|posted on 6-Sep-2001 7:40:24 AM|
|Title: Another Sunset|
Author: etoile1 aka Eva (pronounced Ava)
Disclaimers: I own nothing. Well, perhaps the clothes on my back, but nothing in regards to Roswell. Because if I did, the possibilities brought up by the promo cast pic...well Roswell would be very different indeed!
Category: Michael and Liz! Other pairings include: Alex/Maria, Kyle/Isabel, some Max/Liz in the beginning.
Rating: PG for now, up to NC-17 later.
Summary: After Liz is in an accident her life will never be the same.
AN: No aliens. No Tess. Alex is still alive and breathing and is Liz's brother. Jim and Amy are married. All other information will be revealed as the fic continues. Remember feedback = new part! :lol
Also I know this first part is on the short side, but I wanted to set things up so to speak!
Liz could taste the blood in her mouth. Its metallic flavor a reminder of the fact that her entire body felt like an open wound. It hurt way too much to move. She couldn’t even open her eyes. If she could have she would have been horrified.
Another wave of pain ran through her body. It felt as if someone was stabbing into her flesh with tiny knives and then scraping them across her skin. She tried to move once more, but the comforting black of nothingness overtook her world.
Jim Valenti shook his head. A drunk driver had effectively destroyed what he had always termed as the perfect All-American family. He had known Jeff and Nancy Parker for years, their kids were friends with his son, Kyle, and step-daughter, Maria. Now Liz was lying amid the wreckage of their old ’86 Volvo as the ambulance men strove to save her life, and Alex was about to find out that the world as he knew it was over.
Jim had seen the same scene over and over as the Sheriff of their small town. Only this time he tried to hold on to hope. Liz Parker didn’t deserve to die, she was so young, she had so much ahead of her. And Alex Parker sure as hell didn’t deserve to lose everything at once.
The EMT guys were loading the ambulance, through a haxe Jim heard them say that the girl was stable, but the sooner she was taken to the hospital the better. It was serious. Jim nodded and waved them off. It was time for him to make a few phone calls with the numbers the dispatcher had recited to him over the two-way earlier.
He always hated this part of his job, calling people up to tell them hey life sucks and your does more because blah blah blah. As he dialed the number to Alex’s cellphone an ungenerous thought popped into his head.
At least the lousy son-of-a-bitch who caused this mess had the decency to kill himself on impact as well. All too often they were the only survivors.
Alex looked at the phone number on his cell’s caller id. He didn’t recognize it and wasn’t really in the mood to answer it. His girlfriend, Maria, was singing, and he was her number one fan as well as her accompanist. But when the phone continued to ring, he sighed and answered it and listened to the sound of his world falling to pieces.
Maria watched as Alex dropped the phone, all the blood draining from his face. She picked it up and heard her step-father’s voice as he told her what had happened. Somehow she remained calm. She who usually was the first to freak out, asked Jim for the name of the hospital. She would drive Alex there. She asked Jim to call Kyle and her mom. They would need to be a family on this one.
Shattered lives have a funny way of coming back together again. But one thing that remains true is that once broken it will never be quite the same again. Humpty-Dumpty couldn’t be put together again, not the way Liz was. And had he survived his own fall, the scars would have remained as testament to the fact that life has a way of biting you in the ass.
Amy and Jim saw the relief on their children’s faces when they heard Liz would survive. But Alex collapsed, his joy buried under layers of pain. Because how would he put his life back together again? How would Liz and he survive without their family?
I can't help that I love a fictional character
Edited by - etoile1 on 09/30/2001 17:04:10
[ edited 2 time(s), last at 3-Nov-2001 6:23:02 PM ]
|posted on 9-Sep-2001 9:16:23 AM|
|AN: Ok here are all the parts to date! I hope to be updating this soon! I'm working hard on the next part! Please tell me what you think!|
-Where am I?
Michael paused as he collected the medical waste from the small hospital room. When you were in the intensive care unit you never expected to hear anything but the beeps on the monitors. He was pretty sure this patient had been in a coma until a minute ago.
At a loss, for he had never found himself in this situation, he walked over to the bed cautiously and spoke to the girl. Well he spoke to the girl after he was floored by her beauty. Even with her head wrapped in a huge white bandage, she looked so fragile in the hospital bed. Exquisite, her dark brown eyes were deeply penetrating, even vulnerable you could see the inner core of steel that had kept her alive to this point. But there was a hidden sorrow in her soul. Michael could feel it as if it was his own. It was his own.
-You’re in the hospital. Lay still. You don’t want to reopen any of your injuries.
Michael looked at her sharply. Suddenly worried about her lack of memory. More than just dazed she looked lost and confused. He was startled by the overwhelming need to protect her.
-You don’t remember?
The girl scrunched up her nose as she thought about his question. Michael couldn’t remember her name, although he was pretty sure this was Alex Parker’s sister. He knew a few details about the accident, her parents had died, it was caused by a drunk driver, but not much else. Although he wondered what else was there to know.
-No. Do you know?
She finally answered. And he did know, but instinctively he decided to tell her only he obvious.
-Well, there was an accident. A car accident. You were hurt pretty badly.
Michael wasn’t sure how much he should say. He didn’t want to be the bearer of bad news. He was pretty sure he shouldn’t be talking to her at all. Getting a doctor and real nurse seemed like the better plan. But he couldn’t help the feeling of protectiveness that rushed through his body when he looked at her. He wanted to stay close. Spend time with her.
He really shouldn’t feel this way. He didn’t know her. He didn’t even know her name.
-What’s your name?
She asked the question suddenly. Almost as if she were suspicious of the answer. Afraid of it for some reason.
-Michael. I’m an orderly here. What’s yours?
-My name? My name. Michael, I can’t…I don’t know my name.
-Shh, Calm down. I’ll call a nurse.
Michael was freaked. Although not nearly as agitated as the girl. He pressed the call button for a nurse; they’d know what to do. They’d know how to handle this. Michael grabbed one of her hands and pressed it reassuringly. He wanted to hold her. Wipe away the tears that were dripping down her face. Take away the fear that shone brightly in her eyes.
The door opened and Michael sighed with relief at seeing Myrna Hodgekiss walk in. She was the good sort, mothering and soothing. He liked her and she had taken a shine to him. Not usually the case in respect to his elders, but she always seemed to see more than just appearances. Which was nice, although sometimes creeped Michael out.
-Myrna. Hey. She woke up while I was picking up the trash. I’ll leave now, so you
The girl’s shout echoed throughout the room. Michael Myrna looked at her surprised, disconcerted.
-You can’t leave me. Michael. Please. You’re the only one I know.
Michael looked Myrna’s way. Asking her silently what was best. She shrugged in response.
-Stay Michael. If it makes her feel better that’s all that really matters.
Michael looked into the girl’s beautiful brown eyes. And the depth of trust she saw there stunned him. He could see the shadows of pain that had ravaged her life. Pain she didn’t even understand, or recall. How could he not stay and offer a small amount of solace with his presence.
-What’s her name Myrna?
-Elizabeth Parker. I thought you knew her. She knows you.
-Nah, we just met. That’s why I called you, she doesn’t remember her name.
Myrna glanced at him sharply before turning to Elizabeth.
-Hon, do you know where you are?
-Yes. Michael told me. There was an accident and I got hurt. So I’m in the hospital.
-But do you remember any of it?
-Do you know your parents’s names?
-Do you have any siblings?
-I don’t know.
-How old are you?
-I don’t know.
-What’s the color of your eyes?
-I don’t know.
Michael watched as Elizabeth struggled to answer Myrna’s questions. Her anxiety grew as she realized she couldn’t remember anything. Michael longed to hold her in his arms and comfort her. But he knew that it wouldn’t be nearly enough. Elizabeth had so much pain and grief locked inside, he knew he woudn’t be the one she would chose to help her. At least not once she started remembering.
-Hold her still Michael. I’m calling Dr. Torino. Stay with her. Talk to her about something else.
Myrna stepped out of the room. Michael was alone with Elizabeth.
-I’m scared Michael.
-I know. I’m scared too you know.
-What color are my eyes.
-Brown. Such a plain color.
-You have amazing eyes. They’re the color of coffee.
-Come on Elizabeth. Trust me you have beautiful eyes.
-That doesn’t feel like my name.
-Maybe you use a nickname. Like Liz, Lizzy, Beth, Eliza, Bethy? Any of those ring any bells? Or maybe it’s cause you don’t remember having a name.
-Well that’s nice. Rub it in why don’t you.
-I didn’t mean
-I know. What do you think works best?
-I like Elizabeth.
-I’m guessing no one is allowed to call you Mikey.
-Nope Michael it is and Michael it shall always be.
Michael caught the small smile Elizabeth sent his way. He knew he had helped. And it meant the world to him. Her smile lit up her whole being from within. And Michael felt his heart lurch in response. He hoped it was with pity. Sympathy. Something not quite so tender and less raw. Because he knew that any involvement with Elizabeth Parker was going to be beyond difficult.
Liz was afraid. Make that terrified. When she’d opened her eyes, she’d recognized what the décor meant, but not why she was there. It had hurt to move; even opening her eyes had seemed a form a medieval torture.
Michael. That was the orderly’s name. Elizabeth was hers. Myrna it seemed was the name of the nurse. Liz recited the few facts she knew about herself like a mantra. She didn’t know who she was. She didn’t know anyone, and something about the way Myrna and Michael had talked about the accident told her there was more to the whole thing than even they were telling her.
She had brown eyes. She looked at a tendril of hair on her shoulders; she apparently also had brown hair. Myrna had asked her about siblings and parents, it was odd thinking that there were people that knew her, people she must have lived with her entire life, were people she couldn’t even remember.
Everything felt like it was happening to someone else. Like in a soap opera where the heroine is in a terrible accident and suffers amnesia falling madly in love even as her past life fell to pieces. What happened when the young heroine remembers, the present falls to pieces. What matters more? Liz knew it wasn’t a soap opera because there wasn’t a camera crew filming, because she couldn’t remember facts about who she was, although things like soap operas and camera crews and the fact that George W. Bush was president came easily to her mind.
What was it about memory that made some things fade and something stay and others disappear altogether?
She wanted to ask Michael. He was sitting perched precariously on the edge of her bed. Looking at everything in the room except for her. He’d been staring at the watercolor seascape for the past ten minutes when the door opened.
A young man stood in the door. Lean and tall with dark brown hair and blue eyes, he looked into the room worriedly.
-What are you doing here?
-I’m an orderly here. She woke up while I was cleaning up. She’s…
Liz interrupted as Michael spoke.
-Who are you?
The young man started. Concern lining his face as he forgot about Michael’s presence in the room.
-What do you mean? Liz it’s me. Alex.
-She can’t remember. That’s why I stayed with her. I guess you’re a Liz then.
-Am I? Are you my brother?
-Yes. I don’t understand.
Michael watched as Alex’s face fell. He felt really bad for him. Not only had he been suddenly orphaned, but also his sister didn’t remember who she was, or that she had a brother. Michael knew about being alone. But he was sure he had never been alone as Alex felt in that instant.
There was something terrifying about the idea of being forgotten. It was one thing for someone you went to high school with not to remember who you were when you ran into them ten years down the road, quite another was to have your own flesh and blood forget. Because right now all that tied Alex and Liz together were genetics. It was as if the Parker family had ceased to exist.
-They think she might have amnesia. I’ll leave you guys alone now. Get reacquainted and stuff.
-No. Michael please don’t leave.
-Liz, it’s okay. I know Alex; he’s a nice guy, your brother.
-I just feel…will you come back?
-Sure. When my shift’s over. I promise. Sorry man.
Michael sympathetically pat Alex on the shoulder before leaving the hospital room behind him. He hated himself for feeling glad that she hadn’t wanted him to leave. He knew that he would have come back regardless of the fact that she wanted him to.
Alex remembered Michael from the football field. He remembered that Kyle knew him from high school. He seemed a decent guy, but he didn’t want anyone hanging around his baby sister.
Only his baby sister didn’t know that. She didn’t even know she was his baby sister.
Alex had just wanted Liz to wake up. He wanted to see the trust and warmth he’d always seen in her chocolate colored eyes. But all he saw now was wariness. Her gaze kept skittering to the door. As if she was silently willing Michael to walk back through it.
He knew Liz felt trapped. And he hated the fact that he was the warden in her eyes.
How was he supposed to tell her that she shouldn’t feel afraid? All he could feel was terror. Oh, there was grief, he’d lost his family, he’d loved his parents. But most of all he felt terror. And knowing that Liz didn’t remember any of the things he did only increased that feeling.
How was he supposed to hold their lives together?
-What really happened?
-What do you mean?
-The accident. There’s something more to it than me getting hurt. What is it?
Alex closed his eyes. He knew he would have to tell her the truth if she ever was going to trust him. But he was afraid that she would hate him for it, blame him for it. He was afraid that just maybe the knowledge might make things worse. He swallowed convulsively before replying.
-Our parents were killed. A drunk guy slammed into the car, they were killed instantly.
-Oh. What were their names?
-Nancy and Jeff.
Alex watched closely as Liz nodded and shrugged. The knowledge not affecting her more than the police briefs you read in the newspaper about how a guy walked into his own home and killed his young pregnant wife and three children with a switchblade. That flicker of horror and then you move on to the next page. It’s another person’s life. It’s not real.
Alex realized that the Liz he knew was gone. She wasn’t real. There was someone else sitting there on the bed with her name. But the memories that made his sister real to him weren’t there any more. And he understood then, why she preferred to be with Michael. She didn’t have to play a role with him. She didn’t have to care about people she couldn’t even remember the names of. She could be real.
-I want to get to know you.
-But you already do. I’m the one who doesn’t know me.
-Yeah. I know you’ll be getting used to a lot of stuff. And you’re going to have to figure out who you are, because if you can’t remember you’ll be starting over. I love you. You’re my baby sister. No matter who you are. And it’s okay. We can go slowly.
-Why? How did you know?
-‘Cause I feel the same way. Only I haven’t forgotten. I’m figuring out who I am also. I can’t lose you too. But I know I can’t force any expectations, and if you can’t remember we’ll start from scratch.
-What’s your name?
He smiled. He knew instinctively what she was doing. It was what he’d hoped she’d do.
-Alexander Charles Parker.
-Elizabeth Claudia Parker.
-It’s good to meet you. I think you must be the best big brother on the planet.
-Yeah. Well you’ve got to be the best baby sister this side of the Milky Way.
Alex looked into Liz’s eyes and saw relief. And he knew he had done the right thing. He’d keep what was left of his family together, no matter who each one of them turned out to be.
Doctors have this way about them as they walk the halls of hospitals in white lab coats and bejeweled in stethoscopes. They lend the institution the age-old dignity that the walls and activity never manage to achieve. They are the all-knowing. They hold lives in their grip, or rather they hold a scalpel, but still they have the know-how necessary to extend the seconds of time left on life’s clock.
Doctors Leilani Torino and Jesse Grant were very curious. They’d never treated a case of amnesia before. And they were excited about it. Imagining glory as they tried new and torturous procedures to figure out the inner workings of the brain. They were sure that the other was wrong, and surer still that they were right. Arrogant and sharp, their compassion marred by ambition, they were riding the coattails of grief to reach the fame they’d always dreamed of.
Doctor Torino was an elegant woman in her mid-forties, her dark hair and hard eyes a contrast of sensuality and intelligence. It had taken her a long while to get where she was. Years of hard work. And now she had to deal with an upstart. She was the renowned neurosurgeon who had taken care of Liz when she’d been brought into the ER.
Doctor Jesse Grant was in his mid-thirties. His handsome face less lined and remarkably friendly. His ascent hadn’t proved to be quite so difficult. A wealthy man, and charming. He was the kind of guy you told things you never meant to say. Which was a quality that had proved useful to him when he specialized in psychiatry.
They walked down the hallway to poke and prod and question their case, each arguing over which method was most appropriate. Torino was sure that there was no need for the shrink to be there. But Grant was just as sure that there was no need for MRIs and CAT scans. Traumatic events had led to the patient’s memory loss.
Traumatic blows to the head, responded Torino.
The truth was of course, neither of them had an explanation. They didn’t know. Perhaps both things. Perhaps just one. The blood flow to the brain might have been momentarily cut off and memory cells might have suffered some damage. The loss of memory is a psychosomatic reaction to the incredible loss Ms. Parker experienced. Her mind needs time to process the grief, and as a result it has created a clean slate for her to heal in. It will come back to her when she is ready.
Liz watched as the doctors volleyed bitter remarks between themselves. She didn’t want to stay at the hospital a moment more than necessary. She would not become some case study for med students. Alex looked just as horrified as she felt. And she was happy to realize that he felt the same way she did.
-My sister and I thank you for your concern, but we have made other arrangements for her care.
-Excuse me? I am not discharging her.
-You may take the CAT scans and the MRIs. There is nothing wrong with her head. She will come home tomorrow. We’ve arranged for special medical care there.
-I think the healthiest environment for my sister will be at home, with things that she will come to find familiar. Now if you’ll excuse us, my sister and I are tired. We need to rest.
Alex ushered the speechless doctors from the room within two minutes. They’d forgotten that their patients were people, with valid thoughts and opinions. And that in the end it is the patient who pays the bill. The patient isn’t there for the doctor’s needs, but for his or her own. The patient pays for service. And Alex and Liz were already sick of the service.
-Thank you. Did you mean all that? You’ve arranged care and all?
-Well I sort of made that up. But I think Michael can help us out, he works here.
-Help out how?
Michael asked as he caught the tail end of what Alex was saying. He’d just finished up his shift. And was exhausted. But it was the kind of exhaustion that felt worthwhile. And Michael was more sure than ever before that he would study nursing. Once he finished up the semester at Garwood he’d have to make major life decisions anyway. And having decided on one of them made him feel like he had some direction in his life.
Although the only direction he was sure he was heading into was heartache. With a girl who couldn’t even remember her name. He was ten times an idiot. But Michael knew he was in love.
-Taking care of Liz.
-I’m not a doctor. I’m not even a nurse.
It was Liz who spoke. Her quiet voice asking to be heard. Michael closed his eyes briefly. He knew that he would lose this one. Because he wanted to take of Liz. He wanted to be there for her always. And he was an idiot. He didn’t say anything. He barely even listened.
-I feel comfortable around you. I’m already surrounded by strangers. I just want to feel safe. Please.
-How can I say no?
-Thank you man. Kyle always said you were the one decent player at Garwood. Now I know he’s right.
-No problem. When are you getting her out?
-As soon as the MRI and CAT scan come out clear. Which shouldn’t take long, considering.
-That I feel fine.
Michael looked at Alex and Liz. It was obvious that the awkwardness evident between them when he’d left was no more. He felt like a third wheel. Like an intruder. Or even worse an ambulance chaser.
-Oh. That’s good then. So I’ll head out and leave you guys alone. To catch up and all.
Alex noted the uneasiness on Michael’s face and the sudden flash of hurt in his sister’s face. And he knew what he’d have to do. For some reason, Michael Guerin was whom his baby sister wanted to be with. And right now he was in a placating mood.
Besides he wouldn’t mind the chance to go over to Maria’s and tell her everything that was going on. They’d spent nearly three days in the waiting room. Hoping for a miracle. They’d gotten it all right, but true to custom a watched pot never boiled and Liz didn’t wake up until they had taken a break from it all.
-Actually Michael, would you mind staying with Elizabeth? I don’t want to leave her alone, but I should go tell Maria what’s going on or she’ll never forgive me.
Michael was stunned. He’d thought for sure that Alex didn’t want him anywhere near his sister. And he was surprised by the formality by which Alex spoke of her. He’d called her Elizabeth. What exactly did that mean?
-Sure. That is if you want me to stay?
-Please. I’ll sleep better knowing that you’re here with me.
I can't help that I love a fictional character...
|posted on 11-Sep-2001 7:59:36 AM|
|AN: This was actually ready yesterday, but everything sort of fell apart there. Anyway I want to thank all of you for your excellent feedback. I hope everyone is all right. Here's a new part, I hope ou enjoy it! And don't hesitate to tell me what you think. ;) Eva|
Have you ever watched anyone sleep? If you have you’d know it’s the most intimate feeling. There is such a sense of trust, of belief. That someone would let you watch over their dreams is a gift. Sometimes, however, you just can’t figure out what to do with gifts like those.
Michael watched Liz as she slept. They’d talked for a while before she’d succumbed to the exhaustion she had to be feeling. Even pale with shadows lying heavy beneath her eyes she looked beautiful. Michael thought about leaving. Even stood up to do so, but when he paused at the threshold her felt her move restlessly.
He turned and met her eyes. And turned back to the chair he had occupied all night.
She whispered, her voice deepened and scratched by sleep.
-I know you must be tired. You should really just go.
-Do you want me to?
-Then I won’t be going anywhere. Why’d you wake up?
-I felt alone. I think I was dreaming. I was safe, and then suddenly I was alone and knew that if I wakened I wouldn’t be.
-Then that’s why I’m staying.
-Don’t sit so far away.
-Where do you want me to sit?
-Here. I’ll move over, there’s enough room for you.
-You’ll be uncomfortable.
-No I won’t besides, I can’t sleep. Tell me something, a story about yourself.
Michael settled his weight on Liz’s bed and stretched himself out next to her. He was careful not to touch or disturb her, but she surprised him by pillowing her head on his shoulder. Disconcerted he blurted out the first thing that came to mind.
-Because I want to know you.
-But why me Liz?
-Because no one knows Elizabeth. Liz is someone else. She had parents. She lost them. She had a brother and friends and a life. I have none of that.
-I thought you liked Alex.
-I do. But it’s not the same. I can’t be his sister the way he needs me to be. I can be someone else. He’s my brother but he’s not.
-I have a brother like that too.
-Sean’s my half-brother. We live together at the edge of town.
-Nope. Dad died when I was twelve, drove himself off a cliff. Mom, well she’s special. She’s in Tibet.
-What’s she doing there?
-Backpacking. I don’t know. She loves us, but she doesn’t know what to do. She doesn’t know how to be a Mom. She’s a hippie. Free love and all that.
-Oh. Was it hard?
-Growing up without her? With Sean? Nah, not hard. Just different. Sean’s cool. He’s like a dad. He can be a real pain in the ass. Which is why I get the whole brother who’s not a brother thing. We had to grow up fast with such lousy parents. But we get along.
-I’m getting along with Alex. It’s just hard. It’s easier with you.
-Because I can learn who I am with you. You don’t expect me to be someone.
-Alex seems willing to let that go.
-I know. But it’s not the same. It’s different with you. I can’t explain what I don’t know. And I just want to know you better.
Michael quieted. He couldn’t believe all he’d told her. It wasn’t as if the information was hard to discover. He was pretty sure everyone in town knew about the Guerin family, they’d been providing fodder for gossip for years, but he never talked about it. He had always pretended that none of it existed. That it wasn’t a part of him. Even though it really was. He had been staring off into space when he felt Liz take his hand.
He looked into her eyes. And was surprised not to see pity or compassion, there was no judgment in her gaze, no bias in her touch. She just held his hand because she knew he needed to feel someone else.
-Why are you questioning me Michael? Why are you afraid to trust me?
-What happens if you remember?
-I don’t know. But I don’t think I’ll ever be the same anyway.
-You should sleep.
-Why are you pushing me away? Are you leaving?
-I’m not. I’ll be here. I promise.
Elizabeth looked up at him; she looked straight into his eyes. And what she saw there convinced her that he wouldn’t leave, because she settled her head on his shoulder and fell into a deep and blissful sleep.
Michael watched as Elizabeth’s eyes closed. He watched as her breathing evened out. And slowly as he was lulled to sleep, he wondered if he would ever be the same after knowing Elizabeth.
Have you ever had someone fall asleep in your arms? Have you ever fallen asleep in someone else’s? Being held all night, is the sweetest of sensations. Knowing that as you breathe, someone breathes right next to you. Knowing that someone else is as comforted by the sound of your heart beating as you are by theirs.
-So she’s awake?
-Well I expect that she’s sleeping now.
-But she’s not in a coma anymore?
-And she doesn’t remember anything?
-What are you going to do?
-‘Ria what can I do? She’s so frightened and overwhelmed, the only person she’s comfortable with is Kyle’s friend, Michael. I’m bringing her home tomorrow.
-Michael Guerin? She’s comfortable with Michael Guerin? And so soon? Is she that okay?
-He doesn’t have any expectations of her. Yeah. It’s just her memory.
-And we do?
-Yeah. We expect her to remember.
-Oh. I guess so. Did you talk to the school?
-Yeah. They’ll extend her deadlines for the school year. She’ll be graduating.
-Good. Do you think she’ll change her mind about what she was going to do?
-I don’t know. I can’t predict anything Elizabeth might do.
-Why do you keep calling Liz that?
-She wants us to.
Maria looked into Alex’s sorrow filled eyes. He’d been so strong throughout the entire ordeal. They had all thought that once Liz woke up from her coma things would be all right. Life had dealt them another serious kick in the ass. There was nothing okay about the situation. But there was nothing that could be done. Maria hated that her best friend didn’t even remember who the hell she was. And she hated that her boyfriend had lost his entire family.
She held him. Closely, tightly. She pressed kisses on his lips, first soft and short, then longer more tender more open. She showed him her love. And she wiped away the tears that wet his cheeks. She could taste the salt on her tongue. But by then she couldn’t tell if those were his tears or hers.
I can't help that I love a fictional character...
|posted on 15-Sep-2001 1:39:25 PM|
|AN: Thanks for the amazing feedback everyone! I know I've been slow in updating but I haven't forgotten anyone of my stories. RL is just a little crazy right now. But in any case here's a new part for you to enjoy. Don't forget to tell me what you think.|
What makes a home? Is it the people who inhabit it? Or the memories that form it? Is it just a building? Alex was lost. He felt as if he had no home for the first time in his entire life. His parents had been warm loving people. He and his sister had been happy. The place may not have looked like much, the upper floor of the building that housed the family restaurant, but it had been the only home he’d ever known.
Now he was the only one that knew it.
Liz was arriving home from the hospital today. Her wounds didn’t require specialized care, and Michael had agreed to stay with them as Liz got used to her surroundings. The entire gang would come by later, Maria had promised to bring them all up to speed on Liz’s condition.
Alex would be living with two strangers. Michael had dropped his things off earlier that morning before heading to the hospital. He was worried about Liz. Alex wasn’t sure he understood what had happened between Liz and Michael, but he wasn’t about to put himself in the middle of things. Unless his sister needed him to.
Liz had been wary of all the preparations surrounding her homecoming. As far as she knew she was leaving a place that had become somewhat familiar, cheesy seascapes and all, to another unknown. Alex had thought of changing her room around, but had decided that it would probably be best for her to redecorate it on her own.
The doctors had argued back and forth over whether or not familiarity with her surrounding would give Liz the jolt she needed to remember. Alex had to admit that part of the reason he’d left her room as it was, was to see if she did remember. If seeing her old friends, in her home would make her remember who she was, then Alex was about to set up the entire thing.
But what if it didn’t work?
Then he’d start over. They’d all start over. Somehow finding a way towards the happiness that had once inhabited this place, this home.
-So you ready?
-I guess so. I don’t think I have a lot to take with me.
-Alex sent me some of your old clothes. And some toiletries. I’ll be outside, if you need help knock on the door and I’ll call for a nurse. When you’re ready just open the door.
-I’m going with you?
-Yeah. Alex needed to take care of something.
Liz watched as Michael left the room to stand outside her door. Just knowing he was out there made her feel safe. She was frightened. The whole idea of leaving the hospital seemed terrifying. It was the only place in the world she knew. The long expanse of white walls, interrupted by doors and second-rate art, the hum of life in the hospital, the sound of it made her feel comforted. This place was hers.
She was afraid of what Alex would expect of her. She was afraid to remember. Most of all, she was afraid to figure out who she really was.
Who was Elizabeth Claudia Parker? Who would she become? Why was there only uncertainty in this world she’d awakened to?
She sighed as she looked through the knapsack Alex had prepared for her. He’d sent her a flowered sundress with a black long cardigan and knee-high boots. Liz wondered what she looked like as she pulled the clothes on, taking care not to jolt her battered body.
She didn’t really bother with the toiletries, there wasn’t a bathroom in the room anyway. And Michael already knew what she looked like at her worst. So she opened the door to Michael. To her life.
Michael sat outside Liz’s hospital room amazed at the turn his life had suddenly taken. When Alex had approached him about the idea of living with him and Liz he’d been more than surprised. He’d talked it over with Sean who’d been amazingly supportive.
So now his big brother was moving in with his long-term girlfriend Serena. While he was going to live rent-free with the Parkers. The only conditions of his stay being to help Liz and to occasionally help out at the family diner when necessary. A sweet deal, something that never happened to him before.
He was nervous though. He wanted Liz to get better so badly, he hated to see her in any kind of pain. But at the same time he wanted her to not remember, to need him, instead of moving forward to a life that excluded him, to move forward with a life that did. He hated thinking that way. He felt so selfish.
He promised himself, he would do anything in his power to help Liz remember. And just pray that by the time she did, he’d have a permanent place in her life.
He turned as the door clicked open and was stunned to see Liz dressed in street clothes for the first time. The outfit Alex had picked out looked right on her, not many people would be able to get away with the contrast of sweetness and edge that it combined, but on Liz it looked great. Her hair was swept up in a ponytail, the white bandages on her face and neck the only telltale signs of what she’d just been through.
-Elizabeth, you look great. Ready to head out?
-Thanks. Yeah sure.
Michael helped her into the wheelchair required by hospital policy and led Liz out of there.
To a place called home. Where three strangers would learn to live together. And realize that home is what you make of it. It’s not a place or space. It’s a feeling. Knowing that wherever you are and whoever you become, home will always be there for you in the people you love.
I can't help that I love a fictional character...
|posted on 18-Sep-2001 11:24:57 AM|
|AN: As always your feedback is amazing. This part was surprisingly hard to write. I had no difficulty on deciding what I wanted to happen, but it was the logistics of getting it to happen that proved trying. In any case I hope you enjoy it! Please leave feedback telling me what you all think!|
-God I can’t wait to see her.
-Just don’t get your hopes up. Maria said she remembers nothing from before the crash. She doesn’t even remember Alex.
-I’m sure once she’s home she’ll remember.
-I don’t know Max. She and Alex were really close. Kyle told me that his friend Michael is moving in with them.
-So, for some reason Liz likes him.
-Yeah but she’s my girlfriend.
-Liz might be. But Elizabeth isn’t.
-I don’t get that Elizabeth stuff. Why do we have to call her that?
-Because she wants us to.
-Well I’m sure once she sees me she’ll remember everything.
-Are you sure you want her to?
-What the hell is that supposed to mean?
-I mean I was here when you guys had that argument. You cheated on her Max. I can’t believe you did that. She’s a good kid. I don’t know what the hell you were thinking!
-Have you told anyone?
-No. God. I can’t believe you. I hope she doesn’t remember for her sake. Not yours.
-Good. That’s between me and her, Iz.
-Whatever. I’m catching a ride with Kyle and Maria.
Max barely even registered Isabel’s exit. His sister was such a drama queen. But at least she hadn’t told anyone what he and Liz had been arguing about that night. He would make it up to her. Although he couldn’t help thinking, everything would be perfect if she just forgot everything that happened that day.
Betrayal is a funny thing. Forgotten it means nothing. Remembered everything.
All Max wanted was his life back to normal. The perfect girlfriend, the perfect life. He wanted to forget the past year had ever happened. But the irony of memory is that even if you’ve forgotten somebody else will always remember. So what’s the point of forgetting.
There is no way to turn back time on the clock. No way to undo the damage you’ve done. You can only hope to repair it. But it will always take time to heal.
Silence is always more startling in a group of people. The drive over to the Parker’s apartment was a quiet one. Each of the car’s occupants involved in their own thoughts about everything that was happening. Wondering what place were they to occupy now in Elizabeth Parker’s life.
-So did you hear from Alex when she got there?
Isabel asked Maria. She really wanted to know if Liz remembered anything. She hated that she was forced to keep her knowledge of things quiet, but she didn’t want to cause Liz any undue stress, and she really didn’t want her baby brother to get his ass kicked.
-Yeah. He called to say that she and Michael arrived fine. She didn’t seem to respond to anything in their surroundings, not even a flicker when she saw her room. Although she did say she liked the balcony.
-She always loved the balcony. Do you think she’s going to change things around or will she keep them the same?
-I don’t know. Hell I don’t know what to expect from her.
-Maria, listen to your big brother for once. Will you trust me when I tell you this?
-What are you talking about?
-Amnesia doesn’t change who you are as a person. What it does is makes you forget what sides of your personality you’ve shown to the world.
-That sounds really confusing. Where’d you hear that?
-Advanced psych. with Witter.
Kyle announced as he shut off the engine.
-So are you guys as freaked as I am to see her?
-Hey I’m just afraid of slipping up, you know.
They exited the car silently. Each of them lost in their own thoughts. Wondering if theirs would be the face she remembered. And what would it mean if it were?
-Do you know them?
-I know Kyle pretty well. And I’ve seen Isabel, his girlfriend, around too.
-Yeah I noticed.
They were sitting together on the sofa. They’d been watching TV until Liz had gotten restless. She was afraid of seeing the group of people who had been her friends. People she didn’t even remember.
-Are you my friend?
She asked the question abruptly. Almost as if she were afraid to hear the answer. Fiddling with the batteries on the remote control she leaned forward so her hair cascaded in front of her face, barring it from his view.
-Because I don’t think I have any.
Michael’s heart broke at the sorrow in her voice. She knew and understood what friendship was, she just didn’t remember actually feeling it. He’d never had many friends. Even as a member of the team, part of the in-crowd at school, he’d never actively sought out others. His nature was reclusive, friends were few but extremely valuable.
He knew that he’d known Liz for such a short amount of time, but who was to say that he didn’t know her best, who was to say she didn’t know him. And she was beyond valuable, she was precious.
-Yes you do. You have me.
She smiled at him, her joy a painful thing to see. And she leaned back nestling her head against his shoulder.
-Thank you. You won’t leave will you?
-Never. Not until you ask me to.
-Good. You’re never leaving then.
Michael smiled at the satisfied note in Liz’s voice. His words had been a simple thing to say, but something she had needed to hear so very badly. And the truth was he didn’t want to leave. He’d only spent the afternoon in what would now be his new home, and it felt more like a home than the miserly pad he and Sean shared. He recognized the love that inhabited this space. He was pretty sure Liz did too.
Alex walked into the living room with a strained smile on his face. Michael knew that the entire day had been really hard on him; he knew that Alex had hoped that seeing her things, being in this place would jolt her memory. But it hadn’t.
-Everyone’s here. They’re coming up. You okay?
-Yeah. Sure, you’re staying right Michael?
-I promised didn’t I?
-I know. I just wanted to make sure that’s all.
Michael’s reply was cut short as the group walked into the Parker’s apartment. They walked in laughing at some shared joke, a cover for the apprehension showing through their eyes and their uneasiness. Michael was glad to see Kyle, it was nice to have at least one familiar face.
-Hey. Isabel. Maria.
Michael nodded at the two blondes standing by his friend. When he thought about it he realized that he was in a better position than Liz, he knew something about these people, he’d interacted with them before. Liz knew nothing, other than the fact that in the past she had.
He felt her come up to his side, and instinctively wrapped his arms around her. He knew without looking that her eyes were wide, like a deer caught in headlights, she felt like she was on the spot. The sideshow freak, whom everyone had come to see.
-This is Elizabeth. Elizabeth, this is my friend Kyle, his girlfriend Isabel, and his baby stepsister Maria.
Michael shrugged and made the introductions. Alex had stepped into the kitchen to get some snacks, so there was no one else. And everyone was staring at them already. He couldn’t explain why it was necessary for him to be touching her, just as much as she couldn’t explain why it was she needed him. Kyle was the first to respond.
-Hey, Elizabeth. How are you feeling?
-Um. A little achy and sore. I’m still really tired.
-Let’s sit down. You need to be resting.
Michael admonished. Before ushering everyone to the different chairs and sofas in the room. He sat on the love seat with Liz, while Kyle and Isabel sat across from them on the sofa. Maria sat in the lazy boy, and when Alex walked back in with refreshments he sat with her there.
-Chica, I brought you your final assignments. If you need any help with them give me a call okay!
-Thanks Maria. Did I miss a lot of school?
-Just finals week, and I can tell you that all us seniors wanted to do was finish already.
Maria laughed nervously. This was her best friend. And for the first time in the fifteen years they had known each other they were behaving like strangers. She just didn’t know what to say to Liz to make her feel at ease. To make them both feel at ease.
-Yeah. Did I miss graduation?
-Nope. Next week. And prom. So we’ve got to go shopping like mad. And we can totally redecorate your room. Isabel you should come.
-You know I never say no to shopping.
And at once they all laughed. Not the nervous jittery laughter from before, but the laughter shared among friends. They amused both Michael and Liz with anecdotes, on how they met, who liked whom and who hated whom. Stories from high school, from middle school, from elementary, stories that demanded an open, new audience, stories that liked to be told.
Their laughter was real. But it stopped. Once the doorbell rang. It was Max.
I can't help that I love a fictional character...
|posted on 23-Sep-2001 11:01:10 AM|
|AN: Finally a new part! I had issues writing this, because as much as I wanted to get everyone to kick Max's ass, I realized that it probably wouldn't be the best way to go about things. Sigh. I mean there was a line and everything...it was almost too much to resist! lol. Needless to say I appreciate all the feedback. And I hope y'all enjoy this and leave me more telling me what you think!|
Have you ever seen anything grind conversation to a halt? That one moment when everything is good, and everyone’s laughing and just glad to be spending time with others, and the next moment when all of that is lost. It’s probably the most uncomfortable feeling in the world.
The ringing sound of the doorbell cut through the laughter and camaraderie in the room.
The story Michael and Kyle were telling of their first meeting trailed into a stilted silence as Alex stood to answer the door.
-There’s someone else coming?
Asked Liz curiously.
-Um. Yeah. My brother Max.
Isabel answered uneasily
Alex opened the door and quickly drew Max into the kitchen.
-Hey Alex. What’s going on?
-Lower your voice a second. Listen. I don’t want her agitated. She does not know you as a boyfriend. So for now you only know her because you’re her friend.
-That really blows Alex. I love her. Why can’t I show her that?
-You don’t know her. Elizabeth and Liz aren’t the same person. God, Max. Just do this for her.
-So someone else gets to play the boyfriend? How the hell is that fair?
-Fuck you Max. God. I’ve lost my entire family. My life will never be normal. Ever. Where the hell do you get off? I don’t want you to stay.
-You heard me. You’ll stop in. introduce yourself to Elizabeth and you will leave. Immediately. Don’t bother calling. She doesn’t want to hear from you. And quite frankly I have no desire to hear your voice.
-Alex, what the hell has gotten into you?
-Max, you’re a selfish little bastard. I’ve heard rumors about you and other girls, but have always given you the benefit of the doubt. But frankly, I’m glad Elizabeth doesn’t remember you. You were a pretty shitty boyfriend and I know you’re a shoddy human being. Now enough chitchat let’s get this over with.
Max was stunned into silence. Alex’s anger was palpable. He walked into the room his movements forced and unusually stiff. Maria watched him carefully, she knew her boyfriend had reached the end of his tether, and she could only hope that whatever was to happen next wouldn’t cause him to break down. He was barely holding it together.
-Elizabeth, Michael. This is Isabel’s brother Max. Max, meet Elizabeth and Michael.
Before anyone else could get a word in edgewise, Alex continued.
-I just noticed the hour. It’s really late and tomorrow we have the memorial service for my parents. I do so hope you can attend.
-Of course Alex, we’ll be there. Do you want Kyle and me to take Maria home for you?
-No, thanks Isabel. I need to spend some time with my girl.
Isabel enveloped Alex in a warm hug, nodded to Liz and Michael while propelling Max to the door. Kyle followed behind Isabel, shaking hands with Liz and Michael.
-I’ll see you later man. Bring her home in one piece. Amy’s been psycho about cars lately.
-Yeah. Babe we should go. God knows I don’t want your mom to flip. You guys don’t mind if I leave you alone for a bit.
Alex spoke to Michael and Liz while grabbing his coat and keys. Michael and Liz nodded in response, watching with amazement at how quickly everyone cleared out of the room.
-You don’t think we had cooties Michael?
Liz asked jokingly. Something else had just happened there, only she couldn’t figure out what it was, or why she knew that the others were all hiding something.
-Nah. Maybe Max did though. He sure knew how to spoil the mood.
Michael replied, not really knowing why he felt so antagonistic towards Max. Although he was pretty sure that was the boyfriend, he couldn’t help be happy that he was gone.
-Yeah, that was weird. Do you know him at all?
-Nope. I barely even know Isabel. Max seems like he’s more your age.
-How old are you?
-That old huh?
-Hey. No old jokes.
-All right. Michael?
-Are you going to go to the thing…the funeral tomorrow?
-I was just wondering if I should.
-Listen to me. You may not remember these people, but they loved you, this place…it’s full of love. And while you shouldn’t go because you owe it to them or because you’re worried about what others may think or even because you feel like we’re making you go. Elizabeth, you will regret it if you don’t go for yourself.
-I guess I’m just afraid.
-That people are going to be mad because I’m not sad enough.
-If there are people there who are paying more attention to what you are doing and how you are reacting than paying tribute to two people who died tragically, then those people aren’t even worth your consideration.
Liz looked so fragile, so lost. Michael just wanted to envelop her in is arms and promise her that everything would be okay.
-Come on. You got to get some rest. Can you make it to your room okay?
Liz stood up, nodding. Michael watched her carefully as she took small controlled steps to her bedroom, sweeping her into his arms when she faltered. He laid her on her bed, reaching for her medication and the pitcher of water on her nightstand. He made sure she swallowed the colorful assortment of pills the pharmacy had provided. When she winced a she reached for her brush, Michael took it from her and gently brushed her hair, stifling his groan at its silken texture. He lay out her pajamas and didn’t resist the urge to press a kiss on her forehead.
-I’m in the next room. Call me if you need anything. Doesn’t matter the time. Promise.
-Okay. Thank you Michael. Not just for this but for everything.
Liz looked at him with a gaze filled with sorrow and loss. He could barely resist the impulse to hold her in his arms. He never wanted to spend a night far from her. That thought alone was enough to propel him out of her room and into his own, where he studiously avoided dreaming of her.
-Max, what the hell did you say to Alex?
-Don’t give me that. God. I’ve never seen him that angry in all the time I’ve known him.
-If you hurt them any more than you already have man. I don’t care if I am dating your sister I will kick your ass from here to China.
-What the hell is your problem? I didn’t say anything to Alex. He’s just all weird.
-Wouldn’t you be weird if Mom and Dad died and I didn’t remember anything about you? God. Be considerate. For one second just think about someone else for a change.
-I don’t have to listen to this. I’ll see you when you get home.
Kyle and Isabel watched as Max slammed into his car and sped off. Kyle wrapped his arms around her waist and just held her as she leaned back into him.
-I don’t know what to do about him.
-Honey, you’re not your brother’s keeper. He’ll have to make all this right on his own.
-What happened back there?
-What do you mean?
-With Max, what happened?
-Nothing. He was just insensitive.
-You never liked him.
-Yeah. Well he’s selfish. And he’s never treated Lizzie right. She’s my baby sister; she’s all the family I have left. I don’t want her hurt by him again.
-Okay. Alex, why aren’t you worried about Michael?
-What do you mean?
-I mean you barely know this guy and he moves in with you and is spending all this time with Liz, why aren’t you worried.
-I know this’ll sound crazy ‘Ria. But he loves her. He’d never hurt her.
-How do you know?
-Watch them together. It’s obvious.
-Aren’t you afraid that he’ll take advantage of her?
-Nah. He’s the decent type. Until he can trust in her feelings he won’t make a move.
-And what’s to keep that from happening.
-‘Ria, she can’t remember anything. He can’t trust how she feels until then, or until it’s obvious that she’ll never remember. And he’s a good guy.
-I guess I always liked him best of Kyle’s friends.
-Hmph. Should I be worrying about another señorita?
-Nope. This señorita’s heart is all yours.
With those words Alex and Maria kissed each other good night. Sharing the love and tenderness that lay between them with one another.
I can't help that I love a fictional character...
|posted on 29-Sep-2001 4:57:05 PM|
|Author's Note: Well I finally got a new part in. This may run a little short, and though I could have gone on, the intensity of the scene would have been compromised. This is a very cinematic moment, and I'm actualy really happy with the way it turned out. I hope it isn't too confusing, just know that when I refer to images, those are usually dream sequences. I really really hope you like this. I worked really hard on this part. Please leave feedback and tell me what you think!|
The images were shattered, scattered across the surface of her unconscious like shards of glass from a broken mirror, impossible to reconstruct and so ready to draw blood. The only thing that remained constant were the impressionistic feelings of terror and horror. But even they were undecipherable.
Liz woke up screaming in the middle of the night. The sound reverberated through the small apartment. Waking the other two sleeping forms as dawn already snaking tendrils of light across the black sky. Her bedroom glowed in the eerie gleam of purple of the early morning sky.
The taste of blood in her mouth.
Michael ran into her bedroom and gathered her up in his arms, her body damp with the cold sweat of fear, shivers racking her small frame. He cradled her head on his shoulder and she curled up in his lap. Rocked her back and forth, rubbing his hands up and down her back, stopping the chills that shook her body. Allowing the warmth and security his body offered to envelop her. The soothing phrases he murmured in her ear calming her.
She didn’t even realize she was sobbing.
Clinging to Michael for dear life.
Alex ran in when he heard her scream, but saw immediately that his baby sister was where she needed to be. It was the first moment he had ever hoped she didn’t remember. It was the first moment that he even understood why it was that she had blocked it out entirely.
He caught Michael gaze, commanding him to protect her. And went to bed. Helpless against the demons that were ravaging his sister’s unconscious. And for the first time in the past week he didn’t fall asleep and wish for oblivion.
Liz held on to Michael’s shirt desperately. Afraid that if she let go she would break. Afraid that there would never be a way to put her back together again.
She wrung the cotton fabric between her fingers, pushing herself closer and closer to Michael’s body.
Michael was anxious. Her tears were tearing him apart. The raw need in her was driving him wild.
Suddenly they were kissing. He could taste the tang of blood and the salt of her tears. The sweetness of her mouth as her tongue danced with his.
Taking a breath they looked into each other’s eyes.
Michael managed in a strangled gasp. As she mesmerized him with her eyes and pulled his shirt off until her hands were touching his skin. Every nerve ending was alert, her gentle touch making his skin tingle.
He couldn’t remember how to breathe.
She kissed him again. Searingly. With so much need.
Michael didn’t want to resist. He wanted to crush her in his arms and forget that she wasn’t really his. But he did.
As he put her away from his embrace, he felt bereft. A gaping hole torn away from his entrails.
Just one kiss and he already felt like this. Michael knew he was lost.
But he had to say no. He had no choice. Not if he wanted to do the right thing.
-Shh. Lie still. I’ll hold you.
-But what if--?
-Then I’ll be here. And I’ll wake you. I’ll protect you. I’ll watch over your sleep.
-Promise me you’ll be here when I get up.
The images were clear. They were real. She could see them. She knew what they meant.
Michael. Making love to her.
And slowly removing her every article of clothing.
Kissing her. Licking her. Making her crazy for him. Crazy with need for him.
Slowly entering her body as she cried out beneath him.
She was sleeping a lot more calmly. Her hair billowing out across his arm as she lay curled towards him.
She whimpered softly and moved restlessly a moment before settling down.
-What am I to do with you Elizabeth?
He said as he pressed a kiss on the crown of her head. Shifting his body closer to hers as he too fell asleep.
A rage white-hot coursed through the veins and arteries of Max Evans’ body. His eyes narrowed to slits, he watched as his girl f*ucked the trailer trash kid.
She never touched him like that.
She never wanted him to touch her.
The only color he saw was red, as it thundered through his arteries, as he stood on the balcony of Liz’s room.
Michael Guerin would have a thing or two coming his way. And so would Alex Parker from keeping him away. Liz was his. She had always been, and she would always be.
Max watched as they slept. And turned on his heel and left once he was sure nothing more would go on.
He had things to take care of. Things to do.
And he wouldn’t stay away. No matter who told him to.
AN: Ok...so some people asked me if Michael and Liz really made love and what exactly was it that Max saw...
Michael and Liz didn't have sex. It was Liz's incredibly erotic dream. The significance of it being that she can't remember her other dreams, they are too disjointed, the images too terrifying, but the one with Michael she can see, and she will remember!
Max saw Liz and Michael making out, because it was dark and Liz was sitting on Michael he couldn't really see everything that was going on. He did see Liz take Michael's shirt off, and that was enough for him to make the jump. He really is a jerk isn't he! lol!
I can't help that I love a fictional character...
|posted on 23-Oct-2001 1:57:01 AM|
|Author’s Note: I know it’s been ages since I last updated this. So I wrote a slightly longer part than usual to compensate for the delay. Thank you all so much for your feedback…you have no idea how much it means to me. Enjoy this new part, and hopefully the next update won’t take as long as this one did. Please tell me what you think!|
It was a sad day. Dark, cold, gray and rainy, the weather only reflected the state of mind of the gathering at the town chapel. It was the morning of the Parker memorial service and the world seemed shrouded in an absence of color, slow and silent, mourning for the lives lost so needlessly.
The preacher, whose face was lined with years past of services such as this one, spoke words of comfort. Words that soothed but in no way mitigated the pain felt by the family torn apart. Liz and Alex sat among their friends in a church filled with lilies. Staring at the two coffins that held the bodies of their dead.
It was Alex’s turn to speak. It was his moment to eulogize, honor the lives of the two people who had raised him, who had loved him. And in that moment his fear was that it wouldn’t be good enough.
He made his way to the dais, to the microphone that would carry the sound of his voice through the church. The words that would be said to commemorate his parents. He faced the audience, their faces streaked with tears, he could feel the sadness, the pity they felt. And he looked at Liz. Her gaze clear, focused, intent. His words to her would not only be a last homage, they would be the first she heard regarding the people who had birthed her. And Alex knew that he would get it right, if only for her.
-Thank you. Everyone. For everything. For being here, for being so kind. I only wish that it weren’t necessary to be here. I’m here to honor the lives of two of the most important people in my life. Two people who taught me how to live and how to always do the right thing. My parents always said that in life there was so much to look forward to. They always enjoyed and embraced what we were gifted with. Regrets were never a part of their routine. And from them I have learned so much. Not only what love is, but how to look forward for the best of life and enjoy it always. My parents taught me to follow my heart, because living is an instinct, and should never be forced to settle into a pattern of unhappiness. My parents always followed their hearts. And I believe that wherever they may be they are together watching over Elizabeth and me. And I have faith that in the end everything will be all right.
Alex stepped down and took his seat next to Maria who wrapped her arms around him.
-Sweetie, that was beautiful.
Alex whispered as soon as he noticed his sister seemed to be missing.
-Michael took her home.
-I don’t know what happened. She started fidgeting a lot when you stood up to speak. Michael and I were both really concerned, and then she just fainted. Michael caught her just before she hit the floor. He took her to your place.
-I guess it’s better this way Liz never liked cemeteries. It would have been too much for her.
Michael sat on the edge of the bed watching Liz as she slept. When Alex had begun speaking she had grown increasingly agitated, Michael felt that she was stifling the memories Alex was evoking purposely. Being faced with the two coffins, grim evidence that there were two people who perished the same instant she survived was already overwhelming. Alex’s short speech had been so heartfelt, so simple, Michael had thought that maybe words like that were all Liz needed to remember. And then suddenly she’d fainted.
Michael suspected that it was her body’s way of ensuring that the memory and pain would be locked away. Obviously it still wasn’t time for her to remember. Although clearly her mind was making a push for it, if her dreams last night were to serve as any indication.
Michael yawned and stretched out fully next to her. He didn’t want to leave her to wake alone. But he was tired. He’d barely gotten any rest last night, and it would be a while before the mourners all came to share a late lunch at the diner.
Slowly his breathing evened out and asleep he curled his body around Liz’s protectively. Prepared to slay the demons she encountered in her nightmares.
It was the sound of steel against steel. Screeching, wailing, shrieking. It was a million jagged edges of glass scattered across the black of the street. A million shining stars against the dark blues of the night sky. An arm that used to hold her. A voice that used to calm her. Words that echoed and rang throughout the cavern of her mind. A message unintelligible. The sounds of fear and horror rising within her. Torn from her throat like an unwilling song of anguish.
Michael tightened his hold on her petite frame as it shook in heartrending sobs. He pulled her flush against him, her face buried in his neck and she cried for sorrows she could not name. He rubbed her back and whispered the same tired words of comfort over and over again. Hoping that the tears would give way to calm.
And slowly it did. She lay in his embrace, wet tracks on her cheeks the only visible sign of her emotional torment. Michael pressed a kiss to her forehead.
-Want to talk about it?
Liz shook her head no and burrowed her face closer to his neck. She curled up her body as close to his as possible and promptly fell asleep.
Michael smiled softly. And let himself relax once more.
A clearing of sorts. A haven filled with love. One heartbeat pulsating throughout. He lay there sleeping. His body beautiful bare. She ran her fingers through his hair the silken waves flowing like water. His skin was smooth. Hard. And his lips so full. Softened for hers. Their tongues danced. They each claimed the other as their own. Slowly at first. Then frantic.
His hands cupped her breasts. Pressed the lightly and kneaded them through the clothing she wore. Their bodies clung together desperately. She could feel the steel of his arousal against her heat. And she moved against it as he clasped her body closer to his.
It wasn’t a dream anymore. Their breaths mingled, and their clothing was disarrayed. Their heartbeats faster than if they had been running a marathon. Michael held Liz’s head between his hands and kissed her lips with all the passion he’d been holding in. their mouths fused. He moved them to a sitting position on the narrow bed. Liz moaned against him as she tore off his shirt and ran her hands over his chest, raking her nails over the sensitive skin of his nipples, running her hands down his back as she pulled herself closer to him.
She wrapped her legs around his waist, their arousals flush against each other. Michael moaned as he kissed the sensitive skin of Liz’s neck. Marking the place where her heart pulsed, before tearing himself away from her.
-Elizabeth we can’t do this.
-Because you’re not ready for this. When it happens between us it will be perfect.
-Don’t you want me?
-Look at me Elizabeth. Listen to me. I want you so much you have no idea how stopping like this pains me. But I also know that if we have a chance for anything lasting we both have to wait. Baby you have to be well. And I need to know that I’m not some temporary fling that will die once you get your memory back.
-You’re not you know. A temporary fling. But I understand.
-Good. Now go take a shower before your brother gets here and starts wondering what the hell we were up to.
Liz nodded and they both stood up to rearrange each other’s clothing.
-This is torture.
Michael whispered before searing Liz’s lips with one last kiss. As he walked away he called out:
-I’ll see you again downstairs.
|posted on 3-Nov-2001 6:16:16 PM|
|AN: Sorry I’ve taken so long to update. But two in one day…well I’m happy about it! Not a lot happens in this part, but it’s necessary for set up, so I hope you enjoy it anyway. Thank you for all you feedback, leave me more!|
It’s life’s greatest irony that no matter what happens it goes on. And what is extraordinary becomes ordinary. (Making the opposite true as well.)
Michael still couldn’t believe his luck in finding the Parkers. As much as he loved Sean, they’d never managed to repair the family broken by their fucked up parents. They’d never been a family the way the Parkers had been a family. The way the Parker siblings were a family. Even without Elizabeth’s memory, she and Alex made a strong family unit. And the best part was the fact that they included Michael.
Over the two weeks following the funeral, they’d managed to settle in to a routine suggestive of normalcy. Michael and Alex had returned to their full schedules of school, work, and practice, while Liz herself returned to school as well. They’d all managed to get back just in time for finals, and spent time together in the evening going through their assignments.
Michael was amazed by the sheer amount of things she knew, she was like a storehouse of random information. He knew it frustrated her to not remember the people or events of her life, even though she rarely complained about it.
Michael had pulled the late shift at the hospital the night before, added to the full day of classes and practice he’d had to attend, and the fact that he’d be helping out at the Crashdown for the dinner rush, his life was full. And Michael couldn’t have been happier about it.
He walked up the stairs that led up to their apartment. Because Elizabeth got home before he did, he had become accustomed to her making them a snack and then just hanging out for a while before getting to work and studying.
Elizabeth. Liz. He wasn’t sure whom he was falling in love with. Or who it was he was getting to know. All he knew was that she was amazing. She seemed to be doing so well. And yet he was still worried for her. Her decided indifference towards remembering what it was she’d forgotten, her refusal to speak about the off and on flashes of memory he was sure she was getting, her lack of interest in memory exercises Doctor Grant had recommended, just proved to Michael that she wasn’t okay.
But it was the dreams that made Michael sure he was right. Michael believed that the memories of the crash and some other emotional trauma were embedded in the nightmares that Liz woke to screaming every night. But she refused to talk about them. He wanted her to be able to address the dreams. He wanted her to feel like it was okay to talk about the life she’d had before the accident. But she wouldn’t.
And as troubling as her lack of communication about the dreams was to Michael, it was far from being his biggest problem. More terrifying to Michael were the dreams he woke from. He’d had to take a cold shower every night that week, the kisses that they had shared, the memories of their embrace, heightened and intensified by the ragged longing in Michael’s soul, consummated his very being. He’d awaken in a sweat, his arousal rock hard, the taste of her lips on his. If things continued the way they were he’d die of pneumonia in a fortnight.
He couldn’t help loving every second of time they spent together. Even if it was leading them to the path of friendship. In reality it was all he could hope to gain from any sort of connection they might have. Michael enjoyed every moment of time they spent together. Which was why when Michael realized the apartment was dark and empty he couldn’t help the fear that rose within him. He picked up the phone, ready to dial Alex’s cell phone when he heard the key in the lock turn and Liz walked in laughing with Maria and Isabel.
-Where were you?
Michael asked abruptly, his fear veiled by the anger in his voice.
-Shopping. With Maria and Isabel. Why?
-You could have mentioned it.
-Michael what is your problem?
Liz half-dragged, half-pulled Michael into the kitchen, his behavior made no sense to her. Especially since she had mentioned that she was going to hang out with Maria and Isabel today at dinner last night. After all, there were only two weeks left before graduation, his and hers. More importantly however, was the fact that in one week she’d be turning eighteen, the same night was Prom night. Maria and Isabel had offered to help her with her outfits.
She was finally feeling more normal. Her lack of memory and the dreams that plagued her at night were the only real reminders of the fact that things weren’t normal. She knew Michael and Alex worried about her dreams, about her refusal to talk about them. But she could only remember fractional impressions, bits and pieces to small to make up a whole she was afraid to put together. She’s needed this outing with Maria and Isabel. And she really had a wonderful time.
-Michael, why are you so mad?
-I’m not mad.
-I just went out with some friends. I’m finally feeling like a normal person. A person who has friends, and I come home and you yell at me. You never yell at me.
Michael took in the hurt expression in her face, and remorse and relief replaced the anger he’d been feeling. He enveloped her in his embrace, holding her close to him. He whispered in her ear:
-Elizabeth…I’m sorry I’ve been a beast. It’s just that when I got here and you weren’t here I panicked and I was afraid for you.
Liz’s reaction was to hold Michael tighter. She loved being held by him. Hearing his heartbeat in his chest, the corded strength of his muscles. In his arms she felt safe. And she felt special.
-Um…would you…would you be mydateforprom.
-Prom. It’s in a week. Would you go with me?
-Um. Okay. Sure. Do I need a tux?
-I think so.
-The things I do for you.
They hugged once more. Their hearts beating a little faster. Their spirits lighter, happier.
Isabel and Maria could barely contain their amusement at Michael’s overreaction to Liz’s getting home late. They watched carefully as Liz dragged Michael into the kitchen, before moving to the door to overhear not that it wasn’t difficult to hear Michael at first.
-So what do you think is going on there between the two of them?
-I have no idea ‘Ria, but they’re obviously really into each other.
-What about Max? Alex is really pissed at him, so no one’s told her that he is her date for prom. What’s going on now?
-They’re hugging. Max may be my brother, but my little brother is an ass. He’s been cheating on her. Oh my God, ‘Ria she’s asking Michael.
-What? Wow. I guess he said yes. Let’s sit back down on the sofa. So Max has been cheating on her? No wonder Alex was so pissed. I wonder if that’s what Liz and he had fought about the night of the accident?
-What do you mean?
-Well Liz left a message on my machine that night, she was going to come over later to talk, and she’d said to have the Ben and Jerry’s ready. So I knew that it was big. But she never made it.
-Oh, ‘Ria…I’m sorry.
-It’s not your fault. So do you think Max will show up anyway?
-I hope he does, if only to realize that she has no interest in him.
-Iz, that’s so mean. I love it.
Isabel laughed and at that moment Michael and Liz came out of the kitchen with snacks for all. They hung out together the rest of the afternoon, laughing and getting to know each other.