Author: Kayarra Ali

E-mail: Kayarra00⊕yahoo.com

Summary: Because Max wasn’t there that day of the shooting at the Crashdown Liz was shot. Instead of dying Liz is paralyzed from the waste down and confined to a wheelchair. With help from Max, Liz learns to feel, love and walk all over again.

Rating: PG- PG-13

Disclaimer: I don’t anything

Song is “Breathing” by Lifehouse

* * * * *
I’m finding my way back to sanity again
Though I don’t really know what
I am gonna do when I get there
Take a breath and hold on tight
Spin around one more time
And gracefully fall back to the arms of grace

Cause I am hanging on every word you say
And even if you don’t wanna speak tonight
That’s all right, all right with me
‘Cause I want nothing more than to sit
Outside Heaven’s door and listen to you breathing
Is where I want to be

I am looking past the shadows
Of my mind into the truth and
The voices in my head
God, which one’s you
Let me feel one more time
What it feels like to feel
And break these calluses off me
One more time

Cause I am hanging on every word you say
And even if you don’t wanna speak tonight
That’s all right, all right with me
‘Cause I want nothing more than to sit
Outside Heaven’s door and listen to you breathing
Is where I want to be

I don’t want a thing from you
Bet you’re tired of me waiting
For the straps to fall
Off your table to the ground
I just want to be here now

Cause I am hanging on every word you say
And even if you don’t wanna speak tonight
That’s all right, all right with me
‘Cause I want nothing more than to sit
Outside Heaven’s door and listen to you breathing
Is where I want to be

* * * * *

It’s amazing how your life can change in a single instant.

One day I was Liz Parker, a waitress, and an honors student with a promising future ahead of me.

Now, today, I’m Liz Parker, a cripple in a wheelchair.

A single gunshot changed my life forever.

It’s changed the way I look at the world. In my eyes everything used to be black and white. Simple. As a teenager you go to school, you date, you fall in love, and you become an adult.

But now, I see everything in color.

I’ve learned that everything isn’t so simple.

There are challenges and feelings that you don’t want to deal with, but you realize that you have too.

I’ve spent the last two months living in a hospital and suffering through physical therapy. In two days I’m finally going back home, and back to school. I don’t want to go to school but I can’t hide from the world forever.

* * * * *
Liz closed her journal when a nurse came in.

“So Liz sweetie, you ready to go home and back to school?” Nurse Cortez asked.

Liz shrugged. “I don’t know.”

The nurse nodded and proceeded to pack some of her stuff. She knew that when Liz got into one of her moods that talking to her would be nearly impossible.

Liz sighed and picked up the single white rose that was next to her bed. White roses were her absolute favorite. Everyone else had given her daisies and lilies, which were beautiful, but one anonymous person gave her a beautiful white rose. She had her parents frost it so she could keep it forever.

Liz set her flower down and picked up her journal once again.

Kyle broke up with me today. Now that I was coming back to school he probably didn’t want to deal with a wheelchair bound girlfriend.

I guess I should be hurt, but I’m not.

I’m glad Kyle dumped me. At least now I won’t have to do it.

My parents, Maria and Alex are the only ones who visited me constantly

Sometimes I liked that, and sometimes I didn’t.

They look at me differently now. They look at me with pity flowing through their eyes. And I don’t need they’re pity.

I pity myself enough.

--Liz

****Part 1****

They threw me a party when I came home yesterday.

It was hardly a party.

Instead of having a good time, people stared…almost as if they were waiting for me to make a mistake. For me to break down and cry.

I would never cry in front of them, instead I smile and wave and pretend that I don’t notice that I’m in a wheelchair. Pretend that I don’t feel like crying every second of the day.

I wonder when things will get better for me. When I won’t mind that I can’t walk again, when I won’t mind the stares that follow me where ever I go.

I hate feeling dependent on everyone around me. No one will give me space. Maria talks to me constantly. I love Maria dearly, but sometimes…sometimes she won’t let me breath. Alex is being okay, he gives me space and doesn’t question when I say I want to be alone most of the time.

Sometimes I think my friends and I are drifting apart…maybe because I let them. Maybe because I don’t want friends.

Maybe I want to be alone.

* * * * *

Liz silently rolled down the quiet halls of West Roswell High School. Class started five minutes ago, but she didn’t quite feeling like going just yet.

It took forever to ditch Maria and Alex. They were a constant shadow to her. Liz knew she should be grateful for friends who would stick with her no matter how low things got, but right now Liz wanted to be alone.

The only bad thing about being alone was that when she finally decided to walk inside the classroom people would probably stare at her through the whole class…not like they weren’t gonna do it before.

Liz headed toward her first period biology class. They hadn’t changed her classes since the beginning of the school year. Liz was glad about that, at least she still knew all her classes.

Liz idly wondered if they changed lab partners too. Last time she had had Max Evans as a partner. She hadn’t seen him in months. He wasn’t even at the party that they had at the Crashdown for her.

She guessed like everyone else, he was just afraid of her now.

Liz rounded the corner and bumped into a person and effectively spilled her book bag from the back of her chair to the ground and next to her. She turned to the side to pick it up when a hand stopped her. She looked up and saw that it was the one and only Max Evans.

* * * *

Max was pissed.

After Isabel had finally decided what to wear they were now nearly 15 minutes late for class. He didn’t understand why Isabel took so long to change clothes…everything she had had cleavage sticking out of it anyways. And as her brother, that just made him even angrier.

Max angrily stalked to his locker for his first hour books. He then began quickly walk towards his first hour biology class. When he turned the corner he bumped into Liz Parker.

He hadn’t seen Liz since the shooting in September. Ever since he heard that Liz had been paralyzed he wished that he would have been there to help her. He would have risked his life…but it didn’t matter.

When he saw here reach down to pick up her book bag he shook his head and then stopped her so he could pick it up.

“I am so sorry Max, I didn’t see where I was going.” He heard Liz say.

Max handed her, her books. “No…no it was my fault.” He couldn’t keep his eyes off of her. Liz was still as beautiful as she was the last time he saw her…although, she had lost a little weight. Being in a wheelchair did nothing to mar her beauty. Max began rocking on the heels of his foot.

“So…do you still have Bio first period?” he asked her. Liz graced him with a small smile. She then tucked her hair behind her hair. He wanted nothing more at that moment then to touch her hair.

“Yeah…I do.” Liz replied.

Max gave her a mega-watt smile and then chastised himself for looking like a dumb ass.

“So do I…I could walk you there…if you want.” Liz smiled.

“I would like that.”

Max began walking while Liz began rolling herself to class. When they got there Liz abruptly stopped at the door.

“What’s wrong Liz?” Max asked her. He looked at her face and seen that she had gotten pale.

Liz looked up at his face and only saw warmth and concern shinning in his eyes. In all the eyes she had ever seen since the accident they were the first that didn’t have pity in them. Already she would confide in him. She didn’t necessarily want to but she couldn’t stop herself.

It was like…destiny.

“I’m-I’m scared to go in,” she told him honestly.

Max took her hand in his. He didn’t remember being so bold with her. He’d always been to shy to even catch her eye.

“You don’t have to be,” he told her. “You have me.” He added in a barely audible voice.

He hoped that she hadn’t heard him.

But Liz did here him.

She granted him with a beautiful smile.

“Thank you Max.”

*****Part 2*****

Max opened the door for Liz and she quietly rolled inside the room. The once semi-noisy class was now overlapped in silence.

Liz silently followed Max towards their lab table. She tried to ignore the eyes that followed her around the room. When she got to the table her eyes started to water.

There was no way in hell she would be able to get up there.

The class was eerily silent and she felt hundreds of eyes on her, watching each little movement that she made.

This couldn’t get any worse.

As if sensing her dilemma Max lifted her out of her chair and put her on the lab stool. He then glared at the people who were staring at Liz as if she were a puppy doing amazing tricks.

Liz didn’t know weather to be embarrassed or grateful for what Max did. So she just took the easy way out and kept silent.

She could barley hold in her tears. Everything was so hard now. She couldn’t even enjoy her favorite class now. Liz thoughts were shaken when Ms. Hardy began to talk.

“Welcome back Liz,” Ms. Hardy said. Liz nodded her head in acknowledgment to her welcome.

“Thank you,” Liz replied

Ms. Hardy began talking again. “Okay students today we are going to start a new project. Your partner is the person you are sitting next to right now.”

A few groans escaped in the classroom and Max and Liz shared a small smile.

“You are going to do a wonderful project on the body outline of a frog.”

Ms. Hardy explained the assignment in length and left them time to discuss the assignment before the bell rang.

Max turned in his seat so that he was facing Liz. “So, do you want to meet up after school to start on the assignment?”

“Maybe we should start a lunch and meet up around 7:00 tonight…I have physical therapy.”

Max nodded in agreement. “Can we meet at the Crashdown?”

Liz smiled. “That would be fine.”

Max couldn’t help but notice that every time she smiled, the smile wouldn’t reach her eyes.

Max wished he could tell her that he, in some way, understood how she felt about being different.

People weren’t able to see his differences, but they were there. It was horrible waking up every morning knowing that you were different from the other kids…other humans. It also felt horrible that if people knew the truth of him they wouldn’t be accepting, they would probably run as far as possible.

Max broke out of his thoughts when the bell rang. He got out of his seat and helped Liz into her wheelchair. He flinched when he saw the pink tinge in her cheeks. He never meant to embarrass her.

He walked beside her as she went out of the classroom where Maria and Alex were waiting for her.

He gave her a tiny smile.

“So, I’ll see you in the quad.”

Liz nodded her head.

“Yeah…see ya”

They then both turned toward their other classes, each, secretly thinking about the other.

* * * * *


Liz sat down at the lunch table with Alex and Maria, while waiting for Max to arrive. They were talking about some new gossip and trying to include Liz into the conversation.

“…So Kyle asked Isabel Evans out and she looked him straight in the eye and said ‘no’ in front of everyone…it was classic! Kyle Valenti getting turned down!” Maria and Alex burst into fits of laughter and Liz let her self laugh some. Even though she wasn’t angry with Kyle for dumping her, it was fun to see him get a taste of his own medicine.

“Oh and Lizzie, wait to you hear this,” Maria said. Liz looked up at her and gave her an encouraging look.

“Pam Troy got a nose job.” Liz let out an even bigger laugh. “The girl had the nose the size of a unsharpened pencil.

Liz looked up when she felt a presence at the end of the table. It was Max. Max had always been the hottie of the school since the ninth grade, but she looked in Max’s eyes and began to understand the true beauty of Max Evans.

His amber eyes showed beauty, honesty, love, and surprisingly, fear. Liz began to wonder if Max was afraid of her. But deep down inside her heart she knew that that wasn’t the case. Max Evans was hiding something. Liz hoped that he would one day be able to confide in someone.

Maybe even her.

They soon broke out of their staring match when Liz cleared her throat. “Oh hey Max. Sit down.” Max sat down in the seat that was right across from Liz.

“Um Max, you know Maria DeLuca and Alex Whitman right?”

Max gave them both a small smile. “Yeah, I do…hey.” Maria and Alex both said hey and gave him a small wave.

Liz and Max both took out their bio books out of their book bags and flipped to the page that they needed. They began talking about the project and Maria and Alex left saying that they couldn’t think about dead frogs during lunch.

Max looked up from the book and let out a big sigh.

Liz smirked at him. “Bored?”

“No, more like brain fried…and sick.” Max replied.

“Really? I could do this for hours.” Liz told him with a dreamy voice.

Max gave her a full-blown smile. “Smart and beautiful.” He began to blush when he realized he said his thoughts out loud.

He dared himself to look up at Liz again and when he did he saw that Liz was smiling at him.

He looked closer and noticed that for the first time, this smile actually reached her eyes.

And he made it happen.

*****Part 3*****

Max, Isabel, and Mr. And Mrs. Evans were eating a quiet dinner later that night. Max still had a half an hour before he had to go meet with Liz.

Ever since lunch this afternoon he couldn’t stop thinking about her. He wondered if he could possibly make her smile like that again. It made him shine to think that he could possibly bring some kind of sunshine in her life.

Isabel interrupted Max’s thoughts. “What’s with you Max?”

Max looked at her quizzically. “What do you mean?” he asked her.

“You’re cheesing like you just seen chocolate.”

Max blushed a little. “Nothing is up with me.” He then turned to his parents.

“Uh, mom, dad, I have to leave at 6:45 to go to Liz’s house.”

“Liz Parker?” his mom asked him. Max nodded. “How is she? I heard the poor girl is in a wheelchair now.”

Max nodded. “Yea she is…I guess she’s doing as well as you could expect.”

Diane nodded and took note of the flash of admire in his eyes.

“Okay, just don’t stay to long,” Diane told him.

“Okay mom.”

Soon dinner was over and Max had gone to his room to change his shirt. Supposedly Isabel had thought it would be funny to use her powers and will him to spill Pepsi on his shirt.

While he was changing Isabel had barged in his room.

“That’s a nice shirt Max. Why are you trying to look so…up?” Isabel asked with a hint of annoyance in her voice.

“Well since you messed up my last shirt I needed to change. Besides, why do you even care how nice my shirt is?”

Isabel sighed in anger and regret. She didn’t really want to do this but she had a feeling that she had to.

“Max a lot of girls are chasing after you and wanting you and you choose to hang around a paraplegic, its pathetic.”

Max couldn’t believe what was coming out of Isabel’s mouth. He had never known her to be so cruel.

“Why are you saying this Isabel?” Max asked her.

“Look Max, you’ve always had this crush on Liz Parker and it’s not safe. And I know Michael agrees with me.

Michael chose that moment to climb inside Max’s room.

“She’s right. I do.”

Max shook his head in disbelief. This was not happening. They were not trying to gang up on him.

“Maxwell, you are getting to close to her.” Michael told him.

“What the hell are you talking about? I’ve barely even talked to her!” Max shouted with barely contained anger. This was going way to far.

“So what! You go there, do your work, and come back. No extra’s, not chitchatting, no socializing.”

Max just stared at Michael and Isabel. He angrily grabbed his leather jacket and quickly left the room. He didn’t have to listen to a damn word they said.

He got in his jeep and tried to calm down a bit before he attempted to start driving. He didn’t want to cause any accidents.

Michael, Isabel, and him always kept their distance from other people or any other emotional attachments. And honestly, he’d always felt lonely. It was nice having them and his parents but sometimes it wasn’t enough. Just them weren’t enough for him to live.

Max shifted his gear and drove down to Liz’s house. When he got their Mrs. Parker answered the door for him.

Mrs. Parker smiled warmly at Max. “Hi Max, Liz is in her room. Third door on the right.”

Even in his current anger he managed to give Mrs. Parker a nice smile back. “Thank you.”

He walked to her room. He noticed that she had already had her supplies ready and waiting. She was bent over her desk reading something very intently.

“Hey Liz,” Max said, trying to catch her attention.

Liz snapped her head up startled and Max immediately apologized.

“I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.” He hated when other people seemed afraid of him. It just made him think of what he really was.

Liz let out a small laugh and Max caught a glimpse of the book she was reading.

“Harry Potter?” Max asked, amusement clear in his voice.

Liz began to laugh again. “Yeah, um, he sort of became an addiction of mine while I was in the hospital.”

“Lucky guy,” Max said without thinking. He let out a silent groan. He really needed to control himself.

“So lets get to work,” Liz said after a small moment of silence.

Max pulled up a chair and sat at the side of the desk. Liz smiled when she noticed how queasy Max was getting.

“So…do you want to identify the rectum?” She let out laugh when she saw how pale he got. “Okay Max, why don’t you do the word problems, and I’ll do the nasty part.”

Max let out a sigh of relief. “Thanks. I didn’t think I could handle this anymore.”

The two got to work on the project. After a half hour they finished that part of the project.

They sat down facing each other.

“So Liz, what do you want to be when you get out of high school?” Max asked her.

“I want to be head of the Molecular Biology department at UCLA.” Liz told him. “What about you?”

Max shrugged. He honestly hadn’t made a choice yet. “Maybe a doctor, or an architect.”

Liz nodded and their eyes locked for a second. Liz chose that moment to get a closer look at Max. She noticed that the light in his eyes from earlier was slightly dimmed.

“So what’s got you down Max?” Liz asked. Max looked at her in surprise.

“Nothings got me down.”

Liz narrowed her eyes. “Seriously…what’s wrong?”

Max let out a tortured sigh. “Isabel and Michael were giving me a hard time.”

“Why?”

Max looked at her for a minute. “They were just being idiots.”

“It was about me, wasn’t it?” Liz said after a minute of silence.

“No it wasn’t” Max tried to convince her.

“You don’t have to protect my feelings Max,” Liz told him.

Max nodded when he knew that he couldn’t lie to her. “Don’t worry about Michael and Isabel. They’re just sometimes…harsh.”

Liz nodded but couldn’t stop her eyes from getting teary.

This was how it is, and how it’s always going to be.

Unfortunately, this was her life.

*****Part 4*****

Max had seen the tears in Liz’s eyes and immediately felt horrible about the words that Isabel and Michael had said. He didn’t say those horrible things but it killed him that Isabel and Michael would. He didn’t understand why they had to be so harsh and cruel about everything. If anyone, them three knew what it was like to be different.

He glanced at Liz and saw her discreetly wipe away a few tears. Just another chop at his heart. ‘Damn them,’ why couldn’t they understand how much words hurt?

“So Liz,” he spoke up. “I’m gonna be here for awhile since we finished our work earlier than intended. So why don’t we watch a movie?” he asked her.

Liz looked at her before giving him a tiny smile.

“Have you seen Meet the Parents yet?” Liz asked him.

Max shook his head. “Nope not yet, I meant to get it at Blockbuster.”

“Then we’ll watch that right now.” Liz told him. Liz rolled to her cabinet and pulled out a videocassette of Meet the Parents. She popped it in the VCR and her and Max began watching the movie. After about an hour in the movie they were doubled over in laughter.

“God this has got to be the funniest movie I’ve ever seen!” Max exclaimed. Liz nodded her head in agreement.

“Max, how come you’re not like this in school…I mean, now you’re laughing and having a good time, but when you’re at school you’re the complete opposite?” Liz asked him. She was determined to understand why Max Evans was Max Evans.

Max shrugged. He didn’t expect Liz to ask him that question. “I don’t know. I guess I never felt like I belonged. I was always uncomfortable.” Max said hoping to close the subject. He wanted to tell Liz everything about him and he knew that he couldn’t do that.

Liz nodded her head in acceptance of his answer and turned back to the movie and they sat in uncomfortable silence for a minute. Soon the uncomfortable ness was over and they returned to laughing their heads off.

In the middle of their laughing fit Maria and Alex walked in her room. They widened their eyes in shock at the sight of Max and Liz laughing like crazy. Mostly they zoned in on Liz. They haven’t seen her this happy, or having this much fun since the shooting. Alex cleared his throat and Max and Liz looked up in surprise.

“So what’s so funny?” Alex asked. Liz reached for the remote control and switched off the television.

“Oh we were just watching Meet the Parents,” Liz told them. She glanced back at Max and saw that he had went back into his quiet mode. ‘He really wasn’t lying about being uncomfortable,’ Liz thought to herself.

As much as Max wanted to open up more, the only person in the room that he was really comfortable with was Liz. And he couldn’t understand why. Liz was always somebody that he couldn’t know because of who he was.

Alex nodded his head. “Yeah, that has got to be the funniest movie.”

Maria spoke up and jumped into the conversation. “Uh huh, especially at the end where he-“

“No!” Liz interrupted. “Don’t say anymore Maria, Max hasn’t seen the movie yet,” Liz told them.

“You haven’t Max?” Alex asked in feigned shock.

Max shook his head. “Nope, this is my first time watching the movie.”

“Well, if you don’t mind, could we join in on the fun?” Maria asked.

“Sure,” Liz told them. “Make your selves comfortable.”

Maria and Alex nodded and found a place to sit facing the TV in Liz’s room. When the movie was over, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room and everyone was hysterically laughing.

Max couldn’t believe it, but he was actually starting to feel comfortable around Maria and Alex. They were both fun and energetic. He could understand why Liz, Maria, and Alex were best friends.

Max looked at his watch. He yelped in surprise. “Um, I really gotta go. Its already 11 and I wasn’t supposed to be gone to long.”

Liz looked up at Max. “Okay, I’ll see you tomorrow Max,” she told him in a soft a voice. She didn’t want him to leave but she didn’t think that their parents would take it to kindly that he was still here.

Max began gathering his stuff together when he stopped in shock. He never noticed it before but on Liz’s window pane there was a white rose…the one that he had given to her. He’d recognize that rose from anywhere. He couldn’t believe that she had kept it.

“Is there something wrong Max?” Liz asked. Max snapped out of his trance.

“No, no, nothings wrong.” He gave Liz a smile. He then turned to leave the room. “Bye.” He told everyone. He left room with a smile forever etched on his face.

He soon left after he heard the chorus of goodbyes.

As soon as they heard the apartment door close Maria and Alex pounced on her.

“Ohhh…Lizzie has a crush!” Maria exclaimed.

“And if my readings are correct, the feelings are mutual.” Alex added.

“You guys, I don’t have a crush and Max, and Max doesn’t have a crush on me.” Liz stated.

Maria began to tickle Liz to try and get the truth out of her. “Come on Lizzie, admit! You like him!” When Liz wouldn’t reply Alex began tickling her too. Liz burst into fits of giggles. “Come on guys, stop it!” she exclaimed.

“Not until you admit you have a crush on him.” Alex told her.

“Fine! Fine! I have a crush on Max Evans? Happy now?” Liz asked. When she finally admitted it Maria and Alex stopped their tickling fit.

Maria and Alex smiled in triumph.

“Very Happy” Alex told her.

“Okay, now to hooking you and Max up,” Maria said.

“No!” Liz shouted. “You can’t do that.”

“Why not? You like him, he likes you.” Maria told her like it was the simplest thing in the world.

“Max doesn’t like me,” Liz said quietly. “Max probably wants someone who is more prettier, more bustier and can actually walk on her own two feet,” Liz said, her voice thick with tears.

“Oh Lizzie,” Maria said. She and Alex enveloped her in a hug.

“Max Evans would be a fool not to fall in love with someone like you,” Alex told her. “Anyone would.”

Liz wiped away the stray tears that fell on her cheeks.

“Thank you so much. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have any of you here. I love you guys so much.”

“We love you too Liz,” Maria and Alex said together.

*****Part 5*****
Max looked around the quad for somewhere to sit. He saw Isabel and Michael near the back of the quad obviously waiting for him to sit down with them. He glanced at them one more time before turning his head away and heading for an empty table. He was still angry at them for being so horrible about Liz and trying to forbid him from associating with her.

He sat his stuff on the top of the table and began silently eating his lunch when Tara Gaines approached him. Tara was pretty with long blond hair and sparkling blue eyes and defiantly busty. To most of the guys at West Roswell Tara was a real catch but to Max she wasn’t that nice looking. She didn’t have long chestnut hair or brown doe eyes.

Tara leaned over the table and nearly shoved her cleavage in Max’s face.

“So Max,” she said seductively. “How about we go to a movie on Friday?” she asked him.

“No thanks,” Max told her, trying not to sound like a jerk. Unfortunately for Max, “No thanks” meant “Maybe” in Tara’s dictionary.

“Oh come on Max, I’ll make it very worth your while,” Tara said while making a little motion with her mouth. Obviously she wasn’t just talking about kissing. It looked like not all rumors were false.

Across the quad Maria, Alex, and Liz were headed towards Max when they saw him eating lunch alone.

“I wonder why he’s not eating with Michael and Isabel,” Maria thought out loud. Both Alex and Liz shrugged. Liz stopped moving when she saw the biggest slut in the school, Tara, talking to Max. Tara was beautiful and that made all of Liz’s insecurities come back full force. It was foolish of her to think that Max Evans would ever love her.

Maria looked back at Liz in confusion. “Why did you stop?” Maria asked her.

“No reason,” Liz said. She held her head up high and continued with Alex and Maria down to Max’s table. They arrived just in time to hear Tara’s offer to Max. They watched as Max chocked on the bread that he was eating.

“Uh, No thanks,” he replied to Tara. Max looked over and saw Liz, Maria, and Alex. He let out a sigh of relief.

“Hey,” Max said to them. He smiled in Liz’s direction.

Tara grimaced when she saw Max smile towards Liz. She put on a fake chipper smile. “Well Max, the offer still stands.”

Max shook his head. “No,” he said bluntly, almost rudely.

Tara looked at him, shocked. Sure he had turned down her offer, but he never been so adamant about it. ‘It must have something to do with that crippled Liz Parker.’ She thought to herself.

Tara slowly got up and brushed past Liz’s chair. “Freak,” she muttered. She hadn’t meant for anyone to hear her, but everyone at the table did.

Max looked ready to blow his top. Not to mention Maria and Alex. Liz didn’t know whether to cry or slap the shit out of Tara. Maria was the first to jump into action.

“You know Tara, don’t try to blame other people for Max turning your sorry ass down, he probably didn’t want one of your many STD’s,”

Tara turned red and hurriedly stormed from the area. The others watched her leave before turning to each other. Almost immediately, they broke out in laughter.

“Good one Maria,” Alex told her while trying to calm his laughing fit. They all laughed for a few minutes before calming down again. They began silently eating before starting to talk again.

“So, Max, how come you’re not eating with your sister or Michael today?” Maria asked him.

Max shifted on the bench. “They were just being stupid about something, that’s it,” Max said.

Maria nodded and they all began to absently chat about school and such when Michael and Isabel approached their table.

“Maxwell, can we talk to you for a few minutes?” Michael asked him.

“No,” Max told them bluntly.

Michael and Isabel looked at each other briefly before Isabel began to talk. “Look Max, unless you want us to say everything in front of your little friends, you better come with us,” she said in her ice princess voice.

Max glared at Isabel briefly before getting up to follow them.

“What the hell was that about?” Maria asked with anger seeping in her voice. “No wonder Max said they were stupid.”

They all turned to the direction that Max, Michael, and Isabel went off to. It wasn’t to far. Just enough to not be heard by anyone but seen.

They watched as they talked and Michael and Isabel seemed to be yelling at Max. They saw Michael roughly brush past Max and Isabel follow after him. Max stood there for a few minutes before going back to the table.

“What happened?” Liz asked in a quiet voice. Obviously whatever they said made Max upset. Both Maria and Alex noticed that if Max mentioned anything, he would only want to talk about it with Liz. The way they were gazing at each other was a dead giveaway.

Maria grabbed Alex’s hand and made some excuse about buying some pop before dragging him with her. When they were gone Max and Liz began talking.

“What did they say?” Liz asked.

“They just don’t really like when I don’t hang out with them, ya know?” Max said. He didn’t want to tell her that they basically threatened him to make him cut off all ties with Liz. He didn’t care; he wasn’t going to be led around like some puppy that still needed to be trained.

Liz nodded her head. “Well, they’re your best friends Max, maybe you need to hang with them even more.” Liz told him.

Max shook his head. “Not when they are being stupid.”

Liz nodded again before letting the discussion drop. She looked over at one of Max’s notebooks and saw some writing that kind of looked like a song.

“Hey Max, what is this?” she asked him.

Max looked over to what she was reading and nearly snatched the notebook out of her hand. “Nothing…its nothing,” he said nervously. He silently hoped she hadn’t read too much of what was written.

“It looked like a song,” Liz told him. She had read some of it, and so far she had liked it. “Do you sing?” When Max didn’t answer she caught his obviously embarrassed expression.

“That’s okay Max, you don’t have to tell me,” Liz told him, a little upset that he wouldn’t respond to her.

Max looked up and into her eyes. And felt the need to share his every secret with her. Even the fact that he was an alien. Maybe, Isabel and Michael were right, maybe he was getting in to far.

He chose to answer her question anyway. “Uh, yeah, I sing a little,” he told her, embarrassment clear in his voice.

Just then Alex and Maria returned and the conversation was stopped. They all talked for the rest of the lunch period before they separated. Maria and Alex walked towards the Math wing, while Liz and Max headed towards the English wing.

“So, when do you think we could get together again?” Liz asked him while they moved through the halls.

“How about today after school around 5 at my house?” Max said. Normally, he wouldn’t offer his house but he knew for a fact that Isabel was going to be over a friend’s house until 8.

Liz nodded her head. “Okay, I’ll see you then.” They parted ways at the entrance of Liz’s English class with a small smile.

“See ya Max,” Liz told him.

“Bye Liz,”

TBC…

Part Six
* * * *

Liz entered her room and closed the door behind her. She needed to be alone. Liz placed her chair by the window and looked outside.

Ever since English, the rest of the day had gone straight to hell. There was a substitute teacher in that class and he had basically stared at her throughout the class period. And he had made no reservations about hiding the fact, and in her 6th period American Lit. Class she distinctly heard Tara, who was sitting right next to her calling her a freak whenever she had the chance.

Liz put her head in her hands. In her head she constantly heard the words, “Freak,” and “cripple,” repeating in her head.

Freak. Freak. Freak.

Cripple. Cripple. Cripple.

No matter how hard she tried to shut it out she couldn’t. It was like people were standing in her facing screaming at her for being different.

Freak.

Cripple.

And the pain in her heart kept on getting deeper and deeper.

She angrily went to her CD player and pushed in a CD.

Crawling in my skin
Consuming all I feel
Fear is how I fall
Confusing what is real

The words of the song spoke to her. She usually wasn’t into heavy metal but the words seemed to be speaking to her directly. Sometimes this kind of music could be deep.

She looked at the big red clock numbers on the small desk next to her bed. She had to be at Max’s house in an hour. She moved towards the mirror and just began to look at herself.

Really look at herself.

There’s something inside me that pulls beneath the surface
Consuming, confusing
This lack of self-control I fear is never ending
Controlling, I can’t seem
To find myself again
My walls are closing in

Without a sense of confidence
And I’m convinced
That there’s just too much pressure to take

I’ve felt this way before
So insecure

Liz began playing with her hair, pulling it in a ponytail, then taking it down, brushing it up, leaving a bang, a wisp of hair.

Finally she settled on leaving her hair down. She picked up her lipstick and applied it, then added some gloss.

She looked at herself in the mirror. She tried focusing on her face but no matter how hard she tried nothing could mar the fact that she was in a wheelchair.

Crawling in my skin
Consuming all I feel
Fear is how I fall
Confusing what is real

Liz continued to stare at herself as the tears being falling down her face. She just wanted to be normal again.

She didn’t want to be looked down at. She didn’t want to be thought as a freak, she didn’t want this at all.

She wanted to be able to walk around the mall with her friends. She wanted to be able to work, she wanted to able to get up stairs. She wanted to be at eye length with people.

She wanted to be normal.

Discomfort endlessly has pulled its self upon me
Distracting, reacting
Against my will I stand, beside my reflection
It’s haunting I can’t seem

To find myself again
My walls are closing in

Without a sense of confidence
And I’m convinced
That there’s just too much pressure to take

I’ve felt this way before
So insecure

“Liz honey! Its time to go!” Liz heard her mother call out to her.

Liz hurriedly wiped the tears away from her face to hide the fact that she was hurting. Her parents avoided the fact of her emotions. They cared about her, but they liked to pretend that nothing was really wrong.

When in fact, everything was wrong.

Liz glanced at herself one more time before grabbing a tissue and wiping the lipstick off. She just put the gloss on and checked her face to make sure there were no tear tracks.

There was no point in trying to look nice for Max. Max could have any girl who wants who goes to that school.

What are the chances of choosing someone like her?

None.

She checked herself again, just because.

Crawling in my skin
Consuming all I feel
Fear is how I fall
Confusing what is real

Sometimes it’s easier to live in an illusion.


TBC…
Part 7

Authors note: The song is actually “Simon” by Lifehouse, not Max Evans. He he.

Liz waited by the front door of Max’s house with her mom. Thankfully Max was one of the few houses that had a ramp. It must have been built in before he moved in here.

Liz had tried her hardest to rid herself of any evidence of her earlier break down. She looked up when the front door opened revealing Mrs. Evans. Mrs. Evans smiled warmly at Liz and Mrs. Parker.

“Why hello Nancy, Liz. Come in.” Diane moved aside so Liz and Mrs. Parker could enter. When they entered Max came into the living room to greet them.

“Hey Liz. Mrs. Parker.” He said.

“Hello Max, its good to see you again,” Nancy said.

“Hey Max,” Liz responded.

Max smiled at both of them before turning to face Liz once again. “Well my room is on the main floor Liz, let’s go.” Max waited till he was certain that Liz was following him before turning and leading her out of the living room and towards his room. Once they were in Max turned and closed the door.

“So, what are we going to do today?” Max asked her. He looked at her and noticed the faint markings of tear tracks on her face, but decided not to call it out at that moment.

“Um, we have to outline the rest of the paper.” Liz told him. She began gathering her stuff while he did the same so they could begin working.

They worked together for about an hour before they were finished.

“When did your mom say she was going to pick you up?” Max asked her.

They were both sitting on his bed; the headboard was elevating Liz while Max was sitting up, facing her.

“She said she would be here by seven,” Liz said while tracing the patterns on his bed sheet.

“Well, we’ve got an hour before you have to leave. What do you want to do?” Max asked. He couldn’t take his eyes off her lips. Every time she spoke he wanted nothing more than to reach over and kiss her, but he wasn’t sure about being so forward with her.

“I guess we could just talk,” Liz told him. She had noticed they way he was starring at her and it made her feel better because of the look in his eyes.

“Sure, what do you want to talk about?”

“Well actually, I want to hear you sing,” Liz told him honestly.

“NO…I mean, I don’t know. I’ve never sung in front of someone before.” Max told her.

“Why not?”

“I don’t know, I’m not much of a socialite,” he replied.

“Well, I’m the only one here, why don’t you just sing to me? Please?” Liz asked.

Max turned to her fully planning on saying no, but he took one look into her big brown doe eyes and couldn’t say no. It was like he was sucked into those eyes and couldn’t pull himself away.

He finally pulled himself away and sighed. “Fine, but only for you. Oh, and If you laugh I’ll be hurt.”

Liz nodded with glee. She wanted to know everything about Max Evans. Even if he didn’t like her romantically she could deal with being friends. She wanted some part of him. Liz watched as he got his guitar, he sat back in front of her and she was stunned into silence by the melody of his voice.

Catch your breath, hit the wall
Scream out loud, as you start to crawl
Back in your cage, the only place
Where they will leave you alone

Cause the weak will seek the weaker
Till they’ve broken them
Could you get it back again?
Would it be the same?
Fulfillment to their lack of strength at your expense
Left you with no defense
They tore it down

And I have felt the same
As you I’ve felt the same
As you I’ve felt the same

Max was strumming at his guitar as he entered his own world. He had written this when he first came in contact with Liz after the accident. He wanted to be able to tell her that he understood what being different was like.

That she wasn’t alone.

Locked inside, the only place
Where you feel sheltered, where you feel safe
You’ve lost yourself, in your search to find
Something else, to hide behind

The fearful always prayed upon your confidence
Didn’t they see the consequence, when they pushed you around?
The arrogant build kingdoms made of the different ones
Breaking them till they’ve become, just another crown.

And I have felt the same
As you I’ve felt the same
As you I’ve felt the same

Max didn’t dare to look up to see the expression on her face. If he did he would be afraid that every secret he had would come erupting forth. He wanted to tell her everything, and that scared him.

Refuse to feel, anything at all
Refuse to slip refuse to fall
Can’t be weak, can’t stand still
You watch your back, cause no one will

You don’t know why they had to go this far
Traded your worth for these scars
For your only company
Don’t believe the lies that they have told to you
And not one word was true
Your alright, your alright, your alright

And I have felt the same
As you I’ve felt the same
As you I’ve felt the same

La da da, da da, la da da, da da
As you I’ve felt the same.

Max harmonious voice faded out as the last of the song ended. He finally looked up and looked at Liz. For the first time he noticed the tears falling down her face. He put his guitar down and began tracing the tears on her face, gently wiping it off.

“Don’t cry…I didn’t mean to make you cry.”

Liz was humbled by his words, but couldn’t stop the tears. He had wrapped up almost all of her feelings in one song. It made her feel like maybe he did understand her. Maybe they weren’t so different after all.

Max watched as the tears continued to fall. He continued to wipe the tears away before tracing his thumb next to her lips. His head lowered as his lips became closer and closer to hers.

There lips connected together and sparked something between them. Neither wanted the kiss to end. Liz wrapped her hands around Max’s neck as the kiss gotten deeper. Liz slowly opened her mouth, allowing Max’s tongue to enter. The feelings were causing new sensations to both of them.

Max had never kissed a girl before and it was all very new to him. He marveled at the fact that Liz Parker was his first kiss. He had wanted it for most of his life.

Their kiss was stopped abruptly when someone cleared their throat behind them.

Isabel.

Part 8

Authors note: I lied. She does have a balcony.

Max and Liz both flushed in embarrassment when they noticed that Isabel had caught them kissing. They were also peeved that she had interrupted their first kiss.

For a while the three of them just stared at each other, not really knowing what to say to each other.

“Uh…hey Isabel” Max said to break the silence. Isabel flashed a glare in his direction.

“Hello Max,” she responded curtly.

Liz noticed the tension between the two of them and tried to break it. “Hi Isabel.”

Isabel fixed her eyes on Liz when she spoke to her, looking up and down as if preparing for a battle. “Liz.”

Max’s cheeks flushed in anger and embarrassment when he saw the curt way Isabel was acting towards Liz. All three of their heads snapped up when the doorbell rang.

“That must be my mom,” Liz said while brushing her hair behind her ears nervously.

“Yeah, lets get your stuff together.” Max stood up and brought the chair toward her while she managed to get herself in. Max helpfully handed her, her book back as Isabel watched their movements in disdain. Soon Mrs. Parker arrived at the door.

“Hey Lizzie” Mrs. Parker said cheerfully. “Hey Max,”

“Hey Mrs. Parker”

After exchanging pleasantries, and introducing Mrs. Parker to Isabel, Liz left, but not before her and Max shared another glance. Isabel made sure that everyone was gone before closing the door and starting her verbal attack.

“I cannot believe you Max,” Isabel stated with flashing eyes.

“Believe what? That I kissed a girl? Max asked with just as much venom. “Or that Liz was the girl that I kissed?”

“God Max, don’t you realize that your little fascination with Liz Parker is going to get us all killed?”

“It won’t! Why is it so wrong for me to have a girlfriend, to fall in love?” Max replied.

Isabel stared at him in shock before finding her voice to respond. “So are you saying that you love her?”

“NO…I don’t know…maybe,” Max, said, desperate to get himself out of this bind. “Why would it be so bad? Why would it be so bad for me to care about someone? To love someone?”

“Max don’t you see? Can’t you see and understand that we can’t make attachments. What if they come for us?” Isabel said more quietly.

“They’re not coming! They haven’t come for the past 10 years and they never are going to come. Just because I’m different doesn’t stop me from caring about people…from falling in love. Why can’t YOU see that?”

“Oh please Max, don’t give me that ‘If you prick us, do we not bleed’ shit. We can’t get attached. We can’t get attached to these humans, it’s just not safe.” Isabel said while gaining momentum for the cause.

“What about Mom and dad?” Max asked her, willing her to see the double standards.

“That’s--that's different,”

“How?”

“It just is Max, don’t question me.”

Max stared at her in anger and resentment. “I feel sorry for you Isabel--"

“Whatever Max,” she interrupted.

“Would you listen to me for a damn minute? I feel sorry that you can’t open yourself to someone, that you can’t feel or enjoy the feelings of falling in love. That you are so ignorant to see that love has no boundaries.”

Isabel stared at him. “So you do love her?”

“Yes…I do love her.” With that Max grabbed his jacket and left for destination unknown.

Isabel stared at the spot she last saw Max as if he were still there, yelling at her.

For not the first time, Isabel Evans was lost.

* * * * *

Liz entered her room and quickly went to the phone to call Maria. She hated that she was acting like such a…girl, but the kiss that her and Max shared was no less than wonderful. She dialed the number and waited for Maria to answer.

“Hello?” Maria answered.

“Its me Liz,” Liz told her.

“Hey girl! What happened today at casa Evans?”

“A lot.”

“A lot of what?”

“Um, a lot of good stuff.”

“Girl stop talking in riddles! What happened?”

“Max kissed me.”

There was silence on the other end before Maria let out one of her patented little squeals.

“You guys kissed?! What-how-when?”

Liz smiled at the other end, glad about her friend’s predictable reaction.

“Well at first we studied…”Liz talked on the phone and relayed the whole ordeal to Maria. At first she was hesitant to reveal something so personal but Maria was her best friend and at moments like these she needed her.

“So what happened after Isabel, that trick, interrupted the kiss?” Maria asked, her voice oozing with excitement.

“I don’t know, she kind of just glared at me, and then I left when my mom came.”

“Lizzie I am so happy for you! So when is the first date?” Maria asked, mentally preparing a dinner date for them.

“Whoa Maria…we haven’t made a date yet.”

Maria frowned on the other end. “You will soon. Go to Chez Pierre. Great food, but I prefer Chinese, so go to The Wok.”

Liz couldn’t help but giggle at her friend’s actions.

“So when are you guys going out?”

“If”

“What?” Maria asked in a puzzled voice.

“If we go out on a date at all.”

“Oh puhleeze. Damn, chica, I must go. I WILL talk to you later.” Maria said.

“Alright, bye”

“Bye Liz,” Maria said and hung up the phone.

Liz hung up the phone and shook her head at her friend’s actions. She went to her bed and picked up her journal.

Its January 30th, I’m Liz Parker and 5 days ago I fell in love. It’s amazing, the feelings of being in love. My life is dismal right now but somewhere in the darkness is a light turns on and makes things better. That light is Max Evans.

Tonight we shared a kiss that made me feel like I was flying. The way he made me feel was amazing.

I want to feel like this forever. Like the world is actually worth living in—

Liz looked up when she heard tapping on the window from the balcony outside. It was Max.

She smiled at him briefly before opening the latch on the window. He entered the room and sat on her bed while Liz was right next to him.

“Hey Max,” Liz said.

“Hi Liz,” Max stared at her for a second before bending her head and giving her a small kiss on the lips. “I had to do that…I hope you didn’t mind.”

Liz shook her head and gave him a bright smile. “No, not at all.”

Max smiled again before giving her another kiss. This time the kiss lasted longer. Liz wrapped her hands around Max’s neck and deepened the kiss. They kissed for what seem liked hours when it was only mere minutes. When they broke apart they looked at each other with identical looks of wonder.

“Liz…do you want to go out? Like on a date?” Max said in a rushed voice. The whole dating thing was very new to him.

“That would be great…how about tomorrow?”

Max nodded. “Yeah, can I pick you up at 7?”

“Sure were are we going?”

“The Wok?”

Liz smiled when she realized that it was the same restaurant that Maria was talking about earlier.

“That would be great Max,”

Max nodded and kissed her one more time. “Bye Liz,” he said before leaving.

“Goodbye Max.”

Life couldn’t get any better.

* * * * *

Part 9

Authors note: Sorry for the long wait. This is just a transition part before the real date. Hope you enjoy!

* * * * *

Max sat on his bed and stared at the clock next to his bed once again.

6:30 pm.

It was Saturday and he had at least fifteen more minutes before he had to pick up Liz for their date, and he was getting nervous about the whole thing. He didn’t regret asking her, he never would, but this was the first date he had ever been on and he was petrified of making some huge mistake. And not to mention, his stomach was doing flip-flops right now.

He jumped up and started pacing around the room. He raised his arm and sniffed, hoping that he still smelled good. Satisfied, he paced for a bit more before going back and sitting back down on his bed.

Isabel walked past his open door and did a double take when she saw him wearing his nice dark green shirt and black slacks and holding his keys in his hands.

“Where are you going?” she asked him in confusion.

Max looked up, startled at the intrusion of his thoughts. He then caught Isabel’s eye and stared, straight on.

“I’m going on a date.”

“With Liz?” Isabel asked him.

“With Liz,” he said, nodding his confirmation.

“I hope you know what you’re doing Max,” Isabel told him.

In all honesty, she was happy that her brother was falling in love, but she was still scared that the whole thing would blow up in their faces. That they would end up on FOX on an Alien Autopsy special.

“I DO know what I’m doing,” Max said reassuringly. He knew what Isabel was afraid of. He just had more faith in Liz than Isabel did.

Isabel nodded. “Good, I’m glad to hear that.”

“I know you are.”

Max looked over at the time and noticed that it was 6:45 pm already. The butterflies in his stomach all of the sudden intensified to the thousandth degree.

“All right Isabel, I have to go…wish me luck,” Max, said, not really expecting her to reply to him.

Isabel gazed at his retreating form. “Good luck,” she said. The amazing thing was, that she actually meant her words.

* * * * *

Liz stared at herself in the mirror, before turning to Maria who was lounging on her bed.

“What do I think I’m doing?” she moaned. She was dressed in a black skirt and a tight red shirt.

“Hon, you’re going on a date with one of the hottest guys in school, that, my friend, is what you are doing.” Maria told her.

“Okay, I have a better question…what is Max doing with me?”

“Liz, Liz, Liz,” Maria walked up to Liz and planted herself in front of Liz. “Liz, anybody would be a fool NOT to want to date you.”

Liz frowned. “Thanks Maria, but what if this date is some kind of cruel joke that the school came up with to make me feel like more of a freak than I already do?”

Maria walked behind Liz’s chair and gazed at her and Liz through the mirror.

“Liz, you’re beautiful. Just because you’re in a wheelchair doesn’t change that. And you know what? You’re very lucky, because Max is one of the few guys who understands that, and doesn’t care. He sees you as ‘Liz Parker, the girl he’s had a huge crush on for most of his life in Roswell’. Not ‘Liz Parker, the girl in the wheelchair’.”

“And besides,” she continued. “If it were, I would personally kick everyone’s ass who would ever be apart of such a joke.”

Liz’s eyes misted up at Maria’s words. “You’re right Maria…thank you.” Liz gave her a huge, sincere smile.

“No problem chica, that’s what I’m here for. Now let me finish doing your hair.”

For the next half hour Maria painted Liz’s nails and did her hair. When she was done, she gave Liz a once over.

“Even prettier than before.” Maria stated.

Liz smiled at her. “Thanks Maria, I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

“Well, you and Alex will always have me around.”

“Where is Alex by the way? I thought he was coming?” Liz asked.

“Well in Alex-ism, he said that he couldn’t keep doing this chick stuff with us or he would be classified as the ultimate ‘guy-girl’” Maria told her before her and Liz broke up in a laughing fit.

“Poor guy.” Liz gasped in between laughs.

The doorbell rang and Maria shouted with glee. “That must be him!”

Liz smiled with nervousness. She glanced in the mirror once more and hoped that Max would like what he saw.

“I’m ready.”

Authors Note: The Song used in this part is “When You Say Nothing At All” by Ronan Keating.

****Part 10****

* * * * *

Liz came out of her bedroom with Maria on her heels in time to catch her father interrogating Max.

“Do you drink?’

“No, sir”

“Are you on drugs?”

“No sir”

“Where are you taking Liz?”

“The Wok sir,”

“What do you plan on doing the rest of your life?”

“That’s enough dad,” Liz interrupted, letting her presence be known.

Max’s eyes shined when he caught sight of Liz. She looked beautiful in her simple but elegant outfit and a hint of make up. He smiled at her. “Hi Liz,”

“Hey Max,” Liz responded with a smile of her own. Her features seemed to glow with the smile that she gave Max. Liz moved her self to where he was at, near the door. “Well, mom, dad, we’re leaving now.” Liz told her parents.

“All right honey, have a good time” Nancy told them. She had seen the way Max’s eyes shined when he looked at Liz earlier and she had no trouble letting Liz go out with him.

“Bye Lizzie. Max,” Mr. Parker said. He had also seen Max’s eyes shine, although, he wasn’t sure whether to be comforted by it, or worried by it. On one hand, he obviously cared for Liz, but on the other hand, Mr. Parker wasn’t too happy with the thought of someone taking his daughter away from him.

Liz smiled at her parents and Maria who was giving her a thumb up sign before leaving the apartment with Max. Max led her to his mothers Toyota, which he had borrowed for the date. He didn’t think that driving Bob was a great idea.

After leading Liz to the passengers seat and putting her chair in the backseat Max climbed in the car and drove to the restaurant. Once the got there Max and Liz neared the entrance.

Before entering Max turned to Liz and picked up her hand.

“I’m glad you came,” he told her sincerely. Liz smiled up at him. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

Max smiled back ad opened the door and led her into the restaurant.

When they entered a bored looking 50-year-old woman greeted them. She glanced at Max and Liz and muttered something undetectable under her breath.

“Welcome to The Wok, smoking or non-smoking?”

“Non-smoking,” Max and Liz said together.

“Okay, follow me.” The lady turned and led them to a table. Max and Liz tried to ignore the staring that came from the other guests but it became annoying. Luckily, they soon reached the table.

The woman handed them the menus. “Enjoy your meal, your waiter will be here soon.” The woman said before leaving.

Max and Liz sat and then smiled at each other. They began looking at the menu and pointing out what might be nice. Soon their waiter came and took their orders.

“I love this place,” Liz said once the waiter had left.

“I do too.” Max responded. No more than 10 minutes later, there meal arrived. Max picked up the Tabasco and doused his food in it. Liz stared at him with wide eyes.

“How in the world can you consume all that Tabasco?” Liz asked, the awe evident in her voice.

Max laughed lightly at Liz’s astonishment. He was used to this reaction from others. “Practice,” he told her.

Liz joined his laughter. “I’m sure it does.”

There laughter died down and the so did the conversation and they began eating in silence. Not the awkward kind of silence, but a content-happy to be with each other-silence. Soon Liz asked Max a question that had been on her mind for a while now.

“Max, I’m not sure if this is the right time to bring this up, but why is sit so bad for Michael and Isabel that you hang around me…date me?” Liz hesitantly asked.

Max was caught off guard by her question. He thought for a minute before finally answering her. “I guess because I spent my life with Isabel and Michael since he moved to Roswell after Isabel and I were adopted. I guess they’re afraid that I’ll stop hanging around them…that I might just forget that they exist.” Max replied thoughtfully.

“Oh…I guess I see where they’re coming from. I’ve spent my whole life with Alex and Maria.”

Max nodded. “Yea.” He wanted to tell Liz the truth about himself. He didn’t know why but for some reason he just wanted to tell her all his secrets. The real reason he was so quiet, and so lonely. But he couldn’t just tell her…could he?

He turned to Liz and saw her eating with a thoughtful expression on her face.

“A penny for your thoughts?” he asked her.

Liz snapped out of her thoughts. “Sorry about that…I was just thinking about how much my life has changed.”

Max looked at her, urging her with his eyes to continue.

“I mean, before the accident, things were so different, simpler. I didn’t have to go to physical therapy; I wasn’t confined to sitting down all the time. Things were just different…sometimes I wish I could go back, change what happened.”

Max reached over the table and held her hand. “If it makes you feel any better, sometimes I feel like things were different for me too. But I’m beginning to realize that the differences are what makes us as people.”

Liz’s eyes filled with tears as she let the heartfelt words sink in. Max was right. She was tired of always crying about being in a wheelchair.

Liz smiled at Max. “Thank you Max,” Liz said. For the rest of the time they talked and laughed with each other, completely at ease with one another.

Liz’s smiled wider when she heard her favorite song come on the restaurant speakers.

It's amazing how you can speak right to my heart
Without saying a word, you can light up the dark
Try as I may I could never explain
What I hear when you don't say a thing

“I love this song,” Liz told Max.

Max nodded. “I do too…it’s wonderful.”

Liz watched as a lot of the couples at the restaurant began dancing with their partners.

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There's a truth in your eyes saying you'll never leave me
The touch of your hand says you'll catch me whenever I fall
You say it best...when you say nothing at all

Liz turned to Max. “I bet you want to dance too.” Liz said. She didn’t mean to come off as bitter, but she desperately wanted to get on her feet and dance to this song. It had been her favorite for a long time. She remembered dancing to herself when she was younger, imagining that a tall dark and handsome guy was dancing with her. She had her tall dark and handsome guy, and the music, but she could no longer dance.

Max ignored her tone and scooted closer to her and began softly singing.

All day long I can hear people talking out loud
But when you hold me near, you drown out the crowd
Try as they may they can never define
What's been said between your heart and mine

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There's a truth in your eyes saying you'll never leave me
The touch of your hand says you'll catch me whenever I fall
You say it best…when you say nothing at all

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There's a truth in your eyes saying you'll never leave me
The touch of your hand says you'll catch me whenever I fall
You say it best…when you say nothing at all

You say it best when you say nothing at all
You say it best when you say nothing at all…

The smile on your face
the truth in your eyes
the touch of your hand
Let's me know that you need me…

When the song was over Liz looked at Max with misty eyes. “Thank you,” she managed to utter out.

Max smiled down and their faces came closer together and there lips mused in a mind-blowing kiss. When they parted they stared at each other with dazed looks on their faces and goofy smiles.

The waiter came and gave them their check which Max paid, and they had then left the restaurant.

When they got to Liz’s house Max and Liz stopped at her porch.

“I had a great time Max,” Liz said.

“I did too, I’m glad to be of service,”

Liz smiled at him and Max bent down for one last kiss.

“Goodnight Liz,”

“’Night Max,”

Max waited till she was inside her house before turning around. Once he was in his car he stared at the house. “Love you,” he whispered before turning on the engine and leaving.

Liz watched him go from the window in the front of her house with a wistful smile on her face. “I love you,” she mouthed. She wondered if she would ever be able to say it to him out loud. Because, that’s what she wanted. Max Evans made her feel things that she hadn’t been able to feel since the accident, happiness, and the tingling feeling of love.

Breathing, part 11

Authors note: Well, I’m glad you guys liked the date. It fills me up with warm fuzzies…lol...I hope you all enjoy this part of Breathing. Thanks again for the awesome feedback.

* * * * *

**11**

Sunday had past uneventfully for everyone. Max and Liz shared a brief phone call before duty separated them. The next day at school Max and Liz met up in front of the schools handicap entrance.

Max reached for Liz’s hand and gently caressed it when he saw the slight nervousness in her eyes.

“You worried?” he asked her.

“Yes-no…” Liz stumbled. She was nervous. From her own personal experiences, she knew that the student body could be pretty harsh. “I am nervous,” Liz confided.

Max nodded. “Don’t be, you have me here with you.”

Liz took a deep breath and exhaled it out with a giggle. “This is so stupid…being nervous like this. We can make it,” she said, not sure if she was trying to assure him or herself.

Max walked next to her as she got herself up the railing. Just before opening the door he turned to face her once again.

“You ready to face the masses?”

“As ready as I’ll ever be,” Liz responded.

They entered the school mentally preparing themselves for the stares that were bound to come their way. They made it through the halls and sure enough they were stared at.

They didn’t have to be touching or kissing for everyone to figure out they was romantically involved with each other. Them being together made the air change, and everyone noticed it.

Immediately the whispers coursed through the crowded hall as Max and Liz neared Liz’s locker, which was right across from Max’s. Once they got their stuff they met back at Liz’s locker. The stares and whispers became notably lesser as the kids went about to there own classes.

“That wasn’t so bad.” Max stated while grinning down at her.

Liz laughed. “No…it wasn’t”

Even though they wanted to talk more they couldn’t or they would be late for their biology class. When they go to the door they shared one last smile, both of their eyes trying to hide what they felt.

The love and the longing were shining brightly.

If they weren’t so blinded by their own insecurities, they would have seen it in each other’s eyes.

* * * * *

Isabel walked hurriedly through the quad at the lunch our in search of a table. All day she had to endure all the whispers about Max and Liz.

‘Did you hear Max Evans and Liz Parker are dating?’

Or ‘Did you hear Max and Liz were making out in an alley corner?’

Or her personal favorite, ‘ Did you hear Max and Liz were making mild monkey love in the park in the middle of the night?’

Isabel snorted at the very thought of such an absurd rumor.

She found her table and waited for Michael to appear, and if she was lucky, Max would too.

Soon Michael had come towards their table looking peeved as hell. She immediately straightened her back and waited for the upcoming explosion.

“I thought you said you were going to put a stop to this?” Michael whispered to her fiercely.

“Why hello to you too,” Isabel muttered sarcastically.

“Don’t play games Isabel. Why are they still acting so chummy? And what the hell is this about a date?” Michael continued.

“Look Michael. Max and Liz went out on a date Saturday. I’m just his sister, not his keeper…I can’t stop him from dating Liz Parker if that’s what he wants to do.” Isabel countered.

“We agreed that we were going to stop them from getting to close,” Michael said, trying to persuade her.

“Well we can’t…let Max have his fun. He deserves it after all the B.S we put him through.” Isabel told him. She meant it too. She had dream walked Max earlier and the scene disturbed her to the core. Her eyes glazed over as she thought back to the dream.

* * * * *
“What did you want to tell me Max?” an anxious Liz asked him.

“Liz, I know that we haven’t been dating long, but I just needed to tell you…that I love you.”

“What a bunch of bullshit,” a new voice called out. Max and Liz both turned to see Michael entering the scene. “Max doesn’t love you Liz. It was all a bet to see if he could actually date a girl in a wheelchair without falling over with laughter.” Michael said harshly.

Max watched as the tears filled Liz’s eyes. “That’s not true Liz…I would never do anything like that.” Max tried to explain to her.

“He’s lying Lizzie dear.” Isabel said, coming out from nowhere. She threw a hundred dollar bill in Max’s face. “He’s you’re money Max…I know I got a good laugh out of everything,” she said snidely.

Liz looked on in utter devastation before saying the words that cut him up the most.

“I hate you Max Evans.”
* * * * *

He was afraid that Isabel and Michael would jeopardize his happiness, and she couldn’t let that happen. Not only did she see the dream, but also she felt his emotions and she had never felt so devastated in her life.

She just couldn’t do that to her brother.

She came out of her trance when Michael snapped his fingers in her face. “Hello Isabel, are you there?” he asked her.

“I won’t do it Michael. I won’t,” she said with determination.

Michael looked at her looking in her eyes to see if she was lying or not. When he got his confirmation he balked.

“Fine, if you want us all to be killed, then fine.” He said before stalking away.

She stared after his retreating figure but turned when someone tapped on her shoulder.

Alex Whitman.

“Hey Isabel…are you okay?” Alex asked her innocently.

Isabel opened her mouth, ready to fling out a bunch of insults at Alex for even speaking to her in a public place, before she remembered what Max said to her days ago.

“Would you listen to me for a damn minute? I feel sorry that you can’t open yourself to someone, that you can’t feel or enjoy the feelings of falling in love. That you are so ignorant to see that love has no boundaries.”

She closed her mouth and smiled at Alex. “Why don’t you sit down?”

* * * * *

On the other side of the quad Max and Liz were sharing a table with just the two them. Max had no idea where Michael and Isabel were, and Liz had no idea where Alex was, but she knew Maria was in the library, desperately trying to finish an assignment.

They ate in content silence, occasionally glancing at each other, and giving each other looks, which Maria would soon dub “the soul mate look.”

The ever so persistent Tara interrupted their relaxed and happy mood.

“Hey Max,” Tara purred, completely ignoring the fact that Liz was at the table. She was determined to get Max. If just for her sexual pleasure then so be it. No one would be dumb enough to turn down Max Evans.

“Yes Tara?” Max responded rudely. He never liked being rude, but the girl just wouldn’t quit.

“How about a date tomorrow night?”

“If you haven’t heard, I’m dating Liz Parker.”

Tara looked down at Liz who was watching in amused silence. For some reason Liz knew to trust Max and that he wouldn’t do anything with Tara.

“Whatever, what can she give you that I can’t?” Tara asked, completely ignoring Liz.

“Everything.” Max stated simply. Max turned around to face Liz and bent his head down and gave her a sweet kiss on the lips that quickly turned into more than innocent.

They broke apart when they heard the catcalls of the school and Tara cursing loudly as she walked away from Max and Liz.

Max smiled at Liz. “I hope you don’t mind that I kissed you in front of everyone.” Max said to her.

“Not at all Max…not at all,” Liz responded with a smile dancing on her lips.

Breathing, Part 12

Authors Note: This part skips a few weeks and this is a Michael/Maria part for all you candyclanners out there! I hope this part is okay!

Without further ado, this is the mind of Michael…

* * * * *

*12*


Michael sat alone in the quad table watching everything that was happening.

Max and Liz were sitting together as usual.

Chatting with each other, smiling, and the occasional kiss that lasted for longer than 3 minutes.

For the past three weeks he had tried almost every trick to break them up and in the process gotten his ass kicked not only by Max, but also by Isabel.

Although he would never admit the latter out loud to anybody.

But damn, Isabel had some long ass nails.

And that brought him to the newest development.

Isabel and Alex.

The new couple. Even though they weren’t going out they were getting too close in his not- so -humble opinion.

Isabel called it ‘hanging out.’

Michael called it ‘consorting with the enemy.’

He watched Isabel talk merrily with Alex and laugh at probably one of his corny jokes while Alex looked on in amazement. He was probably amazed Izzy was talking to him.

His focus went back to Max and Liz who were being entirely too couple-y for his liking. He glared in their direction and Max lifted his head long enough to catch the glare. He frowned in Michael’s direction challenging him to say something before turning his attention back to Liz and continuing their conversation.

Michael continued to glare as he realized what his real problem was.

He missed his brother and sister.

For the longest it had been the three of them and now all of the sudden these humans were becoming apart of their close nit group.

And in the process he was loosing the two most important people in his life.

That was another thing he would never admit out loud. He glanced up again to see Max and Liz kissing in front of everyone.

“Disgusting, isn’t it?” a voice intruded in his sulking. He looked up to see Maria Deluca standing above him with a lunch tray in her hand.

“Mind if I sit here?” Maria asked him.

“You’re going to anyways.” Michael replied.

Maria flashed him a fake smile. “Thanks.” She said brightly…too brightly in Michael’s opinion. She took the seat next to him and settled herself. When she turned to him again she found him looking at Max and Liz with an angry expression on his face.

“Ya know, I think Max and Liz are good for each other…they have the whole ‘look into my eyes soul mate thing going on’,” Maria provided.

Michael glanced in her direction. “Who asked you?” he asked rudely.

Maria glared at him. “You know Michael, I think you have a crush on Liz…or you know, maybe even Max...”

Michael all but growled at the insinuation. “Maria, don’t you even attempt to go there.” Michael said while barely keeping his cool.

Maria smirked. “Well then next time, don’t be so rude.”

Michael turned and looked at her dead on, finally getting a good look at her profile.

He couldn’t deny that she was attractive. Hell, she was gorgeous.

Green eyes and short blond hair.

Yea.

She was attractive.

Not that he would ever say that too her face.

Maria frowned at his staring. “Why are you staring at me?” Maria asked him bluntly.

“I was going to say something.” Michael said evenly.

“Mmmkay, so say it.” She replied almost impatiently.

“Never mind.” He said flippantly.

Maria blanched. Michael Guerin had the ability to anger her and intrigue her at the same time. And she couldn’t deny that he was attractive.

His mysterious and abrasive persona made him even more swoon worthy.

“You know, the pixie cut thingy you got going on I pretty good.” Michael said abruptly.

Hook. Line. Sinker.

Michael Guerin had just made her feel a whole lot better about her hated haircut.

Wonders never cease.

Maria smiled at him. “Well thanks,” she replied, trying her hardest to appear nonchalant about his compliment.

Michael nodded. He didn’t want to admit to himself, much less her, that he liked the human.

“You know Michael, I remember in elementary school we were what you would call friends, and then you kind of just ditched me. Why?”

Michael leaned closer to her. “I found out who I really was.” He told her.

Maria got an intrigued look on her face. “And just who are you really?” she asked him.

“Someone who really doesn’t like himself.”

The bell rang ceasing any further conversation. Michael quickly got up.

“See ya DeLuca,” he said before leaving.

Maria was left in amazed wonderment, and also, a small crush.

* * * *

On the other side of the quad Max and Liz were watching unnoticed with amused expressions on their faces.

“He either pissed her off or said something nice that stunned her into silence.” Max said.

Liz laughed. “He must have said something for Maria to be stunned…into silence no less!” she good naturally teased her friend.

Max laughed. Over the past few weeks, he had talked to Maria quite a few times and he knew about her tend to ramble a bit.

Max reached for Liz hand and kissed it. “Let’s go.”

* * * * *

TBC…