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

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KatnotKath
Roswell Fanatic
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Postby KatnotKath » Thu Dec 22, 2005 6:32 pm

Natz, behrlyliz, Timelord31, Maxssoulmate, Lazza, Ellie, LoveIsForever, a7065, maya, thanks to every one of you for all the feedback. I know it's a busy time at the moment, and to know you're taking the time to read the story and reply is much appreciated.

Natz - Can you wait just a little longer for some background - I promise it is coming, just not quite yet...?

behrlyliz -

is there a chance that Isabel is really Max's sister and Michael is Liz's brother,


Anything is possible :wink:

Maxssoulmate - thanks, I'm glad you're enjoying it

Lazza - My face is more red than you'll ever know, imagine trying to write that immediately after writing a scene with a fourteen year old Max and Liz... I'm delighted you approved of the part though, I hope I didn't make it too detailed, I'm not wanting to write smut - that isn't my intention

So where are Maria's keys?


Another mystery the universe leaves us with :wink: Actually I just remembered my dad's amazing ability to lose keys, and I decided to have a bit of fun, nothing serious there honest...

So, I promised you a christmas present, and here it is. I'd have posted it tomorrow, then it really would be a christmas present for you, but the way I'm feeling at the moment, I'm not too sure I'm going to be out of bed - maybe by being good tomorrow I won't feel rotton for my christmas day...

Ellie - I'm back :D

I promise background to Max and Liz will be provided, but I don't want to rush it and I already have it planned in my head how that's going to happen so I have to ask you to continue being patient

Glad you enjoyed the M/L, I know I'm not as good as many with that, but I have to try don't I?

As said before, the keys were just my attempt at having fun, I'm sorry if I worried people...


LoveIsForever - Hope you're still enjoying, thanks for reading

a7065 - thanks, glad you're enjoying the story

maya - Well Max and Liz are always sweet - You'd never guess who my favourite couple to write is would you lol

Alright, so I said I was going to try and update, and amazingly, I'm actually here.

MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone, hope you have a great day and of course I hope you'll enjoy the new chapter.

~Kat~


Chapter 21

"Mmmm…" Liz smiled as she turned over in bed, looking up at her husband who was already awake.

"Morning…" Max smiled, dipping his head to place a kiss on the top of her head which she rested on his chest.

"Morning…" She returned his greeting, covering her mouth with a small hand as she tried to stifle a yawn. "Oooh…"

"You look comfy…"

She smiled sweetly. "Well, that would be because I am…" Liz responded, her eyes twinkling with amusement. Sliding her head down onto the pillow, and trailed a finger over the surface of his chest. She could hardly believe that it was less than a year since this became the norm. Waking up with him now seemed so normal; it was difficult to remember that it had ever been any different…

"What ya thinking…?" Her husband asked softly, turning over onto his side so that they were now facing each other to an extent. He couldn't help thinking that she looked deep in thought, and wondered what was so interesting.

Blinking, Liz focused on the young man she lay with again and shook her head. "Oh, it's nothing… I was just thinking that this feels so right… I can't imagine anything better than waking up to you beside me in a morning…" She knew it sounded soppy, and many would say it was fake, but it was true… Four years ago, she would never have dreamt of ever being here, and yet she was…

Leaning over, Max brushed his lips against her cheek, nodding. "Same for me you know…" He told her, raising himself with one elbow as he looked down at her. "So…how about we just stay here all day, I know I for one wouldn't object…"

His wife giggled and shook her head, pushing him back and then pushing herself into something of a sitting position. "You know we can't do that…"

Max pretended to pout, eliciting another laugh from the brunette next to him. "Oh silly, you know I would love to spend the day in bed with you, but you also know we have stuff to do…" She shook her head again, doing some stretches as she looked over to check the time.

"It's just before seven…" Max supplied as he realised what she wanted.

"Okay, well it's time to get up then…I have to be at work in less than an hour!" Sitting up fully now, Liz turned, and swung her legs out from under the covers, making it clear by the speed of her actions that she wasn't going to go for any playing that morning.

Her husband's moves, by contrast, were somewhat slower… His gaze was fixed on the figure of his wife as the covers fell away, leaving her top covered only by the flimsy nightdress which left little to the imagination. She really was a beauty… "Are you sure that I can't persuade you to rethink…?" He pleaded, already knowing the answer.

"Don't even think about it!" Knowing full well that if she did, she would never get to work, Liz grabbed her robe, slipping her arms through the sleeves as she tied the cord around her waist and continued on into the bathroom without looking back again.

Hauling himself out of bed as she closed the door, Max sighed and stretched, walking over to the window and moving the curtains back just slightly to look out. The sun was up, and it looked like it was going to be another lovely day. It was such a shame he had to spend the morning working though, he could think of far nicer ways to spend the time.

As he heard the shower switch on, a smile flickered over his face as he had a thought. Moving to the door, he reached for the knob, closing his eyes in concentration as he found it was locked, until it swung open silently and he approached his wife from behind.

"I suggest you turn about face and head back out mister… There's no play going to happen today, I have to get to work, and so do you!"

Max blinked, surprised to find she knew he was there. "How did you know I'd come in…?" He asked, pouting playfully as he saw her turn around to face him. She looked so delicious, hot and wet with the water running all over her body, sliding over every little curve.

Liz shook her finger in a scolding manner. "I know you too well honey, and you'd better get used to it, now can I finish my shower?" She requested, indicating the door as she leant her head back and rubbed shampoo into her scalp until her hair was a mass of foam.

"I could help you with that you know…" Max commented, still not moving to leave.

She laughed and shook her head. "I have no doubt that you could, but I also know that if you did, we probably wouldn't get out of here in less than half an hour…" With an amused smile, she pointed to the door again. "Out you go! I'll be finished in a moment and then you can have the bathroom…"

"Bu-"

"Max…" She interrupted before he could even finish his first word.

He sighed and nodded, recognising the sound of resolve in her tone which meant he just wasn't going to get anywhere. "Alright, I'll go put the kettle on for some coffee, call me when you're done…?"

His wife nodded, assuring him she would before turning round closing her eyes and sticking her head back under the shower as she rinsed out all the shampoo.

Max stood watching for another moment, smiling, and then left her too it, retreating the way he had come and closing the door behind him once more.

**********

Despite Michael working there that morning, Liz's shift at the Crashdown passed without any major incident and was brought to a rather pleasant conclusion by the appearance of her husband who came to get some lunch at the end of his shift. By two in the afternoon, both Liz and Max had finished work and were getting ready to head home.

Maria had been asking if they wanted to do something that afternoon as a group, but the couple had declined politely, already having their plans for the afternoon set.

After the incident with the locker at school the previous week, both were convinced that the people they were searching for were in Roswell, and this only furthered their determination to find them. Liz had been surfing websites for any information about the abandoned children they had seen mentioned, spending any free time she might have on the search, and was eager to get back to it.

"Have you finished yet…?"

Max grinned in amusement as he watched his wife slide into the opposite side of the booth. Still dressed in her uniform, the alien antennae headband was now gone, along with the apron, and over her dress she wore a denim jacket. Much as the theme of the restaurant made him want to cringe, he had to say she looked cute… Sensing her impatience, he shook his head and nodded, pushing back his plate. "Yeah, I'm done…aren't you having anything to eat though…?" Maria had mentioned to him that she hadn't taken a break all morning, and even when she sat down with him for a few minutes when he came in, she hadn't eaten anything then.

"I'm having it to go…" She responded, looking round just as Maria, also just finishing her shift, was walking over with a plastic tray.

"Here you go chica…" The other waitress handed over the container with a smile.

"Thanks Maria, see you at school on Monday…" Liz took the food and gave a little wave as she and Max stood up to head out of the diner together.

As they walked along the pavement on the way home, Max shook his head, looking down at his wife who was already digging into her food. "Was there some particular reason why you didn't want to take the time to eat that in…?" He asked her with some amusement.

"I wanted to get back home… There's a site I started to look at the other night, and it looked really promising…" She responded, pausing her eating to answer.

"Honey, that site will still be there in ten minutes you know…" Max pointed out gently.

"I know that…" She rolled her eyes and shrugged. "I know I'm being extreme about this, but I don't know…I mean we've been looking for nearly a year now, and it never seemed that urgent… We wanted to find them sure, but it wasn't we HAD to find them…" Pausing a moment, she tried to work out what she needed to say, finding her words getting muddled in her mouth. "Now we know they're here though, and it's…"

"Different…?" Her husband suggested softly. He nodded. "I know, I want to find them too…"

Liz sighed. "I know that I'm going over-the-top perhaps, but now that we're so close, I just feel like I NEED to meet them…"

"And we will…soon…" Max slipped his arm around her shoulder, pulling her closer as they walked together down the road and turned off onto another street. "Come on, let's go home…"

**********

"Are you ready to go yet…?" Michael tapped his foot impatiently as he waited for his girlfriend to change her clothes. Usually she wouldn't bother, having grown sufficiently accustomed to the minidress over the time she had worked there to be okay with walking home, but today Isabel and Alex were supposed to be meeting them and they were going out as a group.

"Keep your hair on!" Came Maria's sharp reply through the door of the toilet. There was silence, and then a few minutes later the sound of a bolt scraping back. The door swung open, and Maria stepped out, looking rather wonderful Michael had to admit. The low hipster jeans she was wearing were paired with a strappy blue top which helped to bring out the colour of her eyes and her hair had been fluffed out slightly.

"How do I look?" She turned round in front of him, smiling in amusement as she was met with the sound of silence. "I'll take that as a good…" She grinned, moving towards her locker from where she grabbed her bag and shoved her uniform ready for the following day after school. "Okay, come on, we're going to be late if we're not careful…"

"And whose fault would that be I wonder…?" Michael murmured although he had the sense not to say it loud enough for her to hear, or so he hoped…

"What was that…?" Maria turned sharply as they stepped out of the door, unsure what he had said.

Michael grimaced. Apparently he hadn't been quiet enough… "Nothing…" He responded, bracing himself for the rant he was sure would come next.

Usually, he would have been perfectly right, but in this case something caught Maria's attention, directing it away from him and giving Michael a break. "Hey guys!" She waved at their friend who were stood just at the end of the alley.

Michael fell into step with Alex, while the two girls took the lead and began to talk, or rather Maria began to talk a mile a minute, while Isabel listened…

"Busy morning…?" Alex asked Michael as the two boys formed the rear group.

"It was okay, not too bad really…" Michael shrugged and answered shortly.

Alex nodded, and their conversation drifted onto the usual topic of sport which was always one of Michael's favourites.

"I asked Liz if she wanted to join us, but she said she had other things to do…" Maria told Isabel as they walked along.

"And I wonder what 'other things' might be…"

The two girls looked back, frowning as Michael interrupted. "Don't be so crude!" His sister scolded with a glare. Bad enough he had to be rude and unfriendly, wasn't that enough without such a crass comment…

"MICHAEL leave the poor girl alone!" Maria too jumped to reprimand him. She shook her head, unable to understand why he couldn't just accept her as what she was, a nice girl who Maria for one thought could be a friend…

The young man in the middle of this looked from one girl to the other, looking a little bemused. "What did I say that was crude…?"

His sister rolled her eyes. "Oh you cannot seriously be telling me you're enough of an idiot not to know what you just said…" She shook her head and looked over at Maria. "Men are hopless…"

"Hey!" Her boyfriend was quick to object to this generalisation. He looked over at Michael. "He might be clueless, but I'm not…"

Michael glared at his friend although everyone knew it was more for show than anything. "I'm not clueless!"

"Oh yes you are…and believe me my dear brother, you should be thankful you are…" Isabel told him, an amused edge coming into her tone again now. No one but her brother could say something like that and not realise how it's going to come out…"

He shook his head. "I'm serious, I want to know what she's doing, because there's something about her I-"

Maria's head spun around, her loose curles flying out to the side as she fixed her eyes on him, a single look causing him to stop. "One more time Michael…LEAVE LIZ ALONE!"

Alex frowned as he stood there, observing how with three words, the atmosphere within the group had become icy. He looked round. "Look guys, can't we just leave this… Agree to differ for once, because we're never going to agree it seems…let's just chill, and have some fun…" Shaking his head, he reached out to his girlfriend, stepping up behind her and dipping his head to nuzzle her neck.

That certainly got the attention of Michael, his brotherly instincts taking over now as he looked over at the couple. If there was one thing that could distract him, whatever the situation, it was something that involved his sister…and that was what Alex was counting on…

Realising that had been his intention, Isabel smirked as she played along, letting out a small moan and watching her brother as his eyes grew wide.

"Don't you get any ideas!" Michael growled as he watched them, all thoughts of Liz clearly forgotten for the moment.

Maria smirked as she saw Alex pull back, holding up his hands. "Hey man, no ideas here…"

The taller and more buky of the two nodded. "Just make sure it stays that way…"

"So, what are we doing this afternoon anyway, my vote goes for movie and pizza back at mine…" His girlfriend stepped in now, directing the conversation away from such details and back to the original focus.

Apparently happy that he had sufficiently 'scared' Alex, Michael shrugged, his attitude improving as he agreed that the plan sounded good.

Alex and Isabel were quick to agree too, smiling as they realised the ploy had worked, and the group headed off down the road towards Maria's house.

**********

"Anything new…?" Max peered over his wife's shoulder as she sat on the sofa using the laptop.

Liz looked up, apparently having been involved in her reading and not having heard his approach. "Hey…" She turned her head to give him a quick peck on the cheek while shaking her head. "Not really, pretty much everything says the same… There were two kids, a girl and a boy, about six months before we were came out… A tourist who had been passing through town found them on the side of the main highway…" She sighed and shook her head. "What I would give for some names though, it's incredible just how little information there seems to be about it…"

"So what are you trying now…?" Her husband peered at the screen in front of her, recognising that she was trying to access restricted information from the password box flashing in the middle of the page.

"Police report…" Liz responded softly.

"WHAT?"

She swallowed and chewed her lip. "Yeah, I know it's risky, but basically without a name, I really don't have anything to search for in the fostering records…files could have been updated anytime in the last ten years, and tracking down the right ones without some more information would be like looking for a needle in a haystack…"

Max nodded. "Okay, but the police…" He shook his head. It wasn't that he doubted she could get in, in fact he had every confidence it was well within her abilities, but this was a step further than they had ever gone before.

"I know…" She offered him a small smile. "I'm being careful, but I just don't see any other option right now…" Accessing a file, she keyed in a few codes, setting up the programme she needed before setting it going and then shifting the computer onto the table while she let it run. "Could be a while…"

"We've got time…" Her husband smiled as he walked round, dropping down into the seat next to her. "So…what are we going to do while we're waiting…"

Pretending not to notice the suggestive tone in his voice, Liz gave an innocent smile and shrugged. "Well, I think I have some work I need to get done, and there's dinner to cook…" She began to get up, only to be pulled back down, ending up on Max's knee laughing. "What are you doing?"

Her husband laughed, reaching to push her hair forward and expose her neck, the back of which he then covered in kisses. "What does it look like, I'm 'loving' my wife…"

Liz cried out at the tickling sensation, hunching her shoulders in an attempt to block his attempts. "MAX NO!" She protested, trying to stand up but being unable to get out of his lap. Realising such attempts were useless, she managed to turn, before using her own fingers in a similar manner.

The resulting tickling match didn't come to an end until Liz finally gave in, holding up her hands in defeat and rolling off his lap laughing and breathing heavily. "Okay…that's the last time I take you on…" She commented with a wry smile.

"Aww baby…" Max grinned as he reached over, pulling her into his arms as he too relaxed against the back of the seat.

The two of them sat like that for some time, without saying anything, and then Liz pulled back, sitting up and standing to head over to the kitchen area. "What do you want for dinner anyway…?" She asked her husband, looking back at him questioningly.

Max, who was tidying up some of the papers which lay on the table, looked back. "I'm easy; whatever you want will be fine with me…" He responded, straightening a pile of papers which he set back down on the table and then walking over to join her. "Do you need any help?"

Liz, who was checking the cupboard, shook her head as she pulled out a bag of rice, tipping an amount into a waiting pan, and then carrying the pan over to add some water. "I'm okay thanks honey, why don't you check and see how that programme's doing?" She suggested as she set the pan on the light, turning now to get some vegetables from the cupboard which she set down on the chopping board ready.

Watching her for a moment, Max smiled as he realised what she was intending for dinner and nodded again as she suggested checking on the computer. Picking it up, he wiggled his finger about, typing in the password to clear the screensaver, his eyes widening as the proper screen reappeared. "Uh…Liz, you might want to leave that a moment…" He called to her, his eyes fixed on the index page in front of him.

His wife immediately came over, leaning over his shoulder and then taking a seat. Dinner was forgotten for the moment as she took the computer back, beginning to explore the system in the search of anything that might be useful.

"The day report files here only seem to go back as far as about 1990…" She murmured, her brow creasing in concentration as she clicked on a few other things. A short while later, she turned up an 'archive' section, entering it and finding yet more files inside. "What date was it again…?"

Picking up one of the articles they had been able to find, Max read off the date quickly, allowing Liz to further narrow her search.

"Okay, there's ten files from that day, each with their individual codes… I guess the only thing we can really do is go through them one by one…"

Max nodded, his eyes, like those of his wife, riveted to the screen as she clicked to view the first.

***

An hour later, the couple had been through the first five, with no success. As Max had been quick to remind Liz as she closed the latest, that still left five to go… He just had this feeling, a certain tightness in his chest… They were so close…

"Okay…next one…" Clicking on the file, Liz waited until it opened, drumming her fingers impatiently on her knee as the screen began to load. She knew it was an illusion, but everything seemed to be taking an age, and she felt as though every minute was an hour… "Come on…"

Listening with some amusement to her impatient mutters, Max shook his head. "Patience…" He whispered in her ear as he leant towards his wife, kissing her playfully on her neck in an attempt to distract. He was as eager as her to find the information, but his sense of urgency was slightly less pronounced…

The young brunette next to him had a one track mind as she shook her head though. They cold 'play' later, right now, this was important… Her gaze fixed on the screen again as the screen finished loading and she began to scan the text. Her heart skipped a beat as she read the location. "This is it…" She whispered, hardly trusting herself to speak as she continued reading. After everything they had been through, everywhere they had gone, they were now so close…

Max too leaned over, reading through the information. Part way through the page though, Liz nudged him, slowly raising her finger to point to a paragraph. "Here…" She took a breath and began to read slowly. "At ten in the evening the children were found on the edge of the road by Ms…" Her eyes widened as she looked over at Max in amazement. Could it be…?
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
Roswell Fanatic
Posts: 1130
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:54 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Postby KatnotKath » Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:41 pm

Hi guys, I'm back, sorry it took so long :? .

Lazza, Maya, behrlyliz, anonamousarfan, LoveIsForever, Timelord31, Natz, SarahWhitman, Isabelle and Antarian Chick, thank you so much for all the feedback, as always it really helps and it's wonderful to see you're enjoying the story.

Lazza -

You left it there??? That's not right


Sorry, but in my defense I was intending to update sooner...unfrotunately it's a bit difficult to do so when confined to bed

As for Liz with the computer files - desperate times and desperate measures, you're right though, when I reread that scene I do get a rather fun imagine of Max, combined with Liz who's trying to keep an innocent look on her face maybe hehe

Isabel and Alex - well no, I don't suppose it would be hard, they do deserve a bit of fun too though don't they?

And who is Ms.....?????


Ah, that's the big question isn't it, I do believe the answer is coming up very shortly.

Maya - Well Liz never said she didn't want to stay in bed with him all day, just that she couldn't...

behrlyliz - I'm sorry, will you forgive me if I say this next answers one of the questions?

anonymousarfan - thank, glad you're enjoying it

LoveIsForever -

Liz was on no nonsense in this part


Well she had to be, because Max wasn't being too good at doing that...

I think Max and Liz are so cute together in this because while their married there mindset is still that of teenagers.


I'm so glad you've said that, because it's exactly what I'm going for. They are still teenagers, nothing is going to change that and it's an important factor in how they act. Unfortunately for them life isn't as simple as they might like, and they have a lot of things to worry about that teens might not usually...

Timelord31 - could be what? You don't know what I'm going to say yet :wink:

Natz - thank you for your patience, it will be rewarded eventually I promise.

SarahWhitman - LOL I just need you to be patient a little longer...please...?

isabelle - thanks hun, I always love to hear what you think and I'm delighted to see you're still enjoying the story. As for Max and Michael... Well, I guess we'll just have to see - maybe it is just Liz, maybe not... I only hope this next chapter doesn't disappoint...

Antarian Chick

we all know what they should have found...


Do you...? :?:

Thanks for reading anyway, I know that the ages concerning marriage can make it a little hard, but thanks for persevering, I'm glad you're enjoying the story.

Alright guys, so as usual I have an appology to make about the amount of time this update has taken, but in my defense I do have a pretty good reason. From Boxing day until after New Year, I was sick, and I've only been getting back to the computer lst week really. Add to that I have my first lot of final-year exams at uni in less than two weeks now, and you might realise I'm rather busy. I will do my best to update again before I start my exams on the 19th, but I'm not going to promise. I should be back to relative normal by the end of the month though, and then I'll hope to be updating once a fortnight or more if nothing else comes up.

Thanks for all the feedback, and to any lurkers out there I hope you're enjoying the story, thanks for reading.

Bit late I know, but HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone too

And so all which remains for me to say is, on with the story :wink: Hope you like the new chapter, as always I'd love to hear what you all think.

~Kat~

Chapter 22

Liz read the name again, swallowing and looking up at Michael. "Ms. Guerin…as in Michael and Isabel…?" She asked, hardly daring to believe it was true.

Max shook his head. "I don't know…" Certainly it seemed to fit, and could even possibly explain the strange attitude Michael seemed to have when it came to them, but it would be all too easy to just assume, and jump to the wrong conclusions. "There could be any number of Guerin's around…and we don't even know if they were called after the person who found them… Even if the people they were looking for had been named Guerin initially, there was no guarantee they would still have the same surname. Had they been adopted, it was likely their names would have been changed anyway…

Liz sighed and nodded. Really, it would be rather convenient if it was Michael and Isabel wouldn't it…? "I guess we need something more solid to go on…?"

Her husband nodded. "Yeah, it might not do any harm to ask them about any relatives too… Just in a curious friend way you know…" Reaching out, he placed his hand over hers, rubbing the back of her hand with his thumb. "Whether it is Michael and Isabel or not though, I'm sure we'll find them soon…" He assured her softly.

His wife nodded, reading through the article again. "So, maybe the first thing to do would be to try and get in touch with this Ms. Guerin… She might have some idea what happened to the kids that she found…" She suggested after thinking for a moment.

"Sure, seems like as good a place to start as any…assuming we can track her down…" Looking back at the screen, he scrolled through the page. "Does it say anything about a first name…?"

"Sure does, a Ms. Linda Guerin…" Pointing to the spot which gave the relevant information, Liz then reached for her notebook, jotting down a few details before closing the page and then setting up a new search.

As he saw that she intended to continue, Max reached for her hands, pulling them away from the keyboard. "How about you give it a rest for tonight… I'm sure you must be getting hungry…let's get something to eat, and then leave dealing with this any further until later this week. Much as he did want to find the others, he felt they had made good progress, and was far more interested in eating right at that moment in time.

"It won't take a minute, I-" Liz started to protest but broke off as she saw the look on her husbands face. She burst into giggles. "Aww honey, are you hungry…?" She teased him, looking up and giving him a quick kiss before settling her head against his comfy shoulder.

Delighting in the kiss, Max smirked as he slid his arm around her shoulder, pulling his wife close and dropping a kiss onto the top of her head. "Well… You do make such wonderful spicey rice…"

Realising that he had spotted and recognised the combination of ingredients she had been gathering, Liz smiled sweetly at her husband. "I could always say that I'm too tired, and we'll have to get take-out tonight you know…" She threatened playfully.

Max pouted at this. "No fair! You were going to fix it before, and I haven't had spicey rice for ages…" He knew she was only teasing of course, but two could play the game. "I'm being deprived here, and I thought you promised to care for me…"

She smothered a giggle as she heard his tone. "In sickness and in health…" She recalled her wedding vows. "I guess I did…"

"To love, honour and cherish too…" Max reminded her with a smile as he nuzzled her neck and kissed the delicate white skin.

"Oh yes…can't forget the loving…" She leant her head back against his chest, looking up at him with her eyes shining. Remaining there for a few minutes, she allowed herself to revel in the feeling of being held in his arms, before pulling forward and nodding. "Okay, so spicey rice…" She turned her attention back to the question of food, standing and walking over to resume the preparation she had started.

Her husband was pleased to see that she appeared to have forgotten their search for the moment, and smiled, switching off, and closing the laptop up discretely. "Anything I can do to help? He asked as he slid the computer into its case and then stood up, crossing the room to join her.

"Not really with the food, I'm fine…why don't you just sort out some drinks and set the table…?" Liz continued what she was doing without looking up.

Max nodded, moving to do exactly that, and less than an hour later the couple sat down together to eat.

While usually they would be talking though, today a strange silence had settled over them and it was obvious both were very nervous. It was as though finally, they knew they were getting near to the end, they had come so far in the last year, so many times it would have been easy to give up, but they had persevered, and finally it seemed it was paying off.

Could it really be Michael and Isabel…? It was a question they were almost scared to ask. So many times they had hoped, and they had been disappointed… What if this was just another one of those times… How much longer could they continue like this…?

Liz sighed, using her knife and fork to collect a mouthful of rice which she chewed thoughtfully and then swallowed. It wasn't just a chance of being disappointed either, if it were them, how would Isabel and Michael react when they revealed themselves…? Would they have known to expect them, would they accept them, or would they reject them…? Part of her didn't want it to be them, because in Isabel and Maria, she had found good friends, and the possibility of losing them, which she knew existed, was something she hated to think about.

Her husband couldn't help but notice her pensive look, reaching out to touch her arm. "It'll be okay baby…whatever happens, we'll get through…together…" He assured her softly.

Liz smiled and nodded, looking back at him. "Yeah, I know…"

**********

"You do know you should have started this weeks ago?" Isabel commented to her brother impatiently as she led him into the library after school. She couldn't believe she was wasting an afternoon helping him with a piece of coursework for English which he had been given weeks before.

It wasn't that she was surprised by the face he had left it so late, that was pretty much a normal thing for him to do…usually she wasn't stuck helping him though.

Michael rolled his eyes. "So you keep saying…" He really couldn't care less, in fact Isabel helping him hadn't been his idea either… When their teacher had asked to see his draft copy though, and he had been unable to produce one, she had concluded that he was obviously having difficulty, and assigned a student to give him a little extra tutoring… Usually of course he would just have not bothered to turn up, but unfortunately on this occasion, the student who had been assigned was in fact his sister, and he knew her well enough to be sure she wasn't going to take no for an answer. "You didn't have to do this you know…I can manage to do it by myself…"

His sister glared at him. "Yeah, well maybe if you had done your draft when you were supposed to, people might believe that… As it is, your mark for this is now going to reflect on me, so it had better be good!"

Michael groaned as he heard the determination in her tone. Could this get any worse…?

Ignoring his obvious disinterest and the fact he clearly didn't want to be there, Isabel continued walking towards the main counter. "Come on!" Speaking to the librarian for a moment, a list of relevant titles, with class numbers, was produced and Mrs Barnes led the siblings over to the area of books they needed. "Here you go, if you need anymore help you tell me…" She instructed before heading back to the counter.

Isabel nodded, turning her attention to pulling out a number of books which she piled in Michael's arms before taking him over to where there were some seats and sitting down.

Some ten minutes later, much to Michael's dismay, he was stuck looking through the indexes to find relevant information. Any hopes he might have had for getting out early, and actually being able to spend some time with his girlfriend on the night they both had off seemed to be going down the drain and his sister was showing no sign of easing up. "How much more of this do I have to do?" He muttered through gritted teeth.

Isabel looked up from the work she had been doing to look back at him. "Until you have a good variety of information from different sources… That's how you get the best marks!"

"I don't need to get the best marks though…" Her brother protested. Usually he was perfectly happy with a minimal pass, and this was no different. "Can't I just manage with what I've got…surely that's enough for a pass…" Already he had probably done twice as much research as usual, and he was fed up.

"Maybe it would be enough for a pass, and maybe you don't care too much about your marks, but if I've been asked to help you, you're going to shoot high, understand?" Her tone left little room for discussion, making it clear she wasn't going to compromise.

"Fine!" Michael muttered as he turned back to his books. His concentration only held for another few minutes though, before he stopped, his attention caught by a familiar voice.

"Afternoon Mrs Barnes…thanks for the offer, but I think I'm good…"

"Alright then, if you're sure…find …"

Isabel looked over at her brother, suddenly realising that he wasn't concentrating. "Michael, what are yo-" She broke off with a frown as she saw him shake his head, pressing a finger to his lips as he strained to hear the rest of the conversation.

She glared. "Michael Guerin, you tell me what you're doing!"

He shook his head, pointing over in the direction of the counter where Max Evans stood talking to Mrs Barnes. "…family…important…" The last broken fragments of conversation drifted across the room and Michael looked over at his sister as he saw Max walk away from the counter and over to the computer terminals. "See, I told you there was something odd about them…"

Looking at him blankly, Isabel shook her head. "What are you on about?"

Indicating the woman at the counter, Michael looked back at her. "Just what I say… I knew all that stuff about moving about to find somewhere they liked was a load of rubbish… I mean why wouldn't they just stay where they were…?"

His sister rolled her eyes. "They already told you…they didn't have anywhere to stay… I mean they had been emancipated, that means they're not living at home…" She shook her head. Although at first she would have been the first to worry about any discrepancy, the more she got to know Liz, the more she knew that she couldn't… She liked the other girl, she hadn't had it easy, and Isabel could relate to that in some ways…

"Okay, so if they were emancipated, why was 'family' just mentioned by Mrs Barnes…?" He pressed.

"Maybe she meant Liz, did you even think that?" Isabel snapped at him, more than fed up of this already. "Not everyone is out to get us you know… Not everyone even cares…from what I've seen Liz and Max have way more important things on their minds…like surviving…" Her words were tight in clipped, sick and tired of her brother's attitude. After the visit to their apartment, she had no doubt that Liz and Max only just managed to pay for rent, food and other necessities, and although maybe it would be an improvement on Hank, she couldn't in all honesty say she really envied them the situation…

"What if she didn't mean Liz though, what if she meant some other…? She was talking about finding something too…" Michael wasn't going to give up so easily, he was like a dog with a bone when he thought he might be onto something… He pushed back the books and stood up.

His sister looked at him with wide eyes. "What do you think you're doing?" She hissed, motioning for him to sit back down.

"I'm gonna speak to Mrs Barnes…she should know what they were talking about…" His response was simple and to the point.

Upon hearing his plan, Isabel closed her eyes, shaking her head and counting to ten before standing up and hurrying after him. The least she could do was try and keep this civil and make sure they weren't thrown out…

"Can I help you…?" Mrs Barnes noticed Michael approaching and looked over.

"Yeah, M-"

Before he could get very far, Isabel broke in. "Hi Mrs Barnes…we don't want you to think we were listening intentionally, but sound does travel and…" She trailed of awkwardly, smiling inwardly as the librarian indicated for her to go on. "Well…when Max was talking to you, I thought I heard you say something about family to him…"

"Max…Max Evans you mean…?" The librarian didn't seem offended or anything and simply smiled. "He's a nice guy, friend of yours is he…?"

Isabel smiled back and gave a small nod. "Yeah…he and his wife…we go to school together and hang around a bit…" She glanced over at her brother, warning him to keep his mouth shut.

Although the older woman's lips thinned momentarily at the mention of his married status, still thinking it was something that wasn't quite right at his age, after a moment the smile returned as she remembered the meek young girl in question. "Oh yes, she's a lovely girl…such a shame about her family, I do hope she manages someone as they're hoping…"

"I thought they were all dead…her family I mean…" Isabel tried to keep her tone casual as she attempted to get as much in information as possible.

Mrs Barnes shook her head, seeing no real reason to keep it a secret since Isabel had said they were friends anyway. "Her parents are from what was said, poor luv… But they said she thought her family was from around here, she might even still have family in the area…" She shrugged. "I believe that's the main reason they've come to the area, although I could be wrong about that of course…"

Isabel nodded awkwardly, feeling rather confused. "Okay…well thanks Mrs Barnes…I guess we should get back to our work…sorry to bother you…"

"Not at all, always a pleasure to talk to you honey…I hope you're finding everything you need…"

Michael nodded gruffly. "Yeah…"

"Alright then, I'll leave you to it then…just call if you need anything else though…" Mrs Barnes returned to returning some books which had just come in as Michael and Isabel headed back to the table where they had left their stuff.

***

"I don't like it…"

Isabel sighed and rolled her eyes as she stood outside with her brother. It was about three hours since they had seen Max in the library and spoken to Mrs Barnes, and her bother hadn't shut up about what they had been told since. She accepted that it was strange, them having made out they had no family, but it wasn't exactly sinister, having family they didn't mention… "Michael just leave it, it's probably just private, and they didn't want to talk about it…"

"But why lie about why they're here… Why make out they have no family left?" He wanted answers…

"Maybe it was that they weren't certain, and by actually speaking about it they'd be getting their hopes up…" Isabel suggested off the top of her head. Really, she didn't see it as being that important. Something such as family was private, and considering the way Michael had been acting when the initial reason for coming to Roswell had been given, she couldn't say she would blame the couple for not mentioning something like that - he hadn't exactly made them feel welcome… "Seriously, you're making something out of nothing, and I think you know it!"

"What is it going to take to make you wonder about these people… I mean they're sixteen, and they're married…doesn't that start to ring alarm bells even before you start…?" He couldn't believe she was willing to just ignore these discrepancies…

Isabel sighed and shook her head. "It did at first yeah, but not now… I mean it's unusual yes, but anyone can see they love each other, so what business of ours is it if they decided to get married…?" She looked at her brother again. "Just let it lie… If there's anything in the family thing, I'm sure it'll come out later when they know for certain…" She was about to say more, but as trailed off as her cell began ringing, pulling it out and checking the number. It was Alex. "Just leave them be…" She finished with her brother before pressing to answer and turning her attention to her boyfriend. "Hey you…are you still wanting me to come over…?"

Michael watched her for a moment, rolling his eyes as he heard the change in her tone and growing more impatient as she continued. As his sister began making arrangements to see Alex though, he decided he'd had it and motioned to her he was leaving. "See you back at home…" He told her quickly before heading off down the road.

Isabel, who was still busy talking to Alex, nodded, not really focusing fully on her brother as he went to leave. "Okay, well I'll be seeing you in a few minutes then…yeah, I'll wait just outside the library…" She responded as her boyfriend said he was coming to pick her up. She listened for a moment and nodded. "Looking forward to seeing you too…"

**********

Shivering slightly from the cold breeze, Liz stepped out of the backdoor of the Crashdown and onto the street. Roswell might be warmer during the days than a lot of places at the moment, but some nights it could be a completely different matter even at this time of the year. She drew her jacket tightly around her body, crossing her arms as she headed down the street on her way home.

This was the first time she had been walking on her own at this time, and already she was wishing she had the sense to get changed back into her normal clothes before leaving work. The short minidress barely covered her backside, and her denim jacket didn't exactly help.

Although she had come home a couple of times alone, it had never been this late, Max always having come to pick her up in that case, and she couldn't help thinking that the journey seemed longer than it ever had done before. Unfortunately, Max had a later shift that night, something which had good and bad points. The good, was that it had enabled him to visit the library, the bad, that he wouldn't be home until nearly midnight…

Painfully conscious of the length of her dress, she quickened her pace, trying her best to ignore the wolf whistles she received from passing vehicles.

In fact, so intent was she on getting home, that she wasn't paying as much attention to her surroundings as she did normally, and didn't hear a male figure in the shadows approaching from behind until he spoke.

"Walking on your own at this time of night, isn't that rather dangerous…?"

She spun around on her heel, swallowing nervously as she recognised the figure. "Oh, M-michael…you startled me…" She greeted him somewhat awkwardly, slipping her hand behind her back and closing it into a fist as she attempted to reabsorb the energy which had automatically risen to the surface of her skin, causing her hand to tingle.

The other boy didn't make any comment at first. Despite what his sister or girlfriend might suspect if they found out, this wasn't something he had planned… Actually, he had just been walking around since leaving his sister at the library, and had been on his way home when he had seen Liz heading in the opposite direction. He knew he could have simply greeted her immediately of course, but at first he wasn't even sure that he would bother talking to her… He couldn't help being inwardly pleased by the somewhat nervous look on her face as she waited for him to respond though. He shrugged. "Startled you…well I am sorry, that wasn't my intention…" He finally responded in a tone which suggested he was anything but sorry in fact.

"I…uh…didn't hear you come up…" Liz commented now. "I guess I wasn't paying enough attention…"

"So it would seem…"

Liz shifted her weight to her other foot uncomfortably, finding, as always, that there was something about Michael she just wasn't sure about… She wasn't literally scared of course, having her powers to protect her if worst came to worst, but that wasn't the ideal and more than anything at that moment in time she wished that Max would just turn up…

Of course that wasn't going to happen, and knowing that Maria hadn't been working that night, she was unlikely to be around either… She chewed on her lip nervously as she continued to eye Michael.

"So, what are you doing out this late anyway…?" Michael pressed her.

Liz shook her head. "N-nothing special…I just got off work…" The more she spoke to him, the worse it got and the more she wanted to flee right at that moment in time…

"Where's hubby…?"

"He's still at work…" Liz responded slowly. She didn't like the way this was going, and right at that moment in time wanted nothing more than to get home.

"Really…so he's not going to be turning up anytime then…?"

She shook her head again. "N-no…"

Michael smirked at her expression. "You know Liz, anyone would think you were nervous…although why that would be I don't know…afterall, you're not hiding anything are you…?"

His words rang alarm bells in her head but Liz tried desperately to keep a straight face. "What are you on about Michael…? Because I really don't have a clue…" She tried to play dumb.

"Oh you know, you've been honest about why you're here and everything…" He pretended to think. "But you know what the funny thing is…? You didn't mention anything about your family around here…I wonder why…?"

Before Liz had a chance to respond, suddenly she heard Isabel's voice calling, and a moment later her friend ran up, glaring at her brother before turning to Liz. "I don't know what he's been talking to you about, but I'm really sorry anyway…" She looked over at Michael. "Come on, we should be getting home!"

Although he opened his mouth to object, Michael thought better of it as he recognised the look in his sister's eyes and nodded. "Fine…whatever…" He looked over at Liz. "See you in school tomorrow…"

"Yeah…sure…" Liz was still trying to work out where he might have got the information about family from as Isabel ussured her brother away and she resumed walking again - that had been weird…and more than a little creepy...

***

"What did you go and do that for…?" Michael glared at his sister as he climbed into the back of Alex's car.

Isabel looked back at him. "I told you to leave her alone, so imagine my surprise when Alex was driving me home, when I saw you talking to her." She shook her head. "Do you know what Max would probably do to you if he knew you had been doing that…? Liz is a young girl, and accosting her late a night on the street isn't exactly the best way to put her at ease you know…"

"Who said I wanted to put her at ease…" Michael muttered, angry to have had his meeting interrupted.

"If you want to get information, you want to put her at ease and make her want to talk to you…" Isabel glared again at her brother. "You'd better just hope that she doesn't tell Max…"

"I'm not scared of him…"

His sister groaned in exasperation at his stubborn attitude. "You are even more of an idiot than I imagined possible then… Michael, LEAVE THEM ALONE! You don't want to get into a fight with Max, and the way you're going, that's exactly what is going to happen!"

"I don't care…I just want some answers…"

"SO ASK!" Isabel really had had enough that evening. After spending three hours with Michael in the library, she had spent the rest of the evening in a very enjoyable manner with Alex but this was completely spoiling her good mood. "Try being friendly and simply asking…you'd be amazed how much success you might have…
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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Postby KatnotKath » Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:40 pm

WOW, you guys are amazing, thanks so much for the great feedback.

Maxssouldmate
Ellie - Liz zapping him was extremely tempting, but I figured she would probably not be that careless, even if he had been scaring her to an extent...
As for Michael asking - have we ever known Michael take advice before...?
Roswellgurlygirl16
Anonymousarfan - Michael - friendly...is that in his vocabulary...?
Timelord - well to be fair Liz and Max aren't walking up and just asking either... But they have been a little more discrete about their investigations I think, and certainly more friendly when it came to to the other group.
Lazza - patience, patience, nearly there :wink:
Isabelle - Ms. Guerin - so many possibilities it seems, guess you'll have to wait and see.
I'm glad you think that Michael was in character, I was a little nervous about that one, but when the idea occured to me it seemed too good to let go...
Flamehair
Natz - sorrry to hear about your computer, glad you're all caught up and are enjoying the story though :)
Forensicschic - I don't know if I'd say Liz is meek...maybe it's more that her reactions when Michael stopped her in the street showed her age - she's fifteen, walking in an area without a lot of lighting late a night. Sure she knows Michael, but he hasn't been that friendly towards her, and the way he's talking certainly wouldn't have put her at ease...
Antarian Chick -
Someone needs to take Michael a few notches down...

I have a feeling I wouldn't want to have been Michael when he and Isabel got home that night...don't worry, I think she'll have made her displeasure perfectly clear, and I don't imagine that Maria will have been too happy when she found out either...

Thank you to everyone that's reading, whether giving feedback or just lurking, I really hope that you're enjoying the story, because I know I'm loving writing it and every bit of feedback I really do appreciate.

So here's the deal, I have exams as from this Thursday, so I'm updating one last time before they start and then hopefully I'll have an update for you early February. I'm sorry to leave you hanging like this, but I really won't be able to spend the time I need to update until then and I hope you'll understand that sometimes, much as I might not want it to, real life has to come first.

Anyway, here's the next chapter, I hope you enjoy, and I'd love to hear what you think as always.

~Kat~


Chapter 23

"H-ello...My name is Rita Beech, I'm trying to get in touch with a Linda Guerin that I believe might have been found at this number in the past…?" As the ringing phone was picked up on the other end of the call and she heard a woman answer, Liz introduced herself politely, explaining what she was wanting.

She waited and listened to the response, before nodding. "Alright, well thank you for your help anyway…" She shook her head silently at her husband who stood to the side as she wished the woman a good day and then pressed the button to keep their credit and make another call.

"No luck…?" Max asked the question although in truth he already knew the answer. This whole idea was a long shot he knew, but it was the best they had for the moment at least…

Liz shook her head and sighed as she held the handset against her chest. "No, nothing…the contact numbers she gave at the time are obviously completely out of date, the question is how do you find someone ten years on when she might have got married, or moved away, or anything…?"

Max frowned, running a hand down her back. He couldn't shake the feeling that there was something Liz wasn't telling him. She had already been in bed the previous night when he got home - something which hardly ever happened… She had left him a note, saying there was food in the oven which just needed warming up - which there was - but it was just something she never did…

Of course she had been up late on repeated occasions the last few weeks, maybe she really was just tired… She had seemed her usual cheerful and loving self that morning before school…

There was one big thing which did bother him though - far more than her being in bed when he got back - and that was the fact she had spent lunch period in the library as opposed to sitting and eating with the others.

His wife had insisted there was nothing wrong when he asked of course, telling him that she just had some stuff she needed to get done for school, but he had a feeling it was something more than that…

"Are you okay baby…you just seem a little distracted…?" He asked softly as he reached to touch her shoulder.

Liz swallowed and nodded. She hadn't told Max about what happened with Michael the night before… She hadn't been too certain what to make of it, and was worried about how Max might react if he found out… Certainly he wasn't likely to be happy, and more than likely he would have wanted to at least say something to the other boy. It was liable to cause problems, and considering it was tense enough between the two it seemed, she hadn't wanted to make it worse for no reason when she was probably just overreacting and making something out of nothing… Michael was always rather blunt it seemed, maybe it was just his way of speaking, and the time and location he had chosen to try and talk to her had just made it seem worse… As much as she had told herself this, she couldn't deny that the conversation had put her on edge somewhat though, and she had to admit she had been actively avoiding Michael that day. "Y-yeah, I'm fine honey…it's just…" She shook her head. "You know, we're so close, and yet still we have to wait…"

Max smiled and nodded, pressing his lips to the top of her head. "I know, come on, let's just try the last one…it's an office number, so you never know, they might have a record of her being an employee at least…" Her husband suggested as he indicated the last number on their list.

His wife nodded. "Alright, but I'm afraid you're going to have to do that one yourself…I gotta get back to work…" She handed him the phone, reaching up to kiss his cheek before pulling back, her hand lingering on his a moment before she stepped away, leaving him alone in the phone booth. Crossing the road, she looked back as she reached the door, giving a small wave before heading inside.

Watching her small form as she crossed the road, Max found his gaze drawn to the shapely form of her legs which could be seen below the short skirt of her dress. She was so beautiful… He smiled and waved back as she turned for a moment, waiting until she had gone back into the diner before returning to the phone and dialing the final number. It rung a few times before being picked up. "Oh hello, I'm trying to get in touch with a Linda Guerin…I understand she may have worked here at some time…" He listened a moment. "Yes, I understand that, but this is rather important…"

***

"Sorry Maria, hope I wasn't gone too long…" Liz apologised as she removed her jacket, slipping into the staff room at the back to get rid of it, before returning and immediately getting back to work clearing a recently vacated table.

"Not at all, it's fine!" The other waitress assured her with a big smile as she came over to help. "It's not like it's very busy at the moment is it…?" She motioned to the half empty diner. Usually at this time it would be full to bursting with the after-school crowd, but there was a basketball game and it seemed most kids had stayed behind to watch.

Of course that probably meant it was only a matter of time before it did get busy, so she and Liz had been trying to keep well on top of everything in the hopes it wouldn't be too bad when that happened.

As the bell above the door rang, Liz looked up, half expecting it to be Max coming in for a drink and to tell her how he had done. She froze as the customers came into view though, her reaction a complete contrast to Maria who grinned and went over to greet them.

"What can I get you two?"

Liz busied herself at another table while Maria took Michael and Isabel's order. She avoided looking at either of the siblings, hoping, however unlikely it was, that neither of them would have noticed her.

In fact, everything seemed to go reasonably well, considering… That was until the bell rang again, and in walked Max. Waving to her husband, Liz smiled as she watched him enter the diner. She felt her chest grow tight she heard Isabel's voice though, beckoning him to come and join her and Michael.

"Are you going to go and see about what he wants?" Maria asked with a knowing smile as she stopped at the side of Liz, indicating the table where Max had sat down with the others.

She turned awkwardly and nodded. "W-what, oh yeah…" She forced a smile for the benefit of her friend, and took a deep breath as she pulled her order pad out of the front of her apron and headed over.

"Liz, hey!" Isabel smiled at her friend. "I didn't see you at lunch today, I do hope it didn't have anything to do with my idiot brother's stunt last night…" She glared at her brother, never guessing that Liz hadn't actually told Max about what happened.

The younger girl's husband looked at her questioningly, while Liz bit her lip, shaking her head. "What…oh, no, nothing like that…I just had some work I needed to do…" She responded, avoiding the gaze of her husband as she used the same excuse she had given to him earlier.

"Okay…well if you're sure…" Isabel nodded, accepting the reason with a smile. "I just hope that you didn't think I had anything to do with it…he can sometimes be something of an idiot…"

Michael looked at her. "HEY!" He objected. "HE, is stood right here, and HE, is NOT an IDIOT!" He growled, making no intimation to suggest he was sorry at all. "I just wanted to know why they were lying…"

Listening to Michael, Max's lips thinned. He didn't like being accused of lying, but what he liked even less was when someone upset Liz, and he was now in no doubt as to the fact that this 'meeting' Liz had omitted telling him about had something to do with his wife having been in bed when he got home the previous night. "I don't know what you said to her, but you'd better apologise right now!" He told the other guy as he glared at him.

Michael gave a motion to indicate he didn't care, before refusing to apologise. "Why should I apologise when what I was saying was the truth?" He looked first to Max, and then at Liz, finding some satisfaction in the fact she was refusing to meet his gaze. "You lied to us about why you were here! You led us to believe that you had no family when you obviously think you do!"

"What is going on here?" Maria hurried over as she heard him raise his voice, looking round at her group of friends expectantly. "Liz…are you okay…?" She couldn't help noticing the other girl looked a little pale and unsteady…

Without waiting to hear how she would answer, Max reached out to Liz, pulling her down to perch on his lap for a moment as he wrapped his arms around her, nuzzling the back of her neck.

"I'm sorry…" She whispered, burying her face in his chest. She should have told him last night what had happened, of course she should… Secrets between the two of them never came to any good, she should have learnt that a long time since…

Her husband shook his head. "It's okay…it's okay…don't worry about it…" He told her softly before looking round at the others. Now, more then ever perhaps, he found himself wondering if Michael and Isabel were the ones they had been looking for… Maybe it would explain Michael's apparent hostility towards them in the past - if he were harbouring a secret like theirs…

It was too risky to just come out and ask though - they still needed the proof, and until they had that, they had to continue as they were.

Besides, whoever Michael was, Max wasn't going to put up with him upsetting his wife! He glared at the other boy. "You have no idea what you're talking about!"

"No, I don't…because you lied to me before!" Michael didn't shy away from the gaze of the other boy.

"Michael w-" Maria attempted to diffuse the situation, but her boyfriend just wasn't interested.

Finally Liz looked up again, holding up her hand to Maria to tell her to stop. "I-it's okay… Michael is right, in a way yes, we didn't tell you everything…" She swallowed nervously, reaching for Max's hand, seeking the strength she needed.

"See, I told you!" Michael smirked triumphantly, eyeing the couple with some amount of suspicion again.

Liz looked away from him as she continued. "There's a reason though…" She looked to Isabel and Maria. "We had just met you, and this is kinda private… I never knew my parents a-"

"It's okay Liz, you don't have to do this…" Isabel tried to tell her friend, glaring at her brother for having caused all this. Why couldn't he just leave well alone and accept that sometimes people needed to keep things to themselves…

The young brunette shook her head though. "No, I do…" She swallowed again, chewing her lip. "You welcomed us into your group, and we're so grateful for that…we haven't had many people to call friends recently… The truth is, I never really knew my parents, but I've got some stuff of theirs…including a diary…" She kept the tale as close to the truth as possible, knowing that in the long run, irregardless of whether or not the Guerins were who they were looking for, it would be easier. "I don't really know where they're from orginally, my dad was in the army and they moved about a lot… We've been retracing their journey, using the bits of information that we have been able to gather, searching for anything that would give a clue, and Roswell came up…so, here we are…"

Max took over now, squeezing her hand. "Liz wanted to see if she had any family left… On my side we know there's nothing, but on hers…" He shrugged. "The thing is, it's not been easy on her, so we tend not to talk about it much…"

Maria and Isabel nodded understandingly, although Michael looked less than convinced. "Of course…I'm sorry Liz…" The taller of the two turned to her brother, giving him a look which said 'told you so'.

Liz nodded. "It's okay…you didn't know…" She responded softly, a small smile settling back on her face as she realised the explanation appeared to have been accepted.

Just then, the relative quiet of the diner was broken as the door opened and a stream of noisy teenagers trooped through the door.

"Do you think they won…?" Liz asked Maria, taking a deep breath as she removed herself from her husband's lap and smoothed her apron as she got ready to get back to work. Later maybe she would end up thinking more about this, and the possibility that she had just been sat with the people they were looking for, but for now she didn't have time and decided to simply concentrate on keeping a smile on her face and doing her job.

"Who knows, they're pretty noisy if they lost anyway…" Her friend tossed back as she headed over to begin to seat the growing crowds and slipping easily back into working mode. "Can you handle the counter for now?"

Liz nodded. "Already on it…" She assured the other girl before looking back at her husband. "If you want something to drink, easiest might be to come back to the counter with me…"

He stood up, doing just that, and after providing him with the required beverage, Liz turned her attention to the first group who were lined up. "Okay, what can I get you?"

**********

"Liz…?" Max called out softly as he pushed open the door to find the apartment in darkness. He flicked the switch, turning on the lights as he stepped inside but didn't call out again. Considering that it was nearly midnight, his shift having been another late one, he assumed his wife was already in bed, probably fast asleep from her own busy shift.

Closing the door behind him carefully, moved further into the room, crossing over to the bedroom door and easing it open, using his powers to make sure that the joint didn't squeak and wake Liz if she was asleep as he suspected.

As the door swung open however, he was greeted by the soft sweet voice of his wife who was sat up in bed, a school textbook in her lap which she had obviously been reading by the light of the single bedside light in the room. "Hey…"

"Hey…" Max couldn't help smiling. It was such a 'normal' sight… "You didn't have to wait up for me you know…"

Liz nodded and smiled, closing her textbook and setting it down on the top of the bedside table. "I know…I wanted to though…" Pushing back the covers and rising up onto her knees, she crawled across the bed towards him, swinging her legs over the side and standing up.

It was impossible to ignore the way her skimpy nightdress clung to her slim frame, the silky material falling over her shapely hips and down her legs. Max let out a low groan. "Do you know how beautiful you look right now…?" He asked her softly, dropping his bag down onto the floor in order to take her into his arms. "You are an angel…"

Liz giggled as she relaxed against him. "You look pretty good yourself…even if purple isn't your best colour…" Her eyes twinkled mischievously as her hand touched the t-shirt which formed part of his uniform, darkening the colour to more of a dark blue. "Much better…"

Max laughed and shook his head as he watched her. "You'd better turn that back tomorrow…" He warned with a smile.

"Okay…" She pulled back a moment and nodded, before leaning her head back against his chest and resuming her comfortable position. "How was work anyway…?"

Smiling again, his arms still around her, Max guided his wife back over to the bed, sitting down with her then. "Actually you know, it wasn't too bad… It seemed really long though… How was your shift after I left…?"

Max released Liz now in order to get ready for bed, and she crawled back under the covers, pushing back the other side ready for him. "Busy, but nothing out of the ordinary really…"

"Did Michael cause any more problems…?"

She swallowed. She had known this was coming of course… "No…" The brunette took a breath, pulling her knees up under her chin and wrapping her arms around her legs over to covers. "Max…I'm sorry I didn't tell you about last night… I was just worried about what you might do to him, and it really wasn't a big deal…"

"He obviously shook you up though… That's why you went to bed early last night isn't it…?" Her husband removed his jacket, putting it on a coat hanger in the closet before discarding his t-shirt and removing his shoes. Next came his socks, and then trousers. He grabbed the pyjama bottoms he wore for bed and pulled them on before climbing into bed with his wife, slipping an arm around her shoulders again as he pulled her close. "I'm not angry or anything honey…just I wish you had told me…"

She sighed and nodded, leaning into his arms once more. "I know… I just didn't really know what to make of it, and I knew you'd get upset…" Reaching up, she brushed her lips against his cheek. "So, you never did tell me how the last call went anyway… There was all the stuff with Michael, and then the school crowd came in…"

Max nodded. For a moment there he had actually forgotten about that. He had gone into the Crashdown specifically to tell her of course, but then Isabel had called him over, and as Liz said, nothing had been said because really he hadn't had any time alone with her… He grinned as he reached for one of her hands. "Actually…I did pretty well…"

Liz took in his expression, relatively sure she knew what it meant. "You found her?" Her eyes widened in amazement. She had expected another dead end…

Her husband shook his head. "Not exactly…well…sort of I guess…" He smirked. "Sorry…"

Liz shook her head and smiled at the way he contradicted himself. He really was rather cute when he did that… "What happened then…?"

Taking a moment, Max didn't respond intitially.

"Come on, if you're trying to build up suspense it's working you know!" She pouted playfully and looked at him.

He laughed and shook his head, kissing her hand a moment. "Sorry baby…" He shook his head. "Okay, well I managed to find out that Linda Guerin did used to work for them, but she doesn't anymore…"

"Any contact number…?" Liz asked hopefully despite the fact she knew it was unlikely.

Max smiled. "Actually, yeah…except it's not for a Miss Guerin, but a Mrs Jenson…" He shrugged. "Apparently she got married and quit work… They gave me a home number though, after some persuasion…"

"You're serious…?" She could hardly believe what she was hearing. This was so much more than the dead end she had been expecting…

"Yeah… So..I guess we have another call to make tomorrow do you think…?"

Liz grinned. "Definitely…" They were so close now, if this woman knew what had happened to the children she had found, there was a strong likelihood they might have the identities they had been searching for by the same time next evening.

"For now though, I think maybe some sleep would be a good idea…" Struggling to hold back a yawn, Max realised just how tired he was. They certainly couldn't do anything else that day, it was way too late.

"I think maybe you're right…" His wife nodded as the two of them lay down, Max spooning Liz as he wrapped his arms around her body.
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:

Postby KatnotKath » Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:04 pm

Timelord31 - We're getting close :wink:
LoveIsForever - Glad you understood
Ellie - Well I don't know if you could ever suggest that Michael was very good with going about things in a smart manner - he's more a 'do now, think later' person isn't he?
Lazza - sorry to disappoint with the lack of a fist fight, but then I don't suppose it would have gone down too well with Mr Parker, and surely you wouldn't want Liz losing her job...?
Flamehair - Well put it this way, I think it's definite that he will have something to say...
behrlyliz[b] - I believe this chapter contains some of your answers...
[b]Liz86000
- LOL Much fun as it might be, I don't think it would help to have Max beating up Michael in the long run... Shame though...hehe
Antarian Chick - Mrs Jenson - hopefully this next chapter will help... Hope your exams have gone, or are going okay.
Isbelle - Well there are bits of truth in there lol - like the fact that they're looking for family... As for Linda Guerin, not that it doesn't seem like a good idea to just ask, but not too sure how they would explain that rather strange question...guess we'll have to see... :wink: Glad you're enjoying the story though.

Okay, so I'm back with another chapter, I just hope it won't disappoint... Thanks for all the feedback you guys, so glad to see you're enjoying the story and thanks so much for taking the time to tell me what you think. Thank you also for the patience you've shown with my updates.

I think chapter will help with some of the questions I know you all have, and I hope you'll all enjoy it.

Thanks for reading to any lurkers out there, I hope you're enjoying the story.

~Kat~

Chapter 24

"Hello, I-is that Mrs Jenson…?" Liz struggled over the words as the phone was finally picked up on the other end. By the end of this call, it was possible they would have all the information they needed to confirm the identities of those they were looking for… She held her breath, smiling as the woman on the other end responded in the affirmative. "And your maiden name was Guerin…Linda Guerin…?"

Listening for a moment more, she finally nodded and continued. "H-hi…my name is Rita Blake…I'm a journalist who's doing an article on child abandonment and your name came up connected with a case in Roswell, New Mexico, about ten years ago…"

Max sat next to her on the sofa watching carefully for any change of expression which would give him a clue as to what was being said.

Liz listened for a moment and nodded. "Yes, I understand it's a long time ago…but when I was doing some research the case came up - being unusual as it was… I was wondering if you might be able to answer a few questions for me…?" She requested hopefully, maintaining at all times a polite and professional manner as she spoke.

"Yes Ma'am…I promise you I won't be using your name, I'm just trying to get a little more background to what happened… I understand there were two kids, out on the highway…?" She paused to allow a response and smiled. "And this was about what time…?"

Max leant over slightly, scanning what his wife was noting down on her pad. At the moment it was basically just confirming what they already knew…

Going on to ask some more basic questions, Liz tried to be methodical and thorough in her approach, wanting to give the woman no reason to suspect she was anything but a journalist as she had told her. "Alright, thank you Mrs Jenson, that's great…" She paused a moment, hoping to give the impression of hesitating and then asked her final question. "I was just wondering…you're not still in touch with the children are you…?"

Holding his breath, Max let out a sigh as he saw her shake her head.

"No, of course…I understand… Would you be able to tell me anything about what happened to them…without names...? Yes…I'll wait…" Liz felt her heart leap slightly as Mrs Jenson said she might have something… She wasn't still in contact with the children, but then that hadn't been likely…

"What's she saying…?" Max whispered as he realised the woman had gone for the moment.

"Well she's certainly the right person; she was a tourist, just passing through the area. She was driving along the highway and suddenly there were these kids on the side of the road, naked… She couldn't adopt them, being young, single, and lacking in firm financial means, and she hadn't been in literal 'contact', bu-" Liz broke off sharply, nodding as Mrs Jenson returned to the phone. "Yes, I'm still here…" She listened again for a moment, noting down a name and smiled. "Alright, well thank you very much for your help Mrs Jenson… I'm sorry to have troubled you, thank you for your time…"

Waiting impatiently as she exchanged pleasantries and ended the call, Max looked at Liz expectantly as she finally set the phone down on the table. "Well…?"

Liz grinned. "She wouldn't tell me their names, or anything like that - saying she didn't think it was right considering, but she has given me the name of their social worker, who she said she might be able to help me with further details…" Of course given that her story of being a journalist was just that, she knew she wouldn't be able to do as the woman had suggested, but the information she had been given, along with the name of the social worker should make it a lot easier to find relevant files in the foster-care records. She looked over at Max, nodding. "I'm still going to have to confirm it of course, but from everything she's said though, I think it might just be them you know… It was a girl and a boy, one dark haired, one slightly fairer… She said as far as she had heard, they had never been adopted, only fostered…and since she did manage to keep track of them up until she got married a few years ago, somehow I doubt that it's going to have changed, it's not like teenagers are in demand for adoption is it…?" She shrugged and checked through her notes. "She didn't say they were called Guerin of course, but you and I both know that the usual procedure seems to be to call them after the people that find them so I think it's pretty likely…"

Max nodded, taking this in… Liz was right, everything they found out pointed in one direction…

"So, I guess if I can confirm it's Michael and Isabel from foster records, the next step is to talk to them…" Liz commented softly, feeling somewhat nervous about the idea. Isabel was already a good friend, and she couldn't help worrying about the fact they had lied initially, and perhaps more importantly, had gone further yesterday… It had been necessary of course, they couldn't just come out and tell people what they were without good reason, but still…she didn't know if Isabel and especially Michael, would see it that way…

"Yeah, I guess it will be…" Max smiled and reached for her hand, squeezing it gently. "It'll be okay…I'm sure they'll be able to understand why we had to be sure before saying something…" He assured her softly, slipping his other arm around her back and pulling her towards him.

Liz sighed and looked up at him. "I hope so…" She murmured softly, leaning her head against his chest and closing her eyes wearily. It had been a long few days - exhausting both physically and mentally…

**********

"I don't believe them!" Michael commented as he looked around the room. Maria, Isabel and Alex were all sat in Alex's room at his insistence, the 'leader' figure of the group having insisted there was something important to talk about.

Throwing her hands up in the air as she realised that once again this was all about Liz and Max, Maria glared at her boyfriend. "Can we please choose a different subject…?"

Isabel nodded in agreement. "Michael they've told you far more than I would have in the circumstances…and you can't exactly say we're being completely honest to them either can you…?"

"That's different!" Her brother grouched, glaring at the two girls as they sided against him.

"Oh yeah, it's different because you want to keep secrets!" His girlfriend was making no secret of her feelings about the matter.

"Okay, so you're saying we should just walk up and tell everyone we're aliens then…?"

Alex stood up, stepping between the two of them. "Hey guys, cool it… Michael you know that's not what Maria is saying, she's pointing out that you have good reason to keep secrets, and so did they…"

Isabel let out a sigh as the rational head of her boyfriend tried to calm the situation, succeeding at least in putting an end to the shouting match. "Maybe it sounds a little strange Michael, I'm not saying it doesn't, but did you see the way she was looking, have you listened to a word she's said in the time they've been here… Liz isn't out to get us Michael, and neither is Max!"

"How do you know that? You think they'd come out and admit it if they were?" Clearly Michael wasn't going to give in easily today. He had been told repeatedly to leave the couple alone, but something about them just didn't fit…

"Michael…."

Maria began to say something but she was cut off as her boyfriend held up his hand, shaking his head. "No Maria, maybe I am over-reacting, but I'm over-reacting because I don't want you guys to get hurt… Is a little more digging really going to do that much harm…?" He looked at her. "Personally I'd rather scare two strangers away, than have one of you come to harm…do you think that's wrong…?"

Isabel sighed and shook her head. She knew her brother was trying to protect them, he always tried to protect them…he always meant well, it was just he was as subtle as a brick, and really didn't know how to handle anything that was remotely delicate in nature… "Michael we know this…we know how you feel, just please, try and cool it…"

The guy at the centre of the meeting seemed to think for a moment, almost as though considering this. Finally, he looked over at Maria. "When's Liz next working…?"

His girlfriend looked at him in surprise. "Um…I think tomorrow, same as you and me…" She responded, not really sure where this was going.

"What about the next time she's on and we're not…?"

Alex looked over at him, certain he wasn't going to like where this was going…

"P-probably Friday…I worked last Friday, she's working this one…" Maria's forehead creased in confusion as she answered his question.

Her boyfriend nodded before appearing to drop the subject without any explanation, suddenly deciding it was time to go. "Isabel, you coming…?" He looked over at his sister expectantly.

Isabel sighed and nodded. "I guess so… See you guys later…" She waved at Maria, pausing by Alex to give him a kiss.

"Hang on guys, I'm gonna get going too, so I can easily give you a lift!" Maria offered, bidding Alex a good evening quickly before heading out of the room with the others.

**********

"Am I really seeing what I think?" Alex blinked, rubbing his eyes and peering again at the scene in front of him as he walked into the school cafeteria. Michael was actually talking, willingly it seemed, to Max… "There has to be a story behind this…" He muttered to himself, looking round and calling out to Isabel as she went to join her in the lunch queue.

"Hey…" His girlfriend smiled as she round.

"Hey…" He smiled back and leant against the wall as they waited in line. "Is there something I should know…?"

"Huh…?" Isabel looked at him blankly, shaking her head. "Honestly Alex, I don't have a clue what you're talking about…" She told him, her pretty face displaying something of a confused expression as she wondered if she had missed something.

"Oh right…sorry, I assumed you'd have seen them…" Alex grinned sheepishly, realising that must have sounded pretty weird to her.

"Seen who…?" Isabel's confusion was now quickly being replaced with trepidation, having a horrible feeling this was going to involve her brother in some way, shape or form…

"Max and Michael…talking at the table…"

"WHAT?"

As the couple turned sharply, they ended up laughing as Maria, who had apparently joined the line just behind them, waved. "Oh hey Maria…"

The smaller girl nodded and smiled. "Hey… Now, what's this about Michael and Max actually talking…? I mean I'm assuming you're meaning without one of them killing the other…?"

Alex laughed and nodded. "Well, what's going on I don't really know, but yeah, they're talking…and no there hasn't been bloodshed, yet…"

The two girls gave short laughs, although their amused expressions were soon replaced by puzzled ones as they both tried to work out what on earth was going on… The two guys talking together was unusual enough… After Michael's stunt the other night though, and the fact that Max was now fully aware of it, they had to assume that Michael wouldn't be too popular with Liz's husband right now…in fact, talking to him alone would seem like an extremely bad idea…

"Okaaay… How about you guys get me something which looks edible, and I'll just go head over there before they get to that part…" Maria commented, pulling out a note which she held out to Isabel before disappearing from the line, heading across the cafeteria in the direction that their usual table was found…

***

Meanwhile, Liz, who had told Max to go on ahead when a teacher asked to speak to her after class, had just walked into the lunch room. She started to head in the direction of the table, but then stopped dead as she noted the identities of the two figures sat together, one either side of the table. Max, and Michael… Her chest tightened as she thought about the things that her husband had said about the way Michael had acted that earlier in the week… She had known he would react of course, which was why she hadn't mentioned it, but in the end keeping it secret had just made it worse…

It had taken all of her powers of persuasion to convince him to leave it this time… Even if Michael and Isabel might be the ones they were looking for, Max didn't take kindly to her being upset she knew, and she was certain that all it would take from Michael was one comment of the usual kind to make him forget all the reasons why he shouldn't do anything…

Once comment, and the two of them were sat there alone…she couldn't help thinking that was something of a recipe for disaster…

Taking a breath, she quickened her pace as she began to step in that direction once more, feeling that the sooner the two of them were joined by someone, whoever it be, the better…

***

"So I know you said it paid okay, but what sort of hours do you work…?" Michael asked Max as they sat together eating. "I don't imagine it'll give much time to get stuff for school done, nor allow you much time with Liz…"

Max shrugged, finding this conversation a little uncomfortable. He hadn't really spoken to Michael individually before, and while with the others it just seemed to flow, with Michael what had started as a general conversation had taken on something of an interrogative edge it seemed. "It's not ideal, but you do what you have to...I-"

"Hey guys, not interrupting anything am I?" Maria bounded up just at that moment, giving neither of them a chance to respond as she took a seat next to Michael. "I thought I asked you to wait for me…?"

As the two began to bicker in their usual manner, Max soon tuned them out as a familiar brunette appeared at his side. "Hey…"

Liz smiled, taking a seat next to him and getting her sandwiches out of her bag. "Hey, sorry about that, Mr Mills wanted to check something with me…"

"Anything important…?"

She shook her head. "Nope, nothing that you need bother about…" She hesitated a moment, wondering whether to elaborate. "He just wants to put my last essay up on one of the wall displays…" She shrugged. "Unfortunately that means writing it up in best…" She rolled her eyes. "I don't see what's wrong with putting up a piece of work with marking on it, but apparently he doesn't want to do that so...Joy of joys…"

The sound of another girl laughing announced to the group that Alex and Isabel had arrived, and as the group rearranged themselves at the table, Isabel placed down a pack of sandwiches in front of Maria, passing her some change too. "Here, it was the best I could find…"

"Thanks…"

"So have you guys decided what we're going to go and see at the movies on Saturday yet…?" As the group began to eat, conversation flowed and the teenagers began to talk amongst one another.

As soon as she bit into her sandwich though, Maria's eyes went wide. She looked down at the package. "What the heck is in that?" She demanded, waving her hand in front of her mouth and reaching out towards Liz's bottle of water. "Chica you don't mind if I pinch a mouthful do you?" She asked without giving her chance to object and unscrewing the top.

Liz and Max both watched with horror as she raised the bottle of tobacco dosed water towards her mouth… What could they do, how could they explain this…? It seemed as though everything was moving in slow motion, and yet there was nothing they could do to stop it…

"Oh sorry Maria, I forgot to give you your soda…" Isabel quickly shoved the can across to her friend with an apologetic look, and Liz watched with relief as Maria set her bottle back down. Grabbing it quickly, she took a long drink, hoping that no one would have noticed her reaction, before 'accidentally' knocking it with her arm as she set it down.

"Are you okay?" Isabel immediately moved around, pulling some tissues out of her bag.

Liz nodded. "Yeah, I think I might have to visit the restroom before class to see if I can't dry myself though…" She commented, pulling a face as she tried to mop up some of the water on the table.

Taking advantage of the distraction, Max had by now slipped his bottle quickly back into his bag to avoid anyone accidentally picking it up and after fastening the zip, he 'rejoined' the others as he took the sodden tissues from his wife, assuring her that they could finish tidying up and urging her to go and sort herself out.

Agreeing that this would probably be the best plan, the three girls backed up their stuff, telling the guys they'd see them soon, and then heading off, leaving the guys to finish tidying up.

"Sorry about this…" Max commented as Alex returned from the kitchen with three cloths. "You guys can go if you like, I can manage…" Indeed, it would be a whole lot easier if they did go, because then he could use his powers to assist in the clear up, while with two witnesses, he was limited to simple, human cleaning…

"No problem, we're okay right Alex…?"

Michael's response caused his friend to blink. Okay, now he knew there was something going on… "Uh…yeah, sure, no problem…" He responded, passing a cloth to each of the other guys before he began to use his own to soak up the majority of the liquid which had travelled to the far side of the table.

Max nodded, trying to hide his frustration. "Okay, well thanks guys…"

***

"Really you two, I can probably manage to do this myself, don't let me make you late for class…" Liz desperately tried to get rid of her friend when she reached the restroom… It wasn't that she didn't want their help, but without them there this would be a whole lot easier… All she would have to do was lock herself in one of the cubicles, and then wave her hand - simple… She'd make sure to leave the impression of a stain of course, but in all it would probably only take her about two minutes, as opposed to having to struggle to dry her jeans using the hand dryer…

"Nonsense, don't you worry about us, we'll be fine… You on the other hand look rather wet!" Isabel waved off her protests, pushing her towards one of the cubicles. "How about you go in there and take off your jeans - we'll be able to dry them easier under the drier then…"

Watching as the petite brunette did as was suggested, Maria took the trousers which she pushed over the top of the door, handing them to Isabel then walking over to the door to watch out for anyone coming in.

Meanwhile Isabel pressed the button on the hand drier for cover, while she in fact used her powers to clean up the mess. She knew her brother would object if he found out, but really it wasn't like it wouldn't work with the drier, just it would take a little longer…and perhaps wouldn't be quite so effective. Liz was a friend, and she wanted to help her… As the drier turned off, she pressed again to restart as Liz called out to ask how it was doing. "Not bad…just a few more minutes should do it I think…" She called back, looking over at Maria to check the coast was still clear, waving her hand over the material quickly, causing the mark to instantly fade and the wet patch dry. She let the drier run once more, sticking the jeans under just to heat the material as would be expected, and then as it ran out, she walked back over to the closed door, asking her to see if they were okay now.

Grabbing the end of the trouser legs which had been slung over the top of the door, Liz pulled them down. "Yeah, they're fine!" She called back even before checking, knowing she could finish it if needed. However, that wasn't necessary, she found, pulling them up her hips quickly and shoving her feet back into her shoes, zipping up and buttoning her waistband quickly before opening the door just as the warning bell sounded, causing the three girls to hurry out into the corridor and head to their respective classes.
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:

Postby KatnotKath » Sun Feb 05, 2006 7:46 pm

Thanks for all the feedback, glad to see you're enjoying the story.

behrstars - thanks, glad you enjoyed it
Timelord31 -
I think Michaels planning on breaking into Liz and Max apartment on friday night.

You think??? Well here's your answer...
Maya - yup, that's our Michael...always certain that someone's after him...
Lazza - Spying sounds fun, but I think they have a rather full schedule as it is lol.
Flamehair - well, they 'think' they know... As for Michael and his suspicion, do you really think he needs anything to raise his suspicion...?
isabelle - harder and harder yes, I promise all will come out soon though
Ellie - Michael's plot - read on and see...hope you won't be disappointed...
Maxssoulmate - Glad you enjoyed the part, thanks for reading
anonymousarfan - not much longer...
salcombe_girl - thanks for reading
suicide_eagle_rath - thanks very much :oops: I'm glad you enjoyed reading it.

Okay, I know you've been waiting a long time, and I promise it won't be much longer. I'm not too certain about this chapter, it being so fragmented, but it seemed a good idea at the time, and I guess I'll just have to hope it works. Hope you all enjoy and love to hear what you think.

Hello to any lurkers, thanks for reading and hope you're enjoying it.

~Kat~


Chapter 25

“Come on Michael, it’d be fun…you told me the other day you wanted to see the movie, why not go as a double date?” Isabel asked him, clearly surprised by his refusal. It wasn’t as though they didn’t go on double dates sometimes…and she knew that Maria had voiced an interest in the film too when she had mentioned it earlier in the day. Personally it seemed like a perfect solution, although not for her brother it seemed…

“I’m not in the mood…” Michael insisted gruffly.

“And you don’t even think to ask if I am…” Maria commented pointedly, glaring at her boyfriend as she walked up. “I actually think that sounds like a lovely idea, and considering the last two dates you’ve taken me on, and the way you’ve been acting recently, maybe you should consider trying to make it up to me…”

Inwardly, Michael winced as he noted the sharp edge to her voice. Both the girls had made it perfectly clear of what they thought about the way he had ‘spoken’ to Liz earlier in the week, and he knew neither was going to forgive and forget easily.

Thinking quickly, he looked over at Maria. “Yeah, but the reason I have for not wanting to go, is that I’ve already got something special planned…” He told her sweetly, ignoring for the moment the fact that when she found out the truth, she was likely to go through the roof… He needed to do this, and he needed her there…hopefully when he explained she would understand that…

Isabel watched him curiously as he said this. It was a most unlike-Michael thing to say, and she couldn’t help wondering if he was playing some sort of game… The smile his words put on Maria’s face made her hope not though, and she mentally berated herself, thinking that maybe she should have more faith in him…

“Really…?” Maria’s eyes lit up at the information and she smiled widely as she moved closer to her boyfriend and gave him a kiss. Really he wasn’t all that bad sometimes…and she did love him…

Feeling a little uncomfortable, and maybe even a little guilty about the reactions he had caused in Maria, Michael nodded stiffly. “Yeah, of course…” He kissed her back and silently prayed that she wasn’t going to kill him when she found out the truth. He wasn’t lying completely…it was something special…just not special in the manner that she would be thinking of…

**********

“So what do you think that Michael had planned tonight with Maria…?” Isabel asked curiously as she and Alex paid their money and made their way into the movie theatre together. Michael hadn’t been ready by the time her boyfriend picked her up, so she didn’t even have the clue of what he had been dressed in to go by. “If it’s not the movies, it has to be a nice meal I’d have thought…right…?”

Alex nodded slightly, inwardly hoping that she was right. If she was, he was sure that Maria would have a wonderful time, but somehow he had a horrible feeling she was in for something of a surprise, and not of the pleasant variety… “I guess… Don’t really know though, he didn’t mention it to me before or anything like he sometimes does…” He responded, trying to keep from giving any real opinion. He didn’t want to get Michael into trouble, but nor did he want to lie to his girlfriend…best was just to stay quiet.

Unfortunately, Isabel knew him well, and his lack of input rang alarm bells in her head. “Why do I get the feeling you don’t think that’s what he had planned…?” She asked him as she looked over questioningly.

In a matter of seconds, the conversation had caused the relaxed atmosphere between them to stiffen and suddenly she wasn’t certain if she was in the mood for the movie or not.

Biting his lip, Alex cursed himself for not being able to lie better. After all, it wasn’t as though he hadn’t had plenty of practice over the last few years, you’d have thought he’d have been an expert at doing it convincingly by now… “I told you before, I don’t know what he has planned, he hasn’t mentioned anything to me…” He responded weakly, hoping desperately that she wasn’t going to press anymore.

“Alex…?” She raised her eyebrows questioningly, clearly not willing to let it go so easily.

He pulled a face and shook his head. “I don’t know…it just…doesn’t seem right somehow…” He admitted reluctantly. “He’s been acting weird for a couple of days, Max said he was asking about his hours of work yesterday… I don’t know what it’s about, but he never talks to Max willingly…there had to be a reason for that…”

Recollecting another question which had been asked earlier in the week, this time relating to Liz’s shifts, Isabel found a theory forming in her head. She might be wrong of course…in fact she would be delighted if she was… The whole thing seemed crazy, especially if he truly thought they were dangerous, but then no one had ever accused Michael of being sensible… She bit her lip. “Alex…I…uh…think I’m going to give Maria a call, see where they are…” She told him, biting her lip nervously as she reached into her bag to pull out her cell.

***

“Michael, why are we stopping here…where is here, what’s going on?” Maria demanded as he pulled up and parked at the side of the road.

“Shush!” Her boyfriend put his finger to his lips as he opened the door.

Her eyes widened while her lips thinned in anger. “Michael Guerin, you tell me what is going on right now!” She told him, grabbing his arm as he moved to get out of the car. Ever since she had picked him up, she had found herself growing more and more concerned about his plans for the evening, and now concern was turning into anger as it became clear that whatever it was, she had been tricked into coming along.

So much for the thought of him actually being thoughtful and taking her out for a nice meal… Why had she ever even thought that was possible… It wasn’t like she didn’t know him well, why had she believed him, even for a second…?

The answer was simple of course, she hadn’t believed that he would lie to her, not after the way things had been the last few weeks… Stupidly, she had actually believed that he wanted to try and make it up to her for being such a jerk…

Now that she knew that wasn’t true though, he wasn’t going anywhere until she knew the whole story. “Michael…I’m waiting?”

Gritting his teeth at the thought of her likely reaction, Michael turned back to her recently. “Okay…Liz and Max live in that building over there…” He pointed across the street.

“And that’s important why…?” The tone of her voice left no room for misunderstanding, she was NOT happy…

“Because I want to take a look at their things…see if we can find out what they’re hiding…” Michael almost put his hands over his ears in anticipation of her response. Really he would probably have been better doing it alone, but he needed a look-out, and he didn’t want Isabel there, that much was for certain…

“WE??? Do you even want me to grace that with a response…?”

Her boyfriend pulled a face. “Maria, I know how it sounds, but I know they’re hiding something, and I have to know what… You’d never have agreed to come with me if I had told you what I had in mind so…”

“So you thought you’d make me think we were going out somewhere nice and then instead talk me into doing some breaking and entering…?” She glared at him. “Are you completely and utterly crazy?” She couldn’t believe he was saying this – wait, no, actually this was Michael, so maybe she could…

“Maria please, be as angry as you like, but you have to admit there’s something weird about them… You can’t tell me that there’s been nothing you’d like to find out…?” He looked at her. “Come on, please, help me… I’ll do the actual searching, you don’t need to touch a thing, but I need someone to be a look-out… I wouldn’t have asked you if I could do it by myself, I promise…”

***

“Max…?” Mr Cummings walked up to where he was stocking up some shelves.

“Yessir…?” Max turned around quickly with a polite smile, stopping what he was doing for a moment.

“I’m going to let you go early tonight… My wife just called and needs me at home and I don’t think I’m going to be back so I can’t leave you here alone…” He explained quickly.

Max frowned. Most people would just say thanks very much for the time off, but for Max it wasn’t that simple… He couldn’t really do with losing the money from the next couple of hours…it wasn’t a huge amount, but when you were on a limited budget, any little bit counted… “Are you sure…I mean I know how to run the till…I could lock up at the end of the night if you like…” He offered quickly.

His boss shook his head though. “It’s not that I don’t trust you son, but my insurance won’t cover someone your age being in alone…” He sighed and looked at him, quickly guessing as he remembered about his background why this was such a big deal. “Don’t worry about the money, it’s not your fault you won’t be doing the hours, I won’t dock your wage…” He assured him quickly, before asking that he cleared up and got ready to leave since he had to be on his way in a few minutes.

Letting out a silent sigh of relief at the assurance of his pay, Max nodded quickly, apologising if he had seemed awkward and then taking the remaining boxes back into the stock room and grabbing his coat, before heading out and off down the street towards the Crashdown where Liz would be working.

***

“Alright, so that’s an Alien-Green-Lime Smoothie, Space Fries and a Will-Smith Burger…” Liz checked on the order quickly after noting it down. Upon receiving confirmation that was right from the customer, she smiled and nodded, saying that she’d be right back before heading over to the counter and passing the order through to the kitchen.

Moving behind the counter now, she was just in the middle of fixing the drink when the door-bell, announcing the entrance of a new customer, sounded, and she looked up to find a very pleasant surprise.

“Hey honey…” Max moved over to the counter, stealing a quick kiss from his wife before settling down on a stool while she continued to work.

When it eased off a moment, Liz moved down towards him, a drink in hand. “What are you doing here, I thought you were working…?” She asked curiously, pushing the glass towards him.

Her husband took the glass with a grateful smile. “Thanks…” As she asked about work, he then shrugged. “Mr Cummings got a phonecall from home and had to close up early…I thought I’d pop in and see how you’re doing before heading home…”

Liz gave a tired smile as she blew out. “Busy…” She shook her head. “It always is on a Friday…”

“MISS!”

Max gave a wry smile as he heard someone calling her. “What do you think he’d say if you told him you were a Mrs…?” He asked with a mischievous twinkle in his eye.

His wife laughed and shook her head. “Could be interesting to find out sometime…” She responded easily. “I’m going to have to see what he wants though…be back shortly okay…?”

“Sure…I know you’re working…” Max smiled and turned to watch as she moved out from behind the counter and went to see what the customer who had called wanted.

***

“She’s not answering…” Isabel frowned as Maria’s phone once again went onto voice-mail. It wasn’t like their friend, she always had her phone on…

“Maybe she’s in an area where there’s no reception…” Alex suggested as he heard this.

“Maybe, but I can’t help thinking that’s not it…” His girlfriend shook her head. She didn’t like the way this was going one little bit, and the sinking feeling in her stomach was beginning to feel like quicksand… “It’s like she’s switched it off, but why would she do that…?”

***

“You are unbelievable…” Maria muttered after Michael grabbed her phone, switching it off and then tossing it back into the car. She didn’t really know how she had come to agree to do this in truth…perhaps because she knew if she didn’t, he was probably going to end up being caught somehow she didn’t think that her mom would much like it if she had to visit her boyfriend in jail…

***

“Okay, well I guess I’ll see you back home, if you’re sure you don’t want me to wait for you…” Max commented softly as he stood up with some reluctance. He had intended to wait, and then walk back with his wife, but she was insisting that it was likely to be a busy night and since she would have little chance to talk to him, he might as well go back to the apartment.

“I’m sure, I’ll see you in a few hours…” Liz smiled and paused what she was doing for a moment in order to give him a quick kiss. She would love him to stay, but really on a Friday shift there was little point considering how little time she would have.

***

“Michael will you think about this? What’s going to happen if Liz and Max come home…if you’re so convinced that they’re hiding something, have you even thought about what would happen if they find you and you’re right?” Maria hissed at her boyfriend as she moved away from the window to where her boyfriend was rooting through some papers. She didn’t really know what thought he was going to find, but she was absolutely terrified they were going to be discovered. Liz and Max were supposed to be her friends…how could she ever ask them to trust her again after this…

“They’re not going to come home…they’re both working!” Michael responded without looking up. This stuff all looked to be school-related…nothing useful… He shrugged and dumped them back down with little care, not bothering that a couple of sheets had fallen onto the floor as he moved onto the sideboard, opening the drawers quickly.

“Can’t you at least try and make sure you put things back as you found them…?” Maria followed after him, trying to set things right so that it wasn’t too obvious someone had been looking through them.

“Whatever…” Her boyfriend grunted, clearly not bothering as he continued on into the bedroom now and began to open drawers and check through the closet. T-shirts, knickers, boxers…a couple of skirts, a couple of trousers… There was nothing which told him anything about them, except that the couple seemed to be light packers…

Dropping down onto the bed in frustration, he punched the mattress and thought a moment before bending down and feeling around underneath the bed.

“Michael, come on, you hav-“ Maria walked in, having had enough but she paused as she saw her boyfriend place a finger to his mouth. “What’ve you found…?”

He shook his head as he began to pull it out revealing a leather-look bag which looked something like a laptop bag. “If they’re so hard up, how can they afford a computer…?” He asked pointedly, looking as though he thought it proved everything he had been saying was right.

Maria rolled her eyes. “Maybe one of them owned it before, or maybe it doesn’t even hold a laptop…”

“Fine, let’s see what’s inside then!” Quickly, Michael waved his hand over the padlock which held the zips together check it out but found to his amazement that the lock remained firm. He tugged at it and tried to focus his powers again.

Maria looked at him questioningly. What was going on…?

Any further investigation of the bag was put on hold a moment later when there came the sound of footsteps approaching and then stopping just outside. Michael looked at his girlfriend. “You were supposed to be look-out!” He hissed, looking around to see if there was a way out other than the main door.

“You’re telling me this is my fault…whose idea was this whole thing?” Maria glared back at him, falling silent and holding her breath as she heard a key turn in the lock and the door open before someone stepped into the apartment.

***

Stepping into the empty apartment, Max closed the door behind him and reached for the light switch, illuminating the main room as he dropped his bag on the floor. Glancing round the room however, something made him look twice and stiffen. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it, but there was certainly something different…this wasn’t how they had left the apartment that morning…someone had been here…

***

Michael stiffened, positioning himself between the door and Maria as he heard someone moving around in the other room. If that padlock was unaffected by his powers, where had it come from? Who were Liz and Max Evans, because if he was certain of anything, it was that they weren’t normal teenagers… ‘Stay behind me’ He mouthed to his girlfriend, holding his hand out ready to blast if necessary as he saw the door handle begin to turn.
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
Roswell Fanatic
Posts: 1130
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Postby KatnotKath » Tue Feb 21, 2006 5:59 pm

Thank you so much for all the feedback!!

Lazza - Better late than never - right...?
Ellie - Michael may be lucky, the girls might have other things on their minds at the moment...
Maxssoulmate - thanks, glad you enjoyed it
cocopucks
Natz - glad you're computer's working again, and thanks for reading, glad you're enjoying it.
Flamehair
anonymousarfan - I'm afraid you'll have to read to find out :wink:
Maya - fighting? - why would you think that...?
Emz80m - well in Michael's defense he was actually right in a way, but not sure that will help him much as far as Maia goes...
Isabelle - aw hun, you're making me blush :oops:. Glad to see that you approved of how I dealt with the situation though, hope this next doesn't disappoint either. As for Maria though, she didn't turn off her phone, Michael chucked it into the car, I suppose he thought if it went off it would reveal them...? *shrugs*
Timelord31
SarahWhitman - just a touch longer, hope this won't disappoint though...

Okay first of all I have to apologise for the time it's taken to get this out. It took some time for me to work out how I wanted this to go, and even longer to actually write it. I'm still a little nervous about it, but I do hope it wont disappoint anyone. It's another fragmented chapter as you will see, but it was the best way I could think to show what was happening...

I am delighted to see that so many people seem to be enjoying the story though, thanks to anyone who's left feedback, and any lurkers I hope you're enjoying the story too.

I really hope this chapter won't disappoint, although I know many of you may be expecting more. I was going to take it further, but decided considering the current length that I would be better cutting it here and starting a new chapter next time. Hope you will all enjoy the new chapter and I'd love to hear what you think as always.

~Kat~


Chapter 26

Just as he put his hand out to push open the bedroom door, Max froze, holding his breath and straining his ears at something which sounded like a creaking floorboard… Whoever it was could still be there… His hand dropped down by his side as he backed up, his mind racing with possibilities as to who it could be, and what they could want.

Two immediate possibilities came to mind - neither of which he liked much… One, it was a simple matter of a normal burglar who had broken into their apartment by chance - although there were no signs of a forced entry… Or alternatively, that someone had chosen this apartment specifically perhaps looking for them, or wanting to search through their things…

The lock on the window appeared untouched though, as had been the lock on the door. This seemed to make him lean in favour of the latter, and slightly more worrying, possibility…

Considering his options quickly, he looked around carefully, before heading back towards the door carefully, pulling his phone from his back pocket on the way out as he quickly left the apartment. Ducking into the shadows, he used his powers to alter the colour and length of his hair to provide some form of disguise before continuing on and down the stairs, already dialling Liz's mobile number as he left the building and stepped out onto the street.

Lifting the phone to his ear, he listened to the line on the other end ringing, and as soon as it was picked up began talking. "Liz, are you still at the Crashdown…?"

***

Still crouched by the bed, Michael shot a look at Maria as the floorboard she was standing on creaked. She shot him an apologetic look, before her eyes darted back over to the door, holding her breath as she realised it hadn't opened yet.

Anytime now… Michael readied himself, preparing to defend both himself, and his girlfriend if it was necessary… Liz and Max had obviously lied about who they were - in his mind that, combined with the strange lock, indicated that they were dangerous…

A few minutes later however, when the door still had not opened, Michael carefully forward with one hand held in front of him as he approached the door. Turning the handle slowly, he waved his free hand over the hinge of the door to keep it from squeaking as it opened and he looked out.

The apartment appeared deserted… Max was gone, but the bag in the centre of the floor confirmed that he had indeed been there…

Michael frowned, looking around and then motioning to Maria to come out and crossing the room to kneel down by the bag and look inside.

"Michael what are you doing?" Maria looked at him in amazement. After coming so close to getting caught, he wasn't seriously continuing his search…?

Her boyfriend ignored her for the moment, busying himself with rummaging through the bag. There didn't seem to be anything out of the ordinary though…books, pencil-case, a bottle of water… He dropped it back down on the floor and nodded. "Okay, let's go…"

***

"Liz…are you okay…?"

Turning as she heard Mr Parker call, Liz blushed awkwardly, aware that she probably seemed a bit distracted. The call she had just received from Max had been somewhat worrying to say the least… Someone had been in their apartment, could still be there… She had offered to cry off work and meet him, but instead Max had insisted she stay, assuring her he would come and join her shortly. Once he arrived, then they would decide what to do next… "Yeah…sorry, I was just thinking about that call I got…"

"Nothing serious I hope…?"

She shook her head. "What…oh n-no…nothing like that…" She forced a smile and apologised, looking over at the door as she heard the bell ring, and hurrying over to 'seat' her latest customers. "Hey Isabel, Alex…" She forced a smile for the benefit of her friends, walking with them over to one of the empty booths and waiting for their order.

***

Glancing around as he crossed the road, Max froze as he recognised one of the cars. Surely that was Maria's…? He'd only seen it a few times, but was usually pretty good with number-plates… Chewing on his lip, he thought quickly, waving his hand over the bonnet and then backing away, waiting in the shadows a little way off to see who would come out of the building.

He didn't have to wait long, and soon two figures, a familiar male and female emerged from the building, crossing over just as he had done and making a beeline for the car. Michael and Maria…

Deeming that he had seen enough, Max turned now and slipped away, using the shadows to hide himself as he headed down one of the side roads, heading back to the Crashdown. Later Michael and Maria would have some questions to answer, but for now, he had to get to Liz…

***

"Come on…" Michael tapped his foot impatiently as his girlfriend climbed into the driver's seat and attempted to start the engine.

"I'm trying…" Maria turned the key and frowned as the engine turned over, but nothing more happened. "Can you see if the lights are on…?" She requested of Michael, trying to puzzle out what had happened. It had been perfectly fine on the way over…

"Fine!" He muttered, climbing pack out and peering at the front of the car before returning, shaking his head. "Nothing…"

"Nothing…?" Her brow creased in confusion. This didn't make sense…

"That's what I said isn't it…?" Michael grouched as he dropped back down onto the seat.

His girlfriend glared at him. "I was only asking…" She pulled out her key, tapping it on the dashboard in a regular rhythm. That means a flat battery, but it was changed recently and I haven't left it on…"

"Whatever…" Michael rolled his eyes, reaching for her phone which still lay where he had chucked it before going into the apartment earlier.

"What are you doing…?"

"Calling Alex and Isabel…" He responded simply.

***

Quickening his pace as he headed down the street, retracing the steps he had taken a little earlier, Max pushed open the door as he reached the Crashdown, stepped inside and…stopped dead in his tracks as his gaze was drawn to a couple in one of the back booths. Eyeing them suspiciously, he made his way over to the counter quickly and took a seat.

"Didn't you just leave…?" My Parker asked the young man curiously. He wasn't objecting to him being there, but it was a little surprising…

Max looked up and gave a forced smile. "Can't get enough of this place…" He joked weakly.

The older man nodded and raised his eyebrow. "Yeah, or maybe it's the service…" He suggested knowingly with a wink. He had no problem with Max hanging around when Liz was working and he wasn't. The young woman never let it get in the way of her work, and Max always paid for his drinks, so in his mind it really wasn't a problem.

Usually Max would at the very least smile at this, if not laugh, but today the comment fell on deaf ears as he continued to watch Liz as she stood, appearing to talk to Alex and Isabel while getting their order.

Breaking off from what she was saying, Isabel suddenly reached for her bag, pulling out a cell phone and appearing to answer a call.

***

"Who was that?" Max pulled Liz to one side the minute she arrived back at the counter.

His wife looked up at him, shaking her head. "I don't know…but what does it matter…? I thought you were coming in here because someone had been in our apartment - what does that have to do with Isabel and Alex…?"

Max didn't answer immediately, leaning forward, making it look to anyone watching as though he was kissing her before whispering in her ear. "It was Michael and Maria…"

Liz blinked as he pulled back. "You saw them…?"

He nodded. "Yeah, they've probably just called to ask for a lift I imagine…"

His wife looked at him questioningly. "What did you do?"

Max shook his head. "Not important… I think it's definitely about time we had a chat with them though…"

"You're convinced…?" Her voice came out as little more than a whisper, hardly daring to believe…

Her husband gave a slight nod. "Well, put it this way, they're either the ones we're looking for, or they're agents…" He took her hand in his, rubbing up and down gently on the back with his thumb in a reassuring manner as he continued. "I think we've come to a point where we're just going to have to take a risk or leave… If we're going to do the former though, I want to do it on our terms…"

Liz nodded back, looking up at him…after everything they had been through, could they really just walk away…? "Okay, so what do you want to do…?"

***

"I cannot believe him!" Isabel fumed as she and Alex headed out to his car after getting off the phone with her brother. "Is he absolutely crazy? I mean he thinks that there's something strange about them, so he breaks into their apartment… Did he even think about the fact that if he was right and they were with the FBI, he could just have walked straight into a trap!"

"Well he didn't, so how about we just go pick them up before he gets into any more trouble…" Alex responded in a measured manner, knowing that getting worked up like this would do little good. "Besides, you know Michael, he's probably making something out of nothing…he's always over-reacting…"

His girlfriend nodded slightly. "Yeah, I guess…" It wasn't as though Micheal had given any details when he called, especially after hearing where they were…

"Come on, let's go find out what's going on!" Alex squeezed her shoulder and took a moment to sneak a quick kiss before holding out his hand to her.

"Okay…" She gave a small smile, taking his hand and crossing the road with him to where the car was parked. As Alex opened the passenger door for her, she thanked him, climbing in and sitting back. It was then that she noticed the small piece of paper trapped beneath the windscreen wipers. "Hey, what's that…?" She pointed at it through the glass, looking at her boyfriend expectantly as he picked it up.

"Probably just some flyer…" Alex trailed off as he opened it up, his eyes widening as he held it out to her. "I…uh…think maybe you should take a look at this…

***

"I'm really sorry Mr Parker, I don't know what happened…" Liz apologised profusely as she sat in the staff room looking quite green.

Jeff shook his head quickly. "It's fine Liz…you're obviously not well…you just get off home and I'll see you tomorrow assuming you're feeling better…" It might have come on quickly, but he had no doubt that the young girl was rather unwell and insisting that she stay at work would really do no good for anyone…

"Thanks Mr Parker…" Max held out a hand to help her up. "Come on, let's get you home okay honey…" He pulled her into his arms and kissed the top of her head. "I'll make sure she rests up sir…"

"You make sure you do…hope you're feeling better tomorrow Liz…" Nodding to both of the teens, Mr Parker excused himself to go back into the diner since he knew he was now officially short handed, and left the couple to get Liz's things together.

"Thanks, I hope so too…" She responded with a weak smile, waiting until he was gone before letting out a sigh of relief. She hated lying to Mr Parker like that to get out of work, but really, assuming that Isabel and Alex found that note, they needed to get out of ther…

"Okay, let's get out of here before Alex and Isabel decide to come back in…" Max commented, picking up her bag and slinging it over his shoulder, slipping his arm around her waist as the two of them slipped out the back door and down the street away from the diner.

***

"What did I tell you about them?" Michael said in a 'told you so' manner as he climbed into the back of Alex's car, holding his hand out to take a look at the note which had been left.

"Fine, so you were right…" Isabel responded in a clipped tone, biting her lip and closing her eyes as she passed it over. She couldn't believe that this was happening… She thought she had known Liz and Max… Now…well…who were they…?

"Michael shove up and shut up!" Maria snapped as she climbed in after him, clearly more than a little tense and nervous. From a pleasant evening out, this night had deteriorated beyond belief… First she had broken into an apartment, then almost got caught, and then she found out someone she had believed to be a friend was…well…she didn't know… Listening to her boyfriend brag about how right she had been was not on her list of to-do things though… "I just want to get home!"

***

"Well it's not much, but it'll do for tonight…" Max commented as he pushed open the motel room and stepped inside.

Liz nodded as she walked past him and dropped down onto the bed. After renting a car for the following day, they had grabbed something to eat and then stopped at the first place they saw. It was too dangerous to go back to their apartment, for now at least… Luckily they did have an amount of emergency money in their account, and each carried a cash card around for said account so they could access it. Not for the first time, it had come in handy… "We've slept in worse…"

Her husband nodded as he came to sit down next to her. "Yeah, I guess you're right there…" He sighed and pulled her into his arms. "Have I told you how amazing you are…?"

She laughed and closed her eyes, leaning back against his chest. "I just did what I had to do as always…" Reaching for his hand, she teased his fingers with hers for a moment in silence before looking up at him again. "Do you think they'll come…?"

"Best guess…yes…" Max shrugged and dropped a kiss on the top of her head, smoothing his hand over her long, silken brown locks.

Standing, and then sitting back down on his lap now, Liz threaded her arms around his neack, playing with the tips of his hair. "Do you think we're doing the right thing…doing this I mean…?" She asked softly with just the slightest waver in her voice. She was clearly nervous, and it was only natural…if they were wrong, the results could be completely disastrous, not to mention rather perilous for the two of them…

"I don't know…" Her husband sighed and wrapped his arms around her, capturing her lips gently in his for a brief moment before pulling back and looking down at her. "There comes a time when you just have to take a chance though… Everything we've learnt to this point suggests they are who we think, so maybe it's time to quit playing games…

His wife sighed and nodded, leaning forward to bury her head in his chest for a moment before pulling back and sitting up. "Okay, so what's the plan…?"

***

"What do you mean I'm not going?" Isabel looked at her brother incredulously. "Michael Guerin will you listen to yourself, don't you think that having both of us there instead of just you is going to be better… That's two lots of powers, and two lots of brains…"

"Yeah, and two people they can capture…" Michael shook his head. "I want you to stay back with Maria and Alex…please Izzy…I need to know you're safe…"

"Yeah, I'm safe until they come and pick me up… Come on Michael, think about this…if your captured, how am I going to know that's happened, how do I know to run…?" She shook her head repeatedly. "I'm telling you bro, I'm going with you!"

Her brother sighed, closing his eyes and shaking his head. "Why can't you just accept that I'm right for once Izzy… It's safer for just the one of us to go…" He continued to argue despite the fact he showed no sign of convincing her.

Isabel held up her hand. "Not happening! I'm going with you, and that's final!"

The sound of a door opening, followed by some muttering which announced Hank's arrival home put an end to the discussion for the moment as the two teens sat on the bed, waiting silently for him to head to bed…

**********

"Over there…that looks like a good spot…" Max pointed to where there was a group of rocks which might provide some cover while they waited… Their note had said to meet at ten, but first rule of meetings like this was to get there early. As yet, it was still before eight, but they wanted to make sure they were settled before the others might arrive. Their rental car was parked at the side of the road a little way back and they had chosen to walk the rest of the way to the mile-marker so that there was one less indication of the fact they had arrived.

Liz nodded, looking around carefully for signs of anything out of the ordinary as they walked over to the rocks he had indicated. "Well looks like we're first…" He commented softly as they took up position behind them, out of sight of the road.

Her husband nodded seriously, relieved that this was the case. First group there were able to set the rules of the meeting… "Yup…looks like…"

"And now we wait…?"

He nodded again. "Yeah, now we wait…"

***

"Michael you do realise it said ten…?" Isabel checked with her brother.

He glared at her and nodded. "Of course I do, but that doesn't mean I'm going to go at the time they set…" He shook his head. "They've set up this meeting, who knows what they have planned… At least if we get there early we can scope it out a little…"

"I guess…" She sighed and nodded, unable to deny the truth in this. She just didn't like the whole thing though - the idea that she had believed Liz to be a friend, that she had trusted her, and now she realised she didn't even know who the young woman was… "Alright, give me a moment to finish getting ready and then I'll phone Alex see if he's up yet…"

***

"No way Maria, NO, not happening…" Michael found himself arguing with his girlfriend a short time later in front of the Whitman's house. "Are you even listening to me? It's too dangerous…" He looked over at Alex, including him in the next. "Neither of you are coming along…"

"Oh, and just how are you going to get there if neither of us are coming along…?" She asked of him expectantly, tapping her foot. "Because you see, as far as I know, you don't have a car without either me or Alex…"

Isabel couldn't help smirking as she heard her friend's argument. It was very true of course, and much as she knew they shouldn't come with for safety reasons, she couldn't help thinking it was touching that they cared enough to ask to. Dampening her expression at a look from her brother though, she sighed and shook her head, showing that she agreed with him. "Honestly guys, it's not that we don't want you there, but it's just too dangerous, we'd never forgive ourselves if something happened to one of you because of us…"

Alex hesitated a moment and then finally nodded in acceptance. "Okay then, but be careful won't you… And call us if anything happens…?" He held onto the keys, refusing to let go until this was confirmed.

"Fine, now can we go please…?" Michael snatched the keys from Alex as he held them out and looked over at his sister expectantly.

Isabel nodded, telling the others they'd see them later, and then hurrying over to the car and climbing in before Michael pulled off the driveway and onto the road.

Watching the back of the car as it travelled down the road for a moment, Maria then looked over at Alex. "Are you actually happy just staying here…?"

He shook his head. "You have to ask…" Looking down at her, Alex couldn't help getting the feeling she wasn't just going to lie down and roll over - it just wasn't Maria's style… "What are you cooking up…?"

***

"What time is it…?" Liz asked Max softly as she stretched out her legs and leant back against the rocks. She knew it probably hadn't been, but it felt like they had been sitting there for hours and she felt as though she was getting cramp.

"About nine…" He looked down at her. "You okay…?"

"Yeah, I'm fine, just a little stiff, I--" Liz broke off sharply as she heard the sound of a car engine distance. It sounded as though it was coming towards them…

Holding a finger to his lips, Max turned from her now and rose slightly to look out from behind the rocks. Sure enough, a car which looked rather like Alex's was heading in their direction, just pulling off the road now…

"Is it them…?" His wife whispered.

"I think so…" He fell silent as the engine of the car was cut and Michael climbed out from one side. He went around to the passenger door, looking round repeatedly and motioned to someone inside. A moment later Isabel climbed out too, and the two of them looked around before walking a little distance from the car.

"So who do you think they are…what are they doing here…?" Isabel asked nervously, looking over at her brother.

Liz winced as her foot slipped, holding her breath as she heard footsteps approaching.

He shook his head, holding out his hand and turning sharply, towards a formation of rocks as he heard something.

"Don't even think about it!" Max stood up, revealing himself, his hand held out similarly.
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:

Postby KatnotKath » Fri Mar 03, 2006 2:18 pm

Ellie - :lol: I agree that Michael getting whacked would have been fun, but who knows what Maria was doing while hanging around with Michael waiting to be picked up after her battery mysteriously went dead - I'm thinking he probably didn't get off scot free, even if we didn't get to see it...
Tay - Glad you enjoyed it, hopefully this next will pick up where the last left off
Lazza - FBI - well, they could always be older than they're claiming, would seem to explain a lot of things, but anyway, as for blowing up - I think you'd better read and find out...
behrlyliz - thanks
Flamehair - how are your nails doing? :wink:
Timelord31
Emz80m
Strawberry88 - Well I'm glad you keep finding it again anyway
anonymouarfan - Hope the next won't disappoint
Bri+Jason2830 - I'm here:wink:

Thanks for all the feedback everyone, I was seriously nervous about that chapter, and it was a huge relief to find you all thought it was good. I'm sorry for leaving on a cliffhanger, but I'm afraid I can't promise not to do it again... Like it or not, they make good places to end chapters it seems lol.

Thanks to everyone reading, hope you're enjoying the story. I know it's been a long wait,and thanks for all your patience.

Here's the new chapter, as always any feedback will be gratefully received.

~Kat~


Chapter 27

Michael took in Max’s position in silence, motioning to Isabel to move behind him.

She did as he requested, but her eyes never moved from the young man in front of them. “Who are you…?”

Michael, meanwhile, had begun to scan the surroundings, searching or any sign of Liz. “Where is she…?”

“She has a name…” Liz responded evenly, rising from her hiding place and stepping over to join her husband at his side.

“Yeah, and what would that be, because it seems like everything else you’ve told us is a pack of lies!” Michael spat out, his hand tingling as the power continued to build, ready to strike at the slightest sign of real danger.

“Not everything…” Liz shook her head slightly.

“Oh really, so what little tibbits of truth did you give us…?” Isabel’s tone was sharp and obviously she was both hurt and worried. She had trusted them, she had believed them to be friends, and now…? Much as she hated to admit it, her brother was right…allowing anyone to get close to them like that was too dangerous… They had Alex, and Maria, but they were special – they couldn’t make a habit of it…

“It’s not like that….” Biting her lip, Liz looked over at the other girl. “Please Isabel, try and understand…”

“Understand what, you lied to us!” Michael glared at the two of them, glancing down at his hand and considering his options. They could listen, but then maybe that was what they wanted…to get them off-guard… Maybe it would be better to just strike now, take them down and then get the answer that he wanted after he knew they were no longer a threat…”

“It won’t work…” Liz commented, looking straight at him almost as though she had read his mind.

He blinked and looked at her, uncertain what to think… Had he really been that transparent…or was there something more…? His questions about the couple were growing by the minute, what he wanted right now were answers…

“You wouldn’t get to us…” Max’s statement was calm, short and to-the-point. “Now, are you going to put down your hand then we can talk, or are we going to stay like this all day…?”

Michael opened his mouth to reply, but as the sound of another engine approaching was heard, he stopped, looking at Max and Liz. “Your back-up…?” He asked suspiciously, glancing in the direction from which the sound seemed to be coming. Nothing could be seen yet, but sound travelled a long way in open space, so that was hardly surprising…

“Whoever it might be isn’t with us…” Liz responded softly, looking up at Max nervously. She hoped they were doing the right thing…

“And why should we believe you…?” Isabel looked from one to the other suspiciously, before looking back towards the road where the shape of a car had appeared now in the distance. She swallowed and looked up at her brother, before turning her gaze back on the young couple in front of them. “You LIED to us…”

What could they say to that – she was right of course… Biting her lip, the slight brunette shook her head. “I’m sorry…”

The car, meanwhile, had continued on course, and as it pulled off the road, all focus shifted to who was inside.

Isabel recognised them a second before anyone else and, her worry about the occupants was replaced with fear for their wellbeing and safety… She looked over at Max and Liz, eyeing the two of them cautiously.

“It’s okay Isabel…we won’t hurt them…” Liz assured the other girl softly.

Michael, who had by now realised who it was too, scowled at Alex and Maria. Hadn’t they listened to a word he had said…it was too dangerous for them to be here – how was he supposed to protect them…? Trying to mask his worry in irritation, he looked over at his girlfriend. “Can’t you do what you’re told for once…?” He called to her, torn between telling them to stay in the car, so that they could get away easily, and telling them to come over so that he could provide some form of protection with his offensive powers…

“Not when it involves you going into potentially dangerous situations alone…” Maria attempted to joke, trying to mask her unease as she looked from her boyfriend and his sister, to the couple who she had believed to be friends.

“Look, we don’t want to hurt anyone, please believe that…” Liz made another attempt to try and diffuse the situation. “Why don’t we all just back up a little, and calm down…?”

“I don’t think so…” Michael responded, deciding that they had done enough listening and waiting… As yet, the couple had said nothing to tell him why they should trust them, and his girlfriend and friend were sitting unprotected in the car. If they were going to continue this, it would be on his terms… With a simple thought, he released the energy which had been building up in his hand, letting it fly at the couple’s feet. With where he was aiming, it wouldn’t be enough to kill, but it should be enough to knock them out for a bit…

To his amazement however, as soon as the blast was released, an expanse of transparent green appeared in front of Liz and Max. The energy which hit it, seemed to have no effect, and Max shook his head. “I told you it wouldn’t work…”

As Michael had released his bolt, Alex and Maria had both run from the car, and now were stood with Isabel behind Michael. Maria looked over at them edgily, breathing heavily. “W-what was that…?”

“WHO ARE YOU?” Michael demanded again, still holding his hand up in an offensive manner despite the apparent lack of effect his last blast had. He wasn’t ready to accept he was helpless just yet…it wasn’t a feeling he liked…

“You know who we are…” Turning slightly, Liz looked over to Maria, hating the sight of the fear in her eyes. “It’s okay Maria, we don’t want to hurt you…please believe that…we don’t want to hurt anyone…”

“So why are you here?” Alex spoke for the first time, looking from one to the other. “It’s not a coincidence is it…?”

Looking up at Max briefly, and swallowing as she saw him nod, Liz shook her head in confirmation. “No…it’s not a coincidence…we chose Roswell, because we were looking for someone…”

“Oh don’t give us that, you already played that card!” Michael shook his head scornfully, making no secret of the fact he didn’t believe a word…

“It’s true…” Max looked over at the others. “Yes, we lied about the fact Liz’s family was from Roswell, and yes, we didn’t tell you the truth about ourselves, but we are looking for a type of family…the only family we have left…” He paused a moment for effect and then, fixing his gaze on first Michael, and then Isabel, he spoke again. “That family is you…”

A silence fell over the gathering for a moment, and then very slowly, and deliberately, Michael lowered his hand slightly, almost as though he were offering a sign of truce. “What do you mean?”

“Just what he says Michael… We’re like you…” Liz responded softly, letting out a sigh of relief as he gave the first indication that he might actually believe them… Isabel, Maria and Alex just looked stunned though, and she knew it was a lot to take in – even before they had started properly… She released Max’s hand, stepping away from his side and walking towards the others.

Michael watched her cautiously, but for the moment didn’t stop her as she stopped less than a metre in front of them.

“Isabel, we didn’t want to lie, but if you know anything about yourselves, and I’m thinking you do from that blast Michael just let off, I hope you’ll be able to understand that we had to be sure it was you…” She drew in a deep, somewhat ragged breath as her heard continued to pound painfully in her ears. “We would have been putting our lives on the line, literally, and much as we wanted to believe it was you, we just couldn’t risk it I’m sorry…” Looking directly at Isabel, she considered for a moment trying to reach out, but decided better of it as she stepped back to rejoin her husband.

Isabel blinked and bit down hard, trying to keep her lip from trembling as she took in the simple words. ‘Like her…’ For so long she had dreamt of finding someone else, but could it really be true…? Pondering on the question, she stiffened slightly as Liz stepped forward, but relaxed again as the young brunette began to speak. She was still angry, she couldn’t, and wouldn’t deny that… But…she could understand… The pleading look in her eyes, mixed with something of fear made her realise just how hard this must have been for the two of them, and as Liz began to step back, she found herself reaching out without thinking. “Liz…wait…” She touched her arm, making the other girl turn around, and when she knew she was looking, she nodded very deliberately. “I believe you…”

Liz gave a small smile as Isabel said this, but it soon vanished from her face as she registered the look on Maria’s face. The poor girl looked terrified, and it tore into Liz that they were the ones who had caused that fear… She swallowed. “Maria…please don’t be scared...we’d never hurt you, I promise…”

Alex, who had half expected as much from the strange display of powers, and yet still found himself surprised, looked at her. “It’s not that Liz…I think probably we both know that, but you did lie…it’s going to take some getting past you know…” He shrugged. “We trusted you, believed what you said…”

Swallowing, she bit her lip as he trailed off and nodded. “I know that Alex, and we’re sorry…we just…” She shook her head. “It’s complicated…”

“So explain!” Michael glared at her, his initial suspicion and worry now being overtaken by impatience at the lack of progress… So he was just about ready to accept they weren’t enemies – although why he wasn’t really sure…it was just a feeling he had – but that didn’t mean he just wanted to stand here doing nothing… Those two certainly had plenty to explain, and he intended to make sure they did exactly that!

“MICHAEL SHUT IT!” Maria hissed. She still wasn’t completely happy with all this, and she wasn’t going to say she wasn’t all in favour of answers, but Michael’s attitude really wasn’t going to help right now.

“No, he’s right…” Much as Max hated to admit it, on this occasion the other guy probably had the right idea… “We should talk...” He looked around at them. “There are things you need to know, and other stuff we need to say…”

**********

A short time later, after some persuasion, the six teens agreed to move to somewhere a little less exposed… The first suggestions made were Maria’s house on the side of Michael’s group, while Liz and Max’s apartment from them… Unsurprisingly perhaps, neither of these were accepted by the other side of the group, and so attention shifted to finding somewhere else.

That was when Michael thought of the caves they had found some time ago when they were out exploring. After further discussion, both Max and Liz agreed on this being a more neutral choice, and half an hour later found them all sat around, in varying positions in one of the caves.

Liz and Max were cautious, keeping an ear open for any sign that this might be a trap, but they knew that if this was going to go anywhere, trust had to start somewhere…

“So, we’re waiting…” Michael looked over at them expectantly.

“Funny, we could say the same thing…” Liz returned, raising her eyebrow slightly.

He glared at her. “You have a lot to explain…”

“And you don’t…?” Max looked back at him, shaking his head. “Michael, we all have things to explain and say…”

The other didn’t look impressed by the comment. “Yeah, well you’re not getting anything from me before we get some answers from you…” He responded, eyeing with a determined look in his eye.

Liz looked up at her husband, who seemed to think for a moment before nodding. “Okay, we’ll go first then…” He paused a moment and looked round at them. “First of all, as you’ve probably gathered by now, Liz and I aren’t normal, and when I say that, I think I know exactly what I mean…” Looking down at his wife, he slipped his arms around her, pulling her body back against his chest and kissing the top of her head through her silky brown tresses as he rubbed the back of her hand with his thumb gently.

Maria watched the two of them carefully, and despite everything, she couldn’t help smiling as she saw the interaction between the couple. Whatever they might have been lying about, their relationship obviously wasn’t one of them…

“You have powers…?” Alex asked, deciding to speak when it appeared that Michael wasn’t going to…

Max nodded slightly. “Yes…” He answered simply.

“We’re aliens…?” It was Isabel’s turn now, ignoring the look from her brother as she risked voicing the theory they had built up over the years. It was the only think which made any sense…especially after finding that book that Alex had been trying to translate… In some ways it seemed so crazy, but then the powers they had were crazy anyway, so… She shook her head mentally, and looked over at Liz and Max, needing a definitive answer finally…

Liz looked up at her, giving a small smile and nod. “Yeah…that’s right…” In some ways she was relieved that they had worked it out, maybe it would make it easier, but there was more to come she knew…

“We, together, the four of us, were sent here…” Max started to try and explain. “Our DNA is a mixture, of human donors, and of four people who died during the war which almost destroyed our planet…”

“We were sent alone…?” Isabel couldn’t help interrupting with a question as it came to mind.

“No…” Liz shook her head. “Protectors were sent with us on the ship, but it crashed, in nineteen-fourty-seven…two were killed as well as the pilot, one was captured, and then the last escaped…”

“Nineteen-fourty-seven…?” Maria looked at them. “You’re serious; you really think you were in ‘the’ crash…”

The brunette nodded slightly, looking up at her husband to see if he wanted to talk over. Max however, shook his head, nodding to her. “You go on if you want…”

She swallowed and nodded back, focusing now on Maria, Alex, Isabel and Michael… “We know we were in that crash, because we were brought up by the one protector that escaped…” She paused a moment. “We were in some sort of incubation pods…he moved them, to somewhere safe…”

“What, he took you and left us there?” Michael looked at them. “We didn’t matter did we not…?”

Liz shook her head vermently. “NO Michael, it wasn’t like that!” She insisted. “He took all the pods, moved them… If he hadn’t, you wouldn’t be here today… The army found the ship, they captured the protector who was injured and couldn’t get away – they killed him later! Nacedo rescued all our pods and put them somewhere safe…”

“So why didn’t we grow up together then…?”

“Because when we ‘hatched’, you’d already gone…” Max responded, taking over the explanation as he realised she was struggling. “Nacedo had to make sure we were okay, but he didn’t dare stay with us all the time so he estimated how long it would be until we all came out of the pods and came back when the time came, but he had got it wrong, and you were already gone…we were the only ones left…” He sighed and shook his head. “Michael he didn’t just forget about you…”

“Didn’t he try and find us though…?” Isabel’s brow creased in confusion, finding that she didn’t know what to think about all this. “I mean we were still in Roswell, if he knew where we had come out, surely it couldn’t be that difficult to find us…?”

“Yeah, so obviously he didn’t care!” Michael spat out.

“THAT’S NOT TRUE!” Liz appeared close to tears. “Don’t talk about him that way, he cared… But it was too dangerous for him to try and get to you once you had been put in the system… He found out where you were, and always tried to make sure you were okay but it was too risky to do anything more…”

“To risky for who…? Him?” Again Michael’s response was scornful and bitter. If this guy, whoever he was had known where they were, why couldn’t he have saved them from Hank…? All those horrible years they had spent with him… If he was supposed to be a protector, he hadn’t done a very good job had he…

“For all of us!” Max snapped, glaring at Michael before looking down at Liz, pulling her deeper into his arms as she turned towards him and holding her close in an attempt to try and comfort her. He knew this was difficult for his wife, and what Michael had been saying was unfair!

Although they still had plenty of questions Isabel and Maria were quickly moving past the initial lies, realising that they believed the couple were for real, and coming to the conclusion that even if they didn’t agree with how they had gone about it all, they could understand… Now, as they saw the girl who they still wanted to call a friend so upset, both adjusted their focus of attention, turning to glare at Michael and silently telling him to shut up.

On this occasion, unfortunately he took no notice, continuing to plough on. “Yeah right, he just wanted to save his own skin… We weren’t important enough to bother about right…? So what made you so special?”

After a combination of last night, little sleep, worry and concern, paired with the fact that Liz was now clearly upset too, Michael’s tone this time just made Max snap. He had tried to explain, tried to talk civilly, and all he got back was grief…enough was enough! “BECAUSE WE’RE THE KING AND QUEEN!” He yelled back without thinking, resulting in a stunned silence.
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:

Postby KatnotKath » Sun Mar 26, 2006 1:23 pm

Okay :shock: wow - is this really my story?? I'm not sure I've ever provoked so much reaction before.

katan - thanks very much for the compliments. As for the hypocritical nature of certain members of the group, well, I agree with you in some ways, although I do think that maybe you should give them a little time to process the information before judging...
cocopucks - thanks, glad you enjoyed the part.
Timelord31 - questions? - yes, I think you could say that, read on if you want to see more :wink:
Emz80m :shock: okay, seems that you have really strong feelings here lol. Glad you liked the part, and interesting insight. Some of it I agree with, other parts not, as I say, I think maybe judging people on instant reactions might be a little harsh - but that's just me...
Strawberry88 - thanks for reading, glad you're enjoying the story
tequathisy - Hmm, I think maybe you're right there... Maybe not the best thought out response from Max...
Lazza - I think maybe everyone has some apologies coming, as to reactions to the next paragraph, read on and see :wink:
Maya - Thanks, glad you enjoyed it
anonymousarfan - I'm gathering from all this that everyone seems to have liked the ending lol. I'm glad you enjoyed the part, and thanks for the bump too
Flamehair - lol sorrrry... And honestly I haven't been trying to torture anyone - in fact, I think maybe Liz and Max and the others have been trying to torture me - I had a little problem sorting the last scene of this, so I only hope it's okay. Thanks for the bump.
isabelle - LOL An exercise programme? - well I had never thought of myself that way, but...hehe. I'd be interested to hear what you had been expecting sometime - just out of curiosity, but I'm pleased to see that you enjoyed what I did with it anyway.
SarahWhitman - hmm, yeah, just a few :lol: hehe
octhocfan4ever - here you go :wink:

Okay, so I know this took a little longer than most people might have liked, it took longer than I would have liked too, but I guess that's how things go sometimes. I have to say I'm blown away by the amount of responses I've got to that last chapter...of course I guess it's all been building up to that though so...

Anyway, I want to thank everyone who's been reading, whether they're leaving feedback or not, I only hope they're enjoying the story as much as I'm enjoying writing it.

Here's the new chapter, hope you enjoy it and I'd love to hear what you think as always.

~Kat~


Chapter 28

No one said anything to anyone for a few moments and then Michael exploded. "WHAT?"

Liz shrank back further into the comforting arms which surrounded her. His reaction was to be expected of course, this was hardly the way they had planned to tell them… "Michael please, don't…" She broke off upon receiving a look from the guy she was trying to play peacemaker with.

That look didn't exactly help matters though… Max had grimaced inwardly, immediately after having made his announcement, but now as his hold around his wife tightened; he was once again growing angry.

You didn't have to be a genius to recognise the signs of this either, and as Liz felt him stiffen, she looked up at him, shaking her head. The last thing they needed was for this to degenerate into a fist fight…or any other kind of fight for that matter… She sighed and looked round at the others, noting that of the second group, Michael was the only one as yet to make a sound…the other three still seemed to be trying to process the rather alarming comment her husband had just made…

Both guys stood tensely, eyeing one another, but neither moved or said anything more.

In fact, it was Isabel who next broke the new silence which had fallen over the group as she looked over at Liz. "W-what does that mean…?" She asked softly, her gaze fixed on the brunette for the moment.

Liz offered a small smile. "It doesn't mean anything…not really…" She shrugged slightly, extracting herself from Max's arms quickly before continuing. "They were titles we held in a past life…nothing more, nothing less…"

"Past life…?" Now it was Maria's turn to chime in, her eyes wide with disbelief. "Y-You mean like reincarnation…?"

"No…" Max shook his head, having managed to quell his anger sufficiently to contribute now it seemed. "We're…well, I suppose you could say we're clones - sort of… Our DNA is made up of two parts, a human donor, and the DNA of the 'original person' as you will…"

"And this 'original person' in your case was the King…?"

Max looked decisively uncomfortable at this, although he gave something which looked a little like a nod.

"Yes… Our donors, Max and I, were the King and Queen of our planet… There was a war, and they were killed…they had no heir, and the King's mother who survived arranged for them to be cloned - to give them another chance as it were…" Liz tried to take over the explanation for a little bit to help him.

"What about us…?" Michael finally asked after what seemed like an age.

"The same process was used, only your donor was the original King's Second in Command, and Isabel's was the Princess…" Max kept the explanation brief, letting the information he was providing sink in before going any further. He was sure there would be plenty of questions, and they'd answer as many as possible, but it was going to take time, and overloading the others wasn't the solution…

Isabel was silent for a moment as she processed his words, and as she now turned to Max, there was something in her eyes which had never been there before. "Princess… You mean the King's sister…?" She clarified, continuing to use the third person. It was just easier at the moment, to think of them as hypothetical beings it seemed…

"Y-yes…" The young man's response came in little more than a whisper as he watched Michael's hand slip around hers, feeling a certain sensation of loss as he did so… For so long, he had thought about meeting his sister, and now, when he did, he realised someone else had taken his place… Isabel didn't need him…

Looking up at him as she sensed his distress, Liz reached out, threading her fingers through his as she took over again, giving him some time to collect himself. "Guys please, try and understand…we're not trying to tell you what to do, we're not expecting you to bow down and worship us… We just wanted to find out family, because that's what you two are…"

"Not by blood…" Michael muttered, looking over at Isabel. In his heart of course she would always be his sister, nothing would ever change that, but a part of him hated Max for, in his mind, trying to take that title away… So his donor was the Second in Command…big whoa…

"In every way that matters…" His sister assured him softly as she heard his comment. She squeezed his hand briefly and smiled. No one would replace Michael, he had always been there for her, protected her, looked after her… That was what a brother was…

No one said anything for a few moments, everyone allowing the siblings the time they needed. As Liz looked on however, there was something in her eyes as she watched them, something which seemed to suggest there was more.

'Tell him' Max mouthed at his wife when she looked up. He knew this was a big moment, and it wasn't a time for holding back such important information. She might be nervous, hesitant and worried about what she was about to tell him, but it had to be done. He offered her a reassuring smile and clasped her hand firmly in his. Whatever happened, however this went, they'd have one another at least…

Liz bit down on her lip and nodded, waiting another moment before finally looking back at Michael. "T-there's more Michael…" She told him softly, continuing before he had chance to respond for fear that she might chicken out. "Y-ou said that you weren't related by blood, but that's not true… I-I was your cousin… I know it's not the same as a sister, but…" She shrugged and trailed off nervously, shrinking back again almost as though she was afraid of what his reaction would be.

"Whatever…" Michael refused to show any emotion as this next bit of information was revealed, refusing to let it get to him. How did they know any of this stuff was the truth - why should he believe that someone was related to him simply because she said so…?

And yet… Deep down, he couldn't forget that day when he had come to her rescue with Kyle… At the time, he had told himself he was just doing the same as he would for anyone, but he had never really believed that… It had been completely out of character; he had just felt this sudden need to protect her…almost as though…she had been family…

He shook his head, dismissing the thought even as it entered his head and refusing to dwell on it.

So involved in his thoughts he was, that he didn't notice what effect his response had on the brunette… Isabel did though. She saw how she looked down, sadly, turning away for a moment and brushing her hand against her cheek. There was no doubt in her mind that she was brushing away a tear, and in that moment, she saw just how alike they were… She looked over at her brother and glared at him. Did he really have to be such an ASS all the time…?

Liz bit down on her lip, trying to stop it from trembling and telling herself she wasn't bothered by Michael's response - or lack there of - but she was… She hadn't expected him to take her into his arms, or anything like that, but she had hoped for…well… something…? She sighed and looked down, beginning to fiddle with her rings nervously.

**********

"I don't like this…I don't trust them!" Michael muttered as they headed back into town. Unfortunately, the meeting had been brought to something of a premature end before many questions had been answered due to a telephone call Liz received from Mr Parker.

He had wanted to know if she was feeling better, so as to know whether he needed to arrange cover or not, and Liz had quickly assured him she was fine. Michael had complained about this of course, but everyone else at least understood her reasoning… Whatever she and Max might have been lying about, their need for the jobs wasn't one of them. They supported themselves, and they needed the money they earned. Liz couldn't afford to make Jeff think twice about letting her keep her job and her shift was therefore too important to think about missing even under these circumstances.

So here they were, all heading back into town with the intention of either working, or hanging out. Maria and Michael were also supposed to be on, so they'd be working in the Crashdown, while Isabel and Alex had said they'd hang in the diner for a bit and then go for a walk. Max too had a shift at work, and everyone had finally agreed, albeit reluctantly, that further discussion would have to wait.

Maria glanced over at her boyfriend before turning her attention back to the road ahead. It wasn't that she didn't understand his thoughts, she did, really, but at the same time, she couldn't help thinking that maybe he was being a little unfair… She chewed her lip, hesitating a moment before speaking. "Don't you think you're being a little harsh on them…?"

Michael looked over in astonishment. "HARSH?" He shook his head. "They lied to us Maria…Max did something to your car…"

She held up her hand. "Wait a moment, we don't know what happened with the car, and as for lying to us, you weren't exactly Mr. Open yourself were you…?" She commented softly.

Her boyfriend huffed. "That's different!" He insisted.

She rolled her eyes. "Yeah, it's different because you were the one lying to them…"

"I didn't lie!" He shrugged slightly. "I…well…just didn't tell them the whole truth…"

Maria sniggered. "In other words you lied…" She shook her head and sighed. "Seriously Michael, I know the reason you're being like this is that you're concerned and worried about us, but I really think you should throw them some slack…"

"Give them some rope to hang themselves with you mean…?"

She glared at him. "NO, you know full well what I mean… Stop being so harsh! And stop having a go at them… They acted in exactly the same way I imagine you would have done, they didn't take unnecessary risks…"

"But they still lied!"

His girlfriend gave an exasperated sigh. "Can you actually be like a human being for one moment please…?"

"Wouldn't work, I'm not human…" He answered flatly although there was no hint of humour in his voice.

"MICHAEL…" Her tone contained a certain edge which was meant to cause alarm bells to ring.

He grunted. "Fine, okay, whatever… I just don't think we should just accept everything they say so easily after they openly, out and out admitted they had been lying to us…" He shook his head and looked over at her expectantly. "Can you honestly say there's no logic in my thinking there...?"

A groan escaped her mouth and Maria lifted a hand to her head. "You know what, I like Liz and Max, I think they're telling the truth now and that you're giving them too hard a time of it, but I'm getting a headache from all this, so maybe we should just drop it…"

He nodded. "Fine by me…" With these words, he fell silent and the rest of the journey was spent in relative silence between the couple.

*********

"Two Sigourney Weaver Burgers, two space fries, and one Will Smith for table nine…" Liz called out as she pushed the sheet through the hatch into the kitchen.

Receiving the customary nod - since no other communication had been exchanged by Michael since they started their shift, she moved on, heading behind the counter and swiftly moving out of Maria's way as she saw her coming in the opposite direction.

Turning sideways as she balanced her tray, Maria slid past the petite brunette quickly, in silence. The last two hours had been like this, neither would get in the way of one another, but nor would either speak.

Liz bit her lip as she tried not to think about it, focusing her attention on fixing the drinks which went with the order she had just given to Michael. Two blood-of-alien smoothies, and one coke was it…? She blinked and tried to think back, scolding herself for having been distracted. It was just that after everything that had already happened that morning, it was more than a little difficult to act as though nothing was wrong and everything was normal…

On the other side of the diner, stood taking an order, Maria was in pretty much exactly the same state. She had meant it when she told Michael that he should ease up on them, and she had meant it when she said she liked Liz, but right now, she just didn't know what to say…

"Excuse me, am I keeping you from something?" The obnoxious guy who happened to be her customer waved his hand in front of her face.

Maria blinked and forced a smile. "Sorry sir, I do apologise… What can I get you…?" Forcing herself to pay attention as he began to reel off his order again, she noted it down and nodded, asking if there was anything more before hurrying back towards the hatch and passing it through.

"Table eight and table ten!" Michael called out, shoving three plates of food to the outer side of the hatch.

Liz headed over to pick them up, and almost collided with Maria who was just coming away. "Oh, sorry Maria…I…uh…guess I wasn't paying much attention…" She apologised softly, carefully picking up the plates of food.

"It's okay…I think we're both a bit distracted…" Maria offered her a weak smile and shrugged, before motioning to the plates. "Do you maybe want some help with those…?" She offered after a moment.

Liz looked at her in surprise and shook her head slowly. "It's okay…I've got them…" She responded in a somewhat stilted manner.

"Okay, just thought I'd ask…" She nodded, accepting the refusal and turned round to head back to the counter, pointedly refusing to look at Michael, whose face looked as though he were about to burst. She knew full well he was blanking Liz, but that was his choice, and this was hers…

**********

As he entered the Crashdown after his shift, Max nodded in the direction of Isabel and Alex, both of whom he knew had returned as arranged for what would be the continuation of the earlier talk. As he turned towards the counter however, seeking out the familiar figure of his wife, he was pleasantly surprised to see her talking, in an apparently easy manner, to the second waitress who was just about to come off her shift.

Smiling, he went over, walking up behind Liz and touching her shoulder. "Hey baby…" He greeted her softly, capturing her lips as she turned around in a brief but deep kiss.

"Hey…" She smiled softly, trapping her lower lip between her teeth and looking up at him through her lashes in that coy, innocent way which she knew drove him nuts. Well she had to play with him a little, that kiss was just…

Max groaned inwardly, wishing desperately that they were going to be going home alone in a few minutes rather than with the company of the others.

Liz smiled mischievously, rising up on her tip toes as though to kiss him again, but this time moving to the side and instead whispering in his ear. "Patience, we'll have our time later…"

Maria couldn't help but smile in amusement as she watched the interaction between the couple. Whatever might be phoney about them, one thing was absolutely for sure - their relationship wasn't… How she wished that Michael would look at her like that sometimes…

Not that her relationship with her boyfriend was bad of course, just…well…it could be better… Michael had this thing about not wanting to risk losing his macho appearance it seemed, and there were times, like now, when it drove her nuts… She sighed and turned around, her eyes seeking out his figure in the kitchen and finding him stood over the grill as usual. "Oh Michael…" She called to him softly with a smile, walking over.

Her boyfriend looked up. "What, another order? - Stick it on there for Jules to take, when I've finished this, I'm done…"

Sighing, Maria shook her head. "Oh…nothing…" She muttered under her breath, knowing that it was nothing new.

Michael seemed oblivious to the fact she was upset and shrugged, removing his final two burgers from the grill and plating them up before shoving them through to her. "Table three… I'll meet you in the back okay?" He told her, already moving away and heading for the door out of the kitchen.

She nodded, pulling a face as she turned round to find Liz and Max still clearly wrapped up in one another. Just one day like that, was it too much to ask… Shaking her head, she straightened herself up and headed over to deliver the food, stopping a couple of times on the way back to collect some empty plates.

By this time, Liz had torn herself away from Max, telling him they wouldn't be long, and was making a quick sweep around the tables, wiping down the tables that Maria had removed plates from and resetting them ready for the next customers.

The two girls worked quickly, and when Agnes showed a few minutes later, they were all ready to go.

"Thanks girls, have a nice evening…" Mr Parker called to them as he passed them on their way into the staff room.

"You too Mr Parker, see you tomorrow…" Both responded with a smile before continuing on into the staff room where they knew the others would be waiting by this time.

Sure enough, as Max, Isabel, Alex, and of course Michael, were all gathered in the back. Alex and Max appeared to be talking, although they looked up immediately as the door opened, while Isabel sat next to Alex. Only Michael was stood to one side, clearly still having plenty of problems with this whole thing.

"Okay, so what happens now…?" Maria asked, looking round at the group questioningly.

"We continue our earlier discussion…and get some answers!" Michael responded, looking over pointedly at Max, who in his mind had made every attempt to avoid answering questions.

Liz gave him a look which seemed to say 'thanks for stating the obvious', and looked round at the others. "Obviously we need somewhere private to do this, how about you all come back to our apartment…?"

Her suggestion didn't seem to go down well with Michael, who immediately objected. "Why your place?" Their place meant their home turf, giving them an unfair advantage.

Max shot a look at him. "Can you think of somewhere better?"

The other guy shrugged. "What Alex's house…or Maria's…?"

"Where my parents or Maria's mom could walk in on us at any time, yeah, nice idea…" Alex couldn't believe he had just suggested that.

"Well what about out in the desert again…it worked this morning…?"

"How about because it's late and I don't want to be out in the desert at night…?" Maria looked over at her boyfriend. She didn't see why he had so much of a problem with this. Going back to Liz and Max's place seemed ideal in her view.

Liz sighed. "Look Michael, all we want to do is talk, but personally I'd like to be able to do that in a bit of comfort if you don't mind…" She shrugged as she turned round to open her locker and pull out her clothes. "I've just been on my feet for six hours, so has Maria…this isn't about advantage or anything like that, this is about a very human thing call tiredness!"

"Oh Michael stop being such a pain!" Isabel glared at her brother, deciding to deal with this. They were getting nowhere fast, and she for one was fed up of it. "I'm assuming you've still got the car you had this morning…?" She looked over at Max who nodded in confirmation before continuing. "Okay, so we'll met back at yours…" Leaving no room for discussing, she stood up now, heading for the door and then looking back at the rest of them expectantly.
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
Roswell Fanatic
Posts: 1130
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:54 am
Location: UK
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Postby KatnotKath » Fri Apr 07, 2006 5:34 pm

Thanks for all the feedback

anonyamousarfan - You want to know how the discussion will go? - well good job I'm back then I guess
cocopucks - I'm back :)
Morning Dreamgirl
Well... That could have gone better

LOL, hmm, yes, just a little...
behrlyliz - Yes, Michael will be Michael I guess
Timelord31 - LOL I can't say I disagree with you, but somehow I don't see that getting into a fight is really going to help matters in this case, tempting as it might be...
Flamehair -
It's really not the blood which counts.

Exactly!
Lazza - Well I'm glad you enjoyed it, and here's another I never thought I was going to get out... It might not be what's expected, it's not quite what I had in mind, but it was the way it seemed to flow so I decided to go with it...
tequathisy - Michael fronting? - you know what, I think you're probably right. Everyone, and that includes Liz and Max too in my opinion, has had a lot to deal with...just some are handling it better than others...and as you say, Michael is handling it badly lol.
I also agree that time to cool off would probably have been a good idea, but I don't see him having agreed to leave it till the following day can you?
Oh, and lastly -the date without b and e - don't worry, somehow I think Maria will be insisting on it lol
Emz80m - Isn't he :lol: Thanks for reading, glad you're enjoying the story.
Maya - Well can't have Roswell without Michael lol. Thanks for reading
strawberry88 - thanks, glad you're enjoying the story
isabelle - :oops: You really know how to make a girl blush :wink: Thanks for the feedback, great to know you're enjoying the story. I agree with you about the 'thank you', but maybe it was a case that she was just a bit shocked, and preoccupied...I imagine she'll have been doing a lot of thinking throughout her shift about the upcoming conversation, and also the previous one too... The rest of your questions I'll leave for the moment, but they'll be answered eventually I promise. Hope you like the new part.
Zanity - Welcome to the story, thanks for giving it a go and I'm glad you like it.
But then again Michael never was one for thinking things through and seeing all sides of an issue

LOL, you hit it right on the nose there...and of course as Maria says, he's been lying too, but of course that's different - because it's him doing the lying :?
Forensicschic - I sympathise with you, I really do...believe me, I'd far rather write this, or any of my others than work on my project or read about how some idiots are trying to claim fingerprints are unreliable as a sorce of ID *rolls eyes* (sorry, I'm done with my rant now too) Unfrotunately, final year and final semester means I don't have much choice. Been working all afternoon though, so here's the update requested. Thanks for reading, but as for Michael...well...I guess we can hope...

Okay, so first of all I'm sorry this part has taken longer than usual. My cousin was playing pool in a tournament in Bridlington last week and I went down with my parents at the weekend to see him. I got absolutely nothing written Sunday as I usually would, and it sort of set my timing off, and with having the (boring) project for uni which is a double module :?, I've been rather busy since getting back.

I do want to say a bit thanks as always for the feedback though, it really does help lots, so thanks! Thanks for reading, and hope everyone reading, wether you're replying or not, is enjoying the story.

Last comment before I finish, and this is a little bit of a plug. I posted the beginning of a new fic on here today. It's completely different to any of the others I have on here, and it won't be very long, but if anyone wants to take a look, I'd love to hear what you think of it.

If you're interested, here's the link: If Only...

Thanks for your patience, and here's the new chapter, I'd love to hear what you think as always.

~Kat~


Chapter 29

“Okay, here we go...” Max announced unnecessarily to the group of teens that were gathered outside the apartment. Inserting his key in the lock, he turned it, and then pushed, pausing the door to swing open.

“Come in, please, sit down…does anyone want a drink…?” Liz stepped inside first, and then motioned towards the sofa and table and chairs, playing the gracious hostess.

Michael scowled, shaking his head. He didn’t want a drink, he just wanted answers…

“Michael have some manners!” Maria hissed at her boyfriend, glaring at him before offering a smile to Liz. “Actually I wouldn’t mind a drink thanks…”

Her friend nodded as she moved into the small kitchen area. “Soda okay?” She checked, looking back over at the rest of them. “Alex, Isabel…?” She turned her head slightly, focusing on the last occupant of the room. “Honey, you want anything…?”

This last was of course addressed to her husband, who had slipped into the bedroom to retrieve something, but had re-entered the main room now and was pulling a chair out from under the table to sit on. He looked round with a smile, nodding. “Cherry coke please…”

Receiving a nod now from Isabel to make a total of four drinks including her own, Liz leant over and opened the fridge, pulling out the large bottle of cherry coke, and two cans of soda, holding one up as she looked over at Isabel. “Soda or cherry coke for you Isabel?”

As his sister voiced a preference for the latter of the two options, Michael began to tap his hand on the sofa arm impatiently. When were they going to get back to the job in hand… He had been put off this morning because of work, and now drinks?

Of course the truth of the matter was that Liz’s offer of drinks had nothing to do with her wanting to put off talking… Quite simply, she was thirsty herself, and felt it would be bad form to fetch herself a drink without offering round at the same time… She was in fact already finishing, calling Max over to get him to take Isabel and Maria’s drinks, before picking up her own and joining her husband at the table.

Maria nodded a thanks as Max held a glass out, smiling as she took it and sat back, unable to keep from looking around the small apartment again, her anger and fear the night before blurring her memory somewhat…

“So, are we just going to sit here all night, or are you going to give us some answers?”

Max looked over at him, his eyes smouldering with anger. Never had he wanted so much to put someone in their place as he did Michael right at this moment in time… Not because he had been the King and Michael hadn’t…but simply because he was being downright rude and unpleasant… “You’ll get your answers…” He muttered under his breath.

“Please Michael…” That was Isabel now as she took the second glass from Max and looked over at her brother.

“What, sit around while they tell us nothing…listen as they tell us we weren’t worth being saved…?” Michael had been stewing over what the little they had been told all afternoon it seemed as he looked between Liz and Max, glaring at both of them…

“Michael, please…that’s not what we said…” Liz tried to insist as she set down her glass for a moment. She shook her head and looked at the boy who she knew to be the closest thing she had to a blood relative, wishing he would just give her some indication of trust. It was a big ask she knew, as she had learnt even over the short time they had known the others, Michael was the least trusting of the lot, and they had basically just shattered any little he might have been building up in them…

“Didn’t you? You said that he found out where we were, so why didn’t out protector come for us…?” Michael practically spat out his words, making no secret of his feelings.

“It wasn’t like that!” Liz shook her head again. “Nacedo was a good man, he did what he thought was best…for all of us…”

Reaching over to squeeze her hand, Max nodded as he took over. “Think about it… You’re discovery brought enough publicity…can you even think how much more attention it would have caused if you were ‘claimed’…?” He shook his head and sighed, trying his best to explain the thinking that their protector had repeated over and over every time they asked about the ‘family’ he told them was safe… “He would have been drawing attention to himself, and all of us… It was too dangerous!”

“So while we were stuck in a group home, and then living with a drunk, you were living the high-life!”

The high-life? Max could have laughed. He shook his head and looked at the other guy. “Oh yes, the high-life - do you really want to hear what that was like?” He paused a moment, but didn’t really wait long enough for Michael to respond before he continued. “We’re working minimum wage jobs, going to school and just about getting by… All we own is in this apartment…a bag of clothes, a computer and some bits and pieces for school… Our savings consist of a couple of hundred dollars in an emergency bank account, of which we had to spend a hundred on the car and motel room last night…” His voice was bitter now as he thought about how hard things were, and looked over at his wife, wishing he could offer her something more. “Oh yes Michael, we sure live the high-life don’t we…?” He scoffed, caring little right now about how the other guy would take his tone.

Liz nervously looked between the other girls, realising that this had serious potential to turning a currently bad situation into a disastrous one and wondering if Michael did blow, whether she would have any allies in Maria or Isabel.

Perhaps surprisingly however, Max’s little spout actually seemed to give Michael something to think about… Since finding out who they were, it was as though he had been thinking of them as having had this charmed, luxury lifestyle, and now, suddenly, he was reminded that wasn’t the case…

Far from it… The couple in font of him had it hard…

He turned, studying them for a moment and then looked around, regarding the apartment carefully.

A small room, split into two by a small counter which separated the kitchenette area from the living room, giving the impression of there being even less space. Sparcely furnished, with a unit by the wall, a coffee table in front of the sofa which held a tv he wasn’t even certain was connected… Other than the table and chairs, both of which had obviously seen far better days, the only other things in the room were in the kitchenette, which was again basic and old in style. All in all, it was a pretty poor looking room, and the dim illumination provided by a single overhead light and two small lamps really didn’t help matters.

Basically, it was small, and dingy, and about as far away from the high-life as it was possible to get…

Michael shrugged, trying not to let his growing discomfort show as he looked over at Liz. He couldn’t help remembering what she had said earlier, about having been his cousin…

“Michael…?”

Her soft voice broke into his thoughts, making him blink as he hoped it hadn’t been too obvious he was looking. He shook his head, trying to keep up the gruff act. “So fine, you don’t have plates of gold or anything, but then neither did we…”

Maria’s lip turned up slightly at the corners as she gave a small smile. He might not want to admit it, but she knew him well, and he was softening… “So maybe you have more in common than you realise…” She suggested softly.

Although phrased slightly differently, her meaning was the same as it had been hours before, but while earlier he had brushed it off, now, he gave a slight nod. “Fine, but are we going to get some answers or what now…?”

The group drifted back to the matter at hand, although the questions of history were left for the moment in favour of some more specific information about exactly what each of the aliens was capable of…which was to lead to further disagreement it seemed, as Liz made what she felt was a sensible suggestion. “How about you tell us about your abilities first…?”

Michael of course again seemed to assume that they were trying to hide their own. “Why us first…?” He scowled, determined that they should be the ones to start.

The brunette, who really didn’t see the problem struggled and after looking at her husband for his agreement, simply nodded. “Alright, fine, we can… it doesn’t really make any difference, but I just thought maybe since we’re likely to be able to do more, you’d like to start…”

“Whatever…” He lapsed into silence, waiting expectantly.

Counting to ten in his mind, Max took a deep breath, trying not to lose his temper. “Michael, I can pretty much tell you that anything you can do, we’re likely to be able to do…and a fair bit besides…happy now…?” His patience was clearly running thin.

Deciding it was probably best to take over, this was the point at which Liz stepped in. “We have a number of powers which are universal Michael, while others are more specific… We can both blast things, do basic telekinesis and manipulate structures… We can dreamwalk, although it’s not something either of us have ever really practiced much… Then there’s the shield you saw before, and healing – although Max is a lot better at that than me…”

Her husband grinned and looked over. “Yeah, well same goes for you with the warping…I never could get a handle on it…”

Isabel listened to the banter which followed between the couple for a few minutes, realising that both were far more powerful than either she or Michael it seemed…

“What about you…?” As their teasing came to an end, Liz turned back and addressed the others.

Isabel blinked and chewed her lip. “Not much from the sound of it…” She murmured softly. “I can dreamwalk, and manipulate structures…and Michael ca--“ She broke off sharply at the look her brother gave, shrugging. “Well, nothing so impressive as your collection anyway…”

Picking up on edge to her voice which suggested she was a little intimidated by what they had said they could do, Liz offered her friend a reassuring smile. “Some of the stuff we can do is because of who we were…but others I’m sure you would be able to as well Isabel…it’s just a case of knowing how…” She paused a moment before continuing. “There’s a couple of other things too…but they’re more variations rather than individual abilities…”

“Like what?” That was of course Michael, keeping the question short and to the point.

Max looked over, taking this one himself. “Blasting…which you showed you could do earlier Used slightly differently, it can be used to ignite or extinguish fires, and also to provide illumination…” He explained.

Seeing the blank look this caused on the faces of the rest of the group, Liz smiled, and decided that maybe a little demonstration was in order… She waved her hand, causing the lights to cut off, and then held her hand palm upwards as she allowed a little power to build.

Maria gave a little squeal as they were plunged into darkness, but as a strange glow then re-illuminated the room, she turned, with the others to see what the source was, and gasped as she realised it was coming from the bunette’s hand.

“It’s all about control you see… Blasting is basically just done by allowing power to build and then releasing it…but there’s different ways in which it can be released…” Liz explained softly with a smile.

“So we should be able to do that…?” Isabel questioned, looking between the couple, searching for confirmation.

Max nodded. “Right, blasting is something that’s universal… Some of us might be better than others…I’m guessing that Michael would probably be the strongest with practice, but we should all be able to do it, and therefore the other ‘abilities’ related to that follow…”

“What about…‘warping’ was it…?” Maria’s brow furrowed as she tried to remember what Max had mentioned when they were teasing one another. “What’s that…?”

“Mind-warping…” Liz supplied in a voice little more than a whisper… “I-it’s where I go into someone’s mind, and make them think they’re seeing something they’re not…or stop them seeing something they would otherwise…” She swallowed and looked round. “I don’t use it much though…I promise you…”

Reaching across the table, Max rested his hand over hers, squeezing it gently. He knew she didn’t like mind-warping… Liz had always said it made her feel uneasy, and he couldn’t say he blamed her… He himself had never really had to face the dilemma of using that power – his control over it was practically zilch, and it was one of those things which if you didn’t do it right, could blow right up in your face…

“Would Isabel, or Michael be able to do that too…?” Alex now spoke up, asking the question he knew was needed.

Everyone was silent for a moment as all attention was focused once more on Liz and Max, waiting to hear the answer. At first neither spoke, and then Max shrugged. “Supposedly, I guess… But your control on it has to be good, and I know don’t have that…” He shook his head awkwardly, trying to work out how to explain. “I-it’s a power which requires a lot of concentration, and focus… Avalitha – the queen – was talented, but the majority of people don’t have enough…” Trailing off, he pulled a face, worrying that it sounded as though he was belittling them. “I’m not saying you won’t but-“

“It’s unlikely…” Liz finished for him… “In theory, yes, it’s one of the universal powers…but it wasn’t expected that even I would be able to control it, and Avalitha was the strongest…I very much doubt that either of you two will be able to do so…” She tried to explain, wondering what they would think if they knew the number of times she had wished she didn’t have the control and focus either…

“Whatever…” Michael shrugged it off, making out he wasn’t bothered, and moved onto the next thing. “What about that shield thing…?”

This time, the response came to his question quickly from Max, although it was equally negative in nature. “No… The shield is something for the King and Queen only…same with healing…”

Liz went further to explain her own limitations. “My healing abilities are pretty much limited to healing myself, or Max, or very minor injuries on others… With Max it’s more a case of using the connection between us, channelling my power through him and letting his ability do most of the work… Really, they’re more a case of being survival skills…same with the shield on my own…to make sure I survive if the worst happens I guess…”

Isabel nodded as she trailed off, sensing that the younger woman would probably like to move on now. “But with the others, like that light…you can show us how…?” She questioned softly, easing the conversation back to something a little happier.

Flashing her a thankful smile, Liz nodded quickly. “Sure… It might take some time to get the hang of it of course…it’s taken us a lot of time to get to where we are…”

“Yeah…ten years…” Michael responded, muttering under his breath. Max and Liz could say what they liked about their lives, but they had still had all this training, while he and Isabel had none…”

Liz shook her head, shooting him a glance. “Well what do you want us to do about it Michael…? We were kids too, we didn’t have a choice in what happened, and you know what, when we did, we chose to come and find you!” She pointed out in a tight, clipped tone. It had been a long day, she was tired and weary, and wasn’t in the mood for having to justify herself again… They had already apologised repeatedly, and she was fed up, sick and tired of the way that Michael seemed to constantly be making them out to be the bad guys! So they had told some lies, but if anyone should understand, it was him… He hadn’t exactly been tripping over himself to own up to being different himself had he…?

One look was all that Max needed to tell him his wife was ready for bed… He knew neither of them had slept well last night, and they had been up early in the morning… She was clearly tired, and to continue at the moment would only result in further problems. They had shared a lot of information that day, better to sleep on it perhaps, and pick up things again later… He looked around the group. “You know what, that seems like a good place to leave things…if no one else has anymore questions… We can arrange some sessions to work on things later, but for tonight I think a good night’s sleep for all of us would be rather good…”

Perhaps surprisingly, no objections were raised to this suggestion. Whether it was simply that Michael realised he wasn’t going to get more whatever he said, or whether it was that he too recognised how much had been said, and that people were tired, he said nothing…

In fact, Maria, Isabel and Alex, all firmly agreed that this seemed like the thing to do – especially since Liz and Maria were working again the following morning… All had plenty more to ask of course, and the group had a long way to go before they were completely up to speed on both sides, but they recognised that a huge step had been taken that day, and they didn’t want to push too far…

Once the decision had been made to wrap up, things ended pretty quickly, and within fifteen minutes, the couple were closing the door behind their friends after they left the apartment.

Leaning back against the door now, Liz sighed and looked up at her husband. She offered him a small, weary smile without words, and pushed forward, leaning into his arms and burying her head in his chest.

Wrapping his arms around her small frame, Max held his wife tight in his arms and kissed the top of her head. This had been an important day for them, but it had also been long and tiring, and it was time to rest… He sighed and closed his eyes for a moment before looking down at his wife again. “Come on, what’s say you and I get to bed…?” He suggested softly, taking her silence as an agreement, and guiding her towards the door which led into their bedroom.
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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Postby KatnotKath » Sat Apr 22, 2006 6:58 pm

I'm back! :D

Thanks for all the wonderful feedback guys.

Timelord31 - Thanks for reading
Morning Dreamgirl - Sorry, not quite, nice idea though
Zanity - Thanks for reading, glad you liked it
Ariel70 - Well yes, but that's Michael, and you either love him...or not... I'm thinking that Max is falling on the latter side at the moment lol. Don't be too hard on the others though, people do things without thinking when they're surprised, upset or shaken, and I imagine the most of the group is a little of all three...
Flamehair - Hope this won't disappoint
Liz8600 - Thanks for reading, glad you're enjoying the story.
Ellie - But opening up is sometimes the hardest thing to do, and we all know how Michael likes to build a wall around himself...
anonyamousarfan - Thanks, here's more :wink:
Lazza - you're optomistic this week aren't you :?:
tequathisy - Thanks for taking the time to give such thoughtful feedback.
Would it really be that easy for Nacedo to have taken Isabel and Michael safely? - I'm not sure I agree there and don't think it's as simple as you make out, but you're entitled to your view of course.
As for Michael feeling inferior, that's wasn't Liz and Max's intention. They simply answered the question they were asked to the best of their ability, and they have offered to help Michael and Isabel to develop their own. They haven't tried to make him feel less important, or themselves more so. Perhaps the King and Queen comment from Max was badly timed, but it certainly wasn't planned that way by him, it was a heat of a moment ststement, you might also note that they stress that they were titles in a past life, they're not claiming to still hold them.
I think that in some ways, Liz and Max are struggling just as much as the others, and maybe everyone just needs some time.
isabelle - thanks, glad you enjoyed the chapter
Lady Liz - No, hostility within the group isn't good, although I do think it's somewhat understandable
Zanity - Thanks for taking the time to give such thoughtful feedback. I personally think you're right about Nacedo having limited options, and certainly the issue isn't as black and white as it might first seem. As you've pointed out, claiming Isabel and Michael as his own, or trying to adopt them would be unlikely to work, and while he could just take them, that would open up a whole new set of issues. How about I promise to try and go into this further in a later chapter?
POM - Welcome to the story, thanks for reading and glad you're enjoying it. I know that Liz and Max are young, but I'm glad you don't have a problem with it. It sounds like your mom and dad were very lucky to find each other so soon in life.
As for Michael being stubborn - of course, what do you expect from him?

I know a couple of people have asked about Nacedo, I promise to go into Liz and Max's background more at a later stage, but not right now, hope that doesn't dissapoint you all too much.

Before I post this next chapter, there's something that I need to say regarding updates over the next two months or so. Some of you know that I'm a final year university student. I go back to school on Monday, for my last month of lectures, followed by two weeks of exams. I'm not going to have any gap between lectures finishing, and exams starting, so while I'm going to have lectures, classwork and a final project to finish, I'm also going to have to be revising and this is going to mean my writing time is severely limited. Basically, I don't know when I'm next going to be able to update while that's all going on. I'll write, and post, when I can, but I can't make promises about regular updates. These exams are really important, and I just can't afford to muck them up.

I'm sorry to leave you all hanging like this, but while I love writing, some things unfortunately have to come first and I hope that you'll understand and stick with the story. I WILL be back, that's a promise!

Thanks again for all the great feedback, hope anyone reading the story is enjoying it, here's the new chapter and as always I'd love to hear what you think.

~Kat~


Chapter 30

“Don’t you knock?” Isabel didn’t bother looking to see who it was as she heard the door open. Hank was still out, and probably would remain so until closing, which meant there was only one person it could be.

Michael walked into the room and leant back against the door after closing it, giving no impression of being sorry. “We need to talk…” He announced plainly.

His sister made no response except to glare as she looked round, holding her top up to her front in an effort to stay decent.

Her brother seemed completely unaware of the fact he had chosen a bad time to walk in, or that he had even done anything wrong in having done so without knocking. “Isabel-“

”Michael, are you blind, or do you have some kind of kinky dreams I don’t know about…?” Isabel raised an eyebrow questioningly as she realised he wasn’t going to take her hint and leave.

“Huh…?” He looked at her dumbly for a moment, before blinking and suddenly registering her state of undress. “Don’t be stupid!” He grouched, turning his back on her to allow his sister to get some clothes.

The strappy t-shirt and thin joggers which Isabel wore at night flew past him through the air from the small stool which stood by the door. He opened his mouth to object, but before he could say anything was cut off again.

“Michael, unless you want to be thrown out of this room, literally, I suggest you don’t…” Her voice shook slightly, an edge of anger apparent as she quickly grabbed her clothes out of the air and pulled them on. “I’m not sure if this actually means anything to you, or maybe I’m just wasting my breath, but when we came in, I said I was going to bed…that means you KNOCK if you want to come in!” She stepped into the pants, tying the cord at her waist and looked over at him. “Alright, you can look round…” Her words were short and clipped, speaking of the anger she felt.

Scowling, Michael stalked over to the bed now, dropping down and sitting there without any hint of an apology. Bed was not something he would even consider right at this moment in time, and he didn’t know how she could either. After everything they had learnt, there was so much to talk about, to discuss…

Isabel was far from happy as she saw him sit down. Couldn’t he take a hint? She wanted him to leave, she didn’t want to talk right now, she just wanted to go to bed… Holding out her hand, she focused on her brush which lay a short distance across the room, trying to use up some of her pent up energy that was running through her body. The object flew across the small room quickly, just as her clothes had done before, and she caught it, reaching up and pulling it through her hair as she sat down next to her brother. “Michael, please, can’t we talk about this tomorrow… Whatever it is, I really just want to sleep right now…” She told him wearily. Usually, all she needed was about four hours a night, but right now, after everything that had happened, she felt as though she would sleep until morning…

Unfortunately, it seemed that Michael was not going to be put off so easily. The information they had been given that day wasn’t enough, he wanted more… He wanted to know exactly ‘who’ Liz and Max were, he wanted to know why it had taken them all this time to come to them… The couple were constantly keeping them hanging, providing information almost like a carrot, then removing it whenever they seemed to be getting anywhere… “I want to know more about them…” He stated, ignoring his sister’s obvious request for him to leave.

She shook her head and groaned, pulling her brush through her hair again in long even strokes. “So we’ll talk to them more tomorrow… Seriously Michael, I want to sleep okay!” She shot a look at him which seemed to say she was fast running out of patience.

“Isabel…”

“Michael…I’m warning you…”

Taking no heed of her warning, he ploughed right on as though she had said nothing. “I want you to dreamwalk them!”

That certainly got a response, but not the one he had been hoping for. “WHAT?” His sister dropped her brush into her lap, shaking her head incredulously. She couldn’t believe he was saying this, she’d think that he was making a joke – a bad one at that – but then this was Michael… She looked at him carefully, studying his expression before shaking her head again. “Read my lips, NO!” Her response was sharp and to the point.

“It’s the one way to find out something about them without relying on what they want to tell us though…” Never one to give up when he got an idea into his head, Michael persisted and pushed on. “Isabel please, I’d do it myself, but you’re so much better…” He shrugged slightly. “It’s a good way to see what they’re really like, surely you can see that…”

Flattery first… Well, Isabel knew it was true of course, Michael could never get into the actual dream orbs, so it didn’t really take much to be better than him… Flattery wasn’t going to change her mind though, and nor were his arguments. On this occasion, she wasn’t going to budge. Again, she shook her head, picking up her brush again as she began to come it through her hair once more. “Have you even thought this through?” She asked her brother. “Have you thought about how much damage it could do to everything if they realised what I had done…?”

He shrugged non-committally but since he said nothing, his sister continued. “In case you weren’t listening earlier, Max and Liz can both dreamwalk, to whatever extent… They’ll be able to sense me if I do it, and then how will they react…?” She questioned, reaching for a band on the bed and sweeping her hair into a high bunch as she looked over at her brother expectantly.

“They lied to us…”

Doubling the band over, and then pulling her hair through, Isabel silently counted to ten, sure that if she didn’t, she would say, or even possibly do, something which she would later regret. “Michael, they did exactly the same thing as you would in their situation, and it’s not exactly as though we were completely up front with them from the start is it…” She pointed out, trying not to completely lose it with him.

Sometimes he could just be so… Urgh… Sure Liz and Max had kept things from them, and there was a lot more to be said she was sure but the more she thought about it, the less angry she was. She might not have been too sure how she felt about this guy who had known where they were and done nothing, but that was another issue entirely… Why couldn’t Michael just get off his high horse and get on with it?

“That’s different!”

His sister rolled her eyes. “Of course it is…” She snapped, glaring at him. “Just forget it, believe what you like, but don’t pull me into it!” Why she bothered even talking to him sometimes she didn’t know.

Michael looked at her. “Isabe--“

“Michael, leave me out of it!” She looked at him pointedly. “Now, if you don’t mind, I would like to try and get some sleep…”

Her brother hesitated for a moment, possibly considering if he should continue trying to convince her, but when it came down to it he finally nodded, perhaps realising that he simply wasn’t going to win this one. “I’m only trying to keep us safe you know…” His voice softened as he stood up and looked back at his sister.

Despite everything, Isabel knew that much was true. He might be a complete pain at times, an idiot and as stubborn as a mule, but when it came down to it, he was like that because he cared. She nodded slightly and nodded, looking back at him. “I know…but please Michael believe me, this isn’t the way…” She gave a sad smile, standing up and stepping around the bed to hug him. “I know what was said today, about Max and I…but I meant what I said – you’re my brother Michael…you always will be…”

**********

“You don’t have to come in with me you know…I’ll be fine” Liz protested, trying once more as her husband picked up his bag. He wasn’t working until the afternoon, but despite her attempts to persuade him to stay home; he was still on taking his stuff to the Crashdown, and studying there while she was working her shift.

‘I always study better in company you know… Sitting here alone just isn’t the same…’ He had insisted, bringing a smile to her lips at the mention of a ‘certain brunette, although it was little secret that his real reason for accompanying her was that he didn’t want her to be alone around the others.

“Honey please…” Swinging his bag over his shoulder, Max dipped his head, silencing her objections with a quick kiss on the lips. Pulling back as they broke apart, he held out his hand to catch the keys which flew across the room from the table where he had left them, opening the door, and then stepping out onto the landing.

Realising that she wasn’t going to win this one, Liz nodded as she waited for him to lock up. She couldn’t be mad at him really – he was only doing it because he cared… Smiling, she tilted her head up, giving her husband a peck on the cheek as she felt his arm snake around her waist lovingly. “Okay…fine, I’ll drop it…” She conceded softly, walking with him down the stairs, out the main door and down onto the street outside.

The couple fell into a comfortable silence on the walk through the now-familiar streets, and as they neared the Crashdown, Liz couldn’t help thinking over everything. It was a little sad really, that Max was worried about what they might do, or say, when they had searched so long for these very people. She remembered so many nights when they had sat in whatever apartment they were currently staying in; pouring over the journal and other information they had been able to collect. The last year had been spent moving from place to place, for one reason and one reason only – to find their ‘family’…

In living like that though, day to day, with one main aim, they hadn’t thought too much about what would happen after though… Thinking about after was getting one step ahead – they had to find them first…

And now they had… Michael, and Isabel… Their family…

It sounded simple, but it wasn’t… Perhaps the worst thing was that they had become friends, of a sort, before the truth came out, and now that they new…well, things were complicated… Everyone was keyed up, it was going to take time…

What if they never forgave them though…? It was a thought which had occurred to Liz more than once the night before as she lay in bed, thinking… She didn’t want to think it, but it was certainly possible… Maria had softened, maybe Isabel too, but Michael…

“Lizzy…?” Max looked down at his wife, feeling her pace slow slightly.

She blinked. “What…oh…sorry I was thinking…I guess I spaced a little….” She commented softly, giving no details although she was certain he would have a good idea of what she had been thinking about.

“It’ll be okay you know…”

Freezing, Liz turned to look up at him, shaking her head. “Is it…?” She whispered. She wasn’t at all certain. It wasn’t that she had expected for Michael to immediately open up to her, but she just wished he had given some indication of how he was feeling… Swallowing, she bit down on her lip, drawing in a ragged breath as she leant back against the wall of the building they were just passing.

Taking in the figure of his young wife, Max felt as though his heart was breaking. She was close to breaking he knew, and there was nothing he could do about it… He could say it would be alright sure, but both knew that it wasn’t up to them now… The ball was in Michael and Isabel’s court – they could accept the help they had offered ask further questions, and then, if they wanted, when they had what they needed, they could walk away…

He didn’t want to think that was going to happen though… They had to remain positive…and hope…

Sighing, Max offered Liz a small smile, dropping his bag down onto the floor as he stepped towards her, holding out his arms. “Lizzy, I know this is hard, but you have to believe it’s going to work out… We’ve come this far after all…” Looking down, he found his breathing eased as he saw her give a small smile at this last comment. “I love you baby…”

“I love you too…” Liz mumbled without looking up, her face still buried in his chest as she pressed deeper into his arms.

**********

“Hey Liz” Maria waved at the brunette as she walked through the door with Max.

The second waitress gave a grateful smile, waving back and then pausing, saying something to her husband before reaching up and giving him a peck on the cheek as the two of them split, Max moving to sit in one of the free booths, while his wife headed through to the back to get changed.

A few minutes later, she re-emerged from the staff room, sporting the usual alien antennae headband and silver apron, moving immediately to help Maria who appeared to be struggling with some plates of food. “Need some help…?” She offered softly.

“Michael, I said space fries not UFO rings!” Maria yelled at her boyfriend, her tone no-doubt influenced by the fact she was still angry at him about the ‘date’ on Friday… She shoved the incorrect order back through the hatch and glared at him for a moment, before turning back as Liz offered her help. To the other girl, she offered a big smile, and genuine thanks, picking up three of the plates herself and asking if Liz could get the other two.

“Sure, no problem…” Liz nodded her confirmation, picking up the two remaining plates and following her over to the table which had ordered the food. Luckily, no one seemed too put out by the missing fries, which Maria assured the group would be brought over as soon as possible, and after checking there was nothing more they needed, the two waitresses headed back to the counter.

“Thanks for that…” Maria commented, looking over at the brunette.

Liz offered a small smile and shook her head. “No need to thank me…” She assured her softly, hesitating a moment before continuing to add, “That’s what friends are for isn’t it…”

There was a silence for a few moments, as both girls took in what had been said. Liz bit down on her lip, hoping that she hadn’t said the wrong thing. It had just come out…but she had meant it… She hadn’t had many friends over the last year, but she really wanted to be able to class Maria as one… Isabel too, if possible… The two girls, and Alex, had made both she and Max so welcome since they arrived… They had become what she would class as friends even before everything had come out, and she was just hoping that they weren’t going to lose that…

For Maria’s part, she was silent because she was a little surprised, but Liz needn’t have worried about her reaction. “Definitely!” She was soon grinning at the other girl as she stuck a cup under the soda fountain and turned on the tap, turning back to continue talking to Liz.

Neither girl really noticed the two sets of eyes which were fixed on them as they chatted, going about their work almost as though the previous days’ events had never happened. That wasn’t the case of course, and there was plenty still to talk about, but for the moment both were happy to return to the easy friendship they had built up it seemed.

Michael and Max on the other hand were far from ready to forget…

While Max sat in one of the booths, a school book laid out in front of him, Michael stood in the kitchen tossing burgers. The look in their eyes was identical however, and neither were really paying much attention to whatever they were supposed to be doing. Their gazes rested firmly on one, or both of the girls, following them as they moved about the room, and watching them carefully as they continued to chat.

What he would give to know what was being said… Michael strained his ears as he edged closer to the hatch, trying to listen in, but a smell of burning soon drew his attention away. “OH S*IT!” He cursed, moving quickly to remove the rather charred-looking patties and managing to catch his hand on the hot-plate in the process.

“What’s that smell…?” Liz sniffed the air uncertainly as a barbecue-like smell seemed to drift into the room.

Maria glanced towards the serving hatch, shaking her head as she too began to sniff. Telling Liz that she would be right back, she slipped through into the back, pushing open the door which led into the kitchen with her back. “Michael, I hope you’re not intending to serve--“ She started to address her boyfriend, although broke off quickly as she saw him stood over by the sink, running his hand under the tap. “Michael, are you okay?” She crossed the floor towards him.

“I’m fine Maria, it’s nothing!” He turned round, trying not to wince as he pulled his hand from under the water and faced her.

“What did you do?” She reached behind his back, her hand closing over his hand as she pulled it forward, noting the way he winced in pain. The side of his hand was a bright red, and she could see it was highly likely to blister. How he had expected to hide it from her she had no idea, but this was definitely not fine… “Michael, for once in your life will you admit when you need help?” She gave him a push back towards the sink. “Continue running it under the sink, I’ll be back in a minute okay?” With those words, she hurried back towards the door.

***

“LIZ!”

Turning around, the brunette immediately noted the look in Maria’s eyes. “Maria, what’s wrong…?”

“Michael,heburnthimselfand--“

“Wow, slow down and breath!” Liz held up her hand, struggling to understand a word of what had been said. She had caught Michael’s name of course, but other than that… She shook her head. “Come again?”

Her friend bit down on her lip, swallowing before speaking again. “It’s Michael… He burnt himself, it looks bad…”

“Show me?” Wasting no time on niceties, Liz’s response was simple, and moments later she was entering the kitchen, the two girls hurrying back over to the sink where Michael was still stood.

“What’s she doing here?” Michael scowled as he took in the second girl.

“I suppose a ‘thanks for your concern’ would be too much to ask for?” Liz commented wryly, peering down at his hand as she did so.

“I didn’t ask you to come!” Whether because of the pain, or simply just because it was Michael, he made no attempt to be more pleasant.

Choosing to ignore his attitude, Liz was far more interested in his hand as she took in the blisters which were already forming. “Michael please, let me take a look, see if I can help…?” She requested of him softly, reaching tentatively towards him.

Since he didn’t pull back, she decided to take that as an acceptance, and focused her attention on the red, puffy-looking side of his hand. After a moment’s consideration, she looked over at Maria. “I’m going to have to get Max!”

“NO!” Michael’s response to this was sharp, punctuated by a wince as his hand again began to throb.

“Michael, you know you can’t go to hospital, and I can’t heal this fully, it’s too serious… Let Max help!” The young brunette looked up into his eyes pleadingly.

“NO!” He stubbornly shook his head again, biting down hard on his lip as the pain began to intensify. “I’ll be fine!”

His girlfriend, however, wasn’t fooled by his macho act. “Michael please… It’s a bad burn, you need to do something!” She tried to convince him, half tempted to go and grab Max herself even without his permission. Right now his stubborn pride was meaning that he was in serious pain, and that wasn’t something she wanted…

“Maria, no, I won’t ask him!” Michael insisted, his words almost suggesting that he had forgotten Liz was there.

She certainly hadn’t forgotten about him though. “You wouldn’t have to ask him… Michael, like it or not, you’re our family, and we want to help…” Liz tried again, closing her eyes as she used a little power to at least numb the pain a little.

His head turned sharply. “What are you doing?” He demanded, looking down at his hand, and then back to the girl in front of him.

“Trying to help…” Came her reply as she shook her head. “Michael, I can numb the pain, and even maybe reduce size of the blisters a little, but that’s as much as I can do… I told you before; my healing is minimal other than on Max and myself…” She paused a moment, looking at him. “Max can deal with this much better, he can make it so that you don’t even feel as though anything had happened…please, let him help…?”

Unfortunately, Michael’s pride was such that he continued to refuse to enlist Max despite the pleading by both girls, although he did soften enough to allow Liz to do what little she could. It was definitely still going to blister of course, and it would be painful, but he insisted that he would be fine, and after Liz had done, Maria took over, covering it carefully with a dressing and bandaging it up as best she could.

“I could still go get Max you know Michael…” Liz offered one last time as she dawdled in the doorway, looking back at the couple.

“No…” Michael’s response was the same as ever.

Realising that she wasn’t going to change his mind, Liz nodded reluctantly, turning to go. “Okay, well I’ll go back then…take your time Maria…”

Michael watched her as she turned away, stepping through the door. “Liz wait!”

She stopped, turning back in surprise.

“Thank you…”
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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