FanFic - Other
"Not to Be"
Part 3
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.
"I just did you a huge favor," Kyle announced to Tess over the phone in his bedroom as he straightened up random things around in his room.

"That`s good," Tess laughed. "Tell me."

"I think I just convinced Max that Liz is an unentertaining wreck now but is getting over him fast."

"That should help. But I don`t know if it was worth the time because we`re already together."

"Yeah, Max said so. But you know what else he said? He said he thinks you need to get a clue and not rush into things."

"Ouch. But yeah, I know. We`ve got a couple more steps to go, but I think we`re gonna work. So what happened at the Parker house yesterday? I`ve been wondering all day."

"Oh, I didn`t go to Liz`s house. I just called her."


"She thinks it`s sweet how concerned I am."

"That`ll help a lot. What else?"

"Nothing else."

"...Oh. Well, I think you just have to give her time."

"Yeah, that`s what I was thinking. So, you wanna get lunch again?"

"Lunch?" Tess asked. "Again? Together?"

"Yeah, I`m kind of hungry. What do you think?"

"I don`t know, we might be seen together..."

"Come on, no one`s gonna think anything of it. It`s just a quick swing. No big deal."

Tess smiled and sighed. "I`ve got a lot of stuff to do..."

"Come on. It won`t take long. We`ll just get coffee. Let`s go, come on..."

Tess laughed. "Well, okay."

"Great. I`ll pick you up in a few minutes. And hey."


"Don`t scare the waitress this time."

Tess giggled. "I`ll see you in a few minutes, Kyle." Then she hung up the phone and sat on her bed with an amused look on her face.

Liz looked at her sideways view of the television from where she lay her couch couch with her head on Maria`s lap. Maria crunched down on a handful of popcorn. "Are you asleep, babe?"

"Yes," Liz answered, making it obvious she wasn`t.

Maria stroked her fingers down her hair. "Do you want me to leave?"

Liz shook her head with her eyes closed. "No." She didn`t want to be left alone with her memories of what she`d seen when Max and Tess were in the cafe earlier that day. It was a stinging memory that she just couldn`t touch because it was too hot. Her only chance was to forget about it. To have her mind on something else.

Why had he told her he and Tess weren`t together? It was perfectly clear they were. Why did he care about making her feel better about it when he had obviously forgotten about Liz anyway? Didn`t he know it would hurt her a lot less if he would just stay away from her?

"Liz," Maria said softly, "if you don`t want to be alone right now I can call my mom and ask to stay over night."

Liz nodded. "Okay." Maria got up from the couch, carefully letting Liz`s head slide out from under her legs onto the couch. She grabbed a throw pillow from the end of the couch and put her head on it as Maria walked away.

"...It`s already almost eleven anyway," Maria said into the phone later. "And besides we won`t stay up late, we`re gonna go to bed in a while. Yeah, I got that done this morning. Sure. Allright. Love you, mom. Bye." She hung up the phone and announced, "Taken care of," as she walked back into the family room, only to see that Liz had her eyes shut, her breathing slow and soft as she was starting to drift off to sleep on the couch. Maria smiled and crouched down next to the sofa. "This hurt you bad," Maria whispered, stroking her hair. "This hurt all of us." Maria sighed as she watched her sleep. When was this all going to be over? When was Liz going to be the same Liz again?

Maria took a throw off of a chair next to the couch and put it over Liz, and then she turned off the lamp on the table next to her. "I love you," Liz whispered suddenly.

Maria smiled down at her. "Me too." Then she curled up in the love seat across from her and went to bed.

"Is Max around?" Tess asked Isabel at the door the next day.

"No, actually," Isabel answered. "He just left to-"

Max appeared behind her.

"So much for that," Isabel sighed. "See you later, Tess." Isabel left and went back to go do something in her room. Tess walked in and shut the door behind her.

"Max," Tess said, "I came to see you."

"That`s what I heard," Max said.

"Listen, I`m a part of the group now, right?"

"Yes. Of course."

"And you`re okay with me being around you guys now, right?"

"Yeah. Sure."

"Then Isabel doesn`t have to help you avoid me, Max," Tess shot out as she walked over to him and past him. Max turned as she moved past his shoulder.

"I have to talk to you about something," Max said.

Tess smiled at him. "Me too. We have a lot to talk about. Let`s go into your back yard or something."

"The back yard?" Max said. "Yeah. Sure."

When they got outside Tess just stayed standing, walking around and looking at the flowers in his yard. "Tess," Max began, "we have a problem."

Tess moved over close to him. "Yes?"

Max took her shoulders and pulled her back a little. "It`s this. I`m... I`m not ready."

Tess wanted to scream. "When will you be ready?"

"I don`t know," Max said, "but all I know is I have too much going on right now and I can`t throw myself into something that`s going to make me feel worse."

"If you would let me get close enough to you it would make you feel better!" Tess exclaimed. She grabbed a rock off of his lawn table and threw it out into his yard. "But you just want to live in the past."

"I don`t WANT to do that," Max argued. "Can`t you see I`m trying? Can`t you see I want to forget about her?"

"Well, you`re obviously not trying hard enough!" Tess shouted. Max heard something slam shut above them as Isabel closed her bedroom window, not wanting to hear any more of their yelling.

Max sighed. "Listen, Tess, I don`t know exactly in detail how Nasedo raised you. I didn`t, you know, grow up with you or anything like that. But I can tell enough from you that there`s just a few things he left out. You don`t know how things work. You can`t just throw something in someone`s face and say, 'Look, this is what it`s about, this is how things are supposed to go, and this is how things are gonna be.' You don`t know how o be gradual with people. If you have to tell people what to do, you could be a little more gentle about it."

She came forward so that her face was a breath away from his. "Teach me to be gentle," she said quietly.

Max let her stand there in that position for a while but didn`t move. "I`ve been wanting to say this to you for a long time and I don`t know what took me so long. Its been needing to be said. I`m willing to be your friend, Tess. We could be really good friends, with time. Like me and the rest of the group. We could be just as close as siblings, if we really worked toward it. But I don`t love you. And what`s more, I love somebody else. If that`s not something you can understand, I`m sorry." Then he turned away from her and walked inside, leaving Tess staring after him.

"Tess?" Kyle called. What was she doing? He had been about to get in his car when he saw her. She was getting into the back of Liz`s car in the school parking lot. He wondered how she had gotten in until he remembered: Tess was from up there. It could be easy.

As soon as he saw her get in he saw Liz coming. And when he looked back at the car, Tess was nowhere to be seen. Where was she? She must have been crouched in the back seat so no one would see her.

Was this part of the plan? Kyle wondered. Because if it was, he sure didn`t know about it. Before he knew it Liz was in her car turning the key in the ignition. That was it. Kyle had to figure out was going on. He got into his car and got ready to follow them.

Tess kept her breathing low and quiet as she lay curled up in the back seat of Liz`s car. She was relieved when Liz put on some music so she didn`t have to be quite as careful to be silent. She was shocked when she heard Liz speak out, thinking she`d been discovered, but then realized it had just been a "Hello, it`s your turn, buddy," to a bad driver.

Liz sighed. She didn`t feel like working today. She wondered if she`d ever feel like working again. Even if she did, she realized, it wouldn`t be the same work as it used to be. Wouldn`t have the same enthusiasm. Not without the others. And when they came in, things would turn awkward all the sudden. Or would Max and the others even hang around there as constantly as they used to at all?

Liz turned the volume up a little when a good Incubus song came on. She opened her car window a little so the wind could blow her hair around. She needed it. She felt horrible. She leaned forward and put her chin on top of the steering wheel in a child-like position. But she was tired. And it was relaxing.

Liz sat back up as she approached a headlight. It flashed red and she stopped.

CRASH. The truck behind Liz`s car collided right into her in a second, and Liz screamed as the impact violently threw her forward into the steering wh-

Make that airbag. Threw her right into the blowing out airbag.

"Holy shit!!!" Kyle shouted so loudly the old woman in the car next to him turned her head from the wreck in shock. Kyle threw his steering wheel to the right, driving right up into the grass aside the road. He charged out of his car and ran to where Liz`s car, now a beat up mess in the back half, sat in street. "You okay?"

"Yeah," Liz answered, not even knowing it was him yet. "I can`t..." She was struggling with the airbag in her face as she kicked her door open and tried to struggle out. Kyle went right past her and tore open the door to the back seat and crawled in just as Liz got out into the street beside him. "Kyle! What the... what are you-""

Then her eyes widened in horror as she saw the unconscious body he was holding. "Oh my God..." Tess`s forehead was bleeding freely and her eyes were shut. It was pretty obvious she`d hit her head extremely hard against something when they got hit. "I didn`t know she was-!"

"We need an ambulance," Kyle said.

"You`re in school kinda late," Max said to Maria from behind as he caught up to her in one of the halls at West Roswell High.

She turned around to see who it was, starting to walk backwards. "I`ll tell if you will."

"I`ve got make-up work," Max explained.

Maria gasped as she turned back around, walking next to him. "Make-up work? You, Maxwell Evans, an honor student, with the fourth highest biology average in your entire grade, with make-up work to do? I`m shocked!"

"Come on, spit yours out. You have to have a reason to be here at 4:55."

"I have make-up work too," she admitted. "Well, that`s the results of times like these. You forget to do your history papers. I had like two things to complete in bio and then this whole frickin`-" A beeping came from her purse. She rolled her eyes as she started digging around for her ringing cell phone. "That`ll be my mom calling because I have to pick up some flour and starch. Yes mom, I know already." She whipped out her phone and flipped it open. "Hello? Let me guess. Starch and-" She got interrupted. Max could hear the person talking through the phone even from where he was standing, and he could tell already it wasn`t about something as casual as groceries. "Wait. Tess is in the hospital?" Maria said in shock. Max moved closer, now feeling the need to be a part of this conversation.

"Slow down, Kyle," Maria said. "Tess was in an accident with Liz?"

Max grabbed the phone. "Kyle, what the hell happened?"

"Tess," Kyle answered, sounding rushed and excited. "She`s going crazy. You guys need to get down here now." Then he hung up. Max shut Maria`s phone and started pushing Maria through the hall in a hurry as he gave it back to her.

"Is something wrong with Liz?" Maria asked him.

"I don`t know," Max answered, sounding just as worried as she was. "But we have to hurry. My car. Let`s go."

Kyle looked up as a worried looking Maria and Max walked into the hospital. Liz immediately rose from her seat and ran to them.

Max enveloped her in his arms. "Thank God. Are you okay?"

"I`m fine," Liz said. "Max, I didn`t even know she was there, it`s just... we crashed, and then Kyle came running, and, and then there she was in the back-"

"Tess was in your car?" Max asked. "Why?"

Liz shook her head. "I don`t know, but... but I think she might have been trying to do something to me."

"Did you say anything to her?" Kyle stepped into the conversation, moving in from behind Liz. "Did you see her earlier?"

"No," Max said. "Well, yes. For a little bit."

"You must have said something. I think she did something to make this happen. Liz. Why did you stop?"

"Because I was supposed to. The car behind me just didn`t, and-"

"Why? Why were you supposed to stop your car?"

"Because the traffic light was red?"

Kyle looked at the others. His expression said everything. Max nodded. "Tess wants to play games, huh?"

"Wait, what?" Liz asked, confused.

"Liz, the light wasn`t red. Tess made you see it red." Liz stared into the air, her eyes shocked.

Max took her arm and started toward the doors. "I`m taking you home. Whatever`s wrong with Tess, she put it on herself, and I`m not going to be the one to-"

Kyle grabbed him. "You can`t just leave her."

"Why not?" Max asked loudly.

"She didn`t know what she was doing!" Kyle reasoned. "She had to realize that by making Liz stop she would be putting herself in practically suicidal danger. She was in the back seat, for God sakes! You think she realized what she was doing? Tess was out of line. She didn`t know..."

Max grabbed his shoulder. "Listen to me. That girl tried to kill somebody. And it doesn`t make it better that she almost killed herself in order to do it, it makes it much, much worse. Tess is completely off track. My time letting her in and trusting her is absolutely over, and-"

"It may be over whether we want it to be or not!" Kyle said. "She got a bad blow. She`s unconscious right now and the doctors don`t know if she`ll ever wake up."

"What do you want me to do about it?" Max pressed.

Kyle paused, letting Max looked him in the eye. "Help her."

Max stared angrily. "Help her?"

"I know you can. Listen, she`s in trouble if she lives anyway, the doctors are trying desperately to identify her and reach her guardians and they won`t give up until they find out how she is and then they`ll know. She doesn`t have a legal guardian anymore."

"Then let them stick her into a foster home. Get a taste of Michael`s life for a while."

"You can`t desert her like this."

"Why not?"

"She`s one of you guys. She`s one of us. She shares your secret. You can`t just-"

"Who made you her little guardian all of the sudden?" Maria asked him. "And anyway, why did you happen to be there in the first place?"

"I followed Liz," Kyle answered. "I saw Tess get in."

"Well, why are you siding up with her, huh? I thought you hated her ever since she said those things to Liz at the Crashdown the other day. I thought you were on our side."

"Yeah," Max pressed. "What`s going on with you two? And why did you tell my sister the other day that you were at my house for someone`s phone number? How come you went to lunch with Tess that day in the first place?"

"People, we`re in a crisis," Kyle said. "We`re supposed to be worrying about Tess. If I might say so, your subject is kind of a tiny one compared to what we`re supposed to be thinking about here."

"All right, so back to Tess," Max said. "Suppose I did heal her so she could sneak out of this hospital alive before they start a very good attempt to contact her parents. Then what happens? Does she try another tactic to kill Liz? Or does she just kill me out of anger?"

"Max, I told you she was out of control. Eventually she`ll feel better, she`ll get back in control, and she`ll feel sorry that she ever did this. Come on, you can`t let somebody this young die when you can help. Especially when she`s one of you guys. You need her. You didn`t let me die. Or Liz."

Max and Liz exchanged a look. With Liz this had been such a different kind of situation it wasn`t even funny. He sighed. "As much as I hate to admit it, you`re a nice guy. But I saved you mostly to guarantee our safety. I knew our secret would be safe with your father if he had a reason to protect us."

"Bull shit! You didn`t have any sensible reason like that to help Liz."

"Yeah, but I had a hell of a big insensible one!" Max shouted.

"All right, we`ll put it like this. Let`s just say your secret might not be as safe as you think with ME unless I have a reason to protect you."

Max narrowed his eyebrows, thinking about that for a moment, then said, "You stubborn asshole."

Part 2 | Index | Part 4
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
Crashdown is maintained by and . Design by Goldenboy.
Copyright © 1999-2004 Web Media Entertainment.
No infringement intended.