FanFic - Max/Liz
"Perfect "
Part 2
by Nina
Disclaimer: I don`t own Roswell, I don`t own the song "Perfect" by the Smashing Pumpkins or any of the other songs I use.
Summary: Max and Liz find their real destinies, you guess the rest, etc.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG-13
"That`s not true, Isabel," Liz said soothingly. "That`s why I came over here. I want you to know that I left Max, and god damn me for that, but... I`m still your friend. I`m still Max and Michael`s friend. And Alex and Maria are still your friends. We don`t have to avoid each other like this. It doesn`t have to be this way."

"I know," Isabel said. "But it feels so horrible. I don`t know how to face Alex after all this."

"You don`t have to yet. Just wait."

The doorbell rang.

"Let me get that," Liz said as she got up. "Stay here."

Liz was headed to the door and then Max collided into her coming down the stairs to get it. Their foreheads were suddenly touching. The pain inside both of them rang. Max just wanted so badly to just close the distance, just bring his lips to hers, as he felt her breathe against his face. But she broke away. She opened the door just as the bell rang again.

It was Kyle. "Is Max here? Hope I`m not interrupting anything."

Liz pointed a thumb over her shoulder at Max coming over. "I was just leaving." With that she brushed past him out the doorway and made her way over to her car.

"You want answers," Max said to Kyle as he shut the door, guiltily watching Liz until she got into her car.

"Yeah, I do," Kyle said.

"Your father hasn`t already given you all of them?"

"My dad doesn`t know all of them. I mean, this looks like a new thing, Max. what`s going on with everybody?"

"You wouldn`t understand."

"That`s exactly what Liz said."

"Oh, so now you`re interrogating each of us one by one? It`s not the best thing for us to deal with right now."

"I`m sorry. I just though I had a right to know."

Max pointed at him. "You should know something. This is actually not any of your business."

"Oh, I see. So, you save my life and then throw me off to wonder what the hell is going on. But when you saved Liz, oh, that was different. You and her actually ended up..."

"Please, Kyle. Not this conversation."

"Oh, yes, this conversation. Now, I thought you weren`t exactly the type for her before. But now... come on, you`re an entirely different species and-"

"Did you come in here to talk to me about this? You think I`ve never thought about this before? I`ll tell you what, Kyle, I have, and I don`t really give a damn. This isn`t any of your business."

"It`s just weird to me and all."

"Fine, Kyle. Here. I`ll tell you this. There are certain people that have problems with us getting involved with humans. Will you take that? Is that enough?"

Kyle sighed. "Not really."

"It`ll have to be. Because that`s my parents` car pulling up in the driveway right now and I`m not supposed to have anybody over because I wasn`t even at school today."

Kyle sighed and turned away to the door. "I`ll just tell you this, Max: if you`ve done anything stupid to Liz you`re in from me."

Max moved forward and pulled Kyle from the door to face him. "Don`t step in quite yet, okay? This is none of your business and it`s not going to help Liz if you`re trying to get involved."

"Wow, you`re modest," Kyle said sarcastically, opening up the door. "It`s Liz that seems to have gotten over this okay, if anyone has."

"That`s not fair. I know you`d love to make me look like a jerk to get her back or something, but it just won`t work, okay? Not right now."

The kitchen door opened as Mrs.Evans came inside. "Max?" she called.

Kyle went through the doorway and shut the door behind him.

"Yeah, mom?" Max called back.

"Feeling better?"

"A little."

"Well, I thought I`d order a pizza because I`ll be busy later tonight."

"Yeah. Sure." Max made his way into the family room. Isabel was curled up on the couch with her books at another end of it looking tired. Max smiled at her and she smiled back. Then he walked out and went back to the stairway. He would just go lounge around in his room until the pizza got there.

As he lay back on his bed and listened to some music, he couldn`t stop the image from popping back in his head again and again. The image of him and Liz at the bottom of the staircase, their faces so close together. It was like he never wanted it to ever happen again, because it had been so painful to be that close to her, but at the same time he wanted nothing more but to feel Liz there again.

With that thought he tortured himself. He`d told himself he wouldn`t think about it anymore, but there was no escaping it. He gave up. He imagined Liz`s body pressed against his. He thought about what it felt like to have her in his arms. It was like it had been so long ago, and he could barely remember what it had been like. No. He couldn`t forget. He had to remember.

What would Kyle do now? Would he try to take her back? Did he actually think the only reason Liz had ever left him before in the first place was because of Max? Would she go along with it? And if she did, would it be to help her forget about him? Would it work? Or would it make it worse for Liz?

And did Max have to do the same with Tess?

"So no one`s heard from Michael?" Maria asked.

"No one," Liz confirmed sadly. "He`ll come out and talk to everyone soon. He can`t hide forever. Nobody`s going to hide forever."

Maria nodded. "How was Isabel yesterday?"

"No better than everyone else, to say the least."

Maria scoffed. "I`m so tired of going to school and working here in this blasted cafe- no insult to your dad, babe- when I don`t feel like facing the world and don`t have the concentration to do either."

Liz sighed. "At least Michael hasn`t been around to make you feel lonely. Isn`t it weird that I feel more lonely with Max than without him?"

Maria shrugged. "Makes sense for some reason. Ooh, newcomer in my section. Gotta get back to you."

"Right." Liz looked to the door as if she knew suddenly to look there for some reason, and miraculously Max opened it and came in.

Big surprise, Liz thought. I can still sort of feel his presence whenever he comes into a room.

She forced her own feet to move and go over to the table he sat at. It was worse today. It was just him. No Isabel. No Tess. And it was after... that... had happened the day before at his house. That. It had been nothing, and had lasted for only a few seconds, but Liz thought about it every time she thought about him or her eyes fixed on him or even every time she saw a letter "M" somewhere. It was insane.

"Hi," Liz said to him. One thing was better, though. She could think through everything she said before she said it, instead of babbling out some crap she didn`t mean to say. She guessed the whole thing about having to be able to stay everyone`s friends was making her feel better about being with Max and Isabel, and eventually Michael. "Something to drink?"

"Coke," he said.

Coke. Not cherry coke. Was that a good sign? Or was it a bad sign? Or did it matter? God, Liz, it`s his drink order. Chill. Okay. Coke. Good.

"Coke," Liz repeated, and wrote it down. She smiled at him and walked away.

A few minutes later she took his food order. And it went pretty much the same way. Then she took him his food a few minutes later.

Liz looked down at the table. Mustard. No ketchup. "Do you want a bottle of ketchup?" she asked Max more quietly than she`d meant to.

"Sure," Max said just as quietly. Liz nodded and got a bottle of ketchup from an empty table that still needed to be bussed, and slowly walked back over to his table. When she put her arm down to set the bottle on the tabletop, Max unexpectedly held her hand down under his on the table.

( Perfect by the Smashing Pumpkins )

Their gazes locked together for a long time, Liz`s surprised, Max`s sad.

"I need you back," Max said quietly. They would have been making a scene if the restaurant wasn`t basically empty at the moment. They weren`t being very loud, so the few people inside weren`t really noticing.

Liz stared for a little longer and started slowly shaking her head. "We can`t."

"But Liz..."

"No," Liz said firmly, half telling it to herself. "It can`t be. How can I do that after what I saw in that cave?"

"Come on. You know this has to be. I can`t take it anymore, Liz."

"You have to be strong. We all do. Max, we never cared about it before, but... you`re different than me. No matter how much we want to we can`t break that difference between us. It can`t work as long as we`re.. not the same."

"That`s not true. You know it doesn`t matter. You know you`re just like me. In all ways that matter. Come on, Liz, you already know that we have to be together, you just want to deny it."

Liz fought back the tears threatening to come. "It won`t be the same, Max."

"Yes it will," Max insisted. "It`ll be perfect."

Liz swallowed heavily. Then she pulled her hand out from underneath Max`s.

And just walked away.

It was 6:13 PM. Max groaned in frustration. He couldn`t think.

Isabel was having another session of lying in her bed with nothing else to do with herself. She`d been on the couch again earlier trying to figure out her homework from today and make-up work from the day before, and he had no reason to believe for sure that she had actually finished all of it before going upstairs. Probably not. But stressing over math equations wasn`t what Izzy needed right now.

No one else was home. Max`s parents gone again. No one else there who had decided to knock on the door and come in.

Thank god.

Max needed to drive out somewhere. Go outdoors. But he didn`t want to go where there would be people running around.

There was one place. It wouldn`t make him feel any better. but he`d begun to believe that not really anything could.

Max got up and went out into the garage. Isabel heard his jeep drive away from upstairs just as she started to doze off.

The house was very quiet for a long time. Then a while later Isabel felt someone toy with a strand of hair that was over her forehead. Her eyes fluttered open.

"Alex?" she whispered.

"Hey," Alex said, laying next to her in bed. "You doing okay?"

"Not really," Isabel said with a small smile. "What time is it?"

"6:37," he answered, looking behind her at her clock.

"My parents let you in?"

"Your dad. Yeah."

Isabel let out a heavy sigh. "I`ve felt like absolute crap lately, you know."

"I know," Alex said with an encouraging smile.

Then Isabel smiled too. "I missed you."

"I missed you, too."

Isabel cuddled in and curled up more against him. He held her close to him and rubbed her back. Isabel had missed his support. It felt good to have him with her. Even if neither of them wanted to admit what they were each wondering. What would become of them.

That would come. In time. But for now she just wanted to lay here with him and relax. She`d had too much on her in the past few days. She just didn`t want to talk about really anything at all. She was too tired.

Then her phone rang. Isabel groaned and reached for it from her night stand. She answered it and heard Liz`s voice say, "Isabel?"

"Yeah, it`s Isabel."

"Is Max there?"

"Um... no, I don`t think so. He left."

"Do you know where he is?"

"I don`t have an exact idea, but I know he probably needs to think and I know where he would go if he had to think."

"The cave."


"Do you think there`s any chance I could catch him at your house before your parents get home?"

"Too late."

"Oh. Okay. Thanks, Isabel."

"Yeah. Bye, Liz."

Isabel smashed the phone back down lazily and laid back down.

It was chilly in the cave. Max stared over at the old pods where Isabel, Tess, and Michael, and Max had come out of nine years ago.

"Hi, Max."

Max turned around and saw Tess coming in. "You followed me here?"

Tess nodded. "I wanted to talk to you about Liz."

"Liz," Max repeated with a sigh.

"I know it`s been hard for you lately," Tess said, moving closer to him, "you know, to sort of register everything that`s going on and put up with it. I`m sorry I haven`t really been the best support... that is, I haven`t been the best person to have around in the situation."

"Don`t think of it," Max said in a tone that didn`t really convince Tess he fully meant it.

"I just want you to know it`s not like I don`t care about anything except... you know... our destinies. It matters to me who`s hurt and who`s not and..."

"Tess," Max said suddenly, "don`t even try. Okay? Nothing`s going to work."

"Nothing`s going to work to do what?"

"To make me feel better. To make me be with you. To make me forget about Liz. You name it. It won`t happen."

"The reason she left you was so we could be together, don`t waste it all, Max. If you do then you`re being apart for no reason. Don`t you see that?"

"Of course I do. It basically haunts me. Tess, when I kissed you, I felt like something I hated was growing inside me. I couldn`t stand it. I don`t know what to do to make you see I can`t do this. It`s just... impossible. I mean, I don`t even know you!"

"Yes, you do, Max. We`ve known each other before. We`ve been together before."

Max sighed heavily. "How do you know we weren`t a horrible couple in pre-life?"

"Because your mother sent me here with you."

"That doesn`t mean anything!"

"You know that`s not true."

"Tess, this isn`t the way things work, okay? I mean, why do we have to keep holding onto the past? Why can`t we start off fresh?"

Tess pulled him close to her by holding onto his shoulders. She said quietly, "You need to see something here, Max. She`s human."

Max pulled away quickly. "I don`t care."

"You can keep denying that it isn`t right or you can do the one logical thing and stop living a life pretending to be something you`re not."

"Well, how come it feels right, Tess? How come for me and Liz it feels so right? What kind of a judge are you of that? And what else matters as long as we think it`s fine that way?"

Tess sighed and turned away. She looked over at the four pods at the end of the cave and shook her head. "I just don`t understand."

"Get someone who really loves you," Max advised. "Then you`ll understand."

She shook her head again and then left the cave. Max dropped to the cold floor and wrapped his arms around his legs.

Maria came out of the back room of the Crashdown changed out of her uniform into iredescent jeans and a tank top with hibiscus flowers on it. She waved goodbye to another worker on her way out and went out through the door. When she got to her car she gasped at seeing Michael standing there.

"Michael," she sighed in relief and practically leaned over into him and he put his arms around her. "Where have you been?"

"Around," he answered simply.

"I`ve needed to see you."

"Me too."

"It`s been pretty bad for everyone."

"I can see why."

"But you`re here now. You need to talk to everyone."

"I know."

"We just need to put everything back together."

Max sat on the edge of his jeep for a long time, messing with the head ornament. He looked up at the sky from time to time. No matter how long he waited he just didn`t seem ready to go back home. Even though his parents wouldn`t know where he was.

Max then spotted a trail of dust from far off in the distance. It was a car coming his way. As it came closer he saw what car it was.

No. It couldn`t be Liz.

( Take My Hand by Dido )

But then the car stopped about twenty feet away from where Max was, and Liz slowly got out of the front seat and stood there and looked over at him from far away as he slid down from the car. They both started to walk, but gradually both of their walks turned into running across the desert towards each other, both of them unable to restrain themselves as they ran closer together as fast as they could go.

When they came together Liz threw herself into Max, and he held her as tight as he could and swung her around. Liz mouth curved into a grimace as she started to cry over into his shoulder. Max ran his fingers through her hair and closed his eyes, just wanting to take in this moment, take her all in. Then they held each other`s heads and came together in a kiss. They didn`t even have to say anything; their actions said it all. They didn`t care anymore. They needed each other. That was all that mattered.

"I`m so sorry," Liz said to him. "I`m so sorry I left you that day-"

"No, it doesn`t matter," Max said. "We`re together now."

She put her head back over his shoulder again. "You were right. I should have listened to you earlier. What about Tess now?"

"Forget her," Max said. "She`s not enough to take you away from me."

"What about... your mother?"

"I`d like to think this is what she would have wanted, Liz. If not I don`t really care. It doesn`t matter who I was with before. That was before. This is now. I love you now. And I don`t care what you are."

She held him even tighter. "Me neither. I love you too."

And with that they knew they`d never be apart again.

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