|"The Walls Come Crumbling Down"|
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with the writers, producers or cast of
Roswell. I only wish I did.|
Summary: Secrets and emotions are revealed as Max and Liz give in to their feelings for each other.
Authors Note: This is the follow up to my first story Not So Secret Admirer and the sequel to that Get in the Game. Reading them before this would probably be wise. Feedback Please!
| The blue and gold of West Roswell was drastically outnumbered by the
red of the Hagerman home crowd. Though much of the population of West
attending the game, they were clearly the minority. Michael, Maria, Alex,
Isabel and Liz
were indeed late for the game. They walked through the only entrance of the
behind the Hagerman basket, five minutes into the game as West Roswell was
seven. The deficit had been fifteen only minutes earlier. They'd missed
entrance into the game which had prompted wild cheers from the West Roswell
jeers and booes from the Hagerman side, who had been reading more than they
know about number fifteen.|
As they stumbled through the door, Comets posters in hand and Alex clad in a blue and gold West Roswell gym t-shirt, Max had just sunk a three-pointer to bring them within four points. The entire gym peered around to stare at them as they were standing behind the basket Hagerman was to be heading towards. The five stood there awkwardly, and breathlessly as they'd sprinted out of the car and into the gym in under thirty seconds. No one moved and no one said anything and for a moment the gym was quiet as all the pairs of eyes fixated on them. Max's included. His face brightened when Liz entered the room. It always did.
"Go Comets," Maria mumbled slowly and awkwardly and Isabel just shot her a look as Liz dragged her away and over to the bleachers.
"I don't believe you," Isabel hissed, "after the greeting we got by grease monkey back there - that's the last thing-"
"Relax, we're at a high school basketball game. You're allowed to show some team spirit," Maria shook off Isabelle's comment as she looked around at the Hagerman fans, almost all of them donned in black and red apparell of one kind or another, almost all of them glaring at the five.
"Not here you're not," Alex read Isabel's mind as the five of them picked their way through the sea of red and black to get to the Comets section. None of them had even sat down yet before Max made another show-stopping play to bring West Roswell back in the game. Hagerman's leading scorer, Alexander Meade, attempted a fade-away jumper, but Max just reached up and swiped the ball away with his hand, driving down the court alone on the fast break for the easy layup and two points. West Roswell was only trailing by two, the deficit that had only minutes ago been fifteen was suddenly decimated by number fifteen. Max had never opted to get his name on the back of his jersey. He kept it plain and simple, number fifteen and that was it. Sort of like how he wanted to remain the sixth man and not a starter. The chants of "Comets Suck" and "Let's Go Coyote's" began to diminish and when Max's next three pointer gave West Roswell the lead they vanished completely.
Liz watched all of it in pure elation. He was like a different person when he played, so focused, so competitive, most of all so happy. She never saw him that happy, except maybe the past two days that he'd been with her. It was as if basketball brought him some sort of refuge. She thought back to the loneliness she'd felt when she and Max had kissed Sunday night. The loneliness of the little boy crying in the pillow. Then she looked back down to Max, who at the moment was taking a break during the time-out and was being slapped on the back by his teammates. All except Kyle, she couldn't help but note. Kyle stood on the outside of the huddle, staring in at Max.
The five of them, all but Michael, proved to be the rowdiest fans at the game. They cheered wildly everytime Max touched the ball - and considering his game high total of thirty-six points - they were up for the majority of the game. Michael's stolidness remained throughout the four quarters. Though his disgust when the Coyotes would make a basket was obvious. 'Damn,' he'd mumble quietly to himself, hoping that no one would hear, though they all did. Even the cheerleaders weren't as loud as the five - or four - of them. And Liz of course had cheered loudest of all.
There had been a moment in the third quarter however when everybody in the gym had been silenced. Max had reached under the basket to retrieve a rebound, as had Kyle and two members of the Hagerman team. Max recovered the ball from the clumsy hands of the oafish Hagerman center, who was still swatting at the ball when suddenly Kyle reached in and began wrestling the ball away from Max. The crowd looked on in confusion. Max and Kyle were on the same team. Kyle continued to grapple with Max for the basketball and just as Max was about to release the ball and relenquish it to Kyle, the sherriff's son threw his elbow into Max's face. Max was jerked back by the force behind it and he spun around backwards onto the court. Kyle seemed to ignore the fact that he'd knocked his teammate to the ground and the minute Max's hands flew off the ball and Max fell to the ground, he tossed the ball into the hoop for two points. There were no cheers however, no applause at the two points for West Roswell. The building was silent as Max was slow to return to his feet. The referee blew his whistle and Archie walked over to see if the sophomore he'd befriended in the past few weeks was okay.
"What the fuck was that, man?" Mack charged towards Kyle, and Ray Chavez stepped between the two of them before anything developed. The last thing they needed was a fight between their own team. They were already down by five points. Grabbing Max's arm, Archie hoisted him to his feet. Max was holding his hand up to his left eye, which was almost bound to turn black and blue. The crowd was silent, terrified of what might emerge of how Max would react. Of the fight they were positive was about to break out between the teammates. They didn't know Max however, and he checked his cheek one last time for blood before lining back up on defense. He had glanced at Kyle briefly and that was all. And up in the stands, the five who had been so enthusiastic throughout the game, nearly stopped breathing. Isabel's heart slowed nearly to a stop, Liz's skipped a beat, Maria held her face in her hands, Alex just stared in shock and Michael clinched his fists and his jaw tightly to keep from charging onto the court after Kyle. The coach yelled and signalled for Max to step off the court to be examined by the trainer, but he waved his hand and dismissed him. He just wanted to keep playing.
It was one of the worst black eyes even Michael had ever seen. Max's entire left eye was swollen and the skin around it was a deep dark purple. Max didn't seem to give the injury a second thought, though Liz and Isabel wouldn't stop fussing over it as the six sat in the Crashdown that night. The cafe was technically closed, but Liz's father had agreed to keep it open an extra hour for the 'victory party' between the six friends. He couldn't help but wonder to himself where they all came from and how they'd gotten to be friends. He knew Max and couldn't help but think that the times that he saw him without blood or black and blue marks was equivalent to the times without them. No matter, he trusted his daughter. And black eyes and fat lips or not, his daughter trusted Max. The tall, long blonde haired one he knew was Max's sister, Isabel, but 'the one with the hair' as he so often referred to Michael in the conversations with his daughter, he didn't recognize. He didn't know him from any school functions, any sports teams and he didn't recognize his last name when Liz told him it. As he looked out to the six, who had their glasses raised in celebration however, his mind was free of worries. His daughter had found a good group of friends, and as he glanced back at the smiling bunch he nodded his head in confidence. Yes, she had.
"No Max, just let me -" Liz held Max's face in his hands as she examined his eye, but Max couldn't help but flinch at her touch. It was still sore, no matter how much he'd attempted to play down the event and tell them it was worse than it really looked, it hurt. It had hurt for the rest of the game. Through the seven points he went on to score in the last quarter. The last thing he wanted was for Isabel and Liz to worry however. Liz dipped her napkin in a glass of water and held it to his face, attempting to clean out the open cut on the edge of his eye. He drew back again at the sting however and Liz ran her hand tenderly on the other side of the face. "It's okay, that's all," she assured, "I just wanted to clean that little bit out." Maria nearly 'awwwed' out loud at the two. Max thanked her quietly and she just smiled, nodding her head. Alex elbowed her, knowing what she was about to say but Maria couldn't help it.
"They're so cute!" she exclaimed and Max and Liz both blushed. Isabel and Michael rolled their eyes and Alex just rested his face in his hands.
"I tried to stop her," he mumbled and the comment actually brought a laugh out of Isabel.
"Yeah they're pretty cute," she admitted smiling and Max's head snapped up to his sister at the comment. Michael, who was squeezed against the wall next to Max and across from Maria remained silent.
"Hey let's have everybody do a toast!" Maria announced excitedly and everyone groaned.
"Maria, we just made a toast," Liz laughed, but Maria continued to protest in defense of her idea.
"No, no - everyone does their own seperate toast. Here, I'll start," she babbled excitedly and then with hardly a breath in between lifted her glass, "to Max and Liz. For being the best couple West Roswell has ever known," she stated perfectly and it only made the two's cheeks turn scarlett. Max just bowed his head. Maria referring to them as a couple still brought him on edge a bit. Yeah, that's what they were. That's what the whole school knew they were. Yet he knew Isabel and Michael were still having trouble accepting it. So it made it hard for him to accept it. "Max, go," Maria ordered and Max looked caught off guard.
"To...Hagerman," Max said the first thing that came to his mind, "for playing a good, good game." Everyone rolled their eyes at the sportsmanlike remark, so typical of Max.
"To Max," Liz quickly added looking over to him, "for beating Hagerman," she smiled.
"To the West Roswell Comets," Alex raised his Seven-Up, "the new Bi-Regional Champs."
"Okay, Michael it's your turn," Maria looked across the table to Michael who seemed disinterested in Maria's little game.
"No, I don't - I don't want to -" he began to decline but Max looked over to him.
"Come on, Michael just say something," he encouraged and as Michael's eyes rested on Max's darkened eye he said the first thing that came to his mind. The only thing that was on his mind.
"To Kyle," he mumbled and everyone at the table glared at him, utterly confused. "Who's gonna get the crap kicked out of him by me," he added and everyone but Max laughed..
"And by me," Isabel raised her glass in agreement and Max, with his arm around Liz but his thoughts somewhere else, was quiet.
|Part 13 | Index | Part 15|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|