|Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and the situations are owned by Regency Television and 20th Century Fox. No infringement intended.|
|Maria and Liz were sitting on the sofa in the back
room of the
Crashdown. They had woken up that morning still
laying next to each other
on Liz's bed. Maria had called her mom to let her
know where she was. No
one wanted a frantic Amy DeLuca running around town.
Both mother and
daughter were known for their hot tempers, hysterics,
craziness. They tended to spice up the town, and Liz
loved them for it.|
"So what do you think? Should we just take it easy today?" Maria asked. She was worried about Liz. Although her friend trying to act normal, Maria saw right through it. Now that she knew the source of Liz's depression, Maria found it hard to believe her friend would ever heal. It was obvious that her suffering ran extremely deep. It was as if someone had sliced Liz open, but their was no one there to sew her back up again. Maria had a huge bone to pick with Max. But the bitch of it was, he didn't have the slightest idea what he'd done to Liz. Such was life...
Liz and Maria had only gotten dressed before coming downstairs to plop on the sofa. There wasn't much to do in Roswell, let alone on a Sunday. Liz didn't have much energy, therefore a day trip was definitely out of the question.
Liz looked around the room and tried not to think. Because when she thought, all she thought about was Max. Her pain and grief had not lessened, as Maria had said it would, instead with each passing day the pain got worse. Her eyes landed on the lockers that stood against the far wall. Maria and herself had had their own lockers there since before she could remember. They would hide their special belongings inside, waiting for the day when they too could don those sparkly antennas.
"God, Maria. We've spent so much time just sitting around in this diner. You'd think we'd have better things to do."
Maria nodded her head as she peeked into the kitchen to watch Michael do his magic.
"I hear ya, babe. We need to get a life, start over, move on to bigger and better things."
Liz sealed her eyes tight, "I liked our life a lot, but then it all changed. Things just aren't the same between the group anymore..."
"Heyyyyy, Lizzie. Think good thoughts, forget about everything else. It's not worth it."
Liz sighed and rested her head on the soft cushions. Maria heard the long sigh and let out one of her own. She was glad Liz trusted her enough to tell her the true story. Maria also knew how crucial it was that no one discover that truth. At times, Maria had been known to blab secrets, but this was different. If there was one thing that Maria DeLuca was, she was fiercely loyal. This was one secret that would never leave her lips.
"Why don't we go sit at the bar. We could have a milkshake or soda or something. Come on, let's go have a twirling war."
Maria got up and dragged her friend out front and sat her down on one of the stools. Liz gave a ghost of a smile as she remembered how they used to twirl on those stools for hours. They would each get one big push and then they'd see who could "twirl" the longest. They even had a big tournament one time.
"God, I'd forgotten about those. We were so little...but we were pretty good at twirling," Liz's voice soft and tired.
"Damn straight!! We were the best goddamn twirlers in Roswell." Maria declared. She walked around the counter and stuck her head into the smoky kitchen.
"One chocolate and one vanilla shake, Spaceboy! And put extra whipped cream and a cherry on the chocolate one." Settling back down beside Liz, Maria looked around the diner. It was pretty much empty, except for one couple who were still drinking their coffee.
"You sure you don't wanna try something besides vanilla? Be adventurous?"
Liz started and looked apologetically at the blond sitting next to her. "Um, milkshakes? Yeah, I just want vanilla." she replied, like it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"Ok, we definitely need to work on your vanilla addiction. We gotta spice up your life, babe. Some new clothes, new ice cream flavor, maybe a new haircut or somethin'. It'll keep you busy and keep your MIND busy, which is the important thing. And then..." Maria trailed off in the middle of her speech, her green eyes fixed on the door. Isabel Evans was walking up the sidewalk, her golden hair and long coat flapping around her. The look on her face could have easily frozen the hottest day in hell. Maria noticed that Max was still sitting in the jeep.
Isabel hadn't wanted him present when she talked to Liz, but her parents had forced her to "get his butt of the floor and out of the house!" How nice of them. Luckily, Max didn't seem aware of his sister's plans. To tell the truth, he didn't seem to be aware of anything. Isabel blew through the door and stalked towards them. Maria tried to get Liz's attention.
"Here comes the Avenging Alien, armed with icicles and ready for battle. God help us poor humans..."
Maria's sarcasm didn't seem to do the trick. It was Isabel's cold, whispering of Liz's name that caused her to jump off the stool and spin around. Isabel stood less than two feet away from both Maria and Liz. Maria decided that Isabel had obviously gone irreversibly insane. Grabbing Liz's elbow, Maria tried to take deep breathes to keep from hyperventilating. Liz, on the other hand, was presently immobilized with fear. Isabel was looking at her with such contempt and disgust. There was only one possible explanation: Isabel knew about her and Kyle.
**God knows how she found out...But she looks about thirty seconds away from killing you.**
Isabel was still full of images and emotions she'd gotten from Max's dream the previous night. She still felt his despair, rage, and agony all at the same time. In a sense, her body was filled with Max. Filled with his feelings, his questions, and his memories. All rational thought had escaped her mind, it was clouded by her brother's shadow. All she could think about was the slicing pain that had ripped through her body when she joined Max's dream last night. He felt that pain twenty four hours a day. How was he still alive?
Her iridescent brown eyes, focused on the small brunette who was shivering in front of her. She grabbed Liz's arms, her long nails digging into the smaller girl's arm, and began shaking her thoroughly.
"Why?" Isabel's voice came out harsh and deadly. "Why did you do it? How could you do that to him? Do you realize you are killing him, you are KILLING my brother!!! Are you satisfied now? You already shattered his heart once, why couldn't you just leave him alone?"
Until then, Maria had been frozen on the spot, mouth gaping open at Isabel's uncharacteristic outburst. Now, desperately trying to defend her friend, she growled fiercely and launched herself at the taller alien. Determined to get Isabel off somehow, she kept pulling at strands of long blond hair.
"Michael?!!?" Maria shouted, majorly pissed. "Come get your fucking bitch of a fiancÚ," she sneered, "off of my best friend. You had better watch it girlie, I'm going to kick you ass in ways you can't even begin to imagine!!"
Michael soared into the room at a dead run. He stopped short and looked between Liz and Isabel, then he rapidly dove into action. He didn't know what was going on, but Isabel was way outta control. Power was building within her at a sickening speed.
Meanwhile, Isabel had continued to verbally and physically abuse Liz. She was still at it when Michael, with the help of Maria, successfully pulled her off of the trembling Liz.
"What do you think you're doing, Isabel? Christ!! First Maxwell, then you...Jesus!!"
"Don't defend her, Michael!! You have no idea what she's done. Let go of ME!!!"
Isabel tugged herself out of his arms and collapsed into the nearest booth. When eventually she glanced at Liz, Isabel felt an unexpected pang of guilt. She'd been really mean to her...more so than she'd intended. Scratch that, she'd been a total bitch. Liz gradually sunk to the floor as silent sobs racked her fragile form. She was shaking so incredibly hard, that Isabel wondered if she actually hurt Liz. Physically, that is. But Michael had stopped them before she could seriously injure Liz. Why was Liz so upset? If she slept with Kyle than she was obviously over Max. Why didn't she just leave the room? Isabel doubted that Liz could stand up right now if her life depended on it.
**Well why do I care? From now on, Liz is just another face. You are going to completely ignore her, Isabel. She deserves it.**
Isabel glared at Maria and tossed her head to the other side. Fiddling with her purse, Isabel waited for Michael to come back in. She wanted to talk him into taking care of Max. Maybe take him out tomorrow night or something.
Isabel turned around when she heard someone striding up to her booth. She came face to face with a furious Maria. They locked eyes and Isabel could she Maria's narrow with rage. Placing her hands on the edge of the table, shoulder length apart, Maria leaned over until she was within half an inch of the Isabel's nose.
"Don't you ever insult Liz like that again," she warned, her voice deadly calm. "Don't even talk to her, you understand? You may know about what happened with Liz and Kyle, but trust me, that don't count for much. What you know is just a small piece of the puzzle. Before you do some Rambo imitation, it's best if you have all the facts. Know the whole story."
Maria knew she had already said to much, but she was so mad at Isabel for treating Liz the way she did.
"If you ever treat Liz, or Alex, that way again...I will KILL you. I will fucking KILL you. You'll be as dead as those things lying on that operation table across the street. Be careful, I'm not shitting you princess."
Maria gave Isabel her best glare and turned on her heel, walking away. She helped Liz up and proceeded to push open the door and disappear out of sight.
Michael passed Maria and Liz on his way back into the front. Shooting an annoyed look at Isabel, he sat down across from her and waited for an explanation. Michael was staring at Isabel in that intense way of his, she shifted in her seat uncomfortably.
"Michael, you don't understand-"
"The hell I don't!!! You're damn lucky Max wasn't here, he would have kicked your ass!!"
"That's just it, Michael, this IS about Max...Liz, um...Liz...God, Liz-slept-with-Kyle-and-Max-saw-them..." Isabel blurted out finally. Looking at Michael's face, she could tell that wasn't the answer he'd been expecting. She found it rather amusing, it seemed she had rendered Michael Guerin speechless. Something Isabel would've never thought possible.
"She did what?" His voice uncharacteristically quiet.
"Yeah, I know, pretty weird huh?"
Michael nodded his head and rubbed his hands over his face. Then it all started to make sense to him...Liz having sex with Kyle, Max's behavior...now he understood.
"Man, they weren't goin' out, but Max must be-"
"Exactly. I-I went into Max's dream last night and it was..." her voice shook. "I couldn't handle it, there was so much pain and anger. God, Michael, it's like he's broken inside."
Isabel's face twisted in despair as she talked about her brother. She couldn't stand to see him suffer. Michael looked Isabel in the eye, "Christ, I didn't really want Max to get involved, but Liz and...Kyle? This is stupid, but that just sounds..."
"Not right?" Isabel questioned.
"Yeah. Crazy, huh?"
Max walked into the Crashdown later that night, refusing to look anywhere other than his shoes. Their parents had wanted to take them out to dinner. More like insisted. Isabel pulled him down to their seats, she had been by his side all afternoon. Isabel looked at her brother and sighed in frustration. He'd seemed to have come out of his comatose like state, but he was still far from being ok. He also seemed more aware of his surroundings, but when she looked in his eyes, the utter despair she saw in them was overwhelming. At least he hadn't seen her make a fool out of herself that afternoon. Isabel wanted to apologize to Liz, but didn't see the small brunette anywhere in the diner.
"So, why are we eating at the Crashdown? Who's idea was this?" Isabel knew Max was probably dying, maybe he could say he was sick and go home. She was sure that the Crashdown was the last place he wanted to be right now.
"Well Isabel, your mom and I haven't eaten here in a while. And the Parkers are such nice people."
"Don't you guys come here a lot? Don't Michael and Maria, and...what's her name...Liz work here too?" Diane asked her daughter. Isabel felt Max tense up beside her. His hands were in fists, knuckles white. Isabel was worried his jaw would break if he kept clenching it like that.
"Um, yeah mom."
"Well, that's nice. Do you kids know what you want?"
The question was left unanswered, for Maria came up with a notepad ready to take their orders. Maria's smile was tight and false as she greeted the group.
"Hello Mr. and Mrs. Evans. Max. What can I get for you?" Her intentional omitting of Isabel's name didn't go unnoticed. Diane and her husband looked at each other in confusion.
Max had been sitting quietly next to his sister, ignoring everyone around him. Simply living and breathing for the last few days had been arduous. But to eat at the Crashdown, see things that reminded him of Liz, it was absolutely unbearable. The sights and sounds were as familiar to him as the smell of Liz's light perfume. The touch of her silky hair. The sound of her voice.
Foremost in his mind, was his unbidden fury. But that anger was directed at Kyle, for laying his hands on Liz. HIS Liz. On some level, Max knew he was supposed to be mad at Liz too. He was suppose to want to kill them both, not just Kyle. But for some reason, when he thought of Liz, all Max felt was heartache and grief. How could she do this to him? Max could have sworn that Liz was still in love with him. The way she'd looked at him these last few weeks, he could feel it radiating off of her.
Something wasn't right. Max could feel it. It creep under his skin and made him more nauseated than he already was. Somewhere, deep down, Max knew what it was. Max knew what was bothering him. Liz and him hadn't talked about sex much when they were together. Except for that one night out in the desert. But he DID know that the loss of her virginity was something Liz took seriously. She wouldn't have sex just for the hell of it. And she definitely wouldn't give her virginity to Kyle Valenti. Of that, Max was positive. So that left only one explanation. She was lying to him. But why? Liz had never lied to him before. Why would she start now, what was she hiding?
Max's thoughts were interrupted, when all the sudden, he felt her. He felt her presence coming closer. His head shot up like someone had pulled a string from the end of his chin. Frantically, his eyes searched the room for Liz. He realized, with relief, that she was at the top of the back stairs, slowly walking down.
"Max!!" his mother gasped. "Are you all right? Isabel ordered for you, but did you change your mind?"
When Max didn't answer, Isabel came to his rescue, "He's fine mom, I think he just got startled."
Max heard his sister say something about him, but his concentration was somewhere else. It was fixed on the teal swinging door through which Liz would enter any minute. As his over bright eyes stayed on the door, he heard the first few notes of a new song drift over the speakers. It was a slow song, soft and soothing. In contrast, when the woman began to sing, her voice was filled with desperate longing and desire.
**It's that song by Sheryl Crow...I Shall Believe...or something like that. Isabel would know.**
Although he'd heard the song a few times, it's hypnotic melody enveloped Max and moved him in a way it never had before. It sounded strangely familiar; it reached out and touched Max deep down to his core. He KNEW that song. Along with it, the song brought feelings of joy and love. Where these feelings and knowledge came from, Max had absolutely no idea. Curious, he tried to concentrate on the lyrics. That is, he did until he saw Liz.
All thoughts fled from his mind as she pushed through the back door. He saw her look for Maria and start to say something.
"Maria? You left these in my ro-" she stopped mid sentence. The small amount of color in her face, disappeared altogether. Her beautiful features were as white as a piece of paper. She was dressed in a soft pair of pants and a tight, thin tank top. Through her scant clothing, Max could see that her whole body was shaking. Her full red lips were trembling and tears had welled up in her big brown eyes. Something was very wrong. Max had an incredible urge to gather her up in his arms and rap his body around hers. He wanted to protect her from whatever was causing her pain. Just when he was ready to jump from his seat, the image of Kyle and her in bed brought him to a complete stop. His body froze and he couldn't bring himself to look at her.
Isabel, who along with every other customer in the restaurant, was gazing at Liz in astonishment. Isabel could see that the aromatherepy vials Liz clutched, were about to fall. Maria, in all the commotion, hadn't yet noticed her best friend was paralyzed just beyond the counter. The small glass vials soon fell and shattered onto the tile floor. Directly after, Liz followed and crumpled amongst the shards of glass and sweet smelling oils. By now she was openly crying, not bothering to hide her tears. People could see she was saying something over and over again, but no one could make out what it was.
At the sound of shattering glass, Maria turned around and shrieked. Quickly she abandoned her tray and ran over to her friend.
"LIZ!!!! Ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod..." Maria repeated like a montra. Liz rapped her arms around Maria and began sobbing into her shoulder. A few people had come out of their shock and Jose hurried in to sweep up the mess.
Liz was devastated. After Isabel's visit that afternoon, Liz'd been determined to relax and settle down. She was also determined to limit her hysterics to the privacy of her own room. Apparently she had overestimated her ability to control her emotions. Her wounds were still too raw.
"Maria," Liz gasped. "I tried not to...I can't believe I...Maria it's the song...OUR song..." her voice cracked and she began to sob again. Maria felt her heart skip a beat and she held her friend tighter. Looking up, Maria realized that Max was sitting at a booth with his family. While she was staring at Max, his head raised and he meet her gaze with a tortured look. Maria lay her cheek on Liz's head, rocking back and forth. Maria didn't give a rat's ass who saw the two off them sitting on the floor. Liz needed to be comforted and she needed it now.
"I know baby, it's your song. It's ok, Maria's here. I'm gonna take good care of you, Lizzie. Shhhh," she whispered. A few lines of the song drifted to Maria's ears...
Open the door
Show me your face tonight
I know it's true,
No one heals me like you
You hold the key.
Will I turn away from you.
I'm so happy tonight,
But your love is all right
And I do believe...
"Maria?" Liz's voice interrupted Maria's thoughts. "Maria, it hurts so much. I can't handle it...the song...he told me how happy we were...oh, god the pain, it's so awful Maria."
Once again, Maria wanted to pound Max into the ground. Future or present Max, it no longer mattered. Someone bent down in front of the two young women. Someone who was wearing tight black pants and a beautiful rose colored top.
"How is she?" Isabel's concerned voice reached Maria's ears. Isabel had been standing nearby, watching Liz. She was confused by what Liz had said about the song. What was she talking about?
"Isabel," Maria's eye's flashed a brilliant green. "Get the fuck away from her. You aren't going to lay a single finger on her."
Isabel had expected Maria's hostility, but the violence in Maria's gaze caused Isabel fall back slightly.
"Look, I know I was outta line this afternoon. I wasn't myself and I just wanted to apologize...is there something I can do?"
Ignoring Isabel, Maria encouraged her friend, "Come on Liz, lets go upstairs. There ya go..."
The moment Isabel appeared, Maria'd felt Liz tense up and hold her breath. Liz's fingers held the back of Maria's uniform in a death grip.
"Isabel, stay away from us. It's a pretty simple request, even YOU should be able handle it."
With that, Maria helped Liz through the back door for the second time that day.
As the air wound itself around her legs, Liz inhaled its fresh sent. She sat on her balcony, resting on her lawn chair, with a warm blanket wrapped around her shoulders. Looking out at the night, she noticed everything seemed clear and sharp. She could see the trees that lined the streets of Roswell. Each unique in there own way. From where she sat, Liz could also see many of the rooftops in town. Most were flat and plain, but a few had potted plants or roof gardens decorating the view from above. Although it was cold, Liz was enjoying observing nighttime in Roswell. It was a different world, and only a select few got to see it. Glancing at her watch, she was surprised that it was already twelve thirty in the morning. Sleep had escaped Liz for the second time in a row. Her soft, clean hair smelled like flowers as it whispered across her face.
When Maria'd helped her up to her room, Liz had been exhausted after her meltdown. However now, as she tried to go to sleep, her body seemed to have other plans. Inside her bedroom, a soft glow caressed the walls. Even with the light from her colored paper lamp, darkness encompassed her balcony. Instead of being scared Liz found in oddly comforting. If she hadn't been so upset, it would've seemed rather peaceful; but her mind was preoccupied with images of the past.
A little more than a year ago, her life had been predictable, organized, and uneventful. She planned to graduate from Roswell High, hopefully with honors, and continue on to Harvard University. There, she would study molecular biology and one day become the head of their research department. .
As she recalled her childhood dream, Liz was surprised to find it didn't seem all that appealing anymore. Max was forsaken from her life, as a result of this, she no longer felt compelled to achieve her goals. Harvard didn't seem like such a necessity anymore. Graduation? College? Nothing in her life was as important as Max. And Max was gone, forever. Nothing else mattered. She wondered, at what point had her life become so wrapped up in Max Evans?
**When his palm came into contact with your stomach. When his hand was covered in your blood. When he saved your life.**
Now that Max had been taken from her life, stripped from her future. Liz felt insecure and unbalanced. She no longer had his support, his guidance, or his friendship. She no longer had his love. This reality caused Liz to feel incredibly small and scared. Max had been her center, her anchor. He still was...he had simply been seduced into believing otherwise. He was her home.
Without Max, she was incomplete. Without Max, Liz was unable to function. Without Max, Liz was nothing. Her life meant nothing if Max wasn't a part of it. Why did she even bother to wake up in the mornings? Liz closed her eyes and curled up on her chair. The large blanket kept her relatively warm, she wrapped it tightly around her.
**I could really use a change of pace...do something new. Although today's a school day, great, just what I need. Maybe I'll ditch school...Ha!! That'll go over REAL big.**
Making a face, Liz tried to force herself go to sleep. She only had a few hours until her alarm would go off. Maybe she could get some rest, god knows she was going to need it.
Isabel maneuvered her way down the crowded hallway, her eyes searching for a short blond head. School had started awfully early this morning, or at least it felt that way to her. Isabel didn't even know if Max had made it to class today. Her mom'd said something about him skipping first period. Straining her neck, Isabel spotted Maria's head bobbing up and down by the teacher's lounge. That girl never stayed still...
Isabel tried to get the little pixie's attention. Tapping Maria's shoulder, while flashing a big fake smile at the two other girls, Isabel gently pulled Maria away.
"Just what do you think you are doing?" Maria hissed.
"Look, I need to talk to you," Isabel said.
"No way, we've done enough talking to last us a while. Besides, I don't really enjoy the type of 'talking' you seem to prefer lately. I gotta find Liz."
With that, Maria spun around and started in the direction of her third period class. Isabel wasn't about to take no for an answer.
"Maria," Isabel gave her an exasperated look, "we need to talk. Actually, you don't need to say a thing. You just have to listen to my explanation."
Isabel didn't really give Maria that much choice, since she'd blocked the smaller girl into a corner. Maria crossed her arms and puffed a strand of hair out of her face.
"This had better be good."
"Ok," Isabel visibly relaxed. "Yesterday, I was out of line. I'm really sorry if I hurt any of you. I'm not trying to make excuses, but I wasn't completely in control of my body."
"You do realize that you make absolutely no sense, right?"
Isabel glared at Maria and continued talking, "The night before last, I visited Max's dream-"
"-Isn't that like a major invasion of privacy?"
"Maria...." Isabel warned. "I was going to tell him that I'd found out about Liz and Kyle. I just wanted to see how he was, you know? A lot of stuff has been going on recently."
"Wait, time out, how did YOU find out?"
"Oh. Well keep going, I'm listening."
"Let's just say that Max wasn't doing so well...and that's a major understatement. He's going crazy inside his own mind. None of his thoughts made any sense, except for his feelings towards Liz. But what really scared me was how angry he is at Kyle. I mean, this is past normal jealousy, he's literally ready to kill Kyle. The rage was so intense..."
Maria shook her head, "Max would never kill Kyle, don't worry. He might come pretty close, but Max wouldn't kill him. That just isn't Max. Michael, is a different story altogether."
"I know, you're right."
Isabel walked over and sat down gratefully in one of the chairs in the middle of the lounge. Maria noticed that Isabel looked exceptionally tired.
"I care about Max and all, but what does this have to do with yesterday?"
"When I came to the cafe," Isabel's voice was quiet, "I still had a bunch of Max's emotions, and images from his mind, floating through my body. It was weird...but I also had absolutely NO intention of hurting Liz."
Maria frowned, "Let me get this straight, yesterday you had a bunch of Max's leftover feelings, thoughts, whatever...INSIDE you?" Maria shook her head with disbelief, "And they had a big influence over you. So, that's part of the reason you went so crazy on us. How am I doing so far?"
Isabel cringed, "Unfortunately, I think you're right. The thing is, Max would NEVER do that. If he finds out what I did...I'll be dead."
Maria knew what Isabel said was probably true. Max was obsessively protective of Liz, Maria doubted anything could change that. It was second nature to him, Liz had always been his top priority. But then, who knows?
"All right chica, I don't forgive you, but I'm not going to beat your brains out. Besides, you'd probably send me flying across the room. Let's get to class, we're already late."
Isabel smiled at Maria and stood up, shouldering her book bag. They walked down the hall in the direction of their history class. Both girls wanted to see how Liz was doing, although neither wanted to let the other to know they were worried.
|Part 10 | Index | Part 11|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|