Tomorrow Never Comes (SG-1 XO, UC, MATURE) Ch 4 9/27 [WIP]

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Liz Parker Evans
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Tomorrow Never Comes (SG-1 XO, UC, MATURE) Ch 4 9/27 [WIP]

Post by Liz Parker Evans » Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:30 pm

!Title:Tomorrow Never Comes

Author: Liz Parker Evans

Pairing: Sam/Jack, Max/Liz, Liz/Daniel

Set:Set After Departure but instead Max, Isabel, Michael, Maria and Kyle all depart with Tess. I will explain all of that later on. As for Stargate, this takes place after season 7. Instead of Jonas being brough in to replace Daniel, Liz is brought it. For purposes of this fic she is 27.

Rating: Mature

Category: Roswell/Stargate Xover

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters from "Roswell", or "Stargate" though I wish desparately that I did.

Summary: When the past you long thought buried comes back and threatens your future.

Authors note: I posted this a few years back and I never finished it and I want to finish this more than anything so I have decided that come hell or high water that I will finish this fic. This is a UC pairing with the exception of M/M and J/S. Max is not so likable in this one which is a departure for me because I LOVE Max...even when he is being a cretin. The outcome is up in the air...You all can help...Max/Liz or Liz and Daniel, you will have to let me know. Now...I am in need of a new Beta so any takers please PM me.

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Prologue

Sometimes Jack O’Neill hated his job and this was definitely one of those times. For eight years he had denied himself everything for the greater good and he would continue to do so. Most days he could convince himself that it was all worth it. That the fight against the Goa’uld was more important than any personal feeling or ambitions he may or may not have. This however was not that day. Jack sighed deeply from his place in the lush park where he came to watch his dog run the length and breadth of the open field. He expected to see other dog owners doing relatively the same thing. He expected to see children playing on the swings and slides. He expected to see couples enjoying the warmth of the day with a picnic by the picturesque lake. What he did not expect was Major Samantha Carter sitting on a thin blanket while kissing her fiancé of only a few weeks, Detective Peter Shannahan. The very mention of the name was enough to make Jack want to break something, preferably Pete.

Jack had assumed things would remain the same. He figured he would retire in the foreseeable future and he and Sam could then have the life he thought that they both wanted. He realized with an element of disgust that they never actually discussed it. He had feelings for her and knew she had feelings for him but they never actually discussed what that meat or what they wanted them to mean. In his own conceitedness, he assumed she would wait for him even though she was young and beautiful and probably terribly lonely. He knew that he had been but he was used to it. It was something that had been with him since Charlie died. He knew he could be cold at times, unapproachable and a down right bastard. But he knew that Sam loved him and understood him despite himself. But watching Sam with Pete and the closeness that now existed between them he realized that was probably no longer true.

“Greetings, O’Neill.” Teal’c said formally. It registered with him that his commanding officer didn’t seem to realize that he and the other’s of the team had arrived.

“O’Neill.” Teal’c repeated.

“Oh, Hi, T.” Jack turned his eyes away from Sam and Pete and even managed to smile at his friends.

“Hi, Jack.” Daniel Jackson said as he set the large bag of charcoal down on the ground. Jack was distracted and they all knew it. They also knew better than to say anything about it.

“Hey, Daniel. Hey, Parker.”

Liz smiled and nodded her head in way of a greeting. She had been a part of this team for two years, ever since Daniel had ascended and in all that time Colonel Jack O’Neill never once referred to her either by her first name or by the title of Doctor. Liz caught herself wondering not for the first time if Jack even knew what her name was.

“Ready to fire up the grill, sir?” Major Samantha Carter came up to them running a hand through her short blond hair and smiled. Jack frowned at her but found she was joyously alone.

“Where’s Pat?”

“Pete, sir. He had to work. He just brought me here to spend a little time together. It has been kind of scarce to come by on both sides as of late.”

‘So, it was just a goodbye kiss and not something more intimate?” It didn’t help much knowing that and Jack knew he was grasping for that proverbial straw, but it helped enough. He even managed to smile at her.

“Hey, anyone see my dog?” Jack asked as he scanned the horizon. “Stupid mutt, I knew I should have gotten a hamster.”

The afternoon passed in relative peace after Daniel and Liz had been enlisted to find the Colonel’s dog. They should have known the peace would not last. Like a symphony of bells, all five members of SG-1’s cell phones went off.

“Well, campers, it looks like playtime is over.”
Last edited by Liz Parker Evans on Sat Sep 27, 2008 8:05 pm, edited 7 times in total.
check out my fic Tomorrow Never Comes

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Liz Parker Evans
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Re: Tomorrow Never Comes (SG-1 XO, UC, MATURE) Ch. 1 9/12

Post by Liz Parker Evans » Fri Sep 12, 2008 6:51 pm

AN/ This is to just clarify a couple of things. Timeline is ten years after Departure for Roswell and between 7-8 for Stargate. BEFORE Jack is a General, which I think spelled the doom for everything. Jack does not belong shakled to a desk. Umm...wait, a minute, enjoying a visual. Okay, I'm better now. Anyway, that is the timeline. Other things that I should have explained in the summary are as follows. Everyone but Liz left that day in the pod chamber. They all still felt that Alex killed himself but Liz discovered later that it was Tess but she couldn't really prove this to anyone since no one was left to tell. Her parents are gone, that will be explained later as well as the whole SPOT thing. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy it. Remember I am a fb junkie so enjoy!

Chapter One


Heaven bend to take my hand
And lead me through the fire
Be the long awaited answer
To a long and painful fight

Truth be told I've tried my best
But somewhere along the way
I got caught up in all there was to offer
And the cost was so much more than I could bear

Though I've tried, I've fallen...
I have sunk so low
I messed up
Better I should know
So don't come round here
And tell me I told you so...

We all begin with good intent
Love was raw and young
We believed that we could change ourselves
The past could be undone
But we carry on our backs the burden
Time always reveals
In the lonely light of morning
In the wound that would not heal
It's the bitter taste of losing everything
That I've held so dear.

I've fallen...
I have sunk so low
I messed up
Better I should know
So don't come round here
And tell me I told you so...

Heaven bend to take my hand
Nowhere left to turn
I'm lost to those I thought were friends
To everyone I know
Oh they turn their heads embarrassed
Pretend that they don't see
But it's one missed step
One slip before you know it
And there doesn't seem a way to be redeemed

Though I've tried, I've fallen...
I have sunk so low
I messed up
Better I should know
So don't come round here
And tell me I told you so...
-Fallen: Sarah McLachlan


AN: There is a reference to a castle in this chapter and if anyone was interested this is what we are talking about. It is also the inspiration for Disney's Cinderella Castle in Orlando. ANyway, before anything else I would like to thank my WONDERFUL beta KiaraAlexisKlay. Thank you so much for your help. As always I look forward to feedback...it is my drug. I hope to have next part ready for you all next week. Now on with the show.


http://www.castles.org/castles/Europe/C ... C-792F.jpg



CHAPTER ONE:

General George Hammond entered the conference room knowing exactly what he had to do and hating every minute of it. After all his years of sending good people into the fray, he would have thought that it would have gotten easier. It never did. If anything, it had gotten harder over the passing of the years as the bonds of friendship grew stronger. This is why most military appointments were only a matter of a few years but the Stargate program had special consideration. He had been here seven years longer than he had intended, and the people that worked for him had become his family.

“All right people. Let’s get started. SG-6 failed to make their scheduled rendezvous from PX6-346. There has been no contact in over 36 hours. I would like for SG-1 to go through and find them and bring them back.”

Jack sighed. “Sir, what was their last known position?”

“About seven miles from the gate. They reported that they had found what they believed to be some ruins that merited further investigation and that’s the last we heard from them.”

“What sort of ruins?” Daniel asked his natural curiosity piqued.

“Unknown, Doctor. “ General Hammond glanced around the table at his flagship team. “All right. Prepare to move out. You leave in an hour. And SG-1?” General Hammond paused as he looked around the table at his premiere unit. “Watch your six.”


****************************************************************************************************

Max Evans, King of Antar and former resident of the planet Earth was having a bad day. He was never really very good at politics, a skill that would have served him well given his current station in life. He knew he should have been paying attention to this meeting but all he could think about was finding her and killing her once and for all. Max had never thought himself as a violent man, at least he never used to. But in the ten years that he had been on Antar all of that had changed, he had changed. He now had more enemies than he had friends. He was scared to sleep at night for fear of assassination attempts. Although he was the rightful heir to the throne and was beloved as the king, Khivar still had his supporters, many of whom Max felt resided in the palace.

He knew it was the glowering form of Michael Guerin that kept them at bay, for as much as they hated Max, they feared Michael. They remembered Rath and the way he could instill fear just by a glance. But not even Michael could stop the attempt that was made on his own wife. Maria DeLuca-Guerin now lay in a semi-comatose state. Nothing Max or Michael tried to do seemed to make a damn bit difference. She barely recognized those around her, only her daughter Ellie seem to register any emotion with her and because of that Michael had been on a suicide mission to find Khivar, just as Max was on a similar one to find Tess. If only he had listened.


“Max, are you listening to me?” Larek asked from his seat opposite from him. Larek sighed deeply, he knew that Max had a lot of his mind but sometimes he just seemed lost. He had been like this on and off since his arrival on Antar ten years ago. He knew he missed his home, his family…her. Larek could barely bring himself so say her name, but that Earth girl had ruined everything. That was why Tess had been forced to betray him; she just couldn’t live with the ghost of Liz Parker, nor the fact that Max inadvertently marked Liz as his queen instead of Tess. No wonder his sister deserted them and joined forces with Khivar and Nicholas. Larek himself had been on the verge of war with Antar after that, but the alliance proposed between himself and Isabel proved to be too fruitful to pass up. But it didn’t mean he liked or trusted Max any better. It just meant if he wanted to keep Isabel happy he would keep the peace no matter what that meant. But his loyalty to her could only stretch so far.

“Sorry, Larek.” Max slowly responded. “Um…can we reschedule this meeting? The trade delegation isn’t due for another two weeks. That’s plenty of time to decide what to do.”

“Fine.” Larek grumbled getting to his feet. “I suggest you try and pull yourself together, Max. My sister will not be found till she wants to be found. Only then can you two discuss reconciliation.”

“Recon…You think I want her back?” Max asked incredulously. There was no possible way her could ever take her back; not after everything that had happened.

“Of course, she’s your queen.” It was apparent to Larek that there was little of a king residing in this man. His sister had tried to explain it but he hadn’t fully understood until he saw him for himself. He just couldn’t fathom why Zan would take this course instead of being with his wife. Together Max and Tess would be unstoppable

“According to you, she’s not.”

“That is hardly Tess’s fault. Besides, it’s not like you will ever see your little Earth whore again.” Larek said very condescendingly as he smiled coldly in his attempt to elicit a response.

“Watch it!” Max said in a voice that carried his authority. He stood to his full height and looked angrily at Larek. “I know you don’t care much for me or for my former home. But since you are married to Isabel, that makes us family, and I will not have you speaking ill of the people I…”

“That you what?” Larek asked incredulously. “Love? Too bad you couldn’t spare a bit of that for my sister.”

“Do you have any idea how many she killed just to get her own way?” He hadn’t learned the full length of what Tess had truly been capable of until right before she had run off into the night with Khivar. She had revealed that Alex had died at her hand and not of his own.

“She did what she had to do. If you were half the ruler she would have been you’d understand that. You’d understand that everything she did, she did for you and for Antar.”

Larek grabbed his cloak and stormed out the door, leaving a fuming King Maxwell behind. The idea that Larek expected him to reconcile was preposterous. Tess had destroyed everything that had mattered to him. She took him from the only home he had ever known, killed and tortured his friends, and left him with nothing but memories of a young girl with chocolate eyes who once loved a king.

“Your Highness?”

Max turned abruptly, hand outstretched ready to defend himself against the possible threat. He had been so wrapped up in his thoughts that he hadn’t heard the door to the great hall open. He came face to face with one of the only true allies he felt he had left, Serena. Serena was the lead scientist in charge of research at his court. She gasped a bit when she saw her greeting but it was not unexpected. She had heard from the hallway the exchange between Max and Larek. The pair had once been friends. In fact it was Larek that had introduced Max and Tess in their former lives. But that friendship seemed to have died along with Zan.

“Serena, I’m sorry. You startled me.” Max apologized as he lowered his hand.

“That’s quite all right, Your Majesty.” She even managed to muster up a smile. “I just thought you should know that the Circle has been activated again.”

“Again?”

“Yes, Your Majesty.”

“Serena, how many times do I have to ask for you to call me Max?”He gave her a quick, rueful smile.

“At least once more.” She blushed at the thought of using his Earth name. It sounded so intimate to her even though she knew he meant nothing by it. “What do you want me to do?”

“Send a team of guards. Bring me whoever came through the circle.” He demanded through clinched teeth. The last thing he needed was some new enemy knocking on his door.

Serena nodded and turned to leave only to be stopped by Max’s soft voice.

“And Serena, make sure you tell them I want them alive, they have a tendency to be a bit over zealous.”


***************************************************************************************************

Jack shifted uncomfortably on his feet as he stood outside the ruins waiting for Daniel or someone to report to him about what they were looking at. The ruins were supposedly the last known location of SG-6. Jack had walked around the encompassing area at least twice and found very little in the way of evidence to show they were here. No equipment, no gear left behind, there was nothing. It was as though they had never been here.

“What do we got, Carter?” Jack called out to Sam as she made her way over to him.

“Not sure, sir. It looks like there was some sort of conflict on the east side but that’s really all we have. Teal’c is scouting the perimeter now.”

“Great. What about Daniel and Parker?”

“They are still checking out the carvings to see why this place was of interest to SG-6.” Sam explained as she tucked a stray blond hair back into her hat.

“Figures. Daniel and his carvings.”


Daniel Jackson sat on the floor of what at one time was a vast structure, drawing the carvings in his notebook. Liz sat back about four feet away from him taking some soil samples to be tested when they got back to Earth. She was never quite sure what the purpose of the soil samples was, but who was she to argue with standard operating procedures? But as far as she knew, not once had any team found anything of note in the soil samples. She glanced sideways at Daniel and tried to suppress a smile. He had been her teammate for going on a year now and she was still trying to figure him out. He was a walking contradiction. He hated guns but was an excellent shot, he was cerebral but one of the most impassioned men she had ever met. He was a mystery to her and one she would love to get the chance to unravel. It had been a long time since she had any real interest in a man, that aspect of her life had always been difficult.

“Colonel O’Neill.” Teal’c’s deep voice resonated from the wall where he was positioned. “I believe we have company.”

“What now?” Colonel Jack O’Neill grumbled, as he went to the south wall of the ruins where Teal’c was standing with half a dozen armed and angry looking men. Jack sighed as he nodded to Teal’c to hand over his staff weapon. “Oh, Hi.”

Jack glanced back over is shoulder where Sam, Daniel and Liz were joining him. All three were glacing around trying to find the best escape route. “Daniel, you’re the diplomat here, so go diplomate.”

“Uh…hi.” Daniel ventured as he took off his hat and nervously toyed with it. His eyes kept darting over to Jack to garner some clue on how he wanted him to play this but as usual Jack was little help. “Um, we’re looking for some friends of ours, maybe you’ve seen them? They would have passed this way about two days ago? They would look a lot like us.”

“You will accompany us back to the palace.” One of the armed guards commanded stiffly. He was obviously the leader of the guard and he reveled in the authority that he could wield with it. Jack knew his type all too well. Power was all consuming especially for those that strove to possess it.

“Oh, there’s a palace? I just love it when there’s a palace.” Jack snarked sarcastically and didn’t miss the way that Sam tried to suppress a smile. It still thrilled him that he could elicited that kind of response.

The guard that stood directly in front of Jack didn’t appear to be equally amused.

‘Great,’ Jack thought. ‘Another planet with absolutely no sense of humor.’

The guard just glared. “The King will to see you.”

“Well, who am I to argue with a king? Lead the way.” Jack stretched out his hand toward the guards indicating for them to lead the way, instead they were flanked on either side and escorted towards the castle. SG-1 walked in relative silence until Sam just couldn’t stand it anymore and felt compelled to speak her mind..

“Sir, not that I’m questioning you, but are you sure this is the best course of action? There are only six, we could have easily have overpowered them if it came to that.” Sam said as she glanced around at the armed guard at her side.

“Did you notice their weapons, Carter? They have ‘zats’ and they’re not Goa’uld or Jaffa. It’s just not right.”

“It could be that this is the civilization that the Goa’uld acquired that technology from, O’Neill.” Teal’c offered as way of explanation.

“Besides,” Jack continued. “At the moment they are the best chance of locating SG-6. I haven’t noticed any other civilizations around here, have you? If they captured us, isn’t it likely that they may have captured SG-6 as well?”

“Yes, sir.” Sam replied automatically. “It just seems a little bit too easy.”

“You worry too much, Major.” Although she does have a good point, he amended to himself.

The castle that stretched out before them had a fairytale like quality about it that almost seemed surreal; tall columns pushed their way into the sky and were encircled by the clouds that floated above. Sunlight glittered off the gold embossed surfaces to give it a luminescence that took Liz’s breath away.

“That is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.”

“Looks almost Austrian in nature, doesn’t it? Kind of like Neuschwanstein” Daniel said as he reached for his notebook. “I wonder if they…” Daniel stopped talking when he noticed the look of annoyance that crossed Liz’s face.

“What?”

“Do you even have an ounce of romance in you? I tell you how beautiful something is and you proceed to pick it apart.”

“That is what I do. And I will have you know I am a very romantic guy.” He defended himself as he slipped his pencil back into the spine of the notebook.

“That is something I would like to see.” Liz hadn’t intended it to sound like an invitation or a challenge but she realized that that was exactly what it sounded like. Luckily before anything else could be said they were taken through the main gates and into a great hall of the castle. They guards left them in the room without saying a word. They didn’t lock them in, which Liz supposed was a good sign. She walked slowly around the room looking at the portraits that lined the walls. A wave of dizziness washed over her suddenly, and she tried to maintain her balance. Daniel was there in an instant to help steady her.

“Liz, are you all right?” His brow furrowed in concern, a slight frown puckering his lips downward.

“I’m fine. I just forgot to eat this afternoon.” She realized as she brushed away his concern that she felt strange; as if an awareness was trying to reach forth and awaken in her that which she thought was long dead.

“Okay, so it seems we’re not technically their prisoners. I guess we just wait here?” Jack turned and looked at his team. They all appeared as confused as he did. They had been brought here at gunpoint and left alone in a room, usually there was some armed goon standing over them to prevent them from leaving. Jack went to try and exit the room to search for some answers only to discover firsthand the reason why there was no door. There wasn’t one needed. The moment his foot came in contact with the doorway a force field slammed down knocking Jack off his feet and effectively locking them in the room.

“Okay, not one of my brighter moves.”

“I have to say, Colonel.” Sam offered up cheekily as she helped Jack to his feet. “With SG-1’s penchant for getting captured, this is one of the nicer places we have been locked in.” She smiled as she took a bite from a large, juicy piece of fruit that was sitting on the table amidst a rather large bowl.

“Careful, Major, you know what happened to Snow White when she bit into one of those.”

Sam smiled at the Colonel’s comment as she watched from her spot as Teal’c gazed anxiously out the window.

“Well, Teal’c?” Sam asked waiting for Teal’c to tell her of his findings.

“It is well fortified. An escape will be difficult.”

“No one needs to escape, you are not prisoners.” The man who had spoken from the doorway was an impressive figure and his smile belied no warmth. Daniel quickly noted that this was a man who, despite his age, had seen and suffered far beyond his years.

The hairs on the back of Liz’s neck stood on edge. Even before turning around she knew that voice, it belonged in her past and not standing in the same room with her. It was the voice of Michael Guerin. Her most fervent and worst nightmare had finally happened as she always knew it would. Her luck had run out; she was on Antar. She glanced nervously over at Jack O’Neill who within moments would have more questions for her than she had answers willing to give. She hated keeping secrets from the people she loved; it seemed to be on ongoing pattern in her life that she was helpless to stop. She tried to hide in the shadows for as long as possible, prolonging what was to come. Who was she kidding? That was Michael Guerin that was standing mere feet from her, not some overly pompous militant. There would be no place for her to hide.

“I am Rath, second to the king.”

“Hi, I’m Daniel Jackson.” Daniel began the introductions. At some point in his career with SG-1, this had become one of his duties. “This is Colonel Jack O’Neill, Major Samantha Carter, Teal’c. And that’s Dr. Elizabeth Parker. We’re from the planet Earth.”

“Liz?” Michael said so softly that Liz wasn’t sure he had actually said it. She reluctantly stepped forward and saw Michael visibly pale. He stormed toward her and she could tell by the presence that was immediately at her left that Teal’c thought that Michael was going to attack her. Instead he stopped in front of her, not speaking a word; he didn’t trust himself to. He gently reached out his hand and touch Liz’s hair as if to make sure she was real, then he gathered her up in a strong embrace. She was caught off guard but surprised herself by returning the hug in earnest, when, in that moment she realized that she missed him. How much she missed everything that Michael represented.

“I never thought that we would see you again.” Michael said as he pulled back from her. “You look the same.”

“You always were a good liar, Michael. How are they? Maria, Kyle and Isabel?” She thirsted for news and information on her friends, her lost family.

Michael sighed. He didn’t fail to notice that Liz willfully omitted a name or two. He really couldn’t blame her. As great as Liz and Max had been together in the beginning, that was how awful they were in the end. It was a shame really, because what made them so right together is what made them all wrong.

“Isabel married Larek a few years ago. I think they’re happy; I really haven’t spoken to her in a while. Things are strained between her and Max, but then again that is nothing really new. Maria and I got married right after we go here. In, it was the first official bit of court business. We have a little girl, we named her after you. Elizabeth Amy Guerin, we call her Ellie.” Michael gave an uncharacteristic soft grin as he thought of his girls, his family.

“A little girl, Michael? Can I see her? Can I see Maria?” Liz asked realizing just how much she had missed her friend. When she and Kyle had left in the Granolith along with the others Liz had distanced herself as much as she could from all the emotions she felt surrounding it. It was just too much for her to deal with, too much to face the reality of being the only one left behind. She had gotten really good at dealing with only the things she thought she could handle at the moment. The only real problem with that is that you never really deal with anything that way. But knowing that Maria was here, now, and she was close enough that Liz could see her, talk to her and hold her… Liz knew this was really something she had never gotten over missing.

“I’m not sure, Liz. I mean, I want you to see her, I think it would do her good. It’s just…”He trailed off not trusting himself to finish his train of thought. It may have been nearly a decade since Liz had seen Michael but she still could tell when he had something he wanted to say that he really didn’t.

“What happened, Michael?” Liz asked looking suddenly very young. Too young, like the girl they had left behind all those years ago.

“Several weeks ago the palace was attacked from the inside. We were betrayed, and Khivar got in and attacked her. He, um…” Michael could barely bring himself to choke out the words. They tasted vile and raw in his throat. He had been doing everything in his power to do what could for his wife but there were some things even he couldn’t do. Some days, it was all he could do to keep the rage from consuming him and running off and dealing with Khivar in any manner he saw fit. But seeing Liz standing before him looking just as he remembered her was a balm to his aching soul. If anyone could help his Maria it was her.

“Khivar.” Liz growled. “Did he…”She couldn’t bring herself to say mind rape but Michael understood the implication.

“Yes.” It was the truth. “Max healed her body but her mind and her spirit are another matter. I think you might actually be able to help her but first I have to take you and your friends to Max.”

Michael cast a rather weighing glance in her companions’ direction as if he hadn’t just had a private conversation with one of their own. One he felt sure they had all heard.

“You don’t ask much do you, Michael?” Liz managed to smile. “Um, I don’t know if I can do that.”

“Unfortunately there is no choice. It will be all right, Liz.”

“Uh, Parker, can I speak to you over here for a moment?” Michael cocked a brow and smirked at the familiar epitaph, as Jack O’Neill waved her over as he interrupted what appeared to be some sort of family reunion. Jack had a really bad feeling about all of this. For the first time Liz Parker was not all that she seemed to be, and that left him with a very uneasy feeling in the bottom of his stomach.

“Yes, sir.” Liz started to walk over to Jack when Michael gently grabbed her by the arm speaking in a very hushed tone. “They don’t know about you, do they? About what you can do?”

“No.” Liz whispered realizing the implications of what he just said. “But how do you know?”

Michael didn’t answer her as she left his side and made her way back over to SG-1, followed close behind by Teal’c who Liz was sure heard the whole conversation. He was there the entire time at her side, a silent observer into her past. But she knew she could trust him unless it became evident that what she knew would put his friend’s lives in peril and that was the last thing that she wanted to happen. ‘Think, Parker, how the hell are you going to explain this?’

“Parker, do you care to explain this?” Jack asked mimicking her thoughts as he folded his arms across his chest looking every bit the disappointed father figure he tried so often to present.

“Yes, sir, but I can’t, at least not yet. Not without General Hammond’s okay.” Liz made a decision she was not going to lie to her team, her new family, any longer.

“Hammond?” Jack asked in surprise.

Michael walked over to them, his authority blatant in his eyes. “I’m afraid whatever questions you have for ‘Liz ‘will have the wait. The king is expecting us and if there is one thing I have learned in all my time here is to not keep the king waiting.”

“Very well.” Jack replied but not before looking back at Liz as though he had never seen her before in his life and the feeling cut into Liz’s soul. Jack had come to mean so much to her. In all her time with SG-1 he had taken the place of her father in her eyes. He was always there, it seemed, to make her laugh just when she needed it or to listen to her when she needed to talk. Unfortunately a lot of what she really needed to talk about could never be said so instead it was hidden within stories of friends long gone, and of parents long dead. “This isn’t over, Parker. “

“No, sir.” Liz sighed in agreement as she watched as Jack, Teal’c and Sam follow Michael out of the great hall. Liz couldn’t seem to will her legs to move knowing what was waiting for her.

“Liz, are you coming?” Daniel asked from the doorway. He had been watching her in silence since the man called Michael practically crushed her. He could tell that whatever was going on between them, it was intense. He also recognized pain and fear when he saw it, and right he wanted nothing more than to help ease that pain and fear, and the idea caught him a bit off guard. It wasn’t that he wanted to comfort a team mate or a friend; it was he wanted to comfort someone who was slowly worming their way into his heart. He did have questions though, like who were these people to her and how did she know them?

Liz weakly smiled at him as she tried to quell the fear that had settled into her bones. She felt as though she was being sucked back into the nightmare she had fought so hard to escape.

“This is so bad, Daniel.”

“What is?”

“This is the one thing I never wanted to happen.” She closed her eyes and drew in a deep breath to steady herself.

“Liz.” Daniel sighed. “I don’t pretend to know what is happening here but…”

Liz shook her head, willing herself to get this over with. She also knew that if she stayed a moment longer she would end up telling him the whole sorted story and this wasn’t the time or the place to open up those floodgates.

“Never mind, Daniel, this was inevitable. Let’s go before I change my mind.”




Sam gazed upon the rich, thick fabrics of blue and gold adorning the walls. The opulence amazed her, yet it was strikingly similar to the image she had formed in her mind of castles and kings. She may have grown up in a man’s world with guns and fighting but she was still a woman, and as a woman she loved fairy tales and happily ever afters and this place just screamed that. The man seated on throne couldn’t have been more than thirty and that might have been pushing it. He looked out of place among this grandeur, though his dress was that of a king, he bearing was not. He was handsome, that much was obvious. He smiled as they entered the room but his eyes seemed lost.

“Michael.” He greeted his friend and second.

“I brought the ones that were found by the old ruins. This is Colonel Jack O’Neill, Major Samantha Carter, Teal’c and…” He looked around to find that both Liz and Dr. Jackson were missing from the group. He guessed he really couldn’t blame Liz for trying to avoid this for as long as possible.

“We seem to have lost two of our team.” Jack mumbled, annoyed.

“Teal’c?” Max questioned, as he came forward off his throne. “You are Jaffa, are you not?”

“Yes.” Teal’c bowed his head in respect which caused Jack to glance sideways at his large friend. “I was once First Prime of Apophis but have since aligned myself with the Taur’i, the people of Earth.”

“You are from Earth?” Max asked astounded. That was the last place he ever expected anyone to come through from. To his knowledge, Earth just didn’t possess that kind of technology. Things seemed to have changed in the last ten years. But what was apparent is that the people standing before him were military and he wasn’t overly fond of the Earth’s military.

“Yes, your Majesty.” Samantha Carter said removing her hat and holding in her hand. “We are from a program called the Stargate. We are explorers looking for allies against our fight with the Goa’uld.”

“Please, call me Max. The Majesty thing is still relatively new and I am still not completely comfortable with all the titles that come along with the crown.” He absently adjusted the small circlet that adorned his head. His traditional jeans and pullover shirts had been long replaced by tunics and ornately embroidered overcoats. He still longed for the simplier days.

“Max?” Michael said as he laid his hand on Max’s arm and led him away from SG-1. “There is something I need to tell you.”

“What is it?”

At that moment Daniel and Liz entered the throne room. Liz, in an unconscious effort to quiet the pounding of her heart, reached out and took a hold of Daniel’s hand. She needed the extra support, as strong as she thought she was, she didn’t think she was strong enough to make it through this without a little bit of help. She knew that Daniel would support her without asking any question, he would just be there.

“Liz?” Max said in wonderment as he saw her enter the room. It was like she was walking into his dream, the one he had had practically every night since coming to Antar. He made his way over to Liz in silence missing the grimace that Michael wore as he reached her. His hands reached to grasp her shoulders gently as if testing to see whether she would break. He then pulled her roughly into his arms as if afraid that if he let go she would fade into nothing more than insubstantial mist. Liz held onto to Max gently with little emotion she was so numb; she was uncertain as to what exactly she should be feeling. Her left hand was still encased in Daniel’s, holding on as tightly as she could. In her silence she was speaking to him to not let go for fear that she would drown.

Jack and Sam just stared at each other in confusion as Teal’c’s one eyebrow shot out in appraisal.

“For crying out loud, is there anyone on this blasted planet that Parker doesn’t know?” Jack grumbled, his frustration rapidly rising to the surface. “This is ridiculous.”

“Colonel, try to stay calm. Wait until we have a chance to talk to Liz about this.”

“Oh, Major, you can bet she and I will have words before all this is said and done.”

Max pulled back from Liz hardly trusting himself to speak. His time with her seemed like another lifetime ago and in a way it was. But to now find her standing here, in front of him on Antar, was almost too much for him to comprehend. What was she doing here? Why was she here?

“Uh, hi, Colonel Jack O’Neill here. I really hate to break up this touching moment and all, but we are in fact here for a reason and not so everyone and their brother can hug a member of my team.” Jack knew he sounded irate but he really didn’t care, he was. The situation was rapidly approaching surreal. It was one thing to go to worlds and find Goa’uld that they had had past contact with but for Liz to find old friends was just another story altogether. “Four days ago one of teams came through the Stargate and they have not been heard from since then.”

Max never took his eyes off of Liz as he heard the Colonel speak. “I am sorry, Colonel. But I have not seen anyone in this area, in sometime.” Max just stared at Liz, he couldn’t tear his eyes off of her. She was just as beautiful as she was the day he healed her. Same dark brown hair: same chocolaty eyes. Only now they were filled with apprehension and confusion. He didn’t miss the way one of her hands held onto the man next to her.

“Well, this was useless.” Jack muttered. “All right. Everyone, let’s pack it up.”

“What?” Max turned quickly to look at the imposing man giving the orders. “You can’t leave, not yet.”

“Why not?”

Max didn’t answer. He had no real reason to keep them here and he was not in the habit of taking prisoners that was something he would leave to his ex-wife. Thinking of her chilled him, even though he realized that if anyone of this planet had the missing members O’Neill spoke about, it was probably Tess and Khivar.

“Look, Colonel O’Neill. I may know where your friends are and if I am right, it is going to take a lot more that the four of you to get them out.”

“Five.” Liz corrected as her hand finally dropped from Daniel. To his surprise he missed the warmth of it. He really shouldn’t have been too surprised though; if he were honest his feelings towards her were not all that professional and hadn’t been for several months now. Not that he would ever do anything about it. But she had a way of breezing into his office smelling of coffee and chocolate that literally made his heart jump into his throat. He had found himself coming up with excuses to just drop by her lab and when she had taken his hand in an effort to calm herself, he liked the way that it gave her strength and help to steady her. But what was between her and this alien king though? The whole situation bothered him and he was loath to admit to himself why.

“I believe your friends are most likely the unwelcome guests of my ex-wife. We’re embroiled in a bit of a civil war at the moment, and if you are going to attempt a rescue, it won’t be pretty.”

“Why? What’s going on?” Samantha Carter asked as she walked closer to where Max and Liz were standing.

“Tess has teamed up with my greatest enemy and they seek to destroy me more or less.”

“What did you do to piss her off?” Jack asked and Daniel snorted at his usual tactlessness.

“I love the wrong girl.” Max answered, looking back at Liz. “Several weeks ago they staged an attack on the palace. A very methodical and surgical attack. Tess, Khivar and his Lieutenant, Nicholas attacked during the night. They only brought with them about two dozen of their Armada, and believe me when I say, that that is just the tip of the iceberg. Their aim of this mission was not to kill all of us as we slept in our beds or to rid my throne of me. The aim was to demoralize and to let me know that I could be gotten to. Khivar attacked Michael’s wife leaving her damaged in a way that even I can’t heal. Tess herself killed another member of my court knowing how it would affect me. Many others were wounded before Michael’s forces were able to subdue them. If Liz had been here she would have been the first to die.”

“Why is that?” Teal’c asked looking around the vast room and noticing the lack of military presence, which would have no doubt, been needed after such an attack.

“Tess hates her. She would stop at nothing if she knew Liz were here. Tess blames her for everything that has happened.”

“Why would she blame her?” Daniel asked, speaking for the first time since entering the room.

“Because she knew I never loved her like I did Liz.” Liz closed her eyes trying to ignore the fact that her past was on display in front of the people she cared about the most.

“So, they only attacked people that were close to you?” Liz asked, trying to bring the focus off her and onto something that had been bugging her since her talk with Michael.

“Yes.” Max answered not meeting her eyes. Even ten years later, he could tell where her thoughts were going, and just like ten years ago, he had a hard time denying her the information she sought.

“Who was killed, Max?” Liz asked him, scared to know the answer. Something in the pit of her stomach already told her but she needed to hear it from Max.

“Liz, I…”He didn’t want to say the words and be responsible for breaking her heart again. He didn’t want her to blame him for yet another friend dying.

“Who. Was. Killed. Max?” There was that same look in her eye the day of Alex’s wake when she called the group meeting. The day she had practically accused one of them of killing Alex. It turned out she was right.

“It was Kyle, Liz. Kyle’s dead.” There was such defeat and misery and the life seemed to drain with the admission.

Liz squeezed her eyes tightly shut trying to guard herself against the onslaught of pain she knew was coming. She would not allow herself to break, not here, and not in front of him. She would push it aside to compartmentalize it until she was better equipped to deal with it. This was something she would deal with in the privacy of her own home. She would call the sheriff after they returned to Earth and tell him how his son died.

‘Good job, Parker. Way to rationalize your priorities,’ her inner voice snarked almost condemningly.

“Liz.” It was the quiet voice of Michael that ended up saving Liz from the waves of grief she was fighting so hard against. “He saved her, Liz. If it wasn’t for Kyle, Maria would be dead.”

Jack watched Liz in silence. He could see the fight going on behind her eyes and knew that the best thing for her would be to get her the hell out of here at least long enough for her to catch her breath and for him to get some answers. “Okay, lets go back to the SGC and come back with reinforcements. We need to get our people back. And Max, I’m going to need logistics, and whatever information and support you can provide.”

Looking at Liz with regret. “Whatever you need.”

“All right, campers, let’s move out.”




They sat in an uncomfortable silence around the long conference table. Liz knew what was coming; there was no escaping it. She would have to tell them her story. The walk back to the Stargate from the palace had been silent with a tension completely different from other time they’d been escorted from it. Colonel O’Neill sat in his customary place next to Sam glowering at Liz. She knew he wanted answers. Hell, she wanted to give them to him. She only hoped that he would be satisfied with the ones she had. It was possible it would raise more questions than it answered.

Teal’c sat next to Liz at the end of the table, his eyebrow raised as he watched while Liz wrung her hands unconsciously. He recognized the raw will it was taking her not to give into the shadows of her past. He respected her for that.

“LizParker, I am sorry for your loss.”

“Thank you, Teal’c.” That came out of nowhere, Liz blinked into paying attention to her surroundings.

“Liz?” Daniel spoke in a quiet voice that sounded so warm and inviting. “If you need to talk or anything I just want you to know I am here, day or night.”

“Thanks, Daniel.” Liz smiled, wondering how she managed to do such a feat in the face of everything that had happened today.

General George Hammond entered the room looking over his team. It was obvious that something had happened and just as more obvious that Jack was pissed off.

“All right, report.”

“Yes, sir.” Jack responded automatically. “We arrived through the Stargate and proceeded to the ruins. There was no apparent sign of SG-6. Upon arriving at the ruins we met up with half a dozen armed men who politely requested we accompany them to the castle.”

“Castle?”

“Yes, sir.” Jack answered, keeping his voice unusually even despite the interruption.

“Continue.”

“From this point, I think I should let Dr. Parker finish the debriefing, sir. She seems to know a lot more than I do. And besides, I am interested to know what she has to say.” Jack turned his chair slightly so he could get a better look at Liz and then nodded to her to begin her tale. He was being unfair but at this moment he really didn’t care.

“Doctor?” General Hammond looked expectantly at her.

“Sir, before I do could I have a word with you in your office?”

General Hammond looked over at Jack who just shrugged in his general direction.

“Very well, doctor.” General Hammond got up from his seat and walked purposefully into his office. Liz stood and followed him.

“This is ridiculous.” Jack mumbled once Liz and the General were ensconced in his office. “What is with all the secrets?”

“I don’t know, sir.” Sam said. “But I think you should hear what she has to say.”

“You’re saying that I’m over-reacting, Carter?”

“I’m saying that you need to at least listen to her,” She deflected.

“I agree, Jack.” Daniel cut it.

“Of course you do. What exactly is going on between you and Parker? Don’t think I didn’t notice that little hand holding thing back on that planet.” Jack waggled his fingers and eyebrows in emphasis.

“Nothing!” Daniel defended himself. “She’s my friend, that’s all.”

“ColonelO’Neill, I too, concur that we need to hear LizParker’s story.”

“I will. Has it ever occurred to you that I might just be trying to help her out? I am not as stupid as I look you know. I saw what was happening to her, she was drowning. Right now she needs someone to hate, to push her and as her commanding officer that responsibility falls to me. But that doesn’t mean I am not mad as hell right now. I hate secrets!”

Liz Parker slowly made her way back to her seat followed by the solid footsteps of General Hammond. “All right, SG-1, I know of the circumstances in which Dr. Parker is going to brief you about. I have released her in order that all of you may be informed.”

“General Hammond, what is this about?” Sam asked looking between Liz and General Hammond.

“Major Carter, Colonel O’Neill, Teal’c, Dr. Jackson, I am going to allow Dr. Parker to conduct the rest of the debriefing. What she is going to tell you I was made aware of over two years ago.” General Hammond looked at Liz. “Doctor?”

“Thank you, General.” Liz took a deep drink from the cup of coffee in front of her wishing desperately that there were something stronger in it than caffeine. She could have used a bit of liquid courage about now. “My story is going to sound a bit like a fantasy but I promise you all of it is true.”

“All right, Parker.” Jack nodded, his voice more gentle than it had been since they came back from Antar. He recognized raw fear when he saw it. “Tell us what happened. Who are those people to you?”

“Those people were my family. Let me start at the beginning. When I was sixteen I was working in my parent’s café, The CrashDown. It was the popular local hangout for teenagers in Roswell, New Mexico.”

“Roswell?” Sam asked surprised. She realized that after all the time they had spent together, all the coffee’s and the shopping sprees, maybe there was still a lot about Liz Parker that she didn’t know.

“Ironic, I know but true. But if you had told me before that day that aliens were real I would have thought you were nuts. Maria and I used to make fun of the crackpots that believed, but that was before I was shot.”

“Shot?” Jack exclaimed, looking extremely upset.

For two hours Liz spoke. She told them what happened when Max had healed her. She spoke about Michael and Isabel, about Maria and Alex. She told them about Riverdog and Atherton, about Michael’s strange illness. She tried not to leave anything out; she wanted them to know everything. She wanted it to mean something.

“You could actually see into each other’s minds without the use of technology?” Sam asked incredulously when Liz told her about how they had found the orbs. A small smile tugged at the corner of Sam’s lips. She considered herself a capable woman in the Air Force, willing to go one on one against a Goa’uld, but there was a part of her that was very much a girlie girl. It was that part of her that saw the romance in Liz’s story and, for lack of a better word, liked it. She even managed to glance at Jack stealing a quick smile from him.

“Yeah, I always assumed that it was the orbs doing something to us that made that happen.” Liz said managing to glance over at Daniel. “But now I’m not so sure.”

“What do you mean?” Daniel asked.

“Well, about a year after they returned to Antar, strange things began to happen to me. But I’m getting ahead of myself.”

Liz continued her tale, telling them about Topolsky’s return and the arrival of Nasedo and Tess. No one in the room could have missed the venom Liz had every time she said her name. Then her tone grew softer and darker as she told of her abduction by Nasedo and the consequent capture of Max by the Special Unit. The entire group watched in silence as she told of their rescue of Max and the holographic message left by their mother.

“So, the Special Unit is gone then?” Teal’c asked. If they went to such lengths over a sixteen year old alien boy, he could just imagine what they would do now.

“With Pierce being gone we all thought they disbanded.” General Hammond offered in ways of an explanation. “They merely reorganized and became NID.”

“Just great,” Jack mumbled, even more unhappy with the answers than he had with the questions. “I can’t believe you went through all of this.”

Liz almost smiled at this. “Well, there’s more.”

“Of course, there’s more,” Jack rolled his eyes.

“Colonel,” Hammond chided.

Liz continued her story; the second half was decidedly more difficult to speak about than the first half had been. She told them of coming back from Florida determined to let Max go. She even got a job with Congresswoman Whitaker in an effort to not see Max as often. Of course the fact that the Congresswoman was dating Pierce, or rather Nasedo, made that increasingly difficult. Then she told SG-1 of the big turning point in her life, that of Future Max, the Granolith and what she had done to make him stop loving her or more precisely what she and Kyle had made Max believe.

“What is a Granolith?” Sam asked her scientific curiosity piqued and running on all cylinders as she struggled to understand what it was.

“It is a lot of things. I’m not even sure they even know all of what it can do. The Future version of Max used it as a time machine. They used it as a ship when they left. Khivar was willing to kill for it. I don’t think anyone really knows what it is truly capable of, or meant for.”

“What is the power source?”

“Some sort of crystal technology. Look, Sam, I know you’re interested in that and I would love to be able to tell you but I really don’t know that much. Whatever it was, their journey home destroyed it.” Liz paused for a brief moment before continuing with her story. She spoke of the Skins and of Laurie Dupree, of Kyle and Alex saving the day and of Max’s trip to New York for the summit meeting and how she was able to warn him of the impending danger.

“How did you do that?” Jack asked, interested despite himself.

“Um…at the time I thought it was Isabel, but later she said I got away from her.” Liz glanced around the room briefly before continuing after catching their no-nonsense stares. “Alright, I was going to save this part for the end but since you brought it up. After they left strange things started happening. I’d started to get flashes of things to come. My skin would crackle with what looked like green electricity. When that went away I thought that everything else did to but instead I discovered more. I could blast things across the room and then some. I can feel other people’s emotions and I can affect what they see, and before you ask I refuse to use them. In a very real way Max turned me into Tess.” The self-disgust and loathing was very clear in her voice at what she had inadvertently become.

“How is that possible?” Jack asked again.

“Well, the way that Michael explained it, their powers were not from their alien side but from their human side. Only the human brain hundreds of years from now. I think that Max awoke the sleeping part of my brain.”

“It makes sense, sir.” Sam explained, jumping in, getting excited with what she thought was the plausible theory. “We only use such a small percent of our brain’s potential. We’d be able to tell better if we did an MRI or a PET on her.”

“The her is sitting right here and she says no thanks, been there and done that. Dr. Frasier has all the information you need. Anyway, let me finish my story or I’m never going to get this out.”

Liz took a deep breath and continued with the final leg of her story. The worst leg in her opinion. She told them how she and Max had slowly been making their way back to each other but it had all ended abruptly just after the Prom, the day Alex died. She told them how no one, not even Maria believed that his death wasn’t an accident, no except for her. She knew that Kyle believed her though. He was always there for her, never saying much but offering a quiet support. Without Kyle she never would have made it through those initial days. Finally she had discovered that Alex had been killed by an alien even though they never found out who that was. And then she was left alone. Everyone that she cared for left that sunny day in the Granolith. Max, Michael and Isabel took with them her remaining family. They took Maria and Kyle. It was then that she ran away from Roswell and never looked back.

“So, that’s it. That’s pretty much the whole sordid tale. When I was approached by the SGC there was enough record of what happened with the Special Unit that I had no recourse but to do a full disclosure. General Hammond was the only one who knew and now the four of you.” She glanced uncomfortably over at Jack. “I guess what happens from here on out is your decision, Colonel?”

“General, I request that SG-1 go back to Antar along with reinforcements and bring back SG-6.”

Jack’s disregard of her apology, for that’s what it was, stung.

“All right then.” General Hammond glanced around the room at the team. “SG-1, you have a go. Ship out tomorrow at 0900.”

General Hammond nodded briefly to the team before standing up and leaving them alone. He knew that in order for them to continue to function as a team, Jack would be the deciding factor.

“All right, you heard the General. Let’s head home and try to get some rest. We head out in the morning.” Jack stood and walked over to Liz. “I need to know if you can handle this. I mean, you’re not exactly going to be objective here.”

“I know I’m not, sir. But if we end up going up against Tess Harding, I might be of some help. I know her, I know how she worked, how she thinks, and if she tries to mind warp us I know how it feels. I will know the difference.”

“Good enough. Get some sleep, Parker.” And just like that, she was back in the fold. Suitably chastened but still a part of the team, not apart from it.

“Yes, Colonel.”

Liz turned and left the room intent on getting to the locker-room and showering before anyone else got there. But as soon as her feet hit the corridor she knew that she just had to get the hell out of there. She felt the cold, grey walls closing in around her. Telling her team about what happened had been a little easier than he though it was going to be. However, it had brought long buried feelings to the surface.

She hadn’t told them how bad things had gotten between her and Max, there was not real point. It really wasn’t relevant no matter how confusing things were now. All her thoughts were now turning towards Kyle and Alex. She needed to get home and call Sheriff Valenti; he deserved to know about his son. At least Jim would have that comfort, something that to this day had been denied to Alex’s parents. They still thought that their son had taken his own life.

Liz’s feet began to move faster and faster, her boots echoing loudly on the cold floor. When she finally came to a stop she was topside without any clear memory of how she got there. She was on autopilot; she felt…that was the problem at the moment she was not feeling at all. She was completely numb and running on instinct. She hadn’t cried yet for Kyle and now that we was free to mourn him, the tears would not come. She just felt cold. Liz methodically walked over to her car, a vintage Jaguar that Sam had talked her into buying not long after joining the SGC. She opened the door and sped off into the darkness with absolutely no idea where she was going.
Last edited by Liz Parker Evans on Sat Sep 13, 2008 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
check out my fic Tomorrow Never Comes

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Liz Parker Evans
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Re: Tomorrow Never Comes (SG-1 XO, UC, MATURE) Ch 2 Pg. 3 9/20!

Post by Liz Parker Evans » Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:32 pm

AN: Here is the new part, I hope you all enjoy it. I would really appreciate any feedback you care to leave. Just to clarify a couple of things in reference to the timeline. It has been 10 years since Departure where everyone left excect for Liz and there was no SPOT...more on that Later. This happens sometimes during season seven and eight when Sam is still a Major and Jack is still a Colonel...I think they ruined it when they made him a General. Liz has been with the team for about two years. Any questions feel free to ask. I always forget to put something in those Summaries.

Once again I have to thank KiaraAlexisKlay for being such a great beta and for putting up with me. Thanks Kristin, you rock!




Oh we never know where life will take us
I know it's just a ride on the wheel
And we never know when death will shake us
And we wonder how it will feel

So goodbye my friend
I know I'll never see you again
But the time together through all the years
Will take away these tears
It's okay now
Goodbye my friend

I've seen a lot things that make me crazy
And I guess I held on to you
We could've run away and left well maybe
But it wasn't time and we both knew

So goodbye my friend
I know I'll never see you again
But the love you gave me through all the years
Will take away these tears
I'm okay now
Goodbye my friend

Life's so fragile and love's so pure
We can't hold on but we try
We watch how quickly it disappears
And we never know why

But I'm okay now
Goodbye my friend
You can go now
Goodbye my friend
-Linda Ronstandt


CH.2

The moons were settling into the sky over Antar, casting a golden glow over everything. Tess stared out the window of the Great Citadel and watched as they danced across the reflective surface of the lake that stretched out before her. It was in that same lake that she and Zan had fallen in love the first time around when he was still a king and not some foolish boy. What a change a lifetime can make. Tess felt mournful and it was not for the first time. She knew that it had to be done, she knew it from the moment that Kyle had made the decision to come with them. She knew the day would come when she would have to kill him, that there would be no other recourse but unlike the others, unlike Maria and Alex, she actually cared for Kyle, he was her friend.

Max had to be destroyed, there was no question about that and not just a physical death a spiritual one as well. Tess found that she almost enjoyed watching as Maria succumbed to Khivar, hearing the screams coming out of her insipid mouth and echoing throughout the castle walls. Half of the screams that happened that night belonged to Michael as he had been forced to watch as his wife was tortured. But then Kyle showed up, attacking so quickly that he surprisingly had been able to momentarily sever the connection between Khivar and Maria. She had tried to mind warp him in order to keep him at bay, to let Khivar continue with what they were doing, but somehow Tess hadn’t been able to maintain her hold on him. She suspected that it was because it was Kyle. Out of everyone, she had liked Kyle and maybe, just maybe something a little more. In the end she had no choice but to kill him, and his death had always been a part of the plan. He was just another person Liz Parker was responsible for taking from her.

Liz Parker may not have physically been on Antar but her spirit was. In the early days she had tried to play the part of the good little wife and the loyal queen but every time Max looked at her, even when he was trying to be gentle and loving, all she saw staring back at her was the accusation. It was as if he was yelling “You’re not her! You’re all wrong, you’re not Liz Parker!” So when Khivar approached Tess, it didn’t take much convincing for her to join with him. She had to admit that she was attracted to his power. His very presence, his every action exuded that power and she found it very alluring. Even though she knew she was once again coming in second to another woman, namely Isabel Evans, it didn’t matter so much. She didn’t kid herself this time, she wasn’t in love with him, and there was no destiny to contend with. It was a relationship born out of need but the fringe benefits were nothing to complain about in her mind. Besides, Isabel was married to Larek and expecting their first child. She was a non-issue and really had always been.

“My Lady?” A young guard spoke gingerly as he entered the room. “Your brother is on the transmitter. He requests to speak with you.”

“Very well.” Tess sighed as she made her way to the small black disc that sat in the middle of a large wooden table. She gently touched it with her fingertips and the holographic image of her brother appeared.

“Larek?”

“Tess, I hope to find you well?” He asked out of customary politeness rather than out of any real concern for her well being. He believed that Tess was the rightful ruler of Antar, and he knew that being close to the seat of power was just as good as having the power. He could wield his sister like a puppet on a string.

“Well enough, Larek.” Tess answered. “What do you want?”

“I have had word from the castle. Max had some visitors today.”

“What do I care who visits Max, Larek?” Tess asked exasperatedly. She was in no mood for Larek’s little games and intrigues.

“Would you shut up and listen to me?” Larek growled at Tess, his tone was low and guttural as he tried to get his flighty sister to heed his words. If what he heard was true then there is was a change in the wind and perhaps it could be used to his advantage. “They were from Earth and apparently they are looking for a missing team. You or our industrious leader wouldn’t happen to know anything about that, would you, Tess?”

“Does it matter if we did?”

“Not really. Now listen, Adrielia told me…”

“You got this information from your whore?” Tess interrupted and shook her head in disgust. A part of her wanted to yell at him for betraying Isabel but that was a part that was pretty much dead now. She never had much of a formed human side, Nasedo had seen to that. But there was a small part that longed for the days when they were all still on Earth and she had a real family and friends. Of course, that was before Liz Parker ruined everything once again. Everything that Liz Parker touched turned to ash.

“Look, she’s Maria’s nurse and she hears things. Anyway, she overheard Max and Michael talking, and apparently there was someone in their group whom you may find of interest.”

He was toying with her, and she knew that, but even knowing that couldn’t keep the chill from settling into her bones. “Who is it, Larek?”

“Elizabeth Parker.” He practically spat the name. It was almost as hateful to him as it was to Tess because of the lingering shadows of Liz Parker on Antar. When Tess attached herself irrecoverably to Khivar he had essentially lost his position of power.

“Liz Parker is here?” Tess asked carefully making sure she had heard her brother correctly.

“That she is, my dear. Now, what are you going to do about it?”

From behind Larek, the holographic image of a very pregnant Isabel Evans appeared.

“Larek what are you doing?”

Tess watched as Larek turned around in surprise and then the image went black, leaving Tess alone with her dark thoughts. Liz was here on Antar and the thought filled Tess with an ice cold rage. There was a sense of hope that all her well-constructed plans would now come to fruition. She had the bait, now and all she had to do was to be patient. If Liz Parker and the others in her group were looking for the team she had detained, they would come looking for her. She giggled softly to herself as she left the room and headed toward her bedroom chamber. She couldn’t wait to tell Khivar, this was proving to be an interesting night.


***********************************************************************************************************************

“Who was that, Larek?” Isabel asked. “Was that Tess?”

Isabel’s eyes were wide as they looked in disbelief at her husband. Surely she was wrong; Larek wouldn’t betray her or Max like that. There had to be a reasonable explanation.

“Um, yes my love, it was.” Larek covered quickly as he walked over to Isabel and snaked his arm around her waist. “She contacted me, not the other way around. Don’t you think if I knew where Tess was I would tell you and Max? He is after all my king.” Larek tried to control the smirk he felt invading his features for fear it would give away his heart. His King would soon be nothing but a memory and his sister would once again sit on the throne where she would belong, and he would then have the power, and his unborn son would be named heir.

“I don’t know, Larek. She is your sister after all.” Isabel commented as she looked into her husband’s eyes hoping desperately to see the truth in his grey eyes.

“I tried to get her to come in, to turn herself over to your brother but she wouldn’t hear me. Ava never listened to me before, I don’t know why now should be any different.” He lied easily to Isabel.

Isabel tried to smile but couldn’t get past the unease that had settled into the pit of her stomach. She only prayed that it didn’t have anything to do with Tess or the arrival of a face from the past. She had tried to get over to the palace in time to see Liz but she had already returned to Earth. Both Max and Michael had assured her that she would be coming back. She hoped so even though she had never been close to the woman whose memory Max had clung so tight onto all these years. She was surprised to find she missed her. Liz was a piece of her past, something that tied her to her parents, to Earth and to Alex. Something in her heart was telling her not to tell Larek of Liz’s return.


*********************************************************************************************************************

Daniel was tired; the kind of tired that went all the way down to the bone, and all he wanted to do was take a hot shower then go to bed. It had been one hell of a day and he considered reaching out to Liz for a moment, calling and seeing if she wanted to talk but he was scared that he would be intruding on something very private. He remembered after Sha’re died how the last thing he wanted was to talk about it, no matter how many times Jack or Sam had called to check on him. He had just wanted to be left alone to deal with everything that had happened in his own way. The last thing she needed was for him to come sniffing around, and that was how it felt to him. No matter how honorable his intentions were, he couldn’t help but feel that if he were to approach her he would be taking advantage of her vulnerability. He may have developed some feelings for her, but that didn’t mean that she would welcome them into her life, seeing that the apparent love of her life had just come crashing back in. How was he supposed to compete with an alien king? It was almost too ridiculous to comprehend.

As he pulled into his driveway, his tires crunched over the loose rocks as his car slowly came to a stop. The first thing he noticed was that the house wasn’t as deserted as it had been when he left it. Sitting on a bench on his porch, with her legs tucked under her and her arms pulled into the sleeves in a vain attempt to stay warm, was Liz Parker. Looking at her from the inside of his car, she looked so young and breakable. Daniel knew it was only a matter of time before she broke, and looking at her ashen face she was fighting a loosing battle. She was only hanging on by a hairsbreadth and it did not surprise him one bit after everything that she had been through this day, and had yet to go through. What did surprise him, however, was that she chose to come here when it happened. In all honesty he would have expected her to go to Sam’s, they were close, they confided in each other. He never expected to find her here.

“Liz?” Daniel asked quietly as he got out of the car and walked slowly over to her. “Are you all right?”

For a minute Daniel didn’t think she was going to say anything. She just sat there in silence staring down at the cement floor of the front porch. Liz took a deep breath and looked up at him with her eyes shining with unshed tears. “No, I don’t think I am.”

“Come on, let’s go inside.” He stretched out his hand to her and she cautiously took it, holding on as though it were a lifeline. Something solid and substantial for her to hold onto.

Liz followed him into his house and realized that this was the first time she could remember ever being here. When she and the rest of her team would get together and socialize it was usually at O’Malley’s or some other very public place. Liz suspected the reason for that had more to do with Sam and Jack and less to do with anything else. She saw the signs, and Sam had confided a very small amount of information to her, but it was enough for her to glean a few things. But she was not in a position to even think about them. This day had gone down as the worst day of her life, and that was saying quite a lot. The room that Daniel led her into just screamed that it belonged to someone who had never quite gotten around to unpacking that last box. She was struck suddenly by what a bad idea this truly was, she shouldn’t be here but there was no power on this Earth that would make her move from this room. Outside these walls she feared she would shatter.. She should have gone to Sam’s or anywhere else, but this is where she ended up. The moment that she had crossed the threshold of the room, she had felt a sense of peace descend upon her as though reaffirming her decision to even be here. She felt safe.

“Go sit on the couch.” He ordered her, not ungently, but definitely firmly in a tone not to be disobeyed. “I’ll make us some tea.”

Obediently, Liz sat down on the grey overstuffed couch as she glanced around the room taking in the possessions that belonged to the man she was realizing that she didn’t really know well enough to be here like this. She had since come to the conclusion that there wasn’t any other place she would rather be. There had been something bubbling underneath the surface for some time now, and the honest truth was she felt safe here and that knowledge was what was helping her get through the night without having a complete nervous breakdown. Kyle, she realized, was the last straw in a long line of very bad things.

From her vantage point on the couch she saw what appeared to be a set of some sort of ceremonial masks, and sitting on the mantel was a small framed picture of a very beautiful dark haired woman with woman. She had a kind of earthy beauty about her and Liz knew without even asking that that was Sha’re, Daniel’s wife. She could see why he had fallen in love with her, and once again questioned the sanity of her coming here tonight of all nights when she felt so alone and vulnerable. She just wanted to stop thinking about all that she had lost.

She heard Daniel clanging around in his kitchen as if looking for something and had absolutely no idea where it was. Looking around, there was no doubt that he spent very little time there. She really wasn’t very surprised by that fact; she often wondered why she even bothered to pay rent on her apartment when she was only there maybe a couple times a month. She was considering just getting up and walking out of Daniel’s house when she heard the familiar sound of a microwave beeping, and a moment later Daniel emerged with two steaming hot cups of tea. He handed her the mug before sitting down next to her on the couch. He didn’t say a word, and in a strange way that brought Liz more comfort than anything else he could have said. This is why she had come here. Sam would have done everything to get her to talk but Daniel would just sit with her and let her be.

“This was a stupid thing to do.” Liz said before taking a tentative sip of her tea and then setting it down on the wooden coffee table in front of her.

“What happened, Liz?” Daniel asked, his blue eyes shining in concern as he gently placed his hand on top of hers, which were gently folded in her lap. She glanced up at him and the gentleness she saw reflected there caused her eyes to sting in an effort to keep the tears at bay.

“I guess it finally all caught up with me.” Liz said in a hushed whisper, afraid of the words that she couldn’t say,

He didn’t need to ask what it was; he had watched her tell her story that afternoon. He had seen the pain as it danced across her face and how utterly alone she looked. She was quick to suppress whatever emotion she had been feeling. It was obvious that over the course of the years she had become proficient in hiding those feelings. In fact, if Daniel hadn’t spent so much time with Jack and learned to recognize the signs he might have missed it. He had tentatively taken her hand beneath the table of the conference room, away from all prying eyes save Teal’c, but no one could hide anything from Teal’c. Daniel always feared that if Teal’c ever decided to be a verbose individual all of the SGC would be in trouble. The quiet man kept many secrets. But Daniel’s concern was the woman sitting next to him. He had often wondered what it would have been like to be free to just invite her over for dinner some night, not as a group, but just them, just Liz and Daniel. For the first time, he was pretty sure he knew how Jack and Sam had felt all these years. The only difference was that though any kind of relationship would be frowned on between them, it was not forbidden.

“After I left the SGC I called Sheriff Valenti- that’s Kyle’s father- and I told him about what happened to Kyle, what little I know.” She paused, and for a moment Daniel didn’t think she would continue to speak but she did. “I didn’t know what to tell him. He asked me how I was feeling, he just lost his son and he was asking about me and I didn’t have an answer. I just feel so numb. So much has happened and I just feel lost. I am so tired of death.”

Liz squeezed her eyes shut and tried to figure out what she was doing here. There was really nothing Daniel could do to help her. “When Max and Michael told me about Kyle, I knew I had to keep control for the sake of the team. But now that everything is quiet and I can think I just…”

“You can’t seem to release that control.” It was a statement, not a question. “It happened to me after Sha’re was taken. It’s hard to lose someone you love like that, but when you have to constantly put your own needs aside for that of your team, sometimes it is hard to just focus on yourself for even a moment.”

“I’m just…” The words failed Liz as she felt her breathing become erratic and realized that she was angry or more than that.

“Pissed off?” Daniel offered finishing her thought for her.

His words were more than appropriate but her feelings as raw and on edge as they were went beyond that. She would never forget the emptiness that invaded her soul as she told Jim Valenti that his son was dead.

Liz had driven around for what seemed like hours trying to bring herself to take out her cell phone and make that call. Jim Valenti had always been like a father to her especially after her parents had died in that fire at the Crashdown. It was determined to be an accident but Liz had learned the hard way that there were no such things as accidents in Roswell, New Mexico.

Liz took the small silver phone out of her jacket pocket and dialed the number she knew by heart. For the past ten years she had remained in contact with Jim; she called him at Christmas and he called her every year on the anniversary of when she shot. Usually their conversations lacked too much substance, neither of them wanted to talk about things that would only bring them grief. The phone rang once…twice…three times.

“Hello?” the deep timbre of the former sheriff of Roswell resonated over the phone.

“Sheriff?” Liz choked out, barely able to form any coherent words.

“Liz?” Jim Valenti would know her voice anywhere. He always looked forward to their calls and letters but this call was unprecedented. A cold sharp fear settled in the pit of his stomach. “What’s happened?”

“Um, you know those things that I can’t tell you about…what I do, where I go when you can’t contact me? Well, I don’t know how to explain this without getting myself thrown into jail.” It was the problem with having so many secrets, there was always the threat of national security.

“Just tell me what I need to know. Tell me what happened to him.” Jim could tell from the tone of her voice that this was about Kyle. He could feel the heartstrings snapping as he waited to hear the words.

“I can’t tell you everything, Jim. All I can tell you is that Kyle…Kyle is dead.” At her words her resolve started to slip. To say it out loud was to admit that the last vestige of her childhood was gone. That the first boy she had ever kissed, ever fantasized about, was lying in the ground on an alien planet.

Jim had prepared himself for this since the beginning, but to hear the words, to hear the pain in Liz Parker’s voice and know that he had lost his boy took every ounce of strength and willpower that he had to just keep breathing.

“How did it happen?” He asked, only to be met with silence. “Liz?”

“Jim, please understand given the nature of my job I can’t give you those details, not yet. But I promise you that as soon as I am able I will come and see you and answer all your questions.”

“This has to do with that job of yours, doesn’t it?” Jim inquired, not really expecting an answer. “Are you all right, Liz?”

She laughed at the cruel irony. Here she was calling him to tell him of his son’s death and there wasn’t a single question she could answer. It was all tied up in security agreements that left little room for human decency. All she wanted to do was to tell him everything that she had learned. About the fact that she had found Max and the others, and how Kyle had died protecting Maria when no one else, alien or human could. He was the most heroic of them all and she was proud that he was her friend.


Liz shook the memory from her head as she looked at Daniel for a moment, who recognized the look of someone lost in memory. She saw the pity in his eyes and felt the grief constrict in her heart, and knew then that she had to get out of there. “This was a mistake. I’m sorry for intruding on your evening. Goodnight, Daniel.”

Liz got to her feet and practically ran for the front door. She needed to get out of there, she needed to breathe. She opened the door only to have it slammed shut again by the stronger arms of Daniel, who was standing directly behind her. He had chased after her the moment she left the couch. He couldn’t let her leave, not in the condition she was in.

“Liz, you don’t want to go. You came here because you don’t want to be alone.” He gently reached his hand out and touched her shoulder reassuringly. “You’re not alone, Liz.”

“Yes, I am.” She responded dejectedly. She knew she sounded pitiful and at the moment she didn’t care. She just wanted to stop feeling, just for a minute. It was just too much for her to handle and she hated feeling weak.

She had intended to just yank that door back open and continue out. She had intended to just look at him and tell him she was sorry but she really had to go. As soon as she turned her body around enough to see him and was surprised at how close to her he really was. Staring up into his deep blue eyes, she had to swallow hard at what she saw in them. She didn’t dare more or speak for fear that the moment would be broken. A wave of guilt washed over her, blaming her for having feelings of this kind in the wake of Kyle’s death. She knew she should just leave, get out of there so she could think clearly, but she couldn’t seem to will her legs to move. He was looking at her in a way no one had looked at her in such a long time, and she felt all her well constructed defenses crumble at her feet.

He felt the change in her the moment he returned from the kitchen with the tea. All he had wanted to do was gather her up in his arms and never let go. When she had made a break for the door, all he could think about was if she left he may never get to be with her like this again. There was a reason she came to him and not to Sam. She and Sam spent a lot of time outside of the SGC together. They saw one another a hell of a lot more than anyone else. But here she was, in his house, and he just wished it looked more like a home instead of a cold storage facility. He had managed to stop her but now standing here staring at her, he had never wanted to touch anyone as much as he wanted to touch Liz, and he felt like a pariah for wanting to do so. She was hurting, and all he could think about was what it would be like to kiss her, to touch her face and run her hair through his fingers. He inched closer to her as he mumbled some nonsense about her not leaving.

And then it happened.

She was holding her breath trying desperately not to panic as she felt the feather light pressure of his lips upon hers. What shocked her more than she thought was her own surprise. . She had seen the look in his eyes as they darkened the moment before they descended upon her. The kiss was tentative, as though he was asking permission, which she willingly gave. Her slender arms snaked gracefully around his neck and he pulled her closer to him, a bit more roughly than he had intended, and suddenly the kiss was no longer tentative but full of longing and promise. It had been such a long time since she had felt anything remotely close to this.

She knew she shouldn’t be shocked by the flashes she was getting, she had always assumed that it was just something to do with Max, an alien thing, but then she wasn’t exactly human herself any longer. When the need for oxygen grew too great they both broke apart, but instead of embarrassed smiles or the need for more contact, Liz burst into tears. The tears that had never fallen for her lost childhood, tears for Alex, and her parents.. Tears for Max, Michael and Maria, and finally there were tears for Kyle, her first real boyfriend and one of her dearest friends. She had only ever wanted to protect them, but in the end there was nothing she could do for any of them. She crumpled into Daniel’s arms and he held her as her body shuddered with tears. . While holding her in his arms and trying to do his best to comfort her, his mind was trying to figure out the strange images he had seen during the kiss. It was like nothing he had ever seen or experienced before, and those images only seemed to intensify the moment.

He gently stroked her hair as her body shook with the sobs that he was pretty sure she had never expressed. It wasn’t exactly the kind of reaction Daniel had expected to his impromptu kiss, but it was obviously what Liz needed right now. He had an uncomfortable feeling that she had kept all of her feelings buried so deep within her for so long that she had never actually dealt with them, and he was glad he could at least do that for her. There was a small selfish corner in his heart, however, that was glad that he was the one she chose to come to for comfort. He couldn’t forget the way her arms had almost instantly wrapped themselves around his neck, inviting him closer into her world. He knew she was grieving, but there was more in that kiss than Liz’s desire to temporarily forget. He knew that like he knew his own soul. No matter what had transpired here tonight, things would never quite be the same but all that would wait. She needed him now and he was not going to let her down, he would be there for her in whatever capacity she needed him to be.
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Liz Parker Evans
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Re: Tomorrow Never Comes (SG-1 XO, UC, MATURE) Ch 3 Pg. 4 9/24

Post by Liz Parker Evans » Wed Sep 24, 2008 8:11 am

AN

Thanks to:
KiaraAlexisKlay
alexceasar
elfangel01 - I am so glad that you are enjoying it
Maiqu




CHAPTER 3

And all the roads we have to walk along are winding
And all the lights that lead us there are blinding
There are many things that I would
Like to say to you
I don't know how

Because maybe
You're gonna be the one who saves me ?
And after all
You're my wonderwall
-Oasis




It was dark when Liz woke up and the first thing she was aware of what that she wasn’t at her apartment, nor was she alone. She felt the warmth from a body that was lying next to her on the large couch, an arm draped lazily over her waist; she knew instantly who is was and smiled as she snuggled closer into Daniel, breathing him in. She knew she should feel a little awkward given that he had kissed her and she had broken into tears. It was not the way she imagined this evening ending, of course she didn’t imagine herself kissing Daniel Jackson either. She turned her body slightly in order to look at him, to really look at him. Who would have thought that she would have ended up here tonight? He was more patient and gentle than she had a right to have expected. She gently traced the line of his jaw with the tip of her finger before changing course and running over his soft lips. She had the fleeting urge to kiss him again like she had last night. It was a feeling she hadn’t experienced in a very long time. Her pulse started racing loudly, she was familiar with the sensation, but she hadn’t experienced it in more than a year. She started to curse as the world became heavy and the edges of her reality grew nebulous.

The images flew past Liz so fast that it was hard for her to focus on any one thing. She was on Antar, that much she knew without even having to look around. She was in a room surrounded by everyone she cared about and in the center was an angry Tess Harding, at her arm stood an imposing man whom Liz instantly knew was Khivar, there was no one else it could be. The room was filled with a hideous sort of laughter as she heard herself screaming, only it wasn't just a scream, she was screaming out a name. She screamed out to Daniel as she watched as his lifeless body fell to the ground. Her eyes drew back to Tess who merely smiled as she turned and walk up to the throne and sat down as though she belonged there.

When her vision was restored Liz found herself looking into the very blue eyes of a very confused Daniel Jackson. She wanted to bury herself in his arms and never come out but she recognized what had happened as a warning. Daniel was going to die unless she did something about it. It was Tess's personal mission to take everyone that meant anything to Liz, and Daniel was evidently next on that lengthy list. She closed her eyes and sighed with regret. She was not going to allow one more person die because of her and she had no doubts that it was because of her. There was no other reason for Tess to kill him; she killed him because it was someone she knew mattered to her. Liz closed her eyes tightly and let out a sigh tinged with a deep regret. She would protect Daniel even if that meant suppressing what she knew had the potential of being something powerful and great. Yesterday she would never have harbored such thoughts, but now her eyes were open. She leaned forward and kissed him briefly, feeling the warmth of his lips as they met hers in response. She then pushed herself up from the couch, turned, and walked out of his house leaving him alone.

Daniel watched as Liz, left knowing in his heart that she was scared, he had seen in it her eyes. He had awakened to her tentative touch on his face, and witnessed her deep eyes glazing over. He had never seen anyone have a premonition before, but he knew instinctively without a doubt that that was what it was. It was as though she had left the room but had somehow forgotten to take her body with her. It had only lasted a moment, but when it was over he had felt the change as it came over her. She was distant, and had looked at him with sadness and regret in her eyes and then kissed him. He realized in that moment that she was saying goodbye to whatever possibility had come to light last night, and though he hated to admit it, he missed it already. It had been a long time since he had fallen asleep with a woman in his arms, and her sweet scent still filled his senses. He wouldn’t chase after her, that would only make things worse, but he wasn’t just going to let this drop either. He knew that he should probably wait till everything with Antar was settled. For all he knew she could still have feelings for the king and that thought did not sit well with him. They would need to talk and they needed to do it soon.


*************************************************************

Liz was in a foul mood, that was the first thing that Sam noticed when she walked into her lab to see how she was doing. She was concerned for her after the way she had disappeared after the debriefing yesterday afternoon. Sam watched from the doorway as Liz haphazardly threw some last minute things into her pack, including, Sam noted with some interest, some sort of medallion on a leather strap. Sam didn’t miss the telltale cursing Liz was doing under her breath. Sam had the suspicion that this had little to do with the briefing yesterday and more to do with the aftereffects.

“Okay, are you going to tell me what’s going on or are you going to continue to turn the air blue?”

“Hi, Sam.” Liz said quietly as she glanced up from her packing.

“Hi, Sam? That’s all I get? What’s going on, Liz? Is this about seeing Max again?” Sam said as she strode purposefully into the room. She was patient but she really wanted to know what was happening with her friend and teammate.

“I wish.” Liz responded ruefully as she continued stuffing miscellaneous objects into her bag.

“What do you mean?” Sam cocked her head in questing settling to await an answer. She knew she wouldn’t have to wait long.

Liz bit her lip unconsciously trying to figure out if she should tell Sam the truth. She knew out of everyone Sam would be the most likely to understand. She knew what it was like to have your past come back and bite you on the ass, but Liz didn’t trust herself enough at the moment to speak of the vision.

“Sorry, I didn’t sleep much last night. I kept thinking about Kyle, Alex and Maria. I’ve lost my whole family now, Sam.”

“That’s not true. You have SG-1 and that Michael guy said that Maria was all right physically. You might even be able to see her today.” Sam encouraged.

“I know.” Liz responded, but she didn’t sound convinced.

“Speaking of which, you said she was mind raped, I’m not sure I understand what that is?” Sam didn’t like the connotation, but she was unclear on the specifics.

Liz took a deep breath and tried to explain it as best that she could, even though she would give just about anything not to have to think about.

“It’s worse than a physical rape.” Liz started to explain. “Khivar can break his way into your mind and pick through what he wants and take whatever he needs out.”

“He messes with your memories?” Sam asked aghast. Almost like the Go’auld, only so much worse.

“Yes, and he can make you remember things that never happened. Odds are, he made Maria believe that Michael hurt her in some way, tortured her, did who the hell knows what to her.”

“My God.” Sam was horrified.

“You know, Maria never wanted to be a part of this ‘I know an alien club’. I am the one who dragged her into this. She fell in love with Michael, and all she wanted was for him to love her, and when did she gave up everything to be with him. And now look where it has gotten her.” Liz dropped her bag onto the bench in frustration and tried to settle the pure rage that was coursing through her.

Jack O’Neill stuck his head through the door to try to catch Liz before she left for the gate room. He wanted to make sure that she would be all right and that she would still be able to function under her official capacity on SG-1. He needed her to be objective, and he wasn’t entirely convinced that she could be but every member of his team had at one time or another had been less than objective. Sam with Nareem, Martouf and Orlin; Jack with Lara and Kynthia; Teal’c with his wife and son;, and Daniel with Sha’re and Sarah. Their job was not exactly what you would call typical.

“Hey, Parker.” He called out with his usual cheer that masked the startling intelligence as his eyes raked her form and attitude, mentally debating whether she was stable enough to complete the mission.

“Good Morning, Colonel.” Liz answered as Jack entered the room. She was surprised he hadn’t made a sooner appearance.

“I just wanted to check and see…”

“You wanted to make sure that I was okay and wasn’t going to freak out on you.” Liz finished his sentence for him. She was in a foul mood and she wasn’t about to be talked down to.

“Freak out is such a negative word.” Jack pouted as he entered the room and leaned casually against the wall. He knew she was spoiling for a fight; he had been there enough times to recognize the signs.

“I’m fine, sir.” Liz responded automatically, not letting herself maintain eye contact with him for more than a minute.

“Lets move out then and get this little reunion on the road.” He smiled catching Sam’s eyes, which he held a moment longer than was absolutely necessary. In the past few months, hell, years he had found himself wondering why he didn’t make some sort of change so that the regs would no longer be an issue. But of course, now she had Pete and he felt his own importance to her slipping. It was not a feeling he liked much at all, but he felt absolutely helpless to do anything about it. There was nothing he could offer her, at least not yet, not until this nightmare was over and by then it would be too late for them. Jack sighed as he felt his age finally catching up to him.

“Parker, why don’t you go and get Daniel.”

Neither Jack nor Sam failed to notice how uncomfortable Liz became at the mention of Daniel’s name and she knew it.

‘Get a grip, Parker.’ She chided herself.

It wasn’t as though anything really happened other than kissing the man passionately, then disintegrating into a pile of tears on the floor of his foyer, before having a premonition about his death, and then running away like a frightened little girl, which is what she was. What a way to spend an evening.

“Yes, sir.” She nodded. “We’ll meet you in the Embarkation room.”

Jack watched as Liz left the room dragging her pack behind her. He turned and looked curiously at Sam. “What the hell was that about?”

************************************************************

Liz reluctantly went in search of Daniel. It didn’t take a genius to figure out where Daniel would be. He’d be in his lab either going over their findings of the ruins, or fuming, or maybe a little bit of both.

“Damnit!” Liz heard him curse as she entered his lab. She had always liked it here. There was something oddly comforting about the ancientness of most of the items in there. Most of them had absolutely nothing to do with any technology they may or may not have found, but more with the history surrounding it.

“Is there a problem, Dr. Jackson?” Liz asked as she entered trying to belay the fluttering in her stomach.

‘Stop it’ She chastised herself. Things were too precarious for her to even be contemplating anything with this man, so why did his mere presence seem to affect her like this? She would have thought that this was something new given what happened last night, but in actuality it was something that had been rumbling for some time. She knew what she had to do, but when he looked up from his messy desk and his blue eyes held onto to hers, it was hard for her to remember why distancing herself from him was going to be essential. What she wanted was to throw herself into his arms. Maybe if she got through this thing alive, but she knew she was kidding herself where Tess was concerned. She was through fighting destiny.

“Hey, Liz.” Daniel greeted as he tore his gaze from her and physically made himself not look at her and to look back at his notebook. “Just having some trouble figuring out some of these symbols.”

“The ones from the ruins?” She quizzed him.

“Yeah.” His tone was slightly clipped. He hated it when he couldn’t figure out a language.

Liz walked over and stood behind Daniel as she leaned forward, her short, dark hair falling slightly into her face. Daniel took in a deep breath in an effort to resist the urge to brush the hair out of her face and to tilt her chin down towards him in an effort to give him better access for a kiss.

That’s enough, Jackson. She smelled of coffee, lots and lots of coffee and the smell of it was intoxicating. He doubted she had slept since she had run out of his apartment, he knew that he hadn’t.

“That’s a whirlwind galaxy.” Liz said the instant that she saw it but she stayed where she was knowing the effect it was having on Daniel, it was affecting her to. “It’s the symbol for Antar.”

He couldn’t resist much longer. Something had changed between them last night and it was almost palatable. As much as they could have chalked it up to her being vulnerable and just needing someone to listen to her, and maybe hold her, he knew in his heart that that wasn’t the whole truth of it. If it were, she could have just gone to Sam, but when he kissed her it almost a hallucinogenic quality to it. Other than being the best kiss he’d had in a long time, he saw pictures in his head and it was as though he was seeing into Liz. He saw her as a child playing and then laughing as a teenager with a blond girl who he could only assume was Maria. He needed to talk to her about it, but at the moment his hand seemed to have another idea as it traced the line of her jaw down to the base of her collarbone of her neck. He felt her shiver slightly at his touch, and he had to admit that he like that he could elicit that kind of response in her. It proved that last night they had broken through an invisible barrier and that there were real feelings on both sides and probably always had been. If he were honest, he had been attracted to her since he had his ascension revoked. He wanted to kiss her again but one look at her told that was not going to happen.

“We should get going, Dr. Jackson.” Liz emphasized his name and tried to force herself to focus and pull away from Daniel.

“Dr. Jackson? When have you ever called me that?” It sounded like a curse coming from her lips. Now he understood how Jack must feel every time Sam looked at him and called him ‘Sir’. It was like someone stabbing a stake through his heart. He recognized the look in her eyes, it was the same one she had in the middle of the night right before she turned and ran out of his house. He had a feeling that she was trying to find an exit to whatever had been brewing between them; he refused to make it easy on her. Whatever this was about had to do more with that vision than with regret, he just knew it, and the more he thought about it, the more he was convinced that that was the truth of it.

“The Colonel is expecting us, Dr. Jackson.” Liz turned and headed towards the door, not trusting herself to be alone with him any longer. “We should really leave.”

“Don’t do this, Liz. “Daniel grabbed her around the arm to prevent her from exiting. “Talk to me. What did you see?”

She was surprised that he recognized her look this morning for what it really was. A part of her wanted to throw herself into his arms and tell him everything, but she was not going to be responsible for another person’s death, not when it was within her power to save him.

“I have to. Regul…” she began only to be cut off mid-word.

“We’re not military. Those rules don’t apply to us.” Daniel tried to keep his voice even, but he was upset at her for trying to just walk away.

“Unprofessional?” Liz offered weakly.

“I’ll give you that.” He smiled even though it was an empty one. “Damnit, when did SG-1 become a damn soap opera?”

She laughed for a moment, thinking about not only Daniel and herself, but also the ongoing confusion between Jack and Sam. Sam had finally admitted it to her after some downtime that they had spent together at the lake consuming copious quantities of alcohol. It was the last time they had done that but when you share secrets it bonds you as friends. Daniel was right; SG-1 was losing its collective mind.

“DanielJackson, ElizabethParker. ColonelO’Neill sent me to bring you to the gate room. He is most anxious to depart.”

Both Daniel and Liz jumped at the sound of Teal’c’s voice. For such a large man he moved quite stealthily.

Liz smiled sadly at Daniel and Teal’c before leaving. She felt weak for not being able to completely do what she had decided to do. One smile, one touch from him, and her resolve began to crumble. This was going to be harder than she initially thought.

Teal’c just stared at Daniel for a long moment before Daniel just couldn’t take any more.

“Enough of your questions. It’s none of your business what’s going on.” He huffed irritably.

“Indeed.” Teal’c muttered as he raised his eyebrow.

“Okay, something is going on but I don’t know what the hell it is. Enough, man.”

Daniel grabbed his pack and practically ran out of his office with his notebook still in his hand. He missed the look on Teal’c’s face. Teal’c had almost…smiled.


***********************************************************


“They’re here, my Lord.” A young man dressed in the uniform that symbolized his allegiance to his master said with a mirthless smile. “They came through the Great Ring twenty minutes ago.”

“Was she with them?” Khivar asked running a hand briskly though his sandy blond hair, his green eyes dancing in anticipation.

“The one called Elizabeth Parker is with them, along with three humans and a Jaffa.” The young man responded.

“Jaffa?” Khivar practically spat the word; it tasted vile in his throat. It was because of the Jaffa that he had lost his throne when the royal four had returned to Antar. He had unfortunately come into a partnership with the Goa’uld; their freedom in exchange for the natural Naquadah that was in ample supply on Antar. After they had depleted their supplies, the Jaffa attacked. Apparently their claim had been erroneous, that they didn’t want anything on the planet other than the Naquadah. Khivar had thought that they were safe, since technologically speaking they were not as advanced. All their powers came from their mental abilities, and it was only those in the royal line that possessed any real ones outside the odd recreational ones. But the Goa’uld decided that the Antarians would make perfect hosts. The battle raged for several weeks before Khivar had managed to defeat them, but the defeat had coincided with the return of Zan, and so the royal four had gotten the credit for the liberation.

“Jaffa?” He demanded again, cocking an elegant brow in question.

“Only one, my lord.” The sentinel replied. “He seems to be working with them.”

“Very well. Send word to Tess to begin preparations. Knowing the Tau’ri, they will not wait long before attempting a rescue of their comrades. Then Elizabeth Parker will be mine and I can end this nightmare once and for all.”

“Yes, my lord.” The sentinel bowed, knowing he was dismissed, and took his leave.

A smile played at Khivar’s mouth, he could almost taste his victory over Max. It had been a long time in coming. Max and the others had cheated death before thanks to their interfering mother. Not this time though. There would be no escape for any of them. Khivar stretched as he felt the tiredness seep into his bones. He decided it was time to sleep. He would have pleasant dreams tonight though; he would be serenaded by the thought of the screams he would get from Elizabeth Parker. One way or another that seal would be his. Willingly or otherwise.


*************************************************************

She was running as fast as she could, whether it was to something or away from something, she didn’t know. The edges of her memory were sketchy at best. Faces flashed before her from her past and present, but none of them held any real meaning. They were echoes that reverberated through her body before quieting down enough for her to die. But he had prevented that, didn’t he? A cold anger filled her. He couldn’t save him but he had saved her. Him. Why couldn’t she remember who he was? He was important to her, a brother of sorts, and a protector. She remembered a cocky smile and a biting wit. She had an overwhelming sense of loss as though she were forgetting something vital.

She remembered the man with the cold eyes, laughing at her pain, and then suddenly he was gone and she was trapped within this body with no way to get home. Warm lips touched her cheek every night. The lights in her heart were doused again as she struggled to remember those lips and his smell. It was why she was so far from home in the first place. Michael. That was the name of the owner of the lips and he was essential, but she couldn’t remember why. She needed to remember her savior, and until she could remember she would be here forever, cut off from everyone she could.

“Hello, Maria.” He greeted her warmly from the shadows. “Do you know who I am today?”

“No, I’m sorry.” She said in a small voice, fighting the tears that threatened to fall. “I know I should.”

“That’s all right, you will. And I will stay with you in the dark until you can turn on the light again.”

“And then…?” she asked weakly.

“And then I must continue on my journey. I shouldn’t even be here but I couldn’t leave you alone.”

She smiled at his words, feeling safe at least for the moment. But the dark man was still here, somewhere, lingering in the shadows and she was just glad that at least for the moment she didn’t have to fight it alone.
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Liz Parker Evans
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Re: Tomorrow Never Comes (SG-1 XO, UC, MATURE) Ch 4 Pg. 4 9/27

Post by Liz Parker Evans » Sat Sep 27, 2008 8:13 pm

Thanks to:
alexceasar - I am so glad you are enjoying it!
C&N214 - She is kind of gun shy because of everything that happened. It might have been 10 years ago but it still affects her.
Maiqu - I can't make it too easy on them, now can I?
dstarlight - You are correct, there is BIG trouble looming for our new couple
elfangel01 - I agree that Liz is a bit stupid when it comes to this whole thing but she can't help it. She has lost so much to Tess that she is so scared of losing anything else
KiaraAlexisKlay - Thans for being such an awesome beta!
***

**Note, for this timeline Max and Liz made love when they went looking for the orbs. Never fear there will be no Max and Liz in this fic...however there was in the past. I look forward to reading all of your feedback.


When you feel so close to some resolve,
You say the things that you're standing for,
Don't let your courage get dissolved,
'Cause it's then that the fear grows,

-Finger Eleven

PART 4

Serena watched in fascination, as the strangers were led into council chambers. She knew that they had visited briefly with the King yesterday, and she had since heard the rumors that their chosen Queen was now among them. She hid in the shadows hoping that she would get the opportunity to catch a glimpse, no matter how fleeting, of Her. She was as beautiful as Serena had imagined her to be. Maria had once shown her a worn picture of the Queen from when the two of them were teenagers on Earth, but seeing the woman the Queen had become was a completely different story.

Her dark hair was trying to escape the hat she wore which bore the SG-1 insignia. Serena didn’t pretend to understand what that meant, but she understood that it had to do with Earth, the former home of the royal four. Even as a young child, while studying to be a scientist, she had waited with anticipation as the rest of Antar had for the return of the king and the royal four. Unfortunately, they had gotten more than they had bargained for in the form of Tess. She remembered the stories her grandmother would tell her of Ava as a child, remembered her to be spoiled and often cruel, but never did anyone ever think that she would capable of out and out murder. Yet that is exactly what had happened when she and her lover, Khivar, had attacked the castle and left all of them at loose ends. They all knew it was just a matter of time before she and Khivar attempted to retake the throne, and the state that both Max and Michael were in she doubted it would be much of a fight. But perhaps with the reappearance of Liz Parker things could be different. Maybe a new direction could be found if she took her rightful place at the side of her king. Already, there was a noticeable difference between Rath and Zan that had been lacking the last few weeks since the attack, as if they had purpose or hope returned.

Serena watched as Max smiled at Liz who was trying to answer the questions posed by the other members of her team. His eyes never left Liz’s. Serena also didn’t miss the fact that Liz went to great lengths not to look too closely at him. Her eyes averted, landing more than once at the sandy brown haired man with the eyes that reminded her of the sea after a raging storm, deep, blue and a little dangerous. Something in the way that Liz looked at him just a moment longer than necessary bothered Serena. It wasn’t anything but it was enough to give her concern if Liz was to stay on Antar as their queen. Of course, there was the little issue given the fact that Liz knew nothing of her current status among Max’s followers. There was nothing to be done until Max figured out a way to tell the young woman. She envied Liz Parker in more ways than one. She had the king’s heart.

Serena glanced nervously at the time and realized that she was late for her turn to sit with Maria Guerin. Ellie would be waking from her nap in a few moments and demanding to be taken to her mother. If they were lucky, they might manage to get a word or two from her but usually she spoke nonsense, mumbling about a dark man and how her angel would save her. Serena prayed every night that she was right, that someone could help her. Maria was innocent in all of this and didn’t deserve any of what had happened to her since she stepped foot on Antar. Khivar had attacked Maria simply because he knew it would enrage Michael, and an angry Michael was a careless Michael, one that could be easily manipulated and out maneuvered.


“Now, we believe that Khivar and Tess are in this sector but we have not been able to establish a concrete location. They keep moving around to avoid being captured but I know they are there I can smell it.” Michael grumbled hoarsely. The fact that Tess and Khivar had time and time again slipped through his fingers after what they had done to Maria and to Kyle made Michael’s blood boil in his ears. He wanted to nothing more than to find them and watch as their lifeforce drain effortlessly from their bodies by his own hand.

“Then how are we supposed to find them?” Sam asked as she shifted her weight from one foot to another.

“You don’t find them…she will find you.” Michael explained looking apologetically at Liz. “Tess has to know you are here and she won’t be able to resist the lure. “

“Wait!” Jack quickly interjected. “Are you suggesting that we use Parker as bait?”

“Do you want to find where your missing team is or not?” Michael answered brusquely. He didn’t like the fact that Liz was to be the sacrificial lamb so to speak, either, but his time on Antar had pounded into him the need of being practical and to make the hard decisions.

“Not at the expense at another member of my team!” Jack was already shaking his head in denial of the implied request.

“You have to understand how badly Tess wants Liz. She wants her not only because she believes that she is the cause for everything that has happened to her but also for what she is.”

“And what am I, Michael?” Liz asked as she tried to read his expression, which went from confusion to shock, as he seemed to realize that she had absolutely no idea what he was referring to. He had erroneously assumed that Max would have told her, but realized that there just hadn’t been time. It was time that she knew. Michael’s eyes quickly searched out Max.

Max slowly rose from her seat and made his way over to where Liz was standing ensconced between Daniel and Teal’c as if creating a wall of protection around herself out of the two men. It hurt Max that she was so frightened of him; he had never done anything to hurt her. It took him a moment to realize that that wasn’t true. He may have never physically hurt her, but he did a fair amount of damage on the emotional front. That was why this was going to be all the more difficult for him to explain to her, and it would be even harder for her to accept what it would mean to her and to their future. She was bound here now, that fate had been sealed the moment she had accidentally stumbled onto Antar. He was sorry that because of one reckless night, all choice would now be taken from her, but there was a very selfish part of him that loved the idea that he could finally have what he thought had been forever lost in time.

“Liz.” Max almost whispered her name. It sounded strange coming from his lips after all this time, and she wasn’t sure how to react. A part of her soul sang to hear him speak to her after all this time but any chance that they might have had died when he left her alone on Earth. She searched out Daniel’s face momentarily before Max gently led her a few feet away from her self appointed protectors.

“What is this all about, Max?” Liz asked not quite trusting her own voice. She was unsure she actually wanted to hear the answer. Everything that had occurred in the last few days seemed to be one horrible blow after another, and she was unsure of how many more she could take and remain standing.

“You’ve been changed, haven’t you? You have some of our alien powers and some of your own. Do you know why?” He asked though he already had a pretty good idea of the answer.

“I assumed it was because you healed me that day at the Crashdown.”

“If only it were that simple. Apparently the king has a royal duty when he turns seventeen to search out and choose a queen. That was why Tess showed up when she did, only she showed up a little too late. I had already marked you.”

“Excuse me?” She was indignant. He made her sound like she was some sort of cattle to be branded so no other cowboy would dare look at her and try to claim her as their own.

“I know that doesn’t sound very romantic or anything but I just don’t know how else to explain this. The night in the desert when we went searching for the orb we…um…”

Liz cleared her throat in discomfort. She didn’t need him to remind her of what they did that night in the desert. It had been a moment she both cherished and regretted since then. “Are you saying that…”

“When we made love you in essence agreed to be my queen.”

Liz’s head was spinning. This was ridiculous, how could one moment’s indiscretion end with her being a queen on an alien planet? Talk about your unforeseen consequences. “What does that mean, Max?”

Max quickly looked back at Michael who was unsuccessfully trying to draw the others attention away from the conversation his king was having. Jack was standing there pretending to be going over the plans for the rescue of the missing team. Sam was simply staring at her slightly muddy boots, but neither Daniel nor Teal’c made any qualms about the fact that they were listening to ever word that was being said. Max felt that the slightest indication that Liz was in distress that they would pounce, especially the large Jaffa. Max returned to Antar after Khivar’s forces had defeated the Jaffa and the Goa’uld but the sight of one was enough to intimidate even the most powerful of kings. It was Daniel who had Max confused. He seemed protective of Liz and not in a way that either Jack or Teal’c were. His eyes always seemed to unconsciously drift in her direction every since they had all returned to Antar. He seemed to have a personal interest in everything that went on here and that cause Max some concern. It was something that had to be dealt with sooner or later.

“What does that mean, Max?” Liz repeated, garnering his attention once more.

“It means that Khivar won’t permit you to leave with the seal. He wants it, and the only way he can get it is by your death ,or by you bonding to him. “Max’s eyes were apologetic. He may have always wanted Liz to be a part of his life, of his future, but he wanted it to be of her own free will and because the decision was being forced on her. He knew what it was like to have no control over your own destiny.

“Like hell she will.” Daniel interjected for the first time. He tried to stay out of it, allowing Liz to deal with her own past but some things even he couldn’t let slide. “We’ll just get SG-6 and simply get the hell out of here and back home.”

“That’s where things get a little complicated.” Michael walked over to the three of them and tried to smile at Liz but the effect was less than comforting. He was bad at that sort of thing and he knew it. “Khivar knows where Earth is, he’s always known that Liz was there but never exactly where to find her. You have provided him with a means. He never knew your gate existed until your teams came through it. He can tract the emissions of your gate, he will track you. There is nowhere for her to hide. The only safe place for her to be in here on Antar as its queen.”

“How do you figure that one?” Jack asked. This was just too unreal for him not to step in. He was her commanding officer and as such he had a responsibly to her safety.

“If Liz reestablishes her ties to Max they will be a unified front. Neither Khivar nor Tess will be able to do a damn thing about it whether he killed her or not. The seal would never be his.” Michael explained hating the situation that they had all placed Liz in.

“What’s so damn special about this seal?” Jack demanded.

“Yeah, I don’t get that either. How could something that happened over ten years between two teenagers still be affecting an entire planet in such a way?” Sam asked trying to get a grasp on what was happening without much success. She did however notice something she hadn’t seem to before. She noticed the way that Daniel was hovering by Liz as if to keep Max from her. Sam wondered if Liz was even aware of the blatant body language that was coming off of Daniel. It was something she would have to talk to her about when Liz’s world wasn’t spinning on its axis.

“The bond between a king and his chosen queen is unbreakable either by will or want. If Liz chooses to stay with Max and accept her rightful place they will be an unbeatable force. She has powers that compliment his. Together Khivar would no longer be a threat. It is only because Max is only at half power that Khivar’s forces were able to launch their attack on the palace. With Liz his power would reach his full potential, as would hers. There would be no stopping them. Antar could be restored to what it once was. We need Liz.” Michael explained hoping that they all grasped the seriousness of the situation.

“Please stop talking about me as though I am not even here!” She yelled at them. It was too much. How much was she expected to take? In the last twenty four hours she had found herself on Antar reunited with pieces of her past only to find out that Maria was severely ill, Kyle was dead, and now this.

“I’m sorry, Liz.” Max said as he reached out and gently took her hands in his.

“No you’re not. “ There was so much she wanted to say to him but her anger was boiling too close the surface and words failed her. Rationally he knew that he really wasn’t to blame since he was no more aware of the seal at the time than she was. But he was expecting to reap some sort of benefit from it now. He wanted the power to finally deal with Khivar in a decisive way and she really couldn’t blame him for that, but she didn’t think that was a sacrifice she was willing to make. There were too many things at stake; least of all was the matter of her heart. Could she bind herself to man she no longer loved for the sake of a planet that was not her own in order to save hers? Could she betray whatever it was she felt was developing between her and Daniel, even though she knew that they could never be and try and reconnect with what she had in her past? Destiny was once again conspiring against her, and she had had her fill. Liz turned and did something she had never done before in her professional life, she turned and ran as fast as she could out of the room before anyone noticed how she was starting to shake or how close she was to shedding tears of blind rage.

She ran down the massive hallway that led out of the conference room. She ran the length and rounded the corner and stopped, sliding down the smooth surface of the wall until she was sitting on the cold floor. Footsteps rounded the corner, she thought that they might have belonged to Daniel or to Sam, maybe even to Jack but she was wrong. A small girl with pale blond hair and dangerous green eyes smiled at Liz as she sat there. There was no mistaking who the girl was, Liz would have recognized her anywhere, and she was the spitting image of Maria at about five. Liz wanted to laugh and to wrap the little girl up in her arms and hold on for dear life.

“Hi.” Said the small voice. “I’m Ellie Guerin.”

“Hello, Ellie, I’m Liz Parker. I am glad to meet you. I am friends with your daddy and your mommy.”

“You know Mommy?” the girl asked with the brightest smile Liz had seen anywhere in a long time. “I’m playing hide and seek with Serena. I’m a very good hider.”

“I bet you are.” Liz told Ellie as she sat down next to Liz.

“But she’s not a very good finder. I don’t think she really tries. She doesn’t want me to see my mommy ‘because she’s sick.” Ellie explained, sadness tugging at the corner of her eyes.

“I know sweetie.”

“You want to see my mommy?”

“Yes, Ellie, I would love to.” Liz knew she should just go back and face the music, but frankly she wasn’t up to it. Instead, she stood and reached out her hand to help the girl to her feet and together they walked up a winding staircase that would take Liz to the chamber of her missing best friend and the thought filled her with the briefest flash of joy.
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