FanFic - Max/Liz
"Say A Little Prayer"
Part 3
by Anne
Disclaimer: Blah, blah, blah. Yada, yada, yada.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: Definitely spoilerish if you haven't seen the finale. Lyrics . . . Pam Tillis.
Max forced his mind to think about the smallest details of getting him to Liz's house. He made himself think about each and every step he took away from his home, away from Isabel and Michael and his parents, away from his destiny. His destiny . . . . the only destiny he could live with included Liz. Anything else, was just an existence. But, how would he convince her that he didn't want or need her to step out of his life. She was determined to do what was best for him. What if he couldn't make her understand? What if she wasn't willing to take anymore risks? She'd been hurt so badly.

. . . . . . turn right and cut across the park. Don't step on the cracks in the sidewalk . . . . Don't think about the pain . . . Keep going . . . . . past the merry-go-round . . . . . . it's not far now . . . . . . .

Isabel opened the door to Max's room and stared in horrified silence at the open window, knowing instinctively where he had gone. She sank down on his bed and buried her face in her hands. Her heart felt as if it would burst from the strain of trying to drag oxygen into her body, because she had forgotten to breathe for herself . . . . .

Liz turned the water on in her shower and sat down on the toilet to wait for it to get warm. Not because she really gave a damn about the water temperature, but because she was too numb to do anything that wasn't strictly routine. She was so tired, but . . . sleep? . . . . She couldn't even imagine being able to close her eyes and sleep. Every time she closed her eyes, all she could see was Max's face as she turned away from him. Several minutes went by before Liz finally roused herself to step under the spray. She knew the water was raining down on her skin, but she couldn't feel it . . . . .

Max was closing in rapidly on his destination. He couldn't even think about what he would say to her when he finally saw her. All he could think about right now was putting one foot in front of the other . . . .

Liz stared in the mirror as she combed the tangles out of her still damp hair. Her relection seemed hollow to her . . . . as if there were a person there, but at the same time no one was there. Her hand lifted and came back down in even strokes, but her mind couldn't find the connection with her body. Maybe it wasn't even possible for her to leave Max. No matter how much she wanted to do the right thing for him, maybe she just couldn't . . . . . .

Max stared up at the roof outside of Liz's bedroom. He was finally here. A short climb and a few steps more, and he wouldn't be able to keep that wall up any longer. The thought of facing that pain again almost prevented him from being able to climb, but the thought of not trying . . . giving up . . . . forced him onward.

Liz put down her hairbrush and turned away from the mirror. She couldn't stand to look at her own reflection one more second. It was skewed somehow. As if part of her was missing. Something important. Something she couldn't live without. She stood up and looked around the room and wondered what to do now. She couldn't sleep. She couldn't read. She couldn't eat. And, somewhere in the back of her mind, she knew that she couldn't live . . .

The thought of music was almost excruciating knowing that every song she heard would remind her of Max . . . She looked out the window . . . .

Max climbed over the side and stood up, his eyes immediately falling on Liz through the window. His heart felt as if it stopped beating for a few seconds. Maybe it did. The relief at being in her presence again was staggering. He actually felt dizzy. His feet wouldn't move . . .

Liz stared through the closed window and wondered if her mind had produced this image just to further torture her heart for walking away from him . . . How had she done that? Seeing him now, and even a little while ago, she realized that it would be like trying to give up air. It was physically impossible for her to let him go . . .

Max took a step toward her, afraid every second that she would turn and walk away again. If she did that, he didn't think he would survive. Liz watched his uncertain progress towards her and felt her heart break all over again. What had she done? She stepped towards the window quickly, so he would know . . .

Max closed his eyes for a moment as his mind accepted the fact that she had not turned away. Opening them once more, he closed the distance between them rapidly. He lifted his hand and placed it on the glass, remembering the night at the carnival, before their lives had changed so much . . .

Liz lifted her hand and placed it on his, her mind flooding with memories of the way their lives had been . . . .

For the first time, Liz let herself think about the way their lives could be. Was it possible? Could they make it work? Max waited patiently for her to open the window, before climbing inside to stand in front of her. He stood there staring at her for a moment before he could speak.

Max: (whispering) "I . . . can't . . . let you go." (swallowing hard)

Liz: (touching his face) "I had to, Max. I had to try . . ."

Max: (eyes filled with pain) "Please, don't . . . "

Liz: (heart squeezing so hard it was hard to breathe) "I can't let you go either. I just can't . . . I'm sorry, Max."

Max: (choking on the words) "You're sorry?" (dropping to his knees and pulling her close and burying his face in her stomach before looking back up at her)

Liz stared into the only face she could ever love. Even at this young age, she knew there would never be anyone else for her. No matter what they faced, they would have to do it together, because neither one of them could move through life without the other one.

Liz: "I love you, Max."

Max: "No matter what happens, Liz, I will always love you."

Liz: "What will you do about Tess?"

Max: (eyes darkening in frustration) "I'm not sure, she is one of us, . . . but, one thing is for sure. I won't ever love her . . . I want you. You are my destiny."

Liz: (slipping down to her knees to face him) "Max . . . (pulling his face towards hers and pressing her lips against his)

They both understood the committment they were making, and Liz decided that it was impossible for her to protect herself from this overwhelming love. It didn't matter what happened in the future. She'd be here for him as long as he loved her, and if at some point, he had to leave, then she'd just have to deal with it then, because there was no going back.

And hope returned . . .

So, say a little prayer for me,
My fate is in your hands.
And cry a little cry for me,
My future makes demands.
Dream a little dream for me,
I stand on shifting sand . . .
Hurt a little hurt for me,
I'll bridge these distant lands.
My dreams are not the issue here,
But my soul, your heart commands . . .

The End

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