posted on 28-Feb-2002 5:55:34 AM by Deejonaise
Email: dmb9005⊕hotmail.com
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: I don’t own it and the way Roswell’s been lately that makes me glad as heck!
Summary: Following Chant Down Babylon, M and L have a much needed discussion.
Category: M/L
Author’s note: This is my first fanfic in over a year. I’ve had a baby since then so if my writing seems incoherent, don’t panic…the lack of sleep has simply fried my brain.
P.S. Feedback is nice, so I'll say it twice: Feedback is nice, feedback is nice!

Part 1

The time had finally come. It was their first time alone together in nearly three weeks. The first time alone if you didn’t count his trying to kill her. Maria had driven until she couldn’t anymore. Finally around 2:00 a.m. she had said in a tired sigh, “Guys, I’m beat. Let’s call it a night and start off again tomorrow.” She hadn’t waited for their reply and they didn’t bother to give her one. She was already pulling off on the Comfort Inn exit.

They gratefully allowed Maria to handle the room arrangements, too tired to do anything more than cling to each other. It had been expected for Maria to purchase two rooms, one for her and Liz and then one for Max. She had obtained two rooms all right, but Max and Liz didn’t find out until they were in the elevator heading for the third floor that Maria intended on sleeping alone.

Max and Liz looked at her as if she’d sprouted wings and started clucking. Liz glared at her indignantly. “What! Maria, are you crazy? I can’t share a room with Max!”

“On the contrary,” Maria said in a placating tone that made Liz yearn to slap her, “you can and will. Under the circumstances I think it’s the best thing.” When she noticed the blush creeping up Max’s neck Maria rolled her eyes in exasperation. “Not to do that, you moron! To talk. Don’t you think you and Liz need to talk?”

And so here they were, facing each other in silence in a hotel room. They hadn’t shared a hotel room since that time in Vegas, Max thought nostalgically. Alex had been alive then. And Tess… Well, Max wouldn’t think about Tess. But things had been so different then. Max had thought that he had all the answers. It turned out that he hadn’t known a thing, not really. He found himself wondering for the millionth time when his life had become so complicated.

As if by some unspoken agreement Max and Liz took their seats on each of the double beds, opposite one another. The time for serious talk had dawned it seemed, but neither one of them seemed inclined to begin.

Compressing her hands together and shoving them between her knees, Liz eyed Max warily through her hair. “So how are you feeling.”

“Like a MAC truck is turning cartwheels in my head,” Max replied honestly, “I definitely want to get out of these clothes,” he continued, shivering at little as he glanced down at the Clayton ensemble he wore. And then belatedly realizing what he had said and how it must sound, he stammered, “I-I didn’t mean that the way it sounds. It’s just…wearing his clothes creeps me out.” Liz secretly thought the clothes looked absolutely sexy on him, but she refrained from telling him so. “How are you feeling?” Max asked quickly.

“Ditto on the MAC truck, but for a different reason.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah.”

They lapsed off into deafening silence once again. It was frustrating really. Liz had so much to say, but she didn’t know how to begin. The last time she had seen Max she had said so many horrible things to him. Facing him was like a nightmare now. All that time she had been away it had been easy to be angry with Max and blame him for all the things that had went wrong with their relationship. But she had been forced to confront the truth with news of his “death.”

She had been using his betrayal to hide behind her own guilt and pain. If she had not lied to Max all those many months ago would he still have died? Would Alex, for that matter? Liz had been so convinced that she had done the right thing, that she had truly saved the world. But had it been the right thing? Did crushing Max the way she had make one damned bit of difference? Tess had still left town and destroyed nearly everything Liz had loved in the process. It seemed that Future Max hadn’t had all the answers after all.

What Liz did know was that when she thought Max was dead her world had crumbled. She had told herself that she had left Roswell as a means of finding herself again, but now in her bleak tiredness she admitted that her decision had been more about punishing Max than anything else. His “death” had confirmed it. Liz had always known who she was. She was a part of Max and he was a part of her. It had always been and would always be and nothing outside of that connection really mattered. Hearing that Max had died, Liz had actually felt the light go out of her. It had been as if she were a walking shell, the pain had been that devastating.

Liz had always feared the threat of losing Max, but she had never imagined that it would leave her so cold and empty inside. So then she had her answer. Max Evans did define her existence. He had become connected to her in every sense, spiritually, emotionally…every sense except physically. And yet, even without that physical relationship their bond was something unique, otherworldly, and impossible to be described. She loved him, more than loved him and she knew that if she ever did lose him she would be lost, as well.

Max stared at Liz, wanting desperately to know what she was thinking while a silent anguish was building in his gut. Liz had fled Roswell to distance herself from him and the alien drama that plagued his life; yet, here he was again, screwing up her life on a phenomenal scale. And this time he had actually tried to kill her! He imagined she must hate him with a virulence. If Max had harbored any hope for reconciliation with Liz that hope had flickered out completely. He couldn’t fathom that she would ever want him back after this. No wonder she had been so appalled when Maria suggested they share a room. Considering the circumstances Max wouldn’t have wanted to be within a ten-mile radius of himself either. And so he sat there, waiting in dread for the inevitable, bracing himself for the worst.

However, when Liz continued to remain silent Max felt compelled to say the things that she should be saying to him. “I know after this last time that you’re probably quite fed up with me—“

“No, Max,” Liz interrupted quickly, “I’m not…I’m not angry with you at all…I know it wasn’t you trying to kill me…I’m just too happy you’re alive.”

“You are?”

He seemed so genuinely surprised by her admission that for a moment Liz was startled into silence. “Well, of course I am, Max,” she stammered finally, “Why would you think otherwise?”

“Maybe because you’ve barely taken any of my phone calls in the last three weeks,” Max provided a little sarcastically.

“You know why,” Liz whispered, her voice strained with guilt.

“No, no I don’t,” Max replied earnestly, “I thought everything was going good between us, Liz.”

His complete obtuseness sent Liz over the edge. “Good between us?” Liz scoffed, “You thought things were good between us? Max, you have a child out there, one you spend nearly all your time searching for. A child who happens to be a constant reminder to me of what you did with Tess! How do you imagine that everything is good between us?” The last of this was shouted as Liz could feel her anger come boiling to the surface.

“I can’t just turn my back on my son, Liz,” Max said remotely.

“Oh, no of course not,” Liz snapped, already in full swing and unable to stop, “Saint Max couldn’t possibly abandon his son! This coming from the same man who had unprotected sex with a murdering she-devil!”

“What the hell did you expect me to do? I thought you’d slept with Kyle, dammit!” In every other instance Liz would mention Tess Max would find himself mentally cowed by the guilt. He had betrayed her, the love of his life when all he had ever wanted was to cherish her and keep her happy. But this time Max found his guilt mingled with something else. Anger. He had never let himself feel it before, had always checked it before it manifested itself. But not this time. If Liz was giving vent, why shouldn’t he? “Do you know how it made me feel to see you in bed with him that night?” The expression of lonely disgust and betrayal on his face twisted like a knife in Liz’s chest. She couldn’t look at him, but when she would have turned away he ordered sharply, “No, you look at me! We are going to have this out…right here, right now.”


[ edited 2 time(s), last at 2-Mar-2002 9:17:13 PM ]
posted on 28-Feb-2002 9:24:31 AM by Deejonaise
Yup luvfanfic, that's me. I've been away from the boards so long I don't know what's going on. Can anyone recommend some good fanfic?

Dee
posted on 28-Feb-2002 11:48:47 AM by Deejonaise
I'm guessing it's you, Rosa, strictly going by the "boppy" reference. I haven't heard from you in a while. How's your little one doing?

Dee
posted on 28-Feb-2002 3:36:13 PM by Deejonaise
Rosa, my boy is four months old now and a handfull. I feel like I never do anything except feed him and change diapers, lol. But really he's so adorable. He's a whomping 18 lbs. now, talk about a big baby!

As for Season 3 I have only watched 4 episodes, Busted and the last three. Busted disappointed me so much that I had to just stop watching altogether. But when I read Star's synopsis about Liz finally confronting Max about Tess and the spawn I had to check it out.

That's actually why I'm writing this story. With the threat of cancellation looming I doubt JK will actually give the fans some closure. This story is my closure. I know that after I write it I can be done with Roswell forever. The television show, at least, the fanfic is still up for grabs, lol.

Dee

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 28-Feb-2002 3:44:48 PM ]
posted on 1-Mar-2002 5:31:58 PM by Deejonaise
P.S. If anyone knows how to change a thread title, let me know. Here's Part 2. I probably won't be able to post 3 until Monday evening though. Until then...


Part 2

“That night when I saw you two in bed I thought I’d die…I wanted to die,” Max began, his eyes glistening. Liz could tell that he was no longer with her in that room, but he was again back in that night, standing on her balcony, experiencing the most heart wrenching pain he had ever known. She watched him intently, noting the change in his expression as he relived that night’s events.

Max could still remember how clean the air had smelled that night. It had been just a humid night despite the fact that Fall was approaching. Max had gripped the Gomez tickets in his hands as if they were tickets to his future. He supposed in a way they had been his ticket to a future with Liz. He had planned to give Liz Parker the most precious part of himself that night, his virginity. But his plans had all been dashed in an instant when he found her in bed with Kyle. “For a moment I just stood there because I couldn’t believe that what I was seeing was real. You and Kyle in bed…it just didn’t make sense to me. And then you looked at me and… your face, God, your beautiful face…you looked so guilty and I knew. I felt like you had just reached into my chest and ripped my heart out. I wanted to confront you then, Liz, but I couldn’t. God knows if I had what I would have done.”

“But it wasn’t real,” Liz whispered in a tear-clogged voice, “I told you that.” Even as she said the words Liz knew that it didn’t heal the pain he had felt in that moment.

“Not until months later when it was too late.”

Feeling her guilt sweep through her like a sand storm, Liz quickly took refuge in her own anger and betrayal. “So you slept with Tess to pay me back, is that it?”

Max responded equally angry, equally betrayed. “No, I slept with Tess because my life had fallen apart, the love of my life had destroyed me and she was the only one who seemed to give a damn.”

Hearing how Tess had been there for him made Liz want to vomit, especially when she had loved him so much, so much, had never wanted to hurt him at all. “I cared, Max…I gave a damn!”

“You certainly didn’t act like it.”

Liz opened her mouth to deny the accusation and then abruptly snapped it shut. She could argue with him, she knew, but in the end he would still be right. And they were being honest with one another, after all. Liz knew that now was not the time for pretense. She had to be honest with herself. She had given him mixed singles the entire time. Why shouldn’t he be confused? She had spent all that time pushing him at Tess only to be angry when he did exactly what she wanted. But even the realization of the truth didn’t abate Liz’s anger towards him and the hurt that accompanied it.

Liz had certainly wanted to do the right thing, but she hadn’t wanted to lose Max either. The entire time she had been pushing Max toward his destiny she had been secretly hoping that he would resist, that his love for her would be too strong. She’d imagined that somehow he would be able to pick up on the signs, despite what she said, and realize she was lying. She had hoped that he would hold out for her no matter what. But then everyone had a breaking point, Liz realized, and apparently so did Max.

“Why? Why did you pretend to sleep with Kyle, Liz? Didn’t you know what that would do to me?” Max sighed dejectedly, “I don’t understand. Was it that important to you that I choose Tess?”

“I didn’t want you to choose Tess, Max. Not ever.”

Max gave a bitter, scoffing laugh. “Then what the hell was all this for, Liz? Why all the schemes and games?”

“I was trying to save the world,” Liz whispered. She told him everything then, after nearly a year of keeping it bottled up inside her. What was the point of keeping it to herself any longer? The damage had long since been done. Without tears, she recounted how Future Max had come to her and told her about the end of the world. She told him of how Future Max insisted that she make him, Present Max, fall out of love with her and how if she didn’t the results would be disastrous.

Max sat across from her, his elbows braced against his knees, massaging his temples as he absorbed the incredible story Liz had just recounted. “That’s ridiculous! Why would our loving one another end the world? Are you sure this guy was really me and not a Shapeshifter or something?”

Liz thought back to that night on her balcony, dancing in Future Max’s arms. His warmth, his strength, the love he had in his eyes for her, those things had been completely Max. “No, he was definitely you,” Liz countered softly, “Future Max said that Tess was integral to your group, that the love you had for me isolated her or something and she left town. Because of that you, Isabel and Michael were left vulnerable to your enemies. You needed to have Tess.”

“Well, I’m sorry to say it, Liz, but that theory has been shot all to hell. Tess left town anyway.” So you did all this for nothing, Max added silently, if not bitterly.

As if she had heard his private thoughts, Liz responded defensively, “I didn’t mean for any of this to happen. Don’t you think if I could have stopped Alex from dying I would have? I thought I was doing the right thing.”

At her pitiable reply Max’s sarcastic retorts choked in his throat. Instead he asked the question that had been plaguing him for months now. “Why did you have to stage that thing with Kyle? Why let me think that you had slept with someone else, to take it so far?”

“You wouldn’t give up, Max, no matter what I said or did you just kept coming back.” Liz licked at the corner of her mouth where her tears were beginning to collect. “I didn’t know any other way to make you stop.”

Max’s eyes skittered away. He contemplated the toe of his Nike as if it were the most fascinating discovery since man had landed on the moon. “You didn’t love me anymore?” he asked in a suffocated tone.

The boyish humility of his question was Liz’s undoing. She choked out a sob. “Of course, I still loved you, Max! I never stopped and it was hard, especially when you were being a total son of a bitch.”

Max still didn’t meet her eyes. “I was, wasn’t I?” And then he did look at her, his amber eyes made a soft velvet with the sheen of his tears. “I just felt like you didn’t want me, no matter what I did. Even when it seemed like things were over between you and Kyle you still didn’t.”

Liz stared at him in agonized surprise. “You still wanted me after…” The idea shocked Liz. He had seemed so disgusted with her afterwards, as if he couldn’t stand to look at her. And then weeks later when he had seemingly made his peace with it Liz could still tell that things were different between them. Max had put up a wall and no matter how hard she tried he wouldn’t allow Liz to penetrate it. His actions had clearly stated that they were over. But he hadn’t wanted them to be. He had still loved her, even after he believed she’d committed the most ultimate betrayal; he had still loved her. Liz found herself marveling over that fact.

“God, yes, I wanted you…you just didn’t want me.”

Liz released a teary giggle, caught between the utter despair and colossal irony of their situation. “It seems our relationship has just been one big misunderstanding after another, hasn’t it, Max?”

“All the more reason to end it, right?”

posted on 1-Mar-2002 5:35:27 PM by Deejonaise
And Wendy, about the colic, it's in God's hands. On a bright note, it's usually over by three months. I was fortunate enough that my son didn't have colic (thank goodness) so I know right now you're going through heck. Burp her alot, though, maybe that will help.
posted on 2-Mar-2002 9:19:09 PM by Deejonaise
Well, I got over my block sooner than I anticipated. Here's the conclusion. I know I feel tons better.

Part 3

His words knocked the breath out of her. After so many months of recounting to him the numerous reasons why they couldn’t be together hearing him say the words to her was like a kick in the gut. Liz had never expected that she and Max would magically go back to their relationship the way it had been before but she had never imagined that Max would give up so easily on it either.

Her first impulse was to be as flippant about the demise of their relationship as he seemed to be, but Liz didn’t have the strength to put on a front. Besides that she had been completely open with him until that point and there didn’t seem to be any advantage in switching tactics now. “Is that what you want?” she asked him quietly, while chewing at her upper lip.

“It seems like the only solution…,” Max replied, defeated, “Especially if you can’t forgive me for what happened with Tess.”

“Forgiveness is easier said than done, Max.”

“Why? Don’t you believe me when I say I’m sorry?”

Of course, she did. Liz believed Max felt sleeping with Tess was the single most regretful event of his life. She didn’t doubt for a moment that he was sorry. She just couldn’t get over the fact he had done it at all. Max had given the two most precious gifts he could have shared with anyone, gifts that should have been for Liz alone, his virginity and his child, to a woman who had been neither deserving nor loving. Tess had used him, whereas Liz had adored him. Liz would have cherished what he had given her, but Tess had only used those gifts as leverage. In one foolish act, Max had effectively destroyed every dream that Liz had ever had for them and Liz didn’t know how to forgive that.

Instead of answering his question, Liz stared down at her hands, feeling the hopelessness of their situation fall over her like a shadow. She responded with a question of her own, “What difference does it make whether I believe you or not? You still have a child with Tess. That connection is never going away.”

“It makes a difference if you still love me,” Max countered simply, “Do you, Liz? Do you still love me?”

“You know that I do,” she whispered.

“Then we can get past this.”

Liz shook her head sadly. “You don’t understand. I had dreams for us, Max. I wanted to be your first lover and I wanted you to be mine. I wanted to be the mother of your children, only me. We can never get back what we had. You can never give me those things now and they were so important to me.”

Max considered what she said carefully. She was right, as usual. In one stupid night he had irrevocably changed things between them for all time. Not only had he broken the unspoken promise monogamous fidelity between them but he had done so with a woman he knew Liz hated, a woman who had murdered one of her best friends, a woman who was now the mother of his child.

So now Max fully understood why his sleeping with Tess was like a slap in the face to Liz. He had carelessly given to Tess all the things Liz had yearned for herself. Seen from that perspective Max could understand why Liz would view the situation as hopeless. However, Max did not. Liz still loved him and that was all the motivation he needed to make things work between them. Besides that, Liz had brought him back from the dead. In some ironic way they had come full circle together. He didn’t need any further proof to know that Liz Parker belonged with him.

Max sighed. “Liz, I know you said we can’t go back—“

“Nope.”

“—but,” Max persisted doggedly, “does that mean that we can’t start over? There shouldn’t be any reason that we can’t start over.”

For the second time that night Liz found herself opening her mouth to say something only to snap it back shut. Start over? It was a possibility that she had never considered before. Wouldn’t their starting over be something akin to flushing the previous three years down the drain? Would that mean pretending that nothing had happened? Liz realized now that the complications were so much more than simply her anger at Max to contend with. Apparently, from all he had said earlier, Max was angry with her as well, even if he didn’t acknowledge it.

Liz shook her head finally after a long moment of thought. “Max, things between us are way to complicated to start over. We can’t just say, “I love you” and start again. We both made promises to each other that we didn’t keep. I lost a lot of respect for you last year and I suspect that you’ve lost some for me—“

“That’s not true!” Max was quick to interrupt.

“I know you don’t trust me the same,” Liz persisted.

I trust you with my life!” Max argued stubbornly.

“But not with your heart,” Liz countered.

Max didn’t bother to deny it. His trust in Liz had been damaged and not because she had lied to him, but because she hadn’t turned to him when it really mattered. That reality hurt Max more than the thought of her taking Kyle to bed. He wanted to be a person Liz felt she could count on and when it had mattered the most she had not turned to him. Max heaved a sigh, hunching his shoulders over in a gesture of surrender. “I guess that answers my question then: you do want it to be over.”

“Yes…I mean no…I mean…I don’t know what I mean.” Liz dragged her hands down her face. “Max, I want our friendship…I couldn’t stand if I lost it, but I can’t be in a relationship with you…not until I’ve sorted out all this Tess stuff in my head.”

Even though Max looked away quickly Liz didn’t miss the sparkling of tears in his eyes. “No, I understand,” he said and his voice was clogged with tears as he spoke, “you want to be my friend …you just don’t want to be with me.”

Liz’s own tears slipped down her cheeks. “Not right now.” Max only nodded, as if he were incapable of speech. “Do you hate me for it?” Liz asked tentatively.

“I could never hate you, Liz.” He bunched his fists into the bed coverlet reflexively. “I suppose this is what I deserve really.”

“I’m not saying this to punish you, Max,” Liz insisted tearfully. She moved from the bed and sat down beside him, gently sweeping his hand up into her own. Bringing the backs of his knuckles to her lips, she closed her eyes and sighed. “I’m trying to save us, Max. Our relationship wouldn’t amount to anything if we didn’t work our issues out first.”

Max pulled his hand free from her grasp but only to caress her hair. “So what is it that you’re suggesting…friendship?”

Liz nodded against his palm. “Real friendship…trust, honesty, you know, the whole bit.”

Max reluctantly pulled his hand away. “Meaning no hanky-panky, right?”

Liz chuckled at his phrasing. “For now, anyway.”

Max chewed at his bottom lip thoughtfully, seriously considering all that she’d said. “So I’m to understand that you’re not giving me the kiss-off here…just asking me to wait for you?”

The fact he could seemingly laugh at the situation made Liz smile. “Yes, I’m asking you to wait.”

“I can do that, then,” Max agreed, smiling into her eyes.

“Good,” Liz responded absently, somewhat lost in the amber of his eyes. It was a moment of genuine joy, an emotion she hadn’t experienced with Max Evans in quite awhile. She liked it immensely.

“You should go.”

His words snapped Liz from her dream state. She frowned at him. “What?”

“To Maria’s room,” Max clarified, “We might be friends, but my feelings for you aren’t all that friendly.”

Liz blushed, catching his meaning immediately. “I guess you’re right,” she said, rising to her feet. She smiled down at him, not wanting to leave, but knowing that she should. “I’ll see you in the morning?”

“Yeah.”

The End