posted on 21-Sep-2001 3:16:18 PM
Title: I'm leaning towards something like 'The spaces in between'
Author: Chris Kenworthy
Email: Chris_Kenworthy⊕yahoo.com
Disclaimer: Of *course* I don't own them!
Spoilers: Up to about two thirds of the way into Crazy.
Feedback: I'm begging you. I'm down on my hands and knees... Want to know if my rare fanfic time is better spent on this notion than some of my more established fics...
Content: Very alternate universe, traditional canon couples. (That's right, CC. I won't be pulling any tricks in this one, I promise!!)
Summary: What if the gang found a way to trust Topolsky? What if the new faces and changing roles of late season one changed, yet again? What if destiny was so completely, amazingly different than you could possibly imagine??


(Liz Parker's diary...)

March 25th, 2001:

We met up at the Quarry again this morning. Alex was approached by a mysterious someone outside the Crashdown last night. Apparently, he claimed to be a friend of Topolsky. Personally, I think if she had any friends here in Roswell, she'd have mentioned them. Could that guy from the crashdown be an *enemy* of hers?

Also, Alex met up with the sherrif, who kinda got rid of scary-car-guy. Alex and Max got into a bit of a difference of opinion about whether anyone else could be trusted. I tried to cool things down, pointing out to Alex that we had no idea what part of Topolsky's story might be true. He agreed, and the meeting pretty much broke up then. Max and I were in the middle, between Alex and Isabel, who had left first, and Michael and Maria, who were hanging back.

Until Alex came running back, waving Isabel to return too, calling out, "But we could, Liz! We could know what's going on in her head!"

That caused a bit of an uproar. It was a few minutes before Alex could explain his idea. "What we n-need, is to understand Topolsky's part in this. If she's trying to trap us, we need to know that for sure."

"Even if she wants to help us, she could get us killed," Michael warned. "If she's not lying, she's scared - scared of people that are probably our enemies too. If we try to help her, we could end up leading them right to us."

"Yes, Michael!" Alex agreed. "But if we know what Topolsky knows, we might be able to find a way around that danger too."

"Know what she knows..." I repeated. "Alex, what are you thinking ab--" I trailed off.

"Isabel knows, doesn't she?" Alex turned to look at her. Isabel was as pale as a ghost. "You *know.*"

"You... you can't be serious..." she murmured quietly.

"I am," Alex said confidently.

"Isabel is right, Alex," Max said, stepping between the two of them. "There's no way that... that we could do that, right now, to Topolsky of all people. If she *is* still an FBI spy, it would mean confessing everything we need to keep hidden."

"No!!" Alex was almost shouting now. I looked around to make sure that nobody else was anywhere near. "Did you forget that she used it on me? I know what it's like... she won't suspect anything more than an ordinary dream at first. And if she does..." Alex scoffed. "God, what does it matter?? They can't take this to a court... I mean, if anything, it would just frighten them."

"Wait a second," I broke in again. "What... Alex, what the heck are you talking about."

"Don't you know, Liz?" That was Maria... I hadn't even realized that she had circled around and was standing behind me. "Didn't... didn't I tell you before?"

"Tell me what?" I was really confused by this point.

"Isabel can... can go into people's dreams!" Maria explained. "She did it to me, way back when the sherriff was nosing around and trying to find out about Max from me... and to Alex, when he was so mad at you about the blood thing." Maria paused a moment, adding things up in her mind. "Hey, Isabel, how come you never visited Liz Parker dreamland?? She never freak you out enough??"

Isabel shrugged, her face a study in mortification by now. "It... it never came up," she said diplomatically.

"Well," Max said, trying to get things back on track, "I believe the proposal on the table is that Isabel try to dreamwalk Topolsky and find out more. Thoughts?" He sighed. "I don't know... I agree with Alex that it wouldn't be as dangerous as going up to her in person and demonstrating our powers..."

"No," Michael scoffed. "Because nothing *could* be."

"It's a good plan," Alex argued. "You're in the dark - so you need information. And the potential benefits outweigh the risks."

"I think I agree," I put in. "I still think Topolsky wants to help us. If this could be a way to persuade you guys of that, to let us help her, without endangering ourselves, I'm for it."

"I can understand that," Max said, stepping next to me. All over, it seemed like my hair stood on end as he got near. "But the big question... is for you, Isabel." He turned to his sister, and I could see the worry and concern in his eyes. "Do you think you can do this? Do you even *want* to??"

"I... I'm not sure." Isabel was looking from Max to Michael... the one of her brothers encouraging, the other frowning. "God, how do I decide??"

"Come on, Isabel," Alex said, stepping up to her, and dropping his voice to give the illusion of privacy, though I could hear what he was saying, and I think some of the others could, too. "I meant what I said, back in the Cafe yesterday. The only thing... that matters to me here, is keeping you safe. I know this might be hard, but I think it's the best way for you to protect yourself. Can you trust me on that?"

"No," Isabel said, and Alex's face fell. "I can't take that on trust alone, but I think I agree with you, Alex. I'll do it." And half of Alex's smile came back.

Michael stood in Isabel's way as she started to head back to her car. "You sure I can't argue you out of this?"

Isabel looked back at us - me, Max, and Alex. The implication was clear... according to the voting precedent we set yesterday afternoon, it was four to one... with one vote as yet uncast. Even if Maria threw her vote behind Michael, like she had yesterday, Alex's motion had carried. "No... I'm sorry Michael, but I'm convinced."

"Then you had better hurry," Michael said, sighing. "I think Topolsky will be doing her sleeping this afternoon, not tonight."

You could have heard a pin drop on the rocks after Michael said that... if anybody had brought a pin to drop. "And... and how do you know this, Michael?" Max said after a lot of seconds.

Michael groaned. "She was at my apartment last night, okay? When I got home after Senor Chows, she had found the orb, but she didn't try to take it out of the room. Yattered some nonsense about it being a communicator, or part of one, that she'd be waiting for us at Buckley point, but it'd be the last chance to make contact with her." A roar of backtalk was growing by now, but Michael drowned it out. "The *reason* I didn't say anything before now was that it didn't matter - we had decided not to fall for her mind games. But if you're going to do this dream thing, I thought you needed to know."

Isabel stepped up to Michael, smiling. "You're right." She reached up and wiped a little smudge off his cheek with her thumb. "Thank you, Michael."

To be continued...

(Okay, that's all I've managed to get written so far. Any thoughts?? PLEASE! :-) )

"This above all, to thine own self be true."
"We make our own destinies."
chris⊕chriskweb.net

Edited by - Chrisken on 09/23/2001 18:03:48
posted on 21-Sep-2001 5:57:32 PM
I'll just say one thing. A couple of people who I've talked about this fic with actually seemed... disappointed with how much of destiny I'm taking away here. I mean, these are card-carrying dreamers and other CC-ers who have the traditional (foursquare) concept of destiny at the top of their ten most hated list... (I'm guessing about that.) And yet there's one part of destiny they're not sure they can even live without. It's so weird. ;-)

I'll hope to have more written by tomorrow.

"This above all, to thine own self be true."
"We make our own destinies."
chris⊕chriskweb.net
posted on 22-Sep-2001 6:04:58 PM
Just got some more written, so I thought I'd share it:

ISABEL:

I looked around my room. My friends, all five of them, were *hovering.* I mean, I appreciate a little support, but this is getting ridiculous.

It's a good thing that Dad had to work this weekend and Mom has her Canasta game on saturday afternoons. The six of us, coming into their house and immediately bustling up to my bedroom... it would've looked as if we were getting ready for an orgy or something. Oh my god, I can't believe I just thought that...

"Okay," I said aloud to everybody, trying to forget about that stray thought. "A lot of you are gonna have to leave - I'm never even gonna get to sleep myself with all of ya hanging around and watching me."

"Sure," Maria said. We've never been best of galpals close, and I think she was feeling as awkward about all this as I was. "Who do you want to go?"

"Um..." I tried to think. Was this tough choices day or something? "Two of you staying should be enough... Max and -" I *really expected to hear myself say 'Michael' here, but... "And Alex."

Alex grinned so cutely when I mentioned his name. I'm not sure why I did it... well, I guess I have some ideas. This whole 'dreamwalk Topolsky' brainstorm was his in the first place, and...

And there's something so reassuring about having Alex around when things are getting sticky. I'd rather die than admit that to him, because Alex being Alex, he'd take it the wrong way. Sometimes I think the poor guy is so hot for me that he can't see straight.

Not that I don't like Alex. I've had a lor of guys drool over me in the past year and a half - the evidence is pretty conclusive that I'm a babe. No matter whether it's a macho jock, (mental shudder,) or a shy bookworm, nobody has ever approached me with the same combination of sensitivity and quiet intensity as Alex Charles Whitman. I don't feel the urge to leap into his arms with a great show of passion... (that kiss a few weeks ago notwithstanding,) but Alex... piques me. In a subtle but lasting way.

"Hey, Is? Is??" Max was almost shaking me, and I realized that I had really zoned out, just sitting on my bed and staring off into space like a zombie.

"Sorry." I shuffled up the bed so I was half lying down and half propped up by the pillows. "Give me the picture."

Liz, Maria and Michael had left already, I noticed with some surprise. I had been so lost in thought I hadn't even heard the bedroom door's creaky hinges groan. Alex was sitting over next to my desk, and Max was leaning against my hope chest, right next to the bed.

"Here it is," Max said, passing my an old sheet of glossy paper. Liz had managed to dig up a copy of the school newsletter that announced Miss Topolsky as the new guidance counsellor, which was good. Without a decent color photo of her, this whole plan might have never gotten off the ground. I don't know why I need the picture to dreamwalk... I just do, somehow. I can't make the connection without that reinforcing image of who I want to make contact with, no matter how well I know them. That's why I keep last year's high school yearbook under my bed.

"Don't you need to..." Alex started, then trailed off, blushing.

I looked over at him. "What, change into my pj's?" Alex blushed harder, and I think I may have flushed a little harder myself. "It's not necessary. Come a little closer, Alex." I waved at the side of my bed that Max wasn't hovering near. Alex pulled the chair closer, sitting near enough to reach out and grab my hand. If he got up the nerve.

"So..." Alex said, clearing his throat. "What *is* necessary, Isabel? What do you have to do?"

I smiled at him dramatically. "I just touch the picture," I suited action to word, wondering if Alex could see the tingle I always noticed as my powers interacted with the photoraph, "And drift off to dreamland..."

We waited. Nothing happened.

"What went wrong??" Max asked, a nervous tone in his voice.

"Relax," I told him. "No connection. She's not asleep yet."

"Are you sure?" Alex asked. He didn't sound like he was doubting me, just curious about the whole procedure.

"Positive," I assured him. "I've done this enough to recognize the busy signal. I can't tell what Miss T. is up to, but dreaming she definitely ain't."

That got a laugh from both of the boys. "So, what next?" Alex asked.

"It is not to worry, I have dream-walker auto redial," I announced. "As long as I stay here, relaxed and at least vaguely aware of the picture, as soon as Kathleen goes to sleep, I will too."

"Cool," Max opined. For a little while, silence swallowed my bedroom whole. "Should we stay quiet, or would it be better to talk?" my brother finally asked.

I laughed. "We can chat, as long as it doesn't turn into a shouting match or anything. So..." Another pause. "Anyone have a topic?"

Everyone thought for a second. "Well, there's, umm..." Max muttered.

"We could... no, that's no good," Alex whispered.

What had he been about to say? "How about that substitute teacher in English Lit??" Max tried vainly.

I was about to ask Alex what he had been thinking of, when it started to happen. A wave of exhaustion hit me, and I knew that Topolsky had fallen asleep... or started to dream, whichever it was. "Wait..." I managed to gasp, and then the bedroom faded into blackness.

* * * *

I 'arrived' in a long dark hallway. It's weird how the dreamwalking often works that way, introducing me out of sight of the dreamer. I mean, if Topolsky isn't in this hallway, why is she dreaming it?

Because it's connected to where her dream self is, I guess. Once, when I was dreamwalking my mom, I went the wrong way, trying to find her dream self, and almost fell out of the dream into blackness. There are limits to this thing, and I can't help the feeling that those limits are dangerous.

Luckily, there were no such problems this time. The second doorway I came to was Topolsky's, I could see part of her face through the little glass window.

I tried the doorknob, fully expecting the door to be locked. It was, but on this side it was just a knob, which I twisted and the door pushed in. I went through, holding the door open.

"Come on, Kathleen," I told her. "I'm here to take you out."

Topolsky looked at me with wild eyes surrounded by dark circles. I hadn't seen her myself since she came back to Roswell, but I remembered what everybody had said about how hurt and scared she looked. I had to agree. "You can't, Isabel," she said suddenly, surprising me when she said my name. I figured she might recognize me, but I hadn't expected it so soon. "The door isn't open for me."

"It isn't?" I asked, confused. As if to demonstrate, Kathleen stood up, walked towards the door, ad the door jumped! No, not jumped, but *blinked* - one second it was in my hand, the next second the door was solidly closed again. I rushed to open it again, but there wasn't even a doorknob on this side, much less a way to unlock it again. I was strapped in here with Ms. T.

I turned to her, feeling the first pangs od fear myself.

"This above all, to thine own self be true."
"We make our own destinies."
chris⊕chriskweb.net