FanFic - Max/Liz
"The Max Factor"
Part 3
by Mavonne
Disclaimer: The characters and basic story idea are the creation of Melinda Metz and the producers/scriptwriters of the TV show, "Roswell." I think I can safely take credit for what's left. : )
Summary: This short story (or long story - I'm not sure yet!) is based on the storyline of the "Roswell" episode called "The End of the World." I humbly submit my version of it.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: This fanfic is dedicated to Roswell fans. Roswellians, let me know what you think of "The Max Factor" so far. Should I continue? Well, actually I guess I have to. Read on and you'll see why! : ) I will try to be more timely with Part Four.
Liz gripped the phone tightly.

"Look, Liz, I'd help if I could. Buddha wouldn't object, but then again, did he ever meet organ-frying alien hybrids? No, I don't think so."

"Kyle, Max isn't violent like that. I'm just trying to send him a message that he'll accept."

"Ah, there again you're wrong! Never, never underestimate a man scorned. He could be Gandhi. I don't care. And if you want to send a message, Liz, e-mail him. If you need me for anything, call me anytime -- just not this time." Click.

As if on cue she heard a tapping on her bedroom window and closed her eyes. (Please don't let it be Max again! My resistance is weakening big time.)

When she looked and saw it was Alex, she sighed with relief and raised the window.

"Alex!" Liz hugged him and he gave her a gentle squeeze of concern.

"Liz, are you all right? Wait. What am I saying? Of course you're not all right. Um, Liz, Maria and I were going to tell Max everything right after you left us that day in the bleachers. Nice lamp. Is it new?"

He said all this in such a rush that Liz blinked while she waited to think of a response.

"So," she started slowly, "I trusted you with life-and-death secret and you were going to tell it."

"That's right. We thought it was the best thing."

Liz sat down on her bed and Alex took a chair beside it.

"I see. But you didn't tell Max because you realized it would be wrong, that you're my friends and I can trust you."

Alex pressed his lips together, nodding thoughtfully.

"Yes, that would be the Hallmark card answer. But no, we didn't tell Max because we couldn't find him."

Liz jumped up, annoyed. "Oh that's just great, Alex!"

"We thought your 'interdimensional rip' ate him. I mean, we asked everybody and looked everywhere for the guy."

"I bet! And just where's Maria, your partner in crime? Shouldn't she be sharing this confession with you? Don't you understand what's at stake here? Oh!" She threw up her hands.

"We do realize, " Alex began, shamefaced, " that a lot could be at stake--"

"Could be?"

"--and although you may be having some doubts, we are your friends. Forgive us?"

"Maybe. Where's Maria?"

"She ran out of Cypress Oil."

"Oh no. Well, I'm glad you're here because I need your help. I...Max came back. Future Max. Um, it seems that what I did didn't change anything really."

"It didn't?"

"No. So now I have to...go to another level. To change things."

"And you're being vague because you don't want to come right out and say what this next level is. Well, good. Because I don't think I want to know unless you need me to know -- for now."


Alex sat watching her expectantly and Liz dropped her eyes, the feeling of dread returning in waves. "It's going to be the hardest thing I've ever had to do, " she began quietly.


They both turned to find a rather dazed Maria coming towards the window.

"Well, it's about time," Alex said as he helped her climb in.

"Can you believe my Cypie is out of stock in both places? I gotta wait at least a week. They must be crazy! And I'm winded. From now on I'm always coming through the front door, okay?"

When Maria caught Liz's solemn stare, she returned it and sighed, saying, "I'm sorry, Liz. We were only going to tell because we love you."

With tearful eyes, Liz drew them both towards her for a group hug and Maria started crying.

"I'm sorry. I can't help it."

Alex cleared his throat as they all slowly pulled away and said, "Future Max is making her do even more stuff and of course she can't tell us exactly what -- yet."

"What?" Maria nearly shouted. "Oh no. I hate Future Max! If he were here, I'd kick his a**! "

"I don't know, Maria, " Liz said, sniffing as she laughed a little, "he's pretty buff. I...can the three of us stay over at your house. I'm not going to want to be alone later."

Maria wiped her own face. "Why's that? Is Present Max becoming a little too determined lately. Oh, nevermind. You can't tell -- yet."

"Um, no, he's all right. I mean, he's...I'm just going to need some no-questions-asked company and lots of ice cream."

Maria hugged her again. "Well, you got it, chica."

"Excuse me. Maria, your Mom is not going to let me stay overnight," Alex said.

"Why not? You did it before."

"Oh yeah! Like back in the Twentieth century when our equipment looked pretty much the same."

"Oh well, I'll sneak you in and we'll go from there. What's the problem?"


"You guys, " Liz cut in, " I need Bendrix again."

"Again? You didn't have Johnny-Come-Lately the first time. Look, can't you just pick a more mentally stable member of Alex's band for your 007 missions?

Alex looked insulted. "I wish folks would leave the guy alone. He hasn't had it easy. His home life would make what Michael had look peachy."

Maria held up her hands in apology. "I know. I know. I don't mean to be mean, but come on, Alex. He has no sense of time and sometimes no sense. The guy would miss the bus even if he was already on it."

"Maria, hush. Alex?"

He shook his head. "Whatever it is, Liz, don't include him. I don't know what you said to him that night, but it ticked him off. You know he likes you, don't you? You know, like...that."

"No, he doesn't!"

"Yeah, he does, Liz. I've observed him," Maria said, nodding her head emphatically. "Be right back. Bathroom, " she added, walking away.

"He certainly didn't act like it. Alex, he came too late, and I just wasn't in the mood for his twenty questions at the time."

"Be that as it may, I think you'd better ask him for whatever in person because I'm sure he's not going to do it any other way."

"But you said he was mad at me."

"Yeah, but he still likes you."

Liz threw her hands up in the air. "Oh, to have another life! Why wasn't I born and raised in New York?"

------ ------ ------

The next evening Liz was pacing her room like a caged cat. Bendrix was late -- again. She ate much humble pie to persuade him to help her with an emphasis on timing. It was apparently all wasted energy. As the seconds passed, she was becoming more and more convinced that the whole plan was all a big mistake anyway. Fear and frustration welled in her heart, and the desire to run and to forget pulsed thickly in her veins.

The phone rang jarringly. It was Alex. "Liz, Bendrix is not coming. He's in jail--"

"Oh my g--!" Liz slammed down the phone, grabbed a sweater and flew out the window.

A half an hour later Liz was in her bed with Kyle. They were nearly naked and breathing hard. As their bodies slowly relaxed, Liz bit her lip nervously, looking at him out of the corner of her eye when the silence became uncomfortable. He was staring at the ceiling.


He held up his hand. "I'm still trying to catch my breath from matching the speed of light running down here. Plus, I was on the toilet, too? Leave me alone.

Meekly, she was quiet for a few minutes.


"I hate being 'car-less'. What?"

"I really want to thank you for doing this for me."

He sighed heavily. "Something tells me I'm going to need more than your thanks later."

When Liz didn't say anything, he looked at her, and she was near tears.

"Liz," he began gently, "what is this really all about? I know you. And this...whatever's going on, this just seems below your dignity."

"I can't explain it, Kyle. But it's important and...necessary."

Kyle looked down thoughtfully at his toes sticking out from under the covers.

"Well, if it is, it is. But honesty really is the best policy. If you can't talk to Max and make him understand, maybe a restraining order would be more effective."

At Liz's look of alarm, he quickly added, "I mean, the guy seems all right, but it's hard when you're rejected by someone you like." He drummed his fingers against the covers. "Speaking from experience, a person can kinda lose it for a while. I'm just genuinely concerned about you."

Liz gave him a small smile and squeezed his hand. "I know, Kyle. You're becoming a very nice human being, and I don't think Buddha can take all the credit."

"Becoming?" Kyle faked indignation. "Are you implying I wasn't always nice?"


"Don't answer that. I think I'm more crazy right now than nice. But I can recall some nice moments in my past, moments when I let things slide. Remember that time we went to the movies and this, well, older lady--?"

"Yeah, yeah!" Liz sat up, merriment twinkling in her eyes. "She sat behind you complaining the whole time that your head was too big and she couldn't see!" Liz fell back down on the pillows, giggling.

"Yeah. Ha. Ha. Ha. Soooo funny. What was a woman her age doing up that time of night anyway? She should have been home getting friendly with the Ben Gay."

"Kyle!" Liz hit him lightly.

"But that wasn't the worst part, remember? Miss Oldest Flapper In The World began snoring and this big explosion in the movie woke her up--"

"And she started screaming and dumped her Big Gulp fruit punch all over you!" Liz convulsed with laughter and rolled against him.

Kyle looked at her for a moment and started laughing himself until a thought occurred to him.

Speaking of "Big Gulp," can I use your phone? I forgot to give my Dad his overeager deputy's message, and I know I'll never hear the end of it."

"Oh sure."

When he leaned over her, Liz turned her head forward and froze. She gripped Kyle's arm tightly, her breath all but stopping.

"What--?" Kyle began quizzically and then looked towards the window.

Max Evans was there watching them. He seemed like an awkwardly placed statue. Two strips of paper fell from his upraised hand. Then he backed away in a blind motion and was quickly gone.

"No, " Liz whispered.

"So this was it," said Kyle, looking uncomfortable. After watching Liz, who lay face down, for a while, he got up and dressed.

"Liz, I want to call Maria. I can't leave you here like this."

In a muffled voice, she recited the number.

"She's coming over, " he said when he hung up and put a hand on her shoulder. "If you need me for anything, don't hesitate." Then he left her.

Liz barely heard him. All she could think about was the expression on Max's face. As long as she lived, she knew she'd never forget it. She turned over, crying and hugging the covers up under her chin.

(Oh Max! My love, what have I done?)

------ ------ ------

(What did she do?) he thought, right before he heard the angry blare of a car horn.

"What's the matter with you, kid?" There was a screech of tires and more horns.

When Max finally reached the pavement, he dropped to his knees and breathed deeply, trying to dispel his lightheadedness. Shortly, he began walking again and hated it because the motion made him think more clearly. No, he didn't see what he saw. He couldn't have! Liz in bed with someone else, with Kyle. Making love with Kyle. Max's gut filled with a scalding heat that pushed up through his chest. He rushed over to a public waste basket and vomited. When he moved again, he doggedly focused on the throbbing in his temples and the immediate question of where exactly he was going.

After a block or two he stopped to lean his head against a tree, feeling strangely tired. He was beginning to lose the fight to block out the image of the tender flesh of her leg pressed against Kyle's, of her sweet laughter that wasn't for him. When he moved away from the tree, Max had a chunk of several layers of bark in his hand and bleeding fingertips. Disoriented, he smiled at the sight.

Was there anywhere he could go, except under the wheels of a truck, to be free of this pain?


So he would go to the next best place.

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