I turned around at the surprised exclamation, coming upon Max's mother. I briefly glanced at Max (who was standing at the kitchen island, making us some toast), the motion so automatic that I was barely aware of doing it, before saying, "Um, good morning," unintentionally making it sound more like a question than a greeting.
Empathy clawed at my heart as I watched the confusion on Mrs. Evans' face, the tentative glances she was shooting towards her husband, and the mild frown she was giving her son. She looked utterly lost - in her own home.
I watched her slowly pull herself together. But even though she squared her shoulders and worked a smile onto her lips, the manufactured smile was wobbly and her back was shaking. "Liz? What are you doing here?"
And I realized why her reaction resonated with something deep inside me.
She was me.
I felt myself tensing as I mimicked her stance, straightening my body. Even though I didn't really know the story behind how a human Diane ended up with an alien Philip, the woman who had mothered the man I loved had once been where I had been. The details were different, but the premise was the same.
The fear and insecurity I read in her eyes before she tried to hide it, were the same infusing me every time I was on alien territory. Just like the bizarre setting I was currently finding myself in; having breakfast with my hybrid boyfriend (I guess 'boyfriend' was an appropriate term for him right now, after everything) and his alien dad.
"She came with me," Max answered in my place and I felt his eyes touch the back of my head.
'Boyfriend' seemed like such a trivial phrase for what Max meant to me.
Ditto, Max replied in my mind and I actually jumped. His voice was just as clear as when we were touching. But the thing was - we weren't. He was several feet away from me.
I didn't have time to mull over this apparent development to our connection any further as I instead watched Mrs. Evans frown. "For breakfast?"
"Max and Liz had something they needed to discuss with me," Mr. Evans said and I turned my head to look at the man. His expression was - which seemed to be his default - neutral. I looked back at Mrs. Evans who was doing a very poor job at hiding her fear. Compared to her husband, she was everything but neutral.
I frowned, her fear being contagious. Why was she so afraid? Was it of me? For me? Because she had no reason to be afraid in her own house. And it was not like I was a threat.
"Oh?" Mrs. Evans whispered and I couldn't take it anymore.
Her eyes widened in wary anticipation as I stepped up to her, put my arms around her shoulders and hugged her. She was stiff in my embrace, as was expected.
"It's good to see you again, Mrs. Evans," I said, loud enough for the rest of the room to hear me. Lowering my voice, I whispered, for her ears only, "I'm okay. Everything's okay."
My words seemed to relax her and her voice cracked a little as she answered in a normal speaking voice, "It's really nice to see you again too, Liz."
She returned my hug with a tight squeeze and I brushed back the maternal longing it brought out in me and let her out of my arms.
"And please, Liz," she said, her eyes glistening with warmth as I took a step back, "Call me Diane."
I smiled, my warm smile matching hers. "Of course."
Diane hitched her head towards the men in the kitchen. "You're not letting those two make you breakfast, are you?"
"Hey," Max protested. "There's nothing wrong with my breakfast-making abilities."
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Unbreakable - A Beautiful Lie · (Roswell Fanfiction) · √Fanfiction
I saw him right before Max did. When he did, his gasped "Fuck" magnified the jump of fear made by my body when I found myself standing merely two feet from an alien. His large bottomless black eyes were staring emptily into mine and I could see the...