This is part of the college AU.
When Max was a lot younger and still living with his parents, but he was often at Nikki’s house since she was his best friend at the time ( still is, he considers her family pretty much )
Anyways, Candy began to really notice behavior changes in Max with time when he’d be staying at her house for sleepovers with Nikki. They were constantly together almost, as if Max… never really wanted to go back home.
Max never talked about home since he was too scared to. It first started with Max having a break down, not wanting to leave their house when it was time to go home, clinging onto Candy for dear life while his parents had to pull him off of her… It made her really nervous for him but she pushed it aside, figuring he was just clingy to Nikki.
But then he began having marks on his body.
Max’s parents never hit him, but they’d grab him roughly on his arms and face when they would yell at him since Max was constantly getting in trouble at home ( he was wanting attention whether it be positive or negative, and negativity just seemed like the only way with his parents. )
When Candy would ask about these marks he wouldn’t look at her and just say that he didn’t know. He never talked about it. Anytime Candy would also scold Nikki for being bad in front of Max, he’d get very scared, even if it wasn’t a big deal. Little things like this made Candy very suspicious and she called cps and reported his parents.
Longer story short, Max was taken from his parents and his parents were charged with neglect and child abuse. He was temporarily being taken care of by Candy since Max did not have any other family, and he was put into counceling- and that’s when he met his counselor, David, who’s heart absolutely melted for Max and David eventually adopted him.
The whole situation had also made Candy a better mom. She ended up becoming more affectionate to Nikki and more attentive, realizing she needed to really appreciate her daughter more. Max sees Candy as a cool aunt he’s never had as an adult in college… He owes her a lot.
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