|"Close Your Eyes"
Disclaimer: I don’t own any of the characters. They
belong to the WB, 20th Century Fox, and Jason Katims.|
Summary: Liz and everybody else are trying to deal with what happened to her.
Authors Note: This story is connected to my previous 2 stories: “Truth of the Heart” and “Out of the Dark”, so it would be better if you read them first. Please, send me feedback. Thanks.
|School – 4 days later|
“Liz?…What are you doing here?” Maria asked as she walked up to them. “Is this what goes for a hello these days?” Liz asked. “You let her come to school so soon?” Maria asked Max. “Let me?” Liz said, but neither of them heard her. “She didn’t tell me she was coming today,” Max answered to Maria.
Liz looked at them in disbelief. They acted like she wasn’t even there. “Uh, hello,” she said as she stepped in between them, “In case you haven’t noticed, ‘she’ is standing right here,” Liz said looking at Max and Maria. “Oh, sorry,” Maria said, “We’re just…” “Worried, I know.” Liz finished, “But you don’t have to be. Look, it happened, it was bad, it’s over. I put it all behind me. I suggest you do the same. Now…” she turned to Maria, “I’ll see you in gym.” Then turning to Max, said, “And I’ll see you at lunch.” She gave him a quick peck on the cheek and started to leave when Max suddenly grabbed her wrist. “Liz, I forgot to give you…” he noticed that Liz suddenly looked pale. “Liz?…”
Liz’s heart was beating really fast. As she looked
down at where Max held her wrist, the image of Rob
grabbing her arm as the needle pierced her arm flooded
“Liz, what’s wrong?” she finally heard Max say.
As she looked up at him, she tried to recompose
herself. “Uhm…nothing…I just …” Then she realized why
he stopped her. He was holding her notebook.
“Uhm…thanks,” she said as she took the notebook, “I’ll
see you later,” and with that she walked away, leaving
Max to wonder if what she said about putting it all
behind her was true. He just couldn’t stand that she
acted like nothing happened.
“Hello, sheriff,” she said as she walked up to the counter where he was sitting now, “What can I get you today?” “Coffee would be just fine, Ms. Parker,” he said as he gave her an empty mug.
As Liz started to pour coffee for him, he said, “So, how are you doing, Liz?” Not looking at him, Liz answered, “I’m Ok, sheriff.” As She finished pouring coffee, she brought the mug to the counter, “Thank you.” He realized that she wasn’t thanking him for coffee. “Just doing my job, Liz.” She smiled at him, “Still, thank you.” “You’re welcome…So, you’re doing Ok,” he tried to continue the conversation he started. “Yeah.” “Well, I just thought you might wanna look at these,” he said as he put a few brochures on the counter. “In case you need to talk about it, there are support groups, so I thought that…” “Thank you, sheriff, but I won’t be needing these.” “Well, just in case, why don’t you keep them,” he said as he stood up and put his hat on, “Have a nice day.” “You, too, sheriff,” Liz said as Valenti left.
“What did he want?” Maria asked as she walked up to Liz. “Coffee,” Liz said as she took the brochures and threw them in the trash. “I’m gonna do inventory,” she said while walking through the back door.
Maria looked in the trash and saw the brochures
Valenti gave Liz. She had a feeling that Liz was just
putting on an act. That she wasn’t fine.
When Hanson left, he said, “Come on in.” Max slowly walked in the office as he looked around. This was the last place he thought he’d come of his own will. “Sit down,” Valenti said as he pointed to a chair across from him and he himself sat down, “What can I do for you?” “Well, actually, I just…” Max said as he sat down, “I wanted to thank you…for helping me…us.”
Valenti was about to say that he was just doing his job, but then both men in that room knew that everything that the sheriff did went far beyond the description of his job. “You’re welcome,” he said instead. “Liz seems to be doing fine.” “Yeah…uh…she seems to.” “You don’t think she is?” “I don’t…I’m not sure.” Valenti saw tat Max was getting uncomfortable, so he decided to change the subject.
“Max, can I ask you something?”
“This…man, this person…who was Pierce…who is he?”
Max knew this was coming. That was one of the reasons
“We call him Nasedo.”
“Is he what I think he is?”
Max just nodded.
“So, my father was right about him?”
Max looked at him understanding what Valenti was
“As far as I know.”
“Are…are you like him?”
Valenti nodded in understanding, then continued.
“How long have you known about him?”
“We’ve known about his existence from around the time
Topolski left last year…but we didn’t meet him until
Pierce came to town.”
“So, he’s pretending to be Pierce,” Valenti said more
as a statement and not as a question.
“That way we know that no one will come after us
again…or at least…we did,” Max frowned thinking about
“What about all the people he killed? Or will kill?”
Max thought about it, then said, “All I can tell you
is that he won’t harm any of us…you too.”
“That’s not good enough, Max.”
Max looked down, then back at Valenti, “I know. But
there’s nothing we can do.”
“Well, she certainly looks Ok,” Michael said as he and Max watched Liz. “Maybe she got over it.” Max looked at Michael in disbelief. He had no idea what he was talking about. “You don’t get over it, Michael.” “Well, maybe she found a way to move on. She looks like she always did,” Michael said.
Just as he said it, Max and Michael heard a bang. When they looked up, they saw Liz standing in the middle of the restaurant with broken plates and a tray lying on the floor in front of her.
Max saw that she became really pale and was shaking. She was staring at something. As Max followed her haze, he saw two men in black suits standing at the door searching for an available table. Max looked back at Liz as he stood up.
All Liz could see was the two monsters that tortured her. She felt like she was back in that basement, alone in the dark and in so much pain.
“Liz…what’s wrong?” she heard someone call her and felt someone’s hand on her shoulder. “Liz.” She finally realized that it was Maria. She looked up at Maria, not understanding why Maria looked so worried. Then Liz looked down and saw the mess she made on the floor. She looked at the two men who were now sitting at one of the tables. They were two strangers she’s never seen before. Liz realized what happened. She looked at Max who was standing and looking at her. She couldn’t face him right now, so she turned around and ran out through the back door.
“Then again, maybe not,” Michael said as he stood next
to Max now. Max looked at Michael, then at Maria who
was looking at them, and then at the back door that
Liz ran through.
Max looked at her for a moment. How could she not understand that he knew what Liz was going through? How could she not understand that intervention was the last thing Liz needed right now? He felt like he couldn’t make them understand. He couldn’t continue this argument anymore.
“Fine,” was all he said as he walked out the door.
The four of them sat in silence for a while.
“This is so unfair,” Isabel finally said. “If anybody deserves to be happy, it’s them.” “Yeah, well, life’s unfair,” Michael said while getting up. “What?” Maria couldn’t believe her ears, “Oh, I see. So, when we need help, we run to them, but when they need us, we just say, ‘Life’s not fair’?” “That’s not what I said,” Michael answered. “Yeah, but that’s what you meant,” Isabel said as she walked up to him. “What is this? The attack-Michael day?” He was now standing in the middle of the room with Isabel and Maria standing on both sides of it and Alex sitting in the corner. “This is not about you, Michael. It’s about Max and Liz,” Isabel said. “No, Iz, it’s about all of us. We were meant for something, we had some purpose, but Max decided that he knew better. Maybe that’s why…that’s why this is happening.” “Oh, Michael, SHUT UP!” Maria shouted, getting really annoyed with him. “It’s just killing you that Max knew what he wanted and he wasn’t afraid to go after it. You…you just use this destiny thing as an excuse for being scared to death of getting close to someone.” “Yeah, well, you can’t have everything you want,” he said looking straight at her. “You know what? I’m just gonna get some air,” Alex said suddenly as he got up and walked out the door. He just couldn’t stand this anymore. “Yeah, it’s getting stuffy in here,” Maria said still looking at Michael. Then she turned around, picked up her jacket, and walked out.
“You’re wrong, Michael,” Isabel said to him softly.
And then she, too, was gone.
As Liz heard the knock on the window, she turned around startled. When she saw Max, she calmed down, took a deep breath, and got up to open the window.
“What are you doing here, Max?” she asked when he crawled through the window, “Shouldn’t you be studying for the Chem midterm?” “Yeah, I am…was. My mom…she asked me to buy…some pop, so I thought I’d stop…by,” he lied to her. “Oh, Ok,” she said as she went over and sat on the edge of her bed, knowing perfectly well why Max was here. “So, how are you?” Max asked as he sat next to her. He wanted to talk about what was happening to her, but he knew that the wrong thing could scare her off. “I’m good…I was working on that Psych paper.” “Oh.” “Yeah,” when Max didn’t say anything, she continued, “Max?… What is it?” She could see that something was bothering him. “I just…” he couldn’t find the right words. He looked down, then back at her. “I…you know that you can talk to me about anything. You do know that, right? That you can tell me anything?” He finally said. “I know that,” she said. “Good. I just wanted to…make sure… So, is there?…anything you want to talk about?”
She looked at him pretending not to know what he was talking about. “No.”
Max nodded then looked away. He didn’t know what else to do. He looked back at Liz again. She was still looking at him. Slowly, he leaned in and was about to kiss her when Liz suddenly got up and practically ran to an opposite side of the room. “Uhm… you know, Max, I should really start working on that…paper,” she tried to come up with an excuse.
Max, still sitting on the bed with his back to Liz, felt like a knife cut through his heart. He closed his eyes for a second, trying not to look upset. When he finally felt like he was in control of his feelings, he got off the bed and faced her. “Yeah, I should…just…go,” he almost whispered. “Good night, Liz,” he said as he crawled out of the window.
As Liz watched him leave, she knew that he was hurt.
She’s never pulled away from him like that. And she
hated hurting him. But she, also, felt like she
couldn’t let him know what she felt inside. So, she
just shut him out. She didn’t know what else to do.
“Hey, I thought I heard you come in,” he heard Isabel say as she stood in the doorway. But when he didn’t even look up at her, she asked, “Max, what’s wrong?” He didn’t answer. He seemed to be in his own world right now. “Max?” she said again.
Without looking up at her, Max suddenly said, “You know, I thought that if I loved her enough…that she’d be Ok…But it doesn’t work that way, does it?” Isabel sat next to him. She knew he wasn’t looking for an answer. “She’s slipping farther and farther away and no matter how much I try, I can’t reach her… I think I’m loosing her, Isabel.” He said as he finally looked up at her, then looked back down. “I’m loosing her,” he said as his voice trembled.
Isabel didn’t know what to say. So, she just put her
arms around her brother, trying to let him know that
he wasn’t alone.
School – Next day
Liz was trying to look like she was paying attention, but every time she closed her eyes, all she could see was two faces of those FBI agents. Memory. She really wished she didn’t have that right now. She’d give anything to forget about that awful night. She couldn’t concentrate.
“So, are you feeling like having a conversation now?” she heard Alan ask her again. Then he appeared with a scalpel in his hand. “What do you want from me?” she asked as she watched him in horror. “Don’t worry, Liz, it won’t kill you,” he said as he took her wrist and started cutting it. Liz screamed. The pain was so real.
“Miss Parker…Are you alright?” Her teacher asked.
“Suddenly Liz was back in her Psychology class with everyone staring at her. She couldn’t take it anymore, so she ran out of the class.
Michael exhaled as he closed his eyes for a moment. He
really didn’t realize how bad it was until now. He
just thought that she’d get through it, just like Max
did. But he was obviously wrong.
Liz and Max stared at each other, both with tears in their eyes. Neither one of them knowing what to say. “I’m sorry,” Liz whispered as she turned around and started running away.
“Liz!” Max called after her, but she didn’t stop. He
ran after her. But he lost her in the crowd of
students that was just coming out of school. “Liz!” he
called out again, but she was nowhere to be seen.
“We’re almost ready to go,” her mother said. “Liz, are
you Ok? You seem to be really down for the past few
days. Are you feeling Ok?”
“I’m fine, mom. I’m just tired.”
“Are you sure?” Because I can stay if you want me to.”
“No, really, it’s Ok, mom, go. Besides, I just talked
to Maria and she’s going to be here in an hour.”
“Ok, well, just in case, I left the number on the
“Ok,” Liz said as she pretended concentrating on the
As Nancy Parker kissed her daughter’s forehead, she
said, “See you in 2 days.” And then she left.
“Oh, thank God, you’re here,” he heard.
As he looked up he saw Maria. Something was wrong.
“Liz is gone,” she said.
Michael wanted to say to him, but then decided not to. He understood that Max was going through hell right now.
Max turned around with his back to all of them and leaned on the kitchen counter. Isabel walked up to him. “Max?” “I don’t think I can do this again,” he whispered. “I’m sure it’s nothing. I’m sure she’s Ok,” Isabel said trying to comfort him. As Max looked up at her, he said, “You saw how scared she was. How terrified.”
“That’s it! Scared!” Michael practically jumped up from his chair excited. Everyone looked at him like he just lost his mind. “She’s scared. Maybe she went some place…you know…where she would feel safe…or…or like where she goes when she’s upset,” he tried to explain. “Yeah, maybe…like that place where you went when you found those letters,” Max said turning to Maria. Maria and Alex looked at each other and then almost at the same time, “The Washington park,” Alex said. “The tree house,” Maria said. Then she looked at Max and said, “Yeah, that’s a good idea.” “Ok, so me and Maria will check out the tree house,” Michael said, “And Alex will…” “I’ll go with,” Isabel interrupted him. “Ok, so Alex and Isabel will go to the park, then,” Michael finished his sentence.
They all started to get ready to leave, but then
stopped and looked at Max.
“I’ll just…I’ll drive around town, check everywhere
again,” he said.
“Ok, so we all meet here.” Michael said as they all
walked out of his apartment.
They looked at each other again and smiled slightly.
As he walked in his room, he walked to the desk without turning the light on. He threw his keys on the desk as he took a deep breath. He didn’t know what he’d do if there were no messages on the machine. He slowly exhaled and turned around. But as soon as he did that, he felt his heart skip a beat. Liz was there…sleeping in his bed.
He felt tears choking him, but he didn’t dare to more,
to make a sound. He just watched her.
Even though she didn’t wake up, she felt his presence. And Max knew it. He felt it. She started to feel more relaxed. Liz didn’t realize that all she needed was for him to hold her. And as he did, for the first time since that horrible night, Liz felt safe.
|Part 2 | Index|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|