|posted on 2-Mar-2002 5:53:20 AM by Kazza|
|Something to Believe in – BY KAZZA|
Disclaimer: In the alternate universe that all Roswell Fanfic writers visit, I own Roswell. Sadly, in the real world, I own nothing, so please don’t sue me! I promise to return the characters good as new. I do, however, own the idea to this story.
Summary: Alternate Universe. Not set in Roswell and there are no aliens in sight! Just your regular love story!
Category: A bit of everyone, but swaying towards Max and Liz.
Rating: PG-13 (For now!!)
Dedication: This story is dedicated to Jo, my amazing Roswell e-buddy, whom I’ve had the privileged pleasure to meet. A wonderful person who truly has a pure heart of gold.
Authors Notes: This is my own story, generated from my own imagination. I apologise if any of my ‘American’ terms are incorrect, please forgive me since I don’t live there!
Ok, I’m still a little bleary eyed and jetlagged from my trip to LA, so please forgive any major typos! I had an awesome time, and got to meet Shiri, Majandra, Nick, Brendan and Adam along the way!
If you’re interested in hearing about the trip, or want to see pics of the cast, go to my website www.angelfire.com/tv2/kazzaskorner (you’ll need to copy and paste this in your web browser as the link doesn’t work otherwise). More pics will be uploaded as soon as I get them back from the developers!
Now, on with the next part of the story ……. Enjoy! And as always I’d love to know if you’re enjoying the direction of the story now. Take care, Kaz.
All too soon their holiday retreat came to a reluctant end. To Max, it had been a total success though. Not only had they spent quality time together, but Liz had also accepted his proposal. In doing so, she had also opened up her very last secret to him, which signalled that she truly trusted him. There was a clear relaxation in her manner, as if finally enjoying and accepting the emotions she felt for him and the love he showered her with openly.
The only thing that troubled Max thought was the fact Liz hadn’t told her family about him or their recent engagement. Max was a traditionalist, and in his heart he knew he couldn’t truly plan or enjoy their wedding until he had asked Liz’s father for her hand in marriage. It was old fashioned and he was sure Liz would say completely unnecessary since she was a grown woman with a mind of her own, but it was important to him. He had to gain approval before going further, it was that simple.
Breaching the subject, however, was a delicate project. He was sure Liz wouldn’t take too kindly to him pushing her into arranging a meeting with her parents. But, if she had some issues with her parents he hoped he’d be able to help her, or at least understand if she refused to meet with them.
The moment presented itself a little over a week after their return from holiday. Lying in Max’s arms after making love, they were discussing tentative wedding plans. Although they both knew they wanted to make the commitment of marriage, a period of engagement was suitable for both parties.
“Liz ….” He started.
“I was wondering …… we should go and see your parents. You know, it would be better telling them in person about us than over the phone.”
“Oh they won’t care.” Liz replied casually, trying to close the subject before it began.
“Of course they will, their little girl’s gonna get married …… besides it would be nice to meet them before the wedding.”
“Oh I don’t know if they’ll be able to make it to the wedding.” Liz announced somewhat cryptically.
“But we haven’t even set a date, how can you say they won’t be able to make it? This is your big day, I’m sure they’ll be there.”
“They’re really busy people Max ………..”
“I’m sure they are, but their daughter will only be getting married once.” He said firmly.
“Look Max, I know you mean well and everything, but seeing them just isn’t a good idea …….”
“Why not Liz? What are you afraid of? What are you running from?” He queried, tilting his head down so he could look at her. It was clear by her evasiveness that something was troubling her, and he wanted to help any way he could. If meeting her parents was a problem then he’d accept it, but details as to why was a necessity for his peace of mind.
“I’m not afraid of anything ………”
“Liz please, what ever it is I’m sure we can face it together. You just have to talk to me.” He pressed gently.
“Ok Max, you wanna know? I’m scared to go home ok!” She snapped somewhat, pulling away from his comforting embrace.
“Why?” He queried, propping his upper body up on the pillow.
“Because ………… because I haven’t really been back to see them properly since I lost Kyle.” She replied, somewhat shamefully.
“What? You’ve not spent quality time with your own family in years?” He queried, trying to keep the astonishment out of his voice.
“No I haven’t ok.” She responded, pausing for a moment. “I guess ….. I’ve been afraid to go home for any length of time.”
“Because I’m scared I’ll slip back into the person I used to be when it was my family home. I was a very different person back then Max, I was naïve and very innocent in the way I viewed the world. I thought nothing would be able to hurt me, and my parents helped to create that imaginary world for me. They made me believe that my life would be perfect and I’d be just like them. But I haven’t had a perfect life Max, I’ve had pain and heartache and only finding you has given me a chance a more good times.”
“Liz you can’t hold your parents responsible for Kyle’s death. I know that they protected you from realities of this world, but that is just natural for all parents. Nobody wants their child to get hurt or experience pain, so you shield them from it for as long as possible. Going back home won’t make you slip back into that innocent girl Liz, you’ve experienced too much for that. But to rob yourself of your family’s love, that isn’t fair on you.” He told her.
“Why now Max? Why do you want to see my family?” She queried.
“Because it would be nice to meet them before I take your hand away from your father’s at our wedding. And I want to make sure we have your parents blessing.”
“That doesn’t matter to me.”
“But it does to me Liz.” He said, gently reaching out and stroking her cheek. “I want everything to be perfect for us, I don’t want your family to resent me or shun you because of our marriage. I want to do things right. Please don’t deny me that.” He pleaded with her, lifting her chin so he could look into her eyes so she would know how much it meant to him.
“This is really important to you isn’t it?”
“Yes it is. I can’t explain why, it just is Liz.”
“Ok, I’ll do it. But only for you.” She said, moving back into his waiting arms once more. Gently kissing the top of her head, Max was grateful that she had finally caved to his wishes. In his heart he also knew it was important to Liz to see her family again, maybe it would be another bridge she could mend on the way.
The flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco International Airport, two weeks later, was relatively uneventful. As they touched down, however, Liz couldn’t shake the uneasy feeling consuming her body. It had been such a long time since she’d been home, nearly a year, and seeing her parents and sister again scared her somewhat. The surprise in Nancy’s voice when Liz had asked if she could visit was clearly evident to Liz when she’d made the phone call. It had been a strained conversation, Nancy querying why her daughter was visiting, and Liz trying to act as if it was just a casual visit to her.
The one thing Liz omitted from Max, somewhat on purpose, was the fact her parents had no clue she wasn’t visiting alone. She didn’t fancy a grilling from her mother on the phone, and had decided early on that just turning up with Max and making them deal with it was the best policy.
As the taxi pulled into the driveway though, she quickly had second thoughts. Her father still seemed to look at Liz as a little girl, how would he react when she announced Max was her fiancé?
“Ready?” He queried softly, as the taxi pulled away.
“I guess so.” She said reluctantly, as Max picked up their overnight bags.
“It’ll be ok Liz. No matter what, I’ll always be here.” He told her as they reached the front door. For a moment Liz considered using the keys she had stashed away in her purse. But, realising it had been a long time since her last visit, Liz aired on the side of caution just in case her parents weren’t as excited to see her as she hoped.
Opening the door, Max was greeted by an amazing sight. The young girl in front of him was almost an exact carbon copy of his beautiful fiancée. It was clear the girl was a few years younger than Liz, but she was definitely related and could almost be passed off as a twin in his eyes.
“Hi Calistia.” Liz said, smiling at her sister in an attempt to make up for lost time.
“Hi.” The young girl replied casually, her eyes firmly directed at her sister’s new friend.
”I’m Max.” He said, extending a hand of welcome to her.
“I’m Cali, Liz’s sister.” She responded, totally ignoring Liz.
“It’s very nice to meet you.” Max replied, being polite as the young girl kept her eyes locked on his.
“You too.” Cali replied, smiling a warm smile and gently fluttering her eyelids in his direction.
“Ok, can we come in now?” Liz queried, trying to break the trance her sister seemed to be in.
Stepping inside the family home sent shivers down Liz’s spine and worry lines creased her normally relaxed brow. It was clear very little had changed since her last visit. The token vase of fresh flowers stood on the hallway table, the same pictures still decorated the walls and battered rugs on the wooden floors, it was all very surreal to Liz.
“You ok?” Max whispered, noticing she seemed routed to the spot.
“I …….. guess so.” She replied, sounding anything but composed. No matter what she did, she couldn’t make her feet move further than the hallway. A wave of nostalgia washed over Liz like a huge breaking wave. Memories of when she had been younger, running through the open house barefoot without a care in the world. They were times when she didn’t know hurt, or the pain of loosing someone she loved. For a moment, she couldn’t help but wish she could recapture that innocence, that belief the world was a wonderful perfect place.
“Lizzie!” A familiar voice called out, breaking her from the daze.
“Hi dad.” She replied, smiling at her father.
“It’s so great to see you again!” He said enthusiastically, throwing his arms around his eldest daughter.
“You too.” She choked as he hugged her tightly.
“So how have you been? How’s work? Is it still as hectic as normal or have things quietened down now? How long have you come back for?” Jeff asked quickly, bombarding Liz with questions too quickly for her to answer.
“Give the poor girl some breathing space Jeff, can’t you see your smothering her.” Nancy said as she stood in the entrance to the kitchen.
“Hi mum.” Liz responded somewhat gratefully.
“Hi Liz, it’s nice to see you again.” Nancy replied, an air of friction crackling silently above them that didn’t go unnoticed by Max.
“And this is Max.” Calistia quickly announced, drawing alongside her sister’s friend and eagerly slipping a hand around Max’s arm.
“Oh, I didn’t realise you were brining a guest. We haven’t got the spare room ready.” Nancy commented, as they finally noticed Max standing beside their daughter.
“Max this is my father Jeff, mother Nancy, and you’ve already been introduced to my little sister Calistia.”
“It’s Cali.” The young girl corrected pointedly eyes narrowing in Liz’s direction.
“Hello sir.” Max said dutifully, holding his hand out to shake the older man’s hand firmly.
“Hi. So you’re a friend of Lizzie’s are you?” Jeff queried, clearly eyeing the young man up.
“That’s right.” Max responded, holding her father’s stare with comfortable ease. He was used to mind games, it was Max’s forte, and he certainly wasn’t going to be outdone here. Winning over Jeff Parker was like a mission to Max, and he wasn’t going to fail the first test by looking weak in the older man’s eyes.
“Well I’ll head up and fix the spare room for you Max.” Nancy smiled, starting to walk across the hallway to the large staircase.
“That won’t be necessary mother.” Liz informed. “Max will be staying with me tonight.” She added calmly. It was the only point Liz was determined to stand strong on while back in her parents’ home. She was more than old enough to choose to allow Max to share her bed, and if her parents didn’t like it then she was more than prepared to grab a room at the nearby guesthouse. Her parents would never stand for her to be in town and not stay at the family home; their reputation in the village would be severely dented if she looked distant from them.
“I don’t think so Liz ……..” Her father started, his stance suggesting he was no happy at all with her decision.
“I’m not a child dad, I am old enough to make my own choices. Max will be staying with me tonight.” Liz said defiantly.
“Not under my roof ………” Jeff started, quite prepared to put his foot down. Liz may be 25 years old, but in his eyes she was still a young girl. He certainly didn’t want to have thoughts about Max sharing the same room let alone bed as his daughter.
“How about Liz and I put our stuff down and then you can catch up?” Max suggested, trying to diffuse a potential argument. It was clear to him now where Liz got her stubborn streak, and he was sure neither father nor daughter would be prepared to back down over this matter.
“Good idea.” Liz replied seeing an easy way out of the situation, taking Max’s hand and quickly leading him up the staircase.
Out of everything she’d seen so far in the house, the only room that had changed over the years since she’d moved out was her own. Previously it had been a bright yellow, happy haven throughout the years she’d grown up in the house. Happy childhood memories had been encased in that room. Days spent studying; nights spent gossiping to her friends on the phone about lads at school.
But now, as she opened the door and stepped inside, the room looked alien to her. It was painted in a cooling blue colour, with cream curtains and bedspread, with shaded blue throw cushions like splats of dye on the neutral coloured bed. All her things had been packed away, and only a few china dolls gave any indication it had previously been Liz’s room.
For a moment she stood in the middle of the large room and just stared, looking at everything that she used to be, and now the clear indication that happy, innocent Liz Parker was now gone completely, forever.
It was obvious just looking at Liz’s face that her room had changed considerably, and it pained her. Despite her reluctance to come back to the family home for a visit, Max was sure she was hurt they’d changed the room so drastically without consulting her. He knew Liz well enough to know that this wasn’t the same room she’d grown up in, it was too cold and clinical, she was a much warmer and happier person.
“It’s ok Liz.” He said softly, pulling her into a comforting embrace. Encouraged by him she rested the side of her head against his chest and he softly rested his chin on the top of her head.
“I don’t belong here anymore Max.” She said sadly, tears quietly welling in her eyes as she vainly battled to keep control.
“Of course you do Liz, this is your parents house, the place where you grew up. You’ll always belong here if you let yourself.”
“But I’ve moved on. I’m not the little girl my father thinks I am, I’m not the ‘stay at home’ wife my mother expected me to be …… and I’m not the caring big sister Cali wanted.” She replied “I’m just so different to them, so much of a disappointment because I didn’t live up to who they expected me to be.”
“Then prove to them who you have become exceeds their greatest expectations they had for you. You’re an amazingly successfully business woman Liz, your working portfolio speaks for itself, but you’re so much more than that too. You’ve got inner strength and believe in abundance. You’ve overcome you’re biggest challenge and you’re a better person for it. Go and show them you’re still their Liz Parker who grew up here, but you’re also new and improve version now.” He told her. “Give them time though. They haven’t seen you in a long while, they’re bound to be wary about why you’ve suddenly shown up.” He added wisely.
Partly inside also, Max queried whether Liz’s parents would blame him somewhat for the change in their daughter. He could sense Jeff was already suspicious of him, and Nancy hadn’t said a great deal either. In fact, the only person who seemed to have accepted him unquestioningly was Cali. Taking comfort in that, Max was grateful at least he’d won his future sister-in-law over.
Dinner itself passed rather uneventfully. Polite chitchat was exchanged with general questions directed both to Liz and Max. It was clear to Liz, however, that her sister was already developing a liking to Max. Calistia had quickly moved seats when she found Max wasn’t sitting beside her, and she did her utmost to occupy Max’s attention throughout the meal. Her sickly sweet smile and naïve battering of the eyelids caused Liz to bite back a giggle more than once.
Her sister had clearly grown up since Liz had left her as a brace wearing 10 year old. It made part of Liz sad, that she had missed out on her little sister growing into a teenager. Her attempts at seducing Max, however, were practically laughable. Liz made a mental note to give her some tips in subtlety for boys more her own age. Max, on the other hand, seemed to be completely oblivious to Cali’s seduction attempts. He seemed to take it all in his stride, talking to the young girl, and listening intently when she spoke. Liz felt renewed admiration for her fiancé, the way he handled a delicate situation with Cali was commendable.
“So Max, what do you do for a living?” Jeff queried, as his wife dished out fresh fruit salad for desert.
“I have my own business, I’m a consultant specialising in business takeovers.” Max replied, taking a dish from Nancy.
“Your own business huh, you must be pretty good then.”
“The business is doing well, and I have enough satisfied customers to indicate my services are acceptable.” Max said modestly. “But I have to say I’ve met my match in your daughter Mr Parker.” He added, glancing at Liz and throwing her a quick smile.
“Please, call me Jeff. What do you mean you’ve met your match?”
“Well I’m normally able to breeze into a new project, take over and run it how I see fit. But your daughter’s a very sprightly businesswoman Jeff. She’s certainly given me a run for my money during the project we’ve worked on together. You must be very proud of Liz.”
“Well yes of course we are.” Jeff said quickly. “But we’d be just as happy if Liz had a nice easy job and a loving husband to look after. I mean we hardly see Liz because her job is so demanding, it’s not right for a woman to be tied to her office so much.” He added, talking as if Liz wasn’t in the room.
“Dad ………” She started, the warning in her voice very evident. It was obvious to the astute Max that he’d clearly uncovered a deep running feud between father and daughter with his praise for Liz.
“I’m sure that’s fine for some women Jeff, but if Liz was merely a glorified housewife it would be a severe waste of her amazing talents. I think staying at home is not your daughter’s style, she needs to be busy and feel needed, not sitting at home cooking dinners for a husband.”
“So you don’t think my daughter is good enough to be lavished to the extent that she doesn’t need to work anymore?” Jeff queried, his eyes narrowing in the direction of his daughter’s friend. To Jeff, he measured his daughter’s new friend on whether Liz could be kept in a life of luxury, rather than how knowledgeable or caring he was.
“That’s not what I mean.” He stopped. “I know Liz well enough to know she would go mad staying at home each day, Liz needs to work because she enjoys it. If she wanted to marry a rich husband so she could stay at home all day and become a housewife then I know it would be no problem.” Max informed, glancing at Liz once more.
In simple eye movements, he conveyed to her what he meant to ensure Liz hadn’t interpreted his intentions wrongly. It wasn’t that Max felt Liz couldn’t stay at home all day looking after children and a husband, because if she did he’d be definitely willing to support them both with his more than adequate salary. It was more that Max knew Liz so well that he understood she needed to work to stay alive.
Watching her fiancé defend her choice to work was an interesting sight for Liz. Never before had she found someone who would stand up to her father and fight on her behalf. Even Kyle hadn’t gone up against the infamous Jeff Parker, despite not always following his views on subjects. But Max wasn’t afraid; Liz could see that. He held her father’s stares with comforting ease; he was calming in his reasoning, not being prepared to back down for the sake of keeping peace. It was clear that although Max had come for approval to their wedding, he wasn’t prepared to take it at any cost. Standing up for Liz’s rights was clearly more important to Max than any word of acceptance from Jeff Parker.
Her love for Max grew even more as she glanced in his direction. Stretching out a hand under the table, she carefully placed it on his knee and squeezed it gently. It was a simple gesture, but one that showed him she appreciated his kind words and battling for her. Slipping a free hand over hers, he cupped her fingers, letting her know he was right beside her no matter what.
Once all the food had been consumed, the ladies cleared away the plates, giving Max the perfect opportunity to talk to Liz’s father. Adjourning to the living room, Jeff handed Max a tumbler of whiskey before the sat down.
”I have something to ask you Mr Parker.” Max started; feeling calling him Jeff would be too informal at that moment.
“Ok.” Jeff replied cautiously, feeling some important was about to unfold.
“I know you don’t know me very well, but I care very much for your daughter. Liz and I are very close, and although we’ve had some rough times I know Liz is the person I want to be with for the rest of my life.”
“What are you saying?”
“I would like to ask you for your daughter’s hand in marriage Mr Parker.” Max said calmly, turning to face his fiancée’s father to gauge his reaction.
“Really?” Jeff stated, raising his eyebrows as he took a sip of the tart liquid. “You are right, I don’t know you Max. How can I be sure you will take good care of my daughter?” He challenged.
“Because I love Liz with all my heart. She is an amazing person Sir, more wonderful than I think you know. She is so smart, caring and considerate, she is very special. She’s made my life a better place, and I want to make her involvement permanent.”
“So this is why you came here is it?”
“I asked Liz if we could come here. I wanted to do the right thing Sir; I wanted to ask your permission properly. Liz and I could have just told you we were getting married and expected you to accept it. But I don’t want to start off on the wrong foot. I’ve been brought up correctly Mr Parker, my parents instilled manners in me at a very young age. Seeking your approval to our marriage is important to me.” Max informed him.
“So, has Liz told you about Kyle?” Jeff enquired, wondering if it would scare him away if he didn’t know.
“Yes she has.” Max replied. “Your daughter has had a tough time, and I won’t lie and say things have been easy for us. Liz is very strong willed, and yes for a long time she pushed me away. But she means too much to me to just walk away from her. I love her Mr Parker, and I can assure you I will protect her will my life.”
“And what does Liz think of this? From all I’ve heard since Kyle’s death she hasn’t wanted to get close to anyone, let alone marriage. What makes you think she wants to marry you?”
”I am aware of Liz’s reluctance to get close to people, but I’ve managed to help her come out of her shell. Liz has accepted my proposal and we do intend to get married in the very near future Mr Parker, but we would like your blessing first.”