FanFic - Max/Liz
"Learning to Live Again"
Part 1
by Kippy
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with the show, actors, writers, producers, network, or characters in Roswell. I only wish I did. The songs used in Part Eight are "Without Letting Go" by Laurie Sargent and "What Do I Have To Do?" by Stabbing Westward. The song used in the end is "You're Gone" by matchbox twenty.
Summary: Max struggles to put the pieces of his life back together.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: Sixth installment of my series ("Not So Secret Admirer", "Get in the Game", "The Walls Come Crumbling Down", "Walking Away", "No Rhyme or Reason")
*I'm gonna smile my best smile
And I'm gonna laugh like it's going out of style
Look into her eyes and pray that she don't see...
Learning to live again is killing me*


It's funny, Max Evans thought to himself as he looked to the grandfather clock in his family's living room, how you never really see the hands of a clock move. You just look up and it's five minutes later. That was how his life moved. He didn't realize all the things that were happening in it until they had happened. That somewhere along the line Michael and Maria's constant bickering and flirting had turned into something much more. That Isabelle turned to Alex for comfort now as much as she turned to Max. That the secret that for so long had remained secret, now included two more people in the town of Roswell other than Liz. That the Roswell hospital employees all knew Max by name now and the left wing of the second floor was his second home, even though he had been discharged three days ago. The events of the past week were pieces of memory, fragments in his mind. Like watching an hour go by on the clock. First it's five past, then fifteen minutes, then it's half past and then suddenly you're into the next hour. That was how he remembered the past week, small sketchy pieces of memory. The only thing that remained vivid was the pain.


Max glanced back to the grandfather clock. Visiting hours at the hospital began in only five minutes, and without a word to anyone, he slipped out the house to the car. It felt odd to be driving the tiny Toyota Camry - he never drove anything but the jeep. But with that in the shop for who knows how long, the Camry was the car that he drove to the hospital. He had been surprised that the damage to the jeep had even been repairable. Michael, Maria, Isabel and Alex had gone to look for it two days ago. It hadn't been too hard to find. Max's trail of blood almost made Isabel throw up on the side of the road. There had been blood splattered on the windshield and on the steering wheel and there had been a giant bloody piece of glass in the driver's seat. Isabel had shuddered when she had seen it, knowing that had been what cut her brother's arm.

Max's injuries despite the severity of their appearance were minor. The stitches in his side prevented him from moving around too much, but he found every time he went to see Liz he couldn't help but but run. At first it had been running out of his own hospital room and around the corner to Liz's. Now it was running to the car, running into the hospital, up the stairs - strictly against the doctors orders - and down the hall to see her. All the while, being greeted by nurses, doctors and orderlies, who had grown to know and to care about Max and Liz.

There was a feeling in his stomach however, about what exactly he was going to see. To see Liz - who he had put in the hospital - Liz who despite all that he had done to hurt her still seemed to be happy to see him, who, according to the nurses, looked forward to his visits as much as he did. But why did he look forward to them? There was no doubt that he did, but everytime he saw her lying in the bed he was struck with a wave of guilt. A wave of...

He didn't know what it was. It was as if Liz had forgotten everything that had happened. Like she was pretending that everything was normal. Like she saw was in the hospital for her tonsils or her appendix. She had confessed that the only things she remembered were Max telling her he loved her and then him kneeling over her in the dark tellling her that he wouldn't leave her. That was all she said about the accident, about the past month, and so Max hadn't said anything. He hadn't broken down and apologized like he had thought he was going to, like he had been ready to. Because before he could open up his mouth she opened up hers. She gently took his hand and kissed it softly. "I love you," she'd stated simply and Max had been quiet. If she could still love him after all of this, then he could try to put it all past him too.

But when he walked into the hospital room and looked in at her he couldn't shake the feelings deep down. She smiled when she saw him, and a smile formed on his face when he saw the corners of her mouth raise, despite the feelings he had. Max reached into the brown paper bag and pulled out the bag of chocolate covered Gummi Bears he had purchased for her at the candy store on his way over. Yesterday he had brought over an Alien Blast straight from the Crashdown, and the day before that it had been a Blood-of-Alien Smoothie (though he had had some trouble just ordering that one considering recent events). She smiled again and he slowly walked over and placed it on her bedside.

"Dr. Lowery said I could go home tomorrow," she quietly broke the silence between them and the look of happiness on his face didn't match what he felt when he heard the words. Liz going home. He wasn't ready for that. He wasn't ready for life to go back to normal. Whatever normal meant in his messed-up life.

"You wanna walk?" he suddenly asked and Liz just nodded her head. The walks he and Liz took around the hospital had become a common sight for everyone on the hospital floor. The nurses and the doctors had grown used to seeing Liz walk slowly around the second floor, holding Max's hand in hers and clinging onto his arm. It was clear in those walks the love that existed between the two. The way that Max's eyes never left her as he walked slowly down the hall. How they didn't even exchange words, but their company seemed to be enough. It was hard to believe that this calm and caring Max walking slowly down the hall was the same one that had entered the hospital kicking, screaming and yelling just one week ago. For the past four days she had had her IV with her, which made the going slower, but even without it she was moving slowly and weakly along the floor. "You okay?" he looked over to her, the concern evident in his voice as she clung to his arm a little more than normal. She just nodded her head. "You sure you want to go back tomorrow?" he asked and again she just nodded her head. "I can't spend another night in here, Max," she confessed and he stopped in his tracks. She looked at him, awaiting words to come out of his mouth, but instead he gently kissed her forehead and drew her to him. The action was odd. He meant it, without a doubt he meant it. He sympathized with Liz for having to stay here for as long as she did. But then there was that part of him that wanted to confront everything that had happened between them. That part of him that was unable to. That felt uncomfortable being so close with Liz.

"I can stay here tonight, if you want..." he suggested and she seemed to smile at the comment and opened up her mouth to reply when she eyed her father and mother standing behind her and she and Max stopped.

Both her parents and Max's parents had been behaving oddly for the entire week that Liz had been in the hospital. Liz's parents most of all. When Liz had awoken and whispered for Max, when he had ripped out his IV and raced down the hall to see her, the two had barely gotten much of a reunion. Her eyes had fluttered open and he had choked back a sob, bringing her hand up to his cheek. Liz had managed a weak smile then, but that had been all. Before he could even utter her name, her parents had rushed into her bedside and Max was pushed to the back. She had opened up her mouth several times in protest to her father and mother, wanting to talk to Max and to be with him, but when she had craned her head to see where he was quietly standing in the corner they had insisted she rest some more. That she could see him later. And that was how the week had gone. Unable to sleep, Max would walk slowly down the hall to Liz's room where her parents would be. When he would walk into the room they would shoot him a look and he would slowly back out. It was like a competition for Liz's affection. And while Max just wanted to be with her, it was clear his parents wanted just the opposite.

"I'll be alright," she whispered, breaking away and walking to her parents. Max just stood there and watched her leave, his eyes meeting the stern gaze of her father. It was odd to be treated this way by Mr. Parker. He had always treated Max so nicely, with approval and almost a sense of affection towards him. But now his dark eyes seemed anything but welcoming. Max wanted that acceptance back. He wanted to tell Mr. Parker that he had done nothing to his daughter - but that would be a lie too. A lie like the rest of his life was right now. Giving Liz one last look, Max slowly walked towards the hospital exit. He stopped by the front desk briefly and before he could even open up his mouth the nurse behind the desk did.

"Three o'clock tomorrow, Max," the red-headed nurse smiled and he nodded his head and smiled also. The infectious smile that the nurses loved, despite the fact that they saw so little of it. "I'm gonna miss you, Max," she shook her head smiling. "We're all gonna miss you."

Thirty four multi-colored balloons were heaped into one booth of the Crashdown, Maria was blowing up number thirty five and Isabelle and Alex were stringing up a giant WELCOME BACK banner across the back. Three o'clock was rolling around and the welcome back party that they had been planned for Liz for was drawing closer. Sure the party was just Alex, Maria, Michael, Isabelle and Max - but they still all seemed nervous about it. About being back with Liz. Max sat nervously in the front booth, his mind seeming to be somewhere else completely. More than anything he wanted to be the one to take Liz out of the hospital. He had been the one who had taken her in, he wanted to be the one to take her out. And Liz felt the same way.

She was dressed and ready, she had all the gifts she had received the past week in her hand, along with the names and numbers of the nurses who wanted to keep in touch with her and Max. Her parents walked through the door, almost seeming surprised at how good she looked but she didn't smile when she saw them. She seemed to look past them and her face seemed to drop when she realized that it was just them.

"Where's - where's Max?" she inquired and at the comment her father seemed to grow the slightest bit angry, although he bit his tongue.

"Max is back at his house, sweetheart - " he began to say and Liz became upset by the comment.

"Well why didn't he come?" she asked, seeming to still be in a fragile state. Mr. and Mrs. Parker didn't tell Liz that they had told Mr. and Mrs. Evans that they wanted it to be just them who picked up Liz, that they didn't want Max to be there.

"Lizzie, he's catching up on schoolwork," Mrs. Parker lied and Liz knew it was a lie and she seemed to know that her parents had somehow forbidden Max to come pick her up. And she wanted to keep quiet, but she couldn't. She was well aware of the way that her parents had been treating Max for the past week. And she couldn't keep quiet because this past week Max had been the one person she had needed most. And she knew that she was the one person he needed.

"How could you do that to him?" she attacked, stepping backwards to the edge of the bed, seeming to be in disbelief that her parents would do such a thing. Like she didn't want to leave with them.

"Honey, we didn't -"

"He told me he was coming to pick me up today - he said that he -" but before Liz could finish, Dr. Lowery and Dr. Hastings stepped in. And they had barely said ten words before quickly questioning Max's absence.

"That's odd.." Dr. Lowery scratched his head, "seems only fitting that - you know he came in with her, he'd come out with her." The words seemed to echo Liz's sentiments exactly and she glanced to her parents with a look that was intended to make them feel guilty.

"That's not like Max, I wonder what -" and then Max was standing in the doorway and Liz immedietly walked past her parents and towards him. Both parents seemed more than angered at his presence but kept their mouths shut and Max looked to them, almost with an apologetic look as Liz slowly walked out the door with him.

Isabelle had tried to stop her brother from going to the hospital. She knew the Parkers didn't want Max there, she knew the Parkers didn't really want Max around their daughter much but she, nor anyone else had been able to stop Max. Max was still not up to strength but was still able to muscle Michael away and rush out the door.

Driving over to the hospital, and even now as he drove towards the Crashdown with her he felt uncomfortable. And he couldn't help but remember the last time they had been in a car together. Thank God it wasn't the jeep they were driving home in. The entire car ride was quiet. Max seemed disturbed at the fact that he hadn't let her parents take her home - he felt almost selfish - but the past week had been about he and Liz recovering and this ride home was the most important step for them. For their return back to 'normal' - and Max couldn't help but laugh at the irony of the thought. He stepped into the Crashdown with her and as the two of them, Maria, Michael, Alex and Isabelle settled into a booth a feeling began to rise over him.

The sickening feeling he got looking over at her that he would never recover.

Index | Part 2
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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