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Frustrations of Clarity
Reply to Uriel or visit his websiteAdded to the Roswell Slash Archive November 14, 2000
Title: Frustrations of Clarity (Instant Max Mix)
Series: Instant Roswell Mixes
Disclaimer: If I owned this do you really think Liz would be the main character?
Notes: Yet more thanks to Miri for being ever so helpful
My life was too complex. Isabel was freaked and having trouble dealing with what had happened between Michael and I, so was attacking everything I did; Liz was avoiding me at all costs; my parents were becoming even more suspicious; and Michael was... Well, I didn't understand Michael anymore. Not after what Isabel continues to refer to as "the gross bits"..
I looked at Michael in the rear view mirror. I wanted him. I wanted him then and there. I wanted to pull over the jeep and rip his clothes off. Isabel cleared her throat loudly, breaking my train of thought.
"Max, watch the road," she said.
"Right," I muttered returning my attention to the flat expanse in front of me. Flat endless desert.
Why did we have to land in the middle of a desert? Why couldn't we have been someplace nice, with scenery?
Michael was staring at me. Again. Maria was glaring at him. Still. Liz was doing her best to not look in my direction. Still. Isabel was shooting me a look of pure acid. Again. Alex was desperately trying to get Isabel's attention. Still.
I had to get out of this cycle. My head was beginning to hurt.
The teacher droned on and on. Finally the bell rang. I was first out of the room. I hid, waiting for Liz and avoiding Michael at the same time. Michael found me before I could find Liz.
"Max-," he began.
"Michael, do you care about Maria at all?" I asked. His jaw dropped. He was dumbfounded by the question. "Do you?"
"Yeah, but Max-" he started again.
"Then go talk to her. She's pissed as hell at you," I said. He quirked his eyebrow at me.
"Okay, Max," he said quietly before smiling the sweetest smile I had ever seen on his face at me. I nearly lost myself when he smiled. He walked away. He was so beautiful. And even if he wasn't all mine I got to keep some of him.
"Liz," I reminded myself softly. I spotted her. "Liz!" She turned to look at me.
"Max, hi," she said, seeming unsure of what to do or say.
"I wanted to talk to you," I said. "You got a minute?"
"I'm going to be late," she said. She walked off as quickly as she could without attracting attention.
I was getting a headache.
"Max, come on," Michael whined from in the jeep.
"Max, what are you waiting for?" Isabel asked angrily.
"Liz," I whispered.
"She's not coming," Maria said. I spun around to look at her.
"Maria," Michael said, a smile pulling at the edge of his mouth.. My longing for Liz dropped out of my thoughts instantly to be replaced by jealousy. Michael was mine. My eyes narrowed as I looked at Maria. My Michael, not hers.
Conflicted was a great word to describe me at that point.
Isabel made a quick gesture with her hand as Michael jumped out of the car to talk to Maria. She glared angrily at me. I climbed into the jeep.
"Are you trying to get caught?" she hissed at me as quietly as she could.
"Wasn't it just yesterday you were saying how it doesn't matter?" I asked.
"Do you want to screw everything up Michael has going?" she hissed again. "He really likes Maria. Do you want him to lose her because of something you did?" I nodded sheepishly. She was right. She was always right. I hated that fact. It bothered the hell out of me.
"Call me?" Maria requested softly as the two seperated and Michael climbed back into the jeep.
"Okay," he agreed. As she walked away he developed an inane grin. I chewed at my lower lip.
Michael's fingers laced their way through mine, ever so slowly. He was being shy. It was adorable. I turned to look into his eyes. His eyes glazed over when I finally caught his gaze. His lips parted slightly. We leaned towards each other.
The phone rang. Michael literally jumped.
I reached over and picked up the phone.
"Hello?" I said.
"Hi, Max," Liz's voice spoke softly. "Maria wanted me to call you."
"Is Michael there?" Maria's voice suddenly cut in excitedly.
"Maria?" Michael asked, suddenly calming and smiling.
"Yeah, Maria." I said to both of them. "Can I talk to Liz?"
"Sorry," Maria and Michael said at the same time. It was eerie.
"Hi, Max," Liz repeated. "What did you want to say?"
"I- Liz- I-" I stuttered. I felt completely idiotic all of a sudden. Michael rolled his eyes, before grabbing the phone.
"He wants to go on a date," Michael said.
"How's Friday?" I could just barely hear Maria ask. Michael looked over at me. I nodded.
"Friday's good," Michael answered.
"You guys wanna show up at the Crashdown sometime?" Maria asked.
"We'll be there," Michael said. He hung up the phone.
"I never expected you to be a meddler," I commented. "Maria sure-"
"Quiet," Michael said. He looked into my eyes and moved aggressively towards me. I smiled at him. His mouth found mine.
I stared at Liz as she waited tables. I always stared at Liz.
"You want anything, Max?" Maria asked.
"Besides the obvious," Michael muttered, arching his eyebrow suggestively. I scowled at him. Maria bit her lip to keep from laughing.
"I'm fine, Maria," I said through clenched teeth. Michael and Maria shared a quick grin. Maria could make Michael grin. It wasn't fair. I could barely make Michael smile. It just wasn't fair.
Then I spotted Liz again. She brushed her hair behind her ear again trying to keep it contained. I stared at her for a long moment.
Michael prodded me. My focus on her shattered.
I was so confused. I wanted both of them. I couldn't have either of them. I sighed unhappily. Michael quirked his eyebrow at me.
"What?" he asked.
"Nothing," I lied. He rolled his eyes. He knew it wasn't nothing. He was as bad as Isabel.
"Hi, Max," Liz said quietly.
"Hi," I answered. Michael and Maria had managed to disappear. We were alone. I didn't know what to do.
"You wanted to talk," she reminded me.
"I know," I whispered. I just didn't remember what I had to say.
"Max," Liz prompted.
"Forget it, Liz. It's nothing," I said looking away from her. It wasn't nothing.
"Okay, Max," she said. She walked away.
It wasn't nothing. She didn't understand. She couldn't understand. She didn't want to understand. The knowledge hurt. It ate at me. She would never understand. Not like Michael. Michael understood all of it.
I walked out of the Crashdown and waited for Michael in the jeep.
"You've been weird today," Michael commented. I leaned my head back on his warm chest, letting myself be enveloped by him. "What's wrong?"
"I... don't know what I want," I admitted. "Not anymore. Everything's all messed up. I don't know what I'm doing anymore, Michael."
"Do you love me, Maximilian?" Michael asked. I rolled over on his chest so I could look at him.
"Are you serious?" I asked. He stared into me. He was serious. "Yeah, Michael. I love you."
"Do you love Liz?" he asked. His fingers slowly ran through my hair, distracting me.
Did I love Liz? I thought about the question for a long time.
"I... I don't know," I said.
"Do you, or don't you, Max? Just answer the question," he prodded me.
"I... yes," I said quietly.
"Then tell her," he said.
"But, Michael-" I began to protest.
"Max, do it," he cut me off.
"Wasn't it you who was saying she was such a big liability this whole time?" I pointed out.
"That was Isabel," he said. He smiled a little at me.
"You agreed with her," I pointed out.
"Yeah, at first," he said.
"You love Maria, don't you?" I asked poking him playfully. He blushed.
"Umm..." he said.
"I answered your questions," I goaded him.
"Yeah, yeah, I do," he admitted.
"Do you... love me?" I asked. I looked down at his chest as it rose and fell beneath me.
"Yeah, Maximilian, I do." He spoke so softly I could barely hear him. He loved me. My mind cleared for a moment.
I couldn't live without Michael.
And I didn't want to live without Liz.
Clarity is not nice.
"Isabel, it's important," I said. She continued to ignore me. "I really need to talk to you about this." She flicked her wrist at the door. It slammed closed in my face. I turned the knob. Locked. I opened the door. "Will you at least tell me what has got you so angry?"
"You have, Max," she said. She tried to slam the door again. I held up my hand in a defensive gesture.
"What did I do?" I asked.
"Take a wild guess," she muttered sarcastically.
"Michael?" I guessed.
"Duh, Max," she replied with a roll of her eyes.
"I thought you were okay were with that," I said.
"I'm okay with the fact that you're having this relationship," she began. "I'm not okay with how you're treating him." I cocked my head to the side in confusion. "Geez, Max. You act like he's your property. He isn't yours, Max."
"Yes, he is," I denied. "He's mine. It's that simple." Her eyes went wide.
"Max! Michael is not yours!" she protested loudly.
"Then whose is he?" I asked. She stopped. "Is he Maria's? Yours?"
"Max, I-" she stuttered.
"Truth," I insisted.
"Fine. Truth. I'm jealous," she admitted.
"Isabel, what about Alex?" I asked.
"Alex is a boy," Isabel attempted to explain.
"So is Michael," I noted.
"But Michael's not boyfriend material," she said. "Michael's my friend who just happens to be a boy. He's my best friend and you're totally stealing him from me. I'm jealous."
"I'm not going to steal Michael from you," I assured her. "And I'm not going to steal Michael from Maria either."
"But you'll try," she said with a smirk.
"I'll try my damnedest," I agreed.
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