|"A Special Bond"
Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.
Category: After Hours
|Liz splashed cold water on her face, leaned on the little sink in her bathroom and looked in the mirror. She grimaced at the site that greeted her. Her eyes were red, bloodshot and puffy from crying all night. She couldn't go to school looking like this.
She quietly passed by her mother's room and saw her sprawled out on her bed snoring. She went into the fridge and took some ice cubes, put them in a napkin, and went back to her room. She held the ice on her eyes while she got dressed. She would not go to school looking that bad. She needed to talk to both Max and Michael. To explain to them how it happened, and why she had betrayed both of them. She had to explain that she'd betrayed neither one in actuality.
Liz was heading out her door with her backpack slung over one shoulder when she saw Maria's car go past with Michael and Alex in it.
She stopped short in shock, knowing they had seen her, and she swallowed. Michael had left her. She'd known he was upset. She knew Michael, had known him for a long time, and knew he was a hot head and acted before thinking, but she was down right shocked that even he would leave her to walk by herself to school. She didn't know what they had told Alex, but he'd looked shocked to see her coming out of her trailer.
Liz took a deep breath, put her chin up and was determined not to cry. She would get to school and explain things to them. At least Max was always a calm and logical thinker. He would at least listen before he made decisions. Although if last night was any indication…she shook her head, no, he had been upset and didn't know the whole story.
Liz started walking the mile and ½ to school. Usually at a brisk walk she could get there in a pretty decent time. But today she couldn't seem to walk as fast. She was tired but blamed that on her lack of sleep. When she felt a wave of dizziness she stopped, closed her eyes, sat on a bench at a bus stop, and waited until it passed. She tried to contribute this to a lack of sleep as well.
When she finally got to school she was exhausted and drained both mentally and physically. She wound up spending most of her first period in the ladies room between bouts of nausea and dizziness. She pushed aside her subconscious, which was telling her this went beyond her sleepless night, and headed to her second class, determined to find and talk to both Max and Michael.
By lunchtime Liz realized that both Max and Michael were both trying to avoid her. Michael had not even looked at her in their third hour class, and when she'd tried to talk to him afterwards, in the hall, he had put his arm around Maria and they had walked off. Liz could tell by Maria's puzzled expression that she didn't know why Michael was upset with Liz, but only that he was, so she just gave Liz a confused look and let Michael lead her away.
Max hadn't shown up for their biology class, so Liz had to wait by his locker for him after class, only to realize he wasn't going to show up and she was late for her next hour. The day just got worse. Isabel also snubbed her, giving her a mean, deadly look as she passed by, and then ignored her when Liz tried to talk to her.
Liz wasn't hungry at lunchtime but wanted to try again to talk to Max, Michael and Isabel. She had to explain. Everything would be okay once she did.
When she saw Max, Isabel and Maria all at a table together she actually sighed in relief to finally be able to get it over with somewhat.
She walked up to them and tried a smile as she stood beside the table. Her smile was hesitant as she noticed that none of them would look at her. Maria spared her a glance, frowned when she saw how both Isabel and Max were angry and ignoring Liz. She looked at Liz with a confused half smile, just not sure what was going on, and waited for someone to say something. What had Liz done? First Michael wouldn't talk to her and now Max and Isabel.
"Hi guys. Max, can I talk to you please?" she swallowed, her throat dry with fear and nerves. She had never seen Max angry or purposefully ignore someone before.
He finally turned to her, his eyes hurt but also black with coldness. "We have nothing to say. A betrayal is a betrayal. A lie is a lie, and there is NOTHING you can say to change the fact that you betrayed us and lied to us. Please leave, we have nothing more to say to each other." Max said all in a low voice, and swallowed and turned away when he saw Liz's face.
It took everything in him not to tell her he didn't care that she'd betrayed him. That he was still crazy about her and wanted to be with her. But she had risked not only his life, but Isabel's as well. He couldn't keep seeing her, knowing that she could not be trusted with not only his life, but with Isabel's. And he was hurt. Hurt beyond belief. He never would have thought Liz would betray him. He had been so wrong about her. What else had he been blindly wrong about?
Michael had not tried to talk to him or Isabel yet either, and he wondered what he was going to have to say to Michael when he did approach them about what Liz had told him. For Max knew that Michael would eventually confront them about what he'd learned about them. He just hoped that Michael wouldn't want to turn them in or anything. He was sick just thinking how in danger their lives could be right at this minute, and all because of Liz Parker. The girl he had stupidly fallen for and shared his secret with. The girl he had trusted and who had betrayed him.
Liz's face fell as she realized that Max would not budge on this. She turned to Isabel who gave her such a look of hatred that Liz actually recoiled.
"Max? Please I can explain…" Liz trailed off as Max stood and went out of his way to not touch her as he passed by her and left.
Liz swallowed and looked to Maria.
Maria was shocked. She had never in her whole life seen Max act mean to anyone. Especially to a girl he truly cared about. And she knew Max cared a lot for Liz. But for both him and Isabel to be so hurt and furious, she could only imagine what had happened. She wanted to ask, but didn't want to upset Isabel any more right now. So she took looked away when Liz looked at her as if to ask how she felt.
Liz felt her eyes burn with unshed tears but she refused for them to see her cry. She lifted her head and it took all she had to walk slowly away with her head up, instead of running out of the quad in tears.
Liz made it through the rest of the day somehow, but didn't remember much. She ran after the last class to Michael's locker to find him there alone. She sighed. She would get him to listen. They were best friends, and he could get angry, but he couldn't stay mad at her forever.
Liz stopped beside him and waited for him to look up at her. When he wouldn't, Liz swallowed again and took a deep breath. "Can we talk? Please? Michael?" she started only to have him glare at her with his own look of fury and disgust. "What's to talk about? You're sorry? Well that's not good enough! I can't trust you anymore. There is nothing that you can say or do to change that. I thought we were friends, but obviously, it's only on your terms. Friends wouldn't keep things that are that important from another friend no matter who it's for or what!" Michael grinded between his teeth, and then he shook his head and walked off.
Liz had no idea what to say. They were right. She had betrayed both of them. There was no way she could have pleased both parties in this, but she had done the worst thing, and betrayed them both. She had really hurt all of them.
Liz started home alone. She didn't even try to get a ride with Maria, since she was probably giving Michael a ride home again and he wouldn't want her around.
Liz knew that Alex stayed late today for his calculus group, so she decided just to head home without waiting for him. He had tried once today to ask her what Michael was so upset about but Liz couldn't tell him. This in turn had hurt Alex, although he had only nodded and looked sad. She knew that Alex, too was feeling left out. Neither she nor Michael she was sure would tell Alex what was going on.
When Liz got home she was exhausted. She was feeling sick to her stomach so she didn't even try to eat. She went to her room, dizzy and nauseous and decided to just sleep. She really didn't have energy to do anything else.
The next four days, Liz walked to school alone or with Alex, although neither said anything. The silence between them was as strained as it was with her and everyone else. Alex didn't know what was going on, but the fact that she wouldn't feel she could trust him enough to tell him hurt him and he didn't know what to say.
She had not been kicked off the squad, but she was thinking of quitting. Not only did she not have the energy for it this week, but also she was getting the cold shoulder from all of the girls on the team. They all knew that their captain hated her so they stayed away from her.
When she'd gotten dizzy during a practice with the squad, on Wednesday, and had gone to sit over on the bench for a minute, she'd felt her nose start to bleed. She'd cursed and grabbed a tissue she had on her, and just sat out the rest of the practice.
On Thursday she told Maria, since no one else would even look at her, that she was quitting. Maria hadn't been surprised, but she'd looked like she wanted to say something, only she hadn't. She'd just nodded and squeezed her hand before rushing off.
By the end of one of the worst weeks of her life, Liz also couldn't deny her symptoms any. She knew in her heart what they meant. Her Leukemia was back.
As Liz lay on her bed in her room Friday after school she stared up at the ceiling and slowly realized that she really wasn't as upset as the first time she'd found out. She was more upset and crushed over what had happened with her friends this past week, than what she was now having to accept once again, that she had come out of remission.
She knew she should have told her mother two days ago when she couldn't deny anymore what was happening to her. She was supposed to go to the doctors immediately if she felt she was coming out of remission, for tests and to start her treatment of Chemo again, but she didn't want to. She just didn't care. She didn't like the side effects, and if she was going to be sick either way, why bother. For Liz did not think she could fight it again. She didn't have the strength or the heart to fight her own body and the poisons they would pump into her, just to drag out her illness a little longer. Sooner or later she figured it would take her. So why make it drag out. She was just too tired to go through Chemo again. And the doctor would probably recommend radiation as well. And she shivered at the thought. She couldn't. She just didn't want to go through all that pain and sickness to prolong this never ending illness.
Liz realized that maybe it had worked out for the best, that she had lost all her friends. This way no one would have to suffer with her. She wouldn't have to cause anyone any pain. And she wouldn't have to explain this to Max as well. For she hadn't told him about her illness either. Now she wouldn't have to hurt anyone else. They probably wouldn't even notice for quite awhile. For they all avoided Liz so she knew it wouldn't be difficult to avoid them now as well.
Max didn't even look at her in bio, and in fact he had asked to switch partners, and when Liz hadn't objected, the switch had been made. And most of her symptoms were flu like anyways, so no one would be suspicious of her feeling ill with the flu or missing some school. She knew she would just have to wait this out. And that at least she didn't have to go through what she had last time. Sitting and watching her friends suffer with her. Alex and Michael had been in as much pain as she had, and she couldn't stand to go through that again. She smiled. It really had worked out for the best.
She knew she was too sick to get out of bed this weekend anyways, so she figured she would rest, and wait. And see how she felt on Monday. She knew her Mom wouldn't even notice if she was home or not, so she knew no one would disturb her this weekend. Liz dozed on and off, feeling nauseous and lots of aches and pains in between the long weekend, but she slept as much as she could. Thankful that no one else had to go through this with her this time.
Michael was tired of Maria's silent questioning looks about his sudden attitude toward Liz, but he wouldn't tell her. He had stewed all week and had avoided Max and Isabel even though he knew he had to confront them about this sooner or later.
When Maria dropped Michael off late Friday night, he happened to glance at Liz's trailer and noticed no lights were on. He figured she was out enjoying herself with Max since she obviously had chosen him over her friendship with Michael. He figured he would talk to Max and Isabel this weekend. But not tonight, since Liz was probably with Max right now.
Michael sighed hating the idea of facing Max and Isabel tomorrow, but knowing it had to be done. He thought he would be excited to find out there were more like him. Only he now realized that he was afraid. Afraid that they wouldn't accept him, or he wouldn't live up to their expectations or would tell him something about himself that he didn't want to know. All his life he'd never cared what people thought of him. He'd let them believe whatever they had wanted. He had only ever cared what Alex and Liz had thought of him. And when they had accepted him that was all he cared about. He didn't care if no one else at school liked him. They were nothing to him. But now, now there were two more people just like him. And now he was afraid to measure up and be rejected.
Tomorrow. He decided. Tomorrow he would confront them and get it over with.
Going to see them tomorrow was easier said then done, his step father had a job over in Albuquerque that he needed to get done, and he needed Michael to drive out there with him to help. So Michael had went with him and then their truck had broke down so they had been stuck there the whole weekend. And when he got home Sunday night it was late. All he wanted to do was call Maria and then get some sleep. There was no hurry, Max and Isabel weren't going anywhere.
At the Evans house, "Isabel I don't think that things are so drastic that we need to leave do you?" Max had just walked into his sisters room and there were clothes strewn all over the place. Isabel glared at him, "I'm not leaving Max, I was looking for something." "Oh, well what were you looking for, maybe I can help you find it." "Nothing now, I remembered that I threw it out a month ago." Max sits down on her bed where he can, "Look Isabel I know that your mad at me, for telling Li..." Isabel cuts him off, "A part of me was mad, but I'm hurt now. Not by you telling her, but I really was starting to like Liz, then she goes and tells our biggest secret to Michael and it hurts, I mean after Kyle I wasn't sure if I was going to trust anyone again. And I thought the six of us were starting to get close."
Max looks down at the floor, "Yeah I did to, it was nice to have a group of people that we didn't have to act phony around. I mean yeah we had a secret, but other then that, I was beginning to feel pretty normal." Isabel nods, "Me to, but Max why do you think Michael hasn't came to talk to us yet? I mean didn't you expect him to by now?" Max shrugs his shoulders, "All I know is as long as no one is coming to get us, I don't care if he mentions it to us or not, if he wants to pretend that he never heard it, or that she made it up then it's fine with me." Isabel comes and sits down next to him she hugs him, "You really liked her didn't you?" She whispers. Max can't even lie to her, "Yeah I did Izzie, I thought she was the one. I've always felt something for her, but I can't trust her and there's no reason for me to be with someone that I can't trust."
Monday Liz got up and she actually felt a bit better, well at least better then she had this weekend. So she got up and got ready for school, she fell into a routine the rest of the week the days passed so fastly at times. Sometimes everything that's going on seems like a blur, She had been cutting her biology class, she just couldn't take seeing Max anymore. She had become even more of an outcast then she thought she was before. At least before she had Michael and Alex, but now Michael isn't talking to her and Alex has been getting closer to Isabel so he had kind of followed the rest of them. It hurt her that they all have pushed her away so quickly, but she's glad that they all seem to have each other. She knows that Michael hasn't talked to Max and Isabel about their secret, but she knows that it will come up eventually. She knows that it's to late for her to have something good come out of it, but maybe Michael will eventually get the family he's wanted for so long.
It's Friday Maria and some of their friends are talking and when Isabel comes walking up they all quit talking. Isabel looks at them, "What's going on guys?" Maria looks at the girls and then at Isabel, "Aggie Gilmore went to a rave this weekend and they were doing a segment about teens, drugs, and raves on the news and Aggie was on the news, so she got busted by her parents." "Oh." Isabel says. The girls continue to talk and then the bell rings and they head off to class.
Maria had, had to think quick to cover her tracks. Isabel's and Max's birthday was today, and Maria and Diane Evans were planning a big bash it was their 18th birthday and it was going to be huge. Isabel and Max knew they were getting a party but they didn't know how big it was going to be. And Maria knew that the Evans's had bought cars for both of them, but she didn't know what kind. Because as Mr. Evans said she wasn't the best at keeping a secret. But she had kept this one, the whole school was coming to the party and as far as she knew Max and Isabel didn't know.
She got to her class and Michael was sitting in his seat, she took her seat behind him and scratched her nails down his back, he turned around and smiled at her. "Hey if you keep that up, I'm going to have to drag you to the eraser room for some extra curricular activity." Maria smiles back at him, "Promises, promises." Just then the teacher walks in and informs them that it's another make up day. Michael looks at Maria and they roll their eyes, ever day is a make up day to this teacher. Maria gets a piece of paper and starts her note writing to Michael.
So what did you do last night? Maria passes the note to him. Nothing much, after I left your place I went home watched some TV and then fell asleep. He passes it back to her, she reads it and writes back. Did Liz come over? Michael reads it and passes the note back to her quickly. NO! is all it says. Michael, why are you mad at her? And it's not just you, I mean Max and Isabel aren't talking to her either. What did she do? Michael reads what she wrote and sighs, he writes back and passes the note to her. Look I don't want to talk about it, as for Max and Isabel not talking to her, well I don't know why. Maria reads this and writes then passes the note to him. Michael you can tell me anything, I want to help you. Maybe I can figure out what went wrong so we can all get past this. I mean whatever she did couldn't have been that bad. I mean friends are supposed to forgive each other.
Michael reads this and stands up he looks at Maria, "Look not everything is fixable, Liz betrayed me and I will never forgive her. She can't do anything to make up to me, and you can't fix it so quit trying. As far as I'm concerned Liz doesn't exist to me, she's not my friend anymore, she's dead to me so just leave it alone!" He grabs his backpack and storms out of the classroom leaving the whole class to look after him. Maria sits there dumbfounded, Michael's never talked to me like that, what the hell did Liz do? Maria shakes her head, Fine, Max and Isabel won't tell you, Michael won't tell you. Then you'll just have to take it to the next step.
At lunch Maria tells her friends that she has a report due and she's going to the library. Then she starts on her search for Liz. Ever since the others started ignoring Liz she's been harder and harder to find. Maria checks all of the girls rest rooms, and then the library, and that's where she sees her. Maria walks over and stands in front of Liz who is looking down at a book reading. Finally Liz looks up. "Maria, what are you doing here?" "I wanted to talk to you." Liz "About what?" Maria sits down next to her, "About what's going on between you and the others, why are you guys fighting, every time I ask them they say no reason, and Michael actually yelled at me about it today. So I know it's not nothing." Liz shrugs, "I can't tell you either, I've already said to many things as it is." Maria looks at her, "What did you do Liz, I mean Max and Isabel act like they hate you, and I know that Max really liked you, so what happened?"
Liz looks down at the ground, "I can't tell you Maria, I made a mistake and now I'm paying for it." "Liz I know that we haven't known each other long, but I thought we were getting to be friends of some sort, I know that you and Michael used to be close, but I didn't think that someone could do something so wrong to have someone hate them." "Is that what Max and Isabel said?" Liz asks her. Maria shakes her head, "Max and Izzie won't talk about you at all, their real upset about whatever it is." "Then who...Michael?" Liz asks realizing and answering her own question. Maria nods, "When he yelled at me today he said that you had betrayed him and that he would never forgive you." Maria looks at her with sad eyes, "Liz he said that you were dead to him, I mean isn't there anything you can do to make them forgive you?"
Liz's eyes have welled up at what Maria has said, she chokes back a sob as she thinks Michael says I'm dead to him? After everything that I've been through when I was sick last time, Michael should know better then anyone that you shouldn't say things like that. Suddenly Liz isn't as hurt anymore, she's quickly becoming mad. "Where is Michael?" Liz asks through clenched teeth. "I think he's in the art room hiding from me." Maria answers. "Okay, can you do something to get Max and Isabel over there, I want to talk to them." Maria smiles at her, "Sure Liz, this is great. You'll see that after you apologize everything will go back to the way it was." Liz just nods, "Okay just give me 5 minutes and bring them over. But Maria I need to talk to them alone okay?" "Sure thing Liz." Maria says as she walks off.
Liz slowly gathers her stuff and then makes her way over to the art room, she looks in and sees Michael at an easel drawing something, she opens the door and Michael doesn't even look up as she enters, he's so intent on what he's drawing. The door opens again and Max and Isabel come in the room and finally Michael looks up. "What are you guys doing here?" He asks gruffly. Liz looks out the door to see Maria giving her the thumbs up sign and she takes off. "I wanted to talk to all of you." Liz says. "Oh, did you have some other peoples secrets that you wanted to tell or is this the meeting where you tell us that your going to have to go to the officials about it?" Isabel asks snottily.
Liz has had it, she slams her book bag down on the table, "No I wanted to talk to you, because the last time I talked to any of you I never got a chance to explain, and I'm going to do it now whether any of you like it or not." She looks at them and they are all staring at her. "Good now that I have your attention, Max I never meant to betray yours or Isabel's trust, and before you interrupt me I know that I promised that I wouldn't tell but I told Michael for a good reason, but I don't want to be accused of spilling secrets so you'll have to ask Michael why I told him." She looks at Michael and Max waiting for one of them to speak. Finally Michael does but he points his question to her.
"You mean you didn't tell them?" "No I never got a chance, I was going to but Max was to mad at me to listen." "Tell us what?" Max asks. Michael looks at them and then at Liz. Liz shakes her head in disgust, "For crying out loud Michael, tell them already, I mean you know about them." Michael looks at them, "She told me because I've been wanting to find more of my own kind for a long time." "More of your own kind, what are you talking about?" Isabel asks. Michael looks at her and then goes over to a lump of clay on the table, he closes his eyes as he puts his hands over it, and then in the next second the lump of clay is transformed to a bust of Maria.
Max and Isabel look at him in shock and Max finally speaks, "Your one of us!?!" he says in more of a statement then a question. Michael nods at him. Isabel smiles at him, "We've always wanted to find more of us but we never thought we would." Michael gives a little smirk of his own, "Me to." Isabel goes up to him and wraps her arms around him, "Were family." She says. Michael stands there stiff for a second before he puts his arms around Isabel.
Liz smiles a bit, Well it looks like Michael got the family he's always wanted. But Liz's happiness is short lived. "This still doesn't detract from the fact that you told Liz." Max tells her. Liz feels like her heart has broken for the second time in as many weeks, but she's determined not to cry in front of them. "Fine Max, I understand. I mean I must have been stupid to think that it would make any difference in the fact that I only told Michael because he was one of you. If it had been anyone else I wouldn't have said a thing, but you guys needed to know about each other. So that's okay don't give me any credit for bringing you guys together, you go ahead and hold a grudge for the rest of your guys lives. I personally think time is to short to hold them, but I don't have much say in any matter any more." Liz looks at Michael, "I know that you think I betrayed you Michael. And I've known you for long enough to know that your to stubborn to admit that maybe you should have looked at things from my point of view. Here you've told me all these years that I should never tell anyone your secret, that it was a matter of life or death. And then I had them telling me the same thing, so what was I supposed to do? I was being pulled in two different directions, one way by my friendship for you, and the other by my friendship for Isabel and my love for Max." Max just stares at her, his heart swells at the fact that she does love him, no matter what he is.
"You guys go ahead and be together, and you don't have to worry about me telling this to anyone, I won't tell Maria, and I won't tell Alex. So go back to your reunion, I'm sorry that I hurt you guys." She gathers her bag as they stand there not quite knowing what to say, then she turns around and looks at Michael. "Oh and Michael, the next time you say that someone is dead to you, remember that you should be careful what you wish for. Not that you would care any ways, but you shouldn't throw things around like that so lightly about people that take it very seriously." And with that Liz walks out of the classroom, and once out of sight she runs as fast as she can. She runs till she can't run anymore, she cuts through the park by her house and as she's walking she gets a cramp in her side. She grabs her side gasping for air, she starts to knead the muscle, she feels dizzy from all the running, as she continues to walk she feels light headed and her body starts to sway and she falls to the ground.
That night Max is in his room getting ready, he can't believe all of the days events. He wanted to go to Liz and see if they could maybe work things out, but him and Isabel had their party to go to. But then he knew what he could do. He picked up the phone and dialed Liz's phone number, he was going to invite her to the party. Maybe they could talk here. No one answered so he called over to Michael's. It felt weird calling him, as if there was no big thing. But they had to start, no matter what they were family, and Liz had helped to make that possible. "Hello?" "Michael, it's Max. Umm is Liz there?" "Why would she be here?" Michael asks. "I don't know I just thought maybe you guys would have talked after today." "No, I haven't talked to her yet, I figured I would tomorrow." "Oh, I was going to invite her to the party, I know your going to be here, so if she comes you won't mind will you?" Michael smiles, he likes the fact that Max is asking his opinion, "No I don't mind" he hears a car horn beep, "Hey that's Maria, I have to go, but Alex should be home, she might be there, he's getting ready. Were giving him a ride, so call him and ask." Max laughs, "Why can't you ask him, since your giving him a ride?" "Because I want some private time with Maria." Max chuckles, "Okay, okay I'll call. See you in a bit." They say their good byes and hang up, then Max calls Alex. "Hey Alex is Liz there?" Max asks when he answers. "Sorry no, have you tried Michael's?" "Yeah, but he said try you, then Maria got there and he wanted to talk to her so I'm trying you." "Well I'm dressed, let me go over there. Sometimes her Mom takes the phone off the ringer. Hold on a sec."
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