Happenstance (CC,MATURE/ADULT) Part 71 [WIP]

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Happenstance (CC,MATURE/ADULT) Part 71 [WIP]

Post by Angel » Thu Mar 27, 2003 2:07 pm

Round 4 Awards
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Most Imaginative Fanfiction


Round 5 Awards
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Langley

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Best All-Around Story
Best Long Fanfiction
Best Supporting Portrayal of Alex Whitman
Best Supporting Portrayal of Tess Harding
Most Memorable Scene
-Max and Liz’s gazes meet across the dance floor, thus commencing their connection.

Round 6 Awards
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Zan rolls his eyes in Ava’s direction and she gives him a look like, What did you expect? She looks toward Liz and Isabel and sees that they’ve already pulled their hair back and she remembers that Stephanie told them there were rubber bands in their backpacks. She reaches into hers and finds them easily before pulling her hair up. "Ah, that feels better."

Zan gets a glimpse inside her pack and says, "Tampons? Why the hell you wastin’ space with those?"

Ava looks at him incredulously and says, "When you start bleedin’ outta your penis every month, you can ask me that question again," and she stomps off ahead of him, muttering under her breath.

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Max and Liz’s eyes meet across the dance floor, starting their connection.

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Ava

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Runner-up:
Best Portrayal of Max Evans
Best Conventional Couple Fanfiction


Round 7 Awards

Runner-up:
Best Lead Portrayal of Max Evans
Best Portrayal of Jim Valenti
Best Vision of Antar


Round 8 Awards

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Runner Up:
Best Future Fic


Round 9 Awards

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Title: Happenstance
Author: Angel
Rating: MATURE Drifting a little into ADULT in some parts.
Category: Conventional Couples
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything…no suing please.
Summary: This story is set in the future. It works off the events from the Pilot up until Max, Michael and Isabel decide to leave Roswell after Liz warns Max that Valenti suspects him. Everything after that in the show doesn’t exist in this story. Here, Max, Michael & Isabel actually do leave Roswell. Nasedo and Tess never found them, they never received the message from their mother, they don’t know about Skins or Khivar or anything about their planet. That doesn’t mean these things won’t happen…it just won’t happen in the same time frame as the show. Liz never tells Maria about them, or anyone else…keeping the secret of alien existence to herself.


Part 1

September, 2012 (13 years after the Crashdown shooting)

Liz always loves the fall. Especially in New York City. For the past six years, she’s walked the familiar route that takes her to her lab at NYU where she’s in the department of molecular biology. Not exactly her dream job from her childhood, but after attending Harvard for four years she decided New York was where she wanted to be.

She shares a small apartment with her best friend, Alex. He also works at NYU as a computer science professor. He’s one of the big reasons she decided to move here. Her other best friend, Maria, has been living in California ever since they graduated from high school. She steps up her pace, anxious to get through the day because Maria will be arriving tonight for a two week visit that she and Alex have been looking forward to for months.

Stopping at Starbuck’s for a Latte, Liz looks around at the other people standing in line. Some she recognizes from her daily stop here. A routine she fell into years ago. They don’t even ask her for her order anymore…she knows all the employees here.

As she steps up to the counter, she smiles and says, “Hey Joe. How’s it going?”

“Same old, same old, Liz.” Joe says as he grabs a Venti sized cup and writes her order on the side, handing it down the line.

Liz hands him her money as he rings her up and she glances around the coffee shop with the strange feeling of being watched. She sees a man watching her from the corner but he looks away quickly. Not recognizing him, she shrugs internally and collects her change from Joe. “Thanks Joe. Have a good day.”

“You too, Liz.” Joe says and moves on to the customer behind her.

Liz steps to the side waiting for her Latte to be ready and she picks up a paper from the counter. Glancing over the headlines and not seeing anything interesting, she looks back over to the corner and catches the man looking at her again. There’s something vaguely familiar about him, but she can’t place it. Maybe she’s seen him around campus. She hears her name called with her order and steps forward to grab her cup. When she turns back around, the man in the corner is gone.

She doesn’t think about it much for the rest of the day, her thoughts turning once again to Maria’s visit. She hasn’t seen her friend for over a year and they have a lot to catch up on.

But still, she has a nagging feeling in the back of her mind that she knows the man from the coffee shop from somewhere but she just can’t place him. Getting to work on an experiment she’s been struggling with for several weeks, she wonders if she’ll see him again tomorrow. Maybe it’ll come to her later.

Later in the afternoon, there’s a knock on her door before Alex comes in. “Hey, Liz…you about finished here?”

Liz looks up and smiles. “Yup, just give me a second.” She makes a few more notes in her journal before straightening up her desk and leaving with Alex.

They make their way down the street toward the train, both talking excitedly about the places they plan on taking Maria…where they’ll go to dinner…they shows they’ll take her to. On the train, Liz tells Alex about her encounter at Starbuck’s that morning.

“Maybe you just know him from campus.” Alex offers after hearing about it.

“That’s what I thought. I don’t know…it just seemed…wrong. That I know him from somewhere else. I don’t even know why I’m still thinking about it. I mean, if he knew me he would have said something, right?”

Alex nudges her teasingly and says, “He was probably just checking out your sexy ass.”

“Alex!” Liz slaps him playfully and laughs. “I’m not the type of girl that gets her ass checked out.”

“Oh, I beg to differ Miss Parker. Guys are always checking you out…you’re just too oblivious to notice.” Alex laughs with her.

Liz rolls her eyes and says, “Whatever…you’re crazy.”

Their conversation turns back to Maria and before they know it they’re at the airport. They find the gate she’s arriving at and wait for the passengers to start spilling out of the doorway. They quickly spot Maria…one of the first ones off the plane.

Liz runs up to her and nearly topples her over as she hugs her. “Maria! I’m so glad you’re here! How was your trip?”

Maria laughs and says, “It was long…I’m sooo glad to finally be here.” She pulls away from Liz and looks her up and down…at her beige pantsuit and scarf around her neck. “Looks like I got here just in time. You seriously need a new wardrobe.”

Liz laughs and rolls her eyes as Alex comes up and hugs Maria. “Hey superstar. You’re finally here to slum with the little people.”

Maria grabs both their arms as they walk toward baggage claim and she says, “I never slum. I’ve come to rescue you both from your boring lives.” They all laugh as they walk arm in arm down the hallway.

Three hours later, they’re sitting around a small table in a cozy Italian restaurant around the corner from Liz and Alex’s apartment finishing their first bottle of wine.

“I love this place.” Maria says as she picks another piece of garlic bread from the basket.

“I know…I feel like this is my second home. I think we must eat here at least three times a week.” Liz says, sipping her wine and feeling a little light headed.

“So fill us in on the Jason situation.” Alex says to Maria.

Maria rolls her eyes and says, “Don’t get me started. I told him last week it was over.”

“Oh no…I’m sorry, Maria.” Liz says sympathetically.

Maria waves her off and says, “Yah, well, he was just…smothering me. I mean, the guy didn’t have an original thought in his head. He was such a yes man. ‘Yes, Maria’, ‘Whatever you want, Maria’, Anything, Maria’. Ugh…he just agreed with everything I said. I probably could have asked him to throw himself off a bridge and he would.”

Liz smiles and says sarcastically, “Yah, sounds awful.”

“It was!” Maria gets defensive.

“Poor Maria…can’t find someone to fight with.” Alex laughs as she throws a piece of bread at him and pouts.

“Enough of me. Liz, please tell me you’ve gone on at least ONE date since we last talked.” Maria changes the subject and enjoys the way Liz squirms once the focus is on her.

“Maria. I don’t have time to date.” Liz says.

“Right. Alex, why don’t you set her up with someone?”

Alex throws his hands up. “I’ve tried. The girl is just too picky.”

“Picky?! Are you forgetting Bob?” Liz asks Alex.

“So…the guy likes baseball. Is that a crime?”

“Yes, it is. When he’s watching the game over my head throughout dinner…at a sports bar that he took me to…filled with drunk guys…as we eat fried cheese sticks and potato skins.” Liz shakes her head and looks to Maria for support.

Their dinner arrives, ending that conversation…much to Liz’s relief. As the waiter sets their plates down, she glances over at the bar and her breath catches. She looks at Alex quickly and says, “That’s him…he’s here.”

Alex looks confused for a moment before understanding and he looks around.

“Don’t look!” Liz whispers furiously.

Alex looks back at her and says, “Ooookay. Where is he?”

“Where’s who?” Maria asks loudly as she looks around the restaurant.

“Maria…not so loud.” Liz says. “He’s at the bar…black leather jacket…second from the end.”

Alex looks over quickly and sees who she’s talking about…he catches the guy looking their way before he turns around quickly, facing the bar.

“Oh my God. I know that guy!” Maria says, squinting through the darkness.

“You do?” Liz asks, glancing back toward the bar and seeing that he’s turned around with his back to them.

“Yah…hold on.” Maria waits for him to turn back around. When he does, she turns to Liz and Alex and says, “He went to our school…weird guy…moved our sophomore year I think.”

Liz looks back over at him and frowns as he gets up and throws money on the bar. He walks toward the door and sneaks a quick glance at her again before he leaves.

“God, what was his name?” Maria is taking a sip of her wine and her eyes widen. “I remember…Michael…Michael something…”

“Michael Guerin?” Liz asks in a soft voice, still looking toward the door…watching out the front windows as he hurries down the street.

“Yah!” Maria exclaims, pointing her finger at Liz. “That’s it.”

“That’s weird, Liz. Why would you run into him twice in one day. That’s more than coincidence.” Alex says, worried. “Maybe he’s stalking you or something.”

Liz turns back around and says, “No…I’m sure it’s just a coincidence. Maybe he was thinking the same thing I was. That he recognized me but he didn’t know from where. I’m sure it’s not a big deal.” She’s bombarded with a million thoughts as she sobers quickly, trying to change the subject and eating her dinner. “So…what should we do tomorrow?”

Maria looks at Alex and they both exchange a concerned look before Maria follows Liz’s cue. “Shopping. By the looks of that outfit, we’re definitely going shopping.”

Liz smiles and says, “Fine, Maria. But I happen to like this suit. I got it on sale at Casual Corner.”

Maria rolls her eyes and says, “Oh Liz…you need help.”

As the three friends eat their dinner and try to move the conversation forward, Liz glances out the window every once in a while wondering what it means. Why would she run into Michael Guerin after all these years? Why did it seem like he was watching her? But the one prevailing thought circling through her head is, does this mean Max is here, too?

Meanwhile, on the other side of the city, Michael walks into a fairly large but mostly empty loft and falls onto the couch. He turns the big screen TV on and flips the channels a few times before saying, “You’ll never guess who I ran into today.”

Isabel and Max look up from the kitchen island where they’re eating dinner and look at Michael expectantly as he turns to face them.

“Liz Parker.” Michael says, watching as Max drops his fork on his plate.

~TBC~
Last edited by Angel on Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:56 pm, edited 110 times in total.

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Post by Angel » Fri Mar 28, 2003 12:43 pm

Awww...Breathless, I'm sorry for putting you through the wringer like that. I'll try not to make you suffer so much with this story. ;)

Part 2

“What?! Where?!” Max gets up and walks over to stand in front of Michael.

Michael turns the TV off and says, “This morning at Starbuck’s. Then I followed her…she went to NYU. She must work there or something. Later this afternoon I saw her leave there with, get this…Alex Whitman.”

“You followed her?” Max asks, incredulous.

“I had to, man. Tell me you wouldn’t have.” Michael says before continuing. “But that’s not it. They left NYU and went to the airport to meet Maria Deluca. She came in from L.A., then they all went back to an apartment before they went to dinner.”

“Jesus Michael, did they see you?” Isabel asks.

“I think so. At the restaurant. I left after they spotted me.” Michael looks away and picks the remote back up.

Max falls onto the couch and puts his head in his hands. Liz Parker. Liz Parker lives here, in New York City. Not a day has gone by when he didn’t think of her…wonder what she was doing…wonder what her life was like. And she’s been here, in the same city as him.

“This is a disaster. Michael, what were you thinking?” Isabel starts pacing.

“I was thinking, ‘here’s the only human on the planet who knows about us…I have to find out if she’s told anyone.’” Michael says sarcastically.

“And how were you planning on doing that by following her?” Isabel asks.

Michael shrugs and says, “I don’t know. I was shocked just to see her, I guess. I had to see where she lived, where she worked. We need to keep an eye on her.”

Max looks at Michael like he’s suddenly grown a second head and gets up…joining Isabel with her pacing. “You should have told me this morning when you saw her. You were…”

“Yah, yah…reckless and irresponsible. I know, Maxwell…that speech is getting old.” Michael interrupts Max’s oncoming lecture. “You were the one who exposed us in the first place. Actually, you’re right, I shouldn’t be following her around, you should. She’s your responsibility, not mine.”

“Would you two stop it.” Isabel has had enough of their bickering. She’s had enough of them, period. “We need to just think. There’s nothing different…just because Michael saw her, it doesn’t mean anything. So what…she lives here. She’s been living who knows where for the last thirteen years. It doesn’t change anything. If she was gonna say anything, she would have by now.”

“Where does she live?” Max asks.

“You can’t see her, Max.” Isabel tells him.

Max glares at his sister. He knows she’s right, but he has to. He doesn’t even have to talk to her…just seeing her will be enough.

“I know that look, Max. Don’t. You won’t be able to just look at her from afar…you know that as well as I do. Just leave her alone.” Isabel tries to talk some sense into him, knowing it’s probably useless.

“I have to Isabel. I just…I just want to see her. She won’t even know I’m there.” Max grabs his jacket and heads to the door. “Where, Michael?”

Michael mumbles an address and Isabel and Michael watch him leave. “Good going, Michael. Why’d you tell him you saw her anyway? You knew he would do this. He’s been pining away for her since we were kids.”

Michael glares at her before turning back to the TV and flipping through the channels until he finds something he likes.

As Max makes his way toward the address that Michael gave him, he can’t think of anything but those few days after he healed Liz and before the three of them left Roswell. He’s thought of little else during the last thirteen years. He’ll never forget the look on her face after he connected to her inside the deserted Crashdown…showing her his very soul. She looked at him in such awe that it took his breath away.

Having to leave her had been the hardest decision he’s ever made. But with the Sheriff and the FBI on their trail, there was little choice. And every day since then, he’s thought of her. He’s hoped that she’s leading a good life, but even more so, he hopes that his healing her didn’t change her in any way. Just this one opportunity to see her, to know that she’s ok…it will be enough. That’s all he wants.

When he reaches her street, he walks to the opposite side of the address he has and hides in the shadows of a large tree in front of him. He’ll wait…until tomorrow if he has to…just to get a glimpse of her. Not even an hour passes before he hears voices coming around the corner and toward him. He looks down the street and sees three figures walking across to the opposite side of the street from him and he feels in his gut that it’s her.

As they step under a streetlight, he sucks in his breath at the sight of her. Michael was right, she’s with Alex and Maria…both of whom are laughing and stumbling down the street arm in arm. Walking quietly behind them is his Liz. She’s so beautiful…she hasn’t changed much. A little older, more mature. And her hair is longer. His gaze never leaves her as he watches her walk, head looking down at the ground. She obviously hasn’t had as much to drink as her friends because she’s walking straight and not laughing like the other two.

As they get closer, Max hears pieces of their conversation. Mostly because Maria is shouting everything she says.

“Liz…Liz…Liz. Alex, our poor Liz has herself a stalker.” Maria says in a sing song voice. “Maybe I’ll write a song about it.” She muses.

Alex laughs at this and says, “You know, I don’t even remember Michael Guerin.”

Maria snorts and says, “That’s because he never went to school. God, Liz…remember that crazy hair he had. I don’t think he bathed much either.”

Liz doesn’t look up as she says, “No…I don’t really remember him.”

“Oh, come on Liz. You said yourself that you recognized him from somewhere. Now that Maria has identified your secret admirer you’re saying you don’t recognize him?” Alex laughs at this and shakes his head.

Max watches as Liz scrunches up her face…as if she’s silently berating herself. “You know, I don’t even think that was the same guy from the coffee shop this morning.”

Alex makes a dramatic gesture with his arms. “So now it’s not even the same guy. And here I though we were the drunk ones.” He nudges Maria and they both laugh again.

Max sees Liz say something under her breath as Alex and Maria fumble with the key to the door. As they walk inside, Liz suddenly turns around as if she’s aware that he’s watching her. He slowly moves behind the tree, sure that she can’t see him in the dark. When he peeks around, he watches as she looks down the street both ways, pauses, then follows her friends inside.

When Liz gets inside, she makes up the foldout bed for herself, letting Maria have her bed. Maria and Alex pass out quickly and Liz makes herself a cup of hot tea before changing for bed. She sits down in a chair by the window and looks out at the stars. Could tonight have gotten any worse? Why in the hell did she tell Alex about some guy looking at her in Starbuck’s? If she’d have kept her mouth shut, she wouldn’t be having to deal with this…she wouldn’t have to be lying to her friends…again.

As soon as Maria recognized Michael, Liz’s heart practically stopped beating. Because, one, she can’t figure out why he would be following her and two, this secret has to come up again and she’s forced to lie once again. After the shooting, it took months for Maria to drop her investigating into what really happened. Maria was convinced that Liz was actually shot and that Max did something to her. When she finally let it go, Liz was so relieved. She had enough to deal with with Kyle’s dad always asking questions. He was suspicious of her up until the day she left Roswell. Her secret haunted her during her last three years of high school. There was a constant reminder…whispers in the halls…the Sheriff following her around. Escaping Roswell meant escaping the secret, and all the lies.

Now all she can think about is if Michael is here, does that mean Max is too? She felt someone watching her outside. Was it Michael…or Max…or someone else? The FBI? Or was it her imagination? She’s just being paranoid. Her hand drops to her abdomen…absently falling over the place that Max healed her all those years ago. Who would ever think that Liz Parker, small town Roswell girl, has such a huge secret. She was shot…was dying. Until an actual alien healed her. She, Liz Parker, knows that aliens exist and she can’t tell anyone.

She sighs and wipes a hand over her tired eyes…massaging the bridge of her nose. No, she can’t ever tell anyone, because she thinks that she’s part alien now, too. Turning to the lamp beside her, she moves her hand over the top of the lamp, turning it off without touching it before she gets up and goes to bed.

On the street below, Max’s eyes widen and his mouth drops open. Did he just see what he thinks he saw? He just saw Liz Parker use powers to turn off that lamp. Stunned, he can’t move. He had been so distracted watching her in the window. She looked so sad…and beautiful at the same time. He hadn’t seen her for all these years and the sight of her took his breath away. But when he saw her use powers, it shocked him back into reality. He looks around, making sure no one else was watching and he looks back up to the window.

This changes things completely. She must be so confused. He wonders how long she’s had them, and even if she knows everything she can do. Shit. He kicks a rock and thinks that Michael’s really gonna kill him now. God, she must hate him for what he did to her. She must feel so alone…having to keep it a secret from everyone she knows. At least he’s always had Isabel and Michael. She has no one. Taking one last look at the darkened window, Max turns and walks back toward the loft he shares with Isabel and Michael…wondering how he’s going to tell them.

The next morning, Liz has already finished breakfast and showered when Alex and Maria wake up with raging hangovers. “Good morning!” She cheerfully calls out to them as they drag themselves into the kitchen.

They both groan and Liz chuckles as she slips back into the bathroom. Locking the door, she looks at herself in the mirror and waves her hand over her hair, drying it straight. Looking at it from a couple different angles, she changes her mind and waves her hand over it again, making large waves. Satisfied with the result, she does the same to her face, applying her makeup. She should probably be cursing her powers, but they come in handy most of the time. Turning the hair dryer on and letting it hang from the outlet, she gets dressed and sits on the toilet…waiting about ten minutes. This is the part about the powers that sucks…hiding that she has them. Checking her watch, she turns the hair dryer off and walks out into the kitchen.

“Man, I wish I could look like you do in just a few minutes.” Maria groans as she sips her coffee. “Takes me forever to get my hair the way I want it.”

Liz smiles guiltily and pours herself another cup of coffee and grabs a bottle of aspirin from the cupboard before sitting down at the table with her aching friends. “Here…take a few of these.”

“Liz is a genius at hangovers.” Alex says as he pops three pills in his mouth. Sitting back in his chair, he says, “Come…work those magic fingers.”

Liz smiles and moves to stand behind Alex. “You know Alex, it’s not really me. It’s the massive amounts of water and the aspirin that’s helping.” She reaches her hands up and starts massaging his scalp.

Alex moans and says, “Yah, but what you do feels so good.”

Liz rubs Alex’s head, forehead, temples, and neck for a few minutes until he’s relaxed. Sneaking a peek at Maria, she sees her with her head down on the table groaning in pain. Liz concentrates on Alex’s head as she rubs it and sees her fingers glow for a split second then return to normal. She keeps massaging until Alex perks up and says, “See…I’m feeling better already.”

She stops and smiles down at him. “Good. No one likes a cranky Alex.”

“Come on Maria…you’re next.” Liz says as she steps over to her…trying to get her to lift her head.

Maria groans and says, “Oh God…don’t. I’ll puke on you.”

Liz laughs and says, “Look how good Alex feels now. Come on…you’ll like it.”

Maria opens her eyes to slits and peeks at Alex, who looks 500% better than he did ten minutes ago. She looks slyly up at Liz and says, “Alright. This better work.”

Liz does the same thing to Maria and in a few minutes, Maria is gulping down water and saying, “Wow. You’re right. I need to remember this for next time. Maybe I can hire my own personal hangover masseuse in L.A.”

Liz rolls her eyes and thinks, ‘Yah, good luck with that.’ “It’s a trick I learned in college.” She says instead.

“Well, you need to thank whoever taught you that one.” Maria says before getting up and heading to the bathroom to shower.

Yah, I would if I could. Liz walks over to the window again and looks down on the street below. She doesn’t see anything strange and in the light of day the events of yesterday seem kind of silly. Maybe that wasn’t even Michael Guerin. Maria had had a lot to drink…maybe she was just guessing.

Turning back to the kitchen, she sees Alex pouring himself a bowl of Captain Crunch and Cocoa Pebbles. Liz smiles at the mixture. He’s been eating his cereal like that since they were kids. “Hey, I’m gonna run down to the lab quick and check a couple of things. I should be back before Maria’s done getting ready.”

Alex rolls his eyes and says, “Yah, take your time. Knowing her, I won’t get in the bathroom for at least an hour.” He pours a generous amount of milk into his bowl and sits back down at the small table that sits beneath the windows facing the fire escape.

Liz goes to her room and grabs her purse, taking one last look at herself. It’s warm out today, and a Saturday, so she has on a pair of khaki shorts and a short sleeved white button down shirt. She grabs an elastic and pulls her hair up into a ponytail before turning and leaving.

Making her usual stop at Starbuck’s, Liz immediately scans the patrons for the face from yesterday but doesn’t see him.

“Hey Liz, it’s Saturday. Don’t you ever take a day off?” Joe asks her when she reaches the counter.

Liz smiles at him and tilts her head. “I could ask you the same thing.”

“So when are you gonna go out with me, Liz?” He teases as he grabs a cup and writes her order on it.

Liz laughs and says, “Well, Joe, as you can see I’m too busy working to be dating.”

“Right…like I haven’t heard that one before.” Joe says, taking Liz’s money.

“Besides, I think your wife might get a little upset…don’t you?” Liz smiles at him.

Joe looks up at the ceiling in thought and says, “I suppose she might.” He winks at her as he hands her change back. “Now, I don’t wanna see you in here tomorrow.”

“Actually, I have the next two weeks off. My friend Maria’s in town visiting from L.A.” Liz tells him, moving aside for the next customer.

“That’s great! You need some time off. Now you bring this Maria in to meet me.”

“I will.” Liz tells him. “You have a great day, Joe.” She smiles at him as her order comes up and she turns to the condiment table to add some sugar and vanilla.

When she picks her cup up, someone bumps into her from behind and she accidentally spills some coffee on the front of her shirt before she can get the lid back on. “Crap.” She looks down at the brown stain on the front of her freshly washed and starched white shirt.

She puts the lid on her coffee and grabs a handful of napkins before leaving. As she walks down the street, she glances around at all the people. No one’s paying attention to her. That’s the great thing about New York; you can disappear in a crowd. No one pays attention to anyone but themselves on the street. She wipes at the stain on the front of her shirt with the napkins, and uses her powers to get rid of it. Looking down at the now perfect front of her shirt, she smiles in satisfaction and drops the napkins in a trashcan as she walks by.

Across the street, Max and Isabel watch Liz throw her napkins away and keep walking. They’d been following her since she left her apartment.

“You were right.” Isabel turns to Max before looking back at Liz Parker.

Max nods his head as he continues watching Liz, who trips on the sidewalk and looks around, embarrassed, before moving on. A small smile comes to his face. She’s exactly how he remembers her.

Isabel sees the puppy dog look on his face and says, “Max, snap out of it. We need to think about what to do. I mean, look at her. She’s using her powers in public.”

Max rolls his eyes in irritation. “Isabel, you use yours in public all the time, too. No one saw her…she’s obviously had them for a long time. It looks like she knows how to hide it pretty well.”

Isabel sighs. “God, Max. How could this happen?” She turns back to him. “How could you be so careless?”

Max stands up from the stone wall they’d been sitting on and waves his hand at her in frustration. “Isabel, I don’t need another lecture. One mistake…thirteen years ago…and I still have to hear it from you and Michael.”

“It was a big mistake, Max. Look what happened.” Isabel motions toward a rapidly disappearing Liz down the street.

“Enough, Isabel.” Max raises his voice, then seeing the look on her face, lowers it. “I know what I did, ok? Just stop already.”

She nods her head. “You’re right. I’m sorry, Max. I’m just worried, you know? What if someone sees her using her powers? We don’t even know what she can do. What if she uses them on someone else?” Her eyes widen as a thought suddenly occurs to her. “Oh my God, what if she has the same powers you do and she heals someone?”

Max puts his hand on her arm. “Let’s not get excited. We just need to come up with a plan. I think maybe I should talk to her.”

“We need to talk to Michael.” Isabel tells him.

Max looks away, but nods reluctantly. “Yah, I guess. I don’t think he’ll be rational about it, though.”

“When is he ever rational?” Isabel says, pulling Max down the street. “Let’s go. We need to decide on something, quick.”

~TBC~
Last edited by Angel on Tue Mar 29, 2005 7:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Angel » Sat Mar 29, 2003 11:23 am

Part 3

The week passes quickly for Liz. Having Maria here is so wonderful. They’ve gone shopping, gone to the top of the Empire State Building, walked through Central Park, and seen a couple Broadway shows. Maria’s talked about her singing and her life in L.A. The stories she has about the parties and the people there fascinate Liz. She still can’t believe the life Maria leads. They get stopped on the street every once in a while by fans asking for her autograph. And Maria is always gracious as she stops to talk to them.

They sit on a bench next to a small pond in Central Park and watch the ducks. “So when’s the last time you went back to Roswell?” Maria asks Liz.

“I went back for Christmas last year.”

Maria nods. “How is everyone? Did you see Kyle?”

“Everything’s the same. I went to dinner with Kyle once…I didn’t stay long.” Liz plays with the hem of her shirt.

Maria glances over at Liz before looking back out over the pond. Liz never stays in Roswell for very long. She couldn’t wait to leave there…with all the attention from the Sheriff and all the rumors surrounding the disappearance of Max and Isabel Evans. “Liz, it’s been so long. Are you ever going to tell me what really happened?”

Liz sighs and closes her eyes. “Maria…”

“I know…nothing happened. I’ve heard it before, Liz. But I know something did.” Maria feels defeated…knowing that Liz keeps lying to her. To preserve their friendship, she dropped the subject a long time ago, knowing Liz would never tell her. “I’m just worried about you, Liz. This whole thing with Michael Guerin showing up…”

“Maria, it was just a coincidence that he was at that restaurant. I don’t even really remember him. He was probably just as surprised to see us as we were to see him. I don’t know why you’re worrying about it.”

Maria’s silent for a while, thinking that it was anything but coincidence. Michael Guerin disappeared around the same time Max and Isabel Evans did. He was friends with them…the three of them were always together. “Liz, something in you changed that day. I know it. I know you. I mean, you haven’t even had a relationship with anyone since Kyle.”

“That’s so not true.” Liz interrupts. “What about Jack?”

Maria rolls her eyes. “That was in college…and you didn’t have a relationship with him. You had sex with him. There’s a difference. What are you waiting for? Who are you waiting for?”

“No one, Maria. I just don’t have time to date. Besides, you’re one to talk. I don’t see you settling down with anyone.” Liz tries to turn the conversation away from her.

Ignoring her, Maria continues. “Something happened between you and Max Evans. You’re waiting for him. I see it in your eyes every time someone brings up his name. I see it in your eyes now.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about Maria. You have this whole…thing that you’ve conjured up. This whole…fantasy…you’ve created in your mind.” Liz turns to Maria and grabs her arms. “I don’t know how many times I have to tell you this…nothing happened. Ever. Nothing happened between Max Evans and me. I barely even knew him before he left. He was my lab partner in school…that’s it. I don’t know him, I haven’t seen him for years, and I’m not waiting for him. That’s just absurd. Can’t you just drop this?”

Maria hears the catch in Liz’s voice and doesn’t believe a word she’s saying. “Alright, Liz. I’ll drop it for now…but not forever.” She reaches over and plays with Liz’s hair as Liz gives her a pained look before looking back at the pond.

Maria sits back and decides she’s going to get to the bottom of this, with or without Liz’s help. The first thing she’s gonna do is track down Michael Guerin.

Meanwhile, Isabel is busy at work in the garment district organizing the latest season’s designs for an upcoming runway show for a hot new designer she took a job with last year. She ignores Michael when she sees him walk in out of the corner of her eye.

“Look at this.” Michael says as walks up to Isabel, shoving a flyer in her face.

She grabs it and sees, ‘One Night Only…Maria Deluca at The Liquid Lounge’ printed across the top of the flyer. She hands it back to Michael and says, “So?”

“So? I think we should go…it’s this weekend.” Michael folds it up and shoves it in his back pocket.

“We talked about this, Michael. We decided to just leave it alone. No contact, remember?”

“He’s obsessed, Isabel. He’s not gonna leave this alone.” Michael doesn’t even know what to do about this anymore. But he secretly just wants to go watch Maria sing…and this is as good an excuse as any.

“And what do you suggest we do about it?” Isabel angrily shoves dresses on the rack in front of her.

“I don’t know. But doing nothing isn’t an option. Maybe you should talk to her.” Michael suggests.

Isabel turns around and glares at him. “And say what? ‘Hey Liz. How’ve you been? How are those powers coming along?’” She rolls her eyes and turns back to her work.

“Better you than him. If he talks to her…and you know he will one of these days…that will be the end of it. He won’t be able to stay away from her.”

Isabel doesn’t say anything for a while as she thinks about it. She sits down next to Michael and finally says, “Alright. Fine, I’ll do it.”

Michael nods and gets up, heading toward the door. “The sooner the better.” He says as he leaves.

Isabel sighs and looks up at the ceiling. Right. The sooner the better. She rolls her eyes and grabs her purse, leaving the office.

When she arrives at Liz’s street, she stops at a phone booth on the corner. Flipping through the phone book until she gets to Parker, Elizabeth, with the right address. Thankfully she knows that because there are five Elizabeth Parkers and ten E. Parkers in New York. She quickly memorizes the number and dials it. It rings a few times before a male voice answers. “Hello?”

“Hi. Um, could I talk to Liz please?” Isabel says, wondering it that’s Alex Whitman.

“Sure. Can I tell her who’s calling?”

Thinking quickly, Isabel says, “A friend…from…school.” Isabel rolls her eyes at her lame answer.

“Ooookay. Hold on.” Alex puts the phone down and Isabel here’s him call for Liz.

A few seconds later, Isabel hears Liz answer. “Hello?”

Taking a deep breath, Isabel says, “Liz. This is Isabel. Isabel Evans.” There’s a long pause and Isabel wonders if Liz even remembers who she is. “From Roswell.”

“Yah…yah, um…I remember. Sorry, you just caught me off guard.” Liz says quietly as she glances over at Alex. He’s looking at her strangely and she shrugs her shoulders at him and smiles, trying to tell him that everything’s ok. “So, um…Jane…it’s been a long time.”

It must have been Alex who answered the phone. Isabel realizes that Liz is hiding the fact that’s it’s her. “Can you get away for a few minutes? We need to talk.”

Liz looks at Alex and rolls her eyes in mock exasperation as Maria walks into the kitchen from the bedroom. “Yah, that’d be great. But I have a friend in town, so maybe in a couple weeks we can get together.” She smiles at Maria and looks out the window. How the hell is she gonna do this?

“I was kind of hoping we could talk sooner than that.” Isabel says. A couple of weeks? She wants to talk to Liz now.

“Uh huh. Sure.” Liz pretends to carry on a one sided conversation, probably confusing the hell out of Isabel. She looks at her watch and says, “Well, Jane. It was great hearing from you, but I have to run to the lab really quick.” She tries to place emphasis on the word lab. “I’ll call you later next week and we’ll make plans.”

“Right. The lab. I’m outside your apartment, Liz. On the corner.” Isabel looks up the street and sees Liz peek out the front window of her apartment towards her. She gives a little wave from the phone booth.

“Ok. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye.” Liz says and hangs up the phone. She turns to Alex and Maria as nonchalantly as she can and says, “Wow, that was weird. I haven’t talked to her since Harvard.”

Thankfully, Alex and Maria are paying more attention to the sandwiches they’re making than her. “You want one, Liz?” Maria asks as she licks the mayonnaise off her finger.

“No thanks. I really do have to run to the lab quick. I shouldn’t be too long. You guys go ahead and eat your lunch…I’ll pick something up on the way.” Liz says as she gathers her keys and purse.

“Alright. We still going to the museum later?” Alex asks.

“Of course. I’ll be back in a few.” Liz leaves quickly and runs down the stairs and outside. Turning down the sidewalk, Liz walks toward the corner…toward Isabel. She gets a closer look at her and is surprised at how much she’s changed since the last time she saw her. Her hair is shorter now…and brown. She’s still beautiful and the dress she’s wearing looks fabulous on her. Liz self-consciously smoothes down the front of her plain blue shirt and grimaces when she feels the denim shorts she’s got on.

When she gets within earshot, Liz says, “Let’s get out of eyesight of my apartment.” And she keeps walking, knowing that Isabel will follow.

A couple blocks away, Liz stops and waits for Isabel to join her. She looks at her with a question in her eyes…waiting to hear what she wants.

“Thank you, for agreeing to meet me.” Isabel says.

Liz nods and says, “Maybe we should go somewhere more…private.”

Isabel just nods and Liz says, “We can go to my office, it’s not far.”

They make the walk in silence, both caught up in their own thoughts. When they reach Liz’s building they make their way to the lab and Liz locks the door behind them. Liz turns to Isabel and asks, “Why is Michael following me?”

This takes Isabel by surprise and she searches for an answer before saying, “He…he just happened to see you one morning…in a coffee shop. I’m sorry he followed you…he was suspicious. That’s just Michael.”

“It took years for me to smooth over what happened with Maria…with Alex, and my family. I can’t even go home without having the Sheriff follow me around. The entire town whispers about me behind my back. Maria and Alex finally stopped asking questions…but they’re still suspicious. Michael showing up doesn’t help my situation.” Liz is angry. Angry that Maria is starting to ask questions again…all because Michael was suspicious.

Isabel is taken aback by Liz’s anger. She wasn’t expecting that. She never thought about the repercussions on her of what Max did…she never even thought that Liz was left there to answer all the questions. “I…I’m sorry, Liz. I had no idea.”

“Of course not. You all just disappeared…leaving me to clean up the mess.”

“Max saved your life! You’d be dead if it weren’t for him.” Isabel feels the need to remind her of why she was in that situation in the first place.

“Maybe he shouldn’t have.” Liz says, and looks away briefly before her face softens. “I’m sorry Isabel. I just…I’m sorry for taking this out on you. I’m just surprised to see you…and Michael…here.”

Isabel is overcome with sympathy for the small girl. She never gave Liz Parker a second thought. Never thought that all these years she’s had to deal with this alone…deal with the questions…and her powers…alone. It’s obvious she never told anyone.

“I’m really sorry, Liz. Thank you…for not telling anyone.” Isabel suddenly doesn’t know what to say to her.

“Is that why you wanted to talk to me? To find out if I’d told anyone?” Liz sighs and rubs her face.

“Yes…partly. I also wanted to ask you…about your…powers.” Isabel watches Liz’s head snap up.

“How do you…right…you’ve been watching me. How long?” Liz asks.

“Just since Michael saw you that day. We didn’t even know you were here.” Isabel tells her. “We saw you…use your powers to clean your shirt one day on the street.”

Liz nods, thinking back to that day. She feels violated…that she hasn’t had a private moment for the last week and she thinks back to everything she’s done, everything they might have seen.

“When did you start to notice them?” Isabel wonders.

“About a year after you left.”

Isabel’s eyes go wide in surprise. “Wow…that long. Do you…do you know everything you can do?”

“Just some basic stuff…change molecular structure…heal small cuts and bruises. Sometimes, when I touch people, I get glimpses of their future. It took me a while to figure that one out…it doesn’t happen all the time. I never really explored anything else. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself, and I have no idea what all you guys are capable of.”

“Wow. None of us can do that. See people’s future, I mean.” Isabel says in awe as a little alarm goes off inside about the healing.

“So, um…you and Michael are here. What about Max? Is he here too?” Liz asks.

Isabel nods and Liz continues. “So, why did they send you?”

Isabel looks uncomfortable when she says, “Well…Max doesn’t exactly know I’m here. Michael and I decided that I should talk to you.”

“So…Max doesn’t know? That I’m here?” Liz doesn’t know why she’s asking, or even why she cares. Well, that’s a lie. It’s the one question that’s been on her mind since she saw Michael.

Isabel looks around the lab, avoiding Liz’s gaze. “He knows.”

Liz looks down at the floor, disappointed. “Oh.” So he just doesn’t want to see her. What was she thinking? That he would still feel the same way about her after all these years. What she saw when she connected to him…it was just a schoolboy crush. Of course he would have gotten over it by now.

Isabel watches the emotions cross Liz’s face. Oh God, she’s got it just as bad for him as he does her. This isn’t good. She has to look out for Max’s best interest…the best interests of the three of them. There’s no way she can let a little puppy love destroy them all. She looks up and says a silent prayer…please forgive me. “Michael told him he saw you. He didn’t think it was really important.”

Isabel cringes inside at how Liz’s face falls. Oh great, are those tears?

Liz takes a deep breath and shakes herself…putting on a strong face. “Right. I mean, why would he? It’s been almost 15 years.” Liz gives a little self-deprecating laugh and runs a hand through her hair. “So, is there anything else you want to know?” Liz says evenly.

Isabel gives her a sympathetic look and says, “Not really. I just…we wanted to check on you and see how you were.”

Her and Michael, she means. Her and Michael wanted to check on her. Max doesn’t care at all. “Right. Well, I’m fine. No need for you to worry, I haven’t told anyone and I don’t ever plan to. So, if there’s nothing else…I should really be getting back.”

“Ok.” Isabel follows Liz to the door. “Thank you…for meeting me.” She fishes around in her purse and pulls out her business card, handing it to Liz. “Here’s my number. If you ever need anything…call.”

Liz takes the card and says, “Sure. I guess you already know how to find me. Are you going to stop following me now?”

“Yah. I’m sorry Maria and Alex saw Michael. We’ll leave you alone.”

Liz nods and says, “Good. Take care of yourself, Isabel.” before walking out into the hall, leaving Isabel behind…feeling like crap.

Liz runs down two flights of stairs and comes out on the first floor…making her way quickly to the bathroom. She makes it just in time for the tears to fall. Locking herself in one of the stalls, she collapses on the toilet and sobs. All these years…all these years, not a day went by that she didn’t think about him. Maria was right…in a way, she’s always been waiting for him. Waiting to see him again, or to hear from him. Hoping against all hope that he might come looking for her. How stupid…and childish.

Pulling out some toilet paper, she wipes her eyes and tries to get a hold of herself. She takes a few deep breaths and walks out to the sink and splashes cold water on her face. When she looks in the mirror, she sees red, swollen eyes looking back and she waves her hand over them, returning them to normal. “Forget about him.” She tells her reflection. “Forget about him and move on with your life.”

She stands there a moment longer before turning and leaving…walking slowly back home. When she gets home, she sees Alex and Maria playing cards at the kitchen table. Alex looks up and sees the look on her face. “Hey. What’s up?” He asks with concern.

“Oh, nothing.” She forces a smile. “Just one of my experiments…didn’t turn out right.” She shrugs and dumps her purse on the coffee table.

Back at a coffee shop across the street from the building that houses Liz’s lab, Max sips his coffee at a small table by the window. He’d gone there earlier, hoping to catch a glimpse of Liz…he was both rewarded and shocked to see not only Liz, but his sister walking down the street and into the building.

What in the hell was Isabel doing? And why hadn’t she talked to him about this? After several minutes, he watched as Liz stepped outside again, alone…closing her eyes and taking a deep breath before turning back down the street the way they had come. A minute later, his sister appeared and turned the other way.

Max remained where he was…confused, and angry. Isabel went behind his back and contacted Liz. After both she and Michael spent an entire night lecturing him on why NOT to contact her. What did Isabel say to her?

He was aching to talk to Liz. He couldn’t think of anything else but her for the last few days…couldn’t think of anything besides the constant yearning to be around her. He’s hopelessly in love with Liz Parker. Always has been…always will be. The thought of her so close, but so far away kills him. He wonders if she ever thinks about him. If she hates him for what’s happened to her. He would give anything to just touch her soft skin, to run his hands through her silky hair…just once.

He’s furious. Isabel has gone too far. He gets up, throwing a tip on the table, and leaves the shop…heading toward home. He can barely control his anger as he thinks about what he’s going to say to her.

Sitting in the silence of the loft for hours, he waits. He waits and he thinks. They’re manipulating him, trying to control his life. They always have. And the worst part is, he’s let them. Always feeling guilty for the position he put them in all those years ago. Having to leave Roswell. All because he exposed them…went against their lifelong agreement.

After night falls, he hears a key in the door before it opens and Michael and Isabel walk in. They both see him sitting there and Isabel says, “God Max, what are you doing sitting her in the dark?” She moves to turn on a few lamps before setting her purse down on the kitchen table.

“What did you to today, Isabel?” Max asks evenly, not looking at her.

Isabel looks over at Michael, panicked. “Not much, just worked. Why?”

He can’t contain his rage and he stands up, facing her. “Don’t lie to me! You met with Liz. I saw you.” He yells at her as he approaches her, his eyes wild.

Isabel backs up and looks to Michael for support. “Max, I…we thought one of us should just check on her. You know, check on how she’s doing with her powers.” Her voice comes out sounding mousy and she cringes.

Michael takes a step toward Max. “Calm down, Maxwell.”

Max turns to Michael and says, “Shut up.” before turning back to Isabel. “What did you say to her?”

“I just…just asked her how she was. I asked her about her powers and told her to call me if she ever needed anything. That’s it.” Isabel’s never seen him this angry before and she tries to come up with something to calm him down. “She’s doing fine, Max. She has a good life…a good job. She’s happy. She has control of her powers. I think…I think she even has a boyfriend.” God, will the lies ever end? She’s not exactly lying, though, right? She could have a boyfriend. She just needs to get Max to forget about her…to leave her alone.

Max stops, frozen to the floor. That thought never occurred to him. Of course she would have a boyfriend. He’s surprised she hasn’t been married yet. His shoulders sag and he looks down. What was he thinking? That she would wait around for him all these years? She barely knew him. He looks up at Isabel and she feels a stab in her heart at the look on his face…she has to look away. “Did she ask about me?”

She looks back at him and says, “No. I’m sorry Max…she didn’t.”

Max sits down in a chair by the table and Isabel looks over at Michael with a guilty look on her face. She walks up to Max and sits down next to him. “It was better that I talked to her, Max. She’s doing fine…great even. You’ve been carrying this…torch for her for years. It’s time for you to let go. She moved on long ago…so should you.”

Max nods, not looking up from the floor. “Right.” He’s not really listening to anything she says. He sits in silence for a few moments, then stands up and walks out the door…not saying anything the either one of them.

~TBC~

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Angel
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Post by Angel » Tue Apr 01, 2003 10:16 am

Part 4

*The song used is “Lamb” by Gorecki*

Max walks aimlessly all night, thinking. He doesn’t really know why he’s so upset. A week ago, he would have never thought about talking to Liz Parker again…or ever seeing her again. But when he saw her, saw that she was so close…he lost all sense of reason. She was always the unattainable…forever out of his reach. It’s the hope that crushed him. Seeing her again ignited a small flame of hope inside of him that this was his chance. He set himself up for this. What exactly did he expect? That she would see him and throw herself in his arms, declaring her undying love to him? That they would get married, have a family, live happily ever after?

Isabel was right about one thing. He needs to forget about her…in a romantic sense. Just because they live in the same city, it doesn’t change the fact that he’s an alien and she is human. There is no happily ever after for them. He needs to forget about this fantasy of her…and grow up.

But Isabel isn’t right about leaving Liz alone. He refuses to subject Liz to the life she’ll surely lead if she has powers…alone. How she got through the last dozen years without anyone to talk to or confide in is beyond him. She probably had so many questions and no one to answer them for her. He remembers with a smile the list of questions for him that she pulled out in the art room so many years ago.

He stops at the next hotel he sees and rents a room for the night. He doesn’t want to go back to the loft…doesn’t want to see Isabel and Michael. He’s so angry with her right now; he doesn’t think he’ll be able to keep from strangling her. As he lies in the creaky bed, he watches the red neon light outside his window blink on and off. Closing his eyes, he wills away the image that pops up of her face…looking up at him in awe and acceptance.

~~~~~~~~~~

Saturday night, Alex and Liz are sitting at a table in the front row to the left of the stage in the Liquid Lounge waiting for Maria to come on. Liz looks around at the packed nightclub and smiles to herself. This is what Maria always wanted and she’s happy that her friend has found success.

“Look at how many people are here!” She says in awe to Alex as she sips her drink.

Alex looks at the standing crowd in the back and by the bar. “Yah, good thing we have connections or we’d be back there with those poor bastards.” Alex grins.

He takes a swig of beer and surveys the crowd again and his eyes snap back to the bar. Is that…it can’t be. He cocks his head to the side and looks more closely. Max Evans…sitting at the bar…looking straight at them. He looks over at Liz, who’s studying the stage. What would she say if she knew? Should he tell her?

High school was a nightmare for her. It took moving across the country for her to finally escape. And it all seemed to go back to Max Evans. Maria always had her crazy theories and investigations. But Alex was just worried that she’d gotten mixed up in something illegal. The police were always asking her questions. And Max Evans seemed to be at the center of it.

Glancing over at Max Evans again, he decides he won’t tell Liz. She doesn’t need the past revisiting her. He repositions his chair so that he’s hopefully blocking her view of the bar and takes another swig of his beer.

The lights dim and the crowd cheers when Maria takes the stage. Liz and Alex watch her from their table for the next hour as the crowd dances, screams, and sings along with every song. Maria sings all her hit songs and the crowd loves it.

Michael can hear the music from down the street. He’s been standing on the corner watching the stream of people come in and out of the club. He looks down at the ticket he bought the other day and looks back up.

“Well, well, well. Look at this.” Michael whips his head around to see Isabel smirking at him. “Didn’t know you were a fan, Michael.”

“I just thought one of us should check it out…you know, just…keep an eye on Liz.” Michael shrugs.

“Right…Liz.” Isabel nods her head exaggeratingly and lifts her eyebrows. “Well, it’s your lucky night…I have a ticket, too. Let’s go.” She grabs his arm and drags him toward the door.

As they walk in, Isabel asks Michael, “Have you heard from Max?”

He shakes his head. “Haven’t seen him since he took off last night.” His eyes are drawn to the stage immediately. He’s followed Maria’s career since she started out and secretly listens to her CDs at night with headphones. But there’s no way he was letting Isabel and Max know about it. He just likes to hear the sound of her voice…it’s…soothing. He crinkles his brow at his thoughts and looks around the club.

Isabel feels Michael grab her arm and nod toward the right side of the club. She looks over and isn’t surprised to see Max…sitting at the bar by himself. They push through the crowd and make their way over to him. He doesn’t look at them when they reach his side, although Isabel knows he knows they’re there. She doesn’t say anything to him, just puts her hand on his arm and orders a coke from the bartender.

Close to 1am, the music ends while Maria and her band make some adjustments. When she comes back to the microphone she says, “Thank you all for coming out tonight. We’ve had a great time!” The crowd cheers wildly as Maria strums a few cords on her guitar then steps back to take a sip of water. She steps up again and says, “This next song is for Liz…for whatever…or whoever it is she’s searching for.” She steps back and crowd goes silent.

Liz looks at Alex, her expression one of surprise and mild annoyance. Why can’t Maria give up on this? She looks back up to the stage and waits to hear what Maria’s going to sing about.

Across the room, Max looks at Liz. What did Maria mean by that? Doesn’t Liz already have a boyfriend? Why would she be searching for someone else?

The music starts, a soft melody…before Maria begins to sing.

If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I have never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you
Still my heart this moment
Or it might burst

Can we stay right here
Till the end of time
Till the earth stops turning
Wanna love you till the seas run dry
I've found the one I've waited for

All this time I've loved you
And never known your face
All this time I've missed you
And searched this human race


Liz has never heard Maria sing this song. She recognizes it vaguely…she’s heard it before…years ago. Maria’s singing it for her…for her and Max. The thought makes her heart sink. When will Maria drop this? Maybe when she drops it herself, she looks down at the table. She avoids Alex’s gaze and absently looks around the club at all the swaying people…some of them slow dancing together.

Her breath catches when she sees him. She recognized him the minute her eyes landed on him. She didn’t notice before…hadn’t looked toward the bar. Has he been here all night? He’s looking right at her and she can’t make herself breathe…the air around her suddenly suffocating her. Heat crawls up her face and the rest of the room fades away until all she sees are his eyes. His eyes that won’t look away from her…almost hypnotizing. She feels something actually click inside of her and suddenly she’s flying toward them…his eyes…into them…like traveling through a tunnel. Why is he here? Why is he looking at her like that? What’s happening to her? Her world tilts and she feels sweat bead up on her forehead and upper lip.

She’s brought back to reality when Alex shakes her arm. She looks over at him and he’s talking to her but she can’t hear. Shaking her head the world comes back and she hears Alex ask, “Are you alright? Liz, what’s wrong?”

Alex looks around, trying to see what she was looking at, then looks back at her. “What is it?” But he knows…she saw him. She saw Max Evans.

She glances back over at him…at Max…then back to Alex. “N…nothing. I’m fine.” She shakes her head and raises her water to her lips…her hand shaking so badly she spills some on the table.

Alex watches her reactions and clenches his jaw. She looks almost terrified. He grabs her hand and squeezes, giving her a reassuring smile before she looks away, back up to the stage.

Here is true peace
Here my heart knows calm
Safe in your soul
Bathed in your sighs

Wanna stay right here
Till the end of time
Till the earth stops turning

Gonna love you till the seas run dry
I've found the one I've waited for
The one I've waited for

All I've known
All I've done
All I've felt
Was latent to this

All I've known
All I've done
All I've felt
Was latent to this

Wanna stay right here
Till the end of time
Till the earth stops turning
Gonna love you till the seas run dry
I've found the one I've waited for
The one I've waited for

Wanna stay right here
Till the end of time
Till the earth stops turning
Gonna love you till the seas run dry
I've found the one I've waited for
The one I've waited for


The song ends and the crowd erupts into wild applause and cheers. People are moving all around her and Liz can’t see through them anymore…can’t see Max. Suddenly feeling claustrophobic with the crush of people and the smoke and the smell of liquor, Liz stumbles away from the table. She feels dizzy and hot, and she vaguely notices that she keeps shocking herself. She tries to keep from dragging her feet on the carpet and looks down absently to see what she keeps shocking herself on.

Eyes wide with surprise, she looks up quickly at the crowd, then back down at her hands. They’re covered in some type of…electricity…moving around, sending a slight stinging charge through her. She clasps them and rubs them together…not understanding what’s going on. When it doesn’t go away, she shoves her hands in her pockets and looks around, wondering if anyone noticed.

But no one seems to have noticed. She hears Alex shouting her name behind her and she glances back, afraid. Afraid that something alien is happening to her…afraid that her powers are surging…afraid she might accidentally hurt someone. Adrenaline pumps through her body and she shoves her way through the crowd, her eyes on one thing…the exit sign. If she could just get outside.

Just as she reaches the door, she feels a hand grab her jacket from behind and she spins around to see Alex looking concerned.

“Didn’t you hear me? Where are you going?”

“Alex…I…I don’t feel well. I think I’m gonna just go home.” Liz is pretty sure that he’ll believe her if she looks anything like she feels right now.

“Alright. Hold on and I’ll go tell Maria we’re leaving.”

“No. Alex…stay. She’ll want you to go to the after hours party with her and there’s no reason you shouldn’t have fun tonight, too. Really, I’m just gonna go home and go to bed. I’ll be fine.” Liz absolutely doesn’t want Alex with her…to see what’s going on.

He eyes her suspiciously. She’s been acting strange for the last few days and he’s worried about her. Especially since he knows Max Evans is here. “Promise me you’ll take a cab. And call me when you get home.” He tells her, looking around to see if Max is lurking anywhere.

“Ok. I’m sorry, Alex. Tell Maria I’m sorry, too…and that I thought she was great.” Liz manages a small smile before Alex pulls her in for a hug…which she can’t return with her hands hiding in her pockets. She glances down at them again to make sure whatever’s happening isn’t spreading.

“Call me if you want me to pick something up for you on the way home.” Alex says as he pulls away.

She nods and says, “Go. Have fun tonight.” before she turns and walks out of the club. She hurries around the corner and into an alley that leads to the back entrance. Turning her back toward the street, she pulls her hands out of her pockets and examines them.

What the hell is going on? She’s never seen anything like it and she grimaces. It’s not exactly painful, but it’s uncomfortable. She turns her hands over to look at her palms, then brings them closer to her face. They don’t feel hot…just…charged. She has no idea how to deal with this. Will it ever go away? What’s it from? She closes her eyes and takes deep breaths. Ok, Parker…you can deal with this. You can deal with this just like every other time something crazy happened to you regarding your powers.

Turning around, she walks back out onto the sidewalks and makes her way toward home. Not noticing the pair of eyes watching her go. Max saw her duck in the alley when she left the club. He saw her turn around and it looked like she was bringing her hands up to her face. What’s she doing? He’s suddenly scared when a thought pops in his head. Is she doing drugs? He sees her look around nervously before stuffing her hands in her pockets and quickly walk away.

After seeing Liz take off down the street, Max follows Isabel and Michael…unaware of anything going on around him. He can’t believe Liz would be doing drugs. All he can see is her eyes…looking back at him inside. “I thought you said she had a boyfriend.” He mumbles as they walk.

Isabel looks back at him, then at Michael. “Yah?”

“Why would Maria say that about Liz if she already has a boyfriend? And why wasn’t he there?”

Isabel rolls her eyes in frustration. “I don’t know, Max. Maybe Maria doesn’t like him…maybe he couldn’t make it. How am I supposed to know? What does it matter?”

Michael’s in a daze. He saw her at the airport, but tonight…she looked so good. And her voice…it mesmerized him.

“Michael, what’s wrong with you?” Isabel says, irritated at his silence…and is that a dreamy look on his face. “Ugh! You two are hopeless!” She flings her arms up in the air and stalks off…leaving them behind.

Max stops, distracted as he thinks about Liz and he contemplates following her. When he looks back toward Michael, he sees that Michael has kept on walking; oblivious that Max isn’t following him.

That same night…across the city

Tess looks up from her computer when the shapeshifter walks in. She rolls her eyes and says, “We’ve talked about the knocking thing.”

Ignoring her, he says, “Something’s happened. I felt it.”

“What?” She asks, afraid of the answer.

“An awakening. Get the others and prepare.” He turns and leaves the room quickly leaving Tess to contemplate what this means.

An awakening. It could only mean one thing. The king has claimed his queen. It was supposed to be her…they’ve been searching for him for years but something went wrong. They weren’t where they were supposed to be and the shapeshifter had no way of finding them. They left her…alone in her pod. She was all that was left when he finally showed up.

She thought they had a break several years ago in Roswell. But by the time they got there, the king was gone. She’s traveled the country with her protector…the shapeshifter…living out of suitcases and always looking…always searching.

After the harvest, things got worse. Skins started traveling with them and they eventually joined the other set of hybrids in New York City. All these years, there hasn’t been any sign of the three she belongs with. Until tonight. It’s what she’s feared the most as they got older…as they spent more time on this planet. That he would claim a queen…and it wouldn’t be her.

There’s no place for her now. She’s the odd man out. The shapeshifter will be able to locate the king through the claimed queen. She’s heard all about it over the years…when the king claims his mate, she acts as a sort of energy beacon. So that the king will always know where she is. The problem is, so will every other alien in the universe. That’s why the queen is always heavily guarded.

He’ll find them, and they’ll go home…the shapeshifter turning the king over to Khivar and earning a place at the palace. While she…she’ll be stuck here…forever. The new queen will have to provide the needed heir now. No one else will be able to.

She walks into another room and finds Lonnie and Ava watching TV. “There’s been an awakening. You need to be ready.” She meets Ava’s gaze as they both think the same thing before she turns and leaves.

Lonnie pops up off the couch and claps her hands together. “Hot damn!” She races from the room to find Nicholas, but stops and turns back to Ava. “Tough break, kid.” Shrugging her shoulders, she leaves.

Ava turns off the TV and sits in silence. Good, it’s finally over. They’ll all be leaving and she’ll be thankfully alone. She never wanted to go back to that planet. She likes it here…besides…she knows something they don’t.

~TBC~

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Post by Angel » Fri Apr 04, 2003 9:02 am

Part 5

The next morning, Liz wakes up early. Taking a few deep breaths, she sits up and rubs the sleep out of her eyes as memories of last night slowly return. The green energy finally went away on her way home, and she feels good this morning. After a long shower, she walks in the kitchen and frowns when she sees they’re out of coffee.

She quickly dries her hair and gets dressed. As she’s about to leave to go down to the coffee shop, Alex walks out of his bedroom and says, “Liz…where are you going?”

She turns around, startled, and says, “Just to go get some coffee. We’re out.”

“How are you feeling?” He crinkles his brow at her, as he looks her over.

“Good. I feel really good, Alex.” Liz tells him as he nods, scratches his head and yawns.

She gives a little wave before walking out the door. The sun is just starting to light up the sky and she takes a deep breath of the morning air as soon as she steps outside. As she walks, she thinks about seeing Max at the club last night. She thinks about his eyes, staring back at her and she wonders if she imagined it. It could have been that song and what Maria said…with each step she takes, she becomes more and more convinced that seeing Max last night was a figment of her imagination.

He watches her walk down the street…completely alone. This confuses him. Why would she be alone…unguarded like this? It’s definitely her…her head might as well be flashing like a neon sign she’s sending such a strong signal. Why would the king let her go off on her own like this. Is it a trap? He searches nearby buildings…other people on the streets…and sees nothing.

The only explanation he can come up with is that the king doesn’t know. He has always suspected that his three charges had never known anything. Tess confirmed they never found the book. He knows they’ve never found the orbs…because he has them. Do they even know what…or who they are? It’s a very real possibility, that the king…Max Evans…claimed his queen unknowingly. He grins. This is too easy.

He watches as she walks into a coffee shop and he follows her in, walking straight back to the bathroom. Changing his appearance, he looks himself over and grins in satisfaction before walking back out.

Liz walks up to the counter and smiles at Joe. “Hey Joe.”

A smile lights up his face. “Liz! I haven’t seen you for a few days. Enjoying your vacation?”

She nods at him and says, “Yah. We’ve been having a great time. Hey, I need a bag of ground to go, too.” She sees him making her usual Latte and smiles.

Sensing someone walking up next to her, she looks over…startled. “M…Max.”

He glances at Joe then back to her. “Liz. I need to talk to you.”

She looks at him closely. He looks different than she remembers from last night…younger. Almost exactly like he did in high school. She’s startled by his request and fishes money out of her wallet, she hands it over and Joe hands her her change, looking at Max suspiciously.

She looks at him…confused and nods. “Ok…I just…” She glances toward the guy making her coffee before looking back at ‘Max’.

He grabs her arm and leads her out of the Starbuck’s…Joe calling out behind them. “Liz…you forgot your coffee!” He watches them leave and turn down the street with concern.

Liz squirms and says, “Max, you’re hurting my arm.”

“Just keep waking.” He tells her, not looking at her.

“What’s wrong? What’s this about?” Liz feels like something’s not right.

He doesn’t say anything else to her, but he doesn’t release his grip on her arm either. She looks around her, wondering what’s going on.

It seems like they walk forever and she can’t get him to say anything else to her so she eventually stops asking questions. Finally, they reach a large building and he drags her inside and up a flight of stairs. When he opens the door and pushes her inside, she realizes that something is very wrong.

~~~~~~~~~~

An hour later, Alex is worried. It’s been too long; Liz should have been back by now. He picks up the phone and dials her cell phone…only to hear it ringing in her room. Slamming it down, he runs his hand over his face and dials her lab. No answer there. Where would she go? It wouldn’t take her this long to go get some coffee.

Grabbing his keys and writing a quick note for Maria, he leaves to go down to the coffee shop. Maybe she’s just there talking to Joe and lost track of the time. He walks there quickly and survey’s the small crowd, not seeing Liz.

Approaching the side of the counter, Joe sees Alex and says, “Hey…what can I get you Alex?”

“Have you seen Liz this morning?” Alex asks him.

“Well, yah. She was in here about an hour ago. Weird, though. She left with some guy…forgot to take her coffee.” Joe tells him.

“A guy? Did she walk in with him?” Alex starts to get worried. Liz wouldn’t be here with a guy…not that he knows of.

“No. He showed up after her. She seemed pretty surprised to see him…like I said…weird. He practically dragged her out of here…told her he needed to talk to her.” He sees the look on Alex’s face and says, “You think we should call the police?”

“No…no.” Alex thinks for a moment. “What’d he look like?”

“Tall, dark hair. Kinda young.”

Doesn’t sound like anyone Liz would know…maybe it was a student. Or…he thinks back to seeing Max Evans last night. Did he come here? Did he drag her out of here? “Ok…well, thanks. If she stops back again, tell her I was looking for her, would you?”

“Sure thing, Alex.” Joe says as he helps a customer who just walked up.

Leaving the coffee shop slowly, Alex walks back to the apartment wondering where Liz would have gone. He pulls out his cell phone and tries her lab again. Not getting an answer, he leaves a message for her and hangs up. Now what? He doesn’t want to panic, not yet anyway.

~~~~~~~~~~

Having spent another night in his ratty hotel, not wanting to go home, Max got up before the sun and walked toward Liz’s apartment. He was determined to talk to her today. He would just wait until a decent hour and ring the bell. He just felt better being outside her apartment…it was a feeling he couldn’t describe. Like he had to be there. He’d been antsy all night, not able to sleep. But just being there…so close to her…helped him to relax.

So when he saw Liz skip down the front steps and walk down the street, he thought that it might be the opportunity he’d been waiting for. But as he followed her and the farther away they got, the more he thought about talking to her…and what he would say after all this time. And the more nervous he became. He fell back, almost losing sight of her until she walked into Starbuck’s. Instead of going in behind her, he ducked in a doorway across the street…waiting for her to come back out.

But when she did, his heart stopped. She came back out, but she was walking with someone who looked just like him. It couldn’t be. He was stunned…completely numb as he watched the other him drag Liz down the street. He heard her as she turned to the strange look-alike and said his name. She thinks it’s him. Feeling panic bubble up inside, he pushed away from the doorway and anxiously followed at a distance. It must be an alien…what other explanation could there be? What would he want with Liz?

And that’s how he finds himself, an hour later, hiding in a small alley across the street from a building that looks like it’s under renovation. That’s where his double dragged Liz, and now Max has no idea what to do. Are there other aliens inside? Do they all look like him? This is just too ridiculous of a situation for him to comprehend. All he knows is that Liz is in danger.

Fumbling for his phone, Max dials the loft. When Michael picks up, he says, “Michael, we have a situation.”

“Maxwell? Where are you?” Michael asks.

“Just listen to me. We have a big problem. I’m sitting outside a building right now…where there are others…like us. Do you understand? Like us. And they have Liz.”

“What are you talking about?” Max hears Isabel in the background demanding that Michael give her the phone.

“I need help. Just…I need you and Isabel to come here.” Max tells him the address and says, “I’ll explain when you get here.” He hangs up and steps out of the alley and crosses the street, making his way around to the backside of the building.

As he looks in the windows he passes, all he can see is plastic sheeting and scaffolding. Quickly walking around to the back, he climbs the fire escape.

~~~~~~~~~~

When Alex gets back to the apartment, he finds Maria up and waiting for him. “Where’d you go? Where’s Liz?” She’s opening and closing cupboard doors and finally turns around with her hand on her hip. “We’re out of coffee.”

Alex sits down at the kitchen table. “I know.” He’s thinking…trying to not panic. Maybe he should call the police. But she’s only been gone a little over an hour…they’d think he was crazy. Remembering something, he bolts out of his chair and into his bedroom…searching through the boxes on the top shelf.

Maria follows him and when she sees him throwing things all over his room, she asks, “What are you doing? You’re looking for coffee in your closet?” She puts her hands on her hips and says, “Well, I’m not drinking anything that’s been sitting next to your old socks.”

Alex glances over at her and says, “I’m not looking for coffee.” He finds what he’s looking for and sits down on his bed. Flipping open the cover of his freshman yearbook from Roswell, he searches for what he’s looking for. Bingo…Max Evans.

“Alex, what’s going on?” Maria watches him as he walks from his bedroom back out to the living room with the yearbook.

“I’ll be right back…I’m running down to Starbuck’s for a second.” He grabs his keys and hears her shout after him, “Get some coffee while you’re there!”

He quickly makes his way down to the corner and opens the yearbook on the counter…showing Joe. “Is this him?” He points to the picture of Max.

Joe nods and says, “Yup, that’s him.” Joe looks closer at the yearbook and says, “High school, huh. A little young for Liz, don’t you think?”

“No…this…this is our high school yearbook.” Alex flips the page and shows Joe a picture of Liz.

“Huh. Well, that wasn’t him, then. Maybe a younger brother or something. No, the kid Liz left with couldn’t have been a day over 16…17.”

Alex looks at him in confusion. When he saw Max last night, he certainly didn’t look like a teenager anymore. He looked all of his 30 years. Closing the book, he says, “Thanks, Joe. I’ll see you later.”

Alex gives him a wave and walks back to the apartment deep in thought. When he gets back, he sees Maria waiting impatiently and swears under his breath…damn, he forgot the coffee.

~~~~~~~~~~

Liz is scared. Not so much because the people around her are obviously crazy. More because half of them look like people she knows. She’s in a room full of aliens and she has no idea how to get out of this, or why they want her. She looks at Max and says, “Someone’s going to come looking for me. They’ll notice that I’m gone.”

He grins and says, “We’re counting on it.”

“She don’t look like much. Not really my brothah’s type.” Someone who looks like a white trash Isabel who just had a garage sale throw up on her sneers at her as she looks her up and down. “Plus…she’s human.” She says human like it’s a dirty word.

Max…she knows now that that isn’t really Max…is staring at her, making her skin crawl and he says, “There’s more to her than you see. Go away…you need to be ready for the king to come. It shouldn’t be long now.”

Liz scans the large room, hoping against hope that there might be a way to escape. But there are too many people here. And right now, most of them are looking at her…studying her. She doesn’t have a clue what they’re talking about. She’s itching to ask questions, but thinks it might be better if she kept her mouth shut for now. Looking toward the window, she thinks that Alex and Maria must be so worried by now.

“You want somethin’ to drink? A soda?” Liz turns her head and sees a small woman in front of her with blonde hair. She thinks she has a twin because she saw two of them together right after she arrived.

Nodding, Liz says, “Yah, sure.” Liz watches as she turns away and comes back shortly with a can of Diet Coke.

“This ok?” She asks her.

“Yah.” Liz takes it and pops the top, taking a long drink. “Thanks.”

The other woman studies Liz for a moment, then says, “I’m Ava.”

Liz nods at her…not knowing what else to say. She looks up as her twin enters the room and looks at the two of them with an expression that Liz can’t read.

The other blonde walks over to Fake Max and says, “How do you know he’ll come? If he doesn’t even know who he is…or what he’s done, he might not pick up on her.”

Fake Max takes a deep breath and leans back in his chair…still staring at Liz. “I need you to answer some questions for me, Liz.”

She just looks at him, and he sighs. “You know Max Evans?”

Liz furrows her brow at him and doesn’t answer.

“She’s confused. You still look like him.” Tess tells him.

“Ah. That’s right. Should I change my appearance to make you more comfortable?” He holds his hand up and bright light shoots out of him as he changes into…her.

Liz drops her can of soda and opens her eyes wide, straining to get as far back from him as she can.

Ava picks up the can and cleans the spilled soda…handing it back to Liz. She turns and says, “You’re scarin’ her.”

He looks at Ava in annoyance and looks back at Liz. He changes back into Max and asks her again. “So…Max Evans. You know him?”

Liz still doesn’t answer him and he says, “Look, Liz. You can do this the easy way, or I can bring Nicholas in here to just suck the answers out of your brain. Believe me, my way is more pleasant.”

Ava turns to Liz and says, “Just tell him, Liz. It’ll be easier…really.”

Liz turns back to the…whatever he is…shapeshifter, and nods her head. “Yes, I know him.”

He smiles and says, “Now see, that wasn’t so bad. Tell me, what did you do last night?”

Liz looks at him, confused, and says, “I…I went to a bar to see a friend sing.” He motions for her to continue and she says, shakily, “I got s…sick. And I went home.”

“Something tells me you’re leaving a whole lot out of your story.” He tells her.

She looks around nervously and says, “I don’t know what you want me to say. That…that’s all that happened.”

He leans forward and says, “You were with Max Evans last night. I want the details of what happened during that meeting.”

“N…nothing. I wasn’t with Max. I was with my friends.” Liz shakes her head. “I was sick. I…I’m telling you the truth.” She looks distressed as she looks around the room like a caged animal.

“Great.” He sits back and looks at the ceiling. “Nicholas!” He yells. “Get in here!”

Liz’s eyes widen and she looks at Ava in panic. “I…I told you the truth. I don’t know anything else.” She looks back at the man in front of her. “I swear!”

Liz sees a young boy enter the room and walk toward her and she tries to stand up to get away. But the shapeshifter shoves her back down on the couch. “You know, I actually believe you, Liz. But Nicholas here will be able to see what you apparently can’t remember.”

She looks to Ava for help but only sees a sympathetic look on her face. Looking back at Nicholas she sees him raise his hand to her head and within moments, she’s hit with the most horrible pain and she screams, “Nooooo!”

~~~~~~~~~~

Outside on the fire escape, Max stumbles when as an awful pain blinds him. He clutches his head and grimaces…he can hear screaming in his head. Awful screaming. But it’s not just in his head, he can hear it coming from inside. Pushing the pain away, he gets up and continues to climb the stairs.

He reaches the second level and glances into windows as he passes them. Finally, he catches a glimpse of people inside one and he ducks immediately. Pressing his back to the wall, he holds his breath and rises up slightly so he can see through the bottom of the window. Inside, he sees what looks like a living room. Directly in front of him is the back of a couch and he can see the backs of two heads…one of them Liz. Her head is leaning back on the couch and her eyes are closed…she’s unconscious. His fear kicks into overdrive before he glances around.

He sees about five people in the room before he ducks his head again and crawls over the fire escape to the next window. Peeking in there, he sees several more people but doesn’t have enough time to look too closely. He doesn’t want anyone to see him and because it’s daylight, they’ll be able to see him more easily than he can see them.

As he squats between the two windows, he tries to come up with a plan to get Liz out of danger. But with that many people in there…and he has to assume right now that they’re all alien…there’s no way he, Michael and Isabel have a chance of overpowering them.

At that moment, he jumps as his cell phone rings and he fumbles quickly for it, turning it off. Shit…hopefully no one inside heard it. He listens as closely as he can for sounds of anyone approaching the windows to inspect the noise. All he can hear is some muffled voices and the sounds of footsteps. Standing up and pressing himself as close to the brick wall as he can, he wishes suddenly that he had the ability to become invisible. He sucks in his breath and holds it, waiting…

~TBC~

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Post by Angel » Wed Apr 09, 2003 11:35 am

Part 6

Liz wakes up in a daze. She hears arguing around her and she opens her eyes, wincing as the light shines in them. Her head is killing her and she tries to move her head but a wave of nausea overcomes her.

“Well, he may have claimed her, but she doesn’t know anything about it. There was no mating involved…she’s not with child.” Nicholas shouts at the shapeshifter.

“He’ll come for her. He’s programmed to.” The shapeshifter says.

“You better hope so.” Nicholas turns and leaves the room.

Liz looks up and sees the shapeshifter glaring at her. “Well, hello sunshine.”

She narrows her eyes at him and looks away…feeling revolted at having him look at her.

“Looks like you were telling the truth after all. But no worries, he’ll come for you.”

Liz rolls her eyes and says, “Who will come for me?”

He laughs then. “Why, Max Evans of course. Our beloved king.”

This guy needs a straightjacket, Liz thinks. Come to think of it, they all do. If they would just leave her alone for one minute, she might actually find a way out of here. Max is nothing like them…she just can’t believe that he would know anything about this…about these people. Not the Max Evans she knew before, anyway. Before he left…before he told Isabel and Michael that he didn’t think she was important.

She has no idea why they would think Max would come for her. How would he even know what’s going on? These people are insane if they thing Max will come here just for her. She closes her eyes and drifts off again…hoping that the pain in her head will go away.

~~~~~~~~~~

“What the hell is going on?” Isabel asks impatiently as she walks with Michael. “And why isn’t he answering his phone?”

Michael ignores her as he keeps walking…the closer he gets to where Max told them to go, the more he feels something…a pull. He doesn’t know how or why…but it’s almost like he’s being guided toward something. He feels it in his bones.

“Don’t you feel that?” He asks.

“Feel what?” Isabel says, annoyed that Michael isn’t acknowledging her questions.

“Like something is…leading you?”

“Yah. You’re leading me. And I have no idea where we’re going.”

As they reach the next intersection, Michael stops and says, “Ok, you choose. Which way?”

Isabel looks at him like he’s crazy and she rolls her eyes. Suddenly, she chooses left. “This way.” She jerks her head.

“How did you know that? Concentrate on what you’re feeling. You chose that direction for a reason.”

Isabel stands there for a moment, thinking about what he’s saying. He’s right. There is something…just beneath the surface…a feeling she can’t put her finger on. “What is it?” She asks with wonder.

Michael shrugs and starts walking. “Guess we’re gonna find out soon enough.”

~~~~~~~~~~

After Alex smoothes over the fact that he came back without coffee, he sits Maria down. “Maria, let me ask you something.” She motions for him to continue and he asks, “What is it exactly that you think Max Evans did to Liz in high school?”

Maria looks at him in confusion. “Why are you asking this now?” Her eyes widen and she says, “You saw him! Where’s Liz at? Is she with him now? Is that where she’s at?”

“I don’t know, Maria. I just…I saw him last night…at the club. He was watching Liz and I’m pretty sure she saw him. And now, this morning, she went down to get some coffee and Joe said that she left with some guy over an hour ago…this guy.” He opens the yearbook and points to Max’s picture.

“Oh my God.” Maria says, looking up at Alex. “Why wouldn’t she tell us where she was going?”

“Here’s what’s weird. Joe said that she left with this guy…this 16 year old boy. Maria, Max is 30 years old now…when I saw him last night, he looked 30 years old…not 16.” He watches her face for her reaction.

Maria looks down at the picture in front of her and thinks back to everything that happened all those years ago. All her questions for Liz…all of Liz’s denials.

“So, I’m asking you…what is it that you think Max did to her in high school?” Alex asks her again, noticing the strange expression on her face.

“I think he healed her…I think she was shot and he put his hands on her and he healed her.” She almost whispers as she looks up at him. Shaking her head, she says, “Do you think they’ve been in contact all these years and we didn’t know?”

“I don’t know. But something weird is going on…I know it. I think Liz might be in trouble.” Alex tells her about Joe’s description of Liz being practically dragged from the shop…leaving her coffee behind. As they talk quietly in the kitchen, neither one of them knows what to do…and they get more worried as the seconds tic by.

~~~~~~~~~~

With his back pressed against the wall, Max grimaces when he hears the window to his left slide open. Waiting…waiting to be discovered…Max closes his eyes. But discovery doesn’t come. He glances over and sees the window left open a few inches…they just opened it for air. He lets the air leave his lungs as he slumps in relief and crouches down again.

He crawls back underneath the window and toward the stairs…listening to the voices inside. He doesn’t hear Liz and he glances up to see her head still resting on the back of the couch. At least he knows she’s ok…for now. Quickly making his way down to the ground, Max jogs back across the street, just as he sees Michael and Isabel turn the corner.

He waves them over and as soon as she sees him, Isabel says, “What’s going on Max? Where have you been? And how come we were drawn here…like something was pulling us here?” She points to the building across the street. “To that building.”

Max furrows his brow. “What?” He looks at Michael and asks, “What are you talking about?”

Michael looks across the street and says, “Something is like, calling us…something in that building. We both feel it…it’s like a pull.”

“There’re aliens in there. A lot of them. And they have Liz.” Max tells them and watches the matching looks of horror cross their face.

“What?!” Isabel exclaims. “How…how do you know?”

“This morning…I went to talk to Liz and I saw her leaving the coffee shop with me.” He sees their confusion and adds, “Someone…who looks just like me…exactly. He was practically dragging her and she thought it was me.”

“Oh my God.” She looks over at the building and asks, “He took her there?”

“Yah, I went around back. There are a lot of them in there. Ten…fifteen. I didn’t get a good count. But Liz is in there…unconscious.”

“How could there be other aliens and we don’t know about it?” Michael wonders. “Why haven’t they contacted us?”

“I don’t know…but I didn’t get the feeling that they were friendly. Not by the way he was dragging Liz down the street.” Max says. “Why would they want her?”

“Maybe they know what she is to you…and they’re trying to use her as bait to get you.” Michael offers.

“That’s ridiculous. She isn’t anything to him…he hasn’t even talked to her since high school. Why would they do that?” Isabel says, not believing her own words.

Michael looks at her in disbelief. “Well, it worked. So they obviously know what they’re doing. Can you think of any other reason to pick Liz?”

“I don’t understand.” Isabel whispers. “I don’t understand what’s going on at all.”

Max and Michael ignore her and Michael says, “Ten to fifteen, right?”

“Yah. There’s no way we can take that many. You’re powers are marginal at best…and mine…what am I gonna do? Heal them to death?” Max rolls his eyes, his heart dropping at the hopelessness of their situation. He can’t leave her in there anymore…without knowing what they’re doing. “If they did do this to lure me here, then maybe I should give them what they want.”

“Max, you can’t go in there.” Isabel says desperately.

“I can’t just leave her in there. We have no idea what they’re doing to her…she must be so scared.” The last thing Max needs right now is to hear Isabel lecture him.

“Let me go.” Isabel says, looking across the street. She looks back at Max’s confused expression and says, “You and Michael are more powerful. You two think of something to do and I’ll make sure Liz and I are ready.” She sees them thinking about this and says, “I’ll make sure she’s alright, Max. But we need you out here, not inside potentially being held as a prisoner. Maybe if they think you’re not coming, they’ll let her go and just hold me.”

Max thinks about it for a minute, and then says, “Ok. But don’t do anything to get yourself hurt.” She nods at him and he says, “You’ll try to get them to let Liz go?”

“I’ll try, Max.” She looks at both of them and takes a deep breath. “You two better think of something good to get us out of there. I’m counting on you.” Then she turns and walks across the street, up the stairs and inside the building.

~~~~~~~~~~

Liz shifts on the couch feeling the shapeshifter staring at her. He was sitting next to her earlier…touching her as he talked to her. Nothing can describe how disgusted she is when he touches her. She just wishes he wouldn’t look like Max.

She stands up and stretches once she gets a little room to breathe. She feels like she’s suffocating in here. “I just need to stretch.” She says, when she sees the shapeshifter eye her. “I need to go to the bathroom.”

He raises an eyebrow and yells for Tess. “Take her to the bathroom…and don’t leave her alone.”

Great…now she gets an audience while she pees. She lets Tess lead her to the bathroom, which is through the other room and in the back. She tries to get a good look at everyone and her surroundings. The bathroom is toward the back of the large apartment and when they walk inside, Liz asks, “Can you at least…turn around?”

Tess rolls her eyes and turns her back to Liz.

“So…you and Ava…you’re twins?” Liz is curious about the doubles walking around here.

“No. She’s backup.” Tess says simply.

“Backup? Backup for what?” Liz asks.

“A backup wife, queen, mother of the heir.” Liz hears something in her voice that she can’t place…resignation? Defeat?

“So…if she’s the backup, then you’re…” Liz is surprised when Tess turns around and gives her a withering look.

“That would be me. Can you hurry up?”

“And Max is a king.” Liz doesn’t have any idea what he’s king of. “So…you’re…married? To Max?”

Tess rolls her eyes again and says, “Look, I’m not here to give you a history lesson…just to make sure you make potty like a good girl. Now hurry up.”

Liz flinches and looks down at the floor. When Tess turns back around, Liz looks around and sees a window in the shower…it’s not big, but she could fit through it. She studies Tess and wonders if she could take her. She’s small, but she probably has powers that don’t compare to the limited ones Liz has.

Sighing, Liz finishes and gets up to wash her hands. When she’s done, Tess leads her back out to the front room and leaves. Ava’s definitely the more friendly of the two. She looks over at Isabel’s double and shudders internally. She just looks evil. Isabel was never the nicest person in the world, but this one looks like a predator. She avoids looking over at the shapeshifter. She doesn’t want to see Max’s face on…that. Is he Max’s double? Why does it seem like he’s the only one who can change shape?

She looks out the window and prays that someone gets her out of here…soon. She doesn’t think she has a lot of options.

Just then, the front door flies open and Liz looks up…gasping at the sight of Isabel. Everyone in the room jumps to their feet when the door opens and the shapeshifter slowly turns around.

“Well…Isabel! It’s so nice to see you!” He stands up and walks toward her, motioning her to come in.

Liz sees Isabel looking at ‘Max’ in surprise and confusion. Then she looks over at her and they lock eyes for a moment before Isabel says, “Who are you?”

Fake Max motions for Isabel to sit next to Liz. “Have a seat, Isabel. Make yourself comfortable.” He sits back down in his chair and motions for everyone else to back off.

Isabel slowly walks over to Liz and sits next to her. She looks at the shapeshifter, waiting for him to answer her question.

“So…where’s that brother of yours? We’ve been anxiously awaiting his arrival.”

Isabel eyes him cooly and says, “Looks like he’s right in front of me.”

He grins and says, “Don’t play with me, Vilondra. Where’s your brother?”

Isabel flinches when she hears the name Vilondra…Liz wonders what that name means to her. “He’s not coming.”

Liz waits to see the shapeshifter’s reaction as he frowns and looks right at her. “But, he has to. We have the queen. He should have been here long before now.”

Liz sees a look of confusion cross Isabel’s face. She guesses that she doesn’t understand what he’s talking about either. But at her next words, Liz’s heart sinks. “Whatever. He’s not coming. She doesn’t mean anything to him…he doesn’t even really know her. So, it looks like you’re just stuck with me.”

The shapeshifter stands up suddenly and says, “I don’t believe you.”

Isabel shrugs and says, “Last I saw him, he was asleep in bed. Didn’t look he was going anywhere in a hurry.”

“If that’s true, then how are you here?”

“I felt something…a pull to come here. I was curious.” She answers him with a shrug.

Liz watches the shapeshifter start pacing. He calls Nicholas into the room and they huddle together having a discussion that involves several glances in her direction. She glances over at Isabel and sees her watching them intently. Does she know anything that’s going on?

Isabel studies the two talking intently in the corner. Max…or the one who looks like Max…there’s something strange about him. And why did he call her Vilondra. It triggered something inside of her, like she knows that name. But what has her most confused is that she now knows what was pulling her here. Liz. She feels it so strongly sitting here next to her. She has an overwhelming need to protect her and she has no idea what’s causing it. She didn’t feel this when she talked to Liz the other day.

She sees Liz looking at her out of the corner of her eye and she wishes she could tell her it’ll be ok. But she doesn’t want the others to think she cares what happens to Liz one way or the other. Hopefully, they’ll think Max isn’t coming and they’ll let Liz go. What she doesn’t understand is why he called Liz the queen. Queen of what?

She suddenly becomes nervous when they turn around and their gaze falls to her. They both look like children to her. The short one walks over to her and she feels Liz shift away quickly when he does. Glancing over, she sees Liz’s eyes open wide with fear.

Isabel looks to ‘Max’ and says, “What are you doing?”

He doesn’t say anything, just watches as Nicholas puts his hand on her head and she’s knocked back with a sudden blinding pain. Not even a few seconds later, he releases her and turns to ‘Max’. “He’s outside…with the second.”

‘Max’ grins at Isabel and says, “Nice try.” He walks quickly to Liz and pulls her up off the couch by the arm.

“No…where are you taking her?” Isabel stands up, too.

Liz struggles to get free as chaos erupts around them. Isabel rushes to Liz’s side and grabs her other arm. “What are you doing?!” She yells.

“No! Let me go!” Liz struggles in vain and feels Isabel’s hands on her…but they fall away as someone pulls her off. “Let me go!”

The shapeshifter drags her out of the apartment…pulling her down the stairs so hard she can’t even get her feet on the ground. By the time they reach the front door, he’s got her lifted entirely off the ground and struggling as she fights him. He yanks the front door open and whips her around in front of him, holding her securely with one arm around her chest.

“Max!” He yells from the doorway. “Come on, Max. Just come on inside…and I won’t kill her.” He raises his hand to her head as she jerks away from him, fighting against his iron grip.

“Don’t do it, Max!” Liz yells as she struggles. “He won’t kill me!”

“Are you so sure about that?” Fake Max looks down at her and grins. She feels a tingling on her head and suddenly feels her nose start to bleed. He turns back toward the street, his hand still on her head and yells, “One little burst of energy, Max, and this little artery in her brain explodes…killing her instantly.”

Shaking free of Michael’s grip, Max quickly steps out of the shadows and into the street. “No! Don’t!” He yells.

Fake Max removes his hand from Liz’s head but keeps his grip around her. “Let’s go.” He turns around, carrying Liz back up the stairs, knowing Max will follow…if he’s smart.

~TBC~

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Angel
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Post by Angel » Wed Apr 16, 2003 8:26 pm

Part 7

“Fuck!” Michael hits the wall as he watches Max follow Liz and…Max inside. What the hell is going on?! He was stunned to see someone who looks just like Max walk out with Liz. He had to use everything he could to keep Max from running out there. But when he threatened to kill Liz, he couldn’t hold him anymore. He may not know Liz, but he’s not gonna be responsible for getting her killed.

He paces the small alley…what’s he supposed to do now?

~~~~~~~~~~

Alex watches as Maria talks on the phone with her agent. “Pete, I don’t care how much it costs. Do whatever you have to. I want phone numbers and addresses…within the next hour.” She pauses, listening. Then, “Right, all three are originally from Roswell. They left in 1999 and now live in New York City.”

When she hangs up, she turns to Alex. “Well, he’s gonna get an investigator on it and call me back. Hopefully it doesn’t take too long.”

Alex nods and looks out the window into the back alley. By now, they’ve realized that something has to be wrong. It’s been almost two hours and Liz still isn’t back, and she hasn’t called. It was last night…she saw him last night. He’s convinced that Max has kidnapped her or something…who knows what he’s doing to her.

“We’ll find her, Alex.” Maria sits down and grabs Alex’s hand. “I swear.”

~~~~~~~~~~

Walking into the apartment, Max scans the room quickly…seeing Isabel is being held back by…Michael? No, he looks like Michael…but that isn’t Michael. He watches as the other him throws Liz to the side and she falls on the floor.

“Max!” Isabel calls out as she’s released and he hears the door close behind him. She runs to him and hugs him. “I’m so sorry.” She whispers and he wonders why she’s apologizing. Did she tell them he was outside?

Max looks to the side and sees Liz on the floor with wide eyes…frightened eyes. She’s wiping the blood from her nose and he looks at his double and says, “Why don’t you let her go now.”

His double laughs and says, “Now why would we do that, your majesty? He sneers the word majesty and Max wonders what that’s supposed to mean.

“She doesn’t have anything to do with this.” Max says.

“Oh, but you’re wrong. So very wrong. You have a lot to learn about yourself, Max. And now…she has everything to do with this. You’re the one who made sure of that, I’m afraid.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Who are you?” Max sees more people join them. He’s caught off guard when he sees Isabel’s double walk up to Michael’s. He looks back at…himself…and asks, “What do you want?”

“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, Max. Have a seat.” His double pushes him toward the couch. “Tess, go get the king something to drink. All that time across the street spying on us must have made him thirsty.”

Max looks down at the floor, then glances over at Liz. He’s in way over his head. He looks around at all the people crowded around and thinks that there’s no way they’re getting out of there. He leans forward and puts his head in his hands in defeat. What has he gotten Liz into?

“There, there now. Don’t fret, Max.” His double sits across from him and studies him. “We’ve been searching for you for a very long time. Unfortunately, we lost your backup.”

“My backup?” Max looks up at him.

“Yes, your sister here got a little power hungry and pushed him in front of a truck. Quite tragic, really.” He looks over at Isabel’s double and Max realizes he’s talking about her, not Isabel.

Max is confused…what the hell is his backup? He looks over at Liz and she whispers, “Your backup is the other you.”

He looks at her a moment…stunned. How does she know that? He helps her up off the floor and onto the couch next to him.

“Yup, we thought we had you in Roswell…when you healed that human girl. But by the time we got there, you were already gone.”

Max doesn’t look at Liz. Do they know Liz was that girl? Is that why they took her?

“Twenty years we’ve been looking for you. Waiting for you to show yourself…to do something. I just didn’t think it would be something so…unexpected.” He looks over at Liz and quirks up the corner of his mouth. He studies Max and says, “You have no idea what you’ve done, do you?”

When Max doesn’t say anything he sighs and says, “You really don’t know who you are.” At Max’s blank look, he continues, “It’s my fault, I suppose. For not finding you in time.”

“Who are you?” Max asks.

“I’m your protector.” He says simply.

~~~~~~~~~~

“So, Max. Should we invite Michael, too? I’m sure he’s getting uncomfortable skulking in that alley.” Fake Max is standing near the front window looking down on the street.

“How about you just tell me what you want and get this over with?” Max asks instead.

Fake Max turns around and smiles. “To the point. I like that.” He walks toward them and says, “It’s really easy, Max. Now that we’ve found you, we want to go home.”

“Home?” Max looks around, distressed. Home…is he talking about leaving this planet?

“There are a lot of people anxious to see you again.” The shapeshifter grins at him, before turning the grin to Liz.

Glancing at Liz, Max asks, “So what do you need her for?”

Sighing, Fake Max sits down and says, “There’s the problem. We can’t get back home without your heir.”

Max’s eyes go wide with shock and he grimaces. “My…my…but, I don’t…” He stutters with the absurdity of it. He glances at Isabel to see the same look on her face.

Nodding sympathetically and looking toward Liz, Fake Max says, “Yes, unfortunately we realized too late that Liz here isn’t carrying your child.”

Liz is looking at the shapeshifter like he’s a raving lunatic…an expression on her face that’s pretty much been there since she got here.

“But really, anyone would have made the same mistake. I felt the awakening last night…the claiming of your queen…naturally, I assumed you had taken her and created your heir.” He shrugs his shoulders and says, “Imagine my surprise when I find out you hardly know each other. But none the less, she is the claimed queen…so I’m afraid it has to be her.”

Max jumps up from the couch. “You’re crazy! I am not a king. You’ve made some kind of mistake here. I didn’t…claim anything last night. And we’re certainly not going anywhere with you…let alone another planet.” Max shakes his head and glances at Liz before looking back at his double. “You’ve made a mistake…just…let her go.”

To Max’s surprise, his double stands up and walks to the door…opening it and looking at Liz. Max looks at him in confusion, then over to Liz. But there are three people surrounding her, one of them Isabel’s double, keeping Liz from going anywhere. Michael’s double has once again restrained Isabel.

Fake Max laughs a little and says, “Now you see why I have to have this elaborate entourage. Unfortunately, I’m programmed to follow your every command. But what’s great is…they aren’t.” He sweeps his arm over the others in the room. “Now…why don’t you sit down and relax. You’ll need your energy later for more…productive things.” He closes the door and walks back through the room, toward the back where Max hears voices coming from.

As everyone in the room disperses, Max falls back onto the couch running everything through his head. He looks over at Liz, who is staring at her hands in her lap…and her chin is quivering. “Liz. I’m…I’m so sorry.” He whispers as he reaches over to touch her hand.

She flinches away from him and he feels his heart split open as he pulls his hand back. He closes his eyes briefly before saying, “I’ll get you out of here…I swear.”

He feels her tremble slightly and he aches for her…he can feel how scared she is. Turning to Isabel he says, “What happened?”

“They…they read my mind, Max. I’m so sorry. What are we gonna do?” Isabel whispers fiercely.

“They’re going to take us to another planet.” Liz whispers, then half laughs, half sobs as she covers her mouth. How absurd does that sound? What kind of freak show has she landed in? “They want you to…impregnate me…and they’re going to take me to another planet.” She covers her face with her hands, hoping to stem the flow of her tears. She feels slightly hysterical because she’s crying and laughing at the same time. Shaking her head as she wipes the tears from her face she says, “I mean…I really think I’m stuck in some bad scifi movie.”

Max looks at her in concern. She thinks this is funny? Ok, so maybe to someone on the outside looking in might think so…but it’s definitely not an amusing situation.

She looks at them and laughs even harder. “I’m actually in a room full of people who think you’re the king of an alien planet. And they want you to impregnate me with an alien baby. The heir. To the throne. Of your planet.” She looks away, then back at Max. “That’s the plan, right? Am I missing anything?”

Max shakes his head and looks at the floor. “No, I think you got it all.”

Isabel looks at her sympathetically. “We won’t let them hurt you, Liz.”

She glances at Isabel, wishing she could believe her. Liz sobers quickly and takes a deep breath, trying to calm down. They sit in silence for several moments…all three of them staring at the floor. Finally Liz says, “So…how’ve you been Max?” She bits her lip and ponders the lameness of asking him how he is…like they’re at a class reunion or something.

Max nods and says, “Good…good. And you?”

“Yah, um…good. You know…” She shrugs, feeling ridiculous having started this conversation.

They fall into silence once again and Liz wonders what they’re going to make them do? Are they actually going to make them have sex? Do they even have sex like humans? Not that she hasn’t fantasized about having sex with Max hundreds of times already…ok, where did that come from? She’s being held prisoner by aliens and she’s thinking about fantasies of sex with Max. God, she’s hopeless. She casts a side-glance at Max and wonders what he’s thinking about.

God, I’m a freak. And now I’ve involved Liz in the lunacy of my life. Max wonders how in the world things could ever get worse than this. All he ever wanted was a normal life. And he accepted a long time ago that he wouldn’t ever have that. But he always had his dreams. His dreams of Liz and a life spent loving her. Even though he knew with absolute certainty that it could never happen…he could still dream about it freely. He never even imagined that he’d ever see her again. He guesses that this is what people are talking about when they say, ‘be careful what you wish for’.

When Ava sees the shapeshifter walk back to talk to Nicholas and some of the skins, she grabs her bag and says, “I’m outta here.”

He looks up at her, annoyed, and says, “Where do you think you’re going?”

“Out.” Is all she says.

“If you haven’t noticed, we’re in the middle of something here. You can’t leave.”

Ava rolls her eyes and says, “Or what? You not takin’ me with ya?” She scoffs and shoves past him toward the front door.

Nicholas watches her go and says, “You want someone to bring her back?”

“No. Let her leave. We don’t have a use for her anymore, anyway.” He turns back to Nicholas and says,

“Have you contacted Khivar yet?”

Ava takes one last glance at the prisoners on the couch as she walks out the door. As she emerges from the building into daylight, she looks across the street and nods her head to the right. Geez, those people are idiots. Does he really think no one can see him there? She turns to the right and glances back once to see if he’s following her.

After following Ava for two blocks, she turns into a corner park and stops, waiting for Michael to catch up. If she does this now, there’s no going back. But there was no going back, anyway. There’s no place for her…not anymore. Not that there ever really was with Tess around.

~~~~~~~~~~

Maria’s cell phone rings and both she and Alex jump in their seats as she scrambles to answer it. “Pete?”

Alex watches as she grabs for a piece of paper and a pen and says, “Ok…go ahead.” She nods as she writes and when she’s finished, she looks up at Alex hopefully and says, “Thanks Pete. See what else you can find out…this should do for now.”

She turns off her phone and stands up. “Jackpot. I have an address.” She runs back to Liz’s bedroom and stuffs some things in her bag before meeting Alex back out in the living room.

“You ready?” She asks him.

“As I’ll ever be.” He tells her and grabs his phone and keys, tossing Liz’s phone to Maria to put in her bag.

Maria already has a car waiting for them outside and they quickly drive to the address she has. They stop in front of an old warehouse that’s been converted to lofts and they look up. “This is it?” Alex asks.

“Yup. This is the address.” Maria gets out of the car, telling the driver to wait there for them.

When they reach the door, Alex looks over and sees a control pad. “Now what?”

Maria smiles and waves her piece of paper in front of her, then turns and punches in a series of number into the pad and they hear the door click open.

Alex smiles at Maria as he opens the door. “I’m impressed.”

“Yes, well…I have connections, dahling.” She winks at him as she walks into a large lobby. About ten mailboxes are to her left, and elevator directly in front of her and a door to the right that says ‘Maintenance’.

“Wow…nice.” Alex says as he looks around at the marble floors and steel accents. There’s a large floral display on a table in the center of the lobby, which has dark wood paneled walls and…he looks up…yup, an antique tin ceiling.

“Alright, we’re going to the third floor. Stop gawking and come on.” Maria steps over to the antique elevator and presses the up button.

She pulls the gate open and they both step in…Maria pushing the 3 button. “Michael’s done pretty well for himself.” Maria muses as the elevator swiftly moves up.

They soon find themselves standing in front of a door with the number 5 on it. After knocking on it several times, Alex asks, “I don’t suppose your connections told you he leaves a key under the mat?”

Maria digs through her purse as she bends down to look through the crack in the door. She stands up straight and pulls out a credit card. “This is the only key we need.” She jimmies it through the door crack and down toward the catch. Alex watches as she moves close to the door and she looks up at the ceiling with a look of concentration.

Finally, the door snaps open and Maria triumphantly smiles and walks in. “He really needs to think about getting better locks.”

Alex rolls his eyes as he follows her in…warily looking around for anyone who might be home. But when they get inside, he looks around…amazed. This place is huge! “Ok…I have serious apartment envy going on here.” He looks around the spacious living room…the open kitchen…the stairs leading to a loft area.

“Stop drooling and help me look.” Maria says, heading to the kitchen.

“What exactly are we looking for?”

“I don’t know. Phone numbers…notes…anything that might tell us about Liz and why he was following her.” Maria pulls out the trashcan from under the sink.

“Look at this.” Alex says, standing in front of the stainless steel fridge.

Maria joins him and sees that a piece of paper is stuck on the front with two magnets.

I work: 212-555-4694
I cell: 212-555-9008
Ma work: 212-555-3312
Ma cell: 212-555-7742
Mi cell: 212-555-0615


Maria looks at it quizzically for a second then turns around, scanning the kitchen. “They all live here. Max, Michael and Isabel.” She crosses to the table and sees an In Style magazine, picking it up to show Alex. “Isabel.” She says, putting it back down.

They quickly make their way around the large apartment and find three bedrooms, confirming that Maria’s right.

“I’ll take this room…you take that one.” Alex says, walking into one. A guy obviously lives in here…there isn’t anything feminine in the decorations. There’s a desk on one wall with a laptop sitting on it. He moves to the dresser and sees a picture of Mr. and Mrs. Evans. This must be Max’s room. He glances at the neatly made bed and goes to the desk. Opening the drawers, he doesn’t find anything spectacular…pens, scissors, a calculator…bills.

He walks over and sits on the bed, opening the nightstand drawer. He gasps when he sees a picture of Liz looking up at him…a picture of her from high school. He picks it up and a piece of paper falls to the floor. He bends over and grabs it and sees that it has their address on it, as well as the address of her lab. Interesting. Just how long have they been following Liz around?

Maria quickly learns that the room she’s in must belong to Michael. It’s a mess. There are books everywhere…as well as blank canvases and paints. She walks to the closet and opens it. “Ugh!” She exclaims when she sees the mess inside. Stepping back from the closet, she carefully maneuvers around the clothes littering the floor over to his desk. She sees several sketches littering the top as well as pencils and a couple of dirty plates. “God, this guy’s a pig.” She goes over to his nightstand and, like Alex, opens the top drawer and gasps. Inside, there’s a CD player and headphones…along with her latest CD case. She picks up the CD player and opens it up to find her CD inside. “Interesting.” She mutters and closes the drawer.

She walks out…meeting Alex in the hallway. “Find anything?”

“A picture of Liz…and our address.” He holds them up for Maria to see. “You find anything?”

She shifts her gaze and says quickly, “Nope, lets move on.” as she walks away into what they assume is Isabel’s room.

Alex looks at her funny and follows. They look through Isabel’s room in a short amount of time…not finding anything other than personal items. Walking back out to the kitchen, Maria takes out her phone and says, “Well, I guess we start with these. It’s Sunday, so I’ll safely assume Isabel isn’t at work. Let’s try her cell phone.” She dials the number and waits.

Isabel jumps when she hears her phone ring and she looks around in a panic. Fake Michael looks at her and says, “Who is it?”

She pulls the phone from her pocket and looks at the caller ID. “I…I don’t know. I don’t recognize the number.”

He nods at her to go ahead and answer it, but he takes a step forward so that he’s standing right next to her. She looks over at Max as she answers the call and hesitantly says, “Hello?”

“Is this Isabel?” She hears on the other end and doesn’t recognize the voice.

“Yes. Who is this?”

“This is Maria Deluca. We’re looking for Liz. I know your brother dragged her out of Starbuck’s this morning…I wanna know what’s going on. And I wanna know where Liz is right now.”

Isabel’s eyes widen and she says, “Maria? How…how did you get this number?”

Liz puts her hand to her mouth in shock as Max looks over at her.

“Never mind how I got your number. Where is Liz?”

“Liz…I…I don’t know…” Isabel doesn’t get a chance to say anything before the phone is ripped from her hand. She looks up to see Max’s double turn the phone off and throw it on a table.

“Who was that?” He asks her.

“No one. Just…a friend.” Isabel says.

“A friend asking about Liz? I thought you haven’t talked to Liz since high school.” He raises his eyebrows at her. He looks past her into the other room and nods at someone Isabel can’t see and he says, “Never mind, it’s not important.” He gets up to leave the room and stops to tell Michael’s double to check the other two for phones.

When he stands in front of Max and motions for him to stand up, Max asks, “What’s your name?”

“Rath.” He says as he pats down Max’s pockets and finds his phone. He pulls it out and tosses it on the table next to Isabel’s.

Rath moves to Liz and tells her to stand up, but she says, “I…I don’t have one.”

He shrugs and says, “Still gotta check.”

Liz stands up and he smirks at her as he bends down and starts with her legs…running his hands all the way up each one. She squirms as his hands cover her around the waist and he raises them to her chest…fondling her.

Max bolts up off the couch, practically exploding with anger at watching him touch Liz. “Get your hands off of her!” He moves to grab Rath and feels a blast of energy push him back down.

Rath grins at him and turns back to Liz. “Now where were we?”

Liz can’t see through the haze of disgust as she twists to get out of his grip and she cries out when she feels his hand on her butt. She can hear Max struggling beside her and out of the corner of her eye, she sees Isabel stand up and say something. But she can’t hear…she only hears the roar of her heart beating in her chest as she draws her knee up sharply into his groin and rams her elbow into his face. As he bends forward from the pain of the groin kick, she throws her hand out at him and watches in shock as he slams across the room and into the wall.

Silence descends as she looks from Rath’s crumpled form down to her hands, which are covered in that electricity again. She takes a few deep breaths to calm down and the electricity slowly recedes and she looks around the room. Shocked faces stare back at her and she realizes what she’s done. She looks back over at an unmoving Rath and says, “I…I didn’t mean…” and she bites her lip in fear that they’ll do something to her now.

She looks at the shapeshifter standing in the doorway and says, “I didn’t mean to. I…” She shakes her head, not able to figure out the look on his face.

He walks in and over to Rath, looking down at him for a moment before looking up at Liz. “Well, you killed him.” He motions for two skins to come over and take care of the body and looks back at Liz. “That was quite an impressive display of powers, Liz. I’m curious. Maybe you can explain how you got these powers if you’re human and haven’t mated with the king here.” He glances at Max, then turns his gaze back to Liz.

She looks down at Max and then to the floor. “I um…I…”

Realization dawns on him then and he looks slowly over at Max. “You healed her. This is the girl from Roswell.” He grins and says, “Ah…it makes sense now. Running away from Roswell…seeing each other last night…the awakening.” He looks between the two of them…in sudden understanding…and sneers at Max. “You’re in love with her.”

Max glares at him and sees Liz turn to look at him out of the corner of his eye. He clenches his teeth and refuses to answer him.

“Yes, yes…I see now. How very tragic!” He laughs briefly…unconvincingly and gets up, walking into the next room.

Isabel watches them carry Rath out of the room and she wonders what they’ll do to him now. Then she looks over at a devastated Max and she lays her hand on his arm as he leans his elbows on his knees and covers his face.

Liz watches the shapeshifter leave the room and she thinks, ‘We’re never getting out of here.’ before looking down at Max. She realizes that she’s still standing and she sits down beside him, not sure what to say. She looks over at Isabel and Isabel asks her, “Are you ok?”

Liz nods her head and says, “I…I think so.” Looking at Max, then Isabel again she doesn’t think any of them will be ok.

~TBC~

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Post by Angel » Mon Apr 28, 2003 9:54 pm

Part 8

Maria makes her way down the list of phone numbers after Isabel hangs up on her. Finally, only the last one is left…she assumes the abbreviation means that it’s Michael’s cell phone. Funny how he doesn’t have a work number. She dials it, Alex watching with little hope left.

“Hello?” A male voice says.

“Hello! Is this Michael?” She asks quickly.

“Who’s this?”

She rolls her eyes and says, “I’ll take that as a yes. This is Maria Deluca.”

“Maria?” He asks, clearly confused as to why she would be calling him. “How did you…”

“God! Never mind how I got your number! Where’s Liz?” She demands.

He hesitates a moment, then says, “How should I know? Why are you calling me?”

“Michael…we know that Max dragged Liz out of Starbuck’s this morning. Now either tell me where Liz is, or tell me where Max is.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He says stiffly.

“Oh, I think you do.” She laughs sarcastically. “You know what else I think? I think you need to seriously rethink the decorating scheme in your bedroom. I think that you have way too much Tabasco sauce in your cupboard. And I’ll tell you something else…I know a little secret about you…a little secret that you keep hidden in the top drawer of your nightstand.”

She hears the phone fumble around before he regains control of it and she smiles knowingly. “Jesus Christ…you’re in my apartment?!” He yells this so loud that Alex can hear.

“Yup. And who knows what else I’ll uncover the longer I’m here.” She threatens.

“Who do you think you are? You broke into my apartment?” He pauses and Maria hears his muffled voice talking to someone else. “I’ll be right there.” And he hangs up.

Maria looks at Alex and grins. “We’ll get some answers now.” She says triumphantly and throws her phone down on the table.

~~~~~~~~~~

Ava follows Michael…struggling to keep up with him. When he ended his call, she thought he was going to explode he was so angry. From what she could tell, someone had broken into his apartment and was calling him about Liz. They really couldn’t afford to be wasting time. “We don’t have time for this.” She says.

“We don’t have a choice right now. We’ll take care of what we need to when we get to my place, and I’ll get rid of them.” Michael tells her.

Ava pulls out her phone and dials it, entering a message for a page before turning it back off and tucking it back into her pocket. “I need to stop at a pay phone up here.” She tells him and crosses the street, Michael following closely.

He waits as she makes a call and says, “I need you. We have trouble.”

Michael watches as she grimaces slightly and he can vaguely hear the voice on the other end.

“What’s your address?” She asks Michael and repeats into the phone what he tells her. She nods a few times and glances at her watch. She hangs up shortly after and says, “Ok, let’s go.”

“Who was that?” He asks her.

“Someone who might help.” Is all she says.

~~~~~~~~~~

No one has said anything for quite a while, each of them caught up in their own thoughts. Restless from sitting for so long, Liz gets up and paces around the room as Max and Isabel watch her. She pauses by the fireplace and turns to look at them. “So, you don’t know anything? About where you come from…or who these people are?” She’s been thinking back to their confusion at everything the shapeshifter has said. It seems to her that they’re just as in the dark as she is.

Max looks away for a second, then back. “No…we thought we were the only ones.”

“We’ve never seen or heard from anyone who was like us or who could tell us who we are.” Isabel says quickly, earning a curious glance from Max. “Of course, we’ve been pretty good about hiding since we left Roswell.”

“I’m sorry…that you’ve had to live like that…because of me.” Liz says quietly.

Isabel looks at her a moment before saying, “It’s not your fault.”

Liz looks between Max and Isabel and senses something deeper going on here. Do Isabel and Michael blame Max for healing her? Does Max regret what he did? She sees the tension between the two and reading their body language tells her all she needs to know.

“You’re still angry…that he healed me. That he exposed you.” Liz says to Isabel. It’s not really a question; she’s just confirming her own thoughts out loud.

Isabel raises an eyebrow and looks away uncomfortably.

“I guess I can understand…but it’s an awfully long time to hold something against someone, don’t you think?” Liz says.

“Liz, you don’t…” Max starts to say something but Isabel interrupts.

“He made a decision based on his own wants and needs…and it changed all three of our lives completely. You can’t understand.” Isabel whispers harshly. How dare Liz judge her? She has no idea. She has no idea what she’s done…what she’s sacrificed to keep them safe.

Liz rolls her eyes and looks away. “Right. I couldn’t possibly understand what it’s like to live in secrecy…constantly worried about being discovered for what you really are.” She looks back at her and says, “I guess you have the market cornered on that, don’t you.”

Isabel isn’t used to being challenged and she looks at Max angrily, wanting him to back her up. But he just gives her a side-glance as he continues to look at the floor.

“I’m sorry…this isn’t the time to argue.” Liz sighs and walks back toward the couch. She sits down and whispers, “Can you think of any way to get out of here? Is Michael working on a plan?”

Max glances at Liz’s hopeful expression and shakes his head. “There’s no way we can take this many. Our powers aren’t…very useful in a situation like this.”

“Well, between the three of us, we could blast a few of them…make a run for it.” Liz looks at both of them…nodding encouragement. But Isabel just looks at her with a frown as Max looks back down to the floor.

Shaking her head, Isabel whispers, “We can’t do that…whatever it is you did. We don’t blast people…I wouldn’t even know how.”

Liz straightens, taken aback. “What? Of course you can. You can do lots of things…right? Like…like, things with your mind….or with your hands…” She laughs nervously as she looks from one to the other, not believing that neither one of them has any powers that can help get them out of here.

Max looks up into her face and frowns at the expectation there. “Liz…we can only change things…their molecular structure. I can heal…Isabel can visit people’s dreams. That’s it. Michael doesn’t even have a grasp on the molecular structure thing.”

“How come I can do…what I do, then? How is that possible if you can’t?” Liz asks, looking down at her hands. “Have you ever even tried? Have you worked on developing your powers at all?”

“No…we kind of think keeping a low profile is necessary for our survival.” Isabel says sarcastically. “We can’t just go around practicing our powers…there’s never been a reason to.”

Liz looks toward the doorway, into the next room and says, “I’d call this a pretty good reason.”

The shapeshifter walks back into the room and hears their whispering stop. They’re probably trying figure out how to escape. Like they have a chance. He grins as he claps his hands together, getting their attention. “We’ll be leaving in a few minutes. Should we have someone go bring Michael in so he doesn’t have to tire himself out standing outside anymore?” He walks toward the front window and frowns when he doesn’t see Michael there anymore.

“Looks like he left you here to fend for yourselves.” He turns around and gives a mock sad look to Max and Isabel. “He always did have his own agenda…even on our world.”

“Where are you taking us?” Max asks.

“Back to Roswell, of course. That is where the ride home is.” He smiles at Max and continues, “I’ll make sure you and Liz, here, have some private time on the way. We’re going to need a little royal bun in the oven before liftoff.” He winks and walks back into the other room barking orders to the others.

They watch him leave the room, then they turn to look at each other…eyes wide…none of them having any idea how to get out of this.

Liz really starts to panic and says, “I…I have to get out of here. I can’t be here. This is not happening.” She runs her hands through her hair and squeezes her scalp, hoping to relieve the throbbing in her head. This has to be a nightmare…she’s just sleeping and this whole thing will go away if she just wakes up.

Max looks worriedly at Liz as she closes her eyes. “Max, we have to get her out of here.” Isabel whispers next to him. He continues to watch Liz uneasily, wanting to touch her…to hold her and tell her it’ll be all right. He feels the couch shift as Isabel stands up and kneels in front of Liz, reaching out to grab her hands. But Liz flinches away and her eyes fly open. When she sees that it’s Isabel, she softens and tears come to her eyes. “Why? Why is this happening?”

Isabel gives her a sympathetic look and glances at Max quickly before looking back at Liz and saying, “I don’t know, Liz. But we’ll think of something…right Max?” Isabel looks at Max and motions for him to agree with her. Be he can only nod as he sees Liz’s tearful gaze on him.

~~~~~~~~~~

The first thing Michael sees when they get to his apartment is the open door. He pushes it open and sees Maria and Alex sitting at the kitchen table, staring at him as he walks in. “Please tell my why you think you have the right to break into my apartment and then call and threaten me.” He stalks across the room and into the kitchen, seeing fear briefly pass over Maria’s face before she stands up to face him.

“What gives you the right to kidnap Liz?!” She shoots back at him.

“I didn’t kidnap Liz.” He snaps back irritably.

“Ok, so Max kidnapped Liz. Whatever…where is she and what is he doing to her?” She’s got her hands on her hips and he’s suddenly mesmerized by the angry look on her face. “You better tell me right now.”

“Who’s that?” Alex asks, eyeing Ava.

Michael mentally shakes his head as Ava steps forward. “I’m Ava. You guys are friends of Liz’s?”

“Wait, you know Liz?” Maria suddenly looks at Ava.

“Kinda. Just met her today.” Ava answers, looking at Michael…wondering how much these two know.

“Look, you guys need to just go home. We have things to take care of and since you’re trespassing and all…” Michael says, dismissing them as he walks away.

“We’re not going anywhere.” Alex shouts as Michael walks away. “And if you don’t tell us where Liz is right now, I’m calling the police.”

Michael turns and glares at Alex. “Don’t threaten me.”

“Or what?” Alex challenges.

Ava steps between them and says, “We don’t have time for this.” She looks at Michael, then at Alex. “I know you don’t trust us, but you have to believe we’re doing everything we can to help them right now.”

“Them? Who’s them? Did Max kidnap more people?” Maria is confused…why can’t they just tell her what’s going on?

“Max didn’t kidnap anyone.” Michael says. “You have no idea what’s going on here. And it would be better for everyone if you didn’t know…especially you. And that’s not a threat…it’s just the way it is.”

Suddenly, the phone rings and everyone just looks at it for a moment before Michael walks quickly across the room to answer it. “Hello.”

He looks at Ava and hands the phone toward her. “It’s for you.”

She takes the phone from him and listens to the person on the other end for a minute. Finally, she says, “I understand. We’ll see you there.” She hangs up and turns to Michael. “Change of plans. We have to go.”

“Where are we going?” He asks.

“To pick someone up, then we’re going to Roswell.” She says, pulling out her cell phone and dialing.

“Roswell? Why would you go there?” Maria asks. “Does this have something to do with Liz?”

“You ask too many questions.” He says, annoyed. “You need to just leave.”

Alex shakes his head and says, “We’re not going anywhere that you’re not. Not until we find out what’s going on with Liz.”

Michael sighs and runs a hand through his hair. “Look, you’re right…Liz is in trouble. But you can’t help her. Do you hear me? You can’t help.”

Maria and Michael stand facing each other…challenging. She stares him down, knowing that she isn’t about to budge from the spot she’s standing on. Who does this guy think he is? Liz is in trouble…he knows where she’s at and he expects her and Alex to just go away like nothing is wrong?

He stares back, wondering why she’s so damn stubborn. Whatever she thinks she knows about him, he’s not about to confirm it for her. He sees the blood rush up under her skin up her neck in anger and he feels a flush of desire overcome him.

The tension is thick in the air as Alex looks between Maria and Michael…sees that neither one of them is gonna budge. He steps forward and says, “Can you two just stop? Michael, we’re staying…period. And Maria, back off and let’s give him a chance to fill us in on what’s going on.”

“We don’t have time to fill you in. Just come with us and we’ll tell you on the way.” Ava says as she turns her phone off.

“You can’t be serious.” Michael looks at her incredulously.

“You heard the man. They’re not gonna back off…so we take them with us. Whatever…but we have to go now.”

Michael looks at the smug look on Maria’s face and rolls his eyes. “Fine, let’s go.”

“I have a car waiting outside. And if we’re going to Roswell, I can have a plane waiting for us at the airport.” Maria offers as she picks up her purse.

Ava looks at her, shocked. As she studies her, she says in awe, “Hey…you’re that singer!” When Maria nods, Ava says, “Cool.”

“Yah, cool. Nice way to stay unnoticed…have a celebrity tag along.” Michael rolls his eyes again and turns toward the door.

They all make their way outside and into the waiting car and Ava gives the driver an address to go to. Once they start moving, Maria asks, “So where are we going now?”

“To pick someone up…someone who will help.” Ava says.

“Who? Are you sure we can trust them?” Michael asks.

“Yah. The others…they think he’s dead.” She says, looking out the side window. “You better fill them in on the situation.” She nods toward Maria and Alex.

Michael looks over at their expectant expressions and takes a deep breath. “I don’t know where to start.”

“How about with Liz and Max and what happened that day in the Crashdown and why you guys all took off after that.” Maria offers him a starting point. She already suspects what he’s going to tell them, but she’s anxious to hear it directly from him.

“Right. Liz was shot, Max healed her, the feds were onto us and we had to split.” Michael says quickly. He looks up at them and furrows his brow at their lack of reaction. “Did you hear me?”

“Yah. We already knew that…please elaborate.” Alex says.

Michael looks forward to make sure the partition is up between them and the driver and says, “We’re aliens.”

Alex’s mouth drops open slightly and he says, “When you say ‘we’, you mean…”

“Me, Max and Isabel.” Michael confirms.

“Right…aliens…who heal?” Alex knew something was strange about them, but aliens?

Michael notices Maria doesn’t look surprised and turns to Alex. “No, Max is the only one who heals.”

“So, I assume you’re like them?” Maria asks Ava.

Ava nods and says, “We were in the crash…in 1947. Eight of us and four protectors. Two of the protectors died in the crash and they split us up leaving some in Roswell and moving us to New York.”

Michael looks at her, wanting to hear more. “We always just thought it was the three of us. We never knew there were others.”

“Yah, that wasn’t expected. Your shifter lost track of you guys…when he went back at the time the pods were scheduled to hatch, Tess was the only one there. They’ve been searching for you ever since.”

“Wait…pods?!” Maria exclaims.

Michael ignores Maria and asks, “Why were we in pods?”

“God, you really don’t know anything, do you?” Ava says to him. “You were engineered. Alien DNA mixed with human DNA. We were sent here because we were killed on our planet. They made two sets and separated us…in case something happened to one set, the other was available for back up.”

“Holy crap…you’re serious!” Alex finally lets what she’s saying sink in.

“Max, Isabel and I were found in the desert…wandering around. We were six years old.” Michael says this aloud, trying to remember being on a ship that crashed.

“That’s when the pods were scheduled to hatch…when our bodies reached the equivalent of six year old humans.”

“But why…why were we sent here?” Michael asks the question he’s wanted answered for as long as he can remember.

“We’re the royal four. Zan…Max…he was the king of our planet. He was overthrown and killed, along with his sister, Vilondra. She had an affair with the enemy and betrayed her brother…and you. You were Vilondra’s intended husband and the king’s second in command. I was Zan’s wife…the queen. I was told that we were sent back here in the hopes that someday we could return and defeat Khivar and retake the throne.” Ava looks out the window again. “It’s complicated…and there’s a lot of other stuff going on. Other agendas…enemies. We’ll talk about it more when we’re all together in Roswell.”

Michael sits back in his seat, expelling the breath he was holding. Now that wasn’t what he was expecting to hear. Max was a king? It explains his never-ending moral superiority. And he can actually believe that Isabel was a princess. “I don’t understand. Why do you know all this and we don’t?”

“Like I said…it’s complicated. It’ll come to you eventually…and it’ll make more sense when you meet your protector.”

“Is that who we’re picking up?” Michael asks, still processing what Ava’s said.

“No. We’re picking up Zan.” She says.

Maria holds up her hand and says, “Ok, wait. So there are two of him?” She points at Michael in disbelief.

“Maria…let’s focus here.” Alex grabs her hand and forces it down.

Glaring at Maria, Michael turns to Ava. “So the guy who threatened Liz earlier that looked like Max…who was he?” He sees Maria about to say something and says, “Just shut up for a minute so I can figure out what’s going on here, would you?”

Maria narrows her eyes at him and sits back, pouting.

“That was our protector. They’re shapeshifters. He made himself look like Max to get to Liz.” Ava explains.

Michael sits back and thinks about everything. Shapeshifters…two sets of aliens in pods…it’s all too much to contemplate. And Liz. What does she have to do with any of this?

“So what does this have to do with Liz?” Maria asks as Michael looks at her in surprise.

Ava raises her eyebrows and says, “Turns out the king…that would be Max…claimed his queen last night. Liz. Now only she can provide the heir they need to get back to our planet.”

Three sets of jaws drop at the same time and Ava looks back out the window as the car maneuvers its way through the busy streets of New York City.

~TBC~

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Post by Angel » Fri Jun 06, 2003 12:10 pm

Part 9

Flying…she hates it. The few times she’s been on a plane, she’s always been miserable because she can’t make her ears adjust to the pressure. Liz grimaces, the familiar pain taking over as the plane rises into the sky.

Max watches her, knowing she’s in some kind of pain. He’s sitting in the seat across from her in the private jet they’re all now riding on and once the plane levels off, he sees Liz bring her hands up to her ears. A familiar glow emanates from them and after a few seconds she brings them down as a look of relief comes over her face.

Liz sees Max watching her with curiosity and she says, “My ears…they don’t pop.”

He swallows and nods, wishing he could really talk to her. Wishing they were together under different circumstances. Closing his eyes briefly, he runs through everything he learned today…trying to figure a way out of this. Or at least a way to get Liz out of this. There has to be a way to use the fact that his so called protector has to do whatever he says. But with so many people hanging around making sure that that doesn’t happen, he doesn’t know how to use it to their advantage. He’s careful not to ever be alone with Max.

When he opens his eyes, he sees Liz watching him but she quickly looks away. He keeps his gaze on her as she glances back at him twice before looking away when she sees him still looking at her.

He’s startled when he sees a bright light coming from behind him. He twists around in his seat to see what’s happening and doesn’t entirely believe what he sees. The other him is glowing and…changing. When the cabin darkens again, he’s someone else…a middle aged man. What the hell? How did he do that? He turns to Isabel and sees the same look of shock on her face before turning back around to Liz. But she doesn’t look surprised. She just raises her eyebrows and looks out the window.

Max guesses that he must have done that before he came into the picture earlier. He turns to Isabel, who is sitting across the aisle from him, and asks, “Have you seen him do that before?” Isabel shakes her head, glancing back. He’s wondering if they can all do that and just don’t know it. Liz mentioned something earlier about why they haven’t been working on their powers. Who knows what all they’re capable of and don’t know it.

Liz glances at Max and sees him trying to piece together the events of the last several hours. She realizes that she probably knows more about what’s going on than he does but she doesn’t really feel like explaining it all. How could they make it all these years not knowing anything about themselves? Were they so scared of being captured that they kept themselves hidden too deeply for other people like them to find them?

This must be a total shock. Thinking you’re the only ones who are different on an entire planet and finding out you’re not. He must have so many questions for them. She does. And she’s human…well, mostly human anyway.

She looks out the window again…knowing that as each minute ticks by they’re getting closer to Roswell. The way ‘home’ is in Roswell. She wonders if it’s a ship…or some other means of transportation. She’s also wondering about Isabel. She’s hiding something…even from Max. Liz wonders what it is and how it applies to their situation now.

Her thoughts are interrupted when she sees the shapeshifter stand up and walk back toward them. At least he doesn’t look like Max anymore. He stops next to Max and says, “You two…get up. Come with me.”

Liz looks uneasily at Max as she unbuckles her seatbelt and stands up. Max goes first, Liz following as they’re led toward the back of the plane. A door is opened and they walk into an empty room as the shapeshifter turns to face them. “It’s not much, but I didn’t think you’d want an audience.” He motions with his hand out the door where Liz can see Isabel looking at her with worry, as well as everyone else sitting behind her looking back…some with grins on their faces.

“You don’t expect us to…” Max starts but the shapeshifter interrupts him.

“You will do what’s necessary.” He looks between the two of them and notices Liz glancing out the open door. He motions for one of the others to join him before he closes the door and turns back to them. “Really, what’s so terrible? There has to be an attraction here…and from what I hear it’s a very enjoyable experience.”

“Get out.” Max says to them evenly.

He bows his head slightly and backs toward the door, opening it again. “Come on.” He nods to the other person…a young male who looks at Max menacingly. But before he leaves, he says, “Oh, and just in case you’re thinking of not doing as you’re asked…I’ll know. And if you don’t provide the heir that we need, I’ll arrange for Isabel to die.” He looks out the door at Isabel and grins at her while saying. “We don’t really need her…we have Vilondra.” Turning to look at Max, he still has a smile on his face and he backs out the door. “Have fun kids!” He leaves and shuts the door, leaving Max and Liz alone.

Max stares at the closed door for a moment before he turns around to see Liz plastered to the back wall with her arms crossed over her chest. Sighing, he backs up to the wall next to the door and slowly slides down it, resting his head in his hands. There are so many thoughts running through his head right now, it’s making it hurt.

There’s no way he can just have sex with Liz. Not here, not on this plane. He can’t. He thinks about Isabel and tries to formulate some kind of plan. He could order the protector not to kill Isabel, but he’s got an army out there to do it for him. Maybe he could tell him to lie and tell the others that there is an heir…that might buy them some time until the plane lands and he can figure out a way to get Liz away. Will that work? He has to do what Max tells him, right? But he’d have to get him alone, and it doesn’t seem like he’ll ever allow that to happen.

He looks up when he senses Liz moving. She’s sitting on the floor now, watching him. When he looks up she says, “So um…what’s going to happen?” He watches as she bites at her bottom lip and fidgets with the hem of her shirt.

~~~~~~~~~~

Maria’s getting impatient. They’ve been sitting in the car for over a half hour and there’s still no sign of Ava or this Zan guy. “Maybe we should just go without her.”

Michael looks at her annoyed. “No…she’s the only one who can help. She’s the one who knows people.”

“People…that’s an interesting way for you to put it. Because that would imply human.” Maria’s always guessed there was something different about the three of them, and being aliens may have crossed her mind once or twice. But to hear it from the proverbial horse’s mouth…it has her a tad bit freaked.

Michael only rolls his eyes at her and Alex jabs her in the side with his elbow. “Maria…don’t provoke him.”

‘This day couldn’t get any worse.’ Michael thinks as he sits across from the last two people on earth that he wants to be sitting across from. Alex is looking at him like he might melt him with his laser beam eyes and Maria…she’s just grating on every one of his nerves. And where the hell is Ava? They need to do something…now. The only two people he cares about are being held by other aliens against their will, and he’s stuck in a car with these…humans.

“Holy shit.” Alex mutters when he looks out the window and sees Ava emerge from the building they’re parked in front of with what he assumes is this Zan guy. And he looks exactly like Max.

The door opens and Ava climbs in, followed by Zan. As they sit down, Zan eyes Michael critically, then the other two. “Everyone, this is Zan. Zan, this is Michael, Maria and Alex.” Ava gives introductions.

“Hey.” Is all he says.

Michael studies Zan, seeing how much he looks like Max…but not. He looks slightly different…older…more mature. Like he’s lived a harder life.

Maria and Alex stare at Zan, their mouths open in surprise, and Zan finally says, “Right…so don’t all go talkin’ at once.”

Alex clears his throat and finds his voice. “Sorry…it’s just…you look just like…someone we know.”

Zan smirks and says, “Yah, so I hear.” He looks over at Ava and asks, “So what’s goin’ down?”

Ava fills him in briefly as they make their way toward the airport. As he listens, he studies the group in the car, just as they’re studying him. He was uneasy when he saw Michael, but had to keep reminding himself that he’s not Rath. The other two…humans. That interests him and he’s waiting to hear how they fit into this. When Ava called him, all she said was that she needed help. He owes her…big. She’s not like the others. And he’ll do whatever it is that she wants him to do. As the story unfolds, he realizes that he’s not surprised. That shifter was always after him to have a kid…always telling him, “It’s your purpose.” Or some shit like that.

“Where we goin’?” Zan asks after he gets the gist of what Ava’s told him.

“Roswell.” Ava says simply. “That’s where he’s taking them.”

Zan nods and looks at Michael once more. He looks like Rath and it disconcerts him…he doesn’t trust him…but Ava seems to for the time being.

“So, do you guys have alien powers?” Alex asks. “Do these other aliens have them?”

“Sure.” Ava answers. “We both do.” She gestures toward Zan, then says, “The skins do too…Nicholas is strong. And the shifter. He’s really powerful. But there’s a catch. Because he’s our protector, he’s genetically encoded to do whatever the king tells him to do.”

Michael perks up at this and says, “Then why doesn’t Max just tell him to let them go?”

“That’s why the shifter has the skin entourage. If Max figures it out, the others can keep them in line. He would never allow himself to be alone with Max because of it.” Ava explains.

“So what can you do exactly?” Alex asks, wanting to know exactly what they’re dealing with.

Ava looks at him and says, “I can mindwarp…make people see things that aren’t there. I can make them think they’re seeing something happening that’s not really happening. I can also send out energy bursts…like a blast for defense. And we can all change simple molecular structure.” She looks at Zan and nods at him to tell them.

“I uh…I can heal. I can blast, too…and put up a shield for deflection.” He tells them. “You guys work on your powers?” He asks Michael.

Michael shakes his head and says, “No…not really. Max can heal, Isabel can go into people’s dreams…that’s about it. My powers aren’t that…um…under control. Never have been.”

“Rath had a hard time at first, too. I think we all have the same powers as our doubles, so you’re capable of sending pretty powerful blasts. But we don’t have time to work on it now.” Ava tells him, thinking that it’s not good that Michael won’t really be able to help.

“Doesn’t sound like we have a lot going for us.” Maria muses, somewhat to herself.

“We have the element of surprise. The others all think Zan is dead. And we have someone else they don’t know about, too. That’s who’s meeting us in Roswell.” Ava mentally does the math and knows it’ll be a hard fight and doubts they have a good chance against their numbers. But it’s time she did something. She’s let them…and the shifter…control her for her entire life. And she’s done with it. If she’s ever going to be free of them, she needs to do something about it.

Zan looks at her quickly. “You called him?”

She nods and lifts her chin. “We don’t have a choice…we need him.”

Zan looks doubtful as Michael asks, “Who is he?”

“Our other protector. He lives in L.A. and told us to never contact him. He pretty much hates us.” Zan tells him as he looks at Ava. They’ll be lucky if he doesn’t kill them.

~~~~~~~~~~

Isabel stares at the closed door in front of her and wonders what’s going on in there. Not that she doesn’t know what the shapeshifter wants to be going on in there. But she doesn’t believe Max would do what he wants. They’re in serious trouble.

How did things get this bad? At what point did they make the wrong decisions? She’s been so careful over the years…weighing each decision they made as a group carefully. Things weren’t supposed to turn out like this. He said it would be ok if she did what he wanted. He promised…but he was wrong.

I came here from the future. I need you to do something.

Terrible things are about to happen…events that have started that need to be stopped.


Sighing, Isabel opens her eyes. She did what he wanted. And now things are bad…really bad. What if she made the wrong choice? What wrong decision did they make that lead them here? Liz Parker…it all comes down to her in the end. Obviously in any timeline, she’s always the cause for their troubles.

Maybe she should have told Max and Michael about her visitor from the future all those years ago. Would that have changed anything? Probably not. But maybe it would have kept Max away from Liz. She’s teetering between hatred for the girl and pity for what she’s been dragged into. It’s not like Liz asked for any of this. Max made that decision for her all those years ago when he decided to heal her.

She fidgets with the buckle over her lap and looks out the window. The sun is shining brightly through and she can see the clouds beneath them as they soar through the sky…closer to Roswell. Michael must be out of his mind with worry. At least he’s not stuck here with her and Max. And what about Liz’s friends? Maria has obviously connected Liz’s disappearance to them. How the hell did she get her cell phone number? Maybe she found the business card that she gave Liz.

Whatever happens, though, she knows one thing. They’re going home…wherever that is. And that has her more scared than she’s ever been.

~TBC~

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Angel
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Part 10

Post by Angel » Wed Aug 20, 2003 9:05 pm

Part 10

“Now this is what I’m talkin’ about!” Zan stretches out on the cushy leather seat of the private jet they all just boarded. Leaning back and putting his hands behind his head, he closes his eyes and says, “I could get used to this.”

Michael glances at him in irritation. He’s uneasy around Zan…who looks so much like Max and acts so…un-Max-like. Irritated that these two seem to know so much more about themselves than the three of them ever did, he’s anxious to hear more from Ava about what she knows. But she doesn’t seem too forthcoming with information. Buckling himself into a seat across from Zan, Michael studies his easygoing, disheveled appearance. His hair is long, and he’s wearing a sleeveless shirt, which shows several tattoos up and down both arms. Some of the symbols seem familiar to Michael and he leans forward, trying to get a closer look.

He’s startled from his perusal when Zan says, “See somethin’ you like?” with a smirk.

Michael looks up to see that Zan has opened his eyes and he sits back in his seat. “Just checking out your tats.”

Zan flexes his arms and smiles. “Beauts, aren’t they? Got ‘em done a few years back from an inker down on 23rd.”

Michael looks back down to study the markings and furrows his brow. “Those symbols…what do they mean? They look familiar, like I should know what they are.”

“You should…they’re symbols from our planet.”

Sitting back, Michael thinks, ‘our planet’. How strange it is to hear those words coming out of his mouth. When he was younger, all he ever wanted was to find out more about where he came from, how he got here, and what happened to the others on their ship. And now, in one day he has his answers…but even more questions.

But at what price is he getting the answers he thought he always wanted? Max and Isabel are gone, taken prisoner, and he’s on his way back to Roswell. The last place he ever wanted to see again. The trust he’s placed in Ava and now Zan scares him, but what choice does he have at this point?

Looking over, he sees Maria and Alex talking close together…too quiet for him to hear. It’s completely surreal to be here with them after all these years, and they know who he is…what he is. He has to admit they took the whole alien thing pretty well. Their loyalty to Liz and each other is impressive…he admires them for that.

Maria senses him looking at her and glances over. Trying to hide the fact that he was staring, he looks away quickly out the window.

~~~~~~~~~~

Liz looks at her watch anxiously to see that it’s only been 10 minutes since the last time she looked at it. She looks back up at the closed door, expecting the shape shifter to walk through it any minute and see them in the same positions he left them in. “Max…” He looks up at her and she asks, “What are we gonna do?”

He looks at her hopelessly. Having tried to think of any possible way to get out of this, he’s still come up with nothing. He runs his hand through his hair and says, “I have no idea.”

Standing up to stretch her legs, Liz says, “Ok. So, here’s the problem. We have to…have sex…right? Or they’ll kill Isabel.” She watches him nod dejectedly. “Or, at least they have to think we had sex.” She sees him look up at her curiously. “I mean, what are the ways they can confirm whether we did or not?”

Max stands up, thinking aloud. “There’s Nicholas, who can read our thoughts.” He sees her thinking and he knows where she’s going with this train of thought. “I’m not sure what the protector is capable of, though. He said that he’d know. What does that mean?”

“Maybe he can sense if an heir has been conceived.” Liz offers. “He’s your protector, right? So maybe he’s programmed or something to know if another…person…like you has been created?” She starts pacing the small room, thinking of all the possibilities. “He seemed to imply that conception will happen immediately. So we can’t just make them think we had sex. The question is, is there something you or I can do to make him ‘see’ something that’s not there?”

Max shakes his head. “I don’t know. We’d have to change something physically inside of you…to simulate pregnancy. I just don’t know if that’s possible, or what the consequences on your body would be. And even if we could manage that, Nicholas would know that it’s not real.”

Liz twists her ring around her index finger, a habit she’s always had when she’s thinking. If Nicholas can read their thoughts, then all they have to have is a memory…a shared memory of them having sex, here in this room. She looks up at Max suddenly and says, “Remember…back when I first found out…about you. You came to the Crashdown and…and you connected to me.” When he nods, she continues, “I wonder if, since I’m different now…I wonder if that connection could go both ways.”

“Maybe…” Max says skeptically, understanding what she’s thinking. “But we would have to create the same memory…and he would still be able to see how that memory was created.”

“It’s possible, but a shared memory along with physical evidence…that’s all the proof they’ll need.” She stops pacing and looks up at Max expectantly. This has to work…it’s their only hope.

Max swallows and looks down into her eyes. It sounds good in theory, but will it really work? He feels himself flush at the thought of doing anything so intimate with her…even if it’s only in their heads. He won’t have a problem conjuring up a fantasy of being with Liz…he has an entire library of them stored away. But knowing that she’ll see them fills him with dread. Nodding his head slowly, he says, “I guess it’s worth a try. We don’t really have any other options.”

She looks toward the door and says, “So um…we should do this quick. I don’t know how long he’s planning on giving us and we’re probably only an hour or so away from Roswell.”

“Right.” Max clears his throat and says, “So…we’ll have to…”

“We have to connect to each other and create a…fantasy, I guess.” She hesitates before reaching up toward his face. “I’ve never actually done this before, so umm…we have to touch, here…right?” She puts her hands on each side of his face.

Max swallows and takes a deep breath before reaching for her face. “Yah…” He moves in closer to her and says, “Concentrate on my eyes and try not to think of anything. Picture yourself, your energy, moving into…”

Liz feels dizzy for a moment and sees a blinding flash of light. Suddenly she finds herself standing in an empty room and Max is standing a few feet in front of her. “Max?” There’s a strange echo when she talks and it seems like she’s moving in slow motion. Another flash of light and the room changes to look like the room on the plane.

“Picture your surroundings, Liz…it has to be right.” He looks down at her clothes and she follows his gaze to see she’s wearing her pajamas. She concentrates and they morph into the shorts and shirt she’s wearing on the plane. When she looks back up at Max he grins and says, “Good.”

She looks to the side and startles at the scene of her and Max lying on her old balcony at her parent’s house in Roswell…kissing passionately and tearing each other’s clothes off. Fascinated, she watches herself claw away Max’s shirt and kiss his chest. Distracted by moaning coming from the other side of the room, she turns to see another scene. This time she’s wearing only her bra and underwear…straddling Max on a chair in what she thinks must be his room. As he reaches up for the back of her bra, she sees fragments of other scenes playing out all around her. All of them contain her and Max in various locations…kissing…moaning…dressed…naked, and in various positions. Suddenly each scene freezes and she looks up at the Max standing in front of her.

Is she seeing into his mind? Are these fantasies that he has about her? Is he seeing her fantasies of him just as she’s seeing his? When she looks up into his face, she realizes that he is. His eyes are locked on a point behind her and the corner of his mouth is quirked up in a grin. Concentrating on freezing whatever embarrassing image he’s grinning at in her subconscious, she watches his grin fade as he looks back down at her.

Slowly, all the other scenes fade and the room changes back into the plane. “This room has to be present at all times…it can’t be anywhere else.” He says this as he takes a step toward her and touches her hair. “I’m so sorry Liz.” He whispers this as his lips move toward hers.

“This isn’t real.” She whispers back…hearing her voice echo along with his.

“No…it’s not.” She hears him say this as his lips move closer to hers…but his lips aren’t moving. “We don’t have much time…just concentrate on making the same memory.”

She feels confusion at first…like she’s detached from herself. But she is, isn’t she? As she feels Max’s lips kissing her, she pictures herself removing clothes and falling to the floor. Time seems disjointed and fast as images…other images of her seem to close in and retreat. Max’s other fantasies of her are trying to close in on this one and he’s keeping them away…trying to make this one as real as possible. Relaxing then, she pushes all thought away and tries to do the same.

It’s quick and almost clinical and when it’s over, Max quickly breaks the connection. When Liz realizes that she’s back in the real world, she stumbles backward at the force of Max’s separation. She’s breathing deeply and realizes that she’s covered in a light sheen of sweat. Confused, she tries to get her bearings.

Max turns his back toward Liz and wipes the sweat from his face. He tries to calm his breathing as he braces one arm against the wall. Looking down he sees the bulge straining against the front of his jeans and he wills it to go away.

Liz backs up against the wall behind her and slides down it, wiping her sweaty palms on the front of her shorts. Her hands are shaking and she closes her eyes to try to calm down. But she opens them again quickly when all she sees behind her closed lids is Max…making love to her.

A few minutes go by and all they can hear is their own wildly beating hearts. Liz looks up when Max turns back around and says in a croaked voice, “I think it worked.”

She nods and starts thinking about what they have to do next.

“Liz…I…” He starts to say something, apologize maybe. But she interrupts him. “We don’t have much time. I need your help for this.” She lays her hands over her abdomen and says, “We have to make my body think it’s pregnant. It shouldn’t be too hard to get an egg released from my ovary and implant it on the wall of my uterus. We just change it slightly to make it appear like a forming zygote and voila…I’m pregnant.” She looks up at him and says, “It won’t last long, my body will reject it…but hopefully it’ll be enough.”

She sees the hesitation on his face and says encouragingly, “Basic biology Max. We can do this, but I need your help.”

He wipes a hand across his forehead and moves onto the floor next to her. “Right.” As she raises her shirt, he hesitantly puts his hands on her abdomen and concentrates on her body. They both work at getting her body to do what they need it to. Max concentrates on her ovary and egg while she prepares her uterus to accept the egg. When they’re done, Max sinks back away from her and exhales loudly.

“Ok. I think we’re good.” He watches her pull her shirt down and look up at him. She reaches up and runs her hands through her hair, messing it up slightly before reaching down and pinching her cheeks. Seeing him watch her she shrugs and stands up. “You ready?”

He nods and stands up with her. “As I’ll ever be.” He moves toward the door and puts his hand on the knob. “Let’s get this over with.” He looks back at her and slowly opens the door.

~~~~~~~~~~

The waiting was torture. While Max and Liz are behind the closed door, Isabel stares out the window and tries to come to terms with the situation. She heard the shape shifter tell Max that he would kill her if Max didn’t get Liz pregnant. She knows that Max would never force anyone to have sex with him…and she would never expect him to. Her life will be over. Maybe it’s better this way…maybe dying now will save her from a more gruesome end later. Maybe the shape shifter was bluffing. Maybe they’ll find a way out of this before it comes to that.

While she’s thinking about all the possible ways they might kill her, she hears snickers around her and she realizes that everyone has moved to her end of the plane and are eavesdropping on the noises coming from the closed cabin.

Her eyes move to the door and she can hear sounds coming from behind it…moaning sounds. Her eyes widen in surprise and embarrassment when she realizes what they’re hearing. Oh my God…are they actually doing what she thinks they’re doing? She sees Nicholas and the shape shifter close to the door and they look at each other, grin, and walk away back toward the front of the plane.

She looks once more toward the door and the moaning suddenly stops and everyone around her looks disappointed before moving away. She hears one of them laugh and say, “Man, that was quick.” At least half an hour passes agonizingly slow before she sees the door crack open and Max appear in the doorway, followed by a cowering Liz.

Looking from one to the other, she can’t believe it. Liz looks completely disheveled…her hair a mess and her face flushed. Max looks angry as he steps out and looks in her direction. She gives him a sympathetic look as the shape shifter walks back down the aisle toward them.

“So, did you kids have fun?” He says as he studies Liz closely.

“We did what you asked.” Max says simply as he moves to sit across from Isabel. She can feel his anxiety so acutely that her hands shake.

“We’ll see.” He says as he steps closer to Liz. Studying her, he motions for Nicholas to join him. “Make sure.” He instructs.

Isabel sees Liz glance at Max quickly as Nicholas approaches her with a grin and puts his hand to her head. Max looks forward, his jaw clenched and his hands gripping the armrests. He closes his eyes when they hear Liz cry out as Nicholas probes her mind and his grip relaxes when they hear Nicholas say, “It’s true.”

The shape shifter smiles and says, “Of course…how else could she be pregnant?” He looks down at Liz and says, “I told you I would know…you’re practically glowing. Congratulations, mommy.”

The shape shifter steps away from Liz to follow Nicholas and stops at Max’s seat. “Good job, your highness.” He continues up toward the front of the plane, leaving them alone.

Isabel looks up at Liz in pity and sees a look of relief on her face as she sighs and her shoulders sag. Liz walks forward toward the bathroom and Isabel watches her step inside and close the door. She looks at Max and says, “Max, did you really…”

He cuts her off and says, “I don’t wanna talk about it.”

She nods and sits back in her seat, studying her brother. Poor Max. He must hate himself right now. And Liz…she can’t even imagine what she’s going through. Looking around, she unbuckles her seatbelt and stands up, walking to the bathroom door. She knocks on it lightly and says, “Liz? Are you ok?”

She hears a muffled sound from inside and the door opens. Liz steps out and looks up at Isabel. “I’m fine.” Isabel sees her glance at Max before looking at the floor.

Unsure, Isabel quietly says, “If you need anything…”

Liz smiles at her and says, “I’m ok…thanks.”

Isabel nods and follows Liz to the back of the plane. She takes her seat across from Max as Liz sits across the aisle from them and looks out the window. Max is watching her and Isabel aches for them both. She knows that Max would never hurt Liz, but she has to be feeling so violated. Seeing Liz’s strong, determined profile, Isabel admires the small girl for her courage. She doubts that she could keep such a brave face if the same thing had happened to her.

Max steals a few glances at Liz and he can feel Isabel’s eyes on him. She’s concerned, he can feel it coming off of her in waves. But he can’t possibly let her know what really happened in that room…or didn’t happen. Her life depends on her, and everyone else on this plane, thinking he and Liz had sex in that room. All they can do now is concentrate on getting away from their captors once they reach Roswell.

But still, whenever his eyes meet Liz’s he can’t help but flash back to their shared fantasy and he feels his face flush at the memory. He also can’t help but think about the fantasies of him he saw in her mind. Were they from when they were younger? Or were some of those more recent? It was hard to tell, but either way he was happy to see himself there and not someone else.

Guiltily, that’s the first thing he thought of when Liz brought up the idea of a shared fantasy/memory…that what he would see in her mind would be someone from her past or snippets from past relationships. After all, it’s been 13 years since he last saw her. Of course she’d have had relationships since then. He was surprised that she wasn’t married already. Maybe she had been for all he knows. She’s beautiful, smart…she could have anyone she wanted. So he was relieved when he didn’t see any sexual fantasies involving other men…and extremely surprised to see she had them about him.

He never worried that she would see anyone else. Sure, he’s dated over the years. But never let anything get serious. He couldn’t. Not without revealing who he is. None of them have ever been able to have serious relationships. She probably thought it was strange that he had so many thoughts of her floating around his head. They barely know each other. If you don’t count the whole seeing-into-each-other’s-souls thing anyway.

Feeling eyes on her, Liz looks over to see Max staring at her. Embarrassed, she looks away quickly at the seat in front of her. Having fake sex with someone in her mind has to top her list as the most bazaar thing that ever happened to her. Well, that and an alien healing her and giving her powers. Rolling her eyes at herself, she thinks that her life can’t get any stranger. Her body is still tingling from the experience and she gives herself a mental shake, telling herself to shake it off. It wasn’t real. But she can’t help replaying the fantasy over and over in her head.

As she looks out the window, she wonders what’s going to happen when they land. Will they go to a hidden space ship and take off? Or do they just beam places, like on Star Trek? She thinks about Maria and Alex and how worried they probably are. They’ve obviously connected her disappearance to Isabel since Maria called her. What are they doing right now? Have they called the police? Her heart aches at the thought of never seeing them again…or her parents. And she hopes that a miracle will happen and they can somehow escape once they land.

She feels the pressure change as the plane starts its decent. This is it. They’re back in Roswell. They have to do something…someone has to help them. It just can’t be possible that she’s going to leave this planet with a bunch of aliens and never see her family and friends again.

~~~~~~~~~~

He’s bored. This airport is dirty and hot and his cell phone won’t stop ringing. Can’t anyone manage to do anything without him? “I swear, this planet would fall apart if I weren’t on it.” He muses to himself as he looks at his nails absently, thinking he needs a new manicurist. Finally, he sees the small jet land and motions for his assistant to gather the paperwork surrounding him.

But as he watches the door open and stairs come down, he feels something he hasn’t felt in a very long time and backs away from the window, out of sight. “Shit, this is exactly what I need.” He rolls his eyes and makes his way out of the airport quickly, assistant in tow, toward the limo parked out front. He instructs the driver to drive around to the side of the terminal where he can still get a view of the front door from his tinted windows.

He watches warily as a few people make their way outside the front of the terminal and flag down a nearby waiting van. Skins. What he sees next has him swearing under his breath…the king and his sister being guided by the skins into the van. Interesting. His investigators are slacking. Last he heard, the king was living quietly in New York…staying low. Then he sees her…sending out a pulse of energy like a god damned radio tower. The Queen. Max has been busy over the last few days.

This explains a lot. And he’s not surprised to see his former comrade, flanked by Vilondra and Tess, follow her out of the terminal and into the waiting van. This changes everything and he’s not happy about the time this will take to clean up. He has three major scripts just going into production…he can’t afford to be away for very long. He just doesn’t have the time for this crap.

Swearing again, he turns to his assistant and tells her to call the office and tell them he won’t be back for a few days and to cancel all his appointments. Turning his attention back to the van, he watches it drive away, knowing exactly where they’re headed and he picks up his cell phone to make some calls of his own.

~~~~~~~~~~

As Zan steps out onto the pavement, the first thing he notices is the heat. “Damn. It’s hot!”

“Yah, the desert is sometimes like that.” Maria says to him as she walks past and rolls her eyes.

Zan follows behind her into the terminal with Ava and asks, “What have you gotten us into?”

She just shoots him a withering look and walks ahead of him. Truth is, she doesn’t have any idea what they’re stepping into. But one way or another, she’s determined to be finished with this mess.

Michael warily follows behind, looking around at the bland desert surrounding them. Roswell. He never expected to find himself back here. Just the smell of the air brings back memories, painful ones. Pushing them back, he follows the others into the terminal.

As they step outside back into the scorching heat, Ava glances around wondering if they’ll need to go rent a car. But as she looks to the left, she sees him and freezes. Well, she called him…she just can’t believe he actually showed up. She hasn’t seen him in years, since they were children and he left them to fend for themselves. Her hatred of him barely eclipses her fear of him and she begins to walk toward him.

When she approaches, she doesn’t say anything…waiting for him to say something first…to set the tone. He grins and takes off his sunglasses. “Ava. It’s been a long time.”

“Cal.” Is all she says as she steps to the side and his eyes move past her and widen in surprise.

“Well, lookie what we have here.” He steps forward to stand in front of Zan. “Thought you were dead.”

Zan looks at him with pure hatred and says, “Yah, I keep hearin’ that. But here I am…alive…no thanks to you.”

Cal smirks and shrugs. “You know I never could control that sister of yours.” He looks around then and says, “Aren’t you gonna introduce me to your friends, Ava?” His eyes focus on Michael and he cocks his head to the side. “Michael, right? I’m forgetting my manners along with poor Ava here.” He reaches his hand out to Michael, who looks at it skeptically before taking it and shaking briefly.

Ava moves to stand in front of Maria and Alex and says, “This is…” But she doesn’t finish as Cal turns and sees Maria.

“Maria…sweetheart!” He grabs her hands and holds them between both of his like they’re long lost friends. “It’s been too long. And unfortunately we have to meet again under these circumstances.” He’s grinning widely as she stares at him in shock.

“Cal…wha…what are you doing here?” She’s confused as she looks at Ava, then Michael. Clearing her throat, she turns back to Cal with questions swirling behind her eyes.

He lets go of her hands and points at her with a smile. “Exactly!” He turns to Ava and his face sobers. “What am I doing here? And do I have to ask why your arrival was preceded by an entourage of skins, the king, his sister, and apparently, a newly claimed queen? Oh, and I can’t leave out my old friend Browan.”

“Wait. You’re…you’re a…an…you’re one of them?” Maria sputters, not quite comprehending what’s going on and why one of the most successful producers in Hollywood is standing here talking to aliens.

“Unfortunately, no. I’m not one of them.” He says this with a tinge of regret. He looks back at Ava and says, “Maybe we should continue this conversation somewhere else?” He turns and opens the door to his limo and gets in, leaving the door open…waiting for the others to follow.

~TBC~

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