Still Yours (HLDR,XO,CC,ADULT) [WIP]

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Still Yours (HLDR,XO,CC,ADULT) [WIP]

Post by Kzinti_Killer » Sat Feb 22, 2003 11:15 pm

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Award Winning Fan Fiction

After numerous requests I've prepared the following "Highlander at a glance" primer. It reads like this. Part 1...a brief overview of the Highlander Universe. Part 2...snapshot biographies of the main characters. Part 3...places in which I have deliberately violated canon, with intent.



Part 1....OVERVIEW

The original movie with Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery launched the Highlander saga. The later movies ruined it IMO, but that's neither here nor there. For the most part you can discount the movie universe other than for certain broad concepts. What follows is TV series canon.

There are Immortals among us. No one knows where they come from. They are foundlings, abandoned children adopted, or left to grow up on their own, with no knowledge of who or what they are. Until they die. At first death they emerge changed. They are now Immortal, and forever locked at the age that they were at first death. They can "die" many times...that is their life functions can cease temporarily due to mortal injury. They simply resurrect. Most are normal adults, both male and female, but the show did introduce a few glitches in the system. A child Immortal...an Immortal trapped in permanent adolescence...and evil as hell. A retarded Immortal, cast in the mold of Lenny from "Of Mice and Men". So the canon is flexible there. Immortals are also sterile, one and all, male and female. They cannot produce children.

The Immortals play "The Game". It involves single combat with edged weapons (usually swords), to the death. Yes, they can die permanently. Once their head is separated from their shoulders their life-force departs their body in an impressive, protracted, and destructive energy release called "The Quickening". Just incidentally, much of what they were passes to the victor, strength, knowledge, wisdom, etc. (There was a creepy episode in which Richie found himself incredibly attracted to a woman, for no reason...only to discover that she was the widow of an Immortal that he'd defeated.)

An Immortal can sense the presence of other Immortals. In the show this was never fully described, but it came with it's own creepy sound effect. Fans have hung the term "the buzz" on it. If an Immortal lasts long enough they develop the ability to sense pre-Immortals, those of their kind that haven't made the jump to full Immortal. Some kill the newbies preemptively....most choose to protect them as the "children" that they are.

Special Note: A Dark Quickening is a special event. One such happened to Duncan. Apparently killing too many evil Immortals can cause you to OD on the evil during the Quickening. This had happened to a friend of Duncan's. One of the good guys (an American Indian BTW) who absorbed too much evil too quickly and went Darth Vader. Duncan killed him in self-defense, and the problem then landed on him. After Duncan did some very bad things, a friend of Duncan's (see Methos) forced him into a sacred spring where he did battle with his dark side...and won.

The rules of The Game are simple. Single combat to the death. Older players break in and train newcomers. There are no exceptions, no way out. If you're an Immortal you learn to fight back if given the chance, or you die like a sheep. No non-combatants allowed (there was one exception...I'll get to him later). The only neutral territory is on consecrated or holy ground. In cemeteries, churches, monasteries, or convents of whatever faith, no fighting is allowed. This is an ironclad rule that not even the worst Immortal may violate. There are two legends associated with the game. One is "The Gathering". The story goes that one day, when there are only a few Immortals left, they will feel a pull "towards a distant land". There they will gather to fight until only one is left. That one will have "The Prize". That's the second legend. "The Prize". What is it? No one has a clue. The Gathering and The Prize contribute to the catch phrase that goes with Immortal combat. "There Can Be Only One." In the movie there were only a handful of Immortals left and "The Gathering" was underway, in New York. In the series it hadn't happened yet, and there were still plenty of Immortals around.

The last element is "The Watchers". They didn't exist in the movie. In the series they are a secret society of normal humans that devote their lives to observing and recording the lives of the Immortals. The series has it that they've been at it for centuries, perhaps for millennia. Every Immortal in existence has at least one or more Watchers following him or her around. They are strictly forbidden from interfering in the lives of those that they observe. Every now and then, this breaks down. (See..Joe Dawson) In the show there was a heretical branch of the Watchers that abandoned their mission of simply observing to begin actively hunting and killing Immortals. This was the point at which The Watchers were brought into canon, and we met some interesting people. ;-)

Part 2a.....THE CHARACTERS

Duncan MacLeod (Adrian Paul)...Scottish highlander of the Clan MacLeod, born in 1592, a few generations later than Connor MacLeod (of the movie). He's the title character. In the course of the show he's been an antiques dealer, and a martial arts instructor. He also owns a barge/houseboat on the Seine in Paris. The show spent a season there. This one is a real Swashbuckler and ladies man.

Richie Ryan (Stan Kirsch)....An Immortal of recent vintage and Duncan's student. In fact, for part of the show it was only suspected that he was a pre-Immortal based on hints dropped in dialog. Prior to that he was simply someone who knew what Duncan was and hung out with him....until he got "killed" trying to save Duncan's lover from a mugger. Ex street punk, and all around boy next door.

Tessa Noel...a mortal (Alexandra Vandernoot)....Blond, pretty, smart, and sexy. She and Duncan ran an antiques store. Duncan's better half for twelve years, until she was killed by a mugger in the second season. This created major issues for Duncan who scraped the life that he'd built with her completely and started over. He spent the rest of second season and all of the third season mourning her. And major guilt for Richie who went on a berserk manhunt when he caught sight of her killer in a later episode. Late in the show there was an "It's A Wonderful Life" episode in which Duncan was castigating himself for her death. Thinking of the grief that he'd brought on all those that he loved. He was shown what Tessa would have had without him. Instead of twelve years of bliss in an epic love affair with Duncan, she ends up trapped for a lifetime in a loveless passionless marriage. At the time of my story she's been dead for some time.

Dr. Anne Lindsey...a mortal. (Lisa Howard)....Duncan's post-Tessa foray back into love. A doctor who found out about Duncan. They were seriously involved until she saw him "killed". After a while he contacted her again and explained what he was. They were together again for a time until she revealed that she was pregnant. Apparently she'd had a one nighter when she was grieving for Duncan, and that was enough. Duncan was quite happy to accept her and the baby, but she didn't want her child exposed to the violent world of the Immortals. So she left. Duncan spent most of a season protecting a pregnant Ann and renovating an old house into a showplace, which he then gave to Ann after her baby was born.

Amanda (Elizabeth Gracen) This lady is an Immortal. Her DOB is unknown, but she was first killed in England, in 850 AD. She and Duncan have had an on and off love/hate relationship for centuries. She actually had her own series for a season (See Highlander: The Raven). She's a rogue. A clothes horse with expensive tastes and a love of the high life. Dishonest, sneaky, tricky, underhanded, as well as being a professional thief and accomplished acrobat. She's conned Duncan into so much trouble over the centuries that it isn't funny. But she's also fiercely loyal to her friends in the clutch, and has a deep stubborn core of humanity. At the time of this story, she and Duncan are living together full time. She hasn't entirely given up thieving, but she tries to behave for Duncan's sake.

Cassandra (Tracy Scoggins)...Likewise an Immortal. Her DOB was never mentioned in the canon, and I don't recall her date of death being mentioned either, other than the fact that it occurred in The Bronze Age, at which time she was a healer in a peasant village. After some research I've set her Date of Death at 3500 years ago, give or take a few. Something of an exotic and mystical woman. She has certain abilities outside the norm. What we would call magic. One of these is to use her voice in such a manner that you are unable to deny her anything. If she told you to drive a car into a brick wall, you'd do it with a smile on your face. She and Duncan ran into each other three times in his life. The first was when he was a boy in the Highlands, and she was the local "witch". Later, in modern times, she appealed for his help when a former student of hers outstripped her and began to use the magics that she'd taught him to do evil. And still later she had a run in with an ancient evil called "The Four Horsemen". (see Methos)

Methos (Peter Wingfield) aka Adam Pierson...Immortal, educated, cool yet passionate. The oldest of the Immortals at 5000 years plus, he barely remembers his childhood. Elusive and slow to make friends he was thought to be a myth by Immortals and Watchers alike. He was introduced as a Watcher. He'd grown tired of The Game, and chose to hide in plain sight by being one of those that observe it. Later in the show it was revealed that, during the Bronze Age, he and three other Immortals pillaged and butchered their way across Asia Minor (modern Turkey), laying down the basis of the legend of "The Four Horsemen". Methos was Death. He'd left that behind long ago, but during that period he was as brutal and vicious as a man can be and still be called human. The Four Horsemen destroyed Cassandra's village and Methos took her captive, that was when she became an Immortal. I'll leave her captivity to your imagination. Suffice it to say that she hated Methos' guts. However she also changed him. The Horsemen had a custom of sharing everything, including women. When the time came to give Cassandra to one of the others, Methos couldn't do it, he chose to give her the opportunity to escape instead. Late in the series Cassandra and Methos hadn't met yet in modern times, yet they were both friends of Duncan's. When Cassandra finally saw Methos for the first time she went berserk. At the same time the three other Horsemen were coming back together to (what else?) conquer the world, and prevailed upon Methos to return to the fold. He'd always been their tactician. To make a long story short, Methos had outgrown the whole "be evil for fun" gig and turned on his former friends, helping Cassandra and Duncan to destroy them. Cassandra set aside her grudge for Duncan's sake, and it was left there. The fans however see something else, which I explore here.

Joe Dawson (Jim Byrnes) Joe is a Watcher. A fairly high ranking one. His first appearance in the canon had him running a used and rare book store. Later in the series (and at the time of my story) he had a blues bar called "Joe's". He's a legless Vietnam vet who joined the Watchers in 'Nam when he saw one of his dead buddies come back to life. He's Duncan's assigned Watcher, as well as being well up in the Watcher hierarchy. For the purposes of this story he's made it to the top of the North American Watchers. He has also made mincemeat of the "no fraternization" rule by maintaining contact with Duncan after Duncan discovered who he was. This led to some strain between Dawson and The Watchers which very nearly led to his execution.

Part 2b....SUPPORTING IMMORTALS
There are a couple of supporting characters, both good and bad that have been or will be mentioned in the course of this story. I though that I'd detail them for you, whether they're alive or not.

Darius (Werner Stocker) A ruthless Roman era barbarian general over 2000 years old, noted for his brutality, he continued his military career after the fall of Rome, and one day around AD 500 he killed an Immortal holy man at the gates of Paris. The resulting Quickening turned him into a devout pacifist. He ended up a Catholic priest who remained on Holy Ground to avoid The Game. He encouraged other Immortals to turn from The Game at every opportunity. Eventually he was murdered by heretical Watchers.

Kalas...spelled Callas for the purposes of this story. Estimated age 575 years. He's a bad one who has left a long trail of dead Immortals, many of whom were friends of Duncan. He and Duncan had a mutual hatred going back a long time, which was exacerbated by the fact that he used to have a fine singing voice, which he was quite vain about, until a slash to the throat by Duncan during a skirmish in the early Twentieth Century destroyed it. Duncan finally killed him in 1995. However, Kalas left a legacy. A computer disk stolen from The Watchers, detailing the lives of every then living Immortal, as well as their current identities. This is hidden away in a random book in a Paris bookstore, waiting to be discovered.

Hugh Fitzcairn (Roger Daltry) Estimated age 800 years. Killed by Kalas in 1995.....which ticked me off to no end. I liked Fitz (as Duncan called him). He and Duncan were both swashbucklers who met in the 1630's and became buddies. He was a rogue of sorts. Something like a male counterpart to Amanda in Duncan's life. One recurrent theme was that he and Duncan liked to play golf together....and Fitz liked to cheat. During the "It's A Wonderful Life" episode later in the show, Fitz's ghost played "Clarence the Angel" for Duncan.

Part 3....CANON VIOLATIONS

Seacouver....Highlander was shot in Vancouver, B.C., however it was supposed to be set in the States. So the fans took to referring to the town that Duncan lived in as Seacouver. An imaginary synthesis of Seattle and Vancouver. The writers of the show picked it up and stuck it into a couple of episodes. I find it idiotic, and in this story Duncan lives in Seattle while the bad guys are in Vancouver. Seacouver does not exist. I've already had one fan complain about this, but it ain't going to change.

Richie Ryan....In canon Richie is supposed to be dead. He and Duncan were tricked into fighting each other by a demon who made them think that they were both fighting an enemy instead of each other. Sort of a mindwarp. Duncan killed Richie, his best friend next to Methos and Joe. I frickin' hated that like I hated Alex dying in Roswell. So it's not happening in *my* universe.

The Gathering....The whole mass slaughter until only one Immortal is left pisses me off. The tragic waste of so much life and wisdom rubs me the wrong way. Duncan's Seattle "family" is as tight in it's own way as the Podsters' Roswell "family". The thought of some of them pitted against each other in The Gathering turns my stomach. Watch for me to rationalize it out of existence.

McCleod vs MacLeod....I managed to get this pigheaded idea that Duncan's name was spelled McCleod, rather than MacLeod. It took some research on the part of a reader named Era to show me the error of my ways. Hence I'll be editting all my posted and archived manuscripts to match canon. However there may be some archive copies floating around cyberspace that have the incorrect spelling in them. This is no one's fault but mine.

There's a Cliff Notes version of Highlander. If there are any further questions, drop me a PM.



My thanks to Tanky for the marvelous fanfic cover! Paula, you're the best!

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Title: Still Yours
Author: KK
Disclaimer: The characters that count in this do not belong to me in any way shape or form. I simply borrowed them from someone else's toy box. They belong to other people who've made bags of money off of them, so they don't need my money as well.
Synopsis: We can't let Alex stay dead, can we? This may look like straight 'Gazer fic, but it's a Dreamer and Candy friendly zone!
Category: Crossover Roswell/Highlander A/I+CC
Rating: MATURE shifting to ADULT later on
Feedback: If you aren't too busy.

01-04-04 ~ A quick note for new readers. A generous fan of mine named Feynor has created a web page where on this story may be found as one long continuous page. He keeps adding to it as each new part is posted. The address is http://www.grandt.com/Roswell/StillYours.html

Also, long overdue recognition belongs to ShadowCat for setting up a very pretty site dedicated to my humble efforts at writing. To see her work just follow the link.

http://www.intergate.com/~joneses/libra ... index.html


Now, on with the show.



STILL YOURS - Part 1
(Destiny)


"Wo-oh my love, My Darlin'.
I've hungered for your touch,
A long, lonely time.
And time goes by, so slowly.
And time, can do so much.
Are you, still mi-i-ine?"
-The Righteous Brothers-
"Unchained Melody"



Friday Evening...The Evans Household

Isabel studied the picture in her year book with an intensity that defied her powers of reason. Alex was dead. Six months dead. When he had died, a part of her had crumpled like paper. The grief had nearly killed her. But she had dealt with it. They all had. Liz, Maria, Max, and even Michael, had all grieved for Alex. Each in their own ways. But it had been very hard on Isabel.

Max and Michael had seen him as a comrade in arms. A friend that they could call on in dire need. One who would rally to them without thought or question for his own safety, Liz and Maria had known him as the brother that they had never had. Someone who would have happily died for them. And they had loved him as fiercely as if he had been their brother in fact. But to Isabel he was all that and more. Possibly much more.

To Isabel he was an opportunity lost. To her he might have been the best chance she had ever had to be happy, and she had thrown it away...because of fear. Fear of getting too close, fear of not being able to get close enough. Fear of her destiny......

"Destiny," she thought. "God but I'm beginning to hate that word."

Privately, and for the thousandth time, she cursed Tess. For killing Alex. For warping him into her personal slave. For her role in making them aware of their destiny. For playing on their insecurity and fear to make them pull back from those they needed, and who had needed them in return. Max from Liz. Michael from Maria. Herself from Alex. Not that she had ever given him much of a chance to begin with.

"One little date," she thought. "The occasional smile. A friendly word. I couldn't even give him that. He gave me, all of us, so much and asked for so little in return. And now I think that I wanted even more from him. The few times that I showed him any affection at all I was mostly using him. Until right before Tess killed him. I had finally started to wake up to the possibility that he was something more than just another human friend who knew our secret. They say that hindsight is 20/20. If that's true then I could wish for blindness. It wouldn't hurt so much."

"I'm sorry," she whispered to Alex's picture. "I'm so sorry." She began to cry softly. "Oh Alex, we had to bury your parents today. It was like burying you all over again. We were all there. All of us. I didn't think I could handle it, but I went anyway. I owed you that much. I hope they're with you. Of all the things that frighten me, the thought of you out there alone in the dark frightens me most."

Alex's parents, Chuck and Sheila Whitman, had never really come to terms with their son's death. They were intensely private people, so it was hard to say that anyone knew them well. Perhaps Liz and Maria did. Isabel certainly hadn't known them at all. But she recognized them through being at Alex's funeral. Well enough to say hello afterwards without feeling awkward. In the months that followed Alex's death she saw them now and again, and each time they seemed more pale and withdrawn. Like they were simply going through the motions of living. So when the news went through Roswell that they had been killed in a highway accident, it hardly surprised Isabel. She thought that they had actually been gone for quite some time, but were too stubborn to admit it. She had known how they felt. She and they were kindred spirits in tragedy.

And so, 12 hours ago their few friends, and Alex's friends, had laid them to rest beside their son.

12 Hours Ago....

Isabel stared straight ahead, ignoring the lump in her throat. Determined not to cry, but failing. She had tuned out the minister's graveside platitudes right after "We have come together to lay your servants Charles and Sheila to rest....." and wondered, not for the first time, if this God could even hear her prayers. Six months had passed since Alex had been taken from them. And she'd thought that the wounds were healing. For all of them. But from what she was seeing and feeling that was far from true. Studying the small crowd, she focused on her friends and family.

Both sets of parents, the Evans' and the Parker's, were there to support their children. And they needed it. Max looked ghastly; and Liz, who clung to his arm, looked no better. Ditto for Maria. As Isabel moved her eyes to the man boy that Maria clung to like a rock in a storm, she was struck by the difference between the emotions on his face and those on everyone else's face. Michael was grieving all right, but more than that...he was angry. Thoroughly incensed. Raging at the unfairness of the universe. Mad enough to kill something, or rather someone.

"He's back where we all are right now," she thought. "Where I am. He's back at the granolith, when we got the news about who exactly had killed Alex, and why. God help Tess if he ever gets his hands on her." Isabel, shifted nervously and sighed. "Get in line Michael. Vengeance is mine. Thus sayeth Isabel. Then yours, if I leave you any." She knew there was precious little chance that they could ever get to their traitorous pod mate, but it was a fantasy to cherish when she had little else now.

Isabel glanced to the right of the grave site then returned to staring straight ahead and trying to suppress her grief and loneliness. She had looked at Alex's headstone. Again. After all these months her frequent night time trips out here to try and recapture some piece of Alex had put her on a first name basis with it. Indeed she had been unhappy with it's surface finish so she had...well...altered it. It would last far longer now, though any geologist who happened to examine it under a microscope might have an stroke, but so what? It was all she could do for Alex now. Max had nearly flipped when she'd told him what she had done. Michael was all for going out and changing it back. But, with equal doses of cajolery and fury, she'd convinced them to let it be. After all, what sort of maniac tests tombstones? Or, testing them, would believe that this one selectively incorporated allotropic diamonds into it's microcrystalline structure?

"....earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust..." and it was over. Isabel sighed, glad to escape this place for now, to go home and try to resume the healing that this day had halted, and even reversed. Later she knew, she would have to come back. To talk to Alex. But not now, and not soon. She turned to Max and Liz where they stood holding hands. If it could be said that there was anything good that came from this day, it was that Max and Liz seemed to have, at least temporarily, overcome the odd distance that had remained between them after Tess left. That they loved each other was obvious to everyone. But there was still some issue they couldn't seem to resolve. Isabel had thought about doing something about it several times, but had always left well enough alone. She told herself that it was out of respect. But it was really about the simple fact that she couldn't work up her enthusiasm for meddling enough to pursue her favorite hobby where her brother and the girl she'd come to regard as a close friend were concerned. Taking Liz's other hand, as much for her own comfort as for Liz's, she started toward the line of cars with them.

In that instant, something happened. The small hairs on the back of her neck lifted. She got goose flesh. He was there again. She stopped and turned, certain that she would see Alex. Nothing. No one there. "Alex?" she whispered. Still nothing. She shuddered and moved on with Max and Liz.

This had happened to her several times in the previous months. She had 'felt' him. Known he was there. Just on the edge of her perception. Like a will 'o the whisp. Like (she hated to consider it) a ghost. Sometimes near, sometimes far and faint. But this was something else. This was so strong that she was certain she was being watched. By him. When they were growing up she couldn't help knowing that Alex liked her, and later loved her. She could always tell when his eyes were on her. Watching her in school. Or if they happened to pass on the street. There was nothing of obsession about it. Nothing of the stalker about Alex. It's just that, whenever Isabel entered his field of vision, everything else faded into limbo. The boy simply knew how to focus on what counted, that was all. And Isabel knew it. She had always known it, and been puzzled by it even as it flattered her. Now that it was gone from her life, she was no longer puzzled. She simply missed it, and him. So the sudden return of the feeling to her personal radar screen was like a clammy hand on the back of the neck. She, reached her ride home and turned to look one more time. Nothing. No one. "Alex?" She turned back to Max and Liz; sighed and said, "Let's go home."

Isabel couldn't know that she was both right and wrong. She had felt his eyes on her, and he wasn't there...in the cemetery. She simply hadn't looked far enough.

On a nameless low hill a mile East of the cemetery....

Alex lowered the binoculars with a start, then brought them back up to his eyes to take in the last sight of Isabel and his friends. He had been focused on her sweet face at maximum resolution and he had seen her lips move. With his name. "She knew," he thought. "She knew that I was here." "Isabel,"? he whispered as she climbed into what looked like an older model beater car with Max getting in the driver's side. "What happened to the jeep?" he wondered silently. His binoculars swept the length of the cortege slowly soaking in familiar faces before returning to Isabel.

Something must have shown in the set of his shoulders. His much changed shoulders. Gone was the geek boy of six months past. The training they had run him through (were still running him through) left him looking (so he thought) and feeling like Conan the freakin' Barbarian.

His shift in body posture alerted his companions. The sandy haired man spoke. "Don't even think about it man. I know you want to go down there. Everyone wants to go back when they first make the change. It's natural. But you can't. Got that? You cannot go back. I'm really sorry about your folks, but you're dead. And it's better you stay that way, to them."

Alex kept the binoculars trained on Izzy. "Bite me Richie," he said.

At that the darker haired, pony tailed individual behind him placed a hand on his shoulder and spoke. "Easy Alex, what Richie lacks in tact he makes up for in truth. Do you really think that they could accept you for what you are now?"

"You might be surprised," Alex muttered.

Duncan MacLeod sighed in exasperation. "Alex it doesn't matter if they accept you or not," he said. "The life you lead, or will lead once I'm done with you, is dangerous as hell. Do you *really* want someone to come hunting your head around your friends? Do you want to have to take someone's head in front of them? I know it's not the second chance at life that you would have chosen. What sane man would take this route? But it's the hand you've been dealt. You have to live with it." Duncan waved at the people departing the cemetery. "But there's no reason they should have to. Our way of life and that of the ordinary mortals doesn't mix well when it comes to family and relationships. To even try can bring heartache to all concerned."

Richie kept his thoughts to himself, but he still had them. "Stop preaching at the kid Mac. I agreed to come along and ride herd on him because I like him, not to hear you recite the do's and don'ts of Immortality for Dummies. And besides, it never stopped *you*. Not with Tessa. And not with Ann. Or is that what this is about? Trying to 'spare' the kid your mistakes? Erecting a 'keep off the humans' sign?"

Not for the first time Alex chuckled inside. "Danger? Differences? If only Duncan knew," he thought.

Not that Alex had let a single word slip. There was a quote from a book he had once read that functioned as efficiently as any dead bolt on his mind and lips. "Nor shall death release you.....," he thought. "Well, I was most certainly dead. And the secret still needs to be kept. For them. For Izzy."

Duncan studied his newest student. In many ways the lad was an enigma wrapped in a mystery. Most newbies would talk incessantly about their former lives. But aside from the quite normal expressed desire to go home, Alex had been close mouthed to the point of making a rock look like a chatterbox. He had said nothing about the people that he was watching so intently below. In fact, that whispered name "Isabel?" was the most they had heard from him about his past in months. That is to say, except for one point. Alex told them that he had been murdered, and that he regarded his killer, a girl named Tess Harding, as a threat to those he cared about. In fact, his fear for his friends was so strong that it had taken all Duncan's powers of persuasion, and a threat to bind and gag him to keep Alex in Seattle. In the end, to quell Alex's concern, Duncan and Richie had gone to Roswell and investigated the matter. Duncan had even dragged Joe Dawson and the Watchers into it...over Joe's strenuous objections.

The Watcher's cyber trolls had hacked a missing person's report for a 'Tess Harding' out of the New Mexico Justice Department data banks that was dated to after Alex's 'death'. That, combined with Duncan and Richie's efforts, had convinced Alex that his friends knew what Tess had done, that they were on their guard, and that she was either dead or fled. In fact the thing that had seemed to encourage Alex most was the almost complete hostility that some inhabitants of Roswell on the subject of Tess Harding. "Including that hardcase of a Sheriff," Duncan recalled. In fact, one kid had been downright threatening. Alex had listened to their report with little animation on his face until they told him about the odd reactions they had encountered and given him descriptions of the people who had them. And at one point, when they told him of their encounter with the angry young man with the spiked hair, he actually burst into laughter and muttered what sounded like...."typical of him".

After that he refused to explain himself at all, choosing to let the matter drop. Instead he applied himself to his training with a will that Duncan seldom saw in his students. Mortal or otherwise. And, to all appearances, he'd abandoned his former life completely....that is until the flags set on internet news retrieval by Joe Dawson had turned up the name 'Whitman' in a news article a few days ago. "Be that as it may," Duncan thought, "I've sat in on enough card games over the centuries to know when the other guy is holding. That boy has a hole card. And one of enormous proportions at that."

Duncan let it go. If the centuries had taught him nothing, they'd taught him that, sooner or later, the truth comes out. Why rush things? Instead he returned to his assessment of Alex Whitman. The boy had changed much since Methos and Cassandra had brought him to Duncan after dragging him from his untimely grave six months ago. Rigorous physical training had filled him out, though he was far from the 'Hulk' caricature that he saw himself as. Instead, it had simply enhanced what was already present, giving him the grace and strength of a predator. Further training had brought out his excellent eye hand coordination out in ways that surprised even his instructor. He could already hold his own in hand to hand against Richie most of time, though Richie would deny it. And while his swordplay still had a long way to go, he showed flashes of sudden insight that indicated that he might one day become a master.

Only five days ago, in a sparring match with Duncan, Alex had used the 'ballestra'. A complex disarming move that he had never been taught. He had invented it on the spot. Afterwards he had said that 'it had seemed the natural thing to do'.

"It may be natural," Duncan told him, "but it's also dangerous and chancy. It requires leaving yourself utterly defenseless to a counterattack. It's all or nothing. Fail to carry it off and you'll find yourself a head shorter."

Afterwards Duncan had congratulated him, then taken him out on the mats and thrashed him for 15 minutes straight to impress upon him that he must never, never, NEVER try the ballestra again except as the last ditch against a superior opponent. And even then, running was a better option.

Duncan shook himself out of his reverie and looked down at the cemetery. The cars were leaving now. It was over. Duncan sighed, gave Alex a gentle shake, and spoke. "Lets go lad. I'm sure you'd like to go down there to say good-bye in person, but if someone sees you it could raise some truly awkward questions. And that's the last thing you want. We're homeward bound. I'd like to sleep in my own bed tonight."

Alex shook himself free of Duncan's hand and seemed about to argue, then his shoulders slumped and he turned away, walking up the hill. Duncan looked at Richie who shrugged and shook his head. Both men glanced down at the cemetery one more time then turned to follow their young friend over the hill and thread their way down the other side to where their rental car was parked. With luck they'd make their noon flight out of Albuquerque.

Below on the road to Roswell, Isabel Evans stared out the car window, her mind bereft of thought or purpose. Mourning the lover she'd never had.

30 Minutes later......

A figure clad in a black duster emerged from the scrub on the Western side of the cemetery. It was a man and his face was incredibly handsome, with one stellar exception. A ragged trench of scar tissue marred the right cheek of a face that otherwise might have been that of a runway model. Slung over his back was a spotting scope with a co-axial rifle mic. He approached the fresh graves studied them briefly. He pulled out a pen and pad and jotted down the names and dates for future reference. His gaze shifted to the older grave and noticed the name and date......and then recalled the conversation his mic had relayed to him. "Easy Alex......," MacLeod had said. "Hmmm," he thought, "a newbie! Perhaps this won't be so boring after all!" He turned toward the recently occupied low hill East of him, sketched a mocking salute, turned with a smirk, and headed back the way he had come. He had a plane to catch too.

End of Part 1

In part this repost is a test of the new board. And in part it's also simply for continuity's sake. I'll put the rest of the story up over the next few days.[/url]
Last edited by Kzinti_Killer on Wed May 23, 2007 4:21 am, edited 52 times in total.
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Post by Kzinti_Killer » Sat Feb 22, 2003 11:44 pm

Title: Still Yours
Author: KK
Disclaimer: The characters that count in this do not belong to me in any way shape or form. I simply borrowed them from someone else's toy box.
Category: Crossover Roswell/Highlander A/I +CC
Rating: MATURE shifting to ADULT later on.



STILL YOURS - Part 2a
(I'll See You In Your Dreams.)


Friday...11:00 PM at The Evans Household.....

Isabel snapped out of her reverie and scrubbed at her eyes with the back of her hand. She looked across the bedroom at her reflection in her vanity mirror, sniffled, and then laughed painfully. "Between lack of sleep and running mascara, I look like a raccoon," she thought. She looked back down at at the yearbook, sighed, and spoke aloud. "I guess I'm in full regret mode tonight Alex." She reached out to trace the boundaries of his photo again.

"Why in God's name did I waste so much time?" she thought. After her initial dream walk she had finally taken the time to get to know Alex as person. What she had learned had amazed her. At some point in the past, in her approach to relationships, she had let fear replace caution, and studied indifference replace prudence. Uselessly. All it had accomplished was to prevent her from seeing the obvious.

Alex loved her. The essential Isabel. The fact that she had some non-standard DNA in her makeup hadn't made the slightest difference to him. And yet, for years she had managed to ignore him as a non-entity. Letting his interest get lost in the background buzz of testosterone that the boys, who swarmed around her where ever she was, gave off. She had gloried in being the flame to their moth. The trouble with being a flame is that, sooner or later, you burn out. And until the moment she had entered Alex Whitman's subconscious, she had thought herself on the brink of that very fate. The ennui of being the Golden Goddess was getting to her.

"Tomorrow morning I have to remind myself to give Max a big sisterly kiss," she thought. "I was beyond angry when he saved Liz. And I blamed her for every little thing that went wrong after that. But when you come down to it, that single act saved my life. And probably my sanity." Once again she was struck by the similarities between her brother and Alex. Both could be wry and funny, or shy and pensive. Given cause Alex could brood with the best of them, as did Max. God knows she had given both of them reason enough to brood. But the most amazing thing is that both had apparently chosen the girl they wanted at a tender age, pinned their respective hearts of their sleeves, and then waited patiently to be noticed.

Isabel chuckled. "In that respect Liz was smarter than I was," she thought. "Of course it took getting shot, brought back from the edge of death, and a 'Vulcan mind meld' to do it, but she finally got the message. Thank God." Isabel smiled, and thought wryly, "I should have been so 'lucky'."

Isabel sighed and looked back at Alex's picture. "I think you were there today," she said aloud. "At least I hope that you were. It was a beautiful service, though I zoned out for most of it. I'm sorry Alex, I had to. Otherwise I'd have been a basket case. There weren't as many people there as there were for you, but then more people knew you and I-(her voice hitched a little)-loved you." Isabel flopped back and stared at the ceiling. Thinking of Chuck and Sheila Whitman she whispered, "Keep him safe and tell him that I...we miss him."

There was a soft knock on her bedroom door. "Yes? Come on in," she said. The door opened to show Max standing there in boxers and his bathrobe.

"Are you okay Iz?", he asked. "I was headed for bed when I saw the light under your door and heard you talking."

Isabel shrugged eloquently and said, "Yes Max, I'm fine. Or as close to fine as I can get right now."

Max studied her and said, "Are you sure? You look like you haven't slept in a month."

Isabel sighed. "I'll be fine, daddy. All it takes is time." She paused and looked at her brother more closely. "You don't look so hot yourself brother of mine. What's up?"

Max looked uncomfortable. "I just got off the phone with Liz."

Isabel nodded and asked, "How is she?"

Max sighed. "She's coping I guess. But to be honest I don't know for sure what's happening with her. She hasn't let me in since...."

"Since Tess left", Isabel finished for him.

Max looked momentarily lost. "Yeah." He was silent for a moment then looked his sister in the eye and spoke. "Iz, has she said anything to you?"

Isabel frowned. "About what Max?"

Max shrugged. "About anything. Anything at all." Silence fell again.

Isabel finally broke the tableau. "Max you two eventually have to talk. You can't keep this up, either of you. Anyone can see that you're still gone on each other. So what's holding you back?"

Isabel was truly worried now. In a very real sense Max and Liz's love and bond were a part of the fundamental emotional glue that held them all to each other. If it were lost, they might not go their separate ways, but some precious part of what they all shared would be gone. Alex's death had been bad enough for the morale of their little band. In fact it had brought them to the point of being borderline enemies for a while...until Liz's persistence had vindicated her belief that Alex had been murdered. They still hadn't gotten back to where they had been before Tess had arrived to turn their world upside down. As friends. As more than friends. Thus, this bordered on a potential catastrophe.

Max sighed in frustration. "I don't know what's wrong, Iz. Anything. Everything. We both have a lot of baggage. My sleeping with Tess. My son. Her *pretending* to sleep with Kyle, which she *still* won't explain. I....I'm afraid. I think she is too. Someone has to make the first move. But it's like we're in a stare down. Each one waiting for the other to blink." Max walked over and sat down on Isabel's bed. "I don't want this. I don't like this. But I'm scared to start something for fear I'll be starting an avalanche, instead of closing the rift between us. I don't want to lose her Iz."

Isabel studied her brother with new eyes, her brain working furiously. Clearly something had to be done. It was time for her self imposed pity party to end. It was time for damage control. Isabel kept her face carefully neutral. "It was time for a little Izzy charm and finesse," she thought. "And if *that* doesn't work, there's always a good beating with a blunt instrument. If neither of them will make the first move, I'll make it for them. And let the chips fall where they may." A hazy plan of action was taking shape. Accordingly, Isabel changed the subject.

"Did mom and dad get off okay?", she asked.

Max looked nonplused, then rubbed his face, swept his hair back, and straightened. Isabel read the signs. "Good," she thought, "I've got his mind elsewhere for now."

Max stood. "Yeah, they talked about staying home if we needed them. But I told them that we had each other, and we could deal. Second honeymoons aren't something that you put off. And delaying one day to be there for the funeral was enough."

Isabel nodded. "Good", she said. "They've planned this trip for two years. I think that they need the downtime worse than we do."

Max yawned, then yawned again. Yawning being catching, Isabel found herself yawning too.

Max smiled sheepishly. "It's been one hell of a day, Iz. I'm going to bed."

He stood and headed for the door. Isabel hopped off of her bed and called, "Max!" He halted and turned. She walked over and gave him a kiss and a hug, paying off early on her self promise. "It'll be okay," she said. "Everything will turn out okay, I promise".

Max gave her one of his rare "sun coming up" grins. "You always manage to do it for me don't you? Ever since we were kids you've been able to make me believe that it's always darkest before the dawn."

Iz smiled. "No more than you do for me", she said. She gave him a gentle shove out the door. "Now get some sleep. I'll see you in the morning."

Max turned briefly and smiled. "G'night Iz."

Isabel reached for the door. "Sweet dreams Max."

Closing the door Isabel leaned against it for a moment. "It WILL be okay," she thought. "I'm making it my business to MAKE it okay. Liz and he deserve that much at least....if for no other reason than to make up for all the crap the Michael and I gave them about being together at all."

Isabel yawned again. This was one of those huge jaw cracking yawns that tell you to find your bed. Pronto. But, not quite yet. Walking to her bed she flopped down on it and snagged her phone, hitting the speed dial. It rang four times before someone picked up.

A gruff, sleepy, and highly irritated male voice spoke, "Hello!"

Isabel blinked. "Michael?"

Michael's voice became more agitated, "Isabel, for God's sake...it's nearly midnight! If K'var isn't landing troops outside the Crashdown I'm going to kill you tomorrow!"

Isabel sputtered. "I'm sorry, I must have hit the wrong button! I was using speed dial, and I thought that I hit Maria's button!" There was silence at the other end. "Michael?"

Michael sighed. "You didn't," he said.

Isabel looked puzzled. "I didn't what?"

Michael sighed yet again and said, "You didn't hit the wrong button. Hang on."

Isabel gave a startled blink. "They didn't?" she thought. "They wouldn't. They couldn't."

After a long pause her thoughts were broken by Maria's equally sleepy voice. "Isabel? This had better be important."

Isabel blinked again. Apparently they could, would, and did. *Apparently*, in her apathy of the last six months, she had missed a *lot* of subtext.

Isabel broke the awkward silence by getting straight to the point. "I'm sorry about the time Maria. I probably could have called tomorrow, but I wanted to get this done while it was on my mind. Are you as tired of this Mexican Standoff between Max and Liz as I am?"

Maria coughed. "You had better believe it! If this goes on much longer they won't have a relationship left to get back to."

Isabel's eyes narrowed in thought. "Okay, I just wanted to be sure before I did anything irreversible."

Maria's voice became suspicious. "What are you going to do?"

Isabel chuckled and said, "Oh, just a little planned intervention."

Maria was silent for a moment then asked..."And you called me because......?"

"Because I want you to back me up on it", Isabel finished for her.

Maria cleared her throat. "Okay Isabel, I've got your six. What's the plan?"

Isabel felt a small thrill at Maria's unassuming trust in her. Another gift that grew from Max's single impulsive act that day at the Crashdown. "It's still hazy," Isabel said. "In fact it probably won't be finalized until about ten seconds before I put it into action. I guess basically I intend to look for the first opening I can find and start pushing, and I won't back off. I simply need your support to see to it that neither of them bolts until the job is done."

Maria laughed. "You've got it Isabel."

Isabel sighed. "Maria, this is really for all of us. I've finally realized that what happens to some of us happens to all of us. And it *won't* come easy I think. In fact it could get bloody before it's over."

Maria spoke seriously, but with a hint of merriment. "So? I'll bring a mop."

Isabel sighed with relief. Without Maria's support, her job would have been much harder. With it, there was a good chance that they could end this once and for all.

Isabel yawned again. "Thanks Maria. But there's one more thing that I need. Information. You and Liz have been tight friends practically since you were hatched. If she would tell anyone the whole story, it would be you. Can you give me *anything* that I can work with?"

Maria was silent. Isabel grew concerned. "Maria?" she queried.

When Maria finally spoke it was obvious that she was picking and choosing her words carefully. "Nooo. No Isabel, I can't. Not without betraying her trust."

The implication being that Maria *did* know the truth.

Isabel sighed. Okay, it was time to go fishing. "Can you give me some hints or snippets? Anything that will tell me what direction to go in? You don't have to give me the full truth, just enough so that I'm not flying blind."

Maria considered. "Okay Isabel, I'll give you this. The full story is every bit as strange as 'aliens among us'. And Liz did what she did because it was literally a life and death issue for people that she cared about. And she was asked to do it by someone she trusted."

Isabel blinked in surprise. That was more than she expected, but as puzzling as the events themselves were.

Maria spoke again. "That's all I can say Isabel. Once this is all over I hope you'll know the whole story and we can all cry all over each other, but until then....I promised."

"That's okay Maria," Isabel said. "It will be enough...I hope." Isabel hesitated. "There's just one more thing. Off the subject. And you don't have to answer but......"

"When did Michael and I start sleeping together?" Maria finished.

Isabel blushed. "Um, yeah."

Maria chuckled. "About five hours before you guys were slated to catch a ride into the wild blue yonder."

Isabel smiled. "So *that's* why Michael suddenly decided that Earth was "home", she thought. "It wasn't Earth that was home. It was Maria!" Isabel smiled. "It was strange", she thought, "how, of the three couples that started this odyssey, one was broken, one was faltering, and the third and most volatile pair were as solid as granite. Strange."

Maria cleared her throat and Isabel realized that she'd been zoning out. It was now past midnight and she was sleepy. "God, I'm sorry for keeping you Maria! I'll catch you tomorrow. Just be alert over the next few days, and when I make my move, back me on it." Isabel paused, considering whether to take the first actual step in her plan. Then she decided to take the plunge. "And Maria?"

"Yes?" Maria responded.

"Be happy. With Michael I mean. I know I've been a pain in the ass about the whole human/alien issue at times, but I really do love you both."

Maria was silent for a very long time. "Maria?" Isabel queried.

"Okay, who are you and what have you done with Isabel Evans?" Maria demanded.

"It's still me Maria. Just an older more chastened me." Isabel sniffed. "Lets just say that I had an epiphany this afternoon. I discovered that you really *don't* know what you've got 'til it's gone."

Maria sniffled a bit. "And to think, you used to terrify me," she said. Maria yawned. "Look Iz, Michael is getting crankier by the minute, so I'd better go. But you and I have to serious issues to deal with tomorrow. Like making up for half a lifetime lost as best friends. And for what it's worth, I love you too."

Isabel laughed. The fact that, for the first time ever, Maria had used her pet name was not lost on her. Success! "Okay Maria. G'night! And give the Cro Magnon Man a kiss for me!"

Maria laughed aloud. "Sweet dreams Iz! Bye!"

Isabel replaced the phone on the cradle and gave a contented sigh the segued into yet another yawn. She felt good. For the first time in months, possibly in her entire life, she felt completely and unabashedly good. "Sweet dreams," she thought. "Perhaps tonight, for the first time in forever, I really *can* have some sweet dreams."

It was 12:21 AM.

And Isabel Evans couldn't have been more wrong.
Last edited by Kzinti_Killer on Mon Apr 18, 2005 12:30 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Post by Kzinti_Killer » Sun Feb 23, 2003 5:58 pm

Title: Still Yours
Author: KK
Disclaimer: The characters that count in this do not belong to me in any way shape or form. I simply borrowed them from someone else's toy box.
Category: Crossover Roswell/Highlander A/I +CC
Rating: MATURE shifting to ADULT later on.


STILL YOURS - Part 2b
(I'll See You In Your Dreams.)


Friday 12:22 AM...Half a continent away in Seattle, Washington....

Alex Whitman walked down the hall toward his room above the dojo. He was clad in a bathrobe and drawstring sweat pants. His hair was still wet from the shower. He had a towel over his shoulder and his shaving kit in hand. Pausing at the guest room door he rubbed the knot on his shoulder and groaned. Duncan was a nice guy. He'd become a true friend in the last six months. But, when it came to training, he could be a ruthless pain in the ass. The flight back from New Mexico had been quick, putting them in Seattle just after supper time. Duncan had insisted that Alex eat light and go straight into a workout, followed by some time on the mats, and then still more workout.

Alex had to admit though that Duncan had known exactly what he was doing. Alex had been wound up tight when they had finally gotten home. The tension of the flight, the funeral, *and* seeing Izzy again had him wound up so tight that it felt like his mainspring was about to break. The punishing workout followed by time spent letting the hot water of the shower pound away some of his aches had left Alex, if not relaxed, at least exhausted enough to sleep. Alex walked to his dresser, dropped his kit, and slung his towel over the back of a chair.

"Punishing," he thought, "was a good word for what Duncan had done to him tonight". Like pitting him against Amanda on the mats.

Amanda had been expecting something a little more in the way of romance out of Duncan's homecoming than being asked to spar with his student in unarmed combat. It had left her more than a little bit disgruntled. She had therefore vented her frustrations on Alex. And she fought dirty.

"God help me," Alex thought. "A pissed off woman who knows nearly a thousand years worth of dirty tricks." Amanda had mopped the deck with him. "Still", he thought, "I'm learning. Only three months ago I wouldn't have lasted thirty seconds with Amanda. Tonight I went 30 minutes."

Alex walked over and sat down on his bed gingerly, the memory of that knee to the groin coming back vividly. "It's a good thing that I heal quickly these days," he thought. "Otherwise I'd be singing soprano for a month." Yup, Amanda fought dirty.

He shed his bathrobe and sweat pants, choosing to sleep in the raw tonight. Alex switched off his bedside light, stretched out, and pulled the covers up. Shifting about under the covers he groaned again as he tried to find a position that evenly distributed his aches and bruises. Finally giving up he simply lay back with his arms behind his head and studied the ceiling. Thinking.

Going home had hurt more than he had thought it would. It was like losing everything all over again. And seeing his name on Izzy's lips, even through binoculars, had been like seeing heaven at arms length and having it snatched away. Seeing them all, knowing his parents were now gone beyond recall, it had all hurt. One of his recurring fantasies was to go home. To see his parents, Liz, Maria, Max, Michael, and even Kyle. To see Iz. To pick up again what that bitch Tess had cut mercilessly short. Alex sighed. "Useless", he thought. They were lost to him. And he to them. Their lives were dangerous enough without throwing headhunting immortals into the mix. The best way he could protect them now was to stay away. As far away as possible. Once his training was complete, or at least complete enough to suit Duncan, Alex planned to go to Europe. He and Duncan had already discussed Alex borrowing Duncan's barge on the Seine until he got on his feet.

"Perhaps this time I may *actually* get to see Sweden," he thought. "Maybe I can see what snow boarding that mountain is *really* like. Damn Tess Harding anyway".

For now though, he wasn't going anywhere. He had a long way to go before he could rely on living to a ripe old age of three or four hundred years in the strange and violent world of the Immortals.

One thing that he *had* done was insist on computer access. And they had given it to him after extracting a promise that he was not to contact anyone from his former life via e-mail. And he had given his word. What he *had* done though was set wards around Roswell, New Mexico. His search algorithms were running constantly correlating anything and everything to do with Roswell. And they were *good*. He ought to know, because he had designed them. In fact, they had turned up the fact of his parents death before Joe's internet news retrieval had. But, in typical fashion, Alex stayed silent until Joe had reported the fact to Duncan, and Duncan had approached him about going home for the funeral. In any event, if a pattern of occurrences appeared that suggested trouble for his friends, he would be on the first flight to Albuquerque, and screw the consequences. For now though, distance was the best medicine, the only medicine, that he could take to salve the ache in his heart.

His eyes grew heavy as sleep claimed him. Alex spoke aloud, giving voice to his last waking thoughts. "Sweet dreams, Izzy," he murmured.

Alex had no clue that he was as wrong as Isabel had been.

Still, in Roswell, New Mexico, Isabel Evans paused in putting on her pajamas, cocked her head and listened. Just for a second, she had thought she had heard...

It was now 12:30 AM. The witching hour.

12:22 AM at The DeLuca Household

Maria DeLuca stared at the phone in her hand for a moment before hanging it up. She could not have been more surprised by Isabel's declaration of affection than she would have if the phone receiver had suddenly transformed into a frog in her hand. She heard an irritated grunt from behind and turned to study her bed mate. Tousled hair and all, he was irredeemably sexy.

"What was that about?" Michael asked.

Maria sighed. "Just a little girl talk is all."

Michael snorted. "And it couldn't wait until tomorrow? And what was with the 'I love you' stuff? Is there a side to you two that I don't know about?"

Maria flushed and swatted Michael's shoulder before stretching out next to him and laying her head on his chest. She loved listening to his heart beat.

Her extended silence prompted Michael's irritation to jump a notch. "Maria?" he queried

Maria sighed and rolled slightly so that her upper body and chin now rested on Michael's chest. "Isabel is worried about Max and Liz," she said. "She's worried that if this standoff they have going isn't resolved soon, it may be to late. So she asked for my help with an intervention."

Michael said nothing for a long moment. Then he spoke. "And you agreed?"

"Yes", Maria said.

Michael chuckled. " It sounded like she was trying to pump you for information."

Maria sighed. "She was Spaceboy, she was. But in a good cause. Unfortunately I couldn't give her what she wanted, also in a good cause."

"And that would be what?" Michael asked.

"Fixing what's broken," Maria retorted. "I don't blame Iz for trying to get at the truth before she acts. I really don't. And I'll give it everything I've got when she does act. But if I had told her what I know, I'd have betrayed Liz's trust. And I don't do that. Ever. But, if Liz tells Isabel freely...well maybe we nudge a bit...it's a part of the healing process. Iz has to work a bit harder, and Liz has to trust a bit more, but in the end everyone comes out ahead. See?"

Michael studied his lover with new and profound respect. (The word 'lover' appears in technicolor, extra bold, capital letters in his mind.) "Exactly when and how did you get so wise Pixie Girl?" he asked.

Maria laughed aloud. She loved that pet name. "Well maybe being in love with the original stone wall boy had something to do with it", she said. "It was either get wise or give up".

Michael smiled. "Well I for one am glad you got wise."

Maria reached forward quickly and pecked his cheek with her lips.

"What was that for?", Michael asked.

Maria grinned impishly. " That was from Isabel. She said to 'give the Cro Magnon Man a kiss for her'. Consider yourself kissed Spaceboy."

Michael chuckled and raised his eyebrows. "Under the circumstances, don't you mean Homo Erectus?"

Maria sat up suddenly, her mouth hanging open.

Michael grinned. "What? I can't watch Discovery Channel too?"

Maria collapsed back on his chest laughing helplessly. Michael joined her.

After they had laughed themselves out, Michael brought the conversation back around. "So whatabout that 'I love you too' stuff?" he asked.

Maria looked pensive. "Off hand I'd say that Isabel has discovered that being vulnerable with your friends isn't such a bad thing after all. I like it better than her Ice Princess routine."

Michael stared at the ceiling before saying, "You've been good for us you know. All of us. And all of you."

Maria turned her head away and resumed listening to his heart beat. "Wow," she thought, "this *is* a night of profound revelations. Old 'stone wall' Michael would have *never* made *that* admission. Not even if you were extracting his fingernails, one at a time."

They were quiet for a while. So long so that Maria thought to her chagrin that Michael had fallen back asleep. Then he surprised her by speaking again. "So, do you think that you and Iz can put the whammy on Liz and Max?" Michael asked.

Maria sighed. "I think that we have a good shot at it. They *want* to fix things. They love each other. That's more than half the battle."

Michael cleared his throat. "Good," he said. "After what Liz did she deserves it. They both do. How do you reward someone for giving up everything they cherish to save your life?"

Maria flinched and felt Michael's arms go around her. His hand stroked her back soothing away tension. "You know?" she asked. "You know what she did and why? How Michael?"

Michael chuckled. "Hello? Earth to Pixie Girl? We've been making love at every opportunity for six months, remember? Flashes, remember? How could I *not* get a complete picture of something that's always close to the surface in your mind?"

Maria sat up again. "And your opinion?" she asked.

Michael looked at her very seriously. "My opinion is that I keep misjudging Liz Parker. I knew that she was our friend. And that we could trust her. But I'm starting to realize that, like 'love' and 'family', I haven't had a clue of how deep the word 'friend' can go. I never had a clue that she cared for us enough to dive on a live hand grenade for us. Grenade hell, a live nuke."

"And?" Maria said.

Michael sighed. "And so, if it can be fixed, we fix it", he said.

Maria grinned. "What you mean 'we' paleface?"

Michael grinned back. "I mean 'we', as Isabel, you and me, Pixie Girl."

Maria gave a happy squeal and lunged at him planting a furious kiss on his lips, one that quickly morphed into passion. After some minutes she was forced to break for air.

Michael gasped out, "Pixie, it's late. As much as I'm enjoying this, we should try to sleep!"

Maria gave a snort and let her hand slide down his stomach and into sensitive territory. Michael growled. Maria chuckled and said, "Spaceboy, my mother will be back from the Herboligists convention tomorrow night, we are here now, in bed, and awake. If you think we're going back to sleep right away, you're out of your mind."

That was all Michael needed. In a blink Maria found herself on her back with one of Michael's legs sliding between her thighs. After that everything became a blur of sensation. Pure pleasure. And, at the end of things, as she kissed him before her orgasm took her away, her last coherent thought was the same one that she had had in their love making for the last six months.

"The door opened," she thought. "The door opened and he came out. He came out for me!" Then she went into
sweet oblivion.....

It was 12:50 AM, twenty minutes into The Witching Hour

The Evans Household.....

Dressed for bed, teeth brushed, and face washed; Isabel Evans slid under the covers. As an afterthought, before turning out the light, she retrieved her high school yearbook from the floor beside the bed, where she had dropped it earlier to talk to Max. Opening it to the now familiar page she took a last look at Alex's picture before going to sleep. Gently she reached out with a finger to caress his face. "Thank you Alex. Thank you for prying me out of my shell and giving me a life to live in place of the mere existence I had before. Sleep well Sweetheart."

Isabel closed the annual before removing her hand, so she never saw the wave of discontinuity race across picture and disappear. An inconsequential thing really. Easily missed. But the precursor to the most profound night of Isabel's life. One that would change her life irrevocably. None of which she was aware of as her eyes closed and sleep claimed her.


THE DREAM STATE

Isabel was walking the streets of a strange city. And feeling troubled. She hated dreams that had her in strange places. And this was no exception. But there was this odd feeling of deja vu that dogged her. Like this place was part of some half remembered, long ago, dream. The sea was near. She could smell salt in the air. Something drew her on, her feet somehow knowing where they wanted her to be.

Distantly music reached her ears. She moved towards the source, spellbound by the melody.

She followed the sweet strains of the old Righteous Brothers tune to a building, and through it's front door. Just inside the door, the music stopped. Isabel paused, confused and fearful. What was happening? A moment later the music resumed at the beginning. She began to follow it up the stairs and through a pair of double doors into a large room lit by what looked like a thousand candles. As long as the music played, she was calm. She felt safe, warm, loved.

“Wo-oh my love,
My Darlin’.
I’ve hungered for your touch,
A long, lonely time.
And time, goes by, so slowly.
And time, can do so much.
Are you, still mi-i-ine?
I need your love.
I need your love.
Darlin', speed your love,
To-oo meee.
Lonely rivers flow,
To the sea, to the sea.
To the open arms,
Of the sea, yeah.
Lonely rivers sigh,
Wait for me, wait for me.
I'll be comin' home,
Wait for me-ee."

The room looked a bit like a cross between a gym and the set of every bad kung fu movie ever made. Weapons hung from pegs on the walls. Exercise equipment was scattered about. All of which made the fact that the Righteous Brothers themselves were at the mic crooning "Unchained Melody" completely incongruous. But that wasn't what really got her attention. What riveted her was the dancing couple swaying to the slow mellow ballad.

She smiled. "Trust Alex to be groovin' to the oldies," she thought. "Even in my dreams he knows how to romance a girl."

She watched as Alex, his back to her, and her dream self moved in dance. As the couple slowly turned Alex's face came into view. That was when Isabel began to get a sense that something wrong. He looked older somehow. Harder. More careworn. Her heart nearly broke at the weight of sorrow and responsibility that seemed etched into his features. Other changes became apparent to her eye. He was standing straighter, and he had filled out to a point where he could have given any jock in West Roswell a run for his money. Something was definitely *not* right here.

Isabel spoke. "Alex?"

The music stopped. The singers vanished. Her dream self dissolved into mist. Alex looked up at her. Right at her. Isabel looked over her shoulder to see if something was behind her. Nothing there. She turned back and felt her heart jump into her throat. He was walking toward her. His eyes never leaving her face. Closer. Then closer still. He stopped within touching distance. Isabel stood riveted, unable to move.

"Izzy?" he said. "Isabel, what are you doing here?" This is dangerous. You shouldn't *be* here! You should never have tried it!"

Isabel was unable to speak, torn between fear and wonder. Dream Alex raised his hand and brought it to her face. He touched her cheek tenderly. The effect of that touch was like live high voltage arcing across her soul. She FELT him! His living presence! OH MY GOD! ALEX!

She was in sensory overload.

Under the circumstances Isabel took the only reasonable course of action open to her.


She woke up.

Sat straight up in bed.

And screamed at the top of her lungs!


1:00 AM in Seattle, Washington

Alex sat up in bed with a stifled shout. "What the hell had just happened?", he thought. " Jesus! What a dream!" As he calmed his brain began working and he realized what had happened. He had felt Izzy. Felt her soul. Felt it touch his. Dream walk! After that his panic returned in full force. He switched on his bedside light and stalked to the mirror on his dresser. As he always did in a tense situation he began to address his reflection. "Okay idiot, she found you. Somehow she found you. With any luck she might think that it was just a nightmare, for a little while anyway. Which it must have been, for her!" He had seen the terror in her eyes in that last second before she had vanished.

"Way to go Whitman, way - to - go!" he berated himself. "The first time in six months that you get to see her, face to face so to speak, and you scare the living crap out of her! Perfect. Juuuust perfect!"

Alex walked back to his bed and sat down, scrubbing his face with his hands. "Okay stupid, think!. What are your options? Contact is out, for nothing has changed. I'm still 'dead'. And I'm still walking talking trouble for everyone that I care about. Travel is out too. Now that I think about it, Europe was a pipe dream! If she can reach me here, she can reach me there. And for all I know she can reach me on Mars too. Think you idiot!"

So Alex considered, rejected, and considered again. Then he paused, and his eyes widened as the gravity of the situation came home to him. "I am sooo in trouble," he thought. "Iz isn't stupid. The odds are good that she'll figure out what happened eventually. And when she does, she'll be back. With fire in her eye. Oh man, I am sooo dead....no pun intended."

So, Alex reached the conclusion that every good man since Adam has reached when he sees an extended tour 'in the dog house' coming at him like a truck with no brakes. He would stall. He would be on guard. And when she came he would cloud his mind. Think gray. Think static. Think about *anything* but how much he loved her. That would have to do until he could find a more permanent solution.

"Well, she won't be back tonight," he said to himself. "After the way you scared her she probably won't sleep for a week!" Alex winced, remembering how tired she had looked at the funeral. "Christ, I can't win!"

Still berating himself he went back to bed. "I should just cut my throat and get it over with! But that wouldn't do a damned bit of good because I'd be on my feet again in half an hour!" Alex flopped back gracelessly and sighed. "Hell of a thing," he thought. "Now I have to be alert while I *sleep* TOO!" He lay awake a long time waiting for sleep to claim him. And when it finally did, his last thought was...."I'm sorry Isabel".


Saturday.....2:30 AM in Roswell, New Mexico....

Isabel sat on her bed. Her back against the headboard. Her knees pulled up to her chest and wrapped in her arms. She shivered. With fear...and something else. Wonder. She wasn't sure what to think. What had happened? And she wouldn't be sure for quite awhile. But she knew one thing for certain, there would be no more sleep tonight.

It had taken forever to convince Max to go back to bed after he had charged into her room, ball bat in hand ready to defend her. But he had eventually gone willingly enough once she had pretended to go to bed. After he was gone she had flicked of the light and sat up. She retrieved her yearbook and opened it. Frowning with concentration she touched his picture again. She was hoping for enlightenment. Hoping for an explanation to appear. Hoping that she wasn't losing it.

She hugged her knees again and waited.

When the sun came up, she was still waiting..........

The Witching Hour was over.

End of Part 2
Last edited by Kzinti_Killer on Sun Feb 19, 2006 9:29 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by Kzinti_Killer » Sun Feb 23, 2003 6:15 pm

Title: Still Yours
Author: KK
Disclaimer: The characters that count in this do not belong to me in any way shape or form. I simply borrowed them from someone else's toy box.
Category: Crossover Roswell/Highlander A/I +CC
Rating: MATURE shifting to ADULT later on.



STILL YOURS - Part 3a
(Interlude)

Saturday....10:17 AM the morning after at the Evans Household...

The soft trilling of the phone invaded Isabel's sleep, pulling her into resentful wakefulness. It had been after dawn before she had felt safe enough, relaxed enough, to give in to her need to sleep. And now some uncivilized savage was interrupting her! She opened her eyes and groaned. The phone continued to trill its irritating call. Isabel rolled over and glared at the phone, then turned bleary eyes towards her clock radio. Three hours! Only three hours she'd been asleep! The phone continued to trill. "Give it up already!" she snarled to herself. Flopping back on her bed she pulled her pillow over her head. The phone kept up it's monotonous call. "Why doesn't Max answer it!?"she moaned. The phone continued to make noises like a hyperactive cricket. Finally she growled, reached over, and seized the phone. Bringing the receiver to her ear she spoke wearily. "This had better be important!".

Musical laughter greeted her from the other end of the phone. The laughter wound down a little and a female voice still gasping with amusement said, "That's a *fine* way to greet your co-conspirator in the morning!"

Isabel came further awake and said, "Maria?"

Maria giggled again. "This is too perfect Iz. You sound like I felt last night! You even stole my line and everything!"

Isabel snorted, then smiled inspite of her exhaustion the she said, "I assume your have a good reason for calling? Aside from revenge that is?"

Maria laughed. "They say that turn about is fair play, but I'm not that petty! What I called about is to tell you that the ranks of our little band of conspirators have expanded to include Spaceboy!"

Isabel frowned, "Michael is cool with this?"

Maria hesitated briefly then spoke. "More than cool, Iz. He's on board, all the way. I didn't even have to bully or use my feminine wiles!"

Isabel sighed and said, "Why do I have the feeling that we *both* underestimated Michael Guerin?"

Maria chuckled. "Um, I don't know Isabel. Maybe because we did?"

Isabel smiled. She could definitely get used to this "best friends" thing.

"That's all I really had to say, Iz. So I'll let you get back to the beauty sleep that you don't really need," Maria said.

Isabel yawned. "After a night like last night I need it more than you think, Maria. But as long as we're on the phone I need to get your opinion on something."

Maria paused. "Okay, the question of what exactly happened last night will wait. As for an opinion, you don't need to ask for it. Just ask Liz. Unsolicited opinions are my specialty! So shoot."

Isabel paused to organize her thoughts. "Look Maria, I know about the whole setup Liz pulled with Kyle. Making Max think that she had slept with him. I boggled when I heard the rumor last year. I couldn't believe it. Now thank God, I don't have to believe it. But it's still part of what's holding them apart. Liz *still* won't tell Max why she found it so necessary to wound him like that."

Maria sighed. "Iz, you know that I can't..."

"Tell me why," Isabel finished for her. "I know that Maria. I wouldn't ask it of you...now. What I really want to know is, since Kyle knows about us it makes him 'a member of the club' so to speak. As well as a principal player in this mess. Though I get the feeling that he's mostly an innocent bystander."

Listening to Isabel, Maria grinned. "The girl may be an alien, but there's nothing wrong with her feminine intuition," Maria thought.

Isabel continued. "What I really need to know is, should we 'invite him to the party'?"

Maria was silent for a moment as she considered the idea. "I don't know Isabel. Kyle is a wild card. I mean, with me to corral Liz and Michael to control Max, you can rain tough love down on them for as long as it takes. But Kyle, for all that he has a good heart, tends to be impulsive. He doesn't always think before he speaks. Which could make things a lot harder. I'd say, if he's there when you get your shot, include him. Otherwise, don't borrow trouble."

Isabel sighed. "I kind of thought that myself, but it sounds better hearing someone else say it. All the same, after they settle with each other, they'll both have to settle with Kyle."

Maria sounded grim, "You know it."

Isabel yawned again. "Well, that's all I really needed so......"

Maria cut her off. "Not so fast Iz. What happened last night that has you sleeping late today?"

Isabel shuddered. "It was a dream Maria. About half nightmare, half wish fulfillment, and 100% scary I'm not ready to talk about it yet."

Maria sighed. If it was only a dream, they could deal with that. "Well when you're ready to talk, track me down. Best friends have dibs on all the good dish. Including dreams! You go on back to sleep now. Spaceboy is waiting breakfast on me, and he takes his cooking *very* seriously!"

Isabel yawned, feeling sleep beginning to bite at her again. "Okay Maria, have a good day!"

A muffled shout came over the phone. Maria could be heard hollering, "Keep you pants on Michael! I'm coming!" Maria spoke quickly. "Gotta go Iz, Michael is whining about the eggs getting cold. Sweet dreams!"

Isabel winced. She thought that in was just possible that she would never have a "sweet dream" again. "Bye Maria!"

Isabel yawned and gave a catlike stretch as she hung up the phone. Looking down at herself she realized that she had slept on top of the covers. Which was somewhat chilly. Twisting around she worked her way under the covers and snuggled down into the warmth of her bed. She tried to think about her dream last night, but sleep would not permit that. It was only a moment or two before she dropped into blessedly dreamless oblivion.

Saturday.....10:30 AM in Seattle, Washington ....

Richie Ryan strode down the hall in the residential part of the building housing the dojo. He didn't look like it, being clad in ragged sweats and running shoes, but he was a man with a mission. That being to pry Alex out of his bed and get some road work in. Had it been up to Richie, he'd have given Alex a few days off to recoup. After all, yesterday had really put the kid through the wringer. But Duncan's prescription was somewhat different. And Richie could only comply.

They were going to run the kid ragged. Work him until he dropped, then make him get up and work some more. The point being to keep him so busy that he wouldn't have the time or energy to dwell on the past all that much. Or on things that he couldn't have and couldn't fix. Richie also suspected that this was an exercise in discipline. To survive long as an immortal you had to be able to ignore things that were not of immediate importance, and focus when it counted. Like staying alive. Not that Richie saw that as a part of Alex's problem. He'd never seen someone who could focus like Alex could. He took after Duncan that way. The kid was Mr. Self Control personified. Which is probably why Duncan had a soft spot for him, and was thus doubly determined to see him equipped to survive in his new life.

Reaching Alex's room, Richie let himself in and paused to study the sleeping teenager. From the way he was tangled up in his covers, it was obvious that he'd spent a restless night. As Richie watched Alex made a sound, almost a moan. Rich in pain. Words came. "Isabel....nooooo," Alex whispered. Richie grimaced. The girl again. Jeeez, she must really be something! Perhaps Duncan had the right idea after all. The kid needed something on his mind besides a lost love.

Matching action with thought Richie strode over and raised the blind on the window, allowing sunlight to flood the room. "RISE AND SHINE ALEX!" he shouted.

Alex stirred, groaned, and pried open one bloodshot eye. "Go to hell Richie! It's Saturday, and nothing is going to get me out of here until I'm good and ready!"

Richie laughed. "All right then. I'll just trot down and tell Amanda that the breakfast she has set up for you isn't appreciated. Then you can deal with *her*. I'm sure that we can set up a rematch."

Alex sighed. "No, that's quite all right. Last night was enough to last me a lifetime." He groaned and swung his legs over the edge of the bed. Pausing to look at Richie's get up he said, "Road work?"

Richie nodded.

"Well then I'd better eat light. If I have more than OJ and toast I'll toss my cookies before we get a mile. Get out for here and let me get dressed. I'll see you at the table in a couple of minutes."

Ten minutes later Alex was facing an irate Amanda, and a one eyed Texas stack...with sausage. Both Amanda and breakfast looked intimidating.

"Toast and orange juice???" she ranted. "I really don't think so! Do you know how seldom I cook? So eat up Alex, because this maybe your one and only opportunity!"

With that she huffed over to the stove. Alex was flummoxed. Both Cassandra and Amanda had this tendency to mother him. Something that he still hadn't gotten used to. Especially since neither of them looked the part. Least of all Amanda. Alex heard a snicker and shot a look at the other two people at the table. Richie had paused over his bowl of cold cereal and was shaking with silent mirth. Alex stared daggers at him. Duncan simply looked laconic and sipped his coffee. Alex sent him a questioning look.

Duncan glanced at the kitchen where Amanda was muttering imprecations over the stove, leaned forward and whispered..... "Guilt."

Alex frowned, and his look must have said, 'Huh? I don't get it'. Because Duncan checked on Amanda's location again, then leaned closer and said, "She feels guilty about beating your brains out last night. So, unless you want her to do it again, I'd dig in lad."

Alex looked at the stack of pancakes with a single egg on top, thought about what he might be feeling like after the first few miles of the morning run, then thought about what he was *absolutely certain* to feel like if Amanda came at him on the mats again. Alex considered his options, then sighed, and reached for the syrup. It was going to be a long day.

Saturday.....10:38 AM in Roswell, New Mexico

Max Evans was running late. He'd slept badly last night to begin with. Though, truth be told, it had been a long time since he'd slept truly well. He had too many issues to keep him awake. And having Isabel wake him with that bloodcurdling scream in the middle of the night hadn't helped at all. That must have been *some* nightmare. One that she had refused to share. So he'd simply sat up with her, holding her hand and talking until her irritation had gotten the better of her and she had chased him off to bed. And sleep had been slow to come again after that. Hence, he was running late.

He paused before entering the UFO Museum. Even though he was going to be late for work he couldn't escape what had become a ritual for him. Pause, turn, and look at the Crashdown. He did it even when he knew she wasn't working. Even when he knew she wasn't home. But neither of those were true this morning. She was there. He could feel her. The departure of Tess seemed to have cleared some sort of static for Max Evans. Because he could sense Liz Parker's location with unerring accuracy now. And he had the uncanny feeling that the 'sense' was mutual. But, like so many things Liz lately, he didn't know for certain. And he was afraid to ask. Liz and he talked, but they didn't share. He missed that sharing. Sighing to himself, and wondering yet again just what the hell he was going to do to break this emotional log jam, he turned away and headed in to work. It was going to be a long day.

Across the street at the Crashdown.

Liz Parker stood well back from the widows, where she could see without being seen, and watched the familiar figure with the slumped shoulders turn and walk into the museum. He looked really tired this morning. Or perhaps her guilt vibe was just really strong this morning. She heard the cook bellow "Order Up!" and turned away to retrieve yet another breakfast order from the service window. Delivering the alien themed omelet with toast to a customer she paused again to look acrossthe street. She had known he was coming to work. This location sense she seemed to have for Max Evans was eerie. She tried to tell herself that it indicated that they were meant for each other, but she always ran up against guilt and humiliation.

How do you tell the one that you love that you gutted him like a trout to save the world...and that it may all have been for nothing? How do you tell him that you and his analog from the future, acting on bad information that his present self never knew about, changed history. Which, among other things resulted in him to siring a son with an enemy, and the death of a friend? And may very nearly have gotten he, Isabel, and Michael killed. She knew that none of it was rational...but the emotions were still real to her. And now, six months later, she still couldn't communicate them to anyone beyond Maria, let alone believe that she merited forgiveness. And even Maria knew only the bare facts of it. So, against her desire and love, Liz remained silent. And that added to her guilt.

Max's future self had said that the future was now an unknown. That meant that the alien invasion of 2014 might not happen. But then again, it might, and her friends needed to know about it. But her shame kept her from telling them. It was an endless feedback loop. Garbage in, garbage out. . Yet she felt powerless to break it. A genuine "Catch 22" So instead she went on, day after day, being cordial even affectionate with Max. But never allowing him in. Never allowing any of them in. Afraid that they would see. See her, what she had done, and hate her for it and it's consequences.

She wondered what had happened to the self possessed girl who had thrown caution to the winds to fight for and give her heart to a man who was literally out of this world. She missed that girl. Liz heard a thr oat clear and turned to see a customer looking at her with irritation, waiting for his check. "Well that's another tip that's going to suck", she thought. She smiled and hurried the check to the table then went to check on the only outstanding order that she had. "Stay busy", she thought. "If you're busy you aren't thinking." It was completely irrational. But who could blame her for getting stuck in this particular corner? Her friends wouldn't, that much was certain...as Elizabeth Parker was due to find out. Because sometime later today fate, in the shape of Isabel Evans, would schedule the choice of what and who to tell to be taken from her hands. It would be the worst and best day of her life. In succession and at the same time. It was going to be a long day.
Last edited by Kzinti_Killer on Mon Apr 18, 2005 12:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Kzinti_Killer » Sun Feb 23, 2003 6:56 pm

Title: Still Yours
Author: KK
Disclaimer: The characters that count in this do not belong to me in any way shape or form. I simply borrowed them from someone else's toy box.
Category: Crossover Roswell/Highlander A/I +CC
Rating: MATURE shifting to ADULT later on.



STILL YOURS - Part 3b
(Interlude)

The DeLuca household....

Maria finished washing the skillet in her hands and placed it in the drainer beside the sink. As she let out a long suffering sigh a pair of strong arms slid around her waist from behind and Michael whispered, "Naughty, naughty... remember the agreement. I cook, you wash. No complaining allowed."

Maria rolled her eyes and turned in his arms. Placing her arms around his neck she said, "Michael, we both do this for a living. Would it kill us to eat out? That way you wouldn't have to cook and I wouldn't have to wash."

Michael chuckled, "Okay, deal. Breakfast at Denny's tomorrow. That way I can tell their cooks what they're doing wrong." He winked.

Maria leaned into him and wondered again how she had gotten so damned lucky. When she had first realized that she had a thing for Michael he had been this surly, distant, just barely approachable enigma. More than once she had thought of giving up, of just writing him off. How did that old saying go? 'Good things come to those who wait'? The man upon whose chest her head currently rested was proof of that. Had he really changed this much? Because of her? Or had she changed? Imponderable questions. And Maria wasn't much for imponderables. That was Liz's territory, Maria simply wanted to enjoy the ride. So thinking, she reached up and kissed Michael. Michael held her tight and deepened the kiss....

*FLASH*

~Maria and Liz, seated by a fountain, locked in earnest conversation...~

*END FLASH*


Michael started slightly, but it was enough for Maria to feel it. She pulled away and looked Michael in the eye while keeping her arms around him.

Michael saw her questioning look and sighed. "It was a flash Sweetheart. Nothing cosmic, just you and Liz at the fountain again." Maria looked puzzled. Michael grinned and spoke. "It's the night she told you the whole time travel and changing history story. Over the last six months I've watched that scene play out two or three times a week."

Maria scowled at him. "You know Spaceboy, if I were the easily insulted type, I might be a little miffed about the invasion of privacy."

Michael rolled his eyes. "Cut me some slack will you? Pixie, I can't help what I pick up from you. Anymore than you can help what you get from me."

Maria pinched him. Hard.

"Ouch! What was that for?" Michael asked.

Maria's scowl deepened. "You mean what I can't help picking up from you now that you *let* me!" she growled.

Michael sighed. "Maria, I'm sorry. I don't now what more I can say. We've been all over this. I was ashamed of my life. So ashamed that I didn't want to inflict it on you."

Maria softened. "Michael, you can't inflict anything on me. But you *can* share." She smirked. "Think of it this way Spaceboy. Are things with us better after the sharing? If the answer is yes, then you know how wrong it was to block me out like you did."

Michael gave Maria his crooked "cute" smile. "Okay Maria, I surrender. You're right, I'm wrong. And things are better than I've ever known in my life. Satisfied?"

Maria matched his half smile and said, "Michael, you're so cute when you're submissive."

Michael grinned and released Maria. "Pixie, that brings up mental images I can do without at the moment. And you and I have to get to work. The lunch rush will be starting soon, and Liz will skin both alive if it starts without us."

Maria glanced at her watch then spun and snatched her purse off the counter. "We have plenty of time yet. But, if you insist, we'll go. Though I swear, you're turning into a regular pillar of responsibility. Between the turnaround in your attitude at school, and this arriving early for work, your friends are going to start suspecting you of being a shape shifter."

As they headed out the door Michael chuckled. "I'm not worried," he said. "That's why you're here. So that, no matter how much I grow up, you can still vouch for the fact that I'm the same cranky bastard that everybody knows and loves."

Maria stopped him at the car and reached up to give him a quick kiss. "Not so cranky anymore Sweetie", she said. "I won't allow it."

Michael smiled softly and thought..."Yes ma'am."

The UFO Museum......

Max was headed down the stairs when the music started. Elvis Presley again. "At least it isn't 'God Save The King'," he thought. "Or worse yet, 'Hail to the Chief'." After Tess' departure the mental deterioration of Amy DeLuca and Brody due to Tess' mental manhandling had become so pronounced that, in desperation, Max and the others had given them both the whole story. That, along with a lot of talking and the occasional dream walk, had managed to pull them through. Amy was far from happy about knowing something about the aliens and their friends that their parents didn't. But she could understand the reasons for secrecy, once she had calmed down that is. Realizing that your only child is romantically involved with another life form tends to be traumatic.

Brody, on the other hand, had seen things with his own unique brand of humor. It took him a while to get past being 'an interstellar cell phone' as he put it. But Max had known the worst was past the first time he'd arrived at work and had the strains of 'God Save the King' come wafting over the Museum's public address system. Brody was a dreadful tease.

Max stoically marched into Brody's sanctum sanctorum and was unsurprised to see his boss and friend sitting in his office chair, facing the door, wearing his 'I gave Max another hotfoot' grin. Seeing the long-suffering look on Max's face, Brody relented. He spun the chair and flipped a switch on the console behind him, cutting off the music. Brody spun back and grin intact. "Now now Max! Don't be a bad sport! You can't give a man like me an employee that's not only royalty, but alien royalty at that, and not expect to pay the price!"

Max attempted to return Brody's infectious grin, but it came out looking forced and faded quickly.

Brody frowned. "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing," he thought. "And knowing what I know now......" He sighed and spoke aloud. "It's Liz again isn't it? Max you cannot go on like this."

Max glanced heavenward looking for patience. "So everyone tells me Brody."

Brody smiled gently. "Max m'boy, listen to me. I owe you big, both directly and indirectly. I owe your people my life. Granted there's the occasional inconvenience of being Larak's hand puppet, but it beats the alternative. Especially when that alternative called for something considerably quieter and less active." Brody winked. "And then there's my daughter and your Christmas Miracle. So, I'm going to give you a bit of advice. And I hope that you take it to heart. Talk to her. If the worst happens and it all screws up, and I don't think for a minute that it will, then at least you'll both be out of this limbo you're in. The longer you wait the harder it will be and the more certain you can be of a meltdown in your relationship."

Max looked resigned and sighed. "Okay, after work. I'll go over after work."

Brody beamed. "That's m'boy", he said. "Now let's get to work. I want that alien autopsy exhibit taken down. I'm putting in an exhibit on recent tech advances allegedly spawned by reverse engineered alien technology."

Max looked quizzical. "What advances?"

Brody was grinning again. "Why whatever ones I can dream up of course! How do you like DVD's as a start?"

Max shook his head. Prior to learning the truth the museum had been part of a deadly serious attempt by Brody to find and expose the truth. Now though it was a game to him. A playful way to misdirect people away *from* that truth. To protect his friends and have fun at the same time. A colossal practical joke on UFO believers.

Max grinned. A true grin. "Next thing you know you'll be attributing chia pets to aliens."

Brody made a show of looking thoughtful then laughed and said, "I wish I *could* blame them on aliens, but they're just too cheesy." He winked again. "Only a human mind could dream them up." With that he waved Max out the door.

Max headed toward the autopsy exhibit in a good mood for the first time in a long while. Brody's humor had started it, and the knowledge that he was going to get rid of that eyesore of an exhibit capped it off. He had hated that thing since the first time he had to stuff phony entrails back into the psuedo-alien corpse after some rug rat had pulled them out. As he began the all day job of dismantling the exhibit and packing it up he heard music commence on the PA system. Elvis. Singing 'Blue Suede Shoes'. He paused and winced, then grinned. His good feeling blossomed further as he considered the fact that giving someone a hotfoot flowed both ways. So thinking he returned to work, while daydreaming. His mind off of Liz for now, and occupied with plans counting coup on Brody.

Brody watched from his office door, reading Max's body language accurately. "I'm in for it now," he thought. "But it's worth it to get him out of that angst ridden mental rut." He headed back into his office feeling considerably better. Jim Valenti, Amy DeLuca, and he had made a pact over a private dinner some months back. To protect the kids. They had been through hell and back. Much of that hell they still didn't share with anyone. Enough was enough. Jim had stood up alone as their "father figure" long enough. Now they had a "mother figure" and a "wealthy uncle figure" too. The 'I know an alien' club had fortnightly informal dinners where they compared notes and sought ways to help 'their kids'.

Brody flopped into his office chair and frowned in thought. "Whatever money and some judicious nudging can do, I will do. I owe them that much." He looked at a calligraphed poster on the wall. It read "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good people do nothing". Brody smiled and picked up the phone to let Amy know that her idea for dealing with Max's ongoing depression had finally borne fruit. If it came at the price of the alien equivalent of a banana cream pie in the face, so be it. He chuckled at the mental imagery. He was, after all, good people.

Saturday....11:30 AM Green Lake Park, Seattle....

Alex was going to die. When Richie and he had started their run he had been certain of it. A mile later he had been wishing for it. Now it was three miles and he was back to certainty. All thanks to Amanda and the breakfast from hell. He should have said no and let her beat the tar out of him again. Alex groaned aloud. Next to him Richie spared enough breath for snort of laughter. Alex had remonstrated with Duncan before they had left for the park. When that had failed he had gone to pleading. But Duncan had been adamant. He had told Alex that, if he expected to live long, he had to be prepared for anything. Including the physical discomfort of say, fighting a pitched battle right after a heavy meal. Or even in the middle of a heavy meal. So they were here, and Alex was sure he was going to die. All he concentrated on was putting one foot in front of the other, and on saving enough for the sprint at the end. As he and Richie approached their fifth mile their pace faltered as 'the buzz' hit. The buzz that indicated another immortal in the area.

Keep running," Richie panted. "If it's someone we know there's no point in breaking stride. If it's someone that we *don't* know, then the last thing we want to do is break stride. I haven't got my sword and neither do you."

His discomfort forgotten Alex was constantly scanning the area like a rabbit who knows the fox is there, but can't see him. "Would that matter? I thought this was 'code duello' type stuff?"

Richie snorted. "Alex, you've been around us long enough to know that, aside from the long lifeline, we're just folks. Most immortals obey the rules. But some would slaughter you like a chicken if they get the chance, and screw fair play."

Alex frowned. "Now you tell me this? Now?"

Richie spared him a pitying glance. "Well Alex, for one thing, with my upbringing I wasn't surprised by it when my time came. Not even a little bit. I know how low people can be, and I never expected immortals to be any different. For another, you have enough on your plate learning to fight and putting your past behind you. Knowing there are people out there who want to kill you sucks. Even if they *do* obey the rules when they try it. Knowing there are some that will cheat while trying it is a little too much information we thought."

Alex snorted "Gee, thanks for protecting my innocence. Anything else I should know that might get me killed if I don't know it?"

At that moment they saw him. Lounging on the grass with studied indolence. He was lean, almost skinny, but there was no mistaking they feral look in his eyes, or the predatory smile he sent them. This was a hunter. He might have been handsome if it weren't for the discolored weal of scar tissue marring his right cheek. As they approached him he made no move to rise. In fact, the impression he gave was that they were barely worth his notice.

Richie snorted. "Let the head games begin," he thought. Ordinarily Richie might have assayed a remark to get the smirk off of not so pretty boy's face, but he stifled his inclination. His job was to get the kid home safely. And that didn't include provoking a fight with an armed immortal while he himself didn't have so much as a cocktail straw. "Keep moving Alex. Ignore him."

As they ran on, Alex's heart was pounding. And it had nothing to do with his physical exertion. This was his first encounter with an immortal outside the little circle that surrounded Duncan. Inside he was swimming in a complex stew of emotions. He was certain that some of it was fear. Otherwise his butt wouldn't be snipping holes in his BVD's. And it was. But most of it was excitement and curiosity. This was his first actual contact with The Game. And above all he felt caution. "This isn't the time to lose my head," he thought somewhat wryly.

Once they reached their car Alex was all in favor of 'getting the hell out of Dodge', but Richie insisted that they cool down and stretch first. Thinking it over rationally, Alex saw the sense. Panic was definitely contra-indicated.

"What the hell was that about Richie?" Alex demanded.

Richie sighed. "Isn't it obvious Alex? He's hunting. Probably me."

Alex looked a little incredulous. "Hunting? And this doesn't bother you? And why not me?"

Richie studied him for a moment. "Well, taken in order, yes....hunting. He looks like the stalker type. He'll probably pop up a couple of more times over the next few days or a week. Just trying to rattle my cage before he actually tries something. As for bothering me, no. I've had to fight before. And I've won. I've been taught by the best. Just like you. As for you, I doubt it. If he's been checking us out he knows you're a newbie, and therefore under Duncan's protection. Any challenge issued against you is a challenge to Duncan, and he has first call answering it. And frankly, just looking at him, that guy wouldn't stand a prayer against Duncan. And on the outside chance that he *can* take Duncan, he'd have to get past Amanda, Cassandra, *and* Methos. And me." Richie winked. "So I'm pretty sure that it's me he's after."

Alex simply nodded.

Richie sighed. "Lets head for the barn, buddy of mine. You aren't done for today yet. And I want to let the others know that our 'friend' is out there."

Richie had given Alex a lot to think about. Not least about the bonds of loyalty in their odd little club. If he had to leave his old friends behind, he thought, at least his new friends were every bit as loyal. As they pulled out of the park they saw him again, lounging on the seat of a motorcycle with the same studied indifference he had shown before.

Richie grinned. "See what I mean? Definitely a stalker type."

Alex sighed to himself. He still had a lot to learn......

Saturday......3:00 PM Roswell Public Library......

Isabel had slept well into the afternoon before dragging herself out of bed and into the shower. Being at loose ends and wondering what to do she had followed her bump of curiosity to the library. Now she wandering the stacks with a scrap of paper bearing a reference number copied from the computer. Scanning the shelves her eyes lit on her quarry. She pulled the book out with a grunt of satisfaction. She doubted that it would help, but it was worth a shot. Tucking her selection under one arm she headed for the checkout counter.

The middle aged matronly librarian on duty smiled cheerfully and scanned her book into the computer. As she glanced at the title before passing the book back her eyebrows rose slightly. "Trouble sleeping dear?" she asked.

Isabel sighed and rolled her eyes. "You have no idea." And, tucking "The Psychology of Dreams" under one arm, she headed for the exit.

Coming out of the library she considered what to do for the day. The hollowness in her stomach signaled that lunch was the first order of business. 'Breakfast' had been a hasty cup of coffee. "Definitely not everything a growing girl needs," she thought. So thinking, she headed for The Crashdown. A fast lunch, a little shopping, then hit her father's office to pick up his mail. After that she would settle in at The Crashdown and read. And see if she couldn't ambush a few people who urgently needed ambushing.

As she headed for the diner she halted in thought. "Why leave things to chance?" With that she pulled out her cell and dialed from memory. On the second ring her party answered. "Hello?" Isabel grinned evilly. There was no mistaking that British accent....

End of Part 3
Last edited by Kzinti_Killer on Sun Feb 19, 2006 9:51 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by Kzinti_Killer » Sun Feb 23, 2003 8:06 pm

Title: Still Yours
Author: KK
Disclaimer: The characters that count in this do not belong to me in any way shape or form. I simply borrowed them from someone else's toy box.
Category: Crossover Roswell/Highlander A/I +CC
Rating: MATURE shifting to ADULT later on.



STILL YOURS - Part 4a
(Catharsis)

Saturday.....8:00 PM Late Supper at The Crashdown

Maria looked up from bussing tables to see Isabel come through the door. They threw each other a quick smile as Isabel took a booth halfway back. Maria finished bussing the dirty tables and scooped up an order for a customer, dropping it off on the way to take Isabel's order. When she arrived at the booth Isabel was absorbed in a book. "Twice in one day?", Maria asked. "We may have to put your name in for customer of the week! What can I get you Iz?"

Isabel looked up, her eyes twinkling, and spoke. "Nothing out of ordinary. A cherry coke, a Will Smith with pepper jack, a side order of Tabasco...and oh yes, set Liz Parker up for the kill?"

Maria snorted. "I thought you were simply going to wait for an opportunity?"

Isabel rolled her eyes. "So I'm jumping the gun. The suspense is killing me. And after all, they say that 'God helps those who help themselves', don't they?"

Maria chuckled softly. "So what's the plan?"

Isabel glanced up and saw Liz had come out of the back and was studying them from behind the counter. "I'll tell you when you bring my order. We have hours before 'the main event', and us being too chummy might make our intended prey suspicious."

Maria hesitated. "She's looking at us?"

Isabel frowned fiercely. "Yup. Now look harassed and abused." Raising her voice Isabel said loudly, "..and make sure the burger is *done* this time!"

Maria bowed and spoke sardonically, "Yes oh Queen Amidala", then stalked away in a seeming huff.

Isabel scowled after her. She spared Liz a glance and noticed her worried look. She pretended to return to her book. "Trust Liz, even wounded herself, to be concerned enough about her friends to want to play peacemaker", she thought. Isabel felt remorse at being so manipulative. A relatively new phenomenon for her. One she had others to thank for. Liz for not letting Isabel's initial bullying chase her away from Max. Alex for not writing her off for being a bitch. Lately Maria for forgiving Isabel's former haughtiness enough to let her start mending fences. And finally Max, her stubborn brother, for starting it all. Isabel shook herself and resumed reading. So far she was getting nothing useful, but it was something to pass the time.

20 Minutes later

Maria stalked towards Isabel like a cat with it's back up. Placing Isabel's order in front of her Maria spoke. "One charcoal special, hold the taste!" The in a quieter tone she spoke while maintaining her frown and posture. "Now what?"

Isabel scowled and appeared the speak vehemently, if quietly. "I'm staying until close. I contacted Brody and got him to keep Max past midnight at work, then tell him I'm here and that I need a ride. That will give us about an hour or two to work our magic on Liz before Max walks in." Then she added loudly, "You forgot the Tabasco again!"

Maria winked then settled her face into a scowl and stormed away, returning in a few seconds with a bottle of tabasco sauce which she slammed down on the table. "Here you are! It matches your 'tude!" Then she added in a near mutter, "Okay, I'll clue Michael. After that we'll simply wait for you. By the way, you took a chance there announcing the tabasco thing to the world."

Isabel mock glared and said, "If Alex taught me one thing it was that life is too short to *one* take chances." Then returning to her arguing voice she said, "Okay, now get lost and let me eat in peace!"

Maria started to turn away, then turned back. "Um, if 'you know who' asks, we're fighting because Michael and I are too touchy feelie in public." Then louder she said, "For this sort of abuse, you'd better be a good tipper!" Then she swept away.

Isabel put her book aside and began to eat. And think. If she and Maria could keep the tension going for a few hours, Liz was almost certain to let her curiosity get the better of her. She would start to probe for what was wrong, trying to help. Then they would have *are* in a position where she could hardly escape. She would have to accept *that* help. It wasn't exactly a perfect plan, but as 'fly by the seat of your pants' ambush therapy went it was as good as she could do.

"Besides," she thought, "Liz and Max are both too pigheaded stubborn for any other approach to work."

10:00 PM Closing time at The Crashdown...

Liz Parker was concerned. Worried in fact. She glanced at what she privately labeled The E.T. Booth where Isabel Evans sat, seemingly absorbed in a book.. It was the booth that their resident aliens habitually used. Early on Isabel had made it clear that she was waiting for Max to get off work and give her a ride home. So, when Liz locked the front doors, she had let Isabel stay where she was. The problem seemed to be that her booth was in the same county as Maria DeLuca. As Liz watched, Isabel shot another glare towards the booth near the waitress station where Maria and Michael were holding hands and having a quiet conversation, punctuated by occasional laughter.

While Isabel and Maria had never been fast friends, Liz had thought that Alex's death and the events since had let them come to some sort of terms with each other. But that seemed to be a fading memory tonight. From the hints that Maria dropped tonight, Liz assumed that Isabel was having issues over Michael and Maria's public displays of affection. Which seemed pretty irrational for Isabel. Which meant that there were other issues involved. "Could Isabel be jealous?" Liz wondered. She bit her lip in indecision as she wiped down the last of the lunch counter.

Maria laughed aloud from where she was sitting with Michael, drawing a look from Isabel that could only be called murderous. That's all it took. Enough was enough. It was bad enough that she and Max were suffering from issues of the past. She wasn't about to see the rest of their little "family" suffer too. Not when she could try to do something. Tossing the rag in the lunch counter sink, she shed her apron, and rounded the counter heading for Isabel. This did not go unnoticed. The same thought went through both Isabel's and Maria's minds simultaneously. "Finally!"

Isabel looked up in mock surprise as Liz approached her booth. "It took her long enough!" Isabel thought. "I thought I was going to have to keep trolling all night!"

Isabel thought that she'd overdone it with that last glare, bordering on homicidal fury. But it had worked. And that's what counted. She caught the momentary look of determination on Liz's face before Liz smoothed it over into a mask of bland innocence. Internally Isabel snickered. Despite the fact that this game was intended to help Liz, Isabel was enjoying herself. It had been a long time since she'd been this devious. Isabel slapped a mask of equally bland innocence on her face as Liz slid into the booth across from her.

"Poor Liz thinks she's the hunter here, when actually she's the hunted," Isabel thought. "She and that pigheaded brother of mine!" She waited calmly for Liz's opening gambit.

Liz cleared her throat and sought for an opening to start the conversation. Glancing at the title of the book that Isabel had closed when Liz sat down, she found it. "The Psychology of Dreams?" she inquired. "Why that?"

Isabel was momentarily discomfited by how close that came to her own trauma, but snapped back and smiled. "Um, because I couldn't find 'The Psychology of Alien Dreams' in print", she responded.

Liz giggled for a moment then regarded Isabel solemnly. "Isabel, I'd have to be an idiot to miss the vibe in here tonight. Maria is my friend, and I'd like to think that you are too after all we've been through together. I hate seeing you two like this. If you want to talk, I'll listen."

Isabel was elated. "Gotcha!" she thought.

As children, when Max, Michael, and Isabel had realized that they were different, they had experimented to find the limits of their powers. One of the things that they had experimented with was telepathy. The results were disappointing. Hit and miss. They could communicate, sort of, almost, halfway. But it came more in the form of feelings rather than words. And only when strong emotions were involved. Hence it wasn't particularly useful. So they had, for the most part, left that talent unused. Until now. Isabel drew on her elation, focused on Michael, and sent one word; hoping for the best. It was simply, "NOW!"

Down at the end of the row of booths Michael jumped as the word slammed into his mind. He looked up, caught Isabel's eye, and nodded. Standing up quietly he kissed Maria's hand, then he pulled her to her feet, and headed towards Isabel and Liz with Maria in tow. Liz's back was to them, and they were so quiet that Liz was unaware of them until Maria slid into the booth next to her, forcing her to scoot over towards the wall, and neatly trapping her. Isabel made room for Michael as he slid in next to her.

Liz jumped as Maria slid in next to her. Something wasn't right here. The look passing between Maria and Isabel at the moment was anything but tense. If anything it looked like triumph tempered with fear. Liz looked at Michael for help, but his solemn gaze gave away nothing.

"Okay," she said, "what's going on here?" Regarding Maria with puzzlement Liz said, "You and Isabel have had this hostility thing going all night. What's up?"

Maria couldn't help herself. She grinned. "And you wanted to help didn't you Chica? That's what we counted on. Or rather, what Isabel counted on. Michael and I were just the bit players."

Liz looked even more puzzled. "So you two aren't fighting?"

Maria's grin widened. "Isabel?" she said.

"Yes?" Isabel shot back.

Maria responded with, "I forgive you for acting like an arrogant twit. Do you forgive me for being a slobbering hussy?"

Isabel chuckled. "Of course girlfriend," she said. "Slobber on Michael all you like." Then she winked. "Of course I reserve the right to be an arrogant twit anytime I happen to feel like it!"

Maria laughed and nodded. "If you didn't, I'd worry!.

Liz, was startled. It appeared that not only weren't Maria and Isabel fighting, but that they were a lot closer than even Liz had suspected. Which led her to the further conclusion that she had been the butt of some sort of practical joke. A small core of anger began to grow in her. "So this was all for *my* benefit? Why all the play acting? Surely you can't be so bored that you need to pull something like this?!"

Both Isabel and Maria winced at Liz's harsh tone. Isabel moved quickly to head Liz off at the emotional pass. "Liz, how did you feel when you watched us carry on all night?"

Liz huffed. "How do you think I felt?! Worried is how I felt! I care about you two." Then she glanced at Michael.. "I mean you three. Though now I'm not so sure why!" Liz stopped herself and swept her eyes across all three of them. "What affects any of us affects all of us, and I wanted to fix it if I could! Is that a
crime?!"

Isabel sighed, smiled, and spoke quietly.. "No Liz, it isn't. But it *is* a lesson. Because now you know how *we've* felt watching you and Max the last six months."

Liz was struck dumb. Her anger completely deflated.

Isabel took full advantage of Liz's derailment. "Liz, it's been about a year since whatever happened to separate you two started. And in that time we've watched you and Max walk through your waking hours like zombies. And it just keeps getting worse. And it will go on getting worse until you both clear the air! About everything. What you did. What he did. And if need be, what *we* did!" Isabel drew a deep breath. "You had it right. What affects some of us affects all of us. On a certain level, we five are a family now. And we love you." Isabel stumbled over the unaccustomed intimacy. "You and Max need this. We all need this! He isn't here, so start with us! Talk to us! Let us 'fix it' before it breaks you completely!" Isabel paused, out of breath.

Liz was speechless, her mouth hanging open. A single tear traced a track down her right cheek. She shook her head. "I can't", she choked out. "You can't possibly know...."

Isabel cut her off. "We *what* to know."

Liz looked terrified. That 'deer in the headlights' look. Only it wasn't an ordinary car bearing down on her. It was a main battle tank.

The sound of a clearing throat broke the tableau. All three girls snapped their eyes towards Michael. He blushed in an unaccustomed manner and cleared his throat again. "Liz, you and Max were and are sort of the parents in this crazy little family of ours. You had to be strong for us. Let us be strong for you now. We can take it." Glancing at Maria. "Um, I don't know if this helps, but you forgot something when you spilled it to Maria. The flashes. I already know most of what she knows."

Liz stared him in utter horror then jumped as he reached across the table to grasp her hands in his. This wasn't what she would have expected from Michael! "Listen Liz, you were strong enough to do what you did. To place us ahead of yourself and Max. To place the whole planet ahead of yourself and Max. You're strong enough to do this. Max deserves to know what sort of woman he has on his hands." Michael eyes glinted with a bit of mischief. "And Isabel deserves to know exactly how much guts her future sister-in-law has."

Liz's mouth dropped open again and she flushed a shade of red that was frankly impossible this side of a special effects lab.

Liz wasn't the only one at the table that was seeing a new side to Michael. Isabel stared at him and thought, "Well I'll be damned! I didn't know he had it in him! Maria certainly *has* been good for him! The old 'stone face' Michael would *never* have engaged is this sort of gooey dialog." Isabel knew a winning hand when she saw one, and elected to keep her mouth shut. Michael's unaccustomed directness and sincerity could succeed where any amount of pleading from her would fail. Whatever was happening/had happened/was going to happen, it went beyond a broken romance. "The whole planet...?" Isabel wondered.

Maria had never been prouder of Michael than she was at that moment. This was purely him, with no coaching from her. "What has he been doing when I leave him alone in that roach motel he calls an apartment? Watching Oprah instead of ESPN and MTV?" she mused. Maria beamed at Michael as he held Liz's eyes with a frank and honest gaze. "One way or another, Space Boy doesn't know it yet, but he's going to get *very* lucky tonight!" she thought.

Liz was trembling violently. So much so that all three of her friends began to be concerned. She gulped, gripped Michael's hands tightly, and slowly the tremors subsided, but they didn't go away entirely. Her friends couldn't know it, but her shivering wasn't fear induced. Instead, it had much in common with the
trembling of long over-burdened muscles after a great weight has been lifted from them. She had made her decision. And the sense of relief was so intense that it was almost physical. And her reaction to it *was* physical. It was time.

Liz glanced at Maria who smiled and nodded encouragement as she reached out and laid her delicate hands atop Michael's hands where they still gripped Liz's. Isabel reached out and joined hers to theirs. It was back. That old feeling. 'One for all and all for one'.

Liz swallowed and worked her shoulders to loosen them, then released Michael's hands to grasp Isabel's. Turning to face Isabel she spoke. "This is mostly for you since you're the one that's mostly in the dark here, though it may fill in some holes for Maria and Michael. Just let me talk, and hold any questions until I'm done." She swallowed convulsively and released Isabel's hands long enough to take a sip of the partially full water glass that Isabel still had at the table. She then returned to her death grip on Isabel's hands. "Is that okay?"

Isabel was scared now. A little frightened of what she was to learn tonight. Scared of what the hell could crush Liz Parker so completely that it made her sound plaintive. "Do it any way you want Liz," Isabel said. "We're listening."

Liz turned her gaze towards their joined hands and began to speak in a low dull uninflected monotone. She spoke of visiting the medium and her joy upon learning that Max would choose her over duty and Tess. Of Future Max and his arrival. Of how he had convinced her of who he was, where he had come from, and how he had gotten here. Of his knowledge of the future and it's consequences. Of her, as yet unrealized, marriage to Max. Of the Invasion of 2014 and the Fall of Earth. Of Isabel's and Michael's deaths at the hands of the skins. Of the conclusions that Max's future self had drawn, and the desperate plan which he and her future self had arrived at as the only way to prevent this catastrophe.

Isabel listened with growing horror as she spoke of how Future Max had convinced her and gained her commitment to what had to be done. Isabel's hands clinched hers tighter as she went through the steps they took to try and force Max to turn away from her. And she culminated with her 'wedding dance' in which Future Max vanished from her arms, and the crushing despair that came as she realized that she was, and would be ever after...alone.

Liz looked up at Isabel expecting to see pity in her eyes. To her surpass there was none. What *was* there was admiration and grief. Liz closed her eyes and allowed two tears to leak out. This had been the easy part. What came next would be the hard part, and for that she would have to look Isabel in the eyes. She didn't look forward to seeing the emotions in those eyes morph into rage and hate. But she had to finish what had begun here. No more halfway. It was now all or nothing.

Opening her eyes she locked gazes with Isabel and began to speak again. Of her ambivalence about her choice. Of knowing in her head that it was the right thing. And knowing in her heart that it was wrong. Utterly wrong. She spoke of sending mixed signals, of accepting and rejecting Max at the prom. Crushing him yet again. Something that left him open to Tess. Leading directly to the travesty of their 'lovemaking'. She spoke of the conflict with Max after Alex was murdered. Of his aggression and panic, and of her anger, fear, and determination. At the time they were more like enemies than friends. They were certainly strangers to each other. And above all else she spoke of the pain that the estrangement had brought.

Then she paused for a long moment, taking another sip of water. It was the moment of truth. Isabel's eyes still held hers with admiration. This was going to hurt. A lot.

"There's one more thing you need to know," Liz said. "Tess may have killed Alex, but *I* caused his death."

She closed her eyes and waited. No outbursts followed her guilty plea. No outrage or anger. When she opened her eyes, they were all looking at her with expectant puzzlement.

She sighed and began in detail. "When Future Max told me about our wedding, which would have taken place a little over a year from now, he told me that we were married in Vegas. And that to celebrate, you three came to meet us....with Alex. In the original timeline, before I changed it, Alex lived. In this one *because* I changed it, Alex died." Liz pulled her hands away from Isabel's and began to cry. "I might as well have killed him myself."

Maria was sobbing openly and pulled Liz into her arms, sharing the grief with her again. Michael was simply struck dumb. Maria hadn't known this, so he hadn't learned of it...until now. He stood, rounded the table and yanked both girls up into a rough hug.

Isabel however stared at Liz in undisguised horror. Though not for the reasons that Liz assumed. She grew whiter and whiter, and felt an unfamiliar sensation in her body. It was almost like...like...like....and with that Isabel slapped a hand to her mouth and ran for the bathroom. She made it. Barely. Thus Isabel Evans took another step into the world of humanity as she was violently ill for the first time in her life.
Last edited by Kzinti_Killer on Sun Feb 19, 2006 9:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Kzinti_Killer » Mon Feb 24, 2003 6:57 am

Title: Still Yours
Author: KK
Disclaimer: The characters that count in this do not belong to me in any way shape or form. I simply borrowed them from someone else's toy box.
Category: Crossover Roswell/Highlander A/I +CC
Rating: MATURE shifting to ADULT later on.



STILL YOURS - Part 4b
(Catharsis)

Maria broke from the hug and ran after her while Michael continued to hold Liz. Eventually the pitiful sounds from the bathroom quieted to be replaced by the noise of running water. Maria came back to the table and retrieved a tiny bottle of herbal mouthwash from her purse, gave them both a hug and a kiss, then returned to the bathroom.

Liz stood quietly locked in Michael's arms, unwilling to let go of even the tiniest shred of comfort. She heard the bathroom door open, and footsteps approaching. Isabel's reaction to her admission had already told her that some of the worst of her fears were true. Isabel now hated her. "Here it comes," she thought. A hand touched her arm. She refused to turn.

Isabel spoke. "Liz?

Liz flinched at the hoarseness in Isabel's voice.

"Liz, look at me please?" Isabel requested.

Michael loosened his hold on her and stepped back, leaving Liz no choice but to turn and face her fears. Maria moved to join Michael as Liz turned towards Isabel. But she couldn't make herself look up. She couldn't look Isabel in the eyes.

Isabel reached out and stroked Liz's hair gently. This was *not* the reaction Liz had been expecting. Liz shuddered again and began to hope. Isabel's hand cupped her chin and forced her to look up. What she saw in Isabel's eyes wasn't rage. It wasn't hate. And it wasn't pity either. It was empathy. Shared pain.

The puzzlement in Liz's mind must have shown on her face, because Isabel smiled. "You expected me to hate you, didn't you?"

Liz couldn't speak, but simply nodded jerkily.

Isabel sighed. "What you didn't realize is that we're two of a kind, you and I. All these months and I never realized that we were living in adjoining rooms in the same sort of purgatory."

Liz frowned. "What exactly do you mean Iz?"

Isabel closed her eyes and took a deep breath. It was her turn now. "After Tess and our 'Destiny' arrived on our doorstep, we pulled back from you. You, Maria, and Alex." Isabel looked at Michael. "Some of us more than others."

Michael winced. Maria saw it, hugged him harder and made comforting noises, then she gestured for Isabel to go on.

Isabel returned her eyes to Liz. "I for one was glad of it in my own tight-assed selfish way. I'd always tried to distance myself from normal humans. That distance was my armor. My shield. I *was* the Ice Queen. And Tess gave me an excuse to go back to what I knew best. To where I felt safe and confident. To being an alien marooned in a world of"....Isabel swallowed...."lesser creatures."

Isabel dropped her hand from Liz's chin to Liz's own hand and pulled her towards their booth. As they sat down Michael moved to join them, but Maria went behind the counter and rounded up some drinks for everyone. Once she returned and sat down, they were back where they had been before. Everyone paused to settle with their thirst. All this trauma had left them feeling like they'd spent a day in the desert. Through all this Isabel never
released Liz's hand, and now she looked at her steadily and continued on.

"As children, Max, Michael, and I all dealt with our sense of isolation differently. With Max it came out as simple loneliness. With Michael it was rebellion and alienation." Michael cleared his throat and looked uncomfortable. Maria snuggled close to him and he drew strength from her. Isabel smiled and nodded to them both. No more alienation. She turned her eyes back to Liz. "For me it came out as ego. Smugness. I could do things that humans couldn't, so I was better than them. It never occurred to me that being different didn't make you a better person. Being a better person makes you a better person. I was clueless. Until Max saved you and started this whole chain of events in motion. First you. Then Maria." Isabel's voice hitched slightly and she swallowed against a lump in her throat. "And finally there was Alex."

"Once you all were in our lives I had my nose rubbed in the fact that I had been missing something vital about life. That we weren't humans, Antarians, hybrids, or whatever. We were all people. And you were better at the 'people' thing than I was. All of you. Liz, you lied for us, fought for us, protected us, and put yourself on the line for us again and again. And Maria"....Isabel sighed and shot an apologetic glance at Maria who smiled her forgiveness..." I tried to terrorize into silence. When I was afraid that she would cave under Valenti's questioning I invaded her dreams to pressure her into silence. I tried to be menacing when we were awake. And she kept silent. Not because of my pressure, but in spite of it. She overcame her own fear *and* the fear I tried to induce in her, and kept silent. Because she had the empathy to understand what it was like to be us."

"I was forced to examine myself against you two, and I found myself wanting. I didn't like it. And finally, just when I thought that my self esteem couldn't take any more, Alex came along. Up until you and he came into our lives, my attitude let me use boys as playthings. I was Isabel Evans, the Ice Queen, the Golden Goddess, the envy of every girl, and the desire of every boy. It was my right to do as I pleased. To manipulate and use humans with impunity. Only our parents escaped my disdain... because they were special. Or so I thought. I couldn't see the double standard until Alex came along. He was special too. He was attracted to me of course, every boy seems to be sooner or later." Michael snorted with amusement and Isabel shot him a quelling glance. "But in his case it wasn't the exterior packaging that held his attention. That *got* his attention, but it wasn't enough to hold it. He wanted what was inside. He saw past the haughty shield to the frightened insecure woman child within. And he loved her anyway. Warts and all. Unconditionally."

Isabel paused and swallowed again. "And he scared the hell out of me. Because I loved him back. Suddenly one of the 'lesser creatures' was more important to me than myself. More important than a ride to a home I'd never known. More important finding those answers we'd been yearning after all our lives. And it scared me. It exhilarated me, but at the same time made me more insecure. It was impossible to be 'business as usual' with Alex around, though God knows I tried. I was on unfamiliar territory and I hated it, even as I loved him. So, when Tess gave me an excuse to bolt, I jumped on it with both feet. I pulled back. And then it got even scarier, because I treated him like dirt and he kept loving me. I made dates in front of him and he kept on caring. Even after I thought that he was done with me for good, he was still in tune with me. After he passed on taking me to the prom, I went to him and pleaded. And he caved. Because he still loved me. In fact I think it was love that killed him in the end. I think that when he finally awoke to the fact that I actually wanted *him*, Tess' control began to slip. It was love that broke him free, forcing Tess to try and reassert control again. And it killed him."

Isabel paused and studied Liz. Silent tears were tracing a path down her cheeks, but her face and eyes spoke of the old Liz. The lioness who had been there for them through everything. It was going to be all right. But there was still unfinished business. Liz sensed it and nodded for her to go on. Isabel sighed and took a cleansing breath before speaking again. "The thing is that, through it all, once Tess gave me a reason to pull away, I never dream walked Alex again. Never tried to bond with him. Even as a friend. I never let him get close enough to bring my feelings for him out into the open. Because that's what I feared most. Losing control of the situation. So I left him, isolated and defenseless. And when Tess started looking for a puppet to mind warp, there he was. The perfect pawn. One who knew about us and cared about us, but yet was isolated from us. I might as well have served him up to her on a platter with an apple in his mouth."

Liz's heart broke as she looked at Isabel. Iz had been right, so terribly right. They had both been living in the house that guilt built. So she was hardly surprised when Isabel reprised Liz's own feelings by saying.."I might as well have killed him myself." Liz squeezed her hand and smiled. "Neither of us killed him Isabel. But we both miss him. We both loved him in our different ways. And he loved us. Let's remember *that* from now on instead of the rest of it. Deal?"

Isabel gave her a tremulous smile. "Deal!"

Maria sighed and then spoke. "Y'know people, this is the first time in a year I've felt like we were clean. But it leaves us with the question, where do we go from here?"

Isabel gave her a wan smile. "No where yet. We have some unfinished business...." And with that, as if on cue, Isabel's cell phone began to trill in her purse. Fishing around for a moment she pulled it out and answered it. "Hello?"

Brody's rich accents were unmistakable. "Isabel, what the bloody hell are you up to over there?!!"

Isabel pulled back from the phone and looked at it in surprise. Returning it to her ear she spoke. "What do you mean?"

Brody made an exasperated sound. "I mean what are you lot doing to Liz?! Max has been climbing the walls over here for nearly an hour. He says that he's 'feeling' her, like their bond is coming back to life. And he's getting vague feelings and images from her. Terrible ones, full of turmoil and pain. It's been all I can do to keep him from charging to her rescue! I managed it by telling him that you were with her and that you *would* have called had anything actually been wrong. But that isn't going to last much longer. He's ready to chew his own leg off to get to her!"

Isabel glanced at her watch. It read 11:40. All this in only an hour and 40 minutes. It had felt like days. She sighed and said, "Hang on a minute." She held the phone to her chest and addressed Liz. "Sweetie, your unfinished business is going to come charging through that door any minute. Are you up for it?"

Liz turned pale. "Isabel, I don't think I can talk about all this again. Not now. I'm completely exhausted!"

Isabel looked at her quizzically. "Liz, I don't think that's going to be an issue here. Brody says that Max is practically tearing the place apart with worry. Your bond, or link, or metaphysical whatever it is, has become active again. I assume that's because you've decided to let everything out." Liz's hands flew to her mouth as Isabel continued. "Anyway, some of what you've been carrying around is reaching Max, and he's in a panic to reach *you*. I'd say, just kiss him and let nature take it's course. At this point I'd say it's unavoidable anyway."

Liz closed her eyes, took a deep breath and nodded. Then she slid from the booth and stood on trembling legs to wait. Maria slid out behind her, took the keys from Liz, and unlocked the front door. Then she returned to Liz's side, stood with her, and slid a comforting arm around her shoulders in support. Michael rose and gave them both a hug then moved around them to stand behind Liz. Perhaps to cover her back. Or perhaps he expected her to bolt. Either way, he was there for her, as she had been there for them.

Isabel raised the phone as she slid from the booth to join Michael. "Okay Brody, cut him loose. We're ready here". When Brody asked the inevitable question, Isabel answered in the affirmative. "Yep, mission accomplished. Okay, talk to you later." Isabel hung up the cell and stood waiting with the rest of them. "One way or another, this will be settled tonight. And thanks be to God for that!" she thought.


Across the street at The UFO Museum...

Brody hung up the phone and walked out of his office to where Max was pacing in the partially dismantled alien autopsy exhibit. As he approached, Max halted his pacing and looked at Brody expectantly. Brody smiled and spoke. "Okay Max, go to her. And good luck!" The last words were unnecessary, since he was addressing a Max shaped hole in the air as soon as the word 'Okay' was out of his mouth. Scarcely a second later he heard the front door slam as Max hit it going full tilt. Brody smiled to himself and followed in Max's wake to lock up. After that he had work to do in the office.

Seconds later at The Crashdown...

Max ran as if pursued by Furies. He hit the front door of the Crashdown without slowing then slammed to a stop as he took in the scene before him. Over the last hour and more he'd been getting an incredible mix of emotions from Liz. Fear, resignation, elation, loss, love, grief, hope, loneliness, pity all blended together in an incredible melange. He'd never felt anything remotely like it before in his life. The crew were all there. Maria, Michael, and his sister were there, ranged around Liz. His gaze swept their faces looking for some hint of what the hell had been going on here.

Isabel simply smiled cryptically and nodded. Michael, as usual, was sphinx like. Maria was simply beaming. This could be good. Finally his eyes came to rest on Liz. She looked so scared that his heart broke. But she had something else in her face that he hadn't seen there in what seemed like forever. Determination. This was the old Liz. This could be very good.

Time slowed. Liz stared at Max for what felt like an eternity. He was still out of breath from his breakneck sprint from the Museum. His face looked wild. She wondered what he'd been getting from their link that put him in that state, then felt a pang as she went over a buffet of possibilities. No, this wasn't going to be easy. "But then nothing worthwhile ever is," she thought.

Maria dropped her arm from around Liz's shoulders and stood away. This was between Liz and Max.

Max spoke, a hopeful inquiry. "Liz?"

Liz advanced slowly towards him on wobbly legs, stopping barely a hand span away and placed a hand on his chest to steady herself. To Max it felt like fire. Good fire. The sort that warmed you through without burning you. Liz studied his face. The same face that had visited her dreams every night since he'd patched that bullet hole below her ribs. She was re-memorizing every plane and curve.

Max spoke again, this time with worry. "Liz?"

When she finally spoke it was with a low halting voice. "Max, a lot has happened with me the last year, with us, that you don't know about. And it's been keeping us apart. I'm tired of it. I'm tired of hiding things, and being apart. I want to be with you again. All the way with you. But before that can happen you have to know. All of it." She looked at him beseechingly. "I'm ready to give you the truth, if you're ready to handle it." Then she looked away and leaned into him. Sliding her arms inside of his jacket and around his chest.

Max's breath hitched as he swallowed hard. This was it. What he'd been waiting and hoping for, for a year. He looked over the top of Liz's head as her cheek rubbed against his chest. Michael was sporting that infamous half smile of his, what passed for a full out grin for him. And Maria looked ready to implode. Isabel's smile was no longer cryptic. Instead it was exultant. Triumphant. She winked. The wheels in Max's mind started to turn. Obviously Isabel and the others had been working on Liz. Brody asking him to stay late. The phone call from the museum office. Brody cutting him loose right afterwards. Setup. Fait accompli. Max couldn't think of anything else to do but send her a grin of acceptance and thanks. Then he turned his attention back to matters at hand.

Pulling back slightly he lifted Liz's chin so he could see her eyes, and spoke. "Yes."

Liz frowned. "Yes what?", she queried.

Max smiled. "To anything. To everything. I want it. I can take it. I need it."

Liz sighed. "Then kiss me. Please?"

Max leaned in to kiss her, and she met him halfway. It had been forever, so their urgency quotient was near red line. So there were none of the tentative preliminaries of the past. Her mouth opened immediately taking the kiss from tender to rugged in the first instants. Nor was Max far behind her. They both eased for a second, drew a deep breath, and then they took the plunge. It took only a heartbeat for their reawakened connection to flare to full life, after that point the flashes were unavoidable.

FLASH~

Liz on her patio with someone who looked like himself..

FLASH~

Liz and his older self spying on Tess and himself....

FLASH~

Liz awkwardly climbing into bed with Kyle while his older self hid in the bathroom...

Nor was the traffic all one way. Liz began to receive images from Max.

FLASH~

Liz leaving him at the cave...

FLASH~

Liz in bed with Kyle...

FLASH~

Max making love to Tess, and cursing his own weakness afterwards...

But it wasn't coming fast enough. It had been denied for too long. *They* had been denied for too long. Just when they didn't think they could possibly get any closer, they did. The avalanche of emotion was too great. The longing too intense. Something gave. Something snapped. A barrier crumbled. And they merged. Like two drops of water they became one. It wasn't a flash. It was *FUSION*. It was the most poignant moment that either had ever known, and they were experiencing it for the first time as one individual. They knew each other. He knew her self-sacrifice and bravery. She knew his longing and uncertainty. And they knew that their whole was greater than the sum of it's parts. Thoughts. Memories. Feelings. Hopes. Desires. It was all there. Neither could hide anything. It was agony. It was ecstasy. And they couldn't hold it forever.


Isabel watched Liz and her brother kiss, then kiss more deeply. As her brother shuddered she guessed that the flashes had started. It was such an intimate moment that she had to look away. She met Maria's eyes, for Maria had the same idea, and grinned. They dove into their own congratulatory hug.

Maria laughed as she pulled away. "Are we good, or what?"

Isabel chuckled. "Now we have to work on Jim Valenti and your mom."

Maria laughed and slapped at Isabel. "Don't speak heresy, girl. Besides, I don't think they need any prodding. A bucket of cold water maybe....." A throat clearing got their attention.

Michael said, "Umm, ladies? Not to interrupt the high fiving, but take a look at the happy couple."

Both girls turned and drew a startled breath. They had all heard about Max making Liz glow when they were on the trail of the first orb. But this time, both of them were leaving glow worm trails as their hands roamed each other. Max's jacket was in a heap on the floor. It had been in the way, and the two lovers had dispensed with it in the first seconds. So Isabel watched with her mouth open as the glow followed Liz's hand down her brother's arm.

Maria gasped. "Um, there's a whole lot of glowing there, and I don't think that all of it is following their hands."
Last edited by Kzinti_Killer on Mon Apr 18, 2005 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Kzinti_Killer » Mon Feb 24, 2003 9:38 am

Title: Still Yours
Author: KK
Disclaimer: The characters that count in this do not belong to me in any way shape or form. I simply borrowed them from someone else's toy box.
Category: Crossover Roswell/Highlander A/I +CC
Rating: MATURE shifting to ADULT later on.



STILL YOURS - Part 4c
(Catharsis)

Sure enough, there were other trails, merging and diverging from the ones that their hands were leaving. As they watched the trails merged and expanded to become a corona surrounding the two lovers. Both Max and Liz started to sag as their knees gave way, but they never lost their grip on each other. Their lips never parted. The auroral glow intensified.

Michael cleared his throat again. "Girls, I don't know about you, but I'm thinking that Maria's bucket of cold water might be in order here."

Isabel held up her hand. "No, whatever is happening here, let's just let it take it's course. Besides, it might be dangerous to try and separate them. And I have a funny feeling that they wouldn't thank us for it anyway." "And besides," she thought, "it's our own fault if this is going wrong. We set it up."

At that moment the threshold was reached. Neither Liz's, nor Max's stamina could sustain them any longer. The light flared, and went out. But, as with all milestone moments, nothing is the same afterwards. As they pulled back they maintained their grip on one another. They could do nothing else. Had they let go completely they would have both fallen over. Liz immediately began to cry. Isabel and Maria rushed forward to lift them to their feet and help them into chairs.

Liz's crying jag passed quickly. Looking at Max, all she could summon up was, "Wow".

Max's first attempt at speech was equally eloquent with a profound, "Uh huh."

"Are you okay Chica?", Maria asked.

Liz gulped and nodded. When she spoke her voice sounded rusty. "I think so, though if I live to be a thousand, I don't think I'll ever be able to describe *that* experience well enough to do it justice."

Isabel looked at Max and raised an eyebrow.

Max nodded. "I'd say that covers it, Iz. You had to be there."

Michael chimed in. "Screw that, what happened, and are you two okay?"

Max looked at Liz, and when she nodded it was backed up by a warm hum of assent in his mind. "If what we felt is anything to go by we didn't just get flashes. We merged."

"Merged?" Maria's voice came out in a squeak.

"Yes merged," Liz said. "I think that we'd been apart so long, and the emotional overload was so great, that it was the only way." She looked at Max for support. "Or something like that...," she trailed off.

Max sighed, "We're off into the 'Twilight Zone' here. I don't know if this is the norm for us or not. And, to be honest, I don't care. I'm tired of second guessing and what ifs. Liz and I needed to resolve some things. They're resolved now." He paused with some trepidation. "Aren't they?"

Liz smiled. "Yes, they are. Absolutely."

Again, Max felt the hum of assent, stronger this time.

Max frowned. His eyes narrowed and he focused on Liz and let the puzzlement in his mind rise to the surface. Liz's eyes twinkled, she shrugged indicating a bemusement not far less than his own, then nodded. Isabel's voice interrupted his self examination. "MAX!" Max snapped back from Never Never Land.

"Are you sure that you're okay? she asked. "You started to zone out for a second."

Max nodded. "Yeah Iz, I...I mean *we* are okay. More okay than we've been in months." He yawned. "Right now though, it's almost midnight, and I'm beat. That whatever it was really takes it out of you. I'd like to have some alone time with my girlfriend before I fall over...if no one minds?"

Michael seemed less than satisfied, but Maria wasn't having any nonsense tonight. They had waited too long and worked too hard for this moment, and Max and Liz would have it to themselves! "Let's go Spaceboy! They have lost time to make up for and I have something I want to talk to you about!" She leaned up and whispered warmly in his ear.

Michael flushed faintly and muttered what sounded like, "insatiable".

Maria giggled and started dragging him towards the door, stopping only to turn and toss the door keys to Liz. "You want a ride, Iz?" she asked.

Isabel nodded. "Hang on, I'll be right with you." Turning to Max and Liz she said, "Sorry about all the sneaky manipulation kids, but it was the only way to break the log jam."

Max hugged her and grinned. "What ever works Isabel, and this certainly did. But we all need to make a pact." He paused to look at Liz. "No more secrets." Liz flushed. Max gave his sister a kiss and released her so that she could give Liz a quick hug. At that the Jetta pulled up in front and stood waiting.

Isabel turned and headed out the door feeling that, for the first time in a very long time, they were almost whole again. It felt good.

Max and Liz stood watching as Maria's car pulled away then turned to each other. After they had studied each other's face for a moment Max sighed and spoke. "Well, alone at last."

Liz smiled uncertainly. "Max, I don't know what you felt, but I don't think that either of us will be truly one hundred percent alone ever again."

Again came the hum in Max's mind. This time it was simply one over riding emotion. Love. He gulped. "No, I don't think so. Though how you can feel like that after everything..."

She cut him off with two fingers on his lips. "Hush. Now we can go on about who did what to whom. Who owes who what apologies....and then grovel to make said apologies. Or we can revel in this. I vote for revel."

Max grinned. "No argument Love. Reveling it is." He frowned briefly. "But tomorrow is another day, and there are issues to deal with."

Liz hugged him. "We'll handle it. I can handle anything, now."

Max looked down at her and grinned. "So, now what? I'm not leaving. Is there anything left to do down here?"

Liz pulled away and walked to the door to re-lock it. "Nope," she said. "Our band of happy plotters helped me finish up while we were waiting for you. So it's lights out for me."

Max's grin broadened. "Sooooo, at this hour I hardly think that your parents would take it well if we just walk upstairs, into your bedroom, and close the door."

Liz snorted. "What makes you think that you're getting into my bedroom buster?"

Max smirked. "I don't, but it's the most direct route to your patio. However, if you're suggesting...."

"Nothing!" she cut him off with a blush.

Max rolled his eyes. "Okay, plan B. You take the low road and I'll take the high road. Betcha I'm up the ladder before you're up the stairs." With that he broke for the door.

"Wait," Liz said, "I locked that!"

Max laughed. "So?"

He pressed his hand to the lock and it disengaged with a click. Stepping outside he re-engaged the lock the same way, smirked at Liz, and took off. Liz realized where he was headed, but had to take the stairs at a normal pace in the event that her folks were still awake. So she lost the bet.

She reached her room without incident, and he was there. Sprawled on her bed. She felt her blood start to race. It had been a while. It felt like several centuries in fact. "I thought you wanted to get to the patio?" she hissed quietly. He shrugged. "God," she thought, "he's even handsome when he shrugs. How could I have forgotten?"

Max smiled and answered, "Liz, I know what you're feeling. You know what I'm feeling. And now we both know what we've each felt throughout all this."

He was right too, the hum was back, and this time it was lust. Pure and simple. Max continued. "And while I'm not stupid enough to ask you to go for it right here with your folks at the other end of the hall, I didn't think that some serious cuddling was out of line. And besides, we're both too whipped to..um..do 'it' right."

Liz dropped her stuff and dashed into the bathroom to change. "Hold that thought!" she said. Emerging with her PJ's on she moved towards him showing a gentle smile. "Nope, you're right, I'd say that we're both seriously cuddling deficient. Move over!" She slid onto the bed. "And turn out the light!" The room plunged into darkness. Liz settled back into a spoon with Max and sighed as he kissed her neck. With her last coherent thought she reached out and snagged her alarm setting it for 4:30 AM. There was no point in getting busted by her parents. Then she settled back to sleep as she hadn't slept in a year. Contentedly. She was home. They were home.

Sunday....12:20 AM at the Evans Household....

Isabel went through her nightly preparations for bed with a goofy grin. Success! Maria had dropped her off a little after 12:00. The ride home had been boisterous to say the least. There had been an attempt by Michael to get a pool going on what time Max would leave Liz. But it turned out to be a dud, since no one thought that Max would be leaving Liz's side tonight. Then Michael had done the guy thing and tried to get them to bet on whether or not they would make love. Which had very nearly gotten him killed. After some bloodthirsty threats by the girls, and some profuse apologies by Michael, they had reached the Evans house. Isabel paused to kiss them both goodnight before heading inside, walking on air. Success! Finishing up with lotion, tooth brush, and apple blossom scented baby powder she flipped off the bathroom light and tiredly made her way to bed..

Now as she dropped onto her bed to let her adrenaline ramp down she decided that a few infomercials might be the very thing to help bore her to sleep. Rolling over to grab the remote for her TV she noticed something on the floor by the bed. Her yearbook. That, and the thought of sleep, brought her back to last night. And suddenly she wasn't certain that sleep was a good idea. She finished reaching for the remote on her bedside table and
clicked on the TV. After some channel surfing she settled on what looked like a biography on A&E. Laughing silently she thought, "Now I'm choosing programming to stay awake!" As she watched and struggled to stay awake her mind kept running over and over what had happened last night. On the one hand, she'd never dreamed a dream walk before. On the other hand, you can't dream walk a dead person. It had *felt* so *real*!

Isabel growled with frustration and tried to shove her thoughts aside. The A&E show was a biography on Arthur Conan Doyle. Cool! The creator of Sherlock Holmes! Alex would have liked this! Of course, thinking of Alex put her back on track, thinking of last night. There was so much they didn't know about their abilities! In fact only what Tess and Nasedo had told them, which may or may not have been the truth, and what they had learned themselves. And everything in her experience cried out that last night was something outside the normal nightmare. Like the music. It was something that Alex would like, for sure. But she had never associated it with him. Never heard him play it. And it certainly wasn't something she would have gone for herself. Correction. The old Isabel wouldn't have. The new Isabel probably would have, in time. But regardless, the Righteous Brothers currently had no place on her CD shelves. It was a like a dream walk. But it *couldn't* have been.

Isabel was getting drowsy, losing the battle against sleep, when a bit of dialogue from Conan Doyle seeped into her half-awake twilight mind. "Elementary Watson! Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains; however improbable, must be the truth." The line echoed and re-echoed in her mind, looking for someplace to land. For something to connect with. It found what it was looking for.

Isabel sat straight up. Wide awake. She had chills. Her heart was hammering. "...must be the truth." She never questioned her feelings, just went with them. She reached over the side of the bed and dragged the yearbook off the floor. Flipping it open to the dog eared page she sought, she drew a deep breath and placed her finger on his picture. She gasped as she saw the wave race across the picture. Did that mean that the improbable was possible? Was it because he *was* alive? Or was it just the application of her powers? She blinked tears away. One way or the other she would know by morning, if not sooner.

Isabel clicked off the TV after sending silent blessings to Sir Arthur, waved the light off, and tried to compose herself for sleep. It was a long time coming. Before it did, something occurred to her. If Alex *was* alive, he had neglected to make them aware of the fact. There were things about her 'dream' last that were troubling, like Alex's evident fear. But to not send any sort of word? However vague? Her eyes narrowed as she thought...
"Sweetheart, when and if I get my hands on you, I'm going to kiss you for a solid week. *Then* I am going to kick your ass so hard that you'll have to reach *up* to scratch yourself!" Isabel settled back and waited for sleep to come.

End of Part 4
Last edited by Kzinti_Killer on Mon Apr 18, 2005 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Dragons, Ogres, & Pretty Boy Lawyers Slain, Reasonable Rates, Call After 5:00 At 1-900-OhMyGodWhatWereTheyThinkingOf

"Fan fiction is a way of the culture repairing the damage done in a system where contemporary myths are owned by corporations instead of owned by the folk."
-- Henry Jenkins

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Post by Kzinti_Killer » Mon Feb 24, 2003 10:16 am

Title: Still Yours
Author: KK
Disclaimer: The characters that count in this do not belong to me in any way shape or form. I simply borrowed them from someone else's toy box.
Category: Crossover Roswell/Highlander A/I +CC
Rating: MATURE shifting to ADULT later on.



STILL YOURS - Part 5a
(Nocturnal Admissions)

Saturday 11:00 PM..... in Seattle

Alex rolled over in bed and groaned. "Why am I still awake?" he thought. He had tried everything, from the breathing exercises and yoga that Duncan and Methos had taught him, to counting sheep. Nothing had worked, and sleep seemed further away than ever. He sat up and winced. His side still ached from where the kendo stick Duncan had used in their evening workout had swept past his defenses. For the thousandth time he thought, "It's a damn good thing I heal fast. The old Alex would have been in a body cast after one day here. The new and improved Alex simply hurts like hell." He swung his feet to the floor and stood up. Grabbing a robe he headed for the bathroom. Surely there was something there for aches. Muscle rub. Advil. Plain old aspirin. Something. As he passed the short hallway leading to the large loft that comprised Duncan's bedroom/livingroom/any old thing at all room, he heard voices and paused to listen.....

At the same time across town in a rented room...

As residential hotels went the place was a dump. Though, for the low rent district it was in, it passed for the Ritz Carlton. The room didn't look much better. It was dingy. The paint had seen better days, as had the bathroom fixtures if the rust stains were any indication. The bed was unmade since housekeeping was hit and miss. Mostly miss. And the debris around the room were an eclectic mix of cartons from takeout places, beer and soda cans, liquor bottles, pizza boxes, and fast-food leftovers. The room's occupant paused in sharpening his sword to scratch at the scar tissue on his right cheek. Raphael Conterras was bored. Bored. Bored. Bored. "This recon job sucks," he thought. "Next time that friggin' cabrone Brit can find someone else to do the scut work. Speaking of which....". He flicked a glance at his watch and nodded to himself. Reaching out he picked up his cell phone and punched a speed dial button.

The connection was made and the phone rang twice.

"Hello?" said a masculine voice with a touch of Northern European accent in it.

Conterras said, "Jossie, let me talk to Britney?"

The man at the other end started to growl incoherently but was cut off by a cultured voice. "It's all right Joachim, I'm on in my office. Let me deal with our *young* friend."

At the sound of that voice Conterras blanched. "Sire I...."

The voice cut him off. "Now now Rafe, you've already managed to offend me. Don't make it worse by trying to kiss my arse. Let's hear your report, then we'll deal with personal issues."

Conterras swallowed and commenced his report. "I followed MacLeod and two of his flunkies to New Mexico and back."

The voice asked, "The purpose of their trip?"

"A funeral," Conterras said. "From what I picked up on the rifle mic and learned from examining the graves afterwards, one of the flunkies is a newbie. Less than a year old as one of us. They took him home to see his parents buried. The obit I read said, automobile accident.".

The voice paused as if ruminating then spoke again. "Has the investigator we retained turned anything?"

Conterras pawed through the mess on the floor next to the bed coming up with several printed sheets that comprised the PI's report. "Surveillance shows several people being occupants, guests, or frequent visitors to that dojo MacLeod runs. The newbie, an Alex Whitman. A young stud named Richie Ryan, who has a couple of heads to his credit I hear. A guy named Adam Pierson.. A couple of major babes, no names on them yet. I think one of the babes lives there and is shacking with MacLeod. And some old geezer who walks with a cane, name of Joe Dawson. He runs a small but popular blues bar. Aside from them there are the usual run of martial arts students." Conterras sighed. "I can't tell you who the players are besides MacLeod, Ryan, and the newbie without getting close enough to catch the buzz."

The voice held silence for quite awhile after that. Long enough to cause Conterras to get jumpy. "Sire?", he queried.

The voice suddenly seemed to recall its minion was there. "So, discounting the 'geezer' and the more plebeian students we have three immortals and three unknowns. Possibly as many as six immortals." The voice paused and then continued briskly. "MacLeod always was the gregarious type." The voice laughed then continued. "Stay well away from them. Don't let them know that you're around. I want them relaxed and unsuspecting. We'll handle sorting the wolves from the sheep when I get to town with the rest of the Cohort. Am I clear?"

Conterras gulped and said, "Yes Sire".

The voice went on. "I mean it Rafe. I know your habits. You do anything that compromises this operation and I'll skin you alive. *Then* I'll take your quickening."

Conterras cleared his throat. "Yes Sire."

The voice spoke again. "And Rafe?"

"Yes Sire?" he responded.

The voice continued. "If you ever again refer to me as anything but Britanicus or Sire, and I hear of it, I'll pull your beating heart out through your ribs and eat it in front of you. Are we clear?"

Conterras shuddered. "One of these days", he thought, "my big mouth is going to get me killed." Then he spoke aloud. "Yes Sire."

A loud *click* indicated that he had been hung up on. He stared at the phone for a moment then dropped it like a hot potato. He stared off into space a moment then grabbed the half full whiskey bottle next to him on the bed and took a pull. He failed to consider that, having consumed most of a bottle before the call, the liquor may have had a hand in his mouth putting him on the spot. As a result he was in no position to deal with the second blast when it hit him. "Screw Britney," he thought. "I want to have a little fun before he gets to town, and that newbie is right up my alley. All I have to do is snake him away from his guard dogs."

Conterras smiled to himself and resumed sharpening his sword.. "That blonde hottie that hung back as the mourners left. What was the name that the rifle mic had given him? Isabel? She'd work just fine. Probably the boy's ex or sister. Looked to be the right age." Conterras took another drink. The alcohol was giving him delusions of grandeur. "I'll just mention her name to the newbie somehow and let nature take it's course." He'd seen love do many things over the decades, but to him it's most effective use was as...bait. Conterras laughed aloud. It would be a good week.

Somewhere North of the Canadian/US Border....

In an office sequestered on a modest but well appointed estate in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies the man whom the world presently knew as Roland Kingsgate studied the phone that he'd just hung up. He'd had other names in other times and places. But his own, what he thought of as his birth name, was Britanicus Musa. It had been his when he had been a centurion of the legions of the empire. He had been in the command of Gaius Julius when he had crossed the Rubicon to become Caesar. Those had been heady times. He sighed. Times that would never come again. He looked down and studied the notes he had made. Not bad. Not too bad at all. Even under a worst case he would have a two to one superiority in arms on his side. And if too many of his own died he would simply kill the rest, close up shop, and wait a century or so before rounding up another crop of gullible 'youngsters' to go aconquering once more.

Much as he enjoyed the Game, he preferred that it be played by his rules. Which meant overwhelming force and no quarter. Screw single combat. What was he? A gladiator? "Still", he thought, "it's getting hard to find decent cannon fodder. That bellicose fool Conterras for example." Britanicus fully intended, come what may, win or lose, to take that fool's head and be rid of him when this was over. A man could be many things and still earn Britanicus' latitude. But stupid and annoying were the two worst vices in his book. And Conterras was both. "No matter," he thought. "Being what he is, our dear Rafe will probably do something stupid and MacLeod will shorten him for his trouble." Britannicus chuckled. "Perhaps I should thank him when I see him. Right before I take his head."

Returning to his notes he circled the New Mexico reference and the name Alex Whitman, penning a note to have a little low priority investigating done on the young man's associates prior to his 'untimely death'. It would probably come to nothing, but Britannicus hadn't gotten to be as old as he was without learning to be thorough. In a tight situation a little leverage never hurts anything. Slipping his notes into a file folder and placing them in his private files he stood, stretched, and headed out into the hall. Time for bed. Tomorrow was a new day. He had places to go, sights to see....and people to kill. Life was good.

MacLeod's Dojo...Seattle Washington

Alex stood unobtrusively in the hallway, exactly as Amanda had taught him, and listened. This sounded like a council of war.

There were five people sitting around MacLeod's dining table. Amanda was there mainly because the bedroom and dining room were the *same* room, so there was no point in going to bed without Duncan. The others included Duncan obviously, Richie, Methos, and Joe Dawson.

Dawson slid a glossy photo across the table at Richie. "I ran search parameters in our database for the description you gave of your stalker, Richie. I turned only six hits. One is in prison, confirmed. And four aren't on this continent, that we know of. That leaves this character. Recognize him?" Joe has long since outgrown any compunction at helping out his friends with a little information. And since MacLeod had finished Callas, The Watchers were disinclined to lean on him to stop.

Richie studied the photo. It was relatively old. Maybe from the sixties given the hair and the 'Nam Vet wardrobe, peace sign and all. But the face, and scar, were unmistakable. "Yup, that's him. Got any particulars?" He skated the photo over to Methos.

Dawson started to speak but was cut off by a startled oath. "Sonofabitch! The Angel of Death is in Seattle?" Methos looked up and found four puzzled faces staring at him. "I know this pendejo," he said. "It's been almost eighty years, and I've met a lot of men with scars...but this one I wouldn't forget. He's a class A lowlife."

Richie grimaced and spoke. "Why the nickname? Is he hell on wheels with a sword or something?"

Methos shook his head. "No, he's a parasite. Tags along with other immortals, picking up scraps. Between gigs as a minion, he specializes."

"Specializes? Amanda asked.

Methos gave a gallows grin. "In new Immortals."

Standing in the hall Alex had to struggle to keep silent as something cold and heavy settled in his stomach. "Oh yeah Richie," he thought, "he's for certain hunting you." Richie's remark about slaughtered chickens came back to him. "Hello, I'm Foghorn Leghorn. Just dip me in batter, fry me up, and call me lunch," he thought.

Joe spoke into the silence following Methos' last statement. "Here's what we have. Full name, Raphael Jesse Conterras. Born 1892. He fought in the Mexican Civil War, and rode with Pancho Villa when he crossed the border in 1916 to raid Columbus, New Mexico. Executed after the raid.

"Executed?" Richie queried.

Joe cleared his throat. "Yes. Apparently he was a little to enthusiastic about the rape, loot, and pillage aspect of his duties. It's believed that this was when he became immortal." Joe paused. When no comments were forthcoming he continued. "His current alias is Jesus Rodriguez, but he has also gone by Rodrigo Garcia and Adam Hidalgo. Current whereabouts unknown. Eighty nine recorded kills with thirteen more suspected. All new immortals."

Alex swallowed and tried to calm his shakes, which would have been easier had his blood stream not been pumping straight ice water right then.

Richie sighed. "So this piece of shit is hunting Alex?" He grinned ruefully. "And to think, I thought it was me."

Duncan looked at Joe. "I don't suppose you can tell us where he is, can you?"

Joe sighed. "MacLeod, we've been friends a long time. And while I don't mind providing you with occasional intel on a black hat like this, setting them up so you can knock them down is above and beyond the call. The Watchers might think well of you, but there are still limits to what they will permit me to do. Besides, we really don't know where he is. He's a slippery SOB. Like a sewer rat. Keeping him under surveillance is tough. Not because he knows *we're* following him. But because he thinks that *everyone* is following him."

Duncan looked thoughtful. "Okay, I'll do this the hard way then. He stalks Alex, and I stalk *him*."

Amanda spoke up. "You mean *we* stalk him."

Duncan stared at Amanda. "What?" she asked. "I'm fond of him too. He may be your student, but he's *my* friend."

Duncan grinned and shrugged. "Besides, he doesn't gag on your cooking."

Amanda's eyes narrowed. "You're honing for a night on the couch Junior!"

Methos chuckled. "Not to break up a good lovers spat...er, I mean interesting foreplay, but you two can't handle it all *and* keep things up around here. I'll take every third day. That way Duncan can keep up with Alex's training and Amanda can play Martha Stewart to her heart's content."

Amanda glared at him. If looks could kill, Methos would have been a head short right then.

Duncan nodded then turned to Richie. "Okay, you hold the fort, and keep up Alex's training with whomever is available. Keep the pressure on, Richie. He's got to get his mind off of things back in New Mexico, and the quickest way to accomplish that is to give him too much to worry about right here." Duncan picked up the photo and stared at it. "Meanwhile, we'll see if we can't give this bastard a haircut. Piece of cake."

Standing unobtrusively in the hall, Alex suddenly grinned. "Give me too much to worry about?" he thought. "How about the fact that some moron wants my head? I'd say that's worrisome enough." Then he paused as he suddenly realized that his shakes were gone. When he sought the reason why he couldn't nail it down. He simply felt better. "I ought to be scared shitless," he thought. In fact I think that I *was* scared shitless a moment ago. So why don't I *feel* it now?"

He frowned for a moment then looked over his shoulder. For a second he could have sworn that he had company there in the hall. A presence both warm and comforting. Still frowning he closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. There it was. That apple blossom scent that, in his memory, said 'Isabel'. He looked around again, the he shrugged it off. "When I start imagining that she's here it's time to visit a shrink." Grinning again, he imagined *that* couch session. "Well doc, I used to consort with aliens, but after I died I became an immortal warrior. The problem is that my drop dead gorgeous super model alien ex-girlfriend, whom I still love more than my own life, has started dropping into my dreams to visit...resulting in olfactory hallucinations." Either he or the shrink would end up in the laughing academy.

Shaking off the humor of the moment he focused again on what was happening in the living area. He thought about joining the council of war, but all that would do was draw admonitions to stay close and be careful. And worse yet, it might make Amanda "mother" him more. He sighed. "Youth sucks," Alex thought. "Especially when you're a youth from both the mortal *and * the immortal point of view." Alex reached a decision and quietly withdrew.

He started towards the bathroom to finish his search for something to relieve his aches when he halted in surprise. He worked his shoulders. Then he stretched. Nothing. Not a single twinge. Chuckling silently he about faced and headed back towards his bedroom. "I've discovered a cure for muscle aches," he thought. "There's nothing like finding out that that you're under eminent threat of death to clear up those nagging aches and pains."

Reaching his room he climbed back into bed and gratefully settled back onto his pillow. As he felt sleep take him he puzzled again over his strange calmness at the news that someone was after his head. He shook his head to try and clear it, but sleep won over introspection. His last waking thought was, "Tomorrow is another day.....".

Back in Duncan MacLeod's main living area....

The meeting had broken up. Methos and Joe had headed home, and Richie was already in bed asleep. Duncan and Amanda were settling down in bed when Amanda sat up suddenly and sniffed. She turned to Duncan and frowned. "Was Cassandra over today while I was shopping?"

Duncan shrugged. "Not that I know of, why?

Amanda's eyes narrowed. "Then why do I smell apple blossoms? Come to think of it, that isn't her sort of scent.... which means that it's *someone else's* sort of scent. Care to explain?"

Duncan looked the injured innocent. "Okay, you got me...I like to use women's toiletries."

Amanda's mouth dropped open, the she squealed and began to pummel MacLeod....which as usual led to other things that banished her suspicions completely before they were done.

Sunday 1:00 AM in Alex's bedroom...

Alex was asleep. He was approaching that point in slumber that the scientific types call 'REM state'. Rapid Eye Movement. The dream time. And for Alex it would mark a turning point of sorts. A return of the old, and the true beginning of the new.

You see, Alex was right on two counts. Tomorrow would indeed be another day, but before the new sunrise there would be the night. And youth does sometimes suck...for the young. For had he been a bit older and saltier he might have recognized the calm surrounding him as the sort that people refer to as 'ominous'. Like the famous 'calm before the storm'. In Alex's case tonight was just the beginning of a force 5 blow named Hurricane Isabel.....


THE DREAM STATE........

Isabel found herself in that city again, walking. The airborne tang of the sea was stronger now. And this time she knew where she was and where she was going. She hurried on until she arrived in front of the building she recalled from her previous dream walk. The fact that the same building and city had been the backdrop in both dream walks seemed to indicate that they were familiar enough to Alex that his subconscious would use them repeatedly as stage setting for his dreams. This must be the place that Alex called home now. Before entering the building she made a slow turn, scanning nearby buildings and the horizon for any indication of where she was. Nothing leaped out at her except for an odd structure in the distance. It tickled her memory as if she should know it, but she couldn't put a name to it.. It looked like a minaret with a flying saucer impaled on it. After studying it for a few minutes she gave up. One mystery at a time please. Filing it for future reference she turned and entered the building.

The room was the same, minus the smoochy lighting and the singers. No one was around, so she made a slow circuit of the room, studying it's contents. All were related to physical training and the martial arts. "Who is Alex living with?" she wondered. "Jet Li?" After completing her walk around she thought it was time to get down to business. Find Alex and find out what the hell was going on, in that order. As she looked around for a way
deeper into the building the thudding sound of running feet caused her to freeze. As she watched, Alex burst into the room in panicked flight. He had what appeared to be a sword in his hand. "A sword!!?"

Alex's dream self made it to the center of the room, spun about facing the way he had come, and dropped into guard with a grace that she had never imagined in him before. The changes she had noticed the last time were still there. The erect posture. The muscles. And that hardened careworn face. It was Alex, but not Alex. "Is this what he looks like now?" she wondered. "Or what he imagines he looks like?" Another mystery to solve, along with what had Alex so frightened.

For the later she didn't have long to wait. Barely a moment later a man entered the room. He too had a gleaming sword in hand. And from where Isabel stood she could see the ragged seam of scar marring one of his cheeks. He advanced on Alex rapidly and wordlessly. For his part Alex looked terrified but determined. This was obviously a nightmare in the making. Isabel wondered if she should try to change things to soothe Alex, but decided against it. Sending a silent apology to Alex she did nothing. She was here after information, and this was the way to get it. Once the man was with striking distance he launched a vicious overhand slash which Alex parried cleanly. Isabel watched in astonishment as the battle continued from that opening. Alex moved like a dancer trading cuts and parries with the stranger. No words were exchanged, the only sound was that of stentorian breathing punctuated by the clash and scream of tortured steel as their blades met. It was utterly amazing to her. This had to be fantasy driven. As she watched their death dance she was certain that no one could possibly be this graceful in real life. It bordered on the beautiful.

As the fight went on it became apparent that Alex was losing. He was tiring. His movements became slow, almost lethargic. The stranger on the other hand seemed to be unstoppable and unkillable. Both combatants were bleeding from minor wounds. But while Alex was panting and disheveled, his opponent wasn't even breathing fast and didn't seem to have a hair out of place. As Isabel watched in horror that stranger let loose a roundhouse slash that knocked Alex's weakened guard aside and cut him deeply across the stomach. Dropping to one knee grasping his stomach Alex was unable to prevent his assailant from contemptuously knocking his sword from his hand sending it spinning away to stop near Isabel. As Alex looked up, unable to summon the energy to rise and flee, the stranger raised his sword above his head for what was obviously going to be a killing stroke. He paused, and then spoke for the first time. The words sounded like a ritual. "There can be only one!", he intoned.

This was too much for Isabel. No one but *NO ONE* hurt Alex like this, even in a dream. Scooping up his fallen sword she held it clumsily and charged the strange man's back, intending to distract him from his intent. Time seemed to slow. She was going to be too late. The stranger's sword was already moving in it's downward stroke as she opened her mouth to scream.....

BLINK....
Last edited by Kzinti_Killer on Sat Feb 25, 2006 1:27 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Post by Kzinti_Killer » Mon Feb 24, 2003 12:02 pm

Title: Still Yours
Author: KK
Disclaimer: The characters that count in this do not belong to me in any way shape or form. I simply borrowed them from someone else's toy box.
Category: Crossover Roswell/Highlander A/I +CC
Rating: MATURE shifting to ADULT later on.



STILL YOURS - Part 5b
(Nocturnal Admissions)

Isabel's momentum carried her forward as she stumbled through the space that Alex and his erstwhile opponent had occupied, but they were gone. So was the room. She stumbled and fell, dropping the sword which dissolved at once, as dream props do when discarded. She was outdoors now, on rough ground that had caused her to trip and fall. It was bright daylight out. Rolling over and sitting up she looked around and realized where she was. New Mexico. Or at least it looked like the scrubland around Roswell. She heard a car door slam and stood up. She saw Alex and two men leaving a car and walking up the hillside behind the car. As she hurried forward to catch up she glanced at the car as she passed it. New Mexico plates. From the looks of it, a rental. She had to give Alex this, his memory for detail, no matter how trivial, was extraordinary. Closing the distance between herself and the three men she slowed, not wanting to attract Alex's attention she stayed out of his line of sight.

They crested the hill top and settled down to watch the broad sweep of land below. The older of the two men removed a pair of binoculars from their case and wordlessly handed them to Alex. He immediately focused them on an area out in front of the hill, perhaps a mile away. With a start she realized where they were and what he was looking at. It was the cemetery. She shaded her eyes and squinted. There were cars there. A lot of them. It was too far away to make out people, but she knew those cars from the recent past. It was the day of the funeral. Dropping her hand she stared at Alex as a chill swept over her. "I was right!" she thought. "Oh my God, I was right! He *was* there. Up on this hill, watching us! But why didn't he come down?" A sudden doubt assailed her, only to be swept away a moment later by the pained tones in Alex's voice as he whispered her name. "Isabel!" The obvious yearning in his voice caused her throat to constrict as unbidden tears gathered in her eyes. "He still loves me!" But that only deepened the mystery. "Why didn't he come down there, damnit!?"

A moment later she had her answer. "Those *bastards*!" she thought in fury. "They stopped him! He would have come, and they stopped him!" Glaring at Alex's two companions with undisguised hatred she allowed herself a thin smile. "Oh boys," she thought. "You have no clue about who you're messing with, or of what you've done. But you will, I promise you. Get ready for your last sound night's sleep....EVER!"

Isabel kept listening with utter amazement. If the younger man's efforts to restrain Alex had angered her, the dark haired guy's left her dumbstruck. "Ordinary humans? Megalomania much, Mister?" Isabel blinked as she gained comprehension of what they were doing to Alex. A guilt trip! "What the hell is going on? This sounds like that 'keep off the humans' crap that Max, Michael, and I used to lay on each other! Alex has heard this all before! God knows *I* used it enough trying to get him to keep his distance!" Her eyes softened. "Thank God I failed." Then she smiled. "Or rather, thank God Alex succeeded in out waiting me."

Isabel gave a frustrated sigh. Whatever was happening had to be pretty far out there. These guys were talking like they were... Isabel's eyes rounded. "They're talking like they're aliens themselves!" This was impossible. Or least pretty damned improbable. Not least because they were talking like Alex was an alien too. And she knew very well that he wasn't. "Whatever is going on, Alex should have known better than to buy into this crap! He knows what we are! And he for damn sure knows that if anyone could accept him, we could! And what's all this nonsense about danger and head hunting?"

They were getting ready to leave. Time to have this out once and for all. She was getting some answers if it killed her! As they filed past her Isabel reached out and touched Alex's arm, softly but emphatically calling his name. "Alex!" Alex started, and his companions dissolved as he achieved awareness of Isabel. He looked around frantically, then he seemed to realize what had happened. He looked back towards the cemetery and she saw his shoulders slump. When he turned back to her she was unprepared for the look on his face. Resignation and crushing sadness.

"Hello Izzy," he said softly. "I knew that you'd come back eventually, but I kind of hoped that you'd write it off as a nightmare." He smiled through his sadness. "I felt you, you know that? Earlier tonight I felt you reaching for me. I thought it was my imagination when I smelled you."

Isabel blinked. He smelled her? Alex's smile morphed into a full blown grin. Her heart did a back flip in her chest. She had forgotten how beautiful he was when his usually solemn features were lit up by honest merriment.

He answered the question written clearly on her face. "Your body powder. The 'before bed' stuff. It smells of apple blossoms. Kinda hard for me to miss the association with you." Looking her up and down he smiled. There was appreciation in his eyes. Appreciation and...hunger. That look she'd missed too, largely because Alex's essential shyness didn't let him show it very often, and it could still make her shiver. Still grinning he said, "Red satin PJs. Very nice. You remembered."

Isabel felt herself softening under his words and stare, then she remembered why she was there. She shook herself out of her current charitable state of mind. Leaving out the weirdness that went with Alex *smelling* her talcum powder when she was trying dream walk him, there was still a lot of explaining to be done. She glared at him. "Alexander Charles Whitman! I swear, I don't know whether to kiss you or kill you! For six months you've let us, LET ME, think that you were dead! And never once did you try to get in touch! Not a word! Not so much
as a whisper!"

Her hands were on her hips now, her foot tapping in a comical satire of 'the vexed schoolmarm'. "You weren't the only one with 'feelings' mister! I felt you all right. On and off for these entire six months I've felt you out there. I thought it was just grief. Or wish fulfillment." Angry tears began to flow down her cheeks and she scrubbed them away with the heels of her hands. Then she waved her hand at the cemetery out in the dreamscape. "The day of the funeral I thought that I was loosing my mind, you oaf! Your essence was so strong that it was like having you in my LAP! I had visions of ghosts and God knows what else! And it turns out you WERE in my lap! Sitting up here with your new friends playing the voyeur!"

Isabel gave a ragged sniff. "I want answers! NOW! Why aren't you dead?! Where have you been? Where are you now? Who were those men? WHAT were those men? Why did they think they had the right to stop you from coming to us, to ME? What's happened to you that *they* don't think we'd understand? Why are you in danger? And don't lie to me! That doofus with the ponytail made it clear that you are! If you're in danger you belong with us! God knows you've protected us often enough! Did you think that we wouldn't return the favor? That we wouldn't care? That I..we didn't...love you?" She was crying harder now. She regarded the anguish on Alex's face and took a deep shuddering breath in an effort to control herself. "And lastly, what is this crap about headhunting? I saw your nightmare earlier, Alex. If that's your future, you need our help!" Alex was silent. "Well? Answer me!"

What Alex did next startled her beyond measure. He touched her. Then he kissed her.

All through Isabel's tirade Alex had stood mute. He was completely unable to speak. His emotions were caught in a twisted mass. Pain, regret, passion, longing, loneliness, fear, desire, love. All boiling together, each vying for top billing. He had forgotten how incredibly beautiful she was. His Golden Goddess. Whose beauty was enhanced by her emotions, any emotions. And now her tears tugged at him. He felt like scum. And unworthy scum at that! All the more so because he dared not give her the answers she was demanding. To do so would place her, and all his friends, in jeopardy. At that moment, regarding the tenderness and fury in her eyes, on her sweet face, there was only one answer that he was capable of.

Of their own volition his hands rose to cup her face, his thumbs gently smoothing away her tears. He stepped in close, until their bodies touched. He felt her stiffen, but before she could react further his face dipped towards hers and their lips met. At first she resisted, but his arms had dropped past her shoulders pinning her arms to her sides. And his mouth was insistent, his kiss demanding. At last she sighed and relaxed. Her mouth opened and welcomed him home.

The kiss seemed to go on for eons. Isabel felt herself drifting in a warm haze. This was perfection personified. She had missed him. All the more because they'd had so little time together before Alex had been taken from her. She'd never had time to get to *this*! They had kissed before, even french kissed... but not like this! God! This wasn't just a kiss! This was making love with her mouth! And Alex wasn't holding back anything either. He was putting everything in him into that kiss. Isabel felt herself growing closer to Alex's essence. He was in the haze with her. She willed herself to him, reaching out for him, enfolding him in herself. Straining to reach his center. She could feel him yielding, wanting to give in. They were almost there......

"NO!", Alex shouted has he pulled away. Isabel was dumbstruck as she watched him drag himself away from her, breathing raggedly. "God Izzy!", he said hoarsely. "I'm sorry! I shouldn't have done that! I shouldn't have made *you* do that!"

Alex looked wretched and lost. She reached out to try and take him in her arms, but he backed away. "Alex, what is it? What's wrong?"

Alex laughed brokenly. "What's wrong? This. Me. You. Everything!" He seemed to gather himself. "Did you ever get the feeling that whoever or whatever passes for God must be the ultimate practical joker?" Alex swallowed past a lump in his throat. "I can't answer your questions Iz. None of them. To do so would place you in danger! You, Max, Liz, Michael, Maria... everyone I care about. It might even reach out to include your parents!" He took several deep breaths and struggled to bring his emotions under control.

Isabel watched as he visibly fought for control...and won. "He's just like Max," she thought. "Mr. Focus and self control, the idiot." Max's self control had held him back until he'd nearly lost Liz. But that was not, repeat NOT, going to happen here. Not to her, and not to Alex. She was NOT giving up. But she knew how to play the waiting game. "So," she dissembled, "what *can* you tell me?"

Alex regarded her cautiously. The sudden change of direction had taken him off guard. He had expected many things. More tears. Anger. Accusations. But not a reasonable question. He sensed a trap, but he couldn't for the life of him think of a single damned thing to do but answer her. He certainly wasn't willing to end this yet. "Tess killed me."

Isabel nodded. "We know," she said softly.

Alex blinked. "I thought as much," he said.

Isabel smiled inwardly. Guile had it's place in this. Alex didn't realize that he'd given her two important pieces of information. Three actually. That he *had* been 'killed'. That, in some strange way, he hadn't *stayed* 'killed'. And that he had a means of knowing what was happening in Roswell, with them. "Make that four pieces of information," she thought as her heart swelled.. "He's been watching over us from where ever he is now." She smiled at Alex. "She staged it to look like you had committed suicide. In fact that's what it says on the books."

Alex winced. "I know. I hacked the police report. If she staged it well enough to fool the cops, how did you find out?"

Her smile broadened as she spoke one word. "Liz." Alex's eyebrows rose. She had him. "You would have been proud of her, Alex. She was like a pit bull. She refused to believe for an instant that you had killed yourself. It took her a while, and some wrong turns, but she finally cracked it." Isabel swallowed. "He has to know it all", she thought. So she continued. "Even though she had to fight us to do it."

"Fight you?" Alex queried.

Isabel nodded. "Your death had hit us hard. And to top it off we had other issues going. Tess was pregnant. We couldn't deal."

Alex's looked nonplused. "Pregnant? By who? Who was the father?"

Isabel was grim. "Max."

This was too much. Alex tottered over to a nearby rock and sat down with a thump. "Poor Liz! What was he thinking of? What the hell happened? I knew they had problems, but this?"

Isabel nodded. "Saying that 'they had problems' doesn't even begin to cover it." Taking a seat on another nearby rock she began to talk. She brought him up to speed. Starting with Future Max and the invasion of 2014. When she reached the part about her death, then Michael's, at the hands of the invading skins Alex looked like he'd been poleaxed. She told him of the desperate plan to change the future and of Liz's choice to throw her love into the furnace of destiny to achieve it. To save the world. Then came the fallout. Max's alienation from Liz. The Dupes. The Summit in New York. Vilandra. And finally the disaster of prom night.

Alex looked guilty. "I was too wrapped up in you to notice anything else. I *told* you that you looked too fetching in that dress!"

Isabel placed a hand on his knee to soothe him. "Alex, Tess had you so messed up that you probably wouldn't have noticed if people started going around nude. Don't beat yourself up over it. Lets drop it." Her narrative continued. Liz finding the instructions to the granolith that Alex had been forced to decode. The baby's inability to survive on Earth. The decision to leave.

Alex looked stricken. "You almost left? What happened?"

Isabel looked away. "It was a near thing", she said softly. "Liz had finally convinced us that you had been murdered. Whoever had done it had framed an innocent human girl for it. Max nearly killed her before Liz stopped him. It wasn't until the last hour that Liz realized that you'd been displaying the symptoms of mind warp, the same as Maria's mom. Then she identified them in Kyle. She and Maria questioned him and he broke through Tess' control and remembered your murder and being forced to load your body into a car. After that it was race to reach us before we launched the granolith."

Isabel swung around to look at him. "Even at that, they would have failed if Michael hadn't had a change of heart at the last minute." Alex's face queried her. "They couldn't get in or signal us. But Michael decided at the last minute to stay. Apparently his farewell night with Maria got pretty intense. Intense enough to finally let him know where 'home' was. And it was here. With Maria."

Alex grinned again, giving her a thrill. "Way to go Bro'!" His grin weakened as he remembered. "What happened?"

Isabel couldn't hold his eyes. "We got off and Tess left...with Max's son in her. Max would have killed her otherwise. The hell of it is, Nasedo planned it that way, or almost. He'd cut a deal with K'var long ago. Forty years Tess said. And he'd trained Tess to carry it out. Get pregnant, knowing the baby wouldn't survive here, make us go home, then march us off the ship straight into K'var's guns. Finis."

Alex turned white. "Jeeezus pleezus! She was a rat all the time? I have to remind myself to find a bathroom and puke when I wake up! This was too, too, too damned close!" He slid his arm around Isabel and drew her to him. She could feel him shaking. "Too damned close," he repeated as he planted a tender kiss on her cheek, as if to reassure himself that she was actually there and not lying dead light years away.

Alex held her for a long moment then pulled away. "What about Liz and Max?", he asked. "If they had problems before, this had to very nearly finish them."

Isabel sighed. "You're right. These last six months they've been close, yet distant. If you get what I mean? Wanting each other, but scared of the baggage. And each one was afraid to make the first move."

Alex frowned. "You're talking past tense Izzy. What happened?"

Isabel smiled brightly. "Enter 'The Grand Conspiracy To Reunite Max And Liz'! May I introduce you to it's ringleader?" She stood and bowed with an impish grin, then she launched into the gory details of the grand ambush and its quiet, passionate, and very pyrotechnic finale.

All Alex could get out was, "Wow!"

Alex sighed at length. "All's well that ends well then. It sounds like things have worked out well for everyone." He studied her. "Or at least *you* made sure that they worked out."

Isabel smiled at him winningly. "I'm trying", she said. Alex smiled back looking a lot like the boy she had grown up knowing.

Alex sat silently, studying her face. "Damn, I just plain forgot the effect she has on me", he thought. Then it hit him. Therein lay the trap.

The silence stretched into one of those interludes that people refer to as 'uncomfortable'. Isabel watched as Alex's facial expression began to change. She felt her smile start to slip as his features drifted from those of the gentle boy that she had known and come to love to the harder more mature features that seemed to be his now.

Alex looked away from her and swallowed with a dry throat. "I can't do this Izzy. I can't give you what you want."

Isabel swallowed. She was losing control of the situation. "What is it that you think that I want?"

Alex refused to look at her. "Don't play dumb Iz. In your own way you're smarter than Max or Michael. And probably smarter than most of our little 'family'. So please don't act like you checked your brains at the door. I'm not buying it. You want things too 'work out' for us, and it just isn't in the cards. You want answers, and I cannot possibly give them to you without endangering your life and the lives of those we care about. You want me to come home, and I can't! Not ever!"

Isabel felt her tears gathering again, but was determined to hang on as long as possible. "Just keep him talking," she thought. "Why?" she asked. "Why can't things work out? Why can't you tell me? And above all, why can't you come home?"

Alex threw his hands up in frustration. "For the practical reason that I'm dead. The records say I'm dead. People have seen me dead. And there's an empty grave where I should be. I can't come back and resume the life of Alex Whitman. It isn't mine anymore. It ended six months ago when Tess homogenized my brain for me." Alex paused for breath. "As for the rest, if I tell you anything, then I have tell you everything. And I can't. I simply
cannot. I cannot make you a part of this."

Isabel finally lost it. "Alexander Whitman you're infuriating! You know that? If you expect me to just spend my life feeling you dancing around the edge of my awareness without doing anything about it, guess again! I can't know that you're alive, then sit in Roswell pretending you're dead! And you can't ask me to!"

Alex regarded her sadly. "That's exactly what you have to do Iz. Not because I ask it, but because it's necessary. I'm walking talking trouble for anyone associated with me. And I can't hide from it in Roswell. It will seek me out, time and again. And it will destroy anyone close to me without pity." Alex looked her in the eye. "It's my destiny, the one I was born to."

Isabel's temper went red line, and beyond. "Destiny!", she spat. "Don't you *dare* use that excuse with me Alex Whitman. I know about 'destiny', and it's bullshit! We tried following our destiny and what did it buy us? Pain! Pain for us and everyone we love. It got *you* killed! It nearly got *us* killed! And for what? A planet we can't remember except for some hazy recollections that may or may not be real? The only power that 'destiny' has over you is what you *let* it have! Destiny is someone *else's* idea of how you should live your life!" Her temper cooled a bit. "I can't say that Antar is done with us yet, but we'll deal with it here, together. Max is stronger with Liz than without her. Ditto for Michael and Maria." Isabel waved her hand at the horizon. " Do you honest to God believe that I can live my life knowing that you're alive?" Then she pointed at the ground next to her. "But that you're not *here*!? I NEED YOU!!!! I love you Alex and, come hell or high water, I'm not giving up. I'm not moving on. And I'm most emphatically NOT settling for second best! We have a second chance here, and I'm not letting go of it!"

Alex looked sad and grim. "I was afraid of that. Terribly afraid. I should have shut this down the instant that you showed up. But I've missed you so much. I was too much of a coward to not want to spend some time with you, even if it did mean tempting fate." He stood and began backing away. "Forgive my weakness Izzy. And forgive me for hurting you. Don't come back again. If you do I'll just have to force you out. And I'll keep doing so until you give up. I'm dead now. Treat me that way. It's the only way that you and the others will be safe from the trouble that will follow me the rest of my ..(Alex's mouth gave an ironic twist)... life."

Alex closed his eyes and began to mutter to himself. To Isabel it looked as if he were praying. But then she noticed a change in the dreamscape. The colors began to bleed out. And a gray mist began to draw in from every direction. Alex was continuing to back away. Isabel began to panic. "Alex, don't do this! Whatever it is that you're doing, please stop it!?" It did no good. Alex was gone. The dreamscape was gone. The world was 360 degrees of gray white mist. It was disorienting. She shouted. She pleaded. To no avail. If he was there, he wasn't listening. She felt her hold on the dream walk slipping.


Sunday 2:00 AM in Roswell...The Evans Household

Isabel sat up in bed gasping. Realizing that it was over she began to cry. Damn him, how *could* he shut her out like this! Her sobs were powerful, gut wrenching. She staggered out of bed and into the bathroom, slamming the door and locking it. She was home alone, but right now she wanted to shut out the entire world. She started running the water in the sink, but realized that there was no going halfway. Still crying she shut off the sink, started the shower, then hurriedly shed her pajamas and stepped in. As she stood under the pounding hot water her sobs lessened in intensity. She felt the tension draining out of her. She stood there for a long time, letting her mind go blank. When she finally shut off the water she felt like a prune. Getting out and drying off she wrapped her hair in a towel and headed down to the kitchen.

Throwing together a ham and cheese sandwich (liberally dosed with tabasco) and brewing some tea (likewise tabasco laced), she finally allowed herself to think about what had happened. She mentally ticked off what she knew. Alex was alive, and seemingly in some sort of danger. He was keeping tabs on Roswell somehow. The people he was with would not let him come home. And he seemed to agree with them. He was somewhere near the sea. And there was that funky looking half familiar building. She would have to check on that later. And she had a name. Richie. She had no idea what to make of all this, but she couldn't take it to the others yet. Max and Liz were newly reunited. They deserved some time to rediscover each other. Michael would either want to go charging off to rescue Alex....or he would think that she was nuts. Maria was an unknown quantity, though given recent events she would probably back Isabel. Isabel bit her lip pensively. No, she would wait. Try to dream walk Alex a few more times. The last thing their little 'family' needed right now was a divisive issue. There had been enough of those the last year to last them all a lifetime.

"Okay," she thought. "That covers facts and logic. It's time to deal with feelings." Isabel stared into space. She couldn't begin to describe how she felt. She was elated and depressed at the same time. He had shut her out, but apparently he had thought he was protecting her, and by extension the others. "I can see that I'm going to have to remind him of what happened when Max tried that approach with Liz. Yes, Alex has a lot in common with my brother. They can both be pigheaded fools." She smiled to herself, despite the fact that a single tear was tracing a path down one cheek. "He still loves me. Though God knows why he loved me to start with. One thing is certain. He can't hold out forever. He can't resist both himself *and* me. There was a song that Alex used to play a lot, what was that lyric? Isabel sniffed back her tears and grinned. Oh yeah! "Time is on my side." That was it!

Relaxed and fully at peace for the first time in six months, Isabel Evans headed back to bed. Tomorrow was Sunday, and she had a full day ahead of her.....now.

Sunday 2:00 AM....Seattle...Alex's bedroom.

Alex jerked awake. "I'll be damned, it worked." Then he paused to examine that thought. Considering what he had done, what he had just given up, he was most certainly damned. What he had tried was about half science and half science fiction. He had begun reciting math tables. Log values. Trig functions. Multiplication tables. Anything to cloud his mind. And it had worked. This time. Next time was another matter. Alex sighed. "Why worry, the Angel of Death may take my head and solve everybody's problems. One way or the other I'm going to be losing a lot of sleep, because no way in hell will Izzy give up soon, or easily." He rolled over. He was still exhausted. He was reluctant to go to sleep again, but he didn't think that she'd try again tonight. "Besides," he thought while looking at the clock, "I've lost enough rest already."

So Alex drifted off to sleep again. A restless and disturbed sleep. Haunted by images of the dream walk. Saddened by the need to push Izzy away. And always, a part of his mind was on alert. This was not the way for someone who needs to stay sharp and alert to stay alive, to sleep....or to stay alive.

End of Part 5
Last edited by Kzinti_Killer on Mon Apr 18, 2005 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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