|"Will Liz Let It Slip?"|
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters, and I'm not trying to
infringe on any copyrights, etc.|
Summary: Liz is getting overburdened with her secret about Future Max. Read to see what happens.
Authors Note: Takes place sometime after Wipeout.
|Dishes clink and the soda fountain whirrs in the Crashdown Café as the
usual activity of a Thursday evening occurs. Liz Parker scribbles down the
orders of two hungry customers, drops her pencil back into the pocket in her
alien waitress uniform, and rushes to the back to tell Michael what to cook.
Michael nods at what Liz tells him, not saying much since he is obviously
tired. Just as Liz begins to head back to one of the tables, Maria grabs
her arm and pulls her into the back of the restaurant.|
“What are you doing, Maria?” Liz asks forcefully but didn’t pull her arm back.
“Why have you been avoiding me all week?” Maria lets go of Liz and puts her hands on her hips, glaring at her friend.
“Look, we’re really busy, we’d better go back out,” Liz says, trying to sound final but not really succeeding. “Dad’ll get mad if he sees us not working.”
“What did you mean when you said all that stuff about you and Kyle and how you didn’t want to die without telling Max? What happened?”
Liz bites her lip and hesitates for a second. “Nothing happened.” She pauses again. “I was just … babbling. You know how people get when they’re about to die.”
Maria raised an eyebrow. “Oh?”
“It was nothing, Maria.”
Maria dropped her hands and her voice softened. “Liz, I’m your best friend; why can’t you tell me? I know you’re keeping something from me here.”
Liz’s eyes started to get slightly red, but she didn’t start crying. “I just…”
“Come on, Liz. We’ve been friends forever. I know everything about you, even that time that you kissed Jake Moore in seventh grade in the laundry room at that crazy party.”
"That was mistake..." Liz giggles.
“And I saved your dignity by not telling anyone, remember?”
Liz lets out a breath.
“Yes, I remember.”
“I’m just as trustworthy as I’ve always been, Liz. I know something’s going on. What happened between you and Kyle?”
“Nothing happened between me and Kyle.” Liz manages to say this to her friend only because it is pretty much the truth.
Michael pops his head into the room from the kitchen. “You guys better get out there or we’re gonna have some angry customers.
Liz shoots out into the restaurant, and Maria leans her head back to miss the swinging door heading in her direction. Then she holds it open and walks out.
The next day at school, Liz sits quietly at a table in the corner of the library, trying to work on her history homework. She stares at the page in her history book, reading the same passage about James Madison over and over because she just can’t seem to concentrate enough to let it sink in. She opens her eyes wide, takes a deep breath, blinks tight, and stares back down at the page. Still no luck.
Someone sits down beside her, and she looks up. “Maria, what’s up?” Liz asked, trying to sound casual.
“Why are you in here during lunch?” Maria’s face makes it clear that she thought that this was really an odd occurrence.
“I just needed to catch up on some reading for history. I want to be ready for that test next week. You know, just stuff.”
“Why did you rush out on me last night?”
Liz looks at her history book. “I didn’t rush out; I left because customers were waiting.”
“Yeah, that was it,” Maria replies sarcastically.
“You know how my dad gets.”
“I trust you Liz, really I do, and I thought you trusted me. But I guess not.” Maria gets up and starts walking away.
“Maria! Wait!” Liz calls, but Maria just keeps walking.
After last period, Liz spots Kyle walking out the door. She runs over and taps him on the shoulder, saying, “Kyle, can I talk to you for a minute?”
“Hey, Liz,” Kyle greets her. “What’s up?”
She pauses for a second and fumbles with the strap on her bag. “I need your advice.”
He looks at her quizzically. “My advice? What about Maria? Or Alex? Not that I mind, but why did you come to me?”
“It’s just… well…” – her voice lowers – “it’s about Max.”
Awkwardly, she asks, “Can we go somewhere quieter?”
Because of the students streaming out of the school’s front doors, neither of them notice that Max Evans has been standing a few feet away just around the corner the whole time. They also don’t notice him following them as they make their way through town back to the Crashdown and up to Liz’s balcony.
After they sat down on the lawn chairs on her balcony, Liz’s words tumbled out of her mouth as she said, “I just had to tell someone so you’re gonna be it so promise you won’t tell anyone. Okay?”
“Just promise, Kyle. Please.” Her eyes were pleading.
“Okay, I promise.”
She began, more slowly this time, “You know the most already, and I just… I don’t want to keep it from everyone.” Her eyes begin to tear up. “It was the hardest thing I ever had to do, Kyle, pushing Max away like that, harder even than when I ran from him in May.” Max, leaning his head against the ladder, listening, glances up towards the balcony with a look of hope in his eyes.
“Why did you do it, then, Liz?”
“Because I had to.”
“So you believe in all this destiny crap?”
“That’s not the whole story, Kyle. I mean, you don’t understand; I’m not trying to… You see, Max told me to do this.”
“What?” Kyle asks in disbelief.
Max’s face down below echoed the sentiments. As he shifts his weight, he accidentally steps on an old soda can, and the loud sound of aluminum crinkling echoes between the buildings.
“There’s someone there!” Liz cries, rushing over to the edge. She looks down and there’s Max, looking up at her. She presses her lips together to stop the sadness from showing on her face, but it doesn’t work. Kyle comes over to see who it is, and he’s pretty surprised as well.
“I’m coming up, Liz,” Max tells her.
As Max steps onto the balcony, Kyle goes down the ladder, saying, “I’m leaving you kids to figure this one out.”
Max looks into her eyes, and the hurt reflected there. “I never told you to do, to do what you did.”
Liz lifts her finger, which is shaking slightly with her quiet sobs. “You…,” she points at Max, “you didn’t say it.” Liz tries to take a deep breath. “It was… a different Max.”
He watches her intently as she sits down. “It’ll all be for nothing now,” she sobs. “Now you know, and I did it all for nothing.” She looks down and puts her hands over her face. Max continues to stand there, just watching her. “I told him I wouldn’t tell anyone. He said that no one could know or it would all be for nothing.” Her words continue to become more muffled. “For nothing.”
Max comes out of his staring trance and sits down beside her, slowly pulling her hands off her face.
“I was supposed to be strong,” she whispers.
“What really happened?” Max asks softly.
She looks at him, wringing her hands in her lap. “I guess it doesn’t matter now. I mean, now that you know part of the story I might as well tell you the whole thing. You – I mean, Max – I mean, a future version of you came here several weeks ago.”
Max gazes at Liz. He holds out his hand. “Can I … see you?”
She sniffles. “The flashes?” Liz reaches out and touches Max’s face. He sees everything that happened.
“I’m so sorry, Max. I didn’t want to hurt you.”
To her surprise, he hugs her. “I knew it couldn’t be right. I knew you wouldn’t do something like that to me. I knew you loved me.”
“Please don’t do this, Max. Don’t you see how we can’t be together?”
“But we can. I just need to be extra friendly to Tess.
“I love you, Liz. This is how it’s going to be forever.”
“I don’t want the world to end because of my selfishness, Max.” She brushes a stray hair out of her face with her hand and looks down.
“It doesn’t have to end.” He lifts her chin up so that they are looking into each other’s eyes. “Please trust me.”
“I do, it’s just that…”
The stray hair has fallen in front of her eyes again, and he reaches forward and brushes it out of the way. “You are my destiny, Liz.”
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|