posted on 18-Dec-2001 7:24:39 PM by Mikyla
All in my mind

Title: All in my mind
Author: Mikyla
Disclaimer: The characters aren't mine. Only the story line. No infringement intended.
Summary: AU fic. No aliens. Liz is a telepathic, with a connection to Max. Only she doesn't know it's him. Read on.....
Distribution: Just ask. I always say yes. Cause I'm so damn sweet.

Author's note: I've been gone a long time. I'm not sure if this is going to be as good as some of my other stuff, but I'll give it my best shot lol. Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Sentences in stars *...* are mental communications.

Prologue

The sun shone brightly, turning the delicate flowers lining the footpath into a stunning carpet of color, but Liz Parker didn't stop to appreciate them. The other kids were following her again, biding their time, waiting for the chance to strike out at her. She picked up her already brisk pace until she was almost running. She never ran outright, not until she had no other choice. She never wanted to give them the satisfaction of knowing they scared her to death. She continued on, turning the corner into Regent Street, wondering if she might just make it to the old brick house in time, when the first taunt reached her.
"Hey Liz, where you going in such a hurry?"
She didn't turn, didn't stop, just kept walking.
"Crazy Liz," the voice continued. "Who you always talking to when noone's there Liz?"
Tucking her chin further into her chest, Liz walked on. She'd heard the same thing, the same stupid nickname, day after day since she'd made the mistake of talking to him in class. Sometimes, on the days when all her courage didn't desert her as soon as the taunting started, she considered turning and around and telling them defiantly exactly who she was talking to. But she knew that would only make it worse. So she kept walking.
The first stone bounced off her shoulder and she flinched, but didn't stop. The second one went wide and she watched it bounce down the street in front of her.
"How come you don't mind talking to someone who ain't there, but you won't talk to us? Why is that Crazy Liz?"
This time a girl's voice, amused, clearly enjoying the game. Liz knew who they were, all of them, but the information meant nothing to her. Their names passed through her mind and then swirled away, swallowed up by fright. She turned another corner and fixed her eyes desperately on the bright red roof of her home. She was almost there. She felt the first stone hit the back of her head and she broke into a run.

He’d seen her come around the corner, and he knew straight away from the desperate way she stared towards her house that the other kids were chasing her again. His fists curled impotently and helpless tears sprung to his eyes. He saw them come around the corner behind her, picking up stones from the side of the road. He wanted to run outside and chase them off, wanted to fold her in his arms and carry her home so they couldn’t hurt her anymore. But all he could do was watch her, as he did every afternoon, from behind the billowy lace curtain in his living room. He felt someone come up behind him, but he never took his eyes off the street.
“You could help her you know,” his father said quietly, watching and hurting, just like his son. “It might give her some reassurance to know who you are.”
He shook his head. “She doesn’t need to know.”
His father sighed heavily but said nothing more. It was his son’s decision to make, and nothing he could do or say would make him decide before he was ready.
“Stubborn,” he said indulgently. “Like your mother.”
A ghost of a smile flitted across the young boys face, but it disappeared as quickly as it had come as he watched her break into a run, a hail of stones behind her. He watched until she reached the steps of her home, then let the curtain fall and, leaving his father watching him, went upstairs and closed his bedroom door.

Liz stood in the front hallway for a moment, catching her breath and allowing her thundering heart a chance to calm down. The big house was silent, the same way it was every afternoon, her parents at work. She shook off her coat and hung it up neatly, then went into the kitchen for a glass of water.
*‘Are you alright?’*
It had been a long time since the sound of the voice coming not from around her, but from inside her head, could shock her, and so her hands were steady as poured her drink.
“I’m fine,” she said quietly, her voice alone in the empty room. “Why on earth wouldn’t I be?’”
The boy who lay alone in his room fought with the urge to tell her he’d seen the kids, the stones, her running.
*‘No reason. I was just wondering.’*
“What did you do today?” She asked him as she picked up her glass of water, her bag, and headed up the stairs to her room.
*‘Same as always’* he told her.
Liz nodded and smiled. “Nothing much.”
It was the answer he always gave her, and she could feel his amusement. *‘Right. Nothing much.’*
She threw her bag on the bed and got out the homework she had to do.
*‘So what books are we hitting tonight?’*
Her smile grew and then she laughed softly.
“English Lit. I have to read Silas Marner.”
He had the same book sitting on the stand beside the bed, and he glanced at it with a smile. *‘What’s that about?’'*
“Some ye olde weaver living in some little town in the 1500’s.”
The amusement came through loud and clear, and Liz could almost hear him laughing.
*‘Sounds interesting. Read me some.’*
Settling back against her pillows, Liz opened the book and began reading softly, her voice echoing around the room.

The bedroom door suddenly flung open, and Liz jumped, dropping the book to the bed beside her.
"What are you doing?" her father said softly, menacingly.
Liz scrambled up off the bed and stood before him. "I..I was just..just reading out loud."
Her father walked towards her until he was looming over her. "What have you been told about talking to yourself Liz?"
The boy sat up in bed, his stomach tightening.
*'Liz? Are you ok?'*
Liz stared at her father, terror and sickening fear welling up in her. "I wasn't talking to myself. I was just reading out loud. Honest Dad."
*'Liz? Please, I know something's wrong. Tell me what's going on.'*
*'I can't talk to you now. My Dad...'*
Liz saw his hand come up and watched it helplessly. She had tried running, tried hiding. it never helped. She saw it swing downwards and closed her eyes. The slap caught her across the face and she flew backwards, hitting the wall and sliding down to the floor. Across the road, the boy cried out in pain, and got up off the bed, his face stinging and tears running down his face. He didn't notice his father run into the room and put his arms around him tightly.
*'Liz? Liz!! Answer me please.'*
Liz lifted her head, desperately tried to focus. She heard the evil snakelike hiss of her father's belt as he pulled it from around his waist. Her eyes widened and she reached out, not caring if her father realized what she was doing.
*'Help me. Please, you have to help me.'*
The first hit made her scream and her father looked up curiously as it seemed to echo in the upstairs bedroom of the house across the street.

TBC...

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 19-Dec-2001 12:58:59 AM ]
posted on 19-Dec-2001 12:57:53 AM by Mikyla
Part 1

Liz pushed her hair over her shoulder and stretched tiredly. It had been another long day, and she was more than ready to go home. Her hand went towards the intercom, but before she could press the button, it squawked at her. She sighed.
"Yes Mr. Evans?" she said pleasantly.
"Miss Parker, can I see you in my office please?"
"No", Liz muttered under her breath, even as she got up to go into the other office.
She closed the door behind herself and sat down in the chair in front of the huge desk before she looked up, and into the eyes of her boss. Max Evans. It was always a constant amazement to her that she was here, working in the office of a boy she went to school with. A boy she'd, for a long time, had a terrible crush on. She felt the ripple across her nerves, and she forced it down ruthlessly, the same way she always did. He watched her silently from across the desk in that unnerving way of his, and Liz had to force herself not to squirm. She raised her eyebrow pointedly, urging him to say something.
"You're here late again," he finally murmured.
Liz frowned in confusion. She was always staying late at the office. This was the first time he'd mentioned it.
"Is there a problem with my working late?" she said hesitantly.
"Yes," he said firmly. "I don't like it."
Liz felt the heat of anger rising. "I'm sorry to hear that. Do you have a suitable solution in mind or would you like me to resign and save you the trouble of firing me?"
He cracked a smile, and Liz stared in profound shock. Had she ever even seen him smile before?
"Calm down," he said mildly. "I have no intention of firing you, and I'm not going to let you resign. What I'm suggesting for you is some time off. You deserve it, and frankly I think you need it. You've been losing weight, and you don't look good."
Liz looked down at herself, then back up at him.
"What do you mean I don't look good? I look fine. I look the same way I've always looked."
Liz looked up at him, still frowning, and wondered what the heck was going on.

Max could tell she was confused, and hurt, by what he was saying, and he had to stop himself from telling her she looked better than good, she looked gorgeous. He had a plan here, and it wasn't going to work if he broke down and begged. Or worse, if he used his mind to convince her. He had been watching her the whole time she was working with him, and he was certain she didn't know he was the voice she heard in her head, the stranger with the same gift she had been talking to for years. The little boy who had witnessed first hand all her pain.
"I have a favor to ask you," he said briskly, his stomach tightening with nerves. "I assume you remember meeting my parents last year at the company dinner?"
Liz nodded slowly. "Of course."
Max turned in his chair and looked out at the view he had, although he couldn't really see it. His stomach was a writhing bundle of nerves.
"They've invited me to spend the holidays with them on their estate."
Liz stared at the back of his chair in bemusement. What was she supposed to say. Congratulations? He suddenly spun back to her and Liz cleared her face quickly.
"I'd like you to come with me."
Liz's face fell, and she just stared blankly at him. Max waited, his eyes on hers, saying nothing. Liz finally came out of her stupor and shook her head in bewilderment.
"You want me to...you want me to go with you to your parents for the holidays?"
"Yes," Max said.
"But...why?" Liz asked slowly. "I mean, I'm sorry Mr. Evans.."
"Max," he told her. "You've been working for me for a long time. You should be calling me Max."
Liz couldn't shake the feeling she fallen down the rabbit hole, or stumbled into the twilight zone. She had been working for him for a long time, and he'd never, ever asked her to call him by his first name.
"To tell you the truth you'd be doing me a huge favor," he continued. "If I know my mother, and I do, she'll invite a woman for me to meet, with the hopes I'll one day marry her. If I call and tell her I'm already bringing someone she'll leave me alone."
Suddenly Liz smiled, and Max grinned back. "Don't tell me you got it too?"
Liz nodded, her smile growing. "All through dinner she was telling me how wonderful you are, what a fabulous husband you'd make."
Max groaned and rubbed his face with his hands. "See what I mean? I really need you to come with me."
Liz knew she was going to refuse, and was surprised at how much she regretted it. She opened her mouth to turn him down.
"Please."
One whispered word. That was all. But it was something Liz had never heard him say. She closed her mouth, took a breath, and nodded.
"Alright Max. I'll go with you."

TBC....