FanFic - Max/Liz
"Learning to Live Again"
Part 6
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")
The sunlight splashing through the window at six o'clock caused Liz's eyes to flutter open and for a moment she forgot where she was. Blinking her eyes quickly, it was then that she saw Max asleep on his back beside her. A smile crossed her face then, at how peaceful and content he looked and she snuggled up against him and though his eyes were closed he instinctively turned on his side to be closer to her. He moved closer to her like one would to a favorite teddy bear - asleep, yet somehow knowing where she was. Like being near her enabled him to sleep better. She edged even closer to him and was amazed, despite the fact that neither of their parents knew they were here, at how right it felt. Being with him, waking up next to him. And she closed her eyes, wishing only to wake up in his arms. Neither Max nor Liz heard Maxs mothers shouts from down the hall. They didn't hear the footsteps drawing nearer and nearer, nor the door creak open. They didn't hear the gasp that came out of her mouth when her eyes rested on the two, nor the call for her husband.

"Oh God, Phillip," Mrs. Evans whispered as both she and her husband just looked at the two, who lay asleep in each other's arms. Isabelle even looked over her parents shoulders and her eyes widened at the sight. Max had his shirt off and she couldn't even tell if Liz was wearing anything. Max hadn't, he wouldn't. But then she thought of how she always thought Max would never tell anybody about them and she just shook her head in disbelief. Whatever happened to responsible, dependable Max? Over the past few months he had become the impulsive one and Michael was the one who thought things through.

All three just stood their, knowing they were intruding on an intimate and private moment between Max and Liz, yet unable to tear their gazes away. Isabelle was having trouble grasping the fact of it all. Of what her brother had done. Of the risk that he had put Liz at.

The reality of it sunk in for Mrs. Evans. Her son, who she always saw as the most trustworthy and reliable sixteen year old, really wasn't much better than any other guy in the town of Roswell. Over the past few months he had gone from shy, quiet Max who stayed in his room on Friday nights, to high school basketball star who invited girls up to his bedroom on Friday nights. Of course it wasn't just a girl, it was Liz. But that was another matter entirely that had to be dealt with. Max and Liz.

"Someone should call the Parkers," she suddenly said and finally she turned her head as did the others. "They were probably worried about where she was last night." And as she began to walk away, she turned back around and closed the door.

When Liz opened up her eyes again, Max was already awake and tenderly combing his fingers through her hair. His other hand was wrapped around her and he layed soft, tiny kisses on her shoulder as he saw her eyes open. She smiled at the action and turned her face around for her lips to meet his. He kissed her lightly and wondered to himself why he had stoppped himself last night, why he had stopped her. Then he remembered the talk they had had. They still had so much to say, he still had so many things he wanted to tell her, but he knew that wasn't going to be a problem anymore. He slipped his hand behind her head and maneuvered himself on top of her.

"Max," she mumbled softly, "what do we do about..." her voice drifted off as his mouth came down on her neck. Footsteps suddenly sounded down the hall and drew nearer. "About that," she said, her voice filled with worry. Max didn't seem too concerned however, he wasn't the worried way he was last night, afraid of Mr. Parker. He pulled himself out of bed and grabbed both their shirts off the floor.

"Max," his mothers voice sounded outside. "Max, I don't know if you're...are you -" Decent was what she meant to ask, but Max cut her off.

"We're up," he said casually, buttoning his shirt up, not even trying to deny the fact that Liz was there and his mother walked through the door. Liz was still sitting in his bed and at the sight she closed her eyes and quickly took in a breath. Max saw the action and was about to say something, to tell his mom what had really happened, but he kept his mouth shut. Liz swung her legs over the side of the bed and pulled the cardigan over her shoulders, getting to her feet. She walked to Max and he laced her hand in his. His mother seemed to want to say something, she seemed to be fighting back and swallowing the words rising in her throat.

"Living room," was all she said and Max looked to Liz and smoothing the back of her hand with his thumb, he nodded.

Neither had expected the Parkers to be there, and at first Liz had seemed sickened by their presence. She remembered the last thing her father had said to her 'You have to end it. Or I will' and she held Max's hand a little tighter. She hadn't told Max about her fathers ultimatum.

"Sit down," Max's father motioned to the couch, and Max could tell already that his voice had lost that sympathetic tone it had had the last time he and Liz had gotten in trouble. Both he and Liz remained standing.

Not one parent said anything. No one was really sure what to say and Mrs. Evans still looked a little faint when she looked at her son standing there with Liz.

"We were worried," her father suddenly said.

"You knew where I was," Liz responded and she shrugged her shoulders, "why didn't you come and get me?" And she took a deep breath. "Why don't you come and get me?" she challenged, holding out the hand that wasn't in Max's. Her father bit his lip.

"What is this?" he asked, his voice low, no more than a whisper. "What is this - your way of getting back at me? At us? You just going to throw your life away?" Liz's face tightened and she knew that the Evans must have seen or heard her and Max together at some point during the night. And they had notified her parents.

"That's what you think?" Liz asked calmly and her father didn't respond.

"Lizzie, this is what your father and I were talking about last night - you're making these...rash decisions and we don't want to see you..screw up your life because of some...guy you don't think you can live without." Max's head immedietly snapped up at the comment. That was why Liz had come over crying last night. "And you don't need this in your life right now, you don't need -" And Max didn't even think, nor try to stop the words that came out of his mouth.

"You don't know what she needs," everyone's head snapped up at the comment.

"Max," his father called warningly, but Max just shook his head.

"You have no idea what's going on in her life right now! You have no idea what even happened that night!” Max attacked and everyone knew what that night meant.

"She's pushing us away," Mr. Parker said through a clinched jaw.

"You're pushing her away," Max retaliated and Mr. Evans could sense the anger growing in his son and he suddenly stepped forward.

"Max," he called again, walking in front of his son. "Liz's parents are going to have a talk with their daughter, we're going to have a talk with you and then - all six of us are going to talk," he tried to calm his son. "Alright, the Parkers are going to talk to Liz and - "

"No," Max retaliated. "No whatever you say to Liz, you can say to me." Mr. Parker threw up his hands at the comment and he took Liz's free hand to lead her away. Max tightened his grip however and he pulled Liz towards him, away from Mr. Parker.

"See," Mr. Parker laughed, looking to the Evans, as if he were proving a point. "I'm not going to fight with you, Max." He shrugged.

"Max, let them talk with their daughter." And Liz looked at him and nodded her head. Their hands were slow to break apart and Max's eyes remained fixed on Liz as her parents led her out of the room.

Both Max's parents sat down on his bed, while he remained standing and he just waited for whatever was about to come out of his parents mouths. Mrs. Evans stood up from the bed suddenly and she seemed to be looking for something. She looked on the nightside table, on the floor, on his desk.

"What're you looking for, mom?" he asked calmly and she seemed to be a bit frantic.

"You used something, right Max??" his mother asked, not looking up to him. "Tell me that you used something - "

"Mom," Max started to protest, but she continued talking.

"Because the way that you're thinking right now, the way you're acting -"

"Mom," he started to say again, but again she continued.

"-it's like you're not thinking. It's like you're somebody else completely.." He shook his head. "No, Max - don't shake your head," she scolded, "Do you realize that you put Liz at risk? You say you care about Liz, but do you care about her enough to know what's right for her, what's good for her?"

"Yes," Max nodded his head simply.

"No, Max you don't," his father was quick to jump in. "I mean what were you thinking inviting her back to your room? That's just.."

"She came to my room, upset. I wasn't going to turn her away," he responded honestly.

"So you jump into bed with her?" Mr. Evans attacked and Max seemed hurt by the statement.

"That's what you think of me?"

"Max, it shows a lack of respect for us and for Liz's parents -"

"I didn't sleep with her," he responded quietly. "She came to my window and she was upset and we slept." Both parents were caught off-guard and they seemed unsure whether or not to believe him.

"Max -"

"I'm telling you the truth."

"Liz quit lying," her father barked and Liz shrunk back against the cabinets of the Evans kitchen. She couldn't help but look at the refrigerator where there was a clipping about Max's last basketball game and a picture of he and Isabelle, smiling with skis in their hand on top of a mountain. She'd have to ask him about that, she thought to herself. "You admitted you were here all night," her father broke her train of thought and she tore her gaze away from the picture. Liz nodded her head. "Then quit lying."

"Mom," Liz looked to her mother desperately and her mother crossed across the kitchen, past her husband to Liz.

"You really have strong feelings for Max," her mother said and her voice had a softened tone to it. One much more sympathetic than the one that had confronted Liz last night. Liz didn't say anything, unsure as to where her mother was headed with this. "And once you enter that world - you know sexual intimacy-"

"Mom -"

"Everything changes," Liz opened up her mouth again, but her mother held up her hand. "I want you to know that you don't ever have to lie to me about this." Liz looked to her mom, appreciating what she was saying, but at the same time offended and hurt at what her mother suspected.

"Mom," Liz said again and her mother finally closed her mouth. "I'm not having sex with him," she shook her head and Liz's mother seemed skeptical, her father even moreso. "I'm not," she insisted. "Believe me," Liz pleaded. "God, why won't you believe me?"

"Why should we, Lizzie?" her father asked. "Why should we believe anything you say now?"

"Because you're my parents," she stated simply. "Because why would I lie?"

"Because lately you've showed some bad judgement. What's to make us believe that you -"

"Look, I was ready to," she paused, not sure if she wanted to admit this to her parents. "But Max...Max, who you're so insistant is obstructing my life," Liz repeated the exact phrase her father had used last night, unable to get it out of her head. "He stopped me, he...look, we slept together in his bed," she stated simply. "And that's all."

Isabelle and Michael walked breathlessly to the Crashdown, not a word spoken between the two. The minute Isabelle had seen Max and Liz she had run, not even bothered to take a car, to the OLD CHISOLM TRAIL trailer park to get Michael. From Michaels they had called Maria and Alex and as they burst through the Crashdown doors, there the two stood waiting for them.

"What's going on?" Alex asked worriedly, glancing up to Isabelle's distraught face. And Isabelle felt bad, telling them, sharing the news like the gossip mills at West Roswell, but this was different. This was serious.

"Max and Liz had sex last night," she blurted out and the look of shock on Maria and Alex's face was the same..

"What?" Maria whispered and Alex held up his hands for a moment.

"Wait - how do you know?" and Isabelle shifted her eyes for a moment.

"Because I saw them," she admitted quietly and this time it was Michael's turn to turn to Isabelle in disbelief .

"You *saw* them?" he asked, a bit bothered and concerned by the statement.

"This morning," she explained herself, sighing loudly. "We just walked in on them - Max had his shirt off and they his bed," she added quietly.

"We?" Maria suddenly questioned and Isabelle actually smiled and seemed to laugh.

"My parents saw them." At the comment all three raised their eyebrows.

"Well then you don't know for sure that...I mean some couples just - sleep," Alex tried to muster an excuse in defense of his friend. "I mean Liz is smarter than.."

"I don't get it," Maria suddenly stepped forward. "What's the big deal if they..I mean besides - " Isabelle made an irritated and disgusted face as if the answer were obvious. "You guys can't...?" Maria's voice drifted.

"No idea," Michael stated sullenly and at the comment Maria seemed to sadden. The realization then of just what danger Liz was in crept back up on her and she shook her head.

"Liz wouldn't do that, she's too smart.."

"So what? they just decided to sleep in the same bed naked??" Isabelle's hands flew up exasperatedly.

"That's not what I'm saying? I'm just saying Liz is too smart -"

"Oh and Max is an idiot??" Isabelle rushed to her brother's defense and Alex suddenly stepped in to intervene, joining up at Isabelle's side and Michael joined Maria's.

"That's not what she meant," Alex said calmly. "Let's just..we should go talk to them ourselves," he reasoned.

"My parents are already grilling them...and Liz's parents." Isabelle added and Maria rolled her eyes.

"Feel bad for them."

The two sat close together on the couch, upright and ready for the next comment that flew their way. It seemed after thirty minutes of fighting and arguing that both the Parkers and the Evans were beginning to weaken. Everything they said to either Max or Liz was met by a furious and sprited rebuttal. Max was so defensive to everything either parent directed to Liz that it almost made them frightened of him. The fire in his eyes each time they so much as directed a criticism towards Liz even made his own father back off. And each time they even proposed a break from the relationship the response from the two would immedietly cause them to stop.

Mrs. Parker had to admit she was impressed. They both readily admitted that they had made a mistake, an error in judgment, but stood firmly to the notion that they had not actually had sex. And the fact that Max was so quick to defend Liz, made her come to the realization that her daughter would always be safe with him. Her husband was having a bit more trouble coping with it. He had enough trouble dealing with his daughter having a boyfriend, but Max was so much more. And he realized that. They all did.

Max wasn't going to walk away from Liz, he wasn't going to leave her no matter what they told him. That became evident. And while neither parent was pleased they couldn't help but ignore how Max's hand never once left Liz's.

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