Title: Early Morning Musings
Disclaimer: The characters of "Roswell" belong to Jason Katims, Melinda Metz, WB, and UPN. They are not mine and no infringement is intended.
Summary: A peek into an early morning with newlyweds Max and Liz when the gang are on the run after Graduation. This is the companion piece to Late Night Thoughts which is in Max's POV.
I'm not entirely sure what rouses me from my sleep, but as I open my eyes I realise two things. One: that it's much too early to be awake – the clock on the small table next to the bed reads 5.30 am and two: Max is also lying awake next to me. Although I'm facing the wall with my back to him, I can still tell that he's not asleep. I don't really know how, but I can just sense some things from him.
Like right now, I know that he's lying on his back, staring at the ceiling. I also know that he's lying there thinking that he's responsible for the situation that we're all in. I know he's convinced himself that if it weren't for him, then we'd all be living normal, safe lives and he's most likely wishing that he could turn back time and put right every single one of the mistakes he's made over the last few years, to spare me, to spare all of us the heartbreak we've all suffered at one time or another over the last three years.
He's feeling guilty.
He doesn't think I know that he lies awake every night, unable to sleep, but I do. I want him to know that I don't regret the past, but every time I try to broach the subject and assure him of that, he just brushes it all off as nothing, as if he's not hurting inside and it kills me to know that he feels he can't talk to me, confide in me.
Sure, we've had our difficulties and we've both done things we're not proud of, things that have resulted in hurt, but the most important thing is that we're together now. We're married. And I couldn't give that up for anything.
Of course, there are things he's done recently that have hurt me, the worst being Tess. When he told me last year that he'd spent the night with her, that he'd got her pregnant and that he was planning on leaving the planet with her, I didn't think my life could get any worse. The clenching pain in my chest was so great that I just wanted to curl up and die. I couldn't believe that he would actually lose his virginity to that…that bitch.
But despite the fact that, at the time, I believed that they had to be together, that it was their destiny, I never truly believed that he'd actually turn to her; that he'd completely give up on us, but he did. By pushing him away, by continuing to lie to him and insist that I had indeed slept with Kyle, I made sure of that.
But after we discovered Tess' true intentions and Max forced her to leave the planet to return to Antar, everything changed.
Not at first, though. At first, I was hurt and angry, at Max, at Tess, at myself, at the whole world. I couldn't see anything past the fact that Max had betrayed me, betrayed our love and I was determined that I would never allow him to hurt me like that again.
But he was persistent and each time he came to me to try to win me back, I found myself relenting just a little bit more. I didn't mean to, but there was this small part of me, buried deep inside that remembered how he used to be, how we used to be before all of this, before Tess, and it was that little part that eventually took over and gave in.
Don't get me wrong; it wasn't all sunshine and roses at first. We both had a lot to deal with and get out in the open, but as I told him last summer, I'd experienced what it was like to be with him and what it was like to be without him, and there was no contest – I needed him in my life. He was a part of me and I couldn't just let him go, not when I was still in love with him.
I'd never stopped loving him, not really.
Even after we became involved again, Max still had his moments. He became obsessed about finding his son, doing whatever he could to try to reach him, and although I admit that it hurt to see him like that, searching desperately for his child, the product of his and Tess' little liaison last summer, I did understand how important it was for him to save his son. I can only imagine what it must be like to know you have a son or daughter out there somewhere and not know if they are safe and well or even alive.
So, I sympathised with him and, despite how much it hurt and upset me, I sat back and didn't complain as he devoted the majority of his time to searching for leads instead of spending quality time with me. And as much as I hate to admit it, I was weak. I didn't want to acknowledge the fact that he was basically treating me like crap, brushing me off in favour of finding his son. I was in love with him; I couldn't ever imagine being with anyone else and I was clinging to the hope that underneath his distracted and focused demeanour, he was still the Max Evans that I'd fallen in love with years before. The only person in the whole world that could turn me to mush with just a look, the only one who could make me feel like the most precious, special girl in the universe.
But eventually I had enough. That day he returned from LA empty-handed, having not called me nor returned my calls, I just snapped. I couldn't hold my feelings in any longer and I told him. I told him how I felt I was unimportant to him and that he couldn't treat me that way anymore. But the look in his eyes when he apologised to me and then confessed his fears for his son, all alone on some strange planet, made me realise that I wasn't the only one hurting here. Max was in just as much pain as I was, maybe even more so.
After that, we just continued on as we were before and Max did make an effort to concentrate more on our relationship and less on a situation that he had no real leads for and could do nothing about. Everything was pretty much okay again (except for that one incident at Christmas when Max thought that his son was using an autistic boy named Samuel to communicate with him) until I began changing, developing powers.
It was so sudden and unexpected that I had no idea how to handle what was happening to my body and I lashed out at Max. I had to get away for a while and boarding school in Vermont, away from everything in Roswell, seemed like the best choice. That was, of course, until Max, or rather Clayton Wheeler, came to Vermont to try to kill me and ending up dying.
Almost losing Max forever made me realise how much I really did need him. I couldn't imagine a life in which Max Evans didn't exist and so we got back together and were finally happy. Even the return of Tess with Max's son didn't affect me as much as it might have done a few months earlier and although I know how much it pained Max to have to give him up, I think we both knew it was the right thing to do. Especially considering how we are now being forced to live our lives.
So when Max got down on one knee and proposed to me that night before Graduation, there was no way in hell I could have ever refused him. I know that we still have a lot of issues to work through, but what really matters is the fact that we're together and we'll be spending the rest of our lives with each other. I also know that Max's believes that no matter what I say to him, deep down I really want our lives to be normal, and while that would be nice in a perfect world, this is real life and I'm happy to take whatever I can get as long as it's with him. But I know Max and I know he is going to do everything in his power to try to give that to me and I love him so much for that.
I hear Max shift beside me and I become aware that his attention is no longer focused on how he's going to solve all our problems, but it has switched elsewhere – to me. I try desperately not to move and let him know that I'm awake when I feel his warm, soft fingers graze my back lightly and then move up to my shoulder. I feel the cool air brush my shoulder as he gently repositions my hair from where it's resting close to my neck to fall down my back. His hand rests on my now bare shoulder briefly before he traces his fingers down my right arm. For a second I let my guard down and move slightly in reaction to the feelings his caressing fingers are creating in me. Luckily, he doesn't seem to notice he continues along my arm until he reaches my hand, which rests on the bed, close to my face.
I almost shiver in arousal when his large hand comes to rest atop mine and our fingers entwine and it takes every ounce of restraint in my being for me to continue to feign sleep. I feel Max shift again and wonder what's going on. But then I feel bare skin against my back as he lowers himself to the bed fully and spoons behind me, his chest rubbing my back as he settles down.
I'm ready to relax and fall back to sleep again, curled up with my husband, but then I feel his soft lips brush first my shoulder blade and then the sensitive spot just under my jaw. I can't help but let a small smile play on my lips at the contact.
I feel a small sense of loss when he untangles his fingers from mine, but it is short lived when a second later his arm wraps around my waist and pulls me closer to him. I can feel all of him against me now and my stomach tingles where his fingers are stretched out and resting on it. A surge of self-consciousness washes over me suddenly and I have to resist the urge move his hand away. I've put on a bit of weight over the last few weeks and although Max assures me that it's barely noticeable, or at least just enough to enhance my sexiness (to which I just roll my eyes and look away, embarrassed), I'm still very conscious of it. I know that it shouldn't matter to me, that since Max obviously doesn't care, then there's nothing to worry about; but it's preventing me from feeling entirely comfortable about myself and it's been affecting my confidence a little lately.
My thoughts are cut off when I realise that not only has Max moved his hand to my hip, but also the position of his hand means that his long fingers are now resting dangerously close to the apex of my thighs and it's making me crazy. Unfortunately, a second later he seems to realise where his hand is and to my disappointment it's hastily removed from my hip and placed back on my stomach. I think he feels bad about it (although I have no idea why) because he hugs me closer to him and I feel his face burying into the back of my neck.
I feel the muscles of his body relax and for a few moments I think he's gone back to sleep. But a minute later I realise that Max's hand is moving down over my hip, tickling my skin as it goes and comes to rest on my inner thigh. I try to suppress a gasp as his fingers begin tracing small circles over my sensitive skin, but I am unsuccessful. It feels too good.
A second later I realise that Max must be as turned on as I am right now because I feel him suddenly pressing into my bottom. I can't help my reaction as I rub lightly against him.
Uh oh, I think I've startled him.
He quickly stops all movement of his hand and removes it from my leg. I can feel the embarrassment coming off him in waves. What I can't understand is why. I'm his wife, he can touch me whenever he wants and he shouldn't feel bad about doing that.
"Mmm, Max, don't stop," I try to reassure him, to let him know that it's okay.
But he just pulls he to him in a tight hug and nuzzles my neck. He's ashamed.
"Sorry, I didn't mean – "
I can't take it anymore. He has to know that he was doing nothing wrong. I turn around quickly and, before he can protest, capture his mouth in a kiss. It was meant to be a quick reassurance, but soon turns into something else and I force myself to break it off.
He opens his eyes and the look in them makes me melt. I stare adoringly at him for a second until he tries to question me.
"Wha – "
But I raise a finger to his lips and look at him seriously.
"Max, don't ever be sorry for touching me, okay?" I tell him, my eyes begging him to understand. "You're my husband. You're the only one who's allowed to touch me and I couldn't bear it if you thought you had to hold back for my benefit." His expression changes to one of awe and he smiles at me, but quickly turns serious again.
"Liz, I could never take advantage of you. It would just be wrong."
I smile and shake my head. He still doesn't get it. "You're not taking advantage of me if I want it too."
To emphasise my point, I lean close and whisper, "And I do want it. I did want it. So much."
Uh oh, he's figured it out. He knows I was fake-sleeping and his expression is one of shock. "You've been awake this entire time?" he asks incredulously.
I smirk at him. He thinks he can always tell when I'm asleep, but he's not that good. "So much for being able to tell if I'm asleep from my breathing, huh, Max?"
He lifts a hand to his face. "Oh my God, I'm so embarrassed."
He makes no attempt to uncover his eyes and look at me, so I reach up and move his hand for him and he has to face me.
"Don't be, Max. We're married now, we shouldn't feel embarrassed around each other."
"But – " I can see he's still doubtful, so I do the only thing I can think of to convince him. I kiss him and, wrapping my arm around his neck, I push his back down onto the bed.
He allows me to slip my tongue in his mouth and I take the opportunity to position myself on top of him. I feel the entire length of his body pressing against mine and it's almost unbearable. I realise that he's feeling the same way when he grabs my hips to lift me onto him.
As much as I'd love to sink down onto him immediately and find a much-needed release, there's still something that we need to discuss. So I break our kiss and lift my head to look into his eyes.
"Before we get too involved in what we're doing, I just want to let you know that later we are going to have a talk about what's got you so worried that you've not been sleeping," I tell him.
I can see that he's about to protest like he usually does, but he's not getting away with it this time. I pin him with a no-nonsense look and he immediately backs down, giving me a reluctant nod and I grace him with a grateful smile, which he returns.
Good, now that's out of the way, we can get back down to business.
"Now, where were we?" I murmur, entranced by his lower lip. "Right about here, I think." I lick my lips quickly before lowering my head to his.
He wraps his arms around me and at this moment I feel so completely loved, that I have no words.
We're going to get through all of this and we're going to do it together.
I'm not going to let anything get in our way ever again.