posted on 11-Nov-2001 8:36:55 AM by JO
Title: Pathos
Author: JO
Catagory: Post-Depature, Future Fic
Summary: Max and Liz are reunited after almost eleven years when someone from their past returns to Roswell. (This is really a lame summary because much more happens, but I don't want to give it all away or you won't read!)

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PART ONE
2014

Liz Parker sat perfectly still, staring at her reflection in the mirror. She looked relatively unchanged, despite how bleak her life seemed at the moment. She closed her eyes, keeping them closed for several seconds, just enough time for a solitary tear to drip down her face. She had seen him tonight, for the first time in probably three years. He was the only man who could make
her feel so many different things: love, hate, emptiness, grief. She opened her eyes slowly and stared directly at her reflection. Somehow, along the course of the years, her eyes had lost their luster and sparkle. They used to sparkle when she looked at him, and she knew, deep within her heart, that no man would ever make her feel how Max Evans made her feel.

She swallowed and blinked hard, fighting for the control she so desperately wanted. One look, she thought, and it all comes flooding back. They had locked eyes the moment she stepped into Maria’s house, just as Maria had planned. They held the gaze for several seconds and she remembered the way Max’s mouth turned up at the corners in a semi-smile. Blindly, she threw Maria her anniversary present and bolted. She could not see Max, not tonight, and had foolishly believed Maria when she had said Max would not be in attendance. She nervously bit her lip, catching her reflection again, remembering exactly how it had been to look into his eyes, even for those few seconds. It was like he was trying to melt away a decade of absence with one look,
trying to make her remember just how amazingly wonderful they once were. Max had always looked at her that way, especially after Tess. During that time, she had felt like he wanted her to look at him with love in her eyes, but no matter how hard she tried and no matter how much she wanted to, all she could picture was his one night with Tess. Technically, they had not been a couple, but Liz had always held out hope they would one day be together again. Max’s night with
Tess had instantly shattered any of the dreams she so voraciously held on to.

She sighed and twirled a long strand of hair around her fingertips. It should have comforted her that Max looked just as shitty as she felt. Wasn’t that what old girlfriends were supposed to think, how they were supposed to feel? But somehow, despite all the anger she felt, the most painful and surprising emotion she felt was regret. On the way home from Michael and Maria’s,
she had once again stumbled into her fantasy world and had seen the vision that she dreamt about each night while a senior in high school and her first years of college. Max, dressed in his tux, and she in a beautiful, white wedding gown, laughing and smiling with each other, passionately kissing each other. Even now, simply staring at her reflection, she could feel his lips on the back of her neck. She felt them sting and burn and sear the very core of her soul, marking her, enticing her,
just as they had done that night. If she blocked out everything around her, she could feel his hands on her body, clumsy yet loving and gentle, just as they had been that night, their one and only night together.

Quickly she wrapped her hands around her head, temporarily hoping to crush her own skull if that would erase the memory of her weakest moment. That was the night everything changed between them. That was the night she stumbled to his bedroom window in a drunken stupor, and confessed everything to him. That was the night he swore his son did not matter, that she
mattered more than anything, that she was his life. That was the night she believed the same words he had been repeating for three years. That was the night they gave in to their passion, changing them, everyone and everything around them in ways only Liz Parker knew.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 16-Feb-2002 9:10:28 PM ]
posted on 28-Nov-2001 7:33:30 AM by JO
PART TWO
2014

Liz rested her chin on her hands, directly avoiding the reflection she had been staring at so intently moments earlier. Surely he sensed her shock when they made eye contact. Despite everything that had happened between them, she and Max had always shared that special connection, since the day he had healed her. She smiled slightly remembering all the times Maria had complained about wanting Michael to be more like Max and now, years later, it was Michael who was the
devoted family man and Max who was the loner.

Furiously rubbing her eyes, she glanced at the clock on the night stand. 2:30 a. m. Max had always had this insomniac effect on her. Just thinking about him and their life together used to keep her up all hours of the night, wondering, hoping, dreaming. Now, it was the dreams that kept her awake. Dreams in which she was finally happy. Dreams that they were together, as a
family, but those dreams would never come true. She had been the one to run away from him. As a matter of fact, she had always been the one to run away, claiming Max’s best interest at heart.

Standing quickly from the stool, she was suddenly agitated with herself. She had always had Max’s best interest at heart, but now wondered why she had not been selfish. By leaving him to his destiny, running away from him in the desert, she had been overwhelmed with guilt and confusion after hearing Max’s greater purpose. By following through with Future Max’s plan, she had saved Michael and Isabel, and assured that Tess would stay in Roswell. Had she known what was to come of Tess staying, she would have never done it, no matter how desperate Future Max seemed. Everything about her life now was wrong, and the worst part, the part neither her heart nor her mind could understand, was that she had done it to herself.

* * *

She knocked hesitantly at the door, glancing around quickly for signs of anyone she knew. Both cars were in the driveway so she knew Maria would be home. She raised her hand to knock again when the door slowly opened, revealing Evan, Maria’s six-year-old son. “Hey, Aunt Liz. Mom’s in the kitchen.” And just as quickly as he had appeared, Evan was gone, running up the
stairs as fast as he could.

“Maria,” Liz called as she walked into the house and closed the door. “Michael?”

“In here, Liz,” Maria called from the kitchen. “We’re in the kitchen.”

Liz sat her purse on the couch and walked slowly into the kitchen, fully expecting to see Max sitting at the table with Maria. She paused just outside the kitchen door, peeking into the room before stepping in. She was surprised to see Maria and four-year-old Livvie sprawled across the kitchen floor coloring. Liz leaned against the door frame and watched as Maria instructed her blonde pixie-haired child how to color in the lines. Immediately, she felt the same sadness she always felt, knowing what she could have had. “Ant Wiz,” Livvie screamed, throwing down her crayons and running toward Liz. “You is hewe.”

Liz recovered and bent down quickly, scooping Livvie into her arms. She hugged her tightly as Livvie blew a raspberry on Liz’s cheek. In return, Liz lifted Livvie’s shirt and blew on her stomach, prompting giggles to echo from the little girl’s mouth. Liz quickly kissed her nose just as Livvie began to squirm to be put down.
“Come on, you can cowor wif us.” Livvie grabbed
her hand and pulled Liz to the kitchen table, where Maria now had the coloring book and crayons spread out.

“Livvie girl, why don’t you go get the new book Aunt Liz sent you and we’ll read it to her, okay?” Livvie’s green eyes sparkled as she smiled widely at Liz before running out of the kitchen to her room. “That should keep her busy for a few minutes. Four-year-olds have no attention span, or at least she doesn’t. I think she gets that from me.” Maria pulled out a chair before turning away from Liz. “Want some coffee?”

“Love some,” Liz replied, sitting down at the table slowly. “Thanks.” Liz watched as Maria poured two cups of coffee and turned back toward her. Maria carefully sat one cup in front of Liz before she sat down next to her at the table. Liz held the cup in her hands, taking light sips as she and her best friend sat in uncomfortable silence. “I’m sorry about ruining your anniversary party.”

“You didn’t ruin it, Liz,” Maria said, leaning back in the chair. “As usual, all of Roswell just wanted to know what was going on with you and Max. After you stormed out, he just disappeared.” Liz opened her mouth to speak, instantly concerned for Max. Maria noticed it too and amended her words. “Not gone disappeared, just disappeared from the party. I found him in Evan’s room. He was telling Evan and Livvie a story. He’s really good with kids, you know.”

Liz’s jaws tightened and she bit her lip, trying to control the tears now pooled in her eyes. Of course Max is good with kids, she wanted to say. Max would have been a loyal and wonderful father. “I’m sure he’s great with them, Maria,” Liz whispered as she moved the cup from side to side in her hands.

“Okay, Liz, you’re thirty-one years old and you’ve been in and out of Roswell for the past ten years, mostly out. I love you and I love Max and I’m sorry that you got mad because he was here, but, damn it, if you still love each other -”

“Who says Max still loves me?”

Maria rolled her eyes. “You’re kidding, right? For a Harvard educated person, Liz, you’re extremely dense.”

Liz wildly avoided Maria’s eyes. Maria normally hit the nail on the head. She blinked and remembered Max’s smile when they had first locked eyes the other night. Instantly her heart warmed and her mind flooded with a montage of Max’s many smiles. She cleared her throat,
pushing the memories into the farthest corner of her mind. “Who said I love him? He has a son, Maria. A son with Tess who killed Alex. Remember Alex?”

“Don’t even start with that, Liz. Of course I remember Alex. I love Alex and I miss him every day. I stayed here, remember? I didn’t run away.”

“Please Maria,” Liz pleaded. “Please don’t do this. I....I’ve made mistakes and I’m sorry, but I’m here now. I don’t want to fight with you about something that happened a million years ago. Please.”

Maria’s face softened and she reached out for Liz’s hand. Liz gratefully accepted it, thankful that she had avoided Maria’s interrogation once again. If Maria knew the real reason Liz had left Roswell in the middle of the night almost eleven years ago, Liz was certain she would be dragged kicking and screaming back in to the alien abyss, the place she desperately did not want to be.
“So, are you ever gonna tell your bestest friend what you’re hiding?”

“Wh- what?” Liz released Maria’s hand, her eyes darting back and forth across Maria’s face for any signs of recognition. “Why do you think I’m hiding something?”

Maria shrugged as she took another sip of her coffee. “I just think you are. And I think it’s big. I wish you’d share it with me. You know how I hate being out of the loop.

“There’s no loop, Maria,” Liz nervously replied as she stood and walked over to get more coffee. “No secrets. Nothing to hide.”

Maria swivelled in her chair to face Liz, who was leaning against the counter top. She watched as Liz’s hands gently shook as she raised the cup to her lips. “So you’ll forgive me if I think you’re lying, won’t you?”

“Maria.” Liz sighed and rolled her eyes, taking a small step to the side.

“Okay, okay. I won’t press you. You’ve always kept your secrets for a reason.” Maria stood up and walked toward her oldest friend in the world. “But usually your secrets have to do with Max.” Maria had not been prepared for the look of horror that flashed momentarily in Liz’s eyes. The coffee cup in Liz’s shaky hands fell to the floor, shattering on impact. Liz tucked her hair
behind her ears and quickly darted away from Maria.

“I...I’ll clean this up, Maria.”

“Liz, what’s wrong,” Maria asked, grabbing Liz’s arm as she bent down to pick up the pieces of the shattered cup.

“Nothing. Nothing’s wrong.” Liz pulled her arm out of Maria’s grasp and stepped away from her. “I...I should go. I forgot I had to be somewhere. Bye, Maria.” Liz turned on her heels and ran out of the kitchen toward the front door.

Maria sighed as she heard Michael yell at Liz and bent down to pick up with was left of the coffee cup off her kitchen floor. “What’s wrong with Liz,” Michael said, as Maria stood up with the broken cup in her hands. He kissed her cheek and waved his hands across the cup, restoring it to its normal condition. “She almost knocked me down running out of here.”

Maria placed the cup in the sink and leaned against the counter top, determination written across her face. “I don’t know, but I’m going to find out.”

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 16-Feb-2002 9:16:00 PM ]
posted on 28-Nov-2001 7:33:35 AM by JO
see above

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 28-Nov-2001 7:37:29 AM ]
posted on 28-Nov-2001 7:33:40 AM by JO
see above (again)

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 28-Nov-2001 7:38:15 AM ]
posted on 28-Nov-2001 7:33:44 AM by JO
*loud frustrated sigh*

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 28-Nov-2001 7:39:08 AM ]
posted on 28-Nov-2001 7:33:49 AM by JO
this is just getting VERY annoying

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 28-Nov-2001 7:39:55 AM ]
posted on 28-Nov-2001 7:33:53 AM by JO
I'm just going to have to read up on how to use this board. I knew once upon a time, but now, it seems I've foregotten. I hope you all like the fic so far.....

All kinds of feedback is welcome.....

JO

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 28-Nov-2001 7:41:18 AM ]