Finding Something Better by Fidomom (AU,M/M,TEEN/ADULT) Ch1-18/? - 08/01/20

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Re: Finding Something Better by Fidomom (AU,M/M,TEEN/ADULT) Ch1-11/? - 12/03/18

Post by keepsmiling7 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:09 pm

Wow......that was some honeymoon for M and M.
Michael's world defies logic.........
I don't see this honeymoon ending anytime soon.
Maria's flash.........pregnant??
Ava is handy to have around. I don't know about Kal.
Thanks for the new part, Carolyn

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Re: Finding Something Better by Fidomom (AU,M/M,TEEN/ADULT) Ch1-12/? - 12/10/18

Post by Fidomom » Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:11 am

@keepsmiling7- Yes The Honeymooners are always at it, one way or another, lol! Ava is very handy to have around and she's fun for me to imagine. Kal is annoying but somewhat useful, so for now he's ... there.
Here ... have another new part! Glad you're still reading this, Carolyn - thanks. :)

~FM :)

Title: Finding Something Better
Author: Fidomom
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. It is only loosely based on characters from the 1999-2002 tv series Roswell as I imagine they could be from different points throughout and beyond the three seasons of the show. I am not affiliated with any of the original creations nor creators from the series. I will make no monetary gains from publishing this work of fiction.
Pairings/Characters/Category: Michael & Maria, Max & Liz, Kyle, Isabel, Ava, CC, UC, AU, w/Aliens
Rating: Teen
Summary: This chapter - The crew has a lot to process and Isabel is faced with a difficult choice.
Author's Note: warnings=

Finding Something Better
by Fidomom

Chapter Twelve

As soon as Maria had left the kitchen to try to prove Kal wrong, Michael started to ask Kal, "So if she really is this Com-", and Michael felt the air thicken around him.

One second he was standing in the kitchen, talking and in the next blink, he was in the living room, naked, standing behind Maria. He had felt no sensation of movement, at all. Had no recollection of the process, even. He heard her call out to the others, as she took a step toward the kitchen and he interrupted her departure, "Uhh, Maria? Behind you."

Maria let out a startled yelp and spun toward him, to look. She quickly processed his lack of clothing and was just about to ask for someone to bring him some clothes, when Max hurried into the living room, looking anxious.

Piled in his arms, were Michael's clothes that he'd been wearing moments ago. Max spoke to Maria, "So he ended up where you specifically wanted? It happened so fast. I had to make sure he was still here and not, you know, somewhere unintended. Here, take these. I'll, uhh, I'll go tell the others that he's still here."

Maria accepted the clothes from Max, mostly shielding Michael from view and when Max was gone, she gave Michael's clothes back to him. Michael dressed quickly, then called out to the others, "It's safe to come in here, now, guys!"

Maria was pensive as she looked around at all of them and then she set her eyes on Kal and she laughed humourlessly, as she accused him, "You did this! For some reason, you want us to think I'm some Commander or something and you used alien powers to make that happen! It was all your idea, right down to him being naked!"

Michael put a hand on her forearm and said quietly, "I don't think it was him, Maria. Just before it happened, I felt a familiar sensation. The same weird air as the magnet thing. He wasn't in our hotel room with us. I think it was you doing that, to us, after all."

Maria objected, "I told you, Michael, I wouldn't do that to you! Why would I do that?"

Michael shrugged and supposed out loud, "Maybe because your feelings were stronger than your reason, just then? You knew why I had to leave the room, it made sense, and so you had no reason for me to not go out to the car but emotionally? You didn't want me to go and leave you in that room, all by yourself, so you kept me with you."

Maria scoffed and accused woundedly, "Great, so now you're back to blaming me for that, all over again!"

Michael shook his head and held her hand, as he corrected, "Not just you. Me too. From what Kojak says, I gave you permission and I didn't exactly resist the pull; I wasn't thrilled about leaving your side, either. It was a mutual thing, I think.

Never mind that I complained about it. I complained about falling in love with you, too, but it didn't make me not fall for you. We found a compromise that worked for us and it stopped."

Maria was starting to accept his version of events but then she shook her head and denied it all, "Nope! No, Michael. I'm a simple human girl! I'm not a Commander of anything! All of this stuff is alien powers stuff; it has nothing to do with me! It just doesn't, okay?"

Michael chuckled wryly and mused, "I may not have had all the facts when I said it, but I wasn't wrong when I told you, that you are a force to be reckoned with. I think I believe what Kojak and Ava believe.

Maybe I even believe Madame Vivian, now. It was a hell of a thing she said to me, when it later becomes a possibility that you are this Commander that Kojak and Ava have talked about.

Believe in the love? That is what she said, right? Do you? Because I'm kind of leaning in that direction, right now.

I mean, in the space of a thought, I wound up in another room, naked."

Maria looked at him without speaking for several seconds and then she suggested, "Or maybe me being someone important, like this Commander being, works for you because it might save my life, if it turns out, that I really am pregnant?"

He didn't deny it and said softly, "Yeah, that, too."

Kal piped up in interest, "Pregnant? A pregnant Commander? I've never heard of such a thing!"

Isabel quipped impatiently, "Well, considering you didn't know the Commander could be a human being, either, then just your say so, on what is and isn't normal, doesn't carry much weight, anymore, now does it?!"

Michael emphasised to Kal, "If she is pregnant, I'm the father. Is she gonna die? Is my child going to kill her? I need to know, Kojak!"

When Kal didn't answer right away, Max ordered irritably, "Answer him, Kal."

Kal huffed impatiently and said in indignation, "I'm not resisting answering, Your Highness, I simply can't answer because as the Royal Princess has pointed out, I don't know the answer! I'm not psychic!"

Liz tried to reason with Kal politely but firmly, "But it's on you as the Royal Protector, to help us figure out the answer. Even if you don't know, as much as you thought you did, you still know more than we do.

If Maria is as important, as you seem to believe, then you have to help us ensure that she survives. It's as simple as that, because whatever else Maria may or may not be, to anyone else, she is my sole surviving best friend. I will not lose her, too and you need to understand that, Mr. Langley!"

Michael sent Liz a look of gratitude and he implored Kal, "Tell us what we need to do, going forward, to make sure that my wife lives."

Kal sighed and suggested, "First, we need to determine if she actually is pregnant. I'll have to touch her to see inside of her abdomen."

Maria seemed wary but she nodded and Michael said, "Okay. Do it."

Kal's hand was less than six inches from making contact, when he suddenly flew backwards three feet.

The hybrid members of the crew all looked at each other and asked, "Did you do that?"

Kal answered for them, "No. None of you did that. It was the baby."

Michael asked worriedly, "So Maria is pregnant? Our kid has powers?"

Kal answered, "I have no idea, yet, if Maria is pregnant or not. I was talking about the other one that definitely is here and is more powerful than I was ready for."

Everyone asked at once, "Lex did that?"

Kal sighed and answered, "No, not him, either. The other one. The one Her Royal Highness has neglected to tell me, that she is expecting."

Max asked in confusion, "You mean, Isabel? What?,

"Isabel, are you pregnant?"

Isabel's eyes teared up and she admitted, "I think so. Okay, I guess, thanks to Mr. Langley, I know so. Yes, I'm having another baby."

Everyone turned to Kyle and Max asked him point blank, "You got my sister pregnant?"

Kyle's eyes widened, he held up surrender hands and he denied, "What? Me? Noooo! She's still married to Jesse! I wouldn't. I couldn't!"

Michael asked in utter confusion, "Well, then who's the father?"

Isabel's teary eyes spilled over and she whispered, "You are, Michael. I'm pregnant with your child."

Michael saw Maria's eyes overflow, too and he hastily refuted Isabel's claim, "Maria, no! I'm not the father! I wouldn't do that to you! I promised you that I would never! I didn't! I swear, I didn't!,

"Isabel why would you lie about this? Tell her that I didn't do this, please!"

Maria answered confidently, "I know you didn't, spaceboy. I did."

Michael asked in confusion, "What do you mean? What are you saying, right now?"

Maria answered, "I knew that you would keep your promise to me for the rest of your life, if I let you. I heard Isabel ask you and I heard you decline. I wasn't about to let two people I care about, suffer or be deprived of joy just to spare my feelings or my pride being hurt.

I provided her with the means to end her painful condition and the means to make sure that you'd get to realise your dream of being a Dad. I love you, too much to stand in the way of that, Michael.

Of course I had no idea, at the time, that I might wind up pregnant, too and I didn't even know if it would work but I had to at least give her the option."

Michael guessed, "You gave her one of my condoms."

Maria nodded and Michael bit out fiercely, "You had no right to do that, behind my back!"

Kal interjected, "Of course she did! You gave her that right, yourself!"

Maria concurred with a small smile, "You really did. Literally, even. Congratulations, spaceboy, it turns out, that you do get to be a Dad, after all."

Ava asked Kal, "So Isabel's unborn baby knocked you flying? Why? How do you know?"

Kal nodded and explained, "I felt from which direction the power came but until the paternity reveal, I didn't know why.

Michael, that child has your cells. Your cells are committed to Maria, as a whole person. The child; or rather the part of you in the child, was protecting Maria from a perceived threat. Namely, me."

Ava gasped and exclaimed, "And from me, too! That's why I couldn't use my powers, before, to see if you're pregnant or not!"

Michael asked skeptically, "Why would my kid be more protective of Maria, than I am? I'm standing right here and I didn't feel any need to prevent either of you from diagnosing if she's pregnant or not."

Liz supplied the answer in excitement, "Because cognitively Michael, you know all of us but your cells in the baby only know Maria! Probably you, too, or at the very least, the baby doesn't perceive you as a threat, since the baby didn't interfere with the melting thing, earlier, either."

Kyle asked, "So then, how are we supposed to find out if Maria is pregnant or not, if nobody can touch her or use powers on her?"

Kal answered cryptically, "Who says we can't? Maria just needs to verbally order it."

Maria insisted, "But I did that, already! I told Ava she could do it!"

Kal clarified, "I didn't say allow or consent or give permission. You need to word it as an order. The same way His Majesty does to me if I'm not co-operating to his satisfaction."

Maria spoke quietly, "Well, I'm neither you nor Max. I'm not going to bark an order at my friends or at Michael's and Isabel's unborn child. I'll do this my way and if it doesn't work, then so be it. We can go get a pregnancy test and I can find out first thing in the morning, if I'm pregnant or not.,

"Isabel? Can I touch your tummy?"

Isabel nodded and exposed her abdomen for Maria. Maria kneeled down, placed her palm on Isabel's lower abdomen and she spoke conversationally to the life inside, "Hey, in there. Hi, my name is Maria. You did a really great thing protecting me. Thank-you, sweet one. I need you to know that there are no threats to me or to you, in this room, okay? You can rest now. Everything is okay.

Gosh, I'm so happy you are there! As soon as you run out of room, in there, that's when I finally get to meet you! So just take it easy in there, rest, grow and know that we all love you, and we look forward to properly meeting you, okay?

Now, there is something I do need your help with, though. See, I would like to know if I'm having a baby but I need help with that so I need your Auntie Ava to use her powers to take a look. You can let her do that. It won't hurt me. I promise. Everything is okay, baby. You really can rest now."

Maria stood up and addressed Ava, "Could you try again, please, Ava?"

Ava concentrated and smiled slightly. She addressed Michael, "Congratulations, Michael! Now, you're officially a father of two!,

"Congratulations, to you, too, of course, Maria, it's just that you mentioned that Michael really wanted to be a Dad and I can relate to that dream, myself.,

I'm actually pretty excited that there will be two more babies for all of us to fuss over, in the not so distant future!"

Michael exchanged an emotional look with Maria and he said to Ava, "Thanks, Shortstop, but congratulations may be slightly premature; first Maria needs to survive being pregnant.,

"So, Kojak? Tell me how I can help my wife survive an accelerated alien pregnancy."

Maria cautioned Michael, "Now hang on a second, Michael. Nobody said anything about accelerated. I'm not in pain, remember?,

"Ava, what did the baby look like?"

Ava ducked her head and admitted, "Pretty much the same as Isabel's baby; I couldn't help seeing both. Also, pretty much the same as Lex did, when Isabel first told us she was pregnant with him. Similar sizes and all three looked like perfectly formed babies."

Liz asked, "Ava do you remember when you and Isabel helped me to reach Max in New York? Is there any chance you could do something similar and show me what you see, when you see the babies?,

"Of course this will require your powers, too, Isabel; would you mind?"

Isabel nodded her assent. Ava, Liz, and Isabel held hands in a circle, and Ava concentrated on seeing the babies again. Liz and Ava both gasped and broke the connection.

Liz said very carefully, "The babies are communicating with each other."

Michael asked in curiosity, "Communicating? Really? What are my kids saying to each other?"

Isabel snapped, "How should we know? Nobody here speaks fetus, Michael! The point is, that they are communicating in utero; two different uteros!"

Kyle touched Isabel's arm in concern and asked, "What aren't you telling us, Isabel? It's totally usual for you to be emotional, when you're pregnant, but even I think that the level of hostility toward Heckle, just now, was kind of uncalled for."

Isabel teared up and she raised her voice, "My own baby hates me, okay!?"

Liz hastily corrected, "Babies can't hate, Isabel but they can get angry and yeah, I did pick up on the fact that yours is definitely angry. I've never felt anything quite like that."

Kal mused, "It's remarkable and yet given these unusual circumstances, it's only to be expected. The child feels a loyalty to Maria. Isabel isn't Maria. Isabel may have been Michael's intended mate, in the beginning, but once she bore another's child that chain of destiny was severed. Michael chose another mate for himself. Basically the child knows that it was conceived with the wrong mother."

Maria insisted quietly, "Don't you ever say that about Isabel, again. I chose her for very good reasons and I do not regret it, despite the fact that I'm now pregnant with Michael's child, myself. Isabel is an amazing mother. Her newest little one will learn that, eventually. We'll get it sorted out.,

To Maria's surprise Kal blushed and mumbled, "Apologies, eminent Commander."

Maria frowned uncomfortably. She'd halfway forgotten that whole thing. She shrugged it off and suggested to Isabel, "Last time I talked to your baby, it seemed to yield results. Would you like me to try, again?"

Isabel nodded and said gratefully, "I was going to ask you to do it, later but now would be great! The calmest my baby has been since I suspected I was pregnant was when you were talking to him or her earlier. Please, just make sure he or she knows that I love them, no matter what?"

Maria nodded reassuringly, knelt down, touched Isabel's abdomen and spoke to the baby, again, "Hey, it's Maria, again. I feel like maybe I didn't tell you enough information earlier. There are a lot of people in this room who already love you, especially your Mommy and me and your Daddy.

Sweet one, you're right where you are supposed to be; right where all three of us need for you to be. I know you already had a chat with my baby, your sibling. I hope you two are getting along and that you will love each other, a lot. I'm counting on you, to do that, okay?

I heard you've been feeling upset and I tell you what, if you start to feel upset, again, I want you to remember these three sounds; together they make a melody which is part of a song that I'm writing. La, la, la. The song will be ready for you when it's time for you to come out of there and meet us. I will sing it to you whenever you want. Here it is one more time; la, la, la. That's for you, sweet one. I love you, your Daddy loves you and so does your Mommy. You'll see. It's time to rest now. For real this time, okay?"

Maria looked up at Isabel questioningly and Isabel smiled through tears and nodded emphatically. Maria rose to her feet, hugged Isabel and said, "Congratulations, by the way! I'm really glad it worked; not only the talking to the baby part. I meant what I said; I really don't regret what I did."

Michael chimed in, "Neither do I. I'm sorry for my initial reaction, Isabel. I'm glad Maria helped you that night. I've gone from believing I'd never be a Dad to now being the father of two. I cannot regret that, even if I'm really scared for Maria.

Maria is going to be my focus, until I know for sure that she is safe but it doesn't mean you and our child aren't important to me, too, okay? You know that I do love you."

Isabel laughed through remnant tears and confirmed, "Yeah, I know that, Michael, but wow look at you saying things like that out loud, in front of other people and to my face, even! Very mature! I'm impressed and, also, thank-you, it helps and I love you, too."

Max prompted his wife, "Liz? Did you reach any conclusions, based on what Ava showed you?"

Liz nodded and answered, "Isabel is somewhere between twelve and fifteen days pregnant; which equates to four or four and a half months and that is also how old Maria's baby seems to be. Either they conceived around the same time or Maria conceived four and half months ago.,

"Any chance it happened that long ago, guys?"

Michael and Maria looked at each other and both said, "Yeah. We almost broke up for good, over it."

Maria amended, "But I've had a period every month since then."

Liz asked delicately, "And the other possibility? Around two weeks ago?"

Michael blushed and only said, "Yeah, there was an umm incident, then, too."

Maria frowned, racking her brain and then she blurted, "Oh, the scavenger hunt! Right! Hmm, well that complicates things. Still, if this is a speedy pregnancy why aren't I in any pain? Shouldn't I be, by now, if this is supposedly gonna kill me?"

Kal interjected, "The Commander makes an excellent point. She's quite right. By now, if this were a typical pregnancy, she should have been feeling a great deal of discomfort, if not outright pain, and by typical, I, of course, meant typical for the Royal Four."

Liz suggested, "Then I guess all we can do is wait a couple of days and take another look at the babies; if they are still at similar development to one another then Maria's pregnancy is accelerated just like Isabel's, whether or not she experiences pain from that. If Maria's baby looks significantly younger than Isabel's, in a couple of days, then she's having a typical pregnancy and I, of course mean typical for human beings, Mr. Langley."

Kal announced tersely, "I'll be leaving now. The Royal Princess will be needing the age-gap elixir for one or the other of her two children."

Isabel asked, "What do you mean? Are you saying wait until this one is born and use it on this one instead of on Lex, even though Lex is the eldest?"

Kal answered, "The nature of my role is to provide possible solutions, to protect you four, sorry, your Highness, I meant ten, of course, and to guide and educate you whenever possible so that you may protect yourselves, as needed, as well, since I am not omnipresent. I'll perform my duties to the best of my ability. What you choose to do with my suggestions and guidance is entirely up to you. You were the firstborn, Princess but the Royal Court needed your brother to be of age sooner."

Max accused, "You're interested in that unborn child's power. That's why you want her to use the elixir on he or she instead of on Lex."

Kal nodded his confirmation. Max ordered, "Tell us why."

Kal admitted, "Look, none of us knew what to expect with you four; with this mission. You and your back-up copies arrived in pods and were hatched from pods as reasoning, semi-independent, bi-pedal beings. I had erroneously assumed when you began to breed that pods would be released and would mature outside of your bodies, just as you four had done.

Isabel interrupted, to ask in amusement, "You really thought we would give birth to pods? Seriously?"

Liz defended him, "It's not his fault, Isabel, I mean come on, my Mom as a little girl thought she could make a baby by kissing a boy. You can't help what you don't know or what you think you know but you're mistaken, until you are educated otherwise. Now he knows. You give birth to infants and not pods.,

"I feel like maybe you weren't done with telling us your reasons for wanting Isabel's unborn baby to be given the age-gap elixir before Lex, Mr. Langley. Please do continue if you've more to say."

Kal gave Liz a surprised appreciative look and continued, "Yes, I was getting to the point. Lex, while obviously hybrid enough to alert me, clearly hasn't the brain capacity to exhibit powers, likely due to his fully human father, but the child that the Princess carries is not even done reaching the, I don't know what to call it now except what I've always thought of it as, but basically, the pod maturation stage and the child is already exhibiting incredible potential to be what we all assumed that your children would be.

The broken chain of destiny and other unforeseen odd circumstances, have not seemed to adversely affect the results. That child is still as remarkable, as expected. This is the first child of it's kind; of your kind. A second generation hybrid with powers, as hoped for. I'm curious as to what it might have to say, what it knows, what it can do, so yes, that is my motivation for suggesting the elixir for the unborn child, rather than for the one who is already here."

Isabel frowned in concern and asked, "So this child I'm carrying, is special to you and you wouldn't let me use the elixir on it, if it was in any way harmful or even had the potential to be harmful, to my baby?"

Kal assured her, "I am your Royal Protector. I have agreed to His Highness' terms and vowed to extend that protection to the lineage of each one of you, hereafter. It would break my vow to harm any of you, or knowingly allow any of you to be harmed, including the unborn, and as well as, those who have not yet been conceived."

Isabel darted a look at Kyle and said, "I'm not saying I will use it on this baby that I'm carrying but you've given me something to think about. I need some time before I commit to it, because there's no reversal once we start, right?"

Kal shook his head as apologetically as he was capable of and stated, "You don't have an infinite amount of time to decide but you do have some time, to make a decision, either way."

Isabel asked, "How much would I have to age up either this baby or Lex?"

Kal answered as if he thought she knew already, "Why to the same age that you were when you emerged. Six years developmentally should do quite nicely."

Isabel gasped and started to cry in shock and Kyle went to her side immediately. Ava picked Lex up and cuddled him protectively.

Kyle addressed Kal, "She'll get back to you on what she decides. Didn't you say you were leaving?"

Kal nodded and then added, "One more thing. Prepare to move at a moment's notice. Even if you haven't made friends here, you have been noticed, I guarantee it. If your numbers change too drastically, it will draw too much attention. It's best to move on, as soon as possible, after the child is born."

Isabel asked indignantly, "Excuse me? Did you just scold me for having a second baby?"

Kal shook his head and actually smiled as he answered, "Not at all! The Royal Four should breed as much as they desire to! It's all part of the mission.", and then he left.

Maria touched Michael's face and said, "You seem a little calmer. How are you feeling?"

Michael held her tightly in his arms and answered, "Still scared but there's some hope in there, too. Are you really okay? No pain?"

Maria shook her head and assured both he and Liz, who was also looking at her in concern, "No pain. I promise guys, if I start to feel like crap, I will definitely say something, okay?"

Ava offered to Isabel, "I'll look after Lex, if you and Kyle need to talk? You know ... about everything."

Isabel caught Michael's eye over Maria's shoulder and she answered Ava, "I'd appreciate that. Thanks, Ava. I think Michael needs to weigh in on this with us, too, though. It's his baby, too."

Michael started to decline but Maria urged him, "Look, she's right. Go talk it out with her."

Michael asked, "What about you?"

Maria answered with a smug smile, "I will finally get the low down on our wedding rings! Where's that video at, spaceboy?"

Michael asked again, "Are you sure? You'll call me if you need me? Promise?"

Maria whispered in his ear, "I promise. I don't promise to call your clothes, though. Just sayin'. Maybe if I am this Commander person, it isn't such a bad thing, after all. A wife could get used to having that kind of power."

Michael fought a grin and warned, "Just don't go overboard. Don't do that unless you're alone."

Maria flirted with her eyes, "Oh, trust me, spaceboy, if I resort to that, nobody else is invited!"

Michael pointed out, "This is not exactly incentive for me to go talk to Isabel right now, but I know why I have to, so I'll go do it, okay? The video is stored on the laptop. Your girl, Science knows how to find it. Hopefully, we get things sorted quickly, so I can get back to being a newlywed. I love you, Maria."

Maria kissed him on the lips, smiled softly and assured him, "Oh, I know you do, Michael. I love you, too. I'll be fine. Go be a good parent."

Michael's eyes warmed in surprise at the reality of that. He nodded and went to join Isabel and Kyle in the kitchen.

Liz kissed Max quickly on the lips, then stood up to go help Maria with the computer.

Max watched Ava with Lex and he asked her, "You're hoping he stays like this and just ages up at the typical human rate, aren't you?"

Ava shrugged and answered, "He's not mine. I don't get a say."

Max pointed out, "He's not Kyle's, either, but he's chiming in on the decision."

Ava smiled and pointed out, "Just because paperwork says otherwise, doesn't mean Kyle isn't already the only father, Lex will ever know. Surely, you've picked up on that?"

Max smirked and admitted, "Yeah, I have. I've been trying not to, though. I mean really? Kyle, of all people? Life turns out pretty weird, sometimes."

Ava admitted quietly, "I guess I'm just going to be sad if Lex is the one to grow up fast because, the new babies have both parents, so I won't get to spend as much time with them as I've been able to spend with Lex. I mean I know we wouldn't be losing him, he'll just be older. Maybe he won't like cuddles like this anymore, though. Until they decide, I'll just get as many cuddles in, as I can, I guess."

Max smiled at her and said, "You're going to be a really great Mom, someday."

Ava's face fell and she refuted, "No, Max, that's just it, I won't be. I thought Liz would have told you. I'll never get to be a Mom. I'm ... asexual? I think that's what Liz called it. Zan was going to help me find a way around that, but he's gone now, so, I just need to accept how things will be for me, going forward."

Max offered solemnly, "I didn't know, Ava. I guess Liz felt it wasn't up to her to tell me. She was right. It means more to me that you trusted me enough to tell me yourself, anyway.

You know, I have a son, somewhere out in the world but I also won't ever get to be a father in the truest sense, either, so I sort of understand your sadness about that.

Even if Maria's pregnancy is human typical, that's not enough proof for me to risk Liz's life by trying to have children with her. She and I have already talked about it. It was before Maria got pregnant, but I know Liz will see it the same way, as I do. Once is not proof. Even a dozen times is not proof.

On the bright side, my sister seems to be pretty intent on doubling our numbers under this one roof, so I don't think either you, or I or Liz will lack for babies to fuss over."

Ava chuckled and promised, "I won't tell her you just said that! Plus, it's perfectly fine with me if she triples our household population. I mean if this little guy is any indication, your sister makes wonderful babies!"

Max gazed lovingly at Lex chomping on his own fist, drooling all over himself and he smiled as he said, "I have to say I agree with you, there, Ava. He's definitely some kind of wonderful."

Liz returned to the living room and sat down on Max's lap, asking, "What's this now, about something wonderful?"

Max and Ava smirked at each other and said in unison, "Babies, Liz."

Liz looked back and forth between them and then at Lex and she smiled, too, as she agreed dreamily, "Yeah, they sure are that."


Maria wiped at tears on her face, as her Mom's face and voice greeted her on the laptop screen, in her pre-recorded message, "Hi, Maria, my sweet baby girl! If you're watching this, then I was right and there wasn't enough time during your wedding, after all! Oh gosh! You'll already be married by the time you watch this! I can hardly believe it! I miss you, darlin'! So much!"

Maria pressed pause and sobbed out, "Me, too, Mom! Especially right now! You've no idea and I can't even tell you, yet! You're gonna be a Grammy! Michael and I are having a baby! I hope we get to tell you all about it, soon! Gosh, I miss you, so much! Whew. Okay, so tell me already about Breepa's and Breema's wedding rings! How did you even get those to Michael?"

With a start, Maria realised she actually needed to press play, again, for the message to continue. She pressed play and Amy continued, "Okay so, Michael tells me that he has not kept you in the loop on our communication system. It's a pretty simple one, because this Mom's brain could not handle it, if it wasn't! I just need updates, now and again, and to know that being indulged on that, won't jeopardise your safety! Michael has been very patient with me, so far. He's very familiar with my tendency to worry.

Anyway, so how that all started, let's see, I guess it was not even a week after you'd left, I get this call on the landline. This male voice says to me, "Buy a burner phone. Activate it. Memorise the number. Tell no one." And then the line goes dead! It took me a few seconds, to realise it had been Michael! Well, I got very excited, at first and then you know, my Mom mode took over.

I didn't even know what a burner phone was, at that point! I did as he'd asked, though and then the strangest thing happened, Maria! Isabel Evans was talking to me but not in person; in my dream! Can you even imagine? Well, maybe it isn't new to you but I thought it was just amazing!

So, anyway, I told her the number, in the dream, you understand? I didn't actually speak to her and yet the very next morning my burner phone got a text! It was just a phone number. Nothing else. I don't think I believed that the dream thing worked until I called the number and heard Michael's voice on the other end of the line! Oh sweetheart, he was a right awful mess! He was so sure he'd really gone and done it and lost you forever!

Obviously, we, your Mother, with an apparent assist from one Max Evans, have successfully set him straight, though and it all worked out because look, you're getting married! No, wait! You're already married! This is such a confusing way to communicate!

Anywho, Michael asked me if I would consider talking you out of it, if he asked you to marry him and if you said yes. We had words about that. Several of them. Some of them were less than friendly, but we eventually got past that. That boy or young man, now, I suppose, is so smitten with you darlin', that he can't see the sandcastle for the sand!

Well, at the time, he couldn't. Obviously, by now, his vision has cleared right up and he's going to do right by my baby girl! Or I mean he already has done!

You see, I had informed him that he could not marry you unless I got to be at your wedding, however that would need to be arranged and I further told him, that you were supposed to have Breepa's and Breema's wedding rings; that you and I had been planning on that, since you were a little girl!

Now, Michael didn't have a solution for meeting either of my criteria, just then, but he promised me that he would figure it out and get back to me.

Now you know, that I will be, or for you I already was at your wedding, in the same way that I'm leaving you this message. Not quite in person but it's something like it. As for these laptops, aren't they something else! It might be the most expensive thing I own, after the Jetta!

Michael's sister Laurie is such a sweet girl! What's surprising is that even Bobby and Meredith helped us to pull this off! Apparently, they owed Laurie and Michael a favour or two, considering they should have gone to prison for fraud, at the very least.

Now, as to the wedding rings; they are well traveled my love! Meredith and I went through two jewelry brokers to get the rings to her, in Tucson and then she chartered a private plane to fly them as family heirlooms to Canada.

From there another jewelry broker sent them to a broker in New York. That broker drove them to Lincoln, Nebraska. The broker who received them will be driving them to Boise, Idaho, tomorrow, where they will be picked up by your groom, under the alias Bay Copes.

I keep forgetting that for you this has already happened but for me it's still in progress! So far so good! There have been no mishaps; the correct person has known exactly where the rings are, at all times. You will get them! I'm sure you're already looking at Breema's ring on your finger, as you watch this, actually!

I'm really so happy for you and Michael, sweetheart! I can hardly wait for the wedding! I get to see and talk to your beautiful face and not just talk to this inanimate laptop, as lovely as it is to be able to do this, as well!

Now what else was I - oh! I know! The codes! W H N means we have news. A W means all's well; Michael didn't think that one was necessary so I, of course, helped him to understand what being wrong is, as only a Mom can!

C U means call us. L T C means laptop chat. R S means radio silence and means don't acknowledge, don't initiate text, just wait to hear from whoever sent that code because trouble might be brewing; and of course this is where I really got my point across, on the A W code! Oh, you'd better believe, he finally got it!

W N means wrong number, which means you kids had to change your burner number and are texting me from a new one. Without that code, I'm not to acknowledge anything from a new number.

The codes can work in reverse too. If I have to change my number I can text W N to Michael and he'll know that it's still me.

You know, sweetheart, as much as I feel like I could just blather on and on, talking to imaginary you, as I stare at this laptop screen, apparently I'm to keep this as short as possible, something about memory and file size? I really don't understand the half of it all, but I am grateful for a visual way to keep in touch with you kids.

I love you, my sweetheart! Give my love to Michael, too and I will see you at your wedding! Hugs and kisses- muah, muah! Bye sweetie!", and the clip ended frozen on Amy's smiling face.

Maria cried for a little bit, then watched it three more times, laughing at the exchanges she imagined must have happened between her Mom and her spaceboy.

As she watched her Mom's video message, she felt compelled to occasionally take a nervous look around her, every time she so much, as thought of Michael. She really didn't want to go overboard with transporting him to her, frivolously, despite what she'd said to him about enjoying that power.


Michael, Isabel and Kyle looked around at each other awkwardly, without saying anything until Michael blurted to Isabel, "Does he have to be here for this?"

Isabel implored Michael with her teary eyes, "Michael, please don't start, okay? Yes, I need him, here. Okay? Okay!?"

Michael huffed and nodded, "Yeah, sure. Whatever. So? Which way are you leaning? Lex? Or our baby?"

Isabel's tears welled up and spilled over, again and she admitted, "I'm not. That's the problem. I mean, I know I'm pregnant but Lex is more real to me. That and our baby really doesn't like me, Michael. This child is still angry. I can feel it. I'm afraid to make a decision with the way that I'm feeling because I don't know this baby, yet.

Just the thought of watching my little boy speed through a childhood I've been looking forward to, gosh, Michael, it just, it hurts. What if that's exactly how I feel about our child once he or she is born? One way or another, one of my children, isn't going to have the childhood that I wanted for them. How am I supposed to choose which one of them to do that to?

Should we just do what Kal wants for the reasons he cited? Just because this child fits what the mission was supposed to be? How is that fair? If this baby presents as the eldest, how is Lex going to feel about that, when he figures out that he was my firstborn? I know it's always bothered me between Max and I, the way it carried over to Earth with us. Max has always acted like he was older than me, for as long as I can remember! I mean, did that contribute to Vilandra betraying her own brother? I don't know the answers!

They're both my babies, and I know one of them can't stay a baby. I just. I can't decide, Michael. I don't know what to do. One of my babies is going to be a six year old child, before I'm ready for it."

Michael was quiet as he weighed everything she had said and then he suggested, "I vote for maintaining the birth order. Use the elixir on Lex. To hell with what Kojak wants or when he wants it or why he wants it."

Isabel teared up and asked Kyle, "What about you?"

Kyle winced and answered, "Surprisingly, I think I have to go with Heckle, on this one. That Kal guy seems to have an agenda that he isn't sharing with us. I don't trust him. I vote for maintaining the birth order, too. Ultimately, though, Isabel, you're their Mother. Whatever you decide, I've got your back, even if you decide against our votes."

Michael nodded and agreed, "Same here. I won't fight whatever decision you make. Just give me a heads up when you do decide, okay?"

Isabel nodded but stopped Michael from leaving, "Michael, wait, there's something else I want to talk to you about.,

"Kyle, would you mind giving us the room?"

Kyle looked a bit surprised but was unoffended. He rubbed Isabel's shoulder on his way by her and said, "Sure. No problem. I'll be in the living room wrestling Ava for Lex."

Michael looked at Isabel expectantly and asked, "Okay, what's up?"

Isabel hesitated then blurted out, "I've been seriously considering relinquishing this baby to you and Maria to raise as your own. In that case, he or she would be your eldest. Maria can't have two infants too close in age any more than I can, so in that case, it would make more sense to use the elixir on our baby, Michael."

Michael was stunned and he advised, "That is not happening, Isabel. You are our child's Mother; not Maria. Why would you ever consider that, even?"

Tears ran down Isabel's face and she answered, "Because it's what our baby wants, Michael. Our baby has made it very clear to me that he or she wants Maria; and not me."
Last edited by Fidomom on Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.
~FM :)

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Re: Finding Something Better by Fidomom (AU,M/M,TEEN/ADULT) Ch1-12/? - 12/10/18

Post by keepsmiling7 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:45 pm

What in the world is going on with this group??
Isabel and Michael.......??
All of this baby business going on and Max still refuses to let Liz get pregnant. How much more can she take?
I can't wait to see how all of this plays out.

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Re: Finding Something Better by Fidomom (AU,M/M,TEEN/ADULT) Ch1-13/? - 12/26/18

Post by Fidomom » Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:53 am

--snip-- How much more can she take?
I can't wait to see how all of this plays out.
Without spoiling anything, what I can tell you, is that Liz will be just fine with the decisions that she and Max make about children. Certainly the crew will all experience bumps and dark spots in their journeys but to quote the romantic song guru, Dr. Hook, "storms never last".

Thanks for reading and commenting, Carolyn. It's always a treat. :)

~FM :)

Title: Finding Something Better
Author: Fidomom
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. It is only loosely based on characters from the 1999-2002 tv series Roswell as I imagine they could be from different points throughout and beyond the three seasons of the show. I am not affiliated with any of the original creations nor creators from the series. I will make no monetary gains from publishing this work of fiction.
Pairings/Characters/Category: Michael & Maria, Max & Liz, Kyle, Isabel, Ava, CC, UC, AU, w/Aliens
Rating: Adult
Summary: This chapter - Isabel makes some important decisions. Kyle faces his new reality. Ava finds out just what her new crew is really made of. Max's rare mood greatly influences Liz's behaviour. Max and Liz get chills for the same reason. Maria finds a way to help Michael deal with his doubts and fears. Maria and Isabel bond over Michael's eldest child. Liz and Maria still make time for each other. Isabel pays Kyle back, with interest.
Author's Note: warnings=lactation description

Finding Something Better
by Fidomom

Chapter Thirteen

Early in the evening, just two days after everyone had found out that Isabel was pregnant with her second child, her pregnancy was already obvious. Lex was in bed for the night and Kyle and Isabel were sitting close together on the sofa, in the living room, watching some Three Stooges re-runs. Isabel was mid-laugh and it suddenly cut short. She gasped and rubbed her swollen abdomen. Kyle sat forward and asked in concern, "What is it? What's wrong?"

Isabel shook her head dismissively and fibbed, "It's nothing; probably just gas."

Kyle called her out, "The baby just moved, didn't it?"

Isabel shrugged and confirmed, "Yeah."

Kyle asked her, "Why lie about it? Why not just tell me?"

Isabel admitted, "Because I like you sitting so close to me and I figured if I told you the truth, you'd get creeped out and make up some other reason to sit further away from me."

Kyle's mouth hung open slightly and he gestured with his finger between himself and her abdomen as he clarified, "Ohhh! Because of that whole thing when you were expecting Lex? Because you don't need to lie to me about that or not share stuff with me, this time around.

I just had never been around any kind of baby anything, before Lex and it seemed creepy and mysterious to me, but now that I know that cool people like Lex come from your body, I don't find it creepy anymore. Is the baby still moving around?"

Isabel nodded.

Kyle asked hopefully, "Can I feel?"

Isabel placed his hand on her tummy, for him and smiled in delight at the wonder on his face. She teased him happily, "Talk about a one eighty!"

Kyle conceded, "Absolutely. This is so cool. I really regret that I let my fear of the unknown stop me from feeling Lex, like this. Also, I'm sorry for all of that, last time."

Isabel's smile didn't waver and she assured him, "Already over it! Besides, this time, the look on your face, right now, kind of makes up for it.

So, Kyle, does this mean that I'm no longer repulsive to you, when I'm pregnant?"

Kyle blushed and gently pulled his hand away from her skin. He nodded and confirmed, "That is what that means, yes. Is it hot in here? Do you want some water? I think I want some water. I'll be right back."

Isabel chuckled and answered, "Make mine milk, please?"

Kyle stammered, "Oh. Milk. Right! Of course. Coming right up."

Kyle briefly greeted Ava, who was still mid-clean of the kitchen, while rocking out to whatever music was blasting from her discman through her headphones.

He silently lectured himself, as he gulped ice water from the refrigerator dispenser, "What is wrong with you, Valenti? Don't flirt with married women! It's simple. She's your breast I mean best - your best friend! Focus on that and on the funny, ugly dudes on the tv screen! Mind over matter, got it?"

With newfound resolve, he walked more confidently back into the living room and sat down beside his best friend, to continue watching The Three Stooges. Isabel squirmed closer to him, lay her head on his shoulder and quietly asked, "So are we out of milk, already, then?"

Kyle blushed and made a move to get up, mid-apology, "Oh, wow, I'm so sorry! I -"

Isabel prevented him from getting up and assured him, "It's fine, Kyle. I don't even want it, anymore. Fickle pregnancy cravings, you know? If it returns, I'll put my order in, again, okay?"

Kyle relaxed back into the sofa, held Isabel's hand and replied, as he returned his attention back to the comedy, "That's exactly what I'm here for. No matter what or when."

Isabel spoke with quiet smugness, "I know that, Kyle."

They both looked up at the sound of Maria clearing her throat, but they didn't move apart. Maria asked hesitantly, "Can we watch, too? Our tv downstairs is umm, still broken."

Kyle asked, "Are you two still melting together?"

Michael answered him irritably, "How should we know?,

"Maria? You wanna go for a drive, instead?"

Maria answered carefully, "And if we are still doing that, do we really want to risk doing it, where someone besides our crew, might see it?"

Isabel answered their first question, "Of course you two can watch with us! You didn't really need to ask. This is a common area, after all."

Michael fidgeted from one foot to another, indecisively and Maria nudged him further into the living room. He looked into her eyes, let out a shaky breath, nodded and flopped onto one of the empty recliners, indicating to Maria she should sit with him, on it. She obliged and they shifted around until they were comfortably snuggled up together.

Michael rested a possessive hand over Maria's abdomen and kept glancing between Isabel's abdomen and Maria's abdomen, trying not to get his hopes up. Isabel's abdomen was considerably more distended than Maria's abdomen was.

Even though Maria felt quite certain that she was having a typical human pregnancy, she had played devil's advocate and had cautioned Michael that every woman and even every pregnancy for every woman, was different; not everyone showed exactly the same, even if they were the same number of weeks pregnant.

His worries for her, already, wouldn't even let him enjoy the fact that they could henceforth make love without a condom; they had yet to resume marital relations since the coitus interruptus, at the hotel.

Maria had tried to seduce her husband, to celebrate that he was a father, but once she'd realised that he was just too afraid for her, to be able to respond the way that she'd expected him to, she'd stopped and instead focused on reassuring him at regular intervals, with some variation of, "I'm okay, spaceboy. Still no pains. No news is good news. All's well."

It seemed to help him, briefly but then he'd go back to fidgeting restlessly, sometimes as quickly as, five minutes, later.

Her one time suggestion, that maybe he needed to go burn off some physical energy without her, had been met with his panic stricken eyes and his fierce declaration, "I'm not leaving you, Maria. Not even for one minute."

The longest he actually would leave her side, was for one of them to use the toilet and that was it. He wouldn't even let her shower alone and showering together was no longer the fun playtime, she'd come to expect.

Maria had heard Kyle and Isabel laughing, as she and Michael had lain in their bed, together, in the dark just holding each other, while trying not to play the -what if the worst thing were to happen- game.

Maria had suggested joining Kyle and Isabel upstairs, in hopes that maybe whatever they were watching, might take Michael's mind off of her potentially life-threatening pregnancy, for longer than five minutes.

They were both aware that he was beginning to stress her out, which was not good for their baby, in case it was a baby they'd get to keep and raise together. Michael physically acknowledged their baby with his hand on her abdomen nearly constantly but he refused to discuss it, as if it was a real person whom they'd be allowed to know and love. His sole focus was on Maria surviving, no matter what.

The Three Stooges worked to take Maria's mind off of Michael, briefly, but she was soon aware, that he simply couldn't absorb anything that television had to offer. He was trying for her sake, though and so they both kept up the pretense that watching tv together was in any way helpful.

The four of them startled together at the scream and simultaneous sound of breaking glass from the kitchen. They all hurried into the kitchen to find Ava clutching the island counter with a bloody hand, while bent over and clutching her stomach with her other hand, as tears streamed down her face.

Kyle hurried to her side, gently removed her headphones and asked, "Breeding pains?"

She let out another scream and nodded. Kyle made a move, as though to help her but Maria silently halted him with a look and then she prompted Michael, "Michael, please help her! Bring her to the sofa, okay?"

Michael didn't hesitate to obey her. Maria breathed a sigh of relief and both Kyle and Isabel suddenly looked enlightened.

Kyle offered, "I'll clean up the broken glass in here and finish cleaning the kitchen, for her, too."

Isabel offered, "I'll go get the first aid kit and bandage up her hand, just until Max and Liz get back from the laundromat and then Max can fix it properly."

Maria let Michael know, "I'll bring the hot water bottle, in a jiffy. Just make her as comfortable, as you can, just like we did for Isabel."

When Maria returned to the living room with the hot water bottle, Isabel was finishing up bandaging Ava's hand and Michael was rubbing Ava's lower back and reassuring her, "No, you're not a burden, to us, Ava. You're one of us; we're gonna take care of you. Don't even worry about it."

Ava lamented through a sob, "But I was supposed to show Liz the babies, again, tomorrow! I'm so sorry, Michael! I know you've been so worried!"

Maria piped up, "Here's the hot water bottle. As for showing Liz the babies, it might not be strictly necessary, anyway. I'm still not in any pain and my belly hasn't gotten any noticeably bigger in the past two days; not the way Isabel's has.

Once your breeding pains are over, we can check on the babies, then, just to confirm but I feel like I really am just having a typical human pregnancy.

Just let us take care of you, for a change, Ava. Like Michael said, don't even worry about the babies or anything else. We've got you, girl."

And they did take care of her, but only until Liz and Max got back with all of their freshly laundered clothing and house linens and completely took over from them.

Max healed Ava's hand immediately and Liz kept her promise to Ava. Liz was at Ava's beck and call and Max seemed to default to being Ava's verbal punching bag without consequences or hard feelings. It was Max who carried Ava to the toilet, as needed and it was Liz who helped her, once there.

Ava had tried to talk them all into isolating her, in her room, instead of allowing her to take over the living room sofa but none of her crew would even entertain the idea.

At the end of the second day of Ava's breeding pains, Michael and Maria were alone in their sleeping quarters getting ready for bed and Michael asked her quietly, "Do you really believe it's not an accelerated pregnancy, angel? You didn't just say that to try to make me not worry?"

Maria rubbed her only slightly swollen belly and smiled at Michael. She answered him, "I wasn't just saying it, Michael, I really think it's a completely normal human pregnancy. No acceleration going on here. Do I look any different, to you, than I did three days ago?"

Michael's eyes darted to her belly, he swallowed visibly and croaked out, "No. I'm just so afraid to be wrong. If I start thinking about our baby, I get scared to count on it, you know? If I have to choose between you or the b-, your pregnancy, I choose you but I selfishly want both. Maybe I don't get to have both?"

Maria embraced him, kissed him softly on the lips and counter argued, "Or maybe you do. Maybe we do."

Michael asked in a shaky voice, "If I say hello, what if we're wrong?"

Maria nodded and replied gently, "It's already too late to shield your heart from grief, Michael. Avoiding greeting either our baby or your baby with Isabel, won't protect you from feeling the loss, if my pregnancy terminates, spontaneously or otherwise.

We both know, you were already invested, by the time my pregnancy was confirmed. That's why you've been such a wreck these past three days. It wasn't only your fear for my survival. It's also guilt eating at you. I know you, spaceboy."

A single tear fell from one of his eyes, he nodded and agreed, "Yeah, you really do. Can I say hello, now? Did I wait too long? You think my kids felt slighted or maybe they thought that their Daddy doesn't love them?"

Tears fell from Maria's eyes, as she smiled at Michael and assured him, "Love isn't only words, Michael. I did already tell your other baby but even if I hadn't, both babies know as much as I do, how much you love all three of us. You can say hello whenever you're ready and it will be exactly the right time, I promise, okay?"

Michael explained himself unnecessarily, "It just felt wrong to me, to fuss over my other kid, when we might not get to do that with this one."

Maria rubbed his arm and said compassionately, "I know, spaceboy. So does Isabel. The only one who has been judging you, for that, has been you. Please stop, now, okay?"

Michael pressed a sustained kiss to her lips, then looked into her eyes, nodded and asked, "My next question is for you. Is it too late to continue our honeymoon? Oh. Will it hurt you or the baby, if we do?"

Maria kissed him several times on the lips assuring between each one, "Of course it isn't too late; our honeymoon has no expiration date, remember? And no it will not hurt either me or our baby, as long as you don't lay directly on top of me."

Understanding lit Michael's eyes and he exclaimed, "Oh, so that's why we had to change it up!"

Maria squeezed his ass cheek, kissed him and then said, "Bingo! Good old hindsight!"

For the first time in three days Michael grinned and flirted with her, "Are you getting fresh with me, angelwife?"

Maria answered carefully, "Only if my spacehubby is into it. What do you say? Do you want some of this?"

Michael nuzzled her neck and answered passionately, "Only for the rest of our lives. I need to take care of a couple of things, before we get back to that, though."

Maria waited patiently as he knelt down, kissed her belly and said, "Hey baby. Daddy loves you. Sorry for taking so long to tell you that but I'm going to tell you so much, from now on, that you'll probably start rolling your eyes at me, way before you get to be a teenager. Promise."

Michael stood up, kissed Maria and was about to excuse himself when she interrupted him and preemptively suggested, "You've got one more message to deliver. Go. I'll wait right here for you."

Michael smiled his gratitude at her and bounded up the stairs two at a time.

Isabel was pleased by Michael's interest in their baby finally and she readily accommodated his first communion with it. It was nearly word for word the same message he had imparted to his and Maria's baby.

Afterward, Isabel broached an unresolved matter between them, "Michael, have you given any more thought to what we talked about a few days ago?"

He nodded and answered, "Yeah. I haven't changed my mind, Isabel. You are the mother of this baby. Period. It's a baby. It doesn't know what's best. It's up to us to show our kid exactly why you are the mother. The least of which, being that you're already good at it. Lex can vouch for that. Just give it time, Isabel. Our kid will adore you, just like Lex does. You'll see."

Isabel asked in concern, "What if you're wrong, Michael?"

Michael smirked at her and insisted, "While that is always a possibility, apparently, it isn't possible for Maria to be wrong, so you can pretty much count on it."

Isabel chuckled and teased, "Spoken like a truly smitten new husband! I will try to trust in your wife's rightness, like you do, in that case. It definitely helps that she talks to and sings to the baby everyday. Baby is very calm most of the time, now. Maybe I was a little hasty with my idea to give you guys full custody."

Michael squeezed her hand and confirmed, "Our kid has three parents. You're the Mom, I'm the Dad and Maria is the step-Mama. That's going to work out great for him or her. You'll see, Isabel. Not to mention there are four other adults living here, with us, who will be doting on the kid, just as much as they do on Lex. I'm telling you, our kid has it made!"


By the time Ava's breeding pains had ended, it was clear to everyone that Maria's pregnancy was not advancing at the same rate of speed as Isabel's.

Maria, Michael and Liz still wanted Liz to see both babies, though, with Ava's and Isabel's help, just to make sure that everything was okay, especially because Maria got her period, again; on time, even.

Liz quickly assured Maria that her just under five months gestation baby seemed fine and healthy, as did Isabel's just under seven months gestation baby.

Michael and Maria both wanted to know why Maria was still getting a period and Liz explained, "She isn't though. She's pregnant, so it's just called spotting. It's nothing to be alarmed about, unless it matches certain criteria; high volume, prolonged, bright red and accompanied by significant cramps. Maria's spotting hasn't matched any of that and according to both of you, it hasn't ever done so, at any time, since your baby was conceived.,

"I suspect this will be your last bout of spotting, though, Maria; the mucus plug in your cervix will likely thicken from now, and prevent any further spotting from occurring."

Maria made a face and said to Liz, "Please never say that gross thing to me, again. I don't want to know that! You can just tell Michael about all the gross stuff; nothing like that ever bothers him."

Liz laughed and asked, "What? Are you serious, right now?"

Maria nodded and insisted, "Completely serious! That was right up there with tentacles, for me! Ha! Nope, I don't even wanna know! Ewww!"

Michael pointed out to Liz, "You, of all people, should know by now, how squeamish she is."

Liz laughed lightly and admitted, "I guess with everything that we've all been through, I thought she may have become at least a little more resistant to being grossed out."

Maria offered helpfully, "Well, you're kind of right. I mean alien stuff doesn't gross me out, anymore, it's just other stuff that still does."

Kyle related, "I know what you mean, Maria. I was always kind of grossed out by pregnancy, then all the alien stuff happened and then I met Lex and now I can't stop trying to make friends with yours and Isabel's love child, even before it's born!"

Isabel burst out with a short laugh and asked, "I'm sorry, mine and Maria's what now?"

Kyle answered solemnly, "Your love child?"

Isabel started to object but was interrupted by Maria exclaiming, "Awwww! That's so cute! I wish I'd thought of that!"

Michael did object, "But it's my kid. I'm the father. Are you on something, Jockstrap?"

Kyle argued, "Of course not. My body is a temple. The thing is, Heckle, that you didn't make that happen; Maria did and she's probably the love Commander like Langley said, so that makes Isabel's unborn baby a love child; literally their love child."

After that explanation, even Michael started referring to his and Isabel's baby as Maria's love child; they all did. Maria altered it when talking to Isabel, instead referring to it as our love child, "How's our love child treating you, today, Isabel?"

On October thirtieth, Isabel's water broke at ten-thirty pm. She gave birth to the love child at thirteen seconds past midnight on the morning of October thirty-first.

From the first breath, the baby screamed continuously making conversation next to impossible. Maria resorted to singing the lullaby she'd written for the baby and it helped at first but half way through, the baby started screaming again.

Isabel suggested in a raised voice to be heard above the squalling, "Here, Maria, you hold our love child!"

Upon being placed in Maria's arms, the baby was immediately calm and quiet. After a collective sigh of relief, there were tearful welcoming greetings all around. Liz asked, "So does this precious love child have a name, yet?"

Michael and Isabel had elected Maria to bestow the given name and Michael wanted Isabel to choose the middle name.

Maria prefaced her choice with an explanation, "Alex was your first love, Isabel and even though you've already named Lex after him, Alex was my only other best friend besides Liz and it so happens that his middle name is the same as Michael's human DNA donor's given name, and so everyone, I'd like you all to please say hello to Charlie."

Michael's eyes watered and he nodded his thanks to Maria. Everyone looked expectantly at Isabel and she added simply, "Charlie Bridget, to be more precise."

Before anyone else could comment or ask why, Max said softly, "After Mom, sort of, right? Since she was named Diane after Brigitte Helm's character in that black and white movie Prince Woronzeff?"

Isabel nodded and answered, "Exactly. I knew you'd get it."

Kyle mused quietly, "I thought it was probably after that new-ish chick flick Bridget's Diary or something, like that."

Maria and Isabel corrected him in unison, "Jones. Bridget Jones' Diary."

Ava commented, "Oh. I would have thought that if you'd name her for any of the silent film star Bridgets, it would have been for Bridget Bardot, for her role, as Maria, in Metropolis. Especially, you know, because of the whole love child thing, with our Maria and your daughter."

Michael shrugged and said, "I thought it was for Bridget Fonda, for her role in Point of No Return because her character, Maggie, and Maria both like Nina Simone."

Liz and Maria looked at each other, grinned and said at the same time, "The Hugga Bunch movie, Bridget Severson!"

From the blank looks of the rest of the crew, Liz elaborated, "When I was a little girl, my Grandma Claudia gave me a movie she'd taped from tv. It was called The Hugga Bunch. Maria found it at our house the first time we had a sleepover together and so we watched it. She liked it so much, that for the longest time, whenever we had sleepovers, after that, probably right up until we were around eleven years old or so, we would watch it, again, together. The main character's name happened to be Bridget."

Isabel smiled and said with relief, "Good. So nobody has a problem with the name I picked, then?"

Maria asked the baby in her arms, "How about you? Are you good with being Charlie Bridget, too?"

The newborn made a grunt that sounded so coincidentally like, "Yeah.", that they all laughed together.

Isabel addressed Michael, "I'm sorry about her being born a Ramirez. We can fix that later, if you'd like."

Maria answered instead, "I've a feeling it'll be little miss Charlie Bridget, herself, who insists on being a DeLuca, later."

Isabel, feeling a sudden twinge of possessiveness, held out her arms for her daughter and said, "I should nurse her, now, I think."

Maria put her in Isabel's arms and took a step back. Charlie was fine for about ten seconds and then she started screaming, again.

Isabel tried to nurse her, anyway but Charlie stubbornly refused to even try to latch on.

Maria wanted to intervene, to help Charlie calm down, but she wanted it to be Isabel's idea, so as not to overstep. She imagined if it was difficult for her to hear Charlie in such distress, that it must be that much worse for Isabel.

Isabel implored Maria with desperate eyes and Maria caressed Charlie's abundant dark hair as she cajoled, "Charlie, baby, you gotta eat, honey. Your Mommy, your Daddy and I love you and we all just want you to be healthy and happy. Your Mommy's the only one who can feed you, love. Please co-operate, okay?"

Charlie's wailing dwindled down, she hiccupped twice and then she nursed like she was ravenous.

Everyone breathed a collective sigh of relief.

In that moment, Isabel made her decision about the age-gap elixir. She felt like she needed the bonding time with Charlie that nursing could provide and so she wanted her to age normally.

She still felt a pang of anxiety about aging Lex up but she believed her bond with him, as well as his bond with the rest of the crew and theirs with him, was strong enough, to get through his rapid progression through all of the milestones he'd reach, along the way to achieving six years worth of child development.

Upon learning of her decision, Kal was clearly disappointed that she hadn't chosen Charlie, but he provided the elixir and oversaw the dosing of Lex.

Lex was to be given one dose of elixir every eight days, over the course of nine weeks. Each dose would boost his development by approximately eight months. He'd age up roughly one month per day.

Each day, the royal four took turns flash educating him, with Kal's assurances that Lex could only absorb up to his developmental level and that it wasn't the same as the flashing they could experience with each other or with humans.

Michael had specifically asked, "How can we transfer information to him about ages that we ourselves didn't even live through? We came out of those pods as if we were six years old but without any transfers?"

Kal had answered, "Because you absorbed what you needed from your first contact with humans and it is the human information you received that you'll be passing on to Lex, rather than your own experiences from your own arrival and emergence."

Michael argued, "But I don't have any memory of receiving information from the humans who found me?"

Kal smiled smugly and confirmed, "Of course you don't; you're not supposed to. Just as I'm sure your human comrades have no clear memories of what or how they learned before age six, either. Perhaps a vague memory of feelings and who mentored them, but no memory of the learning itself."

None of them completely understood what Kal meant but as Lex aged, he seemed quite normal for his age, at every step of his development. He didn't lose his bonds with any of them.

After his first dose of elixir, within eight days, Lex had developed from a normal four month old to a normal twelve month old.

The day after taking that first dose of elixir, was the beginning of the roughest and bloodiest part of Lex's development due to the rapid emergence of the first of his primary teeth.

Those first two teeth were the most upsetting because nobody understood why Lex was suddenly bleeding from his mouth and crying in pain. The emergence of his teeth had happened so quickly, that he had also inadvertently bitten his tongue and made that bleed, as well.

Once they had figured out what had happened, Max healed him quickly and the blood and tears both stopped. Lex got over it way faster than the adults in his life did.

Thereafter, Max was able to act fairly quickly, as more of Lex's teeth came in, over time, so that it wasn't such a traumatic experience anymore, for anyone.

As Lex continued to take the elixir every eighth day and to age at a rate of about one month per day, he continued to be just as happy a child, as he had been as an infant.

Upon learning to speak, right around Thanksgiving, he had a knack for saying things to the adults around him, and to his baby sister that tugged at the adults heart strings and further endeared him to them. He was both a kind and a smart child.

His first sentence to Michael had been, "Can we watch cartoons, now, Uncle Awesome?"

Michael hadn't had any choice, at that point. Cartoons got watched.

Isabel and Maria overheard Lex singing Maria's lullabye to Charlie when she was fussing, in the moments before they got to her, and he assured her, "Mommy and Mama Maria will make you feel all better soon, you'll see, Charlie. I love you, baby sister! Sssh, don't cry, it's gonna be okay!"

When he was sleepy or not feeling well, he'd find his way over to Ava, and to her great joy and relief, he'd announce, "I think it must be cuddle time now, Auntie Ava."

Ava never refused him, no matter what she was doing or how she was feeling, herself. Sometimes she suspected that it wasn't that he was tired or unwell, himself but that he knew that she was, and he just wanted to make her feel better. It never failed, either one of them, in any case.

Whenever Isabel was nursing Charlie, Lex would bring his favourite storybook to Isabel and suggest, "Let's read this story to Charlie, now, okay, Mommy?"

Isabel would get him to hold the book and turn the pages and she would read the story to them both. Within weeks, Lex wanted to take turns with Isabel, in reading it out loud, to Charlie.

As Maria's pregnancy progressed, Lex insisted on helping her pick things up from the floor and when Maria went for her daily walk, it was a given that she had to take Lex with her.

Lex explained excitedly, to Michael, "Auntie Maria tells me all the things about outside and we get to use our outside voices and sing funny songs and everything!"

Michael was satisfied to stay home during Maria's walk time with Lex, provided Maria had a fully charged burner phone with her, in case of emergency.

He taught Lex the numbers to press, to call him if Auntie Maria had red *paint* on her or if she was laying down or sleeping on the ground outside. He didn't want to worry Lex with the thought of Maria ever being seriously injured or unconscious. Michael worried enough about her, already, for both of them.

A little less than a week before Christmas, as Isabel and Lex were decorating the Christmas tree, Isabel had been startled by Lex's statement, "I want Daddy to sleep in our room, too, Mommy. Please?"

She'd been on the verge of explaining about Jesse when Kyle had joined them in the living room, upon his return from running a Christmas related errand, and Lex had launched himself at Kyle with a joyous laugh, greeting him excitedly, "Daddy, Daddy! I missed you!"

Nobody corrected him. Kyle eventually explained that he would sleep in their room with them someday but that it had to be the right time and that time wasn't just yet. Lex accepted that explanation and didn't ask about it, again.

On December twentieth, Lex found a stunned bird, on the ground, outside, in the backyard, after it had flown into a window pane and he brought it to Max, asking him solemnly, "Can you make him all better, please, Uncle Max?"

Max readily obliged and then they set the bird free together.

On December twenty-second, Liz was doing the chore chart for January and Lex asked, in earnest, "Can I do chores, too, Auntie Lizzie?"

Liz made one up just for him. It was henceforth his job to put the newest chore chart on the fridge with magnets. Lex was very proud and happy to do his part.

In the wee hours of the morning of December twenty-fourth, Kyle awoke to the feel of a very naked Isabel slipping into bed with him. He started to give his usual reasons why she really wasn't supposed to be doing that but she put a finger over his lips and said with a seductive smile, "I just dreamwalked Jesse. Guess who's a newly divorced, no longer married woman?"

Kyle objected weakly, "I don't have a condom."

Isabel argued, "I'm between breeding pains; I really don't care! Unless you just don't want me?"

Kyle looked at her like she was crazy and then he proved to her just how wrong she was by unleashing the passion for her, that he'd been keeping in check, for almost two years.

Kyle was initially startled when Isabel lactated profusely, during a particularly intense orgasm she was experiencing, but then he smelled it and tasted it and found that he couldn't get enough of it. Even watching it happen excited him and their passion for each other escalated, all over again.

The flashes she was sharing with him, only contributed further to his euphoria. It was the most at one with the universe, that Kyle had ever felt.

As they lay holding each other in the aftermath, Kyle said in a voice thick with emotion, "Isabel Evans, I am so hopelessly in love with you."

Isabel nuzzled his ear and assured him, "Oh, that has been super clear for a very long time, Kyle but the words are very nice to hear, too. It's mutual, so breathe, okay?"

Kyle chuckled self-consciously and asked, "Is my alarm about to ring and when I wake up, I'll be alone and none of this actually happened?"

Isabel looked over her shoulder and then back at him and answered, "It is about to ring, but you aren't alone and every glorious moment of this, most definitely happened."

Kyle blurted out, "Marry me."

Isabel's eyes widened in surprise but before she could respond, Kyle was retracting it, "I don't know why I said that. Ignore me, please? You just got out of one marriage, as if you'd ever -"

"Yes.", she interrupted him. He blinked and carried on rambling, "Right? What kind of an idiot asks a divorcee to get married before the ink is even dr-"

Isabel huffed in adoring impatience, "I said yes, Kyle! Yes, I'll marry you!"

Kyle blurted out before he could stop himself, "When?"

Isabel half-teased, "I knew a couple of hours ago, that that's what I wanted, so really, whenever you want. There's no such thing as too soon, for me."

Kyle blinked and asked with incredulity, "Wait, you're serious? You're really saying yes? Wait, I don't even have a ring for you! I couldn't have done this more wrong if I'd tried! How can you be saying yes?"

Isabel smiled, as she caressed his face and she teased, "Because I'm in love with the very best friend I've ever had and I want to marry him. Besides who could ever say no to such a nice boy face? Definitely, not me! Name the date and count me in."

Kyle held her gaze and answered, "Eleven-twenty pm on New Year's Eve. I kind of have plans to kiss someone very special, to me, at the stroke of midnight."

Isabel countered, "How about you kiss your fiancee at midnight on New Year's Eve and we take the first day of the new year to recover from the night before and then we get married on January second, after hopefully sleeping well, the night before?"

Kyle nodded in agreement with the renegotiated date and leaned in to seal it with a kiss but his alarm rang, interrupting them. Isabel hit snooze on his alarm, hastily got out of bed, put her robe on and explained, "I don't think we want Lex finding out about this, like this! I love you, Kyle! See you at breakfast!"

Kyle lay there for several more seconds, smiling in awe, then said out loud to himself, to the universe, to Buddha or to anyone else who might be paying attention, "So that just happened and it was awesome! I get to marry my best friend. How cool is that? Almost too cool; even for me!", and then he hurried to beat Isabel to the kitchen so that he could be the one to give her her morning coffee. He knew that between Lex and Charlie, he had a good five minutes on her, easily.


Liz and Max looked at each other and stifled their laughter, together. Liz admonished him, "Ssssh! They're gonna hear us!"

Max confessed, "I know it should bother me, because she's my sister but the speed! Oh man! Obviously the divorce is finalised or he would have turned her down. I wonder how many seconds it took - ow! What?"

Liz was still trying really hard to either not laugh or at least laugh quietly as she scolded her husband more, "You're terrible! You so should not be commenting about them, like, at all!"

Max grinned and challenged her, "So give me something else to talk about, then."

Liz smirked and suggested, "How about we just don't even talk, because I mean if they are making that kind of noise, they probably won't notice ours? Well, not as much, as if they weren't making noise, anyway."

Max teased, "So, what are you saying? If we can't beat 'em, join 'em?"

Liz made a yuck face and shook her head, laughing quietly but shaking with it as she insisted, "No, Max, you can't say things like that! You have to stop! That's so awful! No. Just no."

Max declared, still with laughter in his voice, "You're really beautiful, you know that? I wish you didn't have to stifle your laughter because it's one of my favourite sounds that you make."

Liz stopped laughing and assured him flirtatiously, "Oh, Max, I have an entire repertoire of sounds that I make, that you'll like even more."

Max rolled her under him, kissed her, and said smugly, "I know you do. I'm about to help you make quite a lot of them, too."

Liz eagerly sheathed his erection with a condom and welcomed him into her body with another of his favourite sounds; her passionate moan of pleasure.

Despite knowing that Isabel and the kids would be joining him in the kitchen, he still startled when she greeted him, again, "Good morning, Kyle."

He dropped the mug of coffee he'd made for her. It hit the floor, broke and hot coffee pooled out from the pieces. Kyle belatedly yelped, "No!", and reached out to catch it and then the entire mess disappeared and the mug with it's full contents were once again in his hand, as if nothing had happened.

Isabel narrowed her eyes at him and asked carefully, "How long have you been able to do that kind of thing?"

Kyle blinked and denied, "What? Me? I thought it was you. Or Charlie?"

Maria and Michael joined them and Maria asked, "What about Charlie?"

Ava joined them, too and repeated Maria's question, "Yeah, what about Charlie?"

Kyle and Isabel looked around at most of their crew, then at each other and answered at the same time, "Nothing."

Isabel added, "My divorce from Jesse was final as of yesterday at three pm, Eastern Standard Time. Kyle has just asked me to marry him. I said yes. Don't look for a ring; there isn't one. We're getting married on January the second. All of this will, of course, affect Lex and Charlie."

That sufficiently distracted them all from figuring out why Kyle had really mentioned Charlie. Kyle knew without a doubt that it hadn't been either Charlie or Isabel who had restored the mug and it's contents but he wasn't ready to face it, never mind embrace it.

After sincere, if subdued, congratulations on their engagement were given and received, they all sipped at their coffees, while Lex and Michael, with his daughter in one arm and Lex on his knee, both chowed down, together, on huge bowls of sugary breakfast cereal, that had been liberally dosed with tabasco sauce.

Liz and Max joined them fresh out of the shower, just as Michael and Lex were polishing off their last few spoonfuls.

Isabel shared hers and Kyle's engagement news with Liz and Max and Liz and Max pretended that it was news to them. They even managed to congratulate them without laughing. Everybody was happy. Except for, maybe Kyle. He was freaked out, all over again, about having alien stuff going on, inside of his body.

Michael spent some more time with the kids, in the living room, admiring the Christmas tree and then eventually watching a tape of recorded Saturday morning cartoons, while the rest of the crew ate more adult fare for breakfast and took turns showering, while Max cleaned up the kitchen and Liz and Maria went to go sit out in the Frankenmobile, together for some much needed, one on one time, in private.

It's not that either of them had anything in particular that they wanted to talk about, they just missed doing nothing together, happily and so that's what they did for just a few minutes and it made them both feel better about life in general.

Maria finally decided it must be her turn for the shower and so she and Liz, still laughing about nothing in particular, together, went back inside the house.

Maria stopped in to the living room, to kiss the kids and to haul Michael off to shower with her, and Liz stayed with the kids in the living room, while waiting for Max to finish up with his assigned kitchen chores.

Kyle and Isabel were stealing a few moments, together, in Kyle's room, to make out, while her kids were with anyone else besides them, and Ava was giving herself a full pedicure.

Isabel halted things between her and Kyle, the moment she heard the shower turn off. She hastily excused herself, "I don't want to stop either, but I really need to pee and it sounds like Maria and Michael are done in there. Meet me in the living room, in like five minutes?"

Kyle stole another passionate kiss and then agreed, "Yeah. Hey? I love you, Isabel. Thanks for saying yes."

Isabel grinned and said, "You're so freaking adorable! You already said thank-you for that!"

Kyle smiled sheepishly, shrugged and offered, "It bears repeating. Forever probably."

Isabel smiled at him lovingly and then raced off to use the restroom.

Kyle tried not to think about the coffee mug thing, as he made his way downstairs to the kids. Seconds before he got there, he heard Liz scream, "Charlie!", and he heard a tremendous crash, followed by Charlie's pained and terrified wailing.

Kyle raced into the living room, saw at a glance that the Christmas tree had fallen on Charlie, who had been in her bouncy seat on the floor, directly in it's fall path.

Kyle didn't consider about being seen, he simply acted and with a flick of his wrist the tree seemingly righted itself, fallen and broken ornaments returned to their places on the tree, intact once again, and although she was still shaken, Charlie was unharmed, as if it hadn't happened, at all.

Max having rushed to get to Liz, when he'd heard her scream, arrived just in time to see what Kyle had done, and he said simply, "Nice save, Kyle. Thanks, man."

Liz gaped at Kyle, only managing a quiet, "Wow.", before the rest of the crew hurried into the living room, too, demanding to know what had just happened.

Liz declared to them, in awe, "Guys? Kyle has powers, now, too."

Max shivered and said in wonder, "Oh, wow, Liz. Charlie. Charlie. I think you might have dreamt about this."

Liz looked confused for a moment and then she shivered, too, as she mused, "So it wasn't a him and she hadn't even been conceived or named, yet. I've never had a vision that far ahead of time, before, I don't think?"

Isabel demanded with impatient confusion, "What are you even talking about? What just happened? I heard my daughter screaming mere seconds ago and now she's fine?"

Kyle supplied, "The Christmas tree fell down."

The four adults who hadn't witnessed it, looked at the tree, then at Kyle, clearly skeptical. Michael asked, "When was this?"

Kyle answered quietly, "About two seconds before you all came running in here."

Maria asked, "I'm sorry but that doesn't make a lick of sense. The tree looks unchanged, to me? Wait. Liz said something about you having powers. What kind of powers?"

Max answered for him, "The kind that resets and restores things. Kind of like an undo button. The tree was down, ornaments were scattered or broken, Charlie was under the tree and then Kyle just reversed the whole thing. Tree was back up, every ornament back in it's place and unbroken. Charlie seems fine, too."

Kyle still tried to deny it, "It could have been Charlie who saved herself. Langley did say that she's powerful."

Max gently refuted, "It was you, Kyle. I saw you do it."

Kyle raised his voice defensively and he insisted, "No, it wasn't me! Thanks for saving my life and everything but you had no right to change me!", and he stormed off, out the backdoor.

Isabel asked Maria to watch the kids and she ran after Kyle. He was already in the Frankenmobile with the engine on, clearly intending to drive. Isabel used her powers to hold the car in place until she could stand in front of it.

Kyle glared at her and demanded, "Move, Isabel."

Isabel countered, "Turn off the car and come for a walk with me."

Kyle closed his eyes, shook his head and insisted, "I can't do this, right now! Just let me get away from this, please!"

Isabel refused, "You can't, Kyle. There is no getting away from it. Turn off the car. Walk with me. Share this with me."

Kyle opened his eyes again and accused, fighting tears, "Your brother. This is on him. He did something to me, Isabel. It isn't right. It's not natural. My world has laws and order. That was not of my world! What did he do to me? What did he turn me into? Where did normal go? I want it back. I need it back. Make him give it back!"

Isabel's eyes welled with sympathetic, unshed tears and she regretfully declined, "You know it doesn't work like that, right? Turn off the car, Kyle. Please?"

Kyle turned off the ignition, removed the key and tossed it out the window. He had the steering wheel in a death grip as he tried to pull himself together. He startled when Isabel appeared at the window beside him. From a crouched position, leaning in his window with both elbows, she asked him, "You do believe in miracles, right?"

He shrugged, then nodded slowly and admitted, "Yeah. I'm living proof."

Isabel suggested, "What if this new power you have isn't only from Max?"

Kyle frowned and asked, "What do you mean? Where else would it come from?"

Isabel posed another question, "What drew you to Buddhism?"

Kyle considered that for a moment and then he attempted to explain, "The idea that everything does make sense and have order whether or not I can see it myself.

The idea that everything, exactly as it is, is okay and is supposed to be that way instead of the way I want it to be; that there's a balance, even if it isn't apparent to me.

That I gain more by letting go, than by holding on and trying to make the universe fit to my ideals.

That normal is just an illusion that impedes enlightenment and acceptance."

Isabel nodded and further suggested, "Okay, so what if you manifested the exact power that you needed? A way to put things back, in order to feel safer?

Maybe Liz did, too, even? Her future was uncertain and it made her feel unsafe and now she can see glimpses of the future, from time to time. Maybe that is what she needed, when she needed it?

Haven't you been seeking the very thing that you can do, now? A way to undo chaos? A way to protect those you love and care for? What if Max was only the catalyst so that your prayers could be answered in a way that spoke to you?

And if Maria really is the Commander, maybe her power had something to do with the way yours manifested, too?

Why did you fix the mug, Kyle? Why did you put the tree back, to how it was before it fell?"

Kyle pondered quietly, "The mug? For you. I just wanted you to have your coffee. I was happy about us."

Isabel asked, "So is it fair to say you were motivated by love?"

Kyle almost laughed and then he conceded, "Yeah."

Isabel prompted him, "And the tree?"

Kyle stifled a sob, "Charlie. I've only just met her and I already love her. And you love her. And I love you. I had to do something!"

Isabel caressed his hair and said sincerely, "And you did. Thank-you for loving my little girl that much. And me, too. If I wasn't already in love with you, that probably would have sealed the deal, right there."

Kyle reached for her hand and just held it without saying anything. After several moments he gestured with a nod toward the house and lamented, "I was just a complete ass to my soon to be brother-in-law."

Isabel laughed through tears of relief and assured him, "I don't think he's going to hold a grudge about it. This new thing that you can do, it's a lot for you to get used to. If anyone can understand that, it's the people we live with, in that house. We've all got your back, Kyle."

Kyle nodded and declared, "I've really gotta start showing a lot more gratitude for that. Best crew, ever."

Isabel squeezed his hand and stipulated, "Only if you remain a part of it. I mean after all, you are the best, right?"

Kyle chuckled, shook his head and pretended to agree, "Yeah. That's me, for sure. High school told me so and high school never lies."

Isabel laughed and played along, "Nope. Never!"

Kyle asked tentatively, "Should we go back inside?"

Isabel stood up from her crouched position beside the car and took a step back as she answered, "Please. I'd really like that."

Kyle got out of the car, rolled up the window, locked the door, slammed it shut, stooped to pick up the key that he'd tossed and then he held Isabel's hand again, halting her from going inside right away. She looked at him questioningly.

Kyle shrugged, fidgeted self-consciously and quietly said, "I'm sorry if I scared you, out here. Thanks for being the voice of reason I needed. I love you, Isabel."

Isabel winked at him and teased, "Just paying you back for all the times you were my voice of reason. I love you, too, Kyle."

They hugged each other and it became more of a holding onto something that was precious to both of them, until they were ready to go back inside the house.
Last edited by Fidomom on Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.
~FM :)

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Re: Finding Something Better by Fidomom (AU,M/M,TEEN/ADULT) Ch1-13/? - 12/26/18

Post by keepsmiling7 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:42 am

What a wonderful Christmas surprise we had here!
And the humor is running wild with these guys.......
Kyle has surprised me more than once, especially with his "breast friend".
The three custody of Charlie is an interesting arrangement.
Loved the brief Max and Liz moments!
I continue to laugh at Kyle's new powers and antics.
Thanks, Carolyn

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Re: Finding Something Better by Fidomom (AU,M/M,TEEN/ADULT) Ch1-14/? - 01/24/19

Post by Fidomom » Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:52 am

What a wonderful Christmas surprise we had here!
And the humor is running wild with these guys.......
Kyle has surprised me more than once, especially with his "breast friend".
The three custody of Charlie is an interesting arrangement.
Loved the brief Max and Liz moments!
I continue to laugh at Kyle's new powers and antics.
Ha, ha! I had to put in that "breast friend" part because of that time Isabel dreamwalked a Playboy model for him - a guy who is into that, is not going to always have pure thoughts, lol, even if he has mostly turned over a new leaf.

Children these days, really can have more than just two parents, due to divorces/remarriages, open adoptions, non-stranger surrogacies, polyamorous relationships and probably some other circumstances that I haven't even considered, yet.

Unconventional seems to be becoming the new normal, in real life and also in this story. :) It's part of the reason I'm posting this in The Abyss. I have a general outline in mind but even I don't know all of the details that will end up in this story. Some details might turn out to be upsetting to readers who prefer conventional circumstances. That's the closest I can get to warning for specific content.

Every time you say anything good about my versions of Max, Liz and their relationship, I feel relieved because I'm always worried about not only, merely not doing them justice but doing them really terribly, since they are not my OTP - obviously I do like them, a lot, though, or I wouldn't write them into my stories, at all. So thanks, Carolyn, your feedback is invaluable, to me. :)

~FM :)

Title: Finding Something Better
Author: Fidomom
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. It is only loosely based on characters from the 1999-2002 tv series Roswell as I imagine they could be from different points throughout and beyond the three seasons of the show. I am not affiliated with any of the original creations nor creators from the series. I will make no monetary gains from publishing this work of fiction.
Pairings/Characters/Category: Michael & Maria, Max & Liz, Kyle, Isabel, Ava, CC, UC, AU, w/Aliens
Rating: Adult
Summary: This chapter - Snapshot moments of the lives of the nine member alien-hybrid and human crew, from December 26th, 2002 to January 4th, 2003.
Warnings: none

Finding Something Better
by Fidomom

Chapter Fourteen

December 26th, 2002.

Maria kissed Michael's cheek enthusiastically and declared, "I love being rich!"

Michael chuckled and refuted, "We aren't rich, though. Maxwell and Isabel are rich and are merely sharing their wealth with us."

Maria insisted, "Do we or do we not have a quarter million dollar a year budget, between the two of us?"

Michael corrected, "Up to, Maria! Up to. There's no way we need to or even could spend all of that."

Maria pouted and argued, "Speak for yourself! I totally could! Hello, Michael? we have a baby coming! Babies need stuff!"

Michael scoffed in amusement, "You weren't saying anything of the sort when Isabel told us that she was pregnant with Lex."

Maria relented somewhat, "Okay, true. But I simply misspoke; parents need stuff to make baby raising easier! You can totally get away with raising a baby without much money. My Mom did it, but she had to work her butt off, at work and at home! With the funds that Max and Isabel have gifted us with, we're going to have it so much easier!

Max's and Isabel's Queen Mommy has my forever gratitude for making sure that, that Kal guy grew a massive nest egg for both of her kids! What a woman! Alie- uhh Czechoslovakian! Whatever!

So, can we go shopping, now, spaceboy? Are you coming?"

Michael laughed, shook his head, kissed her quickly on the lips and agreed, "Fine. Let's go shopping then, angelwife. Just, try not to buy the whole store? We only have one kid on the way and we only have a van; not a transport truck."

Maria stuck out her tongue at him and waited for him to help her down from the passenger seat. She rubbed her early third trimester pregnant belly and spoke to the life inside, "Don't jump on Mama's bladder too much, okay? Mama takes forever trying to pee in those tiny, public restroom stalls and Daddy is not so patient about shopping to begin with. I love you, my little bowling ball! Now, let's go shopping!"


December 27th, 2002.

Isabel resolutely opened the door and greeted their weekly visitor coolly, "Yes?"

The young, red-haired woman smiled and said, "Lemons took fifty years."

Isabel nodded, stepped aside and said with a weary sigh, "Kal. Come on in."

As soon as he was inside and she'd closed the door, Kal shifted back to his most comfortable form.

Lex called from the kitchen in a loud whisper, "Is it Mr. Kal, Mommy? Can I come in there, now?"

Isabel smiled fondly and answered him, "Yes, Lex, sweetheart, you can come on back in here, now!"

Lex raced into the living room and greeted their visitor inquisitively, "Hi, Mr. Kal! Is it time for me to have special vitamins, again?"

Kal nodded and used his celebrity charming smile, as he confirmed, "Of course! Did you have a nice Christmas?"

Lex nodded emphatically and confided, "Daddy and me did lots of nice stuff for sad people! It was the best Christmas, in my whole life!"

Kal didn't point out that it was his first Christmas in his whole life and Isabel was relieved for it; Lex had no idea that he was not like other kids. He really did seem like a typical five and a half year old kid, already, despite that he was technically only about six months old.

Kal did more with Lex, during his weekly visits, than just give him the elixir; he also did a full assessment of his overall health and performed "fun" tests to gauge his cognitive developmental age. Kal's visits usually lasted about an hour and Lex readily accepted it as playtime.

Isabel gestured to the kitchen and politely offered, to Kal, "Can I get you anything?"

Kal declined wordlessly and got right to assessing and then dosing Lex with more elixir.

Isabel sat at the kitchen island with Ava, Liz, Maria and Charlie, who was in Lex's not-so old, bouncy seat.

The guys were out running errands and doing anonymous good deeds. They usually found reasons to miss Kal's visits.

Maria noted in a hushed voice, "He didn't ask about Charlie straight away. That's a first!"

Ava muttered sarcastically, "The hour's not up, yet. I give him five minutes. Tops."

Isabel tried to steer their conversation back to the topic they'd been on before Kal had arrived, keeping her voice low, due to the thin walls,"Well, I don't like him any more than you do, but I do believe that he'll keep his vow to Max. Lex is fine with him. If he asks about Charlie, no matter what his motives are, I see no harm in it. We're here. We'll protect the kids. Now, how about we get back to discussing my wedding?"

"Your wedding? Aren't you already married? To your eldest child's father?", Kal asked from the kitchen doorway.

Maria gave Ava's smug look an impressed smirk and then she greeted Kal, "Mr. Langley. Is there something that we can help you with?"

Kal gestured toward Charlie, "Oh, I didn't mean to intrude, Commander, I just meant to pop in and see how Her Majesty's dream come true is doing? Has she exhibited any other powers, lately?"

Isabel answered his questions, trying to keep her patience, around her kids, "My divorce from Jesse has been finalised, as of December twenty-third. Kyle and I are getting married on January the second.

As for Charlie's powers, nothing new has happened. She seems to only reach out like that if she is afraid, hurt or really mad. We keep her pretty happy and calm, most of the time."

Kal sighed and lamented, "I suppose that is for the best, since she cannot be reasoned with or taught how to control what she is capable of, yet.

Have you chosen an officiant for your wedding, yet?"

Isabel's face fell and she stammered in disappointment, "Oh. Well, no. I can't believe I didn't realise that we don't have anyone to marry us! The only one of us who can perform weddings, is my groom. I guess we're not getting married on the second after all, then. We have to find an officiant, first."

Kal gestured to himself and declared, "I suspected, as much. You children are ambitious but you really don't think, far enough ahead. Look no further. I'll do it."

All four women asked skeptically and in unison, "You?"

Kal nodded and bragged, "Certainly! I performed wedding ceremonies on Antar, as well as during my time in Hollywood! I even officiated several secret ceremonies between celebrity couples.

I have certification to perform marriages in California, New York and Nevada. The process is fast. I can be certified for Oregon by the thirtieth, or we can cross the state line, into California, for the ceremony. Which do you prefer?"

Isabel sought clarification, "So if you marry us, it will carry legal weight? What about the paper trail?"

Kal answered her, "Of course it will be legal. As for the paper trail, well, I cleaned up the one for The Commander and His Royal Highness's Second In Command and of course, the ones for the children's birth registrations and inocculation schedules, as well. I will simply have to clean up after yours and your groom's paper trail, too. It's all part of my job. This is my area of expertise; it's what I do.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do anything about the the paper trail His Royal Highness left in Peoria. At least those suits have nothing more to go on, after that, though, so I suppose you children aren't completely inept, then."

Isabel put a hand on Ava to stop her from an outburst. Ava looked at her and Isabel glanced toward Charlie. Ava grit her teeth and glared at Kal but said nothing.

Isabel ignored Kal's back handed compliment and said decisively, "Get the certification for Oregon, Kal. I don't want to upset the kids' routines any more than I have to and there's no way I'd go to California without my kids, so."

Kal nodded and vowed, "Consider it done, Her Royal Majesty's Beloved Princess. I'll get back to my assessment of your eldest child, then; the task I set him on, is likely completed by now. Have His Royal Highness relay to me, the details that I need to know for your wedding day."

As soon as he'd left the kitchen, Ava asked, not even quietly, "Are you really going to let that shady shape-shifter marry you and Kyle?"

Isabel shrugged, nodded and explained quietly, "It's that or postpone the wedding, and I really, really want to marry Kyle, on January the second, as planned, Ava. In my mind, any delay means that it won't happen at all and I just, I need for this to happen. Period."

Liz and Maria said in unison, "I hear you, on that.", and then they looked at each other and giggled together, both enjoying still being so in sync with each other, even beyond their newly married lives.


Later that night, laying in her husband's arms, in the afterglow of lovemaking, Liz confessed, "I want a family, with you, Max."

Max objected gently, "Liz, we've already talked about this. We can't. You know that we can't and why we can't."

Liz argued, "Right. Just like we couldn't kiss in case it was dangerous but then Michael and Maria proved it wasn't and then we thought that our biologies were not compatible enough to conceive and for a while, we were even reckless because we believed that.

I mean it boggles my mind, now, that our reasons for deciding to start using condoms didn't even have anything to do with preventing pregnancy. You just didn't like me leaving the bed right after being intimate, to go wash myself. Condoms solved both of our issues; I felt cleaner, which I prefer and so then I could stay put afterward, which is what you prefer.

To think we'd only been using condoms for two months when Isabel and Jesse proved that human and hybrid biologies were not incompatible, after all, is still a bit frightening, to me.

I'm amazed that I never got pregnant during our two months of reckless intimacy. It could have been you and I dealing with an unexpected and possibly accelerated pregnancy. It's a scary thought.

We've gotten other things wrong, too, like thinking all pregnancies involving a hybrid parent would result in hybrid children but you and Tess proved that wrong and then thinking that all pregnancies involving a hybrid parent would automatically be accelerated but Michael and Maria have just proved that wrong, as well. There's still so much that we really don't know.

The thing is, Max, I understand why you've been so cautious, I really do. I get it. You love me and you don't want me to be harmed. I've considered the idea, that if it was you, would I risk your life or even you enduring bodily harm, on such limited instances of proof and of course, I know that I wouldn't.

I mean if kissing had made one or the other of us sick, then that could have been easily dealt with and avoided but creating a life is not something that can be undone, easily, once it's done.

Suddenly, more than one life is at stake. I saw what Michael went through and what Maria went through dealing with his reaction, and I definitely don't want that for either you or I."

Max interjected softly, "I'm glad you understand. That's it exactly, but if you know all of this, then why are you bringing it up, again?"

Liz ventured tentatively, "Max, what if there's another way for us to have a family?"

Max asked in confusion, "Another way? What do you mean?"

Liz shared, "When I first found out that Tess was pregnant with your child, I was so hurt and angry and jealous. Somehow when I met your baby, all of that receded. I didn't hate your child and to be honest, that surprised me.

When I thought about it, much later, though, it made sense, after all, because he's part of you and I can't hate you, even when I'm angry or hurt or disappointed. I love you, Max. I could love any child of yours. I truly believe, now, that if you had kept Zan, I would have fallen in love with him, the same way that I did with Lex, only even more, simply because he's yours.

When Isabel announced that she was carrrying Michael's child, I thought Maria would feel as I had about Tess, except it turned out that it had been Maria's choice and now we've all got Charlie and Maria couldn't love that baby girl any more, than if she was her own flesh and blood.

Max, what if that could be me? What if I could raise your child with you, even if it isn't my flesh and blood? What if I could be a Mom, by being a step-Mom?"

Max asked still confused, "What are you suggesting, Liz? That I try to get my son back? Even if I could, that would be too disruptive and likely emotionally damaging to him. I'm sorry, Liz, but that isn't an option. Wherever Zan is, I believe he is loved and happy. I won't take that away from him, now. It's simply too late for that."

Liz nodded and agreed, "No, I know. I already considered that and came to the same conclusion. I meant your future children."

Max asked incredulously, "My future children? Liz, I'm not going to endanger a human surrogate, either. Why would you ever even think that I would or could?"

Liz suggested, "I didn't think that, not even for a minute. There's another possibility, Max. I mean it would be up to her, of course, and we'd have to be really clear on all of our roles and expectations of each other but what if she was willing to help you and I have a family, what if she was a part of our family, the way that Isabel, Maria, and Michael are managing to be that, for Charlie?"

Max asked, "Be a family with whom? Maria? I don't think Michael would be okay with that, not even one time."

Liz took a deep steadying breath and she said, "No, obviously not Maria for many reasons, besides just Michael. I was talking about Ava, Max. What if the three of us could create a family together? What if she was willing to do that? Would you consider it?"

Max echoed, "Ava? She's asexual, though."

Liz lightly swatted at Max and clarified, "Well, I wasn't suggesting that you have sex with her, Max! She'd only need your biological material to get pregnant. Plus, then we could help her, when she is experiencing those awful breeding pains, you know? And at the end of it, the three of us would have a child to love and to raise together."

Max wondered aloud, "Do you really think she'd be agreeable to this idea? I mean how do we even ask her something like that without offending her or making her feel like we see her as a means to an end?"

Liz suggested hopefully, "Because that isn't the offer we'd make. Yours and Ava's children would have three parents, just like Charlie does. The three of us would raise your children. I happen to know that Ava would really love to be a Mom and I would love to be a Mom and I even know that you would love the chance to be a Dad and not just a father by biology alone.

Isabel and Kyle are raising Lex, together. Charlie has three parents, oh, well, four actually, now that I think about it, if you count Kyle and since he's marrying your sister, then he should be counted and Michael and Maria are going to have a child together in a few months, too and all of this while we've been on the run.

Being on the run, then, isn't really a valid excuse, anymore, to not go ahead and have lives and do things that bring us joy, like get married and start families, because the rest of our crew are doing exactly that. Even Mr. Langley has said that us living like this, so far, was okay. He's even offered to be in Kyle's and Isabel's wedding; he'll be officiating it.

Anyway, my idea for us having this life that I've imagined, all hinges on Ava because it's her body and it's a really big commitment for all three of us. The question is, could you live that way, Max? If she agreed to it, I mean? I've already decided that I could live that way; that I really want to live that way. Ava is already family to me. Isn't she to you?"

Max spoke quietly, "Can I take some time to think about all of this, before I answer you?"

Liz kissed his chest and assured, "Of course, Max. I know it's a big deal. I'd be concerned if you answered right now, either way, anyway. I've been thinking about it, since Charlie was born, and it's taken me this long, to finally share my thoughts about it, with you.

I'm trying to prepare myself for you to say no, or for Ava to say no, even if you do agree to ask her with me, because I don't want my happiness to depend on us having a family but Max, I would really love for this to happen. I believe it would enhance our lives and our happiness rather than make or break us, you know?"

Max kissed her forehead and assured, "Yeah, I understand what you mean. Let me think about it for a while, okay?"

Liz nodded and added, "Thank-you, Max. For hearing me out fully and for loving me and for being such an amazing and attentive husband! I am still very much head over heels in love with you, you do know that, right?"

Max smirked, nodded, kissed her on the lips and answered, "Confirmation never hurts, though. I'm just as much in love with you, too, Liz Parker.", as he began making love with her, again.


December 28th, 2002.

As Max and Liz undecorated the house from Christmas, together, in preparation for decorating for their impending New Year's Eve party, Max suddenly spoke, "Liz? What we discussed last night? I've thought about it and I'm sorry but my answer, is no."

Liz's mouth opened slightly in disappointed surprise and she said, "Oh. Okay. Thanks for considering it, at least."

Max asked, "Are you okay?"

Liz shrugged and admitted dejectedly, "No, not really but I will be. Despite my best intentions, I did kind of get my hopes up that you might say yes. I totally understand, though, why you're saying no."

Max asked carefully, "Are we okay, then?"

Liz dropped her refuse bag to embrace her husband and she assured him, "Of course we are. I told you last night that this idea I had, wasn't something that I'd allow to make or break us, Max. It won't. It hasn't, okay? I love you, too much, for that."

Max tightened his arms around her and responded, "Good. I love you, too. I'm still sorry for that answer, though. For making you sad."

Liz smiled bravely at him, nodded her head and insisted, "It's not permanent. I'll adjust. I'll be okay. Promise."

Max smiled back and they resumed undecorating.


December 29th, 2002.

Ava didn't think anything of it, when Max invited her to go with him to get the party and wedding supplies. Liz was busy helping Isabel with wedding planning and decorating, Michael and Maria had Charlie with them, while they were rearranging their sleeping quarters to make room for life with a baby, testing baby furniture out on Charlie, first and whatnot, and Kyle was at the park with Lex.

On the way back to the house, after their shopping errand, Max pulled over and shared Liz's idea with Ava.

Ava's eyes watered and she admitted, "Being a Mom is something that I've wanted to be for as long as I can remember, Max, but this idea; it's a bit much. I can't just decide on the spot, you know? I mean, when would you need an answer?"

Max assured her, "Whenever you have one to give. It's an open ended offer, Ava. I had to think about it, too. I told Liz, no, yesterday, actually. Today, I'm reconsidering things but I don't want to jerk Liz around and tell her that I've changed my mind, only for you to wind up declining.

So, I'm leaving it up to you. We could do this, if you want to and if you don't want to, that's totally okay with both of us. Our feelings for you won't change, if you decline; we both think of you as family, already, regardless of your answer. I just want to make that clear. There's no pressure here, to answer one way or another. It's just an idea.

Are we okay?"

Still teary-eyed, Ava smiled slightly and assured, "Yeah. Thanks, Max, for even offering, at all. I don't know my answer, yet, but when I do, I'll tell you, okay?"

Max smiled, squeezed her hand, briefly, in reassurance, said sincerely, "Take as long as you need.", and then he resumed the drive back to the house.


December 30th, 2002.

Kyle and Isabel were giggling together between kisses, as they stripped each other, and then they tumbled clumsily onto Kyle's air mattress, on the floor.

Isabel impatiently wrapped her legs around Kyle, drawing his erection inside of herself with a satisfied sigh of pleasure, which he passionately echoed. They made brief but frenzied love and afterward they lay on their backs, holding hands, breathing hard and still stifling giggles.

Kyle thought back over their day; all the flirting and covert suggestive looks and comments they'd been baiting each other with and his grin widened as he mused aloud, "That was a first for me. Foreplay that lasted all day. How can something, that felt so agonising, at times, in the end, turn out to be, my idea of fun?"

Isabel leaned sideways, kissed his cheek and said with a happy smile, "For me, too! I love my children but I was starting to think that they were never going to go down for the night! Lex just can't get enough of that bedtime story, bless his beautiful heart!

I've been looking forward to our time, all day! Today was so much fun, Kyle! We should do that, at least once a month, after we're married! What do you think?"

Kyle rolled over on top of her, suckled her nipple briefly, kissed his way up her neck, to her mouth, kissed her for several seconds and then answered, "I think ... I like the way my fiancee thinks. You are so sexy, you turn me on so fast, you're my version of a bedtime story that I can't get enough of. I want more. What do you want?"

Isabel made out with him for a few minutes, concluding with stroking him intimately and she whispered a more elaborate answer beside his ear, "It's not a what, it's a who and the who I want real bad, is you, Kyle! Definitely, over and over again! Maybe just for a little longer, this next time, though?"

Kyle looked her in the eye and said solemnly, "Oh, longer is a given, Pookie."

Isabel let out a loud, short laugh, belatedly covered her mouth with her hand and demanded, "What? Pookie? Why would you call me that?"

Kyle explained just as solemnly, "I identify strongly with Garfield, the comicbook cat. He's a bit rough around the edges but he's got a soft spot for his stuffed bear. His Pookie. You're my soft spot."

Isabel smirked as she felt his penis already firming up in her hand, again and she teased, "Are you sure about that because that's not what this feels like, to me?"

Kyle gasped in pleasure, as she gently stroked him to full firmness and he explained, "Soft spot in my heart, Isabel. In my heart. Never what you're holding because mmmm, yeah, that is most definitely not what I meant."

Isabel chuckled and countered, "Okay, then, my Froggy, have it your way! I'll be your Pookie!"

Kyle objected in dismay, "Froggy?! Why?"

Isabel kissed him lingeringly, still touching him just enough to keep him hard, as she answered, "You have this way of smiling sometimes where you don't show your teeth, that reminds me of a frog. A frog crouch even reminds me a bit of your precious Buddha, too. Anyway, I like frogs. I think they're cute. You're cute. Besides which, you were the last frog that I needed to kiss, to finally find my Prince."

Kyle moaned as he gently thrust himself into her hand and he said, "I surrender. Ribbit, already! Isabel, my Pookie, please?"

Isabel released him from her hand and invited him back inside of herself. They shared a heartfelt, long, passionate kiss as he sank into her and then they made love slowly and thoroughly, for the better part of an hour.


December 31st, 2002 - January 1st, 2003

On New Year's Eve, Isabel and Kyle got Lex mostly ready for bed by seven-thirty. Then the entire crew played bingo with Lex. At ten seconds before eight p.m. they did the countdown to the New Year with him. At exactly eight p.m., everyone toasted with him, with glasses of sparkling apple juice, shouting, "Happy New Year!", and then Maria led them all in singing Auld Lang Syne.

Afterward, Lex kissed everyone Happy New Year and goodnight, of his own volition and then Kyle brought him upstairs to brush his teeth and get him tucked in, for the night. Isabel put Charlie to bed for the night by eight-thirty, as well.

Once the kids were down for the night, the crew watched the movie, Galaxy Quest, on VHS, together, then got ready for the more adult version of a New Year's Eve party.

Luckily, neither of Isabel's children were particularly light sleepers. as long as they weren't blaring the tv or music, the kids stayed asleep through most other normal noises, like voices and laughter and even occasional noisy door closings, provided they didn't quite qualify as sudden slams.

The theme for their New Year's Eve party was casino night. A half hour was dedicated to each of blackjack, poker and craps, with Ava as the dealer.

There were no monetary stakes but they kept track of who had the most losses and the most wins. The person with the most wins could cherry pick and trade out the easiest, least unpleasant chores from each member of the crew's upcoming chore list for the month, for a chore that they'd been assigned that they weren't too keen on doing.

Everyone else could give their least favourite chore to the biggest loser of the night in exchange for a chore that was less unpleasant. The loser could only choose to protect one chore from being stolen, while the rest were fair game. The point was for all of the chores to still get done, just not quite fair distribution, anymore.

By eleven-thirty, Isabel had the most wins and Michael had the most losses. Their ideas of what constituted unpleasant chores versus less unpleasant chores, were nearly opposite to each other and so Michael wound up gaining chores that didn't even bother him to have to do and he had chores stolen from him that the others didn't mind but that he really had to push himself to do, in the first place, so he really didn't mind how things shook out, in the end. He didn't feel like the biggest loser, at all.

The just under a half hour before the New Year began, was dedicated to fast dancing, with or without partners, with the understanding that the slow dancing would happen after midnight. Only Michael sat out on the fast dancing. Max and Ava would occasionally sit out for a song and keep him company, but Liz, Maria, Isabel and Kyle danced the entire time.

Michael wasn't bored, though. Even with company sitting with him, he never took his eyes off of his pregnant wife, getting her groove on, for longer than a few seconds, at a time. He particularly enjoyed the smile plastered on her face, the whole time.

Ava excused herself from the rest of them, a few minutes before midnight, letting Liz know, "I'll come back when I hear Maria singing Auld Lang Syne, to wish you guys a Happy New Year, too."

Liz smiled at her, nodding in understanding.

Within the final thirty seconds before midnight, all the couples gravitated toward their significant others and counted down the final ten seconds, looking into each others eyes.

Mindful of the sleeping children in the house, they didn't go too wild with the celebration noises but they all said, "Happy New Year!", in unison and then there was silence, as they each shared their first kiss of the year with the person they loved most.

Max had to prompt the engaged couple to come up for air, so they could sing the song and wish the rest of the crew a Happy New Year, as well.

True to her word, once Maria had started to sing, Ava rejoined them and gave hugs and cheek kisses, all around, as she wished them each a Happy New Year.

She saved Max for last and before releasing him, she said quietly, "My answer is, yes, Max. Maybe we could iron out the details sometime tomorrow or rather later today? Does that work for you and Liz?"

Liz overheard her final question and asked with a smile, "Does what work for Max and I?"

Max was momentarily stunned by what Ava had said and he didn't know who to respond to first.

Ava stepped back and said helpfully, "Why don't I give you two some time to talk?"

Max nodded, lightly grasped Liz by the elbow and implored her, "Can we go talk in the garage?"

Liz agreed with obvious concern, "Okay? Max, what's wrong? What's going on? What was Ava talking about, just now?"

Max waited until they were alone together in the garage, to answer her, "I told Ava about your idea. The three of us making a family together."

Liz frowned in puzzlement and asked, "Max! Why would you do that? We've already decided not to pursue it. What if all you've done is get her hopes up for nothing?"

Max smiled encouragingly and clarified, "That's just it, Liz. She said, yes and so do I. I changed my mind, the day after I told you my initial answer but I didn't want to jerk you around by telling you that, unless Ava said yes, so I told her about it, left it totally up to her, an open ended offer and she wants to do it! Do you still want to?"

Liz silently processed his words for several seconds and her eyes welled with tears.

Max's heart sank as he thought he'd somehow gotten the whole thing completely wrong but then Liz smiled at him and said, "I love you for so many reasons, already and now I love you for this, too! Max. Thank-you. Yes. Yes, I very much still want to make a family with you and Ava. You're amazing! She's amazing.

I get to hold your children, someday and they're going to call me, maybe not Mom, but something like it. That's all I want. To raise your babies with you and Ava. Everybody wins."

Max hugged her hard and kissed the side of her head. He suggested, "Maybe we go tell Ava, then, that later today does work for us, to iron out the details together before we proceed?"

Liz smiled in sudden understanding and said, "Ahh, so that's what I overheard. Yeah. If I wasn't free today, I'd have rescheduled whatever it is, for this. For us. For the family we're going to have, together, after all."

Liz and Max returned to the living room, where both Michael and Maria and Kyle and Isabel were liplocked and slow dancing, and Ava was already beginning to tidy up empty drinking glasses.

Liz bee-lined it for her, made her put down what was in her hand and she hugged Ava fiercely, as she said emotionally, "Thank-you for saying yes, Ava. Later today, after we get some sleep, ironing out the details, definitely works for Max and I."

Ava countered with somewhat more subdued emotion, "Thank-you for thinking of it, at all. You're easily the kindest, most generous and loving person, I've ever known, Liz. Which is great because our future child deserves to have at least one cornball parent."

Liz chuckled, wiping moisture from the corners of her eyes, as she vowed, "I will do my best to live up to that!"


January 2nd, 2003.

Shortly after lunch had been eaten, the two married couples of the crew, with Charlie in her Daddy's arms, looked on with nostalgic smiles, remembering their own weddings, as Isabel and Kyle got married.

Isabel wore a cream, knee length, lace wedding dress and Kyle wore a cashmere navy blue suit, a grey dress shirt, and a satin, cream coloured tie with a matching satin pocket hanky.

The bride and groom stood facing one another, in preparation to offer their wedding vows to each other.

Ava, wearing a navy chiffon over gray satin knee length dress, acted as maid of honour, and Lex was the ring bearer, wearing a miniature version of Kyle's suit. Kal officiated, as promised.

After introducing the point of the ceremony, Kal invited Kyle and Isabel to exchange their memorised personal vows.

Isabel handed her bouquet off to Ava and she and Kyle faced each other, holding hands.

Kyle stated with heartfelt solemnity, "I love you, Isabel Amanda Evans. You are my best friend. I trust you, and depend on you and I will always be trustworthy and dependable, in return."

Isabel responded to his vow, similarly, "I love you, Kyle James Valenti. You are my best friend. I choose you to make a family with and to grow with and I will always choose you, above all others."

With only occasional prompting from Kal, they offered to one another, the personal vow they'd written together, speaking as one, in unison, "Today, as I give myself to you in marriage, I promise to celebrate with you, in times of joy and to comfort you, in times of sorrow.

I promise to love you when our love is easy, and also when it is an effort, knowing that the true magic of love, is not to avoid changes, but to follow the path together, hand in hand, as we are at this moment.

When we look to each other, for strength, we will always find it and know that we can face whatever lies ahead, come what may, because we have willingly and eagerly bonded to one another for life and for love. I hereby gratefully and faithfully accept your promises to me."

Kal then directed them through their ring exchange, at the conclusion of which, he declared, "By the power vested in me by the state of Oregon, having met all criteria to be legally wed, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss the bride."

Kyle and Isabel both giggled once before their lips met in a heartfelt, romantic and happy kiss.

When they separated, Kal announced, "I hereby present to all those gathered, Mr. & Mrs. Kyle & Isabel Valenti!"

Maria and Ava witnessed the marriage documents and then Lex asked with loud enthusiasm, "Now, Mommy? Is it time for cake?"

Everyone chuckled, Kyle tousled Lex's unruly mop of dark curls affectionately and Isabel answered him, "Yes, Lex, sweetheart, it is definitely time for cake!"

Charlie heaved an audible sigh and Maria stroked her less abundant and lighter coloured hair, than she'd had at birth, as she consoled, "Not for you, though, sweet one. It'll be a while yet before you can eat cake."

Charlie audibly filled her diaper in response and Maria couldn't be certain that it hadn't been on purpose. Maria smiled at Michael and declared, "She's your daughter, too. This one's yours, spaceboy."

Michael chuckled, kissed Maria on the cheek, stood up and agreed, "No problem. We'll be right back.,

"Hey, Prozac? Save Uncle Awesome some cake, okay, buddy?"

Lex grinned widely at Michael and gave him an emphatic thumb up, as he said, "You got it, Uncle Awesome!"

Kyle asked Isabel jokingly, "Are we sure it isn't some kind of negligence or abuse, on our part, letting Heckle brainwash him, like that?"

Isabel only laughed and said, "Probably, but it's way too late to nip that in the bud, now!"

"What does brainwash mean, Daddy?", Lex asked innocently.

Kyle fibbed, "It has a few meanings but the one just now, just means making someone think good thoughts, okay?"

Lex nodded hard, once and ran off to the kitchen yelling, "I want the biggest cake, with lots and lots of ice-ning, please, Auntie Ava!"

Kyle stated solemnly, "Because he obviously needs more sugar."

Isabel kissed him on the lips and pointed out, "Well, his Mommy and Daddy will only have one wedding day, so let's just let him eat cake!"

Kyle's eyes watered and he said, "Thank-you for saying it that way. That means a lot, to me."

Isabel caressed his face and countered, "You mean a lot, to me and to him. Charlie might be a tougher nut to crack, but I have faith, that you'll come to mean a lot to her, too, my Froggy."

Kyle insisted, "I love them both and I don't require reciprocation but getting it from Lex, anyway, is humbling. I love all three of you, Pookie, and that's permanent."

Isabel smiled and said with happy confidence, "I know."

They joined the others in the kitchen, fed each other wedding cake and then Isabel spoke quietly in Kyle's ear, "Listen can you supervise our cake monster? I need to speak to Ava, privately; girl talk, you know?"

Kyle nodded and took over serving cake to the rest of the crew, while Isabel led Ava out to the garage.

They returned less than five minutes later and Isabel looked troubled. Kyle checked in with her, "Is everything okay? That was about the shortest girl talk I've ever seen or you know, not seen."

Isabel smiled at him reassuringly, "Everything's fine, Kyle. Let's just enjoy being celebrated for a bit before we have dinner, get the kids to bed and then lose ourselves in our wedding night, okay?"

Kyle smiled softly, with a naughty twinkle in his eye and he admitted, "I like the sound of that; especially that last part."

Isabel winked and grinned, as she flirted, "I thought you might."

Michael interrupted them to ask, "Who is giving Charlie her bath, tonight?"

Isabel answered, "I am. Why?"

Michael replied, "Good. So after dinner my wife is all mine. All the rest of mine and Maria's chores are done, for today. You two going to get things moving along here, with the first dance, now, or what?"

Isabel chuckled and teased him, "Impatient, much?"

Michael countered impatiently, "Apparently, you haven't seen my wife, lately or you wouldn't need to ask me that nor be surprised by it."

Isabel assured him, "Yes, we will get this party started, Michael. It's almost like you're still a newlywed."

Michael grimaced at her and said, "Duh?"

Maria slipped her arms around Michael's middle, from beside him, and asked the actual newlyweds, "Is my grumpy spacehubby bothering you guys?"

Kyle and Isabel chuckled and said together, "Not at all. We're just about to get the dancing started."

Michael complained to Maria, "You can't have it both ways, you know. You can't tell me to wait and then keep touching me."

Maria smirked, kissed his frowning mouth, looked into his eyes and suggested, "If you put up and shut up and a smile wouldn't kill you, either, then I promise to make it worth your while, later."

Michael smiled the fakest smile she'd ever seen and she burst out laughing. He led her by the elbow to the designated dancing area in the living room and he made one more attempt to get his own way, "I'm pretty sure this is spousal abuse, Maria."

Maria nuzzled his ear and insisted, "You'll live. And then I'll make you very glad that you're alive."

Michael's whole body stilled, he looked into her eyes and said contritely, "You're right. I'm sorry. I already am glad about that. Thanks for the reminder, angel."

Maria kissed his lips softly and countered, "You don't need to be sorry, spaceboy. A little more patient might be nice, though."

Michael half-smiled wryly and he conceded, "I'm working on that. For you. I'd do anything for you."

Maria assured him as they swayed together to the ballad in play, "That hasn't escaped my attention, in a very long time. Remember, I didn't say no I only said yes but wait."

Michael pondered aloud, "Maybe we should go to a hotel, tonight."

Maria suggested, "Well, we never did finish our mini honeymoon. You can take me to a nooky hotel, tonight."

Michael nuzzled her neck and agreed, "That's a plan. The things I want to do to you, are probably best done, not in this house."

Maria gasped and lightly swatted him as she admonished, "Mission accomplished; now I'm impatient, too!"

Finally, Michael smiled for real and Maria just shook her head at him and smiled back.

After everyone had danced with everyone in male and female pairs only, unlike at Michael's and Maria's wedding, Isabel got everyone's attention, "I just want to thank you guys for being the best crew, ever and for celebrating our day with us but before we wrap this up and get back to our regularly scheduled routines, I have a request.

There's something that I'd like to discuss with all of you, when Kal returns on the fourth, to give Lex his final dose of elixir. It's important, so please don't find other stuff to do and miss Kal's visit. This is something I need to discuss with all of you, okay? Please?"

Max asked, "Why didn't you do it before Kal left, right after the ceremony?"

Isabel hedged vaguely, "Because what I wish to discuss, didn't even enter my mind, until after he'd already gone, or you're right, I would have. So do I have your word, everyone? You'll all be here during Kal's weekly visit on the fourth?"

Everyone nodded. Kyle quietly asked, "Don't I warrant at least a hint?"

Isabel nodded, and agreed, "You do, actually. Ask me for that, right after we consummate our marriage, okay?"

Kyle kissed her lips, smiled and then agreed, "I will do that, Mrs. Valenti."

By four o'clock p.m. celebrating the wedding of Kyle and Isabel had wrapped up.

Michael and Maria had left even before that to go to a hotel together for the night.

The dinner menu was supposed to feed seven people, twice. Ava opted out of dinner with the remaining two couples, in favour of going to the public library, insisting she'd eat something either on the way there or else on the way back.

Kyle suggested, "What if we barbecue, instead? That way we use up the meat?,

"Hey, Pookie, we can let Lex have his favourite canned pasta, tonight, instead, couldn't we? He doesn't like meat, if it's still on the bone and well, it's pork chops, tonight."

Isabel nodded, "Let's not make a habit of it, but yes, for tonight Lex can have mini beef ravioli. I'll sneak extra veggies into him, somehow, tomorrow. Pork chops on the barbie sounds awesome!"

Max also nodded agreeably and said, "Hey, you're the cook, tonight. Whatever you want to do, is fine by me."

Liz concurred with the others and they left Kyle to it.

Kyle made four baked potatoes, steamed green beans and a baby spinach leaf salad, with halved cherry tomatoes and feta cheese, to go with the chops.

While he was grilling the last batch of chops, his mind wandered to his wedding night, ahead, and a couple of the chops caught fire. He nearly cussed, "Oh, sh ... oot!", and he managed to get the flames out, but the chops were pretty charred.

Not wanting to admit to the others, how he'd burned part of the dinner, he used his powers on the chops, expecting the burning process to reverse but nothing happened. Curious if he even still had powers, he purposely spilled a kid friendly tumbler of water and then used his powers, again. It was like the spill never happened.

Kyle muttered to himself, "Good to know that there's a limit, I guess."

Rather than explain what had happened, Kyle cut away most of the charred parts and served what was left of those chops to himself for dinner.

After dinner, while Kyle and Isabel got the kids bathed and ready for bed, Max did his assigned kitchen chores and Liz redid the January chore schedule because it had gotten messy from all the changes to it from the results of casino night. She finished it before Lex made it to bed and so she requested that he put the new one up.

Lex did as he was asked with an air of pride and feeling important. He gave everyone hugs and kisses goodnight and then went to bed happily.

Liz and Max decided to stay downstairs and watch a movie while waiting up for Ava to get back from the library, at least in part to give Kyle and Isabel some temporary privacy on their wedding night.

To their mutual surprise, Kyle and Isabel didn't immediately start making out as soon as they were alone, together but instead found themselves sitting on the edge of Kyle's air mattress, holding hands and just feeling close as they decompressed from the beautiful but hectic day they'd just shared.

Kyle blurted quietly, "It was quite possibly the worst proposal in the history of proposals but you still said yes and then you actually did it! You married me, today. I don't think it's fully sunk in yet. Isabel Evans married me. Just wow."

Isabel squeezed his hand, kissed his cheek and insisted with a smile, "When you know it's the right person, like I did, then the delivery of the proposal doesn't matter all that much.

I married my best friend today and that makes me the happiest I've ever been. Besides, whenever I think of your proposal, all I remember is how adorable you were! I love you, for you, Kyle Valenti."

Kyle quipped solemnly, "Because I'm the best and Isabel Evans settles for nothing less."

They looked at each other straight-faced for only a few seconds before chuckling together and Isabel concurred, "Oh, you know it! Except for one tiny detail; my name is Isabel Valenti, now."

Kyle stared into her eyes, shook his head and muttered, "Call Ripley's.", and he kissed his wife with the reverence and awe that he was feeling.

They didn't rush through making love. They placed soft kisses on each others skin as it was revealed during the removal of their clothing. They explored each other with their mouths and fingertips and somewhere along the way their bodies joined as one flesh, by mutual desire and consent. Kyle continued adoring his wife beyond his own satisfaction, until she trembled with emotional and sensual ecstasy in his arms.

They clung to each other afterward, exchanging soft kisses, with their fingers laced together. Isabel whispered in his ear and Kyle didn't process what she'd whispered, for nearly ten seconds. He looked into her eyes and said with a soft smile, "I'm pretty sure that qualifies as more than a hint about what you want to discuss on the fourth."

Isabel nodded, laughed self-consciously and asked him, "Is that all you have to say?"

Kyle asked, "Confirmed by Ava during the girl talk?"

Isabel nodded, looking at him in concern. Kyle smiled and declared, "This day, no, my life, my entire life, just keeps getting better and better, Mrs. Valenti!"

Isabel asked tentatively, "So you aren't freaked out?"

Kyle caressed her abdomen and asked, "If by freaked out, you really mean, am I overcome with joy? Then yes, I am completely freaked out."

Isabel laughed through relieved tears and admitted, "Well, I was freaked out, at first. I mean I thought it could only happen during breeding pains. If I'd known that it could happen in between times, too, Kyle, then I would have forced myself to tolerate condoms, to give us more time, as just us, you know?"

Kyle countered, "We weren't just us, anyway, Pookie. I'm more than okay with this. The only possible down side, is that now Charlie needs to be aged up, too and that will delight a certain shape-shifter we know. Ahh, that's the real reason you want the big pow wow on the fourth! Makes sense.

After this baby comes, do you maybe want to give that birth control concoction a try? Instead of condoms? If it works then great! More reasonable space between this baby and the next, without resorting to aging up the kids, anymore, if we ever do have more and if it doesn't work, then I guess we get another new person to love and claim as family. I don't mind either outcome. You?"

Isabel winced and declined, "Even if he swears to me that it's safe, I wouldn't want this baby to ingest it through my breast milk, though."

Kyle nodded emphatically and agreed, "Oh, yeah, definitely not! That's why I meant that we should get it for me. I'll go on it. I'm not so crazy about condoms, either."

Isabel's jaw dropped and she asked incredulously, "For you? You'd do that, Kyle? For real?"

Kyle shrugged, nodded and smiled as he confirmed, "Yeah, of course I would. If it doesn't work, we have more kids sooner, if it does work we can have more kids when we choose it and if it permanently sterilises me, then, hey we're stopped at three kids. All outcomes are okay for me."

Isabel caressed his face and said with a teasing smile, "How very zen of you! I will actually contact Kal in the morning and ask him in advance because if I remember right didn't he say that the birth control one is the fussiest one to make?"

Kyle's eyes widened and he confessed, "I have no idea. I can't even think straight, right now because one, I just found out I helped create life and two, there is an incredibly beautiful and sexy, very naked woman in my bed and I think I might be her husband. I'm a little afraid that an alarm clock is about to wake me up."

Isabel kissed him deeply and assured, "You're definitely her husband and whether you're waking or dreaming, the truth of that remains, so you needn't fear the alarm, anymore."

Kyle smiled and said proudly, "Ahh, my voice of reason strikes again!"

Isabel smiled at him seductively, nodded and then she resumed making love with him, as if they hadn't ever stopped.


January 4th 2003

After Kal's final assessment and dosing of Lex, he let Isabel know that he was done, as she'd ordered him to do, and she gathered the crew in the living room.

Only Ava and Kyle didn't look curious, both already knowing the announcement that Isabel was about to make.

Isabel took a deep breath, smiled and announced, "Kyle and I are expecting!"

Michael asked skeptically, "How can you possibly know that, after just what, two nights? Plus wait a second, hold up, isn't it too soon for breeding pains to return, already? Did they, though, Isabel?"

Isabel commended Michael, "So, it's not just me who misunderstood that part of things! Thank-you, Michael! Apparently, our monthly cycles matter, too, with or without the breeding pains."

Max asked, "So wait, you're saying you got pregnant between breeding pains?"

Isabel nodded and Liz blurted out, "In that case, Ava, let's not wait for yours to come back, either, before you get pregnant with Max's child. Whenever you're ready, let's just go for it and get our family started!"

The four adults and one shape-shifter, who were not in on that particular loop, looked between Ava, Liz and Max, with stunned expressions and asked, "Your what?!"
Last edited by Fidomom on Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
~FM :)

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Re: Finding Something Better by Fidomom (AU,M/M,TEEN/ADULT) Ch1-14/? - 01/24/19

Post by keepsmiling7 » Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:27 pm

Kal has been most handy, to provide a "nest egg" for the children and to perform the wedding for Isabel and Kyle. Oh it's also nice he can clean up the paper trail.
LOL......Maria's 3rd trimester funny and true.
Liz admitted she didn't hate Max's child with my surprise too.
This idea of three parents for a child is still a new idea to me...........and I can't help but have some concerns with the Liz/Max/Ava deal. Liz is so anxious to be a mother..........hope it works out.

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Re: Finding Something Better by Fidomom (AU,M/M,TEEN/ADULT) Ch1-14/? - 01/24/19

Post by Fidomom » Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:35 pm

keepsmiling7 wrote:Kal has been most handy, to provide a "nest egg" for the children and to perform the wedding for Isabel and Kyle. Oh it's also nice he can clean up the paper trail.
LOL......Maria's 3rd trimester funny and true.
Liz admitted she didn't hate Max's child with my surprise too.
This idea of three parents for a child is still a new idea to me...........and I can't help but have some concerns with the Liz/Max/Ava deal. Liz is so anxious to be a mother..........hope it works out.
Expect unconventional to be a regular thing in this one, Carolyn. None of them are normal, so their lives won't be either, haha! I think I'm team Ava when it comes to Kal but yeah, I guess he's coming in useful for some stuff.

Thanks for reading and taking time to comment; I always appreciate your feedback! :)

~FM :)

Title: Finding Something Better
Author: Fidomom
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. It is only loosely based on characters from the 1999-2002 tv series Roswell as I imagine they could be from different points throughout and beyond the three seasons of the show. I am not affiliated with any of the original creations nor creators from the series. I will make no monetary gains from publishing this work of fiction.
Pairings/Characters/Category: Michael & Maria, Max & Liz, Kyle, Isabel, Ava, CC, UC, AU, w/Aliens
Rating: Teen
Summary: This chapter - Maria calls out both Liz and Michael, while adjusting to being in her third trimester of pregnancy. Michael doesn't spare Charlie from his nick names thing. Isabel's and Kyle's privacy is inadvertently compromised. Kyle helps Lex adjust to becoming a big brother, now that he's aged up enough for it to affect him. Ava makes Liz cry. Max calls Maria out.

Finding Something Better
by Fidomom

Chapter Fifteen

January 4th, 2003.

Before anyone else could say another word, Maria took Liz by the elbow and excused to the room, "We'll be right back!"

Liz sighed and willingly let Maria drag her away to the garage. Once they were alone, Maria blurted out, "What's going on, Liz? Did he cheat on you again and you're just covering with this, as if it's your idea?"

Liz laughed and quickly assured, "No, Maria, of course he didn't cheat on me, again! That's not ... okay listen, this is my idea. I promise you."

Maria asked suspiciously, "Is she already pregnant?"

Liz insisted, "No."

Maria implored emphatically, "Then don't do this, Liz! I remember all too well what you went through when Tess was pregnant and you do not need to revisit that!"

Liz smiled at Maria and said, "This is why I love you, girl. You always have my back but I need you to listen and really hear me, okay? I want to make a family with Max and Ava. Not unlike the situation with you, Michael, Isabel, Kyle and Charlie.

Max and I have talked about this, a lot and we've both reached the same conclusion; that the only way I'll ever get to be a parent is to be a step parent, like you and Kyle both are to Charlie. Ava has wanted to be a Mom for as long as she can remember but it turned out that she couldn't make that happen, in the usual way, and Max wan-"

Maria interrupted, "What does that mean? Couldn't make it happen in the usual way? Is she infertile? No, wait, then how could she make a baby with Max? I'm so confused right now."

Liz explained, "Ava doesn't feel attracted to anyone. Not men, not women; no one."

Maria asked suspiciously, "So she doesn't want to seduce Max and steal him from you, like Tess tried to do?"

Liz chuckled and assured Maria, "No, she really doesn't! She's not wired that way, like, at all, Maria! Come on, you know Ava! She is nothing like Tess! She's our actual friend. She's an important part of our crew. And, besides, I would never even consider it, as an option, if that's what had to happen, in order for this to work."

Maria asked in confusion, "Then how the heck is she going to get pregnant, if she doesn't have sex with Max?"

Liz looked at Maria in amusement and waited. Two seconds later, Maria exclaimed, "Oh! You mean like Isabel did? You do know it was a long shot, that it even worked, right? I mean fertility clinics generally keep that stuff on ice, for a reason, you know?"

Liz pointed out, "Well, since Max and Ava can't exactly go the clinical route, this is our only shot, long or not and all three of us want to take it."

Maria cautioned, "Okay, but the idea of it might seem great and unthreatening but how will you actually feel if Max creates a child with her? I mean really, Liz?"

Liz asked gently, "Do you resent Charlie, in any way? Or Michael's bond with her? Or Michael's bond with Isabel, now that they share not just the same origins but a child together, as well?"

Maria opened her mouth, then snapped it shut and shook her head before answering, "No, of course, I don't. I have no regrets about what I did. But Liz, as kindred as you and I are, in most ways, you are not me. Are you really sure that this isn't just another road to breaking your own heart?"

Liz grasped Maria's hand and said through tears and a smile, "I really believe that this is a road to filling my heart and my life with joy. I'm sure about this, Maria."

Maria searched Liz's face for several seconds and then she hugged Liz fiercely as she committed, "Then I support you, one hundred percent because I love you so much, Liz Parker!"

Liz gasped and giggled, as she felt Maria's unborn child move abruptly between them and Maria stated, as she released Liz, "Baby obviously agrees, too, so it's settled, then. But Liz? If things don't go how you imagine; if it's not all joy, you'll tell me, right?"

Liz nodded and pointed out, "Of course I would but if that happens, you'll already know, before I ever get to say a word to you about it and I know you'll just be there for me."

Maria squeezed Liz's hand and promised faithfully, "Always."

Liz offered her elbow to Maria and invited, "Shall we head back inside, now? I'm supposing you are not alone with your reservations about our plans and the three of us could probably use some back up, with the others."

Maria linked her elbow with Liz's and they went back into the house. They didn't even make it back to the living room before they found out that Liz's bombshell had been overshadowed by something else.

They quickened their pace upon hearing Isabel practically shout, "No! I don't care about your recommendations this time, Mr. Langley! They are my children and I will not consent to this! You said six! Lex is now for all appearances sake, six and you are not aging him up further, just so that Charlie can be aged up to your comfort zone!,

"Michael? Maria? Could you please back me up on this?"

Michael piped up, "I was just waiting for my wife to get back, but, sorry, Kojak, Charlie is my daughter, too and I agree with Isabel."

Maria left Liz's side to stand with Michael and she requested, in his ear, "Cliffnotes?"

Michael filled her in, "When the new kid is born, Kojak wants Lex to age up another two years, so that Charlie can be aged up to six and still maintain the plausible age-gap because that works better for him."

Maria sent a look to Kal that made him fidget uncomfortably and she admonished him, "These are not lab rats, Mr. Langley. These are human beings, well hybrid, but still. They're children. Children we love. You can't just expect us to be okay with you permanently messing with their lives, just to make you more comfortable. Lives Mr. Langley. Life, all life, is precious on this particular rock in the universe.

Find a compromise because I'm with Isabel and Michael on this one. Because it works better for you is not a compelling enough reason to rob Lex, or us, of nearly his whole childhood. Charlie does not need to be six years old just because that's what you prefer. And don't spout any ~you children don't understand the gravity of the danger you're in~ nonsense at us because it doesn't apply. We won't be in any greater danger if Charlie isn't aged up to six.

Why not four and a half, or so? Still capable of walking, talking and reasoning, which were the reasons you cited for aging Lex to six in the first place. Just to put it out there. Obviously, Isabel and Michael have final say."

Max quipped to Kal, "Looks like you are out voted on this one, Kal. I would consider it harmful if you were to administer any further elixir to Lex, and there is the little matter of the vow you made to me about protecting all of us and not just the so called Royal Four."

Isabel gave Max a tearful, grateful smile and said, "Thanks, little brother!,

"I like Maria's suggestion. I will consent to Charlie being aged up to not older than four and a half. Only if her Daddy agrees, to it, too, though. And most definitely no more elixir for my son! I just want him to have something resembling a normal childhood, from now on."

Kyle reminded his wife, "You do remember that we're all on the run from the shady and corrupt part of the feds, though, right? Normal is highly unattainable, no matter if Lex takes more elixir or not. I vote for no more elixir, too, though, I'm just saying. We should maybe discuss re-evaluating our expectations going forward. I mean who here thought on the day that we left, that we would even have kids with us, at this point?"

Isabel asked Kyle in wounded dismay, "Did you just wish my babies out of existence?"

Kyle rushed to refute, "No, Pookie, of course not! That isn't at all what I was saying! I'm just saying our lives have all changed a lot and it doesn't benefit us to hold onto the ideals that fit our lives, before all of this. You're the one who taught me that, when I had my little freakout, over the Christmas tree incident."

Isabel was visibly relieved by his explanation and she nodded in understanding.

Michael interjected, "I agree with yours and Maria's decision, Isabel. Up to four and a half, only. Also, I'm sorry for not getting what a big deal it was for you, when Lex aged up.

I'm kind of uneasy about watching Charlie speed through her first four years of life that should actually take her four years of living, but instead will take less than two months.,

"I do have one stipulation, Kojak; you will never be alone with my daughter, not even just in the next room, where we can hear you. One of us will chaperone your weekly visits and if you don't like that, too damned bad. You've been a little too blatantly interested in her powers, for my liking."

Isabel and Maria exchanged a look and backed Michael up, in unison, "We agree with Michael."

Ava piped up, "Can I elect myself as a chaperone? We all know, I don't like him or trust him. I'll keep very close tabs on exactly how he interacts with Charlie, as she ages up."

Michael asked her, "What about when you've got a kid of your own? Are you really going to want yours anywhere near him, while you chaperone him with Charlie?"

Ava countered, "If I ever have a child, then the term ~of my own~, will not apply. Said child will have two other parents besides just me, pulling protective duty."

Liz added, wincing a little, "And if there's ever more than one, then, we will, at some point, have to make this same decision, too, so avoiding allowing Mr. Langley to be near our children, isn't really realistic, anyway, you know?"

Ava teared up and smiled at Liz, as she admitted, "I can hardly imagine even having one child and to hear you talk about more than one, like it really could happen; just ... thank-you. Both."

Max addressed Kal again, "You're awfully quiet, Kal. What? No lectures? No arguments?"

Kal spoke quietly, "Only an apology. To the Commander. Life is precious, indeed. That's what all of this was for. The entire mission.

It seems, I'd lost sight of that, in my haste to reach certain ideals. I apologise, Commander; I truly never intended harm to either of the children. They are both miraculous beings.

Four and a half years is enough development for me to work with, after all. I'll see myself out and expect to see you all, again, not sooner than upon the birth of The Royal Princess' third child."

Maria confessed to Michael, as soon as Kal had left, "I always forget about that whole Commander thing until he mentions it. Is that weird? I mean if I am that, then shouldn't I be like, I don't know, hyper aware of my own alleged importance, or something? Because I'm so not. I seriously keep forgetting that it's even a thing."

Michael smirked and whispered in her ear, "You wouldn't forget so easily, if you'd been the one who got summoned right out of your clothes."

Maria abruptly looked at him and fought a smile as she declared, "Well, it's a good thing we are almost always together, then or that would probably happen a lot more frequently! You were always on my mind...", she sang the last.

Michael chuckled appreciatively, said, "Definitely a good thing." and then he kissed her several times in a row.


Friday, January 17, 2003.

After dinner, right in the middle of bathing Charlie before her bedtime, Isabel suddenly felt sick to her stomach. She called out to Kyle, "Froggy, get in here! I need you!"

Kyle came rushing in, asking in concern, "What is it? What's wrong?"

Isabel gestured to Charlie and ordered, "You have to take over because, oh God, I'm so sorry to do this in front of you!", and the moment he had his hands on Charlie, Isabel bolted to the toilet and revisited a deteriorated version of her dinner.

Charlie fussed some when Kyle didn't resume washing her, because he was too distracted by his wife throwing up. Kyle returned his attention to bathing Charlie, even as he stated, "So ten hours or so to go. Been together all day and as far as I know, this is the first time that you've ... done that, today."

Isabel caught her breath, nodded, flushed, stood up to rinse both the outside and the inside of her mouth, with water from the sink faucet and then she asked, "Have Max give Kal the heads up, okay? I'm alright now. That wave has passed, I'll finish up with Charlie. And hey, Froggy? Thanks for the save. I love you."

Kyle flirted, "You're really sexy when you say things like that, to me!"

Isabel laughed skeptically and pointed out, "I just up-chucked in front of you, plus I'm as big as a freaking house, so I'm not buying it!"

Kyle stood behind her, nuzzled the side of her neck and rubbed his palms slowly across her swollen belly as he insisted, "Mmmhmm, and I love this house! That's our baby in there. Nothing sexier to me than knowing that and remembering how it happened."

Isabel half-heartedly admonished him, "Could you not come on to me and not try to make out with me, while I'm trying to bathe the current baby?"

Kyle stipulated, "While I'm in the same room, as you? No. I really can't not."

Isabel laughed and ordered, "Then I'm rain checking you! Get out! No pouting allowed, either!"

Kyle huffed in exasperation and obliged, "Fine. Off to do your bidding then. I love you, Pookie."

When Kyle entered the living room, the rest of the crew looked at him expectantly. Kyle asked self-consciously, "What?"

Liz asked pointedly, "How long do we have before the baby comes? She puked, right?"

Kyle muttered almost to himself, "Wow. I mean we all know sound carries too well in this house but we're usually polite enough to pretend otherwise. To answer your question, Liz, yes, she threw up. First time today, so if it goes like with the first two, maybe there's a baby, just before sunrise?"

Max informed him, "I already called Kal."

Kyle fidgeted uncomfortably and asked, "So like did all of you eavesdrop on our entire conversation?"

Ava offered contritely, "After we heard that tell tale sign, we couldn't turn our ears off. Sorry, Kyle."

Kyle sighed and muttered, "What I wouldn't give for some privacy."

Michael scoffed unsympathetically, "Welcome to our world."

Max offered solace, "Kal said he's working on it. He reminded me again that we need to be ready to just pick up and leave at a moment's notice."

Maria asked Max, "Did you tell him that I need an attached bathroom, in the next place? Make sure he understands that!"

Liz smirked and teased her, "It would have a better chance of happening if you were the one ordering him to provide you with that .... Commander!"

Maria stuck her tongue out at Liz and complained half-joking, "Shut up! I'm not using that as leverage. Well, not just yet, anyway."

Michael quipped, "Then don't count on that attached bathroom, angelwife."

Maria harumphed and pouted, "You're supposed to be on my side, Michael!"

Michael insisted, "That is me being on your side."

Maria continued to pout as she compromised, "I'll think about it. Does anyone need the bathroom? I'd like to have a soak, as soon as Isabel is done in there with Charlie, before Lex needs to take his bath."

Michael brazenly flirted, "Do you need supervision? You know for safety. In case you slip or something?"

Maria declined still pouting a little, "No, I do not. If I need help I've got my bestie and Ava. Right, ladies?"

Ava assured Michael, "She'll be fine, Michael. We have her back, just like she said. Don't the three of you have random acts plans, anyway?"

Michael looked at Max and asked, "Oh, are we still doing that? Right now?"

Max looked at Kyle and asked, "Depends on if Kyle can tear himself away from his wife for a few hours, or not? Yeah, we know, she'll be going into labour soon but we've got time. You still with us, or not?"

Isabel entered the living room and answered for him, "Yes, he's still going with you. I insist. However, you'll both have to wait until after Michael puts his daughter to bed, first."

Michael's face lit up and he exclaimed, "It's about time, I get a turn! Hand her over!,

"How's Daddy's little Powerpuff Bubbles? You rule, don't you? Yeah, you do!"

Isabel admonished him, "Don't go getting her all wound up, please! It's not playtime, it's bedtime."

Michael cuddled Charlie to his shoulder and assured Isabel, "Yeah, I know. I got this!,

"Oh, but, hey, Maria? What about her lullabye?"

Maria kissed Charlie's head, then Michael's mouth and declined, "That's exactly why I made a recording. Use it. I have an urgent date with the bathtub, spaceboy. Sorry. But, umm, will you wake me up when you get home, please?"

Michael chuckled, kissed her cheek and agreed, "Yeah. Enjoy your soak. I love you both."

Maria smiled slightly at him and reciprocated, "We love you, too. Be careful tonight, please."

Max, Michael and Kyle all nodded in unison.

As Michael disappeared up the stairs, to put Charlie down, Maria informed Isabel, "I'll be about an hour. Is that fine for you?"

Isabel nodded and assured her, "Yep. My son and I will be spending some quality time together with some Candyland! We love that game! Enjoy your soak, Maria. No rush."

Liz complained jokingly, "Aww, I wanna play Candyland, too, but instead I'm on laundry sorting tonight!"

Ava concurred, "Yeah, and apparently our kitchen can't clean itself, either! Bummer!,

"I'll have my headphones on, Maria, but if you need us, just holler at Liz; she'll get my attention."

Maria nodded, smiled her appreciation and waddled slowly downstairs to get her after bath stuff.

On her return trip back up the stairs to go run her bath, she felt a little winded and she rubbed her belly, as she talked to her baby, "The bigger you get, the harder this is, darlin'. Just a couple more months to go, though. Mama can tough it out. You'll see.

To think by tomorrow morning, there'll be another baby in this house! Your Auntie Isabel will have had three babies, in the time it takes your Mama to grow you. I'm almost envious, but then there are drawbacks for her, too. Thankfully, your Daddy and I won't ever have to use that age elixir, on you."

After a half hour soak, the bath water was already cooler than Maria liked, so she let some water out and added more hot. Within five minutes of relaxing in the reheated bath water, her unborn baby moved so suddenly that the water splashed and startled Maria. She watched her belly continue to ripple and move. She kept expecting it to stop but it didn't. The longer it went on, the more it amused her. She laughed and spoke to the baby, "Aww, I wish your Daddy was here to see this!"

"Umm, Maria? I thought you didn't want me to supervise?"

Maria let out a little scream of surprise and then demanded, "Michael, what are you doing in here?! I thought you'd already left! Wait. How did you get in he-. Oh my God. You're naked. Did I do this? Where were you?"

Michael knelt beside the tub and put his hand on her still rippling belly, as he answered, "In the car with Max and Kyle."

Maria asked in overt concern, "Please tell me you were not driving?"

Michael kissed the side of her head and assured her, "No. I wasn't."

Maria said in a horrified whisper, "But you could have been. Oh my God, Michael. I didn't mean to. I wasn't even thinking. The baby was being so active and you were missing it but I never meant to do ... this. What if you'd been driving and the car killed someone? Or what if you'd been in public where other people could have seen you just suddenly disappear? I need to learn how to not do this by accident!"

Michael stroked her hair, then insisted, as he pawed through her discarded clothes for her phone "Calm down, Maria. Nothing bad happened. I should use your burner phone to let Maxwell know that I'm alright, though. Admittedly, I am relieved that you were alone, at least, too.,

"Hey, Maxwell. Yeah, I'm fine. Yep, it was just Maria. No, no, she's fine. She just forgot this could happen. The baby was being active and she wanted me to see it. Nah, Maria can get me something from our room. No sense cutting things short, on my account. I'll make up for it later. Yeah. Go do good deeds, bro. Later."

As Michael ended the call, Maria suggested to him, "Even though they probably already know because paper thin walls, you might want to give the ladies a heads up that you are suddenly here, again, even though they know you left quite a while ago."

Michael nodded and sent texts to all three of them, then set Maria's phone aside and inquired, "You almost done in there?"

Maria begged, "Ten more minutes? It's just being in the water makes me feel loads less heavy."

Michael nodded with a soft smile and asked, "Want me to do your back?"

Maria looked at him for several seconds without saying anything and then she started to lean forward even as she defended, "This isn't why I wanted you here, though, but it's not like I can ever refuse that offer, either. Just so we're clear!"

Michael chuckled and admitted, as he lathered up her back and then scratched her entire back with his nearly non-existent fingernails, "I ain't mad about being here, with you, no matter what your reasons were."

Maria moaned and praised, "God, spaceboy, that feels so good! I'm still embarrassed about how you got here but I'm definitely not mad that you are here, either."

Michael chuckled and made another offer, "Water's a bit on the chilly side; you want a reheat?"

Maria stated regretfully, "I'm only in here for ten more minutes, though."

Michael kissed her head and said decisively, "Then you're gonna have perfect water temperature for those ten minutes."

Maria said softly, "I'm sorry for declining your supervision, earlier. This is really nice, Michael. I love you."

Michael grinned and winked at her, as he advised, "Remember this, for next time, then."

Maria chuckled, then pouted and demanded, "Kiss your very pregnant wife, please."

Michael smirked, nodded, said, "Yeah.", and then obliged her demand slowly and thoroughly.


It was nearly midnight by the time Max and Kyle returned. Max smiled kindly at Maria but suggested, "We should probably talk about the summoning thing, in the morning."

Maria nodded, agreeably, blushing slightly with residual embarrassment as she requested, "Could we maybe just keep it between our crew, though? I really don't want to deal with Mr. Langley's commentary about it. At least not yet, or anytime soon, either."

Max nodded but stipulated, "For now, yes. You might like his input on this later, though, since he knows more about it, than our crew does."

Maria nodded her concession and after Isabel promised to wake them all up when her labour started, everyone turned in to get some shut eye before the arrival of her third child.

January 18th, 2003.

Isabel got up to pee at six twenty-two according to the bedside alarm and she still wasn't in labour. Charlie was starting to fuss when she tried to go back to bed so she just brought her to bed with her to nurse her. Isabel dozed off during the nearly twenty minute session and she was roused to full alertness by her water breaking.

She poked at Kyle's shoulder and hissed, "Kyle! It's time! My water just broke!"

Kyle was instantly awake and he made a dismayed face as he noted, "Apparently. I'll go get some clean bedding. Do you want me to put her back in her crib or take her to her Dad?"

Isabel complained, "Your first child is about to be born! You're being awfully calm, Froggy!"

Kyle shook his head and refuted quietly, "Nooooo, Pookie, I am not. I just have to do something useful so that I don't panic like a complete idiot and make you instantly regret that I'm the father of the baby that's about to be born."

Isabel smiled warmly at him and insisted, "Silly, Froggy! I could never regret that! Please take Charlie to Michael and ask Ava to look after Lex just until our baby is born?"

About an hour later, everyone except for Isabel, Kyle and Liz were sitting around the kitchen island trying to wake up, with various hot beverages, when they heard Liz say encouragingly, "Just one more big one, Isabel! You can do it!", followed by a short yell and a few seconds later, at seven thirty-four, on the morning of January the eighteenth, two thousand and three, the cry of a newborn baby, put smiles on everyone's faces.

Kyle shouted out excitedly, intending them all to hear him, "We have another son! I have another son!"

Michael frowned in confusion, still not quite fully awake but cuddling his daughter against his shoulder, as he mumbled, between sips of coffee, "Another son? What is he- oh. The Prozac kid. Right. Got it. Cool.,

"Hear that, Bubbles? Now, you're the Powerpuff filling in a brother sandwich; one older and one younger. Your brothers are so lucky! Yeah, you know it, don't you, Charlie B. !"

Lex said excitedly, "I got a little brother, now, too?! I wanna see! Auntie Ava, can we go see, now? Please, please, please?!"

Maria pointed to the ceiling and asked, "Ummm, who is doing that?"

Everyone looked up to see colours swirling across the ceiling in something that resembled a cross between the light from a prism and the aurora borealis with sparkles.

They all looked at each other and then all eyes focused on Charlie in wonder. Max's eyes widened and he said, "I think there are Antarian symbols in there."

Max quickly jotted down what he thought he saw and then he said, "You guys go on up and say hi. I'm going to figure out what that says from Alex's decryption code. Hopefully it won't take too long. Tell Isabel I'll be up in a bit."

Maria took Charlie from Michael, and he escorted them up the stairs, right behind Ava and Lex.

Ava knocked on Kyle's old bedroom door and asked, "Can we come in and say hi to the new baby, yet?"

Lex whispered with loud urgency, "Mommy, please! I need to see my baby brother!"

Kyle opened the door, swooped Lex up in his arms, kissed his cheek and agreed, "Yes, you do, Lex, buddy! Come on in, guys!"

Isabel turned the baby in her arms to face them all and she said, "Everyone, Kyle and I would like to introduce you to our son, Philip James Valenti! Oh. Wait. Where's Max?"

Max answered as he entered the room, "Right here. Sorry for the delay, sis.,

"Hey little guy, welcome to the family!"

Maria quipped, "Okay that was super fast, Max. Did you decipher it, already? What does it say?"

Isabel asked, "Decipher what?"

Maria pointed to the ceiling, again and answered, "That."

Isabel and Kyle looked up and gasped softly, in unison, then Isabel asked carefully, "Is that my daughter doing that?"

Michael objected, "She's more than just yours, but yeah, most likely, unless it's the new baby doing it, except the colour cloud followed Charlie up here, so it's probably Charlie."

Isabel addressed Max, "So? What do the symbols mean?"

Max unfolded the paper in his hand and passed it around. Kyle was the last one to read it and he read it out loud, "Jamie."

Isabel pouted and admitted, "I had my heart set on calling him PJ for short but I'm not about to argue with my daughter's colour cloud, so Jamie, it is, I guess."

Max asked, "PJ? Why? What's my newest nephew's full name?"

Isabel repeated herself, "Philip James Valenti. I'm surprised you didn't hear it the first time."

Max smiled and said, "Force of habit not to pay close attention. Dad would love that name. So would Sher- I mean Deputy Valenti. It's a great name."

Lex chimed in, "But Lex is the best name, right, Mommy?"

Max suggested to Lex, "It's not really a competition, Lex. Everyone's name is great for them. Yours fits you just right and so does Jamie's fit him. Okay?"

Lex pondered that, smiled slightly, nodded and agreed, "Okay. I still think mine is the best, though.,

"Daddy, can we go to the park, now?"

Isabel started to answer for Kyle, "Lex, honey, Daddy-", but Kyle interrupted her to answer for himself, "Absolutely, son. Go pick one toy for the sandpit and I'll take you, as soon as I give Mommy and Jamie a kiss goodbye, okay?"

Lex's face lit up and as soon as Kyle set him on his feet, again, he raced out of the room. Isabel searched Kyle's eyes and asked, "Are you sure, Froggy?"

Kyle kissed her, then Jamie and insisted, "Yeah. I think maybe I could use some energy burn off, myself. This has been a pretty exciting morning. We won't be gone long. I love you, Pookie."

Ava cleared her throat before he could leave the room, though, and then she said softly, "I was waiting until after the baby was born to say this. Liz? Max? It worked. I'm pregnant. First week in February, I think, we'll have our first child."

Liz burst into happy tears and asked, "Really? It worked? We get to be Moms together?"

Ava's eyes watered, as she smiled and nodded. Max reached for Liz to give her a hug and a kiss and then they both hugged Ava together.

Maria said carefully, "Congratulations?"

Liz chuckled and confirmed, "Yes, Maria, this is good news, I promise!"

Maria asked, as she rubbed her own pregnant belly, "Should I go buy a cake? I could eat cake."

Isabel concurred with enthusiasm, "God yes! Cake sounds so good right now!"

Michael frowned at both of them and said, "It's barely eight o'clock in the morning. You're both being weird."

Maria shushed him and ordered, "Sure mister half a box of sugar heavy cereal for breakfast, not half an hour ago! But we're weird? Right. Whatever, spaceboy. Here, you take Charlie and help her visit with her Mommy and new little brother, Jamie. I'm definitely going out to buy a cake, now."

Lex returned with a toy dump truck, just in time to hear Maria and he said, "Don't eat it without me, though, Auntie Maria! I want cake, too!,

"Daddy, can I have cake, too?"

Kyle answered, "Sure, buddy, but let's go play at the park, first, okay? They'll save us some."

Michael stated bluntly, "Fine, Maria, but you're not driving to the store without a chaperone. What if the baby comes early?,

"Who's going with her?"

Max volunteered, "I will.,

"Is there anything else I can pick up for you, while we're out, Isabel?"

Isabel declined and everyone else left Michael and Charlie alone with Isabel and Jamie.

Liz and Ava returned to the kitchen to talk about impending motherhood, and to have another hot beverage, while Liz made breakfast for everyone, who hadn't already eaten, yet.


With a celebratory cake, on the floor of the backseat, of the Frankenmobile, Max and Maria made the return trip, back to the house. Max asked conversationally, "So, Commander, what would you like to do about the summoning thing?"

Maria winced and admitted, "I was wondering when you would get around to taking me to task over that. To be perfectly honest, Max, I have no idea. You?"

Max shrugged with a slight smirk on his face, as he answered, "Yeah, I do. But spaceboy won't like it. Neither will Kal, for that matter."

Maria predicted, "We'll see about that. Because I don't want it to happen anymore, unless I really mean it. Like, maybe for emergencies only, you know?"

Max concurred, "Exactly. We're on the same page, there, Maria!"

Maria prompted, "Okay, then, so lay it on me, girlfriend. What's your idea?"
Last edited by Fidomom on Fri May 15, 2020 7:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
~FM :)

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Re: Finding Something Better by Fidomom (AU,M/M,TEEN/ADULT) Ch1-15/? - 03/05/19

Post by keepsmiling7 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:34 pm

I'm having a hard time accepting the fact that Liz would be happy by only being a step-parent.
You stated that Ava wasn't really parent material........
Guess I'll just have to keep reading.
I did like the name........Phillip James Valenti, that covers all bases.

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Re: Finding Something Better by Fidomom (AU,M/M,TEEN/ADULT) Ch1-15/? - 03/05/19

Post by Fidomom » Wed May 06, 2020 12:20 am

Author's note: Computer technical difficulties and life in general have collaborated to keep me from updating this fic, in all this time. Computer situation is still not ideal but I do intend to finish writing and posting this story, slowly but surely. Thanks for reading, if you are.
keepsmiling7 wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:34 pm
I'm having a hard time accepting the fact that Liz would be happy by only being a step-parent.
You stated that Ava wasn't really parent material........
Guess I'll just have to keep reading.
I did like the name........Phillip James Valenti, that covers all bases.
@keepsmiling7: I've appreciated your consistent feedback but I feel like there's a misunderstanding with regards to Ava. She has insecurities to be sure but she will be a good Mom. She's proven that she's good with kids in her interactions with Lex. I know it will be an unusual situation with Ava, Max and Liz sharing the parenting of any kids that Max and Ava have, but currently, in real life, it is not that unusual. Lots of families are doing this quite successfully. Ava, Max and Liz will just be doing so, at a time, way before it became less unusual. If anyone can achieve this three parents family thing, with "grace and aplomb" and continue to be happily married to Max, it's Liz Parker; she's definitely got this.

~FM :)

Title: Finding Something Better
Author: Fidomom
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. It is only loosely based on characters from the 1999-2002 tv series Roswell as I imagine they could be from different points throughout and beyond the three seasons of the show. I am not affiliated with any of the original creations nor creators from the series. I will make no monetary gains from publishing this work of fiction.
Pairings/Characters/Category: Michael & Maria, Max & Liz, Kyle, Isabel, Ava, CC, UC, AU, w/Aliens
Rating: Teen
Summary: This chapter - Maria is testy from being tested. Michael's plans don't sit well with everyone. Max maintains his authority with Kal. Liz and Ava bond even more. Isabel shares her concerns with Kyle. Kal makes yet another mistake. Kyle embarrasses himself. Charlie is learning things quickly.
Author's Note: warnings=none

Finding Something Better
by Fidomom

Chapter Sixteen

January 28th, 2003 7:08 p.m. PST

Maria answered her burner phone grudgingly and scowled upon seeing that it was exactly who she suspected. She answered as if she didn't also know exactly why he was calling, "Yes? Can I help you with something, Max?"

Max said simply, "It's that time again, Maria. Are you alone? Can you do it?"

She fidgeted and rubbed her baby bump out of habit, as she tried to dissuade him from his request, "That is beside the point! I don't want to do this, again, thank-you very much! It doesn't feel right! Okay? It's starting to feel like I'm exploiting his feelings for me or something. Come on, please, don't make me do this. There has to be some other way to figure this out!"

Max replied with compassion, "I understand what you're saying, Maria and I know it makes you uneasy but if he felt like he was being exploited, he wouldn't even co-operate, at all and you know it."

Maria stalled a bit longer, asking, "Well, can you at least tell me how far away you guys are, this time? Max, seriously, what if I get it wrong? Or my reach isn't strong enough? Like what if I lose him between there and here? How would I even live with that? What would I tell the baby? Sorry baby you had a great Daddy but Mama lost him?"

Max chuckled and asked curiously, "Lost him? What are you talking about, now?"

Maria blurted worriedly, "What if I get distracted mid-thought and poof he just disappears and we can't find him? Or oh my God, what if I sneeze or something? I mean where would he end up?"

Max sighed and gently coerced her, "That's why we're doing this. So that, going forward, you'll know with certainty, exactly how to bring him to you, no matter the distance or circumstance."

Maria mulled that over while she reminded him, "You didn't answer me, earlier; where are you guys, right now?"

Max explained with obvious discomfort, "He doesn't want you to know specifics; he just said to tell you, that we're further away than we were yesterday."

Maria pouted and objected indignantly, "Well, you can just tell my husband that, that is not at all helpful!"

Max replied with an amused undertone, "This is why he makes me be the one to call you. Something about that kind of back and forth arguing between the two of you, taking hours? Are you going to argue with me for hours, instead?"

Maria scowled and confessed, "No, because suddenly I actually want him within smacking distance, after all! Fine! You two win! I'll do it! Just gimme a sec or two. If it works, he'll call you right back. And for the record, I still really, really don't like this! At all!"

Max acknowledged before disconnecting, "Yeah, we know, you don't, Maria but it's important for all of us, to know what's possible."

They hung up with each other. Maria tried to shake off her nerves and rubbed her belly as she spoke to the baby, "Mama can do this, right, baby?"

The baby shifted under her hand and Maria accepted that as tacit agreement. Maria nodded and purposely held onto her annoyance with Michael, as she summoned him, to prove to herself that she could still succeed even if she was mad at him.

"Well, it worked, so do you think maybe you can quit being pissed at me, now?"

She pushed lightly at Michael's shoulder, scowling as she ordered, "No, so get dressed already."

Michael held up one finger, as he spoke into his burner phone, which he'd purposely left with Maria, "It worked. I'm with her now. What? Why? Fine, fine. Yes, I'll tell her. Huh? Yeah, her, too. Later."

Maria's eyes narrowed suspiciously as she demanded, "Tell 'her' who, and what? And before you answer, at least one of those 'her's, had better be me and the what, had better be the answer to the question I asked Max. Just how far away were you?"

Michael hesitated then asked, "Should I get dressed first, before I answer that?"

Maria's eyes widened and her jaw dropped as she exclaimed, "Oh my God! Am I going to hate the answer that much, Michael?"

Michael frowned in momentary confusion and answered, "What? Oh. No, no. The first thing you said to me was get dressed. I just wanted to know which thing was a priority?"

She hit him in the shoulder hard and replied, "Multitask!"

He unsuccessfully tried not to chuckle as he redressed and complained, "Ow. Spousal abuse much? We were in Nampa, Idaho."

Maria contritely rubbed his shoulder where she'd hit him and admitted self-consciously, "I may have not paid such close attention in geography as I should have. How far away is that from here?"

Michael shrugged and answered casually, "Three hundred miles."

Maria gasped and practically shouted, "Are you and Max insane? How could you do that? What if I couldn't bring you all the way? What if I'd like let go or something mid thought and left you stranded somewhere? Naked, even! Oh my God, Michael! So many things could have-"

Michael interrupted her panicked rant, firmly gripping her shoulders, as he looked her in the eye, and affirmed,"But they didn't. I'm here. You did it, okay? So quit freaking out. It's not good for either of you."

Maria's eyes shone with unshed tears of worry as she admonished, "Then don't make me keep testing this summoning thing anymore because I am definitely freaked out over the fact that I just yanked you three hundred freaking miles just by thinking it!"

Michael's eyes softened and he stated quietly, "At some point you're going to have to trust yourself, as much as I do. I'm not even a little bit freaked out. I knew it would work because even when I'm really pissed off at you, I still love you and I haven't even been mad like that in months. It works because I love you. And also because even when we're apart you never actually let go of me on some subconscious level, or something; I can always still feel you. And for the record, not only do I trust in that but I like it that way."

Maria caressed his cheek, sighed and lamented, "I shouldn't have been so quick to tell you to get dressed."

Michael smirked and suggested, "I can reverse that particular procedure, if that's what you want. Right after I break the news to your Science girl, that her husband is about four hours away."

Maria huffed and complained, "And I'm back to freaking out! Four hours, Michael? I brought you to me in seconds!"

Michael kissed her cheek quickly and advised, "Yep and I'm fine so quit it. Be right back to hear your decision on whether I'm staying dressed or not!"


Ava crossed paths with Michael as he was rushing from the living room and heading directly downstairs. She quirked an eyebrow guessing why he was rushing, then shrugged and continued on into the living room. Liz was sitting on one of the easy chairs, seemingly lost in thought. Ava hesitated a moment and then lightly cleared her throat before asking, "Liz? Is everything okay?"

Liz brightened immediately and reassured her, "What? Oh, yeah, yeah, everything's fine, Ava. It's just Michael just told me that Max won't be back until late tonight. He and Michael have been testing Maria's Commander powers at farther and farther distances lately and so Max has at least a four hour drive to get back here and he'll probably stop for a late dinner, besides. I was just missing him, that's all. He and Michael left around three and of course only Michael is already back, now, thanks to Maria. What's up? Is everything okay with you? How's our baby treating you?"

Ava smiled, waddled over to the other easy chair and sat heavily before answering, "He or she is being very active, otherwise, everything seems great! Kyle and Isabel were busy with getting Lex and Charlie down and Jamie got a little fussy, so Isabel asked me to check on him. He just needed a quick change and a cuddle. I had plans to try to sleep straight after but our baby has other ideas, apparently. I don't mind. I mean I am tired a lot more than I expected to be but when the baby moves around like this, I almost feel energised by it. I came looking for you because I thought you might like to feel this?"

Liz practically leapt out of her seat and with an enthusiatic smile on her face, she kneeled in front of Ava's chair to feel the baby moving. She beamed and said to Ava, "Wow, this is so amazing! I mean obviously I got to feel this with Isabel's babies and with Maria's but this is different because this one's ours, you know?"

Ava smiled and nodded, "Exactly! I think that's why I feel a bit hyper whenever it happens! It's a shame Max isn't here to feel it, too, this time."

Liz nodded and concurred, "He'll definitely regret that he missed it, but I suspect he'll still have other chances to feel it before baby makes an entrance."

"Definitely. Anyway, I won't be turning in anytime soon and you seem a bit at loose ends, too, so do you feel like playing cards or something, with me?", Ava asked tentatively.

Liz instantly agreed, "Yes. All my chores are done and I won't be able to sleep until Max is back, anyway, so cards to pass the time, sounds good to me. Crazy eights countdown, canasta or gin rummy?"

Ava mulled it over and answered, "Let's go with rummy and if we still finish before either of us is ready for sleep, then we can always switch to crazy eights countdown, later."

Liz got the cards out and Ava found pencil and paper to keep score.


Having finally gotten all three kids settled in for the night, Isabel and Kyle were in the kitchen doing next day's food prep together. She was mid-sentence, talking with Kyle about some of the things Charlie was already doing, way before Lex had, when the unmistakeable familiar sounds from the basement interrupted her. She and Kyle smirked at each other and Isabel raised her voice a little, to talk over it, without verbally acknowledging it, "As I was saying, it's not just that she is walking and talking, it's her level of comprehension, her ability to mimic each of us and to problem solve! According to the elixir schedule, she's only roughly eleven months old. Remember when Lex was at that stage? He was just as any eleven month old should be. Charlie is a whole other experience. It worries me, Froggy."

Kyle asked carefully, "Are you saying you're afraid of your own daughter?"

Isabel quickly shook her head and corrected him, "No! I'm afraid for her! Despite her development, she is so much still just a baby! She has no concept of the danger she is in just for existing, nevermind for openly expressing her powers. She doesn't hold back on whatever she's feeling, and normally that would be just fine, except that whenever Charlie is excited the toys dance, or if she's mad they break, if she's sad all the toys with faces cry. I mean she's expressing herself, which is good, but if she did that in front of anyone who isn't us or Kal, I'm just, I'm afraid for her.

And the mimicking thing, d'you know she umm already borrowed your ability to fix things, too? She got a little rough with Lex's favourite dinosaur earlier today, because she was cranky, and snapped it's tail off. When she saw how much it upset Lex, she fixed it, like it had never happened and then hugged her brother."

Kyle quickly washed his hands, upon finishing the last of his portion of the assigned chore, and he remarked, "Well, the good news is, she has a kind heart, but yeah, I can see where that could lead. All we need, is for her to learn to mimic her Uncle Max and start leaving chubby toddler silver handprints on every bird that meets their demise crashing into the window."

Isabel predicted, "Knowing Charlie, it will be much bigger than birds, but yes, exactly. How do you tell a toddler to not have feelings? To not learn new things from her environment? Basically, to not be herself?"

Kyle gathered Isabel into a light embrace and softly suggested, "We don't because we can't. We just have to be her damage control team, Pookie. Whatever happens, we will find a way to keep her safe. That's really all that we can do.

Mmmm. Now that you're right where I like you best, and not to, uhh, too abruptly change the subject but did you get it, yet?"

Isabel chuckled and lightly admonished, "Oh my God, only outright subject whiplash, but yes, Froggy, I got my period! You can relax!"

Kyle wondered aloud in awe, "So do you think that means the elixir works, then? Because we've been guilty of some noise pollution ourselves, to a lesser degree of course, but like frequently! And we haven't used anything except that elixir. Do you suppose it's just a fluke?"

Isabel taunted flirtatiously, "Would you like to stop taking it, to prove it, one way or another?"

Kyle took a big breath, held it, then let it out slowly as he admitted, "Decidedly, no. Not because we don't make beautiful babies! Obviously. But it's not exactly great timing, which is why I'm on it, in the first place."

Isabel grinned at him, kissed him on the cheek and declared smugly, "Mmmhmm, that's what I thought. You're awfully cute, when you panic, though."

Kyle objected petulantly, "Wow. You have very bad aim, Mrs. K. Valenti; completely missed the target, there."

Isabel laughed, said, "Awww!" and she kissed him on the lips. He muttered against hers, "Better. Don't stop."


January 29th, 2003 2:15 p.m. PST

Isabel, Max, and Michael were gathered in the living room awaiting the arrival of Kal, while Charlie played with building blocks, on the floor by the television. Liz was at the library, and Kyle had taken Lex to the park to burn off noisy energy because Jamie, Maria and Ava were all napping.

In respect of the napping women and infant, the remainder of their group spoke quietly amongst themselves.
Michael asked, "Why is he coming here today, though? Charlie's next dose isn't until we get to the new place, I thought?"

Isabel explained, "Correct but it seems he has Charlie's official paperwork ready for our signatures and the new names and birthdates we can change our driver identifications to, for the new place."

Max concurred and added, "Yeah and he said he has a few other things he'd like to go over with us, as well. He didn't specify; I may have hung up on him before he could elaborate."

Isabel and Michael both smirked and Isabel remarked, "His manner is just so, so I don't know, grating? Calling us all by those ridiculous titles he insists on, from a life we don't even remember."

Max shrugged and confessed, "I've encouraged that, though. It keeps him loyal and in his place; he stays on mission continuing to think of us like that."

Isabel asked in surprise, "And you don't feel the least bit weird or guilty manipulating him like that?"

Max stated bluntly, "Not in the least. His orders from that past life are the only reason he didn't murder me, even though he clearly wanted to. I'll take the win and continue to reinforce our roles and my authority over him."

The conversation was ended there by the expected knock on the door. Max answered the door and coolly ushered him inside. As soon as Kal had shifted, Max addressed him, "Keep this visit brief and your voice low. Ava, Jamie and Maria are all resting."

Kal shrugged and nodded. He asked, "How is the Commander doing?"

Michael asked, "You mean with her pregnancy?"

Max answered for Kal, "No. He has little interest in that. He means the summoning tests."

Michael gave Max a chagrined look and complained, "Are you telling me we had to get his permission for that? Who's the boss, here, anyway because I was under the impression that it was supposed to be you?"

Max scoffed lightly, "I am. Mr. Langley and I have something of an agreement to transparency. Basically, we do as we see fit and he finds a way to ensure our safety. That's all. We've agreed not to be reckless or secretive and he does as we've agreed upon. I only informed him about the tests so that he could keep up his end of the deal. So far so good.,

"In answer to your question, Kal, as expected, she has neither failed nor even faltered. One hundred percent success rate."

Kal nodded, clearly impressed, expelled an audible breath and opened a manila envelope as he spoke, "Well, then on to my reason for this visit. Here is the list of new identities for everyone. I highly advise that you change your current ID cards tonight.,

"And for the Princess and your second in command, I have the documentation for My Queen's dream child, ready for your signatures."

Michael interrupted, "My wallet's missing."

Isabel suggested, "It's probably just downstairs in your room, Michael."

Michael shook his head and said confidently, "Nope. It was in my back pocket ten minutes ago, because I had to sit differently when I first came in here and now my pocket is empty."

Max suggested, "It's probably in between the cushions, then."

Michael shrugged and started to search the sofa and the floor but couldn't find it. The other three had a look for it, too but nobody could find it.

The four of them turned abruptly toward the sound of Charlie's gleeful giggle as she waved Michael's wallet in her chubby hand and exclaimed, "I winned!"

Michael frowned in confusion and asked her, "Charlie, where'd you get that?"

Charlie whispered proudly, "I hide it in there!", and she pointed behind herself at a blank wall.

After further careful questioning, Charlie revealed that she'd hidden her Daddy's wallet in a room that none of them could see, "Other Auntie Ava, winned the hiding game, too."

Max quietly asked Isabel, "Does she mean Tess? Did you tell her about that?"

Isabel was taken aback and she refuted emphatically, "Of course not! She's a baby, Max! Why would I or anyone tell her anything about Tess?"

Michael asked Charlie casually, "Who told you about other Auntie Ava?"

Charlie answered unflinchingly, "Mama. She didn't want to be finded by the mean boy but other Auntie Ava winned and then Mama's bad dream poof all gone!"

With a knot in her guts, Isabel asked Charlie, "Baby, did Mama see you when she was hiding?"

Charlie nodded in the affirmative and Isabel stated to Michael, "Seems a certain little someone can dreamwalk us."

Kal accused Max, "Why didn't you inform me of this?"

Max answered coldly with a brief glance at his sister, "Because it's the first I'm hearing about it, too.,

"Could you get Kyle to come back and keep her busy, while we discuss this new information more in depth?"

Michael interjected, "She's my kid. I've got this. You can fill me in later.,

"Come on my Lil Powerpuff Bubbles, let's go play outside."

With Michael and Charlie out of the room and out of earshot, Isabel divulged how Charlie had named Jamie and that Charlie seemed to be mimicking powers from the rest of them. She relayed to Kal and Max the incident with Lex's dinosaur and concluded with, "I didn't think she'd pick up another one so fast or that it would be something that could potentially frighten her. I mean dreamwalking is scary even for me, sometimes. I can't even imagine how that was for Charlie!"

Max remarked, "She seemed surprisingly grounded about it, though. Like she thought it was just Maria having a bad dream and she didn't seem scared for herself talking about it, just happy that Maria's bad dream stopped."

Kal exclaimed in awe, "A colour cloud filled with Antarian symbols? Astounding! She really is such a remarkable child. Beyond even Her Royal Majesty's most fervent hopes."

Kyle returned just then and answered before Isabel could ask, "He's in the backyard with Charlie and her Dad. What's he doing here?"

Max answered Kyle, "Kal called, after you and Lex had already left. New ID's for us and Charlie's paperwork. Speaking of, Isabel just told us about the dinosaur toy. Other abilities have come to light, as well."

Kyle asked worriedly, "Did she heal a bird or something bigger?"

Max and Kal asked in unison, "Can she do that?"

Isabel answered quickly, "No! At least not to our knowledge. But it could very well only be a matter of time. Or maybe she's done learning new ones?"

Kal openly scoffed, "Nonsense! I'm sure as she matures she will yet further astound us all with the magnificent things that she can do!"

Openly annoyed by his near salivation over his own prediction, Isabel reminded him, "I'd like Charlie's papers now, if you don't mind, Mr. Langley?"

Kal sobered immediately and agreed, "Yes, of course, Princess. Here. Oh! How did I miss this? Could it really be? I just never imagined this planet could be so much a part of it! First a Commander and now this!"

Isabel snatched the paper from him, demanding irritably, "Just give me those! What are you on about?"

Kal elaborated as vaguely as ever, "It seems I missed a significant typographical error in the child's middle name."

Isabel and Kyle looked at it together then gave Kal a weird look, as Isabel assured, "So? I'd hardly call a dropped letter significant. I can fix it the same way we'll be changing our ID's. Why are you acting like this is a big deal?"

Kal fidgeted and answered, "A prophecy. And a being shall be brought forth with the power to bridge worlds and peoples in defiance of what is known to be possible and impossible. I'd simply never imagined that this planet could be one of the referenced worlds."

Liz returned just then and remarked in surprise, even as she kissed her husband in greeting, "I didn't think you'd still be here, Mr. Langley. What's happening? What did I miss?"

By turns, Isabel, Max and Kyle brought Liz up to speed. Liz asked Kal, "What and so now just because Charlie's middle name was misprinted as Bridge instead of Bridget suddenly you know of a prophecy to fit that? I'm sorry Mr. Langley but sometimes a typo is just a typo. I really think that you're letting your aspirations for Charlie's potential for power, colour your perception of her a little too vividly. She's just a toddler. Granted a double hybrid one but still just a wee little girl whose biggest concerns in life these days are tea parties, dollies and loving her immediate family."

Kal conceded insincerely, "Yes, perhaps you might be right. My apologies, Your Majesty."

Liz started to object to the title, but instead just shook her head and held her hands up, palms out, saying, "I need to go get ready for dinner.,

"Max? I'll be in our room. Come talk to me when our uhh guest has gone?"

Max kissed her temple and nodded. Kyle asked hopefully, "Can I do that, too? Make an exit? I'm not needed here, am I? Because I'd rather go check on the kids."

Max and Isabel both approved and Max requested, "Can you send Michael back in?,

"It was my understanding you had more to discuss with us, is that right, Kal?"

Kal confirmed with a sharp head nod. Kyle wordlessy indicated his agreement to send Michael back in to join them and he exited the living room in Liz's wake.

A short while later, Michael joined them again. At Max's questioning look Michael defended, "What? I had to hit the head first. I'm here now. So? What's left to say?"

Kal answered brusquely, "Only the details you've insisted on. Unless you've decided you'd rather not know until you get there, after all?"

Max piped up, too, "And there's the little matter of telling him some details, too, Michael. The transparency needs to go both ways. What we discussed yesterday on the way to Idaho?"

Michael stated, "As long as I don't need his permission, to do it, I'm fine with that."

Kal demanded to know, "Idaho? You traveled to Idaho? Why and why wasn't I informed of this beforehand? How am I to keep you lot safe if I don't know where you are at any given moment? I'm neither omniscient nor psychic! What was in Idaho that was worth risking your lives for?"

Max answered, "I am actually sorry about not letting you know. It was a spur of the moment idea and we went for it. I should have called you, just in case it went wrong but Michael and I were both feeling pretty confident about how it would turn out. I now realise that just because we were right, doesn't mean we didn't go about it in the wrong way. It won't happen again.
It wasn't so much about what was in Idaho, Kal, as it was about what or rather who wasn't and never had been to Idaho.
It was a summoning test for Maria. The furthest we'd ever been for the testing before yesterday, was a ninety minute drive one way. Yesterday it was an almost four hour drive one way. Always under fifteen seconds from the time he disappears until the time he calls me to say it worked, no matter how far away he was from her."

Kal quipped, "I could have predicted that without you doing something so foolhardy. Her particular power would work across galaxies just as instantaneously but of course neither of you can wrap your earthling corrupted brains around that no matter what I might say to try to educate you about it. It's a real thing whether or not you are capable of understanding it."

Max warned, "You might want to mind your tone, old ... friend."

Kal was instantly but grudgingly contrite, "Yes, My King. I meant no disrespect, of course."

Max continued, "We weren't the ones doubting what she can do, but she has doubts and concerns herself. The testing was mostly to build her confidence and experience. Occasionally she summons him somewhat inadvertently and then she panics about it. We just thought if she could figure out how she feels that split second beforehand, then she'll be able to control it and only do it when she really means to."

Kal sighed and nodded in understanding as he conceded, "That is a plan not without merit. The Commander must indeed trust her own instincts without reservation and purposefully. And what was it that the two of you discussed en route to Idaho, that I should know about?"

Michael stated bluntly, "When you guys leave for the new place, I'm not coming with you."

Kal immediately objected, "That is not an option! You have to remain with the others! Do you not comprehend that your life is at stake? Are you being purposely obtuse?"

Michael grimaced in annoyance and retorted, "I understand what's at stake just fine. Obviously, I'm not staying behind permanently, I'll just be leaving later than everyone else."

Kal voiced how perplexed he was, "To what end?"

Michael stated quietly, "To strengthen Maria's confidence. She can summon me once you all get to our next place."

Kal backed off, then and said, "Ahh, I see. Not a bad idea. I could even have you scrub traces of our time here before you join us, if it's fine with the King, of course."

Isabel objected, "Well, I think it is a terrible idea! It's crazy! She is seven months pregnant, Michael and you think she's just going to go along with this? Good luck, with that one, brother!"

Max interjected, "If Kal here is to be believed, then she can do it no matter how far away we go. We've been working on it, since the nineteenth. It's important for her to know exactly how she feels as she summons him, so she can learn how to stifle it, when the timing is bad."

Michael nodded his agreement with Max but addressed Isabel's concerns, "She'll be fine once I explain it to her, and anyway, just to keep her from worrying, I'll have two burner phones on the go; one with you guys and one with me. Maria can just call me to let me know if it doesn't work, and in that case I'd get myself to wherever you ended up, but that's a back up plan that I already know we'll never have to use, because the main plan has pretty much just been guaranteed by Kojak, here."

Max prompted Kal, "Now that we've shared our details, it's your turn, Kal. Where exactly are we moving to?"

Kal informed them, "To a triplex in Elyria, Nebraska. It needs some TLC but I think you're capable of making it work. Trust me when I say, that even with the work it will require, it is still an upgrade from your current accommodations."

After Kal left, everyone ate dinner together, helped get the kids off to bed and then reconvened in the living room to socialise and make plans, before tending to final chores and turning in for the night.

Those who hadn't been present during Kal's visit, in whole or in part, were finding out the pertinent details. Ava was interested in the prophecy about the bridge, "So like, did he share any details about it? Is there more to it? It doesn't feel familiar to me the way the Commander prophecy did."

Isabel rolled her eyes and said with a skeptical laugh, "To be honest, he didn't seem to know much about it, either! He said something about thinking it only involved worlds besides Earth."

Kyle blurted out, "Dr. Noonian Often Wrong Soong! That's who he reminds me of!"

Six pairs of eyes looked at him blankly and Kyle elaborated defensively, "Oh come on! You know? From the Brothers episode of Star Trek T.N.G.? Data's creator? Nobody? Really?"

Liz remarked, "Umm, wow, Kyle, that's so specific. I didn't know you were a Trekkie."

Kyle ducked his head and admitted, sheepishly, "Actually, I'm not but being laid up with a broken ankle for six weeks and being bored out of my head, I ended up watching a lot of stuff, I normally wouldn't. That episode re-ran like three times a day for an entire week. Between that episode, soaps and talk shows, it was the least aggravating option."

Liz blushed a little and murmured, "Broken ankle, of course. Right."

Ava encouraged, "Well, I'm completely clueless about the show, so in what way does the shape shifter remind you of whatever that name was you said, Kyle?"

Kyle shrugged and explained, "The character was constantly failing at experiments he'd be doing because of having the wrong hypothesis and Kal, who was charged with guarding you guys and who you'd think should be some kind of expert about you, kind of keeps dropping the ball with all the stuff he didn't and doesn't know. I mean, Maria being the Commander, should have been a clear indication to him that humans and earth are at least possibly relevant to other prophecies he knows about but he always says he didn't think of that before. Makes me wonder what else is he keeping to himself because he incorrectly believes that it doesn't pertain to us, either?"

Max commented, "Considering his role, it's probably safe to assume that he wasn't a scholar before coming here. We shouldn't expect him to know very much more than we do. To be fair, he does seem to know just what he needs to, to protect us. Like making sure we keep blending in by using elixirs to prevent us from having kids too close together in age, for instance and all the ways he can do damage control, as needed and well,we have needed quite a lot of that. I'll never like the guy and my trust in him is very conditional but he hasn't let us down, so far, since we've been on the run, I mean.,

"Obviously, of all of us, you have the most recent reason to hate the guy, Ava, but for now he is the only security detail we've got. My parents from that long ago life trusted him to complete his mission. For them, for now, I'll continue to expect the same of him."


January 30th, 2003 9:30 p.m.

After Maria's bath, Michael asked her to join him in the garage. He spoke to Maria carefully as he relayed the gist of his recent conversation with Kal, Max and Isabel, "So when the rest of you leave tomorrow night, I'm staying here. Even Kojak thinks it's a solid plan."

Maria gaped at him, wide eyed and open mouthed in stunned disbelief and then demanded an explanation, "What do you mean you're staying here? Why aren't you coming with us, Michael? How can that be a solid plan?"

Michael shrugged and insisted, "It'll be fine. I'll join you guys, later, you know, when you get there and you do your thing to get me there, too. Kojak says I can be the one to tie up any loose ends here until you all get to the new place."

Maria opened and closed her mouth several times in mounting silent fury before turning on her heel and ultimately storming into the house.

She grabbed the keys to the Frankenmobile and stormed back out to the garage.

Liz asked her, on her way by, "Maria, where are you going?"

Maria bit out tersely, "Away from my husband or I swear I might hurt him!"

Michael knew better than to push Maria by trying to plead his case any further, so he stomped into the house and down the stairs to blast music into his ears through headphones.

Liz watched them storm off in opposite directions and then she heard Maria accelerate noisily out of the driveway. Her mouth puckered into an awkward but understanding, "Oh."

Max slipped his arms around Liz's waist, kissed her cheek and asked, with a nudge of his chin toward the door through which Maria had just loudly exited, "What was that about?"

Liz smiled tightly and answered, "Just Michael and Maria doing that other thing they do."

Max grimaced and asked, "Wonder what he did to piss her off, this time? Unless, it's what I think it is."

Liz replied before kissing him on the lips, "She didn't elaborate and she was out of here, before I could ask. You could always ask Michael, but what do you think they were fighting about, Max?"

Max chuckled, declining drily, "The summoning thing and I'd rather not stick my nose in that, any more than I already have. Plus, the odds Michael'd tell me anything resembling the objective truth are not high. I'm sure they'll work it out; they always do. Sometimes I wonder if they only do this, just so they can do the other, other thing they do, even more loudly."

Liz let out a short, scandalised laugh, as she lightly hit his shoulder and protested, "Max! Whatever happened to that unspoken rule of never acknowledging what we hear through the paper thin walls in here?"

Max feigned contrition, "Oh. Was that a rule? Oops. Are you going to turn me in?"

Liz teased, "Well, I might if there was someone you answered to, Your Royal Highness!"

Max nuzzled her neck and then winked at her, as he said with a smirk, "But you were the one who busted me, so that would be redundant."

Liz shook her head at him, smiling in admiration as she mused, "You're just intent on passing every test, aren't you?"

Max shrugged and confessed, only half joking, "I'd just prefer to remain happily married, that's all."

Liz nodded, smiling confidently as she lifted her face to his for a quick kiss before hoping out loud, "With any luck, the new place, will have tons more privacy and we won't need to think about that unspoken rule anymore."

They both turned toward the living room in surprise to hear an urgent knock at the door.

Ava, despite her size from being near the end of her second trimester of pregnancy, still beat them to opening it. The stranger hurried inside, in mid-rant before realising they were eyeing him warily. He commanded, "Hurry up and shut the door!", even as he shifted into the form they were most familiar with.

Nobody lost their wary looks as they awaited Kal's explanation, as to why he was making an unscheduled visit only a day after his previous visit, and in such a rattled state.

He looked around the room and asked, "Where are your second in command and the Commander? This concerns everyone!"

Michael sauntered in just then, still clearly agitated from the clash with his wife and he understated, "Maria's out for a bit. Why are you looking for her? And why are you back again, already?"

Kal ignored Michael's annoyed reception and announced, "We've got trouble! This town has suddenly become a hot spot for alien fanatics loaded up with cameras!"

As everyone started to ask why, Liz paled and gasped out with the certain clarity that always meant she'd just had a vision, "Someone saw what Charlie did! It wasn't just in the house; it was in the sky, too! They're going to show pictures of it on the local tv news!"

Isabel fretted, "You mean the thing with Jamie's name?"

Kal nodded and insisted tersely, "We have to go! Now! Grab whatever you have ready and we hit the road immediately!"

Michael objected, "Maria's not back, yet and why tonight? I mean you were going to leave tomorrow night anyway, so what's the big deal? It's just one night difference. Besides which, I thought we'd already agreed that I'm staying here?"

Kal admonished, "Because you can't guarantee that your daughter hasn't projected any images since the birth of the Princess' second son, or that she won't do it again, before we leave! This town is crawling with people armed with cameras! We can't risk it! She's obviously gained substantial cognitive development but she's still far too immature to control herself. We need to go tonight! Everyone, including you, number two!"

Michael partially conceded, "Okay, you make a good point, but we can't leave without Maria and like I said, she isn't back, yet. I'll call her on her burner, though and tell her to come back, as soon as possible."

Michael tried calling and texting multiple times but Maria wasn't answering and she wasn't calling back. Still hoping it was just because she was mad at him and not because she was in trouble, Michael confided in Liz and asked her, "She's not picking up for me. Maybe she will for you? Can you try?"
Last edited by Fidomom on Fri May 15, 2020 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
~FM :)

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