Disclaimer: The characters of Roswell belong to the WB, among others, but if I could have them for one episode, it would go something like this (music and all).|
Summary: Takes place sometime after “Balance”
Authors Note: The Max/Liz “breakup” was inevitable. The question is where will the writers go with it. Several options lay before them – the dreaded one being what I call “Dawson’s Creek” (no offense) – you know, the scenario where everyone starts dating everyone else. Personally if I wanted to watch D.C. I would tune in an hour earlier. What I hope they do is actually use the “space” to really develop a relationship/friendship between the characters of Max and Liz. But before that can happen Liz needs to get a little angry, say a few things. Max can break them up but Liz gets the last word. And I think she’s the one who needs to set the tone for where this thing is going. So with that in mind...here’s the show:
|(Scene: Liz bundled up lying on her roof looking up at the stars) |
Voice over: It’s amazing how our lives are just millions of moments. In one second – an instant everything can change. How in a moment you can realize you’re not as strong as you thought you were. Or how one moment you can feel…I don’t know…like you’re floating…and then the next it’s like you’ve crashed. And how is it that some people can have these amazing feelings one second and the next act like they don’t feel anything at all? (Liz gets up and goes inside)
(Scene: Crashdown Café, late in the evening, Liz and Maria are standing at the back counter) Music: Ani Difranco – Carry You Around
Liz: Maria do you think you could take over my tables – I need to do some…stuff.
Maria: What…(she turns to see that Max, Isabel, & Michael have entered and sat down in Liz’s section) Liz, I’m telling you, you just need to give him a solid piece of your mind. Walk up to him and…
Maria: Fine, but your missing a very therapeutic opportunity here (Liz watches Maria walk over to the table to take their order)
Cook: Order up.
Liz: Thanks (she delivers the food to a table and before going into the back room she glances at Max – eyes meet and she quickly turns and walks through the double doors. Max watches her go)
Maria (looking at Max): Yea, she’s not on the menu anymore, remember. You are here for food, right?
Max (annoyed): Just give me a Will Smith burger and a coke.
Maria: Okay so we’ve got three cokes, two Will Smith burgers, one (looking at Michael) Alien asshole Blast, and a super sized bottle of Tabasco, coming right up. (She walks away)
Michael: Why do I take that? And for that matter, why are we here?
Max (still looking at the double doors, motions to Isabel): Ask her.
Isabel: What can I say, I love the service.
(Scene: Next day at school. Liz is walking to class and Max purposely walks around the corner into her)
Liz: Oh, Hey.
Max: How’ve you been – I haven’t seen much of you.
Liz: Yea, well I’ve been busy.
Liz: Listen Max, I’ve gotta get to class. One more tardy and I think I have detention. (Liz walks off into a classroom and Max watches her go)
(Scene: English Class)
Teacher: Okay, before the bell rings I want to talk about the largest writing assignment for the quarter. It’s an autobiographical sketch. (Sighs are heard, teacher starts passing out handouts) You may think that as 15 and 16 year olds you don’t have much to tell. But you’re wrong. The framework for who you are has been developing since the day you were born. I want to know who you are at this point in your life and the moments that have helped define you. This is the first in a series of college prepitory assignments. It will be worth 30% of your grade…(Bell rings) Read the handout and tomorrow well discuss the peer review process.
(Scene: Lunch area, Isabel and Alex are siting together, Max is heading for the table) Music: Billy Bragg and Wilco – Hoodoo Voodoo
Alex: Okay, so you can manipulate molecules – I’ve grasped that – now give me the good stuff. Can you change form, never get old, fly, what?
Max (as he sits down at the table): Fly? We’re not from Never Never Land.
Alex: Hey, we don’t know where you’re from, for all we know you’re Peter Pan and she’s Tinker Bell.
Isabel (laughing): Who’s Michael, Tootles?
Max (irritated): Did she tell you that we’re incredibly strong?
Alex: Okay, so you’re superman without the leaping from tall buildings. Still gotta be more.
Isabel (containing her laughter): Manipulating molecules is pretty much the basics Alex. I mean we use that to heal ourselves, fix things or break them.
Alex: What’s the use of having powers if you can’t do anything remotely evil. Okay, other than that whole killing thing. I mean can you mess with people’s heads, read minds?
Isabel: Read minds? Not exactly.
Alex: Not exactly, this is good, continue.
Isabel (she’s sidetracked watching Max follow Liz across the area to sit by herself to eat lunch): So what’s up with Liz? She’s been avoiding us for weeks. (Looking at Max) What did you do to her?
Max: Nothing. I needed some space, after what happened to Michael; things were just out of control.
Alex: Well this…is definitely space. I’ll be back. (He gets up and walks over to Liz)
Max (motioning toward Alex): What’s this?
Isabel: Alex? He makes me laugh. Besides, it’s nice having someone you don’t have to pretend with. You know someone to talk to. Which is currently much more than I can say for you. There’s space, Max, and then there’s whatever this is. You should talk to her.
(Scene switches to Alex and Liz)
Alex: The lovely Ms. Parker, eating alone, again.
Liz: Hi Alex.
Alex: Where’s DeLuca?
Liz: I don’t know, I think she had some project or something, I think the library, or lab, or maybe it was woodshop (she trails off)
Alex: Okay Liz, what’s up?
Liz: What? Nothing.
Alex: Remember, we don’t play the “nothing game” with Alex anymore.
Liz: Alex I’m fine, just busy.
Alex: Uh uh, busy filling what Liz, (uses is hands to illustrate the quotation marks) “space”.
Liz (glaring): You realize you can be irritating sometimes, don’t you?
Alex: Brutal honesty Liz, we’ve moved way passed the sugarcoated stage. Besides, I’m still trying to get a grasp on this whole “not of this world” thing, and I could…
Liz (interrupting and looking at Max and Isabel talking): You seemed to be doing just fine.
Alex: You should join us Liz. (Liz starts to say something) Oh, let me guess – busy.
Liz (smiles): I just need to figure some things out.
Alex: I’m here for you Liz.
Liz: Thanks Alex – I think.
(Scene: Next day in English Class)
Teacher: Okay. (She starts walking around the room handing out papers) I’m handing out some exercises to help you with your autobiography. You’ll find a name of a fellow student in the upper right hand corner. This is your peer review partner. It’s an important tool to be able to give and receive constructive criticism. Everything you do for this project will be read and critiqued by your partner. (She hands Liz her paper. Liz looks down then glances over at Michael, who turns around and looks at her.) I want an introduction and outline by Monday. Get with you partners for these last few minutes of class. For tomorrow define “respect” together, in your own words not Mr. Webster’s. Criticism in this class is for helping each other, nothing else.
Liz (takes a deep breath, gets up and sits next to Michael): Pretty interesting assignment, uh?
Michael: Pretty lame if you ask me. There’s not much to my life and what there is it’s not like I can write about it.
Liz: I know what you mean. It seems like the important stuff is off limits. Michael: Whatever, the bell’s gonna ring.
Liz: Okay so “respect” (the bell rings and Michael leaves) is something obviously missing here.
(Scene: Crashdown, late, Liz is behind the counter cleaning to the music and singing along to the song. Max watches her dancing for a moment then opens the door. She barely hears the bells on the door ring) Music: Aretha Franklin – Respect (playing really loud)
Liz (yelling): Sorry we’re closed (She looks up to see Max) Oh (she walks over to turn the music off).
Liz: Oh, the music, yea, uh…research for English class. (There’s a pause) What are you doing here Max?
Max: Liz, you avoid me at school or ignore me and I, I just want to know how you’re doing.
Liz: It’s called space Max.
Max: Right. It’s just been, well, it’s been weeks Liz.
Liz: Weeks, Max? It seems like yesterday.
Max: I wish you could see things the way I do, the way I have to. I play it over in my mind…and Liz…we’re two different species – species not races. Nothing can ever come of that.
Liz: Max I get that. I really do, you know, the species thing. I also get that you’ve created this world of control and self-discipline for yourself. And I’m getting that I seem to threaten that. I get a lot of things Max, but what I don’t get (she pauses) is why are you here? Why do you keep coming to the Crashdown, running into me at school?
Liz: But the big thing I don’t get. Why did you save me Max?
Max (confused): Liz, I…
Max (a little embarrassed): Liz, I told you…
Liz (interrupting rudely): No Max, you really didn’t.
Max (completely stumbling): Liz…um…I…uh…I guess I really can’t explain it, the way you want.
Liz: You can’t Max or you just don’t want to, cause if you did, if you said it out loud you’d actually have to deal with it? I mean let’s be honest with each other Max. When you deal with something by not really dealing with it at all – that’s not dealing that’s denial. Max, your life is a lie. Lying to everyone you know. It’s all about pretending, hiding your feelings, your secrets, everything. At some point it must get pretty easy to lie to yourself and just pretend things away. Well I can’t Max. I need to deal with things. And I’m trying to understand what this is between us…what I’m feeling. (Liz starts to walk out from behind the counter) You didn’t want space Max, you wanted time to run away. (As she turns the corner she accidentally knocks over a tray of ketchup bottles – they break on the floor, she lets out a frustrated sigh) Look I’ve got work to do.
(Liz walks through the double doors into the back. Once out of sight she stops and leans forward into the wall, holding back tears. After a moment she goes and gets the mop. When she returns to the front the ketchup bottles are sitting on the tray on top of the counter.)
(Scene: Before School at Max’s. Max is waiting for Isabel in the jeep and Michael walks up)
Michael: You look like shit.
Max: Rough night.
Michael (sounding somewhat disgusted): Let me guess – Liz?
Max: This space thing…It isn’t going how I thought.
Michael (amused): What’d you expect Max, she’d be overjoyed to be downgraded to “buddy” status.
Max (ignoring him): She’s so angry…and hurt…and there’s nothing I can do. She wants more than can ever be…
Michael (interrupting): She wants?
Max (looking at Michael angrily): Does it really matter?
Michael: No Maxwell it doesn’t. Cause either way you say it you’re screwed.
Michael: It’s called reality Max, and you’re welcome…What is taking her so long, you’d think she was getting ready for the damn prom.
Max (playfully pissed off): What’s with the extra attitude today…and when have you ever been in a hurry to get to school? (Michael just gives him a quick glare and sits back in the jeep looking impatient)
(Scene: Various scenes from school including: one of Michael watching Maria from the distance – looking like he is going to talk to her, but losing nerve at the last minute; an angry/frustrated Michael scene; one of the English class with Michael’s set noticeably empty; one of Max and Liz in lab; and the last scene the lunch bell rings and Liz makes a very cold exit from lab) Music: Jayhawks – Waiting for the Sun
(Scene: Lunch Quad, same day)
Liz: Michael. Michael.
Michael: What? (He stops and turns around, looks at Liz – who is taken aback by his overt rudeness) Did you want something Liz?
Liz (stumbling): Um...I
Michael: Whatever Liz. (He walks off)
Liz (standing there, under her breath): That went well.
(Maria walks up to Liz)
Liz: Thanks. I have no idea what that was.
Maria: Get in line. I don’t think I’ll ever understand what that (nods her head in Michael’s direction) is. You save a guys life and where’s the gratitude?
Liz: What am I going to do Maria?
Maria: Well, I was thinking we get some rope….
Maria: What? Why do you have to talk to him anyway?
Liz: English. The biggest assignment for the quarter and half of my grade depends on him.
Maria (amused): Uh, good luck with that Liz.
Liz: What am I gonna do?
Maria: Okay, well you definitely need a new approach. You’ve gotta be firm Liz. Firm and angry. No, no mean, really mean (Liz is looking at her with a “are you kidding me” look) What? Okay, okay, stick with firm – mean, not one of your stronger qualities.
Liz (seeing Max across the way, under her breath): I can do angry.
Maria: Are we still on for Saturday?
Liz (distracted): Yes – Star Watchers – Saturday night, seven o’clock. (Bell rings)
(Scene: Same day, after school in the parking lot. Michael is waiting by the jeep and Liz walks up to him)
Liz: I need to talk to you.
Michael: If it’s gonna go like last time, can we just skip it?
Liz: Whatever, look just give me your English outline.
Liz: The autobiography.
Michael: That – I’m not wasting my time.
Liz: You’re not doing it?
Liz (sounding irritated): You’re not doing it? (She sees Max and Isabel approaching) Try again.
Michael (startled by her tone): What?
Liz: This paper is worth 30% of my grade – and half of that grade depends on you. You want to be mean and nasty to me Michael that’s fine. But if you think I’m gonna let you fuck around with my grades – try again. If I don’t have your outline by Saturday morning at the Crashdown, I know where you live, I have no plans for the weekend, and I’m sure Hank and I can find something to talk about. (Liz gives Michael a look and as she’s leaving glares at Max – who just walks up with Isabel as she is leaving)
Max: What was that?
Michael: No, who was that? (Looking at Max) What did you do?
Max: I told you she was angry.
Isabel: Angry Max? Understatement. Are the two of you purposely trying to piss off the people who our lives, technically depend on. Cause if that’s your plan, get a new one. (She gets into the jeep, exasperated) Honestly, the two of you.
(Scene: Crashdown. Saturday morning. Michael walks in, Maria sees him and goes into the backroom for Liz) Music: Martin Sexton – The Beast in Me
Maria: Today is your lucky day.
Liz: No. He didn’t.
Maria: Firm – works well for you Liz.
Liz: What am I gonna do? He wasn’t suppose to come…
Maria: Liz, get a grip. You’re just gonna go out there, offer him some breakfast, and then talk to him Liz, you have to talk to him.
(Liz walks up to the booth)
Liz: Do you want some breakfast?
Michael: Sure give me a breakfast burrito.
Liz: One generic alien breakfast burrito (Liz goes to the counter and places the order. She comes back and sits at the booth. There’s a long pause) So.
Michael (looking irritated): So.
Liz: Look Michael…I’m so sorry – god I’ve been wanting, needing to say that to you.
Michael (attempting humor): I’m assuming that’s not for your behavior at school?
Liz (looking at him obviously upset): I hesitated...I…hesitated Michael.
Michael (after a pause): Liz, you were worried and scared – granted it was more for Max (Liz looks away, Michael stops, after a pause) Look, we all do what we can, and what matters is that you came through in the end. I’ve already told you I know I can trust you…and count on you.
Liz: Right – my journal. (She pauses) You know, I had a question about that (Michael is about to protest) What? You can read my most private thoughts and I don’t get to ask you one of yours? (Michael sits back in the booth) What did you mean when you said, now you have one more reason to envy Max?
Michael (after another pause, trying to get out of answering, with rudeness): Well it certainly wasn’t you. (Liz gives him a patronizing gaze and he fidgets, looking uncomfortable) Max always seems to have people who care about him, people he can turn to, talk to. He’s got his mom and dad, Isabel, and even after knowing everything about him – he has you…
Liz: Michael, you have Maria. (Michael startled/confused looks at Liz and she realizes he’s clueless) Obviously you didn’t realize that.
(Maria walks over to the table)
Maria: Okay we’ve got one ungrateful alien burrito and a milkshake, enjoy kids. (Liz takes a sip of her milkshake and glances up to see Michael watching Maria walk away. Michael looks back at Liz)
Michael: Can we cut the chit-chat and focus on why I’m here.
(Liz and Michael exchange papers. They start reading and after a bit Liz looks up at Michael – he sees her)
Liz: You can write.
Michael: I can read and do arithmetic too.
Liz: No, I mean you can write, Michael – really write.
Michael: Yea. (he returns to reading her paper)
Liz: Why do you hide it, you know your talent, your intelligence?
Michael: Why bother?
Liz (frustrated): I give up – I don’t get you, either of you. It’s been what 50 years. Do you see the mothership coming anytime soon? You people are stuck here. And your answer to that is to build these walls around yourselves to keep you from enjoying any of the possibilities that being stuck here has to offer.
Michael: It’s not that simple Liz.
Liz: Right. You get a few good grades, go to college, make something of yourself and what, people are gonna think you’re an alien? Max and I go on some dates and people automatically think he’s from another planet. It’s as simple as you want to make it Michael.
Michael: It’s about survival and weaknesses Liz. You can’t understand. Getting attached to people or things…It’s like Max, you have him so fucked up…if he had to leave tomorrow, there’s no way he’d go.
Liz (leaning over the table): Michael, if Max had to leave tomorrow…there’s no way I’d let him stay. (Michael looks surprised at her response) You don’t really think much of me do you?
Michael (taken aback): Liz, I…
Liz: It’s fine Michael, why would you…I mean, aren’t I the reason for all of this. You know, first Max risks exposing you by saving me, and then he shares with me his most intimate secret…but it’s not just his, it’s yours too. So without discussing it with you Max risks your future…for me…and here we are. (Michael, looks at Liz a little stunned and a little impressed) And now it’s our turn – you know, lying to our parents, Valenti, the FBI. You might think it’s the least I can do – and I’d give you that – but what about Maria…and Alex? They don’t owe you anything Michael. And yet they do it – (she shakes her head) not for me, but for you. (Michael’s gaze drifts over to Maria, Liz pauses) Think of me however Michael, but the least you can do is treat them with some decency…some respect. (She pauses noticing Michael watching Maria) She deserves that. (Michael looks at Liz) Ignoring her or avoiding her won’t make her go away…or care for you any less…
Michael (in a soft tone, looking back at Maria): What about you? (He looks at Liz and she looks at him confused) Avoiding Max, gonna make him go away?
Liz (gives a weak smile and looks away, with evident pain in her voice): No…he’s doing that on his own.
Michael (looking at Liz intently, after a pause): Liz, you’ve had a (searching for the word) force on Max since the third grade. He’s not going very far…trust me (Maria walks by and Michael follows her with his eyes and under his breath says) none of us are.
(Michael and Liz both look down at their papers and then look separate ways, drifting off into their own thoughts)
(Scene: Later in the day at the Crashdown. Michael and Liz are wrapping up. Liz leaves the table with her stuff. Michael lingers awhile. He finally leaves with one last glance at Maria. She starts to clean the table. Picks up his plate and then sets it down again. She looks around the café and then picks up a napkin that was hiding under the plate. It has a bunch of silly drawings of Maria beating up on Michael and the word “uncle” written beneath them. Maria smiles, looks around the café for Michael and puts the napkin in her apron.) Music: Moon Seven Times – Knock
(Scene: A park. A group of people are gathered for a monthly stargazing class, some are lying on the ground, others are sitting in chairs or standing)
Liz: I don’t know if he’ll come – I don’t…really know…what happened this morning.
Maria: Oh, he came, and not alone.
(Liz turns around and sees Michael with Max in the distance walking their way)
Max: You didn’t tell me she was going to be here.
Michael: I told you she told me about this.
(Liz turns around)
Maria: I know, go, I can handle the Beast.
Liz: Thank you. I just need this weekend – Monday is a new me.
Maria: We’ll see, drive safe.
(Liz walks off)
Max: I can’t stay Michael. You’ll have to get a ride from Maria or Liz.
Michael: What, wait…(Max hurries after Liz)
(Maria and Michael walk in each other’s general directions)
Maria: You’re obviously a Star Watcher virgin. (She hands him a reclining fold-up chair and blanket)
(Scene switches to Max and Liz)
Max: Liz wait. Liz (she stops) stay. I’ll go. Michael didn’t tell me you’d be here or I never would have come.
Liz (turns around): Max it’s fine. I’ve been to lots of these. And it’s been a pretty…interesting day; I could use a quite night to process it. (She starts to turn back around)
Max: I’m sorry for hurting you. Just being who I am – somehow – it will always hurt you. That’s why it had to end, Liz. No matter what feelings were involved. It just needed to end before it got even more complicated. I only hope you can, you can understand that someday.
Liz: End Max? (She turns around to face him) It doesn’t just end. Max: Liz.
Liz: No Max, for me, this will never end. (She pauses) The day after the shooting…when you came to the Crashdown…when you touched me Max (she pauses) when you touched me…I saw your soul, and at that moment it – you – became apart of mine. So this, this doesn’t end. You can’t just take it back Max and I’ll never let it go.
Max: Liz. I…
Liz (sounding tired): I know, Max (she pauses)…you want to be friends, I want to be more. But if friendship is all you can give me, well then it’s all I get. And I need to deal with that. Better than I have been. A lot…better…then I have been. I’m sorry for what I said to you the other night. It was completely, completely…
Liz: It was wrong of me to say those things, to judge you.
Max: Liz, what you said…it was true…because it has to be. To hide my feelings isn’t a choice, it’s a necessity. I can’t do this any different. (He looks at her with sad eyes) But it isn’t easy…if…if this was easy for me (he pauses) you’d be dead. If it had been…if it had been anybody else that day…anybody else Liz. But it wasn’t…it was you. Why I did it, doesn’t make a difference. Because what this is, between us, can only ever be friends.
Liz (stands there looking intently at Max, like she’s reflecting on his words, then finally in a “defeated” tone): Well, you’re just gonna have to be patient with me then. Cause you and me Max, there will always be something…something between us that’s more than friends. I can’t pretend that away, (she pauses, looks up at him out of the corner of her eye) and what hurts most, is that you think you can. (She pauses. Music in the background starts: Red House Painters – Revelation Big Sur) Goodnight Max.
(Liz turns; walks to her car and drives off)
Max (looking painfully sad): Goodnight Liz.
(Max turns and sees Michael and Maria talking, sitting in their chairs. Maria starts laughing and Max slowly starts walking toward them.)
(Scene: Liz coming into her bedroom. She sets down her stuff, turns on the radio – the music gets louder – then flicks the mouse of her computer and the screensaver stops, the screen is of her Autobiographic sketch. She takes a moment to look over what she’s written, then highlights the paragraphs under the INTRODUCTION heading, deletes them, and begins typing: “Who we are is a lifetime in the making. And while a life is made up of millions of moments – they do not define it. It is the challenges we face that define us, by testing our beliefs, testing ourselves. Some challenges we triumph over, and others we barely survive through. The challenges of life make us stronger, by showing us our weaknesses. They constantly force us to redefine who we are. Five months ago I could have told you exactly who I was, what I believed, who and what I was going to be. And now? I’m just beginning to find out who I really am. You see, four months ago I started a journey, an incredible journey. It is without a doubt in my mind the challenge of my life. Where it will take me or who I will be at the end of it – I have no idea. You would probably have to ask me in 20 years or so. In the mean time though, for the purpose of this assignment, you will have to settle for this: moments and insights into the Liz Parker I thought I was.”
Liz sits back in her chair and reads what she wrote. All of a sudden her backpack – which was resting on her grandmother’s book – and the book, fall off her desk. When she picks up the book and turns it over she sees an illustration of the design on Isabel’s necklace. She looks up at the computer screen)
Voiceover: Did I say 20 years?
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