|"Growing Up, Growing Apart, and Falling in Love"
Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.
Category: After Hours
|Liz did a double take when she spied Max at the receptionist desk of her
doctor's office. Her first thought was, Oh my god, did something bad happen?
And then it dawned on her that if something was wrong a doctor's office was
the last place that Max would come. He couldn't possibly be there for her.
He didn't even know where she was. So then Liz had to wonder just what had
brought Max Evans to an OBGYN's office. Suddenly Max and the receptionist
turned in Liz's direction and the receptionists pointed straight at Liz. Max
turned and smiled at the woman, nodding, and then began striding over towards
Liz. Liz glanced wildly around her, her forehead furrowed in confusion. He
had to be there for someone else, she thought crazily. But his eyes were
trained directly on Liz.
Max came breezing up to her, his expression jovial. He smiled. "Hey Liz."
"Max?" Liz looked at him as if he didn't have a clue. "What are you doing here?"
"You have a doctor's appointment, right? Eleven o'clock?"
"That's right. I have a doctor's appointment." Liz looked at him pointedly, but he wouldn't take the hint. He sat down beside her and peered over into her lap. "What ya reading?" He flipped up the magazine to see the cover. "Parents? Hey maybe we should get a subscription?"
"Max, have you lost it?" The look Liz was giving him clearly transmitted her belief that he'd flipped out. "Why are you here?"
"I wanted to come with you to your doctor's visit."
"How did you even know I had a doctor's visit?"
Max gave a casual shrug. "I heard you talking to Kyle last night and I called this morning to find out exactly what time your appointment was."
Liz gaped at him. She didn't understand him at all. Three months ago he needed his space so much that he'd actually left the state to get away from her. And now he was reduced to following her. He had a girlfriend now and was supposedly happy and yet here he was with Liz. Last night he had been so gentle, holding her and brushing away her tears, but today his emotions were carefully masked. There was a playful coolness about him. As if he were afraid of being too serious with her. Perhaps he had felt the connection between them that she felt. Perhaps he still loved her. Liz looked at him. His expression was void of any betraying emotion. Liz didn't have a clue what he was thinking. He was really confusing her. Liz glared at him through narrowed eyes, pressing her lips together in displeasure. "What you're doing can be construed as stalking, Max."
Unbelievably, he smiled at that. "I told you I wanted to be a part of this baby's life. I meant it."
Max was not trying to give her a hard time, but the knowledge that he was going to become a father was making him giddy. He felt happy for the first time in ages. Not just content or accepting of the way life was, but truly and deeply pleased. Max could admit to himself that a great deal of that had to do with being near Liz again. He was still angry with her, more than he was even willing to face, but he still loved her. More than anything. But he couldn't be with her. Max didn't know if he could open himself up to that kind of heartache again. But he wanted to trust her again and wanted to, at least, work at a friendship with her. That was more than what he'd felt a month before. A month ago he thought he'd never stop hating her.
And now she was pregnant with his baby and everything was right with Max's world. It was amazing that they had made a child. After he'd left the Crashdown the night before he had gone home and tried to figure out exactly when the baby was conceived. The only night he could come up with was an intimate dinner Liz had planned for them shortly after their midterms. She wanted to relax them, she'd said. She had worn only a sexy, transparent type of lingerie and a smile. They had made love all night, all over the apartment. Max hadn't bothered with protection that night. The memory caused a tightening in Max's groin. He coughed to cover his groan. Thinking of how things used to be between him and Liz wasn't going to do anything to improve their situation. Max forced himself to refocus. He'd come to establish a relationship with his child, not rebuild his demolished one with Liz. "Look, Liz," he said, noting her angry, confused expression, "I only want to be a part of the baby's life. I've missed six months already and granted that was my choice, but I'm here now. Please. Just let me be a father."
His expression was earnest. Liz didn't doubt that he meant every word he said. She sighed heavily. "I'm having an ultrasound today and a regular check-up."
Max nodded. "I'll go back with you."
"You can't!" Liz burst out quickly.
"I'm having a check-up. . ." Liz said in a leading manner. Max's expression remained clueless. "You cannot possibly come back there with me."
"I'm going with you."
Thirty minutes later Liz was called back and Max did indeed go with her. Liz ground her teeth in frustration as the nurse led them down the hall towards the examining room. After opening the door for them to enter the nurse said in a friendly manner, "You know the drill, Liz. Your gown's on the table." She closed the door with a soft click. Liz was left alone with Max. She glared at him. "Well, what are you waiting for?" he demanded impatiently.
"I need to get undressed," Liz gritted, longing to punch him.
"So get undressed," Max said. A small smirk lurked at the corners of his mouth. "It's nothing I haven't seen before, Liz."
"Now what would your girlfriend say about that, Max?" Liz pointed out bitterly. Max's smile faded at the forceful reminder of Tess. Suddenly Max became aware that he had been flirting with Liz and he hadn't even meant to. Keeping their relationship strictly business was going to be harder than he'd thought, Max realized. "I'll turn around, ok?"
When he turned his back Liz let out an uneven sigh. Dear lord, she thought, how am I supposed to undress with him standing less than six feet away? Max might be unaffected by the thought of Liz being in the same room with him naked, but Liz was not. Just imagining herself naked around him after so many months made Liz dizzy. She suddenly wished she wasn't as progressed in her pregnancy. She certainly didn't present a very sexy picture, a too skinny body; and a big, round belly. Not that Max even thought of her as sexy, if he even thought of her. He had Tess now, after all. Liz tried to concentrate more on her anger at Tess and Max's relationship and not the pain it caused her. If she even acknowledged the pain she would start crying and never stop!
Liz began to slowly undress. Max fidgeted. "Are you finished yet?" Max asked a few seconds later.
"Five more minutes," Liz said as she slipped her jeans down her hips.
Max swallowed, trying not to think of an undressing Liz behind him. Pregnant or not, she was still sexy as hell and she still turned Max on the same way she always had. He knew every inch of her naked body, from head to toe. He had kissed every secret crevice she had. Max found himself assailed with the wild urge to explore the new changes in her body. Max realized that in his heart and mind he was still extremely angry with Liz, but his body, his uncontrollable body, was more than ready to make up with her. "Done yet?" Max asked again. It was suddenly uncomfortably hot in the room.
"Yeah, you can turn around."
She was sitting on the examining table wearing one of those awful hospital gowns. He smiled at the picture she made. "The only big thing on you is your tummy," he laughed.
Liz ducked her head. "Yeah, well I lost a lot of weight a while back. I'm still trying to gain it back." Max sobered at her somber tone. He approached her tentatively, brushing her hair from her face. "Was that because of me?" he whispered gently.
"What do you think?" Liz whispered back. Their mouths hovered inches from one another, their breaths mingling. Max framed her face in his hands. "I didn't leave to hurt you, Liz," he told her softly, "I just. . .couldn't stay."
Liz nodded in understanding, the tip of her nose brushing against his. Her eyes drifted closed. Max bent his head.
"Good morning, Liz!" Dr. Bolivar said as he came strolling in. Max jumped away from Liz as if he'd been burned. Dr. Bolivar looked back and forth between their guilty faces. "You didn't bring your mother today, Liz?"
"She had to go out of town today," Liz explained, blushing, "This is Max."
Dr. Bolivar extended his hand. "You're the father?"
Max gripped his hand in greeting. "Yes sir." He was smiling from ear to ear when he said it.
It only took fifteen minutes to give Liz her check-up, but Max had to turn away because watching Dr. Bolivar examine Liz made Max want to deck him. Max breathed a heavy sigh of relief when it was over. And then it was on to the ultrasound room. Max watched closely as the nurses prepped Liz, spreading a clear liquid on her round abdomen. He stared at her, transfixed.
"You haven't heard the heartbeat, have you, Max?" Dr. Bolivar asked him. Max shook his head. "Well you're in for a treat today."
A few moments later a faint, whirring sound began to fill the room. It sounded fast, like a fan running on high speed. Max held Liz's hand, an enraptured smile on his face. "Is that it?" he asked in awe.
Liz smiled up at him. "Yeah, I felt the same way the first time I heard it. Isn't it wild?"
"Yeah," Max breathed. "How about we take a look as well," Dr. Bolivar said, readying the ultrasound sensor. "Just watch the screen you two."
The picture of their baby jumped onto the screen. Max could barely make out the movements of the baby, though he tried hard. "That's the heart," Dr. Bolivar said as he moved the sensor across Liz's abdomen, "can you see it beating?"
Both Liz and Max nodded in amazement. "Here are the arms. . ." Max focused hard on the monitor.
"Oh my god," Max said, his smile widening, "is it sucking its thumb?"
"You've got a good eye, Max," Dr. Bolivar commended, "So are you two interested in the sex?"
"Yes!" both Liz and Max burst out simultaneously. They looked at each other and laughed. "Yes, please," Liz said again, more calmly this time.
Dr. Bolivar smiled. "You're having a baby girl."
"A girl," Liz repeated in awe. She looked up at him. "Max, we're having a. . ." she trailed off, noting the tears glistening in his eyes as he stared at the screen, ". . .girl." A nameless, yet profound emotion filled Liz's chest and she thought she might burst from the unexpected force of it. At that very second Liz wanted to freeze time. That instant crystallized into a perfectly wonderful moment for Liz and she never, ever wanted to forget it.
TBC. . .
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