|"A Dreamer's Christmas Carol"|
Disclaimer: Roswell and the characters, and situations are owned by the WB
and Melinda Metz. No infringement intended.|
Summary: Post A Roswell Christmas Carol. The title is self-explanatory :)
|Liz sat up in bed, gasping for breath. It took her a minute to realize what
had happened. She looked around the room to make sure she was home. She
closed her eyes and listened. It was there, the sound of the old fridge.
Liz sighed and opened her eyes and started to cry. She couldn't stop
herself. She felt so lost and alone. Why was this happening to her? Liz
wanted to scream. She wanted to hit something or someone. She wanted the
nightmare that used to be her life to be over. A person shouldn't know what
their future might bring. It shouldn't be up to her to make things better.|
After Liz regained control of herself, she looked over at the clock. It read 4:50. She felt like she hadn't even slept. What was she going to do? Liz stood up and walked into the bathroom that adjoined her room and turned on the light. She stared at her reflection until she didn't recognize herself anymore then she splashed her face with water and stared again. She couldn't believe Isabel did this to her. She invaded her dream. She invaded her memory. Liz was angry at Isabel for it. It wasn't right.
Liz turned and went back into her room. She heard a knock at her window and looked up to see Isabel kneeling outside it. Liz almost turned away, but she didn't. She slowly walked over to the window and opened it.
"Liz," Isabel started hesitantly. "I'm sorry." She was sorry. She had no idea how much her dreamwalk would hurt Liz. She thought it was a good idea to show Liz the past, present, and future Christmases. It was the season after all, but Isabel was afraid she went overboard. She felt she had to show Liz how much she really meant to Max and she thought showing her the past and what he was going through now would do that. Showing Liz the future was so she would see the consequences of her actions. She did it by dream walking because both Isabel and the future version of Tess were afraid telling her wouldn't be enough. Liz had trusted in what Future Max had told her, because it was Max. There was no guarantee that she would accept what a future version of Tess had to say. Liz didn't really trust Tess, she had no reason to.
Liz motioned for Isabel to come inside, but didn't say anything.
"I don't know what else to say. This whole situation is insane. What you've gone through the past two months, how did you do it alone?" Isabel was in awe of Liz's strength. She didn't think she could have done the same in Liz's situation.
"I did what I thought I had to do," Liz said simply. She turned and sat on her bed, grabbing a pillow to hold on to as she sat down. "Why are you here?"
"Tess hasn't left yet. I came here to see what you are going to do," Isabel replied and sat down next to Liz.
Liz gripped the pillow tightly, but didn't say anything. She knew what she should do. She also knew what she wanted to do, but she was afraid. Afraid of what Max's reaction would be. Ideally, he would take her in his arms and reassure her everything would be all right and that together they could get through anything. But Liz would be fooling herself if she thought it would be that easy. She had been lying to him for months. She was also afraid of what the new future would be, if she changed it yet again. Was there any guarantee that it would be better? Liz finally turned to Isabel. "How did you know that the woman who gave you those presents was my Grandma Claudia?"
Isabel smiled slightly. She could tell Liz wanted to do the right thing but was afraid, and Isabel didn't blame her. There were no guarantees that the new future would be any better. "I recognized her when I went with Max to her viewing. I didn't say anything, because at that time I wasn't thrilled about your relationship to my brother. Max certainly didn't need another reason to feel close to you." When Liz didn't say anything Isabel continued, "Max loved that toy record player. He insisted on taking it to Mom and Dad's even though it was the orphanage's policy to leave all the toys at the orphanage after you were adopted. It was very special to him, Liz. I thought you should know what you did for him even before you knew him."
Liz felt tears build up in her eyes again. She was tired of crying, but she couldn't stop them from flowing down her cheeks.
"You two have always been connected in a way that defies explanation. It was you who reached him in New York. You were the one who was able to save him when I couldn't. He needs you," Isabel paused and put an arm around Liz's shoulders. "And you need him too."
Liz looked up at Isabel and then put her head on Isabel's shoulder. She did need Max and no matter what the consequences she had to go to him and tell him the truth.
"Do you want a ride?" Isabel asked finally.
Liz nodded and got up. If she was going to do this, she had to it now. "Let me just change real quick."
After Liz changed, Isabel and Liz climbed out Liz's window and down the balcony to Isabel's car. The drive over to the Evans' house was quiet. Neither of them knew what to say. When Isabel pulled into the driveway and turned off her car, she turned to Liz. "It'll be all right, Liz. He'll forgive you for lying to him."
Liz turned to Isabel and smiled slightly. "Thanks," Liz said quietly, wishing she were as sure as Isabel was. "I'll just go to his window," Liz said and after Isabel nodded she got out of the car and walked to the side of the house to where Max's window was. There was no light on inside. Slowly Liz went to the window and knocked softly.
A light came on and Liz saw Max slip out of bed and come to the window. When he saw it was Liz at this window, he opened it quickly. "Liz? What are you doing here? Is something wrong?"
"Can I come in?" Liz asked quietly.
Max nodded and rubbed his eyes. "Of course." He stepped back so she could come in. Max remembered the last time Liz came to his window like this. He tried not to remember what he saw the next night, but an image of Kyle and Liz in bed together flashed into his mind. After Liz climbed through the window, Max went over to his dresser and pulled a T-shirt out to put on. "So?" Max asked as slipped on his T-shirt and turned back to Liz.
Liz's heart was pounding. Just the sight of Max made her knees weak. She walked over to the chair near his desk and sat down. She had no idea how do this. Did she go right out and say to him that she lied to him and that she didn't sleep with Kyle? Should she tell him about future Max and future Tess?
"Look, Liz, you obviously came here for a reason. Just tell me, whatever it is. We're friends, remember?" Max said and sat down on the edge of his bed across from Liz.
Finally, Liz looked up at Max and asked, "When you said you believed in me earlier, what did you mean?"
Max stared at Liz for a moment unsure what to say. He meant what he said, but how could explain what he was feeling to Liz? How could he explain that even though she had betrayed that he still believed in her? It didn't make any sense, not even to him. "Is that why you're here?" Max asked finally.
"Not really," Liz said and looked down at the ground. "I just wanted to know." Liz paused and took a deep breath. "I came here to answer the question that you asked me after you came back from New York. The one you said you would never ask again."
Max couldn't believe what he was hearing. "You mean..." Max started, but stopped not wanting to say it aloud. When he asked her about Kyle when he came back from New York, Liz didn't say anything. She just nodded her head slightly, leaving him to believe it really did happen. Liz had said she wanted a normal life and Max could never give that too her, so Max started thinking maybe it was better this way. As long as they could be friends, Max was okay. He couldn't bear the thought of no Liz at all in his life. He went through that over the summer and he didn't think he could do that ever again.
"About what happened between me and Kyle," Liz started and looked up at Max. "I'm sorry I lied to you Max. I thought I was doing the right thing..." Tears welled up in Liz's eyes. She didn't want to cry. She didn't want Max to feel sorry for her.
Max waited. He didn't know what to say. She lied to him? Why would she think it would be the right thing to lie to him?
When Max didn't say anything Liz continued, "I found out something, Max. I found out what would happen if you and I got together." Liz didn't know how to say it.
"What are you talking about, Liz?" Max asked, slightly confused.
"You remember how I told you that the Granolith was very powerful and that it could be dangerous in the wrong hands." After Max nodded, Liz continued, "You asked my how I knew that and I wouldn't tell you. I just asked you to trust me." Liz paused and took a deep breath and looked at Max carefully. "Well, I'm going to tell you how I knew about the Granolith. You told me, Max. Not the you that is sitting here in front of me, but the you that came to me from the future."
Max stared at Liz trying to understand what she was saying. 'The you that came to me from the future.' What did that mean? "You're losing me Liz," Max finally said.
Liz stood up, hoping she could think better on her feet. It was pretty confusing to tell someone this. She remembered how hard it was to explain to Maria. "The night you came over with the Mariachi band, another Max paid me a visit. This other Max said he was from the future."
"What..." Max started, but Liz interrupted him before he could continue.
"Let me finish Max. He was definitely from the future. He knew you would stop by that night. He knew you changed the roses from red to white. He knew about the Gomez concert." Liz paused and looked at Max carefully. "I knew the Granolith was powerful and dangerous, because he told me he used it to rip a tear in time space."
"The Granolith is a time machine?" Max gasped, not sure he believed what he was hearing.
Liz shook her head and started pacing again. "No, it wasn't meant for that, but he said it was very powerful and they were able to manipulate it to rip a tear in time space so he could come back and change things."
Max's mind was reeling. He came back from the future to change things? This didn't seem real. "Are you sure he was from the future?" Max asked carefully.
Liz stopped pacing and turned to Max. "He was from one possible future, yes, and it was you, Max. I'd bet my life on it. He asked me to help you fall out of love with me." Liz watched Max's reaction to that. She couldn't tell at all what he was thinking. Did he believe? Maria did, but Liz didn't hurt Maria the way she hurt Max.
"So what happened between you and Kyle?" Max whispered.
"I staged it. I tried to push you and Tess together and that didn't work. I tried to convince you that I didn't want be with you, that I wanted a normal life. Telling you that I wouldn't die for you was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. But that didn't work either," Liz paused and took a breath. "Future Max told me you were coming to my bedroom that night and..." Liz hesitated. Should she tell him that they were going to make love that night? She didn't have to.
"What?" Max asked. He could tell she was holding something back. "Liz, you have to be completely honest with me. Please."
"Future Max told me that that was going to be the night we made love for the first time. That from then on we would be inseparable. He said that our being together caused Tess to feel even more alienated and she left Roswell for good. He said that because she left Roswell the world would end in 14 years. He said that the four of you needed to be together. That you were stronger together." Liz finished and sat down. She felt exhausted, like she hadn't slept in days.
Max stared at Liz. This was real. "You asked Kyle to help you?" Max asked. He couldn't help it. It hurt to think she wouldn't trust him enough to come to him with this. "Why didn't you come to me? Why didn't you tell me what was happening to you?" Max could feel anger growing inside him.
Liz sighed. "You asked me not to," she said simply.
Max stood up and walked over to his bedroom door and back again. He couldn't believe what he was hearing. He needed time to think about this, to sort through what he just heard. He looked over at Liz and he felt a pain deep inside. The pain a person felt when someone they loved had been hurt. She was looking at him with those beautiful brown eyes, terrified about what he would say to her, what he would do. She must have been through so much and all alone too. How could this Future Max ask her to do this, knowing how hard it would be for her? Max laughed slightly. He was the one who asked it of her. "Liz," Max said softly and walked over to her.
Liz looked up and Max. "I'm so sorry Max. I did what I thought I had to do to save the world. You told me that Michael and Isabel had died. I just couldn't be responsible for so much destruction. The only thing I could think of that would turn you away from me was if you thought I betrayed you."
Max's anger disappeared. She took it all on herself. His Liz, his strong and beautiful Liz took the world on her shoulders. "Why are you telling me now?" Max asked, curious what could have happened that would cause her to reveal her secret.
"I had to," Liz started. She wasn't sure she wanted to tell him about Isabel right now. She was tired and all she really wanted was to go home. Max was angry with her and rightly so. "I'm so sorry for hurting you Max, for lying to you, for pushing you away. I'm just sorry."
"Liz," Max sighed and kneeled in front of her and took her hands into her own. "I'm sorry you had to go through this alone."
"Max," Liz said softly and looked down at his hands which contained her own. She couldn't tell where his hands ended and her own began. This is the only place she wanted to be, with Max. "Will you ever be able to forgive me?"
Max nodded. "I've already forgiven you Liz. You've been through so much because of me. Can you ever forgive me?"
Liz smiled with relief. It was going to be all right. He was going to forgive her. "Max," Liz started feeling a slight fear grow inside of her. She needed to know one more thing. She needed to know if they could find a way to be together. She knew they were stronger together and she wanted so much to spend her life with him. "Could we go back to the way things were? I miss you so much."
Max wanted to say yes more than anything, but what about his future? It was so uncertain. Could he really ask Liz to be with him? She deserved so much more. "Oh, Liz," Max said and stood up, letting go of her hands and backed away from Liz. "I don't know. So much has happened. I'm afraid to drag you into my life."
Liz stood up and walked over to Max. "It's my decision Max. You changed me. We are connected in a way that defies explanation and the only time I feel complete is when I'm with you. I'm as afraid as you are Max, but we're better together than we are apart."
Max knew she was telling the truth. They were better together. He was stronger when he was with Liz. Her love could get him through anything. Max closed the distance to Liz in an instant and embraced her. It felt so right to have her in his arms. He finally felt whole.
Liz wrapped her arms around Max's neck and enjoyed the feel of his body pressing next to hers. It felt so natural to be in his arms.
Max pulled away from Liz just enough so he could see her beautiful face and then he reached up with his hands and grasped the back of her neck lightly pulling her close till their lips met. It was just like their first kiss. He savored the flavor of her lips and tongue. She tasted so good. It was so right Max didn't want it to ever stop. They were meant to be together.
Liz didn't want this night to end. Her body was alive with Max's touch. He was the love of her life and she never wanted to be without him. Liz pulled away from Max for a minute and looked into his soulful eyes. "I love you, Max, and I promise never to keep anything from you ever again."
Max smiled at her statement and replied, "I love you too and I promise never to let you go." Max then lightly brush Liz's soft hair with his hands. "So we're going to make this work, aren't we?"
Liz nodded. "Together we'll make it work."
"I guess the only thing we need to do now is make sure Tess stays in Roswell."
"I don't think we'll have a problem with that. I think Tess is getting along well here in Roswell," Liz said with a smile.
Max pulled back a little and asked, "How do you know that?"
Before Liz could answer, there was a soft knock at Max's door and Isabel came in. "I hate to interrupt, but I just heard Mom jump in the shower. It's almost 6:30, so maybe you better get home Liz. It is Christmas after all."
Max pulled away from Liz and looked carefully from Liz to Isabel and asked Isabel, "How did you know she was here?"
Isabel smiled. "I have my ways little brother." Isabel tossed her car keys and Max caught them. "Liz, you can take my car. Max will pick it up later," Isabel said with a knowing smile.
Isabel started to leave and Liz said, " Thank you, Isabel, for everything."
"No, Liz, thank you," Isabel answered and then quietly closed Max's door as she left.
Liz turned to Max and smiled. "I'd better get going. My mom is probably already awake. If she finds I'm not there, she'll kill me."
"Sure, but before you go. You have to answer one question," Max said, pulling Liz once more into his arms.
"Anything," Liz answered enjoying the feel of Max's body next to her own.
"How did Isabel know you were here? And what were you thanking her for?"
Liz smiled and kissed Max lightly on his lips. "That's two questions and I'm afraid that story will have to wait till later, but I promise I will tell you everything."
"I guess I can wait," Max said with a sigh. "And I guess you should go. My Mom said something about spinach muffins with anchovies last night. I wouldn't want you to be forced to sample it."
Liz laughed. "Yeah, I guess I should go." She didn't want to leave his arms, but she forced herself to step away. She had the rest of her life with him after all.
Max watched as Liz walked toward the window. He didn't want her to leave, but for the first time in months Max felt really happy and it was because of Liz. He could wait till later to see her. They had plenty of time.
Liz was about to climb out Max's window but stopped. "There is one thing Max. You have to make me a promise."
"Anything," Max replied without hesitating.
"No matter what happens in the future. You have to promise me that you will never, ever use the Granolith as a time machine. I don't think I can do this again," Liz said seriously. She and Max had to create their own future. There couldn't be any more interference.
Max nodded, slightly confused by her statement and watched as Liz climbed out of his window.
As Liz walked to Isabel's car, she thought about her Grandma Claudia. The last thing her Grandma had asked her to do before she died was to follow her heart wherever it took her. Liz felt she was finally doing that. Her heart was and would always be with Max.
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