FanFic - Max/Liz
"Get In the Game"
Part 11
by FordOnBuffy44
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with the writers, producers or cast of Roswell. I only wish I did.
Summary: Max's life begins to change more than Michael and Isabel would like as he becomes more and more frustrated with living in the background.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG
Authors Note: This is the follow up to my first story Not So Secret Admirer. You might want to read that one first although it's not absolutely necessary. Feedback Please!
The West Roswell Comets were scheduled to do battle against the Irving Heights Cowboys that afternoon at 3:45 and as the entire student body pushed and shoved their way through the gym doors and made their way towards the bleachers Isabel and Michael scanned the crowd for Max. The Comets basketball games were the sole highlight of the winter and fall sports season. Going to homecoming dances, parades and parties was one matter, not attending the basketball games was another. Michael had somewhat reluctantly followed Isabel into the gym. He didn't mind if he was seen as an outcast, and that's where he and Isabel and Max were different. They just wanted to blend into the background. He wanted to fade away.

Michael had been unwilling to go to the game and even moreso to go with Max. Unlike Isabel, he hadn't even spoken to Max since last week. If Max could give the silent treatment, Michael could even better.

"I don't see him," Michael mumbled, not seeming overly bothered by the comment. "Oh well.." He turned on his heel.

"Come back here," Isabel grabbed him by the back collar of his shirt and jerked him around. "Let's go get our seats," she climbed up the wooden bleachers, searching for open seats. She and Michael plopped down and glancing to their right suddenly realizing they were right next to Liz, Maria, and Alex. Michael grimaced.

"What did Max get our seats..."

"Where is he? Max is never late," Isabel asked, a bit concerned and Maria perked up her head. "You guys don't know?" she interjected and Isabel and Michael glared at her.

"Excuse me? We weren't talking to -" Isabel began to say, but Maria just ignored her attempt at a brush off. "You were talking about Max - he's not watching the game," Michael and Isabel rolled their eyes and Michael began to grumble something under his breath. "He's in it."

"What?!" Isabel exclaimed, grabbing Maria's left arm.

"Maria what are you talking about?" Liz grabbed her right.

"Max is -" Maria began to explain, but suddenly the overhead sounded.

"AND NOW YOUR WEST ROSWELL COMETS!!" it blared and the small team of eight came jogging onto the court. Michael and Isabel's mouths dropped open in disbelief as they eyed Max jog out onto the court behind the rest of the blue and gold clad team. Liz's mouth dropped open as well, not so much out of surprise though. As she saw him come onto the court with the team her mind drifted back to the conversation they'd shared on her balcony the other night, his concern over being involved. And Liz genuinely smiled for the first time since last Friday. The team was parttaking in the pre-game shoot around, knocking balls into the empty and open basket, but Max stood near the bench, dribbling quietly by himself. Michael had gotten to his feet the minute Max had jogged onto the court and as Michael made his way down onto the gym floor, Isabel in close pursuit, Max put the ball onto the ground and walked to the corner of the court where they were waiting. "What the hell is this?" Michael demanded harshly, pointing to the shiny blue and gold warm-ups Max was wearing, "What are you doing?"

Max was quiet.

"They needed an ex-" Max began to explain but Isabelle cut him off. "They needed an extra man, yeah right, Max - you say that all the time," Isabel fumed. "It's true," Max said honestly. "You could have said no," Isabel fought back.

"Evans get on the floor and warm up!" the coach barked and Max nodded his head, but turned back to Michael and Isabel. "Who said I want to?" he retaliated quietly. "That's the thing - you like your fake little life a little too much. Just remember Maxwell, you're different from everyone out there. You'll never fit in." Michael said the words harshly, not seeming to be bothered by them at all. Attempting to be a bit less gentle, Isabel cut in. "Being friends with Liz is one thing, Max, playing on the basketball team is another," Isabel reprimanded. "No, it's not," Max defended and he opened up his mouth to say more, but was cut off by the coach again. "Evans, take some shots!" he barked and Max again nodded his head and turned back to Michael and Isabel. "You're enjoying your pretend life and you're putting our lives at stake," Michael continued his attack. "I'm not putting anyone's lives at stake - you think I'd ever do something I think would put us in danger." Max responded truthfully.

"I think when it comes to Liz, you don't think at all," Michael said causticly and Max looked at him, his face seeming to tell Michael that he'd crossed the line.

"This has nothing to do with Liz," he stated firmly, "this is about us - the three of us, going out, living a life, not watching it go by." "Evans!" the coach barked once again and this time Max began to back onto the court. Isabel and Michael were left standing on the sidelines by the corner of the court, Isabel's arms crossed and her mouth in a worried line and Michael scowling as Max picked up a ball and finally began to shoot.

Part 10 | Index | Part 12
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