Fighting Fear (UC, Mi/L, Adult) Chapter 23 ~ 12/23 [WIP]

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Fighting Fear (UC, Mi/L, Adult) Chapter 23 ~ 12/23 [WIP]

Post by Whimsicality » Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:04 pm


For Ava

Thank you all for your votes, you rock so much!!!!!

Title: Fighting Fear
Spoilers: All of Roswell is up for grabs, very very AU post Departure.
Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing, all characters and original Roswell settings belong to other very lucky people as do all poems quoted.
Pairings/Couples/Category: UC/AA – Will eventually be Polar, Kyle/Isabel, and other pairings are up in the air.
Rating: Adult
Warnings: There is a non-graphic rape scene in the first chapter, there will be references to violence, death, and sex with potential major character death. It may not seem like it at first, but this is not a Max bashing story so if that type of thing offends you, this is safe, I promise. Also, pairings may take a while and this version of season three has a lot more pain and angst than When Dreams Change, you’ve been warned.
Summary: Alternate version of season three with certain AU elements since Meet the Dupes. Tess’s betrayal and departure in the Granilith has irrevocably changed the lives of the Roswell teens – relationships will end and begin, loyalties will shift, and new paths will be discovered as they learn that Destiny is entirely subjective and that their lives still have many more surprises in store.

Beta: Ashita, as always, is my fantabulous beta, so all hail her for her help and support!

A/N: Here is a teaser prologue for one of my coming soon stories as requested by booktv-girl2310 :-D I have been crazy inspired for this story lately (not at the expense of my others don't worry!) and so just couldn't resist posting this. I'll be back with chapter one by the end of the month if not sooner, depending on how long I can hold out :lol:


It is amazing how quickly your perception of the worst that can happen, can change. How one fraction of a moment, one single decision, can alter your entire world. I’ve had more of those moments than most, beginning with the day that I died and the boy who brought me back to life, and continuing through love triangles, reincarnation, alternate futures, murder, betrayal, and a decades long war.

But none of those moments, or series of moments, no matter how painful or traumatic or heart breaking, none of them could compare to this moment, to this destruction of everything I had ever known and everything I would ever know.

“Victory is sweetest when you’ve known defeat.” Malcolm S. Forbes said that, a businessman and politician who had only seen battle in the boardroom or the campaign trail. Perhaps that is why he failed to mention that defeat is hardest when you’ve known victory, and that defeat caused by victory is the bitterest possible pill to swallow. I had tasted defeat before; in some ways the past three years had been a string of never-ending defeats with only the occasional victory to balance the other side of the scale. A scale now so far tipped it will never recover.

The moment of our greatest defeat, of the world’s greatest defeat, was preceded by a victory in which we decimated our enemy, leaving only two survivors of a force numbering in the hundreds, despite numbering only six ourselves. It was sweet, a strike back against three years of frustration and impotence in which we finally took charge of our destinies, finally accepted who and what we were and what it meant for our lives.

We should have known better than to rejoice.
Last edited by Whimsicality on Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:30 pm, edited 30 times in total.

Whimsicality's Fics

There was nothing more she wanted to do than crawl back into bed, wrap herself in Michael, and spend the day trading kisses and learning what made him sigh, what made his breath catch, what made him purr in the back of his throat. - Liz in Hunted by Ashita

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Re: Fighting Fear (UC, Mi/L, Adult) Prologue ~ 7/2

Post by Whimsicality » Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:23 pm

booktv-girl2310: And it won't make sense for a while, lol. Thanks for the feedback and I hope you enjoy this chapter!
Ashita: And I will try to get more to you soon, chapter nine is Thanks for the betaing and feedbacking! You rock!
behrstars: Thank you! I'm glad it piqued your interest :D
juliecollard87: It was definitely meant to intrigue so I'm glad it worked, lol. Thanks for the feedback!
cjsl8ne: Thank you very much!
Traitor: You are a far worse tease missy....which reminds me that I need to leave feedback for your latest chapter :shock:

A/N: Wow, I am shocked and awed at how many responses my tiny little prologue got, thanks guys! You all rock! I will be updating every other Wednesday from now on so I hope it continues to be a good read! :D

Chapter One ~ Rebirth

Though you may hear me holler,
And you may see me cry –
I’ll be dogged, sweet baby,
If you gonna see me die.
– Life is Fine, by Langston Hughes

It was dark and cold. Her feet were touching something hard with sharp little bumps that hurt. She wanted to go back to before. Before it was warm and soft and she had floated in perfect peace, just on the edge of awareness. Knowing who she was, what she was, but with a distance that kept her emotions out of it. Now that distance was gone, ripped away, and her young, unformed mind was brutally assaulted with memories that she did not entirely understand, and emotions she couldn’t even begin to comprehend.

Doubling over, she clenched her eyes shut, fingernails digging into the palms of her hands as the overload in her mind manifested as physical pain. Why couldn’t she have stayed asleep? Why did she have to remember all of those horrible things?

Suddenly her hands clapped over her ears, an instinctive response to an unknown stimulus; it took her a moment to realize it was a sound, the first she’d heard other than her own heartbeat. Turning, she slowly opened her eyes and saw a faint glow. In that glow was a face. It had dark hair and fair skin. The ears seemed out of proportion, but the eyelashes that swept the chubby cheeks were beautiful and delicate.

The sound happened again and she saw the hands that belonged to the face trying to tear the material that held him hostage. Reaching upwards she began to pull at the sticky substance as well, and soon the two of them had weakened it to the point where he could step through. His eyes opened for the first time and she couldn’t help the smile that stretched her lips as she saw their beautiful amber depths. A name surged out of the turmoil in her mind and reaching up to stroke his cheek, she spoke her first word, “Zan.”
Something wet was on her face. Touching it with her fingers, she brought them to her eye level, staring at the glistening moisture before brushing it against her tongue, wishing she could taste it. What was it? None of the others had ever leaked water out of their eyes. But then, she wasn’t like the others, not anymore. They were strong and unafraid of this new dark world they were in. The strange rushing sounds from other tunnels and the noises of the various small creatures that lived down here with them didn’t startle them or keep them from sleeping.

They didn’t like the sounds she made though, so she had learned to be quiet; the bruises faded quickly, but the pain didn’t and she was too afraid to ask Zan to heal her. Afraid, she was always afraid. The only time she wasn’t was when Rath and Lonnie went up above and it was just her and Zan. Sometimes they talked of Before, and sometimes they just sat and watched the light from above flicker over the dark water in the adjoining tunnel and she would dream that the water was a different color, and that instead of the tunnel, she was seeing an open field with two suns overhead bathing them in warm, gentle light.

Then Rath and Lonnie would return with their tales from up there and the people they saw as they ate the food they had taken. She wanted to go up there, to see the world above, but they wouldn’t let her. Zan said it wasn’t safe and Lonnie laughed unpleasantly, pinching her cheek as she said that they wouldn’t want anything to happen to the little Queen. She hated it when Lonnie called her Queen, the way her voice would change, although Zan never noticed. Hated the way her brown eyes burned with an emotion that Ava didn’t have a name for. It was then that her memories would threaten to overwhelm her, warnings from the past filling her with a formless dread that would make her shake for hours, trying to hide her fear from the others and knowing she failed.

She couldn’t shake the feeling that this wasn’t supposed to happen. That this wasn’t what their creators had intended when they gave them a second life. She still didn’t quite understand why they had a second life, or everything that had happened in their first life, but she knew deep inside that hiding in this dark, dank hole, was not what she was meant for, what any of them were meant for.
The sky was blue, blue! It was absolutely beautiful, so different from the warm gold of the sky on Antar, and the clouds were so fluffy and white, scattered across the sky like a careless child’s toys. The only thing visible in the sky at home had been ships, and towards the end, the dark black glow of Antarian weaponry. Lowering her gaze to the trees around her, she reached out to touch the bark of the one closest to her. It was rough against her skin and she could feel the life pulsing beneath her fingers. Her lips lifted in a smile, her third of the day, and she wished she could stay up here forever.

Something she’d never heard before reached her ears, and glancing away from the tree, she saw two human children, just a little younger than her, chasing each other across the park. They were giggling and Ava thought she had never heard such a wonderful sound. Zan approached her and took her hand and Ava smiled again, maybe this life wasn’t so bad after all.

The two children were tossing a ball back and forth as they ran. The little girl suddenly fell as she collided with Rath, dropping the ball and staring up at him in fear. Rath sneered at her and snatched up the ball, he and Lonnie stalking over to the two of them and smirking.

“Stupid kids. Let’s go get some eats. I’s starving.”

Ava tried to hide her anger at Rath’s callous treatment of the children, but wasn’t quick enough to avoid Lonnie’s all too sharp gaze. The blonde gave her a cold grin, forcibly tilting her chin up until she was staring straight into the other girl’s ruthless brown eyes.

“Is the little Queenie sad for the humans?” she asked, eyebrows rising dangerously.

Ava refused to answer, instead blanking her face of all expression and tightening her hold on Zan’s hand.

Lonnie’s lips twitched with anger, but she took the hint and backed off, linking her arm with Rath’s. “Come on, there’s a hot dog stand on 135th we hasn’t hit yet.”

Ava sighed, knowing she would pay for her moment of courage later and followed dutifully, glancing over her shoulder one last time to see the little boy hugging the little girl, and wishing with all her heart that she’d been born human.
Last night, she had snuck out and watched a play in the park. The main character was a boy who never wanted to grow up and had flown away to a place called Never-Never Land where he could always be free. Tears welled up in her eyes as Rath continued to move over her, grunting in animalistic pleasure, and closing them she sent her mind away – if Peter Pan didn’t have to grow up, why did she?

Later, when he finished, he growled a parting threat in her ear. “Tell Zan and we’ll kill him.” The tears finally slipped down her cheeks as she nodded silently, and he smirked in satisfaction. “Good, now clean youself up Queenie, we wouldn’t want da Man ta knows what we’s been up to, now would we?”

Ava just stared at him for a moment before waving a hand over herself, instantly erasing all of the outward signs of the rape, and feeling something inside of her shrivel at the realization that she couldn’t erase everything else so easily. Rath stood and grinned lasciviously down at her, laughing as she flinched. “Don’t worry Queenie, it won’t happen again. Yous assets jus don’t match up to Lonnie’s, and yous ain’t got even a spark of wild. I’s don’t know what Zan sees in yous.” When she failed to react to his taunts, he lashed out and kicked her side, smiling cruelly as she curled into a ball before losing interest and wandering back to the main part of the tunnel, collapsing on the couch and completely ignoring her presence.

Ava crawled further down the tunnel to their pods, sitting up slowly and trying not to jar her ribs as she was pretty sure at least one of them was cracked. Reaching out, she fingered the jagged edges of the pod she had slept in for almost forty years. As near as she could tell it was exactly seven years to the day since she first stepped out into the sewer, and that made her thirteen-years-old by human reckoning. Dropping her head onto her knees she wondered what had happened, what had gone so wrong in this rebirth?

Although she didn’t know who exactly had sent them here, and was sure that their personalities had not been expected to be identical to their first lives, this could not have been intended. Rath had been her first crush, her surrogate brother, the one who protected her, teased her, introduced her to Lonnie, threatened Zan with horrible punishments if he so much as laid a hand on her the night they got engaged, and now he was her – she could barely bring herself to think the word – her rapist.

The tears flowed hot and fast now, burning acid on her cheeks, and Ava wished that they had been allowed to die in peace. If Antar truly needed them, they needed who they had been, not who they were now. A King who spent all his time avoiding thoughts of his destiny, a Queen too afraid to stand up for herself, and the other two – malicious and violent traitors. What possible hope could they have of saving Antar from Khivar’s cruelty if they were guilty of much worse?

Gradually her sobs lessened and she began to slip into a semiconscious state, praying as her mind left her body that Zan wouldn’t come back until her body had finished healing itself; she wouldn’t be responsible for his death. Not again.
Her stomach still convulsing furiously, Ava straightened, wiping her hand over her mouth before waving it over the ground and erasing all signs of her vomit. Zan was dead and it was all her fault. If she hadn’t hidden how Rath and Lonnie acted when he wasn’t around all these years, then maybe he would have been prepared for their treachery. He may not have wanted to be King, but he didn’t deserve to die like that.

Another violent sob escaped her and she bit her lip so hard that blood spilled down her chin, staining her skin like the guilt stained her soul. She loved him. She’d loved him as Lady Avaelithe of the House of Caoith, and she’d loved him as Ava, a reincarnated alien Queen living in the sewers of New York. It seemed that she was doomed to watch the man she loved die as both.

Something was burning deep in the pit of her stomach and it wasn’t more bile, it was anger. Colder and harder than anything she’d felt before and she knew it was about time she stopped being afraid. Her inability to stand up for herself and her opinions had cost her the man she loved in two lifetimes, and she would be damned if she died a second time without avenging him.

“Are you done yet? It’s time to go,” Lonnie said sharply, grabbing her arm and pulling her to the car they had stolen. “We have another wannabe King to find.”

Ava plastered a terrified look on her face and nodded dumbly, stumbling on her way into the backseat and flinching at Rath’s laugh. Inside her mind was busy, years of practice at hiding her thoughts serving her well. At some point she needed to get away from them, even with her anger boosting her powers, she wasn’t strong enough to take on both of them yet and she needed time to practice, and maybe, allies. She could only hope that the other version of the Royal Four weren’t as warped as the two things in the front seat or not only would she be damned, so would Antar and, quite possibly, Earth as well.
Last edited by Whimsicality on Fri May 03, 2013 1:12 am, edited 2 times in total.

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There was nothing more she wanted to do than crawl back into bed, wrap herself in Michael, and spend the day trading kisses and learning what made him sigh, what made his breath catch, what made him purr in the back of his throat. - Liz in Hunted by Ashita

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Re: Fighting Fear (UC, Mi/L, Adult) Chapter One ~ 7/14

Post by Whimsicality » Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:54 pm

Traitor: Thank you for the feedback! I definitely agree on Ava, this is kind of how I always pictured her upbringing, and since I didn't explore that too much in When Dreams Change, it seemed the perfect starting point for this story. Oh and....*cough* tease! *cough* :D
cjsl8ne: Ava is definitely a main character, though Liz is first and foremost, or will be once we get that far. :lol: Thank you for the feedback!

A/N:So there will one more chapter after this one of lead in from Ava's POV. Then we really hit the AU stuff and it will mostly be from Liz's POV with a few surprises thrown in :D So bear with me, I know these first few chapters are a little slow action wise, especially after the teaser, but things will get crazy soon enough. :lol:

A/N2: This chapter contains quotes from the Roswell episodes ‘Meet the Dupes’ and ‘Max in the City’ I own none of the material in those quotes.

Chapter Two ~ Roswell

We, unaccustomed to courage
Exiles from delight
Live coiled in shells of loneliness
– Touched by an Angel, by Maya Angelou

Ava tuned out the blather of the two creatures next to her and focused on the group standing in the UFO center. Max had held her attention at first, but he reminded her too much of Zan for her gaze to linger and she had found herself drawn to the other girl staring at him. Liz, that was what Rath had said her name was, and there was something about her that struck a chord in the blonde hybrid. Throughout the ensuing confrontation and the myriad deceitful explanations that Rath and Lonnie gave, she kept quiet, silently observing all of them though her focus remained on the small brunette, the only one in the room who had given her a smile or seemed to notice her at all.

Unfortunately, none of them, not their dupes or Liz, seemed to see through Rath or Lonnie, although there was clearly no trust lost between the two groups, and Ava began to fear for Max’s life. If he didn’t go along with their plans, she didn’t think they would be above killing the only King they had left. The only thing keeping him safe was Khivar, ironically enough. He wanted the pleasure of killing the new Zan himself, and Ava had come to the sickened realization that her two ‘siblings’ were following Khivar’s orders, at least when it suited them. It seemed that history both repeated itself, and led to new, entirely worse, betrayals.

Later, as the two plotted ways to get Max to go with them to New York, she let loose a few comments, planting the seeds for her own planned defection. If she stayed with them, she’d never get loose and Zan wouldn’t get his justice. Besides, this group clearly needed the assistance of someone who knew something and Liz, well Ava didn’t think she was completely human anymore. She didn’t know why, but her weakest power, that of premonition, was telling her that this girl was important – not just to her personally, but to all of the Antarians. She could only hope that her instincts were trustworthy, and not about to lead her down an even darker path.
Ava spent the morning working up her courage to tell her ‘family’ that she wasn’t going back to New York and when Tess showed up to go with Max she had to fight to hide her smile. This was perfect.

“Too tight. Looks like there’s no room for me. Just as well,” she said bitterly, no longer hiding her dislike for her companions. She almost laughed as Rath’s eyes bugged out of his head, and she could see his fists clenching as he fought to hide his anger from the cloned King.

“What you trippin’ about?” he finally managed to sputter, glaring at her fiercely.

“I ain’t goin’,” she stated, her voice flat and eyes cold, no longer hiding beneath a veneer of timidity.

“Don’t be crazy. What are you gonna do, stay in the desert? Yo…just get in the car. Hey, I said get in, or I’ll…”

Once again, Ava had to fight to hide her smile as she saw Rath biting his tongue to hold back all the things he wanted to say to her. Well, she might as well plant some seeds of doubt in the others. Max might be too dense to see it, but Tess looked smart, maybe smart enough to keep her Zan safe. “Kill me? What, you gonna kill me?”

Max finally reacted to something, his eyes showing that he had come out from inside himself, but Rath was quick to brush off his concerns, managing to lull him into getting into the car. Ava kept her victorious smile in her head and ignored the glare she saw Lonnie shooting at her from behind the car window. She was free and it had never felt so good; she only wished Zan was with her.
Ava had chosen the alley behind the Crashdown to sleep purposefully, knowing that at some point Liz would stumble upon her, and that the inherently kind nature Ava had sensed in her would lead to an opportunity for conversation. Ava needed to learn more about this little group, to see who could be trusted, and just how much they knew about their past, and their intended future.

What she hadn’t planned on was actually falling asleep, comfortable enough in her environment to truly rest, to rest deeply enough to dream. The shock of Zan’s death washed through her all over again, her subconscious overriding her conscious blocks, and before she could stop herself she was telling Liz almost everything, trusting the girl more than she had trusted anyone on Earth. It should have surprised her that Max had healed this girl, saved her life, but it didn’t. It fit with what she had seen of his personality so far, different from both her Zan and the original, and it explained the energy she felt in the girl. Liz may have been human once, but she wasn’t anymore, at least not completely, and clearly she had no idea.

She also hadn’t planned on being so defensive when Isabel confronted her, but she kept seeing Lonnie’s cruel expression super imposed over Isabel’s, and it shook her more than she wanted to admit. When Michael threatened her, she was hard-pressed to hide her terror, afraid that he was more like Rath than he appeared.

It was Liz’s plea that moved her enough to fight past her fear. If she let Lonnie and Rath kill Max out of fear, then she was letting them rule her life and her freedom meant nothing. It was time to tell the truth.

“Lonnie and Rath…killed Zan. And they’re probably gonna kill Max.”

In the following tension filled moments, she realized that Michael’s gruffness hid his vulnerability and that he was no more capable of Rath’s viciousness than Isabel was of Lonnie’s cruelty. It hurt to realize that they truly cared about each other, that they were the family she hadn’t gotten in this life, and was never going to have now. She wondered if Tess realized how lucky she was, but brushed the thought away in favor of helping these people save their brother, only hoping Zan forgave her for not saving him.

“Liz can do it.”

At their shocked looks and Isabel’s outburst, she realized just how little they knew about themselves and their powers; they couldn’t even sense that Liz was different. It saddened her because she knew that as soon as she had helped them and averted this crisis, she would have to leave. They weren’t prepared to be her allies and they were in no way ready to take on Rath and Lonnie or any of their other enemies. So instead she spoke the words that would change the path of their lives, oblivious to how much it would change hers as well.

“Max brought you back from the dead. You’ve been changed.”

“What do you mean by changed?”

Hearing the fear in Liz’s voice, Ava tried to put reassurance in her tone. “Look, there ain’t enough time to explain. You just gotta trust me here. If Max brought you back, then… you’re different now.”

She saw the acceptance in Liz’s eyes and then Isabel’s, and gave a small smile as the tall blond took the small brunette’s hand. It would be okay, and maybe later, after all of this was over and when she had gained more control of her own powers, she could come back to Roswell and explain it to them.
She had been right. Liz had saved her Zan and they had made it back to Roswell safely. Part of her wanted to be lulled into a false sense of security and stay here with these people who genuinely cared for each other and didn’t show their affection with violence, but she knew that Rath and Lonnie weren’t going to accept defeat lying down. They wouldn’t be back here, not right away. Four to two wasn’t their style, but it didn’t mean that they wouldn’t be looking to take their anger out on her, and she intended to be far, far away by the time they did.

“Goodbye. Good luck, okay?” Liz said as they stood facing each other awkwardly on the sidewalk, real affection in her eyes even as she nervously bit her lip.

Ava fought a blush and promised herself she’d check in on Liz every now and then, watch her to make sure she was okay. “Thanks, you too.”

When Liz hugged her she wasn’t sure what to do at first, her body instinctively flinching from the physical contact, but she forced herself to react and hugged the girl back. “So cornball,” was all she managed to say, the only emotion she could allow herself to show.

“Okay,” Liz replied, her smile showing that she understood, maybe more than Ava realized, and with one last smile, the blond waved goodbye. It was time to earn her freedom.
Last edited by Whimsicality on Fri May 03, 2013 1:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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There was nothing more she wanted to do than crawl back into bed, wrap herself in Michael, and spend the day trading kisses and learning what made him sigh, what made his breath catch, what made him purr in the back of his throat. - Liz in Hunted by Ashita

Polar Attraction - Not just for Polarists...

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Re: Fighting Fear (UC, Mi/L, Adult) Chapter Two ~ 7/28

Post by Whimsicality » Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:51 pm

barbara87413: Thank you! We'll start finding out a lot more in the next chapter, which is when we'll switch to Liz's perspective (at least for a while *cough*) :D
cjls8ne: Thank you very much for the feedback! I'm glad she got away from them too, although I can't promise we won't see them again :wink: And starting next chapter we'll really start delving into the differences and the plot, this story, once we're past this initial three chapter prelude, is pretty plot heavy and moves quickly (although it will be most of mine seem to be :lol: )

A/N: Well I was going to post this wednesday and then work went crazy and laptop is still being finicky so..... :roll: But here it is! Thank you all for your patience and support and especial thanks to Ashita for being the most awesome beta ever!

Chapter Three ~ What price freedom?

And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow
– The Raven, by Edgar Allen Poe

Ava shelved the last book with a satisfied sigh, then placed her hands on her hips and rotated in a slow circle, her eyes scanning the whole room. It looked perfect; she had managed to shelve an entire shipment in three hours. Twirling one pink tinted curl she gave a brief smirk, no one would think to look for her, street rat extraordinaire, working in a bookstore in a relatively small town in Nebraska of all places. When she had first left Roswell, she had intended on finding a job in a bar or an all-night diner in some large city, but had realized that Rath and Lonnie would predict that decision and look for her accordingly.

So, instead, she had removed her piercings and all of her tattoos except for the royal seal of Antar on her back, a memorial for Zan. She had lengthened her hair, although she had left in the streaks, not willing to completely sacrifice her personality, and cleaned up her wardrobe, then wandered through a few small towns before finding this one.

The bookstore owner was an elderly woman who no longer had the energy to mind the store and was looking for someone to take over the daily duties so she didn’t have to sell it. The town was small enough that Rath and Lonnie were unlikely to ever set foot in it, and large enough to not be too shocked at a single girl with pink streaks in her hair living alone. Even if her former family did decide to visit the town, she would hear of it rather quickly as they would stand out like sore thumbs, and they would never step foot in a bookstore. Neither of them knew that almost every afternoon she had managed to slip away from the sewers, she had spent in the New York Public Library, reading the days away and pretending she was a normal, human girl.

Every evening and all day Sunday she spent in the woods outside her new town, strengthening her physical abilities. Her mental abilities she already had excellent control over. Dreamwalking was her strongest simply due to the fact that it got the most use. When living with Rath and Lonnie, she had left her body as often as she could, finding peace in other people’s dreams and sometimes just resting in the dream plane and watching the orbs glow around her. Her mindwarping was also strong, though she only used it when necessary, something that had frustrated the others when she refused to aid in some of their schemes. Premonition was her weakest ability, completely out of her control and rarely giving her more than a strong feeling about a certain situation or person.

But, other than molecular manipulation, she hadn’t had much call to use her physical abilities, preferring to pretend that she didn’t have them for a certain measure of safety from the others. If they believed her to be weak, then they didn’t think she was a threat. Even before Zan’s death, she had known that her life depended on her not being seen as a threat, and now she was convinced that it was the only reason they hadn’t killed her too.

A threat was exactly what she wanted to be now however, and she needed her powers strong and under control. So her evenings were spent blowing up rocks and then reforming them, and perfecting her one unique weapon – fire. In the past couple of months, she had increased her control to the point where she could burn an entire tree to ash in less than a minute, or set fire to an individual leaf on a tree from a thirty foot distance. Part of her wanted to hunt down her family and kill them now, but the rest of her, the smart part, knew that it would be better to wait, because if they were truly working with Khivar, then they would not be alone. While she was willing to die to achieve vengeance, a suicide mission wasn’t one of her immediate goals.

Sighing, she reached up and massaged the back of her neck as she walked towards the door and flipped the sign to closed, before turning the lock at the handle and flipping the one on top of the door with a small burst of telekinetic energy. It was her weakest power aside from her premonitions, but it came in handy for things out of reach of a petite girl.

Tonight, she wasn’t going to practice. Tonight, she was going to check on Liz for the second time since leaving Roswell. The first time she had visited Liz’s dreams, the group had apparently just gotten back from Vegas and she had managed to glean from the images that while things weren’t perfect, they seemed to be going well enough without any significant crises, and that there had been no sign of Nicholas, Lonnie, Rath, or any other enemies, although there had been some strange images of Max. She hoped to find similarly good news tonight.

If nothing else, it would be a welcome change from her own dreams. Her nights were filled with visions of Zan’s death, the worst being the ones where he would return to haunt her, his soulful eyes burning with anger as he blamed her for not saving him. Lately, those dreams had been interspersed with nightmares of Rath and Lonnie burning with unquenchable flame as they chased her through darkened streets. Those inevitably woke her trembling in a cold sweat, the taste of ash on the back of her tongue, and she was never able to fall back asleep afterwards.
Liz’s dream orb was dark, almost black instead of its usual warm golden glow, and Ava felt a ball of dread forming in the pit of her stomach. Something was wrong, horribly wrong. The color of a person’s orb was determined by their aura, and only something severely traumatic could change the color of a person’s aura to this degree. For Liz, whose aura had remained steady despite everything she had been through with Max and the others, to change so drastically…Ava shuddered to think of what must have happened.

Steeling her nerves, she slipped into the orb, hoping against hope that she was wrong, that her staying away hadn’t caused this. When she saw the images flowing through Liz’s subconscious, she knew she wasn’t. Here before her was the cost of her freedom; if she hadn’t left, then maybe, maybe this wouldn’t have happened. It was time to go back to Roswell and this time she vowed, she wasn’t leaving unless it was with Liz.

She was tired of having to wait for a trigger before she acted, tired of death leading to revelation. If she had acted against Rath and Lonnie despite her fear, then maybe Zan would still be alive. If she hadn’t let her fear, fear for them and fear for herself, drive her away from Roswell, then maybe Alex would still be alive and Liz wouldn’t be grieving so deeply that the very signature of her soul had changed.

Fear wasn’t going to stop her anymore. No one else was going to die so that she would act. It was time to face facts – she needed help to confront her enemies, and someone else needed her help. Love and trust scared her more than death itself, they had been her downfall in two lives, but she felt both for Liz despite their brief meeting, and knew the brunette felt the same intrinsic pull even if she hadn’t earned it. It was time to stop running and accept her Antarian side with all that came with it, as well as her human side, which could no longer be denied even if she’d wanted to.
When she arrived in Roswell it was once again too late. She could feel the concentration of energy in the desert, the power of the Granilith being used for purposes it was not intended for, and she was half way down the street to the Crashdown when the power peaked, knocking her to the ground as she watched the burning streak light up the afternoon sky. The energy filling the atmosphere was strong enough that she could draw on it to feel the others, standing shocked and staring, as if they were next to her instead of miles away.

Tess. Tess was gone. If the others hadn’t gone with her that left only a few options, and one of those options was that Tess, her clone, her other self, had somehow been responsible for the death of Alex, whose funeral she had seen in Liz’s dreams. It seemed betrayal had tainted both foursquares.

Crawling to her feet, the blonde made her way back to the alley behind the Crashdown and climbed up Liz’s ladder, perching on the edge of her balcony and waiting for the other girl to come home. Part of her hoped that Liz wouldn’t blame her for Alex’s death, would still see her as a completely different person from her double. The other part hoped that she would blame her, would tell her just how horrible she was for leaving, for not warning them that maybe they too had a traitor in their midst, a traitor wearing her face.

When Liz’s face first appeared in the window, eyes hollow and cheeks streaked with tears, the pain emanating from her nearly knocked Ava to the ground for the second time that day. Liz’s eyes widened in fear and anger when she first saw the blonde standing on her balcony, but she quickly recognized Ava and her face crumpled, tears streaming silently down her face as she stumbled into the hybrid’s arms.

They stood like that for what seemed like hours; Liz sobbing as Ava rubbed her back until Ava started crying too, the first time since Zan’s death, and then they were both holding on as tightly as they could, drawing strength from each other to keep from drowning in a suffocating sea of grief.

Liz was the first one to break the silence, her voice hoarse and ragged from crying. “Alex is dead, Tess killed him. Max got her pregnant and then let her go because she said the baby couldn’t survive on Earth. He let her go!” Her voice was shaking with anger now, her fingers digging painfully into Ava’s back as remembered rage flowed through her. “He told me it would be okay, he pulled me into his arms and told me he loved me.” The words dripped with disgust and Ava hugged her tighter, feeling her anger waken and begin a slow smolder in her stomach.

The brunette pulled back and stared into Ava’s eyes, her own chocolate pools icy cold with determination. “You said I was different now. I know I’m changing, sometimes I can feel it like a warm tingling in my hands. And my dreams, my dreams aren’t about human things anymore. I want you to teach me. The next time someone tries to kill someone I love, I want to be able to kill them first.”

Ava nodded, a small smile curving the corners of her mouth. “Works for me Cornball. What about the others?”

Liz fell silent, considering. “Max won’t like it, but the others…If they want training and you don’t mind, I won’t say no. They should be able to protect themselves and Michael; Michael would have killed her. He believed me, even when Max didn’t.”

Ava nodded again and rubbed her arm gently. “If they want training, I’ll train them, but you’re my first priority and if I didn’t know you wanted the honor, I’d beat Max into a bloody pulp, Zan copy or not.”

Liz chuckled, a smile stretching her lips for the first time in weeks. “You’ll stay with me then, I’ll tell mom and dad tomorrow. They’ve been so worried about me that I don’t think they’ll protest, especially when I tell dad he gets to ban Max from the Café.”

The blonde giggled, taking Liz’s proffered hand and following her into the bedroom, sudden joy bubbling inside of her and temporarily washing away the guilt and fear. Maybe not all family wanted to hurt you or betray you; maybe she really did have a shot at that second chance.
Last edited by Whimsicality on Fri May 03, 2013 1:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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There was nothing more she wanted to do than crawl back into bed, wrap herself in Michael, and spend the day trading kisses and learning what made him sigh, what made his breath catch, what made him purr in the back of his throat. - Liz in Hunted by Ashita

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Re: Fighting Fear (UC, Mi/L, Adult) Chapter Three ~ 8/20

Post by Whimsicality » Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:36 am

Feedback: Sorry for the delay everyone, I've been suffering from insomnia and busyness...ugh. Thank you all for your feedback and patience and thank you Ashita for your amazing betaing and I will try not to take so long with the next update! And Sundae, you made some great points about Ava, and while we're switching to Liz POV for the moment, we will learn a LOT more about Ava in some upcoming chapters :D

A/N: So I thought I’d mention one of the other AU elements pre-departure, Michael did not sleep with Maria. They are still together, and he did decide to stay, partially for her and partially to protect the others from Alex’s killer (since they didn’t know it was Tess yet), but they have not cemented their relationship that fully due to him not wanting to do that and then leave, and both still have doubts about each other. Basically the entire group is less close, less united; Isabel and Kyle still have a just beginning bond due to Max, and Michael and Maria still care about each other, but this is a group damaged by the events of season two and it will be a while before they completely trust each other or themselves again. Also, just as a reminder of my original warning, this is a Max friendly fic, even if his behavior doesn’t seem like it, just bear with me and there will be explanations for everything.

Chapter Four ~ Fault Lines

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.
– If You Forget Me, by Pablo Neruda

“Give me one reason why we shouldn’t kill you,” Max growled out, his eyes, eyes that Liz had once found so irresistible, flashing with bitter rage.

Liz stepped in front of Ava, her own eyes dark with fury, and gave a derisive laugh, the sound crackling through the tension filled room like a slap to the face. “Maybe because she’s never done anything wrong? The only person who deserves to die is the one you let go Max, and don’t you dare try to blame Ava for that.”

Max rocked back on his heels, clearly surprised by the vehemence of her response, though the scowl never left his face and Liz fought a shiver. Something about the way he felt to Liz’s nascent, alien driven senses had made her skin itch since he first walked into the room.

Maria, who’d been standing shocked in the corner of Michael’s living room ever since Liz walked in with Ava, took a tremulous step forward. “How could you bring her here Liz?! How could you stand next to her after what we just found out about Alex?”

Liz’s expression softened slightly as she turned to her best friend. “Because she didn’t do anything to Alex, Maria, and we can’t hold her accountable for Tess’s actions any more than she could hold Michael and Isabel accountable for what happened to Zan.”

Maria shook her head, honey blonde curls bouncing agitatedly as tears welled up in her green eyes. “No Liz! It is not that simple, it shouldn’t be that easy for you! Alex…” Her voice carried both anger and grief and after saying Alex’s name she broke off, just staring wordlessly at the brunette.

Liz’s eyes hardened and she took a step back, standing closer to Ava. “Alex would have been the last person to judge Ava for who she looked like.” She had known that Ava’s presence wouldn’t be immediately welcome, especially a bare two days after they found out the truth of Tess’s betrayal, but she had hoped that once they calmed down, everyone would see the advantages of having someone with Tess’s knowledge, but not her tendencies, as part of the group.

As far as she was concerned, Ava had proved her loyalty when she helped Liz save Max’s life in New York, and she already trusted her enough that ‘Tess’s cousin’ was staying with her under her parents roof, sleeping on an air mattress in Liz’s room, since she had refused the guest bed. “She saved your life Max, she’s the only one who knew I would be changing, or at least the only one who admitted it, and we need her. Especially now.”

“What is that supposed to mean?” he snapped, immediately on the defensive, as he had been ever since she made it clear that nothing more than friendship was possible between them, not anymore. It wasn’t that she didn’t still want more, part of her always would, but the death of their chances at happiness had begun with Future Max’s visit and ended with Tess’s pregnancy. She was physically and emotionally incapable of trying again.

She waved her hand exasperatedly through the air, “It means, Max, that our primary source of information on all things alien, just went to your enemies with your son! If we’ve ever needed allies, it’s now.” Not to mention, she thought silently to herself, the fact that given Tess’s betrayal, she highly doubted she had successfully prevented the end of the world; who knew when the invasion would strike now? And Future Max’s insistence on having the fourth member of their foursquare just made Ava’s presence all the more important; although she wasn’t prepared yet to admit to the others just how bad a mess she’d made of things. That particular confession could wait for another day; one where she wasn’t being glared at by her best friend and her ex-boyfriend while his sister, his brother, and her other ex-boyfriend all stared silently into space, each apparently lost in their own thoughts.

“She’s right Max,” Michael said suddenly and unexpectedly, reaching up to scratch at his eyebrow, voice heavy with exhaustion. Both Max and Maria shot him betrayed looks and he shook his head. “I’m not saying you have to trust her, or even like her, but it would be stupid to turn away a source of information.”

Liz shot him a grateful glance, glad to hear another voice of reason, and accepted his stoic nod as the only acknowledgment she would receive. Max’s hands clenched into agitated fists, but he finally nodded, and gritted out “Fine, she can stay, if she helps me get to my son.”

The room fell into yet another shocked silence, everyone staring at Max as they tried to process his apparent intention to leave the planet. Liz blinked; it wasn’t that she didn’t sympathize, she couldn’t imagine the pain he was going through knowing that his son was in the hands of the man who killed them, but what could he possibly hope to accomplish? He didn’t know the culture, didn’t have a firm grasp of his powers, even if he did manage to get to Antar, what would he do? Ask nicely for his son back and hope they didn’t execute him first?

It was Ava who broke the stunned quiet, speaking for the first time since their arrival. “I’ll answer yous questions, but I’s ain’t goin on no wild goose chase with you. I’s here to train Liz, and those two if they want it,” She said with a nod towards Michael and Isabel, “But I ain’t gonna be yous personal alien detector.”

Max glared at her furiously, before sweeping his eyes over the room with angry disdain and leaving the apartment with three quick strides, slamming the apartment door behind him. Liz slumped, feeling the drain of no sleep and the emotional toll of everything that had happened since Alex’s death. Hot, burning tears stung the corners of her eyes. She hadn’t had a chance to mourn yet, that night on her balcony with Ava was the first and only time she’d cried for her lost best friend; he deserved better than that, no matter the circumstances.

“I, I can’t be here,” Maria stammered out, shaking off Michael’s comforting embrace and fleeing the apartment with one last tearful glance at her best friend. The door closed quietly behind her, but had no less of an impact on the remaining young adults, the shattered remains of what had once been an almost cohesive group of friends and allies.

Isabel had barely reacted to either departure and was still sitting on the couch next to Kyle, staring blankly into space, while he alternated between glancing at her worriedly, and eyeing Ava with an indefinable emotion in his pale blue eyes.

Michael reached up to scratch his eyebrow, body tense with exhaustion and strain. “Do you need a place to stay?” he asked the blonde, voice hovering between reluctance and sincerity.

She shook her head, gesturing to Liz. “I’s staying with Cornball; we’s already told her parents that I’s Tess’s cousin, needed a place to stay since there was bad blood between us.”

Michael snorted, face darkening. “That’s one way to put it.” He sighed then, leaning wearily against the wall and rumpling his hair. “I’d like to take you up on that training, but not today.”

“Me too,” Isabel said suddenly, before Ava could reply. Her eyes were hard with unusual determination, but glossy with unshed tears. “I want to be able to protect the people in my life, before anyone else dies because of me.”

Kyle, Liz, and Michael all opened their mouths to protest her acceptance of guilt, but Ava beat them to it. “Unless yous mindwarped Alex, yous didn’t kill nobody. But I’ll train yous, and the next time some bitch tries to betray you, I’s help yous kill her, even if she does look like me.”

Isabel nodded, blinking back her tears, and smiled shakily before turning to Kyle. “Take me home?”

He smiled back and followed her towards the door, pausing to give Liz a brief, comforting hug before leaving, the three remaining teens staring at each other in awkward silence.

“Thank you Michael, I’ll see you at work tomorrow,” Liz finally said, managing a faint smile as he nodded and then led Ava towards the door, shooting one last glance at his broad, clearly tired frame over her shoulder before closing the door behind her. His support had been unexpected, although maybe she should have expected it after his help with investigating Alex’s murder, but definitely welcome.

She only hoped that Maria and Max would also come around eventually. The past few days had been tumultuous and it was understandable, given everything, that they weren’t emotionally prepared to deal with Ava, or the reality of how much they needed her. Maria had lost her best friend, just as Liz had, only she’d been blindsided by the truth of his death. Max not only had grief over Alex, but the knowledge of his son being out there somewhere and the more personal betrayal of Tess’s actions.

Liz understood those reasons, she did, but it didn’t take away her feelings of anger and betrayal over how they, especially Max, had treated her ever since Alex’s funeral, and she too needed time for healing and forgiveness.

She felt like she’d been running without a single moment to breathe ever since she stepped foot back in Roswell after being in Florida. She’d been hit with one crisis after emotional trauma after disaster, all leading to a complete mental and emotional devastation that she didn’t know if she would ever recover from. Sometimes she felt like she was suffocating, drowning without any ability to pull herself out. That was why she needed Ava. Not because of the future, or their enemies, but because the small blonde offered Liz a chance to retake control of her life; a chance to regain some of the self assurance she used to possess in abundance.

Learning to use her powers, to access the tingling electricity she felt burning inside of her, was the first step to getting that control, and she couldn’t wait to get started. And at the moment, she was almost glad that it would just be Michael and Isabel there, despite the distant relationship she shared with both of them. Aside from Kyle, they were the only two people in their group that it didn’t hurt to be around, and maybe it was time to strengthen those relationships, before it was too late.
Last edited by Whimsicality on Fri May 03, 2013 2:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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There was nothing more she wanted to do than crawl back into bed, wrap herself in Michael, and spend the day trading kisses and learning what made him sigh, what made his breath catch, what made him purr in the back of his throat. - Liz in Hunted by Ashita

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Re: Fighting Fear (UC, Mi/L, Adult) Chapter Four ~ 9/5

Post by Whimsicality » Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:09 pm

barbara87413: Thank you for the feedback! Yes, this Liz definitely has the strength that the end of season Two Liz showed, and I just had to bring Ava back :D Hope you enjoy this chapter!
cjsl8ne: Thanks! Yes, the group dynamic is very important, and we will see them all getting closer together, especially in this chapter :-) I hope you enjoy this chapter too and thanks for the feedback!
Sundae: Yeah, I definitely don't think they addressed Kyle's grief and turmoil over Tess enough in the show. And Ava's definitely a kick ass girl! Lol, I welcome your eyerolls! Hope you like this chapter and thank you so much for the feedback!

Chapter Five ~ Training

Nor judge me light, tho’ light at times I seem,
And lightly in the stress of fortune bear
The innumerable flaws of changeful care
– Sonnet I, by Robert Louis Stevenson

The energy filled her, warm and tingling just this side of pain. As she concentrated, the tingling spread and grew until it was pouring out her fingertips in streams of green and spiraling up her arms like thin, living snakes. She waited until it peaked, until it crossed the line into actual pain burning against her skin and boiling in her veins, and then shoved it from her in a controlled burst. The energy arced thirty feet and crashed into the six-foot boulder, dissolving it into dust in the space of a few seconds, leaving a feeling of peace in its wake.

The sound of muted clapping reached her ears and turning, she saw Kyle and Isabel applauding her while Michael smirked. Liz allowed herself a faint grin and bowed at the waist, triumphant butterflies dancing in her stomach. She’d come a long way from a split second projection to New York, and she was pretty damn proud of that fact.

She also had a sudden empathy for Michael and his tendencies to blow things up when upset. It was very satisfying to watch something explode after yet another fruitless phone call with Max, or a strained and silent shift with Maria.

“Remind me not to piss you off,” Michael said gruffly, and the other two laughed while Ava assumed his earlier smirk and poked him none too gently in the side.

“Aww, poor Michael, surrounded by all these women who can blast you into bits.”

“I think Maria’s lungs scare him more than we do,” Isabel said sarcastically before he could reply, and Liz suppressed both a pang at the thought of her still distant best friend, and a chuckle at how true the statement was.

Michael just grunted, but she saw a faint twinkle in his eyes, and stopped fighting her smile. This was their third training session, and the first two meetings had been understandably awkward and tense. By now though, both Michael and Isabel were treating Ava as her own person, and as a mostly accepted member of the group. Even Kyle had warmed up enough to converse easily with the small blonde, something Liz found nothing short of amazing since as far as she was concerned, he had the most reason to feel betrayed by what Tess had done.

It gave her hope that their reluctant group of companions, tied together by such fragile strings, would be able to turn the destruction of their lives into a catalyst for coming together, rather than falling completely apart.

Pulling the ponytail out of her hair, she ran her fingers through it and rolled her shoulders, relieving the last of her tension. “So, I think it’s someone else’s turn. I’ve done enough damage for one day.”

“I think you’ve got a ways to go before you catch up with me,” Michael said with a chuckle as he rumpled his tawny locks, earning smiles from Isabel and Kyle and a frown from Liz as she caught the underlying bitterness to his tone. She knew Michael had always compared himself to Max, and not in a favorable way, but she’d thought that in the past year, during which Michael had become the responsible one in most cases, that he’d stopped feeling the need to do so. She certainly didn’t compare them, they were far too different in personality and temperament for their actions to be judged on the same meter and it was foolish to try.

Max was, in most cases – passive, an optimist, someone who led with his heart, had trouble trusting himself or anyone else, and possessed a high academic intelligence and a natural tendency for leadership. Michael was, in most cases – aggressive, a pessimist, someone who fought his emotions yet acted on a more instinctive level than the other boy, who rarely gave his trust but once he did, it was nearly unshakeable. He possessed his own intelligence, and an ability to reason that superseded the academic plane, though he was perfectly capable of succeeding on that level if he’d wanted to, and he didn’t deal well with authority.

They both had flaws; they both made good and bad decisions, but their approaches to life were so different that sometimes she’d wondered if they would have even been friends if they didn’t have the alien secret tying them together. Then again, look at her and Maria, who also had drastically opposite personalities, and despite the personal betrayal she felt at the moment for how Maria had reacted to her suspicions over Alex, she couldn’t imagine not having the bubbly blonde in her life. Maybe it was the same for the two boys. If so, she hoped that the presence and actions of Tess, Ava, and herself didn’t manage to drive a permanent wedge between them, just as she hoped there wasn’t a permanent wedge driven between her and Maria.

“Do you want to try again Kyle?” she asked to break the silence, shaking away her moodiness in an attempt to prevent the need for blowing up any more rocks, however satisfying the action might be.

He shrugged, one side of his mouth lifting into a strained smile. “Why not? I just love failure.”

“It’s not failure,” Ava said firmly, giving him a gentle shove towards where Liz was standing. “Max didn’t connect with you on the same level he connected with Liz, so you didn’t receive as much energy, that means your brain and body have to work harder to adapt to the changes.” He rolled his eyes dismissively, but stepped forward, and she gave him an arch look. “You decided you wanted to develop them. If you had left it alone, you probably wouldn’t ever attain an active state, so no bitching, got it?”

Kyle grinned devilishly at her. “So, now we have a Christmas Nazi and a Training Nazi?”

Liz and Michael winced as both blondes turned furious glares on him and Liz stepped prudently away from Kyle, wanting to be out of the blast radius. They were all on edge and Kyle had never been what she would describe as a cautious person, but taunting two impressively powerful women, who both had just as much emotional turmoil to work through as he did, was really, really risky, even for him.

“Maybe if we blasted him, he’d learn to shield,” Isabel stated coldly, her arms crossed over her chest and all amusement gone from her eyes.

Ava nodded her agreement, lips pursing thoughtfully. “I think we can work out a new training regimen, just for him; really put those ‘Nazi’ tendencies to work for us.”

Michael chuckled, and then choked on it as two impressive glares were turned on him. He pressed his lips together in a thin line and directed a grim look at Kyle. “Watch it midget, before you get us all flattened.”

Kyle just grunted, then turned away and stared at the rock next to the one Liz had blown up, his brow furrowing as he concentrated. Almost a minute later, the rock wobbled slightly. Several minutes later it hadn’t moved again, and Kyle slumped, muttering to himself. “I need to start carrying aspirin.”

Ava walked towards him and placed a hand on his head, ignoring his instinctive flinch, and then smiled when he relaxed after her hand glowed briefly. “Try to avoid the name calling, or next time I’ll make it worse instead,” she said sweetly when he turned surprised and grateful eyes on her.

He gave her a lopsided smile and nodded. “Deal.” Tilting his head towards Isabel, his smile turned hopeful. “Forgive me for being an ass?”

She waved her hand magnanimously, expression softening ever so slightly. “I suppose.”

Michael rolled his eyes. “Great, now they’ll get used to apologies.”

Isabel started to glare again and Liz laughed, unable to hold in her amusement any longer, and wanting to prevent the renewal of the tension. “I promise Michael, we won’t expect them from you.”

He nodded sharply, face severe but eyes subtly glimmering. “Good.” Turning towards Ava, he raised one eyebrow. “So what’s next?”

Ava rested her hands on her hips, eyeing all four of them thoughtfully. “I want to try something new. All of you come stand over here by Kyle.” They obeyed and she directed them to stand in a modified foursquare position; Isabel next to Kyle, Liz behind Isabel with her back turned to the other girl, and Michael behind Kyle, also with his back turned so that all four of them were facing outwards, towards the desert, rather than each other.

“Close your eyes,” she instructed, watching them intently. “Breathe slowly and try to focus your energy, but without trying to release it or do anything with it.” She waited several moments before continuing, her voice softer. “Think about what your energy looks like, how bright it is. Does it have a color, a texture?”

Liz concentrated, seeing a soft green glow, not as bright as the energy she used for destruction, but somehow more intense. It felt warm, like a bath that had reached the perfect temperature, and it felt right, no longer something foreign and alien, but like a part of her.

“Let the energy fill you, surround you, but don’t use it. Just let it be,” Ava said, her voice barely audible to Liz as she sunk into that well of power until she could feel it bathing every inch of her skin. It was intoxicating, but in a different, more soothing way than she had felt when using it to blow things up. She felt grounded and in control in a way she hadn’t in a very long time and she didn’t want the feeling to end.

“Now open your eyes,” the distant voice instructed, and Liz let her eyelids slide lazily upwards. She gasped. The world around her was illuminated, full of colors and lights and shadows she had never before seen. Every rock, tree, even the ground, all glowed softly, and she could see tiny bright sparks that she gradually realized were living creatures – lizards, snakes, even tiny insects. Turning her head to the side, she saw Michael standing beside her and stopped breathing for a moment, staring in awe.

He glowed with rich, dark gold light, faint whorls of red and green and black hovering over different parts of his body. She could feel the power inside of him pulsing against her own, and knew that if they wanted to, they could merge their power and use it perform feats she never would have thought possible. At her back she could feel similar power from Isabel, thought not quite as strong, and a fainter but still strong pulse from Kyle, and realized that this was why the foursquare was important.

It wasn’t addition, as she had somewhat naively assumed. When it came to their powers, it was multiplication she now realized, instinctive knowledge flooding her brain as she calculated the strength of the energy rushing through and around her. If two of them merged, they were four times as strong. If three of them connected, nine times. And if all four of them joined their energies, they would have sixteen times as much power as they had individually, and not much in this world could stop them.

If this was the kind of power they had wielded in their former lives, she shuddered to think what could have defeated them. Who could have defeated them, and what devastation such power could cause, both to people, and planets.

Fear tainted her joy in this new world that had opened to her, and her heart seized in her chest as panic surged through her veins. Was this the kind of power that would destroy Earth? Had her and the others thoughtless actions over the past years, sealed her planet’s fate? So much power between them, so much potential, but would it, could it, be enough?

Only time would tell. She clenched her fists and focused on the energy flow – training had never been more important.
Last edited by Whimsicality on Fri May 03, 2013 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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There was nothing more she wanted to do than crawl back into bed, wrap herself in Michael, and spend the day trading kisses and learning what made him sigh, what made his breath catch, what made him purr in the back of his throat. - Liz in Hunted by Ashita

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Re: Fighting Fear (UC, Mi/L, Adult) Chapter Five ~ 9/18

Post by Whimsicality » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:12 pm

Ashita: You are the best beta on the planet and you always leave great feedback too, I love it. This was definitely one of my favorite chapters to write, finally getting past all of the backstory and AU elements to really kick into the plot, which as you know now takes off lightning fast and probably won't stop until the end, lol. And I'm glad you're liking the group dynamics and powers because those are two of the most important elements that I was worried about. Thank you as always for betaing and feedback!
barbara87413: Thank you so much for the feedback! I'm glad you're enjoying seeing Ava integrate into the group, we will definitely see more of Liz and the other's perspectives changing as they learn more about their powers and their past.
cjsl8ne: Yes he does, lol, and no, Kyle will never be boring, hopefully we'll have more scenes with him in this fic although sadly he won't get quite as much screentime here as in my others. And as for the new foursquare, and the others perspectives, we'll start to see more of that :-D Thanks for the feedback, you rock!
Sundae: Thank you very much! I'm glad you're enjoying it, this was definitely the first chapter that first kicked off the plot. I'm so glad you enjoyed the description of the powers, I really wanted that to come across as I saw it, and yes that golden color is important although maybe not how you're expecting :wink: As for Maria and Max, we'll find out more about their places in the group, but not for a while, whereas Ava's past will become clear soon, and her future when we find out about everyone's future. And after that vague bit of, enjoy the next chapter and thanks for the review!

A/N: So sorry for the delay everyone, life's been crazing with losing my job and trying to figure out what to do next, while looking for a new job and contemplating going back to college full time...*sigh* so yeah, life's been crazy, but I have been working on this story a lot, so it's more delays in posting time than written material. And I'm very excited to be doing nanowrimo for the first time next month, although I'll be shooting for something original rather than fanfic, and I promise it won't affect posting.

Chapter Six ~ Visions of Future Past

And, when night comes, I’ll go
To places fit for woe,
Walking along the darkened valley
With silent melancholy.
– Memory, hither come, by William Blake

Something heavy laid over her, pressing her into the earth. She struggled and pushed, panic stiffening her limbs as her oxygen-starved lungs caught fire. Without warning, the weight vanished, and she was surrounded by cold, empty darkness. She rose to her feet, shivering in the formless void as dread trailed icy fingers across the back of her neck and coiled in the pit of her stomach, hard and heavy. Something brushed against her and she flinched, frantically turning in circles as she tried to see, hear, sense anything, and failed.

The strange presence came again and again until she was buffeted from all sides, confusion and fear strangling her vocal chords as she wept silently until it stopped, leaving her dizzy and spent, heart palpitating angrily against her ribcage. A sudden burst of light blinded her and a single tone, loud and pure and all encompassing, drove her to her knees as it pierced her ears, sending agony skittering along her nerves until the light in her skull eclipsed the one surrounding her.

The light and sound ceased as suddenly as it had begun and she panted, terror fading into exhaustion, her mind overwhelmed. Something inside her gut started to burn and she felt the energy, the energy she had forgotten existed, start to grow and pulse, her every cell crackling with power as the intensity built until she thought she would turn to ash if it grew again by even the smallest increment.

The energy remained as a constant burn, an almost unbearable pressure against her skin from the inside, and in the blink of an eye she was no longer surrounded by nothing. She was standing in the middle of a field, a field of bodies, bloodied and still warm. A figure appeared on the other side of the field, insubstantial to her eyes but somehow more present than anything or anyone she’d ever felt.

“Would you stop it?” it asked, and she stared, not understanding what it wanted from her. Would she stop this bombardment of her senses, this horrific experience? Would she stop whatever had caused the thousands of deaths she was literally standing on? What if these lifeless bodies were those of her enemies, those who would destroy everything she held dear?

The answer to all of those questions, if she was willing to admit it to herself much less the strange being confronting her, was yes, and so she slowly nodded, never taking her gaze away from the ominous silhouette. There was a long stretch of silence and she got the impression that it was studying her, examining her and her intentions in a way she couldn’t comprehend.

“It shall be done,” the voice echoed and rolled across the plain, the bodies, and everything else, vanishing until all that remained was the figure and she once again stood in a vast vacuum. The figure moved with shocking speed until it was standing right in front of her. All she could see was its eyes, as black and empty as the space around her, and they pulled at her until she fell into them, the darkness invading her nose and mouth until it filled her, drowning her energy, her sense of self, until not even a spark of Liz Parker remained.

A sharp pain ripped through her head and she woke violently, clutching her skull as she rolled over and heaved. Her stomach was empty and the heaving turned into dry, racking sobs, acid leaking out of her eyes and eating its way up her throat.

She couldn’t remember more than vestiges of the dream, brief flashes of the pain and terror, but she knew it wasn’t the first, and she suspected it wouldn’t be the last. She didn’t know how much more of this she could take. The first dream, vision, nightmare, had occurred the night after Ava had shown them how to connect with their energy, and she had had one every single night since then, two and half straight weeks of no rest and a constant sense of dread that had turned her into a shadow of the shadow of her former self.

By contrast, her days were going surprisingly well; at least the training portion of them. They had all, even Kyle, learned how to access their full energy potential, to see and sense the energy around them, and how to draw to upon that energy if needed. Ava didn’t think they were ready to try sharing energy yet; something Liz privately agreed with, as the regular bonds between them were still fragile and liable to break if overly strained, and were definitely not strong enough for the absolute trust required for that level of connection.

Maria had thawed slightly and now spoke civilly enough to Liz at work, although she still avoided Liz outside of the Crashdown. She also knew the blonde was still making an effort to spend time with Michael, although she had forbidden anyone to talk to her about the training or anything else alien related that wasn’t immediately life threatening.

Max had stopped calling her, stopped talking to everyone really. None of them were sure exactly what he was doing with his time since he had quit his job at the UFO center, but he still showed up for dinner with his family every night, so the five teens remaining in the alien abyss had reached a silent consensus to leave him alone until he was ready to come to them, or something happened.

Her father, seeing how pale and thin she had become, had cut down on her shifts, and when she wasn’t training or working, she tried to spend time with Ava doing normal human things, things the other girl had never experienced, and that Liz hadn’t had time for in the past two years. It hurt, that Maria wasn’t yet willing to restore their friendship to its previous closeness, and her heart still ached whenever she pulled out her journal or remembered the happy times with Max, when they were still clueless of what the past, and the future, held in store for them.

Yet, despite that constant pain, if it wasn’t for the dreams, she felt that she would be able to start the healing process. She wasn’t ready to move on, not yet, and the loss of Alex, of her previous rock solid friendship with Maria, of her trust in Max, of her trust in herself, were still gaping holes in her psyche that would take years to heal. But she was ready to take the first step down that path and the damn dreams were preventing her from doing anything but cling to her sanity as hard as she could.

It was time to bring the others into it, to see if there could be another source besides her own troubled mind. Maybe Isabel could get inside her head, now that she had more control of her waking and sleeping powers.

Her bedroom door opened and Ava walked in, carrying two steaming mugs of coffee. She took one look at Liz, still hunched over the edge of the bed, and hurriedly set the cups down on the bedside table, then wrapped her arm around Liz’s shoulders and helped her sit up. “What’s wrong? What happened?”

“I’ve been having nightmares,” Liz admitted quietly, lifting her gaze to meet Ava’s. “I think we need to have a meeting.”
Neither Max nor Maria had shown up to the meeting despite being invited, but no one had expected them to, so they had proceeded without comment. Liz was sitting on the couch, facing Isabel, both girls with their eyes closed as Liz focused on allowing Isabel into her mind now that she knew how to protect herself, and the blonde focused on getting in.

Michael, Kyle, and Ava all watched silently from various positions in the room, until Isabel pulled away, shaking her head in frustration. “I don’t understand it. I can get in, I can see your energy, but your memories of the dreams are completely blocked, almost like something’s pushing me away from them.”

Liz slumped, equally frustrated, and turned her eyes towards Ava, wordlessly asking if the other girl had any ideas. Ava frowned and didn’t reply, clearly lost in thought, so Kyle was the next one to speak. “Maybe we should get Max, see if there’s something he can do.”

“I don’t think you can heal dreams,” Liz said dispiritedly, rubbing at her temple with a pained grimace, but managed a half smile in Kyle’s direction for the attempt.

Kyle shook his head to indicate his disagreement, and Michael added his voice to the conversation, brow furrowed as he locked gazes with Liz. “It’s not just the dreams, Parker, you’ve gotten twitchy, lost weight, and you were already too tiny. Even if he can’t help with the dreams, maybe he can help with the symptoms.”

She frowned at the tiny comment, but couldn’t really dispute the fact that her health was suffering. She just didn’t want Max to heal her, assuming he could, because the thought of connecting to him when both of their wounds were still so raw and fresh, with their memories of everything so close to the surface, made her wish to be asleep and dreaming again, no matter how horrific. Michael was still staring at her and she reluctantly waved her hand, muttering, “Fine, whatever.”

“Now we just have to get him to agree to come,” Isabel stated, sounding both determined and hopeless, her beautiful features taut with strain as she clasped her hands together.

“I’ll do it,” Michael said, giving a bitter smile. “That’s my job as Second, right? Cleaning up after him, doing his dirty work.”

Liz opened her mouth to make a sarcastic comment about her being Max’s dirty work, but Ava spoke first, her blue eyes trained on Michael and expressing clear surprise. “What do you mean your job? You’ve never been Max’s Second, not unless you got a sudden urge for military service in this life.”

Michael raised an eyebrow and they all stared at her for a moment, before he chuckled dryly and shifted his position against the wall. “That’s not what Tess and Nasedo said, but, given everything, we probably should have assumed that everything told us was lies.”

“It wasn’t just them Michael, when we saw our Mom, she said…” Isabel trailed off when she saw the confused look that Ava was giving her. “It was a mindwarp wasn’t it?”

She sounded so lost, and Liz wished they were close enough that she could comfort her, knowing from her old connection with Max just how much that glimpse of their original mother had meant to Isabel.

“I don’t know what you saw, or if you actually spoke to your mother, but Rath was not Zan’s second. Rath was a Vaneth, a servant of the Granilith, and as such was Zan’s equal, even superior in certain circumstances,” Ava stated, her voice gentle at first as she directed her words towards Isabel, before firming as her attention shifted to Michael. The tawny- haired boy’s mouth had gaped open as he stared at the smaller blonde, an expression Liz knew she shared. Apparently their ignorance really knew no bounds she thought grimly, and damn her, and Future Max, all to hell for not bothering to find out or share more.
Last edited by Whimsicality on Fri May 03, 2013 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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There was nothing more she wanted to do than crawl back into bed, wrap herself in Michael, and spend the day trading kisses and learning what made him sigh, what made his breath catch, what made him purr in the back of his throat. - Liz in Hunted by Ashita

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Re: Fighting Fear (UC, Mi/L, Adult) Chapter Six ~ 10/13

Post by Whimsicality » Sat Oct 30, 2010 5:27 pm

barbara87413: Thank you very much for the feedback and the comments on my 'real world' life :) We will find out more about Michael's status in this one, but Liz's predicament might take a while to be revealed :wink:
cjsl8ne: You have some good theories there, but it'll be a while before you find out what's going on, cause I'm evil that way :lol: Hope you enjoy this chapter and thanks for the feedback!

Chapter Seven ~ Revelations

Dreams, only dreams in the dusk,
Only the old remembered pictures
Of lost days when the day’s loss
Wrote in tears the heart’s loss.
– Dreams in the Dusk by Carl Sandberg

“I was a what?” Michael asked sharply, his jaw snapping shut as he moved past his shock and straight into information gathering mode.

“You were a Van thingy, keep up now,” Kyle said with a smirk before Ava could reply, clearly trying to lighten the building tension in the room, and continue his tempting fate streak.

Michael merely glared at him and Liz shook her head with a sigh. “Why don’t we all shut up and let Ava talk, since apparently she’s the only one in this room who knows the truth about anything.” Her voice was tired and tainted with bitterness, and everyone sobered, all gazes shifting to the small blonde in the chair next to the couch.

“I’ll start at the beginning then,” Ava said with a faint frown, her eyes taking all of them in, and her voice taking on an almost rhythmic cadence as Liz noticed once again, that when things got serious, Ava seemed to lose her accent. Sneaky little punk, cultivating her street rat image.

“Aízan was the first born child of King Cathàn of the Royal House of Addaon and was heir to the throne. Vilandra was the second born child, which gave her an automatic seat on the Council of Houses, and meant that she would inherit the throne if Aízan died without an heir.”

Liz’s gaze slid away from Ava to settle on Isabel, who looked fascinated and a little scared, obviously waiting for the truth of her supposed betrayal. Kyle had shifted subtly closer, leaning against the couch arm closest to the blonde, and Liz bit her lip thoughtfully, wondering for the first time if it was just friendship developing between the two of them, and how she would feel if it was more.

She, herself, was very fascinated by what Ava was saying, and a little horrified at the fact that they’d been so ignorant, to the point of not even knowing Zan’s full name. “Ardrath was the first born of a minor House, the House of Araide, and his father was an adviser to the King, mostly functioning as a petty spy on the other Houses,” Ava continued, catching Liz’s attention again as she saw Michael grimace out of the corner of her eye. It was certainly better than Hank, but she knew it wasn’t what he had been hoping for. “At a very young age, Ardrath was chosen to be trained as a Vaneth, a very small group of individuals who served as voices for the Granilith.”

“How is that, whatever that means, equal to the King?” Michael asked, one of his eyebrows rising doubtfully, and Liz tore her gaze away from his face to look at Ava, also wondering what that meant, and if she was going to finally find out exactly what the Granilith was. What about it was so important that so many lives had been ruined?

Ava pursed her lips, her face thoughtful as she weighed her words. “The Granilith was, is, to Antarians what you would call a deity. It’s a being, very ancient, of near absolute power. I believe it’s a sort of living crystal, although I’m not sure how a scientist would classify it, and since it doesn’t have the freedom of movement that we do, it allied itself with the Antarians thousands of years ago.”

Liz rocked back in her seat, trying to process that staggering fact in the context of all that she knew about it and its capabilities, and Michael started to pace. “Are you saying that the ship that Tess took was actually a god?” he said disbelievingly, his hands twitching restlessly in agitation.

“Well, first thing, that ship was not the Granilith, just powered by it, and secondly, god isn’t quite the right word, at least not in Earth terms,” Ava paused, frowning, and Liz’s hands tightened into fists, not sure if she was glad or mad that they’d been successful, albeit unknowingly, in keeping the Granilith out of enemy hands. “It’s hard to explain, but Antar doesn’t have religions, or even a religion, like Earth does. The Granilith is powerful and knowledgeable and highly respected, but it isn’t worshipped.” Her gaze shifted over all of them, and she shook her head at the lack of comprehension she saw. “I’m not explaining this right, let me show you instead.”

She slid off the chair and sat down cross-legged in the middle of the living room floor, gesturing for them to join her. Liz sat on her left, then Michael, Isabel, and Kyle on Ava’s right, forming a small circle. The boys looked anything but comfortable, and Liz and Isabel exchanged amused grins as they awkwardly positioned themselves, Kyle faring better than Michael thanks to his meditation practice.

“Now, everyone hold hands,” Ava stated firmly, no room for opposition in her tone. Liz took Ava’s hand and offered her other to Michael, who hesitated briefly before taking it, his large, warm palm completely swallowing her hand. She gave him a small smile, ignoring the brief teasing glint in his eyes, and then turned back to Ava, who directed all of them to close their eyes and focus on her energy.

Liz sunk easily into her own well of power, taking comfort from the now familiar warm caress of green energy, before turning on that strange, energy-laced vision that didn’t require actual eyes to see, and shifting her attention to Ava, whose energy was a pale rose that tingled almost like one of those pungent, muscle soothing gels. The energy drew her in, lightly flavored with everyone else’s auras, and suddenly she was somewhere, and somewhen, else.

Ava tilted her chin so she could see the glittering ceiling of the grotto, her eyes widening in awe and her hands tightly clutching the skirt of her gown. It was the first time her father had allowed her to accompany him to the Granilith chamber, a privilege usually reserved for Royalty, and of course the Vaneth like her father. It was beautiful.

Something brushed against her energy core and she started, gasping softly as she felt a faint trickle of amusement.

‘Peace child, I merely wished to greet you.’

The little girl’s mouth fell open as she realized just who, or rather what, was speaking to her, and she began to tremble, barely managing to compose a mental response. ‘It is an honor, Great One.’

‘No need for such formality child, although I appreciate the respect. You are the daughter of one of
my children and as such, you and I are kin of sorts. You may visit my chamber anytime you wish.’

Ava’s skin begin to radiate with soft light, indicating her pleased embarrassment, and she curtsied gently. ‘Thank you.’ A hand descending on her shoulder startled her again and she turned her head to see her father smiling warmly down at her.

“I see you have met the Àrd-Tidsear,” he stated, gently brushing his aura against hers. “What do you think of the Great One?”

“I think he’s a lot nicer than everyone says!”

Her father’s deep chuckle was joined by the Granilith’s energy, swirling amusedly across both of their auras, and Ava’s glow intensified as she stared down at her favorite pair of embroidered slippers, wishing she said things prettier like Piral. A wave of comfort and affection wrapped around her energy core and she relaxed, daring to send a brief spurt of her own energy outwards in response to express her gratitude. She’d never been happier to be the daughter of one of the enigmatic Vaneth, even if the other children in her lessons did treat her strangely sometimes. She was speaking with the Great One! And he liked her!


Her new book tucked under arm, Ava slipped through the side entrance to the Granilith chamber and made for her favorite spot, an out of the way corner of the grotto where her presence wouldn’t disturb the Vaneth, or the King or Queen if they came to visit.

Half-way there, she stopped in surprise to see her father escorting another child through the main entrance, a boy maybe two or three years older than her. Was it the crown prince? No, this boy didn’t have the intricate marks of royalty staining his skin, although there were faint swirls of color on his cheeks and hands, indicating that he was at least a member of one of the Houses.

What was he doing here she wondered a little petulantly. This was her special place, and no one other than a member of the Royal Family, or the Vaneth should be here, and he was definitely not one of the other two Vaneth, whom she had known since she was born. Her father noticed her regard and beckoned to her; she summoned a polite smile, made sure her aura was appropriately rosy, and walked towards them.

When she got closer, before her father spoke, she saw the tattoo on the inside of the boy’s right palm and couldn’t hide her shocked reaction. Her father noticed and smiled as she joined them. “Yes Ava, the Granilith has chosen Ardrath here to be a Vaneth; I will be training him until he is deemed ready.”

Ava smiled at the boy, pleased to have the mystery solved, and knowing that her father would be less likely to take on the more dangerous tasks if he had a student. Ardrath merely nodded at her in response, and she repressed her instinctive hurt when she saw the shock lingering in the gold of his eyes, belying his stoic façade.

The Granilith rarely chose so young, most would think never, but she had access to more complete histories than the majority of the planet, and his entire life had just been turned upside down. He was no longer a member of his House; no longer would he be trained for his family’s Council seat, for she could see in his marks that he was firstborn. All former ties were severed and he would now dedicate the rest of his life in service of the Granilith, protecting the planet and all the people in it.

A cool demeanor was more than understandable at this point and so she took her smile up a notch, curtsying gently in a sign of respect as she formally greeted him. “I am honored to meet you Ardrath, I am sure you will be a great credit to the ranks of the Vaneth.” Her aura took on a mischievous twinkle as she turned her smile on her father. “After all, you have the best possible teacher.”

Her father chuckled and Ardrath looked surprised, then a little softened as his aura brightened and he spoke in a surprisingly deep voice. “Thank you Lady Ava, it is an honor to meet you as well.”

Ava felt her skin beginning to glow in embarrassment and quickly excused herself, leaving them to their training and hurrying towards her corner, casting one last glance over her shoulder. For the first time, she found herself thankful that her father’s status meant that there was no arranged marriage in her future, once she reached maturity, as there was for most daughters of the Houses.
Last edited by Whimsicality on Sun Jun 02, 2013 6:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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There was nothing more she wanted to do than crawl back into bed, wrap herself in Michael, and spend the day trading kisses and learning what made him sigh, what made his breath catch, what made him purr in the back of his throat. - Liz in Hunted by Ashita

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Re: Fighting Fear (UC, Mi/L, Adult) Chapter Seven ~ 10/30

Post by Whimsicality » Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:29 am

A/N: Thank you both for your feedback, they totally made my day, and well I already know one of you enjoyed this chapter :wink: but I hope all the other readers, reviewers or not, do too :D

Chapter Eight ~ A Whole Old World

There rises an unspeakable desire
After the knowledge of our buried life;
A thirst to spend our fire and restless force
In tracking out our true, original course
– The Buried Life, by Matthew Arnold

“Rath! What are you doing?” Ava asked through her laughter as he tugged on her arm. “I’m supposed to be studying, and so are you!”

“You already know everything Ava, and your father is determined that I shall too, but there is someone I want you to meet; we can afford a small break,” Rath said, his tone teasing at first before turning more serious.

Ava studied him for a moment, her eyes fondly tracing the handsome lines of his face, now so close to maturity, before taking in the colors of his aura, a darker gold than usual, indicating his intent. For all his teasing, Rath was far less likely to shirk his training than she was, so whoever this person was, they were important to him. Which, she thought with a hastily repressed glow, meant that they were important to her too. “All right, I will go with you. Where are we meeting this mysterious someone?”

“At the palace, and you’ll like her Ava, I know you will,” Rath said as he turned to lead the way out of her chambers, missing the red flash of pain across her aura before she managed to conceal it. Her? This person was a her? How could this happen?

Ava’s only comfort in her seemingly unrequited crush on Rath, was that he had expressed interested in no other females, or males for that matter, and with the cachet of being a Vaneth in training, he could have had his pick of anyone from most of the lesser Houses, and of the second-born and lower of the higher Houses. But she rarely visited the palace excepting official functions where her father usually took her as his escort, and the gossips there were tighter lipped than the flighty House girls. How long had he known this her? Who was she?

Her and her father, along with the other Vaneth and their families, were housed on the palace grounds, which had been built next to the grotto that contained the Granilith, so it was far too short a walk for her liking, and before she had completely composed herself, Rath had led her into the palace gardens, filled with large and beautiful masses of blue interrupted by a riot of paler colors.

Standing in the middle of one of the smaller gardens was one of the most beautiful women she had ever seen, and when the girl turned to face them, Ava saw the delicate tracings staining her skin and felt faint. Princess Vilandra? This was Rath’s her? How could she ever compete?

“Rath!” Vilandra cried, her face lighting with a smile as her aura automatically brushed against his, showing a familiarity that Ava had not expected, and sending shooting pains through her heart that she was hard-pressed to keep from tainting her own aura.

“Hey Lonnie, this is Ava, Lord Bethadh’s daughter.” In a private aside to Ava, he exercised a rare use of his gifts and spoke into her mind directly. ‘She’s lonely Ava, please don’t judge her by her birth, she’s not like the other House girls.’

Ava couldn’t manage to reply to him, not using that intimate connection, for it would reveal her devastated emotions, but she did manage to smile and curtsy. “It’s an honor to meet you, Princess.”

Vilandra’s answering smile was hesitant. “Please call me Lonnie, any friend of Rath’s is someone I know I’ll love.”

Ava saw the sincerity in her eyes, and her aura, and felt herself soften, her own aura brightening as she lightly skimmed it across Vilandra’s. “I feel the same way, Lonnie, so I am sure you and I will be great friends.” No matter how much it hurt.


“There you are Ava! I’m so glad you’re here, I cannot stand to hear one more girl talk to me about potential betrothals, theirs or mine!”

Ava laughed and took Lonnie’s hand, guiding her towards a more secluded area of the state room where less people would have to pretend not to hear them. “It is all the planet is talking about Lonnie, unless they’re discussing your brother’s lack of betrothal. You’d just better hope he puts it off as long as he can, because the moment some unfortunate girl is chosen to be the next queen, you’ll no longer be able to avoid the issue.”

Lonnie made a face and then sighed. “I know. I should consider myself blessed by the Granilith that father hasn’t insisted before now. Instead all of the pressure is on Zan. Thank heavens he is content to flirt with every girl he sees, without ever taking it further. He is far more interested in his rank in the combat and strategy lessons than choosing a bride.”

Ava rolled her eyes, tugging at the uncomfortable collar of her formal gown. “Even Rath is susceptible to that disease, and from what I hear, he and your brother are the top two in their lessons.”

“I just wish there was someone I would be willing to be betrothed to,” Lonnie said, lifting her own moratorium on betrothal talk. “But Rath is the only half-way decent male in court that I’m not related to, and I just don’t see him that way.”

Ava smiled, still relieved by that fact although her own crush on Rath was slowly fading as time went on and the realization that he did not see her that way sunk in. “What about the other planets in the alliance? Surely some of them have eligible males for you to meet?”

Lonnie shook her head. “I wish, but since father, and his father, married outside of Antar, he wants both Zan and I to marry within the Houses, to help ‘prevent unrest and remind the people of our loyalty’,” she said, her voice at the end taking on an uncanny resemblance to the King’s and making Ava giggle at the disgusted look on her friend’s face.

“Mocking father again I see?” an amused male voice stated behind them, making Ava start in surprise as she turned to see Prince Zan watching them both. “I can hardly blame you, he is so mockable.”

“And you aren’t, dear brother?” Lonnie asked with distinct sarcastic overtones, making Ava wince. She knew that Lonnie and her brother didn’t always get along, but hearing them both speak so cavalierly and insultingly towards each other and their father, it went against all of her ingrained habits of respect and courtesy, especially in regards to the Royal House.

“I think we are all mockable in our own ways, dear sister,” Zan replied with a charming smile, before turning his attention to Ava, who began to glow softly under his intent, and appreciative, gaze. “You must be Lady Avaelithe, Lord Rath and my sister both speak very highly of you. It is a pleasure to finally meet you.”

Ava dipped into an automatic curtsy, ignoring Lonnie’s irritated frown. “It’s an honor to meet you as well Prince Aízan, although I am not sure I am worthy of their praise.”

“Oh, I think you're worthy of much more,” he disagreed, flirtatiously touching his aura to hers for a split second before pulling away. “And I hope to see more of you so I can be proven right.”


“I don’t know what you see in him,” Rath said with a frown, and Lonnie nodded her agreement, causing Ava’s aura to darken with frustrated streaks.

“I don’t care,” she snapped, feeling pleased and guilty when both of their auras flared with surprise. “I am the one who is seeing him, not you, and I am tired of listening to your complaints.” Her angry regard turned to Rath, who stoically stared back at her. “You are his partner in lessons, at least until your training is complete, and I know you have no complaints when it comes to his skill or intelligence, so whatever your issue with him is, at least in my presence, get past it, please.”

Turning her head towards Lonnie, her glare softened. “Unlike Rath, I know you do have reasons to dislike him, and I don’t expect that to change, but please Lonnie, I love you both, and I cannot keep being torn between you.” Shaking her head, she turned away from her two closest friends, heading towards the state room and out of the gardens, casting one last comment over her shoulder. “And just so you know, he has never once insulted either of you to me.”

A moment later they both came up behind her, Lonnie looping an arm through hers and both of them linking their auras with her, their energy pulsing with apology. “I won’t promise to change my mind, but I will stop complaining about him to you,” Lonnie said first, Rath nodding his agreement.

“I will stop as well; I just want you to be safe Ava, body and heart.”

Ava smiled, loosing her hold on her energy and letting them both feel her forgiveness, and affection. “Good, now let’s go get this boring Council meeting over with.”

“You’re not officially betrothed yet, you can still avoid the meetings,” Lonnie pointed out, and Ava shook her head.

“I might as well get used to them, and besides, I’m there to support all four of the people I love, since you, Rath, Zan, and father all have to attend. Where else would I want to be?”

Silence and bursts of affection, much more enthusiastic from Lonnie than the more reserved Rath, greeted her words, and she felt her own aura brighten happily as they walked through the garden door into the state room, and then through to the adjoining Council chambers. Along with most of the Council, Zan was already sitting at the table, and his aura also brightened the moment he saw her, his gentle mental caress making her giddy with joy. Dealing with these meetings, even sacrificing her scholarly dreams to become Queen, it was all worth it for him.

Taking her seat between him and Lonnie, she beamed at Rath from his place across the table with her father and the other two Vaneth, his answering, reluctant, smile making her laugh softly. She would make them all get along, no matter what it took. Nothing would take away her family.

The King called the meeting to order, breaking her away from her thoughts, as he introduced the first order of business. “Khivar, son of Lord Addanc of the former House of Corph, is here to present his case for the reinstatement of his House now that his father has passed on, taking with him the stain of betrayal. Shall we hear him speak?”

The assembled Lords, Ladies, and Vaneth assented and a servant brought in Khivar, a handsome man some ten years older than Rath. Something about his eyes made her shiver, although his aura was open and showed gentle humility, and Ava tightened her grip on Zan’s hand, trying to ignore her chill of foreboding. Her happiness, and fear of losing it, was just making her paranoid.

Intent on reassuring herself, Ava almost failed to notice the flicker of unease in Rath’s aura as he too studied Khivar. The sight took away her momentary comfort and she began to hope in earnest that they were both suffering from unfounded paranoia, for anything else was far too dangerous to contemplate.
Last edited by Whimsicality on Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:02 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Whimsicality's Fics

There was nothing more she wanted to do than crawl back into bed, wrap herself in Michael, and spend the day trading kisses and learning what made him sigh, what made his breath catch, what made him purr in the back of his throat. - Liz in Hunted by Ashita

Polar Attraction - Not just for Polarists...

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Re: Fighting Fear (UC, Mi/L, Adult) Chapter Eight ~ 11/16

Post by Whimsicality » Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:56 pm

A/N: Thank you both very much for the feedback! I so appreciate it, and I am so sorry about the long delay, my internet access is nil at the moment, only when I can con a ride to Starbucks can I use their wifi, but! The good news is, in ten days I'll be back at school with regular access and updating should resume something approaching normality again, lol. Thank you for your patience and I hope you enjoy the story!

Chapter Nine ~ Familiar Faces

And we have been on many thousand lines,
And we have shown, on each, spirit and power;
But hardly have we, for one little hour,
Been on our own line, have we been ourselves
– The Buried Life, by Matthew Arnold

Michael felt the warm tingle of Ava’s energy slip away from his and took a deep, shuddering breath, reeling from everything he had just learned, and from just how intimate a view he’d had into Ava’s head. He felt like he’d violated the blonde girl, in a far more intense and personal way than when he’d stolen Liz’s journal, and judging by the way she’d withdrawn from everyone, Ava felt pretty much the same way.

But the information they’d received as a result, it was mind blowing. Their world, their culture, their past, they were nothing like anything he’d imagined, and he was amazed at how wrong some of their assumptions had been. The sheer immensity of the power that the Granilith wielded staggered him, and he felt a sudden chill at the thought that Khivar most definitely still wanted it, that Tess leaving with Max’s son was not the end of things, and that everyone in Roswell was still in danger. Danger that only existed because of them, both their past and present selves.

He noticed that he was still holding Liz’s small, delicate hand, her aura still brushing warmly against his, and abruptly pulled away, standing up and walking away from the small group in an attempt to get some distance from what they had just experienced, and the lingering emotions it had engendered.

Everything he had just seen, felt, heard, sensed, had sparked uncomfortable feelings of familiarity, distant memories of a voice that was always present in his head, of a crushing sense of responsibility, of people and relationships that had once been important to him, but that he could no longer remember as anything more than a strange sense of déjà-vu. What had happened after the last memory Ava had shown them? What had led to them dying; no, to them being killed, and sent here? And to what purpose? And why the hell couldn’t he remember these things?

Agitatedly rumpling his hair, he couldn’t help but ask himself how different his life on Earth would have been had he known these things sooner, what decisions he would and wouldn’t have made. Turning back to the look at the group, he catalogued their reactions; Isabel’s longing and fear, Kyle’s shock and concern for Isabel (concern that both pleased and worried his brotherly instincts), and Liz’s dazed, but somehow calculating expression, making him wonder not for the first time just what secrets she was keeping.

Ava finally straightened, clearing her throat and meeting his gaze, her shuttered blue eyes revealing no hint of her emotions. “I can help you unlock your memories; I think they might help Liz,” she stated, sparing a brief glance at the brunette who had looked up when the blonde began to speak.

He frowned, scratching at his eyebrow. “I want to see them, but how can they help Liz? What does any of this have to do with her dreams?”

The small blonde shook her head, also frowning. “I’m not quite sure, even my memories are not all complete or clear, but I know that the dreams are familiar, and what little I do know is telling me that you’re the one who will know what they mean.”

It was vague and he didn’t like vague, but although he had his suspicions about Parker keeping things from them, he couldn’t deny how often she’d proven her loyalty, not the least in sparing them from death on Antar, and he had no intention of letting her waste away if he could prevent it.

“Fine,” he grit out. “We can do another session tomorrow; I have a shift starting in an hour.” He shifted his gaze to Liz, who had her head tilted to the side as she watched him intently, feeling the faintest surge of guilt at making her suffer another night. “Or we can do it after my shift, whatever.”

She gave him a small, tired smile. “I can last one more night, and I think we could all use a day to recover from what we’ve already learned.”

He gave her a short nod, remembering once again why he respected her – the same strength he’d seen in her journal, only seeming to have increased thanks to the past two years, and then included the others in his gaze. “Well, then if you four would get out, I can get ready for work.”

Liz and Kyle chuckled while Isabel broke out of her stupor long enough to give him her patented icy glare, before gracefully rising to her feet, the others following suit with a little less regality, regality he now knew she had possessed in their former life as well. He watched them file out of the apartment, both Liz and Ava shooting him unreadable glances over their shoulders before leaving, and slumped with exhaustion the moment the door closed again. He hadn’t had more than a few minutes peace since Valenti came into the diner and told them about Alex; the shockwaves of that night were still rippling through their lives, along with everything that had happened after.

As much as he wanted answers, and as much as they desperately needed them right now, part of him wished that Ava’s arrival and all of the subsequent revelations could have been postponed until they’d all had time to deal with the repercussions of Tess’s actions, and the sordid mess their lives had become. He was worried about Max; both for his brother, and that he would do something stupid to endanger all of them. He was worried about Liz, about the secrets he knew she was keeping, and about how pale and withdrawn she’d become, something the dreams had exacerbated, but that had started before them, even before Alex’s death if he thought about it.

He was worried about Isabel and even Kyle, and how they were dealing with Alex’s death and Tess’s betrayal. And most of all he was worried about Maria, who, although maintaining their relationship, seemed to be growing more and more distant as he delved deeper into his alien heritage, and worried that maybe she had the right idea. He had been right all those months ago when he told Maria that it wasn’t safe, that he was staying away for her own good. Although Liz would be dead if Max hadn’t intervened, he couldn’t help but feel that all of the subsequent trauma their human allies had experienced, hadn’t been worth the few rewards. It was too late to step back now; too late for what-ifs, but that didn’t stop the guilt.

He shook his head, irritated with himself for standing in the middle of his living room and brooding, and headed for the bathroom; maybe a shower would wake him up.
Michael was both disappointed and relieved when he showed up for his shift and found that Liz was working instead of Maria, not quite ready to face his conflicting feelings or hers, but also missing the closeness that they had spent the past year building. He kept a close eye on the brunette, but she seemed to be holding things together, her years of experience as a waitress serving her well, even though his keen eyes picked up on her exhaustion.

Ava was sitting in a corner booth, also watching Liz, although avoiding his gaze, and unwillingly his thoughts were drawn back to the memories they had witnessed, and another unanswered what if. What if they had treated Tess differently? Their lack of welcome by no means excused her actions, but if they had given her an alternative to Nasedo’s plan, been the family she remembered and had clearly loved, would Alex still be alive?

Liz handed him a personal order, summoning up the ghost of a smile, before turning towards the familiar jingle of the door, her smile brightening into something approaching normal as she went to greet the entering customer, only their fourth of the day, a young blonde woman who looked vaguely familiar to him. Michael watched with sudden concern as the blood drained from Liz’s face and she took a shaky step backwards, away from the woman who was staring at her with strange intensity.

Michael hurried out of the kitchen and through the backroom into the restaurant, glad that their only remaining customers aside from the blonde were an older couple who could barely hear or see, and that Ava was perfectly capable of making sure that no one but them could see or hear anything they shouldn’t.

Liz had taken another step back by the time he pushed through the swinging doors, and Ava was on her feet, a line of concentration marring her forehead as she stood behind the brunette and slightly to the side, both warily watching the woman whom Michael still could not place. Stepping past Ava, he stood next to and just in front of Liz, glancing briefly at her pale face, and the green electricity already weaving through her fingers, before turning all of his attention to the threat.

“I’m not here to hurt you,” the young woman said firmly, carefully keeping her hands down.

Liz shook her head fiercely and hissed. “Somehow I don’t believe you, Leanna.”

Michael sucked in a sharp breath, finally recognizing the blonde, and raised his palm towards ‘Leanna’ or ‘Jennifer Coleman’ or whoever the hell she was, slowly unfurling his energy, resulting in a soft, potentially lethal glow. “What do you want?” he growled, only a justly earned caution and unwillingness to deal with a body in the middle of the Crashdown holding him back from incinerating the woman where she stood.

“I was sent here to help you,” she stated, earning a bitter, derisive snort from Liz. The girl smiled sadly in response. “I know I haven’t succeeded very well. Killing the one you call Nasedo and keeping the Skins busy is not nearly enough to make up for the loss of your friend, or the betrayal of the other Ava, but I can help you now, if you’ll let me.”

Liz seemed to be too furious to speak, and Ava had other things to focus on, so it was Michael who had to reply to her shocking statement. “Why should we believe anything you say?”

“Promise not to shoot?” she asked with a hint of amusement in her green eyes, amusement that quickly faded as she cautiously raised her right hand, palm out, making all of them tense instinctively. There was some sort of tattoo on her palm and Ava gasped, taking a step forward so that she could see better. “No,” she whispered. “It’s not possible.”

‘Leanna’ just smiled, and Michael ground his teeth in frustration, hating that he didn’t know what had Ava so spooked. “What’s not possible?”

“Don’t you recognize it?” Ava asked in clear shock, turning wide blue eyes on him and gesturing towards the mark. “You saw it today.”

Michael frowned and focused on the shape, etched with some sort of ink that shimmered strangely in the light, wracking his brain until an image of a young Rath with the same mark on his palm flashed through his mind. “You’re a Vaneth,” he stated flatly.

She nodded and Liz started to laugh, an edge of hysteria tainting her voice as the green currents faded from her skin. “You have got to be fucking kidding me.”

Michael rocked back on his heels and scratched at his eyebrow, unable to do anything but completely agree with her sentiments.
Last edited by Whimsicality on Fri May 03, 2013 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Whimsicality's Fics

There was nothing more she wanted to do than crawl back into bed, wrap herself in Michael, and spend the day trading kisses and learning what made him sigh, what made his breath catch, what made him purr in the back of his throat. - Liz in Hunted by Ashita

Polar Attraction - Not just for Polarists...