Author: tigerlilly272000
Rating: PG-13, for now.
Disclaimer: The characters of Roswell do not belong to me.
I'm just borrowing them, so don't sue. All the other characters in this story and all the incidents are pure invention and fictional.
Category: Mainly M/L but the others are there too.
Summary: It's an alternative universe. No alien.

Note:This is my first fanfic, feedback is greatly appreciated, good or bad, as long as it is constructive.


December 15, 2000
Present


The old energy was still there.

After all this years, she could still read him like a book. All it took was one glance, one brushing touch of his fingers told her that much. She felt devastated. And Max was enjoying her confusion. She recognized that glinting triumph that sparked from his eyes. He'd come sneaking up behind her on purpose to catch her off guard.

"Hello, Max," Liz said calmly, though her heart was beating wildly. "I hear you're standing in for the best man. That was kind of you".

Her greeting was a let-down, but Max played his role with equal calm and grace. "Hi, Liz. I was happy to oblige," he said, and smiled at her blandly while the silence stretched. Finally, he blurted out, "Were you surprised that I'm included in the wedding party?"

She shrugged, as if the question never crossed her mind. "No".

A little flash of annoyance lit his eyes. She was playing it very cool. He decided to goad her. "You won't mind standing with me at the altar?" he taunted.

"Not under the circumstances." she said demurely. "As long as I'm only the bridesmaid, not the bride."

Max felt the sting of her words but managed a laugh. "At last we're agreeing on something."



September 8,1983
17 years ago....


Elizabeth Anne Parker was just finishing to brush her teeth as she prepared for bed when she noticed that the bruise on her right cheek is much worst as it look like earlier.

She was just contemplating on the best way to explain her bruise to her parents when the door to her bedroom opened.

Liz hastily yanked a towel to cover her right cheek as the stout, thirty-six-year-old housekeeper came in to take her dinner tray away.

"It's just me Lizzy. You don't have to hide in the bathroom or cover your face" Ms. Wenthworth chided. "And you don't have to worry about your parents either. Your mother just called and your mother and father won't be back until next week" Mrs. Wenthworth added.

"Oh, Ms. Wenthworth" Liz said. Removing the towel from her cheek as she marched over from the bathroom to the antique mirror above her dressing table to stare at her bruised cheek,thinking 'How in the world am I going to hide this bruise for school tomorrow.'

Ms.Wenthworth was just about to pick up the dinner tray when she noticed the distressed look on Liz face.

She reached out and patted Liz' arm saying "Don't worry Lizzy,things will look better in the morning" Ms. Wenthworth brigthly said. Then whisper in a conspiratorial voice, "I have just the right foundation to cover up that bruise. Now go to bed young lady, you've had too much excitement for one day."

"Thank you Ms. Wenthworth" Liz said, visibly relieved as she scrambled towards her bed. She watched as the door closed behind the housekeeper, then she slowly picked up her journal under her bed and start writting the days event...

Today is my first day of school as a third grader and I made anew friend. I didn't get to sit between Maria and Alex since Miss Blair assigned us a sitting arrangement. Instead I get to sit with the new boy. He seems nice. Too bad he got hit by those mean and bully sixth graders. He saved my life!!! I just know this is going to be the start of a beautiful friendship. His name is Max Evans.


Part 1B


Flash.

Liz Parker narrowed her eyes at the sight of Billy Mason and Nick Pontini poking something on the ground with a stick. The boys' laughs were deep and malicious.

Hate and injustice filled Liz' nine-year-old heart.

There was only one reason those awful sixth-graders would be enjoying themselves: they were torturing something!

She droped her bag and run up behind them, too incensed to care that there was no one else on the footpath that wound through the back of the school building near the pond.

"Stop that!" Liz nine year-old voice yelled. "You stop that!"

Billy's head jerked up and Nick jumped back. They both whipped around to glare at Liz. The dirt encrusted frog lying on the dusty ground leaped upward, one leg dragging a little as he headed unerringly toward the stagnant pond.

"You hurt it!" Liz cried, her small hands fisting at her sides.

"Get lost, kid." Billy turned his back on her. He jabbed his stick at the frog, missed, and drew back his arm to jab again.

Liz launched herself at him like a flying missile, hitting him squarely in the middle of his back.

"Hey!" he bellowed.

She flailed and kicked with all her strenght, prudence lost beneath a blinding anger.

Billy swore a word that singed Liz' ears. Then Nick grabbed her by her hair and yanked so hard it brought tears to her eyes.

"Get outta here!" Nick screamed, dragging her off Billy and shoving her backward.

Liz tripped over an exposed root, breathing hard. She could hardly see for the tears welling in her eyes. Her hair had been pulled free of its ponytail and fell in front of her face in a riotous tangle. "Leave it alone!"

"Mind your own business, you stupid.....snit!" Nick hissed.

"Go play with yourself," added Billy.

"I'm gonna-I'm ganna- Liz choked. "I'm gonna tell!"

"Oh, I'm scared. I'm really scared." Billy made a face at her, then picked up his stick again.

Nick stood right in front of Liz. He kept shoving her shoulders with his hands, short vicious thrusts that sent her stumbling backwards until her spine suddenly connected with a warm body.

"What's going on?" a boy's voice asked from behind her.

Liz turned swiftly, so thankful for a witness she could scarcely speak. "They're hurting that poor frog! It's half dead already. And they've been pushing me around and calling me names."

She recognized the boy right off. He was the new boy, her seatmate, she thought with sinking hopes. The sixth-graders would kill him.

"Beat it, twerp," Billy snarled.

"Leave that frog alone."

Liz glanced sideways at her newfound friend, filled with horror-tinged admiration. Did he know what he was inviting?Billy and Nick would have been happy to pulverize her into theground. What would they do to him?

"Who's gonna stop me?" Billy taunted. His eyes grew smaller and meaner as he glared at the boy.

Max. Liz suddenly remembered his name. He was tall for a third-grader. But he didn't have the meat or muscle of the two bullies. He was doomed to lose.

"Don't you have anything better to do?" Max asked.

Liz realized Max didn't know what was going to happen to him. "Come on," she said, moving closer to him.

But Max had thrown a challenge. Billy smiled a horrid smile, swung his stick around, then crashed it down to the frog.

Liz screamed. The frog leaped, unscathed.

Billy swore a blue streak.

And Max hurled himself against Billy in a flying tackle that sent the older boy tumbling into the scum-covered pond.

The smell of rotting vegetation filled the air.

For a moment there was utter silence.

With a roar of rage, Nick pounced at Max. Slugging him with the power and experience of three extra years. Max fought back, but Nick kept right on beating like a boxer. Scared, Liz jumped on Nick, digging her fingers into his scalp and pulling on his hair the way he'd pulled on hers. He shrieked with pain.

Billy staggered, dripping, from the pond. "My shirt!" he bellowed. "My new shirt!" I'm gonna kill you, you- ". He
growled in furry, unable to come up with an insult that could top Nick's.

"Get her off me!" Nick howled, and liz was jerked away and tossed aside like a rag doll. She staggered to her feet.

Max lay completely still on the ground.

Billy, too infuriated to notice, savagely kicked the toe of one soggy tennis shoe against Max's thigh.

Max's eyes stayed closed.

Nick was breathing hard, looking down at him. Blood trickled from the corner of Max's mouth.

"You killed him," Liz sobbed. "You killed him."

"Come on lets get outta here." Nick's face was turning white.

Billy was still red and angry. "No, I- "

"Come on, man!" Nick shouted, grabbing a fistful of Billy's shirt. "He's probably dead. I killed him!"

"Lets go!" Nick roared. "The hell with you I'm leaving!"

Billy stared down at the unmoving Max. Fear crawled across his face. He followed after Nick, racing faster and faster as if from the devil himself.

Liz felt ready to faint. She didn't do well with the sight of blood. She never had. Little sobs were issuing down her throat as she bent down to touch Max's unmoving form. "Max, are you dead?" she asked, scared.

"No." He squinted open his eyes. "Are they gone?"

Liz bobbed her head in relief.

"I thought playing dead was safer," Max said as he tried to get up. "Did he kill the frog?"

"No, he missed. The frog got away. I think he's back in the pond."

"You're my seatmate right? Max asked.

Liz nodded. "Liz Parker. You're new. Do you live around here?"

"Over that way." He pointed to the direction of their home.

"My house is nearer. You want to come over and get fixed up?"

Max pondered that seriously for several moments. "Yeah, okay," he said.

"Have you still got all your permanent teeth?" Liz asked as they walked along the neighborhood roadway.

"I think so."

He was beginning to look really terrible. One side of his face had swollen up as badly as when her best friend, Maria, had gotten stung by a wasp. Liz begun to feel anxious. She wanted Ms Wenthworth to make sure Max was okay.

******

After being fixed by Ms Wenthworth, Max stared at his reflection in the mirror and look infinitely happier. "Wow."

"You're gonna have a black eye."

Max grinned and glanced her way. "So are you."

"I am?" Liz crowded into the bathroom, staring at her own face. Her cheeks were streaked with grime and her brown hair was the same dusty shade as Max's. There was a beginning of a bruise at her right cheek and now that she see it, she felt the swelling.

Max started laughing and so did Liz. It was great!

"We need a picture!" Max said. "Do you have a camera?"

"Yeah." Liz entered her room and grabbed her camera at the nearby cabinet. Max followed Liz and took the camera from her and held it in front of them, as far as his arm could reach, pointing the lens their way.

"Get in close," he ordered.

"Make sure were both in the picture."

Liz squished up next to him.

Max wrap an arm around her shoulder. Click.

"Better take another," she suggested. "Just in case."

Click. "How about one more?" Max asked.

"Sure."

Click. He handed her back the camera and grinned.

"You want to be friends?" asked Liz.

"Sure. Why not?"

Liz managed to grin back. Max was so cool! He hadn't made fun of her once for being a girl. She grabbed his hand and pumped it hard. "Pleased to meet you Max Evans. Whenever I need help, I'll call on you."

"Same here," he said and they both laughed at the site of eachother's battered faces.

It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


Part 2A

March 1989
11 years ago

Liz was just finishing what she is writing in her journal...

Tonight I'm going out with Max. No big deal. We are just going to see a movie. I think Max is just trying to cheer me up or he is terribly bored. Why else would he ask me out?


Part 2B

Max Evans eased his new jeep against the curb in front of Liz's house. He liked driving it better than his mothers car, after all, it had a wide seat across the front. A necessity, as far as Max was concerned, if you wanted to kiss a girl.

Not that he expected to kiss Liz. She was his friend, and she'd made it clear in a hundred different ways that she found most of the guys in the class stupid, boring and generally consumed by lust to the exclusion of any sense. Max felt it was a gift of providence that she didn't seem to feel the same way about him. Considering the state of his hormones these days, he was sure she simply hadn't noticed.

Max gimaced it didn't help that Pam Troy was an unbearable tease. He'd started dating her in spite of her reputation. She was simply fun and cheerful, as far as he could see. And he'd ignored all the knowing jabs in the ribs by his friends and the sly winks ans smiles, thinking them just as Liz described. But in the end he found Pam enjoyed leading a guy on, then shutting him down. He was glad he'd broken up with her.

Which brought him to Liz. She was the one female who didn't play head games. He could trust her to be totally honest, totally fair. Thank God he didn't have to suffer through several hours of torment wondering what his date was thinking, worrying how the evening would end. Liz Parker was a relief to be with. Kind of like being out with the guys.

Max jumped out of the car, strode to the Parker's driveway, then glanced down at his tan shorts and the disreputable pair of running shoes he wore. Not exactly proper attire for an evening out, he thought with a grimace, straightening the gray shirt tucked into his shorts. He wondered if Liz was expecting to be taken somewhere special.

He raised his hand to ring the door bell and was surprised when the door opened. Liz, in a tank top and shorts, a white canvas bag slung over her shoulder, appeared as if by magic.

"Ready?" she asked.

"Sure."

She strode toward his jeep without another word while Max followed behind.

The way she moved caught his attention. Slender legs propelled her forward determinedly, but the sway of her hips was entirely feminine. He could see no bra line beneath the pink cotton top, and his mind's eye thought about how she must look from the front.

Hormones, he thought, gritting his teeth as the familiar, frustrating first heat of desire swept through him. Good God. He was with Liz, for crying out loud!

In the car he hazarded a galnce at her profile. "What are you in the mood for?" His gaze skated over her shorts and top. Good God, she looked good. He'd never noticed before how smooth and golden her skin was. How firm yet feminine the muscles of her thights were. How pink her lips were.

He dragged his gaze away, conscious of a tightening in his own shorts. With an effort, he said lightly, "Neither of us is dressed for a fancy restaurant."

"Good. I want to go somewhere I can relax. Where I don't have to think. Can we go see that horror flick everyone's talking about?"

Max glanced at her, amused. "You want to relax at "The Blob'?"

"I just need something mindless."

"Okay." He started the engine. "But it's only playing at the drive-in."

"No problem."

Max drove authomatically, all his senses attuned to the woman beside him. He was too concious of her. Her scent was soft and light, the gentle movement of her breast beneath her tank top sweetly seductive. His mouth was dry. Not Liz, he reminded himself uselessly. Not Liz.

With an inward groan he clamped down on his runaway emotions, wishing ferverently he could be different from the stupid, lustful clods Liz disdained. Unfortunately he didn't think he was. His mind was on a definite track. The next few hours, he realized fatalistically, were sure to be an experiment in torture.



TBC..... Feedback is greatly appreciated.