FanFic - Other
"Out of the Woods"
Part 2
by Kath7
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters. I am just borrowing them with thanks to Melinda Metz and Jason Katims and the WB. Lyrics to songs by Joe Cocker and Amanda Marshall.
Summary: This story is derived from a challenge from Actrez. The gang heads back to Fraser Woods (from Into the Woods) during their junior year. Tess and Michael join the Evans, while Maria goes with the Parkers. This story is post-Destiny. Liz had just returned from a lengthy stay in England. She returns to find a completely different Max and Michael.
Category: Other
Rating: PG-13
Liz Parker stared into the mirror, adjusting her uniform's alien headband. She realized that her hands were shaking. She quickly dropped them, clutching her apron, trying to get ahold of herself.

Has it really been over six months since I wore this stupid outfit? She asked herself, continuing to peer into the mirror. I look exactly the can that be?

Despite herself, Liz thought back to the last shift she had worked - or, at least had been scheduled to work. It had been the night that Nasedo had disguised himself as Max and had kidnapped her. From that point on, her life had basically lost control.

And control was the one thing Liz Parker could not live without.

It was the one thing she and Max had always had the most in common, that need for control.

It had been lost almost a year ago - for good.

Liz was dragged from her thoughts by a familiar voice calling from the kitchen. "Lizzie! Where are you???" She smiled despite herself, stepped out of the washroom and suddenly Maria was on her. "You're back! Finally! How come you didn't call me? I have so much to tell you!!!"

Liz covered her best friend's mouth with her hand, raising her eyebrows and falling back immediately into her "sensible Liz" routine. "Maria...calm down or I'll be on the next plane back to London." Maria blinked above Liz's hand, her eyes sparkling with excitement. She finally nodded though when Liz raised her chin questioningly.

"Okay." Liz dropped her hand and grinned. "I missed you so much!" She hugged her friend. When she pulled back, there were tears on Maria's cheeks. "What's wrong?" She demanded, concerned immediately.

"Oh Liz! I'm just so glad that you're back...Nothing has been the same since you've been gone!" Maria hugged Liz again.

"Hey little ladies, can't a guy get a little service around here?" Alex Whitman poked his head through the swinging door leading to the dining room, a grin splitting his face. Liz tried to disentangle herself from Maria, but found that her best friend was refusing to let go. "Hey Alex." She finally said wryly, smiling at her other best friend over Maria's shoulder.

"Hey yourself stranger! It's so great that you're back!"

Liz wondered. It suddenly felt like she had never left, that she had not just spent the last seven months of her life away from Roswell, New Mexico, trying to regain what little control she still had over her life.

Walking away from Max Evans seven months ago had been the hardest thing she had ever had to do in her life. Coming back to Roswell now seemed like it was going to possibly be worse...

Liz's dad suddenly appeared in the service window, a perplexed look on his face. "You girls were planning to work today, were you not?" Jeff Parker asked. "'Cause it's getting really busy out here and I have some guests I need to take care of."

Liz sighed. "Yeah sure dad! We're coming." She took a deep breath and made her way into the dining room, Alex and Maria close on her heels, both talking a mile a minute.

"So, anyway Liz, there are like 37 million things I have to tell you. First, and by far the most important, Pam Troy actually got a nose job...Can you, like, believe that? And she goes around trying to pretend she didn't..."

"The band is doing great, we actually have a gig for next weekend..." Liz made her way behind the counter, listening to her friends with half an ear, just happy to be in their company, when she suddenly came to a dead halt.

Sitting on the counter, right in front of the cherry soda machine, was a bottle of tabasco sauce.

Liz blinked. She turned to look at Maria and Alex. They had both stopped talking abruptly, having noticed Liz's face and were now both staring at the tabasco bottle as well.

"Well, so much for trying to avoid the topic." Alex finally said, a sad look suddenly on his face.

Liz felt like her whole body was suddenly burning up..."Max..."

She turned to look at her friends. "How are they...I mean, how is he?" Liz felt herself strangling as she tried to make her voice work.

Maria and Alex exchanged glances. "Well..." Maria began, clearly uncertain what to say... Liz knew it was bad if Maria was at a loss for words...she knew what it meant...

"Tess?" She felt her knees about to give out under her. No matter that she had prepared herself for this a thousand times while away, telling herself over and over again, that he was not HERS, that he was Tess', the thought of it still made her want to scream, weep, and throw up all at the same time.

"OhmyGod, NO!" Maria rushed forward, clearly no longer having trouble speaking. "Max is so NOT with Tess..." She rolled her eyes. "Not that she isn't still trying though."

Liz felt as though a breath of fresh air was suddenly blowing through the Crashdown. She clutched at the counter, helping herself around it, sat herself on a stool..."He's not with Tess?" Alex was staring at her worriedly while Maria continued.

"God no!" Maria shuddered. "And Michael is so NOT with Isabel..." She snorted suddenly, "Not that Michael's with anybody these days..."

"Or Izzy..."Alex murmured. Liz watched him rub his forehead, as though he suddenly had a splitting headache. She suddenly needed to understand, needed to know exactly what had been going on in Roswell while she had been gone.

While she had been running away from Max Evans.

"Tell me."

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