posted on 19-Jan-2003 2:30:16 PM
Title: Ordinary Day
Author: Annie
E-mail: Anniepoo98⊕hotmail.com
Category: M/L AU… of course*
Summary: This was based on a topic from the Author’s Discussion thread that asked what would happen if all three seasons were a dream. So this is my take on it. Liz was never shot. The gang are seniors, and one morning Liz wakes up after having the strangest dream. This is what happens in the day that follows. The title is taken from the Vanessa Carlton song "Ordinary Day," which really fits this fic.
Disclaimer: I only own the story. The Roswell characters belong to UPN, Melinda Metz, and Jason Katims.

Part One:

The six of them were leaving. Leaving Roswell, together. "Like I said, we’re going to need a van," Michael commented about the new arrangements.

Almost as if someone had heard them, a green and white, beatup Volkswagen van drove up. The three instantly raised their hands in protection, until Jessie Rameriz, Isabel’s husband, jumped out of the driver’s side. "Don’t shoot, or blast…. Whatever it is you do."

Isabel rushed to him. Liz knew this was Isabel’s final chance to say goodbye to the man who had help to fill the loneliness Alex’s death left her. But Liz also knew that she would never let Jessie come with them. She could never risk his life like that.

They all climbed in the van after Jessie took off in Isabel’s car. Liz looked over at Max, who was sitting in the driver’s seat. "So this is goodbye to Roswell," she whispers, a tear slipping from her eye. She couldn’t help it. This place had been her whole life, whether she wanted to admit it or not. She grew up her, Max healed her here, they fell in love here. Liz knew she would be happy no matter where she was, as long as Max was with her. But Roswell would be a regret. No one lives life without one.

Max reached over and took one of Liz’s hand in his. He leaned down, placing the tenderest of kisses on the top of her creamy skin. "I am so sorry this is how it had to happen, but we have no choice."

Liz gave him a weak smile. "I know. I just wish it could have been little different." She just wanted one thing to be normal for herself and Max, the others. Tonight they had almost die at their own graduation. What next? What would her wedding day be like? Anything close to ordinary, typical.

Looking out the window, Liz let out a small sigh as Max started the engine. She never doubted she would do anything for Max. She loved him with her entire heart and soul, but that couldn’t stop her from wishing for some better for them, for all of her friends. "Maybe we will have an ordinary day eventually," she thought, watching the first star that caught her eye. "Just an ordinary day." With that, the beatup Volkswagen van drove off into the desert sunset.


"Oh my God," Liz gasped as she shot up in bed. "What the hell kind of dream was that?" It had to have been the most vivid, twisted, strangest dream she had ever dreamt.

Still trying to calm down, Liz reached over to her nightstand and fumbled around for a piece of paper and a pen. Before she thought of anything else, Liz jotted down the major points that she remember, but the dream was already beginning to fade from her mind. "Maria is going to love dissecting this one," she smiled, satisfied she had gotten enough down on paper.

Without another thought, Liz made her way down to the Crashdown, where Maria was sure to be eating breakfast. Vaguely, she heard the song playing in the background, over the restaurant’s speakers.

Just a day,
Just an ordinary day.
Just trying to get by.
Just a boy,
Just an ordinary boy.
But he was looking towards the sky.

Liz rushed from the backroom and out to the main area of the restaurant. As soon as she saw Liz, Maria called out to her. "Chica, what are you doing up? I still have another 6 minutes before I had to wake you up."

And as he asked if I would come along
I started to realize-
That everyday you find
Just what he's looking for,
Like a shooting star he shines.

She was right. It was a custom between Liz, Maria, and Alex, their other best friend, that whoever was at the Crashdown for breakfast had to drag Liz out of bed at exactly 6:45. The honor usually belonged to Maria because she was the most annoying morning person in the world. Liz was the opposite. In fact, this arrangement came about because she had discovered alarms stop ringing when you smash them up against the wall, but don’t worry. Only five clocks were force to suffer this fate.

Liz rushed over to the counter, sitting on the nearest stool. "Maria, I had the weirdest dream last night. You have to help me figure it out."

He said take my hand,
Live while you can
Don't you see your dreams are right in the palm of your hand.

Maria opened her mouth in a mocking shocked expression. "My little scientist is asking about something that can’t be proved by mixing chemicals."

After rubbing the sleep out of her eyes, Liz loudly began banging her head on the counter. Then, she let out a frustrated groan. "Maria, please. Just help," Liz begged, shoving the paper with her jottings at Maria’s face.

"I’ll take a look see," Maria reassured her. "It’s probably no big deal. The planets might have aligned in a certain way or something."

Liz looked up. "I just want answers. Answers are good. Answers keep me sane."

And as he spoke, he spoke ordinary words
Although they did not feel
For I felt what I had not felt before
You'd swear those words could heal.

Maria opened her mouth, ready with a witty remark, but the bells on the door of the restaurant chimed. Both girls turned to see who had come in, and Liz suddenly found herself staring into the soulful amber eyes of Max Evans.

And I as looked up into those eyes
His vision borrows mine.
And to know he's no stranger,
For I feel I've held him for all of time.

"Right on time," Maria said, looking down at her watch.

"What does that mean," Liz asked.

"Well," Maria began. "Whether you know it or not, every morning, right at 6:43, Max Evans and his jerk of a friend, Micky G, come in for breakfast. They sit in the same booth they occupy for dinner almost every night and lunch on the weekends. I swear, they should be forced to pay rent or something."

Liz felt her cheeks flush with color. Max Evans ate here every morning and she never noticed. What else had she not noticed about him? There was no denying he was cute… well, gorgeous in the tall, dark, and mysterious way. Especially with those beautiful amber eyes of his. But Max was always so quite. Hell, they had been lab partners for years and that was what most of conversations revolved around, science. Not that Liz minded. Science was her life, but after that dream, she was started to consider what other things she could talk to Max about.

And he said take my hand,
Live while you can
And if we walk now we will divide and conquer this land.
Don't you see your dreams are right in the palm of your hand
Right in the palm of your hand.

"Earth to Liz," Maria snapped Liz out of her thoughts. "What the hell is going on with you today? This would be an ordinary day if you could get your head out of the clouds."

Liz gawked at her. "What did you say?"

"I said that this could be an ordinary day if you would act normal," Maria told her, taking another bite of her bagel.

A chill ran down Liz’s spine. Those words… those words were straight from her dream. She had wished for a regular, normal day in the dream. "Man," Liz thought. "This is getting freakier by the second."

Please come with me,
See what I see.
Touch the stars for time will not flee.
Time will not flee.
Can you be…

Maria noticed that Liz was spacing out again, so she turned her attention elsewhere. Nothing caught her eye, until her gaze fell upon the booth where Max and Michael were sitting. Michael seemed to be his usual brooding self. "What is his problem," Maria pondered.

Then, she saw Max. More importantly, she saw Max staring at Liz. Now, this had been a common occurrence over the years. However, what made today so special was that a) Liz was still in her pajamas and b) she seemed to be looking right back at him.

Just a dream, just an ordinary dream.
As I wake in bed
And the boy, that boy, that ordinary boy.
Or was it all in my head?

"This is ridiculous," Maria muttered. She leaned over to Liz. "Max Evans is staring at you again."

Maria’s voice caught Liz off-guard and she jumped, nearly falling off of the stool she was sitting on. "No he’s not," Liz said defensively.

"Just go talk to him," Maria said, waving her hand around. She knew it was cruel not to tell Liz she was still in her pajamas, but she knew Liz would find a way to pay her back for it later. Plus, it might just be the thing to snap her mind back into reality.

Did he asked if I would come along
It all seemed so real.
But as I looked to the door,
I saw that boy standing there with a deal.

Slowly, Liz did as Maria told her, making her way over to booth were Max and Michael were sitting. Max gave her a shy little smile, while Michael didn’t even look up from the drawing book he was doodling in. A tiny smile crept across her face that Liz just couldn’t help. "Morning," she said softly.

"Morning Liz," Max said even quieter.

"So," Liz voice trailed off. "Do you eat breakfast here a lot?"

The tips of Max’s ears started to turn red. "Sometimes."

"Everyday," Michael announced without looking up from his drawing.

And he said he my take my hand,
Live while you can,
Don't you see your dreams are right in the palm of your hand
Right in the palm of your hand.

Max glared at him. "Thanks Michael," he mumbled under his breath. Then, he turned his attention back to Liz. "So are you ready for the quiz in physics today?"
Liz nodded her head. "I hope so. How about you?"

"Yeah," Max managed to say, before they were interrupted by Michael’s laughter.

Both of them turned to look at him. Michael was practically doubling over because he was laughing so hard. "What’s so funny," Max asked.

Michael took a deep breath, then another. "Nice pajamas Liz," he snorted when he was finally able to speak.

Just a day, just an ordinary day
Just trying to get by.

Liz glanced down, and sure enough, she was still wearing her pajamas. And not just any set of pajamas. Nope, she was wearing the ones with little spaceships and aliens all over it that said "take me to your leader." Liz had never been so mortified. "Oh shit. Excuse me," she gasped and ran to the back of the restaurant.

"And you didn’t even notice," Michael chuckled.

Max swiftly kicked him in the shin. "It’s called tact Michael, ever heard of it?"

Michael flinched and reached down to rub his knee. "Yeah, but I rather be blunt."

"No denying that," Maria chimed in.

"Oh look," Michael said, rolling his eyes. "The one who never shuts up."

"Isn’t that a bit of the pot calling the kettle black," Maria shot back. "So what did you say to Liz that caused her to run," Maria accused him, pointing a finger straight at his nose.

"Turn that finger around at yourself," Michael told her. "I know that you saw Liz was only wearing pajamas when she was here."

Maria looked down at her shoes. "Oh."

"Are you two done bickering," Max broke
in. "Because I think Maria should check on Liz to make sure she is okay. I mean she took off pretty fast."

Just a boy,
Just an ordinary boy.
But he was looking to the sky.
"Ordinary Day" - Vanessa Carlton

"Yeah," Maria agreed. "I better go see if she’s okay. And Max, please just ask her out and get it over with."

Max looked down, his ears getting even redder. Maria just let out a little laugh and headed up to Liz’s apartment.

Part Two:

"Whoa," Maria yelled, as she dodged the sixth slipper Liz threw at her. "I’m starting to think this slipper fetish isn’t healthy," she called down the hall.

Liz stuck her head out her bedroom door. "Be thankful I haven’t moved on to the formal footwear," she warned. "How could you Maria? You let me walk around the Crashdown with only my pajamas on."

"No," Maria started to correct her. "You were the one who wore them into the restaurant. I just omitted to mention it to you."

"And why," Liz exasperated, pulling a tank top on. "Why would you do that?"

"Because I thought Max Evans deserved a show," Maria uttered, quickly running for cover under the Parker’s kitchen. Good thing too. The next thing that came out of Liz’s room was a black pump, flying in Maria’s direction. "Careful, or I might not wake you up any more."

Liz came walking down the hall, fully dressed this time. "Then Alex will," she replied confidentially.

Maria crawled out from underneath the table, brushing off her knees as she stood up. "Alex only wakes you up when he has too."

"That’s not true," Liz said, rolling her eyes.

Maria couldn’t help herself. She started to laugh. "Sweetie, Alex is afraid of you in the morning. He told me that everytime he wakes you, you give him this look. Sort of like you blame him for the sun coming out."

"Vile yellow day-star," Liz muttered under her breath, making Maria laugh even harder. Liz flopped herself down on one of the kitchen chairs, letting out a loud sigh. "Where is Alex anyway," she asked, hoping to stop Maria’s giggles.

"He had to do some polishing up stuff for the talent show tonight," Maria informed her, wiping a tear from her eye. "With Isabel Evans."

Liz chuckled a little. "I don’t know whether to be happy for him or pity him."

"Come on," Maria faked being shocked. "Waking up to a morning with the Ice Princess. Who wouldn’t be thrilled?"

"Yeah," Liz agreed. "But Alex has always had this huge crush on her. Maybe he is enjoying himself. Besides, Isabel might not be so bad once you get to know her. She is Max’s sister, after all."

Maria shot her a knowing look. "Uh huh. You want Max so badly."

Liz’s eyes grew wide. "Hush Maria, and grab your backpack because I think I hear my other black pump calling your name."

~~~~~~

"What do you think about this backdrop," Isabel ranted, turning to Alex. "I am not sure it works."

Alex leaned his head against the cool wood of the piano. "It’s fine. Trust me. But we should run through the song one more time before the bell rings."

Isabel let out a dissatisfied sigh. "Okay," she conceded. "I don’t want to look like a fool in front of the entire school."

"Tell me again why we have to perform in the show," Alex asked, adjusting his music.

"Mrs. Lancaster said it had something to do with tradition. The student organizers always do the last act of the show," Isabel whined. "I decided it was best to go along with tradition."

"So she scares you too," Alex joked.

Isabel glared at him. "No one scares me," she told him coldly. "And if you didn’t want to perform, why did you agree to help head the committee?"

Alex’s cheeks turned a little pink. "Well, somehow Mrs. Lancaster found out that I was in a band. She suggested that I might want to sign up. I was afraid not to."

"That’s very manly," Isabel snicker.

His grin faded. "Are we going to run through this one more time or not."

Isabel raised an eyebrow at him. "Fine, fine. Play away."

Alex grumbled a bit, then turned his attention to the piano. His fingers began to glide across the keys, a funky melody emanating from the instrument. Then, he began to sing…

If only I could get into that corner of your head
Where things finally match and meet the standards that you set
Oh how I wish I was the treasure that you were lookin' for
Bet I would feel better if only I could find the door

As Alex started playing and singing, Isabel moved up behind him. Listening intently, she tapped her fingers against her hip in time with the music. When it was her turn to sing, she looked over Alex’s shoulder at the music sheet.

I am cryin'
you aren't tryin'
I am melting away

Even though his smile had come back when she moved behind him, Alex couldn’t help but feel a tiny bit nervous too. This was the girl of his dreams. She was tall, beautiful, smart, and just a little "frosty," as Maria so elegantly put it. No matter how hard Maria tried to convince him otherwise, Alex was sure that there was something else behind Isabel Evans. Something that all her popularity and coolness was hiding. Caught in his thoughts, Alex almost missed his queue

I wait for the words on the tip of your tongue
I'm only as good as the last one
well you decide and I abide as my song goes unsung
"Unsung" by Vanessa Carlton

"He can play the piano well," Isabel thought to herself. "I wonder what his band sounds like?" It wasn’t that she had never noticed Alex Whitman, but they didn’t associate with the same people. Hell, he was always hanging around Maria Deluca and Liz Parker.
Any thoughts about Liz Parker almost always lead Isabel to think about her brother’s hopeless crush on her. It was sad really. Max had been infatuated with Liz from the very first time he saw her. And Isabel hated it. Connections like that were too dangerous for them to have.

But, now was not the time to ponder that. Isabel opened her mouth to sing the next part of the song, but the bell rang loudly. So, instead of singing, she said the first words that came to her mind. Unfortunately, it ended up sounding like an order. "We need to meet after school to run through this completely."

Alex saluted her. "Yes sir," he half-joked, grabbing his bag and shoving the music in it. He made his towards the door to the theater, but Isabel caught his arm.

"I didn’t mean it that way," she attempted to corrected what he might be thinking. "I just want everything to be perfect. A habit of mine."

It took everything in his will power to act nonchalantly with her touching his arm. "No biggie," he reassured her. "Perfection can be a good thing sometimes."

"Sometimes," Isabel asked.

"Yeah," Alex said plainly. "Sometimes. Actually, I think that imperfections are what make life interesting. Besides no one is perfect. Not even you," he added the last bit softly.

Isabel eyed him. "I’m the closest thing to it," she teased.

Alex knew she was trying to bait him. "Maybe," he commented, acting oblivious. However, "Be cool Whitman," was chanting in his head.

Isabel nodded. "Well, if my imperfections don’t bug you too much, maybe you would consider stopping by the party I am throwing after the show."

He sure took the bait this time. "I said I liked imperfections. See ya after school."

Not more than five steps out of the theater door, Alex ran directly into Maria and Liz. "Ladies," he smiled widely. "How are the happenings on this beautiful morning?"

Liz looked up at his face. "I think he’s glowing, Maria. What do you think?"

Maria walked in front of Alex, judging the expression on his face. "I do detect a hint of shininess. Frost bite," she tossed in.

Alex gave her a look of disapproval. Maria threw her hands up in front of her, as though she had to defend herself. "Sorry, sorry," she apologized. "Just a habit. So how did it go with the Ice Princess this morning?"

Liz tried to hide her laughter, but Alex saw her huge grin. "Everything went fine this morning," he told them. "Besides I think the both of you need to give Isabel a break. She is not as bad as she seems. In fact, she invited me to her party tonight after the show, which I am assuming the two of you will be tagging along with my gorgeous self."

Liz was ready with a comeback, but what Alex said triggered a recollection of her dream.

The look of devastation flashed in Isabel’s eyes as she heard Max speak. He couldn’t heal Alex. A tear began to trickle down her face, followed by another, and another. Quickly, she turned and ran away from the group. Liz sent Max after Isabel, knowing what Isabel had lost… the love of her life. Just as she was ready to admit that to herself, Alex was taken from them.

Not that it matter much. Someone walking up behind them beat her to it. "Oh yeah, Whitman. Break me off a piece of that."

They all turned to see who it was. Kyle Valenti, Liz’s ex-boyfriend, was standing there, dressed in his typical t-shirt, jeans, and letterman’s jacket. Both Alex and Maria started to talk to him, but Liz just stood there.

"Hey," Kyle said, giving Liz a little pat on the shoulder. "Are you feeling alright," he asked, his eyes full of concern. But that was typical Kyle. Even after they broke up, both agreed that they were better as friends than anything else. Maria always teased her about it, especially since he had become a Buddhist no to long afterwards.

Liz gave them a little smile. "Yeah, I’m fine. Just a rough night."

Kyle shrugged his shoulders, deciding he better just take the answer at face value for now. "Okay," he said, letting the subject drop. Then, he glanced down the hallway at his first class of the day. "Well, I say it’s just about time to go get our learn on."

The others just laughed, joining him as they made their way down the hall.


[ edited 2 time(s), last at 20-Jan-2003 7:45:50 PM ]
posted on 19-Jan-2003 2:34:03 PM
Part Three:

"This is so boring," Maria thought to herself. The teacher was droning on and on about Shakespeare, just like all other English teachers. "What’s the point," Maria sighed.

She had her fill of the man and his plays way back during freshman year in high school. That is when first introduced to "Romeo and Juliet." Liz instantly fell in love with it, but that was just the kind of hopeless romantic she was. However, Maria knew better. Most guys were the love’em and leave’em type. "Come on," Maria mumbled in frustration. "Bell, just ring for me… please."

"Whining is going to make the bell ring any faster," the person behind her whispered.

Maria turned in her seat. "But it annoys you Guerin, so it makes it all worthwhile," she told him.

"Bite me," Michael grumbled.

"You wish," Maria replied.

"Miss Deluca, Mr. Guerin," Mr. Gilbert called out. "Do the two of you have a desire to stay after class?"

"No," they both answered in unison.

"Good," Mr. Gilbert said, walking towards them. "Then I suggest you pay attention to the lesson, rather then flirting with each other."

Maria’s jaw dropped to the floor. "Flirting," she gasped. She pointed to Michael. "With him. Not if he was the last man on earth."

Michael laid back in his chair, resting his feet on the back of Maria’s desk. "Our secret must be out if the faculty knows."

Her face turned a deep shade of red, and everyone else in the class could tell that Maria was ready to kill Michael, even Mr. Gilbert. "That’s enough," he stated. "I don’t want to hear a word out of either of you for the rest of the class, unless it is something construction about the lesson."

"Fine," the both answered, but Maria’s eyes were still shooting daggers in Michael’s direction. "Of all the nerve," she thought. "He… I …urgh." Then, something caught Maria’s attention out of the corner of her eye. It was the piece of paper Liz had given her this morning. "Well, this is better than class."

Maria grabbed the paper and started reading what Liz had jotted down. "Holy shit," Maria wondered. "Where did Liz come up with all of this." She just couldn’t believe what she was reading… what Liz had dreamt. Her and Michael being a couple. Max being with Liz, hell even Alex and Isabel together was believable, but dating Michael was out of the question. Not to mention, Alex dying. As long as Maria was around she was never going to let it happen. And how did this all come about? Because Max, Isabel, and Michael were aliens. Even Tess Harding was an alien. Well, Maria could believe that, but only because no human could be responsible for the super-bitch. "I have got to talk to Liz," Maria mutter to herself.

What she didn’t notice was a now very wide-eyed Michael sitting behind her. He had notice that she was reading something with more attention than he’d ever seen her give any form of lituature. It peeked his curiosity, so he took a little look see. Written all over the piece of paper was stuff about him, Isabel, and Max. Especially about their alien status. "How the hell did she know," Michael wondered. "I have got to talk to Max."

~~~~~~~~~~~

"Sorry," Liz squeaked as soon as Max took a seat next to her in Government.

He turned to look at her, confusion apparent on his face. "Sorry for what?"

Liz let out a nervous laugh. "About this morning. Me… pajamas… fleeing from the scene," she made the attempt to joke. The truth was that she was mortified. Not only because of what happen, but more to the point, that Max was there to see it.

Well, her humor venture worked. Max started to chuckle, a sound which Liz found to be wonderful. She started to wonder why she hadn’t heard it very often over the past few years. However, it was his voice that broke into her thoughts. "I should apoligice too."

Liz was dumbfounded. "For what," she sputtered.

"For Michael," Max said, shrugging his shoulders. "Sometimes he can be a little too blunt. I’m sorry if he embarrassed you."

Letting out a breath, Liz smiled at him. "You’re too nice, you know that," the words slipped out of her mouth. She couldn’t believe she had said them. Yet, when the tips of Max’s ears began to redden, Liz’s heart couldn’t help skipping a tiny beat.

"Don’t say that," he whispered.

"No," Liz protested. "I mean it. Here you are, taking the blame for something your friend did. And you haven’t made fun of my morning antics. That makes you tops in my books." Liz quickly bit her lip. "What has come over me?," she wondered. "When did I get dubbed the babbling idiot? Could this get any worse?"

Max cleared his throat as his ears got even redder. "Thanks," he said, his voice softer than before. A shy little smile made it’s way on to his face, where it was happy to stay for the rest of the period. Liz Parker was talking to him. Hell, not only talking to him, but giving him compliments. The words "tops in my books," repeated themselves over and over in his head. "This is too good to be true," he thought.

The class period slipped by fast, and Max was too far gone to pay attention to anything the teacher said. Suddenly, the bell was ringing. Max saw Liz gather her books into her arms and make her way towards the door.

A hint of boldness crept through Max. He quickly gathered his stuff and made his way after her. "So Liz," he uttered when he reached her. She turned to look at him, and all his nerve left him as he gazed into her deep brown eyes. "So, I’ll see you in Physics?"

It was as if her world had stopped. Max Evans was talking to her. A conversation that he actually initiated. Corrected that, her world had come screeching halt, nearly knocking her on her ass. But fate settled for Liz dropping her books in the middle of the hallway.

A loud thud echoed through the halls, and everyone passing stopped what they were doing to look at her. "Yeah," Liz muttered, bending down to pick up her books. "We have that quiz after all."

Max opened his mouth to speak, but he was interrupted when someone called out to him. "Max Evans," the voice sounded even louder than the falling books. To Liz, it resembled fingernails across the chalkboard, which could only mean on thing. It had to be Tess Harding.

The petite blond walked right up to Max, shoving Liz out of the way. Liz fell backwards, on her butt. "Nope, that wasn’t obvious," she mumbled.

Moving away from Tess, Max went to lend Liz a hand. "Morning Tess," he whispered as he moved.

Just the way he said the name made Liz feel sick to her stomach. Quickly, her mind filled with images from her dream…

Max reassuring her that nothing was happening between Tess and him. He held her so tight as she watched the rain poured down outside of the restaurant. But all that changed when he left.

He crossed the street, and Liz noticed that someone else was standing there. The curly blond hair gave it away… it was Tess. She and Max were talking. Then, without warning, Max pulled Tess into a heated kiss, and Liz’s world came crumbling down again.


"Are you okay," Max asked. He noticed the color draining from Liz’s face as she stared off into space.

Liz shook her head a few times, coming back into reality. But not completely. She vaguely registered Max handing her the books she had dropped. Liz was far to focused on staring at Tess.

Tess met her gaze, and the blood started to pound in Liz’s veins. She was mad, really mad. "Thanks Max," Liz acknowledged the fact he was still standing there. However, her eyes never left Tess’s.

"So Parker," Tess finally said. "Having problems?"

"Only when you shoved me out of the way," Liz replied, coldly.

Max just stood there, watching the standoff continue. Both girls glared at each other for another couple of seconds before Tess decided to leave. She turned to Max. "I guess that I will see you around," she cooed, then winked at him.

Shrugging it off, Max focused his attention on Liz. "Are you sure you’re okay," he asked, unknowing reaching out to touch her arm.

Liz jumped when she felt his fingers come into contact with her skin. "I’m fine," Liz told him. She started to straighten the books that were now in her arms, but she was still mad for some reason. Mad at Tess, mad at the world, and most definitely mad at Max. "Jerk," she uttered, then took off down the hall.

Max just stood there, baffled beyond belief. "What did I do," he wondered outloud. His world spun a little more when he actually got an answer to that question.

"You breathed," Kyle said, walking over to
Max. "Girls are like that sometimes."

"What," Max questioned. "I thought you and Liz were friends?"

Kyle laughed. "I am. If I wasn’t I wouldn’t be talking to you. But I happen to know for a fact that she is into you. You’ll never know how many times I wanted to kick your ass when I saw the two of you making eyes across the Crashdown."

"Aren’t you a Buddhist," Max asked. "I thought you guys didn’t believe in violence."

"Well," Kyle replied. "I didn’t kick your ass. But in all honesty Evans, just ask her out. That might be why she is a little on the touchy side today. Hell, she has been spacey all day."

"Very fascinating, Buddha Boy," Michael commented as he approached them. "But I have more important issues to discuss with our friend here, so if you don’t mind…"

Kyle stiffened a bit. "Looks like Liz isn’t the only one out of it. Later Evans." With that, Kyle headed off down the hall.

"I’m starting to think that Kyle is right," Max mumbled as Michael grabbed his arm and dragged him down the hall in the other direction. "Michael, would you mind tell me what this is about? I have to get to class."

Michael shook his head. "You’re not going to second period. Neither am I. We have more important issues than trig."

"Like what?"

"Maybe how that Maria girl knows of our stellar status," Michael announced in a hushed tone.

Max’s jaw nearly dropped to the floor. "What… how?"

Michael shrugged his shoulder. "I don’t know, but I saw this paper she had. Written all over it was stuff about us. Maxwell this is serious."

Max sat down on a set of stairs. "No shit. What a second, did you say Maria was reading a piece of paper?"

Michael flopped down next to him. "Yeah."

"Did she get it out of a green notebook," Max asked.

Now Michael was getting frustrated. "Maybe… I think so. What does it matter?"

"Because," Max groaned. "Liz gave Maria piece of paper this morning. It seemed important, and Maria put it in a green notebook."

"So you think that Liz is really the one who suspects we are otherworldly," Michael quizzed. "Are you sure this isn’t just your imagination."

Max through him a look. "I’m sure. When it comes to this stuff, I am sure."

Michael couldn’t resist. "Which stuff, Liz stuff or otherworldly stuff," he cracked.

Man, if looks could kill. Michael threw up his hands in defeat, chuckling to himself. "So, what are we going to do now?"

"We need to find out what Liz knows and how much she told Maria. Maybe if Kyle or Alex know anything as well," Max stated.

"Sounds good," Michael agreed. "You can handle Liz, which I know you are stoked about. Maybe Izzy can take Alex. They are working on the talent show together. And that leaves me with Kyle and Maria. Boy, you guys owe me big."

"Fine. I’ll tell Izzy in third. She is going to throw a fit," Max admitted.

Michael slapped him on the back. "Good luck. You’re going to need it."

Part Four:

Liz stormed off from her encounter with Tess and headed straight to English class. Who did Tess think she was? Hell, who did Max think he was? He cheated on her with someone else in a … dream.

Liz gasped when she realized what she had done. She got mad… no furious… at Max for something he did in a dream. The next thing she knew her head made repeated contact with the hard surface of her desk.

"Miss Parker, are you okay," Mr. Gilbert asked, concerned when he saw her banging her head on the desk.

"No," Liz groaned. Then, she had a revelation about where she was. Her back straighten as she sat up. "Sorry Mr. Gilbert," she apologized. "I just have a bit of a headache."

Mr. Gilbert threw her a puzzled look. "I doubt that hitting your head repeatedly on the desk is going to help it. Do you need a pass to the nurse, Miss Parker?"

Liz shook her head. "No. No, I’m fine."

The answer seemed to satisfy him, because he went back to the lesson. However, Alex didn’t buy it. He reached over cautiously and tapped her shoulder. "What is wrong with you," he mouthed.

Her entire face drooped. "I don’t know," she mouthed back. "I think I am going insane."

"Sanity is overrated," he whispered. "Maria has proven that more than once."

Liz had to bite her lip to keep from laughing. She couldn’t afford to disrupt the class again. But she really wanted to. She need to make some sort of noise, like screaming or laughing. Just something to let her frustration out. "Maria," the name popped into her head. "I have to talk to Maria. She can help me figure out what all of this means," Liz thought.

Alex started humming a song in the seat next to her. Liz remembered the song and something about the lyrics oddly struck her as the played in her head.

"Welcome to the real world," she said to me
Condescendingly
"Take a seat, take your life
Plot it out in black and white."

"Maybe I am really losing my mind," she wondered. "That’s it," She declared to herself. "Maybe I am just stressing about the future and stuff. That could be why I had the dream," she reasoned. "Maybe… maybe I need to find Maria as soon as the bell rings."

Well I never lived the life of the Prom kings
And the Drama queens
I’d like to think the best of me
Is still hiding up my sleeves

English class had never seemed so long, but when that bell rang, Liz was the first on out the door. She managed to lose Alex. Not that she didn’t love him or anything, but she really needed to find Maria. Liz even ignored off Kyle when she saw him in the hall. She gave him a quick wave and went on her way.

The tell you "stay inside the lines"
But something is better on the other side

He just watched as she hurried down the hall. Alex came up beside him. "What was that all about," Kyle asked. "First she freaked out on Max. Now she is ignoring us. So what the hell is going on?"

Alex shrugged his shoulders. "I have no idea, man. But whatever it is, we can be sure that she is talking to Maria about it. And you know what the means…"

An evil smiled appeared on Kyle’s face. "We get the short little blond alone and make her spill her guts."

"Exactly," Alex laughed.

I wanna run though the halls of my high school
I wanna scream at the top of my lungs
I just found out there’s no such thing
As the real world
Just a lie you’ve got to rise above

"Chica," rang through the corridor. Liz turned to find Maria rushing in her direction. "I have to talk to you," they said in unison.

Maria linked her arm with Liz, pulling her to the nearest free classroom. "Liz, you have issues," Maria told her, shutting the door behind them.

Liz ran a hand through her hair. "I know Maria. That dream I had has me all screwed up. I freaked out on Max. Did you know that?"

"What did you do," Maria asked, her eyes wide.

"I called him a jerk or something. I don’t know what happened. One minute I was so excited because he actually tried to start a conversation with me. The next thing I know, Tess Harding is there and I got mad at her. The last thing I did was call Max a jerk, then walked away," Liz finished her rant.

So the good boys and girls take
The so called right track
Faded white hats
Grabbing credits, maybe transfers

Maria laughed. "Well, from what you wrote down on that piece of paper, I have no doubt why you could get mad to see them together. But what about the rest of this stuff, Liz? I mean Max, Isabel, Michael, and Tess being aliens? Time travel? Alex dying," she listed. "Michael and I dating," she added for good measure.

Liz let out a big breath. "I have no idea where any of that came from? I really don’t. So what is your verdict? Am I crazy?"

"No," Maria assured her, walking over to the nearest desk and sitting down on top of it. "I just think that you are head over heels for Max Evans."
Maria saw Liz roll her eyes and heard the groan escape her lips, but she was far from finished. "Listen to me Liz. This is our last year and I know that you have liked him for the longest time. Even before you dated Kyle."
Liz threw her a look. "So?"

"Maybe this is your way of expressing your frustrations about this situation. We all know that you are going to get out of Roswell at the end of this year, and that means leaving this dream of Max behind too. Your dream could be a way of permanently linking yourself to him."

They read all the books but the can’t
Find the answers

"Where did you come up with all of that," Liz asked.
Maria pointed to her head and smiled. "It’s all in the noggin," she joked.

Liz laughed. Some of what Maria said did make sense. She was kinda frightened of what would happen after high school and she had always had a little crush on Max. "So," Liz trailed off, walking over to Maria and sitting down on the desk next to her. "What would you recommend?"

"Go get him," Maria said, a wicked grin on her face. "Tell him how you feel."

"But what…" Liz began.

However, Maria cut her off. "No buts. I don’t think that Max will mind in the least. Trust me."

They love to tell you stay inside the lines
But something’s better on the other side

Liz jumped up and gave Maria a huge hug. "Thank you, thank you, thank you," she uttered before running out of the room. Maria just watched Liz go, happy that she was finally going to go after Max.

"I still have no idea where she got the idea of Michael and I together," she mumbled, going to her third period class.

I wanna run though the halls of my high school
I wanna scream at the top of my lungs
I just found out there’s no such thing
As the real world
Just a lie you’ve got to rise above

Liz realized, almost to late, that she didn’t have enough time to look for Max before third period, so she decided to talk to him at lunch. The seconds and minutes seemed to drag on forever, but lunch finally came. Liz wandered the halls of West Roswell High till she saw the dark head of Max Evans in one of the science labs.

Max had been hiding out ever since his talk with Isabel. She had not been please that Liz might know they were aliens. In fact, she had threatened him to within an inch of his life if it was true.

However, there was an odd twist to their discussion. When Max asked Isabel to keep and eye on Alex, she didn’t seem to be upset. Actually, she seemed to be downright okay with the idea. But that did not mean she was happy with the situation. So rather than get another chewing out, Max decided to spend his lunch one of the science labs.

When he got there, Max noticed that one of the rats seemed to be hurt. Taking a closer look, Max found that the rat had twisted one of it’s feet. It seemed like a harmless thing really. He could heal the foot and no one would be the wiser.

I am invincible as long as I’m alive
I am invincible as long as I’m alive

Max wasn’t aware of Liz’s presence in the room. She saw him pick up the rat, cradle it’s tiny foot in his hands. Unexpectedly, his hand began to glow lightly. The rat squealed a bit. Max’s hand stopped glowing and he put the rat back in the cage. The next thing he heard was Liz’s voice.

"I knew it," she exclaimed. "Somehow I knew it."

Max stood there like a deer in headlights. She had caught him using his powers. He saw Liz turn and run out of the room, and he did the only thing he could think of. He went after her as fast as his legs could carry him.

I wanna run though the halls of my high school
I wanna scream at the top of my lungs
I just found out there’s no such thing
As the real world
Just a lie you’ve got to rise above
"No Such Thing: by John Mayer


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 19-Jan-2003 2:50:44 PM ]
posted on 19-Jan-2003 3:12:28 PM
Part Five:

Maria sat in the music room, playing on the piano. She was happy… really happy. She had finally gotten Liz to admit her feelings for Max. Hell, Liz was probably confessing them to Max right now. All Maria could say was, "It’s about damn time."

Then the song over took her. She loved to sing. It was her way of escaping or expression. And right now, she felt like expressing herself…

Inside my skin there is this space,
It twists and turns, it bleeds and aches.
Inside my heart there's an empty room,
It's waiting for lightning, it's waiting for you.

Suddenly, Maria’s mind wandered back to Liz’s dream. Could there be more truth to it than Liz liking Max? Did Liz really think that she liked Michael? Maria pondered the thought of them being a couple. "Nah," she muttered. "That is just to weird."

Maria started to laugh to herself, but something was missing. Something like the humor. Michael was a total reject in the looks department, if only he would do something about that hair. But he was totally unreachable. What was he waiting for?

Shaking those thoughts aside, Maria went back to singing her song…

And I am wanting,
And I am needing you here,
Inside the absence of fear.

Unexpectedly, the sound of clapping echoed in the room. Maria nearly jumped three feet in the air. When she turned around to see who was there, her green eyes met the deep gray of Michael’s. "What the hell are you doing here," she demanded.

"Being shocked that for once the words out of your mouth weren’t annoying," he bantered.

Maria glared at him, then realized what he said. "Why Micky G, is that a compliment?"

The smirk on Michael’s face dropped. "No really," he said, trying to sound non-chalant. "Just amazement. Not that it matters, you have already reverted back to your annoying self."

Getting off the piano bench, Maria walked over to him, squaring off. "Is that so?"

The smirk reappeared. "Yes."

A flint of amusement flashed in Maria’s eyes as she recalled something on the paper Liz had given her…

Bantering almost seems like foreplay for Michael and Maria’s relationship. They are constantly arguing, but everyone knows that they really love each other.

"What is so funny," Michael asked, noticing the look on Maria’s face.

She gave him a knowing smile. "Nothing. Now why don’t you tell me why you’re here, Micky G."

Michael rolled his eyes. "I was just wondering if you noticed Liz acting weirdly lately?"

"Why do you ask," Maria wondered aloud.

"It’s just the whole pajama thing this morning, then she went off on Max. That’s strange behavior," Michael stated matter-of-factly.

Maria could only sit back down on the piano bench. "Seems like she isn’t the only one acting weird," she taunted.

Michael threw up his hands. "Hey, she’s your friend. Just thought that you would want to know." With that, he turned to leave the room.

"Well, I will be extra cautious in my observations of my best friends," Maria teased. "Thanks for the warning."

"Whatever," Michael muttered, storming out of the room.

As soon as he was out of hearing distance, Maria went back to playing music. "Oh yeah," she laughed. "He wants me…. oh God, what am I saying. Music, must play music. Makes things better."

Her fingers glided across the keys as the words found their way out of her mouth, blending with the sounds from the piano…

Muscle and sinew, velvet and stone,
This vessel is haunted, it creaks and moans.
My bones call to you, in their separate skin,
I make myself translucent, to let you in.

For I am wanting,
And I am needing you here,
Inside the absence of fear.

Maria opened her mouth to sing the next chorus. Just then, someone else came bursting in far door of the music room. Maria’s head abruptly turned to see that it was Liz, who was followed a second later by Max.

"Trouble so soon in paradise," Maria thought to herself. Judging by the looks on their faces this wasn’t a jog around the school for a happiness sake. For a moment Maria considered leaving to give Max and Liz their privacy, but her curiosity got the better of her. Instead, she crept closer so she could listen.

"It’s true," Liz accused. "Isn’t it? Tell me the truth."

Max stood there, growing paler by the second. "What do you know," he asked, his voice so low that it was almost impossible to hear him.

Liz took one deep breath after another. "Are you an alien?"

Maria couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Did Liz really ask Max if he was an alien? However, nothing could have prepared her for Max’s answer.

"Yes," he admitted for the first time in his life.

Liz just stood there. Max Evans… the Max Evans… her Max Evans was an alien. Liz could feel her knees lock, and suddenly the room was starting to spin. "The dream," she thought. "The dream was real." Images flooded her mind, confusing anything and everything Liz thought she was sure of.

Max calling to her as she was on the brink of death. So close that it was almost impossible to open her eyes. But she did, and the sight in front of her could not have been more beautiful. Max Evans was looking down at her, his eyes filled with love and pain. The pain that is only felt when you are losing someone you cherish.
Then the warmth spread throughout her body. What was dying suddenly started to live again, thriving on what Max was feeding it. He was feeding her his soul, giving up what could have been his entire existence so she could live. He took her pain away.
That was all Liz could keep her mind on, but soon it was spinning too. Yet, just when she though her mind was going to whirl into oblivion, a warm pair of arms wrapped around her, anchoring her to this reality.


Max saw that Liz was going to pass out, so he grabbed her. Her tiny body shook with such a ferocity that he considered connecting with her to see if she was going to be okay. However, her eyes regained their focus, landing on his face. Max could feel the warmth rise in his cheeks and crawl up to his ears. "Are you okay," he asked, his concern lacing each word.

Liz forced her eyes to stay on his face. "You saved me," she whispered.

There is this hunger,
This restlessness inside of me.
And it knows that you're no stranger,
You're my gravity.

Confusion filled Max’s features. "What? What are you talking about?"

"You would have saved me," she tried again. Liz wasn’t sure that she should mention the dream just yet. She wanted to figure out what it meant first. "If something was wrong with me you would have helped me, just like you helped the lab rat."

The expression on Max’s face was unreadable. The shock was apparent, but the other emotions were to jumbled to read clearly. "Do you trust me," he questioned like a little child talking to an adult.

"Y-yes," Liz replied.

Max nodded. "Then please don’t tell anyone. My life depends on keeping this a secret. My life is in your hands."

Those words echoed in Liz’s mind and a realization hit her. It didn’t matter which Max it was, in her dream or not, his life was in danger. "I understand," Liz told him.

Relief spread across Max’s face. Just then, he realized that he was still holding her. Slowly, he began to release his hold, only to find Liz clinging tighter. "Not yet," she whimpered.

Max shook his head. "Is this actually happening," he wondered to himself. "I am holding Liz Parker in my arms, she knows my secret, and she does not… repeat does not want me to let her go. Pinch me."

However, it was happening. Liz felt herself being drawn closer to Max. It was like he had his own gravity, and it was slowly pulling her to him, like the tide is lured towards the moon. When she felt his warm breath on her face, Liz stopped moving and closed her eyes.

Max was near panicking. Did Liz want him to kiss her? Should he? For the first time in his life, Max decided to forget about consequences and just feel.

My hands will adore you through all darkness aim,
They will lay you out in moonlight,
And reinvent your name.

For I am wanting,
And I am needing you here,
Inside the absence of fear.
"Absence of Fear" by Jewel

Tentatively, his lips found Liz’s brushing against them gently. They felt so soft and inviting. Therefore, he brushed against them again, holding them there longer. He could feel Liz sigh underneath his mouth, parting her lips just a little. This was more than he could have imagined. Then, the flashes started.

Max saw Liz meeting Maria for the very first time, bonding over a little lost kitten that had wandered into the playground. Then, he saw Alex joining their group and becoming an instant brother. An image of a dress covered in cupcakes filled his mind next. And lastly, he saw himself… a little boy getting off the bus. She had noticed him, seeing him out of the corner of her eye. He felt the twinge she had felt in her heart, wondering about who he was.

Liz pulled away just a little bit. "What was that," she asked.

The panic returned. She had gotten flashes too. "Oh God," Max thought to himself. "Liz," he said softly, eyes darting around the room to avoid her gaze. "I have to go."

It took a moment for his words to register, but by the time they did, Max had taken off. Liz trembled, feeling the lose of warmth that was Max being near her. She brought a finger up to her lips, knowing that Max had just left his mark there.

Maria had just watched from her hiding place, not really processing much beyond Max’s confession of being an alien. "That’s not possible," she kept repeating to herself, but then she saw what happened with Liz, she heard the slip up her friend made, and witnessed the kiss. It was all too much. When Max finally left, Maria took a step back.

What she didn’t remember was that a tuba case was right behind her hiding spot. Maria tripped on it, falling backwards and landing on her butt.

Liz’s head shot up when she heard the noise. She saw Maria on the floor about ten feet away. "Maria," Liz cried out.

Part Six:

"Shit a brick on me," were the first words out of Maria’s mouth.

Liz looked at her best friend, still trying to recover from the kiss and stunned at Maria’s choice of words. "What was that," Liz chuckled slightly. There was absolutely nothing humorous about this situation, and that was as funny as hell.

Maria green eyes grew even wider. "You’re laughing? You find out … that Max is … an … you know, and you’re laughing. I don’t believe this."

Watching as Maria stumbled to her feet, Liz did everything she could to try to calm her nerves. She counted to ten and tried to recite her favorite poem in her head. However, by the time she started to recall the periodic table, Maria was in full blown hysterics.

"This just figures, I mean look at where we live," Maria ranted. Then, her hand made its way to her mouth, covering it with a little smacking sound. "Does this mean that… Isabel and Michael are… OH MY GOD!"

Liz placed a hand on each of Maria’s shoulders, trying to keep her from jumping out of her own skin. "Maria, you have to calm down," Liz pleaded. "I can’t talk to you when you are like this."

Maria left out a sarcastic laugh. "Calm down! I just found out that we are not alone in this universe, and you want me to calm down," Maria shouted, pushing past Liz. "Not going to happen," she called out running out of the room.

It was almost as if the walls of the school were moving in on her as Maria ran down the corridor. "I need to get out of here," she mumbled. Quickly, she made her way to the closest door and hurried out into the parking lot.

Liz was not more than a few steps behind her. "Maria," she yelled. "Maria wait."

Opening the car door to her Jetta, Maria ignored Liz’s calls. She just couldn’t handle it right now. But that didn’t stop Liz. She immediately got into the passenger side of the car. "Come on, get out of the car," Maria ordered, turning to face Liz.

"Not a chance in hell," Liz said shaking her head. "We need to talk about this. It’s your choice whether we go back into the school to do it or find someplace else. But I am not getting out of this car without you."

Maria looked at Liz for a moment, then to the steering wheel holding the key in the ignition. Grabbing the end of the key and giving it a quick turn, the engine of the car roared to life. Seconds later, the two friends were on the road.

~~~~~~~

"She knows," Max whispered to Isabel, who sat next to him in study hall.

"WHAT," Isabel exclaimed, nearly jumping out of her chair. Mrs. Dixon gave a sharp look in their direction, and Isabel tried to calm herself down. "How in the hell did you let this happen," she muttered.

Michael turned in his seat to face them. "Well, that’s it. We need to get out of town as soon as we can."

"Now, wait a minute," Max protested. "Think about this. Only one person knows right now..."

"And how long is that going to last, dear brother," Isabel cut him off. "You know that Liz Parker tells that Deluca girl everything. Hell, she probably knows already."

Michael nodded his head in agreement. "It’ll only a matter of days before everyone in the school will know. Maria won’t be able to keep her big mouth shut."

"Yeah Max," Isabel added. "It would have just been easier for me to go on stage tonight and announce to the town that we aliens."

Max rolled his eyes at Isabel’s dramatics. "God, what is this? Tag-team blaming."

Isabel’s anger was growing by the second. "No. I’m just saying that we should get it all out in the open. Have everyone look at us like we’re freaks. Oh, not to mention that the government taking us away to perform experiments on us. I’m with Michael. We need to get out of Roswell, post-haste."

Max ran his hands through his hair in frustration. "Only Liz knows. And she won’t tell anyone."

Michael’s eyes narrowed. "How do you know that Maxwell? Did she promise?"

"Stop being such an ass Michael," Max retorted. "Let’s just say that Liz doesn’t find the alien thing revolting."

"My God Max," Isabel muttered under her breath. "Why are you so obsessed with her? Couldn’t you just have a normal relationship like Michael and I do?"

Max glared at his sister. "So dumping a guy everyday is what you call normal. And the only relationship I have seen Michael in is his daily bantering with Maria."

"I date," Michael grumbled in self-defense.

"Who," Max asked. "Not anyone I know."

"That’s not the point," Isabel chimed in again.

"And what is," Max mumbled, getting more annoyed by the second.

"This whatever you have for Liz isn’t a good thing," Isabel scolded. "And now Michael and I have proof. I mean we have never told anyone about us, then suddenly Liz is in the club. What possessed you to tell her anyway?"

Max’s head dropped to the desk. He didn’t quite know how he was going to tell them that Liz seemed to know before he said anything. After all, they were taking the fact she knew in the first place so well. "I didn’t tell her, she just sorta knew."

That did Michael in. "She knew. So that paper Maria was reading was from Liz. You do understand Maxwell that this means your little girlfriend probably works for the government and everything out of her mouth is a lie."

"No," Max said, slamming his hand on the desk. Mrs. Dixon looked up from her chair, giving them a stern look. "We have know Liz since we were six," He told them, softly, his voice no less angry. "It’s not possible. I don’t know how she knows, but I think that we should find out before we do anything stupid. And that includes leaving."

"Fine," Michael conceded. "But I am keeping an eye on them. Anything weird happens and it is hasta la vista Michael."

Isabel, who had suddenly found her shoes very interesting, kept her look downcast. Max looked at his sister, concerned at her silence. "Isabel," he called softly, searching for her approval.

Looking up, Isabel wiped a tiny little tear from her eye. "I’m just scared Max. We finally thought it was safe here. It took us twelve years to feel that way, and now that’s changed. I’m not okay with this."

Max leaned over and gave her a little hug. "You’re safe Isabel. I promise. I won’t left anything happen to you."

~~~~~~

Maria drove in silence. Liz sat in the passenger’s seat, wondering where they were headed, but she thought it wouldn’t be the smartest thing to ask. The Jetta sped it’s way along the highway, the desert decor filling the scenery.

Then, unexpectedly, Maria turned the wheel and the car went veering off into the dirt. "What the hell," Liz gasped as she grabbed the oh-shit-handles. Alex had dubbed them that during Maria’s first driving attempt in Driver’s Ed.

"I want to see if you remember something," Maria said casually as the car jumped and jerked from off-roading.

Liz saw a patch of woods uphead and smiled as memories invaded her mind. It was their secret spot in Frasher woods. Two years ago, Alex started taking them up there to camp out and look at the stars. Hell, they had even brought Kyle here when Maria wanted to make him an honorary ‘girlfriend,’ but that was six months ago. None of them had been back there since.

Looking over at Maria, Liz felt a tiny smile grow across her face. "I think that it is too early to go stargazing and Kyle isn’t here, so we can’t try to con him into shaving his legs."

Maria started to laugh. "That was so funny. And he would have done it if Alex hadn’t opened his mouth."

Liz chuckled too. "I know. We were so close."

Laughter filled the car for a few more moments, then there was the awkward silence again. However, this time, Maria was the one to end it.

"So you’re okay with this thing," she asked out of the blue. "The fact that Max, Isabel, and Michael are aliens."

Liz bit her lip. "Yeah," she said a second later. "I am."

"But this is big," Maria exclaimed. "We’re talking universal here. They are not from this planet."

Letting out a nervous giggle, Liz nodded. "I caught that Maria. It doesn’t change who they are though. They are still the same people we knew from before."

"Oh yeah, that’s convincing. Stonewall Guerin and the Ice Princess herself," Maria tried to joke. "That’s suppose to make me happy about decision to keep quiet?"

"Quiet," Liz repeated. "You mean you’re not going to say anything… to anyone." Liz was almost to happy to form the words. She practically threw herself at Maria, giving her best friend in the whole world a bear hug. "So… you’re not freaked about this?"

"I never said that," Maria explained. "I just won’t tell anyone about them. Just remember this… I am going to keep an eye on them. Any funky stuff, and I reserve the right to go off on the mother of all hysterical episodes."

Liz’s smile grew. "Agreed."

posted on 20-Jan-2003 7:30:28 PM
Part Seven

You can look but
You can't touch
I don't think I like you much
Heaven knows what a girl can do
Heaven knows what you've got to prove

"Maria, can you turn the radio down a bit," Liz asked, rubbing her temples.

Maria looked over at her. "I can… I mean, physically, I am able to turn the radio down."

Liz rolled her eyes. "Then would you please turn it down? I have a headache."

I think I'm paranoid
And complicated
I think I'm paranoid
Manipulated

"I KNEW IT," Maria shouted. "Max did some funky alien thing to you. I knew this was bad news!"

"MARIA," Liz yelled over her friend. "It’s just a headache, a normal headache. I will be fine."

"Nothing will ever be normal again," Maria told her, surprised at her own words.

"Please don’t get philosophical on me," Liz whimpered, dropping her head into her hands. "This is just not the right time for it."

Bend me break me
Anyway you need me
All I want is you

Maria nodded. "Okay," she whispered. "As long as you’re sure this isn’t some side effect to… let’s say… kissing an alien."

Without looking up, Liz reached over and smacked Maria on the arm. Then, it was quiet, only the faint sound of a radio playing in the background. But just because the world around her was calm, didn’t mean Liz’s mind was the same.

Bend me break me
Breaking down is easy
All I want is you.

Everything had changed. Yesterday she knew humans were alone in the universe, that Max was just her cute lab partner, that her life was ordinary. The dream changed everything, and trying to understand it all made her head pound and throb.

Then, there was Maria. She knew her friend said that she was okay with everything, but her last reaction leaned towards the contrary. Finally, Liz just had to ask. "Now, you’re sure you can keep this a secret?"

Maria looked offended. "I’m shocked," she exclaimed. "I told you that I would, and I will."

I fall down just to give you a thrill
Prop me up with another pill
If I should fail
If I should fold

Liz tossed up her hands in defeat. "Okay, okay. Just thought that I would reiterate how important it is to keep this between us."

"Reiterate," Maria laughed. "Nice word. Just one question- when the hell did this become Dawson’s Creek?"

"What," Liz muttered, confused by what Maria was trying to say.

"You know what I mean. The characters on that show are always using those big words. That’s always bugged me," Maria explained.

Liz laughed. "When did you start watching Dawson’s Creek?"

"Hello brainiac," Maria retorted. "Joshua Jackson… need I say more?"

I nailed my faith to the sticking pole
I think I'm paranoid
And manipulated

Maria’s last statement caught Liz off guard. She was exhaling the deep breath she had been holding, but hearing what Maria said, it managed to come out like in a loud snort. Liz clamped her hand down on her mouth as Maria burst into a fit of laughter.

"You snorted!" Maria giggled.

"No kidding," Liz remarked before joining in the laughter.

Bend me break me
Any way you need me
As long as I want you baby it's alright
"I Think I’m Paranoid" by Garbage

"Here’s the plan," Kyle stated, going into full quarterback mode. "We’ll grab the blonde one when the girls try to sneak back into the school."

"But how do we know when that will be," Alex asked, scratching his head. "They might just skip the last couple of periods."

"Liz has Physics next period," Kyle told him.

Alex’s face lightened in realization. "She has a quiz today."

Kyle nodded his head. "And we both know…"

"She would rather die than miss that quiz," Alex finished.

"Prexactlly," Kyle grinned.

"That’s not a word," Alex remarked, his eyebrows scrunching up.

"I’m not an English major," Kyle retorted. "Anyway, since you saw them go out that door, I think that it is safe to assume that will be the door they will come in."

Alex glanced down the hallway. "Ready when you are, Captain."

They didn’t have to wait long. About three minutes later, Liz and Maria appeared on the other side of the glass. Liz looked in the door, spying to see if anyone was coming. "The coast is clear," Liz whispered, opening the door.

"Cool beans," Maria mumbled. "But tell me again why we had to come back?"

Liz just looked at Maria. "I have a quiz next period," she told her.

Maria chuckled. "You have Max for a lab partner next period."

"Shut up," Liz replied, a tiny grin spreading across her face at the thought of Max.

"Fine," Maria exasperated. "I have to go to my locker. See you after school."

"Later," Liz said, turning down the corridor on the right.

Maria kept walking straight head, passing right in front of Kyle and Alex without even knowing it.

"Now," Kyle announced, as Maria passed their hiding spot.

Alex reached out and grabbed her arms, pulling her to him. Kyle reached out and covered her mouth, so she wouldn’t make too much noise. They dragged her into the music practice room.

Maria tried to scream, but Kyle’s hand muffled her efforts. So she did the only other defensive thing that came to her mind. She bit him.

"OWW!! Damnit Maria," Kyle yelled as he drew his hand back. "You didn’t have to bite me!"

Maria jerked away from Alex and stumbled back into the room, falling against a wall. "Oh no, drama queens. You two mind telling me what the hell that was for?"

Alex sat down on the nearest stool. "I’m not a drama queen," he pouted. "It’s just we’re worried about Liz."

"Yeah," Kyle chimed in, examining the teeth marks in his palm. "And we know that you know what is up with her. I mean she hasn’t acted this weird since… well… ever. Fess up."

"Sheesh," Maria remarked, trying to act as cool as possible. However, she was anything but cool. "Calm down guys. Liz just had a weird dream last night," she thought on her feet. "It freaked her, so she talked to me about it. End of story."

"What was this dream about," Alex questioned, debating on whether she was telling the truth.

Maria threw him a duh look. "Think about it."

"Max," both he and Kyle mumbled in unison.

"Max," Maria repeated, letting out a sigh of relief. They were buying it.

"And that’s it," Kyle asked. "Liz is being weird because of a dream… and you call us the drama queens?"

Maria laughed. "Well, grabbing me in the hallway was pretty drastic. If I didn’t know you two better, I would think that you both were trying to cop a quick feel."

Kyle turned to Alex. "Did you just get a bad visual."

Alex nodded his head. "Oh yeah."

"Come on guys. I’m a sexy thing, and you know it," she taunted them.

Kyle quickly covered his ears. "Argh Maria, stop. I am going to be scarred for life."

"Ditto," Alex added. "No offense, but I see you in the sister-like way. Any notion to the contrary is just overshare. And I think that I speak for Kyle too."

Maria stood up and made her way over to the door. "Well, that will teach you. Keep it in mind the next time you’re thinking of grabbing me in the hallway," she warned. "I have to get to class now," she told them, shutting the door quickly behind her.

Kyle and Alex sat in the practice room, stunned for a moment. Alex broke the silence. "She didn’t tell us the whole story, you do realize that…"

Looking at his hand again, Kyle muttered, "Yup. She changed subjects way too fast. It was obvious she has a secret that we are not supposed to know."

"Yeah," Alex agreed. "Although, I do have to give her kudos for her segway. Smooth, very smooth."

Kyle thought for a second. "Yeah. Smooth, in a disgusting way. So what should we do now."

Alex raised his eyebrow. "Wait. We are talking about Maria after all. There is no secret that she can keep. We just need to wait for her to crack."

"Sounds good to me," Kyle declared. "But next time, you get to keep her from screaming. I think she broke the skin."

Alex laughed. "Wuss!"


**

"Miss Parker. This act of deviance is the last thing I would have expected from you," Mr. Bruce scolded.

Liz sank down further in her chair. She had been so close to the promised land. Just a few feet from the science room where she had class. She could have just hidden there and waited for Physics to start. But no, she had to run directly into Mr. Bruce. When she couldn’t think of a convincing enough lie, he quickly escorted her down to his office, which is where she had been for the past hour. He called her mom and everything.

"I mean, a good student like you," he continued. "A student with such a bright future. You shouldn’t be doing anything to jeopardize it now. Especially something like cutting school."

Liz looked down at her shoes. "I’m sorry, Principle Bruce. It will never happen again."

"No it won’t," he remarked. "And just to make sure of it, you will be spending your free periods working in the office for the rest of the semester."

Liz opened her mouth to protest, but thought against it at the last second. "Yes sir," she muttered. Could life be any more unfair?

A smile grew across Mr. Bruce’s face. "Now that is what I want to hear. I don’t want anything to harm your chances of getting into a good college. Keep on the right path for the rest of the semester, and I will forget about this little incident."

Liz nodded her head. "May I go?"

"Yes," Mr. Bruce declared. "It is almost time for the bell, so you can just go to your locker and gather your stuff. From our little conversation, your mother will be waiting for you at home."



Part Eight:

"She didn’t show up for Physics?" Michael jested as he and Max walked into the Crashdown.

"Yeah," Max admitted, hardly looking up.

This is no longer now,
This is a place to come
Far and way from an ocean aquarium

Michael shook his head. "So the girl found out your darkest secret, you kissed her, and she doesn’t show up for class. I’m not marking this whole experience down as a success, Maxwell."

Max glared at him as they sat down in their usual booth. "I thought that you weren’t going to say I told you so?"

"I didn’t," Michael said, shrugging his shoulders. "That would have probably involved a little dance of some sort. What I just did was state pure fact."

"That fact being," Max asked, pretending to look at the menu.

"You shouldn’t have told Liz the truth," Michael scolded.

And I, during a long wasted time
I once heard a girl say… " We are the children of the sun."
I believe so make me a liar if you think you can prove…

Max glared up at him over the top of the menu. "Great Michael, but there is a little problem. I can’t take it back now. The cat is out of the bag and he really doesn’t want to go back in."

Michael raised one of his eyebrows, giving Max a strange look. "Cat?"

"Yeah… it’s symbolism," Max explained slowly, trying to get back at Michael. "You know, the cat represents the truth in this case." Max stopped, however, when he saw that Michael was still giving him that look. "Why? What the hell are you thinking?"

"That the cat is symbolic of something else," Michael said, glancing down for a second, then back up.

The souls of all ran out of daylight…
Into the light of the night

Max caught his drift. "You’re sick."

Michael shrugged his shoulders. "And you’re obsessed. We all know how you feel about Liz."

"Why does everybody keep telling me that," Max groaned as his forehead made contact with the tabletop. "Not everybody knows. I mean Liz doesn’t seem to know that I like her."

"I think kissing her might have given it away," Michael remarked.

Max hit his head on the table again. "Shoot me now and put me out of my misery. What am I going to say to her?"

Michael started to laugh. "Think fast, because here she comes."

On cue, the bells on the Crashdown door chimed and Liz ran in. She knew she was in big trouble, but Liz just had to go and talk to her physics teacher about making up the quiz she missed. However, her teacher launched herself into another spiel about various colleges Liz just had to look into. Now, she was late, and her mother was surely going to kill her.

Love is an illusion, a decision
A divine intervention
I am the solution… and the problem
Oh yeah…

But all that went out the window when Liz saw Max. She didn’t notice him right away because she was in a hurry. Rather, she ran past him and Michael, catching a glimpse of him out of the corner of her eye. The same corner of her eye she always caught Max out of. That was when her feet abruptly stopped. In fact, she stopped so fast that she lost her balance and fell backwards, landing on her butt.

"Now that was graceful," Michael commented.

Max quickly got of booth and knelt down next to Liz. "Oh god Liz, are you okay?"

Liz giggled a little. "Yeah. I’m fine, but I’m starting to think that this booth is bad luck. I think it is time for you two to find a new favorite booth."

"Maybe you’re right," Max laughed, getting up off the floor. "This booth does seem to have a way of causing embarrassing situations," he said, offering Liz his hand.

Liz took it and managed to get to her feet. "Thanks," she whispered.

Yes I can feel it now
The mechanism hum
Far away from the vision of myself

They both stood there for a moment, making little glances into each other’s eyes, until Michael effectively broke the silence. "Such a sweet moment. Excuse me while I go into sugar shock."

Max reached back and hit Michael on the arm, almost as though it were a reflex. "It’s called tact, Michael. Please look into it."

Liz started to laugh a little more. "It’s okay Max. But I was wondering, can we
talk?"

"Yeah," Max said, looking back down at his shoes. "You probably have… questions."

And I, I’m doing that old familiar dance, in all directions
Oh can you feel it now…
Finally asked her, finally asked her, finally asked her…

Nervously, Liz reached out, grazing her fingers lightly against Max’s. He looked down at her hand, finally taking the initiative and holding it in his own. Liz smiled even wider just before she took a couple of steps towards the backroom.

That is when everything went to hell in a handbasket. "ELIZABETH ANNE PARKER, get your butt up to the apartment this instant!"

"Oh no," Liz gasped. "My mother. I’ve got to go."

"When will I see you," Max asked. This was just the wrong time for an interruption. Nothing against Mrs. Parker, but damn her all to hell. Max didn’t think he could just leave things hanging like this between him and Liz.

Ran out of daylight into the answer…
There is no solution for the disaster…

Liz’s eyes kept jumping from the door to the backroom, to Max, and back again. "I’m supposed to go to the party at Isabel’s… well, your house, tonight. That is if my mother doesn’t kill me first. How about then?"

"Okay," Max agreed. "I’ll see you there."

"I’ve gotta go," she told him, reluctantly letting go of his hand. Another moment passed with the two of them looking at each other. Then, Mrs. Parker called out again.

"I mean this INSTANT," she hollered.

Liz took off to the back of the restaurant and through the backroom door. Max watched her walk away, a tiny triumphant smile creeping across his face. Finally, he made his way back to his seat, the smile getting bigger by the second. Michael, on the other hand, was somewhat less than happy.

"Wipe that damn grin off your face. So she is still talking to you. What does that mean?"

Max picked up his menu casually. "I am back in the game," he stated, the grin now spread from ear to ear.

Michael rolled his eyes. "Oh God," he groaned. "Here we go."

Love is an illusion, a decision
A divine intervention
I am the solution… and the problem
Oh yeah…
"No Longer Now" by Sense Field

Isabel paraded in front of the door to the theater, waiting impatiently for Alex to arrive. Did he not know this wasn’t the day to try her nerves? They had way too much to get done before tonight, and he was doddling. "Who the hell does he think he is," she muttered to herself, continuing to pace back and forth.

"Someone with an identity crisis," Alex joked, coming up from behind her.

Isabel nearly jumped out of her skin. "Crap!" she gasped. "Don’t sneak up on people like that!"

Alex took a step back. "Hey, the last I checked, I was walking down the hall in plain view."

"And you’re late," Isabel continued to rant, looking down at her watch. "We have to get everything set up and we only have three hours…"

"Breathe Isabel," Alex told her. "There isn’t that much left to set up, so we’re fine there. All we have to do is practice our song and everything will be alright."

Isabel glared at him. "Very funny. Let’s just get this done."

Alex moved over to the theater door, opening it for her. "After you," he taunted, giving a little bow.

"So why were you late," Isabel asked, brushing past him in a huff.

Alex shrugged his shoulders. "I was just talking to Kyle."

The two made their way down the theater rows towards the stage. "About?" Isabel said, raising her eyebrows.

"Well, Liz has been acting really strange today. We tried to get info out of Maria, but she hasn’t budged so far," Alex rambled, trailing on. He could not understand for the life of him why he got this way whenever he was around Isabel, but it was definitely something he might want to see a therapist about.

Isabel waved her hand in front of his face. "Hello Alex," she teased. "Earth to Alex. You spaced out on me for a minute. What’s on your mind?"

"Therapy," Alex mumbled.

"What," Isabel laughed.

Alex shook his head. "Nothing. I guess that I am just worried about Liz, that’s all."

This was her chance to see what Alex knew, and Isabel was going to get as much as she could out of him. "Well, do you have any idea what’s the matter?"

"Not really," he admitted, taking a seat at the piano. "I think it might have something to do with Max, but I am not sure."

Suddenly, Alex heard a loud thud behind him. Isabel had dropped all of her books, because of Alex’s last statement. "What… why would you think that," she stuttered.

"I don’t know if I should tell you. After all you are his sister," Alex chuckled. "But what the hell, maybe you can help me."

"Now, I am totally confused," Isabel stated, sitting down next to him on the bench. She had a pretty good idea that Alex was not referring to their alien status, but then, what the hell was he talking about?

"Liz likes Max." Alex informed her. "We are talking really likes him, but she is way to shy to do anything about it."

Isabel giggled from relief. "I think that the feeling is mutual."

"So… you’ll help," Alex asked.

"I don’t think that is such a good idea," Isabel said, looking down at her shoes.

Alex just looked at her. "Why not. If they both like each other, why not help get them together?"

"It’s just…" Isabel was trying to think of a good excuse. However, her mind wasn’t working fast enough.

"What… you don’t like Liz or something," Alex sputtered, a little anger starting to brew.

Isabel stood up. "I didn’t say that," she defended herself. "I just don’t see them together."

Alex rolled his eyes, turning back to the piano. "Whatever. Let’s finish getting ready."

"Alex," Isabel whispered.

He turned his head again, this time Alex looked her directly in the eyes. "I’ve never believed people when they said you were cold. I always thought that you had a reason for the way you acted. Until now."

Isabel listened as Alex started to play the piano. "But there is," she thought to herself.


posted on 20-Jan-2003 7:36:31 PM
Part Nine:

"Elizabeth," Nancy Parker began ranting, pacing back and forth in Liz’s room. "What were you thinking? Skipping class! I cannot believe you would do that. This is so unlike you."

Liz sat on her bed, listening quietly while her mother scolded her. It would probably be less painful that way. In fact, she didn’t even move, except for blinking once or twice.

"That would be your cue to talk," Nancy told her.

Jumping a bit, Liz finally opened her mouth to speak. "Maria," was the only thing she could think of to say.

Nancy just looked at her. "Maria," she repeated.

Liz nodded her head. "Yeah. Maria just had to get out of school. I mean she was really upset. I couldn’t just let her go by herself."

"Really," Nancy commented in disbelief. "And what made her so upset?"

"I don’t know," Liz said, shrugging her shoulders. "I was trying to find out the whole time but she didn’t budge."

Nancy shook her head. "And why should I believe this," she asked, crossing her arms.

However, Liz was ready for that question. She put on her sweetest smile. "Because why else would I miss school?"

"Good point," Nancy conceded, relaxing a bit. "So I will only ground you for the weekend."

"The weekend!" Liz exclaimed. "As in this weekend? The one that starts today?"

Nancy nodded.

Liz’s jaw dropped to the floor. "I have never been grounded before. I have never done anything to get grounded for. Please… just not this weekend. Can I be grounded starting Monday."

"No," Nancy told her. "Then it wouldn’t be called punishment. It would be a weekday."

Liz was ready to get on her hands and knees. "You don’t understand. I have to go to the talent show tonight. Alex is in it and he will kill me if I don’t go. Then, there is this party afterwards. I know that Maria will go, and I can’t leave her there… by herself."

Nancy saw the pleading look in Liz’s eyes, and she felt her resolve fade just a bit more. "I’ll make you a deal. You can go to the talent show to see Alex, but no party. Maria will have Alex and Kyle there if she needs someone to talk to, or she can come over."

"But," Liz started to protest.

"No buts," Nancy said, stiffening back into the mad parent role. "That’s the deal. Take it or leave it."

"Take it," Liz groaned.

Nancy sat down next to Liz on her bed. She wanted to say that missing one party wasn’t going to kill her, but suddenly, there was the sound of footsteps bounding down the hall. Maria burst into the room not more than a few seconds later.

Liz," she exclaimed, gasping for air.

Nancy looked from Maria, to Liz, then back at Maria. "So," Nancy said, settling her gaze on the girl in the doorway. "Are you okay Maria?"

Liz stared at her best friend, shaking her head furiously. Maria glanced at Liz before answering. "No," she stuttered, hoping that was the right answer.

"Hard day of classes get to you," Nancy questioned sarcastically.

Again, Liz started to shake her head, mouthing "she knows" as an extra measure.

Maria’s eyes widened in realization. "I guess you know that Liz and I missed a few classes today."

Nancy nodded her head. "I think the correct term would be skipped," she quipped.

"Yes ma’am," Maria said, looking down at her shoes. "But it was my fault," she added. "I sort of made Liz come with me."

"And why would you do that," Nancy asked, thinking that maybe she could finally get to the bottom of this. It wasn’t that she didn’t trust Liz, but Nancy was not stupid. She knew there was more to the story than what her daughter was telling her.

"I didn’t want to be alone," Maria stated, unsure if it was going to work.

It did. Nancy decided it was just time to give up while she was ahead. "I see," she let the subject drop. "I’ll let you two girls talk and get ready for the talent show. And Liz, remember what we talked about."

Liz nodded her head. Nancy smiled, then turned and left the room.

"What was that all about," Maria asked, claiming Liz’s bean bag chair
.
"I’m grounded," Liz sighed, throwing herself back onto her bed. "Can life get any more complicated?"

"We can’t," Max whispers. "We’re just…"

"Different," Liz finished for him.


"Earth to Liz," Maria teased. "Space cadet, time to come in for a landing."

Liz shook her head. "I’m sorry, what did you say?"

"I asked if have ever been grounded before," Maria laughed.

"No," Liz sighed. "Never." Then, it hit her… like a ton of bricks. "The party!" she yelled.

Maria was shocked at Liz’s sudden outburst, but even more so when Liz went rushing from the room, down the hall, out the apartment, and into the restaurant. "Damnit," Liz cried out in frustration.

Maria was only a couple of steps behind her. "What," she asked, almost running into Liz.

"They left," Liz said , looking defeated. She took a seat in Max’s favorite booth.

Looking at her, Maria shook her head, taking a seat next to Liz. "Yeah, I am still in the dark," she commented after thinking for another moment. "Mind filling me in. I am your little cohort in crime, after all."

"Max," Liz confessed, a little water forming in her eyes. "I was supposed to talk to him at the party, but now I can’t go," she choked out, a few tears forming.

Maria wrapped her arms around Liz. It was a best friend hug, or at least that is what Alex, Maria, and Liz called them. Maria was the best at giving them. She had perfected her technique when Liz’s grandma died.

"We’ll work this out Liz," Maria reassured her. "Besides, I don’t think that Max will ever believe that you hate him."

Liz wiped a tear from her eye. "How do you know?"

Maria smiled wickedly. "I saw the kiss, remember."

"You’re never going to let that one go, are you," Liz joked.

""Not a chance," Maria said triumphantly. "And like I said, don’t worry. I think I have a plan."


Part Ten:

"Maria, hurry it up," Kyle called down the hallway. He had been waiting for almost fifteen minutes for the girls to get ready.

Maria peeked her head out of Liz’s bedroom door. "What makes you think that it’s me taking so long?"

Kyle leaned against the living room couch. "Because I dated Liz, remember. And she never took this long to get ready for a date."

Liz’s head was the next to appear in the doorway. "Only ‘cause I couldn’t keep your hunkiness waiting."

"Damn straight," Kyle smiled.

"Watch your language Kyle," Nancy teased, as she walked past him and down the hall.

Kyle immediately stood straight. Both Maria and Liz saw and couldn’t help their laughter. They all knew how afraid Kyle was of Liz’s parents, but they were never sure why. There had been many speculations, including one where Mr. Parker had threatened him with a shotgun if Liz got home more than a minute past curfew.

"Are you two ready YET," Kyle squeaked.

"Ready," both Liz and Maria said, finally emerging from Liz’s room. They headed down the hall towards him, and Kyle offered each an arm.

"Good," Kyle sighed in relief. "Let’s go watch Alex’s West Roswell High debut."

Liz giggled. "This is definably going to be interesting."

"Maybe Isabel will get stage fright," Maria wondered aloud.

Kyle and Liz looked at each other, then to Maria. "Nah," Liz said.

"It will never happen," Kyle added for good measure. "The Ice Princess will rule," he told them, using Maria’s nickname for Isabel.

"Frozen through and through," Maria sang.

The three friends burst into fits of giggles and laughter as they headed out of the Parker’s apartment.

'''''''''''''

"Hey Joe," Alex called out down the row of dressing rooms behind the stage. "Have you seen Isabel?"

Joe shook his head. "No man. Have you checked out the lighted mirrors in the girls dressing room," he joked.

"Girls dressing room," Alex repeated, somewhat less than amused.

Joe thought for a second, and immediately stopped laughing. "Sorry," he mumbled, then headed off in the other direction.

"Where the hell is she," Alex exclaimed to himself. "The show starts in fifteen minutes, and I can find her anywhere." However, that wasn’t the only reason Alex was worried. The fact was, he hadn’t spoken to her since they practiced their duet. Not that he regretted telling her that she was being a bit cold, but Alex knew his words were a little on the harsh side. Added to that was the expression on Isabel’s face. It almost looked like she was going to cry. And it hurt him more than he would like to admit.

A tap on Alex’s shoulder brought him out of his thoughts. "I think that she is just outside the theater doors," Lisa told him.

Alex gave her a weak smile. "Thanks Lisa."

Sure enough, that was where Alex found Isabel. She was bending over at the waist, her long blond hair hiding her face. "Isabel," Alex asked, concern overcoming him.

Isabel turned her head slightly, looking him in the eyes. "I don’t feel so good," she whispered.

Alex was by her side a second later. He started rubbing her shoulders, feeling how tense her entire body seemed to be. "It’ll be okay. Just take a few deep breaths."

"I don’t think I can go out there," she admitted. "All those people, me singing in front of all those people. What if my voice cracks, if I forget the words, go off key…

"Isabel," Alex said gently, moving to kneel down in front of her. "You’ll do great. Trust me."

"But," Isabel started to protest.

Alex pressed a finger to her lips. "You trust me, right?"

Isabel nodded her head.

"It will be all right," he told her, giving the famous Whitman smile.

Taking one deep breath after another, Isabel finally stood straight. "Thank you," she said softly, leaning against the brick wall.

"No problem," Alex said, standing up. "So are you ready to go back in there and get this show started?"

"Yeah," Isabel sighed, sounding a bit more confident.

Alex turned at headed for the door to the backstage area, but Isabel reached out and grabbed his arm. "Are you still mad at me," she asked, so quietly that Alex almost didn’t hear it.

"A little," he admitted, his shoulder slumping a bit. "Liz is one of my best friends, and I want to see her happy. I just thought you would want the same for Max."

"I do," Isabel exclaimed in protest. "I want Max to be happy more than anything in the world. But…"

Alex whirled around to face her. "But what Isabel? I know you’re hiding something. Please tell me what it is."

Isabel opened her mouth, closed it, then opened it again. "I can’t," she whispered. "I want to, but I can’t." As the words slipped past her lips, Isabel realized just how true they were. She wanted to tell someone, she wanted for someone other than Max and Michael to know. She hated having to hide in plain view all the time.

"Whatever," Alex scoffed, heading back towards the door.

Once more, Isabel tried to stop him, blocking the door this time. "I’ll make you a promise," she uttered.

Alex stopped moving, looking into her big brown eyes. "What?"

"I will tell you my secret someday," she declared. "Just not now. Someday… soon."

"Really," Alex questioned, a little unsure if she was just trying to brush him off.

Isabel smiled. "Really."

"But you’re not going to help me with Max and Liz," he teased.

"Let’s just leave that one up to fate," she sighed, rolling her eyes slightly.

"Deal," Alex conceded, offering his arm to her.

She took it. "Deal."

With that, they entered the backstage area.


**

"So where are we going to sit," Kyle asked, scanning the auditorium. "Seats are filling up fast."

Liz spied Max and Michael sitting off in one corner of the room. "How about over there," she suggested, pointing towards them. It would kill two birds with one stone, after all. Liz could talk to Max and they’d have a place to sit.

"Sounds good," Maria commented, pushing her way through the crowd towards the empty seats. She knew Liz’s real motivation for wanting to sit there, but she was going to go along with it anyway.

Kyle was also thinking the same thing, but it was no use arguing. He knew he would lose the battle.

Following closely behind Maria, the three made their way over to the empty seats by Max and Michael. However, before the could get there, Tess Harding wormed her way over and took a seat next to Max.

"What the hell," Maria said, just a little loud.

"Damnit," Kyle groaned in frustration. "There go our seats."

And Liz just stood there. Thoughts began to fill her head…

Max and Tess walking down the halls of school together, holding hands.

Liz and Max in a science lab, talking. "I have to tell you something about Tess," Max confessed.

"You’re together now," Liz admitted quietly. It had never pained her heart more than to admit that fact. "I know."

It hurt Max to admit it too. In fact, it ripped at his heart to look at Liz, knowing that they would never be the same again. He would give anything to go back to the days when he was just admiring her from afar. But it was too late now. Nothing would ever be the same.

"Tess is pregnant," he finally managed to say.


Liz shook her head hard, trying to shake those thoughts from her head. However, it was taking all of her will not to go over to where Tess had sat down next to Max and scream at them both. Anger was coursing though her veins so fast that it was actually making her dizzy.

"Liz," Kyle said, placing a hand on her shoulder. "Are you okay?"

"Fine," she bit out.

Kyle wasn’t buying it. "Yeah right," he remarked. "And that’s why your cheeks are the color of a tomato."

Liz stared to walk away. "Let’s just find somewhere else to sit."

Kyle followed her, and a moment later, Maria was catching up with them. "I swear that one day I am going to bitch slap that girl," she ranted, tossing Tess a nasty look over her shoulder.

"Be my guest," Liz snapped, heading towards the front of the auditorium.

The three friends finally found seats near the front of the auditorium just before the show was about to start. For the next forty-five minutes, they watched as their fellow classmates displayed their talents, and in some cases the lack of, for the whole school. However, Liz’s heart wasn’t in it.

Occasionally, she would glance back in Max’s direction, gritting her teeth in disgust whenever Tess touched him or leaned towards him. Max could feel her eyes burn into him every time, but it seemed that he always managed to look up just a second too late.

Finally, Michael leaned over to ask Max a question, bringing Max out of his Liz-induced haze.

"Tell me why she is sitting with us," Michael groaned, gesturing towards Tess. "I would rather sit next to Hurricane Deluca."

Max shrugged his shoulders, smiling at the mention of Maria’s name. Michael was just so oblivious.

Tess curled closer to him.

Opening his mouth to say something along lines "what are you doing," Max found himself interrupted.

"I would just like to thank all of you for coming out to support this talented bunch of students," Mrs. Lancaster’s voice sounded through the microphone. "And now I would like to introduce the final act for tonight, our student coordinators Isabel Evans and Alexander Whitman. A moment later, Isabel and Alex appeared on stage.

Kyle stood up, letting out a loud whoop. Maria was only a second behind him, yelling, "Sing it for me Whitman!" Liz clapped loudly, giving a few hollers for good measure.

Max also seized the opportunity, jerking away from Tess to give Isabel a standing ovation. Michael followed suit, appearing to be as enthused as Max.

Alex made his way over to the piano, sitting down on the bench. Isabel stood a couple of steps behind him, genuinely smiling as he began to play the song.

Alex’s voice filled the room…

"If only I could get into that corner of your head
Where things finally match and meet the standards that you set
Oh how I wish I was the treasure that you were lookin' for
Bet I would feel better if only I could find the door"

Again, Isabel found herself tapping her foot in time with the music, just as she had done earlier. Feeling surprisingly more relaxed than she hand in a long time, Isabel began to sing her part…

"I am cryin'
you aren't tryin'
I am melting away"

Alex smiled at the sound of Isabel’s voice. His grin didn’t even leave his face as he concentrated on the next verse.

"I wait for the words on the tip of your tongue
I'm only as good as the last one
Well you decide and I abide as my song goes unsung"

Liz wasn’t able to stop herself. No matter how she was trying to concentrate on Alex’s performance, her eyes seemed to have a mind of their own. She turned to look back at Max. It was like she needed to see him.

"Things are goin' crazy and I'm not sure who to blame
Everything is changing and I do not feel the same
I'm slippin' through the cracks of floors I thought that were strong
I'm tryin' to find a place where I can feel like I belong"

Max felt her eyes once again and immediately his head snapped up. Their gazes fell instantly upon each other, locking.

"Well, I am cryin'
you aren't tryin'
I am melting away"

"I’m sorry," Max mouthed, without really knowing why. He just knew that he was and he needed her to know it too.

"I wait for the words on the tip of your tongue
I'm only as good as the last one
Well you decide and I abide as my song goes unsung "

Liz felt her heart leap as their eyes met. It melted when she saw the words form on his lips. Any anger that she was feeling towards him, towards the situation faded from thought.

"I could be the lesson that you learn, you learn if only
I could be the last one that love burns, it burns... yeah"

Alex’s fingers pounded on the keys. The big finish was coming, and everyone in the auditorium knew it.

"If only I could get into that corner of your head
Where things finally match and meet the standards that you set
Oh how I wish I was the treasure that you were lookin' for
Bet I would feel better if only I could find the door…"

A moment of silence fell upon the audience, then it exploded into applause. Isabel could feel herself blush a bit, and she couldn’t tell if it was from all the clapping or the fact the Alex had grabbed her hand. He dragged her to the edge of the stage, proceeding in making elaborate bows.

Isabel smiled, and even laughed with him as he pointed to her. She made a little bow. Never, in her entire life, had Isabel felt this normal. And it was all because of Alex Whitman.

posted on 20-Jan-2003 7:43:11 PM
Part Eleven:

"You were so awesome," Maria shrieked when she saw Alex emerge from the backstage area. Both she and Liz ran up to him, Maria giving him the biggest bear hug she could muster. "Nothing but love from this audience member," she shouted.

Liz wait until Maria moved before she too gave Alex a hug. "I think that the feeling is mutual for everyone here," she informed him.

Kyle nodded his head. "Way to go Whitman. You didn’t suck."

Alex feigned being hurt. "Me," he gasped. "You doubted me. I’m the greatest!"

One of Kyle’s eyebrows raised up on it’s own accord. "The greatest," he questioned.

Nodding, Alex started to laugh. "Oh yeah, you came here to mock me."

"Don’t forget to giggle like a little girl too," Maria added.

"Well," Liz interrupted, before they got to carried away. "I think it is very safe to say the annual talent-less show did not claim our dear friend as it’s victim."

Maria chuckled. "I even have to give Isabel some credit, she wasn’t too bad."

Alex linked his arms with Maria and Liz. "Speaking of which, are we now on our way to her party?"

"Not me," Liz admitted.

"Why not," Alex asked, turning to look at her.

Liz looked down at her feet. "I’m grounded," she mumbled.

"What," Alex exclaimed. "You’re GROUNDED?"

Liz reached over and smacked him on the arm. "God Alex, I don’t think they heard you in Nevada."

Alex flinched a bit. "Sorry Liz. It’s just… well, you have never ever been grounded. What could you possibly have done to make your parents that mad?"

"Skipped class," Liz sighed. "Got caught."

"Oh," Alex mouthed, deciding that it was probably not the time to push the issue.

"Too bad," Kyle thought aloud. "I was really looking forward to watching Max Evans become a bumbling idiot when he was around you."

Liz shoulders drooped a little further. Maria saw this and promptly hit Kyle. "Shhh. No more from you," she ordered. Then, Maria turned to look at Liz. "Our plan will work," she reassured her.

"Are you sure," Liz asked. "Maybe I can catch him before he leaves."

Alex looked back and forth between each girl. "I saw Isabel and Michael drag him out the backdoor to the stage. I think Isabel wanted to set up for the party. Why… what do you two have planned?"

Maria pressed a finger to her lips. "Hush, hush. Our secret, not yours."

"Oh boy," Alex groaned, looking over at Kyle. "This is not good."

"Agreed," Kyle nodded.

Just then, a couple of girls rushed up to them. It was Jewel Robinson and Jen Balkis. "Hi Alex," Jen cooed. "Great performance."

Alex blushed. "Thanks Jen."

"I didn’t know you could play so well," Jewel remarked. "Maybe you could teach me?"

"Ummm, ahhhh," Alex stuttered.

"Excuse us," Maria finished for him, brushing past the two girls. When they were a safe distance down the hall, Maria turned to Kyle. "And you call me and Liz trouble. Just wait until this one gets an ego," she said, gesturing towards Alex.

Alex smirked. "I’ve got groupies!"


**

I’m tugging at my hair
I’m pulling at my clothes
I’m trying to keep my cool
I know it shows

The living room to the Evans household was filling up fast, mostly with friends of the popular Ice Princess. Isabel walked around the room, pleased at the turnout. Things were working out better than she hoped. That is until she saw Max standing off in one corner of the room.

I’m staring at my feet
My cheeks are turning red
I am searching for the words
inside my head

"Hey Max," she called to him, crossing the room. "What’s the matter?"

Max looked up from his glass of soda. "Nothing. Have you seen Liz yet?"

I’m feeling nervous
Trying to be so perfect
Cause I know you’re worth it
You’re worth it

Isabel rolled her eyes. "No, but I’m sure she’ll show. Cheer up and stop being so anti-social. Go talk to Michael or something."

"Can’t," Max told her. "He’s helping me dodge Tess."

"You dumped her on Michael," Isabel scolded. "How could you? That is just … cruel. That girl will yap his ear off. How could you be so mean?"

"I’m the one who has to clean Michael’s apartment for a month," Max defended himself. "It’s just that I have to talk to Liz, and I do not want Tess around."

If I could say what I want to say
I’d say I want to blow you away
Be with you every night
Am I squeezing you too tight

"Why not," Isabel questioned. "What is going on that you’re not telling me?"

Max shrugged. "Nothing. Tess has just been awfully clingy today, that’s all. It’s a little weird."

Isabel tapped him on the top of the head. "Are you actually in there or have you never noticed that the girl likes you. A lot. And there are guys who wouldn’t mind to be in your shoes. I mean, Tess isn’t completely unfortunate looking."

"So you’re saying that you like Tess, or approve of her or something," Max asked, dumbfounded. He had always thought that Isabel hated Tess.

"Of course I don’t like her," Isabel retorted. "I’m a bitch. I don’t like anyone. I’m just saying that maybe you could show some compassion. Her liking you is sort of similar to you liking Liz. If anything, you can at least relate."

If I could say what I want to see
I want to see you go down
On one knee
Marry me today

Max laughed a little. "So where is this all coming from, Isabel? I love you and all, but benefit of the doubt has never been your style."

Isabel opened her mouth, but stopped just short of her witty comeback when the front door opened. Alex, Maria, and Kyle walked in. Immediately, Isabel’s face lit up. "Someone knocked some sense into me," she told him.

"Ahhh," Max teased. "Alex being that someone."

Guess I’m wishing my life away
These things I’ll never say

Isabel’s smile faded a bit. "Now, if I told you then I would have to blast you with my alien superpowers," she joked.

"Michael blasts," Max retorted. "You would just starting telling Michael about my dreams so he would torment me with them." Then, Max looked over the small group of friends. "I don’t see Liz with them."

It don’t do me any good, it’s just a waste of time
What use is it to you what is on my mind
It ain’t coming out, we’re not going anywhere
So why can’t I just tell you that I care

Isabel couldn’t help but laugh at Max’s comment. "I will never do that again. The last time I did, you were dreaming about Liz and some tropical beach. I couldn’t look at either of you straight for weeks. I know that you like Liz… a whole bunch, so go talk to Maria. Find out what’s going on," she ordered. "I bet that she knows where Liz is. And I will go and try to save Michael."

Max swallowed the rest of his soda in one gulp.

"Good luck," Isabel said, patting him on the back and walking off in the other direction.

Cause I’m feeling nervous
Trying to be so perfect
Cause I know you’re worth it
You’re worth it

Slowly, Max made his way across the room to where Maria was talking to Kyle. "Hey Maria," he said, trying to sound confident. "Hi Kyle."

"You owe me five bucks," Kyle shouted at Maria.
Max took a step back from sudden outburst. "What?"

Maria, looking twice at the alien in front of her, reached in to her pocket and pulled out a bill, giving it to Kyle. "We made a bet," she confessed. "Kyle said it would take you about two minutes to come over and ask about Liz. I said five at least. Maria looked down at her watch. "I lost."

If I could say what I want to say
I’d say I want to blow you away
Be with you every night
Am I squeezing you too tight

"Oh," Max said, looking down at his shoes, now feeling even more self-conscious than before. "Sorry."

"No problem," Maria sighed. "But that is why you are here. To talk about Liz right?"

"Yeah," Max admitted. "I thought she was going to come."

A line of people walked right in the middle of the conversation, and Maria used this opportunity.

Dragging Max away from Kyle, Maria said, "Change of plans. She couldn’t make it."

"I see," Max muttered, disappointedly. "I guess I’ll leave you alone."

Max started to walk away, but Maria stopped him. "Not so fast. I’ve got a plan, my dear. You want to hear this one out."

Max looked up. "Plan? What plan?"

"You go to her house, climb up the fire escape around back, and sneak into her room from the balcony," Maria stated.

Max’s jaw dropped to the floor. "What?"

"It’s perfect," Maria explained. "Liz might be little Miss Scientist, but deep down she is a true romantic. The old "Romeo and Juliet" bit gets her every time. So what do you say?"

If I could say what I want to see
I want to see you go down
On one knee
Marry me today

"You’re crazy," Max thought aloud.

Maria brushed that little comment off. "Of course I am, but that doesn’t mean that this won’t work. What have you got to lose?"

"Her," Max told Maria.

"Nada," Maria shook her head. "I don’t see that happening. Now go," she ordered.

Max smiled down at her. "Thanks Maria."

"Scoot!" she commanded.

Guess I’m wishing my life away
These things I’ll never say
"Things I’ll Never Say" by Avril Lavigne



Part Twelve:

Michael glanced around the living room over and over. Some song he didn’t know played loudly in the background, but that was the last thing on his mind at the moment. He couldn’t believe he agreed to do this. All he cared about was finding someone to save him from the endless flow of questions coming out of Tess’s mouth.

"Are you sure," she asked again.

It took all of Michael’s strength not to roll his eyes. "Yes Tess, I’m sure. Max isn’t really into dating right now."

Tess tilted her head to the side. "But I’ve seen him talking to Liz Parker and he is always in the Crashdown."

"Liz Parker seems to be the exception to every rule," Michael commented pointedly. "Even long standing ones that have worked really, really well."

"Huh," Tess groaned.

Michael turned his head away from her. "Nevermind," he muttered. However, what he desperately wanted to do was run in the other direction. "Help me, help me, help me," he thought, praying that some hidden alien connection would get Isabel to come over.

"There you are," Isabel sighed as she rounded the corner, practically knocking Tess down in the process.

"Hot damn," Michael exclaimed to himself. "It worked!"

Isabel linked her arm with his. "I have been looking everywhere for you.." Then, she faced Tess. "Sorry, but I have to steal him. I need help with… well… something."

Biting his tongue, Michael drew blood instead of laughing at the expression on Tess’s face. Pure shock with just a twist of venom, which Michael knew Isabel was well aware of. "Nice talking to you Tess," he told her as he willingly allowed Isabel to pull him in the opposite direction.

Once they were a safe distance away, Michael glared at Isabel. "What the hell took you so long?"

Isabel dropped his arm. "Sorry. I got there as soon as I could. It is just so hard…"

"Being the hostess," Michael finished for her. "So, speaking of saving people, where is Maxwell? He owes me big time for saving his butt tonight. Maybe I’ll throw a big party or something before he comes to clean my apartment next week. That’ll make it nice and dirty."

"Then why have a party? You can do that all by yourself," Isabel teased.

"So are you and Alex like a couple or not," Michael loudly taunted her back.

"What," Isabel gasped. "Where did you get that impression?"

"The talent show," Michael said. "I saw you two. Besides, he’s heading this way."

Isabel whirled around, and found herself looking directly at Alex. "Hi," she choked out.

Alex couldn’t help the smile that spread across his lips. "Hi," he said back. "Great party."

Composing herself, Isabel grinned at him. "Of course," she joked. "Did you expect anything less?"

He shook his head. "Never."

Michael leaned against the wall. "Get a room," he mumbled.

Without even thinking, Isabel reached behind her and hit him in the stomach. "I give up on you," she whispered.

"So," Alex started, trying to break the tension. "Want to get a drink," he asked Isabel.

Isabel nodded her head. "Okay," she agreed, leading the way toward the kitchen.

Michael stood there, watching with his jaw drop. "That was very…" he thought aloud.

"Un-Isabel," Maria finished as she came up beside Michael. "My thoughts exactly."

"Deluca," Michael groaned.

"Guerin," Maria retorted.

"What are you doing over here," he questioned.

An evil expression appeared on Maria’s face. "I thought I would take pity on the less fortunate."

"Very funny," Michael grumbled.

The expression grew brighter. "I thought so. Admit it, you love the fact that I decided to grace you with my presence."

Michael rolled his eyes. "More like the queasy sense of revulsion. I’ll just go find Maxwell."

"Too late," Maria informed him with a keen sense of satisfaction. "His dance card is full for the night."

Grabbing a soda from a nearby table, Michael took a long gulp. "What is that supposed to mean?"

"I sent him to see Liz," Maria told him. "I don’t think that he would be back for awhile."

Michael looked around the room. "Well, why isn’t Liz here?"

Maria leaned against the wall next to him. "Long story."

"Never stopped you before," Michael taunted.

A new song filled the room, and Maria started to move her hips in time with the beat. "I don’t feel like talking," she announced. "I want to dance."

Michael shook his head emphatically. "Hell no... I don’t dance."

"Tough," she scoffed as she grabbed his arm and dragged him into the living room. "You know alienating yourself isn’t very good for your social development."

Michael started to laugh at Maria’s choice of words. "What social development," he asked, trying to hide his amusement.

"My point exactly," she commented, still moving to the music. "So what have you got to lose?"

"My dignity," Michael protested.

Maria moved closer to him. "Can’t lose what you never had."

"Witty," Michael jested. "You better watch it Deluca," he threatened just before taking another sip of his drink.

Maria threw up her hands in mock fear. "Ohhh, what are you going to do, blast me with some alien power?"

The second he heard those words come out of Maria’s mouth, Michael spit out his mouthful of soda.

Looking down on her soda ridden shirt, Maria started to giggle. "Or soda, if you really want to."

"You know," he choked out. "Did Liz say something?"

Maria took one more step towards Michael. "Jeez… freak out or something. Liz didn’t say anything. I just happened to overhear her and Max."

Michael ran his hand through the spike top of his hair, groaning aloud. "Perfect. Of all the people to find out, it would have to be you." He moved a little closer to her, looking down into her face, trying to be intimidating. "Do you think you could manage not telling everyone in Roswell?"

"Simmer down Spaceboy," Maria sighed. "I’m not planning on telling anyone."

Now Michael was confused. "You’re not? I don’t know what to say."

Maria threw up her hands. "Thank God. Finally Michael Guerin has nothing to say," she joked.

Michael glared down at her with the usual venom.

"I got it," Maria kept right now speaking. "You could say thank you, possibly worship the ground I walk on for my graciousness. And," she said, adding a pause for effect as the song playing in the background changed. "You could get off your high horse by asking me to dance."

Taking one of her hands in his own, Michael drew Maria closer. "Don’t push your luck," he warned, placing an arm around her waist.

Maria allowed herself to be drawn into him. Slowly, she felt him move them in time with the music. Letting out a little sigh of strange contentment, Maria began to think back to Liz’s dream. "Maybe she wasn’t that far off about Michael," she thought.

*******

Liz paced back and forth on her balcony. Kyle, Alex , and Maria had dropped her off almost an hour ago, but still there was no sign of Max. No matter how hard she tried, Liz’s mind was wandering towards the worse case scenarios.

"What if he thinks that I didn’t want to talk to him," she mumbled aloud. "Or maybe Maria can’t find him, or she forgot. I’ll have to hurt her if she forgot. Then again, she could have told him and he didn’t want to see me," she rambled.

Max was almost to the top of the latter when he heard Liz’s voice. At first, he stilled himself so he could just hear the sound of her voice, but a moment later his mind registered the words she was speaking. How could she possible think that he wouldn’t want to see her?

He watched as she walked back and forth a few more times, following some sort of invisible path. Finally, he couldn’t stand it any longer. "Not possible," he told her, barely above a whisper.

"Oh God," Liz gasped, collapsing on her lounge chair. "You startled me."

"Sorry," Max apologized as he swung one leg over the concrete ledge. "Maria told me that you wanted to see me. She suggested climbing up the balcony…"

Liz let out a sigh of relief as a wholehearted grin crossed her lips. "Good girl," she joked as Max finished climbing over the ledge. "So…," she trailed off.

"So," Max repeated.

Tension filled the air. Even though her balcony always felt endless and free, at this moment, Liz could have sworn that space itself was caving in on them. "We need to talk," she choked out at last.

Max stiffly leaned against the cool stone ledge. "Yeah. We do."

Then there was that awkward silence, hovering over them again. "This is ridiculous," Liz whispered in frustration. "We have known each other since the third grade. Talking should not be this hard."

Max looked down at his feet. "But I’m an alien. You didn’t know that in third grade."

Liz thought for a moment. "True," she laughed. "You’re still Max, though. That hasn’t changed."

Lifting his head, a curious expression covered his face. "What do you mean?"

Getting up from the lounge chair, Liz moved towards him. "You’re still the guy who eats at the Crashdown all the time with his sister and best friend."

Liz kept walking towards him, putting one foot in front of the other. "You’re still the same guy who has been my lab partner for the past four years," she explained.

Max laughed slightly at her words. He remember the first time they were pair together like it was yesterday. It was the first time he had the courage to say more than hi to her.

However, Max was brought out of his thoughts when he felt Liz get closer to him. Hell, she was so close that all he had to do was raise his hand and he could touch her.

"And you are still the nicest guy I know," Liz told him, tentatively touching his arm. "Being an alien doesn’t change any of that."

"It’s makes everything I do more dangerous," Max confessed, the weight of those words pressing so hard on his heart. "And I can’t let you get involved. I can’t put you in that kind of danger,"

Liz smiled down at him. "Out of the two people here, who is the boss of me?"

Max shot up, running a hand through his hair. "Liz, this is serious? My life will never be normal. I will always be different."

Her smile began to fade. Liz knew exactly what Max was trying to do. He was going to push her away to keep her safe. In that instant, her dream came roaring back to life, ripping through her head with such clarity that it knocked her off her feet.

The crash festival their sophomore year. Her plan to trick the sheriff had work. Max, Michael, and Isabel were safe, but everything had changed.

She knew their secret. Max had risked it all to save her life, and she was forever indebted to him. That night, as she looked up into his almost golden amber eyes, she couldn’t think of a person who she would rather owe her life to.

And the funny thing about it was that Max wasn’t upset or mad or any of the other things that he should have been. Instead, he was concerned about her. About how all of this was going to effect her life. The love that shone threw his eyes left her breathless.

"This can’t be anything," Max whispered to her. "We’re just…"

"Different," Liz finished for him.


Max arms came around her as Liz started to fall back. "Oh God Liz. Are you okay," he exclaimed.

Liz felt the world swirl as the memory of her dream invaded her mind. The second she felt the world fade away, she clung to the best reason to stay anchored in it. Max.

"I’m fine," she whispered. "Just a little dizzy."

"Maybe you should lay down or something," Max suggested, moving them over to the lounge chair.

"No," Liz stated firmly. "I have something to tell you and if I wait I’ll get to nervous."

Max nodded his head as he made sure that her legs were steady enough to hold her. Then he withdrew his arms, allowing them to drop to his sides as he waited for Liz to continue.

Liz stood there for a second, contemplating on whether or not to tell Max about her dream. She decided that it sounded too crazy. However, dream or not, she was going to say what she was feeling.

"I like you," she began. "I like you a lot. And I don’t care about danger. I don’t want normal, or even ordinary. You can’t push me away because I know what I want. I want different. I want you."

With each word she spoke, Max felt a little more air rush out of his lungs. Liz Parker never ceased to amaze him. She knew everything and she wasn’t running away. In fact, she was doing just the opposite. Liz was demanding to stay.

He knew that he shouldn’t let her do this. He should force her to avoid the alien abyss at all costs. Then he heard her say, "I want you," and all the restraint he could have mustered flew away.

He crossed the distance between them, pulling her into his arms once again. "I want you too," he murmured just before taking her lips with his own.

Pouring everything they felt into the kiss, their lips met was such a ferocity that it burned. They opened up to each other, tongues dueling with the other, trying to find the perfect rhythm.

Liz wrapped her arms around Max’s neck, her fingers playing with the strands of his hair that she found there. Max let out a sigh of contentment as he pulled back for a moment, wanting to see her face. "Well, this has been an strange day," he joked softly, resting his forehead against hers.

Liz giggled. "Nah. It’s been perfectly ordinary," she teased, leaning in to touch his lips again.


posted on 20-Jan-2003 7:52:22 PM
Ohhhh.... here is the link to the sequel: Stuck on Survive

And here is a link to my newest story: Weight of the World

Check it out if you have some time!

Annie*happy*


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 20-Jan-2003 7:57:38 PM ]