You're My Destiny (AU,M/L,TEEN) [COMPLETE]

Finished stories set in an alternate universe to that introduced in the show, or which alter events from the show significantly, but which include the Roswell characters. Aliens play a role in these fics. All complete stories on the main AU with Aliens board will eventually be moved here.

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dreamangel
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Post by dreamangel » Wed Mar 10, 2004 9:07 pm

This ended up longer than anticipated, otherwise it would have been posted sooner.

18
“Are you all right?”

Zan lifted his dark head from a brooding contemplation of the roses and met empathetic brown eyes. Verina sat herself beside him and laid a hand on his arm. Even with all the turmoil he was experiencing, her touch still sent a flash of warmth all the way through him. “I don’t know,” he responded truthfully.

“I know how hard it is,” she whispered, tears in her voice, “to lose a parent. My mother died eight years ago, but it’s still difficult.”

The soon-to-be King of Antar turned slightly on the bench and wrapped his arms around the woman he had come to love. He didn’t say anything, for there were no words, but he let her cry, and felt himself start to lose that tight control he kept on his grief. Zan bowed his head, resting his forehead in the crook of Verina’s neck and let out a sob.

His father was gone.

It seemed inconceivable that a tall, proud man so full of life and happiness could be taken away from that life in an instant. That some foolish hovar accident could cause someone as strong as his father to be cut down in a moment of weakness to leave his family alone and bereft of his guidance.

He tightened his hold on the princess and felt her responding squeeze. Zan gave in to one last shudder before lifting his head to met her gaze. She looked impossibly beautiful with her red eyes and splotchy cheeks, and he lifted a hand to gently wipe away the strikes her tears had left upon her soft skin.

Verina gave him a soft smile and reached up to perform the same ministrations. He was so strong, was her beloved. She knew that this was the first time Zan had let himself cry in the three days since they had gotten the news of his father’s demise. It was not proper for royalty to grieve in public, and Zan was doubly afraid that once he started crying, he would not be able to stop. She knew. She understood, for she had felt that way once as well.

“When does the ship leave?” she inquired softly, his face still cradled in her small palms.

Zan took his hands within his own. “Tonight. We will all leave tonight.” He looked away, his grip on her hands tightening, “Will you be able to finish all the wedding plans?” Zan winced, hearing the bitter edge in his voice that he had tried to avoid.

She looked away herself. “Vilandra and Catani have already finished the plans, I just need to be here to direct things. I will miss you all, I have never had true friends before.”

“We will return in time for the wedding,” he informed her, the edge building. He stood, his back to her. Anger was taking hold of him at the unfairness of the situation. His father was dead. The woman he loved was to marry his brother… Zan’s fists clenched. “Perhaps you should comfort your betrothed,” he suggested icily.

Verina’s eyes widened as she stared at his broad back, and she gulped, refusing to let him hurt her. He was lashing out in response to his lack of control, and she could not blame him…oh, but it stung. “Do not,” she said, her voice barely a whisper, “You have no right.”

He flinched and spun around to kneel before her. “I’m sorry,” Zan murmured, eyes distraught,” I’m so sorry.” He was apologizing for much more than the jibe.

She shook her head and slid off the bench to kneel with him. “I have already forgiven you, my heart.” She smiled and tilted her chin upward, inviting him to kiss her. And invitation he accepted gladly. He met her lips with a chaste brush of his, and then he tugged her closer so that her skirts tangled with his breeches and deepened it slowly.

A small whimper escaped her and she leaned further into him, her hands clutching his shirt as if she would collapse without his embrace. And she truly felt as if she would. Each stolen kiss with Zan was like a moment out of time. The world seemed to come to a stop and all she could feel was his hands through her dress, all she could taste was his warm, wet mouth, all she could hear was the low sounds of pleasure he made, and all she could see was stars.

Zan released her reluctantly, afraid that he would go far beyond what was already forbidden, and rested his forehead against hers. “You tempt me so,” he told her, voice low and thick. Verina blushed and stared at him, her eyes deep enough to drown in. One of his hands speared through her thick, dark hair and he kissed her brow briefly.

“Zan.”

Startled, the two broke apart to stare in apprehension at the one who intruded upon their haven. Rath watched them, dark eyes inscrutable. “Rath,” Zan choked out, rising. He helped Verina up, keeping her by his side as if to protect her. “This… What is it that you needed?”

“The others have gone to the spaceport, I was to find you and Princess Verina and follow after.” He looked between the two, but still said nothing. Zan’s eyes widened. He had forgotten. How did she manage to hold back all the bad things in his life? “Prince Zane wishes to say good-bye to his betrothed.” And there it was, the tacit disapproval in his second’s voice.

Zan lifted his chin and met his friend’s eyes defiantly. “I assume there is a hovar prepared?” he inquired archly. Verina moved away from him, her eyes regretful. Rath nodded.

The short ride was silent, the walk to their departure gate even more so. The two men seemed to be having a glaring contest while Verina paced between them, uncomfortable.

“Verina! Zan! Rath!” The three looked to where Zane was waving at them, a smile on his tired face. Verina suddenly felt guilty, and she quickened her pace to reach him. She did not see Zan’s quick restraining movement toward her, or that it was blocked by Rath with a warning scowl.

“Zane, how are you feeling?” she queried softly. She peered up into his face, worried. They had not been near each other much in these past few weeks since Zan and the rest of the Antarians had come to Karrasra. She had found herself hiding more and more as he became more amorous than friendly, and then Zan had come… He clasped her hands in his and gave her a tender smile, his green eyes slightly teary.

“I’m doing okay,” he said, “I’ve been talking with Ava. She didn’t know father well, but it she’s a good listener. It helps.”

“I’m sor-“

“She’s been concerned about Zan. He hasn’t been around too much.” Verina felt her guilt well up again, she was so bad. “As Crown Prince, he was with father more, it has to be harder for him.” He shook his head and looked up as Zan approached slowly. “I’m sorry, brother.” Zane reached over and embraced his twin. There was a sob, and suddenly Vilandra was in the midst of her brothers, being held tightly. Verina felt tears stinging her eyes as she gazed at them.

“We need to board now.” Rath’s gruff voice came from the entry path of the ship where he stood beside Braiden.

The siblings broke apart, and Vilandra wiped her eyes as she took her brothers’ hands. “That’s what I came to tell you,” she informed them hoarsely, “Mother sent a vid. She’s…she’s not doing so well.”

Zan nodded, trying to order things in his mind. There were too many things to do before he could let himself go again. His gaze landed on Verina, who now stood alone, and nearly lost control once more. Two weeks until he could hold her again. Two long, lonesome weeks-

His thoughts broke off into a sort of red haze as his brother took Verina into his arms. He felt his pulse quicken with hatred as Zane brushed a kiss across her soft, pliable mouth, and then he felt ashamed. Verina was not his, and it was his own fault. And yet, he could force himself to look away as his twin led his bride-to-be over to her soon to be brother and sister-in-law, a fact Zan detested thinking about.

“I’m sorry we have to leave you so close to the wedding, Verina,” Vilandra stated.

“Don’t fret,” Verina assured her, “I can handle the final arrangements.” She leaned over to hug the taller woman. “You be where you need to be.” The Antarian princess smiled and nodded, giving another squeeze before heading back toward the pathway leading to their ship. Rath and Brai followed her inside, the commander shooting one last glower at Zan and Verina.

“Good-bye,” Zan murmured, pressing a kiss to her cheek and letting his lips a moment longer than their relationship called for.

“Yes, dearest,” Zane put in, giving her another kiss, “Farewell.” He smiled, a real, happy smile, “I cannot wait until you are walking down the aisle towards me.”

Verina offered a small smile as he took her in his arms again. “I will be here. Waiting for you,” she said fiercely, her eyes only for Zan.

Zane let her go, and turned toward his brother. “Let us go, Zan, so that we may return all the sooner.” Zan nodded, tearing his eyes from Verina, and followed Zane to the ship, sending his beloved one last glance before he disappeared.

Melantha greeted them once they set foot on Antarian soil. The Queen seemed much more composed than the returning party had been led to believe. After kissing her children hello, she linked arms with Zan, forcing Ava to fall back to walk with Zane. “Your coronation will take place at the end of the week, Zan.”

He stiffened. “So soon?” Things were happening to fast. Why did everything have to change so fast? It was making it too real. His father was dead… He was to be King…

“It is necessary, my son.” There was a hesitance in her voice that struck him as off.

“What is it, Mother?” he demanded.

Her blue-green eyes darted around, taking in the somber people that were scattered throughout the spaceport. “It is vital that you start your reign swiftly and on good terms. Intelligence has reported a disturbance in one of the southern cities… A man called Kivar.”

“He is stirring up trouble about the monarchy?” he guessed. Melantha halted and gripped his arms. Zan was surprised to see her political mask beginning to fall as tears leaked down her cheeks.

“You’re father’s death may not have been an accident.”


TBC...

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Post by dreamangel » Mon Aug 30, 2004 9:14 pm

19
“Explique ahora!” Maria whispered tersely. She had dragged Liz into the laundry hall off the Evans’ kitchen.

“It’s like I said Maria, I’m an alien,” Liz replied calmly. She could tell Maria was getting hyped up, her green eyes were wide and her breathing was slightly erratic.

“Madre de Dios, cómo?”

Liz closed her eyes briefly, struggling internally with the knowledge she had gained just hours before, when she opened Maria was sniffing her cedar oil and muttering her ‘serenity now’ mantra. “Grandma Claudia found me.”

“What?”

“She and Grandpa Joe…On one of their trips, they found me in New York.”

“What were you doing in New York?” Maria demanded, and then, almost as an afterthought, “Without me?”

A slight smile curved Liz’s lips and she hugged her best friend. “Apparently I was wandering the streets dressed in a garbage bag.”

“Garbage, Lizzie?” Maria rolled tearing eyes, “That’s so last season.” She squeezed the brunette’s hands in her own.

Liz shrugged and squeezed back. “It kind of explains why my first real memory is of Grandpa Joe’s expression as he took me underwear shopping,” she mused, “I was six, Maria. Bodily anyway,” she trailed off, and Maria recognized the scientific gleam in her brown eyes. “I must’ve been in a pod, like Max, Michael, Isabel, and Tess. I must’ve lived in it for fifty years…Can you imagine that? I’ve tried, with Max, but I’ve never been able to wrap…and now…me…I’m…It’s mind-boggling.”

She was disappearing into a brainstorm, Maria sighed. “Okay, but what exactly happened?”

“I don’t completely know, and I don’t want to talk about everything I do know. Not yet anyway,” Liz admitted, recalling her conversation with her parents. It seemed too soon, part of her felt too raw. “I kind of blanked out on a few parts on my mom’s explanation, but…Suffice it to say that I was found, Grandma pulled a few strings, and I became a Parker.”

“Wow,” Maria breathed, “Just wow.”

“Yeah.”

They were silent for a time, both occupied with their own thoughts. Liz’s analytical mind was going over and over ever minute detail she could recall, and Maria’s chaotic mind was a whirlwind of thoughts on hows, whys, and what nows.

“But you never did...” Liz looked at her. “I mean you never showed any sign of the Samantha-Jeannie alien thingy when you were little. I would’ve remembered something weird like that.”

“Nasedo said the powers were mental, right?” Maria nodded in confirmation. “Well, Max and the others grew up knowing they were different. I grew up knowing I was a regular little girl.”

“So just knowing…”

“As near as I can figure.”

Maria wrinkled her nose, “But that’s so simple.”

Liz smiled, “It’s the Principle of Parsimony, Maria; the simplest explanation is usually the correct explanation. It would lend credence to the fact that my powers manifested themselves only after Matt told me the truth, even though they showed signs of coming out through my contact with Max.”

Maria nodded, not completely understanding, but getting the gist. “So you really have powers then?” she asked eagerly.

Liz nodded as well, smiling, “I think my main power is precognition.”

“Like Max can heal and Michael can blow stuff up?”

“Right, but more like Isabel can dreamwalk and Tess can mindwarp. From what we’ve been exposed to over the year or so, the females seem to have more mentally based powers while the males are more physically based.”

Making a disgruntled sound as she rolled her eyes and placed her hands on her hips, Maria glared toward the direction of the living room, where Michael’s voice was plainly heard yelling at Max. “How stereotypical.” Then, in a complete 180, she grinned impishly and linked arms with Liz. “What about small stuff? Molecular manipulation or whatever?” She waved her hand airily as if the correct terminology was of no importance.

“Max and I experimented a bit.” Liz’s face lit up. “I made him glow,” she confided in an awed murmur.

“That’s great, but more importantly, can you make me a brunette?”

“What?” Liz stared at her, dumbfounded.

Maria pouted, “Please, Lizzie, I’ve been too afraid to ask Isabel and I don’t want to dye it. It’ll take away my shine. Please, please, please, please?”

Sighing, Liz reached up and put a hand in Maria’s hair. Concentrating, she watched as her best friend’s golden locks turned a burnished chocolate color. “Done.”

The new brunette squealed and ran a hand through her hair. “How does it look?” She rushed over to the toaster to see her reflection.

Liz looked over her work carefully. “I like it.”

“I do too.” Maria put down the toaster, “And Michael better too, if he knows what’s good for him.” She grinned, “Thanks, Liz.”

“It’s what I’m here for,” she responded dryly.

“Were you really married to Matt?”

Startled, though she really shouldn’t have been, at Maria’s sudden change of subject, Liz froze for a minute before answering. “Yes.”

Maria slumped against the counter. “You realize this is only going to reinforce Tess’ insistence in her and Max’s destiny.” She picked at the countertop, surprised when Liz didn’t react to the statement. “I mean what with you married to Matt and her married to Max in their past lives…and all that stuff.”

Liz’s brow furrowed, “I don’t think so.”

“What do you mean?” Maria asked quizzically, narrowing her eyes.

“I don’t think Max and I could feel so much for each other if we didn’t love one another before.” She looked over at Maria, using her as a sounding board. “I mean, he fell in love with me when we were eight years old. No,” she shook her head, “Regardless of who was married to whom, I loved him. And he loved me. I’m sure of it.”

“Liz…”

“I know it.”


To be continued...
Last edited by dreamangel on Fri Sep 24, 2004 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"That which is loved is always beautiful." - Norwegian Proverb

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Post by dreamangel » Fri Sep 24, 2004 9:21 pm

20

Max looked up with relief when Liz reentered the room, Maria on her tail. She smiled at him, her eyes bright, and sat on the arm of his chair. “Everything okay?” he inquired softly.

“Yeah,” she grinned as she shot a glance toward Michael, who was silent for the first time in half an hour. “You?”

“Okay. I think everyone’s calmed-”

“What the hell did you do to your hair?!” Michael exploded.

“Down,” Max finished with a sigh.

“Like it?” Maria fluffed her new brown do. “Liz did it. I always thought I’d make a fabulous brunette.”

Michael was gaping. He was literally goggle-eyes and slack-jawed. Mind a mess, he turned on Liz. “You!” he roared, pointing at her, “You did this?”

Liz held up her hands in a gesture of innocence. “It was her decision, Michael.”

“I don’t care whose decision it was. Change it back.”

“Excuse me?” Maria broke in, “But it’s my hair. You have no say in what I do with it.”

“The hell I don’t!” Michael growled.

“If you don’t like it, why don’t you change it back,” Liz told him calmly, though the challenge was evident in her brown eyes.

“Oh no!” Maria exclaimed, clamping her hands to her hair as if to protect it, “I don’t want him setting my hair on fire.” Michael’s jaw dropped again and then he shut it with a snap, his fists clenching as he looked away.

“I do have some control,” he said quietly, feeling hurt. He realized that maybe he wasn’t the best of the quartet, now quintet, but Maria had always supported him, even when they were apart. Why couldn’t she trust him now?

Maria’s expression went from alarmed to regretful. “I didn’t mean that.”

“Then you shouldn’t have said it.”

Liz exchanged a worried glance with Max as the other shifted uncomfortably. This was not shaping up to be the usual Michael/Maria fight. Kyle stood, “It’s getting late, maybe we should wrap this up?”

Max nodded, “I need everyone’s opinion straight out, no debating.” He looked to his girlfriend. “Liz?”

Taking a deep breath, she looked at the group and spoke confidently. “I think we should talk to Matt and the others.” She met Max’s gaze. “There are things we need to know. Answers we only have this one chance to get.”

“Isabel?”

His sister bit her bottom lip. “You know how I feel, Max. Earth…Roswell is our home. Mom and Dad are the only parents I need…” she trailed off, expression troubled as she continued, “But I don’t want to go through the rest of my life always wondering. I say we go, if only for answers.” She slid a quick glance toward Alex, who smiled reassuringly and took her hand.

“I agree,” he said before Max could speak. He was looking at Isabel. “I don’t want you to go, but I don’t want to hold you back.”

Isabel lifted her head sharply, “Alex…”

“I don’t want you to have any regrets, Izzy.” He gave her hands a squeeze and looked at the group, “Maria?”

Still looking a trifle upset at Michael’s reaction, she shook her head. “I don’t want you to go. But,” she paused, “I know how much it means to all of you, to find out where you come from. About your past…So go. But I’m coming with.” She glared at them all, “If any of you think I’m gonna pass up a chance to see an alien spaceship, you’ve got another thing coming!”

Michael was the only one who didn’t laugh. He was staring hard at Maria, who was avoiding his gaze. “Michael?” He turned his attention to Max.

“I say no.”

Complete and utter silence. “What?” Isabel gasped. They were all staring at him, even Maria, a disbelieving hope coming into her green eyes.

“I said no,” he repeated, “Izzy’s right, Roswell’s home.”

“Okay,” Max nodded, “Tess?”

“Why are we doing this?” she asked, “You’re king Max, just make a decision.”

Max’s expression hardened, “Tess, yes or no?”

“Yes.”

“Kyle?”

“Whoa, what? You’re asking me?”

“You are part of the group,” Max said.

“Well then…” Kyle looked around at his new group of friends and then met Max’s eyes. “I have to say I’d miss you guys. Even you Evans, you’re a good drinking buddy.” Max’s ears turned red and Kyle grinned. “And I know my dad wouldn’t want to see you go, but he would understand if you did.”

A slight smile tugged at Max’s mouth. “Thanks Kyle.” Valenti nodded, looking a bit uncomfortable.

“So what about you, Evans? What’s your verdict?”

“I agree with the majority. I have no desire to leave Earth, but I do think we need answers. We’ve been searching for them for so long, there’s no point in not taking advantage of this opportunity.” He did a mental count in his head. “So that’s seven for and one against. We’ll talk with Matt, Sandry, and Rafe and go to the pod chamber Tuesday night. Agreed?”

“Agreed.”

“Then we’re done,” he said, “Everyone is free to go home.” They all stood. Isabel and Alex were the first to leave, heading to Izzy’s bedroom to talk. Michael and Maria were next, both silent, the looks they were sending each other were tentative. Kyle and Tess were walking toward the front door when Liz asked for a ride.

“I can drive you,” Max protested.

Liz smiled at him, “Its okay. My parents are probably worried right now. I don’t want my dad to take it out on you.”

“Are you going to be okay with them?”

She nodded, “Yeah, I mean, they’re my parents. We just need to talk it all out.” She leaned up for a kiss. “I’ll see you tomorrow. Bye.”

“Bye,” he murmured, watching her leave.

Liz waved at him as she shut the door, following Kyle and Tess to the car and ignoring the evil looks Tess was sending her way. A bubble of anxiousness spread through her. Two days, and then everything might change again.

Just two short days…



to be continued...

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Post by dreamangel » Tue Sep 28, 2004 8:21 pm

21
Zan took a deep breath of night air, staring out into the wide expanse of black that surrounded the balcony. Karrasra gleamed in the darkness, so close that he thought that if he stepped off the balcony he would be there, on his way to Verina’s warm embrace…

“There you are!” The exclamation was soft, and pale arms slid around his waist, “How are you doing?”

He had stiffened at his wife’s touch and now broke free as he turned to face her. “Tired,” he said, offering a weary smile. It was the truth, he had been in meetings with the Council all day. “I just needed a little air before the meeting with the Margant ambassador.”

“So late?” Ava asked, frowning.

“With everything changing so quickly…My father’s death caused a lot of problems Ava, it is necessary to rectify them as soon as possible before this Khivar character has a chance to strike out again.” He kissed her forehead gently as he took his leave, his mind split between worrying about Khivar and longing for Verina.

Ava wrapped her arms around her self and watched her husband walk away. He had been distant since their journey to Karrasra, and had seemingly separated himself even more since their return to Antar. He didn’t even have time to come to their chambers to sleep.

“Ava?”

She spun toward the balcony’s side entrance, her hand on her chest in surprise. Her expression went from shock to welcome in an instant. “Zane.”

He strode toward her, green eyes fatigued but happy to see her, and gave her a quick hug. “What are you doing out here, it’s cold?”

“I saw Zan, I wanted to talk to him.” She studied his face as he led her back indoors and into the warmth of the communal parlor. “Have you been sleeping?”

Startled at the sudden line of questioning, Zane stumbled a bit. Looking into his sister-in-law’s concerned blue eyes, he smiled sheepishly. “There hasn’t been much time.”

She gave a cluck and pushed him down into one of the many couches in the large room. He sat with an ‘oomph’ and stared up at her. Ava grinned and sat down beside him. “Zan won’t let me pamper him, so you’ll have to indulge me.” She patted her lap and he obliged her by laying his head down upon it.

Inside Zane was worrying, his brother seemed to be taking on too much at once. He realized that Zan was trying to hurry, to set things in place so that when they returned to Karrasra for Zane’s wedding to Verina there would be nothing to ruin the happy day, but he was troubled with the thought that Zan might be working himself to death.

His thoughts drifted from his brother to his father, the two so alike in their drives, and then to his betrothed, so strong and sweet, and then all thought left his head. Zane could focus only on the feel of Ava’s hand stroking through his hair, the soothing song she was humming, the smell of irises she gave off, and the warmth that surrounded him, made him feel safe and at peace…

Ava smiled to herself as Zane started snoring softly. She gazed down at him with a secret smile, frightened of the feelings that were starting to overcome her, but unable to feel anything but contentment whenever the green-eyed prince was near.

On the other side of the palace Zan was conferring with the Margant ambassador and the other planetary leaders through vidscreens. The rebel Khivar was stirring up much trouble for Antar, and thus for all those with an alliance with the planet.

“This insurgence must be put to rest before Verina’s wedding, Zan. We have put it off as long as possible in hope that this issue would resolve itself, but I cannot wait any longer,” Hannar demanded, “I don’t care how, but nothing must possibly spoil my daughter’s wedding.”

Eyes darkening Zan was about to assure Hannar that it would indeed be stopped when a voice caused the Karrasra King to turn and Zan’s blood to heat. “Daddy, I’m sure the wedding can be postponed again if Antar has need of aid.”

She moved into view on the vidscreen and Zan’s breath caught. Verina’s eyes met his meaningfully, but Zan shook his head. “Do not fear, Hannar, Princess Verina, this problem shall not affect your marriage to my brother.” There was a slight edge to his voice that could be attributed to exhaustion and grief, but Verina knew the bitterness for what it was.

Nodding, she spoke softly, “Very well your Majesty, I will retire for the night. I look forward to seeing you again for the joyous occasion.”

Zan nodded curtly, not meeting her dark eyes. “Until then, Princess.”

When Hannar, who had escorted his daughter out of the conference room, was seated before his own vidscreen again, the discussion continued. “Khivar and his faction have been spotted consorting with the shapeshifter community in the county of Sorlew,” Zan stated, pulling up a three-dimensional map of the area for everyone to see, “Commander Rath has taken a small, select group of soldiers to infiltrate and apprehend. We hope to have him and his seconds in custody by the end of the week.”

Two weeks later Khivar was still at large, but the alliance between Antar and Karrasra had to be fulfilled. It was judged secure enough that Zan and Rath accompanied Zane, Vilandra, Ava, Catani, and Braiden to Karrasra for the event.

The moons were high by the time Zan could sneak away from the guest apartment he shared with Ava. Would she have waited? he wondered, would she even have come? They had not exchanged more that three words at the welcome ceremony that evening-

“Zan.”

The King of Antar pulled up sharp and was silent as his second stepped out of a shadow. “Rath.”

“Do not do this.” Rath’s voice was heavy with disapproval.

“I have to see her.”

“She isn’t yours, Zan. She’s marrying your brother in two days.”

His fists clenched involuntarily. “I know,” he said harshly, “I know, but…I can’t stay away. I love her.”

Rath scoffed, “You said the same of Ava.”

“I was wrong about Ava.”

“And you are wr-“

“No!” Two sets of brown eyes clashed, both full of anger. “You have never been in love, and I hadn’t until I saw her. Verina is everything to me, Rath. I do not know if I can live without her. If I can survive seeing her in Zane’s arms…”

The commander’s expression was still hard, “You’ll have to learn to live with it.”

“I know,” Zan conceded, “I know.” Rath frowned at the note of resignation in his friend’s voice. “Just give me tonight to say good-bye. Please Rath?” It was only a moment before the other man nodded in submission and stepped back into the shadows.

Zan hurried away, putting Rath’s words from his mind as soon as he came upon the path leading to the Earthian roses. His pulse sped up and he felt himself stop breathing as he rounded the last corner.

Verina turned, wreathed in pale moonlight, and held out her arms to him. Zan breathed again and ran into them.



tbc...

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Post by dreamangel » Mon Oct 04, 2004 9:51 pm

22
The phone ringing was what woke her. Liz fumbled out of bed and raced for the living room. “Hello?” she inquired of the receiver groggily.

“Liz?”

A smile broke out involuntarily. “I was just dreaming of you.” Max coughed on the other end of the line and her smile grew, picturing his ears growing red. “What’s up?”

“You missed first period, I just wanted to make sure everything was all right. You know, with your parents and all.” Max looked down the hallway to see Alex coming out of the men’s room. ‘Anything?’ he mouthed. The lanky boy shook his head. Max frowned and turned his attention back to the phone. “Matt didn’t show up today either…Liz?” There was only silence. “Liz!”

“What? Sorry!” she exclaimed, struggling into a pair of pants as she balanced the cordless phone between her ear and shoulder. “I know I set my alarm. I can’t believe Mom and Dad would leave without waking me up!” Liz maneuvered out of her pajama top and grabbed a button-down dangling from the couch. She was sure her dad wouldn’t mind.

“Matt didn’t come to school today,” Max paused, listening to the labored breathing on the other end, “I was worried…” He trailed off, not willing to admit out loud that Matt Hunter could have possibly made off with Liz. A loud cluck came from the other end followed by an ‘oh crap.’ He switched the cell phone to his left hand. “Are you okay?”

“Fine,” came the cheery response, “Just dropped the phone. So, no Matt?”

“No.” He hesitated, “Did everything go okay with your mom and dad?”

“Great,” she replied, “We’ve gotten most of it sorted out. They were a little freaked about me being a Czechoslovakian, but they love me.”

“You told them?!”

She winced at his tone. “It didn’t seem like something debatable Max.”

He furtively scanned the empty hallway. It was halfway through second period and he and the others were on a rotation for bathroom passes. He lowered his voice, “It should have been a group decision, Liz. You know how much risk it is to us. All of us.”

“I know,” she agreed, “But you have to trust me, Max. We can trust them.”

He closed his eyes and leaned against a locker, feeling a headache coming on. “Okay. All right, all right. We just…we can’t let the others know. Michael and Isabel would blow it completely out of proportion and that’s not something we need right now.”

“I understand.”

Liz looked up as the apartment door opened and her father strolled in. “One sec, Max.” She stood so that he’d notice her. “Morning, Dad.”

He jumped and then smiled. “Awake, honeybear?”

Liz nodded as Jeff headed to the closet. “Why didn’t you wake me up? I missed FST and am now missing Spanish.”

“Sweetie,” Jeff reached over and hugged her, “You looked so exhausted last night, and we had a pretty deep conversation. Your mother and I didn’t have the heart to wake you.”

“My alarm?”

“Nancy switched it off before she left for the cake shop.” He looked down at the phone. “Who are you talking to?”

“Max.” Liz blushed. “He was worried when I wasn’t at school.”

“Well, how about you tell his majesty to get to class and you’ll see him at lunch.” Jeff’s blue eyes were serious as he went back down to the café, the new menu plans in hand.

“Yes Daddy!” Liz lifted the phone back to her ear. “I have to go. Dad will drop me off in time for lunch.”

“Good,” Max said, “We’re meeting in the AV room at twelve fifteen to discuss a contingency plan.”

She rolled her eyes. “I don’t think they’re going to attack us Max, Matt is your family after all.”

“Hmmpf.”

“And I don’t think they’d skip out of town when the ship is coming tomorrow.”

“Hmmpf.”

Liz grinned, “I’ll be there at eleven fifty. Meet me in the eraser room?”

“Hmm- Yeah. I’ll be there.” Max cleared his throat. “So…”

“So…”

“You were dreaming about me?”

“Max!” She blushed beet red and slammed the headset back into its cradle.

He stood listening to the dial tone for a full minute before closing the cell phone. Then he peered anxiously at the hall clock. Only nine eighteen. Damn. Sighing heavily, Max made his way back to government.


tbc...

Countdown: 3
"That which is loved is always beautiful." - Norwegian Proverb

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Post by dreamangel » Sat Dec 18, 2004 11:53 am

23

He stared at the clock, waiting. Sandry was sitting beside him, staring at him. “School’s been out for an hour,” Matt informed her.

She nodded, a few wisps of red-gold hair falling out of her pony tail, “I know.”

“Why aren’t they here yet? We have a lot to talk about.”

His best friend sighed and patted his knee. “They didn’t know who they were, Mattie. When you learn that you make up the entire royal family of another planet and that said planet is waiting for you to return as its saviors, it can be a little overwhelming. Just give them time.”

Matt frowned, his green eyes impatient. “We don’t have time, San. You heard what Cal said. The ship comes tomorrow night, we have to be ready. They have to be ready.”

They have a lot to say good-bye to.” She could hear the wistfulness in her own voice. They had not been able to grow up oblivious. Human. She and Matt and Rafe had always known who they were, what they were to be. Cal had educated them, trained them, raised them, to be apart, even as he clung so desperately to the human life he had carved out for himself in California. Their guardian wasn’t going back with them to Antar. Sandry would miss him.

Both teenagers were thrown out of their thoughts when the doorbell rang. “That’s them,” Matt said, feeling nervous. His brother and sister knew now. They could be a family again…and Verina, no, Liz…

“Don’t just stand there,” Sandry scolded as she headed upstairs, “Answer the door!”

He stared after her. “Right.” The bell rang again. “Right,” he said again, more purposefully as he headed toward the door. Taking a deep breath, he flung it open. Shock flit through his brain as he registered the person standing on his front stoop was the last one he expected to see. “Tess.”

“Hey.” She smiled at him hesitantly and waited. And waited. “Can I come in?” she asked when it became apparent he wasn’t moving out of the doorway.

“What? Oh, yeah, right, sorry.” Matt moved aside, flushing in embarrassment, “Come on in.” She moved past him, smelling like irises, and he felt his mind wander back in time to a night of comfort and firelight. He and Ava had been so close once. Looking back at Tess as she stood in his living room, he realized he wanted that closeness again. With one last look outside he closed the door firmly and went to her. “Please, sit down.” He gestured to the couch and sat down next to her. “Sorry about that, I was expecting…”

“Max, Isabel, and Michael, right?”

“And Liz.”

She gave a bitter little laugh, “Liz, of course, how could I forget. She’s one of us now, isn’t she?”

Surprised at her tone, he reached out to turn her head, reading the resentful nature in her blue eyes, but unaware of where it had come from. “She’s always been one of us. She’s my wife, the last of our Four Square.”

Tess shook her head. It was funny, how she could just talk and he would know where she was going with it. “It doesn’t really matter.”

“What doesn’t?”

“Who was married to whom.”

“Well of course it matters!” he exclaimed.

“Not now. They’re in love with each other.” Tess looked away from his earnest green eyes. How could he not have seen how Max and Liz looked at each other? He’d been around them for months and had yet to see what she had noticed right away.

“What are you talking about?” She was beginning to confuse him.

“Liz,” Tess said, “and Max.”

“Liz and Max,” he repeated, disbelief evident, “My brother and my wife?”

“She’s not your wife Matt.”

“Yes, she-“

“No. In another time…in another place…maybe, but not now. Now she’s with Max. She loves Max.” He stared at her, stunned, and she laughed. “I tried. God, I tried so hard to split them up, I even got her to walk away from him, but he wouldn’t let go. She wouldn’t really either. She kept letting him come back, kept encouraging him, even when she knew he was mine. Is mine.”

“I don’t understand,” Matt whispered, sounding devastated.

“I don’t either.”

“What about our destinies?”

She shrugged, leaning back into the couch. “They are each other’s destiny.”

“You can’t make your own destiny,” he protested, “It’s already set in stone. It can’t be changed.” Green eyes met blue. “Can it?”

It was there, humming between them, a bond that they could have with no other. Tess reached out her hand and he took it, letting her draw his head down to her lap as she stroked his soft black hair. It was natural. It was right, though they were too blinded by thoughts of their blighted destinies to see it or to feel it.

Sandry watched them from the stairs, staring at Tess’ blond curls, bent over Matt. Things were changing.

“What’s going on?”

She jumped at the murmur and turned to see Rafe sitting just above her. Her breath caught, as it always did, at the sight of him. “They’re not coming.”

His blue eyes turned a shade just shy of silver. “Today or tomorrow?” Rafe stared at her, watching the helplessness come into her blue-green eyes. He hated seeing that expression on her. Sandry was meant to be happy.

“I don’t know,” she admitted, “I just don’t know. Nothing’s happening the way it’s supposed to.” She could feel tears pricking her eyes and turned away. He saw tears as a weakness, and she refused to let him think her weak.

She was crying, he could hear he sniffling as she hid her face behind a curtain of red-gold hair. He hated when she cried, though it wasn’t often, it made him feel powerless. He had abilities humans could only dream of and muscles older men envied, and yet he couldn't make her feel secure. “Christ, San, don’t cry,” he muttered, reaching out and pulling her into his arms.

Sandry gasped at their sudden closeness and stared up at him. He wiped away a stray tear, and she was surprised by his gentleness. “It’ll all work out.”

“How?” she choked, “What’s going to happen to us?”

He shrugged and stood up, tugging her with him to her bedroom. “The future isn’t always clear, San, we’ll just have to wait and see.”

“I want it to be like it was between all of us.”

Rafe gazed at her as she stood staring at her bed, arms wrapped around her small body. Did he want to go back to being how it was? Did he want to look at her and not feel like he was home? Did he want to forget he loved her? “I don’t.”

She spun, mouth open in shock. “What?”

“I don’t want things to be like they were. I want to move forward.”

“Why?” she demanded. He was acting strange, not at all Rafe-like, and it was making her stomach flutter with nerves. He had never looked at her like that before.

“Because Braiden would never do this to Catani.”

And then he kissed her.

And destiny changed yet again.


tbc...

Countdown: 2

I wanted to develop the other pod squad. I really like Rafe and Sandry, I kinda want to do more with them, but I'll resist.
Last edited by dreamangel on Thu Jan 06, 2005 10:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"That which is loved is always beautiful." - Norwegian Proverb

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Post by dreamangel » Tue Jan 18, 2005 12:17 am

24A

“Daddy?” Verina turned in surprise as her father entered the dressing
room. She was shocked to see tears in his dark eyes. “What’s wrong?”
she demanded, rising from the vanity chair.

Hanar shook his head and took his daughter’s hands. “You just look so
beautiful.” He couldn’t believe his little Verina was getting married.
It seemed like just yesterday she was small enough to pick up and toss
into the air. “It’s nearly time, are you ready precious?”

The princess looked back at the full length mirror that stood near the
vanity. She looked exactly the way she’d imagine she’d look on her
wedding day. But she wasn’t happy. Verina took a deep breath, pasted a
smile on her face, picked up the white Earthian roses that made up her
bridal bouquet, and turned back to her father. “As ready as I’ll ever
be, Daddy.”

Her father escorted her to the hovar that would be bringing them to the
temple. After bundling her into the backseat and shutting the door,
taking care not to get her eight foot train caught, Hanar climbed into
the front with the driver.

Verina watched the landscape speed by, her thoughts troubled. She knew
what would be waiting at the temple; hundreds of her people gathered
around outside, foreign dignitaries and royalty sitting inside, the high
priest standing beside Zane, Zan…

It would hurt them both for her to marry his brother, but the marriage
had to happen. With the threat of Kivar, the alliance between Antar
and Karrasra could make all the difference. And she could learn to love
Zane, perhaps not as deeply and passionately as Zan, but someday she
was sure she would be able to think of him as more than a friend.

Someday.

She was surprised when her door was opened, and she blinked up at her
father as he extended his hand to help her out of the vehicle. Offering
a nervous smile, she clutched her father’s hand, much as she had done
when she was small and being paraded about the capitol city.

A great heaving sigh went up from all around her as the hovar departed.
Verina smiled at her people, the people she loved and would do anything
to protect, where they stood, surrounding her and yet kept apart by the
Royal Guards, and gave a less-than-princess-like wave as she trailed
her father to the steps leading into the Temple of the Granilith.

Once, a long time ago, the Granilith was not confined only to Antar.
And so each of the planetary rulers in the beginning had ordered temples
built to house the artifact when it was on there planet to receive
worshippers. Now, since before her grandfather was born, the Granilith had
not moved from its Antarian home. Most citizens of the four other
planets went on pilgrimage to it at some point in their lives. Verina had
never seen it, though she hoped to one day, what she had read about it
had made the artifact seem fascinatingly and dangerously powerful.
Luckily, the technology to use it had been lost as some accounts had
foretold disaster in the future.

She realized she was dwelling on unessential information in order to
avoid thinking about what was about to happen. Her wedding. Her wedding
to Zane. Verina closed her eyes, breathing deeply as she and her
father passed through the open doors that brought them into the temple
itself. Looking back, she smiled a real smile for the first time that day.

Six of the Guard, in ceremonial armor complete with visored helmet,
were walking daintily behind her, carefully making sure her
lavender-colored train, duly encrusted with paler lace and amethysts, did not drag on
the ground.

The weight came back suddenly and she became conscious of the fact that
all of her was now in the temple. That she was three feet from the
great domed room where her wedding was going to take place. The Guards
had let her train fall in a perfect fan once they hit the white runner
that she was to follow to her betrothed and joined their brethren outside
to complete their duty.

The finality of it hit her and she struggled not to break down as she
saw Catani and Vilandra coming toward her. They were both dressed in
gowns of leaf green, a softer variant of Antar’s royal color. “Excited?”
her best friend asked her.

Forcing a smile, she nodded at Catani. “Very, and nervous. Don’t
forget nervous.”

Catani giggled and even Vilandra smiled. The older woman, her
soon-to-be sister-in-law, patted her arm. “Don’t worry, Verina, everything
will be fine. I planned everything perfectly.”

Karrasra’s crown princess blushed, “I forgot to thank you for all your
help-“

“It was nothing,” Vilandra interrupted, “I was glad to help. Now, we
have to get going. The reception starts promptly at suns down.”

Blinking, Verina nodded, “Of course.” She turned to her father, as
Vilandra and Catani started down the aisle, signaling the start of the
ceremony. Hanar stared at her, memorizing her face. It felt to him as if
this day would be the last he saw his sweet, brilliant child. She
wouldn’t be his little princess anymore.

He touched her cheek gently and pressed a kiss to her brow, above the
circlet of jewels that held her veil securely in her brown curls. As
was his right as a father, he would be giving her away today. Fighting
back tears for the second time in the span of an hour, he lifted the
pale lace over her face, took her arm, and walked her through the arched
pillars that formed the entrance to the heart of the temple.

Verina took deep breaths beneath her veil. Finally hidden from sight,
at least partially, she could have a quick panic attack. Her eyes went
from her slippered feet to the people gathered in the room, trying to
avoid looking at the altar. When she finally allowed her gaze to land
on the dais, all she saw was Zan.

He was standing there, staring at her, eyes alight with love and
wonder. She felt her whole being respond, and she beamed at him. He looked
amazing in dark green and black, and she wanted nothing more than to run to him and be held forever.

But reality came in the form of a crown. It encircled his head, a symbol of power. She felt the joy leave her as she came to the heart stopping conclusion that he would be performing the bonding ceremony. Zan was the King of Antar…The only person in the universe invested with the authority of the Granilith. The only one who could bless a royal marriage.

Was destiny so cruel that it would make the man she loved marry her off to his brother?

As she continued walking down the aisle, it became abundantly clear that the answer to the question was yes.


tbc...

Countdown: 1 and 1/2
"That which is loved is always beautiful." - Norwegian Proverb

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Post by dreamangel » Mon Jan 31, 2005 11:25 pm

This turned out way, way longer than it was supposed to. Hope you don't mind, I've just had it in my head so long, I had to let it all out.

24B

Zan felt as if the world had come to a complete halt as Verina walked down the aisle toward him. She looked breathtakingly beautiful, and he felt his heart speed up and a smile break out across his face. This was the woman he loved, who loved him…

“Breathe, just breathe.” The whisper came from his left and he fought a frown as his gaze came to rest on his brother, whose green eyes were wide as he stared at his bride.

Zan suddenly felt the weight of the gold and emerald crown he wore, realized the magnitude of what he was about to do. This was Verina’s wedding to Zane, and he was to officiate. He was to give his brother the woman he loved.

Pain seemed to freeze him as he watched Hanar place Verina’s hand in Zane’s and the two knelt before him. Seconds passed in silence until Zane looked at his brother, wondering what was wrong with him. “Zan?” he murmured. Life flowed back into the Antarian king’s eyes as they met his twin’s.

It was all his fault.

Pushing the self-loathing aside, Zan began to speak the ritual words of matrimony. The words the Keeper of the Granilith had spoken for generations over princes and princesses to bind two planets together in an unshakeable alliance. Just as his father had done for him and Ava.

To those present at the ceremony, all agreed that Verina was a beautiful bride, and that the groom was absolutely besotted, and wasn’t the Princess Vilandra looking longingly at her betrothed? Such a good match that would be…But not a one noticed how pale the King of Antar was, nor how his voice trembled at certain passages, or how quietly the Princess Verina murmured her consent. Not a one but a grim-faced commander standing at the back of the temple.

The union was sealed with a chaste kiss once Verina and Zane had penned their signatures onto the marriage contract and the couple left the temple followed by the bridal party and then the witnesses.

Hooded eyes watched them all leave, waiting until he was alone in the temple before turning to the altar to offer up a silent prayer. “It won’t help.” Zan spun at the gruff voice, staring at Rath where he stood halfway down the aisle.

“I know,” he replied, trying to dredge up a light smile. Nothing could help him now. Verina was lost to him forever.

“You need to let it go. She wasn’t meant for you.”

“I know,” he said stonily. It was a lie. Verina had been meant for him, and he for her. Somewhere along the way he had screwed up destiny by trying to make it his own.

“You say that,” Rath muttered, “But you don’t mean it.” Zan stared at him, their dark eyes clashing for a few moments before Rath looked away. “I have a hovar waiting. It wouldn’t be prudent to be late to the reception.”

“No,” Zan agreed, his pleasant voice hiding a sharp edge, “Of course not.” He moved past his best friend, not waiting to see if he was following, and entered the vehicle.

“You’re acting like a child instead of a king,” Rath accused as he hopped up beside Zan. He didn’t understand his friend. Zan had a beautiful wife, a loving family, and a planet that practically worshipped him. All in all it was a great life. He didn’t see why Zan always had to pine after something he couldn’t have.

Zan didn’t reply to the verbal attack, though he felt shame at his behavior. His father would not have been pleased had he still been alive. A headache was coming on, and Zan rubbed the bridge of his nose in frustration. Why did life have to be so difficult?

After the silent ride brought them back to the palace, Zan and Rath separated, both having their own duties to perform. Rath went to insure security was tight, and Zan headed toward the banquet hall to sit next to his brother as the delegations of guests toasted the new couple.

Dinner was a boisterous affair, Verina kept her smile pasted on as she conversed with her friends and well wishers. She could see Zan was not fairing as well, he was for the most part quiet and his smile was obviously forced. Zane was not helping matters either with his offhand comments about his luck, spurred mostly by champagne and his own friends. She could see Zan’s fingers tightening on his silverware, but she hesitated with intervening. It was, after all, not her place to make sure he was all right.

Fortunately, Vilandra took the opportunity to stand and announce that the dancing was about to commence and if they would all move to the ballroom, the band was just warming up.

The mass migration was Catani’s signal to take Verina to change into a dress more appropriate for dancing. Verina followed the red-headed girl gratefully. She let Catani chatter on happily as the Antarian helped her out of her wedding dress and into a flowing plum colored one that ended just below her knees. Shorter skirts had become the new style, and while normally it made Verina uncomfortable to wear something so revealing, she could not bring herself to care at the moment.

Back in the ballroom, she danced first with her father, who then passed her to her husband, who then passed her to his brother. Verina held her breath as Zan’s arm wrapped around her waist and his hand clasped hers. She looked up into his golden brown eyes, and saw the first glimmer of warmth they had possessed since that afternoon.

She didn’t want the dance to end, but soon she was back in Zane’s arms and he was dancing with Ava. Hurting inside, she faced Zane, discussing their guests. It had made her quite happy to see Catani glowing as Braiden escorted her out onto the floor. Zane laughed at her, and informed her that Brai was just being nice as Zane had asked him to keep an eye on Catani and see that she wasn’t left out this evening.

Verina, outraged, shut her mouth, glad when an ambassador from Margant cut in and swept her away from her husband. The way Catani felt about Braiden was obvious, it had been cruel of Zane to get her hopes up. She nodded absently at what the Margantian was saying, following along until the melody ceased and a new one began.

Arms slid around her without asking her permission, and she gasped at the contact, leaning into his body as he twirled her around the crowded dance floor. So crowded that no one would see how close he held her. “Where is Ava?” she asked.

“With Zane,” was his quiet reply.

They were silent for a long while, staring into each others’ eyes as they waltzed around, unaware of the other couples. Rath, dancing stiffly with Vilandra, growled when he saw them and excused himself, pretending not to notice Lonnie’s relief as she accepted another partner. Zan, in a brief second of not staring into his beloved’s eyes, saw his approaching friend and bit back a round of swearing.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” he said, “Will you meet me in an hour? At the roses?”

“Yes.”

“May I cut in?” Verina, startled at the interruption, was doubly shocked to see Commander Rath standing there glaring at them.

“Of course,” Zan replied amiably, kissing Verina’s hand as he relinquished her to his friend. Bewildered, she stepped into Rath’s awkward embrace. ‘One hour,’ he mouthed to her.

The time did not pass quickly. Zan and Verina both seemed very distracted to the people they talked with, always glancing outside at the gardens or across the room to share a secret smile with someone and then looking away quickly.

Trapped at the moment with his wife, Zan felt her like a shackle around his arm; he glanced at the ornate timepiece that hung above the entrance to the ballroom. He was already a minute late. Glancing around the room, he saw no sign of Verina, and cursed, anxious to escape Ava’s presence.

“Ava, if you would excuse-” The ground shook beneath them and Zan exchanged worried glances with his closest neighbors.

“What was that?” Ava asked, her voice high and frightened. Another tremor rocked the room, and the doors burst open, smoke billowing inward. Someone screamed, and then everyone was talking at once. The guard who had opened the doors had to shout to be heard.

“The Capitol is under attack, if everyone could please proceed in an orderly fashion to the spaceport, evacuation has begun.” Hannar, strode to the guard angrily, his booming voice demanding explanations. Zan, close enough to the other ruler, heard the reply. “Majesty, the Granilith temple has already been demolished, half the palace has been destroyed, we don’t know how it happened, but we must get you out of here.”

“My daughter,” Hannar protested, looking around at the frantic party guests, “Where is Verina?”

“We’ll find her, your Majesty. Please, come along.”

Verina. Zan turned, panic welling inside of him, and began to run toward the gardens, only to be stopped short by Rath’s arm across her chest. “What are you doing?” he demanded, “Let go of me.”

“What are you doing?”

“She’s waiting.”

Rath’s eyes widened in disbelief at the extent of his king’s betrayal of his brother. “She would have left when she heard the explosions. She’s probably already at the spaceport. We need to go.”

“Then go,” Zan ordered, eyes blazing. He gestured behind him at where the others had gathered. Ava was recovering from a faint in Zane’s arms, Catani was held protectively to Braiden’s chest, and Vilandra was staring wide-eyed at the damage to her perfect reception.

“My duty is to you.”

“And mine is to her.”

“No,” Rath said fiercely, gripping Zan’s tunic tightly, “It is not.”

Zan ripped Rath’s hand away. “Yes, it is,” he said softly, “Now get them out.” He sprinted away before his best friend could say another word.

Rath cursed and called to the others. “What the hell are you doing standing around? Move!” They started out of their dazes, and Braiden nodded, ushering Catani in the direction the other guests had gone. Ava, blinking, asked for Zan. Rath, unable to lie, looked beseechingly to Zane for help. The other man nodded in accordance.

“He probably got swept away in the crowd, Ava, he’s probably waiting for us at the spaceport.” Ava nodded, clinging to her brother-in-law as he led her out. Zane paused by Rath’s side. “My wife,” he inquired, green eyes apprehensive.

“I’m sure she’s safe.”

“Rath…”

“Queen Ava needs your attention now, the Princess Verina will be found, do not worry.” Zane nodded, though he didn’t look happy, and continued onward.

Rath sighed, turning back to his own problem. Vilandra was nearly white, her hands clutching at each other, still staring blindly at the ruin around her. “Lonnie,” Rath whispered to his betrothed, “We need to go.”

She flinched, and let him drag her along to the waiting transport shuttle. Sitting among the other bedraggled wedding guests, his mind focused on his king and on the perpetrators of the heinous attacks, that Rath failed to hear Vilandra’s whisper. “He promised not today. He
promised.”

Leaving Rath to deal with his family, Zan took off for the far side of the gardens, to where he knew Verina was still waiting for him among the roses. As he rounded the bend, he saw her, sitting on the stone bench where they had first met watching anxiously for his appearance. “Verina!”

Her face lit up when she saw him running toward her. “Zan!” she cried, “What is happening?”

Reaching her, he took her small form into his arms, unable to talk, he just shook his head, burrowing his head in her hair. “I think,” he gasped out, “Khivar…”

“Here?” She felt him nod against her neck. “My father? The others?”

“Headed to the spaceport, we have to go.” He took her hand in his, preparing to start running again. The unexpected explosion hit them hard, knocking the two to the ground. Zan, alarmed, saw the pieces of pillar come raining down and moved to cover Verina’s body. Most of the rubble missed, but the few pieces that hit him bruised and cut, and he couldn’t help crying out.

It seemed almost an eternity when he felt the air die down and deemed it safe to move. He did so with difficulty, helping Verina up. She was slightly dirty, her dress torn, a small cut above her left eyes, but unharmed. He caressed her cheek, meeting her brown eyes. “You’re all right,” he told her, “You’re all right now.”

“How can you say that?” She burst into tears, “You could have died!”

“Verina,” he shook her slightly, “We don’t have time for that. We have to go.”

She gulped back her tears, grabbed his hand, and they started running. He could have killed himself trying to save her. She was furious with him for it, but at the same time, all she wanted to do was kiss him. She understood, she would die for him in an instant if need be. Zan was everything to her. She didn’t want to live in a world where he wasn’t.

As it was, he was hurt badly. Verina felt him slow, and moved back, supporting him with her body as they continued to run. They ran, and ran, and ran, until it seemed impossible to run any longer. Collapsing alongside a highway, Verina held Zan to her, despairing at his labored breathing, and hoping against hope that someone would come. They were so close. She could see the silver spaceport glimmering in the distance, untouched by the chaos swiftly moving toward it.

“I wish I could go back,” he said suddenly.

“What?” She helped him shift so that he could face her.

His smile was soft. “I wish I could go back…To before I saw Ava.” He tangled one hand in her dark hair and rested his forehead against hers. Verina felt tears sting her eyes. “I wish I could tell myself that the very thought of you, the way your eyes look into mine, your smile, the touch of your skin, you lips…” he kissed her briefly, “would make me complete. I wish I could tell myself that you are the only destiny I ever wanted.”

She kissed him this time, deeply, “I love you.”

“I love you.”

The airbrakes of a hovar broke what seemed to her a final embrace, a good-bye kiss. A door opened to reveal a harried looking woman. “Well get in,” she ordered as they stared at her, “Don’t have all day, planet’s going to blow up you know!”

They scrambled into the vehicle, Zan propped against the window and Verina cuddled against him. The hovar sped along, the woman scolding them for taking so long to get to the spaceport, when suddenly she broke off. “Princess Verina? King Zan? What-” Her mouth dropped open as she seemed to recall the compromising position she had found them in.

Verina felt herself turning beet red and buried her face into Zan’s chest. Zan, his ears burning, responded quite calmly. “Thank you very much for your assistance, I as sure you that you will be compensated for your kindness as soon as we are off-planet.” The woman shut up, but kept glancing back at them as the approached the spaceport.

Unloading from the hovar, Zan got the woman’s name and then hurried Verina toward one of the Antarian ships docked there. He was certain that Rath would not leave until the last possible moment, and would be waiting with the others at his personal ship. His hunch proved correct as he spotted the group of six before they saw him and Verina, of course when they did, Ava was the first.

“Zan!” She was immediately running toward him, blond curls bouncing, and supported him from the other side as they made their way to those waiting. Verina was taken from him to be enveloped in Zane’s arms, and before Zan could let the biting remark on his lips pass, Rath was at his side.

“Can we go now?”

“Yes.”

The space was cramped, as the ship was a two pilot-three passenger ship, though one pilot capable. Rath and Braiden took control while Verina and Catani smushed into one seat, Zane and Ava into another, and Vilandra and Zan maneuvered into the last. She was unusually quiet, though Zan didn’t comment as he was trying to stop Ava’s fussing.

With priority clearance, they were off-planet quickly, and moving swiftly toward Antar even as the other ships headed to Margant for refuge.

“I don’t understand where it came from,” Braiden was saying.

“Probably Khivar,” Rath replied, switching to autopilot, “Though how he got the capability, I couldn’t guess.”

“Why Karrasra?” Ava demanded, sounding like she was about to cry.

“Because I was there,” Zan said impatiently, “He wants me dead.”

“Approaching Antarian airspace,” Rath announced, cutting in before Zan got too upset with his wife. “There’s a military cruiser, probably sending aid. I’ll hail.” They waited as Rath gave proper codes. “I’m not getting a response.” Frowning, he tried hailing again.

“I think that’s enough of a response,” Braiden said, voice wavering. They all stared as one of the cruiser’s smaller guns pointed in their direction.

“Shit,” Rath exclaimed, “Its Khivar. How the hell did he get a hold of one of our ships?”

“I’m sorry!” Vilandra shrieked. Zan stared at his sister in horror. Her brown eyes were wide, tears streaking down her face. “I’m sorry,” she repeated desperately.

“Vil-“



tbc...

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dreamangel
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Post by dreamangel » Mon Mar 21, 2005 8:44 pm

Quick AN: Just so everyone is clear, they died. Zan got cut off when the ship exploded. That said, onto the final installment! (keep in mind I'm not all that great at endings)

25
It was a warm night, but Matt felt a shiver of nervousness run through his body. Sandry pressed her hand against his arms briefly in a gesture of comfort, and he gave her a grateful smile. She returned his smile and shifted from her seat on the trunk of the car, leaning against Rafe’s back. Something had changed between the two of them, and Matt was confused as to how it had come about, but there were bigger things to worry about.

It was a quarter to midnight and the others were nowhere to be seen. He pushed off from the car and started pacing the desert sand. “Why aren’t they here? We’re going home, they need to be here.”

“They’re coming, Mattie,” Sandry’s voice soothed, “I see headlights.”

He spun, relief evident as he saw the line of lights coming toward them. And then a spurt of fear. “So many…”

“Calm down, Matt,” Rafe spoke for the first time that night, “To betray us, they would have to betray themselves.” He was twirling a strand of blond hair, betraying his own nervousness.

The vehicles came to a stop just a few feet from them. Max and Isabel exited an SUV, looking grim, and Alex jumped out from the backseat. Michael emerged from the Jetta with, Max was pleased to note, a very blond Maria. Kyle and Tess followed the Sheriff from the police cruiser. And finally, coming along the desert at a very even clip, came Liz.

She slid from the back seat of the car, walking over to the group. Her parents hesitated by the car before following her slowly.

“What the hell are they doing here?” Michael demanded as the Parkers came to a stop near the Sheriff.

Max sighed and faced his friend. “They know, Michael.”

“You let her tell them?!” The accusation hung heavy in Isabel’s voice, her own need to tell their parents evident.

“I didn’t let her do anything,” Max retorted hotly, “I-“

“You better fix this, Maxwell,” Michael broke in.

“Hey!” Liz was angry, “Don’t yell at him. I’m the one who told, some explanation was needed. I’m sorry that I didn’t consult you first, but it’s done, drop it.”

Michael flushed, and Max could tell it was going to get out of hand. “Michael, we don’t have time for this. We’ll discuss this afterwards, okay?” The other boy was going to protest, Max could tell. “After.” Brown eyes flicked to the trio standing a little away, watching them.

“Fine,” Michael agreed shortly, “After.”

“Should we go over there?” Isabel asked, watching the other three aliens. She studied Matt, her younger brother, Max’s twin. It was so weird. Were there bonds between them now that she knew? Contemplating, she glanced at Max and Michael, weighing what she felt for them. No, she realized, what she felt for Matt was a vague affection, one you would feel for a new friend. It was not the brother/sister bond she had with the boys she grew up with. She would not die for Matt Hunter.

“Yes,” Max said reluctantly. He turned to the humans, “You should stay near the cars. Hopefully this won’t take long.”

“But Michael needs me!” Maria protested, tightening her grip on her boyfriend.

“Maria,” he murmured softly, something so uncharacteristic of Michael that her jaw dropped, and he shut it, kissing her lips lightly, “I’ll be back.”

Tears touched her eyes. “I love you Spaceboy.”

He grinned and tugged a blonde curl, “Ditto.”

Isabel and Alex exchanged looks, and Liz sent her parents a reassuring smile as the group of five trooped forward. Tess did not even glance back at Kyle and Jim. Matt stopped pacing, Rafe straightened, and Sandry slid off the car hood to stand beside them, waiting.

“You came,” Matt stated, smiling at his brother. His smile faltered at the sight of Max and Liz’s hand intertwined, but he forced it wider, trying to ignore Tess’ knowing look. She couldn’t have been right, Verina belonged with him.

“Yes,” Max replied, “But we’re not staying.”

“Not staying?”

Max met the eyes of his group, skipping over Tess, “We just wanted to let you know that while we appreciate the offer…Earth is our home.” His honey-brown eyes softened as he recognized the stricken look in Matt’s eyes. “We belong here.”

“But-“

“Tess will be returning with you. She made her choice individually, as did we all.” He peered at the green-eyed young man. “Try to look after her,” he confided wryly, “She tends to get into trouble.”

Matt snapped back into focus as Max leaned back away from him, making to turn around and head back to the cars. “But we don’t have a choice,” he protested, not seeing the looks of sympathy Sandry and Rafe were sending him, “Its destiny. There is no choice, there is no chance, what has been and what will be has already been decided!”

It was Liz who shook her head, brown eyes hard, “We make our own destiny, Matt. What is there to live for is we don’t?”

The ship came quickly; a brief flash and it hovered above them, large but sleek, gleaming of unknown metal and white light. She appeared to them as she had when the orbs were activated, as a blue hologram that looked human. She glanced at the group assembled and smiled. “Greetings my children,” she said, her voice rasping.

Isabel gasped and drew back tears. This was her true mother. She looked older than the picture they had seen just one year ago, more weary… Iz wanted to know her, if only for a moment, but she knew her place was with Diane Evans, her real mother.

“I am Melantha, the Acting Queen of Antar, Mother to Zan and Zane and Vilandra. I regret that you see me only as this vision; Earth cannot support my true lifeform. Are you ready to return?”

Sandry reconciled this older queen with the one in her memories. “What does returning entail, my Queen?” she inquired boldly, clutching at Rafe’s hand. She did not want to lose him.

“Sandry!” Matt hissed.

The hologram turned, flickered slightly, and then resumed full form. “It is a simple process, Catani, you will regain the memories of your past life and your current body shall undergo a transformation in order to allow you to survive on Antar.”

“What about our memories of this life?” Rafe asked. Matt glared at him, wondering about this mutiny when they had all worked so hard to get home.

“They will meld with your old memories.”

“We won’t lose them?” he pressed, just to be sure.

“No, Braiden, no memories, past or present, will be held back or taken.”

Rafe nodded, “Then I’m ready.”

“Me too,” Sandry echoed.

“I am as well,” Tess said, stepping away from Max and the others to move toward the ship.

“Mother,” Matt spoke, testing out the unfamiliar word, “Zan and the others refuse to come.”

Melantha wavered again as she moved to face Max and his three companions. “You do not wish to come, Zan?”

“With all due respect, you Majesty,” Max said, “We feel we belong here.”

She blinked, “You would refuse the crown?”

“Yes.”

“This is your final decision? You understand that we will not return to this solar system?”

“We understand.”

“Mother,” Matt started again, “Verina is Crown Princess of Karrasra, Hannar still needs his heir!” Would they be separated again, so soon after they had met?

He could see sparkling tears appear, “Hannar remarried soon after the destruction Khivar caused and the Crown Prince Otanimus was born. He’s ruled Karrasra for the past three and twenty years. Verina’s return is unnecessary, as is Zan’s, as long as you come Zane.”

“What about Khivar?”

“He and his followers are still at large, though we have regained control of the palace. We may have to deal with him again in the future.”

“Um…” Max hesitated, “Melantha, we have reason to believe some of the Skins may be here on Earth.”

“Here?” she echoed.

“We’ll take care of them,” Michael said confidently.

“As you say, Commander Rath,” the queen nodded, “I must also rely on you to look after the Granilith as it seems to have Chosen Earth as its resting place.” Her blue eyes traveled to the tall rock formation where they had been born. “If it moves, it will be there only chance to come back to Antar. We must prevent that by any means!”

Max nodded, “We’ll take care of it.”

She smiled, nodding, letting her eyes wander over those who had chosen to stay. “I wish I could hold you.”

Isabel started crying, “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be darling, happiness is what makes life worth living, I would not want you to return with me to a life of regret.”

“Are you truly going to let them do this?” Matt demanded, his green eyes on Liz. “What about destiny?”

Melantha cocked her head to the side, “I believe it is an Earthian saying that destiny is a matter of choice and not of chance, Zane.” Matt fell silent as he met her gaze. She turned back to the others. “Goodbye, my children, and be happy.”

The hologram flickered and disappeared, and then so did Matt, Tess, Rafe, and Sandry. Those left held their breaths, backing toward the humans waiting for them as the ship started humming. They watched the ship take off into the night sky. One second so large and real, and the next just a streak of light flying through the cosmos. When the wind caused by the ascent had died down Alex asked, “What happens now?”

Max turned, his eyes meeting eight others before coming to rest on Liz’s. He took her hand, lifting it to his lips for a moment.

“We live.”


The End

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Keep a look out for the concluding chapters of Sweet Rosalyn!

~Nicole

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