When Love & Loss Collide(M/L Teen/Mature) [COMPLETE]

Finished stories set in an alternate universe to that introduced in the show, or which alter events from the show significantly, but which include the Roswell characters. Aliens play a role in these fics. All complete stories on the main AU with Aliens board will eventually be moved here.

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KatnotKath
Roswell Fanatic
Posts: 1130
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:54 am
Location: UK
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Postby KatnotKath » Sun Feb 05, 2006 7:27 pm

Thanks for all the feedback everyone, every little bit is wonderful.

Lazza -
But I wish she could have stayed in the other world and have Max be alive and for them to grow old together.

But then I there wouldn't be a story you know..
Flamehair - Yes, Michael does have some semblance of sense sometimes it seems, even if it is rare...
Begonia9508 - Glad you like Serina
isabelle - thanks hun, knowing you think that Michael is good is such a relief because as I think you know, he's really not my favourite character to try and write about. as for Thomas and Emily meeting, sorry but I kinda skip over it...hope you won't be too disappointed by what I have planned though
Ellie - I'm sorry for confusing you, just people jumped to conclusions so quickly, I couldn't help pointing out there was nothing to confirm it. As you know, you were right first time though.
Timelord31
roswell3053 - Welcome to the story, thanks for reading and glad you're enjoying it.

I'm back :wink:. I'd advise against getting too used to frequent updates like this, but I am doing my best. Glad everyone seems to like Serina, you'll be seeing plenty more of her as the story goes on.

Hello to any lurkers out there, thanks for reading and hope you're enjoying the story.

Anyway, it's late, and I've got lectures tomorrow so I'll simply leave it by saying that I hope you all enjoy the chapter, feel free to tell me what you think and hopefully I'll be back next week with another part...assuming nothing goes wrong in RL...

~Kat~


Chapter 24

"And this is the bathroom..."

Liz smiled and nodded as she looked around. It was a nice place...a really nice place...

"Well...? What do you think...?" Mrs Wratly, the woman who owned the apartment block looked at her expectantly.

She swallowed and nodded again. "It's lovely..."

"I don't want to push you honey, but I do have plenty of other people interested..." The middle aged landlady waited patiently.

"I-I know..." Liz chewed on the bottom of her lip. She really liked the apartment, it was great... But she had known this was pointless from the start... A hundred and eighty dollars a week was a huge chunk of her wage...to say nothing of the month’s rent in advance as a deposit…just where was she supposed to get that amount of money…? She had been looking for somewhere for nearly a week now, but anywhere that was decent was simply just out of her price range... The fact that she had a job was great, but it was minimum wage even with tips, and even working 40 hours a week or so, that still only paid around two hundred and fourty dollars. From that money she needed to buy food, anything that Emily might want, and of course pay the rent… It seemed impossible… She swallowed and looked up. "I-I am interested...but I don't think I can afford the deposit...I'm sorry for wasting your time..." Without giving the lady a chance to respond, she hurried out of the room, exiting the apartment and heading down one floor where she stopped in front of one of the doors and knocked.

The door opened a moment later to reveal the figure of her friend. "Liz hey...come in...what did you think of the apartment...?" She stepped aside to let her in, and then closed the door, waiting to hear her answer. When she had heard that one of the apartments on the floor above hers was up for rent, she had been certain it would be exactly what Liz was looking for.

Before Liz had a chance to respond, she was almost knocked over as Emily came running up and threw her arms around her mother's legs. "MOMMY!"

She laughed, scooping her up in her arms and lifting her daughter high, smiling as she listened to her giggling. For the moment all her worries were forgotten as she concentrated on her daughter…

Conversation between the two young women was then put off further as Serina caught sight of her five-year-old son perilously close to the pan of hot pasta she had been cooking. He must have gone over when she took her eyes off him to answer the door… "THOMAS NO!" She cried out in horror, hurrying over and pulling him back before he burnt himself.

"But mommy, I'm hungry!" He protested, looking up at her and rubbing his stomach.

"In a minute!" She told him firmly, laughing at the look on his face and shaking her head.

"Mommy, me hungry too!"

As Emily echoed the little boy's sentiments, the two young mothers both looked at each other and burst out laughing. "Kids first, talk later...?" Serina suggested with a small smile. Clearly it seemed that unless they did the first, the second would be full of interruptions…

Liz nodded in agreement. "Sure...do you want some help...?" She asked as her friend moved towards the stove.

She raised her eyebrows at the sight of the little girl still clinging to her arms. "Nah...I'm okay... Besides, you look like you have your hands full..." She pointed out, laughing softly and urging her younger friend to take a seat.

**********

After the kids had been fed, they seemed happy to play for a little while in Thomas' room, leaving Liz and Serina alone to talk.

"So...you never told me what you thought of the apartment...?" Serina commented as she brought over two cups of tea, sitting down and setting one in front of each of them.

Picking up hers, Liz cradled it in her hands, taking a small sip. She swallowed and looked over at her friend. "I-It was really nice..." She responded awkwardly. She didn't want to seem ungrateful; she knew that Serina had just been trying to help...

"But..." Serina read between the lines. She could see that there was something that Liz was leaving unsaid... Her reaction didn't speak of someone who had just got a new apartment... "I'm sensing a but..."

The younger girl closed her eyes and shook her head. "I can't afford it Serina... The rent's a huge chunk of my wage for the week, and I don't know how I would ever manage to afford the deposit..."

Serina watched in silence as she saw the desperation in her eyes. It was a look she knew well... The whole thing was a situation, and feeling that she knew well for that matter. A few years ago, that had been her... Straight after dropping out of college, a young child to care for... She had wondered how she would ever cope. Even now if she was honest it was a struggle…and certainly Thomas needed fewer things now that he was older than when he was Emily’s age. She could well understand how Liz was feeling. "Oh Liz..." She reached out to touch her arm. Part of her felt guilty now for suggesting it...she should have known it would be too much... "I'm sorry..." She apologised softly.

"For what...?"

She sighed. "I should have thought more about the money..."

Liz shook her head quickly. "NO, it's fine Serina...you were just trying to help, I know that, and I'm grateful... I just wish I could have afforded it...it was great, you were right..." She gave a wistful smile and then set her drink down on the table and buried her head in her hands, a lump getting stuck in her throat. "I-I just don't know how I can do this Rina...it's so hard, and I j-ust..." Tears began to well up in her eyes as, deep inside, she began to think about everything she had lost.

"Hey...it's okay...it's gonna be okay..." She stood up and moved closer, pulling the younger girl into her arms as she stood at her side.

Pulling back, Liz shook her head. "H-how...? You said yourself, the area I'm in at the moment isn't good, but I can't afford any better..." She hated that fact, she wanted the best for her little girl, but she just didn't have the money... She chewed on her lip and shook her head again. "Emily deserves more than this, and I should be able to give her it, but I just can't...I hate it, but there's nothing I can do..."

"Maybe there is..." Serina spoke slowly as an idea surfaced in her mind.

Her friend looked up, surprised. "I-I don't understand...I mean I could take on another job, it's not that I'm lazy, but then I'd have to find someone to look after her...I j-" She sighed and shook her head. She didn't want to have someone else looking after her daughter all day... She was all Emily had left, just as the little girl was the only thing which kept her going, and she didn't want to be a mother who saw her daughter for a few minutes a day. Just as had been true from the moment she had given birth, she wanted to be there for her... Certainly in the past she had school, and even work, but she had always made time for her daughter, and she would continue to do so... Perhaps it was being selfish, but she couldn't bear to think of losing the time she had with her now...

Realising what she was jumping to conclusions, Serina shook her head, wanting to banish such misunderstandings. She could see the hurt in her eyes, and hated that she had caused it...that had not been her intention... "No Liz...that's not what I mean... You need your rest, and Emily needs some time with you..." She assured the young girl quickly.

Liz swallowed and looked at her, confusion in her eyes now. "W-ell what then...?" She didn't see how else she was going to be able to get more money... It had been hard enough to get the job she had found... Single teenage mothers were hardly thought of as ideal employees, and given the fact she hadn't even finished high-school, in truth a minimum wage job was all she could expect... Surely given all that, the only way she could get more money was to work more hours...?

Serina smiled. "Come live here...share with me and Julie...?" She didn't know why she hadn't thought of it sooner... It seemed like an ideal solution...

Her eyes widened. "What? No, I can't ask you to do that!" Liz protested quickly. She couldn't believe it was being suggested, but she just couldn't impose on Serina and her friend like that...

Serina shook her head, waving away her objections though. "Why not...? She asked simply. "You need a place to stay, and I know it's not a huge place, but the kids could share Thomas' room, and as long as you don't mind not having a proper bed, there's a perfectly serviceable sofa-bed over there..." She grinned, obviously taken with the idea.

"B-ut this is your home...I mean..." She trailed off, realising she probably wasn't going to win this... It wasn't that she was turning her nose up at what was being offered...just she couldn't help thinking it wasn't fair on the older women.

"So...?" Serina shrugged. "I mean seriously, you'd be doing us a favour... Money's pretty tight with the rent, and having to pay for Julie to baby-sit now, so if there were three of us paying instead of two, We’d both have a bit more free..." She looked at the younger girl eagerly. "So...what do you say...?" The more she thought about it, the more she knew this was a great idea. They might not have known each other very long, but Liz was a friend, and she wanted to help her... Besides, as she had said, it worked both ways too...

Liz opened her mouth, appearing to be about to object again, but at the last minute she seemed to think and nod her head with a small smile. "Okay...if you're sure...t-thanks..."
My fics:

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

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

Postby KatnotKath » Tue Feb 14, 2006 2:42 pm

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

Lazza - LOL thanks for reading, glad you're enjoying the story, even if it's not the happiest thus far.
Ellie - Thanks for reading, glad you like the way it's going
roswell3053 - I know I'm sounding like a broken record, but please be patient, things are going to take time...
Flamehair - hmm, what a good question, I'll tell you one thing though - not this chapter :lol: .
begonia9508 - glad you approve of the new arrangements for Liz and Emily
Emz80m - Surely you could argue there's more chance Liz coming into contact with the FBI if she stays with the pod squad than separately...they are the ones being followed afterall.
Timelord31 - Well here's one answer for you in the next chapter :wink:
isabelle - thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed it
bluebballjumper - thanks for the feedback, glad you're enjoying the story
Alien614 - welcome to the story, thanks for reading and glad you're enjoying it

Alright, so I'm a little later than I would have hoped, but something unexpected (although good) came up at the weekend so I didn't have time to sort this I'm afriad. I'm here now though, and hoping that you'll like the new chapter. Love to hear what you think.

Thanks to everyone who's reading, whether they're replying or not, I really hope you're all enjoying the story.

~Kat~


Chapter 25

It was late at night and, lost in thought as he walked along, Max didn't notice the figure stood outside the motel entrance until he was almost on top of her... His eyes widened as he saw her standing there, just as though nothing had happened. "Liz..."

The woman turned round, smiling broadly as she moved towards him. She reached up, touching his cheek and leaning towards him. "It's okay, it was all a mistake..." She told him softly, pulling his head down into her chest. She fingered his hair. "You kept it from growing again...I'm glad..." She commented.

Max hardly registered her words. It was all too amazing... It was really Liz, right here...and she was alive... "H-how...what...?"

She shook her head. "It's not important... All that matters is that we're here...together... She pulled back and then pressed her lips against him. "I love you..."

"I love you t-" Max started to respond, but as he looked down at her, her appearance changed... Her short brown hair became limp, her eyes shallow and cold... Her lips thinned, and her skin went white... Before his eyes, a corpse emerged... His chest tightened and he shook his head. "NO...no..." His hands dropped from her as he stepped back, once...and then twice...

What had once been Liz laughed. "What's the matter...scared...?"

He swallowed. The lump in his throat feeling as though he was choking.

"Don't I deserve a little more than this Max...? I would have thought that you could at least give me a hug... Afterall, you're the reason I'm like this aren't you...?" She moved forward, reaching out for him.

Max shook his head again. "I didn't mean for it to happen..."

"Well you didn't do much to stop it..." She scoffed. Moving forward again, she this time grabbed his hand, forcing it to her face and running it over the dry, wrinkled skin. "You did this Max... I trusted you to protect me...and you let me down..."

"NOOOOOOOOO"


***

Max shot upright in bed as he woke from the nightmare. His sheets were soaked, his face covered in cold sweat. He swallowed, looking round the room. It had all seemed so real... He bit down on his lip, forcing back tears which threatened to spill from his eyes.

The room was empty, and as he checked the clock he realised the others would already be up... That was something to be thankful for he supposed, at least they wouldn't see him like this...

Reaching up, he ran a hand through his hair, pushing the wet locks back from his face and slicking them back against his scalp. His breathing was fast, and he held it a moment, forcing himself to calm down. It was just a dream...

Somehow, no matter how he tried though, the words stuck with him even more than the images which hung in his mind... This was all his fault... He was supposed to be the one to protect the group... He was supposed to keep them safe...

Looking over at the picture on his bedside table, he reached out for it, focusing on the beautiful face of his late wife. "Oh Liz...I'm sorry..." He whispered as he pressed a kiss to his finger, and then to the glass in front of her face...remembering...

He remembered that day... The way her dress had swung against her legs...the way the white had made her eyes look even deeper than usual... He remembered taking her hand, bringing it to his lips and kissing it...

"Max...don't be silly..." She giggled, pulling it back as she shook her loose hair back from her face. She reached up and touched his cheek, as she leant forwards and pressed her lips against his. "I love you...."

"Come on...you'll see each other again soon enough..." Isabel had broken up that beautiful moment as she pulled his beautiful bride away.

Although not completely traditional in their approach in other ways, it had been agreed that they would travel separately to the chapel, and the girls intended to make sure it went without a hitch it seemed. Isabel had ussured him out of the room, closing the door and completing the separation.

He had stared at the door for a few moments, picturing the beautiful young woman stood inside, but his thoughts had been interrupted by a laugh. Turning around, he found himself facing Kyle. The other guy shook his head. "Boy you've got it bad..." He commented, shaking his head.

***

The rest of that hour had seemed to fly by... Michael and Kyle had travelled with him to the chapel, where Kyle had left the other two to come back for the girls. It was as he stood waiting at the end of the aisle that time seemed to come to a standstill... Every second felt like an age, and he felt mouth go dry as his eyes fixed on the door through which she would come...

"Not getting cold feet are you...?" Michael asked, trying to lighten the atmosphere... He offered his friend a smile as he patted him on the back, speaking in an unusually sensitive manner it seemed. "You know you don't have anything to worry about you know... She's crazy about you..."

He had nodded, swallowing and trying to get rid of the lump in his throat... And then... Then she had appeared... Her face was covered in a thin veil, fastened to her hair by a small, delicate metal clip. It couldn't hide her beauty from him though, and as she moved down the aisle on the arm of Kyle, he smiled in welcome. As she reached his side, he held out a hand to her, bringing her hand to his lips and kissing it gently.

After lifting back the veil, the two of them stood to face the minister as he began to speak.

"Do you Elizabeth Claudia Parker take this man to be your lawful wedded husband...?"

He held his breath, waiting until he heard her soft voice as she responded in the affirmative.

"I do... Max, you are my other half, my soulmate... I will walk next to you in life from this day, through the easy times and the hard, always at your side."

Although simple, the vows were full of meaning, and they said all they needed to. Flowery words were not required... Just looking into her eyes he could see how she felt, and that was all that mattered... In truth, they were already far more deeply connected than this, tied together with a love so strong... The rings would only make it official, and let others see... It was a moment he had waited for all his life...

As the minister now turned to him, asking the same question, he responded in like, holding her hand throughout, his gaze never breaking from hers.

Next came the rings, and as he slid the matching band onto her finger, as she had done with his a few moments before, Max smiled. "Wear this ring, and know that my love, just as this ring, is neverending..."

The minister's voice seemed to fade into the background as he said his final words... All his attention was focused on the brunette beauty in front of him. The way the light shone off her hair, the glow in her cheeks...she was breathtaking and...

"Max..."

He blinked as she spoke. "Y-yeah..."

The edges of her lips turned up slightly, forming a small smile of amusement it seemed. "Haven't you forgotten something...?" She asked softly, reaching up and playing with her lip with a finger.

He smiled widely, drawing her closer and closing the remaining distance as he dipped his head, capturing her lips with his. Time seemed to freeze, but only for a moment, and then far too soon, it was all over and he was pulling back... He looked down at her. "I love you Mrs Evans..."


Drawing back from the memories, Max found his eyes growing damp as he returned to the present... This wasn't supposed to have happened... They were supposed to have had their whole lives together ahead of them... Years and years...decades... Day after perfect day with her... They had hoped to be able to settle down eventually, to have a family, live a normal life... It wouldn't have been like they had thought when they were kids, but it would have been real, and them, and that was all that mattered... He was supposed to have watched her growing more beautiful with every passing day... He was supposed to have protected her...

He had failed though... They had only a little over twelve months... He wouldn't have traded a day, but there wasn't a moment went by he wished it could have been different... If only they had been more careful... if only they had played it safe... If they had moved on a day earlier, maybe she would still have been there.... Maybe...

For some reason he couldn't explain, a new image appeared in his mind... Liz again, but she looked different...younger... There was something about that image, but he couldn't put his finger on it...

"Max...?"

A voice broke through his brooding, causing Max to look up. He found himself facing his sister, and tried to force a smile for her benefit. "Hey Izzy..."

She reached for his arm. "Are you okay...?" She swallowed and shook head. "I mean-" She broke off. "You know what I mean..."

Her brother nodded. "Sure...I know..." He raked his hand back through his hair. "I'm okay..."

"Are you really...?" Isabel made little secret of the fact she was doubtful... She hated seeing her brother like this...if only he would open up...and let them in…

Max waved her away. "Please Isabel...just leave it..." He requested with little energy. He didn't want to go through this now, not again…

She touched his hand. "Max please, talk to me... I know this is hard, and we all miss her, but this isn't what Liz would have wanted..."

He pushed her away. "I can't...I'm not ready!" He stood up, grabbing his jacket and putting it on. "I'm going out to get some air..."

His sister shook her head as she came after him. "This isn't the way Max!" She tried to pull him back. "You're running away, and that's not the answer..."

Her words caused a change in Max, and as he turned around, she saw tears once again welling up in his eyes. "Don't you think I know that Isabel..." He shook his head, trembling as he ran a hand through his hair. "I know it's not the answer, but it's the most I can do...it's the only way I can cope at the moment, and I have to try and be strong for the others..."

"No...you don't..." Isabel responded softly, shaking her head again. "Max, I know you're hurting... You don't need to be this tow-"

"YES, I DO!" He interrupted her immediately. "I need to be strong Isabel, because that's my place... I'm supposed to keep you safe, to look after you and lead you... You all trusted me, and I failed... I j-ust can't do that again..." As he finished, his voice began to break and a single tear slipped down his cheek.

"Oh you didn't..." His sister was close to tears herself by now, struggling with a lump in her throat. She reached out, pulling him into her arms and pressing her lips to the top of his head. "You did what you could...we all did... You didn't fail us Max...you didn't fail us…"
Last edited by KatnotKath on Fri Apr 21, 2006 6:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
My fics:

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

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

Postby KatnotKath » Sun Feb 19, 2006 6:48 pm

Timelord31
roswell3053
Ellie
begonia9508 - I think both Liz and Max will be having a variety of dreams...both good and bad
Lazza - Glad you enjoyed reading it through again, thanks for taking the time to tell me more about what you think.
Arianneleigh - welcome to the story, thanks for reading, I'm glad you're enjoying it.
bluebballjumper
Flamehair - glad you liked the flashback
Isabelle - I'm sure you're right that Liz wouldn't blame Max for what happened, but that doesn't mean he won't blame himself unfortunately.

Thanks for all the feedback, it's wonderful to see that you're enjoying the story. Hope that anyone else reading is enjoying too, and although I know it's not been the easiest ride, I have to ask you to be patient and stick with it. I hope you'll all like the new part and I'd love to hear what you think.

~Kat~


Chapter 26

"Oh for the time when Thomas would do that..." Serina commented with a smile as she looked from the sleeping form of the little girl lying in the stroller opposite. She had begun to fall asleep on the way back, and now appeared to be hard and fast...

Liz smiled back. "You don't mean that...I mean remember all the dirty diapers, and tantrums which go with sleeping in the afternoon..." She pointed out with a wry smile. Underneath her comments though, there was something which Serina recognised all too well...an unconditional love of the type only a parent would have for their child... As much as she might joke about it, and as hard as it might have been, anyone could see that Liz loved her daughter...

Her friend laughed and shook her head. "Well sorry to disappoint, but the fact is that tantrums don't end here..." She told the young mother who reminded her so much of herself a few years before.

Liz laughed softly and nodded. "I know that really...but I can still hope can't I...?" She winked and smiled again, reaching out for a moment to touch her daughter's head, running her hand over the soft, silken locks which covered the little girl's head. Emily didn't even move... Her breathing was even, her eyes closed and her fist cluched under her chin - the little girl was obviously completely tired out.

At Serina's insistence, the two girls had spent the day in the shops with the kids. The older of the two had decided, after seeing the tiny bag which accounted for the sum total of Liz's belongings, that the girl was in dire need of some serious shopping... Liz had insisted of course that she didn't have the money, only having enough for the bare essentials, but Serina's response had simply been that she would loan her some money until she could afford to pay her back. From choice she would have told the younger girl to consider the money a gift, but Liz had made it clear on more than one occasion, even in the short time she had known her, that she wouldn't accept what she considered was charity.

"Thanks for this Rina..." She sat back and reached for her glass, bringing it to her lips before taking a sip. The two of them were currently sat on the sofa in the apartment they had been sharing now for nearly a week. So far it seemed like a pretty good arrangement... Julie wasn't around most of the day, sharing meant that all three girls had a bit more money to play around with, and Thomas was perfectly happy sharing with Emily. Even the sofa was more comfortable than the bed she had at the last place, and in all honestly, Liz was just so grateful not to be going through this alone... After all, Serina had done it all before, and even just being able to talk to her had been a great help... "You were right...it was just what I needed..."

Serina smiled as the younger girl made this admission. She laughed. "Of course I was right...haven't you learnt by now - I'm always right..."

Her response gained another laugh from her friend, and the two of them continued chatting as they had a drink together... Both knew they were due at work in less than two hours, but right at that moment in time they were just enjoying the unusual chance to relax for a while...

"So...what we need now is to go out again another day...for you to wear some of those lovely clothes..." Serina commented as she pulled one of her own bags onto her lap. It was rare that she bought herself anything, having to watch her money carefully, but even with helping Liz a little, she had been unable to resist treating herself to the top inside. The other few things she had bought were essentials, things which she had needed to replace for Thomas mainly, but as soon as she had seen this top she had known she couldn't leave it. The main focus of the trip had of course been on Liz and Emily though, and from the look of the number of bags stood at the other side of the sofa, it had been pretty successful. Most of the stuff was pretty basic, and Liz had insisted on Emily getting far more than herself, but both now had something that resembled an actual 'wardrobe', and that was the important thing.

Liz looked up, her eyes widening as she shook her head. "What...oh no, I don't think so..." She responded hurriedly. It hadn't escaped her notice that Steve seemed to like her, Serina having mentioned plenty of times, but she had been far from encouraging, and although she liked him as a friend, she didn't intend for it to get any further... She just wasn't ready for something like that...she wasn't sure that she ever would be...

Her reaction drew an amused laugh from her friend. Serina shook her head. "Anyone would think I was asking you out on a date honey... All I meant was a trip to the park with the kids or something..." She offered her a reassuring smile. Liz's reaction had been just the same as every time a conversation had come even remotely close to touching on the subject of the father of her daughter... It was perfectly obvious that she didn't want to talk about it, although she couldn't help thinking that maybe it would help the young girl if she did...

She wasn't claiming to be an expert in relationships, or dealing with them...but she did understand a little of what she was probably feeling right now, and more than anything she wanted to be able to help...

She should have known that Serina wouldn't be trying to push her into something with Steve... After all, she had told her over and over again that she and Gus were just friends... Blushing as she realised how silly she must have seemed, Liz swallowed nervously as she set her glass down and played in silence with her fingers... She had enjoyed the day...she really had, but she couldn't help it...'he' was never far from her thoughts...she missed him every minute of every day...

"Liz...?" Serina looked at her with some concern... Someone else might think that this was all because Liz fancied someone, maybe Steve even, but she knew better... Although she knew the attraction existed on Steve's side, the other girl had been very definite as she insisted they were just friends, and there was something about her manner which said she was telling the truth... Liz wasn't interested... for whatever reason... Serina just didn't like the way that the other girl seemed to persist in trying to lock herself away...

Liz looked up. "Sorry Rina...I guess I sounded really silly there..." She paused a moment. "B-but what you said sounds nice...really nice..."

Her friend offered her another smile and nodded. "I'm glad..." She fell silent a moment, appearing to think about something, before looking back at Liz. "Liz, I'm not going to push, but you know if you ever want to talk...about anything...I'm here to listen..." She reached out to touch her hand. "Believe me, you might not think so, but sometimes it can really help... You know, a problem shared is a problem halved and all that...?"

"M...maaaa" Emily wimpered as she began to wake up.

Liz swallowed and stood up. "Y-yeah...I know that...thanks... B-but I don't think I'm ready for that yet...you know...I just need a bit more time..." She responded in a soft voice, bending down to release her daughter from the stroller and lift her out. She brought the little girl to sit on her knee, and rocked her back and forth gently.

Watching the mother and daughter, Serina knew this had gone as far as it was going to... She nodded. "Okay...well you take all the time you need...just remember that I'm here..." She stood up, and slipped into Thomas' room to go check on her son who had gone in there to play when they had got back a little earlier...

**********

Later that evening, while at work, Liz had to admit she only had half a mind on what she was doing... She knew that she had to find a way to break this cycle, to get on with her life, and accept what had happened...but she missed him so much... It seemed as though no matter what she did, it was only a matter of time before she started thinking about him again, and after everything she had been through, that just seemed to send her back to the drawing board. More than once she had even found herself thinking about the older version who she had met here...

No doubt, from what had been said, he and his friends would be hundreds of miles away from here by now though... And that was how it should be...right...? She bit down on her lip sharply, concentrating as the level of the milkshake neared the top of the glass. Flipping off the switch, she dropped a straw into the glass and then carried it over to the man at table twelve... "Here you go, one chocolate shake...can I get you anything else sir...?"

The answer came in the negative, and as she moved away and began to clear a recently vacated table, Liz's mind returned to her almost constant state of brooding...

Why she should even be thinking about the Max she had met here she didn't know...? As she had told herself over and over, he and his friends might have looked like her own friends and family, but the simple fact was that they were strangers... They knew nothing about her life, just as she knew nothing about everything they had been through... The resemblance was nothing more than in appearance, and trying to make out it was something more just wasn't going to work. It was better for everyone that she left, as she did, and she was determined to make this work...

A chance to move on, that was what she was allowing them... And for herself...? - A clean start... She needed to learn to cope, to deal with the new situation she found herself in... It wasn't ideal, but she had made a promise when Emily was born, and it was one which she intended to keep... She wouldn't let her daughter down... This was her reality now, nothing would change that, and the simple fact was that she had to learn to deal...to find a way... She would never stop loving Max, but she couldn't continue like this... A clean start... She chewed the phrase over in her mouth and nodded, coming to a decision. Collecting another two glasses, she carried the empties back over to the counter and set them down at the side. "Rina...could I have a word a moment...?" She asked softly.

As she looked up from what she was doing, Serina instantly knew that she couldn't refuse, not even if she wanted to... She gave a small nod. "Sure...here, or somewhere else...?" It wasn't ideal, but if necessary she was certain that Martin from the kitchen could cover the counter for a few minutes...

"Oh, here's fine..." Liz assured her softly. She continued chewing on the inside of her lip, obviously nervous about what she was going to say...

"Liz...? Are you okay...?"

She nodded. "Y-yeah...it's just I've been thinking, about things...and I think I've come to a decision..."

Serina waited patiently for her friend to continue. "Go on..." She urged gently.

"Well..." Liz paused a moment, trying to figure out how to phrase this... She wasn't ready to go into details as yet... "As you might have gathered, my life isn't exactly great... I-I came here to get a new start..." It wasn't exactly true, she knew, but it was as close as she was going to get really... "I need to move on with my life, to begin to rebuild it, and I think I need your help..."

The older woman smiled and nodded. "Just tell me how..." She responded simply.

Liz gave a small smile and nodded. "W-well...the first thing is pretty basic, but I think it's going to help... C-could you call me Beth, instead of Liz...? I know it's strange, but all my life I've been Liz, or Lizzie... But she's my past…I really need to break from that person...and I guess this is how I start..."

Listening carefully, Serina shook her head as her friend said it might be strange. She understood her thinking completely, and although it might be strange at first, if it was going to help, she'd get used to it... She smiled. "It's not a strange request at all, and I'm sure we can manage it...you'll just have to remember to tell Zack and the guys as well you know..."

The younger waitress nodded. "Of course..." She might have been about to say something more, but as the bell rang, indicating the entrance of a new customer, she turned, ready to see if they needed seating.

Serina waited until she had turned away and then, a smile on her face, she called out softly. "Beth...?"

Liz looked round. It felt strange hearing that name, but she felt as though it was the only way...she needed a new start, a real new start.... She smiled gratefully at her friend. "Yeah...?"

She winked. "Oh, just trying it out..." She responded playfully before adding in a more serious tone. "You're right, you can't live in the past...just live life as it comes...and try to enjoy it when you can..."
My fics:

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

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

Postby KatnotKath » Sun Feb 26, 2006 6:33 pm

Lazza - Don't you trust me?
roswell3053
Ellie
Flamehair
Begonia9508 - A name change doesn't give you a new life no, but maybe it's the first step to a new start... Constant reminders of the past might not be the best thing for her at the moment - reminders of what she's lost...
Emz80m - You and me both
Isabelle - You're right, she has to be strong after everything that she's been through and coped with. As for being with the others, I think maybe she has some emotional baggage that needs dealing with first... Your visions of Emily in front of Thomas sound fun though, I'll have to consider that lol.
Timelord31 - Maybe you're right, maybe not...only time will tell :wink:

Thanks for all the feedback, lovely to see that people are enjoying the story because I know I'm enjoying writing it. Hope anyone else reading is also enjoying, and that you'll all like the new chapter.

Love to hear what you think of it

~Kat~


Chapter 27

"So Dave wanted me to do an extra couple of hours next week, but I didn't like to commit, not really knowing what we were doing..." Kyle commented as he sat talking to the others. His words held far more significance than at first glance of course, given that he was actually broaching a subject most of them had thought about more than once in the last few days in particular.

Usually, the group didn't stay anywhere for more than a fortnight. In fact, since Bridgeport, the longest stay they had done was a couple of days to a week depending on what work was available.. Until now anyway... As of that morning, they had officially been in Asbury for three weeks.

Michael had tried a few times to suggest that they should be leaving, but Max had refused to comment, and the subject had been dropped again, at least temporarily. Silently, his friend had fumed, but even he knew better than to push Max when he was in this sort of mood and instead he remained silent, choosing instead to make sure he was always ready to leave.

On hearing Kyle, Michael immediately looked up, hoping that they might be going to get a response finally, but he was met with nothing more than a blank stare. It was almost as though Max just wasn't interested, as though he couldn't care less... After Bridgeport he had been bad of course, but nothing like this... Ever since that night in the diner, Max had just seemed unreachable. He insisted that they wouldn't try and find her, but yet he also refused to leave. To Michael it was more than infuriating. He really couldn't understand what was so difficult. Either she was part of their group or she wasn't, and she had made it pretty clear where she stood from her flight. If she didn't want anything to do with them, that was just fine...he just wished that they could forget about her too, and just move on. If she didn't want to know them, she didn't have anything to do with them. She wasn't their responsibility, and right now, they should be leaving!

In the same way as always though, Max simply shrugged. I don't know what we're doing Kyle..." He responded in a flat voice. He was tired and just didn't want to talk about this at the moment.

"Max if you want to find her, start looking!" Isabel told her brother, rolling her eyes in exasperation. She, just as the others knew exactly why they weren't leaving, and unlike Michael, she wasn't complaining. She and Maria had continued their searches, without turning up anything, and she herself wanted to find Liz. She was grateful for any extra time, only she wished that her brother would actually admit how he felt. It was obvious that he had thought about her a lot. More than once she had walked into the boys' room and found him looking one of the pictures of Liz. Not that this was unusual, but something about the way he looked, told her that he wasn't thinking about his Liz, but the young mother who they had met ever so briefly.

Immediately, Max shook his head in denial although for once he didn't try and claim that he didn't know who she was talking about. "No, it's not like that Izzy...she made the choice to make a clean break. She had the right to do that, and we have to respect that. I can understand her feeling...we're not the ones she grew up with..."

His sister nodded. "No, we're not..." She conceded although she hadn't finished. "...but we are the only ones she has at the moment, and I think she could do with all the friends she could get, much like the rest of us." Besides, she wasn't about to say this to her brother, knowing that it would probably only make him worse at the moment, but she couldn't help thinking that in truth, Liz was in more danger away from them with them… So the FBI thought she was dead, but if someone spotted them, would they really take long enough to think about it, or shoot first and ask questions later…

He words were carefully chosen though, declining to use this argument and at no time had she tried to suggest that Max should get involved with this Liz. She knew it wasn't as simple as that, and she wasn't going to try and belittle what the two of them had been through. All she knew was that if anyone could understand how the other felt, it was this girl and her brother. They could be good friends to each other; of that she was certain.

Of course Max could be as stubborn as his sister, and it was obvious from the look on his face that he wasn't going to accept this easily. Inside, emotions were fighting, one half of him wanting more than anything to find her, just to check that she was okay, and another insisting that she didn't have anything to do with him and that they should just let her go live her life as she wanted to.

He knew that she wasn't his wife anymore than he was her boyfriend, and the fact was, that no matter what Isabel might say, he imagined that he was probably the last person she really wanted to see. Why would she want to see someone who looked so like the man she had lost...?

He shook his head again, looking round at the others. "No! This isn't our decision to make... She chose to leave, and she had every right to do so. She wasn't our prisoner...she is a human being, who has been through a lot and deserves a chance to have something of a life..." He didn't bother voicing his silent message that she wouldn't have that with them, although he was certain that everyone in the group would realise what he meant.

"Fine, so we're not going after her, why don't we just LEAVE then?" Michael asked, making no effort to hide his disgust at the situation. He really didn't see the problem with the situation. This Liz had left, and they were ready to move on...why they were delaying he didn't know, but he was getting itchy feet.

Maria glared at her boyfriend, stretching to give a quick kick in the shins in order to quieten him. She sniggered when she saw the look of pain, feeling that it served him right. She was fed up of Michael always trying to simplify everything down to black and white. He seemed to think that everything should be instant, and have no trouble, and as much as she loved him, it was driving her nuts right now.

Not only because she actually wanted to find Liz of course. She wasn't going to deny that she did, she might not have grown up with her, but it was Liz...in a way... It wasn't just that though. She was fed up of the way that Michael continually pushed Max. Over that summer a couple of years ago now, she had grown very close with the leader of the group, and she hadn't been oblivious to his intense inner conflicts and struggles, and she was well aware that her own boyfriend's personal comments and campaigns were not helping.

Michael winced, and was about to cry out, but one look from Isabel made him shut his mouth, thinking better of it.

Kyle sighed and looked round the group again. He hadn't intended to start an argument, or even a debate for that matter...he just wanted to know what was happening. He had noted, like Michael they were staying longer than usual, but as long as they were careful, he didn't actually have a problem with that. He just wanted to know where he stood so that he could give his boss a yes or no when he asked if he could cover an extra shift that week...that was all... "Fine, I guess I'll tell him no then..." He commented before heading out of the room.

Michael seized the opportunity to continue, ignoring the warning looks from the girls as he stood and moved deftly out of their reach. "Kyle's right though...we should be making plans...deciding what to do...where we're going next..." He looked over at Max expectantly once more.

It seemed that was the final straw though. Max really didn't want to talk about this right now, and at Michael's comment, he blew. "You want to know what we're doing Michael...well right now I'm going out for a walk...ALONE!" He told him in a sharp, crisp voice which left no room for misunderstandings. With that, he stood, grabbed his coat and headed out of the room.

When he was gone, Michael realised both the girls were looking at him accusingly. He glared back. "WHAT?"

**********

"Oh come on Beth...It'll be fun... Julie's already said she'll watch Thomas, I'm sure that she'd do the same for Emily, and it would be good for you to get out for a while... Serina encouraged her friend as she moved around the room, tidying bits and pieces away.

The younger girl shook her head as she continued ironing some of her daughter's clothes. It wasn't that she didn't appreciate the offer, but in truth, she really just wanted to stay in. "Honestly Rina...Julie should go with you...she doesn't get to go out much either, and I can look after Thomas...honestly, I'll be fine..."

"You stay in too much!" Serina's response came quickly, clearly not happy with her answer.

"Yeah...well my situation hasn't exactly been conducive to me going out... Having a baby at fifteen does rather tend to cramp your social-life..." Liz shrugged. She had long since accepted the limitations created by her daughter, and had been living by them for over two years now. If truth was told, right now, given the choice of spending time with her daughter, or going to a party, Emily would always win out…

Her friend sighed and shook her head. "You know, I told a friend of mine almost exactly that...except substitute fifteen with seventeen of course..." She offered the girl a small smile. "When I was at college, I never went anywhere except to lectures...to the study groups, to parties...I always said that I was busy..." She paused a moment as she came to sit on the sofa and motioned to Liz, inviting her to join her. "I did have a babysitter when necessary, and there was childcare, but I insisted that I should be with him every second I could..." Serina reached for Liz's hand as she sat down. "Alex told me that was all very well, but that I needed to take some time for myself too... He told me that I was going to burn myself out, and he was right..."

Liz hardly heard any more after she mentioned the name of this friend. Immediately, her head was filled with images of her good friend, and she was reminded, as she thought about it, that he hadn't been around when she had found this reality's version of her group. She wondered what had happened. She missed him...she missed all of them...

"Lesson one, the musicians get the girls…"

She laughed at his comment, shaking her head. "I thought that there was only one girl you wanted…"

It could have been a trick of the light, but she could have sworn he was blushing. "It's not that simple Lizzy, you know that…"

She shook her head. "Why not Alex… I don't see why it can't be… I mean all you have to do is talk to her, you do that everyday anyway, just tell her how you feel…"

Her friend looked less than impressed or convinced. "I don't know…I mean what if she doesn't like me like that, I don't want to ruin our friendship…"

Although she saw his point, it wasn't time to give up yet. "If she doesn't, she doesn't, but you're not going to know until you talk to her, and honestly Alex, considering the amount of time we've all been friends, I really don't see that happening…

"Funny, well I seem to remember you saying something very similar about you and Max not so long ago…" He reminded her teasing lightly. "You weren't so eager to take the first step…

Now it was her turn to blush. She gave a small smile and nodded. "Okay, so yeah I worried, and I can understand how you feel, but I was a girl, and you're a guy, and you can't go on like this…tell her!"


"Beth...?" Serina leant over and looked up into her eyes, sensing that she had lost her attention and that her friend's mind was anywhere except in the room. "Are you okay..?"

Liz blinked, the name still seeming a little unfamiliar although she did recognise it. "What...oh yeah, I'm fine..." She responded, clearly only half there.

"Okay, and now say it with even less conviction..." The older young woman teased as she waited her friend. "What's going on..."

Liz swallowed and shook her head. "Oh, it's nothing... I was just thinking about an old friend...he was called Alex too..." She admitted softly although as always she refrained from giving any details.

The second woman nodded. "Oh right...I see…" She smiled. "The Alex I know was really great...I don't know what I would have done without him those few months..." She looked round a moment, searching for something. "I should have a picture of him somewhere around here I'm sure..." She murmured, only half talking to Liz now as she stood up and went over to the unit which stood at the side of the wall, opening draw after draw, obviously searching for something.

"Rina...you okay... What're you looking for...?" Liz asked, standing and going to help her. In truth, she had no idea what to look for, or where though, and instead ended up stood at the side dumbly just waiting...

No response came immediately as Serina continued rummaging through the current drawer. Once she had something on her mind, she really could be like a bull at a gate...never letting go. It had to be here somewhere… She lifted some more papers, taking a look underneath and then made a triumphant sound as she pulled a small book out. It was green leather, not more than A5 in size, and as she peered at the book in question, Liz realised it was a photo album.

Serina moved back to the sofa and sat down, opening it. She took a few minutes, looking through the album, and then turned a few pages, selecting one particular page, which she handed over to her friend who stood to the side. "Here...see...that's him, with me and Thomas..." She grinned, remembering happy times with her friend, and in doing so missed the initial look which flashed across her friend's face. She went white as a sheet before recovering quickly and swallowing.
My fics:

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

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

Postby KatnotKath » Fri Mar 03, 2006 2:49 pm

Ellie - Oh I'm full of surprises - but remember, this isn't the alternate reality actually, this is the cannon universe, set after the series, Liz is from an AU.
Lazza - Did I surprise you then hehe
roswell3053 - Again, remember that this is the cannon universe, hopefully this next chapter will explain a bit of what's going on.
Timelord31 - now that would be telling surely? :wink:
Flamehair - here's the answer for you
begonia 9508
Emz80m - glad you enjoyed it

Okay, there seems to be a little confusion here over what's going on, so I'm sorry for that and I'm going to try and explain. Liz and Emily, are from an alternate reality, the one which is being shown in part in flashbacks - in italics as usual, and will be explored in more detail in a fic I'm working on at the moment (sorry, couldn't resist a little plug, hope you don't mind). Max, Michael, Maria, Isabel and Kyle, are from the cannon reality however. This is set about 18 months from when they ran away from Roswell. THey've been hunted by the FBI, and their Liz was killed. So anything that happened in the cannon before they left roswell, does apply for this group, but not to Liz and Emily.

Sorry if I'm confusing you, if you have any further questions please feel free to contact me and I'll do my best to explain.

Okay, so I'm a little earlier than I am usually, but the chapter's all ready, and I'm on here, so I thought I'd post it anyway. Thanks for the patience you guys are all showing, and for the wonderful feedback. Hope anyone reading is enjoying the story, and I'd love to hear what you think of the new chapter.

~Kat~


Chapter 28

Serina couldn't miss the change in her friend though…there was an almost haunted look in her eyes…in all the time she had known the girl; she had never seen her like this… She turned to her friend questioningly. "Beth...what's the matter...?" She asked softly, worried about what might have caused this change in her friend.

She didn't answer straight away, her gaze fixed on the young man in the picture.

"Liz...?"

Liz didn't even notice the fact that Serina had used her old name rather than the new one; she had other things on her mind. She swallowed and pointed to the figure, turning to her friend. "T-that's Alex..."

Serina nodded. "Yeah...that's Alex..." She responded, laughing a little and clearly not understanding.

Liz shook her head. "No...I mean, that's my friend Alex..."

The older woman looked a little puzzled. She couldn't help thinking that it was strange that he had never mentioned Liz. It was over two years since she had last seen him now, but even then, Liz would probably have already had Emily, and she would have expected her to feature given the nature of a lot of their conversations. "I guess maybe that explains how he was so good with Thomas then..." She finally commented after thinking about it a while. "How did you meet him anyway....?"

It was only as she said about Alex, that Liz suddenly realised what a mistake she could have made. It had just been such a shock to see him, and find that Serina knew him… But what if Serina was still in touch with him...? All it needed was for her to ask him about her, or mention Emily to him... She swallowed. "Oh...he used to come into the cafe my parents ran..." Liz answered vaguely, aware that saying that they had met at school might have sounded weird considering the age difference.

Serina nodded and smiled, apparently satisfied. "Yeah, he's a great guy...I haven't heard from him in way over a year though...have you got a contact number by any chance...?"

Letting out a breath she hadn't realised that she had been holding in, Liz shook her head. "N-no...He went away for college, and I'm afraid I haven't seen him since..." She responded, doing her best to sound regretful.

"Which college...? Sorry, I don't mean to push, it's just I said that I would send him some up to date photos of the two of us the last time I heard from him..." Serina explained awkwardly.

Liz swallowed. "Uh...no..." She responded nervously. "H-he was supposed to be telling me, but I guess when he came back I wasn't there..." She responded, realising that ever minute she was probably making her friend more and more suspicious of her story. If only Emily would wake up right now...some screaming would be a perfect get out...

Unfortunately, as she knew she probably would, her daughter remained silent in the other room, whether awake or asleep, unaware of the increasingly uncomfortable position her mother found herself in.

"Oh...right...never mind then..." Serina said slowly, watching the younger girl carefully. Time was ticking by, and she knew she and Julie needed to get ready to go out if they were going, but as she stood, she looked back at her friend. "You know Beth...if you ever want to talk about what's happened in the past, or about anything else...Julie's always said I'm a good listener..."

Liz looked up with a weak smile as she shook her head. "Thanks...but I'm sure I'll be okay..."

**********

"You okay Rina..." Julie asked her friend as she swayed in time to the music. It had been a long time since they had been out together like this, but there was obviously something off... Usually Serina was bright and bubbly, always willing to chat. Today...it was as though she had something on her mind...almost as though she wasn't even there...

"Huh...?" Serina turned, a blank look in her eyes. She hadn't really been listening to Julie she had to admit. She knew she should, and she should be having a great time. She didn't get to go out much considering her work hours and looking after her son. Usually when she came out, she made it her business to make sure that she had a good time, but somehow tonight her heart just wasn't in it...

Since meeting Liz, she had promised herself that she wouldn't push the young girl too much. She didn't want to scare her away, wanting to make sure that she was okay.

Liz, or Beth as she said that she now wanted to be called had spoken very little about her past, and volunteered even less information about herself. They had now been living together for over a week, in fact close to two, and still the most that she really knew about the young girl was that her name was Elizabeth, surname unknown, she was seventeen, with a two year old child, and the father of that child, although supportive originally, had apparently disappeared from the picture. She knew nothing about where she had come from, or why she had decided to leave. Her parents obviously used to run a cafe - which explained her apparently waitressing experience.

"Serina what is going on with you today...?" Julie asked again, pulling her away from the main party area into a quieter spot where they would be ale to speak properly. "We're out a party, together...and you're barely giving me the time of day..." She shook her head. They lived together, yet hardly got to talk given conflicting schedules, when Liz had refused to go out, insisting that she should go with Serina instead, she had been looking forward to a great night out.

"Sorry Jules...I guess I was just thinking..." Serina apologised, immediately feeling guilty for neglecting her friend. Julie was the only friend she still had from when she was younger. She had some health problems a few years before they finished school, and had been forced to repeat a year, meaning that she graduated the same year as Serina. The two of them had been close friends ever since she could remember and had been sharing an apartment since Serina had dropped out of college.

Julie laughed. "Yeah...I gathered that much..." She commented wryly. She looked at her friend. "The last time I remember you being anything like this, was when you ended up being pregnant..." She raised her eyebrows. "Hey, you're not expecting again are you...?" She asked, her eyes widening as the idea came to mind. She didn't think it likely, but it would explain a lot...

"WHAT? Ohhhhh no!" The denial was immediate and strong. Serina shook her head. "In order for that to be the case, I would have to be having relations...and that's so not happening..." She told her friend with a shrug. "Do I ever even bring anyone back to the apartment…?" The guys were nice enough, but none of them were really interested in her like that. They all knew about Thomas, and the simple fact was that none of them were ready for that kind of responsibility. She had been on a few dates, had some fun, but that was it. "Sorry, I was just talking to Liz or rather Beth earlier..." Despite not knowing the girl long, Serina had to say that she struggled with the name change. The girl was so not a Beth... She understood fully the reason for the change though, and she respected it. It was a way of moving on, and she couldn't live in the past.

"And...?" Julie looked at her expectantly. She reached out to touch her arm. "Look Rina...of all the girls at school, you were the one person who was always there for me... You visited me in hospital, came to see me at home when I was recovering. You've been a great friend, and you've helped me so much. I don't want to push you, but I do want to help. What's wrong...?"

"I don't know..." She shook her head. "Honestly, I guess I'm worried about the kid. She's obviously been through a lot, and looking after a child at that age is a rough deal... Not even I had to do that... I mean she was fifteen... I was seventeen, and I just can't see how I would have coped any earlier. It's hard as it is, and being so young can only make it worse.."

"Well, from what I've seen, she seems to be good with the kid though and hard as I might sound, you're not her mother..." Her friend pointed out softly. "Rina, you're a really sweet woman, but maybe this girl just needs to work through things on her own. You've given her a place to stay, offered her an ear to listen...now it's up to her..."

"She said she knew Alex..."

Julie looked over sharply in surprise. "What?" She remembered the sweet-natured younger guy from when she was visiting her friend at uni. Surely Beth was too young for him though... "You don't think that he's the father or something do you...?"

Serina shook her head. "Oh no, nothing like that... She said he was a friend..." She sighed. "She can't tell me how to get in touch with him though, and she was vague about how she knew him. Something just isn't right with her story, but I don't know what..."

Her friend smiled. "Look Serina, maybe this isn't what you want to hear, but maybe she just has some stuff she wants to forget. Maybe Alex was a friend, maybe not... Maybe she just wanted to give the two of you something in common to talk about. The important thing is that you're there to help her, and to let her know that. After that, it's up to her... You've done what you can..." She smiled at Serina. "I don't think I would have got through it without that you know...it was rough, and you gave me the strength to continue fighting." She looked over. "Thanks Rina...for everything..."

She nodded. 'No problem, any time..." She pulled the other girl into her arms, hugging her before looking back out to where everyone was dancing. "Now, are we going to party or what...?"

Julie laughed, pulling back and nodding as the two of them headed back to join everyone else.

**********

Meanwhile, back at the apartment, Liz sat alone on the sofa. In front of her stood the picture that Serina had shown her earlier and in her hands was a second picture, taken from her bag. It was a picture she always carried round in her purse, taken just after Emily was born, it included the whole group, and there, in the middle, was a much younger looking figure of the boy who was stood next to Serina in the first. Her finger ran over the small picture from her purse, lingering on the face of one of the boys. "I miss you so much..." She murmured softly as she remembered what it was like to be held in his arms.

"She's so beautiful Liz…" Maria had said as she sat down on the bed.

Liz had smiled, rocking the small bundle in her arms carefully as she looked over at her boyfriend.

Max had smiled, reaching over with his hand to hold the little hand of their daughter. Both looked so young, and so out of place with the baby, and yet the love which shone from the couple's eyes was undeniable.

"What are you going to call her…?"

That was Michael. He tried to keep his voice gruff as ever, but somehow he failed and it came out softer…

Max looked up at his friend, a smile of amusement playing on his lips as he heard his question. Michael had tried to claim that he wasn't interested, saying that the fuss that was being made of such a tiny child was silly.

After looking over at her boyfriend, Liz's gaze had dropped to the baby in her arms before looking round at her friends. She and Max had discussed this at length. "Emily Diane Parker" She responded softly. She would have liked to use 'Evans' as the surname, but her parents had insisted that they could change that when she was older if they were still together. In the same way as they had discouraged marriage for the reason of a pregnancy, they wanted their granddaughter to share her mother's name…

A wistful smile played on Isabel's face, and Max stood, moving away from the bed for a moment as he pulled his sister into his arms.

Liz watched with a sad smile. Her attention was drawn away from the siblings though, as a cry emanated from the bundle in her arms. Immediately she looked down, seeing the small cheeks of her baby growing red as she began to cry - loudly.

For a moment, her chest had constricted, fear spreading through her body and mind as the knowledge that this was up to her to deal with filtered through. A month or so ago she had been celebrating her fifteenth birthday…now… She swallowed, chewing her lower lip as she lifted the baby hesitantly, resting her more vertically against her chest as she laid back slightly against the pillows. "It's okay baby…m-mommy's here…" She struggled over the unfamiliar word.

Probably realising that she needed some time, the others quickly excused themselves, saying that they would be back the following day, and after seeing his sister out, Max returned a few minutes later. She had looked up from their daughter who was now nursing, and smiled. Her boyfriend had come over, reclaiming his spot on the side of the bed and slipping his arm around her shoulders. "I'll be here Liz, I'll always be here I promise…"


It hadn't been true though had it…? Closing her eyes, she summoned up an image of what it had been like in the cave, terrifying as it had been, just standing there next to him, feeling his hand touch her cheek. She remembered leaning towards him, her lips meeting his and kissing him back. 'I love you' She remembered the whispered words, trying to form an exact picture of his face with those wonderful deep brown eyes that she seemed to get lost in.

"Mommy...?" Suddenly she felt a tug on her leg, causing the flow of memories to cease. Looking down, she found her daughter stood there, apparently having woken up. "Mommy...want up...cuddles!" Emily told her, reaching up towards her and trying to get onto her lap.

Liz smiled softly, despite herself. "You should be asleep..." She told the little girl as she picked her up and lifted her onto her knee, wrapping her arms around the small child and rocking her lovingly.

"Not tired!" She looked round and then tried to sit up properly, something obviously having caught her eye.

Liz leant over, holding her securely. "What is it sweetheart...?" She asked as she kissed the back of her neck.

"Lex, Unc Lex!" The little girl struggled, her hands reaching towards the picture on the table.

Her mother laughed at the familiar name. Her daughter was pretty good with talking, but she hadn't yet mastered the 'le' in uncle, and as with Maria, Alex's name was always shortened. She smiled as she reached forward and brought the picture for Emily to see. "Yeah...there's Alex, and Serina with Thomas when he was much younger...see...?" She told the little girl, pointing to each in turn. She set the picture down, and then reached for her own, showing it again to her daughter. "Can you tell me who these are...?" She asked her gently, taking her small hand and pointing one of her daughter's fingers at the first of the group. "Who's this my Emmy sweet?"

"Um...Spaceboy..." Emily responded with a big smile as she gave her name for Michael, causing her mother to laugh. It had been less than a year since she, Alex and Maria had found out the truth, but Maria had soon adopted a new nickname for Michael, her boyfriend, and as she had learnt to speak, Emily had soon followed suit. She moved her small stubby finger and pointed it now at the girl in the centre. "Mommy" She stated solemnly, moving slightly to one side and then looking up at her again. "Daddy" She beamed and clapped her hands.

Liz sniffed, almost choking on a sob which rose in her throat. "Yes baby...mommy and daddy...and that's you..." She pointed to the baby she held in her arms in the picture. "We love you..." She cuddled the little girl, blinking back tears and forcing a smile for her sake. She brought her hand to her mouth, kissing it gently and then looking down at her daughter again as she used the hand to point to another of the group. "Who's this one...?" She asked, directing her daughter's attention back at the photograph in the hopes that she wouldn't pick up on her own distress. The last thing that she wanted was to upset her little girl. She knew that she had to be strong, for her sake, but sometimes it was so hard. To see Emily so happy just to see a picture of her father, and to know that he was gone... "Come on sweets...take a look...who's this...?"

Looking down as requested, Emily studied the picture for a moment, a smile on her face. "Aunty Izzy, Ria, and Unc Lex!" She reeled off the last three names, moving her finger across the small picture as she did so. She turned back, snuggling back into her mother's arms. "Where daddy?" She asked in a small voice. She looked up. "Want daddy..."

Liz bit down on her lip and nodded, holding her baby close and rocking her back and forth. 'I know sweetheart...I know..."
Last edited by KatnotKath on Sat Mar 04, 2006 9:40 am, edited 3 times in total.
My fics:

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

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

Postby KatnotKath » Sun Mar 12, 2006 7:13 pm

roswell3053 - You got it in one :wink:.
Timelord31 - I get what you're saying, but I don't think that Liz would want Max pretending to be Emily's daddy even if he did find her - not at first anyway... I'm afriad it doesn't get any better here either...
BETHANN - Welcome, and thank you for the feedback and compliments. I'm glad you're enjoying the story, but sorry you're still confused about Alex.
Flamehair - Glad that my explanation helped, and you're not the only one wanting to read the prequel - as I keep being reminded at regular intervals... (you know who you are :wink:) I'm glad you're interested in it though.
lazza - You worked it out :)
Isabelle - :D thanks for reading, so glad you know you enjoyed the flashbacks and of course the rest of the story. Hope I didn't disappoint too much with how Alex came up.

As always, thanks for reading, and for all the feedback.

I'm going to try again to explain what's going on, but if you still don't understand please feel free to ask again. The reality this story is set in for the main is the cannon reality, anything which happened in the series, happened to Max and his friends in the story in the past. As deduced correctly by a few people last week, Alex and Serina met when he was supposed to be in 'Sweden' - when we all know he was in fact staying at the univerisity of New Mexico. He was at the university at the same time she was studying there. She doesn't know what happened to him, only that he hasn't been in touch in a long time.

Sorry this maybe isn't progressing as quickly as some of you might like, I know it's taking a while, but I hope you will stick with it, and that you're still enjoying the story. Here's the next chapter, tell me what you think?

Kat


Chapter 29

“DADDY…I want daddy…I want daddy!”

Emily’s cries earlier in the day haunted Liz as she moved around the diner, collecting up some dirty plates and carrying them back to the counter. She had hardly said a word all evening, being unable to rid her mind of the sight of her little girl in floods of tears.

Serina watched her friend from a distance. She didn’t know what had happened that morning while she was out taking Thomas to pre-school, but from the moment she had returned to the apartment she had known something was wrong.

Liz had been sat on the sofa, rocking her daughter back and forth on her knee, but both mother and child had the tell-tale red eyes which told her they had been crying. She had tried to talk to Liz about it of course, to ask her what was wrong, and see if she could help, but the younger girl refused to talk about it. She simply said that it was something no one could do anything about, and then went about the rest of the day pale and drawn.

Even hours later, she just didn’t seem the same as usual. Normally, no matter how she felt, Liz always had a smile for the customer. More than that though, her eyes were bright, and she seemed genuinely interested in what people were saying if they spoke to her. It was necessary to be pleasant and polite of course, but the fact was that she was far more than that…

That evening, the young woman’s eyes were dull, her skin was pale, and one of the customers had even asked Serina if the young woman was alright.

She sighed, moving to take the order of a couple who had just sat down. “Alright, so two coffees and two pieces of chocolate cake…I’ll bring them right o-“ She broke off hearing a loud crash and turned to find Liz surrounded by the remains of a large plate. Excusing herself quickly, she rushed over. “Beth, what happened…?” She asked, kneeling down next to her friend as the younger girl began to pick up the shattered crockery in silence.

Liz swallowed and shook her head. “N-nothing…sorry, it just slipped…. I’ll pay for it, I’m sorry…”

Her words didn’t fool the older woman. Plates didn’t just slip out of Liz’s hand. She was one of the most able waitresses she had met, and certainly although accidents happened, she had no doubt that this wasn’t as simple as that… She shook her head at the mention of paying. “Oh, don’t worry about it, I’m pretty sure that Zack won’t… In my first year, I broke tons of stuff and he never wanted me to pay for any of it…” She smiled reassuringly. “Accidents happen you know, we’re not perfect, and people can’t expect us to be…”

If she had hoped to get a smile from her friend at this, she was to be disappointed. Liz simply nodded silently, continuing to clear up the mess and then taking it over to the bin to dispose of. She looked round a moment. “Do you mind if I take my break now…it’s not busy, and I’d like to go check on Emily…”

Serina sighed and shook her head. “No, of course I don’t mind…” She assured the young woman. “Sitting down a little while would probably do you some good too; you look dead on your feet tonight!”

Again, her attempt to lighten the atmosphere failed, Liz simply removing her apron, and then heading through to the back room.

“Hey Serina, what’s up with Liz tonight…?” Gus called to her from his seat at the bar.

She shook her head and walked over to him. “It’s Beth, and honestly, I don’t know…”

The student made an apologetic gesture. “Sorry, I forget sometimes…she really isn’t a Beth you know, she suits Liz far more…”

Serina nodded. “Yeah, I know, and I agree, but there’s a reason for it which I can understand, and she needs us to respect what she’s decided…”

Gus nodded. “Okay fine, I’ll try and remember…” He shrugged. “Seriously though, she just seems like a completely different person tonight…”

“Yeah, well she had a bit of a rough time today with Emily I think…” Serina told him softly. She looked over towards the door through which Liz had gone a few minutes before and then back at the customers sat in the diner. She debated a moment, and then turned back to Gus. “Hey, could you maybe do me a favour and just watch the counter for a few minutes if I go check on her…?” She asked, not liking leaving the other girl alone as she was at the moment…

“Of course, sure I can!” His response came in the affirmative. “You go do what you need to do…” He assured his friend. The way she was speaking about Liz worried him too, that, and the way the other girl was looking that night. He hadn’t known her long, and he didn’t know her that well, but she was a nice kid, and he hated seeing her like this, that was for sure…

“Thanks so much!” Reaching behind her back, she untied her apron, setting it down on the counter before walking over and disappearing through the door through the back.

“Your daddy loved you so much you know sweetheart… I know he’s not here right now, but he would be if he could be… I’m sorry baby…we should have known…”

As Serina stepped through into the back, she was met with the site of her friend leaning over the sleeping form of her daughter. Liz stroked back the long brown hair, speaking softly to the sleeping child. The young mother obviously hadn’t hear the entrance of her friend, and Serina just stood there, listening with growing confusion as she heard what she was saying.

“We should have known th-“ Liz broke off, turning slightly now as she suddenly became aware she was on longer ‘alone’.

Her friend didn’t miss the look of alarm which flashed in front of her arms. Combined with the words she had just heard, this left her in utter confusion and she looked over at her friend. “L-Beth…” She corrected herself quickly as she closed the distance.

Liz stood up, moving away from Emily, reinstating the distance between the two of them. “Oh, sorry Serina, I didn’t mean to be so long…” She apologised softly, looking away and hoping that she would have missed the tears which she knew hung in the corners of her eyes.

Serina shook her head, moving forward without watching now and reaching out to catch her arm. “That’s not why I’m here, and I think that you know that… Beth, please, look at me…?” She could see that her friend was upset, and she herself was close to tears as she took in her appearance.

Rubbing the remains of tears away from her eyes with the back of her hand, Liz tilted her head upwards, her lip trembling as, while she stood there, new tears threatened to form.

“Chica what’s the matter…?”

For one moment, Serina’s choice of language reminded Liz so much of her lost best friend, that she couldn’t hold back the tears any longer. More memories flooded into her mind, reminding her of the happier times, and speaking of how much she had lost… Her family, her boyfriend, her friends… The last two years, they were what had kept her going, they were the ones who had given her the strength she needed to do what she had to, to be a mother, young as she was, and care for Emily as the little girl needed…

To hear her daughter crying, asking where her father was, to be forced to try and explain that he was gone, and that he wasn’t coming back, it threatened to tear out her heart. She was her mother, she was supposed to be able to make everything right, and she couldn’t… She couldn’t do a thing… “I-I just can’t do this…” She sobbed desperately, burying her head in her friend’s shoulder as she was pulled into her arms,

Holding Liz against her chest, Serina guided her over to the free sofa, sitting down and rocking her back and forth, stroking her hair much as she had seen Liz do with Emily on occasion. “Hey…what’s wrong…what’s happened…?” She asked again, pulling back a moment to look at her friend before pulling her back into her arms. She couldn’t help it, she knew that Julie had said that she should let her be, but seeing her friend like this brought out the mothering instinct in her, and she knew she couldn’t just leave her there like this…

Almost choking on the sobs which rose in her throat, one after another, Liz shook her head. “I just can’t do this…” She repeated, her whole body trembling now and shaking with every sob.

“What can’t you do…?” Serina hated to push her in this condition, but she could only hope that getting it out in the open would help…

Liz pushed back from her arms, standing up again, tears still streaming down her cheeks. “This…” She motioned to it. “I can’t do this alone, I love her so much, but I can’t do this without him…it just makes it worse for her, I can’t do this…I’m seventeen, I can’t do this…”

After listening in silence, Serina shook her head; standing and pulling Liz back down to sit next to her. “Liz, look at me!” She made no attempt to use her ‘new’ name now, knowing that wasn’t important. She gripped her arm, hating that she was hurting her, but knowing that this couldn’t be done by half measures. She still didn’t know what had happened, but right now she didn’t care… All she cared about was making sure that she didn’t make the biggest mistake of her life as it sounded like she was thinking about doing. “Liz, look at me!” She repeated, before turning the girl so that she was looking at Emily lying peacefully opposite. “Tell me what you see…?” She asked, her voice softening now as she looked down at her friend.

Liz swallowed, blinking and covering her mouth with her hand.

“What do you see?”

She still didn’t answer, her gaze simply fixed on the sleeping child.

“Liz…?”

“My daughter!” She practically choked out the words. “The person I l-love more than anything in the world…”

Serina smiled and nodded. “Exactly…” She touched her arm, causing her to look back at her. “Liz, it doesn’t matter to Emily how old you are, you know that… It doesn’t matter whether you’re seventeen, twenty seven, or even fourty seven, you’re her mother, and that’s the important thing… She loves you, and you love her…”

The younger of the two mothers nodded. “I-I know that really…” She responded softly, her tears now beginning to dry up a little. “It’s just sometimes…” She shook her head. “I’m sorry…”

”No need to apologise…” She shook her head reaching up to push her hair back from Liz’s face. She looked down, her piercing grey eyes searching for answers. “Liz, you haven’t been the same since I came home this morning…then there was the plate, and now this… What’s going on…?”

Liz swallowed, shaking her head as she buried her head in her hands. “Emily was crying…she wanted her daddy, and there was nothing I could do about it…” Tears welled up in her eyes again as she remembered the tearful face of her daughter as she had cried herself to sleep. “She was in floods of tears, and all I could do was hold her – fat lot of good that I did!”

“Oh honey, you can’t beat yourself up over it... It’s not your fault!” Serina bit her lip as she tried her best to comfort her friend. So Emily had been asking after the jerk that had left them had she? That explained a lot in her mind. She wished that she could say something to make it all better, but really, time was the only thing that was going to help…time would heal – or so she hoped – as the old saying goes… She was about to say more, but just at that moment, a whimper sounded from the small child lying opposite.

“Momm…Momm…” Her cries were soft, breaking off intermittently as her tiny body shook with sobs.

“Looks like someone wants her mother…” Serina commented softly although in truth she didn’t really need to. She smiled, seeing that Liz was already at Emily’s side, standing silently and slipping out of the room, leaving mother and daughter alone once more…

Liz didn’t even notice her leave, her attention focused solely on the little girl in front of her. “Hey…it’s okay Emmy, its okay my Emmy sweet…” She pulled her into her arms rocking her gently and kissing her head. “Mommy’s here…it’s okay, mommy’s here…”

Emily looked up through tearful eyes. “Mommy gone, mommy going…”

Liz shook her head, stroking the silky tresses of her daughter. “No, mommy’s right here sweetheart, I’m not going anywhere, I promise…” She assured the little girl, her words having far more meaning than if taken at face value. She didn’t mean she wasn’t going back to work, she didn’t exactly have a choice in that one, but she was going to do this, she didn’t know how, but she wasn’t going to give up… Lifting Emily up, she sat down and pulled her onto her knee, holding her close. “Mommy loves you baby…”

“Love you mommy…” Emily clung to her front, her tears drying up now as she hugged her mother.

Liz smiled, swallowing to try and get rid of the lump in her throat as she hugged her back, looking behind Emily to the door that led into the diner and whispering, “Thank you Serina…”
My fics:

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

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

Postby KatnotKath » Sun Mar 19, 2006 2:46 pm

Thanks for all the feedback guys

Lazza - I think you're probably right, but for now Serina's thoughts are going to have to wait, hope this won't disappoint too much though.
roswell3050 - I agree with you that Max would help them if Liz let him, but as far as him loving Emily like a father, while I don't doubt he would, I do think it's probably important to Liz that her Max isn't forgotten. I think in some ways maybe both sides of this just need some time.
Timelord31 - The FBI - well that's something only time will tell.
begonia9508 - I don't think she truely understands that he's dead, just that he's gone. She's in a strange place, and the only familiar figure is her mom, I'm sure it's pretty scary for her and it's only natural she wants her dad. Unfrotunately, he's not around :(
Flamehair - I have tried to get the part up for you, don't know if it's soon enough, but if not I hope you enjoy reading when you get back. Hope you have a good trip.

Thanks to everyone that's reading, hope you're all enjoying the story, I know I'm enjoying writing it. Here's the new chapter, tell me what you think?

Kat


Chapter 30

"Michael…" Max looked around in surprise, as he stepped into the room, half expecting to see a number of the others but finding the room empty except for the two of them. "Are the girl's already sleeping…?" He asked, checking his watch to see what time it was. He was later than usual, having been asked to do a couple of extra hours, so they'd probably have got back a while before him…

Michael shook his head. "No, they're not sleeping…" He responded simply without giving any details.

Max looked surprised. Isabel and Maria certainly didn't work this late, which meant… "They're not back yet? We should go check up on them then…"

"NO!" Michael's hand shot out, causing the door behind Max to slam and stopping him from leaving.

Max spun round sharply. "What are you doing Michael…" He hissed. He couldn't believe that Michael had been so careless about using his powers, but even more, he couldn't believe that he didn't even seem concerned about the others…

"Stopping you from leaving…" Came the simple answer. "The girls already got back and went out again…same with Kyle…I thought we needed to have a chat…alone…" His tone was grave as he explained.

"About what…?"

"Well how about the fact that we're coming up to having been here for two months…that's longer than we've stayed anywhere…" Michael started pointedly.

Max shook his head, raising his eyebrow in something which almost appeared to be amusement. "For starters, you're exaggerating about the amount of time…it's about four weeks…" He pointed out.

"Yeah, well that's well over two weeks too long in my book…" His friend interrupted without letting him finish. He couldn't believe that he could be so blasé about it… Four weeks, weeks, and he made it sound like it was nothing… "We all agreed when we left Roswell, we had to keep moving… Settling down somewhere wasn't an option then, and it isn't an option now… If we stay here, one of these days the FBI are going to catch up to us and our time will have run out!" He looked at Max. "Do you really want that?" He demanded, his hand slapping down on the bed in frustration… "Do you want to have more bodies on your hands because you couldn't make the decision to leave?"

"Of course I don't want that!" Max responded tightly. "Michael I'd never put you guys in danger on purpose…" He tried to insist.

Michael laughed. "Look at yourself Maxwell… Look at what you're doing and how you've been acting… How can you say that?" Standing up, he towered above the leader of the group. "Everyone listens to you Max, we trust you and follow you…"

"I NEVER SAID I WAS THE LEADER!" Max exploded. He swallowed and looked down. I told you when we left that I didn't want the crown anymore… I couldn't tell you what to do, because it wasn't my decision to make…"

"Well newsflash Your Highness, doesn't work that way… You might not want to be the leader, but that's what you are… Over the last few weeks, you haven't been acting like it though, so buck up and get with the programme why don't you!" Michael had lost patience a long time ago… Maria and Isabel had told him to wait, and that was exactly what he had done… This was getting way out of hand right now though, and enough was enough… He grabbed the picture of Liz from the bedside table, stuffing it in front of Max. They had tried being understanding and soft, maybe now it was time to play it rough. "She's DEAD MAXWELL!" He stated coldly.

"DON'T YOU THINK I KNOW THAT!" Fury burned in Max's eyes as he pushed the picture away and looked up at Michael. "Don't you think that I have to think about that fact every night when I go to bed alone…I think about her every waking minute, and even more when I'm asleep…she never leaves my thoughts…"

"LIZ!" He cried out, scrambling towards the door, hearing the shots as they rang out.

"Max NO!" Michael shoved him back as he pushed Maria up into the van and followed her quickly. "GO, GO!" He called out to Kyle who was driving, pulling the door shut as they raced away from the diner.

"NO, we can't just leave her there, we have to go back!"

"It's too late!"

The words were like a ton of bricks which had just fallen on him. It couldn't be… She had to be okay…she just had to be… He fell down onto one of the seats, his gaze fixed on the simple gold band on his finger. This wasn't supposed to happen…


"She's not the only one though is she…?" Michael commented, his tone softening slightly now, sounding less gruff.

Max's brow furrowed in confusion. "I don't know what you mean…"

"Oh come off it Maxwell…we all know why we're still here, the only one who won't admit it is you…"

"I don't know what you're talking about!" Max insisted in a tight voice.

Michael glared. "Okay, give you a clue…a certain seventeen year old with a daughter!" He commented sarcastically, his sympathy fading as his friend's stubborn front continued.

An image of the small child, with her mother's beautiful brown hair came into Max's mind but he tried to push it away. "You don't know what you're talking about…" He responded, refusing to meet Michael's eyes.

"Sure I do, if it wasn't for her, we'd have left this place ages ago!" Michael shook his head. Max could deny it all he liked, but it was perfectly clear to the rest of them, that much was sure. It reminded him of his infatuation with a certain waitress at a certain diner in Roswell actually, which sort of made sense considering…

"I don't want to talk about it!" His response was short and clipped, glaring back angrily as he stood up. "We're done here Michael!"

"So when are we leaving?"

"I don't know!" Max threw back the answer over his shoulder as he headed for the door. He reached for the handle, but then drew back sharply, turning back to the centre of the room as the lightbulb above him exploded. Michael was stood directly behind him, his hand held out. Max waved his hand over the broken light fitting in silence, repairing it and then walking out without another word, slamming the door loudly behind him.

Michael clenched his fist, punching the mattress hard, to try and get rid of some of his pent-up aggression, and then grabbed his coat, heading out after his friend quickly. The light exploded again as he passed under it, but he didn't take any notice, not even stopping for a moment as he headed out of the room.

**********

"Well, I don't care whether they're done yet or not… I need some sleep…" Maria commented as she used her key to unlock the hotel room.

Isabel nodded, raising her hand to her mouth in an attempt to stifle a yawn. "Too right…" She agreed as she leant against the wall. The three of them had been out for over three hours to allow for Michaels 'intervention', but had now run out of places to hang out it seemed. Even the late-night cafés were closing briefly in order to tidy up and get things ready for the day shift, and both Isabel and Maria were in danger of falling asleep on their feet. In short, it had been decided it was time to go back.

Pushing open the door, the two girls and Kyle entered the room and looked round.

"It's empty…" Maria looked back at her companions in surprise.

"No…they're just invisible Maria…" Kyle teased her for stating the obvious.

Isabel laughed softly but soon went silent as she tried to put on the light and, when it didn't work, used her hand to create a small glow with which to look around the room. "Um…it doesn't look like it went too well…" She commented, indicating the remains of the overhead light which could be seen scattered over the floor.

"So where are they…?" Kyle began to look around. This definitely wasn't the result which had been hoped for…

She shook her head. "Your guess is as good as mine…but I'm guessing that probably Max went first and Michael headed after him…"

"Well it looks like they've been gone a while…" Maria commented as she walked over to the bed and picked up a now-flat can of soda. Glancing round the room, another thought occurred to her and it made her blood run cold. "T-this is because of Michael's talk isn't it…I mean you don't think that…" She trailed off, unwilling to finish the sentence.

Isabel froze, understanding exactly what she meant but Kyle shook his head. "Nah… Look at it this way, if it had been something like that, don't you think they'd have been here when we got back…?"

"I guess…" Maria swallowed nervously, chewing over the point he had made and looking around nervously before pulling out her cell. "One way to find out - right…?" She pressed to call her boyfriend, and sat down as the line on the other end began to ring. "Come on…pick up…" She muttered to herself.

A moment later, her prayers were answered it seemed, as Michael picked up on the other end and, having received confirmation that their original scenario had been the right one, Isabel and Kyle moved into the other room so as not to be evesdropping.

The red-head sighed as she dropped down onto the bed, running a hand through her hair. "I knew this was a bad idea when Michael suggested it…" She told them, her tiredness now forgotten it seemed.

Kyle nodded, reaching for her hand a little hesitantly, squeezing it gently in what he hoped would be a reassuring manner. "Yeah, but someone had to talk to him… I mean Michael might be a pain, and I'm not going to say he isn't, but he has a good point at the moment… We should be leaving, I know you two want to find this Liz, and I can't disagree with you that I think she'd be better with us, but I also can't deny that I'm getting nervous about being here this long…"

Isabel swallowed and nodded, struggling to try and manage a small smile as she felt him squeeze her hand. "I know…but maybe it should have been me…I mean I am his sister…maybe I-" She shook her head desperately, pulling away from Kyle and sinking down on the bed, her head in her hands.

Maria, who had apparently finished her call to Michael and followed them into the room, sat down next to her immediately, hugging her friend. "Michael says they're both fine, Max stormed out and he went after him… As for you being the one to do it Isabel, I don't think he'd have taken it any better from you than Michael , he was never going to like it whoever approached him…"

Isabel looked up. "It's not just about Max though is it…? I mean we've been looking for over two weeks, and we just haven't found Liz… She's out there with Emily, and we're going to just leave her here… What if the FBI find her, what do you think they're going to do to her…and Emily…?" Despite the fact that this Liz wasn't from her reality, she still felt a connection to her, and the little girl, who was in some weird way, almost her niece…

Kneeling down in front of her, Kyle reached for her hand. "I'm sure it'll be okay Izzy…I mean they think that Liz Parker, or Evans, is dead don't they…?" He pointed out softly.

"All the more reason why she's in danger…if they get wind that someone that looks like Liz Parker is walking about, you don't honestly think they're going to leave her alone do you…?" Isabel pulled back from him sharply and looked from one to the other. "We have to find her…it's the only way…"

Maria bit her lip and nodded, knowing that Isabel was right about the FBI. She also agreed with Michael though, however much she might want to find the young mother and child, they couldn't stay here indefinitely... "We'll try, of course we will while we're still here, but…"

Kyle interrupted her. "We'll do better than that, we'll succeed!" He stated firmly just hoping that he was right.

Isabel smiled softly. "Thanks…"
My fics:

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

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

Postby KatnotKath » Sun Mar 26, 2006 1:48 pm

Thanks for all the feedback

behrstars - Thanks for reading
roswell3053
Lazza - For the purpose of this story, Liz from the cannon timeline is definitely dead, more on that at a later date though.
Timelord31 - nothing so exciting this chapter I'm afriad
L-J-L 76 - I don't mind the questions, ask all you like, but I'm afriad at the moment I can't answer those you're asking sorry. Thanks for reading though, and glad you're enjoying the story.
begonia9508 - Well let's just hope they don't find her then, yeah?
Emzx80m - I don't think that Michael is suggesting that Max should just 'get over' having Lost Liz, but I think he just knows that there are other things which need to be considered in the big picture, and much as they all miss Liz, they need to stay alive which means keeping moving. I think that in actual fact doing that was a lot harder for him than it might have appeared, but whether Isabel would have been able to go through with it I don't know.
Flamehair - I'm sorry about not being able to get the update done last week before you left, I did try, just as I said, uni stuff kinda got in the way :-S. Thanks for reading though, glad you enjoyed the last chapter.

Thank you to everyone that's reading this story, whether you're leaving feedback or not, I only hope that you're enjoying it as much as I'm enjoying writing it. I know that it's been a long road, and there's a whole lot further to go, but thanks for all the patience.

Here's the next chapter, it's another sad one I'm afriad, but I'd love to hear what you think.

~Kat~


Chapter 31

“Daddy gone…daddy gone…”

Emily continued crying, burying her face in her mothers chest as she rocked her back and forth.

“It’s okay honey…it’s okay…”

“Mommy, what’s wrong with Emmy?” Thomas walked up to his own mother who was sat at the side, looking up at her questioningly.

Serina bit her lip and ruffled his hair. “She’s just a little upset darling…she’ll be okay…” She stood up, holding out her hand to him. “How about we go see about getting you ready for bed…?”

Unsurprisingly perhaps, this suggestion didn’t go down too well. “Don’t want to!”

She shook her head and sighed. “No, somehow I didn’t think you would…but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s time for little boys to be in bed!” She responded firmly, holding out her hand to him again.

“Why?”

“Because little boys need plenty of sleep…”

“Why…?”

She groaned. “Because mommy says so!” She looked down at him, expecting further resistance but was pleasantly surprised to find that he nodded, apparently accepting this. “What do you want…?” She murmured to herself.

“What do you mean?”

She looked down, realising that he had heard her and shook her head. “Oh, nothing honey…just mommy being a little silly… How about we go get you washed up. She ushered him through into the bathroom, looking back over her shoulder at the mother and daughter still sat on the couch. It broke her heart to see them like that…

“Mommy?”

She looked round.

“Are you coming…?”

Serina smiled and nodded. “Yes sweetie, I’m coming…” She followed him into the bathroom and closed the door behind them.

**********

“NO, MMMMAAA, Mommmma!”

Liz’s tears matched that of her daughters as she sat at the side of the bed, leaning over Emily. “I’m here baby…I’m here…” She told her, struggling past the lump which stuck in her throat. She pushed dark hair back from the little girl’s face, running her hand over it as it splayed over the pillow like a dark cloak around her head.

“Daddy, want Daddy!” Emily continued to cry out as she tossed and turned in the bed.

Serina stood at the doorway. She had put Thomas to bed in her own room to avoid him being disturbed. Now that she was certain that he was okay though, she was far more interested in Liz and Emily.

The little girl had woken up over half an hour before, screaming… She and Liz had been in the room almost instantly of course, and she hadn’t missed the look of panic on her young friend’s face. It was more than just upset about her daughter, Serina couldn’t help thinking…

“I’m sorry sweetheart…” Liz whispered, stroking her head and feeling as though a pain was lancing through her as the little girl pulled away, effectively rejecting her.

“DADDY!”

Serina could see that Liz was spent. Both mother and daughter were extremely distressed, and it seemed as though maybe each was subconsciously picking up on that, each making it unintentionally worse for the other. She would never say that to Liz of course, the young mother had enough on her plate without having it suggested that she was making it worse, but she couldn’t help feeling that she needed a rest…

A strong feeling of hate surfaced in her for the man who had left Liz to deal with this alone… He hadn’t even left her alone at first, and maybe that made it even worse… From the little things that had been said, and now from Emily’s words, it was clear that he had been a regular part of her life, and having that removed at such a young age possibly was even more difficult than if she had never had it in the first place…

Liz too, she was now having to adjust to dealing with things alone, which before, Serina imagined, had been a joint effort…

What had caused that complete change in attitude…what had caused him to just abandon them as he had…?

“NO, DADDY!”

Emily cried again and as Serina saw the tears flowing from Liz’s eyes now, she stepped forward, approaching the bed. “Beth…?”

Liz looked round. “What do I do…?” She asked helplessly, searching for any advice which might help. “She wants Max, and I can’t give her that…it’s not possible, if he w-“ Her words came out without thinking and as she realised what she had been saying, Liz shut up immediately, worried that she might already have admitted too much. Serina had known Alex, who knew how much she had known about his friends… She clenched her fist, berating herself for being so careless.

Serina looked at her friend, her questions multiplying over and over. For the moment though, she kept them to herself, knowing that there were more important things at the moment, like the girl who was crying… She shook her head. “All you can do is be there for her Beth, just be there…” She told her, feeling like the advice was completely inadequate.

“She won’t let me hold her though, she doesn’t want me sh-“

The older of the girls held up her hand. “Stop it!” She told her friend sternly. “Beth, I know this sounds cruel, but you need to calm down… I know that’s easier said than done, I understand that, but she needs you to be strong right now…”

The brunette bit down on her lip, nodding silently. “I know…” She responded in a small voice. “I know, it’s just it’s so hard sometimes… I see her like this, and I want to make it all better…but I can’t…” She shook her head sadly. “I can’t give her back her father, no one can…”

Serina frowned. “What do you mean ‘no one can’? She asked of her friend, her brow creased in confusion.

Liz swallowed. Now she really had done it… She shook her head again. “N-nothing, just he won’t ever come back…” She gave a vague explanation, hoping that it would pass inspection.

The older woman made no response, but she looked at the other girl strangely, convinced that there was more to it than that…

Feeling increasingly uncomfortable, Liz bit her lip as she focused on reaching out again for her daughter, refusing to let her push her hands away as she slid closer and pulled the little girl up onto her lap. “I know sweetheart, I know…” She spoke, dipping her head and whispering in her ear. “It’s okay baby…it’s okay…I know…”

Watching carefully, much as she tried Serina just couldn’t figure it out. She couldn’t get rid of the feeling that there was something about her, a feeling which had been growing since the strange conversation about Alex. She had tried to bring up their mutual friend more than once since, but every time Liz seemed reluctant to talk about him, and her explanation that she found it difficult to talk about her past, although perfectly possible she knew, just didn’t quite fly…

She shook her head, excusing herself to allow the mother and daughter some privacy, and as she slipped out of the room, she looked back to see Emily, who’s cries had begun to wane, reach out and bury her face in her mother’s chest.

**********

Sitting in the bed, her daughter asleep in her arms, Liz closed her eyes, trying to block out Emily’s tearful voice which continued to sound in her head. It wasn’t the first time, by a long way, that the little girl had become worked up and distressed, and it pained Liz to know there was little she could do. She had tried to explain to her daughter, hard as it was, but she knew she couldn’t really expect her to understand.

Emily was only two, she was a little girl, and she just wanted her daddy… It wasn’t an unusual request, and nor should it be an impossible one…

She shook her head, trying to block the tears which began to well up in her eyes. “Oh Max…I wish you were here…” The words came out in little more than a whisper as she reached down, stroking back the hair of her daughter before pulling the blanket on the bed further up to cover the little girl more fully.

As the small brown head on her chest shifted slightly, Liz held her breath, holding still a moment and waiting. The child in her arms gave no sign of waking though, and slowly she let out the breath, looking down and watching her daughter in silence.

“Mmam…”

The murmured cry came as Liz was just dropping off and her eyes sprang open as she looked down. What her daughter was dreaming about, she didn’t know, but from the cries, she had to think, much as she hated to, that it probably wasn’t pleasant. She bit her lip and tightened her hold on the little girl. “It’s okay sweetheart, we’re safe now…we’re safe…” She whispered softly, wishing more than anything that she could have saved her from this.
My fics:

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

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

Postby KatnotKath » Fri Apr 07, 2006 12:16 pm

Thanks for all the feedback guys :)

behrstars - Sorry it's so sad, I have to warn you that I don't know if this one is any more cheerful, but I hope you'll enjoy it anyway.
Timelord31 - Sorry, but I promise you your patience will be rewarded...eventually...
roswell3053 - I'm sure that Serina is doing her best to provide emotional support, but of course she's working on assumptions about what happened, so I take your point, someone that understands fully can better help.
Flamehair - sad seems to be my speciality at the moment...although not on purpose...glad to hear you're still enjoying it though.
begoina9508
Lazza - Well you should know about sad... Anyway, I know it's sad now, but I promise it gets better...eventually...just hang on in there...please?
Emz80m
L-J-L 76 - Thanks, I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the story.
isabelle - :D Glad to hear you like the way it's going, and thanks for the patience you're showing.

First of all, I'm sorry this part has taken longer than usual. My cousin was playing pool in a tournament in Bridlington last week and I went down with my parents at the weekend to see him. It sort of set my timing off, and with having a report for uni which is a double module, I've been rather busy since getting back.

A big thanks for all the feedback, and to anyone else that's reading, I hope you're all enjoying the story, and thanks for sticking with it.

All that said, here's the new chapter, I hope you enjoy it :)

~Kat~


Chapter 32

Serina watched Liz from the doorway in silence as she busied herself getting Emily dressed. Thomas was already sat at the table eating breakfast, with Julie, his ride due to pick him up for pre-school any minute.

"Mom?"

She looked round, clearly having spaced for a moment, to look at her son. "What is it honey?" She asked him softly as she crossed the room towards him.

"I'm sick!"

Serina raised her eyebrow sceptically, noting the matching look on her friend's face. "Really?" You seem to have a lot of problems just before school…I wonder if it's connected…" She pretended to think for a moment, discretely reaching for his forehead just to make sure it was a fake. As usual, his temperature felt normal and he looked just fine. Her son just didn't like school…

"I'm hot." Thomas pouted looking at his mother hopefully. "Can I stay home…?"

As she request she knew was coming was made, she smirked and shook her head firmly. "Oh no young man, you're going to school just as planned." She ruffled his hair before smoothing it again. "Now, eat up, Mrs Bradley's going to be here any minute."

For a moment, her son seemed to consider making further efforts, but then gave up, lifting his spoon again and munching on his last mouthful of cereal before pushing the dish back and hopping down from the table as there came a knock at the door.

"Go clean your teeth!" Serina told him, looking back as she went to answer the door. Just as she expected, it was Mrs Bradley, and a few minutes later, cleaned up and with his lunch in hand, Thomas left for pre-school. "Bye Emily!" He called as he headed out of the apartment.

Serina smiled and shook her head as she heard him do this. The two of them were so cute together…as opposed to complaining about sharing his room as might have been expected, Thomas had taken the little girl under his wing, almost like a little sister… "See you later sweetie, have a good day…" She placed a quick kiss on his cheek despite his objections and then watched as he headed down the passageway outside with the woman who had picked him up.

"I should be getting going to, I have a group session at nine…see you this afternoon Rina…" Julie stood up, collecting her books and grabbing her coat on the way out, giving Serina a quick wave.

Her friend waved back, although there was a look of concern on her face. "Are you sure, I mean you didn't get that good a night's sleep last night, maybe you should call it off…"

Julie rolled her eyes and shook her head. "Rina…stop worrying about me!" She told the young woman with a smile. "I know my limitations, and this isn't one of them, I'll see you tonight, BYE BETH!" She called out to her second flatmate before leaving the apartment.

"BYE JULIE!" Liz called back as she wandered into the main room just as Serina was closing the door. "Thomas already gone to school…?" Emily toddled behind her and she turned back, bending over, to pick her up before going to get some food ready.

"Yeah, he's just gone…" Serina nodded, walking back over to join her. "You want me to take her for a bit, to let you concentrate on what you're doing?" She offered with a smile, holding out her hands to take the little girl.

The younger of the two mothers shook her head. "I'm sure it'll be okay…" She started to respond, breaking off mid sentence as Emily suddenly took a dislike to being carried.

"WANT DOWN!" The angelic looking little girl suddenly did a u-turn, throwing something of a fit it seemed as she tried to kick her legs.

Serina gave a wry smile. "You sure you don't want to rethink that…?" She suggested to her friend. "I could have her sitting down, but keep an eye on her…?"

Liz nodded and sighed. "Actually yeah, that sounds like a very good idea…" As she narrowly missed a kick from her daughter, she looked down at the little girl sternly. "Emily NO!"

"WANT DOWN!"

"EMILY…" Liz's tone had a warning edge to it, making it clear she was only going to put up with so much.

The little girl pouted, but ceased her kicking at least for the moment. "Mommy…"

Liz sighed as she looked down at her, hesitating now about handing her over to her friend. It wasn't that she didn't trust Serina, far from it in fact, but when she was like this, Emily often ended up using her powers, and having to try and explain how Serina's top had turned from brown to a bright red and then to green wasn't exactly something she fancied…

Even forgetting the difficulty in providing such an explanation, it was simply too dangerous to even think about telling Serina the truth. There was too much at stake…she just couldn't…

At first when Max had finally told her, she had been hurt that he had kept it from her for so long, but now she understood… This was about more than just her, it was about Emily, and her safety was the most important thing… "I don't know…are you sure…?" She hedged uncertainly, still not releasing her daughter.

Her friend nodded. "Asolutely, come on sweetie, how about you come and sit with me while your mommy fixes some breakfast…?" Holding out her arms, Serina smiled at the little girl.

Liz bit her lip, still not convinced. Sharing the apartment was great most of the time, but when it came to days like this, she had to wonder if she would be better on her own… The problem with that of course was money though…

"Come on Liz, you're bound to find it easier with both hands free…" Serina gave an apologetic look as she realised what she had just called her friend. It had come out without thinking, and she couldn't help it, it seemed more natural - she really was more a 'Liz' than a 'Beth… "Sorry Beth…"

Liz had barely even heard though, her 'name' being the last thing on her mind as she worried about just what Emily might try doing in this mood. "You have to be really good for mommy…no powers okay…?" She whispered to her daughter…

Emily nodded solemnly. "I promise mommy…"

Making a decision and taking a risk, Liz finally nodded and set her down on the floor, watching as she took Serina's hand and wandered back over to sit on the couch. Satisfied the other woman was okay with her, she turned her attention back to food, reaching for the box of cereal and some bowls. "Are you wanting any…?" She called over to her friend, picking up a third bowl as she received a nod, and putting some cereal and milk in all three.

**********

Later in the day, Liz was playing with Emily as Serina came back from the shops. "What ya up to…?" She asked brightly as she came in and set down the bags on the work-top.

Liz looked over, greeting her friend. "We're building a house…" She informed the other woman as she motioned to the small building blocks which were scattered around. They were in fact Thomas' from when he was younger, but after Serina had hunted them out the other day, Emily had been fascinated by them ever since much to the amusement of her mother.

"Oh…a house…very impressive…" Serina grinned as she began to unpack the bags.

Liz said something to Emily and stood up. "Here, let me help…" She told her friend as she left her daughter playing and walked over.

"Thanks…"

The two women worked in silence for a few minutes as they put cans in cupboards and butter in the fridge.

"So, what's the plans for the rest of the day…?" Serina asked curiously as she picked up a pint of milk to put in the fridge.

Liz shrugged. "Nothing special…I thought maybe I'd take Emily to the park for an hour or so before we have to eat and get ready for work…"

"Sounds good…want some company…?"

"S-sure…but won't Thomas be home soon…?" Liz was a little surprised.

The older of the two girls nodded. "He will, but I can ask Julie to pick him up, she's due to finish in about an hour, and I'm sure she won't mind…" She offered.

Liz shook her head. "Honestly, it's not necessary... I'll be fine on my own, I do know how to look after her you know…" She assured the other woman.

She laughed and nodded. "I know that, of course I do, I just thought that you might like a little bit of company…"

"Like I say, it's fine…I can manage…" Liz turned away to put some tins in the cupboard, stretching to reach the top shelf.

Accepting what she said, Serina nodded and the two of them finished the last bit of packing away. Just as they were finishing, Serina thought of something. "Beth, how about waiting until after Thomas gets back…we could all go then, I'm sure he'd enjoy it as much as Emily…" She suggested, hoping that the other girl would agree. Although on the outside Liz appeared perfectly fine, she couldn't get rid of the feeling that Emily's outburst the other night had been far more than just a kid's tantrum, and she knew it had hit Liz hard.

"Okay, sure, sounds good…"

**********

"Mommy, higher!" Emily called out from her seat on the swing. It was one of those which reminded Liz a little of a baby-bouncer which meant they were safer for young children as well as older ones. When it came to the question of height however, she was always cautious and only pushed gently. "No sweetie, this is as high as you'll go…" she responded softly, continuing to push her at the same pace.

"NO, HIGHER!" The little girl cried out again, her lip trembling. "DADDY HIGHER!" She banged her hand down on the top surface as Liz brought the swing to a standstill. "No Emily, Daddy's not here, you know that…" She told her daughter as she came round to the front to lift her out.

"DADDY!"

Serina, who was stood watching Thomas as he climbed up the ladder for the slide, looked over as she heard the little girl crying out. What she would like to do to that guy who had just left Liz like that… It wasn't fair… It wasn't fair to be bringing up a child on your own regardless, but to stick by someone, let them get used to you being there, and more importantly let the child get used to you being there, and then suddenly just decide you don't want to know… She shook her head. Poor Liz…

"I WANT DADDY!"

Liz swallowed, blinking back tears as her daughter began to cry out again for Max. How she wished she could give her what she wanted… "Emily, come on, daddy wouldn't like you getting upset like this…you know that…" She knelt down beside her daughter, ignoring the nasty comments which a number of other parents with their children were making. She pulled Emily into her arms, rubbing her back and trying to sooth her. "I know baby…I know…" Lifting her up carefully, she carried her over to one of the benches, sitting her on her knee and rocking back and forth. "I'm sorry sweetie, I'm sorry…"

Serina didn't dare leave Thomas alone unsupervised, but she kept looking over, feeling deeply for the young mother who was struggling so. She was so young anyway, it would be hard regardless, but to be alone…

"Mom watch me!" Thomas called out, standing at the top of the slide and bending down on his front.

His mother's eyes widened as she moved closer. "NO Thomas don't do that!" Luckily, she stopped him just in time and he sat down normally before pushing off. Serina let out a sigh of relief but when he was done, hurried over to grab his arm. She bent down so that she was level with him. "NEVER do that again… You hear me?" She told him sternly before taking his hand and walking back over to where Liz was sat with Emily.

Emily was still crying, and Liz looked as though she was on the verge of doing so herself.

"Beth…how about we go home and see about getting something to eat before work…?" Serina suggested softly as she came close.

Her friend made little response, simply nodding and then transferring Emily into the stroller. "Come on sweetheart, let's get home…" She told her daughter in a voice which betrayed just how close to tears she really was.

**********

"Beth, we need to talk…" Serina walked up to her friend, helping her clear the recently vacated table. Unusually, it seemed that it was quiet that evening, but that was just what Serina needed…

Liz leant over, wiping her cloth over the surface of the table before looking up. "I can manage Rina…"

The other girl didn't miss the fact she was ignoring the statement about talking. She wasn't about to give up so easily though, feeling that she had been putting this off long enough. "Beth, what happened between you and Emily's father…?" She asked softly, aware that it was a question which would probably cause some pain for the other girl. Sometimes though, you had to be cruel to be kind, and maybe this was one of those times…

"I don't want to talk about it!" Liz bit down on her lip, looking away as she picked up the dirty plates and carried them over to the kitchen hatch.

"I know it's hard sweetie, but please don't walk away from me…" Serina followed. She had kept quiet for so long, backed of when the other girl indicated that she didn't want to talk, but her questions were growing, and she couldn't help remembering the words Liz used when talking to Emily. '…he would be there if he could be…' 'No one can…'

Liz shook her head. "Please Serina, can't we just drop it… He's…he's not around anymore, and that's all that matters…"

"Does he know how much Emily obviously misses him…?" She knew this wasn't easy, but it had to be said. "Beth have you spoken to him recently…?"

"N-not since I left home…" The younger of the two responded finally in little more than a whisper as she fixed a coffee for herself.

"When he decided he just wasn't interested…?" Serina shook her head. "What happened for him to do that… It's obvious he wanted to be involved before…"

"H-he couldn't…" Liz shook her head and sank down onto a stool, sipping her drink. She had known this conversation would come eventually…she had just hoped 'eventually' wouldn't be for a long time… She knew of course she should just make Max out to be a complete jerk, but knowing him as she had, loving him as she had, she couldn't do that… To be here without him was bad enough, but to make out it was his choice…

"He couldn't what…?" Reaching for her hand, Serina looked back at her. "What happened, please, talk to me…"

"H-he loved Emily, he did, he just…" She trailed off, letting Serina make up the rest of herself.

"He didn't love you anymore…? He didn't want the bother of a kid…" Drawing on the little she knew about the situation, the older of the two women made the only suggestions she could think of…

The suggestions were so far off the mark, but Liz was so upset by this time as she thought about her dead boyfriend, she burst into tears, providing Serina with what she thought was a confirmation. "Oh honey…I'm sorry…" She pulled her friend into her arms, hugging her tight as she rubbed her back gently.

"Hey, can I get a drink here, or is that too much to ask!"

Liz froze as she heard the familiar voice. Michael…

Serina pulled back, reading nothing more into her friend's reaction than her acting as anyone who was upset would when someone yelled. She glared at the young man in question, telling him that she'd be with him in a moment, and then instructing Liz to go sit in the back for a little while until she had calmed down.

Needing no encouragement, Liz did exactly that, keeping her back to him at all times as she headed for the door and walked into the back, taking a seat on the sofa opposite that which Emily was sleeping on and leaning back.

Michael was out there…but it wasn't her Michael…just as the Max he lived with wasn't, nor was Isabel, Maria or Kyle… She closed her eyes. It was coming up to a month since she had arrived in this reality, and she had fully expected them to already have moved on… For a moment, as she remembered her daughter's cries earlier in the evening she wondered about revealing herself to him, asking if she could join them, but it wasn't fair… This wasn't their problem…she would be asking Max to act as a surrogate and that wasn't right… She shook her head, opening her eyes and looking back at her daughter. She dropped onto the floor, moving to the side and smoothing back her beautiful brown tresses which spread out over the cushions. "You should be here…you should be here…" She whispered desperately to nothingness.

TBC

AN: I hope no one minds, but I'm just doing a teeny bit of plugging here. I know I have three fics on the board already, but I just posted a fourth... It's completely different to the others, and won't be very long, but if anyone wants to take a look, I'd love to hear what you think :wink:

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

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

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

Postby KatnotKath » Sat Apr 22, 2006 5:55 pm

I'm back! :D

Thanks for all the feedback guys.

L-J-L 76 - Don't worry about the questions, I love seeing them. Unfortunately to answer would give away most of the rest of the story, so I'm just going to have to say keep reading if you want to find out.
begonia9508 - yes, the Max from Liz's reality is dead.
roswell3053 - thanks for reading
behrluv32 - not exactly...
Emz80m - sorry, it's not going to happen right now I'm afaid...
Timelord31 - Michael, noticing anything other than food when he's hungry? - What do you think?
Flamehair :oops: Thanks for the compliments. As for Liz telling Serena about Max being dead, probably she thinks that will lead to more questions...which she can't answer...
Ellie - you want more? - Here you go :wink:
Lazza - What am I going to throw next? How about a new chapter? :lol:
isabelle - I hope I'm not going to disappoint too much with this... As for Emily with the others though, haven't I already done that with the 'daddy' scene :wink: hehe

Alright it seems that most of you have taken the ending of the last chapter to be far more significant than it was in my mind. I know some of you thought that it was another one of my cliffhangers which I'm the first to admit I use on occassion, but really that wasn't the way it was intended. Michael didn't notice Liz, he was too interested in his food to notice some waitress with his back to her, and since he got his food to go, he wasn't there when Liz came back out a little later. Basically all his presence did, was maybe make Liz think a little more about the others...

I do hope that I'm not going to disappoint you all too much in saying all that though, and that you won't give up on the story of course.

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

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

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

~Kat~


Chapter 33

“You know what, I love Christmas, but I hate the shopping that goes with it…” Serina commented with a wry smile as she looked over at Liz.

The younger woman nodded, looking down at her basket contents and trying to work out a rough total. “Oh yeah…I could definitely do without the major crowds too…” She responded, pulling a face as she looked round at the masses of people who were crowding in the shop.

“Right there with ya…” Serina had to reach out to steady herself on one of the displays as she was nearly pushed over by one lady. “I wish some people would watch where they’re going…” She muttered with an amount of frustration. She and Liz had left the kids with Julie in order to go Christmas shopping for their presents, but what was supposed to be a relatively quick and easy trip, was rapidly turning into a nightmare…

They should have come earlier of course, and avoided the Christmas rush, but both had been busy, and just hadn’t got around to it… She shook her head and checked her list again. “Alright, I just need to find some of this ‘magic sand’ stuff…” She shook her head. Apparently one of Thomas’ friends had brought some into school and the whole class had been fascinated.

Liz nodded. She had just managed to find her last item too – a big fluffy stuffed dog which she knew Emily would adore. The rest of the presents she would have weren’t up to much of course, consisting mainly of a jigsaw, couple of books and a new ‘dora’ soft doll, but Liz had promised herself that next year she would be able to do better. This year, she was doing what she could with the little money she had, and she just hoped her daughter would like what she had got.

She would have loved to be able to shower the little girl with presents of course, she always would… But even in the past there had been a limit, and there was now more than ever.

“You okay…?” Serina couldn’t help noting that Liz looked a little pensive.

The other girl nodded. “Yeah, I’m okay… I just…” She shook her head. “I wish I could afford to spend so much more on her you know…?”

Her friend nodded. She knew only too well how that felt, Thomas’ first Christmas having gone without food herself for a few days in order that her son had something to open up. She had been desperately short of money but had refused to let the day pass without something. “I know honey…but you know as long as you’re there for Emily, she’s going to have a great time…” She tried to reassure the young mother as they made their way through the crowds towards the last section they needed.

There was certainly no doubting they had the right place when they got there… A whole crowd of people had filled the area, and for a moment Serina was seriously worried they might have sold out. In the end though, it seemed small presents sometimes did have an advantage, few people wanting the small packs and a whole box being left of them. Serina grabbed one, sticking it in her basket, and then, after thinking a moment, took another. She realised that most of his friends would have one of the big sets, at least he could have two lots of the smaller though…

She hated having to think like that of course, wanting to be able to give her son everything he wanted, but life just wasn’t like that. Most of his friends had two parents, the father having a good job and the mother sometimes working too. They had plenty of money, something which had never been the case for Serina, and she knew that she couldn’t compete with them over what they would spend over Christmas.

The first few years she had been very upset over it as she saw the discrepancy between what she could afford to give and what other parents did, but now she refused to think about it, concentrating on the simple aspect of giving him presents, and hoping that he wouldn’t be too disappointed.

Trying to stick to this, she tried to work her way back through the crowd, rejoining her friend who was stood looking at some building blocks. She looked at her surprised. “I have no problem with Emily playing with Thomas’ you know…it’s not like he uses them anymore…” She pointed out with a smile. Much as Liz might like to be able to get new, she had a feeling she had far better things to spend her money on, and she didn’t want her to think there was a need to buy something like that.

Liz looked up, nodding reluctantly and setting the box back down. “I know, I just thought it might be nice to give get her own…since she seems to like them so much…” She shrugged. “I guess you’re right though, no point in spending money when there’s already some around…

Serina nodded. “Right, better to concentrate on some chocolate and sweets to fill her stocking…things like that always go down well in my experience…”

Liz laughed. “Oh yeah, definitely…”

Chatting to one another, the two friends made their way to the check-out, joining a long queue and waiting in line. When they got to the front, each paid for their items in turn, before leaving the shop together and heading back home to Julie and the kids.

It was rather later than expected, and both apologised profusely as Julie let them in, telling her they were sorry to leave her with the kids so long.

“Honestly, it’s not a problem!” Julie insisted as she shook her short black hair back and forth. Emily and Thomas appeared to be perfectly happy sat in the living room watching a video. “They’ve been fine, not a bother at all…” She motioned to the free sofa. “You guys look kinda beat, do you want a drink…?”

Serina shook her head. “No thanks Ju…”

“How about you Beth…?” She asked, looking at the other girl. Thanks to her college hours, she hadn’t really had much chance to get to know the young woman, but she seemed like a nice enough girl. She was young, and perhaps a little quiet, tending to keep herself to herself, but then the latter could be understood when you thought about the fact she had a two year old daughter she was sure.

“No thanks Julie, I should be getting Emily ready for bed so that we can get to work…” Liz responded as she noticed the time.

The other woman nodded, watching Serina as she now moved to go over to her son and talk with him. “You know if you ever decide that you don’t want to take her with you every night, I can always watch the two of them sometimes…it’s no trouble, and I won’t charge much I promise…” In fact, her babysitting charge was minimal, and the only reason she charged anything was that looking after Thomas meant she couldn’t get a proper job and she wanted to pay something towards the rent. All the money really came from the same place of course, but at least she felt as though she was contributing…

Liz smiled but shook her head. “Thanks for the offer, it’s very kind, but at the moment she’s okay with sleeping there, and I have to say I’m happier with her close…” That came from the dangers which had existed in Roswell, and could still exist now she knew, although Liz did try to hide her real feelings from the other two girls.

“Okay, if you’re sure then… See you sweetie tomorrow sweetie…?” She told Emily as she went over, ruffling her hair and kissing the top of her head with a smile.

Serina, who had been speaking to Thomas, looked up now at the other girl. “You know you look kind of tired anyway Ju…are you sure you don’t need me to find another sitter, because I’m sure I can if needs be…” She assured her as she looked her friend up and down with a worried gaze. She knew she had been having a something of a tough time recently, with doctor’s appointments and the like…

“Honestly Rina, I’m fine… Besides, Thomas is going to be a good little boy for me and go to bed when I say aren’t you little man…?” She looked over at the boy in question who shook his head. “I’m not little, I’m big!”

His mother laughed and shook her head. “Alright then, my big man, you’re going to behave for Aunty Ju though, right…?” She looked at him expectantly, her eyes making it clear what answer she was expecting.

The little boy certainly didn’t disappoint and nodded with a grin. “Yes mom, I’ll be good!” He now looked back to Julie. “Can we read before bed again though…?”

“I’m sure that can be arranged, now how about we see about finishing those cards which you wanted to write for school…” She sent a reassuring smile in the direction of Serina as she stopped the tape which had just finished and pressed to rewind it before turning back to Thomas to see if he would agree.

Serina smiled softly, wishing, not for the first time, that she could spend more time with him than she did at present. Her little boy was growing up a lot, and she was missing so much… Initially the night-shifts had been ideal of course, having the whole day to spend with him, but nowadays she was lucky to have a few hours either side to spend other than at the weekend. She felt as though she were severely neglecting him, which was the last thing she wanted, but until she found a decent job with hours that fitted in with his schooling, it was about the best she could do.

She sighed as she went into her room to get changed. What she would have done without Julie she had no idea… Her friend had been fantastic, and she was so amazing considering everything she had been through. Julie could say Serina had always been there for her when she needed her, but Serina would say the same was true the other way too…

**********

“So what’s the plan for Christmas anyway…?” Serina asked Liz curiously as the two of them walked along on the way home at the end of the night.

“What do you mean?” Liz looked at her puzzled.

Her friend smiled softly. “I mean…are you going to take a trip home, see your parents…?” She still didn’t really understand what had happened there… Liz had openly said that her parents had been supportive, and yet when her boyfriend had decided he wasn’t interested, instead of staying around and letting them help, she had upped sticks and left… It hardly seemed like a sensible form of action, and yet from what she knew about Liz, she couldn’t imagine her doing anything except what she thought was best…

Liz bit her lip at the mention of her parents, shaking her head. “N-no…” She had known this was going to come up at some time, and had decided really there was only one possible explanation to give. “T-they’re dead…” She told her friend in a small voice, holding one hand behind her back with crossed fingers as she told the lie.

Serina’s eyes widened. She had never thought… Suddenly, she wondered if this was the key to everything else… If Liz and Emily had been living with them until they died, and then suddenly the boyfriend had realised he would be expected to step in and support them…? It certainly made more sense than any other explanation she had been able to come up with before for his sudden turn around… Before, he had been able to be a part-time dad – seeing Emily in the afternoon or at weekends perhaps, but suddenly he would have been expected to be living with them, and providing for them. She could understand how that might seem more than a little overwhelming to a seventeen-year old boy – although that didn’t excuse his actions in her mind. “Oh…I’m so sorry Beth…I never imagined…” She trailed off awkwardly.

Liz shook her head as she looked over. “There’s no reason why you would…it’s not like I mentioned anything is it…?” She gave a sad smile. “I’m sorry, I know I haven’t exactly spoken much about myself in the time we’ve known each other, it’s just it’s difficult to talk about sometimes…you know…?” Aware as she was of the fact Serina was in fact a real orphan, she felt deeply guilty for giving such an explanation, but although she had thought long and hard about when it was asked, she had been able to come up with no other answer.

Serina smiled sympathetically, reaching out for her hand and shaking her head. “It’s fine sweetie, if anyone can understand it’s me…I’m just sorry to have brought it up…” After them being so supportive, she could well understand that the loss of her parents would have hit Liz hard, and for the first time, she felt that perhaps she was finally beginning to understand why her friend had left home as she had…

Liz shrugged. “So, in answer to your question, I obviously won’t be going home…I was uh…hoping that you wouldn’t mind me hanging around with you and Thomas…” She gave a hopeful smile. “Although if you prefer to be alone, I understand that too…” She didn’t want to force herself on Serina and Thomas, Julie and Rina had been wonderful in inviting her to stay in the apartment, but Christmas was a time for family, and she knew that perhaps Serina would want to have that private time with her son.

“Oh don’t be silly!” Serina laughed at this suggestion. “Of course we’d love to celebrate with you… It’s usually pretty quiet since Julie tends to go home, so it’d be lovely to have some company…” In fact, she was sure she would enjoy that Christmas more than she had done one for a long time. Spending time with her son was of course wonderful as always, but it was always nice to have some adult conversation too, and the prospect of spending Christmas with her new friend was one which she welcomed with open arms.

“If you’re sure…I don’t want to be a bother”

“Of course I am!” Serina waved away her hesitation. “Honey you are never a bother… You’re a friend, and I’m sure we’re going to have a great time!” She grinned as she thought over a few plans she had come up with for the holiday season, mentioning a couple to Liz as they continued to walk along and asking if she was interested.
My fics:

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


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