Tandem Felix (All CC, Teen) Epilogue 12/19

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Tandem Felix (All CC, Teen) Epilogue 12/19

Post by tequathisy » Mon Nov 15, 2004 11:42 am

Title:Tandem Felix.
Rating:Teen
Disclaimer:I don't own anything, they all belong to WB,UPN and others.
Summary:Post departure. My version of what happened next.

A/N. This is my first fic, ever, so feedback would be really great. I've changed a couple of things about the ending of Departure. I don't think they'll have much impact on the story they just fit in with my vision of the story.
Some dialogue taken from Departure.




TANDEM FELIX


Chapter One


The clock on the wall was counting down the final seconds; it was time for Max to make his decision. Should he join Tess, go with her and their son to their home planet, to his certain . Or should abandon his son to some unknown fate and stay on Earth with the people he loved in the hope that one day perhaps he could somehow save his son? As the remaining seconds grew fewer and fewer he stood, frozen with uncertainty, then heard a voice, barely a whisper over the increasing roar of the granolith.

“Max”. It was Liz, calling to him.

Then he knew, casting one last look at Tess, he turned and left the granolith chamber. Liz and Isabel were waiting for him in the Pod Chamber, barely stopping to see if anyone else was there too, he grabbed them both by their arms and pulled them to the door.

“We have to get out of here, fast.” Although he was shouting, he could barely hear himself. There was so much noise all around him. Dust and sand were flying up, whipping into small whirlpools, blinding and choking them as they ran stumbling blindly down the mountain. The 's long hair was lashing their faces. Above them they could feel the air being sucked upwards, it was tugging at them making their progress more difficult.

“Over here.” Michael’s’ voice was very faint but Max could tell it was close, suddenly he felt hands grabbing him, dragging him, almost lifting him off his feet. He was pulled behind a large overhanging rock that provided some shelter from the chaos. Wiping the sand from his eyes, Max looked around him, he saw that everyone was gazing at the sky behind him, their mouths open and their eyes wide. He turned to follow their gaze and gasped in astonishment.

Dirt, sand and stones was whirling in the air, it seemed to be forming a long funnel from the very pinnacle of the Pod Chamber. It was reaching high into the bright morning sky, sucking at everything underneath it like a giant vacuum. In the very centre, the sky was as black as night, stars were twinkling, brighter than he had ever seen before.

“It’s a wormhole.” Liz gasped in amazement and disbelief.

The suction noise of the wormhole was immense as it grew to a crescendo, the pull grew stronger.

“Everyone lie on the ground and grab on” Liz ordered.

As one, they obeyed, stretching themselves flat on the ground and wrapping around each other with their arms and legs. They all squeezed their eyes and mouths shut and pressed their faces into the body lying next to them to prevent the sand from lashing their skin. There was a massive rush of wind around them and a thundering boom above them. Then, stillness.

After what seemed an age, Max raised his head from where it was buried in Michael’s leg and looked around him. The others too were stirring, slowly raising themselves off the ground. All seemed normal. Though now all the rocks and boulders were covered in a fine layer of dust. Coughing, the six teens stood and brushed the sand and dust from their hair and clothes. All their faces were brown with dirt.

“Is everyone alright?” Michael asked. Everyone nodded yes. “Good, can somebody tell me what the hell that was”?

“It was a wormhole” Max told him, his voice sounded hoarse and he had to cough a few times more before he was able to continue with his explanation. “The granolith opened a wormhole back to our home planet, that’s how it operates. According to the translation, anyway …” His voice trailed off and there was silence as they each considered the price they had paid for the translation.

“Where’s Tess” Kyle asked. He sounded emotionless.

“She’s gone” Max replied, “Back to Antar, to hand my son over to Kivar.”

There was a collective gasp. Liz placed her hand on his arm in a gesture of comfort and sympathy and withdrew it instantly.

“What happens now, Max?” Isabel asked.

“I have to save my son.” Max stated simply but firmly. Beside him Liz gasped inaudibly and turned away from him. “Liz….” He wanted to say something to her that would make everything alright but his mind was blank.

Sensing that he needed to be alone with Liz, Isabel turned to Maria and asked “ Do you have your cellfone, we need to call Valenti and let him know there’s been a change of plans before he goes to see our parents.”

“It’s in my car” Maria told her, reading her intentions clearly, she turned to Michael. “Maybe we should go check out the Pod Chamber, Spaceboy?” She moved off, hand in hand with Michael towards the hidden Chamber. Isabel caught Kyle’s arm and pulled him with her towards the Jetta.

“Liz” Max began falteringly, his voice was choking again, this time with emotion, he pulled Liz into his arms. “Liz, I’ve been wrong about a lot of things. But I was right about one thing, to get you into my life, to be around you, to love you.”

At these words, Liz jerked away from Max. He could see tears pooling in her eyes. Gently he touched her chin and turned her face towards his.

“No matter what it takes Liz,” Max continued “I’m going to make everything right again. I promise. Please give me that chance”

For a moment Liz gazed silently back at him, then she stepped back out of his reach. Max watched her, waiting foe her reply. It seemed that she had something she wanted to say but couldn’t find the right words. After a long silence, she turned her head towards the entrance of the Pod Chamber where Michael and Maria had reappeared.

“We’ll talk later” she replied without looking at Max. Then made her way to help Maria climb down the rocks. Michael came up to Max.

“Everything is normal up there,” he told Max “just a little dusty.” Max wasn’t listening, he was watching Liz walking towards the car, arm in arm with Maria.

“Come on, we should get going” Michael told him. Max followed him down the rock face to where the others were squeezing into the Jetta. Before climbing into the car, Max turned his face towards the sky and made a silent promise to his son

“I promise you, I’ll find a away to save you.”

_____~_____

Valenti was waiting for them at the same spot where he had bid them goodbye. Although Isabel had given him only the briefest outline of events her grim tone and the devastated looks on the teens faces told him all he need to know for the moment. As everybody seemed to shell-shocked to make any decisions, Valenti stepped in and took charge. He suggested that Isabel, Max, Liz and Maria return home before their parents woke and realised that they were gone. Max was to tell his parents the jeep had broken down and it had been towed to a garage for repairs. Later in the day, Valenti would call their homes to let them know ‘Tess had decided to go back east to live with her Father’. It was agreed that the group would use the excuse of saying goodbye to Tess to meet up the following day.

“Go home, get some sleep” Valenti instructed them. “Don’t do anything unusual today, if for some reason anybody goes looking into your whereabouts and action today then it’s best that it looks like you all spent the day at home, with your parents doing nothing out of the ordinary.”

_____~_____
Liz had little trouble sneaking up the fire escape and into her bedroom after Maria dropped her off at the end of the alley. She could hear the gentle murmur of her parents talking in the kitchen and opened her door a small to listen to what they were saying. To her relief, they were discussing how many extra waitresses’ they needed to hire for the upcoming busy summer season. Her all night absence had clearly not been noticed. Liz quickly and quietly changed into her pjs and messed her neatly made bed, a quick glance in the mirror reflected a pale face with dark circles around her eyes. Running her fingers through her hair to give it that slept in look, Liz made her way to the kitchen.

As soon as Nancy spotted her, she exclaimed in alarm and rushed to Liz. “Honey, are you alright?”

“Actually I’m not feeling too good, do you mind if I take the day off?” Liz asked while her mother continued fussing around her.

“Of course not, you go straight back to bed and don’t worry about work” her father ordered tenderly.

Liz gave them a weak smile “I’m sure I’ll feel better in a little bit” she reassured them. Then she padded softly back into her bedroom.

Once he heard her Liz’s bedroom door close, Jeff turned to his wife “ Is she alright” He asked worriedly.

“I think it’s just the past few weeks catching up with her” Nancy replied as she began to clear away the breakfast plates. “I can cover for her today if you’re stuck.”

“I’m worried about her,” Jeff said. “She’s been acting really strange since Alex died.” He turned to his wife who sat back down at the table and waited for him to continue. “ She just seems to be running herself into the ground”

Nancy considered this for a moment “People react differently to the loss of a love one,” she said “Liz lost her grandmother a little while ago and now Alex. And the fact that it’s been ruled a ; maybe she just doesn’t know how to deal with it. She’s only seventeen.

“I suppose” Jeff mused. They sat in silence for a while. Then Jeff spoke again “Nancy, It’s more than that though. Sometimes it seems that Liz has something really big going on in her life that we know nothing about. It scares me because whatever it is she isn’t coming to us about it”

As Nancy listened to his words a knot began to form in her stomach. She thought back over her daughters’ behaviour in the preceding months. “She’s a teenager, you remember what that’s like don’t you? Liz is smart, if there’s something going on and she needs our help, she’ll come to us”

“I would have said the same about Alex too” Jeff replied. “This time last year Liz begged us to send her to Florida because she wanted to get away from Roswell, she hasn’t been the same since she came back. She’s been more withdrawn, more secretive. It scares me Nancy. What if she wants to get away again but this time she chooses Alex’s method?”

Nancy reached across the table and took his hands in her own. “You’re right Jeff, she hasn’t been the same. She seems really unhappy sometimes. Maybe we should look into getting her some counselling”

Jeff squeezed his wife’s hands gently and stood up. “I have to get down to the café. We’ll talk more later.” He kissed his wife and left the kitchen. Before going down to the café he stopped by Liz’s room His daughter lay curled up in bed, fast asleep. Jeff felt his heart constrict at the thought of losing her. Bending down he pressed his lips against her cheek gently and whispered. “I love you Liz.”
_____ .~ _____

Max and Isabel were relieved to find that their parents were still in bed when they snuck in through Max's bedroom window.

“Are you ok?” Isabel asked her brother, the concern in her voice evident.

“I’m fine” he reassured her, wondering if his reply sounded as hollow as he felt, but it seemed to satisfy Isabel and she left him to go to her own room. Max stood in the shower for a long time, letting the steaming hot water wash away all the grime from his body. As he washed himself he remembered the remark Isabel had made when he told her about sleeping with Tess. It seemed to play on a continual loop in his brain on his body and no matter how hard he scrubbed he could feel Tess on his skin. He wondered bleakly if he would ever feel clean again.

When he eventually emerged from the shower he made his way down to the kitchen where he could hear Isabel talking cheerfully with their parents. They didn’t notice him entering at first and he watched them, Isabel was smiling brightly, though he could detect a sorrowful and weary air about her. His parents were laughing at a story they were telling her. Max felt his heart soar with love for his family. In the twenty-four hours before the granolith had taken off he hadn’t even seen his parents. He had been so focused on dealing with Alex's and telling Liz about Tess pregnancy that when he had finally come home to collect Isabel their parents were in bed sleeping. With a jolt he realised that he hadn’t even considered the possibility of never seeing either of his parents again.

“Good morning Max” his mothers greeting broke him from his thoughts. She walked up to him and gave him an affectionate kiss on the cheek. Max reached out and pulled her into a hug and returned her kiss. Then he moved to the table, as he passed his father he squeezed his shoulder. It was the closest he could do to hugging the man without raising any suspicions.

“What’s got into the two of you this morning?” his mother asked.

Isabel and Max shared a look, and then Isabel covered quickly.

“You know our friend Tess, well she’s been missing her Dad a lot lately and wants to go live with him but he’s against the idea, it just made us realise how lucky we are to have you guys.”

Philip and Diane looked moved by this statement and Diane hugged both of her children tightly.

“Tell you what,” Philip said, “I’m going to treat us all to brunch at Ernie's this morning. Everyone go get dressed.” When they were younger brunch at Ernie’s had been a Sunday morning tradition, but it had died out as the children became teenagers. The family quickly dispersed to their bedrooms and soon they were collected on the drive, ready to go.

“Max, where’s the jeep?” Philip asked.

“Oh, it broke down last night, I had to get it towed.” They had used this excuse so many times in the past to explain late nights or long absences that their parents simply nodded and climbed into their own car.

_____~_____

After she had completed her chauffeuring duties, Maria turned her car towards home. As she drew closer to her house, she grew more worried about her Mother. Amy had been close to breaking out of the mind-warp remembering everything that has occurred in the UFO Museum. Her anxiety grew as she wondered if her mother’s brain had been damaged like Alex's or if perhaps her mother managed to remember everything as Kyle had done earlier in the morning. Either scenario filled her with dread.

Unfortunately Maria had neither a fire escape nor window conducive to climbing through in her bedroom, so she has no other option than the front door. After easing the car in front of the house as silently as she could manage, Maria crept stealthily to the front door. There was no sound of movement at all. Amy often rose early on Sundays to fill out orders for her cake company but it appeared that her late-night sleepwalking had kept her in bed later than usual this morning. Breathing a sigh of relief, Maria ran quietly to her bedroom. Where she found Amy, sitting on her bed, wide-awake.

“Mom,” Maria exclaimed in alarm. But Amy didn’t look up at Maria, she was still clutching Sean’s stained T-shirt, and as Maria moved closer she could hear Amy mumbling under her breath. Maria’s heart was beating wildly in her chest. She sat on the bed beside her mother, and took Amy’s hands in her own. Amy turned her face to Maria, but her eyes were unfocused and she didn’t appear to see her daughter sitting beside her. She continued mumbling quietly to herself; Maria could catch words like “gun” and “Larek”.

“Mom, look at me, please”

Suddenly Amy seemed to realise that Maria was there, though her eyes remained glazed and unfocused,

“Maria, my baby. He had a , he could have killed you” Amy said fearfully, her voice higher than usual. She grasped Maria's arms tightly and shook her as she continued speaking, “He was an alien, he said his name was Larek, Oh Maria, I’m so frightened!”

Maria yanked herself free and grapped the T-shirt from her mothers’ hands. She quickly tucked it under her pillow and then pulled Amy to her feet.

“Mom, it was just a dream, it’s over now. Let’s go into the kitchen and I’ll make you a nice cup of Tea”,

Amy followed Maria to the kitchen and sat down at the kitchen table. Her fingers were drumming loudly on its shiny surface. Maria ran her fingers through her hair; she was now completely petrified. As loudly as she could Maria set about making the tea, banging doors and drawers in the hope of waking Amy. Her mother however, paid no attention to Maria but had wrapped her arms around her body and was rocking back and forth, still mumbling incoherently.

Down the hall, Maria could hear Sean beginning to move, in a few minutes he would shuffle into the kitchen in search of food. This thought further increased Maria's panic. If he saw Amy in this condition he would either say something to her that could spark Amy to completely break through the mind warp as Kyle had done or Sean himself would realise that something very suspicious was going on. Either scenario filled Maria with fear.

She knelt down on the floor and trapped her mother’s face in her hands, forcing Amy to be still and look at her.

“Listen to me Mom, it was just a dream,” she pleaded, “ It’s time to wake up now.” Amy stared back blankly at her. In desperation Maria blurted out the only thing she could think of the snap Amy from her daze,

“Last night, I slept with Michael”

It worked, Amy’s head snapped up, her eyed blazed and she roared,

“WHAT”
_____~_____

continued in next post.
Last edited by tequathisy on Mon Dec 19, 2005 1:21 pm, edited 58 times in total.
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Post by tequathisy » Mon Nov 15, 2004 11:45 am

“I have to go out for a little while, will you be ok?” Jim asked his son.

Kyle had said very little since they had returned from the desert. He had sat in front of the TV all morning, staring blankly at it, not seeing what was happening on the screen. Jim was reluctant to leave him alone, but had promised a number of people he would see them during the day.

“I’ll be fine.”

For over an hour after his father left, Kyle remained sitting on the couch trying to ignore the thoughts and memories tumbling around in his head. It was the call of nature that eventually forced him to move from the couch. As he was making his way back to the living room he passed his former bedroom. The door was wide open and he stood in the doorway for a moment. The scent of Tess’ perfume in the room was strong. Her clothes were strewn around the furniture; the dresser was cluttered with bottles of hairspray and creams and lots of other mysterious girly things.

As he turned to leave, Kyle caught sight of his reflection in the mirror, immediately the memory of Alex flared up again. In blind anger he grabbed the nearest object that he could lay his hands on. It was a cheerleading trophy Tess had won in Junior high, she had told him once. With as much strength as he could muster, Kyle flung it at the mirror, smashing both the mirror and the trophy to pieces. The damage gave him a small feeling of satisfaction and before he could think about it Kyle stormed into the room. He grabbed the desk chair and smashed it against the wall, pulled drawers out and emptied their contents on the ground, he pulled Tess’s clothes from the closet and threw them on the floor, ripping them violently. He lifted the CD player from its shelf and threw it against the far wall, smashed CDs and their cases. He upturned the mattress from the bed and swept everything from the dresser smashing to the floor. He caught her books and tore the pages out violently. On the window there was a picture frame, the only one Tess had. It was from prom and was of the two of them, Kyle and Tess laughing happily, their arms around one another. Clutching it to his chest, Kyle sank to the floor and wept.

_____~_____

“Liz, are you awake?”

Wiping sleep from her eyes, Liz sat up in her bed. Glancing at her clock she was very surprised to find it was already mid-afternoon. Her mother was standing at the foot of her bed holding a tray.

“How are you feeling now?” Nancy asked in her gentlest voice. “I thought it would be better to wake you otherwise you wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight.

“I’m feeling a lot better already,” Liz told her. Nancy moved to the head of the bed and placed the tray on Liz’s bedside locker. She pressed her hand against Liz’s forehead.

“Well, you don’t seem to have a temperature, I brought you some food. Maria’s here, she wants to see you, if you’re up for visitors” She kissed Liz on the cheek and left the room, ushering Maria, who was dressed in her Crashdown uniform, in as she left.

Maria ran to Liz’s’ bed and wrapped Liz in a tight hug, the two girls said nothing for a while; just being together was all the comfort they needed. Eventually Maria pulled away and asked,

“Are you okay, how are you feeling?”

“I’m okay, a lot better now that I’ve got some sleep.” Liz reassured her friend, Maria looked doubtful so Liz continued. “To be honest I’m not feeling anything, I’ve too much emotions to feel and I don’t know which one to go with, so I’m going with numb. You?”

“I’m fine, you’re the one I’m worried about”

“Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine. I’m starving though.”

Maria turned around and lifted the tray over to the bed. It was simple food, toast and o.j. Liz tucked into it as though it was a gourmet meal.

“I haven’t eaten since this time yesterday,” she said around bites.

Maria watched her devour the food with amusement, “Are you going to eat the plate too?” she teased when Liz had the whole thing demolished. Liz actually managed a small laugh.

“Is there any chance you could bring me up some more food” she pleaded, making exaggerated puppy eyes at Maria. “My parents think I’m sick so they won’t give me proper food”

“Sure, no problem” Maria laughed. She stood up “I better be getting downstairs, unlike some people who get to spend the day in bed, I have to work.” Her tone was teasing and light. She pulled an order pad from the pocket of her apron and jotted down Liz’s usual galaxy sub and vanilla shake order.

Liz gave her an appraising look, Maria had dark rings under her eyes and it was clear that she had gotten little or no sleep that day. Feeling guilty, Liz caught her hand. “You should have called in sick,” she admonished Maria.
Maria laughed again, “No, it’s fine. I’m acting normal like Valenti said. And anyway I had to get away from my mother.”

Liz’s eyes opened wide with alarm as she recalled how Amy had been acting the night before. “Oh my God, is she ok?”

Maria rolled her eyes, “She’s fine now. I’ll fill you in with all the details tomorrow.” And giving Liz another quick hug she skipped lightly from the room.

_____~_____

Michael was in the locker room getting ready for his shift when Maria came downstairs. His face lit up in a smile when he saw his girlfriend and he pulled her to him for a tender kiss.

“Wow Michael, you’re like, a whole five minutes early for your shift” Maria teased when they eventually pulled apart. He shrugged,

“I wanted to see you.,” he said simply.

Maria gave him a mega-watt smile in return. Just being with Michael made her as giddy as a child on Christmas morning. Stepping out of his embrace she turned to another waitress who was just finishing up her break and was watching the couples public display of affection in unconcealed amazement.

“Janice, can you fill out this order to go, for me please?”

When the girl had gone Maria pulled Michael to the outer door and into the alley outside. Michael immediately pulled Maria flush against his body and brought his mouth to hers. They kissed hungrily for a minute until Maria pulled away.

“I have to tell you something, please don’t be mad” she began. “When I got home this morning my Mom was having another flashback thingy and I thought she was going to remember everything, so I panicked and told her..”

“You told her we were aliens!” Michael interrupted in disbelief.

“No, I told her that we slept together” She watched as a look of sheer terror flashed across Michael’s face.

“Shit, Maria!! Michael yelled. He ran his fingers through his hair and tried to bring his rapid heartbeat under control “I think I would have preferred if you had told her I was an alien! ” he confessed in a shaky voice, because he had no doubts whatsoever that Amy Deluca was going to kill him in a slow and painful manner.

Maria laughed at his obvious distress. “It’s ok, she’s not going to kill you. She was actually ok about it..” catching Michael’s incredulous look she amended “Well, after a major freak-out and the longest lecture on contraception ever! She actually said that she was impressed that I was able to go and talk to her about it. It showed her that I was mature and responsible, apparently. And I’m sure that I’ll hear a lot more about it when I go home. Are you mad?”

Michael shook his head but he still looked very worried. He realised that it was probably the only option that Maria had but her reassurances did little to bring him comfort. Maria stood on her tiptoes and gave him another quick kiss.

“C’mon we better start our shift”

Before she could go inside he pulled her back to him.

“Last night, I didn’t mean to, you know, sleep with you and then leave the planet. I wanted to do something special for you that’s all. I mean, I’m glad it happened, but I hadn’t planned to do it that way.” It was important for him that she knew this.

“I know” Maria told him with a tender smile. “You don’t have to explain. Besides, staying for me has completely wiped out all past misdeeds.”

Laughing Michael followed her back inside the restaurant, wondering just how long he could keep his slate clean.

_____~_____


By late evening Liz had managed to convince her parents that she was well enough to come downstairs. The dinner rush was over, but as they were one waitress down Maria had little time to stop and talk to Liz. So Liz was waiting patiently for Maria to finish, leafing through a magazine while she waited. The bell chimed and without turning around Liz knew that it was.

“Is this seat taken?” Max asked.

Liz took a deep breath to calm herself and gestured for Max to take the seat opposite her. She could see that he was nervous and hopeful.

“Did you have any trouble with your parents?” She asked, hoping to break the awkward silence that had enfolded them.

Max shook his head, “You?”

“No, They think I’m sick though so I’m taking it easy today.”

Max glanced the restaurant; he could see Mr. Parker working in the kitchen alongside Michael. Nancy was standing at the till, settling bills for the departing diners. A couple of waitresses were hurrying to and from between the tables and the counter. Most of the booths were full.

“Are you too sick to take a walk somewhere quieter?” he asked “Maybe we could talk now.”

For a moment he thought Liz would say no, but instead she stood up.

“Let me just get my jacket and let my parents know.”

As Max waited for Liz he could feel somebody staring at him, turning around he realised Jeff Parker was glaring at him. Max nodded politely to him but Jeff ignored the greeting and turned back to his work.

Jeff Parker scowled as he watched Liz leave with Max. He turned to his wife who had come up to the service hatch.

“Is she starting back up with that boy again?” he asked tersely.

“She felt like going for a walk to clear her head, Max is just accompanying her. They’re just friends.” Nancy told him.
“Max is the reason she spent all of last summer in Florida.” Jeff reminded her stabbing furiously at an onion on the chipping board in front of him. “She hasn’t been the same since she got involved with him.”

“Max is a nice boy. Would you rather she started up with someone like Sean Deluca instead?” Nancy asked pointedly.

Jeff glared at her for a moment then turned back to the grill and began slapping furiously at the burgers he was grilling.
_____~_____

Max and Liz walked in silence for sometime. When they reached the park, Max used his powers to unlock the gate and they made their way to a picnic bench where they sat down beside each other. The awkward silence had followed them from the restaurant and max tried viably to recall when the last time he had felt so uncomfortable in Liz’s presence had been.

Liz sighed. “Max, I..”

At the same time, Max cleared his throat. “Liz, what..”

“Sorry”, Max said. “Go ahead.”

“Max, I have to tell you something. This is really difficult for me, so just bear with me please. Don’t interrupt.”

She took a deep breath and looked at Max, he nodded to tell her to go ahead.

“Last fall, that night you sang under my window, do you remember?”

Max blushed at the memory and nodded for her to continue.

“Well, that night I had another visitor.” Liz took another deep breath, already she could feel tears forming but she decided to just tell the story. “He was from the future. He had used the granolith to come back to change things, because in his time the world was about to be destroyed. He…you, needed my help.”

Max gasped in astonishment but Liz ploughed on before he could speak.

“He said that when your enemies attacked Earth, you weren’t able to defeat them because Tess had left Roswell years before and you needed the Royal Four. He needed me to make you fall out of love with me, so that Tess wouldn’t leave Roswell. That’s why I gave you that horrible speech about not wanting to die for you. That’s why I pretended to sleep with Kyle.”

Liz’s voice was barely more than a whisper as she finished. When she was done she began to cry, sobs wracking her petite body.

“I’m so sorry Max, I’m so sorry that I did that to you, that I hurt you like that.”

Without having to think about it, Max took Liz in his arms and began to rub his hands down her back in a soothing manner.

“You’ve nothing to be sorry for Liz, Nothing!” he told her emphatically. “I should be the one that’s sorry. I AM sorry. Even years into the future I can manage to wreck your life.”

For long time he just held Liz, rocking back and forth, crying for all the pain and hurt that they had bestowed upon each other. Eventually the tears stopped and Liz just sat in his arms, soaking up the comfort and love that only Max could give her.

Liz was the first to pull away. She gave a small embarrassed laugh and stood up.

“I have to go home before my parents start worrying.” She turned to leave, then stopped and turned back to Max.

“You’re not the only one who made mistakes Max. I did too. I want things to be right between us. Part of me is really angry and hurt right now, maybe a part of me always will be. But the other part, the much bigger part, loves you Max and always will. We’ll make things right again. We’ll do it together.”

Max rose to his feet and walked to Liz, he gently caressed her face to wipe away the tear marks.

“See you tomorrow Max.”

Max watched as Liz practically ran from the park, until she was out of sight, until he could no longer hear her footsteps on the pavement. When he was sure she was completely gone, he sank back down on the park bench, buried his face in his hands and cried.

_____~_____
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Post by tequathisy » Wed Nov 24, 2004 1:53 pm

Chapter two.

“Aaaaggghhhh.”

A muffled scream echoed around the Parker’s’ apartment. Maria froze at the front door; torn between wanting to run back downstairs to the packed Crashdown and concern for Liz who she knew was home alone. Concern for her friend won out so Maria grabbed hold of a baseball bat standing in the umbrella stand and advanced into the apartment. The living room was empty so she made her way quickly to Liz’s bedroom door. She paused outside it for a moment but could hear nothing on the other side, so taking a deep breath she flung open the door, brandishing the bat.

“Hi Maria.”

Liz was standing in front of the mirror trying to decide between two different tops. She held them up for Maria’s opinion.

“The red one.” Maria answered, confused. “Did you just scream?”

“Yeah, sorry.” Liz admitted sheepishly. “I just needed to let it out, you know.”

Happy that their lives were not in any immediate danger, Maria put the bat against the wall and made her way into the room to sit on the bed. While Liz finished dressing herself and picked up a hairbrush Maria scrutinised her carefully. She was still pale with dark bags under her eyes. Maria held out her hand for the hairbrush and Liz gave it to her with a smile, sitting on the bed in front of Maria with her back to her friend. Maria began to brush Liz’s hair and the two girls sat in a comfortable silence for a while.

“So, how did things go with Max last night?” Maria asked after a while. “I wanted to wait for you to come back but my Mom came by and I had to go home with her.”

“I told him about future Max. I didn’t give him any details, just the bare facts.” Liz told her with a sigh. “It was such a relief to finally be able to tell him. He was really understanding about it, he just held me.”

Maria considered Liz’s words for a minute as she continued to brush Liz’s long silky hair.

“So, are you guys back together now, or getting back together or what?”

“I don’t know.” Liz turned around to face Maria. “Last night it felt so good to be back in his arms again. I wasn’t angry or hurt or pissed at him like I thought I was. I was just happy to be there because it just felt…”

Her voice trailed off as she searched around for the appropriate word.

“Right?” Maria asked. Liz nodded slowly. “But…?” Maria prompted.

“But, this morning I’m angry and hurt and pissed, really pissed.” Liz continued. She buried her head in Maria’s lap. “I’m so confused.” She moaned.

Maria gently combed her fingers through Liz’s hair in the way Liz loved.

“You want to know what I think?” she asked.

Liz nodded. “Please.”

“Yesterday, you thought that you had lost Max forever. That he was going to spend the rest of his life playing happy families with Tess on another planet and that you’d never see him again.” Maria said. “Then we had to make a mad dash to the pod chamber to save his life, and we almost didn’t make it. You’ve been carrying this huge burden of guilt over the whole Kyle thing for months. You were just so relieved that he was still here, and not going to die. And you love him, so yesterday you were just acting out of relief and love. Today, you know he’s safe so you’re able to feel angry and pissed again.”

Sitting back up, Liz enveloped Maria in a tight hug.

“It makes sense.” She admitted. “But Maria, I told Max that I forgave him and now I’m not so sure that I do. I can’t retract forgiveness. Can I?”

“Sure you can. We’re women. It’s our prerogative to change our minds. Now if you’re ready we have to go say goodbye to our dear friend Tess.”

*

“Sorry we’re late.” Max told the group assembled in Valenti’s living room later that morning. “We had to wait for Mom to come home from the store before we could borrow the car.”

Max gave a quick glance around the room and immediately sought out Liz. She was sitting on the couch beside Maria examining her nails. As though feeling his gaze she looked up and met his eyes but quickly looked away again. Michael was perched on the armrest of the couch. Isabel sat in the armchair and Valenti produced two kitchen chairs for himself and Max to sit on. Kyle was the only person standing. He was leaning against a wall, outside the circle of chairs, his arms folded and a dark scowl on his face. From the moment Max had entered the room he had felt the heated glare that never left him.

Once everyone was seated, all eyes turned automatically to Max, except Liz who continued to stare down at her hands. Max looked around the group again, realising that they were waiting for him to speak. He had no idea where to begin. The room was filled with an awkward silence.

Eventually Valenti took pity on Max and broke the silence.

“I’ve contacted the school this morning to tell them Tess is ‘moving to Boston to be with her father’, they’re going to send me her records and I told them I’d pass them along to Tess. I don’t think anyone at the school will ask questions. What about her friends, did she have anyone that would want to hear from her?”

After everyone shook their heads to say no Valenti turned to Liz.

“Liz, could you tell me how you figured out that Tess killed Alex?”

Liz took a deep breath; Maria reached over and gave her hand a gentle squeeze. Holding Maria’s hand and without lifting her gaze from Valenti once, Liz explained about her investigations and how she had ruled out Jennifer Coleman, and how finally Kyle and Amy’s finger tapping had given her the clue she needed to identify the real killer. When she had finished speaking, she returned her attention to her hands. She never looked at Max.

“Will Kyle and Amy be alright?” Valenti asked Max, although he spoke in a calm manner everyone could hear the underlying fear in his voice.

“Alex had been mindwarped for a long period of time. She had to make him forget so much and replace it with such a complex memory. I think his brain just couldn’t handle anymore.” Max tried to reassure him and Maria who was also looking worried. “Kyle and Ms. Deluca should be ok. Maybe you should keep an eye on them and if start acting unusual or if the finger tapping continues we’ll have to do something about it.”

Everyone seemed satisfied with his answer, and although Kyle’s scowl didn’t diminish, Maria gave a broad smile. Again they fell into an awkward silence. This time it was Michael, who spoke first,

“What did you tell your folks about the jeep?” he asked

“I told them it broke down, I’m going to go look in a few places later today to see if I can find one like it that we can modify to look like the old one.” Max answered, waving his hand to illustrate how he would modify the jeep. “You want to come?”

“Sure.”

“Are you going to modify the jeep so you can fly off into deep space to save your son?” Kyle sneered. There was a quick intake of breath around the room. Liz flinched at the mention of Max’s son and squeezed Maria’s hand tighter.

“Kyle.” His father admonished him quietly.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” Kyle said in a harsh tone. “Am I not supposed to mention the big white alien in the room? When are you going to rescue your son Max? You know, the one you sent away with the murdering skank.”

As he spoke Kyle had pushed himself away from the wall and advanced into the circle until he was standing right in front of Max. His hands were curled into fists and hanging by his side, his whole body was rigid with anger. Feeling dwarfed and intimidated by Kyle while he was sitting, Max rose to his feet pushing his chair back with a loud scrape. Valenti too, stood up and placed a calming hand on Kyle’s chest. He pulled Kyle away from Max and forced himself between the two young men. Kyle and Max stared at each other until Max looked away, hanging his head in shame. Satisfied that he had stared him down. Kyle took a further few steps back.

“Break it up boys.” Valenti commanded in his most authoritative sheriffs’ voice. “Kyle, sit down. We’re going to keep things calm ok.” He pushed Max back down onto his chair and then motioned for Kyle to sit in the chair he had vacated. Kyle slowly sat down in Valenti’s seat, never taking his eyes from Max.

“Thank you, now we’re going to continue this conversation like adults. Is that understood?” Valenti asked. Both boys gave curt nods. Valenti let out a small sigh of relief.

“Good. Now Max, maybe you should tell us if Tess gave you any explanation or indications of why she did this?”

Max swallowed. There was an air of heightened tension in the room now. Valenti positioned himself on the armrest of Isabel's chair, putting himself between Max and Kyle. He nodded for Max to begin.

“Tess said that Nacedo had made a deal with Kivar years ago to deliver my child and the three of us,” Max gestured at Michael, Isabel and himself before continuing. “She needed Alex to make the translation, it was never her intention to kill him. Though I don’t think she cared either way.”

There was silence as everyone listened to Max speak. When he had finished Maria grasped Michael’s hand with her free one and held it tightly. He put his arm around her shoulders and held her close to his side. Isabel wrapped her arms around herself. Valenti squeezed her shoulder comfortingly. Some of the tension seemed to leave Kyle’s body and for the first time since Max had arrived he dropped his glare. Liz looked at Max and he could see tears in her eyes. She was still holding one of Maria’s hands tightly in her own.

“Nacedo probably never told her how to get home, he always acted like he was in charge and she just had to do his bidding.” Liz speculated “Then he got killed and she was on her own. Maybe that’s why she needed Alex to make the translation.” She thought some more about what Max had revealed. “It’s easy to see why Kivar wanted you all dead, but I’m confused about why he would want your child. Why would he want the true heir to the throne alive?”

“It’s because he wants the granolith.” Max said. He gestured to Isabel who reached into her purse and pulled out the copy of the translation Liz had found in Los Cruses and handed it to Max. He leafed through it until he found the page he wanted.

“According to this,” Max explained “The Royal’s are genetically encoded with a Seal. It’s passed from heir to heir. When they inherit the throne, the seal becomes active, and then they have to make a foursquare. And that foursquare controls the granolith until the death of the King, or Queen if it’s a girl who has the seal. Only the foursquare can use the granolith. Kivar wants me dead and so he can form a foursquare with my son that will include him.”

“Then he uses your son as a puppet.” Michael concluded. “Plus because he’s your heir he’ll be more acceptable to the people of Antar than Kivar.”

“Probably.” Max agreed who hadn’t even considered that aspect of it.

“But if you died, how do you still have the seal.” Maria asked confused. “Wouldn’t it have passed on to your heir.”

“When I died, I didn’t have an heir, Isabel would have been next in line for the throne but she died too.” Max explained. “The scientists who engineered us were able to replicate the seal in me again.”

Valenti shook his head in amazement. The whole story seemed so incredibly farfetched to him and yet it was really happening. In his own living room.

“So if you’re still alive then the seal won’t pass on to your son. What does that mean, will someone come looking to kill you?” he asked.

Max looked over at Liz and saw that her eyes were wide with fear, her beautiful face was pale. She gave him a look of askance and Max realised that she wanted to tell the others about his visit from the future. He nodded his head.

“There’s more.” Max told the group. They were all watching him, dreading what he had to say. Liz took a deep breath.

“I have to tell you something, it’s a little unbelievable so just bear with me.” She began in a faltering tone.

“More unbelievable than what we’ve already been told.” Valenti asked with a laugh, he sobered quickly when he caught sight of Liz’s grave face. She stood up to face the group. They watched her as she nervously paced for a moment.

“Ok, last fall, I had a visitor. It was Max, but not this Max,” She waved her hand in Max’s direction. “He said he was from the future. In his time, fourteen years from now, Earth was over-run by his enemies. He came back because he believed that by changing some things he could prevent the world from being destroyed. One of the things that he wanted to prevent was Tess leaving, because without her, the foursquare weren’t strong enough to defeat his enemies.”

“Why the hell didn’t you tell us this before?” Michael demanded, jumping to his feet.

“I couldn’t.” Liz stood her ground defiantly. Taking a deep breath she went on. “The reason Tess left was because Max and I got back together and she couldn’t bear it so she left. At least that’s what he thought but I guess the real reason was because she realised that her plan to get pregnant wouldn’t work. He said the only way to prevent her leaving was to make Max fall out of love with me.”

“Unbelievable. I can’t believe that you kept something like that from all of us.” Michael shouted, clearly furious. He shrugged off Maria’s attempt to calm him down. “When are these enemies going to attack?”

“I don’t know - ” Liz began but Michael interrupted her.

“Who are they, where are they coming from, or are they already on Earth?”

“I don’t know.” Liz said in a small voice.

“Did he tell you what the foursquare had to do to defeat them?”

“No.” Liz whispered, by now tears were trickling down her cheeks.

“Do you know anything? Michael demanded. Liz shook her head. Why didn’t you tell us this before, didn’t you think we had a right to know any of this? I mean we’re the ones that’s going to have to do the fighting, right?”

Liz sank back into the couch; her body was heaving with sobs.

“Michael, that’s enough.” Max interjected. Michael turned to him angrily.

“No, it’s not enough. Liz had information that could prevent the end of the world and she didn’t tell anyone, not even the few people that could do anything about it.” Michael spat out. “I’d just like to know how it’s going to end.”

“Liz was doing what she thought was right.”

“Well she wasn’t right, was she?” Michael asked, “Because Tess is gone, but she has your baby. We’re even more screwed now.” He turned back to Liz. “You go around claiming to be the smart one, but what - ?”

“Stop it, Michael?” Maria yelled. She was kneeling beside Liz gently rubbing her hand up and down her back as Liz sobbed uncontrollably. “You don’t know what she’s been through because of this. Leave her alone.”

Michael stared at Maria.

“You knew.” He stated in a whisper, then dropped down onto the couch, shaking his head in disbelief.

“What do you mean.” Isabel asked Maria. It was the first time she had spoken since she had arrived at Valenti’s. Her voice was choked with emotion.

Maria looked up at her for a moment, then at Kyle and finally at Max.

“She had to make Max fall out of love with her, Isabel. Can you imagine what that must have been like for her?” Maria asked. “How difficult it was for her to go through that, she had to give him up forever. In the other timeline they were married. She had to sacrifice everything to save the whole world. In the future, Max and Liz were the only ones left. Everyone else was gone. She gave up Max to save our lives.” Then Maria turned to Michael and said angrily. “She did it to save your life, you jerk.”

By now, Liz had brought her sobbing under control. Isabel fished a tissue from her purse and Liz wiped her eyes. She looked around the room at her friends; they all looked grave and frightened.

“This happened before we fought the skins.” She clarified. “We wouldn’t have defeated them without Tess. She had already gone in the other timeline. Without an army on earth Kivar is at a major disadvantage. So it’s not as bad as it sounds. Plus we’re forewarned now.”

“Yeah, the end of the worlds coming,” Michael snorted. “But everything’s going to be alright, even though we have no information about our enemies, because we know about it. Thanks Liz.”

“Hey don’t blame Liz,” Kyle stepped forward. “She was only following orders from his Majesty. He’s the one who came up with this foolproof idea. Go back in time, destroy a young girls life and leave no clue as how to prevent the end of the world. Good one Max. No wonder you lost your planet. You’re two for two now.”

Max hung his head in shame. Kyle was right, he had destroyed Liz’s life. The Liz he knew would never be reduced to a weeping mess in front of her friends. She was too strong for that. Michael was right. The world was in great danger and knowing about it in advance still gave them no clue how to prevent it. He had wasted the only opportunity to save it on a plan that seemed very foolish and short-sighted. He ran his hand through his hair. The mountain of mistakes he had made was colossal and it seemed to grow bigger every day.

“Has anybody else got any more secrets they need to reveal?” Valenti asked, when everybody shook their heads to say no, he continued in relief. “Good, maybe we should call it quits for the day. We’ve all had an emotional few days, and learned some frightening things today, our tempers are a little frayed. We can talk some more when we’ve had some time to calm down.”

Nobody argued with him but immediately got to their feet and said goodbye. There was almost a stampede for the door. When they had all left Valenti turned back to Kyle. “You ok son?”

“Never better. I’m going for a drive.”

Kyle stormed out of the house, slamming the door behind him. Valenti waited until his car had roared down the street before he made his way to the liquor cabinet. He poured himself a glass of whiskey with a shaking hand and swallowed it in one gulp. It did nothing for the ball of pure fear dancing in his stomach. He tried to imagine the group of frightened, angry teenagers who had been in his house that morning, coming together to save the world. It was impossible. They couldn’t even have a conversation without arguing. He poured himself another glass.

“We’re doomed.”


*
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Post by tequathisy » Fri Nov 26, 2004 12:31 pm

Thanks for all the feeedback. This is my first fic ever so I'm just happy that people are reading it. I'm still just setting the scene, more will happen as the story progresses.
I should mention that I've written it so that summer vacation has already begun. It just fits in with my story better that way.


Chapter three.

“So, I thought that went well.”

Max swung around to make sure that Isabel hadn’t hit her head and was only kidding. His sister gave him a wry smile and shrugged. After the meeting at Valenti’s Max, Isabel and Michael had gone to a local scrap-yard to see if they could find a jeep to pass off as their old one. So far the search was proving fruitless.

“Sure, Kyle hates me. Michael’s mad at me. Liz is a wreck and the world is about to end. It couldn’t have gone better.”

“We’ll figure something out Max.” Isabel tried to reassure him, but he wasn’t listening. With a sigh she left him alone to brood and went to find Michael. He was wandering through the rows of piled up cars deep in his own thoughts but looked up alert when she came upon him.

“Hey.” He greeted her, “How are you? You’ve been very quiet all morning.”

Isabel considered his question before answering.

“I don’t know how I am to be honest. It’s been such a roller coaster ride lately. I just want to crawl into bed, pull the blankets over my head and stay there.” She told him. “It’s just all so…” her voice trailed off and to Isabels’ horror, a tear trickled down her cheek. She brushed it away. “Sorry.”

Michael immediately pulled her into his arms and let her cry against his chest. Feeling his strong, comforting arms wrap around her shattered the strong façade she had been putting up since the previous morning. Soon her tears were flowing freely and her body was heaving with sobs. Michael held her until she had calmed down and pushed herself away.

“I’m sorry.” She hiccoughed, Michael responded with an embarrassed shrug.

“Better out than in.” He told her with a small smile waving his hand over his T-shirt to dry it off. Then he picked up her purse from the ground and found a small packet of tissues that Isabel always carried, he handed her one and Isabel took it gratefully and blew her nose loudly. Then she waved her hand to fix her make-up.

“Do I look like I was crying?” She asked. Max had enough to worry about, without her throwing a meltdown on top of the pile.

“No.” Michael leaned forward and kissed her forehead. “It’s ok to cry once in a while Iz.

She nodded gratefully and straightened her clothes, “Thanks Michael.”

“Lets go find Max.” Michael suggested, guessing correctly that Isabel wanted to move away from the topic of her feelings. He might have found a suitable jeep, or we’ll just have to think of something else to tell your parents.”

They walked around the yard until they found Max sitting in an old blue Chevelle. When he saw them approach, he beeped the horn and waved excitedly.

“This is the one.”

Michael walked around the car surveying it. Despite it’s age and they fact that it was in a scrapyard, it was in remarkably good condition. It just had scratches and dents on the bodywork. The blue paint was peeling and there were some signs of rust.

“I don’t think it’ll fool your parents into thinking it’s the jeep Max.” Michael said with a smirk, “It’s the wrong color or something. What do you think Isabel?”

Isabel pretended to examine the paint. “Hmm, now you mention it, it does seem to be the wrong shade.”

Max cut his eyes at them. “I’m going to tell them that I sold the jeep for parts and got this with the money and some I had saved up. It’s just come in, the engine’s completely shot, but I can fix it. What do you think?” He said, “Isn’t she a beauty?”

As he finished speaking the scrapyard owner, McNab, came up to them. They quickly haggled over the price before settling on a sum that left McNab with a smug look on his face. After shaking hands on the deal and signing the necessary paperwork, Max and Michael quickly set about fixing the engine. It took them a few short minutes to repair the damage and when they drove out, the engine was purring and McNab was staring after them in amazed fury.

*

Max drove his car around town for a while to get used to the steering and controls. After cruising through the streets for a little while, he turned the car out into the desert, heading in a completely different direction from the Pod Chamber. They drove in silence until they reached a deserted picnic area beside a local beauty spot where Max pulled the car to a stop.

“We have to talk.” Max told Isabel and Michael as he climbed out of the car. The other two sighed but didn’t argue. They followed him over to a picnic table. Max waited until they had seated themselves. He felt far more in control and calmer than he had in Valenti’s earlier that morning, maybe because he didn’t have to face Liz, he thought.

“I know you’re both mad at me right now,” He began. “And you have every right to be. I’ve messed up. I’m going to do everything in my power to rectify all that but I need your help and support. For too long now, we’ve been arguing and divided, that has to end. No more arguments, no more secrets. We learned this morning that our enemies are coming for us, and that if we lose, then everyone on the planet will die. We have to work together.”

“You’re right.” Isabel agreed, they both looked and Michael who gave a curt nod. Max closed his eyes briefly and tried to summon the strength to remain calm and not yell at Michael.

“Michael, if we’ve have something that’s bothering us we have to tell each other instead of letting it build up and cause tension and petty squabbling. You seem pissed off. It’s time to get it off your chest now. Let me have it.”

“Ok.” Michael scratched his eyebrow, trying to find his own inner calm. He took a deep breath. “You’re right. WE have to work together, that means when something comes up, you have to come to us about it, not Liz. We were sent here for a reason Maxwell, it’s our duty, our mission. Not Liz’s. If you really want to save Earth, and defeat Kivar then you have to focus on that, not Liz.”

“So, you’re saying that I should give up Liz?” Max asked, his voice slightly higher than normal. “Fine, that makes sense. I presume that means you’ll be ending things with Maria.”

“I’m not saying break-up with them.” Michael corrected him with an irritated sigh. “I mean, stop thinking with your dick and start using your head. If an alien matter comes up, the first people you should go to are us, your fellow aliens. Not Liz.”

“I do come to you.” Max defended. “But Liz is a part of this too, she’s usually the one that comes up with the solutions to our problems.”

Michael gave a derisive snort.

“Max, I think what Michael is trying to say,” Isabel interjected before Max could say anything to Michael “is that you and Liz have a tendency to take control of matters and not really consult the rest of us. You act like our opinions don’t count as much as hers.”

“When do I do that?” Max cried out.

“All the time.” Isabel told him, fighting to keep her temper under control. “This future you thing is the perfect example. Michael’s right, it’s our mission to fight Kivar, you should have came to us and told us. We’re the ones who needed to know those things. We’re the ones who could have made Tess feel included and not drive her away. You could have just made yourself stay away from Liz, but instead you had to go to her and implement the stupidest plan in the history of the world. God, like anything would make you fall out of love with Liz Parker.”

“Hey, technically that wasn’t me.” Max said. “Yet.”

“But it shows that you’re still doing it fourteen years from now.” Michael said angrily, then stopped before continuing on in a more controlled voice. “You had a chance to fix your mistakes but instead you came back and made an even bigger one. Why couldn’t you come to us, do you not trust us? I’m all for working together, I’ve been trying to get you off your ass and face your responsibilities for months but all you wanted to do is mope around about Liz. If you want us to work together, then it’s up to you.”

“Ok. You’re right.” Max conceded. “I do trust you. I don’t know why he chose to go to Liz and not to us. But I’ve come to you now. I need your help to save my son and prevent the end of the world. Tell me what you want me to do.”

Michael blinked in surprise at these words and turned to Isabel; she shrugged her shoulders bewildered.

“Well, for starters.” Michael began. “We need to start working on our powers. Nacedo told me that we hadn’t even begun to tap into our powers. We need to find out exactly how powerful we are and what we can do.”

Max nodded. “Anything else?”

“We need to find out everything we can about our enemies.” Michael continued. “We have to go through all of Tess’s belongings and see if she has any information that could be useful to us. We have to go through everything at the UFO museum, all the sighting reports, everything Brody has collected in particular, and look for anything that could be genuine and investigate it.”

“Maybe we should try and contact Larek again.” Isabel said, seeing that Max was about to argue, she held up her hands. “I know that it’s not fair on Brody, but in the bigger scheme of things we have use every source of information we have.”

“We should wait and see what information we can find first and what questions we need answered before we try to contact him” Max said. “Do you agree?” he added as an afterthought. Both Michael and Isabel nodded.

“I think that Liz and the others should be included in these matters too.” He began tentatively. “We can’t just ignore their imput. Liz might not have handled the whole future thing right, but it was a really emotional and difficult thing for her to do. She was only doing what the other me told her to. You shouldn’t have been so hard on her.”

He stopped for a moment to gauge their reactions. To his relief, neither seemed angry at his words but were listening to him carefully and considering what he was saying. So he pressed on.

“Liz has been through a really hard time this year. She’s been under tremendous pressure. Not just because of the future thing,. She broke up with me because she thought it was the right thing to do. She didn’t say anything about me visiting from the future because I, he… told her not too, he asked her to keep it a secret.”

“That’s never stopped her before.” Michael muttered under his breath but Max caught it anyway.

“What was that Michael?” he asked.

“You’ve asked her to keep secrets before, but she’s never managed to do that? Michael replied heatedly. “You asked her not to say anything about who we are and she went an d blabbed to Maria and Alex, wrote it all done in a journal and then lost that. Why didn’t she tell us about this.”

“Because of me, because I asked her not to.” Max yelled. “Be mad at me, not her. You heard what Maria said today, she did it to save your life.”

“Well it didn’t work,” Michael returned just as loudly. “We’re still going to die unless we figure out how to kill Kivar and according to her the only chance we have is gone.”

“If Tess was our only chance, then it went forty years ago when Nacedo made that deal with Kivar.” Max said. “Nothing Liz did would have a made a difference one way or the other. What could we have done if we had known? Tess wasn’t going to stick around to help save the planet. We never had a foursquare.”

“We could have found out who the enemies are Max, when they attack, what exactly the foursquare has to do to defeat them that the three of us can’t do.” Michael answered. “Instead we know squat, why can’t you just admit that Liz was stupid not to find out these details. She could have found another way to let us know if she didn’t want to tell her little secret.”

By now the two boys were toe to toe, yelling loudly at each other. Max opened his mouth to yell back but Isabel jumped up from her seat and pushed her way between the two boys.

“No arguing, talk about this like adults, please.” She pleaded. Max took a step back and ran his hand over his face. Michael gave Isabel an apologetic look and sat back down on the seat. “Ok Max,” Isabel continued in her most schoolteachery voice. “Please continue.”

“Liz was not and never will be stupid.” Max began in a strained voice. “She was misguided and that was by a future version of me. Nobody knows his reasoning, not me and not Liz so you can’t really blame me for it either. Apparently this is a personality flaw I have, but you’ve made me aware of it, so it’s something I’ll work on correcting.” He politely refrained from pointing out any of Michael’s many flaws. “Liz, however misguided, did a very difficult thing for our sake. And we owe her our thanks. And apologies.”

“Fine, I’ll apologise for yelling at her today.” Michael said, a little petulantly.

“Maybe she’s right.” Isabel said trying to turn the conversation away from Liz. “If Tess had left before we could prevent the harvest, then there would be an army of powerful skins on earth right now. God knows what they could have done by now if they were still here. I really think that’s something we can be thankful for.”

“I guess, but we can’t be sure.” Michael responded. “That doesn’t mean we should relax and not be on our guard.”

“You’re right.” Max said, glad that Michael had calmed down enough to resume normal conversation.
“We can’t do this on our own.” He continued. “We don’t have the foursquare so we need to work out other ways to defeat Kivar. Liz and Valenti and everyone else have already proved to be extremely useful allies to have. We need them.”

“Alex was useful too.” Isabel whispered. “Now he’s dead. Maybe getting other people involved in this is just dangerous.”

“If the world ends, they’ll all be dead anyway.” Michael said trying not to sound harsh. “They’re already involved, we might as well work with them. If they want to that is, but if they want out, then we let them out. And nobody else gets involved. Ever.”

“Agreed.” Max accepted without hesitation. “Isabel?”

Isabel wrung her hands and said nothing for a moment.

“I want to tell Mom and Dad.”

“No.” Michael and Max both replied immediately.

“Well so much for listening to our opinions.” Isabel huffed.

“Two against one, Isabel.” Max said, then he added, “I’m sorry.”

Isabel looked like she was about to argue back so Michael interrupted her before she could.

“What about your son?” he asked Max. “You said you had to save him, any ideas how?”

“None.” Max told him dejectedly. “We can’t use the granolith because the only key we have will take about fifty years to recharge. That’s one of the things I’ll need to ask Larek about I guess. Do you have any ideas?”

Michael shook his head sympathetically. “Maybe we’ll find something amongst Tess’s things.” He took a deep breath, knowing that what he was about to say would be very hard for Max to hear. “It’s probably too late to save your son Max. Once Tess hands him over to Kivar there’s nothing we can do to save him unless we can destroy Kivar first. That could be years away from happening, if ever.”

Max sank down onto a picnic bench and covered his face with his hands. Isabel sat down beside him and put an arm around his shoulder to comfort him. Michael opened his mouth to say more but quickly shut it again and ran his fingers through his hair.

“Say it.” Max commanded without lifting his face to look at Michael, although he guessed what Michael was about to say he felt that he needed to hear it out loud.

“If you’re still alive, Kivar might not want your heir to live as well.” Michael started reluctantly; he broke off clearly upset by what he was suggesting. “I’m sorry Max, I really wish there was something I could do.”

Max pushed himself to his feet and walked a few paces away from the table. He stood with his back to them and tried to compose himself. Michael sat down on the bench and waited for Max’s reaction. Finally Max turned around; it was obvious that he had been crying.

“You might be right.” He said, his voice heavy with grief. “But that doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop looking for a way to save him. Until I know…” He stopped and took a deep breath. “Until I know for certain that there’s nothing I can do, I’m going to keep looking. I’m not giving up on him.”

“Of course not Max. “ Isabel reassured him. “And we’ll do everything we can to help you.”

Max nodded his thanks then decided to change the subject to something less painful.

“If we’re really committed to this, then we have to be prepared to sacrifice other things in our lives.” He cast a guilty glance at Isabel. “Like going to college, or seeing the world. We have to stay together and concentrate as much as we can on this. Alex was killed because of us, I’ve put Liz through so much. We owe it to them. Billions of people could die because of us. I’m not going to let that happen.”

“Neither am I.” Michael told him emphatically. “I chose to stay here because I wanted a life and a home here. I’m ready to fight for that.”

“Me too.” Isabel declared.

“Good.” Max said. “I’ll contact Valenti about going through Tess’s belongings. Brody will be looking for staff for the summer, I’ll ask for more hours, I can do research there. We can start working on our powers straight away. We can do it now if you like.”

“Actually, I’ve a shift in the Crashdown in about forty-five minutes.” Michael told them. “How about tomorrow? Out by the quarry in the morning.”

“That’s fine.” Max agreed. “Come on, I’ll drive you back into town.” He hopped off the bench and made his way to his car. Michael and Isabel followed.

“Hey, maybe I should get a job at the UFO museum too.” Isabel suddenly said.

Max paused in the process of starting his new car, his eyes met with Michael who looked just as stunned as he felt.

“You did hit your head today, didn’t you?” he asked.


*
Last edited by tequathisy on Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by tequathisy » Wed Dec 01, 2004 6:11 am

Chapter 4

Something strange was going on.

Every fibre in his body, told Jeff Parker that there was something troubling his daughter. He watched her closely all afternoon as she waited tables in the Crashdown. She was listless, drained of energy. It was as though she was moving under water. She was simply going through the motions of her job, present in body but miles away in thought. Jeff had asked her a number of times if she was all right, had told her there was no need for her to work if she didn’t feel up to it. But she had insisted that she was fine. He knew she was lying.

Maria too seemed preoccupied. Jeff had known her since she was a little . When she was in a good mood, Maria could talk all day, when she was in a bad mood she would grumble and complain and everybody would hear all about it. Jeff had never seen her so quiet. It was also clear that she was mad at Michael, which wasn’t unusual, but instead of discussing it endlessly with Liz as they generally did, Maria contained herself to simply glaring at Michael whenever she approached the serving hatch. Occasionally Jeff would see one of the s’ place a hand on the other s’ arm. It was a gesture of sympathy and support. Not completely out of character for Liz and Maria, but it further compounded his suspicions.

Eventually Jeff had to leave the restaurant to do paperwork in his cramped office. But he found he couldn’t concentrate on the rows of figures in front of him, his mind kept wandering to Liz. He tried to remind himself that it was common for teenagers to be secretive, certainly he had kept at a lot of things from his parents. Liz had just lost a really close friend, as had Maria, of course they would be acting a little oddly. When he had questioned Maria about her silence earlier in the day, she had told him that their friend Tess had left town and “bummed them out”. It was plausible of course, except that he had never seen any evidence of Liz and Maria being close to Tess. On the contrary, he had always got the impression that they disliked the ,immensely.

Once upon a time, Liz had come to him with all her problems but she had stopped when she had reached her teens. In the last two years she hadn’t come to him for help or advice at all, and that hurt. One of the big advantages of having both Liz and her best friend work for him was that it allowed him to keep an eye on the two s. And though Liz never came to him with her problems, Jeff felt that he had a fairly good idea of what was going on in her life. That is, until now. It was becoming apparent to him that he had no idea what was going on with Liz.

Frustrated, Jeff threw down his pen and pushed himself away from the desk. He wasn’t making any progress and the tiny office was making him feel claustrophobic. Deciding that a cup of coffee might help, he made his way back to the restaurant. Just before he entered the employee break room something made him pause outside the door. He could hear Liz speaking. Very gently he eased the door open a , ignoring the feelings of guilt that washed over him. Peering through the he realised that Michael was standing with his back to the door.

“Look, I just wanted to say I’m sorry for this morning. I shouldn’t have yelled at you like that.” Michael was saying. His apology sounded forced and grudging. “I know that you were only doing what you thought was right.”

Jeff inhaled sharply, what you thought was right? What did that mean? What could Liz have done that would upset Michael?

“It’s ok Michael.” Liz responded wearily. “You don’t have to apologise, you have every right to be upset. I didn’t handle the situation right, if I had the chance again, I’d do it completely differently.”

“I shouldn’t have yelled though.” Michael told her, sounding a little more sincere this time. “It wasn’t really your fault.”

“Apology accepted. Thanks Michael” Jeff heard Liz say. He heard movement and realised that she was going back out into the restaurant. Just as she reached the door, Michael caught her by the arm.

“Thank you.” He said, sounding very uncomfortable. “You know, for doing that..For-”

“It’s ok.” Liz cut him off, speaking so quietly that Jeff could barely make her out. “You’re welcome.” She opened the door and left the room.

Jeff waited until Michael had gone back into the kitchen before he let out the breath he had been holding. His mind was racing now, wondering what on earth they had been talking about. Liz had done something that made Michael both angry and grateful, something that Liz wished she hadn’t done but had done for the right reasons.

Whatever it was, Jeff swore to himself, he was going to find out.

*

“Are you really sure you want to do this?”

“Yes, this is the best place to start, so I should be here.” Isabel answered. “So far Brody has proven to have the most accurate information, we have to know everything he’s found out and if we want to contact Larek, then the best place to be, is working alongside his host.”

“Working for, Isabel, FOR not ‘alongside’ Brody.” Max corrected her. “Are you ready for early mornings, annoying tourists asking stupid questions and having to wear a mustard colored vest?”

Isabel grimaced and Max’s description of the job she was looking to undertake. Then she composed herself and answered Max with a bright smile.

“It’s better that wearing an alien head apron and antennae all day. Let’s go.”

She swung open the door of the UFO museum and walked purposefully inside. After her eyes had grown accustomed to the atmospheric gloom she spotted Brody trying to straighten a poster in one of the exhibits. Smoothing out her clothes and patting her hair, Isabel made her way across the floor to him. Brody looked up as he saw Max and Isabel approach.

“Hi guys.” He greeted.

“Hi Brody.” Max responded. “You know my sister Isabel don’t you?” Brody gave Isabel a nod to confirm that he knew her.

“I’m looking for a summer job and Max told me that there were vacancies here, I was wondering if I could fill out an application form.” Isabel explained.

“There’s no need. Max is one of my best workers, if he recommends you then I’m sure you’re perfect for the job.” Brody said. “I have a couple of people starting tomorrow at 9, we’ll be having an induction day for them, why don’t you come along then. Welcome to the team.”

He stuck out his hand and Isabel shook it, as she did Max saw the bright smile fade from her face. Just then another worker approached them and informed Brody that he had a phone-call in the office. Brody pulled his hand from Isabels, now limp grasp and walked away.

“Isabel are you ok. What is it?” Max questioned his sister who was looking at Brody’s retreating figure with a strange look on his face.

“There’s something different about him.” Isabel answered in a low voice. “I could feel it when I shook his hand. I think he’s going to be abducted again.”

*


“Twenty-four hours.”

Maria spun around as Michael entered the break room, where she was getting ready to leave after her shift.

“What?” She asked confused.

“Twenty-four hours is how long I went before I made you mad at me again.” Michael clarified. “A new record for me I think.”

“Oh.” Maria laughed, then she added in a serious tone. “I’m not really mad at you, I'm just giving Liz my support. You shouldn’t have yelled at her like that Michael. She went through hell over that whole thing you know.”

“I know, and I’ve apologised to her.” Michael confessed. He moved closed to Maria, testing the waters, to his relief she didn’t pull away but stepped into his embrace and held him tightly. He was surprised to find that she was trembling.

“I’m so scared.” She whispered against his chest. Michael rubbed her back soothingly and ran his fingers gently through her hair.

“I know.” He told her, pressing a kiss on her temple and pulling her closer. “I wish I could tell you that everything’s going to be all right.” They held each other in silence for a moment.

“Just promise me, that no matter what happens, we’ll be together.” Maria said tremulously. “Don’t walk away from me again.”

“I promise.”

“Absolutely promise?”

“Absolutely promise!” He smiled at the memory. “Let’s blow this joint and go back to my place.” Michael suggested with a wiggle of his eyebrows.

Before Maria could answer, Liz knocked softly on the door and came in conscious that she was interrupting a private moment between the two.

“Sorry to interrupt.” She said. “Your Mom’s here to walk you home Maria.”

Michael pulled away from Maria as though he had been burned and grabbed his helmet.

“I’ll see you tomorrow so.” He kissed Maria chastely on the cheek and all but ran out the alley door.

“Coward.” Maria called after him with a laugh. She pulled her jacket out of her locker. “You ok, chica?” She asked Liz who was watching her with a strange look on her face.

“I’m fine. What’s going on with you and your Mom.” Liz asked curiously. “She never comes to walk you home and now this is the second night in a row.”
Maria glanced out through the window in the door to make sure Amy was busy talking to Mr Parker, then she turned back to Liz.

“I’ve been dying to tell you, but I just haven’t had the chance yet.” Maria confided. “The other night, before he was supposed to leave. Michael and I made love. Well, when we got back from the granolith the next morning my Mom was acting really strangely and I thought she was going to break out of the mind warp. So I had to tell her about Michael and I because it was the only way I could distract her.”

“Oh my God.” Liz gasped in astonishment. “How did she take it?”

“At the time she was fine about it.” Maria said. “But since then she’s been in super-overprotective mode.”

Just then Mr Parker stuck his head around the door. “Maria, your Mom wants to know if you’re ready to go?”

“Just a minute.” Maria replied. She gave Liz a look to say 'See.' She stood up and put on her jacket.“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner, it’s just with everything that’s been going on. I’ll fill you in tomorrow, ok. The two s exchanged a quick hug. Maria hurried out to her mother and Liz trailed slowly after her.

When the Deluca’s had gone, Liz turned to go upstairs. “Good night Dad.” She said as she passed him at the counter where he was totting up the days receipts.

“Just a moment Liz.” He said. “I need to talk to you.” He quickly punched the final numbers into the calculator and wrote down the total before looking up at Liz who was waiting impatiently for him to begin.

“Liz. I want to know what’s going on. Don’t tell me it’s nothing. I’m your father, whatever it is, you can tell me and I’ll help.” Jeff said firmly.

“Dad.” Liz sighed exasperatedly. “There’s nothing going on, everything’s fine.” Jeff gave her a dubious look and for a moment Liz seriously considered throwing herself into his arms and spilling everything to him, like she had done when she was a little . But she knew there was nothing her father could do and telling him would just cause a whole world of trouble. Realising that her father wasn’t going to take ‘nothing’ for an answer Liz cast around for an explanation.

“It’s just, I miss Alex and it’s starting to hit me now that he’s never coming back.” She explained, feeling very guilty for using her friends’ as an excuse to lie to her father.

“I know it’s hard sweetie. Your Mom and I are here for you if you need anything. If you want to take time off work, just let us know.” He told her. Liz shook her head, but before she could open her mouth to respond, Jeff continued. “We’ve been talking and we think it might be a good idea for you to see a counsellor.”

“I don’t need to see a councillor.” Liz yelled angrily. “I’m just grieving my best friends . I’ll be fine. I’m going to bed now, goodnight.”

She stormed out of the restaurant and upstairs to the family apartment, making sure to bang every door she went through. When she entered her bedroom and slammed the door, she leaned back against it with a sigh and slowly slid to her feet.

“Liz.”

There was a gentle tapping on the door and she could hear her mother on the other side.

“Liz, is everything alright, what’s going on?”

“I’m fine.” Liz called out. She just wanted the world to disappear for a while so she could be alone and take off her mask. She was tired of pretending that she was fine. Why couldn’t they just leave her alone for a while?

“Liz let me in.” her mother insisted. Her knocking was growing louder and more persistent. Liz clenched her fists together quietly and squeezed her eyes shut, trying not to scream again.

CRASH

“What was that, let me in Liz?”

Liz stood up, opened the door and looked around the room for what had broken. She noticed a small mirror lying in pieces on the floor and picked it up.

“What happened to that?” her mother asked, peering over her shoulder.

“It must have fallen off the wall.” Liz said as she gathered the pieces up and threw them in a wastepaper basket.

“Is everything alright Liz?” Nancy asked concerned, putting her hand on Liz’s forehead to check for a temperature, "you seem warm."

Liz jerked away from her mother and bit her lip so that she wouldn’t yell.

“I’m fine.” Liz said. “Just really tired, I want to go to bed.” She leaned over and pecked her mother quickly on the cheek, “Goodnight mom.”

Nancy took the hint and moved towards the door, on her way she stopped and picked up a package she had left on the chest of drawers when she had came into the room.

“This came for you today, Good night sweetie.” She handed Liz the package and exited the room, closing the door gently behind her.

Liz waited until her footsteps had faded away. She sat on the bed and examined the package, it was a padded envelope. Her name and address were typed and there was no return address, the postmark was smudged so she couldn’t read when it had been sent, but she could see it had been mailed in Roswell. Perplexed, Liz gingerly opened the envelope. It contained a videotape. There were no labels on the tape to indicate what it was and there was no note or letter in the envelope.

Liz had an uneasy feeling in the pit of her stomach. Who would send her a videotape anonymously? What was on it? She bit her lip. Part of her wanted to watch it immediately but her instincts told her it would be better to have somebody with her as she watched it. She considered her options for a moment, and then made her decision. Quickly she shoved her pillows under her blankets to make it look as though there was somebody in the bed. She switched of all the lights in the room and quietly made her way out onto the balcony and down the ladder.

*
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Post by tequathisy » Fri Dec 03, 2004 7:27 am

warning. The following chapter may contain scenes which readers of a sensitive nature will find disturbing.



Chapter 5.

“Somebody sent you an anonymous videotape in the mail and you want to watch it, did you learn nothing from watching The Ring?” Maria asked, her voice tinged with mild hysteria.

“Maria, we’re not going to die from watching a tape.” Liz rationalised patiently. “We have to watch it. There could be something really important on it.”

“Or something really nasty.” Maria countered. “Seriously Liz, who would send you a tape anonymously, and why?”

“I don’t know, maybe Alex sent it before he died.” Liz said “Or Max, to say goodbye.”

“I don’t know Liz, if Alex sent it, you would have got it before now. And Max would have said something about.” Maria pointed out. “There could be something on it that you really don’t want to see.”

“Or something we can’t afford not to see.”

Maria had no argument against that, so reluctantly she took the tape from Liz and pushed it into the VCR. Then she sat back down on her bed beside Liz.

“Ready?”

Liz nodded. Maria pressed play on the remote and then grasped Liz's hand tightly.

There was a second of white noise, then blackness on the screen. After a few more seconds, writing appeared.

HELLO LIZ.

BY THE TIME YOU GET THIS, I’LL BE LONG GONE. I HOPE YOU HAVE AS MUCH FUN WATCHING IT AS I DID MAKING IT.

XXX


The blackness disappeared and a room came into view. It was in black and white. A couple of men were hunched down in one corner; it looked like they were working on something.

“It’s from a security camera.” Liz whispered.

“Where’s it from?” Maria whispered back.

Liz cocked her head to the side and peered closer at the screen trying to make out the objects in the background.

“Is that a telescope?” She asked, and then realisation hit her, “It’s from the observatory.”

“Why would somebody send us a security tape from the observatory?” Maria asked. “Do you know anybody who works there?”

Liz shook her head. On screen the two men stood up and gathered their things. They seemed to chat for a moment before disappearing from view. The camera remained pointed at the empty room. Nothing else happened.

“Let’s fast forward it until we see something happening.” Maria suggested after a few minutes. She pressed the button on the remote and the tape whizzed forward.

“There, stop, go back.” Liz cried when two figures came into view.

Maria rewound the tape a little until just before the figures made their entrance.

The two girls leaned forward and watched closely.

“Oh my God.” Liz gasped, “It’s Max and Tess. What are they doing at the observatory?”

Max and Tess were holding hands. They stopped walking and turned to face each other, Max lowered his head and kissed Tess. The kiss was passionate; he pushed her jacket off her shoulders onto the floor and began to unbutton her shirt.

“I don’t think we should watch this Liz.” Maria said.

Suddenly the screen went black and more writing appeared.

HERE’S THE FUN PART. PAY CLOSE ATTENTION LIZ.

Then the observatory came back onto screen. Tess and Max were rolling on the floor, topless. They were kissing and caressing each other, fumbling at each others clothes.

Immediately Maria grabbed the remote to turn the tape off, but Liz caught her hand and took the remote from her.

“Liz, turn it off. You don’t need to see this. Please.” Maria begged, horrified that Liz would want to watch it. Liz ignored Maria. She was staring at the television. Maria rose from the bed in an attempt to switch the TV off, but again Liz grabbed her hand and pulled her back down. “Liz, don’t watch it.”

On screen, Max and Tess were undressed down to their underwear. Max kissed a trail down Tess’ neck, over her breasts and down her stomach.

“Liz, turn it off.” Maria demanded in a loud voice. Liz never took her eyes from the screen. In vain, Maria tried to pull away from Liz and reach the television to turn it off. Liz seemed to possess unnatural strength; her hold on Maria’s hand grew tighter, forcing Maria to cry out in pain.

“Stop it Liz, you’re hurting me, please turn it off.”

By now, Max and Tess were naked. They were gently caressing each other’s bodies, Max rolled on top of Tess.

“Noooo.” Liz moaned in great distress.

“Please Liz, don’t watch it.” Maria cried as she struggled to reach the off button. Throwing a quick look at the TV Maria realised that Max and Tess were now having sex. Using all her strength, Maria gave her arm a final jerk and came free from Liz's death-grip. She toppled from the bed and landed with a thump on the floor.

Maria quickly pushed herself onto her knees and lunged at the TV. When she pressed the off button, a green spark flew out and she withdrew her hand in shock. There was a cracking sound from the television and suddenly flames shot out of the set.

With a loud scream, Maria jumped to her feet. Liz was frozen to her spot on the bed, still staring with unblinking eyes at the burning TV. Maria grabbed Liz and hauled her off the bed, she could barely manage to make her move. Maria screamed again, louder and longer.

“What’s going on?” Amy rushed into the room, Sean following close behind her.

“Fire.” Sean disappeared from the doorway and returned moments later with a fire blanket, he threw it over the TV. Flames escaped around the side and began eating the dresser the TV was standing on.

“Help me.” Maria screamed as she tugged Liz, trying to get her to move. Liz was frozen to the spot, her eyes still locked on the television set. Amy ran to Maria and helped her to pull Liz out of the room.

Thick black smoke was now curling around the room. Flames were licking the walls and along Maria’s dresser. They jumped to her chair. It ignited within seconds. A teddy bear, sitting on the chair, burst into flames. It toppled to the floor and immediately flames began to spread from it all along the carpet. Sean beat uselessly at them with a throw from Maria’s bed.

“Sean, get out.” Amy called to her nephew. By now, the smoke had reached the living room and set off the alarm. It rang loudly, drowning out their shouts. “Maria, come on”

Maria grabbed Liz again and pulled her with strength she didn’t know she possessed. She flung open the door and raced out into the clear night air. Coughing and spluttering, Amy and Sean followed.

“Fire, call 911.” Amy shouted at a neighbor who had come out into his front porch to see what all the commotion was about.

Suddenly there was a small explosion in the house. Large flames were now clearly visible through the windows and a thick black smoke belched from the open door.

“Get back.” Sean shouted. Maria pulled Liz across the street and came to rest against a fence. Liz had wrapped her arms around her body and was moaning quietly to herself, rocking gently back and forth. She didn’t seem aware of the fire or the panic all around her.

“Liz.” Maria shouted. “Come on, snap out of it.” She shook Liz, but to no avail.

Within minutes a large crowd had gathered in the street, watching in horror as flames devoured the small house. A fire truck, sirens blaring, pulled up in front of the house and the firemen quickly began pulling their equipment from the truck. One of the firemen tried to herd the crowd back. Another explosion sounded from the house, louder than the last one. There were panicked screams from the crowd. It was the heat, however that drove the crowd back.

Amy moaned and crumpled to the ground, sobbing. Sean stood white faced in shock and stared at the house, tears trickled silently down his face. A fireman ran up to them. Maria recognised him; he ate at the Crashdown regularly. He always ordered a Will Smith burger and always slobbered mustard down the front of his clothes. She giggled hysterically.

“Is anyone else inside?” The fireman shouted over the din.

“No.”

The fireman hurried away. Another truck came careening down the street, followed soon after by an ambulance. Two deputies from the Sheriff’s department appeared from somewhere and they managed to force the crowd to move away from the burning house, though it didn’t disperse.

Water was being pumped frantically at the fire, but everybody knew that it was too late to save the house. Maria stared at it in disbelief. In a matter of minutes her home had been destroyed, her eyes welled up with tears.

“Liz, Liz.” A panicked voice called.

Maria spun around and saw Mr Parker pushing his way through the crowd. He spotted her and waved frantically.

“Maria, where’s Liz? I went into her room to check on her and she wasn’t there. Where is she?”

“It’s ok.” Maria reassured him. “She’s ok. I think she’s in shock.” She pointed to where Liz was sitting on the step to someone’s house. She was the only person in the street paying no attention to the fire, her gaze was unfocused and she was staring up into the night sky.

“Oh, thank God.” Jeff cried in relief. He hurried to her and pulled her into his arms. Crushing her against his body.

“Daddy?” Liz asked in a small voice.

“I’m here Liz.” He told her. Liz flung her arms around him and broke down in tears. Her tiny body was heaving with huge sobs. “It’s ok sweetheart, it’s ok.” Jeff said trying to soothe her.

Maria watched the scene, glad that Liz had her father to comfort her. Despite the burning house, Maria was most concerned about Liz. She had never seen her friend so helpless and broken Liz was the strongest person she knew. To see Liz, crying like a small child in her fathers arms, terrified Maria.

“Miss, I need to check you out.” An EMT told Maria. He gently led her to the ambulance. As he checked her out, Maria looked around for her mother. She spotted Amy in the arms of Jim Valenti. She too was crying heartbroken sobs against his chest. Jim was doing his best to comfort her. He saw Maria watching them and gently led Amy over to her.

Amy immediately threw her arms around Maria.

“Baby.” She wailed. Sean came up to them and Amy held her arms out to him too. The three Deluca's held each other tightly and wept.

“Are you ok?” Amy asked her daughter and her nephew after a little while. She drew back to examine them.

“I’m fine.” They both reassured her at the same time.

“Actually, I think you have a bad sprain in your arm Miss.” The EMT told Maria. “Can you let me take another look at it?”

“Sure.” Maria climbed back into the ambulance and let the EMT examine her arm. It was visibly swollen and bruised. In the chaos of the evening Maria hadn’t realised that she was in pain. Now that she had been made aware of it however, her arm was throbbing agonisingly. As the EMT bandaged her Maria’s arm, Mr Parker led Liz up to the ambulance.

“Is everyone alright?” he asked in concern. Amy quickly reassured him that they were fine, though in shock. Liz was still sobbing in distress against his chest, though she had calmed down considerably from when he had first arrived.

“If there’s anything I can do, just let me know.” Jeff told Amy. “You’ll need somewhere to stay tonight, we’ve got room at our place.”

“Thanks Jeff.” Amy replied, she hadn’t even begun to think of arrangements for accommodation. “Is Liz ok?”

“She’s very upset. But she’s not hurt.” Another EMT came up to Liz and tried to get her to sit so he could examine her. Liz cringed away from him. Jeff gently made her sit down, and kept a firm grip on her hand as the EMT quickly looked her over.

“She doesn’t seem to be injured.” He told Jeff. “I’m going to give you a sedative for her, to calm her down and help her sleep.”

Mr Parker nodded gratefully.

“Maria.” Michael was pushing his way through the crowd.

“Michael, what are you doing here?” Maria asked as she flung herself into his arms. Michael held her tightly and kissed her forehead.

“Valenti called me and told me your house was on fire.” He looked around at the chaos. “What happened?”

At that moment the fire chief came up to them.

“Ms Deluca.” He asked. Amy shook his hand. “We’ve done the best we can, the fire is under control and we’ll have it out very soon. Unfortunately there’s nothing we can do to save the house. It spread far too quickly. I’m very sorry.”

Amy nodded mutely.

“Can you tell me what happened?” The chief asked gravely. “How did it start?”

“My friend and I were watching a video in my room.” Maria explained. “When I went to turn the TV off, there was a spark and I got an electric shock. Then it just went on fire. It happened so quickly.”

Suddenly the events of the evening were too much for Maria to handle and she burst into tears. It was all too much, the horrible tape, worry for Liz, the terrifying ordeal of watching her home burn to the ground. Michael quickly gathered her in his arms and tried to comfort her.

The chief turned to Amy and began to ask her more questions about the TV and the wiring of the house.

As Amy answered his questions, Maria pulled Michael away from the group. They went around to the side of the ambulance and Maria looked around to ensure that nobody was within listening range.

“Tess tried to kill Liz.”

“What?” Michael exclaimed. “How? When?”

“She sent Liz a video of her and Max getting jiggy. When it was over, the tv blew up.”

“Oh my God.” Michael turned around to look at Liz. “No wonder she looks so shell-shocked. If I ever get my hands on Tess, I’ll ing kill her.” He wrapped his arms around Maria who was sobbing quietly.

Amy came to check on them a few minutes later. She gave Michael a small grateful smile when she saw that he was looking after Maria.

“Baby, I want you and Sean to go home with Mr Parker. Jim will drop me over there later. Michael, will you go with her?”

*

“Jeff, is that you? Did you find her?” Nancy asked when she heard the front door open. She rushed out into the hallway and stopped in alarm when she saw the group of teenagers standing there. They were covered in soot, with pink tear tracks in the dirty faces.

“Oh My God.” Nancy exclaimed in alarm. “What happened?” She ran to Liz and pulled her into a tight hug.

Jeff told her about the fire. After ensuring that they were physically unharmed Nancy ushered them into the living room and then went to prepare the guest room.

“I’ll make some tea.” Jeff announced. “Hot and sugary, it’s supposed to be good for the shock.” He stood up to leave the room.

“I’m really tired.” Liz said suddenly. It was almost the first word she’d said all night. “That sedative they gave me is kicking in. I’m going to go wash up and go to bed.” She turned to Maria. “I’m so sorry.”

Maria nodded, too shocked and exhausted to say anything. She was sitting on Michaels lap, resting her head on his shoulder. Tears were still trickling down her cheeks. Sean was sitting in an armchair, hold his head in his hands. He barely looked up as Liz passed him.

Liz hurried quickly to her room and shut the door firmly behind her. She made her way into her bathroom, and shut and locked the bathroom door. She rested her head against the door for a minute and shut her eyes. All she could picture was Max making love to Tess.

Her eyes flew open. She saw her reflection staring back at her from the bathroom mirror. Liz took a tentative step towards the mirror and examined her features. She ran some hot water and washed her face.

The face staring back at her was pale and puffy eyed. She didn’t look different.

But she felt different. Something had happened in Maria’s room as she was watching the video.

“Max brought you back from the dead. You've been changed” Ava had said. “If Max brought you back, then...you're different now.”

She was different. While she was watching that video, something inside Liz had stirred, woken up. She had wanted to destroy the image she had been watching, so she did.

“It was me.” She whispered to her reflection in horror. “I blew up the television. I burned down the house.”


*
Last edited by tequathisy on Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by tequathisy » Mon Dec 13, 2004 9:13 am

LTL wrote:P.S. Am I just dense on the Tandem Felix meaning? I went and Googled it to find out about an Irish band and then the translation of the Latin into "Happy at Last." That made me feel better. It also sounds like the title of Jason's film, "Happily, Even After."
No, you're not dense. I should have explained. Tandem Felix is latin for happy at last. Which is how I intend this fic will end. I never thought about the title for Jason's film but that fits too.
I think Tess just made Liz part of the four square.
Tess is still alive, so there's no vacancy on the four square. Yet.

Chapter 6

“I wonder where he got all the candles from.”

“What?” Max asked, confused by Isabels’ question.

Isabel waved her hand in an irritated manner at the candles scattered all around Michael’s apartment. Max gave them a cursory glance and shrugged.

“There’s more in his bedroom.” Isabel said with a smirk. Max ignored her, he picked up a pencil and began tapping it rhythmically against the counter top. Isabel tutted loudly and shot him an annoyed look which he either didn’t see or simply ignored. In frustration she threw down the magazine she had been leafing through and marched over to Max.

“What is up with you this morning?” She snapped as she grabbed the pencil from his hands.

“Do you really want me to give you a list of all the things that are up with me?” Max asked irritably. He pulled away from Isabel and began to pace the floor. “Are you sure he said to meet him here?”

“Yes.” Isabel sighed for the eleventh time since they had arrived at Michael’s apartment in the early morning to find it empty. She looked at her watch again and saw that they had been waiting for over half an hour. “Look, clearly he’s not here. Maybe he has the early shift at the Crashdown, lets head over there.”

Max hesitated.

“Unbelievable.” Isabel groaned. “I never thought I’d see the day when you didn’t want to go to the Crashdown.” Then she added in a more gentle tone. “You’re going to have to face her sometime Max.”

“I know.” He huffed. “But she couldn’t even look at me yesterday Iz. If she doesn’t want to see me then I should give her space.”

“It works both ways Max. She’s going to have to face you sometime too.” Isabel said. “Avoiding her isn’t going to help anyone or anything. She has every right to be angry and hurt and I’m afraid you’re just going to have to take it. That’s if you want her back.”

“Of course I want her back.” Max growled. “I just, I don’t want to push her. I want her to come to me when she’s ready.”

Isabel opened her mouth to say something but before she could say it, the door opened and Michael came in.

“Where have you been?” Isabel demanded angrily. “We have a hell of a lot to do today. You’re the one who suggested that we meet this morning. You…..”

Her words trailed off as she caught sight of Michael’s face and realised that something serious had happened. Max had risen to his feet and was bracing himself for Michael’s news.

“Liz got a videotape in the mail yesterday.” Michael began without preamble. “She took it over to Maria’s to watch it last night.” He paused and looked at Max meaningfully, “It was a security video from the observatory.”

Max didn’t need to ask what was on the tape. He felt like his blood had turned to ice water and froze in his veins. With a moan, Max sank back down onto the stool. He could hear Isabel asking what was on the tape but she sounded as though she was standing miles away from him. There was a deep thudding in his ears that drowned out Michael’s response. His vision dimmed and he swayed.

“Max, Maxwell.” Michael caught him. “Get a grip. There’s more.”

Isabel handed Max a glass of water, which she had cooled down. Max drank it down thirstily. When he had composed himself enough to listen, Max nodded at Michael to continue with his bad news.

“Ok.” Michael paused to take a deep breath. “It was booby trapped. When the tape was finished, it blew up and started a fire. It burnt the house down in minutes.”

“What?” Isabel gasped in horror. “Was anyone hurt?”

“No, everyone’s ok.” Michael assured her. “Physically, anyway.” He amended. “They’re all pretty shaken up. Maria hurt her arm.”

“Oh my God.” Isabel whispered, her face was pale with shock. “Who sent the tape? Tess? Why?”

“To kill Liz, I guess.” Michael said in a low voice. He ran his fingers through his hair and looked at Max.

“How’s Liz?” Max asked in a hoarse voice.

“Not good. According to Maria, Liz insisted on watching the tape, when the fire started Maria had to drag her out of the house. She was in a real state when I got there, worse than any of the Deluca’s.”

Max listened carefully to Michael’s words and then began to pace up and down the small apartment.

“Was it bad?” he asked after a moment.

“Their house was completely destroyed, all they have left is what they were wearing at the time.”

“I meant the tape, was it bad?” Max spat out. “How much was on it?”

“I didn’t ask for details Max.” Michael answered in an annoyed tone. “Maria was too upset over the loss of her home and everything she owned. But you were there, you should know how bad it was.”

In frustration and anger, Max picked up the closet object to hand – his empty glass – and flung it with all his strength, smashing it off the wall.

“Hey.” Michael yelled angrily. Isabel put her hand on his arm and silently pleaded with Michael to show a little understanding. He shrugged it off but didn’t say anything further to Max.

“Oh, God.” Max moaned. He grabbed his jacket and moved swiftly to the door, but found he was unable to pull it open. He swirled around and found Isabel standing with her arm outstretched.

“Let me out.” He demanded. “I have to go see her.”

“Max, that is not a good idea.” Isabel said defiantly. Max began pulling on the door with all his strength but Isabel’s power was too strong.

“Max, you said before that you needed to give her space.” Isabel reminded him gently. “Now you really do. Trust me, the last person she wants to see right now is you.”

“Besides, she’s conked out.” Michael added gruffly. “She was so hysterical last night they had to give her something to help her sleep.”

Max ceased pulling on the door and slid down to the ground. Isabel looked helplessly at Michael who shrugged.

“I need to get back there before Maria wakes up.” Michael said. “I just wanted to let you know what had happened.”

He patted Isabel sympathetically on the shoulder and left through the patio door. Isabel turned back to Max, he looked up at her for a second and then, as quick as a flash he jumped up and tore through the door.

“Max.” Isabel cried as she ran after him. To her immense relief, Max only ran as far as Michael.

“You have to tell her I’m sorry and that I love her.” Max pleaded with Michael. “Tell her it didn’t mean anything and that I’m so sorry.”

“I don’t think she’s going to want to here that from me.” Michael told him, them he relented with a sigh. “I’ll tell Maria and ask her to pass the message on.”

“Thank you.” Max said as he stood back and allowed Michael to drive away on his motorbike. Isabel came up behind him and tentatively put her hand on his shoulder. He let it remain there for a minute.

“I’m going to go for a drive.” Max said, sensing her objection he continued, “I just need to be on my own for a little bit.” He pulled away for her and got into his car, before he pulled away Isabel caught the sheen of unshed tears in his eyes.

*


When Michael arrived back at the Parkers, there was a large crowd gathered in their small apartment kitchen. As well as the Liz’s parents, Amy Deluca and Jim Valenti, there was Sheriff Hanson and another deputy and someone from the fire station. They were questioning Amy Deluca who seemed to be in a daze.

Maria was sitting at the kitchen table, a large breakfast sat untouched in front of her. She looked up when he entered the kitchen and gave him a small smile. Pushing away her plate, Maria rose from the table and slipped unnoticed from the kitchen.

“Where did you go?” She asked Michael as she pulled him to sit on the couch. She curled up beside him and immediately he put his arm around her.

“I had to meet Max and Isabel this morning, we were supposed to be working on our powers. I told them about the tape and the fire.”

Maria growled at the mention of Max.

“So where is he now?”

I left him at my place.” Michael sighed. “He wanted to come and see Liz but I didn’t think that was a good idea. I’m supposed to tell Liz he’s sorry.”

“He’s sorry!” Maria snorted. “He can stick his sorry up his ass!!”

“Look, we already knew that he has slept with Tess, he had nothing to do with the tape.” Michael tried to defend Max. “That was all her doing.”

“You didn’t see the tape Michael.” Maria hissed, trying to keep her voice low so that it wouldn’t attract attention from the people in the kitchen. “It wasn’t hot alien sex like you said. It was tender and gentle. They made love. And that’s much worse.”

“But Liz and Max weren’t even together at the time.”

“Ugh, you’re such a guy!” Maria pushed herself off the couch, deliberately elbowing Michael painfully in the ribs as she stood. The sharp movement jarred her arm and she moaned in pain. Michael quickly jumped to his feet and gently took hold of her arm.

“Are you ok?” he asked in concern. To his surprise he realised that Maria was crying. “Maria, what is it? Does it really hurt? Maybe you should go see a doctor.”

“It’s not my arm.” Maria threw her arms around his neck, ignoring the pain in her wrist and held onto Michael tightly. Baffled he held, waiting for an explanation.

“When I caught you with Courtney that time, it hurt so much Michael.” Maria said, her voice muffled against his neck. “But I knew that you weren’t in love her, that it was just physical. When Max saw Liz with Kyle, it was the same, he knew that Liz loved him. It hurts Michael, so bad, but ..” She broke off as she remembered what it was like to catch Michael in Courtney’s apartment. “You can forgive that. If you want to. Max told Liz that he loved her, so Liz assumed that what happened between Max and Tess was just physical. But last night when she watched that tape she saw that it was more than that. They made love. And their son was conceived during an act of love.”

“Oh.” Michael said lamely. Maria sniffled against his shoulder. He pulled her closer to him and kissed her gently on the top of her head. As he did, he got a flash from Maria, he felt the pain she was recalling. A feeling of guilt washed over him.

Michael stepped back from Maria and cupped her face in his large hands. “I’m sorry, for that whole thing with Courtney. I was such a jerk, I just became obsessed with finding to the truth and this mission we’re supposed to be on and I never thought how it would make you feel.”

Maria shrugged. “I’m over that now, it feels like it was years ago, so much has happened since.”

“That doesn’t make it ok though.” Michael protested in disbelief. “I acted like a complete asshole, and you still forgave me. I didn’t deserve to be forgiven.”

“Probably not.” Maria said with a half smirk. “But sometimes when you love someone, you can forgive a multitude of sins. It’s not always the wisest thing to do. Most of the time, it’ll come back to bite you on the ass. And on rare occasions, it works out. Like this time.”

“I love you.” Michael whispered into her hair. “I promise I’ll never hurt you like that again.”

*

Liz woke with a start. For a moment she was confused to find herself in her bed, it took a few minutes before the events of the previous night came flooding back to her. She flopped back down in bed and moaned as flashes of Max and Tess assailed her brain. Hot tears began to trickle down her face on to the pillow. Liz could feel her anger hurt boiling in her blood. Liz could hear people talking and moving around the apartment, so she had to stop her anguished scream in her throat. She needed an outlet. Liz closed her eyes and balled her fists, trying to calm herself down. Suddenly she heard the sound of glass shattering, she quickly sat up and realised that the glass of water on her bedside locker had smashed and water was pouring over the edge of the locker, slowly dripping onto the carpet. She gasped in horror.

With a trembling hand, Liz reached out and picked up the largest fragment of glass and examined it. There was no way the glass had just spontaneously shattered she thought. The realisation that she had powers struck her anew. Without thinking, Liz drove the sharp edge of the glass into her finger. She was too numb to feel the pain. She watched as her blood, bright red, seeped up through the small cut and began to drip from her finger to the sheet on her bed. It was mesmerizing.

“Oh my God.”

Liz jumped, Maria was standing in her bathroom door wrapped in a towel, wet hair around her shoulders.

“What happened?” Maria asked in alarm. “Are you ok?”

Liz nodded dumbly as she watched Maria grab a tissue and bind her finger.

“Did you get glass in it?” Maria asked, she looked up and saw that Liz was still focused on her finger, “Liz.” She called.

“Sorry.” Liz whispered. Her tongue felt heavy and her throat was dry. “I’m so sorry Maria.”

“Liz, what have you to be sorry for?” Maria asked worried by her friend’s strange behaviour.

“The fire was my fault.” Liz mumbled as she pulled away from Maria guiltily and clambered out of bed. She turned around and faced her best friend, trying to find the words to explain that her powers had caused the fire that had destroyed Maria’s home.

Her mouth opened and closed like a goldfish but no words came out.

“Sweetie, it’s ok.” Maria said distressed by how upset Liz appeared. “You’ve nothing to be sorry for, the fire wasn’t your fault. That bitch sent tried to kill you, you can’t blame yourself.”

Maria rushed to Liz and pulled her into her arms. Liz stiffened, too ashamed to accept Maria’s sympathy. Maria sensed Liz’s guilt and pulled back, forcing Liz to look at her.

“Liz” Maria stated firmly. “I’m not going to allow you to blame yourself for this. Tess Harding is evil. What kind of sick bitch sends that kind of tape to somebody and then booby-traps it? None of this is your fault, ok.”

Unable to look Maria in the eye any longer, Liz swooped down and began picking up the pieces of broken glass.

“Mind your feet.” She told Maria who was barefooted.” Liz scooped the glass into her hand and quickly dropped it into her trashed. It tinkled as it hit the remains of mirror that had fallen of the wall the previous evening. Suddenly Liz felt cold, she sank to the floor, starring at the collection of broken glass.

“Are you ok?” Maria asked in concern.

“I’m fine.” Liz lied. “I think that sedative they gave me last night is still in my system, I feel a little bit woozy.” She quickly rose to her feet trying to ignore the panic and horror swirling in the pit of her stomach.

“Can I borrow some clothes?” Maria asked shivering in her towel. “I don’t even have a clean pair of panties to my name.”

“Help yourself.” Liz said, gesturing to her lingerie drawer, she began searching through her closet and pulled out some t-shirts and jeans. “These should fit.”

“Hey, this is mine.” Maria picked up one of the t-shirts Liz had offered and hugged it to her body.

“There’s probably a ton of stuff here that belongs to you.” Liz said turning back to conduct another search. After a few minutes she had located several tops, another pair of jeans and two skirts that all belonged to Maria.

She watched as Maria sifted through them happily. Fresh waves of guilt hit her as she realised how little Maria now had.

“Hey Maria.” Liz said. Then words failed her, she couldn’t tell Maria. “Take whatever you want, what’s mine is yours.”

Maria nodded happily and began to get dressed. Under the pretext of giving her some privacy Liz scurried into the bathroom and closed the door behind her. Standing at the sink, she unwrapped the tissue around her finger. The blood had dried up. She ran it under some water to clean it up and then picked up the tissue to flush it down the toilet. Something stopped her.

A couple of days ago, she and Max had examined Jennifer Coleman’s bloody tissue to determine if she was human or alien. Now Liz was wondering the same about her own blood. Full of self-disgust turned to the mirror on the wall.

“What am I?” She asked her reflection. “Human? Alien?” Silently she added to herself “Or monster?”

*

After having a quick shower and pulling on some clothes, Liz left the sanctuary of her room and faced the crowing crowd of visitors in the apartment. Her mother spotted her and pulled her into the kitchen where she fussed over her until Liz assured her that she was fine.

“Don’t worry about work today honey.” Nancy told her as she prepared Liz a huge breakfast. “Your Dad said that he doesn’t want to see you in uniform. Eat up.”

Liz glanced at the pile of food her mother had placed in front of her, there was no way she would manage to eat all that she thought. Her stomach felt to upset and nauseated.

“Maria is gone to the doctors to have her arm looked at.” Nancy continued. “She said to tell you that she’ll see you later. Your Dad is down in the restaurant. I want you to take it easy today. You don’t look to well.”

“Thanks Mom.” Liz managed to smile wanly.

The doorbell rang and Nancy rushed out of the room. Liz took advantage of her Mother’s absence to dispose of some of the food. When Nancy returned a few minutes later she was pleased to see that Liz had eaten something.

“It’s like a zoo in here this morning.” Nancy said as the phone began to ring.

Spotting a chance to escape, Liz stood up.

“Do you mind if I go out for a while? I need to clear my head.” Liz asked. Nancy had answered the phone, she waved her hand to tell Liz it was of to go. Liz gave her a quick peck on the cheek, grabbed the car keys and fled from the apartment.

After driving around aimlessly for a while, Liz found herself at the lake where the pod squad had so many meetings. There was only one other car parked in the lot; an old blue convertible. She got out of the car and began walking.

There was a cool refreshing breeze blowing across the lake for a while Liz forgot her troubles and breathed in the clear air. After walking for about an hour she suddenly spotted another figure ahead of her, sitting on the lakeshore, gazing out at the water. Not wanting to disturb them, or to talk to anyone, Liz turned to find another path.

“Liz.”

Startled, Liz swung around to find the other person had risen to his feet and was walking towards her. He stopped a couple of feet away from her.

“Hi Max.”

*
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Post by tequathisy » Wed Dec 22, 2004 8:54 am

Chapter 7


For a moment Max and Liz simply stared at each other in silence. Neither moved, they barely allowed themselves to breathe. The call of a bird flying overhead broke the trance and Liz turned swiftly on her heal, and ran.

Max caught her in an instant, grasping her arm firmly and halting her flight. Liz swung around furiously and pushed him away from her.

“Don’t touch me.” She snarled through clenched teeth. “Don’t you ever touch me again. I never want your hands on me. Leave me alone.”

She pushed him with all her strength but Max held on firmly. In fury, Liz began to punch him with her free hand. He reached out and grabbed her other wrist. Liz struggled in his grasp, kicking him and trying to pull herself free.

“Let me go.”

“No.” Max roared angrily. “You are not running away from me again, not until we talk about this.”

Liz was so shocked by his tone that she stopped struggling and became still. Max’s grasp loosened and she shook it off. Taking a few steps away from him she crossed her arms and glared at him.

“So talk.”

Max sighed. He had been playing this scene over and over in his head all morning, trying to figure out what to say.

“I know you’re feeling angry and hurt Liz, and you have every right to be. But we’re going to talk about this.” Max said in as calm a voice as he could manage.

“You don’t know what I’m feeling.” Liz huffed.

Max laughed bitterly.

“I know exactly what you’re feeling Liz. You’re feeling exactly like I felt when I caught you in bed with Kyle. And you did that deliberately to me so don’t stand there pulling the high and mighty act with me.”

Liz felt her mouth drop open in surprise at the manner in which Max had spoken to her. She had been expecting him to be full of guilt and remorse. Instead he was bristling with anger, and it was directed at her.

“I’ve been sitting her all morning thinking about how awful it must have been for you to watch that tape.” Max told her in a clipped tone. “And I’m sorry Liz, I really am. I’ll regret what I did until the day I die. But I’m not the only one to blame for this situation.”

“So, it’s my fault you slept with that whore?” Liz screeched in outrage. “How could you Max? How could you do that to me? I loved you - ”

“You jumped off bridges for me, you saved yourself for me.” Max mocked sarcastically. “I risked my life for you. I risked my sister’s life and Michael’s life for you. I risked everything for you because I loved you. I would have done anything for you but when I needed you most, you betrayed me.”

“What?” Liz gasped. “I have never betrayed you. I only ever did what you asked me to do.”

“I asked you not to tell anyone that I’m an alien and you went and told two people. I asked you to stay with me and you ran off to Florida and didn’t even talk to me for months. I asked you to give me a chance and you pretended to sleep with Kyle. I asked, I begged you to tell me the truth and you didn’t.”

By the time he had finished speaking Max was shouting. He had advanced towards Liz until he was only a foot away from her. She flinched as he yelled at her. Max noticed and took a step back, visibly trying to bring himself under control.

“I’ve made a mistake.” Max continued in a calmer tone, though it was still full of emotion. “I’m not asking for you to just forget all about it and pretend it never happened but don’t make me out to be the only one here who has done something wrong.”

He took a few more steps backward and let out a deep breath. He turned to face the water and tried to focus on it for a moment. Then he turned back to Liz. She was standing as still as a statue, a look of disbelief on her face. Max rubbed his hand across his face. He had never imagined that things would play out like this. All he had wanted was for her to stay and listen to his apology. He didn’t know where his angry words came from, they had just flowed from his mouth.

“Can we talk now?” he asked, almost pleaded, in a quiet voice.

Liz nodded mutely. He indicated to a cluster of boulders on the waters edge. She hesitated for only a brief second, and then made her way to the rocks. She waited for Max to choose his seat. He sat on the one he had occupied all morning, Liz picked the rock furthest away from him. It was only a couple of feet but for Max it could have been a hundred miles. Between them lay three jagged boulders. The perfect metaphor for their relationship he thought.

“Do you love her?” Liz asked in a small voice. She was refusing to look at him and was instead watching a few small birds skimming along the water.

“No!” Max declared emphatically. He was silent for a moment. “I thought I did. I trusted her. After I saw you and Kyle together, she was the only one that was there for me. Michael was angry with me, Isabel was distant, you were avoiding me, Maria stuck with you. Tess was there for me. Every time I needed her she was there, just as a friend, she wasn’t trying to push herself on me like she was before. I thought we could be friends.”

“So, you slept with her because she was there?” Liz asked, although her voice was full of animosity, Max could detect a trace of curiosity.

“Partly.” Max admitted. “Part of me wanted to get back at you for sleeping with Kyle, for moving on to Sean. Part of me thought I loved her.” Liz visibly tensed at these words and Max hurriedly clarified his statement. “We were working on these memory retrieval techniques and I could remember her as my wife. I…” he hesitated. “I could remember loving her in that life and that memory became real to me.”

He paused in his explanations to give Liz time to consider his words.

“But it wasn’t real. I don’t love her, I never did. I love you Liz, only you. I always have and I always will.” He said simply.

“It looked damn real on that tape Max.” Liz said caustically.

Max hung his head.

“I don’t know what got into me. I didn’t mean to sleep with her, I… it just happened. I kissed her, that’s as far as I wanted to go but, somehow it just happened.”

“Do you think maybe you were mindwarped into it?” Liz asked, trying to keep the hopeful tone from her voice.

“No.” Max answered regretfully. “I don’t want to mislead you Liz. I do think she manipulated me into remembering Ava and made me confuse my feelings with my memories but I wasn’t mindwarped. I knew what I was doing, I didn’t want to do it but I didn’t stop it.”

They were silent for a minute. Max picked up a stone and skimmed it across the water, it bounced several times before sinking. Liz watched the ripples spread out across the lake until they disappeared.

“It was like something inside of me woke up and took over.” Max said, when Liz turned to look at him he had a faraway look in his eye. “Something instinctive, primal.”

“Your alien side?” She asked scornfully, “That’s no excuse.”

For a moment Max said nothing then he turned slowly back to Liz. There was a frown marring his handsome face, as though an unsettling thought had just occurred to him.

“What is it?” Liz asked.

“Nothing.” Max shook his head as though to cast out whatever thought had struck him. “It’s just…I want to explain. I don’t want this to sound like an excuse.”

“Tell me.” She demanded.

“When Tess first showed up, something happened to the three of us. We all felt it.” Max explained. “Michael and Isabel had those dreams. I was drawn to Tess. I kissed her.”

Liz nodded ruefully at the memory.

“Isabel and Michael really thought that she could have been pregnant.” Max continued. “It sounds ridiculous but those dreams were so real. Not in the sense that they thought they had slept together but it just felt like a whole new part of us had woken up. This alien side that we had never felt before.”

He looked at Liz to see if she was following his theory. She gave him a small nod of encouragement.

“At the time, I accused Tess of doing something to us. She said that it was the stars aligning that had caused the alien part of us to wake up.” Max expounded. “Well that was a year ago and the night we, you know, the stars were aligned the same way again. I think she knew that, that’s why she made her move when she did.”

“You mean, she caused you to recall your memories of her as your wife at the time when your alien side was at its strongest so that she had a better chance of seducing you?” Liz asked, a little skeptically.

“But it was more than that.” Max said sadly. “I was so angry at you, for the Kyle thing, for saying I was responsible for Alex’s , for the way you were acting. I wanted to hurt you. I wanted to hurt you the way you had hurt me.”

He stood up and walked to the waters edge. Then turned back to face Liz.

“I’m sorry Liz. I’m so sorry.” He said vehemently. “The whole time I was thinking about you. When I woke up the next morning all I could think about was that I had betrayed you. When she told me that she was pregnant, I thought about how much it would hurt you, when I realised that my son was dying and we had to leave all I could think about was that I had to leave you.”

He rushed back up to where she was sitting and fell to his knees in front of her. Before Liz knew what he was doing he had grasped her hand and was holding it in his own.

“I’m so sorry Liz. Please forgive me, even though I don’t deserve it.”

Liz tugged her hand from his grasp.

“You’re right, I turned you away, I abandoned you when you needed me. I deliberately hurt you. I pushed you onto Tess. You would never have given into your alien side if I hadn’t done all that. I made it happen.” Liz said wretchedly. “But I still feel really betrayed. I have no right to feel that way but I do Max, I can’t help it. I want to forgive you and forget what I saw on that tape but it hurts too much.”

“No, you’re right to feel betrayed. What we had between us, how I felt - still feel about you – was special. I betrayed that. I betrayed my feelings for you.” Max assured her hurriedly. “But that’s how I felt too, hurt and betrayed by you. I wanted to make you suffer, maybe like you feel now?”

Liz nodded gently. She reached out her hand and took one of his in it then pulled him up of his knees onto the rock beside her. Max sat so close to her that she could feel the body heat emanating from him even though they weren’t touching. She remained holding his hand. Their fingers were intertwined.

“I’m not asking you to forget. I don’t expect you to.” Max whispered. “I know that I really hurt you, but is there any chance you could ever forgive me?”

“Whenever I did something wrong, like telling Maria or losing my diary, you always completely absolved me.” Liz said fondly. “Even after you caught me with Kyle you believed the best in me. I hurt you then. I did it deliberately, because I had to. And yet you still forgave me. All that time I was thinking about how hard it was for me, what a big sacrifice I made for you. I was being selfish, I knew that you were hurt but I never really considered it. I was to busy feeling sorry for myself. Now I know how you felt. And I’m so sorry for doing that to you Max.”

“You weren’t being selfish. You were being incredibly brave and noble.” Max assured her.

“No.” Liz insisted. “Future you was desperate, Michael had just died in his arms, Isabel had been killed, he had gone through really horrible things in his life. I should have been the voice of logic, I should have convinced him to let me tell you about the future. Instead I came up with this stupid plan. He knew how much that would hurt you, how awful he would feel, but he let me go ahead with it anyway. He was the brave and noble one, he was willing to feel this way to save the world. That’s so typical you, always taking on the responsibility and burden. You risked everything to save me when I was shot and then you sacrificed everything to save the world when you had to. I should never have allowed you to do that.”

“What did he sacrifice Liz? Did he tell you anything about what our life was like before the war started?” Max asked quietly.

“We were married.” Liz said with a smile. “We eloped to Vegas, when we were nineteen. Then we drove to Arizona where we met up with the others and spent the whole night dancing. He said it was wonderful.”

“We got married in Vegas, like I saw?” Max asked in surprise.

“Yeah.” Liz confirmed “I almost blurted it out to you then. That’s all he told me, I don’t know how long we were together before the war started or if we had children or anything.”

“We didn’t have children.” Max stated emphatically. “There’s no way I would have changed the past if it meant that our children wouldn’t have been born. No way.”

They sat in a comfortable silence, each recalling their own memory of the wedding that would never happen.

‘You looked beautiful.” Max said in an awed voice. “In my vision, so beautiful and so happy.”

He turned to her and saw that though she had tears in her eyes, she was smiling.

“I want that Max, I want to marry you one day. I want to dance all night with you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” Liz said suddenly, Max looked startled and slightly alarmed. Liz laughed. “I don’t mean right now. But it’s what I want, one day. I love you and I always will. Nothing you can say or do will ever change that. Right now it hurts but I don’t care, that’ll go away with time.”

“What are you saying.” Max asked, his voice trembling with excitement and hope.

“I’m saying that I want to be with you. I haven’t fully forgiven you yet. But life is so short. Look at Alex. We don’t know when the sky will come toppling down on us. I don’t want to spend what short time we have hating you and being apart from you. I want to be with you.”

Max jumped to his feet with a delighted grin on his face. Liz rose slowly to her feet and put out her hand to prevent Max from saying anything.

“We’re not getting back together, there’s no going back.” She clarified, Max immediately looked crestfallen and confused. “We’re starting anew. We’ll take it slowly, one step at a time.”

“Thank you Liz.” Max breathed. “Thank you.”

He looked like he wanted to kiss her but managed to refrain himself. Instead he took her hand in his and squeezed it gently. Liz returned the pressure and they grinned at each other. Then they turned and walked back to their cars, hand in hand.
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Post by tequathisy » Wed Feb 16, 2005 10:24 am

Thanks to everybody for all the great feedback. I’ve never written anything before so the fact that people are reading my story and seem to like it means the world to me. Sorry for taking so long to post this part, I hope to have chapter 9 out sometime next week.

Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Xmag Thanks. I had a great trip.
BehrObsession It might take some time before I can live up to the title.
Zans Desire I’m so glad that you re-read it and saw the argument I was trying to make. I’ve always thought Liz did the wrong thing in TEOTW even though it was for the right reasons. I think Max deserved to be a little angry at the way Liz hurt and betrayed him.
LTL Thanks.
begonia9508 the tape won’t be forgotten
Roswellluver thanks
YonkersMe I agree, Alien genes aside, Max is a teenage boy with nobody to guide him. It’s natural that he made mistakes.
Venus_star2.com You live in a great country, as soon as I can afford it (maybe in about a decade) I want to go back.



Chapter 8.

“And that concludes our tour, I do hope you enjoyed your visit. Please feel free to browse around if you wish. If any of you would like to purchase gifts or momento’s of your visit to the museum, the gift shop is through the door and to your left.”

The tour guide flashed a mega-watt smile and received a smattering of applause from the small crowd gathered around.

“Thank you Jenny.” Brody said as he walked into the middle of the group. He turned to face the inductees who all had worried looks on their faces. “Now don’t worry, nobody expects you to know all that information straightaway. Most of you won’t even be conducting tours, you’ll have other duties, but you will need to have a basic knowledge of the history of UFO’s in case any of our visitors here ask you a question. You’ll all be given a script and reading material to study from.”

There was a slight grumbling from the crowd at the thought of having to study all the information and dates they had just listened to on the tour. Isabel glanced around and quickly identified two or three people who would go back to their old jobs of serving fries or pumping gas the following day instead of having to learn the huge amount of knowledge required for this job.

Jenny started handing out a large book entitled ‘Basic training for tour-guides’ to everyone gathered in the group. Isabel quickly glanced through it. She had spent so much time in the museum and reading up on UFO sightings in her life that she already had a fairly good knowledge of the material.

“Your schedules are posted in the staff locker room.” Brody announced as he began to move away from the group. “Have a look around, familiarise yourself with the exhibitions and we’ll see you all tomorrow for further training.”

Brody quickly turned away from the group and made his way to the staircase towards his office. Isabel hurried after him, she had decided that she wasn’t going to waste anytime in trying to find out as much as she could about Brody and his ‘abductions.’

“Brody, wait.” She called, he turned around sharply at the sound her voice but glanced deliberately at his watch to indicate that he was short for time.

“Sorry to delay you.” She said politely. “I was just wondering if you had heard about the fire at Maria Deluca’s house last night?”

“Was anybody hurt? Was it bad?” Brody asked in alarm.

“Everyone is fine. The house was completely gutted, Maria hurt her arm but other than that nobody was hurt.” Isabel assured him. “I know that you and Maria were friends so I just wanted to let you know she’s ok.”

“Thank you.” Brody said in a quiet voice. “Do you know where they’re staying?"

“They stayed with the Parker’s over the Crashdown last night. But I don’t know if that’s where they’ll be tonight.”

She followed Brody into his office. He looked shaken by the news. Isabel poured him a cup of water from the cooler in the corner. Brody accepted it gratefully. As their fingers brushed against each other, Isabel was assailed by the same feeling she had got from him the night before. It was stronger now though. She could somehow feel the presence of Larek in Brody, almost calling out to her.

“I’m sorry.” Brody said with an embarrassed smile. “Maria has been such a good friend to me since I arrived in Roswell.”

Isabel nodded sympathetically and pulled up a stool to sit beside him. Under the pretext of offering him comfort she reached out her hand to hold Brody’s.

“I understand.” She told him.

Isabel squeezed his hand gently and his she did an electric current seemed to run through her with such a force she was propelled backwards off her stool. She pushed herself into a sitting position on the ground. Brody too was sitting on the floor. He was staring at her.

“Brody, are you ok?” Isabel asked, even though she was fully aware that she was now talking to Larek and not the Englishman.

“I’m Larek.” He said in a toneless voice. “I am very glad to see you, you must take me to your brother at once.”

Isabel rose to her feet and crossed to the door and closed it firmly. “I can’t right now, he’s not around right now, but I can pass on a message.”

“Where is he?” Larek demanded. “Is he still on earth?”

“Yes.” Isabel assured him. “Why don’t you tell me what’s going on?”

“Kivar has claimed that he will soon have control of the granolith.” Larek explained. “This must not happen. If Kivar gains control of the granolith, then the consequences for all inhabitants of our star system will be severe. Even earth would not be safe from him”

Isabel sat down in one of the chairs heavily. She could feel her whole body trembling.

“This was covered at the summit. Nothing’s changed. Max has no plans to hand over the granolith.” Isabel said, years of practise at hiding her emotions enabled her to speak in a calm and steady voice, despite the rising panic she was feeling.

“Kivar has begun amassing a large army at key strategic locations throughout our system. He has demanded that all the planets in our federation surrender to him.” Larek told Isabel. “He is ruthless and ambitious, but he would not make such a bold move, he would not dream of declaring war on the combined might of our armies if he did not have control of the granolith”

“We were supposed to leave two days ago.” Isabel confessed in a low voice. “Tess is pregnant with Max’s child. We found out at the last moment that she had an agreement with Kivar to hand the baby and us over to him.”

“Where is she now?”

“She’s gone back to Antar, we had to let her go, we thought the baby couldn’t survive in Earth’s atmosphere.” Isabel said in a barely audible voice.

“I see.”

Larek said nothing else for a while. Brody’s face was expressionless and Isabel wondered what the alien was thinking. Her own heart was thumping wildly in her chest.

“It’s probable that Kivar is unaware that Tess is travelling alone.” Larek began after a few minutes. “Once he discovers that you and Max and Rath have remained on earth, he will come after you. You must all leave Roswell immediately, get as far away as you can.”

“When will Tess reach Antar?” Isabel asked, ignoring his last sentence.

“In your time, it will be about two or three days.” As Larek spoke, Brody’s body gave a lurch and began to spasm. “I must go, this body will be more prepared to host me in a few hours, please have your brother present then, I must speak to him.”

With that Brody fell to the floor. Isabel rushed to him and pushed him onto his back. To her immense relief he had stopped lurching and was breathing normally. He gave a small moan and his eyes fluttered open.
“Brody, are you ok?” Isabel asked. “You just fainted.”

Brody pushed himself up into a sitting position and reached for the glass of water on the desk.

“I’m sorry.” He said in a hoarse voice. “I haven’t been feeling the best these last few days.”

Isabel waited until he had finished the water then she helped him into his chair.

“I’m fine, sorry for scaring you.” Brody said when he noticed that Isabel was trembling.

“Are you ok now?” Isabel asked, trying to appear calm when Brody nodded, she continued “I have to go, I hope you feel better soon. See you tomorrow.”

She gathered her things quickly and exited the office. As she pulled the door closed behind her she caught a glimpse of Brody. He had barely registered her departure but was holding his head in his hands, the perfect picture of despair.

*

Jim Valenti flopped onto his couch with a sigh. Almost immediately his eyes closed and his head began to nod. The events of the previous few days and nights had caught up with him and he was exhausted. A loud thump resounded from somewhere in the house and caused Jim to leap from the couch and whirl around. Instinctively, he reached down to his belt where his holster and weapon had always hung when he was a cop. Realising once again, that he had none, Jim grabbed a discarded baseball bat and made his way stealthily towards the bedrooms. He listened again and could hear the sound of somebody moving about in the room that had formerly been Tess’s.

He ripped the bat tightly in his hand and opened the bedroom door.

“Freeze.” He yelled in his most authoritative tone.

To his astonishment he found a young woman searching through the closet. She whirled around at the sound of Jim’s voice and stared at him fearfully.

For a second neither of them moved, Jim lowered the bat to the ground and raised his hand in a gesture intended to assure her that he wasn’t dangerous.

“Who are you?” He asked.

As the words left his mouth, the woman rushed at him with a shoulder charge. Catching Jim completely of guard, she succeeded in pushing past him and raced down the hall. Stumbling, Jim gave chase but when he reached the front door there was no sign of her anywhere in the street.

*

Liz pulled the car into a parking spot in front of the diner. Max had parked further down the street and was making his way towards her with a smile on his face. Liz returned it giddily.

“Hi” He said, as they met.

“Hi.” She replied, moving to stand closer together until there were only a couple of inches between them. They held each other’s gaze for a moment. Max was unsure what move to make next, to his delight, Liz reached out and held his hand.

“Hungry?” She asked with a grin.

Max nodded and they made their way into the diner.

The restaurant seemed unusually busy for that time of day and Liz noted it was mostly locals. The air was buzzing with conversation. Her father was standing at the counter talking to some men, he excused himself when he saw Liz and indicated for her to follow him into the staff locker room.

“It’s really busy out there.” Liz commented. “Do you need me to work?”

“No, we’re fine. Everyone’s heard about the fire so they’ve come to ‘ofer their suport' and get all the gory details.” Jeff told her. “How are you feeling?”

“I’m fine.” Liz assured him. Jeff gave her an appraising look and saw that she looked a lot better than she had that morning, a lot happier. He turned his glance towards Max and gave him a cursory glance.

“We’re going up to Maria.” Liz informed her father as she pulled Max towards the stairs.

Jeff watched them climb the stairs hand in hand with a sinking feeling in his stomach. As far as he was concerned, Max Evans was bad news. Ever since she had started hanging around with him, Liz had become withdrawn and was nearly always unhappy. She might be smiling now, he thought, but he had no doubt that, once again, it would end in tears for Liz.

*

“All my CDs, my new brown leather boots - it took me months to save up for them, all my photos of Alex, my napkin-holder……” Maria’s teary voice trailed off as Liz and Max entered the living room. “Hey guys.” She greeted them morosely. She took in the sight of Max and Liz holding hands and her eyebrows shot up into her hairline.

Michael and Kyle turned to follow Maria’s gaze. Like Maria, they too were surprised. There was silence in the room for a moment.

“Hi everyone.” Liz said a little too cheerfully to break the awkward tension. “What’s up?”

“I’m having a pity-party.” Maria informed her, she patted the space on the couch beside her. Liz left Max’s side and sat down beside Maria. “And before you say anything, I know I should be grateful that we all got out alive and that nobody was hurt blah blah blah. But I just want to feel sorry for myself for awhile”

“Ok.” Liz said sympathetically hugging Maria.

“Sorry to hear about your house.” Max said as he joined them and Michael on the couch. “If there’s anything I can do, let me know.”

“That’s a very kind offer, your Majesty. Maybe you could travel back in time and get Liz to come up with a genius plan to prevent the house from burning down.” Kyle suggested bitterly. He stood up and shot an angry glare at both Max and Liz and stormed out of the apartment slamming the door hard in his wake.

“He didn’t really mean that, he just needs a few days to cool down.” Maria said soothingly to Liz.

“I know.” Liz agreed sadly. She hated the thought of Kyle being angry with her. “Do you want me to make you a snack or get you a soda?”

“Can I have some orange juice please?” Maria asked.

“Guys, do you want anything?”

Before either boy could answer, Max’s phone began to ring and there was a sharp knock at the door. Max excused himself and went into the kitchen to take the call while Liz went to open the door.

“Isabel, are you ok?” Liz asked in alarm when she opened the door to find Isabel looking pale and shaken. She ushered her into the living room and into one of the armchairs.

Max reappeared from the kitchen and rushed over to Isabel.

“Iz, what happened, are you ok?”

“I’ve just been talking to Larek.” Isabel revealed. “He said that as soon as Kivar finds out that we’re still on earth that he’s going to come after us.”

“What else did he say?” Max asked urgently. “Did he say how long it will be before Kivar comes looking for us? How’s he going to come after us?”

“That was all, he couldn’t talk for very long because Brody’s body hadn’t been prepared properly. He’ll be back tonight and he wants to talk to you then.” Isabel informed Max in a shaky voice. “Larek thinks we should leave Roswell before it’s too late.”

“It might already be too late.” Max informed the group in a grim voice. “I just got a call from Valenti. He said somebody broke into his house and trashed Tess’s room, he thinks they were looking for something in her stuff.”

“Oh my God.” Liz said, Max reached out his hand to hers and gave it a comforting squeeze.

“I thought once Tess had left, all this drama would be over.” Maria said quietly from the comfort of Michael’s arms. “But it’s just beginning.”

*
Last edited by tequathisy on Wed Feb 23, 2005 12:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by tequathisy » Wed Feb 23, 2005 12:41 pm

Once again, thank you for the feedback. Hope you like this part.

Chapter 9

“And you’re sure that’s what you want?” Maria asked in a dubious tone.

“Yes.” Liz assured her. “I love him, I want to be with him. That’s all that matters.”

“What about his son, and Tess, and what we saw on that videotape, and the way he acted towards you after Alex died, does none of that matter?”

Liz sighed, she had naively hoped that Maria would understand her decision to renew her relationship with Max, but so far Maria seemed, at best, critical.

“What about the way I treated him?” Liz countered. “Think about Max of a year ago, before any of this destiny crap started, he would never have acted that way or done of those things, or slept with Tess, if I hadn’t hurt him over and over again and pushed him towards her.”

“So you’re getting back together because you feel guilty? That’s a good basis for a relationship.” Maria said sardonically.

“It’s not because I feel guilty. It’s because I love him, I always have and nothing’s ever going to change that. This past year has been hell for me because I couldn’t be with him, and yeah, that was my own fault, but it was still hell. Not being with him hurts more than all that other stuff combined. And now there’s nothing in our way, nothing to prevent us from being together, I’m not going to make that mistake again.”

“But why not wait a little longer?” Maria asked. “You’ve been so hurt by him in these last few weeks, maybe you should give yourself a chance to recover from that first before rushing into things with Max.”

“If we’ve learned anything lately, it’s that time is precious.” Liz argued. “We never know when our time is up or when the world will end. I don’t want to die regretting that I wasn’t with Max when I had the chance.”

“I know you love him Liz, and there’s nobody who wants to see you two back together more than me but I can’t help feeling that it’s too soon. You just saw that tape last night and you’re back with him this morning. I just hope you’re getting back with him for the right reasons.” Maria declared.

“What does that mean, what other reasons could there be?”

“Maybe you think that if you don’t get back together with him right now, he’ll go off looking for his son and won’t come back to you, or…” Maria hesitated. “Maybe, you watched that tape last night and felt jealous of what happened between them and think that getting back together with him is the only way to make him forget about her.”

“I’m not an idiot.” Liz snapped. “I can make up my own mind rationally and logically.”

“No offence, but when it comes to you and Max, reason and logic fly out the window.” Maria replied calmly. She held up her hands in a placatory gesture. “I just don’t to see you getting hurt. If this is what you really want and you’re ok with that video, then I’m happy for you.”

“Of course I’m not ok with the video.” Liz sighed. “I still have a lot of issues to work through but I’d rather do it with Max than not with him.”

“Promise me that you’ll take it slowly and that you won’t do something you might regret just because Tess has done it.”

“I promise I won’t sleep with him anytime soon.” Liz said. “That really would be rushing things, God, we haven’t kissed in over a year.”

“You mean there was no kissing this morning?” Maria exclaimed in shock.

“I told you, we’re taking it slow.” Liz said.

“Wow.” Maria laughed, breaking the tension. “It’ll be like getting your first kiss all over again. I just hope he doesn’t wait as long as he did the last time. The anticipation will kill me.”

“Kill you?” Liz giggled. “I can’t wait. I feel like a weight has been lifted off me now, and in spite of everything that's still going on I can finally be happy.”

Maria regarded her and had to admit to herself that Liz had regained the inner glow she had been missing since her split with Max. For the first time in twelve months, Liz actually looked happy. Pushing aside her fears and doubts, Maria pulled Liz into a hug.

“I’m happy for you too.” Maria told her genuinely.

“Thanks.” Liz said with a self-conscious smile. “So tell me, what’s it like to do it with an alien?”

“It’s out of this world.” Maria laughed. “There’s no way…..” Her words trailed off as the two girls heard a knock on Liz's bedroom door.

After a moment Sean’s head poked through the window.

“M, Aunt Amy wants to talk to you for a minute.” He told Maria.

“You’d think after seventeen years he’s be able to say Maria.” She grumbled as she climbed through the window and disappeared.

Liz crawled in after her and found that Sean was still in her room looking at the pictures on her dresser.

“Hey Sean.”

“Hey.” He answered. “So I hear your back with Evans.”

“Um, yeah.” Liz said embarrassed. He turned to leave but Liz caught his arm and stopped him. “Sean, I’m sorry for everything. I shouldn’t have used you like that.”

“That’s ok, you can use me like that anytime.” He told her impishly. Then he added in a more serious tone. “I hope you’re doing the right thing getting back with him.”

“I am.” Liz told him firmly, trying to bite back her annoyance. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to change.”

“I’m going, but remember, I’ll be on the couch if you need me.” He reminded her with a suggestive wink.

“Ugh.” Liz picked up a cushion and flung it at him, he ducked out the door and disappeared, his laugh echoing down the hall.

“I’m so sorry that you’re being subjected to him.” Maria said as she re-entered the room.

“He’s not so bad.” Liz laughed. “Come on, we better get ready.”

*

Michael drummed the tabletop impatiently and checked his watch for the eleventh time in three minutes. The evening was crawling at snails pace. He was anxious to go across the street and find out as much information as he could from Larek.

Beside him, Isabel was shredding her napkin. She too checked her watch and let out an exasperated sigh.

Max was watching the service door. Every time a waitress passed through it, he would perk up hopefully before slumping back down in disappointment when the waitress wasn’t Liz. Michael rolled his eyes, he’d forgotten how annoying and soppy Max behaved when he was happy.


Michael’s gaze drifted around the diner, the evening dinner rush was over and the locals thirst for gossip was temporarily sated so there were only a handful of customers. A Texan family was talking loudly over one another in a booth and a couple of lone diners were scattered around various tables. The waitress’s were taking advantage of the quiet time and were doing some of the preparatory work for the next day’s breakfast.

Jeff Parker was standing behind the counter drying a glass and glaring at an oblivious Max.

“What did you do to piss Mr. Parker off?” He asked Max.

“Huh.” Max turned to look at Michael in confusion.

“If looks could kill, you’d be in the morgue by now.” Isabel stated as she turned to watch Liz's father. Realising that he was under scrutiny, Jeff placed the glass on a shelf and made his way into the back.

“I don’t know.” Max said. “Maybe he’s just having a bad day.”

As he spoke the service door swung open and Liz and Maria appeared, giggling happily. They made their way to the table. Maria slid in beside Michael and kissed him lightly on the lips. Liz sat in beside her, opposite Max.

“Hi Max.” She smiled shyly, tucking her hair behind her ear.

“Hi.” He returned. “What’s so funny?”

“Oh, I had to help Maria get dressed because she’s not able to dress herself.”

“I have a broken wrist.” Maria stated defensively. “And it took Liz four attempts before she could get my shirt off me.”

Liz stuck out her tongue at Maria to the delight of Max, who was watching Liz laugh and smile with a goofy expression on his face. Michael rolled his eyes again.

Isabel checked her watch again and was relieved to find it was now 9 o’clock.“Can we go now?” She asked impatiently.

Max and Michael checked their watches and agreed.

They all clambered out of the booth and made their way out into the street. Once they hit the cooler night air, Maria slid her free arm around Michael’s waist and snuggled into him. He looked down at her and realised that she was worried.

“It’ll be ok.” He tried to reassure her, pulling her closer and giving her a comforting squeeze.

She gave him a small smile as they stopped on the sidewalk to let traffic pass.

“I hope you’re better at taking off my shirt than Liz.” She said saucily.

“Maria.” He admonished, shocked at her brazenness. Michael quickly glanced around to make sure that nobody had overheard Maria’s comment.

As they walked across the street, Michael felt a prickling sensation at the back of his neck. He turned around and looked behind him but the sidewalk was deserted, there wasn’t a soul in sight. He tried to dismiss it as paranoia and being self-conscious after Maria’s remark but as he entered the UFO museum, Michael couldn’t shake the feeling that they were being watched.

*

“Can I see some ID?”

Kyle rolled his eyes in feigned annoyance and fished in his back pocket for his wallet. Opening it up, he found his drivers licence and handed it to the liquor store clerk.

“Wallbanger?” The clerk narrowed his eyes and peered closely at Kyle. “Aren’t you Jim Valenti’s kid?”

“No.” Kyle said in a bored voice. “I’m Tony Wallbanger’s Kid. Who’s Jim Valenti?”

The clerk looked at the licence again, shrugged and handed it back to him. “That’ll be $24.”

After he had paid, Kyle made his way out to the car and drove off, tyres squealing. He drove around the town for a while, drinking his way through the six pack he had bought. By the time he pulled into Murray Lane, he was quiet drunk.

He twisted the cap off his bottle of Jack Daniels and raised it at the Evan’s house, across the street from where he was parked. “A toast.” He slurred. “To their Royal Highness’s and their unborn son.” Then he took a large swig from the bottle.

“Congratulations.”

He slumped down in his seat and drank the whiskey, never removing his angry glare from the dark windows of Max’s bedroom.

He was too far away to notice the crack that appeared in the glass of the window, or to hear the sound as it smashed and fell in tiny pieces onto the floor.


*

Liz shivered as they descended the steps into the museum although it wasn’t cold. During the day, when all the lights were on and there were crowds mulling around the exhibits, the museum was atmospheric. At night, when it was deserted and dark, it was creepy.

“Brody.” Isabel’s voice rang out loudly behind her, making Liz jump.

The door to the restricted area opened and the Englishman appeared at once.

“Hi Brody.” Isabel began. “I left ..”

“It’s Larek.”

“Hi Larek.” Isabel greeted him. “I‘ve brought Max and Michael to see you, like you asked. And this is Liz and Maria, they’re friends of ours.”

Larek nodded his head briefly in the girl’s direction.

“I don’t have very much time so we must begin at once.” Larek informed the teenagers, they all pulled up chairs and formed a circle. “As I told Isabel, Because Kivar believes that he will soon have control of the granolith, he has declared war on all the other planets in our federation. That was a gamble on his part. Without the granolith, he has no chance of defeating our alliance.”

“That means somebody on earth has been in contact with him.” Liz realised in surprise. “He must know what’s going on with us.”

“The only person it could have been was Tess.” Max stated angrily. “We really have to go through her things as soon as possible and find out everything she was keeping from us.”

“What about the person who was in her room today?” Michael asked. “Clearly she was looking for something, maybe she was working for Kivar as well, we have to find her.”

“Somebody broke into Tess’s room today.” Isabel explained to Larek. "Who else could be in conatct with him?"

“From what my sources tell me, Kivar has lost contact with Nikolas, it’s believed that he and his army have perished.” Larek said.

“We defeated Nikolas’s army a while ago.” Max confirmed. “We destroyed their husks too, so Nikolas would have no other way of surviving after his own deteriorated.”

“That’s good.” Larek said in relief. “I don’t know of any other way Kivar has of communicating with earth.”

“Tess must have had some way. How else would Kivar have gotten the idea that we were going back to Antar?” Michael queried. “But right now, that’s not the issue. What will happen when Kivar discovers that only half of his plan has worked?”

“Well, as I said.” Larek began. “Kivar will soon find himself in a difficult position. As yet nobody has made a move against him because we believed that he would soon have the granolith. Very soon, the word will be out that you are still alive and still in control of the granolith. I cannot tell you what he will do, Kivar is very unpredictable.”

“You said that he would come after us.” Isabel reminded Larek. “How? Will he send an army after us?”

“If he has no agents left on earth, he will have no option but to send somebody to kill you. However, that would take far too long, he will try some other means first.” Larek said, it seemed that he wanted to say more but was unwilling to voice his thoughts out loud.

“What is it?” Max asked tersely.

“Kivar is ruthless, he will stop at nothing to get what he wants.” Larek began, he hesitated for a moment. “He may demand that you hand over control of the granolith in exchange for your son’s life.”

Max gasped in horror. Liz reached out and rubbed his back soothingly but the gesture brought him little comfort.

“I’ll have to choose between my son’s life and the lives of millions of people I don’t know.” Max said hoarsely, burying his face in his hands.

“And the lives of those you do know. “ Larek said gently. “If Kivar gets the granolith he will not be satisfied with just the planets in our federation. His greed and lust for power is too great, he will want to rule all the known worlds. Including Earth.”

All the known worlds.” Liz repeated, curious despite her concern for Max. “How many are there?”

“Outside our federation, there are six other planets, including earth, that support some form of life.” Larek informed her. “Earth is the most advanced of those. Kivar holds a personal grudge against Earth because it’s been so hard to find you here.”

“Why didn’t he just, like, threaten to invade Earth or something?” Maria asked. “He doesn’t seem like the type of guy who would bother keeping a secret.”

Larek shrugged. “He didn’t have the man power here to take on your army. His army is millions of light years away and he doesn’t have the means of transporting them here.”

“How long would it take to send somebody here?” Michael asked, trying to turn the conversation back on topic.

“From Antar? About a year in your time” Larek guessed. “though Tess will probably reach Antar in about a day or two. As I said the granolith is very powerful.”

“So if Max refuses to hand over the granolith, then it would take a year for Kivar to send somebody here to try and kill us.” Michael wondered out loud. “Would you and your federation just sit back and wait to see what happens or would you get up off your ass and do something?”

Max rose from his seat and advanced on Michael. “Are you asking me to sacrifice my son?” he asked furiously.

Michael rose to his feet and faced down Max. “I’m trying to find out all our options.” He said in a surprisingly calm voice. “If Kivar has to wait at least a year before he can get his hands on the granolith then it’s the perfect opportunity for the federation to take him out. If Kivar is going to kill you, then he has to keep your son alive. He needs the heir to inherit the royal seal. Your son will only die if you hand over power to Kivar.”

Max sank into Michaels vacated seat in relief.

Isabel turned to Larek. “So, will the federation go to war against Kivar now?” she asked.

“I will convene a summit with the other heads and will do my utmost to convince them to join me in the fight against Kivar.” Larek assured her. “They will probably want to talk to you Max.”

Max nodded dumbly, too emotional to pay close attention to the conversation going on around him.

“Can you try and arrange it closer to Roswell than New York?” Isabel asked. “It will be easier for both Max and Brody.”

“I’ll do my best.” Larek promised. “I cannot stay much longer. I will try and find out as much information as I can about what is happening on Antar. In the meantime you must all be very careful. Who knows what tricks Kivar has up his sleeve?”

When he had finished, Larek stood up, “I must return this body now. I will be in touch as soon as I can.” He nodded his head respectfully, then turned and left the building.

There was silence following his departure. Eventually Maria rose to her feet “that wasn’t as horrible as I expected it to be.” She said.

“It sounds like we might have a good chance now.” Liz said optimistically.

“There’s still a long way to go yet and we have a lot of work to do.” Michael reminded them. “I have a bad feeling about the girl who broke into the Valenti’s. We need to find her, find out what she was doing in Tess’s room.”

Max rose to feet shakily. “We should get out of here, I’m going to wipe the security footage in case Brody starts wondering where he got to tonight.”

“Good idea.” Michael said as he and Maria began to make their way towards the stairs. “I’ll see you to for power practise in the morning. Goodnight.”

While Max was gone Isabel and Liz tidied the chairs and made sure that they hadn’t disturbed anything else during the conversation with Larek.

“So, are you and Max back together now?” Isabel blurted out before she could stop herself.

Liz straightened up, surprised at the question. “We’re making a fresh start.” She explained.

“Oh.” Isabel considered her answer for a moment and Liz prayed she wouldn’t say anything about the tape or the baby.

“Well, I hope it works out for you this time.” Isabel said sincerely.

“Thanks.” Liz replied. “Me too.”

The girls picked up their coats and made their way up the stairs. Max joined them a minute later and made sure the door was shut behind them.

There was a moment of awkwars silence between the three until Isabel realised that Max and Liz wanted a moment alone. “I’ll go get the car.”

“Are you ok?” Liz asked Max once Isabel had gone. “You seemed pretty upset earlier.”

“I’m fine.” He told her, then shook his head. “ It’s just the thought of my son being at the mercy of people like Tess and Kivar. I should never have let her leave. It’s weird, I didn’t want him and I’ll probably never meet him but I love my son.”

“That’s only natural Max.” Liz told him sympathetically. She rubbed his arm gently. “It’ll work out, I know it will.”

BEEP

Max looked around and realised that Isabel was waiting for him in the car.

“I have to go. We promised Mom and Dad that we’d be home early tonight.”

“Good night Max.”

“Good night Liz.” Max replied as turned to get into the car. Suddenly he stopped and walked back to Liz. “Are you doing anything tomorrow night?”

Liz smiled. “No, I’m free.”

“Would you like to go to the movies with me?” Max asked hopefully.

“I’d love to.” Liz told him. “See you tomorrow.”

Max smiled brightly and hurried back to the car. “Good night Liz.”

Liz watched until the drove off then ran across the street to the Crashdown unaware of the young woman watching her from the shadows.

*
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