The Homework Assignment (CC, M/L, TEEN) 1/1 – 7/15/05

Title: The Homework Assignment

Author: Heavenli24
Pairings/Couples/Category: M/L
Rating: TEEN
Disclaimer:The characters of "Roswell" belong to Jason Katims, Melinda Metz, WB, and UPN. They are not mine and no infringement is intended.
Summary: What if Liz and Max had been paired together for the History assignment in 285 South? Assume that the trip to Marathon, Texas didn't occur on the same day as the assignment.
Author's Note: I have borrowed some dialogue from the season 1 episode 285 South. The Liz's and Max's answers to the questionnaire are taken from the assignment answers in the special features section at (I couldn't find the website that they were originally posted on).

Liz sighed as she took a seat in her first period History class. After the incident with her missing diary last week, she was finding it harder and harder to be just friends with Max; to pretend that she didn't feel all these things for him; that she didn't want to just grab him and kiss him and make him forget all of his uncertainties about who he was and where he came from.

As she sat waiting for the teacher, she was very conscious of the fact that Max was sitting merely two feet behind her and she knew that if she turned her head only slightly to the left, he would be in her line of vision. Before she could contemplate any further about trying to sneak a glance at him, Mr. Sommers entered the room and began the lesson.

"All right class, settle down," he said, raising his voice above the students' chatter. "Before we begin today's class, I'd like to discuss tonight's homework assignment."

As he picked up a piece of chalk to begin writing on the blackboard, Liz found that she could no longer resist the temptation, and turned her head to sneak a glance at Max. He caught her eye and gave her a small half-smile, causing her heart to flutter. She quickly turned back toward the front of the class before he saw the blush that was sure to be creeping across her face.

"Everybody has their secrets. There isn't a person alive today who's what they appear to be. Exposing these secrets is the job of the...historian," Sommers pointed to the word he had underlined on the board. "Even the most normal of us has extraordinary qualities just waiting to be uncovered."

At this, Liz found herself turning to her left once again, however this time she was thinking about how accurately Mr. Sommers' words applied to Max and Isabel and Micheal.

"So, for tonight's assignment," the teacher continued. "I've paired you together. It is your job as...historians, to find out as much as you can about your partner by asking these specific questions, and then writing up an oral history report for tomorrow." He stated as he passed the question sheets around the class.

"I've assigned the partners as follows: Daskal with Hausman, Kalinowski with Nell. Parker with Evans...that's M. Evans. I. Evans is with..."

The rest of Mr. Sommers' speech was drowned out by the suddenly rapid beating of Liz's heart. It seemed abnormally loud to her ears. She was going to be working with Max! She chanced another quick look in his direction. Their eyes met again and this time he was smiling a little more fully at her. For once, they would be having a conversation that was completely non-alien related.

Liz glanced down at the sheet of questions in front of her. Some of them looked pretty personal - she would finally have some insight into who Max really was. Sure, she had experienced his feelings when he connected with her in the Crashdown after the shooting, but she still had no clue about his likes and dislikes, what his goals and ambitions were, what really made him tick. Maybe finally they could progress beyond being just casual friends and start forging a closer relationship.

As these thoughts and feelings were whirling though Liz, behind her Max was experiencing the very same feelings. He had been making small talk with Isabel at the beginning of class, but the minute Liz breezed through the door, his attention had instantly shifted. Out of the corner of his eye, he had witnessed Isabel rolling her eyes at him and muttering something about him under her breath, but all his interest was on the beautiful brunette that had just entered the room.

His palms had become sweaty and he'd had to remind himself to breathe. She was gorgeous! How was it that simply being in her presence could make him feel this way? How was he ever going to continue a platonic relationship with her when all he could think about when she was around was how soft her lips must be and what it would be like to be able to show her exactly how much he loved her? Yes, loved. Max Evans loved Elizabeth Parker. He was in love with her. He had been for as long as he could remember, but he knew that it wasn't meant to be. They were different species for God's sake, how could they ever be together?

However, his heart still leapt when their teacher announced that he and Liz would be partners for the homework assignment. Now he had an actual reason to spent time with her, a reason that was not under the pretence of an alien emergency. He remembered all too well that time they had spent in the Eraser Room spying on Ms. Topolsky. The entire time that they were in that room, he'd wished that he could just pull her into his arms and kiss her senseless, forgetting about Topolsky altogether. But he couldn't take that risk and it almost tore him up inside. He would never be normal and he could never give Liz, or anyone for that matter the normal life that they deserved, he was just meant to be alone.

The class continued on around them, but neither Max nor Liz even noticed. They were so caught up in their own thoughts that it required the ringing of the bell and Mr. Sommers raising his voice to inform the students that the assignment was due in first thing the next morning, no exceptions, to snap them out of it.

Still lost in his own little world, Max made his way out of the classroom and into the busy corridor without even a glance at Liz. Liz had to run to catch up with him to arrange a time that they could meet up to work on the questions.

"Max, Max, wait up," she called whilst trying to dodge her way through the crowd. She finally caught up with him and had to grab his arm from behind to get his attention.

"What?" he shot out as he whirled around, thinking it was his sister ready to cut into him again about his preoccupation with Liz. "Oh, sorry Liz. I thought you were Isabel," he grimaced.

"That's okay, Max," she smiled. " I didn't mean to startle you, I just thought we should arrange a time that we can meet up to do the History assignment."

"Oh, sure, Liz. Sorry, I've been in a daze this morning, it just completely slipped my mind," he said, hoping that she wouldn't be able tell that she was the reason for his lack of concentration today. "I'm not working tonight so how about we meet this evening at the Crashdown? I can come over after your shift."

"Oh, actually I'm not working tonight either, Max. So, how about we meet at the Crashdown at six? We could grab some dinner at the same time," she suggested, hoping that it didn't sound like she was suggesting that it was a date or anything.

Max's heart almost soared at this suggestion. Even if it wasn't, he could almost pretend that this was a date; after all there would be dinner involved!

"Sure, that would be great, Liz, We'll meet at six then." There was a pause between them. Max looked around at the now deserted hallway. Shit, he was gonna be late for Math class. He looked back at Liz, who was now smiling shyly at him.

" I…um…I have to go - don't wanna be late for Ms. Thomas' class, you know how she gets when you turn up late."

Liz was so caught up in staring at Max that she almost missed what he said.

"What? Oh sorry, Max. Of course…you need to go, and I have English now so…" she trailed off, unsure how to finish their conversation.

"Yeah. So…uh, bye Liz, I'll um…I'll see you after school." He gave her a half-smile that made her insides melt as he turned to walk to his next class. As he walked away from her, his half-smile became full fledged and he found that he couldn't stop grinning. In just a few hours, he would know a lot more about the girl he loved.

"Bye Max," Liz murmured in reply as she watched him retreat, her eyes roaming over his broad shoulders, outlined by the dark blue shirt we was wearing, and down to his delicious jean clad butt. She unconsciously licked her lips and an identical smile appeared on her face as she made her way to her English class.

Six o'clock could not come round fast enough, in Liz's opinion. She had been sitting at the counter in the Crashdown studying for a Chemistry test for over an hour already and it was still only 5.30. Finally giving up any pretence of being able to concentrate on the material, she had taken to tapping her pencil on the countertop and staring into space.

"Get a grip girl," Maria advised as she glided past her towards the coffee machine. "It's only school work, it's not like you guys are going on a date or anything." Liz sighed and turned to face her.

"I know, Maria, but can't I pretend for just one tiny second?" she asked, a pleading look on her face.

"Still not getting anywhere with him, huh?" she queried sympathetically. "You know, maybe you should just let it go. It's obvious that he only wants to be friends with you. Maybe it'd be for the best in the long run, you know? To end this infatuation before it gets out of hand."

"Firstly, Maria, it's not an infatuation and secondly, I think that it may have already gotten out of hand," said Liz, looking down at her hands as she finished. "I think that I might be falling in love with him."

"What?" Maria screeched, almost dropping the coffee cup she was holding. Several customers turned their heads at the sudden noise. She leaned closer to Liz and lowered her voice. "You're in love with him? Liz, what are you thinking? He's a Czechoslovakian, it's just not right!"

"But it was alright before, when I just liked him?" Liz was getting annoyed now. She had hoped that her friend might lend a comforting and supporting ear to her problem, not chew her out like this.

"Well yes! I mean, what harm could a few fun, casual dates do, right? But love? Well that's just a whole other kettle of fish; I mean, we don't know what could even happen!"

"Look, Maria, I can't help how I feel. Do you think that I just woke up one morning and thought, 'Hey, I think I'm going to fall in love with a Czechoslovakian today'?" she almost shouted. "Well, I didn't!" She lowered her voice; "I've felt this way for a while now. I think perhaps even before the shooting. You know that I've had this crush on him for years Maria, and now that I'm getting to know him better, it's becoming something more." She sighed, "Please Maria, can you just let it go for now?"

"Okay! Okay Liz, I get it," Maria held her free hand, the one not clutching the coffee cup, up in surrender. "I'm backing off. But don't say I didn't warn you when you get in to deep and find your heart broken."

"Look, I'm sorry, Maria, okay? I didn't mean to snap at you."

"It's okay, Liz. I'm sorry too for you know, flying off the handle at you."

The bell above the café door jingled just then, indicating the appearance of a new customer. Maria glanced at the new arrival and then back at Liz.

"We'll have to continue this later chica, there's someone here to see you," she grinned mischievously, her earlier anger now forgotten.

From the smirk on her friends face, Liz knew exactly who was there. She sneaked a quick look at her watch: 5.45pm. Shit, he was early! And she wasn't ready yet! Taking a deep breath she turned towards the front door of the café. He was standing there, looking in her direction, with that gorgeous half-smile on his face. Butterflies started to flutter in her stomach as she met his gaze. Giving him a small smile in return, she closed her Chemistry text and made her way towards him.

"Hi Max," she breathed, all too aware of her heart thumping wildly against her ribcage.

" Liz…hi," he returned, the small smile still gracing his lips. Was it just him, or had she gotten even more beautiful since this morning?

"You're early," she admonished with a smile.

"Oh, sorry. I had to stop off at the UFO center to talk to Milton about something and I was done earlier than I thought," he apologised. " I can come back if a few minutes if you're busy right now."

"No!" Liz protested, a little too forcefully. "It's fine. Really. I wasn't doing much anyway. How about we find somewhere to sit?"

"Sure, I see my usual booth is free. Why don't we work there?"

"Great. You go ahead and take a seat, I'll be right back with my stuff."

Max slid into the booth, his eyes fixed on Liz as she walked back to the counter to retrieve her schoolbooks. She really had a great figure. He knew from locker room talk that most guys at school preferred curvy girls with blonde hair and large breasts to petite, dark haired girls like Liz, but in his opinion Liz was absolutely perfect. Other girls couldn't hold a candle to her. She was the first girl that he'd ever noticed and the only one that had ever made him feel this way. She was the only girl that could ever make him feel this way.

He was still caught up in his perusal of her that he barely noticed that she had returned to the booth and placed her books on the table. It was only when she cleared her throat that he realised she was still standing and looking at him expectantly.

"Oh sorry, Liz I was miles away," he looked sheepish. "Did you say something?"

She smiled, "Just wondering if you'd like something to drink, you know, before we get started?"

"Uh, sure, a cherry coke would be great, thanks."

"Coming right up," she grinned, he always drank cherry coke when he came here. "I'll be right back."

As she went to fix his drink Max silently berated himself. Why couldn't he ever think straight around her? Maybe working on this assignment together wasn't sure a great idea after all, what if he made a complete fool out of himself and she laughed at him or something?

As Liz held the glass under the soda machine, she had to tell herself to keep breathing. It's only a study session, it's only a study session, she repeated under her breath. But why did it almost feel like more than that? She couldn't think when he looked at her the way he had when she'd asked him what he wanted to drink.

She fixed herself a Blood of Alien smoothie and carried their drinks over to the table. As she passed Maria, who was clearing one of the tables, her friend gave her a warning look. Don't get too involved, she pleaded with her eyes. Liz just gave her a 'stay out of it' glare and continued on towards Max.

"Here you go, one cherry coke," she said as she placed the drink in front of him. "On the house," she added, before he could reach for his wallet.

"You didn't have to…"

"It's my pleasure, Max, don't worry about it," she interrupted him, smiling reassuringly. "How about we get a start on those questions?"

She sat down across from him and unfolded her sheet of questions. Seeing that Max already had his paper laid in front of him, she began.

"Okay, so lets get started. Question 1: What is your favourite ice cream flavour?"

"Um …vanilla," Max looked down self-consciously. God, how boring was he? His favourite was vanilla? He groaned inwardly, God, she was going to think he was a complete nerd!

"Really?" she replied excitedly. "Vanilla's my favourite flavour too!"

His head snapped up at this. She didn't think he was weird? Her excited expression indicated that she didn't. Wait, what did she say? Vanilla was her favourite too? He smiled back at her,

"Well, it looks like we have something in common."

"Yeah, we do," she smiled, caught up in his eyes. A moment passed, two, before Liz realised what they were doing and shook her head to clear it.

"Okay then, Question 2: Who is your favourite relative?" she continued on. "Well I guess my favourite is…" she caught herself, "…was Grandma Claudia." Her face lowered, eyes fixed on her hands, a sad expression passing over her face.

Max saw this and leaned across the table to place his hand over hers in sympathy. She looked up at him,

"I'm sorry, I just…"

"Hey, it's okay. I know how hard it was for you to say goodbye to your Grandmother. I just wish I could have done more for her."

"You did what you could, Max, and I'm so grateful for that." The gratitude showed clearly on her face. The moment seemed to suddenly grow awkward and so Liz made an attempt to ease the tension.

"So, um, who is your favourite relative, Max?"

"Oh, um," he was a little surprised at her sudden query. "Isabel, I guess. We've always had each other to turn to, you know?" He paused for a second before continuing. "So, um, I guess it's my turn to ask the question now. Number 3: What is your favourite subject in school?"

"I think you probably already know that one, Max" she grinned. "Although, actually I think that it's got to be a tie between Biology and Chemistry. What about you?"

"My favourite subject is English. I really love literature, especially the classics," he replied. Liz was impressed as she wrote down his answer, she hadn't thought that Max would have all that much time to read novels, what with all the alien stuff he, Isabel and Micheal had to deal with.

She cleared her throat and looked back up at him,

"Ok, question 4: what's your favourite TV Show?"

"You know, with everything going on, I don't really get a chance to watch much TV. How about you?"

"Oh, um…actually my favourite show is E.R."

Max had to bite back a grin at this; a scientist all the way was his Liz Parker. Wait a minute, since when was she his. He had to stop thinking about her like that.

"E.R., huh?" he couldn't help but tease. "I wonder why that is?"

Liz glared and rolled her eyes at him, continuing with the next question.

"Okay, question 5," she glanced up meaningfully, indicating that that particular part of the conversation was over. "What is your favourite movie?"

Now it was his turn to look embarrassed, "Promise you won't laugh?"

"Of course!" she replied indignantly.

"Um, it's 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind'," he winced, waiting for her response. She had to bite her lip to keep from giggling.

"Really? Uh…wow, I don't know what to say," she grinned at him now.

"Come on, Liz. You promised you wouldn't laugh!" He quickly steered the conversation away from him, "Anyway, you haven't told me your favourite yet."

"You're right, I'm sorry. My favourite movie is 'When Harry Met Sally'."

"Really? I didn't know you were into chick flicks."

"Well, I don't like that many of them, but I could watch that film over and over again," she replied.

She waited while he wrote down her favourite movie before moving on to the next question.

"Right, number 6: What's the best thing that's ever happened to you?"

Max looked up at her as she read the question aloud. She finished and glanced up from the question paper. Her eyes immediately locked with his. They were both thinking of the same incident: the shooting at the Crashdown. For Max, being able to get to know Liz better was the best thing that had ever happened to him. But he didn't know if he was ready to let her know that. He decided to take the safe route out.

"Getting adopted, I guess," he paused for a second. "I mean, who knows where Isabel and I would have ended up otherwise."

Liz struggled to mask the wave of disappointment that flooded over her at his answer. Maybe Max had been less affected by the shooting than she had originally hoped. In all honesty, he was the best thing that had happened to her, but maybe right now wasn't the best time to tell him that.

"Right," she nodded sympathetically.

"What about you?"

"Well, I guess the best thing for me is that every day I get to wake up and be alive," she said softly, her gaze still fixed on him. It wasn't a complete lie. "And I have you to thank for that, Max." A slight blush crept over his face at her words and she continued, "So thank you, Max."

"Your welcome Liz," he smiled shyly, before dropping his gaze and reaching up to scratch behind his ear; something that he often did when he was embarrassed. He managed to recover quickly though to read the next question.

"Number 7. What the worst thing that's happened to you?" Max saw her face fall once again as she read this.

"Grandma Claudia dying," she almost whispered. He gave her another small compassionate smile. "You?"

After her previous answer he knew he had to be honest about this one.

"Watching you get shot that day," he revealed. "That was the most awful moment of my life, thinking that you might die. I had to do something, I didn't care about the consequences."

"Oh, Max…" Liz trailed off, tears glistening in her eyes. She was lost for words. She reached across the table and covered his hand with hers. They each felt the spark that occurred as she did this, though both were careful not to let it show.

"I'm here now, and I'm safe. You made sure of that."

They shared a soft look, before turning back to the questions. Both Max and Liz froze as they read question 8. Have you ever been in love?

Max was the first to recover and taking a deep breath, he began, "So…question 8." He was careful to keep his eyes on the paper, unwilling to see the expression on her face. "Have you ever been in love?"

Liz found that she couldn't do it; she couldn't tell him the truth. So she went for the best answer she could come up with.

"Not yet," she lied. His expression faltered slightly and she hastened to add, "But that's not to say that I wouldn't be interested if the opportunity arose."

His head rose at her words and he found her eyes on him. He felt his face grow warm, but failed to come up with a suitable response. He covered by giving his response to the question.

"Well um, I'm not sure if I really know what love really is yet, you know? I mean I'm only 16 years old. But I do know that I feel something for someone, which I think could potentially turn into love". He looked away embarrassed at his somewhat uncharacteristic rambling; he hadn't meant to reveal so much to her.

"You have feelings for someone, Max?"

He glanced back at her. On the outside Liz's expression was unreadable, but inside her heart was rapidly thumping against her chest. Was there someone else in his life? The thought made her feel ill.

Max was stuck. He couldn't tell Liz of his feelings for her. He'd already made it clear that there couldn't be anything between them. How would it look now if he turned around and completely contradicted himself?

"I…um…I…" he stuttered. He felt his face growing hot, his eyes focusing on everything but her face.

Liz saw that Max was growing uncomfortable and decided to let him off the hook.

"Hey, it's okay, you don't have to tell me anything. How about we move on to the next one?"

"Okay, sure," he agreed quickly, wiping his sweaty hands on his trousers and sighing with relief.

"Right, question 9. Do you have any enemies?" read Liz. "God, I hope not!"

"I'm sure you don't have any enemies, Liz," Max was quick to reassure her, smiling inwardly at her reaction. Who in the world could hate Liz? "Me, on the other hand…" he trailed off. "Well I guess if I do, I don't know it yet."

"You think that you might have enemies out there somewhere, Max?" Liz wasn't sure how to feel about that. "You mean like the FBI?"

"Or other aliens. I mean, we don't know anything about where we came from or why we're here," said Max, apprehensively. "You know what, I'm not going to dwell on it right now. Let's just focus on right now. How about question 10, what is your greatest strength?"

"I guess my strengths are my ability to reason and problem solving skills." Liz raised her eyebrows when she caught Max attempting to hide a smirk. "What?"

"Nothing," he looked up sheepishly. "It's just…this isn't a college interview, Liz." Liz looked down self-consciously.

"That's all I could think of," she reasoned quickly. "And anyway, what's wrong with having those skills?"

"Nothing at all," he reassured her quickly.

"So, Max Evans, what's your greatest strength?"

"My family, I guess. They keep me grounded, you know? My parents have given us all this love and support over the years. I don't know where we'd be without them." Max stopped talking as soon as he realised he was babbling.

"Oh, that's great. You just have the perfect answer for everything don't you?" Liz huffed, causing Max to smile. "Well, I think we should just move swiftly on to the next question, okay?" she looked at him pointedly, only continuing when he nodded. "What's your greatest weakness?"

"Okay, now you've got me," claimed Max. He sighed resignedly, "I guess my weakness is that I'm shy."

"You? Shy? Never!" grinned Liz, enjoying that she could tease him. Max just gave her an annoyed but good-natured glare.

She quickly continued, "Well I think my greatest weakness is that I sometimes over-think situations." Max gave her another smirk as he moved to write down her answer. Liz observed him quietly for a moment; he was making her feel all these things that she couldn't even describe, but she decided she liked it. As if suddenly realising where she was, she shook her head and blinked before returning her attention to filling out his answer. Max waited patiently for her to finish writing and when she had, he posed the next question.

"Alright, number 12. Do you envy anyone?"

"Not really," Liz replied. She noticed Max giving her a slightly disbelieving look so she continued, "but you know, everyone I meet has a quality that I admire. So… who do you envy, Max?"

"I don't envy anyone. Life's too short, you know?" Liz just nodded, accepting his response. She felt her stomach rumble as she wrote down his answer. She was getting hungry. She looked back up at Max.

"You know what, Max? We've been at this for a while, how about we take a break and get some food?"

"Sure, that sounds great." Hunger was finally catching up with him; he'd barely eaten a thing at lunch.

"You want your usual?" Liz asked as she slid out of their booth.

"That would be great thanks, Liz."

"No problem, I'll be right back," she replied and made her way across the café towards the order window..

Max watched her as she gave their order to the cook. He desperately wished that he was able to admit his feelings for her, that it might be possible for them to be a normal couple and that he could be a normal boyfriend to her. He was glad though, that they had been paired together on this assignment. He was gaining an insight into her thoughts and feelings that he'd never thought he would have the opportunity to acquire and it made him feel warm inside. Now that he'd experienced what it was like to be friends with Liz, he didn't think he could live without her presence in his life, even if it was just in a friendly capacity.

A few minutes later Liz returned with their food and they began eating in silence. Every so often, one of them would sneak a glance at the other when they weren't looking, making sure that they looked away before being caught. However, during one such peek at Max, Liz she was inexplicably drawn to him. She found she was unable to look away, he was just utterly mesmerising. Her gaze roamed the top half of his body, taking in the muscular arms, the outline of which she could see through his blue shirt, moving up over his well-built shoulders and strong jaw line to his face. Her eyes became fixed on his mouth and her tongue unconsciously darted out to moisten her own lips, which had suddenly become dry.

The moment was ruined when she heard the sound of a throat being cleared. Liz's eyes snapped up startled and she found herself looking into Max's warm amber eyes, eyes that were now dancing with amusement. Oh God, Max had caught her staring at him. Liz felt like she was going to die of embarrassment.

"Something wrong, Liz?" Max enquired, a small unconscious smirk appearing on his lips. Liz swallowed.

"Oh, um no, nothing's wrong, Max," she responded quickly. "Just um, enjoying my fries." She picked up a fry and swiftly thrust it into her mouth as if to prove her statement.

"Oh, okay," Max accepted her reply with a slightly puzzled expression on his face. He observed her as she ate for a few seconds, trying to figure her out, but then he shrugged and returned to his own meal.

It was close to an hour later by the time Liz and Max had finished their dinner and completed the History assignment. Both Max and Liz had learned a lot more about each other over the course of the evening. From the last few questions Max had learned that Liz didn't like to take risks, her favourite books were Little Women and Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, she was afraid of losing control, she wanted to be Head of Molecular Biology Research at Harvard and Maria was the person that knew her best in the world.

Liz on the other hand had discovered that Max loved Steinbeck and his favourite book was Of Mice and Men, he was afraid of public speaking (which to be honest didn't surprise her), his favourite animals were dogs, Isabel knew him best (again, not surprising) and he wanted to be a teacher. This last answer though, did surprise her, but as she thought about it she realised that Max would probably make a great teacher and she told him as much.

"Really? You think so? I'm not sure if I'd be any good at teaching," said Max, self-depreciatingly.

"I think you'd be great, Max," Liz assured him. "You should go for it."

"Thanks." He paused, thinking it over for a second before making a decision. "You know what? I think will, or at least I'll try."

"That's great, Max," she replied enthusiastically.

They sat in comfortable silence for a few moments before Liz took a glance at her watch and gasped.

"Wow, it's almost eight o'clock! Max, we've been sat here for 2 hours!" she exclaimed.

"Really? We've been here that long?" Max moved to gather his belongings. "I really should get going, Isabel's probably wondering where I am," he said, rolling his eyes. "And I think Michael's up to something, and that's never good."

"Sure, that's fine. I've seen how those two can be," Liz smiled knowingly and then added, "and I promised my Mom that I would help her out with some stuff tonight, so I really should to get back upstairs soon."

"Okay, well it was fun working with you on this, Liz," said Max.

He deposited his stuff in his backpack, zipping it closed. He turned to leave as Liz collected her books together. Max was halfway to the door when he twisted back around to face her.

"Liz?" his tone was hesitant.

"Yeah?" She looked up from the table and the books in her hands.

"Maybe, um" he broke off nervously. He cleared his throat and tried again. "Do you think that we could maybe get together like this again sometime? Without the schoolwork, I mean."

A grin started to break out on Liz's face and she struggled to keep it at bay.

"Sure, Max that would be great. I'd really like that." In truth she was almost ecstatic at the suggestion, more time alone with Max? She couldn't wait!

"Great. Well, I'd better get going. I'll see you around, Liz."

"Okay then. Bye Max."

Liz sighed as she watched him retreat through the Crashdown doors, the full-blown smile still plastered on her face. She wondered if she'd ever manage to pluck up the courage and tell him how she felt about him. He'd said earlier that he had feelings for someone though. What if he could never feel the same way? Her smile slipped slightly at that thought, but she pushed the feeling aside. She was on such a high from today's events that it wasn't worth spoiling it with endless deliberation over what may or may not be true.

Meanwhile outside the Crashdown, Max was just sitting motionless in his jeep. He wanted to savour the moment before he had to go home and face Michael and Isabel about whatever their latest crisis was. Even if he could never be with Liz in the way that he wanted, he decided that he would have to be content with having her friendship, at least for now. Resolved now, he turned the key in the ignition and manoeuvred the jeep out of the parking space. He pulled away from the café and Liz and headed towards home. Right this moment his life was great and he never wanted that to change.