Perception (XO SPN, D/L, Mature) Ch 27(Complete) 9/30

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Re: Perception (XO SPN, D/L, Mature) Ch 21 9/7

Post by MelissaD » Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:33 pm

Huge shout and MANY THANKS to the Amazing RoswellOracle who made the masterpiece banner for this story! I uploaded on the first page! Check it out!

HypnotiqBlueEyes,AvalonRose: Tess is trouble because she does feel like she's lost control of the situation.

Chapter Twenty One
*Lyrics (in italics) in this chapter belong to "How" by Lisa Loeb.*

The Crashdown was fairly quiet except for the radio playing softly from the kitchen pass through window as Liz moved around the restaurant double checking that everything was clean and put away for tomorrow’s morning shift. Her parents had gone away for the weekend and left their new general manager to hold down the fort but Liz had told him he could go home for the night and she would take care of closing. It was one of the times when she had been grateful that people knew how she was, she got things done and no one questioned it. Liz Parker was a perfectionist and when it came to the Crashdown, she had been trying to help things run smoother as young as middle school with color coded charts, schedules, and shift change protocol.
What they didn't know was Liz Parker loved the consistency and predictability that working in the restaurant gave her. She could control everything, knew every hiccup and snag and knew how to fix it. She loved coming back into a position where, to her anyway, there were no surprises, only easily dealt with curveballs and fixable problems. Unlike her life, the Crashdown was a piece of cake to successfully run. And tonight she was craving that control. She needed the quiet and the tasks to keep her mind occupied with the uncomplicated. She needed to feel like she wasn't a complete mess and could in fact keep a ship afloat.

Ava sat at the counter with Sam talking quietly while Dean, well she didn’t actually know where he was at the moment and that was probably for the best. Every time she thought about talking with him something would come up and maybe that was just fate. Maybe she really didn’t want to know why, maybe she didn’t want to hear that he didn’t think he could stay with her because he didn’t know when he’d be out on a hunt and wouldn’t be able to come home to her. That was one of the nicer reasons she had spinning in the tangled mess that was her mind at the moment. They’d been back two days and she’d been fighting with herself to stop avoiding him and she was losing that fight.

Liz came around behind the counter and stopped in front of Ava and Sam. “You guys want anything else? Want me to fill your glasses?”

Ava quirked her eyebrow, “We know how to work the soda fountain.”

Sam tried to hide the concerned look but it didn’t work when she knew him so well. Liz grinned, “just trying to be nice.”

Ava chuckled, “yeah sure.”

Liz moved along the counter checking that everything was in place underneath as Ava leaned towards Sam whispering something in his ear. Sam nodded then stood from the stool, “yeah Dean should be back soon. I’ll go wait for him by the door.” Sam walked over to the first booth and sat down facing the front door.

Ava got up and moved down the counter towards Liz. “So I’m guessing you and Dean didn’t settle anything then?”

Liz glanced up, “what?”

Ava watched her closely, not taking her sudden hearing loss personally. After a moment Ava raised her brows, “give it up girl. It’s me.”

Liz sighed and dropped her elbows on the counter and supported her head in her hands. “No. I’ve been trying.. well kind of trying but he’s been avoiding me and maybe I’ve been avoiding him. Then there’s these moments where he’s that guy I knew and it’s frustrating as all hell! How can I love and hate someone at the same time? Maybe it’s just not supposed to be fixed.”

Ava smirked, “I remember hearing something about someone you highly respected saying that soul mates are never easy. Something like that.”

“She said if it’s not complicated then he’s probably not your soul mate.”


Liz rolled her eyes, “she was talking about Max.”

“Was she? Or was she just talking from her own experience?”

Liz looked down at the counter. “It’s just a saying.”

“One that seems pretty relevant in your life.”

Liz straightened and dropped her hands dramatically to her sides. “Well, aren’t you just a ton of help.”

Ava grinned, “what? Don’t like hearing the truth?”

“I need to take out the trash.” Liz walked towards the back door and Ava watched her almost storm through it into the other room.

Ava sat there for a moment, thinking. Liz was too afraid to confront him, to get to the real reason. So afraid that she seemed blinded to the fact that she was terrified to ask him why. Ava turned towards Sam catching his gaze flick from the back door to her. Why was Liz so afraid to fix it? Would she really throw her own happiness out of the window because she was afraid of what he would say? Sam gave her a small smile and she felt her stomach flip. Just because things didn't work out before, just because love had failed before.. It didn't mean that if she were open to it that it wouldn't easily come back. That she wouldn't be able to feel like she was complete again. Yes, Liz had it happen twice in a relatively close period of time but could she really be that scared that she'd just give up?

Sam gave her a questioning look and she smiled as she walked over to the booth and slid into seat on the other side. "I don't think she's really tried to approach him."

Liz pushed through the back door and went straight to the bathroom. She splashed water on her face and took a few deep calming breaths. She heard the music from the radio float through the kitchen and cringed. She looked into the mirror hearing the words that she knew by heart. A song she knew well because she used to love it but somehow right now.. it wasn’t what she wanted to hear.

"I didn't come this far for you to make this hard for me.
and now you want to ask me "how?" "

She had gotten so much better, had gotten over and the past the girl he had created. No, the girl she had become. She stopped reacting every time she heard his name, not that Sam seemed to think so but Sam always did have the uncanny ability to read her. Specially for someone who really hadn't known her that long.

"it's like - how does your heart beat, and why do you breathe?
how does your heart beat, and why do you breathe?"

She closed her eyes and felt the memory hit her like a whirlwind. They had slipped into this very bathroom because they couldn't wait to get upstairs to touch. He'd been gone for maybe three weeks and she'd felt like a starving child. The second the door shut behind them, they launched at each other. Lips crashed together as his hands slipped under the back of her shirt and she could still practically feel his calloused fingers as they gripped her sides lifting her from the floor just before she felt her back press against the wall. She felt the heat that spiraled throughout her body, the longing that made her ache for him when he was gone heightened now that he was within reach.
She snapped her eyes open and caught her heaving chest and fevered cheeks in the mirror.

"why did you come here?
you weren't invited.
and you're on the outside - stay on the outside."

Memories she had successfully buried just seemed to wake up from their winter slumber since he'd appeared back in her life. She had gotten everything put back together, she was functional again but then he swooped back into her life and that quickly she lost control. She hid it for longer than she thought but certain people had seen right through her act. How could it be that he still held that much influence over her? That he could so easily slip past her foundations and rock her very core. How was her heart still pushing her towards him?

"and now you want to ask me "why?"
it's like - why does your heart beat, and how do you cry?
how does your heart beat?
and there are some things that I’d like to figure out.
there are some things that I can do without -
like you and your letters that go on forever"

Everyone seemed to want her to get it straightened out except for Dean and herself. So why the hell were they pushing her? Dean wasn't coming to her volunteering the information so why would she want to push him? Why try to go back into something that was doomed from the start? Now if she could just get her heart to catch up with her brain and not quicken every time he looked her way, with every quirk of his lips, and clench of his jaw. If only her body didn’t betray her by aching for his touch every time he was near.. she might be able to make it through this until the time came for him to leave. That time would inevitably come and she wouldn't fall apart this time because she wouldn't fall for him this time. She was stronger this time.

Ava and Sam both looked toward the door when they heard the bell and watched Dean walk inside. Ava cut Dean off before he could say a word. “Hey, could you help Liz with the trash? She’s in the back room.”

Dean glanced towards the back of the restaurant then looked at Sam who shrugged as Ava just smiled from her seat in the booth. “Okay.” He walked to the back room slowly opening the back door. He found Liz struggling to pull a trash bag out of the kitchen. He moved calmly over towards her, “need some help?”

Liz jumped at the voice and glanced back at him, “who sent you?”

Dean raised a brow, “someone needed to send me?”

“Whatever. Can you get this for me while I get the others?”

Dean nodded and let her pass as he easily lifted the bag from the snag in the door then carried it into the break room. He placed it down by the back door and moved to help her with the other bags. “You want me to get those too?”

“Are you saying I can’t carry a trash bag?”

Dean’s brow furrowed, “not if you don’t want to.”

“Oh right because I need a man to help me with everything I do?”

Dean felt his patience run thin, “what the hell has got your panties in a twist?”

“Screw you Winchester.” She lifted two of the bags and carried them to the back door.

“I really don’t see how you can be so mad at me!”

Liz shook her head as she opened the back door and propped a stool against the door to keep it open then grabbed the rock from the alley and wedged it against the door jam to stop the door just in case the stool didn’t hold. Dean lifted two of the bags and Liz went to grab the bag she left on the other side of the break room. “Of course you don’t.” She tried lifting the last bag and struggled. She quickly threw a glance at Dean and knew he saw her. She switched tactics and began to drag the bag over to the door.

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” He tried lifting the heavy bag from her.

“Are you serious?” She glared at him.

He clenched his jaw, "yes." Without waiting for her permission, he grabbed the heavy bag and lifted it easily then took it through the back door and threw it in the dumpster. “You know you’re the one..”

She interrupted him from inside, her voice clear even in the alleyway as he made his way back to the door. “What? The one that left? Tell me Dean, who wouldn’t answer or return my calls and then changed their number? That was you! You self-righteous asshole!”

Dean came back into the break room, controlled anger visible on his face. “I didn’t think you really needed me since it seemed pretty clear that Kyle was fulfilling your needs.” Dean picked up another trash bag by the door.

“Wow really? You’re such an ass!” She grabbed the trash bag in front of her and yanked the other from Dean’s hands and stormed out the back door, kicking the chair that propped the door open on her way.

Dean’s muscles tightened as he watched the door almost close but catch on the rock in between the door and the jam. Instead of yelling to a basically closed door, he spun on his heel and walked stiffly towards the break room door and pushed it open. How the hell had that gotten so out of hand so fast? Things had seemed a little better since Ava got there but he’d just been thrown to the wolves. Damn Ava!

Sam raised his brow at the sight of his brother storming through the restaurant. “What was all the yelling about back there?”

Dean glanced at Ava and Sam still sitting together in the booth. He briefly wondered again if Ava set him up but didn’t see any humor in her face. “Nothing.” Dean continued through the front door of the Crashdown and dropped himself down on a bench out front. He scrubbed his face. What the hell just happened?

Sam and Ava stared at the front door and Sam whispered to Ava, “maybe that wasn’t such a good idea.”

Ava frowned, “I thought for sure if they got pushed enough that they would finally just go at each other and everything would come out. Apparently Liz is a lot more stubborn than I originally thought.”

Sam looked to the break room door, “you have no idea. Should we check on her?”

Ava shook her head, “nah, let both of them cool down.”

Twenty minutes later, Dean finally came back into the restaurant to find Ava and Sam had moved to the counter. He looked towards the break room door and heard Sam’s voice. “She hasn’t come out yet.”

Dean nodded. “Anyone check on her?”

Ava cracked a smile, “after those fireworks? Nah, I know my girl when she’s pissed. You give her time or you might get zapped.”

Dean raised a brow and Ava smiled, “you don’t want to know.”

Sam stood from the stool, “still someone should check on her.”

Dean sat next to Ava, “she probably went upstairs to the apartment so she wouldn’t have to see me again.”

Ava pushed a glass filled with soda towards him. He took a grateful sip but his eyes were trained on the break room door that Sam was walking through.

Sam walked into the break room seeing the door to the alley closed and a trash bag still left in front of it. He figured she went upstairs after the fight and walked up to the apartment and knocked on the door. When there was no answer, he tried the door. She probably thought it was Dean and didn’t want to come to the door. The door was unlocked and he walked in calling out, “Liz? It’s me. You okay?” He walked into the living room then went to her bedroom. The door sat open and there was no sign of Liz. He glanced at the bathroom, that door stood open too. He made his way back towards the living room, “Liz? It’s Sam. Where are you?”

The apartment was quiet and Sam suddenly felt a shiver run up his spine. He moved out of the apartment and jogged down the stairs, “Ava!” His eyes scanned the break room again. Where would she go? Ava and Dean came through the break room door and looked to Sam who walked towards them. “She’s not upstairs, the apartment’s empty.”

Dean moved towards the back door, “are you sure? Did you check her balcony? She might have climbed up the fire escape from the alley.” He grabbed the trash bag and opened the door then carried it out into the alley before he froze. Ava propped the chair against the door to hold it open and caught Dean’s frozen figure.

“What is it?”

Sam came behind Ava looking over her head at Dean. Then his eyes fell to what Dean was looking at on the ground. “Dean?”

Dean dropped the bag in his hand and ran down the alley way towards the front of the restaurant while Ava and Sam called after him. Sam moved around Ava and came outside as Dean ran past him down the other side of the alley. “Dean, what the hell?!”

Dean jogged back to them and pointed to the two bags broken open on the ground inches from the dumpster. “Liz was taking those outside when I went through the restaurant. I know because I took the first trash bag out and that wasn’t there.”

Ava’s eyes widened. “Shit.” She turned to Sam, “you’re sure she wasn’t upstairs?”

Sam nodded, “yes. I called out to her and checked the bedroom. What is it?”

Ava moved back into the break room and pulled out her phone as Sam and Dean followed behind her. Dean raised his voice, “what the hell is going on Ava?”

“Lonnie and Rath. It’s got to be. They must be in Roswell and they want to go home.”

Sam’s brow furrowed, “what does that have to do with Liz?”

Ava hit the speed dial and looked at Sam and Dean, “everything.”

Dean looked Ava in the eye, “what the hell does that mean?”

Ava heard a voice talking from her phone and lifted it to her ear as she spoke. “Izzy, something happened. Liz is gone.”
When Drifters Collide.
"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls. The most massive characters are seared with scars." Khalil Gibran

My pen to paper.

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Re: Perception (XO SPN, D/L, Mature) Ch 22 9/10

Post by MelissaD » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:43 am

So.. I'm flying to Philly on Thursday morning for my friend's wedding and I'll be back on Sunday! This is my first trip away from my two boys.. a little nervous. :roll: I'm bringing my laptop with me so I'm not bored on the plane so if I don't get to update on Saturday night (the wedding is Friday night and knowing my friends the after party will probably last til early Saturday morning.. lol) So if we don't go down to the shore on Saturday night I'll update at the hotel. If not, I PROMISE you will have an update by Sunday night because I land back in Texas at 5pm! I thought I'd be further along before her wedding but now I'm leaving you right in the middle of a mess! Sorry!! Promise the wait will be worth it.. I hope. LOL Maybe I should tell my husband to build a panic room while I'm gone..

AvalonRose,barbara87413,HypnotiqBlueEyes : :D Okay.. so this may not be what you wanted but we're getting there..

Chapter Twenty Two

Isabel and Kyle rushed over to the Crashdown as Isabel continued to call Tess and Max. Isabel ran through the makeshift plan they quickly had come up with. Ava was going to call Michael and Maria and Isabel was supposed to get a hold of Tess and Max but she couldn’t get a hold of either of them on their house or cell phones. Kyle had gotten ahold of his father and he said he’d head to the station to see if he could check the situation without actually putting out anything about Liz Parker being missing. Hopefully Michael and Maria were already on their way to the Crashdown. Isabel snapped her phone closed in frustration, “where the hell are they?”

Kyle glanced at Isabel, “maybe they’re sleeping or.. something.” He cringed a little and re-focused on the road. Isabel was quiet as she stared at her phone until Kyle pulled into the first spot in front of the Crashdown. They both jumped out of the car and ran inside to find Dean pacing as Sam and Ava sat quietly.

Isabel caught the nervous habits from Sam’s bouncing leg to Ava nibbling on her fingers but besides that they were radiating calm or at least they attempted to. “Did you get a hold of Michael and Maria?”

Ava nodded, “yeah. They’re on the way. What about Max?”

Isabel shook her head, “no. I couldn’t reach them. They’re not answering their phones.”

Ava cringed and Kyle nodded, “yeah I don’t like the image it brings up either.”

Dean stopped pacing in front of Kyle, “so what’s the plan?”

Kyle furrowed his brow, “we don’t even know what happened yet.”

Ava looked at Dean, “how about you show them the alley and I’ll wait for Michael and Maria.”

Dean nodded, grateful for something to do and strode to the back door with Kyle and Isabel following behind. Dean quickly filled them in on what happened and then watched as Isabel looked around, thoughtfully touching things from the door handle to the handle of the trash bags. She frowned and Dean wondered aloud, “what are you doing?”

Isabel stood up, “just trying to see if I can get a read on anything.” She walked back into the break room and threw herself down on the couch. “I should try to dream walk her.” Kyle and Dean followed her into the room and Kyle kneeled on the floor in front of the couch and held her hand.

Dean remembered Liz briefly telling him about Isabel’s ability to meet someone in their dreams but he didn’t understand how that could help them. “What will that do?”

Kyle glanced back at him, “if she’s asleep and Isabel can contact her, we can get information. If she knows where she’s at or going or even who she’s with.”

Dean shifted his weight between his feet and then walked over to the stool and sat down. He hated the nervous energy that skittered through his veins. He simply wasn’t used to sitting and waiting and not acting. He watched Isabel and Kyle hoping something would come from this little hoodoo trick.

A few minutes later, Michael and Maria rushed through the front door and Michael asked, “what do we know?”

Sam filled them in quickly then Ava told them Isabel was trying to get in touch with her. Just then Isabel came through the break room door with Kyle and Dean following behind. Isabel shook her head at their looks, “she must be awake.”

Ava took Isabel’s hand and walked her over to the booth. They sat down and Ava held her hands. Without a word, Isabel knew what she wanted and closed her eyes to try again. Feeling the brick wall at the thought of Liz again she shook her head and sighed, “it’s no use.”

Frustrated by the energy that now felt like an itching fire in his veins, Dean burst out. “Why are we not out searching for her or doing anything but sitting here on our asses?”

Maria stormed towards him and got in his face, “what the hell should we do?! We don't even know who has her and if you didn't notice we surrounded by desert! They could have taken her anywhere. And why the hell would you care anyway huh?” She poked him in the chest, “you've walked away from her before Dean, what’s so different about now?!” Michael moved towards Maria, knowing her emotions were running too high.

Dean’s tense voice broke Michael’s stride and caught everyone’s attention in the room. “I LOVE HER MARIA! And I let her go out that damn door on her own! I will not sit on my ass while she’s out there!”

Maria deflated watching the struggle in his eyes, seeing the cracks in his calm, strong façade. She felt Michael’s hands gently squeeze her arms as she continued to stare into Dean’s tortured eyes. Sam was the first to break out of the shock and came up behind Dean and grasped his shoulder turning him away. "I'm going to take him to get some air." Sam led Dean towards the front door.

“I’m sorry, Dean. I..” Maria watched as Dean glanced back but all she could see were her own scared emotions shining back at her then Sam opened the door and led him out of the restaurant.

The rest of the occupants stood or sat rigid in the wake of the outburst. Isabel stood from the booth, “some air would be a good idea. I’m going to check out the alley again.” She glanced at Kyle and she knew he would follow her back out to the alley. She had to have missed something. Why couldn't she get anything this time? They always got impressions when things got intense. She walked to the back door and touched the door knob again. Then the handle of the trash bags and the ground around it yet she still got nothing.

Kyle came out slowly with Michael behind him. “Are you okay?”

Isabel stood and looked at both men, “why can't I get anything?”

Kyle shrugged, “maybe she knew who took her? They said there were no screams or any loud sounds of a struggle. She either knew or trusted who it was or she was caught off guard without even seeing a thing. Didn’t you say it's when we get intense we leave imprints?”

Isabel looked towards him shaking her head, "no. It's us. When we get intense, we can pick up impressions without even trying, even little stupid things. But that's the thing, I know Liz opened this door, she was mad and frustrated when she brought this bag out here but I don't get a damn thing from that point forward!"

Michael moved towards her and bent to grab the trash bag. Kyle frowned, "so the place has been wiped."

Michael straightened. "What?"

Kyle’s gaze was still on the trash bag. "Like a smart criminal wipes his prints.. wipes everything down that he or she has touched." His gaze rose to Isabel's, "whoever took Liz wiped the impressions. They knew enough that you could possibly see what happened and they wiped this area clean."

The blood drained from Isabel's face as her eyes looked down the alleyway towards the main drag. "An alien did this, Michael." She turned glancing between Kyle and Michael, “Lonnie and Rath? Could they have gotten here by now?”

Kyle shrugged, “I don’t think there’s any way of really knowing.”

Michael looked at Isabel, “Ava warned Liz when we were in California, that they might come after her.”

Isabel went towards the door, “then at least we have something to look into. There’s not many places they would be able to go.”

Dean paced in front of the Crashdown while Sam sat watching him. “So.. you do care for her.”

“Shove it Sam, not right now.”

“Well, it's not like there's anything else we can do. There's no trail, we have no idea, no leads. The only thing we can do is wait for Isabel to get in once Liz goes to sleep or if someone calls in a ransom which isn't really likely. So, you could talk and get your mind off the fact that we are useless right now or you can stew and torture yourself some more.”

Dean continued his pacing. “How much did she tell you?”

“I told you before that she didn’t say much. Just that you helped her when she asked you to get Alex's killer. You helped her figure out shape shifter. That you came around a couple times and one day you just left. She told me a few stories when she had just a bit too much to drink like you driving to Harvard to get her once, probably knocking out a guy trying to mess with her. Besides that I've got nothing.”

Dean glanced up at the dark UFO sticking out of the restaurant. "I knew she was young, your age but she drew me in. She didn't act like some junior in high school. We enjoyed each other’s company so when I had cases around I'd stop by, get a good meal, hang out with people that felt like actual friends. She was there for me when you left, when dad disappeared right after. I stopped sl.. seeing other girls, I came around every chance I got. She.. she made me believe that I had a real chance at a relationship. She knew everything and wasn't afraid, I knew about the alien stuff and although it took some evidence.. I didn't care. She was the best thing that ever happened to me, Sam." Dean stopped pacing and dropped into the neighboring chair scrubbing his face.

"Then why did you leave?"

He shook his head, "I told you. I saw them. Right here, through this door. I just couldn't do it. If she didn't want me then I was going to be the one to leave for once and believe me I've regretted it more than once. I should have fought for her, she was worth that, worth so much more than that but Liz.. She had a mind of her own and I wasn't going to force that. What kind of future could I really give or promise her anyway?"

Sam leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. “We're going to find her Dean and you two are going to settle this. I'm tired of seeing you two hurting because you both obviously still care for each other but you’re both too damn stubborn to make the first move.”

“What's the point?” Dean looked over to his brother.

“Because I know what it's like to really lose the one you love and if I had your problem, I'd fight to the damn ends of the earth to fix it. Don't waste what you still have by being afraid, by being stupid.”
Dean rubbed harshly at his eyes and looked back to his brother. Sam's eyes held no judgment, only sorrow.

The front door opened and Ava stepped out, “we got something!” Both guys turned towards her. She didn’t miss the matching emotional looks that the boys were too slow to hide for her observation. “I'm sorry.. did I?”

“No, come on. Let’s get inside.” Dean stood and Sam followed.

They walk inside and see Michael, Maria, Kyle, and Isabel standing around a table talking animatedly. Once Sam and Dean were filled in on the new information, they all continued batting around ideas of where Lonnie and Rath could have taken Liz along with reasons for why they’d choose that location. As the suggestions started to turn into arguments, Sam glanced at the clock. Sam decided to break it up before the arguments could really turn heated. Sam raised his voice to be heard over the others, “Izzy, maybe you should try again. It’s been an hour.”

The group all stopped and looked at him. A few glanced at the clock shocked that an hour could have already passed by. Isabel turned to Dean, “were you serious?”

“About what?”

“What you said to Maria?” He kept his eyes on Isabel and nodded. She grabbed his hand and pulled him over to a booth sat down then watched him as he settled on the other side of the booth. “Okay just hear me out. I’m going to dreamwalk her but I’m going to use your energy signature. Everyone’s is different and it might be the edge I need to get to Liz if something is blocking her. Do you understand?”

“No, but if it might help I don’t care. Just tell me what to do.”

“Just hold my hand, close your eyes and breathe. Let your mind blank out or just focus on Liz.”

Isabel closed her eyes and tried to relax. She felt Dean’s hands grip hers gently and she felt along the slight connection she created with him. His energy signature was strong and vibrant, something that didn’t really surprise her but the one thing that she had always thought but could never really confirm was the gentleness that hummed just below that surface. She knew Liz had seen that in him, it was probably one of the things that drew her to him. The strong loyalty to his family and his willingness to help Liz as a complete stranger gave her an insight into the man that Dean was before Liz even got to really know him. Even though he was hurt by Liz he still felt that strong loyalty towards her. That was a little confusing but Isabel brushed it aside and tried to focus. This was about Liz. She felt along her connections and found the one belonging to Liz. Please let me in.

Isabel felt the darkness start to lift and noticed the light change and she found herself standing in the desert. The middle of nowhere in the desert with only the moon as any form of light source. “Liz?"

“Izzy?”Isabel heard the voice from behind her and turned around.

“Liz! Where are you? Who brought you here?”

Liz’s brow furrowed as she looked around. “I don’t know. I.. I was in a car. It was really bumpy. I guess I could be in the desert?”

“Do you remember anything else? Maybe you saw something, heard something?”

Liz shook her head, “no. I remember talking.. fighting with Dean then I went outside and.. nothing.” She closed her eyes, “I woke up for a little bit and I think I was in the trunk of a car. It was dark and cramped and it was moving fast and really bumpy. Ugh and the smell.. it was so bad. I passed out.” Her eyes popped open, “if I’m in the desert.. you need to find me, you can find me. Ask Ava about the feeling, she’ll know what I’m talking about.” Liz moved forward quickly without moving her legs and caught Isabel off guard as she grabbed her hands and pleaded. “You have to find me.” Liz started to flicker and her voice came in and out, “I think.. buried.. Izzy.” There was a loud scream and Isabel was ripped from the dream.

Isabel gasped as she snapped back to the Crashdown and cried out. She opened her eyes and caught Dean’s worried green gaze pleading with her for any answer and thought of Liz’s plea. She looked towards the others and found their expectant faces. “Oh god,” Her voice cracked and Kyle moved forward to comfort her. Isabel waved him away and quickly told them her experience in Liz’s dream, her voice choking on the last words she thought Liz was trying to tell her. “She thinks.. she thinks they may have.. buried her.”

Michael went to the front of the restaurant and found the tourist rack Mr. Parker always had stocked and pulled out the map of Roswell. He opened it as he moved back to the table and spread it out. They all crowded around the table with matching looks of worry and slight skepticism. Their eyes took in the wide expanse of desert all around Roswell. “It’s just too much.. we need to narrow it down.” Sam’s voice was quiet but seemed loud as they stared silently.

Isabel jerked and gasped. Everyone looked towards her and saw her staring at Dean. They turned towards him and realize she was looking just behind Dean where a translucent Liz stood flickering in and out. Isabel whispered as she focused on her lips, “she’s saying something.”

“The cheese factory. I can smell the cheese factory.” Sam read her lips out loud then asked, “what’s the cheese factory?”

Isabel pointed to the cheese factory on the map. “The fumes are disgusting and the smell is just horrendous. She must be near there.”

They looked at the still large amount of desert around the old building. Kyle sighed, “that’s still a lot of desert.” They looked back to the vision of Liz but she was gone.

Dean whispered, “she said she’s having trouble breathing. That it’s getting harder to breathe.. then she disappeared.”

Isabel looked to Ava, “she said to ask you about the feeling. That we could find her.”

Ava’s eyes widened. “Yeah but I don’t know how much of a distance it works from! It’s not like a damn GPS!”

Isabel gently grabbed her upper arms. “It’s the only thing we’ve got, Ava.”

Maria piped up, “if Lonnie and Rath want Max and Ava then they’ll have to call us. Tell us they have her and if we want to know where she is then they want them.”

Isabel turned towards Maria. “That’s not exactly true. They could say after they got in the granolith then they’d tell us where she is and even then you never know if they’re telling the truth.”

Dean slammed his hands on the table. “Come on, we’ve got something! We need to head out this way and just keep your phones on. We’ll see how this alien connection works and how close we can get and if they call then we tell them whatever they want to know but let’s go.”

Michael nodded, “I agree.”

Michael and Maria jumped into her Jetta, Kyle and Isabel got into the mustang and Dean, Ava, and Sam got into the Impala. Maria mumbled, “I don’t know why we’re taking all the cars, what the hell is this? Max’s escape from the compound again?” She blanched as the memory of how close they came to losing both Max and Liz that night flashed through her mind.

Michael laid a hand on her arm, “just in case Maria. More options are always best.”

Maria eyed the Impala, “I don’t know why you made such a big deal about not letting me ride with Dean.”

Michael squeezed her arm, “because I know you little miss spitfire and I know why you wanted to ride with him. You can’t push it, especially not now.”

“I don’t see how asking him a few questions would hurt anyone.”

“Maria.” He waited for her to face him, “you know the answers to those questions already. Look at what he did for a living, if he loved her.” He shook his head, “there was a time that I was afraid I could hurt you and remember what I did?”

Maria’s eyes widened, “yeah but you didn’t run away from me. You didn’t leave me..” At Michael’s ‘oh really’ face, she trailed off.

“I tried my best to run away but I didn’t have anywhere to go so I just stayed away from you as best as I could. Dean had been living on the road his entire life, he went back to what he knew best. He did the same thing I did Maria although his version of staying away from the humans and hiding in plain sight was hitting the road and diving into work.”

Maria looked back to the black car pulling out onto the main street. “I still think there’s more Michael. He’d been stopping by to see her for almost a year in between jobs.”

“Well, maybe one job hit too close to home.”

In the mustang, Isabel’s phone started ringing as they drove down the main street of town. She pulled the phone from her bag and glanced at the screen, “it’s Tess.” She hit talk, “where have you two been?”

“Sorry Isabel, I left my phone in the bedroom and apparently Max’s died earlier and he didn’t realize. What’s with all the missed calls?”

“Long story, Liz is gone. We think it might have been Lonnie and Rath and we’re going towards the cheese factory. We need Max. Do you need us to pick you guys up?”

“How do you know where she is? What happened?”

“We don’t have the time Tess but Liz disappeared and I got a hold of her and then she appeared in front of us.. the astral projection thing and she told us where she thinks she is.”

“She can do that?”

“Yeah, didn’t you hear about New York? That was how she saved Max from being killed. Why is this a question? Do you need to be picked up or not? We need Max, just in case.”

“No, that’s just a waste of time, don’t turn around for us. We’ll head towards you.”

“Just get on the highway heading west out of town, head towards the cheese factory. We’ve got Jim at the station so don’t worry about speed limits once you’re out of town. Hopefully you’ll see us before we turn into the desert. I’ll keep you updated. Just get Max there as fast as you can.”
When Drifters Collide.
"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls. The most massive characters are seared with scars." Khalil Gibran

My pen to paper.

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Re: Perception (XO SPN, D/L, Mature) Ch 23 9/16

Post by MelissaD » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:56 pm

barbara87413: The wedding was great! Best Friday the 13th I've ever had! lol sorry my update on Saturday didn't happen! I had edited the first part and got online to post it but it's not here! :(
AvalonRose: You might have Tess pegged! ;)
HypnotiqBlueEyes: Here's the answer to your prayers.. lol! The wedding was great! Seeing one of my younger friends getting married and how happy she was, it was awesome to be a part of it! Now.. if her brother who's my age will get married.. LOL

Okay, so I thought I had posted the first part of this chapter on Saturday but apparently the internet was more iffy than I thought because it didn't post at all. So here's the whole thing and for being so patient I'm going to try my best to get the next chapter up by Wednesday! :)

Chapter Twenty Three

*Lyrics in this chapter (in italics) belong to “Looking for you again” by Matthew Perryman Jones.*

Liz woke with a start. She felt heavy and the ground beneath her was hard and unforgiving. She heard something like the beat of a drum and opened her eyes to a black sky dotted with stars. She knew where she was immediately, there was only one place one could find a view like this. She was in the desert. She sat up brushing the dirt off her hands, hating the feel of how dry and heavy her hands felt. She looked at her hands closely, wondering aloud, "was I drugged?"

There was no answer, not that she expected one at this point, then she pushed herself up off the ground. Once she got to her feet, the drum beat had changed and there seemed to be more to it. Then she heard it, a distinctive strum on an electric guitar through speakers. She looked around not seeing any signs of a fire. "Who the hell would have a concert out here?"

She started to move towards the beats that were slowly becoming a familiar melody but there were no words. She thought of the hidden concert that Maria and Max went in search of during their senior year of high school that ended up being in the middle of the desert. Dean had stopped by that night too and ended up helping out at the Crashdown, one of the many surprises she got from him during their good times. That was on New Year's Eve though. Was today New Year's? She couldn't remember what month it was let alone the date. The thought troubled her so she focused on following the music. Where there was music, there would be people.

As she moved towards the music she tried placing the song, she knew this song. Then she heard a voice and frantically looked around her. The smooth vocals were floating through the warm air as though they were caught in the wind and spinning around her. When she thought about it, the air was warmer than it had any right to be in the desert at this time of year.

“Your breakdown was easy to see
And it took you away, further from me”

She turned around, still not seeing anything. She closed her eyes and listened and moved slowly where she felt the music was originating.

“Sifting through mishaps and photographs
I think of you, much more than I should
More than I should”

She stopped when she felt the beats vibrating against her chest. She had to be right in front of the speakers. She opened her eyes and her heart sunk, there was nothing there but the endless and dead landscape. Suddenly, pictures came alive in front of her as if the very desert itself had been transformed into a movie screen. She saw Dean driving the impala as if she was watching him from the passenger seat but it didn’t seem right. The picture flickered and suddenly he was in a bar, sitting at the counter with a small glass of what she figured was whiskey or scotch in front of him as he looked at himself in the mirror. Liz noticed she didn’t see herself in the reflection of the mirror then realized she was now looking through his eyes. “Am I dead?” She looked around hoping someone would answer her. Her voice didn’t echo but was simply absorbed into the desert behind her. “I thought it was my life that was supposed to flash before my eyes?” She turned back to the screen feeling less alone with the pictures that flickered across the screen as the velvety voice continued its haunting melody.

“And I’m falling down
Like it’s holy ground
I’m looking for you again
I’m looking for you again”

The images continued to flicker across the screen but the new images seemed familiar. She knew the scenery, she knew the path the images were taking as her own, a path she’d taken many times. She squinted at the small figure ahead in the moving image then she gasped as she recognized the memory. This was Dean’s memory from the night he followed her to the beach that always reminded her of Jess. Those other images had to have been Dean’s memories but the one looking at him.. was that Sam’s? Why was she viewing other people’s memories? She had picked up the memory of Dean at the bar the night they.. the night he found her at the beach. Why were all the memories surrounding Dean? What the hell was going on?

“Slow regrets
That live in the dark
And I wrote them all down
But I know them by heart”

As if to spite her, the images changed to herself. She saw her familiar scrawl as she quickly jotted down her thoughts in her journal. She could make a few of the words out, words of anger and hurt from when Dean left and then they changed to words of sorrow and heartbreak when she feared he was dead. “Why are you showing me this?” She screamed at the screen but once again, heard no reply as the screen continued to play out memories of the past.

“I’ve counted the cost of this loneliness
And I’ve paid for the crime
And one day I’ll die
With you in my mind”

The images came faster seamlessly switching viewpoints between her quick glances at Dean and his quick glances at her and all the worried glances from the people surrounding them. “WHY? TELL ME WHAT IS GOING ON?!” She screamed as she fell to her knees. Why wouldn’t it stop or explain? The images stopped and the screen went black and then quickly came back to life. She watched as her last argument with Dean played out. Her snippy comments made her wince, hearing them now made her feel miserable. Why couldn’t she just ask him? Why couldn’t she just try to let him explain, try to fix what went so wrong?

“I’m so sorry.” She sobbed when the screen started to darken again as her image on the screen stormed out the back door to the alley leaving Dean behind. She fell forward, pounding the desert floor in front of her. “I’m sorry! Is that what you want?! ANSWER ME!”

The voice started singing again although this time it seemed broken, almost apologetic.

“And I’m falling down
Like its holy ground”


The sound of his voice brought her head up with hope. She saw Dean running towards her, sprinting through the rough desert terrain. She pulled herself up on her knees and then pushed herself to a standing position. “I’m so sorry, Dean. I should have asked, I should have explained. I should have let you explain.” His face seemed panicked and she frowned. When he was almost to her, he slid to the ground and started digging right in front of her. “Dean, what are you doing?”

“I’m looking for you again
I’m looking for you again”

She watched in horror as a box became visible. Dean kept digging frantically; throwing the dirt out of the way then broke the box open. He pulled her body out of the box and her body just hung limply in his arms. The only word that came to her mind was lifeless. Tears came to her eyes and she covered her mouth as he screamed her name but no sound came from his mouth. He shook her body then seemed defeated and cradled her head and held her against his chest. She noticed the others slowly coming towards him. They all stood around him looking down at him with sorrow, pain, and devastation coloring their features as he openly cried as he held her body unwilling to let her go. Everyone watched him but one. Tess stood staring directly at her, not her body in Dean’s arms but her. Then her lips started moving and she heard the cold voice clearly, “this is all your fault, Liz Parker.”

She ran to Dean screaming, “don’t believe her! Please don’t believe her!” When he didn’t move, she turned to Sam and stared into his eyes, “please hear me Sam. DO NOT BELIEVE HER! PLEASE!”

She felt the heaviness on her body again and felt hopeless. She couldn’t reach them. The panic set in and her throat started to tighten then her eyes fell on Ava standing next to Sam with a concealed look of confusion directed towards Tess. Liz grabbed Ava's arm and yelled, "DO NOT BELIEVE HER! HEAR ME AVES! I NEED YOU!!"

Once again there was no sign of recognition that anything had changed and Liz felt her heart plummet. She fell to her knees and screamed as the scene around her flickered out and she was left to the desert again. There was no music to cancel out the silence of the endlessness around her. She was alone. She was going to die alone with nothing but regrets. They would find her, she knew that much for sure but they would be too late because she was already dead.


The four vehicles had slowed down as they neared the cheese factory then stopped completely on the road in front of it. They got out of the cars and met in the road looking back and forth at the desert on both sides of the road. Either side had more than enough desert to get lost in so which side did they check out first or should they split up? It seemed to be the question on everyone’s mind. Tess and Max joined the group last and Kyle looked at Max quizzically, “dude. You okay?”

At Kyle’s question, the rest of the group looked over Max noticing the dark bags under his eyes and sloppy posture. To put it simply, the man looked worn out and exhausted. Max gave a small smile, “sorry I was asleep when Tess pulled me out of bed saying it was important.”

Most of the group accepted the answer, knowing he’d been looking pretty beat up recently but Isabel and Kyle didn’t seem satisfied with his answer. It just didn’t sit right with either of them but they kept quiet and decided to shelve it for the moment. Michael pulled the map out and pointed out areas that would be far enough from the road to hide someone without being seen and suggested they split up to check both sides of the road. Heads started to nod when Tess chimed in, “are you sure it wouldn’t be wiser to just check behind the cheese factory? I mean if I were going to take someone I’d prefer to be shielded by the building while I was working. I think we should all head that way.”

Movement caught Sam’s eye and he caught Dean fidgeting as the group seemed to be gearing up to argue. He saw Dean staring out at the desert and could easily read what he was thinking. "Dean." Sam placed a hand on his brother's arm. "Don't. Stay with us. What are you going to be able to do for her? We need them." Sam knew the look in his brother's eyes. Dean knew he was right but he didn't like it.

Michael started to argue with Tess about the wisdom in splitting up when Sam noticed the confusion on Ava’s face then she turned and walked slowly away from the group. Sam followed Ava across the road and stepped onto the dirt with her. She closed her eyes as she took a few steps further into the desert away from the road, the group, and the factory behind them. Sam moved silently with her. “What is it? Do you feel something?”

Ava opened her eyes and squinted as if trying to see further into the dark distance. “Something just didn’t feel right.. I needed to get away. I don’t know but this feels right, moving this way.”

Sam heard Tess raising her voice with her side of the argument, “we shouldn’t split up because we may need Max there right away. What are you going to do if we split up and max is on the other side huh? Call him and wait?”

Isabel turned her head away from the fight and noticed Sam and Ava on the other side of the road. She walked over and stopped next to Ava. “What is it?”

Ava glanced at Isabel, “close your eyes and reach for Liz. Which way feels right?”

Isabel paused a moment then closed her eyes and felt for her connection to her friend. She felt the flare of recognition but frowned at the dampened nature to the connection. Was she still asleep? Was that why it felt barely there or was that because she was so far away? Isabel felt small hands push her softly forward a few steps and she felt the connection seem brighter. It still felt different from normal but the further she moved in that direction the more concrete the connection felt. Was she weak so Liz wasn’t reaching for her? Was that why it didn’t feel normal? “This way. It has to be.” Isabel opened her eyes and looked at Ava who smiled.

Sam turned and raised his voice, “over here!”

The fight stopped abruptly as heads snapped their way and the group ran over while Tess walked behind them rolling her eyes.

Isabel and Ava both explained they needed to go this way. The path felt colder going towards the factory and warmer away from it. Isabel caught the look of shock that quickly flashed across Tess’ face. Isabel watched her and waited for the other girl to meet her eyes then quirked her brow. Tess asked, “what does that even mean? The path felt colder?”

Ava looked at her double with confusion, “didn’t your protector tell you about the connection?”

Tess nodded with a scoff, “of course he did but what does that have to do with Liz?”

Ava rolled her eyes, “Isabel and Michael have a connection with her. They’ve known each other long enough and I’ve had a connection with her for a while. Max may still have a connection with her from when he healed her. I don’t know why you think it’s uncommon.”

Tess’ eyes went wide, “she’s not one of us! How could Liz possibly have a connection with them?”

Ava grinned, “obviously your protector didn’t tell you everything. We can form connections with humans. It’s not that hard and its practically the same with Liz because of Max.”

Dean ran across the road and got into the driver’s seat of the impala and started the car. The roar of the impala’s engine interrupted the conversation. He stuck his head out the window, “Sam, Ava, get a move on. We’re going that way.”

The rest ran back to their cars and followed Dean into the desert. The cars bounced over the rough terrain as they progressed slowly. Dean kept looking at Ava for any sign to turn or stop but before Ava could say a word the head lights of the impala lit up freshly moved dirt and he hit the brakes. He jumped out of the car and ran towards the off colored ground. Ava got out and waved the other cars over, hoping they’d see the same dirt and point their lights towards it. Sam ran to Dean and started digging along with him. Sam grunted with the effort they were digging with and lifting the dirt, “should we get the shovels?”

Dean continued moving the dirt, “if you want, tell Michael and Kyle too.”

Sam understood Dean’s reluctance to stop and relayed the information to the others as he continued alongside Dean trying to shove away the fact that this looked like any number of the graves they had dug before. Kyle and Michael came over with shovels as Ava and Maria started digging with their hands next to the brothers. Before long they hit a wooden box and the girls stood back as the guys tried to use their hands to pry it open. When that didn’t work, Dean and Michael took the shovels to the edges and pried the corners up. Max stood next to Ava and Maria as Dean, Michael, Kyle, and Sam lifted the top of the box and threw it to the side. Maria and Isabel’s gasp filled the air as everyone saw Liz lying in the box. Her lips were blue, her face looked ashen and her chest didn’t look like it was moving at all. Max jumped into motion helping Dean pull her out of the ground and ran his hands over her head and chest trying to scan her.

Dean held his fingers to her neck and couldn’t feel a pulse. He panicked and felt the pulse point at her wrist, still not finding anything. He looked to Max hoping for him to say he found some sign of life. Dean watched him and caught the blank look as he pressed his hands flush against the sides of Liz’s face.

Max waited as he tried to push his way into the connection, praying that he had time. He closed his eyes and felt something spark then a flash lit up behind his eyelids. He was digging a hole as Tess looked on then he grabbed a box of alien artifacts and placed it in the hole. Tess told him he forgot something and pointed to a rug lying in the desert beside the hole. He lifted the rug and carried it to the box but the image flickered and it was no longer a rug but Liz hanging limply in his arms then flashed back to the rug that he laid in the box then placed the top over. Max gasped and then felt the connection with Liz flare open. She was alive but she was so close to death. “She’s still there.. she’s hanging on but she didn’t have enough oxygen, her body started shutting down to divert the oxygen to her brain.”

He followed the connection to her brain and felt the major amount of damage already caused and sent a quick pulse of energy to the most important part of the brain that seemed to be struggling to keep up. Then he moved down to the lungs and sent a pulse of energy to the damaged tissue and narrowed vessels so she could breathe again. He moved to her heart that had expanded to a fatal level and even though he felt like he was going to pass out, he pushed himself harder to send another pulse of energy to heal her heart at least enough to decrease the swelling. There was too much damage caused by her lack of oxygen for him to fix all of it but he had to heal the major organs or she wouldn’t be able to fight on her own any longer. He took in a deep breath as his mind pointed out all the problems from her body slowly shutting down. The image of lowering her limp body into the box pushed him further. He kept sending the pulses of energy to the different organs but felt himself start to lose control of the connection. He felt dizzy and felt a force along the connection shove him out. He fell backwards from the force and expected to hit the desert floor but instead felt small arms catch him. Max’s eyes met Dean’s across from him still holding Liz. Max looked down at Liz and croaked, “do you feel her pulse now?”

Dean still had his fingers on her wrist’s pulse point and nodded as he stared at Max in awe. He had heard the story of Max healing a gunshot wound in Liz’s stomach but seeing him pull her back from the brink of death with his own eyes was a different story. Max had looked like crap before but now he looked like he was close to death himself. He wondered if Max took any of the damage he healed into himself. He glanced up at Ava who caught Max from hitting the ground and reminded himself to ask her about it later.

Isabel moved to her brother and helped Ava get him up as Michael and Sam helped Dean move Liz to the Impala. Isabel and Kyle stood with Max as he watched the guys place Liz carefully in the back of the impala and Dean get in with her most likely to rest her head on his lap. It was what Max would do. It was what he wanted to do right now more than anything. Could he really have put her in the ground?

Isabel finally spoke up, “Max.. are you okay?”

His face faltered and he looked towards her. Isabel caught the look on his face and thought he might actually cry. “Max, what is it?”

He shook his head and looked her in the eye, "Iz.. I.." He turned back towards the empty hole, the grave that he dug. His eyes felt glued on the remains of the wooden box.

Tess grabbed Max's arm gently, "are you okay? Do you need to sit down? Maybe in the car with some air."
Isabel ignored Tess and watched her brother. He nodded, "thanks Iz." But he wouldn’t look back at her. Tess put his arm over her shoulder and wrapped her arm around his back and helped him towards their car.

Isabel watched them go more worried than ever. Her mind was spinning with different theories for the look on Max’s face. Kyle came up beside Isabel, "what is it?"

"I don't know. I think Max saw something, something that scared him."

"Saw something when?"

"When he healed Liz. Did you see his face when he pulled away and asked Dean if the pulse was there? He looked.. almost haunted."

"Maybe he saw one of the people he said were following him."

"I don't know. Maybe. He didn't seem.. okay. I can't push aside this feeling that it’s something more than that. That we’re missing something."

"Iz, we just dug our friend out of a grave. She was buried alive. Even if he's with Tess, he will always have something for Liz. We all know that."

"I guess."

"Come on, we should get going. I want to follow Sam. Keep as many of us around her as possible." Isabel nodded and followed him to the mustang. "We'll figure it out Iz but we can't jump the gun without evidence."

Isabel climbed in the mustang looking back towards the shattered top of the wooden box, the results of Michael letting out a bit of his frustration after he got Liz safely into the car with Dean. Maybe she wasn’t the only one feeling the weight of the fact that Liz was buried alive in the desert and left for dead. "Why do I feel like I need to get my brother away from her before something happens to him too?"

Kyle started the car and turned towards the path Sam took. "We're not going to leave them without surveillance. Michael's already on top of it. Too much shady shit going on and their excuse of being asleep so they didn't hear their phones plus Max looked like shit. He didn’t look like he’s been sleeping much at all. We're not leaving him alone until we know what's going on."

Isabel turned towards Kyle with a smirk, "what are you and Michael telepathic now?"

Kyle grinned, "we have our ways of communicating quickly without speaking so I guess in a way.."

Isabel chuckled softly as she grabbed the hand Kyle offered her. Guilt was settling heavy on her, she never thought Tess would hurt her brother but what if that's exactly what she's been doing all along and he's finally been able to reach out to her. Max was always stronger than her.. How the hell could Tess have gotten the upper hand? Someone had to be helping her.. or someone else entirely was pulling this all off and she was placing all the blame on a person she didn't trust.
When Drifters Collide.
"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls. The most massive characters are seared with scars." Khalil Gibran

My pen to paper.

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Re: Perception (XO SPN, D/L, Mature) Ch 24 9/19

Post by MelissaD » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:12 am

HypnotiqBlueEyes: Lol well I couldn't be that cruel and kill her off.. unless I had this amazing plan to have them only faking it so certain people would think she was dead so she could surprise them later and kick ass! Maybe another story.. Max is in a hard place, trying to reach out but Tess has a tight leash on him. My friend Joe is a lost cause! He loves the bachelor life way too much! It will take a very special woman to make him change his mind. Some day his soul mate will walk into the picture and I will be able to tease him! :lol:

barbara87413: Yeah, Max is starting to unravel and that's not a good sign but Isabel isn't the only one taking notice. :wink:

Sorry I didn't get this up yesterday but after getting the boys off to pre preschool(that still makes me laugh) this morning, this was my first task to accomplish!

Chapter Twenty Four
*Two lines taken from Supernatural Season One episode “Skin” in italics.*

After a few phone calls between the different cars, they finally settled on taking Liz to the Valenti’s new residence. The place was new enough that it would be a bit more difficult for Lonnie and Rath to track down and it would satisfy Isabel’s worries because it was one of the few places that Tess didn’t know about it. Kyle explained to the group that his father had invited Tess over to see the new place but she had never acted interested. That fact had seemed to be a selling point for everyone an it was the only place they could think of where Liz could rest comfortably and be relatively out of the way for whoever it was that was trying to get to them.

When they finally pulled into the driveway, Dean carried Liz towards the house as Sam rushed ahead to open the door and Maria followed closely behind Dean. Michael, Ava, Kyle and Isabel climbed out of their cars watching as the other three got Liz inside then turned to each other. Isabel threw an uncontrollable glance out towards the desert. “That was too easy, it doesn't make sense.”

Ava’s eyes followed Isabel’s then traveled back to the front door. “You think it was some kind of trap? Why didn't they come after us?”

Kyle said, “maybe it's Liz. Maybe they planted something on her.”

Michael shook his head as he rubbed the back of his neck. “No, Max checked her. He would have noticed something.” Michael took a breath then glanced around the small group, “did Max seem ridiculously tired for someone who'd been sleeping for hours to anyone else?”

Ava nodded, her attention drawn back to the conversation. “Yeah but I thought he's been acting weird lately?”

Isabel asked, “you think maybe they just wanted us weak? We go out of our minds trying to find her and then once we got her back, we wouldn’t want to leave her after that.”

Ava looked at Isabel. “Except I'm here. They wouldn't expect me to be here. Or Dean and Sam, if they even know about them. If they made some kind of sign and think only a couple of you would go after them while the other half watched Liz they'd be wrong because I could stay with Dean and Sam to watch her.”

Isabel looked back towards the desert. “I don't know something just doesn't add up.”

Michael sighed, “there’s nothing we can do right now but wait. Again. Let’s get inside and we’ll figure out what we should do in the meantime or if we can come up with a better plan.”

Tess was finally able to get Max settled down enough to pass out. She stretched her neck as she closed the bedroom door behind her. She felt the headache starting behind her eyes and in her temples and rubbed at them absently as she walked down the hall. The headaches were a sign that she had used way too much energy in a small amount of time but she was thankful that she had the foresight to warp Liz so that nothing could be traced back to her. How that girl had so much luck she would never know but at least she had just as much on her side. That could have ended so badly had she not covered her bases from the alleyway to the box but she was still in the clear. She rubbed the stone in her pocket with one hand and continued rubbing at her temple with her other as she made her way into the kitchen. At least she could use this whole situation to her advantage once Nasedo arrived with the damn crystal.

“Well, well, well. Aren’t you up to no good?” Tess jumped at the voice and Lonnie grinned from her seat at the small kitchen table.

“What the hell are you doing here?” Tess glanced between Lonnie and the hallway behind her then hoped Max would stay asleep tonight.

Rath stepped forward taking his time eyeing her body. “You two seem really tight. How come you don’t have any heirs running around?”

Tess sneered, “that’s none of your business! Why are you here? What do you want?”

Lonnie rose gracefully from her seat, “I think you know exactly what we want.” She moved forward and Tess raised her hand. Lonnie didn’t lose her grin but put up her hands in surrender, “calm down princess. We’re just here to talk. We want what you want.”

“You wouldn’t know a damn thing about what I want.”

“Oh really?” Rath reached out towards her ass and Tess smacked his hand away and growled.

“I could melt that thing off so keep your hands to yourself.”

Lonnie looked at Rath and jerked her head to the side, telling him to back off. “Well, we know you want to go home. We heard about your sad attempt but ya gotta see, it won’t work unless you take us. You and Max and Me and Rath. We’re the royal four and if you want to go home you have to come with us.”

Tess kept her face straight, “yeah see that would work if you weren’t just a defect. You were the backups, their safety net, and you don’t have the seal.”

Rath sneered, “only the king has the seal stupid bitch.”

Tess grinned, “exactly. And the King is with me and the real royal four.”

“Well, that’s not exactly true.”

Tess jerked to the side surprised to hear his voice, “Nasedo? It’s about damn time!” Tess’ eyes burned into her protector. He was supposed to take care of this problem not drag it into her house!

Lonnie and Rath looked towards the old man walking into the kitchen. Rath chuckled, “yo, this is your protector? What’s up with the old man get up? You could be anybody.”

Nasedo’s speed caught Rath off guard as he appeared in the kitchen in the blink of an eye. His hand grasping Rath’s neck, slowly crushing his windpipe as he smiled into the dupes’ shocked face. “No one suspects the old man because they’re slow and fragile. I prefer to be underestimated. It makes the kill more satisfying. Don’t you think?” Nasedo gazed into Rath’s eyes reading the pain, shock, and fear and he loved every second of it. “You used to be a great general but then they decided to make a clone and then another. Something gets lost in the mix.. something important. You are the defect and that’s saying something for your other version being more human.” With a final smirk, he snapped the hybrid’s neck and let the body fall to the ground. He turned to Lonnie with a cordial smile, “what is it that you two wanted here anyway?”

Lonnie’s gaze rose from Rath’s unmoving body to the shape shifter’s cold eyes not giving away any of the fear or shock she momentarily felt at the sight. “I have the key and obviously I’m not the defected one.”
Nasedo laughed as Lonnie and Tess looked at him in confusion. Nasedo glanced at Tess, “what do you think Tess?”

Tess turned her gaze back towards Lonnie, her eyes growing cold. “Of course she’s a defect. Look at her, she couldn’t even blend in to survive.”


Tess stared at the other hybrid, “well, what are you waiting for? Get rid of her.”

Nasedo turned to Tess. “I thought she might be useful.”

Lonnie grinned and crossed her arms over her chest. Tess turned to Nasedo, “I am the Queen and I’m telling you to get rid of her! We have the real Vilandra, we have no use for a defect! I’ve been waiting for you to deal with this shit for long enough!”

Nasedo’s cold eyes turned on Tess, “you need to watch your tone.”

“I got the translation, I got them all here, and without me you wouldn't have known where to look for the key! Now it’s right in front of you and I’m telling you to get it or I will!”

Nasedo advanced on her, grabbing her upper arm harshly. “And if you weren't an incompetent defect this would have been done without all the mess years ago! I'D BE HOME ALREADY BUT INSTEAD I’VE HAD TO DEAL WITH YOU!” A sick smile spread across his face. “Princess.”

Tess flinched as the pain in her arm intensified but schooled her expression. “I'm not a defect.”

“Oh come on Tess, use that brain of yours! Why do you think you need the stone to strengthen your powers? I wasn't the only one who did some swapping on that failing space ship.”

Lonnie took a step forward, “what you trying to say?”

Tess ignored the other hybrid, “enough of your lies and bullshit..”

Nasedo leaned in, his face mere inches from hers. “You miserable halfwit. You really think you came out of the pods later than them on accident? You emerged at the same time as the others just as the other queen emerged the same time as her set.”

Tess narrowed her eyes. She felt a memory try to surface of one of the many times the man in front of her tortured her through her childhood years to ignore and deny human emotions. He was the one who taught her this very poker face. “You couldn't know that. You lost them.”

“I'm not the incompetent one, Tess. I knew where they were and I talked to Cal before he hid them from me. Just as I switched out the crystals on the ship, he switched your pod. I don't know why but maybe it was just to screw me over one last time. I thought I could teach you enough but you still weren't strong enough. Your house human would have broken out of your warp had I not given you the stone to strengthen your powers and who knows where we'd be if that happened. Your translation slave broke out of your warp long enough to switch the crystals and hide the translation from you. Yet you still think your fit to rule? You’re pathetic.”

Lonnie chuckled, “well look at that, the pot calls the kettle black.”

Without turning away from Tess, Nasedo flicked his hand up towards Lonnie and the hybrid dropped to the ground after a sickening cracking noise.

Tess simply stared at the man she had once hoped would be her father, would be proud of her like a father, would love her like a father. “You’re pathetic if you think I'll believe that!” Nasedo just grinned into her face as his hand released her arm. She felt the familiar emotion trying to build and she squashed it as she spoke. “If you’re not there when I start the Granolith then you'll be stuck on this hellhole for the rest of your life.”

She stomped around him and leaned down over Lonnie’s body padding her pockets. Nasedo kneeled down and waved his hand over the bottom of Lonnie’s right boot. A hand print appeared and Tess slapped her hand against the bottom of the boot and slipped through the once solid rubber that now felt like jelly around her hand. She felt the hard rod and wrapped her hand around it then yanked it out. Tess stood with the key and stared down at the two bodies in her kitchen as if someone had simply spilled the garbage can. “Get rid of this mess before Max sees it. I have things to do!”

She stormed through the kitchen towards the front door with a plan quickly forming. If she was so weak then how could she easily get them all to the Granolith? He had another thing coming if he thought she would allow him to speak to her in such a manner. She was queen and no one touched her without consent. When he showed his ugly face in the Granolith chamber she’d let Max and the rest of them blast Nasedo to his afterlife. Then who would be the defect?

Liz slept most of the night then just before dawn, a high pitched wail brought Ava and Dean running into her room. Sam was standing beside the bed trying to soothe Liz when Ava reached the bedside. Ava noticed the bags under Sam’s eyes and wondered if he had fallen asleep at all during his bedside vigil. Liz’s eyes landed on Ava and she croaked, “what happened? Where am I?”

Ava’s gaze turned to Sam who raised his shoulders, “she’s been asleep the whole night until that scream.”

Liz turned to Sam, her lost expression tightening his chest. “Why aren’t we at the restaurant?” Her hand went to her throat, “what’s wrong with me?”

Sam looked to Ava, hoping she’d know what to do. Should they tell her what happened?

Dean interrupted their silent staring contest. “You were taken Liz. What do you remember?”

Liz looked towards the voice at the end of the bed and grimaced. Dean didn’t show any reaction to it. “We fought. I yelled at you and stormed away like a child.” Dean’s brows rose at that but Liz’s brow drew together in concentration. “But that’s it.. it’s just all blank after that.” Liz stared into Dean’s eyes as if she knew he would be straight with her.

Dean stayed at the end of the bed and his eyes fell to the comforter. “Someone took you.. and buried you in the desert. Isabel contacted you in a dream and then you gave us another clue through that projection thing you do.” His eyes moved slowly up to hers and caught the look of shock on her face. “That’s why your throat is dry.. and whatever else is in pain.”

Ava sat carefully next to Liz, “honestly, the memory loss is to be expected. You didn't have a lot of air.. your brain was shutting down. Max said vital organs were stopping or failing to conserve oxygen for your brain. You were running low on oxygen for too long before we got to you. Max healed the major organs enough to help you to fight on your own. It might take time or you may never recover those memories. That might be a good thing.. suffocation isn't really the kind of thing you'd want to remember.”

Liz nodded her head then grimaced and cradled it in her hands. Ava grabbed the glass of water off the night stand and tilted it to Liz’s lips, urging her to drink. “Max was pretty exhausted, he couldn't heal everything. Give yourself time to heal, at least until he can help you some more.”

Dean moved quietly back to the doorway and listened. Sam walked to the door and whispered, "maybe not right now but you've got the chance to fix it, to straighten everything out. Even if you decide to still leave, you owe her. You owe yourself too." Sam glanced back at Liz and Ava quietly talking.

Dean nodded at Sam's words but his mind was going a mile a minute. How the hell was his relationship with her important at this point? Someone tried to kill her. Someone left her to suffocate to death in a small box in the desert. Sam had a point but how could he possibly bring it up when she will probably be consumed with who did this to her and how the hell she could stop them from doing the same to her friends. He would do the same. It's where they originally found common ground. Protect their family, sometimes it came down to any cost.

Sam walked back to Liz’s bed side as Ava stood. Dean watched as Liz tried standing from the bed but her legs gave out and she fell into Sam’s arms. He felt himself step forward as if he could have possibly caught her in time.

Ava said, "those legs may be a little shaky. Give it.." Liz gave a short yelp. Ava's head snapped towards Liz's face to see it contorted in pain. Ava touched her face gaining the instant connection then pulled her hand away as if she’d been burned. Ava pushed Sam away and let Liz fall back to the bed.

Sam stared at Ava and she answered quickly as she watched Liz, "it's her powers, they're a little haywire. She just accidentally took on memories from you. She made a connection without thought and the memories just seeped into her mind. It's too much right now. We can't touch her." Ava watched as Liz finally opened her eyes, tears welling.

Liz looked up at Sam, "I'm sorry. I.. I didn't mean to."

Sam shook his head, "just get some rest, you’re going to be fine. Okay?"

"I wanted to stretch my legs." Liz's gaze moved around the room then stopped on Dean.

Ava gave her a sad smile, "you should take it gingerly. Put some weight on them but hold onto something until your stable. I'm going to make you something to eat. That should help you recover, give you some energy to help you heal."

Sam caught the staring match between Liz and Dean. He briefly wondered if Ava was just ignoring it on purpose or if she had some other idea in that head of hers.

Dean followed Ava out of the room, "I'll help."

Liz glanced back at Sam catching him watching Ava and Dean leave the room. “You can help too, if you want. I think I’m just going to stretch my legs a bit and maybe get some more rest.” She rubbed her temple. “I don’t think I’m up for trying again just yet.”

Sam turned back to her, “are you sure?” She smiled and he picked her cell up from the night stand and laid it on the bed in front of her. “You need anything and don’t want to yell, just call me okay?”

She smiled and watched him leave the room. She took a deep breath once she was alone and lay back down. She knew she wouldn’t be able to get back to sleep, there was too much noise in her mind. The memories she had accidently picked up from Sam were playing out over and over until she focused on one that caught her attention. Dean was leaning against the impala while Sam sat in the passenger seat. Dean was asking about what Sam told his friends at Stanford about the family business. It wasn’t so much the line of questioning that Dean was aiming at his brother but the words he used to end the conversation. She heard Sam’s voice in her head, “so, what am I supposed to do, just cut everybody out of my life? You’re serious?”

Dean’s answer seemed to echo in her mind. “Look, it sucks, but in a job like this, you can’t get close to people, period.”

She laid there staring at the ceiling as his words echoed over and over. The way he said it, his voice seemed to reveal more than the words themselves. She wondered if John Winchester said those very words to Dean before he disappeared from her life. John lost his wife before he was even involved in that world and then Sam lost the woman he wanted to be his wife to the very life he was running away from. If that didn’t lend more to John’s argument, she didn’t know what did. True, she didn’t have any real evidence that proved John had put that idea in Dean’s head but she knew enough about their relationship to know it was very likely. John knew exactly what his enemies would do to his family, to his boys and it was enough to scare him into pushing them away from feeling the same grief he had when he lost Mary. Maybe John or Dean or whoever came up with that argument was right. Anyone close to you became a target, became a tool for your enemy to use against you. Hell, her enemies just did the same exact thing.

The thought seemed to fit with the whole situation, with both their situations but something about it felt wrong. She just wished she knew why it felt like it went against something, something important. Was it just her heart that didn’t want to let him go when everything else seemed to confirm for her that it was the right thing to do?
When Drifters Collide.
"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls. The most massive characters are seared with scars." Khalil Gibran

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Re: Perception (XO SPN, D/L, Mature) Ch 25 9/22

Post by MelissaD » Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:30 pm

AvalonRose,barbara87413,HypnotiqBlueEyes: Liz may not remember much from the night but she's determined to figure it out.. and that's not the only thing she gets determined about. :)

Chapter Twenty Five
Immediately following the events in chapter twenty four.

Liz sat quietly on the bed she woke up in about two hours ago. She still couldn't remember a thing about the night before, where she had been taken and buried in the desert. She still couldn’t accept that it was all real. She understood the brain had the power to lock things away to help people cope and survive. How many stories had she read or heard of where people just blacked out traumatic events in their life or sometimes the damage to the brain had been so severe, the brain simply lost that time. From what Ava had told her either of those options could fit her situation but she felt those memories were the only things she had with actual answers instead of theories.

She was a changed human with an ability that was mental so it was possible she could tap into something her own brain was trying to keep away from her or maybe Max could heal the part that was damaged and corrupting her memory. She sighed. She wasn't a computer although as Alex had once told her to help her understand his favorite technology, the human brain had a lot in common with a computer's brain. She shook her head and tried standing slowly.

Her legs had felt stronger the last few times she got up and moved around the small room. Most likely thanks to Ava forcing her to eat. She had eaten as much of the soup and bread as her stomach would allow even though she hadn’t felt much of an appetite at all. She always had a hard time eating when she was sick and could feel the expectant eyes on her but she knew Ava was right, her body needed energy to heal and food was fuel.

After Ava had left the room with the tray of leftover food, Liz had forced herself to try moving around the room but she didn't last more than five or six steps before her legs went shaky and she could feel them start to give out. She would end up back on the bed stretching and hoping she could build the strength up quickly by repeating the steps over and over. That first couple of steps had only been an hour and a half ago and she felt much stronger on her feet already.

She moved towards the bedroom door confident that she could make it out of the room this time. She stepped into the hallway and smiled as her legs had yet to show any signs of collapsing underneath her. She started down the hallway towards the dining room making sure to stay close to the wall just in case. She recognized the pictures and confirmed for herself that they had brought her to Jim and Amy's house. When she woke up, she could still smell the faint scents of Amy's baking that seemed to linger in the house almost all the time. She grinned wondering how that was affecting Dean, smelling his favorite dessert but not seeing it anywhere unless Amy had baked that day and had left one or two out. Where was Jim or Amy for that matter? She didn't remember hearing any other voices besides the group since she woke up. She made it into the living room and moved towards the window that looked out onto the front yard and the driveway to see if there were any cars to answer her questions.

“How are you feeling?” A husky voice behind her made her jump.

"Jesus!" She turned to find Dean sitting on the couch rubbing his eyes. He watched her quietly waiting for an answer. She looked him over, he looked worse than she did. Her voice was soft when she finally answered. “Frustrated.”

The corner of Dean’s mouth curved up. “I guess you’re still not getting anywhere with the memories.”

Liz glanced at him from the corner of her eye. She knew he wasn’t referring to the memories she stole from Sam but her mind automatically went there. “It’s hard to get anywhere when I can’t remember anything.”

“Maybe you need to try a different tactic. Don’t stress and push yourself, let your mind go to it without trying.”

“What? How?”

He looked up at her from his seat on the couch. “How much do you remember from that night.. between us?”

She leaned back against the wall next to the window instead on moving to sit on the couch next to him. She felt the need to keep the space between them. “I was being honest when I said the last thing I remember is yelling at you and storming out.” She felt the memory spring to mind but all she could focus on was the frustration on his face. It was more than that though as she looked closer, there was pain there too and that sadness again in his eyes. She heard her angry and snappy comments she threw at him and cringed.

“What is it?”

She glanced his way and shook her head, “nothing.. just that night, the things I said. I’m sorry. I was just frustrated and you came in at a bad time.” She turned towards the window again and looked out into the early morning light starting to break over the horizon. How could one night feel like it had lasted forever? “You know, it sucks but in a life like mine, you can’t get close to people, period.”

Dean looked down at his folded hands. Her words struck something, something familiar. Something he should know. “So, is that why you haven’t settled down with anyone? Was everything just bad timing?”

Her chuckle brought his eyes up to her. “Right because love always lasted for me.”

“What are you talking about?”

She kept her eyes directed out the window. “Max, you. Apparently, I’m not the one guys choose..”

He felt that old anger flare, he tamped it down but couldn’t stop his words. “That's because you chose someone else.. you chose to push it away! Have you ever wondered why that is? Stop putting the blame on someone else and look at yourself. Why do you push people away when it starts getting serious? You did it with Max and you did it with me.”

She turned towards him. “What? I didn't push you away! You took Max’s word over mine and you left! YOU drove away and stopped talking to me!”

His hands covered his face and he rubbed them hard almost as if he was trying to erase the anger there. Liz felt her own anger start to wane at the sight. He must be exhausted after searching for her and here she was fighting with him not that it wasn’t long overdue for this crap to be dealt with.

Dean was taking deep breathes scolding himself for letting that old anger get the better of him. He knew what kind of condition she was in and he was starting shit. She didn't need this. "Look I wasn’t trying to start a fight. I just want you to get better, I want to help you to get better."

Liz eyed him but felt like he was just trying to avoid the huge issue still in between them. She didn't feel like backing down this time, she was too damn tired of tip toeing around it. "Dean Winchester doesn't want to fight when it comes to his own problems. Surprise, surprise."

Dean dropped his hands, "really? What are you, twelve?"

"I'm sorry but I'm not the one running away from my own problems or mistakes."


"Admit it, either John put an idea in your head that you'd get me hurt or you heard enough about the alien stuff and you left thinking either way you would end up getting me hurt or dead!"

"No! Max told me about you and Kyle but I still came around!”

There it was. Finally, she was getting somewhere. “Oh really? You still came around like when you started answering your phone less, giving me more excuses for why you couldn't stop by? Why didn't you just talk to me?”

Dean jumped up from the couch. “I was dealing with my dad and his shit! You knew that!”

“Oh yeah, blame your father!”

“I told you the truth every time but you couldn't tell me the truth! You chose him and that's why I stopped coming around! Why I stopped taking your calls! There was no point in talking to you about it!”

“What? Who did I choose Dean?! Max? Because he was with Tess, he's STILL with Tess! After everything we.. how could you think I had anything..”

He took a step towards her but stopped himself as he interrupted her. “KYLE! You chose Kyle!”

“What?! Are you kidding?! Kyle has always been my friend!”

“NO! I don't care what you tell everyone else but I saw you both with my own eyes. I was there Parker!”

The rigid anger fell from her face, “what?”

“I saw you two that night in the Crashdown. It didn’t seem like you were keeping it much of a secret since I saw you two devouring each other from the front door.”

The little color that had come to her cheeks drained. “Dean.. What? Kyle and I were talking about Isabel. About San Francisco state!”

“I SAW YOU LIZ! You were practically about to christen the damn counter!”

She balked, "what?" She searched his face for any sign of dishonesty.

“You didn't even try to hide it. You held open the door for him to leave and you smiled at me, you didn't even bother to fix your clothes or your hair. Your lips.. God, you reeked of sex and I was in my car!”

The fight completely drained out of her seeing the anger and pain written all over his features and tensing muscles. Anger and pain again. The very things she had been seeing and completely baffled by. "Dean.. That.. that wasn’t what happened."

"I saw it Liz." He turned and walked away from her, his hands going into his hair trying to calm himself. As he moved further away in the room he kept reminding himself the condition she was in. He needed to calm down, she didn’t need this.

She took a few steps towards him, her legs and hands shaking. "No you don't understand, you need to listen to me."

"How can you change the fact that I SAW YOU!" He turned back towards her and was surprised by the look on her face.

She felt the tears spring to her eyes, “but you don't believe it, I know you don't! You know me Dean. You know I wouldn't do that to you! Instead of driving away that night you should have talked to me and you would know that wasn't what happened!” Her mind spun rapidly over everything that was going on at the time, between her and dean, her investigation into Nasedo and her search for any connection to Tess. The looks she got from Max every time Dean was there, the scowls from Tess. Oh god, she wouldn't.

“You did it to Max, what makes me any different?”

She struggled to talk around the realization that Tess most certainly would. She couldn’t control her erratic breathing or the lump forming in her throat and the burning sensation in her chest. "Dean.." the sound of her voice brought his eyes up to hers, "what you saw.. it wasn't real. You used to trust me, you used to know that I wouldn't lie to you. Please trust me now, that's not what happened that night."

He watched her quietly. His expression a mix of doubt and what she silently prayed was a sliver of hope. Suddenly, she ran towards him and jumped on him before he had the chance to move away. He caught her easily but the momentum she had gained knocked them both to the floor. She grasped his face in her hands, looking into his eyes pleading for him to see. The tears in her eyes matched his as she whispered, "please let me in Dean. Let me show you the truth." When he didn’t jerk away she took it as permission and leaned down pressing her lips softly to his, opening the connection. She braced herself for the onslaught of images but tried to concentrate on the one that she needed to see and the one that was already front and center in her mind for him. She watched his view of that night play out and gasped as she pulled back, catching the confusion on his face.

Liz eyed him as she thought about what she saw in his memory. "How could you not notice the difference?! That red tank top.. I was wearing it earlier that day but I spilled a drink and I had to change it. I wasn’t wearing it when Kyle came. I had to change quickly and your shirt was on the back of my chair in my room. I threw it on because I knew you were coming and I actually thought you'd get a kick out of it but instead you thought.. Oh God." Her eyes widened as she pushed herself up to a sitting position on his stomach.

Dean stared at her, "you seriously think I could focus on your clothes when I saw that?! You could have thrown on the shirt on your way to the door how the hell would I think.. oh you know that's a different shirt than the one that Kyle was shoving up her body to get his mouth on her tits!"

She clumsily scrambled off his body as her mind spun quickly.

His eyes narrowed as the night from her side played out again in his mind. "This doesn't make any sense.. How?"

The thought bubbled from the back of Liz’s mind connecting with other ideas before she whispered, "there's only one person I know who makes people see things that aren’t real. And can make you forget what is." She stormed through the house leaving Dean staring after her in confusion. Her voice screaming for Isabel and Michael snapped him out of his shock and he got up and started after her.
She frantically moved room to room around the house. Ava came out of the back room catching her by the shoulders, “baby girl chill. What’s up?”

“Where are they?”

“Isabel and Kyle went to check out her parent’s place just before you woke up. Maybe twenty minutes ago, Michael got a call from Isabel. Something happened out at the Granolith chamber. I think she said something about Tess and Max went there to make sure it was secure or something? Maria went with Michael to meet them there.”

The blood drained from Liz’s face, “oh god. We need to get ahold of them. We need to get to the chamber before it’s too late.”

Sam came out of the back room and glanced at Dean as they asked in unison. “Too late for what?”

“It was Tess. It was all Tess.”

Ava’s eyes widened. “What?”

“We need to go now. I’ll tell you on the way.”

Dean was lost in the memories swirling in his mind. Memories that seemed to laugh at him for all the years he spent in anger, in confusion, and in loss.

He wiped down the counter in the Crashdown but the hands were too small and delicate to be his own. He was reliving her memory, the memory that the first time he didn’t want to see or really he didn’t want to feel what she felt with Kyle. He heard the jingle of the door signaling a new arrival and he looked up, or really she looked up. Once again he felt disappointment then heard her voice hiding the feeling, “hey Kyle.”

Kyle smirked, “sorry, I don’t think I’m the one you were hoping for.”

Her giggle was vibrant. “Shut up. Come here, sit down. Root beer?”

Kyle took the seat in front of her position at the counter as she turned to the soda machine. When she turned back around, she noticed the large manila envelope Kyle had in front of him. She placed the soda down and waited. He glanced up, “you think you can help me with something?”

Dean felt her bewilderment at the way Kyle was acting. “Of course, why wouldn’t I?” He pulled the papers out of the envelope and she saw the San Francisco State logo and her confusion cleared. “Are you worried you won’t get in?”

Kyle smiled, “oh I know I can get in through baseball but I don’t want to just be the jock anymore. I get okay grades but I know I can do better than that. Isabel doesn’t want to be with the dumb jock. She liked smart guys, well guys that were intelligent.”

Liz’s hand came to rest on Kyle’s, “she really likes you Kyle and that’s something. You bring out her lighter side. Yes, she loved Alex but we’ve all started to come around from that. Kyle, you make her laugh and that’s something that she doesn’t take for granted anymore. Honestly, it’s something she needs now more than ever.”

“Oh great so I’m the jock clown? Yeah, that’s great for the friend zone Liz but.. I feel more with her. I want more with her and she deserves better than that and if I have to work hard at it then so be it. She’s worth it.”

Dean felt the smile that stretched across her face, “and that’s exactly why you’re the best person for her right now.” She pulled some of the papers from under his hand, “okay let’s see. We need to get your GPA up but that won’t be too much trouble if you’re willing to put in the extra effort, we can work on that SAT score too. That’s easy, we can study together and I can lend you some of my books.”

Dean smelled something odd that pulled him out of the memory and he looked around the car. His eyes were drawn to Liz’s hand clutching the arm rest. “Liz?” His eyes glanced at the rearview mirror and caught Ava’s.

Ava looked down and whispered, “shit.” Her voice was calm and controlled as she laid her right hand on Liz’s left one that was currently melting the armrest. “Liz, you need to calm down. Breathe and control the energy.”

Dean and Sam shared a glance and continued to watch as leather melted as if Liz’s hand was on fire.

“Reel the energy in, Liz. You have control. You control the energy inside you. Breathe, that’s right Liz, Breathe.”

Dean watched as the melting leather suddenly reverted back to a solid and with a swipe of Ava’s hand, was completely back to normal as if nothing had happened. Liz’s voice brought his attention away from her hand. “I’m going to kill her Ava. I swear to God, I will kill her.”

Dean caught Ava’s gaze in the mirror, “is anyone going to fill me in? How the hell did that happen and how does she know it was Tess?”

Sam looked at Dean in confusion, “you seriously don’t know what Tess’ main power is?”

Dean looked at Sam, “Liz thought she may have been mind controlling Alex when he was acting all zombie on campus. How does..”

Sam suddenly turned into Dean complete with his usual cocky smirk, “that’s only one of her tricks but not the main one, kiddo.”

Dean backed away from Sam and hit the door then the vision in front of him dissolved back to Sam, who was looking towards Ava. “What the hell was that?!”

Sam turned to Dean, “her main power is a mind warp, not control.”

Liz’s voice was tight and laced with fury, “she can make you see whatever the hell she wants you to see unless you know how to protect yourself against it and only those with powers can.”

Dean’s gaze went to the rearview mirror and met Liz’s furious gaze, “shit.” He shoved his hands into his hair, “so everything I saw that night..” His eyes moved away from the rearview mirror and out the window. “Son of a bitch!”
When Drifters Collide.
"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls. The most massive characters are seared with scars." Khalil Gibran

My pen to paper.

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Re: Perception (XO SPN, D/L, Mature) Ch 26 9/26

Post by MelissaD » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:06 pm

barbara87413,AvalonRose: :)
HypnotiqBlueEyes: Liz may just have to get in line once she reveals her little bombshell.. :lol:

Chapter Twenty Six

Ava drove through the desert and spotted the cars near the bottom of the hill and hulking rock formation. She slowed to park alongside Kyle’s mustang but before she could even bring the car to a full stop, Liz was already jumping from the car. Ava shoved the gear into park and jumped out of the car yelling, “damn it Liz! Hold on!”

Sam and Dean got out of the car and stared at the odd shaped formation of rock. Dean was the first to break from his stupor as Liz kicked up dust on her quick pace up the hill. Dean looked at his brother, “you ever been here before?”

Sam shook his head and jogged towards the trail up the rock formation. “Do you know what it is?”

Dean trailed behind him up the steep path, “the Granolith? No, just that it’s important to them.”

By the time they reached the top, Ava was placing her hand on the wall and a piece of the rock slid away revealing an inner cavern. Liz ran through the opening without hesitation. Dean knew she was freaked by the fact that they couldn’t get through to any of them but he’d really like to know why she was so afraid and what the hell the Granolith really was. If everyone knew what Tess could do and they had the power to block it why would she be so worried? Sam and Dean shared a glance then followed behind and once their eyes were able to adjust to the dim interior they saw the group in a circle looking at something in Tess’ hand as she talked.

Liz’s anger flared as she stormed towards the circle, “YOU BITCH!” Liz threw her hand up and green electricity shot out of her palm. The electric beam flew through the air and hit Tess square in the chest sending her flying across the cavern landing with a hard thud against the wall.

Everyone turned towards them with confusion twisting their features except for Max who ran to Tess’ side. “What the hell Liz!”

The green electricity that ran up and down Liz’s exposed arms raised quite a few eyebrows as Isabel and Maria started towards her trying to talk her down while Dean and Sam stared in shock. Isabel’s voice was soft. “Liz, it’s okay.”

Maria watched her closely, “what is it?”

Liz’s eyes never left Tess, “WHY? Why Alex?!”

There were a few audible gasps as the group was thrown off guard. Hearing the name spoken aloud along with Liz’s accusation was enough to bring back the old doubts and suspicions that mixed with the new recent ones of where Tess’ true loyalty lied. Ava took a supportive, defensive stance next to Liz, “I believe she asked you a question, Tess.”

Isabel turned towards the small blond on the ground as Maria stared at Liz with wide eyes. Michael and Kyle’s gaze bounced back and forth between Tess and Liz. Sam and Dean stood behind Ava and Liz watching the scene unfolding hiding their shock at what Liz had just done. They were feeling more than a little like a fish out of water which for them was a new thing considering what they dealt with all their life.
Tess’ voice was soft, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Liz took a few shaky steps forward and Ava stayed by her side. “Shove it Tess. I know what you did. I was getting too close to you, wasn’t I? Dean and I were coming to close to the trail you left behind so you made him see Kyle and me together so he would leave and I’d be distracted! WE KNEW YOU WERE INVOLVED BUT I HAD NO IDEA THE LENGTHS YOU WERE WILLING TO GO!”

Maria glanced to Dean and saw the edge to the man at Liz’s words then looked back to Liz. She wasn’t completely sure she wanted to hear the answer but she couldn’t stop the words. Maria’s voice was airy, almost uncertain. “The trail to what?”

Liz’s eyes never wavered, “the trail that proved Tess killed Alex. Not Nasedo. I don’t know how you got us all to believe that Nasedo could make all of that happen.. all the records, the transcripts, all the memories of Sweden but you let him take the blame, didn’t you? Once I had that photo of him it was him or you.”

Max looked at Liz, a hint of anger on his otherwise concealed expression. “That’s not.. it’s not possible. Why would she do that?”

Isabel scoffed, “are you kidding MAX?! She wanted us to go home with her and she needed that translation!”

Tess sneered, “always taking her side Isabel? How original.”

Isabel stalked towards her, her mind on overload wondering just how she pulled it all off and why Isabel had held herself back for so long. “You bitch!”

Max threw up his shield keeping them all separated from Tess and himself. “We don’t know anything. What your talking about.. it doesn’t make any sense! If she did all of that to get home then why didn’t we go home? The crystal didn’t work, Tess lost the baby because we couldn’t..”

Isabel stared daggers at Tess, “was the baby even real or was it just the only way you could think of to get Max on board with leaving?”

Max growled, “Isabel.”

Tess moved slowly towards the granolith entrance and Liz sent another green bolt towards her, hitting the wall in between her and the entrance. “How did it work exactly Tess? You get them home and you get something in return or were you really just so miserable here?”

Tess threw a cold look in her direction, “you have nothing to do with us..”

Max’s gaze faltered as he glanced at Tess, “answer them. Tell them you didn’t know about this.”

Tess threw an annoyed glance at him, “shut up Max.”

The shocked look that crossed his face made Isabel shake with rage. Kyle stepped up next to her feeling the rising energy spread into him.

Tess closed her eyes and clutched the crystal as she spoke, “Isabel is right. There never was a baby. The one thing Max couldn’t give me all these years was a child. If Alex hadn’t switched the crystals then I would’ve had the right crystal and none of this would have happened!” Tess opened her eyes with a gasp when she felt her warp never fully take hold.

Ava glared at her, “you think I wouldn’t know what you would try? So Lonnie and Rath were telling the truth, they had the real crystal. How did you get your hands on it?”

Tess turned and saw the pained look in Max’s eyes but didn’t care. She just needed to get him into the Granolith and she’d be fine. She wouldn’t get to see the others kill Nasedo but some things just had to be sacrificed. Tess felt her blood run cold when her eyes connected with Liz who had stepped up beside Isabel with Michael and Ava alongside them creating a very intimidating wall.

Liz growled, “you messed with me for the last time Tess.”

“You messed with the wrong family.” Isabel corrected as she felt the energy around her build and swirl around her.

Michael only stared with a steely gaze and rigidly set jaw. Max looked at Tess, “tell me you didn’t do this. That this is just all some..”

Tess chuckled, “GOD! Could you be anymore pathetic?" She eyed Max and couldn't keep the anger out of her voice. "STOP ACTING LIKE A LITTLE BOY! YOU’RE A KING! PROTECT ME! I’M YOUR DAMN QUEEN!"

Liz’s voice was softer, “Max.. She was the one that killed Alex.. she was the one that buried me in the desert.” She ignored the reactions around her and continued, “I know I don't have any proof to give but you have to realize she's the one who had the ability. She's the only one who could have done it. Nasedo could only do so much but he couldn’t change Alex’s memories or mine. I can't remember anything from yesterday evening or last night, Max. Who else could have done that?"

Max’s face faltered as he looked towards Liz and felt the spark of something in his mind. A flash burst in front of his eyes, his arms placing Liz in a box with alien artifacts then suddenly Liz looked like a rug. The shield Max held dropped as he turned back to Tess and he grabbed his head, “what the hell did you do to me?”

Tess smiled softly, “I was making you stronger Max. I was helping you be the king you once were.”

The rage bloomed in Max’s body making all his muscles tense up. “YOU MADE ME BURY HER! YOU TOLD ME IT WAS A RUG! THAT IT WAS TRASH TO BE THROWN AWAY!”

Tess ignored the reactions from the others in the room and stepped up to him, “I HAD TO! DON’T YOU SEE WHAT SHE IS DOING? WHAT SHE HAS ALWAYS DONE TO YOU?! SHE MAKES YOU WEAK!” Suddenly, Tess was thrown against the wall behind her again and Max turned to see both Isabel's and Liz’s right hands up, palms facing towards Tess.

Max grabbed his head and stumbled away from Tess. He moved towards Michael and felt sparks in his mind then pain ripped through his brain and he fell to his knees.

Kyle and Maria rushed to Max with Michael. Michael threw Max’s right arm over his shoulder as Kyle did the same with his left. They pulled him behind the group and sat him against the wall. Liz, Isabel, and Ava didn't take their eyes off of Tess. Isabel spoke with controlled anger, “what did you do to my brother?”

Tess just looked at her with pity, “I only tried to help him Isabel. Help him be who he was destined..” A green electric bolt cracked against the wall next to Tess’ head.

Liz didn’t hide the disgust in her voice or on her face. “Your twisted version of Destiny is just an illusion! Nasedo may have drilled that crap story into your mind so many times you actually believed in it but you should have realized when you found us that it wasn't real. Speaking of your partner in crime, where is he? Or did you really throw him to the wolves too?”

Tess started to feel nervous, “US? You’re not one of us.. you never will be!”

Liz yelled, “CUT THE SHIT TESS! There’s no way you could do all this on your own, where is he?”

“Truer words were never spoken.” The group turned at the old voice that echoed from the door of the cavern. Dean and Sam pulled their guns on the newcomer.

Tess tried to stand and called towards him, “What are you doing here?” Her eyes connected with his and she tilted her head towards the door to the Granolith.

Nasedo took a step further into the cavern, “please, I know when to cut my ties with a sinking ship.” He faced Liz as he walked towards the group, “Miss Parker, once again the top student figures it out. I was the fall man and the clean-up crew but that’s to be expected when your charge is defective.”

Tess screamed, “SHUT UP!”

He turned his grin at Tess. “Oh, I see you haven’t let our friends in on your dirty little secret? Too embarrassed to let them know you were actually with the other set before you and the Queen there were switched?”

That unexpected piece of information caught everyone off guard. Ava looked at the protector but Isabel and Liz turned their gazes back to Tess. Dean and Sam kept the newcomer targeted focusing on his every move while Maria looked towards Ava. Michael and Kyle were still trying to help Max who was now mumbling incoherently. Michael felt Max’s head and pulled his hand away quickly shaking it from the heat of Max’s skin. Michael stood and turned towards Nasedo. “If your cutting ties with her then tell us the truth, what did she do to Max? What’s happening to him? He’s burning up and mumbling like a mental case.”

Liz and Isabel turned at Michael’s comment and looked behind them at Max. Liz saw Max holding his head in both hands and rocking back and forth then turned to Ava hoping she would know what was going on. She caught the movement from the corner of her eye and threw another bolt of electricity towards Tess. “Don’t even think about it, Bitch.”

Nasedo walked towards Max. “I expect the warps that Tess has used on him are crumbling. I did hear him say Tess made him bury Liz? If one broke, it’s very likely he’s breaking through the others. Depending on how many she placed on him and the severity of the warps themselves, there could be a lot of damage in that brain of his.” Nasedo turned towards Tess with a smile, “that is how Alex met his demise, wasn’t it?”

Isabel spun back towards Tess with rage burning in her eyes. “I always knew you had something to do with it! WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO ME? I WAS THE ONLY ONE THAT ACCEPTED YOU AS A FRIEND!”

Tess glared at the other blonde alien, “No! You tried to pretend! You tried to bring me into your stupid group of friends but you never accepted me! I was always too different because I didn’t agree with your silly thing with humans! He was a lower life form Isabel! He wasn’t worthy of the high princess of ANTAR!”
Isabel threw her hand up as she screamed, “YOU BITCH!” A blast of air with concussive force slammed into Tess smacking her head against the wall again. “That lower life form was my friend! My family!”

Blood ran from Tess’ nose and she wiped at it. “I was your family.”

Isabel sneered, “you will never be my family Tess. From the moment you came into our lives, you did nothing but lie and tear us apart. That’s not family.”

Tess tried stopping the flow of blood but her powers were weakened. She reached into her left pocket and grabbed the small stone. “Well, I hope Kyle was a good fuck then.. cuz he never seemed like much of one to me.”

Tess caught the look of disgust and heightened anger on Isabel’s face then closed her eyes with a smile and concentrated as she moved towards the opening of the Granolith chamber. She heard the chaos break out around her and grinned. It was working. She walked into the chamber and opened her eyes letting the warp fall. She ran to the inverted cone and placed the crystal against the smooth surface at the base and waited for the Granolith to accept it. Her smile widened as the crystal slipped into the base of the Granolith.

“Thank you for your donation.”

She snapped her head up at the voice and a shock ran through her hand and up her arm. She fell backwards landing hard on her backside and the Granolith room around her fell away. She blinked and found herself sitting on the ground in the cavern. Ava stood directly in front of her with the crystal in her hand. “What.. that’s not possible.”

Nasedo chuckled, “I tried telling you that she was the real Queen, Tess. She’s more powerful than you even with that silly stone.”

Tess scanned the room seeing Michael now standing next to a furious Isabel and Liz while Ava just watched her. Dean and Sam were standing in front of Max in a protective stance while Max seemed to be asleep with Maria and Kyle on either side of him. “You people are going to believe Nasedo over me?”

Liz smirked, “well, he is known for jumping from the losing side.”


Isabel shook her head, “why couldn’t you just learn from us? Why couldn’t you just see that we could have been your family? If only you would have stopped pushing the destiny you were so obsessed with. You had a choice when you met us and the fact is you chose our enemies, Tess. You chose the man that killed you over us. I will never feel sorry for you. Never. I gave you a chance, I let you into my life. And you tried to kill everything good in it.”

Michael said, “so what do we do?”

Ava glanced at Isabel and Liz, “what do you guys want?”

Tess tried getting up but Ava sent another blast of air making her fall back to the floor. Liz looked at Isabel then her eyes traveled over her friends in the room that had all, in one way or another, been hurt by the things Tess had done. She looked back at Ava, “let her go home.”

“WHAT?!” The word echoed through the cavern from multiple voices.

Isabel turned to Liz, “we can’t just let her leave with the Granolith. You said yourself we can’t let it fall into the wrong hands.”

Liz lowered her voice, “this thing is capable of time travel, I’m sure there’s a way we can send her ass to Antar without the Granolith going with her.” Liz turned to Ava, “can it be done?”

Ava shrugged, “hell if I know.”

Nasedo spoke up as he stepped closer to them, “if I may, The King or Queen can communicate with the Granolith. I’m sure you could find out. By the way, you probably want to take that stone from Tess’ pocket and give it to Max. He’s probably going to need more than just his own abilities right now.”

Liz’s brow rose and Ava looked at Liz and Isabel then lowered her voice, “can we trust that?”

Isabel glanced between the two, “I want to kill her with my bare hands but I don’t think I could really go through with it. I just can’t..”

Liz nodded understanding completely. “It’s worth a shot.”

Ava looked at Michael, “what do you think?”

Michael shrugged, “can’t hurt to find out. What the hell do we know about the damn thing anyway?” Michael glanced back at Max, “what about the stone?”

Isabel walked over to Tess and leaned down, “give it to me.”

Tess cried, “Isabel please.”

Isabel’s forced calm started to crack, “you could’ve killed him.. you are killing him and your sitting there hiding something that could help him? What could you possibly say to fix what you’ve done?”

Tess reached into her pocket and pulled out the stone, “I was just trying to survive. If you send me back there alone, he’ll kill me.”

Isabel snatched the stone from her hand and back handed Tess feeling the satisfying crack of her jaw. “Just like you were going to kill us or were you going to kill the ones we love and let Khivar kill us? You’re whole side with the enemy thing hasn’t worked out well for you and now you have to deal with it.”

Isabel turned and started towards Max when she heard Liz and Ava yell, “get down!” Isabel dove forward to the ground feeling the panic rise in her chest from the fear in the girl’s voices.

Liz, Ava, and Michael threw their right hands up facing Tess and blasted. The green electricity from Liz’s hand blended with the white hot air from Ava’s and then connected with the rippling air blast from Michael’s before all three connected with Tess. The scream that slipped from her mouth as her entire body was engulfed in flames shook the room. The heat intensified as the flames burned brightly forcing everyone to shield their eyes with their hands then close their eyes to block it out. The heat spread and they could feel the burning sensation start on their skin.

A bubble formed around Max that spread quickly enveloping Maria and Kyle, then Dean and Sam, and finally stretching out and engulfing Michael, Ava, Liz, and Isabel. They heard an audible pop and the brightness seemed to flash out dropping them into darkness.

Sam’s voice had everyone squinting their eyes open. “Holy shit.”

When they opened their eyes, their gazes were drawn to the bubble shielding them from the falling ash. The shield had a slight green glaze to it and Michael regarded Liz, “is that you?”

Liz glanced at her hands and shook her head, “I don’t think so.”

Isabel stood up from the ground and watched Max. “I think it’s his shield. How did he have the energy?”

Kyle touched Max and he was still hot, “do you think it’s the Granolith?”

Isabel moved quickly to her brother and knelt in front of him. She opened his hand and placed the small amber stone in his palm and closed his hand around it. It immediately started to glow. “It looks like one of the healing stones.” Isabel turned to ask Nasedo but didn’t see him.

Ava noticed her scanning the room and shook her head, “the shield didn’t cover him.”

“Good riddance.” Maria scoffed.

Michael, Liz, and Ava walked over towards the others who stood around Max. Maria moved to Michael and he wrapped his arms around her. Isabel’s eyes never left her brother. “What the hell do we do now? And how do we know that this will fix everything?”

Kyle grabbed Isabel’s hand, “he had enough energy to save us with his shield. Max is going to be fine.. we’ll figure something out.” Her eyes met his and he grinned, “we’ll figure it out because we always do.”
When Drifters Collide.
"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls. The most massive characters are seared with scars." Khalil Gibran

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Re: Perception (XO SPN, D/L, Mature) Ch 27(Final) 9/30

Post by MelissaD » Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:24 pm

Author's Note: This is probably one of the hardest times I've had with an ending. I've been playing around with it for a couple days and its been driving me nuts. I guess because with most stories I have the ending in mind for most of the story or at least the second half of it but this one is still in flux in my head. Too many alternative endings I guess.. maybe that means this storyline isn't quite over yet. I've just never had that happen before.. lol. But this is the last chapter.. so this closes this book. We'll see if something pops up later that continues the story line. I don't make promises that I can't keep so, maybe. :)

AvalonRose,barbara87413,HypnotiqBlueEyes: I hope this answers your questions! If not, feel free to ask the remaining questions.. they may just be ones I have stumbling around in there too.

Chapter Twenty Seven

Liz sat down at the counter of the Crashdown placing her cup of coffee in front of her. The restaurant wasn't open for another twenty minutes and she was using the somewhat calm before the rush of the breakfast crowd. She was thankful that she no longer had to wait tables but sometimes managerial duties could be just as exhausting. She heard the bell and glanced over to the door. She stood up with a smile, "Max? What are you doing here?"

He gave her a small wave as he made his way to her and gestured for her to sit back down. He took a seat next to her, "just came by to see how you were doing." She sat down and he smiled, "and maybe have breakfast with you."

Liz chuckled, "this cup of coffee and the toast I finished not too long ago was my breakfast but what would you like?"

"Not even pancakes?"

Liz shook her head, "not recently. My stomach's not really up for anything too heavy."

Max nodded, "I can understand that." He glanced around quickly, "dean's not back yet?"

Liz looked surprised, "what?"

"Isabel told me he left right after the party on New Year's Eve. I'm surprised you guys were able to even show up that night let alone act like nothing happened that morning."

Liz looked down into her coffee, "I had to make sure everything ran smoothly. I promised my parents."

"You know Maria and Michael would have made sure.."

She looked up and interrupted, "yeah but after I woke up that night I couldn't sleep anyway. Did Isabel tell you about.."

A small smirk lifted the side of his mouth as he interrupted her. "You passing out after my amazing unconscious shield act? Yeah. I actually asked her to talk my ear off with all the questions I had once I woke up."

Liz smiled shyly and brushed a piece of hair behind her ear, "so how are you doing? It’s been a long week."

He grinned, "really good. The first couple days I couldn't really get around too easily but I did a lot from my bed." He chuckled, "us overachievers, we just can't rest like normal people." Liz laughed softly and his grin broadened. "I'm sure they told you they got all of my stuff out of the house and I've been staying at my parents. We got the house up on the market and they got rid of Tess' stuff so I wouldn't have to deal with it." Liz nodded and he continued, "I've been talking with Isabel and Michael and I've been talking with a woman at San Fran state about finishing out my classes and getting my teaching certificate. She's been really great with me and even thinks she can get me into some online courses for spring semester and enrollment for some summer classes."

Liz noticed the way his eyes lit up, "she huh? You excited about the school or this girl?"

Max laughed and shook his head. "I never really understood why I stopped in the middle of my degree and just started working with my dad when that wasn't what I really wanted." His brow came together, "I guess I know now Tess was messing with more than just my memories." He shook his head, "but things are getting better. I feel more like myself than I have in years. It feels good. Really good."

Liz dropped her hand on his and squeezed. "I'm sorry Max. That we weren't here for you."

"Liz.. You had to live your life. I remember how I acted.. I'm the one that's sorry. I should have been stronger."

"How could any of us be? We didn't even know who to guard ourselves from."

"You did. You didn't trust her when she first came."

"I think that was more jealousy than anything else."

"Yeah well, I should have listened to that."

"We all have regrets." Liz pulled her hand back slowly and gripped her cup suddenly needing the warmth from the coffee.

He watched her curiously. "So, are you going to fix things with him?"

She looked up at him. "Who?"

"You know who I'm talking about."

She took a sip from her cup and frowned. "There's just a lot.. It's hard to just try to force that trust.. Even after learning the truth."

"Liz.. Is it worth it?" She looked at him in question. "Is he worth it? Will you ever forgive yourself if you just let him walk out of your life without knowing that it could've worked without the insane interference?"

She shook her head. "It shouldn't be destroyed by interference.. A true..” She paused trying to find the right words. “Something that's real should be able to get stronger with interference not break down."

Max raised his brows. "Liz.. We both know that with alien involvement it's never that simple."

Her brow furrowed and she looked into her coffee cup. "I don't think he wants to anyway. He ran as fast as he could.. Said he found a case nearby and Sam went with him because he was worried his brother would do something stupid."

"What about Ava?"

Liz smiled, "I think her and Sam are hitting it off."

Max chuckled, "well that figures."

"That whole love lost too soon and crazy backgrounds seem to have made them perfect for each other."

Max smiled softly, "yeah. There's hope for all of us."

Liz chuckled then looked at him with a sly smile, "so what's her name?"


She grinned. “The woman from San Fran."

A shy smile bloomed on Max’s face, "Serena." Liz coughed and Max patted her back, "you okay?"

Liz took a sip of her coffee and took a few deep breathes to make sure her throat was clear. "Yeah I'm good." Liz grinned, "you know I think Serena will fit in well with us."

Max furrowed his brow and Liz just wiggled her fingers. They both laughed. "It just seems like a good name to me." Liz stood from her seat, “so Mr. Evans, how about that breakfast?”

Liz caught the slight blush that colored his cheeks all the way up to the tips of his ears. "She's just helping get things situated for me."

Liz smiled and wiggled her eyebrows, "whatever you say. Now, what’ll you have? It’s on the house."

Two days later, everyone was ready to head back to California and they were already cutting it close for the beginning of spring semester but for the first time they had nothing to worry about dragging them back for some insane alien emergency. They all had their stories straight and paperwork from the sheriff to back up their family emergencies that kept them later than expected in Roswell. The feeling was odd but amazing. The group had congregated at the restaurant for a last meal before hitting the road. The mood was light and joyous as they all talked, laughed, and messed around with one another.

It had been so long since the last time they were able to come together with nothing in between them causing friction or a mystery around the corner causing tension or worry. Kyle was in the middle of telling a joke when the bell over the door jingled signaling the entrance of someone into the restaurant. Everyone turned to find Sam holding the door open. He stopped and looked down at his shirt, “what? Is there something on me?”

Michael chuckled, “yeah that mop on your head.”

Sam looked up and rolled his eyes, “ha ha Guerin.”

Ava and Dean walked in behind him and the laughter made them stop and look between Sam and the rowdy group at the table.

Liz got up and walked over to Ava, “don’t worry. Just messing with Sam.” Liz turned to the group with her arm around Ava, “all hail Queen Ava.”

The group raised their glasses as a few of them struggled to keep their faces straight and replied in unison. “Long live the queen!”

Ava frowned, “shut up ya cornballs!”

The group fell apart in laughter as Ava tried her best not to laugh, “I will zap you all!”

Kyle struggled through his laughter, “no, no, not the wrath of the queen!”

Dean stepped up next to Sam and looked at him curiously, “what the hell has gotten into them?”

Sam chuckled, “for the first time they have nothing to worry about but normal stuff. At least for a while.”

Dean smirked, “there is no normal for us. I thought that went for them too.”

Sam smiled, “they make their own normal. I’m sure you saw it while you were here.”

Dean shook his head, “you’re all crazy.”

Sam laughed watching the group as Ava went over to the table and went along with the joking around the table. “They’re happy.”

Food was brought out for the latest arrivals and when everyone finished, they cleaned everything up and made sure they had everything they needed for the road. Liz grabbed her bags with Sam’s help and headed outside.

Liz watched Sam out of the corner of her eye. “So, are you going to go back to Stanford at all?”

Sam threw her a curious look, “yeah. I’ve been thinking about what you said and decided I’d talk to someone about finishing my credits through the mail or online.”

Liz smirked, “still thinking of changing your major?” At Sam’s shrug she chuckled. “I told you at some point it would bite you in the ass. At some point something would pop up that pointed towards the supernatural and you wouldn’t be able to say anything or use that as a defense. Although insanity might cover that.”

Sam chuckled. “Whatever I do with it, it’ll have to wait. I can’t let Dean look for our dad alone. I’m not going to leave him now.”

Liz nodded, “I understand.”

Liz stopped by Ava’s car and Sam opened the trunk then helped Liz get her bags inside. “You know, you should graduate and become that amazing science professor that everyone loves. I know you won’t want to be coped up in a lab all day.”

She chuckled, “yeah you know that dream popped a long time ago.”

He closed the trunk and turned to lean against it. “I’m proud of you. Isabel told me how you got all those credits so you could graduate with me.”

She turned towards him and rolled her eyes. “Whatever. You complained about all those summer classes, I just took the ones that furthered my education and not just the fun ones to meet girls.”

“Hey! That only happened once.”

Liz laughed along with Sam then he saw Dean coming out of the restaurant from over Liz’s shoulder. He pushed himself off the trunk of the impala, “I’m going to go.. to the bathroom and check to see what Ava’s doing.”

Liz nodded and then watched Sam pass Dean on his way inside. She wasn’t fooled for a second by his little play. Dean walked to Liz and they stood awkwardly in front of one another. “Hey.”

Liz brushed her hair behind her ear and glanced down, “hey.”

Dean rolled his eyes feeling like an idiot. It shouldn’t be this awkward but he knew it was his fault. “So, you all ready to go back? Just going to finish the school year like nothing happened?”

Liz grinned, “you know us. Blending in is our specialty.”

Dean chuckled half-heartedly as he rubbed the back of his neck, “yeah. I guess I forgot how things used to be around here.”

She shrugged. “It’s just how it’s always been. At least since..” she sighed. “So, do you have any leads on your dad?”

He shook his head, “nah. Got some stuff to look into on the east coast though. A couple of our kind of things.”

The corner of her mouth quirked up, “just back to the usual?”

He smiled but felt there was something else she wanted to say. “You know me.”

She nodded and looked down. “Well, I guess this is goodbye. Or at least until I see you again. You know whenever you guys have the time.”

He watched her silently for a moment. “You know you could come with us. I know how much you’re used to being around Sam. It’d be nice to have someone else to talk to every now and then.”

She looked up at him and shook her head, “I think maybe some time apart would be best. I need to figure things out, you know, find my balance again.” She glanced back towards the door hoping Sam was on his way out but figured he was probably dragging his feet. “You and Sam could use the time together. Two brothers on the road, that’s really your thing.”

His brow furrowed and he wanted to argue with her but thought better of pushing her. If she needed space then he should give her that. She needed some time to work things out and maybe he needed to prove to her that he wouldn’t leave again, at least not completely. “I guess. So goodbye, for now.”

She nodded then he turned and continued towards the impala. He gripped the handle of his duffle bag, feeling the weight of it in his hand, the solid knowledge that it was there. He second guessed himself as he got closer to the car. Could he be losing her right there by walking away? He opened the driver’s door and turned. He noticed she had already started towards the front door of the Crashdown and he dropped his duffle. With a few quick strides he caught up with her and lightly grabbed her arm, turning her around to face him. “There’s no point without you. You’re my balance Liz, ever since you walked up to that table and asked me to help you. Ever since you made me believe.”

He watched the struggle on her face, “Dean.. You believed your eyes over your heart. You believed..”
Dean released her arm and covered her mouth softly with the palm of his hand. “Yes, I believed what some psychotic bitch wanted me to and I was stupid for not listening to my instincts and going to you but God damn it, I'm not going to make that mistake again.” He tilted her face up and captured her lips killing her rebuttal against his mouth. His arms wrapped around her, pulling her closer as she melted into his embrace. Her lips parted, giving him access and he hungrily took her white flag. He broke the kiss and gazed into her eyes, needing to know he held her attention. “It's you and it always will be. Whether you come with me or I continue to come back to you. I don’t need time or anything else to figure it out. You will always be my balance, Liz. You will always be the one person I need.”

Her gaze didn’t leave his but she still looked tentative, a bit unsure. "Dean."

He smirked, "besides when has anyone said I did the smart thing? You know, besides getting to know you."

Liz rolled her eyes but couldn't hide her blossoming smile, "still struggling with those cheesy pick-up lines?"

He smiled, "give a guy a break, I'm out of practice."

Liz laughed and he leaned into her again. She smirked, “you know they’re watching right?”

“What? Who?”

Liz turned her head towards the Crashdown and Dean glanced to the side seeing a few of them actually try to hide the fact that they were watching through the front windows. Dean turned her face back to his and whispered against her lips before taking them again, “let them watch.”

January 9th, 2006

I’ve found myself thinking a lot about what Max said to me a few days ago, “there’s hope for all of us.” At the time I thought he was simply talking about love but the more I think about it, the more I think he was talking about life in general. We always held out hope that one day we could live without looking over our shoulders, without some great evil breathing down our necks. For a while we pretended extremely well but there was always that feeling that it wasn’t over, that Nasedo was out there, that someone was watching us and just waiting for their chance. I don’t think we will ever be able to completely put our guard down, that’s just a fact of who we are but for the first time we all truly have hope again.

Maybe Max was speaking both in general and for love. I had completely blocked out any chance to be happy with love at all after Dean. I lost my hope for something good like that to touch me again and knowing that I gave Tess that much power has more than burned me but it’s not my greatest regret. My greatest regret was losing that hope in Dean, that he would ever come back to me for me, to tell me the truth or anything. Of course knowing what I know now and trying to not beat myself up more than I already have over something that is sadly nothing new. If I could go back in time (which I will never do because I know the consequences) but if I could without the strings attached, I would tell myself to never let that hope die because if you let that drag you down you lose a part of yourself and could end up punishing yourself for absolutely nothing.

It all comes down to perception. How you handle every situation is about perception. Yours, theirs, everyone else's. What you see may not always be what actually happened depending on your predisposition, your bias, your past experiences. The problem with one’s perception is it is only one side of the story, your side of the story. You make assumptions based on your own base of knowledge, based on what you take in with your senses. Even without any alien interference, it’s a difficult thing to lean on because we’re only getting what the human brain decides to take in and let’s face it, the human brain has a lot going on and can’t just turn off everything else to focus on what we deem as the most important at the time. Because well, there’s always something more important like breathing and making sure the heart is beating and sending blood throughout our bodies. The things we consider second nature because our brain deals with it even when we’re not thinking about it.

If only he had answered my call, if only he had waited and talked to me, if only I had just tried to find him and forced him to face me, if only I hadn’t collapsed so completely just like Tess expected. Maybe we wouldn't have believed a lie for so many years. We let that one lie build up so much in both of us that we didn't like at all because we couldn't dispel a simple misconception. Well, maybe not a simple one.. a forced one but a misunderstanding none the less. I can't say what it would have changed if we had been able to push through it, to listen to our hearts instead of our heads but I'm tired of reliving the past so I'm just going to move forward and live my life grateful for what I have here and now. Grateful that I don't wake up every day checking my thoughts and making sure I don't think of certain people or things.

I’m happy to say that for the first time, I don’t really have a plan. I’m just going to go with the flow and see how things turn out. Maybe I’ll go through the classes like normal and graduate and then see what's next or maybe I’ll hit the road with Ava, do the rest of my work online, and try my hand at a little hunting to see how it fits. Either way I’ll be making that decision as a free woman, for the first time in a very long time. My family is finally free, they are finally able to live their lives as they see fit. We’re all finally happy and not ashamed to admit it.

Maybe now it’s my turn to help the Winchesters find that freedom, that happiness. Maybe soon, it will be time to meet John Winchester after all. I’ll just have to see how the future plays out and believe it or not I, Elizabeth Parker, am completely okay with that.
Last edited by MelissaD on Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
When Drifters Collide.
"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls. The most massive characters are seared with scars." Khalil Gibran

My pen to paper.