Resolutions (General,Y-Teen) - Complete

Finished Canon/Conventional Couple Fics. These stories pick up from events in the show. All complete stories from the main Canon/CC board will eventually be moved here.

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Kath7
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Resolutions (General,Y-Teen) - Complete

Post by Kath7 » Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:25 pm

Title: Resolutions

Author: Kath7

Category: General

Rating: Y-Teen

Summary: Liz and Maria make some New Year’s resolutions.

Author‘s Note: nibbles2 bought me in the “Support Stacie Christmas Fic Stocking Stuff” Auction. She requested a Liz/Maria friendship fic. This is it, with some “three musketeer memories” thrown in. It picks up post- “A Tale of Two Parties.” I know it’s a bit late for a holiday story, but I did start writing it during the holidays. Does that count? ;)

This is also meant to be a bit of a bridge towards “Ch-ch-changes”, which always seemed a bit abruptly out of nowhere to me. A long-time coming, but still a bit sudden. What if Liz had been thinking about some of that stuff for longer than just that one episode? It also addresses a few things that really pissed me off that they weren’t addressed during either “Samuel Rising” or “A Tale of Two Parties.” Isn’t this what fanfic is for? To right (write?) past wrongs?

Disclaimer: I do not own anything to do with Roswell. Just borrowing with thanks.

***

“I‘m back!” Maria exclaimed, whirling into the Crashdown in her usual dervish.

Liz looked down at her from the chair upon which she was standing. It was late afternoon on New Year’s Day and she was pulling down the previous night’s decorations. Although Liz had stayed behind to help her dad clean up when Max and Maria had gone to find Enigma, there was still lots to do.

“What are you doing here, Maria?” Liz asked, smiling at her best friend. “I thought you’d be asleep all day.”

Maria was taking off her jacket as she replied, “Did you’d think I’d forget our New Year’s tradition, Lizzie, just because of a great party?”

Liz stared at her, amused. “Taking down New Year’s decorations is a tradition?” she asked.

“No, dummy,” Maria said, moving behind the counter. She started loading dishes from the lunch rush onto a tray to take them into the kitchen for dishwashing. “Liz and Maria Resolution Time is a tradition though.”

Liz stepped down of the chair, stuffing the “Happy New Year’s” sign into the box that already contained hats, streamers and other items. “Liz and Maria Resolution Time?” she returned, her brow wrinkled. “Maria, we haven’t done that since we were…” She trailed off, perplexed. “When was the last time?” she asked.

“Exactly,” Maria told her. She lifted the tray, heaving slightly at its weight. “And that applies to not just resolutions. Liz and Maria time in general has been severely lacking of late. Meet me on your balcony,” she called over her shoulder. “We have work to do.”

***

Ten minutes later Liz climbed out through her bedroom window to find Maria wrapped in a blanket on her chaise lounge. She was scribbling frantically onto a pad, her brow crinkled with concentration.

“Maria, it’s freezing out here,” Liz complained, rubbing her arms. “Can’t we do this inside?”

Maria looked up. “Get a jacket,” she replied. She added ruefully, “I may be a little tired. The cold air keeps me awake.”

“Move over.“ Liz joined Maria on the lawn chair, curling up under the blanket with her. She pulled the pad out of Maria’s hands, scanning it quickly. “Re-humanize myself? Live every day to the fullest? Remember who I am? Aren‘t these a bit general, Maria? Resolutions are supposed to be specific, so that you can‘t have any excuses.”

“So, you know how I always wanted to go to Enigma?” Maria said, not commenting on her own writings or Liz’s mild reprimand.

Liz nodded.

“One of the things I kind of forgot until I got home was that Enigma was sort of beside the point. Something was missing.”

“I don’t get it,” Liz said. “I thought you and Max had a good time.”

“We did,” Maria replied. “It’s not that I didn’t have fun with Max. And this really has nothing to do with him or any of them.“ Liz knew that Maria was referring to the other aliens. “But it wasn’t really what I had always envisioned it being. Do you want to know why?”

“Why?”

“Because you and Alex weren’t there,” Maria said softly.

“Oh.”

There was a long pause. Then Liz said quietly, “You know, I really have been trying not to think about him lately. It’s too hard. I didn‘t even correct you before when you called this “Liz and Maria Resolution Time“ instead of Liz, Maria, and Alex Resolution Time.”

“I know,” Maria said. “I didn’t know what to do other than to not say his name, because it just makes me sad. But, Lizzie, it was our first Christmas and New Year’s without him. And we didn’t even bring him up. At all. Isn’t that weird? I mean, up until last year, we spent every New Year‘s Eve together at the Crashdown.”

“I know,” Liz replied. “But maybe it’s still just too painful. And there was just so much going on…with Samuel and Enigma…”

“Or maybe, as usual, we were just too engrossed in alien chaos to really think about what matters at this time of year,” Maria shot back hotly. Her anger faded quickly though. “No, that’s not fair. I’m not going to blame this on them. It’s not their fault. We’re just as responsible for letting things slip away as they are.” She looked at Liz. “We have to stop doing that, Liz. We have to stop blaming everything that happens on them screwing things up for us. Because we asked for this. Max tried to keep you out of it forever, and you just wouldn’t let him go, and the same is true for me and Michael. He tried to push me away like 700,000 times.”

“True,” Liz sighed. “But that doesn’t make it any easier - that we wanted it.” She glanced up at the sky where the stars were just starting to peek out. “I guess I just didn’t have any idea how hard it would be. Alex…Tess…all of it.” Liz felt a lump rise in her throat. “That whole thing with Samuel…it just reminded me that even though Max has been my first priority for so long, as long as his son is still out there…” She blinked as tears started to fill her eyes. “I just can’t be his.”

Liz felt Maria’s arm come around her soothingly. “I know. It sucks. And it sucks particularly more because it makes you feel like you’re jealous of this innocent kid who is totally blameless. But what sucks most of all is that we think that they should make us their first priority.”

Liz wiped at her eyes. “What do you mean?”

“Liz, if we don’t make ourselves our first priority, why on Earth should Max or Michael?” Liz had never heard Maria sound so firm and focused. “You know why I was so pissed off at Michael last night?”

Liz didn’t answer the rhetorical question. She waited for Maria to continue.

“I thought I was mad at him. I thought that I just wanted a night off from the alien abyss. Just one night. But that’s not it at all. It’s not Michael’s fault…or Max’s or Isabel’s. It’s not anyone’s fault that all that nonsense always seems to take centre stage. Michael should have known better than to drink, sure, but that’s not what it was about at all.”

“So what was it about?” Liz asked, tilting her head slightly. She wondered at the knot that was growing in her stomach.

“It was about not feeling in control of anything - ever. Including something as dumb as New Year’s Eve. And that’s my fault. Not Michael’s. He didn’t ask me to centre my entire life around him. I did that all on my own.”

Liz swallowed. “But you love him. I love Max. I want to help him.”

“Love doesn’t mean having to forget who you are, Liz. In fact, being in love should make you a better version of who you are. Max fell in love with you long before you chased after his alien spawn with him. But that seems to have gotten lost somewhere, for both of us.”

Maria lifted the pad up. “So, that’s why it’s resolution time.”

Liz closed her eyes briefly. She felt her heart start to thunder in her chest. “I’m scared,” she admitted softly. “Why am I scared to make a couple of stupid resolutions? How dumb is that?”

“It’s not dumb,” Maria responded. “It’s just been so long since you thought about what you really want that it’s a little freaky.”

“Is it pathetic that all I’ve wanted for so long is to know that Max and I are going to be okay?” Liz asked quietly. “God, Maria. Who am I?”

“It’s just a little pathetic.” Liz snapped her eyes open and stared at her best friend. “Kidding! But, seriously, Liz, what do you want for you? Whether you and Max end up together or not…and I really think you will…you have to live with you for the rest of your life. So it darn well better be a life that you want. Forget about Max for a minute. There‘s no Max. There‘s just Liz. What do you want?”

Liz didn’t even have to think. It came to her so quickly, she felt almost breathless.
“I want to go to Harvard,” she said in a rush. Her shoulders slumped slightly. “But I know that’s not going to happen now.”

“Why not?” Maria demanded. “Why can’t it? And don’t say it’s because of Max. I know Max. He’ll want you to do whatever it is that you want to do. You know that.”

“It really has nothing to do with Max. I’ve let my marks slide a bit,” Liz admitted. “And I have, like, no extra-curriculars.”

“I guess chasing aliens and spaceships won’t count,” Maria agreed. She lay the pad on her knees and bit her lip intently. “Your SAT’s were awesome though. All hope can’t be lost, can it?”

“Maybe not,” Liz replied thoughtfully. “I know that if I get my act together, I could get some great teacher recommendations.”

“Mr. Seligman and Ms. Hardy both practically worship you,” Maria acknowledged. “Is there some way for you to do some extra-curricular with them? Isn’t Ms. Hardy in charge of the prom committee?”

“Yeah,” Liz replied. “I guess I could sign up for that. And she‘s always looking for lab assistants for the freshman and sophomore labs.”

“I mean, it’s at least worth a try. Okay…” Maria wrote Liz’s Resolutions at the top of a clean sheet of paper. “Number 1...Get into Harvard. Number 2...More extra-curriculars.”

“Number three,” Liz added. “Volunteer somewhere.”

“Good.” Maria scrawled it down. “That’ll help.”

“Not just for my resume,” Liz said. “I really want to do something for someone else for a change. I seriously think that we all spend too much time contemplating ourselves and our own problems.”

“Excellent.” Maria looked thoughtful. “I really loved being an elf in Isabel’s thingie last Christmas. Maybe we could do something together with kids.”

“Good idea. Add that. And put “more quality Liz and Maria time“. Because if we do something like volunteer together, there won’t be any question of seeing each other.”

Maria added “More quality Liz and Maria time” to the list. “What else?”

Liz thought back to the night before. “If I’m going away to college, I really should spend more time with my parents,” she said. She lifted her chin. “Actually, I want to spend more time with them.”

Liz glanced over Maria’s shoulder as her friend continued to write after adding the resolution about her parents. “Read War and Peace?” she demanded, frowning.

“We have to have at least one that you won’t do,” Maria told her, grinning. “So that the chances of doing the other ones are better. You put this every year. It hasn’t happened yet, so I think it’s a good bet it won’t happen this year either.”

Liz elbowed her friend lightly in the ribs. “I don’t recall having seen you finish Anna Karenina.”

“Good point,” Maria said. She quickly added, “Read Anna Karenina to her own list.

They both giggled for several seconds. “What was Alex’s again?” Liz asked.

Little Women,” Maria said, still snickering. “Because he never broke his resolutions and we wanted to make sure that he would break at least one.”

“Didn’t you know?” Liz demanded. “He read it. Two years ago. He was done it by the end of January.”

Maria rolled her eyes, snorting. “Typical.” They started laughing again, finally both petering out as their stomachs started to hurt.

Liz suddenly realized that she was crying again, “God, Maria, I miss him so much.”

“Me too,” Maria sniffed, hugging Liz tightly to her side. “I miss laughing with him. I miss laughing at him. We don’t laugh enough, Liz.”

“Put that,” Liz instructed. “Talking about Alex should be one. And laughing about him is okay, too,” she added. “Just laughing, in fact.”

Maria added “Talk about Alex” and “Laugh” to both of their lists.

“Can you think of anything else?” Maria inquired. “I think I’m done.”

“Don’t you want to be more specific about yours?” Liz asked carefully. “You’re always so general, Maria.”

“Nope,” Maria replied firmly, slamming the notebook shut. “This way I get to say I kept them more often. They‘re flexible.” Her eyes were gazing across the balcony. “Now comes the fun part.” She rubbed her hands together. “We get to pull out the ones from last time.”

Liz felt a slight flutter in her belly again. “I don’t think I want to know,” she admitted. “I have a feeling they’re all about Max.”

“Maybe not,” Maria admonished. “Think positive. And, anyway, it’s not like Max is a bad thing. It is possible to have a bit of balance, that’s all.“ She climbed off the chair and made her way across the patio, kneeling in front of the loose brick located there. Pulling it out, she retrieved three folded pieces of paper, then carefully placed the new notebook in their place.

“You first,” Maria said, handing her the sheet of loose-leaf that had Liz’s name scrawled on the back.

Liz took a deep breath, then unfolded it. “Read War and Peace,” she read. They both laughed briefly. “Get Max to change his mind is number two.”

“What was he changing his mind about?” Maria asked.

“It was right after the whole Michael in a cocoon thing, I think,” Liz replied. “He took that step back.”

“Well, you kept that one,” Maria said encouragingly. “You made him change his mind. What else?”

“Spend more time with Alex and Maria.” Liz felt a lump enter her throat. “Get into Harvard. Spend more time with my parents.”

“Those sound familiar,” Maria said gently. “Here! Read mine. I’m too nervous.”

Liz cleared her throat. Her nose still itched as she tried not to think about the fact that her resolutions were still so identical. How had she gotten so far off track that, two years later, they were still the same?

She grasped Maria’s sheet and read aloud, “Read Anna Karenina, make Michael love me, spend more time with Alex and Liz, spend more time with my mom, save my money to travel the world, record a demo.”

There was a long silence.

“Do you still want to travel the world?” Liz asked finally.

“Yes,” Maria admitted. “I don’t want to be stuck here forever.” She pulled the pad they had written on that day back out of the hiding spot. She flipped it open. “I’m re-adding those last two.”

“Should we read Alex’s?” Liz asked as Maria replaced the notebook in the hiding spot, then fit the loose brick back into place.

“Definitely.”

Liz opened the final slip of paper, smiling slightly at the sight of Alex’s familiar hand-writing. “Read Little Women.”

“Check,” Maria said.

“Be a good friend.” Liz looked up at Maria. “That’s all he wrote.”

Liz’s could see Maria’s eyes filling as her own did too. Maria climbed back onto the lawn chair and the two girls huddled together for comfort and warmth under the blanket.

“That Alex. Trust him to never break a resolution,” Maria said.

Liz didn’t reply, but stared up into the sky, her heart aching for their lost friend. For you, Alex. This year, all my resolutions are for you.

Not for me, Liz. Keep them for you. I want them to be for you.

Liz blinked, feeling warmth flow through her body. She smiled. “Maria…” she whispered.

“I felt him,” her friend whispered back.

There was nothing else to say.

The End

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