posted on 5-Jan-2002 12:36:10 PM by Phoenix82
Title: Break Me Gently
Author: Phoenix82
Disclaimer: All the Roswell characters belong to Melinda Metz, UPN and the rest of those
people. But if I did own them… (Evil smile) The song ‘Break Me Gently’ belongs to the
Doves and can be heard on their CD, Lost Souls
Rating: PG-13 for now NC-17 parts will be labeled separately
Description: There’s thirteen days to the wedding and Liz’s best friend is realizing that his love for
Liz is a little more than ‘just friends’ UC for now, but soon CC
Feedback: Pretty please. I need to know what I’m doing right and wrong, so give it to me tough.
Lol. (But not too tough, ok?)
Author’s Notes: This story is based on my sister’s marriage last summer. I don’t have her
permission for this, but I’m a wild woman, so…
Oh, also- at the moment the story is UC, but I promise it'll change soon.
Part one
I blinked, the eerie, bluish light from the computer glowing in my eyes even in the
darkness. I had downloaded every song I could thing of, visited every site I knew and responded
to e-mails that had long since gathered dust in my inbox. I was willing to do almost anything that
would keep my mind off what was happening in the next two weeks; anything that would distract
my mind enough to not think of her… with him. Flipping off the computer, my eyes scanned the
room for something- anything, to do. I lifted a picture of my best friend and me into my hands,
staring at it remorsefully. We looked similar, almost as if we were siblings. We shared the same
dark brown hair and eyes, wide smile and strange sense of humor. I set it back down on my
desk, my gaze wandering to the tuxedo hung in my closet. It was so strange to me thinking that
no longer would we be ‘Max and Liz.’ No longer would we be able to climb out of our windows
and sneak through the hole cut in the fence just because we had an amazing idea that couldn’t
wait until the next day. I thought back to when we were younger, when things were so much
simpler than being an adult. Back then our biggest worry was whether we were getting a cookie
or a pudding snack pack in our lunch. But now- now life was complicated, serious, and more than
anything, confusing; I was confused about everything from what had been in the stew we’d eaten
just a few hours ago to what extent I loved Liz. I knew I loved her as my best friend, my other
half, but my heart was telling me it was more than best friend. I covered my face with my hands,
releasing a frustrated sigh.
‘You think you’re stressed,” I hear a familiar voice mumble from behind me, and I spun
in my chair to face Liz. She was sitting on my bed dressed in her favorite pajama pants and a
t-shirt I had gotten for her from a concert we had gone to our junior year of high school.
“You have no idea,” I replied, making my way through the dark room towards her. I fell
onto the bed beside her, resting on my back and cradling my head in between my hands.
“Aww, tell me all your troubles,” she said sympathetically, running her fingers through my
bangs. I shrugged, avoiding her eyes.
“It’s not that big of a deal,” I replied and she rolled her eyes, slamming my stomach.
“That, my friend, is a lie,” she told me, resting her head on my stomach. I bit my lip to
keep from releasing a groan as her soft hair brushed against my skin and she curled up beside
me, tweaking my ear with her foot. “Come on, tell me what’s really wrong.”
“I don’t particularly want to talk about it,” I told her uncomfortably and she pouted,
crossing her arms.
“Is there anything I can do to make it better?” she asked hopefully and I chuckled. Marry
me. Forget whatshisname, and take me as your lawfully wedded husband.
“Not really.”
“You sure?” she asked, her hand creeping up my side. I eyed her suspiciously, inching
away from her.
“Don’t even try it,” I warned her, and her face became illuminated with her smile as her
hands reached the spot she knew I was the most ticklish in. She began squirming her fingers and
I begged her to stop, doing everything but biting her to cease her actions. As I inched further and
further away I neared the edge of the bed, still pleading with her while trying not to awaken
everyone in the house.
“Tell me what’s wrong or I won’t stop,” she said wistfully and I jumped back, falling off
the bed and bringing her with me, shaking the walls as we fell. We became a pile of mixed limbs
and uncontrollable laughter, the sheets having become tied around us. As the laughing subdued,
she sat up a little, straddling my body as I steadied her with my hands on her hips. “Tell me you
love me?” she proclaimed teasingly and I grinned, going along with her.
“I love you.” I replied easily and she fell beside me, our breathing still unsteady.
“I’m getting married,” she breathed in awe, staring at the ceiling. I exhaled, releasing the
toxins from my body and wishing getting rid of the wedding would be just as easy. She extended
her hand out in front of her, staring at the diamond ring adorning her finger. Her hand fell on her
stomach, the other becoming a pillow for her hand. “I’m getting married Max.” she repeated
as if she had just realized that in a matter of days she would become my sister-in-law. She
rested her head on my chest and my arm came around her back protectively as she closed her
eyes, biting her lip nervously. Her eyes suddenly flew open and she sat up, pushing her index
finger into my stomach. “You have too much muscle,” she decided, prodding me again. To any
other girl that would be a good thing, but Liz was different. “It’s too hard to be a pillow.” I laughed,
hoping she wasn’t serious. She rested her head on my stomach again, closing her eyes and
curling up to me as she had before.
“I love you Liz,” I told her softly, kissing the top of her head. I sighed, closing my eyes as
well. I love her more than she’ll ever know.

TBC???

I know this plotline has been done to death but I think I have a good twist to it that will
appear later in the story. Please tell me what you think!!!

hugs,
Grace


[ edited 10time(s), last at 31-May-2002 9:30:37 AM ]
posted on 23-Jan-2002 11:45:08 AM by Phoenix82
Title: Break Me Gently
Author: PHOENIX82
E-mail: amazinggrace8282⊕yahoo.com
Disclaimer: All the Roswell characters belong to Melinda Metz, UPN and the rest of those
people. But if I did own them… (Evil smile) The song ‘Break Me Gently’ belongs to the
Doves and can be heard on their CD, Lost Souls
Rating: PG-13 for now NC-17 parts will be labeled separately
Description: There’s thirteen days to the wedding and Liz’s best friend is realizing that his love for
Liz is a little more than ‘just friends’ UC for now, but soon CC
Feedback: Pretty please. I need to know what I’m doing right and wrong, so give it to me tough.
Lol. (But not too tough, ok?)
Author’s Notes: This story is based on my sister’s marriage last summer. I don’t have her
permission for this, but I’m a wild woman, so…
Oh, also- at the moment the story is UC, but I promise it'll change soon.

ok guys, here's parts 2 - 4, which were posted before everything went wacky

part two
I woke up the next morning still on the floor, but Liz was gone, the blankets that had covered her last night now warming my legs. I sat up on my elbows, sleepily looking around the dimly lit room for any clue as to what time it was. The door flew open, casting a sliver of light into the room and I immediately covered my eyes.
“Get up you lazy thug,” I heard my brother tell me, nudging my side with his foot. I swatted it away agitatedly, not in the mood to be around him.
“Go away,” I groaned, climbing lazily back into the bed.
“Max, maybe you missed the memo, but I’m getting married in two weeks,” Alex told me in a sugar coated voice. Ha! As if I could forget that my best friend was marrying my older brother.
“And this constitutes waking me up at,” I fumbled around the bedside stand, finally finding my alarm clock. “Ten thirty?” I asked, shoving the red numbers in his face. He grabbed it from me, throwing it beside my bed.
“Because you and Mom are taking Liz to find her dress, now get up.” The covers were jerked off me and I sat up, glaring at Alex. On a normal basis Alex and I got along fine. We mostly stayed out of each other’s way and didn’t ask questions. But the fact that he was marrying Liz, my Liz, made me want to pull him to the ground and knock him around until he couldn’t see. He pulled up the shudders on the window and I winced, stumbling into the bathroom and slamming the door. “They’re leaving in ten minutes,” he called, and I heard the door close. I sat on the edge of the bath, my palms pressed into my eyes. Liz was getting married. It hadn’t hit me until last night around midnight. Sure, I’d known for almost four months, but it wasn’t real until we were back home, getting the dress and planning the reception. My fingers ran through my hair and I stood up, flipping on the shower and waiting for it to warm up. Alex was too old for Liz anyway. So it was only three years- it was something I could use against him. I peeled off my clothes, stepping into the shower and letting the hot water run down my body. Someone else banged on the door and my eyes flew open in a rage.
“Jesus Christ Alex! I’m hurrying!” I shouted angrily, rinsing the shampoo out of my hair.
“It’s me.” I heard the door creak open and someone step inside. I turned the water off, reaching for a towel and wrapping it around my waist. I poked my head out from the curtain, eyeing Liz suspiciously.
“What’s up?”
“Alex says to tell you that if you want your tux smaller to bring it and they’ll tailor it,” she said, seating herself comfortably on the toilet. I nodded, stepping into my room and rifling through the drawers for some clothes. I grabbed whatever was on top before Liz pushed me aside, shaking her head sadly. “This doesn’t match,” she muttered, picking a new shirt. I rolled my eyes, taking the new shirt from her. She bent down to her knees, opening the last drawer. “These are cute,” she said approvingly as she held up a pair of boxers. She tossed them at me and I caught them, retreating to the bathroom while she waited. I emerged dressed and she nodded, grabbing the tuxedo out of my closet and leading me outside.
“Explain to me how I got sucked into going shopping with you and my mom?” I asked as we entered the kitchen and she turned around, handing the tuxedo to me.
“Because you’re my best friend, the best man, and the bride walker down the aisle person; it’s a law.” She smiled and I grabbed a banana, peeling it as Liz grabbed a Slim Fast out of the refrigerator.
“You don’t need to lose weight,” I told her as she opened the can, pouring it into a glass.
“It’s good, you should try it,” she replied easily, pushing the glass towards me. I took it wearily, smelling it before taking a small sip.
“Not bad,” I admitted and she smirked at me. I made a face, taking another bite of the banana when the phone rang.
“I got it!” Alex’s voice called, and the ringing stopped, replaced with half of a conversation. “Oh. Ok; I’ll tell them. See you later.” He entered the kitchen as I threw out the skin of the banana, taking my seat beside Liz. “Mom’s going to be a little late going shopping, but she says to go on without her,” he told Liz, and I pulled out another seat. She frowned, finishing her drink and standing up.
“Ok, then we’re going to get going,” she said, kissing Alex’s cheek. I grabbed the keys, not bothering to say goodbye to my brother. Liz soon followed me, jumping into the passenger seat of my blue Chevelle and laying the tux in the backseat.

* * * *

I inched a little further to the edge of my seat, leaning casually so I could see into the dressing room Liz occupied. I knew I shouldn’t, but I couldn’t resist. I saw her smile, her hand reaching for the door and I jumped, grabbing the first magazine of the pile beside me and opening it to a random page. She stepped out of the dressing room and onto the platform with the three-way mirror. I lowered the magazine, my eyes wandering up from her feet to the neat neckline that shower just enough of her practically glowing skin.
“Catching up on your reading?” she asked casually, motioning to the magazine. She turned to the mirror, examining herself at every angle. “I never knew reading upside down was one of your hobbies,” she added and I blushed, setting the magazine. “What do you think?” she asked, spinning around for me. What do I think? Each dress she had tried was more beautiful than the one before, and this one was no exception. It had a full skirt with a slight trail in the back. The skirt came into a v-shaped waistline trimmed with white satin ribbon. The bodice of the dress was clean, with no frills, which I found very… Liz-ish. It accentuated every curve of her body, hugging them as if at any moment they might disappear. The straps lay on the edge of her shoulders, exposing her upper chest and sculpted collarbones.
“It’s nice,” I stammered, trying to sound as if I wasn’t about to jump her. She turned around to the mirror again, speaking to me through it.
“It must be more than nice if you’re reading ‘Fit Pregnancy’ upside down,” she said, raising her eyebrow. I looked the magazine I had tossed aside, a deep red blush creeping into my face when I realized she was right. I nodded sheepishly and she smiled. I stood, stepping onto the platform with her and leaning against the mirror.
“You look beautiful,” I told her honestly and she smiled sadly, her eyes shimmering with unshed tears. I frowned; confused that perhaps she had misinterpreted my comment. Only three seconds ago she had been on top of the world, and now she was on the verge of tears. “What’s wrong?” I asked, touching her arm and she turned to me, biting her lip.
“I wish my Mom could be here,” she admitted sadly and I nodded, pulling her into a hug. Liz’s Mom had passed away when we were thirteen, and a part of her had left with her Mother; the part of her that went after adventure and the good in every situation; the part of her that woke up every morning with an uncontainable excitement for a new day. I heard her sniffled and I clenched my jaw, the thought that she was in pain troubling me beyond words.
“What’s the matter here?” a familiar voice said behind us and we pulled apart, Liz wiping her eyes. My Mother stood below us, her arms open and her face a mixture of confusion and disbelief.
“I just wish my parents could see my wedding,” Liz told her, descending the stairs into her arms.
“Oh sweetie, I know,” my Mother said comfortingly, rocking Liz back and forth. Since Nancy Parker had died, my mom had assumed a motherly role in Liz’s life, not in the least trying to replace Nancy, but provide Liz with a woman figure in her life. Liz’s Dad had fallen apart after his wife’s death and had become severely withdrawn to the point where Liz had to be taken out of the home three times within the same year. She lived with us during those times, seeing as she had no other family. She was like a sister to us, the daughter my Mother had never had. I watched as Liz pulled away, wiping away her tears again and spinning around for my Mother. “Darlin’ you look amazing,” Mom told her and I nodded in agreement. “Max, doesn’t she look amazing?” she asked and Liz looked at me expectantly.
“Definitely,” I told her and she grinned, picking up the price tag and quickly dropping it as if it was on fire.
“It’s not as amazing as the price,” she said morosely and I came down to their level, reading the price tag. Nine hundred and seventy-three dollars. Damn; that is a lot of money. Liz had confided in me that she felt a little guilty that my parents were paying for the wedding since the bride’s family did, and she had insisted on buying her own dress and anything else that she could afford.
“We could always put it on hold and come back,” my Mom offered and she nodded, shuffling back to the dressing room. We waited in silence until she came out dressed in her normal clothes again, the dress returned to the hangar.
“Can I help you with anything?” a small, round woman asked us.
“I’d like to put this on hold,” Liz told her, handing her the dress. She nodded, waddling behind the counter and sticking her name on it. She smiled, asking us if there was anything else she could do. We left the store and I watched as Liz took one last look at the dress before exiting the shop and I made my mind up; I was going to buy her that dress if it meant I didn’t eat for the next two months.

TBC

part three
I looked at the crumpled sheet of lined paper with pros and cons of telling Liz how I felt on my desk, scratching my head. I groaned, crushing it into a ball and tossing it to the others in the trashcan. It was two in the morning, and sleep was not anywhere on my radar. I wanted more than anything to tell Liz how I felt, but the fear of losing her overrode that enough to keep me here. What was I supposed to tell her? ‘Hi Liz, what’s up? I know you’re marrying Alex, but just in case there are any second thoughts, just know that I’m in love with you and I have been for the past year. Sweet dreams.’
The annoying melody of an instant message came through the speakers of my computer and I turned towards the screen, staring intently at the small box.

Pixie612: can’t sleep?

I grinned, my hands flying to the keyboard.

soccerman: yeah, something like that
Pixie612: What are you up to?
Soccerman: just thinking


I knew what her next question would be, and sure enough, it soon appeared on my screen.

Pixie612: ‘bout what?

You. You’re all I think about, I wanted to tell her. I wanted to be able to speak to her without worrying that I might give a hint as to what I was what I was feeling. I wanted to be able to put my arms around her and kiss her without a question in either of our minds. I wanted- I wanted her to know.

soccerman: just pondering the oddities of life

Nice cover-up Max, reeeeaaaaal smooth.

soccerman: what about you?

The thought of holding Liz not as a friend, but as a lover sent chills down my spine. I looked at the picture beside my computer of us, knowing it would never be. She was marrying Alex; she loved Alex.

Pixie612: actually, I was thinking about you
soccerman: really
pixie612: yeah; how I had that huge crush on you our junior year of high school
soccerman: you did not
pixie612: oh yes I did; you were too busy drooling over pam troy to notice


My jaw dropped, and I thought back to when we were juniors. I had been head over heels in love with Pam Troy, the most popular, smart, and stuck up girl at West Roswell High. Me and practically every other guy in school kissed the ground she walked on. Although beyond peeved, Liz stood by me in the phase until I finally realized I was wasting my life pining away for a girl that wouldn’t give me the time of day.

soccerman: I had no idea
Pixie612: I know; god, I had it bad
Soccerman: I need to talk to you


I typed it on an instinct, and before I knew it she was responding. I hadn’t meant to send it, or even type it, but the thought was taking up so much of my mind that it almost… spilled out.

Pixie612: sure, go for it

I panicked, unsure if I should go through with this. I could potentially lose her friendship over it, and nothing was worth that. Biting my lip, I wearily typed back a response.

soccerman: can I come over?
Pixie612: yeah, sure
Pixie612: but I’m warning you; I’m in lounge mode


I signed off, taking a deep breath before standing up and pulling on a pair of old jeans. I ran my fingers through my hair, slipping on my Birkenstocks and stumbling through the dark room to my window. I shook my head as I opened it, knowing that at age twenty-four I could use the door without the ever-present fear of being grounded. I scaled the tree beside my room, hitting the ground with a thump and dusting my hands off on the pants. I eyed the fence as if it was the enemy, marching towards it with bold aggression, my hands balled into fists. This was it; the moment of truth. I pushed the broken plank towards Liz’s house, sliding through and walking slowly through her yard. My stomach was churning, my lip was practically bleeding from me chewing on it, and my hands were sweating as if it were 100 degrees out. Needless to say, I was a wreck. Shaking my head to bring myself back to my senses, I reached for the doorknob, opening the door and coaching myself inside. This was Liz; the Liz who yelled at her professor when he argued that there was no right and wrong; the Liz that chained herself to a three hundred year old tree along with ten other college students so they wouldn’t cut it down. This was my Liz.

I spotted her sitting at the computer, staring intently at the screen, a mug she had given her father for Christmas a few years ago held steadily in her hand. She took a sip, turning to me and standing up, setting the mug beside the computer.
“What’s up?” she asked, crossing her arms in front of her. I shoved my hands in my pockets, suddenly unsure of what to do with them. I avoided her eyes at all costs, looking at everything from my feet to the mantle picture above the fire. “Max, are you ok?” she asked, stepping closer to me and I nodded quickly, stepping away from her. “You’re obviously not ok,” she said, stepping towards me again. She led me towards the couch and I was forced to pull my hands out of my pockets, resting them in my lap before beginning to twiddle my thumbs. “You wanted to tell me something,” she began, hoping it would initiate a conversation. Tell her something? Oh. Right. That- thing.
“Yeah,” I spoke, and it came out as a choked whisper. I cleared my throat, licking my dry lips and shifting my position on the couch. “I…um- I’ve been wanting to tell you this for a while now; but I thought that maybe, uh, maybe it might ruin our friendship and I would die before I would let that-”
“Max nothing could ever ruin our friendship,” she told my comfortingly, clasping my hands in hers. The thought of not being friends sent a flicker of pain through her eyes, dimming them from how they had been earlier. “Nothing,” she said firmly, and I nodded, averting her eyes.
“I know, but this- this is big.”
“Max, whatever it is, it won’t change anything.” I looked at her, hoping she was right. I shifted my position again so that I was facing her and took a deep breath.
“I’m in love with you.”

TBC

from part three:
“I’m in love with you.”

part three B
“What do you mean you’re in love with me?” she asked harshly, standing and beginning to pace in front of me. I sighed, trying to express how I felt to her.
“Liz, I know you’re marrying Alex but I had to get it out of my system, and-”
“Get it out of your system?” she shouted angrily, and I rose to her height and beyond, trying to salvage the situation.
“I know you better than anyone ever could, and I love you for who you are, my adventurous, excited about life Liz.”
“This is not fair Max,” she said, pointing her finger at me. “I loved you for three years. Three years and you never realized it; and finally I gave up. I gave up on ever loving you in that way again, and I gave up on myself. You’ve lost your chance Max, it’s been lost since we were sophomores.”
“Liz, I had no idea-”
“I know, and that’s the point. You had no idea what I was feeling; what was going on inside me. I am marrying your brother, Max. And I don’t know if that’s why you’re doing this, as some kind of competition, but you- you are not in love with me.” She looked me over, two identical tears streaming down her cheeks.
“This has nothing to do with Alex, Liz. I love you-”
“You don’t!” she shouted, backing away from me again.
“I do; I know I do because I can’t stand being without you, and when I am, you’re all I think about. Not a day goes by when I don’t think about how amazing your eyes are, or how much I want to run my fingers through your hair and-”
“Stop it.” Her voice was cold and serious, so unfamiliar to me that I wondered if it had come from her mouth. She pointed to the door, her eyes dark with hurt. “Get out of my house.” She whispered and I lowered my head, knowing I had made a mistake coming here. I neared the door, my hand on the knob when I turned around, looking at her fragile body shaking with sobs.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered, knowing she wouldn’t hear it. I threw the door open, stepping outside and jogging through the yard. I slid through the fence, pressing my back against my side and sliding down until I was sitting on the ground. I ran my fingers through my hair before leaning my head back, staring up at the night sky, my eyes darting from star to star. I was haunted by the look of betrayal written over Liz’s face; a look I had never seen and hoped to never see again. The soft creaking of the wood made me jump, and I sat up straight as Liz’s head appeared. She sniffled, letting the plank fall back into place as she sat beside me, wiping away another tear.
“Sorry for freaking out,” she breathed, staring ahead. I shrugged, pulling out the grass around me. She sniffled again and I cringed, wishing I had a tissue for her.
“You had every right to, I kind of just sprung it on you,” told her uncomfortably, preparing myself for a vicious physical attack. I was seeing a black eye and a broken leg in the near future.
“I just need time to think,” she replied, and I nodded, pulling another chunk of dirt out of the ground and tossing it aside. She sniffled again and looked to me, eyeing my sleeve hopefully. “Can I?” she asked and I held my arm out, allowing her to wipe her nose on the edge of my shirt.
“If that’s not love I don’t know what is,” I muttered and her elbowed me in the ribs, causing me to double over in pain. We laughed and I wiped my sleeve on the grass.
“My snot adds dimension to your shirt and you know you like it,” she said confidently and I looked at her questioningly. I wrinkled my face, cuffing the shirt so it wouldn’t get on my skin. She lay down, her head resting in my lap, and curled into a small ball, staring up at the stars. “Wow,” she breathed in awe and I looked to the sky. “I forgot how bright they are out here,” she added and I nodded, my fingers absently running through her hair.
“It’s amazing,” I replied. She murmured a reply and I looked down to see her eyes struggling to stay open. “Come on, let’s get you to bed,” I said, helping her sit up. We got through the fence before she climbed on my back and I trooped through her yard and into her house, laying her peacefully on her bed. She rested on her side and I crouched besides her, pushing a piece of hair behind her ears. I admired her raw beauty in the moonlight for a moment before softly kissing her forehead and standing up to leave. She caught my hand, pulling me back to the bed.
“Stay,” she said sleepily and I kicked off my shoes, climbing in beside her. Her hand, still on mine, guided my arm around her middle, holding her comfortingly in her sleep. Nuzzling my face into her hair, I inhaled deeply, the scent of vanilla filling my nose. “Night Max,” Liz murmured, her hand over mine.
“Night Lizzie,” I replied quietly, my eyes drifting closed. Our bodies pressed against each other, I couldn’t help but wish that I could hold her this way for the rest of my life. Just lying here, sharing no words, but peacefully holding each other until the end of time. Her breathing soon evened out, slowing down and telling me that she was asleep.

* * * *

I woke up the next morning alone, the warm body beside which I had slept missing in action. In it’s spot was a note, held to the mattress by a rock that Liz had painted in the first grade.
‘Everyone went to Santa Fe for the day; I’ll be back later, went to get groceries.
-me’
I rolled onto my back, staring at the ceiling and trying to rub the sleep out of my eyes. Finally bringing myself to sit up I swung my legs over the side of the bed, wrinkling my nose at the taste in my mouth. I slid my feet into my Birkenstocks, standing up and shuffling into the hallway and out into the living room, my eyes still only half open.
“Hey sleepy,” I heard Liz say and I jumped, having expected the house to be empty. I narrowed my eyes, trying to focus on her and she laughed. “Oh, that’s real attractive. Definitely the way to get the girls,” she teased as I fell into the couch opposite hers.
“Is there a reason you’re particularly mean this morning or is it a pretty much steady thing?” I asked, and her hand flew to her chest in mock hurt.
“Max, you know my day isn’t complete unless I make someone cry,” she replied. I shook my head, taking off my shoes again and lying down on the couch. “So what are you doing today?” I asked, one hand behind my head and the other resting on my stomach.
“Well after I get you to go shopping with me I’m pretty much free,” she said. Me? Shopping? No way.
“Sorry, I think I have an appointment to pull out my eyelashes then,” I replied easily and she groaned, sitting beside my couch on the floor.
“Pretty please?” she begged in a childish voice, resting her chin on my chest. I opened one eye hesitantly, looking at her quite convincing face, then quickly closed it again knowing that if I looked too long I would become weak and falter. “It won’t kill you, I promise,” she begged.
“Liz there’s a lot of things I would do for you; shopping isn’t one of them,” I told her.
“I’ll set you up with Tess Valenti,” Liz said temptingly and my eyes flew open.
“Liz, do you not have any recollection of last night?” I asked and she fell back on her knees with a pout, her arms crossed in front of her.
“Please?” she tried one last time. “I’ll take you out to breakfast?” she offered.
“Fine.” I guess that saying about the way to a man is through is stomach is true; it’s a weakness. She shrieked, clapping her hands together and I immediately regretted my decision. “What have I gotten myself into?” I groaned, covering my eyes.
“Oh don’t worry, it’s just a couple of stores,” she promised. I laughed, remembering the last time she had fed me that line. I had ended up holding all her bags, trudging after her around the mall while she tried on every possible outfit combination. That part didn’t bother me; it was the actual selection process. The ‘let’s slowly amble through the store for an hour, go in the dressing room, decide nothing’s right and leave without a single purchase’ idea that really turned me away from shopping with girls. Guys could grab a few t-shirts and be done in ten minutes, tops. Fifteen if there’s a line at the register. “Come on, go get ready so we can leave,” she said, pulling me off the couch.
“I just woke up!” I protested and she mimicked me, pushing me through the door and telling me to hurry. When I turned around to grab my shoes she tossed them out the door after me and I trooped across both our yards and into my house, mumbling obscenities under my breath. Entering my room, I flipped on the radio, peeved when it began blasting advertisements instead of music. Popping in a CD I entered the bathroom, turning on the shower and grabbing a towel out of the closet. I had actually told her. She knew. She knew everything I felt, and today it had felt as if everything had been normal. And we were about to go have a reasonably normal day. She knew. The thought haunted my mind, causing a small smile to turn up my lips. Pulling off my clothes, I stepped into the shower. I had a chance, small as it may be; it was still there. The newfound happiness sped up the showering process and I was out in less than five minutes, a slight bounce in my step as I wrapped a towel around myself and opened the door to grab some clothes. Liz was already sitting on my bed with an outfit picked out, which she tossed at me.
“You’re losing your touch,” she said wistfully and I frowned, unsure of what she meant. “You used to be able to shower in under two, and now five? This is unacceptable. Rolling my eyes at her, I retreated back into the bathroom, closing the door and quickly dressing.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do when you can’t pick out my clothes for me anymore,” I called jokingly to Liz as I dried my hair with the towel. I heard her laugh and I smiled, the noise becoming music to my ears.
“Are you done yet?” she whined and I threw the door open to find her sprawled across the bed. “Finally,” she breathed critically. “A shopping we go,” she said excitedly, looping her arm through mine.
“Yay fun,” I replied listlessly and she hit my upper arm.
“It’s all about the attitude Max, all about the attitude.” Yeah, I can either be pessimistic and realize that the stores are going to be packed, or I could be positive and hope that maybe we won’t get trampled by a sudden riot.
“Attitude,” I repeated and she nodded.
“You gotta think…happy.” Think happy. I can think happy. Happy thoughts, lets see… Liz; Catherine Zeta Jones in a body stocking; being in Roswell again. “You’re thinking happy, I can tell by that stupid little grin on your face,” she said, poking at my chin. I swatted her hand away, glaring at her menacingly.
“Don’t bug me or I won’t go,” I threatened. I grabbed my keys off the counter, pushing them into my pocket and guiding her outside.
“Max, you know in your inner heart that this is exactly what you wanted to do with your day,” she replied easily, climbing into the passenger seat. I laughed, pulling out the key and putting in the ignition. I eyed her as she put on her seatbelt, noting the happy grin on her face. ”Where to madam?” I asked and she clasped her hands together excitedly. This is what happens when you live in Roswell; you get eerily excited when you get to go shopping in ‘the big city.’
“Hondo,” she giggled and I nodded, putting the car into gear. Hondo, here we come.

TBC

Ps: sorry the last part of this was so cheesy, I wrote it at two in the morning on Saturday night and I was kind of fuzzy, so yeah- that accounts for that. (No, I don’t go out like normal people, I stay home and write fanfic. This is what Roswell has done to me) About Under the Sun, I know people have been emailing me about updating and I mean to, really I do… but I just don’t like how this part is coming out. If you haven’t checked out the story, please do at: kdhfsdfkjshf and tell me whether I should just post the crap I have or post another part and come back to this. My user name is being fixed (hopefully) so cross your fingers. But thank you to everyone for being so patient, I know that some people were having trouble leaving feedback and accessing the thread all together. You guys are the best! GO SEE ORANGE COUNTY!

Hugs,
Grace



[ edited 1 time(s), last at 23-Jan-2002 11:48:00 AM ]
posted on 12-Feb-2002 12:45:58 PM by Phoenix82
I know I know I know! I'm soooo sorry guys and I'm sure that has gotten old by now but I've been so loaded down with school that writing fanfic hasn't gotten on the priority list. I'll try to put something together this weekend but I can't make any promises. be slightly reassured that I am trying my best to put out a new part asap.

~grace~
posted on 20-Feb-2002 10:18:50 AM by Phoenix82
Title: Break Me Gently
Author: Phoenix82
Disclaimer: All the Roswell characters belong to Melinda Metz, UPN and the rest of those people. But if I did own them… (Evil smile) The song ‘Break Me Gently’ belongs to the Doves and can be heard on their CD, Lost Souls
Rating: PG-13 for now NC-17 parts will be labeled accordingly
Description: There are thirteen days to the wedding and Liz’s best friend is realizing that his love for Liz is a little more than ‘just friends’
Feedback: pretty please. I need to know what I’m doing right and wrong, so give it to me tough. Lol. (But not too tough, ok?)
Author’s Notes: this story is based on my sister’s marriage last summer. I don’t have her permission for this, but I’m a wild woman, so…

Part five (finally)

Max looked around the small changing room, his eyes avoiding Liz’s trim figure as she tried on another pair or pants. The room couldn’t have been more than six by five- if that. At one end near the door was a large mirror, and at the other was a bench, which he occupied. His back pressed against one wall and his feet against the other, his eyes grazed over the bags he had been hauling around since they had arrived.

“What do you think?” Liz asked and he turned to look at her in the mirror, nodding his approval. Liz turned to the side, inspecting her reflection. “Does these make my butt look fat?” she asked, looking over her shoulder in an attempt to see for herself.

Max dragged his eyes down her body; over the tight black t-shirt and to the jeans she had tried on, noting to himself that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the jeans or her bottom.

“Your butt looks fine,” he replied, his eyes lingering slightly longer than necessary.

She shook her head, looking once again before unbuttoning the pants and replacing them with her own. She folded them neatly; leaving them on a shelf with other discarded clothing and then turned to him, a smile on her face.

“Come on, let’s go,” she announced and he grabbed the bags, pulling himself up and trudging through the store with her again. “Do you want to get something to eat?” she asked and he nodded, desperate for some kind of relief. She maneuvered her way through the masses of people with skill, guiding Max to the food court, which was equally as packed. “I’m going to have to go with Sbarro,” she said, turning to him. He scanned the illuminated signs above their heads, not really caring where they ate as long as the growing ache for food in his stomach was quenched.

“Fine by me,” he shrugged, stepping into the line.

“So, are you having fun yet?” she asked energetically as they waited for the people behind the counter to bring out another pizza.

He forced a smile, not commenting.

“Next you get to come to Victoria’s Secret,” she chirped and his smile fell. It was hard enough to keep his hands to himself normally, but putting them in lingerie store and it was a completely different situation.

“Oh happy day,” he said sarcastically, waving his free hand in small circles beside his head as if he was celebrating.

“Oh come on Max; you know you want to,” she told him, tugging on the sleeve on his shirt.

“Isn’t that the kind of thing you should do with Alex?” he asked, avoiding her eyes by watching an employee bring the pizzas out of the oven.

“Alex is in Santa Fe. It’s not like you’ve never been in there before Max, it’s really not that big of a deal.” She replied easily. Max looked down at her, one eyebrow arched above the other. “What?” she asked before ordering both their pizza.

“I’ve never been in there,” he told her, grabbing the two paper plates and placing them on a neon orange tray.

Her jaw dropped and he saw the laughter coming- the laughter that had first made him fall in love with her.

“Are you serious?” she asked, sliding down the line. He nodded, reaching for his wallet.

“Yeah; I think it’s wrong to put half-naked women on TV and then expect every woman to run out to the store and buy a bra that they claim will make you beautiful. And don’t even get me started on those ‘enhancing’ things, so I don’t go in there to show my opinion,” he told her, shaking his head as he handed the man a ten dollar bill.

“I had no idea you had such an opinion about this,” Liz said, obviously impressed. “I mean, most guys tape the commercials and play them back on the slow track.” They found a table, seating themselves and the bags they had accumulated in the two extra seats.

“Lucy used to try to get me to go in there all the time,” he remembered, taking a sip of his Pepsi. He put it down, assuming what one might call a ‘pretty boy picture’ face. With his lips pursed, he ran his hands through his hair so it was tousled, his eyes only half open. “One click for cleavage, two clicks for more,” he imitated. Liz burst out laughing and he stopped, his face returning to its normal state. “I mean, what is that?” he asked, but she was laughing too hard to hear him.

A group of people turned around, staring at what was causing such a racket and Max shook his head. “I’m so sorry; she’s had a little too much to drink,” he told them, making motions as though he was throwing a shot into the back of his throat. Liz shook her head, but they all turned around, murmuring as they stole second glances.

“Sometimes I don’t understand why you’re not an actor,” she told him, wiping away the tears that had fallen on her face. He picked up the slide of pizza, folding it in half.

“I’m only an actor for you,” he told her jokingly and she shrugged, picking up her own pizza.

Her mind was a mess of confusion but she hid it well.

Liz looked around her, becoming conscious of the many couples seated at neighboring tables. It was as if the universe had shifted and anything and everything was beginning to remind her of her situation.

She was in love with Alex, but at the same time she had been offered a chance to be with the one person in the world she loved more than Alex. He was offering to be her lover, her best friend and her sidekick all at once- and that only came along once in a lifetime.

Suddenly not hungry anymore, she dropped the slice of pizza, bringing the soda up to her lips as she watched a couple whispering to each other a few yards away. She unknowingly sighed and Max looked up, becoming aware of her absence at the table.

Waving his hand in front of her face she watched as her eyes came back into focus and she turned back to him, setting down her drink.

“You done?” she asked hopefully, wanting to leave the mall before rush hour began.

“Yeah. You didn’t eat anything,” he observed, eyeing her plate. She shrugged, taking up both plates and tossing them in a nearby garbage can.

“Not hungry,” she replied quickly, grabbing a few of the bags. Max picked up the rest of the bags, looking at her suspiciously before trudging after Liz en route to Victoria’s Secret.

TBC…

PS: thank you guys sooo much for being patient with me- as I said in my note earlier, I’ve had so much stuff going on and I simply couldn’t find time to write a new part. I know this is kinda short, but I figured short and sweet is better than nothing at all, right? Anyways, I’m trying to organize my schedule so that I do have some time to write each day, which would enable me to put out new parts wayyyy more often. Have a great week everyone!

~grace~

posted on 11-Mar-2002 12:48:41 PM by Phoenix82
part six

Max’s eyes darted between the two posters of sultry, half-naked women outside the store nervously, unsure if he should being doing this with Liz. Wasn’t there some kind of rule that guys weren’t allowed in this store?

Liz grabbed his wrist, leading him inside where he scanned the several rooms with large eyes, spotting swarms of women and a few guys mirroring his ‘just-shoot-me-now’ face. Exchanging a knowing nod with them, he was jerked into a room that was almost empty.

“Come on, help me pick out some stuff,” she told him, stopping at one of the round tables. He stood stiffly by her side, staring at his shoes so that his eyes wouldn’t wander. He inwardly groaned, not wanting to pick out underwear that only Alex would benefit from. “Blue or pink?” she asked, holding up two different colors of cotton underwear.

“Alex likes you in blue,” Max answered quietly, still staring at his feet. Her eyes narrowed angrily and she dropped the underwear, turning on her heel to face him.

“I didn’t ask what color Alex likes, I asked what color you like,” she snapped.

Slightly taken back, he stood up an inch or two taller, trying to figure out what had caused the bitterness in her voice. Deciding that his place was outside and not in here, he shook his head.

“I’ll be outside if you need me,” he mumbled, backing away from her and towards the exit. Liz’s face softened and she realized how angry her voice had sounded. Groaning, she jogged after him, grabbing his arm.

“Max, wait,” she called, her tone changing. He turned back to her, a slightly hurt look in his eyes.

“I’m sorry; that didn’t come out right. It’s just-” she paused, unsure of how to make him understand what she felt. “I’m under a lot of stress right now, and I’m frustrated, and angry, and upset all at once and…and I’m kind of on overload.” She said pathetically. She waited for a response, checking his face for any sort of emotional change.

His nodded, his eyes lightening slightly but still holding the hurt they had earlier in the shadow. His jaw softened and he shrugged, accepting her apology. “Now I need some underwear and I want my best friend to help me pick it out. Can you do that for me?” she asked, a soft grin curling her lips. The grin was contagious, and he too began smiling, the sparkle returning to his eyes.

“I always liked you in pink,” he admitted shyly.

Taking his hand, she led him back to the table, picking up the soft, baby pink panties and moving through the store, holding his hand to hers, their fingers tightly laced together. After picking out a few things, they joined the line for a dressing room, where Max pulled her close to him, tucking her head under his chin as he tenderly stroked her soft, dark hair, wishing that he could pause this moment and live in it forever.

Liz closed her eyes, inhaling his scent and trying to memorize everything she was feeling. How his shirt felt against her cheek, how his arms held her so tenderly- as if in an attempt to protect her from anything in the world that might harm her, and how his fingers in her hair created a shivery, excited sensation on her scalp, which quickly traveled down her spine and causing her toes to curl.

The door of the dressing room opened and a worker ushered them both in despite Max’s protests that he was going to wait outside. The door closed and they stood in a slightly awkward silence as Max looked around the room, which boasted posters of half-naked women wearing their most sultry faces.

“I can go,” he told her uncomfortably, reaching for the doorknob.

“Max, it’s not like you’ve never seen me in a bra before,” Liz told him relaxingly, setting her selections down on the bench. “Stay and talk to me,” she added, pulling a chair towards him. He dropped his bags, nervously seating himself in a position that didn’t allow him to see her changing.

“This is different,” he mumbled as she pulled off her shirt. He averted his eyes to the floor, resisting the urge to sneak just one peak at her. His hands balled into fists beside his legs and he swallowed tightly, trying to think of something- anything but what she was, or wasn’t, wearing.

“How is this different?” she asked curiously, unsure of what he meant. She glanced at him in the mirror before looking back to the array of lingerie they had chosen, pulling a bra off the hanger

“When I saw you in your bra, we were like, fifteen.” He laughed, remembering the time he had strolled into her room to find her waltzing around in her bra and shorts that barely covered her bottom, her hair piled on top of her head in a high ponytail and a brush held in her hand as a microphone. He grinned, reminiscing the look on her face of complete horror, then humor. “And then there’s last night-” he added, shuffling his feet uncomfortably.

“Yeah, about that,” she started quietly, adjusting the straps as she looked in the mirror. She bit her lip nervously, turning to face him and taking a deep breath.

“Hold on; I have to apologize to you Liz. That wasn’t fair of me to do, and I shouldn’t have just sprung it on you when you’re getting married. I’m sorry,” he told her.

Every part of his being wanted to jump up and take everything he had just said back. He wasn’t sorry he had told her- he loved her so much that he was willing to risk anything and everything for her. But he knew his chance had been lost.

Behind him, Liz’s face fell, tears prickling her eyes. “I don’t even know what I was thinking,” he added and she tore her eyes away from him.

“Oh.” Taking a deep breath, she cleared the tears from her eyes, looking at her reflection in the mirror. She looked as she did when she had graduated from high school, plus the diamond ring adorning her ring finger. Almost nothing had changed, from the length and color of her hair, to her makeup.

She experimentally gathered it into a high ponytail, a few loose tendrils falling on her bare neck, before letting it down again sighing sadly at the glass. “This is all I’ll ever be,” she breathed dejectedly and Max spun around on the chair he sat on, facing her with a look of determination on his face.

“What did you say?” he asked, ignoring the fact that she was half naked.

“This is all I’ll ever be,” Liz told him, and he stood up, reaching her in two long strides. Grasping her shoulders, he forced her to face the mirror, looking at herself.

“Name one thing wrong with you,” he told her, standing just behind her.

“I look the same as I did when we graduated,” she told him honestly. Max shrugged, rolling his eyes.

“So? You were beautiful when we graduated, and you’re beautiful now,” he replied sincerely.

“I’m too short.”

“If you were any taller you wouldn’t be able to get away with a Big Kid’s meal at Burger King,” he reminded her jokingly, poking her beside her bellybutton teasingly.

“I have no boobs.” She laughed, turning sideways to inspect her chest.

“Have you heard any complaints so far?” he asked saucily from behind her, his hands resting on her arms. He turned her around, his hands still gripping her upper arms, and forced her to look at him.

“Liz, you are the most beautiful, intelligent, amazing woman I have ever known, and if you ever change I’ll be the first in line to smack some sense into you,” he told her, breaking a smile as he released the last few words.

She stared up into his eyes, fighting the urge to press her lips against his just once. Just once to find out what he tasted like. Once before she was married and could never again kiss another man but Alex.

Alex.

Alex; the man she was marrying; the man she loved. The man she was about to promise her life to.

“Thank you,” she whispered, pressing her lips against his cheek. He subtly turned his face to rub his cheek against her soft skin, savoring the moment so he would be able to recount it later. He meant what he said- she was the most beautiful and amazing person he knew, and it hurt him that she thought otherwise of herself. He held her tightly, inhaling the smell of her skin and hair and hoping that one day she would look in the mirror and see herself for the amazing being she was.

Pulling apart, he returned to his seat, sitting in silence as she tried on the remaining articles of clothing.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Thank you for coming with me,” she told him, and he nodded, offering to help her with the bags. “I’m good,” she replied and he nodded, watching as she grabbed her purchases and walked slowly up the path to her front door. With a smile and a quick wave, he made a U- turn and drove back to his house, smoothly sliding his car into the driveway and pulling the keys from the ignition. With a loud sigh, he leaned back in the seat, reaching up to the visor and grabbing two pictures that had rested there since he had bought the car.

Bringing them to his lap, he slowly unfolded the first folded rectangle, a small smile curving his lips. Lying before him was a frozen moment of time from almost twenty years ago. Two dark-haired toddlers stood in the picture, their eyes closed and lips puckered as they kissed to seal their mock wedding. His thumb brushed over Liz’s face, his smile extending further across his face. It had been her idea to get married; her idea to play the game that they were laughed at for the rest of their lives. They had been three. Three years old, Max thought, I was three years old and I even knew that she was the one.

“Had more sense than I did now,” Max mumbled, folding it up again. He reached for the second picture, propping it up against the steering wheel so that he could get a good look at it. He and Liz were standing in front of one of the many California beaches, their arms wrapped around each other and their smiles wider than they’d ever been. He sighed again, stuffing the pictures in the visor and exiting the car, dragging his feet up to the porch and unlocking the door, slamming it behind himself.

He collapsed on the couch, pressing the heels of his hands into his eyes and mumbling something under his breath before staring up at the familiar ceiling. Rolling off the couch, she made his way the TV, pulling the drawer underneath it open and beginning to search through a pile of home movies. ‘Liz’s birthday party- age six; Alex soccer game, 3rd grade; Max’s 2nd birthday; Max and Liz’s first day of kindergarten; Alex school play; Max and Liz wedding: age three.’

Bingo.

He grabbed the tape, flipping on the TV and shoving it in the VCR. He scooted back to the couch, the remote clenched tightly in his hand as he waited for it to begin.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Is this thing on?” a woman’s voice asked, and Mrs. Parker’s face appeared in front of the camera.

“The red light is on. The manual says ‘red light indicates that filming is in process,’” she replied, holding up the manual to the camera. A shuffling of feet was heard in the background and the camera swung around the kitchen to focus on a petite, dark haired child dressed in a satiny white bathrobe that was obviously her mother’s, a white lace tablecloth, fake pearls, bright red lipstick, and a napkin on her head with a large white bow.

“Well don’t you look pretty?” the first woman asked and Max smiled at his mother’s voice.

“Me and Max is getting’ maweed,” Liz answered, placing a folded piece of pink construction paper on the table. “This is your invertacion, so you gots to come,” she told them. Mrs. Parker reached for the paper and opened it towards the camera, revealing the writing of a three year old.

‘Max and Liz’s widing. Plez com’

“We will definitely be there,” Mrs. Evans replied, handing the camera to her friend. She pulled Liz into her lap, instructing her to look at the camera. “Wave to the camera Lizzie, say hi!” she laughed, and Liz grinned, waving proudly to the black machine.

“We gotta go pwactif though,” she replied. “Max keeps forgetsing the ‘I do’” she whispered. Mrs. Evans laughed, setting her on the floor and watching her scamper away as quickly as the bathrobe allowed her to. She laughed again before the tape went black again and Max waited for the next scene to begin.

“And here we are, at Max and Liz’s wedding,” Mrs. Parker whispered, showing the entire scene. Liz had set up her stuffed animals and other toys as spectators, each lined up in a specific order. Down the center was an aisle lined with toilet paper and an occasional rock to hold it down, leading the way to Alex, who held a ‘My First Bible’ in his arms solemnly.

“Ok, you gots to be quiet now Mommy, cause I’m gonna get married,” Liz whispered, tugging on her Mother’s skirt and she nodded, seating herself beside Mrs. Evans. The camera focused in on Liz as she pressed the neon pink button of her Barbie tape recorder and Barbie’s exercise began to play from the plastic speakers. She smiled satisfactorily, taking her place at the beginning of the aisle. A small dog holding a basketful of flowers trotted down the aisle and Liz gasped, her eyes wide.

Max grinned widely at his Mother, dressed in his Father’s dress jacket, a tie tied in a knot, and a small top hat that he had received in a magician’s boxed workshop. The hat fell over his eyes and the grin fell as he struggled to adjust it so that he could watch his bride walk down the aisle.

“Trixie no!” Liz called after the dog, which paused and looked back to her. “I’m not getting’ married if there awent flowers on the gwound,” she said stubbornly, pouting her lips and crossing her arms. Trixie looked back to Max and Alex and walked towards them, sitting at Alex’s feet. Liz gasped in horror, her hand flying up to her forehead. “I can’t go on,” she cried dramatically, falling onto the ground as if she had fainted.

“Here Lizzie, I gots your flowers” Max called, yanking the basket from Trixie’s mouth. He walked back to Liz then slowly began back to the alter, tossing flowers every few steps.

“Are those my roses?” Mrs. Parker gasped as another brutally cut head of her prized roses lined the aisle. Liz opened one eye to watch Max and waited until the entire job had been completed before she stood up and flashed her small, pearly teeth at the camera.

She pressed the stop button on the tape player and Alex whipped out the inner cardboard tube of a paper towel role, bringing it to his lips.

‘Duh duh duh duh, duh duh duh duh,” he tooted as Liz began her walk. The lace tablecloth was now draped over her face like a veil, trailing behind her and generally stunting her walking abilities. Alex continued the wedding march on his horn until Liz had reached Max and stood facing him.

“And now, we come together to join these two people in woahly matismony,” Alex said seriously. The two adults chucked and he shot them looks to kill. He wore a large white t-shirt, a scarf draped over his shoulder as he had seen the pastor wear at church. He opened up the brightly colored bible to the marked page, taking a deep breath as he had seen Father Henry do just a few days ago in mass. “And now, I will tell a stowy of Jesus,” he explained.

The camera zoomed into the three children skillfully, steadying itself.

“Jesus was born in Bethlehem on Cwistmas,” Alex said solemnly, staring at the picture accompanying the large words on the opposite page. He had participated in the Christmas pageant that past year, and often impressed people with his detailed knowledge of the event. “Mary and Joseph traveled and traveled and no one would let them in,” he said sadly. But finally, then came to me; Father Awex, and I let them in.” He looked at the audience of stuffed animals as real people, as if they were listening and understood each word he said. “And Jesus was born in a very nice bed and had food and clothes and a warm house.” He held up the book, showing them all the picture of the three kings and their gifts being presented to Jesus in the manger. “And I gave Jesus” he looked at the picture again, counting out loud the number of presents “Thwee presents, but bullies stole them and said they were kings.”

“That’s not how it goes,” Max whispered and Alex opened his eyes widely.

“I’m Father Awex! The gwoom doesn’t get to say Father Awex is wrong!” he said angrily. Max stuck his tongue out at him and Alex extended his hands, pinching his brother’s upper arm.

“And everyone lived happily ever after and Father Awex got to be king of the world,” Alex finished happily.

“Nuh-uh!” Max protested, shaking his head. “Mommy, tell Alex he’s wrong!” he called to his mother, who now held the camera.

“Why don’t you guys just get married?” Mrs. Evans suggested and Max shrugged, again adjusting his hat. “I think the rings come next,” she added.

“Mommy! That’s my job!” Alex whined. Pouting, he turned back to Max and Liz. “Now, you give rings,” he announced happily. Max held out his palm to Alex who cocked his head, not understanding.

“You have the rings dummy!” Liz whispered and Alex paled noticeably.

“Uh-oh,” he whispered, reaching into his pockets. Liz gasped, her eyes widening. “I got hungry,” Alex explained and Max smacked his forehead.

“How could you eat our rings?” he asked angrily. Liz burst out crying, the bouquet of dandelions and other weeds she held falling to the floor.

“Don’t cry Lizzie, I’ll get more rings,” Max told her quickly, dashing down the aisle and running inside. Liz continued sobbing, tears streaming down her porcelain-like skin as Alex shuffled his feet uncomfortably, sneaking further away from her with each step. Max returned, newfound hope in his eyes as he held up the replacement rings. He fell to his knees on the altar, picking up her bouquet and rearranging it, handing it to her. Liz stopped crying, sniffling as she looked at Max’s palm.

“Can I have the cherry one?” she asked sadly and he nodded, struggling to push back his sleeves before picking up the red lifesaver and slipping it onto her finger. She took the green one and put it on his finger, sniffling again and taking his hand.

“Max Evans, do you wove Liz?” Alex asked from a few yards away. Max froze, not remembering what to say. He looked to Liz, to her large brown eyes on the verge of spilling tears again, and remembered, sighing with relief.

“I do,” he said proudly.

“Liz, do you wove Max?”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Outside, Liz sat on her knees watching the entire memory play back before her

“I do.” He whispered in unison with herself on the TV, her hand touching the cool glass that was the only barrier between her and Max.

“I ‘nounce you huslind and wife” Alex announced happily on the screen, running off before anyone decided to take revenge for the lost rings. Liz smiled happily as her younger self and Max leaned in for their first kiss as a married couple.

She had that picture in her car. She carried it everywhere with her as a reminder of their friendship and their devoted love. She watched as they looped arms and the Barbie workout tape again began to play as they skipped down the aisle and into the house. She pressed her palm against the window, staring at the TV, at the top of his head that she could see over the couch, and looked down when she felt something wet against her jaw.

Bringing her finger to her chin, she realized it was tears.

Her tears.

TBC

I’ve wanted to write a scene with max and liz as kids for a while now, but not actually a whole story, so this worked out perfectly…for me at least. I hope you liked it- I just wanted to provide some history on them and their past. Oh, and the misspellings in the kid’s speech in purposeful, I’m not anti-spell check. I hope to begin updating almost every week, probably at the beginning of the week, so you can look forward to that if you think this part sucked. Ciao.

~grace~

oh, btw; Under The Sun is also updated!! *happy*

posted on 13-Mar-2002 12:09:02 PM by Phoenix82
hey guys, just wanted to let you know that I'm going on spring break next week, and the odds that I'll get to update are slim to none. but you never know...I might pop up out of no where! *tongue* hope you guys have or had a great vacation!

~grace~
posted on 26-Mar-2002 11:55:05 AM by Phoenix82
~*~AUTHOR'S NOTE~*~

ok guys, sorry about the delay with part seven; I promise it'll be up by the end up by the week. but while you're waiting, could everyone tell me what they would like to happen in the story? think of it as your opportunity to get what you always wanted to happen on the show in 'reality'. ;) thanks a million, you guys are the best.

~grace~

PS: I will provide more background on why liz ended up with alex instead of max soon, honest!
posted on 30-Apr-2002 9:25:20 AM by Phoenix82
No, it couldn’t be. And yet, it is! A new part has arrived, freshly baked and ready to serve. Enjoy!!

part seven

Max collapsed onto his bed with a defeated sigh, cradling his head in his open palms. He slowly closed his eyes, attempting to clear his mind and slow down his thoughts. Liz, he told himself. Just concentrate on Liz. His breathing soon became easy and placid, his chest rising and falling slowly with each life-giving breath.

Liz.

She was perfection, and beyond. It was as if beauty, grace and tenderness had somehow supernaturally collided to create her, by chance making her his neighbor, best friend and soul mate. He wanted to touch her- if only once; to feet her skin beneath his fingertips, her lips on his.

He sighed again as the fantasy he had been replaying in his mind for the past six months once again invaded his mind, awakening his ever-present desire for her.

She swung playfully on a swing that had once dangled from a large oak tree in her yard, her hands loosely gripping the worn rope and her legs pumping back and forth slowly. She leaned back, releasing a melodious laugh, her gauzy, pale pink dress flaring up slightly in the wind. She called his name, her bare feet digging into the grass to bring the swing to a halt as she slowly rose, approaching him.

She looked up at him innocently, her face illuminated in the dawn light. He tenderly reached down to her, brushing the backs of his fingers over her soft cheek adoringly, their eyes never leaving one another’s.

She covered his hand with hers, leaning into his touch and closing her eyes angelically.

“I love you,” she whispered, her voice the only noise that he head. A faint smile formed on his lips and he cupped her cheek, guiding her to look at him again.

“I love you,” he replied gently. He placed his other hand on the opposite side of her face as if steadying her, then lowered his lips to hers, slowly, as if time was standing still for them. The kiss continued, and Liz placed on hand on Max’s, bravely guiding it down her body to touch her breast, before finally resting on the small of her back.

“I trust you Max,” she breathed into his mouth and Max pulled away tentatively, searching her eyes for any shade of doubt. He opened his mouth to speak-

Max was pulled from his dream when a firm knock sounded on his door, looking to it as if perhaps he could see through it. Finding nothing but sturdy oak, he rolled over with a muffled groan, dragging his heels as he slowly made his way towards the entrance and exit of his room.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Liz wrung her hands nervously outside Max’s bedroom, the pit of her stomach churning violently. What she was about to do would change everything. But she had to do it. She had to find out if what she felt was real, or if this was a waste of both their time.

She had to figure out if she loved him.

She could hear him shuffling towards the door, ever the slow and lazy one, and his presence wreaked even more havoc on her nerves. This wasn’t right- but it had to be done.

The door opened and he stood in front of her sleepily, his clothes somewhat wrinkled and disheveled, his hair mussed up as if he had been sleeping. It was oddly appealing.

At that moment every fear she had been feeling disappeared, and a sense of- rightness, for lack of a better word, settled over her. She stared at him, with his strong biceps and his deep, penetrating eyes and knew without even touching him that she was still in love with him. No kiss or caress could make it clearer.

It was the way he looked at her, and the way her heart had flittered upon seeing him. It was the way his hands comfortingly enclosed hers in times of need, and how he was always there for her- no matter what the event. It was his overwhelming and now completely obvious love for her.

“What’s-” he started, but she stepped forward quickly, cupping his face and bringing her lips to his. Initially he was too shocked to respond- he stood there, his lips unmoving against hers, his heart racing. His arms stayed awkwardly at his sides, unsure of whether or not he was still dreaming.

Her eyes tightly shut; it slowly began to dawn on her that he wasn’t kissing her back.

She pulled away, her eyes tear-filled and downcast. A deep blush began to creep through her face as she began to mumble an apology, but Max reacted before she could. Grabbing her wrist, he pulled her close again, caressing her lower lip tenderly as he had dreamed of doing on so many sleepless nights. She touched his face, her fingertips just grazing over his soft skin as if she, too, was unbelieving of the reality in which they were living.

It felt so right, kissing him, holding him. More right than it had ever felt with Alex, than it ever would feel with Alex. She wrapped her arms around his neck and surrendered to him, his tongue entering her mouth and seeking out her own. He stumbled backwards slightly and she fell against his chest, her hand resting on his stomach for balance.

They parted briefly and realizing that they were now in his room, Liz kicked the door closed, her eyes meeting Max’s, burning with passion and desire. She breathed his name, their eyes never parting as her hand ventured downwards to the hem of his shirt, toying with it as if deciding whether or not it should be discarded.

“Liz, what are-” he started to ask, but she pressed her lips onto his again, with undying urgency and hunger. Finally making a decision, she tore off his shirt, stumbling with him towards his bed.

Was this it? Was she going to sleep with Max? What if after that they had nothing?

Deciding she would figure things out later, Liz paused when the back of her knees hit the bed, and she wrapped her arms around him, their lips fused together. With one hand on the small of her back, Max lowered her to the bed gracefully, following right above her. Her hands traveled over his naked chest, exploring the skin exposed to her. The feel of his lean muscles under her finger was enough to drive her off the edge, but when he lowered his mouth to her neck, she moaned his name, her arms falling from around his neck to grip his biceps firmly, her nails digging into his tanned skin.

He was reeking havoc on hers senses, and he knew it.

He knew what she thinking, what she wanted and where she wanted. He was completely in tune with her needs, her wants, her desires- so much so that it almost scared her. Alex never- she mentally chastised herself for again comparing the two of them, focusing instead on how Max was making her feel in this moment.

“If you’d told me you were this good a kisser, we could have gotten together much sooner,” she panted and he grinned, nipping playfully at her neck.

“Right back at ya,” he told her, bringing his mouth from her supple neck to hovering above hers. He slowly lowered it upon her, his lips just barely touching hers when a knock on the door made them aware that they were no longer in the house.

It’s Alex, was both of their immediate thoughts, and Liz slid from underneath Max, rolling off the familiar mattress and slipping under his bed. Her heart was pounding, both from anxiety and from Max. He watched nervously as he grabbed his shirt, calling to whoever was disturbing them to hold on a second as he slipped it on and raked his fingers through his hair.

Pulling the door open, he revealed his Mother, waiting with a laundry basket balanced on her hip.

“We’re back,” she announced, stepping into the room and setting the basket on his desk, putting the laundry away for her youngest son. Max stood awkwardly in the doorframe of his bathroom, nervously twitching as he scanned the room for any evidence of his visitor. No one needed to know what was happening. Especially not before he got an explanation.

“So what are your plans for the rest of the evening?” Diane Evans asked, neatly re-folding a shirt and placing it methodically in the second drawer from the top. Max shrugged, leaning against the wall and trying to avert his eyes from where he knew Liz was hiding.

“I’m not sure; me and Liz might catch a movie,” he told her casually. Diane smiled, finishing up with the laundry and looking around the room disgustedly.

“This place is a mess Max; you’ve only been home for three days,” he chastised. With a sigh, she began picking up the laundry that littered the floor, placing it in her basket, completely oblivious to what she had interrupted and the two beings willing her to leave to they could continue. After standing in silence for a moment, she decided it was decent enough for now and flashed her son a quick smile before retreating back downstairs, closing the door behind her.

Max sighed in relief, coming back to the bed and sticking his head underneath.

“She’s gone,” he told her and Liz slithered out from underneath the bed like a reptile, coming to her knees then up to the bed. He laid on his back, waiting for her to resurface when he felt the familiar weight of her body on top of his, her leg curled up towards his torso in an attempt to pull herself closer to him. She wrapped her arms around his neck, balancing her elbows against his shoulders to prop herself up long enough to look into his eyes. “Liz, what are we doing?” he asked honestly, his arms wrapping around her torso to hold her close.

The truth was, she didn’t know. She didn’t know anything anymore. Before a few minutes ago, her life had been on a freshly paved road without a curve or bump in sight. But now- now she had no idea where her path was going, what the obstacles were on the way, or how she was even going to get there.

It was refreshingly thrilling.

“I don’t know Max,” she breathed, shaking her head slightly. “I just don’t know.”

He nodded, understanding dawning on him, and he brought one hand up to the back of her head, tenderly guiding it down to his chests as he would a child. Tucking the top of her head under his chin, she closed her eyes, listening to his heartbeat, the only steady thing in her life at that moment.

That heartbeat was going to be her lifeline, as well as his, until she figured out where her life was going.






TBC

*grace hold up her hands, backing away in fear from the angry mob* ‘please don’t string me up by my thumbs!’ needless to say, I’m really sorry about not getting this out sooner. But real life has kind of been taking a smidge of priority lately, and just yesterday I got sucked back into the world of fanfiction. Gotta love it…..

~grace~

posted on 30-Apr-2002 10:03:27 AM by Phoenix82
forgot to add that I know that part was short, but I figured you'd want a smidge of a part rather than nothing *happy*
posted on 28-May-2002 1:12:49 PM by Phoenix82
part eight

Liz seated herself on the couch opposite Max, pulling a pillow into her lap, inhaling deeply and momentarily closing her eyes.

Calm, she coaxed herself. Be calm; forget he’s even here.

She opened her eyes again and found it difficult, to say the least, to deny his existence when he sat just a few feet away looking more gorgeous than she’d ever noticed. His dark brown hair was tousled, his amber eyes studying her every movement. She bit her lip, trying to gather her thoughts so when she was finally able to talk she wouldn’t sound like a fool.

Suddenly feeling self conscious, Liz slouched downwards, averting her eyes to the table separating them. Max grinned, watching as she tucked a piece of hair behind her ear.

“You could start with an explanation,” he suggested, the silence that had filled the air ending. She nodded in agreement, swallowing.

An explanation.

Should she begin with how she had been half way home when she turned around and stared at his house, knowing that she was making a mistake? Or how she knew that life with him would never even compare to anyone else? Or how she was completely and utterly in love with him?

“Liz, it’s me.”

She looked up, her eyes coming back into focus. He gave her a reassuring smile, and he turned back into her best friend, her other half. She didn’t have to be nervous around him; hell, she didn’t even have to think out what she was going to say. She could mumble fractions of sentences and he would understand.

“I…”

But even words were impossible. Her eyes glazed over with tears of frustration at not being to explain herself and before she knew it, Max was beside her. His strong arms wrapped around her petite body comfortingly, the tears retreating back into her eyes.

“Is it me, or have I been crying a lot lately?” Liz asked jokingly in a small voice. Max’s laughter surrounded her, his body shaking with each noise that was released from his mouth. He looked down at her adoringly, smoothing her hair on her back before finally silencing himself.

“Maybe it’s being back here,” she murmured to herself. Max’s eyes saddened as she rested her head against his chest, looking around at the house where she had grown up. It held so many memories for both of them- some sad, some happy, some that they would remember forever. “It’s kind of depressing, you know?” she asked and he nodded, eyeing Mr. Parker’s favorite chair, which still sat in its spot where he had placed it so many years ago.

“You could always stay at our house,” he told her but she shook her head, pulling away slightly.

He dipped his head in a nod, her response a somewhat painful reminder of how brave she was. It scared him, sometimes, how she refused help, or even pity from other people. She stood her ground, never allowing anyone to see that she was suffering.

Except him. He was the one person who she could admit everything to, the one person whose advice she listened to.

“I’m so confused Max,” she admitted, looking around the house. She sighed, her eyes finally finding his. “I don’t know what’s happening to me, what I’m feeling, where I’m going. All my life things have been planned, orchestrated, thoroughly detailed so that I know what’s happening before its going to happen. Yeah, there have been some disturbances, but even then I knew.” She paused, swallowing again before she continued. “But now- now my life has been totally thrown off balance. And I don’t know what to do.”

“I’m sorry Liz, I shouldn’t have-”

“No. This isn’t your fault; it’s mine.” She nodded decisively, her lips firmly set in a straight line. “The thing is, this problem isn’t one that can be answered from a manual or a book. And it doesn’t just involve me. I could very well screw up two other people’s lives in the process of deciding who I want to be with and I’m not sure if I can handle that.”

“Breathe,” Max reminded her and she rolled her eyes, slapping his wrist playfully.

“I’m serious Max. I’m with you and Alex is destroyed; I’m with Alex and you’re destroyed. And if I make the wrong decision-” she groaned in aggravation, falling onto her back. “Why is life so complicated?” she asked, pulling her legs out from under her and resting them in his lap.

“Life is simple Liz. You make it complicated,” he admonished, pulling on her toe and resulting in a swift jab to his ribs.

“Amen to that,” a third voice spoke out. Liz sat up straight, a surprised, somewhat forced, grin spreading across her face.

“Alex,” she squeaked, mustering up the best ‘I’m-so-glad-to-see-you’ face she could. Max looked up at his brother, who loomed above him at the other end of the couch, staring at his fiancée with a dopey grin on his face.

“Liz I’ve got some bad news,” he told her, the smile fading away as he stepped closer to her, seating himself on the edge of the coffee table. He took his hands on hers and Max looked away awkwardly, feeling as if he was intruding on a private moment between them.

“What’s wrong?” Liz asked, cocking her head to the side.

“I have to go to Houston; someone hacked into the system at work and everything is a mess. I told them I was getting married in two weeks but they really need me.”

“When are you leaving?” she asked and Alex checked his watch, looking up at her guiltily.

“Right now. My stuff is all packed in the car, but I wanted to tell you first.” She nodded understandingly.

“How long?”

“I have no idea, but I’ll be back as soon as I can.” He brought his hands to his mouth, pressing his lips into her the back of her hand. “I love you,” he whispered. Max looked in the other direction, balling his hand into a first to control himself. Jealously bubbled in his blood and staring at the picture of Liz and her parents above the mantel was the only thing that kept him from tearing them apart.

“I’ll see you soon,” Alex promised, rising again to his full height. “Bye Max,” he added and Max nodded, forcing a smile. He watched as his brother pushed open the door and disappeared outside, the roar of his car soon disappearing as he drove down the street.

“I feel so guilty,” Liz groaned, her head falling into his lap. He looked down at her, all the rage he had felt only a few minutes ago disappearing. “Not only did I cheat on him, but I don’t feel sad at all that he’s leaving.”. She groaned again, looking up at him pathetically.

“I need a Max Evans Entertainment Night,” she told him and he grinned, arching his eyebrows.

“Your wish is my command.”

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Two hours later they sat on the same couch, an empty pizza box lying on the table surrounded by soda cans, candy wrappers and Blockbuster cases. Max and Liz lay on the couch, a blanket covering their bodies and his arm around her shoulders; their eyes focused on a movie they’d seen over a dozen times.

Max Evans Entertainment Night was, by definition, being couch potatoes. Its name had come about during high school when Max had declined Liz’s offer to come to a party, explaining that his version of Saturday night excitement was watching SNL and eating any food in the house that didn’t consist of something healthy. So Liz had joined him after that, adding to the tradition that between them they shared an entire pizza.

Liz was small, but damn, could she eat.

The movie ended, leaving them in the dark with the credits of the movie slowly scrolling over the screen. Liz raised her head from his shoulder, studying his face before he turned to her, meeting her eyes. He reached up with his free hand to graze the back of his fingers against her soft cheek before burying it in her hair, slowly bringing her closer to him.

Liz parted her lips, closing the distance between them, her lips touching his as if it were a normal occurrence. The kiss was hesitant at first, and with Liz as the initiator, their tongues met, languidly making love within the walls of their mouths. It wasn’t urgent or heated, but fueled by the love for each other that they had kept hidden for so long.

At their lips slid against each other’s, Liz’s arms came around his neck loosely, playfully twirling sections of hair around her fingers. There was no doubt in her mind what was happening; Max was the one of her. She had always known it, but suddenly, in the dark of the room, his tender hands holding her close, she was sure.

She pulled away slightly, her face only centimeters from his. His eyes met hers and she smiled softly, her fingers ceasing their teasing momentarily.

“I love you Max,” she whispered to him. “So much,” she added, almost inaudibly.

Max’s heart fluttered within his chest and he inhaled sharply. She loved him. His lips moved in utter disbelief, warmth encasing his entire body. He loved her more than he could stand, but the fact that she felt the same way about him was unfathomable.

“I love you too.” There was so much more he wanted to tell her, so much more he wanted to say, but he was silenced as she pressed her body against his, her cheek against his chest. He wrapped his arms around her small body, tucking her head under his chin, and held her tightly, looking upward briefly and thanking whatever force it was that had allowed this to happen.

There were a million thoughts racing through his mind, but he pushed them away, memorizing the way she felt. He’d hugged her countless times; he’d held her through he night, held her while she cried, but this was different- more intimate.

There were no words to describe how he was feeling- the heady giddiness that had overcome him, or the way his every nerve was tingling with alertness. But that all stopped when Liz sprung up, her eyes slightly panicked.

“How am I going to tell Alex?”







TBC

I wrote this Sunday night after reading all your feedback. I was shocked- beyond shocked, actually. I had no idea how many people liked this story, and all your encouragement motivated me to bring you guys a little more. Hope you enjoyed, and thank you for continually being patient with me.

~grace~

posted on 31-May-2002 9:28:19 AM by Phoenix82
hey everyone. ok, I have bad news, but within it is buried good news, I promise.

bad news first- I probably won't be able to post until august due to traveling and lack of computer. but, (here's the good news) I will be able to write, so when I do come back I'll be armed with several new parts for both stories. I'm really, really sorry, but I hope I can make up for it with the new parts. if you want to know what's going to happen you can e-mail me at amazinggrace8282⊕yahoo.com and I'll do my best to e-mail you back and spill my plans for the characters.

I hope everyone has a great summer, and if it applies- good luck with your exams. thanks again for being so patient and supportive with me.


~grace~
posted on 31-May-2002 1:17:41 PM by Phoenix82
quote:
isis7777 originally wrote:
OK..whining here *big*..
Don't we get just ONE more part before you leave???? OH PLEASE! *big*please please please????? *happy*
*bounce**bounce**bounce**big**bounce**bounce**bounce*

We're gonna miss this story while you're gone *snif!* *sad* *snif~snif*have a good time...and HURRY BACK SOON! *sad* WAAaaaaaaaaa! (I'm just a selfish brat when it comes to my fanfic!*tongue*)


awww hon I wish I could, but I have to leave in an hour for my flight! I swear that I'll have lots of new parts when I return tho. *happy*

~grace~