FanFic - Max/Liz
"August and Everything After"
Part 2
by Anunaki
Disclaimer: I did not create or own any part of Roswell.
Summary: My own version of what happens after the 'Destiny' episode.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG
Authors Note: I would welcome critique or commentary.
pod chamber he had been trying to keep a low profile, going home only briefly and spending the rest of the time at the reservoir or at the pod chamber. Most of the time was spent trying to decipher the notebook or find something that would help him remember the time before coming out of the pods. But to be perfectly honest, he was really avoiding being anywhere Maria would be able to find him. He was sure that at any minute she would appear out of nowhere to confront him with something about their "relationship."

But even if he was destined to save his world, he still had to buy food and pay for his apartment here. So he had to come in and face Maria. He had expected her to be angry, or hurt. At least show some emotion. Instead, she had just given him a funny look when he walked in and had just seemed kind of detached since then. In a way it really threw him off. He was used to sensing what she was feeling a mile away. He felt like a boxer that has been hyping himself for months for the big fight suddenly finding himself without an opponent.

Maria finished wiping off the table and sat down for a minute at the counter. She was glad it was a slow day. Liz had decided to take some time off work so Maria had been working double duty. She had been so nervous about seeing Michael again, but after the shift she had pulled last night, she found she didn't have the strength now to even think about having a conversation with him. She knew when or if it did come it would take all the energy she had left.

And what was with Liz? Every time she had seen Liz since she picked her up in the desert she always seemed to have someplace to be going. Maybe the pain of breaking up with Max was just too much for her, and she just needed some time away from the usual surroundings to find her feet again. Whatever, Maria would just be glad when Liz came back to work and things could start getting back to as normal as possible for them. She tilted her head back and thought about how nice it would be to go home tonight, fill the bath up with cool water and relaxing lavender salt, and pretend she was just a normal teenager from Des Moines.

Michael finished chopping onions and noticed how quiet it was up front. He looked out to make sure Maria was still there. He watched her for a moment as she stretched out. The bright summer light coming through the windows caught the highlights of her hair and gave her a fiery halo. It was a hot afternoon, and the slight sweat on her skin took on a dewy radiance. Her remembered the warm, satiny feel of her skin against his, and the exotic fragrance that always seemed to cling to it.

They were suddenly thrown out of their respective reveries by the ringing of the bell on top of the door. Maria jumped to her feet and was putting on her best hostess smile when she turned to see that it was Tess.

"Oh, Tess." Maria flashed her the smile she'd been preparing. "Will you be eating in or taking Max?" She didn't feel that flippant, but for some reason couldn't stop herself.

Tess looked at her coolly. "The last I remember, Liz was the one running away. At least she's smart enough to figure out that she should stay out of things she has no place in." Her face brightened to a smile as Michael came out into the dining area. "Anyway, I just came by to give Michael his keys back." She wrinkled her nose as she handed the keys to Michael. "Ew, onion. Hope that wears off before you come home. See you later." She flashed another smile at Michael before walking out the door.

Maria gaped at Michael. "Home? You're living with her now?"

"Now, here it comes," Michael thought as he headed back to the kitchen. Maria followed as if pulled in his wake. He turned to face her, her tense little body sending out waves of aggression. This is what he had expected of her. It was strange, he almost found pleasure in this confrontation. "Don't say it like that. Were not living together, you know, like that."

"Not unless Tess is willing to forget all about that destiny crap. And guessing by the way she went after Max, she isn't. Or is any breathing alien good enough for her?"

"Look, she's got nowhere else to go and we're, well..." Michael suddenly remembered how he had planned for this conversation to go. "Anyway, it's none of your business."

Maria's eyes burned into him like white-hot embers. Her words came out slow and measured. "None of my business? You're the one who came to me, right here in this very room. You're the one who said "I love you" and then "good-bye."" The anger drained from her eyes and fell, wet and hot down her face. "Is that it for us, Michael? "Good-bye" and everything we had is gone?"

Michael had told himself he was going to stand strong. Be the bad guy and get it over with. It should come naturally to him, right? Now, he just wanted to hold her and comfort her. He turned away from her and grabbed the edge of the cold, steel countertop tightly.

"Maria, we all have talents. You've seen them. Tess can make people see illusions. Isabel can walk through peoples minds. Max can heal people. I kill people. The further away from me you are, the safer you are."

He could feel her moving closer behind him. Her hand lightly touching his arm felt like it was burning his skin. "I don't believe it. Being with you, yeah, at the beginning it felt kind of dangerous." He could feel his heart sink at her words. "But exciting. Now, when I'm with you, I feel safe."

"Well, believe it. I know it's the one thing that I've done with my powers that I got right from the start. It's what I'm programmed to do." The bell on the front of the restaurant rang sharply. Maria stepped back and wiped her eyes.

"You're also programmed to love Isabel, aren't you? So how come you were with me?" After a quick deep breath to regain her compose, Maria slipped out the door to wait on her customers.

Max pulled his jeep into the alley behind the Crashdown. He had seen Liz's light on from the road, and noticed that her parent's car was gone. He hoped that he might have a chance to find her home alone. It had been several weeks since that morning at the pod chamber. He didn't like to think of it. All they had learned that day of who they were and the only image his brain could hold onto was of her, running through the desert, away from him.

Nervously he climbed the fire escape. He thought of all the other times he had done so in the past several months. Most of the last times he had been happy. His heart would be racing in anticipation of seeing her, of sharing at least a few moments alone with her in this place that was so much theirs. This felt more like that first time, so long ago, when he didn't know what to expect when he reached the top, acceptance or rejection. He kept telling himself that all she needed was a little more time. Time to realize that they had learned more, but nothing to change the choices they'd made when they had said they loved each other. He just hoped he'd given her enough time.

Liz heard a sound on the balcony. Her heart leapt, and it took everything she had to remain were she was. She had been afraid this moment would come. Now she focused all her energy into willing herself to be strong.

"Liz?" She didn't want to turn around and look into his eyes, the eyes she had so often lost herself in, and tell him what she knew she had to say. She turned, and the sight of him standing in the moonlight almost made her lose her resolve. It would be so easy to give in, to try to let things be as they were before. But she loved him, and that meant letting him be who he needed to be.

"Max. What are you doing here?" Her voice was too calm. He could sense the pain behind it and the effort it was taking her to keep it under control. This meeting was not going to go the way he had hoped. But at least he knew she still cared. Maybe he could make her come back to him.

"I thought, maybe, we could ... talk." She looked at him. Her eyes, usually so warm and expressive, were cold and silent. Being shut out from her like this was a torture worse than any thing Pierce had done to him. He had to move closer to her. No matter what she tried to hide, he knew that one touch between them and all that she felt would be opened up to him. Her body screamed for that closeness. She closed her eyes and tried to ignore it.

"Max. Please, don't." She opened her eyes again and he could see the struggle she was in to keep the tears away.

"I don't understand, Liz." He was so close, she could feel his breath and the heat radiating from his skin. "We love each other. We had decided that nothing was going to keep us apart." Her own skin was electrified, ready to respond to the slightest contact from him. She took a step back. He felt the pain of rejection again. "Why did you run away?"

This was so much harder that she thought it would be. She felt lightheaded and weak in the knees. She quickly sat on the bed, hoping he wouldn't notice her shakiness. "It's wrong, you being here. We can't be together."

"Why are you saying that? This can't be about me and Tess." He looked at her face, worried that he might have hurt her more by bringing that up. Her expression didn't change. "She can't come between us. I may have once, in some other life, had some sort of connection to her. But I don't know her. It's you I've wanted for years. It's you I always want to be with." He stopped as a silent sob shook Liz. These are the words she lived to hear from him, but they were no comfort now.

"Don't you see, Max. It doesn't matter what we want. You won't say anything, you try to protect my feelings, but I know. I know you still have thoughts about Tess. You can't control it. But even aside from that, we're talking about something bigger than our relationship. There's something you are meant to do." Her eyes searched his, pleading. "I saw the way you worked the communicators. It something inside you, all of you, that just told you what to do. Ever since Tess showed up, I can tell, something inside of you is waking up."

He couldn't meet her eyes as he thought about the impulse he had felt that had told him how to open the pod chamber. "Even if that's true, it wont change how I feel about you. I can't imagine that not being a part of me."

"As much as I would like to believe you, I don't think you will be able to control it. I can't be near you and feel you growing away from me, I couldn't stand it. That's why I'm leaving." Max looked at her as if she had slapped him in the face.

"Leaving? Where are you going?"

"I've been talking to Mr. Phillips, my physics teacher. In the summer he works up in Los Alamos. It took a lot of work but he managed to get me into an internship at the labs. I'm going to be spending the summer and next semester there, working in a molecular biology lab."

Max was speechless. He turned around and looked out the window. He thought of all the times he had driven by here and convinced himself not to come up, determined that the best thing would be for them to stay away from each other. He regretted now, all the time he had lost. If he hadn't pushed her away at the beginning she never would be doing this now.

Liz stood up and walked over to him by the window. He turned, startled at her hand gently resting on his shoulder. "Max, you are a prince, the leader of a planet. There are things you are going to have to do, and you can't have me to worry about in your way. You've found your destiny and the person you are supposed to be with. Let me do the same. Now, please go." He stared at her silently, trying to think of something to say. Liz turned around to sit back at her desk were she had been when he had come in. He hesitated a moment more, then climbed back out to the balcony. Liz only started breathing again when she heard his jeep fire up and drive away.

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