|"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 didn’t arrive at the Crashdown before Brandon did. He got held up after school as a result of waiting for Isabel who had to see one of her teachers. He paced next to the Jeep impatiently, worrying about Liz being alone with Brandon. ‘So’, he asked himself, ‘why ARE you so worried about Brandon?’ Was it just because he knew the guy was a playboy who was clearly interested in Liz? Did he really think that Brandon would DO something to Liz? He thrust his hands in the pockets of his jeans. He didn’t know what Brandon would or wouldn’t do, but his gut just rebelled at Liz being close to Brandon… or any other guy for that matter! He felt ill at the thought that some other guy might touch Liz the way he had today, kissing her and holding her close. Hearing her make those little sounds she made in her throat when he --|
"Okay, let’s go!" Isabel’s voice interrupted his thoughts. She gave him a quizzical look while getting into passenger side of the Jeep. "You looked miles away. Where were you just now?"
Not bothering to answer his sister, Max rounded the Jeep at a jog and jumped into the driver’s seat. He had to get to Liz. He had an overpowering sense that she was nervous about something and it was getting more intense by the minute. He slammed the Jeep into gear and took off, ignoring Isabel’s startled yelp. His hands gripped the steering wheel tightly. He took a few calming breaths. ‘She was in a public place,’ he told himself, ‘she will be okay.’
"What are you so nervous about?" Isabel asked. "And SLOW DOWN!" She was clutching her seat belt in an effort to stay upright in the speeding Jeep.
Max was irritated: "I’m NOT nervous, I’m in a hurry."
"Well, the nervousness is coming of you in waves! And its driving me crazy, so WHAT IS IT?" Isabel fairly yelled.
Then it suddenly occurred to him. Since their kiss that morning in the Eraser Room, he seemed to experience any of her intense feelings with Liz. He felt connected to her in a way he only did with two other people in his life: Michael and Isabel. He glanced at Isabel who was staring at him as if he’d grown an extra head. What the hell was he supposed to tell his sister? That the nervousness she was picking up from him was not his, but those of his ‘pretend girlfriend’? Yeah, THAT will go down well! The thought that his and Liz’s feelings were so obvious to Isabel was also more than a little disconcerting. What if she picked up on their feelings during one of their… ah… make-out sessions? Hopefully this was only the case when Isabel was in close vicinity to him. He would really have to be careful around Liz when Izzy was near!
Before Isabel could ask any further questions, he turned into their driveway. He watched anxiously as she got out. "Just tell Mom I’ve got some stuff to do for school with… Just tell her I’ll be back later."
"Max!" Isabel stood with her hands on her hips. "What is going on?"
"Bye!" he yelled while backing out of the driveway, leaving Isabel to stare after him with a worried frown.
Liz was trying desperately to keep Brandon at arms length and interested in the tutoring schedule she was working out for him. The café wasn’t open yet and her dad was away on an errand. Since he had walked in, Brandon had crowded into her personal space. After sitting across from her for a few minutes, he had come round the booth table to slide into the seat next to her. This was ostensibly done to be able to see what she was doing with the schedule in front of her, but he had continued to move closer and closer to her. Liz was getting upset. She didn’t know how to handle the situation. She and Brandon needed to get along, otherwise her efforts at tutoring would be a complete disaster. And she didn’t want to antagonize him too much, because she had the distinct feeling that he would make her life hell for it. Where was Max?
Finally, Liz couldn’t take it anymore. "Brandon! What are you doing?" she asked, pressing herself against the wall in a last ditch effort to get away from him.
Brandon smiled at her, moving until he was pressed against her side: "I heard you are one hot little girl, Liz Parker!" He slid his hand onto her thigh. "And I don’t see why I shouldn’t get some of that…"
Liz’s eyes widened in fear. She pushed at the hand on her thigh. "No, please Brandon! This is a mistake!"
"A BIG mistake..." Max said as he janked Brandon away from Liz roughly. Liz stared up at Max, dizzy with relief. Max was furious, something neither Liz nor Brandon had ever seen before. He practically lifted Brandon off the ground, his fists bunched in Brandon’s shirt. His voice was low and threatening when he finally spoke: "Keep your hands of Liz."
Brandon had opened his mouth to retort that he wouldn’t be pushed around by some brainy type, but this was quickly silenced by the look in Max’s eyes. One look in those eyes and he knew Max wasn’t some nerd to be pushed around. Max’s normally gentle eyes told him that he was perilously close to being badly hurt. So he tried to joke, guy to guy. "Hey sorry, I was just having some fun. I didn’t think you’d mind sharing!"
As soon as the words left his mouth, Brandon saw that he had miscalculated badly. Max’s eyes went black with rage and his fists tightened in Brandon’s shirt. His voice was even softer, but Brandon couldn’t miss the underlying menace in the words: "Well, then let me make it crystal clear. Liz is mine! And if you ever touch her again, you’ll lose your hands." Max shoved him towards the door. "Come back tomorrow, right now your life is in danger. And just so you know, I’ll be joining you for every tutoring session you have with her from now on." He watched as Brandon stumbled towards the door.
Liz scrambled out of the booth after having watched the whole scene in stunned silence. She had never seen Max like that. He was always gentle and had a quiet strength that Isabel and Michael deferred to. To see him so angry was an awesome sight, but that paled in comparison to seeing him so possessive about her. To hear him say ‘Liz is mine’ caused a reaction in her mind and body that could only be described with one word: desire.
Max swung around to look at Liz, his eyes now full of worry. "Liz, did he… Are you okay?" He was running his hands over her arms and face as if trying to ascertain how she was.
Liz touched his face. "Max I’m fine! He didn’t get a chance to…" She faltered as he got a haunted look in his eyes. "Liz, I’m sorry, I should have been here. I should have-" She stopped him by gently placing her finger on his lips.
"I’m fine!" she emphasized. He suddenly scooped her into his arms, pressing her body close to his and she realized he was shaking. She hugged him fiercely, waiting for him to calm down. Just as unexpectedly as earlier that day, his feelings washed over her, flooding her with sensations. This time she wasn’t distracted by his kisses, this time she could concentrate on deciphering each emotion. She felt them all: fear, rage, jealousy, pain, protectiveness, possessiveness. And then one word echoing through their connection: "Mine… mine… mine…"
|Part 6 | Index | Part 8|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|