Title: The Rebellion
Disclaimer: Unfortunately for me, I own nothing relating to the characters of Roswell. I write this purely for my own amusement and do not derive anything but my own pleasure from it.
Pairings/Category: CC/UC, M/M M/L K/I
Summary: They've been running for over ten years. But what happens when the fate of the three remaining members of the Royal Four catches up to them? Will they choose to ignore their calling, or will Max, Isabel, and Michael agree to help the rebellion and defeat their enemies.
A/N: Thank you so much for reading! In the interest of full disclosure, all three of the aliens will have their former lives on Antar thrown in their faces and will therefore have to deal with their former love lives. This will cause turmoil. I'm a canon couple lover in general and specifically a Candy lover, so...I don't want to say more, to avoid spoiling too much, but I wanted people to be prepared. This isn't a fluffy fic, but there are no major character deaths either. Ok, I hope that covers everything! Thanks again for reading!
Max Evans stood in front of his hotel window, staring out at the night. It was a stupid thing to do, standing in plain sight, but he was feeling a little reckless at the moment. He could hear the others, packing up their things as they prepared to leave the hotel. No one was talking, except to ask for this or that to be handed to them. He could hear faint sniffing sounds, but he didn't know who they were coming from. It could be Liz, Maria, Isabel, or all three.
Michael walked up to stand next to him.
"We don't have to do this, you know."
Max flicked his eyes over to Michael for a moment and then back at the window. "Yes, we do." His tone brokered no argument, but Michael never was one to back down.
"No. We don't."
He sighed, which only seemed to irritate Michael. "Look. We've been doing fine for the past three years-"
Max snapped his head to look at Michael. "Fine? You think we've been doing fine?" He took a step towards Michael, who leaned back but refused to budge. He pointed at Kyle, whose face was covered in bruises. "You think Kyle is fine?" he said, his voice growing louder.
"Max-" Liz started, but Max held up his hand and said, "No." He looked directly at Michael. "We almost got caught this last time. All of us. Kyle was nearly beaten to a pulp for information, Liz-" he stopped as his voice cracked. He didn't want to think about what they had done to Liz. For days after they got her out she wouldn't talk, not even to him. There hadn't been any bruises, or any other marks for that matter, but she had been damaged somehow. When she finally had talked, it had been to tell him not to ask her what happened.
Max closed his eyes and swallowed, trying to regain his composure. To his credit, Michael kept his mouth shut.
When he opened his eyes, he looked around the room at everyone. "We can't keep traveling as a group. There are too many of us."
"But-" Michael started to speak but Max whipped his head back around.
"What if it had been Maria, Michael? Or Isabel? What if they had had god knows what done to them. Would you still want to stay together?"
"Max!" Isabel hissed, clearly horrified at his tactlessness.
Max looked at Isabel, feeling twinges of guilt. "What? It's true." He looked around again. Kyle was frozen, a folded t-shirt in his hand halfway to the suitcase. Maria's eyes were red-rimmed and she sniffed, arms hugging herself. Isabel looked panicked, her eyes wide and flooded with tears. And Liz…Liz's eyes merely looked hollow. She also had her arms wrapped around herself, but it didn't look like she was hugging herself. Instead it looked like she was trying to keep herself together, and it nearly ripped Max's heart out to see her like that.
He once again looked at Michael, but this time spoke quietly. "The only way to ensure our safety is to split up."
Max could tell Michael was getting ready to argue again when Maria softly called, "Michael." He looked over at her and Max could see her shake her head out of the corner of his eye. When he looked back at Max, he merely said, "Fine," and walked away.
Max turned back to the window to stare out and think. They had been running for three years. In the beginning he had thought the running would be easier, that they'd be able to just melt into some big city somewhere and live under aliases. But in the entire three years they'd never managed to get that far. It was as if they had a constant tail on them that they couldn't shake. They never seemed to be able to stay anywhere longer than a couple of months before something happened and they were forced to run again. It was exhausting.
And then after this last time, when they had been so close to getting caught, Max had finally decided it was time to split the group up. He had been toying with the idea in his mind for nearly the past year, but had been hesitant to act on it. He knew that his, Michael's, and Isabel's powers were strongest when they were together. He and Michael had even talked briefly of trying to find Ava, hoping that maybe if they were four again, they might be stronger. But in the end, all that had amounted to had been talk. Truth be told, they had no idea how to even begin finding her, especially when they were on the run themselves, and Max was hesitant to ruin yet another person's life. If Ava had truly been able to carve out a normal life for herself, then how could he ruin that for her? Besides…even if Ava wasn't Tess, Max knew that Liz would have had a hard time having her around, the constant reminder that he had been married to someone else in a past life; that he had ever loved anyone else. He knew that she didn't doubt his love for her, but he also knew that she didn't like to think about his past life.
Max looked away from the window, over to Liz, frowning slightly when he saw her sitting with her knees up to her chest, arms wrapped around and chin resting on top, staring at the wall. He walked over and sat down.
She jumped, as if she hadn't noticed he was there, then looked over at him, the ghost of a smile on her face. "Hey…How are you doing?"
Max laughed once hollowly. "I was going to ask you the same thing."
Liz's ghost of a smile grew a little wider, but didn't reach her eyes. "Me? Oh I'm doing fine."
"Liz-" Max started, but Liz shook her head.
"I told you not to ask me about it," she said, a little sharply. "I'm fine." She grabbed his arm and wrapped it around her. "I'll always be fine as long as I'm with you." Maxed wrapped his other arm around, holding Liz in a side hug.
They were quiet for a few moments before Max said quietly, so no one else could hear, "Do you think I'm doing the right thing?"
Liz, whose head had been resting on Max's chest, sat up and looked at him. "Yes," she said, seriously. "I do. Six people is too many to hide. We can't keep running like this or one of us is going to end up dead."
Max nodded slightly, feeling reassured by her support. He looked down and smiled at her. "Are you sure you want to live in Canada? There's a whole world out there to choose from."
Liz smiled. "True, but I'd like something as similar to home as I can get."
Max raised his eyebrows playfully. "And snow, mountains, grass and trees are as similar to Roswell as you can get?"
Liz playfully swatted his arm, smiling. "You know what I mean. Somewhere close to America…so I can at least pretend I'm not living in exile."
Max's smile faded at the reminder that, if it weren't for him, Liz would be leading a normal life at home with her family; that she'd be a junior in college by now. "I'm sorry, Liz."
Liz sighed, and pushed away from him so that she could look into his eyes. "Stop it. I'm not going to have this same argument. I chose to be with you, and I don't regret it. I never have, and I never will. You're the best thing that's ever happened to me." She watched him a moment as he swallowed past the lump in his throat and then settled back down into his arms. "Just…hold me for a while, please."
Max hesitated and then wrapped his arms back around her.
They sat there for who knows how long when Isabel walked over, holding a duffle bag in her hand.
He and Liz pulled apart and Max stood up, frowning when he realized that Isabel had her coat on. "What's going on?"
Isabel swallowed, looked back at Kyle, and then at Max again. "We, um…" She took a deep breath. "Kyle and I are leaving."
Max paused for a beat. "What?"
Isabel tucked a stray piece of hair behind her ear. "Yeah, we, uh, decided that it would be best if we all left at separate times. And you know, we're ready...at least as ready as we're going to be," she said under her breath. "We found plane tickets to Paris for pretty cheap, so we bought them. The plane leaves in three hours, so we have to get going now if we want to catch it."
Max stared at Isabel, and then looked at Kyle. When they had discussed separating a few nights ago, everyone had agreed it would be best to travel in pairs, one alien with one human. Of course Isabel, by default, got stuck with Kyle. Max watched Kyle for a moment, at the way he was watching Isabel. When Isabel had found out that Jesse had been killed by a drunken driver the year before, the only person who had managed to consol her had been Kyle, so maybe "stuck" wasn't the right word to describe it. And even if they hadn't ever talked about it, he knew that Kyle harbored unrequited feelings for Isabel, so it was unlikely that Kyle would be complaining about his lot.
Max looked back at Isabel, who was looking at the floor. He wanted to protest, to tell her that now wasn't the time, but he couldn't. Now was the time. They had been preparing for this for several days, and she was going to have to leave sometime, so why not now?
Max swallowed the lump in his throat and coughed. "Yeah, ok."
Isabel looked up, clearly relieved. Then her eyes filled with tears and she reached over to hug Max. "Promise me you'll keep in touch. We have to email each other." She pulled away and looked around the room. "All of you."
Michael spoke up. "It's too dangerous. They can track our IP addresses."
"Then fly to Peru every two months to send an email," Isabel retorted. She turned back to Max, who had yet to reply to her. "Promise me, Max."
He nodded and Michael sighed in frustration. "I promise." He glanced at Michael and then back at Isabel. "But only a couple times a year. Michael's right. It's too dangerous." He looked over at Kyle. "Do you have the passports?" They had spent the past several days perfecting fake passports and visas.
Kyle nodded. "Yep."
"And the visas?"
"And what about money? Do you have the credit cards?"
"Max," Isabel said, putting a hand on his arm. "We've got everything."
Max nodded, vaguely realizing that he was stalling for time.
Kyle quietly said, "Isabel," and tapped his watch, glancing in Max's direction. Isabel nodded and turned back. "We really have to go. We don't want to miss the flight."
Max nodded again, not sure what to do. Liz stood up and hugged Isabel. Michael and Maria did the same as Liz walked over to Kyle. Max watched as the two of them hugged and then took up an easy banter that left both of them chuckling. He couldn't hear what they said, but was happy to see Liz laugh about anything. He watched Michael and Maria walk back over to Kyle, leaving him alone with Isabel.
He looked at her, a heaviness settling in his chest. They had never been apart, at least not for long - not since they had landed on this planet - and now they were going to be entire an continent away from each other, only communicating once every six months, if they were lucky.
Isabel was strangely stoic. Max could see tears in her eyes, but she was standing tall and steady, her face entirely smooth. Jesse's death had changed her. In the beginning she had been nearly inconsolable, but then one day she had dried her tears and began to act like everything was fine. Ever since then, the emotional sister he had had for as long as he could remember had become one of the least outwardly emotional among the six of them. She smiled a little now, making Max realize he was staring, and then reached over to give him another hug, hanging on for longer than usual. When she pulled away, she immediately turned around and walked to the door. Kyle held it open for her. She paused before going out, looking behind her one last time, and then walked quickly through it. Kyle simply nodded and followed her out, closing the door behind him.
Max exhaled and sank onto the hotel room bed, putting his head in his hands. Liz walked over and sat down next to him, putting an arm around his back and leaning her head against his shoulder. He stayed like that, indulging in a moment or two of self pity, until he heard someone clear their throat. When he looked up he saw Michael standing in front of him, looking uncomfortable.
Max watched as Michael took a military stance, legs apart and arms clasped in front of him.
"So, the thing is," Michael started, looking at the floor, "Maria and I are leaving too."
Liz stood up. "What?" She looked back at Max and then over at Maria, bringing a hand to her mouth.
Max slowly nodded and stood up, feeling older than his twenty-one years. "Where are you going?"
Max's mouth twitched. "You don't know Portuguese."
"Maria knows Spanish."
"That's not Portuguese."
Michael sighed. "Then we'll learn," he replied, sounding irritated.
Max pressed his lips together to keep from smiling.
Michael held out his hand and looked away uncomfortably. "So, anyway. We'll be seeing you."
Max reached out and slowly shook Michael's hand, but when Michael tried to pull away, Max didn't let go, instead pulling Michael into a hug. Michael froze at first before wrapping his arms around Max as well and slapping him on the back. They pulled apart, a little awkwardly, and turned towards Maria and Liz, who were both crying and hugging one another, rocking back and forth. They broke apart as Max and Michael walked over. Maria immediately gave Max a hug as Liz hugged Michael.
"You take care of her, do you hear me, Max Evans?" Maria said into his shoulder.
"I will," Max replied.
Maria pulled away, wiping her tearstained face with her hand. "And don't think that just because we're in a different hemisphere that you can't make us godparents to all of your kids."
"All?" Max said, surprised. He had thought about kids with Liz, but he didn't know if there was an "all" in their future.
"Oh god," Maria said, lunging back at Liz. "I'm going to miss you so much."
"I'm going to miss you too," Liz said, also crying.
Max and Michael looked at each other, both knowing what had to be done, but neither one wanting to do it. Michael reached a hand towards Maria. "We have to go."
Maria reluctantly pulled away from Liz and nodded, grabbing her bag and immediately running out the door. Michael looked back at Max and Liz, but didn't say anything before he closed the door behind him.
Liz immediately turned into Max's arms, hands against his chest, sobbing. Max wrapped his arms around Liz, his own pain causing a tear to fall from his eye.
"It's alright. Like you said, we're doing the right thing," Max said, more to himself than to Liz. "We're all going to be safer this way.
"Get out of the way! NOW!" shouted Michael. He ran into the cave with Max in his arms, passed out.
"Oh my god!" Liz shrieked. "Max!" She ran over as Michael gently set Max on a long, flat rock, blood all over both him and Michael. "Where is he hurt? What happened? Oh my god, Max!" Liz looked around frantically. "Someone help!" She looked at Michael. "Heal him!"
Michael shook his head. "I can't."
"What do you mean you can't?" Liz grabbed Michael by his shirt. "HEAL HIM!"
"Oh my god," Maria ran in through the mouth of the cave, "What happened?"
Michael shook his head. "We were ambushed. They knew we were coming."
"Did you get Isabel back?"
Michael nodded, pressing his hand down on Max's middle, trying to staunch the flow of blood.
"Well, where is she?" Maria asked, frantically looking around. Arrin came in, holding several instruments that looked like they could be medical.
"Where is the king?" he asked, glancing around frantically. Then, seeing Max lying on the rock, he rushed over, pushing Liz aside. Liz, however, refused to be pushed aside, immediately taking residence at Max's head while Arrin began to work.
"Where is Isabel?" Maria asked again.
Michael didn't look up, but answered, "Kyle has her. She passed out. Kivar did something to her before we could get her out."
"What happened?" she asked again, running over to Michael and gasping when she got a good look at Max.
"I don't know," Michael said. "Everything was fine. We were almost out of there, home free, and then there were just explosions and chaos everywhere."
"Well, how did you all get out?"
Michael swallowed. "I don't know."
A/N: Thank you everyone for the warm welcome! I'm excited to be posting here. I started posting this on a different website, but was told that this is where all the action is. I'm scared of new things so it's great to be welcomed. But anyway, I'm uploading this chapter today so that this'll be caught up with the other site. With any luck I'll have chapter 2 uploaded by Monday. Thanks again for reading!
One month earlier
"Michael!" Maria shouted at him as she walked quickly past him, "The delivery is here. Can you take care of it?"
"I'm a little busy," Michael responded, one hand stirring rice, while the other turned frying acarajé.
"Yeah, well, I've got six orders to get out, and Claudia called out sick again, which means I'm all alone." She looked over at him with a sarcastic smile as she started positioning plates on her arms. "So unless you want to deal with having people complain that the Moqueca de peixe doesn't have enough coconut while pinching you in places you'd rather not talk about, I suggest you get out there."
Before he could respond, Maria walked out the door with six plates resting on both her arms. Michael rolled his eyes, setting down the two spoons. "Hey, Ricardo!" he shouted at his assistant chef.
Ricardo looked over from chopping tomatoes. "Sim, boss?" he said in a heavy accent.
"Quit chopping those tomatoes and keep that crap on the stove from burning. I've gotta go take care of the delivery."
Michael wiped his hands off on his apron and walked to the back, using the back of his hand to wipe the sweat from his brow. He and Maria both owned of this restaurant, and yet it seemed to always fall on him to take care of all the paperwork.
When they had first moved to Brazil, he and Maria had struggled to make ends meet. Neither of them spoke the language, making it difficult to do pretty much anything. They had both manage to find a job at a little hole in the wall restaurant. It was just some tourist trap owned by a burly man named Eduardo, who knew as much about cooking as he did about astrophysics. He had hired the pair of them, he said, because he needed someone to talk to all the English speaking tourists. The pay had been crap and the hours long, but at that time both he and Maria had been happy to have a distraction and anything resembling a normal life. Michael had started as a waiter, but that had lasted all of three weeks before he punched a man for smacking his bottom every time he walked by. It had only been Maria's intervention that had kept Eduardo from firing him. She had, instead, convinced him to reassign Michael to the kitchen, where she had assured Eduardo that he could handle himself.
Of course, working in the kitchen hadn't been a walk in the park either. Michael was no chef, and certainly hadn't known anything about Brazilian cooking, but he could tell when food tasted like crap and had wasted no time in telling Eduardo, who hadn't taken kindly his assessment. They had fought several times until one day Michael came in with some rice he had made at their apartment and made Eduardo taste it. Maria had found the recipe online, and when Michael saw it lying on the counter in their apartment, he decided to give it whirl, hoping to prove to his boss that he knew what he was doing in the kitchen. Eduardo had tasted it, narrowing his eyes as he chewed. After he had swallowed, he stared hard at Michael for several seconds before saying, in heavily accented English, "Fine. You cook all food from now."
After a couple of months, with Michael cooking a large portion of the food, the restaurant had started to pick up more business, making more money. And that meant Maria had insisted they get raises. Eduardo had resisted paying them more until Maria threatened that the both of them would quit and find jobs where they were appreciated. Eduardo had sighed and increased their pay by six Reais, or about three dollars, per hour each. They had celebrated by moving out of their cockroach infested studio apartment into a one bedroom apartment in a nicer neighborhood.
Three years after that, Eduardo had come to them with a long face and said he was going to sell the restaurant. His arthritis had gotten bad and his wife was insisting they move into the country. Shortly after that, Maria had suggested that she and Michael buy the restaurant.
"But it would drain our entire savings," Michael had countered. Having spent so many years running had taught the both of the value of saving a penny for a rainy day. In truth, they never knew when they were going to have to pick up and leave again, and that was much easier when you didn't have to use alien powers to give your bank account a little boost.
Maria rolled her eyes. "Come on. We've lived here for over four years now and nothing's happened."
Michael continued to hesitate, considering the idea, so Maria seized the opportunity to keep talking. She crossed her arms. "Think about it, Michael. With the amount of money we'd be making as owners, we'd regain our savings in a year. We could actually afford a larger apartment. We would be doing something with our lives instead of working at dead end jobs making just enough money." She walked over to him and put her arms around his neck. "We could actually live our lives instead of just waiting around for something bad to happen."
In the end Michael had agreed. After four years of peace, even he had started to think that maybe they would make it through their lives without more trouble. So they had gone to Eduardo to strike a deal. It had taken all of Maria's bargaining powers – since Michael was hardly the bargaining type – to get a fair deal from Eduardo, but eventually they agreed on a price, and Eduardo decided to finance the pair of them, liking the idea of a steady monthly income.
So they had been running their own restaurant for the past three years, and doing a pretty good job of it. Of course, Maria had been wrong that they'd recoup their savings within a year. It had taken nearly the entire three years to do it, what with the monthly cost of their loan, not to mention all the overhead neither one of them had considered. But thanks to Maria's business sense and Michael's surprising ability to cook half decent food, they had managed to turn their tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurant into a pretty successful establishment.
Michael was still scowling at having to always be the one taking care of the deliveries, when he rounded the corner and halted, staring in surprise at the woman in front of him.
He frowned. "Where's Henrique?" he asked, in Portuguese.
The woman, with long, glossy black hair falling down past her shoulders in waves, smiled, revealing a set of perfect, white teeth. "My father is ill today. I volunteered to deliver this one for him."
Michael raised his eyebrows. "Just this one?"
The woman smiled coyly at him through thick, mascara covered eyelashes and walked over with her clipboard in hand. "Well," she said softly, leaning in closer. "You are a very steady customer, and I did not wish for my father to lose your business."
Michael stared at her, feeling off kilter at her close proximity, with a nagging suspicion that they had met before.
"Have we met?"
The woman took a step back and puckered her lips into a pout. "I'm hurt you don't remember me…unless you frequently share hotel rooms with strange girls during Carnaval."
Michael blinked in shock. "That was you? Sorry, I didn't recognize you with…clothes on."
The first couple of years in Brazil, he and Maria had tried to avoid as many of the Carnaval festivities as they could, mostly due to the constant fear of discovery. After several years, however, Maria had made the executive decision that they should start acting like Brazilians and "go have fun". Last year, he and Maria had gotten into a fight over something stupid – he didn't even remember what the original argument was about now – and Maria left him in the street, claiming she was going to go have fun with her friends, when she apparently had gone straight home. Feeling annoyed at the argument, and reckless because of it, Michael had wandered off, downing drink after drink.
The next morning he had woken up in a hotel room chair with a strange woman sleeping in the bed. He was fully dressed, but she was more…scantily clad. According to her, nothing had happened, for which Michael had breathed an enormous sigh of relief. He had gotten sick in the street, so the woman had taken him to her hotel room to sober up and he had fallen asleep in the chair. Before he had had a chance to ask the woman her name, Maria had burst into the hotel room, arms waving, yelling at the top of her lungs, and Michael had hurried out of the hotel room. Eventually he had been able to convince Maria that nothing had happened, although he never had found out just how she had found him in the first place.
"What's your name?" he asked.
She smiled at him. "Ana." She held out the clipboard for him to sign.
He grabbed it from her. "And you're Henrique's daughter?"
"Yes," she said, brushing her fingers on his hand as she grabbed the clipboard back.
"Funny," Michael said, "You don't look anything like your dad."
Ana winked at him, her eyelashes so long, they fanned out across her cheek. "I take after my mother." She walked over to truck, opening the doors, her shirt coming up to show the skin on her lower back.
He was just getting ready to ask Ana how she even knew he was on her father's delivery route when there was a cough behind him. "Michael."
Michael snapped his mouth shut, not realizing it had been open, and turned around to see Maria standing with her arms crossed, glaring at him.
Ana turned around. "Ah, this must be your wife."
"She's not my wife," Michael said quickly, then instantly wishing he hadn't said that.
"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't know," Ana said, looking genuinely surprised, while Maria narrowed her eyes at him. Marriage had become something of a sore subject between them lately. Ana smiled thinly at Maria, "You probably don't remember-
Maria cut her off, "No, I remember who you are." She looked at Michael, eyes flashing, and smiled sarcastically. "Michael, Ricardo is burning the food. I suggest you get back in there."
"What? You were the one who wanted me to handle the delivery."
"Yes, well, now I think it'd be best if I handled it," Maria said through her teeth.
Michael rolled his eyes and said, "Whatever," as he walked back into the kitchen.
He was in the middle of trying to see if he could salvage any of the acarajé Ricardo had burnt when Maria stalked back into the kitchen and stopped in front of him, hands on her hips.
"What was that?"
"What was what?"
She glared at him. "You know what. You were flirting with her."
Michael glanced up in surprise before he tossed the entire pan's worth of food into the trash. "No, I wasn't."
"Yes you were," she hissed. She put on the falsely low voice she used when she was trying to imitate him. "She's not my wife." She made a noise of disgust. "What was that?"
"Well, you're not," Michael said. "And that's not flirting. That's just speaking the truth." He knew he should probably keep his mouth shut, but he never could seem to do that with Maria.
"And you just had to point that out…to her?"
Michael shrugged. "What difference does it make who she is?"
Maria crossed her arms. "Oh, so you're going to just pretend you don't remember who she was."
"I didn't remember who she was. She had to point it out to me."
Maria snorted. "Yeah, right."
Michael tossed down the bowl he was holding with a clatter. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Boss," Ricardo interjected in Portuguese, "I would shut up if I were you…"
Both Michael and Maria turned around at the same time to say "Shut up, Ricardo." He merely shrugged his shoulders and continued chopping tomatoes.
Maria, however, lowered her voice as she said, "It means that I found you in her hotel room and I don't believe you'd forget something like that."
Michael shrugged. "Well, I did. Because, unlike you, I can move on from the past."
Maria recoiled in shock. "What?"
"I told you then that nothing happened, so what difference does it make if I'm talking to her today."
"You weren't just talking to her. You were flirting. And you denied that we were married."
Michael rolled his eyes. "Because we're not."
Maria rolled her eyes back at him. "I can't believe I put up with this."
Looking for any reason to deflect the conversation to something else, Michael pointed towards the line outside. "We have customers waiting. We can talk about this later."
Maria sighed, exasperated, and stalked out of the kitchen.
They spent the rest of the day and night only speaking to each other when absolutely necessary, though that was more Maria's doing than Michael's. The only thing he was mad about was having the same argument for the umpteenth time.
When they locked up for the night, they rode home in silence, Maria fuming next to him. As soon as they reached their apartment, Maria strode into the bedroom, while Michael grabbed a cola and sat down in front of the television to watch some fútbol. After so many years in Brazil, the sport had started to grow on him.
Just as he was considering going in to find Maria, she walked out, dressed in a tight fitting red dress and high heels, complete with full hair and makeup. Without saying anything to him, she walked to the door.
"Where are you going?" he asked, confused.
"Out," was all she said before she slammed the door shut behind her.
Michael spent the rest of the evening alternately mentally defending himself and planning his apology. He knew that marriage was a sore spot for Maria. During the time they had been on the run, they had never talked about it, and even those first couple of years the subject had never come up. But once they had started to settle down, Maria had started bringing the subject up, and each time she did, it ended in an argument.
It wasn't that Michael didn't want to be with Maria. He knew he didn't want to be with anyone else, even if they hadn't had to flee the country together. He wasn't the marrying type, but he also knew that that wasn't the real reason he continually fought against it. In truth, over the years, Michael had started to feel guilty that Maria was on the run with him; that she had given up her life for him. She hadn't needed to run away with them. She could have stayed behind and lived a normal life, but had instead chosen to be with him. And every time she complained about Brazil, or mentioned being homesick, he thought of the fact that if they got married, then he knew the chances of that ever happening were nearly non-existant. There was a small part of him that hoped she could eventually live a normal life; that she could leave him behind and go back to Roswell.
He was laying in bed, unable to sleep and staring at the ceiling, when he heard Maria come home. He looked at the clock and saw that it was three in the morning. When she tip-toed into the room, he reached over to flick on the lamp, flooding the room with a soft glow. Maria jumped.
"I thought you would be asleep," she said, pulling off her shoes and setting them on the floor so she could reach up to remove her earrings.
"I couldn't sleep," he responded, sitting up.
Maria looked at him in the mirror and then turned around, coming to sit on the bed. She grabbed his hand and started playing with his fingers. "I'm sorry I over-reacted."
Michael didn't know what to say, never good during these types of situations. Eventually he just said, "It's not a big deal."
Maria swung her legs around on top of the covers and leaned against him, pulling his arm around her shoulder and continuing to play with his hand. "You're right. It's not a big deal."
Michael wrapped his other arm around and Maria snuggled in closer.
They stayed that way for several minutes before Maria finally spoke, a slight tease in her voice. "My friends are split fifty-fifty."
"On what?" he asked, finally starting to feel a little tired.
"Whether you'll marry me."
Michael closed his eyes in frustration. She just wouldn't let it go. "What do they say?"
"Well…Claudia and Bianca say why ruin a good thing."
"I knew I always liked those two," Michael said, trying to squelch his frustration at the conversation. "And do I even want to know what the others think?"
Maria traced her finger around his ring finger. "Sophia and Cristina think I should just leave you," she said quietly.
Michael didn't say anything for awhile, thinking again of his reasons for not marrying. Finally he said softly, more to himself, "Maybe you should."
Maria immediately sat up and looked at him. "What?" she asked, sharply.
Michael opened his mouth to respond when suddenly there was a loud crack and a bright light, like a train coming through a tunnel, followed by a loud rushing sound. Before he knew what was happening he felt wind sucking him towards the light. He only vaguely realized that Maria was calling his name, but he couldn't see anything, and by the time he realized he no longer touching her, it was too late. He was completely surrounded by the light and hurtling towards what appeared to be red packed earth.
Kyle sat on a bench in Parc du Champ de Mars, idly watching tourists snapping pictures of themselves in front of the Eiffel Tower, feeling jealous of their air of excitement. Of course, they were here by choice, and could choose to go home at any time they chose. None of the bright faced couples posing in a kiss, or the elderly couples out to fulfill a lifelong dream of seeing Paris, were stuck in exile, like he was.
It had been Isabel's idea to come to Paris when the group had split up. Kyle hadn't minded the idea of Paris, but neither had he been particularly excited about the prospect of living in France. In fact, he had envied Max and Liz living in Canada. At least they had decided to live in a country close to home and not halfway around the world in a country whose language they didn't speak. Now, of course, he could speak French fluently, but it had been rough in those early days. He had tried to convince Isabel to go to England, but she had insisted she always wanted to live in France, so he had given in.
He jumped when he felt a hand tap his shoulder.
"Earth to Kyle."
He looked up, shading his eyes from the sun, to see Isabel standing, basket in hand, smiling down at him. He stood up. "Sorry. I was just thinking. Have you been there long?"
Isabel shook her head, looping her free hand through his arm. They started walking through the park, towards their usual picnic spot. "What were you thinking about?"
Kyle didn't answer for a moment. Though they had never actually made an agreement out loud, there was an understanding between them not to talk about their former lives. He knew why Isabel didn't want to talk about it; the only thing in her past was the pain of loss, first Alex, then Jesse, and then Max and Michael. Although they had all promised to keep in touch, they never had. It had been a good seven years since either he or Isabel had heard from anyone. Kyle didn't know anyone else's reasons for not sending emails, but his own was an attempt to put Roswell, and all the memories it had, out of his mind and try to live his life. And he couldn't do that if he was constantly thinking about emailing those memories. He suspected that the others all had similar reasons for not keeping in touch, but he knew that it hurt Isabel to never hear from Max or Michael.
Eventually he just shrugged. "About life."
Isabel looked at him for a moment before nodding and changing the subject, obviously clued in to what he was thinking about. "Soooo…" she said, a smile on her face, "How was last night?"
Kyle opened his mouth to answer but ended up yawning. "You know," he said, avoiding the question, "most people spend their Saturday mornings sleeping; not picnicking every week in probably the biggest tourist spot in Paris."
They reached their usual spot, under a tree with a good view of the Eiffel Tower and the many tourists excitedly walking by. Isabel let go of him and reached into the basket to pull out a blanket and set it on the ground. "We are not most people." She sat down and opened the basket, taking out an assortment of food items and laying them out. Kyle sat down, picking up a croissant and tearing a piece off. "And besides," Isabel continued, "The tourists are the reason I like it here." She picked up a strawberry and bit into it, gazing off a bit. Kyle watched her, wondering what she was thinking about.
"Why on earth would you like tourists?" He countered, picking through the assortment of cheeses Isabel had packed, trying to find one he actually liked.
He had expected Isabel to answer with one of her usual snappy retorts, but instead she spoke softly, looking at the many and varying people walking past them. "Because they're always happy."
Kyle didn't say anything and after a couple of moments Isabel snapped her head back around with a large smile on her face. "Besides," she said, "our picnics have become a fun tradition. We always meet at that bench at ten o'clock and have brunch under this tree on Saturdays. It's fun." Kyle could tell that her voice was falsely bright, but chose not to point it out. Instead he smiled back at her.
"Well, I can't argue with that."
Isabel busied herself with the food in front of her. "So, you didn't answer my question."
Kyle leaned back, not feeling particularly hungry, and put his hands behind his head, staring up through the tree branches at the blue sky above. Though it was January, there had been a strange warm spell, so it was actually pretty pleasant.
"What question," he asked, knowing very well what question.
"You know what question," Isabel replied, giving him a look. "How was last night?"
He shrugged his shoulders. "It was fine."
He turned his head to look over at her. "Justine was nice."
Isabel raised her eyebrows. "Nice?"
Kyle turned his head back to look up through the trees, shivering a little as a cool breeze blew by, and thinking about his date the night before.
"Well," Isabel said, "Did you like her, at least?"
"She was fine," Kyle replied, choosing to remain ambiguous. In truth, the date had been a bit awkward…even more so than the usual first date was. They hadn't had anything in common, for one thing. And it had only been at Isabel's pushing that Kyle had even asked Justine on a date in the first place. Isabel seemed to think that he needed to be "with" someone, even if she thought it was perfectly fine for her to be alone. And it wasn't that he didn't like dating. He wanted to date…just not Justine.
"'Nice.' 'Fine.' Sounds like you had a blast," Isabel said wryly.
He shrugged. "Not every date is going to sweep you off your feet."
Isabel laughed. "'Sweep you off your feet?' I'm sorry. This whole time I thought I was talking to a nearly thirty year old man, but apparently you're really a fifteen year old girl."
Kyle sat up. "Excuse me?"
She smiled at him and shrugged. "Well, you know, I just didn't know that I needed to find you someone 'dreamy'," she responded, teasingly.
Kyle grabbed his half eaten croissant and chucked it at her. "If you want fifteen," he said with mock seriousness, grabbing a handful of blueberries, "I can give you fifteen."
Isabel held up a hand, laughing. "Kyle! Those blueberries cost a fortune!"
He smiled at her. "Oh, but Isabel, fifteen year olds don't care about the expense of blueberries." He raised his hand threateningly.
"Fifteen year old girls might!" She held up a hand to cover her face as Kyle started taking the blueberries and tossing them at her, one by one. "Stop it!" She laughed.
Kyle merely smiled and continued chucking them at her. In response Isabel grabbed a handful of strawberries and started throwing them back at him.
"Oh I see how it is," he said, lifting the hand holding the blueberries to try covering his face as he used his other hand to keep throwing. "The blueberries are too expensive, but it's ok to throw the strawberries."
"A girl has to defend herself," Isabel laughed.
As they continued to throw food at one another, Kyle couldn't help but notice how great it was to see Isabel laughing. It wasn't something she did often and he loved the way it made her eyes sparkle.
When Isabel ran out of strawberries, she grabbed a small bottle of champagne she always brought for him, knowing he liked mimosas, and began shaking it.
Kyle held both hands up, dropping the remaining blueberries. "Ok, now. Let's not be hasty."
Isabel grinned mischievously. "You're the one who started this remember?"
"With blueberries," he retorted. "Not expensive alcohol."
Isabel shrugged as she poised her fingers over the cork ready to pull it out and douse him. "Sometimes in a war you have to make sacrifices."
"Seriously, Isabel," he said, dreading the prospect of being drenched in the middle of winter. Warm spell or not, he would still freeze if he were wet. "I'm sorry I threw blueberries at you."
"Oh, people are always sorry when they have to face the consequences." Isabel smiled even wider and started to pull the cork out.
"No! Wait-" he started, but was interrupted by a cold spray in his face. Kyle instantly lunged across the blanket, towards Isabel, who was laughing and screaming. She fell backwards, trying to hold the bottle out of his reach, while he fell on top of her and managed to grab it out of her hand. He immediately sat up and turned the still spraying bottle towards her.
"Kyle!" She screamed, laughing with her hands over her face. "No! Stop it, I'm getting all wet!"
Kyle was getting ready to reply when suddenly there was a loud crack and blindingly bright light. He was vaguely aware of people screaming, but was too distracted by the sudden gale force winds to see where they were coming from. Before he knew what was happening he felt himself being pulled up by the wind. He looked below at Isabel, trying to shout her name, only to have his voice blown away. He could see that she was being pulled up as well and tried to reach out to grab her. Before they could grasp each other's hand, however, he was suddenly spun around so fast he thought he might vomit, and saw something red coming alarmingly fast towards his face.
Liz sat on her couch, grading papers with the news on for background noise. Max never understood why she liked watching the news, saying it made him feel anxious, but she liked the sound of newscaster's voices. They always spoke so calmly even if they were talking about horrific things, and it was just the sort of white noise sounds that she liked when trying to slog through a night of grading.
She sighed as she added up the number of questions missed and assigned a sixty-three percent. "Come on, Brandon, I know you can do better than that." This year's batch of sophomores seemed even less inclined to understand Chemistry than her previous two years. It wasn't like she even made the exams that difficult. They just didn't want to try. She picked up another paper, hoping this one did better. She hated having to grade on a curve but if everyone failed she might end up having to.
The words "FBI's most wanted," jumped out at her from the television and she glanced up sharply to look. As it always did when she heard the letters FBI, her heart jumped and then raced. She breathed a quick sigh of relief as neither her, nor Max's, face appeared on the television, and then set down her pen, rubbing her hands on her face and trying to get rid of her sudden shaking.
Liz didn't usually have such a violent reaction to a quick scare like that, but then, her body was doing some strange things lately. She smiled and placed a hand on her stomach, mentally reliving the moment earlier in the day when she had found out she was pregnant. She hadn't seen Max in person yet, so she hadn't told him yet. He had gone bowling with some coworkers straight after work. Her smile widened as she started daydreaming about the look on his face when she told him he was going to be a father.
Naturally when they had been on the run, children had simply not been an option. And when they had first started settling down in Vancouver, they had been a mixture of too tense, too busy, and too poor to have children. They had both gone to college, getting degrees in education, so it had not been entirely practical for them to start a family in the middle of that. But a couple of years ago, Liz had finally broached the subject with Max. He had been hesitant for many reasons, not the least of which being unsure what any child of theirs would look like. Though it had hurt her to bring it up, she had reminded Max that his first child had been entirely human, and there was no reason to assume that the same wouldn't be true with their children. Eventually she had convinced him and they had started trying.
Except, having a child wasn't as easy as it sounded. There were teenagers out there getting pregnant left and right, but for some reason, it had taken them nearly two years. Neither one of them had really wanted to go to a doctor, because, for all they knew, Liz's body had changed the moment she had started receiving her powers, and so they had merely kept trying and hoping for a positive test.
Liz had gotten so used to negative pregnancy tests, that she hadn't dared hope that her being late this month had anything to do with a baby. In fact, she hadn't even mentioned it to Max, not wanting to dash his hopes, yet again, with the false hope of pregnancy. But the test had been positive. She had taken two more to make sure it wasn't a fluke and both of them had come out positive as well. It had taken everything in her to not immediately call Max, who taught seventh grade algebra and had left early for a meeting at school, and tell him the news. She had wanted to tell him in person so she could see the look on his face.
Liz shook her head now. "Focus, Beth," she said out loud. "You'll never get your grading done at this rate." She reached for the next test and tried to focus.
By the time Max walked through the door, Liz had managed to almost completely finish her grading, a feat she hadn't thought possible tonight.
"Hey," she said, smiling at Max as she put down her pen and stood up. "How was bowling?"
Max smiled at her as he set down his bowling bag and walked over, giving her a quick kiss on the cheek. "No one beats Zan at bowling."
"Is that so?" Liz said, reaching up to wrap her arms around his neck.
"Yes," he said, "That's so."
"And what about a certain someone named Beth Maxwell?" Liz said playfully.
Max looked down at her, a twinkle in his eyes. "Well, that was just the one time, and she hasn't been able to repeat it since."
Liz shrugged her shoulders. "I don't think it matters how many times it happened, just that it happened at all."
Maxed leaned down to kiss Liz quickly on the mouth. "Well…maybe, but I think that just means it was a fluke."
He started to lean down again, but Liz pulled her head back, smiling. "Wait. There's something I want to tell you-"
Before she could even start telling him she was pregnant, there was a loud crack. Max immediately wrapped both arms around Liz, in a vice-like grip, pressing her head into his chest.
"Zan, what is it?" she yelled. "What's happening?" She could feel a strong wind whipping around her, and saw the papers she had been grading flying around the room, along with a few of their knick-knacks.
"I don't know," Max yelled back. "It looks like some sort of portal!" Liz tried to look up but found herself squinting at the bright white light.
She tried to push herself away, but Max held onto her tightly. "We have to grab the ready bag!" she yelled. Even though they were only inches apart, she could hardly hear herself.
"I'm not letting go!" Max shouted.
"Then just hold my hand. It's right under the couch. Hurry!" Max let her go and gripped her hand as they both tried to run towards the couch. It was like trying to run through a glass wall. Liz could feel her feet being lifted off the ground, and grabbed for the coffee table, which immediately went flying away. She reached down and gripped the plush carpeting, hanging on as tightly as she could. She turned her head. "Grab my ankles, I need both hands!"
Max reached a hand out to grab her by the ankle, and then let go of her other hand, trying to keep himself on the ground. They both tried crawling, Liz gripping the shag carpet with now sweating hands. As soon as she could, she reached for the leg of the couch, and threw her other hand underneath it, grabbing hold of the strap.
She turned around and shouted "I've got it!" while twisting her wrist to wrap the strap around it securely. Then she was able to see past the bright light and gasped silently, feeling her fingers start to slip on the couch. On the other side of the tunnel of light, there was red earth and endless starry sky.
She looked at Max and saw him trying to yell to her. "What?" she yelled back. He mouthed "I love you" and then before she knew what was happening, he let go of her leg.
She screamed and then immediately let go of the couch, trying to follow him. She flew towards the red packed earth, feeling both completely weightless and weighted down. She wasn't able to move and was glad she had had the foresight to wrap the bag strap around her wrist. She couldn't see Max at all as she flew for what seemed like an impossibly long time.
Suddenly she was whipped around so that she could see the now tiny hole leading back to her living room. Before she had any more time to wonder what was happening, she hit the ground hard, knocking the air from her lungs. She lay there, gasping, trying to take a breath and staring at the stars above her, vaguely realizing that something was different about them, but not able to put her finger on what it was.
"Beth!" Suddenly Max was above her. "Are you alright? That was a stupid thing to do!" He yelled at her.
Liz started to sit up when she heard a voice to her right. "Oh my god. Liz?"
She looked over, in shock. "Maria?"
Maria, dressed in a short, tight red dress, barefoot and standing next to a pajama clad Michael, put a hand to her mouth, her eyes wide and round.
"Max? Michael?" Max and Liz both looked behind them, and saw Isabel and Kyle, both dressed warmly in coats and scarves.
Isabel's eyes were enormous as she looked between Max and Michael. Liz watched as she swallowed once, and then broke down sobbing, one hand on her mouth. Isabel ran over and started hitting Max on the shoulder, as if they were still teenagers. "You idiot!" she yelled. "What do you mean by not emailing me in seven years?" Before anyone could react, she grabbed him in a hug. Max froze, completely shocked, before hesitantly putting his arms back around her, looking over her shoulder at the group.
Liz, who by this point had regained her breath, stood up slowly, suddenly feeling nauseated and worried about how the trip might have affected the baby. "What's going on?" she asked, looking around. "Where are we?"
"I was hoping you'd know," said Michael, holding Maria's hand.
"You are on Hylian, second moon of Antar."
Everyone whipped their head around to see who had spoken, but found no one.
"Up here," said the voice, in a soothing baritone.
Liz looked up, only now realizing that they were standing next to a rock formation, and then gasped. The voice belonged to an alien. But it wasn't like the aliens she had seen before in Roswell, nor like the aliens found in classic science fiction. He, or so she assumed from his voice, was not a small bodied, big headed, pasty-green alien. In fact, Liz could only see a few certain similarities between Earth's classic embodiment of an alien and the alien standing in front of her. He was green, yes, but it wasn't a pale green. It was the deep, vibrant green of an emerald. His head was slightly disproportionately large to the rest of his body, but not by much. His eyes were almond shaped, and definitely larger than the average human eye, but not so large that it took up half of his face. They were also a lighter green color, not quite matching the color of his skin, at least so far as she could see from where she was standing. His face was oval shaped, but his chin was more round than pointy, and he had hair, which was a fiery red color, falling down to his shoulders. He was dressed in some sort of all black suit, which fit snuggly on him, and what looked similar to combat boots. His limbs were sinewy, with bulges indicating muscles underneath. The only word that came to Liz's mind as she looked at him was "beautiful".
Max took a step forward. "Who are you? Why are we here?"
The alien looked towards Max. "Are you Zan?"
The alien cocked his head to the side. "They said you would look nothing like your former self, but it's not true."
Liz could see Max swallow and knew that he was nervous. She walked over and grabbed his hand. The alien glanced down at their hands and then back up to their faces as Max took a more confident stance.
"I asked you who you are," he said, firmly.
The alien paused for a moment before suddenly bowing. "Forgive me, your highness. My name is Arrin."
Max stiffened at being addressed like that. Liz squeezed his hand in reassurance. "What are we doing here?"
Arrin stood straight and clasped his hands in front of him. "We have brought you here to lead our rebellion and reclaim your rightful throne."