Disclaimer: I do not own Roswell, Caesar's Palace, Elvis, Las Vegas, or Sheryl Crow's song. But hey, I can dream, can't I?
Author's Note: If EOTW hadn't happened and the original timeline had played out -- this is my vision of what Max and Liz's wedding might have been like. WARNING: High sugar content. I freely admit it -- this is pure sap. But we all need our mushy stories once in a while, right?
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Evening stars twinkled through the open windows, and faint moonlight lit the living room where Max and Liz lay curled up on the sofa together. A slight summer breeze rustled the curtains, its cool breath chasing away the heat of the day.
"Max?" Liz murmured, contentment blurring her voice.
"Hmmm?" He was running his fingers idly through her long dark hair.
"Do you think we'll get married someday?"
He smiled in the darkness, glowing at the very idea of being with Liz Parker for the rest of his life. "I certainly hope so. I can't imagine ever being with anyone else."
She twisted a little, turning her delicate features to face him. "Then why don't we get married now?"
"Now?" He had to admit he was a little taken aback, and his smile faded slightly as he looked at her. "Liz, don't you think we're kind of young? We're only nineteen."
"I know. But you know, Romeo and Juliet were even younger. I already know that you're the one, Max. I've known it for years now. Why should we keep waiting?"
Max bent to give Liz a kiss. "I feel the same way about you -- you know that. But what's the rush?"
"It's not a rush. We've been together for years, and we obviously already agree that we're never going to part." Liz gave a wistful smile. "We've even been through 'good times and bad' and survived. Why should we wait to make it official?"
Max didn't answer right away. He just closed his eyes and held his beloved Liz in his arms tightly for a few minutes. He felt the way they breathed in unison, the way her soft form molded against his perfectly. He thought about the way she understood him and supported him, and yet didn't let him get away with anything either. His Liz. He couldn't imagine his life without her, without her gentle spirit to make him feel whole. Maybe she had a point. Since he wanted nothing more than to make her his wife someday why couldn't 'someday' be now? They would then have the legal right to be together always -- at home, at college -- and no one would be able to keep them apart.
"So, should we start planning the guest list now?" he asked her.
Liz turned wide, dark eyes to stare at him in surprise. "You mean it?" she asked softly.
Max's reply was to pull Liz to him for a kiss that left no room for doubt. "Elizabeth Parker" he said when they finally tore their lips away, "will you marry me?"
Liz flung her arms around him in a hug. "Yes!" she cried. "It's all I've ever dreamed of."
"Me too," he replied, returning her embrace. Then he frowned. "Liz, I'm afraid a lot of people will try to stop us. Our parents for one they're not going to be thrilled at the idea of us getting married so young."
"I know," she murmured against his neck. Then she pulled back to look into his eyes. "Maybe we should elope."
"Are you sure, Liz?" he asked her in concern. "Don't most girls dream of a big fancy wedding?"
She sighed and ran a hand through her hair. "I suppose so," she replied. "But it's more important to me to have you, to be married to you."
He nodded his agreement. "All right then, we elope. What did you have in mind?"
She thought for a moment, and then smiled. "Ever been to Las Vegas?"
Unable to get away from their summer jobs on such short notice, Max and Liz decided to wait until the following weekend to make their getaway. Liz used the extra time wisely, slipping off to the bridal store in Dexter where she found a wedding dress and veil off the rack. Then, with the dress hidden in an opaque garment bag, Max's rented tuxedo hanging from a hook in the back seat, and a flimsy excuse tossed to their friends and family, they took off for the bright lights of Las Vegas.
Despite the long, hot drive, Liz was positively giddy with excitement as they reached the outskirts of the town.
"Oh my god, Max, this is so exciting!" she said, a grin splitting her face as they drove past casinos, shops, and restaurants dripping with lights. "Where do you think we should get married?"
Max smiled at his diminutive bride-to-be. Her enthusiasm was catching. Not that he wasn't already pretty happy at the thought of marrying Liz, but watching her get so wound up was making him feel rather giddy himself.
"Hmmm " They had already passed a few wedding chapels on the Strip. "Is there something you had in mind?"
"No, not really," Liz said, staring out the window. "I guess we'll just know it when we see it "
They drove around for a few more minutes, their levity bringing laughter to their lips as they saw the many outrageous signs and people they were passing. And then Liz saw it. "Max, look!" she said, pointing.
He looked. It was the Elvis Wedding Chapel.
Liz and Max glanced at each other, grinning broadly. "Perfect," they said.
After reserving the chapel for 7pm that evening and choosing their rings, they found a room at Caesar's Palace and took some time to freshen up and have a short nap. The Elvis Chapel had small rooms where they could change before the ceremony, so Liz took her dress with her, rather than put it on beforehand where Max might see.
Slipping into the white confection, Liz felt a brief twang of loss that neither her mother nor Maria was there to share this moment with her, but the lady who ran the Chapel and served as the witness was kind and helpful, and Liz felt a little better under her care. Then, clutching her bouquet of white roses, she waited breathlessly outside the Chapel doors for the processional music to play.
When he saw Liz walk down the short aisle toward him, Max thought his heart would burst. She was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen in his life, more beautiful than he had ever thought possible. She wore a sleeveless white gown that fitted neatly about her slim torso before trailing into a floor-length skirt and train, which poufed romantically without overpowering her. Long white gloves covered her graceful arms, and a traditional white veil crowned her dark brown locks. She'd left her hair down, the way he liked it best, and her eyes held such love for him as she approached that it took all Max had not to fall on his knees on the spot and thank whatever power was in charge for the gift of such an amazing woman.
Liz had seen Max in a suit a few times, but to see him in a tuxedo was a whole new experience. Her breath caught in her throat when she saw him. The formal black attire suited his lean, muscular frame perfectly, and somehow brought out the best in his coloring. His usually-tousled hair was neatly combed back, and his beaming smile reached all the way to his warm brown eyes. The Elvis impersonator crooned "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You" as she walked towards the altar, but she hardly noticed -- all her attention was focused on the man who would be her husband.
"Do you Max Evans take this woman"--Elvis consulted his sheet--"Elizabeth Parker, to be your lawfully wedded hunka hunka burnin' love? To have and to hold, in good times and in bad times when you're all shook up, for as long as you both shall live?"
Max stifled a smile at the choice of words, but sobered as he realized the enormity of the moment. "I do," he said solemnly.
Liz repeated her vows with equal seriousness but couldn't manage to smother her giggles when Elvis asked if she would take Max "even when he's nothing but a hound dog."
The rings came next. Max pushed the thin gold band over Liz's ring finger as he proclaimed it a symbol of their everlasting love. Liz's trembling hands had a little trouble getting Max's ring over his knuckle, but eventually it slipped into place. Then, with twin smiles of joy on their faces, they listened as Elvis wished them happiness in their marriage and warned them to stay away from "Heartbreak Hotel".
"Congratulations, kids," he said as he pronounced them husband and wife, and they sealed their promise with a heartfelt kiss. Liz wished she could have held onto that moment forever, the moment she and Max officially became one.
Sitting in the back of the cab as they rode back to their hotel, they could hardly take their eyes off of each other. Max felt his jaw begin to ache, he was smiling so much. But he couldn't help it -- Liz had been right. Getting married was the best thing they could have done. She was beautiful and smart, and wise, and loyal, and now, beyond all doubt, she was his and he was hers. She was his soulmate, and now she was his wife. He felt like the luckiest man on Earth or any planet for that matter.
Giddy with joy, they bounded out of the cab as it pulled up in front of their hotel. In one swift gesture, Max swept Liz up into his arms, determined to carry her over the threshold, even if it was only the threshold of Caesar's Palace. He swung her around once, both of them feeling light as air, as if nothing could touch them. There were no crowded city streets, no gawking tourists, no noisy traffic. They only had eyes for each other. They kissed again, right there on the street, before Max finally turned to carry his bride into the lobby. He did not set her down until they reached their room.
"You must be exhausted," Liz told him, as her feet finally touched the ground.
"How could I be?" he replied, gazing at her adoringly. "You are my strength. You are all I'll ever need."
She understood -- she felt the same way.
Their wedding night did not hold the significance of being Max and Liz's first time together. That honor had gone to a long ago night during their junior year of high school, the night when they had set aside the previous summer's misunderstandings and sacrifices in order to find healing with each other. That night had been the turning point for them, the night when they had cemented their relationship. In truth, it was almost like they had spoken their marriage vows that night, so firm was their commitment to each other afterwards.
But it did not make their wedding night any less special. Liz hadn't thought she and Max could be any closer than they were already. They were soulmates, and now they were married. But that night, as she and Max kissed and caressed, tasted and explored and finally came together, she felt it was like that first time all over again. The air fairly sparkled with the magic of their union.
"Max?" Liz whispered as they lay tangled together, sleepy and sated.
"Do you . Are you sorry that we didn't have a real wedding?"
He turned his head to face her. "We had a real wedding, Liz."
"You know what I mean. Are you sorry we didn't have our friends or parents there?"
"A little. I mean, it was the most magical day of my life, really it was. But it doesn't seem right to keep that magic to ourselves, to not share it with the people who are closest to us."
"We could call them, if you want. Call Michael and Maria and the others." Max smiled. "You *know* Maria will want to do something for us when we get back."
Liz chuckled. "Yeah, after she's killed me for eloping without telling her."
Max's grin grew wider. "Good point. Maybe we should tell Michael first, so he can restrain her."
"I'll take my chances." Liz reached for the phone. Now that they had started talking about their friends, she couldn't wait to tell them any longer.
"Maria, it's me."
"Liz! I thought you and Max were camping. You guys get a flat tire or something? I thought Max could 'heal' anything!"
"Maria, are you sitting down?"
"Why? My God, Liz, what happened?"
"No, no, it's nothing bad Maria. It's just ."
"What? What? Girl, you're killing me here."
"Well, first off, we uh we didn't go camping."
"No? Where'd you go then?"
"We're in Las Vegas."
"Las Vegas?? Why?"
"Maria,"--Liz took a deep breath--"Max and I decided to get married."
"Yeah, it's me. I was showing Maria something on my new laptop computer. What did you say to her? She just sat down on the floor and looks like a brick wall hit her."
"Alex, Max and I got married."
"Whoa!! Wow -- congratulations! Didn't see that one coming. Not so soon, anyway."
"Thanks, Alex. Look, we're sorry we eloped without you guys being there, but we were afraid that you'd try to talk us out of getting married or something."
"Well, you gotta admit it's kind of young, but somehow it doesn't seem so weird since it's you guys."
Liz smiled, before realizing that Alex couldn't see her. "I should have known you might understand. Alex, could you do us a favor? Max and I are ready to share our happiness, and we'd like it to share it with all of you."
"Liz, I know for myself I'd love nothing more, but Las Vegas is pretty far away."
Liz sighed. "We know. Maybe we can do something when we get back?"
"Hang on a second." Alex must have covered the mouthpiece with his hand, because his voice was muffled as he spoke to Maria. After a few minutes, he came back on the line. "You willing to meet us halfway?"
Liz relayed the message to Max, who wasted no time in agreeing to the arrangement. It was a perfect suggestion -- He and Liz could start for home, but still manage to celebrate with the others before another day went by.
"Alex, where is halfway?"
"Hmmm ." Liz heard clicking noises. He was apparently checking some information on his computer. "Holbrook, Arizona" he finally told her. He gave her the directions from Las Vegas.
Liz wrote it down. "Think you can be there by five o'clock tonight?" she asked him.
"Liz, not even evil aliens could prevent us from being there."
"Don't say that!" she laughed weakly. "And would you call Isabel and Michael, too? We want all our closest friends to be there tonight."
"Will do," Alex assured her.
The group met at a major highway intersection, and quickly found a suitable restaurant where they could hold their makeshift party. Isabel and Michael pretended to be insulted by the secret elopement, for about 15 seconds. Then they fell on Liz and Max with congratulatory hugs, and promptly produced a wedding present, which turned out to be one of Michael's paintings.
"I'd like to make a toast," Michael said, as they were finishing up their meal. He raised his glass of water and looked at the bridal pair. "Maxwell, you have always been my best friend, my brother. You and Isabel were the only family I ever knew for a long, long time." He turned his gaze on Liz. "I have to admit, when you guys first got together, I was angry. I didn't think there was anyone worthy of knowing our secret, anyone who would stand up for us. Anyone who could love Max as much as we had loved him." Michael smiled. "I have never been happier to admit I was wrong."
Looking around at the rest of the table, Michael raised his glass a bit higher. "To Max and Liz. May they have a long life together, and always be as happy as they are now."
"To Max and Liz" they all chorused, and everyone clinked their glasses together.
Liz got up from her chair and, without a word, walked over to Michael's seat and threw her arms around him in a giant hug. He patted her back awkwardly, her gesture taking him by surprise. She had never been this affectionate with him, ever.
"Thank you, Michael," she sniffled against his shoulder. "I think that's the nicest thing anyone has ever said about me."
Michael smiled as she straightened up again, wiping her eyes. "It was nothing," he said, trying to shrug off the unexpected attention. But he was pleased.
"Hey, are you trying to steal my wife?" Max joked, coming over to put his arm around Liz.
"No worries, Maxwell," Michael said. He threw a glance at Maria. "One woman is more than enough to keep me busy."
Hours later, Isabel, Alex, Michael and Maria collapsed into their chairs. Everyone had spent the rest of the evening dancing and they were all exhausted. All but Max and Liz. They looked like they could go on forever, fueled on nothing but air and love.
Alone on the dance floor, Max and Liz swayed slowly as "I Shall Believe" played in the background.
"Happy?" Max murmured against Liz's hair.
"Very," she replied. "If I'd planned it out for months, I couldn't have had a better wedding."
Max kissed her gently. "I'm glad."
Liz bent her head back to look at him. "I know you weren't originally that crazy about doing this, but I'm glad we're married now."
"Liz, I know I was worried at first, but I'm not anymore. As long as we're together, I know we'll be all right." He smiled and nodded his head to indicate the music. "I will always believe in us."
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