Title: Through Your Eyes
Disclaimer: The characters don't belong to me… sniff, sniff… But to make it official: The characters of "Roswell" belong to Jason Katims, Melinda Metz, WB, and UPN. They are not mine and no infringement is intended.
Category: Max and Diane
Summary: When Max stands in his kitchen and sees his mom, he realizes what he was really leaving behind. And Diane realizes what her son needs the most. Max and Diane's POV post Departure.
Author's Note: The line "there's nothing I'd like better than to fall" is from Sarah Maclachlan's song, "Fear". Thanks to Kathy W for her wonderful editing work! You are the *greatest*l! For those of you who are reading The Offer or Unknown, both fics are coming! I'm almost there!
This story is set after the events of Departure, exactly the night after Tess left. It starts with Max's POV.
- Through Your Eyes-
'It's been a long day' is rather the wrong thing to think, but I don't think there's any name for what kind of day this was. All my thoughts are so mixed up, are so strange… When the sun arose this morning, I was going to go 'home'… to an uncertain future… to a whole new world. But when the sun went down just a couple of minutes ago, I felt as if all this was just a terrible bad dream…
With the Jeep gone, I'm sitting in the back of the Jetta, while Maria and Michael are talking in the front seat. Long ago I stopped paying attention to them, I stopped searching for answers… Yet before my mind starts all over again about what Liz said, what Valenti said, what everybody said when we were in the desert, Michael's saying something about meeting tomorrow and having a good night. I'm home, I realize. I get out and thank Maria for the ride. I'm not even going to start thinking about what I'm going to say about the Jeep. Right now I just need rest. Tomorrow will be another story. But tomorrow is still too far away.
Isabel arrived home earlier. After we left the Valenti's house, Kyle offered her a ride home. We were all exhausted, but she was the most tired. Michael still had things to talk about with Maria, and I had things to talk about with Liz... As I walked through the back door, I started to remember her words… about what we did, about what we said… about what to do, and just as I enter the kitchen, Mom's there…
When I arrived later this afternoon, I found Isabel sleeping in her room, and as usual these days, Max wasn't around. Isabel had been crying, I could tell, but she seemed so relaxed in her sleep, that I didn't dare to enter her room.
I headed for the kitchen and finished some dishes that were still in the sink. I heard a car coming in front of the house, but I knew it wasn't Max's Jeep. It didn't sound like it, and a minute after, I heard it go by.
I'm worried about my kids. Things have been so tense between them lately. Still, no matter what I say or what I try to do, they won't let me in. Maybe someday, but I don't fool myself. Whatever is going on, they don't seem to think we should know. And it scares me, because if I push too hard I will lose them. It's just that this silence is killing me… shall I break the promise I made months ago?
When I see her standing there, I compose myself. I know we haven't done a great job on that lately, on being 'normal', I mean, but since Alex's funeral, I guess she assumes we are just not taking it very well. So I smile to her as in a 'hello' and all I want to say is "Mom, I'm hungry", but I can only hear myself say "Mom…" and I can't continue. I just can't.
Because in one second, it hits me. 'I wouldn't have seen you if I had left…' and I remember, in that one second, everything I've shared with her. She's my mom, and there's nothing that can change that. And I really need her, just as badly as Isabel does… have I turned her away from me as I did with everybody else?
He's perfectly still in the entrance, five feet away from me. He wasn't expecting to see me, I know that, and he tries to play it right, to say something to ease things up, but something else has stopped him, and all that secretiveness he has seems to go away. For the first time in years, he looks like a little boy.
He's always been so protective of himself, and I know he knows I know that. But he expected me to trust him, and I did. I saw in his young eyes, long ago, that he needed to trust someone without worrying whatever worries him so much. He needed a mom, and every time he cried because he wanted to go home, it broke my heart in a thousand pieces; that I couldn't do anything about it was terrible. Until he stopped one night, and he slept in my arms. Then I knew that he knew he could trust me. Although I don't think he thought he was home.
I know he's so defenseless in this moment, as though all his walls have been taken down, and his eyes beg me so badly that I don't ask. And I know that if I do, I will have all my answers… But I promised, I remind myself… I promised I wouldn't ask about it anymore. And I can't break it, because if I do, he will leave. I just can't.
I can see in her eyes all that knowledge that everyone says moms have. Does she know me? Does she know more than I think she does? For one moment I wish she does, because I can't deal with secrets right now. I'm so tired of lies and being lied to, I just can't take it anymore… not this night… not with her…
I can read in her expression, 'Max, what's wrong?' but she doesn't say it. She's just waiting for me to finish my line. Yet I can't say a word. Instead, I can feel all that pain that Isabel was feeling when she didn't want to go 'home' with me… 'Home'… it sounds so meaningless when I'm standing here, with the only mom I've ever known…in the only place that I've always called 'home'.
'There's nothing I would like better than to fall', it's the thought that comes to mind, and I realize all I've been doing lately was because I couldn't do it. I couldn't fall, it is not allowed to me, and I desperately wanted for something to guide me, to lead me… and 'destiny' was the only path I could see… Had I only known where destiny would take me… had I only known what I know now… "Mom…" I said again, trying to regain my control.
And I know that more than ever he needs a mom. Even if I can have my answers, I know it wouldn't stop my worries. 'He's a good kid' everyone tells me, and I know he is. Whatever the matter is, whatever he's hiding, it's not something that is in the 'parents manual'… but one sentence with a question mark from me and that trust that took me so much time to build long ago will be broken in a single moment. I can't afford that.
So, I take a step forward, and his eyes never leave mine. Those eyes that so badly want to tell me… I notice that he's breathing fast, as if trying so hard to not let a tear run free… to stay in control. 'He needs a mom' I remind myself again, so I take another step and hug him.
And there's no place on Earth… anywhere where I can feel safer than in her arms right now. I just let every thought go away, every feeling disappear, and I just stand there, hugging her back. For a minute, for an hour, I don't really care. And before I let her go, I can finally finish my sentence:
"Mom, I'm glad I'm home…"