FanFic - Max/Liz
"Learning to Live Again"
Part 7
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 walked happily through the hallways of West Roswell, Liz at his side, the weekends events all but forgotten. As Max had described to Michael and Isabelle, the Parkers didn't hate him any more, but they didn't hate him any less either. They put up with him. They were going to put up with him. They had to. Liz insisted that they would grow to like him again. They did before and she told him that they still did. They just weren't used to him being such a big part of her life, they weren't used to anyone being that big a part of her life.

He walked along with his hand interlocked in Liz's. That was their new thing, holding hands. Their hands rarely left each others and one hardly ever saw Liz without her hand woven in Max's. Even during biology they would link hands beneath the tabletop. This is how things were now for Max, after a traumatic eight months of school things finally seemed to be calming down in his life. There were no more things plaguing him and as he glanced down he saw that the scar on his forearm was finally beginning to fade. Max smiled slightly when he saw it and Liz looked at him, her mouth turning up at the corners slightly as well. She had yet to get used to this happy and smilng Max again. It had been so long since she had seen it.

"What?" she giggled.

"Nothing," Max shook his head with a smile as he looked to the fading scar again. He would always have the memories. And those would be enough.

"Max!" a loud voice suddenly rang out from down the hall. Max snapped his head up, not recognizing the voice at first. "Evans!" it sounded again and as a face suddenly emerged from the crowd Max recognized who it was. It was his basketball coach.

Liz looked to Max a bit confused. The basketball season had ended over two months ago.

"Max, this is Mr. Martinelli - he's the basketball coach at Arizona State."

"Nice to meet you," Max stuck out his hand and shook the man's hand firmly, though still not understanding why it was Coach Harvey had called him over.

"He's here doin' some scouting," Coach Harvey explained.

"But I'm only a sophomore," Max actually laughed.

"You're only a sophomore, Max - but next year there'll be colleges comin' at you from every direction. You got the grades and the talent to drive coaches all over crazy -"

"I'm only a sophomore," Max repeated.

"I know, I know," Coach Fontanelli assured and chuckled a bit at Max's reaction. "Just tellin' you we're interested." He handed Max a card with a number and address on it. Max took the card awkwardly and nodded his head.

"I think Mack has this period free," Max told the two men and they both laughed at the comment, beginning to talk again and walk away.

Liz looked to Max, clearly even more unnerved by the man's presence than Max. Max continued walking with Liz - his hand hand remained in Liz's the entire time.

"That was weird," Max broke the silence and they both suddenly broke out laughing to attempt to ease the awkwardness. "Wait'll I tell everyone."

It was a suggestion by Isabelle that no one had chosen to decline. A get together at Alex's house to celebrate the end of school. There were only two weeks left and they should be studying for finals, but they instead decided to gather at Alex's. Normally Maria nor Isabelle would be excited to be up at ten in the morning, but they were the first ones over at Alex's.

Max honked the horn outside the Crashdown Saturday morning. When Liz came running outside Max was met with a flash of the day that he had driven with her to Artesia and a smile broke across his face. She smiled as she climbed into the car also.

"We have to pick up Michael, that okay?" Liz nodded her had and Max looked down at what she had stuffed into her bag. "Is that your math textbook?" Max suddenly inquired.

"No, no," Liz shook her head a little too vigorously and Max knew her too well by now to know that she was lying. He grabbed the book out of her bag.

"AP Euro??" he asked in shock, making sure to keep it out of her reach.

"No, Max - give it back!" She reached forward to take it from him.

"Weren't the AP tests in May?"

"Yeah, but we still have the final!" she complained. "Max, give it back!!" she began to squirm across the seat on top of him to get to the book, but he pushed his hand up against her, lightly shoving her back to her seat. Max held his finger up and gave her a look as if to say 'enough', and slid the book under the front seat. "Max -" she opened up her mouth again, but he held up his finger again and kicked the book further under the seat.

No surprise, Michael was dressed for anything but a day by the pool and Max and Liz almost laughed when he climbed into the car. He was wearing layers like he always did and Max wondered how he could be wearing them on such a hot day. The sun was beating down and it wasn't even midday yet. It was the perfect day to congregate outside Alex's pool and the perfect day to spend with your five closest friends.

For as lackadaisacal as Michael has seemed climbing into the car, he bolted out of the jeep and ran around the back of Alex's house. Max and Liz jogged along behind, laughing at Michael's behavior and suddenly Maria was in his arms, there was a loud splash and Maria was in the pool. Michael just stood there and laughed as he looked down at Maria, fully clothed and soaking wet. She was pretending to be more upset than she was, as she couldn't help but love Michael's playfulness and she attempted to keep the smile from creeping up on her face as Max and Isabelle snuck up behind Michael.

Michael sensed them both though and before they could get close enough he ducked behind a chaise lounge and ran over to the other side of the pool.

"Don't even think about it," he called warningly as Maria swam over to his side and attempted to grab his ankles and drag him in, no longer seeming to mind that her clothes were soaking wet. "Don't you dare - Maxwell, gimme the keys," Michael joked and Maria just gave up, ducking her head in the water and then flipping her short hair back, splashing water onto Michael. He gave her a look and walked back over to Alex's patio where the four others were just laughing. Isabelle was helping Alex pull out a volleyball net for the pool and Max couldn't help but smile when he looked over at the two. Alex and Isabelle were friends, nothing more and they both seemed content with that. Being friends with Isabelle was beyond Alex's dreams and he still found it hard to believe that in one year they had gotten so close. Maybe next year...he thought to himself. Maybe next year she would be ready. As if to wake Alex from his dreaming, Max suddenly walked over to help him out with the volleyball net and as Maria climbed out of the pool and peeled off her sopping clothes, he walked around to help hook up the net. Liz laughed as she helped pull Maria's soaking shoes off and turned them upside down on a fence post, before quickly shedding off her clothes. Max's attention quickly dropped from the volleyball net as he watched Liz step out of her shorts. He didn't even hear Alex yelling for him and he and Michael both just stood there and watched Liz and Maria slowly walk into the pool. Liz was slower to walk into the pool than an already wet Maria and Liz's eyes were meeting Max's gaze when Maria suddenly went under water and pulled Liz under by the leg. Liz burst to the surface quickly, gasping for breath and shaking her head and quickly responded by dunking Maria under the water with both hands. The two girls continued with their antics and Max just laughed, shaking his head. Glad that finally they all could let loose together and just have fun. Max returned to fixing the net, but by the time he had Alex was completely gone as Isabelle had already begun to slip into the water.

It was a day Max was sure none of them would forget for quite some time. Only moments after Liz had been dragged in by Maria, Liz pulled Max into the water with a little help from Michael who still remained bone dry. Max had simply laughed, shaking his wet head like a dog as he had pulled off his sneakers, socks and shirt and thrown them out onto the deck. It had taken more than half the afternoon to get Michael into the water. The coaxing and coercing had not worked at all and finally as it seemed his eyelids were closing the five of them suddenly grabbed him from his resting position on the lounge chair and plopped him into the pool. He had been furious, as he was in long pants and long sleeves, but his anger had quickly dissappeared and turned into laughter. He couldn't be angry, not on a day like today. Not with everyone, for once, so happy. Alex had tossed a ball into the pool and before Michael even had a choice he was on Alex and Isabelle's team going up against Liz, Maria and Max. None of the girls were highly talented at volleyball and the game had just been fun. Maria had gotten quite good at aiming the ball at Michael's head and Max would set her up for a spike that would bounce right off his wet head. Max had gone and raised Liz up on his shoulders and she had had fun blocking the net until Michael had dove under the water to grab Max's legs out from underneath him, sending both he and Liz splashing down to the water. The game had ended there and the six just splashed around in the water for much of the afternoon, simply enjoying the company of each other.

The day had ended at the Crashdown, with the six tucked cozily into one booth. Max had laughingly told them about the scout from Arizona State and, though he had meant it as something to laugh about, the five quickly quieted down. Liz was the first to break the silence, saying what they were all thinking. "It's kind of scary to think about college," she confessed and at the comment Max just hugged her tighter to him. He could see her distress on everyone else's face. He thought back to this afternoon, to this past weekend, this entire year. Through everything that had happened, as many times as he thought his life was going to fall apart, as crazy as things had gotten with Michael and Isabelle, with Liz, and consequently at times with Alex and Maria he had gotten through it. They all had.

"We'll be okay," he again squeezed Liz tighter to him. "We'll be okay as long as we have each other," he looked around to the five other people at the table. The five people in the world that he trusted more than anybody. The five people in the world he never thought would be able to come together. The life he never thought he would have. "It's about the six of us now."

Part 6 | Index
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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