The Long & Winding Road: Book 1 - Dry Lightening (CC, Mature) Chapter 14 - 3/20/2020

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

Post by 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

Post by 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

Post by 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.


“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

Post by 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???

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

Post by 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

Post by 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?

Michael : From day one, I knew you were the girl for me, I never wanted anyone else.

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

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

Post by SarahO » Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:16 pm

I'm loving the story so far and I'm excited to see where it will go. :D Come back soon!!
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Re: The Long & Winding Road: Book 1 - Dry Lightening (CC, Mature) Chapter 10 - 8/7/2018

Post by NotYourChick » Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:42 pm

I really love Maria's and Liz's friendship! I think at times we sometimes forget that before the aliens entered their lives they were like sisters. I think the show forgot about it sometimes. I love that you pointed out their bond. I love how they aren't scared to call each other out on stuff, but know that nothing will hurt their friendship.

I'm really sad that Kyle and his dad are dead. Kyle deserved peace. Hopefully when they change everything he will have that. I like he made sure to check on the girls. I really do think that on the show he saw them like his family. Season 1 Kyle and season 3 Kyle were nothing alike. I like how you took the good sides of him.

I love how you pointed out with Isabel that Liz was right. As a Liz fan I don't think season 3 did her justice. We never got to see how everyone took the news that Liz was right along about Tess and who killed Alex. I love how Isabel still loves Alex. I think she went through a lot after he died.

I feel bad for Michael. He always wanted to go home to find his family. Then when he finally gets there he goes through hell. I love that he and Maria still have a bond.

As much as we all want Liz to be mad at Max. It was never in her character. She always trusted him. On the show we saw that over and over.

You write the characters as true to they are. I can see them being like this.
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The Long & Winding Road: Book 1 - Dry Lightening (CC, Mature) Chapter 11 - 3/23/2019

Post by KindredKandies » Sat Mar 23, 2019 8:54 pm

keepsmiling7: We’re glad you enjoyed the ice cream moment between Liz and Maria trying to find a place to support each other in this dark place in their lives.

Eva: True it's going to take baby steps....In Michael's words.."Read on. " :wink:

xmag: The mission is going to be laid out in detail, which will provide the answers to your questions. The King hasn't revealed his hand yet, but he's just about ready to tell all of us how it's going to go down.

Parker1947: It is a complex story and has a singular purpose in the end. It will take time to tell. Thank you for reading and for your compliment.

NotYourChick: Thank you for the comment and compliment about Liz and Maria's friendship in this story. When we started to piece our story together Liz and Maria led they way. We agree their friendship and with Alex was a foundation to the story on the series.

We love Kyle as well. It was hard to write about what happened to him after Tess and the others left. And again how he and his dad paid for knowing the hybrids. :(

Thank you for the compliment for our version of how Isabel still loves Alex and the impact of losing him in the way she did.

Thank you for your comments about Michael and his connection that still remains to Maria. More is to come in future updates.

Yes, we agree Liz wasn't going to let go of Max. In good times and bad she belongs to him in a way she can't explain. Keep reading for more. :wink:

Thank you for the ultimate compliment that you can see our beloved characters from the show in our story.

Author’s Note: There are a few lines in this part borrowed from Season One episode Departure and Season Two’s Meet the Dupes and Max in the City.

Book One – Chapter 11

October 13, 2016 – Pete’s Liftoff Gas Station, Outskirts of Roswell, NM – 1736 Hours

A variety of scents wafted on the stale air in the claustrophobia-inducing main room of the Liftoff. Max and Isabel were working their way through burgers smothered with onions, cheese, mustard, ketchup, jalapenos and mushrooms with a side of fries. Michael was wolfing down a meal of country fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, roasted broccoli with jalapenos and a side of Texas toast. The hybrids didn’t seem to have any qualms about eating in spite of their current situation.

Or maybe it was because of their current situation, Maria thought. They were royalty on Antar, but by all accounts they hadn’t lived the lives of royals. What little they had shared so far pointed to a very painful existence plagued with betrayal and battles. Who knew when they’d last had a hot meal? Who knew when they’d last actually enjoyed a meal? Her tired gaze traveled over the trio, seeing the lines of too many bad years etched into their features.

Her eyes rested on Michael longer than the others. She felt her breath lodge in her throat against her will when he shifted and reached for a knife. She couldn’t help but wonder what it was that drew his gaze when those sharp eyes locked on her. After a long heavy moment his hand moved away from the knife and he shrugged before picking the piece of meat up and tearing it in half. He dragged it through the mashed potatoes and gravy before taking a big bite. He gulped down a mouthful of hot coffee, washing the food down, and going back for more.

She glanced over at Isabel when the tall blonde reached down for the bottle of Orange Crush sitting on the floor by her booted foot. She wondered if the flavor had been chosen because of its connection to Alex; she couldn’t recall the other woman ever ordering it in the past. She pushed that thought aside and shifted to look at Liz. The brunette hadn’t moved to begin eating; she was simply staring down at the white takeout container as if it held the secrets of the universe.

She reached over and pinched the container, popping the two little inserts out, and lifting the lid. She wasn’t all that surprised to find the homemade macaroni and cheese with the crispy topping the truck stop boasted. She’d never tried it herself, having never stopped to eat there when she was home. “That doesn’t look too bad, huh?” She wasn’t sure she’d be able to down it and hoped that wasn’t what was in her container. She opened hers and was greeted with the sight of fluffy pancakes with a couple strips of crispy bacon. She moved one finger to trace over the extra pats of butter resting in the raised portion of the tray. Had he remembered that or was it just a little something the truck stop restaurant provided?

“Looks like Michael picked out the sweet and savory meals,” she said as she held up her chocolate shake and knocked it gently against the side of the container Liz held.

Liz tried to force a smile but it felt like a grimace and she was sure it didn’t look much better. At least he hadn’t brought her a chocolate milkshake because she knew she couldn’t have forced that down right now. She wasn’t sure about the wisdom of topping off macaroni and cheese with the vanilla sugary-laden goodness of a milkshake, but she knew right now the calories were necessary. Her brain needed them in order to retain the information they would be receiving; there was a plan and they were a part of it. Besides, Maria was holding it together and trying to be strong for her so the least she could do was make an effort to do the same.

She lifted the packet of disposable utensils that she’d been clutching for… she had no idea how long to be honest. Tearing the cellophane wrapper open she pulled them out and dropped the fork into her waiting hand. She sighed as the plastic tines hovered over the crunchy golden topping indecisively. A nudge from the woman who had been her best friend for more years than she could put a figure to gave her the impetus to begin the arduous task of eating. It was stupid that something so simple could require so much thought and effort to complete.

Liz gave Maria a smile. It was small and it was strained, but it was genuine. “Okay, on three. It only took a heartbeat for the normally vivacious blonde to snap out a quick, “Three!” and raise her fork to take the first bite. A little of that strain eased and she followed suit.

The combined flavors of cheese, butter and a hint of bacon exploded on her tongue, awakening the hunger that had been non-existent just seconds before. She chewed slowly in spite of the desire to inhale the food that was so delicious. She’d eaten in the time she’d been hidden away with them at the Lift-Off, but it had mainly been a matter of eating to keep up her strength.

She hadn’t questioned their return. She hadn’t questioned the obvious change in them. She hadn’t questioned, well… anything. Not because she trusted blindly but because she believed the answers would be provided at the right time. She kept her focus on slowly, carefully chewing every bite before swallowing, not wanting to do anything to bring the food back up. Once she’d eaten all she could she closed the container and set it aside before cautiously reaching for the milkshake.

She took a tentative sip, drawing in more than she intended to courtesy of its half-melted state, and slowly swallowing. She gave it a few moments, making sure there was no sign it was going to be rejected before setting it aside. She shot a glance at Maria, watching as she went through basically the same process. Their eyes met and they shared a nod.

Reminiscent of that night crammed into a tiny, tacky roadside dive of a motel room so many years ago, she slowly stood and faced their unexpected visitors. Three pairs of eyes zeroed in on her the instant she moved and for the space of a heartbeat she stood there, frozen to the spot. She quickly shook it off. She hadn’t been afraid of the consequences as a teenager, but she hadn’t known enough about the world to embrace that fear. Standing there now, she carried the knowledge that the consequences of their actions would affect so much more than just them. This time she knew what they did carried ramifications well beyond their control. Did they have that right?

They could save Alex, she thought. They could prevent the deaths of so many. Amy, Kyle and the sheriff just to name a few… her parents. She swallowed with difficulty and slammed the door on those thoughts. She didn’t know that they were dead and she was terrified of asking the question. How could the right to save their loved ones not be theirs? Yes, she decided, they had that right.

“We want to know everything.”

Isabel closed her eyes briefly as distant memories forced their way to the surface. Memories of barging into a crappy motel room and throwing an innocent situation into a different light. It had been enough to make Liz think twice about what had gone on between her best friend and Michael, who she’d so recently stated, was the kind of guy who could be involved in some pretty shady stuff. Maria had immediately protested the obviously incorrect assumption and Michael had sat there, lacing up his boots and calling her ‘honey’ while assuring her they didn’t have to lie about the situation.

She’d known there was something between them even then… even before they had recognized or admitted it to themselves or each other. Michael had been surprisingly calm; unfazed by their sudden appearance, almost as if he’d expected them to show up. And in just two sentences he and Max had summed that reality up:

“So I guess you're here to be supportive, as usual?”

“No, I'm here to clean up your mess as usual.”

They had a mess to clean up, but this time, in spite of Max’s belief to the contrary, not a single one of them bore the responsibility for the mistakes that had been made. It wasn’t one thing that had led them to this point. It was the compilation of so many little things and all that mattered now was that they fix it. Her eyes moved over her four companions, taking in the somber expressions; half of them expectant, half of them resolved to telling the story that had led them to this point.

Max was focused on Liz as he mulled over what needed to be said. Michael was watching Maria unobtrusively, his every motion contained in an effort to avoid startling her. She’d noticed right away that sudden movements upset Maria and upon realizing it himself he’d controlled his natural impulses, toning down both his voice and his actions. That thing between them that she’d recognized so many years ago was still there, like a living thing that had been hidden in the dark and was uncertain how to react once exposed to the light again.

She started to get to her feet, her movements mimicking those of her brother, but Michael shifted beside her, his hand ghosting over hers in silent request for her to remain seated. In less than a heartbeat she scanned Max’s set features, shifted to resettle in her seat, and took the lead in the conversation. She knew what happened when her brother defaulted to his alien side, when the King came to the surface and he dealt with a situation head-on - emotionless and at times ruthless.

She called his name quietly, a supplication, and with a nod of his head that was so small as to be unnoticeable, she began to speak. “Things moved very fast after the Resistance rescued us from Kivar. There was no time to regroup, no time to make sense of what was happening to us or around us. We were at their mercy for protection from the threat of Kivar. They addressed us by our titles, those we were born to in our past lives. We were royalty, but they gave the orders. We were told that in order to stop Kivar we had to be bonded to the Granolith, wearing the Royal seals that represented our positions. The physical seals of position allowed us to survive the environment of Antar.” She shook her head, stopping the questions she could see Liz wanted to ask. “They took Michael first…”

Max reached out, his hand hovering over hers in an attempt to break the spell that had the power to drag her under. “The hunt for us was relentless. There was no time to waste so we were fitted next, as we explained earlier. I was fitted with Zan’s breastplate and Isabel was fitted with the wristband infused with lavender, which was Vilondra’s signature.” He paused as he shot a quick glance in Michael’s direction. He saw no reason to go over the torturous fitting he had been put through again. “When Michael was brought back to us he was fitted with Rath’s wristplate to signify his pledge to Vilondra and to the throne of Antar.”

Michael took that as his cue to pick up the story. His eyes rested on Maria as he shifted slightly. “We were taken to a place in the citadel that held the Granolith. At the time we didn’t understand how it could appear where we were with the Resistance.” It had been a strange moment to say the least as they entered the chamber, escorted by a high-ranking Resistance officer and his lieutenant. It wasn’t the escort itself that had seemed so strange, rather the fact that the soldiers had stepped aside at the entrance to the inner chamber, motioning for the hybrids to enter ahead of them. “We all experienced the feeling that we’d been in that room before. Like Isabel said, we were told we had to bond with the Granolith in order to stand a chance against Kivar’s army.” He dragged in a slow breath at the memory. “Max went first and then Isabel and I were… bonded to it together.”

Maria’s gaze bounced between them, noting Isabel’s lack of eye contact as this new information was brought to light. She hadn’t missed the change in Michael’s voice, the matter-of-fact tone as it became more distant as he spoke of them being bonded together. What did that mean exactly?

He could feel her eyes on him as the silence echoed in the shadowed room. He and Isabel had been bonded to the Granolith, the consummation of their betrothal an act both physical and emotional. It had been a moment of blinding clarity as the connection that had always been there between them suddenly bound them together on a level they’d never considered. All of his years of searching, trying to find out who he was, struggling to understand, had come to fruition.

As he had lain there with her, their bodies supported by the sacred ground of the throne covered in ancient symbols, he’d experienced a sensation unlike any other. He’d felt as though his body belonged to someone else, as if it was him yet not him at the same time. He couldn’t explain the warring emotions that battered him from deep inside. As he’d stared at the throne with its magnificent symbols understanding had washed over him; their DNA had actually merged with the throne, was now as intricately a part of it as the symbols were. Joy had surged through him, but at the same moment the deepest agony reared up to clash with it.

The source of that agony revealed itself to him when his gaze lifted to the dense stars that surrounded them. He felt as though he traveled through those same stars at the speed of light to find himself safely held in Maria’s arms. Loss… complete and utter loss. Joy and agony, two emotions that resided at opposite ends of the spectrum, yet so often walked hand in hand. He’d never experienced them so powerfully and the unexpected clash nearly stopped his heart. Next to him Isabel had struggled with her own warring emotions as she fought to maintain her composure. He’d heard Alex’s name escape her lips, the whisper of breath seeming to be a request for forgiveness, understanding.

The bonding wasn’t something he’d ever spoken about. It wasn’t something they’d ever spoken about. Afterwards he’d filed it away in the deepest recesses of his mind. He rarely allowed the memories to surface and certainly not in any detail. He didn’t intend to start now. It had been necessary but it wasn’t something either he or Isabel had wanted to do. They’d done it to survive… and they had.

But it had come at a cost.

Max could feel the discomfort radiating from the two of them, could feel the curious gazes coming from across the room. The questions were building; he could feel it like a living thing. He resisted the inclination to take charge, making a conscious effort to relax his stance for the girls instead. The girls. His eyes shifted to them, moving from one to the other before settling on Liz. They weren’t girls any longer, hadn’t been for a long time.

He started to cross his arms over his chest, checked himself and flexed his hands before leaving them to dangle at his sides. “Time exists differently on Antar.” He shook his head when he saw Liz’s mouth shifting to form a question. “Now isn’t the time to delve into the specifics, but trust me when I tell you that it isn’t the same as it is here on Earth. It was impossible to know just how long we were on the battlefield, how long the war continued.” It had seemed endless. It had felt like an eternity of death and destruction. “And then in one blinding moment, everything changed.”

Isabel’s gaze was fixed on Maria, trying to decipher her expression in the wake of Michael’s revelation regarding their bonding to the throne. She wasn’t sure she wanted to know what the other woman thought. Right now there was only speculation as to the bonding process. He hadn’t been specific or graphic but she felt there had been enough information for them to put one and one together and come up with the truth.

She hoped in the time they had before their mission came to a head that they could avoid delving any deeper into that event. Even now, years later, with the knowledge that it had been necessary for them to become who they had to become, for them to survive the atrocities of war, she wasn’t prepared to relive the experience to satisfy anyone’s curiosity. If she had ever owed anyone an explanation, it was the woman sitting across from her, but she wasn’t prepared to speak the words.

Instead, the soldier in her took charge and as she stood she directed her gaze and her words at Maria as she began to speak.

Next to her Max stared at Liz, his gaze unblinking, his sister’s voice muffled by the sounds of battle as he was drawn back into that moment; the fierce voices as orders were issued, the battle cries as warriors carried out their orders, the gurgled screams of the dying. They all came together in a cacophony of sound as he stood frozen on the battlefield, his eyes locked on her as she stood in the distance. So young, so impossibly beautiful, her presence so fresh and out of place in the midst of the death and destruction that had quickly become his new normal.

He felt the bite of the blade, felt the shock hit his system as he glanced at the fatal wound, knew he didn’t have it in him to heal himself at this level of trauma. He heard the gunshot in spite of the fact that the weapons on Antar were of the medieval nature; guns simply didn’t exist anywhere on the planet. His gaze swung across the field, his eyes wildly searching for her, for his salvation.

Panic surged to the surface as ice began to coarse through his veins and he sought to quell the pressure threatening to pull him under. Everything had grown murky, time and worlds had collided as he fought to make sense of what was going on around him. Michael attempting to hold him back, releasing him, but then at same time, his Second was holding everyone else back as the scenery blurred, switching between the familiar Crashdown Café and the battlefield on Antar.

“Liz, you have to look at me.”

Images, flashes, exploded across his field of vision as he placed his hand over the wound in her abdomen. He could feel the weakness stealing his strength, the siren call of darkness as it dragged him closer in its embrace. He’d fought and struggled to hold onto his connection to Liz. He’d pushed and shoved at the darkness, done everything in his power to keep his eyes open, to catch sight of her once more and suddenly she was there again.

Liz watched him, listening to what Isabel was saying, but keeping her eyes on Max. He was still staring at her, hadn’t looked away once, but he was looking right through her. She got up, conscious of the eyes following her every move and thankful when no one attempted to stop her. There was such pain in his eyes, such depth of emotion, such… struggle that she couldn’t just stand there and let him suffer in silence.

Maria’s eyes widened when Liz reached out to Max and she lurched to her feet, intending to stop her. He didn’t look… right. What if he was suffering from PTSD and he hurt her? Cameron had a friend who had served and she’d witnessed him slip into a fugue state on a couple of occasions and she’d seen him strike out, seen the devastating aftermath when he realized he’d hurt someone he loved. She made it no further than the second step before she was stopped by a hand on her arm. Her gaze dropped to that hand before lifting her head to follow the arm up to its owner.

“He won’t hurt her.” Michael’s voice was gruff, his tone sincere. If their connection was as strong as he believed it was, her proximity would be enough, but if she touched him he knew she would be given a glimpse at what Max was remembering. It could give them an edge and he knew Max would rather die than hurt Liz.

He saw her hesitate a moment and held his breath as he motioned for Isabel to continue with the story.

“Are you gonna come back?”

“I don’t know… I can’t think that far ahead.”

He’d been such a fool. The things he’d said, the things he’d done, not only to Liz but to his family as well. The people who had raised him, cared for him, loved him unconditionally. And he’d let it all go.

“When you’re at the summit, the Granolith, okay? It’s powerful, and it could be really dangerous if the wrong people get their hands on it.”

“What are you talking about? How do you know anything about the Granolith?”

Weakness and a cold he’d only ever heard about began to creep through his body, overtaking him from the inside out. Isabel’s orders sounded like a crack of thunder on the battlefield as she gave the order to remove the King from the field. He fought to remain conscious and his vision grayed out for a moment, once again dragging him down into the memories.

It was Nicholas’ voice he heard this time. The Summit he had attended, the night Liz had saved his life. Again.

“No, it’s no longer on our world. Yes, we’ve known about it for a long time. No, Kivar decided he didn’t need to tell you. And, yes, we know where it is. It’s with Max.”

His heart began to race, to pound erratically, and his breathing was labored as he desperately struggled to draw air into his burning lungs. His expression was defiant, his lips twisted as he forced the words out in response to Larek’s question.

“Have you made your decision?”

Liz couldn’t take it any longer. She took that final step and reached out to him. The moment her hand settled on his arm Isabel’s voice fell into the background, swallowed up by white noise that lasted a matter of seconds before it was replaced by the sounds of battle and she looked around in awe, in fear, and her heart leapt into her throat as she caught sight of Max lying on the ground, his blood pooling beneath his body and spreading in a grotesque puddle that the hard, dry ground couldn’t absorb. She watched as Michael struggled to heal him, feeling anxiety flood her being when she saw how white Max was against the blood beneath him.

“Yes, I have. And the answer is no. I will not give up the Granolith to you. Not to you, not to Kivar, not to anyone. It was entrusted to me.”

Again, time and places began to run together as his memory catapulted him from one moment to the next. His eyes remained locked on Liz as the words began to coalesce and he fought to hear the words, to feel her concern, her care and her love wash over him, desperately needing the warmth of her to tether him to this plane of existence.

“Max, what did they do to you?”

“It’s over. Listen, Liz, if we ever get out of this…”

He never heard the gunshot that shattered the window before he could finish what he was saying. All he could focus on was her voice right next to him as he felt the beat of his own heart weakening.

Her tone was concerned, her tearful voice filled with fear for him.

“Max, the day that you saved my life, your life just ended.”

He’d denied the inaccuracy of her statement. Saving her had never been a question. If it had been the only thing he’d ever done in his life it would’ve been the single most worthwhile thing he would’ve accomplished.

She felt like she was going to have the worst case of whiplash when this was over. He was going back and forth so fast, his mind dredging up memories from different moments in time interspersed with his time lying on the battlefield bleeding out while Michael fought to heal him enough to stabilize him.

“No, that was the day my life began.” It was his truth and he held tight to it. “You’re what kept me alive. The thought of you. The way your eyes look into mine. Your smile. The touch of your skin. Your lips. Knowing you has made me human. Whether I die tomorrow or fifty years from now, my destiny is the same: it’s you. I want to be with you, Liz. I love you.”

Words that had spilled from his lips as a teenager still maintained their truth, gave him strength when he needed it.

“I love you.”

Her words were a balm to his battered soul and panic welled up in him when the steam rose around her, causing her to waver from his view. He reached out to her, his mind barely registering the fact that warmth now coursed through his veins and his skin burned. His heart was beginning to slow to a more normal rate, his breath coming easier as she disappeared from his sight. His hand cut through empty space and he felt the words as they were torn from the depths of his soul.

“No, don’t go, Liz. The day I saved you was the day my life began. Liz, my destiny is you!”

His body began to respond to his mental commands and he was vaguely aware of Michael ordering him to be still. He didn’t think he had spoken the plea or the declaration aloud and if he had Michael had chosen to never mention it.

Another truth came to him in a moment of clarity and it nearly took his breath away all over again. What he believed he’d known about the Granolith was all a lie. Standing at Death’s door had given him the key. The Granolith had been entrusted to him on Earth but it was Liz who was his destiny.

His eyes took in the battle scene, locating his sister. There was distance separating them, a danger because the three of them drew strength from one another. She was fighting alongside the Resistance officers, fiercely battling in spite of the reality that their position was about to be overrun. He knew he had been healed to the best of Michael’s ability and his Second had been weakened by the arduous task.

His weakness was greater though and that made him a liability to his friends, to his family, to the soldiers who fought on his orders. He saw her exchange a look with Michael a bare fraction of a second before she turned to the lead Resistance officer, the man who had saved them from Kivar upon their arrival. She gave the order to have him removed from the field and the officer fisted his shield and responded with a sharp nod.

He had turned to them, waited while the Second surveyed the position that had been compromised before acknowledging him. He then turned to look at the King, anticipating the nod that was given, but awaiting it nonetheless. As soon as the nonverbal order was given the man gave an odd little smile and raised a hand to remove a green rod from his shield, turning to throw it out into the field.

In less time than it took for the heart to beat Max, Michael and Isabel had stood on the field alone.

Liz mentally stumbled when she suddenly found herself once again standing in the Lift-Off and she made a brief motion when Maria started to get up. She had no idea if Max was aware of what she’d seen through their connection… a connection that had felt even stronger than it had so many years ago.

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