|posted on 11-Jan-2003 4:04:14 AM by moonieADT|
|How Do I Say Goodbye.|
Category: Max/ Liz
Disclaimer: Roswell, Max, Liz etc. don't belong to me. Just borrowing them with thanks.
Summary: Character Death.
Authors Note: I know this is such a departure for me. But it just wouldn’t leave me alone until it had written itself out. I will apologize upfront.
“Max?” Liz whispered in her slightly husky voice.
“Yes?” Max answered, his eyes bright with love.
“I want you to know that I have loved you from the first moment I saw you. And I will beyond the last. You will never be able to get away from me.” She warned in soft gentle tones. Her shaking hands gave her away.
Liz tenderly brushed the hair back from his forehead. She had always loved his hair. It had been one of the things that had attracted her to him, that and his eyes. His eyes had seen through to her soul. They had always been able to speak without saying a word. It had made the others envious, but to them it was just another way they could say I love you .
The room now was dimly lit, a stark contrast to the vibrant and brilliant memories that had happened here.
“Liz, Breathe.” Max coached her.
“You breath, you son of a bitch.” She cursed at him.
Sweat poured off her forehead as her small body struggled to bring forth a new life. She had been in labor now for six hours and she was not happy. They had waited so long for this moment. They had been married eight years before they decided the time was right. Liz always had joked that it took them all of those years just to practice and he had finally gotten it right.
Now here they were, on the bed in their room, about to bring their first child into the world.
“Just one more good push and we’re home.” Isabelle guided her.
Liz looked up at Max, all of the love she had for him shining in her eyes; this was the moment they had waited for. She took a couple cleansing breaths and then as the contraction neared she started to bare down. It seemed as though time skipped ahead a few seconds because the contraction was over and little Anthony Evans made his way into the world. His tiny cries heralded his arrival.
With a swipe of his hand, Max cleaned him and severed the umbilical cord. He cradled their son in his arms for a moment before settling him down with Liz. She took him in her arms. She had started a collection of the Evans men, she thought to herself, each of them priceless and irreplaceable. She looked into eyes that held the same secrets his fathers did. He would most definitely break hearts, this one. Even now, only a few minutes old he was quietly observing the world as it slowly came into focus. He would be the one all the girls would want, but only one would ever have.
Liz gently caressed the fine hair that covered his tiny head, a familiar gesture she had done a thousand times to his daddy. She knew she would do it thousands more before their days together were through.
“He’s beautiful.” Max said in wonder.
“He is so handsome.” Liz cooed to him, placing little kisses on his forehead.
“We created this little person.” His voice filled with awe at the sight before him.
“And we’ll have more.” She said smiling up at him through tired eyes that would do anything except sleep.
“As many as you want, sweetheart, I think all that practice paid off.” He chuckled at her smirking scowl she tried to fix him with.
“Anthony, don’t you listen to him. Your daddy hasn’t realized yet that he isn’t funny.”
The images faded and Liz was brought back to the same bed, but now its use is different, more permanent. She picked up the glass of water and placed the straw in his mouth. He’s was too weak to sit up anymore. The cool water felt good as it slid down his throat. But the deep thirst that raged inside him just wouldn’t subside. It pulled and tugged at him, demanding his attention. His battle had taken its toll, he knew it would, he just never knew the price would be so high.
“Isabelle are you sure?” Max asked in disbelief.
She tried hard to swallow back the tears, but still they came. Max took her in his arms and tried to offer some comfort, but it almost seemed ironic, the dead offering comfort to the living. The sobs wracked her body as the realization finally stuck. They had suffered so much, endured all that this world and another had thrown at them but it was going to end like this.
Slowly, gradually, the sobs lessened and she pulled back. Her eyes met Max’s and she could see the inner turmoil that raged inside of her brother. She had always felt him, but now that was slipping away, at least in the sense that they had always known. It was like one side of the traffic was permanently being closed.
“Max, what are you going to do?” She asked fearfully.
“I don’t know. Keep on living my life.” He didn’t know if he even believed myself.
“What about Liz?” she asked tentatively.
“I’ll tell her tomorrow. She has a special evening for us planned. She had some special surprise that she said she got for me. I’m not going to ruin this for her. I want her to have one more day where she thinks that everything in the world is good and constant. That the sun will rise tomorrow, water will always be wet and I’ll always be by her side. I can’t take that away.”
Max paused and looked up to the ceiling. It seemed like he was asking for the right road to follow, but no answers were forth coming.
“I want to see her smile one last time before I steal that from her. Can you understand?” Max pleaded.
Isabelle took her brothers hand and held it tightly in her own. It was their lifeline to each other. Without much effort, Isabelle pushed through the haze and opened the bond that had been silent for too many years. Max smiled as he felt her presence; a comforting warmth flooding his tired mind. She sent as much love as she had in her to give and then she reached and gave just a little more.
Isabelle was going to give him a gift of her own. She concentrated and started to draw copies of the memories from his mind. At first Max was startled, confused by the sudden rush of images that assaulted his mind. And then the understanding hit him. He truly had been the luckiest half human on the planet. He had a family that stood by each other no matter what. Gradually the images slowed until but a mere trickle remained. He felt Isabelle slipping from his mind and in a way it was one of the most painful experiences of his life, it was so symbolic. Symbolic of his own life that was now slowly ebbing away.
“I’ll keep these safe for her. When ever she’s ready they’ll be waiting.” She comforted him.
“Thanks Is. You’re the best.” He said.
“Anytime.” She answered barely above a whisper.
“Well, I better get home. Liz will not be happy if I’m late tonight.” Max hugged her tight, and gave her a little smile. “Good-bye Is, I love you.”
“Love you too, brother of mine.” She called as she stood at the door and watched him walk down the path to his car.
“When the time comes, I’ll make sure there’s no pain. No matter what it takes.” Isabelle whispered to herself. “No matter what it takes.”
Liz looked down at his man, her husband. A man she would have gladly spent her life with, but that was being torn away. Ripped to shreds by a cruel twist of fate. She had not found out about the illness until the next week. He had said the same words to her. “I wanted to see you smile one last time before I stole that from you.
Max walked in the door about twenty minutes late. Liz was already a bundle of nerves. He smiled as he watched her bouncing around the room, oblivious to his presence. When you have grown up watching someone as long as Max had you learn to blend in. The only problem is that where Liz was concerned, he had never been able to do it completely.
“I know you’re there.” She had a mock scowl on her face but the twitching of her lips gave her away. “Where have you been, I’ve been waiting.”
“I went to see Iz for a little while. You know, a little brother sister bonding thing.” He said with a practiced grimace.
Liz walked over to him and placed a tender kiss on his lips. She put her arms around his middle and pulled him close. Something was drawing her to him more than normal; she just hadn’t been able to put her finger on it yet.
“Where’s the boy?” He asked curiously.
“The ‘Boy’ is in his room for turning my favorite scarf lime green because I wouldn’t get him a Popsicle.” She said in a huff.
“He did what?” Max exclaimed in shock. Anthony had never thrown a tantrum before. And especially never used his powers to hurt someone, even if it was indirectly.
Liz picked up the scarf and handed tit to Max. Max was about to swipe his hand over it when he thought better of it. He wasn’t sure how much he had left and he couldn’t afford to use it on a scarf. It would be better if Anthony did it anyway. After all he was the one to change it in the first place.
Later in the evening after the repercussions of the day had died down. Liz and Max found themselves on their sofa, snuggled close together. Liz was drawing lazy patterns over his thigh. She kept stealing little glances at him when she thought he wasn’t looking. It gave him a sense of déjà vu from when they were in high school. She did this when she wanted him to crack and the sad thing was that it worked every time.
“Okay, stop the torture and tell me what this big secret is.” He said with a pleading tone in his voice.
Liz made no attempt at hiding the smirk of victory on her lips.
“You’re getting better, it took only an hour and a half this time.” She chided him.
“Ha ha, very funny.” He said condescendingly.
“Okay, I’m sorry.” She said in all seriousness.
Liz swallowed reflexively and folded her hands in her lap. Max knew these signs well and this was not good. This knew was huge, earth shattering. Liz turned to him with a light mist of tears in her eyes and took his hands into hers. Max felt a ripple of ice-cold fear rip through him. ‘Oh god,’ he thought, ‘she knows.’
“Max, we’re going to need to get a bigger house.” She announced in a steady voice.
Max didn’t know what to make of that. He was relieved that she hadn’t found out in some way about his condition, but this just didn’t make sense.
“Liz, this house is big enough. We’ve got all that space in the basement and there are at least three closets that you aren’t even using. Not to mention the area above the garage.” He said coaxingly. Why couldn’t she just ever make sense?
“Max, I don’t think your going to want to run to the upstairs of the garage to check on the twins every ten minutes.” She said softly, trying to gauge his reaction.
“We don’t have twins Liz, you know that. I don’t se-.” Max just stopped cold.
He looked at Liz like he was seeing her for the first time. This wonderful woman, his wife, the mother of their son, was pregnant with twins. This was the most bittersweet moment of his life.
He wrapped his arms round her and held her tight.
“I love you. I love you so much Liz. Never forget that.” He said with determination. “Twins huh?” He couldn’t keep the grin off of his face.
“Twins.” She repeated. The tears were streaming down her face. “Max, I’m so happy. I just can’t believe how lucky we are.” She said as she held onto him tightly. He was her lifeline, her rock; with him she could do anything.
Max held her close and kissed the top of her head. Now how was he going to tell her that in five months she would be losing her husband?
Liz smiled at him as she held his hand. The power that these hands had once had was now gone. The thing he could do to her body with theses hands had stopped last month when he started to become to weak.
When they had made love after he had told her the truth. It had been with a desperation she had never felt before. She was trying to burn every memory of him that she could into her mind. She didn’t want her body to ever forget his touch. Max Evans had forever altered her, changed her into the person she had become today.
She knew there would never be anyone else. She would spend her days with the kids. She would tell the twins stories of their father, a father they had never met. A father that loved them without reservation and beyond his last breath. Even now, every day he would lay his hand on her stomach and talk softly to the babies. It took everything she had to hold it together during those moments. She knew he was saying goodbye. She knew that he was praying that the twins would reach out to him and let him feel them one time before he was gone.
Some day she would share the precious gift Max had given her through Isabelle.
He had given his memories of his life to her for safekeeping. They were memories before any of this ever happened. They were pristine, void of the pain and suffering he had endured as this disease was slowly killing him.
“Liz?” he said softly, his voice hut a fait whisper of what it once was.
“Yes sweetheart?” She asked lovingly.
“I need to talk to the babies, is that okay?” His voice a little weak.
Liz took a few deep breaths and steadied herself. She gazed into his eyes and offered him a wobbly smile. She took his hand and laid it upon her belly, it was so swollen now with their children.
“Okay Max, they’re listening.” She said, unable to keep the tremor out of her voice.
In a low voice, just barely above a whisper he spoke to them.
“Hi little ones, this is your daddy. I want you to know that I love you with all my heart and I always will. I’m sorry I won’t get to see you. But I’ll always be looking down on you. I want the both of you to be good for your mother. You both are very lucky to have her for your mom. She loves you so much little ones. Your mom is the most incredible woman I have ever known. She gave me a whole world that I never knew existed. She gave me some of the most important things in the world. She gave me love and she gave me Anthony and she gave me you. Please tell her you love her for me.”
He paused to take a ragged breath when it happened. A faint glow emanated from Liz’s belly under Max’s hand. They were reaching out to their father. They both knew how important this was for everyone.
Max felt their tiny imprints on his mind. They sent him such unconditional love, it was blinding in its beauty. Max felt the peace come over him as his children soothed his pain and brought him comfort. They gave him their promise to take care of their mother and big brother. Max felt Liz’s presence there now. He wrapped her in the powerful arms of his love for her, finally holding her as tight as he had longed to over these last months. Max breathed a final sigh of relief knowing that the most important people in his life would be okay.
“Max it’s so beautiful. They have so much love to give. They are so precious.” She smiled at their clasped hands on her stomach.
“Max?” She knew. He was gone. He had held on long enough to see them, to know them, for them to finally know him.
He had died on a Wednesday afternoon. The sun was so bright and high up in the sky. It was such a peaceful day. But the outside world had no presence in this room.
She looked down at the hand she still had held tightly in hers. The tears coursed down her cheeks in silent waves of anguish and loss.
“Max, I have one last question for you sweetheart, how do I say goodbye?”
[ edited 2 time(s), last at 11-Jan-2003 4:24:18 AM ]