FanFic - Max/Liz
"The Park"
Part 3
by storyteller
Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG-13

Tess hesitated. She wanted to comfort him, to say or do the perfect thing that, in their former life, probably would have pleased him. But she did not know how to please him.

"Can I sit down?"

Max thought about saying no, but couldn't find the strength to refuse her. It didn't matter whether Tess sat down or not. His world was over. Everything that mattered was finished, anyway.

"Sure," Max said hoarsely.

Tess walked over to the bench and sat down slowly, careful not to touch Max. He seemed content to sit there in his mindless state, seeing everything and nothing at the same time. Clearly, something had happened, something so awful that Max was unable to pull his thoughts away from it. But what had happened?

"Do you want to talk about it?" Tess asked softly. Max clenched his teeth.


Tess bit her lip. It was time to stop fooling herself. There was no sense in staying if Max wanted to be alone. There was no sense in remaining in Roswell if she was just going to be a burden for everyone else. She had felt alone all of her life. She had survived on her own before. She could do it again. Tess took a breath and looked up, hoping she could stretch out the tears that threatened to spill forward at any moment. Don't cry, she told herself, not in front of him. Not in front of anyone.

"Do you want me to leave?" She held her breath for the answer.

Max glanced over at Tess. Her voice had caught his attention, and now her expression stopped him. There was something in her eyes that he could not put his finger on, and Max studied her for a moment. She was resigned,as though she was preparing herself for something she could not avoid. She looked as miserable as he felt and, suddenly, he understood why. She knew that he did not care for her, and there was nothing she could do about it. She had spent her life with Nasedo, searching the world for the one person who was supposed to love her, but had returned to Roswell only to discover that the two of them could never be. Tess didn't love him. She didn't even know him. She was alone in this world, just as he was. Just as he would always be. Did he really want her to leave?


Max sighed as Tess looked at him, surprised. The two of them had already experienced enough pain to last a lifetime. He was not going to inflict any more pain tonight.

"No?" Tess repeated hesitantly. Max sighed again, feeling the weight of the world upon his shoulders.

"This whole isn't your fault. It isn't my fault. It's no one's fault. Our life is the way it is. There's nothing to be done."

Tess bit her lip, but was unable to keep the tears from springing to her eyes again.


"Whatever...whatever happened back home, it doesn't seem to warrant this," Max said, rubbing his hand across his eyes tiredly. Tess sniffed and tilted her head back to look at the stars.

"It seems so far away, doesn't it?"

Max observed the heavens, searching for the star that he believed was their home. It seemed impossible that he could be the ruler of a planet he knew nothing about.

"Do you think we'll ever make it home, Max?"

"I'm not sure that I want to," Max replied, shifting uncomfortably in his seat. "I don't remember that world. I...I don't remember you."

"I know," Tess said, bowing her head. "I know that, now."

Max looked over at Tess, regarding her quietly.

"I don't want to hurt you," he said, and Tess knew that he meant it. She nodded silently. Max cleared his throat awkwardly.

"But, I'm in love with Liz," he continued, swallowing painfully. "There's nothing to be done about that, either."

Tess nodded again, more forcefully this time. "It's OK, Max."

"No," Max said. "It's not OK. This thing between Liz and I, this's dangerous. Trying to be's just tearing us apart. I don't know what to do. I don't know anything anymore."

Max started to choke up, and Tess turned towards him. He shook his head sadly.

"She breaks my heart again and again, but still I...I love her."

"She's not one of us, Max," Tess began softly. "She doesn't understand our destiny, our planet, our people. How could she possibly begin to understand what it's like to be us, what it is that we must do?"

Max sat staring straight ahead. Tess saw the love in his eyes, and stopped herself. She didn't want to hurt him, either. He'd already been through enough tonight.

"She's not part of this struggle, Max. It's not fair to her, and it's not fair to you, either," Tess said. Max was watching her warily. He was searching for the right words.

"But nothing can...nothing will ever happen between us."

"Max, this isn't just about you and me," she said. "I'm here to help. Michael, Isabel, and I...we were all sent here to help you. We're stronger together than we are apart."

Tess hesitated as Max thought over what she said. She didn't need him to love her. She just wanted him to accept her, to understand that she was a member of their family. She would never hurt him.

"You don't have to do this by yourself, Max. You don't have to be alone."

Tess reached out slowly and put her hand on Max's shoulder. Max felt like he was seeing Tess for the first time. They did not even know each other, yet they were bound together by their duty, and by the pain and loneliness that they shared. They gazed at each other, and then the moment passed. Max could sense that some imperceptible part of himself had changed. He felt a sense of loss and sadness at this thing that would never be, this part of his life that he would not be allowed to explore. Max sighed resolutely. He did not know how, but he knew that he must do it. He must get used to a life without Liz Parker.

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