When the Rain Begins to Fall (DA-XO,UC,ADULT) AN (2/22)[WIP]

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Calinia
Addicted Roswellian
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Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2002 11:40 am
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Post by Calinia » Tue Sep 21, 2004 12:45 pm

Well, this story is going pretty well. I finished part 23 yesterday, despite working on my two other stories as well. Hopefully, weekly updates will be possible even after school starts up again in ten days. Not promising anything though. I have a bad track record when it comes to promises concerning updates.

To your feedback...

Adian, yup, bitter is the word. But it will get better again.

Emerald_iceus, sorry for keeping you waiting. As for when Liz will find Ava, that will take some more time. Sorry.

A Rose Is True Blue, well, you've read them all now, so no more L/A fics that I can draw you into. Yet... :twisted: Nah, not planning on starting a new one. Sigh. I love Alec and Liz too. There just so...sigh-worthy.

KnightOwl, no, Alec is not looking too good in Liz's eyes when it comes to trustworthiness. (is that even a word?) And Alec will definitely prove her wrong, eventually. Liz is going to fight all the other things drawing her in again. She'll lose in the end, but she'll put up one hell of a fight. And no, she won't be able to stay away from anyone she's started to form ties towards. They won't let her and her heart won't let her either.

Elf3748, chances are high that the Freak Nation incident will happen in this world. As for when they'll find out the big secret...not sure. It will be a little while till that happens.

WomanofMystery, that sucks having to scrap it all and start over. I've had to throw away pages of what I've written too sometimes, so I'm feeling your pain. Hehe, Liz will bite Alec's butt the next time, promise. I'm glad you liked Liz's thoughts on the whole Alec-thing, despite the direction they took and the conclussion she came to. And duh, of course she can't stay away from Alec. Let's face it, who could? :wink:

Zevrillion, glad you liked the part. And when you take into consideration that this is Alec we're tlaking about...Liz's resolve shouldn't last too long, now should it?

bLoOdReDeMpReSs, thanks for the feedback! I'm glad you liked the part.

lyra, thanks for not killing me, I'm very grateful. Honestly I am. Hehe, why does it not surprise me that you're still hung up on the pic Liz gave Logan? Yes, that will be resolved now. This part actually if memory serves me right. Now, do you really think that *anybody* could stay away from Alec? And do you honestly think that Alec would just let Liz stay away from him?

Roswell Slayer, you are such a naughty girl! Just like you to like a naked Alec more than anything else, lol. And of course Alec won't just let her walk away from him, so no worries.

stargrl678, thanks for the feedback! Liz will open up to Alec at some point, but it will take some time till she gets there.


Thanks for all the wonderful feedback! I was a bit scared after posting the part. Glad that you proved me wrong.


Part 21

When I reach Logan’s apartment I don’t bother with knocking, I just barge right in. Polite has been thrown out the window again, where it belongs. Doesn’t get you anywhere anyway. Trust me, I know.

I find him…drum roll please…at his computer. He glances up, a hint of surprise in his eyes. Guess he didn’t expect to see me so soon again. Then he smiles warmly, the surprise vanished.

“Hey Liz.”

“Hey.” My tone is cool, even more so than I had intended, but…whatever.

If he’s fazed by it he doesn’t show it. I guess two years with M will make anyone pretty resistant when it comes to bitchiness.

“Good that you’re here,” he tells me in a suspiciously nonchalant voice. “I’ve been meaning to talk to you.”

His tone, the look in his eyes…I’m not liking this. Not liking this one bit. My guard is up – hell, when is it ever down? – but I don’t show it. I just raise an eyebrow at him.

“It’s about the search for your friend. I came across some rather…surprising information.” His voice is even, calm, giving away nothing.

A greasy knot of bad feelings settles into my stomach. This is not good. I know it’s not good. The combination of the words ‘surprising’ and ‘information’ can never be good. I cross my hands over my chest, hardly even realizing how defensive the gesture is.

“And that would be?” My voice is like ice, but once again, Logan doesn’t seem put off. Hell, he hardly seems to notice.

He swirls around in his chair to face me, bent forwards with his elbows resting on his knees, his hands clasped. For a brief moment I wonder if he chose that position on purpose to seem as least threatening as possible.

“Well, for starters, there was a direct match of the picture you gave me. I found it on the website of West Roswell High, but the writing underneath it stated the girl’s name as Tess Harding. I have the last listed address and phone number of her, but somehow I think you’ve already got those.”

I just stare at him. I can literally feel the color draining from my face and my knees are feeling sort of weak. How could I be so stupid? Of course he would find the picture of Tess on the internet. That’s where I found it for crying out loud! Oh shit. Oh God. I lead him right to the truth…to me…to the aliens. This is bad. This is beyond bad.

“I started doing some research,” he goes on. He’s so calm. How the fuck can he be so calm? I’m having a nervous breakdown here for crying out loud! Can’t he see that? How about some consideration?

“She was reported missing quite about six weeks ago on the same day as Maxwell and Isabel Evans. And you. Seems like you all went to the same high school, same grade even. Guess they’re friends of yours, huh?”

I can barely think straight, not to mention speak and so he goes on. “Elizabeth Parker, only child of Jeffrey and Nancy Parker. Born October 4th, 2003. Exemplary Student. 3.9 GPA, 1476 SAT score. Pretty impressive. I’m sure colleges all over the country will be running your door in once you graduate.”

I just stare at him. He drops a bomb like that on me and then compliments me on my scholastic achievements? What the fuck?!

“W-who else knows about this?” I ask. My voice is trembling – hell, my whole body is – but I don’t even care.

Logan seems taken aback by my question. “Nobody. You asked to keep this between us and I respected that.” He almost sounds insulted.

I narrow my eyes at him. Should I believe him? Trust him? My first reaction is a screamed ‘No!’ reverberating through my brain, loud and clear. But do I even have a choice? He has this information. Nothing I can do about.

Except erasing his memories.

I’m so shocked by that thought that I sink down onto the arm of the couch that’s behind me. I can’t…I could never…it would be wrong. It would be wronger than wrong. It’s a violation of privacy, it’s cruel, inhuman. I can’t take away someone’s memories, mess with someone’s mind. I’m not her.

No. I have to find another solution. One that doesn’t include mindwarping or trusting Logan, because God knows that neither of them is a real option. I get up, blindly making my way to the exit. I have to get out of there, have to think straight. I feel trapped, caged, cornered. I need some air…space. I need to get away. Logan’s next words seem to come out of nowhere, stopping me in my tracks.

“You got shot, didn’t you?”

I freeze, fear and terror clutching at my heart, my throat. I can’t breath. I can’t move. This is it…exposure. I fucked it up.

My body turns around – not me…I’m not sure who is suddenly controlling my body, cause it sure as hell doesn’t feel like it’s me. I do my best at masking the fear that must be evident in my features. I try for a smile, try to keep my voice calm, even, composed, knowing that I failed even before I open my mouth to speak. “What?” I laugh. It comes out more like a choke than a laugh, sounding painfully fake and…scared. Even to my own ears.

“I found some articles and reports concerning a mysterious shooting at the Crashdown Café…the café your parents own, where you used to work as a waitress.” Logan’s voice is still calm and composed. Damn him. Damn him for being so cool when I’ve just about forgotten my own fucking name, I’m so scared.

“There were some witnesses who could have sworn that you got shot. But apparently it was only a spilt ketchup bottle. But if that’s the case…why did the FBI take over the investigation? Why was the bullet never found? Why was there blood on your uniform?”

I must be beyond pale by now. I think I’m gonna faint any moment. I’m hyperventilating but at the same time I feel like I’m on the brink of suffocation.

It’s funny how in the least appropriate moments the most asinine thoughts suddenly float through your mind. Right now I’m asking myself why the damn Pulse couldn’t have been a few years later, erasing all records of the shooting. Now that would have been a nice break.

Colorful dots are starting to dance around before my eyes. Logan must have realized that something isn’t right with me. He gets up, a concerned look on his face. “Liz? Are you okay?”

Suddenly I feel them. I don’t know why I didn’t notice it before cause I’m sure that it didn’t just appear…the green, electric currents, covering my hands and forearms, intensifying with every passing second. It hurts. Damn it, it hurts. Logan seems to have noticed it as well. He’s staring at my hands, despite my attempts to conceal them with my sleeves. He looks…shocked doesn’t even begin to describe it. Maybe we’re both going to faint. Let’s just hope he doesn’t land on top of me…he’s not fat or even very tall but he sure looks heavy. Stupid me. Why am I even thinking about this?

“Oh shit…” I whisper and then darkness takes over.

---------

I hear voices. It sounds like they’re far away, distant, muffled by something thick and soft and heavy. I begin to surface and, hell, I wish I hadn’t. Ugh. Everything hurts. My head, my arms, my whole fucking body actually. Have I said ‘ugh’?

Slowly I open my eyes, squinting at the bright light. Where the fuck is that coming from? Wasn’t it cloudy, rainy? After a few minutes my vision adjusts and I realize that it is cloudy and rainy. The light filtering in through the window is hardly blinding, my vision was just screwed up.

I sit up slowly, careful not to make any sudden movements. Sudden movements tend to hurt like a bitch when your body is in this kind of state. Not that normal movements don’t hurt, but they’re bearable…somewhat. Believe me, lately I’ve had more experience with this kind of thing than I ever wanted.

I hear the voices again, strain to listen. Sounds like Logan and…M. Hmm. If I didn’t know better I’d think he was trying to get rid of her. But that can’t be, can it? Puppy-dog Logan Cale? A minute later I hear the door closing. Then footsteps. Logan appears…alone. Hmm…looks like the puppy is finally growing a pair.

He glances at me, sees that I’m awake. That’s enough to freak me out again. I get up, scrambling to my feet much too quickly of course. Damn it. I sway, darkness threatening to overtake me. Oh God. I’m not gonna faint again, am I? Been there, done that.

Suddenly I realize that Logan prevented me from falling, gently forcing me to sit down again. I’m in no position to fight him and so I obey. Shit. I hate other people being able to do whatever they damn well please with me. It’s like having no free will of your own anymore.

“Hey, careful,” he says softly, and I realize how gentle his grip on me is. “You don’t want to add another bump on the head to your collection.” There’s a smile in his voice. I can’t believe this guy. He’s not seriously joking around, is he?

I don’t reply, just lean back, my eyes closed. I’m breathing deeply, trying to regain control over my body. I need to gather my strength, need to get out of here. My flight instinct is still in place, telling me to run. Fast.

“I’m sorry if I scared you,” Logan goes on and I realize that he’s now sitting beside me. “I didn’t mean to. I guess I should have found a better way to approach the subject. I didn’t really think it through. I didn’t expect you to come over today, not this early in any case. Just…know that your secret is safe with me. I won’t tell anyone. Not Joshua, not Max. Not the police or the press if that’s what you’re concerned about. You can trust me.”

I would snort at that if I had the energy. Instead I just sit there, trying hard not to admit that I’m caught between a rock and a hard one. How could I ever let this happen? How could I be so stupid and trust someone? And what the fuck am I supposed to do now? There’s nothing I can do to change the situation. I can’t turn back time, won’t erase his memories even if that might be the smartest option. But what the fuck do I know about mindwarping? How do you do it so that it’s permanent? I guess he’d be mighty pissed if he discovered that I messed with his head, so I’m not even trying. Not to mention the slight possibility of me blowing up his head, frying his brain or something.

Guess there’s only one thing I can do now. What’s that old saying? Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.


tbc
Tact is for people not witty enough to be sarcastic.
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holier than thou | katastrophee
Updated 03/16/07 | Updated 02/10/08

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Calinia
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Post by Calinia » Tue Sep 28, 2004 1:37 pm

polar vixen, making you smirk is my purpose in life, hehe. :wink: Glad I once again accomplished my goal and that you think Liz's reactions are accurate. :D

Erin, it's nice to hear that people look forward so much to me updating this. I have the silliest smile on my face right now. :D I never managed to update weekly before this fic either. I guess writing in the first person just makes it a lot easier for me to write since I only have to describe everything from one POV and don't always have to concider if reactions and stuff of other characters are actually in character. Hehe, sorry, more than one update a week just isn't possible. I have two exams coming up, despite the fact that school hasn't even started yet...they're still from last semester. :? I can't read fics with Alec in them where he isn't with Liz either. That's just...wrong. And you're writing a L/A fic? I'm thrilled! It's not posted yet, is it? I couldn't have miss that. Can't wait to read it! And I'm not planning on never again writing a L/A fic. I just won't start another one. But once I'm finished with either WTRBTF or DTD, who knows? :wink: Logan doesn't really know about the aliens yet but with what he knows about Liz and the rumors about Roswell, it won't be too hard for him to figure it out.

WomanofMystery, cheering you up is my main purpose in life, glad I succeeded! :D And I've known for a long time that you're an ass-kisser, hehe. :wink: I'm glad that you think I've captured Liz's thoughts just right. And sorry, but no Alec in this part. :( But he will be in the next part. Glad you liked the line about the puppy finally growing a pair...I'm currently chuckling myself, hehe. :lol:

demonyte, I'm glad you liked the part, thanks for the feedback! :D

lyra, glad that it wasn't as bad as you had feared. No, wait a minute...am I losing my touch?! :shock: *scratches head* I'll have to work on that... :twisted: Anyway, Logan hasn't figured out everything yet, but that won't take long. He's seen too much and now with the connection to Roswell...sort of like counting 2 and 2 together. And Alec will find out more or less soon. Let's just say it won't take forever. Glad you think bitchy-Liz is funny, she's a lot of fun to write, hehe. :lol: And you're right, who could ever resist Alec? :D

KnightOwl, I'm glad you think it's kind of funny when Liz is being such a bitch, it's lots of fun to write her like that, hehe. :lol: And yes, I know that Jensen will be on Smallville this season. Haven't seen the first episode yet though, I still need to watch the last few episodes of S3. I am so behind on that show, it's not even funny. :? But thanks for the info!

vampiricheart, who said there wouldn't be any Liz/Alec action for a while? :lol: No, seriously, there will be a few obstacles to over come and things to deal with first, but the biggest one doesn't even have anything to do with Alec and Liz. You'll see what I mean in a few parts. Anyway, despite the lack of "action", there will be interaction. Next part for example, no Alec in this one though, sorry. I'm glad you live for the angst, cause there's some coming up. And Max and Alec will definitely be suspicious about all the time Liz and Logan are spending together. Won't like that one bit, those two. Max and the podsquare will be making an appearance, but that will take some time. Can't say I have a scene like that planned, but Alec letting Max dangle from the Space Needle sure is a nice mental image. :lol: And since foaming from the mouth is so unbecoming, I guess I'll have to update, huh? :wink:

Elf3748, Logan knowing definitely is the first step to the rest of the group finding out. As for who will find out next...hmm. I'd say, seeing how this story has developed, Alec is a pretty good bet, isn't he? :wink:

stargrl678, Liz definitely needs to learn how to keep her powers under control and Ava would be mighty helpful, wouldn't she? And Alec and Liz are mighty cute togehter, aren't they? :wink: Thanks for the feedback!

Roswell Slayer, bad girl! You have such a dirty mind... :P Yup, Logan knows. Well, not everything yet, but it will be easy enough for him to figure it out with all the clues he's gathered. Others will find out relatively soon. Won't tell who though. Hehe... :twisted:


Not much else to say, huh? Here's the new part, next one will be up in a week.


Part 22

“I still want to help you with your search for your friend.” Logan’s words come totally out of the blue, startling me. I’ve spent the last hour or so lying on his couch, turning the same thoughts and ideas over in my head, again and again and again. I’m of course not getting anywhere at all with that, but oh well. It’s not like I’m in any kind of state to stand up, even less leave the apartment. What else is there to do?

At least now I have something new to think about. Logan obviously didn’t expect an answer straight away, he’s turned back to his computer. Good. God knows I need some time to think this over.

Should I let Logan continue with his search? My initial reaction is of course to decline his offer, muddle my way through on my own. But we all know how that turned out the first time around. And we all know how desperately I need to find Ava. Just look at what happened earlier…

I push my sleeves up to examine my arms. The friction of the soft cotton moving over my skin hurts like a bitch, making me wince. That’s when I realize that my forearms are covered with burns. Wow. Not even Michael ever managed fried himself. Guess that’s really saying it all.

The burns don’t look too bad, first degree only, but hell, they hurt. I lay my hand on one arm, wince, close my eyes, concentrate…I feel a warmth spreading through my arm. Opening my eyes I realize that while most of the marks aren’t completely gone, the pain is. Repeat the process on the other arm, pull the sleeves down again…sigh. This is a lot better.

Now where was I? Right…Logan, the search for Ava. Let’s make a mental list. I love lists. Have I mentioned that before? I’m really obsessed with lists. Maria always said it was sickening. But, well, Maria saw being organized as some kind of disease, so…getting off topic here. Back to the list.

Okay, pros first. Obviously, Logan has the better resources. I’ll probably find Ava a lot faster, meaning I’ll get my powers under control a lot faster, if he helps me. Big plus. Also, two people searching is better than one. I can keep up my search while Logan keeps up his, both of us covering different places, using different methods, resources, checking out different possibilities. Thirdly…um, I have a lot less work to do.

Now cons. First of all, what if Logan stumbles over other information that I don’t want him to know about? Other FBI data, other strange occurrences in the town of Roswell…God knows that there are enough of those, and that each and every single one of them was alien related. Except the time Pam Troy couldn’t find a date for the Homecoming Dance. Hehe.

Okay, getting distracted here, again. Not good.

Cons…of course. The most obvious of all. Do I want to stay in touch with Logan, see him all the time, constantly spend my time with him? No. But is it worth finding Ava quickly? Hmm. Something to think about. Maybe?

And as for Logan finding out other stuff I don’t want him to know about…who says he’ll stop looking into my background just because I won’t let him help me with my search for Ava anymore? Somehow, I doubt that he’ll stop, forget about it, about me, my secrets. He’s smelled blood. Reporters never ignore the smell of blood and that’s what he is, a reporter…sort of. And what was that about keeping your enemies closer? Sigh. Looks like there’s not really much of a choice to make.

---------

“If you want me to find your friend, you’ll have to be honest with me,” Logan tells me, and suddenly I feel the urge to smack him.

“I was honest with you,” I snarl. I almost pout. Fuck, I just can’t stand people falsely accusing me of lying. God knows I’m not a saint. Lying has become something of a second nature to me. Doesn’t change the fact that I hate it when people don’t believe me when I’m telling the truth. And Logan obviously doesn’t believe me.

“Ava is Tess’…twin. They didn’t grow up together, so they don’t have the same last name. They didn’t even know about each other until a few months ago. As far as I know, Ava was just Ava…no last name that she used and if she did, it was fake. No idea what it could be.”

Logan seems to accept that. “Did you run away from home?” he suddenly asks, completely getting off subject here.

I glower at him. “No,” I growl. “It’s a lot more complicated than that.” Okay, so technically maybe I did run away from home, but I had a good reason. It’s not like staying in Roswell was really an option. And I’m planning to go back, once I have these shitty, no-good-for-anything powers under control. Which, the way things are looking, will be when hell freezes over to never. Either way, what I did does not really qualify as running away from home. I…temporarily changed my location to solve an otherwise unsolvable problem.

“I’m sure your parents are worried about you.” God damn it, can’t he keep his fucking nose out of my fucking business?!

“I’ve talked to them,” I saw through clenched teeth. “They know I’m okay.” But, shit, guilt settles into my stomach. It’s been weeks since the last time we talked. I need to call them again.

Logan finally seems to get the message, he drops the subject, turning back the computer, continuing whatever it is he was doing before I interrupted him to tell him that I still wanted his help with my search. He’s silent for a few minutes and I return to the couch. I’m still sorta wobbly. Just a bit more rest and I’ll trust my body enough to safely take me back to Joshua’s.

I’m drifting somewhere between sleep and consciousness when Logan’s voice jars me awake. “Before I forget, I’ve been meaning to ask you something. Those passports you fixed for me, they were really good work. I was wondering if you might consider helping me again. I’ve managed to convince a woman to testify against a known weapons dealer that I’ve been after for quite some time, but of course only if I can guarantee her safety. I have to get her out of the country until the trail starts, so I need some fake papers for her. Interested?”

I’m about to decline and I guess Logan sensed that, because he adds, “Of course I’d pay you.”

I’m all ears. “How much?”

He thinks it over. “Five-hundred dollars?”

I just stare. Did he really just say five-hundred? As in five times one-hundred? As in five, zero, zero? Oh my God, is he insane?

Swallow. “What do you need?”

“A fake passport and a fake birth certificate. That should cover it.”

“Sure, great, of course. Anytime. You need anything else done, let me know.” Wow. I’m getting rich because Logan has lost his mind. Should I feel bad about that? Nah.

---------

“Was that M earlier at the door?” I don’t know why, but I suddenly feel like making conversation. I’ve been lying on this stupid couch for close to two hours now and I still don’t feel like I could make it home…or even out the door…without collapsing somewhere along the way.

“Yeah.” Logan’s answer is short, an obvious sign that he doesn’t want to talk about this. Well, tough luck. I do.

“What did she want?”

“Nothing. Just something about supplies for Terminal City.”

“You two still fighting, huh?” I ask knowingly.

“We’re not fighting.” Oh yeah? His scowl tells me otherwise.

“You’re not exactly getting along either,” I point out. I know I must really be annoying Logan with my questions, but he’s polite enough not to show it. Wonder why he bothers since God knows I never do.

“What happened between you two?” Alec mentioned that Logan has been involved in the transgenic thing and with M for quite some time, but he never went into details. I’m getting really curious here and I don’t give a shit that it’s none of my damn business. Nobody else seems to when it comes to my business, so why should I?

“That’s complicated.”

I sigh heavily. “Isn’t it always?”

Logan looks up form his computer, glances at me. There’s something in his eyes. Is it…recognition?

Before I have time to dwell on it, Logan suddenly starts talking. A bit hesitant at first, but then it all just gushes out. He talks and talks and talks…about how he and M met, them working together, falling for each other. Too afraid to admit their feelings, too afraid to act on them. Waiting until it was too late…sounds awfully familiar, the whole of it. Too familiar for my liking. Hitting to close to home? You bet.

“You want my advice?” I ask Logan once he’s done with his tale. “Let go. The longer you hold on to someone, something that wasn’t ever even yours to begin with, the more you’re gonna get hurt in the end.” I know I sound bitter, that I’m projecting what happened with my Max on his Max, but I don’t care. “Let go now while you still can before she finds someone new and rips your heart out in the process.”

“She already has,” he says softly, so softly that I almost don’t hear him, his voice tinged with sadness.

“What?” Okay, that surprises me. If she’s with someone else then how come I’ve never seen her with her new guy? How come nobody ever mentioned it? “Who is it?”

When he speaks again his voice has a certain edge that I’ve never heard before, practically spitting out the name. “Alec. She’s with Alec.”


tbc
Tact is for people not witty enough to be sarcastic.
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holier than thou | katastrophee
Updated 03/16/07 | Updated 02/10/08

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Calinia
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Post by Calinia » Tue Oct 05, 2004 2:02 pm

Hey guys, I have my big tax law exam tomorrow, so I hope you really, really appreciate me updating today. :wink:


stargrl678, Liz pulling away from Alec? Now, why would you think that? :wink: As for Liz's reaction, read on and see...

Elf3748, cruel? Me? :shock: I am *shocked* that anybody would say such a thing about me. :lol: Liz flipping out? Never! Hope this is soon enough. You done wiping up all that drool by now? :wink:

vampiricheart, your feedback put the biggest grin on my face. :oops: It's always nice to see that your readers are affected by what you write. And I'm quite proud of this cliffhanger myself, hehe. Anyway, you're pretty much right with everything you said about Liz's reaction. I hope I didn't keep you waiting too long...you're not foaming from the mouth again, are you? :shock: :?

Gioia, glad you liked the list rant, lol. And yes, that *will* teach her to show concern for others. :? Hmm...

Roswell Slayer, I'm glad you think the cliffhanger was really evil. :oops: Yup, Liz will be pissed. And no, Alec won't be getting any action. :lol: Sorry, still using Calvin. He'll be in part...24? I think. But you can borrow him some time if you say "pretty please, oh Evil One". :wink: BTW, have I mentioned that I love your signature.

WomanofMystery, it's nice that people (at least the very observant ones :wink:) are noticing the little peaks of good-Liz that show through every now and then. And I'm glad you agree with me about Liz projecting her feelings about Max on the Logan/Max situation. Nope, Liz is not going to rethink her dicision about staying away from Alec. And yes, "oh shit" is just about right. Yes, that was enough ass-kissing for one day, but you know, six days have passed since then... :wink:

Zevrillion, Liz will definitely be pissed. As for what she'll do, read on and see. And yes, this does remind her of the Max/Tess thing. Not making things look any better for Alec... But it will all be fixed, eventually. Promise. :wink:

Erin, (your screenname is just too long, lol) I hate tests too. With a vengeance. :? I'll be very, very happy when the one tomorrow is over. Especially because tax law just sucks. Which reminds me, we need some puking smilies around here :lol: I can't wait to read your A/L story, it sounds great. And at least I don't know of anybody planing anything like that. Be sure to let me know when you start posting! Glad you liked the cliffhanger. Hehe, they don't call me evil bitch for nothing, lol. And sorry, no burning off Alec's clothes in the next part. :wink:

QtMaNdY37, you know that Alec and Max aren't together, I know it, Alec knows it...too bad nobody's told Liz yet. :wink: Glad you liked the Liz/Logan bonding thingy and more Liz/Alec moments coming right up!


'nough said. Next part next week.


Part 23

It takes a few seconds…minutes…before my brain registers that I have to open the door, turn the doorknob in order to get into the house. I’m at Joshua’s. How did I get here again? Right, I walked…I think. It’s all a blur. Ever since Logan dropped that bomb on me…everything just went sorta hazy. I’m numb. Numb is good. Numb is better than feeling. Numb is better than hurting. Right?

Tears sting at my eyes but I ignore them. I’m still numb, remember? I’m not hurting. Not yet. Oh, hell.

My hand finally reaches out for the doorknob, turns it…the door swings open, creaking ever so slightly. I need my bed. I need to pull the covers over my head and just forget…forget everything. I need to lose myself in sleep, at least for a few blessed hours. I don’t care if it’s the middle of the afternoon, I don’t care that I’m not even particularly tired. I just want…no, need, to escape for a short while.

With everything I’d expected from Alec, everything I’d deep down already known, this…this is just too much to bear. All my fears have been confirmed tenfold. There aren’t just occasional conquests, he has a girlfriend. A steady girlfriend. He’s involved with someone. Seriously involved. Does he love her? Quickly, I shove that thought out of my brain. It’s bad enough, even without pondering that particular question.

Anger is better. That bastard. How dare he? How dare he cheat, how dare he toy with me so carelessly, play with my heart they way he has?

God knows I didn’t exactly have a high opinion of Alec, but I would have never thought that he could be so cold, so heartless, so callous about other people’s feelings. About my feelings. How could he do this to me? Hell, I’m even feeling indignant for M.

Men…they’re all pigs. Heartless jerks, led around life by their dicks, not caring whose heart they crush in the process. They’re incapable of feelings…love, compassion. All they care about is getting laid. They’re-

I see movement in the corner of my eye, whirl around, my heart jumping into my throat. And there he is. He’s here. He’s standing in front of me. He was in the kitchen. That’s why I didn’t notice him before, he was in the kitchen. Why am I dwelling on that fact? What the fuck is he doing here?!

This part in me, the broken, hurting part just wants to break down and cry, rant and rave, rage and yell at him for doing this to me. For hurting me so badly that I just want to die.

The other part of me has too much pride to let him see how much he’s hurt me, giving him even more power over me. And so I freeze over, my face cold and hard. I can’t quite control my eyes though. Damn them. They always give me away.

“What the fuck are you doing here?” My voice is surprisingly strong. And angry…so very angry. Not wavering and weak like I’d feared. It doesn’t break, doesn’t give away the tears fighting to break free. I still have my anger, my rage to hold on to. You can always draw strength from that. I should know.

It infuriates me to see how casually he’s leaning against the doorframe, munching on a bag of chips. I bought those chips, damn it. How dare he just take them?! Does he think everything in this house is up for grabs?

“Waiting for you,” he tells me, not at all fazed or impressed by my mood. The bastard is even smirking at me in that cocky, arrogant way of his. “Where were you?”

“None of your fucking business,” I hiss. “You’re not my father. I don’t owe you an explanation.”

He scowls at me, the smirk suddenly gone. “Were you at Logan’s again?” I’m not sure if it was even a question or rather a statement.

“What’s it to you?” I ask, trying not to notice the sick satisfaction that fills me at seeing that this actually upsets him.

He pushes away from the doorframe. There’s a spark in his eyes that probably equals mine. I chose to ignore it. “You don’t know what you’re getting yourself into,” he growls. “I happen to care about you. I don’t want to see you getting hurt.”

For a moment my jaw actually drops open, I’m so stunned. Then rage takes over and I begin to tremble. How dare he? How dare he keep up this charade, these lies? I narrow my eyes at him, just barely fighting the urge to blow something up…like Alec’s head for example. I feel them again…the electric currents on my hands, my arms. Damn it, they hurt. Will I ever get this under control?

Tears once again gather in my eyes, from physical pain this time, and so I turn around quickly, heading towards my room. I’d rather die before letting Alec see even a hint of vulnerability right now.

“Leave,” I growl out between clenched teeth, grateful that you can’t hear that I’m on the verge of tears. I hear Alec following me so I quicken my pace, practically running to my room.

“Liz…”

I slam the door in his face, double lock it. I clamp a hand over my mouth to hold in the sobs that so desperately want to spill out.

“Liz, open the door,” he tells me. His voice is slightly muffled, but I still hear the worry lacing it. Damn him. Damn him for being so good at pretending, at making me believe that he might actually care for me. And damn that part of me that still wants to believe him.

All these emotions tangle together, the anger and the rage, the hurt and the pain. They turn into this dark cloud, raging through my soul, demanding release. I can’t hold them in any longer and the lamp on my bedside table explodes. Fuck. That was my only lamp. As insignificant as that might be, it’s just too much. I slump against the door, sliding down to the floor as I start to cry. Not the angry, desperate sobs from earlier but silent tears full of pain and heartache, streaming down my face in a seemingly never-ending river. I’ve lost all the anger. It’s just pain now…dark and cold, taking over my heart, my soul.

Realizing that Alec is pounding on the door calling out my name, I reach behind me and with the last of my energy, manage to seal the door.

“Go away,” I whisper, my voice weary and pained. There’s no strength left to hide it, no anger to draw the strength from in the first place.

“I’m not going anywhere,” he tells me. Of course he heard me. Damn transgenic hearing. “Now open the fucking door! What happened? Are you okay?”

“Go away.” The concern mixed with anger I hear in his voice just makes me cry harder. Now I am sobbing. Again, I clamp my hand over my mouth to muffle the sounds, to keep Alec from hearing them. I doubt that it’s working. I curl up into a ball right there on the floor, making myself as small as possible. If I do, maybe I’ll just disappear. Fade away…

How can he do this? How can he be like this? How can he be so good at faking concern, faking that he cares for me? What kind of person does something like that? And why do I still care? Why does this stupid part of my heart still want to believe in him?

I wished I didn’t. I wished I could just forget him, forget everything that ever happened between us. Just erase it from my memory. The way he’s treating me…he’s making me feel like I’m nothing. He’s robbing me of the little strength and self-respect I still had after everything Max did.

How am I going to survive this? How will my heart survive this? It’s too much…too soon… I just…I can’t deal with this. Not on top of everything else that’s been going on. My powers. Not finding Ava. Alex dying. Max leaving.

Oh God.

I’m a mess. I’m an utter and complete mess. How can I ever be whole again? How will I ever manage to gather all the pieces of my soul and heart and put them together again, put myself, my life together again?

I’m so lost, so alone. There’s nobody I could turn to, nobody that could even begin to understand.

Alec’s still here. He’s still telling me to open the door. He tried breaking it open but gave that up again after some time. Damn him. Damn him all the way to hell. Why can’t he just leave? Why does he have to keep this up? Is this some kind of game to him? Something he draws a sick kind of pleasure from?

How could I be so wrong about him? How could he fool me so thoroughly? I should have known. I should have sensed that something was wrong. Something had to be wrong. It was all too…perfect almost. Flawless. Nothing is perfect or flawless in real life. Not in my life anyway. There are always strings, always hang-ups. I know that. How could I ignore that? How could I forget?

After a while I realize that I’ve stopped crying. I guess I don’t have any tears left inside of me to shed. And I’m exhausted. Sleep is creeping up on me and I welcome it with open arms. Escape…finally.


tbc
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Post by Calinia » Tue Oct 12, 2004 12:35 pm

Hey guys, thanks for all the wonderful, wonderful feedback. You once again blew me away. It's so amazing for me to see how caught up some of you are in this fic. Glad that I'm not the only one, lol.

First off, a general statement regarding Logan. I agree that, objectively, he is not to blame. He just passed on some information to Liz that a) he believed to be true and b) he didn't know would affect her in any way at all. So while subjectively, him telling Liz is annoying and frustrating and makes you feel horrible for Liz, objectively he was not to blame.

But I actually didn't get the feeling that anybody was really blaming him. I saw it more as a general frustration with the whole situation that Logan, unknowingly of course, caused.


Zevrillion, I felt pretty bad for Liz myself writing that. :( Will it help to tell you that she'll find out the truth rather soon? And I understand you wanting to hit Logan. Just remember that he feels just as bad as Liz...well, almost at least. :wink:

Gioia, your feedback was, as always, a real treat. I'm glad that it didn't come across as cheesy and that it turned out to be what I was aiming for. :oops:

Traitor, yup, leave it to Max...what is it with people with that name fucking with Liz's life? And, oh my, I don't think I've ever made anyone cry before with my writing. I'm so touched! Thank you so much. :oops:

RavenSprite, finally someone who appreciates the angst! I love conflicts of all kinds...misunderstandings, disagreements, fights, arguements, bickering, banter...the angstier, the better of course. And yes, yes and yes to everything you said. Of course Alec won't just give up like that. But...um, just read on and find out. :D :) :?

vampiricheart, I agree that Max telling Logan that she was with Alec was inconsiderate and not all that smart of her, but at the same time I did understand why she did it. Hehe, you read it three times? I feel so honored. :D I'm glad that this part touched you so much, that's exactly what it was supposed to do. And yes, it does suck that Alec's only leverage is suddenly snatched away from him. As for Liz...I think she lost a bit more than her leverage. And with his transgenic hearing...yup, he heard her crying. But don't worry, he doesn't think that Logan has something to do with it. And hey, I live for ass-kissing. :wink: I'm afraid this part will do little to bring Liz and Alec closer together again, but in the next part I'll start working on that...in a way.

Roswell Slayer, yeah, Liz is definitely feeling pretty shitty right now. And I agree, it wasn't Logan's fault. He is probably feeling pretty shitty himself. But don't worry, the whole thing will be dealt with. And your signature is definitely funny. :lol:

Elf3748, aww that's so cute! You think I have emotions! :D Glad you got that drool cleaned up. I know from experience that keyboards and drool don't mesh well. :? And Alec kicking in the door would have been something. Too bad Liz sealed it. And we're definitely getting closer to them finding out. One little step at a time. :twisted:

WomanofMystery, yup Liz has gone and fallen in love with him. You're right, she wouldn't have reacted like that if there were no emotions involved. Hehe, glad you liked the part. It's one of my favorites actually. And yes, this is bringing back all the feelings caused by the Max/Tess thing. Alec really is a poor thing, innocently accused and suffering for something he never even came close to doing. :( And yes, Alec is a bit green aroung the gills. Not liking Liz spending so much time with Logan. Not one bit. And I'm afraid Alec won't be there when she finally comes out again. That alone could take some time. And I agree, there are definite hints that Alec isn't really with Max, Liz just doesn't see them through her pain. But she will, eventually.

elfangel01, a lot of hate going around, lol. But I understand why you're feeling like that and I'm kind of honored that the part brought out such fierce emotions. :oops: Will it help if I tell you that it will eventually get better and that the truth will come out? Only a few more parts.

Jazzie, yay, another reader who actually likes angst! :D I love misunderstandings too. I live for any kind of conflict actually, at least in fiction, lol. And yes, Liz is on an emotional rollercoaster. A rollercoaster through hell. But as I live for angst, I'm loving every minute of writing it. And I think Liz might have pumched Alec if that wouldn't have meant exposing the electric current on her arms. Besides, punching is one thing, but frying him would have taken things a bit too far. :?

stargrl678 , I have to say I loved that part from Dark Angel. And while Liz won't talk to Alec any time soon - at least not willingly - the truth will come out rather soon. Thanks for the feedback! :D

Tina N Blair, I have no idea who often you've told me that you love this story, but don't stop...I love hearing it. :oops: It makes me want to write. And I agree, Logan is not to blame. And yes, Max can be a bit stupid sometimes, lol. I'm very happy that you like misunderstandings because I love them. And this will be cleared up, eventually. After that...hmm. I think I actually don't have any more misunderstandings planned. :shock: I have to change that! :wink: And I have to admit, in a sick kind of way I like Liz suffering too because, as you stated so elloquentlly, one day she'll rise above it and come out stronger in the end.

lyra, glad you liked it! :oops: How could I do that? Well, actually, it was quite simple. I just placed my hands on the keyboard and then hit the right keys and voila! Out came another gut-wrenching part. :D And to be honest, I'm actually not that big a fan of Logan. He's okay I guess, but sometimes a bit too...well, focused...in a slightly selfish way. Or maybe that's just the way he's always portrayed in Max/Alec fics. :wink: Anyway, I fully understand your annoyance with him telling Liz that. Grr... And yes, Liz has really gone and fallen in love with Alec, despite everything. *scratches head* Now, why would you think killing readers is a bad idea? :P And I promise I won't make you suffer too long. This will be cleared up in a few parts.


Wow. That was a lot of feedback...and so long. :shock: Thank you guys, you really made my day. I needed that, after spending three hours at school to wait around for a course to start...that ended up only lasting ten minutes cause the teacher just gave us the basic information. :?

Anyway, here's the new part. Next update next week, as usual.


Part 24

It’s been three days since I last saw Alec. Not that I’m counting or anything. Not that I care. Just an…observation.

I’m in Terminal City right now. Maybe that’s why I’m thinking about him. Not that I’m really thinking about him. Really, I’m not. It’s more like a…passing thought. I’m just hoping that I won’t run into him. That’s it. Not that I really care if I do run into him. Really. He’s nothing to me. I mean, why should I care?

Ugh. I can’t even lie to myself in a believable fashion.

I don’t want to think about him. I don’t want to dwell on our…on the past. I wish I could forget I ever knew him. Only that I…don’t. Deep down, I don’t really want to forget him, don’t want to forget about us. And that’s killing me.

No matter how busy I try to keep myself, no matter how much I throw myself into my search for Ava, he’s always there, lurking at the edge of my mind, read to pounce in case I let my guard down even for a second. And that happens more often than I care to admit.

Then there are the nights. Sleepless nights filled with nothing but tossing and turning don’t exactly keep your mind occupied. When it’s dark, thoughts seem to wander in directions you don’t want to explore even more so than by day.

During the day, my anger helps me to push those thoughts away, to concentrate on the matter at hand, whatever that may be. But at night…it’s like I used up all the anger I have inside of me during the day with none of it left to chase away my traitorous thoughts at night. And at night, I have even less control over them than by day.

Thinking about Alec is bad enough, but thinking about him in a way that can’t be described with the word ‘murderous’ is beyond bad. And it’s dangerous. Dangerous for my heart, my soul…my sanity.

Then there are the dreams. Not the nightmares that robbed me of my sleep the first weeks in Seattle, still do at times. No, not those. Hell, I wished they were those kind of dreams.

I’m talking about dreams that will leave you waking up beyond hot and bothered, sweating and aching for relief, not giving a damn what a bastard a certain somebody is as long as he bestows the kind of pleasure upon you that your body is craving.

And then there are the other dreams, the kind that leaves you with a much more severe ache, lingering in your heart. The longing for something that was never there and could never be, the longing even for the illusion if the real thing is not possible.

Those are the most dangerous of all. With desire of the body I can deal. I ignore it, simply as that. If it becomes too much, I take care of it myself. Hardly comparable to the real thing, but it takes off the edge.

But desires of the heart…you can’t do anything to squelch the hunger. The painful throb of it is always there, and with every passing second it seems to intensify. It’s driving me crazy.

And it scares me.

I’m terrified that some day I’ll reach the point where I don’t give a damn, where I throw all principles over board and go running back to him, willing to take whatever sliver of himself he’s willing to give me, losing the last part of myself that I’m still holding on to – my pride, my stubbornness. As much as I know that I can never go back, as much as I don’t want to go back to my old ways, the thought of this happening terrifies me more than all FBI Special Units and Skins put together.

-------

Okay, where the fuck is Logan? If it’s so important for him to get the papers right now, right this second, that I have to come to TC of all places then he’d damn well better be here. But alas, he’s nowhere to be found. Typical. Just like a man…

Mole – who, by the way, wouldn’t meet my eyes once – told me that he’s in the building where they keep their supplies. He described the way but every fucking building here could be the one he was talking about. They’re all gray, all on the brink of crumbing with broken or boarded up windows. Could he have been any less specific?!

I’m about to scream when I detect a familiar face. It’s Calvin. He sees me too, waves, grins. I can’t help but smile back. You just have to smile at Calvin.

He walks over, still beaming. “Hey Liz, nice to see you. It’s been a while.”

“Yeah, I’ve been…” Avoiding the hell out of this place. “…busy.”

He smiles. “No biggie. Just nice to have you here. Thanks, by the way, for the comic you sent Joshua over with. Calvin and Hobbes just rocks! I love Hobbes, the way he’s all sarcastic but Calvin…Calvin is just too funny. Quite an honor to be named after him.”

I grin. “You would think so.”

He chuckles, grins back at me. I swear, he’s so cute I just want to shrink him and carry him around in my pocket to be able to pull him out whenever I feel like grinning like an idiot.

“So, whatcha doing here?” he asks me, his hands buried in his pockets, head slightly tilted, a mischievous smirk gracing his lips. There’s always a mischievous smirk gracing his lips, or a mischievous glint in his eyes. I just want to cuddle him, kiss those delightful dimples in his cheeks. I swear, he is more adorable than all puppies on this planet put together.

“Um, I’m looking for Logan actually. You didn’t by any chance happen to see him around, did you?”

He’s still grinning, rocking back and forth on the soles of his feet as if he were on the verge of starting a little happy dance or something.

“Sure, he’s helping with the supplies. We got plenty of new X6s and some X7s over the past few days, been in a bit of a squeeze with food and clothing and everything. Transgenics have one hell of an appetite, ya know.”

“Tell me about it,” I mutter, before I remember that no matter how softly I speak, he can understand me, enhanced hearing and all.

My cheeks are burning but luckily, he doesn’t seem to catch on to what I was actually talking about. Sweet, innocent Calvin. No, he would hardly catch on to something like that.

“Logan helped out, got us some extra food and clothing and blankets and stuff,” he goes on. “Now we’re switched buildings since the old one is getting too small. Had to fix some stuff in the new one though, took us a couple of days.”

“Oh,” is all I say. I knew nothing of this. Guess this shows how much I’ve managed to cut myself off from the whole transgenic thing.

“He’s right in there,” Calvin tells me, pointing at the building behind him, the double doors wide open. “Just go right in if you need something from him.”

I glance over his shoulder. I’m not prepared for the jolt that goes through my body when I discover Alec among the other transgenics, his gaze fixed on me. And it’s not just the slight electric buzz I sometimes felt with Max. No, it’s the kind of full body slam that leaves you reeling for breath, for balance, knees weak, heart beating furiously. It feels like a punch to the gut, the kind that knocks your breath right out of you along with the ability to think or control any other body functions.

It takes a few moments before I can tear my gaze away from him, before the panic overrides the rest of my feelings and takes over my mind. “No, I…I have to go,” I tell Calvin, ignoring the confused look on his face. Shoving the brown envelope with the fake birth certificate and passport at him, I ask “Can you give this to Logan? Reliably?”

“Um, sure,” he says. I hardly even listen. He can burn it for all I care. I just need to get out of here before Alec comes out or something.

“Good. Great. Thanks.” I flash him one last smile, then I turn around and hurry off, almost running.

A muffled scream escapes my lips when Alec is suddenly standing in front of me. I barely manage to stop in time to keep from plowing into him at full speed. Not that that would have had any kind of impact on him I think, genetic superiority and all. I would have probably bounced right off his hard…muscular…chest…damn it, I need to focus here.

“Trying to outrun a transgenic is hardly a smart thing to do,” he tells me.

The mild insult is enough to rip me out of my daze. I glare at him, suddenly angry. Good. Anger is good. When you#re angry, you’re not hurting. When you’re angry, you don’t feel like crying. God knows I’ve cried enough to last me a life time in these past few days.

“I wasn’t trying to outrun anyone,” I growl, my eyes still shooting daggers at him.

“Whatever you need to tell yourself.” His tone is so arrogant, I just want to scratch my nails down that pretty face of his.

“Wanna tell me what’s going on?” His voice is still cool, still clipped with a certain steely undertone. There’s a part of me that actually wants to wince at his tone, but the anger wins out, burning away any feelings of guilt or regret. I didn’t do anything wrong and I’ll be damned if I let him make me feel like I did.

“Figure it out if you’re so smart.” I spit out the words as if they’re venom, then try to push past him. I guess I don’t have to mention how that goes out…little me up against six feet of prime transgenic. He moves in front of me, grabs me, his temper getting the better of him. But even in his rage he’s careful to keep his grip light enough as to not hurt me. I want to weep because of it.

No doubt that he’s angry though. There’s fire in his eyes. Oh yes, he’s pissed alright. “What the hell is wrong with you?!”

“With me?!” I exclaim before my voice turns into a hiss. “That’s rich. Nothing’s wrong with me. I just opened my eyes and saw what was there instead of what I wanted to see. And guess what, I didn’t happen to like it. Now let go of me before you end up on your ass. I doubt your ego would handle that very well.”

Apparently my words were more on target than I had expected…or intended. There’s a dazed hurt shimmering in his eyes before he shuts down all emotions, freezes over. Damn it, he’s almost better than I am at that.

“Well, I guess it’s good to know where you stand,” his voice chills me to the bone. I hate him for making me feel guilty, but he’s gone even before the urge to apologize can rise up inside of me. I realize I’m trembling. Fuck. How does he always do that to me?


tbc
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Calinia
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Post by Calinia » Mon Oct 18, 2004 4:25 pm

Okay, in case you're wondering, I'm updating today because I'm moving my update-day to Sunday since, now that school started, that just works better for me. So this week I'm updating on Monday and the next update will be Sunday.


elfangel01, yup, that's the big, evil plan - deprive you of your Liz/Alec goodness. :wink: Damn it, how did you find out? And yes, they're both pretty damn stuborn. Hehe, Calvin sure is happy-dance worthy. :D They will talk though, in part 27. Does that make you feel any better?

Elf3748, yup, Liz has had better ideas than trying to run away from a transgenic. Silly girl. And I'm good at writing fights cause I practice a lot in RL. :lol: The truth will be revealed in part 27, hope you can wait that long. If not....tm-t-tm.... :roll:

Roswell Slayer, *your* honey?! Calvin's still mine, mine, mine! Don't get any ideas, missy-miss. I'm not giving him away. But hey, I'd lend him to you if you, say, write something Liz/Alec-y? :lol: And yup, Alec is pissed. He took some of the things Liz said a bit wrong and came to the wrong conclusion regarding her recent behavior.

WomanofMystery, aww, that's so sweet that you begin with the ass-kissing so early on in your post! I feel so special. I have to admit, I find Liz's denial sort of cute. :lol: Hmm...interesting though. I would say no, she didn't ever think about taking Roswell Max back. Besides the obvious fact that she of course loves Alec more than she loved Max :wink: there was destiny and the pregnancy that kept her from even considering it. And the fact that besides sleeping with Tess and getting her pregnant, he was a total jerk to her. So no, she never really wanted Max back. Maybe she irrationally wished for the old, pre-Tess Max but she definitely didn't want present Max. Hehe, Mole not metting her eyes had more to do with the fact that he's a bit embarrassed. He's been teased relentlessly about his new-found "affection" for humans and so he doesn't want to give anybody any more reasons for that, hence he ignores Liz...as much as you can ignore someone while replying to a question they posed. :roll: Hehe, Calvin's sugar. :D And I'm going to start the storyline that will lead to fixing this in the next part. The truth will be revealed in part 27. Hope you can wait that long. :lol:

Hotaru, don't you just love Calvin? And no conspiracy going on with Mole, he's just suffering under the strain of being teased by the transgenic comunity because of his new-found "affection" for humans. Hehe, more details about transgenics' appetites coming up in...hmm, part 28 maybe? We'll see. :lol: And don't worry, Alec will go back to fighting for her, as soon as he finds out the true reason behind Liz's behavior.

lyra, Isn't Calvin the cutest thing ever? I'm so completely in love with him, lol. :lol: And yes, it will sting once Alec finds out that Liz believed that he was two-timing her with Max. So far all M/A fics I've read where on fanfiction.net and I've been horrible about leaving feedback there. And I haven't been reading much lately. No time. But hey, if there's a story you can recommend, maybe I'll go and check it out. The truth will be revealed in part 27. As for whether Liz will want to tell Logan...you'll see.

Traitor, hehe, if you want to shoot Max and make it painful then I'd have a couple of suggestions what body parts you should aim at. :lol: And yes, Liz is being a bit silly. Trying to run away from a transgenic...really. :roll: The reason why Liz doesn't confront Alec is simply pride. She doesn't want to show him how much he's hurt her because, in her eyes, that would make her vulnerable and look weak. But the truth will come out soon.

stargrl678, I'm glad you liked the part, thanks for the feedback! :D

Erin, missing a week's update *and* telling me that you were in California ain't getting you no brownie points, missy-miss. :x Really, that's just evil. :( Do you know how cold and rainy and blah it is here? I had to laugh so hard at the line "Poor sexy Alec." Cause it's so true! Alec is so hot, even when you're pittying him you have to mention how *wow!* he is. :lol: And, um, the truth will come out in part 27. Soon enough? If not...oh well. :roll: :lol: Ava is coming into the picture...hmm, good question. Might take a bit longer. Good A/L fics...that's hard cause there aren't too many. Of course, there are Randi's fics (A new start, Start to finish and Back again), all excellent. Then there's "Steal your Pain" by RavenSprite. Very good fic. I can think of a few others that have been abandonded, but I can't think of any other A/L fics, or at least not any that have reached the point where they really are A/L. There are a few in the making though, one by Randi, one by 2x4, both very good. Not much help, huh?

Tina N Blair, Calvin is the sweetest thing, isn't he? And I agree, Liz could come to him for anything. Wonder if she'll ever do that... :wink: Alec will find out in part 27. As for the how, why, where...you'll have to wait and see. (and I *so* enjoy saying that, lol) There will be a Max/Liz talk about this whole thing, but not until after Liz knows the truth. Um, yes, Liz needs Ava. Desperately. Don't know when she will show up though. Yup, the podsquad will be in this and Michael will have a bigger role than any of the others. And Liz will talk to her parents again soon.


Thank you all for your wonderful feedback! It really gets the creative juices flowing, lol.

Okay, the next part. I feel like I should issue some kind of warning but I have no idea how to do that without giving anything away. Just so much...while I love angst, even I have my limits. Oh yeah, another thing...please don't kill me? Okay? Okay. Good. :D :) :| Maybe I should run and hide after all... :roll:


Disclaimer: I used a few sentences from “The Berrisford Agenda”, slightly modified, in this part during the Joshua/Liz talk. Not mine, just borrowing.


Part 25

“What are we doing down here?” I ask Joshua, slightly creeped out.

We’re in the basement. Have I mentioned that I hate basements? Well, I do. Too many spiders. Have I mentioned that I hate spiders? Well, I hate them.

Yeah, yeah, I know. They’re fascinating creatures, how can anybody even remotely interested in science hate them? Simple, I just do. They’re way too creepy and way too fast and have way too many legs if you ask me. I shudder at the mere thought of them.

Can you imagine what happens when I actually see one?

Yup. Exactly. I turn into Maria. Hell, Maria sucked into the alien abyss was the personification of cool and composed compared to me when I see a spider. Remember her running from the Crashdown screaming? That’s me, only ten times worse and with a lot more jumping up and down and swatting at myself to rid my body of non-existent spiders that I feel crawling all over me.

Paranoid much? Hell, yeah. At least when it comes to my arachnophobia.

In the mean time Joshua is cramming around in what looks like a big pile of rubble. Then I realize that those are his paintings. Oops. Sorry.

Pulling one of them out he puts it on the table in front of us, leaning it against the piece of junk that’s on top of it.

I raise my eyebrows and open my mouth, but as much as I try to come up with something to say that would at least be in the direction of nice, I can’t. All I see on the canvas are a few brushstrokes of color at the sides, the rest is black. This is supposed to be art?

“Oh, um, that’s really-” I begin, trying to come up with something civil to say, but my mind just goes blank. Guess that happens when you remove civil from your repertoire, you can’t just switch it back on whenever you feel like it.

“This Alec,” he says.

“What?” I say, not quite able to hold back my laughter. But hey, at least I’m laughing and not crying. God knows the mention of his name is enough to make me feel like I could weep for weeks on end, especially after our recent fall-out. I haven’t seen him once ever since and it’s been days. But that’s for the better…right? Right. I want nothing to do with him. I just tend to forget that sometimes…have to remind myself of that little fact every now and then.

“Alec very complicated. Outside lots of pretty colors,” Joshua continues, pointing at the edges of the painting. “Tricks and treats. Inside, darkness. Confusion. Pain.”

Is he serious? This is supposed to represent Alec? The guy who calls the TV his ‘boob tube’? The guy who thinks it’s the most normal and acceptable thing in the world to cheat on his girlfriend, sleep around as if he was Casanova himself and generally treat girls like scum, lying and cheating like the deceitful, heartless, two-faced bastard that he is?

“Whatever,” is all I say. Let him keep his illusions if it makes him sleep better at night. I’m not going to be the one to rob him of them.

Joshua suddenly pulls a second painting out of his pile and puts it beside the one of Alec. It looks a lot like the first one, except that it’s black all over with bits of color peeking through every now and then, as if it had been all colorful at first and then carelessly painted over with black.

“This Liz,” he says softly.

What the hell?! That’s supposed to be…oh please! No way in hell does that represent me! Come on! Where does he get all this nonsense from? Been watching the ‘boob tube’ too much with Alec? This guy has seriously being sniffing too much paint. Those hazardous fumes must have damaged that canine brain of his. Or maybe he’s been eating those fruit loops made two decades ago. A new life form has probably evolved out of them by now, must do funny things to your body if you actually sample the stuff.

I’m about to protest, tell Joshua that he couldn’t be more wrong if he tried, but something in his gaze stops me.

“Liz thinks she can outsmart Joshua,” he says quietly. “But Liz only outsmarts Liz.”

Then he turns around and leaves. And I’m left to stand there, staring at my soul, so perfectly captured on a canvas that it’s scaring the shit out of me.

-------

I feel a bit uneasy going back to Crash. Hell, uneasy is the understatement of the year. My stomach is tied in greasy knots, my mouth dry…I’m beyond nervous, scared. The last time I was here I ran into Alec and that’s the last thing I want to do right now. Seeing him…it hurts too much. It’s dangerous. Reminds me of things I want to forget, hence making it impossible to forget them in the first place.

And if I’m honest with myself, I’m terrified that he’ll actually ignore me too if I do see him. Our last fight in Terminal City…that one was different…felt different. Final, somehow.

I glance around, let out a sigh of relief when I don’t see him anywhere. Not that that has to mean anything. There are back rooms, not to mention that he could walk in the door any second.

I head straight to the bar, wait for the bartender to come over. Ask him if he’s seen Ava around lately, show him the picture. He shakes his head, says she hasn’t been in for weeks. The disappointment hardly registers, I’m so eager to get out of there again.

A gentle hand on my arm stops me. I gasp, whirl around. It’s not Alec. I curse the part of me that has the audacity to be disappointed. It’s…damn it, what’s his name? He was here the first time I came in to ask about Ava. Bruce…Brandon…Brady? No. But it was something with ‘B’…I think.

He smiles at me. “Hey…Liz, right?” His voice is soft, nice. “It’s nice to see you again.”

My lips quake into a quick smile before it disappears again. “Yeah…been busy.” Then I remember that he knows Ava. “Um, you didn’t happen to see Ava lately, did you?”

“Ava? No, I’m sorry, I haven’t seen her. Are you still looking for her?” His voice is slightly concerned, his brows furrowed.

I grimace. “Yeah. Um, anyway, I have to get going. Nice seeing you again.”

I turn to walk away but his nice, soft voice stops me. “Wait. Would you like to have a drink with me? I’d very much like to get to know you better.”

I hesitate for the fraction of a second. “I’m sorry, Brian.” Right…Brian. That was his name. “I really can’t. Another time maybe.”

“That’s okay,” he tells me pleasantly. “Have a nice evening.”

All too grateful to finally leave the place, I hurry up the stairs, push the door open. The chilly wind wraps itself around my body but I hardly even mind, hardly even notice. It was warm at Crash but I’d prefer this any time of the week.

I start heading home, get about twenty feet away from the bar. What happens next is like a blur. Someone clamps a hand over my mouth from behind, another hand wraps itself around me in a violent embrace. Before I can even process what’s going on I’m dragged into the shadows, thrown against the wall. My head meets the bricks with a sickening crack and I almost black out.

“You fucking bitch! You little cunt! Think you’re too good for me, don’t you?! I do everything right, everything the fucking way you sluts want it! I’m nice, polite, friendly and even offer to pay you a fucking drink! And you can’t even give me five fucking minute of your fucking time! Got what you wanted and just walked out on me like all the other whores, using men like you own the fucking world!” He’s screaming at me, shaking me.

That’s when I register who it is. It’s Brian. Not the Brain from the bar two minutes ago…no friendly face, no serene manner. A brutal grimace distorts his normally hansom features. His eyes…there’s an insane look in his eyes. My fear triples, my heart beating furiously in my chest. He’s trapped my arms behind my body. I can’t move. Can’t fucking move…can’t breath.

“You need to be taught a lesson…you all need to be taught a lesson,” he mutters.

Oh god…oh god. He’s going to rape me. He’s going to kill me. That’s all I can think, over and over again. Tears shoot into my eyes…frozen into place…terror robbing me of the ability to move. I’ve never been so scared, so terrified. I feel his breath on my face…panting, hot, sickly sweet. I clamp my lips together tightly when he presses his mouth against mine, whimper, try to turn away. He pulls back leering at me, panting harshly. His hand grabs my breast roughly, squeezes hard. It hurts. I whimper again before a sob breaks free.

“Please,” I whisper. It’s all I can think of, all I can say. “Please don’t do this. Please.”

“Shut up! Shut the fuck up you little slut! You brought this upon yourself! You with your high and mighty attitude! This will teach you! This will fucking teach you to use men, to play with them! Who the fuck do you think you are, bitch?!”

I’m openly crying by the time he tears open my blouse. I try to twist away from him, squirm out of his grasp. I try to fight him, damn it, but there’s nothing I can do. My hands are trapped. He’s a head taller than me, outweighs me by at least fifty pounds and he’s a hell of a lot stronger than I am. He’s pressed against me in a way that prevents me from kneeing him, kicking me, moving in any way at all actually. I’m helpless. I’m fucking helpless.

Oh god, no.


tbc
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Post by Calinia » Sun Oct 24, 2004 3:54 pm

Guys, thank you so, so very much for all of your wonderful feedback. Now, I could pretend to appologize and be sorry about the cliffhanger, but well, we all me know better than that, don't we? :wink:

Anyway, I wish I could response to all your feedback individually, because there sure is a lot to respond to, but I am seriously stressed with school. It's okay now but in two weeks all hell will break loose so I have to start working ahead now. In the time between November 8th and November 18th alone I have four exams (three on one and the same day - yay!), two presentations, two case studies I have to hand in and probably some other stuff that I am forgetting right now. I honestly don't have any idea at all how I'm going to manage so writing has been put on the back burner for now. I will try and update this weekly (I have the next part done and am halfway done with part 28) but I'm not promising anything.

So here's the part. Back to studying now (despite the fact that it's already 11pm :( ).


Part 26

I don’t know how it happens that my hand is suddenly free, couldn’t care less. I jerk it up, press it against his chest, desperately trying to push him away from me. He reaches for my hand, angrily tries to yank it behind my back again. I struggle to twist it free again, manage just barely. Then I feel the energy shooting into my forearm, feel my hand releasing it almost even before I realize what’s going on. He stares at me surprised for a fraction of a second before his eyes go blank, glassy. He slumps against me, falls to the ground, his eyes staring up at me…dead. He’s dead. I killed him. Oh god, I killed him.

I stagger back, clamp my hand over my mouth. No, no, no. This is can’t be real. It’s a bad dream…just a bad dream. No.

Suddenly I’m wrapped in someone’s arms…strong, protective arms. It’s Alec. Oh god, it’s Alec. I just stand there. Want to cling to him, want to burry my head in his chest, but somehow I’m not capable of moving. Am I crying? I’m not sure. How do you know that again?

Thank god he’s here.

He’s whispering into my ear, soothing words of comfort. I barely even hear them, can’t make out what he’s saying. I think it’s something about it being over, about everything being okay.

But I know…nothing’s okay. Nothing will ever be okay again. I killed someone. I’m a murderess.

I barely even register him pulling out his cell phone, calling someone, all the while keeping me pressed against him. Good. I’d probably fall down if I didn’t have him to lean on.

He mumbles something into the receiver. I can make out the words ‘situation’ and ‘Crash’…I think. I don’t even care. I just want to get out of here…I want to make this all go away, want to forget. I wish I could just make it go away. I wish I could…I don’t know. Go back in time and change it…something, anything.

Oh God. Why did this have to happen?

I’m dimly aware of someone else joining us. At least I think someone else is there. Not sure. I can’t seem to grasp what’s going on around me.

Then I’m lifted up, carried away. Now I do cling to Alec, pressing myself into his chest, wrapping my arms around him. He’s taking me away…thank God, he’s taking me away.

The wind seems to pick up a bit but it doesn’t take us long to reach wherever we’re going. Or maybe it did. How much time passed? Minutes…or hours? I don’t know. Don’t know, don’t care…I just want to escape from this nightmare. I wish I could just wake up at Joshua’s in my bed. I wish it were all just a bad dream.

I’m laid down on a bed and Alec pulls away from me. I whimper and he halts his movement. I don’t want to be alone right now. I want him to stay with me, to hold me, to just…be there. I want it so badly it hurts.

He seems to get the message. He lies down beside me, pulling me into his arms. It’s warm and safe. It feels like…home. I begin to cry.

-------

I’m back in the shadows, slammed against the cold, rough brick wall. He’s pressed against me, holding me in place so firmly that I know he’s going to leave marks, dark bruises insulting my pale skin. I’m scared…so fucking scared. Can’t move…can’t do anything to defend myself. His lips are on mine and I feel bile rising up in my throat. Then his hands are on my body. He’s tearing away my blouse, groping at me roughly, violently. It hurts. Oh God, it hurts.

“Please,” I whimper. “Please…don’t do this. Please.”

But he doesn’t stop. I’m so scared. And, oh God, it hurts. It hurts…



“Liz…Liz, wake up. You’re having a nightmare. Come on, wake up. It’s a dream…just a dream. You’re okay. You’re safe.”

A strangled gasp escapes my throat as my eyes fly open. I’m breathing heavily, my whole body is trembling violently, almost shaking. I’m bathed in sweat. It takes me a minute to figure out where I am, to realize that I’m in Alec’s bed, in Alec’s arms.

A chill runs through my body, not only caused by the rapidly cooling dampness covering my skin.

“I’m okay.” My voice is little more than a rasped whisper. “I’m okay now. It was just a dream.”

I begin to turn away, too embarrassed to meet his eyes, but Alec gently cups my cheek, coaxing me to look at him. He studies me intently. “Are you sure?”

No, I’m not sure. But I swallow, force myself to nod. No need to drag him into this, right?

But damn it, a part of me wants to drag him into this so badly. I don’t want to be alone. Not in this. If I’m honest with myself, not in anything.

I look at him and I see the doubt in his eyes. Before I know what I’m doing my lips are pressed against his in a desperate kiss, my hands cupping his face, holding him in place. He kisses me back for a second, then pulls away with a harsh gasp.

“We…I can’t do this, Liz.” He doesn’t look at me, refuses to meet my gaze.

“Please,” I whisper, my voice breaking, and now he does look at me. And there’s so much emotion in his eyes. He’s tried so hard to keep them blank up to now, but now…his eyes are practically burning up. With compassion…with anguish, rage. It makes me want to cry even more.

“I…” Swallow hard. “I keep feeling his hands on me. It makes me sick. I need to make it go away…I need to forget.” Tears are forming in my eyes but I refuse to let them fall.

He hesitates for a second before leaning in to me. His lips brush against mine like a breath of air. His mouth closes over mine in the sweetest, most gentle of kisses. His fingers run up my arms, his touch so soft I barely even feel it, before one of his hands cups my cheek ever-so lightly.

Minutes pass before he deepens the kiss and even then it’s hesitant and almost shy, laced with an uncertainty I’ve never seen in him before, especially not when it comes to sex. I put all the need and want I have in me into the kiss, clinging to him, wrapping myself around him to show him that this is really what I want, what I need.

He takes his time undressing me, carefully removing each garment as if each and every one were too precious to ever risk damaging it in any way at all. He needn’t bother. My blouse is already torn and either way, I’m gonna burn all this stuff tomorrow. But he does anyway, because he doesn’t want to remind me of Brian. Suddenly it’s hard to swallow past the lump in my throat.

He kisses every inch of skin he exposes. Warm hands set out to explore my body, leaving a trail of goose bumps in their wake, replacing horror with something pure and special. Every touch, every kiss is so tender, so caring, without a doubt meant to calm my frayed nerves, soothe my tattered soul. And it does.

He seems to have all the time in the world, touching and tasting every inch of my body, lips lingering over spots already turning an ugly shade of purple as if to kiss the hurt away, offering comfort and a kind of relief from the terror I’d felt mere hours ago, terror I’d relived only minutes ago. And while a part of me craves urgency and passion and fire, I don’t do anything to indicate what I want. I can sense Alec’s need to soothe and heal and comfort just like I can sense that he’s holding his own desires back.

For me.

How could I possibly deny him what he needs so badly?

Tears shoot into my eyes as he slips inside me, but this time it has nothing to do with what happened earlier tonight and everything with what I feel for Alec. I love him. I don’t know how it could happen, when, why…but it did. I’m in love with him. I love him so much it’s hard to breathe at times.

And it hurts. It hurts because he isn’t mine, because he belongs to someone else. And it hurts even more because despite all that, he’s here with me now when I need him most and that only shows me how badly I want all this to be mine…and no one else’s. He’s taking care of me, protecting me…loving me?

A lone tear slips down my cheek.

How could he love me? He’s with Max. But every look, every touch, every kiss tells me the opposite. How could someone be so caring, so loving, without actually caring, without loving? It can’t all be guilt, can’t all be obligation…can it?

Fiery lust begins to build up within me and so I let those thoughts drift away. If he really loves Max, this is the last time we’re going to be together like this, and despite everything, I want to…need to…enjoy it for everything that it’s worth.


tbc
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Post by Calinia » Sun Oct 31, 2004 6:54 pm

Guys, thank you all so much for your amazing feedback. I was honestly toched by some of your replies. I'm glad you liked the last part so much. I guess this part is the beginning of something you've been waiting for for quite some time, hope I do your expectations justice.


Disclaimer: Some of the lines from the Alec/Max/Liz conversation were taken from the DA episode Love Among the Runes. Not mine, just borrowing them.


Part 27

I don’t know how long I slept but light is filtering in through the window so it must be day already. I’m disorientated and tired and…alone, I realize.

I try to ignore the pang that shoots through my heart upon realizing that Alec left me alone, try to hold back the tears at the thought of what had happened last night outside of Crash. I succeed at neither of the two.

I killed someone. I murdered someone. True, it was in self-defense, but hell, there are other ways to defend yourself outside of fucking homicide. That’s no excuse…no excuse at all. Maybe I didn’t mean too, but they are my powers, my responsibility. I should have learned to control them by now. But I was so preoccupied, so caught up in all these other things that I neglected them. So that one’s on me. It’s my fault. It’s my fault that he’s dead.

Suddenly I notice that Alec’s standing in the doorway. I struggle to sit up, wipe at my cheeks. I must look like hell, I realize, suddenly feeling very self-conscious. Right, because looking pretty is my top priority right now. What is wrong with me?

“You’re awake,” he says. His voice is even, with just a hint of ice. I study him for a minute. He’s stance is rigid, his facial expression stony and strangely…blank.

But his eyes…his eyes give him away. He looks torn up right down to the core. But at the same time…I don’t know, I can’t really put my finger on it. It’s like there’s this underlying anger in everything about him…his stance, his voice, the look on his face.

“Um…yeah,” is all I say. I mean, what am I supposed to say to that? And speaking of which, that’s sort of…strange, coming from Alec. He’s normally not one to state the obvious.

I don’t look at him, too scared that I’ll jump up and rush over to him and do something incredibly stupid if I do. I know that last night I was convinced that I loved him, but I’m so fucking mad at him…how could I love him through all that anger? And at the same time I’m so very, very grateful that he was there last night…I just don’t know what I’m feeling anymore.

Out of the corner of my eyes I see him taking a step back. “I have to get to work,” he tells me and the room temperature seems to drop a few degrees at his tone. “Stay as long as you like.” Then he turns around and leaves.

I hear the door opening, hear it being slammed shut again with so much force that the windows in the bedroom rattle. He’s gone. I’m not sure if I’m relieved or disappointed but either way, he’s gone…or not. Suddenly he’s back in the bedroom and boy, does he look mad.

“You know what, I’m not gonna go to work. We’re going to talk this out now. Not like you can run out on me this time,” he says giving me a pointed look to emphasize my state of undressed. I look down at my body, surprised that I’m actually wearing something. Wait a minute…this is one of his shirts. It’s big and soft and it smells like Alec. Why am I wearing one of his shirts? And why does it send this strange, tingly feeling over my whole body?

“I’m sick and tired of being treated like your personal yoyo. One minute you want me, the next you avoid me like the fucking plague. Make up your mind! It’s either one or the other, you can’t have both.”

I just stare at him for a minute, too shocked to respond. Then a mixture of righteous indignation and anger takes over my mind and I jump up, more than willing to face him.

“How dare you turn this around on me?! God, did you really think I wouldn’t find out?! That nobody would ever mention it to me? Well, tough luck! Logan told me. How stupid do you think I am? Did you really think you could keep that a secret from me, from both of us?”

“What the fuck are you talking about?!” he exclaims, seemingly losing all patience. And it angers me, that he actually has the audacity to fake indignation, surprise, confusion.

“Don’t play stupid,” I hiss, simply because that’s the only way he won’t notice the tremor in my voice or the tears clogging up my throat. “I know about you and Max. I know that you’ve been together since even before I came to Seattle. Max told Logan, Logan told me. God, I can’t believe you! How arrogant do you have to be to do something like that? How fucking stupid do you think we all are?!” I glare at him for a moment, so angry, so hurt. Then I turn around, no longer able to hold back the tears. I’d rather die before letting him see me crying over him. I find my jeans, yank them on, discretely wipe at the tears on my cheeks.

It takes a full minute for him to reply. “What?!” And he sounds so surprised, so shocked. I almost believe him.

But since I don’t, I get even madder, the anger burning away my tears. I whirl around “Oh, save it! You’re proven your abilities as an outstanding actor often enough! And guess what, I’m sick of it! I’m sick and tired of listening to your lies, of having you make a fool out of me! I’ve had enough people lying to me and cheating on me, I don’t need to add you to the fucking list!”

He stares at me. “That’s what this is all about? You think I was two-timing you?” He pauses for a short moment, suddenly looking almost more disappointed than upset. “You really believe that? You believe that I would have slept with you, started anything at all with you if I’d have been in a serious, committed relationship?” He sounds…hurt? No, that can’t be. Whatever he is, he isn’t hurt. Why should he be? He’s lying. I mean, he has to be lying. There is no other explanation. There isn’t.

“You’re denying it?!” I’m beyond exasperated and he suddenly looks beyond upset, like he has to hold back from screaming. He is lying…right? He has to be. Because if not, he’s…he might be…I can’t even finish the thought. It’s too terrifying to put into words.

“That’s it,” he mutters while yanking his cell phone out of his pocked. He punches in a number and waits for someone to pick up, never once looking at me. “My apartment, now,” is all he says…or rather growls, his barely suppressed anger more than evident in his voice. “You have ten minutes and then you’d damn well better be here.”

Then he leaves the room and a second later I hear a loud banging noise. Did he just kick something? Punch something? Throw something? Jeez…either he deserves a fucking Oscar for that performance or…or it’s real.

I sink down onto the bed and try to gather my thoughts. I’m…confused. I mean, what the hell just happened here? Whatever I had expected upon confronting Alec with my knowledge about him and M, him flat-out denying it so vehemently and for so long was not one of the possibilities that had gone through my mind.

I had expected him to be surprised that I actually knew, to try to talk his way out of it, to deny it at first. Or maybe to shrug it off in a “too bad there’ll be no more screwing between us” kind of way. But to keep denying it, to becoming so upset over the whole thing, that’s just…weird. Not to mention plain stupid. Easy enough for me to get solid proof that it’s the truth…unless, of course, it isn’t.

Wait a minute, am I seriously considering that possibility? I know that Logan wasn’t lying. He’s not that good an actor…just look at the way he fumbled around after I told him that I knew that he was Eyes Only. The hurt and the sadness and the pain were real. Besides, why would he do that? It’s not like he knows about me and Alec and M and I don’t get along either way, so what would be the point? No motivation means he’s eliminated as a suspect.

That only leaves M. But why would she lie to Logan about something like that?

Then I realize something and it feels like a punch to the gut. I lied to my Max – okay, that sounds so wrong, calling him that, but anyway – I lied to him about something similar. Hell, I lied about practically the exact same thing. I even went as far as setting up a scene so that he would have some physical proof.

I’m suddenly glad that I’m already sitting. Could that explain it? Did she lie to Logan to protect him? There’s the virus standing between them, a constant danger to him. Did she tell him that she was with someone else so that he would keep his distance, so that he would be safe? This sounds way too familiar for my liking but hell, it sure does explain a lot. Every piece of the puzzle suddenly seems to fall into place.

Relief floods through my body but at the same time, there’s a strange sense of apprehension and fear accompanying it. Feelings that have very little to do with M and very much to do with what Alec’s true intentions might be. My mouth runs dry and I have to swallow, hard.

Then I hear the apartment door being opened. Relieved to have something to distract me, I make my way out of the bedroom.

“This better be good,” M snarls. Why doesn’t it surprise me that it’s her? “If you think you can just order me around like some fucking servant then I obviously haven’t kicked your ass often enough.”

Alec just glares at her and boy, does he look scary. M doesn’t seem impressed though, she glares right back at him.

“Why the hell did you tell Logan that we’re together?” Alec’s voice is…dangerous. That’s the only word I can think of that even comes close to doing his tone justice. It’s hard like steel, cold as ice and at the same time you can practically feel the rage scorching through it.

That’s when M sees me. Her eyes widen in surprise. “What are you…” she begins but then trails off. She takes in my appearance, eyes widening even more. Obviously, she knew nothing about Alec and me. And we weren’t even trying to keep it a secret.

I cross my arms over my chest, suddenly feeling uncomfortable under her gaze.

She glances back at Alec. From the look in her eyes, she understands exactly why Alec is so upset.

“I didn’t exactly tell him that about…us. He just assumed it and…I didn’t correct him.”

“Oh, well then.” Alec exclaims with mock-understanding, all but slapping his forehead. “That makes it all better!”

“What was I supposed to do? I had to tell him something,” M replies getting defensive.

“Why’d you have to drag me into it?!” Alec asks half exasperated, half dismayed and definitely still angry.

“I had to push him away. This virus thing isn’t going anywhere and I just can’t afford any more accidents.”

Alec’s eyes narrow ever so slightly. “Yeah, so blame Alec, cause he’s just the kind of jerk that’d steal another guy’s girl.”

“That’s not the way it was, okay? Logan saw you leaving my apartment the morning after the thing with Ben and he got the wrong idea. I just…I couldn’t tell him that he was wrong. He had to let go and that was the only way I could come up with.”

“He hasn’t,” I say, causing both Alec and M to turn to me. They look surprised, almost as if they’d forgotten that I was there. I’m surprised myself because I sure as hell didn’t have any intention at all to say anything right now. I’m careful to avoid Alec’s gaze, concentrating on M instead.

“Let go, I mean. You haven’t pushed him away. I’m not sure what could. You only made him miserable.” I try hard to keep the accusation out of my tone but it’s not easy. I wait a beat. “You should tell him. He’s gonna find out sooner or later and it would be better if he heard it from you.”

M’s eyes narrow. “A very polite way of saying that either I tell him or you will. Guess what, I don’t take too kindly to threats or blackmail.”

This time, I’m the one who isn’t impressed. Bitchiness just bounces right off me. I’m Teflon and all that shit. Hmm, does stuff actually bounce off Teflon? Mentally shake my head. Whatever.

“I’m not going to tell him. I think he has the right to know the truth, but it’s not my place to decide that. But if he asks me, I’m not gonna lie for you.”

M gives me a long hard look. Then she shrugs. “Fair enough.” She appears nonchalant enough, but I can see that I got her thinking. Good enough for me. At least for now.

Then she leaves and Alec and I just stand there staring at each other.


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Post by Calinia » Sun Nov 14, 2004 10:39 am

Hey guys, sorry for the long wait. I was at school, working or studying till late every single day of the week, so I really didn't have time to update, even less to write. I have a new part for you now though. No idea when the next one will be up though. Thanks for all the feedback and the sympathy, lol, it's very much appreciated.


Part 28

I don’t know what to say. I mean, I know I should say something, like maybe apologize for not believing him. But the words are just, like…stuck in my throat.

“Do you believe me now?” he asks. His voice is still cool and…tired somehow. Weary.

I nod, look away. “Yeah,” I whisper.

“Is that all you’re gonna say?” There’s the temper again. He’s upset and I guess I can hardly blame him. I’d be too if I were him.

I raise my head, suddenly feeling a bit like sulking child. “What do you want me to say?”

Stupid question. I know exactly what he wants to hear. An apology for starters.

“I don’t know! Something…anything.” He pauses for a moment, looks at me. There’s so much disappointment in his eyes, I almost wince. “I can’t believe you believed it.”

And all of a sudden, I can’t either. I can’t believe I believed it when it suddenly seems so obvious that it could have never been true. But it wasn’t obvious then. And, a part of me whispers, it shouldn’t be obvious now either. My temper comes back to me because it seems to be the only thing I have left to guard my heart, my soul, all other things having failed.

“What do you expect from me?!” I demand, raising my voice. “Everything I’ve ever heard about you told me that that was exactly the kind of thing you would do. You don’t exactly have a stellar history when it comes to the way you treat the opposite sex. Besides, it’s not like you put up a big fight before falling into bed with me.”

“That was different.” The way he says it, the way he looks at me while saying it…there’s this utter conviction in his tone, so pure and true and I want so badly to believe him.

“And maybe you should have considered not taking everything that Max says at face value,” he goes on.

Okay, wait a minute. “Are you saying that she was lying?

He just keeps looking straight at me. “I’m saying that things change. I’m saying that she doesn’t know half of what she’s talking about.”

I look at him and he looks at me, our gazes locking, and I just ache. I want to believe him, but there’s this part of me that just won’t let me, this part where doubt and mistrust and fear linger, simply refusing to back off.

“There hasn’t been anybody else. Ever since the day we met, there was only you. Even before that there wasn’t anybody for quite some time.”

His eyes, his voice…it’s suddenly all softer. The coldness and disappointment begin to ebb away, replaced by something warmer, something almost tender.

And his words…they terrify me. Because a part of me actually believes him, and hopes, and dreams. Dreams about things that I know could never come true. I know that love isn’t all fairytales and castles. It hurts and damages and it can turn into something dark and ugly and horrible.

And even if it doesn’t, it never lasts. Love was never meant for eternity. People just seem to cling to that illusion because it’s all they have. But truth is, it burns out at one point or another and always leaves somebody behind to hurt and suffer and slowly die inside. I was that somebody once. I can’t be that somebody ever again.

Memories of Max and Tess kissing at prom, holding hands at school, leaving the planet together surface in my mind. I couldn’t stand having something like that happening again. The mere thought of Alec being with someone else, loving someone else, kills me. And we haven’t even reached the point of a commitment, of a real emotional investment yet. How much more would it hurt if we crossed that line and then he left me?

I suddenly realize that I have yet to say something in return and that all this while, Alec has been staring at me intently. He takes a step towards me and I have to fight the urge to take one back.

“What are you so afraid of?” he suddenly asks me, taking me by surprise.

I just stare at him. Open my mouth, close it again. I don’t know what to say. I can’t tell him the truth. I can’t tell him that I’m just scared. Of everything. Of him, of what his true intentions might be, of my own feelings. More than anything of my own feelings.

He takes a step back again. Then he sighs, sinking down onto the couch. He runs a hand through his hair, studies the floor for a moment. Then he looks up at me.

“When we met in Terminal City last week and you told me that you’d opened your eyes and saw what was there instead of what you wanted to see and that you didn’t like it, I thought you were referring to my state of being…genetically enhanced so to say.”

My eyes widen. “What? No! That never mattered to me. I don’t care about that. I don’t, really, I…” Trail off, because I know he believes me. I can see it in his eyes. Strange, how I never realized how much his eyes give away. It’s like I had blinders on.

He studies me for a moment. “Yeah. I get that now. But at that time…” He trails off, looks away. Then he looks at me, and that look is back in his eyes. That look of utter conviction that makes it so hard to doubt his words even for a second.

“It hurt. I guess that was the moment when I realized how much I actually cared about you. How badly I’d fallen for you.”

I freeze before my whole body begins to tremble. I have to swallow, have to turn away. Oh God. Why is he doing this? Why is he saying this? My knees are turning to jelly but I refuse to sit down. I need to…I have to…God. I can’t even think straight. I’m so scared…I’m so happy. This is terrifying right down to the bone.

I suddenly feel Alec’s presence behind me and whirl around.

He’s standing there, just out of reach. I’d only have to lift my hand. I’d only have to take one tiny step towards him. And yet I don’t move. I want to, but I just…can’t.

“Why won’t you give us a chance?” he asks me. “What are you so afraid of?”

I avert my gaze as if scared that he could read the answers to those questions in my eyes.

“I’d never hurt you,” he tells me after a moment of silence. It’s like he’s reading my mind.

Now I do look at him, and something in his gaze tells me that my eyes are practically overflowing with emotions, no matter how hard I try to hide them.

“You can’t promise me that,” I tell him, and I’m surprised by how close to tears my voice sounds.

He doesn’t say anything for a moment. “No, I guess I can’t. But I can promise you that I’d try. I’ve never felt the way I feel about you before. I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life. It just feels so…right. You know it does. I know you feel it too. We could be so good together. Why don’t you see that?”

He’s so convinced, so sure of what he’s saying. A part of me just melts at his words, but another part tightens up, doubts, questions. God, when did I become so suspicious, so mistrusting? So cold?

It feels so wrong to be like this. To be so closed-off, so scared. It’s like I’m frozen, like I’m no longer living but merely existing, going through the motions and pretending to live. I want to feel again. Something outside of fear and suspicion and hurt. But I don’t know how. It’s like I forgot how that works, how you do that. And I’m scared of it. Now matter how much I hate that, I’m scared to death of feeling again. And that fear is crippling.

Alec’s standing there, patiently waiting for some kind of response, some kind of answer. But I can’t give him any. I don’t know the answer. I wish I could just give in to the part that wants to trust him and love him and be with him. But the other part is holding me back. The hurt, suspicious dark part inside of me. The part, I suddenly realize, that seems to be taking up more and more of my soul the more time passes.

One more thought that terrifies me right down to the bone, even more than Alec and his feelings and my feelings for him.

How do I know if I can ever reverse that? How do I know if I can ever go back to just feeling, without constantly being afraid of the consequences, without constantly doubting my heart? I used to be so sure of it. I used to trust it completely. I followed it, just like Grandma Claudia had told me to do. How could that change so much? How could I let Max change that, change me so profoundly and in such a bad way?

I look at Alec. His eyes are practically pleading with me, begging me to give him a chance. And I want to but…

“I don’t know if I can,” I whisper. “I…” I stop. Talking about this is harder than I thought it would be. I need… “Time. I need time. I need to…I have think this over. Deal with it on my own. I…I’m sorry.” And I leave.


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Post by Calinia » Fri Dec 03, 2004 12:56 pm

Hey guys, as promised, a brand new part. Thank you all for your wonderful, wonderful feedback, you don't know how much I enjoy reading your replies. And once again, thanks for the patience, I know I've been bad about updating, I really hope that changes once Christmas vacation starts.

To those of you who complained about the ending of the last part - in other words, to everybody who left feedback :lol: - this part should make up for all the torture I put you through, or at least start making up for it. It's not that long and doesn't have that much Liz/Alec in it, but there will be more of those two in the next part. I hope you like it anyway. And now I'm off to work on DTD because God knows I owe you an update on that one.


Part 29

I don’t know how long I’ve been here, but I don’t like it. Hell, I don’t even like the fact that I am here in the first place, even less that I can’t seem to bring myself to leave.

I mean, it’s pathetic, right? To wait for someone in front of their apartment for hours? Pathetic and desperate. And the longer I wait, the stupider I feel.

Oh Jesus. What have I gotten myself into? Trouble, obviously.

I’m terrified by this force Alec has somehow managed to put over me, by this pull that I just can’t fight. Looking back, it seems ridiculous that I even tried. The way I feel, the way this whole situation is spinning out of control…it reminds me too much of the way I felt about Max when the thing with us started. I feel like I’m falling without knowing whether there’s a net down there to catch me or not.

Not that what’s happening between Alec and I can in any way, shape or form be compared to Max and I back then. But this feeling of losing control over my life and my heart and my soul is the same. I guess that just goes along with…you know. Feelings. Doesn’t mean I have to like it though.

I was more disappointed than I should have been upon discovering that Alec wasn’t home. Another feeling I don’t like. I shouldn’t have cared, not as much as I did. It makes me feel weak and impotent, emphasizing how much control I really lost over myself. Knowing it is bad enough, I don’t need constant reminders.

But what really unnerves me is the fact that I didn’t leave again…that I can’t. I mean, that’s the normal reaction, right? You go to someone’s apartment, said person isn’t home, you leave again. Normal. Waiting around for hours for the person to come home is not normal. It’s…desperate. Obsessive. Pathetic. And the worst part is, I don’t even care.

Now I’ve been sitting here for God-knows how long, leaning against Alec’s apartment door, studying the door of his across-the-hall neighbor. It needs a new paint job. Badly. The paint is faded, cracked and peeling off at more places than I can count. Besides, it’s ugly.

And still no sign of Alec.

It’s getting later and later and I can’t help but wonder where he is. As if on cue, doubt and uncertainty wrap themselves around my heart, my mind, my soul. Normally people come home at some point of the night. If he’s not here, in his bed…in whose bed is he?

I hate myself for thinking like that. Not even because it’s petty and stupid and jealous. I mean, that too. But what really bothers me…since when do I doubt my own appeal to the point where I actually expect a guy to cheat on me? That’s not normal. It’s sick.

Max’s words from what seems so long ago suddenly wisp through my mind. What’s so great about normal?

“Everything, Max,” I whisper. “Everything.”

I hate him for what he’s done to me. Not even so much what he actually did, even though God knows that that’s reason enough to hate a person, but the effect it had on me. How much he changed me. I loved him so much and he paid me back by hurting me over and over again, by almost destroying me.

Not that I didn’t play my part in the whole thing. Not that I don’t have my share of blame to carry. But I sure as hell didn’t do anything to make him treat me the way he did after Alex died. I didn’t push him into bed with Tess, didn’t force him to create a child with her.

In the end, he alone is responsible for his actions. The people around you may influence your decisions, but they don’t make them for you. I’m sick of feeling guilty for it. I’m sick of feeling responsible for everything bad that has happened in the past ten months. After all, changing the future wasn’t my idea.

Yeah, right. Nice excuse, Parker. Not like you even once tried to convince Future Max that his plan was full of shit from beginning to end. Not like you even once dared to question how he knew that this insane idea of making Max fall out of love with you could ever save the world or how he knew that Tess staying would make a big enough difference, how he knew that she would stay in the first place. You just took all that as hard facts, never questioning it, never doubting it and followed him around like a mindless lemming.

Nice job, really. Where was your oh-so great, scientific brain then?

I sigh. Like this makes any kind of difference now. It happened. It’s in the past. Pointing the blame won’t change what we did or what it led to. We couldn’t have anticipated the outcome, but that doesn’t take away our responsibility for it, does it?

I push those thoughts away, just like I push away the doubts and fears concerning Alec’s whereabouts that are still nagging at my heart. I’m sick and tired of having my past control my every waking moment.

That’s why I’m here, right? To move forward. To let go of what happened back then and focus on what’s happening right now instead. If you live in the past, you’re missing out on the present. Which is pretty stupid, considering a certain drop-dead gorgeous transgenic that’s taking up quite a big part of said present at the moment.

God, did I really just think that?

As if on cue I hear the shuffling of feet at the end of the corridor and I get up, suddenly feeling extremely uncomfortable and stupid for being here. It’s Alec. I know it even before I can see him, before I can make out his exact features in the dim light of the hallway. A tingle runs down my spine, my heartbeat picks up and I forget all about feeling embarrassed and silly.

Then he glances up, his eyes meeting mine, and a bolt of electricity shoots through my body. I have to swallow, have to clench my hands to fists to keep them from trembling. Why did Alec’s presence never have this kind of effect on me before? Did I just not allow it? Did I ignore it? Was I really that good at denying my attraction to Alec? Wow. That’s…scary.

He stares at me for a second as if having to check twice before believing that I’m really there. It’s sort of cute and almost takes away my nervousness. Almost.

“Liz.” He sounds even more surprised than he looks. “What are you doing here?”

“Um.” Good question. What am I doing here? I missed him. But I can’t tell him that. Not yet. I’m not ready for that, not ready for all the things saying that would imply.

Baby steps. That’s what I decided to do, remember? To take baby steps.

“I was in the area,” I say without thinking. A second later I want to slap myself. What kind of stupid answer is that? I was in the area? Seriously. Could I have come up with anything even more ridiculous?

Alec stares at me with a slightly dazed look on his face, then he shakes himself out of it. He moves to the door, unlocks it.

“You wanna come in?” he asks me, his voice amazingly neutral. He sounds nonchalant, but I notice those little things that give him away. The restlessness in his eyes, the way he scratches the back of his head for a quick moment, the fact that he actually fumbles with the keys before he manages to open the door after I nod.

Amazing, how well I’ve come to know him. Even more amazing that I didn’t even realize it.

“You want something to drink?” he asks me once I close the apartment door behind me, keeping up the pretence of normalcy for a moment longer. I’m grateful for that. I need it, need a minute to get my hormones under control and act normal.

I shake my head in response to his question. He goes to the fridge anyway, grabs a bottle of beer, opens it, but he doesn’t take a sip. Instead he turns around and just looks at me, waiting for me to say something, mindlessly peeling at the label of the bottle in his hands.

Another thing that gives him away. He’s nervous.

If I weren’t so nervous – no, make that downright scared – I might think it’s endearing.

I look at him for a moment, then I avert my gaze, turning away slightly, taking a deep breath. I need to get a grip on myself for God’s sake. I’m so nervous that I’m shaking. There’s a flock of butterflies in my stomach that has quite clearly gone stark mad. My heart is beating so furiously that I’m sure he can hear it. For the millionth time since I met him I curse his enhanced senses.

But the worst part is that I’m not even nervous because of the reason that I’m here. It’s his mere presence. He just has to stand there, look at me and it’s enough to send my whole body on overload, my mind to the brink of insanity. If coherent thoughts aren’t possible, how the hell am I supposed to form coherent sentences?

I take a deep breath. Okay. How to begin? I tried to figure that out on my way here, but it just drove me crazy so I decided that spontaneity was the way to go. Bad idea, as I now realize. I have no idea what to say, don’t even know what or how much I want to tell him.

But then a minute later, the words just come to me. “When I was sixteen, I fell in love. I thought he was my soulmate. I thought that we would last forever. I thought that nothing could ever really come between us.

“But there were so many things…so many reasons that kept us apart. When we finally got together, someone from his past came to town. We didn’t even last a month. But no matter what happened, I always thought that we would make it. That, in the end, love would win. It was exhausting, even suffocating at times, but I thought that it was worth it…that he was worth it.

“Then my best friend died and he turned his back on me. We had an ugly fight and he turned to her. He slept with her, got her pregnant and ended up leaving town with her. That was the day before I came to Seattle. Not even a week before we met.”

I’m staring at the floor without seeing it, not daring to look up, not daring to look at Alec. Then he moves towards me, his hand gently lifting my chin. “I’m sorry,” he whispers, and I finally look at him. There’s so much sympathy in his eyes, compassion, as well as a hint of outrage. And pain. I try a shaky smile, but it’s gone even faster than it came.

“It scares me,” I finally say, surprising Alec, surprising myself. How did I manage not to choke on those words? “This whole…thing…between us. I’m scared of getting hurt again, scared that I won’t be able to recover a second time.”

I feel vulnerable to an extend that I would prefer walking naked through my high school any day, but I force myself to look at him, to not hide my eyes and therefore my emotions like I normally do.

I’m surprised to see understanding in Alec’s eyes. “I know,” he tells me. “It scares me too sometimes.”

Then he kisses my forehead and pulls me into his arms. He just holds me and I sigh and burry my head in his chest. This feels too good to resist. It feels so right. Like I’ve finally come home.

“Stay the night,” he whispers into my hair. “It’s late. I don’t want you out on the streets at this time of night.”

I hesitate for a moment before I nod. Besides the fact that I’m tired and definitely not looking forward to walking all those miles back to Joshua’s, I want to stay here. I missed Alec. I missed his smell and the way that he touches me, the way I can curl into him when I’m on the brink of falling asleep.

And most of all, I missed the way I feel when I’m around him.


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Post by Calinia » Tue Jan 11, 2005 12:48 pm

Hey guys, sorry for the long delay. Here's the new part, no idea when the next one will be up though. Soon I hope.

To your feedback...


vampiricheart, I'm glad you liked the part so much. Yup, I guess it is about damn time that Liz opened up a bit to Alec. More of that coming in this part and the next one I think.

Gioia, I think finally facing her fears was more than difficult for Liz, but at the same time she's not the kind of person who runs away from them forever, so I figured it was time she stopped letting them control her and took control of them instead. And Alec will definitely try to help her overcome her demons, even though a few rocks will be thrown in that path. Liz will find out about certain things and that won't make it easy for them. Anyway, Ava will show up in the next, let's say, 5 to 10 parts. Can't say when exactly, I haven't decided.

elfangel01, I don't feel worshipped enough. You have to work on that. :wink: I'm glad you liked the part, hope the wait wasn't too long. But then, isn't it always? Wait a minute, you've been muttering things behind my back? What things? Did you call me an evil bitch? Say you did! :D There's no bigger compliment for me. :lol: So, Liz is staying the night, but I don't think it's what you think/hope. Just read on, you'll see what I mean.

WomanofMystery, geez, why are you all so surprised that I actually updated. Am I really that bad? Hehe, Liz waiting for Alec was kind of cure, wasn't it? And yay, I made you hate Max! That's my number one goal, you know. The way I see Max and Liz's relationship, a lot of what went wrong was circumstance, something neither of them is really to blame. Liz made some mistakes and Max made even more mistakes, but fact is that everybody is responsible for their own actions and let's face it, Max fucked up majorly. And I'm sick of people blaming Liz for everything that happened as well. More baby steps coming up in the following part. :D

Ladeia3, I guess it really was time for Liz to finally do something about her relationship with Alec, huh? The next part is pure Alec/Liz, just for you. :D

Erin, aww, stop it, you're making me blush. Kidding, go on, go on. :wink: Anyway, I'm glad that you liked Liz finally opening up to Alec. High time, wasn't it? Max is going to show up in this story, I'm just not quite sure yet when. Towards the end probably. Ava is definitely going to show up before him though. Alec wasn't anywhere special. Let's say he was doing something or other for TC. A few things will happen before Liz does something about looking for Ava again so that won't happen until a few parts from now. And before I forget it, you now owe us three updates. Hurry up, I've already started the next part of DTD. :wink:

Elf3748, sorry for killing you with suspense, hope you're not six feet under yet. The thing with Liz's powers will be dealt with rather soon. I haven't decided yet who finds out though, so you'll have to wait and see.

Onarek, sigh. It's never enough, is it? Glad you liked the last part, hope you like this one as well. Sorry for the delay btw.

Traitor, 'oh mighty one'? I like that. :D Doesn't quite have the same ring to it as 'evil bitch' but it's not bad. :lol: I guess the last part was long since overdue. Now, Liz's powers will be addressed soon, but I'm not giving away anything else. Patience is a virtue. :wink:

stargrl678, glad you liked the last part. Alec and Liz finally making up was high time I guess. Hope you like the next part as well.

tiredmuse, glad the last part didn't disappoint. And I'm glad that you like my Alec. Sigh. Gotta love Alec, right? I'm glad that I made it understandable why Liz acted the way she did, as frustrating as it was. But this was actually a big step for her, so she's definitely heading in the direction we want her to head now.

kassruvalcaba, I always love new readers! Glad you're enjoying this. I am quite enjoying Liz's attitude myself, and Alec is just...there are no words, really. Hope you like this chapter as well, it's a bit lighter than the last one.

morpheus awakened, wow, that's a pretty nice compliment. :oops: I'm glad you're enjoying this so much, I'm certainly having lots of fun writing it. Writing Liz all sarcastic and cynical is without a doubt what I like most about this fic. Well, that and the nookie. :wink: Aww, you think I'm evil? That's so sweet! And making people die of anticipation is pretty much my goal in life, so thanks. :D Once Liz and Alec both know about each other and are comfortable with it they'll be sure to explore their...talents. :wink: Anyway, thanks for the feedback, it was very much appreciated.

Luvya, it's always nice to hear that people like this fic, so thanks a bunch. One member of the gang will show up more or less soon, the others won't till the very end though. And I really like Liz's new haircut as well. :wink:


So, thanks everybody for the feedback and the patience and all the bumps. All of that is very much appreciated. Hope you like this part.


Part 30

It’s strange how intimate and awkward the most mundane things – things you do every day without giving them even a moment’s thought – can be when you suddenly no longer do them alone. Like brushing your teeth.

I’m currently in Alec’s bathroom, doing just that, with Alec right next to me, doing the same. He had an unused toothbrush around somewhere, which is now mine. I’m not even trying to grasp the concept of having my own toothbrush at Alec’s apartment. That is just…above and beyond anything I’m capable of dealing with right now.

So, we’re brushing our teeth. And I feel…I don’t know, vulnerable, I guess. Incredibly, incredibly vulnerable actually. And embarrassed. I don’t even know why. I mean, brushing your teeth is pretty much the most ordinary thing there is. It just doesn’t feel like that with Alec staring at me through the mirror.

I know he’s staring at me, even without looking. I sneak a peek and sure enough, he’s watching me. His scrutiny makes me feel even more uncomfortable, heat creeping up my neck, but I force myself to hold his gaze.

It’s another baby step. A step towards feeling a tiny bit less uncomfortable with openness and intimacy and everything else that belongs to a normal relationship. A step towards being able to just feel.

Alec is the first to break eye contact when he rinses his mouth and toothbrush, splashing some water in his face. Once he’s done, I follow suit. Once I’m done washing my face, Alec hands me a towel. I dry my face and Alec heads towards the bedroom with me following him.

“Do you want one of my shirts to wear for the night? It’s probably more comfortable than anything you’re wearing right now.”

I nod and Alec turns around to rummage through his dresser. I begin to strip off my clothes and by the time Alec finds a clean shirt and turns around I’m already undressed. But to my surprise, he doesn’t react like he normally does upon seeing me naked. No hungry looks roaming up and down my body, no smirk, no suggestive comment. He just hands me the shirt, barely even looking at me, and then begins undressing himself.

I’m slightly taken aback but I get over it quickly. Pull the shirt over my head and immediately take a deep breath. It smells so good. Alec sometimes smells like this.

And it’s soft. I mean, really soft. Come to thing of it, a shirt being this soft isn’t normal. Not unless you do something about it. Does he use fabric softener? Well, color me surprised. That’s the last thing I would have thought of Alec.

Actually, I can’t picture him at all while doing his laundry. It’s such an un-Alecy thing to do. I wonder if he can cook. I mean, he has to eat, right?

Once Alec has stripped down to his boxers he climbs into bed, holding the blanket up as an invitation to follow him. Before I can decide where and how to place myself, Alec pulls me into his arms. My head comes to rest on his chest, my cheek brushing the warm, smooth skin of his bare torso. I can hear his heart beat. Another incredibly intimate thing, I realize.

He presses a kiss to the crown of my head, actually managing to make me sigh because it’s such a sweet gesture, but he doesn’t say anything. Nor does that one innocent kiss lead to anything more…sinful.

After a few minutes I break the silence. I’m not tired enough to sleep and Alec’s behavior is just…strange. This is not what I’d thought he had in mind when he asked me to stay the night.

“Alec?”

“Mmm.”

“Can you cook?”

Looks like I took him by surprise. He takes a moment to reply. “Why do you ask?”

I shrug, suddenly feeling stupid. Me and my loud mouth…I should really learn to think before I open it. “I was wondering.”

“Um, yeah, I guess. Nothing too great though, just the basics. Enough to not starve or be forced to spend a fortune on restaurants and take-out if I want a warm meal every now and then.”

“What do you cook, normally?”

“You want to know what I cook?”

“Yeah.”

“Why?”

“I’m curious.” And I am, but even more so I enjoy making him squirm. He’s stalling, which means that he’s not quite comfortable with the subject. It’s kind of nice, putting him on the spot after being on the receiving end of that so often.

Alec shifts slightly. “Meat,” he says.

“Meat?” I ask.

“Yeah. You know, steaks and…um, steaks.”

“What about side dishes?”

“What do you need a side dish for if you have a steak?”

I giggle. “You are such a guy. But seriously, you should expand your repertoire. You could exchange recipes with Logan. He makes a mean Lasagna, you know? His French Onion Soup isn’t bad either.”

I laugh but Alec tenses ever so slightly. I notice it, but just barely.

“How do you know that?” he asks, and there’s something in his tone…

I shrug, not quite sure what to make of his question. “I’ve sampled some of it.”

“Logan cooked for you?” Alec asks almost exasperatedly. Yup, there’s definitely something in his tone. Something quite unpleasant. Could it be jealousy? That thought pleases me more than it should.

“He didn’t cook for me,” I clarify. “He offered me food he already had when I was at his apartment once or twice.”

“How often were you at his apartment?”

“Not often.” I’m getting defensive. Why am I getting defensive? I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t do anything, actually. “Look, Logan was helping me with something, and then there were the fake documents I made for him and…those are the only two reasons I was ever at his apartment, actually. Okay?” I hope that that’s enough of an explanation for Alec and that he’ll just drop it.

“What was he helping you with?” Okay, so maybe he’s not dropping it.

“It’s nothing,” I tell him, knowing exactly that he won’t be satisfied with that answer.

Silence. Alec doesn’t reply, or react in any way at all actually. He’s upset, I can tell. And let’s be honest, can I blame him?

Outside of telling him about Max, I never once revealed anything at all relevant about who I am or why I’m here. I know far more about him than he knows about me. Not exactly fair. I can’t really blame him for trying to even the scale, now can I?

“I’m looking for a friend. I know that she lives here in Seattle, or at least did until recently. I’m hoping that she’s still in the city. But I don’t have an address or anything else and I wasn’t getting anywhere alone, so I asked Logan for his help since he has a lot more recourses, being Eyes Only and all.”

“Wait a minute, you know about that?” The surprise of that seems to make Alec forget that he was giving me the silence treatment.

“You mean Logan being Eyes Only? Yeah, I sort of stumbled across that piece of information accidentally.” Alec doesn’t ask for details and I’m glad. Seeing how I found out about Logan by dreamwalking Max makes it sort of hard to explain the whole thing without lying or mentioning alien powers.

And while I’m willing to open up and tell Alec more about myself, I’m not ready to reveal the whole alien-thing. Maybe I never will be. After all, I’m pretty sure that in the long run, Alec is better off not knowing. The members of our exclusive little club haven’t exactly been on the lucky side of things in the past two years. I don’t want to drag Alec into that mess. He has enough to deal with with the whole transgenic mess.

“So, how did Logan react to you finding out about his little secret?” I can’t see Alec’s face, but I know exactly that he’s smirking. Bet he would have just loved to be a fly on the wall during that conversation.

“Denied it. Pretty amateurishly, if I may say so. I would have expected someone who leads a double life to be a bit better at lying.”

“You took him by surprise.”

“I guess.”

“Any luck so far?”

“Luck?”

“With the search for your friend.”

I sigh. “No, not really. I know where she used to work and what bar she used to frequent, but that’s pretty much it. It’s like she just vanished off the face of the earth.”

We’re both silent for a moment. “Can I ask you something?” Alec asks.

“Sure,” I say. Ask away. No guarantee that I’ll answer though.

“What’s your last name?”

I’m stunned silent for a moment. Well, look at me. I’ve been better at being elusive and mysterious than I’d realized.

“Parker,” I tell him. “My last name is Parker.”

“And Liz is short for Elizabeth?”

“Yeah.”

“When’s your birthday?”

“October 17th.”

“Year?”

“Why do you ask?”

“Just wondering if sleeping with you is technically a felony.”

I snort. “2003,” I say after a moment’s hesitation. I wonder how Alec is going to react to that piece of information. I have no idea how old he is but I do realize that he’s probably quite a bit older than me, a few years at the least. Will that bother him?

“Seriously?” he asks. “I thought you were older. Hmm, so you’re not even eighteen yet. Does that make having sex with you a crime?”

“Would that change anything?” I ask, almost getting defensive.

“Yeah,” he says, and my heart stops for a moment. “It would be a real kick to break the law that way.”

I laugh, despite myself. “You’re impossible,” I scold him, but I end up sounding more amused than exasperated.

“I try.”

I roll my eyes even though he can’t see me. “Men,” is all I say before sighing exaggeratedly.

“So, what was that about you faking documents for Logan?” Looks like we’re done with the interrogating-Liz part of the night. I wonder to what other parts we’ll get.

“Oh, that. Well, the guy he normally uses skipped town or something and he couldn’t find anybody who didn’t completely suck at it, so I offered to do it.”

“Did he pay you?”

“Yeah.”

“How much?”

“Five hundred for a fake passport and a birth certificate.”

“And you’re good?”

“If you’re going to insult me we can just go to sleep,” I tell him, only slightly offended by his question.

Alec chuckles. “You know, you can earn five times as much on the black market for that kind of thing. Where’d you learn how to fake documents anyway?”

“I’m a natural.”

And he’s smirking again. How do I know? Please. It’s Alec.

“So, interested in earning some nice money with that? I know a few people who might be interested, have a few contacts that could find more. Now that the number one supplier is gone there’s bound to be excessive demand. Could be a pretty sweet deal.”

I think about it. Money is always an issue, seeing how I don’t have a job and am on my own. I can’t really say no to that kind of opportunity, now can I? Then my eyes narrow.

“What’s in it for you?”

“For me?” He actually sounds surprised. “Well, now that you mention it, I guess I would deserve a provision for all my hard work.” The tone of his voice drops half an octave. “You could pay me in naturals.”

Ah, finally, there he is. The old Alec, suggestive comments, a dirty mind steadily in place and everything else that goes with the package. I was getting worried.

“In your dreams,” I tell him, smirking myself. Must be contagious.

Then…nothing. No actions follow his comment…no hands sliding over my body seductively, no mouth slowly necking its way towards mine. He doesn’t move a single damned muscle.

It’s frustrating in a way, but at the same time I’m really enjoying it. There haven’t been a lot of occasions of us running into each other, deliberately or not, that didn’t end up with Alec and me in bed…or in an alley…or on the kitchen table. It’s nice knowing that he enjoys my company even without us getting physical, that just talking is enough sometimes.

Hmm, now that I think about it, the only times we actually didn’t have sex were the times we ended up fighting. Not that that always meant an exclusion of sex from the rest of the night’s events…quite the opposite in most cases actually. But sometimes the fighting would go beyond our usual necking and sex would be out of question. Like the last time we ran into each other in TC.

I inwardly shudder at the memory. I never felt farther apart from Alec than in the moment he turned and walked away from me that day. It’s scary, how badly I never want to feel that way again, how badly I never want to give anybody the possibility of walking away from me and leaving me again.

But the only way to avoid even the slightest possibility of that happening would be to walk away first.

Considering those options, I’d rather take my chances with Alec.


tbc
Last edited by Calinia on Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Tact is for people not witty enough to be sarcastic.
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holier than thou | katastrophee
Updated 03/16/07 | Updated 02/10/08

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