Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.|
|"That storm's getting pretty bad."|
"He'll be home soon," Isabel promised, sensing the tension in her fathers' shoulders.
"Where is Max anyway?" he asked.
"Um, he just wanted to make sure that Liz was ok," Isabel said after a beat.
"Oh," her father said, chuckling a little.
Isabel guessed he was in on the loop and shook her head. Everyone in the whole town had a clue-except Kyle; at least he didn't act like he did. He seemed a little upset about Liz running off earlier in the night, but ended up fussing over her hand, making sure it didn't hurt, was elevated and she didn't use it.
Max was not a happy camper through it all. Isabel saw him pouting, staring at Liz and Kyle through the corner of his eye. And she distinctly heard him sigh with relief when Kyle left. After that, Max was the one who worried over Liz-when Alex wasn't.
Isabel smiled and curled up on the couch, thinking of Alex. He had insisted that Liz stay seated all night-either him or Max got her anything she needed. It was funny to watch them both jump when she spoke, glancing at her hand as if her speaking made it worse.
"Izzy, phone," her father called, breaking into her train of thought.
Not hearing the phone, Isabel lazily reached for it and picked it up. "Hello?"
"Hey, you asleep?" Alex asked.
Isabel smiled and sat up, pulling her legs up under her. "Hey, Alex. I was just waiting for Max."
"He was still at the café when I left," Alex said. "He's probably making sure her bedroom is glass free."
Isabel shook her head and sighed. "He's a little overboard-but so were you," she reminded him.
"I know…but Liz's my best friend. I gotta keep her safe. So…"
Isabel could sense the hesitation in his voice and smiled even more. Alex was so adorable. "Me and Max have to help our dad paint the garage tomorrow, total full day work, so I won't get to see you…" Isabel felt so needy saying stuff like this, but she sucked in her pride and asked anyway. "So I was wondering if you wanted to catch a ride to school together Monday."
Alex was silent on the other end, and Isabel felt her heart sink a little.
"Um…of course," Alex said.
"Are you sure?" Isabel asked, needing to feel confident that Alex was ok with it. "If It's a problem-"
"Isabel, the only problem that would stop me from riding to school with you would be a earthquake-if even that," Alex replied.
Isabel gave a breathy laugh and smiled. "Thanks Alex."
"For being a good friend."
"Friend…yeah that's what I am," he said, his voice getting lower.
Isabel immediately regretted her choice of words, but Alex never gave her a chance to apologize.
"Hey, I better go. I'll pick you at Monday, ok?"
"Sure," Isabel answered. "Night Alex."
"Sweet dreams," Alex said after a beat, hanging up.
"Yeah…sweet dreams," Isabel repeated, hanging up the phone.
Liz walked back out into the living room, watching Max as he looked at all the pictures on the shelf. He picked up one that Liz recognized as herself in kindergarten. Max stared at it, as if trying to remember something.
"That's from kindergarten, I think," Liz said, walking up behind Max, who looked guilty at being caught.
"You look cute," he said, turning away from her to sit it back down. "So…where'd your mom go?" he asked, looking back at her.
"Um…down to get some ice from the café. She thinks it'll help," Liz answered, holding up her hand.
"It'll keep the swelling down," Max added. He stood in front of her, his hands at his side.
Liz nodded, crossing her arms. The silence in the room took over, and both teenagers tried to fill it.
"You like all your classes?" Liz asked, wondering over to sit on the couch.
Max followed after a beat, sitting at the other end. "Yeah. I got pretty much what I had at my old school."
Liz nodded, but was focusing on the space between them on the couch. Earlier, Max wouldn't let her leave his side, let alone be this far away. But now he was afraid to even touch her.
"How's your hand?" he asked.
"Oh…um, a little stiff and sore," Liz answered.
Max paused for a beat, then scooted closer. "Can I try something?"
Liz nodded, a little flushed by his closeness. Max gently took her hand, holding it palm up.
"I was thinking that maybe if it was massaged or rubbed the stiffness might go away," he explained. "Do you mind?"
"No," Liz whispered, looking up into his eyes. Max stared back then dropped his eyes. He looked at her lips, and for a spilt second Liz thought he was gonna kiss her, but he didn't, focusing on her hand instead.
Max rubbed around the main wound, massaging her hand gently. His eyes were focused on her hand, and Liz thought she saw them flash. Max suddenly stopped and looked up at her. Liz watched as his eyes took in how close she was, and took a deep breath.
"Does that feel better?" Max asked, his lips only a few inches away from hers.
Liz nodded, smiling at him. "Yeah…a lot."
Max smiled back, his eyes once more falling down to her lips. Liz, seeing this, licked them and saw Max's eyes darken some. Max leaned forward suddenly, getting ready to softly place his lips on hers.
Just as they were about to touch, Liz felt a tingle go over her hand, which Max was still holding. Max pulled back just as quickly, their lips not even touching for a second. Liz looked down at her hand, which was now feeling a lot better.
Liz was about to ask Max what was going on when her mother walked into the room. She saw them sitting on the couch, and Liz could feel her eyes looking at her.
"I got your ice."
Max stood up suddenly, looking panicked. "Um, I should go."
"Um…yeah, ok-" Liz said, standing up also. Max took off for the door before she could blink.
Liz looked back at her mother and sighed. "We were just talking," she said quietly, making her way to her bedroom. As soon as her door shut, Liz walked over to her window and climbed onto the balcony, going over to the side. She looked down and watched Max walk away, his face hidden in the shadows.
"All we did was talk," she said a loud, as if trying to convince herself that also.
Max powered walked full 4 blocks before he stopped to catch his breath. Taking a deep lung full, Max leaned face-first onto the nearest building, hitting the brick with his hand out of frustration. He'd been this close to kissing her.
Closing his eyes, Max let his fear surface. Tonight, while massaging Liz's hand, he did something to her. He wasn't sure what, but he felt, even knew, that her hand was now fine. All he wanted to do was help her, take away the pain. He'd been concentrating on relaxing the muscles when he got…Max wasn't sure what to call it, but he saw Liz as a little girl playing patty-cakes with someone. At the time, he blamed it on his over-active imagination, and when he looked up at her, it was forgotten. All that mattered was how close she was to him, how soft and inviting her lips looked.
And when she licked them, god, he was in pure torture. He had to kiss her, taste her at least once-no matter if she did have a boyfriend. And I was so close, he mumbled in his head.
But then, Max had felt a dizziness come over him, drifting from himself into Liz's hand. She felt it too, cause she gasped and looked at him. As soon as he'd pulled back, he knew what happened; somehow, he'd healed Liz's Parker's wounded hand. And the whole experience caused him to freak and run out on her.
"You guys kissed?!" Maria exclaimed, jumping down onto Liz's bed. "Oh my god-"
Maria stopped and looked at her best friend.
"We didn't kiss, alright. I mean, we were gonna-he was so close-but that's not the point," Liz added quickly.
"Ok, then what's the point?"
Liz sighed and pulled a pillow onto her lap. "The point is," she added in a small voice, "is that I almost kissed Max…while dating Kyle."
"But you didn't, so you're off the hook," Maria said. "So, lets get to the juicy parts. Where were his hands?"
Liz groaned in frustration and flopped down onto her bed. "Maria…"
Maria sighed for her best friend and laid down too, giving Liz a smile. "Babe…what does your heart tell you?"
"Kyle's sweet and nice, and the way he was looking out for me last night-"
"Liz," Maria interrupted, "I didn't ask what your mind tells you, I ask what your heart tells you."
Liz shifted on the bed and sat up. "My hearts on a vacation," she mumbled, standing up.
Maria scoffed and sat up. "Liz, girl, I know you don't wanna hurt Kyle, or Max. But you can't lead them both on."
"I'm not leading Kyle on-"
"But Max thinks there's a chance for you guys," Maria added. She noticed Liz looked surprised at that, but forged forward. "Look, not matter how much I want ya to ditch Kyle, which I do, I really think you need to decide who you want before someone gets hurt."
Liz walked over to the window and looked out. Maria stood and walked over to her best friend. Putting her arms around her for a quick hug, Maria added, "I know ya babe. You'll do the right thing."
Liz sighed and looked at Maria. "You better get down to work."
"Yeah, this is coming from the girl who doesn't have to," Maria grumbled.
Liz shrugged. "Not my choice. If it was up to me, I'd be working."
"Yeah, and if Alex, Max, or Kyle came in and saw you? Well, I don't think we have a apron that would fit them," Maria joked. She headed toward the door. "You coming?"
Liz shifted, looking at her shoes. "Um, ya know…I was just gonna-you know-"
"Max and Isabel have to paint the garage today," Maria added. "Come on, you can laugh at me; I bet you've never really watched me work."
Liz smiled and looked at her. "Trust me, I've seen you work-if you call it that."
"See?" Maria exclaimed, running over to grab Liz's free hand. "I'm a happy spot for you." She started to pull Liz out of the room. "We can make fun of the customers while you eat ice cream."
"Yeah, it's cold and makes ya have happy vibes," Maria replied.
"I think it's the sugar," Liz added, walking with Maria down the steps.
Maria waved her off and walked to the freezer, looking out the window to the front as she passed. Masking her face, Maria went to getting ice cream." ok, oh…mint chocolate chip," she said finally, pulling it out and throwing Liz a smirk. "Or should I get chocolate?"
"Oh…low blow," Liz said, reaching for the vanilla. Maria rolled her eyes and put the mint chocolate chip back. "Besides," Liz added, "I don't want a big sugar rush."
Maria nodded and bowed her head. "Oh, see I just thought you might want some happy vibes for when you go out there," she said casually.
Liz stopped scooping out her ice cream and eyed Maria. "Why?" she asked suspiciously.
"Um, I don't know…it's just that," Maria turned away, "Max is out there," she added quickly, dashing for the door. "And I told him you were coming down!"
"Maria!" Liz exclaimed.
But she was already out the door. Maria sighed and straightened her outfit, walking over toward Max, Isabel, and Michael. "Liz should be out in a minute," she said, glancing back at the door. She saw Liz's head and waved.
"Hey, do you think we could get some service today?" Michael asked.
Maria looked back at him. "Big plans?" she asked, eyeing him.
Isabel sighed. "No, he's just mad cause he got roped into helping us paint."
"Wow," Maria said in awe. "You actually got him to work? Well, be careful. He'll ditch out on ya the first chance you get." Maria threw him another look and walked away.
"She's mad," Maria heard Isabel comment. But it was Michael's response that made her stop. "Like I care."
Isabel sighed and shook her head, casting Michael a look. "God, when did you become such and asshole?" she asked.
Michael shrugged. "I am what I am."
Isabel huffed and crossed her arms, disgusted with how Michael was treating Maria. It was obvious he liked her, anyone could see it, but the big lug was still trying to deny it. Can we say useless, she thought.
"Why did we come here?" Michael asked suddenly.
"I wanted breakfast. Plus I thought Max would want to see Liz," Isabel added, casting her brother a grin, but Max didn't see it. He was too busy folding a napkin into a tiny square.
"What's with this compulsive need to fold the napkins?" Michael asked, pointing toward the other three he'd already went through.
Max just shrugged, never taking his eyes off of it. When his hand reached for another napkin, Michael snatched the dispenser up, pulling it out of his reach.
"Max, what's wrong?" Isabel asked, noting how he was slanted over, not making eye contact with either of them.
"Nothing," he mumbled, flatting out one of the other napkins and refolding it once more.
Isabel shared a pointed look with Michael, who simply brushed all of the napkins out of Max's reach and onto the floor.
"Michael," Isabel commented, sighing.
"What?" he asked, clearly agitated.
Isabel scoffed and bent to pick 'em up, only to have Maria get to it before her. "I got it," she offered. "Just keep this in mind when you leave a tip," she joked. "So, three cherry cokes?"
Isabel smiled at her, taking the napkins back and placing them on the table. "As always."
"Hey, Liz should be out in a second," Maria added, grinning at Max, who simply nodded, slumping down into his seat even more.
Maria seemed confused, walking off to get their drinks. Isabel eyed her brother, confused her self.
"What was that?" Michael asked.
"What?" Max mumbled.
"That," Michael said, waving his hand in the air. "You lecture me on being nice, then you blow her off."
"I didn't blow her off."
Isabel held up a hand to silence Michael, glancing at her brother. "Ok, why don't you want to see Liz?"
"You don't wanna see Liz?" Maria asked, walking over with their drinks. "What about last night?" she blurted.
Isabel spun to look at her brother, who was staring at the tabletop, his face blood red.
Maria must've noticed too, cause she added, "sorry, it slipped."
"What happened last night?" Michael asked suddenly.
"Nothing," Max said sternly, giving Michael a look, who simply smiled back. Isabel knew he wasn't gonna give up.
"Nothing? Maria didn't sound like it was nothing."
Maria looked at Michael. "I never said-" but Max didn't let her finish
"If something did happen, it's none of your business."
"So, something did happen?" Michael asked. "So you lied a second ago."
Isabel saw Max's jaw clench, signaling he was getting upset. "Michael, let it go," she hissed.
"What?" Michael asked, not even trying to hold his anger in check.
"Guys-" Maria tried to throw in, but Max stopped her once more.
"God, Michael, not everything I do has to be public knowledge," Max exclaimed.
"Ok, I'm just gonna…" Maria trailed off, quickly exiting the scene. Isabel didn't blame her; hell, she would run too if she could.
"Anything strange happen last night?" Michael asked.
Isabel saw how Max froze, his eyes getting a far away look in them. Suddenly, he stood up, pulling on his coat. "I'm not hungry anymore," Max said before walking out of the café.
"He's hiding something," Michael vowed, looking at Isabel.
Isabel scoffed, throwing him a look right back. "If he is, it's because of what you just did."
"What's that mean?"
"God, Michael! You can't let anything go," Isabel spat, leaning over the table. "It happened and is over with."
"No, it's not over with. You just wanna ignore it," Michael insisted. He stood too, storming away from the table.
Isabel slumped down into the booth, rubbing her temple.
"Hey, you ok?"
Isabel looked up to see Maria standing beside her, a worried look on her face. "Yeah, I'm fine."
"Oh, you just seemed upset," Maria added.
Isabel thought a moment, then said. "Maria…has anything you couldn't explain ever happen to you?"
"Well…I got an A on a history exam once," she said in all seriousness.
Isabel laughed, shaking her head.
|Part 34 | Index|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|