|posted on 16-Oct-2001 3:19:25 AM by DMartinez|
Disclaimer: Characters belong to creative geniuses: Melinda Metz, Jason Katims and UPN. No infringement intended.
Summary: A single word can change your day.
Spoilers: Absolutely none. Alternative Universe
Note: Some days you go through without thinking and others are nothing but. The oddest thoughts flit through your mind and you can't stop them. I watched a movie where the antagonist cocked his gun in anticipation of killing the protagonist. The visual of how slowly that chamber slipped into place reminded me of how badly your life can turn with just as much ease. Good to bad in one second flat. Sometimes the reverse is true.
Later I saw a building being built and a construction worker was caulking the windows with clear caulk. I kept thinking that it was like a band-aid that looked pretty. The fact was that the window pane was a fraction too small for the hole in the wall and this caulk was going to fix that. It wasn't the white goop that any idiot can use and screw up. It was the clear kind so that when this guy screwed up, you couldn't tell.
So anyway. These thoughts prompted the creation of this particular story that I had thought about doing for about a week now. Enjoy.
Note on title. Both words have many, many meanings so you'll understand it later.
I'm Liz Parker and an amazing thing happened today. I survived.
Liz rolled her eyes at Maria as they passed each other with trays of food in their hands. Liz twisted her hips so that she could fit between two chairs pulled out further than necessary on her way to her destination. Tourists with money to spend in alien themed restaurants. She set their meals down on the table. "Okay, I have got one Sigourney Weaver, that's for you. And one Will Smith. Can I get you guys anything else? Green Martian Shake? Blood of Alien smoothie??"
She looked from tourist to tourist to see if she could possibly sell them more greasy or entirely too sweet food. The man shook his head slightly. "No, thanks. We're good."
It seemed normal enough to begin with. It really did. The tourists were overflowing for the Crash Festival and I was about to score a major tip from my table of fanatics.
Liz watched him exchange a glance with his dining partner. Both of them were very obviously alien obsessed. Noting the time of year and really wanting a big tip, Liz turned on the charm. "Are you guys here for the Crash festival?"
The woman spoke up, entirely too anxious in Liz's opinion. Once again there were glances exchanged between the couple. "Yeah, can't wait. So...does your family come from Roswell??"
"Just four generations." Liz nodded sincerely, cashing in the tips in her head. These guys would be too easy. She wouldn't have to lay it on nearly as thick and get the same reaction.
The guy was already intrigued. "Uh, well, does anyone in your family have stories about the UFO crash?"
"Well, I guess it would be O.K. to show you guys this...." Liz bit her lip and reached into her apron pocket for a picture. As she pulled it out, she glanced behind her at Maria, who was passing by with another order. The blond shook her head at her friend and kept on walking to a table where two men were too busy arguing to notice their waitress was standing there. Liz turned back to her customers and lowered her voice. "My grandmother took this picture at the crash sight RIGHT before the government cleaned it up."
The woman took the picture from her hand to take a closer look at what appeared to be an alien. Her heavily black lined eyes widened. "Do people know about this photograph?"
Yup, these guys had every episode of The X-Files on tape at whatever hovel they called home. They were going to eat this right up. "Well, I know about it, and now you know about it."
The guy took the picture and looked as if he might be trying to memorize its every facet. "Whoa."
Liz glanced around and noted her other tables. She needed to get back to work or kiss other tips good bye. "I'm gonna be right back, don't show that to anyone."
They nodded, entranced by the supposed artifact. "No...."
She had to suppress a burst of laughter after leaving the table. Those fanatics were so gullible. Maria caught up with her as they moved toward the back to take a moment and gather things they needed for their tables. The blond shook her head at her friend. "You are sooo bad girl. Oh, and Max Evans is staring at you again."
I thought Maria had to be on crack. Max Evans looking at me is just some kind of cruel joke. He's Max and I'm Liz and we're lab partners, not potential couple.
"No way." Liz shook her head and turned to look at the table where the gorgeous and every mysterious Max Evans sat talking to his friend, his eyes seemed to glanced in her direction before they suddenly shifted everywhere but in her direction. "Maria, that is so in your imagination."
She turned away before he caught her staring at him, which would be completely embarrassing. He was the epitome of every fantasy that she had ever had regarding the male sex. He was gorgeous and completely out of her league. "Max Evans? This? No, un uh..it's not..."
"And with those cheeks! Preciosita tan linda!" Maria squeezed Liz's cheeks while she rattled off her Spanish compliments.
"Maria!!" Liz whined. She had to get her mind off this or else she'd be useless the rest of her shift. "And, and even if it weren't... I'm going out with Kyle." She caught the look her friend sent her at the mention of her boyfriend. "I mean, he's steady and loyal, and he appreciates me."
I knew Maria could tell what I've been feeling about Kyle. We're too different and it's just not working. I know he genuinely thinks we're going someplace but there's only so many times I can get felt up without moving forward and I can't do that with Kyle.
Maria wrinkled up her nose. "Sounds like you're describing a poodle." The blond started to move away but paused. "No... I'll prove it. Ask him."
"What?" Liz's jaw dropped open, her eyes flicked to where Max sat, his lips puckered up to take a drink from his straw. "No."
"I dare you to go talk to him and see if he doesn't try to ask you out." Maria smiled evilly. "I'll bet you today's tips. I'm doing good today, sweetie. If he doesn't want you, you get my tips... if he does... I get yours."
"Maria." Liz scoffed but it was so enticing. More money into her Get-Out-Of-Roswell fund. "You're on."
"Yes!" Maria did a little dance as she went back to her tables.
I figured that I'd have twice as much and be that much closer to getting out of this town. So I agreed to the bet. I can't believe that I agreed to it though. I was just asking for a heart stomping.
Liz stood there a second to compose herself before she noted that he had just darted his eyes off in another direction the second she focused on him. It couldn't be true. Max Evans, the shy lab partner, the heart throb of West Roswell High, staring at Liz Parker in her sea-foam green alien themed uniform. 'Inconceivable!' to quote her favorite movie. Then again, when 'Inconceivable!' was used, it was quickly contradicted. On to the task at hand.
Taking a breath, she grabbed a napkin holder and made her way over to his table. "Excuse me." She flashed him a half smile as she switched the full napkin holder on his table with the one she had just brought over. Then she paused. He wasn't even looking at her. She flicked a glance to his friend, Michael, who was glaring at her slightly. "Ok... this is going to sound totally off the wall but can I ask you something, Max?"
"Um..." Max's eyes snapped to her face in surprise. She was still there. She was standing right beside his table wanting information from him. "Um, sure."
"Okay. Um... Maria just said the craziest thing to me a minute ago." Liz released a small laugh and fixed her gaze on the mural behind their booth; her face began to warm up and soon she was sure she would be blushing. "She told me that... well, that you were staring at me... again." She quickly began a ramble when her eyes dropped to his face. "I think she's hallucinating but... it's Maria and she sees things and um... We have a bet going on this and I'd really like to pocket her tips as well as mine tonight... and I should let you answer, huh."
"Maybe." Michael fixed her with his patented 'go away' face. "Maxwell, answer her."
"I..." Max suddenly couldn't find his tongue. Liz Parker had caught him staring. He was beyond humiliated. Michael was goading him. Michael was not going to let him hear the end of it. Michael was going to call him a pussy if he didn't tell the truth and so he opened his mouth. "Well, yeah... I guess I was."
"Oh. Really?" Liz felt a nervous smile float across her face. "Really?"
Imagine my shock to find out that Maria was right. Moreover... Max Evans has been staring at me. Staring at me!
Before Max could answer her, a commotion rose from the other side of the room. ".....you ask me to give you another day!!?? You're running outta time!"
A clatter of dishes and silverware seemed to fill the air. Then they watched in shock as one of the men shoved the other. It was escalating so fast. Liz blinked but it was still happening. She could see Maria out of her peripheral vision. "Liz!!"
"I want the money today. NOT tomorrow!!" The man shouted at his companion. Then to everyone's horror, the second man pulled a gun. A struggle ensued and suddenly a shot rang out. Liz felt like her entire life had been turned upside down in those 10 seconds.
When she opened her eyes, she was under a table with Max and Michael, her face pressed against Max's chest. The air was so quiet as footsteps faded outside the restaurant.
I've never been as scared as I was right that moment. I couldn't believe someone had pulled a gun in my father's restaurant, practically in my home... But Max was there holding me and stroking my hair, whispering that it was all going to be alright.
Her eyes met Max's for a few seconds between his whispered reassurances. In those few seconds, she could see that he was as scared as she was about what had just happened. Michael tapped her shoulder. "Coast is clear. We can come out now."
Liz crawled out from under the table to find the rest of the restaurant doing the same. She had to take control of the situation. "Is anyone hurt?"
"Don't think so." Someone answered her. "Shot went wild."
Liz barely blinked when Maria wrapped her arms around her. "Jose! Call the police." Liz blinked and thought rapidly about what to do. How had something like this have happened? Was there anything that could have been done to prevent it?
No one was hurt and I was so grateful when Daddy came down to see what had happened cause he took over and I could concentrate on getting my hands to stop shaking...
I survived today. The odds of no casualties in gun related incidences is extremely rare. I survived and now I know that Max Evans stares at me while I work. I guess I should give Maria my tips tomorrow. She won but she's probably like me and trying to do anything at all to get her mind off the fact a gun went off where we spend 20% of our time everyday.
I can't help but wonder though... was Max being serious?
[ edited 4 time(s), last at 5-Nov-2001 10:12:15 AM ]
|posted on 20-Oct-2001 2:26:06 AM by DMartinez|
|I'm Liz Parker and I have no clue what's gotten into me.|
Liz slid into her seat in biology and waited for Max to show up. She didn't know what she would say to him when he got there but she always waited for him. They had been partners since the first day of school because she had been late due to a discrepency in her schedule. The only seat had been next to Max at the back of the room. Every day since she had sat there and waited for him to get to class.
Maybe she was just desperate to confirm whether or not he had been staring at her while she worked. If he was, she was out 80 bucks but up one very handsome lab partner. If only she didn't sort of have a boyfriend.
Liz glanced up when Max tried to sneak in through the back door and slid silently into his seat. She ran her eyes over his dark hair and his eyes, brown and yet not quite, his tan skin and quickly at his muscular arm beside hers. She managed a small smile before she turned to the microscope in front of her.
He kept glancing at her about as often as she glanced at him. Finally, she laughed to herself and turned toward him. "I want to say thank you."
"For what?" He whispered back as he passed her a bottle of iodine.
"For pulling me under that table yesterday. I was kinda rooted to the spot there... and for..." She trailed off, blushing and biting her lip.
"For?" He pressed slightly, unsure of where she was going.
"For costing me $80 in tips." Liz pressed her lips together and watched his eyebrows knit together in confusion.
"How'd I do that?"
"You made me lose a bet."
"And you're thanking me?" He shook his head ever so slightly.
"Yeah." She flashed him a smile. "I... uh... didn't actually think Maria was right but thanks for proving me wrong."
"oh. OH." Max ducked his head, his cheeks flaming. He recalled the bet just then. Maria had caught him staring at Liz and told her, they had placed a bet on whether or not he actually was. "Well... I guess... I do what I can."
"Ms. Parker, Mr. Evans. Back to work, please."
Max was blushing. I have never seen anything so adorable. I am falling head over heels for him, now. I've always had a crush on him but now I know that he has some interest in me. IN ME, Liz Parker, queen of the science geeks. Who would have thought in a million years that a completely gorgeous guy like Max could be interested in me?
Liz sat next to Maria at lunch and handed her a wad of cash. "It's yours."
"Whoa. You got good tips yesterday." Maria took the money and then her eyes widened. "He was staring at you! I knew it!" She hopped up and faced Liz. "So did you talk to him? What did he say? Did he ask you out?"
"He didn't say much. He didn't ask me out. He got really embarrassed though." Liz said with a slight smile. She pulled a peanut butter sandwich out of her backpack. "But you know... He knows I'm still kinda seeing Kyle."
"Oh... so now you're only kinda seeing Kyle. Poodle boy." Maria shook her head and dug into her carrot sticks and dressing.
"It was a casual summer thing. Surely he'll think that too. We left things casual and it's time we went our separate ways." Liz nodded to no one in particular. "It's for the best."
"Who are you trying to convince?" Maria scoffed and sat gingerly next to her brunette friend. "You made out several times over the summer, that doesn't make you exclusive. You had four real dates all summer. That's not a boyfriend, it's a distraction." With one wildly colored finger, she turned Liz's face to meet the gaze of Max Evans across the quad. "I say go for it. Let hunka burning love over there know that you're interested. Let Kyle deal with it on his own."
I know that Maria doesn't like Kyle but I can't just do that,can I I mean, really. Kyle and I weren't really serious and now that school's started up again, it should just be left in the summer. He wouldn't want me to mess with his repuatation, anyway, right? That's what I thought.
"Hey." Kyle wrapped an arm around LIz's shoulder at her locker afterschool.
"Hey." Liz managed a small smile. "Don't you have practice?"
"I have a few minutes." He nodded and leaned in to kiss her but she turned slightly so he would catch her cheek. "So, how's it going?"
"Um... pretty good." Liz nodded stiffly.
"Liz, what's going on? Tommy said he saw you under a table with Max Evans and Michael Guerin." Kyle removed his arm and leaned on the locker beside hers.
"Yeah. I was there." She nodded again and saw the crushed look on his face. "Right after a customer pulled a gun, which went off and left a hole in the back counter."
"Yeah, my dad told me about that." He bent a leg to rest his boot on the locker. "Liz, is there something going on? I've hardly seen you since school started and... I know you're all into homework and school and stuff but..."
"But what Kyle?" Liz shook her head and closed her locker. "You just got jealous because I was under a table, fearing for my life with two boys and now you're upset because I couldn't find time to spend with you?"
"Liz, I just want to know that we're still good. I mean, are we still going to the Crash Festival?" He stood up straight.
"I'm going but I don't know about you." Liz turned to walk away.
"So what? You're breaking up with me?" He walked after her, his boots loud in the emptying hallway and attracting the attention of the people still remaining... including Max Evans and Michael Guerin.
"Maybe I am, Kyle." Liz spun around to face him. "Kyle, we left things casual and I took that as a hint that we were just a summer thing. I figured we'd both move on when school started." She lowered her voice slightly. "I had fun, you're a great guy and everything but I really, really don't see us together anymore."
"Liz, you're just going to tell me that you can just shut your feelings off just like that."
"Feelings, Kyle?" Liz was on the verge of anger. "Kyle, we're 16 years old. I don't know what to wear to school every day much less know what I'm feeling but I do know that what I feel for you is just--"
"Don't you say friendship. You and I are not friends. We're dating. I really care about you, Liz. I can see myself married to you, not just dating you." Kyle pleaded with her, his blue eyes trying to make her seen how much he cared for her.
Liz had never realized how much Kyle had put into their meager relationship. It was enough to make her cry but she had to stay strong. "I don't see us together next week, much less married and it's way too soon for anything like that for me... with anyone. I'm sorry, Kyle. I really am."
She tore down the hallway, leaving a stunned Kyle in her wake.
It was so hard for me to do that but he saw us MARRIED. Married, I am no where near that frame of mind. I can't hold it against him, I guess. Kyle really did share with me. He misses his mother. Maybe that's his problem, he misses her so much that he latches onto whoever he thinks he needs....
I shouldn't be analyzing him but I can't help it. I do really feel bad for Kyle. I had no idea he felt that strongly for me. It's better I guess that to lead him on for months without being able to feel the same for him. It's for the best...
|posted on 5-Nov-2001 10:11:35 AM by DMartinez|
| I’m Liz Parker and it’s strange the way your life can shift. One event can change your life without changing it at all, at least not enough for you to notice until it’s behind you.|
Liz took a deep breath and walked into school. After it was said and done, she couldn’t quite believe that she had broken it off with Kyle or that she had done it so very harshly.
During her first period, she mulled it over. Why in the world had she done it? Kyle was safe, loyal but not enough.
I figured it out. I was unwilling to recognize it before but this afternoon I was standing in the waitress station and I glanced over at Max’s regular booth. I was standing in that very spot two days ago. The bullet hole was directly behind me. It scared me. I realized that I can’t waste my time or else be safe forever. I have to take a risk something. That risk the other day had saved my life. Before that day, I would have never approached Max with something as stupid as that but I did. Thank God I did.
Liz slid into her seat in bio a few second before the bell. Max turned slightly. “Hey.”
“Hey.” She managed a small smile. After a pop quiz they were free to talk or study. Liz found the silence between them to be very awkward. “Ummm… Max?”
“Yeah?” He continued to stare at his hands.
“I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable.” Liz took a breath. “I just didn’t believe Maria and I never turn down possible money for the college fund, you know?”
“I’m not uncomfortable because of that… well.. maybe a little.” Max bowed his head as a flush crept across his face.
“I just didn’t think I was that obvious. Michael tells me I am but that’s just Michael being Michael.” Max turned slightly and leaned his body on the lab table. “If it creeps you out, I’ll stop. I swear it.”
Liz flashed him a smile then blushed. “No, it’s okay. I just didn’t think you would… look at me… like that.”
“Max, do you not know?” She had to look away for a moment before she could take the risk and tell him exactly what she thought of him. “There is not a single girl in this school who wouldn’t want you to stare at them like that.” She reached over and pinched the front of his shirt. “You are completely adorable.”
“Adorable?” Max couldn’t hold in a laugh. “Adorable.” He cleared his throat. “So what does that mean?”
“Do you not own a mirror?”
“What’s that supposed to mean? First you say I’m adorable, which sounds like a puppy to me, and then you accuse me of not owing a mirror. That tells me that I need to pay more attention getting dressed.”
“You are such a goofball.” She smacked him on the arm. “Fine, I’ll just say it.” She took a deep breath and let it out slow. “Okay. Max, besides being unbelievably good looking, you’ve got this thing about you. You’re mysterious.”
Max cleared his throat. A lump had formed there after she said he was good looking. “Mysterious?”
“Yeah. To my knowledge, not that I’ve… studied you or anything, but you’ve never had a girlfriend, you only hang out with Michael… Some people actually think you might be gay.”
“What?!” Max’s exclamation received a stern look from Ms. Hardy and strange looks from the rest of the class. He lowered his voice after apologizing. “Who thinks that?”
“Okay, so I know you’re not. Feel better?”
“Well, I guess it doesn’t really matter what people I don’t know care about.” He relaxed and resumed his survey of her.
“Why are you staring at me?” Liz blushed furiously and turned her head to her books.
“I thought you said you were okay with it?” Max flicked her hand before she could swat him again.
“I want to know why though.” She whined. “Do I have an odd shaped head or something?”
“No. Just the opposite. You’re nice to look at.”
I had fun in biology. I saw Max smile more in that twenty minutes than in all the time I’ve known him He didn’t ask me out but I think we’re a little closer than we used to be.
“Am I completely insane?” Liz pleaded with Maria for an answer. “I just broke up with him in front of everyone. What’s wrong with me?”
“You opened your eyes, girl.” Maria clapped her hands together. “So you ask Max out?”
“No.” She protested. “But we talked for a while in class. He is completely adorable and he doesn’t even know it.”
“Oh really?” Maria nodded her head slowly. “So you talked?”
“Yeah. He’s great and he’s got a great smile.”
“Yes. Yes. This we know. Is he going to ask you out?”
“I don’t know. But… I’m still upset about Kyle. He expected too much of me but I was really harsh with him.”
“Forget Kyle because Max Evans is staring at you yet again."
Their eyes met across the quad and Liz shuddered slightly. His gaze was just so intense. She could get lost in it and that was scary; that was frightening but exhilarating at the same time. She hadn’t been lying when she had said he was mysterious. There was really nothing personal that anyone knew about him. He went to school and got good grades; that’s what people knew.
Maria’s hand in front of her face broke the gaze. “Geez, that was weird. That’s it. You have to go out with him.”
So I told her I’d think about it but I’ll let him ask me. Max is so intense as a lab partner. I wonder what he’d be like as a boyfriend. He’s always been so quiet and sometime it’s like he’s not alive but then a single glance into his eyes and I know that he’s just guarded. I wonder what kind of secrets he has. He’s definitely a work of art. God knew what he was doing when he put Max together… and not just physically.
“Lizzie?” Jeff Parker called from the counter.
"Yeah, Dad?" Liz flipped her order book closed and pulled off her antennae. Her shift was finally over.
"Sweetie…" He took a breath. "Promise you won't kill me?"
"Dad?" Liz gave a short laugh. "What's up?"
"I promised we'd work the Festival tomorrow."
"What?" Her jaw dropped open. "When? Why didn't you tell me sooner?"
"Sweetie, I wasn't going to do it but we need to fix that back counter. If we're going to afford the damage bill and being closed three days to do it, we need the Festival crowd here and there." He explained to his daughter. "I know you were looking forward to the night off but I need you here or there."
"Okay." She sighed and walked over to the station to take a good look at it. "Okay. I'll go work the Festival."
Just when I thought I was taking control of my life… Not like anyone I know will be there, right. Anyway, after I finish deluding myself about the misery my night will be tomorrow, I'm going to dream that this is a perfect world and my dad will fire me, Max will ask me out. Right. I was going to stop deluding myself. I need a nap.
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 5-Nov-2001 10:14:28 AM ]