FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
Part 8a
by Teri Leigh
Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with the WB, Melinda or Jason. Basically I own nothing and no infringement is intended.
Summary: My version of what takes place after Destiny. Max is in a bad place.
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
Authors Note: There may be a short 4 part sequel to this one if anyone wants it to continue. The Point of View changes in each section between Max and Liz.
When Kyle left, Liz stood shocked, not knowing what to do with herself. Though she hated to admit it, Kyle had been her distraction. He had prevented her thoughts from drifting to Max too often or staying on him too long. Now that things were over with them, Liz had no way to prevent all of her thoughts of Max from rushing her at once. She was overcome with a tidal wave of raw emotion and wanted nothing more than to fall onto her bed and cry. Her eyes stung with the tears that were desperately trying to escape, but she refused to let them fall.

In an effort to keep busy, to avoid tears, Liz went into her bathroom, washing her face with warm water. She brushed through her long dark hair, then pulled it into a loose ponytail on top of her head. Liz changed out of what little she was still wearing from her date and pulled on a camisole and a pair of pajama pants. After a moment of indecision, she pulled her journal out of its hiding place and, yanking on a robe against the chill of the night air, went out onto the balcony with it. With so many thoughts and feelings racing through her, the least she could do was try to write them down. Maybe that way she could analyze them instead of allowing them to drown her.

Today is July first. It's been about six weeks since my last journal entry. I began this journal the day Max entered my life, when he saved me at the Crashdown. I figured it would be fitting to end it the day he exited my life. I realize now, however, that there will never be a time when Max isn't in my life. He is forever in my thoughts and in my heart. When he saved me that day, our souls became one. He brought something inside of me to life and, by being without him, something within me is dying. I'm getting ahead of myself. I guess I should go back a little and write down all that has happened so when I read this, years from now, I can recall. As if I could ever forget.

When Max realized his destiny that day in the desert, I walked away from him. I convinced myself it was for the best. If you love someone set them free and all that. The only thing is, I never honestly expected him to let me let go. I figured he would fight harder for me, for us. Wasn't what we had worth saving? But he didn't. I haven't seen him since that day. Haven't heard from him or anything about him. Not a second goes by without me wondering where he is and what's going on with him. Is he as miserable without me as I am without him? Or has he moved on? Is he with Tess the same way I'm with Kyle and for the same reasons?

Yes, I'm with Kyle again. Or I should say I was with Kyle again. I think tonight he set me free in much the same way that I did for Max. And sadly, I think, like Max, that I won't fight for him to take me back. I never would have believed that Kyle and I would end up together again, even for so short a time. But he really was there for me when I needed him. He was right to leave me. Much as I hate to admit it, I was using him. I wanted so desperately to forget the pain, the hole in my heart left by Max, that I was searching for anything that could fill it. I think for a few brief seconds, Kyle was able to. I wish, for his sake and mine, that I could return his feelings. Things would be so much easier if I could let go of Max. But how does one let go of a piece of themselves? By letting go of Max, would I also lose a piece of my soul?

Her head jerked up as she heard a clang from the ladder on the side of her building. Was Kyle coming back up to say he was wrong? That he wanted her back? What could she say to him if that was the case?

The head that peeped over the edge of her balcony, however, didn't belong to Kyle. Her breath caught in her throat as her gaze locked with Max's. She had to be seeing things. Hadn't she read somewhere that stress and grief could cause hallucinations? That must be the case. Liz squeezed her eyes shut, trying to clear them of the vision, but he was still there before her when her eyes opened.

"Max?" she asked hesitantly, afraid if she spoke too loudly he'd disappear.

"Hi," he replied softly as he crossed to where she sat. "I hope…I mean, is it OK that I'm here?" He shoved his hands down into his pockets. The only thing he wanted at this moment was to forget about the last six weeks, wrap her in his arms and never let her go.

"I know your parents don't really like you to have people over so late, but I figured with Kyle here that maybe they were out of town or something. And since I just saw him leave, I knew you'd still be awake and all, so…I hope you don't mind." Way to go, Max. Let out all that nervous energy in one rambling breath that makes you sound like a stalker. Good job.

Liz's eyebrows furrowed as she listened to what Max was saying. Had Max spoken to Kyle? He knew that Kyle had been over tonight and that her parents were more than likely not home. She wondered how he knew all of these things. Was he watching her? Had he been the entire time they were apart? Did he miss her as desperately as she missed him? Was he aching right now, the same way she was at having him so close and not being able to touch him? She asked the only question she could ask without revealing everything she was thinking to him.

"Max, what are you doing here?" She made sure her voice was soft and gentle. Made sure the question didn't come across as suspicious or judgmental while at the same time not allowing him to hear the desperation she felt.

He didn't answer her at first. He wasn't quite sure what to say. Would honesty come across as too pathetic and needy? She had moved on to Kyle. Even though he had told Max Liz was still in love with him, how could Max be sure? Was he about to make a huge fool out of himself to the girl who had already walked away from him once?

This was Liz. They had always been honest about their feelings with the other. Max trusted her with everything that he was and he'd much rather live through the heartbreak of a second rejection than live with the knowledge that he had never told Liz the truth.

"I…I missed you." The words were simple, but honest and once out, a floodgate inside Max broke free and he couldn't stop himself from continuing. "These last weeks without you have been the worst of my life, Liz. It's like I'm dying inside and something new is taking over. This person I'm becoming without you is scaring me. I never leave my room or talk to anyone. You're all I can think about anymore and knowing that you don't want me…it's killing me, Liz. I didn't think anyone could live through pain like this." He was pacing now, back in forth in front of her like a caged animal. He finally stopped directly before her and let his gaze lock with hers. "I need you, Liz. I love you, so much. Please, Liz, please."

He didn't specify what he was asking of her, but Liz knew regardless. He wanted her love. No, that wasn't exactly true. He already had her love. What he wanted was for her to admit she still loved him and allow them to be together again. It was the same thing she wanted, and yet, she knew that no matter how much they wanted to be together, they never could.

"Max," his name was torn from her lips in a heart-wrenching plea. "Please don't. You know it can't work. You saw the same thing I did. You and I…we just weren't meant to be."

"That's bullshit, Liz and you know it." He wasn't angry, merely tired and frustrated. Sinking down on his knees before her, he clasped his hands together tightly as he continued. "Our DNA isn't what defines us, Liz. You're a scientist. You know that. It's the whole nature versus nurture argument. A lot of who we are is dependent on our experiences as we grow and that's what determines who we become. And what my experiences have made me, is a man who loves you with every molecule, every…DNA strand in his body. You are a part of who I am; one of the things that defines me. I can't lose that and I refuse to give it up."

Liz's voice was soft, strained, her eyes brimming with tears as she spoke. "But Max, that still doesn't…"

Max silenced whatever protest she was about to make by leaning forward, cradling her face between his hands and locking his lips onto hers. The kiss was tentative, cautious, both waiting for the other to take things further, both afraid to make the next move.

After a few brief moments, Max pulled back slightly, leaning his forehead against hers. "I love you, Liz. That's all that matters." The words were whispered against her lips and she could feel his breath on her lips as he spoke.

"Max," she repeated his name once more, though it was more an exhalation of sound than anything else. Her fingertips traced daintily over his lips and her eyes closed as she forced out the words she felt she had to say. "I can't be the person who stands between you and what you're supposed to do."

"And I can't do it without out you." Max placed his fingertips over Liz's lips lightly before she had a chance to argue. "Liz, I meant what I said before. I'm not the same person without you and I don't like the person I become. There's no way that Max could defeat anyone. If you don't believe me, ask my mother when the last time I came down for a meal with my family was. Ask Milton how long it's been since I've been to work. Ask Isabel when she last saw me leave my room, before today. If I can't function in my day to day life without you Liz, how do you think I'll be able to talk on this race that I can only distinguish from the evil inside them? I can't do it without you, Liz." A small smile lifted the corners of his mouth as he continued. "You're one of my basic needs, Liz. Most people need food, water and shelter. I just need your love."

"Oh Max," tears slowly leaked from under Liz's eyelids and he tenderly wiped them away with his thumbs. "I'm sorry, Max, but I just…"

He silenced her once more with a kiss, this one more intense, less careful and much more passionate. Max let all of his desire for her pour into that kiss, trying to make her understand the desperate need he had for her. His right hand slid around her waist, his left cradled her neck as he pulled her tightly against him. Liz melted into his embrace, her arms wrapping around him, desperate to touch as much of him as possible, knowing it may be the last time she ever would.

When they finally broke away, both were gasping for breath, their lips still lingering mere centimeters apart as they clung to one another, trying to pull in oxygen, enjoying the feel of their breath mingling and caressing each others faces. Liz tried to pull away, another objection lingering on her tongue, but Max interrupted before she could even begin.

"There's only one way that you can make me give up on you Elizabeth Anne Parker. If you can look me in the eyes and tell me honestly that you don't love me, I'll walk away and never bother you again. Even though it may kill me to not be with you, if I honestly believed you didn't love me and would be happier without me in your life, I would."

Part 7 | Index | Part 8b
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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