Dare to Dream (Seq,DA-XO,UC,MATURE) AN (06/19/07)[WIP]

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Calinia
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Dare to Dream (Seq,DA-XO,UC,MATURE) AN (06/19/07)[WIP]

Post by Calinia » Mon Jun 14, 2004 3:52 am

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Title: "Dare to Dream"
Author: Kat/Calinia
Email: kat@fadedglow.com
Category: DA Xover, X-tremer, Post Departure
Rating: MATURE for now, will turn ADULT
Disclaimer: I don’t own the Roswell characters or the ones from Dark Angel, nor do I own the ideas behind the two shows, so don’t sue, I’ll cry.

Summary: Sequel to “Don’t Dream It’s Over” – Liz and Kyle are back in Roswell after leaving Florida in a rush. Now they have to deal with both what they’ve come back to and also what they left behind.

Author's Note: Well, I promised a sequel, and here it is. Thanks to everyone who didn’t kill me while I kept you waiting for this, I appreciate it very much, and a special thanks to Randi for being such a wonderful beta. I hope you guys like it. And I can promise you that you won’t have to wait 10 parts till Alec makes an appearance this time around.


Awards:

RFF Awards:

Round Six - Runner-Up Best Crossover Fanfiction
Round Six - Runner-Up Best Lead Portrayal of Kyle Valenti
Round Five - Best Author of a Crossover
Round Four - Runner-Up Best Author of a Crossover


Crossover Awards:

Round One - Best Author of a Crossover
Round One - Best all around Dark Angel Story (Don't Dream it's over)
Round One - Best Supporting Portrayal of a Character (Kyle Valenti)

Round Two - Story the Show should have followed
Round Two - Best Love Story
Round Two - Story that you need finished now
Round Two - Story that you just couldn't wait for an Update
Round Two - Best Lead Portrayal of a Character (Liz Parker)
Round Two - Best Evil Character
Round Two - Runner-up Best UC Writer



Part 1

August 23rd. Journal entry one. I'm Liz Parker and I have a question. Why do you never realize what you have until you’ve lost it? And how can you have everything you’ve ever wanted, everything you’ve ever dreamed of right under your nose and not realize it?

I always used to laugh at people who talked about this one summer in their youth that changed them forever. Now I’ve had one of those summers myself and nothing is the same anymore. Even the most trivial things seem different somehow, in a way I couldn’t possibly describe. Or maybe it’s just me that has changed, and my perception of things.

I’ve been back in Roswell for two weeks now, and I can’t say they’ve been happy, or easy. Most of the fear and panic that drove me to leave Florida are gone, doubt and regret taking their place and gnawing at my soul. It’s hard, knowing that you made the biggest mistake of your life and not being able to take it back. So I made a decision. I decided I didn’t want to live the rest of my life asking myself what could have been had I reacted differently. If I hadn’t run. If I’d stayed. And so I decided to call Alec.

I spent an hour trying to map out what I was going to say. In the end all I had was an overflowing garbage can, and the conclusion that this was one of the situations you just couldn’t prepare for. It took me another hour to gather the courage to call him. My hands were shaking so bad that it took me three tries till I got the number right. I stopped breathing, stopped thinking, waiting for him to pick up. That’s when an impersonal, mechanical voice informed me that the number I dialed no longer existed. I called him two more times, convinced that I must have gotten the number wrong. I hadn’t.

Then I called the company he worked for, only to be told that he’d quit two weeks ago. Getting desperate, I tried Jondy’s number, but it was also disconnected. Finally I called my aunt, and she told me that she had seen neither Jondy nor Alec since I’d left, except for the day of my departure. Alec had come by, wanting to see me. According to Mandy he was shocked when she told him that I’d left, but that was all she could tell me. From Matt, my former boss, I found out that Jondy had quit and left the city. He doesn’t know where she went, but as far as he knows, Alec went with her.

Which means he is gone. He could be anywhere, and I have no way of finding him. Looks like I’ll be spending the rest of my life asking myself what could have been, had I reacted differently, after all. You would think that that would make me mad or upset, raging at the cruelness of fate. It doesn’t though. Not that it doesn’t hurt. It does. Like a bitch actually. So much that at times I find myself surprised by my ability to still breath. But I’m not mad. I’m not upset. I have no one but myself to blame for it after all.

In a way this is a new start. Not the kind I ever wanted, but sometimes you have to take what you can get. School starts again tomorrow, meaning I will have to face Max, Isabel and Michael again. It will be hard, starting my last year of high school without Alex, but at least I have Kyle by my side, and Maria. Once I got back we had a long, long talk about everything that had happened ever since I left to go to Florida more than a year ago. After all, that’s when we started to drift apart. We were brutally honest with each other, left out nothing, and both of us ended up crying and apologizing and crying some more. But now the air is cleared, and we’re friends again. It will take some time till everything is as it used to be between us, the trust isn’t completely restored yet, but we’re getting there. And for me, for now, that’s enough.

My calmness surprises me, as does my composure. I’m not really sure how I can be this way, why I don’t break down, because God knows I would have reason to. Maybe it’s true what they say and what doesn’t kill you really makes you stronger. Or maybe it’s just the calm before the storm. It hasn’t quite sunken in after all. It just seems so ridiculous, absolutely impossible, that I might actually never see Alec again. How could what we shared just be over? How could I have lost him?

But what I’m most inclined to believe is that I’m so calm because a part of me simply refuses to consider that possibility. The part that doesn’t think that it’s actually over. Isn’t true love supposed to conquer all? We may be apart for now, but somehow, some day, I’m sure we’ll meet again.



Liz screwed on the cap of her pen, closed her journal and put it away. She sat back on her bed for a moment, taking the time to glance around her room. It was good being home again, despite everything. She’d missed her room, her knick knack, her things. She’d missed waking up to the faint sounds of the restaurant below her. She’d even missed the impossible ways her father tended to wake her up on the weekends, even when she could sleep in. But somehow…somehow it just wasn’t the same anymore.

Sighing she got up to make her way to the kitchen with the intention of getting a glass of milk, maybe an apple, before she headed over to Kyle’s new apartment. Not long after coming back to Roswell he’d decided to move out of his dad’s house. Staying in the room where Tess had lived and Alex had died had not been an option, and spending another year sleeping on the couch wasn’t exactly appealing either. He’d saved a nice chunk of money over the summer, so that along with what he would make at his new job as a mechanic would easily cover his living expenses without cutting into his college funds. He’d found a small apartment in the same building Michael lived in and finally moved in the day before, so Liz was going over to help him put away his stuff and to do a bit of decorating. She had better control over her powers, not to mention better taste, so she’d be quite useful with that.

Reaching the kitchen she poured herself a glass of milk, gulped it down and grabbed an apple to eat on the way to Kyle’s. She was washing it when her mother came into the room. “Hi sweetie,” she said smiling. “I didn’t know you were still here. I thought you’d be over at Kyle’s apartment by now.”

“I’m just on my way out,” Liz replied drying the apple.

“So, how are you?” Nancy asked casually, leaning against the kitchen counter.

Liz paused, then managed a smile. “I’m fine. Um, I’ll be back for dinner.”

“Okay. Have fun, sweetie,” her mother told her.

Liz smiled again, then left the kitchen suppressing a sigh. She knew that her mother was worried about her. She could hardly blame her. After some coaxing she’d given in and told her mother what was troubling her, admitting that she and Alec had been more than friends for quite some time during the summer and that things had suddenly become serious, causing Liz to panic and leave Florida without even saying good-bye to him.

When Nancy had asked her what had caused her to panic, Liz had hesitated, not sure what to tell her mother since she couldn’t really tell her the truth. But she hadn’t wanted to lie to her either. In the end she’d opted for at least part of the truth, telling her mother about what had happened with Max. How he’d turned his back on her when Alex had died only to go to Tess and how she’d ended up pregnant. She’d left out everything alien-related, of course. She could hardly tell her mother that.

*

Back in the kitchen Nancy stood, still looking at the spot Liz had been standing at a few moments before. She hated seeing Liz like this and she wished with all her heart that things had gone differently between her and Alec. She could hardly blame her daughter for being afraid of falling in love again and having difficulties trusting someone after what had happened with Max, but she still wished Liz hadn’t run. She was going to regret this for a long time, maybe even the rest of her life, making it even harder for her to heal and get over the pain inflicted on her heart by Max.

Nancy had wanted to go over to the Evans’ and strangle the boy for hurting her baby, but instead she’d stayed calm while Liz had poured her heart out to her, trying to help the best that she could. Then she’d mortified Liz by asking if there was any chance of her being pregnant and had been very relieved by Liz’s shocked and adamant refusal. At least one thing she didn’t have to worry about.

But something was up. The air of gloom hanging around Liz had seemed thicker just now, the sadness in her eyes deeper. Nancy had no idea what it could be, but something must have happened since this morning. She sighed. She’d ask Liz about it when she came home.

~*~*~*~

“Do you think I should put this here or above the bed?” Kyle asked Liz, holding up a poster of a very sparsely dressed playmate.

Liz glanced up from where she was spread out on on the bed. “Depends. If it’s important to you to actually see the poster when you’re, let’s say lying on the bed, I would put it over there.” She smiled at him.

Kyle narrowed his eyes. “I don’t even want to know what you’re insinuating.” Then he went over to the bed to hang it up there.

Liz chuckled as she glanced around. The apartment was beginning to look really nice. It had been beyond gross at first, but a little alien mojo had dealt with the grim and the dirt, making it presentable. Some more alien mojo, and Liz’s considerably better taste had done the rest. Kyle had been very adamant about not having anything even remotely girly in the apartment, and so Liz had done the living area and kitchen in warm yellow, orange and red tones and the bedroom in a soft grass green. The bathroom was white and blue, Liz hadn’t changed that. It was easy to explain the color of the walls changing, but the bathroom tiles were a different story. The only became cleaner, and shinier.

There wasn’t really much left to be done, Liz mused. Kyle still needed some lamps and curtains – Liz would put her foot down on that one – and an overthrow for the beat-up couch Jim had found in the attic would probably be a good idea too. But otherwise, Kyle was all set.

“I called Alec,” Liz suddenly said out of nowhere.

Kyle dropped the box he’d been carrying into his bedroom. “You what?”

“I called Alec,” Liz repeated. She held Kyle’s gaze, but her eyes were strangely blank. Emotionless almost.

“You talked to Alec?” Kyle sunk down onto the bed. He couldn’t believe what Liz was saying, or that she was so calm.

Liz shook her head. “No. I called him. I didn’t talk to him. The number doesn’t exist anymore and he quit his job, left town. He’s gone.”

Kyle just stared at her. “Gone? He left?”

Liz nodded, suddenly not feeling calm any more. She pressed her lips together to keep them from trembling. She would not cry. She would not.

“I’m so sorry,” Kyle mumbled as he moved over to her. He gathered her in his arms and pulled her close as the first tears began to fall. “So sorry.” And then he held her as the storm broke loose.

~*~*~*~

By the time Liz left Kyle’s apartment it was almost dark. Kyle had offered to drive her, but Liz preferred to walk. The fresh air would do her good, and hopefully make the signs of crying disappear from her face. She didn’t want to worry her mother, and she didn’t want to answer any of her questions. Not tonight. She was so tired. She just wanted to go home and sleep, forget the whole mess for a few blessed hours.

She was walking down main street, taken aback by how quiet it was. It had never been quiet in Florida. You could always hear the people at the beach or in the numerous shore cafés, the seemingly never-ending traffic and all the other city noises. And even in the dead of the night, there was always the sound of the waves crashing onto the beach. Here, there was nothing. And it wasn’t even late yet.

Liz took a deep breath. She missed the smell of the ocean, the sound of it. It was just too quite here. It was driving her crazy. Strange, how something she’d found completely normal all her life could annoy her all of a sudden.

She had almost reached the café when she stopped dead in her tracks, suddenly finding herself staring into a pair of very familiar eyes that were fixed on her.

“Liz,” was all he said.


tbc
Last edited by Calinia on Tue Jun 19, 2007 2:13 pm, edited 49 times in total.
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Post by Calinia » Mon Jun 28, 2004 4:54 am

I'm still a bit shocked, even though I've had a few days to get used to it, but I actually won the award for best author of a crossover! Thank you all so much for voting for me and for your continuous support. I don't know what I'd do without you guys.

Anyway, sorry for the delay. I've been studying, I have a final tomorrow and another one on Saturday. Yes, Saturday. Sucks, doesn't it? Anyway, I finished part 3 yesterday, so I'm posting part 2 now. Hope you like it.


Part 2

She had almost reached the café when she stopped dead in her tracks, suddenly finding herself staring into a pair of very familiar eyes that were fixed on her.

“Liz,” was all he said.


Liz stood, shell-shocked, incapable of moving for a few seconds. She just stared at him, a blank look in her eyes. Then they sparked and she spun around on her heels to cross the street, not even deigning him a second glance. For a moment, just a split second really, a tidal wave of emotions had broken over her. Everything she had ever felt for him, the good as well as the bad, had come rushing back to her. And as quickly as it had come, it was all gone again. Well, not all. The anger lingered.

“Liz!” he called out, hurrying to catch up with her.

“Leave me alone, Max,” she bit out between clenched teeth.

“No, wait Liz. I have to talk to you.” His voice was pleading, but Liz still didn’t turn around, she just kept on walking, quickening her pace. Fury was gushing threw her body, all the pent up anger had broken loose and was waiting, begging to be released. But this was not the time, and not the place. She had her powers under control pretty well, but she wasn’t sure if she would be able to control them in a situation like this.

“I have nothing to say to you,” she snarled.

“Liz-” Max began, and when she still didn’t turn around or at least stop walking, he grabbed her arm, not prepared for what happened next. Liz suddenly spun around, fist raised, and punched him square on the chin with so much force that he stumbled backwards. Stunned and not anticipating such a reaction, he tripped over his own feet and landed on his ass. His hand touched the spot she had hit and he winced. He gazed up at her, his eyes filled with confusion and hurt and disbelief.

The look in Liz’s eyes was murderous. “Don’t you ever lay your hands on me again,” she whispered, her tone low and dangerous, sending an unpleasant shiver down Max’s spine. He was frozen into place as Liz turned around and stalked away without as much as a backward glance.

~*~*~*~

The first school day came much too soon. For the first time in her life, Liz was not looking forward to it. She didn’t know how she would get through the last year of high school without Alex. Everything here reminded her of him. When she walked past his old locker, tears shot into her eyes. She wasn’t used to this, to being reminded of him constantly. She didn’t know how to deal with it.

It all seemed so surreal. Alex not being here to start their senior year with them, being back in school in the first place, Alec being gone from her life, being back in Roswell…would she ever get used to all this?

Liz walked down the halls of West Roswell High, feeling like she had three heads or something. People were acting really strangely. Why on earth was everybody staring at her like that?

“Maria,” she began, nudging her friend walking beside her. “What’s going on here?”

Maria cocked her head. “What do you mean?”

“Why is everybody staring at me?”

Maria stopped walking, a surprsied look on her face. “You have to ask?”

Liz gave her a look, also halting. “Yes! What is it?”

Maria laughed as she continued to make her way towards her locker, hips swinging, hair bouncing. “It’s you, chica.”

“Me?” Liz asked. What the hell was Maria talking aboout?

Maria rolled her eyes. “Duh! I mean, look at you. Low riding jeans, tight top, dark make-up.”

Liz glanced down at what she was wearing. Her top was not tight. Well, not really.

Had she really changed that much?

“Besides,” Maria continued, “You have this whole new aura around you. You walk differnetly, hold yourself differently. It’s like…you’re tougher or something. You have this whole don’t-mess-with-me-if-you-like-being-in-one-piece-look going on.” She shrugged. “You came a long way from miss goody-goody. Hence, people stare.”

Liz didn’t say anything, didn’t know what to say. She leaned against her locker while Maria opened hers and started decorating it. Of coure to her, everything was different now, but she’d never realized that she had changed. Was she really that different? Now that she thought about it, it didn’t really surprise her. After everything that had happened in the past few months, it would have been strange if she hadn’t changed. How come she’d never realized it? And how big a part, she wondered, had Alec played in it all?

When Maria was finally done with her locker, she and Liz made there way to the exit. Liz had absolutely no desire to stay at school longer than necessary. Another first, she mused.

“Uh-oh,” Maria suddenly said.

“What?” Liz glanced around. “What?”

“Um, Czechoslovakian at ten o’clock,” Maria muttered.

Liz glanced over. Max was standing there, staring at her with a longing look on his face. Liz rolled her eyes, sighed in exasperation. He looked like a sick puppy. “It’s okay, Maria. I’ve already seen him,” she told her best friend.

Maria’s eyes widened. “Really? Why didn’t you mention it before?!”

Liz shrugged. “It’s no big deal. I saw him last night.”

“Well, what happened?” Maria asked impatiently.

Liz sighed. “He was his annoying self, I decked him, end of story.”

“You what?!” Maria exclaimed. She just stared at Liz for a few moments, not believing her ears. Then she started laughing. “You seriously decked him?” she giggled.

A smile teased the corners of Liz’s lips. “It seemed fitting. And it’s not like he didn’t deserve it.”

“You decked him?” Maria repeated. “Boy, would I have loved to see that. At least give me some details. Where did you hit him? Did you draw blood? Did it hurt him?”

Liz was grinning herself by now. “On the chin. I didn’t draw blood, but it did hurt him. At least I hope that it hurt him. It damn well was supposed to. He did land on his ass though, so at the very least his ego was dented.”

That got Maria started again. She was laughing so hard she could barely talk. “On his ass? His royal highness? Oh my…I can’t believe it. Wait till I tell Michael about it!”

As if on que, Maria’s boyfriend suddenly showed up in front of them. Leaning down he gave Maria a kiss. Then he turned to Liz, almost smiling “Hey Liz, good to see you again. Did you have a nice summer?”

Liz could only stare, baffled. Was this really Michael? Michael Guerin? The person with only one facial expression, a scowl, and no manners, being nice and polite? Wow. Seemed like she wasn’t the only one who had changed over the summer.

~*~*~*~

When Liz left their apartment that afternoon, dread and trepidation twisted together and lay heavily in her stomach. She wasn’t looking forward to what she had planned, but she knew she had to do it, the sooner the better. Putting it off wouldn’t make it easier. It was better to get it over with.

The morning sunshine was gone now, heavy clouds taking its place and filling the sky, hanging dangerously low over the ground. It looked like rain. Good, Liz thought. It fit her mood much better. Sunshine seemed highly inappropriate on a day like this.

As Liz walked through town the wind picked up, making her glad that she’d put on a vest. But even that didn’t ward of the chill. Maybe, Liz mused, because part of it was coming from inside her.

When she reached the graveyard, she hesitated. She hadn’t been to Alex’s grave since his funeral. She wasn’t sure she was ready for it. Some people found solace in visiting the graves of loved ones. Liz found it gruesome, and a cruel reminder of the fact that the person really was dead. Besides, she knew that Alex wasn’t there. Wherever he was, he was not in that cold, wet, dark hole.

Taking a deep breath she passed through the gate and slowly made her way over to where Alex lay buried. She had to do this. She had to face it.

When her gaze fell upon the engraved letters of his name on the tombsto0ne, her breath hitched, and tears burned in her eyes, in her throat. She hadn’t expected this to be easy, but, by god, she hadn’t thought that it would be this hard.

A single tear spilled down her cheek. Liz didn’t bother to wipe it away. More would follow, so what was the point? She just stood there, staring down at Alex’s name, waiting for the pain to maybe ebb away a bit, to become more bearable.

It didn’t, though.

She sunk down onto the soft grass and laid the flowers she had brought on his grave. They were sunflowers. She wasn’t sure why, but sunflowers always reminded Liz of Alex. Maybe because they were simple and down-to-earth, yet beautiful and perfect and always made you smile.

She didn’t know how long she’d been sitting there when she heard someone approach. She turned around just when Isabel came into sight.

“Oh,” the blond girl said, halting in her step. “I didn’t know someone was here. Um, I can go again if you’d rather be alone.”

Liz shook her head, wiped away the last of her tears. “No, it’s okay. Don’t leave because of me.”

Isabel approached the grave hesitantly. Then she sat down beside Liz, put the tulips she had brought next to the sunflowers Liz had brought. For a moment neither girl said anything, then Isabel broke the silence.

“I come here a lot, you know. I just sit here. Sometimes I’ll talk to Alex. I know that sounds ridiculous, but…it makes me feel closer to him.”

A ghost of a smile shimmered over Liz’s lips. “No, it doesn’t. Sound ridiculous, I mean. I talk to him too, you know. All the time actually.”

Liz and Isabel shared a look, a sad smile on each girl’s face, and in that moment a bond was formed between them that they hadn’t had before. They’re pain united them, bridged the differences that used to keep them apart and from becoming friends.

Isabel’s expression turned sober again and she glanced away. “I wanted to apologize too. I’m sorry for not believing you at first. I just…I couldn’t bear the thought of us – no, of me being responsible for Alex’s death.”

Liz heart ached in sympathy. She knew what it was like to feel responsible for the death of someone you loved. “I don’t blame you Isabel. I never did. It’s not your fault.”

“I blame myself,” Isabel said, her tone bitter and harsh. “If it weren’t for me, for us, Alex would still be alive.”

Liz shook her head vigorously. “No Isabel, if it weren’t for Tess, Alex would still be alive. You can’t blame yourself for something you had no control over. You had no reason to suspect she was dangerous, nobody did, not even me. Don’t blame yourself, Isabel. Alex wouldn’t want you to.”

Isabel’s stayed quiet for a moment. She knew that Liz was right. But it was hard believing it when there was so much guilt and regret in her heart. When she spoke again her voice was softer, almost a whisper. “I did consider it, you know? Later on. But Max…he was so adamant about it not being true. I just…I couldn’t go against him. I know it was wrong, but…”

“He’s your brother, Isabel,” Liz said quietly. “I understand.”

“I heard you punched him,” Isabel said, changing the subject.

Liz stared at her. “He told you that?” she asked surprised.

“Yeah, he did,” Isabel replied, the corners of her lips twitching. “And he didn’t seem to understand why you did it. Personally, if I were you, I would have probably kneed him. But he…he just doesn’t get it. He’s my brother and I love him, despite everything, but at the moment he’s behaving like a complete moron. I don’t blame you for not taking him back, Liz. To be honest, I did expect it, but I’m pleasantly surprised that you proved me wrong.”

“You are?” Liz asked disbelievingly. She really hadn’t expected Isabel of all people to welcome her stance towards Max.

“Yes, I am. Max needs a wake-up call. He’s got his head up his ass, and that needs to change. That’s of course not the only reason, but he runs through life with blinders on, seeing only what he wants to see. It’s high time that stopped. And you’re the best person to shake him out of that. Besides, I think you deserve better. For now, my brother needs to grow up.”

~*~*~*~

Liz let out a sigh of relief when the last customer finally left the Crashdown. It was Friday evening, the café had been packed, hence working had been hell. God, she missed her job at Jaded. That had been so much more fun, and so much less work.

Michael noticed Liz’s exhaustion and smirked. “Grown soft over the summer, Parker?” he asked.

Liz glared at him, only half serious. “Shut up, Guerin. Waitressing is hell. It’s a real job, you don’t get to stand around and simply flip burgers all evening.”

Michael looked insulted. “Hey, do you know how hot it is back there? Besides, there’s a lot more to being cook than just flipping burgers. A lot more than simply writing down orders in any case.”

Liz snorted. “Simply writing down orders? As if! You need a lot more abilities than knowing the ABC. You need to dodge groping hands, avoid infants that are usually crawling all over the damn restaurant, not give in to the urge to strangle idiot customers who can’t decide what they want, even after a full hour of staring at the menu and you have to deal with airhead jocks and stupid cheerleaders on a daily basis. Not to mention greasy old men who come in and stare at your butt the whole time. And in the end you often don’t even get a tip!”

Now Michael frowned. “Old men come in to stare at the butts of waitresses?”

Liz gave him a look. “Duh!”

“Maria’s butt too?” Michael asked, frowning even more.

Liz laughed. “Especially Maria’s butt,” she told him. Michael didn’t seem amused. Liz couldn’t help but smile at that. It was cute, the way Michael was concerned about something like that. He didn’t use to care about that kind of thing.

“You’ve really changed a lot since last spring,” Liz told him.

Michael shrugged, uncomfortable with the near-compliment. “You’re the one to talk.”

Liz rolled her eyes. “Don’t you start too.”

Michael smirked. “It’s the truth.” Then the smirk almost turned into a smile. “It’s nice seeing you like this again. The summer away obviously did you good.”

Liz glanced up surprised. Then she smiled, but Michael already had his back turned and was making his way to the kitchen to clean up there.

The last of the dishes were already in the kitchen, now being dealt with by Michael, and so Liz started wiping the counter. Just when she was done, there was a knock at the door. Liz snarled. Damn it, couldn’t people read? They café was closed.

She went over anyway, her anger ebbing away when she saw that it was Kyle. Letting him in, she said “Hey Kyle. The kitchen is already closed, but I could offer you something to drink.”

“Nah, don’t bother. I don’t want anything.” Sitting down at the counter, he asked “Need any help?”

Liz shook her head. “No, I’m almost done. I just need to wipe the tables and clean the floor, that’s it.”

Kyle got up anyway and went to get a mop and a bucket of water so he could get started with the floor while Liz was dealing with the tables. The radio was on, and Liz started to sing along, not even noticing what she was doing.

Kyle cocked his head to the side, watching her. “You know, you’re really hot when you’re singing.”

Liz looked up surprised, then she threw her dishcloth at him. “Oh, shut up! You’re beginning to sound like Alec.”

“Who’s Alec?” Michael asked from the doorway.

Liz’s head jerked over to where Michael was standing. She hadn’t noticed him coming in.

“Oh…um…a…friend from Florida,” she said, fumbling to find the right words.

Michael didn’t say anything, he just studied her for a moment longer, making Liz feel more than uncomfortable. Would he know, just by looking at her, that the word ‘friend’ didn’t quite cover it? Of course not, she mentally scolded herself. She was being paranoid. But something about Michael, something in his eyes told her that that wasn’t quite true.


tbc
Last edited by Calinia on Tue Oct 26, 2004 4:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Calinia » Sun Jul 11, 2004 1:01 pm

Hey guys, thank you all for your wonderful, wonderful feedback! The reaction to this fic is seriously blowing me away!

First of all, sorry if you were disappointed that it wasn't Alec, but you seemed to like the Liz/Max scene (that punch was a long time coming, wasn't it?) so I hope that makes up for it a bit. Just so that you'll know, Alec should show up around part 6 or 7, not sure when exactly. What I'm doing right now is dealing with everything that is not Alec/Liz so that I can concentrate on those two once he's here.

Basically, this fic is my therapy concerning S3. I have lots of issues with that season (who doesn't?) so I'm changing everything I disliked. That includes Liz's doormat-behavior, Isabel/Jesse, the whole Max/Liz thing from beginning to end, the way the Max/Tess/baby thing turned out, Maria's character, the Khivar thing, the Kyle/Isabel thing, Graduation of course...am I forgetting something? Probably.

Anyway, I started writing part 5 today, so I'm posting part 3. I think I'll keep this up, staying one chapter ahead with my writing. Problem is, right now I'm working 10 to 12 hours a day 5 days a week, which means I leave the house at 8am and come home around 10:30pm, which means that I am not capable of writing, excpet on my days off. But I doubt I'll be keeping this job, so I should have more writing time soon.

To answer some of your questions:

Yup, Michael sees through Liz's lie. He won't necessarily be his typical self about Alec, but some things never change... No, Maria and the others don't know that Liz sang in a bar. Kyle has his own apartment because he didn't want to spend another year sleeping on the couch and because moving back into the room where Alex died was not an option. Besides, he saved a lot of money over the summer, so he can afford it. Yup, Tess is gone, she blew off with the Granolith at the end of Departure just like on the show. And Alec will definitely take a shot at Max sooner or later.

And regarding how often I'll be updating, I want to stick to the one-part-a-week rhythm with WTRBTF and I'll try to get either a part of DTD or NUF up once a week. I'll probably be updating this more often than NUF though.

Now on to the part. It's sort of a transition part, setting up certain things for later. Hope you like it anyway.



Part 3

Liz was just coming out of the bathroom, hair still a bit damp from the shower she’d just taken, when her phone started ringing. It was Sunday and she still had an hour till her shift started so she’d planned to get some homework done. Despite it being only the third week of school, she was practically buried under homework and projects. Kyle would say that that’s what she got from only taking advanced courses, but Liz actually enjoyed it. She hated nothing more than having nothing to do and right now she just needed something to throw herself into. School was simply perfcect for that.

Walking over to her nightstand, she picked up the reciever. “Hello?”

“Hi sweetie, it’s me.”

A smile broke over Liz’s face. “Hey Mandy, what’s up?” She hadn’t really talked much to her aunt since she’d come back and she missed it. She’d grown used to having her around over the summer, just as had last summer.

“Not much,” Mandy replied. “What about you? How is my favorite niece these days?”

Liz laughed. “You mean your only niece.”

Liz could practically see Mandy shrugging nonchalantly. “Same difference. So tell me, what have you been up to? I haven’t exactly heard a lot from you lately.”

Liz immeadiately felt guilty. “I know. I’m sorry. I guess I’ve just been busy with…you know…things.”

Mandy sighed dramatically. “Making you feel guilty is no fun my dear Liz, it’s much too easy. Now spill. How was your return to Roswell?”

“It was…not what I expected,” Liz said, plopping down on her bed. She knew this conversation would be taking longer and so she might as well get comfortable. “I don’t know. I mean, I missed home while I was gone, but now, I miss Florida more.”

“Aww darling,” Mandy cooed. “That’s so sweet.”

Liz chuckled, despite herself. “Of course I miss you too, but it’s not just that. I miss my job, I miss the beach, I miss hanging out with Kyle and Jondy and-” she broke off abruptly.

“And Alec?” Mandy finished.

Liz sighed. “Yeah,” she whispered. “And Alec.”

“Wanna tell me what happened between you?”

“It…it’s hard to explain,” Liz began. “We were just, you know, friends or something. Okay, so maybe not friends but…we definitely weren’t a couple or dating or anything. We just…got along. I liked him. I really liked him, from the start. There was just…something there, I guess. I didn’t want anything serious though and neither did he…it was perfect the way it was. Or so I told myself. I guess a part of me wanted, or at least concidered wanting more from the start, but I was just in denial about it.”

“That’s no surprise after how your last relationship ended,” Mandy reasoned. “So, what changed?”

“I don’t know. Looking back, I’d say that the longer this thing between us was going on, the more I wanted it to be something more than just a fling. I just didn’t realize it, or didn’t want to realize it. But then he left on that business trip and I…I missed him. I missed him so much. I mean, he was only gone for two weeks, and we talked on the phone and everything, but still.

“And then he came back and there was this girl with him and, God, I was eaten up with jealousy. I mean, I know now that there was nothing going on between them, but in that moment… I guess it just hit me. I realized that I cared for him a lot more than I’d admitted to myself so far and at the same time I realized that I had no claim on him, that I’d let my fear and insecurities get the better of me. Anyway, the next time we talked, I mean really talked, it somehow came up what was going on between us. And it turned out that he wanted more too and I…I just panicked. I was overwhelmed. I know it was stupid, but I was suddenly so afraid. Afraid of getting involved again, afraid of getting hurt again. I mean, it was what I wanted, but at the same time it scared the shit out of me. And in that moment, the fear just won out. So I ran,” Liz finished.

It wasn’t a lie, she told herself. Not really. She had panicked at the thought of getting involved again and she had left because she’d been scared, those two things just didn’t necessarily have anything to do with each other. But she could hardly tell her aunt the rest, now could she? Hell, she couldn’t even think about it. Alec wasn’t…he didn’t know…oh God. Just thinking about it made her panic all over again.

“Oh baby, I’m so sorry,” Mandy said, interrupting her trail of thoughts. “I guess telling you that you should have probably stayed and talked to him won’t help you now, huh?”

“No,” Liz replied, sadness tingeing her voice. “I figured that one out by myself. I mean, how could I be so stupid? How could I just throw what we had away?” And she meant what she said. Despite the panic, despite the fear, it would have been worth the shot. She should have trusted Alec, should have had more faith in him. Maybe he wouldn’t have reacted all that badly. Maybe he would have still wanted to be with her, no matter how slim Liz figured the chances for that to be. And if he’d wanted nothing to do with her after knowing the truth, she could have still left after explaining it all to him. That couldn’t have been so much worse than the situation was now, right?

“Don’t beat yourself up, sweetie,” Mandy told her. “It’s understandable that you panicked at the thought of getting involved again. I know how much it hurt you when Max got that other girl pregnant.”

Liz eyes narrowed, forgetting all about Alec for a moment. “Wait a minute, how do you know about that? I never told you what happened between Max and me.”

“Oh…um…” Mandy stuttered, for probably the first time in her life fumbling for the right words. Then she sighed. “Okay, you caught me. Your mom sort of mentioned it to me the other day.”

“Mom told you?” Liz asked in disbelief.

“In her defense, she assumed I already knew,” Mandy said quickly. “Don’t be mad at her, okay? I didn’t mean to blab it to you that I know.”

“I’m not mad,” Liz said. “Not really. Just surprised I guess. I wasn’t aware of the fact that you two discuss me,” I point out.

“We don’t, as a rule. Not like that at least. But your mom was pretty worried about you after you came back home, you know? And that of course came up when we talked and one time she mentioned that you told her that Max had gotten another girl pregnant. I didn’t tell her that was news to me though, I thought it was better that way. Are you upset that I know?”

“No! Of course not. I would have told you myself, but…it’s just not exactly my favorite subject and once I was in Florida I just wanted to put everything that had to do with Roswell out of my mind. That’s the only reason I didn’t tell you.”

“It’s okay sweetie, you don’t have to explain yourself to me. So, have you seen Max?”

Liz snorted. “It could hardly be avoided. Even though I did a pretty good job of that in the first two weeks I was back. But then I ran into him when I walked home form Kyle’s new apartment. Kyle moved out from his dad’s by the way. I think he acquired a taste for living without parental supervision.”

“Really? How is he doing on his own?”

“Pretty good. Well, his apartment would be a mess and lack any and all style and taste if it weren’t for me, but otherwise he’s fine. Really enjoying being on his own feet. He got a job as a car mechanic and with what he earned over the summer he’s pretty comfortable financially.”

“Give him my love the next time you see him. Now back to Max. What happened when you ran into him?”

Liz sighed. She knew that tone. Mandy was on a quest, doing what she did best – digging for information. Meaning she wouldn’t stop asking questions before she knew everything she wanted to know. Not that Liz minded all that much. She had no problem telling her aunt about Max.

“I guess what was to be expected. He came after me, wanting to talk or something, completely not caring that I had nothing to say to him. He tried forcing his will down my throat, I got upset and decked him.”

Mandy made a strange sound, almost as if she was chocking on her laughter. “Oh my God, you punched him?” she gasped, then started laughing. “That’s my girl,” she said proudly. “What did he do?”

“Nothing much. He’s left me alone ever since, but I’m afraid that’s too good to last. He’s stubborn and holds a general disregard for other people’s feelings and wishes, so he’ll keep on trying to get me to talk to him until I give in. Which should be sometime around hell freezing over,” Liz snarled.

“Well, you can just punch him again,” Mandy suggested. “Maybe then he’ll get the message. Or talk to him and get it over with. I’m sure you have a few things to say to him after what he did.”

Liz thought about it. “I guess I do. I just didn’t figure he was worth my time.”

“And he probably isn’t,” Mandy agreed. “But it might bring you some closure if you can get it all off your chest. And it might make him understand and get him to leave you alone.”

“Maybe you’re right.”

Mandy decided to change the subject. “So, why did you call me to ask if I’d seen Alec around? You hung up pretty fast, I could barely get two words in.”

Liz winced. She hadn’t realized how rude she’d been to her aunt. “Sorry ‘bout that,” she said sheepishly. “It was a sucky day. I tried calling Alec, but his phone was disconnected and so I called the company where he worked, but they told me that he’d quit, and so I called you to ask if you’d seen him. But you hadn’t and neither had Matt and Jondy was gone too…”

“Yeah, Matt told me that she quit from one day to the next. Even offered to go without her last check since she was bailing on him so abruptly. He of course paid her. Matt can be such a softie…” Mandy trailed off, her voice almost dreamy.

Liz’s mouth dropped open. “I can’t believe you!” she teased. “What has gotten into you? You sound like you could almost be serious about Matt.”

Mandy laughed. “Maybe I am.”

Liz gasped. “Seriously?” she asked. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She couldn’t remember one guy Mandy had dated for longer than a few weeks. She was single out of conviction. When had that changed?

“I don’t know,” Mandy said, sounding almost flustered. “I like Matt. He doesn’t annoy me like most guys do. I sort of like the idea of him hanging around for the long run.”

“Oh my God!” Liz squealed getting up.

“Now, don’t get your hopes up too early,” Mandy warned. “I have no idea if this is really going to work out.”

“But you’re considering it!” Liz said still squealing while she started dancing around the room. “And then you’ll get married and have babies…I’ve always wanted little cousins!”

Mandy chuckled sounding just a little but panicked by the idea of having children. “I think you’re getting a little ahead of me here.”

Liz ignored her as she began to sing. “Mandy and Matt, sitting on a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G…”

~*~*~*~

When Liz and Mandy finally hung up Liz only had a few minutes to get ready for her shift. She quickly changed into her uniform, pulled her hair up and put on her abhorrent antennas, then headed downstairs. Liz was working the afternoon shift which meant that the café was full but not packed. The lunch rush was over so there were only a few people coming in for a full meal, the rest was there for coffee and a piece of pie or a Blood Of An Alien Smoothie, basically just to hang out. Which meant that it was busy enough to not be boring but at the same time not hectic.

Liz was just bringing coffee and pie to one of the tables when the bell above the door jingled, announcing a new customer. Glancing up, Liz saw Sean walk into the café with a blond girl. She had blue eyes, shoulder long, straight hair and a few freckles on her nose. She gave a laughing Sean a not-too-gentle shove and Liz took an instant liking to her.

Smiling, Liz walked over to their booth. “Look what the cat dragged in,” she said smirking good naturedly.

Sean laughed. “Pretty big words from someone so small,” he shot back.

“Size doesn’t matter,” Liz insisted.

Sean smirked. “Whatever you say, Dopey.”

Liz slugged his shoulder. “I take offense in that.”

Sean laughed. Then he remembered his manners. “This is Megan by the way. Megan, Liz.”

Liz smiled. “Hey, nice to meet you.”

“Likewise,” Megan said, also smiling, even though Liz thought she saw something else in her eyes too.

“So, is it the new Crashdown policy to annoy the customers until they leave again or did you simply forget how waitressing works over the summer, meaning that we will eventually be able to order, once you remember?” Sean asked teasingly.

“Keep it up and I’ll spit in your drink,” Liz warned.

“As long as it’s not Michael who does the spitting,” Sean replied shrugging.

Liz tilted her head to the side, a wicked smile slipping onto her lips. “Hmm, now that’s an idea,” she mused.

“I should really learn when to keep my mouth shut,” Sean muttered.

Once they’d ordered Liz went off to make the milkshakes they’d requested. When she came back to the table, only Megan was there. “Here you go,” Liz said setting down the drinks.

“Thanks,” Megan replied taking a sip.

“You look sort of familiar,” Liz began. “Did you go to West Roswell High?”

Megan nodded. “Yeah, I graduated two years ago.”

“That makes you what, a year younger than Sean? Did you know each other at school?”

Megan shook her head. “No, not really. I mean, I knew him, but I doubt he even knew I existed back then.”

Liz smiled knowingly. So this went back quite a bit. “Well, you got him now, didn’t you?”

Megan grinned. “Looks like it.” She paused for a moment, seemingly indecisive. “You know, I was insanely jealous of you at first,” she finally admitted.

Liz looked shocked, genuinely so. “Of me? Why?

Megan shrugged, suddenly looking uncomfortable. “I don’t know. Sean mentioned you a few times when we started dating, and I just got this feeling that, I don’t know, that you were more to him than his cousin’s best friend or something.”

Liz sat down in the booth across from her with the strong need to clear up the situation. The last thing she wanted was to cause trouble – even if it was just indirectly – between Sean and his girlfriend, now that he’d finally found someone who seemed right for him.

“Sean and I are friends and that’s it,” she started to explain. They’d only shared a few kisses and that certainly didn’t make them anything more than that, so Liz saw no reason for mentioning those incidents. Megan would only get the wrong idea if she did. “We’ve known each other for a pretty long time and before I went away for the summer, I sort of went through a rough patch. Sean had to deal with coming back from juvie and so we sort of helped each other through that. The only reason he ever mentioned me is probably because he was worried. I was still pretty messed up when I left.”

Megan still looked doubtful and so Liz continued. “You know, I happened to catch him once when I was calling Maria and he told me about you right away. He sounded quite smitten, even over the phone, and from what I’ve heard from Maria, he’s never been this worked up over a girl.”

Megan’s cheeks flushed a pretty shade of pink and she didn’t even try to suppress the grin. “Seriously?” she asked.

Liz nodded and smiled. Seeing how she reacted to the news, Megan seemed just as smitten with Sean as Sean with her.

That’s when Sean showed up again. “What are you talking about?” he asked frowning, having seen the look that passed between the two girls.

“Nothing,” Megan said smiling.

“Just girl-stuff,” Liz told him while getting up, also smiling.

Sean didn’t seem satisfied with that answer, but he dropped it. He knew better than to try and wield information out of females.

“I didn’t spit in your drink,” Liz added. “At least not this time.”

Sean chuckled. “You’re so gracious.”

~*~*~*~

School was already over for the day when Liz made her way towards the biology lab, but she had a project for extra credit she wanted to get started on. Liz had neglected, almost forgotten her dream of going to Harvard in the past two years, Max and the aliens having taken her focus off school. But her ambition was back full force now. She was dead set on making Valedictorian, or at least coming damn close, which meant she needed the best grades possible. Harvard only took the best, and even though her grades had still been good the past two years, they could have been better. Would have to be better this year if she wanted to make it.

Once Liz reached the classroom she started gathering the things she would need for the project. She had to compare slides of cells of different organisms – plants, animals, fungus – and write a report about them, complete with sketches of the cells, minimum four pages.

Just when she had everything ready to get started, the classroom door she’d left open was suddenly closed. She glanced up surprised, then rolled her eyes in annoyance and turned her attention back to the microscope. “I’m busy,” she said, making sure she sounded as frosty and rude as she felt.

“Well that’s too bad,” Max replied. “Because we have some talking to do.”


tbc


AN: If you *cough* disliked the Max/Liz talk in Busted you have something to look forward to. :D
Tact is for people not witty enough to be sarcastic.
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holier than thou | katastrophee
Updated 03/16/07 | Updated 02/10/08

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Calinia
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Post by Calinia » Sun Jul 18, 2004 3:00 pm

burningchaos, isn't this site the best? I'm glad you're enjoying this, hope I'll live up to your expectations concerning Max getting his due!


Disclaimer: Some of the lines are taken from Busted, but not many. Just borrowing them and fixing the mess they created.


Part 4

Just when she had everything ready to get started, the classroom door she’d left open was suddenly closed with a bang. She glanced up surprised, then rolled her eyes in annoyance and turned her attention back to the microscope. “I’m busy,” she said, making sure she sounded as frosty and rude as she felt.

“Well that’s too bad,” Max replied. “Because we have some talking to do.”


Liz snorted. “I don’t think so,” she retorted, not even looking up from the microscope. If Max thought he could prance in here and tell her what to do, he had another thing coming.

“You can’t go on ignoring me forever,” he told her, his voice making it clear that he wouldn’t take no for an answer. Like Liz cared what he would or wouldn’t take as an answer. “We’re gonna talk sooner or later, so why not sooner?”

“I have nothing to say to you,” Liz growled, repeating the words she’d spoken to him when they’d first run into each other after she came back to Roswell. Only this time, she didn’t quite mean them. She had things to say to him. Angry, hurtful words bubbled up inside her, demanding to be released. She wanted to lash out and hurt him like she’d been hurt but at the same time she didn’t want to sink down to his level. That was the only thing still holding her back. But if he kept on pushing, she knew she wouldn’t be able to hold on to her control much longer. Wouldn’t want to hold onto her control, actually. He was asking for it.

“Damn it Liz, how much longer do you want to punish me?” Max exclaimed and Liz’s hands curled into fists while she stubbornly stared into the microscope. Punish him? Had he lost his mind?

“I’m sorry, okay? If I could take it back, I would. But I can’t,” Max continued, his words spoken far too casually to be interpreted as a sincere apology. He sounded almost upset about having to utter them in the first place. Like he was forcing himself to apologize only because he figured Liz would probably want to hear it. Liz wanted to just throw something at him for that.

“I love you,” he went on, almost sounding weary. “I know we can make this work. We can get passed this. I just want to put everything that happened behind us.”

Liz snorted, still forcing herself to keep her eyes on her work. She would not give him the satisfaction of receiving more attention than he deserved, which was next to nothing right now. Besides, she knew that it was driving him mad that she was still ignoring him, something that brought her a strange kind of pleasure.

“Yeah, you know, I would too if I had impregnated an alien killer who murdered one of my best friends and then left the planet with my unborn child.” Her voice was like ice, but Max didn’t seem to notice. Seeing only what he wanted to see had become like a second nature to him.

Max sighed, this time definitely wearily. “You’re still holding on to that?”

That was the last straw, Liz decided, finally looking up, jumping up from her seat. Her heart was pounding as rage began to pump through her. She was literally shaking with fury. She could have sworn that there was a red haze surrounding the edges of her vision. “Are you insane?” she snarled so loudly that Max flinched. “Holding on to that? Holding on to that? Have you lost your mind? After everything you said, everything you did to me you actually have the nerve to whine because I’m still holding on to that?

“It didn’t mean anything! You know that! I didn’t love Tess! Meeting someone like me, Liz, it attracted me. I admit that. It was something I had to find out about and now I'm over it.”

For a moment Liz just stared at him. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She couldn’t believe that the boy she had once loved so much would actually try to brush the whole thing of with such a stupid, asinine, foolish excuse. She couldn’t believe that he actually sounded exasperated.

“It attracted you and now you’re over it?” she asked, almost more stupefied than angry. But that changed quickly enough.

“Of course you’re over it now, Maxwell! She’s a psycho-killer! She killed Alex, she wanted to kill you and Michael and Isabel! But geez, that really surprises me that you don’t want her anymore! She was an easy fuck after all, would have probably been handy to keep her around.” Her voice was oozing with anger and sarcasm and disgust. What had she ever seen in him? she wondered

Max sighed. This was harder than he had expected. Why couldn’t she see that they belonged together? Sleeping with Tess had been a mistake, but couldn’t they just put it behind them? He didn’t see why not. He was here after all. Here to stay. There was no way home, not anymore. He had accepted that. Why couldn’t she?

“Liz, I understand that you’re upset,” he said calmly, diplomatically, even though his patience was starting to wear thin. “But I’m here. I'm not going anywhere. We've lost our only way home. There's no way back. I just want to be with you.” Max looked at Liz now and the passion that used to make her heart skip a beat was back in his eyes. “I want to make it up to you,” he told her.

Liz snorted, almost amused by Max’s words. A year ago, such a declaration would have left her blushing and breathless. Now she felt nothing. “Oh, so now that Tess is gone and your son is gone and you don't have a way home and you know that I didn't sleep with Kyle and you realized that I was right about Alex being killed by an alien you want to be with me? Geez Maxwell, I feel so special. Really high on your list of priorities, aren’t I?” she spat.

Now Max was beginning to look annoyed. “Liz, that's not the way it is. I never stopped loving you, not for a second,” he told her in a tone that suggested she ought to know and accept that and just move on already.

Liz laughed, but there was no amusement in it. “Nice way of showing it Max.”

Max reached out, touched her arm. “Liz-”

She pulled back as if burned, anger once again flaming up in her eyes. “No! Don't you dare. You know, when you thought I'd slept with Kyle you weren't even willing to talk to me. I had to save your life before you agreed to try to be friends again. Not that that ever really worked out, now did it? You only ever came to me when you needed me because of some alien-bullshit. And now that you've fucked Tess and knocked her up you expect me to act like it never happened and forgive you?”

Max actually looked sort of shocked. Maybe he was finally getting it, Liz mused. Or maybe he just hadn’t thought that she would actually stand up for herself. He had probably assumed that she'd just take him back because he was Max and she was Liz and that's the way things were. Boy, was he in for a rude awakening.

Once Liz had started, she couldn’t stop anymore. All the pent-up anger, the hurt and the betrayal Liz had ever felt because of Max was rushing through her, wanting to lash out, to wound. "And you know Max, let's just leave Tess out of the equation for a second. My best friend died and you turned your back on me! I loved Alex like a brother, and you couldn’t have cared less! The one time I would have really needed you, you abandoned me and ran straight into Tess' waiting arms. You wouldn't even for a second consider that maybe I was right and that maybe an alien was responsible for Alex's death and you left it to me to find out the truth. You didn't give a shit that I was risking my life, that what I was doing was dangerous for me, you only ever worried about yourself and your secret and even went as far as accusing me of being reckless and putting everyone else in danger. And the truth is that I actually saved all your lives! You treated me like shit Max, and that's putting it nicely. Just take the night I came over to ask Tess about her powers. 'New theory?'-'Oh, so Tess killed Alex. Is that your theory?'-'Tess, did you kill Alex?'." Her voice was mocking, dripping with sarcasm and anger.

“Liz, it wasn’t like that! You accused us of being responsible of his death! You practically forced us to act the way we did. What should we have done?”

“You should have woken up!” Liz cried. “You should have taken some damn responsibility and investigated his death! You should have pulled your head out of your ass and taken your fucking blinders off and looked at what was right in front of your eyes!”

Max winced. “Not so loud. Someone might hear us.”

Liz froze over at that. Her eyes were so cold, it chilled Max to the bone. This was even worse than the hot, bubbling anger he had seen before, he realized. “I don’t give a shit if someone hears us,” she told him, her voice so low he had to strain to understand what she was saying. “I’m done protecting you. I’m done risking my life for you. Go find another fool.” With that said she turned around, dismissing him.

Furious, Max whirled her around to face him. “Are you threatening me?” he demanded. “Would you really hurt Isabel and Michael and me over this little spat?”

Liz shook her head in disgust. “You are such an idiot, Maxwell. I’m not like you. I won’t make innocent people pay for your mistakes. Of course I’m not gonna do anything to hurt Isabel and Michael. The mere suggestion proves how far gone you really are.”

“And me?” he demanded, hurt shimmering in his eyes. “You’d hurt me?”

You hurt me Max!” Liz exclaimed, losing all patience with his idiocy. “Don’t you get that? You ripped my heart out! I trusted you! I fucking trusted you! And you, you hurt me again and again and again! But you know what? I'm sick of hurting. I'm sick of having my heart broken and I'm sick of suffering and I'm sick of being in pain. I'm just sick of it all. Wanna know what I realized over the summer? It doesn't have to be that way. Love and pain don't automatically go hand in hand. Maybe you really never hurt me intentionally, I actually believe that you’re stupid enough to have done that accidentally. But that didn't prevent it from happening. I refuse to accept the possibility that it might happen again. And looking back on the last two years, chances are pretty high that it would, especially now that you're on your little quest to save your love-child. I mean, what if Tess shows up again? What if you find your son? Do you actually expect me to play surrogate mother to him? Or is that just gonna be another part of your life that would forever stand between us?”

Max was quiet, for once seemingly speechless.

When Liz continued her voice was barely more than a whisper. “I want to be happy Max. I'm not gonna settle for anything less. And you just can't give me that anymore. Looking back, I think you never could." With that said she grabbed her bag and stalked out of the room.

~*~*~*~

When Liz finally got home she went straight to her bedroom. Luckily she wasn’t working that day, so she had some time to herself. God knew she needed it.

After leaving Max behind in the biology lab she’d headed to one of the bathrooms to cool off. Once she’d been sure that Max had left she’d gone back, intending to work some more on her project. It had been futile though, she hadn’t been able to concentrate and so she’d packed up and left. Just like Max to come and ruin her day, she figured.

Since she’d intended to work on the project till Kyle was done with football practice, she didn’t have a ride home. Deciding that walking was better than waiting, she’d headed home on foot. The walk had done her good though. It had cleared her head, cooled off some of her anger. He wasn’t worth it after all. She knew he wasn’t worth it.

When Liz was finally in her room she plopped down on her bed, automatically reaching for the remote control of her stereo system and hitting play. Natalie Cole’s “I miss you like crazy” came on. She’d had that song on repeat for…she wasn’t sure, probably weeks now.

Even though it’s been so long
My love for you keeps going strong
I remember the things that we used to do
A kiss in the rain til’ the sun shined through
I’d try to deny it, but I’m still in love with you

I miss you like crazy, I miss you like crazy
Ever since you went away, every hour of every day
I miss you like crazy, I miss you like crazy
No matter what I say or do, there’s just no getting over you


She settled into the pillows, sighed a little and let herself daydream. She didn’t do this often, didn’t let herself do this often, but right now she needed it. She doubted that it was wise to live in a dream world as much as she did lately, but she couldn’t help herself. She missed Alec and it was just so easy to escape into fantasies for a little while. Fantasies where she hadn’t run, where she was back in Florida with Alec, living a never-ending summer together, just being happy. Fantasies where things like aliens didn’t occur, where there were no misunderstandings, no doubts.

She had enough of those in real life.

The more time passed, the more Liz began to wonder if Alec had truly had feelings for her, feelings that went beyond friendship or lust or whatever it was that had cause them to end up together. That day, the last time she’d seen him up on that hill, it was he who’d started talking about a relationship. Their relationship. That had to mean something, right? But she’d cornered him, without a doubt surprising him by revealing that she’d heard his conversation with Max. What if he’d just said it out of impulse? What if he’d just said it to cover up his true feelings? What if he hadn’t meant it? What if Max was right and he was only looking to get laid?

Her heart told her that that was ridiculous, that Alec would never pretend to have feelings for her just to get into her pants.

But that didn’t make the lingering doubt go away.

She’d clearly heard Max sneering something about Alec’s long line of conquests. She’d heard Jondy asking if he’d really been that much of a player in Seattle. And Max’s reply. Worse.

And Alec hadn’t denied it. He hadn’t objected. He hadn’t said a single thing to make Liz believe that Max had somehow been wrong. And that was exactly where this nagging feeling of doubt came from. How could those two things mesh? How could he be so sweet and caring and wonderful to her and at the same time chase after every skirt in sight? Because that’s certainly what Max had made his dating habits sound like.

Looking at it from a logical point of view, Liz just couldn’t dismiss the option that Alec hadn’t seen more in her than a rather challenging conquest-to-be, even though her heart refused to believe it.

Either way, it didn’t change her feelings though. She was still in love with him. She still missed him. It still tore her up inside to know that she might never see him again. Especially now that the three month anniversary of their first kiss was coming up. Only a few more days…

And I miss you like crazy, I miss you like crazy
No matter what I say or do there’s just no getting over you
And I miss you baby, I miss you baby
All the tender love you gave me
When a feeling gets this strong
You know the real thing come along

And I miss you, I miss you like crazy baby
Only you’re sweet love can save me
I miss you like crazy, a love like ours will never end
Just touch me and we’re there again


~*~*~*~

When Kyle finally reached the biology lab, he was running late. The coach had kept them longer, wanting to go over the strategy for the big game they had coming up next week once again. Like they needed it. They’d gone through it half a dozen times already and would without a doubt go over it another ten times before the day of the game finally came.

Kyle was surprised to find the classroom empty. Liz must have already packed up and was waiting at the entrance, he figured.

But she wasn’t there either, nor was she waiting at his car. Strange. He got out his cell phone and called her.

After a few rings she picked up. “Hello?”

“Hey Liz, where are you?” Kyle asked. He could have sworn that he heard “I miss you like crazy” in the background. She wasn’t listening to that again, was she?

The music in the background suddenly faded away. “Um, I’m already home. Sorry, I should have told you. I completely forgot.”

“No problem.” Kyle paused, frowned. “Is everything alright? You’re not already done with your project, are you?”

“No. Um, something came up. Look, I’ll tell you later, okay?”

“Sure. So, got any plans tonight?” Kyle asked, changing the subject. He knew Liz well enough to know that she’d just dig her heels in and refuse to talk about it if he pushed the subject so he didn’t even try.

“Nope, not really. Why?”

“Well, I got myself a cookbook the other day and I thought I’d try out one of the recipes. You could come over for dinner.”

“You bought a cookbook?” Liz asked, feeling slightly dizzy at Kyle’s revelation and the consequences it might bestow upon her. “And you’re cooking tonight?! Like, a real meal? Not just frozen pizza?”

“Don’t sound so shocked,” Kyle told her defensively. “I mean, how hard can it be?”

Liz thought it better not to answer that question. And since she’d already said she didn’t have any plans for the evening, she wouldn’t have a choice but to play guinea pig to Kyle’s first culinary experiments. Oh boy.


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Post by Calinia » Sun Jul 25, 2004 8:38 am

Well, here's the next part. It's another one of the things-that-need-to-get-done-before-Alec-can-show-up-parts. Hope you'll like it anyway. Don't forget, this is the last Alec-less part! Next update will be next Sunday probably.


Part 5

When Liz reached Kyle’s apartment she was practically shaking with fear. Her hand hovered in the air for a few moments, just inches away from the door, while she struggled to decide what to do. She didn’t have to knock, she reminded herself. She still had time to escape. Her mind was screaming at her to run, run, run! Every instinct in her body told her to just get the hell out of there, away from the dangers lurking behind the door.

But before she could make a move and head towards the stairs, Kyle’s apartment door was jerked open. “Oh, hey Liz,” Kyle greeted her with a big smile. “Just taking the garbage downstairs, be back in a minute. Go in, make yourself comfortable.”

“Um, sure,” Liz said, her heart sinking while she tried to accept the fact that she was stuck here. You couldn’t die from bad cooking, could you?

But when she walked into the apartment she was surprised to discover that it actually smelled pretty good. How deceiving could the smell be, she wondered. Was it foolish to get her hopes up? Or was there an actually chance that she wouldn’t be leaving this apartment on a gurney due to food poisoning?

Then she glanced around the apartment and for the second time in two minutes she was stunned. Had Kyle cleaned? She had expected the place to be a dump. Sweaty clothes strewn around the room, piles of pizza boxes, dust, maybe some cobwebs – the works. That’s the way Jim and Kyle had lived for years. What was going on here? Was this some kind of twilight zone?

And he’d actually gotten curtains. And an overthrow for the couch. And they matched! Okay, this was getting freaky. She hadn’t said one word about the curtains or the overthrow. Kyle couldn’t have thought of that himself, could he?

Kyle came back and Liz almost jumped out of her skin. “God, you scared me!” Her voice was nothing but a nervous squeak and Kyle gave her a strange look.

“Are you alright?” he asked concerned.

“Um, sure,” Liz said while composing herself…as far as that was possible. “So…what’s for dinner?” she asked, dreading the answer even before the words had left her mouth.

“Pasta,” Kyle told her and Liz let out a sigh of relief. You couldn’t do much wrong with pasta, could you?

The relief was too soon though, as Kyle’s next words proved. “I made this really cool sauce to go with it. It’s too complicated to explain, but you’ll love it.”

Complicated? Liz though. Oh no. That couldn’t be good.

Her mind began to race, trying desperately to come up with an excuse that would allow her to leave before having to eat something. But then she was already sitting at the table, a plate of steaming pasta in front of her. It was too late.

She bent down, sniffed at the sauce. It was red and smelled slightly fishy. She couldn’t detect any fish though. Did that mean that it had gone bad? Was it rotten? Did that mean food poisoning after all?

Kyle was looking at her expectantly and so she picked up her fork and spoon as slowly as she could without looking like a complete moron. Forcing a smile onto her face, she rolled up some of the noodles. She hesitated for a moment, the fork hovering in front of her lips. Then she closed her eyes and opened he mouth to let the spaghetti pass through.

Tentatively she started chewing. Then she paused. She couldn’t believe it. This actually tasted good.

Kyle must have interpreted the look on her face correctly. He beamed at her. “Good, isn’t it?”

“Yeah,” Liz said, completely forgetting to keep the astonishment out of her voice. She took another bite. “I mean, wow. This is so good. How did you do that? I mean, you used to have trouble getting water to boil.”

“Hey!” Kyle began to protest. Then he realized that she was right. “It’s the cookbook,” he explained. “It’s really cool and everything is described so that even an idiot could figure out how to cook.” He got up and went over to the kitchen area to get it. “Here, take a look.”

Liz raised an eyebrow. “Happy Days with the Naked Chef?” she asked giggling. “Um, are you sure that this is a cookbook?”

Kyle glared at her mockingly. “Get your mind out of the gutter, Parker. Of course it’s a cookbook. It’s one of Jamie Oliver’s. And let me tell you, that guy is a genius. He’s called the naked chef because he cooks without the frills. Naked so to say. That’s not meant literally. He wears clothes.”

“Okay, okay!” Liz said laughing. Kyle was just too easy sometimes. She put down the book and went back to eating. The food was much too good to let it get cold.

*

“I think I gained ten pounds tonight,” Liz informed Kyle. “And in case you’re interested, I have no intention of leaving this couch…ever.”

Kyle grunted in reply. They were spread out on the other side of the room, Liz on the couch and Kyle on the armchair. After devouring almost half a pound of spaghetti each they’d somehow managed to drag themselves over into the living area and then they’d collapsed, not capable of moving any longer. They’d already taken thirty minutes to recover, but so far there hadn’t been any significant changes concerning their condition.

“Wanna tell me why you left school earlier than planned today?” Kyle asked breaking the silence. He figured that now was as good a time as any to broach the subject since Liz probably didn’t have a lot of strength to fight him.

Liz groaned.

“I take that as a yes,” Kyle said. “So…?”

Liz sighed. She didn’t have the strength to fight him right now. Not after the amount of pasta she’d eaten. “Max cornered me. We had a little talk that ended in a shouting match. I couldn’t really concentrate on my work afterwards, so I went home,” Liz explained, giving him the shortest version possible of what happened. The shorter the version, the less it aggravated her, the less it would aggravate Kyle.

Kyle scowled. “What did his majesty want?” he asked sarcastically.

“The usual,” Liz shrugged, then she went on mimicking Max. “I love you, I want to be with you. I don’t see why we can’t be together. None of this was my fault. The big bad world ganged up on me. Why can’t we just forget it? Fucking Tess didn’t mean anything and I even sort of almost regret it.” Her voice had grown angry towards the end, the fury coming back to her as she though of all the idiotic things Max had said to her earlier that day.

Kyle sputtered, looking outraged. “That stupid son of a bitch! I can’t believe he had the nerve to say all that to you! Who the hell does he think he is? And what the hell has he been smoking?!”

Liz almost smiled at Kyle’s outburst. It was nice having someone so livid on her behalf. “It’s not that big a deal. I’ve expected this to happen sooner or later. And at least that gave me the chance to tell him exactly what I think of him.” She smirked at the memory. “I don’t think he’ll be recovering from the conversation any time soon.”

Kyle calmed down a bit. That was a nice mental picture, Max being put in his place. Too bad he hadn’t been there to witness the whole thing.

“Speaking of which,” Liz began tentatively. “Maybe it’s time we told the others that we developed powers,” she suggested, then held her breath waiting for Kyle’s reaction.

He didn’t explode, so that was something. “What?” Kyle asked surprised and just a little upset. “Are you serious? You want to tell them?! Now?!

Liz saw the opportunity to convince Kyle and so she took it. “Well, they have a right to know,” she went on, knowing just what to say to push the right buttons. “And there’s not really a reason not to tell them, is there?”

Kyle thought about it for a minute. “Guess not,” he said, even though he didn’t sound very convinced.

“Look, we’ll have to tell them sooner or later, and I’d rather get it over and done with. I want to leave that part of my life behind me, move on. Start over. But that’s not possible without telling them first. Don’t you want the same?”

Kyle sighed and Liz knew she’d won. “Yeah. Let’s get it over with.”

~*~*~*~

The next day Liz and Kyle were out in the quarry. They used to meet there whenever they needed to discuss anything alien-related that required complete privacy, so Liz and Kyle figured it was as good a place as any. They’d talked to Isabel, Michael and Maria at school the day after making the decision to tell the others and had been surprised when they’d managed to arrange a meeting the following day. They hadn’t even asked a lot of questions. Isabel had promised to drag Max along, whether he liked it or not. Liz had no doubt that she would do just that.

Kyle and Liz had been the first to arrive and both of them were growing nervous waiting for the others. They were pretty sure that Michael and Isabel would be upset that they hadn’t told them earlier. Not to mention Max, but neither of them really gave a rat’s ass about what he thought of the whole thing.

Not too long after their arrival the Jetta came into view with a billowing cloud of dust behind it. They saw it minutes before it came to the actual meeting spot, which was the main reason why they’d come here so often. It was impossible to sneak up on them with the cliff on one side with the lake below and the open space of the dessert on the other side.

When Maria’s beat-up Volkswagen came to a halt she and Michael got out. Liz had expected Michael to be upset to be summoned to a meeting by her and Kyle, but he didn’t look upset at all. Actually, he looked pretty chipper. Which was extremely disconcerting, considering that this was Michael. Then Liz took a closer look at him, as well as Maria. They looked slightly disheveled. Hmm…she was starting to get a rather good idea what had put Michael into such a good mood. That would also explain why they were too late.

“So, where’s the fire?” Maria asked, practically skipping around the car. Oh yes, Liz definitely knew what they’d been up to.

“I think it’s better to wait till everyone is here,” Liz began. “That way we’ll only have to go through it all once.”

“Sure,” Maria said agreeing easily and Michael just shrugged his shoulder.

Fifteen minutes later another cloud of dust appeared in the distance and shortly after a blue Chevelle screeched to a halt beside the Jetta.

Max jumped out, clearly annoyed, and stalked over to the group. Isabel got out of the car after him. “Sorry we’re late,” she called out to the others while making her way over to them. She flicked her hair over her shoulder. “Max and I had a little…talk before we could come here,” she explained, leaving little to the imagination of what the talk had been about.

Max glared at her for a moment, then he focused on the group, or to be more exact, on Liz and Kyle. “So, will someone finally tell us why the hell we’re here?” he asked, his tone a mixture of irritation and arrogance. “I’ve got more important things to do,” he continued, making it pretty clear what he thought of Liz and Kyle calling a meeting and demanding that he be present.

Liz sent him any ice glare while Kyle took a step forward, challenging him. “Stuff it Evans. You don’t like it, leave. It’s as simple as that.”

They stared each other down for a few minutes before Max crossed his hands over his chest and fell into a sulky silence while sending icy glares towards Kyle.

“Okay,” Liz began, also taking a step forward. She brushed a strand of hair behind her ear, a clear sign that she was nervous. “Something happened over the summer and we thought that you should know about it.” There was a short pause and out of the corner of her eyes she saw something flashing in Max’s eyes. She didn’t look though. She didn’t care what he though or how he would react to this, so she damn well wouldn’t give him more attention than absolutely necessary.

Liz didn’t know how to say it, so she just blurred it out. “Kyle and I developed powers.”

However Liz had expected them to react, this was not a scenario that had passed through her mind. They were all just staring at her. There was no shouting, no yelling, no arguing. Just silence. God, this was freaky.

“Um, guys? Did you understand what I just said?”

“You developed powers,” Maria replied mater-of-factly. “Wow.” It was more an afterthought than anything else, and it didn’t sound very stunned or surprised either.

Liz and Kyle exchanged a look. Weird much? “Um, yeah,” Liz replied. “It happened a few days after we got to Florida. I think mine have been lying dormant for quite some time, since they were pretty strong when I first used them. Kyle’s aren’t that well developed yet, but then, he was shot almost a year after me, so I guess that makes sense. We can only do small things, like manipulating molecular structure and healing small wounds like scraps or small cuts. We don’t know if we have any other powers…” She stopped rambling. “Guys?” she asked. They were seriously beginning to freak her out.

Max shook himself out of it first. He stepped forward, about to say something, when Michael grabbed his arm. He gave Max a look that clearly meant ‘Let me handle this.’

Max shook him off, storming forward. “You had no right, no right, to keep this from us! Who the hell do you think you are making decisions like that?!” he exclaimed.

Liz gasped, speechless for a few seconds. Kyle didn’t have that problem though. “Shut the fuck up, Evans!” he shouted. “We had every right not to tell you! We wanted one stupid summer away from all this shit, and so we took it. You don’t like it, maybe you should ask yourself why we needed to get away in the first place. Do the words ‘lying, murdering whore’ ring a bell?”

Max shrunk back a bit. He hadn’t expected Kyle to blow up like this. He also hadn’t expected him to be this intimidating when he did.

Michael stepped between the two of them, pushing Max a step back. He glared at him. “Think for a moment, will you? Do you really expect Liz to come running to us with news like that after the way we treated her before she left?”

Liz’s mouth fell open. She hadn’t expected to hear something like that from Michael of all people…aliens…whatever. He had practically apologized, even if indirectly.

Max looked equally surprised. He opened his mouth to say something, but seeing the look on Michael’s face, shut it again. Despite the changes in Michael, he knew better than to underestimate his temper.

Michael turned around so that he was facing Kyle and Liz. “So you developed powers?” he asked calmly. “Any adverse affects?”

Liz gave him a suspicious look. He was too calm, too reasonable. “Well, we checked our blood and it was changed,” she began hesitantly. “Mine pretty much completely while Kyle’s was still a mixture of normal blood cells and alien ones. But actually, I took a look at my blood again today and it’s back to looking normal. My guess is that it changed during the time I developed my powers, but once the transformation was complete it went back to normal again, probably because the alien cells weren’t needed anymore. They must have been some sort of catalyst that enabled the change.”

“Wait a minute!” Kyle said interrupting Liz. “They went back to normal? Seriously? Why didn’t you tell me?!”

Liz shrugged. “I just found out today. It was sort of a spur of the moment thing, I didn’t really expect to find any changes since the last time. I guess I forgot to mention it on the way here.”

“Your alien-cells-theory sounds reasonable,” Isabel said also stepping forward. “Anything else?”

Liz gave her a strange look. “Well, we once got completely drunk from one sip of wine,” she began. Isabel too? What was going on here? “But I think that is linked to the blood cells. I’m pretty sure that it wouldn’t have the same affect on me now.”

Kyle’s eyes widened. “You mean I’ll be able to drink again?” he asked, obviously thrilled by the outlook.

Liz rolled her eyes, then she noticed that Michael’s gaze had sharpened. “You were drunk?” he asked. “Did you use your powers? Did anybody see you using them?”

“We did use our powers, but we’re pretty sure that nobody saw us.” Except maybe Jondy and Alec. But she thought it better to not mention those two. After all, looking back she wasn’t so sure that they’d seen her healing their tattoos after all. Alec had been stunned to say the least when she’d mentioned the word ‘alien’. Which had led Liz to the rather obvious conclusion that they’d had no idea what they really were. Still, Alec and Jondy had assumed that they were all the same. Which meant that they had to have seen something out of the ordinary. And it also meant that they weren’t normal either. Looking back at some of the things that had happened and seeing some of the things that had been all over the news lately, Liz had a pretty good idea what exactly they were.

Shaking herself out of her thoughts, she realized that Kyle was giving the others a short and slightly altered version of what had happened on their drunk night out.

“Nothing that would have indicated that someone had seen us happened afterwards, and it’s been more than two months, so I’m pretty sure that nobody saw us,” Kyle concluded.

“You’d better be,” Max snarled, speaking up for the first time since Michael had shut him up.

Liz narrowed her eyes at him. “You’re the one to talk, Maxwell,” she hissed. “You gave the whole town an extraterrestrial lightshow when you were drunk, and right on Main Street too. You were damn lucky that nobody came by that night. So I’d shut up real quickly if I were you.”

Max turned bright red. Whether it was from anger or embarrassment, Liz couldn’t tell. But he shut up and so she couldn’t have cared less.

Her attention was suddenly drawn to Maria. She’d been strangely quite and composed up to now, but that seemed to be changing. She was hyperventilating and looked like she was about to pass out.


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Post by Calinia » Sat Aug 07, 2004 6:57 pm

Hey guys, here's the repost of part 6. I wanted to post part 7 on Wednesday, but the board was down then. I would post it now but I'm too tired (it's 2am here) and, honestly, I'm too annoyed. I know it's not the mod's fault that the posts are gone, but I lost about 3 pages of wonderful feedback on this fic as well as replies on my other two stories and on top of that I spent close to two hours nominating fics for the award before we were told that the posts will probably be lost, so now I have to do it all again. And I hate this theme, it drives me crazy. Sorry guys, look for the part tomorrow morning.


Part 6

Her attention was suddenly drawn to Maria. She’d been strangely quite and composed up to now, but that seemed to be changing. She was hyperventilating and looked like she was about to pass out.

“Maria?” Liz asked taking a step forward. “Are you okay?” Stupid question. She could see that she wasn’t okay. She looked like a stranded fish yapping for air.

Michael turned around. “Maria?” He rushed to her side. “Calm down baby, calm down. Here, sit down. Sniff this,” he told her, guiding her over to a boulder before cramming around in her purse for the vial of cedar oil. He held it under her nose and she took several deep breaths. After a few minutes her breathing began to return to normal.

“I’m okay,” she gasped. She sat there for a few moments, letting her breathing even out. Then she got up and started to pace. “Oh my God, I can’t believe this! I’m the only human left. I’m the sole powerless member here. My best friend is an alien. I’m surrounded by aliens,” she rambled, her breathing speeding up again.

“Hey, don’t freak out,” Michael told her soothingly while rubbing her tense shoulders. That was apparently the wrong thing to say though.

Maria whirled around. “Don’t freak out?! I have every right to freak out! My best friend just turned into an alien! How much freakier can it get?” She held her cedar oil under her nose again and sniffed a few times.

Liz watched her, not sure what to do. She was right, she realized. With Alex gone and Kyle and her changed, Maria was the only pure human left in the group. Except for Jim, but he didn’t really count. She couldn’t blame her for freaking out, especially since she obviously hadn’t seen this coming.

Liz went over to Maria, who was still furiously sniffing her oil. “Wanna trade?” she asked, a wry smile on her lips. “I wouldn’t exactly mind still being normal, you know? And I know for a fact that Kyle would give his collection of Buddha statues to trade places with you. He freaked out even more than you did when we realized what was going on.”

A small smile appeared on Maria’s lips, but it wavered, then disappeared. “I can’t believe you’ve changed,” she told Liz quietly.

“Come on Maria, it’s not that big a thing. Nothing really changed. So I can heat up water with my hands. Big deal. It’s not like I can walk on it. This isn’t the second coming,” Liz told her, hoping to draw another smile out of Maria. It didn’t work though.

“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” Maria said, not sounding convinced. And all of a sudden Liz got the feeling that this wasn’t just about her new abilities. This went deeper. But she could hardly address the subject here with all the others around listening to them. “We’ll talk later, okay?” she whispered instead.

Maria nodded, then averted her gaze.

“Okay, we need to know everything that you can do and everything you can’t do,” Michael said, breaking the silence. “Just in case something happens.”

Liz was grateful for the distraction. She and Kyle started explained it all carefully to the others. They’d barely begun when Max interrupted them. “Since I’m obviously not needed here,” he snarled. “I’m leaving. I have more important things to do.” Then he turned around and stalked off sulking before jumping into his car and speeding off.

The group looked after him slightly bewildered and then went back to the subject of Liz and Kyle’s powers. The two changed humans began telling the others about the powers they had used on their drunk night out, skillfully leaving out the fact that they had gotten themselves tattoos. It wasn’t like it mattered anyway, they’d gotten rid of them again when Liz’s parents had arrived in Florida since they hadn’t wanted them to see them.

Then they went out recounting their training sessions, carefully explaining what they’d managed to do and where they’d failed so that Michael and Isabel would know the extent but also the limits of their powers. About half an hour later the meeting came to an end, everything important having been discussed.

~*~*~*~

In the mean time Max was heading back to Roswell, not caring that he was going much too fast, not caring that he was being reckless and endangering himself and other people.

How dare they treat him like that? Who the hell did they think they were? He was still their leader. He was still their king. That hadn’t changed. So since when were others in charge? Liz and Kyle of all people, calling a meeting, summoning him there as if he were one of their minions. How dare they?

And what was up with those two anyway? They seemed awfully cozy, exchanging looks and communicating silently and all that shit. Since when were they best buddies? Or was there more going on between them? All those weeks alone in Florida…something was bound to happen if you spent your days lying around on a beach half naked. Kyle was a guy and he’d never forgiven Max for taking Liz away from him. And after Alex’s death Liz had been vulnerable. It would have been easy for someone who played the friend-role up to perfection to take advantage of her state of mind, to fool her into thinking she was in love.

That made sense, Max decided. It also explained why Liz wouldn’t just forgive him already. She was trying to punish him by being with Kyle and Kyle was clearly out for revenge. But they had underestimated Max. He wouldn’t stand for it. He wouldn’t. They wouldn’t play him for a fool. He wouldn’t allow that. He wasn’t weak or stupid enough to be shoved aside just like that. He’d show them. Liz was his and it wouldn’t take long till both Kyle and Liz saw that. He’d make them see.

~*~*~*~

“Um, would you mind if I went back with Maria?” Liz asked Michael before he could get into the Jetta. “We have something to talk about. You know, girl stuff,” she added, knowing that that was threat enough to make sure that Michael would catch a ride with Kyle.

Michael backed away from the car immediately. “Sure, no problem,” he said. He turned around to head over to Kyle’s Mustang, but Liz stopped him. “Wait a minute. Um, not that I’m complaining or anything, but why are you taking this so calmly. I mean, I expected you to be a bit more…”

“Freaked out? Paranoid? Angry?” Michael suggested quirking his brow.

“Something like that,” Liz confirmed.

Michael shrugged. “Wasn’t exactly a big surprise. Ava told us that Max healing you changed you and after what you did with Isabel, we figured that you would be showing other symptoms sooner or later. And when you called the meeting it was pretty obvious what it was about. Turns out that it’s a lot more harmless than we’d actually expected.”

Then he turned around and headed over to Kyle’s car.

Liz stood there, stunned. How come she had never really thought that she would change like this? It seemed like the most obvious thing in the world to Michael, why had it never occurred to her? Strange. Very strange. She would have to give it some more thought later, but right now she had other things on her mind.

She got into the Jetta and Maria started the motor, not questioning Liz’s actions. Nobody said anything until they were back on the road. It was Liz who broke the silence.

“What’s going on, Maria?” she asked gently.

Maria didn’t avert her gaze from the road. She took a moment until she answered. “Why didn’t you tell me?” She tried to keep her voice level, but Liz could still detect the hurt and even a hint of anger.

“You mean about my powers?” Liz asked sounding slightly stunned.

“Of course I mean your powers! I thought we’d worked things out. I thought we were back to being friends. Friends don’t keep secrets from each other, Liz, especially not secrets that big, that important.”

Liz sunk back in her seat, not saying anything for a minute. Why hadn’t she told Maria? She wasn’t sure. “I don’t know. I just…it was all so hectic when I came back, there was so much to deal with. I just put that whole thing out of my mind. I honestly didn’t think of telling anyone until a few days ago.” It was the truth, but it still left Liz feeling uneasy for some reason.

“You didn’t think of telling me?” Maria exclaimed, sounding even more hurt than before. “You mean you didn’t even consider it?”

“No, that’s not-” Liz began, but then she stopped. Actually, maybe that was the way it was. She really hadn’t considered telling Maria. True, she had put the whole issue with no-one knowing about their powers out of her mind, but she hadn’t forgotten about them. She used them rather often actually. They were just so practical. But she hadn’t thought of telling Maria before the others. Not once had that crossed her mind.

“I’m sorry,” she said even though she knew that it wasn’t enough. “I really didn’t think of it. I should have.”

Maria sniffed. “I don’t want your apologies,” she told Liz. “I want you to forgive me. I want you to be my friend again. I want you to trust me, to talk to me like you used to. I…God, Liz, none of this was easy for me either, okay? Last year you went to Florida right after hearing that stupid destiny message, leaving me alone to deal with Michael blocking me out and Max being brokenhearted and lovesick. I would have needed you too, you know, and you just weren’t there. But I wasn’t angry because I understood why you’d left. Can’t you understand why I acted the way I did, at least a little bit?”

Liz glanced over at Maria and to her horror realized that her friend was crying. Tears were streaming down her cheeks.

“Pull over, Maria,” Liz said gently. Maria did so without protest and killed the engine. She didn’t look at Liz though, instead she stared outside the windshield.

Liz sighed, then crammed around in her purse looking for a handkerchief. She found one and handed it to Maria.

“Thanks,” Maria sniffled before blowing her nose and wiping away her tears.

“Maria?” Liz began gently. “Maria, look at me.” Reluctantly, Maria turned her head. Her eyes were red and glazy, making Liz feel even guiltier than she already did.

“I’m sorry, okay? I really am. I know that you’re not the only one who made mistakes and I know that you’re sorry for what happened after Alex’s death.” Maria remained silent and Liz sighed. “Remember the talk we had after I came back? I was serious when I said that I wanted to leave the past behind us and be friends again. I was, but if I’m honest, I didn’t really do that. I was still holding on to it all because…because it’s just damn hard to let go and really forgive and forget. Saying it, even meaning it isn’t enough. You have to act on it too and I didn’t do that. And for that, I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay,” Maria said. “I can hardly blame you. I completely abandoned you after Alex died. I wouldn’t trust myself either if I were you.”

“No, Maria, it’s not okay,” Liz insisted. “Alex’s death was hard on both of us. We were both such a mess…neither of us can really be held accountable for the way we acted. I mean, I wasn’t exactly very smart either with the way I was conducting my investigation. I probably raised a lot of flags. I was reckless and I didn’t even care.”

Maria shrugged. “You were just very…focused. And at least you did something. If it weren’t for you we would have never found out the truth about Alex’s death,” she pointed out.

Liz snorted. “Yeah, and a lot of good that did us. She still got away, didn’t she?”

“That wasn’t your fault,” Maria reminded her. “And if it weren’t for you, both Max and Isabel would probably be dead now too. You did the right thing, you know?”

“Maybe I did the right thing, but I didn’t do it in the right way,” Liz argued.

Maria almost smiled. “God, Liz, give yourself a break, will ya? You’re only human like the rest of us lowly mortals. Nobody expects you to be perfect…besides yourself of course.”

Now it was Liz’s turn to almost smile. “Maybe you’re right.” A moment later she turned back to Maria. “You know what? I said I wanted to forget about everything that happened and move on. I meant what I said. I miss our friendship too, you know? I don’t want to let this come between us. I already lost Alex. I couldn’t stand to lose you too.”

“Are you serious?” Maria asked hesitantly.

Liz nodded, then tried for a smile. “What do you say?”

Maria smiled back even while she was tearing up again. “I missed you,” she whispered before pulling Liz into a fierce hug.

~*~*~*~

“When did pigs start to fly?!” Maria exclaimed, obviously stunned. She was staring at Liz as if she’d grown a third head.

“Huh?” Liz said glancing up from her bowl of ice cream. They were in Liz’s room having one of their ice cream feasts. It had been months since they’d last done that, so it was long overdue.

“That’s Cookies and Cream!” Maria told her. Like Liz didn’t already know that. She was eating it after all.

“Yeah,” Liz agreed slowly, not quite sure what was going on here. “You want some?” she asked raising her eyebrows as she held out the bowl for Maria.

Maria just looked at her disbelievingly. “No! I mean, maybe…later.” She shook her head. “What happened to good old Vanilla? You never ate anything else! I mean, what’s next, are you gonna become a cheerleader?”

Liz snorted, laughed, then shrugged. “It’s just ice cream, Maria. I guess I just grew tired of Vanilla. Besides, Alec never had any Vanilla ice cream at his apartment so I didn’t really have a choice.”

“Aah,” Maria said as if that explained everything. “That explains everything.”

Liz rolled her eyes. “Not everything that changed about me leads back to Alec somehow,” she told her best friend.

“Sure it does,” Maria said matter-of-factly. “He’s your Transmogrifier.”

Liz gave her a blank look. “My what?!”

“You know,” Maria said waving her hand around. “You’re Transmogrifier.”

Liz just stared at her.

“Like in Calvin and Hobbes? The machine Calvin builds that can change him into anything he wants?”

“That was a cardboard box with a name scribbled on it!” Liz pointed out almost exasperatedly.

Maria rolled her eyes impatiently. “It’s a cartoon, who cares? You know what I mean! Alec’s the reason you could change in the first place. Without him it would have never happened, not the way it did at least. Don’t even try to deny it, I know it’s true,” she added raising a brow.

Liz stared at her bowl, pushing around lumps of ice cream with her spoon, her brows furrowed. “I guess,” she said thoughtfully. She’d never really seen it like that before, but Maria did have a point.

“So, wanna tell me about him?” Maria asked casually.

Liz glanced up. “You mean Alec?” she asked. Well, duh. Who else could Maria mean?

Maria nodded, trying to look nonchalantly, but Liz could see right through it. She hesitated for a moment, but then she realized that if she wanted their friendship to go back to the way it was, she would have to act the way she used to. She’d always discussed every aspect of her love life with Maria, so why not go back to that? It wasn’t like she had anybody else to talk to about that. As much as she loved Kyle, discussing boys with him was just not an option. He freaked out way too easily and his whole paranoid-big-brother-act could really get on your nerves. Besides, he wasn’t a girl and so it just wasn’t the same.

But if she told Maria everything about Alec she would have to mention other things that Maria didn’t know yet. Like that she’d worked at a bar as a singer. Or that Alec knew what she was. Not to mention her suspicion concerning what Alec was. Did she want that? Did she want Maria to know all that?

“It’s okay,” Maria said shrugging it off. “You don’t have to tell me about him if you don’t want to.” She was trying to sound something between casual and cheerful, but failing miserably. And hearing the disappointment in her best friend’s voice was enough to make up Liz’s mind.

“No. I want to tell you about him. Just…there’s some stuff…don’t freak out on me, okay?”

Maria looked insulted for a moment, then she realized that Liz had a point. “I’ll try,” she promised.

Liz took a deep breath. Then she told Maria everything. She’d already told Maria most of it when she’d called her, but only a short version of the summer. She went into detail now, starting with their summer jobs. Maria took that a lot better than Liz had expected. She’d been worried that she would resent her for having lived her dream, at least partly, even if only for one summer. Maria wasn’t upset though, quite the opposite actually. She seemed surprised and truly delighted for Liz.

Liz then explained how she’d met Alec when she’d been auditioning for the job. She hesitated before moving on to the subject of Alec and Jondy revealing that they were also aliens. Maria being Maria of course freaked out a bit, but Liz managed to break through Maria’s rambling and oil-sniffing to explain that they weren’t really aliens, that it had just been a misunderstanding. Maria was just to keep in mind that Liz thought he was an alien throughout the rest of the summer.

Then she began telling Maria how her relationship with Alec had developed. She told her about going skinny dipping with him, about the water fight that had ended in their first kiss. She told her about their first date – if you could call it that – at the amusement park, the agreement they’d come to at the Shapiro Club about it only being a casual no-strings kinda thing. When she began to talk about the rainy day they’d spent at Alec’s apartment and the night they’d broken into a public pool to go skinny dipping for their one-month anniversary, her voice took on a longing tone. She didn’t even realize it, but Maria noticed. It was too obvious not to.

By the time Liz began talking about the night she’d spent at Alec’s apartment sadness had joined the longing. She mentioned the trip to the Keys they’d planned but never gone on, the unbearable two weeks without Alec, the realization that she had somehow along the way managed to fall for him.

Then it got more complicated as Liz explained what had happened when Alec returned, her confusion and jealousy because of the girl that was with him, the mixed signals she seemed to be receiving. She told Maria about the conversation she’d overheard when she’d gone to Alec’s apartment, about leaving in a rush, about Alec finding her up on the hill. She told her about confronting him with the conversation, his reaction, the kiss they’d exchanged. When she mentioned that she’d received flashes, Maria once again freaked out.

“Oh my God! You had some flashes?! Like with Max? What did you see? Did he have any too? What did he see? Oh my God!” she exclaimed before taking a deep breath of cedar oil.

Liz sighed. Somehow she’d known how Maria would react to that piece of information.

“Okay, I’m okay,” Maria said after a moment. “Go on. We’ll just pretend that never happened.”

“Well, remember how I thought that Alec was an alien because he and Jondy had said that we were the same? Well, I was wrong, or rather they were.”

“Wait,” Maria interrupted. “Why did they think that you were the same? And what the hell are they if they’re not aliens?”

“I’ll get to that. Fact is, at that time I didn’t know that they weren’t aliens. After the flashes, Alec was pretty…he was, well, stunned…to put it mildly. And so I explained that those were just flashes. Which didn’t seem to explain anything for him, so I told him that it was an alien thing. And then…he just kind of stared at me for a minute, looking like I must have lost my mind but at the same time completely shocked. And then, in this totally strange tone, he asked if I was an alien. He looked so shocked…I mean, really shocked…I realized that he couldn’t have known before. And I…God, I feel so stupid for the way I reacted, but in that moment, I just panicked. I was so scared of what he would say, what he would do, of his whole reaction basically. So I ran away. I convinced Kyle to go home right away, which was easy since he’d apparently had a fight with Jondy and…well, you know the rest.”

“So you just up and left? You didn’t even talk to him anymore, didn’t leave him a note, nothing?” Maria asked sounding a bit shocked herself.

“Nothing,” Liz confirmed dejectedly. “God, wasn’t that the stupidest thing I could have done in that situation? I mean, I had this great thing developing with this great guy and I just threw it away…for nothing probably. I’m sure he would have understood, looking back. But it was just such a shock that he suddenly knew and hadn’t known before…I panicked. I wasn’t prepared for that to happen. But that was a normal reaction, right? I mean, others would have reacted like that too. Panicking I mean…right?”

“Of course,” Maria reassured her soothingly. “It wasn’t your fault that you thought he was an alien. And while we’re speaking of that…”

“Okay, okay. Look, I have a suspicion of what could explain that all, but I don’t really know for sure. Back to the flashes…I saw things, well, there were so many that I barely had time to register even half the things I saw, but what I saw was mostly really strange. I saw this place where lots of kids were. It was like…a military school, but literally speaking. I saw kids learning hand-on-hand combat, Alec being one of them. I saw them learning how to handle weapons. I saw Alec in other scenes when he was older that also look like military to me. I saw Alec doing things that are impossible for normal humans to do when it comes to speed or agility. And I saw a barcode on his neck-”

“Wait a minute,” Maria interrupted. “A barcode?! But…oh God…on the news…they said…oh God…oh God…” She started sniffing oil almost desperately to calm herself down again. Like that was even possible.

“Exactly,” Liz confirmed, not paying too much attention to Maria’s panic attack. After all, it was the third in a row now. “I think Alec might be one of those alleged transgenics.”

“But…God Liz, they said they were dangerous on the news! They sounded really bad. What if he’d done something to you? Just imagine what danger you were in all those weeks, never knowing-”

“Maria. Maria!” Liz called out, trying to knock her best friend out of it. “Look at me. Listen. You know you can’t trust the news. They broadcast what the government tells them and we know better than anyone else that the government lies whenever they open their dirty mouths. Alec isn’t dangerous. Not to me in any case. Not to anyone that isn’t a threat to him. I know that he’s not dangerous, okay? I know. I saw him almost daily for two months…he was just a normal guy, like us, like the aliens. Just trust me here, okay? Have I ever been wrong when it comes to something like that?”

“No,” Maria admitted hesitantly, but Liz could tell that she was still wary.

“Maria, you thought that the aliens were dangerous too at first. But they aren’t. They were just…demonized in our minds, like the Transgenics have been. But you can’t judge them for what they are. They can’t be the monsters the government is making them out to be. I know that, okay? Both Jondy and Alec-”

“Wait, Jondy too?” Maria asked.

“Well, they were talking about both of them when they told us that we’re the same, so yeah, Jondy too,” Liz explained.

Maria was quiet for a moment. “So why did they think you were transgenics?” she asked again.

“That’s another long story. To cut it short, when Kyle and I were drunk we got tattoos of barcodes on our necks…and before you ask, we’ve gotten rid of them again. Anyway, we assumed that they saw us when I healed them, but I think what they really saw were the tattoos themselves. They just pointed to the back of their necks as an explanation. So that’s when the misunderstanding began. And we sort of agreed for this to be our summer of fun without all that shit, and so we never talked about any of that at all. Which is why the whole thing was never cleared up. Till the flashes that is.”

“Wow,” Maria said. “I…wow. I need some time to process all this.”

“I know,” Liz told her. “But…are you okay? With the information, I mean? You’re not gonna go running to the sheriff or tell Michael, are you?”

“Of course not!” Maria sounded slightly insulted. “I can deal with this stuff alone, you know. I just…I need to sleep over it once before…before I can accept this whole thing. Wow. I mean, whatever I expected, it wasn’t this.”

“Yeah,” Liz replied. “Imagine how I felt.”

“Must’ve sucked,” Maria mused.

Liz laughed. “Yeah. It did suck.”

~*~*~*~

Liz was more than happy when the bell finally rang, signaling the end of the last class of the day. Max had been sending her evil glares throughout the whole lesson and it was really starting to annoy her. Today of all days, she did not have the nerve to deal with him.

She left the classroom quickly, hoping to escape Max, but no such luck.

“Liz!” he called out trying to catch up with her. “Wait! Damn it, Liz…”

Liz just quickened her pace. Mostly because she did not want to talk to him, but partly also just to spite him.

When he caught up with her he planted himself in front of her, hindering her from walking away. “We have to talk,” he informed her angrily. “What you did is not acceptable. You can’t just make decisions like that over our heads. We had a right to know, damn it. We had a fucking right to know.”

Liz just rolled her eyes and shoved Max out of her way. Not expecting the move, he was too surprised to counter it.

She was already out the door, shoving her books into her backpack, when Max caught up with her again. Grabbing her arm he spun her around. “Damn it Liz, I was talking to-” he began, but Liz’s glare cut him off. It was boiling and icy all at once, making Max falter in his speech.

“If you ever grab me like that again I swear to God I will fry your ass with my new found powers,” she told him, her voice low and menacing. “And if you don’t want to be decked again, in public this time with the whole school to see, I suggest you move out of my way.”

Max loosened his grip. If out of common sense or shock Liz couldn’t tell, but she couldn’t have cared less. She turned around, took two steps forward towards the parking lot. Then she froze. A book slipped from her hands, plopping to the ground. But Liz didn’t notice. She didn’t notice anything except Alec, who was leaning against his bike, mere feet away from where she was standing, his eyes burning into hers.


tbc
Tact is for people not witty enough to be sarcastic.
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holier than thou | katastrophee
Updated 03/16/07 | Updated 02/10/08

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Calinia
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Post by Calinia » Sun Aug 08, 2004 5:12 am

Hey guys, look what I have for you! Sorry for keeping you waiting so long, but for once in my life I can finally say that it's not my fault! I wanted to updatge on Wednesday, but...you know. Anyway, thanks for all your amazing feedback. I remember that it was a lot...and that you were upset about the cliffhanger, lol. Sorry, I just couldn't resist.... Anyway, here's the new part, full of Alec/Liz-goodiness. Hope it makes up for the cliffhanger last time.


Part 7

Alec and Jondy arrived at West Roswell High with a few minutes to spare before the final bell rang. Alec stopped the bike right in front of the main entrance and, after Jondy got off, followed suit. He leaned against his machine to wait for school to be out, appearing casual while feeling anything but.

Fuck it, he was nervous.

He’d known that he would be coming to Roswell for quite some time now. Since the day Liz had suddenly disappeared to be more exact. But he hadn’t expected to feel like this once he got here. Anxious and worried and excited all at once, and a million other emotions he couldn’t even put his finger on. What was it about Liz that tied him up in knots like this? he wondered. Then he smiled. Stupid question – it was Liz.

He’d been upset – to put it mildly – when he’d discovered that Liz had left town. He’d become mad when he realized that she hadn’t left him as much as a note, a message on his voice mail, something. But the weeks in Seattle had left him enough time to think it through and he’d begun to understand why Liz had acted the way she had. The look on her face when she’d realized that he hadn’t known what she was before she’d let it slip – pure terror mixed with shock and hints of panic – had been a sufficient explanation.

That didn’t mean that he wasn’t upset or mad anymore. But he was willing to hear her out, let her explain it.

Oh, who was he trying to fool? He wasn’t here to give Liz the chance to explain her actions. He was here because he felt like he would go insane if he was separated from her another day. He was here because he would do anything to get her back into his life. He was here to fight for her.

Christ, he’d fallen for that girl.

~*~*~*~

Kyle let out a sigh of relief when the final bell of the day finally rang, just like he did every day. He couldn’t believe that it had only been a bit over a month since school had started. It felt like an eternity. How many days till Christmas vacation again?

Once he’d left the building he dug around in his backpack, looking for his car keys. No practice for him that day, thank God. He didn’t have to wait for Liz either since she was catching a ride with Maria and so he headed straight over to his car. Or at least that was his intention. When he glanced up after having found his keys he halted abruptly. He stared, then blinked. Once, twice, just to make sure that he wasn’t seeing things.

Then he took a tentative step forward, glancing back and forth between the guy and the girl. “Wha- what are you doing here?” he asked, sounding just as shocked as he felt.

Jondy shrugged, shifted, then gave him a coy smile. “Would you believe that we happened to be in the neighborhood?”

“Um, no?” Kyle replied, still baffled. Alec and Jondy were here…in Roswell, Jondy was flirting with him…what the hell?! Was he in some kind of twilight zone?

Jondy began to look slightly uncomfortable. She shifted from one foot to the other, avoided looking directly at Kyle. She shrugged again. “I guess I just didn’t like the way we left things off. So when Alec decided that he was coming to Roswell, I thought why not tag along?”

“The way we left things off?” Kyle asked, needing a bit more of an explanation than that.

Jondy groaned. Kyle wasn’t making this easy for her. “Okay, okay! I admit it! I was a complete bitch to you that day at the beach and blew up for nothing. I was acting like a total moron. I’m sorry. I was wrong and-”

She was cut off when Kyle grabbed her to kiss her senseless.

“Get a room,” Alec muttered.

~*~*~*~

Five minutes later Alec was still leaning against his bike, still staring at the high school entrance. Kyle and Jondy were still sucking faces beside him, but he hardly even noticed. His attention was directed elsewhere.

Then the doors opened and Liz stormed out, stuffing books into a backpack. Alec’s breath caught in his throat. God, she was beautiful. Even when she was furious – which she obviously was right now – she was gorgeous. Maybe even more so than normally. Her cheeks were flushed, her eyes sparkled. Alec’s heart lurched into his throat and started beating wildly, then it decided that it liked it there. His palms were becoming sweaty and so he wiped them on his jeans. And he’d thought he’d been nervous before.

A second later a dark haired guy approximately Liz’s age showed up behind her, looking almost as upset as she did. He grabbed Liz’s arm non-too-gently and whirled her around. Alec’s posture stiffened, ready to jump forward if it became necessary. He would have immediately, but with the way they’d left things off, he wasn’t sure it would be welcomed.

Alec wouldn’t have needed his enhanced hearing to make out what the guy said to Liz. “Damn it Liz, I was talking to-” he began, suddenly stopping in mid-sentence.

Then Liz spoke, her voice so low that this time Alec did need his superior senses. “If you ever grab me like that again I swear to God I will fry your ass with my new found powers,” she hissed at the boy in a tone Alec had never heard from her before. “And if you don’t want to land on your ass again, in public this time with the whole school to see, I suggest you move out of my way.”

The boy loosened his grip and Alec smirked. “That’s my girl,” he murmured. When he’d seen the guy grab Liz his first reaction had been to rush forward and kick the living shit out of him. But his insecurities had held him back as well as the knowledge that Liz would want to deal with him herself. He also knew that she was very much capable of taking care of herself and so he’d held himself back. Not that he wouldn’t have interfered had he deemed it necessary.

Then Liz turned around and took a few steps towards him, not seeing Alec at first. Then she glanced up. And froze. A book slipped from her hands but she didn’t seem to notice. She was just staring at him, her eyes burning into his, a look of utter shock on her face.

~*~*~*~

Liz didn’t know how long she’d been staring at Alec. Hours probably. She couldn’t move. She couldn’t breath. Her heart was furiously hammering in her chest and a flock of mad butterflies was dashing around wildly in her stomach. She was sure that any second her knees would give in and she would just pass out then and there from the shock of seeing him.

Oh God. Her new mantra, she supposed. Those two words kept flashing through her brain, the only thought she seemed capable off.

Oh God.

When she finally regained control over her body she blinked, then took a hesitant step forwards. She stopped. She needed to say something, but her mouth was too dry. She swallowed past the lump that had formed in her throat.

“Wh-what are you doing here?” she stammered. It came out as something between a squeak and a rasp, not sounding like her at all.

Alec smirked and the butterflies in Liz’s stomach exploded into fireworks. Emotions squeezed her heart, too strong, too sudden, too powerful.

“You didn’t really think I’d let you get away after dropping such a bomb on me, did you?” Alec’s voice was smooth and warm, going down like honey.

Liz wanted to laugh and cry and scream from joy all at once, simply because he was there, because he was standing in front of her, because he was talking to her. The tidal wave of emotions that had swept over her when she’d first seen him kept coming back and Liz was sure she would drown in them any minute. Love and relief and happiness…it was all so overwhelming. Too overwhelming. Could you die of happiness?

But then something else, something darker, began to creep up on Liz. The doubt and the fear and the uncertainty that had been troubling her ever since leaving Florida.

And suddenly it was all too much. All the feelings seemed to bundle together…too much to handle, too much to bear. Liz felt like she couldn’t breath, like the whirlwind of emotions coursing through her was about to tear her apart.

She stumbled backwards. “I…I have to…Maria…work-” Then she turned around and fled.

~*~*~*~

“Liz, what’s going on?!” Maria screamed hysterically. While walking over to the Jetta Liz had plowed into her, her whole body shaking, her face white as chalk. She’d dragged her over to the car telling her that they had to get out of there now. Maria, assuming some alien crisis, hadn’t hesitated, especially after seeing the state Liz was in. Liz normally wasn’t easy to shake.

She’d torn out of the school parking lot as quickly as she could before screaming at Liz to tell her what was going on.

Liz’s breathing was speeding up, she was literally gasping for oxygen.

“Oh my God, are you hyperventilating?!” Maria cried. “You can’t freak out! I’m the one who gets to freak out! You’re the one who gets to stay level-headed and come up with a plan! That hasn’t changed! It couldn’t have, okay! I never agreed to anything changing!”

“Alec’s…here…” Liz managed to pant. She was hugging her knees to her chest, trying to somehow control the shaking, not even coming close to succeeding.

“What?!” Maria exclaimed, halting at a red light. “That’s it?! Alec showed up? God, Liz, you scared the shit out of me!”

Liz’s breathing began to even out. She looked at Maria almost desperately. “Alec’s here,” she repeated slowly as if Maria hadn’t understood her the first time. Didn’t she know what that meant? Didn’t she understand the gravity of the situation?

Maria just stared at her disbelievingly, then she shook her head before focusing her gaze back on traffic. She was going to drive them to her house and then she was going to knock some sense into Liz.

~*~*~*~

“Liz, he’s here!” Maria told her best friend for the hundredth time now. “That has to mean something!”

Liz still looked doubtful. “You think?” she asked biting her lip.

Maria managed to hold back a shriek. “Of course! Why else would he have bothered to come? No guy drives hundreds of miles on the off-chance of getting laid!” she exclaimed, slowly losing her patience with her best friend. She’d spent the better part of the past hour trying to convince Liz that her fears and doubts concerning Alec were stupid and based on nothing but false assumptions and insecurities. Liz was a far cry away from the hysterical girl that had almost given her a heart attack in the school parking lot, but she wasn’t exactly the poster child for a positive, optimistic attitude either.

They were in the back room of the Crashdown now, getting ready for their shift. Liz was standing next to her open locker, staring at the antennas in her hands, obviously lost in thoughts.

“You coming?” Maria asked, her hand already resting on the swinging door.

Liz looked up startled. “Uh, sure.” She donned her antennas, closed her locker and followed Maria into the restaurant. She wasn’t even through the door when she heard it. That deep throaty laughter that made her skin tingle…she would have recognized it anywhere. He must have sensed her presence since he glanced over to her from where he was sitting at the counter. Their gazes locked and for a moment the world just seemed to stop. Heat shot through her body, into her cheeks. She felt like she was burning up.

Liz blinked, trying to shake herself out of her daze. Then she took a few hesitant steps towards him.

“There you are!” she suddenly heard her dad saying. Glancing over, she saw that he was behind the counter. Alec must have been talking to him, she realized.

“Alec already explained it to me,” he went on while Liz just stared at him. Explained it to him? Explained what to him? What the hell was he talking about?

“Now, normally I don’t approve of you cutting shifts,” he said trying to look strict. “But given the circumstances, I’ll let you have the afternoon off. Have fun.”

Liz just stared at him. Huh? Then Alec was suddenly beside her. He grabbed her hand, sending shockwaves through her body, making her shiver and gasp for air, causing the heat to go from hot to literally boiling. He pulled her out of the dinner before Liz’s brain even registered what was going on.

“I- you- what- where-” she stammered while asking herself what the hell had happened to her ability to form coherent sentences when she was around him.

He didn’t reply. Not that she’d really expected it. After all, what was he supposed to say to her jumbled stuttering?

Liz glanced down, noticing that he was still holding her hand. Probably the reason why shivers were still running down her spine, making her tingle all over again. She held back a sigh. Touching him, having him touch her, even if it was something as innocent as holding hands…she was in heaven. Then he let go of her hand and Liz instantly missed the contact.

When she looked around she was surprised to suddenly find herself in the park. Then she looked at Alec. He was staring at her, an intent look on his face.

“So, seems like you have the bad habit of running away when things get difficult,” Alec said breaking the silence. His tone was light but it didn’t fool Liz. The look in his eyes was enough to tell her that he wasn’t taking any of this lightly at all.

She opened her mouth to deny it, then closed it again. “Yeah, I guess I do,” she admitted, feeling pretty stupid. Normally she wasn’t the type to run away from her problems. What was it about Alec that made her panic so easily?

Alec obviously hadn’t expected that reply. He was silent for a moment, just staring at her. “Why’d you leave?”

Liz looked down, the blush covering her cheeks a sure sign of her embarrassment. “I…God, I don’t know!” Her eyes met Alec’s. “I panicked…I didn’t know what to do. I just…reacted. I didn’t think it through. Couldn’t think it through, to be more exact. I was just…scared and…” she trailed off seeing the look in Alec’s eyes. He looked hurt and angry and slightly insulted.

“Scared? Of what?” Of me? He didn’t say that, but Liz knew what he was thinking all the same.

She shook her head slowly, answering his silent question. “Just…you looked so shocked.”

“I was shocked!” Alec exclaimed. “I didn’t exactly expected any of that to happen!”

“You think I did?” Liz shot back. “This whole misunderstanding wasn’t my fault! It was you and Jondy who told us that we were all the same! How was I to know that that wasn’t true?”

Alec took a deep, calming breath. “I know. I know that it’s us who caused the misunderstanding. Look, I don’t blame you for freaking out. Hell, you had every right to react like that. I don’t even blame you for running away. But leaving town? You could have at least called…left a note…something.”

“I did call!” Liz cried, nowhere near calm. “I called you but your phone was disconnected. You and Jondy left town and nobody knew where you were. Mandy didn’t know, Matt didn’t know, nobody at your company could tell me anything….you just vanished! There was nothing I could do!”

“You…you called?” Alec asked, obviously not having expected her to say that. Somehow he’d just assumed that Liz had left and that was that for her. Which was of course stupid, as he now realized. He should have known Liz better than that.

Liz swallowed, then nodded.

“Why?” he asked. And for the first time Liz glimpsed some uncertainty in Alec’s demeanor. It stunned her for a moment, but then she found her voice.

“I…I felt stupid…for just having left like that. I thought that, well, that things might have worked out after all if I’d stayed. I wanted to at least give it a shot.”

“You regretted it,” Alec stated, getting what she meant but wasn’t saying.

Liz nodded slowly.

“Why?” Alec asked.

Liz bushed, clearly flustered. “I just…I didn’t want things between us to end…like that.”

Alec’s eyes narrowed slightly. “So you called to say goodbye?” he asked, an edge in his voice that Liz hadn’t heard before.

She shook her head vehemently. “No, of course not! I called…damn it, isn’t that obvious?” she exclaimed.

“No,” came Alec’s reply.

Liz decided to change the subject, not liking where the current one was going. “Why are you here?”

“I believe I already answered that question.” His tone was so cool, so clipped.

“So…what, you’re here for an explanation?” Liz asked, hurt wrapping itself around her heart.

“No,” Alec said slowly, his gaze and voice both softening at the emotions he saw shimmering in her eyes. “I’m here because of you.”

Liz just stared at him, not knowing what to say to that. Did he mean…was he really here because of her? Because of them? Because he didn’t want things to end between them either?

When it became apparent that Liz wasn’t going to answer, Alec glanced around. “It’s nice here. I think I could get used to this.”

“What, Roswell?” Liz asked stupidly, having found her voice again.

“Well, there’s no rain, so it beats the hell out of Seattle,” Alec mused casually.

Liz gulped, blinked. “You…you’re staying?” she asked, her voice once again little more than a squeak. She couldn’t believe it. He was staying?

“Do you want me to stay?” Alec asked, suddenly very serious. His voice was low and his eyes…there was something in his eyes…

Liz swallowed again, then she just stared. Somehow she wasn’t capable of forming a coherent sentence…again. Alec moved a step closer. He took her hand to study it, his touch gentle and soft and Liz almost moaned. “You’re trembling,” he told her, his voice a low, husky rumble, making Liz want to moan all over again.

Liz glanced down. He was right, she was shaking, all the more so now that he was touching her again. God, what was he doing to her?

“Do you?” he asked again, causing Liz to glance up at him. He was even closer now, just inches away from her. He hadn’t let go of her hand. With the other one he brushed a strand of hair behind Liz’s ear and her eyes drifted shut involuntarily as a sigh escaped her lips. Having him here, seeing him, taking to him, having him touch her…it just overwhelmed her.

When she opened her eyes again his lips were hovering over hers. She stared at them, almost as if hypnotized. Then she looked him in the eyes and nodded, barely even moving, but enough for Alec to understand. He smiled and Liz shivered. Then he closed the last of the distance between them and Liz was home. The kiss was soft and gentle, full of promises and hope and love. Liz wanted to weep. He was so tender and loving…God. How had she survived almost two months without this?

She wrapped her arms around him, letting herself get lost in the kiss, the emotions that engulfed her, in Alec. Neither of them noticed the figure hiding in the bushes, watching them.


tbc
Tact is for people not witty enough to be sarcastic.
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holier than thou | katastrophee
Updated 03/16/07 | Updated 02/10/08

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Calinia
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Post by Calinia » Fri Aug 20, 2004 3:47 pm

I am *so* happy that the board is back! God, I missed it. And to celebrate this happy occasion I of course have a new part for you. To answer some of your questions...


Zevrillion, let me tell you, Max will not be a happy camper about the whole Alec/Liz thing. And if you think he's been behaving like a psycho up to know, just wait...

polar vixen, I'm sorry I scared you with the whole running-away thing...even though that was sort of the intention, lol. Hoped the end made up for it again. I thought about having this picture perfect reunion, but it just didn't feel right somehow.

Roswell Slayer, I'm pretty happy myself that Liz and Alec are back together, lol. And Alec will definitely have the chance to 'meet' Max, don't you worry. Glad you liked the part!

Gioia, I'm not admitting that it's Max, but if it is, I guess he'd be close enough to have heard at least some of what Alec and Liz were talking, lol. Either way, Max will definitely come to the conclussion that Liz needs to be saved from herself.

As for the age thing, it was mentioned in the prequel that Alec assumed that Liz was a few years younger than the twenty-one her ID said. He didn't know for sure though. It was never mentioned whether Jondy really knew, but she's a smart cookie, so it can be assumed that she didn't buy the twenty-one either. Since Alec is the guy and Liz the girl it's not gonna be that weird for him to have a younger girlfriend since that is fairly common, especially since growing up at Manticore, age isn't such a big thing to him. They didn't exactly celebrate birthdays there or look forward to turning twenty-one so that they could legally drink. But Jondy, having grown up on the outside and being the girl...it will be a bit of an issue.

And yes, you will find out why Alec and Jondy left for Seattle so suddenly and how they found Liz and Kyle.

Ladeia3, glad you can breath easy again, lol. I'm not telling whether it's Max or not, but at this point, I wouldn't put anything past Max. Would you?

force, glad you liked it! I'm pretty darn happy about Liz and Alec being back together myself, lol. As for who's hiding in the shadows...you'll see.

Dream_walker, I agree, it's about time that Alec showed up. What was he doing staying away so long? Men! lol. And don't worry, the kissing is coming. More talking too though...there's a lot that needs to be cleared up and put straight between them. It will take some time till Psycho Max realizes that Liz isn't his property, but it will happen...eventually. And Alec putting him in his place will definitely be fun!

RavenSprite, sweetie, you're making me blush! I'm so glad you liked it, I really value your opinion. As for who's hiding in the bushes...you'll see!

elfangel01, don't worry, I love people getting overenthusiastic when leaving feedback, it's the biggest compliment I could ever get. Glad that you're glad that Alec is here and staying, I'm pretty glad myself, lol. And Alec will definitely get to the point where he won't see a reason to hold back when it comes to Max.

NewYorker18, they really are sorta perfect for each other, aren't they? Is it Max, is it someone else? Not telling, but you'll find out soon enough. Thanks for the feedback, very happy that you're enjoying this!

burningchaos, I sort of liked Maria being the calm one while Liz freaked out too, lol. Alec will definitely kick Max's ass sooner or later. Thanks for the fb, glad that you're enjoying this!

vampiricheart, I'm so glad you liked the last part! There's lots and lots of Liz/Alec action coming up. The next three or four parts are full of it, nothing else really going on but one-on-one Alec/Liz time. Yup, Max would probably say some dumb shit like that, and he'd probably try to convince Isabel and Michael. Only question is, would they still listen to him? And aren't Kyle and Jondy adorable?

Elf, I love your enthusiastic replies, lol! Sorry if you keep getting weird looks from your family because of me. Glad you're enjoying this so much.

lyra, you scream at your screen to when reading fanfic? I'm so glad I'm not the only one! Ahh...Alec. He really is a charmer, isn't he? *sigh* I am so falling in love with him, lol. Hell, I'm a gonner, almost more than Liz. I'm so glad you liked the part. It's one of my favorite from the whole series so far. As for whether it's Max or not...wait and see.

Starbay55, very happy to hear that you love this. And since you asked so nicely, I'm gonna update right away, lol.


Geez...you guys need to leave less feedback! It took me an hour to reply to all of it. Nah, just kidding, I'm so loving the response I'm getting. It's so nice to read all your replies...really makes me want to write!

Well, here's the next part. Hope you like it!

BTW, I made myself a little homepage...here's the link in case you want to check it out:

katastrophee



Part 8

When Alec and Liz finally broke the kiss Alec pulled her into a fierce hug, clinging to her as if for dear life. They stood there, wrapped up in each other’s arms for a long time, almost as if afraid the other would vanish if they didn’t hold on tightly enough.

Liz struggled for oxygen as the emotions welled up inside her, overwhelming her, taking her breath away. How had she lived without this? she wondered. She sighed contently, breathing in Alec’s scent that was just so him, trying to take it all in, savor it as much as possible. Maybe it would make up for the weeks they’d been separated, but somehow she doubted that anything could. She cherished Alec’s closeness, enjoyed being pressed against his hard body more than she could have ever imagined. God, she’d missed this. She loved feeling the heat radiating off his body again, loved feeling his arms wrapped around her, crushing her to his body. She didn’t ever want to let go of him again.

Alec seemed to be feeling the same way since he was holding on to her just as tightly as she was holding on to him. “God, I missed you,” he murmured into her hair. Liz wanted to cry, or laugh, she wasn’t sure which. It was a simple enough admission, but it shot straight to her heart all the same, turning her knees to jelly. She’d never really heard anything like that coming from Alec’s lips, especially not in that tone…the tone that told her it came straight from his heart. Due to the way their relationship had been in Florida, anything that even came close to a confession of love had been out of question. But that only made it all the sweeter and more special to have him say it now.

Liz pulled back a bit, just far enough so that she could look him in the eyes, just to reassure herself that it was really Alec, that he was really here. He gazed down at her adoringly with so much emotions in his eyes…happiness and relief and something else…was it love? That thought alone was enough to make her want to kiss him all over again. And so she did. She lifted her head to press a soft, sweet kiss to his lips, but despite her rather innocent intentions, the kiss didn’t stay like that for long. Alec pulled her against him in a way that made it difficult for her to breath…or was that just because of Alec?

His lips latched onto hers hungrily, demandingly. Their tongues tangled as they deepened the kiss, stirring passion and lust that had been lying dormant for much too long now. Liz moaned, then buried her hands in Alec’s hair, enjoying the silky feeling of it as it slipped through her fingers. Alec’s hands weren’t idle either as they roamed up and down her back, making goose bumps appear on her back, her arms, her whole damn body actually.

Arousal was burning in her groin, making her want to rip Alec’s shirt off along with a number of other articles of clothing. The kisses weren’t enough anymore, she needed to feel his hands on her, wanted to put her hands on him, to explore the body she’d come to know so well during their time together. She wondered if his skin was still as warm and smooth as she remembered it, if his body was still as hard, if he still tasted as good.

When they finally broke apart they were both flushed, both breathing heavily. Liz stared up at Alec for a long moment. His eyes were dark with arousal and knowing that she had caused that sent a thrill through her body. She loved the power she had over him, even loved the power he had over her. And the way he was looking at her just made her want to bite him, right there on his favorite spot on his neck.

The sound of children shrieking not too far away broke them apart and out of their starring match. Alec glanced around, his gaze lingering on one spot for a moment before turning his attention back to Liz. “Maybe we should move this somewhere more private,” he suggested.

When Liz’s eyes widened he was quick to elaborate. “To talk! Just to talk. We…really have to talk and we really shouldn’t do that here.”

“Oh,” Liz replied, suddenly feeling very stupid. Of course he hadn’t meant that, she thought disappointedly. Wait a minute…disappointedly? Was she disappointed? Did she actually want to…or at least consider- she shook her head. This was not the time to think about that, she reminded herself. What had they been talking about? Right, going somewhere to talk.

“Where should we go?” she asked.

“We could go to my hotel room. Nobody would disturb us there.”

Liz swallowed. His hotel room? “Um, okay. I just need to…get out of this thing,” she said glancing down at the uniform she was still wearing.

Alec smirked. “That can be arranged.” And suddenly all the tension was gone again.

Liz slapped him on his chest before pretending to glare at him. “That’s not what I meant. I want to go home and change first.”

Alec was still smirking. “Why? I think your uniform is really…hot.”

Despite herself, Liz blushed. “Shut up,” she muttered embarrassed.

Alec laughed. “Make me,” he suggested.

Liz smiled coyly. “I’ll take you up on that later.”

~*~*~*~

“You go up first,” Liz told Alec.

“Why?” he asked.

“You’ll peek under my skirt if I go up before you.”

Alec didn’t even try to deny it. “Nothing I haven’t seen before.” And there was that damn smirk again.

“Alec!” Liz exclaimed, but it came out more laughing than scolding.

“Okay, okay,” he said chuckling. “I’ll go up first.”

He climbed up the fire escape that lead to Liz’s balcony with ease and Liz followed.

“Nice,” Alec commented while looking around.

“Um, thanks,” Liz replied. God, it was weird having him here. The past weeks she’d spent almost every evening out here, lying on her lawn chair and dreaming of exactly this happening. And now it had. A grin broke over her face. He was here. He was actually here.

She went over to the window and pushed it open before climbing into her room. Alec slipped in behind her and Liz went over to her bed to grab the clothes she’d been wearing earlier. Then she headed over to the bathroom. “I’ll be right back,” she told Alec before closing the door behind her.

Alec took the time alone to take in his surroundings. Liz’s room was exactly the way he had pictured it to be. Simple, neat, pretty. There were lots of pictures and other knickknacks scattered around the room. It was feminine but not girly and Liz’s scholastic enthusiasm was more than obvious. There were books on her shelve that without a doubt went beyond what was covered in high school. Some of her textbooks and notes were on her desk in a neat pile. There was a poster of Harvard hanging over her desk.

He crossed the room and picked up one of the frames resting on her nightstand. It was a picture of Liz, the blond girl that had come into the café with her earlier that afternoon – Maria, Alec assumed – as well as a dark-haired guy. From what Liz had told him, Alec was sure that this was Alex, her friend who had died a few months ago. Liz and Maria were both in their uniforms and they were all smiling, their eyes dancing with laughter and mirth. A picture from happier times, no doubt.

He set it down again when he heard the bathroom door opening. Liz came out wearing low cut jeans and a white tank top that left an inch or two of her midriff bare. God, she looked incredible.

Alec stared at her a moment too long, causing Liz to blush under his scrutiny. Alec laughed. He couldn’t believe that he was still capable of making Liz blush. He walked over to her, pulled her into his arms and gave her a quick kiss. He was still grinning and Liz couldn’t help but smile back, but then a sound in the hallway made them break apart.

“We should get going. I don’t want my parents to catch us here and get the wrong idea,” Liz said heading over to the window, glancing back to make sure that Alec was following.

“Guess they wouldn’t be too thrilled about you sneaking into your room for some quality time with your boyfriend,” Alec replied smirking, his eyebrows wiggling suggestively.

Liz halted in her tracks, then slowly turned around, her eyes never leaving Alec’s. “Boyfriend?” she asked carefully.

Alec glanced at her surprised, then he went back to smirking. “I thought that was pretty clear by now.” He saw the look on Liz’s face. “Or maybe not.”

“I…I just…I wasn’t sure if that’s the way…you saw…us,” Liz explained, suddenly feeling incredibly stupid.

Alec smiled at her. For some insane reason he found her insecurity concerning their relationship extremely endearing. He once again captured her lips in a soft kiss. “It is the way I see us,” he told her. “It’s definitely the way I see us.”

A grin broke over Liz’s face, lightening up her features. Alec couldn’t help but grin back at her and they were back to staring at each other, back to drifting together for another kiss.

Suddenly something bumped against the door, causing both Liz and Alec to jump apart. They glanced over to it. “Let’s get out of here,” they said in unison.

~*~*~*~

When Alec pushed open the door to his hotel room, Liz couldn’t help but feel nervous. They were going to be alone, completely alone, in a room where they wouldn’t be disturbed. In a room that had a very big, very comfortable-looking bed, Liz realized as her gaze fell on it.

“You want something to drink?”

Liz tore her eyes away from the bed. She began to shake her head but then she realized that her throat was awfully dry. “Some water, please.”

Alec got it for her. “Maybe we should sit down,” he suggested and Liz was relieved to detect some nerves in his voice as well. At least she wasn’t the only one. They went over to the small sitting area and sat down on the couch next to each other, but far enough apart so that they were not touching. Liz knew that she had to keep a clear mind now and that that would not be possible if Alec was too close. His mere presence tended to mess her up, the closer he was, the worse it got.

“So,” he began.

“So,” she echoed.

They weren’t looking at each other, neither of them knowing how to begin. Liz shifted in her seat, Alec brushed his hand through his hair. Then Alec realized how ridiculous this whole situation was. He’d always been the type who just said whatever was on his mind, so why should that change now?

He turned his body towards Liz. “Okay, so when you left Florida I was assuming that you were a full-blooded alien, but now that I heard you saying something about your new-found powers, I’m sort of overthrowing that theory again. Wanna explain that?”

Liz was a bit shocked by his directness, but she recovered quickly enough. After all, she’d had time to prepare herself for this conversation, at least a little bit. And she knew Alec well enough to know that he wasn’t the type to beat around the bush.

“Um, I’m not really an alien. I’m human, or at least I was for the first fifteen years of my life. I still am…mostly.”

Alec raised his eyebrows. She wasn’t making any sense to him. “O-kay?”

Liz let out a whoosh of air. “This is a really long story, so I guess I’d better start at the beginning. Okay. Two years ago…I was shot while working at the café.”

Alec’s eyes immediately widened, filling with shock and concern. “You were shot?!” he exclaimed and Liz just wanted to melt. He looked so worried, so terrified even though he knew that she was alright, even though it had been two years since it had happened and they hadn’t even known each other back then. As intense as her feelings for Alec had been till then, she’d never felt stronger for him than in that moment. She forced the emotions back though. Now was not the time to get all mushy.

“No, wait,” she said, suddenly realizing something. “It’s been more than two years actually. Wow. I completely forgot.” Liz was amazed that she hadn’t even remembered the two-year anniversary of the shooting. It had been last week.

“Anyway, I was shot. Some men had gotten into a fight and one of them drew a gun. It went off and hit me, right here,” she explained, her hand grazing the spot above her navel where a bullet had left a gaping hole in her flesh.

“But there’s no scar.” Alec was absolutely sure of that. He knew Liz’s body well enough by now and he would have without a doubt noticed a scar right in the middle of her abdomen.

“No, there isn’t. There aren’t any official records about me being shot either since as far as everybody knows, it never happened. Max was at the café that day and he rushed over when he saw that I was lying on the floor. He placed his hand on my stomach, told me to look at him and then he healed my wound.”

“He healed you?!” Alec exclaimed completely baffled. “That’s impossible! What is he, the second coming?”

Liz almost laughed. Comparing Max with that was just wrong on so many levels. “Not exactly,” she replied, the corners of her lips twitching. She shook her head to clear her mind. “Anyway, once he was done he spilled a bottle of ketchup over me to cover up the blood and told me to tell everyone that I’d fallen and broken one of the bottles. Then he left. I did what he asked me to do, mostly because…I don’t know. I guess I was just so stunned. I mean, one minute I’m lying on the floor, fading away, sure that I’m about to die and the next I’m fine. I was too shocked to actually tell anyone what had happened. And who would have believed me?”

“He’s an alien,” Alec deduced slowly. It was the only explanation that made sense. He was obviously a part of the whole alien-thing since Liz had threatened him with her powers. And if he’d healed her…

Liz looked at him surprised. “Yeah, he is. Actually, he’s a hybrid. Half alien, half human. Anyway, the next day at school I confronted him and he admitted that he as well as his sister Isabel and his best friend Michael were aliens. They were on the ship of the ’47 crash, but they weren’t born yet. At that time they were in these weird pods that were hidden in a cave in the desert later on until they, well, hatched. That was about twelve years ago. They looked like 6-year-olds coming out of the pods. Max and Isabel were found by the Evans, who adopted them, but Michael wasn’t so lucky. He ended up in the foster system…which pretty much really screwed him over. But the found each other again eventually and swore to never tell anyone their secret. And they didn’t…until I came along.”

Alec was stunned – to put it mildly – but he tried to hold on to reason all the same. “Okay. That’s…a lot to process, but okay. What I don’t understand is how any of that makes you an alien…or something like that.”

Liz knew that she had confused Alec with what she’d told him so far, but at least he hadn’t lost his ability to speak. Now that would really worry her. She was impressed by how rational and level-headed he was staying, despite the circumstances. “I’ll get to that. Just…let me tell you the whole story. Where was I? Right, Max breaking his promise to Isabel and Michael. Needless to say they were furious. Me telling Maria didn’t exactly help matters either, but she was threatening to go to the sheriff and I couldn’t let that happen.”

“So you automatically switched to their side?” Alec asked baffled. “Weren’t you…I don’t know, freaked out by what they were? Weren’t you scared of them?” He felt kind of small for asking those questions, for suggesting that that would have been the normal reaction. Because that’s not the way he felt. But what he really wanted to know was what to expect once he told her his secret. He had never considered just not telling her or coming up with some kind of story to cover up the truth, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t worried.

Liz contemplated how to best answer that. “I did freak out a bit at first,” she admitted. “But I was never really afraid of them. Max risked a lot that day when he healed me…I guess that was proof enough for me that I could trust them. And after the shooting he let me connect to him…so that I could see him, see that he wasn’t dangerous.”

“Connect?” Alec asked. “Like the flashes we had?”

Liz nodded. “Pretty much.”

“So, what’s up with those?”

Liz was glad that he was asking questions, glad that he wasn’t too shocked to think straight and ask them in the first place. “I don’t really know all that much about them either. I just know that aliens can connect to people. You sort of get to see inside their head and they see into yours. You see flashes of their memories, fantasies, dreams. Sometimes you feel what they’re feeling. I don’t know how it works but I know that it can be blocked. Michael used to block Maria so that she wouldn’t see him, but he received flashes from her.”

“Hmm,” was Alec’s only comment. He still seemed to have trouble taking it all in. Not that Liz could blame him. It was a lot of information…other people would have pulled a Maria by now…like Maria for example.

“Okay, back to the story. So Maria knew. I told Alex too after some time because he also threatened to go to the sheriff and tell him what he knew. Now, Maria completely freaked out on me, but Alex just…I don’t know, he just didn’t really believe me I guess. He thought I’d lost my mind. He realized that it was the truth soon enough though. Anyway, after the shooting the FBI began to investigate. One of their agents posed as a guidance counselor at our high school but we managed to blow her cover. Not that that really helped. In the end the Special Unit of the FBI managed to capture Max. They did…horrendous things to him. I don’t know the details, he never talked about it, but I got some flashes. It was pretty bad.”

“Were you together at that time?” Alec asked and Liz froze. His voice was neutral and his face gave away nothing, there was no indication that he felt uncomfortable talking about the subject of Liz and Max dating. But Liz felt uncomfortable. Hell, uncomfortable didn’t even begin to describe it. If there was one thing she didn’t want to discuss with Alec, it was her relationship with Max. It was just so…awkward and strange discussing her last boyfriend with her current one.

“Not exactly,” came her reply.

Alec raised an eyebrow, a silent request for Liz to elaborate.

Liz sighed. She knew there was no getting around this so she’d better just get it over with. “Okay, look, the thing with Max. I already told you that we hardly knew each other before the shooting. We became closer afterwards, mostly because of the secret we shared. We got together in…early December I think. That lasted about a week before Michael got sick and Max decided he needed to take a step back…because…because…God, I don’t have a clue why. He was just kind of freaked out I think. No idea what that had to do with our relationship, but whatever. We didn’t get back together again till March. That time around it lasted…what? Three weeks maybe? The problem was that around that time, another alien had showed up. Her name was Tess and she was part of the four-square.”

“Four-square?” Alec asked, his voice and face as serene as before. It was driving Liz insane.

“The aliens,” Liz explained. “They’re a unit, the four-square. So Tess showed up and if there’s one thing she wanted, it was Max. I saw him kissing her in the rain one night and we sort of broke up afterwards. He claimed that he had no control over what had happened, that she’d been doing something to him. Which is very well possible considering that Tess could mindwarp. You know, mess with people’s minds, change their memories, make them see things that aren’t there and so on.”

Alec nodded. He knew exactly what she was talking about. Psy-ops could do a lot of those things as well.

“So we sort of broke up but at the same time we were sort of still together. Or at least we were on our way to getting there. But then the White room happened…Max getting captured,” Liz explained at Alec’s confused look. “And Destiny.”

“Destiny?” Alec asked. What was this, an alien fairytale gone wrong?

“Yeah. That’s when everything began to fall apart. Over the last year we’d managed to acquire two alien devices – we called them the orbs because that’s what they looked like – and the aliens activated them after we’d freed Max. They got a message from Max and Isabel’s mother telling them that they were the clones of the former leaders of their planet. Max was the king, Isabel his sister, a princess, Michael his second in command and Tess his wife, the queen. They were sent to earth for their safety so that they could one day come back and free the people of their planet Antar. Their destiny.”

For a moment Alec just stared at her, then he seemed to shake himself out of it. “And that destiny included them pairing off like before,” he concluded. It wasn’t hard putting the pieces together, or to figure out how that must have made Liz feel.

Liz nodded sinking back into the couch. “Now, Isabel and Michael flat out refused. They were too much like siblings to even consider it. But Max and Tess…that was a different story. He didn’t want to follow destiny, but Tess did.”

“So what did you do?” Alec asked softly, already having a pretty good idea of how Liz had reacted.

She shrugged dejectedly. “What should I have done? I couldn’t stand in the way of his destiny. I mean, his people depended on him. There was a whole planet at stake here. So I walked away. It was the only thing I could do. I spent the summer in Florida, avoided him as much as I could after I came back. He didn’t want to accept it though. He kept pursing me, trying to win me back. He almost succeeded, but then…”

Liz trailed off. Even though her feelings for Max had long since vanished, talking about Future Max was still painful. No only because Isabel and Michael and almost everybody else on earth had died in that timeline and Liz knew it could happen again. Not even because Alex had lived, at least a few years longer than in this timeline. But because it had shattered her dreams, broken something inside her that would never be fixed again. It had been the final nail in the coffin of her and Max’s love, their downfall. She’d had to give up the one thing she’d wanted more than anything else in her life and that had torn a hole into her soul, her heart. She no longer loved Max, especially not the person Max had turned into, but she couldn’t help the bittersweet ache that accompanied any thought of the life they could have had together. After all, at a certain point of her life it had been all she’d ever wanted.

When she realized that she’d been quiet far too long she glanced up at Alec. He was staring at her intently, an unreadable expression in his eyes. There was still some bafflement, but something else too.

“Uh, maybe I could show you,” Liz suggested. “It’s kind of hard to explain.”

“Show me?” Alec asked a bit taken aback. “You mean…connect?”

Liz nodded slowly. “I don’t know if it would work, but we could give it a try. I wouldn’t look into your mind,” she reassured him hastily. “I’d just let you see what happened. If I concentrated on what I want to show you it should work…probably.”

Alec shrugged. How much freakier could it get? he asked himself. “Sure, why not? So…how does this work?”

Hmm, good question, Liz mused. She’d never tried to open a connection to anyone before. So far they’d always just…happened. Except that one time with Kyle in Florida after they’d gotten drunk, but Kyle was a bit green around the ears as well so that was bound to be different.

“Um, I have to touch you,” Liz whispered, cupping Alec’s face. “And now just look into my eyes and let your mind go blank.”

Alec raised a brow but did what he was told.

For a few moments nothing happened, but then Alec was suddenly flooded by a rush of images. He saw so many things, felt everything Liz had been feeling…it was overwhelming. When it was over he involuntarily jerked back, gasping for air. Then he just stared at Liz.

“Time travel?!” he exclaimed disbelievingly.


tbc
Tact is for people not witty enough to be sarcastic.
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holier than thou | katastrophee
Updated 03/16/07 | Updated 02/10/08

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Calinia
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Post by Calinia » Fri Aug 27, 2004 5:45 am

Okay, so here's the next part. This part really put me through hell, it was pretty hard to write. But I think it turned out okay. And to those of you who thought the ending of the last part was an evil cliffhaner, trust me, it wasn't. I could have ended the part 6 paragraphs into this one. Now that would have been evil.

Zevrillion, I figured since Alec grew up at Manticore and with all the weirdness he'd already seen, he wouldn't be too shocked by Liz's story, especially since he's had close to two months to process the information that Liz is an alien. Glad you like my site. :oops:

elfangel01, the next few parts will be strictly Alec/Liz, except for one (the stalker part, lol), but the interaction with her friends will come soon enough. I'm glad you liked the part!

Starbay55, nah, manners don't get you anywhere, lol. I like people telling me I'm an evil bitch, to me, that's a compliment. :lol: Glad you liked the part.

polar vixen, hope this is soon enough. Glad you liked the last part!

Roswell Slayer, ah yes...Alec and Liz officially getting together was a long time coming, wasn't it. As for my threat, don't worry. I would never do that to Alec or Liz...or would I? :twisted: Either way, it's not gonna happen. There's a nice diversity over on those two nomination threads now...Kat is a happy camper, hence Alec and Liz are allowed to be happy.

Elf, aww. Thank you so much for the Snootchie Bootchies! :oops: Well, begging normally works. Which is why I'm already posting again. :wink: Glad you liked the part. As for Liz hearing the Manticore stuff, that's what this part is all about.

burningchaos, you wanna know what's happening with Kyle and Jondy? Do you really have to ask? :wink: I'll get to those two in a few parts, but right now it's all Alec/Liz. As for Alec's reaction, having grown up at Manticore I don't think a lot of stuff can really shock him. And he's had close to two months to get used to the idea that Liz is an alien, so... As for the issue with Liz and Kyle being younger, that will be addressed. It won't cause any real problems though. Hmm...'Oh great one'? I like that...has a nicer ring to it than 'evil bith'. :lol:

QtMaNdY37, I'm glad you're enjoying this. Sigh...aren't Alec/Liz just the best?

Gioia, I try, lol. :wink: This threat worked magic over at Crossovers, so I thought, why not try it here as well? The results prooved me right.

alexceasar, cruel is my middle name. No wait, that's evil...anyway, I never signed the Geneva Convention, so... :twisted: I'm glad you like this. And yes, Alec is cute...*sigh* I just want to eat him up. But alas, I can't. I'll have to leave that to Liz. I *hated* the doormat Liz became in S3 as well. Ugh...disgusting. I couldn't write her any other way but strong. We hd too much of the other crap on the show.

RavenSprite, don't worry. Nominations are open till the end of November, so you'll get your chance to nominate! And I'm sure you'll be happy to hear that you managed to shoo the stupid, easy blonde away form my mind. Wait a minute...you didn't mean *me* with that, did you? :shock: :x I'm glad you liked the chapter. And yes, Alec is definitely done being scared. After remebering Rachel, a lot of his priorities shifted. He grew up a lot because of that and with Liz...well, how can you be scared of loving sweet, beautiful Liz?

NewYorker18, don't worry, as long as you're here now... :D Alec is shocked. I mean, who wouldn't be. But don't worry...everything will be resolved.

lyra, Alec *is* cute, isn't he? Sigh...drool. that guy needs a warning label attached to him. Hehe, I didn't think you'd forget the stalker in the bushes. Don't worry that will be cleared up soon. Part 11 I think. Do you really think I wouldn't do that? :twisted: Try me... :wink:

WomanofMystery (love the name btw), don't worry, I won't warp your mind. At least not like that... :twisted: High time that Liz and Alec finally acknowledged what was going on between them, huh? And yes, they are cute. Sigh.

Frances, here's the new part, just for you! :lol:

vampiricheart, your welcome. Being evil is fun, but there are so many better ways to be evil than to make Alec bald and fat. I mean, I don't want myself to suffer too! To be honest, I didn't even think of the possibility of Alec going back in time before you mentioned it. Hmm, interesting idea... And Max's spying sure is going to came back and bite him in the ass...if it *is* Max... :wink: Now on to the goodies... :lol:


Thank you all for the amazing feedback. I'm once again completely in awe by the response to this fic!


Part 9

For a few moments nothing happened, but then Alec was suddenly flooded by a rush of images. He saw so many things, felt everything Liz had been feeling…it was overwhelming. When it was over he involuntarily jerked back, gasping for air. Then he just stared at Liz.

“Time travel?!” he exclaimed disbelievingly.


“Guess it worked,” Liz replied, not knowing what else she could say. Alec had looked slightly…well, baffled throughout the whole conversation, but now baffled didn’t even come close to covering it. He looked almost as shocked as he had in Florida after the flashes.

He didn’t say anything for a few minutes, just stared ahead of him and Liz began to really get nervous. Then he glanced up and there were so many emotions swimming in his eyes, none that Liz could put her finger on though. She bit her lip. “Wh-what did you see?”

“Everything,” Alec replied slowly. And Liz still couldn’t say what she was seeing in his eyes. He seemed so…ambivalent.

“I…I can’t believe you did that…gave all that up.” Alec sounded so dazed. And while Liz could see the awe in his eyes, she also saw something else. Something darker, sadder maybe.

“Alec?” Her voice grew worried. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” he replied quickly, a forced smile on his lips. He got up. “Nothing, really. I just…” He took a step towards the door. “I just need some-”

Liz jumped up and rushed over to him, planting her hands on his chest, cutting off his exit rout. “What’s wrong?” she asked again. What was going on? Was it too much? Did he not want her anymore now that he knew the truth? Tears were gathering in her eyes but she held them back.

Alec looked down at her, at the tears that were swimming in her eyes and his features softened, but at the same time they saddened somehow. “I…I saw everything you did…felt everything you were feeling.” He looked away. “I don’t want you to settle for second best. Maybe it’s better if-”

Liz didn’t let him finish. “Second best?” she exclaimed, hurt and anger seeping into her tone. “What the fuck are you talk-” She stopped in mid-sentence, suddenly realizing what this was about. It was about what she’d told Future Max. How she’d said that Max was the love of her life and that everybody else would always be second best.

“God, Alec, I didn’t mean it like that!” she exclaimed. Then she took a deep breath, trying to stay rational. Which wasn’t easy with the way Alec was looking at her. He was scaring her.

“No, wait. That’s wrong. At that time I did mean it and I did believe it.”

Alec looked away and Liz just went on talking. “I couldn’t imagine that I’d ever stop loving Max. I couldn’t imagine ever despising him the way I do now. But I do. And I don’t love him anymore either.” She gently cupped Alec’s face, forcing him to look at her again.

“He put me through hell, Alec. How could I ever love him again? How could I ever want him again? If anything, Max would be second best. Hell, not even that. He’s the last person I’d ever want to-”

Alec cut her off by crushing his mouth on hers. He believed her. He wanted to believe her so much it hurt. He probably would have no matter what, even if what she’d said hadn’t made any sense to him at all. Passion was running wild throughout his body, fueled by the kisses and hazing his senses, clouding his mind. She was driving him crazy. Her smell, her taste…the way she buried her hands in his hair. Those whimpering sounds she made when he sucked on that one spot on her neck she loved so much, the feelings she evoked in him. It was too much, too strong. With her, it was always too much…always too strong. But he wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Liz gasped when Alec found that one spot on her neck. She was seeing stars, felt like she was being flung through one galaxy after the other. Her world was spinning out of control and she loved it, craved it. Lust was sparkling through her body, heat gushing into her groin. Could you implode from desire?

That one moment she’d thought he was leaving, that he didn’t want to be with her after all – she’d never felt so afraid in her life. It scared her, the intensity of her feelings for him. They seemed to constantly be overwhelming her, swallowing her whole and leaving her breathless and gasping for air. But, hell, she loved it. She wanted him and she needed him and she wouldn’t have had it any other way.

~*~*~*~

It was a long time till their kisses slowed, then stopped altogether. They were on the bed now, Liz draped across Alec’s chest. Her head was resting where Alec’s heart was and Liz was convinced that she’d never heard anything as beautiful as it’s slow and steady beat. It all felt so right. It felt like she belonged here, like they belonged together. And them together…it was so achingly familiar. After the time they’d been together in Florida and then all the time they’d been apart, it was like coming home.

She sighed contently as she snuggled deeper into Alec’s chest. His arms were wrapped around her, making her feel safe and protected and cherished. It made it so easy to tell him the rest. To tell him about Max shunning her after her set-up with Kyle, about seeing him kissing Tess at prom, about Alex dying, Max’s cruelness afterwards, her search for the truth, the discovery of Tess’ betrayal.

She told him about what Ava had said about her being changed, told him about discovering her powers in Florida, the blood cells that had first become alien and then gone back to normal. She explained to him what she could do, demonstrated it whenever the situation allowed it.

And as stunned and baffled Alec might have been earlier, he was as calm and collected as could be now. He listened to Liz’s explanations, asked questions when things weren’t quite clear and otherwise seemed perfectly fine with what he was hearing.

Liz shifted so that she could look him in the eyes, moving off him a bit. Alec rolled onto his side and their legs tangled automatically, neither of them even noticing it.

“So you’re not freaked out?” she asked softly, a hint of trepidation evident in her voice.

Alec smiled. “Not really.”

Liz smiled back. “I’m glad.” Then she turned a bit more serious. “Okay, your turn.”

Alec’s brows winged upwards. “My turn?”

Liz scowled. “Don’t even try that with me. I’m done telling you my deepest, darkest secrets, now I want to hear yours. Tit for tat, buddy. Now spill.”

Alec swallowed. Then he tried to get up, but Liz wouldn’t let him. “Stay,” she told him. “Please?”

He sighed, nodded, stayed where he was. He didn’t think he would ever be able to say no to one of Liz’s requests.

“I know that you’re a transgenic,” Liz confessed matter-of-factly, completely taking Alec by surprise. He could only stare at her, his mouth opening and then closing again but no words ever coming out.

Liz rolled her eyes. “Look, I had flashes too. I saw things and with what’s been on the news lately, it wasn’t too hard to figure out what your secret was. More like counting two and two together.”

Alec could still only stare at her.

“Speaking of which,” Liz began. “You never told me what you saw in the flashes.”

“What I saw?” Alec managed to choke out.

Liz nodded. “Yeah.”

Alec, more than grateful for the distraction, for the time it gave him to deal with Liz’s revelation. He tried to conjure the images he had received back up in his mind, something that wasn’t exactly hard for him, photographic memory and all. “I…I saw you sitting in the cafe, waiting for your dad to make you a milkshake. You must have been maybe five at that time. Later on I saw you with your grandmother. You were at some archeological site. You couldn’t have been older than ten but you were so interested in everything she told you. Soaking up the information like your life depended on it. I saw you and Alex and Maria having a slumber party when you were in Junior High. I saw you watching one of Kyle’s games when you were dating.”

Liz groaned and buried her head in Alec’s chest, causing him to chuckle. He knew how much Liz hated being reminded of having dated Kyle.

“It’s how I knew where to go looking for you…West Roswell High’s Mighty Comets,” Alec went on. Then he paused. “I also saw you and Max.”

Liz eyes widened. “Oh God-” she began, but Alec cut her off.

“Not like that,” he reassured her. Then he frowned “Wait a minute. What could I have seen?”

“Nothing!” Liz said quickly. “Nothing…almost. No really anything at least.”

Alec raised an eyebrow and looked at her questioningly.

“Really,” Liz sad insistently. “Nothing big ever really happened between us. What did you see?”

Alec decided to let it go. This was not the time for jealousy. “I saw you in the desert somewhere. You were walking away from him.” He brushed her cheek softly. “You were crying I think.”

“Destiny.” Liz shrugged as if it wasn’t a big deal. “That was after hearing the message from his mother. I walked all the way home.” She smiled wryly. “Sucked big time after spending the night running from the FBI and jumping off bridges.”

Alec pressed a kiss to her forehead. “I can imagine.”

Liz pulled away after a moment, once again scowling. “We’re getting off topic here. Now spill. No more stalling.”

Alec suddenly looked like a dear caught in the headlights and Liz almost laughed. “Come on, I’m practically an alien. I doubt anything you could say would actually freak me out.”

Alec looked at her doubtfully. “Just remember you said that.”

He tried to get up again and this time Liz let him. He needed to pace it off, needed the distance, and somehow Liz could sense that.

Alec turned to face her. “What did you see in the flashes you got?”

“Um, I saw some scenes from your…childhood.” Liz wasn’t sure if that was even the right word, but she didn’t know what else to call it.

“It looked like training to me, weapons, combat, stuff like that. I saw you when you were older. It’s hard for me to say what was going on, but it all looked militaristic to me. And I saw you doing some things that normal humans can’t do. Jumping higher, running faster. Oh, and I saw the barcode on your neck, even though it’s not there now.”

“Lasered off,” Alec explained, surprised that she had noticed.

Liz scrunched up her nose. “Ouch. That must hurt.”

Alec shrugged. “Better than running around with it.”

“Because the government is looking for you.” It wasn’t really a question.

Alec nodded slowly. He was somehow expecting Liz to say something about the danger he was in, the danger he was putting her in by being there. At least that was what he was thinking.

But she obviously wasn’t. “Is that why you left Seattle?”

Alec’s gaze became distant for a moment and sad somehow. He slowly shook his head. “No, it didn’t really have anything to do with that. But maybe I should start at the beginning too. You’ve probably already heard the basics on the news. Manticore was a top secret government agency that only a few key figures knew about it. It was founded a few decades ago with the goal of creating the perfect soldier through genetic engineering using not only human but also animal DNA.”

“Animal DNA?” Liz asked, eyes wide. “Seriously? Wow. I would have never thought that science was at that level already. And, wow that’s…sick.”

“You should have seen some of the things they cooked up in their labs,” Alec muttered. “Anyway, they of course failed at first. Either the fertilization wasn’t successful or the transgenics were flawed.”

“Flawed how?” As sick as this was, the scientist in her just couldn’t help but be fascinated.

“In lots and lots of different ways. They started off with mixing human and canine DNA. The first successful transgenic they created that lived was Joshua, a pal of mine. He wasn’t meant as a soldier though, just an experiment like a lot of the early transgenics. He lived his life locked up in the basement since they had no use for him.”

“That’s…horrible,” Liz said, pity washing over her features. How could people be so cruel?

“Yeah…” Alec said trailing off. And he hadn’t even taken the lid off. “The problem with Joshua was that he looked like what he was – a mixture between man and dog. It took a lot of experimenting until they had a DNA cocktail that looked entirely human but wasn’t.”

“Was it only the looks or did Joshua also behave like, well, a dog?”

Alec thought about it. “Well, he can speak and read. Normally spends all his day either reading or painting. Sold a few pictures even. But…he also likes to sniff at people. And don’t even get me started on his table manners…” he said rolling his eyes.

Liz almost smiled. For some insane reason she could easily see Alec being friends with someone like that. “So what happened when they had a mixture that worked?”

“They started working on the X-series. Those are the transgenics that look human.”

“Like you.”

“Yes, like me. The first series, X1 failed. I don’t know why. They weren’t exactly big on sharing at Manticore, especially not when it came to admitting failure. The next one, X2 also malfunctioned. Manticore put down all but four members of the thirty-specimen class. Those four were locked in the basement so they could be observed and studied for the rest of their lives.”

Liz jumped up from the bed, looking truly upset now, pain and anger flooding her eyes. “They just killed them?! Because they were flawed? And they locked up the others to be studied like guinea pigs?!” The thought made her sick to her stomach. How could humans be so…inhuman?

Alec shrugged almost indifferently, no emotions in his eyes, his features. “They were of no use to Manticore. To them, it was the logical step to take.”

“That’s sick,” Liz said forcefully. “That is beyond sick-”

“That’s Manticore,” Alec interrupted her.

Liz looked up at him, sorrow and compassion replacing the anger in her eyes. If Manticore treated human life so callously, she didn’t want to know what growing up there had been like for Alec. He looked so cold, so…distant. He probably had to be it if he wanted to leave all that behind him and move forward, go on with his life. Liz could only imagine how hard that must be. She wanted so much to reach out to him, offer him her comfort and compassion, but something told her that he didn’t want it right now, wouldn’t be able to handle it. He needed to be detached from his past, from the emotions it caused and he wouldn’t be able to do that if Liz forced him to face them with gestures of sympathy.

“X3 was the first somewhat successful series, but they only had small advantages over regular humans. They were stronger and faster and had higher IQs, but they didn’t even come close to the level of the newer X-series.”

“How many are there?” Liz asked. “Series, I mean.”

“Nine all together,” Alec replied. “The X4-series was the first one that had enhanced senses. They got the hearing abilities from their canine DNA, meaning they could hear well above and below the human hearing range and that their hearing was a lot more sensitive. They were also stronger and faster than X3s.”

“What about you?” Liz asked. “I mean, what series are you?”

“X5. We have the same abilities the X4 series has, only better developed. Our cocktails are heavy on the feline DNA, so we have night vision and are a lot more agile. We can jump higher and farer in addition to the abilities of the X4s, which were of course once again improved. We have a photographic memory and some of us have shark DNA in their cocktail, which means they only need a couple of hours of sleep per night, if that.”

“That’s why we didn’t run into anything…” Liz suddenly muttered, realization dawning on her.

“What?” Alec asked confused.

“At the pool…when we went skinny dipping. It was completely dark and I didn’t understand how it was possible for you to see where we were going. I just brushed it off as some kind of alien-thing. But it was your night-vision, right?”

Alec nodded. He didn’t know whether he should be amused by the way Liz’s mind worked, dragging up such small details of the past that suddenly made sense, or freaked out by how calmly she was taking this. He’d just told her that he had a wide range of animal DNA mixed into his cocktail and she’d hardly even acknowledged it.

Liz tilted her head to the side. A lot of stuff suddenly made one hell of a lot more sense now. “So what about the other X-series?”

“Well, it’s pretty much always the same. Every X-series has the same abilities as the one before, improved of course, and some of their own. X6s all have shark DNA which causes them to only need a few hours sleep per month. They can go up to two weeks without any at all. As a rule they sleep about three hours a week.”

“Wow. That is so much extra time they have! Just think of all the things you could do…” Then she saw Alec’s smirk. “Oh God, let me guess. You’re one of the X5s with shark DNA?”

Alec just kept on smirking.

Liz rolled her eyes. “Why doesn’t that surprise me? Okay, next series. We’re at X7 now, right?”

Alec nodded. “Yeah. There are actually two groups of X7s, one of them was in Wyoming, the other one in Washington. The ones in Wyoming, apart from their X7-specific code sequences, are identical clones of the X5s.”

Liz’s eyes turned to saucers. “Wait a minute. There’s a younger clone of you running around somewhere?”

“If he hasn’t been killed yet,” came Alec’s very nonchalant reply.

Liz just stared. This was a lot to swallow. A mini-Alec…God, that sounded…kind of nice, almost. But mostly just very, very sick. “That’s…weird.”

“You haven’t heard anything yet,” Alec muttered, thinking of Ben. He would have to tell her about that too, eventually, but not just now. He wasn’t ready for that yet. Probably never really would be, he realized. But right now he had other things to focus on.

“Those X7s can also stay under water for up to fifteen minutes,” Alec went on. “Hippopotamus DNA. And their skin can also emit certain oils that allow them to conserve heat more.”

“Sort of like an otter?” Liz asked.

Alec nodded, impressed but not surprised by Liz’s knowledge when it came to biology. It was like her to know this kind of thing. She probably spent hours watching the discovery channel, he mused.

“Yup. Had their own built-in wet suits thanks to that. Very practical. The Washington X7s on the other hand are a completely different story. They’re heavily imbued with bat DNA, which causes them to speak in high-pitched sounds above the ultra-sonic range. Humans can’t hear it and so it has to be translated with a special computer matrix to communicate with them. Both groups of X7s are equipped with hive minds, which basically means that they have very little autonomy. A feature they added to prevent a repeat of the X5-breakout.”

“Breakout?” Liz asked surprised. “There was a breakout? When?”

“Almost fifteen years ago. I’ll get to that in a minute. I don’t know a lot about the X8-series, but rumor has it that they can crawl on walls and ceilings due to spider DNA.”

“Like Spiderman?”

Alec looked confused. “Who?”

Liz waved it off. “Never mind.”

“Anyway, Manticore was very hush-hush about them and I never had any real contact with any of them, so my information is very limited.”

“What about the X9s?”

“No idea. Manticore never even confirmed an X9-series and I never saw one or heard of one…which tells me that they fucked them up. Malfunctioned, I suppose.”

“How do you know they even existed?”

“Rumors travel fast, even at Manticore. Besides, I had some…business with some of the guards. Not all of them were really concerned about keeping confidential data classified.”

“Were there other soldiers at Manticore besides the X-series? Normal ones?”

“Nope, no normal soldiers. But there were other soldiers. For starters, there were those that don’t look like normal humans, created for distinctive types of missions. Some of them have gills, used for amphibious sabotage, others look like reptiles, used for operations in the desert. Then there are the tracking soldiers…if you can even call them soldiers. Look like very strange mini-dinosaurs or something, called ‘em Gossamers. They were trained either to kill or disable the targeted individual. Just had to give them something to sniff and they’d go hunting them up. Didn’t stop till they found the target.”

“Nice.”

Alec hummed in agreement. “Then there’s Psy-Ops. Nice little gang, I can tell you. Were designed with the powers of telekinesis, hypnosis, and telecoercion. They were used for evaluation, brainwashing and reindoctrination techniques used on other Manticore soldiers, enemy personnel and prisoners of war.”

Liz bit her lip. “Did they ever…did you…” She wasn’t sure how she should phrase this.

“Did I ever personally experience the joys of Psy-Ops? Quite a few times actually. Cheery place. Makes the rest of Manticore look like a fucking Sunday picnic.” Alec’s tone was bitter and harsh, with an edge Liz had never heard before.

This time the need to offer comfort was too strong to resist. Liz took the two steps over to where Alec was standing, closing the distance between them. “I’m sorry,” she whispered, pulling his head down for a soft kiss. Her lips traveled over his face, leaving trails of butterfly kisses on his forehead, cheeks, chin before returning to his mouth. She kept the kiss soft and tender, even when she felt him relax, pouring all her compassion and affection into it. Then she pulled him onto the bed so that they were lying next to each other again, legs tangling together again.

“I almost forgot the high-tech soldiers,” Alec whispered. He wasn’t quite sure why he was whispering, but it seemed wrong not to.

“What are those?” Liz’s voice was equally soft.

“They’re members of the X-Series. Essentially, they’re battle processors – a general, his staff, two database groups and five logistical support teams, all rolled into one. They were designed to be forgettable. Probably the reason why I almost forgot them. They were pretty plain looking. The combination of near-absolute data knowledge with fast Fourier neural nets enabled them to make predictions using probability algorithms. For them, that’s as easy as counting two and two together.”

“So, did they make you so pretty on purpose?” Liz asked, once again managing to take Alec completely by surprise.

He just stared at her for a moment, eyes wide. “What?” he asked.

Liz laughed. “I’m serious. Jondy is gorgeous and you’re not all that bad-looking yourself…”

Alec pretended to be offended. “Not that bad-looking? I thought I was pretty.”

Liz rolled her eyes, secretly delighted that she’d managed to get the look of misery of his face so quickly. “And so modest.”

Alec smirked. “Yeah…modest. That’s me.”

Liz giggled as Alec closed his mouth over hers in a searing kiss. He needed to get lost in her, if only for a short moment. And Liz…Liz needed him to lose himself in her.


tbc
Tact is for people not witty enough to be sarcastic.
Image
holier than thou | katastrophee
Updated 03/16/07 | Updated 02/10/08

User avatar
Calinia
Addicted Roswellian
Posts: 237
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2002 11:40 am
Location: Vienna
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Post by Calinia » Fri Sep 10, 2004 5:23 am

Hey guys! I had a wonderful vacation and lots of energy to write and write and write...now I only have to find the time, lol. I have a new part for you, I really don't know when the next one will be up though. Hope to get some writing done this weekend, but with three little cousins to babysit, who knows.


burningchaos, totally agree, she really is a perfect match for Alec. And with everything she's gone through with the aliens, this is hardly a reason to freak out for her.

Gioia, I'm glad you liked the explanation. Not all of the stuff is canon, but a lot. There's more coming up in this part. And no, with everything that Liz knows, Manticore can't really shock her. Enrage and disgust, but not shock. Hehe, I'm taking it as a high compliment. :oops: And no, you don't have to mention Fiji again, lol.

alexceasar, ditto what I said to Gioia's feedback, lol.

Elf3748, I'm glad you liked the explanation. It wasn't easy to come up with something for all 9 series since the show left out a lot of explanations.

Tina N Blair, I agree, Alec's deals on the side are so like him. Couldn't possible leave that out, now could I?

vampiricheart, you're just calling me evil to kiss-ass and wrangle another part out of me! :oops: Damn it if it didn't work, lol. Alec's insecurity concerning Liz and Max will show up quite often during this story, but Liz will manage to knock the silly notion that he could be second best to anybody out of his head sooner or later.

Frances, of course it was all for you. All my parts are, don't you know that? :wink: Glad you liked the last one!

WomanofMystery, Alec is a bit silly sometimes, doubting Liz and all, but he'll see the light sooner or later. As for the heart-stopping moment, just think what a wonderful cliffhanger that could have been. But I was nice and didn't turn it into a cliffhanger. Now you are forever in my debt. :twisted: And there will be lots of cliffhangers coming up, not in this part though. Hmm...maybe I'm growing soft. Max and Alec will probably meet in about two or three parts. And it won't be nice.

NewYorker18, glad you liked it!

Roswell Slayer, glad you liked the explanation. It was hell to write so you'd better, lol! :wink: And I can't really imagine them with anybody else either. Even though I of course have a soft spot for Kyle and Michael...you know me. I'm a little whorish when it comes to Liz and her men, hehe.

Ladeia3, I'm glad you like this. And since you asked so nicely, here I am, hurrying back with more. :D

RavenSprite, Alec and Liz being able to keep their hands off each other? Pfft! As if that would ever happen. There's still some more talking coming up, but then...more not being able to keep their hands off each other, hehe. Lots of that coming up actually. :wink:

QtMaNdY37, very glad you're enjoying this. Max and Alec will meet in two or three parts and let me tell you, it won't be pretty. Hehe... :twisted:

Jazzie, yay, a new reader! Very happy to hear you like this story. :oops: Alec/Liz is my favorite crossover couple too (in case that wasn't beyond obvious yet, lol).

JAAlberts, I'm really glad you like this. :oops: And here's a new part, extra for you!


Part 10

They were lying on the bed, Liz’s head resting on Alec’s chest. This was quickly becoming her favorite place to be. She listened to the steady beat of his heart, wondering how something so simple could be so perfect. The sound was lulling her into a state somewhere between sleep and consciousness. She let herself drift, let her mind go blank. It was so easy now that he was here. It was like something inside of her had found peace.

There was a warm breeze coming in from the half-open window, causing the curtains to rustle every now and then. She could tell that the sun was beginning to set, even though it was nowhere near dark yet. The whole atmosphere was calm and soothing and serene, something she really needed after the last few weeks. But as painful and antagonizing as they had been, this made it all worth it. Their time apart just made being together again all the more sacred. Even if she could, Liz wouldn’t change anything about the last months. It all came together now, all made perfect sense…every single moment.

“What was it like?” Liz asked softly, breaking the silence. “I mean, growing up there. Will you tell me?”

Alec shifted, but he didn’t make any attempts to move away from Liz. Did he want to tell her? Did he want her to know about Manticore? Could he do that to her, burden her with his past, with every ugly detail? God knew there were a lot of those. A part of him wanted to refuse Liz’s request adamantly. Despite everything she had been through, Liz still had at least a hint of innocence inside her. He didn’t want to be the person who robbed her of that, who took that away from her.

At the same time he knew that Liz wouldn’t just accept a ‘no’, at least not in the long run. He had to tell her something.

“It was…well, it was the only home I knew until I was twenty-one. Mostly, I was okay with being there. I didn’t realize how bleak it was until afterwards, till I saw how other people lived, how they’d grown up. I had a roof over my head, regular meals…I couldn’t complain. Manticore somehow managed to portray life on the outside as something only marginally better than hell. We were actually grateful for not having to live out there.”

“God,” Liz said. “I can’t believe them…I mean, all the lies, all the deceit. How could they do that? How could they brainwash you like that? Was anything they said ever true?”

Alec shrugged. “Not much I guess. I don’t know. But it was better that way, I think. You know, ignorance and bliss and all that shit.”

“You can’t miss what you don’t know,” Liz whispered.

Alec nodded, not saying anything for a minute. “I guess I did realize that it could have been…better. The classes, the training…it was all…well, brutal. They demanded the best from us and if we didn’t live up to their expectations, punishments were quick and severe. Of course, they set their expectations in a way that guaranteed that nobody could ever fulfill them all, so you ended up being punished every now and then no matter what we did. One of their favorite games was of course to pit us against each other. Had a pretty sick sense of humor, the bunch of them.”

Wait a minute, where was all that coming from? He hadn’t intended to tell her so much, to be so honest with her. He hadn’t intended to tell her any of that to be exact.

The bitter tone Alec’s voice had taken on wasn’t lost on Liz. She tightened her grip on him, almost regretting having asked. She didn’t want to be the reason why Alec had to drag up so many bad memories. She didn’t want to cause him even more pain.

The overwhelming urge to soothe, to offer comfort rose up in her, but at the same time she knew that there wasn’t a damn thing she could do. It was in the past. Nothing could change what had happened no matter how badly she wanted that. Her burning anger wouldn’t help Alec, neither would the fact that hearing this tore her up inside, sliced at her heart. She was as helpless as he was and that made her hurt even more for Alec. It killed her to know what he had gone through, killed her even more to see how much it was still affecting him. And there was nothing she could do about it, not a damn thing.

Liz shifted so she could look him in the eyes. “Alec, you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to. We can talk about something else or just…not talk at all.”

“No. It’s okay. I…I want you to know.” And he did, he realized with not just a small amount of surprise. “They started training us…God, no idea when. I can’t remember a time when our days weren’t filled with classes, training, tests…that’s just the way it was. We didn’t have time off, didn’t even know what playing was, that toys existed. It was all foreign to us.”

“But there were other children there, right? I mean, wasn’t that sort of like a family?” Liz was clinging to every thread of hope she could find that maybe it hadn’t been quite as bad as it sounded. That maybe there had been some bright spots after all in his so very bleak existence.

Alec almost snorted. “Family was not a word Manticore deemed fit to teach us. Neither was friendship. Emotions of any kind, be it fear, happiness, love…they weren’t tolerated. They didn’t exist in our world, not even in theory. The other kids were fellow soldiers to me and that was pretty much it. That’s all that they were to Manticore and therefore all that they were supposed to be to us. Emotional ties were a sign of weakness, something that could impair our ability to make rational decisions in combat and so they were prevented at all costs. If Manticore got wind of even the most tentative bond between two soldiers they were separated…not to mention punished. That became even worse after the breakout. I’ll get to that,” he added when he once again saw Liz’s questioning look.

“I remember one occurrence…I was maybe eight or nine at that time. A member of my unit was being reprimanded pretty harshly and another X5 stepped forward to defend her. The instructor beat him up so badly that for a moment I actually thought he was dead. He was then removed from the scene and the instructor went on as if nothing had happened. The X5 was never seen again…no idea what happened to him. I guess that was the whole point. It was a clear warning to us and hardly anybody dared to ignore it.”

“God, that’s just…” Liz trailed off. There were no words. Tears were gathering in her eyes, clogging up her throat, burning in her chest. But she blinked them away, refusing to let them fall. She wanted…needed to be strong. She couldn’t fall apart here. It wasn’t her who had been forced to grow up in a place that sounded worse than hell.

“But actually, it wasn’t like that in all units. Max’s was different. You remember Max, right? The girl that came to Florida?”

Liz nodded. Oh yes, she remembered her alright.

“Max’s unit was…close. Tight-knitted, like a family I guess. They cared about each other. Max calls them her siblings. They gave each other names. Another concept that Manticore tried to keep foreign to us. With names came a personality and we weren’t supposed to have that. Her unit managed to get around that somehow and kept it a secret. No idea how they pulled it off but they did. Quite a few of the guards had a soft spot for us when we were younger, not reporting everything that they were supposed to. Guess that helped them, along with a big portion of luck. Her unit had other problems though. For some reason it was also prone to flaws.”

“What kind of flaws?” Liz asked, relieved that subject had shifted away from Alec’s miserably childhood at least a little bit.

“Well, for one, Max and a few others from that unit suffer from seizures due to an imbalance of the serotonin levels in their brains. They can only be remedied with the drug Tryptophan, which is a neurotransmitter sometimes used to control seizures. They become weak and feverish without it. Then there are the X5s who suffer from progeria, a syndrome which causes the human body to age a lot faster than normal. Two of the three affected X5s were from Max’s unit.”

“Didn’t Manticore do anything about all that?” Liz asked.

“Sure. Took the X5s prone to seizures, killed them and then cut them up, looking for a reason for the flaw.”

“They didn’t!” Liz exclaimed horrified. Despite everything she’d seen – Pierce, the Special Unit, the Skins – this still managed to shock her, disgust her. She couldn’t believe that humans could be such monsters. They’d been children for God’s sake! Nothing but children…helpless. How could anybody do such a thing? How could they live with themselves?

“There’s one case I know about for sure. X5-417. Max says his name was Jack. Manticore viewed him as defective. Besides the seizures he also couldn’t hold his breath as long as the others, generally wasn’t as strong. After one of his seizures he was removed from the unit. They executed him and then went searching for the root of the problem.”

Liz felt sick to her stomach. She forced the bile down her throat again but couldn’t quite keep the tears at bay. Alec’s features softened as he saw them. He cradled her face in his hand, gently wiping her tears away. As much as he hated to see Liz so distraught because of him, it touched him like hardly anything else ever had that she was feeling like this out of sympathy, maybe even love. For him.

It was such a foreign concept to him that someone actually cared for him, maybe even loved him. A part of him felt like he didn’t deserve any of that, but the other part was just content with the warm, fuzzy feelings it stirred up inside of him. He was happy. Liz had that effect on him. A look, a smile, a touch was all it took. He was such a goner.

“Something similar almost happened to Max,” he went on, more softly than before. “She had a seizure that the guards witnessed so they wanted to take her away. Zack, their CO, attacked the guards and then led his unit in an attempt to escape. He and Max were especially close. He really loved her I think, so much that he was willing to abandon his mission, his purpose to keep her safe. Twelve of them succeeded, they got away. That changed everything.”

“How so?” Liz asked even though she had a pretty good idea of what had changed, and for whom.

“Manticore suddenly went crazy about ensuring our loyalty. Psy-Ops became a regular part of our lives, not to mention them brainwashing us into thinking that the escapees were traitors. Wasn’t hard since we all knew that the change at Manticore was caused by the escape. It had been bad before, but afterwards…it was, well, worse. A lot worse. Manticore wasn’t willing to risk something like that happening again and so we had to suffer the consequences.”

“I’m so sorry,” Liz whispered hoarsely, her hand brushing over his cheek ever so gently. Alec managed a small smile and so Liz forced one to match on her lips. “What happened to the others? The ones that escaped, I mean?”

“Scattered all over the continent as far as I know. Max spent the next decade or so looking for them.”

“Did she ever find them?” Liz asked, surprised the by the twinge of sympathy she felt for the girl she had despised so much when she’d first lain eyes on her. Of course, that had been for all the wrong reasons, but first impressions went a long way.

“Some. It didn’t always end well though. Brin was one of the X5s who developed progeria. She turned herself in to Manticore because only they could cure her. They did…and brainwashed her a bit on the side to return her to their ranks. Then there was Tinga who Manticore ended up killing. She had a little son. She had a life. Manticore took that away from her, took a mother away from her son.”

Alec saw the tears once again gathering in Liz’s eyes and he wanted to stop. She didn’t really have to know all this, did she? As much as he wanted to spare her the details, he knew she probably felt like she needed to hear this, knew that she thought she had to know. She wanted to understand him, wanted to understand where he came from, who he was, and she never would without knowing these things. And a part of him actually wanted her to know…wanted to share the burden. He’d never felt the need for that before, but with Liz, it was overwhelming.

“Max also met up with Zack, her CO. Together they attempted to take down Manticore. Didn’t quite work out though. Max was recaptured. She was injured so badly at that time that Zack killed himself so that she could have his heart. She probably wouldn’t have made it otherwise.”

“Oh my God,” Liz murmured.

Alec shrugged. Despite everything, it was still hard for him to bring up any sympathy for Max’s plights. It was unfair, but in his mind she was still the reason for the escape, the reason for the horrors that had followed. She’d lived happily on the outside while those left behind had to pay the price for her freedom. “She survived. Of course, she was pretty pissed off for being back at Manticore. Planned her escape from day one. Reindoctrination never quite worked on her.”

“So is that when you met?”

“Yup. In her attempt to bring down Manticore, Max blew up the DNA database. To make up for their loss, Manticore decided to pair up all the X5s as breeding partners. She and I were paired up together.”

“As what?!” Liz exclaimed. Had she just heard right? Breeding partners?!

Alec chuckled. “Funny…that’s how Max reacted. We were supposed to copulate every night until she got pregnant.”

“You slept with each other?” Liz asked, disbelief and hurt washing through her. So she had been right after all…

“No,” Alec said firmly. “We were supposed to sleep with each other. Max wasn’t too keen on that idea though, made it pretty clear too by kicking me in the gut. I figured it wasn’t worth the trouble so I used the time in her cell for some catnaps.”

“Catnaps?” Liz asked dumfounded. Had he just said that he preferred to sleep instead of having sex with Max?

“Yeah. Manticore normally denied us such small luxuries, had to take advantage of the situation while I could.”

“So you just slept?” Liz just had to ask again.

“Yup,” Alec replied, slightly amused by her reaction. She wasn’t jealous, was she? Of Max of all people?

“When did you become friends?” Liz was more than eager to change the subject.

Alec laughed almost bitterly. “Max and I were never really friends. We just…ran in the same circles so-to-say. She managed to escape again and Renfro, the director, set the buildings on fire after a friend of hers broadcasted the location of Manticore on national TV. So Max freed the transgenics, let them out into the world. I was on the outside at that time. And after that, with all the freaky things Manticore cooked up in their labs running around…there was more than enough to do to prevent exposure, keep the threat at bay as much as possible. We…put up with each other, but that was pretty much it.”

“Then what was she doing in Florida?”

“Looking for Jondy, actually. Jondy was in her unit, she’s one of the X5s that escaped. Max had been looking for her for years. She was following a trail to Florida when we ran into each other per chance.”

“That must have been great for Max…being reunited with Jondy after so many years.”

“It was, I guess. I never really got the whole siblings-thing they had going on and Max never really talked much about any of them.” He stopped, hesitated. He knew that this was the time to tell her. This was the perfect opportunity to bring up Ben. Max had told him the truth, the whole truth, on their way back to Seattle from Florida. It had been a shock…to put it mildly. He’d known that Ben had gone psycho, but a serial killer? He still hadn’t really processed the information. With everything that had been going on in Seattle there hadn’t been any time to think about it. And now…he just couldn’t get the words out. He was…scared, he realized. Scared of her reaction, scared that it might be too much for her to handle right now on top of everything else.

Scared that she would turn away from him.

It was disconcerting, all this fear. He wasn’t used to being afraid of anything. He had been taught from earliest childhood on that fear was something for weaklings. Soldiers weren’t afraid. Soldiers weren’t even supposed to know what fear was.

But the off-chance of losing Liz was enough to terrify him right down to the bone. He wouldn’t be able to take that, could hardly even stand the thought. Christ, what had Liz done to him? How had she managed to worm her way into his heart like that, to take over his soul so completely? It was scary, but at the same time he felt…complete. For the first time in his life he felt like he was whole, part of a unit. Not just an empty shell, not just a tool, a means to an end.

And so he didn’t say anything. Not yet. He would bring it up…some day. But now…he just wanted to savor the now.

Liz sighed softly, her head once again resting over Alec’s heart. “I’m so glad you’re here,” she whispered.

“So am I,” Alec murmured, pressing a kiss to the crown of her head.

“Especially today…” Liz began, but then trailed of as if she’d changed her mind.

Alec smirked. “You don’t think I actually forgot, do you?” he asked with mock indignation.

Liz looked up at him slightly startled. Her breath caught in her throat. “You remember?”

Alec smiled down at her. “How could I ever forget our anniversary?” A smile broke over Liz’s face. “I do have a photographic memory,” Alec added, earning himself a punch in the ribs.

Suddenly feeling very playful, Alec rolled on top of Liz. He kissed her neck before lifting his head to grin down at her. “I believe we have a tradition to uphold. One that includes water…and a lot less clothes.” His gaze wandered down Liz’s body and she blushed.

Liz swallowed. “Well, there’s, um…a lake nearby. Nobody should be there anymore at this time of the day so we…” She swallowed again. “We’d be alone.”

Alec’s gaze went from teasing to burning. “Sounds great,” he murmured huskily.

Liz couldn’t help herself. She just had to reach up and pull him down for a heated kiss. She couldn’t wait to get to the lake.


tbc
Tact is for people not witty enough to be sarcastic.
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holier than thou | katastrophee
Updated 03/16/07 | Updated 02/10/08

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