Fanfic - Max/Liz
"Night City"
Part 4
by Jill Finegold
Disclaimer: I wish I owned them. Then maybe we'd have some M/L good plots.
Summary: Max's 21st birthday. They're in their senior year of college, and that's all I'm sayin'.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: R
Author's Note: Feedback is a must. Whatever you think; I'm all ears. Also, anything like *word* or **word** is an italic thingee. The latter is a memory.
For a full second her brain calmly registered the fact that Max Evans, the same Max Evans who was the love of her life, whom she had lost her virginity to, whose heart she probably shattered into a million pieces, was here in front of her face, right now. It was the next second that was a bitch, though. Her brain went into a full out shell shock, and ended up sending her to the floor as she toppled off the table.

"Liz!" she heard dimly, the voice one she could never, ever block out of her memories in a million years, even if she had tried. But she didn't ever want to forget that low, husky sound. She loved his voice, and the way it made her feel; just a syllable could do her in.

Max shot out of his chair like a dart, lunging to her side. He saw so many feelings flit across her delicate features that he had no clue on which one she would settle on. From confusion to fear to love, the entire spectrum of human emotion was displayed on Liz Parker's face.

"Liz, are you alright? Did you bump your head? Does anything hurt? Are you okay? Liz…talk to me, say something. Please," Max pleaded, the words tumbling from his mouth. Liz just stared up at him, her face going uncharacteristically blank. Max's eyes widened, fearing the worst. "LIZ?"

"It's really you," she breathed. "But…how? I don't understand…I broke your heart…it was so long ago…" she muttered to herself. Max could feel tears sting his eyes as he was at a loss for words. "I didn't mean to, it was a mistake," Liz babbled further. She looked up at him. "I'm sorry, Max. I'm so sorry," she whispered her own eyes pooling with un-shed tears.

'Must be some bump,' Michael mused, watching the two on the floor. But even he could see the pure joy bubbling up inside Max at that moment. Michael tried to quell the stab of jealousy that he felt rising inside of him, but to no avail. His eyes wandered aimlessly, only to rest on Maria's rapidly approaching figure.

"Liz! Oh my God, Liz, are you okay? That was some fall you took there, chica," Maria exclaimed, obviously starting to tune her inner Den Mother. "Hey, Max," she said, catching his inquiring, and just a hint accusing, face. "I, uh…I'm sorry that this kinda just…happened…I tried warning you!" she shot at Max. "Liz, I…you okay? You're not gonna like, kill me…are you?"

Liz just stared at the faces that were now crowding her vision. It was a bit much to take in. 'Breathe,' she told herself. 'Just breathe.' She wanted to answer Maria, but Max was taking over every coherent aspect of her brain.

"M-m-m…." was all she could choke out. Max continued to stare at her the way he always used to; one part worry, one part affection, one part wonder, and one part love. It took her breath away.

"Liz?" he asked, gently, his voice starting to crack. "I'm sorry, too. I didn't come after you. I should've tried harder; I should've hounded Maria like there was no tomorrow, because without you Liz, there is no tomorrow for me. These past four years, I just…I haven't been living. Not one day ever passed without me regretting letting you get on that plane." He was crying now, the tears ran down his cheeks, staining them. Liz reached up a hand and tried to stifle her sobs, but couldn't.

"I love you, Max. And I wish that I had never, ever listened to my parents and left that day. This is not your fault. I love you, Max Evans, and I have missed you so much," she was nearly bawling now. Both were overcome with emotion. Max couldn't wait any longer. He had been deprived for four years now, and there was not a second to waste. He closed the distance between them, capturing her mouth with his. Giving her the sweetest kiss she had ever known.

Liz was lost, drowning in the nearly forgotten sensations of Max, and his love for her. How did she ever live without this? Why did she try? She kissed him back with vigor, trying to infuse all her passion and love inside of it.

They both heard Michael's none-too-subtle throat clearing. He started hacking until they pried apart. Maria didn't resist the urge to smack him with her tray.

"See that?" she cried, exasperated. "*That* is what a reunion should be like, not slapping my ass, you bastard! God, why don't you ever learn!?"

'Some things never change,' Maria and Michael reflected, while Max helped Liz to her feet.

"Max…come with me to the dressing room? It's a little more…private there," Liz suggested. Max didn't even hesitate. He grabbed her hand and she led him out of the house area. Michael looked at Maria.

"I don't think he's had any since Liz," he commented. Maria rolled her eyes.

"You pig," she shot at him, and walked off to attend to another customer. Michael debated briefly whether or not to get up to follow her… ------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Liz led Max into her dressing room and locked the door behind her. Max took in his surroundings, and sent her an inquiring glance when he heard the lock click.

"For privacy," Liz explained. "Leo likes to make…unwelcome visits." It took Max about three seconds to figure out what Liz was implying.

"Leo…Leo is your boss?" Liz nodded. "And he takes advantage of you!?" Liz snorted.

"In this job, it's pretty normal, Max. Are you still living under a rock?" She snorted at him. He had always been a little sheltered from some aspects of life, like the seedy under side of nightlife. He wasn't oblivious to it, just sheltered. But then, she had also been that way. Funny how life turns out.

One thing was still bugging Max, something he couldn't let go since he saw her entrance on the stage.

"Liz…how did you end up…here? What happened? I mean, was it anything that… how did this happen?" He was still bewildered. Even though he had already kissed her, held her in his arms, he still couldn't believe that this was his Liz, living and breathing right in front of him. It seemed too surreal. Like something out of a dream, a forgotten fantasy.

Liz sighed, and turned away from Max, heading for the changing screen in the corner of the spacious room. Max just followed her movement with his eyes full of grief. Liz suddenly looked tired, worn out. Like the weight of a long many years hung on her shoulders. When she spoke, it was in a hushed, softer tone.

"It was in the middle of freshman year. Maria and I, we ran into some trouble. See, we lived together in one of the dorms since lodging was guaranteed for your underclassman years. One night, a 'friend' of ours, Jared, came back to the dorm a little too drunk. He apparently thought that we both had the hots for him, and decided to "let [us] enjoy ourselves for the night and do what was meant to be." Maria and I thought he was joking at first, but we soon discovered that he was fully serious…and not willing to take "no" for an answer," here she paused; whether it was from some part of the memory she was re-living or because she was adjusting clothing, Max wasn't sure. But he didn't like it. He could feel his blood begin to boil, his fists clenching into balls, wanting to track this guy down right now and deck him. Max feared what she was going to say next, but knew that he wanted to hear it, all of it.

"I tried pushing him out, thinking I could do it because he was drunk and therefore weakened. But Maria didn't think so, and when I moved to make him leave, she stopped me. Instead, she asked him why he thought we were interested in him. He said because we were always checking him and his friends out, and that they had all made a bet to try and make it with us. Every one of them. That's practically a whole floor of them, Max," she informed him, interrupting herself. Liz stepped out from behind the screen, clad in a red v-neck shirt and a jean skirt that ended right above her knees. He could see the spark catch in her eyes, the anger building itself up. Max could feel his own fire start to build, his eyes fierce.

"He was such an asshole, Max. He advanced again, and Maria threw a lamp at him. I just…I just…stood there, like some little fool. Maria bolted, and ran to get house security. Jared turned and locked the door, now horny, angry, and drunk. He, he started to, to move in on me," she was tearing up now, that lovely spark in her eye replaced by fear. The fight in her had fled, and a glassy look stole over her features. Max wanted to run over and gather her in his arms and promise her that she'd never be alone again, that nothing bad would ever happen to her while he was around. But it wasn't time for that yet. Liz needed to continue before he could do any of that.

"I was scared to death," Liz's voice was a harsh whisper now, and tears threatened to spill. She was looking off into the distance, not seeing him, but seeing Jared instead. Time-traveled four years back, was now living in her dorm, re-living that night. "He was huge; backed me into a corner. And then I had this epiphany. What the hell kind of right does he have doing this to me!? I didn't ask for him to do so, and I didn't want any part of this. So when he was close enough, I walked three steps towards him, and kneed him in the groin. That's when Maria showed up with the house security.

"After that, we both decided that we needed a safer place to stay, one not occupied by a bunch of dumb, drinking jocks. So we scouted for a place in the city. The cheapest apartment we could find still cost a fortune. So when we went looking for jobs, we drove by this. Signed up, auditioned, and have been working ever since. It's taught me a lot, actually. How to fend for myself, how to control what I want in life, and how to dance. I was going to quit tonight, considering that between Maria and myself, we have a small fortune made. I can get a respectable job now," Liz finished, not looking at Max anymore. The last had been said quickly, like none of it was important, but Max could sense the pain Liz was still in. This time he didn't even bother to stop himself; in two steps he reached her and enveloped her into his arms.

Liz couldn't hold back any longer. The feel of Max's strong, warm arms brought back too many memories. She remembered how safe she used to feel in them. Liz was surprised to discover that she still did. She knew it was alright; she let it all go and wept into his chest. Max gently stroked her hair, making soothing sounds and promises of ever-lasting love and faith.

"I don't deserve you," Liz sobbed. "I don't deserve this."

"Don't say that, Liz," Max told her fiercely. "You deserve every bit of it." He could feel Liz smile against him, and she sniffled a bit more. Max decided to lighten the mood by quenching a thirst for a particular tidbit of knowledge.

"Why do they call you 'The Dancing Virgin'?" Liz laughed into his chest, and groaned. Max smiled down at her as she lifted her head to peer up at him.

"They still call me that? Oh God…according to Leo, in this business, having sex with only one person, ever, still qualifies you to being a virgin. And… the whole angelic thing. Makes me sexier, I suppose." She grinned up at him. Max grinned back.

"You don't need any added sex appeal," he told her in a matter-of-fact kind of voice.

"You're biased," Liz retorted. Max laughed, and thought it over.

"I'll bet Michael would agree with me, after all, he seemed to enjoy your act quite a bit." Liz groaned again, and buried her face in his neck.

"I don't think I'll be living that one down for a long time," she mumbled into his neck. Max laughed again, and kissed her ear.

"Hmmm, I wonder how Maria and Michael are doing now?" he whispered into her ear. Liz barked out a laugh.

"Maria's either decapitated him or castrated him by now. Depends on how obnoxious he's being to her…but judging by past behavior, it's the latter." The two of them broke out into hysterical giggles. Max's mouth sought Liz's, and nothing more was verbal.

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