FanFic - Max/Liz
"Jagged Little Pill"
Part 5
by Ash
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters, etc. from Roswell just borrowing and giving them back; Sarah is, however, mine!! :0)
Summary: Starts moments after the events in "Balance"...
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: Fanfic challenge: based on "It's a Wonderful Life" (which should receive all credit due to it for the borrowed character of Clarence and the "rules" of guardian angelship, etc. A GREAT movie!!)
Max had been completely wrapped up in his plans the rest of the afternoon and finally, school was out.

Should he go to her now? Or play it safe and let time bring them together. Or just punch Kyle out, declare his love for her and ride off into the sunset?

He was tempted to go for the last option, because Kyle had at least one punch coming to him.

Max smiled. He knew one thing. He was definitely eating at the Crashdown Cafe. He couldn't wait to see Liz in her waitress uniform. Somehow she could make even that look hot.

"Back off, Maximillion," he told himself, then paused. The nickname Michael had always used for was just a part of him now.

Max frowned. Michael seemed so different here. So angry and brooding, and suspicious. But he guessed he would probably be the same way if left alone with all the secrets.

Max looked up at the Crashdown sign before entering. It was so familiar to him.

And as he entered, he was actually able to look at the alien memorabilia and smile. It wasn't a grotesque representation of all that he hated about himself. Not anymore.

Looking around the crowded cafe, he was surprised to see Michael sitting in a booth alone.

On impulse, he walked over to him.

"Mind if I sit down," he gestured at the empty booth seat.

Michael stared at him. "Why?"

Max tried to be as non-threatening as possible. "Actually, I think all the other booths are taken."

Michael glanced around and back at Max. "Suit yourself. I'm almost done."

Max sat down and couldn't help but steal a glance at the empty Tabasco bottle on the table beside Michael's plate of pie. The desert was smothered in it.

Max blinked. The thought of eating Tabasco on something sweet actually repulsed him. He had to smile.

"What," Michael asked with a frown, "so I like Tabasco."

"No, I knew this guy who used to do that all the time, that's all."

Michael stared at him for a long moment.

Max smiled as gently as possible. Then his focus was drawn to the bar, where Liz was picking up a platter from the serving window.

She headed for the counter and grabbed a few more items before moving to a table near him. She walked with such natural grace, balancing the huge tray on her small hand.

He was glad she hadn't noticed him yet. He could lose himself in one of his favorite pastimes....Liz worship. He was appreciating the short skirt on her uniform when his companion reminded him of his presence.

"Liz Parker, huh?" Michael's grin was calculated to be smug and irritating.

Max looked down, embarrassed that he had been so obvious. Had to be the strange circumstances. "Well, uh, yeah. I mean, maybe."

Michael looked back over at her. "Too brainy for me. But at least you're not after Isabel. Smart move. Because then I might have to kill you."

Max couldn't help but be disturbed. He glanced away, unsure of what to say in response.

He found himself noticing the couple at the table Liz had just finished serving. An odd looking couple, whispering excitedly over what looked like a small snapshot. They were clearly out-of-place here, and yet they looked familiar...

"Just what we needed. More tourists," he heard Michael say.

Suddenly, Max's breath caught in his throat. He looked at Michael with wild eyes. "What day is it?"

Michael frowned at him. "September 18, why?"

The entire room seemed to spin around Max as he tried to somehow make sense of what he'd just heard.

Standing invisibly nearby, Sarah was completely disoriented at the rush of fear and horror she felt from Max. September 18....the date reverberated through his mind and hers.

"Max, what is it?" Sarah tried to get his attention.

Max could barely think to even look for Liz, to make sure she was okay. How could he have forgotten to check the date?

The men, the two men, were they here? Wouldn't he have noticed them?

He glanced over across the restaurant and his heart froze in his throat. There they were, already arguing....

*Oh, God...*

Max knew from experience, one had a gun in his pocket. He felt as if he were in a nightmare, his heart pounding loudly in his ears.

Sarah suddenly realized what was coming, and she balled her small hands into fists, all beauty and fury at once. "No! NO!"

He saw Maria and Liz talking over by the bar. He couldn't hear anything, not even Michael trying to get his attention.

Time slowed down to a crawl as he saw Maria walking....


He had to do something.

Max barely managed to jump up before one man in the booth threw his arm over and broke a glass. As the shards of glass flew across the restaurant, Max saw Liz looking in the other direction.

Max opened his mouth to yell a warning...

"LIZ," Maria screamed!

Liz looked over just in time to see the gun pulled out. Everyone in the restaurant ducked...except Liz, who was frozen in horror.

And Max.

He tried to run to her, to beat the gun....


Except one little glowing bundle of glorious fury. Sarah's hair was flaming out behind her, her face a twisted mirror of what Max was feeling.

"It's not fair!!"

A patient voice came down from heaven, "Sarah, stop doing that."

Sarah screamed up to heaven, tears rolling down her face. "I could have warned him, but I didn't know. I thought this was all going to change since he changed."

"It has changed, little one. But not the way you want it to. Choices have consequences. And we can't always take those away. I'm sorry, but this has to happen."

The freezing was UNDONE and before Sarah's horrified eyes...

The shot was fired, and just before Max reached Liz, she was flung backwards like a rag doll...

Max screamed "NO!!!"

Within heartbeats, he was by her side, ripping open her uniform to reveal the bleeding gunshot wound. He winced at the sight, barely able to breathe.

*Not again...*

Liz was almost unconscious from the pain. She was losing blood quickly.

"It's going to be okay," he told her.

Then he froze. Reality hit him with a dull thud. He couldn't do anything. He was normal. All he could do...was watch.

He turned around frantically, "Call an ambulance!"

Maria was at the phone in a second.

Max glanced down at Liz. He had to do something...something... suddenly he remembered...

He was up in a flash, fighting the onlookers to get to Michael.

He grabbed Michael by the shirt front.

"You have to do something. I would if I could, but I can't. PLEASE, help her."

Michael was horrified at his request, but quickly adopted a cool stare.

"I don't know what you're talking about. Let go of me."

Michael pushed Max away and headed for the door.

Max could heard Maria's panicked voice, "There's so much blood..."

Max ran after Michael in desperation.

"She's been shot, Michael. You can't just let her die. Not when you can help."

Michael cast a worried look around, then fixed the full fire in his eyes on Max. "Get the hell away from me."

He shoved Max backwards, hard.

Max flew back against the nearest table and went over the top, taking food, dishes and all with him. He landed against the wall in a heap, stunned...

And all he could think about was Liz, lying there, bleeding. He was helpless...and she would die.

Sarah slumped against the far wall, tears rolling down her face. There was nothing she could do.

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