Disclaimer: This is not one of those disclaimers that sucks up to the people who actually
own the show. It`s
not one of those kinds where I say something slightly vulgar but also humorous like "I own
Instead, it`s the kind where I blabber on about disclaimers instead of actually getting to the
Summary: What could have happened if Max was really arrested in the Pilot and what will happen when Liz is the only one that can even visit him in jail before he`s taken away to the special unit.
Authors Note: This is kind of a "way-back" fanfic, you might say. It`s not about what happened after "Destiny" or what I think is going to happen in the next season. I instead decided to take a step back into the earlier episodes. There are opportunities back in there too, other holes that can be filled in with a fic. This story sorta demonstrates a different way that Max and Liz`s relationship could have "flowered" instead of the way it actually did if the show had gone a different way from the very beginning. The message is in a way that no matter what had happened Max and Lizzy were going to get together somehow: it just had to happen.
He looked up from where he lay on the little creaky bed in his cell. "Hey." He got up from the bed and stood in front of her.
"You`re still here," Liz said. He nodded. "Hey, Isabel wrote you a...a letter."
"A letter?" Max asked.
"Yeah." Liz reached into her purse for the envelope and handed it to him. Max looked down at it in his hand sadly.
"And Michael wanted me to give you this." Liz took out a leatherback copy of To Kill a Mockingbird and he took it and stared at it.
Liz was surprised to see him smile. She didn`t think she`d see him smile ever again. "This is my favorite book," he explained. "I almost killed Michael when he dropped my copy down a sewer three years ago. Never thought he`d have the decency to buy me a new one. He was always so cheap."
Liz giggled. Then they went quiet for a moment. And Liz asked, "What are they going to do without you?"
Max frowned. Then Liz said in a different kind of tone, "What am I going to do without you?"
He reached through the bars for her face and she leaned forward too, needing him, and before Liz realized it she was giving her mouth to his, kissing him like she had the day before. But it wasn`t enough. There was a wall between them. Bars. She couldn`t get past them and she couldn`t get to him like she needed to.
When Max broke the kiss they looked into eachother`s eyes for a few seconds. Then Liz asked, "Can you let me in?"
He blinked realizingly and then Liz followed him down to the other end of his cell where it opened up. As he waved his hand over the lock there came a soft click, and then Max pushed the door open a little. Liz slipped through the opening and they stood facing each other in the middle of the cell. Then Liz slipped her arms around Max`s neck and they both closed their eyes as she leaned her forehead against his chin.
He ran his hands down her waist and around her back. Then Liz put her head down against his chest and he hugged his heavy arms around her shoulders. That`s when Liz`s tears came.
"They can`t take you away from me," she cried. "They can`t...I need you."
Max held her neck and with his thumbs on the sides of her jaw and put their foreheads together. "Don`t cry," he said, and wiped away the next tear that came rolling down.
Liz held both of his wrists and said, "You can`t go now. You don`t even know why you`re here yet. You have to live to find that out. You have to..."
"Maybe I was wrong," Max said. "Maybe it wasn`t meant to be and there really isn`t anything out there. And this is happening so that I don`t have to waste the rest of my life looking for it."
Liz shook her head. "But it`s all you`ve ever wanted."
"I always wanted you too." He kissed her and she put her head over his shoulder.
"But it isn`t enough," Liz whispered into his shirt. "We have longer to go on. We have so much farther to go..."
"Liz, I`ll probably die happy just because I actually got to kiss you once. The past two days have been some of the best of my life."
She hugged him tighter. "I can`t just give you up. I just got what I didn`t even know I`d been waiting for for a really long time, and now...I can`t just let it slip away."
"Maybe it won`t," Max said. "Maybe when you leave me for the last time you`ll take a part of me with you. And I`ll always live on inside you."
Liz was gripping his face and she pulled forward to kiss him again, but then she heard footsteps and gasped.
Max pushed her through the door and shut it. Liz heard the soft click of him locking it back up just as the patrolling guard came from around the corner way down on Liz`s left. Liz looked back at Max. "I should probably go now. I promise I`ll come back tomorrow."
Max looked down at the floor. And then she left him. The sad truth lay unmentioned inside of them. Max may not be there when she came tomorrow.
Liz was grounded for the weekend for sneaking out of the Crashdown the day before. That really didn`t matter to her. What could she possibly find to do while she was thinking about when they were going to take Max away?
How long would it be until she stopped thinking about him after he did go away? When would she be able to stop wondering what they were doing to him now, what kind of shape he was in, what he was thinking about, if he was still alive?
How much time did he have? And if he was gone when she came back the next day, what would she do?
That thought somehow made up her mind. She had to see him tonight. Otherwise she may never see him again. But she was grounded. That wasn`t a problem. She had her balcony.
When Liz finished climbing down the ladder of her balcony she turned around and gasped. Isabel was standing right there. "Isabel!"
"Where are you going?" Isabel asked calmly. Liz said nothing. "I see."
Liz sighed. "Isabel, I know what you`re thinking..."
"No, I don`t care. In fact, I`m actually glad that this happened. Maybe he needed it before he had to go. I mean, I didn`t know if we could trust you before. You were in the way. But I guess it`s different than that now. You barely knew Max before. But now...I know we can trust you."
"I`m so sorry you couldn`t go, Isabel. If only you could say goodbye..."
"I can say goodbye," Isabel said.
"I didn`t realize before I wrote that letter that there was another way. I`ve gone into other people`s dreams before. But just never his before. I wish I could actually see him in person, but I guess it`ll have to do."
Liz started to walk away, but Isabel said, "Liz?" She turned around. "I`m sorry too."
"I wish you two could have longer to be together."
Liz smiled at her and then turned again to walk to her car.
When Liz found Max that night he was reading To Kill a Mockingbird in a corner of his cell. "You came back?"
"Yeah," Liz said. "But I only get five minutes."
Max came over to her. "Liz," he said, "I`m going tomorrow."
She swallowed. "Tomorrow? How do you know?"
"I heard two officers in the hall talking about how the guy in cell thirty-one was being transferred somewhere tomorrow. That`s my cell."
Liz`s eyes filled with sadness. "This`ll be the last time..."
Max just smiled for her and slowly pressed his lips into hers. Liz knew this was the last time she would kiss him ever again, and she felt in the way he kissed her that he realized it too. Why couldn`t the last time just last forever?
Max stopped when he heard footsteps. Liz looked down the hall as an officer came up. "It`s 7:00. Afraid it`s time for you to leave."
"Can I have a couple more minutes?" Liz asked, looking Max in the eye.
"I`m sorry, Miss."
Liz looked at him for a few more seconds, and before she stood up to leave she mouthed, "I love you."
He stared after her as she left, and before she went around the corner with the officer she took one last look back at him.
No, Liz swore to herself. This isn`t over.
Liz knocked hard on Sheriff Valenti`s door. "Wait a minute," she heard him yell from inside.
But she didn`t want to wait. She threw the door open and walked in. There was a deputy sitting before Valenti`s desk. "I`m kind of busy now, Mrs.Parker," the sheriff said to her. "If you`ll wait outside for a few minutes please..."
"That`s okay, I can just tell you in front of him," Liz said. "So, about that kid you threw in jail the other day because he was supposedly an ali-"
"Nice talking to you, deputy," the sheriff interrupted. "We can finish where we left off later."
The confused-looking deputy got up and left the office. Liz shut the door behind him.
"You didn`t have any business coming here," Valenti told her. "You`re too young to understand that situation."
"I understand that I care about him and that he doesn`t deserve this because he`d never hurt a soul," Liz said.
"Why are you doing this? Because you think he`s dangerous?"
"I told you it`s far too complicated an issue for you to get into."
"Max didn`t do anything, Sheriff. He`s as much of a criminal as you or me. If you`re arresting Max then I`m afraid you`ll have to arrest me too," she said, holding her hands out to offer her wrists.
Of course, Valenti didn`t get out any handcuffs. He just looked down at her hands and said, "I`m sorry."
Liz shook her head. "Tell that to Max, huh? Do you feel sorry for him too or just me? He`s not a monster. He`s just like everyone else he goes to school with and everyone in his family. Max isn`t any different than your son. He saved me, remember? He isn`t dangerous. I`ve known so many human beings ten times more dangerous than Max is."
"And how do you know so much about Max Evans, Liz?"
"He told me his secret, didn`t he? You think that`s all he let me learn about him?"
Valenti leaned back in his chair and sighed. "To hell outta here, Parker."
Maria couldn`t help but stare at Isabel and Michael in that lonely little booth in the corner of the Crashdown as she swept up that morning. Sunday morning. Extremely slow business, of course. Isabel and Michael had been the only customers ever since an old couple left a few minutes ago. Maria thought most old people went to church on Sundays. There was nothing wrong with the way Liz had fallen asleep on the counter in front because there was nothing to do around there anyway.
But then Maria heard the door chime. Could that really be a customer? she thought. Then she turned around and dropped the broom. Max was the person walking in.
"Max!" Isabel shouted. Then Liz woke up and sat up.
"He let you out!" Liz said as she stood up.
Isabel ran over and threw her arms around her brother and he hugged her back. "You`re okay, how the hell are you okay?!"
"Who cares?" Michael said. He and Max had a friendly hug too.
"I can`t believe it," Liz said as she ran to him. He put his arm around her and the others watched, flabbergasted, as they shared a short kiss.
Isabel and Michael exchanged a look.
"Woah," Maria said. That made everyone look over at her at the side of the room. "Well, I want a hug too!" she giggled. Max laughed and went forward to give Maria a hug.
"I don`t get it," Isabel said. "How...?"
Max said, "I don`t know, he just let me go," but he was looking at Liz.
"I talked to Valenti," Liz explained. "I guess I changed his mind somehow."
"While I`m here," Max said, "I think I`ll get something to eat. That jail food really sucked."
When Liz was in the back room of the Crashdown getting some more forks when she felt Max`s hands around her waist and gasped. "You scared me, Max."
"Sorry," he whispered as he turned her around to face him. "I wanted to talk to you."
"That`s kind of obvious," Liz laughed.
"I just wanted to say how much this means to me," Max said.
"You don`t even have to thank me, Max," Liz said. "In a way I was responsible, and I got it all better again."
"You didn`t have to do any of this."
"Of course I did," Liz said. "Max, you saved me, remember? You risked everything to do it too, and for that I owe you my life."
"You did owe me your life," Max said. "But you gave me your heart instead."
|Part 1 | Index|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|