posted on 27-Sep-2001 6:30:04 PM by not applicable
Title: “Play Things” (Awakening trilogy, Part 3)
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.
Author’s note/soapbox: Sorry, I couldn’t help but quote from Romeo and Juliet…

(Scene: Liz’s Hospital Room, middle of the night. Liz is sitting up in bed, startled and confused. Max having awoken to the sound of Liz’s voice is now sitting on the bed facing her.)

Liz (looking at Max for answers, shakily): I’m the…key?

Max (quietly and guiltily): I know…I’m so sorry.

Liz (looking at him confused and questioningly): You knew? When were you going to tell me?

Max (almost ashamedly): Tonight…but then the journal…I didn’t want to upset you.

Liz: What does it mean Max? What did he mean?

Max (alarmed): He?

Liz: Nasedo…I remember what he said…(She looks at Max) He said he needed to see what you would do for your past…for the key… How far I would let you go if…if it was me.

Max (pained): Liz I’m so sorry.

Liz: What does it mean Max?

Max (hesitantly): He’s given you his…memories.

Liz (swallowing in disbelief): What?

Max: I don’t know how…but…um…I think when you were in the coma he gave you…his memories.

Liz: Memories?

Max (meekly): Yes.

Liz: Have you seen them?

Max (looking away from her): Some.

Liz: What have you seen Max?

Max (meeting her almost hurt gaze): The crash, the cave…the pods.

Liz (watching him closely): When do you see them?

Max (swallowing hard and unable to look her in the eye): When we’re kissing.

Liz (softly): Oh.

Max (reaching out to her): Liz I’m sorry. (She looks up at him and he reaches out and brushes a loose strand of hair behind her ear.) I’m so sorry.

Liz (breaking a seemingly endless pause): Where’s the line…Max? (He just looks at her confused, not knowing what to do or say) I just need to know where the line is…that defines when kissing stops being about what we’re feeling and becomes about what you’re seeing.

Max (struggling): Liz…I don’t need visions to want to kiss you…trust me. (Liz softly smiles at him and he caresses her face with his hand) Trust me.

Liz (looking away from him): You don’t know how many there are?

Max: No.

Liz (after another pause): Maybe Max…maybe we should just do what it takes so that they’re gone.

Max (angry with himself and the situation): Don’t say that Liz…please, don’t say that. It’s not supposed to be like this. Why can’t I be normal? Why can’t this be normal?

Liz (gently grabbing his arm to stop him from getting off the bed): Max…this is our normal.

Max (shaking his head): I can’t.

Liz: Max…I can’t not kiss you. It’s not an option.

Max (strained): Liz…I can’t hurt you.

Liz: Max, your kisses don’t hurt me.

Max: But I don’t know where this will lead…we don’t know…and we can’t.

Liz: We’ll deal with that when we get there.

Max (struggling): No.

Liz (cradling his face): Max, this is your past…how can I keep you from it?

Max: Liz…

Liz (softly): It’s okay. (She leans in and kisses him. It takes everything inside of him not to kiss her back. She pulls away and looks at him) Do you want to kiss me Max? (He doesn’t have to answer, the struggle is visible in his eyes.) Don’t do it for what might happen…do it because you want to and we’ll see where it goes…Kiss me Max. (Music: Third Eye Blind – Deep Inside Of You)

(She kisses him again. At first he doesn’t respond but as she starts to pull away he reaches up and holding the back of her head he pulls her back to him. She parts her lips and braces herself for the tidal wave of emotions about to break. She can feel herself being swallowed by the sensations of Max. The smell…his smell…of his skin and lips…and…kisses. But the taste…God, his mouth…it tastes so good. Is it possible to drown inside of someone – inside of a kiss?

(The sound of her breathing – what little of it she’s doing – is the only thing she can hear. It echoes in her ears, stifling the fumbling thoughts that come and go in her mind. It even drowns out the pounding of her heart. Can it beat any faster? Yes – yes it can…and does as Max gently glides his hand from the base of her neck down the curve of her spine. Falling…drowning…dying…what is this? Max slowly lowers her to the bed and brings his hand from her lower back down over her hip and then slowly up and over her stomach until his hand is resting over the bandage. She can feel his touch almost burning through the gown and gauze – like they’ve melted away – his fingertips on her stomach touching her skin…

(It didn’t take long for the visions to come – a fast paced slide show flashing through his mind. The desert…hitchhiking…random towns, one after another…loneliness…random faces…empty faces…then a woman…hesitation…the woman again…a kiss?…revulsion – wait that’s Max’s – no, it’s hers…a look of fear and terror in her eyes…rage – pure unadulterated rage…killing – a man…a woman…a child…hitchhiking…Roswell…more killing.

(Max is fighting a battle within himself – a battle between ‘want’ and ‘need’. He wants out – to pull back…the line…where is the line? God he wants out – but he can’t. This unleashed need inside of him – need to see…to know – it’s too powerful. Where did it come from? What is it pulling him toward? He can’t control it – it’s frightening in it’s intensity. But Liz…think about Liz…who’s he kidding? That doesn’t help. She’s so soft and so…smooth. Is he touching her skin – he can’t be she’s wearing a gown…but it’s so real, so soft…What is he doing? God please make it stop…

(The electric shock from the brush of her fingertips on the skin of his stomach is enough to momentarily break this…‘force’ controlling him. He opens his eyes…to find hers staring up at him – God she’s beautiful. He can’t look away from her – she’s holding him with her gaze. Their breathing synchronizes as they stare at one another. And then his catches in the back of his throat as he feels the palm of her hand slowly and deliberately press down on his upper abdomen – the same spot where his hand is on her.

(As soon as she touches him he can feel the visions waiting to explode behind his eyelids. No! He doesn’t want them. He wants to scald the image of Liz in his mind. No more visions…damnit make this stop! And then he feels her hand move, slowly up his chest and stop. What is she doing? Stupid question, he knows exactly what she’s doing. She can feel him – his struggle…his need…and she’s telling him it’s okay. He can’t let her do it…can’t? He can’t stop her…and he certainly can’t stop himself. All he can do is search her eyes for a flicker of doubt, of hesitation of something that will break this hold this pull between them. But there’s nothing but assurance…and trust. So he follows her lead and slowly moves his hand. Holding his gaze she continues to move her hand and all he can do is mirror her movements. She sucks in her breath and closes her eyes and he lowers his forehead to hers. Before he can think she tilts her head up and kisses him. He gives in and closes his eyes…

(The images come at an exhausting speed. Roswell…the cave…the pods…rage…the reservation…River Dog?…the reservation cave…loneliness…the stones…wait – what is he doing with them?…two larger stones with symbols on them…that blue light – blinding…the symbols in the reservation cave…emptiness…the vision of that woman – and this time there’s a faint sense of familiarity about her…rage…killing again…Atherton? His body can’t take it anymore and he quivers. Liz can sense his exhaustion and gently breaks their kiss and slightly turns on her side to give him room. With her hand still on his chest she eases his fall to the bed. What was this? What did he see…feel? What did he do? It’s too much…to understand…to process…to deal with…and he’s so tired…so tired. Liz watches him gently stroking back his hair from the side of his face and listening to his breathing slowly become steady. He almost immediately drifts into sleep – the last thing he hears being a distant ‘I love you’.)

(Scene: School Quad, next day before classes. Michael is sitting at a table reading a book, with his head ducked down so his bruised eye is not visible. Isabel spots him and heads toward the table.)

Isabel: Michael have you seen Max this morning?

Michael (not looking up at her): No – he’s probably with Liz.

Isabel: He wouldn’t miss school.

Michael: Isabel – trust me – he’s with Liz.

Isabel (looking a little irritated): He spends all night with her and now he needs all day too. (Michael can’t help but chuckle and look up at her) Oh my God Michael what happened? (She reaches out and touches his cheek)

Michael (brushing away her hand): Nothing.

Isabel: Nothing? What…Maria finally kick your ass?

Michael (glaring at her): No.

Isabel: Why don’t you get rid of it?

Michael (frustrated): Because I can’t…and I couldn’t ask your brother to do it since he’s the one who put it there.

Isabel (shocked): What? Max…You had a fight?

Michael: I guess you could call it that.

Isabel: What about? (Michael just looks at her and then away) Don’t tell me it was about Liz. (Michael doesn’t say anything and Isabel looks a little disgusted) What was it this time – you’ve realized she’s the girl for you too? (Michael shoots her a seriously irritated look and Isabel just looks at him expectantly.)

Michael (letting out a sigh): He’s getting visions from kissing her.

Isabel: There are some things about my brother I do not need to know.

Michael: Yea, well, we need to know these visions and Mr. Sensitive doesn’t wanna do the deed to get them.

Isabel (flabbergasted): What? Wait…you want Max to make-out with Liz so he’ll see visions…and then you want him to share them with you? Living vicariously Michael?

Michael: The visions are about us.

Isabel (taken aback): Excuse me?

Michael: He thinks the visions are from Nasedo…like he ‘put’ them in her when she was in the coma.

Isabel: What?

Michael: He’s seen the crash…the cave…some other stuff – he thinks they’re Nasedo’s memories.

Isabel (struggling to understand): And he only gets them when he…kisses her?

Michael: Yea.

Isabel: Oh my god.

Michael: Tell me about it…it’s like being punished with a trip to the Playboy Mansion.

Isabel: No Michael…that’s…how could Nasedo do that?

Michael (disgusted): Please.

Isabel: Michael he’s using her…her body – that’s such a…violation.

Michael: The only thing he’s doing is helping them out of their sexual frustration while giving us the answers to our past.

Isabel (just looks at him in disbelief): Is that when he hit you?

(Michael glares at her and they’re interrupted as Alex sits down.)

Alex: Have you seen Max today?

Michael: Why?

Alex (noticing the bruise): Did Maria find you? (Michael gives him an angry glare) No seriously, she’s been looking for you and she’s pissed about something. I mean, she lives in a state of angry when it comes to you but she couldn’t even talk about it on the way to school – that’s seriously pissed.

Michael: You think I’d let her hit me?

Alex: You think you can stop her? Do you remember fifth grade at all? (Michael looks away in annoyance) I would not go home if I were you.

Isabel: Why are you looking for Max?

Alex (remembering the crisis at hand): Um…have you seen him?

Michael: I’m sure he’s with Liz.

Alex: Liz? (He looks at his watch) Now?

Michael (looking at him and raising an eyebrow): Trust me.

Alex: (furrows his brow): I thought Liz was having a meeting with the doctor this morning. (He looks at Isabel) You didn’t see him at all?

Isabel: Alex what’s this about?

Alex (not sure where to begin): The journal.

Isabel: Please tell me that you found it yesterday.

Alex: Can I get back to you on that?

Isabel (panicky): Oh my God. Max.

Michael: What about the journal?

Alex: It’s missing.

(Scene: Liz’s Hospital Room, mid morning. Max and Liz are fast asleep – on the bed. Max is sleeping on his side with Liz, lying on her back, snuggled up next to him. His chin rests on the top of her head and his arm is draped over her with his hand softly placed on the bandaged area of her stomach. Liz’s arm is looped through his with her hand splayed over his. The silence of the room is broken by the sound of the doorknob turning and the door opening. Nancy Parker steps into the room and immediately stops when she sees the bed. Jeff almost bumps into her and follows her line of vision. They simply stare at the bed. After the shock wears off they both can’t help but notice the way the light filters through the blinds of the window and falls on the sleeping teens – they radiate…it’s almost breathtaking…if it just wasn’t their daughter.)

(Scene: Random Hotel Room. Agent Jones is sitting on the bed with a bunch of paper work spread out in front of him. He shakes his head, picks up the phone and dials.)

Jones (into the phone): 9-7-4-2-8.

(Scene switches to Agent Stevens sitting at his desk)

Stevens: What’ve you got?

Jones: You’re not gonna like it.

Stevens: Just tell me what you’ve got.

Jones: Blood…

Stevens: And…

Jones: AB like half the country.

Stevens: Impossible!

Jones: I’ve got it in a vile I labeled.

Stevens: I want it now!

Jones: Already on its way.

Stevens: It has to be wrong.

Jones: I went from the room to the lab…

Stevens (cutting him off angrily yelling into the phone): Check again…and this time I want hair and skin…do you hear me!

Jones: Yes sir.

(Scene: Max’s Bedroom. The door opens as Max enters. He stops immediately when his eyes fall on the messy room. It was not this messy yesterday. Swallowing back panic he looks around the room. His bed is ruffled – like he’d been sleeping in it, which he hasn’t for almost a week. Clothes and books litter the floor and his desk. A total mess – and it’s never a mess. He shuts the door behind him and slowly sinks to the ground.

What would someone be looking for? Why? His mind sifts through the jumbled thoughts that race through it as he stares blankly in front of him. His eyes focus on something barely visible, covered by his ruffled comforter, but his mind doesn’t register it. It takes him a few moments to realize he’s actually staring at something. He furrows his brow and slowly moves forward, reaching out he picks it up. A book? He turns it over in his hands and then opens it up to the first page…“I’m Liz Parker and five days ago I died…”

He instinctively shuts it and drops it to the ground. Her journal – how the hell did he get her journal…and why…and what’s that? Looking down at where the book landed there’s a folded piece of paper lying next to it. He hesitantly reaches out and picks it up. As soon as he opens it he wants to drop it…fold it back up…get rid of it! But he can’t. His eyes are frozen on the few deliberately highlighted words…the important ones being ‘sex’ and ‘Max made me ready.’ Look away. Look away. ‘He catapulted me into ready’. If he can’t look away at least he can close his eyes. Like that does any good…

As soon as his eyelids fall he’s hit with images of last night…of kissing her…of…touching her. Swallow. He drops the paper and opens his eyes to stare at where it was just in his hand. After a moment he looks around the room again…why the hell is he doing this to them?)
Music: Leonard Cohen – Everybody Knows

(Scene: Outside Michael’s Apartment Building. Maria is furiously pacing back and forth in front of the building and having a very animated conversation with herself. Michael turns the corner to the building and quickly hides behind a car when he sees Maria. He watches her talking to herself and flaying her arms around angrily and can’t help but smile. He shifts a little to get a better view and get comfortable – she’s not going anywhere soon and he’s definitely not either – and if Max is in the apartment he’s not coming out.)

(Scene: Liz’s Hospital Room. Liz is in bed, Nancy is sitting in the chair next to her and Jeff and Doctor Sanchez are standing around the bed.)

Dr. Sanchez (shaking his head at Liz): Well Miss Parker, you’re a medical miracle and a mystery.

Jeff: We’ll take the miracle.

Nancy (smiling up at Dr. Sanchez): And I’m sure you didn’t have anything to do with it Doctor?

Dr. Sanchez (shaking his head): Oh no, I can’t take credit for any of it – it’s all Liz.

Liz: Just lucky.

Dr. Sanchez (returning his attention to the charts): Extremely lucky.

Nancy: So when will my baby be able to come home?

Dr. Sanchez: Well the wound is looking good, there’s no damage visible from the coma…(looking up at Liz) The blood transfusions went well. Your body is recovering at a healthy speed. I can’t really see what more being in the hospital will do. I think tomorrow would be fine. But there are still some things to discuss. Elizabeth you shouldn’t be doing any extraneous activity – anything that would stretch and threaten the stitches to reopen. (Liz nods at him)

Jeff (looking at Liz): No Crashdown for you.

Nancy (holding her daughter’s hand and looking at her): And PE at school.

Dr. Sanchez: I’ll have the nurse draw up a list of activities that should be avoided. Now if you’ll excuse me.

Jeff: Let me walk you out. (Dr. Sanchez and Jeff exit to the hallway where Jeff beings to ask specifics)

Nancy (watching Liz): That’s exciting.

Liz (not too convincing): Yea, it’ll be nice to be in my own bed.

Nancy (still watching her): Just no Max.

Liz (shocked): Mom!

Nancy: Your father and I were pretty surprised this morning…though I guess we really shouldn’t have been.

Liz: Mom…

Nancy: Honey I think after you’ve recovered from this we should make an appointment for you.

Liz (hesitantly): An appointment for what?

Nancy: For my doctor.

Liz (getting the reference): No mom we really don’t need to do that.

Nancy: Honey, you’re serious about this boy – it’s impossible not to see that.

Liz: Not that serious.

Nancy (giving her a raised eyebrow): Sweetie, your father and I have been really lucky with you. You’re so responsible – with school, the café, your friends…we’ve never really had to worry about you…about the choices you make. We trust you and I think we’ve been pretty reasonable about our expectations. All we’ve ever asked is that you be honest with us. (She pauses) You’re serious about Max Evans.

Liz (looks away from her mom and softly): I think I love him.

Nancy (nods): Well I think it’s pretty safe to say that he feels strongly about you too – his behavior this last week and…(she trails off, remembering the morning she caught them on the couch) I just want you to be safe – be smart about this.

Liz: Mom we haven’t.

Nancy: Amazing as it might be for you to think – I was your age once, and I do remember what falling in love is like. I’d keep you my baby girl forever if I could but I know I can’t… So if denial isn’t an option, the best I can do is make sure that you’re protected and that you know you can talk to me about this. (She pauses and reaches out to brush back Liz’s hair) Your father and I have always wondered who would take our baby girl away from us…

Liz: Mom I’m not going anywhere.

Nancy (softly): Not yet.

(Scene: Park. Agent Jones and Agent Banks are sitting on a bench)

Banks: What’s he want?

Jones: More blood, skin and some hair samples.

Banks: What? 30 milliliters isn’t enough?

Jones: I don’t know but it’s gonna have to be tonight or tomorrow – I heard the nurses talking, she’s going home soon. Might as well get it while it’s easy.

Banks: I still don’t understand how she survived that shot.

Jones: That’s what we’re here for. The blood doesn’t match with what happened in September.

Banks: Maybe it’s the girl. We spend so much time with this Evans’ kid – she’s the one who’s lived through two shootings. We even sure that’s her blood on the uniform?

(Jones just looks over at Banks and they both shake their heads.)

(Scene: Liz’s Hospital Room, later in the day. Liz is sitting up in bed, thoughtfully leaning over and writing on a piece of paper.)

Voice over: Is it possible…to lose yourself inside of someone? I mean, is it possible to literally give yourself – or a part of yourself – to someone else? And if it is then what exactly does that mean? Is it like…you lose your identity – who you are? Or is it…that you can’t exist outside of that person – that you need them to be who you are? Or are those the same thing?

(She lets out a sigh and looks out the window thoughtfully for a moment before returning to the paper)

V.O: See I’ve had this plan – I mean that’s who I am right – the girl with the plan. And everything in my past leads to this ‘pre-planned’ future. But…the problem with having a plan…is that plans really don’t…adjust well to change. It’s like a house of cards – by pulling out one card the whole thing can fall down. I can feel the cracks forming in my plan, like it’s getting ready to crumble around me. And I feel like I’m losing myself in Max. And I’ve been thinking about this…about what defines a ‘need’. Because I know that I want Max…last night I wanted him like I’ve never wanted anything – like I never thought I could want something. Or someone…

(She closes her eyes remembering and takes a deep breath)

V.O.: It was so overwhelming so…so almost painful. And when you want something like that does it become a need? Do I need Max? Sure I can still breathe and function without him…but can I really be who I am now…without him? No one will ever be able to make me feel the way he does. And yea, I’ve never been in love before and I’m only sixteen but…I know…I know that no one could ever make me feel the way he does. And I like the way I feel…and I’m not talking about the physical feelings – though, those are amazing – I’m talking about everything else…the feeling of being beautiful…of being alive…of being loved…of being…complete. And where does that leave me? Cuz…I told him that I’d let him go when I needed to…and now he’s so close to finding his past…and there’s no way of knowing what future it leads to. And if we do…what every cell in my body is almost aching for us to do…how will I be able to let him go? How could I ever possibly let that part of me go?

(Scene: Max’s Bedroom. Max really hasn’t moved since he arrived home earlier that day. He’s still sitting on the floor of his ransacked room and staring at the journal a foot or two in front of him. This whole thing is like some sort of sick and twisted nightmare. He knows what he wants and he knows he can’t have it – but everywhere around him are temptations making him want it beyond control. If he could just wake up…While in that train of thought the door behind him opens and Isabel and Michael enter.)

Isabel (borderline panic): Max! Oh my God I thought something happened…(noticing the condition of his room) Max, what happened to your room? (Max doesn’t really respond to her) Max?

Max (letting out a breath): I don’t know Isabel…I don’t know.

Michael (steps around Isabel and heads for the bed – he stops when he sees the journal): You took it?

Max (looking up at Michael): No…it was here…somebody left it here.

Michael (letting out a laugh): Somebody?

Isabel (not understanding): What are you talking about?

Michael (bending over and grabbing the journal he holds it up to Isabel): This. (Isabel looks at it and shakes her head still not understanding). Did you read it?

Max: No.

Michael: You’ve just been staring at it all day. (Max just glares up at him, seriously irritated) So tell me Maxwell, how far did you go last night? (Max’s irritation grows and Michael looks down at the journal in his hand) Obviously not far enough.

Isabel (irritated): I don’t know what language you’re speaking but can someone explain what the hell is going on?

Michael (raising his eyebrows and shaking the journal at her): The disappearing diary of Liz Parker.

Isabel (confused): The journal – wait how do you know what it is and (looking down at Max) how did you get it?

Max: Nasedo.

Isabel: Why? Why would Nasedo take it and then give it…to you.

Michael (amused and smirking at Max): “Tempt not a desperate man.”

(Max begins counting the ways he can wipe that smirk off of Michael’s face while Isabel looks between the two of them.)

Max: Go to hell Michael.

Michael: Maxwell you’re thinking about this way too much. The guy is giving you the opportunity to do what you know you’ve been dying to do…(looking down at the journal) both of you.

Max (can he get any more irritated): Michael we can’t!

Michael: Uh…(looking down at his body and then back up at Max) Sure ‘seems’ like we can.

Isabel (under her breath): Oh…please…

Max: It could hurt her…I could hurt her.

Michael: If he wanted to hurt her why wouldn’t he just hurt her – why save her?

Max: Because…it’s me…this way I’m the one who hurts…not him.

Michael: Maxwell you don’t know…

Max: That’s right Michael I don’t know! And I’m not gonna risk it…I can’t…I can’t do this anymore.

Michael (getting serious): Maxwell this is our past…this is the only thing we’ve got…you can’t just…

Max: What! I can’t just what Michael…risk her life?

Michael (exasperated): Maxwell…this is our fucking past…it’s everything.

Max: And if it was Maria – you’d say what, fuck it? Is that what you’d do Michael? (And with that the tension in the room explodes. Isabel, not at all comfortable with a.) Sex and b.) Listening to her brother discussing it figures it’s time to suck it up.)

Isabel: Michael, Max is right…I mean look at his track record…is there a human he’s known and hasn’t killed?

Michael (letting out a sigh): Max you see the visions when you kiss her…what? You can’t do that anymore?

Max: I can’t control it…I can’t…stop.

Michael: You can’t stop? What are you the Viagra Bunny?

Isabel: Okay, I do not want to be listening to this.

Max: Michael it’s like a force…when the visions start – I can’t control myself…it’s like this pull – to keep going…to see more.

Michael: What have you seen Max? (Max rubs his forehead with his hand…what has he seen? He’s been so caught up in Liz that he has to think about it) Maxwell what have you seen after the crash?

Max: Um…random towns…people…and (he looks up at Michael) a woman.

Michael: So?

Max: This woman I think he kissed her. I think she knew and…

Michael: What?

Max: She looked at him…the way we thought people would look at us if they knew…and then he started killing people.

Isabel: You saw him killing people?

Max (under his breath): Yes.

Isabel (softly): Thank God Liz can’t see it. (Both Michael and Max look at her) It’s bad enough what he’s doing to her but that would be…I don’t know…(under her breath) beyond cruel.

Michael (trying to sensitively continue): What else did you see Max?

Max (looking away from Isabel to Michael): The stones…there were these two stones he had with symbols on them.

Michael (almost desperate): What do you mean Max…like the ones we have or…

Max: Different…bigger…he did something with them – I couldn’t see but I think they created that blue light and the symbols.

Michael (thinking aloud): Stones with symbols? We don’t have those, neither did River Dog. Maybe Nasedo still has them. (Looking at Max) You’ve gotta find out, Max…You have to find out where they are.

Max: Michael.

Michael: Maxwell…that’s all we need…

Isabel: Michael…

Michael (looking between them): Something to go on…that’s all we need.

(Scene: Liz’s Hospital Room. Liz is sleeping restlessly in bed. The scene focuses on her face and gradually changes to the dream she’s having. She’s standing in the middle of a strikingly beautiful red rock landscape – similar to Canyonlands or Arches in Southern Utah. She looks around, not knowing where she is or why she’s there. As she turns her head to her right he appears in the dream – and she quickly looks away.)

Liz (stoically): What is this place – one of your memories?

Nasedo (pretending to care): It’s not fair that he gets to see everything is it?

Liz (disgusted): Fair?

Nasedo (patronizingly): Now Liz…I’m giving you a…a reward.

Liz (with hate in her eyes and voice): Reward?

Nasedo: I realize it’s not quite as nice as the…‘gift’ I’ve already given you…consider it a…‘you’re welcome.’ (Liz just glares at him) This (motioning around them) is what you’re helping Max find.

(Her face sort of falls – not sure whether to believe him or not. She slowly moves her gaze from him to survey the landscape again.)

Liz (hesitantly): This is his home?

(She looks back in the direction of Nasedo but he’s gone. She can feel him still there but can’t see him. She searches her surroundings for him but he’s not anywhere visible.)

Nasedo (voice): Not just his home, Liz, it’s his life, the one he’ll eventually be living.

(Liz scans the rocks in the distance and then she hears it – a giggle…a woman’s giggle – coming from behind her. As she turns toward the source of it the landscape quickly changes. It’s beautiful…the most beautiful meadow she’s ever seen. It doesn’t seem real. The colors – they’re so vibrant…like Kool Aid colors. Then that annoying giggling again. She looks around slightly irritated…and then they come into view. She has to squint a little to see who it is and when she does she swallows hard and unsuccessfully wills herself to look away. It’s an older looking Max with a woman who is clearly not her.)

Liz: Why are you showing me this?

Nasedo (voice): I lied before, when I told you it could never lead to anything. This Liz, this is what it leads to…of course, only if you love him enough.

Liz (she can’t take her eyes off of Max and this woman holding hands walking toward her, softly): Do you enjoy this?

Nasedo (voice): What would that be?

Liz (softly): Pain.

Nasedo: The pain makes it real Liz…otherwise it’s just…a dream. (Max pulls the woman to him, she giggles and they kiss.) Let me ask you again Liz, how far will you go to help Max find his past – to find this? You said you’d let him go…but do you love him enough to help him go?

Liz (with watery eyes staring at Max and this woman, weakly): Why are you doing this to me?

Nasedo: It’s nothing personal.
Liz (fighting back tears): Personal…right.

(The kissing between Max and the woman disgustingly intensifies and Liz closes her eyes and wills herself to wake up, she turns her head slightly and opens them again and Nasedo comes into view)

Liz (with pleading in her eyes and voice, under her breath) Please…

(Scene cuts back to the Hospital Room)

Alex (coming into the room and seeing Liz sleeping with tears streaming down her cheek): Liz? Liz are you okay?

Liz (startled and waking up): Alex? Um…I’m…fine…it was just a dream…a…(trying to reassure both of them) a bad dream. (She looks at him quickly remembering) Alex…the journal.

Alex: No worries – I got a call from Isabel saying that everything was okay.

Liz (confused): They found it?

Alex: Don’t know – she wouldn’t give details just said that Max would explain. (Liz furrows her brow trying to understand how everything could possibly be ‘okay’. Alex sits down in the chair and watches her closely) I’m worried about you.

Liz (absentmindedly): Me too.

Alex (sitting down): Let’s try that again…the correct response is ‘Alex I’m fine, there’s nothing to be worried about.’

Liz (smiling at him): If I say it does it make it true?

Alex (nodding): We can play that way.

Liz: Well then, ‘Alex I’m fine, there’s absolutely nothing for you to be worried about.’ (Looking at him slightly questioningly) Why are you worried about me?

Alex (with a sweeping gaze over Liz lying in the hospital bed): Do I really need to answer that?

Liz: Alex…

Alex: It was something Isabel said…though seeing you crying in your sleep doesn’t help either.

Liz (not expecting that): Isabel?

Alex: Yea, she said I should…check on you.

Liz (softly): Oh.

Alex (watching Liz): Yea, and I didn’t really like her tone.

Liz (weekly): Her tone?

Alex (still watching her closely): Uh huh…kinda like that one. (Liz looks away from him) You do realize you’re not helping here.

Liz: Alex…

Alex: Don’t ‘Alex’ me…‘Liz.’

Liz (smiling at him and then letting out a sigh): I don’t really understand it Alex.

Alex: Do we really understand any of it? I still think I’ve eaten one too many Ho Ho’s and fallen asleep watching an X-files marathon.

Liz (laughing at him): Alex you can’t eat Ho Ho’s – you’re allergic.

Alex (gives her a ‘that would be the point’ look and Liz laughs) Now tell me Miss Parker, why is Isabel – of all people – worried about you?

Liz (letting out a deep breath and looking away from him): Max is getting visions from me. (Alex looks at her expectantly) He thinks…um…he thinks Nasedo put them in me when I was in the coma.

Alex (looking at her blankly): Repeat please.

Liz (hesitantly): Max is seeing Nasedo’s memories when he…(softly)…kisses me.

Alex (still staring at her in bewilderment): One more time.

Liz: I told you I didn’t understand it.

Alex: Okay let me get this straight…while you were in the coma…Dr. Demento – a.k.a the murderous shape-shifting alien that we’ve been avoiding for months – gave you ‘his’ memories…and Max sees them…when he kisses you.

Liz: Something like that.

Alex (half under his breath): Uh uh…definitely one too many Ho Ho’s. (He looks up at Liz) What’s he seen?

Liz: The crash, the cave and pods. I’m not really sure what else.

Alex: And it’s only when you kiss?

Liz: Yea.

Alex: Oh Liz…I’m sorry.

Liz (failing miserably at an attempt to lighten the mood): You know it’s not that bad Alex – at least it’s kissing, right?

Alex: Liz…

Liz: I don’t know…I want to kiss him – I mean, I can’t stop kissing him…and I know that he wants to kiss me – not because of the visions…It’s just…I don’t know.

Alex: What does Max say?

Liz: You know Max – he wants to stop…but Alex it’s his past – and as much as that…might scare me…what am I supposed to do?

Alex: If this guy ever plans on showing his face he might as well just kill me because that’s all I want to do to him.

Liz: Alex…

Alex (getting angry): Why is he doing this to you?

Liz (miserably): Because he can.

(Alex is about to say something when Maria, looking upset enters the room.)

Alex (turning to see her and immediately trying to calm her down): It’s okay Maria, Isabel said everything was okay.

Maria (looking at Liz): I know, I ran into her at the Crashdown. (She walks over to the bed looking a little peeved.)

Alex (concerned): Maria are you okay?

Maria (still looking at Liz): Uh uh. (She sort of thrusts the sheet of paper she’s holding in front of Liz) Care to share what this is?

Liz (looking at the paper and then up at Maria): It’s the work schedule for the Café.

Maria: Uh uh…and (pointing to a line on the paper) this?

Liz: The ‘cook column.’

Maria: Yea, and um…(dragging her finger down the paper and stopping) who’s this?

Liz: The new cook.

Maria: Right, and can you read that aloud so all of us can hear.

Liz: Maria he needed a job…my dad asked me and…

Maria: Aloud.

Liz (rolling her eyes and letting out a sigh): Guerin.

Maria: Thank you. Now explain.

Liz: He needed a job.

Maria: A job? Is he even qualified – and boiling water does not count. Hello…the guy clearly doesn’t do domestic – have you seen his apartment? Nasty! He doesn’t know how to do laundry and do we even know if he showers?

Liz (trying not to laugh at her): Maria. Dad asked and I couldn’t see any reason.

Maria: Any reason! She’s standing right here!

Liz: Maria…I’m sorry I wasn’t thinking.

Maria: Oh you were thinking but it wasn’t about me. Can you stop thinking about Max for like a minute?

Alex (defending Liz): Okay that’s enough of that.

Maria (turning to look at him): What was that?

Alex (looking from Maria to Liz): She doesn’t know? (Liz shakes her head and Maria looks between them)

Maria: Okay, what’ve I missed – besides (shaking the paper) this?

Liz (taking in a deep breath): Maria you should sit down.

(Scene: Sheriff’s Office, later that night. An unidentified person, wearing gloves, is standing over the Sheriff’s desk. Reaching into their coat they pull out a videotape and carefully place it in the middle of the desk, followed by a small folded note.)

(Scene: Liz’s Hospital Room, much later that evening. Liz is sitting up in bed thoughtfully looking out the window. She lets out a sigh and turns her head toward the door to find Max standing just inside it watching her.)

Max: Hey.

Liz: Hey. How long have you been standing there?

Max: Not long. (He steps into the room and heads to the bed) I come bearing gifts – well gift actually. (He reaches behind his back and pulls out the journal.)

Liz (taking it from his hands, wide-eyed): Max.

Max: It was in my room…it must’ve been Nasedo. (Liz just stares at him and he quickly adds) I didn’t read it. I think he wanted me to but I could never do that Liz.

Liz (looking through it, after a pause): Max I think you should destroy it – burn it or something.

Max (surprised): Liz it’s a part of you…

Liz (cutting him off): A part of me that could hurt you. I couldn’t live with myself if someone found it and used it – against you.

Max: Liz.

Liz (handing it back to him and shaking her head): It’s a part of me I can let go. Take it. I’ll start a new one and be…be smarter about what I write.

Max (taking it and setting in on the table next to the bed): Are you sure?

Liz: Yea. (She pauses and then looks at him out of the corner of her eye) You didn’t read it?

Max: No – it’s not mine to read.

Liz: Such the gentleman.

Max (his face sort of falls at her comment and he lets out a sigh): Liz we need to talk about last night.

Liz (suddenly shy): Okay.

Max (hesitantly and not able to look at her): Last night I…last night I crossed the line – I couldn’t stop. I don’t need visions to want to kiss you and I have a hard enough time controlling my feelings as it is but when the visions start…I…I don’t know – I can’t stop.

Liz (softly): I know Max.

Max: I know and I can’t let you do it.

Liz: Max you need to know.

Max: Not like this…not like this. (He finally looks at her and she can feel the pain and sadness reflected in his eyes.)

Liz (reaching out and pulling him to the bed): Come here.

Max (in his little boy voice): I don’t want them anymore.

Liz: Max.

Max: I don’t want to see visions I just want to see…you. I want to feel you…not him. I can see what we do in my head like I’m outside of myself watching but I can’t feel it – all I feel are the visions and him and…that’s not how it should be. It should be you and me and…(his voice cracks and Liz reaches out and pulls him into a hug. They hug for a moment and then Liz readjusts in bed and pulls him down so he’s lying next to her, looking into each other’s eyes. After a pause) I don’t understand why he’s doing this to us…to you.

Liz (brushing back his hair): I’d do anything for you…and he knows it.

Max: I’m so sorry.

Liz (closing her eyes): I have to be honest with you Max.

Max: Liz please don’t be anything but honest.

Liz (she opens her eyes): I’m scared. Not of what might happen if…you know. I can’t imagine how something that feels so right could hurt me. That’s not what scares me. It’s…(she looks away from his eyes) it’s your past – what you might find.

Max (with a flicker of fear): My past?

Liz: It’s not really even that…it’s what your past might mean for you…for your…future.

Max: Future?

Liz (rushing to just get it all out): I know you need to find your past Max and I’ll do whatever it takes, whatever that means, because it’s important to you and it’s important to me. I’m just afraid of…of losing you to it. I know that’s silly and um…(willing herself not to cry)…it’s just…I don’t know…I’m sorry Max. (She rolls on her back so he can’t look at her.)

Max (a little overwhelmed): I’ve never really thought about the future, not until you. I mean we always told ourselves we shouldn’t think about it because we didn’t think we had a chance for one. (He looks at the side of Liz’s face, after a pause) I need to know – I didn’t realize how much I needed to know, wanted to know until the visions started…it was…almost…

Liz (softly): Painful.

Max: Yea.

Liz: I know that feeling.

Max (still watching her): I’m scared of it too. (Liz turns her head to look at him) I mean what if we’re all like him, evil and dangerous…or if we really are little green men – you can’t love that.

Liz: Max.

Max: When you’ve wanted something for so long – to actually get it…I don’t know. It’s like you…all I ever wanted was to talk to you and then when you did – I was terrified…afraid of where it could go – or couldn’t go. Afraid it’d be another one of my dreams.

Liz (under her breath, thoughtfully): The pain makes it real.

Max: What?

Liz: Something someone said…‘the pain makes it real…otherwise it is just a dream.’

Max (reaching out and caressing the side of her face): I don’t know what my past is but the only future I’ve ever wanted or thought about…is you. (He pulls her face to his and they kiss – not a passionate, vision inducing kiss but a very tender and loving one. They break apart and he moves like he’s going to sit up and she grabs onto his arm and stops him)

Liz: Stay.

Max: What about your parents?

Liz: It’s our last night…sleep here, with me. (She snuggles up to him and gently moves his arm so his hand is resting on her stomach – like it was the night before. He slowly traces the edge of the bandage with his fingertips. She closes her eyes, as does he.)

(Scene: Liz’s Hospital Room, middle of the night. The door opens and a janitor enters. He slowly walks to the bed staring at the teens. After a moment he places a hand on the side of each of their faces. Once contact is made the hands glow and the scene focuses in on Liz’s sleeping face and then switches to her dream…Liz is in the middle of a random dream about school when it suddenly stops and everything goes black. She’s now standing in the middle of darkness and very aware of it.)

Liz: Max? (She looks around her) Max I feel you why can’t I see you? What is this? (She starts to get a little panicky) Max? Am I in another coma? (She hears him, before she can see him)

Max: Liz? (She turns around and he sort of fades into the dream)

Liz (a little scared): Max what’s going on…where are we?

Max (totally confused): I don’t know…I must be…dreamwalking.

Liz: Dream what?

Max (looks around and then to Liz, very confused): Dreamwalking...but this doesn’t look like a dream.

Liz: What do you mean – dream walking?

(Max looks from the darkness surrounding them to Liz’s confused face and lets out a sigh.)

posted on 27-Sep-2001 6:38:40 PM by not applicable
Title: “Black and Blue” (Awakening trilogy, Addendum)
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: Just too much to cover in three stories…

(Scene: Hospital, late at night. Jones and Banks get out of their car, parked next to a big ugly beat up van, and make their way to the entrance. Once inside Banks reaches into his pockets and stops.)

Banks: Damn. You go ahead, I forgot my tag.

Jones: Fourth floor room 423.

(Banks nods his head and then turns back to the exit. Jones surveys the hallway, under the unnoticed gaze of a janitor, and then slips into a closet. Once the door shuts and can be heard locking, Nasedo walks over to it and places his hand over the doorknob. After a moment he makes a sweeping motion with his hand over the door and then turns toward the exit. Inside Jones, now dressed as a nurse, unsuccessfully tries to turn the doorknob. Frustrated after several attempts he starts yelling for help; out in the hallway you can’t hear a thing.)

(Scene cuts to the parking lot. Banks shuts the car door and starts to head back to the hospital. As he steps up onto the curb he nods to the janitor, walking down the sidewalk toward the van. His next step is but a memory as his foot slips out from underneath him and he lands on his back knocking himself unconscious. The janitor looks around, smiles and then walks up to Banks. He checks out his head and then removes his wallet and I.d. tag. He then hurriedly returns to the hospital.)

Nasedo (as he passes through the doors to a nurse standing off to the side): Some guy just knocked himself in the head – I think it’s pretty bad.

(Scene: A dream. Liz is sitting on the ground with her knees tucked up against her chest and her arms wrapped around them – holding them close to her. Max is sitting next to her but facing her. They are surrounded by darkness.)

Liz: So…you can…go into people’s dreams?

Max (watching her closely): Yea.

Liz: How? I mean, how is that possible, Max?

Max: I don’t really know.

Liz: It’s just so – not possible. I mean, dreams are someone’s subconscious. How can you go into someone else’s subconscious? I don’t understand.

Max (feeling helpless): I wish I could explain it but I don’t know how or why – we just can.

Liz (after looking around and thinking about it for a few moments she turns to Max and smiles): So what, does that make you…my ‘dream Max’?

Max (smiling back at her): Only if we’re in your dream.

Liz (confused again): You mean…I could be in yours?

Max (looking around): I don’t know. This doesn’t look like any dream I’ve ever been in.

Liz: Have you ever been in mine?

Max (quickly looking at her): No – I would never…do that to you.

Liz (hesitantly): What about Michael and Isabel?

Max: Well Michael really can’t do it…but I’d never let them – not yours.

Liz: What about Maria and Alex – have they…

Max (hesitantly): I can’t control Izzy sometimes.

Liz: Oh my God.

Max: She wanted to make sure Maria wasn’t going to tell Valenti and...

Liz: Max – it’s…

Max: I tried to stop her…I know it’s wrong – that’s why I don’t do it. I wouldn’t want anyone to see my dreams. (He looks around again) That’s why I don’t understand how this happened.

Liz (after a few moments of watching Max, she smiles): So what’s in your dreams?

Max (quickly looking at her): My dreams?

Liz: Yea…if we were in your dream – where would we be?

Max (a little embarrassed by the potential of this conversation): I don’t know – what about yours?

Liz: I asked first. (She lowers her legs and looks at Max a little seductively) You’ve never dreamed about us?

Max (swallowing): Have you?

Liz (shakes her head): I asked first.

Max: Not fair.

(Liz reaches out to touch the side of his face and then pulls back)

Liz (a little startled): I can feel you – how can I feel you Max?

Max: It’s me.

Liz: But Max…It’s…I don’t know. It’s different – like I feel you when we’re awake. You can’t ‘feel’ dreams Max – I mean we don’t really have control over our dreams…(she looks at him suspiciously) You’re not gonna turn into my mother are you – or morph into someone else?

Max (smiling): No. (He takes her hand and places it over his heart so she can feel it beating) It’s me.

Liz (at the feel of his heartbeat, under her breath): Max…(she looks from her hand to his face)

Max: What?

Liz (she moves closer to him and grabs his shirt beneath her hand, as she pulls him to her): I want to feel it.

(As they kiss Liz readjusts so she’s now sitting on her knees. Max can feel her leaning against him and afraid of having a vision attack he reluctantly lets go of her lower lip and pulls away from her, opening his eyes. Hers are still closed and her mouth curves into a smile. Finally opening her eyes.)

Liz (amazed): It’s so real Max – how can it feel so real?

Max (strained): I don’t know.

Liz (looking at him): Did you see anything?

Max: No.

Liz (thinking about it): Maybe you can’t here…maybe here it’s just us.

Max: Maybe.

Liz (leaning into him): Maybe we should find out.

(Max just watches her close the distance between them and when she does he reaches up and holds the back of her head. Pulling her into him they fall backward to the ground. Control? What control? At least with the visions there was a reason to stop – a reminder of why he needed, should, must stop…now there’s nothing – just Liz.

(Max makes a move to roll over so Liz is on the bottom but as he moves his head he feels something brush his cheek – that was not hair. He opens his eyes and immediately stops kissing when he sees the most amazing shade of blue outlining Liz’s face. Liz opens her eyes too and can see a familiar ‘Kiwi-Lime’ green grass cushioning Max’s head. She sits up and sucks in her breath.)

Max (sitting up): What is this?

Liz (shakily looking around the meadow): My dream – we’re in my dream.

Max (looking around): It seems so…familiar.

Liz (watching Max): It’s…It’s your home Max.

Max (turning to her quickly): What?

Liz: Nasedo showed it to me today – in a dream – he said this is what I’m helping you find.

Max (moving his gaze from her back to the landscape, in disbelief): Home? My home?

(He looks around in hesitant wonderment. Liz watches him closely but then her face falls as her eyes focus on something coming into view just past Max. Max looks over at her, confused by the look in her face)

Max: Liz?

Liz (not moving): I’m helping you find this…and her.

Max: What?

(Before he can press her there’s a giggle from behind him and he turns to see an older him with a woman holding hands and walking in the meadow. Max is totally taken aback at seeing himself – and this woman, holding hands? He stares at them and then finally turns back to Liz.

(If it’s possible to have your heart ripped out from inside of you – then this is what it feels like. In that moment, in that pained look on Liz’s face, in the tear sliding down her cheek is the realization of everything Nasedo is doing to her. It hits Max with enough force to collapse both his lungs and for the first time he knows what it’s like to truly hate someone – some thing. He follows Liz’s gaze back to the, now kissing, couple and he quickly turns back to her)

Max (panicked): Liz we need to wake up…you need to wake up!

Liz (softly): Make it stop Max.

Max (desperate): You’ve gotta wake up Liz! Please!

(Scene cuts to the hospital room. Max wakes with a start and then immediately begins gently shaking Liz to wake her up. She finally does and Max pulls her to him and cradles her against his chest, softly stroking her hair as she cries.)
Music: Matchbox20 - Bent

Max (choking on his pain and anger): Oh Liz I’m so sorry. Why is he doing this to you? I’m so sorry…I…

Liz (through her tears): He’s laughing at me – that giggle…it’s him laughing at me.

Max (pained): Liz…

Liz: I’m supposed to help you find that – find her.

Max: It’s just a dream Liz – he’s doing this to hurt you – it’s not real.

Liz: But it was familiar – you said it was familiar.

Max (desperate): Liz.

Liz (crying harder): It’s not enough that I have to let you go…now I have to help you.

Max (pulling her tighter to him): I’m not going anywhere Liz…I don’t care who that is – what that dream was…it’s not real…nothing is real but you…nothing.

(He closes his eyes and gently rocks back and forth trying to calm her down and trying to control this new found rage that’s building within him.)

(Scene: Sheriff’s Office, early morning. Valenti enters his office and leisurely hangs up his coat and hat. He lets out a sigh and heads to his desk and sits down. In mid-reach for the phone he spots the videotape and furrows his brow. He picks up the note resting on top of it, opens it and reads “What could the Evans’ do with this?” He takes the videotape in his hand and checks his desk for any other surprises. Finding none he quickly gets up and exits his office heading toward the video room.

(Securing the door he pops in the video and sits down pressing play on the remote. He stiffens in the chair as the black and white image of Liz’s hospital room comes on the screen. He leans forward and squints to get a better view of Liz sleeping in bed and Max sleeping in the chair next to her. After a few seconds of tape a nurse enters the room and approaches Max. The Sheriff proceeds to watch in shock as the man first drugs Max and then draws blood from him. When the nurse turns to exit the room Valenti pushes pause and just stares at the image of Agent Jones’ face on his television screen.)

(Scene: Michael’s Apartment, morning. Max – looking very un-Max, disheveled and visibly angry – knocks on the door. A yawning Michael opens it up and immediately frowns at Max’s appearance.)

Michael (concerned): Maxwell.

Max: I’m gonna kill him.

Michael: Who? What happened…what are you talking about?

Max: He’s showing her things Michael.

Michael: What? What things?

Max: It doesn’t matter what they are – they’re hurtful…horrible things. He’s hurting her Michael.

Michael (looking at him intently): Just come inside Max.

(Michael reaches out and brushes Max’s shoulder as he walks through the door. With that slightest of touches Michael is hit with a flash of Max cradling a crying Liz and the overwhelmingness of Max’s anger. Michael sucks in his breath as he turns to look at Max. He slowly shuts the door behind them.)

(Scene: School Quad, lunch time. Maria and Alex are sitting at a table, across from each other, both with serious faces.)

Maria: Bullshit! I don’t understand why he’s doing this to Liz. (Looking up at Alex) We know too and he hasn’t done anything…but Liz…She’s the only one of us that hasn’t freaked. I mean if anyone deserves this it’s me – I’m the one who cracked and almost told Valenti…And when she first told me I totally flipped – we’re talking running through the streets screaming. Literally.

Alex: None of us deserve it Maria. We’ve all done more than our share of criminal life threatening save-their-ass-type activities.

Maria: Why is he doing this to her?

Alex: I’ll be sure to ask him right before I kill him.

Maria: Oh – stand in line Alex, I’ve got first dibs on this alien’s ass. (She lets out a sigh) Why couldn’t they have just been little green men?

Alex: I have a hard enough time trying to explain Isabel to my parents as it is.

Maria (looks over at him): I need some ‘us’ time Alex. A…a normal fix. I’m suffering from serious evil E.T. overload here. I need you to push ‘pause’ on this Invasion of the Body Snatcher movie were in – I never liked that movie – still don’t.

Alex (affectionately): Maria…

Maria (pleadingly): I need it Alex.

Alex: Done.

Maria (hopeful): Tonight?

Alex (shaking his head): Tomorrow – no way the Parkers would go for tonight.

Maria: Thank you.

Alex: Retreat, regroup…(grinning and table dancing) and do a little rumba. It’ll be like an Ewok party – without the roasting of strange animals.

Maria (trying not to laugh at him): You are such a dork.

Alex (smiling): Sticks and stones DeLuca.

(Maria just laughs but stops suddenly and gets up from the table)

Maria: I’ll see you in class, okay?

Alex (frowning at her): Okay.

(He watches her go, not understanding the premature departure until Isabel sits down next to him.)

Isabel: Hey.

Alex: Hey.

Isabel: Is Maria okay?

Alex (looking in the direction Maria went): Yea, she just needs some time…I think we all need some time to try and understand this.

Isabel: Alex, I’m sorry…I…I don’t know what else to say.

Alex: I know – we know it’s not you, it’s not any of you…it just doesn’t make sense after everything we’ve – everything she’s done that he’d do this to her…and only her.

(Isabel is about to respond when Michael promptly sits down)

Michael (seriously): We need to talk…(looking at Alex)…all of us.

(Scene: Liz’s bedroom, afternoon. The door opens and Liz and her mother slowly enter.)

Nancy: How you doing?

Liz (a little annoyed): Mom I’m fine, the bullet didn’t hit me in the leg.

Nancy (ignoring the attitude): Sweetie I just don’t want you moving too fast. You know what the doctor said – no strenuous activity…

Liz: Mom, walking hardly counts – I think it was lifting heavy boxes and jogging laps that he was talking about.

Nancy: Can’t a mother just be a mother? You’ve been shot. I think I have every right to be a little over protective and worried.

Liz (looking up at her mother): I’m sorry.

Nancy: I’m just glad to have you home.

(Liz looks from her mother to the bed and as she sits down her eyes fall on a wrapped gift lying on her pillow.)

Liz (reaching out and picking up the present): What’s this?

Nancy (smiling): I know nothing. (She bends down and kisses the top of Liz’s head) You get some rest okay. I know Maria and Alex…and Max will be by later. So you should get some rest now.

(Liz suspiciously watches her mother leave her room and then turns her attention to the present. She carefully undoes the tape – being sure not to rip the wrapping paper. She sticks her fingers in at one end and slowly pulls out the gift. A single sheet of paper is carefully attached to the outside cover of the familiar book. On it is neatly written…“This is a part of you. And nothing would hurt me more than knowing that you gave up any part of you for me. I love all of your parts. Max” She closes her eyes and hugs her journal to her chest.)

(Scene: Hotel Room. Agents Jones and Banks enter the room looking extremely disheveled – it’s been a rough night. They take off their coats and head for the beds. As Jones reaches for the phone his eyes fall on the videotape sitting next to the lamp.)

Jones (picking it up with one hand and massaging his throat with the other, he turns to Banks, hoarsely): What’s this?

Banks (turns to see what he’s talking about): Don’t know.

(Jones takes a closer look at the nightstand and finds the small folded note. Opening it up he reads “What could the Evans’ do with this?” Jones looks a little confused at the tape for a moment and then over at Banks quickly)

Jones (too exhausted to even think about what could be on the tape): This just gets better and better.

Banks (snatching the note and reading it as he rubs the knot on the back of his head): Let’s just get what Stevens wants and get the hell out of this town.

(Scene: Liz’s Bedroom. Liz is sitting on her bed thoughtfully looking through her journal. She comes to a blank page and setting the book open face down she gets off the bed and grabs a pen from her desk. She sits back down cross-legged and returns the journal to her lap. She pauses for a moment – looking out the window and then slowly begins writing.)

Voice over: There are these things, these organisms, called blood flukes. And their larvae – well one kind of larvae, it’s got this complex life cycle but that’s not important – this one kind of larvae swims around in water waiting to find a human. And when it does it burrows into the human and migrates into the intestinal veins – where it can reproduce. The human body knows the fluke is there and it sends out white blood cells to defend itself and attack the fluke and the eggs it’s laying. Sometimes the blood cells win…but sometimes they don’t. Sometimes it’s a losing battle…because the liver, spleen and even the kidneys and bladder – they start to slowly deteriorate…and the body just can’t take it anymore.

(She pauses and closes her eyes for a moment)

V.O.: That’s what Nasedo is. He’s like this parasite that’s attached himself inside of my mind and he’s waiting…waiting for me to deteriorate…to give up. I just wish I knew what he wanted. I mean parasites want something – there’s a biological reason for what they do. Most want nutrition, a place to lay eggs, something. I just don’t understand what he wants from me, from Max…cuz it’s not just me. It’s almost like he wants Max to slowly deteriorate too, through me. Maybe that’s what he wants – Max. Well if that’s it, he’s going to have to try a lot harder than this to get him.

V.O: When you invest yourself in something, there comes a point where there’s no turning back. The reason the liver and spleen deteriorate isn’t because they give up – the body never stops fighting. I’ve lied to my parents. I’ve lied to the FBI. I’ve sucked my two best friends into this. I’ve broken – I don’t know how many federal and state laws. I’ve had my personal thoughts stolen and read, my room broken into, my mind infected by an invisible relentless parasite, and I’ve been…shot. I’d say I’m invested. He can wear me down but I’ll never stop fighting.

(She pauses again and looks out the window)

V.O: He can fuck with my mind. He can fuck with my body. But he can’t fuck with my heart – not with what’s inside of it…what it knows and feels. He can’t touch that.

(She looks away from her journal and stares at nothing in particular for a few moments – thinking. She closes her eyes and the small smile of a revelation creeps over her face. She looks back down at her journal)

V.O.: That’s what he wants…and he’ll never get it.

(Scene: Liz’s Bedroom, later that afternoon. Liz is sitting at her desk now trying to catch up on some of the homework she’s missed from the past week. The door is open and Maria walks in.)

Maria: Okay, aren’t you supposed to be resting?

Liz (looking up and over at her): I’m just so far behind.

Maria: Liz – you’ve been shot. Your teachers eat out the palm of your hand, if you asked they’d give you ‘til Christmas to make up this one week. You’ve gotta milk this thing for all it’s worth. (Maria promptly plops down on the bed curling up with Liz’s teddy bear) Speaking of dairy – I told your mom to double up on the ice cream.

Liz: Double up?

Maria: Tomorrow night – you, me, Alex.

Liz: I thought Alex had study plans with Isabel.

Maria: Cancelled. I mean really, when he can spend an evening with two hot babes instead of one – what’s he gonna choose? (Liz looks at her suspiciously) Okay fine, I need some ‘us’ time – some alien-free, like it used to be, quality no-contact time.

Liz (coming over to the bed): Maria.

Maria (looking at her protectively): I won’t let you do this Lizzie.

Liz (sitting next to her): Maria…

Maria: I just can’t – I won’t.

Liz: Maria, it’s not up to you. It’s between me and Max – the two of us, not the three of us…or the six of us for that matter. I mean that’s what we’re gonna do right? Go downstairs and have a big long talk about whether Max and I should or shouldn’t…if we can or can’t do it…maybe if we decide to, we can do it on the roof so everyone can watch.

Maria (looking at her sideways): That is not funny.

Liz: I know…but that’s what it feels like – everyone discussing our nonexistent, but possibly, maybe-soon-to-be-or-not-to-be sex life. It’s supposed to be this intimate beautiful thing between two people. Not two people their four best friends and some evil…

Maria (finishing for her): Asshole? (Liz looks at her and Maria’s face saddens) I’m sorry.

Liz: Me too. But it’s the way it is. What am I supposed to do?

Maria: Just say ‘no’ and big ‘HELLO get your alien jollies somewhere else thank you!’

Liz (smiling at her): Maria, I’m not gonna do anything I don’t want to. It’s my body and I’m in control of it.

(Maria just rolls over on her side so she’s facing Liz and Liz lays down next to her. They stare at each other for a few moments and then a mischievous smile appears on Maria’s face.)

Maria: So have you guys thought about – like logistics?

Liz (eyeing her very, very suspiciously): What do you mean?

Maria: You know – like if he’s got the right – parts?

Liz (horrified): Maria!

Maria: What? I mean we don’t know.

Liz: I’m not answering that question.

Maria (rolling over on her back): That’s fine. I’ll just ask Max.

Liz: MARIA! I cannot believe you…

Maria: You guys were pretty hot and heavy in that hospital room, you must’ve felt something.

Liz (throwing her pillow at Maria): Yea, well you and Michael were doing a little more than kissing in December.

Maria (throwing the pillow back at her): Oh don’t even try. Do you want me to bring this up downstairs?

Liz (completely blushing and not believing this conversation): I’m assuming – okay? Otherwise he would’ve said something by now. (She puts the pillow over her face in utter embarrassment. Muffled by the pillow) I’m gonna kill you.

Maria (watching in amusement): Okay, so then assuming he has the right parts and that…you know…it fits…(Liz pulls the pillow tighter to her face and groans)…then what about the – results?

Liz: We are not having this conversation.

Maria: It’s now or later, babe.

Liz: I am so getting you back for this.

Maria: I’ll take that as a now…So let’s look at all the possible…outcomes. First there’s the obvious (she looks sideways at Liz) spontaneous combustion – Like Water For Chocolate, I’m telling you it’s possible. (Liz shoves Maria and she continues) Okay second…since you’ve never done this and we’re assuming that he hasn’t either then we don’t have to worry about conventional STD’s – though we have no idea what kind of intergalactic ones could possibly be out there. I mean herpes and syphilis are bad enough...

Liz (tortured): Maria…

Maria (continuing): Fine…so diseases might not be an issue but there’s still the question of his…(she looks at Liz and plunges ahead) fluids. (Liz collapses into a ball of humiliation) I mean what if they do something to you…like turn you into something, or take over your body, or you know – hurt you. Serious question mark here Lizzie.

Liz (still hiding her face in her pillow and beside herself to speak): Next!

Maria (looks at her and then lets out a sigh): Okay, last but definitely not least there’s the whole issue of – ‘mom, dad I’m having my boyfriend’s alien baby.’

Liz (shoving the pillow at Maria): Maria I can’t get pregnant!

Maria: Can’t? Super-sperm, Liz.

Liz (hitting Maria): You have to be genetically compatible…two species can’t just reproduce.

Maria: Then how’d we get so many kinds of dogs…and what about the mule – or is it the donkey?

Liz (totally flustered): Maria it’s just not possible.

Maria: Yea, and nine months ago – flying saucers and E.T. were impossible too.

Liz (shaking her head and getting off the bed): We are not talking about this anymore. You, you are not talking about this anymore…You realize I’m going to have to kill you – do you understand…KILL you - now!

Maria: No, now you need to shower…you smell like hospital – very unattractive. I brought you more vanilla.

(She sits up on the bed and reaches into her backpack and pulls out a small vile and offers it to Liz. Liz looks at her menacingly and then grabs it from her hand.)

Liz: You are not getting out of death. I’m just washing my hair and then…and then, I don’t know what…but I’ll think of something.

(She shuts the door to cut off Maria’s response. Maria looks at the door and smiles. She gets up from the bed and walks over to Liz’s desk. She fingers the multitude of pictures that litter the bulletin board behind the computer and smiles. She rests her hand on the framed picture of her, Alex and Liz and picks it up. Letting out a sigh she sets it back down and out of the corner of her eye spots the journal. She looks sideways at the bathroom door and then uncovers the journal – removing Liz’s Geometry homework. She bends down and reads the note still attached to the front cover.)

Maria (softly): Smooth talker – I’ll rip out your parts if you…

(Scene switches to Max entering the apartment from the Crashdown stairwell.)

Max: Mrs. Parker? Liz? (He turns the corner to Liz’s bedroom just as Maria looks up from the book and sees him)

Maria: Not so fast lover boy. (Max just sort of freezes and Maria squints) We need to have a little talk.

Max (weakly): Talk?

Maria (walking towards him and sort of cornering him against the hallway bathroom door): Listen…I’m all for family history and whatever – I know what it’s like not to know who you are, at least a part of you. But I don’t give a shit about your past when it comes to her future. If you hurt her – like in any way – I won’t have to think about killing you, I will and it’ll take me like a second to do it.

Max (fumbling): Maria…I…

Maria: I mean it, Max.

Max: The last thing I want to do is hurt her.

Maria (staring at him intently, after a pause and letting out a sigh): I know. I know…it’s just Lizzie and I don’t like it, I don’t like…

Max: I don’t like it either. I’d give anything to make it go away.

Maria (dead serious): I will kill him.

Max (looking at her just as seriously): You won’t get a chance.

(Maria stares at him for a few moments and then nodding her head she walks past him and heads down the stairwell to the Crashdown. Max watches her go and then hesitantly walks into Liz’s room. He looks around and isn’t sure what to do when he doesn’t see her. He heads over to the window to check the roof. As he gazes at the empty lounge chair he has a series of flashbacks of the times he’s found Liz writing in her journal, lying asleep, or sitting up waiting for him. He’s lost in thought and doesn’t hear the bathroom door open. Liz, drying her hair with a towel and wearing jeans and a bra, steps into her room and freezes when she sees the back of Max. She looks down – and silently reaches out and grabs her t-shirt off the dresser and then quickly goes back into the bathroom. Seconds later she comes out again and Max is still staring out the window.)

Liz (softly): Max.

Max (starting at the sound of her voice and turning to her): Hey.

Liz: Hey. Where’s Maria?

Max: She went downstairs.

Liz (under her breath): Death postponed.

Max: Huh?

Liz (shaking her head): Nothing. (She smiles at him) I got your present.

Max: It’s not really a present – I mean…

Liz: Thank you.

Max (smiling at her and reaching into his coat pocket): This is my present. (He pulls out a small slender box, neatly wrapped.)

Liz: Max you didn’t have to get me anything.

Max: I know…here.

(Liz looks at him sideways and then takes the box and sits down on the bed. She gently undoes the tape and removes the wrapping. She slowly opens the box to find a beautiful Parker fountain pen. She gasps and looks up at him)

Liz: Max it’s beautiful.

Max: You like it?

Liz: Like it? (She picks it up and gently unscrews the cap) It’s amazing – (She rubs her thumb over the ‘Parker’ insignia on the metal penclip) Grandma Claudia had one.

Max: I know. (Liz looks up at him and he sits next to her on the bed) When we were going through her things you mentioned it, but we never found it. (He looks down at the pen) This was my grandpa’s.

Liz: Max.

Max (smiling at the memory): I used to write him letters and he would always write back saying he couldn’t read them because my handwriting was too sloppy. So he gave me this and told me to learn how to write – (he looks up at her) I was ten.

Liz: Are you serious?

Max: Yea – that’s kinda how he is…so I would write him letters with this…but now he can’t tell what pen I use so…(He looks up at her and blushing at the total mushiness she brings out in him)…so it’s the part of me that goes with that part of you. (He looks away and reaches into his pocket) Here I got you ink too. (He pulls out two small bottles of ink – one black and the other blue) I didn’t know which one you’d want.

Liz (touched): Max, I…

Max: Want me to fill it for you? (Liz just nods at him and he takes the pen from her hand) It can get kind of messy. (He stands up and goes over to the desk and sits down. He takes the cap off the pen and then looks over to the bed and sees Liz just sort of watching him.) What color?

Liz (she shakes her head and then stands up and walks over to him): Um…blue.

Max (returning to the pen): Okay. (He unscrews the blue ink lid and dips the tip of the pen into the bottle and then lifts up the lever to suck in the ink. He lowers the lever and then grabs a piece of scratch paper and scribbles a few lines. He screws on the ink lid and then looks up at her.) Here. (He holds out the pen and she takes it from him and looks down at the scratch paper. She leans over and writes ‘thank you’ on it.) You’re welcome.

Liz: Max it’s beautiful…I don’t know what to say.

(She leans down and kisses him. He reaches up to hold her face and when they pull apart he laughs)

Max (reaching up and wiping at her cheek) I told you it was messy.

(Liz looks at him funny and then turns to her mirror. She smiles when she sees the blue ink smear on her cheek)

(Scene: Crashdown. Michael is already sitting in the back booth as Isabel and Alex slide in – Isabel next to Michael and Alex across from them.)

Isabel (to Michael): So, why are we doing this here and not at your apartment?

Michael: Convenience.

Isabel: For what – eating while we talk or making this as awkward for Liz as possible?

Alex: Maria’s working and Liz is pretty much tied to the premises. (Isabel and Michael look at him curiously) Seriously, she’s on a leash…or maybe one of those radar tracking collars – she was shot going to the movies, do you think her parents are gonna let her go anywhere?

Isabel: Well did you at least tell her about this…you know, warn her?

Alex: Yea, I called after lunch. You know – I think she’s handling this much better than we are.

(The backroom door swings open and Maria enters in uniform. She shoots Michael a glare and then goes behind the counter – over exaggerating her irritation and anger.)

Michael: We should give her (nodding toward Maria) whatever Liz is on.

Alex (shaking his head seriously): It’s not drugs – I asked. And it’s not denial – she seemed to know what I was talking about.

Isabel (shaking her head thoughtfully): It just doesn’t make sense…

Alex: Yea well, it stopped making sense around the whole Mikey-goes-Spidey episode. (Looking at Michael) Sorry. (Encouraged by Michael’s indifferent look he continues) I just don’t get why her – I mean look at his options.

(As if on cue, Maria has a losing battle with the milkshake machine splattering milk and ice cream everywhere.)

Michael (watching Maria angrily cleaning herself off as she heads into the back): That’s the point –she’s the only one who can handle it.

(Alex and Isabel, more than surprised at Michael’s insightful observation, just look at him The silence is interrupted by a mild crashing sound from the back room, followed by a faint “Fuckin’ shitin’ piece of shit”)

Alex: Excuse me. (He slides out of the booth and heads in search of Maria while Isabel continues to eye Michael. He finally notices out of the corner of his eye.)

Michael (irritated): What?

(Isabel, raising her hand and backing off, exits the booth for the bathroom.)

(Scene: Liz’s Room. Max is sitting at the desk doodling with the pen. Liz walks out of the bathroom with a washcloth trying to get the ink off her face.)

Liz (a little annoyed): It’s not coming off.

Max (looking up at her and smiling): Come here.

(She walks over to him and he scoots the chair out and innocently pulls her to his lap. He waves his hand over her cheek and the smear disappears)

Liz: Why didn’t I think of that?

(She readjusts and turns to look at him. Huh? Think of what?)

Max (reaching out and brushing back a strand of hair behind her ear): You sure you want to do this?

Liz (in a haze and nodding): Uh huh.

Max (still concerned): Cuz I can just go downstairs and tell them you’re not ready.

Liz: What?

Max: You know – that you don’t want to talk about it yet. I mean, you just got back from the hospital…and we haven’t really even talked.

Liz (realizing that she and Max are not having the same conversation): Oh…um…Max I’m fine about this. Really, we should talk about it.

Max: You sure?

Liz: Yea. We need to…Maria’s really upset and I’m not sure about Alex…

Max (gently interrupting her): What about you?

Liz (getting off his lap and moving to the bed. She sits down and hugs her knees): I’m sorry about last night.

Max: What! (Getting up and going over to her) Liz, you have nothing to be sorry about.

Liz: I should have told you about the dream.

Max: I don’t care about the dream.

Liz: Max…

Max: It’s not real – and even if it is I still don’t care. All I care about is you and why he’s doing this…he has no reason – no right – to do this to you, to hurt you…not after everything you’ve done.

Liz: It’s because of what I’ve done. (Max just looks at her and she gently caresses the side of his face) We should go downstairs.

(Scene: Back at the Crashdown. Isabel remains in the bathroom while Alex and Maria come out from the back and head over to the table. Maria slides in followed by Alex.)
Music: Soul Coughing – Circles

Michael: Any way to get something to drink around here?

Maria (glaring at him for a moment and then taking off her alien headband): You’re an employee (she tosses her headband at him) get it yourself. (Michael glares and starts to slide out of the booth) And while you’re up Emeril, why don’t you whip us up something to eat. (He ignores her and heads to the drink machine. She adds under her breath): Or burn the place down.

Alex: It’s not that bad.

Maria: Speak for yourself boy-toy. I mean can’t I have one place that’s…alien free?

Alex (looking around the café): You sure picked a winner.

Maria (giving him a dirty look): You know what I mean.

Alex: And Isabel would be?

Maria: Temporary…and not him.

Alex: Thank God.

(Maria glares at him and after a moment, Michael slides into the booth with a tray of drinks. Maria eyes him suspiciously as he starts setting drinks in front of Alex and the empty spots for Liz, Isabel, and Max.)

Alex: Thanks man.

(Michael smirks and plops Maria’s drink down in front of her – she smirks back)

Isabel (sitting down): They’re not down yet? Do you think we should get them?

Maria (pissy): No! She’ll be down when she’s ready – the last thing she needs is us acting like we want to be here.

Isabel: I’m worried about her too Maria.

Maria (looking at Isabel, her face softens, but an inadvertent cough by Michael makes her tense up again): Well that makes four of us.

Michael (having had just about enough of her attitude): What’s that supposed to mean?

Maria: Yea, like your first response to Max wasn’t ‘lucky you.’ (Michael doesn’t say anything) Predictable.

Alex (ever the mediator): So…what exactly are we gonna talk about here?

Michael: We need to figure out what to do.

Maria: We?

Michael: Do you have something you want to say?

(Maria’s about to reply when Jose plops down a large plate of nachos and dips)

Jose: Here you go. (Looking at Michael) When you’re done out here come back and I’ll show you the kitchen.

Maria (under her breath): Oh happy day.

(Jose and Michael don't hear her but Alex does and gives her a slightly reprimanding look.)

Jose (turning to the sound of the backroom door opening): Hey beautiful. (Liz smiles at him and Max sort of frowns) How you doin’?

Liz: Fine now…better than those burgers burning on the grill.

(Jose smiles at her and notices the look on Max’s face. He moves toward the backroom.)

Jose (as he passes Liz): Glad you’re back.

Liz (softly): Thank you.

(Jose winks at her and then goes through the doors. Max and Liz slide into the booth opposite one another. Everyone sort of looks anywhere but at each other and no one knows exactly where to begin.)

Alex (God bless him): So Max…are you (doing the voice) seeing dead people or what? (Maria hits him, Isabel shoots him a seriously punishing look and kicks him under the table) Ouch.

(Michael tries his hardest not to smile – but it’s Liz who finally laughs, followed by Michael. Alex looks at Maria and hits her back)

Maria: Ouch!

Isabel (looking at Alex): Don’t even think about it!

(Everyone looks at Isabel, holding back laughter. Alex steals a sideways glance at Liz as he feels her hand gently touch his arm under the table – saying ‘thank you’ with a squeeze.)

Alex (after a moment looking back over to Max): Well?

Max (looking at Liz for reassurance and finding it in her smile): Sort of.

(Both Maria and Alex’s faces fall.)

Alex: Bad joke.

Max (looking around the table and letting out a sigh): It started with the crash and the pods and the cave off 247. But then it was stuff I didn’t know – places I didn’t recognize.

Maria: What do you mean?

Max: I think he just hitchhiked around the southwest…It all sort of looked the same. (He pauses and then looks away from the table. Quietly) And then he started killing people.

Maria (not hearing correctly): What?

Max (reluctantly looking at her): Um…he started killing people.

Maria (getting upset): You see that? (Max nods)

Alex (under his breath): That’s worse than dead people.

Maria (looking at Liz extremely concerned): Lizzie?

Liz (understanding): I don’t see them – just Max.

(Maria looks from Liz to Max and then shakes her head. Liz softly smiles at Max and he marvels at her strength.)

Max (hesitantly continuing): He came back to Roswell and I think…I saw River Dog and then the reservation cave. (He shoots a sideways glance at Michael and then looks down at the table) He used some stones to create the cave symbols.

Alex: Like River Dog’s stones?

Michael: No. (Maria and Alex look at him) Different ones – ones we don’t have.

(Liz looks at Michael and then slightly furrows her brow as she moves her gaze from him to Max – and he raises his apologetic eyes to meet hers.)

Alex: So he’s got stones?

Isabel: We don’t think he has them anymore.

Liz (still looking at Max): He wants you to find them.

Maria (still angry): Why doesn’t he find them – he’s Mr. Know-it-all…isn’t he?

Max (frustrated): I don’t know.

(He shakes his head, but stops as his eye catches on something behind Liz. He looks at Liz and then past her again – this time she notices. She turns to look behind her and then quickly back to the table. With a sweeping glance around the booth she slides out.)

Liz (as she walks toward the front): Kyle.

Maria (leaning over to Max): Still doesn’t explain why he’s doing this to her.

(Max reluctantly looks away from Kyle and Liz and over to her.)

Kyle: Just wanted to see how you’re doin’.

Liz: I’m fine Kyle – thank you…You know, Max told me what you did.

Kyle (looking back at Max – who’s obviously torn between the now heated conversation going on around him and the one Kyle and Liz are having): Max?

Liz: Yea…You know, that you came to visit me and…and read to me.

Kyle (a little embarrassed): Oh.

Liz: Thank you. It means a lot.

Kyle (down playing it): Yea well, it’s a good thing Max came when he did or Maria was gonna make me read some Anne book or something. One more day and I thought I was gonna have to drag his ass in there.

Liz (laughing): I’m surprised Maria didn’t. (After a brief pause) He just needed time.

Kyle: I guess it only matters that he came.

Liz (reaching out and gently touching his arm – almost instinctively): Kyle…

Kyle (pulling out a bag from inside his coat): Look, I just wanted to drop this off. (Looking back at the table) I know you’re busy and all.

Liz (surprised): Kyle you didn’t have to get me anything.

Kyle: It’s nothing really – your mom said you didn’t have it.

Liz (opening the bag and pulling out The Princess Bride video, she smiles up at him): I have been wanting this forever! Thank you!

Kyle: Maybe we can watch it again sometime…(looking back at Max)

Liz (smiling): I’d like that.

Kyle (after a pause): Well I’ll see you on Monday.

Liz: Thank you Kyle.

(He looks at her deeply – just for a moment – and then nods and turns to leave. He makes eye contact with Max as he goes through the door.)

Maria (trying really hard not to yell at Michael): Know what? You can’t possibly k-n-o-w, because it’s not happening to you.

Michael (equally angry): It’s not happening to you either.

(Isabel side kicks him under the table. He turns to yell at her but stops short when he sees Liz sitting down. The table falls silent and Liz looks around at everyone not looking at her.)

Liz: You can talk about it when I’m here too – that is why we’re here right, to talk about it?

Isabel: There wasn’t much talking really…just Itchy and Scratchy over here…

(Maria lets out a grunt of indignation and the rest of the table – except Michael – chuckles.)

Liz (looking at Max): So somewhere in the visions is where the stones are – and you haven’t seen it yet?

(Max doesn’t say anything so she looks down the table to Michael – whose expression gives her the answer. She nods and the table grows silent again.)

Alex (thoughtfully after a pause): Could the fourth, um, ‘pod person’ have them?

(The aliens look at one another and Liz turns to Alex.)

Liz: Did you find something?

Alex: Letter to the Tribune – some guy from Corona talking about naked kids being left in the desert.

Liz (disappointed): Albuquerque – I hadn’t looked there yet. (Looking at Alex) Have you talked to him?

Alex (looking from Liz to Isabel): He’s on vacation.

Michael: How do you know?

Alex: Answering machine – why do people do that? It’s like advertising. Why not just put a sign up saying ‘Come on in, we’re gone for a month.’

(Michael gets a thoughtful expression on his face and Maria jumps in – knowing exactly where his mind went.)

Maria: Not with my car – breaking into dead people’s homes is one thing…but Grandpa – uh uh!

Liz (thinking aloud): We want to talk to him – that’s the point…he can give us where to look.

Isabel: Well, we’ve got the orphanages and adoption agencies for Albuquerque but we don’t know what we’re looking for…(Liz quickly looks at her)…you know boy or girl. (Liz stares at her, thinking about her comment.)

Michael: More to the point we don’t know if they’d have the stones.

Isabel (reprimandingly): Michael.

Liz (shaking out of her revere): He’s right – we don’t know. It doesn’t make sense either. I mean if the stones were in the cave then why wouldn’t one of you’ve grabbed them?

Alex: Okay girl with a point…

Michael (finally saying what no one will): All we’ve got are the visions.

Maria (angry): What do you want them to do – go in the broom closet and have some for you?

Liz: Maria.

Maria (looking over to Liz): I don’t like it and I don’t understand why…

Liz: He doesn’t believe it. (Everyone looks at her) That we know and still care.

Alex: Why you?

Liz: I started it. I’m the reason…

Max: Liz…

Liz (looking at him): I am. He’s obviously angry with me…and you. (Max opens his mouth to say something but she cuts him off) It doesn’t do any good to talk about why or how – it is. And Michael’s right – it’s all we’ve got. And the sooner we find what he wants, the sooner it’ll stop.

Max (slightly pleadingly): I can’t ask you…

Liz (firmly): Max you’re not asking – I am. I want him out of me.

(Max looks around the table awkwardly then grabs Liz’s hand and pulls her out of the booth and toward the back.)

Alex (as they go through the door): Three is definitely a crowd.

Liz: Max all we’re doing is making-out like every other teenage couple…

Max (interrupting her): But I don’t know if I can stop.

Liz: Why do we have to?

Max: Don’t say that.

Liz: Max I trust you. (He looks at her concerned and she gently touches his face) I trust you.

Max (after what seems like hours): I have to do some stuff for Milton at the Center but I’ll be back…and we’ll talk about this?

Liz: I’ll be upstairs. But I’m done talking Max.

(She heads through the door and into the front. Maria has now returned to work and is behind the counter filling up drinks. Liz pauses at the counter, ripping a piece of napkin and hurriedly writing something on it. She slides back into the booth next to Alex.)

Liz (looking at Michael): So you start tomorrow?

Michael: Yea.

Liz: Have you gotten the tour yet? (She notices him look at Maria behind the counter and adds) The formal one?

Michael (looking over at Liz): No.

Isabel: I’ll show him what Jose doesn’t. (Looking in Maria’s direction) If she doesn’t kill him before tomorrow.

Max (coming up to the table): I’ve gotta talk to Milton. (He looks from Liz to Isabel and hands Isabel the keys to the jeep) Don’t wait for me.

Isabel: I wasn’t.

(Max looks at her and then Liz, and reluctantly walks off.)

Liz (turning to Alex): What’ve you got planned tonight?

Alex: Research and a few party preparations.

Michael: Party?

(Liz closes her eyes as Alex answers the question and stiffens in her seat. She opens her eyes slowly and looks around the table. The conversation continues as a haze around her. She slowly turns her head to look behind her but doesn’t see anything – not that she knows what she’s looking for. When she turns back around she meets Michael’s gaze and instantly knows that he felt it too. She looks down at the table and lets out a soft sigh.)

Alex (struggling to not offend the uninvited): …uh…pre-contact party.

Liz (returning to the conversation): I think, um, I’m gonna go upstairs – I’m tired all of a sudden.

Alex (doing a little table dancing): Better save your strength Parker.

(Liz smiles at him and then under the table slips the folded piece of napkin into his pants pocket. He flinches and looks at her curiously – not too obviously – but she doesn’t acknowledge it.)

Liz: ‘Til then Chayanne.

(She gets up from the table and goes into the back. As she starts up the stairs the backroom door swings open and Michael enters.)

Michael (said as a statement not a question): You felt him.

Liz: I don’t know how. It’s like I’m connected to him or something. It’s like I…sense him.

Michael (after a moment): I’m sorry.

Liz (stopping and turning to look at him, after a moment): Thank you. (Michael nods and then lets out a deep sigh. Liz watches him for a second) She’ll understand. (He looks up at her) Just give her time.

(Scene: Crashdown, various scenes. Michael’s in the kitchen getting the tour from Jose. Every time Maria goes behind the counter to fill up drinks he’ll peak out the window and watch her. Whether or not she notices is hard to tell…A little later Michael is sitting in one of the booths filling out some paperwork with Jeff Parker. It would be impossible for either of them to miss Maria’s obvious dissatisfaction at the situation as she mumbles under her breath each time she passes the table…Again later – close to closing – Michael is wearing an apron in the kitchen busy doing something for Jose. Maria comes up to the pick up window to get an order. She pauses and watches him for a moment. He turns to her and she quickly covers by giving him a glare and then snatching the plate off the counter. He watches her go, shaking his head, and letting out a sigh…About 30 minutes later Michael, now done for the evening, is standing in the back room looking at the lockers and scratching his head. Maria comes in.)
Music: Smash Mouth – Waste

Michael (not looking at who it is): Do you just take one?

Maria: Sure – why not? You’re good at taking whatever you want.

Michael (turning to look at her): Do you have a problem?

Maria: I’m not even gonna bother.

Michael (returning to the locker and under his breath): Why do I?

Maria: YOU! Bother with what? You don’t even feel bad -at least Max…

Michael (exasperated and angry): I am not Max.

Maria: Obviously…(under her breath) Liz always gets the good ones.

Michael (slamming the locker shut): You realize you’re being a bitch.

Maria: And you realize you’ve been nothing but an asshole for the past two weeks. My best friend’s been shot and now she’s being used as some psycho’s sex toy and I can’t do anything…(She starts to get physically upset) except watch her and wonder if I’m going to be next. And you! (She angrily looks at him, forcefully) You can’t even pretend to act like you care.

Michael: Like I care? What the hell do you think I’m doing here? You think I like flipping burgers and subjecting myself to…(he searches around the room and then grabs the alien doll off the couch)…this in my spare time? (Maria opens her mouth to snap at him but the weight of his words hits her and all she can manage is a gruntish exhale of surprise.) Don’t you think I know it could be you? If you’d stop with the attitude for five seconds you’d realize that I’m here to be near you…(Frustrated and feeling exposed) Damnit!

(He yanks his coat off the rack and brushes past a dumbfounded Maria still standing with her mouth open. Michael heads for the back door and as he reaches for the knob Maria finds her tongue.)

Maria (turning to him): Don’t go.

(Michael stops, drops his hand to his side, and lets out a heavy sigh.)

(Scene: UFO Center entrance. Milton and Max exit the building together. Max turns to him and waves goodnight and crosses the street toward the Crashdown. Milton walks down the street, passing the alleyway, and then finally rounds the corner. As Milton disappears down the side street, Nasedo morphs out of the alleyway wall looking like Milton. He exits the alley and heads back toward the Center entrance. He reaches to open the door as the security guard appears inside.)

Guard: Forget something?

Nasedo Milton (shaking his head): Almost forgot my bedtime reading. You can go ahead and beam out – I’ll set the alarm.

Guard: Alright then, you have a good night. (He walks out the door and heads for his car, under his breath) Nothing would put me to sleep faster…

(Scene: Various ones from later that night…starting with the Crashdown. Maria is condensing the condiments behind the counter and Michael is sweeping. Maria watches Michael and bites her lip to hold back from yelling at herself, aloud. She shakes her head and turns to take the ketchup tray into the back. As she turns away Michael looks up from the floor and over to her. He lets out a silent sigh and watches her go…

In Liz’s bedroom, Max is standing by the window quietly watching Liz writing in her journal on the roof. Nancy, carrying a laundry basket turns the corner of the hallway and looks at Liz’s slightly open door. She hesitates and then walks toward it, not hearing anything she gently pushes the door farther open. She stops when she sees Max and moves to her left to see what he’s looking at. She smiles as Liz comes into view sitting on the lounge chair. Looking back at Max, Nancy’s smile deepens and she quietly backs out of the room and closes the door…

Over at Alex’s House…Alex is sitting in front of his computer. He’s apparently hacked into the Adoption Exchange office in Albuquerque. He rolls his head to crack his neck and then looks over at the stack of printouts spread out all over his bed. He lets out a sigh and then picks up a small piece of crinkled napkin off the desk. He furrows his brow as he looks down at it. Looking back at the computer, he sets the napkin down and moves the mouse to the search button. He pauses and looks back at the napkin off to his left. ‘It’s a girl’ is written on it neatly. He shakes his head, lets out a sigh and then types the word ‘girl’ on the screen and hits return.

Inside the UFO Center, Nasedo Milton turns off the computer and exits the office. He casually passes his hand over the alarm system and the little red light turns green. He exits the Center and walks toward the alley. Before turning, he looks up and across the street to Liz’s roof and pauses. He has a flash of Liz looking so devastated from the dream of Max’s home. He pulls something out of his pocket – the shadow he’s standing in makes it difficult to see what it is – he looks down at it and turns it over in his palm and then looks back up to the roof. Nasedo shakes his head to try and rid himself of the unwanted thoughts and regretful feelings creeping over him. As he turns the corner, he changes into someone else.)
Music: Holly Cole – Make It Go Away

***holy cow there's only five more stories to post and we're all caught up...I guess I better get my butt in gear***

see ya'll later!