Reality Revealed (CC,M/L,MATURE) Ch 15 26/10/14 [WIP]

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Re: Reality Revealed (M/L CC MATURE) Ch 11 21/09/09

Post by KatnotKath » Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:42 pm

Hey everyone, I'm back. Thanks for all the feedback, and for reading.

This chapter originally went further but it's taken me this long to get it this far so I figure I'll post the rest as the next chapter. Sorry to have taken so long to update but I'm doing my best, honest!

natalie36 - Well there'll be bumps along the road for sure, but together, I'm sure they'll make it.
keepsmiling7 - Oh I'm returning to continue. It just sometimes takes me a while, sorry about that. As for Max, yeah, I'm not sure I'd have wanted to be in his shoes. Hope I handled it sensitively enough.
Flamehair - Thanks for sticking with it, hope you enjoy the next chapter.
Isabelle - The two are living at the Evans's house currently - you'll hear that in this next chapter. As to the rest, I'll do my best to include it later on. I'm guessing they wouldn't have been crazy enough to risk the blood test without having checked the blood's appearance at least. Other than that, it's still a risk of course, but I think even without the parents insisting on it (and I think the Evans probably would eb by now) I think maybe Max is too concious of the fact that he wasn't able to tell that Liz was pregnant when he connected with her after her fainting. What if something goes wrong and he doesn't realise it... Maybe it's risky but I have to assume they'll have weighed up the risks on both sides...

Anyway, here's the next chapter (albeit cut a little short) I hope you'll all enjoy it. Love to hear what you think.


Chapter 11

“So…?” Barely had Liz and Max passed through the doors of the school than they were accosted by an overly excited Maria. “How did it go?”

Liz winced slightly at the volume of her voice. “Could you take it down a notch or two, I don’t really think Mrs Choo want’s to hear all about it…” Making downward motions with her hand, she looked hopefully towards her friend.

The blond looked somewhat abashed at the request. “Sorry…I didn’t realise…” She apologised in a much lower tone.

Max smiled and nodded. “No problem Maria… Although shouldn’t you be in class?” His eyebrows raised slightly as he looked towards the clock on the wall which firmly stated that the first period wouldn’t be over for another ten minutes. They had made good time it seemed.

“Yeah well I had study period…so I just decided to study elsewhere…” The curly spitfire responded with a grin as she asked again, “So come on, are you going to tell me or what…?”

“You know I’m beginning to think all you’re interested in is some gossip… It certainly can’t be your friends since you didn’t even say hello…” Liz’s eyes twinkled in amusement as she teased her best friend.

Eyes widened in response to that, a momentary look of horror flashing over her face before she realised that it was in fact a joke. “You’re getting to be mean! Of course I’m interested in my friends, I just want to know how the little one was too!”

Max shook his head, deciding to let his girlfriend deal with her possibly hyper friend. Had Maria been drinking expresso this morning or something because he could swear this was something even for her?

Liz on the other hand, had known Maria since they were in diapers and had been privy to many a display such as this one. It was nothing new and she tried to take it in her stride. “Well the little one most likely does exist for starters…although we have to wait a couple of days to get final confirmation…”

“But so far the doctor said that everything looked healthy and normal…” Max put in.

Maria grinned. “Great! And he was okay?” She felt she had a big stake in this having come up with the name of the doctor herself from her mother’s address book. Amy had in recent years changed her gynocologist but fortunately being as scatter-brained as her daughter she was hadn’t bothered to remove the contact details from her list.

It was a fortunate mistake for Liz who had happily accepted the details offered as an alternative to going to her usual doctor who was of course a less than ideal option… She nodded again. “He was really good actually thanks…” She paused a moment, contemplating, “He actually even congratulated us which was really nice…”

The smile dropped from her friend’s face at the last comment as a realisation hit her like a bucket of cold water. Her eyes went wide as she grabbed for Liz’s arm. “OMG chica, I am so sorry. I haven’t said it have I? I can’t believe that I didn’t tell you, that I didn’t think that I-“ She broke off mid babble and took a moment to get a hold of herself before looking to the couple once more. “Congratulations…really, both of you, congrats!”

As the blond engulfed both of the pair in a big hug, the bell on the wall above them sounded and rivers of kids of various ages came pouring out of the doorways all around, filling the corridor in a second.

The trio pulled apart quickly with mutual smiles as they agreed they could talk more later and for a few moments their biggest trouble was finding a way across the corridor through the current of students to get at their lockers before heading to class.


The day progressed and for the most Liz could honestly say she didn’t think about the baby. Classes were getting harder this year and AP stumped even her at times. So instead of dwelling on the situation she found herself in, her focus remained fixed on the job in hand, in copying down assignments, working on questions, answering tests.

And her symptoms seemed to have subsided somewhat too – it was almost as though they had been showing so readily as a way to alert those involved to the truth. For the first time in weeks she felt energetic and lively, a far cry from the overwhelming exhaustion she had felt only days before.

In fact, it wasn’t until the final period of the day that she began to feel in any way strange. Phys. Ed. - Liz grimaced at the thought as her stomach began to churn. Oh… what a way to end the day… Resigning herself to the fact that nothing could be done about it though, she headed into the changing rooms to get ready with the rest of the group.

However, even as she passed through the door it was as though a change passed over her. A way for her body to tell her that this next task would be too great for it in it’s current state perhaps? She didn’t know. In that instant though what she was certain of though, was that she wasn’t going to manage to get through this…

An hour of running around, chasing a ball and throwing it about? Even thinking about it made her about ready to collapse. The energy which had been streaming through her body all day had trickled away to nothing and she was left feeling completely done in.

The brunette sat for a moment, playing for time in the hopes it was momentary and the feeling would pass. However, as the girls around her began to get changed, she simply felt worse and worse…

“Miss Parker!”

She turned to look at Mr Sandleton who was now stood in the doorway. “Is there a problem…? Those clothes don’t look much like a gym kit! He raised his eyebrows in question.

The chattering crowd of girls around stopped, and the clamour became a murmur of voices.

“Alright, anyone who’s ready can head into the hall, do some stretching and warm-up exercises and then three laps.” He nodded towards the door. “Come on ladies, I’m sure you know the drill…”

At once the volume of chatter in the changing room rose once more before falling again as the girls finished either finished their preparation or moved out towards the hall. A few moments later only the teacher, Liz and any stragglers were left.

Mr Sandleton looked once more towards his pupil. “Well Miss Parker, is there some reason I should know about as to why you are not ready for class.”

Liz bit down hard on the inside of her lip, uncertain what to say. If she had thought quick enough she would have hidden her kit and claimed to have forgotten it but unfortunately the offending clothing was smack bang in front of his view. So instead, she went for a version of the truth. “I-I don’t feel very well Sir…may I be excused?”

A simple request which under normal circumstances would probably pass without incident. However, “I see…” Mr Sandleton nodded thoughtfully. He didn’t look convinced. “The problem with that Miss Parker, is that you seem to have been unwell or simply missing for quite a number of my lessons recently…” He consulted his attendance sheet briefly as he continued. “So I’m afraid that unless you can give me something more concrete as a reason – an explanation for this sickness perhaps – I am going to have to insist that you participate!”

Could he have chosen a worse time to clamp down on the prevelant practice of skipping Phys- Ed? Liz was certain that she hadn’t missed half the number of lessons that a lot of the girls had. A few had to be sacrificed in favour of chechzlovakian business of course, and she had missed one due to pregnancy symptoms before they knew what the symptoms were indicative of, but then Mara seemed to skive every other lesson, and even when she turned up rarely got involved.

“Miss Parker?” Mr Sandleton tapped a food impatiently, looking expectantly at the teen in front of him.

She swallowed, considering her options as the last of the class went scurrying out, whispering amongst themselves. She could tell him everything – which was sooner than hoped but perhaps not completely unexpected – or push herself that bit further, get changed and very possibly collapse from the effort… Liz didn’t like to think how Max might react to the latter.

In fact, she was just coming to the conclusion that perhaps the truth was the best way to go, when the door opened once more.

“I thought I told you kids to-“ Mr Sandleton broke of sharply as he realised this wasn’t one of his class. It was however, a student – from appearance one of those on office duty. “Yes…?”

The student, a shy looking blond, quickly crossed the floor to offer the note in her hand in response.

Opening the sheet, he scanned it quickly and nodded. That was…convenient… In fact with another student he might have suspected too convenient but under the circumstances… He turned to Liz. “Miss Parker, it would seem you get to miss another of my lessons after all… The guidance councillor would like to see you…”

The initial relief drained rapidly from her face as Liz heard she had been summoned. Why…?

“I suggest you go over there right now… And Miss Parker…” Mr Sandleton looked over at her once more. “I suggest you come to my next lesson ready and able to participate…”

The brunette nodded swiftly as she bent to retrieve her bag. “Yes Sir… Thank you…” She slipped past the younger student eagerly and passed out the door. Moments later, her pace slowed once more as she headed towards the office, a multitude of thoughts in her mind.

Had something happened, had something been said…? She wanted to believe that there was a logical explanation which had nothing to do with any of the recent happenings… A college application perhaps, or a possible work placement…? Realistically though, there was little doubt in her mind and it was with some amount of trepidation that her hand slipped around the round handle of the door and she knocked.

“Come in!”

A slightly over-weight, motherly looking red-head rose from behind the desk as Liz walked through the door. She smiled, “Miss Parker I presume?”

She gave a nod. “That’s right…”

Another smile. “I don’t think we’ve met before, it’s nice to see you… I’m Mrs Gates…” The woman held out a hand.

“Uh…no, I guess not…” Liz nodded, shifted a little nervously and hesitated for a moment before shaking the hand offered.

“Please, sit down…” Mrs Gates gestured towards the seat opposite encouragingly.

“I’m fine thanks…”

The gesture was firmer this time. “Miss Parker…” The message was clear.

Realising that there was little point in continuing to be awkward, Liz dropped into the seat silently.

“Liz – sorry, can I call you Liz…”

The teen shrugged non-commitedly. “I guess…”

“Look Liz, understand that you might be a little ne—“

Quick to look up, Liz interrupted. “I don’t mean to be rude Mrs Gates, but can I ask why you asked me to come here?” She questioned shortly, already tired of tiptoeing around the point.

The guidance councillor paused, taken by surprise but quickly regained her composure and pressed forward with a nod. “Alright then Liz… I’ve heard a number of rumours about you recently…”

Liz fought to keep a straight face. “Saying what…?” She questioned in an even tone, silently praying even then that her initial expectations would be wrong.

“Suggesting you are no longer living at home…” Mrs gates looked over at her, watching for any sign of response.

It was exactly what she had feared… The pregnancy at least might remain a secret for a short while longer, but the kids at school weren’t stupid and many of them hung around the Crashdown. It had only been a matter of time – likely a short one at that – before they put two and two together… She swallowed. “No, that’s actually correct…” Determined not to show her feelings, the brunette’s words were deliberate and clipped in tone.

“May I ask where you are living then…?”

Somehow, despite the question she couldn’t help thinking that the councillor most likely already knew the answer to that too.

“Liz…?” She pressed once more at the student’s continued silence.

“At Max’s hous—I mean with the Evans…” She corrected herself quickly, not wanting to give the wrong idea and adding as an afterthought, “It’s a temporary arrangement…”

“And the long term plan?”

Liz was silent, her lips pressed tightly together in an effort to remain seemingly unaffected by the question which was afterall, the question…

“Miss Parker?” Miss Gates’ tone again gained a pressing tone now as she looked back at the student in front of her.

The brunette blinked and stuttered a little in her response. “I-I’m sorry Miss Gates… The truth is I—“ She halted, closing her eyes and looking away for a moment before finally whispering. “I don’t know…”

The councillor nodded. “Well…do you think perhaps you should think about going home…” She paused a moment, before adding. “Whatever this is about, I’m sure if you just talk about it…”

“N-No!” Liz blinked and bit down on her lip. She shook her head sharply in silence, not trusting herself to say anything more without giving it all up. And she wasn’t ready for that…she wasn’t ready to tell…

“Oh I’m sure it’s not as bad as you think Liz…” Switching to first name without pause, Miss Gate’s tone grew increasingly soft as she turned to try and coax her student now. “I know that things might have seemed bad, but lots of kids go through rough periods with their parents about now… It’s a difficult age I know, and you probably think you’re ready to up and spread your wings, but it’s a lot harder than you might think and maybe you should think about going back to your parents…just for the rest of the school year…?” She paused a moment to offer what she hoped would be taken as a reassuring smile. “You’re going to be leaving soon enough for college anyway, surely a couple of months longer with your parents wouldn’t be all that bad…”

“I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be rude, but you really don’t know what you’re talking about!”

She raised her eyebrow. “Really…? Then why don’t you fill me in Miss Parker…?”

Liz blanched as she realised she was on the verge of opening up a whole new can of worms. The last thing she wanted to do right now was go public with all of this. It would be necessary eventually of course, it wasn’t as though you could hide a baby, but right now she and Max were just trying to get used to this themselves – to keep the news to themselves for just a little longer wouldn’t be too much would it?

“Liz…? Why did you move out?” She peered at the teen who sat in front of her, realising there was something very wrong here. So much for expecting to find that the rumours were completely ridiculous…

The brunette blinked and drew in a sharp breath. “W-we had a difference of opinion…” She faked a weak smile. “We just weren’t getting on…I’m growing up…”

The ‘cool act’ failed to fool her councillor. She had dealt with enough evasive teens by now to recognise when something was being left unsaid. She fixed her gaze on the student in front of her. “Well I’m sure it wasn’t the first time you’ve disagreed on something…and assume you haven’t tried to leave home before…”

Her silent message was clear and with a sinking feeling, Liz knew that she had little choice… “This was different…” She gasped softly with a resigned shake of her head.

“Perhaps you should elaborate… Liz, I’m good at what I do, and I can tell that something is not right here… What’s going on? What’s the real story?”

Liz ran a hand slowly through her hair, silently building up the courage and then, finally… “I’m—“ She broke off, wishing the floor would just open up and eat her.

“Miss Parker… Liz…” The councillor’s tone had softened once more now as she looked over at the teen, her eyes wide and full of concern it seemed. “Liz, believe it or not, I’m not the enemy here… I want to help you! Now, is there something you want to tell me…?”

The brunette looked away, her expression distant it seemed.
And, perhaps it was simply because she was fed up of asking, or perhaps she correctly understood that what was about to be shared was big and important, but for whatever reason the councillor on this occasion instead remained silent, waiting…

“I-I’m pregnant…” Liz finally responded in little more than a whisper.
My fics:

Dreams and Reality
Reality Revealed
Family Connections
When Love and Loss Collide
When Friendship and Love Combine - New!
If Only...
The Important Thing
Home for Christmas
I Knew Him Before (PB fic)
Love Always...
The First Time Around - New!

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Re: Reality Revealed (M/L CC MATURE) Ch 11 21/09/09

Post by KatnotKath » Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:25 pm

Hey everyone,

I don't know if there is anyone still around who was reading this, but I'm hoping maybe there will be, or that maybe someone else will be interested. I've had a long road to getting this fic out, as can be seen from the fact it ended in the Dead and Buried section. I've simply been flat out at work, with a lot of additional responsibilities and my muse had deserted me. Fortunately, I've rediscovered the joy of reading, and, as a side effect, writing it seems. Now I just have to find a balance between the two. I really wanted the first chapter back to be good, and I think I'm happy but I'd love to hear what you think. Hope you enjoy it and I'll try and update again soon.


Chapter 12

“I-I’m pregnant…”

The admission left Miss Gates speechless; no small feat considering the things she dealt with regularly on a day to day basis. This was certainly not one of the possibilities that she had imagined – an unfair cerfew (in the view of the student), restrictions on who she could date, even perhaps a grounding gone bad…

Not that teenage pregnancy was unheard of – far from it in fact – but the girls in question weren’t usually Harvard prospects and honor grade students… This was a first…

But she was up to the challenge! Collecting her thoughts quickly, she turned back to the troubled teen who was currently squirming in her chair opposite. Liz was clearly uncomfortable with all of this… “Liz…”

The brunette turned to look over.

“Can we talk about this some more…? I think it might help you…” She suggested softly, knowing from experience that a confrontational attitude would get her nowhere. Judging wasn’t the way to go, not at first anyway – it was important to get the student to open up rather than close down!

Liz swallowed before giving the slightest nod.

Miss Gates smiled and decided to continue. “Alright, well I know this is probably a really scary time for you, but I really think it would help you to talk about it some more… I imagine that it’s all feeling like this huge ten ton weight on your shoulders…the options must seem daunting at best…”

“Actually I’ve already decided!” Liz responded softly. “That’s why I left home; my parents don’t agree…”

Well that certainly made a lot more sense than some random argument about being grounded… Liz had never been a trouble maker, so neither Miss Gates nor her predecessor had really seen much of this particular student. From what she had seen of her files however, she was a hard working, conscientious student – not the sort of person to walk out over a petty argument about something relatively unimportant… She nodded swiftly. “Okay, but you know you should be careful about making a decision in a rush without giving yourself time to think it over. This is a big decision, whatever you do, and whatever you choose, it could affect the rest of your life…” She paused a moment to let the implications sink in.

Liz made no attempt to join the conversation again.

“Why don’t you talk me through your options as you see them and we can see if I can offer any more guidance…?”

“I told you, I already know what I’m going to do!” Liz insisted, her dislike of this conversation growing by the second…

“And that’s all very well, but I see many girls come in here who think they know what they are going to do, and then realise that they’ve missed an option out. And it might very well be the one that’s best for them… It’s such an important decision that I really do feel that we should discuss this further…”

“I’d really rather not…” She was looking around now, almost as though searching for an escape route. This really wasn’t going the way she might have hoped…

The guidance councillor considered for a moment. It was important to have this talk, but she could see how agitated the slight brunette was becoming. Was there a way to calm her down perhaps…? Maybe… A possibility began to play in her mind although it wasn’t definite by any means… “Liz…may I ask if you know who the father is?”

“W-what?” The question took her by surprise. “O-oh…” Her eyes widened for a moment, her cheeks turning crimson at the unspoken suggestion that she might not. Quickly she tried to collect herself. “Y-yes, I mean yes, of course I know who the father is…”

A nod followed as an indication to go on.

Liz paused. Bad enough that she was getting into this mess, did she really have to pull Max in too? Then again of course, having him there right now would be really nice… And people would eventually find out anyway, right? Sifting through the thoughts in her head, she came to her conclusion. “Max, Max Evans… He’s my boyfriend.” She added the last on impulse although she wasn’t really sure why.

Well that turned out a lot better than it could have done… She allowed herself a small smile and imaginary pat on the back. “Alright, and he knows about the pregnancy?”

She waited to receive a no and then pressed on. “Then how about we get Max in here too…would you like that?” Miss gates didn’t really need to wait for an answer, she had known the answer since she saw Liz voice his name. Unlike some pregnant teens, she still had that starry-eyed look when mentioning him. Of course this next conversation could burst that bubble but still…


The councillor was already reaching for her phone as she received the affirmative answer. She brought the handset to her ear and pressed a few buttons. “Hello, would you get Max Evans to come to my office please, he’s a final year student. Tell him to come right in when he arrives…” She paused for a question and shook her head. “No, no particular message for him except that he’s required here…”


“Mr Evans, perhaps you would care to read out your answer to this one?” Mr Born suggested as his eyes fixed on the figure of a student who was clearly paying less than full attention. His class was not one to be caught daydreaming in, as most of the students already knew, but there was always the odd one who might try… “Mr Evans…?”

“Huh, what?” Max shot out of his daze as he heard his name for the second time, the vision of the board swimming in front of his eyes until he blinked and caused it to stop. Once it was stationary, he focused on the question he had been asked and struggled to suppress a groan. He wasn’t working nearly as fast and efficiently as usual. With as much on his mind, as most would understand, his pace was less than brisk as only half of his efforts were focused on the school work.

Not that he wouldn’t have completed it in time for next lesson – he had copied them all down to deal with later…just…not right now… He was maybe three down and this was number six!

Which of course was exactly what his teacher had planned. What better way to demonstrate that he knew someone wasn’t paying attention than to ask them to answer something without any preparation time…? “Well Mr Evans?” He tapped his foot in a slightly impatient manner. Perhaps some would be inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt, having always been a good student in the past, but he had noticed over the last few weeks a decreasing attention span and it was time to put this right! Good work only lasted the span of the good work afterall…

“Well, I guess that-“ Max started and then stopped. “We know that-“ Again he paused, uncertain what to say next. As Mr Born was demonstrating quite nicely, this was a lesson which required some attention to detail – he really had no idea! Reluctantly he offered an apologetic look together with a shake of his head. “I’m sorry Sir, I didn’t get that far…I was going to finish off the questions I hadn’t done tonight…” He added in the hopes of escaping too much of his teacher’s wrath.

Most of his response came as little surprise; Mr Born had heard it all before. However, the bit about finishing it off tonight was something new… Perhaps he was genuinely sorry…perhaps he deserved another chance…?

His internal debate was interrupted rather sharply as he caught sight of a couple of students sat towards the back of the room who were paying a little too much attention to a piece of paper in their hand. “Something you’d like to share ladies?” He questioned, the subject of Max’s attention being pushed towards the back of his mind for a moment as he dealt with the note-passers. Swooping down onto their table, he grabbed the folded sheet from one of them and glared down at the pair.

“Sorry Sir…” They chimed in union. Their tone however suggested that they were anything but and the inane hopeful smiles did nothing to help their cause.

“I do NOT stand for anything other than a hundred percent attention in my lessons!” He spoke out now to the whole group as he returned to the front. “You should know this by now! You mess around in my class, you will be caught! And you don’t want that!” Placing the paper on the desk behind him without opening it, he turned to the board, picked up a piece of chalk and wrote down another five questions on top of those already there.

A few muffled groans sounded from around the room but he couldn’t quite locate them and decided to let it go. “I want the answers to these five written up this evening as homework and I will be collecting them tomorrow for marking – no excuses!” He fixed his gaze on the note-passers. “You ladies just bought yourself a detention, here, tonight! Stay in your seats after class and I’ll deal with you then.”

Max didn’t dare glance back to see who was likely to be keeping him company; for he had no doubt that he was likely to receive the same punishment. Which wouldn’t be so bad, except that he needed to get Liz and Isabel home… His sister could always drive Bob but after an hour away from his girlfriend, especially in her condition, that was little consolation when all he wanted was to see her…

“Mr Evans, I-“

The door at the front of the classroom swung open, effectively cutting him off. A first year who was clearly on office duty entered and crossed the room quickly towards the teacher who was stood there.

Holding out his hand, Mr Born read the paper silently and nodded, effectively dismissing the younger student who promptly fled the room. One didn’t have to be a genius to pick up the fact that he was unhappy…

Mr Born cleared his throat and was silent for a moment, almost as though considering his options. He nodded to himself. “As I was saying, Mr Evans, I expect to see answers to ALL questions on my desk at the beginning of the lesson tomorrow.” He looked towards the teen warning, “I’m giving you a chance here, don’t make me regret it!”

“No Sir, thank you…” Max nodded swiftly. He wasn’t really sure why he was being given the benefit of the doubt, but he was thankful for it…

“In the meantime, once you have all the questions taken down, the Guidance Councillor would like to see you in her office so you can pack up your stuff…” He included the rest of the class as he continued. “The rest of you can carry on with these questions, maybe you’ll even get a head start on your homework.” His gaze moved around the room as each of the heads eagerly bent back over their work in an industrious silence.

Not sure why he would called to see Miss Gates, Max found it difficult to concentrate on what he was doing. Possible scenarios raced through his head, each one more unlikely, and sometimes unpleasant, than the next… However, first thing was first and he forced himself to copy down the required text neatly into his notepad. The task wasn’t a time-consuming one and before long he was packing his things away and then heading off down the corridor towards the offices.


“You know if you want to talk whist we’re waiting we can do that Liz…” Miss Gates tried once more unsuccessfully to convince the teenager in front of her to open up.

“No thanks, I’m good waiting…” Liz responded softly as she turned once more in her seat to watch the door behind.

“He’ll be here soon enough…” The councillor offered a reassuring smile.

It had little effect on the stiff posture Liz was holding herself in.

“Liz, I-“ Miss Gates wasn’t one to give up but broke off this time as she heard the sound of approaching footsteps in the outside office.

Sure enough, a moment later the door swung open and a young man entered the room. The surprise in his expression was clear as he looked around the room to see Liz already sat there. “Oh, sorry, I was told to come straight in, I didn’t know you were with someone…” He apologised quickly as he moved to back out again. A hand stopped him.

“No need to apologise Max, you were told to come straight in. I thought that maybe it would be beneficial to speak to the two of you together…”

“Riight…” Max glanced warily towards his girlfriend, seeking any sign of reassurance that she was okay.

Liz nodded silently.

“Why don’t you take a seat Max.” It was clearly more an instruction than a suggestion…

He did as he was told, claiming the seat next to Liz and setting his bag down before reaching out towards her with his hand.

“Well Mr Evans, I’m sure you can take a guess as to what this is about…”

Max struggled not to grimace and the look on Liz’s face wasn’t much better. Her beautiful features were marred with a frown and he was sure he wasn’t mistaken in his fear…

Miss Gates decided to take that as a yes and continued, “Initially I called Liz into see me because I had heard some (as I assumed initially) wild rumours going around suggesting that she had left home… Naturally of course I didn’t expect there to be any truth to these. Perhaps there had been a misunderstanding, an overreaction…? Or maybe someone was sick?” She paused a moment. “Either way, I thought it best to find out what had caused the rumours but I was expecting to be able to clear this up very quickly…”

Rising from her desk, she came to stand in front of the two students as she continued. “The reality of course was very far from what I was expecting…” She looked from oen to the other. “Imagine my surprise when Liz informed me that not only were the rumours accurate, but then, when I probed further, she admitted that she was pregnant…”

Liz and Max looked at one another, their joined hands clasping tighter around one another in a silent show of support. This was everything they had feared and worse…

“Now I am not telling you what to do here, but I do think that if you make a decision in haste, without considering all the options, that you will be likely to regret it…” Miss Gates paused again for emphasis, allowing the teenage couple a few moments to consider her words as she moved to collect a few leaflets from the bookcase on her back wall.

Liz shot a helpless look over at her boyfriend, having gathered by this point that nothing they could say was going to prevent this…

Max on the other hand was slightly less accepting of the situation. “I can assure you we’re not rushing into anything; we’ve thought long and hard about this decision, I-“

“Many people think that there are only two options here.” Miss Gates cut him off as she proceeded as though he hadn’t spoken. “But that’s not true!” She paused a moment to lay the leaflets across the desk in front of her, displaying their covers for all to see.

‘Help, I’m pregnant!’, ‘I’m having a baby’, ‘I don’t want this’ and ‘I want to give my baby a family’ were just a few of the titles which were printed on the papers, each one complete with a lovely picture of a pregnant teen.

“You see, I know this is a difficult time for the pair of you, but I want to ensure you make the decision which is right for you… You’re both excellent students, with wonderful prospects. I would hate for this one mistake, one moment of recklessness to ruin that for you…”

Interpreting the sentence, Liz’s hand dropped immediately to her abdomen in a protective manner. “I’m not going to have a termination!”

“And that’s what your parents would like?” The councillor guessed. She had suspected as much as soon as the truth of the situation had been revealed.

A silent nod was her response.

“And your parents?” She turned to Max now.

He shifted in his seat awkwardly. “They weren’t happy but they allowed Liz to stay and they accept that it’s our decision… They say they want us to think hard about the consequences…”

“In other words they don’t really wasn’t you to have the baby either…?”

Liz didn’t bother to deny it. She had long since accepted that both sets of parents were against the birth of their first grandchild. It was a sad fact, but all she could hope was that they would come around when the baby was actually born. After all, this was a shock to them too, maybe they just needed a little time?

Max sensed a change in Liz’s stance and squeezed her hand gently in his as he addressed Miss Gates. “Perhaps that is true, but as they say, this is our decision and we don’t want to terminate!”

She nodded, removing two of the leaflets before gesturing to the set which was left on the right. “Okay, well that’s one part of the decision, but have you thought about when the baby is born?” She pushed one of the papers towards the pair, opening it out to reveal a picture of the same teen who had been pregnant together with a young couple who were cradelling a baby. Everyone was smiling. “Adoption can be a good option for many of those in your situation. And it’s not as black and white as it used to be, there are open adoptions, sometimes arrangements are even made to allow visitation on a regular basis…” She explained patiently.

It could have been a good argument, except that this wasn’t a normal situation and adoption was simply not an option. Liz and Max had two choices and they already knew there was really only one answer.

Max shook his head. “We’re going to keep the baby, we’ve decided!” He stated firmly, hoping to head this off before it got any worse.

“You have? And have you thought about what it’s going to mean, are you prepared for everything that a baby will bring?” The councillor made little secret of her views as she looked between the pair. “You’re in highschool, what sort of life are you going to be able to offer the child? Wouldn’t it be better to let it grow up with a family who can provide a comfortable, stable environment?”

Liz frowned. “And you don’t think that we can provide that?”

“Quite honestly, no! I know that you think you’re being responsible in doing this, but sometimes the responsible thing is to admit that you’re in over your head. This one event does not have to ruin your lives, it doesn’t have to make you abandon your dreams, i-“

Max had heard enough. “With all respect, I don’t think you know what you’re talking about Miss Gates! You don’t know a thing about us. We know this isn’t ideal, we know that we made a mistake perhaps, but we certainly haven’t ruined our lives.”

As he took a breath, Liz spoke up once more. “I’m not going to claim that this was planned, but we love one another, we want this baby and we’re going to make this work!”

The strength of their conviction clearly took their councillor by surprise. For a moment she scrambled for her words before recovering. “That’s as may be, but you can’t imagine how difficult this is going to be, especially if your parents aren’t supporting you…”

“We have our friends…”

“Which is fine..” She brushed away his statement, clearly doubting it’s validity. “But many teenagers will simply find that it’s too much. I know you believe that you’re going to have their support now, but you have to face the fact that you might be alone in this. Alone with a baby!” Again she paused for effect as she waited for her words to sink in.

“Have you thought about how you’ll have to change your plans…? Considered the practicality of the situation?” Deciding to start with the obvious things, she picked on Liz. “You are aware that you’re not going to get to college…?”

The brunette nodded stiffly. “Not at the moment, but maybe in the future…”

“When you have a young child, you’re both stuck with minimum wage jobs because you didn’t go to college, and you have the rent and bills and struggle to get a spare minute to yourself…?” She raised an eyebrow sceptically.

“It doesn’t have to be that way!” Max jumped in now, his retort sharp. He didn’t like the way she was speaking and Liz didn’t need this right now.

“Perhaps not Max, but the reality is that it could very easily turn out that way and you need to think very hard about this decision. It could close a lot of doors for you and dictate the rest of your life. Don’t rush into it, think about it some more perhaps, give it time…” Her tone softened as she realised she had caught a nerve. “Both of you, take a few more days, think about it, talk about it, if you want to discuss options further you know my office is always open…”

Her wrap-up came just in time as the bell sounded to signal the end of the day.

Max immediately moved to stand.


“We appreciate the talk…” He interrupted quickly although the sincerity in his tone was somewhat lacking. “Really we do, and we’ll think about it, thanks…” Truth be told he would have said anything to get out of there…

Liz picked up on what he was doing and added her own nod to his comments. “Yes, thanks Miss Gates…”

“Now if you’ll excuse us, my sister will be waiting…” Max rose to his feet, offering a hand towards his girlfriend before moving to exit the room.

The councillor made no attempt to stop them from leaving this time and, as she watched their figures disappear into the mass of bodies now filling the corridors, she simply hoped that wouldn’t come to regret whatever decision they would make… The future could be a scary thing!
My fics:

Dreams and Reality
Reality Revealed
Family Connections
When Love and Loss Collide
When Friendship and Love Combine - New!
If Only...
The Important Thing
Home for Christmas
I Knew Him Before (PB fic)
Love Always...
The First Time Around - New!

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Posts: 1130
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:54 am
Location: UK

Re: Reality Revealed (M/L CC MATURE) Ch 12 28/12/10 AN: 25/3

Post by KatnotKath » Tue May 17, 2011 4:40 pm

Hey everyone,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to this, everything recently has been really crazy - although not work related for a change - my morgage and house finally came through, but now every time I turn around it seems as though there's something else that I need to be doing or money that need spending. It's not leaving much time for writing, but I am trying to MAKE time... No promises about early updates, but I'll try to keep plodding along. Apology done, I'll move along;

keepsmiling7 - I'm glad that you wanted this to continue, I'll try my best not to disappoint. Hope that you enjoyed your catch up and that you will enjoy this next chapter too.

cjeb - You're very welcome, I'm only sorry it's taking me so long to update at the moment.

Natalie36 - Thanks for sticking with it, I hope you continue to enjoy the story.

Flaimehair - Thanks hun, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Thanks to everyone for their support and encouragement and I hope you enjoy the new chapter.


Chapter 13
Liz had left the office in a confident, secure manner. However, as soon as they were outside, her façade dropped. Suddenly it was impossible to ignore the growing exhaustion she felt. “Well that could have gone better…” She groaned thankfully as she reached the wall and dropped down onto the stone like a heavy weight.

Max was by her side in a second, joined soon after by Isabel and the rest of their friends. “Hey, breath…” He coached gently, resting a hand on her shoulder.

“Liz, are you okay?”


The group crowded around the brunette quickly, concern evident in their eyes. From Liz, their gaze shifted slowly to Max as they questioned silently what had happened.

“It’s fine, I’m okay!” Liz was quick to insist, although her tone was less than convincing it seemed.

“Tired…?” Max questioned as he took a seat next to her, a touch of his finger on her cheek causing her head to turn.

Liz shrugged and shied it off. “I’ve known worse…” She fibbed and allowed herself to rest her head against his shoulder for a moment as she gathered her strength once more. “It was just a bit awkward is all…” She continued in answer to the unasked questions of her friends. “Miss Gates had some questions to ask…”

“About what?” The question was really quite unnecessary and Michael looked anything but happy.

“What do you think?” Max scowled at his friend, clearly unimpressed.

His choice of words was not the best, and Michael reacted as such. “I think that once more this situation is calling unwanted attention to all of us!”

“Well I’m so sorry if my condition displeases you…” Liz’s tone was sharp and showed signs of hurt as she rose to her feet. “I didn’t exactly have much say in it did I…?” Despite the words however, her hand came to rest on her stomach in a protective manner and held up a finger to silence her boyfriend as he opened his mouth to apologise once more. She wasn’t looking for an apology…she wasn’t really meaning to have a go at them or even object, it was just the way that Michael’s words set her off.

“You had a say in what happened…” Michael muttered in response.

His words gained dagger-like glares from many of his friends.

“You know he doesn’t mean that!” Maria was quick to assure her friend, shooting her own piercing glare towards her boyfriend.

“Yes he does…” Liz responded softly with a shake of her head. “Come on, we all know what you guys think of this, we know it’s dangerous, and worrying, Michael I know you might be scared b-“

“I’m not scared…”

Maria arched an eyebrow in amusement. “Whatever you say…”

Liz cut back in, her tone unusually sharp. This wasn’t funny, she wasn’t amused! “Look, it doesn’t matter if you’re scared, or worried… Because right now, you know what, it’s not about you!” A fleeting look of terror passed over her eyes, followed by one of apology only moments later as she attempted to take back her previous words. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that, I don’t mean, I-“

“It’s okay…” Max squeezed her hand gently.

She shook her head, speaking in short, breathy bursts as though trying not to cry. “No, no it’s not… My emotions are all over the place… One minute I’m happy, the next I’m scared, terrified, angry…”

“I think it’s called pregnancy…” Alex offered with a smile. “Really Liz, it’s not unusual, when my Aunt was pregnant the other year my Uncle was afraid to be in the same room as her at times…she was pretty scary at times…”

Unfortunately, his reassurances weren’t quite taken the way that he had hoped. “Oh great, scary, just what I want to be…”


Pulling her hand away from his, Liz took a few steps away from the rest of the group, putting some space between the two of them. “No,,,” She raked her hair back from her face. “It’s just, I’ve thought about having kids, in the future I mean… But it was all supposed to be so different to this… “ She felt into a contemplative silence for a moment before continuing, and the others allowed her the time she needed. “It wasn’t supposed to be something which everyone considers a disaster…”

“I don’t…” Max was on his feet instantly, pulling her into his arms to provide what comfort he could.

“Lizzy no one said it was a disaster. You’re having a baby, that’s a wonderful thing…” Maria was on hand to provide a bit of back-up too, offering her best friend a wide smile before turning towards Michael. “We’re all behind you in this Chica, we completely support your decision…right Michael…?”

Her boyfriend opened his mouth to say something, but thought better of it as soon as he saw the look on her face. “Right…” He ground out deliberately and winced as he received a kick on the leg.

Despite everything, Liz found herself laughing at their interaction and it was a few more minutes before she could continue. “Thank you…” She glanced around at their friends with a smile. “I really mean that, I appreciate all the support you’re giving… It’s just difficult to ignore the things that Miss Gates said…”

“She’s a school councillor, you shouldn’t take things she says to heart…” Isabel argued. Anyone could see that the meeting had been a difficult one for the couple and the last thing they probably needed was to rehash it right now. “She’s just saying what she thinks she should do…because it’s the politically correct thing, or it’s the answer that her guidelines say is right…”

“She’s not the only one though is she?” Liz objected with a shake of her head as she pulled a water-bottle from her bag to take a sip.

“What do you mean? Chica>”

“Our parents…” Max provided. “It’s not like Liz’s parents were happy…”

His girlfriend nearly choked as her impulse said to laugh. “That would be the understatement of the century…” She commented with a slightly bitter edge to her tone. This wasn’t supposed to be so difficult…

“But mom and dad-“

Max interrupted his sister before she could get very far. “Mom and dad don’t want us to have the baby… Whatever they might say, whatever they might do, we know how they really feel…”

Isabel immediately shook her head. “I’m sure that’s not true, they were just shocked, and surprised, they’ll come around… They’ve said that Liz was welcome to stay haven’t they…?” She attempted to defend her parents.

Her brother looked less than convinced, but it was Liz who responded. “Yes they’ve let me stay, but that doesn’t mean they’re happy about this… Their acceptance of me staying isn’t so much a sign of acceptance, as of duty… Max is the father, and I don’t have anywhere else to go – what are they supposed to do…?”

The brunette fell silent for a few moments before continuing as she addressed her friend. Isabel, I know you want to believe that they’ll come around, I do too, believe me. I want to believe that we’re going to have the support of our parents, that our child will have loving and doting grandparents. However, I think we have to have to face facts - people don’t approve of what’s happening and help is not going to be forthcoming…”

No sooner were the words out of her mouth than Maria had stood up once more. “Think again Chica! We’re going to be right there for you! No way are the two of you going to be alone…” She stated firmly.

“Maria’s right…you’ll have to try harder than that if you want to get rid of us…” Alex spoke up now, adding his own assurances to that of the rest of the group. “That little bump of yours has already got two sets of ready and willing Aunts and Uncles…” He smiled softly as his gaze rested on her abdomen for a moment. As yet, there was still very little, if any, indication of the momentous events taking place inside her womb and certainly no one would guess that she was expecting…

“But it’s not your problem…you shouldn-“

Isabel cut in before Liz could get very far. “Liz, you’re our friend, our family… And you won’t be alone in this as long as we’re around I promise..”

“Right, you can’t get rid of us that easily…” Maria joined in.

Considering the delicate state of the brunette’s emotions, it hardly came as a surprise these well meaning words brought tears to her eyes and, as Max gathered his girlfriend into his arms, he wrapped her tightly in his embrace as his lips descended onto hers.

For a moment, all that mattered was the two of them and all thoughts of the complications which were to come in the following months were forgotten. Their respite was cut all too short however, by a loud cough. The whole group turned immediately. “Oh, Mr Jones…hi, we were just-“

“Leaving…” Liz added as she and Max pulled apart.

Mr Jones, a middle aged, grey-haired professor was usually one of the least understanding teachers and true to form, he wore a sour expression as he responded, “That would seem like a good idea…”

“Most definitely…” Alex nodded sharply as he moved to shuffle Isabel away.

“Right, heading home…” Maria followed suit as she grabbed Michael’s hand and yanked him away whist Max assisted Liz a little more gently towards the car, In moments, all were on their way and the school was left far behind.


“Max…?” Liz rapped her knuckled on her boyfriend’s bedroom door softly as she called to him.


Within seconds the door opened to reveal Max’s familiar well-muscled figure, one hand tugging the bottom of his shirt down to cover an exposed expanse of chest. His expression was questioning and concerned. “Hey…I thought you were resting…” He reached out to thread his fingers through hers, “Are you okay?”

“What, oh yeah, of course…” She pulled her hand away from his a little too sharply, causing another questioning look to come her way. The brunette smiled and shook her head, waving away his concern. “Really Max, I’m fine…”

“If you’re sure…” Her boyfriend continued to watch her carefully, his brow creased with concern. “I know this afternoon was difficult for you…”

She swallowed . “For you too…” Liz appeared to think for a moment before continuing. “And yeah, I don’t deny that it was difficult…but right now I can’t afford to be upset…”

“What do you mean…?”

The distress that Liz felt was evident as she wrung her hands together. “I-I need a lift Max, to the Crashdown…” Everything inside was screaming to say that she needed to go home, but of course that wasn’t true anymore…it wasn’t her home, it wasn’t her house…

Her words left him no less confused or concerned. “The Crashdown? Why would you-?“ Max broke off as he noticed the look on her face, reaching once more for her hand.

This time, his girlfriend didn’t pull away but instead allowed herself to be brought into his arms for a moment.

“Liz, it’s okay, it’s okay…” Max wrapped her tightly in his arms, offering the reassurance, repeated over and over.

Finally, after allowing herself a few moments to rebuild her composure, Liz pulled back slowly. “Sorry, as you said, it’s just been…difficult…” She explained, “Maria’s just called to say that my parents have gone out… It’s probably a good time to go and pick up some extra stuff you know…?”

The explanation now clear, Max wasted no further time in asking questions and instead dived back into his room to receive the keys for the jeep. A few moments later saw the pair climbing into the vehicle but it was as Max placed the key in the ignition that he rethought their intentions and halted.

“Max…?” Liz registered the change in his posture.

He turned in his seat to face her. “Are you sure, I mean don’t you think maybe it would be a better idea to go over there when your parents are there, when you could speak to them?”

The brunette shook her head swiftly, a sad expression on her face. “You know as well as I do that it wouldn’t be a good idea…”

“Maybe the-“

“NO!” She interrupted him quickly. “No,” She repeated. “We spoke to them together, I went to see them last week… Their attitude hasn’t changed so we don’t have anything to talk about! They think I’m ruining my life, t-“

Max couldn’t hold it in any longer. “Are you sure you’re not…?” He questioned, days and weeks of worry coming to a head.

“Max!” Her eyes were wide with shock. “Where did that come from?”

Her boyfriend shrugged awkwardly, offering an apologetic look. “I’m sorry Lizzy, I just can’t help thinking, especially after what you said to Miss Gates today… I-”

She reached out, touching his face to make him look at her once more. “Max, look at me! I told her I wanted this baby…”

“Yeah, but what about college, what about all your plans…? I mean you’ve dreamt of Harvard since you were a kid, you’ve planned what you’re going to do with your life…and-“

“And there’s no reason why plans shouldn’t change…” She finished for him. “I can go to college later, I don’t see this as ruining my life! Fast-tracking it maybe, but ruining it, no!” Liz paused before continuing. “It’s okay, I love you, I want this baby and together we’ll make this work…” To punctuate her words, she closed the brief distance between their lips quickly, crashing against his hard as she poured all her need and want into that one small action. When done, she pulled back, repeating, “Together we’ll make this work…”

Max looked at her for a moment without saying anything, absorbing every small detail of her appearance. Finally, he nodded. “Together we’ll make this work…” He echoed her words, stealing another sweet kiss from her quickly before sitting back once more and starting the ignition. Ae the engine roared to life, he glanced back over at his girlfriend before putting the car into gear and pulling away. They were going to be okay…


So different… Liz couldn’t help noting the appearance of the room which had been hers for so long. The skeleton of the room was the same as ever of course; the same furniture, the same carpet. However, all the things which had personalised it were gone!

Shelves were bare, stripped of their contents, drawers had been emptied. The dressing table was reduced to a fitted mirror over a chest of drawers and a small shelf on the side. On the whole, it was, unimpressive…

Her wardrobe door was open, revealing that all the contents had been removed. A single clock was left on the wall and the hook on the back of her door was empty. Even her bed was bare, the bedding having been removed it seemed, since she left, and not replaced.

When combined with the impersonal appearance of the room, it was in fact quiet eerie…

Two large bags and a couple of cardboard boxes littered the floor, all the books, clothes and knickknacks packed away into such a relatively small space.

All her life packed up and ready to go…

The brunette wandered towards the window and stood for a moment, looking out.

“Liz…?” Max followed her, placing a hand on her shoulder gently.

She turned to face him and pressed her face into his chest, her breathing short and rapid. Her hand resting on his chest, it balled into a fist, taking with it some of the fabric of his shirt as she clung to him desperately, clinging to the only thing that was keeping her sane.

“It’s okay…it’s okay…” Max ran his hand over her hair gently, over and over in a comforting manner. “It’s okay Liz, it’s going to be okay…”

“Guys…” Their moment was interrupted as Maria called to them and opened the door. As soon as she noticed their posture, she apologised, saying that she should have knocked.

Liz pulled back swiftly, shaking her head at this. “No, Maria, it’s fine, really…” She assured the blond as she crossed the room.

“Sorry, I know this might not be the best time, but I just got a call from your parents to say they were hoping to be back in about fifteen minutes… If you want to avoid seeing them I suggest you get moving…” She trailed off, noting the sad expression her words caused in her friend.

Max too had noted the effect and once more he approached his girlfriend. “Liz…”

She was silent, making no attempt to move.

“Chica…? Lizzy, are you okay?” Maria’s words were almost enough to make one laugh considering but she meant well.

Her friend however, still didn’t move. In fact, it was another few minutes before she gave any indication of having heard either of them as she turned to survey the room once more, assessing whether there was anything left to do in the time left.

The answer seemed obvious, there was nothing left… Except…

Without a word, she moved back to the window, raising the sash and climbing outside before either Max or Maria could object. Once outside, she crossed the roof quickly, ignoring the calls of her friends as she neared her objective.

“Liz?” Maria peered out the window and turned to Max. “What’s she-?”

Their questions were soon answered as they saw the brunette kneel down by the wall and extract a small book from behind one of the bricks.

“Your diary?” Max prompted as he helped her climb back inside.

Liz nodded. “Yeah…” Again she looked around the room before glancing towards the clock which still hung on the wall. She nodded and exhaled slowly. “Okay..I think I’m done…” Fitting actions to words, she moved towards one of the waiting boxes and bent down.

Her boyfriend was quick to scold. “Hey, leave that! I’ll take it…” He reached to squeeze her hand before stacking two boxes on top of one another, hefting them in his arms easily and heading out of the room.

Next Liz tried one of the bags, and received a similar response from Maria as her friend told her to sit down.

“You know I’m not sick…” She began to protest but was quickly cut off.

“No, you’re pregnant and you shouldn’t be lifting this kind of thing!” Max’s tone would brook no further objections and she conceded to the request to rest as she dropped back down on the bare mattress.

Another trip from both Maria and Max cleared the room, and Liz rose to follow them. As she passed through the door, she couldn’t help but look back, biting down hard on her lip at what she saw. Swallowing, she forced herself to move forward, leaning back in to turn out the light and extinguishing her last trace of the home she had grown up in.

Maria was waiting at the back exit as she approached. “Hey…”

Liz forced a smile as she drew her friend into a hug. “Thanks Maria… She sniffed and forced herself to breath. “Okay, well we’re gonna get out of here, I’ll see you tomorrow…” Raising a hand in farewell, she passed out of the back door to the Crashdown for what she was painfully aware could be the last time.

“Come on, let’s get you out of here…” Max wrapped an arm around her shoulders, guiding her towards the car. He opened the passenger door, checking that she was settled before going around and getting in himself. A moment later the engine roared to life and the jeep pulled away from the kerb, heading down the street just as a car approached from the opposite direction.

Pulling up outside the Crashdown, Liz’s parents were unaware of how close their daughter had been only moments before as they headed back into the café.


“Knock knock…”

Isabel reached for the door with a look of amusement. “I wonder who that could be…” She nodded to her brother as his face was revealed. “I’m guessing I’m not who you’re wanting to speak to…” She excused herself quickly with the excuse of brushing her teeth, allowing the couple a few moments of privacy.

Max nodded as he entered the room “Hey…” He greeted his girlfriend.

“Hey…” Her response was less than enthusiastic.

“Hey…” He eyed her carefully. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

The brunette bit down on her lip and nodded. “Yeah, it just felt a bit strange, that’s all…” She assured him. Her attempt to play her feelings down however, wasn’t helped by the way her eyes were welling up and she was forced to dab with a tissue to stop the tears which threatened to fall.

“You know if you want to go back, if you want to try and talk to them, we can…”

She shook her head, her response short. “No, I’m not welcome!”

“I’m sure you’re wrong, they’d love to have you come home, t-“

Liz refused to be drawn into discussion over this. “They wouldn’t want the baby though, and it’s a part of me now!” Her attempts to remain composed and aloof were failing miserably as the need to cry grew stronger and stronger.

Eventually she could stand it no longer and before his very eyes, Max was forced to watch as his girlfriend crumbled and tears poured from her eyes. Dropping down onto the bed beside her, he drew her into his arms once more, holding her close as he rocked back and forth much as you would with a baby. Her cries went right to the centre of his heart, shattering it, and more than anything he wished he could take this pain from her. More than anything he wanted to be able to make it right, but all he could do was be there, and show her she wasn’t alone…

That was how the couple were sat when Isabel returned. She offered to leave them again, but both declined.

Forcing herself to find some shred of composure, Liz pulled back from Max, saying he should probably get to bed.

He was reluctant to say the least, but deep down he knew there was nothing more to do.

“I’ll look after her…” Isabel assured her brother softly as she followed him to the door.

He nodded. “Promise me you’ll come and get me if necessary…”

“I promise…” Isabel nodded again and watched him disappear into his own room through the gap before closing it gently and returning to where her friend was sat. “How are you doing…?”

Liz looked up and then returned her attention to the mirror she was using as she pulled a brush through her silky locks. Every pull, deliberate and slow, she used the time to pull herself together mentally…


The brunette closed her eyes briefly and counted to ten before responding, “I-I think I’m okay now… I just felt as though it was all too much…”

“It’s understandable…” Isabel continued her own preparations for bed but her gaze didn’t waver. “You know I don’t think I’d be coping half as well with all this as you and Max seem to be…”

Liz laughed softly at her words. Coping well…she didn’t feel like she was… “You know it wasn’t anything to do with the baby this time, not really…” She paused a moment and then continued. “It was just really hard to go back, to see what I had lost…”

She fell silent for a moment, and Isabel made no attempt to speak as she waited for her to continue. “I’m not saying that you haven’t all been great, b-“

“But it’s not the same…” The blond interrupted this time, watching her friend.

“No…” She admitted softly. “I went back into my room, and so many memories came flooding back. I just wanted mom and dad to appear and for them to hug me and tell me that everything is going to be okay…” Tears glistened in her eyes once more. “I know it’s not going to happen, I know that I have to accept it, and I have to deal with it. I need to focus on the present and the future... And yet, I can’t… I still miss them…”

It was one of the first times she had admitted that out-loud, and the effect was obvious. Her voice wavered and silent trails of despair made their way down her cheeks. “I am scared you know… You all say that I’m coping so well, but I’m really not… I feel scared, and screwed up… I know that I have to find a way to make this work, but at times I don’t have a clue how I’m going to go about that…” She exhaled slowly, fighting to keep even the tiniest shred of control. It was fighting a loosing battle however, and moments later she was again in pieces.

“Oh Liz…” Isabel lowered herself onto the bed next to the brunette as she opened her arms towards her. “You don’t need to hide it, you don’t need to be strong…” She shook her head from side to side. “You should have told us how you were feeling, it’s understandable, it’s not something to be ashamed of…”

It was all that Liz could do to stop crying for even a moment as she pulled back to face her friend. “I thought I was able to cope with it on my own… I thought it was better this way…” She offered a weak smile. “I’m sorry Isabel. I didn’t consciously decide to hide it, it just…happened…”

Isabel returned the smile. “Well just remember, it’s not good to bottle things up and you don’t need to hide this from us. We want to help in any way we can…” She gestured towards the room which lay beyond that one with a smile, indicating the guy who lay within. “You and Max don’t need to do this alone… I know you love each other desperately – my brother is besotted with you! However you don’t have to deal with this on your own…”

The tears on Liz’s face were beginning to dry and the smile she managed this time was a little bit more convincing as she reached back to hug Isabel once more. “Thank you…”
My fics:

Dreams and Reality
Reality Revealed
Family Connections
When Love and Loss Collide
When Friendship and Love Combine - New!
If Only...
The Important Thing
Home for Christmas
I Knew Him Before (PB fic)
Love Always...
The First Time Around - New!

User avatar
Roswell Fanatic
Posts: 1130
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:54 am
Location: UK

Re: Reality Revealed (CC,M/L,MATURE) Ch 13 17/05/11

Post by KatnotKath » Sat May 31, 2014 8:46 am

Hey everyone,

I know I've been missing in action for some time and whilst I know you may not be interested, I feel as though I should at least try to give an explanation. The last couple of years have been difficult, in more ways than one. A unexpected death in my family last year was pretty much the straw that broke the camels back so to speak, and I went without any writing at all for over six months making previous writer's block seem like nothing.

All that said though, I'm slowly trying to get back on top of things, and writing here is a big part of that. I'm not going to promise to update every week, or anything like that, but I do hope to stay out of dead and buried! I'd love to hear what you think of the new part.

Thanks for reading :)


Chapter 14

“Yo Maxwell, what’s up?” Michael questioned as he dropped down opposite his friend on the grass a short distance away from the school building. To his surprise, Max didn’t even look up. In fact, the only greeting he got in response was by way of a grunt.

So much for his usual social self… Eyeing him for a moment, Michael studied his friend in silence.

Max barely even acknowledged the fact that he was no longer alone, his attention fixed uneeringly on the newspaper in front of him.

“Oh yeah, I’m having a good day thanks…” Michael attempted again to engage him.

“Oh hey Michael…” Max glanced over for a split second, before turning his attention back to his reading.

Michael squinted towards the printed sheet, attempting to read but it was too far away, not to mention upside down. He gave up with a shrug and instead, adopted a more direct approach. “What’s so interesting…?”

Once more, he received no response as Max maintained his silence.

His friend frowned. This was getting silly! Not that Max was a chatterbox at the best of times, but talking to him wasn’t usually like trying to get blood from a stone. What was going on? He pondered the question for a moment, only then realising that he had failed to register the lack of other company.

No Liz, Alex, Maria or even Isabel… Usually at least a few of them had lunch together and there had been times that he had begun to think that Liz and Max were surgically attached. “Liz finally got sick of you?”

Even his attempt to get a rise failed. Letting out a grunt of exasperation, the spiky-haired teen reached out to tug the paper away. “What is with you to-“ He began but was cut off as this last certainly got a response.

“HEY Michael, what are you doing?” Max turned his head towards his friend with a look of annoyance as he made a grab for his reading material. “I was looking at that!”

“So I noticed…” Michael shook his head. I swear a bomb could have gone off and you’d have been still sitting right there…” Retaining the paper, he peered at the columns of fine print, genuinely curious about what had captured his friend’s interest so completely.

“Yeah, I guess I was a little preoccupied…” Max allowed with a shrug.

“A little…?” His friend laughed. “That would be an understatement.”

“I guess…” The other teen didn’t seem so amused at his observations. Truth be told, laughing wasn’t something he did very much these days…

His serious demeanour wasn’t something that escaped Michael’s notice. Perhaps he didn’t share his emotions as easily as some of the rest of the group, and maybe he wasn’t the most eloquent when trying to express them, but there were times when he could be as observant as anyone else.

As much as Max might try and make out he was taking everything in his stride, as many times as he might argue he wasn’t the one suffering, Michael saw through his excuses and could see that recent events had taken their toll. “Is it Liz…?” He questioned in a low tone now as he met his gaze.

“Kind of…” He admitted with another shrug as he looked away.

“Is something wrong with the baby?”

His query caused Max to turn sharply back towards his friend. “Are you hoping there is?” He shot back, his manner suddenly brisk and cold. A strange look passed across his eyes and then, as soon as it had appeared, the sharpness was gone, replaced by an apology made in a weary tone. “Sorry Michael, that’s not fair of me…”

“Glad you realise that…” Michael shook his head. Not that he would admit it, but that last had hurt… “Look Max, I know I have seemed angry about this, and I’m not going to lie to you and say I was wrong and I’ve changed my mind – our friendship deserves more than that…” He frowned, never being one for long speeches, “Truth is I still think it’s a mistake, but believe me when I say that I don’t wish Liz or the baby any harm…” If anything, despite his displeasure at the situation, he actually felt extremely protective of the brunette and even more so of the unborn child she was carrying. Perhaps it was something in his genetic make-up – protect the heir…?

Max managed a small smile of appreciation as he nodded. “I do believe you Michael…” He sighed, He was sorry that it seemed his friend still withheld his ‘blessing’, but an acceptance was better than nothing and it wasn’t as though he failed to see his viewpoint. The situation was…complicated… “As said, I’m sorry to take things out on you, I didn’t mean to…”

“So you say…” Michael waited for a moment, to see if his friend would offer anything more by way of explanation. When he did not, he tried again. “So, you never answered me, if there something wrong with Liz or the baby?”

“What?” Max still seemed a little preoccupied, but he did manage to shake his head. “No, that’s not it…” He murmured in response.

“Okay…” Michaeal dropped onto his back in the grass, looking up at his friend. “So, what’s going on then, what’s new…?”

“Nothing much…”

“Oh no…?” Michael raised his eyebrows and turned sideways, glancing at the paper again. “So what are you looking for in here…thinking of picking up a cheap weekend away for you and the missus?” It actually wasn’t such a bad idea – a bit of time away might do wonders for them both. As long as they stayed in touch of course… Or maybe he could stretch to taking Maria too, give her some of that attention she was always asking for and that way he would be there should there be any trouble…?
Again Max snatched at the paper, this time causing it to tear down the middle leaving one half with each of them. Groaning, he raked a hand through his hair, his eyes deep with emotion. What was he doing? “What? Oh no, no holiday…” He shrugged again. “Nice idea, but we couldn’t afford to, gotta save at the moment you know…”

His response left Michael less interested in his actual reason for reading the paper then he was concerned about his friend’s general wellbeing. He looked like sh*t! Before he could voice more of his concerns however, his friend spoke again.

“I was looking for an apartment…” He volunteered in a low tone.

Michael couldn’t hide his surprise. “An apartment…?” He paused and then, “Have your parents kicked you out…?” He didn’t remember hearing anything of the sort and would hope he would be informed should such a thing happen.

“No…” Max shook his head. “But-“

The second boy cut him off sharply. “So why…?” He shook his head, unable to understand. For him, getting his own apartment had been a necessity, but even then it had been difficult… His circumstances had left him with little choice, and he was grateful to Mr Evans for helping him, but he simply couldn’t imagine that the lawyer would put his own son into the same situation. He knew full well how much Michael would and had struggled and had initially urged him to consider any other possible routes. Reporting Hank, another foster family, even checking, although he pretty much knew the answer, if there was anyone else in the way of family. To put it simply, his emancipation had been the last choice when everything else had been eliminated…. “Why the overreaction – I’m sure nothing is as bad as you think…”

His friend was a little taken aback. “It isn’t an overreaction!” He shot back a little too quickly. “My parents are against us having the baby, of course they don’t want us to stay…”

“Have they actually said that?”

Since when did Michael sound so reasonable…? Max frowned. “No, but I know how they feel…it’s obvious from the way that they talk, and they keep telling us they think we’re making a mistake…” He shook his head with a sigh. “Perhaps they haven’t said we should leave in so many words, but it would be better all around. The constant looks and comments are affecting Liz badly, the atmosphere in the house isn’t a healthy one for any of us – not least the baby…”

There it was again, the baby… And Michael couldn’t claim to disagree with Max’s parents. Instead, he remained silent, allowing his friend to continue.

“Once the baby is here it will be even more difficult… There’s no enough room at my house. Liz is already sharing with Isabel, my parents won’t even consider letting the two of us share a room and it’s cramped enough as it is, it just wouldn’t be fair…” Max tried to explain slowly. “I just figured that it would be best if we tried to get settled before then, deal with one thing at a time you know…”

His logic was at least sound, Michael allowed, even if he wasn’t completely convinced by the practicality of the situation. “Okay, so say that you’re right… How are you going to afford it…?”

That was exactly the question Max didn’t want to answer. “I guess that’s the bit I’m not so sure about…” He admitted reluctantly. “But I’m going to find a way!”

“And how does Liz feel about this…?”

“I haven’t told her…” Max sighed, screwing up the remains of the paper in his fist. “I don’t want to say anything about it until I have it fixed… She has enough going on in her head at the moment…” He slammed the paper down onto the ground and released it there, staring…

Michael touched his finger to the paper briefly, causing it to crumple into dust. “Well, you don’t have to do it alone.” Then, sensing he would probably like some time to himself, he pushed himself to his feet and nodded. “Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help…”


“Are you still doing a lot of extra shifts…?” Liz questioned of Maria as they wandered around the school yard together. She couldn’t help but feel a little bit guilty over the number of extra hours her friend had been putting in at the Crashdown since she left. Sense dictated that, after making their views clear, her parents should have tried to fill their gap in the rostor as soon as possible. It wouldn’t have been that difficult – there were plenty of kids at school who were always eager for part-time jobs in the evening. It might have meant shifting things around a bit – Maria would have to take on the shifts where Liz had acted as manager, but it wasn’t that difficult.

Maria nodded. “Yeah, it’s good money at least…” She allowed. Truth be told, she was really quite tired but the last thing she wanted was to make her friend feel worse than she already did. Of course she could have told Mr and Mrs Parker straight out that she couldn’t continue to cover for Liz. That they should find a replacement to fill the gap… Except… Well… There were two things: Number one – she didn’t like to let them down. Number two was perhaps more important though – she was still hoping they might come around, and she couldn’t take away that possibility from her friend.

By far the best outcome for everyone would be for Liz’s parents to realise that they had made a huge mistake. “They want you to come back you know…” She commented softly to the brunette.

The second of the girls paused mid-stride. Her eyes stung with tears as a hand dropped to her abdomen. “Sure they do…” She allowed slowly, “As long as I come back without the baby…” She bit down on her lip, hard, in an attempt to stem the tide of threatening tears before it could fully begin. She sniffed and looked away for a moment. “It’s not going to happen you know…”

Maria drew in a deep breath as she watched her friend for a moment. She hated to see her this way. If only there was something she could do to help… “Why don’t you talk to them chica… You don’t know how they hav-“ She began, attempting to something, anything, to help with the rift which had formed between the brunette and her parents.

Liz however, wasn’t going to go for it as she cut her friend off sharply mid-sentence. “My parents made their views perfectly clear, and I don’t think they’re going to change their minds…” She shook her head sadly as she turned back to her friend. “If they were really willing to change their minds, don’t you think they should call…? Don’t you think they should make even the slightest effort to talk to me?” She didn’t allow for her friend to respond, but instead continued as she dropped down onto a nearby bench. “Did you know I saw my father the other day…?”

Her best friend shook her head slowly. “No…you didn’t mention it…”

Liz swallowed as she wrangled internally for control over her emotions. It would be so easy to just completely break down, to crumble. It would be so easy to give up…

“Liz…?” Reaching for her hand, Maria too sat now, eyeing the brunette in concern.

“He walked straight past me…” Her voice was so soft now that it would have been easy to miss had one not been listening carefully. Any louder however, and Liz would loose the internal battle she was fighting to remain in control.

Her curly haired friend leant forward slightly, not at all sure she had heard correctly. “Perhaps he didn’t see you…” She suggested, grasping for anything that might help to improve the other girl’s mood.

The brunette shook her head. “No…” She whispered, raking one hand through her hair as she pushed it back from her face to reveal her bloodshot eyes. A few tears had managed to escape her campaigne of control and had started to trace tracks down her cheeks. Her skin was so pale she almost looked like a ghost and her tone as she continued now was eerily calm in contrast to the earlier surplus of emotion. “I was in the supermarket, picking up some groceries for Mrs Evans… My dad came in behind me and when I heard him talking to Mr Eden I turned and I tried to say hi, to ask how he was doing… He looked through me and walked past without a word”.

Maria really didn’t know what to say. She had never seen her friend like this before. The whole situation was clearly pulling her apart at the seams and now…now it seemed almost as though she had turned off, perhaps unable to cope anymore, and all that was left was a shell. “Oh Chica…” She drew her friend into her arms quickly and held her there, before she registered how unresponsive Liz was to the effort.

She pulled back and eyed her friend carefully. “Okay, well all I can say is it’s their loss…” She forced herself to offer a small smile in an attempt at reassurance. “They’re the ones that are missing out Chica, and I promise not to bring them up again. “

Liz nodded stiffly. “The ball’s in their court now…”

Maria sighed and reached out towards her friend once more. “Oh Chica, you know I’m always going to be here for you right…?”

The brunette’s frame shook for a moment. She even managed the smallest of smiles as she nodded, then crumbled into her friends arms, sobbing…


A short time later the two girls sat together, a comfortable silence having fallen over the pair.

“So….” Maria finally spoke, looking over at her friend. “What do you do next?” The question was made tentatively, not wanting to upset her friend further, but the interest was genuine. “Is there anything I can do to help?”

The brunette laughed sadly. “Can you get me a new job…?” Swallowing, she forced a weak smile and shook her head. “Didn’t think so…”

“You’re having difficulty…?” Maria guessed.

Liz nodded. “You could say that…” She had combed the town over the last week, and there was simply N-O-T-H-I-N-G! She raked her hands through her hair desperately, her words dripping with disgust. “If it isn’t that they’re friend’s of my parents, then they’re concerned about how being on my feet for long periods of time might affect the baby…”

“Friends o—“ Maria began to repeat and then broke off sharply, staring at her friend in amazement. “You mean they’ve blackballed you – your own parents?”

“Well, a little less dramatic than that…” Liz shrugged, trying to hide the hurt she felt. “They called in some favours – I think they have this idea that I’ll just put up my hands and go home and we’ll all go back to how it used to be…”

“And that would be so bad…to go home I mean…?”

“No!” She turned her head away from her friend, not wanting her to see the tears she could feel pricking at her eyes. “Of course it wouldn’t – if they allowed for some changes too…”

The truth was that there was practically nothing she wanted more than to run back into her mother’s arms, to feel her father’s lips on the top of her head. To be their little girl… Nothing except this baby… Her hand grazed her stomach absently as she allowed herself a moment of thought.

“It’ll be okay…” Maria placed her hand over that of her friend with a smile.

Liz stiffened and nodded. “Of course, of course it will be…”

“Does Max know about the difficulties you’re having…?”

Liz shook her head. “Not exactly…” She took a breath. “I didn’t want to worry him – this is my problem, not his…”

Maria shook her head. “You know he wouldn’t agree with that…” She protested.

Her friend held up a hand. “Please, don’t…” She grabbed Maria’s arm. “Promise me that you won’t talk to him about it! Max has enough on his plate and I don’t want load him with yet more.”

“I don’t know Lizzy… Don’t you think he should know if your parents are actively trying to prevent you getting a job…?”

“Why?” The brunette shot back almost aggressively. She grimaced as she noted her tone and immediately apologised. “I’m sorry Ria, I know you’re only trying to help, but this isn’t going to affect Max, his work st the UFO centre isn’t just about to disappear, I—“

“Don’t you get it, it affects him because it affects you…” Maria gave her a wry smile. “You’re in this together, it comes with the territory…”

Her friend groaned. “Please, no Maria, not at the mo—“

Liz broke off suddenly and after one look at her face, any thought Maria had of the Parkers and telling Max was gone, replaced by only a genuine worry for her best friend. “Liz?”

The teenager was as white as a sheet. Gone was any sign of the energy which she had been full of only moments before – she looked as though she could pass out any moment!

“Here, have my jacket…” Maria added the extra layer to her friend’s shoulders before rummaging in her bag for her phone. “Don’t worry, I’ll call Max, he’ll be here soon!”

“No!” Despite her impaired state, Liz’s refusal was firm. “It’ll be okay!” She insisted, continuing before her friend had time to object. “I just get faint sometimes… It’s the baby – I spoke to the doctor and he says that it’s perfectly normal to get the occasional dizzy spells.

Maria didn’t look convinced. “That looks like more than a dizzy spell to me…” She shook her head. “I really think that Max should check you over…”

Once again, the request was denied. “No… It’ll be okay Maria just…sit with me a bit…please…?”

In contrast to the determination in the refusal, this latter request was made in little more than a whisper. Maria smiled - there was no question as to her answer, “Of course…”
My fics:

Dreams and Reality
Reality Revealed
Family Connections
When Love and Loss Collide
When Friendship and Love Combine - New!
If Only...
The Important Thing
Home for Christmas
I Knew Him Before (PB fic)
Love Always...
The First Time Around - New!

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Re: Reality Revealed (CC,M/L,MATURE) Ch 14 31/05/14 AN 28/8

Post by KatnotKath » Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:57 am

Hey everyone, sorry for the delay. Thanks to everyone reading, and for the feedback.

Carolyn - Hope it was worth the time spent to reread? :). Dizzy spells - don't worry too much, think of them as baby's way of saying hi. Hope you don't hate me too much for writing things as hard - I don't do much fluff these days. I'm going for a little lighter in parts on this next chapter though, I hope you enjoy it.

Natalie - I'm trying, sorry it didn't come sooner and thanks for your patience.

Emerald - you're very welcome, I'm glad you enjoyed it and hope you continue to do so. Here's more!

Hope everyone reading is enjoying the story - as always I'd love to hear what you think. And with that, onto the next chapter - enjoy!


Chapter 15

“You know…” Maria commented softly as she looked over at her friend. “I still find it pretty crazy to think that you’re having a baby… The truth was, that unless someone already knew about it, there was nothing immediately obvious about the petite brunette’s figure that would suggest such a thing. In fact,, despite her serious symptoms, Liz had barely put on any weight to date and her stomach was as flat as ever. It was like something out a dream, or maybe to put it more correctly a nightmare, and she was still waiting to wake up…

Liz seemed amused by her comment. “And it isn’t crazy to me…?” She shook her head slowly admitting, “Deep down I know it’s true, and yet there’s a part of me that is still searching for that other logical and scientific reason that might explain it some other way.”. Pausing a moment, she took a break and began to trace small circles over her stomach. “Not that I’m not happy but…”

“…it’s not what you would have planned…” Maria finished with a small smile as her friend broke off.

She nodded. “Right…” Liz paused another moment before elaborating. “And I guess sometimes it just still doesn’t seem real… It’s like something that’s happening to another person…” As she listened to herself, she knew she sounded crazy, but she couldn’t help it. She settled her hands in her lap with a sigh. It was just…

Noting that the brunette had broken off and fallen into silence again, Maria reached over to squeeze her hand. “Well, I just know you’re going to be fine!” She enthused. And she wasn’t lying… It might be less than ideal and unplanned, but even so, she couldn’t think of a couple that was more likely to succeed. Liz and Max together were just…right.

Liz remained silent, her gaze fixed in her lap.

“Lizzie, chica..!” Maria pressed, squeezing her hand again in an effort to force her to meet her eyes..

“Whatever…” The response from the brunette was non committal at best.

“I’m not just saying this you know…” Her friend sighed and gave a wry smile. “And not wanting to sound all dramatic here, but I kinda think that I know a little about this subject…” It was no secret that her mom had been younger than most when she had her, nor that her dad had been absentee for longer than she could remember. Not that her mom hadn’t tried her best, of course she knew she had, but realistically both the girls knew that consequently she also knew quite a bit about when someone didn’t cope so well… There had been difficulties… And in no way did Maria believe that was the way it would be for Liz and Max! There was just something about the pair, somehow she knew they could make it work!

Liz raked a hand through her hair slowly. As she pulled it away, it could be seen that she was trembling. She buried her hand in her lap and swallowed.. “I-I want to believe you…believe me I do…” She shook her head. “But there are times when I Just don’t know…” Could they really do this? One day she would believe just that, and then another she wondered if they were deluding themselves.

Her friend smiled. “Well, I do…” She nodded eagerly, her tone sincere. “I just know that you’re going to be a great mom…”

Despite everything, Liz couldn’t help but laugh. “What would I do without you…?” She queried with a sigh.

Maria grinned, pleased to see a smile, albeit a small one on her face. “Oh you’d fall apart of course!” She joked before falling back into her previous, more serious tone. “First of all, I know you’d manage just fine but second…you won’t have to find out…” She reached out again to rest her hand on Liz’s shoulder.

Liz covered it with her own, turning to look back at her friend. Her smile was more genuine than it had been in days. “Thank you…” She murmured softly.

“That’s what friends are for!”

She gave a wry smile. “Yeah well, you’re a really good friend at that…”

“Guilty as charged!” Maria returned, holding up her hands as though in surrender. “But don’t underestimate yourself - You’ve been a good friend back…”

The pair fell silent for a moment, thinking.

“We’ve been friends for a long time…” Liz commented.

“Been through a lot…”

The brunette gave a wry smile. “And don’t you know we even survived…” To an outsider, her words were jovial, yet there was a meaning behind them that only those in the group could understand.

Maria nodded slowly. “And we’ll continue to…” She responded gravely.

“Thank you…”

“You already said that…” Her eyebrows rose in amusement.

“Yeah, I know…” Liz acknowledged the truth in her words with a nod. She knew she was repeating herself, but it needed to be said. She couldn’t begin to express just how grateful she was for everything that Maria had done over the time she had known her. She couldn’t have asked for a better friend. “But I still mean it…” She paused a moment. “I can’t thank you enough for everything that you’ve said and done…”

“Well, I guess I’ll repeat myself as well.” Maria grinned. “You don’t have to thank me, and you need to remember that I’ve not the only one either – we’re all here for you…”

“Funny, Isabel said the same thing to me.” She nodded and smiled.

“Well, it’s true…And don’t you forget it!” Maria opened her arms to her friend and the two embraced in silence before sitting back on the bench in silence, each lost in their thoughts and memories of the past.


As Alex emerged from the school building, his gaze fell instinctively upon a figure in the distance. She was like honey to a bee. The blond sat with her back to him, her gaze directed out towards the parking lot, no doubt waiting for her brother and his girlfriend to arrive.

Crossing quickly towards her with a smile, he snuck up behind the bench quietly and, as he reached her, leant towards her ear to whisper, “Hello gorgeous…”

Isabel turned in surprise, “ Alex! Hey…” She smiled. “I didn’t see you at lunch…I missed you…”

The lanky teen shook his head. “No, I had some work in the library…” He shrugged. “I’m sorry…I probably should have mentioned it this morning…”

“Why should you feel that you should do that…?” Isabel was trying to sound casual but she knew she was failing and badly at that.

Alex’s only response came in the form of a look.

Her cheeks flushed. “Am I that obvious…?”

Her boyfriend grinned. “Don’t worry, only to me…” He winked, continuing with the reassurance, “Your ice queen image is untouched…”.

Ice queen… Although the words were said in jest, Isabel knew there was a truth in that. The ‘Ice queen’ was a façade she had worked hard to perfect. It had always given her an excuse, a wIt was, she realised, her safety net. Outside their small group, it still was. Did she really want that? She was no longer sure she liked the idea… For so long, she had worked at perfecting that image, keeping aloof and apart from everyone else. And where had it got her…? Really?

She had been a mess, she recognised as she looked back. And yet somehow this lanky, slightly nerdy guy had found his way inside. Through determination and extended effort, he had worked hisway past the blockade she had built up and found his way into the very centre of her heart. And, she realised, she was glad… Isabel held out her hand towards him, smiling, “Sit with me?” She invited, touching the empty bench beside her.

“How could I refuse such a lovely request…?” Alex responded with an elaborate flourish and another smile as he came around to join her.

Side by side, the two of them sat for a moment without moving or saying anything, Alex glanced at Isabel, trying to gage her mood. It would be all too easy to think of himself, and his own wants, but what did she need from him at that moment in time?

The answer, he found was quite simple. As he continued to hesitate, a look of frustration spread over Isabel’s face. Finally, apparently tired of waiting, she decided to take matters into her own hands as she turned, resting her hands on his shoulders before leaning to capture his lips.

Alex’s eyes widened in surprise. Then, a moment later, his frame softened as he melted into her kiss and deepened it to make it his own. His arms slide around her frame as he pulled her close, marvelling at just how well they seemed to fit together. “Wow…” He breathed as they finally broke apart amidst wolf whistles from some jocks as their car spun away.

His girlfriend blushed as she moved to straighten his shirt. So much for an ice queen impression… Or for that matter keeping a low profile as Max kept telling people to do. Of course he and Liz weren’t exactly doing a great job of that either, she realised and shrugged. “I guess I got a little fed up of waiting…”

“So I felt…” Alex nodded before swiftly going on. “not that I’m complaining of course, that was amazing…” Reaching for her hand, he threaded his fingers through hers and squeezed them gently with a smile.

“It was pretty good…” She smirked. “Of course I’m sure we could do better…” There was a mischievous glint in her eye as she asked, “Want to try?”

Was she serious? Alex’s gaze took in the masses of kids that were milling around the area. “I, Uh, I’d love to, but I don’t know this is the best place for it…” He shifted and gestured around. They were already attracting enough attention and he’d never felt as much like a goldfish in a bowl…

Isabel blinked, suddenly feeling the eyes upon them and glanced around. Her cheeks flushed again and she shifted away from him awkwardly responding, “Y-yeah, I guess not…” She paused briefly before continuing. “Rain check…?”

He laughed, “Absolutely!” and smiled, “In fact, we were due to get together tonight weren’t we?” He winked suggestively in a deliberately over-the-top manner.

His girlfriend laughed. “Wasn’t that supposed to be a study session…” She paused a moment. “You’re not actually trying to ditch studying are you?”

Alex gave a sheepish grin. “Well…you can’t blame a guy for trying…” He shrugged. “Sorry…”

“Don’t apologise, I like it!” She grinned wickedly.

“Noted…” Alex smiled. “Tell you what, I’ll come over a bit early. We can get some work done first, and then I’ll take you out for dinner…”

Isabel seemed to consider his proposition for a moment, before shaking her head. “Pass…”

To say that Alex was surprised was an understatement. He blinked and tried to hide his disappointment. Just when he felt like he was getting through to Isabel and their relationship was building… Why had he let himself get so carried away? “Oh, okay…” He did his best to appear nonchalant. “I guess I—“

He broke off abruptly as a hand appeared in front of him. “D-did I say something wrong here…?”

“Aside from accepting my answer and not letting me explain…?” He really was too funny at times. Isabel couldn’t believe that he was still feeling so insecure. “You don’t really think that I don’t want to spend more time with you…?” Her eyebrows lifted in amazement. “Seriously?” She shook her head. “Was I the only one that was here a few moments ago when we…?” The blond trailed off with a knowing smile.

Her boyfriend was officially confused. “No, but you said Y—“

Again she cut him off, this time placing a finger to his mouth, closely followed by her lips. “And I ask again, did you really think I’m not interested…?” She queried as she pulled back.

Alex grasped her arm to pull her back towards himself briefly, unable to resist stealing another kiss. “Okay…” He conceded with a sigh as he sat back and looked at her with a slightly frown. “So, say I’m convinced…you still refused my offer of dinner…”

Isabel glanced back at him, shaking her head. “No, I actually refused your offer of dinner out…”

“Huh…?” Her boyfriend blinked as though trying to focus on her. “I…don’t get it…”

He really was too cute. She chuckled. “What I mean to say, is that maybe we don’t have to go out... My parents are going out...“ She paused a moment, to let the meaning of her words sink in.

And she knew the exact moment in time when that happened. The smile on his face was hard to miss. “Okay,” Alex nodded. “I take it back, I like your plan better…”

“Thought you might…” She smiled. “Maybe we could order pizza in or something?”

“And we’re going to get some actual studying done before…?” Alex didn’t look convinced.

Isabel on the other hand nodded firmly. “Absolutely!” She shot him a dazzling smile. “Gotta keep up our grades right?”

“You are cruel – you know that right?” Despite his words, Alex was grinning as he spoke. What could he ever have done to deserve a girl like this? She was good looking on the scale of a model and he couldn’t help but wonder what could have made her fall for him. It was like a dream, a wonderful…dream…

“Hey guys!”

And it was a dream that had been put on pause… Michael always did have the worst timing, mused. The moment was officially broken as their friend’s voice intruded and he bounded over with the rest of the group. A few minutes later, after exchanging pleasantries, the teens separated and it was time to go their separate ways.

“Later…” Michael raised a hand in farewell before holding his other hand out towards Maria. Needing no further invitation, his girlfriend took it with a smile and they headed off towards his bike.

“See you later…” Isabel leant forward to brush her lips against Alex’s momentarily in a promise of more to come.

“Later…” He echoed her words in little more than a whisper and continued to watch as her figure disappeared into the distance with Liz and Max as they headed to the jeep. Only when she was out of sight, did he move and head to his own car.


“Michael, WHERE ARE WE GOING?” Maria had to raise her voice to ensure she was heard over the roar of the motorbike engine. When leaving school, she had assumed that they were just heading home – or perhaps back to Michael’s apartment.

Instead, as soon as they left the school grounds, her boyfriend had turned his vehicle in the opposite direction to that expected and they were by now a good half hour of a ride outside Roswell. All without Michael having said a word. It was, she felt, time for answers!

The engine gunned briefly as though in response to her question before the bike took a sharp turn off the road and began to slow. As he dropped the kick-stand, and the bike came to a stand-still, Michael finally turned back towards his girlfriend and stole a kiss.

Maria was speechless; a feat in itself. As he drew back however, she regained her voice and immediately began demanding answers. “What is this, another geodesic dome hunt?”

Michael felt like groaning. Would she ever let up on that..? It was productive in the end wasn’t it? Without his hunt they would never have found out about Atherton or…anything… So perhaps it was a bit of an extreme route he took but—

“Perhaps I should be pleased that you didn’t steal the Jetta on this occasion, but if you’re thinking of a long trip it would be nice to get a warning, I…“ His girlfriend swung her leg over the bike and took a small step away from him as she continued and got into her rant.

Once she got like this, there was usually no stopping her as Michael knew only so well. Usually, the best advice would be to simply let her talk herself out. It also had the added benefit of usually dampening her anger. On this occasion however, he wasn’t willing to wait. Which left the question of how to halt a racing train in its tracks? There was only one thing he could think of. “I love you!”

That did the trick! Maria stopped abruptly and, wide eyed, looked at him. It wasn’t the first time he had said such a thing, but it was new enough to her that every time he said it, she had to stop a moment and ask herself if it was real.

Michael followed her off the bike, pulling her back to his side. “Ria please…it’s not what you think…”

She seemed to consider his words for a moment. “So you haven’t just brought me out here with no warning and t—“

Michael’s lips clashed into hers, signalling an abrupt end to the discussion.

Even Maria could take a hint. “Okay…so I’m not judging or jumping to conclusions – what are we doing here…?” She queried, her eyes searching his face for answers.

Her boyfriend paused. When he had set off from school he had been sure that this was a good idea. Now, he wasn’t so sure…


He trailed his hand down the side of her face in a leisurely fashion, tracing her chin with his finger. Finally, he broke his silence, offering her a reassuring smile. “We’re here to be together…we’re here t—“ Catching sight of the look on her face, he realised he had made a mistake in his choice of words. “Don’t worry, I don’t mean ‘together’… I just mean spend some time, the two of us…” Reaching down, he took her hand in his and stepped backwards, tugging her gently towards him and further away from the bike.”

Maria’s expression softened as she stepped with him and looked down at their joined hands.

“The last few months, and weeks in particular have been pretty crazy,” Michael continued. “And Liz and Max aren’t the only ones that are being affected by what is going on…” Tugging again, he brought her closer and settled his hands leisurely on her hips. “You’ve been working really hard with all the extra shifts you’ve been covering and I think we deserve a bit of time to concentrate on us…” Dipping his head, he caught her lips tenderly in his. He pulled back briefly, looking into her eyes. “So, what do you say…?”

What did she say? Once more, Maria found herself speechless. This was a side of Michael that it was rare for others to see she knew. He was tender and caring, romantic and lovely and it was at times like this that she remembered just why she loved him so deeply. Their relationship was different to that of Max and Liz, but that wasn’t to say that either was better than the other. The truth was that their relationship was a sign of who they were, and she wouldn’t exchange Michael for Max for anything in the world.

“You know you can be really sweet…” She rose up onto the balls of her feet in order to close the distance between them again, pressing her lips back gently against his.

Michael allowed himself a small smile as he wrapped his arms around her frame and pulled her into his side, enjoying her presence by his side. “Well don’t let too many people know that…” He responded gruffly. “It’d ruin my reputation…”

His girlfriend giggled. “Don’t worry, your secrets are safe with me…”

Plural… Michael smiled as he recognised the unspoken message in the reassurance offered and shook his head. “So anyway, I got some food and soda over here…” He guided her forward towards a clearing where there was an honest-to-goodness picnic blanket laid out on the ground with two small boxes.

His girlfriend’s gaze swung around in amazement. “W-what, h-how…?”

“I came out here during last period…” Michael admitted with a wry smile. “Who needs trig…?”

Maria knew that she should be reminding him that he was on academic probation when it came to attendance, yet in practice she couldn’t help but smile. This wasn’t even an impulsive date, he had planned it.

“So, food…?” He nudged her forward.

“Looks fantastic…”

“I can think of something better…” Michael released her from his grasp briefly to reach down and retrieve something from one of the boxes. A moment later, he presented he with a single red rose.

Maria’s eyebrows raised with a smile as she took the flower. “Not shampoo?”

He chuckled. “Guess I’ve been taking lessons huh…?”

She shook her head. “You didn’t need to…” Setting the rose down on the rug, Maria took his hand, crooking her finger in a beckoning manner.

Michael didn’t have to be asked twice. A moment later, he had wrapped his arms tightly around her frame, pulling her In towards him as their heads tilted, slowly closing the gap and their lips finally met once more.
My fics:

Dreams and Reality
Reality Revealed
Family Connections
When Love and Loss Collide
When Friendship and Love Combine - New!
If Only...
The Important Thing
Home for Christmas
I Knew Him Before (PB fic)
Love Always...
The First Time Around - New!