|"First Do No Harm"|
Disclaimer: Roswell belongs to the WB. |
Summary: Max is living alone as an ER doctor in Seattle. One night, a patient comes into his department that changes his life forever...
Authors Note: This takes place 15 years after "Destiny". Liz ran down the cliff that day and never came back.
|He hadn't woken up in a sweat for at least ten years. |
He could still feel her tiny hands all over him, her voice whispering in his ear, her mouth encased with his own. He shuddered as he touched his hand to his heart. It was racing fervently in his chest- that couldn't be good. He growled as he looked over at the clock. The large red numbers glared back at him, mockingly laughing at him that it was 1:30 AM and he had to get his ass out of bed and go to work.
He didn't mind it one bit, though. He loved his job. He'd been working in Seattle Memorial Hospital for almost three years. Only one more month of residency to go before he could practice pediatric medicine on his own. He ripped the damp sheets off his body and climbed out of bed, walking into the bathroom and yawning. He had ER rotation again tonight and cringed at the thought. It killed him to know that he could save every gunshot wound victim that came through the doors with the palm of his hand- but had to resign to regular medical methods in order to keep his secret.
"Max, you are struggling, man." He said to himself as he caught a glimpse of his image in the bathroom mirror. His cheeks were sunken in and he had bags under his eyes from lack of sleep. This graveyard shift was killing him. He had heard the expression "you've got to pay your dues" but this was ridiculous. He turned on the water in the shower and jumped inside the tub, relishing the feel of the warm water cascading down the crevices of his body. With every breath, he felt the memory of her surround him. Her eyes were haunting him, her lips begging him to remember her.
He hadn't seen Liz Parker since that day she left him in the cave.
No one had.
Through the years, few people had heard from her. She'd talked to Maria long enough to let her know she was staying in Florida with her aunt for good. Her parents sold the Crashdown and moved out there soon afterwards without an explination to anyone. Max, Michael, Isabel, and Tess had fought hard against the evil aliens that had come to earth to destroy them and they had won. After high school, Max had gone to college to become a doctor. Isabel had tried to make it work with Alex for a while, but felt an undeniable pull towards Michael, and the two of them moved to New York City- she for modeling, he for art. Alex and Tess had gotten married and moved to California when they were 21, and Maria and Kyle were married with kids in Roswell. Kyle, naturally, had followed in his father's footsteps and become the sheriff of the town when his father had retired.
It had been so long since he'd even thought of Liz, or what they'd shared seemingly ages ago, though her virtual abandonment continued to sting his heart to this day.
What was so different about this night? Why could he sense her all around him? Why could he almost hear her crying out to him, to help her?
Something was wrong with her, that much he knew. But what?
He turned off the shower and grabbed a towel from the rack, drying himself off with it. Once he was dressed in his scrubs, he grabbed his car keys and headed to work with an image of Liz in pain seared onto his brain.
He felt like someone was squeezing his heart deep inside his chest. He forced himself to stop thinking of his lost love and to concentrate on driving. He didn't need to be wheeled into work on a stretcher.
His shift was painfully slow. The ER was fairly quiet for a Friday night. A woman who was in labor had come in and was quickly shipped off to Obstetrics, and a man who had accidently sliced his finger open with a kitchen knife had come in and had been quickly sewn up and sent home. He was sitting at the main desk, helping the nurse file charts at the front when the doors to the emergency room swung open and a bruised, battered woman wearing sunglasses and covered in a sweatshirt and sweatpants slowly walked through them and made her way to the front desk. Max walked towards the waiting room as he grabbed another chart, not even noticing the woman who had walked in.
"Oh, sweetie," The nurse said, gasping. "You need help- here, let me get you a chair..."
"No-" The woman moaned. "I--I feel better--standing..."
"You're shivering! Let me get you a blanket at least." The nurse said, running to a nearby blanket and grabbing a large white sheet from the warmer. The woman's teeth chattered as the nurse wrapped her in the warm blanket.
"Thank--thank you." She managed to stutter out as the nurse returned to her post at the computer.
"OK, now I need your name..." The nurse said. "What happened to you? Did someone hurt you?"
"I--I--you need my n--name?" She stuttered.
"Yes, your name. This is completely confidential, just for hospital records. What is your name, sweetie?" The nurse asked. The woman looked down at her feet and appeared to be thinking.
"Elizabeth." She whispered. "Elizabeth Par--, I mean, Elizabeth Evans."
"OK, Ms. Evans...take a seat right over there and a doctor will be with you shortly."
"Th-thank you." She said quietly, pulling the blanket closer to her and walking towards a remote part of the waiting room where no one was sitting. She pulled her knees to her chest and buried her head in them. She began to cry softly.
Max walked back towards the front desk and grabbed a stack of charts. "OK, it looks like I've got someone else who needs stitches, right?"
"Um, Dr. Evans, there's a woman here who needs to be seen immediately. She's sitting right over there-- I think someone has hurt her--very badly. She should be looked at right away." The nurse said with sad eyes.
"OK, thanks Teri." Max said, taking the chart from her hands and walking over towards where the woman was sitting. He kneeled down in front of her and she gasped with recognition.
"Hello, Ms. Evans...I'm Dr. Max Evans, why don't we go back to an exam room and we can talk about what happened to you?" He said, looking at the chart in his hands. The woman in the chair let out a quiet moan that sounded a lot like his name.
"Oh, my God--Max!" She said. His ears perked up at the sound of the voice he hadn't heard in fifteen years--well at least, outside his dream world.
He searched her bruised and battered face, pulling her sunglasses off and feeling his whole body turn to mush.
"Liz!" He cried out.
* * * * *
"Oh my God!" Max screamed. If he wasn't already kneeling in front of her, he would have lost all feeling in his legs by now. Her face was frozen in a look of utter shock.
"Liz- Liz what--what happened? Why are you...?" He dropped her chart on the floor with a loud clang and leaned towards her, putting his hands on either side of her face. His heart was being torn in a million different directions. "Liz, oh, Liz...God, I've missed you so much..." He threw his arms around her frail body, completely ignoring the fact that she was covered in bruises.
"Ouch!" She cried. He pulled away from her and saw the tears shining in her eyes. "Max..." She put a hand to the side of his face as her bottom lip quivered. "Max...I can't believe you're here...I prayed--" She was forcing herself to smile through the pain. Her body was a wreck but her heart was elated to see the only man she ever truly loved, worshiped, burned for...
"Shh..." He said, putting a finger to her lips to silence her. "We can sort out everything later. Let's go to an exam room so I can help you." He instinctively laced his fingers in hers and gently pulled her off the chair to lead her back to the exam room. They were almost through the double doors when she stopped in her tracks. He looked back at her with concern.
She flung her arms around him and crumbled. He cradled her in his arms as she buried her face into his neck, making it wet with her tears. He kissed the top of her head and ran his fingers through her hair, which was a little longer than it had been in high school.
He was almost afraid to find out what had happened to her. He could feel the anger in him rising like a hot flame consuming every part of his body. "Liz." He whispered in her ear. "Who did this to you? Tell me." He said firmly, pulling her away from him and placing his hands gently on her shoulders. Liz took a deep breath and exhaled. She knew this conversation would have to come one day. She just hadn't anticipated it being today.
"We should go somewhere private. There's a lot I need to tell you." She said, raising her left hand gently to the side of his face. It was then that he noticed the diamond ring on her finger.
* * * * *
"You knew the assignment long ago, Simon. Don't try to back out of it now."
"I hate him, I hate him, I do. But why did I have to do that to her? I think I'm falling in love with..." A blonde-haired, green-eyed man said. He was walking around his dark bedroom, staring onto the balcony of his apartment. He clutched the phone to his ear with contempt in his eyes.
"Don't even say it, Simon! You're an alien. Aliens are not meant to be with humans! You were sent to this planet to destroy the Zebuarian race, not to fall in love with a....pathetic human." The voice on the other end reprimanded him.
"She is not pathetic! Don't bring her into this!" Simon screamed into the phone.
"You're letting your feelings for this...creature...get in the way of your duty. Kill them- kill them, kill their mates, kill their children...kill all of them. Kill them or *you* will suffer the consequences!" The man on the other end seemed to be enjoying the idea of murder and mayhem.
"But...I just want to--" Simon tried to protest but was cut off by the phone. "..marry her." He pounded the receiver against his forehead and screamed with frustration, knocking over a nearby lamp. He got a flash as he cradled it in his hands. He remembered how he last used it and he began to feel sick. He ran to the bathroom and hovered over the toilet, wondering how in the hell he was going to explain this all to his girlfriend...
...if she was even still talking to him.
* * * * *
"OK, tell me where it hurts, Liz." Max said, gently holding the back of her neck while she laid on the examination table. He pressed two fingers into the side of her ribcage.
"OUCH! It's Elizabeth. I go by Elizabeth now." She managed to choke out through the pain. He hated that he was hurting her but he needed to know exactly where she'd been injured. He moved to the other side and pressed there, emitting the same response from her. "You can stop pushing all over me. I hurt all over. Is that good enough?" He pushed one more time in the center of her abdomen, right over her womb. "God, Max, I said stop it! Please!"
Max gasped at her coldness. He took his hands off her body and grabbed her chart from a nearby table. He silently started writing notes on it and she turned her head slightly to face him. "I'm sorry." She whispered. "I didn't mean to--I didn't mean to yell."
"I understand, Liz--I mean, Elizabeth. You're in a lot of pain and it's serious." She tried to sit up in the bed but he quickly moved back towards her to push her body back into the bed. "Don't move, OK? I think you have a lot of internal bruising and maybe even some internal bleeding. We'll have to do an X-ray to make sure."
Elizabeth nodded as the tears formed in her eyes. "I guess I have to tell you, what happened--since you're my, doctor and all..."
Max grabbed her hand and kissed it. "As your doctor and as your...friend, I think it would be best for you to tell me. You don't have to tell me details, just general stuff. This guy needs to pay for what he did to you, Liz--I mean, Elizabeth."
She smiled at him. "You're still trying to protect me after all these years? You don't have to protect me. I can take care of myself, Max."
"I hate to be rude, Liz, but you didn't do such a good job of taking care of yourself tonight." She looked away from him as he tried to search her eyes for answers. "So...you going to tell me what happened?"
"Quit dodging the question...you'll always be my Liz." Max said firmly.
Liz couldn't help but smile at his comment. She would always be "his Liz". Oh God, if things could only be different... "It's kind of...a long story..." She uttered out as the tears began coming again.
Max shook his head, taking her hand and holding it close to his chest. "Long stories later... tell me what happened to you tonight."
Liz took a deep breath and cringed, the tears of disbelief falling again.
"I was raped."
Max's heart squeezed painfully in his chest. He reeled with disgust. "WHAT?" He screamed, finally finding his voice. "I'll kill him! I'll kill him!" He jumped up and walked around the room, his face red with anger and his fists clenched together by his sides. "Who did this to you?" He kneeled down beside her, taking her hand gently and kissing it. He was openly crying now.
The look he gave her then was the saddest look she'd ever seen. Even sadder than the last time she'd ever seen him- the day she left him in the cave. She didn't want to tell him... she didn't want to break his heart again.
"My...fiance'." She said quietly.
Max gasped. "No." He shook his head. "Oh, God, Liz...let me help you, you have to get away from him! Why in the hell would he do this to you? Why would he want to hurt the most precious, beautiful, sacred creature on this planet?" He let the words fly out of his mouth, not comprehending what they meant.
*Now she knows, great. Now she knows you've spent the last fifteen years obsessing over her. Nice one, Evans.* Max thought to himself, pressing her open palm to the side of his face and closing his eyes at its soft warmth. His mind reeled with images of Liz being brutally beaten and sexually attacked by her fiance'... the images made him hurt so bad that he cried out in pain. Liz looked at him with regret.
"Max, he's never done this before...I don't know what got into him tonight..." She said, shaking her head from side to side and gently pulling her hand away from his cheek. "He's not a bad person, Max."
"Like hell he isn't, Liz. What's his name? Are you going to press charges?"
"No!" She cried, her eyes lit up with fear. "I mean, yes. I mean, no. I don't know!" She cried. "I'm confused, can we not talk about this right now Max?"
"Oh, Liz," He said quietly, still not quite believing that his angel was lying in front of him, beat to all hell and not wanting to do anything about it. He felt his heart breaking again in his chest. "I should have been there. I should have been there to protect you."
"Max, don't blame yourself. There's no way you could have possibly known what was happening to me! You didn't even know I lived in Seattle! I didn't even know YOU lived in Seattle! Oh, my God! Max!" Her stubborn mind finally wrapped itself around the concept- after all these years, fate had brought she and Max Evans together once more. She raised her hand to the side of his face, engaging him in a light, tender kiss. Max felt his legs give out under him and he placed both hands on the exam bed to support himself. He felt like he was floating. He hadn't kissed anyone in so long, let alone been kissed by the love of his life. She let out a small moan in the back of her throat as she deepened the kiss between them. Images raced in his mind of their whole life apart.
*Liz living in Florida, sunbathing with her aunt almost every day.* *Liz speaking at high school graduation where she was the valedictorian.* *Liz in college at Florida State, working intently on a chemistry lab.* *Liz hanging out with her sorority sisters at bars and at parties.* *Pulling out her journal and watching an old picture of she and Max fall out of it.* *Opening up the acceptance letter from Harvard Grad School.* *Working at a coffee shop and studying between breaks.* *Meeting a blonde-haired, blue-eyed man and dating him.* *The same blonde-haired man getting down on one knee and proposing to Liz.* *Moving to Seattle and going to the University of Washington.* *Smiling and kissing her fiance as he presents her with a gold name plate that read "Professor Elizabeth Parker-Brown."* *Then, the terrible events that took place that very night....*
She pulled away suddenly, their eyes sealed with passion. He rested his forehead against hers and kept his eyes shut tight. He was afraid if he opened them, this would have been some really cruel dream.
"Liz..." He whispered, his voice barely above a moan.
"Max, we can't do this..." He softly captured her lips in his again. His lips traveled down to her neck, tenderly kissing every inch of battered skin there. "...Max, no... I'm with someone else..."
Max pulled his lips away from her neck and looked at her, devastated. He turned away as the tears rolled down his face. He then turned to her, his face full of determination.
"Tell me Liz. Tell me now. Tell me that you're not in love with me. Tell me you're not in love with me and after tonight, after we get you fixed up, you never have to speak to me again."
Liz's bottom lip quivered and tears threatened to spill over on to her face. She looked at her hands and whispered.
"I--I--can't!" She cried, beginning to sob. "I can't tell you that...because I would be lying... and we swore we'd never lie to each other...remember?"
Max's heart felt whole again for the first time in fifteen years. He managed to smile through the flurry of sensations running through his body and brought his lips to her forehead. He took a deep breath and said what he'd thought about saying every day since the one and only time he saw his real mother.
"I'm completely, hopelessly, unabashedly in love with you, Elizabeth Parker. No matter what you decide to do about him, that will never change." He said firmly, bringing her hand up to his lips and kissing it.
"Oh, Max..." She whispered, kissing his forehead, then planting tiny, soft kisses all over his face, just like she had done the night they rescued him from Pierce. Max felt all the pain and longing from the last fifteen years melt away. It felt like yesterday when they were in that van- when they'd professed their love for each other.
The time between then and now seemed to disappear into oblivion as she took his lips in hers once more, letting herself melt into his embrace. "Max, I love you, too...I love you so much." She breathed onto his face. "...Never stopped..." She managed to spurt out between loving kisses from him. She eased away from him carefully, burying her face in his neck and planting light kisses there as well, emitting a small moan of satisfaction from the doctor.
"Max, wait... wait... I can't do this... not yet..." Liz said, her eyes shut tight, shaking her head back and forth.
"Liz, don't say that-- don't ever say that." He pleaded with her.
"I mean, I'm *engaged*, Max! Engaged!"
"Engaged to a man who raped you! Doesn't that constitute a...clean break?" He asked in a hurt tone.
"I think something got into him tonight-- he wasn't normal-- he's not really like that..."
"You keep saying that...why? He claims to love you, but he beat you within an inch of your life--then raped you! That sure sounds like love to me!" Max said, standing up from her and moving across the room in frustration.
"Max, it's not that simple." She said quietly. "I love him, yes, but you know I love you, too."
"Do I?" He asked. She frowned.
"Of course you know. You were always in my heart... but what makes you think it can work between us this time? What about your destiny? What about Tess?"
"Liz! Stop it, will you? That was fifteen years ago! We defeated the evil aliens right after you left... they surrendered to us unconditionally... and as far as Tess goes,"
"You can tell me the truth, Max. Are you still with her?" Liz asked, her voice quiet with fear and anticipation of his answer.
Max had to laugh at that one. She sighed with relief. "We were never together, Liz! I haven't been with anyone since you left."
"Oh, Max... that's not how I wanted your life to be... I wanted you to be happy, to fufill your destiny with Tess..." Liz said, sadness and regret coloring her voice.
"You were my destiny, Liz. You always will be. We make our own destinies, remember?" He returned his hand to her face. "And as far as Tess goes, she and Alex started dating and now they're married with a daughter and a son."
"What?" Liz asked, almost laughing. "*My* Alex... and Tess? Married with kids?"
"I guess they were both feeling rejected." Max commented. "They have this mutual understanding that none of us can really grasp."
"*Rejected?* Did Isabel marry Michael? Oh my God...Maria must have been devastated..." Liz said, turning her head to the side and feeling her heart break for her best friend.
"Well, Maria was too busy with Kyle to notice." Max said, stifling a smile.
"Maria and KYLE? What? I thought they hated each other!"
"Liz, sweetie, we have enough time to catch up later. Right now, we need to concentrate on making you well."
"Wow...Maria and Kyle..." Liz said looking off into space and smiling as Max laid her gently down on the exam table and kissed her forehead.
"Now, if you decide to press charges...." He began, his voice turning serious once more. "We need to do this thing called a...a rape kit..."
"Max, I don't know..." She said, her face looking uneasy at the idea of sending her fiance' to prison.
"Liz, I promise, they won't hurt you. Another doctor will come in and examine you, collect the evidence they need...from you." He felt his face blush with embarrassment. "Someone else will come in and make sure nothing is going on, like the doctor isn't harassing you. I can leave and I'll come back when they're finished."
"No!" Liz cried. "I mean, I want you to stay. I need you to hold my hand, Max. Stay with me...please?"
He leaned down and kissed her forehead. "Whatever you need." He said quietly. She looked up at him and smiled sweetly. "If you decide not to press charges, we can just get rid of the evidence."
"OK. Sure, Max." She closed her eyes and tried to relax.
"But, in the meantime..." He pulled up the sleeve of her hospital gown and placed his hand over the bruises on her arm. She felt a warm, gentle heat radiate off him and the bruises and the pain vanished.
She smiled, looking up at him. "Thank you."
"It's the least I can do. I couldn't be there to protect you, but I can take the pain away... at least the physical pain..." He said, moving his hand to the back of her hospital gown, relishing in the feel of her soft skin against his hand as he healed the large gash on her back. He noticed the fingerprint-shaped bruises on her wrists and ankles and cringed. Those would have to stay for evidence.
"No, Max. You're wrong. You're taking away all my pain..." She said, her eyes fluttering closed, still not believing that he was standing above her, healing her for the second time in her life.
**I remember thinking
I'll be falling all about my own thing
And your lips burn wild
|Index | Part 2|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|