|"The Truth Will Set You Free"|
Disclaimer: Don't own anything, just borrowing.|
Summary: This is my take on what I think happened after The End of the World.
|Max Evans wandered the streets of Roswell, New Mexico. Confused, hurt, heartbroken. He had witnessed the most soul-destroying sight he could ever have contemplated, his angel, Liz Parker in bed with another man, and not just any man, but Kyle Valenti, her ex-boyfriend. Somehow, he had made it down the ladder from Lizís balcony and had found his way to the park. Tess Harding had appeared and they had talked, briefly. He had made his excuses to Tess and had taken to walking, his mind spinning with unanswered questions; Why? How? Why?? |
The evening had started out with such promise. He had tickets for he and Liz to see Gomez in concert. Their song ĎWe Havenít Turned Aroundí was a favourite of his and Lizís and the thought of being with Liz had filled him with such joy that Max had almost been bursting with love as he made his way to the Crashdown Cafť earlier that evening. Max had been determined to make Liz see, once and for all, that they were meant to be together and that he was not going to give up on them, even though Liz had repeatedly told him that she wanted a fresh start following the upsetting events of the spring before, when Max, Michael and Isabel had learnt of their supposed destiny. He knew that Liz was just being Liz, being noble and brave and thinking that he needed to be set free to follow his destiny. He had to make Liz see that she was his strength, that without her in his life, he couldnít carry on, didnít want to carry on.
His joy had come crashing down around him as he climbed the ladder leading to Lizís balcony and witnessed she and Kyle wrapped in each otherís arms in Lizís bed. The concert tickets fluttered out of his hand and fell to the floor, forgotten in his grief. Max backed away and fled down the ladder and into the night.
After walking and thinking for what seemed like hours, Max found himself back below Lizís balcony. Once the initial shock had worn off, and he began to really think about what he had seen, Max realised that something was wrong. He just would not accept that the scene he had witnessed was for real. His Liz, his dreamgirl and soulmate, simply would not have fallen into bed with another man like that. It was not in her character. Max knew her. He had to talk to Liz.
For the second time that night, Max climbed the ladder leading to Lizís balcony. He found Liz sitting on the lawn chair, softly crying to herself. For a moment he watched her, his heart breaking at the picture she presented. In that moment, Max knew that his instincts had been right. Suddenly, as if feeling his presence, Liz lifted her head and the pain etched on her tear-streaked face almost brought Max to his knees.
He was at her side in an instant, but Liz shook her head and pushed him away as he moved to take her in his arms. Whatever had happened earlier that evening, whatever he had seen, did not matter in this moment. Liz was in pain and his love for her was such that he would not stand by and watch her suffer a moment longer if he could ease her grief in any way. He settled beside her on the lawn chair and waited for her to speak.
"MaxÖyou have to go. You know what happened this evening between Kyle and me. We are together now. I donít love you." Liz spoke as if the words were being forced out of her through gritted teeth.
Max knew she was lying, but still couldnít understand what had made her take such a course of action.
"Liz, I donít believe what I saw tonight. I donít know why, but I know in my heart it was a set-up. Something I was supposed to see. Why? Please tell me what is going on."
"I told you. I am with Kyle now. Please leave me alone, Max." Liz said forcefully, having regained some of her composure.
"Liz, if that is true, why are you sitting here, crying as if your heart is breaking and not with Kyle." Max replied, trying desperately to resist the impulse to put his arm around her still quietly shaking shoulders.
Suddenly, Liz stood up and walked away from the lawn chair, heading towards her window.
"Max, please leave. I love Kyle, I do not love you!" Liz climbed through her window and drew the blinds, shutting out the night sky and Max.
Max rose and walked across to the window, softly whispering through the closed blind.
"Liz Parker, I do not believe you. I know that you love me and I know there is something going on here. I am not going to give up until I find out what that is. Know this, Liz, I love you more than life itself and I will not give up on you and I."
Behind the closed blind, Liz sat on the edge of her bed and wept until she felt sure she could never cry another tear. The actions of this night had been the hardest thing she had ever had to do. The only thought that kept her going was the knowledge that by taking this course of action, she had changed the future and Michael and Isabel would now be safe. She had to be strong, to go forward with her life without Max Evans.
But, oh, how was she to go on without the comfort of his embrace, the passion of his kisses, the sheer warmth of the blanket of love that she felt whenever she was in his presence. She had destroyed that this night, even though Max said he didnít believe her. She would make Max believe her. From this night on, she would not speak to Max or see him. It would be too hard to be near him and not give in to the temptation to admit why she had behaved as she had. It would be her silent sacrifice for the man she loved beyond all reason.
A fresh bout of tears washed over Liz and she fell back against the soft pillows of her bed and cried herself to sleep, her dreams haunted by the events of the past 24 hours.
Max, standing outside on the balcony, could still hear Liz softly crying through the window. It took all of his strength not to go to her, but he realised that she was not going to tell him the truth and he didnít want to distress her any further. Vowing to himself that he would get to the bottom of this mystery, he climbed down the ladder and headed home.
Isabel, Maxís sister, was waiting in his room when he finally reached home.
"Max, where the hell have you been? Iíve had to tell Mom and Dad that you are staying at MichaelísÖÖ..Max, what is it? Whatís happened?" She wailed, concern for him etching her face, as she saw the pained look in his eyes.
"Oh, Is. Something very weird is happening with Liz. I went to pick her up for the concert earlier on and found herÖÖ..in bed with Kyle." Letting out a deep breath that he had actually gotten the words out, Max collapsed onto his bed.
Isabel was at his side in an instant.
"What! You canít be serious." She exclaimed.
"Oh, Iím deadly serious, but I know it was a set-up. Somehow, Liz must have known I was coming and she arranged for me to see her and Kyle. I just donít know why."
Isabel wanted to believe Max for his sake, but she could see the situation without the rose coloured glasses that Max wore where Liz was concerned.
"Max, Iím sorry to doubt you and I know how much you care about Liz, but why are you so sure that it wasnít real?" She asked cautiously, expecting the burst of emotion it was bound to provoke.
"Is, how can you say that!" Max exclaimed, sitting up on his bed. "I know Liz. I know that she wouldnít do anything like this for real. It had to be set-up. I admit, when I first saw them together, I didnít know what to think. Iíve spent hours wandering around the town and eventually I realised that I was meant to see it. So, I went back to Lizís. God, Is, you should have seen her. I have never seen Liz so vulnerable or hurt. She lookedÖÖ..broken."
A sheen of tears formed in Maxís eyes as he recounted the brief conversation he had had with Liz on her balcony. Isabel felt her own eyes well with tears as she listened to the love pouring from her brother for the girl who meant everything to him. She resolved to do anything she could to make things right between them, and find out the truth.
Max and Isabel talked for a while longer, with Max deciding to speak to Liz again in the morning. Isabel had her own plans and retired to her bedroom, sneaking out the small picture of Liz that Max always carried in his wallet, whilst Max was preparing for bed.
Isabel hadnít told Max that she intended to dreamwalk Liz as she knew he wouldnít allow it. However, Isabel couldnít sit back and watch her brother in such pain and not try and help in any way she could. She wouldnít stay long anyway, just enough time to try and gauge what was going on with Liz.
She got into Lizís dream with ease, having practised her dreamwalking skills on several unsuspecting Roswell townfolk recently. She could even get in and out of dreams now without the dreamer being aware of her presence, a skill that she hoped she would be able to use this time. Liz would be so mad if she ever found out about this, and Maxís reaction didnít bear thinking about.
Isabel stood in Lizís dream, wondering what the hell was going on. Liz was dreaming about Max, but this Max looked strange, with longer hair and different clothing to that which Max usually wore. They were on Lizís balcony and he was asking for Lizís help to make him fall out of love with her. Next, Isabel saw Liz go to Kyle and ask for his help, she needed to set a scene that looked as if she and Kyle had made love. What!! Isabelís mind screamed, alerting Liz to her presence. Isabel, panicked at being discovered, quickly pulled back from the dream and forced herself to wake up.
Isabel ran into Maxís room, not caring that he would know she had been dreamwalking Liz. She jumped onto his bed, shaking him awake from the sleep he had finally fallen into.
"Max, Max, you were right! It was a set-up!" Isabel burst out.
Max, groggy with sleep, brushed his hand over his eyes and struggled into a sitting position.
"What do you mean? How do you know?"
Isabel sheepishly told Max about the dreamwalk and everything she had seen and heard.
"It was you, Max. You told Liz to make you fall out of love with her, but it was a different you. Liz then went to Kyle and between them they arranged the little scene that you witnessed."
Max, annoyed with Isabel for going into Lizís dream, was nevertheless puzzled and somewhat relieved by what Isabel had told him. It didnít explain why though, or who the Max was who had asked for Lizís help.
With more questions than answers, Max and Isabel spent the rest of the night trying to figure out what was going on. Why had Liz had to stage the scene, where had the Max come from who spoke to Liz? Why did he look so different to Max, yet the same?
Liz opened her eyes slowly. They were still puffy from the bouts of tears that had haunted her through the night. Suddenly, she remembered the dream. Isabel! Liz grabbed her phone from the nightstand and dialled the Evans number, not caring at that instant if Max answered or not.
"Hello, Evans residence." Liz let out a sigh of relief when Isabel answered.
"Isabel, itís Liz. How could you do that?" Liz admonished, a fresh veil of tears threatening. Isabel could hear them in Lizís voice and her heart went out Liz.
"Liz, Iím sorry, but I had to know what was going on. I spoke to Max last night and he was so confused about everything. Heís my brother, and I couldnít let him suffer if I could help in any way. I do apologise to you, though." Suddenly seeing an opportunity to get to the truth, Isabel asked,
"Look, why donít you come over. Max isnít here, he decided to spend the night at Michaelís and I think we should talk." Isabel crossed her fingers at the small lie she had told about Max being at Michaelís.
Liz sighed, "Okay, let me get dressed and Iíll come over."
30 minutes later Liz appeared at Isabelís window. She climbed in and they both sat on Isabelís bed, an awkward silence pervading the room.
Liz suddenly broke the silence, "First of all, Isabel, donít ever dreamwalk me again!" then burst into tears once more, unable to carry on with her rehearsed speech.
"Liz, what is happening? Please tell me. I canít bear to see you in this state or Max. He is distraught Liz, so confused and hurt. I know from the dream that you did not sleep with Kyle, but why would you want Max to think you did? And, who was the other Max? " With that, Liz set off crying again.
"Isabel, I canít tell you. Max has to believe that what he saw is true, itís the only way to saveÖÖÖ.oh!" Realising that she had said too much already, Liz stood up and headed towards the window.
Isabel, afraid that she was losing the chance to find out the truth, cried out, "NoÖLiz, donít leave. We can work this out. Whatever has happened, you can trust me with the truth. We all love you and you know how Max feels about you. He absolutely adores you and would never believe this lie about you and Kyle. Donít you see, itís hopeless. He is never going to give up on you. He canít, you are his world."
As Isabelís words sank in, Liz slowly turned around from the window and walked slowly back over to Isabel.
"Youíre right, I know you are. I canít do this anymore, Isabel. I thought I could, but Iím not strong enough. I have to tell someone."
Liz sat back down on the bed and began to recount the events of the past 24 hours to Isabel. She told her about Max visiting from the future, his plea that she make Max fall out of love with her to save the earth, the plan they concocted to push Max towards Tess and finally involving Kyle and setting the scene that Max had witnessed.
By the time Liz had finished her speech, silent tears were coursing down both girlís cheeks. Isabel, moved beyond words at the sacrifice Liz had made in order to save mankind, couldnít speak for several minutes.
Once she had regained some composure, Isabel silently stood and walked over to the door.
"Liz, I donít know why you called yourself weak, I could not have done what you did. Thank you for telling me the truth, and MaxÖ." On that cryptic note, Isabel left the room, leaving a puzzled Liz sitting on the bed.
Suddenly, Liz heard a clicking sound and looked up to see the bathroom door slowly opening. As Liz slowly stood up Max appeared in the doorway and Liz realised that he had heard everything she had said. Unable to move she looked into his eyes and saw all the love in the world shining there for her. He began to move across the floor and when he reached her, he simply took her face in his hands and lowered his head to hers, taking her lips in a soft, gentle kiss full of love and hope.
Liz could feel her eyes welling up yet again, and when the tears spilled over, Max kissed them away and gently gathered her in his arms and held her as if forever.
In that moment, no words were necessary between them, and when Isabel checked back a little while later, they were still wrapped in each others arms. She felt tears prick her eyes at the love surrounding them and backed out of the room leaving the two of them to their future, together.
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|