FanFic - Max/Liz
"A Whiter Shade of Pale"
Part 6
by Anne
Disclaimer: I don't own Roswell or any of the characters. I have no affiliation with the WB television network or the author, Melinda Metz.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: R
Liz came awake slowly, somewhat groggy and disoriented. Where was she? Consciousness returned with a flood of awareness. Max. How long had she been sleeping? She took a moment to savor the weight of Max's arm around her waist and the feel of him pressed all along the back of her body. She could feel his breath on her skin. Oh, but this was glorious. And, they absolutely had to get out of here. Long shadows were falling inside the apartment and she knew it had to be getting late. Once in this lifetime was quite enough to be discovered unclothed by Michael. She turned over to face Max and he opened his eyes. Liz watched his face and thought that those were the most amazing eyes. She could feel him waking up and putting things into place in his mind. She held her breath a little waiting to see if he was going to regret what they had done. She really didn't know how she would deal with that. In all of her planning this morning, she had left out that teensy, weensy detail. Now all of a sudden, it seemed the size of the Grand Canyon. What if he resented her for . . .

He kissed her then. A slow, deliberate sort of a kiss, and in her mind, she heard him reassuring her. He wasn't having second thoughts. Only concerns about the possible consequences for her. As he continued to kiss her, she also felt the tremendous love he had for her, and she felt completely undone. It was humbling, and overwhelming, and a little frightening to be in love like this. She would literally cease to exist without him now. She could never go back to being just Liz Parker. Herself. She knew with absolute certainty that somehow they had made a deep and abiding committment to each other that superceded any sort of legal or moral obligation. It was as if the bonds were made up of invisible, physiological changes in her body and altered chemical reactions in her brain. Finally, he pulled back and looked into her eyes once more, pushing her hair back behind her ear. She didn't want this moment to ever end. Right now, right here, her life was perfect. Who knows what tomorrow would bring?

Liz: (quietly) "We had better go soon. I would really hate for Michael to come home and catch us."

Max: (expression serious and intent) "Are you o.k.? I mean, physically, how do you feel?"

Liz: (laying her hand along his jaw) "I'm fine."

Max: (searching her face and feeling satisfied that she was telling the truth) "O.k. I guess I better get you home."

Liz: (feeling a little disturbed inside at the thought of him dropping her off at her house) "Max? . . ."

Max: "I know. I feel the same way. We're just going to have to deal with it the best we can, though."

Liz: "Do you suppose it's just normal to feel this way?"

Max: "I'm not sure. It doesn't really matter. It's normal for us, and that's all that counts."

Liz: "You're right." (sliding off the bed and dragging her clothes on as quickly as possible)

As soon as they finished dressing, Liz picked up her bag and headed for the door. Max was right behind her. He put one hand on the door knob, but before twisting it, he held out his other hand to Liz. She slid her fingers in between his and watched in amazement, as their hands began to glow. Max stared at their fingers and felt everything inside him respond to the sight. More than just wanting to take her to bed again, although that was enough, he just wanted her beside him. Always.

The front door opened, and Michael and Maria almost ran over top of them. Michael stared at their glowing hands, and found he couldn't find his voice. Maria had no such problem.

Maria: "Oh my God." "What the hell is that?"

Liz (breaking out of the spell): "I don't know."

Maria: "You don't know. What do you mean you don't know?"

Michael: (recovering marginally) "Max, I'm sorry. I thought you'd be gone by now . . . " (unable to take his eyes off their hands)

Max: (prying his gaze away and looking at Michael) "It's o.k. We were just leaving."

Maria: "Maybe you should like, let go now, before you short out the power or something."

Michael: "Maybe you should stay here a little while longer and see if anything else happens." (worried)

Max: (looking at Liz) "Maybe we should . . . "

Liz: "Yeah . . . "

Maria: (suspicious now that the shock is beginning to wear off) "What did you do . . . . . . ?"

Liz: (blushing) "Maria, just don't freak out, okay? It's fine. Just . . . "

Maria: (looking at Liz like she'd lost her mind) "It's fine. Liz, glowing hands? You call that fine. Who knows what else might happen to you? Oh God. I think I need to sit down." (she slumps into the nearest chair)

Max (pulling Liz over to the sofa): "We'll just stay for a little while and see." (let's go of her hand and puts his arm around her shoulders pulling her close to his side) (whispering to Liz) "Tell me if you feel anything strange."

Liz nodded her agreement to Max, but inside she was thinking, "Boy! Howdy! I haven't felt anything but strange! Wonderful, but strange nonetheless." He smiled at this, because, of course, he heard her thoughts as clearly as if she had said it out loud. Liz looked at him in consternation, because she realized with some alarm that her private thoughts were not private any time she was touching Max. She wasn't sure how she felt about this, but it was certainly disconcerting. Not bad . . . just different.

Michael was sitting on the arm of Maria's chair and watching her with concern. She looked like she was in shock. No telling what was running around in that mind. He was actually glad at this moment that he didn't know. They had been having a wonderful time on their "date." It was the first time they had ever really relaxed with each other and just enjoyed being together. Michael found that when he was with Maria, the past and all those answers that so eluded him didn't matter as much and didn't hurt nearly as bad. Ever since the night when she had let him stay with her, he had started to feel different inside. He still wanted to find Nasedo, and he was darn close to figuring something out with that map, but the urgency was gone. Now, he was just worried about Maria's reaction to Max and Liz's apparent decision to move forward. She looked like she'd just witnessed a train wreck.

Max: (to Liz) "Are you hungry?"

Liz: (looking a little startled at hearing his audible voice) "Uh, yeah . . . a little."

Max (smiled at her again and thought how cute she looked when she was off balance): "Maybe we should order a pizza. Does that sound good to you?"

Liz: "Pizza's good."

Max: (to Michael) "We're gonna order a pizza. You guys wanna join us?"

Michael nodded his agreement, but just then Maria broke out of her reverie.

Maria: (aghast) "Food? How can you even think about food right now?"

Michael (trying to be soothing): "C'mon Maria. It's not like we didn't know it was coming." "Had to happen sooner or later."

Maria: (looking at him with an expression of utter disbelief) "Have you lost your mind?" "What if something happens like that . . . that hand thing . . . what if someone sees . . . what if they find out about . . . (swallowing and finishing weakly) you?"

Liz blanched as Maria uttered her worst fears. Max felt the sadness and regret from Liz wash over him in a wave and it made him angry inspite of the legitimacy of Maria's concerns. Michael, on the other hand, was catching a glimpse of what the real problem was with Maria. She wasn't nearly as worried about Liz as she was about he and Max and Isabel being discovered. This was very interesting and unexpected. Unless he missed his guess, she was terrified of his identity being revealed. He reached down and picked up one of her tiny hands and held it in his until she looked at him again. She finally did look him in the eye, but it took a minute.

Michael: (staring into her wide, frightened eyes) "Don't worry. We'll handle it. Whatever happens . . . we'll deal with it."

Maria (whispering and looking unconvinced): "What if we can't . . . ?"

Michael (giving her hand a reassuring squeeze): "We will."

Maria finally took a deep breath and accepted the inevitable. There was no going back now and no amount of worry would change things. She looked at Liz and felt a pang of guilt at her friends tormented expression.

Maria: "Liz, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you. I just . . . I'm sorry."

Liz: (smiling a little) "I know. It's o.k."

Max knew this was far from over. Liz appeared to relax a little on the outside, but he could see the shadows in her eyes and feel the emotions she couldn't hide. He got up and went to the phone and ordered the pizza. Maria got up and went over to sit beside Liz giving her a quick hug.

Maria (pulling back from the embrace): "You and I have a lot of talking to do."

Liz (blushing and grinning at the same time): "I don't know, Maria. It was . . . personal. Intensely personal. I'm not sure I even could . . ."

Maria (smiling): "Try!"

Liz: (trying not to laugh and hissing) "Not now!"

Maria: (backing off slightly) "O.k., but SOON!" (grinning mischieviously)

Max and Michael are talking quietly with one another across the room.

Michael: "Has she forgiven me, yet?"

Max: (confused) "Huh? . . . Oh, yeah, I, uh, I don't know. We didn't talk about it . . . "

Michael: (smiling) "Big surprise there."

Max: (smiling, too, but keeping a watchful eye on Liz): "Yeah, we didn't exactly spend a lot of time talking . . ."

Michael: "I figured that out. I suppose it goes without saying, but you did take precautions, right?"

Max: (blushing) "Yeah, we did. Well, actually Liz did. She told me the other night that she was on birth control pills."

Michael: "Bet that was hell on your, er, willpower."

Max (rueful): "You have no idea."

Michael: "That why you looked so grizzly today?"

Max: "Yeah."

Michael: "Well, I don't know, but you certainly couldn't go around like that indefinitely."

Max: "I know." . . . . "I'm worried about her, Michael."

Michael: "I know." "I'll be here if there's anything I can do."

Max: (in a rare moment of letting himself lean on someone else) "Thanks."

Michael thought to himself how nice it was, for once , to be the one helping someone else who had done something totally out of control. For one shining moment in time, Max Evans, had let go and done something irresponsible. Michael couldn't help smiling at the thought, even though, he too, was worried about the consequences. A knock on the door brought the four of them out of their individual thoughts. They all looked at each other. It was too soon for the pizza to be here. Michael went to the door and peeked out. It was Isabel and Alex. He opened the door.

Michael: "Hey. What's up?"

Isabel: "We just thought we'd stop by. Alex wanted to see your place. Is this a bad time?"

Michael (rolling his eyes): "Like you'd care."

Isabel (smiling): "Well, can we come in?"

Michael stands asides to let them in and says, "Sure. Everybody else is here. Why not?"

Max: "Hey, Is."

Isabel: (surprised) "Max. Hey. What are you doing here?"

Max: (glancing at Liz as if to tell her not to worry) "We're going to have dinner with Michael and Maria. You guys want to have pizza with us?"

Isabel: (wondering what was up) "Sure. Alex?"

Alex: "I love pizza."

Max: "Good."

Max goes to sit back down beside Liz, but he's careful not to touch her this time. If and when he told Isabel about the current state of his relationship with Liz, he wanted it to be at a time of his choosing and not here in front of everyone. Liz seemed to understand and gave him a sympathetic look. So far nothing else strange had happened. Maybe . . .

Just then there was another knock on the door. Michael went to answer it and Max also got up to pay for the pizza. The six of them went to work on the pizza and soon everyone was situated with a plate in hand. Liz picked up her pizza and took a bite out of it. She chewed it for just a second before turning pale and looking like she might head for the bathroom any minute. Maria noticed her expression right away.

Maria: "Liz! What's wrong?"

Liz couldn't answer because her mouth was still full of the offensive pizza. Max stopped eating to look at her and was alarmed to notice the green tinge to her skin. Not an unusual green, but just a sea sick sort of green.

Max: "Are you o.k.?"

Liz (finally managing to swallow and reaching for her drink): "Yeah. I'm sorry. That just didn't taste right."

Liz brings her drink to her lips and takes a sip and notices that it, too, tastes terrible. She sets her glass down and wonders how she's going to get through this meal. She doesn't want to call any attention to herself, but how was she supposed to eat this stuff? It was terrible. No wait. Everyone else was eating and seemed fine. It must just be her. Maybe she was coming down with a cold. No. That wasn't it. She sat there puzzled and glaring at the pizza on her plate as if she might be able to make it disappear by sheer force of will.

Isabel: "Are you o.k., Liz?" "You're not eating."

Liz: "I, uh, I'm just not very hungry."

Isabel (grinning): "What's the matter? Did you get in a fight with my knucklehead brother?"

Liz: (too stunned to speak properly) "Uh . . . "

Max: (disgusted) "No. We did not have a fight."

Isabel: (vaguely suspicious) "Sorry. I was just kidding."

Liz: (finding her voice) "No big deal. You know, he ticks me off on a regular basis, so it's no wonder you'd think that."

Max: (snapping his head around to look at Liz and almost blowing it before he realizes what she's doing) "I, uh, yeah."

Isabel: "Well, you shouldn't let it interfere with your appetite. He's not worth it."

Liz: (laughing now at the look on Max's face) "I would have to disagree with you there."

Max (somewhat mollified): "Thank you. I think."

The six of them finish their dinner, all except for Liz who simply cannot handle it. Max and Liz get up to leave and Max, once again, is careful not to touch her until they get in the jeep. Once safely inside, he reaches for her hand and is deeply relieved to see that everything is normal. Liz lets out her breath on a long sigh.

Max: "Well, maybe it was just because it was so soon after . . ."

Liz: "Yeah . . . maybe." (smiling at him and melting inside at the memory)

Max didn't even have to be touching her to know what she was thinking this time. The thought had an immediate and pronounced affect on his body. He leaned over and kissed her then and Liz almost moaned in delight at the taste of him. He pulled away and she ran her tongue across her lips trying to figure out what tasted so good. Eyes widening in surprise, she sat back in her seat, and stared at the road.

Max: "What's wrong?"

Liz: "You are not going to believe this."

Max: (alarmed) "What?"

Liz: "It's the tabasco sauce."

Max: (confused) "What is?"

Liz: "What tasted so good when you kissed me, besides you, of course. It's the tabasco sauce."

Max: "You're kidding. I didn't think you liked it."

Liz: "I don't. Didn't. (she amended) But, I'm definitely going to find some when I get home. I'm hungry."

Max: (perplexed) "Is that why you didn't eat your dinner tonight?"

Liz: "I think so. Nothing tasted . . . . right." (shrugging)

Max: "If that's true, then . . . "

Liz: (following his train of thought) "Yeah, what other things have changed?"

Max: (shaking his head and feeling really helpless) "I don't know, Liz. I'm sorry."

Liz: (reaching out and grabbing hold of his hand) "Don't be. I wanted this. It was my choice. No regrets."

Max: (brightening a little but still worried) "Are you sure?"

Liz: (smiling) "Positive."

Max: "We better get going."

Liz: "O.k."

They reach Liz's house quickly, and Max walks her to the door. He pulls her into a quick hug and kisses her lightly. When he pulls back, Liz can see that his eyes are filled with longing to stay with her and regret that he can't. She touches his face and kisses him one more time before heading inside. It was one of the hardest things she'd ever had to do. Walking away. Even if it was just for tonight. She knew she would see him tomorrow, but still . . .

She goes up to her room and turns on the shower. Stripping off her clothes she steps into the shower. That was odd. The water felt so cold. Looking at the handles she wondered if something had happened to their hot water heater. She'd ask her parents when she got out, which would be soon darn it. The water was just barely warm. Turning the hot water on as far as it would go seemed to help and she made it through the shower in relative comfort. Dressing for bed quickly, she turned toward her bedroom door to head for the kitchen but the phone rang. Turning back to answer it, she sat down on the bed and smiled. It had to be Max.

Liz: "Hey."

Max: (thrown off by the way she answered) "Liz? How'd you know it was me?"

Liz: "I don't know. I just did."

Max: "How are you doing?" "Everything o.k.?"

Liz: (feeling better just for hearing his voice) "Stop worrying. I'm fine." "How are you?"

Max: (laughing) "Now who's worrying?"

Liz: "Well I can't help it."

Max: "Did you get something to eat?"

Liz: "No, not yet. I decided to take a shower first. Wish I hadn't."

Max: "Why?"

Liz: "I think something's wrong with out hot water. I'm going to talk to Dad about it in a minute."

Max: "Don't do that."

Liz: "Why not?"

Max: "It's not the water. It's you."

Liz: "What?"

Max: "I have to turn the hot water on full blast when I take a shower and that's usually still not as warm as I would like it." (feeling exasperated) "God, Liz." "This is getting strange."

Liz: "You're telling me! I'm glad you called when you did. I can't imagine trying to explain to my Dad."

Max: "Why don't you go eat and call me before you go to sleep and let me know what's going on."

Liz: "Max, I'll be fine. You didn't get any sleep last night. Go to bed. I'll see you in the morning."

Max: (reluctantly) "Are you sure?"

Liz: "Yeah. What can happen while I'm sleeping?"

Max: (groaning) "I wouldn't even hazard a guess."

Liz (laughing): "Thank you, Max."

Max: "What for?"

Liz: (quietly) "For making my first time perfect."

Max: (swallowing hard and closing his eyes) "Perfect, huh?"

Liz: "Yes. But, I hope this doesn't go to your head."

Max: (glancing at his lap) "Too late."

Liz: "What?"

Max: "Nevermind. . . . . Liz, I love you."

Liz: (blinking back tears) "I love you, too, Max."

Max: "Good night."

Liz: "Night, Max."

Max drifted off to sleep with the sound of her voice telling him she loved him still echoing in his mind. He was so tired he didn't even worry about what would happen tomorrow.

Liz snuck downstairs to the Crashdown and grabbed a bottle of tabasco sauce off one of the tables. Slipping it into her pocket, she went back to her room with her dinner. Her Mom had been a little concerned that she hadn't already eaten, but Liz just explained that she'd been busy studying and forgot. When had she become such a good liar? Must've been when Max's life began to depend on her ability to prevaricate. For him, she'd do anything that was necessary--gladly, and without remorse. She sat down on her bed and uncapped the bottle. Just the smell had her mouth watering. After finishing her snack, she sat back on her bed and realized how exhausted she felt. Atleast, the food had tasted right this time. She was just so very sleepy . . .

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