FanFic - Max/Liz
"August and Everything After"
Part 5
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-13
Authors Note: I would welcome critique or commentary.
Liz was alone at the back of the Crashdown, cleaning out her locker. She had left it until the last thing before leaving. Upstairs, her room was bare of her favorite things and everyday essentials. It looked abandoned, but it was still her room. Her locker, however, would need to be ready for her replacement. Emptied out. It was the air of finality that had made her delay so long.

With her uniform gone, all that remained were some hair ties, makeup, and some trinkets customers had either given her or left behind and never claimed. Some of the more memorable items she put into her bookbag, the rest she dumped into the trash. Finally, there were only two items left. She had jammed them into the back and hadn't thought about them until now.

The first was a half-used order pad. The once bright red stain had turned rusty brown. As she looked at it her fingers went unconsciously to the smooth skin of her stomach. In one instant Max Evans had changed everything she believed about who she was and what her future would be. He had branded her with the knowledge of things that were beyond her wildest dreams. And he hadn't even left a scar.

She turned her attention to the last item. A picture her father had taken at the school camping trip. She and Maria, sitting on a log in front of the fire. They look like mannequins, the details of their features washed out by the artificial brilliance of the flash. They are bright ghosts against the black night, their faces frozen in smiles as they try to pretend that everything is normal. It is what's behind her that made her hold on to the picture. Max, accidentally caught in the camera lens. His attention probably attracted by her father's efforts to coordinate the perfect shot, he looks at her longingly from the background. She slipped the photo into the order pad and gently placed them in the book bag.

"You're doing the right thing." Startled, Liz looked up to see Michael watching her from the kitchen door. She quickly zipped up the book bag and looked at the locker, uncomfortable that once again her most private feelings had been exposed to him.

"Yeah. I guess." She closed the locker and turned to face him. "You need to do the right thing, too."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean with Maria. I'm doing the easy thing, leaving. She can't. She'll have to see you everyday. I don't know what exactly you feel for her, if you really even do have feelings for her. But I know how she feels. If there's no hope for you two, let her go."

He stood immobile, his guarded expression not changing. Finally, he nodded slightly. Satisfied, Liz turned toward the door.

"Liz?" She stopped and Michael walked awkwardly towards her. "I want to say thanks. And sorry. I didn't think that we should trust you. I was wrong." He looked at her uncertainly, then gave her a gentle hug. Her amazement turned to shock when he quickly tilted her head up and kissed her. Suddenly she was plunged into the feelings of loneliness and isolation Michael had experienced as a child. She saw Hank and felt the bewilderment and loss of innocence as the man who had been so sweet with the case worker came at Michael with his belt in his hand. He saw Max and Isabel and felt a fierce protectiveness towards them. She saw Maria as she opened the door of the Crashdown for Michael and felt need mixed with the confusion of why Maria would let him do this.

At the clang of a metal tray hitting the floor Michael jumped back and Liz was thrust back to the present. Maria stood at the doorway, frozen in shock. Michael looked quickly again at Liz, his eyes searching her face, then walked back into the kitchen without meeting Maria's stare. Maria watched him leave then turned to Liz. "Tell me this isn't happening."

"Maria, listen. It's not what you think."

"No. It all makes perfect sense to me now. He's been pushing me away all this time because it's you he really wants. It's not just Max. You attract all Czechoslovakians. It's not your fault."

Liz could tell from Maria's voice that she was close to being hysterical. She lead Maria over to the couch. "You know that's not true. Michael cares about you a lot."

"Oh, I guess you just know everything about him now?" Liz looked at the floor, trying to think of some way to explain what just happened without upsetting Maria more. Maria's glare turned to astonishment as she realized what was causing Liz's silence. "You had a flash, didn't you?"

"I'm sorry." Maria just sat in stunned silence as what had just happened sunk in.

"You know what, don't worry about it. Sometimes when the cosmos it telling you that something isn't meant to happen, you just have to shut up and listen." Maria grabbed a tissue and dried her eyes. "You are really lucky to be getting out of here."

"I was afraid you'd be mad at me for leaving."

"I am. I can't believe that you are leaving me to deal with all this stuff by myself. But I understand."

Jeff Parker came down the stairs carrying his and Nancy's suitcases. "Liz, you about ready to go? Your mother's about to lock up the house, so if you forgot anything you better go get it." Liz nodded, and Jeff carried the bags out to the car.

Maria stood up. "I guess I'd better get back to work." As they hugged goodbye Liz felt guilty again for leaving her friend alone.

"Call me. If you ever need to talk, or anything."

"Don't worry," Maria glanced at the kitchen. "I think you'll probably be hearing from me a lot." They hugged again and Maria headed back out to the dining room. Liz shouldered her bags and headed out to the car.

It took a minute for her eyes to adjust to the bright morning sunlight. When they did, she could see that the figure leaning against the car hood was not her father. Max. She had almost done it, almost gotten away without having to see him again. Why did he have to torture her like this?

She barely glanced at him as she walked over and threw her bags in the back of the Explorer. "I'm not changing my mind. The plans have already been made. My aunt and uncle have a room made up for me. They're expecting me for work on Monday. If you think you can persuade me not to go, it's too late."

"I know. I think you should go." Liz tried to hide the hurt in her eyes. Now he wanted her to leave? Was it that easy for him to change his mind? "I've started to think that Nasedo is right, someone is coming after us. I think we'll all be in danger." Max could see the worry in her eyes and realized that by saying he was in danger he had said the one thing that would have kept her from going. He pulled her to him in a fierce embrace. "Knowing that you're somewhere safe will give me the strength to fight. And when it's all over, nothing is going to keep me away from you again." He tenderly tilted her face up towards his. As she lifted her eyes to his she felt the connection between them. His mouth caught hers and their flesh seemed to melt together as feelings of love and desire washed over them. Reluctantly, Max pulled away. He softly brushed away the tears on her cheek. "Liz, I love you." His eyes lingered on her face a moment longer, then he turned and headed out towards the street.

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