FanFic - Max/Liz
"Denial, Admittance, Reconciliation"
Part 1
by Brooke
Disclaimer: I am all too aware that characters do not belong to me. They belong to the glory and majesty that is Jason Katims and all his other production-type people and The WB. I promise to give them back when I'm done(but note I didn't add "all in one piece" :) ).
Summary: After Liz leaves Max on the mountain, he must come to terms with a few things.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: G
Authors Note: This fic was inspired by the song "Coming Back" by Catch-22.
"My poor heart's barely beating, I just keep on repeating..."
~Catch-22, "Coming Back" Michael couldn't believe that he was still the in the same spot. About an hour after she had left, he sat down, his eyes never wavering from the mountain side. Michael stepped away from the cave entrance and shielded his eyes from the harsh desert sun as he made his way to his best friend. Max looked so small sitting there, almost as if he had shrunk in size. Michael said nothing as he reached him, simply stared at he same desertscape Max had been staring at for the past three and a half hours. Max's eyes shifted for a split second to glance at the shoes of the new arrival. "She's coming back Michael, I'm just waiting for her," he said matter-of-factly. Michael didn't know what to say. His intention had been to make Max come inside the cave, but the determination in Max's voice left him speechless. He sighed and sat down next to Max, staring at the ground and playing with the sand and rocks in front of him for a while. "You know what I wish?" Max's voice made Michael jump a little. "What?" Max turned his head to face Michael. "I wish I had the power to turn back time." He turned back to continue his staring contest with a cactus. "Why's that?" "I would never have pushed you to go to the Crashdown that day." "The day you saved Liz's life?" Max turned to Michael again. "The day I destroyed it, you mean." Michael's brow knit in confusion. "What are you talking about? She would have died that day if it wasn't for you." "Would that have been so terrible?" Michael thought his eyes would pop out of his head. "Max, you love her, you can't mean that." Max sighed, sounding frustrated, and looked down. He'd been having this conversation with himself and having with someone else didn't sound much different. "I'm not saying I wanted her to die or anything, I would have been easier, you know?" It was Michael's turn to sigh. He nodded in understanding and stood. "Maybe it's time to go into the cave, it's hot out here." Max looked at him as if he had just said the most idiotic thing in the world. "I'm just waiting." "For what Max? The vultures to eat you?" "I told you, she's coming back." "How do you know?"

"I have a feeling."

"A feeling?" Michael echoed, disbelief obvious in his voice.

"You were the one that said I love her. That love goes both ways."

"Max," Michael began as he scrubbed his eyes with his fingers, "don't you think it's time to admit that she's not going to come trudging up the mountain to say she's sorry?"

"Leaving this spot would mean giving up on her. I'm not ready to do that yet."

"But she gave up on you." Michael prepared himself for Max to defend Liz and wasn't planning on backing down until he saw his side. But to his surprise Max was silent for a long pause. When Max did turn and raise his eyes to Michael, they were flooded with tears.

"I know," he said, his voice breaking with sadness. "Why did she do that?"

Michael's shoulders slumped in the defeat that he didn't think would come this way. "I don't know," was the only thing he knew to mumble. "Hey, let's go," he said, gently pulling on Max's shoulder.

Max swatted his away. "I said I'm waiting!" he yelled like a child throwing a tantrum.


"She's coming back Michael," he insisted, cutting Michael off. "She is coming back," he repeated saying each word deliberately, although his voice was wavering.

" she's not." Michael wanted Max to see the truth and the only way he saw left was to just blatantly point it out. He was quickly becoming frustrated with Max's childlike insistence in this delusion. This time he grabbed Max by his upper arm and pulled him to his feet. "Let's go," he said softly yet forcefully.

"No," he replied through clenched teeth.

Michael's breaking point came with those two letters. He began pulling Max towards the cave and when he wouldn't walk, he drug him.

"Michael, she's coming back, she's coming back Michael, I need to wait for her!" Max was babbling over and over. With a burst of strength he broke free of Michael's grip, lost his balance and stumbled to his knees. His babbling turned to sobbing and he buried his face between his knees. Michael had obviously expected Max to be upset but didn't think it would be to this extent. He kneeled down to place a hand on his friend's back. Max abruptly raised his head and through his crying shouted "Liz!" in a scream that had to make his throat raw. The commotion brought Isabel and Tess from the cave, worry etched on their faces.

Isabel ran to her brother's side and wrapped her arms around him as he continued to cry and mumble, "Come back, please come back." A lump formed in her throat and tears threatened to spill over as she looked up at Michael and Tess, a pleading in her eyes. Not a word was exchanged as a look of understanding came upon her. Michael almost thought he saw her age before him as a wisdom not yet learned creeped into her face. A deep silence came over the three, the only sound being Max's whimpering. Isabel placed a kiss on her brother's head and murmured, "She will be back. But there's work to be done first." She wouldn't have imagined that he would have actually been listening, but as a response he pulled his sister into a tight embrace.

And on a desert mountainside four adults breathed the last few moments of the adolescence they so desperately clung to.


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