posted on 27-Sep-2001 6:17:47 PM by not applicable
so as I'm re-reading all these, I've noticed how they've gotten progressivly longer and longer. I'm posting this trilogy in two posts to shorten the loading time and because it technically has four stories in it which is too much for one topic.

I guess I lied earlier when I said that after a while I went solo from the show. for the most part I did, but there were a couple of things from the second half of season one I incorporated in my own way. "sexual healing" being one of them...this is my version...

Title: “Ready or Not” (Awakening trilogy, Part 1)
Author: N/A
Email: ajrocchio⊕
Rating: PG-13 for language and sexual situations
Category: Other Stories
Disclaimers: The characters of Roswell belong to the WB, among others, but apparently I need to keep borrowing them.
Summary: “There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart’s desire. The other is to get it.” – George Bernard Shaw …and so begins this author’s version of ‘Sexual Healing’…

(Scene: Liz’s Hospital Room, early morning. Max is sleeping in a chair pulled close to Liz’s bed. He looks like he’d be very uncomfortable by the way he’s sitting but nevertheless he has a more than content look on his face. Liz is lying in bed with her head turned towards Max. She’s watching him sleep and gently stroking his hand with her thumb.)

Voice over: Sometimes when I look at him…sometimes I almost forget that he’s…‘different.’ (Max starts to stir in the chair) And then I see his eyes…and I wonder how…how anyone can look into those eyes…and not know.

(Max, unknowingly releases Liz’s hand and brings his to his face. He pulls it away and his eyes open, he starts a little when he sees Liz awake and watching him.)

Max (re-adjusting in the chair, soft and lovingly): Hey.

Liz (smiles and equally lovingly): Hey yourself.

Max (a little hesitantly): I thought…maybe it was a dream.

Liz: Me too.

Max (he looks down and away from her): Liz I…(Liz reaches out and takes his hand, cutting off his train of thought and bringing his eyes back to hers.)

Liz: You came.

Max (slightly sucking in his breath and looking away, dejectedly): I’m sorry…I…

Liz (cuts him off again): Max…

(He looks at her intensely with such sad, guilty eyes, and then quickly down to their hands. Her hand is so tiny, so delicate – like the rest of her. He starts caressing her hand and fingers with his thumb, getting lost in the details of her hand. Liz is watching him and she shyly smiles as his thumb starts to softly slide across the back of her hand. After a moment she squeezes his hand lightly and he raises his eyes to meet hers.)

Liz: You came.

(Understanding the forgiveness she’s offering in those two words, he brings her hand to his lips and closing his eyes he kisses the top of it. She moves her hand so it’s cradling his face and with her thumb gently wipes away the tear that’s escaping from under his eyelid. He opens his slightly watery eyes and looks deeply into hers. Just louder than a whisper.)

Liz (softly): You came.

(He places his hand over hers, which is still cradling his face. Lacing his fingers through hers he gently pulls her hand away from his face and down so he’s holding it in his lap. His eyes travel from their hands up her arm to the I.V. a few inches above her wrist. He swallows hard. He rubs the area around it with his thumb and then raises his eyes to meet Liz’s.)

Max (struggling): I…I…

Liz: I know.

Max (looking away from her, back to the I.V.): I feel…responsible.

Liz (after a short pause and smiling): You are. (Max shoots his eyes back to her with a panicked and confused look. Liz’s smile deepens) If I hadn’t been so caught up staring into your beautiful eyes…maybe I’d have seen the car coming. (Max lets out the breath he was holding) This isn’t your fault Max. (He looks away from her again and she squeezes his hand making him look at her) This isn’t your fault.

Max (still blaming himself): I…(Liz squeezes his hand again and gives him a determined look, abruptly cutting off where he was initially going)…I…I missed you.

Liz (smiling): I told you I wasn’t going anywhere.

Max (this time he squeezes her hand and passionately): Neither am I. (They share a ‘connecting’ gaze for a moment and then Liz’s eyes fall to Max’s lips and he leans down and gently kisses her.)

(Scene: Hospital Hallway, a little later. Max is walking down the hallway with a hesitantly happy look on his face headed for the elevator. He pushes the down button and stares at the elevator smiling. It’s taking too long for the mood he’s in. Noticing the ‘exit’ sign above the stairwell door he pushes through it. After a few moments the elevator doors open and the Parker’s step out and head down the hallway. When they enter Liz’s room she opens her eyes and Nancy breaks down, again, and hurries to the bed kissing the top of her head, followed closely by Jeff.)

(Scene: School Hallway, before classes. Maria is standing in front of her open locker looking aimlessly into it. Max smiles as he sees her and heads toward her.)

Max (leaning into her right ear, softly): Liz says ‘hi.’ (Maria starts a little at the sound of his voice and she doesn’t quite get what he’s saying. Max walks past her then pauses and softly says into her left ear) Oh, and she said you better bring some ice cream after school.

(Max smiles and takes a step like he’s going to keep walking past her but he doesn’t get far. Maria, getting what he’s saying now, slams her locker closed with one hand and grabs onto Max’s arm with the other, yanking him back to her. She spins him around so he’s facing her.)

Maria (wide-eyed and trying to contain herself): She’s awake? (Max nods and Maria grabs on to him to support herself and then she loses it) Ohmygodshe’sawake! (She looks up at Max with watery eyes) I could kiss you…if I didn’t already want to kill you…she’s awake?

Max (nods again): Yes.

Maria (the tears start flowing): OhmygodIloveyou!

(And she just about knocks him down as she grabs him and hugs him. Max smiles down at the top of her head, trying to contain his laughter. When he looks up he sees Kyle walking down the hallway toward them. Max’s smile falters but then Kyle grins at him and nods his head. Max nods back as Kyle walks past them. He looks down at Maria again and she abruptly pulls away from him and looks at him.)

Maria: I’ve got to see her now…shit I have tests… I can’t see her until 3 (she looks at him suspiciously) How many hours is that? I can’t…damnit that’s like cruel and unbearable (Max smiles at her and she shoots him a semi-menacing grin.)

Max (leans down): That means I get her all to myself after lunch. (Maria playfully hits him and then remembers.)

Maria: OhmygodAlex!

(She grabs Max and kisses him on the cheek and then shoves him away as she rushes off to find Alex, turning a corner and running down another hallway. Max lets out a soft laugh and then continues to walk down the hall but stops when he looks up and sees Michael – who’s just witnessed the whole scene. He lets out a sigh and then walks over toward him.)

Max: I had to Michael. (With conviction) I had to. (Michael looks from Max back to where Maria ran off to.)

Michael (looking back at Max): I know. (They just look at each other and then softly smile as the whole school can pretty much hear Maria finding Alex.)

Maria (from somewhere on campus): A-L-E-X!!!!!

(Scene: Random Hotel Room. Agent Banks is sitting at the desk looking over some files. Agent Jones comes out of the bathroom and sits down across from Banks and rubs his eyes.)

Jones (watching Banks looking through the folders): Anything in there?

Banks (looking up): Have you fuckin’ read this thing?

Jones (shaking it off): Looked through it.

Banks: Looked through it…look at these. (He tosses over a picture of Agent Cooper’s tortured chest. There are deep puncture wounds and ‘knife’ like cuts that to an unknowing eye look random. Jones tosses it back to Banks.)

Jones: That I’ve seen.

Banks: And Patton. (He looks down at the picture of the man found in the trunk) Who the fuck are we dealing with?

Jones: Don’t you mean ‘what?’ (Agent Banks quickly looks at him.)

Banks: You believe this?

Jones: That girl was shot in September – we’ve got blood and a bullet hole in her dress. Something happened.

Banks (furrowing his brow and looking through the stack of folders in front of him): You know, there was something in Topolsky’s report…(He pulls out a folder and flips through its contents) Here…She says something about the girl’s journal.

(He hands the paper to Jones and they go about planning their day.)

(Scene: Liz’s Hospital Room, later that afternoon. A nurse is gently removing the gauze bandage that covers the stitches and wound area just below the valley of Liz’s rib cage. Liz is slightly sitting up so she can see. We’ll call the nurse, Angela.)

Angela: Now hon. when you go home you’ll have to be very careful not to disrupt these. No rolling around on your stomach…you don’t want to come back for more. (She completely pulls off the bandage) There you go. (Liz looks down at the stitches and is slightly surprised at how big the area is.) The doctors call you the ‘lucky lady.’ (Liz looks up at her questioningly) This is a pretty sensitive area to get shot; it’s almost a miracle that no serious damage was done by the bullet. (Angela chuckles) But then you went into a coma and had all the doctors beside themselves trying to figure out why.

Liz (gently touching her tummy): How long will they be in?

(She looks up to the nurse and notices that her attention has moved to the door. Turning her head Liz notices Max standing in the entry way.)

Max (very hesitantly and pointing back the way he came): Should I…

Liz (smiles and lightly shakes her head): No. (She holds out her hand inviting him in) Come here. (She looks down at her stomach again) Angela was showing me what they did.

(She looks back up to Max who’s now hesitantly standing a little ways away from the bed staring at her tummy with a very clouded expression on his face. She watches him closely and doesn’t really hear Angela.)

Angela (cutting a new piece of gauze): I should put this back on…I shouldn’t have taken it off in the first place but you are persistent aren’t you Miss Parker?

(When Liz doesn’t respond she looks up to Liz and then follows her gaze to Max. Before she can say anything the hospital P.A. system comes on.)

Hospital P.A.: Nurse Browning…Paging Nurse Browning.

Angela: I’ll be back. Now you don’t move until I get back…okay? (The tone in her voice breaks Liz’s gaze away from Max and she nods up at Angela) I’ll be back.

(She steps away from the bed and walks toward the door, smiling at the teenagers and shaking her head. Max hasn’t moved. At the sight of the stitches his mind went into instant replay and all he can see is that night and everything that happened. Liz watches him questioningly, not able to read the expression on his face.)

Liz (reaching out and grabbing his hand): Max?

Max (he steps toward the bed intently focused on the wound, shakily): There was so much blood…so much blood.

Liz (now understanding, gently): Max.

(Dropping her hand he steps closer to the bed and then sits down – never taking his eyes off the stitches. He reaches out almost instinctively and gently touches her skin just beyond the stitches. Liz watches him, sucking in her breath at his touch and the unexpected but wonderfully warm sensation it induces all over her body. Her breathing becomes shallow as he starts to trace with his trembling fingers the outline of the stitches. He’s so lost in reliving that moment that he doesn’t even register the softness of her skin or the fact that her stomach is rising and falling a little differently than before.)

Max (trembling): There was…so much blood…I was looking at your face…and then…and then you were gone…on the ground and…

(Max makes another sweep with his thumb, just above her rib cage. Liz gives up on trying to see straight and closes her eyes. Breathing, that’s what she needs to concentrate on… Breathe in. Breathe out. How is it possible for a touch to be so gentle, so tender, so…warm? She knows Max is talking but can’t really hear anything beyond the incredibly loud sound of her heart pounding. Breathe in. Breathe out. She sucks in her lower lip and gently bites down as she tries to control the overwhelming rush of feelings her body has never experienced before – that she has never experienced before. His hand stops moving and she swallows, lets out a gasp of breath and opens her eyes to look at him. He’s still unaware of the affect he’s having on her.)

Max (with watery eyes and gently placing his hand over the stitches): I couldn’t make it go away…(letting out a shaky breath)…I can’t make it go away. (When his hand finally lightly presses down over the wound a connection is made. Max sees…

1st image – Liz smiling and looking at him that night right before the shot is fired…
2nd image – Liz falling to the ground and looking at him terrified and pleadingly telling him that he can’t help her…

3rd image – The blood…as it seeps out of the wound and covers her stomach…and the pain, he can feel the pain…there’s so much he must be feeling his too…

4th image – A blanket of white followed by the appearance of a man sitting by a fire…River Dog…and Liz…

5th image – The silvery symbols of the cave surrounding Liz and River Dog…

6th image – Another man standing extremely close – too close – to Liz. He leans in like he’s going to kiss her but at the last moment whispers something in her ear…and Max can feel her confusion and fear…and jealousy – wait, that’s coming from Max…

7th image – His face as Liz sees it upon waking up…such love…

8th image – Liz looking at him just a second ago, when he was touching her…looking at him…with…with desire. And he can feel it. The intensity of it and the fact that it’s for him is so overwhelming that he involuntarily jerks his hand away and the connection is broken.

(He sucks in his breath and looks down and away from Liz, his mind racing to understand what just happened. Forget what he saw, he’s just trying to grasp what he felt. He can’t seem to catch his breath and his chest appears to be heaving at the same speed as his pounding heart. He closes his eyes for a second but is immediately met with the image of her looking at him and the feeling of her…wanting him. It’s too much and he opens his eyes again. He tries to focus. His mind can’t process it fast enough. Or believe that those were her feelings – not his. He was feeling…Liz. Liz opens her eyes at the hasty removal of his hand from her stomach. She sensed a connection but didn’t see anything and is extremely confused by the way Max has turned away from her.)

Liz (softly) Max? (He doesn’t respond, she reaches out and touches his hand causing him to jump and look at her) Max?

(He takes a deep breath and then slowly lowers his eyes to her stomach and for the first time he realizes just how much of it is showing. Her entire stomach is visible from just below her navel to an inch above the V of her rib cage. How did he not see that? And it looks so soft. Was it soft when he was touching it? He wants to touch it again, and almost choking at the thought, he looks away.)

Liz (not understanding his behavior.) Max…did you see something? (He can’t find his tongue to answer her so he just stares at the creases in the linoleum floor.) Max, what did you see?

(The pleading and almost frightened tone in her voice jolts him back to the moment and he looks at her.)

Max (hesitantly and very shakily): Um…(he searches his mind to remember) the shooting. (She looks at him expectantly. He looks away and tries to remember details) Um…I think I saw…River Dog? (It all comes back to him)…and a man, I didn’t know, whispering something to you…and the symbols from the cave. (He looks at Liz questioningly.)

Liz (she looks away from him and thinks she understands his behavior now): Oh…It was Nasedo.

Max (clearly hearing her wrong): What?

Liz: I don’t remember what he said…I just remember seeing him…and knowing it was him.

Max (trying to understand): Nasedo…how…why…?

Liz (becoming upset and fearful of disappointing Max): I’m sorry I can’t remember Max…when I close my eyes I can see River Dog and the symbols and…him but I don’t remember what…

Max (quelling her fearful thoughts): Shhh…Liz it’s okay. (More to himself than her) As long as he didn’t do anything...

Liz (hesitantly): Max…I think he saved me.

Max (said as an exhaling gasp): What?

Liz: I can’t explain it Max but I think…I think he saved me…I…I mean the bullet hole Max, look at where it is. (She tries to sit up a little more and show him) It should have damaged something…but it didn’t.

(At the sight of her stomach, Max has another uncontrollable urge to touch it, followed by a rush of remembering Liz’s emotions. His mind and senses go into overload. He gets off of the bed and sort of takes a step away from it. He’s trying to process everything…River Dog, Nasedo, the symbols – which he can’t help thinking looked a little different than the actual ones in the cave. And then Liz and her feelings for him, feelings that they’ve never talked about, feelings that he never thought they’d have to talk about – because he never thought she could feel that way about him. While Max is struggling with his mind Liz is watching him and becoming increasingly upset and worried by his behavior. Was it her? Did he see something else? She doesn’t understand his retreat away from her and is physically becoming upset with each second that goes by.)

Liz (through the tears that are forming in her eyes): Max? (Hearing the almost desperate tone in her voice he quickly looks over at her.) Did you see something else? (At that question he looks away, and she gulps) Max please…

(Max raising his eyes to her stomach and focuses on the birthmark just barely visible above her left hipbone. He swallows hard and raises his eyes so he’s looking past her stomach at the wall. He takes a deep breath.)

Max (very shakily and very softly): Me – I saw me.

Liz (shaking her head and feeling relieved but still not understanding): You?

Max (moving his eyes to meet her confused ones): I saw you looking at me. (She furrows her brow and shakes her head trying to understand why that would effect him like this) Just now…(she looks at him)…I saw you looking at me just now.

(She stops and thinks for a second, still grasping to understand. And then it hits her – just now…when he was touching her. She looks up at him with wide wondering-just-what-he-saw-and-felt eyes.)

Max (just louder than a whisper): I felt you.

(At that she sucks in her breath and turns her head away from him – feeling very exposed and embarrassed.)

Liz (under her breath): Oh.

Max (after a seemingly endless pause): Liz…I…um…we…can’t…

Liz (closing her eyes and keeping her head turned away from him): I know.

Max: I mean there are so many risks…

Liz (cutting him off): Max, I know.

(He quickly looks at her face turned away from him and can hear the pain in her voice. He doesn’t know what to do, and his mind is totally spinning out of control.)

Max: I should go. (He knows he shouldn’t but he doesn’t trust himself if he stays and he really doesn’t know what to do.) I need to show Michael.

Liz (completely panicked by that, turning to face him, gasping): WHAT!?

Max (understanding how that sounded): The symbols…and Nasedo…we need to figure out how he saw you and Michael can draw the symbols.

Liz: Oh. (There is an awkward silence. Max wants to kiss her goodbye but again, he doesn’t trust himself knowing now how she feels. She looks up at him and he can see the hurt and rejection – at the fact that he hasn’t admitted feeling that way about her – in her eyes.)

Max (not moving): I’ll be back.

Liz (nods, softly): Okay.

(They stare at each other. Liz searches his eyes – everything she’s ever needed to know from Max she’s been able to find in his eyes But now they’re so unreadable…so clouded…struggling. As if the urge to touch Liz’s stomach wasn’t enough. now he’s fighting one to gently push those few loose strands of Liz’s hair behind her ear. Her hair – he’s touched that and he remembers what that feels like…is her skin as soft as her hair?

(What is he doing…he knows he can’t leave her like this. So he takes a step toward the bed and leans down – aiming for her forehead but not quite making it. He rests his forehead against hers – so close. He closes his eyes inadvertently giving her a butterfly kiss with his long lashes and she shivers and closes her own eyes. Her breath quickens as she begins to feel the warmth of his breath fall on her cheek. He tries to steady his breathing by concentrating on her…smell. How does she smell so good…she’s been in the hospital and she still smells so…so good? He swallows…that didn’t work.

(Liz sucks in her breath with anticipation at the sound of him swallowing…and then slowly, hesitantly he lowers his mouth to hers. So tentative at first – like the first time – but then as he reaches to hold her face with his hands the kiss deepens into something like never before. As they kiss he can feel something within him open and in that kiss he gives Liz complete access to himself and she can feel all of him…his feelings for her…his love, fear, hope…his desires to be with her, wanting…her.

(And just as the door in her is about to open for him there’s a sound as the nurse re-enters the room. They break apart hesitantly and as Max pulls away from her he takes her breath, her conscious thoughts, and her ability to speak with him. They stare into each other’s eyes – both understanding that their relationship has now changed. A noise from the nurse brings Max back to reality.)

Max (shakily): I’ll be back.

(Liz can’t speak, let alone breathe, so she just stares at him and sort of nods. He backs up and hesitantly leaves the room, with one last glance to Liz. She just watches him go – her mind reeling.)

Angela (smiling down at Liz as she puts the bandage on her): I’d wake up from near death for that too. (Liz looks at her and blushes fiercely and then turns back to look at the door. Angela finishes the bandage and goes to leave the room.) I’ll just leave you to your thoughts.

(As she’s about to exit, Liz thinks of something quickly and manages to find her tongue.)

Liz: Do you have any paper…and maybe a pen?

Angela (smiles): Sure hon., I’ll be right back.

Liz: Thank you.

(Scene: Hospital Entrance/Exit. Max, dazed and confused, walks out of the hospital and heads for the stairs. He stops at the top of them and then turns and leans forward into a column, bracing himself against it. He stares at the column, not wanting to close his eyes because then he’ll see everything and it’s bad enough just having it running through his head. Eventually though, he has to. Leaning his forehead against the column he, closes his eyes and the rush of images returns. Her stomach – so much skin showing…so much blood…River Dog…Nasedo – leaning in to almost kiss her…himself leaning in to kiss Liz…that kiss…and then those symbols – God if there isn’t something slightly off about them. As he’s thinking that, one symbol [that sure does look awfully like what was on Agent Coopers chest] starts to shine just a little bit brighter and he focuses on it. It gets seemingly bigger and then Max jerks his head away from the column.)

Max (overwhelmed but under his breath): I’ve never seen that one before.

(He looks down, takes a moment to gather himself and then hurriedly steps down the stairs and starts walking off in the direction of Michael’s apartment. He turns a corner to leave the Hospital parking lot and is so lost in his thoughts that he doesn’t realize that someone is following him.

(But somebody else notices for him. Sheriff Valenti is sitting in Kyle’s car across the street from the Hospital. He stares at the man following Max and knows that he’s seen him before but can’t place it. He furrows his brow and takes off his sunglasses to get a better look. And then it hits him. He has a flashback to the shooting and the man talking on the phone. He looks back at the man now trailing Max and nods. He puts his sunglasses back on, starts the engine, and then slowly pulls out from where he’s parked.)

(Scene: Liz’s Hospital Room. Liz is now sort of sitting up in bed with the hospital rollaway tray coving her lap. She’s staring down at the blank paper and is unconsciously chewing on a pen. Her mind is a mess with thoughts of Max and what transpired between them. She lets out a sigh and then begins.)

Voice over (hesitantly): I think…I think I’ve just lost my way. I mean, technically everything with Max is uncharted territory. It’s not like I can go to the library and check out a book that’s gonna help me out with our relationship. I’ve been in relationships before – not many, but enough to be able to sort of fumble my way through creating a quasi-normal – whatever that is – one with him. I mean, if you take away the…the difference…all relationships on some level still boil down to hand holding, a little cuddling, kissing and…well, that’s about all for me…

(She lets out a shaky breath, quickly brushing a strand of hair behind her ear and continues)

V.O.: I mean I’ve never…you know…had sex. I’ve never even been close. I’ve never really thought about it – okay, everybody thinks about it I’ve just never really seriously thought about it. I mean really there’s just been Kyle and we were so not even close to that. I mean you have to be ready for something like that…really ready…and I’m sixteen. How can you be ready for something like that at sixteen? Call me the school girl that I am but you just need to really think about something like that…it’s not to be rushed into. You only get one…first…and you need to be ready.

(She pauses and remembers Max touching her stomach and then that kiss and she gets a dizzy look on her face. She sucks in her breath a little)

V.O.: I think I’m ready. It’s not like Max and I were going to have sex just now but…where my mind went and where my body went when he was (she has a flash of his hand on her stomach) touching me. It was amazing…and a place I’ve never gone before. With a touch and a kiss – a kiss? My god that was not just a kiss. What was it? It was an awakening…and my whole body felt it. So with a touch – that was so much more than a touch…and a kiss that wasn’t even close to being just a kiss…Max made me ready. He catapulted me into ready. And what am I – crazy? He’s a whole other life form…I mean it can’t even be possible, right? Maria would kill me…Maria? My mother would kill me. What am I thinking?

(She pauses for a second and lets out a breath)

V.O.: I’m not…I’m not thinking, I’m feeling and right now…I’m feeling…indescribable. It’s like that moment, you know, when you can feel the blood returning to your sleeping hand as a wave of tingles. Every cell in my body – from my fingertips to my ears to my toes – it’s like the blood is rushing into each individual one, making my entire body…one tingle…it’s amazing. It’s so amazing it’s…scary.

(She lets out a deep breath and shakes her head)

V.O: But Max is right…we can’t…there are so many risks – and not the ones we learned about in Sex Ed.…risks that you can’t find in a book. (She pauses) But…if Max makes me feel like this every time he touches me now…(she pauses again and swallows hard)…then I am in serious, serious…

Nancy (upon entering the room): Hi sweetie.

Liz (jerking her head up from what she’s been writing and barely able to speak): Mom. (She watches her mom hang up her coat and then looks back down at what she was writing. She takes a deep breath, scribbles the word ‘trouble!’ and then folds up what she wrote and puts it behind her pillow.)

Nancy (looking through a bag as she sits down in the chair next to Liz): I brought you some things. (She looks up at Liz who gives her a weak smile.)

(Scene: Outside Michael’s Apartment. Max is sitting on the curb staring at the street thinking – doing a whole lot of thinking. He doesn’t notice Isabel and Michael pull up in the jeep.)

Michael (walking up behind him, jokingly): Problems already? (Max looks up at him and startles Michael with the myriad of emotions that are reflected in his eyes.)

Max: We need to talk.

(Scene cuts to the three of them inside the apartment. Isabel is looking at Max with a concerned/confused face, as is Michael. Max is just trying to figure out where to begin.)

Michael: Maxwell, what’s going on?

Isabel (concerned): Did something happen? (At her question Max looks up and over to her, causing her concern to grow) What happened Max?

Max (letting out a breath and hesitantly): I touched her…wound…and saw things.

Michael: What’s new?

Max (quickly looks over to him): I saw Nasedo. (At that Michael and Isabel drop their mouths.)

Michael: What?

Isabel: How?

Max (shaking his head): I don’t know.

Michael (slightly challengingly): How do you know it was him?

Max: Liz…she says it’s him, she doesn’t know how but she knows it’s him.

Michael: That doesn’t mean anything.

Isabel (turning to him angrily): Michael!

Max (continuing): She thinks he saved her.

Isabel/Michael: What?

Max: Do you know where she got shot? (Walking over to Michael and pushing his finger into Michael’s chest where the bullet entered Liz, a little forcefully) Tell me how you get shot here without damaging anything?

Michael: You’re the honor student...

Max: I’ll tell you – you don’t!

Isabel (grasping for understanding): What are you saying Max? That somehow he was there at the shooting and saved her?

Max: I don’t know Iz…something saved her and it wasn’t any of us.

Isabel: What about the vision?

Max (he looks at her): I don’t know.

Michael: If it even was him, maybe he dreamwalked.

Isabel: Couldn’t have. (Max and Michael both look at her confused and she sheepishly looks away from Max) I tried.

Max: Isabel!

Isabel (being classic Isabel): Please! I was trying to get her to wake up so she and Maria could – as Maria puts it – kick your sorry ‘unearthly’ ass. (Max is about to retort but is cut off by Michael.)

Michael (irritated): Back to now please! (Max and Isabel look over at him) What do we have here…a man who may or may not have been Nasedo talking to Liz in her coma…and the theory that Nasedo may or may not have saved Liz’s life?

Max: There’s more. (He looks up and glances between them) I saw the symbols from the cave and there was one…I hadn’t seen before.

Michael: What?

Max: I’m pretty sure I know all the symbols in that cave Michael and this one wasn’t one of them.

Isabel: Maybe Liz ‘dreamed’ it up.

Max (shaking his head): I don’t think so.

Michael (steps toward him): Show me.

Max (backs away): What?

Michael (still steps toward him): Show me. Do your little connection thing and show it to me.

Max (still backing away slightly): I can’t.

Michael (seriously getting irritated): Maximilian we’ve done this before…I need to see it.

Max (thinking about everything else Michael would see): No Michael I can’t…show it to you like that.

Michael: Max…now is not the time for modesty…it’s not like I don’t see you staring at her all the time and it’s not like I haven’t seen a few things from when we’ve done this before…I’ve seen it all Max and it’s actually quite boring.

Isabel (getting pissy): Yea, nothing like what’s in your dreams, huh Michael? (He whips around to her and she just gives him a ‘look’.)

Max (more to himself than anyone): You haven’t seen this. (But it catches the attention of both Michael and Isabel who look at him questioningly and expectantly. He looks at them.) Just give me a minute okay Michael. I need to try and block it out.

Isabel (now pretty curious): Block what exactly?

Max (getting defensive): It’s personal…okay Iz. And it doesn’t have anything to do with you…(looking at Michael) or you!

(He rubs his hand through his hair and closes his eyes trying to see just the symbol – good luck! He’s not sure he’s going to be able to do this without betraying a little bit of Liz to Michael and he sighs heavily. He opens his eyes to look at Michael. They stare at each other for a few moments.)

Max: Okay. (Michael steps toward Max and then Max reaches out and touches Michael…please just see the image. The connection lasts a little longer than a few seconds, then Michael pulls away.) Did you see it?

Michael (awkwardly): Yea. (He looks at Max with a mixture of surprise and guilt and then quickly starts searching around the apartment for his sketchbook) I need to draw it.

(Max watches Michael avoiding him. He lowers his head letting out a deep breath, sensing that Michael saw more than he wanted him to.)

(Scene: Liz’s Hospital Room. Liz is slightly sitting up in bed staring out the window lost in thought. Maria, carrying a paper bag, walks through the door and stops – when she sees Liz awake. She gasps, covers her mouth with her hand and drops the bag she was holding. Hearing the gasp Liz turns toward the door and smiles at Maria. Maria starts to cry and hurries over to the bed, hugging Liz.)

Liz (through watery eyes): Maria, I’m fine. (Maria pulls away from her and looks at her.)

Maria (sniffling and through tears): Not when I’m done with you. (Liz softly laughs at her) You think I’m kidding. I’d kill you – except I can’t because I don’t know how to live without you – which I’ve been doing for the past 4 days and let me just tell you…

Liz: I love you too. (Maria swallows hard and then breaks down hugging Liz again.)

Maria (very muffled through tears): I love you so much Lizzie, don’t ever do that to me again. You and my mom – you’re all I’ve got.

Liz (through her own tears): Maria…I promise…

Maria (pulling away from her): You better promise…That’s twice now you know…twice – and I don’t think I can handle another one…

Liz: I promise…but it’s not like I intentionally did it…

Maria: Just comes with the territory…I know…

Liz (looking a little confused): What?

Maria: Max didn’t tell you…(Liz shakes her head and Maria leans in whispering)…they think someone shot you on purpose – so he would save you.

Liz (thoughtfully): I think part of me knew that.

Maria: That’s why Prince Charming turned into such a sorry ass toad…

Liz (laughing at her): Maria.

Maria: And it’s a good thing he came to his senses because I was seriously contemplating killing him. (Maria gives her a sideways glance) Now I just have to kill Michael…his ‘toady’-in-waiting.

Liz (laughing): What would I do without you?

Maria: It would serve you right – scratch that…let’s hope you never have to find out – cause I don’t think I could do this…(Maria sweepingly looks over Liz in the hospital bed)…you know how I am…with…um…stuff like this…(she swallows)…I thought you were going to die. (She looks up at Liz) We all thought…(She can’t finish and Liz pulls her into another hug.)

Alex (upon entering the door): I see you’ve started without me.

Liz: Alex! (He sets down his backpack and walks over to the other side of the bed, kissing Liz on the forehead and then hugging her.)

(Scene: Michael’s Apartment. Max is now sitting in a chair with his head buried in his hands. Isabel is watching him from the couch with a very intrigued look on her face. Michael is in the bedroom paging through his sketchbook looking for a symbol to match the one he’s drawn from what he saw in Max.)

Isabel (softly to Max): Max, what’s wrong? (Max doesn’t move) Max? (He raises his head to look at her and then lowers it again to his hands.) You know I can just touch you and find out for myself.

Max (not moving): Don’t even think about it.

Isabel: Well, I’m sure I’ll find out sooner or later. You know how he likes to use these kinds of things against you.

(Max lets out a sigh and sinks farther into his misery and for a moment Isabel slightly regrets the comment.)

Michael (returning to the room with the sketchbook and the drawing in hand): You were right. (Max raises his head and Michael looks down at the sketch and then sits next to Isabel on the couch) It’s not in here…there isn’t a symbol that’s even close to it.

Isabel: We don’t even know if it’s a real symbol.

Michael: It is.

Max (looking over to him): Now you’re convinced?

Michael (he looks at Max): That was Nasedo.

Isabel: What? How could you tell?

Michael (looking from Isabel to Max): I could…tell.

Max: How?

Michael: Look, I’m the one that’s been able to sense this guy and I could just tell okay. That was him…Liz was right.

Isabel: So what? He visits Liz in a coma and leaves her a symbol? It doesn’t make any sense. And why Liz? There can’t be two of you fixated on her – one of you is bad enough. You aren’t secretly holding out for Liz too are you Michael? Maybe it’s something with the males of our species.

Michael: Isabel!

Isabel: What! She isn’t even one of us and he’s giving her all of our secrets. Like that doesn’t piss you off?

Michael: He’s using her...(They both start at the sound of the front door slamming shut. And quickly look at the empty chair. Under his breath) Shit.

(Scene: Liz’s Hospital Room. Maria is finishing up the ice cream, Alex is pulling out books from his backpack, and Liz is sitting in bed looking kind of tired.)

Alex (while pulling out a book): Geometry…(pulling out another book) History…English – this is the one that was really weighing me down (he holds up a paperback copy of The Great Gatsby and Liz smiles at him)…and last but definitely not least Biology (he pulls out a rather large book). How you’re not a hunchback from carrying these around is a mystery.

Maria: The ‘mystery’ called…a locker Alex.

Alex: Yea, well I didn’t get these from a locker did I? I had to go searching through your – might I say – rather messy room Miss Parker. Your tidiness is certainly slacking. For a moment I thought I was in the wrong room (he looks over at Maria).

Maria: And just what are you looking at me for?

Liz (a little confused): Wait…what to do you mean messy…how messy?

Alex: I don’t know (motioning to Maria) her room times about two.

Maria (throwing her spoon at him): Hey!

Alex: Hey, I’m just stating the obvious…

Liz (now pretty confused): My room was messy?

Alex: Shocking isn’t it? I mean how many outfits did you two try on when you went out on Friday…you know you could be wearing sweats and a poncho and he’ll still look at you like this (he demonstrates an overly dramatic lovey look).

Maria (choking on her laughter): What are you talking about Alex – we didn’t try on any outfits.

Alex: Maybe your mom got a little over anxious to find your coming-home-from-the-hospital outfit…though I think your Homecoming gown is a bit much.

Liz (through laughter): Alex, what are you talking about? My homecoming dress?

Alex: It was on the bed with a bunch of other…questionable outfits from your closet…

Liz: What exactly did my room look like?

Alex: I don’t know…dresser drawers open, closet open, stuff on your bed. Your desk was a DeLuca disaster. And the stuff from under your bed was pulled out – what were you looking for down there anyway?

Liz (the smile fading from her face): I wasn’t.

Maria (looking at her): What do you mean?

Liz (looking at Maria and starting to get a little concerned): Maria, you were with me right before we left. I didn’t get anything out from under my bed, and I know my desk wasn’t messy – it’s never messy.

Maria: Where are you going with this?

Liz: Somebody was in my room.

Alex: Why? What would they be looking for…besides fashionable clothing?

Liz/Maria (looking at each other and at the same time under their breaths): Journal.

Alex: Come again.

Liz (looking to Alex): My journal. They’re looking for my journal.

Maria: But who?

Liz: Who ever shot me. Good luck finding it, though – they’d have to have x-ray vision.

Maria (thinking about the last journal thief): They just might. (Liz gives her a slight reprimanding look and as Maria looks away her eye catches on a folded piece of paper lying on the floor. She bends down and picks it up) What’s this?

Liz (wide-eyed with the realization that Maria is holding her impromptu journal entry she reaches out and snatches it from her, looking down at the paper and taking a deep breath): Um…I think maybe I need my journal…with me...(she looks back down at the paper, under her breath)…definitely with me.

(Scene: A Park, near the hospital later that evening. Max is sitting on a bench staring at the red cross on the roof of the Hospital that’s visible above the tree tops.)

Max: What are you doing here? (Michael approaches Max from behind and sits down next to him. They sit in silence for awhile until Max breaks it, a little forcefully) What’d you see Michael?

Michael: Max…

Max (turning to face him and angrily): What did you see!

Michael (looks away): Just the symbol…all the symbols…Nasedo…River Dog – that was a surprise.

Max (looking at him scrutinizingly): What else?

(Michael looks over to meet his stare and they just look at each other for a few very tense moments.)

Michael (finally looking away): That was some kiss. (At that Max closes his eyes and exhales heavily) Where’d you learn that one? (Max angrily gets off the bench and starts heading for the hospital. Michael follows after him) Maxwell! (He reaches out and grabs his arm and Max stops, angrily jerks it away from Michael and turns to face him.)

Max (yelling more at himself than Michael): You weren’t supposed to see that!

Michael: Well I wish I hadn’t. (Max turns to leave) We need to talk about what to do.

Max (angrily): Talk about it?

Michael: Maxwell we said we’d talk about this.

Max (again turning to leave): Well not tonight Michael.

Michael: Max.

Max (having had enough of this conversation): I haven’t even talked to her about this. Why the hell do you think I’m gonna talk to you about this? I don’t even know what this is…

Michael: It affects me…it affects all of us.

Max: It affects YOU? It affects ME and HER – not you!

Michael (a little irritated): Maxwell.

Max (on the brink): Don’t push me Michael.

(And something in his eyes makes Michael take a step back. Max turns and walks toward the hospital with Michael watching him intently.)

(Scene: Hospital Hallway. Max is walking down the hallway to Liz’s room. Before he gets to the window he stops and leans his back against the wall. Bringing his hands to his head and closing his eyes he tries to organize his thoughts but after a moment he shakes his head – realizing that’s impossible. He takes a deep breath and then walks past the window and turns to enter the room, but stops in his tracks in the doorframe. He’s about to back up but is stopped when Liz catches sight of him.)

Liz: Max. (Her parents turn to the door and Max has a very deer-caught-in-head-lights appearance about himself.)

Max (stuttering and pointing back the way he wants to be heading): I…could…um…

Jeff: No, no Max…come on in…(he gets up from his chair and looks at Nancy who mirrors his smiling face.) I think we were just about to let our little girl get some sleep.

Liz (slightly embarrassed): Dad. (Jeff bends down to kiss the top of her head.)

Jeff (a little louder than a whisper): You’ll always be our little girl. (Whispering in her ear) Besides it’s better than being called sweet pea…or pumpkin. (Liz’s face cringes.)

Liz: Dad…enough with the vegetables.

Nancy (bending down to kiss her forehead): We’ll be back in the morning okay baby…(she looks at Max out of the corner of her eye – still standing in the doorway)…after eight.

Liz (looking up at her mom, softly): Thank you.

Nancy (softly): Be good.

Jeff (now standing near Max by the door): Chairs here are a bit more comfortable than the ones in the waiting room.

Max (sheepishly looking from Liz to her father): Yea, a little bit.

(Nancy comes over to join them, putting her arm around Jeff’s waist.)

Jeff (putting his hand on Max’s back and looking at Liz): We’ll see you tomorrow.

(He looks down at Max, slightly nodding and then the Parkers exit the room. Max watches them walk down the hall and then he slowly looks over at Liz.)

Liz: Sorry about that.

Max (hesitantly walking over to the chair): Sorry for what?

Liz: My dad.

Max: He’s just being a dad.

Liz (playfully): So…how comfy are these chairs really, compared to the ones in the waiting room?

Max: Not really, I think they’re the same chairs just reupholstered…(shyly) It’s the view that’s better.

Liz: I see. (They fall into a semi-awkward silence for a few minutes, neither really knowing where to begin. Music: David Mead – Breathe You In) So…

Max (again he finds himself staring at the creases in the linoleum floor): So…

Liz (reaching out to touch is hand): What now Max?

Max (looking up at her): I don’t know…I’ve never thought about this – no I mean I have, God I have, but I just never thought that you…(he trails off)

Liz: That I what?

Max (looking away from her): I never thought you could feel that way about me – that anybody could feel that way…

Liz: How could I not Max? I mean, it surprised me because I’ve never felt that way before…but it didn’t surprise me that it was you making me feel that way. (Blushing a little) If your kisses make me fly I should have known what your touch would do.

Max: But maybe it’s just what I am…maybe that’s what’s making you feel like that…maybe…

Liz: Maybe it’s just that I love you. (Max looks over at her, with little boy eyes) All of you…I told you that. It’s everything about you…everything you are and everything you aren’t.

Max: But…

Liz: But what Max? What more do you need?

Max (struggling to believe): I…um…

Liz (looking at her hands nervously): You shared something with me today when you kissed me…and…um…I’d like to share something with you. (Max looks over at her not quite sure what she’s saying. She blushes, very embarrassed) I’d like to give you the same gift…if you’ll kiss me again.

(She looks up and their eyes meet. Hours pass in that one moment. She reaches out and takes his hand and gently pulls him to the bed – their gaze never breaking. He swallows, she swallows. He leans in almost in slow motion, searching her eyes for a sign of doubt, of retreat, but there’s nothing. Just love…love for him. She closes her eyes with anticipation but the kiss doesn’t come and she opens them looking into his eyes, only inches from hers. So close – if she stuck out her tongue she’d be able to lick his lips for him. Another one of those endless moments passes lost in each other’s eyes. And then she hears it…feels it…like a kiss.)

Max (barely audible): I love you too.

(He closes the half an inch distance between their lips and they kiss. He reaches up to hold her face and everything opens. If he thought the kiss before was incredible this is unbelievable. Her feelings for him…all of them…the ones you would expect…love, hope, desire and wanting but the one he is searching for is the first one he finds – acceptance, unconditional and complete. How did he get so lucky?

(And then it happens. It hits him like a train. Stars – lots of stars…speeding through them…passing unfamiliar planets?…asteroids. It gets faster…becomes familiar…Saturn?…is that the sun?…Earth….still getting faster…and then…a crash and nothing. He jerks away from Liz and almost falls on top of her trying desperately to catch his breath.)

Liz (panicked and concerned): Max? (He looks up at her and then lowers his head in exhaustion.)

posted on 27-Sep-2001 6:23:30 PM by not applicable
Title: “Rounding Second” (Awakening trilogy, Part 2)
Author: N/A
Email: ajrocchio⊕
Rating: PG-13 for language and sexual situations
Category: Other Stories
Disclaimers: The characters of Roswell belong to the WB, among others, but apparently I need to keep borrowing them.

(Scene: School, Geometry class. The class is taking a test, with the exception of Max – who is staring blankly down at the one on his desk. He closes his eyes and takes in a deep breath.)

-------Flashback to that morning------

(Scene: Liz’s Hospital Room. Liz is asleep in the bed, looking very peaceful. Max is sitting in the chair pulled close to the bed, staring at her. She starts to stir a little and Max leans over her and starts lightly blowing on her face. She turns her head and brings her hands to her face to fight off the imaginary tickler. Max, amused, continues to blow on her ear and neck until she finally shakes her head and wakes up rubbing her face and ear.)

Max (smiling silly): Good morning.

Liz (looking over at Max’s amused face): Apparently. Having fun?

Max: Actually...(he smiles mischeviously) I can think of some other ways to have fun. (Liz playfully hits him on the arm)

Liz (smiling): Oh really? And what might those be?

Max (as he leans in to kiss her): Something like this.

(He’s just about to kiss her when she puts her hand on his chest and stops him from moving forward. He looks at her hand and then slightly frowns up at her.)

Liz: Are you gonna tell me what happened last night?

Max (sighs to himself and then sits back down in the chair looking away from Liz): I don’t really know what happened.

Liz: Max…

Max (looking over at her): I don’t know…maybe I’m just tired. Yesterday was a little…

Liz (looking down at her hands and finishing for him): Overwhelming.

Max (looking at her, softly): Yea.

Liz (after a pause and still looking at her hands): I can’t control how I’m feeling – I don’t even know what I’m feeling. (She steals a sideways glance up at Max, and continues shyly) It’s like an emotional kaleidoscope – all these different feelings combining to form these patterns I’ve never seen…emotions I’ve never felt before…and even when the feelings change and the pattern is different…it’s still beautiful. (She swallows and looks up at him) I don’t want to control how I feel.

Max (struggling to control the giddiness within him): Liz…I…I have to…to try anyway. You’ve always made me feel…feel normal…like being here wasn’t so bad. If I could just see you everyday and see you smile – it made being here okay. You’ve always been my weakness Liz…(sort of mumbling to himself and smiling) control sort of goes out the window. (He looks up at her) But I’m not normal Liz. I don’t want to do anything to hurt you and we don’t know…I have to try and stay in control…I have to think about…

Liz (gently interrupting him): Don’t think Max. (Max stops mid-sentence with mouth open) We think about everything…and when we’re done we think about it again. For a few moments…(wistfully under her breath) or more…can’t we just feel?

Max (stuttering): Liz…I…I

Liz: I’m not talking about…(She stops and immediately blushes at the thought of the word she was about to say – ‘sex.’ It has yet to be uttered between them and she doesn’t want to be the one to say it. She looks up at Max for help but he looks a little confused.) You know…

(Max looks at her blankly and then – OH! The thought of hearing that word come out of her mouth is enough for his imagination to create a few visual aides. Stop it! He quickly shakes his head and then looks down at her and then away.)

Max (embarrassed from where his mind went): Oh…right.

Liz: I’m just taking about this (she reaches out and slides her hand into his and he looks at her)…about enjoying how we make each other feel. (She gently pulls him toward her.)

Max: Liz I don’t know if I can…um…control…

Liz (as he gets closer to her): Don’t think Max…just feel.

Max (as they’re about to kiss): Feel.

(Their lips meet and there’s a whole lot of feeling going on. Liz hooks her left arm around his neck and after a moment he starts to pull away. He doesn’t get very far as her arm holds him about an inch away from her.)

Liz (looking up at him breathless): Feel more Max.

(He smiles at her and then lowers his mouth to hers. Feel…that’s all he can do…feel her mouth, her face with his hands…feel her everywhere inside of him. And just as she slides her hand up his neck so her fingers are playing with his hair it happens again. Except this time the train isn’t moving so fast – it’s almost like he’s floating through it…stars…lots of stars and…unfamiliar…planets?…with…moons?…it gets a little faster…more stars…asteroids…more stars…that is Saturn…and the Sun…and Earth…he can see it coming closer…North America…the speed picks up…it’s dark…nothing…the desert…too fast…then flames…and a scream…and faint tapping – wait there wasn’t any tapping.)

(Max shakes his head and his Geometry test comes into focus in front of him. He sees a hand tapping a pen on his desk and he raises his eyes to meet those of the teacher staring down at him.)

Mr. Singer: Planning on starting this test today Mr. Evans?

Max (quickly trying to gain composure): Um…yes Mr. Singer…I’m sorry.

(Mr. Singer looks down at Max and then continues walking down the isle. Michael looks over at Max questioningly.)

(Scene: Liz’s Hospital Room. Liz is sitting up in bed chewing on her pen as she stares down at the blank piece of paper resting on the tray covering her lap. She closes her eyes, smiles, and softly shakes her head.)

Voice over: How is it that ‘feeling’ and ‘thinking’ have become competitively exclusive processes. I mean, they should be compatible…shouldn’t they? One can think and feel at the same time – right? Isn’t it normal to think about what you’re feeling while you’re feeling it…and what happens when you can’t? Like you really can’t…because I can’t anymore. When I’m ‘feeling’ Max I lose all thinking capabilities…okay, well not all capabilities just the rational ones…and…aren’t those kind of the important ones? Shouldn’t I be thinking of consequences or something instead of how soft his hair is or his lips are…or…his stomach – I wonder if his skin is soft and smooth (she swallows hard) – oh boy. And the problem – one…of many – is that I told Max for a few moments we should just feel…not think…just feel. And the problem with that is…(she pauses)…those few moments – I don’t want them to end. We are headed down a one way road and…(she pauses again)…I don’t think either one of us is coherent enough to be driving. That can’t be good…but God it feels good…

Sheriff Valenti (from inside the door): Miss Parker? (Liz looks up from the paper at the sound of his voice and immediately blushes – for no visible reason.)

Liz (surprised): Sheriff.

Valenti: Am I disturbing you?

Liz (looking down at what she was writing and quickly folding it up): No…no you aren’t.

Valenti (coming farther into the room): I need to ask you some questions about the shooting.

Liz: I don’t know how much help I’ll be Sheriff, I don’t really remember anything.

Valenti: Did you see the car…or maybe anything peculiar throughout the evening?

Liz (thoughtfully): No Sheriff…I just remember Max.

(The Sheriff slightly smiles at her answer and then grows serious and looks at her intently.)

Valenti: Miss Parker, I believe you were shot intentionally…(Liz sort of squirms a bit and looks away from him)…but I think you already knew that. (Liz looks up at him) These people are dangerous and I can’t protect you if I don’t know why they’re shooting at you. (He pauses) And it’s not just you Miss Parker…they’re after him.

(Scene: School Quad. Michael is sitting at a table thoughtfully eating and watching Maria across the quad. Max approaches the table looking a little disheveled.)

Max (as he sits): We need to talk.

Michael (with a tiny hint of sarcasm): And this is a good time for you?

Max (looks at him and then away): Something’s happening.

Michael: What are you talking about – and don’t get descriptive with the details.

Max: Michael I’m seeing things.

Michael: Maxwell we’re all seeing things.

Max: No Michael, like things I shouldn’t be seeing from Liz.

Michael: Like what?

Max: When I kiss her…

Michael (interrupting): Are we talking ‘kissing’ like the way the rest of us do it or ‘kissing’ as in your new method of suck-face soul searching?

Max (just looks at him blankly and hesitantly): The last one.

Michael: Figures. So what’d you see Maxwell? She cheats on tests or some other deep dark terrible secret?

Max (a little hesitantly): You remember the beginning to the movie Contact?

Michael (confused): Yea.

Max: That – only backwards. Like it was moving toward Earth instead of away.

Michael (now a little more confused): What are you talking about?

Max: I don’t know what I’m talking about. Twice…last night and then this morning I’ve kissed her and seen it…it’s like I’m moving through space toward Earth and then…(he looks up at Michael)…and then crashing. Michael I think I’m seeing the crash.

Michael: What!

Max: I saw the desert and then flames, bright flames and screaming – I heard it Michael.

Michael (total defensive disbelief): How? No it doesn’t matter it’s impossible.

Max: I thought so last night…I thought maybe I was tired or something but this morning Michael…it was real and it was coming from her.

Michael (in the same anger/disbelief tone): Maxwell...

Max (cutting him off): Michael it’s like that symbol. How did she know that…how did it get…‘inside’ her?

Michael (shaking his head): I don’t know. (He pauses and then looks up at Max’s flustered eyes) Nasedo.

Max (letting out a shaky breath and then frantically): He wouldn’t right? I mean he wouldn’t do what I’m thinking he did…(looking up at Michael almost pleadingly) Michael? He wouldn’t would he?

Michael (slowly): Max…what are you thinking?

Max (still frantic): It doesn’t make any sense…I don’t even know what I’m thinking…

Michael (a little firmly): Maxwell, what are you thinking?

Max (now talking to himself): No…he wouldn’t…he couldn’t…

(He gets up from the table and hurriedly walks off toward the parking lot.)

Michael (calling after him): Max! Maxwell!

(Scene: Denny’s Restaurant. Agents Banks and Jones are sitting in an isolated booth in the back corner.)

Banks: It’s gotta be the Sheriff.

Jones: Why wouldn’t he have turned it in – it’s the proof he’s been looking for.

Banks: I don’t know. He’s the only one that makes sense though. None of her friends would have taken it…and the ex-boyfriend turned out negative according to Topolski’s report.

Jones: You’re sure it wasn’t in the room?

Banks: Unless it’s invisible. I was gonna try the boyfriend. Maybe he took it for safe keeping…not too happy about her writing it all down.

Jones: He sleeps at the hospital with her – I think tonight’s the night. We need something, and we need it soon.

Banks: What’ve you got planned?

(Agent Jones leans across the table and their conversation continues in whispers.)

(Scene: Liz’s Hospital Room. Liz is attempting to do some studying. She’s got her Geometry book open and her calculator out but she’s not getting very far. She stares at a couple of problems – attempts them and then erases them. This happens a few times before she realizes that she has company in the room. She looks up and sees Max watching her quietly from the doorway.)

Liz (smiling): Hey.

Max (quietly): Hey.

Liz (looking at him closely): Max are you okay? Is everything okay?

Max (letting out a breath and shaking the thoughts of Nasedo from his head): Yea…(he walks toward the chair) I just didn’t do to well on that test today.

Liz (playfully): Maybe I should find another tutor.

Max (looks at her and smiles): My failure was entirely your fault…it had nothing to do with my grasp of complementary angles.

Liz: My fault…looking for scapegoats are we?

Max: If I hadn’t been thinking about you…

Liz: Thinking? I told you no thinking. I’ve decided at times it’s entirely overrated…and besides it seems I can’t do much of it myself – especially with you around.

Max: What was that about scapegoats?

Liz (reaching out to take his hand and changing her tone): I was worried about you.

Max (surprised): Me?

Liz: Sheriff Valenti was here earlier.

Max: Valenti. What’d he want?

Liz: To talk about the shooting. I told him I didn’t remember anything but…Max he knows it wasn’t an accident. And I think he knows who did it.

Max: How? What’d he say?

Liz: He said they were dangerous…and that…that they’re after you.

Max (trying to convince himself along with Liz): He’s just trying to scare you…to scare us. (He moves from the chair to the bed and gently strokes her hair) Nothing’s going to happen. I won’t let anything happen to you again.

Liz: I’m not worried about me Max…I’m worried about you.

Max: Nothing’s going to happen to me. He’s just trying to scare you into saying something.

Liz: Well the scaring part worked.

Max (brushing back a loose strand of her hair, softly): I promise…nothing…

Liz: Max someone tried…Max I think…

(Max cuts her off by putting his thumb over her lips as he holds her face with the rest of his hand.)

Max: None of that remember?

(Liz smiles and looking into his eyes forgets the other semi-important thing she was supposed to tell him. How does he do that? She couldn’t remember her name right now if someone asked her.. He glides his thumb over her lips and then replaces it with his own lips. Thinking…thinking is definitely overrated. As the kiss is about to deepen Max reluctantly pulls back, afraid that another vision might come. Liz looks up at him with a small pout.)

Max: I’m here to help you study…school – not me.

Liz (frowning): But that’s thinking.

Max (sitting back in the chair and pulling out his books from his backpack): I know but we have to keep up appearances. (He looks at her and smiles) Otherwise the principal might not be so generous with letting me be here. (He looks down to the books) What do you want to start with?

Liz (frowning and looking at him wistfully, pouting): Biology.

(Scene: Liz’s Hospital Room…various scenes of Max attempting to help Liz with her homework, while Liz makes every attempt to thwart Max’s concentration. Music: David Mead – Sweet Sunshine.

…Max pulls out his Biology lab notebook with photocopies of the notes he’s taken for Liz. He opens the book and sets it on the tray table in front of her and starts talking about what they did. Liz just stares at the side of his face. He gives her a sideways glance and points to the notebook. She pouts and reluctantly looks at it, bending over it so her head is just slightly touching Max’s. He readjusts so it’s not so close and then starts passionately describing the intricate workings of Evolutionary Biology. Meanwhile, Liz pretends to be looking at the notes instead of memorizing every detail of his hands...

…half an hour later…Max is trying to show Liz how to do the Geometry problems she was working on. He’s now, unfortunately for him, sitting on the bed so she can watch how he does the problems. Liz is leaning unnecessarily close to him pretending to be concentrating on the problems and not reveling in his scent. Max keeps glancing at her to make sure she’s following what he’s doing, but catches her looking at him every time. She gives him innocent looks and then quickly turns her attention to the problems. He finishes and it’s her turn to try and do them so he moves back to the chair with a sigh of relief. But as soon as he sits down she turns to him and asks him a question, very innocently. He lets out another sigh and then sits back on the bed. He answers the question and then makes a move for the chair but Liz puts her hand on his leg, abruptly stopping any movement, and tells him he should stay, she might have more questions. He readjusts and stays put...

…over an hour later…Max is now leaning back in the bed, asleep, while Liz finishes up her Geometry problems. She quietly closes her book and puts it on the chair to her left. She gently pushes the tray table off to the side and then turns to look at Max’s sleeping face. How does he sleep in the most awkward positions and still look peaceful? She leans back so she’s only inches away from his face, and lightly begins to trace the curve of his chin with her finger. She moves, as slowly and quietly as she can, and gently kisses his forehead. When she pulls away she can see the smile on his lips and she slowly lowers her head and kisses him. Max, forgetting the reason why he was trying not to kiss her, brings his hands to her face and pulls her into him, deepening the kiss. As they begin to shift positions on the bed so that Liz is leaning back and lower than Max, Max remembers just why he didn’t want to kiss her...

…It starts as a burst of light…flames…smoke…searching through the smoke…and metal…shiny silvery metal. Then four pods…picking them up one at a time…running…looking backward…smoke in the sky…resting…running…setting the pods down and then returning to the crash. Searching…picking things up…can’t see what they are…rocks?…something else…voices…running…hiding…watching…

…There’s a part of Max that knows he should pull out of the kiss but he can’t, because another part of him wants – no – needs, to know what more he can see. And it doesn’t help that Liz’s hands and arms are firmly grasping his back…she sure is strong for being so tiny…Liz…her mouth…her lips…her tongue – where’d that come from!...her ear…her neck…it all just tastes so good…a bright light flashes…flood lights?…voices…soft crying…running…falling on the ground…running…the pods…searching for a place…a cave…the cave…the pods…a blinding blue light filling the cave…the symbols…the boulder sliding into place.)

Maria (standing in the door a little more than shocked at the sight of her best friend necking on the hospital bed…and where are his hands!): AHEM!

(Max and Liz immediately pull apart. Liz sits up and looks to the door while Max just looks at the wall trying to collect himself.)

Liz (blushing is an understatement): Maria! Um…what…are…um…what time is it?

Maria (shocked and amused): Time for a study break.

(Scene: School Parking lot. Isabel is looking around for the jeep but doesn’t see it. Alex walks up to her shaking a pair of keys.)

Alex: Need a lift?

Isabel (doubting him): You?

Alex: Roswell beware…Alex Whitman has arrived – on four wheels.

Isabel (surprised): When’d you take the test?

Alex: Yesterday. I already had the appointment before everything happened.

Isabel: Why didn’t you tell anyone?

Alex: What, and have you know if I failed? I think I do quite well with self-humiliation – without help from the DMV.

Isabel (looking around the lot): So which one’s yours?

Alex (he nods and they start walking toward a brown truck – hunting rack included and visible): Bambi.

Isabel: What?

Alex: It’s Dad’s, he calls it Bambi…there’s irony there you don’t want to be a witness to. (Unlocking Isabel’s door) Where to?

Isabel: Home. Mom can take me to the Crashdown.

Alex (getting in): I can take you there. I have to go anyway.

Isabel (suspiciously): A little early for dinner isn’t it?

Alex: I’ve gotta get something for Liz from her room...and do a little cleaning while I’m there.

Isabel (surprised): Cleaning? Don’t tell me Liz Parker’s not the ‘Little Miss Tidy’ she appears to be.

Alex (letting out a laugh): No, that she is. (He pauses, glancing at her out of the corner of his eye. His tone is serious when he continues) Actually, Isabel…Um, someone broke into her room the other day.

Isabel: What!

Alex: She thinks they were looking for her journal.

Isabel (panicky): Alex…

Alex: Don’t worry – she’s not. She’s got a pretty good hiding place for it…it’d be pretty impossible for someone to find.

Isabel: Oh my God, Alex.

Alex: You know I wasn’t even surprised? I think I’m damaged for life…

(Scene: Liz’s Hospital Room. Maria shuts the door behind Max and turns to look at Liz – who’s straightening her gown and her hair.)

Maria (bluntly): What was that?

Liz (sheepishly looking up): What?

Maria (exploding): What? What!…(pointing to the bed)…that!

Liz: Maria…it was…um…(thinking about it and looking up at Maria’s not quite patient gaze)…well…I guess it was what it looked like.

Maria: What it looked liked? Do you have any idea what it looked like…you were being ravished on your hospital bed…on your hospital bed! You…Liz Parker…ravished…and where were his hands – no don’t tell me…(Liz opens her mouth to speak but Maria continues) No tell me I want to know exactly what I just saw.

Liz: Maria…

Maria: Tell me! Now – and can you explain to me the whole process by which Max Evans gets from shy step-backer to total mac-attacker please!

Liz (now completely flustered): Maria…it just happened.

Maria: Just happened? Bad hair just happens, this does not just…happen.

Liz (lost in remembering): He touched me.

Maria: Ya…clearly…he was touching a whole lot of you.

Liz: No Maria he…(looking at her almost dizzy)…he touched me.

Maria: What are you talking about?

Liz: The nurse was showing me what the doctors did and Max came and he…touched me.

Maria: Okay Roma Downey what are you talking about?

Liz: Maria, he was touching the area around the wound…(she pulls her gown straight so Maria can see where the bandage is)…and it was so warm…and so gentle…Maria he was so gentle and I didn’t want him to stop…(blushing a little) and I didn’t want him to be touching just my stomach.

Maria (mouth dropping open): Who are you? Are they giving you drugs?

Liz: Maria!

Maria: What’s my favorite flavor?

Liz: Maria.

Maria: Say it!

Liz: Mint chocolate chip…

Maria: Oh my god. Lizzie what are you saying?

Liz (bringing her hands to her head): I don’t know…I just…(she looks up at Maria) I don’t know.

Maria: Have you guys like…done anything?

Liz: No…just what you saw.

Maria: Which was plenty.

Liz: Maria it’s not like we were going to have…you know…(she blushes and Maria just looks at her)

Maria: Say it.

Liz: No.

Maria: Elizabeth Anne Parker if you’re even thinking about it you have to say it.

Liz (totally embarrassed at this whole conversation): Sex…(Maria gasps and covers her mouth with her hand) Satisfied? Sex, sex, sex…

Maria (covering her ears): Enough! I can’t take anymore!

(Liz stops and brings her hands to her head. She peeks through them at Maria who looks shocked. They make eye contact and then burst into laughter.)

(Scene: Michael’s Apartment. Max, looking upset, knocks on the door.)

Michael (opening the door and eyeing Max’s distraught appearance): Maxwell.

Max (entering the apartment): I used her.

Michael: What are you talking about?

Max (looking up at Michael upset): Michael, I used her…I knew I should have pulled back but I couldn’t…Michael I couldn’t I…I had to see it.

Michael: See what? What’d you see?

Max (almost frantic): The crash…there was smoke and flames and the pods and the cave…I saw the cave and this blue light that created the symbols and…(looking up at Michael) Why Michael? Why would he do it?

Michael (dumbfounded): I don’t understand…

Max: Don’t you see…he gave her his memories.

Michael: What?

Max: I’m seeing what he did…what he saw.

Michael (processing it all): What…

Max (distraught): Why…

Michael: Maxwell it doesn’t matter…if she’s got the answers you’ve gotta get them from her.

Max (getting angry): I can’t just get them from her Michael. Don’t you get it? I only see them when we’re…when we’re kissing.

Michael: It doesn’t matter Max you have to.

Max: Are you listening to me?

Michael: Are you listening to you? You not only get the answers to our past, our lives, you get to fuckin’ make-out while doing it. What are you complaining about?

Max (disgusted): How can you say that Michael? I have to think about Liz.

Michael (passionately): You have to think about us Max…this is our past.

Max (in disbelief): It’s HER body…(disgusted) He’s using her and he’s trying to make me use her too.

Michael: Enough with the sensitivity shit…Maxwell it’s not using her when you know she wants it. (The callousness with which that statement was made was enough for the punch to be thrown, and before Michael can react he’s sprawled on the couch behind him holding his face.) What the…

Max (standing over him): Don’t ever talk about her like that.

Michael (seriously angry): I know what I saw and felt…he’s giving you a goddamn gift.

Max: You tell that to Liz.

(He looks angrily down at Michael, shaking his head, and then slams the door on his way out.)

(Scene: Liz’s Hospital Room, a little later that evening. Maria is curled up on the bed next to Liz.)

Liz: Where’s ice cream when we need it?

Maria: It would have melted when I walked through the door.

Liz (playfully hitting her): Stop.

Maria: I can’t help it. This conversation was not supposed to happen for like a couple more years…I mean with Kyle I figured we were pretty safe…And then Max is…Well I didn’t think a viable candidate due to his…you know.

Liz: Maria…I know we can’t…and that’s not really what it’s about.

Maria (giving her a sideways glance, very doubtful): Oh really?

Liz: It’s the feeling…it’s amazing…(biting her lip) I don’t know…it’s just the way he makes me feel.

Maria: As long as his hands are visible at all times.

(Liz hits her again and they both start as Alex enters the room.)

Alex: Ah Houston, we have a problem.

Maria: You mean besides Liz being ‘touched by an alien.’

Liz (shocked): Maria!

Maria (looking at her): Okay, maybe it can’t go all the way but you are definitely headed for a ‘close encounter of the third base kind’.


(Liz pushes her off the bed and covers her head with a pillow while Alex blinks and tries to process exactly what he just heard.)

Alex (fumbling): Um…I…I think um…I’ve missed part of this conversation…and please don’t fill me in.

Liz (throwing her pillow at Maria): Don’t listen to her Alex she’s…um delusional. Everything she says…all lies!

Maria: Delusional? You wanna talk delusions...

Alex (interrupting them): Um…as much as I’m not enjoying this conversation…We have a serious problem.

Liz (looking at Alex): What’s wrong Alex?

Alex: The journal…it was gone.

Liz (completely panicky): What? That can’t be…Alex there’s no way someone would have found it…Are you sure…did you reach in far enough?

Alex: Liz, believe me I looked…it wasn’t behind the brick.

Liz (getting physically upset): Oh my God…Max. What do I tell him? Oh my God Alex…what do we do?

(Scene: Hospital Parking Lot, later that evening. Max reaches for his bag in the backseat of the jeep and when he turns around the Sheriff is standing next to the car.)

Max (startled): Sheriff… you startled me.

Valenti: Son, we need to talk.

Max: I told you I didn’t know anything…

Valenti: That shooting was intentional, we both know that…I don’t want to play games here, I don’t think there’s time for that. You have some very dangerous men after you, Mr. Evans…You’ve seen what they can do.

Max: Why are you telling me this?

Valenti: I don’t know what your secret is son…and at this point it doesn’t matter. My job is to protect you. I’m not denying that knowing why these men are after you wouldn’t help but right now I’m just trying to make sure this town doesn’t have another movie-theater shooting. (Max just looks at him cautiously) I’m telling you that you need to be careful and that I’m doing what I can to make sure they don’t hurt you. (Valenti looks at him intently and then puts his hand on his shoulder) Be careful son. (And he walks away with Max watching him.)

(Scene: Hospital Hallway. The Parkers are standing in the hallway waiting for the elevator. After they enter and the doors close Max steps out of the waiting room and heads down the hall. When he turns to enter the room he can tell that something’s wrong by the look on Liz’s face.)

Max (concerned): Liz? What’s wrong?

Liz (looking up at Max and trying not to breakdown): Max…something happened.

Max (sitting down next to her and taking her hand): What? What happened?

Liz: My journal Max…it’s gone.

Max: Your journal?

Liz (clearly upset): Max somebody broke into my room the other day and…and I don’t know how but they found my journal…I’ve been hiding it in this hole behind a loose brick…I didn’t think anybody could find it there but…Alex went today and it’s…it’s gone.

Max (pulling Liz to him): Shhh…we’ll figure this out…I don’t know how but…we’ll figure this out.

(They sit there quietly with Max just holding Liz and stroking her hair. His mind racing and hers finally slowing down.)

(Scene fast forwards a few hours later. Max and Liz are both sleeping in the room. Agent Jones enters the room dressed as a nurse. He closes the door and then quickly shuts the blinds. He pulls out a cloth and silently walks over to Max. He covers Max’s mouth and nose with it and holds it there for a few seconds. Setting down the cloth he then pulls out a syringe. Rolling up Max’s sleeve he proceeds to draw blood from a vein in Max’s right arm…

…The scene switches to black and white – as it is seen through a small 13” monitor in a van somewhere. Pulling back from the black and white image, more monitors can be seen – each showing a different angle of Liz’s hospital room. There’s an open book on the floor and the contents of a spilt drink seeping into the carpet as the van reverberates from the car door slamming shut. The monitor shows Agent Jones re-buttoning Max’s sleeve, labeling the vile of blood and grabbing the cloth. He quietly exits the room…

…Back at the hospital…Agent Jones walks down the hallway, heading toward the stairs. As he turns a corner he’s knocked down by a janitor hurrying down the hallway. Jones goes sprawling and drops the plastic container of Max’s blood. The janitor apologizes profusely and picks up the blood to hand it to Jones. Jones is seriously pissed and too busy dusting himself off to notice the janitor. He grabs the blood from him and angrily walks off….

…The janitor smiles that slightly sinister smile as he watches Jones enter the stairwell. Turning down the hall the janitor walks toward Liz’s room. After checking to make sure the hall is empty, he enters. He walks over to Max and checks the spot where the blood was drawn. Then walking around the bed he looks at Liz for a few moments. He leans down and whispers something in her ear.)

Liz (jerking up in bed and looking around the now empty room): The key…(Max jerks awake at the sound of Liz’s voice and quickly reaches out for her hand. Liz swallowing hard and looking at Max) I’m the key!?