|"A Special Bond"
Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.
Category: After Hours
|After a minute Alex comes back, "Hey Liz's Mom said she has the phone on. But Liz hasn't came home yet."
"Does she do that a lot?"
"What not come home? Yeah, Liz doesn't like to spend a lot of time there, her Mom entertains a lot. And well she spends a lot of time with me and Michael, or at least she used to."
Alex hears the car beep for him, "Hey Max, were heading over to your place now, I'll talk to you in a bit."
In the Maria's car Michael is talking to her, or more like apologizing for blowing up at her. Maria smiles, "It's okay, I'm just glad that everything is okay now." Michael nods, "Yeah everything is okay." "Good."
Max hung up the phone after talking to Alex, he got his shoes on and went downstairs to the party. Isabel was in the kitchen talking to her Mom and dad and when she came out she saw Max sitting on the couch looking down. "Hey what's wrong, you should be happy. You know were 18 today." Max smiles at her, "Yeah I know, it's just I was trying to call Liz so I could invite her so we could talk, but she wasn't there. And then I called Alex and he said that Liz doesn't spend a lot of time at home." Isabel shakes her head, "First off why were you inviting her, this is my party to you know. And I don't want her here. And second so what if she's not home, maybe she went to the movies and dinner or something." "Isabel don't you think your over reacting a bit? I mean it's not like she told someone that was going to spill our secret." Isabel shakes her head, "No I'm not over reacting, look Max no matter what or who she told, she told. And not only that, Michael told me that she's known how long he's wanted to find others like him, and she held that back from him when she discovered it about us. So what kind of friend does that make her? I mean if she can do that to someone she's known for ten years then I don't want to be friends with someone like that."
Just then the doorbell rings and Isabel jumps up excitedly and answers it, and that's the way it is the rest of the night. The party is great, there is tons of food, dancing, opening presents and just normal every day teen fun. Max and Isabel's Mom and dad finally bring the cake out, Michael is right next to Isabel and she grabs Michael's hand. "Hey Mom, Michael is going to blow out the candles with us, it's his birthday today to." Michael looks at her and raises his eyebrows. "Sure honey, if that's what you and Max want?" Max nods, "Yeah that's what we want." Isabel leans over and whispers, "Hey it's every bit your birthday as it is ours, I don't know when it is for real, but your part of our family now, so our day is your day." Michael can barely hear all the people singing Happy Birthday to them. He's never been accepted so quickly before, but it's nice to finally have people tell him that he's needed.
When they blow out the candles Diane and Phillip hand them both a set of keys. Diane looks at the kids, "Now don't expect a real big gift for graduation, but your gifts are out in the street." She says while laughing. Max and Isabel look at each other and they run out of the house, there is a black Ford Expedition with a blue bow on it for Max, and there is a red Nissan Maxima with a pink bow for Isabel. Everyone else has filed out of the house to see their presents and there is a lot of exclamations about the car and truck. "Okay kids, let's go cut the cake and then us old folks are going to get out of your way for the rest of the night. You can examine the cars later." Diane says. Everyone goes back inside and Max takes one last look at his car before he follows them all in.
That night after everyone has left accept for Michael, Maria, and Alex all of them go and sit out on the porch, Maria is sitting on Michael's lap in a chair, and Alex is sitting next to Isabel on the porch swing, both of them using their feet to push each other. The Evans have gone to bed and the house is quiet for the most part. Max is sitting in another chair just looking out at his truck, It sure is better then the jeep. He thinks. "So Liz apologized?" Maria asks them. At hearing Liz's name Max snaps out of his day dream. Isabel looks at Maria, "Yeah she said she was sorry." "Well that's good." Then she looks at Max, "And what about you? Did she apologize to you?" Max nods his head. "Well I'm glad, now things can go back to the way they were." Isabel looks at her confused, "What do you mean the way they were? Things are just fine now." Maria looks at all of them, "Wait, didn't you guys forgive her?" The three aliens look at the ground, none of them saying anything.
Maria shakes her head, "Okay fine, if your not going to forgive her then that's your choice, but what did she do? I mean it must have been horrible to have you guys hate her so much." "I don't hate her." Max says. "Okay so you don't hate her, Michael, Isabel what about you?" Maria asks. When she doesn't get an answer from either of them she stands up, "Okay I've tried, but I'm not going to talk about it again. I have to go to the bathroom, and then I have to call my Mom to tell her that I'm staying here so she won't worry." Maria goes into the house and Alex looks at all of them. "Look if your not going to tell Maria then tell me, I mean I've been friends with Liz longer then any of you. And I should know what she did that's so bad that we can't talk to her." "I'm sorry Alex, but we can't tell you." Isabel says. Michael shakes his head, "No it's okay, Alex knows about me." Isabel and Max look at Michael and then at Alex, at first Isabel is scared to tell him, not because she thinks that he'll tell. But because he might think she's gross and she doesn't know if she could take that.
Michael explains to Alex everything that's happened in the last weeks. As he explains Alex notices that Isabel has been inching farther and farther away from him, as if scared about how he will react. But Alex gets her hand and squeezes it to let her know that everything is okay. Isabel squeezes his hand back and he looks at her, and they both smile. When Michael is done explaining Alex nods, "Well I'm glad that you finally found others like you Michael." Isabel looks at him, "And you don't care that were different?" Alex looks her in the eyes, "I don't mind at all, were all different." Isabel smiles at him. "So what kind of things can you guys do?" "Well we can do all kinds of different things." Max says. Isabel looks at Alex, "Here watch this." She touches the porch swing, and then touches Alex's shirt changing it to match, then she touches a spot on her blouse and then touches Alex's shirt again changing the color.
"Oh my God how did you do that?" Maria asks while coming out on the porch. The three aliens and Alex look at Maria in shock, they had forgotten that she was inside. Isabel looks startled, "Umm Maria..." She looks at the others as if to say help me. Michael looks at them as if for permission to tell her, and Max and Isabel finally nod. "Look Maria, Max, Isabel, and I aren't from around here." Maria looks at him confused, "Well where are you from?" Isabel sighs, "Were not sure, all we know is that...that we came out of the pods and we were here on Earth." Maria shakes her head, "Wait here on Earth, as opposed to where?" Then Maria looks at them, shock registering on her face. "Wait are you guys trying to tell me that your not from Earth, that your from like a galaxy far far away?" She says in a panicked tone.
Max laughs and then stops when Maria glares at him, "Look Maria, I know that this is strange for you, but yes that's what were trying to tell you. Were the same people that you've known for the last 9 years." Maria sits down in a chair with a shocked thud, "I just can't believe this." Then it dawns on her, I've made love with an alien, oh boy would the tabloids love to get their hands on you DeLuca. Michael kneels in front of her, "I know your shocked, but you can't tell anyone, this is a big secret, and were trusting you with it, with our lives." Maria nods and then looks at him, "Wait, secret. Is this the secret that Liz knows?" Michael nods at her. "Oh God, who did she tell?" "Well she's known about me for a long time, but she found out about Isabel and Max when Isabel was in the hospital." Maria nods still shocked about what she's finding out. "Okay but who did she tell?" Isabel looks at her, "Well she told Michael about us."
Maria shakes her head, "Wait Liz told Michael who is an alien, that you two were aliens? So what's the big deal?" Max looks at the ground, "She promised she wouldn't tell anyone and she did." "Okay now I'm even more confused, she told another alien that there were two more aliens. It's not like she went to the FBI with her discovery." "You don't understand Maria, she took a chance with all of our lives, what if I hadn't been who I was? And not only that but she kept it from me when she knew that I wanted to find others like me." Michael tells her. Maria can actually feel her blood boiling, she doesn't remember the last time she was this pissed off. "I don't see the problem, so she promised she wouldn't tell. If she hadn't told then Michael you would still be looking for others, and Max and Isabel can you honestly say that you aren't glad to learn that there is someone else like you? I mean if that's true then it's like you don't really want Michael as part of you." "Maria you can't understand it. It's just the way we feel." Isabel says.
"Oh no I can't understand? I understand Isabel that someone who was there for you when you were at your lowest, someone that helped you through a situation where you needed as many friends as you could get, was pushed away because of some slight you imagined on your guys part. I understand Michael that someone you used to be involved with, someone that kept your secret all these years and never judged you and thought differently about you because of it was pushed away because you think you were wronged. I understand Alex that you who have known Liz a long time followed what everyone else was doing and ignored Liz, and you didn't even know why, the same as me. And Max, I understand that someone who has had a crush on you, and someone that you have had a crush on was pushed away from you because you think she wronged you. The same someone who never pushed you away when she found out what all of you were. In fact she embraced you more and loved one if not all of you because of it. Oh yes I understand perfectly."
She looks at all of them sitting there not looking at her, "At least I know what kind of friends we are now. I mean I better not screw up or I could be pushed away just as quickly. You treated Liz like garbage, and all because you think she wronged you in someway. But she didn't, and I know that if you would all get past your stubbornness you would see that it was the right thing to do. Can't you do that?" Isabel looks at Maria, "I'm sorry I can't she hurt me." Maria looks at Max and Michael, "What about you two?" Neither of them say anything to her, she looks at Alex who looks at Isabel, and then he shakes his head.
Maria feels a sob escape her chest, "I never thought I would say this, but I'm ashamed to call any of you my friends." She goes inside and gets her purse and comes back outside walking down the stairs. "Maria where are you going?" Michael says as he goes up to her grabbing her arm. Maria yanks her arm from his grasp, "Don't touch me, oh don't worry I'm not going to go tell your little secret, but know this. What you four have done is worse then anything Liz could have done, she didn't do anything wrong and your all to stupid and pig headed to realize it. You think what she did was so bad? Well what about you Isabel? You had sex with Kyle countless times, what if something could have happened because your different?" Maria starts to cry, "And you Michael? We've made love, what if something had happened to me because you were to scared to tell me? What if I had gotten sick because of you being who you are? Thank God I didn't, I mean if I had died because we made love and they did an autopsy and discovered something was wrong, and it came back to you guys, would you have blamed me for making love?"
Michael looks at her, "Now your being irrational, nothing happened." "No it didn't, but you didn't know that it couldn't all you were doing was thinking with your dick. And I'm not being any more irrational about things then you guys are being with Liz. But fine, you guys do what you want, but I'm going to go and fix things with Liz and I before their to late, I know that Liz would never hate me for following you guys, she's not as cold hearted as you guys. But I want all of you to know that after this I don't want to have anything to do with you, I don't want friends that keep secrets and throw each other away for what you think of as a mistake. You all make me sick!"
And with that Maria runs to her car and hops in driving off......
It was fifteen minutes later that Maria arrived at the trailer park and pulled up in front of Liz's trailer. She spent the entire drive getting angrier and angrier. Where the hell did they have the right? Liz couldn't have won either away. They were mad because she told their secret to Michael AND because she kept the secret from Michael. How fucking irrational was that? She almost went back to yell at them some more, to blow off some steam but she realized that it wouldn't do any good. They were all just too pigheaded to see how wrong they were.
As she turned off the engine, she glanced at the clock radio and saw that it was getting late so she got out of the car and closed the door as quietly as she could and then walked over to knock on the door. All the lights were on, which was a good sign, but after the first time she knocked, no one answered. She waited for thirty seconds before she knocked again and continued to wait. She considered leaving when still no one answered but then she shook her head and knocked again. It was pertinent that she talk to Liz now!
The door finally opened to reveal Liz's mother, half-dressed in a leopard print nightly with a large gash in the front, her bright red lipstick smeared all over her swollen lips and her hair in tangles. She obviously wasn't alone. She took a drag from her cigarette and then blew it out and began to cough. Once the coughing subsided, she gave Maria an impatient look and said, "So, what do you want?"
"Uh, I'm sorry, but my names Maria and I go to school with Liz and I really need to speak with her. Is she here by any chance?"
The woman rolled her eyes and took another drag on her cigarette, smoke trailing from her lips as she spoke. "No, she's not here and I have to tell you that I'm getting real sick of being bothered about her whereabouts. I'm not her keeper, okay? I haven't seen her since before school this morning. She doesn't tell me where she goes and to tell you the truth, I just prefer it that way, okay? Now, if you don't mind, I am entertaining a guest and I would like to get back to him before he has to leave, you understand. Goodnight," she said and then slammed the door in Maria's face.
"Goodnight to you too," Maria sighed to the closed door. "Jeez, no wonder Liz doesn't spend a lot of time at home." She began to walk back to her car and then realized that she really had no idea of where else to look for her. She didn't really know Liz too well and she sure didn't know where Liz liked to hang out when she was avoiding home, at least of late. Maria understood that Liz used to be unseparable from Michael and Alex but now that they had ostracized her, she had no clue where to look.
The only place she could think of was the school because she had seen Liz there a few times before at night, sometimes with her friends, sometimes alone. She had no other leads so the school is where she would go.
She got into her car and peeled out of the gravel driveway, not caring who she bothered anymore and sped towards the school, praying to find her there. She got within a mile of the school when suddenly she saw flashing lights turn on in her rearview mirror and she swore. She was being pulled over. She slammed her hand on the steering wheel and then pulled her car over to the side of the road. "I don't need this right now," she muttered impatiently to herself.
She turned off the engine and waited for the officer to arrive. She had been pulled over before for speeding and usually, she talked her way out of a ticket but tonight she was just going to take the ticket and get out of there so she could find Liz. She was really getting worried. No one had heard or seen her since lunch that day and that couldn't be good.
The officer arrived at her car and leaned over to shine the flashlight in her face. "Where's the fire? Young lady, do you realize that you were going seventy in a forty-five?"
"Yes sir, I know," Maria said, agreeing just to expedite the process.
"What's the rush?"
Maria sighed, not wanting to get into it. "I'm sorry officer but a friend of mine is missing and I'm trying to find her. I'm worried about her."
"That's still no reason to break the law. Can I see your license and registration?"
She nodded. "Yes sir," and then leaned into her purse and pulled out her organizer to retrieve her license and then opened the glove box to pull out her registration and proof of insurance. She heard a voice begin to crackle over the officer's radio just then.
"Officer Randal, we have a situation at the park by the school. Someone reported that there was a young lady passed out in the grass by the swing-sets. Possibly abused. The description is as follows: she's a minor, female, medium-length brown hair, wearing a pair of denim shorts and a yellow V-neck T-shirt carrying a blue backpack. Can you respond?"
Maria's breath caught in her throat and the blood began to pound in her ears. LIZ! Liz was wearing shorts and a V-neck T-shirt this afternoon and her backpack was blue! Abused? Who the hell would abuse her?
The officer moved his arm over to the radio which rested on his shoulder and pushed the button, speaking into it. "That's a 10-4. I am a minute away from the park. I'll go check it out."
The officer handed Maria back her things and said, "Well, looks like you got off the hook."
"Wait! That girl, I think that's the one I'm looking for! Her name is Liz Parker. Please, can I come with you? I need to find out if it's her."
The officer hesitated and then slowly began to nod. "Sure," he sighed. "Follow me."
Maria nodded and turned the car back on, waiting for the police car to take the lead. Finally, the officer pulled the car out on to the street and turned the lights on, speeding towards the park. Recklessly, Maria threw the car in drive and sped after him.
As they reached the park, Maria threw the door of her car open, not even bothering to turn the engine off of her car and ran towards the crumpled shape she saw lying in the grass. It WAS Liz.
Tears sprung in Maria's eyes as she fell in a heap at Liz's side and brushed the hair out of her face. "OH MY GOD!" Maria yelled, bringing both her hands to her face. There was dried blood all over Liz's face and in her hair, as well as what looked like vomit in a small pool next to her.
"Stand back!" the officer instructed but Maria ignored him as he called for an ambulance.
"Oh God," Maria moaned. "Liz! Wake up! Please wake up!" She shook her lightly and suddenly, Liz's eyes opened to small slits.
"Maria?" she croaked. "What are you doing here?"
"OH MY GOD! LIZ!" she screamed and gave her a big hug. "Are you okay? What happened? Who did this to you?"
Liz looked utterly confused. "What? No one did this to me, Maria."
"Then what happened?"
"Maria, calm down. Look, I'm...sick and I passed out when I was running home today."
"Sick? What do you mean sick."
Liz rolled her eyes skyward and swallowed hard. "I have leukemia, Maria. I'm dying."
But Liz never answered because at that moment, her eyes rolled into the back of her head and she passed out again.
Maria rode in the ambulance with Liz to the hospital, fighting to digest the bomb that Liz had just dropped on her. How could it be true? Liz was only sixteen! How could she be dying?
Liz was rushed into the emergency room and Maria was told that she would have to go to the nurses station and give them as much information as she could. She told the nurse what she could, only half paying attention. The rest of her mind was on Liz. She couldn't get over it. Liz was dying. Maria knew nothing about leukemia, only that it was a cancer of some sort, but she had always thought that it wasn't serious anymore. From the looks of Liz though, she realized that it must be more serious than she thought.
After talking to the nurse, she went over to the phone and called Liz's mother to give her the news only to be greeted by a busy signal. She shook her head at the phone in disgust and then slammed it down. She began to walk away but then decided that she should probably call her parents and tell them that she was now at the hospital. They thought she was at Isabel's but she wanted them to know where she really was and why. Before she got off the phone with her mother, she asked her not to tell anyone if they called for her. She didn't feel that Isabel or Michael or Max or Alex deserved to know, not after the way they were talking about her tonight.
Then again, she thought, maybe telling them wasn't such a bad idea. She wanted them to feel as low as they possibly could, she wanted to make them suffer after all the suffering they had caused Liz. Ultimately, she decided that she wouldn't tell them until after she talked to Liz for two reasons; the first, she didn't have the right to tell Liz's secret, and the second, this was no time for Maria's vengeance, no matter how much she wanted to make the others suffer. Liz needed someone to be there for her and she would stay as long as she was needed.
It wasn't until the next morning and fifteen cups of coffee later that Maria was allowed to see Liz. She was a little uncomfortable as she took her seat but she had sworn she would be there for Liz and she wasn't going to go back on that.
They had Liz's arm hooked up to an IV and her heart rate was being monitored by a machine. Her eyes were slightly dazed as she met Maria's eyes and she offered Liz a thin smile. "How are you doing?" she asked lightly.
Liz smirked and said, "I've felt better."
"Do you want to talk about it?"
Liz shook her head and looked down to her hands. "Not really."
"Oh, okay. That's fine. We can talk about anything you want to talk about."
Liz nodded and was silent for a moment before she spoke again. "Did you tell the others?"
Maria shook her head fiercely. "No," she said, the bitterness evident in her voice. "I don't think they deserve to know after the way they treated you. I didn't think you'd need their pity."
"So you know then?"
"I know everything. I know about Michael and Isabel and Michael being aliens and I know that they are completely wrong about you. I think it's disgusting, the way they treated you and I'm not friends with them anymore. I couldn't believe how stupid they are about all this." She shook her head, her anger flaring once again and she had to take a deep breath to calm herself down. Liz didn't need her freaking out at the moment.
"I'm dying," Liz said suddenly and Maria jumped. Sure she had heard the words the night before but to hear them again still made her feel sick.
"You don't have to talk about it if you want," she said, reaching out to squeeze Liz's hand.
"No, it's okay. The doctor said I should talk about it. Do you have any questions?"
Maria chewed on her lip and then nodded slowly. "How long have you known?"
"Well, I was first diagnosed with Leukemia a few years back. I went through all the treatments and eventually I got better. When I didn't go into remission within the first year they thought that I was completely healed and that my chances were good, but I'm back in remission now and it's a lot worse than it was before," she swallowed and then grimaced. "Do you think you can get me some water? My throat is dry from all the pills they have me on."
Maria nodded quickly and jumped up to pour some water from the yellow medical pitcher in the corner. Liz took the water with a smile and a thank you and then drank the entire thing. She placed the paper cup on the night-stand next to the bed and continued. "Like I said, it's a lot worse now. They did a magnetic resonance scan after I got here last night and they discovered that not only is it back but that I have several large tumors in my abdomen."
"What does that mean?"
Liz looked Maria in the eye without wavering. "It means that there is no chance for me. You see, if they had been detected early enough, they would have been easily curable, but it didn't get caught in time so..." her voice trailed off for a moment and then she said, " you know, I think it's almost better that everyone is mad at me. It will make it easier for them when I go, easier for me. If they all hate me then I don't have to worry about hurting them all when I die."
Maria's mouth fell open. "How can you say that? They don't hate you, they're just angry, wrongly so, but I know they don't hate you."
Liz laughed bitterly. "Michael hates me. Remember, I'm dead to him now. If he only knew how right he was. Hey, I'm just helping him along really."
"But how can you just give up like this, Liz? I may not know you very well but the Liz Parker I have grown closer to and admire would never give up so quickly. They're has to be a way..." tears started to fall from her eyes as she saw Liz shake her head sadly.
"It's too late Maria. All they can do now is give me medication to ease the pain. And to tell you the truth, without my friends, without Max, I don't want to be alive. I just hope it comes quickly."
"God, Liz," Maria sobbed. "Don't talk like that!"
"Why? It's true," she shrugged and then yawned. "I'm getting tired so I think I'm going to take a nap now."
"Okay," Maria said, trying to offer Liz a smile but she was sure that it came out lopsided. "I'll be outside if you need me."
Liz's voice came out so defeated. "Please don't hang around. It will be easier if you just forget about me now. It's not like there is anything you can do anyway. Thank you for staying but you should just go on with your life. I'd rather die alone."
"I'll be outside," Maria said firmly. She would not leave Liz alone, no matter what.
Liz sighed and then got comfortable in the bed. "Bye Maria."
Maria waited until she was out of Liz's room before she burst into heavy tears and doubled over gasping. Granted, she hardly knew Liz but she felt more loss than she ever felt possible. Liz was the kindest, sweetest, most lively person she had ever met and she was proud to have her as a friend. And now that friendship was disappearing almost as soon as it had came. Maria would gladly trade places Liz, even if it were just for a day.
After she had caught her breath somewhat, she stood up and sauntered towards the lobby to try Liz's mother again but she never reached the phone because as she reached the hallway, she immediately ran into Max, Michael, Isabel and Alex.
"Maria!" Isabel said. "What's going on? Your mother said you were at the hospital. Are you okay?"
*Thanks Mom,* Maria thought bitterly. "What the hell are you doing here?" she barked.
"We wanted to talk to you about earlier." Isabel said.
"There is nothing to say! You people disgust me," she growled. "Get out, you're not wanted here."
"No," Michael said. "Why are you here anyway?"
"I said leave!"
"Maria?" Max said, suddenly feeling something really wasn't right. "What's going on?"
"Can't you guys take a hint?"
"No," Michael replied.
"Fine you want to know?" she stalked up to Michael and got right in his face. "You said yesterday that Liz is dead to you, well guess what buddy, looks like you're getting what you wanted!"
"What are you talking about?" Max demanded urgently, appearing at Maria's side.
"DO I HAVE TO SPELL IT OUT TO YOU?!" Maria yelled. "LIZ IS DYING!!"
Max's chin dropped to the ground and he stumbled back towards the wall to support himself. "Are you serious?" he gasped.
"Your damn right I am! Now, I'll say it again, get the fuck out of here. She needs her real friends right now and we all know that includes none of you. She doesn't want to see any of you and I don't either."
Max buried his head in his hands and began to sob. "No, not Liz. Why didn't she tell me?"
Maria had no sympathy for him at all. She walked over to him and said, "She probably didn't want your pity after the way you've been treating her. I guess it really hurts when people keep secrets from each other. Looks like she's good at keeping secrets after all."
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