Disclaimer: All Roswell characters are the property of the WB. Thank you,
Ms. Dickenson, for the use of your poem. |
Summary: Max keeps his distance from Liz in order to "protect" her, but is he in danger of losing her to someone else? Also, my version of how Max and Maria become friends.
Authors Note: Feedback always appreciated!
|Liz sat on her balcony, the book Max bought her in her hand. She'd read it
cover-to-cover, and some of the poems had brought her to tears. She touched
the front of the book, pondering what a wonder gift she'd been given. |
Max Evans was a gift in himself, Liz realized. There wasn't anyone else on earth like him. Maybe all of those things she'd screamed were so unfair earlier were also gifts. Maybe his being alien made him special, that being so different was a gift. Maybe her love for him was a gift - both to him and to herself. Maybe she was truly blessed and didn't realize it.
Liz looked up to the stars, wondering about God. She was certain that God had created her. But did God also create alien life forms? Was Max's God the same as her God? Had their God given them the gift of each other? There weren't any answers in those twinkling lights.
Liz stood up and paced the rooftop. She folded her arms across herself to fight off the chill of the night air. She couldn't explain Max's sudden about-face concerning their relationship. A week ago he couldn't look at her. Now he was buying her things, looking at her the way he used to, touching her.
Could it be Kyle? Was Max still jealous of Kyle? Liz almost laughed. As if Kyle Valenti could hold a candle to Max Evans. Not in Liz's heart, anyway.
Liz did care about Kyle, and she was glad to see that he had rejoined the land of the living. But they weren't meant to be. They both knew that. Max should know that. Liz's lips formed a smile - Max was jealous.
The smile faded as Liz remembered the difficulty of her prior relationship with Max. He was stubborn, controlling. He was an alien, the government was always after him. But he was also the kindest, most gentle person she had ever known. Not to mention the physical aspects of their relationship. Liz and Maria had discussed the alien-human connection before. Human boys were spoiled for Liz. She could never feel the physical reactions with humans that she felt with Max. She didn't think it was possible. It was as though her whole world became sharper, that every one of her sense heightened when Max kissed or touched her. There was almost an electrical buzz that ran through her body, through her brain. She shivered just thinking about it.
It wasn't safe being with Max. But she couldn't be sane being away from him. Her head was telling her to run, run like hell. But her heart was telling her to stop, and give in.
Liz stopped her pacing and looked over the wall of the roof. Max was below, standing in the alley. She felt her heart skip and start to beat double time in her chest. The shakes returned to her hands and knees. She drew in a long breath, trying to calm herself.
"Hi, Max," she replied.
"Can I come up?" he asked cautiously.
Liz nodded and watched him ascend the ladder. She stepped back when he reached the top to allow him to step off onto the roof.
"Hi," he said, his voice soft in the night air. He smiled at her.
She smiled back, her smile a little more nervous than his. "Hi."
"I hope you don't mind my stopping by," he began.
"No, it's okay." Liz gestured toward her lounger and the chair beside it. "Want to sit?"
Max nodded and moved for the chair. He had to pick up the book before he sat. He glanced at, smiling. "Did you read any of it?"
Liz snorted as she reclaimed her seat on the lounger. "I read all of it."
Max's dark eyebrows arched. "Really? Did you like it?"
"Oh, Max," Liz's voice was full of awe, "I loved it." Her cheeks flushed slightly. "It made me cry."
Max gave a soft laugh. "She's incredible, isn't she?" He put the book down, then turned to look at Liz. "And so are you."
Liz looked away. She wasn't sure she was ready for this conversation. "Max, I don't know if-"
Max cut her off. "I need to ask you one question, Liz. And, depending on your answer, I will either stay or I will go. It's as simple as that." He eyed her, waiting for a response. "Is that okay?"
Liz looked at him. Her heart had started to pound harder and she was having trouble swallowing. She nodded.
Max drew in a breath and leaned slightly closer. "Do you still love me, Liz?"
Liz's mouth dropped open. She hadn't been expecting this from him. Not so soon. His eyes were full of hope, of expectation, of love. She felt her stomach start to flip beneath her rapidly thumping heart. She tried to form words but couldn't. Her eyes started to tear and she could no longer focus on the love of her life seated before her.
When Liz didn't respond, Max's heart sagged. There was a numbing crash in his head and he slowly rose to his feet. "Okay," he said shakily. He'd promised himself that he wouldn't make a big deal if she'd decided to move on, with Kyle or whomever. He needed to be fair to her - he said if the answer was no that he would leave. And he would. He turned to go, his feet feeling as heavy as lead. He needed to get down that ladder as fast as he could. He didn't want her to see the tears that were stinging his eyes.
"Yes," Liz choked.
Max thought he was imagining things, that he'd wished so hard that her answer would be yes that he'd hallucinated it as truth. He turned to question her, but Liz flung herself into his arms, hugging him tight. She was crying against him, her body convulsing with her sobs. Max brought his arms up to embrace her, pulling her tight to his body. He felt his tears slip silently down his cheeks.
Liz pushed back from him, her eyes locking with his. "More than life itself," she confirmed. "I love you more than anything in the world, Max."
Max touched her hair, her face, realizing how much he'd missed the feel of her. He'd deprived himself of the biggest pleasure of his life, and he'd nearly lost her. "And I love you twice that much," he said, looking into her dark eyes. "I am so sorry, Liz, for pushing you away. I just thought that you'd be safer if you were away from me."
"I know," she agreed. "But I don't want to be that safe. I want to be with you, Max. Only you."
His expression fell. "What about Kyle?"
Liz gave a little laugh. "He's a friend." She gave him a knowing look. "What about Maria?"
Max withdrew a bit. "Maria?"
Liz nodded, her expression amused. "She told me she kissed you."
Max reddened. "Um…"
Then Liz gave a little giggle at his embarrassment. "It's okay, Max. She explained. Did you really think she'd keep something like that from me? She's my best friend."
Max gave a guilty little nod. "She's a good friend. To both of us."
Liz's smile faded as her eyes settled on his lips. It had been so long since she'd kissed him, since they'd touched in any way. For some reason she was frightened.
Max pulled her close, his eyes also drifting down to her mouth. He could feel his heart jack-hammering in his chest, and he could also feel hers beating just as frantically against his. He held her face between his hands and caressed her cheeks with his thumbs.
"I promise you this, Liz Parker," he began. "I will keep you safe. As safe as I can. And I will love you with all of my heart. Forever."
With that, he leaned forward ever so gently. His breath came in a ragged gasp as he stopped inches from her lips. He looked into her eyes, found the burst of confidence he needed there, and kissed her. Liz felt the dizzying preamble to their connection, and Max's strong arm slipped around her waist to steady her on her feet. A burst of energy, like a ball of electricity, started beneath her breastbone and radiated out to her limbs. It gave her a relaxed, drunken feeling, a feeling she never experienced with anyone else.
Max saw into Liz's subconscious. He saw her as a child, licking a strawberry ice cream cone. He saw her skipping rope with Maria. Then he felt all of her emotions as she read the book of poems he'd given her. He lost himself in her emotions, in her sheer enjoyment of the book. It felt like he'd sunk into a warm bath, comfortable, friendly, inviting. It felt like home.
The need for air finally separated them. Max gasped as he looked down into Liz's eyes. She seemed a bit dazed as she also struggled to regain her breath.
"Wow," he breathed. "Have I ever missed you!"
As he swept her back into his arms, Liz realized that she was indeed blessed. Every day, every moment, every touch she shared with Max was a gift. She would never take it for granted, and she knew deep down that he never would either.
|Part 4 | Index|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|