FanFic - Other
"Not to Be"
Part 2
by Nina
Disclaimer: Zoom in on my empty wallet. I don`t own nothin`. Not Roswell, not even a decent instrument for playing in my band.
Summary: Takes place after our favorite ep "Destiny" and involves Tess, Kyle, Max, and Liz. Tess finds a friend in Kyle when they team up to get what they want, but Tess will learn the hard way to be careful with fragile people, and what can happen when she`s too careless.
Category: Other
Rating: PG
Authors Note: WARNING-this can have a sad ending or a happy ending, it depends on whose side you`re on.
"Liz," Maria begged. "What the hell happened today? Tell me!"

"I don`t want to talk about it," Liz sighed as she filled a tumbler up with coke.

"Can`t you just drop me a... a hint? Who lied? It`s Max, isn`t it? What did he say? What did he do? Did he kiss Tess again? Is he having sex with her?"

"God, Maria, no! Just don`t worry about it, okay? I don`t want to talk about it and I don`t want to think about it. I mean, I may not even be right about it, I might have gotten the wrong impression about this. I actually doubt it.."

"Here," Maria took a dropper out of her pocket.

"Oh, not that stuff again."

"Come on, open your mouth."

Liz rolled her eyes, titled her head back, and opened her mouth wide. Maria put two drops of the stuff on her tongue. Liz swallowed. "Ugh. Yuck."

"Feel better?"

Liz paused for a moment. "Nope."

The bell on the door dinged as someone walked in. Liz`s back was to the door so it was Maria who looked over her shoulder. "Oh damn!"

"It`s Max?" Liz moaned in annoyment. She didn`t need that.

"Worse. It`s HER."


Then Maria`s eyes went wide. "Yes. HER. With Max."

Liz tore her head toward the door. Max was with Michael and coming in a little behind Tess. "No, they`re not together. Just chill.."

"You sure?" Maria asked. They both watched as the two parties sat at separate tables. Michael and Max at one. Tess at another. Pretty close to each other, but still at separate tables.

"See?" Liz said. then she went back to filling drinks.

Maria looked over at Max in his booth. "I`ll kill him," she murmured.

Liz decided to go ahead and take Tess`s order, because she was in her half and she wasn`t about to let Tess get the best of her by asking Maria to take her or anything, and she was surprised to notice as she came over that Kyle came inside and sat at Tess`s booth. "You`re rockin` today," Kyle said to Liz when she got there. "Took me forever to get a parking place."

"Well," Liz said, "it`s good you dropped off your date first so you could at least get a good seat."

"Oh," Kyle said, "we`re not..."

"Yeah. Right. Just making sure. What can I get you to drink?"

"Dr.Pepper," Kyle said immediately.

Tess stared across the table at him for a few seconds. "Dr.Pepper."

Liz nodded. "Two Dr.Peppers then. Okay. Be back in a sec." She turned and went to get their drinks.

Tess leaned across the table and whispered to Kyle, "You know, it would probably help a lot if you would sort of make an enemy of me. You know, pretend to be siding against me. That way they`ll never guess we`re... working together. Right?"

"Yeah right, that makes sense. We`re sworn enemies that decided to go to lunch together."

"We`ll pretend it`s nothing special. You`re trying to get to know all of us since you now have this reason to be part of this group, so you ran into me and we went to lunch. That doesn`t mean anything."

"Fine, so what do we do?"

"I`m going to make it obvious to you that I`m not exactly the nicest person to Liz, and you`ll jump in to support her."

Kyle nodded. "Yep. Sounds good."

Maria watched the two of them as Liz filled up two Dr.Peppers. "Bitch. Whispering with him already. The girl has got to be fooling with two damn guys."

"Maria," Liz sighed, annoyed. "They said it wasn`t a date..."

"Yeah right. The devil girl is out to have yet more men under her control. Not long until it`s all of the male population at West Roswell High, huh?"

"No." Liz wasn`t feeling any better when Maria kept talking like this. "Maria, you know I love you and adore you, but shut up. Okay?"

That`s it, Maria thought. Max did something nasty. Liz wouldn`t be acting like this if it was something small. She had to do something. Something...

Liz looked over at Michael and Max`s booth. Max`s eyes glanced up at her for a brief moment. She kept her expression hard and unhappy. She wanted to give him a message that said something like, "I know what you lied about. I know."

Maria finished filling up Michael`s coke. Then she took Max`s drink, took the salt shaker off the table, and started shaking salt into Max`s cherry coke under the counter where no one could see.

Liz came to Tess and Kyle`s table with their drinks. "There you go. Do you know what you want to eat yet?"

Kyle started, "Yeah, I think-" but he was stopped when Tess stepped on his foot. "Actually I`m not sure."

"Yeah," Tess said slowly, "I think we`d appreciate a little more time. You know, we`re enjoying this. Might as well take our time as much as we can."

Maria finished pouring salt into the soda and took it and Michael`s drink over to their table.

"Enjoying it?" Liz asked. She couldn`t help but nervously tap the eraser of her pencil against her notepad.

"Of course. It`s hysterical. The way you keep staring at Max. The way he isn`t staring back, of course, no matter how much you expect him to. In fact, it seems more like he hasn`t taken his eyes off me since he got in. It`s hilarious to watch, you know. You should see yourself."

Kyle was staring at Tess with a "What the hell are you doing?" face. He couldn`t believe she was saying such mean things to Liz.

Liz gave her a challenging look. "I`ll give you a few more minutes," she said hardly.

"But we`re having so much fun with you, Liz!" Tess said.

Maria was jotting down the last of Michael and Max`s orders. "That`s a Crater Special and a Martian Madness. Coming up."

"Thanks," Max said. She walked away. "Michael."

"Hmm?" Michael answered.

"Something weird is going on."

Michael looked around the cafe. "What are you talking about?"

"People are just... acting weird."

"Everything seems fine to me."

"But I just have a weird feeling about how Liz looked at me a minute ago."

Michael paused. "How`d she look at you?"

"It was like this 'I know what you did' look. She was upset about something. That`s not normal, you know."

"Did you do something?"


"Are you on crack?"

As Maria carried a tray full of food that was for this annoying couple in the back of the cafe, she couldn`t help but notice something bad stirring between Tess and Liz at her table. She slowed her walking a little as she passed them, ending up right by Max and Michael`s booth, and tried to see what was going on.

"Tess, I know what you`re doing," Liz said. "It`s not going to work that easy. You can`t just convince me that he`s forgotten about me or something."

"I`m not trying to make me and Max be together, I`m just trying to make you realize that we are together!" Tess said back.

Max took a big swig of his cherry coke.

Liz reached her hand back and slapped Tess across the face.

Max spit a spray of soda out of his mouth.

Michael harshly grabbed Maria`s arm as she passed and she gasped and dropped the tray with a loud crash. "What the hell is going on?!" Michael demanded.

Max grabbed his coat and got out of the booth. In seconds he was out of the cafe. Everyone`s eyes followed him out, and then everyone was staring at Liz and Tess. The other customers eating were very confused. Tess didn`t even looked affected, despite the burning red spot on her cheek. She and Liz glared at each other for a moment, and then Liz turned and ran into the back room. By then Michael was gone, too.

"You`re good," Kyle whispered to Tess. He got up and chased after Liz. "Liz, wait!"

She charged into the locker room. "I`m getting out of here," Liz said as Kyle followed her in. "If my dad comes asking for me tell him I threw up." She started to open her locker. "This is a locker room. For girls. You shouldn`t be here."

"Liz," Kyle said, "I shouldn`t have let her sit there and say those things to you. All right, how can you even consider her a part of the group?"

"I don`t know that we do," Liz said as she took out her hair tie and alien antennae headband and started rubbing her hair into it`s natural style let down. "And Kyle? I don`t have those answers. I`m not part of the group anymore."

She didn`t even wait for him to leave so she could change there. She just grabbed her change of clothes and started running up the staircase with them to go change in her room.

Kyle wondered if she even wanted to be a part of their group anymore.

"I hope I didn`t hurt her too much," Tess said without much emotion as they drove away from the Crashdown Cafe. "I mean, that would be beside the point of you and me working together. You don`t want Liz hurt."

"It`s okay," Kyle sad. "It was acting. If you were that mean in real life, woah, THEN I`d be pissed."

Tess giggled. "So what happened in the locker room?"

"Well," Kyle answered, "I got the point across to her that I think you`re a mean bitch, and found out she doesn`t consider herself part of the group anymore. That COULD be a doesn`t want to be part of the group anymore, which is good."

"Yes. Good sign."

"Well, I think she realized pretty well I was concerned and I don`t think she was suspicious about it, either. she was in a hurry to get the hell out of there, so I didn`t have time to play the concerned friend roll much further."

"I see. So, do you think what just happened will help?"

"Big time. I mean, I think she totally is under the impression that both you and Max are jerks. Which is good. And as long as Max doesn`t find out what exactly has been bugging Liz he probably won`t think slapping you was the most appropriate thing to do. He`ll assume she`s going insane and not acting in the best way. How did that feel, by the way?"

"Oh, that hurt!" Tess put a hand to her cheek. It still felt hot. "That girl is PISSED! But it`s worth it, you know, it couldn`t have been better if I planned it all out. She hit me. Great touch!"

"Yeah. By the way..."


"What was up with Max`s drink?"

Tess shrugged. "Beats me."

Kyle laughed. "So you`re moving toward the Max-man tonight, huh?"

"Oh, I`ll drop by the Evans house, don`t know if Ill get anywhere. He probably won`t want to talk to me but I`ll see what I can accomplish."

"Well, maybe I`ll stop by Liz`s too. If I wait till tomorrow she may be cooled down and won`t need Mr. Supportive Friend man."

"Yeah. Hey."

Kyle looked over at her in the passenger`s seat. "What?"

"I`m hungry."

Kyle laughed. "We never got to eating, did we? Let`s go somewhere."

The doorbell rang at the Evans house at 6:2o, a little while after Isabel had left Max alone in the house. He sighed and left his homework to go answer the door.

He frowned when he answered the door and saw Tess standing there, smiling. "Come in," he said stepping away from the door so she could walk inside. She closed the door behind her and asked, "Your parents home?"

"No one," Max answered, still turned away from her. He didn`t like that she`d asked that question.

"What you been doing?" Tess asked casually.


She came over close to him and put a hand on his shoulder. "Let`s go into your room."

He turned his head around to look at her. "We can do homework together," Tess explained, and started steering him toward the hall that went to his room. When they got there and Tess slid her backpack off her shoulders and put it on the bed, he immediately sat down at his desk and picked his pencil back up. Tess stood by his bed and didn`t get her books out. After a dragging moment with Max avoiding communication with her, Tess said quietly, "Still in denial, Max?"

Max threw his pencil down. "Tess, I`m tired. I`m very tired."

"So am I!" Tess moved over by his chair. Close to him as always. Making him nervous as always. "I`m tired of reasoning with you. I`m tired of trying to make you see what`s right. Most of all, I`m tired of telling you over and over again to forget about HER. So tell me, what is it you`re tired of? Listening to me? Hearing things you know are true but don`t want to accept? Or is it just me you`re tired of altogether?"

Max sighed as he spun his chair around so that he faced her. "I`m tired of fighting, Tess." Max thought about how he used to feel like he could fight her. Like he could fight anything. He remembered what he said to Liz the night they hid in that deserted, overturned truck in the middle of nowhere. How when he had been in that room with Pierce being tortured half to death, what kept him alive was the thought of her. She had been the one thing he had to hang on to in the midst of complete hopelessness. But now his thought of her was clouded, sad, and forbidden. To Max she was just... gone. "I was able to fight you for a while," he continued, "but now... I don`t have any strength left. Liz was my strength. But I don`t have her anymore. I don`t have anything left. I give up. It doesn`t matter. My life is already over anyway."

Tess leaned over close to him. "Are you telling me what I think you are?"

"You mean what you want to hear? I don`t know. Did you want me to sound more enthusiastic about it? More happy? Excited? Sorry. Tess... I have to know. What happened today in the cafe?"

"Forget that." Tess put her hands on the arms of his chair. "I know you`re hurting, Max," she said so quietly it was almost a whisper, running her finger around the top of his shirt. "I know you want to hate me and reason is the only thing that stops you from hating me. I know you feel like I don`t care." She put a hand on his shoulder and ran it down his arm. "But I do, Max. I want to stop you from hurting. I want to take your hate away. Let me help you, Max. Let me be your strength..."

She slid her legs around so that she was on the chair with him and then took his lips against hers. Max all as soon as she started kissing him felt horrible things happening to him inside. It was like something was prying around inside himself for things it had no business touching. Like a mean, clawed hand had reached inside his stomach and tried to rearrange all of his innards at once. Tess pressed herself against him in the chair, demanding him, and with each passing second he felt something else fall away from him...

Then the doorbell rang. Tess pulled away. Max temporarily had his freedom back.

"You stay here," Tess said. "Work on your homework. I`ll get it."

Liz took in a deep breath to calm herself down as she heard footsteps coming from inside to answer the door. She frowned when she saw a glmise of curly blond hair through the window as the door opened. Tess smiled at her as if nothing threatening had ever happened between them. "Liz, hi."

"Hi," Liz said back. She couldn`t help but imagine the worst as far as a reason that Tess was in this house. "I need to see Max. Where is he?"

"Oh, he`s here. He`s here."

"So... could I talk to him for a few minutes?"

"He`s busy," Tess answered.

"With... what?"

"He`s just very busy." Tess put her arms up, holding both sides of the doorway.

"Listen, I just need to speak with him for one minute." Liz came forward and tried to go past her, but her arms blocked her. "Tess-"

"Max can`t talk now, all right?" Tess said hardly. "Go home, Liz."

Liz stared at Tess angrily for a few seconds, and then turned around and walked off. When Tess went back into Max`s room he asked her, "Who was it?"

"Solicitor," Tess answered. "So, we can get back to-"

"I have to get a shower in before my parents get home," Max said. "We`ll be going to a movie or something tonight. So.."

"I`ll leave then," Tess said with a smile, putting her backpack back on. "I`ll let myself out. See you at school tomorrow, right?"

"Yeah, sure."

Tess walked out of his room with a grin on her face.

Liz wiped another tear from her face as she stared at the bright television in her bedroom. It was a moment later Kyle called.

"Kyle?" Liz asked through the phone with a raspy, cracked voice. "What`s up?" She took in a shaky breath.

"Are you crying?" Kyle asked her.

"Oh, yeah," Liz said. "I`m just in my room watching sad romances with the lights off, you know. Don`t worry about it."

"Yeah, I can hear it," Kyle laughed. And he could. He heard a little bit of a conversation in the movie:

"Benny? Um... how sick is she?"

"Oh, she`s plenty sick. Listen, Sam, I`ve been thinking a lot about this stuff you can do and-"

"Because, you know, besides being a little mentally ill, which she is, she seems pretty normal to me."

"Benny and June?" Kyle asked, immediately knowing the dialogue. "What`s so sad about Benny and June?"

"Everything," Liz moaned. "God, what is going on with him?"


"Max! I went over to his house earlier today to talk to him and Tess answered the door. The girl just WOULD NOT let me in. She said Max was busy, but..."

"Well, he did take her home with him from the cafe."


"After you quit work and went upstairs Tess left with Michael and Max."


"Well, she came with me, remember? And I got kind of pissed at her after she got you upset like that, so Max took her with him instead."

Liz sighed and leaned back in her bed. "That`s sweet of you. I can use that support right now."

"Oh, I was getting annoyed with the girl the second I picked her up for lunch. It wasn`t just a favor for YOU."

Liz laughed. Kyle heard from the television, "Tell me? Tell me what?" "Um.... Benny? June, and, uh, and I are, uh... you know."

"Could you turn that down or something?" Kyle asked.

"Sure." Liz grabbed the remote from her night stand and turned the TV off. "So why did you go to the cafe with her anyway?"

"Oh, I just drove by her while she was walking there, and slowed down and honked at her and asked where she was going. She said she was headed for the Crashdown so I offered to give her a ride. Turned into a going-to-lunch-together thing."

"But Tess has a car."

"I don`t know, maybe she WANTED to get picked up by a devilishly handsome man in a shiny red car."

Liz held the phone away from her ear to laugh. "Yep, you`re still the same Kyle."

He knew she was aware he was staring at her. He didn`t care. He`d stopped caring about a lot of things a long time ago. And looking at Liz was all he had anymore. He couldn`t touch her... the words were like a burning hot iron in his mind. He didn`t know if Tess was ignorantly not noticing and assuming Max was just genuinely interested in the "no smoking" sign above Liz`s head or if her talking was all to distract him from looking at her.

"...Then there`s Stacey Sheinin who of course thinks I should go for it, but she`s the only one who thinks so," Tess went on from the other side of their booth in the Crashdown. "Should I listen to her or smarter people I don`t know like at all? What do you think?"

Max looked up. "Um... yeah."

His whole life has gone by in slow motion ever since yesterday in his room when Tess kissed him. Doesn`t she have any morals? was one of the many things that kept popping up in his head. Max had implied that he was willing to give things a try with her because he hadn`t given her a chance yet, and she took it as a "Right! Let`s do it!" He`d thought he`d be able to sit by the pool with his feet in for a while to get used to the temperature first, but Tess had run up behind him and shoved him ten feet down into the dark, icy water. Too fast...

The worst part was that Tess was pretending they`d been together for months with how casually she acted around him now.

"Max," Tess got his attention again and giggled. "Earth to Max. I know you like it in space but I don`t think you`re gonna find our home planet that way."

What was her problem? Max turned his eyes back on Liz, and Tess faded away again. He day dreamed like he`s day dreamed when he stared at her since third grade. Before that day she was shot. When the thought of having her was forbidden. It was surprising how much it seemed he`d been shoved back into that time, once again in the low position of Liz`s friend and nothng else and having only the image of her to look at, not the feel of her. Not the way it felt when he smoothed his hands around her waist. Not the warmth that he felt when her face was a breath away from his. Not the way her lips felt when-

"Ow!" Tess exclaimed loudly. Max looked back at her.

"What`s wrong?" Max asked.

"I burned my tongue," Tess laughed. "Ouchy." She held her hand over her fries and Max knew she was going to use her powers to cool them down.

He grabbed her hand. "Could you not do that so out in the open?"

She took advantage big time, putting both her hands over his. "Sorry, Max. It`s just automatic, you know?" She held his hand up in front of her face and spread his fingers apart. "You have short fingers," she noted with a laughing smile, not daring to let his precious hand free. Max wondered if she`d ever let go. She held her tight hand up, fingers apart, keeping his held in her left. "Everyone says I have really thin fingers. I think they`re just really long. Maybe both."

Max`s eyes drifted over to Liz. Just his luck she had her eyes fixed on the two of them as well. On the flirtatious way Tess was acting with him. Touching him...

She turned around and went into the kitchen to get something, yawning. She didn`t wear an expression of any kind. Like she hadn`t even seen anything wrong. But Max knew she`d seen it. Maybe she was thinking it was better to pretend it meant nothing to her that Max Evans, the nice kid at school and her good biology partner, was going out with that new blond. Max might have tried it himself a while ago. But he`d given up trying to feel better about everything all the time. Given up trying to forget about Liz Parker, the popular and pretty brown-haired girl at school who was his smart biology partner.

Who, by the way, he had fallen in love with in third grade and saved when she got shot and seen into her soul.

Forget this. Max couldn`t take it. "Tess? I`m gonna get going."

She pouted comically. "So soon?"

"I`ve got stuff to do," he answered.

Liz finished in the kitchen and pushed the swinging door open. It took her about five seconds to notice that Max and Tess were enjoying themselves in their booth, heads pressed together, each of them smiling ridiculously. She sighed and went to take someone`s order, wanting to distract herself with something and quick. Once she was done taking orders from a table she saw Max leave the cafe from the corner of her eye. She sighed with relief and went to go fill some people`s drinks.

So of course she didn`t notice Tess smiling wickedly at her, who had, in reality, been completely alone in her booth the whole time since she came out of the kitchen.

"Kyle?" Isabel asked when she opened her front door. "What are you doing here?"

"...Do you have Glen Boherty`s number?" he asked.

Isabel cocked her eyebrow. "I... think so."

"Because we`re paired up for this way annoying paper in history, you know, and I really need him and I don`t know how to reach him."

Isabel laughed. "Sure. Come in. Let me go talk to Max, he`s got it."

"No, that`s okay. I`ll go talk to him. So, how are you doing?"

"How am I doing?" Isabel asked. "Good. You know, just... normal."

"Normal`s good when you live your kind of life."

"Yeah," she agreed with a laughing smile. "Well, Max is in his room. You`ll have to excuse him if he`s kind of out of it, you know. Last time I passed his room I heard Counting Crows."


She laughed. "Never mind. It`s a Max thing. Just be aware that he`s not doing so great."

"All right," Kyle said as he started walking down the hall to his room. "Not so hard." He reached his door and knocked on the side of the doorway. "Hey, Evans?"

Max was laying on his bed, staring at the ceiling, and he turned his head toward him. "Kyle? What`s goin` on?"

"Not much," Kyle answered. "Hey listen, have you been... um... talking to Liz at all lately?"

Max sat up and put his legs over the side of the bed. "Not at all."

"Oh," Kyle said. "Well, then you probably haven`t been around to notice how she`s been."

That made him interested. "How she`s been? How... how exactly has she been?"

Kyle scoffed. "Very un-Liz, to say the least. She acts like she`s mad at everybody. She`s had missing or incomplete homework in several classes for the past three days. Doesn`t talk to anyone. I`ll bet her parents are worried as hell."

Max shrugged. "Nobody`s been completely happy lately, you can`t really expect-"

"She hit somebody, Max. I didn`t even think Liz was capable of hitting someone out of anger. But Tess just said a few words to her, and SMACK!"

"What DID she say to her?" Max asked. "You were there."

"You know, I don`t even quite remember. It wasn`t something to freak out about though. It was just a little comment, you know. Liz overreacted big time."

Max sighed and put his head in his hands. "My life is turning into a living hell and everyone around me is going crazy."

"Is Tess going crazy?" Kyle asked.

"No, but the girl needs to take some hints."

"You two aren`t..."

"Well, I gave it a shot, okay? And now she`s skipped ten steps ahead and snapped into 'Let`s go shopping, let`s eat lunch, let`s do what normal couples do' mode. Why the heck is she so ignorant? Can`t she see I`m not ready for this? Doesn`t she know how to take things one step at a time? Why am I asking you?"

"I don`t know," Kyle answered quickly, "but I just came in to get a homework assignment from Isabel, and now I`m gonna leave."

He started to walk out of the bedroom and Max said, "Kyle."

He turned around. "Yeah?"

"You think she`s gonna be all right?"

It took him a while to realize he was talking about Liz. "I`ll bet you in a few weeks we`ll all be fine the way we are now. Liz is forgetting about you, really. She`s getting better. The only thing I`m worrying about is how she doesn`t... talk."

Max nodded. He left.

And ran into Isabel. She giggled. "How is he?"

Kyle nodded. "Well, it`s... like you said."

She nodded back. "Well, I`ll see you later, Kyle."

"You too."

"Right." He turned around and left and she went into Max`s room.

"What do you think? Is it a good idea to let him in?"

"I don`t think we have a choice," Max said. "Besides, he may be a jerk sometimes, but he isn`t evil. I think we can trust him."

Isabel laughed. "It sure didn`t take long for you to give him that number. I thought you`d be looking through your drawers for hours."


"You know, you gave him Glen`s number."

"...No I didn`t."

"He didn`t ask for it?"

"No. Why would he need Glen Boherty`s number?"

Isabel looked over at the door in confusion. "Something weird is going on, Max."

Part 1 | Index | Part 3
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