So for anyone who was reading my other story You Never Really Know, I'm sorry but I read it again one day and decided I didn't like it that much and couldn't continue on. My sincere apologies. I think, maybe I'll just stick to one-shots.


Title: It's Who He Is

Author: HateWaitLove

Fandom: Wizards of Waverly Place

Word Count: 853

For as long as he can remember, he's been Max.

Ask anyone what that means, and they'll give you words like idiotic, cheerful, childlike. But to him, it is so much more. He accepts things the way they are, an acquiesced child, never arguing. He looks for the best in things. It isn't his fault. He doesn't know why.

He is Max.

His doesn't work like anyone else, and for that he is labeled stupid. Max pretends sometimes; finding it less tiring than having to explain.

It isn't like Alex, who is wicked smart but only uses her brain for personal gain. (To be fair, that isn't all the time. Max finds her kind at odd moments when she thinks no one sees.)

It isn't like Justin, either. Max isn't fueled by the desire to be the best, to work hard because he has something to prove. Work hard to get money to fall in love to work hard; wasting away trying to achieve perfection. No, he isn't like that.

(Believe it or not, Justin is an attention whore. He always wants someone to look at him and say, "We're proud of you," and "We love you," and "Don't work yourself too hard, mijo." It isn't that their parents don't say those words Justin craves, it's that they don't know say it enough. And problem is, Max is too scared to say it. So he seals his lips tight, watching silently as Justin glares enviously at Alex from the wings, lit by a bright spotlight. Max wants to say, "Its okay, Justin. Take a breath. I'll still love you." He doesn't. Instead, he says something stupid, reminding Justin that at least he's smarter.)

He is Max.

He loves odd things and making people smile. He loves his family; he'd do anything for them. (They don't know this. He's only ever said "I love you" to his mother. Once to Alex.)

He loves magic. If there is one thing he knows, it's that.

Not like Alex, to which she is dependable. Not like Justin, who excels at it. For Justin magic is logical, he loves teaching it, he lives to learn everything he possibly can. Magic is the one thing that Justin isn't so Justin about. He does it for himself, mostly.

But Max, Max loves magic. With all his soul and all his heart. He loves everything about it, from the smooth tranquil of a spell running over and over in his hands, to the absolute frustration he gets when he can't quite form one.

He knows when not to use it, and he knows it is more than memorizing the words, the potions. He knows you have to use your heart.

Magic is a sacred thing, to him. It fills his father's eyes with a melancholy reminiscence, his mother's with both unease and curiosity. It fills Alex like oxygen, a need to get just as much in as out. Justin fills with pride, a hint of a long-lost smile.

Magic fills him. It takes him in, caresses him, fits to him, and they mold together as one. He feels complete and so inexplicably right. The colours mute to gray, only to come back brighter, sharper, painful. It pricks his skin with a billion tiny needles, fingers running hauntingly down his spine. His skin stretches to tight, until he feels he's about to burst out of his skin.

Magic is beautiful, like an old lullaby, like the smell of a gardenia, like his mother in the morning, like the sound of a smile.

He isn't supposed to notice those things, but he is Max.

He is wired a bit differently.

It isn't his fault.

.

When Alex wins, and Justin gets appointed headmaster, he feels the sky start to fall.

Everyone is staring at him, because he's mad and Max isn't supposed to get mad.

He feels like killing them. They don't take magic seriously. No one does. Magic is his life. It's sacred. He loves it with all his heart and all his soul.

Problem is, he is Max. And Max is wired a bit differently.

He wants to scream. Just until the air runs out of his lungs, just till then.

He doesn't.

He is Max.

He accepts things the way they are. That's just how it goes. The same melody, over and over and over. It never stops.

He is Max.

He loves magic with all his heart and all his soul. But he loves his family more.

So he backtracks. He plays it perfectly. It's what he does. He's happy just to be remembered. (But his heart just keeps on breaking, piece by piece, and he holds back tears as he tries to show his fake enthusiasm. He loves them; he'd do anything for them. They don't know this, maybe they never will.)

He is Max.

He is wired a bit differently.

(He cries himself to sleep that night, feeling so utterly alone and wrong. It's all wrong. He scratches at his chest, trying to hollow out his heart.)

He is Max.

(He is found dead by morning.)