|"The Pretend Game"|
Disclaimer: Nothing Roswell is mine, sadly!!|
Summary: This takes place shortly after the Pilot, but before Heat Wave. Circumstances lead to Max and Liz pretending to be dating… and sparks fly!
|By the end of fourth period, Liz was ready to run away from Roswell and never return. Everywhere she walked people were pointing at her and whispering. Mostly she heard the phrase "Max Evans’ girlfriend" whispered a lot. ‘Great’, she thought, ‘and I planned on being famous for my scholastic excellence!’ Mercifully she hasn’t seen Max since this morning and has had time to compose herself a little bit.|
Her composure didn’t last long. "Lizzie!!" Maria came towards Liz in a dead run, her sandals slapping on the hallway floor. Liz groaned. Maria had obviously heard the story of Liz’s new status and was intent on getting to the bottom of the whole thing.
She started speaking even before Maria reached her. "Maria, don’t freak out, OK! I was going –", she was cut off abruptly when Maria grabbed her arm and dragged her off down the hallway. "Maria!", Liz tried again. To no avail. Maria was a girl with a mission and World War III wouldn’t stop her now.
Maria slammed open the door to the Eraser Room, startling the couple inside. "Scoot!", she yelled at the stunned pair. When they didn’t move quickly enough for her taste, she proceeded to push them out the door. "Lock the door next time!" she called at their retreating figures. The door was thrown shut and locked and Maria turned towards Liz with her hands on her hips.
Liz stood just inside the door trying to catch her breath when Maria let loose. "What the HELL is this I hear about you and Max being a COUPLE?", she practically screamed. "This is some mistake, right?"
Liz was struck dumb. Even though she had known this was why Maria had dragged her here, she didn’t know what to tell her best friend. Then she remembered that Maria had seen the whole Pam/Max thing that morning. Maybe she could plead extenuating circumstances…
By this time Maria was off on a rant again: "Liz, you should NOT get involved with Max, do you hear me? I know you guys have something…whatever that staring thing is called, going on…but you’re going to get HURT! And I will NOT let you do that to yourself!"
"Maria," Liz tried. But Maria was in full flight. "We don’t know ANYTHING about these Czechoslovakians –".
"MARIA!", Liz yelled. She finally got Maria to shut up. "Maria, I don’t know how to… I mean, it just sort of… it just sort of happened, you know." Maria’s eyes widened at the last part: "Sort of happened! WHAT sort of happened? Don’t tell me you and Max… you know DID something… did… IT." Maria was starting to sputter.
Liz gasped: "NO, Maria! I mean, this morning… I was just trying to help Max when Pam was jumping him like that. I guess it just got out of hand…" She trailed off. The story sounded lame even to her. What HAD happened this morning? It was all sort of hazy. All, that is, but the part where Max had put his arm around her. That part she remembered perfectly. Liz sighed remembering the heat of his body so close to hers, how he smelled… She suddenly realized Maria was still staring at her open-mouthed.
She took a deep breath and tried again. "Max and I put on this charade for Pam this morning and now its completely out of control." She suddenly started to panic again: "I don’t know what I’m going to do, Maria! I mean, I haven’t actually seen Max after that and I’m not sure what… what now."
Maria was starting to calm down. "You mean you and Max pretended that you were a couple? To bug Pam Troy?" Maria was starting to grin. "Damn, girl! What did her face look… Wait a minute! Max went ALONG with this?!" Liz nodded. Maria was flabbergasted. "Max I-can’t-get-involved-with-you-‘cause-its-too-dangerous Evans?" Liz nodded again, biting her lip. Maria’s mouth was hanging open again. "Well, Liz, I have to say that I don’t know whether to slap you for being an idiot about Max again, or whether to kiss you for showing up that annoying Pam Troy!"
The bell rang, startling them both. Maria turned to the door unlocking it, but was clearly still amazed by this turn of events. Turning back to Liz, she suddenly looked serious again. "Lizzie, you know that Isabel and Michael are going to be angry, right?" Liz looked at her feet. She didn’t need reminding that she hadn’t thought through her actions of this morning clearly. She needed to talk to Max to figure out what they’re going to do now.
Maria pulled open the door. "If I didn’t have a test now, I’d cut class and grill you further. Just know that this isn’t over, missy!" Maria walked out of the little room and bumped into… Max!
Max had been walking down the hallway thinking about what to say to Liz. He didn’t know if she would go along with his pretend relationship idea or not. But it made perfect sense to him. For one, it would keep away other women who didn’t know his secret and shouldn’t. He idly wondered when he had become so popular. Ever since he and Liz had become closer, he suddenly noticed girls looking at him in a way that made him worry that Liz could get the wrong idea. He didn’t want her to think that he was leading these other girls on. This was another thing he didn’t want to dwell on: why it was so important to him that Liz didn’t get the idea that he was interested in other women.
Also, he would explain to Liz that this pretending thing could benefit her too. He had seen Brandon Taylor and his goons harass Liz at the Crashdown. Her dad had handled the situation, but Max worried that one day her dad wouldn’t be around to help her. Max could only follow her to so many places where he knew those guys were going to be, without it looking too suspicious.
He tried not to think about what Izzy and Michael’s reaction to this idea would be. But he knew they will be furious! Max sighed. He was stumped as to why they had such a big problem with him dating Liz. Every time he had questioned them about this, they always said it was because it was different for Max and Liz. What the heck does that mean?
And then he ran into Maria coming out of the Eraser Room…with Liz.
Max and Liz could only stare at each other. The air between them hummed with awareness.
Maria was looking from one to the other. "Well, I’m off to class! Not that you two seem to care, but see ya..." She departed with one last look at them.
"Max…" "Liz…", they both spoke at once. Max’s fear that she may want to put an end to what had started this morning suddenly kicked in again. Grabbing Liz’s arm, he pulled her back into the Eraser Room. They were both oblivious to the fact that several people had stopped to watch them enter the infamous little room…
Inside, Liz was overcome by the sensations resulting from Max’s proximity. She was afraid to look at him, afraid of what she would give away by looking into his eyes.
He came to stand right in front of her. His voice was urgent and low when he spoke. "Liz, about this morning—" Liz interrupted him, fearful of what he was going to say: "Yeah, I’m sorry about that Max. I was trying to help and I didn’t think…" She faltered when Max caught her hand in his. "No Liz, actually… it was a great idea. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before!" Liz’s head snapped up. Was he joking? But he looked sincere and… pleading?
Max continued, still clutching her hand in his: "I think this could be… I mean what could be more normal than having you… uh, a girlfr… I mean, maybe we should continue pretending. You know, that we’re…uhm... dating."
Liz felt her heart lurch and all the breath leave her lungs. Her and Max dating, even if it was just pretending! The thought made her head spin. She looked up at him: "OK."
Max swallowed. One word. Just that one small word had sent a shaft of lightning through his body. That one word had allowed him into heaven. The heaven of having the right to be with Liz as much as possible. The heaven of being able to say she was his. The heaven of being able to touch her whenever he wanted to… He suddenly became aware of how small and warm her hand felt in his. Of how close she was standing to him… and his body came to screaming life.
Liz was smiling up at Max. She didn’t know what had led him to this decision and she didn’t care. She was going to be close to Max from now on! The thought made her heart sing and she took a deep breath, licking her lips. She saw his eyes darken just before his gaze dropped to her mouth. It felt like a brand. A trembling started deep inside her body, making her weak and breathless. ‘Kiss me!’ she begged silently. ‘Kiss me and take me to heaven!’
Max’s heart was pounding. He felt like he had fire in his veins. He couldn’t seem to get his eyes away from her mouth. Her lips were glossy and inviting and the need to taste her was overpowering. Overpowering and dangerous… His brain finally caught up with his body. What was he doing! He was supposed to control this situation! He couldn’t allow himself to get out of hand like this…
"Max?" Liz’s soft voice interrupted his thoughts. He watched hungrily as her lips formed his name. But his mind was screaming warnings and he pulled away from her abruptly.
"Uhm…OK. So we’ll pretend to date and…" he stumbled over his words. He couldn’t seem to remember what he was going to say. Then he realized he was still staring at her mouth. He tore his gaze away, only to find it snagged by her eyes. They were beautiful and full of questions. She must think him an idiot! He seemed to have trouble stringing coherent thoughts and sentences together this close to her. His mind was telling him to get out of there and do it fast! He backed away from her.
Liz stopped him by hanging onto his hand. He hadn’t even realized he was still holding it. He watched her warily. His body felt like it was filled with electricity. Maybe he had grossly overestimated his ability to control this game…
Liz took another deep breath and took the plunge. "Max, you know, maybe we should practice some of the physical stuff here alone… I mean we want to look believable, don’t we?"
Max heard a roaring in his ears. "What do you mean?" But he knew. He KNEW and he started to shake with the effort of holding himself away from her.
"I want you to kiss me." There, she said it. The sentence seemed to hang between them in the stillness of the room. The sounds of their breathing and the pounding of their hearts only emphasized the words: I want you to kiss me.
Max felt his feet take him towards her. Taking those two small steps that brought him close to her again. He forgot that he had never kissed a girl before. He forgot that he intended to keep control over himself. He forgot that this was supposed to be pretence. He couldn’t stop what was happening and he didn’t want to. All the reasons for not kissing Liz Parker suddenly seemed so insignificant. He brought his free hand up to cup her cheek and slowly ran his thumb across her lips. Liz opened her mouth with a small sigh. And Max went under…
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|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|