FanFic - Max/Liz
"Get In the Game"
Part 8
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!
Mrs. Evans had called Max inside for dinner three times that night, as he stood in the driveway continuing to shoot baskets. The fourth time, Isabel stormed out to get him.

"Max!!" she yelled angrily, "Max - listen to mom!" she yelled again but Max continued to shoot the basketball.

"Be in in a minute.." he told her between breaths and Isabel noted that not one of his baskets so far had gone in.

"Max, just come inside," she said frustratedly yet Max continued. Over and over he would release the ball from his hands and every time it would bounce off the front of the rim or off the back of the back board or sometimes miss the net completely.

"Liz going out with Kyle tonight?" she broke the empty sound of the basketball bouncing on the ground in a rare gesture of friendliness, though her voice had spite in it more than anything. Max just looked straight ahead at the basket and swallowed. "Look Max, just come in and have dinner okay - you're being disrespectful to-"

"I have to make a basket," Max stated and continued.

"You don't have to," Isabel argued and Max finally looked over at her.

"I can't go in without..." he sought for the right word, "I have to make a shot."

"God when did basketball become so important to you!?" Isabel asked as she began to storm back into the house to which Max had no answer. "I mean you already played at school for two hours - you come out here and you play.'re with Liz after school," Isabel's voice actually began to quiver, "you haven't even spoken to Michael or I all week..." and a solitary tear suddenly dripped down her face. Max dropped the basketball. "Max, I'm sorry..." Isabelle finally uttered. "I'm sorry for...for - telling you, you couldn't have a life - and you couldn't make friends..'cos I realize that I do.." she paused momentarily. "But they're not Max," she whispered, "they're not my friends, they're not even close to it...and when I see you and Liz - ....I'm more lonely than you are because at least you have her."

Max didn't say anything. He would have never imagined that Isabel would be jealous of the life he lived. Isabel had all the girls envying her - even the Senior girls, she had all the boys knocking down her door. Max was just Max. "And Michael..." Isabel just held her hands up to her face. "Michael doesn't have anybody - he has us and that's it. And if you're not there..."

"I can't go back in the shadows, Iz - I can't." Max stated firmly.

"I get that Max, but this whole you and Liz thing..." Isabel made a face and Max just looked at her, the way he had for the past week. Isabel caught herself but before she could continue their mother ordered them inside as their dinner was getting cold, leaving the conversation unfinished. That's just what the whole he and Liz thing was.

Unfinished. Always getting interuppted - by one thing or another. Their relationship didn't progress, there was nothing to worry about. That's what he continued to tell himself though he knew how far from the truth it was. He thought back to Friday night, how close he'd come to kissing her, how close she'd come from kissing him. Too close. His mind drifted back to her words after he'd apologized for coming over. I'm glad you did. Or not close enough?

Walking into his room from the kitchen the same words kept flashing through his head, the same thoughts. Too close or not close enough? He always analyzed the things that occurred between he and Liz to no end, never actually attaining an answer or conclusion to anything. It was so different from when he was actually with her. Then he didn't have time to analyze, he didn't have time to think. Everything he did just happened. It was like he had no control.

"Max - answer your phone!" Isabel yelled from behind her door, interuppting Max's thought process. He jogged towards his bedside to pick up the phone, but his answering machine had already started. "Hi it's Max - I'm not here right now but leave a message" came the recorded message.

"Hi Max..." the voice on the other line sounded and at the sound of it Max instantly snapped his head up. "It's Liz. Um, I'm at the hospital," thoughts immediately began to race through Max's head - Liz at the hospital, in the hospital. "Something happened to my grandmother," he felt guilty breathing a sigh of relief, but he couldn't help it, "y'know we don't know if it's serious, seems really bad. I'm just..." there was a long pause and Max realized just how shaken up Liz was, the way her voice had begun to quaiver. "...scared. Look I don't even know why I called you, I guess I just wanted to hear your voice or something," and Max's heart stopped, "um - now I just feel completely stupid. Look - you - don't come here 'cos everyone's here...I'll see you at school tomorrow," she said awkwardly. "Sorry for the weird call. Bye." Max hit stop on his answering machine, then he rewound the message and listened to it again. And again. And again before he grabbed the keys to his jeep, his leather jacket and ran out the door.

Liz was standing nervously in the waiting room of the hospital with her family. Dr. Sanchez had just come outside with the revelation that her grandmother had had a stroke. No one in her family had said anything since. Kyle was standing awkwardly beside Liz. Their date had been interuppted as he and Liz had been returning to the Crashdown only to be greeted by an ambulance and her grandmother on a stretcher. Liz was looking down at the ground - her grandmother had had a stroke, her grandmother so full of life, so seemingly unstoppable was lying in a hospital bed. The doors suddenly swung open and Liz lifted her head to see Max standing there, hands at his side just staring at her.

Kyle blinked twice to make sure it was really him. That his mind hadn't been playing tricks on him. What the heck was Max doing here? Max didn't even notice Kyle. All he saw was Liz.

"Max..." Liz mumbled to herself, her mouth actually turning up at the corners. He walked towards her and she took a few steps towards him. "My grandmother just had a stroke..." she couldn't believe the words that she was saying - it almost seemed unreal.

"Oh..." was all Max could say, he didn't know how to react to news like that, especially when he could see that this person who mattered so much to him was so distressed over it, "I'm sorry." She just looked up at him and Max could see in her eyes that she'd been crying. His heart ached as he could tell just how hard saying those last words had been for her. "You okay?" he asked quietly what he had been worrying over since she'd called him. She just nodded her head slowly. There was silence between them, that awkward silence that always developed after a while.

"You gonna introduce us?" Mr. Parker suddenly called to Liz and she quickly spun around, remembering that her parents were in the room. And Kyle. Max realized Kyle was in the room for the first time and he knew how odd it must look for him to be here.

"Everyone...this is Max," Liz introduced awkwardly and Max just looked at the surprised and confused parents.

"Max, what're you doing here??" Kyle suddenly asked loudly, his voice having a sense of animosity to it. Max's mind sought quickly for an excuse. He hadn't thought of an excuse when he'd driven over, all he'd been worrying about was Liz.

"My cousin had a car accident," he quickly spat out, "I don't think it's serious." He couldn't tell if Kyle had bought it or not.

He stood there with his arms folded as he watched the close and unspoken interaction between Max and Liz. Or maybe he was overreacting. Maybe Max's cousin had gotten into a car accident. Whose to say he hadn't. Then he thought about the news Archie had delivered to him the other day. How he had seen Max and Liz talking a little longer than normal at the Crashdown when she'd taken his order. "I better go see if he's okay," Max turned around to head out the door and as he turned the corner and dissappeared Kyle saw, out of the corner of his eye, Liz's saddened face watching him go.

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