|posted on 2-Aug-2002 10:38:16 PM|
Title:Just to Be With You
Disclaimers: Jason Katims and Melinda Mitz can have their Max Evans, I’m perfectly happy with my Zan.
Category: AU M/L
Rating/Genre: PG-13 – R at most/Drama. Romance.
Summary: He never saw what was there in front of him until now…but has he realized too late?
Author’s Notes: I know! I know! Another AU, but I love these things! Ok, I don’t think I need to say anything, because I think you can pretty much figure it out. Oh…well there are no aliens in this story at the moment, I might change my mind. *shrugs* Feedback please!
Prologue: Year Gone By
September 25, 2001
I’m Liz Parker; a year ago I received this journal as a birthday present from my brother. I wasn’t sure why he bought it for me because if anything, I always went to him for my problems, and if not him than to Isabel Evans, my best bud, or Max Evans my other best friend. I never had a need to hide anything. I was pretty much still naïve, the biggest problem or secret I ever had was probably failing a test or something stupid like that.
If not guessed by now, I’m pretty much a brain, and nothing much else. I lived above my parent’s diner, The Crashdown (Corny. I know, but this is Roswell for goodness sake!!) with my parents and older brother, Michael. My best friends included Isabel Evans and her older brother Max Evans. Iz and me are close, but Max and I are closer. We go to each other for relationship problems and just about everything else. Well…he came to me with relationship problems, and I never realized how sick it made me to hear him talk about all these girls, but that’s for later.
Max and Michael were a year older than me and Izzy. My circle of friends included Maria Valenti, Kyle Valenti, his girlfriend Tess Harding, and Alex Whitman. Enough of that now… I was the typical small-town girl with dreams that seemed so impossible to reach. I had no looks. My hair was a boring brown and my eyes were just as boring. I was no glamour queen like Izzy, and I barely went on dates. Guys just weren’t attracted to me. I mean my daily attire consisted of a decently clean pair of jeans and a T-shirt, comfort before fashion was always my motto. Isabel said I was a hopeless case, and Max, well he just smiled and ruffled my hair like I was another younger sister.
The little display of affection used to make me content, happy to know that he loved me…but this time, it had hurt. It sent a ray of longing through me, and I suddenly felt empty, unfulfilled, and wanting more. I ignored those feelings for a while, but every time I saw Max flirt with some other girl or act like a protective brother towards me, I had to fight the urge to cry. It was a confusing time for me, and I began to shut away from the world, my parents, my friends, school work, everything. That was when my parents decided to send me to Florida for the summer. That was a year ago, and the day I returned to Roswell, New Mexico…well it was the day when everything went downhill…because when I saw Max again, I saw him in a different light. I’m Liz Parker and a year ago things began to get complicated. A year ago I finally grew up. A year ago I fell in love with my best friend.
Chapter 1: Into the Unknown
It was another scorching summer day, the sun’s rays, unhidden by the clouds, seemed to have no mercy, sending its heat into everything it touched. The air was dry and humid, and a small trail of sweat streaked down her golden olive skin. Nonetheless, a smile was etched on her face as her eyes scanned the familiar surroundings, taking in everything.
I’m home.She thought with another smile, even brighter than before. It was true; Liz Parker was back in Roswell…Alien Town, USA. And she was back a different person, so different that some of the people she knew didn’t even recognize her as she walked through the airport with her luggage. Often times, people would stop and stare at the mysterious dark-haired beauty as she strolled with confidence in her strides. During her visit to Florida, Liz had realized that her customary pair of jeans and t-shirt was no appropriate for the beach, and her cousin Anna had convinced her to get a new wardrobe, one that included different styles of jeans, tank tops, shorts, bikinis, skirts, and dresses. Yes, Liz Parker in a dress. What had the world come to? But she had realized that they were comfortable and light, and did not overheat her, and back then that was the thing she cared about most.
In fact she was now wearing a simple mauve sundress with dark lavender roses etched on the silky material. It reached a little above her knee with a modest neckline, fitting against her curves. She wore a silver chain with an amethyst stone around her neck, and pearls in her ears. She had no make up but the little bit of lip gloss she had on and the pale lilac color she had painted her nails and toenails, which lay exposed in the sandals she wore.
Glancing down at her watch she realized that it was close to sundown. She looked up again, searching for the cab she had called to pick her up.
Liz turned around, her eyes crashing with steely azure ones. The girl standing in front of her had long wavy dirty blonde hair, and she stood at least two inches taller than Liz herself.
“Do you know where I can find a cab or something? I just arrived here today, and I totally forgot to tell my parents to come and pick me up.” The girl explained with a dazzling smile, a lost look in her eyes as she looked around. Liz smiled her own smile and nodded, “I’m waiting for my cab to come right now. You can come along too, there’s plenty of room.”
“Oh thank you!” The girl through her arms around Liz’s smaller form and thanked her tremendously. Liz blinked in surprise, but hugged her back. As the girl pulled away, Liz could see a pink tint to her cheeks and a sheepish smile.
“I’m sorry, I get excited easily. Oh! I’m sorry! I didn’t even introduce myself. I’m Serena Williams. My family and I just moved here during the summer, but I’ve been away.” Serena began to babble, and Liz was instantly reminded of her all time friend Maria Valenti, former DeLuca, and a smile of amusement crept across her face as she held her hand out in a calming motion.
“It’s ok. I know exactly what you mean. Liz Parker, Roswell resident for all my life. I’ve been away too. Welcome to Roswell.”
“Thanks!” Serena’s reply was enthusiastic.
“Sere! Sere?!” A masculine voice was heard, and Liz saw Serena frown before her smile appeared once more.
“What did I tell you about running off? Are you trying to give me a heart attack? Next time you do that I swear I’m going to…” The stranger trailed off as Liz turned around, and his mouth fell agape. He took in her appearance with his eyes, doing a quick sweep of her body with his eyes. Serena rolled her eyes and turned to Liz, “This is my brother, Sean. Sean this is Liz.”
Sean continued to stare at Liz, and it made her a little bit uncomfortable to be under his intense scrutiny. His mouth still hung ajar though, and Liz had to fight the urge to laugh. Serena rolled her eyes again and looked over at Liz in apology. She turned back to her brother, and smacked him upside the head.
“Close your mouth Sean, you’re drooling.” Serena turned back towards Liz and explained almost ruefully, “Don’t mind him; he can be such a dog sometimes. A horndog that is. He started to drool, so take that as a sign that he likes you. If he starts to pant, then run away as fast as you can ‘cause he’s already thinking about what you look like nude…although if I were you, I wouldn’t give him the time of day, especially since…”
Her words were cut off by Sean’s hand shooting out and effectively covering it. Serena’s eyes flashed angrily, and she smacked his arm away. Liz laughed silently to herself, in her mind a picture of Michael and herself in a similar position. Serena was now sticking her tongue out at Sean, and Sean was crossing his eyes at Serena. Yep, definitely reminds me of Michael and me.
Liz’s expression sobered immediately when she thought of her beloved older brother, and the family and friends she had not seen in over a year. So much had changed, she was sure of that. On the whole flight back, Liz’s stomach was doing flips as she agitated over that particular fact. What if they weren’t all friends anymore? What if they left her out because she had changed…because they had changed? What if Isabel found a new best friend? What if…What if…What if Max Evans didn’t notice the new change in her? What if he still thought of her as the little tomboy of a sister he loved so dearly? Her heart couldn’t take that, not after having just recovered from her own depression…not so soon after. And the last and most important thing she had been trying hard to suppress…What if when she saw him, what would happen if she fell in love with him all over again? The first time that happened, she had barely recovered and denied her feelings, but what if seeing him awakened the feelings she had barely managed to, bury?
“Liz? Liz? LIZ!” Serena’s voice cut through her thoughts, effectively pulling her away from her internal angst. Liz blinked and her vision cleared to see Serena and Sean staring at her with concern in their eyes. She smiled sheepishly, “Sorry…I was just thinking.”
“Looks like it.” Serena replied, “What were you thinking of, if you don’t mind me asking? You had such a sad look on your face.”
Sean had said nothing but was hovering about her in the most subtle of manners; however it still unnerved her to have him so close. She held her hand up in reassurance. “It’s nothing, I was just thinking about my home. I haven’t been home for over a year, and I miss my friends and family.” Especially a certain dark-haired male with soulful eyes that I could get lost in. Liz thought silently and mentally smacked herself, Stop it! Don’t think about his soulful eyes and his oh so sexy smile, and…I’m hopeless.
Liz shook her head to rid her thoughts as she listened to Serena talk with Sean still hovering nearby. She sent a smile his way in which he returned eagerly. Her eyes once more scanned her surroundings and caught movement. She interrupted her new found friend, “Look! The cab’s here!”
Serena stopped talking and looked to where Liz was pointing. “Finally!”
The cab pulled up to the curve, and Liz made a move to grab her heavy luggage, but a strong masculine hand stopped her, and she looked up into the eyes of one Sean Williams.
“Here let me, a pretty lady like you shouldn’t have to lift a finger.” He picked up her bags effortlessly, and that was the first time she noticed his figure. He was lean, but muscular. A little taller than Max, and his sandy blonde hair was slightly spiked but smoothed down. She had to admit he was hot, and she was attracted to him. Especially since he was so nice.
“Hey! Pretty lady over here could use a little help!” Serena exclaimed as she swayed with the heaviness of her bags. Sean looked up and pretended to look around, “Where? I don’t see any pretty ladies, all I see is you cheesehead.”
He stopped talking and a thoughtful expression swept over his face, “Unless you mean you are the pretty lady...”
“Shut up dogbreath and give me a hand with this! Some of this crap is yours too!” Serena bit out, and Liz, once again hiding her amusement rushed over to help Serena. Sean pulled the luggage out of Liz’s hands and threw them into the back, and did the same with the rest of Serena’s luggage, slamming the trunk down and walking back over to the girls; he opened the cab door for them.
Serena watched in amazement as her brother actually acted, well he actually acted like a gentleman! She turned over to Liz as Sean closed the door behind them and walked up to sit with the cab driver.
“Wow, that’s the first time I ever saw Sean actually be nice willingly and not wanting anything in return….Can I keep you?” Serena asked eagerly, and Liz laughed.
“No really, I mean it. We can be roomies, and sit back as Sean waits on us hand and foot. Come on, I’m sure your parents won’t miss you that much!” Serena pouted, and Liz laughed again as her mind suddenly thought, Serena’s nice and funny. She’d be perfect for Max.
That thought sobered her up. She wanted to be perfect for Max, but alas it could not be. Max would never see her as anything more than a friend, a little sister to protect. Serena’s chatter continued to fill the cab, but Liz tuned her out as her heart began to beat fiercely. She had thought she had buried those feelings long ago, but she hadn’t, not yet. In fact she was coming home a few weeks earlier. It was because she could not bear being away from him any longer. Face it Parker, you’re hopelessly in love with him. Nothing can change that, no matter how much you deny it, no matter how much it hurts.
Liz was quiet the rest of the ride, and once or twice she looked up to see Sean looking back at her, his gaze intense. Her heart would flutter, nervously or what, she didn’t know.
When they reached Serena and Sean’s house, Liz said her goodbyes and they promised to get together again. The rest of the ride was nerve wrecking as she battled with herself. Butterflies grew in her stomach along with a sense of dread.
So here she stood, all her luggage stacked around her as she stared at the front doors to the Crashdown. Taking a deep calming breath, Liz braced herself for the confrontation she knew she wasn’t ready for, and with one hand pushed the door of the Crashdown open, letting her step into the unknown.
[ edited 3 time(s), last at 5-Aug-2002 7:49:13 AM ]
|posted on 2-Aug-2002 10:39:48 PM|
Taking a deep calming breath, Liz braced herself for the confrontation she knew she wasn’t ready for, and with one hand pushed the door of the Crashdown open, letting her step into the unknown.
Chapter 2: Calm Before the Storm
Liz blinked and blinked again in surprise. Empty. The Crashdown Café was actually empty at…she looked down at her watch…at six o’ clock on a Friday night? Something strange was going on.
Her eyes scanned the empty café, in her mind seeing herself and Maria walking around serving patrons. She saw herself show tourists pictures of “Aliens”. There was Michael and Maria arguing by the grill, Alex sitting in a bar stool ordering an orange soda on the rocks. Liz could clearly see Isabel and Tess coming in with shopping bags and big smiles on their faces. There was Kyle and Max fooling around, arm wrestling and other contests to see who the better man was. Then she saw that day, the day when everything had changed, the day when her feelings for Max Evans had begun to change and blossom into the unrequited love she was feeling now.
Now the scene changed to that fateful day exactly one year ago. Michael was at the grill flipping burgers, Maria was walking around taking orders, Alex and Isabel were both in an in depth conversation about music while Max, Kyle, and Tess were sitting at their usual booth eating. She, herself was in the process of showing two tourists a picture of an alien sighting. She was transported back to that time, and she could picture everything, feel every emotion that ran through her that day.
Amusement. As she told her tale of aliens to the two gullible tourists, and walked away from them.
Annoyance when Kyle pulled her down into his lap, refusing to let her leave until she smiled at him.
Happiness to see Alex and Isabel sitting so closely, knowing that her best friend was beginning to fall for one, Alex Whitman.
Anger as she heard the argument between two shouting customers. Fear to see Maria suddenly fall to the ground in panic.
Horror as a silver glint of a gun suddenly appeared, and everyone else was on the ground, all but her who stood completely still just as the gun went off, sending the bullet straight at her.
Acceptance as she closed her eyes waiting for death to come and take her. Surprise when she felt her body being pushed down to the ground, a heavy weight on top of her.
Confusion when she opened her eyes to see Max’s body covering hers, his face merely inches from hers, eyes filled with concern.
Fear when she noticed the blood on her hand. Looking down to see the bullet had hit Max in the side. Tears filling her eyes, as she looked back up to his eyes, seeing nothing but concern and love.
Anxiety as she awaited them to report about Max’s condition.
Relief. The bullet did not hit anything vital and wasn’t buried deep. He would be fine if he rested for the next few months.
Worry as she continued to take care of him, owing him her life.
‘Why did you jump in front of the bullet? You could have been killed.’
‘It was you.’
Happiness…confusion, content, sorrow, love…Love? Revelation. It was true. She was falling for him, perhaps she was already gone. Acceptance, pain, confusion, love. Falling for her best friend? Her brother’s best friend…for Max Evans.
‘I’m leaving Max.’
‘What? Where? With who? How long? Why?’
‘Florida. Aunt’s house. No one. The summer.’ You wouldn’t understand why. Liz thought silently, tears welling up in her eyes.
Comfort as his arms wrapped around her.
‘I’ll miss you Lizbit.’
Longing as she remembered his love for her was strictly platonic.
‘Me too Max. I’ll miss you too.’
Her stay in Florida had been longer than expected. In fact it had been several months longer than expected. Liz sat down at the booth, their booth and her mind wandered once more.
…I hope you come home soon, babe. I miss you so much. I need my best friend here with me! I mean Maria and Tess are cool and all, but they’re not you. I can’t tell them everything like I can tell you. Speaking of which, let me catch you up on the gossip around here. Tommy and Jane were caught having a little too much fun at the movie theater on Friday. I know. Eeewwwww. Ria and Michael are flirting like crazy and I heard that Kyle caught them making out in Maria’s room when we had movie night at their house. Tess and Kyle are still so adorable and disgustingly in love. Alex…well Alex is starting a new band. His songs are amazing I swear. You should see him perform, his eyes glow and they’re so beautiful. The way he holds his guitar, the passion on his face….oops I’m rambling. Who am I forgetting? Oh yeah! Max. Well since the shooting, Max has received a lot more attention from the girls. He’s a major player now, it’s pretty disgusting. I swear he sleeps with a new girl every week! Ewww mental pictures. Sorry babe, I got to go. Love ya!
(P.S. Come home soon!)
Liz stared at the letter, rereading the last few lines over and over again. Her heart was beginning to ache. What was wrong with her? So what if Max was sleeping with all these girls? It wasn’t anything new. He was a player; Michael had been too…that was until he had begun to have feelings for Maria. She had been used to it, in fact they talked about it sometimes. But now as her heart was racing and the room began to spin. She jumped up and rushed to the bathroom, and heaved up her lunch. When she finished, she leaned weakly against the wall, tears running down her face. She wept and wept and wept, but she knew not what she wept for as her world began to spin out of control.
The phone ringing jarred the group from their discussion, and Michael looked down and pulled out his cell phone.
“Michael?” A familiar feminine voice cried over the line. Michael smiled in joy as he stood up and walked a little ways from the group.
“Lizzie?” He exclaimed excitedly, happy to talk to her sister, having not heard her voice over two months. Everyone else had stopped what they were doing and looked up at the mention of Liz’s name. A big smile grew on Max’s face as he took an unconscious step forward, closer to his girl best friend’s voice.
“Michael?” Liz’s voice said again, cracking slightly with the tears in her eyes.
“Liz? What’s wrong?” Michael’s joyful mood suddenly vanished replaced with alarm and it showed because suddenly everyone was crowding around Michael.
She didn’t answer, but just murmured something under her breath.
“Lizzie? What is it? You’re scaring me? Lizzie?”
“It hurts...Michael it hurts.” Her trembling voice was soft, but it cut through Michael and Max’s hearts.
“What hurts? Are you hurt? Is someone hurting you? Liz!” Michael vented out fiercely.
“It hurts. It hurts.” Liz repeated.
Max took the cell away from the nerve-wrecked Michael, and put it to his own ear.
“Lizbit? Sweetheart? What’s wrong?”
Max’s voice reached over the phone, piercing her heart again as she sobbed harder. “I’m sorry Max.”
Max stood confused as she began to apologize over and over.
“For what? You didn’t do anything, Liz what’s wrong?”
Liz stared at the phone for a few moments before she looked down at the empty bottle beside her and sobbed even harder. “I just wanted it to stop hurting. I wanted to make the pain go away.”
“Liz what are you talking about?”
Isabel was gripping Alex’s arm for dear life and Michael listened as Maria held him, to the Max’s side of the cryptic conversation that he had started.
“I’m so tired Max. So sleepy.” Her voice became a bit livelier as she said the next words, “The pain’s going away Max.”
Max’s eyes widened in horror as he realized what she had been apologizing for.
“Max I have to go. I’m going to sleep now Max.”
“No! Liz! Stay on the phone! Talk to me! Liz! Don’t go to sleep! Liz!” His desperate pleas tore at her heart, but the pain was beginning to disappear and her eyelids were becoming heavier.
“I’m sorry Max. I’m so sleepy.” Liz sighed as she crawled over to the bed, with the phone still in her hand. Her eyelids began to close, and her breathing slowed considerably. She closed her eyes, and then blinked as she suddenly remembered something. Picking up the phone again, she spoke softly. “Max.”
“Liz?” Tears could be heard in his voice.
“Max, I love you Max.” She confessed as sleep continued to spread through her body.
“I love you too Lizzie. Stay with me, please. I love you.”
Liz laughed softly, before replying sadly, “Not like I love you, goodnight Max.”
“Liz! No! Liz!” Max cried out, tears streaming uncontrollably down her cheeks, and the Isabel, seeing her brother’s state burst into her own tears, fear gripping her heart.
“Liz!” But his pleas were lost on deaf ears as he heard the soft click of the phone, shattering his already breaking heart. He slumped down to the ground, next to Isabel and pulled her into his arms as tears slipped silently down his cheeks.
“Lizzie? Sweetie where are you? We’re home. Lizzie?” Linda called out for her niece as her daughter began to search the house for her favorite cousin.
Linda put the bags down on the table as she began to rifle through the mail, a piercing scream suspending her movement, terror gripping her heart as she ran towards her daughter’s screams.
“Anna? Anna! Sweetie what’s wrong? Anna!”
She burst through the door of Liz’s room and stopped in horror to see Liz’s form in bed, limp and pale with a bottle of sleeping pills next to her.
Moments later, the phone was left off the hook, mail was left unread, grocery not put away, and the fading sounds of sirens could be heard as the ambulance sped away, taking with it a precious being.
Moments later, the phone was left off the hook, mail was left unread, grocery not put away, and the fading sounds of sirens could be heard as the ambulance sped away, taking with it a precious being.
Chapter 3: In Joy and Sorrow
The closing of the apartment door lured Liz away from the not so happy memories. Her heart fluttered upon hearing the voices of her parents. First her mom’s clear breezy one, then her father’s low soothing one could be heard, and the tears she had been oblivious to disappeared.
Jeff and Nancy Parker walked through the Café, and stopped in surprise to see a dark haired girl sitting at a booth. Their hearts began to beat wildly, but Jeff put his hand up, not letting their hopes get up to high. This had happened many times as the two parents waited over the long year for their baby girl to come home.
“I’m sorry miss. We’re closed for the weekend.” His heart began beating more wildly as she began to turn around slowly. Then he heard it, like an angel’s voice, and a smile split across his face and the happiness that spread through him was overwhelming.
“Daddy? Mommy?” Nancy gasped, her hands coming to her face at the sound of her daughter’s voice. A voice she hadn’t heard since…since that time that seemed so long ago. Liz was in their arms in a blink of an eye, tears of joy falling down the family’s face. Anyone who would have witnessed the family reunion would not have been able to keep their tears in.
“Lizzie!” Her mom cried over and over, “Sweetie you’re home!”
Liz nodded into her mom’s shoulder, “I’m home.”
Their soft chants continued for a while until Nancy pulled away, as did Jeff, and for the first time in such a while, both got a good look of their baby girl to find that she wasn’t such a baby anymore. No, her girlish looks had given away to the natural beauty of a woman. And that’s what they realized now as she stood before them a teary smile on her face, their baby had grown up while she was gone. Little Liz had been replaced by this changed woman, who knew more, and wasn’t so innocent. Their joy was shot through with a sense of sorrow at this news, but the joy was still overwhelming.
Liz wiped her tears away and the family stood staring at each other for a few moments. During this time, Liz had the chance to study her parents, frowning slightly at what she saw. Her mother’s vibrant red hair was now a dull copper color, her eyes that were so dead before was now gleaming excitedly. Her father seemed so much older, wrinkles and gray hair here and there, his blue eyes, once also dull was gleaming just as her mother’s were. It pained Liz to see how much her absence had obviously tore her parents apart, causing them to seemingly age faster. Another thing to add to the list of regrets. She thought solemnly, and her eyes once again made a sweep of the place she had grown up in.
At the front where she had received her first kiss from Kyle Valenti upon the act of a dare.
She saw herself and Maria on the first day of their new jobs as waitresses, how both were exclaiming about the length of the skirts.
There was the booth were she would just sit with Michael, talking until the late hours of the morning, falling asleep in his arms.
She saw herself select a song from the jukebox, and taking Max’s hand as she dragged him to dance with her. The sparks that his touch had given off, and the way she had found herself beginning to fall.
It seemed strange that the place was now empty, especially on a Friday night. She looked over at her mom and dad who were now doing what she had been doing, no doubt that they were thinking of the many memories here also.
“Mom? Dad? Where is everyone? Why is the Crash closed for the weekend?” She asked, catching their attention immediately.
“The Crash is closed for fumigation.” Jeff explained, “Michael is staying with the Evans, and your mom and I were just heading over to Erin’s house for the weekend.”
“We didn’t expect you to come home so early.” Which wasn’t a lie, and Liz knew it. And now she understood that they had been hoping for her to come home.
“You obviously couldn’t stay here, but you can stay with the Evans with Michael...” Jeff paused, and Liz saw in his eyes a new hope, “Or you can come with us to your Aunt’s?”
The last statement was more of a question, and Liz heard the hope in his voice. “I’ll come with you.”
Seeing her parents’ faces light up made Liz smile and tears come to her eyes.
“Alright, let’s go.” Her father exclaimed enthusiastically, picking up her bags with one arm, and throwing the other around her shoulder. Nancy followed close, with her hand holding Liz’s and the family boarded the car and was off.
Liz tucked her feet under herself as she sat in the chair next to the window, and gazed out at the night sky. It had been a long night, but her mind would not let her rest as it raced with thoughts and emotions, all triggered by her return back to the only place she knew was home.
It just felt so different, yet familiar. Her mind was at a crossroad, just as her heart was. And all the confusion led back to one thing, or rather one person. Max Evans.
Liz rolled her eyes at how obsessive she seemed to be with one mister Evans. Staring out at the night stars, her mind wandered back to the memories she had been lost in before.
Pain. Confusion. Pain. Confusion. Pain. Confusion. Those were the two emotions going through Liz’s body as she tried to move her body, but to no avail. Her eyes were closed and it was so dark. She could barely move…no. She couldn’t move. What happened? Her mind wandered briefly as a few flashes came to her like a wave of unwanted memories.
Liz felt it coming, first there was the pain in the pit of her stomach, spreading up and down her body, and next was the pain in her heart. It kept spreading slowly in a torturous way, weakening her by the moment. It was all becoming too much, and soon she had a dizzying headache. Groping for the wall, she stumbled into Anna’s room, her muddled mind remembering that she had painkillers in her bathroom.
Liz continually swallowing the pills as the pain became greater and greater, not really aware of what she was doing to herself.
“If you ever need some painkillers, I have some in here. But be careful, these pills put you to sleep so never take more than two.” Anna stated as she held up the bottle for Liz to see.
Realization of what she had done, panic to feel the pain being replaced by numbness and drowsiness of her senses as she stumbled back to her own room. Her last conscious act was to call Michael.
“Max, I love you Max.”
“I love you too Lizzie. Stay with me, please. I love you.”
Then nothing, she couldn’t remember anything after that. Nothing but unending darkness.
“I think it would be best for Liz to leave Roswell indefinitely. Whatever seems to be the cause of her depression most likely occurred there. I can not tell you what to do, but as a psychologist, I urge you to let her decide.”
“Liz, your mom and I decided to let you have the choice. Do you want to stay in Florida or go back to Roswell?”
A shake of the head was their only answer.
“She’s still in shock. Give her time; she’ll start to acknowledge her surroundings.”
“Lizzie, sweetie, your mom and I decided to let you stay in Florida.” Jeff’s voice cracked as he spoke.
“Yes, you can stay here as long as you want sweetie. Stay until you feel better, and when you do…come back to Roswell, come back home to us.”
“Goodbye Lizzie. Remember, we’ll always love you.” A hug and kiss.
“Please come back to us soon.” Retreating footsteps, a lonely tear trickling down from unseeing eyes.
“Sweetie?” Her mom’s voice reached her, and Liz turned around, startled. She gave her mom a smile as she walked over to sit down next to her mom.
Nancy smiled at her daughter, as she stroked her hair. “You look so beautiful now. My little Lizzie, all grown up to be the beautiful woman I knew you would be.”
Liz smiled slightly, embarrassed. “Mom…”
“I’m serious baby. You don’t know how proud your father and I are of you. Linda has been informing us about your academic grades and so on. We’re really proud.” Nancy paused, her hand stopping its stroking movement, “…I’m just sorry we weren’t always there to show you how proud we were and to show our support.”
Liz picked up on the sad note in her mother’s tone, and guilt flushed through her.
“No, don’t apologize mom. It wasn’t your fault. I appreciate what you did for me.” Liz paused, “I don’t think I could ever give up on someone I love so much. What you and dad did…it took courage, but it’s over now. I’m back, and I’m not about to leave. So you’re stuck with me whether you like it or not.”
Liz teased good-naturedly, “Especially since I can drive now. I’m going to be borrowing the car a lot.”
Nancy laughed and the two were silent as they shared the comfort of just having the other one there. Mother and daughter watched as a star streaked across the sky.
Across town, a young male snuck through the window of his room, landing quietly on the floor, as not to wake anyone else in the house. Shrugging off his leather jacket, he walked to the bathroom, leaving a trail of clothes behind him. He entered the shower, closing his eyes as the water hit his naked back, and he sighed as he felt the day’s events wash away with the running water. He showered quickly and stepping out, he wrapped a towel around himself, and looked into the mirror at his own reflection, seeing evidence of his activities from before as he noticed the nail marks on his shoulders. Sighing again, he continued to get ready for his much needed sleep.
As he slipped under the covers, he couldn’t help but think that something was missing, something more than what he had. Turning off the lamp, his gaze went out to the star-filled sky. Spotting a shooting star, Max Evans once again repeated his nightly ritual before he drifted off to sleep, a mere whisper escaping his lips.
[ edited 2 time(s), last at 2-Aug-2002 10:43:18 PM ]
|posted on 2-Aug-2002 10:47:02 PM|
|As he slipped under the covers, he couldn’t help but think that something was missing, something more than what he had. Turning off the lamp, his gaze went out to the star-filled sky. Spotting a shooting star, Max Evans once again repeated his nightly ritual before he drifted off to sleep, a mere whisper escaping his lips.|
Chapter 4: And So It Begins…
Awakening at the sound of her alarm, Liz rolled over softly hitting the offending noise as her vision cleared. To her surprise, there was a note next to her on the nightstand, picking it up, she read gingerly.
Your aunt and mother have roped me into going shopping with them. We’re really sorry for not being there when you wake up, but your mom says that tonight she will cook us a special dinner, just for us. Feel free to do whatever you want today, but be home by six o’ clock. There’s some pancake batter in the fridge if
Looks like my form of entertainment has left me. Liz thought as she put the note down, and walked into the bathroom to begin her morning ritual. While she brushed her teeth, she knew just what she was going to do today. There was no way of avoiding it, so she might as well get it over with. Wiping her face with her towel, Liz decided that today would be the day that her friends and Max Evans will see the new Liz Parker.
Shifting from foot to foot, Liz stood nervously in front of the door after having rung the doorbell. It just felt so odd, so different now. She thought with a pang to her heart, remembering a time when she could just walk right in unannounced and be welcomed with Isabel’s excited hug, and Max’s disarming smile.
Another thing to add to my list of regrets. I’ve been meaning to shorten that thing. Liz thought, mentally laughing at herself, but sobered up immediately when she heard footsteps from within, and clicking of the locks as they were unlocked.
The door opened, slowly it seemed to her, and revealed none other than… Diane Evans, mother to two of her favorite people, and a second mother to Michael and
herself. She seemed older now as she blinked in surprise, and Liz knew that she did not recognize her, but thought her familiar and was in the process of trying to remember who she was.
“Yes? May I help you…” Diane stopped abruptly, took another glance over of Liz and her mouth curved into a smile and a delighted expression crossed her face, “Liz?! Liz Parker?!”
Liz returned the smile, somewhat hesitantly, “Hi Mrs. Evans.”
“Oh my gracious! Lizzie! You’re home!” Diane swept her surrogate daughter into a tight embrace. “You’re home!”
Liz smiled through the joyful tears that had escaped her eyes. Diane, not knowing had given her the strength to continue meeting her past once more.
“I’ve missed you so much dear. Isabel has been so different this year, so lost. Thank goodness she had Alex, and Max oh I don’t know what to do with Max
anymore.” Diane cried out, “But it’s good to have you home dear.”
“It’s good to be home Mrs. Evans.” Liz replied honestly, her heart warming once more.
“Stop it with all of this Mrs. Evans nonsense. Call me Diane.” She reprimanded before releasing Liz from her embrace, “Come now, and let me see what Florida has done to you.”
She looked Liz over again, this time really looking, her mind comparing the Lizzie she knew to the young woman who stood before her. “You’ve grown taller, and so much more beautiful!”
Liz blushed at the compliment, nodding her head in thanks.
“And wearing a dress too! Who would have thought the day would come when little Lizzie would actually wear a dress willingly!” Diane teased good-naturedly as she glanced over the misty lavender sundress she had on, it fell down to mid-thigh and had a low cut neckline, emphasizing, not flashing her now developed curves.
Liz shifted under Diane’s intense scrutiny, her hand playing with the pendant she wore around her neck, a nervous habit she had picked up. But it wasn’t so
much as the necklace that calmed her, but the thought of the person who had given her the beautiful piece of jewelry. Those thoughts however always led to that fateful night not so long ago, and tears were willed to stay at bay as she tried to rid herself of the memories. Diane must have sensed her distress because she ushered Liz into the house.
“Michael, Isabel, and Max aren’t here at the moment. I sent them out on a few errands for me; they should be home in about an hour.” Diane explained as she led Liz to sit down at the counter.
“Would you like anything sweetie? Cookies? Tea? Water?”
“Water will be fine.” Liz didn’t think she could stomach much else as she glanced around her second home, taking in all the familiar surroundings. Standing up, Liz walked over to the fireplace and her gaze swept over the pictures that stood there. They were newer, recent ones. There was one with the Evans family, one with the whole gang, and a few more with Max and Isabel.
Liz picked up the picture that held all her friends. Tess and Kyle were gazing at each other, so much in love, that it made Liz smile to be able to capture the love they felt from a mere picture. Isabel and Alex were glancing at each other shyly, while her brother and Maria seemed to be in a big argument about something or another and Maria seemed about to fall over. Again a smile swept her face when she saw her brother’s arm close to Maria, there to catch her if she fell. Her smile disappeared when she caught sight of the lonely figure of Max as he stared at the ground and not the camera. Even through this picture, she could feel the longing he felt. It was the same longing she was still feeling today. Placing the picture down, she hurried back to her seat just as Diane came out of the kitchen with a glass of water and a plate of cookies. Liz accepted the water appreciatively, but took no notice of the cookies. She wasn’t trying to be rude, but it was like a second nature to her now, she barely ate if she ate at all.
“How was Florida? Tell me all about it.” Diane said smiling, as she sipped her own coffee and glanced over at Liz.
The slamming of car doors brought the two women out of their lively conversation, and Liz paled as she heard the familiar voices of three individuals, arguing. Diane, not noticing this walked excitedly to the door to greet her children, and surrogate son.
Liz’s hand flew to the amethyst stone around her neck, and she fiddled with it nervously. A distant voice in her head encouraged and strengthened her.
You’s got a strong mind, but an even stronger heart. With that combination and if you’s believe in youself, you can do’s anythin.
“Michael! Isabel! Where’s Max?” Diane’s voice drifted into the living room.
“He’s bringing the groceries in.” Isabel’s cool, collective voice reached her ears next.
“Yeah, Mr. High and Mighty decided that he was man enough to bring in the groceries without any help.” There was her brother’s sarcastic voice, and she closed her eyes at Diane’s laughter.
“Well, alright then. I’m sure Max will be fine.” The footsteps were coming nearer and nearer, and Liz tucked her hair behind her ear, another nervous habit.
“I’ve got a surprise for the all of you!” Diane’s voice was so excited, and Liz prayed that the others would be just as excited. She heard Isabel groan softly, “It’s not another one of your recipes is it mom? I told dad not to get you that Martha Stewart recipe book.”
“Hush Isabel, this is even better! You’ll like it, I promise.”
“What could possibly make you so excited Mrs. E…Liz?” Michael’s voice caught in his throat at the sight of his younger sister. The one person he would do anything for, and the walls that were built around his heart crumbled as he exclaimed again, even louder. “Liz!”
She heard Isabel’s sharp intake of breath, and finally she dared to look up, her eyes meeting with her brother’s warm brown ones as he swooped her up and twirled
“Michael!” She cried right back as he twirled her around, tears of joy once again springing to her eyes. She never realized how much she had missed her older brother until now as she glanced down to see tears in his eyes.
“Lizzie bear! You’re home!” He stopped twirling her and put her down on her feet, but did not relinquish his hold her, “You’re home?”
It was a question, and Liz saw the doubt in his eyes, and rushed to reassure him. “I’m home Michael, for good.”
His eyes lit up and he once again swept her into a tight embrace, afraid to let her go, and Liz held on just as tight.
Diane laughed happily as she watched the reunion that brought tears to her eyes. She hadn’t seen Michael express this much emotion since…well since Liz left. It
seemed he had built a wall around himself, a wall that only this one special girl could penetrate.
“Dear, let her breathe.” Michael let go of Liz and grinned sheepishly. Then the teasing began. “Wow, I can’t believe it.”
He looked her over again, and continued, “You’re still a pipsqueak, and can it be? Has the world come to an end? Or is Liz Parker really wearing dress!?”
Liz blinked in surprise, and then a smile graced her lips, “I see you’ve discovered the wonder of a comb and hair gel. I think that’s the first time your hair didn’t look like you just rolled out of bed!”
They glared at each other, both with stubborn expressions on their faces before they began laughing again. Isabel stood by and watched it all with an emotionless mask. Diane noticed Isabel’s silent mood and ushered her over to Liz.
Liz looked at Isabel nervously, noting her new icy attitude. Isabel embraced Liz, but her embrace was loose as she hugged her lifetime best friend. “It’s good to have you home Liz. I missed you.”
No one seemed to notice the emotionless greeting, no one but Liz who caught the icy look in Isabel’s eyes, and she felt her heart dropped.
“Mom? Where do you want the…”
Liz’s stance tensed, but no one seemed to notice, and she closed her eyes, letting his soothing voice wash over her. She turned around slowly, and doe brown eyes clashed with amber eyes as arms were suddenly limp, and bags were dropped. None of this however interrupted their soulful gaze as they caught the first glimpse of one another in such a long time. Max Evans stepped forward a little, surprise still etched on his face.
She let go of the breath she had been holding, and a soft sigh escaped her, “Max.”
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 2-Aug-2002 10:47:35 PM ]
|posted on 5-Aug-2002 7:44:10 AM|
None of this however interrupted their soulful gaze as they caught the first glimpse of one another in such a long time. Max Evans stepped forward a little, surprise still etched on his face.
She let go of the breath she had been holding, and a soft sigh escaped her, “Max.”
Chapter 5: Deep Within
“Liz?” He asked again, mostly in disbelief as he stepped closer to her, to which Liz unconsciously stepped back. Another step, another retreat, until she was up against the wall, not noticing nor caring at the strange looks she could feel from the other occupants of the room. Max however did not notice her retreat from him, nor did he see the fear beneath the surprise in her eyes.
Instead, he stood transfixed at the sight before him, as a long suppressed part of his heart burst forward and feelings in him, old and new, awakened to create a whirlwind of confusion inside his heard and soul.
“Max!” Her voice cut through the blinding confusion, and he grasped the peace that always came with her calming presence as he sighed, “Lizzie.”
The small term of endearment made Liz flinch, a movement not visible to the others, but something she felt right down to the very core of her. And just as suddenly, she found herself encased in strong arms in the sweetest and warmest embrace. “Liz!”
“Max.” Her voice replied weakly, slightly distracted by the feel of his arms around her. Shaking her head at the thought, Liz threw her hands around Max’s neck, relaxing in his embrace.
“Liz, my God, is it really you?” He whispered into her ear, burying his face into her hair, letting the familiarity of her soak into his skin. Liz giggled softly into his chest, the sound bringing a smile to his boyish face transforming it quite nicely. She nodded in affirmation against him and his hold on her tightened as he dropped a kiss onto her head. Liz remained against him, savoring the feelings of love rushing through her, even if it wasn’t the love she needed from him.
Behind them Michael, Isabel, and Diane watched the reunion in silence, and it was Diane, only Diane who saw that gleam in her son’s eyes, matching the light in Liz’s as her breath caught in her throat. They looked absolutely breathtaking together, Liz’s small form fitting perfectly against Max’s larger and stronger one. A perfect match made in heaven. But as said before, only she was the only one who saw the future in that embrace.
Michael and Isabel, perhaps even Max and Liz saw it as nothing more than friendly love, if not a siblings bond and for this Diane mourned the loss of something perhaps even more beautiful than anything else she had ever seen. Watching Liz pull away, Diane’s breath caught once again upon seeing the light dim from her son’s eyes, and was it just her? Or did that small emotion pass through Liz’s eyes? So quickly that it may have not been there at all. Looking again, Diane saw that small gleam, hidden beneath other emotions, and hope flared upon seeing that small light of love in Liz’s eyes. Perhaps there was a chance after all.
Regretfully, Diane watched as Michael whisked Liz away from Max only to sit her on the couch and began whispering to her. Isabel, Diane noticed, had decided to escape to her room, and this brought another frown upon her face. She had hoped that with Liz’s return, Isabel would lose some of that Ice Princess exterior, but she was proven wrong. Looking over at Max, who stood frozen in shock, staring at Liz, Diane sighed. Her children had been so lost since Liz had left, but it was inevitable she supposed. They had to make their own mistakes and learn from them. Diane was referring to her son’s ever changing girlfriends throughout the years, knowing he was a better person than that.
Walking over to Max, she placed a hand on his shoulder, “Sweetie?”
He seemed not to reply as his gaze remained fixed on Liz, and again Diane called his name, shaking a little this time. “Max?”
Seemingly coming out of a trance, Max turned his head to look down at his mom, “Yeah?”
Diane smiled slightly, and she picked up some of the packages, handing them to Max, who smiled sheepishly in understanding. As they passed the couch on their way to the kitchen, Max glanced over at Liz, and their eyes connected for another electrifying gaze, shivers running down both of their spines.
Liz pulled away from Max, and let herself be lead away from him. Sitting down in a haze, Liz barely noticed Michael’s presence or voice as he began talking to her about something or rather. The shock of seeing Max so soon still had its effects on her as her eyes strayed over to where he was helping his mom pick up the fallen packages. If he had looked good before, then damn. Liz thought with a blush. No! Bad Liz, don’t this is your almost brother remember?
Glancing up, she found herself lost in the amber depths that were Max Evans’ eyes. He didn’t move his eyes away, and their gaze held for what seemed like lifetimes to Liz, but in all reality it was merely a few seconds. But brothers aren’t supposed to make me feel like this. She thought wryly as a dull thud long buried, but not forgotten surfaced in her heart, and her eyes filled with want, need. She continued lost in her thoughts, thinking now of their short reunion. She had barely said anything to him, which was true in all aspects. Seeing him there suddenly had knocked all sensible thoughts out of her mind, leaving only. ‘Oh God, Oh God…he’s so hot.’
Definitely not a sister thing to think about a brother. And then his arms. The feel of his arms, of being in his arms, felt like nothing else she had ever experienced. Any tangible words she may have had flew out the window allowing her only to whisper his name. I must have looked like a fool. She thought ruefully.
“Liz? Liz?!” Michael’s voice penetrated the fog in her mind, and she looked up startled, realizing that he had just asked her a question. Shaking her head to clear her mind, the only answer she could manage was a very intelligent, “Huh?”
Michael gave her a strange look, “I asked if you had already seen mom and dad?”
“Mom and dad?” Was her reply, oh yeah she was definitely not there. “Oh! Yeah! I came in last night before they headed over to Aunt Erin's. Aunt Erin’s and Mum managed to drag dad with them on some shopping thing.” Liz shrugged, her mind still clouded.
“Liz are you ok?” His sudden question jolted her out of Maxland as she and Anna liked to call it.
“What? Of course I am? Why wouldn’t I be? I’m fine. Stop worrying, I’m really…” Liz stopped herself mid-babble and looked at him sheepishly before settling on, “It’s just the jetlag.”
He seemed to accept that answer, but still he gave her a strange look before continuing his questions. “How’s Anna and Aunt Linda?”
“How are.” She corrected, causing Michael to stare at her blankly. “How are Anna and Aunt Linda? Not how’s.”
His continuous blank look amused her greatly, and just as sudden, his eyes cleared and she saw the laughter in them as his laugh echoed through the room. “Good to know that Little Miss Smarty Pants is still in there.”
“Sad to see that your brain isn’t still in there.” Liz retorted while knocking his head gently. “Yep, very hollow.”
Michael stopped laughing, his face suddenly serious as he asked in a monotonous voice, “Are you, Miss Smarty Pants, insulting my intelligence?”
It was hard to keep a straight face as they continued to tease one another, but somehow Liz managed. “What intelligence? When did you have any intelligence?”
Michael’s face abruptly went blank, and Liz could not read his expression, she stopped laughing, and touched a hand to his arm, afraid that she may have hurt his feelings. She saw the evil gleam in his eyes when it was too late allowing her only to giggle loudly as Michael tackled her, tickling her relentlessly.
“Uncle! Uncle!” She cried in surrender between her giggles. Michael stopped, not pulling his weight off of her.
“I’ll let you up only if you say, ‘Michael is the greatest brother in the world and my intelligence is inferior to his.’ Michael smirked down at Liz who was pouting. “Michael, you know I’m not big on lying.”
Michael sighed dramatically before starting to tickle her again.
The emptiness he felt as she pulled away faded to a small hollow feeling as he continued staring at her. The shock of finally seeing his Lizbit home still had its effect on him as he stared dumbly.
“Sweetie?” His mother’s voice went right over his head as another sweet and breathy voice filled his mind. Max. Max?
Her voice continued whispering his name, and he realized then that his mom was calling him.
“Yeah?” His voice sounded dazed even to his own ears. Looking down he saw his mom on the ground gathering the packages he had dropped. Smiling sheepishly, Max swooped down to the ground and helped his mom.
Standing up, he followed his mom to the kitchen, slowing his pace just a bit as they passed the couch Liz was sitting on. He looked over at her, their eyes instantly connecting as a shiver ran up his spine. Pulling his eyes away with great difficulty, Max continued onto the kitchen. He moved around absentmindedly putting things away.
The initial shock had finally worn off, leaving him with a feeling of content. Liz was home. His Lizbit had finally returned. He felt it clearly. Everything was falling into place. He had everything, his family, his friends, and now his little best friend was back. The only thing that could have made it better was what he had always longed for but never mentioned or admitted even to himself.
Seeing Liz tonight however had those feelings coming back stronger than before as he was filled with wanting and longing. But of what? His mind wondered while his heart answered fervently, love. The thought alone surprised him because of its simplicity, yet it was more complex than any of his other desires. It also confused him. He was a player, the best of the best. All the girls seemed to follow him around. A new girlfriend every few weeks or so, he could break it off from a relationship without a single tear shed, even befriending some of his conquests in the end. Never had a relationship kept his interest for long, and in the back of his mind, in the depths of his heart was the whisper of something more.
Something that perhaps Liz could provide. Something that….wait did he just say that? He mentally laughed at himself. Liz was like a sister, not his soulmate. A sister and nothing more. Anything else would have been considered insane in his mind. But then again…
“MAX!” His mom’s voice effectively pulled him away from his inane thoughts as he looked over at her confused.
“Sweetie, why don’t you just let me finish putting the rest of the things away. Go catch up with Liz before she leaves.” Diane ordered, and Max looked down to see that in his haziness had tried to put the milk away in the oven. Looking at his mom with an embarrassed smile, he nodded his agreement.
Walking closer to the living room he could hear Michael’s laughter along with a sweeter and more musical laughter which brought a gleam to his eyes. It had been a long time since he had heard Liz laugh. Over a year now. His mind reminded as he decided to not make his presence known, watching as Michael and Liz banter and play around. The scene was so familiar, so comforting, and again his mind whispered. She’s home.
Taking Michael’s outstretched hand; Liz was pulled back onto her feet. She dusted herself off, her hand unconsciously hitting her favorite piece of jewelry as a means of comfort. Michael whispered quietly into her ear and she nodded as he left to go pack his things. He would be coming back with her tonight. Smiling at his retreating form she sighed as she absently toyed with her necklace, humming softly and looking about in detached interest. The place really hadn’t changed much, her second home, her second family.
“Hey.” Liz nearly jumped at his voice, whirling almost jumping at the appearance of him.
“Max!” Again with ability to only say his name. “What are you doing here?”
At her question he raised his eyebrow causing her to blush. Stupid! She mentally smacked her forehead. This is his house, he’s got the right to go wherever he wants!, “I mean, aren’t you supposed to be helping Diane?”
He smiled as he gestured towards the sofa, taking her hand when she appeared to be rooted to the ground. “She ordered me to come out and catch up with you.”
“Oh.” Get it together Parker.
“Are you alright?” Max asked and she realized she had been staring at him for a while, unblinking.
“Huh?” Great this again. Note to self: Stop spacing out. “Oh sorry. Jetlag.”
He nodded in understanding, and they lapsed into another silence. Max watched as she glanced everywhere but him. What’s wrong with us? We used to be able to tell each other everything.
Little did he know, Liz was thinking the same thing. Another thing to add to the list of regrets. Great. How exactly is this supposed to help in shortening it? Ok awkward silence, I need to say something, anything.
“Why didn’t you come back?”
They blinked, because the questions were asked at the same time, and the questions themselves were unnerving. Liz really didn’t know why she had asked what she did, she really didn’t want to know. Not yet. Let me stay in my little fantasy world a little longer. When she heard his question, her heart nearly stopped.
Max blinked again at her question. It was odd in itself, because he knew Liz really didn’t like hearing about his exploits, thinking them wrong and all. He smiled though.
“You know you’re the only special girl in my eyes Lizbit.” Outwardly, Liz smiled weakly at his teasing; inwardly her heart was pounding fast. No! You’re not in love with him anymore! Remember? You got over this a long time ago.
“Huh?” I really should stop spacing out. It’s not really good during conversations.
He merely looked at her, and Liz knew. He wanted an answer to his question. Why hadn’t she come back? To them? To him?
She opened her mouth to answer, “I-”
Trailing off, she couldn’t bring herself to say what she had wanted to say. Because she knew he wouldn’t understand, and she wasn’t ready. But her heart whispered it anyway. Because of you. Because I- She lost herself in his eyes. I should stop this. He’s like my brother, nothing more...but why can’t I look away?
“Liz? It’s late, we should get going.” Michael said as he walked into the room, oblivious to the tension between his best friend and younger sister. Liz looked away from Max, standing up shakily to follow Michael as he exited the living room. Max grabbed her arm and pulled her to him.
“I missed you so much Lizbit. Welcome home.” Max whispered softly before kissing her forehead and wishing her goodbye.
Liz watched him walk away, fighting an internal battle with herself. Love was beginning to whisper its song of love on her heat again, but her mind, her strong mind would not allow herself to go through it again. Wishing the Evans a goodnight, she clung onto Michael’s waist as they sped through the Roswellian streets back to her aunt’s house. I can’t do it again. Not after last time. I can’t fall again.
However, from deep within her heart came the whisper, too late. Too late.
She was already falling.
|posted on 5-Aug-2002 7:48:36 AM|
Interlude I: Crush
/Roswell, New Mexico March, 2000/
Looking at herself in the long locker mirror, she pulled her hair up high atop her head in a ponytail before she reached down to straighten her uniform. Closing her locker, she grabbed her pen, pad, and apron as she rushed out into the crowded restaurant. Her pen and pad currently lodged in her mouth, Liz hastily tied her apron as she surveyed the scene with her dark eyes. She quickly pinpointed the location of her friends and brother. Michael stood behind the grill; sweat sliding down his face from the heat of the grill and the heat of the summer as he quickly prepared all the orders her friend Maria Valenti was bringing to him. Maria was standing nearby the counter, eyes bored as she waited for Michael to finish an order, obviously irritated.
Kyle Valenti and her best bud, Max Evans sat in the corner, at their usual booth, obviously in a heated discussion. Turning around, she saw that her other best bud, and Max’s sister Isabel Evans was currently sitting very closely to one Alex Whitman who was showing her how to hold the guitar properly. The sight brought a smile to her face, she was happy for them, and another part of her thought she may have been envious, but she pushed those thoughts away quickly as she rushed around to the tables in her section.
An hour later she was still rushing around, hoping that the lunch crowd would soon give way for she was so tired. She passed by the booth Kyle and Max were occupying; meeting the latter’s eyes as she gave him a quick smile before she rushed to refill a couple’s coffee. Another hour went by, and she felt as if she were about to collapse. Luckily the lunch rush was over, and there were only a few people left as she tiredly wiped the sweat away from her forehead. So far she had orange juice spilled on her, annoying teenagers hit on her, and just as annoying complaining customers. She just wanted to take her break, but the chime above the door signaled another customer, and she groaned when she realized that the couple that had entered had seated themselves in her section. Cursing softly, she plastered her waitress smile onto her face as she walked over to their table. If these two caused her any trouble there would be hell to pay!
“Welcome to the Crashdown, I’m Liz. How may I help you?” Liz recited the speech rather passively, not even bothering to look up at the two.
“Two orders of a Galaxy Club, Saturn Rings, and Milky Way Shakes please.” The man answered promptly. Liz looked up from her notepad, and could not help but raise an eyebrow at the pair. The man was wearing a alien shaped cap atop his head, a large ET shirt that said ‘Do you believe?’, on his finger was a small alien head ring, his crooked smile revealed missing teeth, and his eyes glowed happily as he looked around the diner. He wasn’t as bad as his companion however.
The woman was wearing a large alien theme shirt also with a black skirt with little alien heads scattered over it. She wore matching earrings that had small silver aliens dangling from her ear, a silver bracelet which printed out clearly ‘I believe’ and had some sort UFO looking emblem. She wore silver lipstick and had painted her eyelids with a bright, very bright green eye shadow. In her arms lay a small little alien stuffed toy. Obvious tourist. Joy.
Before she could move away to deliver the order to Michael, the man spoke up quickly. “Liz was it?”
She looked at him, raising an eyebrow, “Yes? Was there something else you needed?”
“Well, my wife and I wanted to…” He lowered his voice, “We wanted to get the scoop on this town, and you seem to be a person who could help us.”
Her eyebrow arched higher, “You mean you want to know if I’ve ever seen an alien?”
The man nodded in a hushed no nonsense sort of way, his eyes focused on her. Liz had to keep herself from bursting out in laughter.
Looking back over to the counter, she realized that her father had gone to the back, and decided it was time for a little fun. Sweeping her gaze back to the couple in front of her, her eyes caught Max’s and he grinned that lopsided grin of his. So he knew what she was up to. She smirked at him before leaning closer to the two customers, and in a soft whisper, she spoke quickly and urgently as if sharing her greatest secret. “Ok, I’ll tell you something. As long as you keep in a secret.”
The two of them nodded excitedly before leaning as Liz’s eyes darted around the diner, in mock paranoia. “I was abducted by aliens when I was ten years old.”
The woman gasped, her grip seemed to tighten on her husband’s hand. “Were they the ones who crashed here in ’47?”
Liz leaned in closer, “The very ones.”
“What did they want from you?” The woman whispered. Liz smiled sadly in response.
“Yes, you see these aliens were royalty back on their planet. They had died, but were sent down to earth by their parents, who had taken the essence of humans just like you and me. Ones who believed you know? Apparently the King’s wife was dying because something was wrong with her essence, so he wanted to take mine. They followed me on my way home from the park, and took me.”
“Because I was a child, and they wanted an innocent spirit for their queen. They also thought that taking anyone else might have been too risky. Adults were stronger than children and would have put up a harder struggle.” Liz continued, her voice in mock reminiscence.
“What happened next?” The man asked, wanting her to continue. Liz raised an amused eyebrow; they were actually buying this crap?
“Well, they kept me with them for weeks and ran tests over me to see if I was a DNA match to their queen. I was so terrified, and kept telling them that my parents and brother were going to notice I was missing and would come find me. When I said this, they just looked at me with this odd look and continued. Finally after all the tests were done, they finally decided that I was a match. I was so scared, I had a life to live, and these people were trying to take it away.” Tears filled Liz’s eyes and behind her she could hear Max and Kyle snorting softly.
“How’d you get away?” The woman asked eagerly, and Liz coughed to hide her amusement.
“I’m not sure really, but the leader, their King had come up to me, and pressed his hand against my stomach. There was this bright light and this warm tingling sensation on my skin. I don’t know how but I managed to kick away from him, and I grabbed my backpack that was in the corner and threw the things I had at them. I heard them scream and realized that I could smell something garlic like in the air and I saw my bags of garlic potato chips on the floor. They were shrinking away from it, and obviously in pain.”
“Garlic? I thought those were only for vampires?”
“Apparently they worked on aliens too.” Liz shrugged before continuing, “I managed to escape, but not before taking a picture. I mean how many times in your life do you get to say I met an alien, a king no less?”
The woman and man were now gripping the table hard, and Liz bit back her smile. “I can still remember the pain from that day, the way his hand felt on my stomach and the burning sensation. I didn’t get away unscathed though. Apparently the weeks I spent with them turned out to only be a few hours, they had somehow managed to break into the time dimension, slowing it down. Nobody would believe me whenever I told the story, and so a few months after I just stopped trying to make someone believe. I never talked about those weeks anymore, I still shiver when I think of them.” Liz’s voice was mournful and fearful, causing the woman to dab at her eyes.
“I still had reminders from that day. The picture I took, and…” Liz paused dramatically, before pulling the top of her waitress uniform up a little to expose her midriff, and there standing out in the mid-afternoon light was a large silver handprint, glittering in light. “…this. It still hasn’t disappeared even after all these years. I haven’t shown anyone else because I knew they wouldn’t believe me still…for some reason, the two of you just seem to that you might understand.”
The woman nodded, reaching out her hand towards Liz in a comforting gesture, “We do Liz, we do.”
Liz’s smile returned, bright and ever so fake as she pulled out a photo from her apron. “Here’s the picture I took of them. Don’t show anyone.”
The two nodded before eagerly looking the picture over. Liz turned to bring their orders to Michael, ignoring the laughter coming from the booth to her left. Michael had his eyebrows raised at his sister, smirking mildly. Liz threw back her own smirk before innocently batting her eyelashes at him, causing Michael to shake his head and chuckle as he started to cook the order. She turned her gaze over to where Maria was now standing with Isabel and Alex and saw the thumbs up sign Alex was giving her, and heard the soft giggling as Maria and Isabel supported each other. Isabel mouthed to her, and when Liz made out the words Bad Girl, she chuckled. Liz shook her head as she walked over to Max and Kyle’s booth to ask if they needed anything. Upon her arrival, she was immediately pulled into Kyle’s lap as his arms wrapped around her securely.
“Where do you think you’re going missy?” He asked as he smiled a cheeky smile. Liz sighed as she again tried to push away his arms, but he was still too strong for her. “Nowhere if you don’t let me go Valenti.”
“Aww, Lizzie’s very touché now.” Liz whined in frustration as Kyle continued to tighten his hold on her quite easily at that. Meanwhile, Max looked on, laughter clearly written in his features. Liz glared at him for laughing at her situation, “I don’t see what’s so funny Evans.”
“Payback for calling me a mean evil alien king.” Max shrugged flippantly, referring to the handprint on her stomach. It had been he who had put it there just yesterday when Liz had managed to con him into helping her make signs for the upcoming tourist season. A paint fight had broken out, and well, let’s say his back was littered with small handprints. Liz’s face lit up as she giggled at the thought.
“You really should stop picking on your customers Liz, it isn’t good for business. One day some therapist is going to lock you away for telling that story.” Max teased good-naturedly. Liz made a face at him, “What’s the fun in that? Besides a mean evil alien king technically attacked me. Do you know how long it took to get that paint out of my hair?”
The two of them glared at each other as they began one of their famous staring contests. It had been tradition for a long time now. The two of them would began a staring contest without meaning to, and the others would bet on who would win. Of course Liz would usually win, but today was different as she suddenly jumped up and reached across the table, and pinched Max’s cheeks as she nosily kissed them, “’Course you’re my mean evil alien king.”
Laughing at his dazed and surprised expression, Liz went to retrieve her the orders and had smiled politely at the couple when she heard a loud bang behind her. She turned around to see two men suddenly screaming at one another in a loud argument. She frowned and was on her way over to the table to try and break up the argument when suddenly she saw a silver glint. From the corner of her eye, she saw Maria drop to the ground, and panicked, Liz turned her head towards Maria, concern etched on her features.
“LIZ!” Max’s pained scream broke through her reverie, and time seemed to slow to a stop when she turned back around only to find a gun aimed at her, and everyone else on the ground. She watched as the gun went off, sending a small streak of silver straight at her, and she closed her eyes in disbelief and horror. Blinding fear struck through as anger welled up somewhere deep inside, and she fought to keep tears at bay as her shoulders slumped defeated, taking acceptance of her fate. The last thought going through her mind was the fact that she had never known love.
She felt a numbing pain as something heavy crashed into her, knocking the wind out of her as she let out a startled cry. Her shaking hands clutched at her stomach, only to come in contact with another body. Confusion swept over her as she opened her eyes and turned to see his face a mere inch or two away from hers. The first thing she saw were his eyes, liquid amber eyes that were looking at her with such concern and so much love that it caused her to cry out, to wail. He was watching her, and she hoped to God that he could see how much he meant to her. His hand deftly caressed her cheeks, and just as sudden she saw the flash of pain, “Max…”
He looked at her, seemingly satisfied that she was safe from harm, that he had been able to protect her. “Liz…”
She lifted her hand to brush away the hair that had fallen in his face, but stopped cold when time suddenly rushed past her, bringing along with her the memories of what had just transpired. Fear coursed in her veins when she noticed her hand was covered, not in her blood, but the blood of another’s. Looking down she saw blood rush from the wound in his side, pooling around them. No! Her mind cried out, Oh God, please no!
Her stricken eyes met his, and she saw the love reflected in his still there. “Liz…my Liz.”
His eyes suddenly closed and she was abruptly aware of his weight, and of the situation. What he had done for her. Liz choked and let out a sob, her cries shattering the silence and striking everyone present to the core with the raw emotions in her voice. “Maxxx!!!!!!!!!!!!”
He looked over at her small figure, huddled in the chair in the dark corner, head drawn down, and even from across the room he could hear her silent tears. She had been in a state of shock when they had pulled Max’s body off of her, and she had promptly fainted. They had taken her to the hospital also, and found that she had a concussion. Nothing more serious, but physical damage wasn’t what he was worried about. He knew that even though she hadn’t been physically harmed, that her heart had suffered more than anything else. When she had woken up, he had seen the guilt buried in her eyes. The guilt that remained as they awaited reports of Max’s surgery. Tears blinded his vision as Michael kept himself from running to his sister’s side, understanding though without having said so that she needed to be alone right now.
“Is he going to make it?” Diane Evans asked the doctor urgently, tears in her voice.
Dr. Miller nodded in confirmation, “He’ll be fine. The bullet missed vital parts and wasn’t buried to deep. However, he did lose a lot of blood and will need to recuperate. Try to keep him off his feet for a few months, and he should be as good as new.”
Relief flew around the room, wrapping itself extra tightly around the solitary figure, huddled against the chair.
He watched, amusement in his eyes as the small figure crept into the room, silently and on alert, her eyes darting the room in paranoia, settling on his face. She saw the smile on his face, and with a sob ran into his awaiting arms, throwing herself into them. Max yelped in pain, and Liz dropped her arms quickly, moving away from him, tears pooling in her eyes. Max, unable to stand the sight of her in tears, asked her to come closer. Liz looked at him warily before stepping closer, just a bit and then hesitated. She didn’t move until he motioned her to, and once again she stopped and hesitated. Max, frustrated with this little game of Red Light, Green Light, stuck his arms out and pulled her into him, letting her sob into his chest.
“I’m sorry. So sorry.” Her broken whispers shattered his heart as he listened to her apologize to circumstances beyond herself. It wasn’t her fault those two men had a gun, and it certainly wasn’t her decision to let him jump in front of him. That had been all him. He kissed the top of her head as he stroked her hair, soothing her the best he could with his kind words and gentle, soothing voice. Soon, Liz fell asleep sobbing in his arms, and he lay awake, looking down at her, protective feelings running rampart. It was obvious she had little sleep since the accident two weeks prior, and it was even more apparent that she had barely been eating. To know that he was the cause of this change in her broke his heart as he watched his Lizzie barely hold herself together. Little did he know that he could be no truer than he was at the moment, and yet so very wrong.
You know everything that I'm afraid of
You do everything I wish I did
Everybody wants you, everybody loves you
She watched him from across the room, surrounded by all the females from school who had come to his welcome home party. She wondered why her heart was beating so quickly, why suddenly she felt this red hot…jealousy? It was nothing new, truth be told, wherever Max Evans was, there was bound to be at least one girl following him, flirting or batting their lashes at him.
I know I should tell you how I feel
I wish everyone would disappear
Every time time you call me, I'm too scared to be me
And I'm too shy to say
She was staring at the liquid in her cup so intently that she didn’t hear his approach nor did she hear the clearing of his throat. It was not until he coughed and tugged on her hand did she look up to find herself lost in amber eyes once more, and she felt the room tilt beneath her as a feeling rushed through her, something new, something exciting and so very new. She blushed when she realized that he was holding his hand out in a silent invitation, and she hesitated. Quickly she composed herself, but still caught sight of the flash of hurt in his eyes as his hand retreated.
Mentally berating herself for hesitating, Liz grabbed his arm and nodded, accepting his invitation. Letting him lead her to the dance floor, Liz relaxed as his arms came around her as they swayed to the song filling the air, and Liz allowed herself to lose herself in the fantasy as the lyrics to the song washed over her, drowning out the noise of ever person in the room, taking away everyone but herself and Max.
Ooh, I got a crush on you
I hope you feel the way that I do
I get a rush
When I'm with you
Ooh, I've got a crush on you
A crush on you
Nothing could describe the way it felt to be in Max Evan’s embrace. The warmth and security she found there was like nothing she had ever experienced, and the love shined from his eyes as he gazed down at her. However, this comforting gaze somehow broke her heart even more than seeing him with all those girls.
You know, I'm the one that you can talk to
And sometimes you tell me thing that I don't want to know
Suddenly she was reminded of the many times and many conversations they had of his past several relationships. Somehow between all the growing pains and fun, Max had become a player along with Michael, and Liz sat back watching them played all the girls around her, her heart breaking at the sight. Suddenly she remembered the way he had held all those girls, the way he looked at them, the way he kissed them.
I just want to hold you
And you say exactly how you feel about her
And I wonder, could you ever think of me that way
And just as unexpectedly, her heart wished he would look at her that way, that she could hold him close to her like she had seen those other girls do. Wished that he would kiss her the way he did those other girls.
Ooh, I got a crush on you
I hope you feel the way that I do
The thought startled her as she suddenly whipped her head up, causing Max to look at her in question; so many emotions crossed her face at that moment. She shook her head in disbelief. It couldn’t be. No! Her mind screamed. It wasn’t possible, but her heart was already disagreeing whispering the severe possibility of it all.
I get a rush
When I'm with you
Happiness…confusion, content, sorrow, love…Love? Revelation. It was true. She was falling for him, perhaps she was already gone. Acceptance, pain, confusion, love. Falling for her best friend? Her brother’s best friend…for Max Evans.
Ooh, I've got a crush on you
A crush on you
The truth became clearer and clearer as the weeks wore on, and as she pulled away from her Max, her best friend, her newest love and the rest of the world. She rarely ate, she couldn’t sleep, and she could talk to no one about the way she felt. No one would understand. Slowly, but surely she drifted into a deep depression that no one could pull her out of. With a heavy heart, she made up her mind, and it wasn’t until the day of her departure did she work up the courage to tell him.
Ooh, I wish I could tell somebody
But there's no one to talk to, nobody knows
“Liz?” Surprise was evident in his voice for he hadn’t seen her in such a long time, all of course, entirely her fault.
“I’m leaving Max.”
“What? Where? With who? How long? Why?” God he sounded so confused so lost, Liz wanted nothing more than to break down in his arms.
“Florida. Aunt’s house. No one. The summer.” You wouldn’t understand why. Liz thought silently, tears welling up in her eyes.
Her wish was granted as he wrapped his arms around her, and she felt so welcomed, so safe. She berated herself for allowing this to happen. How did she allow herself to fall in love with her best friend? Tears coursed down his face as well as hers as they wept together. Liz looked up to see the same love shining in his eyes as longing filled her upon the memory that his love was nothing more than something platonic. God why was she torturing herself like this? Why was she allowing herself to get close to something she could never have? It would always be like this, she would watch him, longing, but never having him, never loving him the way she needed to.
“I’ll miss you Lizbit.”
I've got a crush on you
A crush on you, I got a crush
She looked out the window and saw him standing there, watching as she left him. The aircraft taking her further and further away from him, she was still pressed against the window, hands tightly pressed against the glass. It would only be two months, but they had never been apart for that length of time. Best friends since birth, it seemed he would miss her as much as she would miss him. This was for the best after all; she had decided to get away from Roswell. To clear her mind and redirect her life, to get rid of whatever feelings she may have had for her best friend. It was better for both of them this way. Better for her to get hurt in the process than for he to get hurt too. It was something she was never willing to allow to happen. He deserved no pain whatsoever. Besides, she knew he wasn't ready to deal with this right now. Through conversations with him, she learned that he had wanted something more, wanted something special, but was too afraid to pursue it.
She would forget. Forget the way his arms felt around her. The burning sensation as he kissed her forehead. The fluttering whenever he came into view. She would forget she had ever fallen for Max Evans.
You say everything that no one says
But I feel everything that you're afraid to feel
But a part of her was not willing to let go as memories of a conversation drifted into her mind just as she fell into the world of slumber.
‘Why did you jump in front of the bullet? You could have been killed.’
‘It was you.’
Gasping, Liz Parker sat straight up in bed, tears running down her cheeks as memories of the first time she had fallen raced through her mind. She reached for the medallion around her neck, rubbing it in comfort. It couldn’t have been happening again, not after the way it had ended last time.
She couldn’t be falling for him again. It wasn’t possible. She just couldn’t be.
I will always want you, I will always love you
I've got a crush...
**Crush, Mandy Moore**
But once again her heart would prove her wrong, because love had already began to play its timeless melody, and she found herself dancing to the familiar music once more.