|"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!
|Max swallowed. He was NOT ready to face the music with Michael and Isabel yet. Not with the taste of Liz still in his mouth and the lingering effects of having held her in his arms still reverberating through his body. He saw Isabel’s eyes widen when he finally looked at her. "My God, Max! You look like… like you just… where did you just come from?" she finally demanded.|
Max was relieved when the bell rang for fifth period. At least he hoped it was for fifth period! How long had he and Liz been in the Eraser Room? "I promise we’ll talk later, but right now, I have a test," he lied as he backed away from them down the hallway.
"Maxwell!" It was clear that Michael was not interested in waiting, so Max rushed into speech: "I promise, allright! I can explain everything…" He turned around heading away to his class. Explain everything! That was a laugh! He could no more explain what had happened earlier with Liz, than he could explain where he came from! His mind was racing again. He knew he needed to convince Iz and Michael that he could handle the whole pretend relationship with Liz. Otherwise, they would never let him go through with it. And, he suddenly realized, he needed to be with Liz as much as he needed air to breath…
When lunch period rolled around, Maria could barely control herself from running out into the quad looking for Liz. By this time, she had heard three different versions of the Max/Liz make out scene in the Eraser Room. The versions varied from they were barely kissing to they were basically naked and going at it when Pam walked in on them. Maria hoped the last version wasn’t the correct one, but after seeing the way Liz looked at Max since he saved her, Maria was worried that the tall, dark, handsome and quiet Czech could talk Liz into anything! Maria looked around the lunch crowd, trying to spot Liz. She was determined to save Liz from herself or die trying! Where the heck was Liz?
Liz was sitting outside her science teacher’s office. She had been here for awhile and she was getting impatient by now, but he wanted her to tutor a student and needed to see her. She wondered where Max was right now… She sighed, looking at her watch again. Well, there goes my lunch period!
Max squared his shoulders and walked over to where Isabel and Michael were seated away from the rest of the lunch crowd. It was now or never…
Isabel tracked Max’s progress towards them with her eyes. He looked… wary, but determined. She frowned. The stories about Max and Liz were all over school and she didn’t know what to make of the whole thing. She sincerely hoped there was a mistake somewhere and that Max had not gotten involved with Liz. She had watched her brother fall in love with Liz Parker a little more every day of his life and ever since his rash rescue of Liz that day in the Crashdown, Isabel had known that her brother had one big weakness. One thing that could make him forget about all the rules the three of them lived by. Her name was Liz Parker. She glanced at Michael. He was glaring at Max. Isabel suspected that if Michael had any inkling of precisely how deep Max’s feelings for Liz went, he would be even more upset! At the moment he tolerated Max’s obvious fixation on Liz, because he saw it as a crush. Something that would pass some day…
Max put his lunch down on the table and took a seat. He was barely settled when Michael burst out: "What the hell is going on? What’s this about you and Liz Parker dating? And what the hell went on between you two in the Eraser Room?"
Max sighed, trying to keep his voice steady and calm. "Michael, its not what you think…or what you probably heard."
Michael stared at him in disbelief. "You mean you and Liz are NOT dating and you two were not making out with the whole school watching earlier today?"
Max squirmed in his seat. "No… I mean, yes –"
"Well, which is it, Maxwell? No or yes?" Michael wasn’t even trying to keep his voice down.
Isabel put her hand on his arm. "Michael, calm down! Do you want everyone to hear?" Michael glanced at her in irritation.
"Michael, I decided that I needed a cover. You know, a cover to help me look normal. And Liz is helping me, that’s all." Max did not want to tell these two that the whole thing had basically been started by Liz this morning. He desperately needed them not to blame this on Liz. There was a stunned silence around the table following his declaration.
"What are you saying, Max?" Isabel’s voice was filled with amazement. "Are you saying you two are PRETENDING to date or something!" Isabel was laughing by the end of her statement. Her laughter dried up when she saw that he looked serious. "Are you insane!" she yelled. "Its bad enough that you blabbed everything to Ms Scientist, but this is going too far!"
"Isabel! Pipe down. This is a good idea, really! It will keep other people away from me…from us…" Max faltered as Isabel snorted. He decided to play his trump card: "And it will make it easier for me to keep an eye on her. To make sure that she keeps our secret." Max held his breath, watching the myriad of emotions playing across Isabel and Michael’s faces.
Isabel was not convinced, but she was obviously starting to waver. "Max, this is a bad idea. You’re going to get in over your head with Liz…" Michael butted in: "This plan sucks, Max! She is going to drag her two friends into this too. We don’t need more people hanging around us asking endless questions and being in the way!"
Max tried to sound reasonable: "Michael, I disagree. I think we should keep Alex, Maria and… Liz close to us. We need all the help we can get and they’ve proven that they’re willing." Max looked from Michael to Isabel again. His worry that he wouldn’t be able to convince them was returning. "Look, I’ve been getting all sort of weird attention from… some girls and I didn’t know what to do. I don’t know why or what, but –" He stopped when he heard Isabel’s chuckle. "What?"
"Max, are you blind? Girls have been falling all over themselves around you for years!" Isabel’s grin grew bigger when her brother blushed. "And if you think that this morning’s stunt in the Eraser Room is going to scare them away, you are sadly mistaken! You have moved up a few places on the ‘Hottest Hunks of West Roswell’ list in the girls’ bathroom since this morning!"
Max was getting more uncomfortable by the minute. "Whatever, Iz!" He looked at the two people closest to him in the world, praying that they would not make this any more difficult for him. "So… Me and Liz will continue to ‘date’ and you guys will play along with it. Agreed?"
Isabel and Michael looked at each other. They were not a hundred percent convinced that this was a good idea. Michael looked at Max: "At the first whiff of trouble, you better stop this madness, Maxwell, or I will!" Michael jumped up and stomped off, clearly not happy with what he just allowed.
Max felt like jumping up and down with joy, but Isabel was still watching him suspiciously, so he acted blasé. "Right. Don’t worry, I can handle it!" He suddenly wondered where Liz was. He hadn’t seen her, or felt her, coming to lunch. FELT HER? Where did that come from? He frowned.
Liz got up when her teacher finally opened his door. He was followed out of the office by Brandon Taylor. Liz groaned. Just what she needed, being around this creep more often! She didn’t like the way Brandon was grinning at her.
"Mr Taylor needs some help to get him to pass my class this year, Ms Parker," Mr Peterson said. "And he said he’d be willing to have you tutor him." The teacher was looking at her expectantly and Liz tried to keep her face neutral. Brandon was now leering at her, his eyes travelling up and down her body. She felt a shiver run up her spine.
"Uhm… Mr Peterson, I’m really not going to have enough time to help him. I mean, with my work at the Crashdown and all…" Liz looked at her teacher pleadingly.
The teacher looked impatient. "I know you have problems, Ms Parker, but I really think you should keep your academic career as your first priority!"
Liz bit her lip and hung her head. "Yes, Sir." She whispered weakly.
The teacher left and Brandon walked closer. "So, little Lizzie Parker, when will you start teaching me?" Brandon was hovering over her, his breath on her neck.
Liz backed away from him. "I guess you can come to the café the afternoon. We’ll work out a schedule then." She turned and fled down the hall with Brandon’s laughter following her. She had biology after lunch. Biology with Max. If she could only get to Max, he would make her feel better…
Max was standing in the door of the Bio Lab waiting for Liz. He had a feeling something was not right with her, but he couldn’t pinpoint the origins of his worries. It was just a feeling deep in his gut. Suddenly she came flying round the corner and he felt the resulting kick of desire in his body. Only now it was coupled with relief that she was OK. She slowed down when she saw him. Max watched as her lips started curving into a slow smile as she walked towards him. He felt that smile right down to his toes. He could handle this pretend thing, he tried to tell himself again. Yes… if he just tried hard enough he could get back in the driving seat of his life… Things did get a little out of hand in the Eraser Room this morning and he would have to cool things down a bit. But he was confident that he could get a handle on himself…
Max would have been less certain of himself if he had any inkling of what went through Liz’s mind as she walked towards him.
Liz had felt Max’s eyes on her as soon as she came round the corner and felt her heart speed up. The way he looked at her made her feel hot and cold at the same time. She smiled, a slow smile full of the age-old knowledge of feminine power. She had a whole period of sitting next to Max to look forward to. And she intended to make the most of it!
|Part 4 | Index|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|