DISTORTED REALITIES (contains stories #1 and #2) [COMPLETE]

Finished stories set in an alternate universe to that introduced in the show, or which alter events from the show significantly, but which include the Roswell characters. Aliens play a role in these fics. All complete stories on the main AU with Aliens board will eventually be moved here.

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dreamangel
Addicted Roswellian
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Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 4:58 pm
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Post by dreamangel » Thu May 29, 2003 3:12 pm

Part Eighteen:

Liz stretched and turned over, cuddling closer to Max. She watched him as he slept, her eyes taking in every detail of his face. From the dark bangs curling on his forehead, his long lashes brushing his cheeks, to his parted lips. She let her eyes travel further down appreciatively over his chest and six-pack, and then pouted when the sheet prevented her from looking further.

Mischievously she reached down, pulling the cloth away from the most tantalizing portion of his anatomy, inch by inch. Max moaned quietly in his sleep and she glanced up at his face. “Liz,” he mumbled, and she suddenly felt her heart swell. He was dreaming about her.

Abandoning her quest to ravish his lower extremities, she planted a soft kiss to his lips. Then another and another, making the deeper each time, until he responded in his sleep and she slowly brought him to wakefulness.

“I could get used to waking up like that,” he whispered, tangling his hands in her hair and bringing her back down to his mouth. The kiss rose in it’s intensity and soon she was lying on her back, Max’s hard member entering her, their hands were everywhere as he penetrated deeper and deeper into her body.

Some small part of her mind screamed out that they didn’t have any protection and that she was too young to get pregnant, but the rest of her, the parts that couldn’t even dream of giving up the sensation of him inside her…Just him, no separation between his skin and hers…Those parts just drown out the voice of reason and demanded more pleasure.

He was growling incoherently, his thrusts wild, deep, and long, reaching up into her womb. He needed her like this always, free to give and take, no barriers between them…nothing but pure love making…

“LIZ! Honey we’re home!”

They froze, breaths shallow and ragged. They looked at each other with wide eyes. Her parents were home! Panic began to set in. “They aren’t supposed to be here until tomorrow!” she whispered frantically, “Max!”

“Ssh,” he warned, and very slowly slid out of her. Getting up, he tiptoed over to her door and put an ear against it. He listened outside, hearing the Parker’s voices.

“Lizzie?” Mr. Parker called. He heard footsteps and closed his eyes and prayed.

“Jeff!” Mrs. Parker screamed/whispered, “She may be asleep, leave her alone!” The footsteps receded and he let out a sigh of relief. He turned to the girl on the bed and stared at her, naked and needy on the bed and he swallowed, aware of what would have happened if Jeff Parker had caught his little girl having sex. Max would be dead.

He grabbed his clothes from the ground and handed Liz pajamas he had found in her drawer, indicating she needed to be as quiet as possible. They dressed silently and then Max headed to the window that led out to the fire escape. Liz followed him, she seemed nervous.

“What’s wrong?” he asked in hushed tones.

“It smells like sex in here,” she told him. He waved one hand over the room, concentrating on the atoms in the air, changing them to something sweeter, fresher, and then looked to her for approval. She nodded and smiled at him gratefully.

“I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?”

“’Kay. Love you,” she murmured shyly.

He smiled happily and kissed her. “I love you, too. Bye.”

“Bye,” she echoed and watched him as he went over the edge of the balcony. His head popped back up a second later and he blew her another kiss before descending the ladder finally.

Liz sighed wistfully and then tugged her pajamas, making them more rumpled. Like she had slept in them instead of nude. Then she took a deep breath and opened her door. She rubbed her eyes sleepily and said, “Mom, Daddy? What are you doing back so early?”
<><><><>

Max couldn’t believe what had almost happened. Looking back it was probably a good thing Liz’s parents had come home when they did, otherwise…

He shook his head, he could not believe he had let himself lose control like that. They could've wound up pregnant. But her body….It had just called to him, ambrosial and appealing…begging for his touch…his kisses…

Max shook his head and pulled into his driveway. He tried to sneak in quietly, but a snort let him know his attempts had been futile. He spun, and came face to face with Isabel. He glanced around quickly.

“Dad stayed in Clovis and Mom is grocery shopping. You’re safe, just stick to the camping story.”

“Thank you.”

“What are you doing back?”

“Liz’s parents came home unexpectedly, I’m lucky to still be living. I’m lucky they trust Liz and I remembered to park the Jeep in the alley, too, but…it was a close one, Izzy.”

She looked at him. “I’m guessing it was worth the risk?” she asked softly. He felt one of those idiotic grins cross his face.

“I’d spend an eternity in Hell for just one night with her, Izzy…It was so-”

“Okay! Okay, I get the picture, I don’t need all the lurid details. Now go take a shower, you smell like sweat. What is that? Flour?”

He looked down at his shirt and saw Liz’s tiny handprints white against the black. “Yeah,” he said, grinning again, “She made me dinner.”

“And dessert too, by the look of you.” A sudden flash of Liz’s chocolate and strawberry smeared body flashed into his head and he felt himself beginning to respond.

“You know, a shower might not be a bad idea.”
<><><><>

Tess listened to the running water and smiled. Max had come home about the time when she was leaving so she had snuck back in his window and was waiting on his bed. Naked. She figured she’d save him the trouble of coming to her when he was done washing away the Parker girl’s stench.

She reclined against the navy blue pillows, and contemplated which position to wait for him in. She finally decided to prop herself up on one elbow, facing the bathroom door, and leave herself open for his inspection.

Hearing the shower turn off she sat up straighter, checked to make sure the door was closed, and then quickly tweaked her nipples, making them harden into points. She smiled, satisfied, and waited for Max.
<><><><>

She was humming lightly under her breath as she helped her parents bring in their luggage and unpack. Her mother had said she was exhausted and had gone to lay down, so Liz decided to be the “good” daughter and do laundry. She was just throwing in the whites load when she heard her father calling to her.

“Yeah, Dad?”

“Isn’t this Max’s?” he asked, holding up a black backpack.

“Yeah, he must of left it here yesterday.” She walked over and took it from him. “We were studying for exams and then Isabel called and he rushed off. I’ll drive it over there in case he needs anything.”

“Liz…”

“I’ll be quick, Daddy. Could you finish laundry for Mom? Thanks.” She gave him a peck on the cheek and left without waiting for a reply. She snatched the keys off the hook by the door and started over to the Evans’ house.

Faith Hill’s “Breathe” was blasting as she pulled into the driveway behind the Jeep, and she sat for a few minutes listening, thinking about the way Max touched her until he was the only thing in her world. She shuddered with delight as she imagined his kisses.

Hopping out of the car she quickly made her way up the walk to the front door, Max’s bag in tow.
<><><><>

Max walked out of the bathroom with nothing but a small towel around his waist and a smile. Tess sucked in her breath at the sight of his rippling body and felt herself grow wet. She smiled welcomingly and straightened up more, making her breasts stick out.

He didn’t notice.

She pouted suddenly, realizing Max wasn’t aware of her presence. Oh well, she’d just enjoy the view for a while. She watched him as he walked over to his dresser and opened the top drawer. His sock and underwear drawer. He rummaged around in it for a moment until he pulled something out.

Tess tried to get a good look at whatever it was he was holding, but got diverted by the large tent forming in the front of his towel. She licked her lips, waiting no longer an option.

“Maaaxx,” she purred, and he whirled around, dropping what looked like a picture. His expression was one of surprise. She smirked slightly and knelt, running her hands along her body, inviting him over.

His expression went from shock to disapproving, and he frowned at her. “Tess,” he stated, “What are you doing here? And why aren’t you wearing any clothes?”

“Max,” she said unbelievingly, “Why do you think I’m over? You just finished with little Lizzie, I thought you’d need a pick-me-up. And I don’t need clothes for what we’re going to do.” She slithered off the bed, walking towards him seductively.

He frowned and sidestepped her. “Tess, I thought you understood when I told you it was over. But obviously I was wrong.” He strode over to the door and opened it partly, as if just remembering she was naked. “Please put on your clothes and leave.”

She stared at him, his face was set, the only emotion a slight sadness. “You’re not serious?”

“I am.”

“But you want me, I can see the regret in your eyes at not taking me here and now.”

“No, Tess, I regret the fact that you can’t accept that I love Liz and that you’re willing to sacrifice a friendship because of that.”

She stalked over to him, a smirk twisting her lips and pressed against him. “Friendship?” she asked, “We were never friends Max. We were lovers, we were man and wife, but we were never just friends.”

“Tess,” he protested, putting his hands on her shoulders and exerting pressure. She didn’t back down, merely pressed closer.

“I’m your destiny, Max, not Liz. Me. And I’ll do what ever I have to, to prove that to you.”

“There is nothing to-” She kissed him, wrapping her arms around him and invading his mind, so that he remembered every time he had fucked her, and she pulled him ruthlessly to the bed, pushing his struggling form down beneath her. She was determined to win this battle.
<><><><>

Liz rang the doorbell, quick smoothed down her shirt and tucked her hair back. She heard the tumblers turning and straightened up, a smile unconsciously spreading across her face.

“Hello?” Isabel said coolly, staring at Liz expectantly. Her smile dimmed, but only for an instant.

“Hi, Isabel! Max left his book bag at my house and I figured he’d need it, you know, if he was going to do anymore studying…”

“I’ll bet,” the blonde stated, and looked Liz up and down. She fidgeted uncomfortably under the scrutiny. “I’ll give it to him,” she finally said, sticking out her hand. Liz clutched the bag to her chest.

“I’d really like to give it to him myself,” she whispered, blushing slightly.

“Whatever.” Isabel shrugged and moved away from the door, heading to where Liz knew was the kitchen. Shutting the door behind her, Liz made her way to the hallway by the stairs. Max’s room was at the far end and she noticed his door was open.

Her heart was thudding in anticipation of seeing him again and she tiptoed over to the door, peeking in.

And suddenly, she felt the urge to vomit. She stared for a moment at the mass of tangled, naked limbs on the bed, and then ran, the bag dropping from her numb fingers in the hallway.
<><><><>

“Liz?” Isabel called, after seeing the other girl run past as if her shoes were made of hot iron. She picked up Max’s backpack and placed it by the coat tree then shut the door. What was that about? she wondered.

Turning back to the kitchen, she mentally prepared herself for another round of Humanities, but was brought up short when her brother came tearing down the hall, tugging on a T-shirt. “Max?”

“Not now, Izzy,” he said shortly, grabbing his leather jacket and storming out. She stared at the wooden door for another minute. What is going on? Shrugging, she told herself to forget about it, to remember that she had a 2-hour essay exam to tie in all twelve books they had read over the course of the year. But again, she was delayed.

“Tess?” The smaller blonde girl was walking stiffly toward her, blue eyes watery. “I thought you went home?” Tess just shook her head and mumbled something under her breath before leaving.

And yet again, Isabel had the feeling she had just missed something major.
<><><><>

Liz swiped tears out of her eyes and tried to concentrate on driving, but she couldn’t shake the mental picture of Max with Tess. She couldn’t believe Max would do something like that to her. He had told her he detested Tess Harding and she had believed him, unwittingly falling right into his arms.

She couldn’t believe he had played her. She wouldn't believe it. He had told her the truth about his origins, he had let her see his soul…

He had loved her.

No, Max wouldn’t ever do that to her. It had to have been Tess, one of her little mind games. Well, Liz wasn’t going to let her manipulate her that easily. Furious now, she whipped out her cell phone and racked her brain for Tess’ phone number.

“Hello?” came the chillingly polite voice of Mr. Edward Harding. Or Nasedo…this alien thing was confusing.

“Mr. Harding? Hi, this is Liz Parker, I was just calling to talk to Tess, is she available?’

“I’m afraid not. Tessy spent the weekend at the Evans’.” Liz felt her herself go numb.

“Oh.”

“Would you like her to call you back?”

“No! That’s okay, I’ll just talk to her tomorrow, it really wasn’t that important. Um…”

“Alright then, good-bye.” And the other end of the line clicked as the receiver was replaced.

“Bye,” Liz whispered, shutting her phone. She sat for a minute or two at the stop sign, unfeeling. And then suddenly it hit her and she was crying her eyes out again. It was true. What she had seen…Oh, God…He had lied to her, used her, played her…And she had gone willingly, trustingly…

She looked at herself in the rearview mirror. She looked awful. Her mascara was running, her eyes were red and puffy, and her face was all bunched up trying to stop sobbing. She couldn’t go home like this, but she needed to talk to somebody. Slowly she let out a deep breath and put her right blinker on. She’d go see Maria. Maria would cheer her up.
<><><><>

Max let out another growl of rage. Just what the hell had Tess been trying to pull back there?! It was bad enough she hadn’t stopped propositioning him, but then she just threw herself on him…

His face twisted in disgust. What he needed was Liz, and maybe another shower. Maybe even Liz in a shower…Best of both worlds. He smiled at the image in his head… Yeah, he’d go see Liz at the Crashdown, she’d make everything better.

He pulled up outside the back entrance and jumped out of the Jeep. The Crashdown was closed that day, so the door was locked, but alien powers often came in handy for that sort of thing. He glanced around the back room, and, not seeing Liz or any of her family, he headed to the stairs.

A bleary-eyed Mrs. Parker opened the door. “Oh, hello Max,” she greeted sleepily.

“Hey, Mrs. Parker. Is Liz home?”

She shook her auburn head and gave him an apologetic smile. “She went out awhile ago, I’m not sure where.”

“Oh. Well could you tell her I stopped by?”

“Of course, Max.”

“Thanks.”

“Um-hmm. Bye now.”

“Bye.” He slumped back down the steps, the door closing behind him. Okay, options one and three are out, let’s try for number two. A nice, scalding hot shower to wash away the germs. Maybe he should burn those sheets too, just for good measure…
<><><><>

Tess slammed the SUV door, then opened it and slammed it again. Fuming, she stamped her way into the large house she shared with Nasedo and slammed that door too.

“Is something the matter, Tess?” She spun in the direction of the icy voice. Her “father” was sitting at the piano.

“No.”

“Really?” he inquired silkily, “Then why are you so upset?” She remained silent. He rose from the piano and walked toward her, doing nothing alarming, but radiating menace. “What is our beloved pacifist king up to now?”
<><><><>

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dreamangel
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Location: far from reality

Post by dreamangel » Thu May 29, 2003 3:17 pm

Part Nineteen:

“I’m sick of this place,” she burst out, “And I’m sick of Max Evans! I didn’t ask to be his mate, and I am tired of sitting around waiting for him to realize his destiny!”

Okay, so she was partly lying, she wasn’t sick of Max, she wanted him, and while she hadn’t asked to be his mate, she still loved the job, and it’s perks…but, she was tired of waiting for him to come to terms with her as his destined Queen. It had all been fine, Max had been hers, but then that Parker girl came around and he suddenly wasn’t happy with her anymore. And she really was sick of Roswell, it was too small for her tastes, and kinda creepy, all those green alien dolls with their big, blank, black eyes staring at her…

“Does this have something to do with the Parker chit?”

“I don’t know what he sees in her! I mean, she’s human! And not even a pretty one at that, but he tails after her like a puppy in heat, it’s disgusting, and I’m sick of it!” She was pacing now, back and forth in front of Nasedo, who was watching her impassively. Suddenly, she just couldn’t take in anymore, her mind replaying these past months like a horror movie. She broke down, weeping onto the floor.

She felt, with surprise, Nasedo kneel down beside her and put his arms around her. “It’s not fair,” she whispered, sniffling, “I did everything I was supposed to do, I was everything he wanted, why wasn’t it enough?”

“He wasn’t enough Tessy, but everything will be all right, you’ll see, I’ve got everything worked out.” He was in his “Ed” phase, she realized, the one where he actually was the loving, doting father he pretended to be.

“What are you saying?” she asked, looking up into his ice blue eyes.

“I’m saying we’re moving, so go pack.”

“Moving? What about exams?”

“Forget them, they don’t matter. Just go and start gathering your things, we’re leaving as soon as we’re able.”

She moved, standing and walking toward the staircase, running through her mind a list of things she’d need. They’d gone through this several times when she was younger, moving around a lot, but then they’d been in Roswell for so long…She hated the place, but it was the closest thing she’d had to home in a long time. Pausing, her hand on the railing, she turned back to him. “Where are we going?”

He looked at her and smiled, making her shiver. “New York.”

“What’s in New York?” she inquired curiously.

Again, that slightly evil twist of his lips appeared on his worn face. “A King worthy of you, my Queen.”
<><><><>

Liz knocked on the front door, still sniffling silently. The door was suddenly flung wide open. “Michael, you’re here early…Liz! What’s the matter, what happened?” Maria pulled her insistently through the door.

“I’m sorry,” Liz said, looking at the pretty green dress Maria was wearing, “I didn’t know you were expecting company…I’ll just go…”

“Don’t even think about it!” Maria exclaimed, she disappeared into the kitchen for a moment and when she came back out she had a tub of ice cream. “One sec. MOM! LIZ AND I ARE GOING TO BE IN MY ROOM, OKAY?”

“OKAY!” was Mrs. DeLuca’s shout from the dining room, “HI LIZ!”

“HI MRS. DELUCA!” she shouted back.

“IT’S AMY, DEAR!” was the reply. Liz turned to Maria, who shrugged and tugged her down the hall to her room.

Maria’s room was a disaster zone, and Liz meant that in a good way. Posters were spread all over the room at haphazard angles, bulletin boards crammed with pictures, her dresser was cluttered with all the essential oils and magazines, he closet was packed full of funky clothes, and discarded outfits lay on the floor. They lay down on the bed, the only clear space in the room, and stared up at the glow-in-the-dark stars pasted on the ceiling.

Liz felt her breath catch in her throat. Stars…Max had shown her the stars, they explored them together, touched them until the light and warmth filed them…She unwillingly began to cry again, the reminder of what he had done slowly destroying her.

“Oh, Lizzie, babe, what’s the matter?” Maria wrapped her arms around her and rocked her gently. “What happened, chica?” Liz looked at her, and she gulped back more sobs. She steeled herself, telling herself she had come over to Maria’s to talk, to think it through, to get a second opinion on what a lying jerk her Max was.

“You know Max spent the weekend, right?” She took a spoon from Maria and dug in, needed the cold comfort.

“Yeah,” Maria said wryly, “That’s why I didn’t inform you right away of the big news.” She waited like a second, “Michael’s my BOYFRIEND!” she shrieked.

Liz smiled, genuinely happy for her, “That’s great.” Maybe Michael would be human enough to stay loyal. Maria calmed down and studied her.

“But that’s not what you’re here to talk about. So, spill, how was it? Is he as good as everyone says he is?”

Liz blushed. “Better,” she whispered.

“Oh, I see stars in your eyes! What happened?”

“Well, the first time…” she blushed again.

“First time? You did it more than once? Wow.” The spoon was hanging from Maria’s mouth, almost ready to drop, Liz raised her eyebrow and tapped the end with her own spoon, until Maria came back down to her plane of existence.

“Anyway, after, you know, he was really sweet. But then, I wanted to do it again-”

“Honey, you should have waited, people are normally sore afterwards,” Maria interrupted.

“I was, a little, but… Anyway, he kept ignoring my hints, so finally I figured he didn’t want me, but then something happened, and, I realized he did, but something was holding him back.” She stopped.

“And?” Maria demanded.

“He only brought one condom,” she whispered embarrassed.

“No way,” Maria exclaimed, “There is no way someone with Max’s reputation only had one condom. He must have been trying for sainthood to only carry one..."

Liz giggled at the thought of a “Saint Max”. “So anyway, I whipped out that box you got me for my birthday, and his eyes got so big…”

“And,” Maria prompted again.

“And we used the whole box,” Liz said simply, taking another spoonful. Maria was staring at her expectantly. “What?”

“Details, babe, I need details. Where? How long?”

“Oh, um…first time was on the bed, second also, then the kitchen table, and the shower, all like an hour or two.” She nodded, not looking at Maria.

“Wow, you christened three rooms, and the kitchen…kinky. But, I wasn’t referring to the time length, I was referring to Max.”

Liz looked at her blankly, then, “Oh. OH! Maria!"

“Come on, I mean, Michael’s pretty big-”

Liz gasped, “You and Michael did it?"

“No. Almost, but no, I have way too much self-control to let it get that far. Especially with my Mikey G. If I want to keep him, I gotta make him wait. But don’t get off the subject.” She pointed her spoon at Liz, “Talk.”

“He’s, um, really, really big,” she admitted, remembering how afraid she’d been that he wouldn’t fit her.

Maria squealed, “I knew it!” At Liz’s look she paused, “Continue, please.”

“So this morning, my parents showed up early-”

“Ohmigod, were you caught? Is that what’s wrong? Did they forbid you to see each other?”

“No, Maria, Max got out. But he left his backpack, and I told my parents he had been over studying. So I brought the bag to his house, and when I got there…” she trailed off and took another scoop of ice cream, hoping the brain freeze would distract her tear ducts.

“Liz?” Maria’s voice was cautious, “Liz, what happened?”

“He was with Tess. Naked, on his bed,” she said softly, the tears not stopping.

“Oh my God.” Maria looked at her, eyes wide, “You’re kidding, right?” Liz shook her head. “You’re not kidding. Oh my God.”

“So, what do you think?”

“I don’t know. I cannot believe this. What a jerk!”

“I know. It's like everything I see with my eyes tells me that he's cheating on me. But everything I feel with my heart tells me that he's not, that I’m just missing something. I mean, we have this connection, Maria, and everything in me, heart and soul, believes that he loves me and wouldn’t hurt me, but I saw them…”

Maria sighed and looked at her. “I don't know if Max is cheating or what, Liz, I just... I know that you usually go with your heart, so...”

“I don’t know if I can talk to him, Maria. I mean, what if what I saw was true, what if he tells me that we’re nothing…that we’re over? I don’t know if I could handle that, not after this weekend…”

“You have to figure this out, you have to talk to him. I mean, if you and Max, who have that whole...look-into-my-eyes soulmate thing, can’t make it, what chance is there for me and Michael?”

“No, Maria, do not think like that, you and Michael will be fine.” She looked anxiously at her friend, distressed that she had caused Maria to question her new romance. “Speaking of Michael,” she insinuated, “Were you expecting him tonight?”

The blonde suddenly snapped to life. “Oh shit!” She looked at the clock, 5:56. “Oh no, he’s coming over in four minutes for dinner, shit, shit, shit!”

“Maria, Maria, calm down, I should go anyway.”

“Yeah, okay, alright…” She slowly seemed to stop hyperventilating. Liz slid of the bed and took the tub from Maria and headed to the kitchen, Maria trailing behind. She placed the ice cream back in the freezer and the spoons in the dishwasher, then she turned to Maria.

“I’m going to go home now, thank you…you know, for listening.”

“Oh, babe, c’mere.” And then Maria was hugging her. “It’s gonna work out in the end, you’ll see.” Liz was going to reply, but a knock at the door caused Maria to spas out. “Ohmigod! He’s here! I can’t do this! How do I look? Ohmigod!! Liz HELP me!”

“Maria, calm down, just answer the door, okay.”

She took a deep breath, “Okay, I can do that.” But she made no move toward the door. Liz sighed and reached over, revealing Michael.

“Hi,” Michael said.

“Hi,” she replied, “I was just leaving.” She looked again at Maria, who only had eyes for Michael. “Bye, Maria.”

“Uh-huh, bye, Lizzie,” she responded absently.

Liz stepped outside, coming abreast of the alien. She stopped and resolutely went on her tiptoes. “If you hurt her, I will dissect you worse than you ever dreamed the government could,” she whispered in his ear, and then she left, not caring about his reaction.
<><><><>

Michael froze, staring after her retreating form disbelievingly. Max wouldn’t have told her… no, he decided, Max would never endanger them like that, it must just be that was the best threat a science nerd like Liz Parker could come up with. He turned back to step into the DeLuca kitchen, and was suddenly confronted by hundreds of alien head knick-knacks.

He raised his eyebrows, “Do kooks like you actually make this stuff, or do you buy it all the freak shows?”

“Nothing personal, but those freak shows keep my kooky daughter and myself off the streets.” He winced and turned around, coming face-to-face with Maria’s mom.

“Mom, Michael. Michael, mom,” Maria said.

“Nice to meet you.” And then she turned and walked back through the door into the other room.

“That was some guffaw,” his spitfire said, sounding hurt.

“Guffaw?” he asked, trying not to touch on her emotional state.

“Yeah, my mother. Great first impression.”

“Why would I want to make an impression?” He wanted to take that back as soon as he said it, but it was too late, and he watched her expression crumble.

“Because you’re my boyfriend,” she whispered, not looking at him.

“Maria…” He scrubbed his face, no knowing what to say. It was just what Liz had said, and then to be confronted with those gross exaggerations of a species…He shouldn’t have taken it out on her, and he couldn’t explain to her the problem. “I’m sorry,” he said finally, “I just…I’m nervous, that’s all.”

“Really?” she asked, finally looking at him, her eyes shining. He sucked in a breath, the green of her dress really brought out her emerald eyes, and suddenly he knew he could further remedy his mistake.

“And as you’re boyfriend,” he said, taking her in his arms, “I would like to say you look beautiful.”

“Really?” she murmured against his lips.

“Um-hmm, absolutely edible…” He kissed her softly, deepening it until she moaned, and than slacked off, teasing.

“Michael,” she scolded softly, whapping him on the shoulder, and he laughed down at her softly.

“Maria, Michael, dinner is on the table and getting cold,” Mrs. DeLuca called from the dining room.

“Coming, Mom!"
<><><><>

Maria watched, horrified, at Michael’s table manners. She exchanged a glance with her mom over the lobster, and Amy shrugged. “Do something,” she mouthed. Amy rolled her eyes.

“So, Michael?”

He looked up, brown eyes frantic, like a deer caught in a pair of headlights. “Yes, Mrs. DeLuca?” Well, at least he swallowed before talking.

“Did your parents ever teach you how to behave when you’re over at someone’s house for dinner?”

“MOM!” she shrieked.

“I never had any parents.” She looked at him startled, then remembered he had been a foster kid.

“What do you mean?”

“Mom,” Maria said again, her voice warning her mother not to push it.

He shrugged and moved some of the food around on his plate. “I had Hank, and the only time he cared I was around was when he needed something to hit.” He grinned at her reassuringly when she gasped. “When I got emancipated, I never worried about it.”

“Oh,” her mom said, “So, what do you do for fun?”

“I work security detail most nights.”

“No, I meant for actual fun, Michael.” Amy was speaking gently now, as if she had suddenly realized that this wasn’t just some boy from the wrong side of the tracks trying to get into her daughter’s pants.

He thought for a minute, sending Maria a secret suggestive glance and she blushed, making sure her mom hadn’t caught it. “I like to paint,” he admitted.

“Paint?” she perked up, interested. She hadn’t known about this side of Michael.

“Mostly abstract, but I do some landscapes too..."
<><><><>

She walked him out to his moped later that night, standing on the curb while he straddled the seat. He looked at her and then at the front window of her house, waving to her mother, who was watching them.

“You’re mom’s cool.”

“Yeah.” She smiled faintly and then was quiet. “Thank you for coming tonight, Michael, it meant a lot to me.”

“Come here, ‘Ria,” he tugged her until she was sitting on the bike in front of him, wrapped in his arms. “Tell me what’s wrong.”

“I want to wait.”

“Wait?”

“Yeah, you know, before we have sex.” He started, but she continued. “I just mean that there’s so much we don’t know about each other, and I want to wait, until I know you. Until you know me. I want to be sure you’re as serious about our relationship as I am, you know, I don’t want to jump in the sack with you and wake up the next morning alone. But I also need to know that you won’t cheat on me, I’ve seen what that does to girls, and I don’t want to be the one going to Liz and crying my eyes out about what a jerk you are.”

“Maria-”

But she interrupted his interruption. “And my mom…She, I don’t want her to go through what my grandma went through. I don’t want her worried about whether or not I’m coming home at five in the morning, or if I’m having unprotected sex. She wound up with a baby at sixteen. Sixteen, Michael, with no one to turn to, she was all alone, and I don’t think I could handle that kind of responsibility right now, I don’t-”

He broke the kiss abruptly as he started it. “That was to calm you down.”

“Thanks.”

He stared down at her, her green catlike eyes watching him steadily. Tugging on a strand of her honey blonde hair, he finally smiled. She was the only human he’d ever let into his heart, and he was pretty sure she’d fight to stay there. Heck, he was pretty sure he wanted her to stay there. “Okay.”

“Okay?” she echoed.

“Yeah, okay. We wait, it’s okay.”

“Really?”

“Yes, really!”

“Oh, thank you, Michael!” She bounced up and down slightly.

“Ok, Maria off the bike now, you’re gonna ruin the shocks.” She hopped up and did a little happy dance, before pecking him on the cheek.

“Bye!” she exclaimed and took off, running to the house, where Amy had just turned on the porch light.

He shook his head, her antics proved she was going to be high maintenance. He’d have his work cut out for him trying to protect her. First on his list was Valenti. Jock-boy was going down.
<><><><>

“Shit!” Max shouted, tearing apart his room, frantically looking for his backpack.

“What’s the matter?” Isabel asked, coming to the door. She raised her eyebrows contemptuously as she surveyed the disaster room.

“I can’t find my book bag, and I need to return my books the day of the exam. If I don’t have them… They’re like, fifty bucks a piece Iz, I gotta find-”

“Chill, it’s by the front door, Liz brought it by earlier.”

“She did? Why didn’t she come see me?”

Izzy shrugged, “Like I know what goes on with your geeky little girlfriend.”

“She is not a geek, and look who’s talking. Alex Whitman, Izzy?”

“Shut up!” she screamed, turning red. Then she whirled and glided runway style back to her room. Max stared after her, pleased with his victory, and then went to get his bag. Why hadn’t Liz stayed?
<><><><>

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dreamangel
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Post by dreamangel » Thu May 29, 2003 3:19 pm

Interlude Three:

Max was worried. It was Wednesday, and he and Liz hadn’t spoken since he had gone home on Sunday, and he was starting to think she was ignoring him on purpose. He just didn’t know why. Maybe her parents had found out about the weekend and she was grounded? No, she would have found a way to tell him, or the Parker’s would have called his parents. Every time he saw her it was during an exam, and either she or the teacher shushed him. Something was definitely going on.

Liz was feeling horrible. She was avoiding Max at all costs. She wasted time before class and during break so that she made it to class at the last second, if she saw him in the hall, she ran the other way. Maria was scolding her, but she just couldn’t walk up to him and tell her what she’d seen, just so he could break up with her. She’d rather pretend it was a nightmare.

Michael was angry. Valenti seemed to be evading him at every turn, ever since the shocked rumor that Maria and he were going steady swept through the school. One time he had almost caught him, he had yelled “Kyle” and the bastard jock strap had froze, but when he saw it was Michael he had ran like a sissy boy. Michael, of course, pursued, but Kyle had escaped into the men’s room and he had been caught by Mr. Seligman, who had assigned him detention. The last week of school, exam week, half-day week! Valenti was a dead man walking.

Maria was happy. She had Michael and the whole school knew it. The only thing marring her days was the Liz and Max sitch and the exams.

Alex was determined. Isabel had done as he expected and snubbed him this week. So far, he told himself. When he approached her with conversation she cut him down to his face, even though he could see she was sorry. But that just made up his mind, tonight he put his plan into action.

Isabel was frustrated. Couldn’t Alex see that communication between them was faux paux? Didn’t he understand their social rift? Wasn’t he aware of the damage he could cause to her reputation? Why was he doing this to her? Why was he trying to destroy her? But, it was cute the way he wouldn’t give up. And it was sweet that he didn’t mention their rendezvous at the park and for breakfast in front of her “friends”. And he looked so good in his blue button down shirt, it brought out his electrifying eyes. Now, if only he’d unbutton the top button…

The school was speculating. Max Evans and Liz Parker seemed to be on the outs, but whose decision it was seemed to be up for debate. Michael Guerin was actually dating the strange Maria DeLuca. And Alex Whitman seem to think he could dare to contact the Isabel Evans.

No one noticed Tess Harding’s absence.
<><><><>

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dreamangel
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Post by dreamangel » Thu May 29, 2003 3:29 pm

Part Twenty:

It was Wednesday night, well…technically it was Thursday morning, and he was seriously considering committing himself into an insane asylum. But no, he was doing this. He had to do this. The part of him that wouldn’t let his irrational hope die was egging him on.

So here he was, outside in the chilly before-dawn hours, in Isabel Evans’ backyard. Screwing up his courage he slung his guitar strap over his head and knock loudly on her window.

After a few moments a light clicked on, nearly making him pee his pants. Shit, Whitman, this was a stupid idea, she’s gonna think you’re an even bigger dork now! A shadowy figure was coming closer to the window and Alex shut his eyes, praying that if he kept them shut she wouldn’t be able to see him either. The lock was being opened…

“Whitman?”

His eyes burst open in shock, and he found himself staring in ridiculously beautiful amber eyes. It was just plain wrong for a guy to have eyes that girly. “Evans.”

Max Evans stared at him quietly, just waiting. “You’re probably wondering what I’m doing here, at this hour, knocking at your window. I have a perfectly logical explanation for it. Just a big mix up, really…”

“I was, yes,” he answered, talking over Alex’s babble, “It’s not every night a guy gets woken up to find another guy at his window with a guitar. I’m assuming you’re not here to serenade me."

“You would assume correctly. That’s my logical explanation, I was actually looking for Isabel’s window. Could you possibly direct me to the right one? Please?”

“Why should I?” Max asked, sounding amused, “I don’t know if Izzy wants a guy with stalkerish tendencies knocking on her window late at night.”

“Because-” he started, “Hey! I am not a stalker!”

“Then what are you?”

“I’m a Whitman.” Max was not looking impressed. “Okay, I just… The other night we ran into each other at the elementary playground, and we talked, like really talked. Then we met up for breakfast and we had fun. She was the girl I knew she could be. She wasn’t acting like the world’s biggest bitch. She was just being Isabel. And I liked that Isabel, and I liked that I was the one who could make her laugh. I want her to keep being that Isabel, and this was the only way I could think of to do it. Music’s the only thing I’m good at, besides computers and chess…”

A sigh ended his monologue. “It’s that one,” Max told him, pointing to a window on the next story, diagonal from his. Alex looked at him suspiciously, skeptical of his easy acquiescence.

“You’re sure?”

“I think I know where my own sister’s bedroom is,” he said, sounding annoyed.

“I wasn’t implying you didn’t, I just want to make sure you weren’t tricking me and I go a’knockin’ and it’s your parents room.”

“I wouldn’t do that to you.”

“Why not?”

“Number one, you’re Liz’s friend. Number two, I want the real Izzy to come back, too.” They stared at each other for a beat, understanding flowing between them. Alex nodded at him and Max shut his window, went to bed, and shut off his light. Alex moved on the Isabel’s window.

He paused, confounded for a moment. He couldn’t very well climb the tree two stories, knock, and then play up there. He sighed heavily, feeling discouraged, maybe this was a sign to give up. He kicked the ground, feeling irritated now, and he hit his toe on a rock. “OW!” he shouted, then clapped a hand over his mouth. “Ow,” he repeated more quietly, “Stupid rock.” He glared at it and then inspiration hit.
<><><><>

Isabel woke to the strangest noise. It sounded like something was hitting her window. There it was again! She sat up in bed, listening intently. Another barrage of sprinkles and she was up out of bed, moving swiftly to her window. She perked her ears for an intruder, and thought she heard a faint “Isabel!”

“What?” she whispered to herself, and then CRACK! She squealed and threw aside her blinds to be confronted with a very large crack in the glass. Furiously, she opened the window, and got ready to ream out Michael, only to be confronted with a red-faced Alex Whitman standing on the lawn.

“Sorry!” he called up to her, “I’ll pay for that.”

“Don’t worry about it,” she said back, smiling, it was nothing a little alien ingenuity couldn’t handle, “What are you doing here?” They were both yelling in a whisper, afraid to wake the parentals.

“I, um, well, you know what happened this weekend? And then at school?” She nodded, ashamed. “Yeah, well, I just wanted to say I don’t accept that Isabel.”

“Alex-”

“NO,” he interrupted, “No, listen to me, please.” She nodded again, biting her lip. “I like you Isabel, and I think you like me, and I just want to say…Screw being popular! You’re better than that Isabel, you’re like this beautiful person, inside and out, and I… I wrote this for you, to try and get you to see that, so… Here goes.”

He strummed the guitar he had brought and then looked up at her, honest in the moonlight, and she felt tears prick her eyes as he began to sing.

They call her a dream,
The untouchable, unattainable supreme…
She’s their beauty queen,
But she’s not all that she seems.

She’s got red pouting lips
With arresting brown eyes
And a body that kills,
But I can see behind the lies…

I see the real girl inside,
Not the beauty queen,
Not the captain of the cheerleading team
Or the head of the popular scene…
But the real girl inside.

Sure, she’s beautiful
But if it’s just the same,
I’d rather see her at a playground
In the middle of the rain…

Instead of up on that stage
In another homecoming crown,
Being made into the Princess again,
But that’s all she’s getting from this town.

I see the real girl inside,
Not the beauty queen,
Not the captain of the cheerleading team
Or the head of the popular scene…
But the real girl inside.

She’s made of passion and fire, not ice
Mixed with laughter and intelligence…
One of those old, loving souls…
And the smile of an angel I haven’t seen since…

That night all alone,
I got lost in her eyes,
And the look on her face
After the final goodbyes…

That’s when I saw the real girl inside,
Not the beauty queen,
Not the captain of the cheerleading team
Or the head of the popular scene…
But the real girl inside.

I see her inner perfection.
I see the sun in my sky.
I see my one ray of light,
There’s no need to hide…

I see the real girl inside.
<><><><>

Max listened from his bed as Whitman serenaded his sister. He knew Izzy would give in, she was so tired of pretending all the time, he just never thought it would be Alex Whitman to be the one to melt the ice. Of, course, he never though Maria would be able to tear down Michael’s stone walls, or for Liz to be the one who brought him back to life.

Liz…

He needed to find out why she was shunning him. He didn’t know what he’d done, but he couldn’t last another day without touching her…kissing her…holding her…breathing her…

Maybe he should take a page out of Whitman’s book and pay a little late night visit…

But first he’d see how today went.
<><><><>

Liz had managed to prolong completing her sixth hour exam, so that Max had no chance to talk to her, but seventh block was her free period, as well as his and Maria’s.

Luckily she had convinced Maria to go to lunch with her, just the girls. Her friend had seen through the diversionary tactic, told her she was being a baby, and then agreed. So now, she was at her locker, getting her stuff ready to go.

“Liz?”

Shit!
<><><><>

“Max.” Her response was hesitant, slightly nervous.

“Can we go to lunch?”

“Sorry.” She shut her locker and gave him a little, apologetic glance. “Maria and I are going out.”

“Well, can I join you?”

“It’s just supposed to be the two of us. You know, girl talk.”

“I can handle it.”

“No. Please Max, just drop it.”

He was stunned at her tone. He reached out to touch her and she pulled back, his hand falling uselessly to his side. “Liz?” She looked up at him, finally meeting his eyes. “What’s going on?”

Her brown eyes grew sad, hurt, and he was alarmed to see tears forming. “Why don’t you tell me Max?” she whispered, and then turned and ran for the double doors leading to the parking lot.

He just stared after her, helpless, not knowing what to do.
<><><><>

“God, Liz, just walk up to him and say, ‘What the hell did you think you were doing!’” Maria advised her friend.

“I can’t, Maria.”

“Want me to do it for you?” she offered, taking a bite of her burrito. They had decided to eat at the taco place just outside town. Michael had suggested it.

“No. I’ll do it. I just have to figure out the right time. Atmosphere wise and such…”

“Sure Lizzie, just try and have the “atmosphere” right before this Saturday.”

“Why?”

She stared at the small brunette she had adopted. “Liz, honey, Saturday is the beginning of summer break, and for those of us of lesser intelligence, that means fun!"

“I know what summer break means, Maria.”

“Yes, well, I have this summer planned out, and it involves a lot of double dates, so chop-chop. We have a schedule to keep.” Liz seemed disbelieving. “Please, Lizzie, do it tonight.”

“I have to work tonight.”

“Then before school.” Their eyes locked and Maria’s green gaze dominated Liz’s chocolate one, causing the other girl to sigh.

“Fine,” she said dejectedly, and Maria smiled, happy with her victory.

“Good, and here.” Liz looked down at what Maria had placed in her hand and Maria endeavored to keep a straight face.

“MARIA!” she yelped.

“What?” At Liz’s glare she tried her patented “innocent eyes”. Then frowned, because it wasn’t working as well on her best friend as it did on her mom. “It’s just in case “Saint Max” decides to put in another appearance. I’m just looking out for your well-being, chica, you know that.”

She was going to continue justifying her gift, but then she realized Liz wasn’t really offended. They looked at each other again and then burst into a giggle fit, Liz slipping the condom in her back pocket.
<><><><>

Liz brushed her newly dried hair and looked at her reflection in the mirror. “You can do it,” she told herself, “Just like Maria said, walk right up to him and ask what he was doing with Tess. It’s simple, straightforward. It’s like an experiment in Biology, and you kick ass at Biology. You can do it! You’re talking to yourself, Parker. Not a good sign…”

Then she smacked her forehead, the pep talk not gearing her up for a heartrending talk with her boyfriend. If he still is my boyfriend, she thought mournfully. A soft knocking took her from her self-pitying internal war.

She glanced at the door and wondered who it was. Her parents went out for dinner, and she had locked all the doors. Maybe it was Max, he didn’t have to worry about locks… Maybe he had been fed up and was just going to break up with her now… Maybe…

The knock again, and she realized it wasn’t coming from her door. Wide-eyed, she turned to her balcony window and eeped. Max was crouched outside, staring at her with those soulful eyes of his. She rose, making sure her butterfly robe was securely fastened, then moved toward the window.

“What are you doing here?” she asked fearfully, stepping back as he climbed through the tiny window.

“We need to talk,” he said simply, brushing himself off.

“I know.” Sitting down on the bed, she steeled herself for the inevitable. She stiffened when Max sat beside her.

“Liz, talk to me,” he whispered, reaching for her hand.
<><><><>

She seemed so tense, and when his fingertips brushed her hand she sat even straighter up. She was acting as if she were afraid of him, of what he was. But she could handle it, he had seen it in her mind.

What he really wanted now, was to be able to deepen that humming in the back of his brain and be able to feel her feeling and read her thoughts again, but he suspected she wasn’t in a willing mood to make love.

She wasn’t responding, so he tried again. “Are you afraid of me?”

“What?” She looked at him, surprised, and he breathed a sigh of relief. “Of course I’m not afraid of you, whatever gave you that idea?” she demanded.

“Look at yourself, Liz, you’ve been acting as if I carry the plague or something. Every time I get near you you’ve suddenly got someplace else to be, and I didn’t know what was going on. I figured it was some delayed reaction to me being not of this earth-”

“That’s not it,” she interrupted his tirade.

“Then what Liz? Just tell me what’s wrong and I’ll fix it, I promise,” he pleaded, taking up both her hands and turning her body to face his. She still wouldn’t meet his eyes. “Liz,” he urged softly, using one hand to tilt her chin, “Tell me.”

Tears welled up and she looked away. “You were kissing her.”

“What?” he asked, completely lost.

“Tess!” she wailed, jumping up and pacing in front of him, “I went to return your backpack and I got to your room and their she was and there you were… Naked, the both of you, on your bed, kissing… Hands… I-I-I couldn’t handle it. I was afraid maybe you realized I wasn’t the one you wanted, and I was hurt and-and angry and I just couldn’t… I couldn’t…”

“Liz.” He was up at once and had her enfolded in his embrace, not letting her go when she struggled. “Hush, love,” he told her, and he loosened his hold to wipe away her tears. “Nothing happened between me and Tess.”

“It really happened though, what I saw? Because I called the Harding’s house and her father said she was at your house.”

He chuckled, pleased with her quick thinking. She had suspected Tess’ mindwarp first… “Yes, Tess was at my house, and yes, she did come on to me, but I pushed her away. I told her that if she couldn’t accept the fact that I was with you for good then she needed to leave and we weren’t even going to be friends. So she left.”

She was staring up at him adoringly and he grinned down at her. “And you’re not mad at me?”

“No,” he assured her, “A little hurt, but I probably would have done the same thing if I had seen you naked in another guy’s arms.”

“Really?”

“No, I would’ve blasted him into a pile of dust, but it’s basically the same thing.” She giggled and snuggled into his body. He gave the top of her head a kiss. “Where are your parents?”

“Out,” she whispered, pressing a kiss to his neck. He groaned.

“Liz… I didn’t bring-” She cut him off with a kiss.

“Don’t worry,” she whispered, and pressed a small package into his hand, “I have the situation under control.”

He smiled as he gave her a possessive kiss, “Why Liz Parker, you bad girl, you…”

“Shut up, Saint Max, and make love to me!”

“Whatever you say, love.” He picked her up gently deposited her on the bed, her robe parting to reveal smooth legs. She watched him intently as he took of his shirt and pants, leaving him in a pair of red boxers.

“Ooh,” she teased, sitting up on her knees, “Are those new?”

“Isabel bought them for me for Christmas,” he told her, “She bought Michael a pair of sparkly gold ones. I think she should reconsider her perfect gift ideas.” Liz laughed, running her hands over his chest, kissing his neck. He shivered and kissed her back, hands going straight for the tie of the belt and pushing it off of her.

“I like them,” she informed him, tracing the top of the boxers, “You look good in red.”

“You look good naked,” he told her back, tracing the dip of her spine. She gave a breathy little gasp and he felt her nipples harden against his chest.

“Max…”

He laughed at her and slid off his boxers, bearing her down onto the bed. “When are your parents coming back?”

“They said they were going to catch a movie at eight, so probably not until ten,” she gasped as hid tongue dropping into the depression at her collarbone.

“We don’t have that much time.” His hands trailed down her body, combing through her curls and slipping into her heat as she clung to him. He was truly amazed at how quickly she responded to him, and at how quickly he became hard at the mere thought of her. Of being lost in her tight, hot, welcoming body.

“Hurry then!”

Again, he chuckled at her urgency. Locker room talk always said make-up sex was the best, but he had never had a chance to find out. And chances are, with Liz, he wouldn’t have very many opportunities.

He slowly began slipping the latex condom on and Liz gave a frustrated moan beneath him. She batted his hands away and finished the job for him, tugging him toward her. “Liz,” he warned her sternly, anxious that her eager little hands would end it all too quickly and the condom would go to waste.

“Max, stop being such a prude,” she ordered him and then turned over, so that she was straddled on top of him. He was surprised at this side of his innocent Liz, but very, very content with it.

He surveyed her with an air of ownership as she slid up and down on top of him, her hands braced against his chest as her hips gyrated. He gazed up at her as she took her pleasure, her eyes closed tight her breath coming in short, uneven gasps, until his own gratification began to rise up.

The pleasant friction between their bodies began to heat up to and overwhelming inferno and Max went up on his elbows, meeting her lower body as it came down. “Liz,” he begged, wanting her to open his eyes.

They opened suddenly as she came down once more and he was rapidly lost in their depths. His breath caught in his throat as their souls joined together again, and his control vanished. He met her, orgasm for orgasm, until they both collapsed down onto her bed.

“Max,” she whispered into his chest as she moved her head to look at him. “We’ve really got to do this more often.” He laughed appreciatively and ran his fingers through her silky hair and then down her slender arm, relishing in her tiny tremble of awareness.

“Definitely,” he agreed, “But maybe we should try my house next time, otherwise you may need a new bed.”

“Um-hmm.” She snuggled closer to him and he listened as her breathing started to even out, she was falling asleep.

“I’ll pick you up tomorrow,” he offered.

“No,” her voice was sleepy, “Maria’s picking me up.”

“Fine,” he grumbled, “I’ll see you at school then.” But she didn’t reply, too deep asleep to be concerned with his tone of voice. He smiled and kissed the top of her head. He’d have to leave soon, but right now, he just wanted to lay there, wrapped up in the girl he loved.
<><><><>

Maria picked her up at 6:30, in order to give her at least twenty minutes to clear things up with Max. She had tried to interrupt the blonde’s “empowering” speech, but Maria wouldn’t be distracted.

“You have to get in there, Lizzie. Don’t take any crap, tell it to him straight and if he won’t answer you dump him. Simple as that, just do it. Oh! And if-“

“Maria STOP!”

“What?”

“Max came over last night, and everything is okay, it was all a big misunderstanding. Tess was being her usual bitchy self and Max finally put his foot down and told her to leave.”

“Oh, well, good.” She was quiet for approximately ten seconds. “Then what the hell am I doing up this early in the morning?!!”

Liz blushed, “I didn’t have time to call you last night, and you wouldn’t let me get a word in this morning.”

“No time? What happened? Ohmigod, did you…” she trailed off, wiggling her eyebrows suggestively.

“Yes, and thank you for the present, it came in handy.”

“He forgot again?” Liz just nodded, smiling reminiscently. “My God, I gotta have a talk with that boy.”

“Maria no!”
<><><><>

The three of them had come to school and meet in the abandoned AV room to discuss the current state of affairs. Isabel tapped her foot impatiently. “So you were right Max. I stopped by the house and there’s a “for sale” sign.”

Her brother just nodded, not answering. Michael kicked his desk. “Something you wanna share with the class, Maxwell?” Isabel rolled her eyes at their childishness, they were so unlike Alex.

“Sorry, I didn’t get much sleep last night. Um…Izzy said Tess mentioned Nasedo had took an unscheduled trip, but she didn’t know where. Now they’re gone. We’re going to assume that either Nasedo came back and took Tess away with him, or the Skins got them.”

“Either way,” Michael added, “They’re out of our hair, and I, for one, am thrilled with that.”

“Really?” Isabel asked, “Weren’t you the one who wanted to find out about our origins? The one who wanted to go home?” He shifted uncomfortably.

“Yeah, well, things change.”

“Michael!” Suddenly Maria bounced in, annoyingly perky. “There you are, Lizzie and I got here early, and the Eraser Room is free, c’mon!” Michael was up in an instant, and then it was he who was tugging Maria out the door. Isabel rolled her eyes when Maria resisted and fixed Max with her bottle green eyes. “And you, Saint Max, get your act together.” She tossed Max a box from her purse and winked. “Buh-bye!”

She looked at him, and noticed he was strawberry red. “What is it?”

“Nothing,” he said quickly, stuffing it in his bag, “So we agree not to speculate about Tess and Nasedo?”

“Yeah, they’re gone, that’s all that counts. Now let’s go, I’m meeting Alex in the quad.”

“You’re really gonna do it?”

She tossed her blonde hair and gave him her most princess-like glare, “If you and Michael can take the plunge, so can I. Besides, I’m tired of pretending I’m a bitch, I just wanna have a normal life as a normal girl.”

“But we’re not normal, Isabel.”

“Alex doesn’t need to know that,” she told him, walking out the door.

“Yes, he does,” drifted out to her, but she ignored it, heading toward the quad. She opened the double doors and scanned the area. Kids were studying, Alex among them. Smiling, she started to make her way over to him, but was stopped half-way there by the Fashion Club.

“Isabel! That is such a cute outfit!” Stacey squealed, “We have to go shopping together-”

“Maybe later,” Isabel replied, “I have to go catch up with my boyfriend.”

"Boyfriend? Izzy, hon, who?” was the demand.

“Alex Whitman.” And she walked through them, aware of their speechlessness, and walked over to Alex. That felt good, she thought.

Sitting down next to him after a hello kiss, a stunned chorus of “WHAT?!” caused the whole quad to look up at the crazy group near the doors, surprised to see it was the Bitch Patrol, but then go back to studying.

She and Alex smiled at each other.
<><><><>

It was break time between eighth and ninth period exams and Liz was clearing out her locker so that she and Max could take off right after class. She hummed under her breath and stared at a picture of them that they had gotten from one of those picture booths at the movies. There were many more of those experiences to come, she thought happily, and put the strip of pictures in her bag.

The locker shut when she was bent down, and she straightened, wondering who had closed it. She came face to face with Kyle Valenti. “Hey, Liz.”

“Um, hi, Kyle. Thanks for, um, shutting my locker.” She started to walk away, but an arm shot out, blocking her. “Kyle…” She turned back to him, and was distressed to find herself trapped against her locker. “What do you want, Kyle?”

“I think that would be obvious, Lizzie. Evans is through playing with you, and it’s time for us regular guys to have a little lovin’. We’re all really curious what it was that kept him around so long, and I got first dibs.” He moved a hand, trailing his fingertips down her arm. She jerked away, reminded of Max’s touch just a few hours before.

“I’m sorry, Kyle, I think you’ve been misinformed on a few points. Number one, I am not a slut, so you can just forget about it, and number two…” she trailed off, focused on a enraged face bearing down on them through the crowd that had gathered.

“What’s number two, Lizzie-” But he was cut off as he was slammed against the locker.
<><><><>

“Keep your filthy hands off my girlfriend, Valenti,” he hissed into the other boy’s ear,

“That’s number two, Kyle,” Liz said, stepping behind him.

“Evans!” Valenti, mumbled against the metal, “Hi! How’s it going?”

“Better for me, than for you,” he replied, letting him go.

“Oh, really?”

“Yeah, Valenti, really.” And Michael had him by the shoulders, Valenti went pale.

“Funny thing,” Max said, “I ran into Michael, and it turns out he’s been looking for you. Have fun.” And Michael dragged the football star away. Max turned to Liz, “You okay?”

She nodded and wrapped her arms around his waist, “Peachy.” Max smiled and gave her a soft kiss.

“I heard what he said,” Max told her, “I just couldn’t get through the crowd that fast.” He raised an eyebrow at the now dispersing students, who were frantically trying to make it to class.

“You made it just in time,” she fluttered her eyelashes at him, “My hero.”

“Liz,” he said seriously, “I am through with playing.”

“No, you’re not,” she said, just as seriously. He was going to protest, but she put a finger to his lips. “It’s just for keeps now.”
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Post by dreamangel » Thu May 29, 2003 3:31 pm

Epilogue:

Roswell is just a little bit smaller now. People have graduated, gone off to college, moved, etc. The unattainables aren’t so out of reach, and the nerdy kids aren’t such total geeks.

Amy DeLuca and Jim Valenti eventually got married, but can depend only on Maria for grandchildren. Michael messed Kyle up pretty bad…tee-hee…

Alex Whitman was offered a record contract right out of high school. For a while he traveled with his band, the Whits, with Maria sometimes acting as lead singer. They were famous. Now, he’s married to an international supermodel, has two kids, and is settled down with a formidable solo career in L.A.

Isabel Evans got picked up in a model search during college, she moved to Paris where Isabella Evangelis became her runway name. Five years later she was doing a shoot in Japan, where she got backstage passes to the Whits concert. Isabel Whitman is currently living in L.A. with her husband and two kids. She works part-time as a kindergarten teacher and the rest as homemaker.

Maria DeLuca went to UNM after touring with the Whits, and got a doctorate in psychology. She told her live-in boyfriend this way she could mess with lots of people’s heads instead of just his.

Michael Guerin also went to UNM to study art, then he got an offer from a gallery in Chicago and moved. Maria accepted his invitation to join him there and switched colleges for graduate work. Oh, and they stopped waiting.

Liz Parker went to Harvard and Max Evans came with. Dr. Liz Evans works for the University in the forensics lab and Dr. Max Evans at a hospital a few miles away. They’re still getting used to the cold Boston atmosphere, but they love it there. They’re expecting their first child in December.

Everybody eventually told their significant other about their alien status. Alex took it in stride, a little mad that Isabel had lied to him for years, but he got over it when he saw his daughter the first time. Maria freaked out on Michael and told him he was just projecting his feeling of abandonment, until he used his powers. Then she got really quiet and told him she needed to talk a walk. She came back from her mother’s a week later and everything was okay.

Bet you’re all wondering about what happened to Tess and Nasedo. Let’s just say that Zan wasn’t very welcoming, and they’re not a problem anymore.

The Dupes managed to make it to Antar. Kivar and Nicholas were destroyed and the rebellion disbanded. Lonnie was executed after attempting to assassinate her brother, Rath is happy as Commander of the Armed Forces, and Zan and Ava married amiably and ruled together wisely. Turns out the Granolith wasn’t really needed, the people just wanted their King back.

The End

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Post by dreamangel » Thu May 29, 2003 3:35 pm

<center>DISTORTED REALITIES</center>

Title: Being Just Friends
Author: Nicole
Rating: ADULT
Disclaimer: Roswell is not mine.
Summary: AU, no aliens. Max Evans and Liz Parker have been best friends since Max moved to Roswell, now they're in high school and everthing's changing. Can they be just friends?
AN: Banner by Destinee

Image

**#2- Being Just Friends**

Prologue: The Kiss of the Millennium

It was a stupid argument. Liz and Max had been the best of friends since third grade. They never fought about anything. Totally in sync. That’s what everybody said. So why were they fighting now? Neither one had any idea, besides the fact that neither one liked the person the other person was dating. Neither one had any idea why it bothered them either, but it did.

“Okay, okay. Let me get this straight,” Liz Parker snapped, dark eyes fiery. “It’s okay for you to go out with Tess even though I don’t like it, but I can’t date Kyle because you don’t like it.”

“Exactly,” Max Evans snapped back. An angry flush rose in her cheeks.

“That is the most screwed up logic in the world, and I’m not talking to you until you start making some sense.” She started to stalk away, but Max grabbed her arm, stopping her.

“You don’t like me going out with Tess?”

“No,” she said firmly.

“Why?”

“Because you don’t belong together!” she cried. He grabbed her other arm, making her face him.

“Do you belong with Kyle?”

“No,” she said quietly.

“Then why are you going out with him?” he asked, exasperated with her feminine logic.

“I don’t know,” she whispered. She looked down. “He’s just like this good friend I let kiss me sometimes.”

“And do you let all your good friends kiss you?” he asked, scornful and wondering at the same time. The sharp retort on her lips died when she looked up into his intensely burning brown eyes. She felt an excited shiver run through her body. Max was going to kiss her. Max leaned in, giving her room to pull away, but she didn’t want to. Liz raised her lips to his, and they kissed.

Everything exploded. It was the Fourth of July, fireworks, stars exploding, the universe seemed to just fill them. Liz felt dizzy from the rush of emotions and heat coursing through her. Max released his grip on her arms. His hand traveled upward, tracing her cheekbones, twining in her hair, caressing the sensitive skin on the back of her neck. Liz felt herself losing consciousness. She was having a meltdown. She had to touch him back, so she did. Her arms wrapped around his neck, pulling him closer.

They broke apart, breathing hard, lungs crying out for oxygen. They looked at each other, incredulous. Both not very sure of what had just happened, but both knowing that nothing was ever going to be the same again.
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Post by dreamangel » Thu May 29, 2003 3:38 pm

Part One: The First Kiss

The year was 1991, the date was August 28th, and it was the dreaded first day of school. Liz Parker was eight years old, and she was not dreading anything about the day. She loved school, she loved to learn, she loved her teachers, and she loved her friends.

Right that very second she was playing with her bestest friend ever, Maria DeLuca. She and Maria had met in kindergarten, when Maria had beat up that awful Kyle Valenti boy for chasing Liz around. Liz had adored her ever since.

They were playing rock-paper-scissors while waiting for school to start. They were both in Ms. Shapiro’s third grade class this year, and the prospect was making them giddy. “Rock beats scissors!” Liz said, smiling.

“Cheater!” Maria exclaimed. Liz laughed and watched as more buses pulled up. Then something, someone actually, caught her eye.

A little boy and girl had come off the newest bus, hand in hand. The girl was blonde, pretty, looking excited, but the boy… He was dark-haired, soft-eyed, and tense. He looked ready to run, as if all the children and noise scared him. The boy looked up and Liz caught his eye, smiling. She wanted to make him feel better.
<><><><>

Max stared back at the little brown-eyed girl. He had noticed her from the window of the bus as they had pulled up. She had been playing some sort of hand game with a blond girl, her long brown hair had been blowing in the wind, laughter had lit up her face, and she had just captivated him.

He hadn’t been able to stop staring at her since he stepped off the bus with Isabel. Which surprised him slightly, all the girls he’d ever known, ‘cept Momma and Izzy, were walking cootie containers. But she was different.

She was smiling now. At him.

Max sucked in a breath and let it out in a whoosh as his sister dragged him away with her as she followed a group of giggling girls with a jump rope. He grumbled silently under his breath and stood back from them, glaring around the playground.

His eyes were caught by the blonde girl she had been playing with, and he looked expectantly for the brown head, but all he saw was the girl and the spiky-haired boy she was chasing.

He sighed in disappointment and then perked up as the bell finally rang. Max enjoyed school, and he missed his old friends, but he could probably make more. Maybe not as fast as Izzy, but girls were so annoyingly talkative it only made sense they got together faster. But he needed to get away from her and her cootie infested friends, otherwise the boys would start making fun of the new guy.

Jebus freezus, being new sucked.
<><><><>

The door to class opened and Liz looked up eagerly. Their teacher, Ms. Shapiro, came in, escorting the boy she had seen earlier. “Class, this is Max Evans. Max, why don’t you tell us something about yourself.”

“Well, um…”

Liz propped her chin up on her hands and peered at him. He was cute for an icky boy. Brown eyes stared at her for a second before they looked away, and then he was blushing. Liz suppressed a giggle.

“I’m Max, my family just moved onto Murray Lane. I have a sister, Isabel, who’s a year older and I like science and basketball. Not necessarily in that order. And that’s about it.”

“Very nice, now, why don’t you take a seat behind Liz and we’ll get class started.”

Max glanced around, looking lost, and Liz raised her hand, showing him the assigned seat. She smiled at him and his ears turned pink. “Hi,” she whispered.

“Hi,” he replied, not looking at her. She frowned slightly, but then noticed his ears were still red. She realized he must be embarrassed, she didn’t actually know what she was doing. Boys and girls did not voluntarily speak to each other unless told to explicitly. Oh, well, if he lived on Murray Lane she’d be talking to him a lot.
<><><><>

Max waited patiently beside his mother. They’d been invited to dinner at their new next-door neighbors house. He was stuck wearing an itchy suit and carrying dessert. Isabel, of course, didn’t have to carry anything. She was on Dad’s back humming off-key, because she had got a new dress to compensate her for leaving her friends.

Girls had so easy. Give them a dress and a Barbie doll and they were set for life. It was so unfair.

The door was suddenly flung open and there stood a flushed, starry-eyed Liz Parker. Max couldn’t talk. “Hi!” she exclaimed, “Welcome to the neighborhood, dinner’s almost ready, please come in and make yourselves comfy. Max, you have to come see my new telescope!” She grabbed his free hand as her father took the plate of cookies, and tugged him into the house.

He barely had time to take anything in as she dragged him up the stairs, leaving his family behind, and to a neatly decorated room upstairs. He gawked at the poster of Earth she had on her wall. He had the same one. And then out a sliding glass door to a balcony.

The balcony was lit up with Christmas lights. There was a chaise lounge chair with a purple blanket draped over it, a little end table with a leather bound book, and then a telescope pointed in the direction of the star-filled sky.

“You said you like science,” Liz said, “I thought you might like the stars too.”

He stared at her, silently, then walked to the telescope and examined it closely (nice model) before looking into it. It was pointed directly at his favorite constellation. He stared at the “V”-shaped formation and then backed away. He stared at Liz, who stared solemnly back at him.

“You’re pretty cool for a girl,” he admitted.
<><><><>

Liz grinned, her fear that he wouldn’t like her insubstantial. “And you’re pretty nice for a boy,” she told him back.

They stood there, smiling at one another for a time, completely in sync with one another.

“You wanna be friends?” Liz asked tentatively.

“Sure,” he responded.

She jumped up form her seat on her chair and hugged him. He stiffened a second and then hugged her back. “Max, Liz! Dinnertime!” her daddy shouted from the first floor.

“Coming Daddy!” she yelled back. Then she mischievously kissed him on the cheek and ran downstairs, giggling uncontrollably. A few seconds later he pounded after her.

They grinned at each other from across the dinner table, ignoring his sister’s disapproving looks at their, what she termed, “childish behavior”. Max didn’t care, Liz didn’t care.

All she knew was that now she had another best friend to love.
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Post by dreamangel » Thu May 29, 2003 3:42 pm

Part Two: The Healing Kiss

“Sit down.”

Max slumped into the chair in front of Principal Shaffer’s desk. He glared over at Kyle as he also sat down.

She frowned at them over her glasses and tapped her fingers on her desk. “Now, Mr. Valenti, you have made a habit of picking fights, but Mr. Evans, this is not something I would have expected of you. Now then, from what I understand from your teacher and helpful comments of your fellow students, this particular incident occurred because of Miss Parker. Is that correct?”

Neither boy said a word.

“Tell me what happened or you both will be serving detention time.”

Still nothing.

He was fuming internally. So what if he and Liz had been playing basketball? Kyle had had no right to insult her like that. He had had no right to call Max a girl either, and Max had made sure he realized that.

In fact, now the whole playground realized it. Max had been made fun of since fifth grade
had started and he had put up with it, not allowing Liz to see how much grief he was put
through just ‘cause they were friends.

Suddenly the door flew open and a small, brown whirlwind entered the room, crying. “Principal Shaffer! It wasn’t Max’s fault! Don’t give him detention, please, please!”

Liz was by Max, hugging him close, and Max felt heat come into his face. He was probably red as a radish. “Liz, it’s all right.” He wiped her tears away gently, “Just calm down, okay?”

She gulped and nodded, but didn’t let go of him.

“Elizabeth, would you tell me what happened?” Principal Shaffer tried again, thinking she’d get more out of the girl than the two boys.

“Liz,” Max muttered rebelliously.

“What, Mr. Evans?”

He cleared his throat. “Her name is Liz, not Elizabeth. She hates being called Elizabeth,” he told her matter of factly.

The principal was blinking at him, obviously starting to get a little angry.

“Way to stick up for your girlfriend, Evans,” Kyle said sarcastically.

That was it, Max was up out of his chair and starting toward him. “That’s it, Valenti!” he exclaimed, trying to take a swing. But a weight on his arm was holding him back.

“Max, he’s not worth it!” Liz was crying again, tugging on his arm.

“Mr. Evans! Sit down now!” Everybody stopped and stared at the principal. “Sit down, now, all of you,” she repeated.

“We’re just friends,” Max pointed out, still trying to defend his honor.

“Mr. Evans that is not the issue. Now then, I can see disciplinary measures will have to be taken. Miss Parker please return to your class, the secretary will give you a pass.”

“But Principal-“

“Go, Miss Parker,” she said again.

“Yes ma’am.” Liz sent him one more glance and then walked out the door, quietly shutting it behind her. Max gazed after her until the principal started talking yet again.

“I’m going to have to call your parents, so just sit back and relax. You’re going to be here for awhile.”

Max sighed and flopped back into the chair, glaring at Kyle through his good eyes. Kyle just returned the glare, smirking at him in an annoying manner. Jebus freezus, what a jerk.
<><><><>

Liz had to stop at the girl’s room on her way back to class. She stared in the mirror and stood on her tiptoes to reach the sink (being short sucked!), and twisted the cold water handle to the “on” position.

She sighed heavily, waiting for the sink to fill slightly. Her eyes were red and puffy and she needed to get them back to normal before she went back to class.

She shouldn’t have cried. Max must be disgusted with her right now. But… He had looked so horrible. Kyle had given him a split lip, black eyes, scrapes up and down his face… He shouldn’t have fought Kyle back, it only made it worse.

But she was proud of him for sticking up for himself, for sticking up for her and their friendship. She knew how hard it was for him to be friends with a girl. All the other boys wouldn’t have anything to do with him. Well, except Alex Whitman and Michael Guerin, but that didn’t really help.

Alex was out-casted because he was Maria’s best friend and because of the fact that he followed Max’s sister, Isabel, around like a puppy. And Michael…he wasn’t friends with anybody, truth be told, the only human contact he had was occasional grunts in class, a few words to Max, and the insults he hurled at Maria when he was chasing her around the playground.

Liz didn’t understand it. It was perfectly acceptable to chase members of the opposite sex around the playground (common knowledge, well, her mom, said it was a form of flirting (eww!)), but you couldn’t be friends with them. Mom said in a couple of years it would be okay, but right now ten-year old minds couldn’t handle it. She thought that was completely immature.

She stuck her hands in the cold water and brought it to face, carefully avoiding the bandage above her left eye. Kyle had struck her with something when she had tried to break up the fight, and now she had a cut. Nurse Betty had said she needed to tell her mother to take her to the hospital so that a doctor could look at it. Liz was deathly afraid she’d need stitches.

Once she had patted her face dry, she checked again to make sure she looked presentable, and then left the girl’s room. She slowly made her way back to Mr. Raddish’s classroom and handed him her note.

“We’re having independent study time, Elizabeth. Take your seat and get out a book.”

“Yes, Mr. Raddish,” she replied quietly. She turned away from him and went to her desk next to Maria.

“Are you okay, Lizzie?” her best girl friend asked.

“I’m fine Maria,” she told her, smiling.

“Is Max okay?”

“I don’t know,” she answered worriedly, “He looked so horrible, Maria! And the principal’s going to call his parents, I just know it!”

“Principal Shaffer calls my mom all the time, don’t worry about it. And Kyle looked way worse off than our Max. He won’t be picking on him anymore.” Liz shook her head at the admiration in her voice. But then she smiled.

“He did look pretty bad, didn’t he?”

“Totally.”
<><><><>

“Max, I just don’t understand what got into you!” his mother exclaimed disappointedly. Max sighed as she took his chin in her hand and stared at him with those imploring blue eyes. “Honey, promise you won’t get into a fight again.” He averted his eyes. “Max…”

“Mom, I can’t promise that,” he complained, “Kyle hurt Liz, I couldn’t just let that slide!”

And he hadn’t. Before that had happened, Max had just lain there, taking the beating, but Kyle had hit Liz. And she had been bleeding and crying, and Max just couldn’t bear to see her like that. So he had started hitting back, and then Kyle had been the one kissing asphalt.

“He hurt Liz?”

Max nodded, and followed his mother out of the office. Liz and Isabel were sitting on a bench outside, waiting for them. School had ended ten minutes ago, and Diane had had the secretary call their classes to inform them they had a ride home.

“Oh! Liz, darling, are you alright?” his mother asked anxiously, taking Liz into her arms.

“I’m fine, Mrs. Evans. It’s just a scratch.”

He snorted. Blood was starting to seep through the white patch of bandage on her forehead. She was really hurt.

“Afraid not, Miss Parker.” It was Nurse Betty.

“Betty? How are you? And what do you mean?”

“Peachy keen, Diane, and Liz needs to see a doctor about stitches.”

“I don’t need stitches!” Liz yelled, squirming away from the older women and hiding behind him. He sighed, Liz hated hospitals.

“Now, Liz, if Nurse Betty says you should go, you should. I’ll call your mother and see if I can take you right now.”

Isabel made sound of disgust and tossed her blond hair. “I’m taking the bus. I’ll see you at home, Mom.” She walked a few feet and then turned around. “Are you coming Max?” she demanded.

Liz’s grip on his shirt tightened and she burrowed her head into his back. He looked at his mother, who was on the phone with Mrs. Parker, and then turned to his sister. “I’m staying with Liz.”

Izzy rolled her eyes. “Fine,” she snapped, then turned on her heel and stalked away.

He turned around to look at Liz. She slipped her hand into his and smiled at him. “Thank you, Max.” He shrugged and squeezed her hand gently. Like he’d leave her alone in a place out of her nightmares. Those white rooms creeped her out.
<><><><>

Isabel sat in the back of the bus, thoroughly disgusted. The entire busload of students couldn’t stop talking about her brother’s fight with Kyle Valenti. God, fifth graders were so juvenile.

“Your brother is so cute, Isabel!”

She stared in horror at her best friend Tish. “Oh, not you too Tish, please don’t tell me you’ve given into this madness!”

“Izzy,” she giggled, “You have to admit, and those eyes of his are to die for. And the way he stood up to Kyle took a lot of guts. Everyone says so. He’s gonna be so popular!”

“Fantastic,” Isabel muttered and stared out the window, wishing she could bang her head against it. Max was such a doofus. She’d been working since she moved here to be the most popular kid in school, and then her dorky brother gets in a fight over his girlfriend, and he steals what she tried so hard to achieve. Ugh!
<><><><>

Liz swung her bare feet back and forth on the cold table/chair thingy in the doctor’s operating room. She fingered her head gently. The anesthetic was wearing off and she was feeling sore. The bandage had been replaced with a fresh one, but she still felt horrible.

Max hadn’t been able to come in with her, so Mrs. Evans had held her hand, but it hadn’t helped. Diane was nice, but she wasn’t Max. The doctor’s had made her put on the open-backed hospital dress and she sat in the white room while they sewed her back up.

She sniffled, feeling wretched. She hated hospitals. They were so disinfected and sterile. There was no feeling to them.

“Liz?” The door opened and she looked up into her best friend’s worried eyes.

“Max!” she cried.

“Ssh!” he scolded, “I’m not supposed to come back here yet.” She clamped a hand to her mouth and peered apprehensively at the door. He closed it, studiously making sure no nurses were coming.

“You doing okay?” he asked, dragging a chair over to her. She nodded, but felt miserable. She didn’t know what her problem was, she was fixed, and everything was all right. Now could she leave, please?

Max tugged on a piece of her hair and she gave him her attention again. “Sorry I couldn’t come in,” he apologized.

“It’s okay,” she dropped her voice, gazing into his honest brown eyes.

“We’re going to go home soon, Mom just has to clear some things at the nurses’ station.”

“Good,” she stated firmly. He grinned at her and then stood up, pressing his lips to the place where her cut was.

“How’s that?” he inquired, blushing.

“Better,” she whispered, blushing too.
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Post by dreamangel » Thu May 29, 2003 3:45 pm

Part Three: The Kiss of Death

Max admired himself in the mirror. He had been working out lately and his muscles were getting pretty dang big. Oh yeah, he’d get Tish Okabe’s attention for sure.

He smiled goofily when he thought about Tish. She was Isabel’s best friend, and at thirteen was just as developed as girls of sixteen. Since two years ago, when Max had beat Kyle on the playground, she’d been saying hi to him, and having actual conversations.

At first, he’d been like, eww, another icky girl…But now, now it was kinda ego-boosting to know the approval of an older woman. Liz always rolled her eyes at him when he started talking about her, about how pretty and sweet she was… But what did Liz know? She was just a little girl, and a tomboy one at that.

He smiled and grabbed a jacket, heading over to his best friend’s house. He wanted to ask her opinion on his new look before he tried it out on Tish.

Max let himself in the Parker’s front door, knowing Jeff and Nancy were working at the Crashdown. He walked up the stairway and headed down the upper hall to Liz’s room. “Hey Liz,” he called and opened her door.

“MAX!”

In a flash he was back outside the door, barricaded from within. He didn’t attempt to reopen the door. He just stood outside, stunned.

Liz had been wearing a bra!

His best friend had boobs!

Aw, Jebus freezus, he hadn’t expected her to turn into a girl!
<><><><>

Liz could not believe him! She grabbed her robe and wrapped it tightly around her body. Then she snatched up a hair scrunchie and pulled back her wet hair. He was such a boy sometimes, not knocking…

“You’re supposed to knock before you enter a girl’s room, Max Evans!” she told him as she opened her door, glaring at him.

“Yeah, but I don’t think of you as- What?"

“Oh, God!” she gasped, laughing her head off. He looked ridiculous.

“What is your problem?” he demanded. She just shook her head and collapsed onto her bed, rolling with laughter.

“You-you look so funny!” she finally managed.

“I do not!” he exclaimed, “I look manly.”

“Right,” she said, trying to be serious, “You’re a big strong manly man!” Then she dissolved into a fit of giggles.

“Liz!” he complained.

“I’m sorry!” She looked him over again and struggled not to start laughing again. His hair was all spiky, which actually looked okay, but he was wearing leather pants, a white wife-beater, and a leather jacket that was way too big for him. He reminded her of Michael, only more extreme. “What did you want?” There, that sounded normal, no mirth involved at all.
<><><><>

He glared at her. She was still laughing at him, he could see it in those doe-brown eyes of hers. “I wanted your opinion on my new look.”

She started up again.

“Liz! I’m serious!”

“How can you be?” she asked, “I mean, if I looked like that, I wouldn’t be able to take myself seriously.” She pursed her lips and prevented all but a little chuckle to come through.

“Okay, obviously you’re not going to be any help,” he said angrily, getting fed up. He turned to go.

“No, no wait, Max!” she called. He turned around in the doorway and looked at her. She was sitting on her bed, legs sticking out from under the butterfly robe he had gotten her for her birthday last year. (It was a big on her, but she’d grow into it.) He stared at her legs for a moment, hypnotized by the smooth length. “Max? Earth to Max?” He snapped his attention back to her face. “Were you staring at my legs?” she asked suspiciously.

“Did you shave?” he demanded, tangenting from her direct question.

“I’ve been shaving for a year Max.”

“You have?” That was a surprise. She rolled her eyes at him.

“Anyway, what’s with the new…” She waved her hand to encompass him and her lips twitched, “look?”

“I’m trying it out on Tish. You think she’ll be impressed?” He mock posed, and there she went… “Liz!”

“I’m sorry,” she panted, “I can’t help it. I’ll be serious now, I promise.”

“So?” he prompted.

“So, I think you’ll definitely make an impression. I can’t say she’ll be impressed as much as vastly amused.”

“So you don’t think she’ll like it?”

“Max,” Liz sighed and cuddled a pillow in front of her, “It’s not you. You’re not a tough guy. I mean, yes, you can hold your own in a fight, and, according to Maria, you emit “masculine vibes”, but I think you do better as the strong, silent type. You know, just jeans and a T-shirt. Be you, Max, not somebody else.”

“But Tish doesn’t want me. At least, not in a more than friends way.”

“Then she doesn’t deserve you.”

“But-”

“No buts, Maxwell…Besides, there’s something you need to know. About Tish, I mean.”

“What?” he asked sullenly, “Never mind, I’m gonna go home and wallow in self-pity.”

“But Max! It’s important!”

“Bye, Liz.”

“Max!” He tuned her out as he walked back downstairs. She was just gonna try and be sympathetic and understanding. He didn’t need that right now. What he needed were some guy friends, but, lacking those, to go home.

He walked in through the kitchen door, dragging his feet and grabbed a soda from the fridge. Popping it open he turned and froze. Just great, he thought, closing his eyes. That’s just perfect.

For there, sitting at the kitchen table, was his sister and her best friend.
<><><><>

Isabel choked back her laughter as she stared at her brother, but then she couldn’t help it anymore. She and Tish looked at each other and burst out giggling. “Oh, God, Max, do you know how hilarious you look?”

He glowered at her with cold eyes. “Yes, Isabel, Liz has already pointed out that fact already, several times.” She just laughed harder. “That’s right, yuck it up,” he prodded, “Get it all out now so I don’t have to deal with it later.”

“We’re gonna go to my room,” Isabel said, needing to get out of there before she started snorting or something equally humiliating. She and Tish got up and walked past him.

“Oh, Max.” Tish wiped tears from her eyes and kissed his cheek. Isabel rolled her eyes, oh no…He looked amazed, as if she were a goddess to be worshipped or something. He was such a dork.

“Tish.” Isabel tapped her foot impatiently.

“Coming Iz.” She ruffled Max’s spiky hair and laughed again. “You’re so cute Max, Tim never does stuff like this.”

“Tim?” he echoed, sounding dazed.

“My boyfriend.” She smiled at him, “Isabel’s so lucky to have a little brother like you.” Isabel subdued another giggle. Poor Max. For a minute she felt sorry for him. “Bye, Max.” Tish gave him another smile and a wave and then walked out of the kitchen toward Isabel’s room.
<><><><>

Max flung himself onto his bed and picked up his phone, dialing the number by heart. “Hello?”

“Hey, so I think I know what you were going to tell me about Tish.”

“Found out about Tim Watanabe, huh?” Even over the phone she sounded concerned.

“Yeah,” he muttered, “She said I was cute, like in puppy-dog, little kid cute. That’s like the kiss of death.”

“Poor baby,” she commiserated.

“Are you laughing at me?” he questioned.

“Yes.”

“Great, some friend you are.”

“The best,” she told him, laughing openly, “And don’t you forget it Evans.”
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dreamangel
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Post by dreamangel » Thu May 29, 2003 3:49 pm

Part Four: Kiss Off

“Liz, psst!”

“What Max?” she whispered back, covertly checking to make sure Mr. Tollifson was still busy at the blackboard.

“Are you coming to the game tonight?” Liz gave a muffled shriek and glared at him from her seat. He interrupted her in the middle of a test to ask if she was going to his basketball game!

“Of course I’m coming, now shut up!” She bent over her test again and ignored Pam Troy’s annoying little jabs into her back. She probably wanted to know what the answer to number twenty was, well Liz wasn’t going to help her cheat.
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Pam frowned and then glanced at Max. Little Lizzie Parker would pay for disregarding her! An evil little smile lit up her face. One that, had Liz seen it, would have changed her mind about helping.

They were fourteen, freshmen at West Roswell High, and the boyfriend/girlfriend thing was starting. The groping of seniors in the halls putting pressure on the underclassmen. Pressure that Ms. Pamela Troy, school gossip extraordinaire, fueled.

By the time Max and Liz left history class, her little rumor had swept through the ninth grade like wildfire. The knowledge was like shock waves to the female population. The thought that cute, popular Max Evans would be interested in geeky little Liz Parker (when he had so many other girls begging to be his girlfriend) like that was absurd.

Everyone knew they were best friends, but Liz was such a tomboy, it was inconceivable that she could get a guy.

Truth be told, Liz wasn’t a tomboy. She was just as fond of skirts as any other girl, and there were several boys who would’ve loved to go out with her. But she always hung out with Max, and none of them thought to compete with him. Except one…
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Liz slammed her locker shut as Maria came bounding up to her. “Are you and Max going out?” she asked bluntly.

“No!” Liz exclaimed, “Where on earth would you get an idea like that?"

“Duh! Lizzie, the whole school has the idea. Pammy got her claws out early.” Maria rolled her eyes, she hated Pam Troy as much as Liz did.

“What? That…that total witch! How dare she start rumors about me and Max! We’re just friends! How hard is that to comprehend?” she demanded, practically yelling down the hallway. Several students stopped and stared. “Ugh! I can’t believe people would believe something so…so utterly preposterous!”

She stalked down the hall to catch the bus home, feeling particularly angry and wrathful. Maria stared after her in surprise for a second, muttered, “Methinks the lady doth protest too much.” And then skipped after her.

“Lizzie, wait up! We’re going to the game together tonight, right?”
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“Just heard, Evans, good going!”

“What?”

“Evans…Very smooth.”

“What?”

“Hey Evans, heard you scored with Parker! Nice job, man!” Doug Highsinger slapped him on the back.

What?"

“Pam Troy said you and Liz were dating.” He turned to the newest voice, trying to sort out the confusion.

“What are you talking about Kyle?” he demanded, hating that Valenti was the one to retrieve him from bewilderment.

They were the only two freshmen to make the Varsity basketball team, and had begrudgingly agreed to work together for the good of the team. But that didn’t mean they liked each other.

Kyle’s blue eyes were cold. “You heard me,” he said.

“You meant it?"

“Yeah,” he said gruffly.

“But that’s ridiculous.” He shook his head. “There’s no way anyone would believe that.”

“Evans!” Rick Montes’ head popped over the lockers from the next row, “Congrats, Parker’s been lookin’ very fine.”

“Hey!” Max exclaimed, standing up on one of the benches as he pulled his jersey on, “That’s my best friend you’re talking about!”

“Sure, Evans.”

“Yeah right, dude.”

The chorus of disbelief went around the boy’s locker room.

“I mean it!” he protested, “Liz and I are just friends, there’s nothing like that going on.” Sympathetic groans went around.

“Too bad, man.”

“Yeah, but you’ll get some soon, she doesn’t look that frigid.”

“Tight,” Montes said, “But not frigid.”

Max snapped, he was up and over the lockers in an instant and Rick was lying on the floor, cupping his bleeding nose. “Take it back, Montes,” he demanded.

“Jeez, man, I’m sorry, okay. I’m sorry.” He got up, glaring at Max and holding his nose upwards to stem the bleeding. Max slowly relaxed out of his fighting stance and returned the older boy’s glare.

“Woo, Evans, nice right hook,” Doug commented, whistling with admiration.

“All right, men, gather round,” Coach said as he came out of his office, “Montes, what happened to you?”

Before Rick could say anything, Doug butted in. “He had an accident Coach.”

“Well get cleaned up.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Everybody, just remember, teamwork, and send any three-pointers Evans’ way. Got it?”

“Got it Coach!” everybody said.

“Then get out there and play!” he roared. Yelling and general guy pumping up ensued, and the team made there way to the gym.

“So you and Liz aren't together?”

Max spun around, looking at Valenti suspiciously. “No.”

“Good.” Kyle shoved past him and Max studied his back for a minute. What did he mean by ‘good’? Shaking it off, Max trotted out, ignoring the cheering for his inner anger. He stored it away, building it up, it would make him more aggressive on the court.

“Max? What’s wrong?”

He looked at the blue and gold clad cheerleader. “Pam Troy started a rumor that me and Liz were together.”

“What?”

“That’s what I said.” He smiled at her. “Go cheer Isabel, I’ve got a game to win.”

“Evans!”

“Coming Coach!”

“Good luck, baby brother,” she called after him.

Max made a face. “Try not to fall off the top of the pyramid!” he yelled back.
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Liz clapped frantically as Max made another basket. He was doing great, and West Roswell was up by twelve points. “Go Max!” she cheered from the bleachers. Maria, Alex, and even Michael echoing her cry.

The rest of the bleachers took up the cheer and a wave went through their team’s side, blue and gold pennants and pom-poms waving crazily for their favorite player. Max Evans was the team sweetheart.

He stopped before continuing to the face off, blushing and waving up at the crowd of supporters. Everyone cheered more. He met her eyes through the din and grinned. Then he inclined his head toward the sidelines.

Liz made her face scrunch up, mystified, and he did it again. She looked over and restrained a giggle.

The whole JV cheerleading squad was approaching the freshmen one, Isabel Evans in the lead.
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“Oh, Pam?” Isabel asked sweetly.

Pam Troy turned around. “Isabel!” she squealed. She rolled her eyes at Tish, who was looking properly bored. She looked back down at the freshman and gave her a once over, her lip curling up in distaste.

The rest of Pam’s squad saw this and backed away from their leader, not willing to incur the fury of the Isabel Evans. She might only have been a sophomore, but she was head cheerleader of the JV squad, and every girl in the school either adored and envied her or hated her. The freshmen cheerleaders were in the first group.

“I heard you were spreading rumors about my brother and Liz Parker,” she stated frostily. Her squad fanned out behind her, glaring icicles. Pam paled and took a step back. “It stops now,” she continued, “And I expect an apology for trying to ruin my brother’s and his best friend’s reputation.”

“I’m sorry,” she whispered.

“I didn’t hear you.”

“I’m sorry!” she repeated, louder this time.

“That’s better.” The whole squad turned in unison, but Isabel paused and turned back, causing the other girls to stop too, intimidating the younger girl. “And Pam, it better not happen again.”

“It won’t” she appeased, “I promise.”

“Good.” Like her word was worth diddly squat. “And Pam…”

She gulped, “What?”

Isabel blew her a kiss, eyes glacial. “Buh-bye,” she said pleasantly.
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