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. :) |
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 took a deep breath and walked into the biology lab. Today was going to be a hard day. She already had a bad morning, and now, she actually had a lab experiment to do. Two whole periods with Max Evans at her side. She didn’t know if she could handle it. |
Liz slowly walked to her desk. Max wasn’t there yet. She took out the lab she had been working on the night before. She had struggled to complete it. Her mind had kept wandering…wandering to the person who occupied the seat next to her. Being Max’s lab partner was once a blessing, but now it was pure torture.
Max walked into the lab, and saw Liz already seated. What was he going to say? What was she going to say? Would they just never talk? They had talked after their break up. The first time was awkward, so why was it so hard today? His head swarmed with unnerving thoughts.
As he moved closer to her, he watched her immersed in the paper on her desk. She was so amazing. She was reading with such a fervor, that Max felt wrong to invade. Her hair just fell over her shoulder, spilling over her ivory shirt. The soft, velvety material complemented her silken face. Max could feel his heart stop, just by looking at her. If he stretched his arm out, he could touch her. Standing still, he could see her, hear her gentle breathing, smell her raspberry shampoo. He could almost taste her, thinking about kissing her.
But, most of all, he could feel her pain.
He dropped his bag, and took his seat. Liz turned to face him, and stared into his eyes.
Neither of them said anything. Max started to open his mouth when he was interrupted by their teacher.
“As you all know, today is a lab day.” The class groaned. Max and Liz were silent. “Alright. Everybody stop groaning. At least you can work with your partners today. Be thankful it isn’t an individual lab.” She went on to describe what they would be doing, but neither Max nor Liz heard her.
Max dropped his eyes, and Liz turned her face away. She looked down at her lab sheet. She couldn’t believe how choked up she was when Max was near her. This is getting ridiculous, she thought. We should at least be able to do a lab together. But whenever she tried to muster up confidence to say something, she couldn’t. She understood that Max was in a similar predicament, but it didn’t make her feel better.
“Liz…” Liz heard the soft, deep voice that would stop her dead in her tracks. She looked up. The class had left for the lab, and everyone was gone. Everyone except Max.
Max tried to open his mouth, but could only gaze at her.
“What?” Liz was surprised at how curt her voice sounded.
Max seemed hurt. His expression changed, and he was at a loss for words. “Well, I was gonna say…I just wanted to tell you…” he trailed off.
Liz gazed up at him, an expectant look adorning her face. “We’d better get into the lab,” he mumbled.
“Fine.” Liz continued to be amazed at how she was reacting to everything Max was saying. She stood up and picked up her lab sheets. She couldn’t look at him. She was near the door when she heard Max say softly, “I’m sorry.”
Liz stopped. She took a deep breath, and turned around to face him.
“I’m really sorry Liz. I know this is hard for you, but you just…you have to understand. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, staying away from you. I hate to see you like this. But it has to be this way.”
“Why? Why does it have to be this way? What are you gaining from being like this?” Liz was no longer puzzled with her tone. She was just frustrated. “Tell me, Max. Why?”
“Because what? Because you’re afraid? Well, I’m scared too. But I’d rather be scared, and be with you, than be like this. I don’t know how much longer I can carry on. Do you want to? It’s just not fair.”
“I know it’s not fair.”
“Then tell me why.”
“Because we aren’t meant to be--”
“No, Max. You see, we ARE meant to be together. You just--”
“Liz, please, just listen to me. We don’t know what could happen. And I know, that if something did, I couldn’t live. I mean, if we had to be separated, I know I couldn’t live without you after having been with you. I can barely handle being like this -- I know I could never handle something like that.”
“But that doesn’t matter. There are no guarantees, no matter the situation. I mean, we could be run over by cars, or something…” Liz groped for words. “It’s even worse for us, Liz. We start out having a risk. We have to add all those things too. We won’t know how to cope with that.”
“Well, don’t you want to figure it out together? I know I’m tired of being alone, and shut out from your life. Aren’t you?” Liz moved closer to Max. Max could smell the luscious raspberries that floated in the air around her. Being so close to her threw off his determination. He wavered, then spoke. “Please, just bear with it for a little bit longer. Until we know more. Until we can be more sure of ourselves.”
Liz closed her eyes. She felt like weights had been placed on her eyelids. She was just so tired. She strained to open her eyes. She saw Max’s pained face, and sighed. “Fine. If you think this is the best way to go about this, then fine.”
Her face was turned up to him. Max studied her enchanting features. She was so close. He could feel her breath, warm against his face. He could almost feel her delicate lips on his. She was so close… “It’s the right thing to do Liz,” he continued nervously.
“Do you really believe that?” she said quietly.
Max was silent.
With that, Liz turned on her heel and walked out of the classroom.
|Part 4 | Index | Part 6|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|