Hang Down Your Head (DA XO,UC,MATURE) {WIP}

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A Rose Is True Blue
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Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 4:58 pm
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Hang Down Your Head (DA XO,UC,MATURE) {WIP}

Post by A Rose Is True Blue » Fri Nov 19, 2004 12:34 am

Title: Hang Down Your Head
Author: A Rose Is True Blue - Erin
Rating: To be safe, let’s say Mature. Whenever it goes above that, I’ll make sure to say something.
Category: Roswell/Dark Angel crossover
Pairings: Liz/Alec, mainly. Roswell wise; Alex/Isabel, Michael/Maria, and Kyle/Tess Dark Angel wise; I’m pretty sure Max and Logan are still going to be together.
Summary: Back when he was Simon Lehane, Alec met someone. Now, she’s coming back into his life.
Spoilers: For Roswell it goes up to Viva Las Vegas. For Dark Angel… well it’s pretty much after The Berrisford Agenda. If you don’t know much about Dark Angel and want to read the episodes you can at http://www.darkangelfan.com.
Author’s Notes: Note that Dark Angel and Roswell are in different timelines so it’s a bit harder to write a fic concerning both shows. I’ve decided to have it occur during the Dark Angel timeline. It’s easier for me. I started this pretty randomly, reading all of the Roswell/Dark Angel fics here… and then I just got this idea and it wouldn’t shut up, so here we are. I’ll try to update as often as possible, but for those who have read my other fics, you probably know that those updates have long waiting periods between them. I’m hoping to do better with this and I think that I will. Also, I have an awesome beta, JAAlberts… so things should go pretty smoothly with this. Enjoy guys! J
Disclaimer: Here we go - I own nothing. J.Katims, Melinda Metz, the WB and UPN own Roswell and Fox, James Cameron and all those good people have got Dark Angel. The song in this chapter is “Hang Down Your Head” by Lucinda Williams. And the beautiful banner is by Chynna Princess.

Image

Hang Down Your Head
Chapter 1


Hush a wild violet
Hush a band of gold
Hush you're in a story
I heard somebody told

Tear the promise from my heart
Tear my heart today
You have found another
Oh, baby, I must go away

So hang down your head for sorrow
Hang down your head for me
Hang down your head tomorrow
Hang down your head, Marie

Hush my love the rain now
Hush my love so true
Hush my love a train now
Well it takes me away from you

So hang down your head for sorrow
Hang down your head for me
Hang down your head
Hang down your head
Hang down your head Marie

So hang down your head for sorrow,
Hang down your head for me
Hang down your head
Hang down your head
Hang down your head, Marie


Seattle, Washington
October 22nd, 2020


It was unnatural how much it rained in Seattle. Too much rain could depress the happiest person. Generally speaking she loved the rain. She would never say no to cuddling with a good book and cup of hot chocolate by the window as it rained outside. With a sigh, she ran a hand through her dry hair, knowing it wouldn’t be dry for long. She’d been sitting here for a little over a half an hour debating whether or not to leave the safety of the car. She knew as soon as she opened her door the rain would attack and she’d be left defenseless. Still, she needed to use the payphone, which was across the street. It figured… it doesn’t rain in Seattle a hand full of days out of the year and on one of the days there wasn’t supposed to be any rain - not even light drizzle - it starts pouring.

It seemed to fit her mood though, which was strange because she wasn’t normally so depressed. It wasn’t as if she didn’t have a reason though. She stared up into the rearview mirror, catching a glimpse of her reflection. Limp, brown hair, pasty skin and brown eyes that were red puffy. She sighed, turning her head away from the mirror and looking out her window. Tears began to well her eyes for no apparent reason. But the tears were always there. They had been since she’d got the call yesterday. At completely random moments, the tears would come into her eyes and try to force their way out. Still, she couldn’t break down yet. Not yet.

Crack.

A piece of hail hit the window, bringing her from her thoughts. She bit her lip and gripped the door handle. It was now or never. She threw the door open and shrieked as she was pelted with rain. With a grimace, she shut her door and bolted across the street, holding her left hand above her head. She reached the phone booth within seconds and pulled at the handle with her right hand… it wouldn’t budge. She let out a cry of fury, kicked the phone booth door at the same time pulling with everything inside of her the on the door handle. It finally gave in and only her death grip on the handle kept her from flying to the ground and landing on her butt. Moving faster than she’d known she could, she jumped into the phone booth and shut the door.

“Well,” she mumbled, ringing her hair out, “that was fun.” She turned towards the phone and groaned. There was gum right on the handle. Perfect. Feeling around in her pockets, she pulled out a piece of paper; her map. She put it back into her coat and tried to find something else, anything else. After a minute of looking, she gave up and pulled the map back out. It was as if fate was telling her to give up.

Slowly, as if the gum would just fall off by itself if she only waited a second longer, she wrapped the map around the phone handle and pushed seventy-five cents into the change slot. For a moment, she paused. She knew the number to call; after all she has dialed it repeatedly over the years. Somehow her fingers couldn’t seem to press the numbers. When she looked down she saw that her hand was shaking. She dropped the phone as her hand cramped. A sob broke free as she massaged her convulsing hand. No. She couldn’t break down yet. Soon… but not now. She took a deep shaky breath as she tried to calm herself. She had important things to do.

She picked up the phone, and with a stronger resolve, she dialed the familiar number.

The phone rang through the line. Again…Again…Still, no answer.

“Come on,” she whispered, leaning against the booth impatiently.

“Hello, Berrisford residence.”

She stood up, and sighed in relief at the sound of the familiar voice. “Hello! Is Robert Berrisford in?”

“Yes, one moment please.” There was a click, as if she had been put on hold. A moment later, there was another click. “Mr. Berrisford is busy at the moment, but he says if you leave your name and number he’ll get back to you as soon as possible.”

She nodded. “Yes, but I’ve been trying to call him all day and he hasn’t called me back. I don’t know if you aren’t giving him my messages or what, but-”

“Ah, you are the one who’s been calling?”

“Yes,” she said through her teeth. Her voice began to get weaker, making her sound like she was about to cry. She cleared her throat. “I’ve already left my name, but no one has taken down my number. If you could just tell him that I’m on the phone, I’m sure he’ll talk to me. My name is-”

The maid interrupted her again. “Yes, miss, I will tell him you are on the phone.” There was another click.

“You didn’t even get my name,” she muttered miserably. She waited for five more minutes before the maid came back on the line.

“Mr. Berrisford is very busy. He has family issues at the moment. If you’ll give me your name and number, I’ll be sure to deliver your message to him.”

“Yes, all right,” she said hurriedly, feeling defeated. “My number is 416-433-2442-8967, and my name’s Liz Parker. Par-ker-”

“I will be sure to tell him you called, miss.”

“No, see you don’t understand… I’m-”

“Good day, miss.” With a click the line was dead.

“-family,” she finished softly. With a shake of her head, she slammed the phone back into its cradle.

Not caring about the rain, she moved slowly back to her car. Once inside, she simply sat there. Then something snapped inside her and strangled sobs echoed throughout the car. She hid her face in her hands, her shoulders shaking violently. She tried to get control over her emotions; she tried to stop crying. But at that point, it was inevitable and she let go. She allowed her emotions to take over and let herself break down.

<center>*</center>
Miami, Florida
July 24th, 2015
Five Years Earlier


Liz cringed as yet another aunt pinched her cheeks and complimented her on how grown up she looked. Her cheeks have been continually assaulted by relative after relative for over an hour. She was seriously contemplating throwing her drink on the next person who thought they were going to come near her.

“Having fun, Lizzie?” Her dad asked as he bent down next to her, his blue eyes twinkling.

Liz shook her head and crossed her arms. “No.”

“Why not?”

Liz sighed and sat down at a nearby table. “Dad, my cheeks are red. Everyone keeps pinching them! And they keep asking if I have a boyfriend.”

Jeff followed Liz to the table and sat next to her. “I’m hoping you tell them you don’t.”

Dad!” Liz shot her father an annoyed look. He held his hands up in surrender.

“Sides, everybody here is older than me. You and Mom promised there’d be people my age,” Liz stated.

“Well, you saw the little twins-”

Liz shook her head. “Dad, they’re kids. What’s up with all of the old people? Where’s everyone else? You know… normal people. ‘My age’ people.”

“Old? Since when did I become old?” Jeff demanded.

Liz sighed and waved her hand, as if she knew everything. She was thirteen, after all. “You’ve always been old, Daddy.”

Jeff’s mouth formed an ‘O’ shape and he nodded, looking around the room. “How about we go find your mother? Maybe we can ditch this place and go get an ice cream. You know, if you don’t mind going with an old man.”

Liz’s eyes widened at the sound of ice cream. She grinned and nodded. “Okay!”

“Okay,” Jeff laughed. He held his hand out for her to take, and despite being a teenager and ‘too old for that kind of stuff’, she took his hand without the normal hesitation. When Jeff looked back down at Liz, she had a huge smile on her face.

They found Nancy Parker near the door, talking to a couple. Liz recognized them, and immediately dropped her dad’s hand to run into the open arms of her uncle.

“Uncle Jason!” Liz cried. Jason McAllister, Nancy’s brother and Liz’s favorite uncle, laughed and swung her around in the air before setting her back down.

“Well, look at you! You look stunning,” Jason stated, ruffling Liz’s hair. She didn’t even bother to smooth it down, just simply smiled up at him.

“How are you, Casey?” Jeff asked, greeting Jason’s wife.

She smiled at him and waved her hand towards her large stomach. “I’m good! The baby appears excellent; we just had a doctor’s appointment! Nancy tells us you are doing well with the restaurant.”

Jeff smiled. “Yes, the Crashdown is doing better than it has in a while, When are you due again?”

“In a month. It feels like it’s been forever though,” Casey said. She rubbed her stomach. “The baby keeps kicking, too! I swear, this one is going to be a soccer player or something.”

“Don’t worry,” Nancy laughed. “Liz was a kicker too.”

“Mom! I’m standing right here,” Liz mumbled, shooting her mother a glare.

Nancy put her hand on her daughter’s shoulder. “Sorry sweetie.”

The four adults talked for several more minutes before Casey suddenly called out to someone. “Robert!” She waved a man over and Liz noticed that behind him, holding her father’s hand, was a girl who looked about her age. Curious, Liz looked from her aunt to the newcomer as they greeted each other.

“Jeff, Nancy, you remember my brother Robert Berrisford,” Casey said. Nancy and Jeff shook Robert’s hand. Casey looked down at Liz and held out her hand. Liz took it and let Casey pull her in front of Robert. “Liz, this is my brother Robert.”

“Well, how do you do?” Robert asked, bending down and holding out his hand. Liz shook it; glad someone here was treating her like an adult.

“Good!” Liz replied enthusiastically. She lowered her voice and then said, “Actually, I’m bored.”

Robert leaned back, laughing. “Well, I’m sorry to hear that but it’s nice to meet you.” He stepped back, revealing the girl who had been behind him. She had dark brown hair and light green eyes. She smiled shyly at Liz. “This is my daughter, Rachel. She’s thirteen.”

“Oh really?” Liz smiled at the girl, encouragingly. “Me too!”

Smiling a bit wider, Rachel said, “Hi.”

“So, where do you live?” Liz asked.

“Seattle,” Rachel replied.

“Doesn’t it rain there, like, all the time?”

“Yeah…”

The adults around them, smiled as the two girls began to talk. They’d planned on having Rachel and Liz meet at the family reunion. Ever since her mother’s death, Rachel hadn’t had many friends. With the hopes that the two girls would make that connection, Robert Berrisford had been invited to the family reunion. Now, it seemed that the two would become fast friends.

“Hey Dad?” Liz called.

Jeff turned from the group towards his daughter and said, “What’s up sweetie?”

“Can Rachel and I go get some ice cream now? Member, you said we could leave!”

Nancy raised an eyebrow at her husband, who merely shrugged in response. Jeff looked over at Robert. “What do you say? Shall we take them out?”

“I don’t know…” Robert replied, pretending to think it over just to tease the girls.

“Please, Daddy!” Rachel begged. “We’re bored.” She whispered the last word and Liz nodded determinedly next to her.

“Well, I guess we could,” Robert said.

Rachel and Liz high five-d, smiled at their parents and ran for the exit. “See ya at the car!” Liz called back. Seconds later, the girls had disappeared from the room.

“That went well, didn’t it?” Casey asked, grinning brightly.
Last edited by A Rose Is True Blue on Tue Jul 25, 2006 4:51 am, edited 17 times in total.

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A Rose Is True Blue
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Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 4:58 pm
Location: With Waldo

Post by A Rose Is True Blue » Sat Nov 20, 2004 7:08 pm

Author’s Notes: Well, I was planning on keeping all of you hanging for at least a week until I realized the first chapter wasn’t all that long and I wasn’t being entirely fair. So, now, I’m posting Chapter 2.

Also, one other thing. All of the flashbacks are from the summer after Destiny in Roswell time. Liz went to see Rachel in Seattle instead of her aunt in Florida. Now, unless I say a different date (which I don’t think that I do aside from the first chapter) take all the flashbacks as to occurring after Destiny. :D

Disclaimer: Transcript of 'Destiny' from http://www.crashdown.com

alexceasar: I've become a major X-tremer as well (thanks to Calinia's fics) and I've been combing through all the Roswell sites I can as well. If you happen to run past any good ones, let me know! :wink: Thanks for reading!

Calinia: You know, I think that since I'm posting another chapter, you should do the same. :wink: Now, let me try to answer all of your questions. Liz is in Seattle, she's there because of Rachel's death, Alec and Liz do know each other (only Liz knows Alec as Simon and Alec doesn't remember much about everything that happened with Rachel because of the things Manticore did to him to make him forget), and Alec will be making an appearance in Chapter 4. I know, it's a long way off - but we'll get there. Now, go update! And thanks for reading!!

WomanofMystery: Thanks for reading! And Alec will come into the picture in Chapter 4. (I love the song too, it's very beautiful).

Lizzy88: Liz is looking for Robert Berrisford because of Rachel's death. Hopefully, this next chapter answers more of your questions. Thanks for reading!

LittleBit: I'm glad that this idea never occurred to anyone! I was slightly afraid someone would write something exactly like it before I could. You're right in guessing that this is after Rachel's death... but she didn't find out about in a paper. J Thanks for reading!

burningchaos: Thanks for reading! By the way, I love your sig banner. I'm not the biggest fan of Sawyer (I watch Lost too), but I'm sure it's because I missed the episode where part of his past was explained. Was it good?

Spacegirl04: Thanks for reading!

stargrl678: Thanks for reading!

pandas2001: Thanks for reading!

_liz: Yep, Liz and Rachel are cousins... sort of. They aren't blood related. But, Alec will be coming into the picture in Chapter 4. Thanks for reading!

Alrighty, now that that’s out of the way… here’s Chapter 2.

Hang Down Your Head
Chapter 2


Liz put her bags on the floor near the bed and looked around the motel room in disgust. There were stains on the floor and bed.

The main light kept flickering. She leaned forward and turned on the lamp by the bed and bright light filled the room. Now Liz could see the room a bit more clearly. She lifted a corner of the comforter off of the bed and then dropped it back down. ‘Well, sleeping on the bed is out.’ she thought. With a depressing sigh, she walked to the chair by the window. She inspected it for a few minutes before nodding. She was satisfied that it would do for the night.

Liz rummaged in her bag and pulled out a large raincoat her mother had forced her to bring. At least it would be good for something.

She never planned on spending the night at a motel and she wouldn’t be if not for the constant roadblocks. Seattle’s security has gotten tighter since she last visited two years ago. It was as if they were over paranoid now, like every person in the city was dangerous.

Shaking her head, Liz laid the raincoat on top of the chair and settled down for the night. Hopefully, the roadblock through Sector 9 would be lifted by tomorrow and she could get to her uncle’s house. She hoped he wasn’t worrying about her… it was the last thing he needed right now.

<center>*</center>

Roswell, New Mexico
May 21st, 2018
Two Years Earlier


Liz slowly sat down on the edge of her bed, staring ahead of her at nothing in particular. Her clothes were covered in dirt, she had tear tracks on her cheeks and her hair was a mess. Still, she sat, not moving.

A moment later, Maria cracked the door open and sat down next to her. “Alex just left,” she said, breaking the silence.

Liz nodded, blinked, then said in a flat voice, “Maybe you should get home too.”

Maria shook her head. “No, babe, I’m here for you.”

Liz turned and looked at her. Her eyes filled with tears and she bit her lip. “Thanks, but I… um… I’d really rather be alone right now.” She turned back, her gaze falling to the floor.

Maria shifted, watching her for a minute before she reached a decision. “Okay.” She stood and crossed the distance to the door. “Alex and I are here for you Liz. We know how you feel. You aren’t alone.”

Liz nodded. Maria looked at her for a moment longer, then sighed and walked out, gently shutting the door behind her.

It was another hour before Liz finally moved from her spot on the bed. She walked into her bathroom. With a click, she shut her door and walked towards the bathtub. The handles made a squeaking sound as she turned them on. Once she thought the temperature was correct, she placed the plug in and began to remove her clothes.

They were sitting next to each other in the overturned bus. They’d been in it for a little over an hour. Liz stood up and began to pace the bus. “So everything Nasedo told me was true. You and Tess were meant to be together,” she said, slightly dumbfounded.

“Liz,” Max called softly.

Liz ignored him. “I mean, it’s your destiny, right?”

“I wish I could go back Liz. Back to when things were normal,” Max said, his eyes filled with pain and sorrow.

“Me, too. I just wish that I could have stopped you from saving my life that day in the Crashdown,” Liz replied softly.

Max shook his head. “Don't say that.”

“Max, the day that you saved my life, your life just ended,” Liz said, her eyes filling with tears.

“No, that was the day my life began. Liz, when I was in that room, and they did what they did to me. You're what kept me alive. The thought of you. The way your eyes look into mine. Your smile. The touch of your skin. Your lips. Knowing you has made me human. Whether I die tomorrow or fifty years from now, my destiny is the same: it's you. I want to be with you, Liz. I love you.” His hands caressed her cheeks.

“I love you,” Liz replied back. She leaned forward, pressing her lips to Max’s. His hand found its way up her neck and into her hair, pressing deeper into the kiss. Liz let herself fall into him and she tilted her head, letting the familiarity of his kiss comfort her. She’d been so worried about him… so lost.


Liz stepped into the bathtub, cringing at the heat of the water. It stung her feet before they quickly became accustomed to the temperature. She slowly lowered the rest of her body into the water, moaning when her leg muscles protested. The run through the desert had really hurt her legs… Liz’s eyes became teary thinking about it...

Liz shifted out of the way as Nasedo, disguised as Pierce, left the Pod Chamber. She felt a chill go down her spine when he shot her a look of disgust as he passed. Her gaze drifted back to Max, who was staring intently at the dark blue orbs.

Max picked up one of the orbs and moved over in Tess’ direction. Michael and Isabel got the other and held it between them, looking to Max for what to do next. “I want to know. Maybe if we just focus like Nasedo’s always said.”

Liz bit her lip to keep from stopping the four of them. After all, this was what they’d been searching for their entire lives, right? A link to their past, to who they were. Who was she to tell them to not try it? Especially because she had a bad feeling about it.

Somehow, she knew that if they activated those orbs, everything would change… and Liz’s biggest fear was that Max would realize that he and Tess were meant to be together, and Liz shouldn’t be a part of his life. Liz didn’t know how she would be able to handle it if that’s what the orbs revealed today. Who was she, if Max wasn’t in her life?

The four aliens each closed their eyes and concentrated on the orb in their hands. Within seconds, a bright blue light shot out from the orbs and a beeping sound echoed throughout the cave room. The four were transfixed as another blue light appeared, this time producing the figure of a woman.

The woman was beautiful. She had long blonde hair and dark eyes. She was incredibly regal and impressive. Liz couldn‘t take her eyes away from the image and she knew that none of the others could either.

Suddenly, the woman began to speak. “If you are seeing me now, it means that you are alive and well. I take this form because it will be familiar to you, and it will help you to understand what I am about to say. You have lived before. You perished in the conflict that enslaves our planet but your essence was duplicated, cloned, and mixed with human genetic materials so that you might be recreated into human beings. My son, you were the beloved leader of our people. I have sent with you your young bride.”

Liz froze, her gaze immediately darting to Max, who had suddenly turned to look down at Tess. What had Nasedo and Tess been saying to her for months? Max is Tess’ destiny. Max and Tess belong together. God, she had thought they were exaggerating the situation because both Max and Tess were aliens. She never knew, could never have known, that they had literally meant that Tess and Max were made for each other.

The woman continued speaking, “My daughter, the man you were betrothed to, and your brother's second-in-command.”

“Oh my God, Max,” Isabel mumbled, turning to look at her brother. Her eyes fell back upon the woman, with a whole new look in her eyes. “Our mother.”

“Our enemies have come to the Earth. You will know them only by the evil within. Learn enough to use your skills, your knowledge, your leadership to combat the enemy so that you can come back and free us. And that I may once again hold you both in my arms. I live for that moment. Help us. I love you.” With a quick flicker, the blue light that was once the woman died out and the cave was left dull and dark.

“She’s beautiful,” Isabel finally said, breaking the awe filled silence.

Liz’s eyes were wide as she tried to process everything that had just happened. Her brain was working overtime, trying to remember every word the transparent image had just spoken. She didn’t know what she had expected from the orbs, but Princess Lea calling for Obi-Wan definitely hadn’t been it. She’d known Max had been special… of course she’d known… but she could have never guessed that he was his people’s “only hope”. For God’s sake, he was only sixteen!

“I always knew there was something out there, but I had no idea how important it was,” Michael said.

Liz nodded in agreement, although no one was really paying attention to her. They all seemed to be caught up in their own thoughts. Her gaze stayed focused on Max, watching his reactions to everything that has happened. He must be so lost… she thought. For a moment, he turned in her direction and Liz thought he would look up at her, but he looked at Tess. Liz fought to keep from wincing.

“Things will never be the same, but whatever happens, we have to stay together. It's the four of us now,” Max stated, looking at Isabel and Michael before looking back to Tess.

Liz took a small step back, her breath caught in her throat. Was she invisible? Did the Princess Lea Mother erase Max’s memory of her? Since when had Tess been one of them? Since when had she, Alex and Maria
not been a part of the group? Liz could feel her heart breaking, especially when Tess next spoke, looking up to Max. “I knew this was meant to be.”

“No,” Max said. Liz looked up, a confused look in her eyes. He stepped away from Tess and towards her. “Look, everything I told you before is still true.”

Liz wanted to jump into his arms and just nod. Instead, she shook her head and said, “Max, you do have a destiny. You just heard it. I can't stand in the way of it.”

A puzzled look fell into Max’s eyes as he put a hand to her arm. “But you mean everything to me.”

Tears found their way into Liz’s eyes and she stood on her tiptoes, meeting Max in a passionate kiss as thought it would be her last with him. A tear fell down her cheek and Liz caressed his face one last time, before stepping down and away from him.

“Goodbye, Max,” Liz said softly. She turned away, not able to look at him for even a second longer. She felt around for the cave entrance, desperate to get away. She made her way through the cave, knowing exactly when she was free of Max’s gaze.

“Liz,” Max called softly, neither accepting nor understanding what had just happened. He quickly followed her outside, not aware of Michael following him. He saw her outside of the cave, making her way down the hillside. “Liz. Liz, wait.”

Closing her eyes tightly, then reopening them, Liz fought to keep her breath. She heard the desperation in his voice and couldn’t stop herself from twisting around to look at him. Her heart softened at the pain in his eyes. This was her Max, the alien king who had saved her life and introduced her to a different world. The world where she, at least for a short time, had been utterly and completely happy.

The moment their eyes met, Liz found herself back in the Crashdown on that day… the day she had been shot. The feelings she had felt rushed through her body and the connection she and Max shared, opened and flared to life. Twisting her jacket in her hands, Liz had to fight to walk away. She felt that walking wasn’t getting her far enough away as fast as she would have liked, so she broke into a run.

She didn’t stop running until she couldn’t take another step. She couldn’t remember falling a single time, but she must have. She didn’t remember calling Maria, getting into Maria’s car, or the questions about what happened from Alex and Maria, and she certainly didn’t remember answering them. All she remembered was that she felt empty and broken, and that she didn’t feel like she would ever be whole again.


A knock on the door woke Liz from her thoughts. She wiped her eyes realizing that she’d been crying.

“Wh-” she began, her voice soft and raspy. Clearing her throat, she tried again. “What?”

Her mom’s voice came through the door. “Rachel’s on the phone for you sweetie.”

In the now lukewarm bathtub, Liz thought about telling her mom to say that she was busy or that she’d call back. But that would only cause Nancy to ask even more questions. It was unusual for Liz to not take calls from Rachel whether she was busy, she dropped everything when her favorite cousin called.

“I’ll be just a minute, mom,” Liz called.

“All right sweetie. Hurry, though. You know how expensive calls are now-a-days,” Nancy replied. Seconds later, Liz could hear her mother leave the room, and with a sigh, she got up from the bathtub and pulled her robe on. It took her only a minute to get to the phone in the living room.

“Rachel?” Liz asked, eyeing her mother, who was folding the laundry nearby.

“Liz!” Rachel’s voice came through loud and cheery. “Hey! Long time, no talk! How’ve you been?”

Liz twisted the phone cord in her hand. “Oh… you know, same as ever.”

“Bored in Roswell?” Rachel asked, her voice sympathetic.

“Yeah, something like that,” Liz replied. “Hold on.” She held her left hand over the mouthpiece and looked at her mother. “Mom,” she said, a hint in her voice.

Nancy looked up, “Yes sweetie?”

Liz held up the phone. “Can I kind of have a little privacy?”

“Oh, sure.” Nancy picked up her laundry basket and left the room. Liz waited another second, as if to make sure that her mom wasn’t about to come back, and then lifted the phone back up to her ear. “Okay, I’m back.”

“What was that about?” Rachel asked.

“My mom was in the room,” Liz explained. “Sorry.”

“Not a problem, cuz!” Rachel replied, a laugh at the end of her words. “So, how’s summer going? It’s your first day isn’t it?”

“Fourth, actually,” Liz said. She sat down on the couch, tucking her feet underneath her.

“Well… come on, tell me how it is! It doesn’t rain constantly there, your summer is ultimately better than mine,” Rachel cried.

“Not quite,” Liz said. Silence descended over the line and realizing that she was being more distant than she had ever been with her cousin, Liz quickly said, “Forget about me and my crappy summer. Tell me everything about your summer! How’s it going?”

Rachel groaned over the phone. “You remember Monsieur Patrice?”

Liz thought back, her brow wrinkling as she tried to place the name. “Your piano teacher?”

“Yeah. Well, he’s horrible. He won’t let me play anything I want to play. I swear, he wants me to have a miserable time. Oh! And, laughing is strictly forbidden. He made me play ten Mozart pieces when I cracked a smile.”

Liz laughed, feeling the stress of the day already fading. “He can’t be that bad.”

“He’s worse,” Rachel replied.

Liz smiled wider. “I miss you, you know.”

“You too!” Rachel said. “You really need to move out here, you know.”

“And drown every day on the way to school?” Liz grinned. “Not likely. You should move out here.”

“Oh right,” Rachel snorted. “Then I can dehydrate on my way to school every day.”

Liz laughed. “Now where does that leave us?”

Rachel sighed over the phone. “Racking up the phone bills.”

“Our parents are going to hate us,” Liz said.

“They’ll get over it,” Rachel said. “Wait a sec…”

Liz heard a voice in the background, one she recognized as Robert Berrisford, Rachel’s father. There was a loud shriek and then Rachel was back on the phone. “Lizzie, guess what just happened.”

Liz grinned, loving this conversation. No aliens, no destiny, no FBI… just a normal conversation. “What?”

“Monsieur Patrice just booked me for lessons every other day!”

“Ouch,” Liz said. “That sucks.”

“Yeah. Ugh… this is just not happening. I mean, I couldn’t stand him on Tuesdays and Thursdays… but every other day?!? I might as well change my name and run away.”

Liz shook her head, smiling. “Yeah, but then your dad would have to track you down and you’d be grounded for life… it just wouldn’t be worth it.”

“You’re right,” Rachel sighed dramatically. “I just wish that I didn’t have to put up with him all by myself. At least in classes there are other people for the teacher to pick on, but I’m all by my lonesome…” Rachel broke off.

Liz sat up. “Rachel? You still there?”

“I’m here,” Rachel said. “Okay, Liz, I just had an idea.”

“A good idea, or a bad idea?” Liz asked.

“Well… you said you were having a crappy summer, right?”

“Yes,” Liz replied slowly, having a vague idea of where Rachel was going with this.

“And, you said you missed me anyways, right?”

“Rachel-” Liz began, shaking her head.

“No, think about it, seriously,” Rachel quickly said. “We haven’t been able to spend a single summer together for two years! Besides, if you don’t come here and save me from my Monsieur Patrice, I’ll just fly out there. Either way, we’re spending this summer together. So… what do you say?”

Liz bit her lip. She couldn’t leave Roswell… not now, not after what had happened today. I mean, she had to be there for Max, didn’t she?

“I think that it’s a really good idea, I mean, you know how much I love hanging out with you, but this summer is going to be so busy for me with school and the Crashdown,” Liz said.

“Fine,” Rachel replied. “I’m still coming out there then. I can help you with the Crashdown… besides I’ve missed Alex and Maria anyways.”

Liz bit back a groan. Damn Rachel and her stubbornness. Whenever she wanted to do something, she did it… which meant that either way, no matter what Liz said or did, Rachel would see her. And if she came to Roswell… God, that was the last thing Liz wanted. Sooner or later, Rachel would end up finding about Max, Michael, Isabel, and Tess and Liz didn’t want Rachel, her favorite cousin, to get dragged into the alien abyss.

“So… am I flying or driving?” Liz asked.

Through the other line, Rachel began to laugh. “You’re too easy, Lizzie.”

“I know,” Liz replied, a soft smile on her face.

“I’ll get Daddy to call your parents tomorrow,” Rachel stated. “They can work everything out and hopefully you’ll be here like… yesterday.”

Liz grinned. “Wouldn’t that be wonderful? You know our parents… they’ll talk every last detail out until one of us decides to just pack our bags and leave.”

Rachel snorted. “I know! Don’t worry, Daddy’s been so busy with his business lately that he hasn’t been keeping such a strict eye on me. We’ll have tons of fun.”

“Good,” Liz replied. She eyed the scrapes on her hands from falling earlier on in the desert. “I think I could use a little bit of fun.”

<center>*</center>

Present

Liz flipped the TV on. She’d woken up five times in the past three hours. She finally just decided not to even try any longer. She picked up the remote for the TV and turned it on. It was a commercial… fantastic. She waited for a few minutes for the program to come back on. When she discovered it was a cooking show, she quickly changed the station. Because the motel was a cheep one it only had ten channels. Dejected, Liz finally decided on Buffy re-runs.

She focused on the episode. Concentrating on that instead of anything else in her life. It was so much simpler for her to be involved in the episode than to have to fight herself to keep from crying. As soon as it got towards the end of the episode, where everything was finally explained, the channel blinked and then a red and blue banner ran across her screen.

With a slightly put-off cry, Liz sat up straighter in her chair. What was it? Her forehead frowned in concentration as she read the banner as a face came into view.

“This is a streaming freedom video bulletin. The cable hack will last exactly 60 seconds. It cannot be traced, it cannot be stopped and it is the only free voice left in the city.”

Liz’s expression cleared, and she relaxed a bit. She remembered this… Rachel had told her about him. Eyes Only.

“One year ago, on January 14, 2019, over a dozen children were kidnapped and later found dead outside of Seattle. The government said that those responsible were never found. As is expected from the government, they lied. The innocent children were murdered by the leader of the Run-by Gang, the gang that has been controlling the downtown Seattle area for the past six months. He also happens to be the nephew of Governor Dywer, David Michael Dwyer.”

Pictures flashed across the screen of who had to be the current governor. There was one picture of him with a man who looked to be in his late twenties. He had no tattoos, piercings, nothing that would make him seem at all criminal, except for the look in his eyes. Looking at his eyes, Liz felt a shiver go down her back. It was the same look Nasedo had when he’d kidnapped her.

“When the police caught Dywer, the governor came and hushed it all up with a few bills. Now, thanks to his uncle, Dywer is out in the streets, free and killing innocent people. Is this man, the man we want as our governor? This has been an Eyes Only streaming freedom video bulletin. Peace. Out.”

Liz shifted, thanking the heavens that there was no ‘Eyes Only’ around Roswell. She didn’t want to think about what he would have reported when she was shot. On the other hand, he might have been pretty useful for finding out leads, or whoever was against the Pod Squad… something tickled Liz’s mind for a moment but she couldn’t quite figure out why. For some reason, her mind was telling her to find Eyes Only. Why? She didn’t know. She was too tired to figure it out tonight.

Liz glanced at the clock. It was nearly two in the morning. All she had to do was watch a few more Buffy episodes, wait for the block to lift and then she could go to Seattle. There she would get the chance to say goodbye.



-Erin

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A Rose Is True Blue
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Post by A Rose Is True Blue » Tue Nov 30, 2004 11:30 pm

Author's Notes: You know, I shouldn't be updating. I should be studying. Anyway, I can promise you I don't update this quickly. It's only because I have around five parts pre-written and they're just sitting there. So, enjoy guys!

elfangel01: Thanks for your feedback! :D

burningchaos: Thanks for your feedback! I wish I hadn't of missed that episode now! His character was one of the characters I really wanted to know the background of. I hope they replay it.

lyra: Yep, Liz met Simon when Manticore sent him. You'll see more of the flashbacks showing that. And about your other question on whether Robert will tell Liz about Rachel's death... you'll have to wait and find out. Thanks for your feedback!

vampiricheart: I'm glad that you you're liking this! Alec and Liz will have to work past the Rachel/Alec relationship. It will take awhile. Thanks for your feedback!

Traitor: I think that one of the reasons why this concept came to me is because I tend to look more towards the side stories of shows... like the stories that are only one episode. The Rachel story really interested me because of how Alec was so innocent about the relationship with Rachel. It was really cute.

WomanofMystery: You know, I think we're ganging up on Kat. :wink: Haha!
WomanofMystery wrote:What happened back in Roswell to make her run?
If you mean in the flashbacks, then the whole Destiny thing made her leave. If you mean now, it was mostly because of Rachel's death and partly something else in Roswell, which I will definitely get to. Max, Maria and the others are all still in Roswell. They will make an appearance in this, not just in flashbacks. She's pretty much in Seattle to say her final goodbye to Rachel... but she'll be in Seattle until she's able to say goodbye to her. Thanks for the feedback! :)

Calinia: Yey! Long feedback. Gotta love the long feedback! You know, I grow sick of my icons really quickly and I don't think that I'll ever get sick of yours. And, nice try but the whole "look over at naked Alec" won't work for long, missy! I'm glad that you think I made Rachel sound like Rachel. She was who I was worried about writing - her and Alec, of course. The Streaming Freedom Video probably won't play a part later on, it was just a way for Logan/Eyes Only to be introduced to Liz. Liz will try to find him in awhile though. By the way, the main reason I'm updating is just in case you might decide to update because I am. So - now that I've updated, tag... you're it. Thanks for your feedback! :D


Now, here's the next chapter...

Hang Down Your Head
Chapter 3


Seattle, Washington
June 1st, 2018
Two Years Earlier


Liz watched the taxi drive down the street while she looked around the neighborhood warily. She still hasn’t gotten over the FBI scare from last year and she still felt like she was constantly being watched.

A camera mounted on the gate moved to look at her when she pressed the button for the intercom. Shifting, Liz looked directly at the camera. After a minute the gates began to open. Liz firmly grabbed her suitcases and began to walk towards the house.

A shriek echoed throughout the courtyard as the main door was thrown open. Rachel Berrisford ran towards her with a huge smile on her face. “Lizzie!” she called out.

Liz smiled back and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. She was a little bit nervous at seeing her cousin again. She never kept anything from Rachel. Liz knew Rachel would figure out she was keeping a secret and would try to wrangle it out of her.

Liz hoped she would be able to play it cool during her stay. Maybe then Rachel wouldn’t find out she was hiding something. Liz wanted to tell Rachel everything, just to have someone listen to her complain, but she couldn’t involve anyone else. She had already involved Maria and Alex, and look where that had gotten them; heartbroken and trapped in the alien abyss.

Her friends in Roswell knew all about the relationship between herself and Max. How they acted when they were together, how much they adored each other, and how perfect they were together.

Rachel would see it from an outsider’s perspective. She wouldn’t look at the entire situation as though Max and Liz were fated to be together for all time. She’d see it the way Liz did… Max had a destiny he needed to follow. Rachel would be the prefect friend for Liz right now.

The only problem was, she couldn’t do that to Rachel. Liz never wanted her cousin involved in the alien abyss she already drug herself into. She was drowning and she wouldn’t wish that fate on her cousin.

“I’m so glad you’re here!” Rachel cried, breaking Liz from her thoughts and pulling her into a tight hug.

Liz returned the hug and grinned. “Me too!”

She pulled back and looked Rachel over. They truly did look nothing alike - which made sense since they weren’t blood related. Liz always envied Rachel for her height and light green eyes. Standing in front of her, Liz felt very much like a midget, even though she was only inches shorter than Rachel was.

Two maids came out and picked up Liz’s luggage, carrying it back to the house. Liz stepped forward saying; “I can get that… really…”

“Don’t even try,” Rachel stated. “Daddy promised your parents that this would be a stress free summer for you.”

“Carrying my luggage isn’t stressful,” Liz protested, “and who said that I’d been stressed?”

Rachel looped her arm through Liz’s. “Your mom told Daddy that you’d been looking stressed out lately and that you’d been having problems with Maria, Alex and somebody named Max. Not your biology partner Max, right?”

Liz rolled her eyes, ignoring Rachel even mentioning Max. “God! It’s like I have no privacy whatsoever in my house. What did my mom do, listen to my phone calls?! At least you have your own phone line, you know… you don’t have to worry about your dad listening in on your conversations.”

Rachel smiled. “Yeah, well… he just has his bodyguards follow me around and see exactly who I’m talking to. I swear, if he could, he’d have them follow me to every single one of my classes.”

Liz snorted. “I bet my mom is already doing that. I’m going to have to look over my shoulder whenever I go out now.”

Rachel laughed, pulling Liz into the house. Liz couldn‘t help but look in awe at her surroundings. The pulse had devastated many families. Those who had kept their own money and not put it in the bank, quickly moved to a prominent social status.

Robert Berrisford had been one of the few to keep priceless antiques and money locked up in his private safe. He’d also owned a successful business that hadn’t been fairly easy to keep running after the pulse. It was no wonder the Berrisford house was much nicer than most other houses in Seattle, or Roswell for that matter.

While the pulse had effected everyone, Roswell was and is a tourist town. All the businesses profited from sightseers, and they continued coming after the pulse. Roswell had remained much the same. It was weird for Liz to come into Seattle and walk streets so divested and utterly different from the ones in her home town.

“Liz, are you coming?” Rachel called. Liz turned to see her cousin waiting for her on the stairs. Liz smiled, nodded her head and moved up the stairs.

“I know you’re probably tired so I didn’t plan anything for today. Daddy will be home by seven for dinner and then, if you want, we can go wherever as long as we’re home by curfew. He also promised that we could go by ourselves… no guards,” Rachel seemed excited at the thought of just going out with her.

“But, of course I understand if you want to rest and you know… recuperate.” Rachel continued after a slight pause.

Liz raised an eyebrow. “Recuperate? What did I do? Climb Mt. Everest? Rachel - of course I want to go out! I need a little bit of teenage fun.” And she did. Liz wanted to be able to go out for a normal night without having an alien interruption or a FBI member following her around. She did need teenager fun - normal teenage fun.

Rachel frowned as Liz walked past her up the stairs. “Jeez… from the way you talk it’s like they don‘t have fun in Roswell.”

Liz smiled bitterly. “You know, they really don’t.”

<center>*</center>

Liz laughed, twisting in her seat. “Okay… seriously, that didn’t happen, did it? I mean, how does something like that happen?”

Rachel nodded. “Karma. I mean, Sally Jacobs is such a little… witch. I mean, honestly, the girl has hated me since I was six.“

“I have one of those; Pam Troy,” Liz replied, dryly.

Knowing whom Liz was talking about Rachel nodded. “Exactly! Anyway, this was a week after she copied my Chem test and got us both F’s. So, I might have let it slip to a certain football friend of Sally’s boyfriend, that she thought she was pregnant with someone else’s baby.“

“That’s evil,” Liz muttered, completely enraptured in her cousin’s story.

“It’s not like she hasn’t said worse about me,” Rachel replied, defending herself.

“What’s worse?” Liz asked. Then, she shook her head. “Never mind. Tell me how it got to the food thing.”

“Okay, so after the rumor thing she said something about me and I said something about her back and on and on until I just felt like it was middle school all over again. So, I decided to lay off.”

“Lay off?”

Rachel grinned. “Well, I let her think that I was laying off. Around Homecoming, she was making nice with everyone hoping to get votes. Well, as part of the Homecoming Carnival Committee, it was up to me to make sure that each booth was set up. On the day of the Carnival, Sally came in her formal gown and was flirting with Tommy, who was supposed to be helping me. So, I was walking by with the buckets of water for the dunking booth when I accidentally tripped and the water fell all over her. It was terribly sad, really.”

Liz laughed. “I bet… What happened next, you know with the food?”

“Okay, that was her own fault,” Rachel protested. “When the water hit her, she stepped backwards, tripped over one of the buckets and fell onto the table holding all of the cakes for the cake walk.” Liz was having trouble breathing she was laughing so hard, picturing Pam Troy in the exact same position. “She practically ruined all of the cakes there…” Rachel frowned. “That was probably the worst part.”

Liz erupted into laughter again. “Oh God! What’d she do?”

“She tried to make me pay for her dry cleaning bill,” Rachel snorted. “As if.”

Liz grinned and sipped her soda. Robert Berrisford hadn’t been able to make it back home for dinner so she and Rachel had decided to go out. The restaurant they were at was a lot like Chez Pierre’s in Roswell… just a little bit bigger. There were a few pool tables in the back, a bar to the side and tables all around. There was also a stage on the right of the room with a huge machine towards the back of it.

Rachel noticed Liz looking and said, “Karaoke machine. Karaoke night is every Wednesday.”

Liz shook her head. “Oh man… karaoke machines and me do not mix.”

Rachel laughed. The waitress walked up; refilling their drinks before Liz waved her hand around. “Seriously… this one time, at the Pizza Pan… Maria and I were singing ‘I Got You Babe’-”

“That old song?” Rachel interrupted.

Liz nodded. “You know how much Maria loves oldies. Anyways, the stupid wire got in my way and I tripped… in front of everyone and embarrassed myself by landing on my butt.”

Rachel gasped, mockingly. “In front of all of Roswell?”

Liz nodded. “I was ruined. It took me months to get the courage to leave the house again.”

“Poor thing,” Rachel mumbled. She patted Liz’s hand sympathetically. “You know what I think we need?”

“What?” Liz asked, smiling.

“Drinks.”

“We just got refills,” Liz reminded her.

“Not those kinds of drinks,” Rachel said with a spark of excitement in her eyes. She threw some money on the table and pulled Liz up from her seat. “Come on, I know exactly where to go!”

“Since when did you turn into such a juvenile delinquent?” Liz asked sarcastically. Rachel laughed and pulled on her arm again.

“I never get to roam free by myself. We might as well take advantage of it!” Rachel insisted.

Liz began to move, grabbing her coat as she said, “Fine! But when your dad finds out about this, he’s going to flip out and I’m blaming you.”

Rachel waved her hand and then pulled Liz completely out of the restaurant and moved down the street.

<center>*</center>

Seattle, Washington
October 23, 2020
Present


Liz woke up with a start. She glanced around warily at the unfamiliar surroundings before she’d remembered the past night. She’d gotten stuck outside of Sector 9. She was in a motel. The roadblock would open at six.

Liz glanced at the clock and cursed, immediately jumping to her feet. It was nearly nine. She rushed into the bathroom to wash her face and brush her teeth. As she was drying her face, she looked into the mirror, simply staring at her reflection.

She wished she hadn’t fallen asleep. She didn’t want to dream. She didn’t want to remember. The only part of her life that had been at all normal had been the parts with Rachel in it.

Rachel had been one of the only good things in Liz’s life and now… as she thought over every aspect of her dream, she wanted more than anything to go back to that time. Back to when she could just have a laugh with Rachel and see her smiling and hear her stories.

Liz slumped against the sink, sobs overtaking her form. She held a hand to her mouth in the hopes of muffling the sound. She couldn’t do this. She couldn’t go to Seattle and say goodbye to her cousin; she just wasn’t strong enough. Her uncle didn’t need her to break down. He needed someone - who knew Rachel - to be strong. Liz couldn’t be that person, not when she was broken inside.

She wiped at her eyes and cheeks, this time she avoided looking into the mirror. She hurriedly began to pack her things back into her suitcase. She’d just have to drive back to Roswell and tell her parents that there was too much of a block and she couldn’t get through… or the weather was too bad… or something else like that.

Her parents would see right through her excuses, of course, but they wouldn’t question her. They hadn’t wanted her to come in the first place, saying she shouldn’t make the trip alone. If she waited they would have closed the Crashdown and come with her, but Liz felt that she needed to be here now.

Liz told her parents that Robert was alone and probably needed someone. She’d told them she was responsible enough; she could handle it.

Liz slumped against the wall, shutting her eyes tight. She’d lied. She couldn’t handle this; not one aspect of the entire trip could she handle alone. Tears began to form in her eyes again, but she quickly shook them away. She’d go through with this trip. She owed it to her uncle; she owed it to Rachel. There was so much she owed Rachel

Liz nodded. She stood back up and grabbed her bags. With a quick look around the room, Liz made sure she hadn’t forgotten anything before leaving. When she was sure she hadn’t, she gripped her suitcases tightly in her hands after grabbing her purse and left the motel room.

<center>*</center>

Two hours later, Liz pulled up in front of the familiar house. She paused as she got out of the car, simply staring and remembering…

“Shh!” Liz hissed at Rachel, who was giggling from behind her. They were nearing the house and it was almost one in the morning. Liz was sure any sort of noise would alert someone… probably security. She peeked around the wall and through the fence.

Behind her, Rachel did the same. “Lizzie… what are you doing?”

Liz definitely heard the slur in her cousin’s words. She looked back at Rachel. “Trying to keep from alerting you’re… security or whatever.”

“So,” Rachel leaned around Liz and looked at the fence, “why are you going in through the front? We should go through the back!”

Liz rolled her eyes. “Well,
you live here. How should I know that we have to go through the back?! How should I even know there was a back?”

Rachel giggled and pulled at Liz’s hand. “Come on, Lizzie! We won’t get into any trouble. I promise.”

Liz glared at her cousin’s back. “Just remember… if we do get caught, I’m blaming you.”

Rachel laughed, “Oh fine. It’ll have been worth it!”

As they turned the corner and approached a side fence, a light flashed towards them. Shrieking, Rachel and Liz held their hands up in front of their eyes. Seeing who was standing in front of them, Rachel took a step closer to Liz.

Liz winced and tried to smile. “Uncle Robert. Hi… um… how’ve you been?”

Robert Berrisford looked between the two girls, shaking his head. “It’s nice to see you, Liz. Your parents good?”

“Oh… well, they’ll be fine as long as you don’t call them,” Liz replied meekly.

“That, I think is inevitable,” Robert replied. He waved the flashlight towards the side fence. “Come on, we’ll talk inside.”

Rachel gripped Liz’s jacket as they walked by Robert. “’We’ll talk’? Oohh.. Liz, this is bad. This is very, very bad.”

“I heard that, Rachel,” Robert called from behind them.

Rachel flinched. “Does this mean I’m grounded?”

“We’ll talk inside,” he replied.

Rachel exchanged a glance with Liz. “I think it means we’re both grounded.”

Although she was in trouble, and although she and Rachel were about to be ‘grounded’, she felt… happy. She could think of a thousand different emotions she’d be feeling had she still been in Roswell, and ‘normal’ hadn’t been one of them. With a grin, she wrapped her arm around Rachel and pulled her into the big house.


“Yes?”

Liz jumped slightly, pulled out of her memory. She cleared her throat and looked at the intercom. “Yes, hi… I’m Liz Parker.” When the voice didn’t come again, she added, “Robert Berrisford is expecting me.”

There was another moment before the voice came back on. “Of course.”

The gate began to open and, slightly surprised that Liz hadn’t been made to wait, she got into her car and drove up the driveway. As she got back out, and maids began to grab her luggage from her car, she saw a figure standing in the doorway. Immediately recognizing him, she rushed towards the doorway.

Robert Berrisford stepped out and opened his arms for Liz. She hugged him tightly, before stepping back. “Hi Uncle Robert.”

“Hi Liz,” Robert replied.

Liz looked him over. His eyes were red, probably as red as hers were, and he had a weak smile on his face. Her eyes began to water and she tucked a hair behind her ear. “I’m sorry it took me so long to get here. There were roadblocks and I tried calling but-”

“It’s okay, that was my fault,” Robert said. He stepped back for the maids to bring the luggage into the house. “I told them not to accept any phone calls.”

“I understand,” Liz replied. She wrapped her arms around herself. She nodded to a basket that was being carried in.

“My parents sent a basket. I know it isn’t much, but they wanted me to tell you that they were sorry,” Liz’s voice began to crack, as if she were about to cry, “and I am too. So if you need anything, I don’t have to leave for a few weeks… if you do want me to leave though and you want to be alone, then I can-”

Robert shook his head and hugged Liz, who had tears streaming down her cheeks. “I’m glad you’re here, ” he said. “It’s good to see you Liz… and you’re always welcome in my home”

Liz nodded and wiped at her cheeks. “I’m sorry to break down like this… it probably isn’t what you need right now-”

“But it’s what you need,” Robert said. He stared down at Liz, his own eyes watery. “And you know what? That’s okay.”

Liz blinked, gave Robert a watery smile, nodded and let him lead her into the house. While she felt like she was never going to be okay, she knew that realistically, she’d heal. At least now, she knew that she wasn’t alone in the way she felt. Robert was just as broken as she was, but they’d heal. They’d have to, because Liz didn’t know how long she could walk around feeling like she did.

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A Rose Is True Blue
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Post by A Rose Is True Blue » Tue Feb 08, 2005 7:34 pm

<center>Author's Notes</center>
Hey guys! Okay, so, I'm finally back with the two parts I promised. I got my charger two days after it was supposed to come and they accidentally sent me an extra one. I'm taking my sweet time sending that back. Why it took me so long to actually post was because there's something wrong inside of my laptop that isn't charging at all. For some reason, my computer let me get on and send a few of my chapters to my sister's without dying on me. I'm going to have to take it in to get fixed, though. It shouldn't keep me from posting, I just wanted to let you all know. :D

WomanofMystery: There will be a mention of Max and the others from Roswell. They won't be actually showing up for awhile though. I blame Kat for why I'm a massive X-tremer too. Although - and this is a really silly question - why are they called X-tremers? I've never figured that one out. :oops: Thanks for the feedback!

LittleBit: :D Is anyone is excited to see Randi? Raise your hands! So, any chance we can talk you into writing another Liz/Alec fic? I followed the link in your profile to your site and read the ones that you wrote - I'm determined to get you to write another one! :wink: Thanks for the feedback!

_liz: Thanks for the feedback!

bLoOdReDeMpReSs: I'm glad that you like the concept of the fic, and the background of Liz and Rachel. Your compliments had me blushing and grinning like an idiot - seriously! Thanks so much for the feedback!

Kat: Hey there bud. Okay, I'm running through your questions here so if the answers look random - that's why. :wink: This is a Liz/Alec fic, which yeah, means some definite problems with Liz and Alec's relationship. Liz will be meeting Alec in Chapter 5. We're at Chapter 4, but since I'm posting two chapters, no wait. Haha. I'm catching up to you, pretty soon it will be your turn to post! Thanks for the feedback, chicadee!

Traitor: My stalker! LOL. :wink: Thanks for the bumpage! And the feedback!

JBehrsGurl: ELENA! *tackles* My love! Where are you?!

tiredmuse: Thanks for the feedback! (And I like your avatar!)



Hang Down Your Head
Chapter 4


Liz wandered the hallways of the house, trapped in her memories. As soon as she’d stepped into the house she’d been flooded with images. Rachel waiting for her on the stairs. Chasing Rachel through hallways around the house. Stealing down to the kitchen to sneak a midnight snack. Liz didn’t know how Robert did it every single day. She would carry memories of Rachel for the rest of her life.

When she reached Rachel’s room she froze, feeling like an intruder. Stiffly, Liz walked to Rachel’s desk, fingering the pictures she found there. There were only a few of Rachel with other people; her dad, her mom, some friends from school, there was even one of them together from Liz’s last visit.

Liz opened Rachel’s desk and was shocked to find a few pictures of him. She’d been so busy thinking about how she and Robert felt, that she hadn’t bothered to think about the other people in Rachel’s life. She fingered the picture and closed her eyes, remembering…

Liz played with the glass of water in her hands, exchanging glances with Rachel who was sitting next to her. Robert sat across from both of them, writing in one of his accounting books. It’d only been last night that Liz and Rachel had come back late and Robert had come upon them. Now, it was the next morning and both Liz and Rachel were nervous about what their punishment would be. After all, it was break for both of them.

“Daddy,” Rachel prodded, finally sick of the silence.

Robert looked up from his books. With a sigh, he took his glasses off and looked upon his daughter and niece. “Well, Liz I talked to your parents this morning and they agree with me in thinking that the both of you could use a little punishment.”

Both Liz and Rachel were silent, waiting for him to continue.

“A bodyguard will be assigned to each of you-” Robert began.

Rachel groaned, shooting a look of remorse in Liz’s direction.

“-and for a week you will both have to be back in this house by eight. After the week though, you’ll have regular curfew again. But,” Robert said, noticing Rachel opening her mouth, “you’ll still have to have the bodyguards go out with you.” Rachel slumped back down in her seat.

“Now, I think breakfast should be ready in a few minutes so we can head into the dining room,” Robert concluded.

Rachel looked incredulously at her father. “Wait, Daddy, that’s it? We have a stricter curfew for a week?”

“And the bodyguards,” Robert stated.

Rachel waved her hand. “Yes, the bodyguards… but that’s it?”

Robert paused, as if thinking. “Oh yes! I did forget something?”

Liz leaned closer to Rachel. “Good going, cuz. You reminded him to punish us more.”

Rachel shrugged apologetically.

“I’ve booked you for piano lessons every day,” Robert said.

Rachel’s jaw dropped. “Are you kidding? Every day?! But, how am I supposed to have any fun?! Monsieur Patrice will never let me see Liz… I mean he won’t even let her watch and-”

Robert held up his hand. “I hired a new piano teacher.”

Rachel was dumbstruck. “What?”

“He hired a new piano teacher,” Liz translated. “As in, no more Monsieur Patrice.”

Rachel looked back at her father. “No more Monsieur Patrice?”

Robert smiled. “No more Monsieur Patrice.”

“Yes!” Rachel jumped out of her chair and went around the table to hug her father. “Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, a million thank yous!” She kissed Robert on the cheek, still hugging him. Then, she stepped back and grinned at Liz. “See? I told you that we wouldn’t be locked in a dungeon with nothing to eat or drink but bread and water! Daddy only does that to his other daughters and nieces!”

Robert laughed at his daughter, then looked at Liz. “Don’t tell your parents I let you off so easily, Lizzie.”

“Oh, believe me, they won’t hear it from me,” Liz said, thankful that she was getting off so lightly.

“And I booked lessons for you as well, Lizzie,” Robert added. “You and Rachel will alternate days. Rachel told me you were interested in learning.”

“Oh, I don’t know-” Liz began. She’d once tried to learn to play the violin but her teacher had made her cry by saying she was awful, so she’d quit.

“Come on, Liz!” Rachel pleaded. “It will be lots of fun!”

Liz rolled her eyes playfully. What harm could there be? “Oh all right, but if I suck then I’m quitting.”

“That’s what the lessons are for Liz,” Rachel pulled Liz up from the chair and followed Robert into the dining room. “They’re for making you better.”

Liz stuck her tongue out at Rachel. “Fine, but if you laugh at me, it’s all over.”

Robert shook his head at the two of them. He sat at the head of the table and watched, amused, when Rachel moved her chair so that she was sitting next to Liz instead of across from her.

“So,” Rachel said later, once the maids had brought out dinner, “who’d you find to tutor us, Daddy? I thought that there was no one available in Seattle aside from Monsieur Patrice.”

Robert took a sip of his wine. “I met someone through a colleague. His name is Simon Lehane.”

“Lang?” Rachel asked.

“Lehane,” Robert corrected.

“Simon Lehane,” Rachel said, testing the name out. She looked at Liz, eyes narrowed as if considering. “What do you think? Stuffy kind of name?”

“Hmm…” Liz shook her head. “More recent. Probably young.”

Rachel looked back at her father. “Well, Daddy, am I right or is Liz? Is he stuffy or young?”

“You think only old people are stuffy?” Robert asked.

Rachel nodded. “About 75%, I’m willing to bet.”

Robert laughed. “Well, he’s not old. He’s in his twenties, I think.”

“Ooh!” Rachel said, excited. “Maybe he’ll let me play something more recent than Mozart!”

Liz laughed. “I can play the alphabet. That’s recent, right?”

Rachel threw her arm around Liz. “Don’t worry Liz! You’ll be learning the tough stuff in no time!”

“In that case,” Liz said, holding her glass up, “to Simon Lehane.”

“To Simon!” Rachel and Robert chorused both holding up their own glasses.


“Simon.” Liz whispered his name, tracing the faces. It was a picture she had taken of them together. Both, Simon and Rachel were dressed formally because it had been at a dinner party Robert had been throwing. At the time, she had been so bored she walked around and took pictures of everyone that attended.

Liz pocketed the picture, took one last look around the room and then left, nowhere near ready to look through anything else. Robert had given her permission to take anything of Rachel’s she wanted, as a memento, but Liz couldn’t sort through it all yet; she needed some time. But right now, she needed air.

Grabbing her jacket from her room, Liz walked down the stairs and into Robert’s office. He was sitting there, staring out the window when Liz knocked lightly on the door. He smiled at her as she entered and gestured to her coat. “Going out?”

Liz nodded. “I wanted to go for a walk if it’s okay. I won’t be gone for too long, I just need to clear my head.”

Robert nodded. “Of course. Call if you need anything.”

Liz smiled softly and crossed the room to kiss her uncle’s cheek. “I won’t be gone long, Uncle Robert.”

Robert nodded. He had a pained expression on his face as he watched Liz leave the room, closing his office door behind her. He turned his chair back around to stare out the window again. Minutes later, he saw Liz leave through the side gate.

<center>*</center>

Liz wandered the streets of Seattle, noticing how different it was from Roswell. Roswell was such a small town, unaffected by the pulse and Seattle was a big city that had been left utterly devastated. As Liz walked past people, she felt… content to be just lost in the crowd. She could be just another person walking along. She didn’t know where she was heading, just that she had to go somewhere. She’d been originally heading for the cemetery but knew that she wasn’t ready for her final goodbye to Rachel, not yet.

Liz passed by a coffee shop and stopped to get a cup. She nearly fainted though, when they asked her for five dollars. She’d known that prices were steeper in the bigger cities, but five bucks for a coffee? Black? With nothing in it?!? Liz paid the price anyway and cringed when she tasted it. Complete crap. She wondered what Starbucks was charging.

As soon as Liz left the coffee shop she was nearly run over by a bicycle. Her coffee spilled all over the sidewalk and some spilled on her shirt. She cursed and looked up to see who had nearly hit her.

The biker had stopped her bike and was hurrying back towards Liz. She took off her glasses to reveal chocolate brown eyes. “Shit!” She saw the spilled coffee and sighed angrily. “I’m really sorry. This jackass wasn’t watching where he was going and I had to jerk to the right… and I didn’t see you. Shit! This is just perfect.”

Liz’s anger faded away and she shrugged. “Don’t worry about it, the coffee was crap anyway.”

“Well, duh, but it still cost five bucks,” The girl stated.

Liz nodded. “Makes the morning a little bit worse, doesn’t it?”

“Listen,” the girl set her clipboard down on a mailbox nearby and began to dig into her bag, “I’ve got five bucks in here. I’ll pay for the coffee.”

Liz shook her head. “No, don’t bother. I was going to throw it away anyway.”

The girl looked her over for a minute before saying. “New in town?”

Liz was surprised. “How’d you know?”

“The people around here all have permanent bugs up their asses. They’d probably purposely drop their coffee on the ground if I brushed past them just to get the dough.”

Liz smiled slightly. “Ah, I see. Well, I’ll try to get grouchy and less polite. I’d hate to stand out you know.”

The other girl smiled. “You aren’t too bad.” Her pager suddenly went off and she quickly looked at it. “Crap, I’m late.” She nodded at Liz. “There’s a place called Crash around here. Stop by later and I’ll by you a drink to replace the coffee.”

Liz nodded. “Thanks, I will.”

The girl turned her bike around and hopped back on, making her way through the many people on the sidewalk, before turning into the mainstream traffic. Liz picked up the coffee cup and threw it into the trashcan near her. As she was turning to leave, something caught her eye. Next to the trashcan was a mailbox, and on that mailbox was the biker’s clipboard. Liz grabbed it and quickly looked up, already knowing that the girl was long gone.

Looking over the papers on the clipboard, Liz figured they were some order forms or something. On the top of the paper, Liz found what she was looking for.

<center>Jam Pony Express
24th and 3rd</center>


Liz made her way back inside of the coffee store and got a map. She studied it for a few minutes for figuring out how she was going to get to Jam Pony. At least now, she would have someplace to walk to.

<center>*</center>

A half an hour later, Liz entered Jam Pony. At first she’d been a little bit lost until a surge of bikers had exited one of the buildings. So, now she was looking for the girl she’d seen earlier. Liz made her way further into the building and approached the main desk where a man with glasses was talking with a woman. As Liz got closer she could hear what they were saying.

“Listen up G, I swear… my boo’s gonna be here in less than two minutes.”

The man didn’t seem to be buying it. “She’s been out on a run for nearly two hours.”

“Seattle’s a big place, Normal,” the woman said.

Normal laughed comically. “She had one package!”

Liz looked between the two, feeling more and more grateful she’d stopped here. It was nice to have a bit of amusement on days where she felt so utterly depressed.

“Yo, my boo’s allowed to stop and take a break between runs! Sides, she had to do a favor for a friend. Give boo’s packages to Original Cindy, and I’ll drop them off.”

Normal shook his head and pushed a bunch of packages in Original Cindy’s direction. “Fine, but tell Max that the next time she decides to do a favor for a friend, she needs to call and ask first. Or, better yet, tell her to find another job so I don’t have to deal with you bums!”

Original Cindy rolled her eyes. “Whatever.” She grabbed the packages and made her way towards the back.

Liz waited for another minute before walking up to the desk and smiling. “Hi.”

Normal looked up and said quickly, “We have no open positions.” Then, he was back to writing on a package.

“Actually,” Liz said, “I was just returning this.” She handed the clipboard over in his direction. “I accidentally bumped into one of your bikers and this was left behind.”

Normal looked back up at Liz and took the clipboard. He looked over the name and snorted. “Well, go figure! She even forgets her clipboard! I swear, I could pick up a complete moron off of the street and they’d probably accomplish more than she would.”

Liz shifted awkwardly. “Well, all right then… I’ll just go now.”

Normal nodded. “Thanks for bringing it back.” He tore off the forms from the clipboard and threw them into a bin. Liz, slightly mystified, waited for a minute longer before turning to leave. As she was walking away from the desk, someone walked hurriedly past her.

“Hey!” Normal called out.

Liz swung around, assuming he was calling to her, but was slightly embarrassed when she realized he had only been calling to whoever had been walking past her. She shook her head, trying to remember which streets she’d taken to get here when whoever Normal had been calling for, turned so that Liz saw the front of his face instead of the back.

Liz froze, feeling her face begin to pale as she just stared at the man. She watched as he smiled at something Normal had said and handed over some of his own order forms. She watched him accept a package from Normal and inspect it before slipping it into a side bag and picking up his clipboard. She watched him salute the clipboard in Normal’s direction before heading back towards a group of lockers.

And as she watched him, a single name fell from her lips. “Simon.”



Chapter 5 in the next post...

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A Rose Is True Blue
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Post by A Rose Is True Blue » Tue Feb 08, 2005 7:39 pm

Hang Down Your Head
Chapter 5


Breathe in. She needed to sit down.

Breathe out. She should move her right leg.

Breathe in. Or her left.

Breathe out. She had to do something.

Breathe out. Anything besides just standing there.

Breathe in. She stumbled back towards the wall, her back hitting it.

Breathe out. Oh God.

<center>*</center>

June 8th, 2018
Two Years Earlier


Liz looked down at the keys in front of her, completely mystified. Okay, now Rachel had said that the ‘G’ key was… here? Liz hit it, then groaned. She sucked; she couldn’t even tell whether it was the ‘G’ key or not! That’s it, she’s hopeless.

“Rachel Berrisford?”

Liz looked up at the doorway to see a gorgeous man. Her breath caught in her throat at the same time as she tried to speak and she ended up choking. Her face grew red from both coughing and embarrassment. She waved the man away as he walked closer.

“I’m,” Liz coughed and her eyes began to water, “fine.”

“Okay,” the man said, warily. He looked at Liz curiously before setting his briefcase down on top of the grand piano in front of her.

Liz cleared her throat as she stood from the bench. She didn’t know what she’d been expecting as a piano teacher, but he definitely wasn’t it. He didn’t look that much older than she was. He was definitely easier on the eyes than the man the name ‘Simon Lehane’ had her expecting.

“I’m Liz,” Liz said, holding her hand out for him to shake. His grip was tighter than Liz would have anticipated, but she shook it off and sat back down. “Rachel was supposed to meet you first but something came up with one of her friends and so, here I am.”

“Right,” Simon said. He opened his briefcase and brought out a group of pages, shuffling through them. She couldn’t quite see, but got a better view when Simon pulled a few pages from the pile and sat them in front of her.

Liz paled at the sight in front of her. She was supposed to play this?

“Why don’t you start at the top?” Simon suggested.

Liz lifted one eyebrow. “The top of this page?”

“Yes,” Simon replied slowly. Liz was beginning to think he was crazy. Didn’t he know that Rachel was the experienced one and Liz was merely the beginner?

“But, I don’t know this!” Liz replied.

“You can’t read sheet music?” Simon asked, clearly surprised.

“No. I can’t really play music either. I think it comes from my mother’s side,” Liz handed the pages back to Simon. “Rachel’s the musical prodigy… I’m merely the science nerd.”

“Oh,” Simon stated. Liz could hear the confusion in his voice. He set the pages down and looked over another paper in his briefcase. “And you aren’t Rachel Berrisford?”

Liz shook her head. “I’m her cousin. My uncle said that he’d set both Rachel and I up with music lessons...”

“Right, of course,” Simon said quickly. He set down the paper in his hand and frowned. “Well, why don’t you tell me what you do know, so I can see where we are.”

“Well,” Liz pushed down the same key she did before when Simon entered, “I’m thinking this is the ‘G’ key. Right?”

Simon nodded. “Right.”

“Then I know the ‘G’ key,” Liz proudly stated, with a smile on her face as she turned to him.

“Just the one key?” Simon asked, raising on eyebrow as he looked to her.

“I’m actually hoping to learn all of them before I have to go back home.” Liz joked with him, but by the look on his face, he didn’t get it.

Simon sat on the bench next to Liz and placed his hands on the keys. “Okay, let’s just start with where your hands should be whenever you sit down at the piano, alright?”

Liz nodded and stared at the way Simon had his hands placed. She looked up when he began to set her hands up the way he had just had his own.

“Now, whenever you sit down at the piano, have your hands in this ‘ready’ position.”

“Okay,” Liz replied. She kept her hands in the position and grinned. “What’s next?”

<center>*</center>

“How was your lesson?”

Liz turned around to smile at her cousin. “Surprisingly fun.”

“Good!” Rachel crossed Liz’s room and sat on the edge of the bed. She nodded to the computer on the desk behind Liz. “Emailing Maria and Alex?”

“Yup. Want me to tell them you said hello?” Liz asked, turning back to face the computer.

Rachel shrugged and fell back on the bed. “I’d rather have you tell Max I said hi.”

Liz froze. “Look, Rachel, about Max...”

Rachel held a pillow in her lap, staring at her cousin. Liz sighed. “You’re going to make this difficult for me aren’t you?”

“Yes!” Rachel threw the pillow at Liz. “We talk about everything, Liz! If your mom knows about Max how come I’ve never heard of him before?”

“You have,” Liz quickly replied in her defense. She played with the mouse of the computer. “He’s my partner in Biology… remember?”

Rachel’s brow wrinkled in concentration. “The quiet, shy guy?”

“Yes!” Liz grinned hopefully at her cousin. “That’s Max, just my Biology partner.”

Rachel groaned. “Oh come on Liz, I’m not your mother. I’m not going to ground you because you… I don’t know, slept in the desert with him or anything… I just want to know what’s up with you!”

Liz sighed, tired. “Listen, Rach, Max is so complicated that I really just, don’t want to even go there.” She noticed the hurt look on her cousin’s face and quickly added, “At least not tonight.”

Rachel nudged her cousin. “You will tell me soon though, won’t you?”

Liz nodded. “Yeah, of course.”

Rachel smiled weakly. “Good. I just… I want you to know that I’m here for you.”

“I know,” Liz replied. She smiled for her cousin, feeling her heart break. It’d been the first time she’d truly had to lie to Rachel. The first time that she’d had to front a smile. It was like being in Roswell… like she hadn’t even left.

As if noticing the bleak mood she’d put her cousin in, Rachel hopped off of the bed and moved in front of the computer.

“What are you doing?”

Rachel looked back at her cousin, a mischievous smile on her face. “Nothing. Just searching for Simon’s name on Google.com.”

Liz’s jaw dropped and she joined Rachel at the computer. “You know, that’s like… an invasion of privacy or something, isn’t it? I mean, what if he has some… online diary or something and you come across it and he talks about how gorgeous he thinks you are. That’d be pretty awkward during your next lesson, don’t you think?”

Liz had been expecting Rachel to snort, laugh, or at least make some sarcastic comment. Instead, Rachel whirled around to look at Liz. “Do you think he might?”

“Have an online diary?” Liz asked, one brow raised.

Rachel covered her eyes and shook her head. “The other thing,” she called, her voice muffled beneath her hands.

Liz thought back. “Him thinking you’re gorgeous?”

Rachel nodded.

Liz held a hand over her mouth to stifle her laughter, but she couldn’t contain it for long. The laughter echoed throughout the room causing Rachel to drop her hands and lift her head. Liz tried to cover her mouth again but Rachel had the pillow she’d previously thrown at Liz in her hands. She hit Liz with it, sending Liz tumbling onto the bed.

“It’s not funny, Liz!” Rachel cried.

That caused Liz to laugh even harder. “Oh God, Rach… just think what Uncle Robert will have to say when I tell him you have a crush on your piano teacher. Can you imagine his reaction?”

Rachel gasped and hit Liz again. “You wouldn’t!”

Liz shook her head and gasped for air. “I’m sorry, Rachel. It was just so funny.”

“Oh yeah?” Rachel hit Liz with the pillow one final time before dropping it. “Why was it so funny? You didn’t think he was cute?”

Liz sat up, a smile still on her face. “It’s just funny because he’s so… stiff. And you’re… not.”

“He’s not stiff!” Rachel replied. “He’s an incredible piano player, and I think that whoever taught him how to play didn’t really teach him that it was okay to relax while playing…”

Liz bit down on her lip. “So, what you’re saying is you want to teach him to relax?”

Rachel heard the laughter in her cousin’s voice. “Oh come on! Like you didn’t think he was gorgeous!”

Liz shrugged trying to play it off. “Yeah, I guess.”

“You guess? What are you - some sort of alien or something?!” Rachel joked.

Liz felt her laughter flow out of her. “Or something,” she replied. She moved back from the bed to the chair and hurriedly typed in Simon’s name at Google to fill in the silence between her and her cousin.

“Whoa.”

Liz turned to look at Rachel. “What?”

Rachel smiled softly. “You were burned bad, cousin… weren’t you?”

Liz twisted back, facing the computer. She nodded. “Yeah, I was.”

Rachel was silent for another minute before joining Liz near the computer. “So, did we find out anything interesting yet? Ex-girlfriends? Psycho in disguise?”

Liz grinned. “You know Uncle Robert already checked this all out, don’t you?”

“Oh yeah,” Rachel said. She reached over to move the page down. “But wouldn’t it be hilarious to find some serial killer with the same name as Simon and casually bring it up over the breakfast table that there’s a Simon Lehane wanted for murder in… Mississippi or something?”

“Hilarious.”

“I thought so,” Rachel replied. She winked at her cousin before sitting on top of her. Liz grunted and tried to push her off.

“I’m busy, Liz!” Rachel shrieked when Liz pushed at her.

“I can’t breathe!” Liz shot back, still shoving her cousin.

Rachel rolled her eyes and stayed put. “I think you’re being a drama queen.”

Liz pushed Rachel again, but Rachel held her hands out and pushed against the desk. The pressure was too much for the chair. One of the bolts shot out with a silent ping. Seconds later, the chair collapsed, leaving them sprawled out on the floor, laughing hysterically.

<center>*</center>

Present


Liz was vaguely aware of the people walking past her, completely oblivious to her meltdown. Still, Liz’s eyes were trained on the lockers, the last place that she had seen him.

Simon.

She closed her eyes, suddenly overfilled with memories of how Rachel had said his name. The nights when Rachel had stayed up begging Liz for advice on Simon. Hours of piano practice with Simon.

Liz’s eyes flew open. God, she’d been selfish.

It’d been two years since the accident that put her cousin in a coma. Two years, and she’d never even bothered to look him up, or to give him a call. She wasn’t sure what happened to him during that time, or why he didn’t try to contact Rachel. For all she knew he did, she never bothered to ask. She’d thought about him at first but only as an after thought, not like someone that Rachel loved. She’d been so overrun with emotions that she didn’t think of anyone else…

He must hate her.

Liz stepped away from the wall, letting her feet take her to where her heart was telling her she needed to go. She was going to make it up to him. The years he’d spent mourning by himself, in misery by himself, she’d make it up to him while she was here. She knew what it was like to have to cry alone… and while it was sometimes a blessing, there where times you needed someone who felt the same emptiness that you did; the same heartbreak.

Liz blinked, trying to push back any tears that had been threatening to spill over. She was close to the lockers. Only four steps.

Three more. She saw him standing there, putting something into his locker, and setting his clipboard in his bag along with his packages.

Two. He grabbed his helmet and shut his locker.

One. He turned, and nearly ran into Liz.

She didn’t even bother to hold her hands up like she normally would. Instead, she looked up at his face, his eyes… Remembering what Rachel had said once, about Simon having the most intense eyes. She’d said that his emotions never showed in his eyes except for the times when he was most excited, trying something new… like a child at Christmas. Rachel had said it was her favorite thing about him. And now, Liz couldn’t stop looking into them.

“Whoa,” Simon said, taking a step back.

It snapped Liz back into reality. She took a second to quickly look around. Jam Pony. The lockers. Simon. Her gaze shot back to him and she offered a small smile. “I’m sorry… I just, I didn’t know you would be here.”

He seemed confused by what she was saying. It made Liz frown. “I’m sorry I didn’t call, but I… well I don’t have any excuse for that actually.”

He was frowning now. “Crash, right? We met at Crash? Listen, whatever happened… it’s alright, and we should just leave it at that.” He tried to move past her but Liz quickly moved in front of him.

“Crash? Simon, I don’t know what you’re-” Liz stopped talking when Simon’s eyes suddenly got wide. He quickly surveyed the area, checking to see if anyone was around. Then, he grabbed Liz’s arm and began to pull her towards the back of the lockers, away from anyone else’s view. Liz was too shocked to speak.

Simon shook her arm. “Who are you?”

Liz didn’t even try to pull her arm away. She simply stared at the face of one of the people who’d been closest to Rachel. Did he hate her so much that he’d pretend to not even know her? “Simon, I’m sorry I didn’t call to see how you were, and I’m sorry if you’re mad at me because of that, but…”

Tears began to build in Liz’s eyes and her voice began to crack, “I was just so caught up in how I was feeling and how Rachel was doing… I didn’t mean to forget you. I know you were hurt too and-”

Simon had tightened his grip on Liz’s arm when she mentioned Rachel’s name. His eyes clouded over and he pulled Liz closer to him. “What do you know about her?”

Liz narrowed her eyes to look at him. Tears spilled onto her cheeks, but she wasn’t even aware of it. She was searching his eyes for some sign of… anything. Recognition. Hatred. Anger. And all she got was fear. Her eyes widened. “You don’t remember me?” The words were so soft Liz wasn’t sure he’d even heard it until his grip began to loosen.

“Who are you?” he asked, his voice tight.

Liz,” Liz replied. Her voice was full of hurt and pain. She pulled her arm, but Simon held on. She looked into his eyes. “Simon… it’s Liz. Liz Parker.” Still no sign of recognition.

She dug into her coat pocket with her free hand, feeling for the photograph she‘d taken from Rachel’s room earlier. She grabbed it with desperate fingers and thrust it into Simon’s face. Her hand was shaking, but suddenly Simon’s hand was there, keeping it and the photograph steady.

When his eyes met hers over the photograph, she knew, he remembered now.

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A Rose Is True Blue
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Post by A Rose Is True Blue » Fri Feb 25, 2005 7:54 pm

<center>Author's Notes</center>

alexceasar: All of your questions should be getting answered in this part! :D Thanks for the feedback!

Calinia: You know, I knew that X-tremer had something to do with sounding like ex-dreamer. You are awful. LOL.
Calinia wrote:But that was an evil place to stop. Just wait, I'll pay you back for that one. :twisted:

PSH! You are the evil wench when it comes to awful places to stop. *sticks tongue out* And, you can't pay me back - that wouldn't be fair to everyone else. Hah. Hah. :wink: Thanks for the feedback!

trueblue: Thanks for the feedback! :)

elfangel01: Thanks for the feedback! I love the quote in your signature by the way - I loved Spike. LOL

Traitor: Thanks for the feedback. LOL, it made me laugh.

cowlady Okay, so maybe Kat was a little bit right when she said I was evil for leaving it there. :wink: Thanks for the feedback!

sissy_sara88: Thanks for the feedback!

polar vixen: Yes, Alec doesn't remember Liz because of Psy Ops. He does remember some of Rachel (because of The Berrisford Agenda), but he didn't remember everything, and nothing about Liz. Thanks for the feedback!

WomanofMystery: *high five* for not knowing where the X-tremer came from as well. The biker who almost hit Liz was Max, yeah. And I guess I did make her nicer. LOL. As for your other questions... you'll just have to wait and see! :p Thanks for the feedback!

Elf3748: No, Liz isn't going to start working at Jam Pony. That would make things a little more awkward, huh? Thanks for the feedback!

_liz: Wow, you didn't like Rachel? I guess I could actually see that though. The song (lyrics) is pretty good actually! :D They definitely remind of that scene and they definitely fit!

Mariiska: Thanks for the feedback!

burningchaos: Yeah! I did manage to catch Lost. Did you see the last episode? I loved the background memories of Jin... his memories playing into Sun's was definitely cool. What do you think of the Shannon/Sayid pairing? I'm not too crazy about it myself, although I don't know why. I think it's because of Sayid's background, when it showed that one girl that he really liked, who he risked everything for... I liked her. I guess it feels like he's cheating on her. LOL. Weird, I know. I thought it was hilarious when Hurley's CD player died, by the way. I didn't even expect that. It just cut out! Anyway, thanks for the feedback! :D

Roswell Slayer: I'm glad that you're liking this! Thanks for the feedback!

Tina N Blair: Thanks so much for the feedback - I always love it when people tell me that I hit characterizations spot on. I'm usually horrible when it comes to that. :oops:

Thanks to my wonderful beta too, JAAlberts, for being so wonderful. You seriously kick ass.


Hang Down Your Head
Chapter 6


Simon stared at her with an unwavering gaze that caught Liz off guard. He’d never looked at her so intently before. She shifted, feeling uncomfortable. He seemed to notice and looked away for a moment. Then, he turned back to her, the picture still in his hands.

“Let’s go somewhere.” Liz recognized the tone of Simon’s voice; it was strained as though he was hiding something.

Liz stared at him for a moment, then looked around Jam Pony. He was right, this wasn’t the right place. She turned back to him and said, “When and where?”

“Now.“ He picked up his bag and headed to the door, clearly expecting Liz to follow. She did so, without hesitation. He must have questions for her, just like she had some for him.

Why didn’t he remember her? Had he been acting? No… The look on his face when he’d seen the picture had been too real; he hadn’t known who she was. It was possible, though… wasn’t it; to forget someone who you hadn’t seen in nearly two years?

They walked in complete silence. Liz wanted to say something - anything - to get him to talk to her, but for some reason her voice was stuck in her throat. After twenty minutes, Simon made his way into an apartment complex. As he pulled the door open, a group of laughing teens came barreling through it and down the steps, shoving past Liz. She stumbled backwards. Her arm shot out, reaching for anything to keep her from falling. She fell through the air and closed her eyes, prepared to feel her body meet concrete, when a strong hand reached out and grabbed her arm. She gasped and pulled herself up to look into Simon’s eyes.

“Thanks,” she said. She waited for his grip to ease on her arm when it didn‘t she looked into his gaze again only to find it unforgiving. Suddenly he released her arm and pushed the door open. Wordlessly, she walked through and followed him up a level of stairs before he unlocked a door and waved her inside.

She walked through it without pause; although once inside of his apartment she froze. It wasn’t Simon. Where were the pictures, the life, the piano? How could he go without a piano? Then, Liz scolded herself; who could afford a piano these days?

“Who sent you?”

Liz quickly turned around to face him, surprised at the question. “What?”

“Who. Sent. You?” The words were sharp and clipped. It annoyed Liz more than scare her, which she could tell was his intention.

“Santa. Did you know you’re on the naughty list?” Liz snapped.

She’d just had one of the worst weeks of her entire life, with more to come. One of the two people in the world who should be mourning Rachel was pretending that he didn’t even know her. She rolled her eyes, quickly blinking away her tears.

Stop it. Stop whatever game you’re playing, or whatever it is you’re doing. If you’re mad at me then that’s fine, I can deal with that, but stop acting like you don’t know me.” Simon opened his mouth, but Liz quickly said, “I saw your face when you saw the picture. You remember.”

“This?” Simon held up the photograph Liz had shown him earlier. “You think I’m gullible enough to believe that a picture can’t be doctored?”

Liz blinked. What?! “Are you kidding me?” she replied, her voice flat.

“I’m going to give you three seconds to tell me who sent you and why,” Simon stated, the anger in his voice was extremely obvious.

“You were hired by Robert Berrisford to tutor his daughter Rachel,” Liz started, her voice beginning to crack.

“One,” Simon snapped.

“Rachel insisted I learn too, so lessons were split between me and her,” Liz swallowed. “I was horrible, but you put up with me.”

“Two.”

Liz took a step towards him. “You asked me for advice on Rachel… she’d just invited you to Uncle Robert’s business dinner. You wanted to impress her so you asked me what to get her. I told you that her favorite flower was the Nutmeg Flower; one of the five rarest flowers in the world. Yet you managed to track one down and give it to her. She fell in love with you that night.”

Something she said to Simon made him freeze. He locked his gaze on her. Neither of them moved.

Simon.” It was a plea.

He blinked.

A tear slid down Liz’s cheek and her lower lip trembled. “Tell me you remember. Tell me, Simon, because I really need you to remember.” More tears fell.

Liz watched as Simon stepped forward. He seemed to take in every detail of her with his eyes; her hair, her eyes, her lips, her hands, her height… everything.

<center>*</center>

Alec sat at the piano, his fingers skimming across the keys.

“I can guarantee that I will never be that good,” a voice laughed from the doorway. He smiled at the familiar sight of Rachel.

Behind her, another girl appeared. “You’ll be even better, cuz.” She grinned at Alec. “No offense to you teacher.”

Alec sent a smile in her direction. “None taken, Liz.”

A smile played across Rachel’s features and her face showed her obvious excitement at seeing him. She cleared her throat when she saw him watching her. “Well, it’s time for Liz to learn her arpeggios.”

Liz glared at her cousin. “We covered that, thank you very much.”

Alec stood up and coughed discreetly. “Actually, Liz, we haven’t.”

“What?” Liz looked at him confused. “But we did that thing where we went up and down the scale…”

“Liz, Liz…” Rachel sighed, “you have so much more to learn.”

Liz pushed Rachel away, laughing. “Go on, get out of here.”

Rachel waved goodbye to him before leaving the room. Liz sat down on the bench and rubbed her hands. “Alright, let’s get this over with.”

“Actually, Liz,” Alec took off his glasses and looked at them, avoiding looking straight at Liz, “I need your help on something.”

Liz raised an eyebrow, curious. “Sure. What’s up?”

“Rachel asked me to go to dinner tonight-”

“The one Uncle Robert’s throwing?” Liz interrupted.

“Yes,” Alec nodded. “I wondered what Rachel would like.”

“Like?” Liz frowned. “What do you mean?”

“As a gift,” Simon stated. “You bring a gift to the hostess of the party; don’t you?”

He saw out of the corner of his eye that Liz smiled softly at him. “What’d you have in mind?”

Alec put his glasses back on and looked directly at Liz. He hoped that he didn’t look as nervous as he felt.

“Flowers,” Alec replied. “I was going to bring her flowers.”

“Well,” Liz perched her elbow up on the keyboard, “her second favorite flower is the Tulip.”

“What about her first favorite flower?”

“It’s the Nutmeg Flower, which is one of the five-”

“-rarest flowers in the world, I know.” Alec stated, interrupting her. He noticed the surprise on Liz’s face and quickly added, “My mother had a big garden.”

Liz nodded. “Alright, well, I know a great flower shop-”

Alec shook his head. “I’ve got it all figured out. Don’t worry.”

Liz tilted her head, watching him. “Okay teacher. Whatever you say.”


<center>*</center>

The images flowed through Alec’s brain, playing like a movie. Seconds went by, with Liz crying and him just standing there, emotionless and unmoving.

Suddenly, he blinked. His gaze fell on her and he nodded then. “I remember… I remember now, Liz.”

After hearing her name on his lips a sob went through Liz’s body, and she threw herself into his arms completely breaking down. Sobs wracked her small body and she began to shake uncontrollably. Her knees buckled and she would have fallen to the ground if he had not been holding her tightly.

“I miss her,” Liz sobbed. “I miss her so much.”

Alec didn’t respond to her anguish, but his arms began to shake. He was thankful that Liz didn’t look up to see that he was crying; she probably didn’t need to.

She gripped his jacket, her knuckles turning white, and she clung to him. She clung to him as if he was Rachel. She clung to him as if she let go, he’d disappear. She clung to him as if she was dying and he was all that was keeping her alive.

Alec knew this because he was clinging to her just as fiercely.

<center>*</center>

Liz woke up two hours later, refreshed from the sleep. She’d exhausted herself so much that she hadn’t even had a single nightmare or dream. Not that she’d had many of the latter in months.

She opened her eyes and looked around the room, confused. Then, her eyes locked onto Simon. He was standing near the window, his arms crossed over his chest and he was staring at her.

“How long have I been sleeping?” She hated how drowsy her voice sounded.

He glanced down at his watch. “Two hours or so.”

Liz jerked up. “Oh God.” She ran a hand through her hair and closed her eyes before asking, “Can I use your phone?”

There were some sounds as he moved around the room and then a phone was tossed onto the bed. Liz mumbled a thank you and dialed her uncle’s number. She heard the familiar voice of the maid and said, “Hi, it’s Liz. Can I talk to my uncle?”

Simon quickly said, “Don’t tell him you’re with me.”

“Why not?” Liz asked. She heard her uncle’s voice in the background.

“Just don’t.” It was a command, not a request. It reminded Liz of the way Max used to talk to all of them when he was in ‘King mode’; she hated it.

“Lizzie?”

Liz smiled at the sound of her uncle’s voice. “Hi, Uncle Robert. I know that I’ve been gone awhile and I’m sorry if I worried you-”

“Are you okay, Lizzie?”

Guilt spread throughout Liz’s entire body when she heard the anxiety in his voice. She hadn’t meant to make him worry… God, she was so insensitive. “I’m fine. I was just walking and I got lost and then I found this café that Rachel used to take me to… I stayed longer than I thought.”

“It’s okay,” Robert said, his voice soft. “I just worry about you.”

“I know you do,” Liz replied. “And I love you for it.”

There was silence on the other end. She bit her lip nervously and then said, “I’ll be back soon.”

“Alright, Lizzie. Be careful.”

“I will,” Liz replied softly. “Bye.” With a click, she turned the phone off and laid it back onto the bed. She glanced back in Simon’s direction, waiting for an explanation as to why she’d just lied to her uncle for him.

None came.

Liz stood up from the bed and joined Simon at the window. She observed his profile for a few minutes before turning to watch the rain. “I thought about you, you know.” Out of the corner of her eye, she saw him turn to watch her. “When it happened… I came back to Seattle to be with Rachel and I wondered what had happened to you.” She turned to meet his gaze. “I asked one of the maids because I didn’t want to bother Uncle Robert. She said that she saw you that morning.”

Seemingly unfazed, his eyes met hers. She stared into his hazel depths and waited for him to tell her what that morning had been like - what Rachel had been like. No words came from his mouth.

Realizing that he seemed to be waiting for her to accuse him of something, Liz reached a comforting hand out to touch his. He watched her hand as it traveled the distance to his and simply stared when her hand finally covered his. Then, she squeezed it and pleaded with him. “Please tell me what happened.”

When he still didn’t move or say a word, Liz pushed at his shoulders, forcing him to look down at her. The familiar feeling of tears in her eyes was back, but she ignored it, stating vehemently, “Tell me, Simon!”

His hand suddenly squeezed hers, and she looked down, having forgotten that she had still been holding his hand.

“What has he told you?” His voice was sharp and a little cautious. Liz frowned. He’d changed so much in the two years since she’d last seen him.

“What has who told me?”

“Your uncle.”

“Close to nothing,” Liz replied. “He called my parents and told them that there had been a car accident. And that Rachel was in a coma. When I got up here, he didn’t tell me much of anything else.”

“And you don’t believe him?” Simon asked as his gaze burned hers.

“I do, but its always sounded as though there was more and I just think that he’s keeping me in the dark about it. He has his reasons, and to him, I‘m sure they‘re good ones, but I need closure. Simon, I‘m not sure I can get that without the whole truth.” Liz explained.

“Maybe staying in the dark is a good idea, Liz,” Simon said. He ran a hand through his hair and leaned against the window pane, staring out at the rain.

“The truth is a good idea, Simon. I want to know,” Liz snapped.

“She’s my family.” Liz squeezed his hand, forcing him to keep his eyes on her. She had to make him understand. “If someone did this to her I want to know; I deserve to know.”

“And what would you do, Liz?” Simon asked. “If you found out who did it, what would you do? Go to the police?”

“No.” He didn’t seem surprised by her answer, but she continued, “If I find out who caused Rachel to suffer for two years and then just pass away… then it means that the police obviously didn’t look hard enough and don’t deserve to be told.”

“Would you tell your uncle?”

“Yes,” Liz replied.

“There was no hesitation there.”

“Rachel’s his daughter. There shouldn’t be any hesitation. Wouldn’t you want to know?”

A bitter smile covered his face. “I’d rather not know. I’d rather be kept in the dark.”

Liz’s eyes clouded over. “Well you’re not me.” Slowly, she tugged her hand from his. “I didn’t come here to attack you or interrogate you.”

“Then what are you doing here?” Simon asked, irritably.

“To see if you’re okay.”

Now, it seemed like Liz had stunned him. She wrapped her arms around herself and said, “We were friends once, weren’t we Simon?”

When he just stared blankly at her, Liz bit her lip, but didn’t look away. “Well, I consider you my friend, and you were close with Rachel. I know how much you two cared about each other and I just wanted to see how you were.”

“I’m alright,” he said quickly.

She nodded. “I say that too.”

“I’m always alright.”

“Fine,” Liz said. She walked closer to him until she was standing directly in front of him. “I happen to be miserable, so if you want to give me any advice on how to get to the level of alright, then I’m all ears.”

“Lots of alcohol,” he mumbled.

She smiled softly. “I said ‘alright’, not numb.”

“Numbs a good substitute.”

“What happens when numb doesn’t do it anymore?” Liz asked. She looked out at the rain and the people walking through the streets. Some of them had their umbrellas up, but others walked carelessly under the attack of the rain, so used to it. “What happens when you can’t handle everything that you’re feeling and you just… explode?”

“I don’t know,” he replied.

Liz leaned forward against the window and closed her eyes. The melody of the rain hitting the window began to relax and calm her. For what seemed like hours, she just listened to the rain and tried to get her mind to focus on nothing else. Nothing else existed but the rain and the calming sounds that it made.

“Are you hungry?”

“Not even a little,” Liz replied. She opened her eyes to look at him.

“When did you last eat?” he asked.

She shrugged. “I can’t remember.” She turned to look back at the rain, but his hand was suddenly on her arm, turning her to face him. She looked up into his hazel eyes, trying to read them.

“I’ll make some soup.”

And even though she kept telling herself that she wasn’t hungry, Liz nodded and licked her lips. “Okay.”



-Erin

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Post by A Rose Is True Blue » Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:20 am

<center>Author's Notes:</center>

Elf3748: The whole cast will definitely be involved in this fic... especially Herbal, who I am extremely pissed was just written off. Thanks for the feedback! By the way, I love your little sig pic: Worth Getting Arrested For. Two words; Hell. Yeah. :wink:

orphyfets: Thanks for the feedback!

cowlady: Thanks for the feedback and the bumps! Out of mere curiosity, what does your avatar say?

WomanofMystery: I'm glad you liked the clingy-ness. :wink: Thanks for the feedback!

Traitor: Yay - you're in awe. I love it! Now, come back so I can say the same damn thing! :lol: Thanks for the feedback! And, where are you?!

RoswellSlayer: Yep, Liz and Alec do have a lot of talking to do! Thanks for the feedback!

TinaNBlair: Haha!
TinaNBlair wrote:Alec? Making soup? *sighs* I want a new part now just to see how he would make it. He makes everything hot.

Uh, yeah... I agree! Thanks for the feedback!

ElfAngel01: Yeah, the DA cast will probably be in it a little more than the Roswell for right now. I'll still have them making a few appearances though! :D Thanks for the feedback!

Calinia: WHERE ARE YOU?! I feel like you and Traitor are off having X-tremer parties without me! (:wink:) I'm not a big fan of angst, but for some reason I've been writing it a lot. It's a problem of mine. Gah. LOL. Uh, as for how Liz is going to find out - you'll have to wait for that, but I can give you a hint: she'll get there with help from a computer geek. As to whether it's Logan or Alex... well, you'll have to wait to figure that out! :P Thanks for the feedback! Come back so I can return the favor.


Hang Down Your Head
Chapter 7


“Soup’s done.”

Liz turned away from the window to see Alec place a large bowl of chicken noodle soup on the table in front of the couch. She offered him a small smile before walking over and sitting in front of it. Alec held a spoon out to her and she hesitantly took it.

“This is a lot of soup for just me. Aren’t you having any?” Liz asked.

Alec sat down on the couch next to her. “I ate a big lunch.”

“Yeah, well…” Liz pushed the noodles and chicken around with her spoon before dropping it. “So, Simon… tell me what you’ve been up to the past two years.”

“I go by ‘Alec’ now.”

Liz looked up, startled. “What?”

“Alec McDowell. It’s my name,” Alec stated.

“And Simon Lehane was… just a phase?” Liz asked sarcastically.

Alec nodded. “Kind of.”

Liz’s searched his hazel eyes for answers. She wanted to scream at him, to tell him to act like he was mourning her cousin. She wanted him to show some sort of emotion, treat her like he used to.

She wanted to ask a million different questions. Where had he been the last two years? What had he been doing? What had he seen that horrible morning Rachel died? Most of all, she desperately wanted to shout out “What do you mean ‘kind of‘?!”

Liz didn’t; she couldn’t. There was always the chance that if she did, if she berated him or incessantly questioned him in any way, he might close her out of his life. Right now, she needed him. So, instead she simply nodded and with fake cheer in her voice said , “Okay… Alec McDowell.”

He smiled at her then. It was a smile of gratitude; probably grateful that she hadn’t interrogated him.

Alec nodded to the soup. “Eat.”

“I’d rather talk to you,” Liz replied. She tucked her legs underneath her on the couch and turned to look at him. “Have you been in Seattle all of this time?”

Alec sighed. “Tell you what, I’ll tell you all about what I’ve been doing if you eat while I talk.”

Liz looked at the soup out of the corner of her eye. It looked completely unappealing, as all the other food looked the past few days.

“Liz,” Alec called. Liz’s eyes shot back to his. He picked up her soup bowl and held it out to her. “Deal?”

With a sigh, Liz took the bowl and grabbed the spoon. She brought it up to her mouth and closed her lips over the noodles. Her eyes shut momentarily as she fought to moan at how good the soup tasted. She quickly took another bite of the soup, and then another, before looking up into the concerned eyes of Alec.

“How long as it been since you’ve eaten?” he asked as she looked away.

She played with her spoon. “Days.” She raised her eyes to meet his again. Before he could say anything she said, “The soup’s delicious. Thank you.”

He nodded. “Anytime.”

Liz picked up her spoon and took another bite; this time larger. “So, Alec, tell me what you’ve been up to.”

Alec relaxed back on the couch. “Well, I moved back home after the… accident.”

“You went back to California? Why didn’t you stay in Seattle?” Liz asked, surprised.

Alec scratched the back of his neck. “I went back to be with my family.”

“Oh.” Liz ate some more of the soup in silence before saying, “Tell me about your family.”

“My family?” Alec shifted, bringing his hands up to rest under his chin and his elbows to rest on his knees. “Well, you already know that my mom and dad passed away.”

“Do you have any siblings?” Liz asked.

Alec nodded. “Actually, yeah.”

Liz smiled. “Yeah? Brother or sister?”

“I had a twin brother, Ben. He died last year.”

“Oh. Sorry, I didn’t mean to bring anything up-”

Alec shook his head. “It isn’t a problem. We were actually separated a lot when we were younger, so I didn’t really know him.” After a moment of silence, he added, “He was a dentist.”

“Wow,” Liz replied. At Alec’s pointed gaze, she ate another bite of soup, then frowned thoughtfully. “I could’ve sworn you told me you had a sister once.”

Alec raised an eyebrow. “A sister?”

“Yeah, we were talking about computers, remember? You told Rachel and I that you wanted one like Uncle Robert had for your younger sister, because she was about to start college. Remember?”

“Of course,” Alec replied smoothly. “I’d forgotten that.”

Liz smiled. “Well? What’s she like?”

A bitter grin covered Alec’s face. “Well, Max is just great. She has this really positive attitude about everything. She’s kind to everyone. And she’s a regular church-goer. Yeah, she wanted to be a nun, but she couldn’t stand being locked up anywhere. She went to boarding school for awhile, but ran away for the same reason.”

Liz tilted her head. “For some reason a lot of that sounded really sarcastic.”

“Nah, she’s an angel,” Alec smiled. “She lives here actually… moved out to be with me.”

“Sounds like she loves you,” Liz said.

“Oh yeah. I’m Max’s hero.” Alec laughed. It seemed to Liz that he was laughing at a joke only he knew.

Liz put the soup bowl back down on the table and then played with her hands. “It’s funny, isn’t it? Right now, I feel like I need you more than I need anyone else, and yet I know so little about you. It’s just… strange.” Liz looked up into Alec’s eyes and then groaned. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to sound so desperate.” She shook her head and moved to stand up. “I should probably go.”

“Liz,” Alec sighed, freezing Liz mid-stand. She slowly sat back down, level with his eyes. He hesitantly brought a hand to her shoulder. “You know more about me than anyone else.”

Liz’s brown eyes searched Alec’s hazel ones frantically. She saw a vulnerability there. A vulnerability that he was letting her see. He was opening himself to her, because she needed him to be open with her. Liz bit her lip and tucked a hair behind her ear. “Thanks,” she whispered.

“Stop thanking me,” Alec replied. “It’s what friends do, right?”

For a moment, Liz thought she could hear uncertainty in Alec’s voice. She nodded. “Yeah, it’s what friends do.”

“Okay,” Alec said. He handed her the bowl of soup again.

Liz groaned and took it. “I ate a bunch.”

“You ate a few spoonfuls. It won’t hurt you to finish the rest,” Alec replied. “Besides you haven’t eaten in days. I know you aren’t full.”

“How do you know that?” Liz asked.

“It’s physically impossible to be full without eating for days and taking a few measly bites of soup. Keep eating.”

Liz rolled her eyes. “Thank you Dr. McDowell.”

“Well, I considered that career path, but I just don’t have the magic fingers.”

“You do,” Liz said suddenly. She nodded towards his hands. “You play beautifully.”

“Played. Past tense,” Alex corrected.

“I noticed the lack of a piano,” Liz said, her voice soft. She lifted her head to meet his eyes. “Was it because of Rachel?”

He nodded. Liz saw the tenseness in his jaw.

She looked back down into her bowl of soup and finished eating it in silence. When she finished, she stood up and took the bowl to the kitchen. After rinsing it, she left it in the sink for Alec to deal with and moved slowly around his apartment, gathering her jacket and purse.

Alec hadn’t moved.

“So,” Liz started, her hand on the door. “I’ll be seeing you?”

Alec stood up from the couch and placed his hands in his back pockets. “I don’t know if that’s a good idea… your uncle-”

“I’ll be seeing you,” Liz interrupted, her voice firm. She opened the door and stepped out into the hallway. Turning, she smiled weakly, “Besides, Mr. McDowell, I know where you live. You can’t hide from me.”

She didn’t leave Alec any time to reply, and the door shut behind her with a soft click.

<center>*</center>

When Liz got back to the mansion, she let herself in through the side gate as she had done two years ago. This time, Uncle Robert didn’t pop out of the bushes, flashlight in hand. With a tired sigh, Liz wrapped her arms around herself and entered the house. The lights were on and one of the maids came running up as soon as Liz shut the door.

“Do you know where my uncle is?” Liz asked. The maid, a plump old woman with graying hair and laugh lines around her mouth, nodded in the direction of his office.

With a smile of thanks, Liz walked down the cold hallways and quietly opened the wooden door. She expected Robert to be waiting like her parents did, with frowns on their faces. Instead, Robert was sleeping peacefully on the leather couch. Walking closer, Liz sadly noticed the new lines on his face that hadn’t been there the last time she’d seen him. She looked around and grabbed a nearby blanket, draping it over Robert. Fearful of waking him, Liz briefly kissed his cheek, turned off the light and shut the door quietly as she could.

“Is he sleeping?” the maid asked.

Liz, surprised by the voice, jumped.

“Sorry,” she apologized.

Liz waved the apology away. “I’m just… jumpy.” She held her hand out to the maid. “I’m Liz, by the way.”

“Angie,” she replied, a little surprised at Liz’s offered hand. “I remember you from your visit two years ago.”

“Oh,” Liz said, not sure of what else to say. She was embarrassed for not remembering seeing her before.

“It’s okay if you don’t remember me,” Angie said with a smile, as if reading Liz’s thoughts. “I mostly worked the night shift.”

Liz offered a small smile. She was about to make up an excuse to head off to her room when Angie began to talk again. “It’s a shame about what happened to your cousin. She was such a sweet girl.”

“Yes,” Liz said, willing the old woman to stop talking.

“No one saw it coming, of course,” Angie said. “It was such a beautiful day after all. I even remember Miss Rachel humming too… of course I can never quite remember the song.”

Liz had been nodding absently until that sentence. Her neck practically snapped in half with how quickly she looked at Angie. “You were there that morning? The morning of the accident?”

Angie looked surprised. “Of course. I was interviewed by the police and everything; star witness they called me.” She sounded a little proud, but Liz ignored that. The important thing was that Angie might have some sort of clue as to who had put her cousin into a two year coma.

“What type of questions did they ask you?” Liz asked, casually pumping Angie for information.

Angie, eager to tell her story answered in great detail. “Well they asked if I had seen anything strange, which I hadn’t. I told them that Mr. Berrisford had gone out to his car like he had done everyday before that and Rachel was coming, but was stopped by that piano teacher of hers. They had some little argument on the stairs before Rachel went running out the door calling for her father. Of course I’d heard that they’d been kissing in the pool, so I told the police it was most likely a lover’s spat, and of course he was cleared and wasn’t even considered a suspect after they looked into it. And, you know, even the news asked to interview me… I couldn’t figure out what to wear-”

At that point, Liz blocked out the rest of what Angie was saying. She frowned in confusion. Alec had told her he’d been there that morning, but he hadn’t said that he and Rachel had argued. What had that been about? Rachel wouldn’t have gone running for her father unless something had really been wrong… Was that why Alec was so shut off with his own feelings? He was feeling guilty about having a “lover’s spat” with Rachel on the day of the accident?

Now, having more questions than she’d had before Angie had started, Liz was even more determined to get some answers. She quickly interrupted Angie. “Do you happen to remember the name of the policeman who interviewed you?”

“Of course,” Angie replied. “It was Detective Sung, I believe. Matt Sung. I remember because there was a big scandal at the police station after it all, and a colleague of Sung’s was trying to blame the government for it all!” Angie laughed a little then. “Can you even believe that? The government? Well, it was so silly… I half expected Eyes Only to cover it, but-”

“Eyes Only?” Liz noticed how Angie’s mouth seemed to purse whenever she was interrupted.

“Eyes Only is a local media man superhero - vigilante… thing. He has this do-gooder yen for outing all of the big time scandals and crooks. I’m sure you’ll see him on T.V. sooner or later. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some work to do.” Liz noticed how her words came out a little bit colder. It was very noticeable that Angie couldn’t stand Eye’s Only.

Eyes Only. That’s what she could do. She could do some research and track down whoever this Eyes Only was and ask him to investigate Rachel’s case. This would be right up his alley, wouldn’t it?

Satisfied with finally having a plan of action, Liz made her way back to her room. Tomorrow, she’d go and talk to Detective Sung and find out what he knew. Then, she’d try to find Eyes Only. Maybe, just maybe, she could convince Alec to help her. He was a local, and bound to know more about finding Eyes Only than she did.


-Erin

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Post by A Rose Is True Blue » Tue Jul 25, 2006 4:48 am

Hey guys!

I know that it's been a ridiculously long time since I've posted anything (I have a multitude of reasons, there's been family issues, and I've been out of the country) but I'm back. I've been working on updates of this and Hiding in Shadows, for anyone who reads that. I'm going to read over them a little before I post, but I am updating this fic.

Sorry it's taken so long, and thanks for staying interested! :D

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