|Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and the situations are owned by Regency Television and 20th Century Fox. No infringement intended.|
|Sinfully encased in warmth, feeling completely
content, Liz nuzzled the
soft pillow which happened to be resting under her
nose. She was not yet
fully awake, but she was aware that she hadn't felt
relaxed...in a long time. Stretching and snuggling
back into the covers, Liz
tried to fall back asleep. But all too soon it was
clear that sleep wasn't an
option, something was perversely nagging her, making
her escape back into
the land of dreams impossible. For some bizarre
reason her subconscious wanted
her to wake up and smell the roses. Or in this case,
wake up and smell
something that smelled a lot like...Max. Burying her
head into the pillows,
Liz inhaled and was bombarded with memories of Max.
They were extremely
potent, raw, and smelled like heaven.|
Bathing in the luxury of feeling encompassed by Max, Liz was inclined to ignore the subtle nagging in the back of her brain which was growing continually louder. Nevertheless, the fogginess of sleep was wearing off and Liz started to fumble around on top of the bed. Opening her eyes and squinting against the soft light, it dawned on Liz why she felt so comfortable and close to Max. She was actually in his room. Not only that, she was curled up like the Cheshire cat in HIS bed.
Not that she didn't love burrowing into his bed, but Liz had an awful feeling that something wasn't right. Nervous butterflies darted about in her stomach, making her feel hesitant and oddly suspicious. Underneath the cozy blankets, she realized that all she had on was one of Max's button-down shirts. Flicking her eyes around the room, Liz was left with no further clue to where her clothes were. Muttering to herself, she decided now was NOT the time to think about who took her them off...
"Liz, wake up...What is it you're trying to tell yourself?" she whispered out loud. The undeniable fact that she was talking to herself didn't seem high on Liz's list of concerns.
Distant sounds and muffled voices drifted up from downstairs. Suddenly some large object, probably something breakable too, crashed to the ground. Silence followed, but was quickly broken by Maria's high pitched screeching. Growling curses came in a close second and were definitely a product of one Michael Guerin.
**What is going on down there?**
Liz rubbed her hands across her forehead. The clock on Max's bedside table said it was twenty minutes after five. Outside his window, the setting sun proved the small clock was on time. Liz's shift at the Crashdown had started almost two hours ago, why was she lying around in bed? And in Max's bed, of all people?
Letting out a deep breath, Liz closed her eyes and tried to concentrate on recalling the events from earlier that day. Slightly fuzzy around the edges, they seemed to enjoy dancing just beyond her reach. Only seconds away from giving up, Liz felt her mind start to clear as memories began to flow. They streamed through the gates unbidden, uncensored, and straight to her heart. The impact of their arrival was equal to that of a bullet striking its target. Robbed of all warnings, Liz was powerless to stop or protect herself from their assault.
Fear seized her as her body turned to ice, warm blood freezing in her veins, pausing in its endless course. White, chilled hands flew to her wrists and from there slid up and down her arms looking for cuts, bandages, anything...
"Oh, no...no, no, no. He didn't, they wouldn't let him..." Liz argued. But deep down, underneath all the fear, she knew that wasn't true. She knew Max had healed her, Liz couldn't deny what she was feeling with her whole body. She still felt Max as if he were connected to her, trembling within her.
Finally everything was crystal clear, and Liz decided she had to do something fast. As in right now. Throwing the various covers and blankets aside, she jumped to her feet, stopping only because her head was spinning dangerously. Eventually, the room stopped twirling round and Liz looked down at her ensemble. Max's shirt reached down to her mid-thigh, well, it almost reached. Unfortunately, at least six inches at the end of his sleeves dangled uselessly from her fingertips. Such is life, it's never perfect. Liz didn't really have time to change anyway.
One of her small hands reached out to open the door, it registered with Liz that she had all of her strength back. The strength she'd been gradually loosing during the past month.
"The perks to having a residential alien," Liz muttered sarcastically. Underneath the sarcasm, she was positively terrified. And Liz knew the sarcasm wouldn't last long, one look at Max and BANG!!...no more cover, no more shield, no more protection, simply plain little Liz Parker. Vulnerable and scared shitless.
Out the door and down the hall, there was only one thing running through her mind...
**He healed me...flashes...he saw what happened...he knows...he KNOWS...**
There was no time for Liz to stop and react to this information, or for her to decipher her feelings. Was she happy, relieved, angry? There wasn't even time for her to plan what she was going to do once she got downstairs. What was she going to say?
**He knows...he knows...he knows...**
She raced down the dimly lit hall and went thundering down the stairs. Dark, satiny hair flew round her, a stark contrast to the white shirt she was barely wearing. Her feet hit the last step and then she was at the entrance to the living room. Liz's eyes were filled with shadows, never resting on one thing, but twitching about the room. She was searching for someone.
"He knows...he knows...he KNOWS..." her voice filled with anguish. Maria, who was already in the room, was about to catch flies in her gaping mouth when she snapped it shut and hurried over to her best friend. Attempting to envelope Liz in a big bear hug, Maria made comforting noises, "Shh, it's gonna be ok...hey, there...everything'll be ok...shhh."
"He knows...he knows..." was Liz's only response.
Across the room, Michael wasn't having much luck in the patience department, and soon blurted out his question, "What does she mean...he knows? Who knows? Who knows what?"
"Shut up, Michael," Maria snapped in a tense voice.
Liz realized Max was nowhere in the room and she promptly began struggling to detach herself from Maria. In the end, it took Maria's hands gripping her shoulders, and blonde's loud voice in her ear for Liz to finally slow down.
"Liz, babe, I wanna help you...but you gotta calm down. Who knows? What are you talking about?"
Unfortunately for Maria, her question only enlisted more agitation and desperateness from Liz.
"Maria," Liz pleaded with her friend, "Where is he? Where is he, Maria? He knows...he KNOWS, Maria...he knows..."
A single tear dropped from one of her wide eyes and rolled down Liz's pale cheek. Looking at that one tear, Maria was struck with the meaning behind Liz's jumbled words. Her friend was talking about Max. Of course Liz was talking about Max, who else would she be talking about? The situation Maria had known was going to arise.since the moment she'd told Max to heal Liz...THAT situation was about to occur. Liz was about to face Max and try to do whatever damage control could be done.
Maria however, was worried that there wasn't much Liz could do at this point. From the expression she'd seen on Max's face earlier, Maria had a feeling Max was presently overwhelmed with images involving Future Max. There was no stopping it now. Maria had simply hoped that the final showdown could have been stalled until Liz was fully recovered.
"Oh, honey. I'm so sorry," Maria choked. "I don't know where he is either...but I'm so sorry, Liz, I really am."
By now, Michael had a huge scowl on his face and was even more confused. Trusty Alex, who'd just entered the room from the kitchen, was equally surprised and confused. The sandwich he'd made stood forgotten, halfway into his mouth.
At that moment, in the midst of all the chaos, Isabel's voice rang out by the study near the entryway. A deep voice answered back, but in an oddly distant tone which meant the voice could only belong to Max. Extracting herself from Maria's arms, Liz whirled about and shot towards the sound of Max's voice like a moth to a flame. The instant she skidded around the corner their eyes locked and held.
Liz, from one look at Max's face, could tell her secret was finally out. Max knew every teensy, weensy detail. The few words that had been resting on the tip of her tongue suddenly disappeared. Liz was left standing in front of Max, clad in only an over-sized shirt and reminding herself to breathe.
To Max, the sight of Liz flying into the entryway was like a swift punch straight to his gut. He automatically zeroed in on Liz, completely indifferent to his sister who stood merely a yard away. Liz's smell bombarded his senses, making it hard for him to concentrate on anything other than his body's primal response.
Her throat suspiciously dry, Liz was amazed that simply the sight of his hard, tanned body...of Max...was enough to railroad her to a downright screeching stop. She was sure her IQ had dropped at least twenty points in the last three seconds. Now, facing his pleading yet tender expression, Liz realized that careful explanations and clever excuses weren't going to cut it this time.
As a result, terror descended upon her with vengeance relish.accompanied by feelings of regret, grief and emptiness. Why would Max want her now, even as a friend, after all she'd done to him? The familiar sensation of moisture pooling beneath her eyes, and air being squeezed from her lungs settled upon Liz. Surprisingly, someone had taken the time to track down the countless orphaned pieces of her heart and was proceeding to butcher them into oblivion. Revealing how helpless she felt, Liz accepted this new bout of slicing pain without a fight. Making a split-second decision the young woman, who'd been beaten down one too many times, let out a ragged sob as she yanked the front door open and started sprinting across the Evans' lawn.
Maria, Alex, Michael, and even Tess had been discreetly observing the whole exchange between Liz and Max from the hallway. Each of their various jaws had hit the floor when Liz suddenly fled out the door and within a heartbeat was followed by Max. With a frightened look on her pale face, Isabel was next to hurry out the door while simultaneously swearing up a storm. A fact that the remaining four tactfully failed to mention later.
Interestingly enough, as if under some sort of silent agreement, the four friends overruled discretion in favor of grave concern for both Max and Liz. Tess, of course, may not've had much to do with the agreement, but that didn't stop her from dashing outside along with the rest of them.
The scene which greeted their eyes was just as heartbreaking and emotional as the other encounters they'd witnessed between Max and Liz.
Apparently Max'd caught up with Liz by the time she was halfway down the driveway. There was a determination about him that had been missing during the past few months, it was visible in taught way he held himself. One hand rested on Liz's shoulder while the other was wrapped loosely around her waist. Not overbearing, but still holding her firmly in place. They both stood facing the street, Liz in front and Max behind, though that didn't seem to bother them.
The sun had finished setting and twilight, dressed in all her glory, came rolling over hills and covered the desert like silk. Twilight in Roswell was a brief but magical time of day. The stars appeared one by one, then faster, as the sky grew darker and filled with glittering diamonds. A faint breeze rustled the lonely leaves that still clung to their branches. Night was rapidly approaching, but there was still light enough to see clearly out on the street.
"Liz," the combination of agony and desperation in Max's voice shot straight through her meager defenses. Somewhere, amongst the guilt and heartache, it found an answering cord of the same devastating agony. When fingered, it played the same hallow tune.
"...don't run away...please don't run away from me, Liz..."
|Part 16 | Index|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|