Author: Debbie
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
Author's Note: I heard “Sex and Candy” on the radio today, and of course my first thought was of that strawberry scene in SH. But in my AU everything has a UC twist, and thus this fic was born. <g> Bennie - thanks as always for previewing and perusing my work.
Feedback: I still love it. Both positive and constructive is fine with me.

Max paced his room restlessly, feeling like he was going stir-crazy. Or maybe just crazy. He told himself he was going to stay away from her. He had to – he had to concentrate on the issues at hand. He, Michael and Isabel had to stick together, had to shut out all other distractions.

But it was easier said than done. Max walked to the window and stared longingly in the direction of the downtown area. The Crashdown. It had been his idea to step back from the relationship and she had reluctantly complied, but Max suddenly decided he couldn’t stand it anymore. He had to see her. Recklessly he grabbed his leather jacket and threw it on as he sped out the front door, pulled almost against his will by his need for the girl he loved.

It seemed to take forever to drive the short distance, but at last Max was pulling his Jeep up in front of the garish UFO sign that hung over the Crashdown’s entrance. He pushed open the wood and glass door and was rewarded by the sight of his beloved. She knelt on the floor by the counter, cleaning up spilled strawberries as her best friend helped. His heart lurched – she looked so pretty, even in the utilitarian uniform with the ridiculous silver antennae boggling on her head. Maybe there was something about that aqua color, Max reflected. Really, both girls were looking rather attractive to him, but though his eyes lingered in appreciation on the one girl, they were inexorably drawn back to the other, the object of his desire.

When she turned and went into the kitchen area, Max followed her, hoping to have a private moment to talk. She was setting the spoiled berries on the counter and looked at him impassively as he pushed his way through the swinging doors.

“What are you doing here, Max?”

I came because I can’t stay away from you any more. I need you, I want you…I don’t care what anyone else thinks… No, it sounded too much like he was stalking her. Max chose instead to make light of the situation, hoping to put her at ease. “Well, I have orders from my planet to take over the Earth,” he quipped, smiling a little.

She rolled her eyes at the irony, but she gave him a grin anyway. “Besides that.”

Max took the grin as a good sign, and decided it might be safe to tackle more dangerous topics. He looked at her with a more sober expression. “I want to make sure we can still be friends.”

She brushed by him on her way to the fridge. “Yeah. I mean, we are,” she replied, looking over her shoulder as she took more berries out.

He caught a whiff of her favorite scents as she passed and swallowed hard. Cedar and lavender. Burned into his brain permanently as the smell of *her*, her and no one else. He shifted a little – the scent alone was inducing a state of arousal. “Just friends?” he murmured, a little mournfully.

“Yeah. We’re just friends.” She brushed tantalizingly close to him again on her way back, and suddenly it was all too much for Max. Without thinking he reached out and pulled her back, pulled her into his embrace and brought his lips to hers in a bruising kiss. The world was reduced to the feel of her lips under his, soft and warm like the rest of her. His arms clutched around her, trying to pull her closer as his tongue sought entrance to her mouth. She gave it willingly, responding with a hunger that he’d hardly dared dream about, her moans of pleasure ringing in his ears. Max couldn’t believe it – she was here, in his arms, they were together… nothing else mattered. He was vaguely aware of shoving the bowl of berries out of the way so he could lift her up onto the counter. And then he was lost, drowning in sensations, rejoicing at the unspoken affirmation his beloved had given him.

When they finally separated, breathless, he gazed into her clear green eyes, trying to find the words to express all he was feeling. Overwhelmed with emotion, all eloquence gone, all he could manage were four simple words.

“I love you, Maria.”


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