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[personal profile] chrysalitron
Okay. The Zaxie....continuation....I guess. Two-plus years later, and lots of exposition-type stuff. Still Maxie's POV.

TWO YEARS LATER

Time had passed since the fire that had burned down the Port Charles Hotel. Maxie had thought her life would never go back to normal, but in a sense, it had. She graduated from high school, and started college at PCU. After a lot of thought, she had decided to become a psychiatrist. One of the things that she had learned through her experience with Zander was that she wanted to help people. She had talked to Alexis about it, and Alexis thought it was a wonderful idea.

Felicia had once again disappeared as soon as they knew Mac was going to be okay. Georgie had been heartbroken over it, and had cried for days, but Maxie had expected it from the beginning. She wished her mother had proven her wrong for once, but that was how life went sometimes. Since the fire, Alexis had been like a mother figure to Maxie. Both women were smarting over the loss of both Zander and Cameron, and found support in one another. When Alexis was up to dating again, Maxie had given her a gentle shove in Mac’s direction. Mac and Alexis were both surprised by the sparks between them - they had known each other for years, yet the thought of romance hadn’t crossed either of their minds. They weren’t discussing marriage yet, but Mac had finally convinced Alexis to move in with him. Maxie had decided to live in the dorms at school, and had happily relinquished her bedroom to Kristina, who was now four years old.

Georgie had just graduated - valedictorian of her class, of course - and was planning on going to NYU. She was taking some prerequisites at Port Charles Community College before she decided to move on. She wanted to be a lawyer, which Alexis wholeheartedly approved of. She was still with Dillon, having reunited with him for good after the fire.

As for the other townsfolk....Elizabeth had finally admitted that she was the one who killed Zander. He had called her, and she’d gone to meet him in the boiler room. It was never revealed what they had discussed down there, but it had led to an argument. Elizabeth had knocked Zander unconscious and run out, leaving him behind.

Maxie had blamed all of them for Zander’s death. Nikolas, for locking Zander in the room....Elizabeth, for knocking him unconscious....and Emily, for causing Zander to lash out the way he had in the end. Nikolas and Emily were married shortly after the fire, but Emily fell ill during their honeymoon. Nikolas rushed her home, and they learned that her cancer had returned and spread. Before she died, Emily had called Maxie and asked to see her. Maxie had at first balked, but Alexis had talked her into listening to what the dying young woman had to say. Emily admitted to Maxie that she’d always loved Zander - she’d never wanted to hurt him, and never wanted to see him dead. She pleaded for forgiveness. Maxie finally begrudgingly granted it, and Emily had died soon after.

Elizabeth and Ric had welcomed a baby boy that they named Steven Alexander, and called Alex. Maxie was at first angry that they would dare to name their baby after Zander - as far as she was concerned, Elizabeth had helped drive Zander to his death. But as soon as she laid eyes on Alex, she’d understood. He was an adorable little boy, just over two years old now. He had jet black hair that fell forward into eyes that were all Elizabeth’s, and a smile that Maxie knew she had seen before.

Maxie had worried for weeks after the fire that Ric would find some way to prosecute her for aiding and abetting Zander, but he seemed to have dropped it. Ever since he’d comforted her during the fire, they’d had a grudging respect for one another. Now, Elizabeth, on the other hand....if Liz saw Maxie coming, she’d turn the other way. Maxie realized that she made Liz uncomfortable. They both knew that Maxie hadn’t forgiven Liz for her actions toward Zander as easily as the rest of the town, and Elizabeth couldn’t bring herself to meet her eye.

That thought crossed Maxie’s mind once more as she saw Liz come into Kelly’s. Maxie had given up volunteering at the hospital in order to work at Kelly’s and make some real money, helping to pay her college tuition. When Elizabeth walked in, she glanced warily in Maxie’s direction. Instead of approaching the counter, she took a seat at a table near the door. Maxie rolled her eyes.

"Still giving her the stink-eye, huh?" Mike said with a laugh. He and Bobbie had been married for a year now, and he had taken over Kelly's so Bobbie could focus on her hospital work. Maxie adored Mike - he was the friendliest, sweetest man, and she knew he made Bobbie happy. Her cousin Lucas - who was initially ambivalent about having yet another stepfather - had grown to love the man himself. Mike seemed to exude happiness wherever he went.

She couldn’t help but laugh at his description. "She’s just such a wimp!"

Mike shook his head, trying not to smile. "Elizabeth really is a nice girl, Maxie. You ought to give her a chance." Maxie just made a face at him, and moved away to refill a customer’s coffee.

Just as she got back to the counter, she heard the bells over the door sound, and saw Ric walk in with little Alex in tow. "Mommy!" Alex called happily, toddling over to give Elizabeth a hug. After a minute, Ric swept him up and brought him to the counter. Maxie grinned at them. "Hi, Alex!"

The little boy buried his face in Ric’s shoulder, blushing. "Hi, Massie."

"I think I have something here for you...," she said mysteriously, reaching underneath the counter. "Ah ha! Here it is!" She held out a soft chocolate-chip cookie in a wrapper. Alex giggled, taking it from her. Ric jostled him slightly. "What do you say?" he whispered.

"Tanks," Alex immediately responded. Maxie laughed. "You’re welcome." As Alex got down and took off back to Elizabeth, she turned her attention to Ric. "He’s getting big."

"Yeah," Ric agreed, smiling widely. "He’s learning new words, too. His new one is ‘tullet’."

"Tullet?" Maxie asked, cocking her head to the side.

"Apparently, that’s ‘toilet’." Ric said with a laugh. Maxie couldn’t help but laugh back. "How’s school going? Are you still aiming at psychiatry?"

"Yeah, definitely," she said, pouring him a cup of coffee. "I’m still enjoying it, so I’m gonna stick with it."

"That’s good," he said. "You’re good at helping people." They exchanged a small smile before Ric paid for his coffee and headed back to his wife and son. Maxie no longer took Ric’s words as a threat. A sort of understanding had seemed to come between them. Ric had been there for her the night of the fire and afterwards, and she was grateful to him for that.

~*~
"Night, Mike," Maxie said later that night with a laugh. Mike rolled his eyes. "Are you sure you don’t want me to hang around? Technically, I help run this place. I shouldn’t make you close up by yourself."

"It’s not a big deal, and you’re not making me do anything," she reminded him. "You have a big date with your wife tonight. Get out of here."

Mike started to say something else, but Maxie pointed at the door. He finally threw his hands up and began walking away. "Do you want me to lock up?"

"Nah, don’t worry about it. I have to bring the tables in anyway."

Maxie spent the next half hour bussing tables and cleaning off the counter. She had been in the kitchen, unloading the dishwasher, when she heard the outer door open. Damn, I really should have locked that, she thought to herself. With a glass still in her hand, she made her way out to the front of the restaurant. "I’m sorry, but we’re clos-" When she finally looked up, her words broke off, and the glass in her hand fell to the floor and shattered.

"Oops," Zander Smith said sheepishly, scratching the back of his neck and smiling at her.

So, yeah. Like I said, a whole lot of babbling and explanation there, but I wanted to get the whole "What's happened in the last two years" bit over and done with. More of it will be touched on when I get into the Zander/Maxie interaction, but I just thought I'd give a brief overview.

As for Maxis....it's not exactly a couple I'm longing for, but I thought it would be interesting. I basically just wanted to get the people close to Maxie together ;-) And yes, there might have been some blatant Mike propping in there. Heh. Come on, I love Mike, I can't help it!
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July 2009

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