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Time Runs Both Ways (CC,All,TEEN) Epilogue & Author's Note - 6/2/16
Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:30 am
Cover art courtesy of Roswelllover
Title: Time Runs Both Ways
Assilem_1 a.k.a. Melissa
I own nothing. All characters are borrowed.
AU CC Liz’s POV
TEEN (At least for now)
Roswell Fanatics, The Boardello, Fanfiction.net and my site, all others please ask . . .
Dreamer through and through (<-hint
The last discernible episode of the show in this fic is Heart of Mine, but no Hybrid Chronicles, so Sheriff Valenti still has his job. It takes place after Alex dies, but in a twist of fate Max also dies. Of course the circumstances are way different than in Cry Your Name (Dreamer insurance offered for those who need it.)
A/N: Ok, I'm officially ready to wrap up this story. All parts have been written and are simply waiting for posting. I'm thinking, one post per day, maybe? Now I apologize in advance to any new readers because this is a long one folks. It takes you over the river and through the woods, but I think it's a pretty decent ride. At the very least it'll be a finished story. Points for that if nothing else, right? . . . . . .
For those of you who have been following this story, new part can be found here with a refresher and everything:
Forgive me father, for I have sinned...
Otherwise, here's the repost:
Chapter 1: Angel
Chapter 2: Trying to find my way
Chapter 3: Darkest hours
Chapter 4: Everything’s not alright
Chapter 5: Save Me
Chapter 6: Grief Girl
Chapter 7: Light at the end
Chapter 8: Hope?
Chapter 9: Feel like letting go
Chapter 10: Where the heart is
Chapter 11: What once went wrong
Chapter 12: I shall believe
Chapter 13: Reinforcements
Chapter 14: Everything
Chapter 15: Are you scared?
Chapter 16: Make it go away
Chapter 17: Divided We Fall
Chapter 18: Just a little Heartache
Chapter 19: All the king’s horses
Interlude I: Nerves
Interlude II: I’ll be
Interlude III: The Intervention
Interlude IV: Pandora
Chapter 20: In the air tonight
Chapter 21: You can run...
Chapter 22: A mind is a terrible thing
Interlude V: The Villain of this Piece
Interlude VI: Service and Repair
Chapter 23: Rest for the Weary
Chapter 24: How do you breathe?
Chapter 25: I will remember you
Chapter 26: No Fate
Epilogue: End of the world (as we know it)
Chapter 1: Angel
Journal Entry 31 – July 13th 2002
So, so much has happened since that fateful day on the ledge. At the time I felt it was an ending. But now I see I had only just begun.
So, how did I get here?
The answer seems to be a very long one, but, instead of starting at the beginning, since I’ve already done that in the beginning of this journal, I thought I’d start at the end. Or what I thought was the end.
And I can still remember it all so clearly . . .
I stood there, with the wind blowing past me, the darkness surrounding me and I could just imagine the ground rushing up to meet me as I stood on that ledge. And you know what I felt?
Yes, I, Elizabeth Claudia Parker, was contemplating suicide and the thought actually made sense. The funny thing was, with all that had happened, I somehow figured my big exit from this life would be just that. Big. Not that I imagined myself going out with guns blazing or anything crazy like that, I just thought it’d be major. Especially to me. But right then, my death just seemed like a minor thing.
So why am I writing all this down now?
Well, for one thing, tomorrow is the day I stood on that ledge.
Yes, I know, that makes no sense, but it’s no less true.
No one remembers any of this . . . Not Max and Alex dying, not the pain that followed, not even me trying to commit suicide.
But that’s ok.
It’s a burden I will happily shoulder alone if it means it’s all undone.
But back then, I’d stopped writing things down, stopped keeping track, stopped talking altogether. No one could hear me anyway, so it just became easier to stay quiet and see if anyone noticed. And you know what?
Although, really I can’t blame them for that because there was so much grief going around back then, there was hardly room for much else.
But now I realize that in order to make sense of where I am now, I have to deal with where I was then. That dark place that I was buried in. Inside myself. And yes, I know some people will consider what I was about to do a cop-out. But they don’t know how it felt. How the pain felt. How it took over so much so that there was nothing left of me. How I couldn’t sleep without reliving that terrible day. Couldn’t eat anything and successfully keep it down. Couldn’t think without the memories rushing in.
Oh yes, I remember what it was like. Remember the pain better than I’d like to admit actually, since some of the issues are still with me.
So I retreated . . . from everyone . . . and everything. Losing Alex hurt, almost more than I could stand. But then to lose Max. It was like losing a part of myself. And I just didn’t know how to do it alone anymore. How to keep going day to day like part of me wasn’t missing. Like it was going to somehow magically be ok. Because it wasn’t ok. *I* wasn’t ok. And I felt like I’d never be ok again.
So I thought if I kept still and stayed quiet, maybe the pain would loosen it’s hold on me.
But the silence in my head was so deafening back then. And I’d open my mouth to scream only to discover I had no voice.
But how could I scream?
I wasn’t even there.
I wasn’t anywhere.
I had ceased to exist . . . without even noticing.
So death made sense to me after that.
Of course, I didn’t understand it at first. Why the people I love had to succumb to it. Why Max and Alex couldn’t be with me then.
I wailed and I fought and resisted the knowledge that they were gone, because I figured if I didn’t believe it, it wouldn’t be true. Yes, I know, ‘Faulty Liz logic’ Alex would call it, but he wasn’t there and that wasn’t the point. The point was that after that I understood . . . that it wasn’t technically suicide because I was already gone. I had died that day when they did. I just didn’t realize it at the time. I’d been walking around for weeks, an empty shell of myself. Just going through the motions, expecting that at some point something would happen to finally bring me back. But you know what?
Nothing ever did.
~ ~ ~
“Liz?” her father’s voice drifted out to her from the open window of her bedroom. “Dinner’s ready hon.”
“I’ll be there in a minute Dad” she responded as she closed her eyes for a moment. Then she reopened them, bookmarked her page, closed her journal and rose from her chair on the balcony. She wearily climbed back into her room and put her journal in it’s new hiding place under a loose floor board in the closet. She then went to join her parents for dinner.
When dinner was over, she excused herself and headed to her room. But she didn’t go back and retrieve her journal. Instead she found her mind traveling back to that fateful day and she relived it anew.
~ ~ ~ ~
~*Spend all your time waiting*~
~*For that second chance*~
Once again, the wind was blowing through her hair and she could see the ground below her so clearly . . .
~*For a break that would make it okay*~
She was still staring down at her soon-to-be destination . . . The place where only moments from now she would finally know the peace that she couldn’t seem to find anywhere else.
~*There's always some reason*~
~*To feel not good enough*~
Funny how it all seemed so complicated before and now it all seemed so simple.
~*And it's hard at the end of the day*~
She’d resisted for so long, trying to convince herself that there was a reason to go on. Deluded herself really because all along she knew . . . what she had to do. She’d always told him that without him she couldn’t imagine living. But she felt she owed it to him to try . . .
~*I need some distraction*~
And as her mind flooded with thoughts of Max, suddenly the once inviting ground blurred as her tears began to flow again . . .
~*Oh beautiful release*~
She was so tired of crying . . . of mourning for what could have been . . . what should have been . . .
~*The memories seep from my veins*~
If only she’d never changed things, she thought for probably the millionth time. But she couldn’t help it. Whenever she thought about how things turned out, it inevitably lead to how they were the first time around . . . Before Future Max came and asked her to give up the world . . . her world. Neither of them could have known that this would happen. Couldn’t have suspected that ending that fateful relationship would result in Max and Alex’s deaths.
'So what of the future now?' she wondered.
Fourteen years into the future seemed inconceivable considering how things were now. If being without Tess weakened them enough to lose, then being without Max meant that the battle would probably be over before it started.
So it was over for all of them now and everything she’d given up, everything she’d lost, was for nothing . . .
~*Let me be empty*~
It was all just too much she thought as her tears got the best of her and she began to sob. She crumbled to the ground then, as the weight of her grief crashed down around her. And yet she knew it would only get worse because every time she allowed herself to think of how bad things truly were, it lead to her remembering how it all came to be this way . . .
~*Oh and weightless and maybe*~
~*I'll find some peace tonight*~
‘Not this time’ she thought as she forced herself to stand. ‘I won’t relive that day again, I won’t!’ So she determinedly composed herself and pushed her grief down into the void it was used to occupying. And as her tears slowed she looked up, told Max she loved him for the final time in this life, and prepared to jump . . .
~*In the arms of the angels*~
And just as she began to take that first step off the building into nothingness, everything seemed to move in slow motion . . .
~*Far away from here*~
As one foot stepped off the ledge and she tipped forwards, the wind blew violently at her, unobstructed by the building and she could see the tear that had just slipped down her cheek fall away, disappearing from sight . . .
~*From this dark cold hotel room*~
She smiled, knowing that she would soon join it. There was no comfort or solace left for her here, only this . . .
~*And the endlessness that you fear*~
She pushed forward, thrusting away from the building, resolute and more sure in this decision than any other, and closed her eyes, prepared . . . But just as she left the ledge altogether, in a violent wrench strong arms grabbed her and pulled her back.
~*You are pulled from the wreckage*~
~*of your silent reverie*~
She gasped and then cried out as the person holding her backed up, dragging her with him. Away from what she considered her final peace of mind . . .
~*You’re in the arms of the angels*~
So she fought him, wild now with grief. She clawed at him even as she begged him to let her go. But still he held on until she crumbled, her fighting dissolved into heartwrenching sobs. It was only then that the stranger turned her and held her while she wept. After a few moments, she pulled away, tired, so tired, and looked up into familiar eyes.
~*May you find some comfort here *~
tbc . . .
Music and Lyrics from “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan
Re: Time Runs Both Ways (CC,TEEN) Repost 12/07/09
Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:52 am
Chapter 2: Trying to find my way
‘How did I get here?’ she wondered not for the first time as she and Michael were sitting in Maria’s beat up Jetta outside of the building she had just tried to commit suicide in.
Everything had seemed so simple just moments ago. She knew she was leaving people behind. She figured that they would mourn her, but they would eventually let her go.
They had to.
Everyone had been too wrapped up in their own grief to notice anyone else around them and it seemed like everyone else had someone to lean on. Isabel had turned to Kyle and Maria was so broken that Michael seemed to be the only person who could reach her.
So why was he here now?
“Michael, what are you doing here?” she finally asked.
When he continued to stare straight ahead with both hands on the steering wheel, she huddled into herself. “Why couldn’t you just leave me alone?” she whispered.
And that’s when he did turn to her and looking into his eyes, she realized that he was angry.
“Leave you alone?” Michael started quietly, and then began to yell. “Leave you alone?! So that you could kill yourself?! What the hell were you thinking? How could you do that to yourself? To us? To all of us who have already lost so much? To Maria! How could you do that to your best friend Maria? Who can barely wake up each morning without crying so hard I think she’s gonna split apart. How could you even think this was a good solution?!”
And this suddenly made Liz angry, which, she discovered, was a hell of a better emotion to deal with than grief. “Do this to you? To all of you? I know that you and Isabel lost a brother, Maria lost a best friend, but I lost a soul mate and a best friend! What about how I’ve been feeling? What about -" she gasped "-what about me?" She wiped the tears away in frustration. "I can't, sometimes I can’t breathe it hurts so bad" she gasped, clawing at her chest as if she could dig the grief out. The tears fell quietly as she exhaled tiredly. "Michael, I know you don't get it. You can't. Just, imagine what it would feel like to lose Maria, and then add losing Isabel to that and then maybe, maybe, you can talk to me about pain.”
She was crying again in earnest now, her view of Michael nearly obscured by her tears.
At that, all the fight seemed to go out of Michael and he just collapsed against the steering wheel. And it was only by the slight shaking of his shoulders that Liz could tell he was crying also. Michael was the toughest of them all and she had somehow managed to make him cry. It was all just too much and Liz launched herself at Michael as her crying increased and his continued in earnest.
Slowly, slowly, they broke apart as their crying decreased and as it subsided altogether, Michael gave her a half-smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes and said “Now if you tell anyone that I cried on your shoulder, I will have to kill you.” But instead of lightening the mood like he thought it would, Liz just turned to look out the window at the building they had just left.
At that, Michael’s facade fell and he turned to face her fully. “Liz, I know . . . I know we haven’t ever been close and . . . and I’m probably the last person you’d pick to talk to, but you were about to . . .” and he let the rest of the sentence trail off.
Liz sighed heavily as she realized that she had been putting off this moment when they would have to have this conversation, so instead she bypassed his question and repeated her own. “What are you doing here? How did you know to come here? I purposefully picked this building for it’s isolation and yet . . .” she trailed off.
Michael turned to face forward again as he debated what to say. Should he tell her the truth? He wasn’t sure if he should because it could be a little more than she could handle right now. She was just about to commit suicide. Didn’t that suggest that kid gloves were necessary? Or was this a time for tough love? He grumbled quietly to himself, wishing Maria was here. She’d know what to do. He never was any good at this touchy-feely crap and the crying fit he’d just had was already more emotion than he showed in a lifetime. But since Maria hadn’t been herself lately, she hadn’t noticed that her friend was slipping into a black pit of despair. So that just left him. And the odd thing was discovering that he actually cared about Liz. Because before all this happened, he had only thought of her as a thorn in his side, then she was just ‘Max’s girlfriend’ and ‘Maria’s best friend’ and then she was ‘the-girl-who-broke-Max’s-heart.’ He had never taken the time to notice that somewhere in between all their inner-group dramas and intermittent brushes with death, the group had become like family to him . . . And that included Liz, Alex, Kyle and even Valenti. Even though, he’d never taken more than a passing interest in any of their well-being. Until this morning that is . . .
~*Of all the things I've believed in*~
~*I just want to get it over with*~
Michael was so absorbed in his thoughts that he didn’t realize that he’d taken too long to answer the question and Liz, left alone with her thoughts, found herself being called back to that ledge . . . and it terrified her.
~*Tears form behind my eyes*~
~*But I do not cry*~
She didn’t realize until she was pulled back from it, how much of herself she had really lost in the time that had passed since Max and Alex had died. She had faded away and no one had noticed. Not even her. But what else could she do? The pain was overwhelming. It was gut-wrenching. It was like nothing she had ever experienced. And it was all the time.
~*Counting the days that pass me by*~
And then top that off with the fact that it wasn’t getting better. Wasn’t it supposed to get better? It seemed that she'd heard somewhere that times heals all wounds...but how much time?
~*I've been searching deep down in my soul*~
~*Words that I'm hearing are starting to get old*~
Time didn’t seem to be her friend these days. Time had brought her to that ledge. Well, ok, that wasn’t exactly true. Pain had brought her to that ledge. But time just kept going. Days slipped into weeks, weeks slipped into months, and nothing changed.
~*It feels like I'm starting all over again*~
~*The last three years were just pretend*~
Sometimes she’d watch the clock change from minutes to hours, hoping if she paid attention that something important would happen; Maybe a moment of clarity.
~*And I said*~
~*Goodbye to you*~
~*Goodbye to everything that I knew*~
But the only moment of clarity she’d had was when she accepted what she had to do and had gone to that ledge . . .
~*You were the one I loved*~
~*The one thing that I tried to hold on to . . . *~
Michael cleared his throat and Liz turned to him and the pain he saw in her eyes nearly took his breath away. How did they miss that? How could any of them have missed that? But even as he watched, her gaze shifted and took on the haunted, blank look that he realized he had gotten used to not seeing.
“Um, I kinda sensed you” Michael stated.
“Sensed me?” Liz balked. “What the hell does that mean?!?”
“Well, ok, do you remember this morning when I was coming out of the breakroom and you were walking in and we collided?” As Liz nodded mutely, he continued “Well, when I reached out to steady you, something just happened and suddenly I could feel it . . . um, your pain, that is. It was like this living, breathing, thing that nearly knocked me over. But you just kept going. Well, ever since then I’ve had this dim sense of you, where you are, h-how you’re feeling and your emotions were screaming to me a little while ago, so I came. It wasn’t until I got here that I realized what you were about to do and . . .” He trailed off not knowing what else he should say.
“It was the loss of our connection.”
Liz spoke so softly Michael wasn’t even sure she’d actually spoken.
“Nobody ever knew it and we never even really talked about it with each other. But after Max healed me, there was this, I don’t know, this part of me that always had a sense of him . . . He was like this quiet presence in my mind . . . A silent source of comfort. But the day he . . ." she stumbled over the words before continuing. "The day he and Alex died, it’s like someone ripped out part of me and left this . . . this absence in it’s place. And it’s just too much . . . I lost Alex, I lost Max, and in the end, I lost myself . . . I lost a part of me that I’ll never get back . . . I gave it a go. I really did. But honestly Michael, I’m just not strong enough for this.”
And she once again turned her gaze back to the building.
“Liz, I know this is hard. It’s hard for all of us. But listen to me . . .”
Liz continued to gaze at the building, so Michael gripped her shoulders and she turned, finally, to meet his eyes.
“Liz, listen . . . I don’t have any easy answers for how to get through this. I’m just taking it day by day myself. And it’s hard . . . It’s unbelievably hard to try to adjust to losing people you care about. People that deserved to live long and happy lives.”
At this Michael’s voice broke a little. He took a deep breath and continued.
“I won’t pretend to understand what you’re going through because as you stated earlier I can’t know. I do understand that it’s different for you. But Liz, you have to find a way to get through it. Think of what Max and Alex would want for you. Would they want you to give up?”
She exhaled shakily, then shook her head.
“And if the roles were reversed, would you want them to give up?”
Again she shook her head.
“Well then you’ve got to keep trying Liz. Just take it day by day. Hell, take it minute by minute if you have to. But keep going on. I can’t guarantee it’ll get easier, because they’ll still be gone, but it can’t get much worse. And one thing I want you to remember from now on is you’re not alone. I know everyone’s been tied up in their own grief, but I’m here now Liz and I’m not going anywhere.”
She just nodded at him dully and then looked down at her hands folded in her lap.
“So, I have to ask . . . Are you ok? Do you think you can do this?” Michael gently asked her.
“I think I can try” she responded softly.
“Well I guess that’s all any of us can do, huh?” he said as he started the car. “But for the record, if you feel it all getting too hard, just call me, ok?”
She again spoke softly, but he heard a very quiet “Ok.”
During the drive home, they were both silent and introspective. Somehow it managed to be a comfortable silence despite the circumstances.
When they arrived outside of the Crashdown, Michael pulled around back, assuming correctly that the balcony was what Liz had used to sneak out since it was now 2 in the morning.
“Try to get some rest now Liz” he said to her softly as she began opening the car door.
“I’ll try” she answered him and got ready to leave the car. But just as she was about to get out, she suddenly turned and gave him a tentative hug. He heard a soft “Thank you” and then she was gone, climbing up the stairs of the ladder to her balcony.
“Good night Lizzie” he said softly as he put the car in gear and backed out of the alleyway.
Lyrics from “Goodbye to you” by Michelle Branch
Re: Time Runs Both Ways (CC,TEEN) Repost 12/07/09
Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:56 am
Warning: High angst factor for next two chapters (as if it hasn't been high so far, right?)
Chapter 3: Darkest Hours
Liz climbed in her bedroom window quietly, trying not to make any noise to alert her parents to the fact that she was sneaking in. Although, considering how many times she’d done this and not gotten caught, it was becoming obvious that no less than an earthquake would awaken those two, but it was the last thing she needed tonight, so she moved quietly.
She purposefully turned her mind off to the events of the day as she went about her nightly routine. But after switching off the light to the bathroom and returning to her bedroom, the emotion she had been pushing back began slowly creeping forward again. She stared at her bed, then grabbed the extra blanket folded at the foot of it and went out to her balcony to lie in the lounge chair she spent most of her nights in nowadays.
She sat and gazed at the stars and tried to shut her mind off. When that didn’t work and her thoughts began to press down on her, she gave in and let grief have her for awhile because even though Michael had made her question her methods, it was still no easier to be here.
Max and Alex were still gone . . .
When she came back to herself, her face felt swollen, the collar of her nightgown was soaked and her throat felt scraped raw . . . Contrary to theory, crying didn't help with this grief. It didn't ease the load, didn't lighten it. She inhaled shakily. It didn't make it easier to breathe. . .
She lay back tiredly and recognized that this time something was different . . . Michael had offered to help. He was looking out for her. He had tried to save her . . . She owed him something for that, if nothing else . . .
She chewed thoughtfully on her bottom lip then sighed, feeling the wind moving softly past her face. Her eyelids began to droop and against her will she felt herself drifting off; which made sense because, truth be told, she hadn’t slept in over a week: her own personal solution to the nightmare problem . . .
With the stars her only witness, she slept fitfully for a while, but then the terrible nightmare started . . . It always began so innocently. As that day had been. There was no hint of how badly it would end . . .
She was on her way over to Alex’s house to study for an English lit exam they were going to be given the next day. Alex had been having trouble with the material, so she’d volunteered to help him. So she walked . . . humming a little tune along the way.
She was having one of her more hopeful days. One of those days where the lost future she was supposed to have with Max wasn’t weighing her down so much.
When she arrived at Alex’s house, she knocked and waited the requisite 10 seconds before twisting the handle; they always kept the door unlocked. She started up the stairs to Alex’s room, calling out “Alex, I’m coming up the stairs! So if you’re in any state of undress, I suggest you cover up immediately because I love you, but I don’t wanna see your . . .”
Her voice trailed off as she reached Alex’s room and took in the scene unfolding in front of her. She blinked, sure she was hallucinating, but when she looked again, the scene was still the same. Alex was standing in his bedroom with a gun (‘where did he get a gun?!’) and he had it trained on Tess who was standing just inside the door, notebook dangling from her hand.
Tess turned to look at Liz and Liz’s breath caught. Tess’s eyes were devoid of all human emotion. Liz had never seen her look more foreign; more *alien.* Then her eyes flashed as some of her annoyance reflected in them. With exaggerated friendliness, Tess said in a deceptively soft tone “Alex, you don’t want to do this. Look, your friend Liz is here. Everything is ok now. It's ok now, isn’t it?” Hidden in that last sentence was something that almost sounded like a threat Liz thought. Again, what had she walked in on?! But before she could ask, Alex started yelling and waving the gun at Tess.
“No everything is *not* ok! You did this to me! You mindwarped me for two months while I decoded that alien book for you and now there's nothing left for you to mindwarp. You destroyed my mind! How could you do this to me?”
‘Whuh?’ is all Liz's brain could come up with because right then it seemed that the world had gone mad. This just wasn't making any sense.
She expected Tess to say as much to Alex, but Tess didn’t respond. She just stood there; an intent frown on her face as the gun in Alex's hand wavered, almost lowering. But Alex shook his head violently, shakily raising the gun again and screamed at Tess. "S-stop it! Just stop! Get out of my head!" He unclenched one hand from the gun to hold the side of his head in obvious pain.
Tess still didn't say a word, but Liz frowned. "Alex, what are you doing? Tess, what the hell, are you doing something to Alex?! What is going on!"
No one responded and the scene didn't change. It was as if Liz hadn't spoken except Tess's glance flicked to Liz, then back to Alex, a line appearing between her brows and then the gun Alex was holding started wavering as he shakily turned it around so that it was pointing at his own chest. And the expression on his face! . . . He looked utterly terrified. Liz wanted to run to him and yank the gun away, but before she could, his finger located the trigger and he pulled it . . . Liz stood frozen in shock as Tess fled in her peripheral vision. The sound of the front door slamming closed seemed to release Liz and she stumbled trying to get to Alex, her eyes seeing what her brain refused to comprehend . . . Blood . . . Blood everywhere. And Alex was in the center of it, splayed out on the carpet, unmoving . . .
Far off she heard sobbing that must have come from her as she crossed the room and dropped down beside him.
His eyes were closed.
“Alex!” she yelled. Her own voice hit her ears like they were wrapped in cotton, muffled. “Alex, please wake up!” She grabbed him by the shoulders and his body shook. She blinked but realized that it was only because *she* was shaking. She was shaking and sobbing and all she wanted was for him to wake up . . . Her hands shifted to his neck, no pulse, and her eyes then tracked to the source of the blood and she dazedly placed both hands there to stop the bleeding, sobs jolting her body so much she had to press down to stay where she was sitting. "God, Alex, please . . . please . . . "
Her eyes flitted frantically around the room until they came to rest on the phone on Alex's nightstand. She swallowed a sob and while holding one hand over Alex’s wound, she manipulated her backpack off her shoulder, opened the flap and pulled out her cell phone.
(The bloody handprints she was leaving on everything wouldn't be noticed till 2 days later.)
She called Max using speed dial and held in her sobs, tears nearly blinding, as the phone rang, once, twice, three times and then
“Hello?” Max answered breathless.
Her words came out in sobs. “Max . . . you have to come . . . Alex was shot . . . Tess shot . . . Tess made Alex shoot . . .” and then she looked down at Alex and herself.
“B-bl-blood Max, there’s b-blood everywhere . . . He doesn’t . . . Alex doesn’t . . . there’s no pulse Max . . . M-M-M-Max you have to come now!”
“Liz?” Max asked. “What? What happened? . . . Where -where are you?”
“Alex’s room . . . Max you have to come now!. . .” She began rocking back and forth, humming.
“Ok, Liz, just, are you ok? Were you shot? Is Alex . . . Is Alex . . .” Max couldn’t even bring himself to ask the question. Liz sounded terrified.
“Max! You have to come now Max!”
“Ok, ok, I’m on my way . . . Just . . . I’m gonna call Valenti too, maybe he can help control the neighbors or whoever may have heard something . . .” he trailed off.
Liz hummed and let the phone fall, not even bothering to hang up.
She sat there, with her hand covering Alex’s wound and rocking back and forth until Max got there.
She heard the downstairs door open but she didn’t move. She didn’t want to leave Alex.
And that was the scene that greeted Max when he entered Alex’s bedroom.
Liz looked up at him and he froze for a second, caught in the sorrow of her gaze. Then she blinked and the whole picture hit him: Alex laying on the floor with a gaping hole in his chest that Liz was holding her hand over. She was shaking uncontrollably, with tears streaming down her face and she was swaying slightly. She didn’t even seem to be aware she was doing it.
And the blood . . . there was blood everywhere.
“M-Max, you have to save him” Liz said brokenly.
The amount of blood loss and the fact that Alex's chest didn't seem to be rising and falling with his breath told Max that it was already too late, but he had to try. So he knelt next to Liz, gently lifted her hand from Alex’s chest and placed it on her lap. Then he placed his hand over Alex’s wound and closed his eyes to concentrate.
Liz watched him hopefully; sure that he could fix Alex and everything would be ok again.
After a few minutes, Max deflated and opened his eyes. The hopefulness in Liz’s gaze caused an almost physical ache in his chest.
“It’s too late” Max whispered. “He’s gone Liz . . . I can’t heal him.”
“No!” Liz cried. “Nooooooooo” she moaned. She wrapped her arms around herself and began rocking back and forth again.
And Max watched as her eyes slowly glazed over and he knew she was going into shock.
“Liz!” Max cried as he suddenly realized that she could’ve been shot too. There was so much blood he’d assumed all of it had been Alex’s, but what if it wasn’t?
“Liz, are you hurt? Did you get shot too?” At that he tried to pry her fingers away from her tiny frame to inspect for himself.
“No!” she cried pulling away from him. “I’m not hurt . . . j-just Alex . . . just fix Alex!” and she turned her gaze back to Alex and began crying in earnest.
Max was about to reach for her again when he heard the front door open and Valenti called from the foyer.
“Up here Sheriff” Max called as he rose from his position, but still kept a trained eye on Liz, who hadn’t moved or even acknowledged the Sheriff when he called to them.
The Sheriff entered Alex’s room and stopped in shock. Max stepped over to him and began repeating what he’d told him over the phone. Somehow Alex had been shot and Tess was involved. And then he prepared to tell the Sheriff what he’d probably already guessed. “I can’t save him Sheriff . . . He was already gone when I got here . . . But Liz . . .” he trailed off, not knowing what to say about Liz as he turned back to gaze at her.
The Sheriff walked over to her and said coaxingly “Liz?”
“Hmm” she answered almost absently as she sat gazing at Alex.
“Liz, honey, what happened here?”
Liz turned to him and he was immediately disconcerted by the blank look in her eyes. Ever since Liz was a little girl, she'd always seemed to wear her emotions on her sleeve, never able to keep from letting people know how she was feeling. This expression almost seemed foreign on her face.
She blinked and then slowly began to speak as she turned her gaze back to Alex.
“T-Tess was here when I g-got here and her and Alex were arguing and he had a g-g-gun pointed at her . . . He was saying that she mindwarped him for m-months to decipher some alien book and she’d destroyed his m-mind . . .”
At this Liz began chewing on her lip as she trailed off, as if she’d forgotten she’d even been speaking.
“What happened next Liz?” Sheriff Valenti gently prompted her.
Liz looked up at him blankly for a moment, then refocused on Alex.
“T-Tess looked really angry and then she looked like she was concentrating and then the . . . the g-gun Alex was holding . . . he turned . . . he turned it around in his hands till it was pointing at his chest b-but he looked like he didn’t understand w-what was happening because she was m-making him do it! . . . Then he p-p-p-pulled the tr-trigger . . .”
As she was speaking, the blank look dissolved into grief-stricken, sobs overtaking her frame and Valenti scrambled over to comfort her, regretting that he’d slipped into Sheriff mode and forced her to recount the story while they were still in the room with Alex (Alex!) . . .
He turned to look at Max, who had been standing by the door, but Max was already gone.
He heard feet thudding down the stairs and he could just imagine that Max was going after Tess.
He turned back to Liz, but she was already pulling out of his arms and rocking again, blank look restored. He shook his head but got up to call the station and report that there’d been a suicide, since that was the only way to explain what had happened.
So Liz sat there. She realized that if she just looked at his face, Alex looked like he was simply sleeping. After some amount of time had passed, Alex’s room was suddenly full of people. She blinked at them, ignoring their questions until Valenti came back and led her into the next room. She let him guide her to wherever he thought she should be even though she wanted to stay with Alex. But she knew Alex was already gone from that room, even though his body remained. In this other room, they came and asked her questions, but she didn’t really understand the words and could barely see their faces. Everything was just so blurry. Someone came and took her pulse and her blood pressure and wrapped a blanket around her, but eventually they left her alone. She was dimly aware of the people around her, but her mind had stopped trying to process everything that was going on.
She was swimming in the nothingness of it all when it happened.
All of a sudden, her breath seized and her chest felt like it was on fire. For a moment she couldn’t grasp what was happening. And then the fog cleared.
Something was happening to Max! And then she could hear him in her mind. ‘I’m sorry Liz . . . I love you . . . ’
Then he was gone.
“Max!” she screamed. “Don’t leave me!”
But she knew he wasn’t there anymore . . . He wasn’t anywhere anymore . . .
Several cops rushed into the room, but they all parted for Valenti since they had no idea what was going on. Valenti took one look at Liz’s face and the fact that she was chanting Max's name over and over again and ordered everyone out of the room.
After he had closed the door securely, he stepped over to her and crouched down. She had curled into a tight ball on the bed, sobbing Max’s name brokenly.
“What about Max, Liz?” he prompted her gently.
Liz turned her gaze to him and the only way Valenti could think to describe her was broken . . . she simply looked broken.
“Max is dead” she whispered. “He’s dead.”
And saying it aloud suddenly made it real . . . Too real . . . She began to sob in earnest; gut-wrenching sobs that shook her whole frame. She cried because Max was gone. She cried because Alex was too. She cried because she suddenly felt so lost. And finally, she cried because she was so hurt about Max that she didn’t have enough room to hurt for Alex.
Valenti didn’t know what to do so he let her cry. He didn’t really understand how she knew about Max, but now wasn’t the time to try to dispute her claim.
Liz felt like she cried for hours and didn’t stop until she had nothing else left.
That’s when she turned inward and cried on the inside.
When Liz’s tears had slowed, Valenti felt that she was ok enough to move, so he led her from the room, explaining to his deputy that he was taking her home.
Liz didn't recall leaving Alex’s house or even getting into Valenti’s truck and the drive home was a blur. She blinked and they were suddenly parked around the back of the Crashdown. So she got out and Valenti followed. She wasn’t exactly sure why he followed her inside, but she was beyond caring at that point.
As she walked in, Maria was just coming into the breakroom. Maria took one look at Liz’s face, her bloody clothing and Valenti’s somber expression and she screamed in terror.
At that Michael, Isabel and Kyle rushed in. When they too took note of Liz’s clothes, the 3 of them paled visibly as Valenti stated after a heartbeat
“There’s been an incident . . . Alex is dead . . .”
Re: Time Runs Both Ways (CC,TEEN) Repost 12/07/09
Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:59 am
Chapter 4: Everything’s not alright
Maria began to sob immediately and Michael hastily moved to her side as she nearly collapsed. Kyle did the same for Isabel as she swayed a little on her feet as the tears began to flow.
Valenti just continued to look somber as he glanced at Liz to see how she was holding up. But Liz still seemed to be trapped inside her mind, barely aware of her surroundings, much less the grief of those around her.
“What happened?” Michael asked harshly. "And where the hell is Max? He was supposed to meet us here over an hour ago" he said angrily.
“Right now I don’t know if that’s our biggest concern . . .” Valenti started off as he glanced at Liz again. “There may be some issue of Max being hurt as well, based on what Liz has said.”
At that Liz spoke very softly and addressed the room.
“Max is dead” she stated.
And then the world went black as she passed out.
Liz slowly woke from the dream; tear-streaked and so very, very tired. There was no rest from her grief after all. It just went on and on and on . . .
There were worse things though . . . Sometimes she awoke from her memories screaming, throat hoarse, worried faces of her parents surrounding her.
Sometimes her pillow was so wet when she woke, she wondered if it was actually possible to literally drown in her own tears . . .
Although sometimes the nightmares were worse . . .
Sometimes in her dreams, all of them died that day, one by one, until she was the only one left.
Then, other times she wrestled with Alex for the gun and she shot him instead.
But the worst of the nightmares was the one where she was forced to watch Tess kill Alex and then kill Max right in front of her.
And it was so vivid, since they had pieced together what had happened to Max after he left Alex’s house.
Apparently he’d tracked Tess to the pod chamber, although they never could figure out how she managed to overpower him, but they found Max lying on the floor of the pod chamber with a silver handprint burned into his chest.
And oh yeah, the granolith was gone.
That book Alex had decoded for Tess must have contained instructions telling her how to use the granolith to go home because that’s apparently what she tried to do after she killed Max.
Alex had a proper burial 4 days later, but Max’s body was laid to rest in the desert outside the pod chamber that same day, because there was no way they could go to the authorities with any of what had happened.
A few days later, Michael discovered the granolith a few miles west of the pod chamber. Apparently Tess had gotten it to take off, but it crashed soon after. They never did find out why but they found Tess dead inside. No one in the group took pleasure in that fact though, because they had simply lost too much.
Along with finding Tess, they also discovered the book that Alex had translated for her. So they finally had the answers they had been searching for. But no one rejoiced in this information, because the cost for gaining it had been too high.
With much difficulty, they got the granolith back into the pod chamber and reformed the wall around it. They buried Tess not far from where they recovered the granolith.
So the running story that the group came up with to cover Max’s disappearance was that he had decided to depart Roswell for parts unknown soon after learning of Alex’s death. Isabel even packed up some of his stuff and left a note typed on his computer to make it believable.
They never bothered making up a cover story for Tess though. It simply hurt too much to think about her.
But once the rumor mill got hold of Max’s story, it got twisted and turned around and became that Max and Tess departed together for parts unknown . . . since they’d disappeared at the same time and they had been kind of cozy before that.
This wouldn’t have been such a hard rumor for the group to hear if it wasn’t such a perversion of what had actually happened.
But everyone continued on, coping in their own ways.
Liz lay there as her crying subsided and wondered why she did this to herself. Why she subjected herself to that nightmare, night after night, as if experiencing it the first time wasn’t terrible enough . . . Or, as if the pain she felt during every waking moment somehow didn’t earn her the right to a decent night’s sleep . . .
‘But one day at a time, right?’ she thought as she just then noticed that it was daylight out.
Just as she was about to rise and go inside, Michael’s head suddenly appeared as he climbed the final steps of the ladder to her balcony.
“Hey” he said before he even set eyes on Liz, apparently knowing he would find her curled up in her lounge chair. He stopped at the top, arms crossed over the top of the ladder.
“ ‘Morning” Liz said, not really surprised to see him so early. Very few things surprised her anymore. Still she found herself averting her face from his prying eyes, but Michael took note of her tear-streaked countenance and red eyes in silence. He didn’t tell her that he’d felt her grief all the way across town and that was what had brought him here. Instead he announced “Ok, so you’d better get dressed. I definitely need breakfast if I’m gonna be up this early and you might as well join me.”
Knowing Michael was just there to check up on her, she decided to take the path of least resistance and join him for breakfast rather than getting into a discussion over why she wasn’t particularly hungry.
“Ok. Just head downstairs and I’ll be there in a few minutes.”
He nodded and made his way back down the ladder.
Liz headed back inside and was in the midst of showering when the flashback hit; The shower she'd taken after Alex died . . . She remembered seeing his blood swirl down the drain, then nothing . . . The flashback hit her out of nowhere and stole her breath . . . Gasping, she slid to the floor of the tub, hands clutching at her chest and bawled like a baby, not even caring if the shower muffled her cries, not caring at all . . .
It was awhile before she was able to leave the tub.
Downstairs, Michael knew he couldn't help her with this one, so he stayed in his seat. He just ordered a big breakfast for her and waited.
Feeling numb, Liz went about the rest of her morning routine. She brushed her teeth and washed her face and pressed a warm cloth against her eyes unsuccessfully trying to rid them of their puffiness. She then grabbed a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and put her hair into a ponytail. Her face settled into her mask of blankness as she headed downstairs to face the world . . . when all she really wanted to do was retreat from it.
And now she had to go and sit with Michael and try to allay his fears of her suicidal tendencies.
If she didn’t think it would make her cry, she’d laugh.
Truth be told, she was so far from hungry she didn’t even want to look at food. But she’d promised Michael she’d eat breakfast with him, so that’s what she’d do.
Maybe she could just get away with some toast and coffee. After all, Michael wasn’t her parents, who fussed over what she ate like eating would somehow make her ok. She was so tired of the way people acted around her, as if treating her like an invalid somehow might make the pain less. She knew that they were just concerned about her, but it was just so hard holding it together just to make everyone else feel better.
And so she walked through the breakroom and into the Crashdown feeling just a little annoyed. She made her way over to Michael and noted he must have already ordered since there were 2 plates sitting on the table.
He had already started to dig in and was putting tabasco sauce on everything, as usual.
Liz felt that pang that she always felt when she saw one of them do this because it always reminded her of Max. But she pushed that thought away as she slid into the booth across from Michael. And it was only when she looked down at her plate that she realized that Michael had ordered pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage and orange juice for her.
“Michael, I can’t possibly eat all of this." She gestured at the plate in frustration.
Michael, who had expected an argument, just continued to eat then looked across at her. “You need a good breakfast, I’m treating, so eat up.”
Folding her arms defensively across her chest, Liz replied “So fine, I’ll pay for my own breakfast and then it won’t matter if I eat it.”
“Hasn’t anyone ever told you about the wasting of food and the starving kids in China thing?” Michael asked with his mouth full, obviously enjoying his breakfast.
“Yeah, lots of times and if I were in China, I’d give them my plate, but since I’m not, I’m just gonna have some toast and coffee” Liz countered.
“Look” Michael said in a softer tone “the coffee’s on its way and this food is already here. How about you just eat what you can and we’ll go from there, ok?”
Her shoulders drooped and a moment later she muttered “ok” as she pulled the offending plate closer.
They ate in silence and neither noticed when Isabel and Kyle entered a little while later. Isabel threw a puzzled look in their direction and after a moment’s pause, dragged Kyle with her over to their table.
“What’s up guys?” she asked, looking from one to the other. In all the time she’d known them, she’d never seen these two voluntarily sit down and eat a meal together. Yet here they were.
“Not much” Michael replied as Liz said “Hey Isabel. Hey Kyle.”
Kyle nodded at them.
Meanwhile Michael was so busy scarfing down food he didn't notice that Isabel and Kyle were still standing there awkwardly.
Liz, after throwing an annoyed look at Michael, slid over in the booth and patted the seat next to her. “You guys should join us.”
“Cool” Kyle answered before Isabel could think of a nice way to decline the invitation.
Isabel threw Kyle a look. She usually avoided everyone else from their group because it was just too painful and just reminded her of its absent members. Even she and Michael had grown apart as he spent more time with Maria trying to comfort her. Which, she realized, left no one for Liz to lean on. And really, Liz probably needed comfort most of all.
And now that Isabel was taking a really good look at Liz Parker, she saw that she didn’t look good. Liz looked like she had lost weight, her eyes were puffy and had dark circles under them and she seemed to be pushing her food around on her plate rather than eating it. Initially, Isabel had no idea why she felt compelled to walk over to their table, but looking at her now, she saw that something about Liz practically screamed that she needed help. The only question was how had she not noticed for so long?
Kyle slid into the booth next to Liz and after a second Isabel slid in next to Michael, who she had to push over a little to make room.
“Umph” Michael grunted as her elbow collided with his rib cage.
“What are you doing Iz?” Michael asked startled as some of the food he was eating flew at her.
“Say it, don’t spray it Michael!” she replied, disgustedly wiping food off the front of her shirt.
Liz laughed at the picture the two of them made; Michael looking put out because he had to stop eating to slide over and Isabel looking almost sick that food that had just been in Michael’s mouth was now on her shirt.
Everyone looked over at Liz, surprised. They hadn’t heard anything even resembling laughter from Liz in a long time.
Feeling suddenly self-conscious, Liz’s smile flickered out as she turned her attention back to her plate.
Kyle spoke up, partially to take the spotlight off of Liz but mostly because he was starving. “You know Parker, if you’re just going to play with that food, I’d be happy to take it off your hands.”
“Really?” Liz asked hopefully.
Michael opened his mouth to protest, but swallowed it at the pleading look Liz shot him.
“Sure, anything to help a friend” Kyle replied with a grin.
At that, Liz dropped her fork and happily pushed the plate over to Kyle.
“Well” Isabel stated “Unlike greedy boy over there, I’d like my own plate of food, thank you, so I’m gonna order something.”
At that she signaled to a waitress who was already headed over with coffee and mugs that promptly took Isabel’s order.
Isabel sighed as she took her first sip of coffee.
Michael, finally finished with his breakfast, contentedly pushed his plate away and focused on the coffee in front of him.
Isabel spoke up first, since Kyle was busy devouring Liz’s leftovers like he hadn’t eaten in days. ‘What is with men and food this morning?’ she wondered, disgustedly tearing her eyes away from Kyle.
“So where’s Maria? Is she working this morning?” Isabel addressed both Liz and Michael.
“No” Michael answered, sitting back. “She and Amy left for some mother/daughter bonding trip yesterday. They’ll be back in a week.”
Liz looked at him surprised, realizing that Maria had mentioned something about it to her Dad, but she hadn't been paying much attention at the time. She and Maria barely talked to each other anymore. Since they had been the two closest people to Alex, it was just too painful spending time together because the memories of the three of them always rushed in. But she really did miss Maria, she realized now that she was allowing herself to admit it. Not the Maria that she’d been since that terrible day. But the Maria of before who was a walking, talking ball of energy that never let anything really get to her.
Feeling Isabel’s gaze, Liz looked across at her and realized that she was looking back and forth between her and Michael questioningly. And Liz could just see the gears turning in Isabel’s head trying to figure out what holy or unholy powers had brought them together for a meal.
Michael meanwhile was busy putting more tabasco in his coffee; completely oblivious to the questions Isabel was about to bombard them with. But before she could, Kyle spoke up.
“So Isabel and I were going to head to this concert in the park today. You guys wanna join us?”
No one noticed the annoyed look Isabel shot Kyle across the table.
“Nope" Michael answered firmly. "The last time Maria and I went to a concert in the park, she got hold of some bad cookies and became convinced she was shrinking. It took me hours to convince her she wasn’t.”
“Why would she eat cookies she got from someone at a concert anyway?” Isabel asked, chuckling.
“You got me” Michael answered. “I turned around for a second and when I turned back, she was holding this huge cookie she'd gotten from god knows where. I mean, you know Maria; she has such a sweet tooth. I just figured she’d gotten it from her purse or something.”
More laughter from everyone at that because Michael truly looked baffled as to why Maria would do that. Not recognizing that it was just Maria’s innate ‘Maria-ness’ that made her do things like this. She really was a kid at heart.
Michael just shook his head grumbling something about strangers and candy.
“So, who’s playing today?” Michael asked.
“Some local band” Isabel answered.
“Well, if some guy offers you cookies . . .” Michael began.
“Yeah, Michael, you can save that warning for Maria” Isabel replied as her food arrived.
~*I had a smile*~
~*Stretched from ear to ear*~
Liz sat there looking at her three friends as they continued to talk, thinking it was almost like old times.
~*To see you walking down the road*~
She could even imagine that Maria was in the breakroom and Alex and Max weren’t gone . . . that they were actually on their way and would be coming through the Crashdown doors any minute.
~*We meet at the lights*~
She even glanced at the doors for a minute . . .
~*I stare for a while*~
~*The world around us disappears*~
But then the food she’d just eaten turned over in her stomach with the knowledge that they wouldn’t be coming through those doors ever again.
It wasn’t old times.
~*It’s just you and me*~
~*On my island of hope*~
These were new terrible times where one decision could cost you your love, your friends, your life . . .
~*A breath between us could be miles*~
You could lose it all in the space of an hour.
She looked around again, avoiding the eyes of everyone at their table, starting to feel claustrophobic.
~*Let me surround you*~
Her eyes finally settled on Isabel’s plate.
~*My sea to your shore*~
At the sight of food, Liz’s stomach turned over and the little she had managed to eat became in serious danger of coming back up.
~*Let me be the calm you seek*~
She quickly rose, halting the chatter around the table.
~*Oh but every time I'm close to you*~
~*There's so much I can't say*~
Realizing her intent, Kyle got up to let her out of the booth and before she departed, she mumbled something about her shift starting soon, not looking anyone at the table in the eye.
~*And you just walk away*~
And with that she was gone.
~*And I forgot to tell you I love you*~
~*And the night's too long*~
~*And cold here without you*~
She flew through the breakroom doors and away from the 3 sets of sad eyes that followed her.
~*I grieve in my condition*~
~*For I cannot find the words to say*~
~*I need you so*~
Lyrics from “I Love You” by Sarah McLachlan
Re: Time Runs Both Ways (CC,TEEN) Repost 12/07/09
Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:02 am
Chapter 5: Save Me
Isabel could sense the sadness radiating off of Liz in waves. ‘How had she made it this long carrying all of that pain around?’ Isabel wondered silently.
“Is she gonna be ok by herself?” she asked aloud.
Kyle shook his head, worried.
When no response was forthcoming from the third party at the table, they both turned to look at Michael, who was still staring at the door Liz had gone through thoughtfully. He started when he realized that they were both staring at him curiously.
“What?” he finally asked then nervously took a sip of his rapidly cooling coffee. He had been trying to sift through the emotions he was getting from Liz and there was one in particular that he found very puzzling.
“I just asked if Liz was gonna be ok by herself or should one of us go up and talk to her?” Isabel repeated.
Michael, suddenly coming to a decision, swiftly rose from the table, dropping some money down, and announced “I’ll go.”
Isabel rose to let Michael out and he headed towards the breakroom doors. As an afterthought, he threw over his shoulder “Have fun at the park!” and then he was gone.
Isabel and Kyle just stared after him confused.
Liz meanwhile had made it up the stairs and into the bathroom before the retching started.
Michael slowly made his way up the stairs, knowing he needed to give Liz time to finish losing her breakfast. When he got to the top of the stairs, he didn’t bother to knock since he'd seen Liz’s dad downstairs, her mom had left out while he was ordering breakfast and Liz was too preoccupied to hear him knocking. He let himself in, but once in the apartment, he found himself unsure of what to do next. The sounds of Liz throwing up carried well into the living room, so he sat down on the couch to wait, knowing Liz would be out soon enough.
When Liz had finished expelling every piece of food she had ever eaten, she clung to the bowl for a minute, waiting for the room to stop spinning. When it did, she flushed, rose shakily to her feet and made her way over to the sink, where she assessed the damage. Her skin was waxy and pale, her eyes appeared sunken, and the dark circles under them seemed more pronounced now. She sighed and picked up the mouthwash. She figured maybe she should start buying the stuff in industrial size considering how often she used it. After gargling, she splashed some water on her face and headed towards the kitchen to see if she could find a cool compress.
She made it to the living room, but stopped abruptly when she spotted Michael sitting on the sofa looking uncomfortable.
“What is it Michael?” she asked, sighing wearily, not in the mood for a heart-to-heart.
"It's well . . . uh . . ."
"Spit it out Michael" she said tiredly.
"I've been getting this emotion from you and I know it's none of my business, but I can't just keep quiet when you're feeling guilt. Especially not in this situation . . . There is no reason for you to feel guilty over what happened. It’s not your fault they . . . that Max and Alex . . .” he swallowed “ . . . died.”
“Not my fault? Not my fault!” Liz wailed. “Do you know there was a second between when Alex turned the gun on himself and when he pulled the trigger that I just stood there and watched?! And that I was the one who called Max to come over and heal Alex?! That he would have been home, safe, if it wasn’t for me?”
Michael ran his hand down his face, frustrated beyond belief.
He shifted forward onto the edge of his seat and looked over at her earnestly. “Liz, I don’t know what I can do to convince you that it’s not your fault. You think if you hadn't called Max right then, that once he found out what Tess had done he wouldn't have gone after her anyway? That all of us wouldn't have gone after her?! Or that any of us would have fared any better seeing Alex turn a gun on himself? And even you said, it was only a second's pause! Look Liz, I’m not a big believer in God or anything, but I do believe there’s a plan in all of this. And I believe there’s a way to get through it, if we help each other and allow ourselves to be helped . . .”
“I used to believe in God Michael, but it’s so hard to now. How can you be so sure that there’s a plan to all of this?” she asked him desperately.
Michael sighed. “Because I can’t accept the alternative” he stated simply. “Everything that’s been happening to us has to be part of some bigger plan. Otherwise it’s all just chaos and . . . and pain. But if you look, I mean, really look, it all seems so clear. I had been on this planet for years and I never considered it home . . . until Maria. Now I can’t believe that someone so special came into my life because of random events. That just doesn’t make any sense to me. Max always knew his home was with you . . . No matter how much Isabel and I tried to dissuade him, he held strong to that belief. And one day almost two years ago, fate stepped in and proved him right. Now, does that seem like coincidence to you? These are not just random events Liz. Isabel, Max and I were walking around terrified, all the time, until you all brought out our human sides . . . showed us, reminded us, that we are part human . . . showed us how to feel. We can’t change the past Liz. All we can do is accept it and move on . . .”
Liz flinched a little when he said that, but Michael didn’t seem to notice as he continued.
“What I’m trying to say is that we have to be thankful for the time we had with them. Treasure the memories we have so that they’ll continue to live on. Be thankful that we have each other to lean on. I think that we’re all meant to be here for each other . . . In a random universe, would I have been there to pull you back from that ledge? . . . And that’s what I’m trying to say. You need to let me be here for you. It’s what Max-" His voice faltered. After a moment he cleared his throat. "It's what Max would have wanted . . . And maybe that’s why I can sense you. Because it was time for one of us to save you from yourself . . . You have to let me do this Liz. You have to let me help you. And in order to do that you have to let me in. And stop doing this to yourself. Stop torturing yourself with the what-ifs, the could-of’s and the should-of’s. They’re not helping you Liz. They’re destroying you.”
~*There’s a lot you don't know*~
“I can’t help it Michael . . . You don’t know . . . you can’t know what I did, how I changed the past . . . the future . . . How I made it worse” she exhaled.
~*There’s a lot I can't tell*~
“What?” Michael said in frustration. “What are you talking about?”
~*Would you think I'm crazy*~
~*If you knew me that well?*~
At this point, Liz started and looked at Michael like a deer caught in headlights. “Um . . .” she hedged, trying to figure out what to say to extricate herself from her slipup.
~*'Cause there's a lot you don't know*~
“Look” Michael began “there’s obviously more to this story than you’re telling and I think you want to tell me, to tell somebody . . ." He leaned forward. "I'm here and a willing ear, so . . .”
“Well . . .” Liz had no idea what to say next. She was tired of keeping secrets, of constantly questioning how what she’d done had changed the world. She was so tired.
~*And you say*~
~*You won't go and I'd like to believe you*~
“Liz?” Michael gently prompted her.
She started talking softly. “Back in October of last year, I had a visitor. He came to me from the future . . . 14 years in the future and told me I had to prevent the world from ending . . . I . . . it was Max.”
Michael sat back, stunned. Of all the things he’d expected Liz to say . . .
He regarded her curiously, not sure what to think.
~*But I know . . . *~
~*There's no one left to save me*~
Liz began pacing back and forth across the carpet, clasping and unclasping her hands. Now that she had started, she found that it was a huge relief to finally tell someone the full story of what had happened.
~*I am the only one*~
“When Future Max first came to me, I was sure he was a shapeshifter or a skin, so I didn’t believe him. But he knew things that were gonna happen before they happened. Max . . . present day Max, um my Max serenaded me that night and Future Max knew it was going to happen. He knew so much that it was impossible to deny the truth. He really was from the future, a future so terrible that he came back to ask me to help him change it . . .”
~*There's no one left to save me*~
~*I am the only one*~
“He said that in the original timeline, he and I . . . we . . . got back together and . . . became inseparable . . . This fact caused Tess to leave and apparently she was vital to the group’s survival, because 14 years later earth was taken over and with you all being one alien short, you couldn’t prevent it . . . In fact, Max, Future Max, said that you died just minutes before he came back and Isabel died just two weeks before that . . . He said that the only way to prevent this was to change the pivotal event that caused Tess to leave. So he wanted me to get Max to fall out of love with me and fall for Tess. Michael, he spoke of his and my future . . . We were together till the end . . . the end of the world . . . We got married at 19 and our wedding! All of you were there for our wedding . . . including . . . including Alex . . . But I changed it . . .”
~*There's no one left to save me*~
“I broke Max’s heart, because Max, Future Max, asked me to . . . I pretended to sleep with Kyle to convince Max it was over. I gave up everything to try to fix the future and I only made it worse! So do you see now Michael? Why I blame myself? This is all my fault!”
~*Is it all in my head?*~
~*Or somehow is it truth?*~
By this time, tears were running down Liz’s face and she made her way over to a chair, sat down heavily and sobbed.
~*Was it something I said?*~
~*I can offer no proof*~
This finally broke Michael out of his stunned silence and he rushed over to her, settled on the edge of her chair and put his arm around her, rapidly trying to sort through all she had told him. Amazed at what she’d done, what she’d given up for them. To try to secure their futures, she’d given up her own . . . her future with Max.
~*'Cause there's a lot you don't know*~
“Liz” he gently shook her to get her attention. She looked up at him through tear-filled eyes and he instantly felt protective of this little wisp of a girl. She was a part of their group- He corrected himself, part of their family, and he needed to reassure her that she hadn’t done anything wrong.
~*And you say*~
~*You won't go and I'd like to believe you*~
“Liz, you just threw a lot of information at me just now and I’m gonna need some time to sort through it, but the one thing I can say right now is that you should not, repeat, should not, hold yourself responsible for what happened with Max and Alex. Neither of you could have known that the future would be changed in this way when the plan was devised. Hindsight is one of those things that can make you feel really bad or stupid or whatever after the fact. But what you have to keep telling yourself is that you made the best decision you could based on the information you had at the time.”
~*But I know . . . *~
“But that’s the thing Michael! We should have explored the possibilities first! Should have come up with a better plan! Should have . . . we should have . . .” Liz crumbled, sobbing heavily.
~*There's no one left to save me*~
Michael just tightened his arm around her. “Liz, I don’t think there’s anything you could have done. All Future Max knew is that without Tess we were weakened. He didn’t know Tess was a psychotic bitch that would eventually turn on all of us. In that other timeline, she didn’t stick around long enough for anyone to find out. Bottom line is any plan that resulted in Tess staying in Roswell was already flawed. You have to try to remember that when that guilt starts pressing in on you.”
~*I am the only one*~
Liz sniffled a little, but her tears had slowed. Who knew Michael could be a voice of reason? And for the second time in less than 24 hours she found herself saying “thank you” to Michael softly.
At this, Michael grumbled something that sounded like “you’re welcome” and stood up. He looked down at her and said “Don’t you have a shift starting in a few minutes?”
She blinked. She had been so eager to get the story off her chest she’d forgotten all about work. She glanced at her watch and gasped. “Actually I’m twenty minutes late! I’d better go get changed. But thank you Michael!” And she found herself hugging him again in appreciation.
Michael lightly hugged her back and then broke away gruffly. “Well, I’m gonna head out. I’ll see you later” he threw over his shoulder as he shuffled his way out of the apartment.
Liz just shook her head and smiled a little at how quick Michael had beat a path out of there. All of the emotions and sharing were probably getting to him. But she was still so very grateful to whatever deity or power-that-be that sent him to help her. She went to the bathroom and tried to repair some of the damage done by crying with makeup. It’ll have to do, she thought when she finished. So she went downstairs to her locker and quickly changed into her uniform.
Once she began working, she found that the day passed by relatively quickly and somewhere in that time she realized that she felt somewhat lighter emotionally. The pain hadn’t lessened. It was always with her and so was the ache where her connection to Max had been. But the guilt had retreated. So she finished out her 7-hour shift and went upstairs to change and figure out what to do with the rest of her afternoon. As she crossed the living room, she began unbuttoning her dress when a button popped off and rolled under the sofa. She cursed softly and knelt down to reach under the sofa to get it. Her hand touched something metal and cold. She pulled it out and sat up. As she watched, it uncrumpled in her hand and reformed into a square piece of metal.
As her fingers jerked around it in surprise, the force of the flash that hit her was so powerful that the whole room went black as she passed out.
~*There's no one left to save me*~
~*I am the only one*~
Lyrics from “Save Me” by The Pierces
Re: Time Runs Both Ways (CC,TEEN) Repost 12/07/09
Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:07 am
Note: The song in this section is from Jeremy Kay "Have it all"
Chapter 6: Grief Girl
She woke to someone calling her name. Everything was foggy and her hand was killing her. She fought to open her eyes and when she finally managed, she looked up straight into Michael’s concerned ones. He was sitting on the floor next to her, her head cradled on a pillow on his lap.
“What happened?” he asked softly.
He had been so worried. He’d been sitting in his apartment watching a basketball game after talking to Maria for a half hour when he’d suddenly felt shock coming from Liz . . . Before he could process that, he felt her confusion, her fear, then grief, pain, then just nothing. It was like she had simply stopped being. And he didn’t know what happened. What if she’d been attacked? What if she were dead? There were no words to describe how terrified he'd been at that moment. So he rushed over to the Crashdown, nearly crashing Maria’s car in his haste to get there quickly. And he found Liz lying on the floor of her living room, not far from where he’d left her standing earlier in the day. He checked and thank god, she was breathing, but she was also clearly unconscious. Not wanting to jostle her too much since he didn’t know what had happened, he’d grabbed a pillow from the sofa and sat her head in his lap and started trying to get her to wake up.
Right now she was looking at him with this really perplexed expression and he realized with a start that she was in pain.
“What’s wrong Liz? Where does it hurt?”
“My hand. Crap! My hand really hurts” she muttered. At that she held up her hand and it was only then that she realized it was clenched closed around something. She unclenched it with effort and gasped in shock at the piece of metal that unfurled in her hand and the blood that started pouring from the cuts in her hand. She dropped the piece of metal quickly and sat up, cradling her hand against her.
Michael looked confused as he picked up the piece of metal that he’d been carrying around for months now. He wasn’t sure how Liz had gotten it, but whatever had happened had obviously involved it.
She looked at her hand again to assess the damage, but the sight of blood on her hand made her eyes begin to roll back in her head as she started to pass out again.
Michael looked up just in time to catch her before her head collided with the coffee table. “Whoa Liz, what the hell?”
She didn't look at Michael. She somehow looked through him. She blinked and a tear fell as she chanted quietly. “M-my fault . . . my fault . . . All my fault . . .” She huddled, wrapping her arms around herself and started to rock back and forth.
Michael realized she was having a flashback. “No Liz, it’s ok . . . It's your blood." He shook his head. "Come on, let’s get you cleaned up.” And he guided her up and to the bathroom. She allowed herself to be guided numbly, not really paying attention, not really caring where he was taking her.
When they reached the bathroom, Michael wet a clean washcloth and carefully cradled Liz’s hand. He softly wiped the blood away and saw that the cuts weren’t too deep and the bleeding had already stopped.
Liz didn't even wince.
He could no longer hear her but her mouth was still moving. When he was done, he held her hand up for her inspection. “See Liz? It’s all cleaned up.” He was hoping that the sight would snap her out of it.
Liz’s eyes slowly focused and she blinked, looking around.
“Liz?” Michael asked uncertainly.
She focused on him. “Yeah" she grimaced, reaching up to wipe her face. "Sorry” she muttered, looking away.
“It’s okay” Michael answered relieved, leading the way back to the living room. “Just tell me what happened and how you got this and we're even.” He held up the square piece of metal.
Liz’s eyes widened as she looked at the piece of metal and she took the last few steps to the sofa on shaky legs and sat down. Michael, seeing her unease, came and sat beside her.
“Michael, I got a flash from that. I found it under the sofa. The flash Michael . . . it was like nothing I’ve ever felt . . . It . . . it was Death, Michael, all around me . . .” Her eyes glazed over. “Everything was murky . . . There was this feeling of hopelessness and . . . and so much pain. It was more like impressions than actual images, but then . . . then there was just nothing, like the pain had just stopped . . . I . . . I don’t know what it means Michael, but it was terrifying. ”
Michael ran a hand tiredly down his face, trying to absorb all she'd just told him. “You got all that from this?” he asked, holding up the metal piece dubiously.
She blinked and looked at him.
“Yeah, why? Do you know what it is?”
“Yeah, uh . . . It’s mine.” He looked over at her to gauge her reaction. Seeing her simply looking at him curious, unaccusing, he continued. “It must’ve fallen out of my pocket earlier when I was here. It’s actually uh, a piece of our ship that crashed . . . as you can kinda figure from it’s odd behavior it’s obvious it’s . . . otherworldly.” At that, he crumpled it in his hands and then held his hand out and it returned to its original shape. “I got it from this former captain in the army, Hal Carver, that I met some months back who claimed he was around when our ship crashed in ’47. He showed me this piece of metal to prove he was telling the truth, then he let me keep it after I . . . after I showed him that uh . . . that I believed him.” At that last part, Michael couldn’t quite meet her eyes.
“Wow, ok” Liz said, sitting back. “But ok, that still doesn’t explain why I got a flash from it.”
“I know” Michael said puzzled as he returned his gaze to the piece of metal in his hands. “I’ve had it all this time and I never got anything from it.”
“I . . . I want to try again to see if I get another flash, to see if I can get a clearer flash from it, but not right now. The last one was a bit much” she said as she flexed her hand unconsciously and then looked down at it resting in her lap.
“Yeah” Michael said, as he stood and walked over to the window. He was actually trying to shake the feeling of dread that had curled in his stomach. And after the past 24 hours Liz had had, he realized that a good distraction was in order for the both of them.
He turned back to Liz. “So what do you have planned for the rest of the day?” already making plans in his head.
Noticing Michael’s sudden change of topic, Liz answered lightly. “Oh, you know, the usual, although I can’t decide which of my exciting activities to do first: There’s, you know, the always entertaining ‘stare at the wall’. Then there’s ‘stare at the sky’ which is good for some laughs. But, you know, really ‘stare at the clock’ beats out both of those . . . ”
Michael held up his hands. “Ok, I get it, you have nothing planned. So, you wanna go catch Izzy and Kyle at that concert in the park?”
Liz hedged, thinking about the last time they all tried to get together, this morning not withstanding. It was about a month after Max and Alex’s deaths and Kyle had arranged for them all to get together, probably because he felt it would help Isabel. But what a mistake that had been! Everything was so awkward and strained and the pain going around the group was almost palpable. And then, just when things had started loosening up, Liz had mentioned something about Alex and the whole table had fallen silent.
Grief-girl strikes again, Liz had thought to herself. Where there is joy, she will bring sadness. Where there is laughter, she will bring silence. For she is ‘Grief-girl!’ Able to depress a whole table in a single bound.
It seemed that getting them all together inevitably just highlighted their missing members.
“How about we just go and if we see them, we see them?” Michael offered as a compromise.
Liz hesitated then nodded in acquiescence, figuring that regardless she could definitely use a break from herself.
“Just let me change first” she said, looking down at the Crashdown uniform she was still wearing.
Michael nodded. “I’ll be downstairs.” And he headed out of the apartment. Liz joined him shortly after and then they were off to the park.
When they arrived, they found the crowd somewhat bigger than expected, due to there simply not being very much to do in Roswell most of the time, so when something did pop up, everyone went. So instead of trying to squeeze through all the people swarming about, they kept to the fringes of the crowd. The band playing was actually pretty decent and they were just finishing out one song and began another.
“Some days I feel like crying
Don't matter if it’s rain or shine
I feel like my heart was broken
At least a million times”
Liz’s eyes widened as she recognized the lyrics of the song.
“Some days I wake up dreaming
Feels like I never even woke
I answer life's big question
As if it's one big joke”
Feeling sick, bile rose in her throat, overpowering . . .
“Maybe it's too soon to be sure
But I, really do believe that some day we're gonna have it all
So I try so hard to keep the rhythm of a train rolling right along
When the ride gets rough you got to carry on”
She stumbled over to a tree, not caring if Michael noticed as she lost the last of what was in her stomach. After the dry heaves ceased, she leaned heavily against the tree trying to catch her breath and block out the rest of the song.
“So what was that about?” Michael asked softly from beside her.
“It was a little sensory overload” Liz hedged, deciding not to share that Alex used to play that song. Grief-girl would not be making an appearance at this event, she thought to herself silently. But then she grimaced at the horrid taste in her mouth, reminding her that Grief-girl had already visited.
“I’ll be right back” Michael announced and walked off. Liz didn’t even look up. He was back less than a minute later and handed her a bottled water.
She took it gratefully and used it to rinse out her mouth, although it didn’t totally take the bad taste away.
“Tic tac?” Michael asked, pulling a pack out of his pocket and offering them to her.
Liz smiled the most wistful smile and took the pack, just staring at it contemplatively.
“What?” Michael asked. “What is it?”
“Alex” Liz said softly.
Michael patiently waited for her to continue, he could tell she needed to talk.
“Like a year ago, he really wanted to work at this computer store, so much so that he made me and Maria practice with him for days to prepare for the interview. So the day of the interview we had been practicing right through lunch, with Maria and I firing interview questions at him left and right. So we decided to order something to eat. Now Alex being Alex, he orders this burger with the works: fried onions, peppers and everything. Even Saturn rings on the side. So, when he’s about to leave for the interview he starts getting really worried about his breath, so Maria offers him some tic-tacs. He pops a couple in his mouth and walks out looking totally confident. He comes back like 20 minutes later, totally dejected and without saying anything to us, sits down and drops his head onto the counter. So Maria and I look at each other and walk over to him. He doesn’t even acknowledge us. Maria asks him what happened, did they not offer him the job? And still without looking up he tells us he didn’t even get that far. Apparently when he went in, he and the manager of the store sat down at a table and the manager asked him the first interview question and just as he began to answer, one of the tic-tacs just goes flying out of his mouth and lands on the table between them. Alex said he was so mortified that he just grabbed the tic-tac off the table and rushed out before the guy could say anything.”
Michael laughed softly at the story and Liz began to join him, but just as she’d feared, her laughter quickly dissolved into tears. Michael floundered for a moment and then began patting her back in what he hoped was a soothing manner as he waited for her tears to subside. When her sobbing turned to sniffles, his hand dropped back to his side.
“Is this what it’s been like for you Liz, since they died?” he asked her. “The throwing up, the flashes, the nightmares, and the crying?”
“It’s been bad since that day” Liz acknowledged. “But in the past few weeks, it’s just gotten worse. That’s why I couldn’t stand it anymore Michael . . . It’s getting worse instead of better.”
Michael’s arm went hesitantly around her shoulders. “It’s gonna be ok Liz. We’ll get through this, I promise.”
Liz just nodded numbly. She didn't believe him but it was nice of him to try.
Neither of them noticed the figure standing just a few feet away, looking at them speculatively.
Re: Time Runs Both Ways (CC,TEEN) Repost 12/07/09
Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:09 am
Lyrics used in this chapter are from Peter Gabriel's "I Grieve”
Chapter 7: Light at the end
The concert ended with thankfully no further incidents and Michael and Liz made their way back to Maria’s car, not having seen Kyle or Isabel anywhere.
“So what now?” Michael asked, trying to think of what they could do next to pass the time.
“I think I want to see if I can get another flash from that piece of metal” Liz replied quietly.
Michael looked over at her surprised. “You sure?” he asked. Not even sure he was ready to find out what that vision was actually about. That sense of foreboding had stayed with him since Liz had told him about it earlier and he couldn't help but worry.
“Yeah” Liz replied. “It was the opposite of fun passing out and everything. But I think the flash was important.”
Michael sighed. “Ok, but if we’re gonna do this, we're gonna do it at my place. Just in case you pass out again. I don’t want to have to explain anything weird to your parents.”
She nodded. “Works for me.”
They made their way back to Michael's apartment in silence, both occupied with their thoughts. Once there were inside, Liz took note of the empty Snapple bottles on the coffee table and the half-empty pizza box without comment.
Michael shrugged. “I gave the cleaning lady the day off.” He didn’t feel the need to mention that he’d rushed out earlier, worried about her.
“So, ok, are you ready to do this?” he asked, pulling the piece of metal out of his pocket and settling next to Liz on the couch.
“Yeah” Liz replied, rubbing suddenly sweaty hands on her jeans and then grimacing when the cuts on her hand reminded her of what the metal had done the first time.
“Maybe you should try the other hand this time” Michael advised.
“No, it’s ok. It’s not like I want two cut up palms instead of one” she said as she held her hand out for the metal piece.
Michael placed it into her outstretched palm and watched her hand close reflexively around it. He was studying her reaction to the metal, which was how he noticed her pupils dilating before her eyes rolled back in her head as she collapsed back against the sofa.
She was standing in nothingness.
She looked around slowly, trying to figure out where she was. Everything was muddled and she fought to clear the air around her so that she could see clearly. That’s when she saw that she wasn’t alone. Isabel was laying just a few feet away . . . only she wasn’t breathing and there was a trail of blood coming from her nose and mouth.
Liz gasped and tried to go to her, but she couldn’t move. The realization that Isabel was already gone hit a moment later and nearly brought her to her knees.
But before she could get a handle on that, Kyle stepped out of the murk. He immediately focused on Isabel and started to walk toward her calling her name. There was a flash of light, Kyle stiffened and then he collapsed. Liz knew without knowing how she knew that he was gone now too.
She could feel the wetness on her face. Somewhere far off she knew she was sobbing. She raised a hand to wipe her face and realized she had been unknowingly applying pressure to a wound. When she pulled her hand away from her stomach, pain caused her legs to give out. It was unbearable, crippling and she had no idea where it came from. She blinked tears away to peer at the wound. There was a deep gash that went from one side of her waist to the other, bleeding furiously.
Nothing was making sense! What was happening?
She huddled, pleading with whatever deity was up there to undo all of this, but when she looked back over at her friends, there was Michael. He stumbled forward, holding his side, pale and bleeding furiously. A moment later, another flash of light hit and he collapsed. Liz cried out and crawled over to him even though she knew it was too late. And when the next flash hit, aimed at her, she gave up and let the darkness rise up to get her thankfully.
Michael sat next to her, trying to wait patiently. Liz had been out for fifteen minutes now and he had ceased feeling any emotions from her about a minute ago. But what he’d felt before that had made him incredibly anxious. He didn’t know if he should try to wake her or not. In the midst of his debate, Liz lunged up from the sofa, gasping for air.
“Liz, it’s ok. You’re okay. It was just a dream.” He patted her back in a way he hoped was comforting and when she'd calmed, he removed the metal piece from her hands, noting that this time it hadn’t produced any new cuts.
Liz turned horrified eyes to him and his breath caught, freezing in his chest.
~*It was only one hour ago*~
~*It was all so different then*~
“What? What'd you see?” Michael forced out, already afraid of her answer.
~*Nothing yet has really sunk in*~
As if the question had turned off some light inside her, Liz’s eyes clouded over and her gaze shifted to the wall behind him.
~*Looks like it always did*~
“We’re all gonna be killed . . . ” she said in an almost detached way. More disturbing than her words though, was the expression on her face that he hadn't seen since the day Alex and Max had died.
~*This flesh and bone*~
~*It's just the way that we are tied in*~
"Liz? What did you see?" he asked, pleading.
~*But there's no one home*~
She stood and looked back at him. “I saw us Michael . . . Me, you, Kyle and Isabel . . . We all died.”
~*I grieve . . . for you*~
~*You leave . . . me*~
She stepped over to the door. “Michael, I’m really tired. Could you take me home now?”
~*So hard to move on*~
~*Still loving what's gone*~
And he could sense it now that he was paying attention. Instead of the grief and pain that had been radiating from her, all he could feel now was resignation.
~*Still life carries on*~
He felt like he'd been punched in the gut.
Liz had given up. Whatever she’d seen had just obliterated the last of her will . . .
~*Carries on and on and on . . . and on*~
Michael sat in the Jetta outside of the Crashdown. Liz had long since vacated the passenger seat, but he just couldn’t bring himself to leave, knowing the state she was in.
And the nagging questions he was trying to ignore just kept buzzing around, demanding answers.
What if Liz were right? What if they were all about to die? Shouldn’t he get as much info as possible and warn the others so that they could be on the defensive? Shouldn’t he do something?
He had tried, without success, to question Liz about her vision. But she had gone into an almost catatonic state once she’d gotten into the car and nothing he said seemed to get through. And all he could sense from her was that god-awful resignation.
But still, he didn't press harder because he could sense that her hold on things was tenuous at best and forcing her to recall a vision that showed her the deaths of her friends could very well send her over the edge into a despair she might never recover from.
Still Michael didn’t feel comfortable leaving her in that state so he scooted down in the Jetta, trying to get comfortable since it seemed he’d be sleeping outside the Crashdown tonight.
Liz went inside, passing her parents, who she dimly remembered to greet and continued her way upstairs to her bedroom. There she began her nightly routine.
Routine . . . Maybe that’s all life boiled down to. Maybe that was all that kept people sane. And maybe that’s why she was losing it now, she thought to herself. Oh, she knew she didn’t appear to be losing it, but that’s because she’d shut down before it could truly kick in . . . The unfairness of it all . . . Why it seemed to be picking off members of their group one by one. The ironic thing was the ledge was no longer calling to her because if her vision was correct, all she had to do was wait it out and death would come to her. She laughed without mirth at that fact but when she had to choke back a sob, she stopped.
Another ironic fact was that this was the first night in a long time that she didn’t actually dread sleep. Sleep was the least of her worries tonight. So, she figured, if sleep actually visited, she wouldn’t turn him away.
And with that she climbed into bed. It took only moments for her to fall into a deep sleep.
She was sitting outside in the lounge chair on her balcony. But...she hadn’t fallen asleep on the balcony. She’d actually lain down in her bed for once.
So why was she here now?
“Because I have something to show you Liz.” The female voice was so slight it seemed to float on the wind past her ears.
Liz jumped up from the lounge chair. “Who’s there?” she called, somehow knowing she shouldn’t be afraid, but afraid nonetheless. Her subconscious hadn’t been kind to her lately. She had good reason to be nervous, she reasoned.
“Who I am is not important” the voice said. Yet Liz could sense a kindness in the tone that allowed her to expel some of the breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding.
“See with your heart Liz . . .” the voice said. And suddenly Future Max was standing just a few feet away. Liz’s breath caught in her throat, seeing a future that could no longer be.
“Why? Why are you showing me this?” she cried. “This isn’t real, I changed this!”
“It’s ok child . . . Just look . . . You have to know what to see . . .” and with that Future Max stepped over to the side of the building, not far from where Liz used to hide her journal, moved his hand over a brick and then slid it out and tucked something inside. What it was, Liz couldn’t tell since he was facing away from her.
“What just happened?” she called out into the night.
“Shh child . . . It’s gonna be alright . . . For as you’ve already learned, time runs both ways . . .”
“What? What did he hide in there? What does all of this mean?” Liz called. But already she could feel the presence starting to drift away. The night shimmered and a moment later she was alone.
She came awake slowly, trying to understand what had just happened . . . whether it had been just a dream or something more. There was only one way to find out . . .
So she got up, threw on a robe and trudged out to the balcony. Once there, she attempted to stand where she thought she’d seen Future Max stand in her dream and looked at the bricks in the wall.
Well, if this isn’t a needle in a haystack, she thought tiredly. Still she began checking bricks, looking for one loose one.
She was just about to give up when she found it.
Wonderingly, she pulled out the brick and looked inside. There was a folded piece of paper that she quickly withdrew and behind that was a slender, oblong crystal. She pulled that out too and sat down shakily in her lounge chair to read.
Michael climbed the steps of the ladder to Liz’s balcony slowly. Trying to prepare for the worst, because he didn’t dare believe that the emotion he’d felt coming from Liz was real.
Yet, as he ascended the final steps and Liz came into view sitting in her lounge chair, she looked over at him and he saw it in her eyes.
Re: Time Runs Both Ways (CC,TEEN) Repost 12/07/09
Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:11 am
Chapter 8: Hope?
“ ’Morning” Michael offered tentatively, not sure what to expect from a suddenly cheerful Liz in the wake of her vision yesterday.
“Michael!” Liz exclaimed. She got up and then sat back down, a piece of paper clutched tightly in one hand.
“Ok, so, there’s no way I could explain this to you, so here, read!” Liz exclaimed in an excited rush as she thrust the paper at him.
Michael pulled the paper away from his chest where she had thrust it and sat down with it, figuring that sitting down would be necessary before looking at a paper that had apparently given Liz back her hope.
His first surprise was that it was a letter.
My Dearest Liz,
If you’re reading this letter, it means that our plan of altering the future must have resulted in a future far worse than the original and that the fate of the world is now at stake. I know this because these are the only conditions under which you were to be contacted about the existence of this letter.
I recognized in coming back to change the future that things might become worse instead of better. Fate is not a thing to be toyed with, as we did. I say 'Fate' because it is obvious that no matter the lifetime, you and I are meant to be together. So any reality that attempts to alter that could end badly. Although Romeo and Juliet is beginning to seem like our story: romantic, yet tragically doomed.
But I digress.
There is much to do now, for you must once again attempt to change the past. I’m sorry to ask this of you, but you are the one person who has the power to fix this; As I recognized when I came back and asked for your help. Now I’m sure you doubt this, but you are strong Liz; stronger than even you give yourself credit for. You can change this reality that you’re living in. You can fix this.
I’m assuming you have already started having the visions.
This was true in my timeline also. They have probably shown you great death and destruction that you are somehow powerless to prevent. These visions occurred in my timeline also, but they were too late to prevent Isabel’s death, as they were probably too late to prevent the death of one or more members of our family in yours. I say, ‘family’ for that is what we came to see ourselves as, as time went on and we faced many battles together. Unfortunately I must tell you that these visions signal the beginning of the end.
In my timeline, they signaled the end of the world.
Which is why I brought an extra crystal behind for your use, so that you can go back. So go back my love and reclaim all that you have lost. I’m sorry to lay such a large task on your delicate shoulders, but as I have said, you are strong my Liz, stronger than you could ever imagine. I have seen it time and again in my years with you and I saw glimpses of it tonight, seeing how strong you were in a task that I know broke your heart.
Just remember what I’ve always told you: We create our own Destiny.
With all my love,
Michael looked over at Liz who was studying his reaction closely and shocked brown eyes met dancing, happy ones. Liz saw the questions in his so she waited for him to speak.
“How . . .? Where . . . ? What . . . ?” Michael shook his head. He couldn’t seem to form a coherent sentence. There were so many questions swimming around in his head, he couldn’t figure out what he wanted to know first.
Liz decided to try to answer what she thought Michael was trying to ask. “Well” Liz began with a smile “I had a visitor in my dream last night. She wouldn’t tell me who she was or even let me see her, but she did show me Future Max hiding the letter and the crystal, so I looked for them this morning when I woke up.
Michael just blinked blankly so she continued.
“It turns out Future Max had hidden them behind a brick in the wall right over there.” And she pointed to where she’d found the items.
“Now your ‘what?’ question, I’m not really sure about because I don’t know what the rest of the question was gonna be, but I’m assuming you were gonna ask what we’re supposed to use the crystal on to time travel. Well, that answer is simple . . . the granolith.” And she let that hang in the air since she knew it would be a shock to digest.
“The granolith?” Michael finally spoke. He was still nearly blown away by the letter, but apparently the surprises weren't gonna wait for him to catch up.
“Yeah, apparently with this crystal, the granolith can be used to travel in time. Although the ‘how’ of that, I’m not really sure about, but I’m sure we can figure it out” she said confidently. She was just so happy that things could be changed. That they could get Max and Alex back. Alive.
“So what are we waiting for?” Michael said impatiently as he began to rise. “Let’s go!”
“Okay Michael, just let me get changed out of my pajamas” she said giddily. Not even minding Michael rushing her. Not minding anything in that moment.
As they rode out to the pod chamber, Michael began to question her more about her dream.
“So when you say that you had a visitor in your dream last night, do you mean someone dreamwalked you?”
Liz blinked. “You know, I hadn’t really thought of it that way, but I guess, yeah, someone dreamwalked me” she said in surprise because the only person they knew who could do that was Isabel.
“So who was this person? She didn’t tell you anything about herself?”
“No, in fact, when I asked her, she said that who she was wasn’t important. Then she showed me Future Max hiding the letter and crystal, said something really cryptic about time running both ways, which of course makes sense now, and then she was gone.”
He absorbed all of this in silence, more questions bubbling but when he met her eye she interrupted, her voice broken yet hopeful. "Michael..."
He swallowed and looked away. "I know Liz, I know" he answered quietly.
They rode the rest of the way to the pod chamber in silence, hope and fear warring in the air around them.
As they left the town behind and drew closer to their destination, Michael thought about how often he’d taken this road to go out to the pod chamber since Max’s death. It hurt like hell that Max was gone. Which shouldn’t have been surprising, but it still was. He knew he’d cared about Max, loved him like a brother in fact. But he’d never imagined losing him would feel like he’d lost a vital part of himself, like an arm, a leg, or even a lung.
The pain was sometimes more than he could bear.
So he’d ride out to the pod chamber on his motorcycle every once in a while, because somehow coming out to the place where Max was buried, the last place he’d been alive, helped.
Sometimes he’d just walk around outside the pod chamber and have silent conversations with Max in his head. Ironically they argued a lot in there, but instead of irritation, he felt only fondness during these bouts. The conversations were almost always the same, but it helped to purge his soul of some of the pain and some of the guilt he felt over the way things had happened.
Truth be told, Liz wasn’t the only one with a claim to guilt over Max and Alex’s deaths. He figured probably everyone in their group felt some to an extent, not having been there when their friends died, when their friends needed them. He glanced over at Liz but she appeared to be completely immersed in the scenery rushing past her window.
Liz barely noticed the scenery beyond her window as they drew closer to the pod chamber. The last time she’d come here was the day they’d gone looking for Max and found him dead inside. Her heart clenched and she let that thought go quickly. She shook her head, trying to dislodge the memories. She glanced over at Michael and noticed that he looked somber also. She reached over and touched his arm. “We have a way to fix this now, so we will." She held up the crystal. "We’ll fix this Michael.”
He flashed a quick smile and focused back on the road as he pulled off of the highway and onto the desert floor that would lead them to the pod chamber, jostling them both back to the matter at hand. When he pulled to a stop in front of the rock formation, they both jumped out of the car and Liz followed Michael as he steadily climbed up the rocks. They both glanced over at the marker where Max was buried but neither of them spoke. As they continued their trek upward, Liz’s heart was pounding in her chest but she forced herself to focus on the matter at hand.
Upon arriving at the entrance, Michael took a deep breath, then waved his hand and placed it over the silver handprint that had appeared. The entrance to the chamber slid open, beckoning them forward. They stepped inside and Michael made sure that the entrance closed securely behind them. Liz consciously blocked out the image of the last time she had been here when Max had been slumped over on the opposing wall and focused on Michael moving forward in the chamber.
Michael shook his head and focused forward, a cacophony of echoes assaulting him; Liz's screams when she had to be pulled away from Max's body, sobbing from Isabel and Maria, who had never really stopped since Alex, Valenti pleading with Liz to let go, Kyle trying to calm Isabel and him holding Maria as his heart pounded so loud he felt like he'd pass out.
So much pain here, in this place...
Yet, his shoulders straightened as he blocked those thoughts and gathered strength from what they were here to do.
Michael made his way through one of the pods and into the chamber beyond to where the granolith was held and Liz followed, both of them shedding memories as they went.
Liz hadn’t noticed before, since she had never actually seen it inside the chamber, but the granolith was truly an impressive sight. The base had a metallic ring around it, but the center was beveled glass that shone with a strange incandescent light. The light shined into the structure itself, which was thin at the bottom and spread out into a conical shape and stood to the ceiling. It appeared to be composed of metal, probably the same kind that the ship had been composed of since the crash in the desert didn’t seem to have damaged it at all. It also seemed to be emitting a light humming sound, which was probably from the vibrations of its energy.
They were really about to try this, she thought nervously. And as she looked at Michael, she realized that they must both be feeling the gravity of the situation, because the feeling of apprehension she’d suddenly had was mirrored in his expression.
Michael spoke first. “So . . . How do you think this works?” he said, nervously rubbing his palms against his jeans.
“I don’t know Michael. Let’s just look for a place to insert the crystal and go from there.”
They both began circling the structure, looking for openings.
“Found it!” she cried excitedly, breaking the silence. It was about halfway around the structure in its base. There was a slot that looked like it would probably fit the crystal. She and Michael both peered down at the opening.
“Ok, so what do we do now?” Michael asked. “I mean, I know we insert the crystal. But how do we tell it where we want to go and what day we want to go to, etc?”
Liz chewed on her bottom lip as she contemplated their dilemma. “Well” she began “if the granolith was never meant to work for time travel . . .”
“What the hell?” Michael interrupted. “Why do you say that?”
“Right, um, well, Future Max told me. He said the granolith had to be altered to work for time travel and since all he left was this crystal, the crystal must be all the altering it needs.”
At that she began studying the crystal to find anything unusual in it’s makeup that would show her what they had to do to feed it information.
After a few minutes of watching her examine the crystal, Michael finally pulled it from her hands. “You know what I think? I say the only way to figure out how this thing works is to just try it.”
Liz sputtered. “B-but that’s way too drastic a way of trying to figure things out!” But then she remembered this was Michael she was talking to. In the time she’d known him, he had mastered the art of acting now and thinking later.
He shook his head, looking speculatively at the crystal. “We’ll never know if we don’t try.” And then, quicker than Liz could stop him, he inserted the crystal into the machine and stepped back. She just stood by speechless as the crystal glowed with a bright light and the machine hummed to life all around them. The granolith almost seemed to be spinning as a bright light shot through the base and into the opening above. Michael met Liz’s surprised look with a slightly triumphant one and said “Well at least we know it’s working.” And then he pressed his palm flat against its surface, some intuition, or forgotten knowledge telling him to.
The sounds around them became even more raucous.
Suddenly a bright light lit up the chamber and Liz was thrown to the ground just as Michael disappeared from beside her and as she sat up, he appeared inside the granolith inside of a swirling incandescent light. Shocked, she could see him inside looking slightly disoriented. But then he began to look excited at the idea that everything seemed to be working. But just as he thought that, the sounds around him began to decrease and die down and he felt himself coming apart again and found himself once again standing outside the granolith.
Liz rushed over to him. “What happened?” she asked.
“I don’t know” he answered breathlessly. “One minute everything was fine and then the next . . . it’s like it spit me out” he said disgruntledly, bracing his hands on his knees to catch his breath.
Liz hit him once in the shoulder. Hard. And then did it again for good measure.
“Ow!” Michael grunted, rubbing his shoulder. “What was that for?”
“For scaring the living daylights out of me with that stunt! We can’t go at this half-cocked Michael. If we want this to work, we’ve got to be careful and meticulous. We’ve only got one crystal. We only get one chance.”
Michael dropped her gaze and mumbled a gruff “Sorry.”
Liz’s tone softened. “Michael, it’s ok. One good thing that came out of this is we know what will happen now if there’s no info fed to the crystal. Speaking of which” Liz once again began to chew on her bottom lip. “Maybe it’s because we haven’t programmed a destination, so it just powered back down. But” and Liz pepped up. “This just means we need to think this through first.” She shot a pointed look at Michael, who avoided her gaze. “But it’s definitely a fixable problem. Just give me a bit to ponder. I'm sure I can come up with something. Max had confidence that I’d be able to figure this out, so we’ll just have to have confidence too.” At that she bent and pulled the crystal out of the granolith and slid it into her pocket. She then glanced at her watch. “Well, if we’re not gonna be traveling back in time today, I guess I’ll have to get back to the crashdown in time for my shift.”
Michael grudgingly agreed, but sent one last longing look at the granolith before following her out of the chamber.
All day at work, Liz pondered the possibilities of how to get the granolith to work, but every solution she came up with was just as quickly discarded. She was starting to feel a little frustrated and the hopeful looks Michael kept shooting at her from the pickup window weren’t exactly helping her thought processes.
At some point, what seemed to Liz like the longest day in history finally ended and it was finally closing time. Liz and Michael worked in silence cleaning the restaurant and found themselves the last people there. By silent agreement, when they were done they both sat down in a booth to talk. Liz started before Michal could ask if she'd figured anything out yet.
“Look Michael, I was thinking . . . Maybe we should tell Isabel, Kyle and Maria about this. They might have some ideas about how to get the crystal to work . . . ” and she trailed off at the look on his face.
“Yeah, ok. So we just announce to them that you had a vision of all of us dying . . .”
“-not Maria-” she interrupted.
“-of all of us dying and that the world will most likely end if we don’t somehow figure out how to travel back in time and change it” he said sarcastically.
“Well, when you put it that way it just sounds ridiculous . . . and terrifying" she conceded. "But look Michael, it’s no worse than what we’ve already faced. And if there’s any possibility that they might be able to help, how can we not tell them? This effects them too, you know.”
Michael dragged his hand down his face wearily and sighed, suddenly feeling very tired. “I know” he replied. “Look, ok, I just don’t want to worry everyone unnecessarily” and he held up his hand to ward off the protest he could see was about to come from Liz. “I don’t want to worry them unnecessarily if there’s even a possibility that we can figure this out without them. It’s just, things have already been so hard for everyone, you know?”
At that, Liz dropped her gaze and nodded. No one knew better than her how hard things had been lately.
“So ok” Michael said, trying to distract Liz from her thoughts. “How about you sleep on it tonight? Who knows, maybe you’ll get another visit from that mystery dreamwalker of yours. And if we’re no closer to an answer tomorrow, we’ll tell them everything. Ok?”
“Ok” Liz replied, thinking that it sounded like as good a plan as any. She began to rise from the booth. “So ok, if that’s decided, I’m gonna turn in. It’s been a really long day.”
“Yeah, I know what you mean” Michael said as he followed her through to the breakroom. “I’ll see you tomorrow Liz. Make sure you lock this door behind me” he said as he stepped out of the back door and into the alley.
“Drive home safely Michael, I’ll see you tomorrow” she replied and watched him walk over to Maria’s car and get in. She waited until he had started the car then closed the door and locked it.
She knew she’d have no trouble getting to sleep, because she felt like she hadn’t slept in days. She flipped off the lights and wearily climbed the steps to their apartment and just barely finished getting ready for bed before she fell into her bed and into a deep sleep.
Once again, she was sitting out on her balcony with no knowledge of how she’d come to be there.
Was this a dream?
“Yes it is, my child. I brought you here because there is still much to tell you” the now familiar voice floated to her.
“Can you tell me how to work the granolith?” Liz asked immediately.
“Of course. But first you need to know about time . . .”
“What about it?” Liz asked.
“All of you. Your time is running out. There is not much left now . . . You are not long for this reality . . . None of us are . . .”
“What does that mean? What does any of this mean?” Liz cried, frustrated with all the non-information.
“My child, calm down. Everything will be explained . . . But you should know that the enemy is close . . . closer than they’ve ever been. And they have or will soon have all the information they need. There isn’t much you can do here anymore, but you can go back and make sure that this reality never happens.”
“That vision . . . D-do you mean I can’t prevent my friends from d-dying here?”
“Yes, that’s exactly what I mean.”
Liz let out an anguished cry.
“Liz . . . you must focus on moving backwards, the rest will take care of itself.”
“How? How do you know all of this?”
“I just do” was the elusive answer Liz received.
“Why is this happening now? This didn’t happen the first time right?” Liz asked.
“No. In that other timeline, it took fourteen years for your enemies to be organized enough to attack and win. But in this timeline, since they know the King is gone, it has made them bold . . .”
Liz tried to gather her thoughts. “So how, how do we get the granolith to work?”
“You. You must work the granolith. You must be the one to go back.”
“But . . . but Michael has powers . . . He can go to Max . . .”
“You were the one who changed things in this reality. You are the one who will have to change them back. Anyone else who tries will fail . . . ”
Absorbing that information and frightful that the dream might end before she found out everything she needed to know, she asked “So how do I get the granolith to work?”
“You have to impart the information through your powers to the crystal.”
Liz balked. “Powers? I don’t have any powers.”
“Yes, you do, my child. Even now they lay dormant below the surface. Can’t you feel the changes inside yourself? The energy that moves around inside you?”
Liz sat back, stunned and tried to assess herself. She realized there was a restless energy inside of her now, but she had never really noticed it before.
“But I don’t understand” she said out into the night. “Where did I get these powers? What am I capable of? How do I use them?”
“I can only tell you what you need to know. And that is that all of your questions will be answered in time. You will know how to use your powers when the need for them arises.”
Liz’s head was spinning with all of this new information.
“But you have to know Liz . . . You’ve not a long time to live . . . The ones that will kill you? You cannot hope to defeat them. None of you can, not without Zan. And when the time comes, your body will not be in a state to use the granolith. Only your essence will be able to go . . .”
“I don’t understand! I’m about to die? Then how will I go back?” Liz cried desperately.
“You will need to separate your essence from your body and send it into the granolith. Rath will help you. Just recall what Zan did a long time ago with someone you loved before she died . . . ”
“Who? Who are you talking about?”
“You already know Liz . . . Just see with your heart and you will have all of the answers you need . . .”
Her voice was already fading away and Liz knew it was too late to ask any more questions . . .
She woke from the dream suddenly. Sitting up in bed, the name just tumbled from her lips:
Re: Time Runs Both Ways (CC,TEEN) Repost 12/07/09
Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:12 am
Chapter 9: I feel like letting go
Liz remembered it all. She remembered when her Grandmother had been in the hospital after having a stroke and she had begged Max to heal her. He had been unable to, saying that what was happening to her Grandmother was natural and his powers couldn’t alter that. But he had managed to get her Grandmother outside of her body so that she and Liz could talk one last time before she died. And suddenly she knew that that was how Michael would be able to get her essence into the granolith.
She sat up in bed, glancing at the clock . . . 7:05. She jumped up to get ready for the day, knowing there was much to do and if Michael was in any way predictable, he would be there soon.
She got ready quickly and headed outside to her balcony to wait.
True to form, Michael’s head appeared over the railing about 5 minutes later and she jumped up.
Michael was surprised with the impatience radiating off of Liz, but underlying that he also sensed dread. Before he could say anything, Liz spoke.
“Michael, we have to go, there isn’t a lot of time and we have to get started.” He was about to ask when she said “I’ll tell you along the way,” hustling him back towards the railing.
Michael let her shove him but grumbled “Ok, fine, but I have to have some coffee and at least a donut before we head out of here.”
Liz opened her mouth to protest, but closed it since they’d need all the energy they could get if her visitor last night was correct. So she acquiesced, Michael headed downstairs, and she went back inside to come down from the apartment. She bumped into her Dad coming from the storage room in back.
“Oh, Lizzie! I need for you to make a delivery for me to Bitter Lake. It’s really important that we get the old smoothie machine there this morning if we want it fixed by the end of the week.”
“But Dad" she protested, "I have some things to do today that are kind of important . . .” she trailed off as she saw the pleading look on her father's face.
“Lizzie, please . . . I wouldn’t ask you to do it if there were any one else that could! . . . Look, if you do this for me, I’ll find someone to take over your shift for this evening. How about that?” he asked imploringly.
Liz relented, figuring that they could continue to the pod chamber from there. “Ok, Dad, I guess I’ll get Michael to drive me there since he has Maria’s car this week, so your car will still be here if you need it for anything.”
“Great Liz. Thanks!” he said as he squeezed her shoulder and then headed to the storage room.
Liz resignedly headed through to the Crashdown to find Michael standing at the counter, obviously picking up take-out orders for both of them.
“Ok so, change of plans” she said, perching on a stool. “We have to make a delivery for my dad to Bitter Lake. Can you move the car to the back door so we can load Samantha inside?”
Michael squinted at her. “Samantha? Who’s Samantha?”
“The old smoothie machine. Maria named her when she first started working here.” Liz smiled fondly at the memory. “Anyway, we have to get moving. We don't have a lot of time.”
Michael grunted and headed out with their bags and Liz met him around back and soon they were on their way to Bitter Lake with ‘Samantha’ safely tucked away in the back seat.
Liz spent the rest of the ride telling Michael about her dream and he was as visibly shaken as she expected him to be. As she had been until she had accepted the reality of the situation. He wasn’t too happy about her being the one that had to go back, but he reluctantly accepted it.
Shortly after Liz finished summarizing what she’d learned in her dream, they arrived at the repair shop in Bitter Lake. They dropped the machine off and were quickly back on the road to the pod chamber.
“So ok, I still don’t get it. How do we get the information into the crystal?” Michael asked, puzzled.
“Like this.” And Liz pulled the crystal out of her pocket, concentrated for a moment, and the crystal glowed a bright red and then returned to clear in her hand.
The car swerved and horns honked around them. “Holy Hell! What the hell did you just do?!” Michael exclaimed, wrestling the car back into their lane and focusing forward.
“I sent information into the crystal. Now it knows to send my essence back to April 5th of this year at 7:45 p.m.” Liz said confidently.
Michael ran a hand through his hair, clearly rattled. “Just like that?”
“Just like that” she agreed.
“But how did you know what to do?” he asked.
“I just knew” she shrugged. She couldn’t explain it any better than that. Suddenly this morning she’d known lots of things. It’s like she’d had the answers all along, she just had never realized it before.
Michael accepted her answer, realizing through the strange link he had with her that she was explaining the best way she knew how. He could even sense it in her, this new confidence.
“So we’re all gonna die, huh?” he asked softly. “Your vision is gonna come true?”
Liz glanced over at him somberly. “Yeah” she said. “But Michael, I promise to fix this. We’re going to fix this. But I think we need to let Isabel and Kyle know, so that they’re at least on alert. I think we should have them meet us at the pod chamber.”
“Yeah, that’s probably a good idea, considering what’s going to happen. And since Maria wasn’t in your vision, we’ll just have to assume that she’s going to be ok.”
“Yeah” she swallowed, trying not to think about her friend being left here alone. If she succeeded, this reality wouldn’t even exist anymore.
She held up her phone. “I’m going to call Kyle and Isabel now.”
She dialed the Valenti residence. No one answered. So she tried Kyle’s cell phone.
“Kyle it’s Liz, where are you?”
“Isabel and I are on our way to Hondo. They’re having some sort of carnival and only Buddha knows why, but Isabel wanted to go.” There was a muffled “Ow!” when Isabel punched him in the arm.
“Look” Liz began. “Forget about that, you need to meet me and Michael at the pod chamber, pronto. Ok?”
Kyle tensed. “What’s this about Liz?”
“It’s too much to explain over the phone. Just meet us there, ok?”
He exhaled slowly. “Yeah, ok.”
“What was that about?” Isabel asked as he hung up.
“I don’t know” Kyle said. “Liz wants us to meet her and Michael at the pod chamber. But it's not good, I could tell that from her tone.” He checked the oncoming lane and seeing that it was clear, made a quick u-turn to head back towards Roswell.
Isabel was about to answer when her cell phone rang.
Looking at the caller id, she saw it was from home.
“Isabel, honey, I’m glad I caught you!” her mother said. “Where are you now?”
“Well, actually, Kyle and I are headed back to Roswell as we speak.”
“Really, honey? ‘Cause I’m in a bit of a pickle here. I’m stuck waiting for the electrician, but I really need this prescription from the pharmacy. Do you think you can pick it up for me?”
“Of course Mom, I’ll pick it up for you, no problem.”
“But . . .” Kyle began. Isabel clamped a hand over his mouth and continued her conversation with her Mom.
“Ok Mom, I’ll see you in a little bit . . . Uhm hmm . . . Love you too . . . Bye!” Isabel removed her hand from Kyle’s mouth and spoke before he could. “Yes, I know, we’re supposed to meet Michael and Liz, but my Mom really needs her prescription. It’ll only take like 15 extra minutes really, right?”
“I guess” Kyle grudgingly agreed, uneasy although he wasn't sure why. So they headed back to town and immediately Kyle knew that something was wrong. There were cars parked in the middle of the streets, but there were no people in sight anywhere.
It was entirely too eerie and reminded him sharply of the last time this had happened when the Skins had taken over the town and made all the humans disappear. He and Isabel shared a worried look as he stopped the car behind a few haphazardly parked cars and they both got out. In silent agreement, they walked into the nearest store, which happened to be Mr. Henry’s supermarket. There was no one at the registers. There was food on the check out counters and some even bagged up, but there was no one in sight anywhere.
“Hello?” Isabel called out.
No one answered.
Beginning to get antsy, Kyle grabbed Isabel’s arm. “Yeah, let’s get out of here.” And he pulled Isabel out of the store, just as Nicholas was rounding a corner.
Isabel froze in shock as Nicholas and a group of Skins stopped just a few feet away from her and Kyle.
Nicholas looked like he could have clapped his hands, he was so pleased to see Isabel. “Ah, Velondra. I was hoping I'd bump into you. We’d heard the great King was dead and just had to come see for ourselves” Nicholas said with a smirk on his face. “Nah uh uh” he said as he wagged a finger at her. At that, he used the device he was holding to erect a silver force field that effectively blocked Isabel’s blast.
“No use trying to use your powers against me. They didn’t work the last time, they won’t work now.”
"Why are you doing this?" Isabel gritted out.
“Aww, it's not so bad, is it? I’ve come to appreciate the quiet" Nicholas answered, still smirking.
Isabel's hand clenched into a fist in Kyle's grip, but Kyle just shook his head minutely.
Nicholas continued doing his impression of an evil supervillain, to Kyle's great annoyance. "Don’t worry about the humans, we’ve sent them away, permanently this time. Even as we speak the signal is stretching far and wide, ridding this planet of the plague known as humanity.” The smirk slid from his face and he glared at the hold Kyle had on Isabel's arm. His voice turned cold enough to drip icicles. “And this time none of you will be around long enough to try to fix it.” And he raised his hand with the alien device again.
Kyle had been seemingly paralyzed, but at this he grabbed Isabel and began to run back towards the car.
They almost made it.
Suddenly Isabel screamed and nearly fell beside him. He grabbed her around the waist and nearly dragged her to the car, pushed her inside and then jumped behind the wheel beside her. He started the car up, reversed and hightailed it out of there.
Focused on the rearview and cursing a bluestreak, he only noticed when his hand slid slippery on the wheel that there was blood on it. He stared at it and then turned to Isabel and nearly lost it when he saw the amount of blood that was soaking into her shirt and jeans. “Isabel?” he breathed.
“Kyle, I . . .” Isabel tried to speak around the pain, but it felt like her insides were coming apart.
Kyle began to pull over so that he could assess the damage, but Isabel shook her head violently and even nearly curled over in pain, she still managed to grab the wheel, holding it steady and not allowing Kyle to pull off the road. They hadn’t put enough distance between themselves and the Skins to be safe yet and they both knew it.
Kyle kept driving but he grabbed Isabel's hand and held on, begging her to hold on until they got to Michael and Liz. And Isabel's strong grip let him know that she was still with him. He drove like a madman all the way to the podchamber, the skins in pursuit but falling behind and for a while he was convinced, against all odds, that everything would be ok. But Isabel's hand fell limp in his as he made the turn off to the podchamber. He let the car coast to a stop, hand tightening on the wheel, even as his other hand shifted around Isabel's wrist to her pulse point, not looking, he didn't want to see, hoping for a pulse, even a faint one. He let her wrist go carefully when he didn't find one. When he finally looked over, he could see that Isabel's features had relaxed in death. She would have looked peaceful if not for all the blood covering her and the seat.
He stumbled from the car and retched in the dirt next to it, one hand braced on the driver's door.
Liz calling to him and then yanking him towards the podchamber was the next thing he registered, having lost time for a while. He could hear the sound of a vehicle approaching so he let her lead him away from Isabel, but he still looked back one last time.
When Kyle's car had come skidding off the roadway, then coasted to a stop outside the podchamber, both Liz and Michael had waited for Kyle and Isabel to emerge. When only Kyle stumbled out, Liz inhaled sharply and when he bent over, throwing up in the sand, Liz started running towards him. Michael stood confused, waiting for Isabel to hop out too.
Isabel didn't move.
The red on Kyle's hand stood out starkly against the paleness of his skin, Liz was yanking Kyle forward and Isabel wasn't moving.
Michael started shaking.
Liz pulled Kyle forward and he let her. Looking shellshocked, he glanced back at Isabel once and his features crumbled.
~*The winter here’s cold*~
When they were level with Michael, Liz began pushing him forward too.
~*It's chilled us to the bone*~
“Liz, no. No. There was supposed to be time” Michael protested, voice breaking as he tugged his arm loose and turned back towards Kyle's car and Isabel.
~*We haven't seen the sun for weeks*~
“We have to get inside Michael. Please” Liz begged, trying to get him moving, trying not to start sobbing, and keep Kyle moving towards the door to the pod chamber.
~*Too long, too far from home*~
The grief hit Michael so suddenly he almost collapsed, but Liz's hand curled around his and she squeezed. "Please Michael, we have to get inside" she said softly, tugging.
~*I feel just like I'm sinking*~
A car pulled off of the highway, kicking up dust in its wake as it sped towards them and Liz tugged frantically.
~*And I claw for solid ground*~
Michael nodded numbly and started forward.
~*I'm pulled down by the undertow*~
The car stopped and Nicholas and a group of skins jumped out.
~*I never thought I could feel so low*~
Liz pulled harder and they all scrambled up the rocks, the pod chamber seemingly within reach now.
~*And oh darkness I feel like letting go*~
Michael fired a blast at Nicholas that hit the skins closest to him when they pushed him out of the way. There was so much rage and grief fueling the blast that they crashed into the rocks hard enough to leave indentations before they went up in puffs of dry skin.
~*All of the strength and all of the courage*~
~*Come and lift me up from this place*~
Michael smiled grimly and was about to fire another blast when there was a flash of light and then he was hit with something that felt like fire.
~*I know I can love you much better than this*~
It felt like his insides were boiling and he folded over as he stumbled forward.
~*It's better this way, I said*~
~*Having seen this place before*~
Liz turned and threw her hand out, a faint blue shield flickering around them but Nicholas's device cut right through it to Kyle who Liz was still pulling forwards and Kyle collapsed without a sound.
~*Where everything we say and do*~
~*Hurts us all the more*~
Liz gasped and almost dropped with him but when she looked, Kyle's eyes had frozen open in death.
~*It's just that we stayed, too long*~
~*In the same old sickly skin*~
A sob did escape then, but she swallowed the ones that wanted to follow and grabbed Michael, dropping the shield and taking on most of his weight as they stumbled their way to the entrance.
~*I'm pulled down by the undertow*~
Nicholas called up to them “You know you can’t win, right? We already have what we want. The Royal Four dead and the granolith delivered right into our hands.”
~*I never thought I could feel so low*~
At that he aimed another blast and Liz pushed Michael out of the way, where he stumbled into the wall of the podchamber. The blast struck Liz square in the back and she hiccuped a gasp at the pain, bracing one hand on the ground when she faltered.
~*And oh darkness I feel like letting go*~
She looked up in time to see Michael raise his hand and put it over the handprint. He yanked her forwards and they nearly fell inside.
~*All of the strength and all of the courage*~
~*Come and lift me up from this place*~
Michael made sure the door closed behind them, using his rapidly waning powers to seal the door so that it wouldn’t open again and they made their way to the granolith, using each other for support and nearly crawling the last few steps.
~*It's better this way*~
Liz collapsed against the side of the granolith and the whole chamber shook from Nicholas firing blasts trying to get inside.
When she fumbled, Michael took the crystal from her and inserted it in its slot. He grabbed her hand and concentrated and Liz’s body went limp. He thought she had died, but then he heard his name.
He looked up and saw an ethereal Liz standing beside the granolith just as the crystal turned red and the sounds around them became louder.
“Michael, it’s gonna be ok. I promise to fix this. And thank you.”
“For what?” Michael gasped, his vision darkening.
“For being my friend” she replied. And then a light shot through the granolith and he was knocked backwards. The last thing he saw before darkness claimed him was a swirling light bouncing around Liz inside the granolith and then she was gone.
~*It's better this way*~
Liz felt as if she were flying, everything was moving so fast. Then suddenly, she was sitting at her desk in her room looking at her computer screen and a single thought was moving through her head:
She was home.
Lyrics from “Full of Grace” by Sarah McLachlan
Re: Time Runs Both Ways (CC,TEEN) Repost 12/07/09
Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:21 am
Chapter 10: Where the heart is
Amazed, Liz stood up . . . and immediately felt the room tilt sideways.
She sat back down heavily in her seat.
Note to self: Traveling back in time? Not good for the equilibrium.
Grabbing hold of her desk, feeling like the room might spin out around her, she closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths, recognizing that this must be a side effect of her trip through time. But a chance to fix the future vs. unknown side effects of time travel? Fair trade in Liz's book.
Sudden doubt rose that that it had actually worked. Who knew what time she'd arrived in? What if she’d come back too late? Her eyes snapped open and she was relieved that the room was now right side up and staying that way. She hurriedly reached for the mouse to her computer and clicked on the calender tool. And there it was, clear as day: April 5th 2002 . . . Almost 3 weeks before Max and Alex died.
Max is still alive!
That's when she realized she could actually feel his presence again. She had to catch herself for a wholly different reason when she realized she could feel their connection again.
She took a deep breath and then grabbed her jacket and climbed out of the window to her balcony, knowing immediately where she had to go first.
She made it to Max's house in 10 minutes, faster than should have been possible, but when she arrived she instinctively bypased the front door and walked around to his bedroom window.
She got her first view of Max (alive!) seconds later and her breath left her in a rush. He was sitting (he was breathing), he was here. She was feeling so many contrasting emotions that she almost felt dizzy again, and took a quick breath to steady herself.
She was about to raise her hand and knock, anticipating the second he would turn and see her and their gazes would lock, when he leaned forward from his position sitting cross-legged on his bed. Liz stepped a little to her left and saw Tess sitting on the bed with him. And before she could turn away, they began to embrace.
She had somehow forgotten this part . . . Forgetten how close Max and Tess had gotten before everything happened. But now it came rushing back to her; suffocating her with memories.
Liz pushed away from Max’s window and started walking blindly, only now recognizing how much more complicated this whole thing was than she'd thought. Back in that other future, the plan had seemed simple: Keep Max and Alex alive and keep Tess as far away from the group as possible. But Tess was so tangled up in their group that extricating her without danger to anyone she cared about seemed easier said than done. She'd been back less than an hour now and yet the whole situation had just gotten a lot more complicated.
Liz sighed, so tired she could curl into a ball right there and sleep for days.
But she didn't, couldn't. She had a mission to complete here and it was now abundantly clear that she'd need help to accomplish it.
But who? Who could she lay this heavy burden on? She ran through a mental list of her friends as she continued to walk aimlessly . . . She couldn’t go to Maria because she'd most likely freak once Liz told her the horrible things that had happened in that future . . . Alex was too close to Tess since Liz had to assume Tess was still using him for that alien translation . . . Kyle was also too close to Tess since he lived in the same house with her . . . And Isabel lived in the same house as Max so she was automatically discounted.
So Michael it is . . .
She took stock of where she was and then blinked, recognizing Michael's neighborhood. Apparently she'd been heading towards his place all along. Her subconscious must have arrived at a similar conclusion long before she clued into the decision. She started towards his apartment but reminded herself that this was the old, tough, abrasive Michael. Not the one she’d dealt with before who was more in touch with his emotions because of grief. And in light of that, she had no idea what she was going to say to him when she got there.
Before she knew it, she had arrived at his door, still with no idea what she’d say She recognized though, that planning wasn't gonna make this easier. There really wasn't an easy way to tell anyonewhat she had to tell him so no point overthinking it.
And as she stood outside his apartment door, she could hear him inside:
“Maria, I’m not gonna change my mind about . . . but . . . you . . . still . . . Whatever!” and she heard something that sounded like him slamming the phone down.
Yeah, Maria never did let anybody get a word in edgewise when she was upset, Liz thought fondly as she raised her hand to knock. Before her fist could make contact though, Michael threw the door open and nearly bowled Liz over, so intent on getting out of his apartment. The scowl on his face barely changed once he realized who had been standing on the other side of his door.
“Sheez, Liz, what are you doing here?” Michael grunted, stepping back but crossing his arms and effectively blocking the entrance to his apartment.
Liz looked at him and wondered if this were a bad idea. This really wasn’t the Michael that she’d known. Would he even listen? Liz shook her head because she'd just have to make him listen. All of their lives depended on her being able to do this, so there was no point in second guessing herself now.
Michael’s scowl just deepened at Liz's silence. He was already irritated over the fight with Maria; he was really not in the mood to deal with Liz and whatever her drama of the week was.
Instead of answering, Liz pushed her way past him into the apartment and Michael's scowl deepened as he followed her in and shut the door. “Michael, I need to talk to you.”
“You need to talk to me? What about?” he grunted. He perched on the arm of his sofa and once again folded his arms, really just wanting to go and ride his motorcycle and blow off some steam.
Liz fidgeted and then began to pace; door to kitchen counter to door again.
She stopped and inhaled deeply. “Michael, there’s a situation brewing that will soon get out of control if we don’t do something about it.”
Michael still looked skeptical. “Ok?”
“Look, I don’t know how to say this so I’m just going to say it. I . . . I know the future. I know what’s going to happen. And I know that on April 23rd, about two and a half weeks from now, both Max and Alex will die if we don’t prevent it from happening.”
Michael blinked and then his mouth twisted unbelievingly. “What?"
Liz shook her head. “I know, Michael. It doesn't make sense. But let me explain . . .”
Michael sat back down on the arm of the couch and looked over at her doubtfully.
"Ok, continue" he conceded, curious despite himself.
So Liz sat on the other end of the sofa facing him. “Okay, so you’re never going to believe this, but I’m going to say it anyway. And in order for any of it to make sense I need to start at the beginning, which would mean we need to go back to October . . .”
And as she recounted the story of Future Max and the end of the world, she watched various expressions flicker across his face: incredulity, disbelief, amazement, shock, and then the familiar scowl settled over his face again.
“So ok” he began after she finished and she resumed her pacing. “Let's suspend belief for a moment here and suppose what you say is true." He held up a hand at Liz's attempt to protest. "Why come to me? Why not go to Max? Or Isabel? Or hell, even Maria? Why come to me?”
“Because you helped me the first time” she said softly as she stopped pacing for a minute and looked him right in the eye.
Michael blinked, surprised at the sadness on Liz’s face. He was momentarily taken aback until what she’d said sunk in.
“Why should I believe you? Why should I believe any of this is anything more than an elaborate tale you’ve made up to try to explain away sleeping with Kyle now that Max and Tess are getting closer?” He saw hurt flicker briefly across her face and felt bad about what he’d just said. But just as quickly as the look came, it went, and determination took it’s place.
Liz's jaw set as she looked across at him. “Ok, so you want me to prove it to you? I will. I know that you consider everyone in our group family even though you’d never admit it out loud. I know that you carry around a piece of metal from the crashed ship in your pocket. I know that you consider Maria your home. I know that Maria will hound you to take her to the prom and you’ll refuse, but only because you don’t know how to dance. But you’ll get lessons and show up anyway. I know that after Max and Alex died, you stayed with Maria and helped her when she could barely stand alone.” Liz exhaled shakily. “And I know that, in the future I came from, you helped me. I was completely lost after Max and Alex’s deaths and . . . and I was ready to give up. And you . . . you pulled me back from the brink . . .” She blinked and met his eye again. “So Michael, I need your help again, ok? I know that behind that stone wall is an actual caring heart, so can we skip the bravado part of the conversation and get to the part where we figure out how to fix this?”
Michael blinked and simply nodded, too overwhelmed by all she’d just said to even begin to form an answer.
She sat back down and they both sat in silence for a while.
Michael’s confusion made him break the silence. “So ok, if Max was alive 14 years in the future, then how is it possible for him to die in a couple of weeks, along with Alex?”
“Because the future I’ve come back from is not the same one Future Max was from. His future was him and I being together. The one I came from, the one we’re in now, is the one that resulted from me changing things and pushing Max towards Tess.”
“I’m here now because Future Max left something behind when he visited . . . A failsafe in case things didn’t work out. And when things went terribly wrong in the new future, it allowed me to come back here and try again. Which brings me back to now . . .” and she once more got up and began to pace.
“I still don’t get it” Michael said. “Why did Max and Alex die? What was so different that would cause this if they didn’t die originally?”
Liz spat the name like it left a bad taste in her mouth.
“Tess is what happened. It seems that whether she stayed or left, she still had the ability to bring on the end of the world. She killed them. She killed both Max and Alex. She’s been mindwarping Alex to interpret this book that will tell you all how to get home. Then after she made Alex shoot himself right in front of me, Max went after her and she killed him too.”
Shock quickly turned to anger at her words. The fact that they had invited Tess into their group, had invited a traitor into their world . . .
Liz continued in a monotone. “After Max was dead, there was nothing stopping your enemies from attacking early, so that’s what they did. They killed us all Michael.”
Michael turned shocked eyes to her and met her deeply troubled ones. He noticed only now that he was willing to see it that her eyes seemed different now. They had a haunted look that he was pretty sure hadn’t been there before. Probably what happens when you see all your friends die he thought grimly. But then he actually registered all of what she'd just said. “Wait. If you died, how did you manage to come back?”
“Moments before I took my last breath there, you sent my essence into the granolith.”
“Me? *I* did this? How?”
“It’s this thing that I think can only be done when a person is near death. But it’s a way to push a person’s soul outside of their body. Max did it with my Grandma Claudia right before she died.”
Digesting this new information, Michael’s voice hardened as he asked “So what happened to Tess after she killed Max and Alex?”
“She apparently had planned all along to have Alex interpret the book and use the granolith to go home. But it didn’t work. The granolith crashed and she ended up dead.”
“*Death* Michael. That’s what waits for all of us in a couple of months if we don’t fix this now” she said solemnly. “I can’t lose everybody this time Michael. I barely made it the last time. You have to help me. Help me change this” she pleaded.
“How long did you say we had?” Michael asked.
“Till April 23rd. D-day” she said grimly.
Just as Michael opened his mouth to say something else, someone began pounding on his apartment door and Maria’s voice carried from the other side.
“Open up Guerin! I know you’re in there; your motorcycle’s outside!”
Michael’s scowl reappeared as he rose and stepped over to the door, yanking it open. Maria stomped past him, already talking a mile a minute.
“Ok Michael, you can be difficult all you want, but you’re going to have to face it sooner or later. We’re in a *relationship*. And people in relationships do things. They actually go places together; You know, besides the back seat of my car and your apartment. Now I want to go to prom and *you* are going to take me!” she said as she poked him in the chest.
Leaning against the now closed door with his arms crossed, Michael winced, but waited for Maria to notice that there was another person in the room with them.
Maria finally paused to take a breath and looked at Michael to gauge his response. He simply smirked at her and tilted his head at something behind her, so she turned, following Michael’s line of sight, and jumped a little when she noticed Liz sitting on his sofa looking uncomfortable.
“Liz! What are you doing here?”
Thinking fast, Liz said “I just stopped by to . . . to talk to Michael about, um, these new powers I may have. I- I got mad the other day and a mirror broke and I wanted to talk to someone about it” she finished lamely.
At this, Maria slapped Michael’s arm.
“Ow! What’d I do?” he asked as he inched out of the line of fire.
“You and your alien conspirators changed my poor Lizzie into a walking, talking time bomb! You see chica?” she said pulling Liz up from the sofa, hooking arms with her and walking to the door. “This is what knowing aliens does for you. You end up either unknowingly altered or just generally annoyed.” Still dragging a slightly bemused Liz beside her, Maria looked over her shoulder at Michael. “I’ll deal with you later Spaceboy” and with that, she sauntered out of the apartment with Liz safely in tow.
Michael just shook his head as he closed the door behind them, figuring he'd have to catch Liz later since Hurricane Deluca had whisked her away.
As they climbed into Maria’s car, Maria turned to her. “So how are you doing chica? You looked like you needed to be rescued in there, and that’s what friends are for, right? So when did this mirror incident happen and how come you didn’t tell me about it?”
Liz buckled her seatbelt and avoided Maria’s eyes. She waved vaguely. “I was just seriously freaked is all. Anyway, what are you and Michael arguing about now? Looks like you were gonna let him have it if I hadn’t been there” she said. As a diversion, it wasn't a bad one. Secretly though, she was pleased to get feisty Maria back. It’s been entirely too long she thought, determined to make sure that nothing happened to change Maria back into the grieving shell of a person she was in that other reality.
“Michael and I have been arguing about the prom. He insists that he’s not going even though I tell him that he is. It’s like this whole endless cycle thing.” Maria waved her hands around as she talked, then working up steam as she started the car, she continued. “He is so infuriating! You’d think he’d know by now how important a prom is to a girl, but does he?” Not waiting for an answer, she continued. “Nooooo. He has to be difficult and ruin possibly one of my greatest high school memories.”
Liz quickly wiped the smile off of her face as she turned to her friend. In this case, knowing the future might come in handy.
“Maria, I know it probably doesn’t seem like it now, but I think all of this is gonna work out. I think Michael does know that junior prom is very important to you. He’s probably just nervous over something ridiculous like having to dress up or not knowing how to dance or something . . .” Liz hoped she hadn’t told Maria too much.
“You really think so?” Maria asked hopefully.
“Yeah, I do” Liz replied with a reassuring smile.
Just then they pulled up in front of the Crashdown.
“I’ll see you tomorrow ‘Ria” Liz said as she climbed out of Maria’s car.
“Bye Liz” Maria said distractedly as she pondered what Liz had said.
Liz just shook her head as she walked into the Crashdown, just imagining what was going through Maria’s head about Michael.
She made her way upstairs and to her bedroom realizing for the umpteenth time how exhausted she was, both physically and emotionally, from the days events. She began her nightly ritual and then climbed under the sheets for her first night of good sleep in a long time. And she was going to need it, she thought grimly, because tomorrow she would face her biggest challenge yet.
Tomorrow she had to go to school, face everyone, and pretend that everything was normal.