FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"Growing Up, Growing Apart, and Falling in Love"
Part 9
by Dee
Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
Liz turned up the volume on her stereo. The slow, mellow sounds of Donell Jones filled her room, echoing off the walls. She crawled back into her rumpled bed, pulling her pillow against her chest. With a somber heart, she listened carefully to the song's lyrics. They reflected her heartache eerily:

"But when you love someone you just don't treat them bad oh how I feel so sad Now that I wanna leave She's crying her heart to me How could you let this be I just need time to see Where I wanna be Where I wanna be"

Liz thought that must be exactly how Max must be feeling about her. After what she had done to him Liz knew it was impossible for Max to be near her. She had hurt him too much. Liz saw it clearly in his eyes every time he looked at her. Max could barely stand to be in the same room with her. A baby would only serve to tie him to her. And Liz knew that was one place he didn't want to be. Liz felt tears start in her eyes for the first time in weeks.

Admittedly, she was overjoyed to know that Max was the father of her baby. She had been agonized to think that it would have been any other way. However, despite the happy development, it was absolutely the wrong time. Liz didn't even have any idea where Max was! She definitely couldn't expect him to take part in raising the baby. How could she even ask after the hell she'd put him through? The hell she was still putting him through, Liz amended silently. She refused to add to it. Max deserved to have time to decide what he wanted and if what he wanted was Liz without having fatherhood hang over his head. And more than anything Liz wanted, needed to give him that time.

She swiped at the tears dripping from her chin. She loved Max enough to let him go. Hadn't she done that already? Now Liz prayed for the strength to keep her resolve. But oh god, she missed him so much! They had been inseparable for over three years and now suddenly there was a gaping void where Max used to be.

But Liz would survive it. She was determined to. She had her baby. Max's baby. A smile trembled on her lips in spite of the tears. She would have a part of him after all. And no one could ever take it away.

And so she made her decision. She wouldn't tell Max about the baby. Liz had debated the issue since Dr. Bolivar had confirmed the progression of her pregnancy. Knowing Max, Liz was certain that if she told him he was the baby's father he would do the responsible thing. And that would mean dealing with her before he was emotionally ready to. Max, when he was ready to reconcile, would come to her on his own terms. She would tell him the truth then, not before. In the meantime, she would take care of herself and her baby.

The first thing Liz decided was that the moping thing had to go. She was twenty-one years old after all, with her entire life ahead of her. Yes, she and boyfriend were apart. And yes, the chances of their reconciling were slim at best. And yes, she was single and pregnant, but did all those things mean that her life had to come to a screeching halt?

Liz hopped from her bed and bent down to pull her suitcase from beneath it. She didn't decide where she planned to go until her bag was fully packed. Maria. Liz had a long-standing invitation. And she really needed to get the hell out of Roswell, New Mexico.

When she informed her parents of her plan to visit Maria in New York they thought she had flipped. Her mother, especially, was against it. Liz knew that her mother wasn't trying to be controlling but that Nancy was simply worried about her. Liz suspected that her mother thought she was near a nervous breakdown. It took some serious begging, and finally forceful words before her parents gave Liz their blessing to go to New York. They even went a step beyond, offering to pay for her round trip plane ticket. Liz didn't argue.

She slept on the plane, dreaming about Max. In her dream Max came to her in the hospital after she'd had the baby. He loved her again. His eyes were smiling at her as he beheld his daughter. And then he looked at Liz, his dark eyes hooded. Without a word he came toward her and took her lips in a long, tender kiss. He didn't need to say a word. Liz saw his feelings in his eyes. He wanted her and he wanted their baby. Liz could feel herself crying. She woke up with a start, yearning for Max with such keenness it caused an ache in her chest.

The plane was landing. Liz had arrived in New York.

Down in the baggage claim Liz fumbled through her pocket, looking for Maria's crumpled phone number. Liz knew the number by memory, but actually seeing it on paper gave her an odd sense of comfort. Picking up her suitcase Liz made her way over to the payphone and dialed Maria's number. The phone rang a number of times, as usual, before anyone picked up.

"It's your dime!"

"Alex? Is that you? It's me, Liz."

"Liz, god, is it really you? Damn, it's good to hear your voice!"

Liz could hear the genuine gladness in his voice and it made her smile. "It's good to hear yours too," she told him softly, "I've missed you, Alex."

"Me too." He paused a moment. "Listen, Maria filled me in on what's going on with you and Max. And just for the record I think he's being way too harsh with you."

"No, Alex, you're wrong. I'm getting everything I deserve right now."

"Oh, Liz. . ."

"Alex, I didn't call to talk about Max, ok, I was calling for a ride."

"What are you talking about, Liz?"

"I'm in New York. So get your ass to the airport and pick me up!" ****************************************************************************** ********************************************************* "Wow!" Liz looked around the inside of Maria's apartment in stunned amazement. She could hardly believe what she saw. Leather sofas, crystal, very expensive looking antiques, Maria really was doing well, Liz realized giddily. She was almost afraid to touch anything because it all looked so pristine and priceless.

Alex shuffled in behind her, carrying her suitcase. "Damn, Liz, what did you pack? An arsenal?"

"I just brought the bare essentials," Liz muttered absently, "Wow, Alex, this apartment is awesome!"

"Yeah, big whoo," Alex replied, unimpressed. He deftly punched in the security code after closing the door. "Go ahead and make yourself comfortable, Liz."

Liz plopped down on the cream colored sofa, marveling at how soft it was. She started to prop her feet on the coffee table and then checked the impulse. "So where's Maria?"

Alex propped himself on the edge of the chaise lounge across from Liz. "She's shooting a video in Hawaii and won't be back for another week." Upon hearing that Liz felt disappointment wash over her. Her crestfallen expression didn't escape Alex's notice. "Hey will I do?"

Liz smiled at him weakly. "It's kind of a girl thing, Alex."

"When has that ever mattered?"

Liz had to admit he had a point there. "I was kinda hoping I could stay here a few days, you know, hang out."

"Sure, why not? I'm on a weeks vacation from work so your timing is perfect."

He seemed so eager to spend time with her that Liz couldn't help but smile. "I probably won't be the most rousing company."

"Neither will I. My girlfriend's gone five days out of the week. That's enough to make any guy cranky, if you know what I mean."

He looked so disgruntled that Liz collapsed on the sofa in a fit of giggles. "God, I've missed you, Alex!"

"Same here, sweetheart," he quipped affectionately, "So shall I get the vanilla ice cream?"

"By all means."

They talked most of the night well into the early morning hours. Liz found out that Maria's fame was especially hard on Alex. At school he was known as Majandra's guy. The title served as a severe blow to his pride. Alex definitely did not want to be defined by Maria's celebrity status. He loved her, he admitted to Liz, but he didn't feel that he would ever be able to make a name for himself as long as he and Maria were together. Alex Whitman wanted to be known as more than a pop star's boy toy. Liz found herself surprised to learn that she really didn't know all that much about Alex at all. In the years following their departing for college they had lost touch with one another. Liz was glad for the opportunity to rekindle their friendship.

She stayed for a week. In that time she and Alex had hit every nightspot and club in town. Even though she didn't drink she had fun just acting crazy and being young. She met a number of Alex's computer junkie friends, which was an experience in itself and she laughed more than she had in two months. But most importantly, she hadn't thought about Max since that first night she'd arrived. She still loved him, she admitted to herself. There wasn't any doubt about that. If she had the choice she'd wish them together, but that wasn't going to be. Liz couldn't spend the rest of her life pining for him. She had to move on without him. She knew that he would come to her when he was ready, but in the meantime. . . There was a whole different side of Liz Parker waiting to be discovered.

If her trip to New York had taught her anything, it was that Max Evans was not the be all and end all of her life. Liz would be happy again. The words of Donell's song made more sense than ever now. Liz also needed time to decide where she wanted to be.

TBC. . .

Part 8 | Index | Part 10
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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