, it broke the mind-rape. Tess ran because she knew Nicholas would kill them both, because she failed in her mission and because the child wasn't yours."
"Fuck," he swore.
"That's why she ran Max, she was terrified. She didn't want to lose her child but she didn't want to put the rest of us at risk either because you know just as well as I do…"
"Nicholas would have killed us all."
"And he…I don't know what he would have done with you. They needed a child with the seal because Khivar needs the people to acknowledge the heir."
"How do you know all this?" Max asked.
"Tess told me. She explained everything. While Nicholas was in her head, she went in his and found what she needed to know." Liz shrugged helplessly. "She broke down Max. Everything Naesdo told her wasn't true. You didn't need to be together romantically or sexually for the four square to work. It was your abilities."
Max groaned. All that hurt and mess they all went through when Tess arrived in Roswell, Liz knew he had blamed Tess for it because she had admitted to him that she had mind-warped him to get him away from Liz.
Now with Future Max – he had been wrong. Yes, they needed Tess, but he didn't need Max and Liz to break up to keep Tess.
It just seemed like everything they were trying to do to protect them was working against them.
"Damn it," he whispered. "Why didn't she just come to us?"
"Because her child came first," Liz whispered back.
"What did they do to her?" Max asked and Liz knew what he was asking. "I mean…Alexis…"
"Alexis is human," Liz admitted. Max stared at her with wide eyes. "I'm not sure if it's because her father is human or if it's a thing they did when they created you. But Alexis' blood and cells are all human Max."
"Glowing hands? Itchy?" Max reminded and Liz smiled.
"She has abilities," Liz explained. "Michael did tell me that Naesdo told him that your abilities were human. They are inheritable. Alexis can do some stuff – like the itchy." She smiled. "I think Michael would be proud of her."
Max stared at Liz before a bewildered smile broke across his face.
"Yeah," he laughed, "He probably would be." He shook his head. "And she's only 3?"
"Well, Ava and I taught her some stuff."
"…You?" he asked, turning his head to look at her and she gave him a sheepish smile.
"I learned some new tricks," she admitted. She swiped her hand over her jumper, turning it blue. Her heart leapt into her throat when she saw the brief fear passing through his eyes when she passed her hand again, turning it back to purple.
"Wow," he whispered before he met her eyes.
"Max, I'm not sorry you changed me when you healed me," she assured him, knowing what was going through his mind.
"I would have died otherwise. What is better? Me being dead or me being weirder?"
"You're not weird," Max told her.
"No, just a geek," she smiled.
"No, you're amazing," he whispered. Liz looked into his eyes and felt her cheeks heat up before she looked away. "I just wish…"
"Max, I don't regret being changed," she gave him a smile, "I…I can't regret being changed because you healed me all those years ago Max. You saved my life, in so many ways you don't even know."
"Really?" he whispered and she nodded. She watched as the different emotions flittered over his face before determination settled over his expression.
"Liz, who is the father?" he asked her. Liz stiffened then her lips twisted in a wry grin.
"Don't you already know Max?"
"She told you." Max's eyes dropped down to his hands and he sighed heavily. "It's true."
"It's true," she agreed.
"Damn it," Max pushed himself up and paced. "What do I do now?"
"Isn't that the question of the century?" she quipped teasingly before sighing at his tired glare. "Max…what can you do?" she asked with a shake of her head. "He doesn't know she had his baby. He didn't even know she was pregnant. It's not as if you can just walk up to his door and hand over Alexis."
"But he should know," Max whispered. Liz nodded.
"I know, but my priority is to protect Alexis, Max."
"Did you ever plan on telling him?"
"Yes," she nodded, "Once things got settled here. Nevertheless, at the same time, it's like what I said. How do you go about telling someone they are a dad when they didn't know Tess was pregnant?"
"He needs to know," Max whispered. Liz nodded.
"I know but how?" Liz asked as she slumped against the cushions, looking up toward the ceiling. "I mean for 3 years, I picked up the phone with the intention of phoning him but it's like…'Hi, it's me, I'm not dead but Tess is but before she died, she gave birth to your daughter. Want to meet her?'"
Max sighed as he sat down next to her. "There is so much to tell them. I would need to tell them about the White Room and they will want to know what happened. Then there's whole Alexis and you know they'll freak over her having abilities."
"A lot of questions and not enough answers," Max agreed. Liz slowly nodded before she looked at him.
"I want to tell him so badly Max. She deserves to know her father…but going back means putting all of us in danger," tears filled her eyes, "How can I do that when I swore to Tess I would protect Alexis?"
A tug at her mind caught her attention and she smiled softly at him.
"I need to go and get her," Liz told him as she looked over her shoulder to the room before she looked back at him. "Just…stay here."
Max slowly nodded and she got up from the couch, swiftly making her way over to Alexis' side and she smiled when she saw the sleepy eyes peering at her from over her cot.
"I see someone is awake," Liz greeted before she reached in and kissed Alexis' forehead. "Do you need to go to the toilet?"
"No," Alexis rested her head on Liz's shoulder.
"Are you sure?"
"Yes," there was firmness to her tone and Liz bit back her chuckles.
"Okay," she carried Alexis out, making her way back over to the couch where she sat down; shifting so Alexis was sitting on her lap.
She watched as Alexis eyed Max curiously while Max just stared at Alexis.
"Hi," Max whispered as he looked at the child, unable to take his eyes away from her. Liz could practically see the questions racing around in his head and she had to smile at the awe that entered his eyes.
She knew Max had wondered if it was even possible for him to have children. They knew they could have sex – Naesdo had made it abundantly clear when he was having relations with Congress Whitaker, well, when everyone thought she was human – but the question of having children had been unspoken among everyone.
Now, here they were, with Alexis sitting between them as proof it was possible.
"Hi," Alexis whispered back and Liz looked down to see the serious look in her blue eyes and had to bite back her smile. How many times has she seen that look in Max's eyes?
"Do you remember who this is?" Liz asked Alexis.
"Uncle Max?" Alexis whispered as she looked up at Liz, who smiled brightly and kissed her forehead.
"Yeah, that's right, Uncle Max. He's the one who also has the glowing hands," she winked down at Alexis, who looked at Max curiously.
"Glowing hands?" asked Max as he looked at Liz and she nodded. "You mean like this?" He raised his hand and they watched as silver light outlined his palm.
"Hey!" Alexis raised her own hand excitedly, doing the same and this time Max watched incredulously at the skill of the 3-year-old before him.
"She leaves silver handprints, Max," Liz explained with a laugh at his shocked expression. "You should see her room sometimes."
Alexis leaned forward and placed their glowing palms together, making Max gaps and Liz frown before Alexis giggled, separating their hands, and letting the light go from her palm before she looked up at Liz with a pleased smile.
Liz looked between them before she arched an eyebrow at Alexis curiously before looking at Max, reaching out a hand to touch his arm. He looked at her before he shook his head.
"I saw an image of…me?" He tilted his head, "I was driving?"
Understanding dawned on Liz before she smiled softly and looked down at the pleased face of Alexis.
"Okay sweetheart, why don't you colour your books?" Liz suggested as she sat Alexis down in front of the coffee table, pulling over the colouring-in books and crayons.
"Ok," Alexis had already opened a book and was chewing on her tongue as she coloured in a picture.
Liz turned back to look at Max to see he was still bewildered and she placed her hand over his, drawing his attention back to her.
"Alexis knows of you," Liz told him. Max just looked even more bewildered and she gave him a soft smile. "I told her about you guys. I showed her my memories of you. She knows of you. She just doesn't…"
"Know us," Max finished with a sad smile. She nodded.
"I had to tell her about you, I couldn't let her not know you. I wanted her to know there were others like her and that she didn't have to be scared."
"Liz," Max placed a hand over hers.
"Just…give her time, okay?" Liz asked breathlessly as she looked into Max's eyes, pleading.
"She's strong," He whispered.
Liz smiled. "I wondered if that is partly because she was born and slowly came into her powers. It probably helps that Ava and I can teach her whereas you and the others had to learn over time."
Max slowly nodded as his eyes wandered down to Alexis before he shook his head.
"I can't get over her," he whispered, meeting Liz's eyes. She gave a breathless laugh before she nodded.
"I know," she whispered back and he grinned as she leaned in, gently resting their foreheads together for a moment before she frowned. "Do the others know I'm here?" she asked.
"No, not yet," Max admitted. "I wanted to see for myself first that it was truly you."
"How did you find me?" she asked. Max grinned sheepishly and she arched an eyebrow.
"I asked Sean DeLuca to help me." Liz gaped at him and he scratched the back of his head. "Yeah," he nodded.
"Sean DeLuca found me?" she asked incredulously and Max nodded with a smile.
"Hey, don't knock him down. He's really good at his job."
"What on earth made you think of him?" she asked.
"I remembered Alex telling me why Sean went to jail. He had a bad habit with photos. Then it dawned on me if there was anyone who could move freely without drawing attention…"
"It would be Sean because he was only in Roswell until he found somewhere else to stay," Liz finished before she laughed wryly, giving Max an impressed look. "I am actually surprised, and impressed."
"Because we found you?" asked Max with a wry grin.
"No, that you two actually got along long enough to look for me," Liz told him. Max rolled his eyes as he leaned back in the couch.
"He told me the real reason why he flirted with you," Max admitted. Liz stared at him before she cracked up laughing.
"I bet you felt guilty," she teased him.
"Guilty," Max sighed before shaking his head, "But seriously, he has a screw loose if he likes pissing of Maria DeLuca on purpose."
"Hey," She nudged at Max's knee, "Michael liked to piss her off on purpose."
"Yeah, cause he got to benefit from it," he wrinkled his nose, making Liz giggle. "Sean just does it for no reason."
"That was actually Maria's fault," Liz corrected with a small smile, getting an arched eyebrow. "Maria told Sean that I was off limits to him years ago. I'm still not even sure how it came about. So Sean thought…"
"Flirt with Parker and I get to piss off my Cousin at the same time?" Max asked. Liz nodded as she smiled.
"Something like that. I still can't believe Maria never caught on though."
"You know, it's weird," Max slowly admitted, getting Liz's attention. "He actually became a good friend."
"Does he know the truth? You know, about you?"
"No," Max bit his lip for a moment. "I actually entertained the idea of telling him but…after when you and Tess went missing, and with what was happening with the investigation. I thought it was better to keep Sean in the dark."
"Mm, I understand," Liz nodded before she smiled. "But Max Evans made friends with someone outside his circle." She shrugged as she teased him. "I guess wonders never cease."
"That's not funny," he shot. She laughed.
"It's a little funny," she told him, still smiling when Max rolled his eyes as a smile pulled at his lips. Her heart thumped, it had been a while since she saw a smile on his handsome face.
She was about to say something when she heard keys in the front door and sighed.
"Hey cornball, I'm home!" a voice called as the door opened and closed. Max looked over at Liz before he followed her as she stood up to see Ava make her way into the living room, taking in the change the dupe had undergone.
He had seen the picture but it didn't seem register until he actually saw with his own eyes. Gone the pixie haircut she had, she now had long brown curls – it was so weird to see brown hair on her when he was so used to Tess being blonde – and she was dressed smartly in a deep blue shirt and dark blue slacks.
Ava stopped in her tracks, her blue eyes widening when she saw Max.
"Hi Ava," Max greeted.
"Max?" Ava arched an eyebrow as she looked at Liz.
"I told you I knew someone was following me," Liz remarked with a smile. Ava rolled her eyes as she moved closer to them, eyeing Max carefully before she sighed.
"Looks like you were never going to run far," Ava told Liz, who laughed softly.
"I should have known that Max wouldn't have given up," Liz looked up at Max through her lashes, a small smile playing on her lips.
She caught the light blush on his cheeks before he cleared his throat and looked away, scratching the back of his head. Liz met Ava's eyes, who merely arched an eyebrow before rolling her eyes before a little body stepped between them and they looked down to see Alexis.
"There's she is," Ava greeted with a bright warm smile as she took Alexis into her arms, getting a kiss to the cheek, "My little munchkin."
"Hi Aunt Ava," Alexis buried her little fingers into Ava's hair before she looked over at Max then leaned in whispering, "That's Max."
"I know," Ava lowered her voice to a whisper, also looking at Max who, Liz noticed with amusement, was now shifting under the twin stares he was getting.
"Alright girls," Liz stepped between them, tickling Alexis' side before giving Ava a look. "I know Max is cute, but you are going to give him a complex if you keep staring at him."
"Cute?" Ava repeated with an arched eyebrow, "I never said I thought he was cute." She looked at Alexis. "Did you say you thought he was cute Alexis?"
"Nope," Alexis shook her head as she gave Liz a bright smile. "Mama thinks he's cute though."
Liz felt her cheeks heat up at the amused knowing look she was getting from Ava and the innocent smile from Alexis.
"And you two are spending too much time together," Liz shot back at them, getting giggles in return.
"Uh huh," Ava nodded. Liz rolled her eyes as Max stepped up next to her, drawing Ava's attention back to him. "Did you guys manage to catch up?"
"A little," Max told her. Ava looked between the two of them before she smiled.
"You better stay the night then," Ava told him with an arched eyebrow, "You're not gonna leave her side now, are you?"
Liz choked back her nervous giggles at Max's uncomfortable look before he shifted on the spot, not looking at Ava, who was now smirking at Liz, obviously pleased with the reaction she got.
"What's for dinner?" Alexis asked from Ava's arms, looking up at Ava, who just wrinkled her nose.
"Hey, Liz is the one making dinner, not me," she reminded Alexis with a tickle, getting giggles before Alexis looked at Liz, who sighed.
"How about the quick dish spicy and sweet curry?" she asked, looking at them both and got nods. She looked at Max and gave him a smile. "You'll like it, it meets your dietary quirk," she teased.
"Sure, do you want a hand?" he asked. Liz's smile turned wider.
"Have you gotten better in the kitchen? Cause I seem to remember someone almost setting off the smoke alarm."
"That was the one time!" he shot her, but he was grinning as well, "And that was your fault since you were the one who was distracting me."
"Distracting you?" Liz laughed, "I didn't know sitting there at the counter was distracting you."
"That's not all you were doing," he corrected her with a dark look.
"Oh?" Liz arched an eyebrow, challenging him before a cough broke into their stare and they turned to see Ava standing there with an amused look.
"Speaking of fire alarms, try and not set ours off with all that flirting you're doing," she teased, smirking when they blushed. "I'll take Alexis into the room and we'll play with some toys."
"Lights?" asked Alexis as Ava turned toward her bedroom. Ava merely let out a long-suffering sigh.
"We'll see," she told Alexis, disappearing into the bedroom while Max and Liz both exhaled, shared a look and laughed.
"Come on, you can chop up the vegetables," Liz told him, drawing him into the kitchen.
Dinner had been a little strained as they ate. Liz could see that Max was still unsure of the situation they were in, and she knew that Ava's appearance had thrown Max for a loop.
It didn't help that Alexis hadn't been happy with using a fork, deciding to change it to a spoon in the middle of eating, much to Max's bewilderment, Liz's frustration and Ava's amusement.
Once they had finished with dessert, Ava had taken Alexis to bed, allowing Max and Liz to clean up before they took their seats back on the couch where Max was slowly catching Liz up on the things she had missed out.
"So you are at college to become a doctor?" she smiled. "I told you that you would make a good one."
"Yeah, yeah," Max waved her off but there was a small smile playing at his lips.
"And I told you that you were good with kids," she nudged his knee.
"Well, kids are a little easier to…"
"Heal? Since they probably think you just have magical hands?"
"I guess," Max rubbed his lips.
"Well I am glad that you decided to become a doctor," she told him with a soft smile. "It suits you, Dr. Evans."
Max smiled back, thinking back to that Halloween before he came out of his thoughts.
"How are the others?" she finally asked.
"Missing you," he admitted and she smiled sadly, nodding.
"I miss them too, I missed you," Liz admitted.
"Why didn't you come back?" he reached over, placing a hand over hers.
Liz sighed as she stared at him. "Because it wasn't safe," she shook her head, "Especially with Alexis, Max. And how was I going to explain her to our families?"
"We would have found a way," he told her. "There is another reason why you didn't come back, isn't there?"
Liz stared at him before she slowly nodded and sighed.
"I can't tell you what it was Max. Just know it was enough to keep me away from Roswell."
Max stared at her and she could sense that he wanted to push the issue but he respected her choice and slowly nodded his head.
"My parents know," he told her. Liz stared at him with wide eyes before she shook her head in disbelief.
"How?" she managed to ask, "I mean you and Michael were adamant in making sure they didn't know."
"Dad was investigating us in your disappearance," Max whispered. Liz inhaled sharply before she shook her head. "I think you and Tess disappearing was pretty much the last straw for my parents. They knew I had a secret Liz and I think they were worried that it was getting dangerous."
"So they investigated…what did they find?"
"Quite a bit," Max chuckled wryly, "Turned out we weren't that good at covering our tracks."
"Oh Max," Liz sighed sympathetically before she shook her head.
"It eventually got to the stage that we had to intervene before something was said to the wrong person." Liz frowned, unsure where Max was going. He seemed to notice it. "Larry and Jennifer came back, this time to live in Roswell."
"Oh no," she whispered. Max nodded. "Oh please tell me that Larry didn't go off about the shooting again."
"To my mom," he confirmed. Liz groaned as she buried her face into her hands. "Jennifer tried to curb Larry's enthusiasm," Max explained, "But with you disappearing, I think she was concerned something happened."
"Oh, she's a sweetheart," Liz sighed before she smiled at Max's puzzled look. "Remember when they came back before?" He nodded. "Jennifer and I got to talk. Turns out that they were only passing by Roswell when I was shot. When that happened, Larry rather got…obsessed. We kind of bonded over idiotic boyfriends."
"Excuse me?" Max arched an eyebrow.
"We were in the whole 'step back' stage," she reminded. Max blanched before he rolled his eyes. "So I'm guessing that started up the questions again?"
"Kind of, I think it just strengthened Mom's resolve to find out what was going on with me. She ended up questioning Jim, demanding to know what changed between him trying to get information on me to him trying to protect me."
"Oh boy," Liz winced, feeling sympathy for the man.
"Of course that led to Jim trying to think up excuses which just made mom suspicious. In the end, we were forced to tell them the truth."
"And?" she gently inquired. A smile of awe crossed Max's face and Liz felt relief sweep through her.
"They were shocked, obviously. It took a bit convincing but they…accepted us," he breathed out and Liz laughed softly. "They said it didn't matter, we were their children."
"So…Isabel was right," Liz said with a smile. Max huffed out a laugh, wiping away his tear.
"Yeah, something she still hasn't quite let me live down yet."
"Max," Liz cupped his cheek and shook her head, "You are an easy guy to love. Your mother would have never turned you away."
"You knew then, didn't you?" he asked. She frowned. "That mom wouldn't have turned me away if she found out. That's why you sided with Isabel."
"I…yes," she slowly confessed, "Max, I saw how much your mom loved you. And to be honest, I wondered why you were alright telling me but not your mother."
"Because I loved you," Max whispered. Liz smiled.
"Yes, but you told me you always wanted to tell me. Yet you never wanted to tell your mother. So tell me, why was it easier to tell me instead of your mother, someone who had been there from the beginning?"
She watched as Max tried to find a reason but she knew there wasn't one. Except for fear.
"Because you thought she would change her mind about you," Liz told him with a knowing look. "Max, it didn't change anything for me when I found out. And that was how I knew it would have not changed anything for your mom."
"I just…" Max shook his head. Liz nodded, knowing what he was going to say. Despite how he acted when Isabel wanted to tell Diane the truth since that fateful day with the fire, Max had truly wanted to tell his mother the truth too.
He just couldn't make himself believe that her love would be unconditional.
"Amy also knows," He admitted sheepishly. Her mouth dropped as she stared at him wide eyes.
"How?" she shook her head bewildered.
"Michael got drunk," her eyebrows shot to her hairline and he nodded, "He and Maria were on this really weird off stage in their relationship and, long story short – he got a bit upset and got drunk. His powers went out of control; he was crackling and everything. We took him back to Maria's house and Amy caught him levitating off the bed and me trying to heal him."
"Levitating?" she blinked, bewildered and Max nodded. Liz snorted with barely concealed amusement, "That's a new one."
"Yeah, Amy thought so when she brought out her baseball bat," he muttered. Liz stared at him before laugher spluttered free, her hand covering her mouth as Max's lips twitched.
"Oh, what happened?" she turned so she was facing Max.
"We managed to calm her down and Jim helped to explain the situation. Of course, she went ballistic when she realised how much danger we all had been before she chewed us all out for not going to her in the first place."
Liz felt her heart swell at the image of Amy DeLuca just brushing away the alien-ness of the children and just embracing them, and she smiled.
"Really?" she found herself asking and Max nodded.
"I don't think she quite wanted to let us go." Max sighed. "She became another mother to us all. I don't think Michael has quite recovered from that."
"Amy…" Liz sighed softly as she smiled at the thought of her best friend's mother. "Amy is a mother. She was always the one to watch out over us. Yeah, she could be over-protective but that was because of her situation."
"You mean because of her jerk of a husband," Max cut in. Liz smiled.
"Yeah, but she was a teenaged mother Max. She understood teenagers better. She did care for Michael and I always did think, if Amy was to know the truth, she would have taken it better – well, better than Maria that's for sure."
"Really?" he asked, arching an eyebrow.
"Max, I don't think anyone is ever going to top Alex's reaction to finding out about you three," She teased him. "He asked me for a drug I was on."
Max laughed and she smiled. "So I tend to use Maria as a baseline for reactions."
"I'm telling her you said that," he teased her and Liz gasped in mock betrayal.
"You would actually do that to me Max Evans?" she demanded, pushing at his shoulder. Max laughed. "You would throw me at the mercy of Maria DeLuca."
"I'd let Michael piss her off enough then set her on you," he corrected. Liz gasped in outrage before she laughed at the smirk he had on his face, shaking her head.
"So Amy knows the truth. Just how much does she know?"
"Jim mentioned to her about the special unit," Max explained. Liz held her breath. "Amy made me talk about it with her."
Liz felt a rush of relief surge through her, a tear sliding free before she quickly brushed it away.
"Good," she whispered with a short nod.
"She was pretty angry," he whispered. Liz smiled softly, her own anger flaring as the flashes came back to her before she shook her head.
"As I said, Amy is protective when it comes to the ones she cares about."
Silence filled the air for a moment before Liz took a deep breath, needing to know.
"What about my parents?" she asked. Max shook his head and she let out a sigh of relief before wincing when she caught Max's curious yet hurt expression. "It's not you Max. I…my mother and I weren't exactly on best terms before I left. I…don't think it would be a good idea for them to know about you guys right now. Not with…where I was."
She watched as Max slowly nodded. Liz then sighed, looking up at the clock and winced. "We better get some sleep," Liz stood up. "I'll show you to your room." She frowned. "Do you need spare clothes?"
"Do you have any?" he asked with an arched eyebrow and an amused smile.
"Er…no," she sheepishly confessed.
"My bag is out in the car. I can bring it up tomorrow," he assured her. She gave him a glare for his teasing before leading him over to the spare bedroom.
She opened the door to reveal a simple double-size bed and bedside tables. Max peered at her curiously and she shrugged.
"Sometimes we have late study nights so it's easier. Though it doesn't get used much." A fond smile crossed her face. "Alexis tends to scare them off."
Liz shook her head at Max's curious look. "I'll explain it tomorrow. There is an ensuite attached. Spare toothbrushes and toothpaste. There is also a set of towels in the cupboard along with soap and shampoo in the shower."
"Nice setup," Max told her. Liz smiled.
"Goodnight Max," she told him. Max smiled softly back at her.
Liz watched as he entered the room before she headed to her own bedroom, sighing deeply when she closed the door behind her before shaking her head.
Max Evans had found her after four years. She closed her eyes, resting her head on the door. She couldn't believe it. She knew that she would have to get round to facing Max Evans again, especially with Alexis.
She just wasn't prepared for it to be now.
Sorry – this chapter ran away from me and took longer to write (Plus I'm sort of currently writing two other stories at the same time)