FanFic - Max/Liz
"Get In the Game"
Part 17
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!
Max walked through the hallway attempting to hide his face, yet knowing that everyone had seen it. They'd seen his bruised cheek just like they'd seen Kyle's black eye. People were talking, Max knew they were. It didn't help to stem the flow of gossip when Liz approached him in the hallway.

"Hey Max," she stepped up to his locker as he was emptying his books into it. "I've been looking for you - we didn't get to talk." Max nodded his head as he pulled out his biology book. After Kyle had ran out of the Crashdown last night, Mr. Parker had questioned him. Max had looked around wildly, a lost look in his eye almost. "I'm sorry," he had mumbled, looking towards Liz then towards her father. "I didn't mean..." he head stumbled, holding his hand up again to his lip as he began to back towards the door. 'No, Max - you're bleeding," Liz had protested, but he had left. "Are you okay? I wanted to -"

"I'm fine," Max dismissed, "You know, I just - I ant to apologize for -"

"No - I want to apologize for Kyle"

"That's not your fault," Max was quick to say.

"No, I mean..." she looked up at Max's face. There was a huge bruise on his left cheek, two cuts above his eye and an open cut on his bottom lip. "God he really..." Liz voice drifted as she looked up at his face. "That's really bad."

"You should see the other guy,"Max joked and Liz just laughed as the two walked to bio together.

Basketball practice had drawn to close at six o'clock, it was 6:30 however, and Max was out in his driveway shooting baskets. Releasing the ball from his hands, Max's mind drifted off to everything that had happened this past month. To him, to Michael, to Isabel. To Liz. He wasn't sure what exactly Michael and Isabel thought about the whole situation. Isabel had been the one who'd urged him to stand up for himself, to stand up to Kyle but in the whole scheme of things - him joining the team, him being friends with her in the first place, the fact that it had been he who had initiated the friendship. And that he'd kept it from her and Michael for that first week. She didn't really want him to *be* with Liz. It had been the whole principle of it. About being involved. The concept that had dominated this past month in the three's lives. It had been the most conflict filled month of their lives. Max jogged under the basket to retrieve the ball and as he dribbled back out to shoot it he saw Michael standing by the curb. He had his hands jammed into his pockets, looking more than awkward. Including last night Michael had said no more than six words to Max in the past week. He didn't know how Michael felt about any of it.

"You know there's a rumor going around that Kyle was jumped by a group of UFO nuts outside the center," Michael finally broke the silence awkwardly as he couldn't help but look at the cuts and bruises on his friends face.

"And what's going around about me?" Max grinned.

"You fell," Michael responded shortly and the two both started laughing.

"Figures," Max dismissed, though not at all upset about it. He actually chuckled at the statement, glad no one really knew what happened.

"Yeah that's the way it is," Michael just shrugged. The two just stood there looking at each other, knowing that in his last statement Michael had just summed up their entire high school experience. "So what's...really going on with you and Liz?" Michael finally addressed the question that had been plaguing him forever.

"We're friends," Max said simply and he thought back to the past three weeks. About all that he and Liz had shared. All they'd talked about and all they'd gone through. "Good friends," he added with a smile.

"And you're cool with that?" Michael asked uneasily.

"Yeah..." Max paused, "I'm fine," he finally said confidently. And for the first time it hadn't been a lie. At that moment, he felt perfectly fine. He felt like everything in his life was falling back into place. The conflicts that had arisen earlier and stirred up so much trouble were slowly being dissolved. In fact, as he thought back to this past day with Liz in biology, and the interesting encounters they'd both had dissecting a grasshopper, he smiled. He was better than fine. "How 'bout you? I mean last night - you're cool with that?" Max referred to last night's group adventure. Maria, Liz and Alex were the first people Michael had ever gone out with besides Max and Isabel. Michael paused for a moment.

"Beats bein' with Hank," Michael shrugged and Max winced at the statement, knowing what Michael's homelife was like. Yet in Michael's casual attempt to blow last night's' events over, Max knew Michael had enjoyed himself. He would survive. As Max had said so many times, getting involved was not going to kill him. In fact he might've actually had fun as at the last statement he just stared down at the pavement.

"Do it again, sometime," Max suddenly threw the ball at Michael's chest, smiling slightly. Michael held the ball up in front of his chest, seeming to be doing exactly what Max had just been doing. Thinking over everything that had happened in the past few weeks and ever so slowly a smile began to form on his lips. He checked the ball back to Max and Max quickly returned it to Michael and the game began.

"Come on, let's see what you got?" Michael taunted jokingly. "You're not so tough, you're not so tough," he drove to the basket and put the ball into the air, but Max immedietly stuffed the ball back towards Michael, blocking it with his hands. Michael tried again and this time the ball went through the basket. Michael raised his arms in celebration and grabbing the ball and returning back out to 'half court' - or the edge of his driveway - Max dribbled between his legs as he just looked at Michael. "Come on Maxwell, take your best shot - Mr. Basketball Star, take your best shot," he continued to trash talk in good fun and quietly Max released the ball from his hands. It sailed perfectly through the hoop. "Lucky shot, lucky shot," Michael dismissed, jogging under the basket and retrieving the ball. Max shook his head and laughed as his friend jogged back out.

Isabel walked out the front door and Max just called to her.

"Come on, Iz, get in the game!" he suggested, "Michael needs - all the help he can get!" he laughed as he reached up and again blocked Michael's shot.

"Would you quit it!" Michael yelled, frustrated but not serious as he bounced the ball off of Max's head.

"Hey!" Max laughed, spinning around to face his friend.

"Michael," Isabel jogged onto the driveway in her bare feet and, joining teams against her brother, motioned for the ball. He quickly passed to her and she took a shot from way out that was well short. Michael raced to grab the rebound before Max and ran back out to take a shot from outside. The ball bounced off of the backboard and was hanging on the rim, appearing to be rolling off when suddenly - as if controlled by some outside force - it spun around into the basket.

'Hey.." Max looked towards his sister, knowing she'd used her 'super-natural assets' - as she liked to call them - on that one. "Least I play fair," he shook his head in mock shame as he ran under and fetched the rebound. Juking past Isabel and racing past Michael, Max attempted a behind-the-back layup that just barely rolled off the rim.

"Someone's gettin' cocky," Michael laughed and Max just grinned widely. Max dribbled between his legs and shifted his feet back and forth, attempting to maneuver past Michael, but Michael was all over Max. He swiped for the ball with his hands and knocked it loose. Max sprung for it and the two were playfully fighting for the ball.

Isabel joined the fray, giggling as both she and Michael tried to tear the ball away from Max, who was on his back on the floor and holding onto it tightly. They ripped it free and Isabel tossed the ball into the air towards the hoop. It bounced once, bounced twice, bounced a third time and rolled into the basket. Isabel raised her arms triumphantly and Max laughed, realizing how much he had missed this, missed being with Iz and Michael his two best friends, over these past weeks. He knew that all the conflicts he'd had with Isabel about his involvement with Liz were finally over. All the arguments and shouting matches he'd had with Michael about his extracurricular activity on the basketball courts was over. And the dull aching that he'd had in his heart seeing Liz with someone else was finally over. And Max Evans smiled to himself, for the first time in his life not just content, but happy.

Part 16 | Index
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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