|posted on 31-Dec-2002 6:41:21 AM by wenhaver|
|The Happiest of New Years|
Disclaimer: I own nothing, so just try to take it.
Summary: A one-parter holiday fic. Thank you, SansuCry, for putting me in the holiday mood with your Twelve Days of Christmas. AU. A bit of M/M, but mostly Dreamer. No aliens.
A/N: I promised I would work on my other long-neglected stories over break. And I will. Think of this as a warmup
December 31, 2005. 11:00 pm.
“Liz! LIZ! THERE YOU ARE!” Maria had to scream to be heard over the thumping music and conversations of a hundred other party-goers.
Liz Parker looked up at her best friend, and tucked a long strand of dark brown hair behind her ear. The thought that had been running through her head all night was reflected in her chocolate brown eyes. She didn’t have to yell for Maria to understand the message – namely, “What the hell am I doing here?”.
“YOU NEED TO STOP BEING SUCH A WALLFLOWER, CHICA. MINGLE!” Maria shoved her friend out of the corner she had been standing in since they had arrived an hour ago. Liz glanced over her shoulder long enough to roll her eyes, but missed the worried look on Maria’s face.
Never a social butterfly during the best of times, the last thing Liz wanted to do tonight was “mingle”. Sliding gracefully through the crowd, she began scoping out her next corner. Hopefully, a corner that would be more difficult for Maria to find her sulking in. She had no idea why she had let Maria talk her into coming to this New Year’s Eve party. Maria had rambled on and on about the host, an up-and-coming artist, for days, and the dangers of a woman attending a party alone until Liz had finally agreed. Needless to say, Liz was seriously regretting her decision and wanted nothing more than the next hour to pass so the new year could be officially rung in, and she could officially go home to her nice, soft bed. Your nice, soft, cold and lonely bed, you mean.
Shaking off the unwanted thought, Liz spied a perfect corner. It was far enough away from the rest of the party, but close enough that Maria would have a hard time seeing her through the mass of swaying bodies. Her new corner was also nicely shadowy, with the glow of the fireplace not quite reaching into its depths. “Perfect”, Liz muttered, taking her place.
Maria glanced at her watch, and gave Liz 20 minutes to get comfortable in her new spot before she would start to look for her again. This game of cat and mouse they were playing was getting old, but Maria was confident she had made the right decision by badgering Liz to come with her. She worried because Liz had hardly left the house they shared at all since moving in nearly six months ago. While she hadn’t managed to pry all the details out of Liz concerning her broken engagement and subsequent move from D.C. to L.A., Maria knew it had been Liz’s decision. She couldn’t understand why the girl was moping around so much. Truth be told, Maria was getting more than a little frustrated a Liz’s behavior, not just because she could no longer seem to keep any ice cream in the house, but because Liz’s usually cheerful temperament had been less than sunny. She seemed to be a shadow of her former self. Vowing to happily kill Liz’s ex-fiancé if she ever saw him again, Maria left Liz’s former corner to hunt down a glass of champagne.
Michael raked his hand through his unruly hair as he looked down from the balcony of his loft to the seemingly endless amount of people below. He looked over at his friend Max and sighed.
“Hey man, you wanted to have the ‘rage of the year’, remember? Looks like you got it,” Max grinned, his amber eyes sparkling. Michael just groaned. “But who are all these people?” he demanded, sweeping his arm out towards the floor below. “I don’t even know half of them”.
Max could only look down at the party and smile. He had warned Michael that his “rage of the year” might take on a mind of it’s own, especially with Michael’s recent success and his being seen often with Max’s supermodel sister Isabelle. Michael was defiantly the flavor of the moment, although Max, acting as his manager, was working hard to make sure his friend had more enduring fame. He was fine staying behind the scenes while managing both his sister’s and best friend’s careers.
While he didn’t want to go downstairs himself, Max took perverse pleasure in Michael’s discomfort at the invasion of his normally quite apartment. “C’mon, Mickey. Let’s join your adoring fans”.
Michael gave him a look that could curdle milk. “Maxwell, do not ever call me Mickey. And those people are not my fa… hell-o!”. He died off mid sentence as he saw the most beautiful girl claim a glass of champagne from the bar. Her short blonde hair was nearly as wild as his own, and her green eyes glittered as she laughed at something the bartender said. An unexpected and irrational pang of jealousy hit him low in the stomach as he watched the girl flirt with the guy at the bar. “What are we waiting for Maxwell. Let’s go. I’m about to get me a belated Christmas present”.
Max could only roll his eyes as he followed Michael’s determined steps down the stairs. He was fine staying behind the scenes while managing both his sister’s and best friend’s careers, but he hated playing third wheel.
Maria was giddy. Some of it might have been the champagne, but she was sure most of it had to do with the man in front of her. When Michael Guerin had introduced himself, she had to stop from pinching herself. She had come, hoping to meet him. His paintings had stirred her, as had his photo in the several magazine articles she had read about it. And here he was, talking to her and growling at any man who came within two feet of her. She tuned back into what he was saying in time to hear "..more champagne on the balcony on the back studio.” She saw his friend and manager nod as he started to turn away. Quickly appraising the man who was the picture perfect version of “tall, dark, and handsome”, Maria came to a decision and reached out to touch his shoulder. Noticing that Michael growled a little at her moment, she smiled to herself. “Max, if you see a girl about this tall, with long dark hair and a red cashmere sweater hiding in a corner, bring her back with you, ok?” Max nodded again and walked away, glad to have something to do besides stand behind Michael and feel like a goon.
Liz checked her watch again, glad it was almost time to leave. She knew there was no way she could convince Maria to leave before midnight, but at 12:01 she planned to be out the door.
She looked out at the crowd and glimpsed a tall man with red hair. She immediately thought of her ex-fiancé and started to panic. He was the last person she wanted to see tonight. Taking a second look, she realized it wasn’t Eric after all. Besides, he was on the opposite coast and had no idea where she was, anyway.
Breaking off her engagement had been one of the hardest decisions she had ever made. Harder than leaving her life in Roswell, New Mexico behind for MIT. Harder than deciding to pursue law instead of pure scientific research after graduation. She had met Eric her first year of law school, and they had drifted into a comfortable relationship. When he proposed to her after graduation, she had accepted even though she had misgivings. When he continued to press her to set a wedding date, Liz finally realized that she had been coasting by with him, and wasn’t in love with him. The ugly scene and harsh words, with weeks of angry then pleading phone calls and emails had convinced her that she had made the right decision.
She had moved to L.A. to start fresh. The biotech industry was strong, and she had found a good job easily. Now all she needed in her life was a little passion. While she would never admit it to anyone, Liz Parker had a romantic streak a mile wide. She wanted a fairy tale. Maria had dragged her out enough for her to realize she wasn’t going to find her dream guy going to bars and parties like this one. While she knew she was equally unlikely to find him sitting around the house, eating Ben and Jerry’s, Liz was far more comfortable there than with Maria’s outgoing friends.
She checked her watch again and sighed.
Max dropped off the case of champagne before Maria sent him out looking for her lost friend. He had no idea how he was going to find her in all these people, especially with only Maria’s sketchy dark-hair, red-sweater description to go by. She had assured him that her friend would be hanging out by herself, probably in some dark corner. Max idling wondered why the girl had bothered to come if she was just going to hide, but set off in search of her anyway. Anything was better than watching Michael moon over his newest catch.
He was just about to give up when he caught a glimpse of red out of the corner of his eye. Looking closer, he thought he saw a feminine shape outlined by the shadows near the fireplace. Glad to have found her, Max started moving through the crowded room to reclaim Maria’s lost sheep.
Glancing at her watch again, Liz was relieved to see that she only had 2 minutes to go before she was out the door. If she could ever find Maria in this mess, that is. She scanned the crowed, trying to catch of glimpse of the blonde pixie. Her eyes came to rest on the most gorgeous man she had ever seen in her life. He was making his way across the room, his dark hair falling into his eyes. He seemed to glide across the floor, his black sweater showing off his broad shoulders and hinting at the incredible physique underneath it. This man could play her Prince Charming any day.
Liz was so caught up in watching him that she almost didn’t realize that he had come to a stop right in front of her.
Max was more than a little stunned when he finally got a good look at the girl he had been sent to find. This tiny woman was simply the most amazing thing he had ever seen. Her shiny, dark fair fell like a waterfall down her shoulders. The red sweater she was wearing was the perfect foil to her creamy skin, and it clung to her curves in a way that made his imagination run wild. He was drowning in her huge eyes as she looked up at him. His gaze moved to her mouth as the tip of her tongue peaked out to wet her lips.
The roar of the crowd counting down the seconds dimmed to nothing as Max and Liz started at each other. Neither heard the shouts of “Happy New Year!” as they moved toward each other. Neither did it seem out of place to anyone who may have been watching when Max bent his head to Liz’s.
Liz’s brain shut off at the first touch of Max’s lips on hers. The first soft brush had her leaning into his hard chest. As he pulled her closer into his arms, he deepened the kiss. Liz was vaguely aware that her arms were around his neck, her hands entwined in his hair. She was fully focused on the sensations his mouth was causing on hers. Her knees began to feel weak, and she clung to him as he started to move away.
She tasted like champagne and strawberries. Her hair smelled faintly of vanilla. Max knew in that instant that he would never get tired of her taste, her smell, or the feel of her small hands in his hair.
“Hi”. Max desperately tried to get a grip in himself before he picked her up and carried her off to the guest room he was staying in.
“Hi”, she whispered back, staring up at the stranger who had shown her more passion in one moment than her former finance had in four years.
“Happy New Year”, Max said, taking in her flushed cheeks and red lips.
“Happy –“ Liz started to answer as Max bent to kiss her again.
Liz finished the thought in her head before losing herself in the kiss.
Happy new year
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 31-Dec-2002 6:45:46 AM ]