posted on 5-Sep-2002 11:02:40 AM by politik
So.... a friend mentioned this fic to me the other day. And I figured... since I'm doing alright in college and all... that I could sit down and try to defeat this massive writers' block I've been experiencing. And I think I've gotten through it. So .. I have a chapter four at your disposal.

.....If any of you remember this fanfic.

So I'll post chapter one. Then chapters two and three. And then chapter four.

So... like it, hate it, leave feedback. - Big smile. I'd appreciate it. Okay. On with the AU madness.

- the artist formally known as scarlet addiction, formerly known as mystic.

[ I don't know how to change the subject of a post. ]
- - -

Category: M/L AU. Way AU. If you can't handle Liz as anything different than Max's soulmate and they always joke and flirt around... Proceed with caution. Tess is human. Michael is Liz's best friend.. Blah Blah I'm spoiling it.. Okay I'll shut up.


Lessons on Being Invisible...


*Chapter one.*

Lesson #1. If you look scary enough, people won't approach you.

Take me, for example.

I am Liz Parker. Junior at West Roswell High School. Straight A student. Loved by teachers, and feared by students.

Why, do you ask?

Because I *look* scary.

Yep. That's it. I'm not a bitch or anything, people are simply intimidated by my appearance. In fact, I actually think that if someone were to try to talk to me, that I wouldn't be able to respond in a scary all-out bitch mode that would make them never speak to me again and give me my peace... Because I'm not mean... I don't think.

You see, it's all about appearance.

But you know that. We're taught that our whole lives. I know that too; this is why I do it. I make myself look scary. On purpose.

Now don't write me off as a twisted fuck yet.. Let me explain.

At West Roswell High School, there is a caste system. Starting with the "most important," this is the order of our social class system.

The Popular Posse. Basically fashion whores and the jocks that adore them. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Isabel Evans, Tess Harding and Maria DeLuca. These would be the fashion whores. The adoring jocks that walk behind them with a trail of drool are Kyle Valenti, Paulie Alaminski, and Alex Whitman.

Actually, Alex isn't so bad. He's not a jock, and I used to be friends with him. He's just obsessed with the fashion whores, mainly Isabel Evans, love slave of Kyle Valenti.. I feel sorry for him. Really.

But I can't say anything about obsession, because I have one too. But we'll get to that later.

ANYWAY, back to the caste system. The second group is the normal high school kids you see on movies like Can't Hardly Wait. The kind that wear sneakers and are always up for a keg party, but basically lack any personal identity of their own. You know the type. They go to your high school too. Then we have the nerds, druggies, rich kids with no life but the NASDAQ, etc. How anyone from a small town in New Mexico would get involved in the NASDAQ in high school is beyond me.

But anyway, that's the social class system of my school.

I hate high school.

"Liz I found a dead bird c'mere!"

Suddenly I am being dragged behind the dumpster to see a dead animal. Joy.

Meet Michael Guerin, my best and only real friend. Family members and crazy homeless people I give food to don't count. So where do Michael and I fall in the grand scheme of high school politics?

Hehe.. We're invisible.

But don't tell anyone. If people found out, they would want to be invisible too. If you lived here, you would understand.

"How long do you think it's been rotting here in the fierce New Mexico sun?" Michael asks me. I narrow my eyes at him through heavy lined dark eyes. I'm thinking, What the hell were you doing way out here by the dumpster?

I look down at the bird, if you can even call it that. It looks like a mass of guts and feathers. Like a turkey someone baked without taking the guts out or feathering it. Ick. Something's oozing out of it's eye and a worm just poked through it's stomach. I can feel mine churning.

"Probably long enough for that to happen," I say, pointing.

"Think I can bring it back to life?" he whispers with a mischevious smirk and his arms folded over his stomach.

I raise an eyebrow. "Let me propose a question to you. If you saw that land on your windowsill, what would you do?"

Michael smiles. "That would kick ass."

I sigh. I should have specified.

"Normal people would shit in their pants," I say, looking at him from under my eyebrows. He nods, because I have a valid point, as always.

You see, Michael is an alien.

Shutup, I'm being serious.

He is. He was in the 1947 crash. (The famous Roswell Incident that only crazy nutjobs believe in? Yea.. *that* one..) And he "hatched" from this egg pod thing in 1989, looking like a 6 year old kid. So the good people of Roswell put him in a shitty foster home and introduced him to grammar school. Hell if you don't know English.

But I don't remember Michael back then. We became friends in 7th grade. This is how I found out about him.

One day we were playing outside and this saw was on the ground that we didn't see, and he jumped down off a tree and the saw *cut off* his big toe. I screamed, cried, freaked out, swore, you name it. I didn't know he was an alien.

Michael calmly picked up his toe, touched it to where it belonged, covered in blood, and *healed* it.

My eyes got huge. And I swore again. "Holy shit..."

So Michael told me about his um.. Nationality? And everything's peachy now. I mean, I think it kicks ass to be the only one in an alien-obsessed town who knows that they really exist.

Well, the only human. Michael said he "hatched" with another boy and a girl, but he left before them, and didn't recognize anyone in grammar school. You'd think that 2 kids who were 6 and didn't speak any language would kinda stand out huh?

Mmhmm.

But no. No happy alien family for Michael. Just a drunken tire salesman who used to beat the shit out of him. Then there's me. Notice who is the best thing in Michael's life. Ha. But he saved me from social hell in 7th grade. So we're best friends now. I'll explain the social hell story later.

I'm getting to my obsession.

So like Michael and I tried like a sexual thing for about 2 days in 9th. Just to have someone to make out with, you know. But it was too weird. Besides, I'm obsessed with someone already.

"It's hot. Let's go back inside and eat lunch," I say, twisting my ponytail into knots. Michael shrugs and we walk inside.

Muhahaha I win.

I tug at the straps of my black tank top and we slide down the hall lockers to the floor.

"Fashion whores are looking exceptionally trendy today," he says, opening his brown paper bag.

I'm thinking, hope you like bologna sandwiches.

Living right above a restaurant (the CrashDown Cafe, Roswell's own mecca of alien-themed food- Blue moon burger, saturn rings, and a piece of Men in Blackberry pie for $4.95... Corny shit like that.. I work there because my parents own it. Anyway,) I have food availible to me 24 hours a day. Michael's foster dad sure as hell doesn't pack him a box lunch, and Michael's culinary expertise stops at tuna and macaroni and cheese.

So in effort to keep him from bringing tuna, I pack us lunches every morning. He appreciates this. As well he should.

Okay. Stop everything. The double doors to the outside swing open. Light fills the hallway. Beautiful music plays. In walks my obsession in all his glory.

Max Evans.

Properly, Maxwell Phillip Evans Junior. Brother of fashion whore team leader Isabel Evans. Built like a fucking Greek god. Dark brown hair. Entrancing hazel eyes. Sexy as hell voice. Killer smile... I imagine.

See I have never actually seen Max smile. I'm not sure that anyone has. But I have spoken to him...

Once.

8th grade history project on the concubines of India...

We did everything that day. In class. We did research together. Okay. Picture this...

Greek 8th grade god Max telling me about the "duties" of the concubines. Me, blushing like a coke can and writing them down....

*Sigh.*

He probably doesn't know my name. That day, he called me Parker. When people actually have to leave their comfort zones and talk to me, that's what they call me. It's what everyone calls me. "Parker, can I get to my locker.... Please?" Yea you better say please. "Oh that's Parker's bag..." Note: I never *actually* leave my bag out. People could open it and find out that I don't actually have a machete inside, or even a swiss army knife.. Or worse they could find my burned CD with the disco song "Car Wash" on it....

What?... it's a good song.

Michael and my parents are the only people that call me Liz. They're the only people I really talk to, and more than likely the only people I make eye contact with. Ever.

"Liz, stap out of it.. He'll see you staring," I can hear Michael say faintly in the distance...

What?! I have to stop letting myself zone out when I'm focused on Max. I quickly avert my eyes from him and onto the lovely floor that was polished oh... last... century maybe? Such lovely marble..

Lesson #2. Never make eye contact.

But, you say, this never gives people a chance to look at the "windows to your soul".

My soul prefers to be without windows.

I'm also not so good at death glares. I'm working on it, but they still need lots of practice..

So I just try not to look at people. If you don't look at people, eventually they stop looking at you altogether. Yesssssssss.

Are you beginning to understand the art of looking unapproachable? Good. Moving on..

Lesson #3. If done correctly, eye liner makes you look hella scary.

This lesson is my trademark, and has been since the 8th grade. I could wear pink lip gloss and my eye liner and people would still be shit scared of me.

I actually have pink lip gloss.. Honest.

Somewhere..

Maybe.

Oh shutup.

Because "Parker" is just my alter-ego. It's a costume I put on every Monday-Friday morning so people leave me alone. I put my scary face on in the car and take it off before work. I doubt if anyone even knows I'm the one that works at the CrashDown. Well, the fashion whores do, because believe it or not, we used to be cool with each other.

Michael and I part our respective ways and I walk into Biology class. Fan fucking tastic. I love science. If I weren't obsessed with Max Evans I would be obsessed with science. Actually, I-

&!#$⊕

There are 2 seats left in the entire classroom.

One of them is next to jerk off jocko Kyle Valenti, boyfriend of Isavel Evans, fashion whore team leader and keeper of all that is evil.

.......

And the second is next to Maxwell Phillip fucking Evans.

I bite my lip...Hard. Decisions, decisions. Suddenly, Isabel shows up at the door and BREEZES her way over to the seat by Kyle, sitting down in her designer dress.

Where does she even get those dresses? I mean this is ROSWELL.

I swallow hard and walk to Max, accepting my fate and careful not to look at him.

Oh what an interesting desk...

Taking my seat, I can smell him... Ohhhhhhh God...

Now you may be wondering why I am so obsessed with Maxwell Philip fucking Evans. Well here it is.

Max is a walking miracle.

No really. He's the most amazingly beautiful guy I have ever seen up close, and yet he's almost as invisible as Michael and I are. Is that even POSSIBLE?!? It shouldn't be. How the hell does he DO it?! I mean seriously..

He's Isabel Evans' brother too. And he manages somehow to be invisible. That deserves a hell of an applause.

Amazing. Maxwell Phillip Evans is amazing.

So.. NATURALLY..As you can see... I am completely.. stalkerobsessedwithhim.....Shutup.

Lesson #4. If you get teachers to like you, they can actually help you become invisible.

In all of my classes, I stay silent and listen. I make A's on practically everything. They *adore* me. So I told each teacher sweetly after class that I am really uncomfrotable with being vocal in class and it might hinder my academic performance, but would be more than willing to do any assignment they give me. And they bought it. More importantly, they used it to my aid in being invisible.

They don't even call my name on the attendance roll anymore. They scan for me with their eyes.

Oh beautiful victory. I am invisible to the faculty now, too.

I'm watching Max from the corners of my eyes. The oh-so scary eyes that never look up at people. Or so they think. I just don't look at them when they look at me. I look like I'm staring at my paper at the moment, tapping my pencil on my desk, but I'm really looking at him.

He's staring at something else, not me. Of course not me. Certainly not me. Never look at Parker, Max.

He looks so sad, though. Like something's bothering him. Something secret he really wants to let out to someone. I wish he wanted to tell me all those things. I would listen.

Get ahold of yourself, Liz. It's Maxwell fucking Evans. Forget about it he's waaaaay out of your league. He's probably a big jerk anyway. Look at someone else. Do it. NOW.

I look away, and try to people watch, one of my many favorite pasttimes.

Tess Harding is brushing her hair. Next. Paulie is watching Tess brush her hair. Isabel Evans is applying lip gloss. How original. Kyle Valenti is watching Isabel apply her-

&!⊕#$

He just looked at me. Kyle Valenti almost made.. eye contact.. with me.

WHY?!?!?!

Why would anyone look at me? That hasn't happened for a couple of years at least..

I swear I'm almost choking on air. Don't choke liz. If you call attention to yourself Max will look at you and then a chain reaction will occur until you're no longer invisible and EVERYONE is staring at choking Parker. Stop it. You'll ruin everything you've built up for yourself!

Okay. I'm fine. I'm cool. Chill. I can do this.. Look hey I'm breathing... I'm cool... It's all good now.

Until the world's largest piece of ceiling fuzz decides to fall right into my *eye*.

So I'm blinking like crazy but I'm trying to not be noticed when Kyle Valenti turns his head to wave at Paulie and I'm trying to get this damn killer lintball out of my eye.

Ow ow ow ow.....

Bah. I am the master. I got it out. I look at my finger curious as to the identity of the culprit and my eyes widen, as I gasp. Inwardly, of course. GAH!!

This thing is HUGE!! What the hell. Ugh.. Someone certainly doesn't love me today.

And I can still smell Max Evans. Because he's still sitting so close to me that our THIGHS are brushing.

Not that I particularly mind any of this. Except for the killer piece of ceiling fuzz that decided to fall from the sky into my EYE.

The bell rings. Oh thank God. The hell that is high school is now over for the next 16 hours. Now I can go home and work with Michael and be Liz for a few hours.

We walk to my old Honda Civic. Black. Piece of shit, but works. Gets me to school and back and OCCASIONALLY to the mall or something. Can't complain about that.

"I wanna get a kickass ride.. Like.... Like a moped," Michael says as we walk.

"Not a safe one with what my dad pays you."

See, Michael also works at the CrashDown cafe with yours truly. But for Michael, there was a choice. People person waiter in seafoam green dress complete with complementary antennas, or cook with an apron. An apron that *isn't* silver and shaped like an alien head with black almond-shaped eyes for pockets.

Michael opted to gladly accept the white apron.

"No I wanna buy one I can fix up in my spare time."

I'm obviously not listening because he follows with, "Did you hear Tess Harding got into a catfight?" Apparently, he believes this will spark my interest. He is sadly mistaken. Now if a member of the fashion whore team became invisible....

THAT would be news.

See everyday, Isabel, Tess and Maria wear the same outfit in different colors. Insanity. It's like the movie Clueless for God's sake. I don't know how it is possible, but they do it everyday. I like to experiment with different shades of black and army green [SOMETIMES] tops and pants personally.

Hey speaking of "clueless"... Here comes Max. To his Jeep.

I'm thinking, why does Max have a junky old Jeep and Isabel has a Lexus?? Is it just me or does that seem a little off balance as far as children go...

Maybe it helps him be invisible. Well you're not invisible to me, Max Evans.

Sometimes I get angry with you Max. Like right now. Because invisible people stick *together* dammit. So what was so wrong with Michael and I now Max? Too invisible for you? Maybe you couldn't even see us anymore.

Max used to be our "friend" too. But it was after we all became non-exisant. And before you ask, no. He still never did talk to me. He didn't even look at me. Occasionally, he would talk to Michael. Occasionally. But never me. Never look at Parker, Max.

So now I ask you, Mr. Miracle..

What was so fucking wrong with me?

Why can't the only invisible girl in school be *your* obsession, huh Max? I am a lot less maintenance than the fashion whores. I could make you happy. I have more interesting conversation topics and capabilities too. Well.. Maybe not.

But the point is that you never even gave me a *chance*.

Even just platonic friends would be okay. You know the kind you talk about your secret crushes to and play around with and joke together and invite each other when you get married? It would be okay with me for you to come crying to me about problems with this girl you're in love with.

Because then at least I could hold you. And I would be close to you. And.. And..

Ugh. Let's just go to work..

"Liz why do your parents insist we be ready for work at 3:47 anyway?" He changes the color of this fingernails. Green. Blue. Black. Red. He wiggles them in front of my face. I laugh. Michael is one of the few who can make me laugh.

"Because the Nazis actually took my car from school and calculated the time it should take us to go to work and get ready and be presentable to the public. Not really your color though," I comment on his red nails.

"Well just wait till you see me in the killer coctail dress I got. It's red and it goes with this nail color amazingly well," he quips back.

My eyes widen and I really laugh this time. "Did you just say 'amazingly well'!?"

He looks at me mischeviously and I am suddenly flying across the parking lot until I hit the patch of grass my ass was apparently targeting in Michael's mind. Damn those stupid powers.

..*tbc*
posted on 5-Sep-2002 11:08:36 AM by politik
Chapter two.

"Interplanetary fag," I mumble, loud enough for him to hear me, as I stand up and brush off my possibly bruised posterior. Michael is just standing there, laughing.

Just wait till I find your kryptonite, Superman..

I walk back to him, brushing the last of whatever shit is on my jeans. Damn him. These are a good pair, too. We get into the Civic, and I buckle up, looking at him expectantly. Words should be unnecessary at this point.

"Do it Guerin," I state simply. We go through this every damn time we go anywhere. I feel like his mother sometimes. But... I guess.. that makes sense... Michael.. never had a mother.

... How's that foot taste, Liz..? It's times like this that make you thankful for inner monologue.

We park in the little carport behind the CrashDown. Shit. I hit a trash can. Back up. Hello, dumpster. Forward again. Another fucking trash can..?!?

The mind reels. When did they put all this crap out here..? Okay. No laughing. Not actually *needing* to go tons of places, I didn't take Driver's Ed until this last summer. I can't parallel park worth shit, sometimes I confuse the gas and brake pedals and... What's a blinker again..?

So no.. I'm not the perfect driver. But.. uh.. well who of you out there is friends with an alien..? HA.

Enough of this vehicular madness. Let's get to work.

Getting to work everyday is like Mission: Impossible. Watch. I'll show you.

Dun dun dun-dun..

Michael and I get out of the car, quickly. Stealthily looking to each side for one of my parents. The coast is clear. Cue the theme music.

Dun dun dun-dun..

We make it inside quietly. My face pointed downwards, I continue to walk, hastily, to the bathroom in the back. Michael is covering me from parental view. I glance to the opposite side at the clock. 3:34. Excellent timing. Keeeeep going, Michael. Agent Guerin has apparently stopped to gawk at a cheerleader or equally interesting and intelligent pair of boobs in a halter top. I shove him forward. Men. They get so distracted.

Ha. The bathroom. Triumphant once again. Go Agents Parker and Guerin. Reaching in my quickly unzipped backpack, I pull out a small white box. Oh the wonders of Dove soap. Small. Cleans your face. Gets my industrial-strength eyeliner off in 1.5 minutes, thus... preparing me for work. Now, in my "normal teenager" face, I can go out and not hide myself from the parental units.

And now it's time to change into quite possibly the most embarassing and badly-colored ensemble ever created.

Don't believe me..? Ye of little faith. Picture this. Bright seafoam green snap-down waitress dress. Comes down to about.. the knees. Metallic silver foamy cuffs at the short sleeves, and a rediculous collar of the same material. Are you imagining the horror..? An alien-head apron of yet again.. the same silver nasty foam. Throw in a pair of silver glitter-ball antennas as a headband, and this is me... embarassed and in publicly humiliated... Everyday after school...

Welcome to the CrashDown.

I would just like to inform you of how difficult it is for anyone to maintain invisibility in seafoam green.

Lesson #5. Steer clear of all jobs in the food service industry if possible. [ Such exceptions include the labor of love for your parents, since they own such an establishment. ] Go for a job that allows you to be alone for many hours and get paid for it.

Most people don't even know that *I'm* the perky "Hi welcome to the CrashDown!" waitress everyday... Okay so it's more like "Hi.... welcometothecrashdown".. So sue me for not having sunshine in my pocket. I'm wearing seafoam green. Anyway, the main exception of this would be Maria... DeLuca. Yes, I told you about her briefly before. Believe it or not, she used to be my best friend. This was before 7th grade became Purgatory for the innocent and friendly Liz Parker. I don't think people even remember my first name. Otherwise, they might make the connection with my little silver nametag.

...It says "Liz".

And speaking of Hell... here come the demons. I plaster a smile onto my face. Oh the joy of being the only waitress on duty for the next 3 hours.

"Welcome to the CrashDown," I say, looking at each of their noses. Remember Lesson #2..?

The demons waste no time. They never do. "Water with ice and a lemon, a lemonade, easy on the sugar, and one diet coke. No straw," the leader growls at me, making her way to the booth that I direct them to, right after I tuck 3 menus under my arm. With ice..? What does she think her water will come with..? Maybe I'll stick a roach in there or something..

Isabel always orders for the three of them. Drinks first, then one of them will be "bold" and order a burger or something. No cheese, of course. Let's not get crazy now.. Next it would be something positively evil like.. fries. The horror of wearing a size 2 instead of a 1.

Maria has this interesting way of making me invisible even without my "scary" look. Like how she orders to Isabel instead of me, because she won't even look at me unless it's a condescending glance-over, dripping with disdain. But for some reason, which I can't seem to quite figure out.. Maria doesn't blow my cover. She knows it's me. She used to work here too until about 2 years ago. And as grateful as I am to her for that, I can't help but wonder... Why..?

Because somewhere in the grand scheme of things, I came out as the villain of all this. probably because of Lesson # 6...

Lesson #6. Never let them see you cry.

Michael keeps telling me that someday I should put something like super-strength Ex-Lax in their drinks.

"I'm tellin' you.. That shit takes 8 minutes," he tells me.

Eight minutes... Holy shit. They wouldn't even have time to make it to the bathroom *or* their cars.. Heh.. Maybe someday.

Besides the funny Ex-Lax idea, work was pretty boring. Let's skip the next 6 hours.

Closing time. Finally I can unplaster my fake ass smile and get real with Michael for a little while... Until he goes home.

Ah fuck.

"Lizzie!" my dad calls out from the dry storage closet.

"Yeah..?" I sort of haphazardly holler back.

Quietly, Michael warns me, smirking. "He's going to send you on one of those gay errands," he half-whispers in a teasing song.

Not amused, I purse my lips together and nudge him, sort of hard. I'm thinking, shut up Guerin.

"I need you to run to the grocery store for me. Amy DeLuca ran out of alien-head straws, and she doesn't get another shipment for a week. And we're also running low on sugar and milk.... Thanks, honey.." he says, muffled from the big closet.

Dammit. With his tongue sticking out, Michael sort of snickers at my instructions, perched on the counter. I want to throw him off. My dad starts talking again.

"Oh and could you hurry..? Everything's closing soon."

I'm thinking two things.

1 - Kill Michael.

2 - Good thing I'm wearing normal clothes and not that God-awful uniform. Mental note: Some day the kitchen will set on fire [ a small, well-contained fire, of course.. ] and burn the uniforms to smithereens.

Grabbing for my keys, I glance to the backpack on the break room couch. Ah forget the eyeliner. I guess I'll go in public as "Liz" for 10 minutes.. Besides.... What high schooler goes grocery shopping at night..?

...Shut up.

"Coming..?" I call out to Michael from the back door as I'm opening it. I pull the elastic band out of my long hair, letting it fall down my back. It's so damn thick.

"Nah.. Hockey game on ESPN."

Fucker. ESPN always has *some* sports game on. Rolling my unlined eyes, I close the door and make my way to the car.

Cosco has everything. Let's go there.

For those of you who are underpriviledged, Cosco is a "wholesale store". In other words, you go to buy a pack of gum and the smallest thing they carry is a big enough crate of gum to fulfill the chewing needs of an entire family for at least a decade. Perfect for... that's right.. restaurants. But Michael and I go for a different reason. You see, every Saturday, there's this thing called "Sample Saturday". A plethera of every food and drink sample you can imagine is out in this warehouse of a store. We eat lunch there on Saturdays. It's the greatest place in the world.

But finding a lit parking spot at night is a bitch. Even in Roswell. Even for a little Civic.

So here I am. Wearing my school clothes. Dark hip-slung jeans and a black tank top. Walking into Cosco.

After about 20 minutes of walking to my desired aisles and paying, I step back outside to the parking lot. Automatic glass doors are magical.

Fuck it's not fair. My ugly piece-of-shit Civic is practically the only car out there.

Suddenly, I am being yelled at by a high-pitched wierd sounding voice.

"Hey Parker!!" the voice bellows from behind me.

I turn around. Tess Harding..? How did she kn-... Did she follow my car..? Hm.

Now, this is a sight to see. Tess looks like she has been mauled by circus midgets or something. Has she been crying..? Her mascara looks like shit, as well as.. heh the rest of her face, for a refreshing change. Those perfect little Goldilocks curls are strewn all over the place, and they look fried. Wow. If the rest of the fashion whores could see this. Not to mention the rest of the student body.

"Yea I'm talkin' to you," she continues arrogantly. I'm guessing she's trying to use a tough-guy voice. It's not working. And she's drunk. It's all but painfully obvious.

I'm thinking, what the fuck is going on here..?!

I'm guessing she knew it was me by the back of my head and my clothes.

"I saw the way you were looking at him at school today.." She's still talking. Whoa.. Is she talking about Max..? How does she know about that..? Who knew she would even care..? Ew. This weird.. half-hiccup/half-burp comes sound just came out of her, and the look on her face makes me wonder if she's about to toss her cookies right here in the parking lot.

Oh to have purchased a camera.

Suddenly she smiles at me. Not a friendly smile, either. Surprise, surprise. It's a menacing and evil smirk or sorts. Stumbling over her own feet, she reaches in her back pocket for something. More liquor or whatever she's trashed on, I'm assuming.

"I saw how you were staring at Kyle today, Parker.." Ohhhhhh that. Well I wasn't even looking at the trash bag... I had something in my eye. This should be easy to explain. Suddenly, I guess she made the CrashDown/school connection, and the smile continues, as she keeps blathering something incoherent. Wow. So there's really some semblance of a brain up there. I resist the urge to applaud at her brilliance.

Oh... The thing that I thought... might be a metal liquor thing..? You know, those canteens your grandfather keeps in his inside jacket pocket at family gatherings..? Well.. at least mine does.

Shutup.

Anyway... well it's not so much a bottle of Jack... or even Captain Morgan. But whatever it is, it's sort of.. taking shape in Tess's hand.

$%#!&

...It's a gun.

I'm thinking, .. two things. No.. three.

1 - Where the fuck did Tess Harding get a gun..?

2 - Those pants are *way* too tight for the gun to have been concealed from view..

3 - Liz, it's time to defend yourself before psycho sharpshooter here blows your head off.

Beginning to slowly raise my hands in protest, I start talking, telling my mind to backtrack a few steps. My rebellious feet obviously aren't listening. And somewhere in the background, Tess is still talking.

"So it was little Lizzie Parker all this time.. Working at the CrashDown after you stalk around the school, all silent, like the *freak* that you are... Well you don't fool me, Parker."

Woo Tess. Nothing gets past you for more than 4 years. I so want to say this. But a bumper sticker flashes into my mind. It said, "I have PMS and a gun. Now.. did you want to say something..?" I decide against voicing my musings to Tess.

Sarcasm aside, I am completely paralyzed in fear as I hear her fumbling to cock the gun with both thumbs, perfectly manicured little fingers pressing lightly against the trigger. How ironic. The hands of a potential killer.

I'm thinking, I might actually die tonight.

Stammering over words, I'm trying desperately to save myself here. To stop her from pulling the trigger.

"Te..Tess wait I.... I don't even like Kyle I... Something fell from the ceiling into my eye and... C'mon Tess you don't really ... want to shoot me.."

It's a poor attempt at best but.. well the fear that you feel when, forgive the cliche, "staring down the barrel of a gun" is... beyond any coherent explanation. And I haven't even spoken to Tess Harding since.. 7th grade.

Surprisingly enough, my invisibility isn't all that important to me at the moment.

"The hell I don't... You think you're so smart. And so... above the rest of us," she snarls.

Above the re-... wait WHAT..?!? Am I the only one who finds that statement to be the irony of the century..?? Is anyone else *seeing* this..?! Looking hopelessly around the deserted parking lot to the sidewalk at the entrance doors, I freeze. My terrified brown eyes lock onto the *last* person I expected to see.

Maxwell Phillip fucking Evans..

He's in the light of the store, carrying a paper sack in one of those heavenly strong muscular arms of his. I suppose it's only fitting for him to witness my death from 30 feet away. Michael always thought Max liked Tess; said he caught him staring at her a couple of times. But that's what Mr. Invisibility *does*... stare.

What the hell does Michael know, anyway.

Maybe he won't even notice me. Maybe he'll hear the shot and call 9-1-1 or something.. May-

My thoughts are haulted. He's looking at me. Straight at me.

Suddenly I feel like the most visible person in the world. Like I'm on fire.

Instinctively, I duck my head away. I can't.. make myself look at his eyes. The one chance.. possibly last chance I will ever have, and years of practice won't let me look at those gorgeous eyes. Blinking slowly as I look down, I silently mouth the word I can't say to him.

'Help'...

And now Tess's feet are shifting. It looks like she's psyching herself up for something, and I realize that she's been talking this whole time.

"You're going down, bitch.."

That's the last thing I heard before the blasting sound. Then I feel the concrete hit my back and the back of my head. Pain.. Insane amounts of pain... Everything is heightened. I think I can hear my heart beating in my ears. A stray piece of broken glass is slicing into my bare shoulder. Breathing is... harder. I can see.. stars. Real stars, though because I'm laying on my back. I try to get up, but I can't. So I sort of helplessly half-way roll over onto my side.

There's... blood all around my waist area. It's coming from my stomach, I think.

Holy shit the bitch shot me. Things go gray for a second as I realize I'm dying. And pain... still lots of pain..

And I'm such a loser because I'm not making my peace with God or mentally telling everyone how much I love them, or anything like that. I'm thinking about how Michael is watching the hockey game, and how we were going to build a spaceship one day with his aero-space engineering degree he's going to get, and my scientific expertise, and visit his home planet. How tomorrow was going to be Sample Saturday. How my dad won't get the eggs, milk and sugar for tomorrow. And that Tess will probably go to jail, because even invisible hot and sexy Max would report a murder. God I never even got to talk to Max.. More.. pain..

Lesson #7. Don't let your invisibility cost you your life..

My eyelids are getting heavy. Fuck. What do I say..? Goodbye world..? Somehow it sounds too cheesy, even for a desperate moment as this. Sneakers. I see a pair of black sideways sneakers getting closer. The ground of the parking lot looks like a wall from my place on the ground. The shoes are pounding on the pavement. Hell. The last thing I see is a pair of sneakers, because my eyes are closed now. When did that happen..? The pounding is getting softer and.. everything is getting dark... The pain... is numbing..

So dark... And the pain is gone.

There's a voice, though.. calling out to me and a flicker of light as it talks. Soft... the voice sounds like... Max..?

Heh. This must be Heaven. But.. the voice sounds scared. A scared Max.

Oh God this can't be Heaven. The pain is back... Heated.. pain.

"Liz.. Liz, open your eyes please..."

I'm trying. Max I swear I am. But my mind can't seem to locate the muscles that tell your eyes to open.

There's a flash of light, and I'm guessing I'm drifting in and out of consciousness. Until I can make out the bright white and red letters of that say "COS" of Cosco. It's just the sign. But that means my eyes are open. Apparently I'm not the biggest pessimist in the world. Imagine that. Max is like.. hovering over me. God that smell.. He smells so good..

I'm thinking, Liz you're so pathetic.. Dying and trying to smell Max Evans with your last breath.

"Liz please.. I.. I want to help you but you have to look at me.." He's pleading with me. God who knew boys could get so panicky.

Wait. M.. make eye contact with you..? Can I even physically *do* that..? His hand is on my stomach, I can feel it now. And the other one is touching my face.. Oh God.. Does he even realize what he's doing..?

Choking on my own voice, I sort of whisper with a squeak, "I.. can't.." Damn that squeak.

He lifts my chin and suddenly all I see is this amazing swirl of warm amber.. His eyes.. I'm looking at Maxwell Phillip fucking Evans.. Straight in the eyes...

I'm thinking, wow...

...*tbc.*
posted on 5-Sep-2002 11:10:46 AM by politik
*Chapter 3.*

At this moment, my entire world is this golden shade of hazel... swirls and warm amber flecks. He's blinking in this.... fluttery dark and mysterious way.

I'm thinking, who knew eyelashes could be sexy..?

But on Maxwell Evans, they are. Ohhh they are.

Of course they are.

This is Maxwell Phillip fu-

....

Well, you know his name.

...Sick, aren't I..?

Have I mentioned how warm his hand is..? On my bare stomach... The other one has sort of haphazardly woven itself into my hair...

Like he's trying to protect me from the pavement or something..

I'm thinking, why is he acting like that..?

Don't you hate me, Max Evans..?

I couldn't care less about the fact that he didn't call 9-1-1 or anything.

And eye contact may not be all that catastrophic...

I mean, aside from being *shot*..Nothing bad really happened.

The feeling of looking at him is like those stupid old movies and cliches. But it really does feel like I'm looking into his soul. Like he's not trying to hide anything from me.

Almost like... he wants me to see him.

It's.... beautiful.

Listen to me. I sound like a Hallmark card.

Get ahold of yourself, Parker. He doesn't even know you're alive..

...

Heh. What a choice of words for this very moment, seeing as... I may not be alive for very much longer.

So his hands on me are making me feel all warm and tingly... This sort of carbonated heat that's running through my whole body.. Making me tremble down to my toes.

I feel like I'm glowing.

...Pathetic, aren't I..?

Wait but... it feels familiar. Familiar in a sort of... strange way. It feels like..

Oh my God. It feels like Michael.

No no no no you are SICK... Sick sick sick.

See one time, Michael and I were closing at the CrashDown, and I was putting up these glasses, when one broke and just completely fucked up one my hands. Hurt like hell. Blood everywhere... it was nasty.

So anyway..Michael walked in after he heard me screeching like some kind of dying animal, I don't remember what he said I sounded like. An... emu or something. Maybe a squirrel or something smaller, since my voice isn't really all that deep. But I don't think I have ever heard a squirrel make a noise, other than the splatting sound it creates when you run one over on the road.

...Morbid, aren't I..?

Ever notice how I get completely off-subject when telling a story..? I should work on this.

Anyway, Michael came in and healed my hands. Just like that. As if it was the simplest thing in the world. Like...

"Ow!! My hands are cut up boo-hoo I'm bleeding."

Here's Michael.

"Oh here... I'll fix it." And he just puts his hand over mine and poof.

Well, more like zing.

Healed.

It felt all warm and tingly. Like when you first get into a warm bath and it makes you feel.... is comforting the word..?

Let's pretend it is.

Comforting... safe... well I suppose not safe if you are afraid of water.

Shutup, Liz.

But the point is that Max's hands on me feel like Michael that time he healed me....Or maybe...

Is Michael around here, somewhere..?

Looking around, my vision is sort of limited because I'm being held to look at his eyes. So all I can see is different angles and parts of his amberish golden brownish, sort of greenish, even, eyes with a few flecks of gold.

...Obsessive, aren't I..?

"Max..?" I begin to speak, softly. I almost cringe at my voice. Geez I sound like a weakling.

Well I *was* just shot.

He sort of nods before talking back. His face muscles are sort of scrunching up like he's pressing down hard on something.

"Yea...it's me," he says. It sort of comes out strained like he's lifting weights or something.

Thank you, genius. I know *who* you are. I'm trying to ask you IF you see Michael.. around...anywhere.

%⊕$#

Oh. My. God.

OH MY GOD.

No...fucking...way.

It's Max...

That feeling... The heat and the wonderful tingle. The talking sounding funny because of concentration. The "look at me".

Max.....Max Evans...

Maxwell Phillip fucking Evans..... is like Michael.

I'm thinking, Hello alien # 2.

And now I just want to stop time for a second to give my mind time to catch up with everything. Because it's all seeming to spin past me.

Tess shot me when I was buying groceries.

I died.

Max...is an alien.

The pain is gone..

He healed me..

I'm alive again. Wow.

And still lost in those soulful eyes of his...

I can't speak. He must be recuperating or something, because he's not talking either. I think maybe...neither of us knows how to break the moment of him healing me and basically revealing the most personal detail of his life to someone who he has met once. All I can seem to do is just stare and concentrate on the beating of my heart. And his...

It's one of those magical and perfect moments you just want to last forever.

I'm thinking,.... Thanks...

...*tbc.*

posted on 5-Sep-2002 1:33:33 PM by politik
*Chapter 4.*


'' Ma'am I'm finished. ''

...That's fantastic. Would you like a cookie? I'll shove it down your litt--

'' Liz, table 8 needs a bus boy. ''

I roll my eyes. Nice to know, Dad, but I lack the certain genitalia to be considered a '' bus boy. ''

I know what you're thinking. Ditch the sarcasm, Liz. You could be Cosco roadkill right now. And you're right. I could.

But you didn't see how that night ended. Shall we even rewind?

..Fine. klajsldkasd

- - -

So yea. I can feel my heart beating. More importantly, I think I can feel his. Or...could. But not anymore. He sat up. I don't know. Maybe he expects me to, as well.

Glass shard burrowing its way into my shoulder just sort of.. slides off when I lift my head off the rocky ground. I sort of lean my cheek against where I had felt it go in earlier. Nothing. No mark. No pain. Nothing.

I'm thinking, things can only go up from being shot.

I feel.. new.

Max Evans, obsession extraordinaire and keeper of the most gorgeous eyes . . . saved my life. Did I thank him yet? Maybe he'd appreciate a kiss from the damsel in distress.

No..? Well who asked you. To tell the truth, it's a little embarassing.

Don't believe me? This is conversation, should we choose to accept the actual meaning of our second - in a lifetime meeting..

' So..........thanks for healing the bullet wound that would have killed me in this parking lot...... I don't mind that you're an alien. '

' Ah.........yea. Sure. Hey...........could you not tell anyone so the government doesn't dissect my ass.......? '

Cue the exits.

So yea. No tear-jerking scenes of a fondly-formed connection, here. Sorry. Max is just . . sitting there. In my blood. Black sneakers with a stripe of white that are brushing against the pool of blood. The knees and bottom cuffs of his jeans look saturated. It looks fake. I didn't even know I had that much blood. His hand is all red. Like he came from a slaughter house.... like Maxwell '' hero '' Evans is guilty of murder. God, that's a lot of blood.

I'm thinking, good thing I'm not squeamish.

I'm thinking, get out of my pile of blood.

Dietys shouldn't sit in blood. Gods with healing hands shouldn't have to squat in the stain of Liz Parker's death experience.

I slowly sit up. Slowly, mind you because I'm not sure I have any hemoglobin left in my body, with that Liz Creek of red beneath me and stretching over to the spot where Max's and my groceries became a huge dairy-egg-sugar-some green sauce-blood and tortilla chips mix.

God, don't tell me I have to walk back inside the grocery store and get my dad's groceries again. Max will have to do the same thing, too.

Forget about explaining how my clothes became marinated in my own blood. At least my fucking heart is beating again.

I thought heroic experiences where you have a moment of clarity with the one you love, were supposed to turn out perfectly.

Who said scary people by appearance can't hold onto a little childhood naivety? Maybe my mind is still a little cloudy. Death can do that to a person, you know. And it of course, doesn't exactly help clarity of thinking to feel that warm crackling amazement on my stomach....because Mr. other-worldly miracle hasn't moved his hand yet. I don't think I've breathed in the past ten minutes.

Heart....doing victory dances in my chest.

Screw breathing. Don't ever move.

So this is us...sitting on the pavement and covered in blood. Me, averting back to teenage mutant silent Parker, and him, trying to fade into the pile of blood. Become invisible when all I can see is him. And all he can see is the white and red Cosco sign behind us. I know this, because he's not looking at me. I'm averting my eyes from his, of course. And he looks like he just saw a ghost.

..Like he just found out he's an alien.

Meticulous and unnoticeable watching is an art form to me. But he keeps sideways glancing at me every now and then with those magical topaz eyes. Like I'm going to disappear any second.

..Like I'm going to run for my life.

Heart....pounding.

I just sit there. Sort of curled up. My chin is resting on a clean spot on the knee of my jeans. I'm just watching him in silence. There aren't even crickets. The whole world stopped for us to contemplate the moment.

God, he still smells so good. It's like that copper smell of blood has been overpowered by the allure of his cologne. Whatever he wears. And he is still yet to move his hand.

Heart....racing.

I look down. To the cracks and glass shards mixed with wet red on the pavement It's a lot easier to pretend I'm not sitting next to an alien who just healed me, if I'm not looking at him. Not concentrating on his Adonis-like features. Because I know that's exactly what he wants me to do. Act like nothing ever happened.

..What if I can't? I consider it impolite not to at least thank him...

His hand moves away, and I remember my name for the first time since he started touching me. I see the shopping cart that is slightly rolling behind a stack of other shopping carts.

I blink and look back down. Blink. Screw clarity. I want to forget everything again. I'll be a mindless slave. Just touch me again.

Heart....still beating. Oh yea. Thanks.

'' ....So....umm..............thanksforsavingmylife. ''

. . .

Silence. Nothing. What do I say now . . ? ' You didn't have to.....' ?! Ugh. ' Thanks for saving my life. ' It's so cliche. Liz, you're so lame. I glance up at him, to see if he's even contemplating a response.

kalsjd;laks;lxa

He's gone.

Not there anymore.

Maxwell Phillip fucking Evans has ..... disappeared.

Okay. Fast forward, again.

- - - -

Okay. Do you get it now? I was left in a bloody Liz mess, with a hole in my fourth favorite black tank top, just.....slumped over in the Cosco parking lot, contemplating how to tell Max Evans that I wouldn't spill my guts about his secret. That I would want him to tell me all of his secrets. And he's not there anymore. I didn't even hear him go. No squeaky blood-soaked sneakers eeking their way across the parking lot. Can aliens disappear...??

I don't even know anything anymore. I haven't seen him since Friday. Of course.....

.............today is Saturday.

But that's not the point. The point is that...when you heal someone. When you give them their life back, and then just sit in their blood. You don't just.... disappear without giving them a chance to thank you.

'' Hey Liz. Your hot fudge blast off only stays...'' he glances at the menu for description. ''....intergalactically cold for about 45 seconds. ''

I swear, Michael comes up with the most bizarre phrases. But I needed that distraction. Work. Yes. It's Saturday. I'm in the seafoam green dress. Hideous, nonetheless, but there's a certain comfort in the consistency of things.

Lesson #8:
Don't make any sudden movements or loud noises. These draw attention to yourself. Not good.

'' OW FU-- ''

I burned my finger on the fryer, trying to retrieve an order of Saturn Rings.

''...DGE. Fudge. ''

I stop myself when I catch my mother in a peripheral glance of my unlined eye. Gooooood thing, too. Too much Liz Parker without a break for me. I'm not liking how my customers stare me down. It's like...aren't you afraid of me?

Ding ding. Ugh. More people, more people. I tuck a few menus respectively under the seafoam green of my armpit and walk towards the door, looking down. I don't feel like messing with all of these...people. My hair is up in a rather messy bun. After washing the blood out of it...because his hand was entangled in my hair ... I didn't bother to dry it. But do you see me caring...?

Didn't think so.

'' Hiwelcometothecrashdown. Andhowmanyofyouwillbediningwithusto--''

'' Actually, I'm........not hungry. ''

a;lkd;kljalskjd

It's Max. Maxwell Philip fucking Evans. Yes I know you know his name, but this is me... freaking out.

I'm thinking, well hey there Mr. ' Heal 'em and walk away. '

What in holy fuck are you doing here?

Maybe I could just be mean to him. Say something like ' Yea, well this is a restaurant...' Or I could just play off.......being shot and healed by this gorgeous Greek God who's standing in front of me with a silhouette of light behind him. He looks....celestial. Otherworldly.

Do you see the connection.....?

....Forget it.

lkajsd

TALK ABOUT AWKWARD. I wonder how many days have gone by with me just standing here like an idiot. But somehow I think he understands where I'm a little nervous.

After all...you did desert me in the middle of nowhere last night.

After you healed me...

After I found out you're an alien.

....Okay so maybe he has a little better reason to wig out than I do.

'' Do........you want some coffee or something? ''

Cue Liz the dork.

Coffee. Yea. Coffee?.....tea?.....awkward conversation with seafoam-clad waitress that willl compromise your very existance, should I choose to let the rest of the world in on our little secret....?

He's gone stoic on us again, ladies and gentlemen.

'' Actually, I was just wondering if we could..........talk. ''

Ohhhhhhh. I bet you'd like to talk, Max Evans. Make sure I keep your secret. Maybe I should make him squirm a bit. Leave him guessing like he left me last night. ' No I'm too busy to talk to you. Maybe you'd like to talk to the army. I called them this morning about your freaky alien powers. '

Instead, I say, '' Sure. '' In that... squeak voice.

How pathetic. I am devoid of all backbone.

I turn around and start walking. I'm thinking, follow me.

We walk into the back room, followed by a very curious glance from Michael as I pass the kitchen, Max Evans behind me. And the expression on his face makes me resist the urge to laugh out loud. Because I haven't told Michael about Tess or the gun or the blood or the amazing healing powers of Max Evans.

I haven't said ' Hey Michael, I found your brother. ' I know, I know. I should. I will. But...not yet.

So this is me, mentally making strange faces and singing the theme to the Twilight Zone to him. It would be so much funnier if he could hear it, too.

Once we get into the very back, past the doors that match my work uniform...[ sickening, isn't it? ] I sit on the couch casually, crossing my legs for modesty purposes, and sort of leaning against my knees on my forearms.

I'm thinking, play it off.

Although, I'm not exactly sure what it is that I'm playing off. And Max is just leaning against the lockers, like he's afraid to be within ten feet of me. His arms are crossed over his chest like I'm going to attack him. His eyes are.... not looking at me.

What are you so afraid of, Max Evans?

You're the alien, not me.

He scratches his eyebrow with a fingertip.

And I know you don't want the play-by-play of Max's finely-tuned motor skills. But you're going to get it. That's how obsession works, remember?

'' Look, I..........I'm sorry about..........last night. ''

And he speaks. His voice, is of course, enchanting as ever.

I'm finishing the sentences for him in my head.

' Sorry about last night. Sorry I healed you. Sorry you know about my secret. Sorry I touched you and made you feel more incredible than anything in your entire life. Sorry how when I made eye contact with you, it made you feel more in 3.2 seconds than you had felt in the last five years. Sorry I walked out on you and left you in a pile of your own blood.'

I'm thinking, would now be a bad time to tell you about your brother?

I say, '' No it's..........I just wanted t.....You left before I could thank you. '' Of course, looking at the floor tiles the whole time. Then I glance up. He hasn't said anything yet.

He raises his eyebrow. And he just has this ...expression. Like he was expecting me to take him out with a glock. Like he didn't save my life.

'' Thank me...... '' He says this like it's the most unbelievable two words in the English language. Like I said ' Take me on a trip to the moon with you the next time you visit your home planet. '

I'm thinking, where's the spaceship?

'' Yea. Thank you............forsavingmylife. '' I didn't know if I was supposed to say anything about it. He didn't. And I guess I just....blurted it out. But he did. He saved my life. I hung my shirt up last night after I washed it. And there's a hole in it. A hole in the shirt, but not in my stomach. Because of you, Max Evans. I think that merits a ' thank you for saving my life. '

He kind of shrugs. Like death wasn't even involved. Like he goes out rescuing girls getting shot by psycho-drunken fashion whores all the time. Like it was no big deal.

He says, '' Oh. ''

Yea. Oh is right.

So now what. One would think that two people involved in something like what happened last night would have a little more to talk about. Isn't he going to ask me to swear myself to secrecy? Isn't he going to tell me he's an alien so I don't have to tell him I know?

'' I'm not going to tell anyone, you know, '' I say sort of quietly. Once again, staring at the tiles in the floor like they're going to get up and dance any second.

....Any second, now.

'' T....Tell anyone....? ''

. . .

⊕*(#^&%^#&

. . .

Oh

don't

you

DARE.

This is me, mentally mocking him in that...lower-pitched, dumb guy voice. ' What are you talking about? There's nothing to tell. I didn't heal you. I don't even know what you're talking about. You got any beer? '

I roll my eyes. Mr super alien sex god is getting on my nerves. I look up in disbelief. So now...he's averting his eyes from the couch to me to the floor to me to the stairs that go upstairs, to the red light from the heat lamps in the kitchen, back to me.

And every seven and a half seconds, I feel like I'm on fire.

I'm thinking, stop melting my soul and talk.

Standing up, I walk towards him a little. Feeling somewhat more fearless now that I have this...huge secret to hold over his head. Not that he couldn't, you know, zap me to a Liz crisp with his powers. But I figure he won't kill me in the middle of my parents' restaurant. So I'm guaranteed about five more minutes of survival.

....At least.

Tugging a strand of hair out of my bun-thing, I hold it out for him.

'' This..., '' I say, '' was saturated in blood this morning. ''

And I'm trying to whisper. Really, I am. But he's pissing me off. There's no way he can make me think I'm crazy.

I have the shirt for fuck's sake.

. . .

'' Hold on, '' I say.

Hello, Commando Parker. I don't even know where all of this forcefulness is coming from. I swear.

Don't you dare move, Evans.

I'm running upstairs, in this flimsy and brightly-colored dress only held together by a few metal snaps. One silver-striped shoe in front of the other. Running like he's going to disappear. Like he did last night. Flinging the door to my room open, I go to the closet and pull my shirt out. And I smile in triumph.

The hole's still there.

...I don't know why this makes me think I've won, or something. I don't know what else I would have expected.

Aliens can't sew with their mind.

At least.................I don't think they can.

. . .

Shutup, Liz and run.

I do. I run back downstairs, tank top in hand. And he's still here. I honestly didn't expect him to stick around.

I can feel my backbone shrinking.

Holding the shirt up to him, I stick my finger through a hole in the stomach. Where the bullet went. Where he had his hand underneath.

'' This...., '' I say of the bullet hole, '' is where Tess shot me. ''

And now he's looking at me like he knows all of this. Like I'm telling him that the United States has become so technologically advanced, that they have put a man on the moon.

...I don't know what it is with me and the moon.

But I certainly didn't notice how close he is to me, now. I'm a lot shorter than he is, but If I lifted my head, I think we'd be kissing. I can feel ... him breathing. I don't know why this surprises me. I knew aliens breathe. Michael breathes. We made out once.

Ew. Don't think about that.

Shutup. I already told you about that. Anyway.

If '' I Will Survive '' weren't playing in the background, it would look like we were really about to kiss.

And did I mention I can't move...?

Max wouldn't even have to talk. Maybe not even whisper. He can just...mouth words or something, and I'd hear him. But he's just looking at me. And I can't figure out what he's thinking, for the life of me.

Probably something like.... you're way too close.

I back up a little, and sort of drop my shirt to my side. Apparently this sparks conversation from the silent one.

'' I.........Thank you...... for not saying anyth.........I should go. ''

....And there I am, standing in the back room with my shirt hanging from my fingertips. Left. Again. At least he let me know this time.

'' Liz? LIZ. ''

Looking up, I blink. Right. Michael. Max's brother. Whoa.

'' Hey, '' I say.

'' No, hey nothin'. Since when the fuck do you talk to Max? ''

Oh. That.

'' He just wanted to...............get something for school. ''

I know. I suck at lying. Suck suck. So I do the weasel thing. I walk past him and back out to the front line. There's a family at the cashier desk. I'll do that. Michael can't walk into the dining room, because he's in his cook outfit. I know it's mean, but .... I really don't know if I can say anything right now.

Forget seeing Tess in school on Monday.

Oh God. Nothing happens on Sunday, either. Work was boring. We'll skip to..... Monday.

- - -

So picture this kind of awkwardness.

Psycho-alcoholic killer Tess Harding, jock-crazy Kyle Valenti, fashion whore team leader Isabel Evans, Greek god sex magnet healer Maxwell Evans, clueless brother Michael Guerin, and Lazarus Liz Parker sitting in Psychology class.

This is me.... bursting with secrets from every angle.

Imagine the priceless look on Tess's face when *supposed to be dead* Parker walks into class. Just picture her scared shitless, trying to save face.

Yea. Another Kodak moment, and here's Liz without a camera.

I suppose you're wondering if I even care about my eyeliner anymore. Yea, well, it's a habit. I'm still invisible

We're all just sort of.... stuck.

Max can't say anything. Because he doesn't know what I think. And he can't tell on Tess, because what are they going to say when he says, '' Tess Harding shot Liz Parker in the parking lot. ''

That's right. They're going to wonder why I'm at school without a scratch.

And Tess. She certainly can't say, '' ... I so thought I killed you. ''

Then there's me.

I can't really talk to Max, because.........well you saw what happened last time. And I won't talk to Tess, because I figure that the mere fact I'm alive is scaring the shit out of her sufficiently enough for me to be able to go on about my invisibility. Then there's Michael........

...I should tell him. I know I should. And I will. But have you ever found out a secret you're not supposed to know, and then need to tell someone else, but you don't know if it's really... your place?

Well, imagine that, times a billion because the reason you know, is because they forgot everything to save your life with this little secret.

Yea. That's what goes through my mind every ten seconds.

This is me, saying hello to everyone.

Hello, manicured murderer.

Hi, silent healing alien number two.

Hey there, clueless family member.

.......A note. There's a note by my foot. I bend down a little, and pick it up. It's addressed to me? This, I wasn't expecting. I glance around for a second. No, no one's looking at me.

So.......I guess I should unfold it.

I do just this. And it's not long. I just has one sentence on it.

' Eraser room. Now. '

..... I know this isn't from Michael. That would be just... gross.

So I look around for a second, to see who is missing from the class. Who's going to kill me in the eraser room. You know, thinking ahead.

And they're all there. Not even looking at me. Trying to be clever, I bet. Make me a sitting duck in the eraser room. Just waiting. Waiting there in the dusty chair for one of them to come in and take me out with a glock or super alien powers.

Picking my bag up, I quietly put it on my shoulders and duck out of the classroom, and turn left like I'm going to the eraser room, but really sneak into this space between the lockers in the hallway. This way I can see my killer before they strike.

Impressive, I know.

Yea, well, when you get killed once, you learn how to plan things a little better.

So I'm sort of in the shadows of the big yellow lockers. Cue the Mission : Impossible music again.

And guess who walks by, reaching for the door of the eraser room. Maxwell Phillip holy mother freaking Evans. In all of his cranberry-sweatered glory.

Call me daft, but I wasn't expecting this either.

And so I step out.

'' ...You wanted to talk to me? ''

Subtlety is everything.

He turns around, and he just looks at me. Like ' what the hell are you doing. '

'' Um.....yea. Yea I did. '' And it sounds like he's mustering up some sort of courage. Either mustering up courage, or pretending like he wanted to talk, when he's really going to kill me.

Healing sex gods don't murder, Liz.

But I guess the same could be said of French-manicured goldilocks fashionistas, too.

. . . .

Well hello there, rising fear.

He starts talking again.

'' I just wanted to know.....what y--''

'' You have a brother. '' I cut him off. Remember what I said about subtlety? I figure it would be better to tell him than Michael. Plus, you know.... it might buy me time.

I don't know when every instinct in my mind kicked on survival mode. Or when I started thinking like a gangster and contemplating the mace in my backpack. Or noticing the exit signs that dimly glow at the ends of every hallway, and how long it would take me to get there, running, with a backpack on.

He says '' What? ''

You. Have. A. Brother.

Michael.

'' Yea, '' I say.

Nice explanation, Liz.

'' What.....do you mean brother... ''

He's talking like he's skeptical. Like he's talking through me, and questioning my very sanity.

'' Well....... '' I sort of stammer. Maybe the eraser room was a better idea in the first place.


...*tbc.*
posted on 26-Sep-2002 11:57:27 AM by politik
Hey guys. I haven't forgotten about this fic. Since I got rid of AOL the program, I have been looking for a word processor to write my fic on. I know, I know. Never end a sentence with a preposition. But I don't have one yet, and I'm too lazy to go find out if the Campus Store has one. - Wrap, cough. I think my room mate gave me the flu. The next chapter is in progress. Thank you for all the lovely feedback. You guys are wonderful.

*shy* - EL