|posted on 14-Jun-2002 3:32:37 AM by Mikyla|
I posted this a while ago on the old board. I've been working on it again, so I'm starting it over here. For those of you who have seen it before, new parts coming soon. For those of you who haven't, enjoy. Dialogue in stars *---* are mental communications.
Title: All in my mind
Disclaimer: The characters aren't mine. Only the story line. No infringement intended.
Summary: AU fic. No aliens. Liz is a telepathic, with a connection to Max. Only she doesn't know it's him. Read on.....
Distribution: Just ask. I always say yes. Cause I'm so damn sweet.
Author's note: Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Dialogue in stars *---* are mental communications.
The sun shone brightly, turning the delicate flowers lining the footpath into a stunning carpet of color, but Liz Parker didn't stop to appreciate them. The other kids were following her again, biding their time, waiting for the chance to strike out at her. She picked up her already brisk pace until she was almost running. She never ran outright, not until she had no other choice. She never wanted to give them the satisfaction of knowing they scared her to death. She continued on, turning the corner into Regent Street, wondering if she might just make it to the old brick house in time, when the first taunt reached her.
"Hey Liz, where you going in such a hurry?"
She didn't turn, didn't stop, just kept walking.
"Crazy Liz," the voice continued. "Who you always talking to when noone's there Liz?"
Tucking her chin further into her chest, Liz walked on. She'd heard the same thing, the same stupid nickname, day after day since she'd made the mistake of talking to him in class. Sometimes, on the days when all her courage didn't desert her as soon as the taunting started, she considered turning and around and telling them defiantly exactly who she was talking to. But she knew that would only make it worse. So she kept walking.
The first stone bounced off her shoulder and she flinched, but didn't stop. The second one went wide and she watched it bounce down the street in front of her.
"How come you don't mind talking to someone who ain't there, but you won't talk to us? Why is that Crazy Liz?"
This time a girl's voice, amused, clearly enjoying the game. Liz knew who they were, all of them, but the information meant nothing to her. Their names passed through her mind and then swirled away, swallowed up by fright. She turned another corner and fixed her eyes desperately on the bright red roof of her home. She was almost there. She felt the first stone hit the back of her head and she broke into a run.
He'd seen her come around the corner, and he knew straight away from the desperate way she stared towards her house that the other kids were chasing her again. His fists curled impotently and helpless tears sprung to his eyes. He saw them come around the corner behind her, picking up stones from the side of the road. He wanted to run outside and chase them off, wanted to fold her in his arms and carry her home so they couldn't hurt her anymore. But all he could do was watch her, as he did every afternoon, from behind the billowy lace curtain in his living room. He felt someone come up behind him, but he never took his eyes off the street.
"You could help her you know," his father said quietly, watching and hurting, just like his son. "It might give her some reassurance to know who you are."
He shook his head. "She doesn't need to know."
His father sighed heavily but said nothing more. It was his son's decision to make, and nothing he could do or say would make him decide before he was ready.
"Stubborn," he said indulgently. "Like your mother."
A ghost of a smile flitted across the young boys face, but it disappeared as quickly as it had come as he watched her break into a run, a hail of stones behind her. He watched until she reached the steps of her home, then let the curtain fall and, leaving his father watching him, went upstairs and closed his bedroom door.
Liz stood in the front hallway for a moment, catching her breath and allowing her thundering heart a chance to calm down. The big house was silent, the same way it was every afternoon, her parents at work. She shook off her coat and hung it up neatly, then went into the kitchen for a glass of water.
*Are you alright?*
It had been a long time since the sound of the voice coming not from around her, but from inside her head, could shock her, and so her hands were steady as poured her drink.
"I'm fine," she said quietly, her voice alone in the empty room. "Why on earth wouldn't I be?'"
The boy who lay alone in his room fought with the urge to tell her he'd seen the kids, the stones, her running.
'No reason. I was just wondering.'
"What did you do today?" She asked him as she picked up her glass of water, her bag, and headed up the stairs to her room.
*Same as always*
Liz nodded and smiled. "Nothing much."
It was the answer he always gave her, and she could feel his amusement.
*Right. Nothing much.*
She threw her bag on the bed and got out the homework she had to do.
*So what books are we hitting tonight?*
Her smile grew and then she laughed softly.
"English Lit. I have to read Silas Marner."
He had the same book sitting on the stand beside the bed, and he glanced at it with a smile. *What's that about?*
"Some ye olde weaver living in some little town in the 1500's."
The amusement came through loud and clear, and Liz could almost hear him laughing.
*Sounds interesting. Read me some.*
Settling back against her pillows, Liz opened the book and began reading softly, her voice echoing around the room.
The bedroom door suddenly flung open, and Liz jumped, dropping the book to the bed beside her.
"What are you doing?" her father said softly, menacingly.
Liz scrambled up off the bed and stood before him. "I..I was just..just reading out loud."
Her father walked towards her until he was looming over her. "What have you been told about talking to yourself Liz?"
The boy sat up in bed, his stomach tightening.
*Liz? Are you ok?*
Liz stared at her father, terror and sickening fear welling up in her. "I wasn't talking to myself. I was just reading out loud. Honest Dad."
*Liz? Please, I know something's wrong. Tell me what's going on.*
*I can't talk to you now. My Dad...*
Liz saw his hand come up and watched it helplessly. She had tried running, tried hiding. It never helped. She saw it swing downwards and closed her eyes. The slap caught her across the face and she flew backwards, hitting the wall and sliding down to the floor. Across the road, the boy cried out in pain, and got up off the bed, his face stinging and tears running down his face. He didn't notice his father run into the room and put his arms around him tightly.
*Liz? Liz!! Answer me please.*
Liz lifted her head, desperately tried to focus. She heard the evil snakelike hiss of her father's belt as he pulled it from around his waist. Her eyes widened and she reached out, not caring if her father realized what she was doing.
*Help me. Please, you have to help me.*
The first hit made her scream and her father looked up curiously as it seemed to echo in the upstairs bedroom of the house across the street.
More coming soon.
[ edited 4 time(s), last at 25-Jun-2002 2:57:32 AM ]
|posted on 14-Jun-2002 7:55:31 PM by Mikyla|
Liz pushed her hair over her shoulder and stretched tiredly. It had been another long day, and she was more than ready to go home. Her hand went towards the intercom, but before she could press the button, it squawked at her. She sighed.
"Yes Mr. Evans?" she said pleasantly.
"Miss Parker, can I see you in my office please?"
"No", Liz muttered under her breath, even as she got up to go into the other office.
She closed the door behind herself and sat down in the chair in front of the huge desk before she looked up, and into the eyes of her boss. Max Evans. It was always a constant amazement to her that she was here, working in the office of a boy she went to school with. A boy she'd, for a long time, had a terrible crush on. She felt the ripple across her nerves, and she forced it down ruthlessly, the same way she always did. He watched her silently from across the desk in that unnerving way of his, and Liz had to force herself not to squirm. She raised her eyebrow pointedly, urging him to say something.
"You're here late again," he finally murmured.
Liz frowned in confusion. She was always staying late at the office. This was the first time he'd mentioned it.
"Is there a problem with my working late?" she said hesitantly.
"Yes," he said firmly. "I don't like it."
Liz felt the heat of anger rising. "I'm sorry to hear that. Do you have a suitable solution in mind or would you like me to resign and save you the trouble of firing me?"
He cracked a smile, and Liz stared in profound shock. Had she ever even seen him smile before?
"Calm down," he said mildly. "I have no intention of firing you, and I'm not going to let you resign. What I'm suggesting for you is some time off. You deserve it, and frankly I think you need it. You've been losing weight, and you don't look good."
Liz looked down at herself, then back up at him.
"What do you mean I don't look good? I look fine. I look the same way I've always looked."
Liz looked up at him, still frowning, and wondered what the heck was going on.
Max could tell she was confused, and hurt, by what he was saying, and he had to stop himself from telling her she looked better than good, she looked gorgeous. He had a plan here, and it wasn't going to work if he broke down and begged. Or worse, if he used his mind to convince her. He had been watching her the whole time she was working with him, and he was certain she didn't know he was the voice she heard in her head, the stranger with the same gift she had been talking to for years. The little boy who had witnessed first hand all her pain.
"I have a favor to ask you," he said briskly, his stomach tightening with nerves. "I assume you remember meeting my parents last year at the company dinner?"
Liz nodded slowly. "Of course."
Max turned in his chair and looked out at the view he had, although he couldn't really see it. His stomach was a writhing bundle of nerves.
"They've invited me to spend the holidays with them on their estate."
Liz stared at the back of his chair in bemusement. What was she supposed to say. Congratulations? He suddenly spun back to her and Liz cleared her face quickly.
"I'd like you to come with me."
Liz's face fell, and she just stared blankly at him. Max waited, his eyes on hers, saying nothing. Liz finally came out of her stupor and shook her head in bewilderment.
"You want me to...you want me to go with you to your parents for the holidays?"
"Yes," Max said.
"But...why?" Liz asked slowly. "I mean, I'm sorry Mr. Evans.."
"Max," he told her. "You've been working for me for a long time. You should be calling me Max."
Liz couldn't shake the feeling she fallen down the rabbit hole, or stumbled into the twilight zone. She had been working for him for a long time, and he'd never, ever asked her to call him by his first name.
"To tell you the truth you'd be doing me a huge favor," he continued. "If I know my mother, and I do, she'll invite a woman for me to meet, with the hopes I'll one day marry her. If I call and tell her I'm already bringing someone she'll leave me alone."
Suddenly Liz smiled, and Max grinned back. "Don't tell me you got it too?"
Liz nodded, her smile growing. "All through dinner she was telling me how wonderful you are, what a fabulous husband you'd make."
Max groaned and rubbed his face with his hands. "See what I mean? I really need you to come with me."
Liz knew she was going to refuse, and was surprised at how much she regretted it. She opened her mouth to turn him down.
One whispered word. That was all. But it was something Liz had never heard him say. She closed her mouth, took a breath, and nodded.
"Alright Max. I'll go with you."
Thanks for the feedback everyone.
|posted on 18-Jun-2002 6:03:49 PM by Mikyla|
Liz let herself into her apartment, her mind still whirling from the conversation in Mr Evans..Max, she corrected herself, from the conversation in Max's office. She threw her bag on the couch and headed straight for the shower. She sighed in relief as she stripped off her clothes.
*You've had a bad day*
"What are you doing?" Liz shrieked, covering her naked breasts with her shirt.
She could tell he was shocked by her reaction.
*What do you mean what am I doing? I'm talking to you. I always talk to you.*
"Well you can't talk to me right now," Liz said, glancing around frantically for some cover. "Go away and come back later."
She could feel his hesitation.
*Is there someone there? Are you....busy?*
Liz suddenly realised what he meant and she blushed. Everywhere.
"Of course I'm not busy," she said quickly.
*Then what the hell is this 'you can't talk to me right now' stuff about?*
"If you must know, I'm about to take a shower. I can't talk to you while I'm in the shower."
*Why the hell not?*
"I'm naked!" Liz said, gesturing down at herself as if he was standing right in front of her.
Silence reigned for almost a full minute before Liz felt the amusement roar through him. He said nothing to her for a while, and Liz knew he was somewhere laughing his head off.
"It's not that funny," she finally mumbled, feeling stupid.
*I can't see you Liz* he finally said, amusement still coming through. *You have nothing to worry about. Now tell me what happened today that's got you so wound up.*
Liz gave up and stripped the rest of her clothes off, ducking into the shower.
"My boss invited me to go away with him for the weekend."
*What's wrong with that?*
"This is my boss we're talking about remember?" Liz told him. "The guy I told you wasn't human?"
*Well why didn't you just tell him no? He wouldn't have forced you to go.*
Liz blinked shampoo out of her eyes and frowned. "How do you know I didn't say no?"
There was moments hesitation, and Liz got the distnict feeling he was trying to come up with a lie.
*Well I just assumed I guess. I mean, did you say no? I wouldn't know would I. It's your story.*
"Who are you?" Liz asked slowly, her voice suspicious.
She could feel his surprise. She'd never asked him a question like that before. She'd always been content just to have him there whenever she needed him. But now she wanted to know.
*You know who I am.*
"Your name," Liz insisted. "You've never told me your name before. I want to know."
*Does it matter?*
Liz thought about it for a moment, and decided on another question. "Do you ever think about maybe, one day, meeting?"
She waited, a little disappointed when she didn't feel anything in him, no shock, no apprehension.
*We'll meet one day.*
She stepped out of the shower and grabbed a towel, drying herself briskly. "For all we know, we could have already met. I mean, I don't know what you look like, you don't know what I look like..."
*I thought you wanted to talk about your boss?*
Liz made a sound of impatience, but accepted the change of subject. She'd learmed a long time ago there was no point in pushing him when he didn't want to talk about something.
"So he's invited me away for the weekend. I said yes. I'm not sure it's the right thing to do."
*Why does it have to be a big deal? Why can't you just go away, have a good time, come back and everything's back to normal.*
"You don't know my boss."
Laying in his bed, his forearms under his head, Max pondered the irony of the conversation he was having. He did know her boss, better than anyone. He felt guilty for tricking her this way, but he knew he had no choice. He'd waited as long as he was going to. He needed her.
*You can always come home.* he told her reasonably. *He can't keep you there if you really hate it.*
He could sense her thinking about it, and he knew when she came to a decision.
"You're right. I can do that."
*That's my girl. And when you come back, you have to tell me all about it*
He felt her amusement and pictured her chuckling. It was better than picturing her naked, which he'd been doing since she told him she was in the shower. He was getting downright uncomfortable.
*Are you okay?*
Max looked down at his lap and grimaced.
*I'll be fine.*
He sensed movement, and he glanced over at the clock idly.
*It's late. You should go to bed.*
"I am," Liz promised. "I'll talk to you soon."
*Goodnight Liz* he told her softly, sending her waves of love.
When he was sure she was asleep, he picked up the phone and called home. His father answered.
"Hey Dad," Max said with a smile. "I'm just calling to let you know I'm bringing someone with me to the house."
His father let the silence hang, and Max squirmed.
"Is it her?" His father said finally.
"You're taking a big risk, son," his father said, concern ringing in his voice.
"It's time Dad," Max said firmly. "I need her to know."
"Alright," his father said. "I'll let your mother know."
They made small talk for a few more minutes, then Max hung up, secure in the knowledge that he had his father's support. He was scared, he admitted to himself. The whole thing could go horribly wrong. But if it didn't, he reminded himself, if it didn't, he could finally be with the woman he'd been in love with his whole life. Comforted by the thought, he closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep.
Thanks for all the ffedback guys. Sorry about the wait again. I've only got 3 more days and then holidays finally. Thanks for your patience.
|posted on 20-Jun-2002 8:35:54 AM by Mikyla|
Liz watched the scenery pass idly, trying to figure out where they were. She'd been all right on the freeway, but they'd made a turn a few miles back and now she was completely lost.
"You're quiet," Max said, his voice even despite the nerves tightening his stomach. What if she told him to turn around and take her home?
Liz thought about answering vaguely, then turned and pinned him with her gaze.
"Where the hell are we?" she blurted.
Max blinked a few times, then chuckled. "Why didn't you just ask me where we were going?"
Liz frowned, then shrugged. "Because that would have made sense."
Max shook his head and pointed to a field stretching for miles beside them.
"See all that?" He asked.
Liz nodded. "Is this all your parents?"
Max nodded. "We'll be coming up on the driveway in just a minute. You ready?"
"What is it you want from me exactly?" Liz asked. "I mean what if your mother has already invited some woman..."
Max was counting on it.
"It probably won't happen now that you're coming," Max lied. "But if it does, I just need you to stick close. You know, keep the vulture off my back."
Liz chuckled, shaking her head. Max looked over and raised his eyebrows. "What?"
"Keep the vulture off your back?" Liz said, still shaking her head with a smile. "Aren't you being a little melodramatic?"
"No," he said seriously. "You have no idea what these woman can be like."
Liz was amazed and amused to see a shiver chase across his shoulders. Shaking her head again, she sat back in the seat. "I'll take your word for it. And I'll keep her, whoever she is away. Assuming she even believes it."
"Believes what?" Max asked.
Liz waved her hand in the air between him and herself. "You and me. Together, that way. It's not exactly believable."
Max took his eyes off the road and looked at her. "Why the hell not?"
Liz took a moment to wonder why she was having this conversation at all, instead of getting out of the car and running, then answered him.
"Girls like me don't get guys like you," she said simply.
Max knew there was something deeper going on here, but he couldn't see it past the red haze swimming in his mind.
"That's the biggest load of bullshit I've ever heard."
His tone was so mild, it took Liz a moment to realize what he'd said. When she did, she glared at him.
"It's the truth," she insisted. "Men like you look for a certain type of woman. I'm not it. It's not wrong, it's just the way it is."
"I do not have a type!" Max said defensively.
"Oh please," Liz said huffily. "All your girlfriends look the same. They're like clones. It's scary."
Max said nothing because there was nothing he could say. She was right. His girlfriends did all look the same. They all looked, in some small way, like her.
Liz sat back in her seat and wondered again at the conversation they were having. A week ago she couldn't even call her boss by his first name. Today she was in his car, on her way to his parent's house to apparently pretend to be his girlfriend and she was criticizing his taste in women. You've lost your mind Parker, she told herself, resigned. She watched as a large gate came into sight, and Max turned to stop in front of it. Liz sat up straighter as the gates swung open, trying to look everywhere at once.
"Did you grow up here?" Liz asked.
"No," Max told her. "The house I grew up in was a hell of a lot smaller than this."
Liz got her first glimpse of the house and gasped. It was huge.
He glanced over at her as he parked the car in front of the house. "Yes Liz?"
"Your house is a little intimidating," she said, looking at him with wide eyes.
"Don't worry, you'll be safe with me," he said seriously, his lips twitching on a smile.
Liz found herself watching his lips, waiting for the smile to appear. When she realised she was staring, she quickly turned away and got out of the car. The front doors opened and Max's father came out, smiling jovially. Liz watched him hug his son and frowned. She knew him. She was sure she knew him, she just didn't know how. She'd had the same feeling at the company dinner, and it had bothered her all night. He turned to her with the same friendly smile, and Liz smiled back, still searching his face.
"Hello Mr Evans," she said shyly.
"Call me Phillip," he said easily. "Come to save him have you?"
Liz hesitated, looking at Max. He shrugged and turned to get their bags out of the car.
"Oh don't worry," Phillip said, looking at his son with amusement. "I'm well aware of why Max brought you here. He's finally had enough of his mother."
Liz raised her eyebrows at Max. "See, I told you noone would believe it."
Max glared at her. "You're being ridiculous."
"What's this?" Phillip asked.
"Liz thinks noone will believe I'm interested in her," Max said moodily.
"Why on earth not?" Phillip said, looking at Liz. "You're lovely."
"Thank you," Liz said hesitantly, not used to such easy compliments.
"No need to thank me for the truth," Phillip said, picking up bags and leading them towards the house.
"Is she here yet?" Max asked his father. "My future bride?"
Phillip laughed. "Your mother put her in the east wing. You'll have your usual room, and I arranged it so Liz has the room next to yours."
More nerves tightened Liz's stomach, and she glanced at Max to find him watching her somberly.
"You can back out if you want," he said quietly. "We can get back in the car and I'll take you home."
It was more than he'd given her so far, and exactly what she needed to hear. She squared her shoulders and shook her head.
"It'll be fine," she told him, gesturing towards the door with her bag. "Let the games begin."
Phillip grinned at her approvingly as she followed them into the house. Liz watched Max's back and smiled. If this was her one chance to be with him after years of watching from the sidelines, she'd take it.
Thanks for all the feedback everyone. I'm on holidays now so updates will be more frequent.
|posted on 25-Jun-2002 2:56:10 AM by Mikyla|
Max stood in the doorway between the rooms, savoring the sight of Liz in his parents house. It had taken him years to get her here.
"Everything ok?" He said softly.
Liz looked up and looked around the room, smiling. "It's beautiful. Growing up I always wanted a room like this."
Max looked around too, approving what his mother had done. He'd told her what he wanted and she had delivered. Liz had her perfect bedroom.
"It's ok," he said calmly.
Liz shot him a bland look and continued unpacking. "So when do we meet the barracuda?"
Max shrugged. "Probably at dinner, unless she decides to come up earlier."
As if conjured by his errant thought, they both heard stiletto heels climbing the stairs. The clattered their way to the door of Max's bedroom, stayed there for a moment, then came towards Liz's room. Liz glanced up to see the unholy amusement in Max's eyes before she turned expectantly towards the door. She felt a dim shock when the woman stopped in her doorway. She was beautiful. Why the hell wouldn't Max want her?
"There you are," the woman trilled, sliding a dismissive glance over Liz before turning her gaze on Max. "I was wondering if you were ever going to come down and meet me."
Liz jumped when she felt Max's arm slide over her shoulders.
"We thought we'd wait until dinner," Max said easily, giving Liz's shoulder and encouraging squeeze.
Liz smiled at the woman. "Hi. I'm Liz Parker. And you are...?"
Liz almost felt sorry for her, she looked so confused. But only for a moment. Her gaze cleared and sharpened, and Liz could clearly see the competitive streak in her.
"I'm Amanda Lawson," she said, coming forward. "Diane invited me here for the holidays. I don't believed she mentioned you. Does she know you're here?"
Liz choked on a laugh. Max stepped forward slightly, unconsciously putting himself to a small degree between Liz and the other woman.
"Of course my mother knows she's here," Max said jovially. "I called and told her a few days ago. It's quite a big deal actually. I've never brought a girlfriend home before."
Liz watched Amanda's eyes widen as Max dropped his bombshell, and her eyes swung between the two of them. Liz smiled pleasantly, determined to give nothing away.
"Oh," Amanda said, still watching them closely. "Well that's...not what I heard."
"You heard wrong," Max said gaily, leaning down and kissing Liz on the cheek.
Liz closed her eyes and gave herself a moment to savour the soft feel of his lips on her cheek before she opened her eyes and moved away from him.
"I'd better finish unpacking," she said, pleased her voice wasn't shaky.
Amanda gave her another furious look before turning and storming out. Liz waited until the sound of the stilletos had faded, then she turned to Max.
"She's angry now, but in a few days she's going to see right through this," she predicted.
"Don't start on that 'You're not good enough for me' crap again," Max warned. "It's bullshit and I'm not in the mood."
Liz could actually feel her mouth drop open, and it took her a moment to recover.
"Listen Max I agreed to this insane idea because you honestly seemed like you needed help," she told him angrily. "But at no point did I ever agree to letting you speak to me that way."
Max seemed pleased by her show of temper, and it only made her more confused. "Say, you haven't been taking a bunch of drugs have you?"
Max laughed and shook his head.
"No," he assured her. "And I apologize. You're right, I have no right to speak to you that way."
"Why can't you see it?" Liz asked curiously. "I mean we've worked together for years and nothing has happened. That kinda proves my point."
"I think that situation has more to do with my willpower than you," Max said hesitantly. "Starting something with someone you work with is never a good idea. It's even worse starting something with someone who works for you."
Liz had the feeling they were getting into boggy territory, so she shrugged and closed her suitcase. "You're probably right."
She stowed her suitcase under the bed and straightened up with a smile. "You think it's safe to go down yet?"
Before Max could answer the phone rang beside the bed. Max picked it up and spoke into it softly. Liz turned her back to give him some privacy, but turned around again when his voice hardened.
"What do you mean he's heading this way?"
Liz frowned in confusion.
"How the hell did he find out I was coming here?" Max said furiously, his whole body stiffening. "I made sure..."
Going on instinct, Liz walked over and placed her hand lightly on his back. He spun around and grabbed it, holding it tightly.
"All right," he said, calmer now. "Keep tailing him. Let me know as soon as he settles somewhere."
The voice on the other end murmured something, then Max hung up. Liz gave him a moment, then moved until she stood in front of him.
"Don't you think you'd better tell me what that was about?" She said quietly, still holding his hand.
Max shook his head. "I can't. Not yet."
"It sounded serious Max," Liz reminded him needlessly. "I have the right to know if I've walked into the middle of something here. Something that could put me in some kind of danger."
"You're safe here Liz," he assured her. "I would never let anything happen to you here."
Or anywhere, Max told himself. This wouldn't touch her. She continued to watch him, her eyes patient.
"Liz..one day soon I hope I can tell you everything," he said hesitantly. "But not today. Not when we've just got here."
Liz searched his eyes for another minute, then sighed. "You're asking for a hell of a lot Max."
He lifted her hand and kissed it gently. "I know."
Ignoring the tingling heat moving up her arm, Liz removed her hand from his and walked out of the room.
Thanks for all the feedback everyone.