FanFic - Max/Liz
"Imbalance"
Part 13
by Emma Whitfield
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the WB, Melinda Metz or anyone else involved in the production of the show or the book series. I am merely borrowing the characters, and promise to return them as good as new. :)
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG
Authors Note: As I have said, this story takes place directly after The Balance. If you can remember that far back, LOL, this is the episode where Michael gets sick, and Max asks to take a step back from Liz. None of the alien mumbo-jumbo occurred. There is no Tess, and Nasedo is just a name. Anyway, try to read this story in that mind set. I wrote this way back in January, and any similarities are PURELY coincidental. (That, or I'm just a mindreader, lol).
Liz Parker felt horrible. Dave Lynch was one of the sweetest guys she had ever met, and now she was inflicting the same pain on him that she had felt when Max said they couldnít be together. But, thinking of Max temporarily erased her concern over Dave.

She knew at the movie theater that what Max had told her in December was a lie. A huge lie. He had wanted to be with her so badly tonight; she could feel it. She could feel it in his touch, his embrace, his breathÖhis eyes. It was all-encompassing. Just being in his arms was like being in heaven. She never felt so safe, so secure, so blissfully happy.

But then, the moment was gone. It vanished into thin air.

Liz slowly unlocked her door, peering over her shoulder to see if Dave was still there. His Jeep was moving into the distance.

Liz once again felt a wave of pity wash over her. She never wanted Dave to feel rejection -- just from knowing him, she knew he feared it, mainly because he had never been rejected before. Girls threw themselves at his every wish, every college he applied to accepted him, with a full scholarship, and everything he had every hoped to get out of his life had easily been handed to him. Except for Liz. Liz knew, and she was sure that Dave himself knew, that rejection was a part of life. She still felt bad that it was her who dashed the one thing he had wanted for so long, and would never get.

As soon as Liz entered her room, she took off Maxís jacket. She smiled, amidst her situation, at how huge the coat was. The jacket, which fit Maxís broad shoulders and long torso so well, swam over her body. She drew the wet leather to her face. Regardless of the rainwater that had soaked it, the scent of Max was unmistakable. She took a deep breath, letting every molecule of his wonderful soul enter her body. She felt light-headed and delirious just from his jacket. Only God knew what would happen if he was there with her.

Unsuccessfully, Liz tried to forget the aroma which made her drunk with love. Leaving the jacket on her chair, she sauntered over to her journal, lifted up her pen, and began to write.

*****

Max Evans paced around his room. His mind was swimming. He kept telling himself he had to do this. He had to go tell Liz, now, that she could live her life without ever caring about him. But it was killing him. The thought of never touching Liz again, never holding her again, and never kissing her again was almost more than he could bear to think about. If he didnít make this official, he would explode.

Making his final decision, he pulled out his yearbook. Flipping by the science clubís picture, in which Daveís arm was casually slung across the most beautiful shoulders in the world, Max closed his eyes shut. All the signs he kept getting were pointing him into one direction. He had to do this.

His fingers drifted over Lizís picture. He couldnít feel anything. He tried again. Once again, he got no response. Max wasnít sure what to do. He had never done this before. The only person who did it was Isabel, and she had already told him everything she knew. Besides, Isabel was out on another one of her dates. Max couldnít help but feel annoyed at Isabel. She did whatever she wanted, and neither Max nor Michael complained. Max shook his head. If he started worrying about Isabel, he could never concentrate at the task on hand.

*****

Liz closed her journal. It felt so good, to get her emotions on paper. Ever since Max told her they werenít meant to be, her journal was transforming into a diary. She had started her journal to keep a record of her life. She had tried to make it interesting, before she knew Max, but it never worked. But, with each day she knew Max more, each day she fell even deeper in love with him, her journalís purpose had changed. Maria, as close as she was to Liz, would never understand the bond that she and Max had. They were tied together eternally -- she knew it. But she was so afraid of what might happen. Things with Max had been so strange, and Liz didnít know how she could approach him about it.

After changing into her favorite pair of pajamas and her favorite red tank top, Liz lay down on her bed. She eyed Maxís jacket slung casually over her chair. She got up off her bed, and pulled it close to her. If anything would let her go to sleep tonight, it would be something that reminded her of him, something that gave her a shard of hope that he felt the same way she did.

*****

After nearly an hour, Max was ready to give up. He didnít know why he couldnít do this. Maybe he didnít have Isabelís power. What he did know was that he couldnít face Liz, in real life, and tell her he would leave her alone. One look at her, and he lost all his inhibition. That was why tonight was so crucial.

He had to get into her dream first.

Max figured he would try one more time tonight. Concentrating as hard as he could on Lizís picture, which wasnít too hard for him anyway, Max touched Lizís image, and closed his eyes.

Max felt himself falling. He didnít know what was going on. His eyes seemed to be sealed shut, and he couldnít open them. Gusts of air blew by him. He had no idea what was going on.

Finally, the sensation of moving stopped. He carefully opened his eyes. He was standing outside, and it was apparently nighttime. The stars shone brightly overhead. A gentle breeze warmed his skin as it skimmed past him. Max racked his head trying to figure out the area. It seemed so familiar, yet he wasnít sure where he was. The area was silent, but it wasnít uneasy. In fact, it was quite peaceful.

Max began to walk, although he had no idea where he was going. Suddenly, he heard something. He turned around. Was it coming from behind him, or ahead? Or maybe it was the rightÖ

Maxís ears perked at the sound of laughter -- that unmistakable laugh, which tinkled like chimes in the wind, but made him smile because it was so charming and priceless. It was Liz. He knew it.

He started to run, allowing the beautiful bells of Lizís voice to guide him to her. His task lay at the back of his mind, and that conflicted with his heart, but he didnít care. All he wanted right now was a glimpse of the angel-face that he would do anything for.

Max was so enrapt by Lizís voice that he didnít realize he was walking through sand. He narrowed his eyes, and saw that he seemed to be at the waterís edge, as if he were at a beach. He took a step forward, and warm water encircled his bare feet. Grains of white sand, enhanced in the glow of the moon, clasped his toes. He jumped back just as the water ebbed back into a pool of darkness.

He heard the same laughter again, but much closer this time. He knew he was near. He turned his head to the left, and saw a giant boulder in his path. As he moved to it, the sweet giggles rose up like smoke from a fire. Max peered from around the side of the boulder.

There she was.

Maxís heart literally stopped beating. Up until now, it had been pounding furiously in his head, like it would explode. But now, he couldnít even feel it. In fact, he couldnít feel any part of his body. It was like every organ, every appendage, and every part of him stopped functioning. He had to cough to start breathing again. He had never seen her so beautiful and breathtaking. She always managed to amaze him, but now was an exception.

She stood at the waterís edge, wearing a layered, cream dress, that billowed around her legs, and pooled onto the beach. The color brought out her flawless skin, and her dark hair and eyes stood out even more in the brilliant moonlight. She was like a jewel shining on the beach. She was so radiant, that the lack of light everywhere else disappeared with one of her brilliant smiles. Helen of Troy would have killed herself in jealousy at the sight of the lovely Elizabeth Parker.

Max was so intoxicated by the vision of Liz that he could barely discern the figure that stood by her. As this figure became to take more shape in Maxís eyes, Max could see that Liz was leaning into the other person, obviously male. His heart dropped to his feet. There was someone else? he thought to himself incredulously. It was probably Dave, he told himself. There was obviously no point in telling her they couldnít be together. She had already moved on.

For a moment, Max was going to tell her that they should be together. That he had been wrong. And that night at the movie theater felt so right. That everything that was keeping them apart were just silly obstacles in their way. But it didnít seem to matter.

Max felt like he had been punched in the face. Were all the sparks that had flew between them a fabrication of his imagination? Was their love a faÁade? Maybe he and Liz truly werenít meant to be together. It was quite obvious Liz was content without him there. Max, with his shoulders slumped, and head heavy, was about to turn, when he heard Liz speak.

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