|"The Liz Capades"
"Shake Your Booty"
Disclaimer: I do not own.|
Summary: A look at the dating prowess of Liz Parker, post-Balance.
|“So, Tony Rodriguez, huh?” Maria fiddled with a
bottle of nail polish.|
“Yeah.” Liz adjusted the ties on the gold top, craning her head to see the back as she looked in the mirror. “Thanks for lending this to me. I don’t own anything retro-looking.”
“No problem. Where’s he taking you?”
“Dancing at some new club just south of here. Do I look okay?” She spun around for Maria’s inspection, her pleated black skirt fanning out as she twirled.
“You look great. But, I really think you should have borrowed that top for your date with Dustin. It would have been a big hit,” Maria smirked.
“Maria,” Liz glared. “Do not jinx this date by mentioning Dustin Gold. In fact, don’t ever say his name in my presence again.” Liz smiled. “I still can’t eat Hershey’s Gold Nuggets.” Both girls started to giggle. “No. No, no, no. Don’t make me laugh, Maria. My mascara will run.”
“Make YOU laugh.” Maria wiped her hand over her mouth, changing her grin into a more serious expression. “Does Max know you’re going out tonight?”
Liz shrugged, the smile fading from her eyes. “I don’t know. The only time I talk to Max anymore is in Biology. Besides,” she gave Maria a pointed look, “it really isn’t any of his business.”
Maria held her hands up in defense. “I know, I know. I was just asking.”
Liz picked up a tube of lipstick and then quickly put it back down, looking at Maria with something close to panic. “He’s not downstairs, is he?”
“Max? I don’t think so.”
“So,” Isabel leaned back in the booth. “I hear Liz has another date tonight.” She lifted her eyes to catch Max’s reaction.
Michael froze, a french fry halfway to his mouth, his eyes darting from one to the other. A look of disgust crossed his face as he dropped the fry onto his plate. “Is that why we’re here? I should have known. You know, maybe we should find another greasy diner to hang out in.”
“Do you really think you could find another waitress ANYWHERE that would put up with you the way Maria does?” Isabel arched one eyebrow at him.
“Oh yeah, she’s a real saint,” he replied, his voice edgy with sarcasm.
Max kept his face blank throughout the exchange. He knew Liz had a date – Maria had made sure of that. Every time he saw Maria at school that day she would start talking about it – loudly – to anyone who happened to be standing nearby. Max also knew he should have stayed away from the Crashdown, but he just couldn’t seem to help himself. He had to know. He had to actually see her getting on with her life. A life that didn’t include him.
Liz and Maria walked in from the back room and Max quickly averted his eyes so that he wouldn’t be caught staring at her. “This was a mistake,” he thought to himself as he watched Liz sit at the counter. The bare skin of her back was calling to Max, making his own skin tingle. He didn’t know if he could stop himself from going to her to skim his fingers across it. Liz turned and for one brief moment Max thought she was smiling at him. Then he saw Tony.
“Tony Rodriguez? Wow, a senior. I didn’t know Liz had it in her.” Isabel watched the two of them with interest.
Michael turned and snorted. “What’s with the dorky outfit?”
Liz felt the smile freeze on her face as Tony walked across the restaurant to greet her. He looked like he had just stepped off the set of a really bad movie. He wore a white leisure suit with a lavender shirt unbuttoned halfway down his chest and enough gold chains to make even Dustin drool with envy.
“Wow,” Liz stiffly shook her head. “You weren’t kidding when you said you wanted to go retro.”
“You like it?” Tony spun around and struck a John Travolta-cherry picker pose. A chuckle that sounded alarmingly like Isabel’s drifted across the café. Liz blushed furiously.
“Yeah, it’s really great,” Liz stole a glance in the direction of the laugh and felt her stomach sink. Not only were Isabel and Michael there, openly laughing, but Max was sitting there too. He was staring at his plate, a smile playing on his lips.
Liz spun around and grabbed her sequined purse from the counter. “Ready to go?” She grabbed Tony’s arm and steered him toward the door.
“Liz, wait a minute.”
Liz turned at the sound of Maria’s voice. “What?” She demanded with a touch of impatience.
“Umm … I … uh …” Maria suddenly smiled and jerked her head toward the rear of the counter. “I have a question about the milkshake machine. Could I talk to you for just a minute before you go?”
Liz sighed. “Sure, Maria.”
Maria flashed a quick smile at Tony. “Sorry. It won’t be a minute.” She grabbed Liz’s arm and pulled her behind the counter. “I’ll leave my window open tonight. You absolutely have to stop over and give me the details.”
Liz glanced at her date and gave a slight shake of her head. “I don’t think I’ll be up to it tonight. Besides, it might be kind of late. Why don’t we meet for breakfast?”
“Okay. Here? Say 9:00?”
“No way. Perkins at ten.” Liz took a couple of steps and caught Max’s eyes. She stopped and turned back to Maria, clutching her shoulder. “Remind me to never, ever meet a date here again.”
The mirror ball cast strange reflections on Tony’s face, making him look rather …alien. Liz shook herself. This place was almost surreal. The music was pounding in her ears and she was surrounded by people in strange costumes and even stranger hairdos. “What I wouldn’t give to be out on a date with Kyle right now,” she mumbled.
She reluctantly followed Tony to the dance floor. He didn’t seem to notice her hesitation as he bolted to the center of the room and started wildly gyrating to the music.
“I didn’t even know guys could move their hips like that.” Liz leaned heavily on her elbows as she stirred more sugar into her coffee. “Then, he started doing that wavy thing with his arms.” Liz demonstrated by clasping her hands together, her arms undulating. She nearly upset her coffee with her efforts.
Maria propped her chin on her hand and smiled broadly. “I love dating vicariously. I get to find out how stupid guys are without having to actually suffer through it myself.”
Liz made a face. “Ha, ha.” She leaned back and groaned. “Speaking of suffering, I think the bruises on my hips are about three inches deep.”
Maria looked at her questioningly.
Liz raised her arms in the air and shifted her hips. “The Bump?”
Maria quickly lifted her cup to hide her grin. “It is a classic. Any other injuries to report?”
“Well, let’s see.” Liz rolled her eyes to the ceiling. “I think my shoulder may be dislocated. He kept spinning me out, then jerking me back against him. And … oh yeah, the club manager had to actually clear a spot on the dance floor to administer first aid.”
“What?” Maria raised her voice, causing the old ladies at the next table to glare at them.
Liz nodded. “Tony insisted on teaching me to do an aerial. You know, where the guy lifts you over his head and spins you around a few hundred times?”
Maria nodded for her to continue.
“Well, unfortunately for me, no one ever taught Tony how to do it. He lifted me over his head all right, but his feet got twisted up or something when he tried to spin. I ended up on the floor.”
“Oh my god! Liz, are –“
“Wait, there’s more. When Tony bent over to help me up another dancer bumped into him from behind and he lost his balance and fell on top of me.”
Maria stared at Liz for a full three seconds, her mouth open in astonishment; then she burst out laughing.
“Oh, thanks. So glad my near death experience brightens your day.”
“I’m sorry,” Maria choked. “It’s just … I got this mental picture and …” Maria lowered her head onto her arms, her shoulders shaking with laughter.
Liz glared at her friend as she laughed. Finally, Maria lifted her head, tears streaming down her face. “You know …” Maria could barely speak. She pantomimed lifting someone over her head. “It’s … aaagh,” she spun one hand in a circle. “Then … boom,” she dropped the hand backward onto the table.
Liz giggled. “When you put it like that … I guess it was pretty funny. But, I swear I will never complain about guys who don’t like to dance again.
“I take it you’re still sticking to your one-date rule?”
“Out of my hands,” Liz smiled. “I couldn’t get him to leave the stupid club until it closed so by the time we got home it was 2:00. I’m grounded for a week and forbidden to ever go out with him again.”
“Hey, at least you got to learn all those great dance moves from the late seventies.”
“Oh, we dipped into the eighties a bit, too.”
“Do you suppose it’s possible to get pregnant from dirty dancing?”
|Part 1 | Index | Part 3|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|