FanFic - Max/Liz
"Learning to Live Again"
Part 2
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")
Max couldn't even have imagined how it would be being in the jeep with Liz again. It had gotten out of the repair shop Monday afternoon and just seeing it in the driveway, Max felt sick. Nothing appeared to be wrong with the battered vehicle, in fact it was in better condition than it had ever been. He had refused to pick it up however, he had made Isabelle go and pick it up and even she had seemed hesitant

But now, as eight o'clock and the start of school drew nearer and nearer he and Liz sat in silence in the jeep, he found himself behind the wheel. She, who had thus far seemed so okay with everything and with life returning to normal, seemed unnerved at the notion of returning to school. He had already convinced his parents to allow him to take Monday off, and they had questioned whether or not he wanted to take Tuesday off as well. He wasn't sure why he hadn't accepted the offer. Maybe it was because Liz was going, because Liz appeared to be so much stronger than him.

Sitting in the car however, he realized she was just as nervous as he was. She seemed nervous for different reasons though. He wasn't ready to go back to school because he didn't want to go back and pretend that everything was normal. Because it wasn't and it never would be.

"You okay?" Liz suddenly asked, breaking the silence and Max seemed caught off-guard.

"What?" he shook his head, realizing he must have appeared to be in a daze.

"You okay? You seemed a little.." her voice drifted.

"No, it's just.." Max wanted to tell her the truth, he wanted to get these feelings off his chest. "It's just.." He wanted to apologize to her. "We're gonna have a lot of work to make up," he managed to laugh and she merely smiled at the comment.

"We can do it together."

There weren't too many visible signs that anything was wrong with Max or Liz as they walked through the front doors of West Roswell hand in hand. Liz looked perfectly fine, and Max looked normal if not for the large scar down his arm. Isabelle was in the process of convincing him to get rid of the scar, to tell his parents it had just healed, but Max seemed unwilling to. He seemed to want to live with the scar on his arm, with the reminder.

People Max and Liz had never even talked to were saying hello to them as they made their way to Liz's locker and attempted to settle back into routine. Nothing about it seemed routine though. It was like meeting some long-lost relative and pretending that you really did remember them from a visit twelve years ago. Liz didn't need to get her books, she didn't have work to take out of her locker, or put into it for that matter, yet she opened it. Max appeared on edge by it all and he was fidgeting around, and as hard as Liz was working to keep her composure, he was unnerving her more than she liked.

"Max, would you quit it," she fired and he seemed caught off-guard by the statement. He picked himself off of his resting place on the locker and just looked at her, somewhat hurt. He was having enough trouble dealing with this, to have Liz yell at him on top of everything. Liz yelling at him. That was his worst fear. That she would yell at him for everything, for putting her in the hospital, for wrecking her life. "I'm sorry," she was quick to apologize and she slowly closed the locker. He looked up at her innocently, awaiting her response - knowing she was as shaken up at being back in school as he was. "It's just.."

"You okay?" he asked, "you sure you want to - I mean do you want to not -"

"Max, we have to," Liz stated simply, knowing what he was proposing. That they not go to school. "I mean we can't just sit at home and....dwell on it," it was the first time she had spoke about 'it' and Max's head snapped up quickly at the comment. He wanted to protest and he wanted to tell her that they did. That they had to confront what had happened or else they'd be living a lie, but he didn't. "We have to go on with our lives.." Max's head spun at the impossibility of that last statement. "Let's just...let's erase the past month." Liz looked up at him, and he could sense with all his heart that that was the one thing that she wanted to happen - that she wished could happen. That they could go back to that Friday night they had gone to Senor Chow's and relive the past month before anything happpened. That Friday night that Max had come to her back door - that wouldn't happen the second time around. And she repeated her last words. "Let's erase the past month." And he drew her to him, gently pressing her head against his chest.

"Okay," he whispered leaning his chin against her forehead and all the while thinking that erasing the past month was impossible.

The teachers luckily made no large ordeal about Max and Liz's return to the class. They spoke to them each individually after class and after asking how they were, delivered to them the weeks worth of assignments that they had both missed. Max was almost glad for the work. For something to occupy his head other than these thoughts. He was on edge all day, as much as he tried to assure to Liz that he was fine. Because she seemed fine. She laughed and talked with Maria and with other friends and when Max seemed hesitant to leave her side, she would casually kiss him on the cheek and walk to the other side of the room to talk about everything she had missed in the past week.

She really was trying to erase the past month. It was as if nothing wrong had happened between him and Liz and more than anything he needed to confront everything that had. That night he had broken up with her, he had to explain himself. He had only started to in the jeep that night. And he needed to know that she forgave him, that she at least understood the slightest bit where he was coming from. She had to be scared too. She couldn't not be. Their relationship had progressed to the fact that you couldn't not be and the fact that she wasn't confronting it or talking about it depressed Max more. But he smiled, and he laughed, and he talked as if nothing was amiss. He kissed her, and held her hand and agreed that they would go out that weekend And inside he was being ripped apart and his head was screaming.

Max got the warmest welcome back of the day from Archie. The smiling Senior upon seeing him, jogged across the hallway to meet him. Archie had been the only one who had visited him in the hospital. And though he had brought with him a signed card from the rest of the team and all their 'best wishes'. It had been only him who had shown up.

"So how you doin', man?" he asked and Max merely shrugged his shoulders.

"It's weird," Max said honestly and Archie just nodded his head.

"How's Liz doing?" he seemed genuinely concerned about her.

"She's doin' better than me," Max admitted, unsure as to why he was able to speak freely with Archie and not with Michael or Isabelle, or even Liz for that matter.

"You'll get back in the swing of things," Archie assured and as the bell rang, he slapped Max five quickly and headed back around the corner.

"Yeah, I'll bet," Max mumbled to himself and slowly walked to his class.

Max wasn't sure if Liz had instilled her policy into everyone else's head, but Michael, Maria, Isabelle and Alex seemed to behave as life was before any of the past month's events. Except for the fact that Maria and Alex knew about Max, Michael and Isabelle's secret and the fact that they both seemed to have stepped up their relationships. Max never found out how exactly Michael and Isabelle had revealed the secret to Alex and Maria. He wondered how Maria's reaction had been, and almost laughed at the thought. They had accepted it well though and hadn't seemed to treat any of them any different. Maybe it had been the example of Liz.

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