posted on 28-Jun-2002 12:41:17 AM by Trinity Star1323
Title: In Your Hands
Author: Trinity
Rating: PG-13…
Disclaimer: UPN owns Roswell, the characters, and situations. No infringement intended. Nothing is mine. All In Your Hands is a song by the band, Lamb.
Summary: Sequel to Pyramid of Pain. Six years have past. Liz has kept her whereabouts a secret, but she has been in contact with her parents as well as Maria and Jesse, who helped her deal with all legal issues.
Category: Max/Liz all the way!


I've been so excited since I knew I was gonna be with you
now every day the sun will shine on me from your eyes
I'm on a train to you and it's just not fast enough
every second takes an hour, I can't sit still

you waited so long and so patiently for me to be
sure I could trust the light in your eyes that shined
now it's all in your hands and it feels so beautiful
now you can lay them on me as much as you like

the things that you do to me make me tremble
just one look from your eyes makes me weak
there's no greater love than the way I feel
now I've let myself love you

you waited so long and so patiently for me to be
sure I could trust the way that you made me feel
now it's all in your hands and it feels so beautiful
now you can lay them on me as much as you like

now it's all in your hands and it feels so beautiful
now you can lay them on me as much as you like
yeah it's all in your hands and it feels so beautiful
now you can lay them on me as much as you like

lay them on me baby as much as you like
lay them on me baby as much as you like...




Chapter 1

The moon shone through the meager window in the wee hours of the night, offering just a little bit more light. It was just after two in the morning and the light in the tiny home was one of the only on in the neighborhood. Everyone was snuggled tightly in the their beds with their loved ones, sleeping the hours away.

Everyone but Liz.

In a t-shirt and nothing else, sitting on her bed, Liz let her eyes scan over the documents spread out before her. A few folders were close by, their contents waiting for her perusal. But for now, Liz was riveted to the folder sitting in her lap and the cup of coffee resting precariously on the makeshift night stand next to her.

It was a patient’s profile; Adrian Grain. Liz had to review it before the next day so that she and her colleagues could make a decision as to what would most help her: surgery or medication and therapy. Either way it would take time and hope.

Phrases jumped out at her. “Metastatic pleural tumor” and “cancer” were the two big ones, but others such as “cough” and “chest pain” and “shortness of breath.” No one knew what to do. The family wanted the woman to live, but only a day ago, as Liz had sat and talked with Adrian, she had found out that at the ripe old age of 84, Adrian was ready to let go.

But could she do that? Could she let this woman die without even trying to help her?

The sound of her daughter crying pulled Liz from her deep contemplations. Papers still in hand, Liz forced herself up. She quietly walked through her small home and into her daughter’s bedroom where she gingerly picked up Hannah from her crib. Immediately Hannah quieted; resting her head on her mother’s bosom and placing a tiny hand over her mother’s heart.

Back in her room, Liz lay back down on her bed and sighed quietly to herself as she carefully rested her daughter upon her stomach. She was tired beyond belief; between school and her residency at the hospital, Liz found that she had less and less time for anything but work.

She glanced down once again at the file before her and continued to read. “Cancer cells may be transported by the blood and lymph systems to other organs in the body. Almost any cancer can spread to the lungs, and metastases are found in 20 to 40% of patients dying of various cancers. Metastatic pleural tumors usually cause a pleural effusion, which is often bloody. Risk factors are a previous medical history of cancer. The incidence is 5 out of 10,000 people.”

Setting down the current file in her hand, Liz picked up another stack: the family’s arguments against their mother’s choice.

It contained an epistle from a psychiatrist: Dr. George Savage. Liz was well acquainted with his work, however she did agree with his diagnosis of Mrs. Grain. He claimed she was senile and could not competently make her own decisions in the current state she was in.

But Liz knew better. Adrian was beyond capable to make her own decisions; she just wasn’t making the decision everyone wanted her too.

“Momma?” At the sound of her eldest son, Zachary, who was now ten, Liz replaced her files down on her mattress and turned to see what her son was doing up so late. Her brows furrowed as she watched her middle child of six years, Spencer, tiredly rub at his eyes as he joined Zachary.

“Baby, what are you doing out of bed?” Liz asked worriedly. She fleetingly looked at her clock and noted that it was well after two in the morning.

“Hannah was crying again and I was coming to check on her,” Zachary explained. Liz’s lips curled upwards and tears welled in her eyes at her son’s thoughtful gesture.

“And what about you, young man?” Liz queried playfully. Her eyes twinkled in delight as she watched Spencer duck his head, refusing to meet her gaze as he attempted to come up with a reason for his being out of bed.

“I mish ya momma… ya never home… and when ya are, I asheep,” Spencer spouted tiredly. The laughter in Liz’s eyes was evident as she covered her mouth so as not to offend her son.

“You’re a sheep huh?” Liz questioned mischievously.

“No momma, asheep!” Spencer retorted in irritation. The smile died on Liz’s lips and she immediately opened her arms, inviting her sons to join she and their sister on her bed. She quickly cleared away the files, neatly staking them on the floor as soon as she saw that her sons would be joining her.

Huddled together on her queen size bed, Liz hugged her sons and daughter to her, reveling in the love that was quickly passing between them.

“I’m sorry honey. I don’t mean to be away all the time… and I promise that I’ll try to get home sooner and spend some more time with you guys. It’s just that with work and school and Hannah… well, I’ve really had to juggle my time. But that’s going to change... soon, I swear,” Liz stated emphatically. She hoped that her children believed her.

It wasn’t that she liked leaving her children with a babysitter everyday, but it was her only choice. If she wanted to become a doctor and provide a decent life for her children than she needed to finish this out; in nine months she would take her last test, and hopefully, if all went well, then she would be a doctor.

Liz just prayed that everything would continue to go as well as they had been, otherwise she wasn’t sure what she would do.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“No, please, Cindy…. I need you!” Liz declared brazenly. She couldn’t believe it. This wasn’t happening. Her only trusted babysitter wasn’t moving.

“Liz, my mother needs me!” Cindy explained in exasperation. She hated having to do this to her friend, but her mother was dying and she didn’t want to let her mother go without saying goodbye. Besides, her mother had always been there for her, now it was her turn.

“When?” Liz asked sadly.

“In a week and a half… but I have to pack, so this will be my last week that I’ll be able to watch Spence, Zach and Hannah,” Cindy insisted. She knew this had to be hard on Liz, but it needed to be done. “I didn’t want to tell you, but I know now… I’m sorry, Liz.”

“A week… a week, great…” Liz muttered as she held Hannah protectively to her petite frame. She didn’t know what to do. She didn’t know anyone else or trust anyone else enough to watch her children and there was no way she was just going to leave them at some daycare; no, she needed something more permanent; someone who could help her with her hectic lifestyle while watching her children and making sure hey received the love and care that they required.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Hannah?”

“Born six months ago on August 26 at 4:45 in the morning.” Perusing the certificates and papers before him, Jesse let his eyes scan down a few lines as he rested comfortably in his chair. His eyes lit up as he continued on. “No father or husband mentioned,” Jesse added a moment later, knowing that Max would enjoy that little tidbit of knowledge.

A crease graced Max’s features as a blind fury took hold of him. What sort of man would leave a woman with child and not even take responsibility? “Hannah…” The name rolled off his tongue with ease. It was a bit of a shock, but that was okay, he would deal with it, just as he had dealt with everything else. It would take some time to get used to the fact that Liz had yet another child, but Max was willing to accept the fact.

“She’s working on becoming a doctor; should be taking her test in the upcoming year,” Jesse uttered in surprise. He had never figured Liz to be much of a doctor person, but he understood completely. She was great with people and it paid well, which would come in handy what with her being a single mother.

“A doctor?” Max choked out. He could hardly believe it himself.

"Already been through her four years of med school. Loaded up and even got out early.” Jesse was clearly amazed. He had known Liz to be smart, but after everything she had been through he had been positive that it would take years before she was ready to be on her own.

However she had proven him wrong. When he had been helping her with all the legal issues surrounding she and the death of Adam, he had watched as she alone cared for her sons, while working and going to school.

But what Jesse also knew, was that Liz had yet to heal completely. She hadn’t gotten the help she had needed. Instead she had bottled everything up and acted as though none of it ever happened.

“Owns a house and everything,” Jesse stated. He took a deep breath and paused before pulling out a cutout from a newspaper. “She’s even looking for a live in nanny.” Passing the slip of paper over towards Max, Jesse watched as his brother-in-law nearly leapt in delight. Already Jesse could see the wheels turning in Max’s head. But he had to warn him, to let him know that there was no way that Liz would allow him to care for her children. “Max… don’t get your hopes up. She wants a nanny, not a love interest. And I highly doubt that she would even consider letting you watch her children; your not even supposed to know where she lives.”

“Of-of course not,” Max mumbled dejectedly. But on the inside, his heart was lurching forward and beating furiously against his chest. He had to figure out how he could get back into Liz’s life without scaring her off, while showing her that he still cared and even loved her.

After all, he had waited close to fifteen years for this, and now it was his chance.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“What am I going to do?” Max asked as he and Michael sat on the couch, watching television with Michael’s youngest son, Ethan. Nathaniel, was playing with Maria in the yard.

“Obsession is a very dangerous thing, Max; maybe you should just forget about all of this,” Michael suggested meekly.

“I’m not obsessed,” Max protested.

“Momma says you’re a stacker,” Ethan quipped.

“A stalker,” Michael corrected his son proudly.

“What are you teaching your children?” Max queried angrily. He turned and glared at Ethan. “And I’m not a stalker; we love each other; we’re soul mates.”

“Momma says you’re a…”

“Ethan,” Michael warned. He didn’t want Max hearing everything that Maria had to say about him, especially not from his son.

“So what am I going to do?” Max asked, again. He had stayed up all night thinking of ways that he could rectify things with Liz while somehow managing to get back in her life and showing her that he was what she needed.

“Let things be,” Michael recommended. “She’s got another kid, Max. Doesn’t that tell you anything?”

“It tells me that some bast…”

“Watch your mouth around my kid,” Michael cautioned, effectively cutting Max off.

“Anyway, it tells me that some guy left her high and dry, and now she needs help; help that I am more than willing to give.”

“And help that she obviously does not want from you,” Michael continued for him. At his angry glare, Michael persisted. “Maxwell, had she wanted you to come and take care of her kids than she would have called or written and specifically asked you.”

“Maybe she doesn’t know I’m available,” Max protested vehemently.

“She knows.”

“How would you know that she knows?”

“We all know!” Michael roared. He was beyond angry with Max at this point. “Dude, just let all good things be.”

“Yeah but…” Suddenly Max cut himself off as his eyes were abruptly turned to the television set. He watched, completely riveted by what was unfolding before him. It was perfect. Not only would it allow him back into Liz’s life, but it would also give him the chance to become closer than ever with her. “I could do that.”

At first Michael wasn’t sure what Max was talking about, but as it dawned on him laughter filled the room. “You’ve got to be kidding me!”

“I could do that!” Max argued bitterly.

“Maxwell, only people with restraining orders stoop this low…”

“But I could do that,” Max insisted.

“It’s a movie… besides, you don’t know any makeup artist,” Michael pointed out.

“That might be true, but you’re forgetting one thing,” Max informed his friend proudly.

“Yeah? What’s that?” Michael asked gruffly.

Finally tearing his eyes away from the television, Max turned and faced Michael. “Well, I’m an alien and I have alien powers.” And with that said, Max waved his hand over his face, quickly turning his once masculine face into a face full of makeup and head full of shoulder length grayish-brown hair.

A moment later, the only sound in the house was the howl of Michael’s laughter and Ethan’s cry for his mother.

AN: As stated before, I got the idea for this after watching Mrs. Doubtfire with my daughter. Things will be different, but there will also be some similiarities.

[ edited 9 time(s), last at 26-Oct-2002 8:23:30 PM ]
posted on 28-Jun-2002 7:40:06 PM by Trinity Star1323
Liz is around 33/34 Max is 34/35.... everyone else is around the same.
posted on 30-Jun-2002 5:43:44 PM by Trinity Star1323

Chapter 2

“…I don’t like to be jerked around. If a kid does something wrong a good spanking will put him or her in place…” She was older than Liz had expected and as she continued to listen to the old woman ramble on, Liz couldn’t help but cringe at some of her beliefs.

“I don’t spank my children,” Liz insisted. She couldn’t even think of laying a hand on her children in a fit of rage; it reminded her too much of Adam and how he had abused she and Spencer.

“Well you should,” the woman advised.

“I’m sorry, I don’t think this will work out,” Liz stated seriously. She would not allow some monster back into her life, especially after all that she had already been through.

Liz watched dejectedly as Mrs. Myers’ walked out of her home in a huff.

Finding a live-in nanny was proving to be harder than Liz had expected. Already she had arrived late for her shift two times due to the fact that the sitter had arrived late, and she was seriously slacking on her studying.

Getting a crying Hannah out of her crib, Liz returned to the kitchen with her daughter resting in her arms. She could faintly hear her two sons playing out in the yard. She wanted to join them but knew that there was too much to do.

In an hour her last candidate would arrive. Liz prayed that this last one would turn out to be the one; otherwise Liz didn’t know what to do. She was out of choices. After going through close to twenty applicants Liz hadn’t found a single one good enough to watch her children. Some had simply given off bad vibes while others had been college students hoping to get away with the free rent Liz was offering in exchange for a nanny, unfortunately they weren’t looking for job. And of course there were also those whom had been almost right, but they had held one or two quarks that Liz just couldn’t live with.

And while Liz knew that she couldn’t be too picky she also refused to give up.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

”This is fucking priceless!” Michael hooted in amusement. He could hardly remain standing as he watched his best friend and king of Antar dress in drag.

It truly was too much.

However, a good swat on the back of his head quickly brought Michael back to reality. “Watch your mouth!” Maria seethed. She too was trying to hide her laughter at the situation at hand, but it was hard. “Now, Max… oh god, your boobs are crooked.”

“Uncle Max has boobs! Uncle Max has boobs!” Ethan cried out, alerting all that were around of what was going on.

“Shut up stupid!” Nathaniel said in irritation.

“Nathan, don’t call your brother stupid,” Maria warned, though her voice came out soft and filled with laughter as she helped Max readjust his cleavage.

“I’m not stupid… muffin head!” Ethan retorted angrily.

“Meatball head!” Nathan snapped back.

“Alien mega bitch!” Ethan yelled at the top of his lungs, causing everyone to stop and look at him. Immediately Maria burst out laughing as her son used the name she so often used when talking about Tess. Unfortunately Michael wasn’t as understanding or amused by his son’s mouth.

“Ethan Guerin, I never want to hear those words from your mouth again! Do you understand me?” Michael asked solemnly. He waited until his son nodded. “And Nathaniel, quite picking on your brother; you’re supposed to be setting an example.”

“You mean like Uncle Max is setting an example?” Nathan queried.

“Yes, only, uncle Max is an obsessed stalker, and that is something you never want to be,” Maria giggled. She was able to dart her husband’s glare, but she didn’t miss Max’s rolling of his eyes. “Oh, come on. You know its true!”

Forgetting about what had been said, Max glanced in the mirror one last time. He had to be at Liz’s in twenty minutes and he really wanted to be early just to make a good impression. “So, do I look like woman?”

“As much is humanly, or in your case, alien-ly possible,” Maria teased. She made a quick adjustment with his hair, hoping for something that looked a little more appealing, but as old-lady-like as possible.

In the beginning Max had tried for a forty or fifty year range, but Maria had insisted that any real nanny would easily be in her fifties to sixties. Thus she had convinced Max to go a little grayer with a shorter hairstyle. Isabel had picked out the clothes and Michael had made the plans with Liz to come out and visit, that way they could make sure that everything went all right and to make sure Max didn’t do anything too rash.

“Michael?” Max asked, hoping that he would gain his friends approval as well.

“Well… you’re not even close to looking anything like Maria’s mom.” This received him another swat “… but that’s okay, it’ll have to do.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The light patter on the door instantly drew Liz’s attention. She called for her two sons, ordering them to come and join her to meet the latest nanny. In picking someone, she wasn’t just going on her own instincts, but her children’s as well. After all, whomever she picked would obviously be spending an inordinate amount of time with Spencer, Zach and Hannah, and they needed to feel comfortable with the person as well.

Chancing a look at her sons, whom had been romping about in the back yard, Liz sighed at their dirty clothing and sweat-stained faces. It wasn’t exactly the first impression that she wanted, but it would have to do.

“Zach, stand up straight, and Spencer, tuck you shirt in!” Liz directed. Without delay her sons did as told. Unfortunately, Hannah decided to cry at that point. All the yelling and excitement seemed to be too much, and with everyone whom had been coming for the job, Hannah hadn’t had her proper nap. “Ohh, sweetheart, it’s okay!… This is the last one for today; after this you can sleep the night away and not have to see anyone else.”

As if sensing her mother’s dismay, Hannah began to quiet. She squirmed within the confines of her mother’s arms, still acting a little fussy, but not outright crying.

At the sound of yet another knock, Liz hastily ran a hand through her hair and then another over her skirt, so as to look as presentable as possible. She glanced at her watch and noticed that it was a good ten minutes before the person was supposed to arrive; punctuality, Liz liked that.

She just prayed this would be the one.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The moment the door opened Max almost dropped to his knees. He could hardly believe the image before him; it was the image that had remained in his head since he the first time he ever saw Liz.

She stood, encased, in the doorway with her two sons on either side and her baby girl gingerly resting on her hip.

For years Max had fantasized that one day this would be he and Liz; they would have children- lots and lots of children- and they would live in a home, together, happily married. Now, right before him, aside from the whole happily married thing, and aside from the fact that those were not his children, was exactly what he had imagined.

But none of it mattered. She was just as stunning as when he had last seen her; of course the last time he had seen her she had been covered in bruises and the likes. Her children were exact replicas. Spencer and Zach looked just like her with their heads of brown hair and eyes, but he could see Adam’s features growing in them as well; like their ears and chins and even some of their other features.

And then there was Hannah. Already Max could tell that she would be a heartbreaker, just as her mother had been, though in Max’s opinion, she still was. He could see the mop of sandy, almost brown sugar colored hair, and her eyes were absolutely spellbinding; they were a deep-set honey tone that drew a person in instantly.

Upon first look, Liz felt like someone had taken a direct blow at her gut. She took a tiny step backwards and almost gasped. No one had ever made her have this sort of reaction, but no one had made her feel as comfortable at first glance.

With her hair thrown up in a bun, a pair of black pants and a flattering beige v-neck blouse, Liz had never seen anyone look so professional. Aside from the appearance, Liz really did feel comfortable around this woman. It didn’t matter that she had only just met her, Liz could tell that she liked her; she reminded her of her Grandma Claudia.

Now Liz just wished that this woman would turn out to be the one.

“You must be Mrs. Bransky,” Liz said as she extended a hand.

Regaining his bearings, Max, or Mrs. Bransky, quickly outstretched his arm and for the first time in years he touched Liz Parker. Upon first contact both gasped and gazed at each other as the electrical currents ran through them. Their hands remained within each other’s, neither willing to pull away.

Knowing that he couldn’t give himself away, yet, Max pulled his hand away and plastered a sugary sweet smile on his lips. “Oh, now really, call me Heidi.” His voice came out a few octaves low, but it served its purpose; he was attempting to act like a fifty-eight year old woman.

“Well then, Heidi, why don’t you come on in!” Liz insisted, a bit excitedly. She shifted her fussing daughter about, trying to get her in a more comfortable position.

“Aye, the little one has yet to nap?” Max queried. He could see the droopiness in her eyes as she fought sleep, and it warmed his heart.

“No. With all the nannies that have been showing up and wanting to see her, it’s been impossible for her to get a decent nap in, and now it’s starting to show. I swear, she usually isn’t like this, she’s a real sweetheart- as long as she gets her nap,” Liz laughed. Max just about died and went to heaven as her heard her musical laughter waft passed his ears.

Fortunately he remained alive and completely in tact.

Once inside, Liz gestured toward her small family. “This is my first son, Zachary, my second, Spencer, and this is the latest addition, Hannah,” Liz introduced with gusto. She was proud of her family, especially since she had practically raised them single handedly. “Oh, and I’m Elizabeth, but you can call me Liz.”

“My, what a beautiful little family! It’s nice to meet you; all of you.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“… I try to keep a tight schedule, but I am not against having a little fun; my motto is a little fun can make anything go faster.” Okay, so maybe he had watched Mary Poppins and Mrs. Doubtfire a few too many times, but Liz seemed to be eating it up, as did her children. “I can cook, clean, I have a clean driving record and I can play soccer!”

“Did ya hear that momma? She can play soccer!” Spencer hopped up and down in his seat excitedly.

A smile curved up Max’s lips. Maybe having Hal on his side wasn’t so bad after all. The guy not only watched over Liz, but he seemed to be chalk full of useful information.

“Well, so far everything sounds great, but I have to know, what experience have you had with children?” Liz queried. She was taking notes and trying to make sure she covered all aspects, though so far, Heidi seemed to be covering them for her.

“For the past few years I have been acting as a nanny for a few of my friends’ children as well as for my own grandchildren,” Max lied. It wasn’t an outright lie; he did watch Ethan and Nathaniel, often, and Michael and Maria were his friends. And secondly, he did have a son, somewhere out there, so he wasn’t exactly lying about having his own child, he just didn’t know if his son was even old enough to have grandchildren.

“Wow, that’s great!… Now, do you have any questions? And are you still interested?” Liz queried hopefully.

“Of course, dear. Your children are absolutely precious, and I would love to watch them. And as for questions, none come to mind, right now,” Max forced himself to answer. He had a million questions, but he knew that asking her most of the things he wanted to know would be way too personal for a first time meeting.

“Well, okay! I’ll just go over the basics so that I know we’re on the same page: in exchange of your services as a nanny you will receive free rent, utilities and food. You can also use my car as I rarely take it to work. While Spencer and Zachary are in school you’ll only have to worry about Hannah. I do expect some basic help in cleaning my home, but nothing drastic: vacuuming, dusting, and laundry is the major thing. And finally, cooking meals will be the second big job,” Liz explained. “On a normal day I go to work sometime around six in the morning and return home sometime between five as I have lectures to attend, but there are instances when I will come home early, and there will be times when my shift will change and I’ll work graveyard. Aside from that, your main duty will be to help me take care of my children when I am unable to properly be there for them.”

“Everything sounds perfect to me, and I have no qualms over the given duties. However I will need to know what foods they like as well as any dietary quarks they might have; that goes for you as well,” Max stated. He could hardy believe this was happening.

“Of course!” Liz nodded in affirmation. “Well, I would be more than honored to have you watch my children, so, if you want the job, than its yours!” Liz stated as calmly as possible. On the inside she was jumping up and down. Somehow she just knew this woman would be perfect for watching her children. Maybe it had been the instant connection when they had shook hands, or maybe it was her kind demeanor, either way, Liz knew Heidi was her dream come true.

“To watch over your children would be a dream come true,” Max exclaimed, trying his best to not jump up for joy.

Now he just hoped that this worked out and didn’t blow up in his face.

posted on 30-Jun-2002 11:43:15 PM by Trinity Star1323
Just to clear a few things up.
1- Liz is Hannah's mother; her father will be explained a little bit later (a chapter or two down the road).
2- Hal is Hal Langley, as in the second protector, or whatever you want to call him.
3- Yes, Liz still lives in California.
4- Michael, Maria and the supposed withholding of information will be explained in the next chapter; everything isn't what it seems.
5- All information in the beginning exchanged between Jesse and Max was found through a private detective; while Liz has been in contact with her parents and Michael and Maria, she has told them little to anything about her life. Again, this will be better explained in the next chapter.

Okay, so I think that is all. Hope some tings have been answered.

Joey
posted on 6-Jul-2002 12:27:26 AM by Trinity Star1323
AN: Song credit goes to Martha Wainwright.

Chapter 3

“No, Maria, I’m just shocked… I didn’t even know you guys knew where I lived,” Liz sighed into the phone. She was twirling the phone cord with her fingers and rubbing at her face, trying to overcome the shock of what was taking place. “In fact, I don’t even remember ever telling you where I live… no, no, Maria…Maria, no! I just needed time alone, and right now…. But Maria…”

Max continued to watch Liz as she nervously shuffled about her kitchen, talking on the phone with Maria, while he sat at the table. Two days had passed, and in that time, Max had moved his belongings into Liz’s home and had slowly become acquainted with her family as well as Liz’s lifestyle.

A moment later he forced himself out of his chair and over towards Liz, whom was sagging against the cupboards, lightly banging the phone against her head.

“Want to talk about it?” Max asked carefully as he pried the phone from her hands and replaced it on the hooks. He didn’t want to be too intrusive, be he also didn’t want to seem like he didn’t care.

Feeling the original flush in her cheeks die down, Liz lifted her chin and smiled at the women before her. “No, just old friends deciding to butt in when its really not necessary,” Liz laughed, pretending that it really was nothing, when in fact it eating her up alive. She hated keeping all of her friends at arm’s reach, but it was necessary; she didn’t want their pity or their help; she was a strong woman and she could do this on her own. “Now, where were we?”

Bustling about the kitchen with daughter in hand and balancing two cups of coffee in her hand, Liz refused to let Heidi do anything for the time being. Once she was seated, Liz returned her attention to her new nanny.

In the past two days Liz had gotten to know Heidi quite well, and she was extremely pleased that someone so sweet and nurturing would be caring for her children. Zach and Spencer seemed to immensely enjoy Heidi, and thus far, Hannah had shown no signs of distrust or dislike toward the woman.

Of course, Liz was confused by the feelings that consumed her whenever she was near Heidi; it was like she knew her and could even sense her. But Liz knew that was impossible; she had never met Heidi before. Right?

“I hope you don’t think me intrusive, but many find me to be a great listener,” Max insisted lightly. He kept his voice soft and tried not to seem too overbearing.

Hesitant at first, Liz glanced at Hannah, whom was quietly resting in her arms, to her cup of coffee and back at Heidi. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to confide in someone. “A few years ago I left home after getting out of a bad relationship. I didn’t anyone where I was going, just that I would contact them once I got there and was settled in,” Liz explained as best as possible. She didn’t want to say too much, but already she could feel some of the guilt of her actions lifting from her. “I did contact my family and friends, but I didn’t tell them where I was or anything, really. Now, out of the blue really, one of my old friends calls to tell me she’s visiting tomorrow with her husband, and all I can ask is how she got my address. Does that make me a horrible friend?”

Half of what she just said didn’t even make sense to Liz. There was so much more to her story; so much that she couldn’t tell Heidi, yet Liz found herself wanting to. In the last two days, though they had talked little about their personal lives, Liz found that she was extremely comfortable around Heidi; it was like she could tell her anything. Liz knew she couldn’t.

“A horrible friend? No. Cautious, and maybe a tad scared, though for what reason I know not. Follow your heart.” He had heard that in some movie and women seemed to eat it up. As if on cue Liz’s lips curved upwards at his words.

“My grandma Claudia said the same thing,” Liz commented wistfully. Tears welled up in her eyes at the memory of her grandmother. She could only image what she would have to say about all of this. Would she be mad? Happy? Devastated? Liz’s whole life had taken twists and turns that she had never expected; most of which had been unplanned and uncalled for. But Liz would never change a thing as long as it meant she still had Zachary, Spencer and Hannah; they were her reason for living.

“Your grandma Claudia must be a very smart lady.” Max forced himself to mess up on small details such as assuming her grandmother was still alive.

“Oh, she died… I was still in high school and I had just met the guy of... of…” Suddenly her voice hitched in her voice and she looked away, wiping the tears from her face.

His heart beat a mile a minute in his chest. Max knew she was talking about him. “Go ahead dear, it’s okay… get it all out.” He placed a reassuring hand on her back and began to gently rub up and down, offering her the solace she needed.

“No… no, it’s in the past. I’m done with that chapter of my life.” Max wanted to scream out in frustration. She was closing herself off again; he had been so close and she had shut down.

Not that he blamed her. He had been an ass and he deserved everything that had come his way; including the fact that Liz had loved someone else and had had their children. And it was quite obvious she had loved someone else.

Returning her gaze to the woman across from her, Liz forced a smile onto her face as she sipped at her cup of coffee. “What about you? Is there a Mr. Bransky?”

“Oh no, deary!” Max flushed at the question. How was he supposed to answer this one without sounding too embarrassed? He had told her he had children, which meant that Heidi had to have had a husband, or at least someone whom had impregnated her. “He-uh… he died,” Max finally answered remorsefully.

“I’m so sorry,” Liz said as she placed a hand over Heidi’s, giving it a slight squeeze. Both stared up at one another as the electric shocks traveled through their hands and to their hearts, warming them both. “My husband passed away as well.”

Both Max and Liz wanted to snort at her last comment; Adam would have been lucky to die of natural causes. Had Liz not shot him Max would have killed him with his bare hands.

“Anyway, it’s late and I really should be going to bed,” Liz lied. She hardly slept a wink; during her time with Adam sleep had been a luxury and since his death she hadn’t been able to sleep since. Maybe it was the fear that he would return, dragging her from her bed to watch as he hurt her family, which she had worked so hard to protect. Or maybe it was just habit.

“But you just had a cup of coffee,” Max said in disbelief. He could tell that something had changed in the last minute, but he wasn’t sure what. “Won’t it keep you up?”

Glancing down at her cup, Liz merely shrugged. “When you have three children, remaining awake isn’t always a terrible thing,” Liz joked. Getting up and placing her cup in the sink, Liz turned toward Heidi. “The stuff really doesn’t affect me, besides I have some files that I should read over… so…”

“Would you like me to put Hannah down so that you can get some of your work done and get to sleep a little earlier?” Max asked hopefully. He really wanted to help her in whatever way he could.

“That would be wonderful.” Handing Hanna over, Liz kissed her daughter and said goodnight to both before taking off towards her bedroom.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“…all comfy and warm in your crib, aren’t you?” Max whispered to Hannah as he gently rubbed her stomach. She was adorable, and though Max wanted to resent her because another man and Liz created her, Max couldn’t. He laughed as she rubbed tiredly at her eyes and instinctively curled up to her blanket. He had to resist the urge to bend over and kiss her; she was still getting used to him; though it appeared that she was already accepting him.

Saying goodnight one last time, Max turned on her nightlight as well as her baby monitor before taking off down the hall towards Liz’s room.

As he neared it his pace slowed. He could faintly hear the soft hum of music drifting from her room and he was positive he had even heard a sob. Edging closer to the door, Max listened closely, trying to hear anything he could.

When he reached her room he eased the door open, using his alien powers so as to make sure that the door didn’t squeak as it opened. What he saw nearly broke his heart, yet as he got a better look, his heart lurched forward, and for the first time ever he had hope.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Summer comes and rain falls away
but the very next day it seems
the snow comes to stay


Staring down at the photo in her hands, Liz had to fight to stop her tears from splattering down upon the glass covering the picture. It took all of her strength to not break down completely and return home where she knew she could have everything that she had ever wanted. Well, almost everything.

And you too will go just like the dog days do
I'll put on my hat my gloves my scarf
to keep the cold apart


She wondered what he was doing with his life. Had he found his son? Had Tess returned? Did they live together like the family they should be? Did they have a white picket fence, a small yard and two and half children? Was he happy? Did he love her?

But there are no hats gloves scarves for the heart
Just a cold wind which leaves its frosted mark


Liz tried not to do this to herself. She knew it was detrimental to her health, as well as her heart. But no matter how hard she tried, Liz couldn’t forget him; he was the love of her life. No matter how hard she tried, no matter what she did, Max Evans’ remained at the forefront of her mind.

Don't forget that I will always love you
just a reminder to help you pave your pathway
summer comes, fall it cools
winter it snow, spring it rains
and you go


When she had last seen him she had just returned to Roswell to stay with her parents. And before that she had let him hug her in the store. He had been with his mother and as far as Liz knew, he hadn’t found his son, or Tess. But six years had passed and Liz was positive that he had found Tess and his son, or that he had moved on. Of course, it was also possible that when she had last seen him he had found his son and Tess, she just didn’t know.

But in my silly mind I've gotten married to you
You're across town don't even have a clue
Or these images that in ten years
I'll run into you and fall right back inside of you


But, still, Liz dreamed of him. She dreamed of the life they could have had; of the life they should have had, had it not been for Future Max and his insistence that she make him fall out of love with her. They would have been married and in love and together… and the world would have ended and she would not have Hannah, Spencer or Zachary.

Don't forget that I will always love you
just a reminder to help you pave your pathway
fall it cools, winter it snows
spring it rains, summer comes
and you go


Replacing his photo in her night table, Liz sighed and closed her eyes, trying to clear her mind before delving into her work. She knew it was hopeless to dream of Max. Max Evans’ wasn’t part of her life; he didn’t want to be. And Liz couldn’t blame him, but it didn’t stop her from dreaming.

So when will we meet next and where will it be
on a platform track in an old movie
cause time moves in circles and can leave you anywhere




posted on 15-Jul-2002 1:34:03 AM by Trinity Star1323

Chapter 4

“So this is why you refused to let me visit!” Maria exclaimed as she reached out to hug the tiny baby in Liz’s arms. Liz had hardly even opened the door before Maria was inside and stealing her child away so that she could gush over it. “What a precious little thing, aren’t you!” Maria cooed quietly as she held the baby. “Michael! Michael, look how cute this baby is!”

Unfortunately, as excited as Maria was to see Liz’s new baby, Hannah was not thrilled with being jostled about by someone new; she didn’t like being jostled about period.

“Maria, give the baby back to Liz; she’s gonna cry, then you’re feelings are going to be hurt and Liz doesn’t need to deal with two babies,” Michael sternly. Sometimes he felt like he had to keep Maria on a leash otherwise she would go around wrecking havoc.

“Daddy called mommy a baby!” Nathaniel laughed, as did his brother Ethan. Liz’s head whipped around at the sound of their laughter and she couldn’t help but be amazed; Maria hadn’t said anything about having kids.

“Nathan!” Michael snapped.

Staring wary-eyed at everyone, Liz could already tell that things were becoming way too chaotic, and she needed order; her whole life depended on order and routine. Getting used to having someone beside her own children in her house was hard enough, but to have Michael, Maria and their children was almost more than Liz could stand.

“Michael’s right, Maria. I just woke her up and she’s still pretty cranky,” Liz tried to explain, but her voice came out meek and un-authoritative. While she had become less dependent on others, Liz had yet to get used to giving orders to anyone except her patients and her children. She could hardly even order Heidi around.

“Oh, what’s her name?” Maria queried, completely ignoring the two.

“Maria put the baby down!”

“Hannah.”

“Daddy’s yelling!”

“Oh, baby Hannah… you’re so precious…”

“Mommy’s making funny noises!”

“Daddy, I have to go to the bathroom!”

“It’s just down the hall.”

“I have to go! I have to go! I have to go!”

“Which way?”

“Too late!”

“DADDY!”

In the next moment utter chaos broke out and Liz wasn’t sure what hit first, but soon all she could hear was Hannah’s wailing, Maria’s beginning of a sob, one of Michael’s kids crying about peeing in his pants, Michael griping about his kids while trying to prey Hannah from Maria’s arms, and Michael’s other child crying because of everything going on around.

And all Liz could do was stand there, completely horrified and unsure of what to do.

As if hearing her cry for help, Max rushed into the room, grabbed Hannah from Michael and Maria and quickly deposited her into Liz’s arms before grabbing Nathan and tugging him towards the bathroom. A moment later, Max returned with Zach and Spencer at his sides as well as some cedar oil for Maria to sniff, and to end it all, he ended up beside Liz, softly patting her back as she worked on quieting Hannah.

Soon Maria had quieted down as had Hannah, Zach and Spencer were making Ethan feel at home by offering him a toy to play with, and Michael was trying to hold in his laughter as he comforted his wife and stared at Max, or Heidi, as he was now known. A minute later Nathan joined the group, donning a fresh pair of clothes and a smile.

“Thank you,” Liz whispered. Her original look of fear passed as she smiled in gratitude at her nanny, while silently thanking the lord that Heidi had come into her life.

“Well, are you going to introduce us to your everyone?” Michael had to fight to not laugh. He wanted, badly, but he knew he couldn’t. Beside, he would get his ribbing in later, when he and Max were alone.

“Oh, Michael, Maria, as you know, this is Zachary,” Liz stated as her eldest son stepped forward and smiled at his one times friends.

“Hey sport, long time, no see!” Michael said as he gave the young boy a high five.

“Right, and this is Spencer,” Liz stated. Once again her son stepped forward and smiled at everyone, giving them a shy wave.

“How precious,” Maria gushed.

“This little girl in my arms is the latest addition, Hannah,” Liz explained as she slightly lifted her now quiet daughter. Hannah happily suckled on Liz’s finger, content to be back with her mother. “And this is my new nanny, Heidi Bransky.”

“It is nice to meet you,” Max said. He had to hold back the glare that he wanted to throw at Michael. Hell, right now he wanted to throw Michael, Maria and their family out. Never before had anyone caused such ruckus. Not even Hannah’s tantrums were quite as bad as what Max had just witnessed. He noted that Michael and Maria looked as though they were ready to fall to the floor laughing.

“Hey, you’re not a woman!” Ethan exclaimed as recognition dawned on him. “Unc…” Before the word could leave his mouth, Michael clamped a hand over his son’s mouth.

“Ethan!” Maria proclaimed as Liz flushed in embarrassment. She had to agree with Ethan, Heidi wasn’t exactly built like a usual woman, and she didn’t exactly have the best looks, but that didn’t bother Liz just as long as she continued to remain in her home and help Liz out.

“Sorry about that… Heidi,” Michael choked out. “I-uh… I’m Michael and this is my wife Maria, and our kids, Nathan and Ethan,” Michael said as he pointed to each one. He was beyond mortified. He had told his kids not to say anything about Max really being Heidi, and now Ethan had almost blown Max’s cover.

“Well, why don’t we go outside and have something to drink,” Liz insisted a moment later. The silence was almost deafening and Liz couldn’t stand it.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Sipping at her lemonade, Maria lounged in the backyard by the pool beside Liz, their feet dangling in the cool water. The boys were off playing with Michael, Heidi was throwing something together for dinner, and Hannah was contently nursing as Liz held her daughter protectively to her bosom.

Glancing over at her friend, Maria sighed. This was not the same person she had once known. The woman before her was a shell of the real Liz Parker; this woman was merely existing, while attempting to raise a family, put the past behind her, and live a normal life.

But Maria understood.

From what she could tell, Liz had yet to talk about any part of her life with anyone. And this scared Maria because she knew that if Liz ever wanted to move on in life than she would have to face everything, including what Adam had done.

“Where’s the father?” Maria asked as nonchalantly as possible. She tried to play it off as though it were any other question, but with one look Maria could tell that it was anything but.

With a quiet blow of air and a grunt, Liz stared down at her daughter before returning her gaze to her friend. “Probably off frolicking with some other young college girl getting his rocks off,” Liz said in annoyance. Already Maria could tell this was yet another open wound.

“Meaning?”

“Meaning, I was lonely and thought I was ready to try for a relationship,” Liz explained a little bit better. But she was still miffed.

Whistling off the comment, Maria sighed yet again. “So what happened?”

“Maria, you have two kids, I think you know what happened,” Liz quipped.

“Liz!”

“Maria!” Gazing out at the pool before her, Liz drew in a slow breath of air. “I had barely even gotten the words out of my mouth and he was out the door; didn’t want to have a thing to do with me.”

“Ouch,” Maria winced slightly from the ache in her heart that she felt for her friend. “Does he help out at all?”

“Ha, you’ve got to be kidding; I haven’t seen him since,” Liz grumbled. “One time!” She squeezed her eyes shut and her fists curled in anger. It took everything inside of her not to lose control and scream. “I was horny and look what I got in return… but I love her and I wouldn’t change a thing…”

Silence encompassed the two, along with an eerie silence. Maria was flabbergasted and didn’t know what to say. The woman before her was not the same Liz Parker she once knew; the woman before her was someone Maria hardly even knew.

Liz Parker horny? Maria had never heard those words come from Liz’s mouth. Had they still been in high school Maria was positive that she wouldn’t have minded, but now things were different.

Aside from that, Maria couldn’t help but wonder what else was going on with her friend.

“But what about you?” Maria finally asked.

“What about me?” Liz snorted, as though the mere thought was absurd. She knew exactly what Maria was asking. Her friend wanted to know if she was happy, if she was in love, if this was where she wanted to be.

Rubbing at her temples and blowing out a steady stream of air, Maria tried to keep her cool. She desperately wanted to get up and shake some sense into her friend. “What about love and happiness and doing what you want to do.” Again, Maria watched Liz closely, trying to figure out what her reaction meant.

“Love!” Liz grunted with a slight laugh. She couldn’t believe how naïve her friend was when matters of the heart came to light. “Not everyone gets a fairytale ending like you, Maria. Hardly anyone marries his or her high school sweetheart, and a lot of people don’t marry their soul mate!” Liz preached proudly. She wasn’t going to let her friend, whom was happily married to the love of her life ruin her good mood. “But I am happy and I am doing what I want to do.”

“But in high school you said you wanted to be a microbiologist.”

“And a lot of microbiologist are doctors!” Liz argued forcefully. Her sudden movements caused Hannah to jerk slightly away and begin to fuss. Quickly quieting down and regaining her control, Liz soothed her daughter’s frazzled nerves before continuing. “I’m happy Maria! I’m on my way to becoming a doctor, I finally have my life under control and I have two handsome sons and a beautiful daughter, and if I had to pick between this and something else, I would choose this in a heartbeat.”

“But what about love?”

“What about love?” Liz retorted.

“Don’t you ever want to get married? I mean you and Max...”

“Max has his own life to deal with and I have mine. Over ten years have passed and we aren’t together; doesn’t that say anything to you?” Liz queried, her brow arched and a smile playing over her lips. But Maria could still see the sadness in her eyes at the mention of Max’s name.

“If I remember correctly, he tried to cajole you to live with him after Adam died, but you ignored him…”

Scoffing at her friends’ comment, Liz tried to avert her eyes so that Maria wouldn’t see the truth. That day Max had offered to take she, Spence and Zachary into his home had been one of the hardest days of her life; saying no had been the hardest task she had ever had to complete. But she had had to. If she ever wanted to respect herself and learn to live on her own then she to have left, otherwise she was positive that she just would have latched onto Max and gone through the motions. “I didn’t ignore him, I told him no,” Liz corrected. “Besides, if Max is still mooning over me then that is sad. He has to learn to move on!”

“Ignored, told him no, whatever! The point is that he pursued you and you rejected him; unlike you, he isn’t willing to turn his back on love.”

“Well what does it matter? He has his own life now; probably has a family and a house and a bazillion kids and Tess is the perfect wife and…” Liz rambled on, only to have Maria pin her with a sharp look.

“You’ve got to be kidding me!” This time to was Maria’s turn to scoff and gag. “Max has been mooning over you ever since you left! He hangs on every word we tell him about you; he comes by every day just to see if you’ve called or written; same with your parents and Jesse. Hell, he even puts up with Kyle!” Maria laughed light heartedly. “He’s so in love with you, yet you aren’t even willing to give him a chance.” Pausing for a moment and thinking about how she should word the next part, Maria pieced together what she could. “And Tess! God no! Tess hasn’t even shown her skanky face since she left with Max’s son.”

“Well then there you go,” Liz insisted, as though that answered everything. “How can I go back and be with Max when Tess could show up at any moment and ruin our lives. He’s a father; he said so himself. And he even admitted that he would take care of his son once he found him… well, let’s so Max and I did get back together then Tess shows up with his son. What then?”

“Then you kick her stupid ass back to Antar and you and Max live happily ever after while raising all your kids, both yours and other peoples,” Maria suggested while waving her arms about animatedly. “Besides, you can’t still be hung up on that! You have three kids, all of whom don’t belong to Max; one of which, her father left after one night ‘passion’ or whatever you want to call it. At least Max could be the father that your kids need!”

The second the words left Maria’s mouth she knew she had royally messed up; what she had just said was beyond wrong.

Liz’s mouth fell open at Maria’ last comment. She could feel her blood boiling and the sound of it rushing about was almost deafening. “Are you saying I’m a bad parent because I don’t have some guy around being a father? If I might remind you, I had Adam and I’d have to say that not having him is a hell of a lot better than him being around. And at least I can potty train my kids and I don’t throw a tantrum when Hannah cries in my arms.” The anger and hurt was evident in Liz’s voice as her eyes flashed with a hidden rage. Tears welled up in her eyes as she got up and started to return to the house, but suddenly she stopped and turned back towards her friend. “I provide a good life for my children; they have a roof over their heads, food on the table, a nanny who watches them while I am away, a caring and loving environment, and they are happy… so don’t lecture me on being a good parent or finding some man to play their father, because Maria, you don’t know what its like to be us. We may not have your fairy tale world and we might never get our happy ending, like you and Michael, but we love each other and we are happy and together, and that’s all that matters!”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“What are you, freakin’ Martha Stewart?” Michael asked as he joined Max in the kitchen. As he got a closer look he noticed that max wasn’t even watching what he was doing. He followed his companions’ gaze, only to find himself staring at Liz’s back.

Returning his eyes to the shiitake mushrooms he was de-stemming, Max tried his hardest to concentrate, but he could see that Liz was becoming agitated and he hated knowing he couldn’t do a thing about it. At least Michael was with him now; that would prove to be a big enough distraction.

Without even taking his eyes off the food in front of him he asked, “Where are the kids?” As soon as he was finished he began finely slicing them. Everything had to be perfect tonight. This would be one of the first nights that Liz was actually around to taste his cooking.

And Michael and Maria were there, which Max guessed was somewhat important.

Michael was amazed. He knew that Max had learned to live on his own ever since he had moved out from both his parents as well as Michael’s house, but Michael had never known Max could actually cook. “Uh, Nathan, Ethan, Spence and Zach are in the living room, and Hannah is with Liz.” Once again peering over Max’s shoulder, Michael couldn’t hide the approving look in his eye or the rumble of his stomach due to the strong aroma of the food cooking before him. “Again, what are we having?”

“Shrimp with Shiitakes, Edamame and Tomatoes,” Max finally answered as he started finely dicing the shallots and next the garlic.

“When did you learn to cook that?” Michael queried. He knew that Max worked eight to five, just like most of the world, so it really didn’t leave much time to learn how to make such a delicacy.

A red tint began spreading across Max’s face and he refused to look at his comrade. “I was watching Martha Stewart with Liz…”

“And she commented on how delicious it looked,” Michael grunted in disgust. “You’re so whipped.” Another glare from Max was accompanied by the comment. “Why don’t you just tell her who you really are, kiss, have sex, and live happily ever after; at least that way you wouldn’t have to morph into this ridiculous disguise everyday and act like some chick. Besides, your boss called; asked if you were still alive.” This time Max elbowed Michael in the side, but it didn’t shut him up. “And what the fuck were you doing watching Martha Stewart?”

Unfortunately, before Max could answer, and much to Michael’s good fortune, Liz stormed into the kitchen with Hannah held protectively in her arms.

“Hey Liz,” Michael said, his voice trailing off as she stomped past him, ignoring both he and Max. “Okay…” Staring out the window at his wife, Michael swallowed the lump in his throat; he knew what was coming. “I hate when this happens; now Maria’s gonna be all PMS-y and she won’t give me any.”

“Shut up Michael!” Max ground out angrily, causing Michael to immediately shut his mouth, if only in shock. He had had enough. He needed to go find out what was wrong with Liz, but he knew he couldn’t just leave his dinner. “Listen, just watch the skillet. In two minutes you need to add the shallots and garlic and cook for one minute. Stir in tomatoes and edamame. Cook to thicken the sauce slightly, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the shrimp back to the pan and reheat for 1 minute. After that, don’t do anything… and if you mess this up…”

“Go talk to her; I promise won’t mess this up.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Taking a seat beside on the edge of the bed, Max lightly rested a hand on Liz’s back and started to rub it gently. She sat facing the window, her back to him. Hannah was resting in her crib, just off to the right.

“Do you want to talk about it?”

Shaking her head no, Liz continued to stare out the window at the scenery before her, her mind churning with different thoughts and feelings. She felt conflicted about everything that was going on. Seeing her old friends and spending time with them was tough; they forced her to face a past that she didn’t want to.

And it wasn’t just Max, though that was a great deal of the problem.

“Zach and Spencer’s father, Adam… I loved him, I loved him so much,” Liz suddenly whispered. Her voice came out raw and throaty and Max could tell she had been and probably still was crying. And while it did hurt to hear her state her love for another man, he knew that she needed to talk and get everything out.

And he wanted to respond, to comfort her and tell her that everything would be okay, but he didn’t know how to respond. How did a jealous ex-boyfriend respond when the love of his life was talking about loving someone else?

“But he didn’t love me,” Liz sobbed, cutting Max’s thoughts in half. Immediately he collected Liz’s trembling figure into his arms and held her, hugging her and offering her the best comfort he could offer while in this form. “He hurt me so bad… and Zach; oh god, he hurt us and he didn’t even care. He- at first he wasn’t that way, but-… we tried to love him and to get him to stop-… stop so we could be a normal family, but he just kept hurting us.”

Already Max could tell that her tears had soaked his dress, but he didn’t mind. Again, he wanted to speak, to tell Liz that everything wasn’t lost just because Adam wouldn’t be the husband and father she had wanted him to be. But he knew he couldn’t speak. Heidi didn’t know anything about Liz’s past except that her first husband had died and Hannah’s father had abandoned Liz upon finding out Liz was pregnant. Heidi didn’t know any of the intimate details Max knew.

“There was someone else, but he hurt me too… I didn’t have children at the time, but god… he hurt me so bad; worse than Adam ever did,” Liz confided a moment later. Her body had stopped quivering, but her tears continued to flow as she rested her head on Heidi’s shoulder. It was hard to talk about her past, but with Heidi, Liz felt comfortable and at ease. “My best friend had just died and he turned his back on me when I asked for his help… that was the first time I had ever experienced physical and verbal abuse.”

It was like a blow to Max’s gut as he listened to Liz talk about him. He knew she was talking about him; she had to be. But did she really see him that way? Did she really think he had abused her?

Had he?

“Sometimes, when I sleep I can still feel his hands gripping my arm… and he shakes me so hard that I have to close my eyes so that I don’t see the fury and hatred in his eyes.” Her eyes grew vacant and glossed over as she pulled away and wrapped her arms around herself, trying to chide away and hide within herself. “Sometimes I can still hear him yelling and threatening me. I had thought he loved me… thought he would never turn into such a monster, but he was the worst. And in the end he just expected me to forgive him; to let everything behind us be forgotten as he moved forward. But I couldn’t… I couldn’t and I still can’t. How can I love a man I fear?” Liz sobbed as she once again threw herself into Heidi’s arms, completely oblivious to the look of self-loathing and disgust on Max’s face.

Bile rose in Max’s throat as, for the first time ever, he saw the world through Liz’s point of view. She thought he was a monster. She thought him to be worse than Adam, whom Max was positive was the devil incarnate. Yet she loved Adam, but could barely contain her revulsion for him.

How had things come to this? How had he become such a ogre in her eyes?

As he held her in his arms, Max decided he needed to do something to change Liz’s perspective on himself; he needed to show her that he was no monster, rather a man who loved and adored her, who wanted to wait on her hand and foot and shower her with love and whatever she needed.

And finally, he wanted to show her that he had changed; that he was no longer the Max Evans’ she once knew and hated, rather a man she could come to love, if she chose to.

posted on 23-Sep-2002 2:12:30 AM by Trinity Star1323
Chapter 5

“… don’t get it. It was like she was sticking up for Adam,” Max said into the receiver as he continued to chop up the onions while checking on Hannah, who was happily sitting in her play chair, gurgling and pounding her rattle on the surface of the table.

“It's a normal reaction to a life threatening situation, Max. In order to cope with the situation her brain created this fantasy world where Adam didn’t seem as bad as he was. But you, well, you were worse because Liz’s brain never created an illusion to overshadow your behavior,” Jesse explained as best he could. It was nearly impossible to explain, but Max did need to know. “It’s like, had you and Liz gotten married then that scuffle never would have mattered. But because Liz married Adam and because he harmed her, her brain contorted the situation, thus making Adam look like a saint when compared to just about anyone else.”

At this point Max was beyond confused. Did the human brain really do that? Was that what was really wrong with Liz? Was her brain really that mucked up? Could it be reversed? “So if it’s not just me, why did she only mention me?” Max queried softly. He could hear the front door opening and he knew that Liz was supposed to be arriving home soon.

“Probably because you are the clearest memory in her mind. Whenever I talk with her she always ask how you are and wants to know if you’re happy,” Jesse said as he glanced over his files. The psychoanalysis of Liz was one that any psychiatrist would love to get his or her hands on. It was chalk full of information that could prove to be extremely helpful to the medical world. “Her mind exists on two planes now; that which is reality, and that which is her fantasy world. When she feels threatened, such as when she talks about Adam, then she slips into that fantasy world. As for you… well, she loves you, but her brain refuses to leave that fantasy world when you are concerned, as it associates you with Adam and physically and verbally harming her.”

“But why?” Max asked in frustration. He glanced over at the door and smiled over at Michael and Maria; luckily Liz hadn’t come home yet.

“Well, this is purely my speculation, and the real answer can’t be figured out until Liz opens up to a psychiatrist and gets the help she needs, but I think that maybe she’s forcing you into that fantasy world. You know you hurt her, right Max?”

“I was a complete jackass,” Max confided in shame.

“Exactly. And so her mind won’t let you slip into the reality; it’s a defense mechanism of sort. We know she’s afraid to trust or love anyone beside her children. Well, she loves you just as she loved Adam, and for that reason her brain has put you into that fantasy world; its acting as a protector by telling her that you are some evil person who is going to abuse her, just like Adam did, only worse, and that way she will be too afraid to love you, or show her love for you,” Jesse clarified. It was such a complex subject and even Jesse knew he didn’t understand it completely.

What he did understand, however, was that Liz needed help. He had spoken with some experts and they had all told him to be careful with Liz. It was speculated that if she didn’t get the help she needed then it was quite possible that she would simply slip into that fantasy world and never return to reality. That scared Jesse, especially when Liz had three children to care for.

“So what should I do?” He had long ago stopped chopping up the various vegetables and was instead concentrating on his conversation with Jesse. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Michael sitting down at the counter, but he paid his friend no attention.

“If possible, get her to go to counseling; that is the first step to solving… well, everything. After some heavy one-on-one therapy, I’d suggest keeping up the charade of being her nanny, but have Maria and Michael drop Liz a little note or phone call, saying that you would be moving out to San Francisco because you got a new job.” Pausing as he considered what to offer next, Jesse went over a few ideas in his head before continuing. “If she accepts that and doesn’t close up on Maria or Michael, then you should call her and ask her out to lunch; say you got her number from Maria. From there you have to build up trust. Right now Liz is extremely unstable and anything could break the razor thin shell covering her.”

Max was about to answer, but he heard Liz’s car pull into the driveway and he knew it wouldn’t be smart to have her catch him talking to Jesse. “Okay, well, I have to go…”

“Max, just remember that this is going to take a long time. Fixing Liz to the point where she can actually participate in a relationship could take years; she’s really fragile and I’m not sure she’ll ever fully recover,” Jesse insisted. He didn’t want to burst Max’s bubble of some great fairy tale ending where he ends up with Liz, but the chances of Liz accepting Max back were slim to none.

“Yeah, okay… talk to ya later,” Max answered, only with Heidi’s voice. He grinned and waved at Liz as she walked into her home. She donned a pair of dirty scrubs and her hair was messily piled upon her head, held up by a hair clip that was practically dangling by a single hair. “Rough day?” Max asked softly. He could already tell she had a headache.

“You could say that,” Liz whispered remorsefully. She had lost a patient; an old woman whom had been like a second grandmother. Liz had been treating her for some two and a half months now, and today, out of nowhere, the woman’s heart had failed and she had died.

“Do you…”

“Mmm, what smells so goo…” Maria’s voice trailed off as she and Liz stopped and stared at one another. They had yet to resolve their differences. Maria and Michael were scheduled to leave that night and Max hoped that Liz or Maria would work everything out with the other. It would be a shame for the two to stop being friends.

Glancing over at her friend, Liz sighed in resignation before turning on her heel and heading toward her room. As much as she wanted to fix things between she and Maria, right now she was too emotionally drained, and she was still mad about what Maria had said. “I’m gonna go shower and change,” Liz murmured as she left.

“Wow,” Michael mumbled softly so as Liz wouldn’t hear. He had never seen Liz act that way before. It was like yet another piece of her was completely missing, and Michael didn’t know how many more pieces could be taken away. After kissing his wife and asking how her day had gone, he and Max watched Maria disappear into the backyard, where she began playing with her sons.

Silence encompassed the two friends as both waited for the other to say something.
Finally, Michael broke the silence. “Whacha got going there, Martha Stewart?” Michael asked casually as he came up beside Max, whom was diligently working in the kitchen, though his eyes were trained on Liz’s half-closed door. He turned and glared at his comrade before returning his attention to the onions that he was finely chopping up for his dinner.

Since he had started helping Liz out, and even before, since he had moved out and started living on his own, Max had taught himself how to cook. But with Liz and her kids it was a little harder. Zach and Spencer had the Tabasco craving while Liz liked her things bland. Usually Liz would fix her own dinner; that was if she was home.

Hannah was the easiest of the bunch. Max loved fixing Hannah’s dinner; he hated feeding it to her. She was worse than Ethan and Nathaniel had been when they had been babies. She would spit up, throw the food in his face and she even refused to eat unless Liz was feeding her. And in the end, she never wanted to burp for Max. No matter what he did she would never burp.

She would throw up all over him later in the night, but never would she burp.

“Turkey Picadillo,” Max finally answered distantly. He wondered what had happened to make Liz look so sad. Maybe it had something to do with what Jesse had been talking about. Or maybe something had happened at the hospital.

The hospital. Max couldn’t help but wonder how Liz had gotten into medical school and surveyed it when she was supposedly so unstable. Didn’t medical college take a lot of hard work and brainpower? If that was true then Max suspected that maybe Liz wasn’t as bad as Jesses suspected. Unless, maybe, she had hidden it from the admission counselors and her peers, thus succeeding in their eyes while mentally she deteriorated.

“Christ, you’re like a reincarnation of fucking Julia Child…” Michael muttered. He had always thought himself to be the best cook, but now Max was showing him up. “Do you always cook this shit up?”

“I try to cook things that are healthy for the kids, but something that they will enjoy,” Max explained, though he averted his gaze and refused to meet Michael’s stare.

“And you wanna impress Liz, you horny bastard.”

“Liz doesn’t even know its me, so how could I possibly want to impress her?” Max asked defensively.

Chuckling, Michael plucked a piece of turkey before Max could grind it up, and plopped it into his mouth. “Just admit it. You wanna get in her pants, so you’re cooking up these nice meals and making everything all fancy…”

“I don’t think Liz is into lesbian tendencies; so again, I’m not trying to impress her,” Max ground out. Okay, so maybe he was trying to impress her. What if, one day, she found out it was he playing Heidi? If she did, then at least she would know he could cook and that he had been trying to cook well.

Michael was about to answer, but before he could, Liz walked out of her room with a robe tied tightly around her body. It was short, stopping at mid thigh and clung to her wet body, and as Michael turned and glanced at his friend, he smirked upon seeing that Max had stopped working on the food and was currently staring at Liz’s practically nude form.

“Mmm, something smells good,” Liz commented as she waltzed into the kitchen. She felt much better after her warm shower. Her muscles felt relaxed and her headache had subsided.

Making her way over to Hannah, Liz picked up her daughter, all the while cooing and kissing the crown of her head. It felt great to hold her daughter in her arms and know that at least she hadn’t been taken away from her. And she still had her boys, thank god.

And Heidi. Liz wasn’t sure what she would do without Heidi. The woman was like a angel sent by god to help turn her life right side up. For the first time ever things seemed to be working out for Liz and she was positive that it had something to do with Heidi’s presence in her life.

Sort of like Max…

Liz abruptly pushed that thought from her mind as images of his fist hurling toward her filled her mind. No, she wasn’t going to ruin her evening by thinking of that man. Even if he was the love of her life, he had hurt her and Liz refused to be hurt yet again.

“So, how was your day?” Liz asked as she sorted through the mail, all while Hannah greedily munched on her mother’s damp hair. Michael smirked at the image before him; Ethan had done that to Maria once and neither had faired well in the aftermath.

“Liz… hair,” Max commented softly as he continued to cook.

Looking up from the mountain of bills and student loan notices, Liz turned and glanced at her daughter. “Honey…” Liz chided as she pulled her hair from her daughter’s mouth and threw it over her other shoulder. “You’re gonna choke and then momma is gonna have to go back to work, and we don’t want that, do we?” This time Max and Michael couldn’t stop the smile that lit their faces.

It really was cute.

After the moment was over, Max returned to his cooking before he answered. “Nothing new happened here. Michael, Maria and I took the kids out to the park. Hannah really enjoyed being pushed in the swing and Spence and Zach had fun with the new playground,” Max said as off handedly as possible. He didn’t want Liz to know how fulfilling and fun it had been spending time with her children; for once he really felt whole, only he was missing one vital thing: Liz.

Liz’ eyebrow arched up at the recount of Heidi’s day with her children. “You let Hannah swing? She’s only six months old; I don’t know if that’ such a good idea…”

“Ah, come on Liz, let the kid live a little,” Michael hounded teasingly.

“I didn’t think she should be swinging her either, but neither of them listened to me.” Liz’s head snapped around at the sound of Maria’s voice. She hadn’t even heard the back door open. “Men never listen,” Maria mumbled under her breath, but Liz still heard. She looked at her friend questioningly, but upon receiving no answer, she shrugged Maria’s comment off as just another inane moment.

Max nearly chopped his finger off at Maria’s sly little comment, and Michael almost chocked on his glass of water he was drinking. “Well, I’m sorry, I didn’t know! I won’t do it again,” Max voiced, hoping that it would pull Liz’s attention away from Maria’s loose mouth.

“Well, just don’t…” Liz stopped mid-sentence as her beeper suddenly went off. She dashed over to her purse and grabbed for the annoying black box, silently swearing under her breath. Glancing at the small screen, Liz gritted her teeth and sighed as her headache came back full force.

“Something wrong?” Max and Maria asked simultaneously. Both could see that it was serious.

Throwing the pager back into her bag, Liz quickly placed her daughter back into her career and kissed her sons on the head. “Yeah, I’m needed back at the hospital,” Liz stated flatly. She had thought she would be able to go home tonight and have some down time, for once. Yet, as her night continued, Liz knew that tonight would turn out to be anything but relaxing.

“But we leave tonight,” Maria whined, even though she knew it was unfair to do so. She had desperately hoped to talk with Liz and work out their problems, but she couldn’t do that if Liz was going to be at the hospital all night.

“Well, I’m sorry, Maria, but I have a responsibility at the hospital, and when they call, I run,” Liz answered curtly before heading toward her bedroom to grab her garb and keys. She returned a moment later and grabbed her purse. “I don’t when I’ll be back. Michael, Maria, if I don’t get to see you off then it was nice seeing you and I hope you enjoyed your visit. I’m sorry that I wasn’t around all that much and I’m sorry that I have to leave right now…”

“Hey, duty calls,” Michael offered with a slight smile.

“Yeah… but I really gotta go; I’ll talk to ya later,” Liz insisted. She moved toward Michael and gave him a quick hug before walking toward Maria. The two women eyed each other nervously as they awkwardly embraced one another. “I’ll call you later, I promise,” Liz whispered tearfully before pulling away.

Unable to see anymore, Liz grabbed her belongings and dashed out of the room, leaving three very flustered adults and five hungry and confused children.

“Where’s mommy going?” Spencer asked softly as he listened to the door slam, the sound resonating off the walls and filling the tiny home.

Kneeling down in front of the small boy, Max smiled stiffly. “Hospital called; they need her,” Max answered.

“They always need her,” Spencer said dejectedly. Before Max could answer, Zach was by his brother’s side, wrapping an arm around his shoulder. As Max watched Spencer and Zach walk down the hallway hand in hand and then at everyone else he knew that something needed to be done. Maria and Liz needed to fix their relationship and Liz’s kids needed her. They hadn’t seen her all week and it was clear that they were missing her.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Hi, I’m gonna be your doctor,” Liz said as she walked into her newest patients room. The patient was an older woman named Margy Smith. Surrounding the woman was her family, all of who were loudly bickering.

Clearing her throat, Liz spoke just a little louder this time. “Hello? I’m the doctor!” This time the family turned to look at her. Mouths fell open in shock and immediately a whole new argument broke out. “Excuse me!” Liz shouted over the din. Again everyone turned to look at Liz, their mouths still agape.

Self conscious under their scrutiny, Liz began to fiddle with her stethoscope as she bit her bottom lip. She did not need this right now. Not only had one of her fellow students backed out on her, but now she had to cover the guys’ shift, but she also had to take on a new patient.

“You’ve gotta be kiddin’ me,” one man said with a heavy New York accent. “What are ya, fifteen?”

“No, no, no, no! I will not let this happen!” One woman declared in outrage.

At this point Liz’s headache only got worse as she listened to one rude, degrading comment after another about her.

“Hey, hey!” Everyone stopped and turned to the old woman. She was flailing her arms about trying to get everyone’s attention. “I don’t wanna hear anymore crap coming from your mouths about this young woman. Sure she’s young, but a hospital wouldn’t send a doctor in unless that doctor was good.” This time the woman turned toward Liz and smiled. “Are you a good doctor, honey?”

Liz swallowed and tried to speak, though she found it quite hard. Finally finding her voice, she answered. “It’s sort of soon to really tell.” This of course made the elder woman smile, but immediately set the other family members off.

“Ya know, it might be best to tell these people to leave,” the woman said quietly as she continued to smile up at Liz. Already Liz could tell she liked this woman. “Show’em whose boss!”

Liz turned to the family and once again cleared her throat before speaking. “Excuse me, would you please…”

“Make us,” the man deadpanned. He stood in front of Liz, his stance threatening and menacing.

Glancing back at the old woman, Liz smiled inwardly as the woman nodded her encouragement. “I want everybody out of here right now!” Liz yelled. She had three children, she could deal with a bunch of adults. Abruptly everyone shut up and started getting up, but it wasn’t quick enough for Liz. “NOW!” This time the family high-tailed it out of the room, leaving Liz and Margy alone.

“Well, isn’t that better,” Margy laughed.

“Yes… yes, it is,” Liz laughed along with her patient. Suddenly tonight didn’t seem so bad.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The hospital doors swooshed open as Max, whom was holding Hannah, led Michael, Maria, Ethan, Nathan, Spencer, and Zach through the corridors. He didn’t even bother to stop at the check in station as he knew all to well which ward Liz worked in. After everyone had finished dinner, and once Max had packed a good meal for Liz, he had piled everyone into their cars and driven as fast, but safely, as possible down to the hospital. While he knew it was likely Liz wouldn’t be able to talk for long, he figured she’d be able to make enough time for her kids as well as to start to make things right with Maria.

“Excuse me! Where do you think you’re going?” One of the nurses yelled out after them. When the group didn’t respond she quickly pressed the buzzer for security and alerted them of the groups presence. After all, they couldn’t have just anybody walking around the hospital.

As Max continued through the halls, he held Hannah to him tightly. Seeing all these sick people made him rethink his decision to bring the kids. Now Spencer or Zach or even Hannah would get sick and he would be the one to deal with it since Liz would undoubtedly be at work.

Glancing behind him, Max grimaced as he saw Maria blanch at the sight of a woman covered in blood.

Yes, it definitely wasn’t his best train of thought to come down to the hospital, but in the end everything would work out and Maria and Liz would be friends again and Liz’s children would be happy to see her.

That was if he could find her.

Spotting an elevator just in the distance, Max quickly pushed the up arrow and waited patiently.

“Max, does Liz have to deal with this all day?” Michael asked in disgust as he watched one man wretch all over the floor and another hold his face together and blood spurted from in-between his fingers.

Glancing at where Michael was looking, Max quickly blocked Spencer and Zach’s views, hoping they didn’t see anything too gruesome. God knew Max didn’t want to deal with nightmares on top of kids being sick.

“I don’t really know; she never discusses her work with me,” Max answered gruffly. Luckily the elevator arrived in the next moment. The group piled in and Max pressed the button for the sixth floor. Liz always told him where she would be when she worked, and luckily she had called upon arriving and had told Max that she would be pulling an all-nighter.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Sitting in a chair beside Margy’s bed, Liz glanced down at the clipboard. The results had just come in and after discussing things with her supervisor Liz had come up with one conclusion.

“Basically your kidneys aren’t accepting the medication anymore, so it looks liked we’re gonna have to start you on dialysis,” Liz read off her clipboard. It was hard. In the short time she had known Margy, Liz had become attached. Margy reminded Liz of her grandmother Claudia, a person whom Liz missed dearly.

A moment passed as Margy considered Liz’s words. She clicked her tongue and fiddled with her fingers. “Ahhh, well, I’ve never really been a big fan of dialysis.” Margy shrugged her shoulders as she stared up at Liz.

“But, Margy, that’s the only solution we have; we don’t have any other choice,” Liz insisted. She looked on sympathetically at the old woman, sometimes this was harder than Liz could expect.

“Well, not exactly,” Margy said softly. “There is another solution…” The air rushed out of Liz’s lungs as understanding dawned on her. The woman didn’t want dialysis. The woman didn’t want anything. “I-uh… I’m ready to move on.”

No! No, this was not happening, Liz insisted fervently in her mind. She wasn’t going to let one of the few people who had made a difference in her life go. No, she was not going to let this woman die. This woman, Margy made Liz happy, just as her grandmother had. Didn’t Margy understand that? Didn’t Margy see that she was the grandmother Liz had lost so long ago?

Besides, this wasn’t ethical! A doctor couldn’t just let a patient die. It was a doctors job to take care of his or her patient and make sure that person didn’t die!

And why hadn’t medical school covered this area?

“Honeybear, I’ve lived my life and now its time that I go,” Margy whispered. Upon seeing the tears in the girl’s eyes, Margy opened her arms and offered solace for the young girl before her. “I’m ready to die.”

“But… but…” Liz fought to figure out some sort of argument, but she couldn’t think of anything.

“But nothing. Everybody dies sometime,” Margy insisted softly as she soothingly rubbed Liz’s back.

This time Liz refused to believe that. Too many people had died in her life and that was why she had become a doctor, to stop the death that seemed to tag along with her. Tears stained her cheeks as she stared the older woman in the eyes. “No they don’t…”

Credit goes to the show Scrubs for this last part which inspired me to finish this chapter.


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 23-Sep-2002 2:13:21 AM ]