Disclaimer: They're not mine. The characters of Roswell belong to Melinda Metz, the WB, Jason
Katims, and all the wonderful people who we all love for starting this wonderful story. I'm just
borrowing them! |
Summary: A future fic. 10 years after high school, Liz is about to get married, when Max suddenly re-enters her life.
|"Okay Liz, breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out. All right, that's good. Now
squeeze my hand as tightly as possible. It will help you relieve some stress. Okay…too hard!
Liz! Too hard! Stop! Let go dammit!" |
Maria DeLuca looked at her best friend standing across from her. Liz Parker hadn't changed much in the ten years since they had graduated from West Roswell High School. She still had the softest brown hair that you could imagine, and those beautiful dark eyes. Liz was still the kindest woman in the world, always putting others first, and of course she was a control freak, but wise beyond her years. She looked a little older now, with the experiences of her life evident on her face to those who looked closely enough, especially in her eyes. If you looked deep into Liz's eyes you could see a deep pain, which hadn't begun to diminish over the years.
"Maria, I'm not sure if I can go through with this." Liz panicked.
Maria smiled at the sight. Who would have thought it? Liz Parker, completely out of control like this. But then again it's normal for people to panic and have second thoughts on their wedding day.
"You're going to do just fine, Lizzie! I mean, you and David have been dating for years! You took the entire relationship at a snail's pace, and everything has gone perfectly! You two were made for each other."
It's true. The two of them were so right for one another. They both liked organization and control. It was a trait that came with being a scientist. That was another thing they had in common, they worked the same job at the local government science lab. The two of them were completely open and honest with one another about everything. Well, almost everything. Liz still had one hidden secret that she had never shared with David, and it was that one secret which brought up all of Liz's present doubts and fears. She couldn't stand it. She needed to bring it up.
"Maria…what about Max?"
Maria stared at Liz in shock. There was an uncomfortable moment of silence.
"Oh no, Liz. You are not going to start thinking about him now."
"I never stopped thinking about him, Maria. Just because we don't talk about it doesn't mean I don't think about it. I think about Max every day."
" I thought we agreed to stop pining and move on with our lives Liz. And can I remind you that it was Max who dumped you. He was the one who fell for someone else…"
Liz couldn't keep the flash of pain out of her eyes at the memory. Tess… She hated Tess. But she couldn't hate Max for what happened.
"…And he was the one who left forever after graduation without so much as a goodbye."
"He had to leave, Maria. The government was after him. And he's never come back because to do so would put him in danger. Everyone in Roswell is after him!"
Liz cut her off.
"Maria, I invited him."
"You did WHAT?"
"I invited him, Maria. I sent him the invitation through Isabel. He could be out there, Maria. Today could be the first time I've seen the love of my life in ten years, and I'm marrying someone else. Maria, if I see his face I'm not sure if I can go through with it."
"You have to go through with it, Liz. It's too late to back out! Think of what it would do to your parents. Think of David. How could you possibly explain it to him? 'By the way, even though we've been dating for four years, I've been secretly in love with someone else the whole time, so now I'm going to leave you at the alter, even though it could never work out with this guy because he's, well, kinda, sorta, not HUMAN.' Liz, you can't do that to him!"
Liz stared at Maria. She was right. Liz knew she was right. But she still was having doubts. What if he came? He wouldn't though, would he? Returning to Roswell would be suicide for Max. The FBI was probably still lurking around, waiting for him to come back. And she KNEW the sheriff would LOVE to grab him and lock him up. Briefly she wondered what would happen to him if they got him. What would they do to him? She shied away from that thought. She did NOT want to think about it.
"Liz? Come on, Liz. It's time."
The panic rose again, and the butterflies in her stomach were having a field day. The huge double doors in the back of the church swung open, and Liz found herself parading down the isle.
Liz locked her eyes on David in the front of the church. Her groom grinned at her, but she couldn't find a smile for him within her. Liz knew she was playing it safe by keeping her eyes locked to his. If she kept her eyes there, then she wouldn't be searching the audience for Max.
Max. God she was getting married to David, and all Liz could think about was Max, and how much she wished it was him up there instead. She was low. The lowest form of life!
Liz reached him, and turned to face David. The audience sat down, and out of the corner of her eye, she caught some movement in the back of the room. Liz turned her head slightly, and her breath caught in her throat.
Max Evans stood in the back corner, in the shadows, watching her with an intense look in his eyes. Liz's eyes met his, and he bowed his head slightly in acknowledgement before she ripped her gaze from his, and returned to David. Liz's mind was running at a million miles a second. He came! He actually came!
Max couldn't help wishing that he could be this guy, that he could be the one up there standing next to Liz Parker. He wished he was capable of giving her the life she deserved, but it just wasn't possible. Max could never do for Liz what a human guy could. He had spent the past ten years running from the law, never staying in one place for too long. Never really settling down. That wasn't the kind of life that Liz deserved. Stability. That was something that David could give her that Max could never even imagine having.
"He came"! Liz could think of anything else, even as the priest was rambling on about love and marriage in front of her. "That MUST mean that he still cares, even if just a little. Max risked his life by returning to Roswell. Returning to Roswell to be here, to support me on my wedding day. He risked his life for me again! Oh God. What am I supposed to do now?"
Liz barely noticed the wedding ceremony going on around her. Even with her gaze locked on David's, she could feel Max's eyes on her. She could feel his presence. It felt like home, like perfection. It was all Liz could do to keep from sighing with happiness. She hadn't felt that feeling, the feeling of Max, in so long. She had almost forgotten how much she missed it. Almost…
Liz dragged her mind back to the wedding ceremony right as it was reaching it's climax.
"Do you David Marshall take Elizabeth Parker to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold through sickness and health until death do you part?"
"And do you Elizabeth Parker take David Marshall to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold through sickness and health until death do you part."
Liz stood there in silence. What should she do?
"Miss Parker?" The priest prodded her.
"Lizzie?" David asked, pleading silently with his eyes.
"I'm sorry." Liz whispered, tears glazing her eyes.
"Liz?" David stared at her in shock.
"I just can't!" Liz wailed as she turned and ran down the isle, and out of the church, the tears flowing freely down her face, and stinging her cheek as she ran as far from there as she could get.
The audience in the church murmured in shock at what they had just seen. If anyone was so ready to get married it was Liz and David. What went wrong?
Max felt like he had been punched. He slid down against the wall, sitting on the cold stone floor of the church, trying to collect his thoughts. He knew he shouldn't have come. By showing his face to her, it was enough to keep her from marrying that guy. He couldn't help feeling a bit relieved though, deep down inside. Liz didn't marry him. She may still love him. He may still have a chance with her. He couldn't imagine how that was possible, after everything that he had done to her. He had caused her so much pain. She deserved better than him.
He knew the whole Tess thing was stupid. He never loved her. Even when he was with her, it was Liz he wanted, but something unexplainable had drawn him to her, and she had screwed him over big time, exposing him to the FBI, and almost getting him locked away in a government. Thank God he had managed to throw them off long enough to get out of Roswell. But that whole Tess thing had ruined it with Liz. Possibly for forever.
Max turned to find Maria standing next to him glaring at him.
"This is all your fault you know. You just can't let her go, can you? You can't give her that little shred of happiness that she's been offered. We've done just fine without you the past ten years, and Liz had finally managed to let you go, and what do you do? You just show up and pop back into her life, confusing everything that she's had with you gone."
"I don't even want to hear your excuse, buddy. Now if you don't mind, I'm going to go find my best friend, who's going to need some cheering up after this."
Maria turned and stalked away, leaving Max staring after her with his mouth hanging open. He sighed, and pulled on the hat he had brought to hide his face on the streets.
"I guess I should head home too before anyone else notices me," he thought with a sigh, as he stuck his hands in his pockets, and trudged towards his old home.
"Liz? You here?" Maria called out as she let herself into Liz's apartment. "Lizzie?" Maria heard a faint whimpering noise coming from the bedroom. Liz was curled up tightly on the bed, with her knees tucked into her chest, slowly rocking back and forth as she softly cried her eyes out.
Maria moved towards her friend and pulled her close to her. "It's okay, Liz. It's okay." Liz started to gulp for air. "Slowly, Liz, breathe slowly." Eventually Liz began to regain control. She looked up at Maria, who was watching her very closely."
"God, I can't believe I just did that." Liz whispered. "Poor David. I probably destroyed him. I need to talk to him, try and explain to him. God, I'm not really sure if I can explain to him. I probably just ruined his life. How do you make excuses for doing something like that?"
There was a loud rap on the door. "Liz, can I come in?"
"Well, Lizzie, here's your chance to find out! Good luck, sweetie." David walked in.
"I'll just leave you two alone." Maria goes off, leaving David and Liz staring at each other. Liz was still curled up on her bed in her wedding dress. David had managed to get out of his tux, and he stared down at her with pain and confusion in his eyes.
"David. I'm sorry. There's no excuse for what I just did to you."
"Liz, if you weren't ready to be married, you shouldn't have said yes. I mean, I know that you're afraid of commitment. That's why we moved so slowly from the start of our relationship, but God, Liz, you just ran out on me on our wedding day. After four years of us, you had to wait until now to let me know you had doubts."
"I don't think I even realized the extent of my doubts until now, David. But even if I was unaware, it still wasn't fair to you."
"What wasn't fair to me, Liz? What is it that made you run out on me today? I always thought that we were completely honest with one another, Liz. We agreed to that at the beginning. Somewhere along the line you obviously lost track of that goal."
"No, David. You can't loose track of something that you never had."
"Never had? So what, was our entire relationship a lie? What, was there someone else or something?"
"Something like that."
"You were seeing someone else on the side? God, Liz, a four year relationship. Four years of this! How long has it been going on? I never noticed any changes or anything."
"There weren't any changes, David. I never cheated on you. When we were going out, I was with you and you alone."
"But you said that there was someone else."
"There is. There was. God, I don't know. All I know is that I'm damned confused right now."
"What is it that's confusing you so much, Lizzie? You should be able to talk to me."
"Did I ever tell you about Max Evans?"
"Max Evans? I can't recall ever hearing his name. Is he your other guy?"
"Max Evans was my boyfriend in high school for a brief period of time. It was the single most passionate relationship of my life. I was, am I guess, madly in love with him."
"Am? You never told me any of this?"
"It's really painful for me to talk about. I generally avoid the subject."
"I'd really like to hear about this guy, if you're okay with telling me. You don't have to if you don't want to though."
"No, I need to tell you this. It's the only way I can try to make you understand what happened out there."
"Okay. So Max and I went out briefly in high school, and we were madly in love, but Max was afraid of commitment. He was afraid of getting himself in too deep with me, so for a brief period of time, in our sophomore year of high school, we had this on again, off again relationship. It was in one of our on again periods, when Tess came to West Roswell High. She was this nasty girl, a real troublemaker, and she had her eye on Max. My Max. She started in on him, completely aware of the fact that we were dating, and got really flirty with him, constantly hanging on and around him. Showing up at his house in the middle of the night, stuff like that. At first Max avoided her advances, but then he gave in, and he fell hard for her. And he started ignoring me."
"And you're still in love with this guy?"
"Let me finish. I said that Tess was a troublemaker, and I meant that. After a few months of them hanging out, Tess set Max up, and he was accused of a crime he didn't commit. All the evidence pointed to him of course, thanks to Tess, but it wasn't enough for the authorities to grab him, so instead they watched him, constantly, for the rest of high school. He couldn't get them off his back. They were constantly waiting for him to slip up, to make a mistake. He dumped Tess right after the crime, but she was always lurking around, trying to screw Max up. It turned out that she was after Max from the start, and he fell right into her trap." "The Feds finally got something on Max, the night of our high school graduation, he finally slipped. Max was always careful, but he had one weakness. Me. He still loved me, even after the Tess thing, and I still love him. We've never gotten back together though. He saved my life that night, again, but in the process he gave the Feds the last bit of evidence they needed to grab him. He had to leave, or else get thrown into jail, so he ran. He's been running ever since high school, and he's never returned to Roswell, because to do so would set him up for the police. There are a million and one people out there tonight who would still love to grab him."
"Dang, Liz, that's quite a story. And you still love this guy today, after everything he's put you through? His lack of commitment, and his relationship with that Tess girl? This is something you've obviously carried very deeply for a very long time, Liz. What made it pop back up today?"
"He came to the wedding. Max was there. And I hadn't seen him in ten years."
David tried to process all of this. It was really quite an incredible story.
"I'm so sorry, David. I knew where my feelings lie when I got into this relationship four years ago, and I led you on the whole time. You are an incredible guy, and you didn't deserve any of it. If I could take it all back, I would."
"Take it all back, Liz? I wouldn't take it all back for the world. I loved every moment that we have spent together. We make a good team, Liz. Whether it's in the lab, or out here."
"We do, don't we." Liz smiled at him.
"David, just because I'm not IN love with you, doesn't mean that I don't love you. I love you a great deal, and I don't think I could stand it if we couldn't see each other any more. You've become a huge part of my life these past four years."
"Not see each other, Liz? Whoa! Don't jump to conclusions. I'm not ready for life without you in it either. And we're still partners at work. I don't think that's something either of us can back out of. It's going to take some work, Liz, but I'm hoping that maybe we can try and become friends."
"Friends would be nice, David."
"Okay then. And my suggestion to you is that you call this Max guy and tell him how you feel. I'll see you at work tomorrow, Lizzie." David kissed her lightly on the cheek before exiting the apartment.
Liz felt a huge relief lifted from her shoulders. That went surprisingly well. Liz didn't know why she was so surprised. She knew that David was a great guy. Of course she didn't tell him the entire truth. She left out the part where Max was an alien who was considered a national threat, and how Tess was actually an undercover FBI agent who was trying to expose him. She sighed. There were just some things that David couldn't know.
Now she just needed to figure out what to do about Max. She thought back to the sight of him in the church, and sighed with contentment. God that boy looked good! Like her, Max had aged since high school, but not much. He was still gorgeous, with that thick brown hair, and those incredibly soulful eyes. And it looked like he had pumped up some more since high school. Not that he needed it. He was pretty buff back then, but it didn't even compare to how he looked now. The one thing that Liz did notice though, was weariness deep in his eyes. It looked as though all the running was starting to take a toll on him. That and an incredible sadness. It looked as though he remembered high school in much the same way that she did.
Liz picked up the phone, and toyed with the cord for a moment before finally dialing.
"Mom? Dad? Anyone here?"
"Max, honey, you're home so early! How was the wedding." Max moved himself into the kitchen, where he fell into one of the chairs at the table, and held his head in his hands.
"It was a disaster, Mom. I never should have gone." Diane Evans looked at her son worriedly. She wiped her hands on her apron, and sat next to him. Max felt her grasp for one of his hands, and he let her take it.
"What happened, Maxie." Max laughed.
"Mom, you haven't called me that since I was six."
"Well can you forgive a mother for not letting go of your childhood? So what happened?"
"Liz took one look at my face and left the guy at the alter."
"Well isn't that a good thing honey? She must still care for you."
"I'm not really sure what it means yet. I mean, nothing has changed, Mom. I'm still an alien, and she's still human. I still hurt her back in high school. I'm still running from the law. I have absolutely nothing to offer her. I don't even know what she wants from me."
"Have you tried to talk to her?"
"Not yet, mom."
"Well you should." Behind her the phone rang loudly. Diane answered it.
"Hi Diane, it's Liz."
"Hi Liz, how have you been? It's been a while since I've talked to you. Sorry I couldn't make it today."
"Don't worry, Diane, you didn't miss much. Um, listen, I know Max is there. Can you please put him on."
"Here you go." Diane Evans handed the phone off to Max. He held it for a second, staring at it as he moved it back and forth between his two hands. He had absolutely no idea what to say.
"Hi Max. Um. How have you been."
"Good, good. I've been good. Um. How about you? You doing okay?"
"I'm fine, but I really need to talk to you, Max. About everything. Could you, maybe stop by later tonight? I think there is a lot that needs to be said. Face to face."
"I'll be there."
"I'll be waiting."
Max hung up the phone gently. He was going to be going to see her. He was going to be alone with her. Talking to her. Trying to explain himself to her. The thing was, he had no idea what he was supposed to say.
Max turned and walked out the door. He supposed that there was no point in trying to delay it. He may as well head straight over there. He was so lost in thought as he walked away from his house, that he didn't even notice his forgotten hat, which he had left on the kitchen table.
Outside the Evans house, three men were sitting in a car, watching Max make his way down the street. Without his hat on, his face was easily recognizable.
"That's him, that's our guy." The first one commented.
"Let's grab him."
The three men jumped out of the car, and walked up to Max.
"Hey buddy, how's it going?"
"Fine," Max replied crossly, glaring at the three men blocking his path. "Is there something I can do for you?"
"You can come with us, easily, without a struggle." Two of the men grabbed Max by his arms. He immediately struggled to try and escape.
"Or you can struggle, and we can take you by force." The man took out a baseball bat, and slammed Max hard in the ribs. All Max could feel was intense pain all over, as another blow took him in the skull, and he was out cold.
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