FanFic - Max/Liz
Part 2
by Miranda
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with the WB, Jason Katims or Melinda Metz.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: This was written during season 1, so there are no references to Tess or other aliens.
Max was leaning against the kitchen counter, still watching the news on the small television that they had put on top of the refrigerator. He straightened with a smile and placed one hand behind her head, pulling her close to kiss her forehead. “Hey,” he said. “I was starting to get worried.”

“Sorry.” Liz shrugged out of her coat and hung it on the back of a chair. She pushed her hair back from her face with one hand. “How was your day?”

Max just looked at her for a few seconds, his eyes searching her face. Then he turned to stir the contents of the kettle on the stove. “Kinda long. I’m still trying to get some of the seniors to finalize their college plans. I don’t think they’re quite ready to let go of high school yet.” He looked up at her and smiled.

“Yeah,” Liz stared down at the counter, twirling a lock of hair through her fingers. “The real world is kind of scary.”

“Mmm,” he nodded, watching her with growing concern. “So,” he set the spoon on the counter and put the lid back on. Then he turned and faced her abruptly. “How was your day?” He arched an eyebrow waiting for an answer.

Liz looked up, startled. She straightened, nervously wiping the palms of her hands on her jeans. “Oh, you know, busy.” She looked at his expectant face and sighed. Looking away again, she said, “I’m sorry. I know I’m acting a little distracted. I guess … I’m just tired.”

“Classes or work?”

“Probably a little of both.” Liz lifted the lid off the kettle and peered inside. “Oh yum. Is this the chicken soup you made when I was in the midst of mid-terms?”

“Yeah, I froze it. Figured we could use it for a quick dinner some night when you were working late. It’s been tough deciding which night to haul it out.”

Liz set the lid back on the kettle and turned to leave the room. Max grabbed her arm. “Wait.” He gently turned her back to face him. He placed his hands on her upper arms, caressing her shoulders with his thumbs. “I shouldn’t have said that. It’s just …I worry about you, Liz. You leave home by 7:00 each morning. You’re in class or at the library all morning long and then in the lab all afternoon. I can’t even remember the last time you made it home by 6:00. And then you study until midnight or later. You’re doing too much, Liz. You can’t keep going at this pace.”

“I can do it. It’s only one more year.”

“No, it’s one more year of classes and work as a research assistant. Then you have to find a real job and work while you finish your dissertation.”

Liz pulled out of his grasp and snatched a cup from the drainer. Max ran a hand through his hair, letting it rest on the back of his neck as he stared at the floor. “You cannot keep this up for another two years. Something has to give. Maybe … cut back on lab hours –“

Liz slammed the cup down on the counter and reached for the coffeepot. “I can’t believe we’re having this conversation again.” She lifted the pot to pour the coffee, but her hand was shaking. She set the pot back down. “You know I need that assistantship. It’s good experience and it pays for school. I can’t quit and I can’t cut back.”

Max stepped in behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist, resting his chin on her head. “I’m sorry,” he whispered into her hair. “I hate arguing with you. I’m just worried. I couldn’t stand it if anything happened to you.”

Liz gulped, barely choking back the sob that tried to escape her throat. She closed her eyes and gently removed his arms from her waist. She turned to him and raised her eyes to meet his. It wasn’t the moment she had dreamed of, but she didn’t think it would matter in the long run.

“I’m pregnant.”

Max stepped back, his eyes never leaving her face, mouth working silently. He reached behind him and gripped the counter, leaning heavily against it. He could see Liz was waiting for him to say something. He knew she wanted him to be happy about this news. “How far along?”

“Almost three months… I think.”

His eyes grew hard. “Three months?”

“I know.” Liz moved her hands about nervously, not sure what to do with them. “It’s just … I wasn’t sure … you know? When I skipped the first month I figured it was from stress. I never thought…” her voice trailed off.

They were both silent. Liz could hear the clock ticking in the stillness of the room. She finally forced her eyes to make contact with Max. He was staring, unseeing, at the handle of the refrigerator.

“You don’t have anything else to say?” Liz asked, trying to keep the desperation from her voice.

“Yes,” he replied. “I have something else to say.” He swung his eyes back to meet hers. “I think we should abort it.”

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