posted on 26-Jan-2002 2:45:10 AM by DMartinez
Author: DMartinez
EMail: shockerdm⊕icqmail.com
Disclaimer: Characters belong to creative geniuses: Melinda Metz, Jason Katims and UPN. Some text was taken from the scripts. No infringement intended.
Category: Liz
Summary: A single word can change your day.
Spoilers: Absolutely none. Alternative Universe
Note: Some days you go through without thinking and others are nothing but. The oddest thoughts flit through your mind and you can't stop them. I watched a movie where the antagonist cocked his gun in anticipation of killing the protagonist. The visual of how slowly that chamber slipped into place reminded me of how badly your life can turn with just as much ease. Good to bad in one second flat. Sometimes the reverse is true.
Later I saw a building being built and a construction worker was caulking the windows with clear caulk. I kept thinking that it was like a band-aid that looked pretty. The fact was that the windowpane was a fraction too small for the hole in the wall and this caulk was going to fix that. It wasn't the white goop that any idiot can use and screw up. It was the clear kind so that when this guy screwed up, you couldn't tell.
So anyway. These thoughts prompted the creation of this particular story that I had thought about doing for about a week now. Enjoy.
Note on title. Both words have many, many meanings so you'll understand it later.
Pairing: M/L, Mi/L
Archive: http://riddickdm.tripod.com/


Cocking/Caulking

I'm Liz Parker and an amazing thing happened today. I survived.

Liz rolled her eyes at Maria as they passed each other with trays of food in their hands. Liz twisted her hips so that she could fit between two chairs pulled out further than necessary on her way to her destination. Tourists with money to spend in alien themed restaurants. She set their meals down on the table. "Okay, I have got one Sigourney Weaver, that's for you. And one Will Smith. Can I get you guys anything else? Green Martian Shake? Blood of Alien smoothie??"

She looked from tourist to tourist to see if she could possibly sell them more greasy- or entirely too sweet food. The man shook his head slightly. "No, thanks. We're good."

It seemed normal enough to begin with. It really did. The tourists were overflowing for the Crash Festival and I was about to score a major tip from my table of fanatics.

Liz watched him exchange a glance with his dining partner. Both of them were very obviously alien obsessed. Noting the time of year and really wanting a big tip, Liz turned on the charm. "Are you guys here for the Crash festival?"

The woman spoke up, entirely too anxious in Liz's opinion. Once again there were glances exchanged between the couple. "Yeah, can't wait. So...does your family come from Roswell??"

"Just four generations." Liz nodded sincerely, cashing in the tips in her head. These guys would be too easy. She wouldn't have to lay it on nearly as thick and get the same reaction.

The guy was already intrigued. "Uh, well, does anyone in your family have stories about the UFO crash?"

"Well, I guess it would be O.K. to show you guys this...." Liz bit her lip and reached into her apron pocket for a picture. As she pulled it out, she glanced behind her at Maria, who was passing by with another order. The blond shook her head at her friend and kept on walking to a table where two men were too busy arguing to notice their waitress was standing there. Liz turned back to her customers and lowered her voice. "My grandmother took this picture at the crash sight RIGHT before the government cleaned it up."

The woman took the picture from her hand to take a closer look at what appeared to be an alien. Her heavily black lined eyes widened. "Do people know about this photograph?"

Yup, these guys had every episode of The X-Files on tape at whatever hovel they called home. They were going to eat this right up. "Well, I know about it, and now you know about it."

The guy took the picture and looked as if he might be trying to memorize its every facet. "Whoa."

"Wow."

Liz glanced around and noted her other tables. She needed to get back to work or kiss other tips goodbye. "I'm gonna be right back, don't show that to anyone."

They nodded, entranced by the supposed artifact. "No...."

She had to suppress a burst of laughter after leaving the table. Those fanatics were so gullible. Maria caught up with her as they moved toward the back to take a moment and gather things they needed for their tables. The blond shook her head at her friend. "You are sooo bad girl. Oh, and Max Evans is staring at you again."

I thought Maria had to be on crack. Max Evans looking at me is just some kind of cruel joke. He's Max and I'm Liz and we're lab partners, not potential couple.

"No way." Liz shook her head and turned to look at the table where the gorgeous and ever mysterious Max Evans sat talking to his friend, his eyes seemed to glance in her direction before they suddenly shifted everywhere but in her direction. "Maria, that is so in your imagination."

She turned away before he caught her staring at him, which would be completely embarrassing. He was the epitome of every fantasy that she had ever had regarding the male sex. He was gorgeous and completely out of her league. "Max Evans? This? No, uh uh... it's not..."

"And with those cheeks! Preciosita tan linda!" Maria squeezed Liz's cheeks while she rattled off her Spanish compliments.

"Maria!!" Liz whined. She had to get her mind off this or else she'd be useless the rest of her shift. "And, and even if it weren't... I'm going out with Kyle." She caught the look her friend sent her at the mention of her boyfriend. "I mean, he's steady and loyal, and he appreciates me."

I knew Maria could tell what I've been feeling about Kyle. We're too different and it's just not working. I know he genuinely thinks we're going someplace but there's only so many times I can get felt up without moving forward and I can't do that with Kyle.

Maria wrinkled up her nose. "Sounds like you're describing a poodle." The blond started to move away but paused. "No... I'll prove it. Ask him."

"What?" Liz's jaw dropped open, her eyes flicked to where Max sat, his lips puckered up to take a drink from his straw. "No."

"I dare you to go talk to him and see if he doesn't try to ask you out." Maria smiled evilly. "I'll bet you today's tips. I'm doing good today, sweetie. If he doesn't want you, you get my tips... if he does... I get yours."

"Maria." Liz scoffed but it was so enticing. More money into her Get-Out-Of-Roswell fund. "You're on."

"Yes!" Maria did a little dance as she went back to her tables.

I figured that I'd have twice as much and be that much closer to getting out of this town. So I agreed to the bet. I can't believe that I agreed to it though. I was just asking for a heart stomping.

Liz stood there a second to compose herself before she noted that he had just darted his eyes off in another direction the second she focused on him. It couldn't be true. Max Evans, the shy lab partner, the heartthrob of West Roswell High, staring at Liz Parker in her sea-foam green alien themed uniform. 'Inconceivable!' to quote her favorite movie. Then again, when 'Inconceivable!' was used, it was quickly contradicted. On to the task at hand.

Taking a breath, she grabbed a napkin holder and made her way over to his table. "Excuse me." She flashed him a half smile as she switched the full napkin holder on his table with the one she had just brought over. Then she paused. He wasn't even looking at her. She flicked a glance to his friend, Michael, who was glaring at her slightly. "Ok... this is going to sound totally off the wall but can I ask you something, Max?"

"Um..." Max's eyes snapped to her face in surprise. She was still there. She was standing right beside his table wanting information from him. "Um, sure."

"Okay. Um... Maria just said the craziest thing to me a minute ago." Liz released a small laugh and fixed her gaze on the mural behind their booth; her face began to warm up and soon she was sure she would be blushing. "She told me that... well, that you were staring at me... again." She quickly began a ramble when her eyes dropped to his face. "I think she's hallucinating but... it's Maria and she sees things and um... We have a bet going on this and I'd really like to pocket her tips as well as mine tonight... and I should let you answer, huh."

"Maybe." Michael fixed her with his patented 'go away' face. "Maxwell, answer her."

"I..." Max suddenly couldn't find his tongue. Liz Parker had caught him staring. He was beyond humiliated. Michael was goading him. Michael was not going to let him hear the end of it. Michael was going to call him a pussy if he didn't tell the truth and so he opened his mouth. "Well, yeah... I guess I was."

"Oh. Really?" Liz felt a nervous smile float across her face. "Really?"

Imagine my shock to find out that Maria was right. Moreover... Max Evans has been staring at me. Staring at me!

Before Max could answer her, a commotion rose from the other side of the room. ".....you ask me to give you another day!!?? You're running outta time!"

A clatter of dishes and silverware seemed to fill the air. Then they watched in shock as one of the men shoved the other. It was escalating so fast. Liz blinked but it was still happening. She could see Maria out of her peripheral vision. "Liz!!"

"I want the money today. NOT tomorrow!!" The man shouted at his companion. Then to everyone's horror, the second man pulled a gun. A struggle ensued and suddenly a shot rang out. Liz felt like her entire life had been turned upside down in those 10 seconds.

When she opened her eyes, she was under a table with Max and Michael, her face pressed against Max's chest. The air was so quiet as footsteps faded outside the restaurant.

I've never been as scared as I was right that moment. I couldn't believe someone had pulled a gun in my father's restaurant, practically in my home... But Max was there, holding me and stroking my hair, whispering that it was all going to be all right.

Her eyes met Max's for a few seconds between his whispered reassurances. In those few seconds, she could see that he was as scared as she was about what had just happened. Michael tapped her shoulder. "Coast is clear. We can come out now."

Liz crawled out from under the table to find the rest of the restaurant doing the same. She had to take control of the situation. "Is anyone hurt?"

"Don't think so." Someone answered her. "Shot went wild."

Liz barely blinked when Maria wrapped her arms around her. "Jose! Call the police." Liz blinked and thought rapidly about what to do. How could something like this have happened? Was there anything that could have been done to prevent it?

No one was hurt and I was so grateful when Daddy came down to see what had happened cause he took over and I could concentrate on getting my hands to stop shaking...

I survived today. The odds of no casualties in gun related incidences are extremely rare. I survived and now I know that Max Evans stares at me while I work. I guess I should give Maria my tips tomorrow. She won but she's probably like me and trying to do anything at all to get her mind off the fact a gun went off where we spend 20% of our time everyday.

I can't help but wonder though... was Max being serious?


TBC

[ edited 20time(s), last at 15-Feb-2003 8:32:07 PM ]
posted on 26-Jan-2002 2:47:22 AM by DMartinez
I'm Liz Parker and I have no clue what's gotten into me.

Liz slid into her seat in biology and waited for Max to show up. She didn't know what she would say to him when he got there but she always waited for him. They had been partners since the first day of school because she had been late due to a discrepancy about her schedule. The only seat had been next to Max at the back of the room. Every day since she had sat there and waited for him to get to class.

Maybe she was just desperate to confirm whether or not he had been staring at her while she worked. If he was, she was out 80 bucks but up one very handsome lab partner. If only she didn't sort of have a boyfriend.

Liz glanced up when Max tried to sneak in through the back door and slid silently into his seat. She ran her eyes over his dark hair and his eyes, brown and yet not quite, his tan skin and quickly at his muscular arm beside hers. She managed a small smile before she turned to the microscope in front of her.

He kept glancing at her about as often as she glanced at him. Finally, she laughed to herself and turned toward him. "I want to say thank you."

"For what?" He whispered back as he passed her a bottle of iodine.

"For pulling me under that table yesterday. I was kinda rooted to the spot there... and for..." She trailed off, blushing and biting her lip.

"For?" He pressed slightly, unsure of where she was going.

"For costing me $80 in tips." Liz pressed her lips together and watched his eyebrows knit together in confusion.

"How'd I do that?"

"You made me lose a bet."

"And you're thanking me?" He shook his head ever so slightly.

"Yeah." She flashed him a smile. "I... uh... didn't actually think Maria was right but thanks for proving me wrong."

"oh. OH." Max ducked his head, his cheeks flaming. He recalled the bet just then. Maria had caught him staring at Liz and told her, they had placed a bet on whether or not he actually was. "Well... I guess... I do what I can."

"Ms. Parker, Mr. Evans. Back to work, please."

Max was blushing. I have never seen anything so adorable. I am falling head over heels for him, now. I've always had a crush on him but now I know that he has some interest in me. IN ME, Liz Parker, queen of the science geeks. Who would have thought in a million years that a completely gorgeous guy like Max could be interested in me?

Liz sat next to Maria at lunch and handed her a wad of cash. "It's yours."

"Whoa. You got good tips yesterday." Maria took the money and then her eyes widened. "He was staring at you! I knew it!" She hopped up and faced Liz. "So did you talk to him? What did he say? Did he ask you out?"

"He didn't say much. He didn't ask me out. He got really embarrassed though." Liz said with a slight smile. She pulled a peanut butter sandwich out of her backpack. "But you know... He knows I'm still kinda seeing Kyle."

"Oh... so now you're only kinda seeing Kyle. Poodle boy." Maria shook her head and dug into her carrot sticks and dressing.

"It was a casual summer thing. Surely he'll think that too. We left things casual and it's time we went our separate ways." Liz nodded to no one in particular. "It's for the best."

"Who are you trying to convince?" Maria scoffed and sat gingerly next to her brunette friend. "You made out several times over the summer, that doesn't make you exclusive. You had four real dates all summer. That's not a boyfriend, it's a distraction." With one wildly colored finger, she turned Liz's face to meet the gaze of Max Evans across the quad. "I say go for it. Let hunk a burning love over there know that you're interested. Let Kyle deal with it on his own."

I know that Maria doesn't like Kyle but I can't just do that, can I? I mean, really. Kyle and I weren't really serious and now that school's started up again, it should just be left in the summer. He wouldn't want me to mess with his reputation, anyway, right? That's what I thought.

"Hey." Kyle wrapped an arm around Liz's shoulder at her locker after school.

"Hey." Liz managed a small smile. "Don't you have practice?"

"I have a few minutes." He nodded and leaned in to kiss her but she turned slightly so he would catch her cheek. "So, how's it going?"

"Um... pretty good." Liz nodded stiffly.

"Liz, what's going on? Tommy said he saw you under a table with Max Evans and Michael Guerin." Kyle removed his arm and leaned on the locker beside hers.

"Yeah. I was there." She nodded again and saw the crushed look on his face. "Right after a customer pulled a gun, which went off and left a hole in the back counter."

"Yeah, my dad told me about that." He bent a leg to rest his boot on the locker. "Liz, is there something going on? I've hardly seen you since school started and... I know you're all into homework and school and stuff but..."

"But what Kyle?" Liz shook her head and closed her locker. "You just got jealous because I was under a table, fearing for my life with two boys and now you're upset because I couldn't find time to spend with you?"

"Liz, I just want to know that we're still good. I mean, are we still going to the Crash Festival?" He stood up straight.

"I'm going but I don't know about you." Liz turned to walk away.

"So what? You're breaking up with me?" He walked after her, his boots loud in the emptying hallway and attracting the attention of the people still remaining... including Max Evans and Michael Guerin.

"Maybe I am, Kyle." Liz spun around to face him. "Kyle, we left things casual and I took that as a hint that we were just a summer thing. I figured we'd both move on when school started." She lowered her voice slightly. "I had fun, you're a great guy and everything but I really, really don't see us together anymore."

"Liz, you're just going to tell me that you can just shut your feelings off just like that."

"Feelings, Kyle?" Liz was on the verge of anger. "Kyle, we're 16 years old. I don't know what to wear to school every day much less know what I'm feeling but I do know that what I feel for you is just--"

"Don't you say friendship. You and I are not friends. We're dating. I really care about you, Liz. I can see myself married to you, not just dating you." Kyle pleaded with her, his blue eyes trying to make her seen how much he cared for her.

Liz had never realized how much Kyle had put into their meager relationship. It was enough to make her cry but she had to stay strong. "I don't see us together next week, much less married and it's way too soon for anything like that for me... with anyone. I'm sorry, Kyle. I really am."

She tore down the hallway, leaving a stunned Kyle in her wake.

It was so hard for me to do that but he saw us MARRIED. Married, I am nowhere near that frame of mind. I can't hold it against him, I guess. Kyle really did share with me. He misses his mother. Maybe that's his problem, he misses her so much that he latches onto whoever he thinks he needs....
I shouldn't be analyzing him but I can't help it. I do really feel bad for Kyle. I had no idea he felt that strongly for me. It's better I guess than to lead him on for months without being able to feel the same for him. It's for the best...


TBC
posted on 26-Jan-2002 2:49:31 AM by DMartinez
I’m Liz Parker and it’s strange the way your life can shift. One event can change your life without changing it at all, at least not enough for you to notice until it’s behind you.

Liz took a deep breath and walked into school. After it was said and done, she couldn’t quite believe that she had broken it off with Kyle or that she had done it so very harshly.

During her first period, she mulled it over. Why in the world had she done it? Kyle was safe, loyal but not enough.

I figured it out. I was unwilling to recognize it before but this afternoon I was standing in the waitress station and I glanced over at Max’s regular booth. I was standing in that very spot, two days ago. The bullet hole was directly behind me. It scared me. I realized that I couldn't waste my time or else be safe forever. I have to take a risk something. That risk the other day had saved my life. Before that day, I would have never approached Max with something as stupid as that but I did. Thank God I did.

Liz slid into her seat in bio a few second before the bell. Max turned slightly. “Hey.”

“Hey.” She managed a small smile. After a pop quiz they were free to talk or study. Liz found the silence between them to be very awkward. “Ummm… Max?”

“Yeah?” He continued to stare at his hands.

“I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable.” Liz took a breath. “I just didn’t believe Maria and I never turn down possible money for the college fund, you know?”

“I’m not uncomfortable because of that… well.. maybe a little.” Max bowed his head as a flush crept across his face.

“Sorry.”

“I just didn’t think I was that obvious. Michael tells me I am but that’s just Michael being Michael.” Max turned slightly and leaned his body on the lab table. “If it creeps you out, I’ll stop. I swear it.”

Liz flashed him a smile then blushed. “No, it’s okay. I just didn’t think you would… look at me… like that.”

“Like what?”

“Max, do you not know?” She had to look away for a moment before she could take the risk and tell him exactly what she thought of him. “There is not a single girl in this school who wouldn’t want you to stare at them like that.” She reached over and pinched the front of his shirt. “You are completely adorable.”

“Adorable?” Max couldn’t hold in a laugh. “Adorable.” He cleared his throat. “So what does that mean?”

“Do you not own a mirror?”

“What’s that supposed to mean? First you say I’m adorable, which sounds like a puppy to me, and then you accuse me of not owing a mirror. That tells me that I need to pay more attention getting dressed.”

“You are such a goofball.” She smacked him on the arm. “Fine, I’ll just say it.” She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Okay. Max, besides being unbelievably good-looking, you’ve got this thing about you. You’re mysterious.”

Max cleared his throat. A lump had formed there after she said he was good looking. “Mysterious?”

“Yeah. To my knowledge, not that I’ve… studied you or anything, but you’ve never had a girlfriend, you only hang out with Michael… Some people actually think you might be gay.”

“What?!” Max’s exclamation received a stern look from Ms. Hardy and strange looks from the rest of the class. He lowered his voice after apologizing. “Who thinks that?”

“Okay, so I know you’re not. Feel better?”

“Well, I guess it doesn’t really matter what people I don’t know care about.” He relaxed and resumed his survey of her.

“Why are you staring at me?” Liz blushed furiously and turned her head to her books.

“I thought you said you were okay with it?” Max flicked her hand before she could swat him again.

“I want to know why though.” She whined. “Do I have an odd shaped head or something?”

“No. Just the opposite. You’re nice to look at.”

I had fun in biology. I saw Max smile more in that twenty minutes than in all the time I’ve known him. He didn’t ask me out but I think we’re a little closer than we used to be.

“Am I completely insane?” Liz pleaded with Maria for an answer. “I just broke up with him in front of everyone. What’s wrong with me?”

“You opened your eyes, girl.” Maria clapped her hands together. “So you ask Max out?”

“No.” She protested. “But we talked for a while in class. He is completely adorable and he doesn’t even know it.”

“Oh really?” Maria nodded her head slowly. “So you talked?”

“Yeah. He’s great and he’s got a great smile.”

“Yes. Yes. This we know. Is he going to ask you out?”

“I don’t know. But… I’m still upset about Kyle. He expected too much of me but I was really harsh with him.”

“Forget Kyle because Max Evans is staring at you yet again."

Their eyes met across the quad and Liz shuddered slightly. His gaze was just so intense. She could get lost in it and that was scary; that was frightening but exhilarating at the same time. She hadn’t been lying when she had said he was mysterious. There was really nothing personal that anyone knew about him. He went to school and got good grades; that’s what people knew.

Maria’s hand in front of her face broke the gaze. “Geez, that was weird. That’s it. You have to go out with him.”

So I told her I’d think about it but I’ll let him ask me. Max is so intense as a lab partner. I wonder what he’d be like as a boyfriend. He’s always been so quiet and sometime it’s like he’s not alive but then a single glance into his eyes and I know that he’s just guarded. I wonder what kind of secrets he has. He’s definitely a work of art. God knew what he was doing when he put Max together… and not just physically.

“Lizzie?” Jeff Parker called from the counter.

"Yeah, Dad?" Liz flipped her order book closed and pulled off her antennae. Her shift was finally over.

"Sweetie…" He took a breath. "Promise you won't kill me?"

"Dad?" Liz gave a short laugh. "What's up?"

"I promised we'd work the Festival tomorrow."

"What?" Her jaw dropped open. "When? Why didn't you tell me sooner?"

"Sweetie, I wasn't going to do it but we need to fix that back counter. If we're going to afford the damage bill and being closed three days to do it, we need the Festival crowd here and there." He explained to his daughter. "I know you were looking forward to the night off but I need you here or there."

"Okay." She sighed and walked over to the station to take a good look at it. "Okay. I'll go work the Festival."

Just when I thought I was taking control of my life… Not like anyone I know will be there, right. Anyway, after I finish deluding myself about the misery my night will be tomorrow, I'm going to dream that this is a perfect world and my dad will fire me, Max will ask me out. Right. I was going to stop deluding myself. I need a nap.

TBC
posted on 26-Jan-2002 2:51:49 AM by DMartinez
I'm Liz Parker and I so hate my father. I had to wear a costume and serve frozen alien pie on a stick to other people also in costumes. Everyone from school was there and... I guess I can't really complain. I love my dad.

Liz served yet another ice cream to yet another alien fanatic in costume and sighed. She nodded to the next customer and turned to retrieve three more ice creams from the mini-freezer. When those customers had paid and stepped aside, Liz found herself face to face with Max Evans.

"Hey." He nodded with a slight smile. He looked so cute in his oversized suit.

"Hey. What can I get for you?" Liz smiled and pointed to the menu. Every effort to keep her fluttering heat in check only seemed to make things worse. She casually glanced behind him. No line. She had time to chat.

"Let's see." He focused really hard on the menu and shrugged. "I guess I'm not really hungry."

"Oh." Liz bit her lip and leaned on the makeshift counter. "How is it out there?"

"Same as every year I guess." He shrugged again. "It's not really my thing."

"No? Then... " She trailed off and waited for an explanation.

"Isabel." He bowed his head slightly and cleared his throat. "All her friends are here and she already bought a costume. I'm the one with the driver's license and the Jeep."

"Hazards of being a driver." She smiled and nodded. "It's nice that you do things for your sister. Most people I know complain about having brothers and sisters."

"Oh, don't get me wrong. She's a royal pain in the ass but she's still my sister." Max laughed. "Hazard of being related to Isabel. She's just... something else."

"Sometimes I wish I had a brother or sister but then I know I wouldn't want to compete for my parents attention. It's hard enough to talk to them with the restaurant and all... and by the same token, it's hard to avoid them because of the restaurant." She sighed looked out into the crowds. "This is a good year. Much bigger crowd than last year."

"Did the Crashdown work the Festival last year?"

"No but I was here. We weren't going to work it this year either but we need some repairs done. Gunshot the other day split the back counter. It'll still hold but um... no telling how long that will last and it doesn't really do much for business with a bullet hole there."

"That was pretty scary." Max nodded stiffly.

"Yeah... and thank you again for pulling me under the table. I just couldn't move and now I just... I look at things differently because it was scary and nothing bad happened." Liz paused and blushed. "It sounds stupid."

"No, it doesn't. How do you mean, differently?" He prodded and leaned on the counter in front of her.

"I just... My relationship with Kyle was nice and safe but for me it was empty and... because it was safe, I told myself I liked it." She sighed and then lowered her voice. "I should start taking some risk, you know? That day I was standing right where that bullet went through the counter. If I hadn't gone over to talk to you... I could have been shot."

"Wow." He whispered.

"I could be dead right now but I'm not. I'm alive and right here talking to you." Liz held her breath when he opened his mouth to say something but then they heard his name.

"Max!" Isabel went ripping through the crowds. Max straightened to see what she wanted. "Max, we're leaving."

"What? We just got here." Max protested and shot an apologetic look to Liz.

"Because, we're leaving. Tracy is spreading a rumor and I have to do some damage control." Isabel pulled on his arm and began dragging him away.

"Bye Liz." Max turned his head back to the counter and waved with his free hand. Max made Isabel slow down after a while. "What is your problem?"

"Why were you talking to her?"

"Because she's nice... and she likes me." He answered her after a little hesitation.

"Right. We can't get involved Max." Isabel bit out at him.

"Involved? I was talking to her." Max ripped his arm out of her grasp. "You date all the time."

"But I've never dated anyone I was obsessed with since birth." She glared at him.

"We were talking. Just talking."

"About?"

"You are such a..." Max bit his tongue and tried again. "Look. Liz and I were talking the other day when that gun went off. She was so scared that she couldn't move so I pushed her under the table with Michael and me so she wouldn't get hurt. She was thanking me."

"Whatever." Isabel turned and continued to take long strides to the Jeep.

"You are impossible!" Max yelled after her. He stayed put for a minute before following her.

So Max didn't ask me out. I could swear that he would have if Isabel hadn't shown up but I can't be sure. It's funny the things I notice now. How his bangs curl on his forehead, how his eyes are brown but still light enough to be another color... like honey or amber... how he's got a really great build and doesn't really play sports. He's got a really funny sense of humor. Half the time I'm almost sure there's a joke that I'm not getting because I never know what he's thinking. Guess I've developed a crush.

"It's been five days." Maria groaned. "Five days since he almost asked you out and nothing?"

"Not nothing." Liz protested. "We talk and have fun in class. Sometimes we talk after school."

"But he hasn't called you or asked you out."

"Well, no."

"Then nothing."

"Maria, he's just really shy." Liz adjusted the phone next to her ear. "I mean, I think he does call but he hangs up."

"How do you know that?"

"Because I've been screening my calls. Kyle leaves messages, so do you and Alex... but sometimes I get these blank calls. No message, just dead air for like 30 seconds."

"Then you should hint to him that you've been having to screen your calls." Maria suggested wickedly. "Then see how fast those empty messages disappear."

Maria's right but I just... I just wish that Max could be a little more open. There is this weird thing. I never knew Isabel even knew who I was but every time I talk to Max in the halls, she shows up and then leaves with him. She's always giving me these ugly looks and I have no clue why.

"Liz." She spun around in the hall because the voice was so low it grabbed her attention. Max. He had his head poking out of an empty classroom. "Liz."

She walked over to him and he pulled her inside the classroom. "Max, what's going on?"

"I... I wanted to do this before I chickened out and before Isabel showed up to ruin it." He rambled and then took a deep breath. "Would you like to catch a movie this weekend... with me?"

Liz bit her lip to hide her grin. "Um. Sure like a matinee?"

His shoulders sagged slightly and this strange look crossed his eyes. "Actually, I was thinking maybe Saturday night... and then maybe grab something to eat... but if--" His tone sounded so dejected that Liz felt bad for teasing him.

"I'd love to." The corners of her mouth turned up. "What time should we meet?"

"I could um... come by and pick you up at um... six..." Max stumbled over his words; still not sure how well it was going.

"Sure. I'd like that." She smiled and stepped closer to him. Max swallowed thickly and began to dip his head slowly towards hers...

Things were going really well, I was about to kiss him when Isabel threw open the door and demanded that Max get to class. I really don't know what her problem is. I won't think about that because I have a date with Max Evans. I'm having a heart attack but that'll be okay. I just need to survive the next two days and then I'll know how it went.

TBC
posted on 26-Jan-2002 2:54:59 AM by DMartinez
I'm Liz Parker and I think I'm the only girl in the world that's ever kissed Max Evans. Last night was great. It was almost perfect. I say almost because we had to ditch Isabel and that took some working.

"Liz, hi." Max turned and shoved his hands in his pockets when she answered the door. "You... You look great."

"Thank you. You look great, too." Liz smiled as she stepped out onto the pavement.

He raised his hand to scratch at the back of his neck. "I hope you don't mind. Isabel wouldn't leave me alone and I had to bring her with me." Then he turned suddenly to look at her. "Don't worry. I think we can ditch her soon. This wasn't exactly my idea of a night out with you."

"Isabel seems to be... everywhere lately, doesn't she." She commented quietly as they slowly made their way out to the Jeep.

"Yeah well, I'm not really a dating person and she's... not my top priority lately. I think she just wants attention." He stopped walking for a moment. "I love my sister but she can be a royal pain in the ass. She thinks my current lack of dating skills is enough to get me hurt... she's just being an older sister, I guess."

"Well, I don't know about Isabel but you are most definitely the sweetest person that I have ever known and anyone wanting to hurt you should be shot." Liz reached up to kiss his cheek.

I am very glad that I am an only child. Isabel insisted on sitting in the front seat. Then she picked the movie and then she sat between us. I was beginning to doubt that Max had a plan at all. She was really getting annoying.

Max stretched and tapped Liz on the shoulder without alerting Isabel. Liz turned slowly to see Max looking at her from behind Isabel, mouthing, 'Go to the bathroom.'

After a few moments, she got the hint and excused herself, scooting past Isabel and sliding between Max and the seat in front of them. She made her way out to the bathroom, where she waited and waited until finally Max rushed out of the theater and ushered her outside. "Come on. She's really into the movie and she won't notice for a while."

"Where are we going?" Liz asked as he helped her into the Jeep.

"Anywhere you want." Max flashed her a smile and threw the Jeep into gear. They sped out of the parking lot and down the street. "You hungry?"

"Um, sure. Whatever you want." Liz bit her lip and the comment about what Isabel would do when she found out they were gone. If he wasn't going to worry about it, then neither should she. "What does Max Evans eat when he's not at the Crashdown?"

"There's that pizza place on Washington." He suggested.

"Oh yeah. I like that place."

"Then that's where we're going." Max kept his eyes on the road for a few minutes until finally he had to look at her. "I hope you don't mind that we ran out of the movie."

Liz slid her hand into his. "It's not a problem. It'll be showing for months anyway."

Max is just the sweetest person in the world. We talked for an hour after we ate. About school, friends, family... it was great... until Isabel found us. I swear the girl has a homing device in Max's pocket or something. She was pissed about being left behind, which I kinda understand. Then Max handed her some money to order herself something and then grabbed my hand. He said we were going for a walk but for her to enjoy herself.

"So the plan is to save as much money as possibly until I graduate and then get away from this town." Liz gripped his right hand with her left and squeezed his arm with her right.

"Sounds like a good plan." Max nodded, wondering what in the world he had done right to have Liz Parker clinging to his arm while they walked through the streets of Roswell.

"What about you? Ever thought about what you're going to do after high school?"

"Not really. I think some part of me thinks that if I leave, my parents won't ever find me." He shot a glance at her. "My biological parents."

"Oh. You think they're coming back?"

"I have to think that." He whispered. "It's better than thinking they threw me away."

"Max..." Liz chided lightly. "I'm sure you're right. Maybe they are looking for you... What would you say to either of them if they showed up today?"

"Ask why they gave me up. Why they didn't leave us any clues... What was so important that it took so long to get back to us?" Max stopped suddenly and turned to look at Liz.

"What?" Liz caught the strange look in his eyes. "What?"

"I've never talked about this stuff to anyone before but with you it just came out." He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "My parents would kill to know half the stuff I've told you tonight. I just feel... really... comfortable with you."

"I'm glad you feel that way because I do too." She noted that they were only a block from her house. "I've had a really great time, tonight."

"Me too." He nodded. There was an awkward pause for a few seconds before Max leaned in to meet her lips. It was soft at first but then he grew braver, opening his mouth to taste her lips.

Liz had to grip his shirt to keep from sinking to her knees. Who knew that Max was such a great kisser? Grateful when his arm wrapped around her body, she opened her mouth for his exploration.

I've kissed boys before. Kyle, Jacob... that kid, whose name I suddenly can't remember... Point is that kissing Max surpassed all those other kisses. That weak in the knees thing that Grandma always used to talk about, it's real. Afterwards, Max didn't let go, he just held me in his arms and touched my hair, like he was trying to memorize the moment. I know I was.

"I've always wanted to do that." He whispered, brushing his fingers through her hair. His watched beeped suddenly and he cursed quietly. Glancing at it, he groaned. "Your curfew?"

"Around now." She grimaced, loathe to pull away from him first. "I guess we should head over..."

"I guess so."

Of course it was still another ten minutes before we budged from that spot. We just looked at each other, we didn't speak and then we were walking. Max is just the cutest when he blushes. I asked him and that's when he admitted that he had never kissed a girl before. I find that hard to believe... especially when he kissed me again at my door. Natural talent like that should really be outlawed or else there would be boneless girls all over the place. Of course I called Maria the second he left.

"Hold on. Date with Max Evans?" Maria took a deep breath and began again. "Back it up, sweetie because you didn't even tell me you had a date, much less that you had one with Senor Evans, Mr. Hottie himself."

"I was too nervous. I didn't want to jinx it." Liz sighed dreamily into the phone.

"Okay, so first. How did he ask you out?" Maria demanded, mouth full of something.

"What are you eating?"

"Jowly Ranters."

"I want one."

"Get your ass over here and get it."

"Maria..." She whined. "You're so mean."

"TELL ME."

And so I told her everything from teasing Max when he asked me out, to feeling bad for teasing him, to the Isabel thing, which she agrees is pretty weird.

"Okay. So Max thinks that Isabel is being an over protective big sister? He doesn't have a problem with it?"

"No, see. He does. We ditched her at the movie and then we went to Double Dave's and we had a blast. We talked and laughed. Then she showed up eventually. I think she was too pissed at him so she watched the whole movie before hunting us down. Anyway. This time we ditched her to her face and just walked around until curfew."

"I knew it. This is the one. Max Evans has got to be the best potential boyfriend in the world. So... when's the next date?"

"Maria! We just finished the first date. I guess I'll just wait for him to call me or something."

"I hear a blush. He kissed you, didn't he!"

"Maria! Stop it." Liz pulled a pillow over her head and cleared his throat. "So what if he did?"

"And? Details. Hello. Boyfriend-less. I'm in a major dry spell. I live for your love life. Tell me." Maria waited and waited. "That good, huh."

"Better." She managed finally. "Maria... he's so sweet..."

"I knew it. I always knew it." Heavy sighs made their way across the phone lines. "You are so lucky, chica."

"I don't know about luck. Maybe fate. I mean. What if you hadn't dared me to go talk to him that day?"

"Don't say anymore. I am traumatized. I refuse to talk about that day. Guns and me aren't ever going to be friends."

"I know what you mean."

But I don't. Maria refuses to even think about it. Sometimes it's all I think about. I told my dad and he just got really quiet. I guess it hit him too. A lot could be lost in that millisecond it takes to pull a trigger. For the bullet to cross a room. For a dare to be taken seriously. I'm not over-analyzing... just getting the thoughts out. I read somewhere that you should right down random thoughts to learn more about yourself. The way you think and react. My cousin Sherry said that she hated English Composition I in college mainly because of what's known as a 'turning point paper.' She said she couldn't think of one. I have one. A point in time that has made all the difference...

TBC
posted on 4-Mar-2002 1:53:45 AM by DMartinez
I'm Liz Parker and life is good.

Max hurried to catch up with Liz as she made her way down the hall. She smiled up at him and their hands immediately found each other, intertwining as they made their way to class. "Hey."

"Hey." Liz bit at her lip and adjusted her bag with her free hand.

"So... I was going to call you yesterday but..." Max ducked his head. "I realized that I never asked you for your phone number."

"You didn't try to look it up in the school directory?" She teased him lightly, pulling on his arm a little.

"Okay, so I didn't want to seem like some kind of jerk for assuming it would be okay to look you up." Those intense eyes fixed on her. "Happy?"

"It's okay, really but just to make you special..." In 15 seconds, her phone number was inked on the inside of his wrist in bright blue.

So, I'm happy. I think we're officially an item. Half the school saw us at either the movies or at the pizza place so now everyone knows that we went out. I hate the rumor mill sometimes but other times it's great.


"Hi Max."

He looked up at the voice. Few people ever addressed him by his first name. The face his eyes met was not exactly a familiar one. "Um... hey."

"So... I was wondering if maybe..." She kept talking, pushing her chest into his face.

Max had to lean back to avoid contact. He was never more grateful when Isabel's friends walked past. "Pam, give it up. Didn't you hear? He's with Liz Parker." Max gathered his things and turned to Pam, as it turned out her name was. "Look, there she is I better go."

Liz looked up just as Max was within 10 feet. "Max! Hi!"

He stopped just in front of her and Maria. "Hey. Um... Mind if I...?"

"Sure." She smiled brightly and scooted onto the grass so he could sit on the concrete edge. Sitting, he pulled out his lunch and a bottle of Tabasco sauce. She watched him pour it into his bag of chips and wrinkled her nose. "K, Max?" He looked up at her. "You put that stuff all over your pizza the other night and now you've just drenched your Sunwheats..."

"I like it." He shrugged and smiled sheepishly.

"You blush like at the drop of a hat, don't you." Maria burst in.

"Ignore her." Liz stuck out her tongue and turned back to Max. "Isabel was pissed?"

"She'll get over it." He was about to lean in and kiss at least her cheek but she put a hand to his chest and leaned in to whisper in his ear.

"Don't. If you kiss me here, I won't be able to think for the rest of today."

"Then we'd be even. I haven't been able to think straight since the other night." He whispered back.

"Aw. You two are too cute."

The best part was after school. I didn't have to work and so I stuck around to wait for him after last period. Turns out he was waiting for me.

Their fingers wound together as they walked out toward his Jeep. At long last, Max turned to her and took a deep breath. "I don't know if you've been listening to all the speculation but I wanted to... make sure there wouldn't be any problem with confirming it."

"What?" Liz blinked at him.

"I mean... Everyone's been pretty much assuming that we... you and I... are together and I was wondering if... and if you don't... that's fine. You just broke up with—" He never got a chance to finish his sentence. Her lips were on his, confirming to the entire parking lot that Max Evans and Liz Parker had at least an attraction for each other. When their lips parted, he cleared his throat. "Well, I have to say that I like it when you do that."

"Do what?"

"Stop me from rambling like that." he grinned a little sheepishly. "Um... do you need a ride home?"

"Thanks, that'd be nice." Her smile lit up her face, making him smile.

So, even though he never came out and said it, I think he wants us to be together, as in exclusive and I can honestly say that I wouldn't mind. Max is so gorgeous and adorable and sweet. We're going to homecoming together. It's still a couple of weeks off but I can totally see us still in this happy place.

TBC
posted on 18-Apr-2002 1:22:14 PM by DMartinez
I'm Liz Parker and I love Max Evans. Tonight was awesome. He picked me up for the dance and he looked incredible. He did the whole meeting-the-parents thing. Poor thing, my dad hates him on principle alone. My mother loves him. The dance was great. He actually likes to dance. The best part for me happened in his Jeep. I love kissing Max. He's like a drug.

"So, not to jinx us or anything but um... we haven't been interrupted lately." Liz leaned on the seat, facing Max in the driver's seat.

"Yeah, they just backed off once I put my foot down." He shrugged and then caught the strange look on her face.

"They?"

"Isabel and Michael." He clarified.

"Yeah, I noticed he was giving me some odd looks but I think he just doesn't like me."

"Michael doesn't like anyone." He laughed. "If people thought I was gay then he'd have to be asexual. He's just... alone."

"How did the two of you get to be friends?" It was one of those things that everyone wondered. How could Max Evans and Michael Guerin be such good friends? "It's just that... no one gets it."

"I guess that's the beauty of it." He took a breath and turned slightly to stare out over the dash. "Michael and I met in the third grade. Isabel had already met him the first day of school but I... I was off doing some tests because I wouldn't talk to anyone but Mom and Dad and Iz. Then when I finally got to go to classes, I could eat lunch with everyone else. He didn't say much at first but I guess we kinda knew each other, found each other."

"How do you mean?"

"Isabel and I are adopted and Michael lives with his foster dad. We just kinda gravitated toward each other."

"So, you're really close huh."

"It's like... we're not really friends so much as family. We just created a family between the three of us. I would call Michael my brother more than my friend." Max turned his soft eyes to her. "I know him better than anyone else and trust me when I say that it's not that Michael doesn't like you... but he doesn't trust you because he doesn't know you."

"And not interested in knowing anyone he doesn't trust?" She laughed at his serious expression and then laughed harder when he started laughing too.

"Yeah. That's Michael in a nutshell." He reached over and put his hand over hers. "Are you and Maria like that?"

"Well, yeah. No one really gets Maria but she's the best friend I've ever had. We're always there for each other..."

"But..." He prompted at the way she trailed off.

"Ever feel afraid that you'll outgrow your friends? Sometimes it's like I've taken five steps ahead and realized that I left Maria about three steps back... you know?" She wrinkled up her nose, not making sense to herself. "It's like she's content to pretend we're not growing up but wants to think she's grown up."

"How do you mean?"

"Okay, like she had this boyfriend and he didn't treat her well. Instead of wising up, she just moved on. She's accepted that she's older than she was before but won't act it." Sliding forward just a bit, she looked up into his face. "I'm prepared to grow up and accept all that comes with it, the responsibility, the privileges but it's like she can't. She wants the privileges with out the responsibility. It makes me mad some days but others it just doesn't occur to me."

"Yeah, I know what you mean."

"I'm all for cutting loose but not in the damaging way she sometimes does."

"And sometimes she looks at you and you're cutting loose and she doesn't want to let you... like she's the only one who can have fun because you're the responsible one." He rambled on until he caught the look on her face. "So maybe I can relate." They sat in silence for a few moments, strains of music from the dance drifting to their ears. "So... did I tell you how beautiful you look tonight?"

"Thank you." She smiled gently and really looked at him. "You are gorgeous as always." Immediately, she was rewarded with his blush. When she leaned over to kiss his lips, she nearly fell. His hands caught her before she could hurt herself on the gearshift. "Thanks."

"Maybe bucket seats aren't the best..." He commented even as his eyes zeroed in on her lips. His lips brushed against hers playfully again and again. Slowly, they maneuvered her across the gearshift and into his lap, all the while exchanging soft kisses. The small space didn't afford any room to move but they made do, putting more fire into their kisses. His hands kept running up and down her sides and back but never wandered out of gentlemanly territory.

Some unspoken language had been knit between them that his hand wouldn't make the journey north until her hand pulled at his shirt under his arm. That when the need to breathe arose that attention drifted to the necks and shirt collars. That buttons didn't come undone until moans had to be muffled. So when he eased down the strap of her dress, she wasn't surprised. It was the hand that crept up her skirt that surprised her.

She waited to see what he would do before she pulled away. His hand simply rested on her outer thigh while he continued to suck at her neck. A glance down and she couldn't even see his hand after it disappeared underneath the thin skirt. Stiffening, Max noted where her attention lay. "I'm sorry. Just say the word and I'll stop."

"Max... I haven't been there either. We're on the same page at this point." She whispered softly, resisting the urge to readjust her dress strap.

"Ok." He nipped gently at her lips and then nodded. "I uh... my mom wants to meet you. Apparently she's glad I'm not gay either." They both chuckled. "Seriously, I'm supposed to bring you by before we go on another date."

"Oh. Ok. Sure. Whenever is good for you." She leaned in again to kiss him but he pulled back. "What?"

"I just wanted you to know that the reason I'm bringing you home is because I think you're a very special person and I want to share that with my family." Max met her eyes. "Come to dinner tomorrow night." Lifted a hand to run through a loose strand of her hair. "Please?"

"I will be there."

"I will have to apologize in advance for my mother. She will ask you a million questions and make you eat everything in sight..."

Max rambled on and on about what a pain his mother could be but I could tell he thought the world of her. Sometimes he made me feel guilty that maybe I didn't love my mother as much as he loved his. I guess everyone feels that way when you starting growing apart from your parents. I love my parents but lately we've all been a little too busy to be a family. But... Mom wants to have a talk about Max. She did the same thing when Kyle brought me home after our third date. I catch her looking at me sometimes and it's like she's seeing me for the first time. I guess the growing up thing is a little weird for everyone.

TBC

Just a short part to get the story moving.
posted on 2-May-2002 9:22:12 PM by DMartinez
I'm Liz Parker and I think my wedding is being planned for me. I went to eat at Max's and Mrs. Evans just kinda... well, she was all over the place.

Liz took a deep breath before she followed Max into his house. This was the first time that she had actually been inside his house and on top of that, she was meeting his parents. The second the door shut, Mrs. Evans appeared from the kitchen. "Hi! You must be Liz."

"Hi." Liz smiled and shot Max a wary glance. "And you must be Max's mother." They shook hands. "It's nice to meet you. Um... do you need help or anything?"

"Oh. No. I have everything. You two just sit and relax until dinner's ready." She waved off the teens and disappeared into the kitchen again.

"Ok." Liz nodded and looked to Max.

"Don't ask me. This is totally new." He raised in hands in self-defense. "But she's been like this since I told her that you were coming after all." He gestured to the couch and as they were sitting, Mr. Evans wandered into the room.

The man blinked at the sight of his son holding hands with a girl on the couch and after a beat, stepped toward them. "Hi. I'm Philip."

"Liz." Liz rose, dropping Max's hand to take his father's.

"Right." Max blushed, realizing that all etiquette had flown out the window when Liz had walked in. "Liz, my father. Dad, my girlfriend Liz."

"A girlfriend, hmm." Philip nodded and appraised the couple. "You'll do." He winked and leaned forward. "You make him look good."

Liz blushed and murmured a thank you just as Isabel emerged from her room. "Hi."

"Hi." Isabel nodded and moved on into the kitchen.

"So… it looks like I'm the last to hear about this latest development." Philip nodded to Isabel's cool greeting and looked to his son. "Care to brief me on the specs?"

"Dad." Max groaned and motioned for Liz to take a seat.

"Come on. Fill me in. Maybe this way I'll have an edge on your mother."

She had to smile at the banter and waited for Max to speak up. He looked uncomfortable and then began to fill his father in on the when, how and wheres of his budding relationship.

"All this happens and I find out today… Maybe you should go into espionage, Max." Philip chuckled and smiled up at his wife when she joined them. "Max was just explaining how much I've been left in the dark."

"Dinner's ready guys." Diane shot Liz a smile. "Come on into the kitchen."

Dinner was fine. Max's mom asked a lot of questions. Max's Dad made a lot of jokes… and kept winking at Max. Apparently that rumor that Max might be gay hadn't been totally discounted by his parents. Isabel ignored me completely. That was to be expected, but at least she wasn't as bad as I could tell she wanted to be. But Max was great as always. Strange as it may seem, he's even shy at home. I couldn't believe it. My dad and I always joke around… Max does with his parents but even then, he's still quiet.

"So you work in the Crashdown with your parents?" Philip asked as he helped himself to a second helping of potatoes.

"Yeah… um… Yes, sir." Liz managed and took a sip of her tea. "I'm saving for my college fund."

"Smart. That is a very good idea." Philip turned to each of his children in turn. "I like initiative."

"I'm going to be a model." Isabel ended the discussion on her end.

"I… I applied at the UFO Center the other day." Max spoke so quietly that everyone had to lean forward to listen to him. "It'd be minimum wage and only part-time if even that but Milton says I have a good shot at it."

"When did you do that?" Liz nudged him.

"Well, at least you've acted on your plan." Philip nodded as if he had known all along that Max was going to do it.

"I won't know until tomorrow if I got the job… Just because I'm not sure what I’m going to do… I should still be planning to do it." Max cleared his throat and pleaded for a change of subject.

"How about dessert?" Diane rose from her seat and began gathering their empty dinner plates.

I could tell there was some tension at the table but the Evans cover nicely. I wonder if it was because of Max and Isabel. I know Isabel isn't happy about Max and me but really… it's very strange. Of course there was more interrogation to come. Mrs. Evans kept hinting at college choices that held much opportunity despite various majors. I could just tell she was sending us both to Harvard and imagining grandkids. It was… very strange.

Max walked Liz to her door and suddenly sighed. She looked him over and realized that he had barely relaxed. "What's wrong?"

"I was just waiting for something to go wrong." Max admitted. "My parents are really nosy but at least they didn't pull out the photo albums."

Laughing she hugged him. He had been nervous all evening and just never let it show. "Your parents are great."

"You're only saying that because they're not yours… and Mom…" He rolled his eyes. "The whole college thing is taboo in my house. Isabel wants to be a model and I don't have a clue and my dad keeps pointing out that Harvard has a whole college devoted to law."

"It really wasn’t so bad… although I kept thinking I was going to say something to offend your mother about something or other." She leaned against him, her head on his shoulder.

"You were great. Even with the pushing of college and jobs and all that." He sighed again. "He's waiting for you."

Groaning, she tilted her head back for a goodnight kiss. "I'll see you in class tomorrow."

"Definitely." Kiss. "Liz." Kiss. "Liz." Kiss. "Your Da--" Kiss. "Liz." Kiss. "He's pulling out the shot gun."

"Fine." Kiss… "See you tomorrow."

"Bye." Max managed to pull himself away and waited until she stepped inside before turning to go. He made it two blocks to where he left his Jeep before he heard the footsteps.

"Evans…"

So, maybe I didn't want to let him go. I almost ran after him when my dad told me that Grandma was coming to town. I can't wait for her to meet him. He's just the best and I know he'll love her…

TBC
posted on 5-May-2002 2:25:39 AM by DMartinez
I'm Liz Parker and I'm worried. Something happened to Max and he won't tell me what. I didn't see him until the day was almost over. He just acted like nothing but my goodness, his face…

"Max?" Liz had just stepped into the library and had barely caught a glimpse of his face before he had turned the other way. "Oh my god… Max?" She rushed to his side and caught him before he tried to turn away again. There was a horrible gash over his left eye, which was purple and swollen. His bottom lip was split open and his right cheek bore a large red scrape. "Max… oh my god… what happened?"

"Basketball game." He shrugged and looked away, trying to tuck in his bottom lip so that it didn't look so bad.

"Is this why I haven't seen you all day?" She reached up to touch his face but he backed away. "People kept asking me if I'd seen you but… Max…"

"It's not so bad." He shrugged, still not meeting her eyes.

"Are you sure you got all this playing basketball?" She slipped her fingers through his and just stared at the scraped side of his face until she knew he wasn't going to talk about it. "So um… I was going to tell you… My grandmother is coming to town."

"Oh yeah?" came the distant reply.

"Max." She said sternly and waited until he looked at her. "She really means a lot to me so when she comes this Friday… I want you to meet her. She's like… the basis of my existence… she… is just everything that I ever want to be."

Max relaxed a little, realizing that he was being an ass. "Sure."

"And I'll have all week to tell you all about her. She is just the most amazing woman that I've ever known." Liz pulled him closer.

"She must be pretty great."

"Grandma Claudia is my best friend… we always have these really amazing talks… you'll love her." Her eyes kept wandering the injured contours of his face despite her effort not to. He just seemed really uncomfortable about it.

He said it was a basketball game but his face looked so bad… like he was used for the ball. But he agreed to meet Grandma and that makes me feel better. … and he really took to the idea of me kissing his war wounds better.

Soft kiss to his battered lip. Gentle press to his eyelid, barely a breath against his scrape. Back to his lips. "ow."

"Sorry."

"No, just stings a little." His bent in again to brush his mouth, carefully, against hers. "Feeling better already." A banging on his Jeep door broke them apart.

"Maxwell. Let's go." Michael leaned against the door. His head rolled around to look at Liz. "Take your tongue back, sweetheart. We gotta go."

"Michael. What is it?" Max rolled his head back to look at his friend without letting go of his girlfriend.

"What do you think it is? The princess beckons and we are but her lowly slaves."

"Tell her to bite me." Max groaned and buried his face in Liz's hair. After a moment, he sat up slightly and turned back to Michael. "I can't anyway. Milton said he'd have an answer for me in about half an hour…"

"You're the one that lives with her." Michael shrugged and ran a hand through his spiky hair. "I don't want to be there when she finds out you blew her off."

"Then don't be there."

"You know… you're the one who always said we needed to stick together."

"She's just being difficult. I'm not always going to be there."

Michael stared Max down for a full minute. "Thanks for the memo. Nice to know we can't count on you."

Max stared after his retreating friend and banged his head against the back of his seat, barely wincing at the bruise on the back of his head. Took some comfort in Liz's head on his shoulder. "What was that about?"

"Michael and Isabel. It's nothing, really."

Sometimes I think there's something that Max isn't telling me. He blows off Isabel and Michael but I can tell that it bothers him… but he got the job at the Center. And that's weird too. I'm glad he got the job and he says he is too but… he makes jokes about it. Max… the only time he jokes constantly about something is when he's uncomfortable about it… either that or he just omits it altogether.

"Yeah, nothing like stuffing the plastic guts into a fake alien to complete my day." Max snorted into the phone.

"How much is he paying you?"

"Minimum… just barely. It's trial pay… after six weeks I get a quarter raise. Guess he wants to make sure I'm not abducted before he decides that he wants to keep me." Shifting slightly, he took the pressure off his side, which was still healing from the bruising he had taken. "The hours are just trial, too. 5 'til 10 every night. So… leaves little socializing time."

"Like we had that much to begin with, Max." Liz smiled on her end of the phone. "Dad schedules me wherever he sees fit and I think you've noticed that more and more of that time has been right after school."

"Yeah… he really hates me, huh."

"He doesn't hate you. He… just doesn't want you to date me. He was the same way with Kyle, too. It's not a big deal."

"Not to you. You're not the one that he looks at like he's going to pull out a gun at any moment."

"Speaking of… try not to come by when he's around until your face heals more."

"Yeah…" Max sighed and shifted the cold compress on his face. His mother insisted he keep it on until it was time for bed but it was cold. Michael was right. He could just heal it but that would be suspicious. All they needed was to draw attention to themselves. "Nothing like walking hamburger to make you lose your appetite."

"Max." She chided. "You're healing really well. Next time you and Michael decide to play basketball, please remember to stay on your feet."

"I'll remember that the next time he trips me." He drolled. He hated lying to her but he knew he couldn't tell her that he'd been jumped after he walked her home two nights before. He looked up with his uncovered eye when the door opened. His mother noted the phone against his ear and cleared her throat. That paired with the mom look she shot him and he immediately felt guilty. He had told her he was too tired to watch TV with the family. "I'm beat. I'll see you tomorrow."

"Your mom just walked in… didn't she." Liz smiled into the phone when he cleared his throat in the affirmative. "Alright. Night, Max."

"Night, Liz." Max couldn't help but smile before he hung up. He shrugged helplessly at his mother when she wouldn't stop looking at him. "Sorry."

"Things with Liz going well?"

Nodded, hoping she would be satisfied and leave. He readjusted the pack on his face. And she waited for him to elaborate. "I've already met her parents but she wants me to meet her grandma when she comes in this weekend. Apparently it's a bigger deal than meeting her father."

"I see." Diane kept her sparkling blue eyes trained on him and sighed. "You're growing up, Max. Isabel… there was no fighting that but you… I could pretend for so long that you were still a little boy."

"Ma…" Max whined.

"Alright, alright." She reached over and took the pack from his face. "Goodnight."

"Night." Max waved as she shut his door.

"Night." Michael mimicked from the window. He hopped in and pointed to the floor.

"Whatever." Max shrugged and tossed him a pillow. "How long were you out there?"

"I'm surprised you don't blow kisses over the line." Michael mumbled as he laid out the sleeping bag and made himself comfortable on the floor. "Can't believe she thinks I roughed you up playing basketball."

"Continuity." Max mumbled. "Can't change my story now."

"She's an idiot."

"Hey." Max furrowed his brow at his friend, rolling over to look at him.

"She is." Michael lifted a hand and started pointing. "Your story never held water. She's an idiot if she hasn't heard people talking. Kyle and his buddies are bragging about it. Everyone at school knows it was them. I still say we get them back."

"We're not doing anything to them."

"Is she worth it? Isabel's not talking to you, the football team is using you for a tackling dummy and I'm this close from walking, too." He waited and knew he didn't want the answer to that.

"Yeah, she is." Max nodded and laid back, assuming the conversation was over. Of course, he had to know. "Why haven't you walked?"

"You and I are close. We're the same. When the time comes… I'm not going to be going to Isabel to find out how sex works with us."

"Michael, we're not."

"Right… it'll happen. You guys are a couple of horndogs."

"Michael… go to sleep."

Max is doing the private joke thing again. Today I asked him if he wanted part of my corndog at lunch and he nearly spit out his coke. It was very odd. But that's not the best part. When he came in to get something to eat before work, we got a little carried away but… Grandma Claudia arrived!

Max followed Liz into the break room, glancing around for her father. He had been sitting at the counter the last time he saw him but for all he knew, Mr. Parker was Spiderman and could crawl on the ceilings. Avoiding the man while he had all these cuts and bruises was proving to be very difficult.

She slipped her hand into his and pulled him beside the lockers so no one in the kitchen could see them. "I like the uniform."

"It's just an orange vest." He blushed a little. Her small body was pressed up against him. There were a million other things he'd rather be talking about… or not talking about. "I got Saturday night off."

"Good." A dazzling smile and then tiptoeing to press a kiss to his lips.

He cleared his throat. "Isn't it a little busy out there?"

"The teeth people can wait… I'm going to miss you tonight." Her lips met his again. Their arms wrapped around each other, lost for the moment. Her hand quickly tugging at his shirt under his arm, mouths traveling away to the next available patch of flesh and then hands began to wander. By the time the swinging door slammed, Liz's uniform was halfway open and Max's shirt was wrinkled.

Leaping apart, they quickly righted their clothes and just in time. Mr. Parker nodded to every word his mother said as she followed upstairs. "And where is my Honeybear?"

"Grandma?" Liz ran a hand over her hair and practically pushed Max out of the way. "Grandma! I thought you weren't coming until Friday." The two Parker women hugged tightly.

"I was finished with the museum tour earlier than I thought and I just had to come right away and look at you!" Claudia exclaimed. "You are not a little girl anymore. Last year you were still a little girl and now… now you're practically a woman."

"You can say that again." Jeff shook his head and ascended the stairs with the bags, pointedly ignoring Max's presence.

"Did you finish the book?" Liz's eyes lit up with excitement and Max had to smile. "The one at the Res?"

"Book, schmook. I'm here to gossip. You are going to tell me about all the boys who have fallen head over heels in love with you." Claudia squeezed Liz again and nodded to Nancy as she made her way through.

"Good luck, Claud." Nancy sighed. "She doesn't talk about Max to anyone." She barely noticed the red-faced teen standing barely ten feet away.

"A-ha! Max. Tell me all about him."

"Grandma… Omigod, Max!" Liz turned and found him staring at his feet nervously. "I'm so sorry. Grandma, this is Max Evans, my boyfriend. Max, this is my grandmother, Claudia Parker."

"Pleasure to meet you." Max stepped forward and shook her hand politely. "Liz has been talking about you for days. It's nice to finally meet you."

"Oooh. Polite, handsome… I think you'll do." Claudia smiled and nudged her granddaughter.

Max stared down at his feet at the compliment. "I uh… wish I could stay but I think I'm going to be late."

"Oh, I’m sorry, Max." Liz stepped over to kiss his cheek. "I'll talk to you tonight?"

"Yeah, sure. Bye and nice meeting you." Max ducked out of the break room but not before he heard the older woman speak again.

"Sweet and shy… I like… but sweetie… what happened to his face?"

We are going to have such a blast this week.

TBC
posted on 9-May-2002 4:56:48 PM by DMartinez
I'm Liz Parker and my heart is aching. So much has happened and I haven't written in at least a week. I can't even write it and somehow… I know if I ever read this again… I'll know exactly what I didn't write.

"Some kid pulled these out." Max shoved the pale green guts back into the bright green alien cadaver. It was a little sickening but it was work. He knew she was there before she opened her mouth.

"Great job you've found, Max. Real dignified." Isabel wrinkled her nose at the sight of the cadaver.

"Gotta feed the monkey." He ducked his head slightly.

"Seventeen people told me about your face yesterday. Twenty-three people mentioned it today." She waited until finally he lifted his face. "Oh my god. Is this why you were avoiding me? What happened?"

"Michael and--"

"Stop right there. He told me what you're telling people. I want to know what happened."

"Some guys roughed me up." He shrugged as if it didn't matter.

"Looks pretty raw. Just… get rid of them."

"You know I can't. It has to be normal and like you said… it's been two days, if they go away before they're supposed to, people will notice." Max locked eyes with her and she backed down.

"Which guys?"

"Kyle's friends."

That was all she needed to hear. She scoffed and looked up to the ceiling. "You have to break it off with her. She's getting you beat up and I will not have it." Her eyes drifted down to his. "Kyle's got real stalker potential and his dad is the Sheriff. Do I have to remind you how that man terrifies me?"

"I'm being careful. Nothing's going to happen."

"Evans!" Milton's voice found them before the man did. "Evans, your mom just called, something about your girlfriend and the hospital."

It hurts so bad. I vaguely remember calling Max and getting his machine. He was there though and I was so grateful. I never asked how he knew where I was.

Isabel stood back when Max rushed into the waiting room and made a beeline for Liz. She looked awful. Her eyes were red and her makeup running and she could barely complete a coherent thought. "… stroke but that's all they say. Not if it was severe or mild. They won't even tell us if she'll pull through."

"Sh. Sh. It'll be okay." Max sat with her in his lap. "Iz, can you call Mom?"

"Sure." She turned and exited to used her cell phone.

Max stroke Liz's back and kissed her hair. "Where are your parents?"

"Dad's in the room with her… Mom's in admitting filling out papers… Maria's taking care of the Crash… Max, I can't believe this is happening. She was fine. We were having a good time. We were gossiping and laughing and then she…" Liz buried her face in his neck.

"Hey, it's okay. She'll be fine."

And I really wanted to believe him. He stayed until my parents came back. He spent his free hour with me in the lounge at school. Being around him just made me feel better.

With her head in his lap, he stroked her hair. "You're going to be okay when I go to class?"

"Yeah." She nodded. "Maria's coming in a little bit."

"Okay." It broke his heart to see her so sad and withdrawn.

Sitting up, she stared into his face. "Thank you." She leaned in and pressed a kiss to his lips.

"Ok, kiddies, break it up, break it up." Maria's voice pulled them apart. "Max, you have class."

"Bye." Max grabbed his bag and bent to kiss Liz's forehead. He winced when his still tender lip brushed her skin and waved them goodbye.

"Look at him. He's so sweet. I can't believe anyone would want to hurt him." Maria sighed and flopped down next to Liz.

"I honestly don't think he has enemies."

"I wish that were true."

"What are you talking about?" Liz rolled her head around to look at her friend.

"Don't tell me that you haven't heard. You cannot tell me that Max didn't tell you what happened to his face." Maria's green eyes rolled back in her head at Liz's expression.

"He did. He was playing basketball."

"No he wasn't." She paused to take a breath. "Okay. I heard Maggie telling Jenny, she heard it from Heather, who's dating one of Paulie's friends. Paulie was involved. They beat Max up and he didn't even fight back. He just took it."

"No… why would Max lie to me?"

"Think about it. Mr. Sweetness himself gets his ass kicked. First off, there's the male ego. Second, he was probably thinking that it would make you angry. He might resent having his ass kicked but I'll bet he wouldn't want to get anyone in trouble over it." Maria watched Liz's face. "I heard they did it because Kyle's still upset over the breakup."

"Oh my god, it's been like a month and a half."

Maria was right though. It made me angry. Angry that Kyle felt he had any right to have his friends beat up my boyfriend… Angry that Max didn't feel he could tell me what had really happened… Angry that my Grandmother was in a coma… Just angry and I couldn't take it anymore.

Kyle looked up in time to catch a fist in the face. After the shock wore off, he found himself on the ground at Liz Parker's feet. "What the hell, Liz?"

"You tell your friends not to touch Max ever again. I can't believe I ever dated someone who would do something like this. What did Max ever do to you?"

"What are you talking about?" He rubbed his sore nose and cheek.

"Don't even, Kyle. I don't ever want to talk to you again. You have no right to just go around beating up innocent people." Liz suddenly felt sick. "Don't touch him again. He might be too much of a man to get revenge but it won't stop me."

It felt good at the time but I just felt so awful for doing that. I didn't say anything to Max when I saw him again. He's so quiet. Doesn't complain, tries not to bother me… It's sweet but it's also maddening. It's like he tries to be invisible.

"Are you going to be okay?" Max whispered, tucking her hair behind her ears.

"Yeah. I think so. I'll probably head over to the hospital later. Give my parents a break." She leaned in her doorway. "Thanks, Max…"

"For what?"

"Being you."

"I'll talk to you later?"

"Yeah."

As open as he is with me, I still feel like he's holding something back. I was beyond caring this week. He took me home the night Grandma Claudia died. He stayed until my parents came home. He's there for me, has been there for me. I guess that's what matters right now…

TBC
posted on 19-May-2002 3:49:35 AM by DMartinez
I'm Liz Parker and I should be happy. Right? I'm dating the sweetest guy on the planet and everyone knows it.

"Is this okay?" Max rasped as he pulled Liz against him, his hand underneath her shirt as he sought the elusive clasp of her bra.

"Yeah… but… Max?" She sucked on his earlobe for a second. "The clasp is in the front."

Shifting slightly, Max moved his hand to the hem of her blouse. "Can I see you?"

"See me?" Pulled away just far enough to look into his face.

"Can I… unbutton your shirt?" At her slow nod, he opened her blouse one button at a time. Brushing her shift aside, his eyes wandered over her exposed skin, taking in the heave of her breasts beneath her bra. Looking up into her face, he bent to taste the skin just below her breasts.

Her eyes closed as she soaked in the warmth of his hand against the bare skin of her stomach, the gentle press of his lips on her sensitive skin as they traveled up to her lips. His hot but sweet breath invading her mouth as the heat of his hand trekked up to the clasp of her bra. Soft brush of his fingers coupled with his tender kisses made her face flush.

"Good move, Maxwell but I'm thinking thumb to the left will get you where she's wanting." At the intrusion, the couple jerked apart. Liz clutched at her shirt to close it. Michael was looking like a pretty good target for pyrokinetics if there ever was one.

"Michael, what do you want?" Max sat up, blocking his friend's view of his nearly half naked girlfriend.

"To talk about something important. So if sugarlips could put her clothes back on and leave, we can do that." Michael made himself comfortable on the windowsill and waited.

"Can you give us a minute?" Max ran a hand through his disheveled hair.

"No, because a minute turns into several minutes and then an hour and I need to talk to you before Isabel does."

"What did you do?"

"I'll tell you when she leaves." Michael pointed to Liz, who was squirming uncomfortably while the two continued to talk.

"Max?" She whispered.

"Liz…" He turned to look at her. "I have to see what this is about. I'll call you later… promise." Pressed a kiss to her lips. "Sorry."

"Bye." Liz managed a small smile and slid off the bed. Just as she was reaching for the doorknob, the door swung in. Isabel. The two girls stared at each other for a moment. "I was just leaving."

"Bathroom's around the corner." Isabel shot out and slammed the door behind Liz. "Do you know what he did last night?"

"Shut up, alright." Michael shot back at her, climbing into the room fully.

"Hold on." Max stood up and fixed his shirt. "Michael, tell me what you needed so badly to tell me."

"I got a hold of this key—"

"Tell him how you got the key." Isabel barked. When Michael didn't say anything, she charged forward. "He broke into Valenti's office. He went digging through his files to find that… key. He says it gave him a vision."

Max turned to Michael, who shrugged. "I did and it did. We have to investigate."

"Where's the key?" Max had the object in question in hand before the last word was out of his mouth. "It's just a key."

"I saw something when I touched it, Max."

"What did you see?"

"Don't tell me you're buying into this, Max." Isabel huffed and threw herself on the bed.

"I just want to know." Max covered quickly and looked to his friend.

"A dome."

"A dome."

"Yes. A dome. Big, lots of shapes with a door."

It was weird. One minute he's getting to second base and the next, I'm fixing my clothes in the bathroom while I can hear some kind of argument going on. I couldn't make out words or anything but it was weird. Max didn't even see me to the door, or make Michael get out when I obviously didn't have much covering me… He didn't even call like he promised.

"Maxwell." Michael banged on the side of the Jeep, only to get an armful of books that weren't his. Bored, he dropped all but one book and flipped through it. "Maxwell." Kicked the baseboard.

His reward was Max's head outside the door. "Michael, you're seriously killing the mood. I have twenty minutes before I have to be in class. Wait for me in the lounge." The door slammed, nearly missing his jacket.

The book slipped from his grasp leaving only the book jacket in his hand. The dome. Quickly his eyes ran over every surface of the jacket. Almost banged on the Jeep door again but heard soft gasps and moans. "Screw that. I need a map."

Michael is like… everywhere I turn and Max has stopped fighting him. I don't expect him to get rid of his friends because they creep me out but Michael has been crossing some lines lately. I'm just not comfortable with the way he just pops up and makes his presence known when Max and I are making out. He can be so rude sometimes.

"Maxwell. I found it." Michael flicked his gaze to Liz and glared. "Go away."

"Michael. Cut it out." Max warned and went back to his lunch.

"You aren't even going to ask what I found?" Michael eyed Liz again and waited for Max to acknowledge him. "Going to have to tell her to leave so we can talk." Got madder the longer Max sat silent. "This is the basis of our existence."

"Max… I'm just going to go. I'll talk to you later?" Liz grabbed her tray and made to leave.

"Later." Max managed a small smile and turned his attention to Michael the second she walked away. "What is it?"

"I found the dome. It's in Texas."

Max is just shutting down to me. I tried calling him but all I got was his machine. I hate to think it but really… beyond our make out sessions whenever we get the chance… we haven't done much. We haven't talked really, done anything together. Somehow I've managed to lose the interest of the sweetest guy on the planet.

TBC
posted on 22-May-2002 10:11:35 PM by DMartinez
I'm Liz Parker and I did it. I broke it off… but funny thing is… I don't feel much better.

Maria hounded Liz all the way to their lockers. "Are you insane? How can you break up with him?"

"Maria, you don't even know." Liz sighed, her voice full of tears. "And can you keep it down? I want to break up with him before he hears it from someone who heard you screeching down the hallway."

"What I don't understand is why in the world you would want to… do… something like that. Hi Max." Maria shot an uneasy smile over Liz's shoulder. "How's it going?"

"Hey Maria." Small smile for the friend, brighter one for his girlfriend. "Hey."

"Hi." Liz nodded and turned to face him. "Max."

His hand sought hers to intertwine their fingers, head bent to kiss her. She turned so that he caught her cheek. "Hey, what's wrong?"

"Umm… We need to find a place to… talk." Her eyes stayed on the book in his other hand as she spoke.

"The Eraser Room was free when I passed by." Started to pull her along but she resisted. "Hey, what is it?"

"Some other place, Max. We really, really need to talk."

Somewhere, sometime, Max's eyes just stopped lighting up when he saw me. He started taking me for granted. It's different to do something when you want to then when it's expected of you. Kissing Max at anytime is amazing but it still doesn't feel the way it used to. I really can't say if it's me or if it's him but it doesn't feel right anymore. Just like us sitting together and not talking doesn't feel right. I had to tell him what it was like to be his girlfriend and that I couldn't be his anymore.

"So what are you saying? You want me to be better? I can try to be better." Max rambled on, his mind hadn't quite wrapped itself around her words.

"I don't know if you can. You were better to begin with. Like Michael."

"What about him?"

"When we first started dating, he was a pain in the ass and you would defend me, or tell him off." Liz sat on the park bench and stared at her hands. "Now, you let him treat me like I… like I'm beneath him."

"You want to break up because Michael's mean to you?"

"No…" She sighed heavily. "This is the first time we've talked in like two weeks without being attached at the mouth. It's not good, Max." Had to blink to keep the tears out of her voice. "You can be so sweet and wonderful but then you can make me feel like I'm not enough… like I don't do enough for you but I can't do anymore, Max. I can't."

We talked for a long time but we didn't get anywhere. It was like it sunk in what I was doing, he shut down and just accepted it. He didn't put up a fight for very long. I guess it hurts a little that he was so willing to see it my way.

"So, you broke up with him?" Maria sighed. "That's so weird. I thought he was like… perfect."

"Me, too." Liz poked at her ice cream and took a breath. "And the fact that he wasn't totally not expecting something like that is angering and kinda hurts, actually. It's like he wasn't even paying attention for the past couple of weeks."

"So, what? It's completely over?"

"I think so. Maybe… I don't know. I can't be thinking about getting back together with him six seconds after I broke up with him, Maria." Liz flicked her spoon at her friend.

"Was it really so bad just making out with the hottest guy this side of the sun?" The blonde just had to ask.

"Well, no but… that's all it's been and it's not good for a relationship to only have that." She had to give up. "I don't want to talk about it anymore."

"Fine." Maria huffed. "Don't share making out stories or kissing stories or making out in jeep stories…" Lay back with her bowl of ice cream. "Eraser room stories… there was an eraser room story, wasn't there?"

"Yes."

She gasped. "Omigod. How much activity was there? You weren't… taken by the eraser room, were you?"

"Taken?" Liz shook her head in confusion.

"Taken. As in… taken the best of us." Maria sat up and then crawled to kneel on the bed. "As in… he took her. She was taken in the eraser room."

"Muh-Ri-Uh!" Liz exclaimed. "No!"

Trust Maria to take my mind off the immediate stress and move it into other territory, be it not totally unrelated. I keep thinking about what she assumed about Max and I and the eraser room. I know my mother has given me those talks about 'what boys really want' and all that but… surely… Max isn't one of those boys. Not that it matters much now but I'm wondering… would it have made a difference?

TBC
posted on 3-Jun-2002 7:58:48 PM by DMartinez
I'm Liz Parker and life is a little strange. One day I'm single and depressed and the next I'm single still yet seriously considering a guy who was so completely horrible to me when I was dating his best friend.

"You are so in a funk." Maria griped as they moved down the hall. "You have been so completely miserable for months. You didn't even enjoy Christmas, which… yeah, I don't know what that's about." She stopped walking to face her friend. "You went on seven dates and were so bummed, they all brought you home early."

"I know… it's just… they wanted to do things and after Max… I'm afraid to." Liz sighed and leaned on a wall. "He's in my bio class and it's weird enough that I go out with those guys but if any thing had happened with any of them… I wouldn't even be able to go to class."

"Max is such a loser if he couldn't appreciate you. What happened with Pauley?"

"Kyle."

"'Nough said." Maria made a face and then another. "Ew."

"What?"

"Michael Guerin, two o'clock. Looking this way." She gripped her friend and hurried down the hall and away from the punk. "He seriously creeps me out."

"I am still really embarrassed around him. I mean… he saw me like about half naked." Liz shuddered.

"Ugh." Maria scoffed. "I'm going to class."

"Catch you later." Liz continued on to the lounge. She sat and watched, discreetly, as Max and Michael had an argument.

Max shot a look to where Liz sat on the lounge couch and stepped closer to his friend. "Keep her out of this. Don't go poking around."

"She could have the answers."

"Leave her alone. You've done enough damage." Max looked only once more toward Liz and then he was off to class.

Michael stayed put only until Max turned the corner and then he made directly for Liz. He took a seat without her permission, nearly invading her personal space. "Hey."

"Um, hey." She nodded and opened a book. He just sat there, staring at her until she had enough. "What?"

"Look. I don't want to be here but I'm desperate and I'm told you can help." He made it just vague enough to keep her from asking him to leave and just pleading enough that she couldn't ignore him.

"Huh?"

"Max says you got all these books about Native American artifacts from the tribes around here."

"Yeah. My grandmother was an expert. She wrote a lot of books." Liz put down her book and turned to him slightly. He was just close enough to make her uncomfortable but she wasn't going to let him get away with that anymore. If she had learned anything from Max, it was never to let Michael know he got to you. "What do you need to know?"

"I need some answers."

"Answers to what?" Liz cleared her throat, intrigued.

"I got something. It's a necklace or something that belonged to someone who might have been one of my parents." He played the orphan card for all it was worth. He knew Max had said too much to Liz for her not to want to help. "If it's some kind of artifact, I want to know." He leaned in just a bit closer to work the intimidation angle. His knee touched her leg and he could smell her hair. "It's important."

"Can I see it?" Her voice was so small that he knew it worked.

"I don't have it on me. If I show it to you… you can't tell anyone that you saw it or that I had it."

"Okay." She nodded, afraid to look away but knowing he could read how uncomfortable he made her in her eyes.

It was the weirdest conversation I've ever had with a person. He wanted answers and the only reason I agreed was because of what Max had told me about Michael not knowing who his parents were. It's something they shared as part of their bond. Michael was so close to me that I couldn't help but look at him. He was so passionate that I could overlook how rude he was being. I've never seen him look like that. Ever.

"How can you help?" Michael demanded the second she emerged from the back of the Crashdown to start her shift.

"I have some books but I’m working now." Liz shrugged him off and went to her first table.

He waited until she took their order and followed her to the walk-up window. "I have it with me and I can't have it out for long." He insisted none too politely and followed her to her next table.

"Well… leave it. I'll have a look after my shift, when I can." She kept moving and he kept following her; table to table, order to order.

"Did you hear me at all? I can't leave it. I'm not even supposed to have it."

She had had about enough at that point. "Then take a picture or trace it. I don't have time right this second, Michael." She pushed past him to retrieve an order. He was still standing there when she returned for another order. "What?"

"Give me the books. I'll look myself." Michael squeezed between two tables to follow her to the register.

"Michael!" She stomped her foot, nearly missing his. She took a breath and tossed him a fake smile. "Michael. Stop. I'm working." After she cashed out her first costumers, grumbled about the lack of tip, she turned to him again. "Look, they are first edition, signed and personalized by my grandmother. I hold them very dear and I don't lend them out. Her name is Claudia Parker, go to the city library. Look her up."

"Fine." Michael backed off but didn’t leave. He didn't bother her for another twenty minutes. Her hands were full of plates so he slipped a piece of paper into her apron, just as Max walked into the Café for his evening break. Michael leaned in close. "Get back to me. Soon." Liz nodded dumbly and noted the absolute anger in Max's face when he saw them talking to each other. "Don't tell anyone about this… Anyone." He warned before he stepped back.

"Ok." She turned and nodded to him. She served her tables and managed to get Maria to cover Max's table.

I have never seen Max look like that. He was mad. Was it because Michael's hand was in my pocket? Or was it because we were talking? I have never known Max to be jealous but… did he know something that I didn't?

When she had her break, she pulled out the paper. It had a drawing and Michael's address, complete with directions, and a time to meet him the next night. She had just slipped the paper back into her pocket when she felt a hand on her shoulder. "Oh. Max. Hey."

"Hey." He awkwardly moved his hand and shoved it into his pocket. "Um, I, uh, saw you talking to Michael earlier. He, uh, wasn't bothering you, was he?"

"No." She answered too quickly but took a breath. "We were just talking." She shook her head and followed him to the register to take his payment. He pocketed his change and stayed put. "What?"

"What was on that paper he gave you?"

"Um… nothing really." Liz answered softly. "Just his address. We're supposed to meet up tomorrow."

"To do what?" A strange spark entered his eye.

"To talk, I guess. We didn't really discuss it." She shook her head and watched him walk away dejectedly.

Pieces started coming together. The look on Max's face when he left, like he'd been punched. So maybe I did lie but Max knows Michael better than I do. Was there a reason for him to be jealous? I saw that fight at school and they looked at me. Was it over me? Max was clearly upset and knew there was something else to do with Michael and I talking. Was it because Michael didn't tell Max about the necklace? Or was it because Max knows something else about why Michael came to me? Is there really something for Max to be jealous about if I go see Michael?

TBC
posted on 18-Jun-2002 6:22:05 PM by DMartinez
I'm Liz Parker and the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that Michael has an ulterior motive for all this. He is cute and he does have the bad boy thing going for him. The more I think about it, the more I think he was always ragging on me because maybe he likes me. I looked through all of Grandma Claudia's books and nothing resembling that drawing was in any of them. Now, I'm thinking it was an excuse.

Liz explained to Michael everything she found and didn't find and he seemed dejected. "But, um, I went ahead and took down the names of the people she interviewed from the nearby tribes. They aren't really known for sharing all the information. If one of your parents was from the Res, they'll be more open to talking to you."

Michael took the piece of paper and then kicked a rock. "You sure?"

"Yeah." She nodded. "If it is Native American… it hasn't been catalogued… yet."

"Right." Michael nodded and rubbed at his eyebrow.

I'm Liz Parker and I am monumentally stupid. I don't know where I got the courage from but I decided to confront Michael last night when I went to his place.


"You know…" Liz closed the distance between them. Michael wasn’t even really playing attention. "You didn't have to make something up to get me to talk to you. You could have just tried talking to me."

"What?" The confusion in his eyes stunned her. "What are you talking about?"

"Why didn't you just go to the library? They carry all her books. Why did you have to ask me to do it for you?" Bit her lip and dared to look up at him, to put her hand on his arm, leaned in just a little with her face turned up.

"Because I'm lazy." He stepped away and backed toward his trailer. "I'm not into my best friend's leftovers."

I don't know what possessed me to do that. I'm so stupid. I couldn’t even look at Max today at school. I'm sure Michael told him everything. I am such an idiot. Why I even thought he might like me…

"You did what?" Maria burst out laughing and fell back on the grass.

"See, I knew that I shouldn't have told you." Liz gathered her lunch and made for the library. She was halfway there by the time that Maria caught up with her.

"Wait, Liz, wait." The blond took a moment to catch her breath. "You're telling me that you tried to put the moves on Mr. Scuzzbucket himself? I thought you hated Michael?"

"My life is over." Liz grumbled and leaned on a locker.

"It's not over. It was just a lapse in judgment. You'll recover. You're just going through a slump." Her eyes ran over the brunette's slouched body. "What's the deal?"

"That I actually wanted to kiss him." Then she started laughing. "I mean… admit it. Haven't you thought about it?"

"Maybe… onee… maybe twice." Maria muttered. "Oh! Who hasn't?"

"Thanks." The brunette gave her friend a weak smile. "He is a jerk though."

"Absolutely."

"He's got that bad boy thing going for him but he's a jerk and I couldn't ever bring him home like I could Max."

"Oh babe!" Maria exclaimed and threw her arms up. "You're not still pissed about Max are you?"

"Shouldn't I be? He's the best specimen that Roswell High has to offer. He's sweet and kind… and somewhat oblivious but compared to the other options…" Liz gestured to a group of guys slammed each other into lockers.

"But you said yourself that it wasn't good. Don't be clinging to him because you want someone… and please stop hitting on losers because you like kissing." She snickered and patted her hair down. "So, what we're going to do is go shopping for the rest of the day and hope there are some hotties to drool over and if there aren't… we'll take in a movie and drool over impossibilities."

"You're so good to me." Liz picked herself up and straightened her back. "If we get caught… I'll tell them you kidnapped me."

"Yeah, yeah." Maria pulled out a bus pass.

"Maria." Liz whined. "I thought you had your mom's car."

"Yeah, right. She's going to give me her precious Jetta after the poodle incident."

"The poodle is fine. It's the owner that needs the therapy."

"Even so. We are bus bound." Maria dragged her out the front of the school and ran straight into the two boys that Liz had been avoiding all day. She merely glared at them and kept moving. "Out of my way." Liz's pained eyes jumped to her shoes and stayed there until she was certain that she was far away.

"What was that all about?" Max stepped to his friend.

"Nothing." Michael shrugged and started walking.

"No. She was upset about something. What happened at this meeting the two of you had?" Max followed, his suspicions rising with every step.

"What meeting?"

"Liz told me that she was going to go see you last night. What happened? Were you grilling her about the pendant?"

"No. Not grilling." He paused for a second.

"But you did. You had her go out there so you could find out what she knew about the pendant."

"So what. At least I'm getting answers." Michael snapped at his friend. "I have names of people that we can talk to. Friends Atherton made on the Res probably. They talked to her grandmother and there are facts in books. We should go check it out."

"No. And leave Liz alone. She doesn't know anything about us and I'd like to keep that way."

"Oh you know you wanted to tell her every day that you were feeling her up—" Michael's speech was stopped with a finger to his chest.

"Don't talk about her that way."

"Please. She's not all innocent. She came on to me last night." Michael regretted the words the second they were out of his mouth.

"She what?" Max's heart sank. "No. She wouldn't have. She can't stand you."

"And yet."

"And yet what?"

"She tried to kiss me." Michael stepped backward. "Stop pining over her. She's not anymore loyal than any of the rest of these humans… but she is smart. Play nice. We may need her later."

So it's not very feminist of me to admit that Maria and an afternoon of shopping, guy-shopping, and a movie without plot were good for me. I still think I'm stupid for trying to come on to Michael but I tried. I shouldn't be afraid to do that. To try. If I had given even one guy a chance over the past few months. I could be happy. Trying is the next great plan.

TBC
posted on 10-Jul-2002 9:56:30 PM by DMartinez
I'm Liz Parker and I went on a blind date. It's insane but Maria decided that what I needed was a fresh face.

"So, yeah. I am going to kick some ass at this audition." Alex bragged as he plucked his guitar strings in time with the radio.

"But how are you guys plugged in?" Liz raised her eyebrow as she swept up a mound of sugar from the floor.

"Oh ho. Just you wait. Just you wait." Alex shook a finger at her. "Little ladies, you'll see, my band is going to open up at the blind date concert this Friday."

Liz nodded in concession. "But, you know, you need a better name."

"What's wrong with the Whits?" Alex scoffed.

"Just an 's' away from what you really are." Maria smiled sweetly.

The announcer from the radio caught their attention. Maria eagerly awaited the announcement of the blind date winner. "Goin' north on downtown main street, headed with my entourage... Toward the winner of the KROZ blind dream date. An evening of fantasy and romance for one lucky listener that ends in the most exciting concert of the year. An intimate club date with a surprise mystery band that'll put this town on the map for more than just the crash."

Liz scoffed suddenly and rolled her eyes. "This is so stupid. Who would want to go out with anyone some stranger at a radio station picked out for you?"

Maria gestured to herself. "Hey. I for one thought it was romantic."

"Right." Alex and Liz nodded their heads.

A commotion outside the store caught their attention and then the whole lot of them burst into the Crashdown. "Right here at one of our finer local establishments, the Crashdown Cafe! Looking for our new Queen of Hearts, Miss Liz Parker." They swept around her before she could say a word. They had put a tiara on her head and handed her a bouquet of roses. The DJ turned on the crowd while he addressed her. "Congratulations, Liz Parker, your life is about to change because we're gonna find you that dream man you've been searching for. Hey, what's running through your mind right now, Liz?"

"Um, well… nothing I can say on live air." Liz winced and shot a look at Maria. This had her friend's name written all over it… especially with that look of innocence she was sporting.

Of course, she could have asked me first. A radio station isn't exactly who I would go to if I wanted a date. The way it was explained to me, I would have to go on the air and say what I look for in a guy and then guys would go interview with one of the personalities to be in the running and then the radio station would pick the guy. I only had to hope that it wouldn't be a disaster… and that all depends on how you look at it.

School was the hard part. It was enough that I was the evil bitch who broke Max Evans's heart but then I got the blind date gig and most girls weren't so forgiving and the ones who were… were probably trying to make sure I wasn't tempting enough for their boyfriends to sign up. I hate high school sometimes.


Max watched Liz greet girls who were congratulating her on getting the blind date contest and wanted to vomit. Maybe Michael was right. Maybe Liz wasn't the girl for him. He stiffened when an am came around his shoulder. "Evans, Evans. I know your pain, man. I feel what you're feeling."

"I'm fine, Kyle. No pain." Max tried to shrug him off but the jock stayed to torment him some more.
"I was in denial in the beginning, too. I mean. One minute we're fine and then the next, she's making goo-goo eyes at you. It hurts, man. It really does, I won't deny that. I guess all break-ups do." Kyle watched him for a moment and when he didn't say anything. "I know it's been awhile man but it still stings don't it. The whole can't commit thing."

"She can commit…"

"Whoa, she did a number on you. The girl can't commit. It's a pattern with her. Get the guy, win his heart, wipe out all hope of a normal relationship with anyone else and then squish, our puny hearts are mush as she's moving on to the next unlucky number." Kyle snagged a chip from Max's bag. "It's okay to admit it. Liz Parker is a man-eater. I seriously pity the poor soul that radio station fixes her up with, because… she's gonna fall in love, then he will, then the game begins again."

Max sat and chewed his chips in silence. Kyle had a point… kinda. Was he right? The longer he watched her, the more he wanted back with her… but he couldn't. He promised Michael that he'd stop mooning over her and move on with his life. It wouldn't stop him from listening to the radio when she described her dreamman or even grabbing a burger at the Crashdown just to see her… He was a goner.

I hate microphones. I always sound like a little girl and then everyone was staring at me. I almost backed out when I saw Max sitting there with his fries. He looked so sad and then nothing. I didn't see another look on his face all afternoon. It makes me wonder about that sad look. It's over. He agreed. It's been long done with and I'm moving on but he's just… has that look about him.

Anyway. I answer the DJ's stupid questions and everything but it felt kinda wrong to be making plans with my ex-boyfriend sitting 10 feet away. That DJ was so annoying though. No boyfriend, prefer brunettes and out-of-towners, smart and challenging. My answers. Who knows what kind of freak they'd pick for me?


"He could be a total loser." Liz complained to Maria and went about her chores in the back room.

"Oh come one. It's going to be fun."

"Sure. Me and a stranger all night. Dinner and a concert. Yeah, great fun." Liz took a breath. "I'm just getting started with flirting with guys and talking on the phone and all that stuff. I almost had date for the concert but then you had to go and throw my name in the box. Jeremy Oaks backed out of taking me to the concert, Maria. Jeremy Oaks."

"You're kidding." Maria gasped. "Maybe he'll sign up to be considered for your date."

"Jeremy's a red-head."

"Oh."

"Hometown boy, and he is so not into books." Liz sighed again and went back to sweeping. "The opposite of everything I said on the radio. He asked Shirley Kyle to go with him."

"Oh honey, I'm sorry."

"This guy had better be good." Liz muttered and stopped sweeping when she saw the horrible look on Maria's face. Slowly she turned around to find Michael standing behind her. "You're not supposed to be back here."

"Yeah, well I wanted to talk to you and you don't look like you're going out front any time soon." Michael gripped her arm and dragged her away from Maria. "It's about that thing I told you about. Nothing about it is common knowledge."

"Yeah, okay. Keep your pants on, Michael. Let me finish. I'm not on tonight. I'll go out in a minute." Liz shoved him hard toward the swinging door, making no confusion about how miffed she was.

"God, he is such a disease." Maria scoffed and grabbed her order pad. "What was that all about anyway?"

"Nothing." Liz shook her head. When Liz finally made it out to Michael, Max was with him. She thought it wise to just keep walking and collected the dirty dishes from the next booth. She looked up and over Max's head to get Michael's attention.

He nodded to himself it seemed then at something Max said. "I gotta piss."

"Geez, Michael. You can't be more polite than that?"

"Don't have to be." Michael shrugged and headed to the back of the restaurant. Liz rolled her eyes and carried the dishes to the back where she barely had time to set them down before Michael pulled her into the restroom.

"What?" Liz snapped at him, in no mood to put up with his attitude.

"Think you could take me out there to meet these people?"

"What? Take you where?" Liz shook her head, clearly she and Michael were not on the same page.

"To the reservation. They'd talk to you easier than to me, right?"

"No necessarily. Like I told you, if that thing is Native American, they'll take to you better than to me. I would only get in your way. Just go talk to somebody." Liz started to leave but Michael shut the door, trapping her between it and his body.

"Look. You know who these people are, right? Your grandmother was all tight with them. I can't just show up and expect them to take me seriously." Michael stooped a little to be at her eye-level. "Are you going to help me or not?"

"When do you want to go?"

"Tomorrow night."

"I can't."

"What?" He stood up straight. "I thought you said you'd help."

"I don't know where you've been the past few days but I have a blind date that going to be broadcast on the radio. No my idea of fun. Excuse me. I have more chores to do tonight." Liz opened the door and nearly ran over Max. She stood there flustered for a moment before running up the stairs.

Max furrowed his brow until he saw Michael standing in the doorway that she had just vacated. "What was that all about?"

"Nothing personal, just trying her out." Michael scratched at his brow for a moment and then made for the dining room.

"Michael, leave her alone." Max started after him.

The date was of course a disaster. Doug Shellow insisted on escaping the radio people and we ended up walking past the football field where Kyle and Max were drunk and trying to fly off the goal post. I kinda felt like I had to take care of them. I didn't even think Max drank but he was so far gone that he tried to kiss me. We ended up calling Kyle's dad to pick them up. Alex's band ended up doing a set at the concert but the drummer got a little out of hand and they had to leave before their set was over. The mystery band turned out to be Lightfoot. I wanted to die. Doug got us away from the radio station after the concert but then he nearly mauled me in a parking lot and my savior?

"Come on." Doug whispered and tried to pull Liz against him again.

"Stop. Just stop already. I'm going home." Liz pulled away from him and started walking but he yanked her back.

"I thought we were having a good time." His breath blew in her face and she could smell the alcohol that he must have gotten back at the concert.

"Not any more. Let go." Liz gritted at him. He had been a sweet enough guy, until now.

"Dance with me."

"No. I'm going home." Liz tried to pull free again but he wouldn't let go.

"Hey!" A voice barked. "I think she wanted you to let go." Liz turned her head and Michael Guerin filled her vision. "Liz. You wanted him doing that?"

"No." She started to answer when Doug cut her off

"Who are you?" Doug turned to face the kid, loosening his grip on her arm.

Liz wasted no time in getting some distance between them. Michael kept his eyes on the man in front of him as he drew closer. "You been drinking man? Go sleep it off. Don't take it out on a blind date. She's close and personal with the Sheriff."

"It's none of your business." Doug turned around but Liz wasn't there. "Where'd she go?"

"Home. You should go home too." Michael pointed him toward the street and sent him walking. When Doug turned the corner, Michael cleared his throat. "He's gone."

"Thanks." Liz stood up from where she was crouched behind a car. "He was much nicer about three hours ago. I don't even know where he got the beer."

"Stay away from drunks. Best advice you'll ever get." Michael shoved his hands in his pockets and started walking. "See you tomorrow night."

Michael Guerin saved the day, night, whatever. He was human for all of five minutes. I wonder if that's why Max and Isabel are so close to him. You have to know him before you know him. He's odd and now I owe him one. Maria's probably waiting for me to call her. I didn't when I got home and my mom's kept me busy all day. Doug came back to apologize for anything he might have done or said. Apparently he doesn't remember much of last night. I wish the same for most of the night.

TBC
posted on 3-Aug-2002 1:22:09 AM by DMartinez
AN: I've got to say that I'm not completely happy with this part but as many of you know, I like reality and even though it bugs even me, I had to post as is. Maybe later I'll really appreciate what I did in this part as it keeps within the theme I started with. We've all had those really defining moments that affected our lives, but what about the little moments we didn't notice but really defined a change in our character without our consent.

I'm Liz Parker and things can be so confusing. Michael has told me outright that he doesn't like me. He thinks of me as his best friend's ex and even though he hasn't said so, like a friend. He's been almost civil to me these past few days. He helped me out with a drunk Mr. Shellow and he's been coming by and helping out a little with closing so that we can go over strategies to use on the Reservation when we go… and that's the problem. Getting there without having to tell anyone and I can't just take the car for a night or borrow one without asking. It's spending more and more time with Michael that's confusing. He's still crass and intimidating but he's growing on me. The kiss didn't seem as bad as I made myself believe it would have been before I really knew him.


Michael flipped through radio stations as they sped along the highway. Liz tried not to stare at him but the lack of speech was getting to her and she had to ask. "Max just lent you his jeep?"

"Yeah." His eyes slid over to her for a second.

"Really?" She shifted to face him. "He wouldn't even teach me to drive it."

"Yeah, well. I've been his best friend since we were eight." Shrugged and settled on a classic rock station.

"Then why won't you tell him what you're doing?"

"Why do you have to ask so many questions?" He shot back at her.

"You're acting suspicious, which isn't unusual for you but it bothers me. If Max was your best friend, wouldn't you want him to know what you're doing?" Stared at his profile for a long while. "Well?"

"Max thinks I'm chasing ghosts." Michael finally answered after several long moments and two songs. "He doesn't understand how important it is to me to find answers."

"I think he does."

"Oh, so now you're the expert on my friends." Michael snapped at her but when he turned his eyes to her, he stopped.

"You know. Max and I may have broken up a while back but I don't forget what people tell me in confidence. He would understand." She told him firmly. "I realize that your situations are slightly different but he does understand. He wants to know where he came from too. He really wants to meet the people that left him in the desert but he's afraid."

"Of what?" Michael's eyes were trained on the road. He and Max had talked about it but never really discussed it, they danced around the subject. It tugged at Michael somewhere inside to know that Liz had probably inadvertently gotten the inside scoop on what Max felt about their situation.

"Knowing. He can wonder and dream as long as he doesn't go looking for the answers. If he finds them, he runs the risk of getting his heart stomped on, of being disappointed at where he came from. He wants to live in the now, with his sister and his parents… but it's different for you and he tries to understand that."

"What did he tell you about me?" His eyes stayed on the road but Liz could hear the vulnerability in his voice.

"He doesn't think you're his best friend." Liz got the reaction she wanted when his head whipped around. "He thinks you're his brother. He worries about you, Michael."

"You're good. I almost believed you." Michael shook his head and dismissed the idea.

"It's the truth. Max worries about you." She insisted. Then giving up, she changed the subject. "So, what is the story with the necklace anyway?"

"Um…" Michael's mind raced a mile a minute. It wasn't something he could explain without revealing some pretty important details about himself. "I remembered something."

"You did? Remembered what?"

"Something before my life in Roswell. That necklace and an Indian." He let his gaze traverse the desert around while she soaked that in.

"That's how you knew it was Native American?"

"Yeah." He nodded.

"Oh." She sat in silence for a moment. "Do you know how rare it is to just spontaneously recall something you couldn't remember for years?" She resumed her study of him. "Are you like Max? I mean, can you not remember where you were before social services?"

"Pretty much."

"Wow. What if you guys were all together? If you were, it might make sense why Max doesn’t want you doing this… or he might remember something traumatic and doesn't want you to get your hopes up." She made a noise in her throat and turned to face the road.

"He can do no wrong in your eyes, can he?" Eyes narrowed.

"Yes, he can." Their eyes met. "I'm not here for you to understand, Michael. You asked for my help and since I am able to give it. I will. Don't try to dissect me."

"What's the plan?" His eyes moved back to the road.

"We'll just ask around. There's a store as soon as we get to the town. They sell authentic jewelry. One of them should know it or know where we can find someone who knows it." She sat back in her seat. "Can I see it?"

"Yeah." Michael leaned forward so he could pull it out of his back pocket. "Be careful with it."

"Wow." Liz traced the contours. The design was severe but not sharp or rough in the metal. The metal wasn't cool like it should have been. "This is amazing."

"Not really."

"This is amazing craftsmanship. I can't even see the bevel marks." Liz found herself squinting in the waning light of the evening. "It's broken." She made a face as it was getting harder to see. When she glanced up again, the first of the small settlements had come into view. "Look, there's the store."

After they pulled in, they glanced around and then entered the store. A large table was set up with loads of silver and turquoise jewelry. They scoured every inch of the table but didn't find anything that remotely resembled the necklace. A voice made them look up. "Looking for a pretty stone for your pretty girlfriend?"

Michael furrowed his brow and then realized the lady meant Liz. "Just looking."

"Yeah, actually." Liz pulled the necklace from her pocket. "We were wondering if you had anything that looked like this… or if you could tell us what it represents."

Michael almost stopped her from showing the woman the necklace but then realized Liz wasn't going to let it out of her hands. The dark-skinned woman let her brown eyes focus on the necklace and then slowly shook her head. "Can't say I've seen anything like it before."

"That's what she tells everyone." A male voice said from behind them. "Truth is, she couldn't tell you. She's never been one to listen to the elders." Liz turned slightly to reveal a tall dark-skinned man to her eyes.

"Eddie, get out of here. Go… do something." The woman hissed and then turned her attention back to her customers. "If you'd be willing to leave it, we could replicate it or make a matching jewelry set."

"No thanks." Michael shook his head and took the necklace from Liz. "Just wondering if you knew where it came from."

"You know how old it is?" The man named Eddie asked, hand held out to look the necklace over.

"Around 50 years." Michael answered with out hesitation. "At least 53." He held onto the necklace but held it out so the man could see. "Someone from here had it a long time ago."

"Come with me." Eddie motioned to the door, placing a hand on Liz's shoulder.

"Eddie, don't. He's a crazy old man." The woman tsked at him. "He'll only yell at them and you."

"Becky, shut up." Eddie guided them out the door and towards a mobile home nearby. "Old man!"

"Where are you taking us?" Michael demanded, lagging further behind the closer Eddie got to the trailer.

"He's an old man. He'd know if anyone had it from here around then." Eddie held out his hand again for the necklace. When Michael didn't move, he turned to Liz. "You're too pretty a lady to hang out with a suspicious fool like him."

"You get used to it." Liz shrugged. "He won't let you see it."

"River Dog won't come out until the sun is set. I'd have to take it inside." Eddie bent to speak softer to her. "River Dog is a funny old man but his mind is sharper than a lot of people think."

"We'll wait until he comes out. It's important." Liz nodded to him. "I'll talk to him. Tell him what you told me. He'll be ready to show it again when River Dog comes out."

"Alright. I'll go in and tell the old man… that…" He gestured for an explanation.

"He's looking for his birth parents. He remembers that an… A Native American had the necklace… but that's it." Liz exchanged a nod with the tall man and walked over to where Michael had retreated to the Jeep. "Are you willing to wait half an hour?"

"Maybe." Michael glanced at his watch. Max would be off of work in half an hour but if he got an answer, it would be worth the grief he was sure to get when they returned. "What'd he say?"

"River Dog's an old man. He'll know if someone had that necklace…" Liz glanced back to the trailer that Eddie had disappeared into.

"He likes you." Michael spoke out of nowhere.

"Who?" Liz turned to him in confusion.

"Eddie."

"What?"

"He touched your shoulder, your back and then he kinda… leaned in when he was talking to you. Looked kinda intimate to me." Michael crossed his arms.

"No." Liz shook her head.

"Could be a lucky break that I brought you with me. He might not have interrupted if you hadn't been in there just now."

"Whatever Michael… he's gotta be like…20-something." She shook her head slowly.

"Ok. He'll put another move on you."

"He'd have to make a first move and he hasn't yet." Scoffing, she leaned on the Jeep to wait.

"But you want him to." Michael nudged her.

That's when she realized he was messing with her, in his Michael way. She glared at him. She studied Eddie's profile in the dim light. It's not that he was unattractive but it just hadn't crossed her mind. Besides, he was old enough to want someone older, wasn't he?

"I'll take your silence for a yes. Just remember to be sure he wants to kiss you back before you try to kiss him." His eyes were fixed on the setting sun but she knew he was waiting for her to take his bait.

"He's probably a better kisser than you anyway." Liz mused aloud, catching his stiffening posture at her barb. "He's older, he'd have more experience… well, anyone would have more experience than you. And after Max, well, no one could measure up."

"What's that supposed to mean?" His jaw set.

"Max does this thing with his tongue—" She stopped at his stern look. "Oh. I just meant that you've never kissed anyone."

"So?"

"Well, it'd be impossible to gauge if you kiss well if you'd never done it." Liz shrugged her shoulders and nodded to the trailer, where an old man stepped out. "I guess that's him." She held out her hand. He just stared at it. "He's going to have to see it, Michael."

"I'll show it to him." Michael shoved off the jeep and crossed the dirt path to the old man. The old man seemed to want to avoid Michael until Michael thrust the necklace into his view. They exchanged a few words and Michael shook his head. River Dog said something to Eddie before gesturing to the trailer. Michael and River Dog entered the trailer. Eddie crossed the dirt path to Liz.

"Apparently, they have something to talk about." The dark had set in and Liz could barely make out his almond-shaped eyes.

"I just hope Michael isn't disappointed by something he hears." She hopped up on the hood so that the tall man didn't tower over her. "He's put a lot of faith on someone here knowing something."

"River Dog will tell him the truth. People around here don't appreciate that but he's always been good to me." Eddie nodded and stared at the trailer where the two men had disappeared. "Your friend doesn't trust easily."

"No, he doesn't. I wouldn't call him my friend. He doesn't trust me either." She shook her head sadly.

"You came a long ways from the nearest town for someone who isn't a friend." He commented and leaned on the jeep next to her knees.

"He's a friend of an ex-boyfriend. They knew my grandmother had been out here, so he asked for my help. I didn't do much more than gently nudge in the right directions."

"Who's your grandmother?"

"Claudia Parker." Liz whispered and was shocked by the immediate recognition on his face at the deceased woman's name.

"Sorry to hear about her passing. She had the heart of a warrior. She should have been born a man." Eddie nodded to her astonishment. "She did more than talk to the elders when she was here."

"Wow." Liz pondered the obvious respect that this man had for her grandmother. "She was born a woman because that's what she was supposed to be. I always admired her strength." Her eyes drifted to the starlit sky and she sighed. "My father always tells such great stories about her and the things she did."

"She was a great storyteller. Almost thought she was one of us."

"Did you know her?"

"No one knew her but everyone knew of her and could spot her when she came into town for supplies. On hot days, she would take breaks in the store and tell us stories. Me, Becky and a bunch of the other kids." Eddie waved to a few men that walked passed on their way to other buildings and trailers. "Hot summer days spent in the shade with pop and Mrs. Parker's stories."

"Grandma always liked to talk. She wanted to know everything that went on and you had to tell her before she would say another word." Liz sighed and turned toward her companion. "Did River Dog know something? They've been in there awhile."

"They're being quiet, whatever it is." He cleared his throat. "Sound travels really well out here. Normally we'd be able to hear every word." Liz's cheeks flamed a deep red when she realized he had heard the banter between she and Michael. Eddie took a slow look around before he faced her. "I'm a better kisser than I look." Liz opened her mouth to say something and then shut her mouth when he winked at her. "Maybe you can help me out with something."

"With what?" Liz asked warily at the mischievous glint in his eyes.

"Becky's been ignoring me. I'd appreciate it if you'd help me bring her around."

"How?"

"She's watching us from the store window. You could tell your friend I kissed you back and I can make Becky a little jealous." He leaned in when she nodded slowly. "Trust me, it'll be good."

Slowly, she nodded and then Eddie's mouth touched hers lightly, opening just enough to taste and make it look good. Liz felt him pull away and she couldn't help but lick her lips before opening her eyes. "You're right… that was good." She cast her eyes in the general direction of the store. "Is she going to be mad?"

"Probably. I love pushing her buttons." Eddie pushed himself off the jeep as Michael and River Dog made their way over. "Thanks for the help."

"No problem?" Liz arched an eyebrow. "Thanks for your help." She met Michael's gaze when he returned. "What?"

"Do you kiss every guy you meet?"

"Shut up." She glared at him and climbed into the jeep. "What did River Dog tell you?"

"That's between me and River Dog." Michael threw the Jeep into gear and backed out. "What's with you and that Eddie?"

"That's between me and Eddie." She countered. They rode the rest of the way to Roswell in silence but the second they entered city limits, Michael started up again.

"He's too old for you."

"What?" She turned in utter confusion.

"He's too old for you. How could you kiss him?"

"For your information, he kissed me because you brought it up and he heard every word of our conversation. He probably hadn't thought of it until you spouted off." She glared at him. "Besides he's trying to put the moves on Becky."

"Becky? Who's Becky?"

"The woman in the store." Liz rolled her eyes. She didn't understand what this conversation was about. He pulled into the Crashdown and turned to her. "What's your problem?"

"I don't have a problem."

"But you do." She took off her seatbelt and reached into the backseat for her purse. Suddenly she found Michael's lips on hers and his hand holding her ribs so she couldn't move away. Gasping, she slid down in the seat, surrendering to his assault on her mouth. When their mouths parted, her eyes flew open. "Um, what was that for?"

"Proving you wrong." Michael muttered before sitting back in his seat. They sat in silence for a full minute before he cleared his throat. "Say it. It was good."

"I will not." She cleared her throat and straightened in the seat. She was about to say goodbye when found herself in another kiss. This time, she couldn't help but kiss back, allowing his tongue to tangle with hers. Gathering much will and strength, she pulled away. "Okay. I'll admit it. That was good."

Michael nodded and released her. "Alright."

"Okay. Right." Liz climbed out of the Jeep and rushed inside.

Michael sat stock-still. He had heard the shuffling behind him and suddenly wished he hadn't had to save face and kiss Liz. Swallowing down a lump of dread, he shifted over the gearshift and into the passenger seat. "Hey Max."

"Michael." Max ground out and climbed into the Jeep and turned the key. The gas gauge fell nearly empty. "Want to tell me where you were that ate so much gas?" Silence. "Want to tell me where you had to go that you had to steal my jeep?" Silence. "Want to tell me why in the hell you were kissing Liz?"

"It's nothing." Michael shifted in the seat as Max pulled onto the road and headed for the trailer park.

"Not nothing. You told me to forget about her." Max shook his head and made a sharp turn. "You told me that she wasn't worth it."

"It's nothing." Michael repeated as Max screeched to a halt next to a gas pump.

"Right." Max muttered as he stripped off his orange vest and found his wallet. "Right."


So I was kissed three times and each kiss was better than the last but… none of it means anything, or should it? Eddie's kiss was a means to an end, however enjoyable. Michael's were something he had to prove to me… it kinda gives me an insight into him. I guess deep down we've all something we're trying to do for whatever reason. I'm still not sure how I feel about what happened with Michael but I don't want to waste my time on someone who doesn't think much of me.

TBC
posted on 12-Aug-2002 5:03:31 AM by DMartinez
I'm Liz Parker and I believe my life has spun out of control. I'll concede that I did kiss two guys within an hour time frame just a week or two ago. One was, admittedly, a total stranger and the other was the best friend of an ex-boyfriend. I guess I kind of justified it to myself. I'm allowed to do crazy things, I'm 16 years old. That doesn't explain why I didn't tell Maria… or why I don't feel guilty. Or why I allowed myself to get drug to a party, to consume many, many milliliters of alcohol and let myself get groped in a stranger's bedroom by someone who is far from a stranger.

It was just supposed to be some innocent fun. Hang out with Alex and Maria. I just wasn't expecting to be drinking I guess.


"It's not fair. I hardly see you anymore and now I gotta share you two with the entire student body at a filthy excuse for a party." Alex sipped his orange soda.

"Whose fault was that, Mr. Susie Jacobs?" Maria shot him a look and then turned to Liz. "The boy gets a girlfriend and blows us off, then she dumps him and he expects us to jump at the chance to spend time with him." Setting down a plate of fries in front of him, she looked him in the eye. "When he should be grateful we're letting him come with us."

Liz took a look in the mirror and patted down a stray hair. "Be nice Maria, and hurry up. I want to go."

"You do realize that no one is going to get there for another two hours, right?" Maria glared at her, getting the point but not wanting to admit it.

Alex and Liz exchanged a look. "Did you pick out her outfit?"

"Yes but she'll say she doesn't like it, go through my closet and end up with the outfit I picked." Liz sighed.

"I'm not that bad." Maria protested and smoothed out her uniform. "Anyway, I'm on the clock for another half hour."

"I'll let you work the rest of your shift in peace if…" Liz lifted her chin. "You wear what is laid out on my bed without question or protest. I'll let you spend all the time you want on your makeup but you will wear the clothes on the bed with no argument. Now." Taking Maria's eye roll as agreement, "I have to cash out some tables."

Half an hour later, Maria rushed into the back of the restaurant. Liz found she couldn't leave the register at all. Customers came out of nowhere to pay their checks and she was the one to cash them out. Suddenly, she found herself looking into a pair of honeyed eyes. "Hi. Liz."

"Hey Max." She took his check and rang up his total and then held her hand out for his money.

"Are you going to the party at that girl's place?" Max shook his head at himself. He didn't even know the girl and here he was trying to make a date for her party.

"Yeah. I was going with Maria and Alex actually." She pointed to her outfit. "You going?"

"Thought I might… you know… I have to start mingling some time." He managed a nervous smile and lingered after she gave him his change.

"What do Michael and Isabel think about that?" She let her eyes linger on the counter top before allowing herself to look at him.

"They can't stop me, now." Max held her eyes for only a second before looking away. "I was wondering if… you wouldn't mind going with me?"

"Max. I'm going with Maria and Alex. It's a Musketeer event for us. Susan dumped him, Maria had a horrible date last week and I'm being supportive." She found herself making excuses not to go with him and then she stopped when the stone entered his eyes. "What?"

"What's going on with you and Michael?"

"Nothing. We're… more than acquaintances and less than friends. Why?" Liz immediately regretted the question when his eyes snapped to hers. She knew then that he knew about the kiss(es) she and Michael had.

"I saw you. Are you… interested in him?" Max took a breath, he had to know. Was that image of Michael and Liz kissing an image he was going to have to get used to or was it something he should just forget?

"Max, this isn't any of your business." Liz whispered. "And Michael and I aren't anything. He doesn't even like me." She shut off the register to get it ready for the nightly cash out before the evening rush. "As for tonight… I'm glad that you're socializing. It'll be good for you. Maybe we'll see each other there."

"Liz." Max reached out to stop her. "Can you tell me why you kissed him?"

"Did you ask Michael?" She tilted her head at him.

"He wouldn't answer me."

"Maybe he doesn't owe you an explanation." She was tempted to ask him why he was so down on letting Michael explore his roots until she remembered that Michael didn't want Max to know anything about it. "Have fun tonight, Max."

She only offered him a half smile and went to gather Alex to wait for Maria. An hour later, they were on their way to the party, where things had gotten an early start. There were already people puking in the front yard when they got to Tracey's house.

The truth is, the party was very boring. Maria bounded off to flirt with some guys. Alex got tired of dancing. So I ended up alone talking to this guy Octavio. Octavio is the one that persuaded me into taking a jello shot. I can blame the whole night on him, actually.

Liz danced her way into the kitchen and look around for something to drink. She was reaching for a coke when a smiling face entered her view. "Liz, right?"

"Yeah." She studied him for a minute, thinking she should know his name if he knew hers.

"Octavio. Don't think we've actually met." He shook his head to get his hair out of his face.

"Maybe not." She turned her coke around and popped it open. "You know Tracey?"

"Not really. Wanna come over here?" He pointed to the table where the other partygoers were getting their alcohol.

"I don't really drink." She shook her head.

"You don't have to drink." Octavio pulled one hand from her coke and began pulling her along. "I've been watching all night and I thought I heard your name on the intercom the other day. Be nice to have someone to talk to while I man the table. Tracey's boyfriend Red has me playing bartender. I'm supposed to cut people off when they've had too much."

"Um… okay." She let him guide her behind the table.

Octavio was actually interesting to talk to. I watched him take a few jello shots and some tequila shots and he didn't seem any less coherent, so I let him talk me into taking the first jello shot.

Liz tilted her head back and laughed nervously when the jello wouldn't fall into her mouth. Octavio laughed when she squeezed the cup and it still stuck. Taking her hand and turning it, he pushed his finger into the cup along the sides. "There, try again."

"After your finger was in it?" She winked at him and tilted her head back again to catch the cold blob when it fell out. The jello squished in her mouth, a little too cold but she managed to swallow it without coughing. Once she felt the jello pass down her esophagus, she tasted the alcohol in her mouth. "Hm. That was interesting."

"Not bad for the first time." He held up another and dangled it between his fingers. "Cherry?"

"Sure." She reached for it, only to have him pull it back out of her reach. He grinned when she swatted him and plucked it from his hands. She ran her finger around the inside of the cup and threw it back. After the aftertaste kicked in she coughed a little. "I think I like the strawberry better."

"Keith." Octavio slapped hands with a guy on the other side of the table. Keith was obviously gone. "Don't you have that bad ass keychain?"

"Yeah. Jussec." Keith struggled a bit to pull the keys out of his pocket. "Who is the hottie?"

"This is Liz. Liz, Keith." Octavio waved his hands around and at one point, Liz didn't see the keys anymore. "Keith, where's Brenda?"

"Shit. Left her in Tracey's room. Be back." Keith wandered off with a full cup in his hand.

Octavio winked at Liz and deposited the keys in a fishbowl underneath the table. "We might be party animals but most of us have used up our get out of deep shit cards with our parents. At least there's no damage to the cars."

"I see." Liz smiled and reached for another jello shot.

"Hey, if you like those, you ever had a Neopolitan?"

"A what?" Liz coughed. Was it just her or did that one have more alcohol in it?

"It's a three layer shot. If you pour it right, the different flavors don't blend." He had already started on the shot when Liz leaned back against the wall. "Don't worry. It tastes good."

She nodded absently as a cool buzz ran through her brain. She drank the shot without so much as a grimace. It was kinda sweet. After a few more of those Neopolitans, she looked up. Did someone say her name? Was Octavio kissing her neck? Was that his hand on her ass? When her vision cleared, Max was staring at her. Musketeers? Huh? "Liz?"

"Hey Max." She smiled broadly at him. "This is Octavio, my new friend."

"Friend?" His eyebrow shot up.

"He gave me a jello shot. Try one." She pushed Octavio off but then he pulled her back into him.

"I shouldn't. Last time I drank, I didn't handle it so well." He just kept staring at her. "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine. Kyle's stuff always made me sick. This stuff is much better. Try one, Max." She thrust a small cup into his hands. "Do like me." She picked one up for herself, running her finger inside the cup and holding it up until Max did the same. Reluctantly, Max put the cup to his mouth and tossed it back.

As the cool jello slid down his throat, he could already feel the tingling in his head. The room spun and then righted to Liz trying unsuccessfully to get Octavio's hands away from her chest. Max reached around and pulled Liz out of Octavio's arms and then, with a look, dared the shorter boy to dispute his right to do so.

"Max, what are you doing?" Liz followed him down a dark hallway.

"I just want to talk to you." Max turned to face her and brushed her hair out of her face. "You're beautiful."

"Thank you."

"I wish I could trust you like I used to."

"You can."

"But you kissed him."

"Who?" Liz shook her head and then followed Max's finger to a spiky haired fellow at the end of the hallway. "Michael?"

"Yes, Michael."

"Max, it was really good kiss but it doesn't mean anything." Liz shook her head and her head spun. When she righted, he held her closely in his arms. His face was so close. "I kissed Eddie, too. You going to be mad over that? I kissed Pauley and Octavio..."

"Liz, shut up." Then those lips were on hers and her knees were giving out. She clung to him, sucking on his lips, then his tongue. If she had been coherent enough, she might have counted his teeth. She could taste lime jello in his mouth. She gasped when he pushed her against the wall and lifted her up. Her legs went around his waist as he continued to plunder her mouth. Her world spun and all she heard was a door slam before she landed on her back under Max.

Her world righted as he pulled off his shirt and reached for hers. Sitting up slightly, she helped him out. Sighing, she allowed their stomachs to touch before pulling his face to hers. Heat flushed her face and then spread through every inch of her body. Max pressed himself tighter against her body, pressing himself between her legs.

I don't remember much after the fourth shot or so. I recall, vaguely, that I kind of made out with Octavio at the table. I get impressions of Max and I in a dark hallway and then on a bed. I remember him without a shirt and I remember grinding and I don't mean dancing. I think I lost my shirt at one point. What I really do remember is screaming, and not in a completely horrified way.

Maria claims that she found me on the brink of being taken. I seriously doubt Max and I would go that far and besides Maria isn't the most reliable person when it comes to the truth. How far could we have possibly gone before Maria found us? She swears I got a Lewinsky-like stain but I've looked that skirt over and over. There's nothing on it.

I woke up with a headache and five hickeys. One on my neck, one on each shoulder, one on my boob and one on my arm… which I think is weird. I most definitely will not be drinking any time soon and I think if I see Octavio again, it will be too soon.


TBC

I know that Liz is seeming more and more 'free' with every part but hang on.
posted on 24-Aug-2002 12:41:43 AM by DMartinez
I'm Liz Parker and I hate Max Evans.

Liz slid into Alex's booth to rest for a minute. "My head hurts."

"I'll bet." Alex pointed at her. "You have the makings of a great alcoholic."

"I do not." She scoffed at him and put her feet up on the seat. "If I ever find Octavio, I'm severely kicking his ass."

"Octavio? He's not the one who um… got it on in the back room with you." He gave her a tight smile, letting his disapproval show. He watched her reaction carefully. "You do remember that, don't you?"

"Parts. It's Octavio's fault for getting me drunk though and as I recall, Max was drunk himself… or at least he had some to drink." Liz cleared her throat.

"I don't hear you expressing any anger over being taken advantage of is all." Alex took a sip of his orange soda and turned back to his chemistry book. When she didn't answer, he looked up to find her staring off into space. "Liz?"

"I don’t know if I should be angry with Max. Granted, I was intoxicated and very much so by the time he entered the picture. But on the other hand, Max doesn't handle his alcohol well and was probably out of his mind as well." She slunk down in the booth, not caring about her uniform for the moment. "If I am angry, what am I angry for?"

"You were completely out of it and… according to Maria there was some major activity going on." Alex shrugged.

Liz rolled her head around to look at her friend. "According to Maria I was almost 'taken.' She's a drama queen, Alex. You and I know this. We live this. I don't think it was that bad." She sat up, sensing her break was over. "I think I would feel it somehow if something happened that I wasn't into."

"You're probably right." He nodded sincerely. "So does that mean that you're still into Max?" Silence. "It's not that hard a question."

"Put it this way. Max was my standard. He was what I wanted in a guy and then when I had him… It didn't work out but I can't shake him as an ideal." Liz stood and smoothed out her uniform.

"So you're in love with ideal Max but not Max-Max." Alex narrowed his eyes at her. "So, you're still hung up on Max."

"No, on the ideal Max." Liz pulled out her order book and glanced around. There he was. "Speak of the devil."

"Why don't you ask him what went on last night? Maybe you'll find out whether or not you should be mad." Alex gave her a light push. "I'll be here waiting."

Liz squared her shoulders and made her way to his table. "Hey Max, what can I get for you today?"

Max is just so infuriating.

"Um… Sprite?" Max whispered, his face an odd shade of green.

"No Cherry Coke?" Liz raised an eyebrow and focused in on him.

"Please don't mention anything with food in it." Max groaned and clutched his stomach. "I'm meeting Michael and Isabel."

"Oh. Are you okay or is the hangover really bad?" She tried to feel out the situation but it didn't seem to be something Max wanted to bring up or it was something else. Like he was pretending not to know what she was fishing around about. "Do you want some aspirin?"

"No, that's ok." He stared up at her. "How'd you know about the hangover?"

"Cause mine is raging on." She shrugged.

"Did I see you last night?" He squinted at her and then shook his head.

"Yeah." She nodded and glanced around before puling her uniform aside to show off her hickey on her right shoulder, then she turned her head the other way and pulled her hair back so he could see that one. "This is what happens when you get drunk."

"Those look bad." His eyes dropped to his hands on the table.

"Those aren't even the worst ones." Liz sighed and waited and waited. "You find any incriminating evidence?"

"A bra? But I don't know how it ended up in my pocket." Max shrugged and kept staring at his hands. Liz's head tilted sharply as she took quick inventory of the clothes she had taken off when she got home. "I don't even remember anything from last night."

"You don't?" There. Anger. She found it. "Not a thing?"

"No. Why?" His eyes turned wary and his face began to tilt away from hers. "Do you know something?"

"Forget it." Liz stalked away and began to fill his drink order. She filled the cup with ice and she shut the seltzer valve off the Sprite. She filled the cup with the sticky syrup before turning the valve back on. She set the drink in front of him with a sweet smile. "There you go. I'll be back when Isabel and Michael get here."

She walked off and in a few seconds, he shot out of his chair and burst into the bathroom. When she could hear him retching, she smiled and slid across from Alex. He raised an eyebrow at her. "What'd you do?"

"He's got a hangover and he just took a drink of pure Sprite. No dilutes. I don't think those mix well." She shook her head.

He didn't remember anything. I do recall some rather intimate situations and along with Maria's insinuations… I have a right to be angry. Max is still the selfish little boy he was last semester. He didn't think it was odd to find a bra in his pocket. My bra. You'd think that would spark something. I quit.

"Summer's coming." Maria sang out as she parked on the grass.

"In like two months." Alex shook his head and nudged Liz.

"Well, I'm planning ahead, no wasting summer this year." The blond opened a notebook and pulled out a bright green pen. "So, ideas."

"You're on your own. I think I'm supposed to visit my cousins in Florida this summer." Liz shook her head and pulled her feet up onto the small wall.

"WHY?" Maria's jaw dropped. "You never visit them. They never visit you. I thought that was the beauty of Janice's new husband."

"They never visit and we never visit, therefore the visit this summer." She sighed. "It'll be fun. Beach, sun, half naked boys… yep, definitely fun." She had to smile. "Lots of boys."

"Okay. We get it. You'll have a fun summer." Alex threw a cheese poof at her. "I was planning on going to one of those camps for computer studies."

"Alex, no." Maria whined. "You can't leave me alone this summer."

"Maria. Didn't you used to go to summer camp and leave me alone?" Liz raised an eyebrow and watched her friend falter. "Two summers, I believe. Crucial summers, too. I got my period all by myself because you had to go to music camp."

"Hey, hey, hey. I have no uterus. Refrain from uterus talk." Alex threw another cheese poof at her and turned on Maria. "You left me alone as well, one summer. The summer that Liz went with Grandma Claudia, you went with your mom on a woman empowerment… thing. You could have prevented the whole dodge ball fiasco during summer day camp."

"Okay. Okay. I get it. I'll have to entertain myself this summer." She took a breath and let it out. Her blond hair kept falling in her face and she turned to Liz. "Haircut?"

"Yeah." Liz nodded. "It's doing that Courtney Cox thing."

"Oh Ew." Maria grimaced.

Liz noticed Max approaching first and sighed heavily, shooting Alex a look. Max shuffled over and started to greet them. "Hey guys."

"Later." Liz grabbed her lunch and disappeared, leaving Max alone with her friends.

"She's mad, huh." Max grimaced.

"I'd say." Alex barely gave him a cursory glance before gathering his lunch to leave as well.

Maria looked up at him and nodded to the seat next to her. "So. Big night, Saturday."

"Apparently, which is what I wanted to talk to Liz about. She kept asking me yesterday and I didn't know what I know today." He sagged on the small wall.

"Which is?"

"That I'm in the rumor mill for disappearing with Liz. Thing is, I got drunk. I don't remember. Anything." He shrugged helplessly. "She tell you anything?"

"Nope but I'll tell you what I saw. I went looking for her so we could leave and somebody told me that she had gone down the hall to a bedroom with you." She watched the blood drain from his face. "Then when I opened the door… Mr. Happy had gotten a little too happy, if you know what I mean?"

"What?" The blood rushed out of his face.

"It was out."

"Out?"

"Out. Neither of you had shirts on, she had no bra, your hand was up her skirt and it was out." She studied his face carefully and he didn't look happy. "Now you know why she was mad."

"So we almost…"

"Yep. I do recall that you did receive some gratification. You stained her skirt." She patted him on the shoulder. "I don't think she'll be wanting to talk to you for a while."

Come to think of it. I will be spending the entire summer in Florida getting perspective on this little alien obsessed town. I know it's two months off but Maria's got the right idea in planning ahead. This summer I will clear my mind of boys and ex-boyfriends. I'm just tired of small town drama…

TBC

hehe, my homage to Seinfeld.
posted on 18-Oct-2002 2:12:35 AM by DMartinez
I'm Liz Parker and in the process of simplifying my life, I've messed it up. I mean all I'm asking for is a little clarity. What am I supposed to do? Is there an address I can write to? Where do I pick up my manual for life?

Liz looked up from her library book on Madam Curie to find Max standing at the end of the table. She pointedly returned to her book. He sighed and turned to go but stopped. He sat across from her and waited for her to look up again. She tried not to. She really tried to keep ready but she had to acknowledge him and that gave him all the invitation he was looking for. "I want to apologize for being an idiot. Believe me when I say I don’t remember a damn thing about the night of that party and trust me when I say that I want to… and not because of what was allegedly done so much as the fact that we were together."

"Max…" Liz groaned and buried her face in her hands. "This is so bad."

"I can't take it anymore, Liz." He hissed. "The awkward pauses, weird silences and monotone greetings and conversations. It's insane."

"You aren't making sense. You're insane." She snapped her book shut.

"I let you break us up because I figured it'd be better to let you go than to keep you and you not feel the same way that I do." Max took her stunned silence as a reason to rush ahead. "The party just proves to me that I can't let you go. I saw you with that guy at the party and I wanted it to be me. I can't remember anything after I started drinking but according to Maria, I made it me."

"What are you saying, Max? You think you can just march over here and demand a recount? Did I dismiss you on unfair charges?"

"Yes." He took her book and put it on his stack of books so she would needed a reason to stay. "I never stopped caring about you and I don't know when you stopped caring about me but I can't see you everyday and not say something."

"What about the way I became invisible?" Liz stood up and strode away without her book but he followed. "What do you want Max?"

"You said that I made you invisible? For how long Liz?" He followed out of the library and out onto the patio where she stopped but didn't turn.

"Why does that matter?"

"Because it does. The last week or two that we were together? Am I not allowed to have other things on my mind?" Max watched her turn slowly and knew he had hit a nerve. "Is there a rule that says when I date you that I have to drop everything else in my life? Liz, I might not have many close friends but the ones I have mean the world to me. Their problems are my problems. Yes, I know." He caught the look on her face before she could speak. "I could have treated you differently when I was trying to help Michael but you have to understand… I am all that Michael has. You've got me, Maria, Alex, your parents, you had grandparents. Michael only has me and Isabel. We're more than friends, we're family and I may have gotten sidetracked and distracted but maybe keeping Michael's friendship was a little more important than indulging you with an explanation."

Liz blinked at him. All that anger had sprung from nowhere. She had never seen him so passionate about anything. She was speechless. Stunned. Amazed. Who was this person and what did he do with Max?

"All I want is another chance." He held out her book for her to take. "I just want you to know that I never wanted things to get like they did and had I realized, they would have been different." He took a breath. "Okay. I'm done. I won't bother you… unless you call."

Max has this power to surprise me. First there was that realization that he stared at me, then that he was so complex and now… I don't know. I can't deny that I'm still attracted to him. He is still the nicest boy I ever dated. This new assertive side is interesting and drool inducing. He could have gone all caveman but he spoke up, said his bit and left me standing in the middle of the patio with my jaw on my shoes.

Liz doodled on her math book while she pretended to take notes. It wasn't for twenty minutes that she realized she'd been writing 'Max Evans' all over the cover. She immediately pulled out her white out to cover the incriminating doodles. She huffed suddenly. It wasn't fair. She wanted to be alone and he wanted her. Where was this backbone when she still wanted to be with him?

A glance across the room revealed that he was looking at her while pretending to take notes. Their eyes met and she jerked her head around to face forward. She blushed and sunk low in her seat when she heard him cough. She had been caught.

I shouldn't have to analyze this crap. I'm supposed to be over it and him and… I'm being sucked back in. I miss the special feeling I get when he looks at me like I'm the only person on the planet. I miss his dry sense of humor. I don't miss the doormat he was… but as of today, that might have changed. I should just stick to my guns and just avoid anything with a third leg for the rest of the year and spend my summer free and clear.

Maria and Alex watched Liz stare at the phone. She had stopped listening to them some time ago and they had taken up the conversation of wondering what she was waiting for. Alex sipped his orange soda and nodded. "It does tricks. It'll do somersaults, just wait."

"I bet it tells fortunes. It'll open up and a genie will come out and grant us each a wish." Maria nodded, then threw a skittle at her friend.

"Hey!" Liz found the skittle and threw it back. "What was that for?"

"Chica, what is up?" Maria laughed and leaned on Alex. "You have been meditating on that phone for hours. Are you expecting a call?"

"What? Um, no." Liz shook her head. "I'm just thinking and the phone just happened to be in my line of sight."

"Right." Alex groaned and reached for a bag of Doritos. "I know these intense phone-watching phases." He looked down at Maria. "It's a guy. She's gotten intense with yet another stooge and she's waiting for the unworthy bastard to call her up and whisk her off her feet."

"Omigod!" Maria sat up and stared at Liz, wild grin on her face. "Shirley Kyle totally dumped Jeremy Oaks two weeks ago and now he's back to you. Omigod, chica, I am so happy for you."

"There is no guy." Liz groaned and flopped on the bed. "I'm pathetic. I'm supposed to be a modern woman. I don't need a man… so why am I waiting for one to call even when I know he's made his move and it's my turn?"

"Whoa." Alex sat up straight and took a moment to think things over. "A guy made a move? What kind of move?"

"Just the… nudge in the… a. A right direction. He made his move and it's up to me to decide if I want to countermove." Liz shrugged and threw a pillow over the phone to get it out of her sight. "I don't want to be stressed! I want to be a girl who dates and has fun."

"Why aren't you?" Alex shoved Maria away so he could lean over and look Liz in the face. "Huh? Why is dating not fun for you?"

"Because, aside from you, our school is filled with complete losers… It shouldn't be this hard to find a decent guy to spend time with." Liz whined and grabbed Alex's shirt. "Is it so much to ask for a good-looking guy, one who reads non-fiction books from time to time, knows his sciences, isn't a Neanderthal, has sweet tendencies, won't take me for granted or use me for my body and has a backbone?"

"Yes, yes it is." Alex shook his head at her and shot a look over his shoulder to Maria. "Liz, maybe your problem is you're looking at high school boys and expecting to find Mr. Right. I'm gonna let you in on a little secret… guys… we're easy." He sighed. "Show us a pretty face, a flash of skin… from anywhere on her body, throw in a little unattainability and a single dazzling smile in our direction… we'll be your slaves til the end of time, deserving or not." Silence. Alex narrowed his eyes at her. "Who are you praying will call?"

"No one." She lied.

"Uh-uh. No. There's someone. Tell us." Maria threw herself on top of Alex and waited for Liz to crack. "We're waiting. Who is the stud-muffin that's got your panties all in a twist?"

"My panties are not… twisted, Maria. I'm just thinking is all."

"Right…" The blonde shook her head.

"So I'm definitely getting out of Roswell this summer." She tried changing the subject but both Alex and Maria kept staring expectantly. "Just a guy."

"A guy who's got you throwing men into three categories. Me, Mr. Perfect, and the rest of boy-kind." Alex snorted. "What move was put on you? What is your countermove?"

"He… swore things would be perfect. I have to call him if I accept."

"Why would a new guy swear that?" Maria wrinkled up her nose and then gasped suddenly. Her head shook from side to side. "You mean more perfect. You mean, perfect this time around. You're talking about Max Evans, you slug."

"Maria…"

"You slug. Why on earth are you going back into that mess? You said you couldn't deal." The blonde leapt off the bed and began pacing. "Although it would be adorable to have the Max and the Liz together again, there is the risk for major heartbreak and more miserable depression and more skanking around."

"Hey!" Liz and Alex exclaimed at the same time.

"You so were skanking around." Maria shook her head at her friend. "I am your best friend. I think I can tell you when you're being a skank. You were being a skank. Octavio. Paulie. Lael. Jorge. All just 'things' that 'happened' and weren't to 'happen' again as I recall." Feeling more coming, she took a deep breath. "Max Evans may have been the dream or whatever but let's not forget the moaning over how his friends and sister treated you. Or how he tried to take advantage of you at Tracey's party."

"He did not." Liz rolled her eyes. "We were both totally drunk and probably both just over-hormonal."

"Okay. Don’t say that again." Alex narrowed his eyes at her. "It disturbs me. You do not get over-hormonal… with anyone."

"This is not good. You are not calling him." Maria shook her head. "Yes, once upon a time I was all aboard for the Max and Liz love machine but not anymore. He's no longer the sweet, quiet boy he used to be and I don't approve."

"He does respect you." Alex whispered to the sunken brunette next to him. "I haven't heard one thing in the locker rooms about you from him. Some of the other guys talk about how, pardon me, 'hot' you looked at the party but no one has said a thing otherwise if you get my drift."

"It's an option." Liz shrugged. "He wants another chance. I just don't know if I want to give it to him."

"Well, don't give 'it' to him but if you think, honestly think, that it'll be okay. I won't… frown on it." Alex promised.

"Thanks, Alex." Liz managed a smile.

"You aren't helping, Alex." Maria glared at them.

"I'm probably not going to call him." Liz clarified. "I just… hope he'll call so I can call him on it and be done with it. I've lost his phone number anyway."

"It's in the directory. I'm not an idiot." Maria huffed and reached for the skittles. "It's a Meg Ryan night."

"No…." Alex groaned and flopped backward on the bed. "I need more guy friends."

So nothing is set in stone. I won't not consider Max's offer. I don't think this is the time for he and I to be anything serious. I don't know how insulting friendship would be at this point. I just don't want to feel like dust to be flicked away when he decides that Michael and Isabel need him more than I do. Maybe the first time around was a mistake. I let myself get laid out there and I got crushed. One second I'm the only person on the planet and the next… I'm shot in the gut, dying slowly and pleading for him to keep me alive. I'm not a doormat. I'm not at Max Evans's mercy.

I can live without a guy. I did it for fourteen years when they wouldn't look at me… I can do it until the right person comes along… whenever that may be.


TBC
posted on 13-Nov-2002 12:38:39 PM by DMartinez
I'm Liz Parker and I feel like a new person. Summer in Florida was refreshing and fun. I was up early this morning, a result of jet-lag, and I read up on my life last year. It made me laugh. I never used to be concerned with so much crap and then there it all was. I guess a breather was all I needed. Time and distance to put things in perspective. From now on, I live a crap-free life.

Liz rubbed aloe into her shoulder and prayed it wouldn't peel. The phone rang and she glanced around for her towel. Nowhere. Grimacing, she gripped the phone with a slight slimy hand and picked up for the fifth ring. "Hello?"

"Hey. You're back."

"Hey Max. Yeah… I got in yesterday." She managed to greet him without her heart stomping out a triple beat, or racing the Euro-cars out on the street, or stopping altogether. "How's it going?"

"Pretty good. Roswell's not much for the summer fun. How was Florida?"

"Great. I love the beach… the sand, the water… We went dolphin-chasing."

"Don't you mean whale-watching?"

"That was the original intent but there were no whales and our guide decided we were going to play tag with the dolphins. I almost fell off twice." She laughed and rubbed the remaining aloe into her leg. "My cousin Dana actually fell off though and my aunt was so pissed. Dana just laughed it off, said she needed to cool off anyway."

"Sounds great. The best thing that happened all summer was a ten cent raise after I caught an error in Milton's books." A nervous chuckle.

Silence.

"I know why you called, Max." Liz blew out a breath. "I didn't exactly give you an answer or anything before I left…"

"Yeah… Not that I didn't want to hear about your summer but I was wondering what your answer was."

"I think that with everything that happened between us… that it would be impossible to not um… to avoid it, you know."

"What are you saying?"

"That we should be friends."

"Oh."

Crap I can avoid. People I can't. Being friends with the exes seems to be the best solution at the moment. Even Kyle. It's a much better alternative than not speaking to any guy I've dated or kissed. I can be friendly to everyone… Except maybe Pam Troy.

Liz leaned back in her chair as she finished off the survey that she and her group had just participated in. Max and Alex were still scribbling away on their sections and Maria was painting her nails with white out. Economics sucked. "I miss the beach already."

Maria snorted and Alex shook his head. Max barely looked up. Alex put down his notebook. "I'm sorry, Gidget. Are you missing Moondoggie? Should we send you to Florida permanently?"

"Funny, Alex." Liz stuck out her tongue at him and let her chair drop into its rightful position. "I just… It's too dry here and it's boring and I want summer to last the rest of my life."

"You and everyone else." Max put the cap on his pen. "At least you didn't spend your summer having to explain the difference between the theories surrounding the local mythos."

"Poor baby." Maria snorted and threw a wad of paper at him. "I had to push my mother's insane balloons."

"See, you got off lucky, Liz." Alex sighed. "I spent the summer competing for nerdiness." He sighed again. "And I didn't even win."

Max had to laugh at that one. He had started off class feeling awkward but he was quickly relaxing. "Are we done?"

"So done." Maria nodded. She looked to Liz and she helped up her paper. Alex grabbed Max's and the girls' work and disappeared with it. "What's the plan?"

Max motioned for them to lean forward. "Two hours of school left and each minute unbearable after hours of freedom this summer."

"And?" Liz shook her head. Alex quickly joined them and got on to the conspiratorial air of the table. "What we just take off? We've got eight minutes left in this class."

"Sort of." Max nodded. "When the bell rings, we go out the doors beside the office. I've got the Jeep but we really, really have to get out of here before my head explodes."

It's neat to have another guy friend. Max is so much that Alex isn't. All the normal schemes that we were never sneaky enough to pull off are possible. We spent two hours riding around in Max's Jeep just laughing and being happy teenagers. Of course we all got calls home but it's not like we'll do it everyday. It's transitional skipping anyway. Me and Alex sat in the back of the Jeep and talked about the ever-important subject of cheesey poofs. It was great.

"Assistant Manager Liz Parker. It's got a nice ring to it." Max commented as she served the table their drinks. Michael glared at her and Isabel looked right through her.

"It's only about a dime difference in pay and about five hours more per week but it's my dad's way of punishing me for yesterday's antics." Liz shrugged and pulled out her order pad. "So, what can I get you guys?"

"Will Smith burger." Michael barked out.

"Just some fries." Isabel gave her a cool look and then turned to face her wayward brother. "I don't think you can serve what he wants."

"The special." Max glared at his sister. "Don't listen to her. She's just mad that the Jeep has been confiscated for two weeks."

"Really? That sucks… not that I'd have time to take anymore rides. "Those five extra hours come in on Friday and Saturday nights. Maria's gotta put in hours with her mom during the day. None of us are off at the same time. Poor Alex is cleaning the garage every weekend this month."

"Sucks."

"Yeah." Liz nodded. "Um, I'll be back with your orders." She turned to go and then heard someone grunt and then Max's voice.

"Stop checking her out."

Where did that come from?

I am going to stick to my guns though. Guys are too much trouble… especially the ones I seem to attract. No worries from here on out.

TBC
posted on 21-Jan-2003 10:24:24 PM by DMartinez
See, it doesn't take much to get me going, thanks.


I'm Liz Parker and life is okay.

Max winced around a mouthful of burger. Then again. After he swallowed and winced again. "That hurts."

"Then quit moving." Liz chided him even as he snuck another fry into his mouth. She had to practically climb into his lap to see to his wounds. "How did this happen again?"

"A green plastic alien fell off the display and right onto my head." Max winced again. "Milton gave me the rest of the day off and money for lunch. I think he's afraid of a lawsuit."

"Lucky for you it doesn't pick up in here until later. Dad's fogies show up at around eight." Liz set aside her cotton ball and carefully placed a Band-Aid over the cut. A kiss to the forehead and she was on her own feet again, gathering her trash. "All better?"

"Thanks." Max flashed her a smile.

"Nurse, I have a pain." The voice came out of nowhere. Liz looked to the door to find a tall guy in a leather jacket nodding towards her. "Parker, all grown up. I like." Liz tilted her head. She knew she should know him but no names were coming up. "Come on Liz, it hasn't been that long, has it?"

"I…" Liz huffed slightly.

"Where's Maria? Aunt Amy said she'd be here." He said at last.

Liz couldn't help the gasp. "Sean DeLuca? Is that you?" It took a moment for her to collect herself. "Um, Maria's running an errand."

"She gonna be back soon?"

"Yeah, any minute." Liz finally realized she still had trash in her hands and turned to toss it in a trashcan. "Have a seat." She quickly washed her hands and wiped down the spot she had used to clean up Max's cut. "Can I get you something?"

"Just a coke or something." Sean waved her off.

Sean DeLuca is home from Juvvie. He… looks good.

Max waited for 15 minutes before Liz remembered he was there and waiting for his check. She was so flustered, she undercharged him. He almost let it slide. "Liz?"

"Huh?" Her head had spun around so fast, he could tell she hadn't really been paying attention.

"Come here." Max motioned her over and held the ticket up in front of her face. "Something's wrong here."

"What?" She stared at the ticket and then looked at the cash out price. "Omigod… Max… I…"

"I'm going to pay for my ticket but I need the correct price so that my tip doesn't go to cover the difference in the till."

"I'm sorry." Liz winced and went to work correcting it. "Thanks for being honest."

"When have I ever been less than honest?"

She nodded and set the correct ticket in front of him. "Sorry. Hope your head is okay."

"I'll be fine." Max cleared his throat as he stood. "You gonna want company tonight?"

"No, I'll be alright. Just me, my dad and the old people until 10." She scrunched up her face and took his money. It never ceased to amaze her that he always had correct change and left a tip.

"Say the word and Alex and I will be here to face the geriatrics with you."

"I'll tell you what. If you're that desperate… you and Alex can show up at 10 and help me clean." She flashed him a smile and he backed down. "See you later."

"Later Liz." Max finally shuffled out the door. Pocketing the tip, she moved to the register to ring up his ticket. Just then Maria burst into the restaurant with a huge grin. "Lizzie, my god. You should have seen the guy at the bulk store."

"Did you get a date for tonight?"

"No, tomorrow night." Maria glanced around and did a double take. "When the hell did you get out?"

"Yesterday. Got a ride out this morning." Sean leaned on the counter with his coke. "Nice greeting."

"What are you doing here, Sean? Don't think you're staying with us." Maria threw off her jacket and stormed into the back room.

"Actually, Aunt Amy already gave it the thumbs up."

"Oh great." Maria turned to find Liz listening at the door but pretending she was filling sugars. "Mom was always a sucker for you. You can't just show up, Sean."

"And where am I supposed to go?" Sean threw his hands out. "I was locked up for four years. I don't have a job or money and my parents are who knows where. Where was I supposed to go?" Maria relented with a huge sigh. Sean gave her a tight hug and pressed a noisy kiss to her forehead. "I knew you missed me."

"Ugh! Get off you freak." Maria shoved him off. "Get out of here."

"Love ya, M." Sean slugged her shoulder and made his way out front to grab his jacket. "Later Parker."

Maria turned to her friend. "'Later Parker'? How long was he here?"

"A while." Liz shook her head as she started in on the sugar jars.

"How long?"

"Since five minutes before you were supposed to be here."

"Did we have a nice chat with the criminal?"

"Maria. What did you want me to do? Ignore him until you could come and make him feel like shit?"

"What?!" Maria gasped in shock.

"Yes. Did you not catch how little you made him feel?" Liz paused and turned to her friend. "You and your mom are the only real family he's got left. I noticed you didn't' tell him his dad was in jail or that his mom ran off. He came because he thought he'd be welcome while he gets on his feet."

"Whoa." Maria held out her hands and blinked rapidly. "Where the hell did that come from?"

"At least you have family that needs you. My family is across the country doing just fine, so fine that we don't see them unless someone dies."

"Liz… He's…. I hate him. He brings us all down."

"No he doesn't. " Liz shook her head. "Come on, Maria. You've got what… four cousins you know about. Be nice to them. New Years resolution or something."

"Fine. Why so concerned?"

"He stayed here for an hour to something waiting for you."

"He did…" Maria noticed the light blush in Liz's face but didn't any anything. "Okay. I'll be nice."

Sean's a nice guy. Always has been. I guess sometimes you do things because of your friends… and that's when you find out who your real friends are. Sean's been gone something like four years and since he's been gone… people have been going on with their lives and nothing is like he remembered. His parents aren't even here anymore. It's bad enough when you leave for the summer and you have to catch up on three months of your friends' lives but four years. Four teen years. That's an eternity.

Liz smiled at the people surrounding her and suddenly missed her grandmother. Her smile faltered as they were celebrating New Year's early by two hours. When the last person got on the bus to take them back to the Desert Sun Retirement community, she rushed to the back room and burst into tears. She registered the shoulder before she realized someone was holding her. When she quieted, he cleared his throat. "What's wrong Liz?"

"I miss my grandma." Liz sniffed.

"I'll bet. I guess you weren't prepared for it this year."

"Last year I was fine but this year, wham!"

"Well." He cleared his throat. "The gang is here to party. When last I checked, there were two ex-boyfriends, two best friends and an ex-con out there helping to clean while you're back here bawling your eyes out."

"Two exes?" Liz looked up at Alex.

"Max brought Michael and Maria told me you tried to kiss him." Alex sighed. "I consider my gal-pal's potential interests as exes."

"Don't tell Maria but he did actually kiss me last year." Liz laughed.

"Then I really consider him an ex. Come on. Let's go clean up so we can have some fun." He squeezed her once more and reached for a towel to dry her eyes. "New Year's resolution is not to let anyone or anything get you down."

"You're right. Grandma Claudia wouldn't want me crying my eyes out. We should be having fun… but since everyone showed up… we'll have a little party here."

"That's the spirit. Let's go. If Sean calls me Alice one more time, I swear I'm gonna deck him. We need Peacekeeper-Parker out there."

It always seems to me that when things are going okay, it's easier to tell who your real friends are. When things are okay, you can look on bad things in a different light and the rocks are right there and the fair-weather has come and gone. Alex is so great. He's got his own little faults but thick and thin, he's been there. It's gotten harder to keep him as a best friend but I think we've survived puberty. New Year's has been fun so far. When I wake up, hopefully none of the magic will have faded.

TBC
posted on 5-Feb-2003 3:14:18 PM by DMartinez
I'm Liz Parker and I'm dumbfounded.

"That's two alien blasts, three baskets of fries, a diet Sprite and a whole Men in Blackberry pie." Liz confirmed with the table. She got three solemn nods. "Okay. I'll be right back with the Sprite."

"Diet." Isabel corrected without looking up.

"Right, with the diet Sprite." Liz slipped her pen back into her pocket, accepting the apologetic glance from Max. She had no problems tacking the order to the cook's turnstile but after she had filled Isabel's drink, she walked around the counter almost into Sean. "Oh! Sorry, Sean." She glanced around quickly. "Um, go ahead and sit at the counter. I'll be there in just a minute."

"I'll be waiting." Sean took his seat at the counter only to be greeted with a stern Maria. "What's your problem?"

"'I'll be waiting.' Could you be any more obvious?" Maria scoffed at him. "Liz is in no condition to pursue a… fling with you."

"A fling?"

"Liz needs stability and you can't give her that so don't even try." She glanced around and leaned forward. "I saw you staring at her the other night. Don't even think about it."

"So now you're psychic? You know what I'm thinking?" Sean shook his head. "I don't see you over there with that Evans' guy telling him to back off."

"Liz and Max are just friends now. He knows better."

"I don't think he does because he was staring at her twice as hard as I was."

"That's different."

"Why?"

"It just is."

"Right." Shaking his head, he turned away from her.

"Sorry, Sean." Liz stopped by and reached for her order pad. Just then another customer flagged her down. "Sorry. Maria, can you get his order? Thanks."

Maria cornered me in the break room and asked me if I was getting back together with Max. I couldn't even speak. I haven't even thought about that. Then she asks me what's going on with Sean. I didn't know there was something going on with Sean.

"He's like… so panting like a puppy. He doesn't take his eyes off of you if you're in the room." Maria hugged and brushed her hair out of her face.

"Really?" Liz glanced out the break room window. "Sean?"

"Liz. Listen to me. Don't do it."

"Don't do what?" She turned to her friend. "I hadn't thought about it, really. I mean… did he say something?"

"Erg!!!" Maria threw her hands up in the air and stomped out into the dining room.

She's been acting really bizarre lately.

Maria sank into the booth with Alex. "Will you look at her? Now she's flirting with him."

Alex shook his head and waited until Maria looked at him. "You know, I talked to Liz last night."

"And?"

"And she wasn't even thinking about it until you put it in her head."

"That…" She pointed to Liz laughing at something Sean said. "That isn't my fault."

"Yes, it is."

"Then why didn't you tell her something?"

"Like what?" His blue eyes looked tired. "Look. I listen. That's my job. If I try to tell her what to do… I'd be you."

"What?"

"You… do this thing where you expect her to be perfect and she's not. You tell her that she needs to date but then you have to tell her which guys to date and which ones not to date." He sipped his orange soda. "My stand is always the same. I want you guys to be happy. Granted, I don't like the idea of Liz and Sean getting together but what am I going to do? Forbid her. She's smart. She can make her own decisions." Maria couldn't answer. All she could do was sit with her arms crossed. "I didn't stop you from dating that guy after New Year's evening though I knew he was a jerk."

"Why didn't you stop me?"

"Because, if I had tried, you would have ignored me and then avoided me after the date just so I couldn't tell you 'I told you so.' Your friendship is important to me but I'm not your guardian angel." Alex squeezed his eyes shut. "You girls give me headaches sometimes but I'm letting you know. Come prom. I'm nobody's safety-date."

"Alex…"

"No, I'm serious. Either I get a date or I don't go. I'm not going to play platonic friend on a night that's for actual couples… you can forget Valentine's Day too."

Although, Sean did ask me to a car show. I don't think I'll go but it was nice of him to ask. Sure, he's immature but I think an outing is a sure good time. He asked me about Max and again, it surprised me until I noticed Max's clipped behavior lately. I can't wait for school to start back up, maybe things will get back to normal then.

TBC
posted on 15-Feb-2003 5:46:14 PM by DMartinez
quote:
I can't describe the way I felt when I read Jen's farewell. It didn't seem possible but here I figured if the mods and such were able to put up with all the conflict that made my head hurt, then I could too.
No pretty words from me. When the Captain and builder of a ship won''t stay aboard, it's time for even the rats to go. Consider me a rat, I'm... I'm not comfortable posting here, haven't for quite a while now. Guess I've found my excuse to go.
I've enjoyed the board since I found it way back when three or four episodes into the series. I've tried to follow it even through my own personal trauma. I've grown tired... not of writing (people who know me best will know that I would write if no one but a sand crab and I would read it). I don't like people and I'm tired of dealing with people. If you want to continue reading, you know where to find me. Least there I don't get ranted at for following through with a story line.

Huh. A weight was just lifted. Funny that.

DMartinez