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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The Long & Winding Road: Book 1 - Dry Lightening (CC, Mature) Chapter - 3- 1/28/2018

Postby KindredKandies » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:03 pm

xmag- Yes, the road is rough here, It was sad to write it. :( But there is a purpose for it.
The one canon fact you can be sure of is that Max healed Liz as he did in the series. As for where this fic fits into the series the characters will explain as the story goes forward.
Maria's guy is real. He's not a skin. . We promise we won't make you wait any longer than the characters make us wait, lol!


Parker1947- Thank you for the compliment. :) The journey is just beginning.



Begonia9508 - Thank you! We hope this part will a better understanding of what Maria witnessed in Amy's living room. ;)


Book One – Chapter 3

October 12, 2016 – Pete’s Liftoff Gas Station, Outskirts of Roswell, NM – 2301 Hours

Max’ posture, already so taut, straightened even more under Liz’s penetrating gaze. There was none of the hesitancy or indecisiveness that had plagued him as a teenager, no sign of the discomfort he’d radiated the very first time she’d confronted him about what had happened that fateful day in the Crashdown. It was apparent the King was standing before her; the designation was more than just a title, it had become a part of him, and he carried it with an ease borne of time.

“What are you?”

Maria’s question drew the slightest flinch from Isabel, but beyond that there was no physical reaction from the trio.

“We’re the same people who left Earth fifteen years ago,” Max started only to be interrupted once again.

“You’re not the same people,” Maria disagreed passionately. “The people who left Earth fifteen years ago wouldn’t kidnap us and kill my mother.” She swallowed hard. “They wouldn’t have killed Kyle and the Sheriff.”

“Maria, we said we were gonna wait for an explanation,” Liz started, resting a hand on her arm in an effort to calm her friend down.

“No,” she shook Liz’s hand off and moved away, “no, Liz, we said nothing of the sort.”

“Do you honestly think I’d come back after fifteen years to murder your mom in cold blood?” Michael bit out. His patience with the situation was wearing thin.

“What I think isn’t the issue,” she snapped angrily. “I know what I saw. Or maybe you brought that traitor Tess back with you and she made me see something that never happened. Is that it? Why don’t you just come up with a better story with more credibility?” She shook her head. “But then again, creativity was never your strong suit, was it?”

“Alright, that’s enough!” Max moved to stand between them, Liz and Maria on one side and Michael and Isabel on the other. “We don’t have time to trade insults and accusations!” He met Maria’s defiant gaze head-on. “Let’s get one thing straight first: what Michael killed in your mother’s house was NOT your mom.” He shook his head sharply when she opened her mouth to protest and continued when she remained silent. “We’re the same people who left Earth fifteen years ago, but no, we’re not the same people you knew. Time and circumstance have changed the people we were, but the fact of the matter is, fifteen years ago we left this planet to return to Antar.”

What Michael killed,” Liz said, mulling over his choice of words. “You’re implying something was mimicking Amy.”

“I’m not implying,” he stated firmly.

“A shape-shifter?”

“No. What you saw Maria, was a Skin impersonating your mom.”

“No.” She shook her head. “I’ve seen Skins before, Max, or have you forgotten? What he slaughtered in that room was flesh and blood.”

“They’re a new breed of Skins that Kivar engineered. They’re lethal, deadlier than their predecessors ever could’ve dreamed of becoming. They were created to infiltrate our ranks and they’re almost impossible to detect until it’s too late and they’re on you. They don’t just kill using weapons; their mental capabilities are incredibly advanced.”

“Then if it wasn’t my mom that he butchered, where is she?” Her choice of words was designed to be cruel and she hoped they struck him like a physical blow. She didn’t believe them. What she believed was what she had seen with her own eyes.

Isabel glanced at Michael when he shifted, the movement so subtle only someone who knew him well would even notice it.

“We don’t know,” Max answered, taking the weight of her accusing stare. “There’s a very good possibility that the Skin killed her to assume her identity. She wasn’t the target. She would’ve just been the most convenient method of getting close to you.”

Liz’s eyes widened to almost comical proportions, but the situation was too dire to dredge up even the slightest amount of humor. “Maria was the target?”

“Maria, Kyle, the Sheriff.” He cleared his throat and fought to control his emotions but he slipped and had to grit his teeth to spit out the final word, “You.”

“But…” her mind was scrambling, searching for the answers. “Why? It’s been fifteen years since you’ve been gone and in that time we’ve had no contact with anyone connected with you or Antar.”

“Their objective was to flush us out.”

“Flush you out,” Maria said with a mocking laugh. “The royalty of Antar. Why the hell would they need to flush you out?”

“What we walked into was a living nightmare. Kivar has been biding his time, gathering information, and preparing for the moment he could use our greatest weakness against us.”

“Why would he think we could be used against you? You willingly left us here thinking there was a killer among us!”

Max nodded, not trying to ease her anger with them. “We left because of the dreams.” He looked at Liz, needing her to understand. “We didn’t understand them at first, but as they began to increase in frequency and intensity, their meaning became clear. We had to leave with Tess or the war on Antar was going to come to Earth.”

“You left to save us.”

Breathing became easier at her understanding response. “If we’d stayed Kivar would’ve brought the war here. He would’ve destroyed everyone and everything just to find us and take control of the Granolith.”

“Then it’s not just a machine that allows you to travel between here and your home planet.” Liz couldn’t stop her mind from gathering information and sorting it into separate files. “It’s something more than that.”

Max sighed and nodded. He’d known once the explanations began she’d fall back on the side of her personality that needed to decipher clues and put them in order. “It’s a hell of a lot more than that, Liz.” He ran a hand over his face tiredly. “It’s so much more than that.”

Maria was getting tired of the conversation. It seemed to be running in circles and it wasn’t getting them anywhere. She didn’t feel like they’d gotten a suitable answer to any of their questions so far. “Where’s Tess?”

“We don’t know.”

“So she didn’t come with you.”

“No.”

Her head snapped to the side, surprised at the adamant response from the tall blonde that had been surprisingly silent since their return from the restroom. The single word had been snapped out in a tone that chilled her to the bone. “Then you know she killed Alex.” Just saying the words brought the old pain to the surface.

“We didn’t know when we left,” Isabel answered. “She revealed her hand upon our arrival on Antar.”

In a blinding flash of light the granolith deposited the four of them in a large room. It took several minutes to orient herself and a quick glance at the others let her know they were going through the same process. As her body began to adjust and her senses stabilized she looked around cautiously, swallowing hard when she realized they weren’t alone.

They were surrounded by people who appeared to be human, but she knew they weren’t. She wondered offhandedly if they were disguising their true appearances because by Tess’ accounts their people didn’t fit the images she was seeing. They didn’t just appear human; they appeared to be beautiful, perfect, and somehow it seemed almost contrived.

“My children, you’ve returned.”

She recognized the voice as the one belonging to their Antarian mother, the holographic image they’d viewed in the granolith chamber. All of her previous thoughts fled from her mind as she slowly turned to bring the woman into focus. Her beauty was undeniable, her glistening eyes shone with a gentle kindness and she approached them with her arms widespread.

Peripherally she was aware of Michael taking a step back but she was too busy soaking up the embrace she’d waited a lifetime for to pay much attention to his reaction. Too soon her mother was pulling away, but warmth suffused her skin where her hand lingered in a maternal caress against her cheek.

“We’ve long awaited your return.” Her hand dropped as she turned to wave it in a gracefully sweeping motion to encompass the finely dressed people assembled in the great hall.

Isabel’s gaze followed her mother’s gesture, her eyes taking in the elegantly dressed ladies, the stately dressed noblemen, and the uniformed officers and soldiers scattered around the room. There was an underlying sense of unease that she couldn’t shake, but she put it down to nerves.

“Come and let me introduce you to Governor Ravik.”

The crowd parted as the governor’s name was announced and a moment later a tall blonde-haired man approached them. He was wearing a uniform that made him stand apart from the others and his piercing blue eyes were unnerving. He was attractive, his features too perfect, and the way he stared at her, visually devouring her, made her uncomfortable. She was vaguely aware of Michael calling Max’s name under his breath but the way the governor held her in place with his hypnotic stare kept her from reacting.

He smiled, the move practiced and smooth, but it set her on edge. The tension radiating from her brother and Michael indicated that they felt the same way, but she had a feeling it was for an entirely different reason. “I’ve waited some time to meet the King’s lovely sister Vilondra.” He reached for her hand as he bowed, his lips firm and cool, pressing just above her knuckles and making her skin crawl.

His posture was regal as he straightened and shifted his attention to the others. “Zan.” His eyes moved over the younger man, but she felt he was studying him the way one would study a specimen. Something indecipherable flashed in his eyes when his attention was drawn to Michael. “Ah, the Commander. The King’s second.” His lips lifted in a smirk as he turned slightly from the waist to motion to the path that automatically opened behind him. “I do believe you’ve met my emissary.”

She felt the tension escalate when Nicholas swaggered towards them, his confidence at an all time high. Michael threw his hand up, fingers widespread, prepared to use his powers against the enemy. Everything they’d seen since arriving suddenly evaporated, leaving them surrounded by people who didn’t look friendly or welcoming. Her mother simply disappeared, dissolving into thin air. She could feel the power building beside her and in a heartbeat Max had raised his hand and waves of green shimmered before them as he projected a shield to protect them.

“Tsk, tsk, Max,” Nicholas said snidely. “You should’ve taken the deal when you had the chance.” He didn’t give any of them time to respond before turning his superior gaze to Tess. “Kill anyone since our last meeting?”

Isabel’s gaze bounced between them as she suddenly realized Tess wasn’t showing any of the signs of stress the rest of them were. In a flash of insight the words Liz had thrown at them that day reverberated in her ears and the truth became crystal clear.

“You don’t want to think that Alex was killed by an alien because that would mean you are responsible.”

“It was you,” she whispered raggedly. “Liz was right all along, but it wasn’t some nameless alien. You killed Alex.”

Her horrified words were overshadowed by Max’s voice as it boomed in her ears.

“Tess, what is he talking about?”

Michael was looking around, taking everything in and preparing for the attack they now knew was coming. “It’s a trap. She led us into a trap.” His eyes were cold as he looked at her. “You’re one of them.” His tone was dripping with disdainful accusation.

“One of us?” Nicholas moved closer, his devious expression searching for a weakness in the protective shield Max had brought up between them. There were fluctuations as his foolish human emotions warred with his alien side.

A feral chuckle rumbled from the governor and Tess brought a hand up to rest protectively over her belly. “The child belongs to me.”

“He’s mine.” Max’s voice was as cold as she’d ever heard it. “You can have her, but the child is mine.”

“The true heir to the throne of Antar.” The governor paced slowly, drawing the young king’s gaze. “No, no, no, Zan. You see, the deal was made long ago. I’m afraid the child was forfeit before he was ever conceived.”

“If you think you’re taking him it’ll be over my dead body.”

Michael reached over to touch her brother’s shoulder when his emotions began to weaken the shield more. “Max, he’s baiting you. Keep your head in the game before – “ He stumbled backwards when he was suddenly struck by a weapon and he grabbed his injured arm, fingers wrapping tightly around the wound in an effort to stem the flow of blood. He staggered to his knees but after a moment forced himself back to his feet, his arm hanging limply at his side and blood dripping from his fingertips.

Before they had time to react, to take action against their enemies, they were surrounded. Max and Michael had been grabbed by soldiers and the governor moved forward to stand facing her with that knowing smile on his face. Without taking his eyes off of her he began issuing orders to Nicholas and a sick feeling rolled through her stomach when she heard his instructions for their punishment. He intended to have them put to death publicly to assert his position of power. She didn’t understand what was going on or why until his features changed, taking on a look of pure evil.

“My Queen.”

She swallowed with difficulty as the reality of their situation slammed into her. Governor Ravik. Wasn’t that the clever manipulation of a name? This man, this so-called governor they had been introduced to, was none other than Kivar. The man Congresswoman Whitaker had told her about… the man the woman had warned her she had betrayed her own family for.

The look in his eyes left no doubt as to his intent towards her and she felt more powerless than she ever had in her life. Thankfully, his attention was ripped away from her when an explosion rocked the palace and they were suddenly surrounded by more soldiers. Judging by the fighting that immediately broke out it quickly became apparent that they were an opposing faction.

“Your Highness,” a seasoned soldier said in a rush as he reached out to grasp Max’s upper arm, “we must move quickly. The Resistance will aid in your escape and see to your safety. We have long awaited your return.” He thumped a fisted hand against his chest plate, the motion revealing a missing finger. He turned and raised that same hand as his voice thundered through the hall in Antarian, calling for his men to cut a path for their escape.


“Then Tess was taken by the Resistance?” Maria asked, her anger softening as the pain in Isabel’s eyes and voice spoke of the truth.

“No, we lost sight of her when the Resistance stormed the castle. That was the last time we saw her.”

Liz met Max’s weary eyes, seeing the pain that couldn’t be concealed. “What about your son?”

He shook his head. “We don’t know.”

“What did you hope to accomplish by coming back here?” Maria asked, her tone calmer than it had been since their meeting. “You said they wanted to flush you out and that implies they’re coming here.” She shook her head and corrected herself. “No, they’re already here. If their intent is to use us to get to you, how long do you think you can hold them off? There are only three of you.” She looked at Michael, forcing down the feeling of sickness that washed over her as the images she’d witnessed flared up in front of her again. It wasn’t Mom. He was protecting you.

“We have to hold out for six days,” Max said as he looked out into the darkness of the desert.

Liz watched him, wondering where his thoughts were. “What happens in six days?”

“We rectify our mistakes.”
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Re: The Long & Winding Road: Book 1 - Dry Lightening (CC, Mature) Chapter - 3- 1/28/2018

Postby begonia9508 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:30 am

Wow! That was hell, in their lives... but aslo it wasn't easy for all of them - to come back after such a long time and to have to deal with Khivar on Earth... as it looks Ravik, which is Kivar anagram travels throught time and world!

Thanks EVE :mrgreen:
- Les jouissances de l'esprit sont faites pour calmer les orages du coeur!
- On reconnaît le bonheur au bruit qu'il fait quand il s'en va!
- L'amour vous rend aveugle et le mariage vous redonne la vue!

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Re: The Long & Winding Road: Book 1 - Dry Lightening (CC, Mature) Chapter - 3- 1/28/2018

Postby Natalie36 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:55 am

Just found this story and all I can say is awesome

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Re: The Long & Winding Road: Book 1 - Dry Lightening (CC, Mature) Chapter - 3- 1/28/2018

Postby Parker1947 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:29 am

Wow. It was quite the time, and we're learning more. Well done. I am curious where this goes.

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Re: The Long & Winding Road: Book 1 - Dry Lightening (CC, Mature) Chapter - 3- 1/28/2018

Postby xmag » Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:21 pm

Hmm, why 6 days? is it the time for the Granolith to... I don't know, recharge and then it's time for a rescuing time traveling mission? Or they are waiting for another batch of aliens to come to Earth to help them?
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Michael : From day one, I knew you were the girl for me, I never wanted anyone else.

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The Long & Winding Road: Book 1 - Dry Lightening (CC, Mature) Chapter - 4 - 2/17/2018

Postby KindredKandies » Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:16 pm

Begonia9508- It's been far from easy and their battle is far from over.


Natalie36- Thank you for the wonderful compliment.:)


Parker1947- Thank you. We're glad you're enjoying it. The Hybrids are back for a purpose that they will explain as the story moves forward.



Book One – Chapter 4

October 13, 2016 – Pete’s Liftoff Gas Station, Outskirts of Roswell, NM – 0317 Hours

He pulled in a deep breath and the arid desert air filled his lungs. After hours of explaining their sudden reappearance and what had led up to that moment in Amy Deluca’s living room, he was finally alone. His intention to take first watch had been met with resistance by Isabel but she’d thankfully backed off before it could turn into a full blown argument.

“Michael, you can only run on adrenaline for so long. You need rest.”

“Back off, Isabel.”

“After all you’ve…” she trailed off at the warning look he shot her. Her eyes flicked to the corner Liz and Maria had retreated to, well aware the two of them were straining to pick up any bits and pieces of their conversation.

He knew he was exhausted, he didn’t need her to point that out, but he was also too keyed up to sleep. It was necessary to get some rest, they had a job to do, but he needed the respite of solitude before he’d be able to get any rest.


Isabel still wanted to take care of him but she also knew when to back off. She’d finally given in to his wishes and she and Max had settled the watch schedule between themselves while he’d made his escape from the confines of the station.

“… my mom that he killed… my mom that he killed...”

He stood under the stars, surrounded by a darkness that was as figurative as it was literal. Her words echoed around him, so loud she might as well have been standing right next to him, hurling those barbed words at him. The angry pain-filled accusations cut through him with the ease of a razor sharp blade, flaying him open and leaving behind agonizing wounds no painkiller could ever assuage.

He’d expected anger from her, deserved it even, and he’d been prepared for that. He’d known he was facing an uphill battle with her, but in spite of her excitable nature he’d been certain the more rational side of her personality would win out and she’d listen to him. Forgive him? No, probably not, but he had no expectation of absolution. What he hadn’t anticipated when going over every possible outcome of this mission was finding her cornered by a Skin preparing to kill her in what he knew would’ve been a heinous death.

More accurately, he hadn’t been prepared for the floodgates to open on emotions he’d kept in check for so long. The rage that had seared through his veins had blinded him to the fact that witnessing such a killing would be so damaging to her on many levels. But he’d been incapable of reining himself in once that fury had been unleashed. He hadn’t given a moment’s pause over the fact that the Skin was mimicking Amy’s appearance. His only goal had been to obliterate it from existence, to punish it for thinking it could encroach on territory it had no right to approach.

But so many things had boiled over in a heartbeat and he’d killed the Skin, not efficiently and cleanly as he’d learned to do, but brutally with the intent of making it die an agonizing death. He could’ve ended it quicker and he should have – not because he regretted what he’d done, but because she hadn’t needed to witness it. Even worse, she’d watched as he killed her mother. It didn’t matter that it hadn’t been Amy. Separating the truth from what she’d seen had proven to be difficult. And it had cost them time they couldn’t afford to waste, explaining the situation and trying to convince her that he hadn’t just murdered her mother right in front of her.

For the moment she had calmed down and he could only hope they’d gotten a foothold and she wasn’t screwing with them. She was a fighter, a survivor, and he wouldn’t put it past her to let them believe she was buying it and then try to give them the slip. He had to believe that she was going to fight to keep the shock at bay and focus on trying to figure the situation out.

It was one of her strengths, the ability to turn a bad situation around. How many times had he watched her take a threatening situation and somehow find the courage to face it head on? To push past the fear and try to make sense of things? His mind slipped back to the past, to an unplanned road trip on 285 South. His mouth shifted, his lips lifting in a ghost of a smile, the upward pull of skin feeling so foreign and unnatural.

Everything on Earth somehow felt surreal. The night was still, the only sounds the various forms of animal and insect life skittering around under cover of dark. He had grown accustomed to the sounds, sights and smells of the battlefield. The war on Antar had etched itself into his skin. His right hand came up, unconsciously running his palm over his tattooed skin. There was no escaping the reality that his time on Antar had changed him, no getting away from the truth that death had become a close companion.

The skies on Antar had rarely appeared so calm, and on those nights the peace had been nothing more than a brief lull before the next barrage of battle began. With the darkness there was always a heightened sense of danger, the awareness that the enemy could slip up on them and strike before they even knew they were under attack. His eyes were drawn to the east and the lights that lit up the night sky. If he stared long enough he could almost make out the outline of the new truck stop that had been built out on I-380 at the edge of town. It probably hadn’t taken very long for it to put the Liftoff out of business.

There was a light breeze and he winced when he shifted to cross his arms over his chest and his skin pulled, reminding him that he hadn’t showered in days. It wasn’t the first time but he didn’t have time to waste with luxuries like showers while the threat was so close. And it was close. He had killed one Skin, but it wouldn’t be the only one sent to Earth. Several would have been dispatched to take out the humans deemed a threat.

He could only hope to come face to face with the Skins that had taken Valenti and Kyle out. He had seen the bodies and he knew their deaths hadn’t been quick. They had suffered. The Skins thrived on the kill and this new breed had taken that to a new level. Thinking about it took him right back to the scene in Amy Deluca’s living room and his blood began to boil all over again.

He shut those thoughts down as quickly as they arose and he closed his eyes for a moment, letting his mind take him back to a warm sunny afternoon, a dusty red Jetta and a feisty little blonde who talked more than anyone he’d ever known. He could remember thinking that she’d probably said more in that first hour than he’d said in his entire life. He hadn’t understood it but he’d come to enjoy that talkative streak. And he’d really enjoyed it when she got fired up about something. There were plenty of times when he’d baited her just to get her riled up.

He chuckled for just a moment, the sound rusty. He wished that’d been the case tonight, wished futilely that he’d taken just a few moments to prevent Maria from witnessing her mother’s death at his hands. No, she hadn’t been screaming at him any longer by the time they’d called it a night, but she was still wary of him. He had seen it in her eyes.

*****

Maria stared at the shadows on the wall. They remained stationary due to the lack of movement. The jagged pattern that decorated the peeling wall her eyes were locked on drew her attention and she turned her head to find the source. A broken window, the pane listing to one side and barely hanging in the frame, caught the moonlight and cast the eerie spidery lines over the wall.

So much had happened over the past few hours and she had no choice but to process it all in a short amount of time. It was reminiscent of her induction into the I-know-an-alien club as a teen. There had never been much time for processing. She had quickly learned to sort the necessary information and file the rest away for later, but somehow later never seemed to come. It didn’t look like this time would be any different.

“How do you know he’s really Max?” she whispered into the darkness. She knew Liz wasn’t sleeping. She’d known the other woman for too long to believe her mind wouldn’t be busy turning over every moment since he’d reentered her life.

Liz shifted onto her side on the old military issue cot, wincing when the frame squeaked in protest. “What?” she whispered back. It wasn’t that she hadn’t heard the question the first time. It was more that she couldn’t believe Maria had asked it.

“Why are you so quick to believe him?”

But that question hit her like a punch to the gut. Somehow they had always managed to avoid this discussion. It was the one thing neither of them had ever brought up, knowing without question it was bound to be an unpleasant conversation.

She inhaled deeply, holding her breath for a moment before slowly releasing it. “Look, Maria, there’s no denying the fact that Max left with Tess – “

“You had an offer to teach back east after you finished grad school. Your dream job, Liz. Oh, and a man who adored you, let’s not forget him. And where are you? Here.” She practically spit the word out on a hissed breath. “Of all the places in the world you could’ve landed a job, you chose to teach Bio at West Roswell High.” Her hand sliced through the air accusingly. “You even managed to get the same science lab the two of you shared.”

Liz shrugged, not really wanting to get into this, not here and not now. “It’s not like there are that many science labs in the building.”

“Stay on point,” she snapped, her voice low. “He shows up after all these years and you believe him without question. You don’t even stop to question if it’s him.”

Her lips thinned as she pressed them together tightly in an effort to rein in her temper. “Because I know it’s him. I’ve always known he’d come back one day, that he’d figure it out. But it’s more than that, Maria. I could feel him nearby, deep down inside the connection that we’ve shared since the day he saved my life in the Crashdown.”

She felt her temper flare when Maria shook her head. Disappointment, disapproval, it wasn’t always easy to tell which of those emotions was dominant on her friend’s face, and it was even more difficult in the near darkness. “Yeah, well, what about you, Maria? How long have you and Cameron been together?”

She looked away, focusing on the shadows again. “I don’t see what that has to do with this discussion.”

“You’ve got a guy that shares your dreams, who’s working hard to become a music producer. He has a perspective on your performance and he brings out the best in you and your music. The guy even finishes your sentences.”

Maria forced her tone to sound bored. “Yeah, and again, we’re not talking about me. I’m not the one who just dropped everything and accepted their presence with nothing more than his word that he is who he says he is.”

“Six years is a long time to be together,” she continued, refusing to be derailed. “Why aren’t you wearing the engagement ring he gave you?” It was the same thing as far as she was concerned. “You know what I think, Maria? You can’t make that commitment because you are still waiting for Michael. I’m not the only one waiting. The difference is that you’ve found someone that you care about, someone you love… someone you could’ve married long before now if you were really free of the past.” She shot a pointed look at her friend. “How many times has he asked you now?”

“You’ve come up with some wild ideas in your time, Elizabeth Parker, but that just takes the cake. I have not spent my life pining for Michael Guerin.”

“Pining, no.” She paused for the space of a heartbeat. “Waiting for him to return, yes. You can lie to me, you can lie to the rest of the world, but you can’t lie to yourself. Although just for the record, I’ve been able to tell when you’re lying since we were kids.” She rolled her eyes when Maria continued to ignore her. “I haven’t forgotten how he hurt you.”

Maria sat up and swung her legs over the side of the cot, mindless of the way the frame groaned and rocked with the rapid motion. “He made his choices and I stopped questioning them a long time ago. Why don’t you quit living in the past!”

“Have you ever considered the way he hurt you? Deliberate, calculated and with premeditation.”

She slouched back to lean against the wall as she crossed her arms over her chest. Liz wasn’t fighting back against her verbal attack. No, she had latched onto her subject and gone into full professor mode. “You’ve been watching too many crime dramas.” She didn’t want to think about how that had gone down, didn’t want to open the door on the broken girl she had locked away after what he had done. But Liz was like a dog with a bone and she wasn’t letting go.

“I mean, think about it, Maria. The schedule was a constant challenge because he was avoiding you at work – “

“Yeah, I’m sure you caused a colored marker shortage that year,” she bit out in annoyance.

But Liz was determined and she kept going. “He worked the opposite shift from you for weeks and then all of the sudden completely out of the blue he wanted to work the same schedule with you and Courtney again? Think about it, Maria. He followed her out the back door that night in plain sight. He wanted you to see that.”

“It doesn’t matter whether he did or not, Liz.” Her voice sounded tired to her own ears. “Back then an explanation might have made a difference, but now? Years later? No, just… no.” She sighed and ran her hands through her hair.

“He came back for you.”

“If – and I stress the word if – he really came back, he came back because of something alien-related. It’s not about me.”

“Damn it, could you be any more hardheaded if you tried?”

“Look, don’t try to fit my situation into the box just because you couldn’t let go of Max.”

“You’re right, Maria. I couldn’t let go of him.” She shrugged, but there was nothing apologetic about the motion. “I wouldn’t let go of him, not because he had some sort of hold over me, but because I didn’t want to. Max and I… I don’t know how to explain it. Some things just defy a simple explanation. All I know is that beyond the hurt, the anger and the sense of betrayal I felt before and after he left, I knew one day he’d come back.”

“He cheated on you with that tramp! And not only that, he knocked her up and then took off with her after she killed Alex.”

“And he didn’t know that. Max wouldn’t have left with her if he’d known, Maria! And yes, I know what he did, but you know what? What happened is in the past. He was a kid faced with decisions and choices no one that age should ever be faced with.”

“So that just absolves him of guilt.”

Liz shook her head. “Should we be held accountable for our wrongs as teenagers for the rest of our lives?” Rather than let the silence build and give Maria a chance to retreat into the realm of denial, she decided to push forward. It only took a moment to find the chink in her best friend’s armor. “Where’s your engagement ring?”

Maria’s gaze remained averted as she spoke quietly. “How did you know he was close? That he was on his way back?” She studied her left hand, turning it over to run her thumb over the white band of skin where the ring normally rested. Her thoughts were distracted and she missed Liz’s response, the words muffled, as if heard from a great distance. She wasn’t wearing the ring but in her mind’s eye she could see it, could recall that Christmas two years ago when Cameron had surprised her with the emerald and diamond band. It was a tasteful declaration of intent and she’d been honored when he’d asked her to be his wife.

Her heart clenched at the realization that she’d left it on her dresser when she’d fled their home in California just a couple of days ago. At the time she’d thought it was just a bad case of cold feet. She wrinkled her nose. She so disliked that phrase. Nerves, she corrected, she thought it was just a matter of nerves. Cameron’s mother had called to set up a lunch date so they could finalize details for the wedding. It was scheduled to take place on New Year’s Eve at the blues lounge where she and Cam had first met nearly six years ago.

The memory of that meeting brought a smile to her face. She had moved to California in an effort to start living again, needing to feel alive again after losing Alex and then Michael. Two people so important to her and she had lost them so close together, one brutally taken and the other leaving by his own choice. She had needed to find herself, to reach for that spark that had once lit her from the inside out. She could still remember the way the small blues lounge had felt as she walked through the door. Her senses had been stimulated by the atmosphere – the sound of the music interspersed with bits of conversation and the clinking of glassware, the smell of leather from the recently upholstered chairs, the look of enjoyment on the faces of the patrons as the musician onstage touched them with his music, and the feel of the music as it weaved its way in and around her. It had felt welcoming. It had felt like coming home.

Cameron. She loved him without question. He had become her best friend, her music partner, and over time he had slowly but surely gained her trust and won her heart. He was funny, smart, he knew who he was and what he wanted out of life, and he wasn’t afraid to go after it. Her thoughts drifted to his family. He had a large family, outgoing and boisterous, the kind of family that got together for everything; barbeques, birthdays and of course the holidays. It was the type of thing she had wanted as a child, the kind of thing she’d been jealous of as she watched other kids with their extended families at the park on Saturday afternoon outings.

His family had welcomed her and her mother with open arms, instantly bringing them into the fold so to speak. And though she’d craved that very thing as a child, she’d found herself overwhelmed by it as an adult. Family gatherings seemed to bring even the most remote relatives out of the woodwork and she’d watched him treat them with the same loving warmth he lavished on his immediate family, just as he had when he’d first met her mother.

And she loved him for it, she did. But at the same time, the family gatherings had brought on a feeling of unease, the claustrophobic pressure generated by feeling as if she couldn’t breathe. Being surrounded by a loving and extended family where everyone knew each other, bonded together by time and a shared history. Her side of the family was just her, Mom and on the rare occasion, Sean. She and her mom were more independent of each other, they had adapted to a way of life that allowed them time to themselves without the feeling that one or the other of them was put out by what would likely seem to be self-imposed isolation to an outsider.

Maria drew in a deep breath, focusing on the feeling of her lungs expanding, and waiting for the space of several heartbeats before slowly exhaling. She dropped her head back to rest against the wall, too exhausted to wonder what questionable substances might be transferring onto her clothes from the filthy surface. Her eyes drifted closed and she concentrated on her breathing – inhale, hold, exhale slowly, repeat. Finally, she felt her riotous thoughts begin to lose some of their grip on her and her mind began to wander to the feelings that had prompted her to leave the home she’d made with Cameron and return to Roswell.

If she was being perfectly honest with herself, it had been more than her usual anxiety that had contributed to her running. And if there was one person you could never lie to with utter certainty it was yourself, she mused. She sighed tiredly and pinched the bridge of her nose. The night before she had left she’d had the dream again. It had come to her more than once over the years since Alex’s death. She’d tried to dissect it, to figure out why the images and the feelings that accompanied them came to her on occasion. She’d even tried to determine what caused the dream, wondering if there was some trigger that released it from her subconscious mind. Her efforts had never paid off though. The dream seemed to come in its own good time, comforting and confusing in equal parts.

She let her mind continue to wander, reaching for the dream, trying to recapture the images and the feelings that came with them. She allowed the emotional floodgates to open and the sense of loss and restlessness rushed out and she could feel the connection to the dream flare to life. At first all she could see was a vast sea of darkness but the images slowly began to come to life as shimmering light spread out before her.

It was water, she realized as the shimmering spots came into focus and she could see that it represented the sparkling points on the body of water. It was like a living thing, refusing to bow to the will of the wind, fighting it with every movement. As the image began to solidify the sense of loss that was so overwhelming began to ease and the restlessness settled into a more manageable feeling.

Boundaries. The water had boundaries, why had she never noticed these things before? She zeroed in on the center of the water, the tips of the waves glittering like diamonds laid out on a velvet cloth. She could just make out the edges peripherally. It was a lake or perhaps a smaller body of water, maybe a pond. No, she thought after a moment, it was something else entirely. The moment she recognized what she was seeing everything else faded into the background and another feeling replaced all others.

“The quarry, Liz.” She shook her head when she realized she had spoken aloud. It was odd to recognize the location because she had never been to the quarry at night. She squeezed her eyes shut, no longer feeling the raw, gritty, burning sensation that always followed on the heels of shedding too many tears in so short a time.

Michael.

“Maria?”

She was roused by the questioning tone in Liz’s gentle voice. She wasn’t the only one who had suffered loss. Maybe Liz hadn’t just lost her mother; horrific death or not aside, Max himself had admitted it was most likely that Amy was dead at the hands of the Skin that had assumed her identity. It didn’t really matter yet that what Michael had killed wasn’t her mother she couldn’t eradicate the images from her mind – images of her mother’s face contorted in agony, the blood that seemed to be everywhere, the sounds of the animalistic screams issuing from her throat as the assault continued. If only there was a way to erase the images and the sounds. It would make it so much easier to accept what she knew to be true in her heart of hearts.

Michael would never do anything to hurt her mom. What he had done, he had done to protect her, to save her life if not her sanity.

Liz watched her friend, hurting for her as the pain washed over her pale features. “Maria?”

She looked at Liz, staring at her as some of the shattered pieces of her soul came back together, forming an imperfect seal to slow the hemorrhage of emotions battering at her from all sides. She wasn’t the only one who had been hurt, who had suffered loss, and she needed to make sure that Liz knew how much she meant to her, how much she appreciated her friendship, how much she didn’t take those things for granted.

“Oh, Liz,” she whispered, the quiet words nearly choking her, “I’m… I’m so… I’m s-“

The brunette shook her head as she reached over and lightly rested her hand over Maria’s mouth. “No, Maria, we don’t ever use that word between us.”

And just like that she knew that no matter how badly her world became twisted and contorted their relationship would always be her touchstone, her link to reality. It had been her and Liz from the beginning. It only made sense that the two of them together would be there to see it through to the end.
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keepsmiling7
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Re: The Long & Winding Road: Book 1 - Dry Lightening (CC, Mature) Chapter 4 - 2/17/2018

Postby keepsmiling7 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:20 pm

Read it again......so good!

Parker1947
Addicted Roswellian
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Re: The Long & Winding Road: Book 1 - Dry Lightening (CC, Mature) Chapter 4 - 2/17/2018

Postby Parker1947 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:24 pm

Wow. Such a powerful installment, especially the talk between Liz and Maria. I always loved their friendship, and you captured it so well given all that went down and the two boys they fell in love with, who were so different from them and complete mess that unfolded. Well done as both Liz and Maria had great points in their conversation about Max and Michael!

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xmag
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Re: The Long & Winding Road: Book 1 - Dry Lightening (CC, Mature) Chapter 4 - 2/17/2018

Postby xmag » Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:04 pm

I was about to post the same king of review as Parker above, it's a powerful part. Between Maria's engagement and fear of fully committed because, as Liz points out, she still waits, unconsciously, for Michael to come back, and the dream, plus the part about her mother's death playing Under her eyes even if it wasn't her mother...

Michael and Maria sure are messed up in this story.
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Michael : From day one, I knew you were the girl for me, I never wanted anyone else.

xilaj
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Re: The Long & Winding Road: Book 1 - Dry Lightening (CC, Mature) Chapter 4 - 2/17/2018

Postby xilaj » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:06 pm

Great part. Like everyone loved the way you write Liz and Maria. Liz grew up - I liked the decision she made to see the past through the eyes of the adult she is now instead of the hurt and betrayed teenager she was. Maria's Current trauma is so understandable...Really looking forward to seeing what happens next.


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