The Long & Winding Road: Book 1 - Dry Lightening (CC, Mature) Chapter 10 - 8/7/2018

This is the place to post all your General Roswell fanfiction. Any Canon fics, which pick up directly from any episode of the show and that focus on Max/Liz, Michael/Maria, Isabel/Alex or Isabel/Jesse, Kyle/Tess, or all the couples together! Rule of Thumb: If Max healed Liz in the Crashdown in September 1999, then your fic belongs here. If it picks up from the show in any way, it belongs here.

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Parker1947
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Re: The Long & Winding Road: Book 1 - Dry Lightening (CC, Mature) Chapter 9 - 7/15/2018

Postby Parker1947 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:04 pm

Intense. Quite the story as we find out more layers. Michael went through a lot.

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Re: The Long & Winding Road: Book 1 - Dry Lightening (CC, Mature) Chapter 9 - 7/15/2018

Postby Eva » Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:41 am

About the M&M connection, Maria's migraines and nightmares are Michael's? I mean, if they are somehow connected, could it be possible that some of his pain got transfered to Maria?


I was thinking the exact same thing. Just like before, Maria will be his salvation, That is if he lets her. But I'm thinking more in lines of "Willing or not, she's his anchor". And with the sad, cruel and literally inhuman hell they all lived in, but most of all Michael, I need to believe that there's some light in the dark. Even it's the smallest of smallest bright spots in the universe.
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The Long & Winding Road: Book 1 - Dry Lightening (CC, Mature) Chapter 10 - 8/7/2018

Postby KindredKandies » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:13 pm

xmag: That was a tough update… not only to read but to write as well.

The two shadowy figures… Michael and Maria. It was a brief respite for him, mentally, as he reached for a memory (the quarry scene from Crazy).

Keep speculating, the truth will be revealed eventually.

Parker1947: Michael did endure a lot on Antar and we have a feeling there’s so much more that he won’t reveal.

Eva: We must always believe that there is light in the darkest of moments. They survived unspeakable horrors on Antar and there is an explanation coming for why Michael endured the worst experience. He’s lived with what he put Maria through before leaving Earth, he’s survived unimaginable situations, and now he’s come back along with the others to make things right. They can heal, they can destroy, they can alter molecular structure, but the one thing they can’t do is heal the wounds they carry in their souls. To do that, it’s going to take the involvement of two very special human women.



Book One – Chapter 10

October 13, 2016 – Pete’s Liftoff Gas Station, Outskirts of Roswell, NM – 1427 Hours

The silence that had fallen over the station should have allowed her to finally fall asleep. It should have given her mind the reprieve of well needed rest. It should have been a time of reflection if nothing else. But it was none of those things. Her mind refused to shut down and give her the satisfaction of quietude. No, it continued to bounce around from one idea to the next, positing one theory before rushing on to another. The worst thing was that no matter where her mind went it always returned to the one thing she didn’t want to focus on: the deaths of people so dear to her.

It didn’t take much for her imagination to dredge up horrible scenes worthy of the bloodiest horror films and she knew if she allowed herself to relax, if she let her guard down, those images would take hold and she wouldn’t be able to push them back. Jim, Kyle, Amy, all dead… her parents already gone or not far behind the others. She squeezed her eyes shut and got to her feet. She had to do something before she lost control and could no longer push the images away.

Maria slept close by, her body finally giving in to exhaustion now that the adrenaline had completely fled her system and the migraine had released its hold on her. She didn’t begrudge her friend the opportunity to rest, but she certainly did envy her at that moment. No, she wasn’t going to allow that to infringe on her friend’s brief foray into peaceful oblivion. She stood when the need to move, to be doing something became overwhelming. If she could just find something, anything to occupy her hands then her mind would follow suit.

If she let herself think about what might have happened to her parents, what could still happen to them, she was going to go insane. Before she realized it she found herself in the small kitchen that suffered from years of disuse. There were odd spots in the old station that were spotless, small areas where Isabel had used her powers to rid them from years of filth – the freezer case and shelves she’d stocked with enough staples to get them through and of course the bathroom. A small smile graced her features for a few moments as she thought about that. Yeah, the bathroom would have been a priority. Isabel may have become a seasoned warrior during her time on Antar, but she couldn’t imagine her simply accepting a filthy bathroom as acceptable.

She spent a few minutes studying the layout of the kitchen. It wasn’t on par with the kitchen in the Crashdown, but it was sufficient for what it had been designed for. She didn’t know if she could get it working, but she had seen cleaning supplies on one of the shelves over on the second aisle during one of her restless walks through the building. Oh, well, even if she couldn’t make it work she could sure make it cleaner.

She had tagged along beside her dad for as long as she could remember, absorbing everything he did and said as he worked in the café. She could recall begging to let her work with him but her mom had insisted they wait until she was older. At nine he’d let her fill the salt, pepper and sugar shakers as well as the ketchup and mustard containers. At ten he’d let her take an order from old Mr. Martinez who came in every Saturday morning for three pancakes, two strips of bacon, two eggs over easy and a cup of coffee. She’d approached the landscaper with a big smile on her face and a glass of ice water carefully held between her hands. She could still remember the joy that had filled her heart when she saw the wrinkled dollar he’d left for her under the water glass. She still had that dollar.

At twelve he’d introduced her to bussing the tables, cleaning the milkshake machine and the coffee pots. That hadn’t been anywhere near as fun as taking orders from the customers. At thirteen she’d graduated to washing the dishes. Then the real fun began – scrubbing the grill, the backsplash and the grease caked hood. She’d been champing at the bit to do the cooking but he’d just smiled and shook his head. “Any cook worth their salt starts with keeping their kitchen clean. Prep work is essential for a well run restaurant.”

At fourteen he’d let her take her first order out to a customer. At fifteen she’d been allowed to work her first real shift. She’d enjoyed working in her family’s café with her dad and she’d loved that she and Maria had been able to work together. They’d had a blast that summer even though they’d spent a significant amount of their time at work.

She finally located a cardboard box of steel wool soap pads, the letters and color on the sides faded and nearly invisible, one side of it crushed in, and she tore it open as she walked back to the kitchen. She started at one end, mentally organizing the steps to get the old kitchen in working order. The familiar motions of her arms extending and retracting in repetition, her muscles flexing as she began to clean, gave her body a way of burning off the pent-up tension that had her strung so tightly. Finally she felt her mind retreat to a sanctuary of familiarity as she lost herself in the physical release.

Max watched her from his hidden position near the doorway. For the past couple of hours he had observed her as she moved from one task to the next, his concern for her growing. He knew what she was doing and knew it was only a matter of time before her method of holding back the floodgates failed her. That was one of the problems with internalizing. It only worked for so long and then it just blew up in your face.

He deserved to take the brunt of the emotional fallout when it came. It was his fault they were in this situation. He wondered if he should just force her hand and get it out in the open, deal with it so they could move on. There was so much they had to do and they had so precious little time. He started to move but froze when Isabel suddenly appeared in his line of sight and shook her head.

“Maria’s awake,” she said as she moved closer.

“Your point?”

“I’ll send her to talk to Liz.”

“I need to – “

“It’s not the right time, Max. She’s not ready.”

He sighed. Time was one commodity they were desperately short of. But he knew his sister was right. “I’ll defer to your judgment this time, but we can’t put it off for long.”

At one time she would’ve rolled her eyes at his dramatics, but she understood the importance of him clearing the air with Liz. “I’m not asking for an extended waiting period. Just give Maria a chance to talk to her. Sometimes what a girl needs is another girl to talk to. That’s all I’m saying.”

His jaw clenched and he nodded, motioning for her to do what she felt was necessary. “I’ll wait.” He hated putting it off but if she felt it was that important he was going to give it to her.
Minutes ticked by and he could feel every single second of them as he waited for his sister to send Maria in. He could hear them talking in low tones but he didn’t bother making the effort to hear what they were saying. If it had been intended for his ears Isabel wouldn’t be keeping her voice so low.

He drew in a sharp breath when Liz’s movements faltered and he was moving before his mind even had time to form the thought that he needed to go to her. It was instinctual, his need to be with her, to take care of her, to shoulder the weight of her pain.

“No, Max…”

He froze at the unexpected contact. His footsteps stilled and his gaze dropped to the hand that had settled on his arm. It took an effort to rein in the automatic response to being touched unexpectedly but he managed to control it before he could hurt her.

Maria watched him warily, her eyes taking in his tense form and the hand that had immediately moved to rest over the weapon at his side. She was reminded once again that these people had seen and experienced things she would never be able to imagine. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.”

Max swallowed with difficulty and shook his head as he slowly lowered his hand, flexing his fingers and forcing them to relax. “It’s alright.”

“Let me take care of her.”

He looked past her when she took a couple of tentative steps to move around him. He could see the telltale tremble in Liz’s taut shoulders, could practically feel her coming apart at the seams, and he wanted to be able to hold her together.

“Please, Max,” Maria pleaded quietly. She could see the pain etched into his features and she knew without a doubt that his feelings for her best friend ran as deep as they ever had, maybe even deeper. Not being able to go to her, hold her and comfort her, was killing him. She saw him blink, draw in a calming breath, and a moment later he nodded, giving his permission. She wondered if he was even aware of it as she smiled slightly in response and slipped into the next room.

Taking orders from Max Evans, she thought with a silent snort. What was next?

Liz was facing away from her and all of the signs pointed to the release of the impending tide of grief that she had been holding at bay. She wondered if it was more difficult for Liz in this situation. She knew what had happened to her mom, but her friend was stuck in limbo; she had no way of knowing if her parents were still alive with a Skin mimicking their every move just waiting to take them out or if they were already dead.

She walked up behind Liz, clearing her throat lightly to avoid startling her too badly. The sound had no affect on the distraught woman. Liz didn’t even show any sign that she was aware of her presence. She moved to face her, wrapping her arms around Liz and pulling her close. “Shhh,” she whispered, “I’m here. I’ve got you.”

There was no response from Liz as she stood there, unmoving, but Maria could feel the hot tears soaking through her shirt. The woman in her arms trembled violently and as her legs buckled she carefully lowered them both to the floor. A lifetime of experience allowed her to know how to handle the situation. She and Liz had been best friends their whole lives; they knew when to push, when to give a gentle nudge, and when to just simply be there to provide a shoulder.

She was quiet; her only vocal offer of comfort the soothing sounds she made as her hand gently brushed over Liz’s back. Tears escaped her own eyes as she shared her friend’s pain, grieving with her and for her. The lump in her throat became more painful as the minutes dragged by. She closed her eyes and focused on what had become her beacon of hope in this nightmare she had found herself thrust into: Alex. They had the opportunity to change the past. They had a chance to save Alex.

She inhaled slowly and the scent of lavender invaded her senses, giving her a sense of calm. She knew that meant Isabel was close by and for the first time she felt reassured by her presence. It hadn’t been that long since the other woman had irrevocably stated that they would be able to prevent Alex from dying. She opened her eyes and caught the shift of light outside the doorway and knew that meant they were being observed by one or more of the hybrids.

She didn’t understand how they were going to change the past, didn’t know what that meant for their futures. She only knew if doing it meant they could save Alex that meant they could save her mom, Kyle and the sheriff from a fate too horrible to contemplate. They had all suffered one way or another and some had paid the ultimate price, but they could change that, and she vowed right then and there that she would do whatever was necessary to do her part.

She looked down when she heard Liz draw in a shaky breath and a moment later she spoke.

“Maria…”

“I’m here, Chica,” she murmured quietly.

The brunette shifted, sitting up just a little straighter. “I wish this was all a nightmare.”

“That makes two of us.” But it wasn’t. No matter how much they wanted it to be they both knew they wouldn’t be waking up and shaking it off. She studied her best friends’ face in the fading light. “We don’t know that anything’s happened to your parents, Liz.”

“No.” But the fear that it had, or that it would, was there.

“We have to hold onto the belief that they’re safe.”

“The Skins have been methodical, Maria. They’ve attacked with…” Her face screwed up as she tried to come up with the words. What was that term? Ah, there it was. “Surgical precision, that’s it. Kyle, the sheriff,” she swallowed with difficulty, “your mom.”

Maria blinked back the tears that rushed to the surface at the unintentional reminder. “I still say until we know differently we should believe that they’re safe.”

Liz pressed her thumbs to the bridge of her nose for a moment. She was a scientist at heart and she called upon those inner reserves of strength in order to make sense of the situation. “You’re right, there’s no evidence that they’ve targeted my parents,” she made it a point of making eye contact, “or Cameron.”

“We have a chance to make sure they’re safe, a chance to make sure Mom, Kyle and the sheriff don’t die.” Her eyes closed briefly and she exhaled quietly. “If their plan’s successful we can prevent Alex from dying.”

“Alex,” Liz said on a near-whisper. Her heart ached as that loss welled up, the pain momentarily as fresh as it had been in high school. “If we’re able to do this, to change the past as well as the future, we’ll be changing more than specific events.” Her eyes sought out the hybrids that moved around so silently it was hard to tell they were even close by most of the time. “You may be forfeiting your chance to meet Cameron, to fall in love with him.”

“I know,” she rasped, the words catching in her throat. And she was in love with Cameron. The thought of losing him hurt.

Maria’s eyes went to the doorway and her heart clenched in her chest all over again as she remembered Michael’s voice as he called out for her. She was still trying to balance everything that had happened, weighing the boy she had known against the man she had witnessed commit an act of violent brutality. But she couldn’t deny that the agony in his voice at that moment when he called her name had tugged at something inside of her.

He’d committed that act in order to save her life. He’d asked for nothing in return; not her cooperation, not her trust, and not her forgiveness. “Things were so much easier when we could commiserate over a pint of ice cream. Remember that? It seemed like any problem could be solved by the time we’d talked our way through a pint.”

“I don’t think there’s a bucket of ice cream big enough for this problem.”

She was opening her mouth to agree when a quiet growl broke the silence and she looked down at Liz’s stomach. “No, but…” Her stomach chose that moment to respond in kind and they shared a subdued laugh. “I think it’s time for us to find something a little more substantial than ice cream to eat.”

“At least there is some food stocked up.” She’d taken notice while she was cleaning her way through her temporary breakdown.

“Good to know they’re prepared.”

“You think aliens have the equivalent of boy scouts?”

Maria snorted softly. “I don’t know, but they’re sure prepared.” She looked around at their surroundings. “Somehow I never expected to star in my own apocalypse movie.” She made a face. No amount of cleaning was ever going to resurrect Pete’s Liftoff to its former glory… such as it was. “Although, just for the record, this isn’t where I would’ve chosen to make my last stand.”

*****


Max kept watch from his position, far enough away to give the women privacy, close enough to intervene should the situation call for it. The Liftoff wasn’t large enough to prevent him from hearing bits and pieces of their conversation as their voices rose and fell. But he could feel the emotions that rolled off of Liz without the necessity of close proximity.

He wished there had been a way to complete their mission without having to involve her. They had been over the plan so many times he could recite it in his sleep; they had discussed their options, weighed the pros and cons of those options, and no matter which direction their options took it all came back to this scenario.

Liz and Maria were vital to the success of the mission. He felt his heart thud dully in his chest at the pain in her voice as she talked to Maria about her parents. He shifted to let his forehead rest against the wall next to him, eyes tightly shut as her pain and fear washed over him. Neither emotion was for herself; the uncertainty surrounding their safety was weighing heavily on her mind.

Years ago, before they’d had the opportunity to pursue a relationship, he’d been given a chance to help her say goodbye to one of the most important people in her life. He’d give anything to be able to give her some semblance of peace, to ease her mind and let her know that they were safe. He shook his head. They might not be safe; they might not even be alive. If they weren’t, if they’d suffered a merciless death at the hands of the Skins, he didn’t want her to have the certainty of that knowledge.

He knew how easily the connection would establish itself. All these years and nothing – time, space, distance… war, nothing had severed the link they shared. Yes, it had been subdued, buried in a place no one could touch, but being so close to her now, he could feel it with all the force of a shockwave. It would be so easy to let it open fully and under the right circumstances he knew he could bring her parents into it, but if they had met with a horrific death, he didn’t want her to see that.

“Don’t beat yourself up over this, Max.”

He sighed heavily as he straightened up to his full height, barely sparing a glance at his sister when she took up position next to him. There were so many reasons why the weight of this whole situation rested on his shoulders.

“You’re not solely responsible for this situation.”

He smiled but it held no amusement. She believed what she was saying; he didn’t doubt that for even a second. The war had changed her in many ways, but the deep-seated desire to take care of those she held dear was so much a part of her that there was no changing it.

Isabel reached over to rest her hand on his upper arm, her fingers unerringly settling over knotted scar tissue. The wound had been so sudden, coming from an enemy that had come from within their own ranks, and it had nearly severed his arm. The blade had sliced through the artery, and if not for Michael’s quick reaction she knew he’d have died on the field that day. He wasn’t a healer to the degree that Max was, wasn’t skilled in the art of cosmetic healing, but he had managed to repair the artery and in the process saved his life and his arm.

“You’re not solely responsible for rectifying it either.”

He turned his head to follow her gaze. Liz and Maria were helping each other up off of the floor. Nodding at his sister he took the necessary steps to take him into the room. He wanted to reach out and give her a hand but he wasn’t sure it would be welcome. So far she had handled things well, better than he’d ever expected, but he’d known eventually she was going to react to what was happening.

His hand clenched into a fist at his side to control his natural inclination to reach out to her. “Liz, you need – “

The motion didn’t go unnoticed, but other than a brief glance she didn’t acknowledge it. She was exhausted but she refused to show weakness in the face of the challenges that were being thrown at them. Her spine straightened and her jaw set as she forced the weariness back down. “No, Max, what we need is to know the plan. What is it going to take to save Alex?”

Max looked from one woman to the other, noting the resolve etched into their features. He saw the brief glance exchanged between Maria and Isabel and he could feel his sister’s own resolve harden. He nodded sharply and started to give the order to get Michael but before he could speak the shadows on one side of him came to life as his second stepped into view. It never ceased to amaze him that Michael still had the ability to sneak up on him and not for the first time he found himself grateful that they fought for the same side.

Maria’s heart leapt in her chest, shooting upwards to lodge in the back of her throat. Heat flooded her body courtesy of nerves that erupted at the sudden sense memory of terror that accompanied the unwanted horrific flashes and she took an unintentional step backwards when he emerged from the darkened corner, cursing the reaction even though she was incapable of stopping it.

Michael controlled his features, giving nothing away, even though her response was to be expected. In spite of the rest she had gotten he could still read the lines of exhaustion in her body and he knew she had to be hungry. His mind latched onto an old memory, a fond one that he had put away and hidden from the horrors of his everyday existence on Antar. It wouldn’t make up for what had happened - it hadn’t in the past either, but maybe it would pave the way to putting her at ease around him.

Before he could move she retook the step and regained her ground and he knew she had settled something in herself. When her eyes met his he felt the change in the air between them. She was letting him know that regardless of all that had happened she was ready to face what was coming. She was ready to fight back. The unease that had been his constant companion for so long eased in response to her resolute expression.

He saw Isabel shift her weight from the corner of his eye, the move flawless and drawing no attention as she took the pressure off of her right leg. When she was fatigued it was harder to hide the signs of discomfort the shrapnel caused on a constant basis. In spite of the pain it caused she had refused to have it removed. It had never been discussed, but like he and Max did, she bore the weight of that pain as a penance. She was past due for rest and experience told him that wouldn’t happen until she was confident either Max or himself was competent to stand watch.

Next to Maria, Liz was flagging, her energy sapped by the emotional storm she had weathered. They needed to eat and rest, that was their first and second order of business. Until they were all in a solid and alert state of mind they would just be wasting their time trying to make sense of what had to happen. For the mission to succeed they had to be on top of their game.

He could sense the distress in Max as he watched Liz, could feel the change as he brought his emotions under control and the king began to overtake his more human side. He stepped up to him just as he straightened, his head erect as he prepared to issue orders. He held his hand out, palm-side up. “Keys.”

Max’s eyes snapped to him and his brows pulled down in a deep frown at the barked request. “What?”

“It’s a waste of time to lay the plan out while we’re all dead on our feet from hunger and exhaustion.”

“Point taken, but we have food here.”

“Mac and cheese out of a box isn’t food,” Isabel spoke up, her disdain for the dish obvious. Mom had never cooked anything out of a box.

Liz felt a hysterical laugh bubble up inside of her and just barely managed to contain it. She ate Mac and cheese out of a box. She liked Mac and cheese out of the box. She couldn’t summon the energy to make the offer to cook it though. Not that Isabel would eat it. The princess of West Roswell High lowering herself so low as to eat such an ordinary, mundane meal? Unheard of!

“You stocked the shelves,” Max reminded her.

“Max.” Michael nodded subtly towards the women, a move he knew wasn’t lost on Isabel, and when she didn’t call him on it he knew for certain just how worn out she was. He glanced at Maria, made it a point to make eye contact with her. “We’ll talk after we’ve eaten. There’s a truck stop up the road. I’ll go see what they have.”

The king remained unmoving as his eyes traveled the room, moving from face to face and taking stock of the situation. They needed to eat, they needed to rest, and he accepted his second’s plan with grace and alacrity as he retrieved the keys from his pocket and tossed them to Michael. “Low profile.”

It wasn’t a request, but an order. There was a time in his youth that Michael would’ve balked at an order being issued from Max. Now it was second nature to accept his orders without question. He’d been doing it for so many years and he trusted his king to know what he was doing. He didn’t respond verbally, simply nodded sharply and pivoted on his left heel as he headed for the motorcycle.
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Re: The Long & Winding Road: Book 1 - Dry Lightening (CC, Mature) Chapter 10 - 8/7/2018

Postby keepsmiling7 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:40 am

This so sad, thinking about Maria's family all being dead. And Liz has no idea about her family.
Max wanted Maria to talk to Liz, but she was not ready to talk yet.
When they changed the past........that meant Cameron was out of the picture???
My favorite quote........."that bucket of ice cream isn't big enough for this problem" I love that, and I think I've had problems that big too in the past.
It appears that Liz and Maria are very important to this mission.......but what will happen???
Thanks,
Carolyn

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Eva
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Re: The Long & Winding Road: Book 1 - Dry Lightening (CC, Mature) Chapter 10 - 8/7/2018

Postby Eva » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:03 am

They can heal, they can destroy, they can alter molecular structure, but the one thing they can’t do is heal the wounds they carry in their souls. To do that, it’s going to take the involvement of two very special human women.


Exactly. But it will take baby steps to get there. The question will be, will there be time to take baby steps.

But the first reactions are being bend over. Literally. The way Maria took a step towards Michael after she had backed away spoke volumes. Liz & Maria had time to think and are willing to listen. The first step is taken, millions of othesr will have to follow.
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Re: The Long & Winding Road: Book 1 - Dry Lightening (CC, Mature) Chapter 10 - 8/7/2018

Postby xmag » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:22 am

I"m intrigued by the line about Liz and Maria being crucial to the plan. It involves traveling back in time but does that mean that this time it will be Liz and Maria who will go back? Both of them at the same time?
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Michael : From day one, I knew you were the girl for me, I never wanted anyone else.

Parker1947
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Re: The Long & Winding Road: Book 1 - Dry Lightening (CC, Mature) Chapter 10 - 8/7/2018

Postby Parker1947 » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:40 pm

Quite the story and I am enjoying it so far. Interesting layers, and so much pain for everyone. Great job!


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