FanFic - Other
"Pumping Iron"
Part 1
by MyrnaLynne
Disclaimer: This is a work of fan fiction for personal enjoyment only, not intended to infringe on the copyrights held by Katims, Nutter, Warner Brothers, or anybody else holding “Roswell” related copyrights.
Summary: Max works out, has some thoughts, chats with Michael
Category: Other
Rating: PG
Authors Note: Setting: Post “Balance”, Roswell High weight room
PUMPING IRON by MyrnaLynne 1/8/2000

Disclaimer: This is a work of fan fiction for personal enjoyment only, not intended to infringe on the copyrights held by Katims, Nutter, Warner Brothers, or anybody else holding “Roswell” related copyrights.

Subject: Max works out, has some thoughts, chats with Michael

Setting: Post “Balance”, Roswell High weight room

Rating: G (or maybe PG-13 for mild racy-ness - very mild!)

* * * * *

Max Evans pulled the olive green jersey over his head and opened his gym locker. He dropped on a loose sleeveless workout top and slid out of his pants. He pulled on gym shorts, and bent and tied up his sneakers. He folded his shirt and pants neatly, and put them away in the locker. He walked into the next room, sat on the bench, and dusted chalk on his hands.

He wrapped his hands firmly around the cool metal bar of the free weights, took a deep breath in and out, and slowly began to lift. The weight room was deserted, and Max liked it that way. While his body worked, his mind was free to wander.

It was so difficult - He enjoyed wrestling at Roswell High, but he could never be too good at it, for fear of standing out and drawing attention to himself. Never could be too good at anything, always staying in the shadows, holding back.

He’d been a skinny kid, but he enjoyed the recent changes in his body, his face more mature in the mirror, his shoulders filling out more, and suddenly needing to shave! That was an annoying pain, but also kind of neat. He’d enjoyed sitting in the bathroom watching his dad shave when he was young. Though, with every change growing up, he’d had that stab of fear, and had to wonder - is this happening to everybody, or just to me, because of who (and what) I am? Is this normal or is this something unique, something that’s going to let everybody know who I am?

There were some scary times, like when hair started to sprout in weird places. And thank goodness Mom had had “that little talk” with Isabel, or she would’ve freaked worse than she did anyway, when she got her period. He wondered what it meant, too, that they were developing just like a regular human male and female, just like the text in Human Development. How could they be so normal... and be so different? It was so confusing.

He smiled, thinking how lucky he was to have Iz to confide in, how lucky they were to have such great folks. Michael had it worse, having to live by himself, with no brother or sister. Max couldn’t blame him for all the midnight visits and his lost sleep - he and Isabel were Michael’s family too. Michael’s foster-dad didn’t say much, either... and what he said wasn’t always nice. Max felt a stab of sadness for Michael, remembering again the pain of their childhood separation.

Max switched to another station and worked on his legs, concentrating on the effort of pushing the weighted platform away and then lowering it back, the muscles bunching out on his legs, starting to get shiny with sweat.

He knew he and Michael were stronger than the other guys - or at least they could be, when strength was required. He thought about Michael tossing stocky Kyle Valenti across the room at that cheesy motel on 285 like a wet towel. He wished Michael could control his temper - and his powers - better, but it was kind of nice to see the surprised look on Kyle’s face. Kyle and Liz... his mind didn’t want to go there, thinking about Liz dating Kyle. Had Kyle ever kissed her? He groaned involuntarily and gave the weight a savage push.

Liz....the thought of her went through him like a warm electric current. Me and Liz... who would have ever thought it possible? He changed to another bench, wiping his hands on a towel.

Max was strong, but always holding back, didn’t want to use an unfair advantage to pin an opponent in a match.. well, not very often. He smiled. Sometimes he lost his temper, or the need to win overpowered his usual caution and good sense - and then he’d flip the other guy, or pin him to the mat, and take the match. Sometimes it felt good to win, to not hold back.

He curled the weights in and away methodically. He liked to feel strong... liked the focus and concentration of man versus metal, muscle versus gravity. Wanted to be strong for Liz, to protect her, to protect Michael and Isabel if he had to.. to be ready for anything. He sweated, his muscles starting to ache, but it was a good ache. Like the way he felt about Liz.

Liz... he thought about her hair, how dark and smooth it was and how incredibly shiny. Her big dark brown eyes gazing up at him.. about touching her hair.. kissing her.. holding her in his arms. And how he’d never felt stronger and more invincible in his life... like they were flying and falling, all at the same time... and he’d also never felt weaker. His knees felt weak remembering. He put the weights down, wiping sweat off his forehead. Time to hit the showers... and if he kept thinking of Liz this way, it’d need to be a pretty cold one. He smiled at himself, shook his head, pushing the damp strands of dark hair away from his eyes.

Why was everything so difficult? His life had gotten better.. .and worse.. than it had ever been before. He’d loved Liz forever....watching her on the playground, watching her blossom from cute little girl into somebody smart and capable and beautiful..and then it was like a miracle, and suddenly he had her life in his hands.. and suddenly, her smile was justfor him, the light in her eyes lit up for him... and now he had to push her away. It was so confusing. He covered his face with his hands, wiping the sweat from his eyes.

“Hey, I thought I’d find you here,” a voice said, “Hey Max, are you okay?”

Max dropped his hands into his lap and looked up. Michael Guerin was slouching in the doorway, smirking at him.

“Going to try out for Mr. Universe or something?” Michael asked.

Max smiled. “It wouldn’t do you any harm to pump a little iron yourself, you know. I hear it turns you into a ‘babe magnet.’ “ He laughed at himself and looked embarassed.

Michael lifted up the hem of his red shirt, rubbed his hand appraisingly over his stomach and studied it for a moment, then dropped the shirt, shrugged, and said, “I do okay. You can do the Schwartzenegger thing if you want - I’m more the wall crawling, web slinging, superhero type myself.” His eyes sparkled with mischief, and then grew serious, thinking about what he’d recently been through, thinking about the dusty webs covering his face, making it hard to breathe...

“Are you feeling okay now?” Max asked, “I mean.. you know.. you were so sick.”

“Yeh, well.. I feel great. Kind of opened my eyes to a lot of things, you know.”

“No I don’t, not really.. but I hope you’ll fill me and Isabel in, on what you saw, where you went on that dream-quest of yours.. You had us all pretty scared.” Max looked up at his friend, his brown eyes serious.

“Yeh, your friend River Dog has a pretty strange way of finding out who his friends are.” Michael ran his hand through his sandy hair, making it stand up even more than usual.

“At least he is a friend. It’s nice, after hiding for so long, to find someone who knows who we are, what we are... and accepts us,” Max said softly.

“Besides Liz and Maria, you mean.”

“Well, they’re different..” Max began.

“Oh, and don’t forget ‘super geek’ -geez, pretty soon the whole damn town will know about us, Maxwell - Where’d your sister dig that guy up?”

Max shrugged. “Liz and Maria trust him, Michael... He seems okay. He tried to help.”

“But Isabel with Alex, man? I doesn’t make sense. Naw, I just don’t see it.” Michael shook his head, picturing Isabel, trying to picture Alex. “Yeh, River Dog is a pretty cool guy,” Michael admitted.

“He knew Nacero - the other one..” Max said.

“That Nacero guy... he could’ve been our father, Max.” Michael said, his face intense, his eyes serious.

“I know, Michael. And he could also have killed that guy in the sheriff’s picture. At least, we know there’s more than the three of us.” They heard a distant noise from the hallway. “Hey, this isn’t the best place to talk, Michael.”

“Right as usual, Maxwell. Let’s get out of here.”

“I’ve gotta hit the shower first and get changed.” Max said.

“Oh, right - you really bought all that stuff they taught in Personal Hygiene Class. Okay. Where will I meet you then, the Crashdown? I’m starved.”

Max looked up. “ might be a little strange.. with Liz.”

“Hey, you dragged me in there when things were strange with Maria, remember?”

“But I didn’t know, Michael. I.. uh.. kind of told Liz that we had to.. you know, cool it... step back a bit.”

Michael nodded. “That’s wise, Max... hurts like hell, but it’s wise. They’ll only get hurt.”

Max’s eyes filled with pain. “Somehow hurting them so they don’t get hurt doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, Michael. And... it hurts. God it hurts.”

“Max, if there’s one thing I’ve learned so far in this life, it’s that nobody promised that life was supposed to make sense. Or that it wasn’t gonna really suck sometimes,” Michael said. “Ok, if the Crashdown is out, how about House of Pies then? What do you want?”

“You go ahead, Michael. Why don’t you pick up something and come by my place. The three of us can talk there.”

“You got it, Max. Enjoy the shower.. Don’t do anything in there I wouldn’t do.” Michael ducked, just as the sweaty towel flew at his head and missed. “Later,” he said, and was gone.

Max sighed, got up and straightened out the weight room, and headed for the shower.

- End-

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