The Long & Winding Road: Book 1 - Dry Lightening (CC, Mature) Chapter 16 - 10/7/2021

This is the place to post all your General Roswell fanfiction. Any Canon fics, which pick up directly from any episode of the show and that focus on Max/Liz, Michael/Maria, Isabel/Alex or Isabel/Jesse, Kyle/Tess, or all the couples together! Rule of Thumb: If Max healed Liz in the Crashdown in September 1999, then your fic belongs here. If it picks up from the show in any way, it belongs here.

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KindredKandies
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The Long & Winding Road: Book 1 - Dry Lightening (CC, Mature) Chapter 16 - 10/7/2021

Post by KindredKandies » Thu Oct 07, 2021 1:33 pm

keepsmiling7- Thank you, we’re glad to be back! No, perfect they’re not. Impossible is a good word for this situation, but they’ll do their best to put things right.

xmag- There is no hard number for how many timelines they’ve experienced. Each of the hybrids have recall of timelines specific to them individually, certain timelines that stood out more for them than the others.

Lol, yeah, they have their hands full with the plan, especially where Tess is concerned. We’ll have to wait and see. Max has laid out the plan and he’s ready to put it into action.

Maria has her own unique approach and she won’t blindly follow orders. It’ll have to make sense to her before she falls in line for the mission.




Author’s Note: We’ve borrowed a few lines from “A Question” and “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. In addition, a couple of lines were borrowed from the Season One Roswell episode “Into the Woods.”



Book One – Chapter 16

October 15, 2016 – Pete’s Liftoff Gas Station, Outskirts of Roswell, NM – 0324 Hours

She stood a safe distance from the station, close enough in the event she was needed, far enough away to avoid intentionally overhearing the private conversations between the others. In spite of her desire to give them privacy there were occasional bits and pieces she picked up since their voices carried on the quiet night air and were easily picked up courtesy of her keen hearing. She didn’t begrudge them the opportunity to have this time together, to reconnect, but there was a place inside of her that cried out for that same chance.

But it wasn’t to be.

She’d been thrust into a world she didn’t understand, forced to adapt or die. She’d learned skills she’d never in her wildest thoughts imagined having in order to survive from one day to the next. And that’s all it was – survival. Nothing about the past 15 years had been about living. Staying alive, yes, but living? No. At first she’d fought simply to live another day, not even sure why she bothered beyond the ingrained instinct to never give in, to never give up. She’d lost everything she cared about with the exception of Max and Michael.

Alex. Her parents. She’d had no choice with Alex. He’d been taken from her. But her parents, she’d chosen to leave them behind to save them. And in the end she’d failed. She didn’t know if they were safe, but even if they were, she could imagine they were mere shadows of their former selves. Philip and Diane Evans had valued their children, their family above all else and that had been taken from them without their consent. There wasn’t a doubt in her mind that they would have accepted the truth about their children, would’ve continued to love them with the unconditional love that had been there since the first time they’d set eyes on the two orphans in the children’s home.

And if they succeeded in changing the past and altering the future that truth would be known to them. She would live a life free of violence and death; she wouldn’t have the blood of uncounted numbers staining her hands. The cries of the dead wouldn’t haunt her night after night. She wouldn’t have the weight of two worlds on her shoulders. She would be free to pursue what she wanted, to live life to the fullest, and once more she vowed to do just that.

Alex had not only accepted her differences, he’d embraced them. He’d been curious and he’d stuck his foot in his mouth more than once as he’d sought to clumsily let her know he was okay with it and that he was interested in her. He’d amused her, though she’d done her level best to make sure he never knew that. He’d also frightened her. She’d had her followers, her little groupies all through her school years but there had always been a certain distance maintained. They hadn’t really known her. How could they? They had only known what she had allowed them to know. Those relationships hadn’t been threatening; they had been completely safe because she had controlled every aspect involved.

And then, thanks to her brother, she’d suddenly had two girls who were in on the big secret. She’d felt like she was surrounded by people who knew the truth about her and she hadn’t liked that feeling. It had only driven home the reality that control was an illusion. Her life had suddenly been thrown into chaos. She’d worried and fretted over who would learn the secret next. Max had revealed himself to Liz, and in doing so, revealed the truth about her and Michael as well. Liz, in turn, had blabbed the secret to Maria.

She’d thought her biggest fear was Maria running her mouth to the wrong people. But it wasn’t. Her biggest fear had turned out to be a lanky 16-year-old bass-playing geek. Because he’d known the truth and it hadn’t sent him running in the opposite direction. No, he’d run straight to her regardless of how many times she shot him down. She’d visited his dream and been shocked at the way he saw her. She’d been awed by his ability to see beneath the surface, to see the truth in what lay beneath the face she showed the world. He obviously wasn’t blind to her physical features or attributes, but that wasn’t the only thing that had attracted him to her.

Yeah, that had given her plenty to think about. He’d deserved so much better than what she’d given him. How many times had she allowed him to get close only to push him away again? Why was it she hadn’t realized how much she valued him until it was too late? He’d come back from Sweden a different person, more confident in himself, and when he’d simply let her walk away without a single attempt to keep her there she’d felt a hint of panic spark to life. He’d been gone one month. 30 days with no contact. Why hadn’t she questioned it? In Michael’s case that wouldn’t really be much of a leap because that’s just the way he was. But someone like Alex? He was a communicator. It should’ve been a red flag.

Not for the first time, she wondered what she would’ve done if she’d learned that Tess was responsible for his death before they had left Earth. Faced with Tess now she knew what she’d do. She was certain that was part of the reason Max had insisted he would be the one to approach her. How many times had she sought Tess out on the battlefield, hoping to catch a glimpse of her so she could exact revenge for the life she had taken? Her hand rested on the weapon at her side. No, she wouldn’t give Tess time to draw a single breath and he knew that.

She reached up to run a hand over her face and winced at the protest her shoulder made at the sudden move. She cursed under her breath and flexed the muscle, tensing and holding it in an effort to ease the stiffness that had set in after being immobile for a while. She settled her free hand over the old injury, massaging the muscle in a futile attempt to stop the pain. She knew from experience that the ache had settled in for the night.

She stared off into the distance, taking in the darkness and breathing in the cold night air before walking the perimeter one more time. She scanned the sky for anything out of place as she completed her circuit. Six days, that was the timeline Max had given but the truth was he’d just thrown a feasible number out there to give them something to focus on. They didn’t know if they had that much time. Chances were good they didn’t. But he was a leader and he knew what he needed to do to rally his troops, regardless of who they were.

Satisfied that nothing appeared out of sync with her surroundings she searched for a place to settle. The wind gusted for a moment and she smiled briefly when her gaze alighted on the boulder next to the half dead bush that had kept it hidden from view. She sighed wearily as she leaned back against it, resting there for a few long moments before boosting herself up to sit on the pitted surface. It wasn’t the most comfortable spot to sit, but as her eyes turned heavenward and locked on the stars she forgot about that and focused on a memory.

“See the North Star? Okay, now look a little to your left… and a little further out. That small group of stars right there? That’s the Cygnus Constellation. It’s the furthest we can see from here.”

This time though, instead of her voice pointing out the stars as they sat on a boulder in Frazier Woods, it was Alex’s low comforting tone that echoed in her head as he spoke the words she knew she herself had spoken as they gazed at the stars.

“And then to the right of the Milky Way, that’s Orion.”

Her eyes automatically sought out the stars that would form the Hunter and she traced over them, finding solace in their familiarity. She had stared up at the stars above Antar countless times over the years but they had been strangers to her. There had been no point whatsoever that was in any way similar to what she had known on Earth. Many times she would look up and see an inky black sky dotted with the beloved constellations she knew by heart and she would see and hear Alex as he spoke to her, comforted by his voice and the gestures and mannerisms that kept his body in constant motion as he spoke. He had been a physical speaker, so animated and a joy to watch, but she hadn’t even known that until it was too late to appreciate it.

Antarians were reserved by nature; very controlled and emotionally subdued. They weren’t in any way fanciful and they hadn’t had names for things like constellations. They used the stars for navigating, but they hadn’t understood the joy of simply looking at them. It had been a foreign concept to them and one deemed useless. She hadn’t bothered asking again. But it hadn’t stopped her from looking at them and wishing she could go back to a time when her life had been simpler. No amount of wishing had changed her reality though.

She had missed this. The stars had been a constant in her life as a child and as she’d grown into a teenager. She could remember sitting on the back porch with her dad, watching the sky avidly as she waited for a shooting star to make its appearance so she could make a wish. They’d done that on and off through the years and every year on her birthday. She wondered if he bothered to look at the stars anymore. If they succeeded in their mission she swore she’d never miss the chance to sit with him and watch for a shooting star on her birthday… regardless of how many years passed.

“He still watches for that shooting star every year on your birthday.”

She swallowed hard when she heard the familiar voice and a shudder raced down her spine. Oh, she’d heard him countless times over the years, taking strength from those small moments, but quickly putting them away where they would be safe from the reality she struggled with on a daily basis. Remembering him, letting his voice wash over her, his mannerisms calm her, they had been coping mechanisms and she’d used them to give her strength to keep pushing forward, to reach for the ultimate goal of changing the past.

He had lived on in her memory and she’d held tight to it but she’d never seen him as she had when he’d appeared to her after his death. Time, space, distance, something had kept him away. Many times she’d wondered if she was responsible for that. She’d starved for the comfort she knew he could provide but she didn’t want him to be privy to the carnage she had to deal with every day. So she’d listened when the memories called, but she’d never heard his voice as clearly as she did now.

“Alex.” Her voice whispered on the cold air, a question, a plea, a desire to reconnect with him before undertaking her mission.

“Isabel.”

She felt the unmistakable warmth of a hand as it settled on her shoulder and while the slight weight should have caused pain, it was just the opposite. The ache ceased to exist and the weight of the world fell away as she turned her head to look at him. He had appeared to her several times after his death, in dreams and in waking moments that had felt so real she’d almost convinced herself they were mistaken in believing he was gone.

She reached out a hesitant hand, holding her breath as she touched him, felt his solid form. “You’re really here,” she whispered incredulously.

“For now,” he nodded.

“My parents are safe?”

“Safely tucked away on the East Coast.”

She studied him for a minute in silence. “You’ve watched over them.” And she knew it was true without confirmation.

“My parents left after I died and getting away was the best thing for them. I thought it’d be good for your parents too.”

Her eyebrows lifted. “You made them leave?”

“My powers are of the persuasive nature only. And it only works if the subject is willing.” He smiled as he watched her. “They’re living in a coastal town now and it’s been good for them. They’re not whole, they won’t be until you and Max come home, but they’re doing well.”

She nodded and shot a glance back at the station, wishing fervently that she could’ve saved all of them.

“You’ve got a fighting chance, Isabel. You’ve got a solid plan and you know what you’re facing going into it. You were right to bring Maria and Liz into your ranks.”

“How did you know I was here?”

He chuckled quietly. “I always knew when you were close by.”

She snorted. “Only you would see opposite sides of the country as close by.”

“Hey, I’m a glass-half-full kinda guy. I would’ve come to you on Antar but you blocked me.” He held a hand up when her head snapped around to look at him. “No blame here. I think I understand why you did that. But you really didn’t have to protect me.”

Isabel smiled fondly and shook her head. “Yes, I did.” She hadn’t wanted him tainted by what was going on around her, by the things she’d had to do to survive.

He nodded and looked up at the stars. “I’m sorry I couldn’t get to the others in time to save them. My connection to them wasn’t that strong. I didn’t know they were in danger.” He rubbed her arm when he saw her swallow convulsively. “If it’s any consolation I was able to persuade Liz’s parents to take a last-minute vacation. If the Skins come for them they won’t find them.”

Those were two deaths that wouldn’t be on her conscience. “Thank you, Alex.”

He smiled in response. “You need to rest.”

“I know.” She nodded at the station. “This may be their only chance to make peace before we put the plan into action. I won’t take that away from them.”

No, she wouldn’t. He placed an arm around her shoulders and pulled her closer. She wasn’t the girl he’d been in love with. She was a woman now, a seasoned warrior who had lived and died through hell no one should have to endure. She bore the scars, physical, mental and emotional of a war that was never hers to fight. She deserved peace. He wished he knew the outcome of their mission, knew for certain if they would be successful, but that wasn’t for him to know.

“Rest now,” he whispered as he pressed a kiss to her hair when she rested her head against his chest. “I’ll keep watch for you and let you know as soon as Max or Michael comes to relieve you.”

The silence of the night surrounded them as he felt her relax enough to let him know she would rest, though he knew it wouldn’t be enough. There was precious little time for that and they all knew it. Once again he lifted his eyes to the night sky, slowly tracing over the stars that gave Orion life and while his lips moved, his voice was too low to disturb the quiet or the woman in his arms.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

No, he didn’t know the outcome of their mission, but he knew it would make all the difference.

For nearly an hour Alex sat quietly watching the night sky. Something was coming; he could feel it on the air. The woman he held in his arms would cease to exist whether her mission succeeded or failed. The past was not her place and by returning there she was forfeiting her very existence in this time and place.

In the vulnerable state she experienced as she rested against him he was privy to her innermost thoughts and the maelstrom of emotions at war within her. He wished he knew the outcome of her mission, wished he could provide her with the absolution she sought, but it wasn’t something he had the power to grant. She wasn’t at fault for anything that had happened to him. He’d often wondered what life would have held in store for them if they’d made it beyond high school, but the gift of clairvoyance wasn’t his and he had only his imagination to rely on.

He lifted his head when the atmosphere crackled with electricity and he searched the dark sky for the source of the disturbance. Change was coming, that’s what it was. For good or bad, he didn’t know. All he knew was it was about to happen and she was at the center of it. He jostled her slightly, easing her into wakefulness as he murmured words he’d long ago memorized.

“A voice said, Look me in the stars
And tell me truly, men of earth,
If all the soul-and-body scars
Were not too much to pay for birth”

No. The cost wasn’t too much. He believed that with every fiber of his being. Life was worth the cost, living was worth the cost. He smiled as he brushed a kiss against her forehead. Love was worth the cost. He looked up again as she stirred in his arms and as they watched a jagged streak of white-hot lightning cut through the midnight sky to strike the Earth in the distance.

“It’s time, Isabel.”
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xmag
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Re: The Long & Winding Road: Book 1 - Dry Lightening (CC, Mature) Chapter 16 - 10/7/2021

Post by xmag » Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:12 pm

Hey, an update, what a great surprise!

Poor Isabel, she has gone through hell, like the others of course but here, it's her part. She is at a point in her life where she is an adult, has lived a terrible life and now look back to the good old time and has regrets. Also, she misses the simpler times, she thinks she should have been able to appreciate those time more.

But isn't that our fate to all of us, humans, or non humans with our roswellians? To take our present and the people in it, for granted and to regret in the future?

What Isabel is going through is so relatable. I really feel for her.

This story is so worthy of being binge-read. I'll do that once it's finished (although, it will be just the first book and two others will follow, right?).
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Michael : From day one, I knew you were the girl for me, I never wanted anyone else.

keepsmiling7
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Re: The Long & Winding Road: Book 1 - Dry Lightening (CC, Mature) Chapter 16 - 10/7/2021

Post by keepsmiling7 » Sun Oct 17, 2021 10:21 am

Nice surprise to find this update. Great part......I love your Alex character.
Thank you for coming back with this story.

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