Family Connections (AU,CC,ADULT) Ch 58 26/10/14 [WIP]

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KatnotKath
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Re: Family Connections (AU,CC,MAT/AD) Ch 50 28/09/08 AN 28/12/08

Postby KatnotKath » Sat Mar 28, 2009 1:29 pm

*Stepping out from the shadows and ducking the objects I'm sure you're going to throw*

Hey everyone,

No, this isn't another note to say I can't update (yay) but I'm not going to say this is my best chapter yet either... Truth be told I've taken this way out of my comfort region, and it's

showing big time. I am trying to press on and get it done though, so I thank you for bearing with me.

Thanks for all the feedback as always.

garcia88 - Yes it's him. As for Liz being safe, well lets see shall we. Thanks for reading, sorry to keep you waiting so long and glad you're enjoying the story.
Alien_Friend - I'm glad to see that the last chapter didn't disappoint then. I hope the same is true of this next. As for your questions - how would Liz have reacted had Nacedo come up to her, would he have believed him, she didn't seem to this time...
kay_b - Yes it's Nacedo. I think the reasoning behind how he's done it is twofold. One - that they wouldn't believe it was him and might just attack him if he turned up. Two - maybe there's something more too? I'm not going to respond to your other suggestion...mainly for the reason that honestly, I don't know where this is going myself, but I hope we'll have fun finding out lol. Thanks for reading and hope you'll stick with me.
Flamehair - Yes it's really him, and as to the why they thought he was dead I hope this will explain it some. If not though, I'll be happy to elaborate just ask again ;). Do you know whether Leo's getting a brother or a sister? Or are you going to be surprised? I hope everything's going well for you.
paper - maybe...maybe not...
Natalie36 - goodie or baddie...are things ever that simple? I think you're right about Max though. I think he's going to be very very angry with Nacedo, and as you'll see here, Liz isn't too delighted either...
pandas2001 - Sorry I couldn't get back sooner, hope you'll enjoy the new chapter.
Timelord31 - Thanks for reading, glad you're enjoying the story and sorry about the delay in updating. Thanks for the bumps too.
keepsmiling7 - sorry to keep you waiting so long again, it's not deliberate, honest! Thanks for the bumps though. As for Nacedo, yes it's really him, and he's been...well...around... And ask to your other questions at least one of them should find an answer here.
isabelle - thanks hun, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the assist in getting the balance right, I really appreciated it. Some of the scenes, like the ones you mention were just so obvious in my head, they just wrote themselves. Shame more of it can't do that...
mirae01 - Thank you! I'm glad you're enjoying it.

I know I owe another huge apology for the fact that I haven't posted in so long, and that I left it as a cliffhanger again. I honestly never imagined that it was going to take me so long to get anything that I was halfway pleased about but things really didn't work in my favour I'm afriad. Work was crazy busy, my muse was uncooperative and I was struggling to see where to go. A bit of good news for me is that the busy time at work (which is continuing) was accompanied last week by the information that I've been promoted. Bad news of course is that the busy time doesn't seem to be ending. But enough about that. Simply put, I'm struggling with the story but I am sticking with it. I hope you'll continue to enjoy what comes if you do the same.

Thanks for the patience and understanding shown everyone and here's the new chapter. Hope you enjoy it. Love to hear what you think.

~Kat~


Chapter 51

For a long moment, Liz froze, not moving even a muscle. Her breathing was shallow, her figure tense, hands shaking… This wasn’t possible, her mind cried…

And yet, it seemed, here he was…

She blinked, glancing over at the dark-eyes figure for another moment before sending another bolt flying past his right ear.

A picture hanging on the wall behind him fell from the impact, glass shattering loudly and skittering across the floor of the room as he darted to the side, eyes flashing. “What are you doing? I thought you had accepted who I was?” He was careful to keep one of the remaining pieces of furniture between them as a type of shield as he continued. “I clothed and fed you, cared for you, brought you up and taught you… I’m not your enemy!”

His reply came as another bolt impacted the table to his right, narrowly missing his outstretched hand. Withdrawing said hand sharply, the figure moved again to the side, inching his way closer in as unobtrusive a way as possible.

His movements did not escape her sharp eyes however, and another bolt flew from her hands and left the carpet in front of him smouldering…

“Avara! Please!”

“Don’t ever call me that! My name is Liz!” She shot back, in a half broken voice, a hand dropping to her side, eyes wild as she struggled to retain control over her emotions and, indirectly, her powers also. Finally, though, she could hold it in no more and she fell, legs buckling beneath her as she slid to the floor tembling. “We thought you were dead!”

Nacedo looked somewhat awkward as he watched her for a moment, before moving forward to wrap his arms around her small frame and draw her towards the single standing chair in the room. Like a child, he sat her down there before moving back to continue to watch as she struggled to regain her composure.

But such a task was not as easy as it might have been. For not only was Liz dealing with a revelation which was enough to stun anyone into silence on it’s own, but also there was everything else which had been going on… So much running through her head, possibilities, prospects, worries and fears… And when all was said and done, she was in the most part, simply a teenager…

Finally however, after what seemed like hours even if it was only a matter of minutes, the trembling of her body began to still and her head raised, her gaze meeting that of the protector who had once been the closest thing to a father she had known as she whispered, “You’re really here…”

***

“Is it the baby…?” Liz broke the awkward silence which had settled over the room as she rested her hands over her abdomen in a protective manner, the near certainty that it had simply been a scare gone in an instant as her maternal instincts kicked in. “Is that why you’re here?”

Nacedo looked at her strangely and blinked in surprise at the question. He studied her for a moment, and then questioned. “What baby…?”

Her hands fell from her stomach like a dead weight. “I-I’m not pregnant…?”

His response was a scathing look. “Pregnant? Of course not! And if you can’t tell that for yourself I don’t know why I bothered to teach you anything…” He shook his head repeatedly as he continued to watch her. “Don’t you know anything, of course you’re not pregnant and if you were you should be able to sense it instantly, that new being, that spark of life…” The protector made no attempt to hide his disappointment in his charge.

His words provided the confirmation that Liz and Max had been searching for since the moment the question first arose, but somehow the young brunette found that she had mixed feelings regarding the answer.

For weeks she had hoped beyond hope that it wasn’t as she feared, they had delighted at every day which passed without a sign of gained weight or other symptoms. It would have been very difficult, far from ideal and turned their whole lives upside down had it been true… Neither of them was ready for parenthood, being married was hard enough, even if they loved one another as they did, and to add further complications would have been unthinkably hard.

And yet now that the answer was a definite no…

The teen found that she felt a certain sense of loss and even….disappointment? She had, she realised, been preparing herself for the prospect of a child, however daunting the idea and bad the timing and now that had been taken away, whilst it was the best outcome all round she was sure, it still caused a pang…

“You didn’t really believe that you could be…?” The tall figure in front of her frowned as he apparently seemed to note her reaction. “I thought you were better than that Avara…”

“I told you before, don’t use that name, it’s not me, I’m LIZ!” Liz responded sharply and it was all she could do not to throw something at him. “And what do you think?” She went on and snapped angrily, silently daring him to make out that he cared. “Yes we believed that it was possible – why would I have asked you otherwise? And apparently therefore yes we don’t have a clue but then we have been managing alone for over a year since you so conveniently disappeared and let us believe you were dead so maybe we could be excused a few mistakes!”

Whilst Nacedo wasn’t the most empathetic person, even he could not miss the tone of her voice or the look in her eyes, and his expression as he answered suggested that he was truly sorry… “Lizzie, I didn’t mean to hurt you, either of you, it—“

“Don’t call me that!” Her voice was cold and tone hard as she shook her head again. “Don’t you ever call me that…”

“What?” The protector questioned in confusion. “I understand about Avara, but what’s wrong with Lizzie? We always called you that, and Max still does I know, I’ve heard him…” As soon as the words left his mouth, he new that he had made a mistake there…

And contrary to his hopes, it didn’t pass without notice.

“You’ve heard him? You’ve been following us?” Liz’s voice rose incrementally in volume with every word, fury blazing in her eyes. It took every effort to keep control and not let go, because at that moment in time she was certain she could have set the whole room alight which wouldn’t have been good for either of them… “And so what if Max calls me that? In case you didn’t gather that bit of information in your snooping, he is my husband and has that right.” Her gaze hardened further as she went on. “You on the other hand have no right! Do you know how we waited for you every night, how we dreamt up no end of possible horrible endings for you, worrying what had happened, how we mourned for you?”

The brunette paused for effect, letting her words sink in for a moment, before continuing. “We believed that you were there to protect us! We defended you when Michael accused you of not caring, we told him that you would have been there for him and Isabel had it been possible, that you had looked after us, that you were a good person…” She gave a cold laugh, shaking her head. “I guess that shows how naïve and stupid we were!”

“Lizzie please, don’t I get to talk, to give my side of the st—“

Liz interrupted even before he had finished speaking, shaking her head in a manner which allowed no room for misunderstanding. She didn’t care! “No! Don’t you get it Nacedo?” She spat out each and every word as though it was distasteful to be even speaking to him,, her tone full of contempt “You lost that privilege the moment you kidnapped me from school, or even earlier, the moment you chose to abandon us! You have no right to ask to explain to us, because there is no possible explanation you can give! We were children!”

The black eyed figure in front of her met her hard gaze and held it in silence for a moment before responding with a simple rebuffle. “I didn’t abandon you!”

His infuriatingly calm and controlled tone did nothing to calm Liz’s emotions. “Well what would you call it?” She demanded. “You left us, you let us believe that you were coming back and you didn’t return! We received your message which you had prepared, stating that if we were reading it then you were dead yet here you are, surprisingly fit and healthy….”

“I was unable to return to you, or to make the contact required to postpone delivery of the message… By the time I could return you were married, had left the state…” He fought to explain himself but the brunette wasn’t in the mood for listening as she interrupted once more.

“So you followed us but didn’t make us aware of your presence, didn’t think to tell us that you were alive, and when it came to it rather than coming to us openly, you knocked me out and took me from school?” She couldn’t believe what he was saying. The guy was talking as though there was nothing wrong with how he had acted…

“There was a chance I was being followed…I felt that under the circumstances it was best if you didn’t know I was alive.” His eyes flashed and tone softened slightly giving the slightest hint of hidden emotions hiding beneath the surface as he continued. “The two of you seemed to be doing well, your relationship—“

“Is that what this was about?” In an instant, Liz felt she understood. “Max and I weren’t moving fast enough for your liking? Us dating wasn’t enough for you?” She pressed further, making no secret of the disgust she felt. "You planned this didn't you?" She accused him angrily, hardly pausing for a moment before going on. "You worked out that we could become emancipated and then figured we were likely to decide to take the next step!" The brunette narrowed her eyes at him with a look of hate. "I can't believe that I ever thought I knew you... We trusted you! We believed in you..."

"Liz it wasn't like that!" Nacedo protested once more as he interrupted her. "You have to understand, it wasn't planned, I didn't do this on purpose, it was just when I came back and found you were out on your own together, it just seemed better this way...”

“Better for us to be scrimping and scraping, struggling to get from one week to the next?” The brunette challenged, remembering all too well some of the more difficult times. Even now it wasn’t as though it was a stroll in the park, and Nacedo had been there, watching them…never offering the help they were so in need of. “We were kids, we didn’t know how to survive alone, we were making do, dealing as we could, but we were so scared…”

“You coped though…”

“Because we had to! Because as far as w were concerned you were gone, all we had was one another!”

“I didn't want to cause you further upset..." He trailed off, shaking his head, perhaps realising how poor an excuse it sounded. It was true though and his tone softened further as he went on, eyes seemingly pleading for understanding. “You had already been through so much, and to bring you back in, to reveal myself to you only to have the same thing happen again, this time for real, a couple of years later… I didn’t want to do that to you. You had found your way, were both doing well, I wanted to spare you…”

"Which is of course why you grabbed me at school...? The teen was clearly unimpressed by his explanation. "Have you even thought about what finding me gone is going to do to Max?”

“I left him a note saying that you were working…I intended to get you back in time. Please Liz, believe me, I don’t mean to cause either of you more distress than you’ve already been through but you have to understand, you didn’t believe who I was, and I knew you wouldn’t at first… I couldn’t just come to you in the open…” He shook his head. “I wish I could have done it another way, but I couldn’t… I had to speak to you, I had to make you understand…”

It was all that Liz could do not to laugh. He didn’t want to cause them distress, he didn’t expect Max to even be aware… “You underestimate him…” She shook her head incrediously. “How do you know that Max hasn’t worked it out? A message is nothing, and if you were so interested in our feelings you a) wouldn’t have taken me, and b) wouldn’t have taken my phone which yes I have noticed is missing!” The brunette glared at the man who, for so many years, had been like a father.. His ‘death’ had caused so much anguish, distress, upset… He might not always have been the kindest of people, the most understanding either, but until now she had never doubted that he cared for them…

Now though…

“Take me home!” She paused a moment, eyes narrowing in determination. “If you truly don’t want to hurt us anymore, take me home!”

“I haven’t tol—“

“I’m not interested!” A schoolbag flew into her outstretched arm from across the room where she had left it as the brunette headed for the door.

Remains of one of the chairs she had destroyed earlier suddenly blocked her path. Nacedo shrugged as she turned back towards him. “I have my own tricks too remember…” He reminded her with a small smile, before turning serious once more. “Liz, I understand that you’re angry, and I understand that you don’t want to listen to me right now, but the fact remains that you need to! I have important information for you all – you’re in danger!

**********

“Anything…?”

Maria questioned as she paced up and down in front of the window, watching for any sign of trouble.

“Give me a chance Maria…” Alex grumbled as he tapped away at the keyboard accompanied by the background sounds of filing cabinet drawers opening and shutting as Max did his own searching.

The blond flexed her fingers and withdrew a small vial of liquid from her coat pocket. Unscrewing the cap, she enhaled deeply and held her breath, allowing the comforting vapours to permeate through her being as she continued to stare out into the darkness from her look-out post.

“Breath okay?” Alex moved away from the computer momentarily to approach her, placing a hand on her shoulder and coaching more gently this time as he noted the obvious tension in her figure.

“Breath….breath…” The curley haired blond drew in a few long, deliberate breaths, her fingers gripping the windowsill so tightly that the tips turned white.

Glancing over briefly, Max half watched the teen’s movements to assure she was going to be okay before turning his attention back towards the files in front of him. There had to be something here…There just had to be… He riffled through a few more files, pushing another couple back as he continued to make his way through the cabinet.

Isabel was currently keeping the security guard occupied with Michael to watch her back whilst the others commited some minor B & E in the car rental office. Not ideal, but they were desperate…

“How’s she doing…?” He looked back over towards Maria questioningly and gestured in the direction his sister would be found…

“I can’t see her…” She frowned in response with a shake of her head. “Do you think we-“

“Michael would let us know if there was anything to worry about…” Alex quickly jumped in, providing the reassurance as much for himself as for any of the others. He didn’t really like the fact that his girlfriend was out there, but as Maria’s edgy attitude demonstrated, there wasn’t really any alternative…

The sound of further typing on the keyboard followed and then stuttered to a halt as one of the flashlights faltered and the halo of light disappeared. “Max…?”

Even before he called his name the teen was at his side, passing on the flashlight he had been using. “Here, us this one…” He shone it across the screen and squinted at the information displayed. “How’s it going…?”

“I think I’m just about in…shouldn’t be long now…”

Max nodded silently in acknowledgement, leaving the torch with his friend as he moved on now to another set of filling cabinets, using his own personal light to provide illumination in his continuing search.

“Pst! Guys…” Michael’s hissing voice broke the silence which had once more fallen over the room and instantly the whole group was on alert. “We need out of here, now…”

“Alex?” Max turned towards him even as he closed his latest drawer.

“Just another minute…I think I’ve got something here…”

“Now Max.” Michael made no attempt to hide the urgency in his tone as he motioned towards the door.

“We’ll follow you…” So close, Max couldn’t bear to leave empty handed even though he knew it might be risky…

“Alex…” Maria turned back towards her friends as she reached the door.

“Go Ria, we’ll be right out…” Max nodded towards her quickly. “I’ll look after him…” He assured her as he proceeded to glance around the room, checking for anything that might reveal their visit.

“We’ll meet you back at your place ‘kay?” Michael paused to check before following his girlfriend out the door.

“We’ll be there…” Alex responded, still typing away furiously.

Glancing from the screen, to his friend and back again, Max pursed his lips before stepping away, catching Michael’s arm just in time to stop him. He lowered his voice to ensure the conversation was private. “Michael…if we’re not back in an hour, take Izzy and Maria up to the cave…? Don’t hang around for us!”

Turning back to him, Michael listened and nodded as he read between the lines of his words. “Don’t worry Max, I’ll keep them safe…and if anything happens, we’ll find Liz, I promise you…we’ll find Liz and I’ll look after all of them…”

The two boys nodded to one another, an understanding reached and previous conflict, for the moment at least, forgotten.

“Okay, get out of here!” Max didn’t have to urge twice as Michael’s back disappeared into the darkness and he moved back over to Alex. “How much longer…?” He glanced around, noting not without some sense of trepidation a beam of light which spread across the yard.

“Almost there…” Alex responded grimly, his eyes never leaving the progress of his download on the screen. ‘70%’ blinked on the screen, then ‘75%’, ‘80% complete’… He held his breath Max extinguished the remaining torch and they ducked behind the desk.

The light shone on the wall above them before moving forward and the two teens let out a sigh of relief. ‘90% complete’ now blinked upon the screen and Max crept towards the door keeping low.

‘95% complete’… Alex’s finger hung over the button to eject, ready and waiting and a few moments later he had a disk in his hand. Holding it up, he grinned widey, showing it to Max before pressing to close down the system. This done, he moved to rejoin his friend.

“Genius!” Max mirrored his grin as he took the disk offered. Their looks of jubilation evaporated a minute later however as they froze. Celebrations had perhaps come a little early… The muffled voices in the distance were suddenly becoming a lot clearer and seemed to be moving in their direction…
My fics:

Dreams and Reality
Reality Revealed
Family Connections
When Love and Loss Collide
When Friendship and Love Combine - New!
If Only...
The Important Thing
Home for Christmas
I Knew Him Before (PB fic)
Love Always...
The First Time Around - New!

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KatnotKath
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Re: Family Connections (AU,CC,MAT/AD) Ch 51 28/03/09 AN 09/06/09

Postby KatnotKath » Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:27 pm

Hey everyone, Thanks for all the feedback, for the bumps and for reading.

I know, once again I owe you all a huge apology. The new flat is far better than the previous place but work has still been manic. I started working on this not long after my last authors note but I got a stage and then simply couldn't get any further. It took me months to get back into the story but finally I think I have and I hope you'll enjoy the next installment.

keepsmiling7 - Thanks so much for the congrats Carolyn, and for being so understanding. I know it's not the best to be updating so irregularly, but believe me when I say I wish I could be doing more. The downside to the promotion is that I feel less and less able to not stay late to get things done if it's necessary, the upside of course the money lol. Right now I'm trying to find a better balance though, and my writing is right there on the list of things I want to do. back to the story though - I hope you don't think I overdid the pregnancy scare when in the end that was just what it was. I never intending for it to be such a big thing, but everyone was asking so much and it simply didn't seem to fit into the chapters I had planned until now... Sorry... As to the rest of your questions, I hope this next chapter will clear them up nicely.
pandas2001 - Well let's see what he has to say shall we? He certainly has enough to explain.
Natalie36 - I agree, if anyone deserves luck it would be these guys
Isabelle - Oh I'm sure they'll find a way to escape. I'm glad that you liked Liz and Nacedo, I wasn't sure I had the right balance of attitude :) pleased to hear that you approve. I compeltely agree that Nacedo should have come back sooner, but then from what I know of him, I can't say that Nacedo seems like a very nice person. I guess he has his reasons though - in his mind anyway - although of course his mind doesn't seem to work the same way as everyone elses...
Kay_b - Thanks for reading. Why not Max as well...? - Maybe just opportunity...? Or maybe there are other reasons... Want to find out? I think this next chapter should explain it some.
Alien_Friend - Well I'm always pleased to update when I can. thanks for sticking with this. I think that Max will be 'upset' with Nacedo for more than just that... But first of course, he has to find him... Glad you approve of the outcome of the pregnancy scare too. Hope you continue to enjoy the story.
thetvgeneral - well I'm pleased you found it again. Nacedo will explain all in this next chapter...I hope.
Flamehair - Thanks for the congrats, I can't believe I've been gone so long. Hope both Leo and Robin are doing well. Thanks for sticking with me and hope you enjoy the latest update - so sorry for the wait.
destinyc - Maybe he thought it would be easier to just talk to Liz alone? Hope you're enjoying the story.
mirae01 - I'm sorry if the possible pregnancy got mentioned so much, it wasn't my intention to make it into a big thing but it did seem to drag on. the simple answer is that no she's not pregnant. As to the rest of it, I hope that the next chapter will provide some more explanations - believe it or not, Nacedo really was trying to do what he thought was best...
Timelord31 - Thanks, glad you liked it, hope you'll continue to enjoy the story.
DaleStateShorty - Thanks jEsSaH, sorry it's been so long but I hope you enjoy the next installment.

Also, a note to everyone, you might notice that in this chapter Nacedo calls Liz Avalitha instead of Avara as previously. The reason for this is simply that I got mixed up and remembered the name I had used incorrectly in the previous chapter. Avalitha was my original version of her name, and it's the one I'm going to use from this point. When I have a chance I'll go back and edit the previous chapter but for the moment apologies for the inconsistancy.

All that said, sorry again for the delay in getting this out but I hope you'll enjoy it. Love to hear what you think.


Kat



Chapter 52

‘BANG!’

A stone flew at the wall only to explode a few inches away. A lizard emerged from a partly hidden hole and went skittering across the floor away from what had perhaps once been it’s safe haven as the silence which had ruled the pod chamber only moments before was rudely broken.

Michael’s actions caught the attention of the two girls in his group too, as they turned to him sharply, questioning silently with their eyes.

He shrugged in response. “Patience isn’t my forte okay? You should know that by now!” He gave a weak smirk which failed to give the usual impression of ‘couldn’t care less’.

“Do you think…?” Maria began to ask but broke off quickly with a shake of her head, unwilling to finish her thought.

Neither Isabel nor Michael answered and for another few moments silence fell once more upon the dimly lit cavern as it’s three occupants once more directed their attention towards their watches whose second hands inched around each face at an impossibly slow speed it seemed.

Who would have believed at that moment in time that it was only a handful of hours since they had all been together at school, happy, contented and ignorant of the danger and worry which was to follow. Had it truly been that afternoon? Was it really the same day…? In one fell swoop it seemed their accepted existence had been shattered and scattered to the four corners of the earth.

“So…” Isabel was the one to break the silence on this occasion as she tore her gaze away from the mesmerising fingers to glance first at her friend and then her brother. “What next…?”

The words, simple as they were, held great meaning to the group and they hung heavily in the air as the two girls now turned to Michael expectantly.

The teen hesitated for only the briefest moment before he slipped back into the role which had once been so familiar to him. Strange how over the last few days and weeks it seemed less and less comfortable and not quite…right… He firmly pushed away the brooding thoughts, hiding them at the back of his mind as he focused on what was needed right now. He was a leader and he would protect and care for his group! “We find Liz!” His voice was laced with deceptive strength as he fought a private battle to keep his true feelings secret.

Perhaps she read something in his eyes as he spoke, or perhaps in truth it was more for herself than for him, but at this moment Maria reached for his hand and squeezed it hard, nodding at his words with a falsely cheerful smile. “Right, gotta finish what we started huh?”

“Well how about letting us help too?”

A new voice echoed off the stony walls as the trio turned sharply.

“ALEX!” Gone were any remnants of the ice queen façade which Isabel often hid behind as she covered the distance across the cave in a matter of seconds to reach the side of her boyfriend.

“Miss me?” He held out his arms in greeting and offered her a cheesy grin before turning to the others. “Thinking of starting without us?” He questioned in a mock-hurt tone.

With the combination of their appearance, and his joke, Michael, Isabel and Maria found themselves laughing hysterically in-spite of themselves as a sense of relief flooded over them.

Far from being angry as might have been expected, Max looked around at them and, despite his continued anguish over his wife’s disappearance, smiled. “You were worried about us?” He directed towards Michael in a moment of levity.

“Just that I was going to have to do all the work on this!” The other boy returned in a similar manner as the group allowed themselves a brief respite.

“Do you think I’d trust you with something so important?” Max raised an eyebrow and it was obvious the comment was completely insincere. Somehow, it seemed, the hostility between the two guys had evaporated that evening, replaced by an acknowledgement of their abilities and acceptance. All that was left was to see if it would return when things turned to normal - Maria for one hoped not.

“We thought you guys had been caught…” Although reluctant to break the banter, Maria couldn’t help commenting as she looked from one to the other.

“You’re not the only ones…” Alex responded now, a serious tone replacing the earlier jovial one in the briefest instant. He drew Isabel deeper into his arms as he spoke, holding her form snugly for a moment before gesturing questioningly towards the sleeping bags in the corner.

Max nodded silently in agreement. Honestly, how they had gotten out of there without being caught was beyond him. Well, no, perhaps not…if he was honest he knew exactly how - it was pure luck!

If ever there had been a time to want Liz around… But then of course if she had been there they wouldn’t have been snooping around in the first place… Images of the smiling face of his wife filled his head and he wrapped an arm around himself in an attempt to stem the feelings of longing as the group moved together towards the side of the cave and the boys began to explain.

‘95% complete’… Alex’s finger hung over the button to eject, ready and waiting and a few moments later he had a disk in his hand. Holding it up in triumph, he grinned widely, showing it to Max before pressing to close down the system. This done, he moved to rejoin his friend.

“Genius!” Max mirrored his grin as he took the disk offered. Their looks of jubilation evaporated a minute later however as they froze. Celebrations had perhaps come a little early… The muffled voices in the distance were suddenly becoming a lot clearer and seemed to be moving in their direction…

“So I told her that I wasn’t into all that you know? I don’t want to get too serious, tie myself down an all… If she doesn’t like that well-“

Max glanced fervently around the small office of the car rental firm. The window would be their usual choice of emergency exit route, but already he could see lights flickering over in that direction which would be sure to expose their escape. Dismissing this idea quickly, his eyes raked over the rest of the room as he sought out a likely hiding place. There was in fact, only one…

The table… Gesturing quickly towards it, he dashed across the room, closely followed by Alex’s lanky frame.

They weren’t a moment too soon and even as the two slipped behind the chunky desk there came the sound of a key in the lock.

The boys held their breath, waiting…

The lock juddered but didn’t turn and the voice outside sounded once more. “Hey Bart, I think I’ve gotten my keys mixed up here… Lend me yours a moment will ya? – I can’t afford to be back late for the missus…”

Heavy footfall followed, accompanied by a laugh. “You are so whipped man! I’m telling you I’m so not going for that… Yes ma’am, no ma’am, can I go out tonight?”

“Jerk!” The first guy returned with a hearty laugh of his own. “You don’t know what you’re missing…”

His words caused Max a brief, silent smile but this was too serious a situation for anything more than that… If they were caught there was no way he could see of talking their way out of this one…

There was another jangle of a metal chain and a second key was now inserted into the lock. It turned and the boys froze in position, not even daring to move a muscle as they attempted to avoid the inevitable…

“Hurry up there!” Bart’s voice echoed through the yard as the door swung open.

“Now who’s impatient… Are you sure you don’t have a missus of your own waiting with a cooked dinner>” His colleague shot back, turning away from the open room.

“I just don’t see the point of missing the start of a perfectly good game!” Bart’s voice became clearer as he approached. “Come on, it was probably one of the cats or something!”

A pause as the other guy turned to glance around the room once more from his spot in the door. Then he nodded swiftly, “You’re right…let’s get out of here…”

Max let out a sigh of relief as the door closed once more and a key turned in the lock. He motioned to Alex to stay where he was as he himself inched towards the window, careful to keep out of sight as he peered over the window sill. The two men appeared to be leaving…

Despite instructions to do otherwise, Alex soon joined his friend and the two boys watched as the figures of the two men disappeared once more into the shadow of the night.

The fingers continued to creep around the face of the clock, one second after another with a ticking which continued to break an otherwise uneasy silence.

Max glanced over, counting down the seconds as he waited another minute and then looked out once more, listening… Outside was black as night and nothing moved

The boys waited another few minutes, allowing a little extra time to make extra sure that they wouldn’t be surprised again, before moving back towards the door. One, two, three… They leant their ears against the door, listening…

Max turned to nod at his friend before venturing forward further, using his powers to release the latch on the door as he opened it an inch and peered out once more.

The yard was still, it’s silence broken only by the sound of a lorry as it thundered by along the road in the distance.

The two of them moved swiftly forward, crossing over from the office cabin into the shadows on the other side. Between each movement they allowed a few moments, waiting – albeit unpatiently - and listening before continuing on.

The pair had another scare not completely unlike the first a few moments later. Mere yards away from where they had parked the car, another security guard appeared compelte with a dog, marching up and down slowly in a manner which, whilst it might appear conciencious, was in fact probably designed to have to travel the least distance possible.

In this case, the boys could probably have revealed themselves and made some excuse, but considering what they had just been doing, and the disk which Alex had secreted inside his coat, they thought better of that plan and chose instead to drop back into the shadows, waiting until the guard moved onto another patch and freed up their exit route once more.

Three, two, one... Max counted them down carefully with his fingers once the latest obstacle had disappeared and on his next signal the two boys dashed the remaining distance and disappeared behind the structure of the car.

No one seemed to register the sound of their sneakered footsteps on the gravel and after waiting a few more moments just to be sure, the boys slid back into the car, restarted the engine and set off.

They were on their way to join the others. However, Their journey was to be less than straight forward and frustratingly slow.. Less than half an hour had passed since the others left and it was less than a quarter hour drive across town to the apartment. With the hour grace Max had instructed, it should have been little trouble for them to rejoin the others right? Well, that was theory but practice was very different.

Traffic was unusually bad, as thought all the cars in the town were out it seemed, and the problem was further compounded by some roadworks which some smart-alex had decided should be worked on in the middle of the night! Okay, so perhaps that was a good idea logically, but logic had little to do with the views of the boys who were stuck in the resulting jam on this particular evening. By the time they fianlly arrived back at the apartment,they found that the others had already gone, although not long before..

They had tried to call Maria’s cell, but only got the answerphone so gave up on that idea.

Maria flushed at the mention of this, immediately diving for her phone and apologising furiously as she realised she hadn’t switched it back on once they were far enough away to be safe but the boys waved it off quickly as they finished their tale.

They made a brief stop to grab some things which might come in handy then headed off once more in pursuit of their friends. Of course coming up the highway they had then come across the upturned lorry which was most likely the cause of at least some of the unusual traffic in town. After sitting in a queue for a further quarter of an hour or more, they had finally got past that and pulled off the road as soon as it was safe to do so. From there, the pod chamber was nothing more than a short walk.


“So basically it was a combination of luck…” Max finished with a shrug as he looked around. “A bit of good luck to help us escape but then bad luck on top to delay us…”

Alex nodded. “Of course what wasn’t luck was what we came away with…” He gave a grin as he pulled a small disk from his coat pocket and showed it around.

His enthusiasm it seemed was infectious as, one by one, the others also began to smile. Yes, now they would find Liz…

**********

A wave of silky brown locks flew out on all sides as Liz turned sharply at the protector’s words. Danger…? “You mean more than we clearly are from you…?” She questioned, unable to keep from acting on her immediate impulse which was to respond with another verbal attack.

Nacedo glowered for a moment before finally giving a slight nod of acceptance – perhaps he deserved that he acknowledged with some reluctance… His gaze however didn’t shift from the teenager in front of him. “I’m serious Av-Liz!” He corrected his slip quickly, hoping to avoid another confrontation. What he had to say was important - it was vital that she listen!

The brunette glanced at him and remained silent.

Taking this as an acceptance and permission to continue, he did exactly that. “I know that perhaps I didn’t go about this the best way, but it was the only way I could see of making you believe that it was me and, consequently, of listening to what I have to say…” His dark eyes flashed intently as he continued. “I’m not the only one who has been tracking you – for every citizen of our world that supported your family there is another who backs the occupier… Perhaps they do this to play the odds, to try and increase their chances of survival, but regardless the fact remains that they do… And furthermore there are some in Roswell!”

Liz didn’t speak. Her mind was overflowing with a mixture of every negative emotion known to man - excuse the pun – it seemed… Anger, fear, concern, worry, anguish, despair… All they wanted was to have a normal life… Max, Michael, Isabel and herself – they didn’t want to be seen as different, to be treated as though they were unusual… The four of them would quite happily fade into the woodwork and live out their lives in relative normality…

A normality which, crazy as it sounded, she had honestly believed that they had found here… It was the last place they would have expected – a place that they had been reluctant to even approach and yet, now that they were here they had a home, jobs, family and friends…

It was a dream come true and, true to form, a dream that it seemed was to be shattered! She swallowed and faked a weak smile. “I don’t suppose they’re simply wanting to debate the issue…”

Despite his apparently cold heart, Nacedo couldn’t fail to be moved by the look on his charge’s face. However detached he had tried to remain throughout the time he had been her guardian, he had cared for Liz since she was a child and even if he didn’t always show it, and might well on occasion deny it, the truth was that he cared about her… He shook his head sadly. “I’m sorry…”

She nodded shortly, her posture stiffening automatically as she slipped back into a mode which she had believed was in the past. “Okay, so tell me more…?”

The protector smiled at her show of strength. Perhaps she had faltered for a moment but one had to remember that she was after all, still only a child and she was picking herself up in the manner he had taught. She was ready to fight! “I first began to suspect something was going on a little over six months ago…”

“When we were in Boston…?” Liz looked to him for confirmation.

He nodded. “That’s right… I sporadically looked in on you to confirm things were okay, but after a couple of weeks I noted that there were a couple of figures who had been around all the time… At first I thought maybe they were genuinely just school kids as they seemed, but I looked into it non-the-less – call it instinct - and they just didn’t seem to pan out…”

“You didn’t tell us then though…” The comment was more a statement than a question and the teen deliberately chose to ignore the admission that he had looked in on them regularly. Her earlier anger wasn’t gone, and this statement helped fuel it in all honesty, but right now that was unimportant, more pressing was that she needed to know what he did…

Dark eyes watched her every movement and his head tilted in something of a nod at her words. “Two reasons – I couldn’t prove it, and I needed to find out who was behind it all…” He paused briefly before continuing. “So I continued to follow them… When you moved, I did the same. Again there was a small group of people that were always there but they appeared different to before… For a short while I began to wonder if I was making something out of nothing but never-the-less I began to watch their every move and finally established that the two groups were a part of a larger whole…”

Liz digested this information slowly in a stony silence, her usual delicate features marred by a look of concern on her face.

“I perhaps should have made myself known then, alerted you to what was going on, but I wanted to find out more, to try and locate where the group was originating from, how they seemed to know where you were going next…” The protector allowed the briefest smile. “And I have to admit that I never imagined that you would track down the other two so quickly… You were obviously doing something right…”

Although she tried to return his smile, Liz failed. “We didn’t do well with detecting danger though…” She shook her head slowly and looked back at him. “I guess we still have a lot to learn…”

“You did just fine… They know what they’re doing, they’re experienced and capable…” He gave an uncharacteristic nod of approval. “The problem is that once you found the other two and completed your square the danger that this group poses triples – in one blow they could take out the whole royal line, di—“

“Can you not call us that…” The brunette grimaced at the description of her group of friends and family.

“What else am I to call you – like it or not Avalitha together you form what is left of the Royal house of our planet – the King and Queen of Antar, the Princess and Second – and the sooner you accept it, the better for all of us!” He shook his head in frustration and an edge of irritation crept back into his voice. “Your modesty is may seem attractive to some but it’s pointless!”

“My name is LIZ!” She ground out the name angrily, for a moment forgetting about the enemies they had been speaking of.

“Your name is Avalitha, and more than any of the others, you are in great danger! There are members of that group at your school and either they’re going to simply kill you all, or take you My Lady…” He gestured in a mockingly reverant manner. “AS you well know until yoy are crowned together once more, both you and Zan hold equal rights to the throne and by taking you, even through force, they have a legitimate route to ruling. You need to quit sticking your head in the sand and start dealing with this!”

Of all the arguments they might have had, the number of times she had heard him object to their attitude, this outburst was quite unprecedented and Liz honestly didn’t know how to respond.

“I’m not trying to mess with your life, unfortunately that was done before you were even born! The fact is that you can’t change who you are, I have taught you everything I could whilst you were with me, and now it’s time to use that knowledge and live up the reality of your title.” He told her with a long, hard look.

His words hung in the air as the tension rose another notch. The two figures were silent for a moment and it wasn’t until the sound of a car pulling up outside that either moved.

“What was that…?” Nacedo was immediately on his guard as he moved to the window and looked out. The building he was using was currently deserted and the street outside had been quiet. In all the time he had been here he had rarely been interrupted and this late in the evening and he wasn’t willing to assume it was just a coincidence. He gestured to his charge to stay back.

Ignoring him completely, Liz was only moments behind in reaching the window and as she caught sight of the vehicle below she smiled then grinned knowingly. “I told you that you underestimated him…”

This time, as she headed for the door, Nacedo didn’t stop her and a few brief moments later she was flying down the stairs and into the arms of her husband. “MAX!”

“LIZ!” Barely had the first group entered through the door, closing it gently as they continued their silent approach, than Max had heard the familiar voice. Another short instant later and his brunette angel was enclosed safely in his arms. He kissed the top of her head, unwilling to release his tight embrace until he saw her look up and he lowered his lips to hers in a searing kiss. “I was so worried…” He murmured softly as she buried her face in his chest once more.

For a moment it was as though nothing and no one else existed outside the two lovers but their reunion was rudely interrupted by the sound of a very deliberate cough.

Max looked up without releasing his hold on his wife as the eyes of the group all fell upon a figure who stepped out from the shadows.

“Greetings Your Majesty…”
My fics:

Dreams and Reality
Reality Revealed
Family Connections
When Love and Loss Collide
When Friendship and Love Combine - New!
If Only...
The Important Thing
Home for Christmas
I Knew Him Before (PB fic)
Love Always...
The First Time Around - New!

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KatnotKath
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Re: Family Connections (AU,CC,ADULT) AN 25/03/10

Postby KatnotKath » Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:36 pm

*Tiptoeing out of the dark, staring in surprise at the replies on the thread*

Oh wow, thanks everyone! I never imagined I'd have something to read when I put this up lol. Honestly I can't believe that you remember the story, and I only hope I won't disappoint you. I'm really sorry to have vanished for so long. This last year has been manic to say the least regarding work and for a long time I didn't write anything. Recently I rediscovered my love of reading though and, to my surprise, my muse started to reawaken. I'm not promising ultra regular updates on any of my stories, but I am still commited to finishing them and I only hope you'll feel it's worth the wait to stick with the ride. For anyone who was reading it, my prequel to L+L seems to have been deleted (I was just under 5 chapters I believe) after going into dead and buried - sorry about that. I'll be reposting up to there, plus a new chapter in the next week or so and will add the link to my authors page as soon as I have a thread again.

Anyway, enough talking, you've waited long enough I feel. I'm a little uncertain about the ending - I thought I had written the end to this chapter when I asked for the fic to be resurrected, but when I pulled it out I seemed to be a couple of paras short...I think maybe my computer ate it :(. I've done my best to rewrite though and here it is. Hope you enjoy the new chapter and and I'd love to hear what you think ;)

Kat


Chapter 53

“LIZ!”

Maria, Isabel and Alex soon encircled the young couple, sharing in their joy of reunion
Max stiffened at the sound of a voice which was both familiar, and yet, at the same time, impossible… His arms tightened around the slight frame of his wife, sure that he never wanted to let her go again, as he turned towards the figure who had stepped out from the shadows.

“How lovely, a family reunion…” Nacedo commented in a wiry tone.

“H-O-W D-A-R-E Y-O-U?”

As much as he had deliberately tried to wind up Max in the time since they had met, Michael had never seen the other boy like this. Even the day when they had first come to blows Max hadn’t seemed half as mad. Fury burned in his eyes and from the look of his twitching fingers, the usually composed and collected Max was seconds away from blowing.

“Max…” Liz turned in her husband’s arms to place a hand on his chest. “It’s okay, I’m right here…it’s okay…” She told him softly in a hushed tone.

“Our fearless King…” Nacedo continued to jeer.

Under the circumstances, it was a less than bright approach as was soon to become clear as an energy bolt impacted on his leg. “ARGH!” The injured limb collapsed beneath his weight, causing him to stumble forward.

“MICHAEL!” Isabel was stood in front of her brother, her gaze fixed on his outstretched hand, her eyes wide in shock.

“OMG!” Maria withdrew a small vial from her pocket, struggling to bring it to her nose as she began to hyperventilate.

“Breath Ria…breath…” Alex stepped up to his friend, placing a hand on her shoulder as he continued to watch the rest of the group. “It’s okay, breath…”

By this point the protector had forced himself back into a standing position and was holding out his hand in a threatening manner which mirrored Max’s own.

“NO!” Despite her wish to do anything but, Liz tore herself away from the loving arms which surrounded her to place herself firmly between the opposing sides. “Stop it! Just take a breath, everyone!” Her voice rang out strong and clear despite her shaken state giving the impression of someone used to being obeyed.

For the first time since Max arrived back on the scene, Nacedo looked at someone in the group with an amount of respect as he lowered his hand and tilted his head slightly towards her. “Your Highness…” He intoned in a manner far different from that in which he had been mocking her husband only moments earlier. This was a sign of acknowledgement, of understanding and respect. She was stepping up and one could almost say he was proud of her.

Liz avoided his gaze, refusing to acknowledge his compliment as she looked around. “We have enough to worry about without fighting between one another…” She continued as she gestured towards the doorway through which she had passed only moments before. “I think we have some talking to do…”

“Avali-“ The protector stopped and quickly corrected himself. “I mean Liz, Liz is right, there are things you don’t know about and it’s imperative that I fill you in…”

From the look on Max’s face, the last thing he intended to do was to listen to a single word that Nacedo had to say. He was clearly still fuming.

“Max please…for me…?” Liz stepped back towards her husband now, placing her hand in his as she squeezed it gently and once more gestured towards the door.

“Rath, Vilandra…” Nacedo trailed off as he suddenly seemed to register that they had more than four people total present. In all the excitement the presence of the humans had escaped his notice until now. “And who might these two be…?” He questioned as he fixed his eyes first on Alex, and then on Maria.

The blond clenched her fist tightly around the small vial of oil she had been using as she felt his gaze. Michael swiftly slipped an arm around her shoulder, responding stiffly. “They’re friends…”

“Don’t I get their names? A bit of history as to how they fit into this perhaps…? Why the two of you were so stupid as to—“

Liz shot him a warning look. “You have no right to judge anyone after what you did!”

“What I did? You mean in bringing you here?” Their protector dared to laugh, drawing dagger-like looks from many in the group.

“How about abandoning us all – first Michael and Isabel, then later Liz and I!” Max responded his voice tight and tone short. His whole demeanour indicated that he was holding back; perhaps not daring to let himself speak his mind. Liz had said this was important after all, and he trusted her… That didn’t mean that he had forgiven the shapeshifter though…

“You managed well enough…” The older alien shrugged. “But anyway, none of that has anything to do with it – I asked who the humans were and how they had become involved…

“They’re a part of the group, and that’s all you need to know!” Michael responded this time, making no secret of his dislike of the protector. He had, as Max said, abandoned them, it was due to him that he and his sister were stuck with Hank and because of him his hadn’t known about his cousin until a few months ago. This guy was a jerk!

Nacedo opened his mouth as though to say something more but after one look at the group, he thought better. “Fine… Well are you going to come and sit…?” He turned swiftly back towards the door into the flat.

**********

It took a little time to get everyone to settle down enough to listen. Everyone’s nerves were on high alert and tempers were running high. The tension in the room was thick enough to cut with a knife and if looks could kill….

However, a half hour later found all involved sat around the room. The items of furniture which Liz had earlier reduced to firewood had been quickly repaired or alternatively, if not required, simply collected into a pile and pushed to one side out of the way.

The furniture was not the only casualty of their encounter… Nasedo’s leg bore some rather nasty burn marks and, as he moved about his kitchen area now, he dragged one leg slightly.

The teens paid little attention to his struggles. There was an unsaid message of ‘that’s the least that you deserve!’ hanging in the air as they each found themselves a spot and settled themselves comfortably.

“Max had claimed the single comfortable chair which sat in the room, his arms encircled around the frame of his wife as she sat on his lap, her head resting against his chest. The events of the evening had clearly affected the young couple deeply and it seemed highly likely that neither would let go of the other willingly ever again… That said of course, it didn’t mean that they were going to crumble. In fact, as Nacedo might put it, for the first time in a long while they looked quite regal sitting there…

“Okay, so talk!” Michael was done with waiting as he continued to pace the room. His gaze remained fixed on the figure of the injured protector, never wavering even for a moment as he continued to watch him. It didn’t take much imagination to guess what he might be thinking, or what he might like to do…

“Now now General…” The shapeshifter’s tone suggested he was feeling far from apologetic.

“NACEDO!” Max tore his attention away from his wife briefly to shoot an angry look towards the alien who had in past years been almost ‘father –like’. “Explain, now!” His order was short, sharp and to the point.

“I believe that the group of you are in danger. There are a group from Antar who would like nothing more than to see the end of the Royal Four and they’re closer than you would ever think!” He barely paused for breath before continuing, “Some of them are at your school, they’ve been near you before, they know who the two of you are and consequently they now know that the four of you are together; what better place could they choose to strike?”

“Well he sure talks when his tongue is loosened…” Alex commented from his spot leaning against the wall.

“He has no choice…” Liz supplied as she sat up now. “He has to do what Max says – the Royal Seal ensures that he’s obedient…”

Isabel looked between them. “But he took you… Couldn’t you have ordered him to return you as soon as you came to?” She queried after a moment’s thought. “You’re his Queen after all…”

The brunette shook her head. “No, it doesn’t quite work that way…”

“She’s not confirmed…” Nacedo commented. “In the current state of things she actually holds as much right to the throne as he does, but the seal is something that’s passed down through the family…Zan’s family…”

“My name is MAX!” Max glowered.

“Max, Zan, whatever!” He dismissed his objection with a wave of his hand. “It doesn’t matter… You are who you are, whatever your name you’re still the same people, you—“

”No, we’re not…” Liz’s voice was a little shaky this time, the earlier strength having left her by this time as she shook her head over and over again. “We’re not the same people, our relationships are not pre-ordained; we have our own free will, we do things because we choose to; WE choose to, not them…”

“You mean you mean the two of you aren’t together because of your previous relationships…” Nacedo needed little help to interpret the true focus of her comments. He shook his head. “Believe what you will, but whether you like it or not, to many you are the Royal square – the future leaders of our planet and as such there are many who would see you dead…”

His words caused a brief silence to fall over the room as the group of teenagers digested his words.

It was Max who finally broke the silence. “We didn’t ask to be royalty, I never said I wanted the throne, we just—“

Nacedo didn’t allow him to finish. “So you would abandon your people…?” You would turn your back on them and willingly abandon them to the dictatorship which they currently live under?” He questioned although he already knew the answer. He had after all, brought him up and understood the young King in ways Max couldn’t even imagine…

This time it was Liz instead of Max who responded. “You know we wouldn’t…” He tone was soft yet firm as she shook her head. “We might not have asked for this, but we could no more turn away from them than we could turn away from one another…” They had claimed that their previous positions didn’t matter when speaking to Michael and they had spent years trying to make themselves believe it for that matter, but the truth was that they couldn’t rid themselves of the sense of duty they shared… It was a part of who they were whether they liked it or not.
Alex allowed himself a small smile as he recognised a wiseness and maturity in her words that was far beyond her years. He could only imagine what it would be like to have this huge responsibility…

“But that doesn’t change the fact that they’re hundreds of thousands of miles away, and we’re stuck here on earth…” Max joined in again as he looked around the group. “Nacedo, Liz is right, you know we would never turn our backs on them, we would never refuse to acknowledge the people on Antar, but we have no way of returning; what possible threat could we offer to them right now?”

“Hope…” Nacedo responded in an usually low tone. “You would offer the people hope, and eventually, we would find a way to return…” He looked between the couple and then over at their friends. “There are always ways… It was safest that you grew up here, so I never explored them when you were younger – the whole plan had been for you to grow up in safety and then be able to return when you were full grown and able to fight for your people…”

“So you have a ship waiting…?” Michael spoke for the first time, his curiosity overwhelming his intense desire to pulverise this guy.

Nacedo shook his head. “Not exactly, but I think I know of a way I can get us back home…” He offered a small smile. “In fact, I think I know of a way that our enemies might just play right into our hands…”

A look of understanding passed over Liz’s eyes. “They have to have a way to return themselves…”

Max looked down at her in surprise, questioning. “Why do you say that?”

She hesitated a moment, uncertain how this next might affect him. “B-because Nacedo said their plan is to k-k-ill all of you…” She took a few deep breaths, refusing to break down and continued in a more even tone. “But they want to take me back…”

Immediately everyone else started to talk. Why would they want to do that? When had she found out? Had they already tried something? These were but a few of the questions which fired back and forth for a few moments before Nacedo stood up tall.

“QUIET!” He snapped, bringing the discussion to an abrupt end. Once all was silent, he spoke once more with a nod. “Liz is right, as much as they want the rest of you dead, they’d ideally have her alive. Why – because whoever is ‘joined’ with the Queen has full claim to the throne as King…

“But they’re married, isn’t that as ‘joined’ as you can get?” Maria questioned.

Max shook his head. “Not on Antar… Nothing which had happened here would count – that’s why the Royal Seal doesn’t apply to Liz at the moment… Only if we are ‘joined’ officially on Antar will she get that, and the claim is the same – at the moment I could take someone completely different, marry them on Antar and make them my Queen. If I did that, not that I would, Liz would loose all claim she had, she’d loose her title and very possibly some of her powers would vanish…” He tried to explain using an example.

“So in the same way, if someone joined with Liz on Antar you’d loose your claim?” Alex deduced although he didn’t look convinced. “Isn’t that kinda weird considering…? A Royal family usually follows a certain lineage…”

Nacedo shot a wearying look towards the gangly boy of whom Vilandra seemed so fond… “That’s exactly how this is working…” He commented in a bored tone.

He frowned and shook his head. “Bu-“

Liz shook her head softly as she looked over. “Don’t worry about it; it’s just complicated because of the whole past-life… Usually it would work exactly as you say – Max would have the right, and I’d just be marrying into it… But because we were married before, I also have that right…” She pulled a face. “It is weird, you’re right…”

“Can we get back on track please children…?” Nacedo’s patronising tone once more invaded the room.

Max turned to fix a deadly stare on the shapeshifter, his tone as sharp as steel. “I suggest you use a little more respect when addressing us…”

The black-eyed alien scowled and lowered his head. “As you wish, Your Highness…”

The tone wasn’t exactly respectful, but it would have to do… Max had bigger things to worry about right now. His hold on his wife tightened as he thought about what was being said. “I don’t let them get near you…” He whispered the reassurance in her ear.

“Excuse my interrupting again…” Alex started hesitantly, eyeing the protector a little cautiously.

Liz turned to shake her head. “No, you have as much right to talk as anyone…” She shot a look over at Nacedo. “More so in fact that some people here….”

Her friend smiled gratefully and nodded. “Okay, well correct me if I’m wrong, but basically what we’re saying is that if they ideally want to take you back, then they have to have a way to do that…right…?” He glanced around, waiting to see how people would respond.

Forcing himself to trample down much of the sick feeling which lingered inside at the very thought of loosing Liz, Max nodded. “Right… They have to have a ship, or some other mode of transport available to them…”

“And what, if you can get hold of it you’re all going to up sticks and leave…?” Maria questioned, her face white as ash.

“It’s not as simple as that Ria…” Liz responded softly, sensing her distress.

In an unusually sensitive manner, Michael too seemed to pick up on his girlfriend’s alarm and he stepped closer, wrapping his arms around her tightly and pulling her close. “I’d never just up and leave you Ria, you have to know I’d never leave without a word…”

His choice of words was unfortunate and did nothing to calm the blond. “So you’re not saying you wouldn’t leave, just that you’d let me know before you take off – perhaps we’d even have a drink for old times sake?” She pressed, close to tears now.

“Well what do you expect them to do, stay here with you and ignore their birthright? Ignore the thousands of people who are currently fighting for their freedom, just waiting for the Royal Family to return and take their rightful place?” Nacedo’s tone was scathing at best as he eyed the weepy-eyed human in front of him.

“Never talk to her like that!” Michael’s head shot up, glaring towards the protector. “Don’t you ever talk to her in that tone!”

“Or what…?”

“NACEDO!” It was Max’s turn to take a stand now, and the look on his face made it perfectly clear he would brook no insolence from the shapeshifter. “Don’t start like that; you speak to every person here with the same amount of respect and civility – and I don’t mean none!” He added the last to make sure there was no get-out before adding finally. “Do you understand me?”

“Yes-Your-Highness” Nacedo ground out deliberately, his expression giving a very different message to his mouth.

Michael scowled angrily at him, his expression matched by Max who still looked ready to blast the guy off his feet.

Recognising she was going to get little practical help in this, Liz decided to try and do some damage control here as she pulled back from her husband to approach her friend once more. “Guys, I can’t tell any of you exactly what is going to happen here, because honestly, I don’t know… What I can say though, is that every one of you will be as involved in those discussions as the next. It isn’t a forgone conclusion - I won’t force anyone to go to Antar, but neither will I refuse to take them either…”

The message in her words was clear and she proceeded swiftly without pause. “If this goes as expected, we’re all going to have decisions to make. However, I think first of all we might be best concentrating on getting to that point…” She pointed out in a practical manner with a reassuring smile. “Now, are we on the same page…?”
My fics:

Dreams and Reality
Reality Revealed
Family Connections
When Love and Loss Collide
When Friendship and Love Combine - New!
If Only...
The Important Thing
Home for Christmas
I Knew Him Before (PB fic)
Love Always...
The First Time Around - New!

User avatar
KatnotKath
Roswell Fanatic
Posts: 1130
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:54 am
Location: UK
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Re: Family Connections (AU,CC,ADULT) Ch 53 29/12/10 AN:25/3

Postby KatnotKath » Tue May 17, 2011 5:18 pm

Hey everyone,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to this, everything recently has been really crazy - although not work related for a change - my morgage and house finally came through, but now every time I turn around it seems as though there's something else that I need to be doing or money that need spending. It's not leaving much time for writing, but I am trying to MAKE time... No promises about early updates, but I'll try to keep plodding along. Apology done, I'll move along;

keepsmiling7 - Thanks, I'm glad to be writing again myself, and my commitment remains, I want to finish all the stuff I have started, it's just a case of time and ideas... This one I'm struggling with somewhat. I wrote myself into a corner and am trying to work out how to extract myself. I hope the current solution isn't too bad...

Alien friend - Thanks for reading. I'm gld you like the way this is going, I know it won't be everyone's cup of tea. As to their powers - I know it might seem complicated, but there was a part of me that said that if they had lived before, then surely they're as they were when they died...and that was when they were married right...? Anyway, I hope this makes even a bit of sense. Thank you for taking the time to reply and for your patience and understanding regarding the delay. Thanks for the good luck wishes!

Natalie - here's more

Timelord31 - I'm glad you liked it.

LoveIsForever - Well she was in danger originally supposedly... I'm still not sure that Max and Michael will easily forgive Nacedo though - it wasn't exactly a smart rescue plan from him was it...?

Flaimehair - Thanks you! As to forgetting, I know it was a long time...the people on the boards seemed to have changed a lot and I can think of many better authors both before and since...

Michelle - Welcome back! Thanks so much for the detailed feedback, you gave me a lot of things to think about and I'm sorry if you don't like the way this is headed compeltely, I'm trying to explain the thinking behind things...

Isabel and Michael - I don't way that their feelings always make sense, but feelings are feelings. Are they justified - probably not - but are they entitled to feel how they do - yeah, if we believe in freedom... Perhaps I'm not explaining this well, but whilst it might not be realistic, I think that Isabel and Michael just felt angry that people they thought that they knew, and in some cases, had come to like, weren't the people they had believed. Surely that would be scary, considering their upbringing and their secrets... They've been shaken and scared, they're only teenagers when everything is said and done...

The home team issue - I've tried to explain this in the next chapter. Perhaps it doesn't make sense, but I personally think of it as part of Max and Liz's personality that they would try and help people, even if those people don't deserve the help. I can't say that I disagree with your thoughts on Antar, but somehow there's a part of me that just can't imaging Max and Liz saying 'tough, suck it up and deal with it!'

So I'm sorry that you don't like everything, but I hope it won't put you off the story as a whole, I love reading your feedback and I really hope you'll continue reading. Also, thanks for the good luck wishes regarding the house, I hope the process is going a lot smoother for you thank it was for me. Good luck!

moomin - I'm glad you like the story, thanks for reading. Also thanks for the patience and good luck wishes


Thanks to everyone for their support and encouragement and I hope you enjoy the new chapter and as always I'd love to hear what you think.

Kat



Chapter 54
“You can’t be serious” Michael exploded as they finished their explanation of the plan, such as it was. One could almost imagine they could see steam pouring from his ears. “This is suicide - do you think that you could possibly come up with a worse idea because gotta say, I don’t!” He shook his head and glared over at Nacedo. Despite the best efforts of the girls, he was in no mood to be diplomatic and was not going to waste time mincing his words. “This isn’t a plan, it’s sabotage from within!”

Max couldn’t say that he didn’t agree and nodded earnestly. For once it seemed, he and Michael were on the same page, although it was a page that neither of them seemed to like very much. His approach however, was somewhat different from his ‘friend as he looked around, drawing in each of the group as he spoke in a calm, rational tone. “Let’s think this over again, I’m sure we can think of something…”

Under most other circumstances, their agreement would have been something to celebrate, even laugh about perhaps… Certainly the girls would have loved to hear them actually working together… But it wasn’t even normal circumstances and the jovial thoughts fell flat…

This was a serious situation. What they were talking about could affect their whole futures. It could risk their lives even, and the atmosphere in the room was appropriately tense.

At some point in the evening warm drinks had been distributed around each of the group. Coffee with piles of sugar and tobasco for the aliens, even if they didn’t really need it and straight caffeine for the humans. The idea had been to keep them awake of course, but no one really found they needed the assistance. Sleep was the last thing on their minds and most of the cups had been abandoned where they had been left, stood on the mats and going cold.

The first rays of the morning were beginning to peek through the blinds and the sun had begun to rise. No one really noticed the change.

They had spent the whole night talking about this, and to say the best they could come up with was a less than ideal plan would be the understatement of the century.

Liz shifted in her seat, pulling herself into a more upright position and stretched as she looked around the room. After another moment, she rose to her feet, pushing away the tendrils of sleep which finally threatened to overcome her body. “Look, I know you don’t want me to do this, I can’t say that I’m mad keen on the idea, but tell me what other choice we have?”

Running a hand through her dark locks, she scraped her hair back, securing it with some unknown item which had been formed into a make-shift clip. Her eyes were slightly puffy, her cheeks were flushed with tiredness and what little make-up she usually wore had long since rubbed off leaving her looking somewhat washed out.

Despite this however, the brunette held herself up proud. There was a look in her eyes and her fists were tightly clenched - she meant business! Gone was the scared teenager, replaced instead by a Queen and leader who, contrary to earlier claims, was anything but dead.

Avalitha or Avara, whichevever name you wanted to use, might have been a past life for Liz, but the truth was, she was a part of her and always would be. That wasn’t to say that she couldn’t be her own person and make her own decisions - it didn’t mean that their lives would happen in the same way - but the past was a part of her and would play a part in the young woman she was becoming in her present life.

Nacedo smiled smugly as he surveyed her, noting the change which had taken place since he had taken the brunette from her school. Finally it seemed, she was beginning to act in a way which befitted her position, a position which he had spent a great deal of time readying her for. Like it or not, she was a Royal and it was about time she began to act as such! Seriously, If only the others would follow her lead...

Again she addressed the group. “What else can we do? Tell me and I will happily back down on this but the way I see it this is the best plan we have - we know that they want me-”

“So we should just hand you to them on a silver platter should we?” Michael interupted, scowling as he shook his head. “Maybe I’m crazy, but it seems we should be keeping you as far from them as possible!”

“Right, the last thing we need is for them to grab you and try to take you back...” Isabel agreed with her brother, nodding her head eagerly. It’s the easy way to bring them out for sure, but the risks are too great!”

“But are they...” The so called protector of the group spoke up now, questioning. “Would it really be such a bad thing if they grabbed Liz?” Turning sharpy, he cut off Max before he had even fully opened his mouth to object. “Stop thinking with your heart and take a leaf out of your wife’s book!” He paused a moment, his gaze fixed on the teenager in an almost challenging manner. “If you can’t, you’re right about one thing - you’ll never be a King! In which case maybe she’d be better off without you!”

“MICHAEL!” Maria clung to her boyfriend as she tried to prevent him doing any damage.

The curious thing however, was that Max didn’t move.

“Max...?” Isabel rose to approach him.

Alex gave Nacedo a scathing glance. “You call yourself a protector...”

The black-eyed alien made no attempt to apologise. In fact, he looked quite pleased with himself. “Don’t talk about something you don’t know about little man...”

His tone was scathing and Liz was not about to allow that. “Stop that! Don’t ever speak to him that way!” She yelled in a voice like steel.

Again Nacedo looked pleased and nodded. He watched as Max fell into a contemplative silence and ignored the rest of the group as he waited in anticipation for what he hoped would come next.

Finally, Max looked up and spoke again. “She’s right...”

Maria blinked, looking over at him. She didn’t quite believe she had heard that, “I’m I think I missed that... I thought that I might have actually heard you say okay...”
He certainly had everyone’s attention...

“Don’t listen to him Max, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about...” Isabel echoed her friend’s words with a shake of her head. She looked over at Liz. “Liz, come on, you know that it’s a bad idea really don’t you...? You said yourself if there was another way...” She paused a moment for effect and continued. “I don’t care what he says, we’ll find one! Just because we haven’t come up with something tonight doesn’t mean anything... We’re all tired and scared, we can leave it for today, or at least for a couple of hours, come to it again fresh later on...”

“We don’t have the time...” Max responded in a one-tone voice. His gaze rested on the standing figure of his wife and made no attempt to move around the room. Bad enough that she had been missing, but to think of putting her back in that situation again, willingly! In fact, it wouldn’t even be that sitation, it would be worse!

And yet, Nacedo’s words had had the desired effect...

The truth was this wasn’t about two of them, or even the six of them for that matter, it was about something so much more... It was about hundreds of thousands of people, possibly even millions... People who he had never met and yet, strangely, to whom he felt a responsibility... It might not make any sense… In fact to many it might seem like they were putting themselves out for no reason. The people on Antar had done nothing to retrieve them, Nacedo hadn’t exactly been the best…

Sense said that they should want to run as far away from all this as possible and let the Antarians fend for themselves. Yet he couldn’t, and he knew that Liz felt the same way... He swallowed and forced himself to look around., speaking a little louder this time so that there was no room for misunderstanding. “Liz is right...” He repeated...

The silence which followed was deafening and seemed to go on forever,

Finally, it was Michael who spoke, and he was still far from convinced it seemed. “But what you’re suggesting isn’t a plan! It isn’t even the start of one!” He protested, making no attempt to keep his cool and, in doing so, doing a very good impression of a nuclear bomb that was close to detonation.

“Michael, please...” Liz’s voice took on a softer tone now, a pleading edge appearing as she turned to her cousin and geared her expression to match, doing everything but beg, It risky for sure, no one could deny that. In truth, she couldn’t blame him for his less than enthusiastic response. However, the plan was made all the more risky if they didn’t all agree. The last thing they needed was to further complicate things by having someone decide to act on their own!

“What?” He turned on her sharply, eyes blazing. “Seriously Liz, what makes you so sure that these guys won’t just take the opportunity to wipe you out?” To say that he had once been hostile towards her, there was no animosity in his expression now, only a heated concern which he was doing his best to mask with anger. He paused a moment and continued, “For that matter, what makes you think they’ll take the ‘bait’ at all?”

Isabel, who had been listening in silence for the moment, considered this last and nodded. “Nacedo claimed that they’d been following you for a long time and they haven’t attacked yet right?” She pointed out.

If the protector was upset with her speaking about him as though he wasn’t there, he didn’t give any indication as he interrupted. “Because they were alone... They didn’t attack be-” He attempted to explain but was quickly cut off.

“Not for what, a couple of months?” Maria looked around the group, searching for confirmation.

“Max nodded slowly. “That sounds about right...” The truth was, he had lost track of time somewhat since arriving in Roswell. It had been the culmination of their searching, and suddenly everything was different. In some ways it felt like yesterday, and in others forever... Time was funny that way.

“So what’s going to make them attack now, when they haven’t to date...?”

Her question hung heavy in the air for a moment.

“The same thing which nearly caused them to attack recently...had I not been there to stop them...” Nacedo responded in a tone which suggested ‘you should have known that!’..

No one looked impressed at his claim of heroism, nor did his answer seem to have cleared up their questions...

After a moment’s consideration however, Liz nodded slowly. “The baby...” She murmured...

That certainly got a response from her friends as they turned sharply towards the brunette.

“You said you weren’t Pregnant Chica!”

“I thought it was a scare...”

“What baby...?”

The last came from Michael, gaining him a slap on the arm from his girlfriend. He scowled and rubbed his arm. “What, I’m kidding you know...” The gruff teen responded in a rare display of joviality. Of course, his timing could have been better…

Maria’s icy expression did not falter. “Don’t!”

He shrugged briefly before turning his attention back to the job at hand as his expression solidified once more.

Meanwhile however, Max’s face had taken on an expression of understanding, if not contentment... Whatever he had clued into, he still wasn’t completely happy… “But they don’t know that do they...” He looked over at his wife for confirmatoin of her thinking and, upon recieving a nod, pushed forward. “We only found out for certain ourselves tonight...why would they know...?”

Whilst his words were carefully picked out and chosen, his response prepared and structured, Max’s tone betrayed the conflicted emotions he felt on all levels. It might not be obvious, but he was trying very hard to look at this with an objective mind, just as Liz apparently was and as the two of them had been tought in the past.

It was however, far easier to do that when you were talking about a hypothetical situation, with a hypothetical person who was possibly going to be in danger. Reality was so much more...real... This wasn’t a hypothetical person, or even a stranger...no, this was his wife! This was the love of his life, the girl who had captured his heart not only once, but in at least two consecutive lives and who he was sure could repeat it a third time if given the chance in the next! To deliberately plot anything which would put her in even the slightest bit of danger, that could risk her well being, or even just upset her, went against every bone in his body.

Sensing his discomfort, Liz was quick to squeeze her husband’s hand in reassurance as she proceeded to fill in the rest of the group regarding what Max had clearly realised. “If I continue to act as though I am pregnant, maybe even visit some maternity or baby shops, why would they not believe that it was true...?”

“And they’d attack?” Alex frowned. It didn’t quite seem to make sense. “But if you were pregnant with Max’s baby, wouldn’t that be a challenge to the rule of someone else - a true heir...?”

“Do you never listen” Nacedo scowled in irritation at the teen. He turned towards Michael and Isabel. “Why you persist in spending time with such inferior organisms I will never understand...” A glimmer of what could almost have seemed like delight, albeit a rather dark type, passed over his eyes as he realised he had found a way around Max’s instructions.

“HEY!” You listen here Pod-man and watch who you’re calling stupid!” Maria’s eyes flared angrily and michael smirked in amusement. It was easy to underestimate his girlfriend, but one shouldn’t be fooled by her small size - that compact package could pack quite a punch, as he could testify from personal experience.

Of course Nacedo was too cool to show if he were surprised, and in fact gave every impression that he might be bored.

Enough was enough! Max fixed his gaze on the protector, forcing him to acknowledge. “Perhaps I didn’t make myself clear earlier - You show each of our friends the same amount of respect and courtesy as you do us! And that doesn’t just apply when speaking to us directly...” He paused a moment, for effect, and then demanded his response. “Do I make myself clear?”

With no room left to manouver, the protector nodded, albeit somewhat reluctantly.

Max eyed him again for a moment, before turning his attention back towards his friends. “Now Alex, as he was trying to explain...” His tone was heavy with sarcarm as he shot another angry look over towards the black-eyed alien.

Nacedo shrugged and said nothing, prompting Max to continue. “It doesn’t matter whether the child is mine or not... If someone married Liz, they would have a very real claim and a child wouldn’t change that fact. The baby would be hers of course, so yes, it would be an heir, and it would be brought up by whoever it was so would be brought up essentially as theirs, under their influence... My parentage wouldn’t have any bearing...”

“If anything, it would simplify things for them... I don’t need to become pregnant...” Liz shrugged, and did her best to hold herself together but couldn’t quite hide that look in her eyes which spoke of her fear of this possibility.

“Okay, so you make them think you are preggers and they attack, then what?” Isabel pressed, attempting to redirect the conversation.

“We fight back!” Max stated. “We hit them with everything we’ve got a-” He broke off as he was interrupted by slow, deliberate clapping.

“Meaning that you don’t find out where their base is, or what their route home is...Not to mention whether there are any other groups around...” Nacedo nodded. “Sounds like a great idea...” His tone was heavy with sarcasm and it was not appreciated!

*BOOM!*

A second later, a section of the wall to the right of the protector exploded, ejecting debris in all directions and causing everyone to dive out of the way.

“C-an-n’t you d-do-better-than-that?” Nacedo questioned between coughs as he emerged from the settling dust cloud, glowering.

Michael, who had already picked himself up off the floor smirked, his hand already twitching with power once more.

“No!” Max rose to his feet, placing himself firmly between the two adverseries and effectively putting a hold on any further attacks at least for the moment.

“Max get out of the way!” Michael ground out through clentched teeth, his hand itching with power as he continued to eye the black eyed alien who stood behind his ‘friend’.

“Oh yes, let’s see what else you have in you General…” Nacedo agreed snidely. It wouldn’t take long to shoot him down he was sure…

“NO!” Max repeated his pronouncement, more loudly this time, his eyes blazing with a fire which appeared as though it could be just as dangerous, if not more so, than the previous exhibition… “Sit down, both of you!” The command came out loud and strong as he raised a hand towards each in warning, followed by the words, “Or do I have to deal with you myself…?”

The pair were silent and still, but neither backed away. The tension in the air was thick enough to cut with a knife and no one said a word.

No one, that is, until Liz stepped forward to join Max and the two stood together in front of the group. “Stop it! If we fight amongst ourselves, we’ve already lost! We have to be united in this, we have to work together!”

“And if we do… Do you really think this has a chance of working?” Maria couldn’t help challenging the idea again, still unconvinced by it.

“It has to…” Max responded in a measured tone, careful not to let his emotions take over. Don’t mistake his attitude, he still didn’t like the idea – in fact didn’t like would be an understatement. However, if he looked at the plan objectively, he could see the advantages… Besides, they didn’t have anything better!

“Listen to your leader!” Nacedo ordered the group and received only glares in return from the teenagers. ‘Because someone told me’ simply wasn’t a good enough reason…

“Guys, listen…” Liz took the floor once more as she stood and began to walk around, meeting the eye of each of the group in turn. “I trust you all, I love you and I trust you implicitly.” She paused a moment to allow her words to sink in before continuing. “I believe in you! And I believe that we can do this…”

“Why should you have to though…?” Although she felt as though she was doing nothing but challenge the decisions being made, Maria couldn’t help but ask this final question. “Why should you have to risk your lives for a place you’ve never even been, for people that you’ve never even met!”

Nacedo opened his mouth to respond, but was quickly silenced by one look from Liz as she indicated for her friend to continue.

“I don’t mean to sound selfish, and I don’t want you to think I don’t care about others… But this planet, these people – they left you on this planet, alone!”

“They protected them…”

The blond barely acknowledged the protector’s words before continuing. “They abandoned them, to grow up alone, and then expected them to return and save them from this guy who’s been terrorising the population…” She shook her head. “Maybe I’m just a full blooded American, but I’d have thought if they wanted their freedom so much, they’d be perfectly able to fight for it without four teenagers…”

Nacedo frowned. “You’re underestimating them…as the Royal Four t—“

She shook her head, interrupting. “No, actually I’m not… I acknowledge that they’re powerful – Liz, Max, Michael and Isabel, they can all do things that we humans can never even dream of… But have you thought about what they really are?”

Her words left him looking a little confused so she continued. “They’re kids…” She glanced around. “No offense guys…”

Max smiled and nodded. “None taken…”

“But should a future of a planet be dependant on a group of kids…shouldn’t people be able to fight for themselves…?”

This kind of serious speech was unusual coming from Maria, and as such, her words had more impact.

It was Liz who finally broke the silence which followed as she paused at the window and looked out. There was a whole world out there – a world she had grown up, a world she knew and loved… But inside her there was another place, another land with which she felt a connection…another world that she knew she would always fight to protect. “Ria…I said this was something that would be discussed later and I meant it. What I’m saying is not an edict or a demand. I don’t expect you to understand this, and I’m not saying that you have to agree, but whether it makes sense or not, Antar is a part of Max and I…” The brunette seemed to consider for a moment, perhaps deciding how to phrase her next words. “I’m not saying that I agree with the fact of how they have treated us, or that I believe that they should be so reliant on the hope of our return… But what I do know is that people need something to hold onto at times…to get through their darkest moments, and if Max and I have given that to someone there, then I’m proud…”

As Max stood, holding out his arms towards her, his wife wandered over to rest her head against his chest as she continued. “Should the people of Antar have come up with something else to fight for, should they have found the strength in themselves to do this alone – I have to say yes! But we all know that things that sound simple can be anything but! The fact is that they haven’t, and they don’t… They seem to need someone to kick them into gear..”

Her choice of words brought a smile to many faces in the group, although Nacedo’s expression was at best undecided. This was not the sort of speech he had expected from his Queen…

“Maybe we can be those people…maybe somehow, we can give them the motivation and daring they lack, a drive to fight and rebuild, the means to regain their freedom” Liz paused again and shook her head. “Now that doesn’t mean I’m going to go jetting off there automatically, perhaps making a stand right here will be enough! All I can say is that I want to try! Whether I like it or not, this far-away planet is a part of my history, and as such I can’t just sit back and ignore it… Maybe it’s been programmed into my DNA – I wouldn’t put them past it – but I feel an obligation towards these people, I feel a need to help…” Her voice trailed off, suddenly uncertain as to exactly how well she was getting this across.

Nacedo glanced around to gage reaction to her comments before adding. “Besides, they’re coming after you whether you like it or not! The only choice left is whether your response is reactive or proactive…”

For once, his tone bore no challenge or malice, nor was he belittling anyone’s view. In fact, one could almost say that his words were helpful, directing them back to the core subject…

Liz nodded swiftly. “The longer we wait, the more chance it is that the choice is taken from our hands – there are dangerous people here, and I for one would rather fight them on my terms!”

Max couldn’t help but smile at her words, reminding him once more of one of the many reasons why he had fallen in love with her. Liz wasn’t a ‘lay down and die’ type girl…if she was going to go out, she was going to go out fighting and he would be right there with her. He turned to look around, tightening his arms around her frame as he now addressed the group. “Nacedo,,,” His eyes flickered in the direction of the protector, allowing him a moment of recognition, “and Liz are right – they’re going to come after us, whether today or tomorrow, or even in ten years time. I don’t know about the rest of you but I don’t want that uncertainty, I want to do this and get my life back!”

His words, it seemed, had the desired effect as first Isabel and Alex, closely followed by Michael and Maria all voiced their agreement. Game on!
My fics:

Dreams and Reality
Reality Revealed
Family Connections
When Love and Loss Collide
When Friendship and Love Combine - New!
If Only...
The Important Thing
Home for Christmas
I Knew Him Before (PB fic)
Love Always...
The First Time Around - New!

User avatar
KatnotKath
Roswell Fanatic
Posts: 1130
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:54 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Family Connections (AU,CC,ADULT) Ch 54 17/05/11 AN 24/1

Postby KatnotKath » Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:48 pm

Hey everyone, yes, I'm finally back with another chapter. Better late than never right...? I hope you all know that I'm seriously sorry for the amount of time it's taken me to update, but my muse just isn't being very cooperative.

Michelle - thanks for the congrats on the house. It's been a rollercoater so far, still lots to do all the time, and money needing putting into things, but I'll get there...

As to the acutal fic, I'm glad that you like Maria's question, I also compeltely acknowledge your arguments about them choosing earth, but on the other side of the coin maybe rather than thinking it wouldn't be a loss, it was though that it was a double bluff and that enemeies would never think that they have been left in such a 'primative' location... But whatever the answer be, as said, they're coming after them, so they'd better deal... As to their plan, well...lets's wait and see...

keepsmiling - I'm glad you liked the update. You're right about Max and Michael, but I wouldn't count on them becoming best friends you know... As to the attack, well they're obviously going to do some plotting, and we'll have to see how that goes... And Nacedo...well...he's Nacedo lol

Alien_friend - I'm glad to be writing again myself, and I'm delighted that you liked the way that the chapter worked and that you approve of Liz's words... I don't think it's so much a case of what they are (i.e Royalty) as much as who they are... It's in their personalities that they feel responsibity and want to help...it's just who they are...

Ravens Flight - Welcome to the story, thanks for reading. I can assure you I don't want to do obnoxious Max any more than you want to read him... As to Liz and MIchael...you never know what the coming chapters will bring. Hope you continue to enjoy the story.

Flamehair - Thanks hun, I'm glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the congratulations on the house too. Suddenly I feel so grown up :S

BritttheDreamer - Thanks for reading, here's more.

Okay everyone, so I know that it's been ages since I updated and I do apologise. There's been issues with the house, then the board was down and I've had a few health issues myself... Please don't taje those as excuses, but I do feel I need to explain. I'm slowly trying to catch up on all my fics though, and this is the next on the list. I hope you'll all enjoy the new chapter. It's not as long as I might like but I've gone over and over and don't see how I can lengthen it any further... Thanks for reading and I'd love to hear what you think.

Oh, and special thanks to Isabelle for reading through an earlier version of this chapter, I really appreciate hearing your thoughts hun!

Kat


Chapter 55

“Alight” Mr Cowen had to yell as he attempted to make himself heard over the ruckus of moving chairs and chatting which the sounding of the bell had prompted. “I am aware that you are all eager to get the maximum out of each lesson…” Sarcasm dripped from his tone as he spoke, “But I’m afraid that signals the end of our time together. Don’t forget the homework, I will be collecting it first thing tomorrow,” He was wasting his breath he realised, as they weren’t paying one bit of attention to him. With a shake of his head, he resigned himself to the inevitable as he moved swiftly on. “...and thank you ladies and gentleman, that concludes the lesson.” The first stream of students backs were already disappearing out the door as he finished, damaging somewhat the impression that he had in any way rounded up the lesson properly. Within moments, the rest would follow he was sure.

Although not amongst those to leave the room before their teacher had officially even closed the lesson, Liz was already ready to leave, having dropped her file and pens into her bag which she now reached for. “You shouldn’t be carrying that!” Max dived to intercept his wife as she bent over at the side of their desk to retrieve the backpack.

The brunette sat back, although not without some reluctance and shot him a look of displeasure as his hand closed over the strap, firmly dismissing her earlier attempt. “I’m not an invalid you know!” She complained as he swung the bag over his shoulder and straightened, offering a hand towards her now. Liz glared, made it a specific point to ignore the hand he offered, and rose from her seat with about as much dignity as she could manage under the circumstances. “You really don’t have to do that!” She turned towards her husband now and continued to protest as the two of them left the room together.

“I just don’t want you to be putting yourself under strain…” Max responded in an easy tone, his hold on the bag still firm as he held open the door for her to pass through. “You know what the do-“

“MAX!” His wife’s voice rose a notch, her eyes wide in alarm as she stopped short in middle of the corridor.

“You know what the doctor said…” Max didn’t even blink at her reaction, picking up where he had left off and continuing smoothly, sliding an arm around her waist as though to urge her to continue along the corridor. “That stomach bug has left you completely worn out; you shouldn’t even be at school at the moment!”

“I’m fine!” She eased herself out of his arms, turned, placed her hands on his chest and pushed him away playfully as she rolled her eyes. “Max seriously, I love you, you know I do, but right now you are driving me crazy!” She waved a hand as though to dismiss his comments. “Will you quit it? I feel fine, and the doctor also said that it was up to me to decide about school”

He held his ground with a grin. “Well I still think it would have been best to leave it another couple of days…” he gave her a meaningful look. “It’s never a bad thing to be certain, and give your body a little time to adjust…”

Rolling her eyes again, Liz tossed her hair over her shoulder as her mood swiftly shifted once more. “We’re not going over this again!” She snapped in a tone full of irritation. Her gaze was unusually hard and unforgiving. “I’ve had enough of talking about it, you’re obviously not going to listen, so you know what, I’m just going to leave!” Turning on her heel, she made to do just that.

Before she could take a step however, a firm hand closed over her arm, effectively stopping any further progress. Lifting her gaze, she found herself bathed in a look of never ending care and concern. “Liz…” The grip of the fingers on her arm relaxed, turning from a restraint into almost a caress-like hold. “Don’t be mad…” His tender voice took on a pleading tone now, as though begging his wife to understand. “I don’t mean to be annoying, really I don’t, I just want what’s best, I love you Lizzy, with all my heart and soul. Don’t be mad…”

The brunette looked torn for a moment. There was a long, drawn out silence and then, “I’m not…” She shook her head slowly as though struggling to find the words that she wanted to say. “R-really Max, I’m not; it’s just all this is…” She broke off and as her brown eyes filled with tears, he drew her into his arms now, wrapping them around her small frame as he held her close and shifted them to the side of the corridor to avoid the stream of students passing all around.

***

“So, are we going to get together tonight…?” Maria questioned as she walked down the corridor with Michael on the way to lunch. “Neither of us is working, so maybe we could catch a movie or something…”

“Hmm…”

“I was thinking we could pick something up from the store maybe, grab some pizza and popcorn.” She continued. “My mom’s out of town picking up stock for the store so maybe we could even make a night of it – assuming of course you sleep on the couch!”

“Hmmm yeah…”

Her boyfriend’s response was somewhat less enthusiastic than might have been hoped for. Maria scowled as she looked over at him, noting that he wasn’t even looking in her direction. A wicked look flashed across her eyes. “That is of course unless you feel like sharing the bed and getting busy in more ways than one…”

Michael turned his head towards her sharply and blinked. “Huh, what did you say?”

She glared at him. “Of course, as soon as I mention a bed you’re all ears! What a typical guy! What else would you want?” She raged angrily, her eyes flaring. “Not that you have any interest in me otherwise, I mean why should you, I’m just hanging around here for the fun of it right, putting up with my oaf of a boyfriend who never even listens to a word I say!” Once she got going, the blond really could be compared to a fire cracker as each word crackled and she threatened to explode. “Because what could I possibly have to say that would have any interest to you, what could I possibly say that has any consequence…?”

If anything, the focus of her anger seemed a little stunned at the intensity of reaction he had provoked. “Wow, I’m sorry Ria; I didn’t mean to ignore you, really…” He attempted a half-hearted apology. Once Maria got a bee in her bonnet there wasn’t usually anything that he could do to stop her and sometimes it was best just to take the yelling and leave it at that. It wasn’t as though he would be able to get more than a few words in edgeways at the moment anyway…

“…That’s exactly what I mean, when was the last time that you actually thought about what you were going to say to me, when was the last time that you tried to come up with something to make me smile, or complimented me, not like Max with Liz, or even Alex with Izzy - you never say nice things, just yes Maria, no Maria, I’m sorry… Don’t you ever think that it would be nice not to need to say sorry?”

Yow, she really was mad! Michael winced as he caught the edge in her tone and racked his brain for how he might be able to turn things around. He hadn’t meant to ignore her, really he hadn’t… He had just been glancing down the corridor and caught the tail end of the staged fight between his cousin and Max.

It was quite a sight… Liz could probably give Maria a run for her money if she tried… So anyway, he had caught sight of them and could he help if he kinda liked seeing Max get yelled at, even if it wasn’t real…? Maybe they were getting on better than they had initially, but it was still difficult between the two of them and despite efforts not to, the sight of his cousin yelling at the other guy provoked a rather pleasant feeling.

“MICHAEL, ARE YOU IGNORING ME?”

Michael was brought back from his thoughts with a bump as his girlfriend gave his arm a whack. Oh boy, now he was for it… And it wasn’t even as though he could own up to what he had been looking at…that would likely drop him in even deeper water… He grimaced internally and attempted to do some damage control. “How could I ignore you Ria? No one could ignore you…you’ve got such a great…great…voice….” He finished weakly, mentally crossing everything he had as he pushed on. “I mean it’s got a melody all of its own…is it my fault I can get lost in it…?” He looked over at her hopefully and flashed a smile. This had better be enough, because as of now he had used up one of the only great lines he could think of…

It could go either way, as he knew from experience. On this occasion howeve, he was fortunate.

The turnaround in the blond was mindboggling… In the space of a few moments, she had gone from practically breathing fire to draping herself over her boyfriend in an eager manner as she queried, “You really think so…? What sort of melody…? Does it come across when I’m singing too…? Like my own little edge you know…?” The idea clearly appealed to her.

Michael answered each of her questions as vaguely as possible, not wanting to talk himself into a corner and have it all backfire, but now one could have been forgiven for thinking that perhaps it was Maria who wasn’t listening as her eyes simply shone and she wrapped an arm around his neck, finally signalling for silence as she placed a finger to his lips. “That is so sweet Michael…thank you…” She smiled, pressed her lips against his briefly and then pulled back, taking his hand in hers as she pulled him towards the side of the corridor.

“Well you know…” He grinned as he followed without hesitation and they slipped through the door opposite, pulling the door to behind them.

***

“Is that Michael and Maria…?” Alex questioned, pointing, as he headed down the corridor with his arm slung around Isabel.

His girlfriend paused a moment to focus on the couple indicated. It sure looked like their friends… And they seemed to be right in the middle of a fight… She frowned. “Weren’t Liz and Max the ones who were supposed to be fighting…?” She shook her head as they moved closer.

“Yeah, well you know those two… I’d be surprised if they’ve ever gone more than a few days without some sort of major blow up…” Alex responded with a shake of his head. Unlike Liz and Max whom until they started playing for the observer, he had never really seen exchange an angry word. He took another couple of long strides forward and then paused again. “Of course after a major blow up comes the reconciliation you know…” He chuckled and pointed forward.

“Indeed…” Isabel’s eyebrows raised as she caught sight of Maria kissing her brother. Urgh, was that really necessary… She was pleased that they were making up – Maria was really good for her brother and he was crazy about her of course, but at the same time she could manage quite well without seeing that thanks… She shook her head, turning back to Alex. “How about we work on getting out of here without me being sick?” She suggested in an almost pleading tone.

Alex laughed. “Don’t worry; I think you’re safe…” He responded, nudging her shoulder gently to make her look again.

Isabel turned. “You think…?”

“I know…” He pointed towards the couple with a smirk, his finger following their route across the corridor before Michael and Maria disappeared through the door to the Eraser Room which was found on the other side. The door swung closed behind them slowly, just as two teachers, deep in conversation, walked past.

Isabel let out a breath she had been holding as the teachers continued along without any indication that they had seen anything inappropriate. “Do you reckon they realise how close that was…?”

Alex chuckled and shook his head. “I don’t think they care…” Shrugging, he held out his hand towards her once more. “Come on, how about we get out of here?” Michael wasn’t the only one who wanted some time with his girl…

“And what might we be going to do when we get out of here…?” His girlfriend questioned softly in a sugary tone but with a devilish look. Instead of taking his hand, she slid hers around the back of his neck as she stepped closer.

Always more self-conscious than the rest of the group, Alex couldn’t help but glance around. When he saw that the stream of kids leaving school had all but dried up however, his posture relaxed as his own hand slid around the small of her back, drawing her close. “Oh, I’m sure we can think of something…” He responded softly, speaking into her lips only a whisker’s width away.

“Really…? Well, you know I think I might be able to come up with something else, but you can always try and convince me if you like…” A wicked look flashed across Isabel’s eyes as she drew back a touch.

“She-Devil!” He pointed accusingly with a grin before closing the distance quickly and giving her a kiss.

“Forward…” She teased back as she pulled away.

“No, just eager!” He flashed her an enthusiastic grin, prompting his girlfriend to laugh as he again leant forward to kiss her.

“Alex!” She shook her head as they broke apart. “You know you’re crazy right…?”

“Crazy about you, of course!” The lanky teen responded as he shoved his backpack further up his shoulder and slid an arm around her waist now. Even after going out for so long, there were still times he wondered that someone as gorgeous as Isabel could go for someone like him… She was…amazing!

The blond rolled her eyes but the smile on her face belied the expression as she tossed her golden locks back and ran a hand through them, pushing them back from her face to look into Alex’s eyes. “Twerp!”

“Ice Queen!” He stuck out his tongue in retort but gave her waist a playful squeeze at the same time as he steered her towards the exit.

His girlfriend smiled… I love you… Isabel mouthed as she allowed herself to be guided towards the door and she rested her head against his shoulder as they stepped out into the open air.

***

From a darkened classroom, a pair of eyes followed the progress of the group. First with the King and Queen, then the General and Princess with their chosen mates… The figure remained still, watching and listening both through the crack in the door, and also via the link-up to the security cameras which synced to a small object they held in their hand. At first glance, to many it would look like a mobile phone but it was far more than that...

It seemed like it was business as usual… Except with the King and Queen… They seemed agitated, almost as though worried or concerned about something… Their fighting was a moment to note, unusual as it was, although an apology followed soon after of course. But there was something different about the pair, a conflict, or disagreement perhaps…? It was the first time that such an event had been observed, usually their relationship was abnormally smooth it seemed… It would certainly warrant further surveillance…

Pulling another small object from inside a pocket, the figure spoke briefly, giving an address and a few short instructions, before grabbing the bag which had been dropped to one side, swinging it over their shoulder and heading out into the corridor, dropping into place a little way behind a slim red-headed student. “Hey Lisa, wait for me!”
Last edited by KatnotKath on Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
My fics:

Dreams and Reality
Reality Revealed
Family Connections
When Love and Loss Collide
When Friendship and Love Combine - New!
If Only...
The Important Thing
Home for Christmas
I Knew Him Before (PB fic)
Love Always...
The First Time Around - New!

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KatnotKath
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Re: Family Connections (AU,CC,ADULT) Ch 55 05/12/11

Postby KatnotKath » Sat May 31, 2014 9:06 am

Hey everyone,

I know I've been missing in action for some time and whilst I know you may not be interested, I feel as though I should at least try to give an explanation. The last couple of years have been difficult, in more ways than one. A unexpected death in my family last year was pretty much the straw that broke the camels back so to speak, and I went without any writing at all for over six months making previous writer's block seem like nothing.

All that said though, I'm slowly trying to get back on top of things, and writing here is a big part of that. I'm not going to promise to update every week, or anything like that, but I do hope to stay out of dead and buried! I'd love to hear what you think of the new part - I hope you enjoy it!

Thanks for reading :)

Kat


Chapter 56

“Much as I don’t like to say this, I agree with Michael on this one…” Max admitted after a moment. His comments drew the faintest of laughter from the assembled teens, but silence once more reigned a moment later. The reason for their meeting was anything but funny and this was important stuff.

Liz especially, seemed somewhat unhappy at the direction this seemed to be going. “You know that the whole plan centres on them getting close to me. From everything that Nacedo has said, they’ve been watching a long time. They’re not going to blow their cover without due cause a-“

“Hang on a moment!” Maria interrupted her friend as she raised a hand in objection. “Am I the only one who is not completely happy with the idea that the only intel we have on these guys is coming from someone who himself tried to kidnap you?”

“Actually, not only tried, he did!” Alex pointed out in support.

Max frowned. “Look, I get where you’re coming from, and believe me, Nacedo is not my favourite person right now…”

“In fact he’s probably pretty high on the list of people we’d never want to see again in our lives…” His wife added with a wry smile. “In ideal circumstances of course…”

“But these aren’t ideal circumstances…” Isabel acknowledged with a nod. “We get it, but I’m still not certain I understand why you trust this guy so much considering the fact that he left you…” She paused a moment. “He left all of us…”

Everyone knew she wasn’t just talking about his recent disappearance and Michael’ clenched his fist tightly as the air in the room began to tingle.

“Michael…” Liz looked over at her cousin. Reaching out a hand, she placed it over his and closed her eyes. “Focus…control…in and out…” She coached softly.

The rest of the group was silent as they watched the pair. It was amazing to see them now, to think about how far each of them had come in such a short period of time. It was only a week since Nacedo had taken Liz, but every night the group had been working on their powers and it really showed. Unfortunately for Michael, whilst the strength of his power had multiplied a hundred times over, his control at times was still a little bit shaky. It was all based on their emotions of course, and he still had a lot of baggage in that area.

Now that wasn’t to say that he wasn’t trying, or improving for that matter… But control was a tricky skill to learn. In a perfect world, Liz and Max wouldn’t have dreamt of encouraging him to work on his strength before he had his current arsenal under control, but as said before, this wasn’t an ideal situation and their time was running short.

“Sorry,” Michael muttered apologetically as he pulled his hand away from that of Liz. It still really bugged him that he wasn’t better than this. Isabel already seemed like a pro – she had it well in hand from everything he could see and she was getting better every day. Unlike him…sometimes he thought that if anything it was getting harder! But never let it be said that he was the one to give up – harder or not, Michael Guerin was no quitter! Forcing himself to focus, he rubbed his hand against his leg and continued to breath deeply for a moment as the others returned to the conversation.

“Look,” Liz began, breaking the silence which had fallen over the group. “I understand that the four of you probably have no reason to believe a word that he says… “But as unlikely as it seems, he was actually the closest thing to a parent for Max and I as we were growing up, and we know him well. He can be manipulative, and pushy, but I know that he’s telling the truth about this.”

“Besides,” Max cut in with a shrug. “He can’t lie to me if I ask a direct question and demand the truth…” Unbeknown to the rest of the group he had, in fact, done exactly that already. He too, had been sure that their so called ‘protector’ couldn’t be trusted.

After all, they only had his word that he had been unable to return to the two of them when he disappeared. Michael and Isabel were right; he may just as easily have abandoned them to further his plans. He had of course been pleased to hear that they were seeing one another, but still it hadn't been enough it seemed. Never mind that they were still only children themselves, he had never ceased to pressure them about their past lives and the relationship they had shared. And what hd happened when he left for the last time? - They had married; a perfect conclusion to his plans perhaps...

It had shaken Max somewhat to think of that. When he proposed, Nacedo's wishes and plans had been the last thing on his mind quite honestly and, whilst he didn't regret marrying Liz, there was a part of him which didn't like the idea that, albeit unknowingly, he had played right into the other alien's plans.

So the last thing he had been willing to do was put those he loved and cared for in danger if all this was, was another power play or manipulation. It simply wasn't worth the risk! Especially when he could obtain the truth so easily...

It had taken a surprising amount of time for him to clue into Nacedo's true weakness. That could have something to do with the fact that whoever 'programmed' the protectors had the sense to include an age clause in the 'you will obey' feature - probably wouldn't be very beneficial for a toddler to be able to demand a mountain of ice cream and get it... In fact Max still wasn't sure exactly when it had kicked in. He had been in his teens when he realised what was happening, but Nacedo was so adept at optimizing any loophole and making it seem as though it had been his choice that it was certainly possible that it had been in effect longer.

Since discovering the rule however, Max had become equally as adept at closing any loopholes to ensure compliance where necessary. It wasn't a skill that he had lost though lack of use and, the very night the black-eyed alien had returned, he had cornered him. His first question had been simple enough - what game was he playing this time? Upon receiving a less than satisfactory answer, he has been more direct - how much of what he had told Liz was a lie? - The truth! He had been expecting to need to dig deeper to obtain some clarification, but the answer he received came as a shock. It was simple, straightforward and worrying - None of it...

And just like that, his view of the situation underwent a very swift and complete transformation. The danger spoken of was very real, and it had to be dealt with...

He took a moment and then continued. “Look, I get that none of you trust Nacedo – I can’t say I really do right now, but I do know that what he is telling us is the truth, and it’s not something that we can ignore.”

“Which is exactly what I am saying!” Liz turned as she spotted an opening. “I’m not saying that I think it’s ideal, but I—“

“It’s too dangerous!” Unusually, Max cut her off without allowing her chance to finish. It wasn’t that he wanted to be rude, but she meant too much to him for him to allow her to go ahead with the suggestion.

Overhead, the lightbulb exploded violently, plunging the group into darkness as they dived to avoid the flying glass shards. “What the—“ “How--“ Everyone was trying to talk at once as they took up defensive (or in the case of Alex and Maria shielded) positions. Everyone except an angry looking brunette.

“Sorry…” She apologised as she crossed to the sideboard to grab a torch. Somehow, the apology didn’t quite seem sincere though, and as her face was lit up by the weak bulb, she seemed more than a little irritated.

Perhaps recognising that he had stepped a little far, Max frowned as he lowered his hand and moved to replace the bulb. “I’m sorry honey…”

“Liz, that was you?” Maria’s eyes were wide as she took in the glass shards which now covered the table. Who would have thought that there was so much glass in such a small bulb.

By this time, Liz had now grabbed a dustpan and brush and was in the process of clearing up. The expression of the brunette was a little softer and she did look somewhat contrite as she nodded, admitting, “Yeah…” After an uncomfortable pause, she shrugged. “I’m sorry, but you weren’t listening to me, in fact you were doing anything but!” She shot a look at Max. “You always say that you value my input, that you’re interested in what I think…”

Her husband nodded, chastened. “I do, and I am, and I was wrong to interrupt like that.” He admitted softly as he reached for her, sliding an arm around her waist as he pulled her towards him. “I’m sorry baby…” His head dipped to taste her lips.

“Hmm…no fair!” Liz groaned between kisses. “You play dirty!”

For a moment, the rest of the group was forgotten and the other teens turned away, giving the couple some privacy. Isabel and Maria retrieved the bulb and dustpan which had been discarded by their friends.

“Wait, careful!” Liz drew back sharply as she caught sight of Isabel’s hand closing on the fixture. “Did you switch it off?”

It wasn’t clear who the question was truly aimed at, but Max took it on as he released her from his grasp and went to light switch. “Hang on a moment…” He flicked a switch and then held his hand over the panel. A minute later, he nodded. “Okay, it’s safe…”

Michael looked over at Liz, questioning. His hand was on Isabel’s arm, forcing her to wait and he wasn’t quite ready to let go yet.

“It’s okay, Max is cutting off the current…” Liz supplied to her cousin with a reassuring smile. Stepping over to Isabel, she offered a hand. “Want me to do it?”

“No, it’s fine…” She shook her head with a smile as she moved to replace the bulb and Maria finished the clean up on the table. A few minutes later, everything was done and the group gathered around the table once more.

“I’m sorry guys, I shouldn’t have done that…” Liz gave a wry smile. “But it doesn’t change the facts. If these guys are as serious as Nacedo says – and if Max says that’s the case then I believe him – then they’re not going to make a move when I’m surrounded by you guys…” She gave particular attention to Max and Michael as she looked around. “Especially not with you two. This isn’t to say that I want to go around alone, but if we want to smoke them out then I think that’s exactly what we have to do…

“And if we can’t move fast enough, if they manage to grab you…?”

“I don’t believe that’s going to happen…” Liz’s started soft but after a pause her tone took on a harder edge. “But, if it does, then I’m not without a few tricks of my own…” She reached for Max’s hand, looking up at him carefully as she spoke. “I promise not to put myself in unnecessary danger, but if it comes to it, then I will not go down without a fight!”

Max nodded slowly, noting not only the steely look in her eyes, but also the unnatural tension in her frame. On the outside she was portraying determination and resolve, but inside he could see that she was frightened. On the one hand, she was the only one who they would want alive, but on the other hand what they wanted from her was something that if possible might seem even more scary. She was fighting for her life here, as were they all, but for her that had a different meaning. He swallowed, gripping her hand tightly in a silent show of support.

Relieved that he hadn’t outed her true feelings to their friend, Liz swallowed as she allowed him to pull her back into his arms. She took a moment, then spoke again. “Like it or not, we have to provide them with opportunities…”

“Not without serious planning…” Michael still wasn’t won over.

“Which is exactly why we’re here…right Liz…?” His sister looked over towards her friend.

“Right!” Nodding swiftly, Max and Liz responded in unison. Nudging Liz back towards a seat, Max looked around the rest of the group. “So, how about it guys, let’s make a plan…”

*****

“I need to get out of here, I’ll see you later!” Liz rose onto her toes to kiss Max’s cheek as she swung her bag onto her shoulder.

“Wait!” Her husband’s hand closed around her arm as she moved away, causing her to pause with a flash of irritation in her eyes.

“What Max, I really need to get to work!” She frowned as she shrugged out of his grasp.

“Are you sure that you should be going? I’m sure that Mr Parker wouldn’t mi—“ Max cut off abruptly as his wife shot him a look which appeared as sharp as a razer. He held up his hands in surrender. “Okay, fine, you go.” He acquiesced. “But let me take your bag with me? I can drop it at home before I head to work a—“

“Will you stop treating me like an invalid!” The brunette’s tone was usually sharp as she pulled away, holding her bag out of his reach. “I’m fine!” Shooting him another look, she turned on her heel and was gone, leaving Max to try and ignore the suggestive chatter which had begun to buzz around.

“Hey Max!” Maria appeared a few moments later, escorted by Michael as she made her way through the stream of kids at their lockers.

Their friend raised a hand in greeting and forced a weak smile. “Hey guys…”

“You look lousy!”

He had to laugh at her lack of tact. “Thanks so much Ria…” He shrugged. “I had a fight with Liz, it’s nothing really, but I just…” He trailed off and shook his head. “Could you do me a favour and try and catch up with her – she’s already headed to the diner…”

Maria’s eyes narrowed as she listened, then she was nodding enthusiastically as she flung open the door to her locker. “Sure thing, I just need to grab a few things and then I’ll be there…” She paused a moment to look back at the boys. “That is assuming you guys can be left together and not kill one another…?”

“I think we can manage that Pixie…” Michael grinned as he stole a quick kiss from his girlfriend, only to have her pull away sharply at the use of the nickname she so hated.

“Michael…”

Not at all oblivious to the warning tone in her voice, her boyfriend shrugged. “Sorry, but I like it…” He grinned. “Suits you don’t you know…” He left it a beat and then, “And I seem to remember you made a pretty cute elf too…”

Maria was swatting him before she noted the twinkle in his eyes. She shook her head. “Isabel made me, as you well know, SANTA!” She stuck out her tongue and retreated from his reach before he could grab a hold. “Anyway, I gotta go if I’m gonna catch up with Liz. Don’t kill one each other!”

“Who’s killing who?” Alex bounded up just at that moment.

“Hopefully no one, but maybe you could keep it that way…?” Maria shot over her shoulder as she bounded away down the corridor, leaving the three guys alone.

Isabel, who had been watching the whole scene play out from the doorway of a nearby classroom allowed herself a small smile. So far so good. She didn’t see how anyone watching could have a clue how planned each moment of that encounter had been; it seemed playful and impulsive. She waited for a few moments, until Max laid a hand on the side of the locker, then pushed away from the wall and went to join them. “So, what are you three mischief makers coming up with?” She greeted them with a smile, accepting a kiss from Alex as he swung an arm around her shoulder and they went to head out the door.
***

Liz paused as she got the gates of the school, making sure she was in full view of a range of people as she knelt supposedly to retie her shoe lace. Using her hair as cover, she glanced back, watching for any sign of suspicious movement, before standing and moving on. She continued out onto the street and turned the corner just as Maria emerged from the school. Letting out a long sigh, the brunette pulled her bag further up her shoulder as she once more quickened her pace.

“Hey, it’s Liz isn’t it…?” A bubbly redhead fell into step with her. “I’m Lisa, you’re in my English class I think…”

Liz turned, nodded and fixed a smile on her face although she didn’t slow her pace. “Oh yeah, I think I recognise you, sorry you’ll have to excuse my not stopping, I have to get to work.”

“That’s at the Crashdown, right…?” Lisa checked. She seemed to have little problem in keeping pace. “And it’s no problem, I need to get home myself, my mom is expecting me to babysit my little brother…” She paused a moment, seeming to consider. “You don’t mind if I walk with you though…?”

“What, oh, no…” Liz shook her head as she returned another friendly smile. “So, how old is your brother…?” She queried, making use of a passing window to take a surreptitious look behind her. There were a number of kids who she didn’t recognise around but, in the back, she could see Maria coming up behind. Internally, she released a sigh of relief and refocused on Lisa, not wanting to seem rude.

Lisa was, it seemed, both a friendly and chatty girl. By the time they were half way towards the Crashdown, Liz knew more about her than she had most people she had met at school. In turn, she had volunteered a few general facts about her history and relationship with Max. On the whole however, Liz had been happy to leave the conversation as mostly one-sided.

Maria, in line with the plan, had remained about a street behind. At one time it had looked as though her friend was going to try and run to catch up, but as she had neared, Liz had made a point of shaking her head as she and Lisa paused for a moment, and fortunately, the other girl had correctly interpreted the action.

Up until this point, there had been no sign of trouble. Which in truth, was both a relief and a frustration… On the one hand, Liz really want to entertain the possibility of being captured, and no attack meant no possibility. On the other however, she knew it was going to happen sooner or later, and waiting only made it worse.

“Liz…?”

She blinked, realising she had spaced and apologised quickly. “Sorry Lisa, it’s felt like a long day. I’m really tired at the moment…” She admitted allowing a hand to graze her stomach in a manner which might suggest preoccupation. “Max’s hovering isn’t exactly helping either, he’s got a bee in his bonnet at the moment and I just can’t seem to make him calm down…” She shook her head with a sigh.

“Yeah, I’ve noticed him a couple of times.” Lisa admitted. “And I’m sure that he means well but I should probably warn you that people are starting to whisper about it…” She looked over. “You know…” She gestured vaguely towards Liz’s stomach.

Pretending to be stunned, Liz glanced down, widened her eyes as though noticing the position of her hand as she dropped it sharply. “Oh…” She swallowed and paused as though considering how best to continue.

Before she could speak again though, there was the sound of heavy footfall and a third figure joined their group. Liz’s initial thought was that it might be Maria, since they were nearing the Crashdown anyway, but the figure who joined them was neither the right stature nor gendre.

“Hey Lisa, going to introduce me to your friend…?” The guy raised a hand and flashed a smile in Liz’s direction.

Lisa, in turn, grinned. “Hey Dale, I thought I must have missed you, sorry…” She shrugged in an easy manner as he took her hand. “This is Liz Evans, she’s in my English class…”

Dale blinked. “The Liz Evans…?” He gave a mischievous smile as he looked over at the brunette. “Sorry, don’t you know that you’re famous… The incident at the Crashdown with Kyle Valenti is all over school…” He winked. “Nice going by the way…”

Liz laughed and nodded. “Yeah, well I try…” She smiled and then stopped as they reached the cross roads and Lisa turned right. “Well, it was nice to meet you Dale, but this is where I get off…” She nodded to Lisa. “I’ll see you in class?”

“Sure…” She raised a hand. “I hope you have a good shift.”

“Thanks…hope you’re brother behaves for you…” Liz returned the good wishes as she turned to go in the opposite direction.

Lisa was only a few more steps down the road, when Dale stopped. She paused and looked over in question. “Are you coming, I really need to get home since mom is expecting me…”

He shrugged. “Oh yeah…” He pulled a face. “You know what, I actually need to speak to Chris about something first…can I meet you there maybe?” He questioned offering, “I could even pick up some take out from the Crashdown on my way if you like…?”

Initially Lisa pretended to pout, but at the mention of take out she couldn’t help but smile. “Sounds great… You really know the way to a girls heart…” She grinned as she released his hand. “So, I’ll see you in a little bit…”

Dale nodded. “Yup, complete with space burger and fries, unless you have another preference…?”

“Sounds good…” Lisa glanced down a her watch and groaned. “I really do have to go. Can I settle up money later?” She questioned as she prepared to make a dash for it.

“No need, my treat!” Dale grinned and watched as she jogged away before turning back in the direction of the Crashdown and pulling out his phone. He pressed two numbers and waited. After a moment, there was a single click on the other end and he pressed another series of buttons. Another wait followed. Finally, he spoke. “She’s heading in your direction…I’m a couple of minutes behind…” Closing it up, he stuck the phone in his back pocket as he hurried down the street Liz had headed down only moments before.
My fics:

Dreams and Reality
Reality Revealed
Family Connections
When Love and Loss Collide
When Friendship and Love Combine - New!
If Only...
The Important Thing
Home for Christmas
I Knew Him Before (PB fic)
Love Always...
The First Time Around - New!

User avatar
KatnotKath
Roswell Fanatic
Posts: 1130
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:54 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Family Connections (AU,CC,ADULT) Ch 56 31/05/14

Postby KatnotKath » Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:28 pm

Hey guys,

Thanks so much for returning to the story, I hope anyone else reading it will be enjoying too. First of all, as always, an apology for the delay in updating. RL is busy, and my health hasn't been great recently. That means that many times even when I might want to write, I can't. Finaly however, I have a new chapter written and I'm back :)

Carolyn - believe it or not, it made my day in being able to come back - I really do enjoy writing the stories, just RL, and my muse sometimes have a bad habit of working against one another. Lisa is just another girl at school. Dale on the other hand... Anyway, I'm glad you like the story and thanks for reading.

Natalie - Got it in one! Thanks for the reply.

Emerald123 - Well I'm pleased to give you reason to come to AU :). Truth be told, most of my fics live here since I find I prefer the freedom it gives. Anyway, here's more, I hope you'll find it and will enjoy.

Thanks for reading everyone, here's the new chapter and as always I'd love to hear what you think!

Kat


Chapter 57

It was a fine line, Liz found, between leaving enough hints that someone watching might draw conclusions, and avoiding unwanted attention from her boss. Mr Parker was pleasant enough about it when he pulled her on one side that afternoon, but the message was pretty clear. He had again heard some rumours regarding her ‘condition’ and wanted to check whether he was going to be looking for a new waitress.

Despite the fact that she had assured him that wouldn’t be necessary, the brunette wasn’t at all certain that he was convinced. It was, he had reminded her patiently, not a good idea to spend such a lot of time on her feet should there be any question… The brunette frowned. If she wasn’t careful, this could cause trouble in more ways than one.

As a result, she made a point to work doubly hard that day, loading her tray full of drinks to deliver and going without her break. She needed to show Mr Parker that there was no question as to her capability – she couldn’t lose this job! Even without a baby on the way, she and Max couldn’t afford to lose one of the wages that made up their household budget.

Meanwhile, the brunette also had to keep one eye on her surroundings and, in particular,on whether anyone new had shown up. As she and Maria went about their work, they each took particular notice of any customer who wasn’t a regular.

As a tourist magnet, Roswell always had a steady stream of visitors and many of them frequented the Crashdown thanks to a combination of limited choice and ‘creative’ décor. Therefore it wouldn’t be unusual to have several unfamiliar faces appear on an evening. That day however, there were none…

Liz wasn’t quite certain whether she should be disappointed, or alternatively relieved, that no one had caught their eyes that day. Not to mention the fact that she didn’t really know whether they was no one to notice, or whether in fact it was just that they weren’t ringing alarm bells.

The latter was probably the most worrying possibility. Nacedo insisted that they should be able to sense if someone was around, but the truth was that she was out of practice with such things. She hadn’t sensed Nacedo in the first place, and that fact was…soboring to say the least.

Were there people sitting right there, silently laughing at their ignorance? Were t—

“LIZ, ORDER UP!”

The brunette turned sharply, drawn out of her thoughts as the call came from the kitchen. Turning swiftly on her heel, she grabbed a tray and headed over. Within moments she was busy distributing the dishes to her customers and dealing with a second drinks order.

“Everything okay?” Maria queried in passing as she stopped at the counter to grab the coffee pot.

“I think so…” Liz forced a smile and a nod as she grabbed another glass to sick under the soda-fountain. “How about you?”

“Sure, all fine!” The second of the girls responded a little too quickly as her gaze shifted involuntarily to the corner booth where she knew Nacedo had situated himself. His presence made sense of course, but hadn’t come without a certain level of reluctance on the part of the teenagers.

Liz and Max were the only ones in the group who knew him personally, and even they weren’t exactly feeling warm and fuzzy towards him. Having said that though, the pair couldn’t help but admit that he was well-placed to provide additional cover and, perhaps against their better judgement, had agreed to his participation.

Him being there would provide a little extra protection for the girls when they were waitressing, it had been acknowleged. Max, Michael and Alex were nearby of course – the former just over the road at the store where he worked, but no one could deny that having someone actually ‘there’ could save precious minutes in a showdown.

“It’s okay…” The brunette murmured as she paused her task to place a hand on her friends arm. They couldn’t afford for Maria’s nerves to give them away.

“Waitress!”

Speak of the devil… Pursing her lips, Liz pushed her tray towards Maria with a silent plea and then slipped out from behind the counter to see what he wanted. “You rang…?” She raised an eyebrow expectantly as she stood at the end of the table.

“I think it’s time to call it a day….”

She blinked at his statement, taken by surprise. “I’m still working…” She protested softly as she fixed him with her gaze.

“And I think it’s time to call it a night…” His black eyes met her gaze unwaveringly, his tone deliberate and even.

Liz clenched her hand around her pad. “What are you doing?” She hissed angrily. They still had a couple of hours to go on their shift as he knew only too well.

“Testing a theory…” He murmured back through barely moving lips.

Liz stiffened sharply, instantly alert. “What have you seen?”

Nacedo lifted cup to his lips. “Perhaps nothing…” He shifted his head slightly to the right.

Following his gaze carefully, the brunette noted a group of teenagers sat at the counter. She recognised at least two from classes they shared. Her gaze narrowed as she studied the group. Nothing… “Can you sense them…?”

By this point, Maria had delivered the drinks as requested and, upon seeing that Liz hadn’t returned, headed over. “Hey Liz, can you help me a moment…?” She requested awkwardly, obviously seeking an excuse to intervene.

“And that isn’t noticeable at all…” The Protector scoffed as he scowled at the curly haired human.

Liz frowned. “Don’t…” She warned him before turning back to her friend with a bright smile. “Sure, what do you need…” Her gaze travelled towards the door which led through to the back, hoping that Maria might pick up the subtle hint.

Whether a result of active understanding, or simply a coincidence, the other girl gestured in that direction. “I uh…just need your help with something…”

“Oh please…” Nacedo rolled his eyes at the weak cover. “Could you be more obvious….I--” He broke off sharply as a look of pain passed across his face.

A glimmer of amusement passed across Liz’s eyes as she withdrew a hand surreptitiously from the table. She grabbed Maria’s arm and hustled her towards the door commenting, “Come on, it’s probably easier for you to show me…”

As the door swung shut behind them, Maria turned on her friend. “Okay, so I suck at undercover and I really struggle with this cloak and dagger stuff and what happened there…?” She finally queried as her rant went the distance.

The brunette laughed and shook her head. “Seriously it’s fine, you did fine!” She insisted before falling quiet as her cheeks coloured at the last. “I-uh…” She waved her hand and gave an awkward shrug. “He was being rude…”

Without warning or thought, Maria threw her arms around the younger girl with a grin. “Thanks for sticking up for me!” She whispered in her ear and then drew back as a more serious look settled back on her face. “So…what did he want…?”

Liz sighed. She glanced over her shoulder, back out into the diner and stared for a moment at the group Nacedo had flagged. “He thinks he might have seen someone…” She admitted after a moment.

The effect of her words on her friend was obvious. “H-here…as in at the diner? Right in front of us? As in today?” The questions tumbled from her lips in quick succession as Maria did a very good impression of someone about to completely flip out.

“Breath…” Liz stepped towards the lockers, palmed her friend's lock and and pulled open the door without difficulty. A moment later, she was placing a small vial into her hand. “Breath…” She closed her friend’s fingers over the smooth surface of the glass with a smile.

Maria shot her a thankful smile and swallowed. “Of course…breath…” She echoed the instructions, attempting to do as instructed whilst fumbling with the small lid of the vial. Why was it she suddenly felt as though she had a handful of thumbs? She wondered silently to herself as she narrowily avoided dropping her essence.

“Here, let me…” Liz plucked it from her fingers with ease and released the closure before returning it to her friend within seconds. She paused, allowing Maria some time as she watched the other girl enhale deeply in earnest.

The process was repeated a few times, until finally the curly haired teenager’s frame loosened and she slumped forward, dropping down onto the sofa which sat at one edge of the room. “Okay, sorry…go on…” She nodded and looked over at the brunette.

“It’s okay…” Liz nodded. And it really was… She could understand something of how her friend was feeling because, in truth, she was feeling it herself… “Na—“

The girl’s conversation was halted abruptly as the door from the diner opened and in walked an aggrieved looking Agnes. As the third waitress on duty, the older and somewhat lazy woman clearly wasn’t pleased to be picking up the slack. “Did I miss the holiday announcement…?” She queried pointedly as she looked from one teenager to the other.

Maria resumed her panic attack at the entrance of the other woman, leaving the younger of the girls to work damage control. “S-sorry…” Liz grimaced and bit down on her lip, hoping it would give an appearance of contrition. “I-uh, just needed to speak to Maria for a moment about…” She waved her hand around vaguely. “stuff…”

There was a long moment of silence that followed. Then, to the surprise of both girls, Agnes simply nodded. “Oh, of course sweetheart…you take as long as you need…” She told them both with a knowing smile before exiting through the door she had come.

Liz stared after her retreating form for a moment, stunned. “Uh…okay, so that was not Agnes, what just happened there…?”

Her friend shook her head then, a moment later it dawned on her. Eyes wide, she couldn’t help but giggle.

“What…?” Liz frowned. “Maria…?” She stared in surprise as the vial Maria had been using earlier was now extended back towards her.

“I think you might need this…”

“W-why…?”

Maria giggled then, as she caught sight of her friend’s apprehension, sobored quickly into a cough.

Liz waited in silence for the explanation she knew was coming.

“The baby…” Maria stated in little more than a whisper, offering a sympathetic smile. “You know you’re all over the rumour mill at school – well it looks like that doesn’t stop at the school gates…” She gave a shrug. “Agnes may be allergic to work, but she’s a decent enough person really and she thinks you need some time…”

“Oh G*D…” The brunette buried her head in her hands with a groan. This could be sooooo bad… “What am I going to do…?”

Her friend laughed softly. “Nothing…” She smiled. “It works exactly how you need it to,” She paused a moment, as though considering whether to say more. “Besides, if you play your cards right you won’t need to be here much longer right…?”

Lifting her head from her hands, Liz studied her friend. She hadn’t missed the edge to that last comment. “Nothing is decided yet…” She insisted softly, reaching out to grasp her hand. “Maria look at me…” She waited until she met her gaze and continued in a focused yet tender tone. “Nothing is guaranteed, and no one is going to be forced to do anything they don’t want to do…”

“Am I that obvious…” Maria managed a weak smile and swallowed. “Sorry, I’m distracting us from the focus of this little meeting…”

“It’s fine…”

“No, it’s not…” She shook her head with a sigh. “Hit me – you said that ‘he’ thinks there might be some here tonight…?”

Liz nodded in the affirmative. “Right…” She let out a long sigh. “He thinks there might be something about the group of kids at the counter…”

“Nah… I’ve seen them at school – haven’t you?”

Maria initially dismissed the suggestion with ease, but a moment later Liz saw the colour drain from her face. “Ria…?” Her eyes narrowed in question.

“I-it’s nothing…”

Silence.

She shifted uncomfortably. “Okay, fine, I’ve known some of those kids since grade school, and the idea that they might be—“ Maria swallowed and shook her head. “It’s just…”

“It’s okay…” Liz nodded, understanding. She paused a moment to rise and peer through the window into the diner again. The group hadn’t moved.

“Liz…?” Now it was Maria’s turn to question.

She responded with a weak smile to provide as much reassurance as possible. “It’s okay!” She repeated, fighting to keep her tone as light as possible. It’ll be fine! Nacedo just wants me to leave early to try and rule out the possibility—“ She broke briefly off upon seeing the look of alarm on her friend’s face before pushing on quickly. “I won’t be alone for a moment. “We’ll call the guys so that they are waiting as I come out and Nacedo will follow close behind…”

The second of the girl’s didn’t look convinced. “I don’t know Liz… Maybe we should just keep an eye on them tonight? Maybe we should get Alex to look into their backgrounds…?” She suggested desperately.

“No!” Liz’s voice was clear and firm. “We talked about this and agreed – it’s time for us to take the fight to them, and that means trying to trick them into revealing themselves…” At her side, her fingers curled into fists. “I’m done running and hiding!”

There was no missing the fire in her words and, despite her petite stature, the teenager made for a scary sight, Maria thought as she continued to watch her friend through worried eyes. There had not, she felt, been a time when the brunette looked more like a leader than she did at that moment in time. She was strong, and composed and regal… She swallowed. “Are you sure…?” Despite the fact that she knew what the answer would be, she had to ask the question.

Her response came as little more than a nod. “I’m going to head back out and give my excuses…” She paused at the door. “I’ll…uh…see you back at the apartment later?”

Her friend smiled and nodded. “Count on it!”

A brief call to the guys, and excuse of a family emergency offered, ten minutes later saw the brunette head out of the door and out onto the street. From her position behind the counter, Maria watched until her friend was out of sight, at which point she turned her attention back to the group of interest who still sat with drinks. Would one or more of them follow…?

Drawing in a deep breath, she smoothed her apron with her hands and fixed her best smile on her face before approaching. “Hey guys, you look like those cups are getting a little low – can I offer you a top up?”

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Nacedo reach into his back pocket to pull out some a cash to leave on his plate in preparation for a quick departure. This done, he spread out a newspaper as cover and continued to sit in the booth.

“—Excuse me!”

Maria jumped as a hand waved in front of her face and mentally cursed. Gripping the fabric of her skirt, she swallowed. “Sorry, I…uh…was distracted…” She admitted with a small grimace as she forced her attention back to the customers/possible aliens. “Now what can I get you?”

“Nothing for me…” One of the guys was already on his feet. “I really have to get home.” He tossed down a handful of bills. “Keep the change!”

Maria shuffled the notes before sticking it in her pocket. Twenty dollars for a tab of less than ten dollars. She looked up, ready to point that out but the guy was already gone. Not only that, but so was the ‘protector’…

Eyes widening, it was all she could do not to hyperventilate right then. As it was, the teenager struggled through the remainder of her orders, passed them over to Agnes with an excuse of feeling sick, and then locked herself in the toilet, collapsing against the back of the door with a sigh. Could this be real?
My fics:

Dreams and Reality
Reality Revealed
Family Connections
When Love and Loss Collide
When Friendship and Love Combine - New!
If Only...
The Important Thing
Home for Christmas
I Knew Him Before (PB fic)
Love Always...
The First Time Around - New!

User avatar
KatnotKath
Roswell Fanatic
Posts: 1130
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:54 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Family Connections (AU,CC,ADULT) Ch 57 28/08/14

Postby KatnotKath » Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:20 am

Hey everyone, new chapter alert!

So first of all this is going to come with a warning - I'm participating in Nano this year with a non-fanfiction story. The result of this is that by posting this now, I cannot guarantee posting again before Christmas. The truth is that I find this story one of the hardest to write - it's been going for years, and I whilst I still love it in it's own way, it's...difficult and...takes time.

Having said all that, I'd like to thank anyone reading and I hope I'm not disaappointing you.

Carolyn - I'm sorry if I've confused you, I hope rereading has helped :). Thanks for sticking with the story though and, here's more.

Britt - Since you've only just found the update I guess I'm giving you a double dose. I hope you enjoy the next chapter though. I'm glad you like my Max, that's what I'm going for and your comments show I'm succeeding.

Sorry I'm not updating more frequently, I'm doing my best - Honestly.

Hope anyone reading is enjoying the tale as I always say, I'd love to hear what you think. And I'm now done with my babbling - here's more.

Kat




Chapter 58

As she turned the corner away from the Crashdown, a shiver ran through Liz’s spine. Suddenly, she felt as though she was alone. It was an incorrect impression of course – as long as nothing had gone wrong – she reminded herself as her grip tightened around the cloth of her bag and she quickened her pace a tad.

Again, it was a fine line they were treading. She wanted to appear alone, and vulnerable, and yet at the same time have sufficient cover to ensure that anything that went down was on their terms only. Such cover was a delicate matter, if they followed too soon then they’d be obvious, too late and their effectiveness would be impaired.

She turned another corner and, with difficulty, resisted the urge to look back the way she had come. For good measure, in case anyone was watching, she paused a moment to touch her stomach breifly and smiled. If she were pregnant, considering the timetable they had established, whilst she wouldn’t yet be showing, the baby would likely to be making some movements or at the very least making itself known in her connections.

Was it enough? She didn’t know the answer to that but assumed that, if Nacedo’s thoughts were correct, they were about to find out...

Resuming walking, she focused on the hand that hung at her side, building her power silently, preparing for the possibility of an upcoming confrontation.

Of course, if there were such a confrontation, there had been no clear decision made as to how they should react. It was, everyone had agreed, something that had to be decided on a case by case basis.

If there were a number of them, perhaps she should allow them to grab her, enabling the others to follow them to their base and hit harder where it hurt. In contrast, if it were only one person who came after her, they were probably more inclined to capture and interrogate.

All assuming, of course, that there others were close enough to help with such a capture. Liz’s heart pouded hard against her chest as her breath caught in her throat and she forced herself to continue.

One foot in front of the other, another step down... She released a long, slow breath, attempting to keep from tensing as she heard the unmistakable thunder of footfall in the distance.

Well it wouldn’t be Max or Michael, nor Nacedo at that speed, she knew. Unless of course she had called out, which she hadn’t... Which left an innocent, compeltely unrelated person in a hurry or...

If someone had asked the brunette how she knew, she honestly couldn’t have answered. There was just something about the way she...felt... Perhaps it was an example of that sense that Nacedo had insisted she should have. Or then again, perhaps it was simply one of those cases of instinct. For whatever reason however, Liz knew the person running behind her was anything but innocent.

She hesitated a moment, unsure. Would it be best to continue, allow them to ‘suprise’ her...? Or should she turn the tables and suprise them... She listened again, and was almost certain that she only heard one set of footsteps.

Should she take the risk...? More than anything she wished that Max was by her side to help make this decision, although of course that would negate the point of the choice. It was silly, she knew, but for a moment, she felt like nothing more than a frightened teenager. If she chose wrongly, it could risk everything that they were attempting, not to mention put herself in greater danger.

For example, what if Max and Michael had been delayed, or Nacedo for that matter. What if she was truely on her own...?

She shuddered at the thought and then forced herself to continue on. Just because they would make the first move didn’t mean that they had the upperhand – she was expecting them afterall...

Sure enough, the footfall sounded heavy as it came close and closed the distance. The brunette forced herself to keep breathing as she continued with a steady pace whilst the person behind her came close. She could almost hear their breathing behind her...

A moment later, she sensed a figure on her right side. Was this someone in addition to the one behind her, or had he moved... She couldn’t tell for certain. Her hand at her side clenched tightly to supress the power built there as it threatened to crackle and give her away.

“Hey, Liz!”

The voice shocked her, not least because she recognised it... Dale... Inhale, exhale... She slowed and turned, fixing a smile on her face. “Hey Dale, I thought you were heading over to Lisa’s place – she’s over the other side of town isn’t she...?” She greeted him nervously.

Dale blinked. “Oh, yeah, but you left the Crashdown so suddenly, I thought you looked upset, figured maybe you needed a friendly face...”

His tone and smile were friendly and for a moment she wondered whether Nacedo was mistaken. Then however, he gave a nervous twitch and she realised that he was doing nothing more than trying to delay her; presumably he was waiting for his own reinforcements...

The realisation caused her blood to run cold. It was real... She had heard Nacedo say the words, and she had stated that they had to go on the offensive, but until that moment she realised she had wanted to believe it was all in his mind. It wasn’t, that much had become clear. And the thought that someone was involved that she personally knew... Not that she and Dale were close exactly, but he was in her year at school, in her classes and she got on pretty well with his girlfriend. Now she found herself questioning everything about her judgements.

“Liz…are you okay?” Dale took another step closer and it was all she could do to keep from stepping back. She couldn’t afford to clue him into the fact that she knew something wasn’t right. At the very least he might flee, taking with him a chance to find out more about what was going on and the worst…well…would be much worse.

Were the others close…? She wanted to believe that they were but that was more wishful thinking than a belief backed up by any evidence. And she couldn’t exactly call out and ask could she? Not for the first time, she found herself wishing she had a way to communicate with the others without others knowing… Telepathic communication would be a much more useful mental power than the one she had… Although, she acknowledged albeit reluctantly, the latter might find application in this situation, dependant on how it worked out. She might not like mindwarping, but if it were a choice between using it and certain other possibilities, she knew which she would go for!

“Liz?”

She blinked, and, realising that she really did need to say something, forced herself to nod. “What, oh, yeah, I’m fine, I guess I just spaced for a moment…” She commented, hoping that the tension she felt wasn’t reflected in her voice.

“Penny for them…?” Dale looked at her expectantly and offered a lob-sided smile that made her feel sick. How could he pretend like this, he made it seem too easy… If she hadn’t known better, she’d have believed that his concern was real.

The brunette shook her head. “Oh, it’s nothing…” She responded vaguely to his question, not trusting herself to be any more creative. “I’m just a bit tired, it’s been a long week…”

“Yeah…I can relate to that…” Dale nodded and held out his hand. “Do you want me to walk you home…?”

There was, by this time, no doubt in Liz’s mind that the last place that Dale intended to take her was home. Any doubt she might have still harboured about Nacedo’s suspicions were gone in an instant! The only question which remained was how she should play this…

In a split second decision, she allowed her bag to slip, a wave of her hand unclasping the fastening to let the contents scatter across the ground. She dropped to her knees, as though to collect them. “Oh!”

Seemingly not suspecting anything, Dale joined her, that sickeningly friendly smile still in place. “Here, I’ll help…” He picked up her bag and began to place things inside.

Utilising a burst of power to send a tube of lip-gloss a little further away, Liz dived in that direction, all the while searching for any sign that she might not be alone.

“Here, I think I have everything…” Dale appeared in front of her, bending to retrive the tube and dropping it back into the bag with the others. “Now let’s get you home yeah…?”

Liz noted that he didn’t offer her back her bag, and somehow she didn’t believe that was a mistake… Nor, was he being helpful like Max – well, not in anything except appearance… She glanced around again and hesitated in rising.

Dale was quick to close his hand around her arm, swiftly hauling the brunette to her feet. His actions were a little less careful now, she noted, and when she winced, for effect, he made no comment. Instead, he simply hustled her down the street without another word…

***

“There they are!” Michael announced and pointed towards the two figures in the distance as he and Max hurried along. Nacedo, for the moment at least, was nowhere to be seen.

This latter was not exactly a surprise. As a shapeshifter, he could blend in much more effectively than any of the rest of them.

On the other hand, no one looking could miss Max. The teenager’s expression was taut, his worry and concern written across his face as they made their way forward as quickly, and yet carefully, as possible…

“She’s gonna be okay man…” Michael spared his breath momentarily to offer reassurances.

Max made no response. All he could think about was the possibility that this was the biggest mistake he had ever made. How could he have agreed to put his wife into that amount of danger – what crazy notion had taken hold of him that he had actually believed it to be a good idea….?

“Oh!” A cry in the distance caused both boys to quicken their steps further. A moment later however, they were brought to a halt as an unfamiliar figure stepped out in front of them. Both teenagers tensed and, glancing at one another with a nod, they made ready to fight.

“Save it for a real enemy…” The stranger lifted his hat, giving the boys a momentary glimpse of his black eyes. Max scowled as he pushed past the protector without a word.

“Do you two know how obvious you look right now…?” Nacedo grabbed a hold of their arms to hold them back and looked from one to the other.

“Let me go!” Michael tried to shrug him off instantly, expecting Max to follow up with an order. The follow up, however, did not come. Instead, Max seemed to be considering what Nacedo had said as he dropped to a swift yet even pace and pulled out his phone. Perhaps Isabel and Alex could cut them off…

“What are you waiting for, they’re getting further ahead!” Michael queried, his eyes lit with anger as he turned and again attempted to break from the shapeshifter’s grasp. “LET ME GO!”

“MICHAEL!” Max ‘s tone was icy as he stopped for an instant, shooting a look of warning in his direction before continuing along his path adding, “He’s right…” Their plan depended upon their enemies believing their show until they could attack; he didn’t like to think of what might happen to Liz if that were to change…

“Of course I’m right…” Nacedo muttered, ignoring the glower from Michael as he continued to push them along. After a moment, when he was pretty sure they weren’t about to take off, he released both from his grasp so that they could spread out across the road as they continued along.

Michael didn’t like the shapeshifter, but on this occasion he chose to hold his tongue. Max was right, he realised… This was about something more important than his hatred of protector… It was about family…

For as much as he might argue and protest otherwise, that was exactly what Liz was to him – his family – and he would do anything to protect her. Swallowing his pride, he contented himself with shooting another glare at Nacedo as he progressed swiftly and quietly along the shadows.

***

“Okay, got it, see you soon…” Isabel closed her phone. “Max says that they should be coming along this way…” She leant out the window and whispered, looking over to Alex who was stood in front of the car with the hood up to provide cover.

Her boyfriend nodded to acknowledge her words and swiftly closed the hood. A moment later he was sliding back behind the wheel, offering her a smile of reassurance, “It’s gonna be okay…”

She swallowed and nodded. “Sure, of course it is…” She echoed his words but couldn’t help but think they sounded hollow…

“Izzy!” Alex reached for her hand and clasped it tightly between his.

Isabel looked up into his eyes and was blown away yet again by the depth of feeling there. He loved her… And that meant so much…

Initially Nacedo had argued that the humans should stay out of this, that it was too dangerous… His argument was sound, but despite this, Maria and Alex had refused to step back. This was about people they cared about, they insisted, and they weren’t going anywhere…

“Izzy...?” There was a question in his tone now and a touch of concern.

His girlfriend drew in a ragged breath. “I love you Alex Whitman...”

He grinned his goofy grin. “Well I’m glad to hear that, because I love you too Isabel Guerin!” He paused and continued to meet her eyes, speaking now in an unusually serious tone. “I mean it, you know that right...?”

She gave a slight nod. “I do...”

He smiled. “Good, because I’m not going anywhere...not unless you want to get rid of me...”

The words sounded simple, straightforward even, but both teenagers knew that they meant so much more. It was a statement of intention, and a promise...an answer to a question that had not yet been asked.

Isabel didn’t know what to say; what could she say? Instead, she simply flung herself into his arms, burying her face in his chest for a moment and fixing this moment in her mind. Despite everything that was going on, it was the closest thing to perfect that she could imagine and she wanted to remember every little detail... “Thank you...”

Alex pressed his lips to the top of her head, holding her close. Yet, what more might have been said or done, was lost to reality as he caught sight of two figures emerging from around the corner. “It’s them...” He whispered, nudging his girlfriend as he pulled back. “We’re on...”
My fics:

Dreams and Reality
Reality Revealed
Family Connections
When Love and Loss Collide
When Friendship and Love Combine - New!
If Only...
The Important Thing
Home for Christmas
I Knew Him Before (PB fic)
Love Always...
The First Time Around - New!


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