|posted on 30-Dec-2001 6:22:07 AM by Kazza|
|Something to Believe in – BY KAZZA|
Disclaimer: In the alternate universe that all Roswell Fanfic writers visit, I own Roswell. Sadly, in the real world, I own nothing, so please don’t sue me! I promise to return the characters good as new. I do, however, own the idea to this story.
Summary: Alternate Universe. Not set in Roswell and there are no aliens in sight! Just your regular love story!
Category: A bit of everyone, but swaying towards Max and Liz.
Rating: PG-13 (For now!!)
Dedication: This story is dedicated to Jo, my amazing Roswell e-buddy, whom I’ve had the privileged pleasure to meet. A wonderful person who truly has a pure heart of gold.
Authors Notes: This is my own story, generated from my own imagination. I apologise if any of my ‘American’ terms are incorrect, please forgive me since I don’t live there!
FROM PART 24
Finally flumping down into a welcoming chair in the waiting room, Liz lowered her head buried her face in the palms of her hands.
The tears she had shed earlier returned with vengeance, stinging her eyes as she tried to keep them at bay. She tried all her might to remain in control; to not loose it in the middle of the hospital, but it was to no avail as the inevitable pain engulfed her and the tears began to course down her pale, stricken cheeks.
Seeing May lying in the road had been awful, never in her wildest nightmares did she think she’d have to experience anything happening to Max. He was so big, strong and full of life, like nothing could ever hurt or cut him down. But seeing him lying helpless in the road, and then strapped into the stretcher, being wheeled into ER at near death’s door, it was clear he was in very grave danger.
The tears continued to pour out, as Liz just sat and waited for news. It was all she could do, just wait, hoping and praying that Max would be strong enough to pull through and flash her that sexy smile once more.
Busting through the glass doors, five anxious friends dashed through the halls of the City of Angels Medical Center in their quest to find the ER department, and, more importantly, someone who could tell them what was going on.
Maria’s information had been vague at the very least, lacking vital information, like were both Max and Liz ok? Thoughts raced through their minds, images of what they might find when they got to Max and Liz too worrying. Soft sobs could already be heard from Maria. She’d spoken to Liz; she’d heard the pain and worry in her boss’s voice, in her heart Maria knew it was bad.
As they entered the waiting area, Alex spotted Liz quickly. She was sitting on a large comforter seat, knees scooped up to her chin, her face looking down at the very uninteresting lino covering the floor.
“Liz!” He called out, striding over to her and lifting the stricken girl to her feet. “Oh Liz.” He added, scooping her into his arms and holding her tight.
“Liz? What happened?” Jim asked trying to gauge what was going on.
“Where’s Max? Is he ok?” A panic stricken voice that belonged to Isabelle also piped up.
But they got nothing from Liz, at least nothing audible. She lifted her head from Alex’s comforting chest and looked around. She glanced at each of the people around her, from Isabelle’s hopeful eyes, to Jim’s inquisitive ones, to the worry in Maria’s.
Liz’s deep brown pools that normally sparkled so fervently were lost. Instead her eyes looked gaunt, drawn out, and clearly lost in what she needed to do or where she was. She had a faraway look about her, as if what was happening was just a terrible dream. Not focusing on anyone, she just stared into space and allowed tears to trickle uncontrollably down her face.
“Liz please? I need to know, where is my brother!” Isabelle said, somewhat hysterically. She could see Liz, and could see she was clearly shaken up, but where was Max? Why wasn’t he with Liz, holding and comforting her instead of Alex? If Max was ok why wasn’t he in the waiting room with them?
Again though, through shock, Liz said nothing. It was as if she’d lost the ability to speak words coherently. Instead she just stared back at Isabelle blinking sadly, as if sealing Max’s fate.
“No! No! Where is he? Where’s Max?” Isabelle screamed, tears falling down her face at an alarming rate. She was panicking; Liz’s face was scaring her beyond belief.
“I’ll go and find out.” Jim finally said, departing the group and heading off to find some answers.
“Please Liz, what happened? Is Max ok? Where is he?” Isabelle cried softly.
“It’s ok Iz, I’m sure Max is ok.” Michael comforted her, pulling the young girl into his arms and attempting to soothe her fears.
The group of four stood, waiting and praying for news. Isabelle clung tightly to Michael, trying to stay strong and in control. Liz occupied Alex’s arms, but the gratefulness she’d expected to feel around her friends hadn’t come. For all she could think about and imagine in her mind was Max, and his battered body lying on the ground. Just the mere thought brought the tears flooding into her eyes again.
As Jim slowly walked back to the waiting group, Isabelle’s screams were heard once more. The normally steely James Valenti was clearly shocked. His face was ashen, his eyes fully of worry, it was obvious the route of his concern was Max Evans.
“Where is he? What’s happened?” Isabelle screamed, pulling herself from Michael’s arms and throwing herself at Jim.
“It’s ok Isabelle.” He tried to calm her down, it was obvious she was getting nearly hysterical over what was happening around them, and Jim could understand why.
“Where is he?” She pressed once more, anger fuelling the pain in her voice.
“Why don’t we sit down?” Jim suggested, trying to direct Isabelle to a nearby seat.
“No! I don’t want to sit down!” She yelled vehemently. “I want my brother!” She added, tears still falling down her pale face.
“Iz ……” Michael started.
“No! Just tell me!” She said forcefully.
“Ok, he’s in intensive care right now Isabelle.” Jim said calmly. “He suffered a broken wrist and ribs, he’s bruised his pelvis, and has various severe cuts and bruises. He ……. He also has a very nasty cut on his head …….. and I’m really sorry but he’s in a coma Isabelle.” He told her, watching Isabelle’s face contort as he recounted each of Max’s aliments.
“But he’s ok right?” She asked, needing affirmation.
“They …… they don’t know Isabelle …….. they think he’s in for a rough few days …….. they think it’s touch and go as to whether he’ll ever wake up.” He said sadly
“Nooooooo!” Isabelle’s wails filled the quiet air, and Michael pulled her into his arms allowing her sobs to filter into his chest.
“Liz? What happened babe?” Alex asked gently, as she continued to cling to him for dear life.
Now at least the group knew that Liz was ok and that Max was still in trouble. But no one knew why they were in hospital, or what had happened to cause the injuries to their friends.
“Th ….. there ………. wa …… was a car. It was coming ….. towards us. Ma …. Max pushed me …….. went over the bonnet …… lying on the ground ………” Liz stammered, finding her voice but having it filled with pain and immense sorrow.
“The car hit Max?” Jim clarified.
“Y … yes ………. He ……. He pushed me out the way …….. so ………. so I didn’t get ………. hit.” She told him, still shaking from shock.
“The car was meant for you?” Isabelle queried, lifting her head from Michael. “You mean Max has got hurt for you? He is lying on a hospital bed, fighting for his life because of YOU?” She added somewhat venomously.
“Yes.” Liz said weakly.
”How could you? How could you let him save you but nearly kill himself?” Isabelle roared, jumping to her feet and facing Liz.
“I …….. I didn’t ………” Liz stammered, her eyes wide with surprisement at Isabelle’s reaction.
“Isabelle, it’s not Liz’s fault.” Jim started, as Michael drew up along side his friend’s sister.
“No? Then whose fault is it? It’s not mine, it’s not yours, it must be somebody’s fault! My brother is dying because of *her*, because he felt the need to save her! And you tell me it isn’t her fault!” Isabelle yelled, her eyes blazing with tears and anger.
”Iz, no! I know it’s hard, but we have to accept it was just a terrible accident.” Michael tried to reason with her.
“An accident isn’t good enough Michael!” She screamed. “Max’s life lies in the balance right now ………. He’s …….. he’s my brother for god sake.” She said, the anger in her voice slowly starting to evaporate, replaced rapidly with emotional tears.
“I ……. I didn’t ……… do it.” Liz said meekly, her pain heightened over Isabelle’s words.
It wasn’t that Isabelle had meant to yell and scream at Liz; in her heart Isabelle knew Liz wasn’t responsible for her brother’s aliments. But she desperately needed someone to blame, needed reasoning behind why the terrible events had happened and why her brother was lying at deaths door. She needed to vent her anger, frustration and pain at someone, and to her Liz was the nearest person.
With his arms tightly wrapped around a stricken Isabelle, Michael snuck a quick glance in Maria’s direction. It was the first time he’d seen her since he’d found out about the baby, and it felt strange to him. The though of their child growing slowly inside her caught him unawares, and a breath caught in his throat. It was the first time he’d acknowledged privately to himself that she was actually expecting, and a pang of feeling shot straight to his heart.
She looked well, he considered, a health glow in her face considering the circumstances they were in at that moment. There was no obvious sign of anything different about her; if you didn’t know she was pregnant you couldn’t have guessed.
Perhaps it was seeing her again, or perhaps it had as much to do with the circumstances and Max’s potentially fatal injuries, but for a few moments, Michael actually allowed himself to imagine what it would be like to be a father. He imagined watching the child feast on Maria, how it would feel to hear them say their first word or take their first step, and then how he would enjoy teaching it to play soccer or other boy sports.
The moment was brief, but did enough to make Michael slowly start thinking. Life was short in the world and no one was safe, Max being scathed down proved that. Could he ever forgive himself for passing up the opportunity to get to know his child? And could he continue to pass the days without the ray of sunshine Maria was in his life?
His musings were quickly shattered as the doctor approached the clearly shell-shocked and dishevelled group. His words were simple, straight and to the point. He gave no false hope; he told them clearly that Max was stable but by no means out of the woods. He was in a very critical situation, and everything hinged on his ability to awake from the deep coma he was in at that moment. Although sugar coating the words would help the relatives, the doctor didn’t agree on giving false hope when there was a good chance things would turn exceedingly worse and perhaps even terminal.
As the group slowly headed into his private room, Liz instinctively held back. The thought of having her fears about Max realised fuelling her need to run. Isabelle’s soft cries directed towards her brother was the only noise that somewhat silenced the sound of the respirator helping Max to breath.
Isabelle quickly dashed to his side and seized his hand in an attempt to bring him back to them and wake up. The others followed her direction and entered the room, Michael joining the opposite side of the bed and looking at his normally strong best friend.
Liz, on the other hand, stood in the doorway, routed to the spot and just staring blankly at Max. The tears she had shed previously were now all but dried up, replaced by numbness inside. The whole ordeal had been a nightmare, and looking at how lifeless Max was now, it didn’t seem to have an end in sight any time soon.
The respirator hissed away gently in the background, tubes seemed to be coming out of every available outlet. Wires stuck with sticky pads were linked to machines that beeped away constantly. Max’s normally healthily brown skin was now pale and ashen, with a yellow tinge to it. His lips were a purple/blue colour and the heavy bruising on his face was clearly evident. His hands lay down by his side, one heavily bandaged, and his leg was also immobilised.
For a moment, Liz couldn’t help but think all they’d need to do was place his arms across his chest and he’d certainly look dead. It was a terrible thought, but one that she felt powerless to suppress.
His hair had been pushed away from his forehead, matted together with the dried blood that had once poured from the large gash on his head.
Instinctively, Isabelle began trying to push his hair back across his face, in the way that he normally wore it.
“He’s so fussy about his hair, always wants it to be perfect, hates it to be out of place.” She muttered, as her fingers went to work in an attempt to make him look barely more human. “And he looks cold.” She added knowingly, trying to pull the blanket up further over his body. It was a subconscious attempt to hide the wires attached to his chest also though.
“I’m sure he’s ok Iz.” Michael said gently touching and stilling her hand that was on the blanket. As she looked at him with her sad doe eyes, he immediately saw that his best friend’s sister was on the verge of cracking up. Looking at her, it was clear she was struggling to contain her emotions and tears that were threatening to engulf her once more
“Does he look ok to you Michael?” She snapped back as two tears cascaded down her face.
“No, I guess not.” He responded quietly, slowly walking around to Isabelle before gently putting his arms around her.
“Liz?” Alex asked softly, turning and seeing his friend was having difficulties stepping over the threshold and into the room.
“I ……. can’t.” She said quietly, so only Alex could hear.
“Then we’ll do it together.” He responded gently, holding out his hand to help Liz in the huge step she felt she had to take.
“ ……… no ……..” She finally said, turning on her heal and heading for the sanctuary of fresh air outside the hospital.
“Liz?” Alex called after her, but his words fell on deaf ears. “I’d better go see if she’s ok.” He added, looking at his friends.
“No, let me.” Jim suddenly announced, knowing exactly how Liz was feeling.
It took a few minutes for him to locate Liz in the sunny grounds of the hospital. In the end he saw her sitting on a wooden bench, her legs scooped up to her chin and staring blankly into space.
“Liz? Are you ok?” Jim asked gently.
“Considering I’ve had the day from hell, I could be better.” She replied, her voice crackling with emotion.
“I know it’s been rough, I’m sorry about what happened to Max. But he’s a strong lad, he’ll fight this and I’m sure he’ll be ok.” He told her, somewhat to comfort her.
“Yeah? You think that because he’s strong he’ll be able to fight? Well then, why wasn’t Kyle able to fight? Why didn’t he pull through?” She said, snapping somewhat at Jim.
“I wish I could answer that Liz. You’re right, Kyle was strong, he should have been able to survive, but he didn’t. But that doesn’t mean Max won’t either.”
“But there is a good possibility he won’t pull through, maybe he’ll never wake up again.”
“Yes, I guess there is that possibility, but you have to keep hoping and praying, it’s all you can do.”
“Don’t you think I know that!” She responded somewhat forcefully. “But I know that all the hoping and praying in the world won’t bring him back unless it’s what’s meant to be. I did that remember, I sat in the hospital waiting room willing Kyle to pull through and be ok, praying his gasp of breath in my arms hadn’t been his last. Look where that got me!”
“You can’t give up yet Liz, you have to stay positive.”
“Tell me then, why is it all the men I love are prepared to risk their lives for me? Kyle did it and got stabbed and now Max pushing me out of the way of the car. Why? Why do they think I’m worth it?”
“Because you are an amazing woman Liz, whether you believe it or not. Kyle saw that from the moment he met you, and it’s obvious Max thinks that too. They believe you’re worthy of risking their lives over, and I know I’d do it too without hesitation.” He told her sincerely.
“Well I wish they wouldn’t. I’ve given Max nothing but grief and heartache, why couldn’t he just let me get hit and be lying in the hospital instead of him? He’s got everything to live for. All I’ve got is work, nothing more, I could die and the world would be the same.” She said solemnly.
“Don’t say that Liz, there are many people who care deeply about you and don’t want anything bad to happen to you. I lost my only son, but you’re like the daughter I never had. I don’t want to loose you either Liz, you mean too much to me.”
“Why do you want to be around me Jim, when everyone who cares about me gets hurt?” She queried pointedly.
“Because I think you’re worth it.” He replied simply.
The words didn’t really comfort Liz, for in her heart she felt like a bad person. Everyone around her seemed to get hurt, physically or mentally, and she hated it. In her mind, Liz believed if she finally departed the world perhaps then it would be a better place, perhaps then the people she cared about most wouldn’t keep being taken away from her. It was a completely irrational thought, but it had hardly been a rational day.
It was the longest day of her life, and when, a little after 11.00pm, Jim suggested they should all go home and get some rest, it was a welcome relief. Liz had gone no further than the doorway, spending most of the evening in the waiting room. Just seeing or imagining Max lying in the hospital bed made her realise how weak and powerless she was, and she couldn’t cope with it.
She hated it, hated herself for not being the strong, forceful person she had previously been since Kyle had died. She silently wished she could just get up and walk away, forget everything that had happened and slip back into ‘stone’ mode. But in her heart she knew she couldn’t, she knew she cared too deeply for Max to just walk away. She couldn’t do it, not now when he needed her the most.
So, when Jim left with Liz, Alex and Maria followed quickly, grateful for a few hours sleep and rest bite. To all who looked at her, it was clear Maria was dead on her feet, and although only Liz and Michael really knew about her condition, it wouldn’t take long before she would collapse through exhaustion if she didn’t sleep.
Despite her loud protests, Jim wouldn’t let Liz return to her own place that evening. She needed comfort, security, and it was also partly because he wanted to keep an eye on her. Some of her words had worried him, and although he knew Liz was a good person he was somewhat afraid of what she might do if she was left alone with the demons circulating her mind.
Despite suggestions otherwise, Isabelle also refused point blank to leave Max’s bedside. She was, in her heart, afraid that if she moved perhaps he’d leave her for good, and she couldn’t cope with that. So Michael insisted on staying with her, so that she would at least get a couple of hours sleep on the couch if he assured her he’d watch Max.
By that point Diane and Philip had been finally contacted and told the full impact of Max’s injuries, although it would take a good day or perhaps longer to get back to Los Angeles. They’d been away in London at a global convention for lawyers, and obtaining a flight back from Heathrow at short notice had been difficult, even with all the money they had.
And so, their nightmare continued. Isabelle spent much of the night just staring at Max, stroking his hand and watching his chest rise and fall, willing him to give her some sort of sign, a glimmer of hope that her brother was still with them.
Author: Kazza – 30th December 2001
Feed back is very welcome and appreciated
This story is archived on my website, www.angelfire.com/tv2/kazzaskorner
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 31-Dec-2001 7:34:25 AM ]