FanFic - Max/Liz
"The Truth of the Heart"
"What Love Is"
Part 2
by Irina
Disclaimer: The title is taken from Melissa Etheridge's song "The Truth of the Heart" and belongs to her. I do not own any of the characters or the show. I wish I did, then Liz and Max would always stay together. But…
Summary: The story was written before Destiny aired and is based on the spoilers for the season finale. After breaking up with Max, Liz went to Chicago for the whole summer to a “Young Scientists Camp” organized by the Northwestern University. The story begins when Liz comes back home after three months.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG-13
One week later

Crashdown Café

The Crashdown is packed. Liz is in the back room finishing getting ready. Maria barges in while trying to catch her breath.

“You’re late…Again,” said Liz.

“I’m sorry. Really, but it wasn’t my fault this time”

“Really? Who’s fault was it?”

“My mom made these ridiculous alien things that I don’t even know what they are, but I’m sure they would offend you know who…”


“Anyway, I had to help her pack those stupid things and it took forever”

“Well, it’s a zoo out there, so get ready pronto and let’s do some working,” Liz said in a commanding voice as she left the room for the…zoo.


Kyle was sitting with some of his football buddies waiting to order.

“That Liz Parker is hot,” Kyle heard Sean say. He turned to see Sean looking at Liz taking an order from some old couple.

“Sorry, pal, you won’t have any luck with this one,” Kyle said to him.

“And why is that,” asked Sean. He was one of the most popular guys in school and he always got the girl he wanted. “Just because she wasn’t into you doesn’t mean she doesn’t like football players.”

“That’s not what I meant”

“What, she has a boyfriend?” Sean asked. Like that ever stopped him before.

“Uh, well, more like a soul mate,” Kyle answered. It took him a long time to get used to the idea, but now he finally knew. No one else stood a chance with Liz.

“Really? Well, we’ll see about that,” Sean said in a low voice as Liz came up to their table.

“Hey, Kyle, guys. What can I get you today?”

Sean was the first to speak. “Hey, Liz. How are you?”

“I’m fine, Sean. You?” Liz said surprised. If Sean talked to anyone in a skirt it was for one reason and one reason only.

“So, are you guys worried?”

“Worried?” she asked.

“You know, that new restaurant that just opened right outside of town. I mean, it’s competition, right?”

“Sean, it’s a five-star restaurant. We’re a diner. I really don’t think we have anything to worry about.”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right, besides they don’t have you,” Sean said in a flirting voice.

“Well…uhm…thanks, I guess.”

“So, since they’re not a competition, would you consider having a dinner there with me sometime?”

“Uh…I really don’t think so.”

“Ok, you choose a place.”

“That’s not what I meant.”

“Oh, come on. What’s the worst that could happen?”

All of Kyle’s friends were practically cracking up at this point.

“Ok, tell you what, Sean. If the team wins tomorrow’s game, I’ll go out with you. Deal?”

“Deal,” said Sean as he and Liz shook hands.

“Now, are you, guys gonna order or what?” Liz asked.

Nobody except Kyle noticed that Max heard the whole conversation. He had this look on his face…this expression Kyle knew so well. He’s seen that look in Max’s eyes before. He’s given that look himself before…Jealousy.


Next day

Chemistry Classroom- after school

Liz and Isabel are alone in the room working on their experiment.

Liz spills one of the ingredients. “Great,” Liz said as she started to wipe it away.

“Here, let me do it,” Isabel said as she put her hand over the spill and in the second it was gone.

“Thanks. That’s really handy in situations like this, isn’t it?”

“Oh, yeah,” Isabel said smiling.

As Liz started to walk towards a cabinet to get more ingredients, Isabel suddenly said, “He misses you, you know.”

Liz froze for a moment. She knew exactly what Isabel was talking about. She was trying to find the right thing to say, but she couldn’t. She finally answered, “I know.”

“And you don’t care?” Isabel asked accusingly

“Look, Isabel…you know what. This has nothing to do with you, so let’s just finish the stupid experiment, Ok?” Liz blew up.

“Ok, you’re right, sorry,” said Isabel as she started working on the project again.

Liz sighed and turned around. Isabel didn’t deserve this. She was just concerned about Max, that’s all.

“Look, Isabel, I’m sorry,” Liz said as she turned to Isabel once again.

“No, you’re right. It’s none of my business.”

“No, it’s just that… I just thought that maybe at least you would understand.”

“I understand…I just wish he wasn’t so miserable,” Isabel said honestly. She knew Liz loved Max. There was never a question about that. And she knew Liz was miserable too, but she was the one who made the choice. Ok, she did it for them and Isabel respected her for that, but Max was hurting and that was all that she cared about right now.

“So do I,” Liz finally said, looking straight at Isabel.

And as Liz said that, Isabel saw that if she only could, she would do anything to take Max’s pain away. Anything…


Next Evening

Liz and Sean are walking up to the Crashdown.

“Ok, I have to admit, your idea was so much better than mine,” Sean said

“Really? I wouldn’t have thought so.”

“Why not?”

“Well, Sean Wilson bowling on a date? Not something I would picture you do.”

“You picture me?” he asked smiling.

“That’s not what I meant” Liz blushed.

“Of course. But I really did have a lot of fun.” Liz gave him this “yeah-right” look.

“No, really. Ok, I have to addmit, I wasn’t sure about it at first, but yeah, it was great. I actually understand now why it took Kyle forever to get over you.” He said that as they stopped in front of the Crashdown.

“Really, and why is that?”

“Well, first of all, you’re not the type of girl Kyle…or any of us would consider dating. You’re completely different.”

“Thanks,” Liz said trying not to look hurt.

“It was meant to be a compliment,” Sean said being completely honest.

“Oh, Ok…Thanks, I think.”

“It’s just that…Ok, you are the only girl that I went out with that actually knew what she was talking about…. Is that better?”

“Is that the truth?”


“Well, then, The compliment is accepted” she smiled.

Suddenly, Sean leaned in and kissed her. She was taken by surprise and it took her a moment to pull away. She finally pushed him away. “Oh, my God.”

“I’m sorry,” he said. He didn’t understand. He thought that she liked him. And the weird thing was he actually liked her too.

“No, it’s me. I just…” she stopped as she saw Max standing right behind Sean.

“Max!” was all she could say.

“So, this is why you broke up with me?” he said with so much anger in his voice.

“No, it’s…”

He wasn’t listening to what she was trying to say. He was angry and hurt. “You should’ve just said so. If you wanted to date some jock it’s your business, but you should have said so instead of coming up with some stupid excuse. God, Liz, I thought I knew you... I guess I was wrong.”

And with that he was gone. Liz just stood there shocked. She’d never seen Max so angry before. If she could only explain. But she didn’t. She let him go. Maybe it was better that way. Maybe if he thought she moved on, maybe he would too.


Max’s Room

Max is sitting on his bed and staring at the floor. He just finished telling Isabel everything that happened.

“Isn’t it what you wanted? For her to be happy, I mean,” she asked.

“Yeah, but…I didn’t think I would feel this way…I guess…I don’t know. I just wish that she told me the truth.”

“And you think that would make you feel better?”

He looked up at her. She was right. Nothing would have made him feel better about this. “I don’t know. I don’t know anything anymore.”

God, she hated to see him like this. She had to do something. Why was Liz acting this way? There was only one way to find out…


Isabel found herself in the desert. She found Liz near the old radio tower looking up at the stars. Liz was…crying.


Liz turned around as Max walked closer to her.

“Max, what are you doing here?”

“What do you think? “

“I didn’t want you here. I sent you away.”

“If you did, I wouldn’t be here,” he said walking up to her.

“So, all of it was for nothing?”

“Did you really think you could have pushed me away? I love you, Liz.”


“Liz, this is ok. It’s gonna be Ok.”

“How? It can’t be…It can NEVER be…God, Max…” Liz could barely talk through tears, “I can’t do this anymore.”

“Can’t do what?”

“This…this…I don’t know…I just want this to stop…this pain inside…I want it to just stop.”

Max didn’t say anything. He just walked up closer to her and put his arms around her. “I know,” was all he said as he held her…


As Isabel woke up she felt tears on her face. She knew Liz was hurting too, but she didn’t realize just how much. She had to do something. But what…



Next Morning

“So, how was it?” Maria practically screamed at Liz.

“Hello, Liz, how are you?” Liz said pretending to be Maria as she turned around, “Oh, I’m fine, thanks, how are you?”

“Oh, come on. I want all the details.”

“It was Ok,” Liz said as she was closing her locker, “It was pretty good, actually, until Sean kissed me right in front of Max.”

“Oh, my God,” was all Maria said.

“I know,” said Liz as the two of them started walking down the hall.

“So, are you gonna go out with him again?” Maria asked.

Liz stopped and looked at her friend “Maria, did you hear anything I just said?”

“Yeah, I just spaced out after the Sean-kissing-you part.”

“This is serious, Maria.”

“So, Max is a little jealous. It wouldn’t be the first time, would it?”

“No, this was different. I’ve never seen him like that. It was like he hated me…He hates me.”

“Wasn’t it what you wanted?”

“I don’t know…maybe you’re right.”

“Of course I am. I’m always right,” Maria said giving Liz a cheering smile, “So, are you gonna go out with Sean again?” Maria asked as they started walking again.

“Sean? Are you crazy?”

“Why not? The guy is totally into you”

“Yeah, and every other girl in the state of New Mexico…Besides…”

“Oh, great, our three favorite musketeers,” Maria suddenly said as they walked around the corner and saw Max, Isabel, Michael, and…


“Since when did Alex start hanging out with them?” Liz asked Maria.

“Ever since Isabel decided she needed another boy toy to grant her her every wish.”


“What? It’s true…Liz are you Ok? You don’t look so good.”

“I’m fine, MOM, I just…Max is there and…Maybe we should just pretend we didn’t see them.”

“Don’t worry, it’ll be fine…Besides, they know we saw them” Maria said as the walked over to the group.

Liz’s heart skipped a beat when Max looked at her.

“Well, isn’t it our football team’s call girl,” Max said looking straight at her.

Everyone looked at Max shocked. Liz felt like somebody just punched her in the stomach. Like she couldn’t breathe. She’s never seen him like that…mean. Max was a lot of things: secretive, controlling, silent, but never mean.

As the bell rang, Liz finally spoke, barely holding back the tears, “Uhm, Maria, I just realized that I..uh..I forgot my Philosophy book in my locker.” She could barely speak, “So, I’ll just catch up with you later, Ok.” And with that she started walking away. If only she could get around the corner where he wouldn’t see her…where nobody would see her. Thank God, the halls were empty now.

When she finally got to the corner, she started shaking uncontrollably. Just breathe…come on, Liz, get a grip on herself…breathe. The tears were rolling down her face and she couldn’t breathe…Ok, just get to the washroom…breathe…


Everyone was still staring at Max in shock. Maria wanted to kill him right now. Liz didn’t deserve this. Maria started to say something as Isabel beat her to it, “What the hell is the matter with you, Max? I’ve never seen you like this ever. Do you think this is easy on her?..” Isabel wanted to say something else, but Maria felt like if she stood there any longer she would slap him.

“You know what, I’m just gonna go and see if Liz is Ok.” And she started to walk away.

“Yeah, I’m think I’m gonna do the same. Alex, are you coming?” Isabel said looking at Max. She just couldn’t believe it was her brother.


They all turned around as Maria dropped her books and ran around the corner.

They all ran in the same direction. As they got to the corner, Max froze. Liz was lying on the floor with her books all around her.

Max couldn’t move. He felt like his legs were glued to the floor. He couldn’t move them.

“Oh, my God, Max…She’s not breathing,” Isabel said to him as the tears rolled down her face.

“I’m gonna call an ambulance,” Alex said as he started running to the payphone.

Liz…not breathing…come on, Max…think. He finally knew what he needed to do. He kneeled beside her and put his hand on her chest. He had to make her make her lungs move so she could breathe. He struggled to make the connection. Come on…come on…And finally the images flooded his mind…Liz telling him they couldn’t be together…Liz writing in her journal sitting by the lake…Him touching her…Him kissing Tess…Him saying he loved her…

He was still connected to Liz when he heard someone say, “She’s breathing, Max, she’s breathing.”

Whose voice was it? I know that voice…Isabel. Then he heard someone else say, “The paramedics are here.” Alex, it was Alex. Then he felt someone move his hand. He looked up and he saw Isabel holding his hand. Then some strange voice said, “Come on, let me through… Son, we’ve got her now…she’ll be ok…son…”



Waiting room

They’ve been in the sitting in the waiting room for two hours now. Everyone was quite deep in personal thoughts. Liz’s parents were holding hands. Alex had his arm around Maria. Maria stopped crying a long time ago. She felt like she didn’t have any tears left. She didn’t even try to sniff her oil anymore. She knew it wouldn’t help. Nothing would. Isabel and Michael were sitting next to each other on a couch.

Max was sitting in the corner, away from everybody, with his head in his hands. He couldn’t look at any of them right now. He couldn’t look at himself right now.

“Jeff, Nancy!” the doctor said as he came into the room and walked towards Liz’s parents.

“Greg, how is she?” Liz’s mom asked him as she and Jeff Parker got up from the couch.

“Well, we ran some tests and…she’s malnutritioned and dehydrated and…”

“Wait, what do you mean ‘malnutritioned’?” Nancy Parker asked him.

“I mean that she hasn’t been eating much lately. When was the last time you saw her eat a full meal?”

“Wait, I don’t understand…how is…oh, God. What are you saying, that Liz has some sort of eating disorder?”

“I’m afraid so.”

“But isn’t it like…people who want to be thin are the ones who have it. I mean, Liz never had that problem. She never did…” Liz mom couldn’t believe what she was hearing.

“No, Nancy, it could also be because she was upset about something…like school or a relationship…something to throw her off balance…and that’s the only way she knew how to control it. There are a lot of different reasons why people stop eating.”

“But it’s nothing serious, right? I mean, she will be ok?” Liz’s dad finally asked.

“No, this is very serious, Jeff. Very. She stopped breathing.”

“Oh, my God,” Nancy Parker whispered.

“If this doesn’t stop she WILL die.” He never said that before. He always used the words “might” and “could”, but never “will”. But he knew Liz since she was a baby. He couldn’t risk anything. He had to make them realize just how serious it was. “We gave her something to help her relax, so she’s asleep right now, but if you want you can sit with her”

“Yes, thank you.”

As they started to left the room, Maria, who along with the rest of them listened in horror to the doctor, finally said, “Well, I have to…I have to get to work. Alex, could you drive me?”

“Yeah, sure.”

“Are you sure you should be working right now?”

Maria turned around to see Michael standing right behind her. This was the first thing he said to her today to her. She smiled at him, “Yeah, thanks. It’ll keep my mind off things.”

“Maria, wait. I’ll go with…in case you need help,” said Isabel.

“I thought you weren’t a service-oriented person. I think that’s how you put it.”

“Yeah, well, things change…sometimes,” she smiled.

“Thanks, just promise me something.”


“No weird things done to my car."

“Ok, I promise,” Isabel answered as they both smiled, “Michael…” she said and looked at Max who still hasn’t moved.

“Yeah, I’ll get him home, don’t worry,” Michael answered while taking keys to the jeep from Isabel.

And with that, the three of them left the room.


Later that night

Max’s room

Max was lying in his bed staring at the ceiling.

“Hey, can I come in?” Isabel walked in not waiting for an answer, “How are you?”

“What do you think?” Max finally answered in a low voice.

“Listen, Liz’s mom called the Crashdown about an hour ago. Liz woke up. Maria went to see her earlier.” When he didn’t respond, she continued, “I just thought that maybe you would wanna go see how she’s doing.”

“I don’t really think she would want to see me right about now,” he said as he got up from the bed.

“She’ll forgive you, Max. If I forgave you, she will too. She loves you too much.”

“I don’t think so.”

“God, Max, do you think you’re the only one hurting? She’s hurting too. Probably more than you are.”

“How do you…?” and then he realized how exactly Isabel knew what Liz was feeling, “Isabel!!! Are you crazy?! I thought we agreed? I mean, when you did it with Maria and Alex I understood. Our lives were at stake…but Liz?! How could you do that?”

“I’m sorry, but I didn’t know what else to do. Oh, come on, Max. You’re not the least bit interested in what I saw?”

“NO!” He said as he stormed out of the room.

Isabel didn’t move. And when after a few minutes he walked through the door, she smiled.

“So, what did you see?”

“I thought it was wrong?” she said


Isabel understood…now was not the time for joking around. “She’s hurting so bad, Max. I mean, I…there was so much hurt and pain…it was horrible. She won’t ever show it, but she needs you.”

Max closed his eyes. “Oh, my God. I was so horrible. I…”

“She’ll understand,” Isabel said as she got up from the chair and walked up to him.

“No, she…I…”

“Max, it will be Ok. I’ll help you. We’ll help you. Everything will be Ok” she said as she hugged him.


Max walked fast towards Liz’s room. The visiting hours were over, but he needed to see her. He needed to make sure she was Ok. He quickly slipped into her room. Liz was asleep. She was hooked up to an IV and the heart machine. He looked at it. Liz’s heart…He wanted to touch her so badly. But he didn’t dare. He was afraid that if he did, he would hurt her. He’s hurt her so much, he was afraid that if he touched her she would break, like crystal. So, he just sat in the chair and watched her sleep…

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