posted on 20-Sep-2002 2:45:07 PM
A/N: I want to explain the category. M&M will be together. This is NOT, however, a dreamer fic. There will be plenty of dreamer moments but if reading things that have M & L with other people upsets you, this is not for you. I would, however, suggest you give it a shot as I do promise that everyone in the story will be happy in the end.

The Original Royal Four

Rating: PG to PG13
Fic Summary: Liz has already left for boarding school but that last couple of episodes with Michael and all that stuff happening at the chemical plant hasn’t and won’t happen. Max is trying to get Liz off his mind. Michael is trying to forget Maria for now, and she is still in Vermont with Liz.
Part Summary: See above. Max, Kyle, and Michael decide to take a vacation to have some fun and forget the girls.

Part 1

Max tried extremely hard to concentrate on what the teacher was saying but he just couldn’t. All he could think about was that Liz had left and hadn’t even said goodbye. A note wasn’t what he would expect from her. Maybe that was why she left. She wasn’t the Liz that he had come to love. She knew that and that was why she had left. Max just hoped that she would come back.

He tried to understand that she needed some space, but he just wanted to know that she was ok. He just wanted to hear her voice. Michael, Kyle, and Isabel kept after him to let her have some time. Kyle especially had been adamant that Max should leave her alone for a few weeks. Now Max was itching to call her.

Michael threw something at the back of his head. He glanced at the teacher who had turned his back to the class. Max then looked back at Michael. Michael held up a piece of paper with the words, “Thinking about Liz?” scribbled on it. Max nodded slightly and glanced back at the teacher who still had his back to them. When he looked back at Michael, Michael had written something else and held it up. “NEED A VACATION!!!”

Max was about to acknowledge the note when the teacher called on him to answer a question. He stumbled around trying to figure out what he had asked. The teacher was getting irritated, but the bell saved Max. He grabbed his books and headed for the door. Michael caught up with him outside the classroom.

“Max, I know just how you feel about this whole Liz thing. I can’t get my mind off of Maria either. That’s why I think we should go on a vacation, you know do guy stuff. I was thinking we could go to LA for a week,” Michael told him.

“We can’t just disappear for a week, Michael. We have school remember? Besides, spring break is at the end of next month. We should wait until then to go anywhere,” Max told him.

“No way! Liz and Maria could be back then, and that would shoot the hell out of my ‘forget the girls trip’ now wouldn’t it? Besides, you wouldn’t last that long. We live on our own so we don’t have to convince parents, we just have to get some kind of excuse to our teachers. I can suddenly develop the mumps or something. You couldn’t get away with something like that. Maybe we could say that you are going to check out a college that you’re thinking of going to. Teachers love that, and you don’t get counted absent for a trip to check out a college,” Michael said, planning for them both.

“Michael, I don’t think this is a good idea. What if Liz comes back while we’re gone?” Max asked.

“Will you listen to yourself? If she does come back, she’ll be here when we get back, and she’ll be glad to see that you aren’t sitting around waiting for her to call or to come back. You’ll be having some fun, and that’s not a crime, Maxwell. Now I’m going to Los Angeles, and I’d like for my best friend to come with me as I think it would make the trip more fun but I’m not going to force you to come,” Michael told him.

“Ok, ok, we’ll go but if we’re taking my car, I need to get it checked out. It needs a tune up, and I want to make sure it’s running ok before we just take off on a joy ride to another state. That ok? We can leave on Saturday morning, and in the meantime I’ll get Kyle to check out the car,” Max told Michael.

“Sounds great. See you later,” Michael said as he headed to his next class.

* * * * * * * * * * *

“It just looks like you need your oil changed and your tires rotated and balanced. Other than that, your car looks good, Max,” Kyle told him, wiping some grease off his hands. “So what’s the deal with the last minute tune up? Going on a trip somewhere?”

“Yeah, Michael and I are getting away for a few days to get our minds off of Liz and Maria,” Max answered.

“Oh yeah? Where ya headed?” Kyle asked.

“Los Angeles,” Max replied.

“Could I go with you? I mean I could definitely use a couple of days away from here, and a trip split between three people is cheaper than a trip split by two. I won’t get in the way and my dad won’t be a problem because he went on a fishing trip with the rest of his band and then they have a gig at a bar in Albuquerque,” Kyle told him.

Max thought about it for a minute and then nodded. “I don’t see any reason why not if you can get out of classes for a week. Meet us at Michael’s apartment at nine o’clock tomorrow morning.”

The next morning, Kyle showed up promptly at 9 and knocked on Michael’s door. Michael yanked the door open, and he got a confused look on his face. “What are you doing here?” he asked.

“He’s coming with us,” Max answered for Kyle.

“What do you mean, he’s coming with us? Not to LA,” Michael said.

“Why not? The only stipulations of this trip were that we forget about the girls and that we have fun. Kyle isn’t a girl and he can be fun,” Max told him.

Michael didn’t feel like arguing; it reminded him too much of Maria. “Ok, fine, you can come with us.” He stepped aside to let him in.

They all grabbed their luggage and piled into the car. They headed for California, each thinking of anything and everything other than where they were going and why. Max couldn’t stop thinking about Liz. Michael couldn’t help missing Maria, and Kyle wondered what Buddha would say about lying to all his teachers in his last year to go have some fun.

As they crossed the border into the LA city limits, they all started to feel better about this trip. They were starting to look forward to it. Max even gave into Michael’s suggestion that they change a couple of dollar bills into some serious cash for a nice hotel room with a separate bedroom and half kitchen. They unpacked and started feeling a bit tired and decided to order room service. While they were eating they talked about what they might do over the next week. Kyle said that he definitely wanted to go to one of the studios.
Max remembered Kal working with Paramount and said he would see what he could do to get them all a tour. He called Kal, who was not happy to hear from Max but agreed to leave them tickets for the studio tour at the front gate. They hung up and Michael, Kyle, and Max watched TV until they fell asleep.

The next morning, the guys were up early and raring to go. They got into the car after a complimentary breakfast and decided to drive around for a while. They took in lots of the usual touristy stuff and even saw a couple of celebrities from a distance. They decided not to go to Paramount until the next day but to just have some fun. Michael and Kyle wanted to go clubbing that night but Max decided that wasn’t for him and had them drop him off at the hotel. Back in the room, he was restless and decided to go for a walk. When he got back to the hotel, he was tired and thought that the walk had done him some good. He took a shower and went to bed.

The next day Kyle and Michael slept in and Max went down to the pool and went for a swim. When he came back, the guys were up and talking about going to the studios. They headed out for Paramount and picked up their tickets. They joined the other tourists and waited for their guide. They were into the tour, and Kyle and Michael were goofing off. Max was getting bored and he needed a bathroom. He asked the tour guide which direction it was in and told the guys that he’d catch up with them.

Ten minutes later, Max had decided that he must have taken a wrong turn because he still hadn’t seen a bathroom anywhere. Deciding to try the building nearest to him no matter what happened, he opened the door. The building reminded him of a big warehouse, and it was pretty dark. There was a light coming from somewhere in the back of the building and he started to follow it.

When he got to the room where the light was, he was surprised to find that it looked like a regular office in an office building. He was even more surprised to find a girl with waist-length auburn hair, bright green eyes and a tear-stained but otherwise beautiful face standing in a chair and attaching a piece of rope to the ceiling. He cleared his throat to get her attention, and she was so startled that she almost lost her balance in the chair.

The young lady looked at Max hard and asked, “Yes? Can I help you with something?”

Max almost couldn’t remember what he had been looking for. Her voice was almost musical and definitely fit her lovely face. His bladder was kind enough to remind him of the reason for his snooping around the building. “Um, actually I was just looking for a bathroom. Is there one around here?” he asked.

She sighed and then gave a kind of chuckle but it sounded rather forced. “Looking for a bathroom. Well, I’m sorry but all the bathrooms are locked in this building and I don’t know where the keys are. Try two buildings to the left of this one on the second floor. I believe there’s an open restroom there,” she told him.

Max smiled at her. “Thanks, I’m sorry if I disturbed you,” he said, and walked out the door.

Max had almost made it out of the building when it hit him what the girl was about to do. She was going to hang herself! He rushed back to the room just as the girl was about to jump off of the chair. He yelled for her to stop.

She looked at him, annoyed at the interruption. “What? You weren’t gone long enough to have found the bathroom.”

“Don’t do it, please. Whatever the reason you think life isn’t worth living, I promise you that it’s only temporary,” he said, trying to stay calm.

The girl gave a forced snort. “Yeah, that’s a riot. You’re obviously not from LA. My life is not going to get better. Every time I think that I’ve hit rock bottom something else happens, and I’m proven wrong.”

“Why don’t you tell me what’s wrong and I’ll see if I can’t help somehow?” Max suggested.

She studied him for a minute and then asked, “Where are you from?”

“Roswell, NM,” Max answered simply.

“How are you, a teenage guy on vacation with his family, a tourist, going to help me?” she asked skeptically.

“First of all, I’m not here with my family. I’m here with my best friend and another guy friend of ours. Why don’t you give me a try? I’m pretty resourceful,” he told her.

“Ok, fine, we’ll try it your way,” she said, giving up. She held up her hand and started ticking her problems off on her finger. “First of all, I’m only 19 and my parents and my younger brother were killed when I was 17. They never saw me graduate, and as I didn’t have any other relatives, a judge declared me an emancipated minor since I was so close to being a legal adult. Well, that meant that I now needed a job and a place to live. I sold everything that I could and finished high school living out of an apartment on my own. I couldn’t afford to go to college so I started looking for a job. Do you know how much rent is in LA for one person to live in a decent area of town? No, never mind, you wouldn’t. I thought I had a break when my boyfriend of two years got me an apartment through a friend of his at a cheaper rent rate without having to put down a deposit. I was doing ok and even got a job here at Paramount working as an assistant to a great movie director.”

The beautiful girl let out a sigh and Max tried to make a small joke. “Doesn’t sound that bad,” he teased.

Instead of getting her to smile, it had the opposite effect and her eyes filled with tears. “Not until you get to the part where you find out that my boyfriend had been cheating on me for almost the entire time we were dating, and when I pointed it out, he had me evicted. So now I have no boyfriend, no apartment, and no family. Finally, if that weren’t enough, for the past six months, my boss has been making suggestive remarks at me, and he’s been very sneaky at it so that there is no way I could make any kind of a case against him. Then, a couple of days ago, he finally cornered me in this office and gave me an ultimatum. It was either my virginity or my job, which he knew I desperately needed. I slapped him and told him not to ever say anything like that to me again. Yesterday, he fired me. I spent all my money on a cheap hotel down the street so that I could walk to work and now that I have no job, I can’t afford to stay there anymore and spent last night in my car. So now I’m 19, have no family, no job, no home, and no place to go. Now, how can you help me? You probably haven’t even finished high school yet and still live at home with mom and dad, who would have heart attacks if you brought home a girl you didn’t know from Los Angeles,” she finished.

Max thought that was the most pitiful story he had ever heard. He looked up at the rope still hanging from the ceiling. “Why were you going to hang yourself here?” he asked.

She looked up and laughed a little through her tears. “Show biz people are pretty superstitious, and no one more so than my former boss. He would have freaked if he had come into this office and found that I had killed myself here. He would have the whole place burned to the ground and have every sort of religious leader on the west coast bless him with whatever god they worship. I guess the simple answer would be revenge,” she finally smiled at him. “I guess I should thank you. You did save my life and that is a very heroic thing to do. What’s your name?”

“Max Evans, what’s yours?” he answered.

“Shannon, Shannon McConnell,” she sniffed.

“Well, Shannon, I don’t live with my parents, but yes, I am still in high school. I graduate this coming June. My best friend and I share an apartment. I tell you what, what do you say to you and I going back to my hotel room and we get you something to eat?” he offered.

She looked at him skeptically. “I should run like hell from you, but instead I find that I want to trust you. In either case, I really can’t accept charity. It isn’t right and I don’t think your friends would appreciate it. You are in town to have fun, not to pick up strays.”

“Ok, so I should just leave you here and let you hang yourself? No, I think that you have a lot to offer the world yet, Shannon McConnell. By the way, that’s a very Celtic name, and with that Auburn hair I would guess your family is either Irish or Scottish; which is it?” he asked politely, helping her off of the chair she was standing on.

“Actually, it’s kind of funny, I was adopted by the McConnell family when I was little, so I don’t know what my real background is. McConnell is Scottish, I think. Mr. Evans, are you sure you want me to come with you? I mean you do understand that even though I am desperate, I’m not selling anything that I still have, and that includes myself,” Shannon told him.

He smiled. “First of all, don’t call me Mr. Evans; I feel like you’re talking to my dad when you say that. Just call me Max. Second of all, I wouldn’t dream of trying anything with you after all you’ve been through.”

Shannon’s pride was hurt with that. “I don’t want your pity, Max. I just knew that if I killed myself, no one would miss me.”

He took her hand and led her toward the door. “That’s because I hadn’t met you yet.”

[ edited 27time(s), last at 17-Feb-2003 11:41:28 AM ]
posted on 20-Sep-2002 9:50:28 PM
I'm just trying to bump this story to the front so that SOMEBODY will read it. Please give it a try. I'll have more parts out soon! Thanks,

Beth *bounce**bounce**bounce*
posted on 23-Sep-2002 11:50:02 AM
I'll get the next part out soon. I'm currently editing my fics before posting more. Thanks for your patience.

Beth
posted on 24-Sep-2002 11:07:25 AM
It'll seem silly but I'm bumping my own fic. I have to be able to find it to post the next part.

Beth

*bounce**bounce*
posted on 24-Sep-2002 2:34:37 PM
Here's part 2. Enjoy!

Part Summary: Shannon has second thoughts and goes with Max to the hotel to meet the guys.

Shannon led Max to the back lot where she had parked her car. It was a hunk of junk, but it ran and it was paid for so that was all that mattered to Shannon McConnell. Max eyed the car suspiciously but said nothing. Shannon asked him to drive, as she didn’t feel well because she hadn’t eaten anything.

As Shannon and Max were driving along the road, Shannon started to feel uneasy. She shouldn’t have just run off with this guy. She knew nothing about Max Evans; he could be an ax murderer for all she knew. For some reason, though, she had decided to trust this guy. Something inside her said that she could, and so she had gone with him. Her gut usually told her to be suspicious of everyone, her past was the reason she attributed to her paranoia. ‘Oh well,’ she reasoned, ‘it won’t hurt for us to eat something together, and then I’ll just take him back to the studio and that will be the last time I see him.’

They passed one of her favorite Mexican places, and she asked Max if they could get something there. She looked in her wallet and saw that she had a total of $100. That was all she had to her name and she sighed. She thought about doing something about the lack of funds in her wallet but Mexican food wouldn’t set her back that much and besides, she could always make more money later.

As they both went into the restaurant, Shannon thought about her attempted suicide. Would she have been able to go through with it? She had been ready to get back at her boss, but there could have been other ways to do it. It had just been so hard to lose her job, her boyfriend, and her home all in one week. Then too, she had no real friends and no family. She could always look for her real family; she knew that she had a brother out there anyways.

Max asked her something, and Shannon was brought out of her thoughts. “I’m sorry, Max. I was just thinking about something. What did you ask me?”

Max smiled at her. “It’s ok. I just asked if you wanted anything on top of your food?” he asked again.

“Yeah, lots of Tabasco sauce. The hotter, the better when it comes to Mexican food,” Shannon answered. When Max gave her a funny look, she asked, “What?”

Max shook his head. “Nothing. I just don’t know too many girls that like really spicy foods.”

They sat down to eat and Shannon had to remind herself to eat slower. Max had insisted that he would pay for their lunch. Shannon thought that the least she could do for this guy who had stopped her from making a stupid mistake and paid for her lunch, was to make small conversation over lunch.

“So how is it that you and your buddies are here in LA when it’s still too early for spring break? You don’t strike me as the type to skip a week’s worth of classes for a joy trip. You looking for something in particular here?” she asked him.

Max swallowed his food and shook his head. “Actually, you’re right about half of that. Usually, I don’t skip classes just for fun, but Michael, Kyle, and I have been through a lot lately and we needed a vacation now. I just told my teachers and the counselor at school that I was going to check out a college for the week and Kyle did the same thing. Michael’s never had the chicken pox so he just called the school and told them that he had them. We just got here a couple of days ago,” he told her.

“So why don’t you live with your parents anymore?” Shannon asked.

Max looked at his food. “We had a difference of opinion. My parents wanted to know everything about my life in every detail, and I think I have a right to my privacy on some things. My parents and I are still talking, especially my mom and I. Isabel thinks that I should move back in, but I’m enjoying my freedom now.”

“Who’s Isabel?” Shannon asked.

“My sister. She and I are really close and she’s really close to mom. Isabel doesn’t live at home because she got married not too long ago. We told her we were coming out here because somebody needed to know where we really were in case something happened. Jesse, her husband, is a nice enough guy, but I don’t really know him that well,” Max told her.

“What about you? Tell me a little about yourself,” Max asked her.

Shannon debated over just how much she should tell this guy. She started out with the basics. “Well, I was adopted by the McConnells while I was really young, around 5 or 6. They had been trying for over a year and a half to have a baby but hadn’t had any luck. When they found me, it was like God had answered their prayers. Two years later, they were blessed with a son, my little brother Kevin. We lived in Phoenix while we were young and then moved out here to LA a few years ago. They were all killed in a car wreck when I was 17. I had been at the library working on a school project and wasn’t going to be home for dinner so they were going to go out for dinner. I had taken the bus so I would take it home again because my parents only had one car. Anyway, they were killed on their way home by a drunk driver.”

“That must have been really hard. What about your real family? Do you know anything about them?” Max asked politely.

Shannon thought about the question, and for a moment, Max wondered if she had heard the question. “Well, actually I do remember some things about them. They did really want me, but they couldn’t keep me because of their circumstances. Somewhere out there, I’ve got a real brother too. I’d like to find him, but I wouldn’t know where to start,” she said.

‘Why am I telling him all this?’ she asked herself. ‘This really wasn’t the best idea you’ve ever had, Shannon.’

“Well, maybe you’ll be able to find him someday. In the meantime, how about hanging out with my friends and me while we’re here in LA? We could all go to dinner tonight. Knowing Michael and Kyle as I do, they probably will have found dates by now. I bet you know a lot about LA and where all the great places to hang out are. We could use a great guide for some fun,” Max urged.

“Max, I really appreciate you saving my life, but I really don’t know if we should just become friends automatically because you saved my life. You could still be a psychopath for all I know. Besides, you and your friends came to Los Angeles for some fun, and you don’t need me around for that,” Shannon told him. “I realize what I was going to do to myself now and won’t be trying that again, so there’s no need for you to worry about me. I’ll manage somehow. I really think that I should just take you back to the studio and we should go our separate ways.”

Max looked at her and sighed. “It’s really up to you, but we wouldn’t mind you being around. If nothing else, let me give you a little piece of advice. You don’t have to stay in LA. The world is a big place and you’ve got an opportunity to choose where you want to be in it. I know I want to see more of the world than just Roswell, New Mexico.”

Shannon looked up from her food at Max. Roswell, New Mexico? Is that what he had said? Somehow she hadn’t remembered that that was where he had said he was from. ‘Play it cool, Shannon,’ she told herself. “So you’re from the home of the 1947 UFO crash?” she asked casually.

Rolling his eyes and groaning, Max answered, “Yeah, there’s a whole museum dedicated to UFO’s there, and I work there sometimes. It’s really not a bad town for one that is completely alien-happy. In fact, Liz’s parents own the Crashdown Café, home of the infamous Will Smith burger with Saturn onion rings.”

Shannon studied him for a minute. “Who’s Liz?” she asked with a knowing grin.

Instead of the grin she expected back from him, Max looked kind of sad as he answered. “She was my girlfriend. Now I’m not even sure if we’re friends. She left to go to boarding school in Vermont.”

She whistled. “Wow, Vermont? What did you do to send her to the opposite end of the country from you?”

When Max pushed his plate of food away from him, Shannon knew that she had hit on a sensitive subject. “It’s complicated,” he answered flatly.

She decided to drop the subject. “Well, it’s obviously none of my business so I won’t say anything else about it. Back to the subject of Roswell, however, I’ve always wanted to see that infamous town. If you and your friends wouldn’t mind giving me a ride out there when you go, I can either find a way to pay you back for the transportation costs or I can get you some free stuff while you’re here in LA. I would greatly appreciate it.”

Max grinned at her. “So you’re coming with us after all?”

“Yeah, but I won’t hang around with you while you’re on your vacation unless you really want me too,” she told him.

“Ok, but if you’re done, we should go back to my hotel since the guys will probably be back by now, and you should meet them before we leave to go on a long car trip,” he answered.

Max paid for their lunch and they climbed back into her car. “Why don’t you want to take your car and just follow us or just go by yourself?” he asked suddenly.

Shannon looked at him skeptically. “Max, I told you that I’m broke. I can’t afford to eat lunch, let alone put gas in my tank all the time and forget the insurance on it. I’d rather just sell the car for what I can get for it and take the money with me and ride with you and your friends.”

“That makes sense to me,” he said.

They pulled into the hotel parking lot and Shannon looked at herself critically in the mirror. She reapplied her makeup and pulled her long hair into a ponytail. She looked down at her clothes and sighed. The jeans she was wearing had holes in several places; they were frayed around the ankles, and just a little too tight. Her t-shirt was really old and faded and you couldn’t tell what the logo on it used to be. She sighed again and got out of the car and followed Max into the hotel.

The lobby was pretty empty, and as it was a beautiful day, Max assumed that everyone was out enjoying the weather. They walked past the concierge desk and the concierge called for Max to stop. Shannon and Max looked back at the concierge and he cleared his throat and looked down his nose at Shannon, scrutinizing her.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Evans, but we don’t allow . . . well, that sort of thing here,” he told Max.

Max looked puzzled. Shannon’s cheeks flamed red and she set her jaw, staring at the floor. “I’m sorry, but I’m not sure I understand what you mean,” Max told the man.

“The young woman, sir. I notice that she didn’t check in with you, and I’m sorry but this is a respectable establishment and there are families staying with us here . . .” the man said pointedly.

Max’s mouth dropped open as realization hit him, and Shannon’s face turned red with anger and embarrassment all over. Shannon turned to Max and said, “I told you something like this would happen. I don’t need this. I’ll see you guys later.”

Before she could leave, Max grabbed her arm and turned on the old man. “Listen, I don’t like what you are implying. I’ll have you know that this is in fact my cousin that goes to UCLA. She lives in an all-girls dorm and therefore, that is why my friends and I are staying in your hotel. Maybe I should say that is why we WERE staying in your hotel. However, after the way you just treated my cousin and I, I believe we’ll be leaving to go stay somewhere else,” he yelled.

It was the concierge’s turn to look embarrassed. “Sir, I’m so sorry! Please excuse me but . . . I mean I . . . Please don’t leave us. I can assure you that we will make up this little misunderstanding to you. The rest of your stay is free and so is breakfast every morning. Please don’t allow an old fool to ruin your vacation,” the man stuttered.

Max backed down and took Shannon’s hand. “Well, I’ll have to talk it over with my cousin and with my friends, but it’s really her you insulted not us,” he told him.

“She is welcome to stay here as well! We’ll get her a room for the rest of your stay in Los Angeles, and she can have the complimentary breakfast as well,” the man persuaded them.

“Like I said, we’ll have to talk it over, but I’m still very upset about this. Now if you’ll excuse us, my cousin Shannon and I have some catching up to do. I want to hear how Aunt Melanie and Uncle Joe are doing,” Max said, leading Shannon towards the elevators.

“Of course! Take your time and just ask for me if you decide to stay and your cousin stay with us as well!” the man called after them.

As the elevator doors closed, Max and Shannon burst into laughter. They laughed until they were crying, and then Max realized that Shannon really was crying now. He put his arm around her shoulders, and she buried her face into his chest.

“It really isn’t funny at all,” she sobbed. “Can you even come close to imagining what it’s like to be mistaken for a hooker?”

Max just held her until the doors opened to their floor. Shannon straightened up and wiped away her tears. “So much for looking presentable for your friends. Oh well, let’s just get this over with,” she said, as they walked to the guys’ room.
posted on 25-Sep-2002 8:19:58 AM
Hey, Craig! Ancient History is already posted. Union, however, was not my fic. Just search for any of my fics, with the exception of Putting the Pieces Together, and you'll find them here. I thought I'd wait until Picking Up the Pieces was completely posted on this site before posting its sequel.

Beth *bounce*
posted on 26-Sep-2002 8:45:49 AM
Sorry it has taken me so long but I've been reading one of the other fics on this site. It took me two days to catch up. Unfortunately, my parts look to big to post in one swoop anymore. Therefore, I've decided to start posting them in a and b parts. Anyway, without any further adue (?sp) I present part 3a. Enjoy!

Part Summary: Shannon and Michael don’t exactly hit it off and the four people in LA have some fun.

As Max pushed open the door to the hotel room, Michael came rushing at him with Kyle close on his heels. “Maxwell, where the hell have you been?” Michael yelled. “Kyle and I have been worried sick about you. First, you tell us you’re going to the bathroom. Next thing we know, the tour is over and you’re nowhere to be found, but the car is in the same spot. We look all over for you and still no Maxwell.”

At that moment, Michael seemed to realize that someone was with Max. “Who the hell is this?” he asked in the same tone.

“That’s no way to greet a guest, Michael,” Max reprimanded him. “I’m sorry for worrying you, but a situation came up. Michael, Kyle, this is Shannon McConnell. Shannon, this is Michael Guerrin and Kyle Valenti.”

Kyle swallowed hard as Shannon smiled at him and shook his hand. This girl was beautiful. “Nice to meet you,” was all he could get out.

Michael was not impressed or as cordial. Instead of taking Shannon’s outstretched hand, he turned back to Max. “What’s she doing here? The first rule of this trip was no girls!”

Shannon withdrew her hand and frowned at this rude guy standing before her. She already didn’t like this Michael Guerrin. Max glared at his friend. “Michael, can I see you in the other room for a minute?” he asked.

Shannon chatted with Kyle for a moment, knowing that they were talking about her and wondering what Max was telling Michael. She let it alone until she heard Michael almost yell, “How convenient for her that you happened to stop in that building at that particular moment. Did you happen to think that maybe she tricked you into bringing her with you for a free meal or maybe that she’s a con artist out for bigger things? Anybody can make up a story about their family being killed and they’re all alone in the world, Maxwell.”

Kyle looked at the floor and wouldn’t look at Shannon. Shannon felt her cheeks burn, and she was angry! How dare this stranger talk about her that way! She stormed into the room where Max and Michael had been talking and got right in Michael’s face. “You have no idea what I’ve been through in my life, Mr. Guerrin. While you were living it up in your small town of Roswell, I lost everything and everyone I cared about. I didn’t ask for Max’s kindness. The only thing I asked for was a ride to Roswell because I thought it might be a good place to start over. The concierge downstairs called me a hooker, and therefore, I now have my own room here with free meals. So I don’t need you for anything but a ride to New Mexico, and then I am out of your hair. However, if that is too much to ask then maybe I can find somewhere else to go where I can get treated the same way. It’s amazing how differently the world looks at you when you’re suddenly alone with no money, no job, and no family. But I guess, someone who has had things all their life wouldn’t understand what I’m talking about,” she told him.

Michael glared at this girl in front of him. “You don’t know anything about me, whoever you are! Now if you would be so kind as to leave the three of us to enjoy the rest of our vacation!”

Shannon was taken aback. Did he just tell her to leave? She could take care of this guy right now if she wanted to, no matter how tough he thought he was. Instead, though, she just turned and stormed out the door. She didn’t even want to wait for the elevator, and since she needed to blow off some steam, she took the stairs back down to the lobby.

Max glared at Michael. “What is your problem, man? You can’t treat people that way!” he yelled as he went after Shannon.

Catching up with her proved to be a bigger task than he would have thought. She could move down those stairs, and he didn’t actually catch up with her until she hit the lobby. “Shannon, wait!” he called to her.

Shannon didn’t pay any attention but instead, marched right up to the concierge. “I’d like to get that room, if I can please,” she told him, in as calm a tone as she could muster.

As the man went over to his computer and started tapping keys on his keyboard, Max came up to her, out of breath. “Shannon, I’m sorry about Michael. He is a real jerk half the time, but when you really need him, he’s there. He’s had a rough life, and he tends to take that out on other people. I’ve learned to deal with it and to see through it to his good heart, but I forget how it affects other people,” he apologized.

The concierge raised one eyebrow but said nothing. He informed Shannon that her room was all set up and handed her a key. “Would you like some help with any luggage you might have with you?” he asked.

Shannon shook her head. “No, thank you,” she answered and took the key from him. She turned back to Max and smiled at him, anger still flashing in her eyes. “Max, it was sweet of you to want to help me, but people have no respect for me and will continue to have none if I don’t get back on my feet entirely on my own. I can take the bus to wherever I want to go. It might cost a little more, but at least I will have paid for it myself.”

“But we’re going to Roswell anyway and there will be room in the car. No matter what Michael said, I know that Kyle liked you, I saw the look on his face, and I would feel bad for you having to pay for a bus ticket to go anywhere if we could take you for free,” Max urged her.

“I don’t mind paying so much, now that I know what Michael Guerrin is like,” Shannon answered hotly.

“Shannon, he’s had a rough life. He was found out wandering in the desert when he was little and his foster dad was an alcoholic. He finally up and left a little over a year ago, and Michael has been an emancipated minor ever since. He’s 18 now, but he’s trying to finish high school and support himself just like you were. He works 2 jobs just to support himself,” Max explained to her.

Shannon bit her lip and studied the floor. When Max saw that she was wavering on the subject, he moved in for the kill. “Come on, the rest of us aren’t that bad. If you let Michael get to you, that just gives him a big head because he thinks he’s won.”

“Well, I’ll think about it. In the meantime, let me try to make up for all that you’ve already done for me. I know a couple of people at Universal Studios and Sea World that could get you in for free, if those parks interest you. I mean you are here for a vacation and to have a good time, and I don’t want to spoil that,” Shannon answered.

Max and Kyle helped her get settled in her room while Michael stayed in their room, sulking. Shannon assured them after they had brought in her things that she wanted to take a hot shower and just take a nap. Then they could call her when it got close to dinnertime. Max and Kyle left her to herself and went back to their room where Michael was sprawled across the couch in the main room, watching TV.

“Michael, what is wrong with you? Why were you treating her that way? I could tell that she wasn’t just putting us on. She’s even offered to just take a bus wherever she goes instead of going to Roswell with us. She knows that we’re here for a vacation and had already promised not to even show her face around us, unless we wanted her around, until the day we left to go home. I think that says a lot about her motives,” Max told him.

“Yeah, that she’s got you already hooked into whatever scam she’s got going on,” Michael answered flatly. “Hey, it’s your car and if you want to give her a ride back to Roswell, I can’t argue with that, but I’m not hanging around her while we’re here.”

“Shannon said that she knew people who worked at Sea World and Universal and could get us in for free if we wanted to go. Does that interest you?” Max asked.

“Sure, why not? As long as she’s not coming, I’m up for just about anything,” Michael told him.

Max rolled his eyes and went to his bedroom and slammed the door. Kyle didn’t know what to do or say so he decided to just sit on the chair across the room from Michael. Michael wasn’t going to let him out of the situation, however.

“What do you think about the whole situation? Not that I really care, but just out of curiosity, what do you think about that girl?” he asked.

“Well, there’s no denying that she’s gorgeous. Not even you can disagree with that. She seemed nice for the couple of minutes before you upset her. I think she really does just want a ride. She wants to sell her car for a little more money in her pocket, and Max and I both agree that we should help her fix it up before she sells it. Otherwise, she won’t get anything for it. You know if you’d talk to her like a human being, you just might like her. Oh wait, I forgot . . .” Kyle told Michael.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 26-Sep-2002 8:48:14 AM ]
posted on 26-Sep-2002 8:49:06 AM
Part 3b

The guys decided that maybe the theme parks would be a good idea. However, when Max and Kyle insisted that Shannon go with them, Michael almost wouldn’t go. The only thing that made him decide to go anyway is that Kyle and Max promised to switch off hanging out with Shannon and Michael. That suited Shannon just fine, as she seemed to dislike Michael as much as he did her.

They all decided to go to Sea World first and then go to Universal the next day. Shannon and Max were to hang out together at Sea World, while Kyle hung out with Michael, and then they would switch for Universal. Max couldn’t remember when he had had such a good time without constantly looking over his shoulder. He felt perfectly at ease with Shannon.

Shannon felt the same way. Max made her feel right at home, and she hadn’t felt that way in years. She found herself studying him throughout the day. At one point, he caught her staring at him.

“What is it? Do I have something on my face or something?” Max asked, teasing.

Shannon looked away, embarrassed. “No, it’s nothing like that. It’s just that you remind me of someone I knew a long time ago, someone who meant a great deal to me,” she answered softly.

Max caught the way she talked about this person, especially that it was in the past tense. “What happened to him?” he asked.

“He was killed by someone who didn’t like the power that he had,” Shannon answered. Her voice sounded far away for a minute, but then she seemed to pull herself back to the present. She smiled at Max and said, “Weren’t the penguins great? Let’s go back by there if we have time.”

At the end of the day, the four people met back at the car and drove in silence back to the hotel, as they were all exhausted. However, after a good night’s sleep, they were awake and raring to go again. Shannon and Kyle had a good time as they went through Universal Studios, but Shannon missed being able to talk with Max. The fact that she felt so comfortable around him and talking to him scared her. Who was this guy that had gotten her to open up already?

The new day had not changed her attitude towards Michael, however, and it was apparent that his hadn’t changed either. They stayed clear of each other or just barely acknowledged that the other existed. Kyle and Max thought about trying to clear it up but decided that either Shannon and Michael would work it out or they wouldn’t.

The day after Universal, the four young people slept late, and when Shannon and Kyle were up before Michael and Max, Kyle offered to look at her car so that she could sell it for a decent price. Max came out looking for them while Kyle was still examining the car. Shannon went back into the hotel to use the ladies’ room.

Kyle looked up from the car engine at Max. “I hate to say it, but this is going to cost her some money to fix it up enough to sell it. I don’t mind doing the labor for free, but the new parts alone are not gonna be cheap. If you really want to help her get a decent price on this hunk of junk, you might use your alien witchcraft on some of these old parts.”

Max debated on the problem. He and Kyle both were startled by a voice behind them. “No way, Maxwell! I draw the line at using our powers to help her sell her car for a better price.”

They looked up to see Michael standing behind them. Max sighed. “What difference does it really make? She won’t know the difference. She probably knows absolutely nothing about cars. We’ll just tell her that we cleaned them up or rebuilt them or something,” he told Michael.

“Let me just state for the record once and for all that I do not like the idea of having this person that calls herself Shannon McConnell around. My instincts are telling me that she is no good,” Michael told them both.

“Always the paranoid one,” Kyle muttered and turned back to the car.

“Alright, Michael, your opinion is noted, but I’m still the king and I still make the decisions, and I say that we’re giving her a ride to Roswell,” Max told him.

Michael glared at him but said nothing. He turned on his heels and marched back to the hotel and went inside. He debated whether he should tell Max and Kyle about the real description he’d give the feeling in his gut. Just as he was about to go back outside, he decided against it. They’d see what he was talking about.
posted on 26-Sep-2002 8:50:22 AM
Here is part 4a.

When Kyle and Max had fixed Shannon’s car up so that it was sellable, they found a used car dealership that Shannon thought she might get a fair price from. However, when Kyle and Max offered to go with her to help her get a good deal, she insisted that she would handle the situation herself. Kyle was rather worried that the salespeople would take advantage of her but was thoroughly impressed when she came back with about $4,000. He wasn’t sure if he would ever have paid that.

“How’d you talk them into that?” he asked.

Shannon smiled at him, one of her dazzling smiles that left him breathless. “I just used my charm and stood my ground,” she answered vaguely.

On the day before they were supposed to leave, Max, Kyle, and a very reluctant Michael went to her room to help her sort through her things to figure out what to take with her. The only reason Michael went was, as he put it, to make sure that Shannon’s junk wouldn’t be taking up his elbowroom. What he didn’t say was that he also wanted to keep an eye on her and to study her.

Shannon was looking through her clothes, trying to get rid of stuff that was worn out. She looked at her pitiful pile of jeans, shorts, and t-shirts and decided that she needed to go shopping when she got wherever she was going. She then turned her attention to the knickknacks that Max and Kyle were trying to sort through. She ignored Michael, who hadn’t moved from the chair he was sitting in since he had arrived.

“Ok, this pile is stuff that we were pretty sure you’d want to keep, some pictures and stuff, and this pile over here was stuff we weren’t sure about,” Max said, pointing out each pile.

Shannon looked over the stuff they thought she would keep quickly. They had all those right. She picked up a picture of her family. Tears formed in her eyes and she closed them for a minute. Then she shook her head and carefully replaced it onto the bed.

Kyle picked up the picture and looked at it. “Is this your family?” he asked.

Shannon took the picture from him, nodding her head. “Yeah, that’s the McConnells. This was taken about a year before their accident. That’s my mom, that’s my dad, and that’s my little brother,” she answered quietly, pointing them out in the picture.

In spite of himself, Michael stood up and glanced over her shoulder at the picture in her hand. When Max and Kyle looked at him, he muttered something about needing a bathroom and brushed past them. Shannon watched him leave and something about him made her think of someone she knew. She couldn’t quite place it and she shook it off.

They finished going through her things, and she packed the stuff she was keeping back into her bags again. The things that were too worn out or too personal to give away, Max and Kyle took downstairs and out to the dumpster in the back of the hotel. She was putting her bags that she wouldn’t need by the door to take them downstairs to load them in the car, when she caught Michael staring into space at the picture of the McConnells with his hand on the glass on top of the picture. She thought about asking him what he was doing, but for some reason, she refrained. Instead, she continued as if she hadn’t noticed.

Michael had picked up the picture and touched it, trying to get some flashes to see if this girl was legit. He saw the people in the picture all gathered around a dinner table with Shannon. They were talking and laughing and acting like any other normal family. He got several other flashes of them doing various activities as a family or broken up into smaller groups but the feelings were family oriented. Finally, he saw the middle-aged couple and the young man get into a car accident and he knew that they were dead.

When Michael opened his eyes, he found that he was alone in the room. He wondered where everyone had gone to when he heard Max coming back in from outside. “Where did everyone go?” he asked Max.

Max looked at him funny. “What do you mean? We took the trash to the dumpster and Shannon’s things to the car. Is something wrong?” he asked his friend.

Michael started to say no but instead what came out was, “Max, I’ve got to tell you. I get this feeling about Shannon. I can’t really explain it but . . .”

Before he could finish what he was saying, Kyle and Shannon had returned from the car. Shannon smiled at Kyle and Max warmly. “Thanks, you guys, for all your help and for the ride and everything. I really appreciate it. To show you how much I appreciate it, I want to take all three of you out tonight for your last night in LA. You could probably even find a couple of dates if any of you are interested.”

Kyle’s heart melted at Shannon’s smile. “Dates are overrated. I mean, it is our last night here, and if I met a girl I liked, it would be hard to keep the conversation flowing from Roswell. I think I’ll just go solo tonight,” he said.

Michael and Max looked at each other, and both knew that neither wanted to try to find a date. They said as much to Shannon. “Well, ok, it’s up to you. However, I want you three to go to your room and get all cleaned up and meet me downstairs in two hours. Dress nice but not too nice,” she told them.

Then she all but pushed them out the door. Then she went to her closet and started looking through her clothes for something nice. When she didn’t see anything that suited her, she started to do something about it but changed her mind. She could afford to splurge for once. After all, she did love to shop, and she knew of a cheap little shop down the road that might have something like what she was looking for.

The guys went back to their room and started looking through the clothes they had brought with them. Michael had absolutely nothing to wear that would fit the occasion. Kyle pulled out his khakis and a navy blue button-up shirt. Max couldn’t find anything he liked either. He was about to suggest that they go out and buy something new when he looked at Michael. Michael looked at him with raised eyebrows.

“What do you think, Maxwell? I really can’t afford anything new. Besides I have an outfit that I can’t stand anymore that we could change,” Michael suggested.

Max shrugged. “I don’t mind if we can do it. I’ve never done that sort of thing before. Isabel always changed clothes and hair and stuff like that. I suppose we could give it a shot.”

“How hard could it be? We’ve changed other things. I just have to remember that I want to just change it, not blow it up,” Michael joked.

Kyle decided to take a shower before he got dressed and started for the bathroom when he turned back to Michael. “Why are you going? I thought you didn’t like Shannon or hanging around her.”

“I never turn down a free meal for one thing, and for another thing, I’ve got to keep an eye on that girl. There’s something fishy about her,” Michael answered.
posted on 26-Sep-2002 8:51:23 AM
Part 4b

Two hours later the guys were downstairs, freshly showered and shaven. Max was wearing a charcoal-gray colored shirt and black pants. Michael was wearing an emerald green shirt with dark gray pants. They all admired the results of their experimentation on changing some of their old clothes.

Max looked at his watch. “I wonder where Shannon is. Do you think we should go check on her?” he asked.

Michael rolled his eyes. “Women! I’ve not met one yet that can be on time for something,” he muttered.

“I’m sorry to have kept you waiting, Mr. Guerrin,” came a female voice from behind them.

They all turned around, and Kyle and Max’s eyes were all but popping out of their heads, and their mouths were dragging the ground. Shannon was wearing a green sleeveless dress that matched the color of her eyes perfectly. Her long auburn hair was down and had waves in it that framed her pretty face beautifully. All in all, she looked fabulous.

Michael looked at the looks on the other guys’ faces and wondered why he didn’t see Shannon the same way. There was no doubt that she was beautiful and he was drawn to her, in spite of himself. However, when he thought about trying anything with her, he got almost sick to his stomach. It was a weird feeling. Looking at his friends’ faces, he almost got defensive for her, and he couldn’t understand why.

“You three sure look nice,” she told them with a smile.

Max and Kyle beamed with pleasure at her compliment. They returned her compliment, but Michael just rolled his eyes. “Well, I wish you had been clearer on how we should dress. If I had known you were going to wear a dress, I would have worn a jacket,” he said sarcastically. He couldn’t seem to help it.

Shannon looked hurt for a moment but the moment passed and the hurt was replaced with amused anger. “Well, I’m not sure that would have helped the hair problem,” she retorted.

Max hid a chuckled from his friend, but Kyle laughed openly at the joke. Michael was about to say something in return, but Shannon didn’t give him a chance. She suggested that they leave. She took Kyle’s arm and they headed for the exit. Max grinned at Michael, who did not smile back.

When they got outside, there was a stretch limousine waiting out front. Michael snorted, “Probably some big shot Hollywood tycoon.”

The driver, however, tipped his hat as they approached, and Shannon slowed in front of it. “Are these all your friends, Miss McConnell?” he asked.

“Yes, thank you for doing this for me, James,” she answered.

He opened the door for them to climb in as he answered. “It’s no trouble at all, Miss Shannon. You’ve always been extra nice to me. It’s nice to be able to return the favor.”

As Shannon climbed in the back of the limo, Kyle and Max grinned at each other as they realized they were going in this car. Then they scrambled in after her. Michael reluctantly followed after them. James closed the door and went around to climb into the driver’s side. As he pulled away, he put the divider up and started making phone calls.

“Who’s paying for this?” Michael asked.

“Where are we going?” Max asked at the same time.

Shannon deliberately ignored Michael and turned with a gleam in her eyes and a smile on her face to Max. “You’ll see! It’s a surprise,” she answered mysteriously.

They drove for about twenty minutes, and then James pulled the car in front of a very exclusive nightclub that Michael and Kyle had tried to get into the first night they were there. “We’ll never be able to get in here. They wouldn’t let us in a couple of days ago,” Kyle said.

Shannon just smiled and climbed out as James opened the door for them. The bouncer at the door was screening people in the line that stretched around the block and out of sight. When he looked up and saw Shannon and the guys approaching, he smiled warmly. It was the same bouncer that had told Kyle and Michael to take a hike.

“Well, well, well, if it isn’t Shannon McConnell. How ya doin’ sweetie?” he asked warmly.

Shannon flashed him one of her beautiful, heart melting smiles. “I’m doing just great, Scott. How are you?” she asked back.

“Wonderful, wonderful. Hey, if you don’t mind, it’s Wolfman here, not Scott. Gotta keep that tough guy image, you know,” he said with a grin.

“Oh, of course, Wolfman. I’m sorry. Listen, my friends and I were looking for a good time tonight, and I remembered that you worked here. Do you think there’s a way we could get in?” she asked sweetly.

“Hey, for you, anything, sweetheart. Come on through and if anyone gives you any trouble, tell them to come see Wolfman,” he said, undoing the chain that held people back away from the entrance.

“Thanks, Wolfman, you’re still a sweetie,” she grinned.

Kyle and Michael found themselves hiding their faces and rushing in after Shannon into the nightclub. As they all got inside and found a small table, Shannon yelled over the music. “I’m sorry that we’re coming here first, but our dinner reservations aren’t until 9 and I didn’t want to sit around the hotel until then. Anybody want anything to drink?” she asked.

Max and Michael said they just wanted some cherry coke. Kyle said he’d like a margarita if she could get one. She just smiled and said she’d be right back. After she had left, Michael looked at Max. “What I want to know is, how is she paying for all of this? I thought she didn’t have any money,” he said.

Before Max could say anything, she had reappeared with a tray with their drinks on it. He noticed that she had brought Tabasco sauce with her and set it on the table along with a basket of tortilla chips. She handed everyone their drinks and then sat a margarita in front of herself.

They ate the chips and sipped on their drinks. Kyle asked Shannon to dance, and they got up and danced a couple of dances before Max cut in. Michael watched them. He noticed the look in Max’s eyes, and he wasn’t too happy about it. Max was smitten with this girl. Maybe she was just the first pretty girl to show Max attention and get his attention since Liz had left for boarding school. Whatever the reason, Michael was not pleased with the way things were going.

At 8:40, Shannon said that they needed to go if they were going to make it for their dinner reservations. They all went out the front and said goodbye to “Wolfman” and found James waiting almost exactly where they had left him. He tipped his hat again and opened the door for them.

“Has he been waiting here all this time?” Michael asked.

Shannon rolled her eyes at him this time. “No, Michael, he took care of other clients while we were in the club,” she answered.

They pulled up in front of a dinner and show place that Kyle had seen advertised on the hotel TV. Michael also remembered that commercial and swore that it looked expensive. Everyone ignored him and climbed out of the limo toward the door. The maitre’d was standing just inside the door and looked over the rims of his glasses at them as they entered.

“May I help you?” he drawled at them.

“Yes, I believe we have a reservation for 9 o’clock. The name is Shannon McConnell,” Shannon answered with a smile.

The maitre’d looked down at his list, acting like he highly doubted they would be on the list, but when he looked back up, he was smiling broadly. “Ah, yes, Ms. McConnell and party,” he said. He snapped his fingers and a waiter appeared out of nowhere. “Please follow Jason and he will seat you, and have a pleasant dinner and enjoy the show. We have a very entertaining comedian tonight.”

They followed the waiter to a table close to the front of the room and to the right of the stage. Max held Shannon’s chair for her as she sat down, and the waiter placed menus in elaborate covers in front of each of them. He took their drink orders and left.

The first thing Michael noticed as he opened the menu was the lack of prices. That could not be a good sign. “There are no prices on this menu,” he said flatly. “I know I can’t afford to even ask how much a salad is in this place.”

“Relax, Michael, I’m paying tonight and there is no problem with anything you want to order on the menu. If you all will excuse me for a moment, I’m going to go to the ladies’ room,” Shannon told them.

As she stood up, Max and Kyle stood too. When they glared at Michael, who hadn’t moved from his seat, he asked what he had done. Shannon pretended not to notice. After she had left, Michael started harping about how she was paying for all this stuff again. Max and Kyle were starting to wonder too, but they didn’t want to insult Shannon by mentioning it and they sure weren’t going to admit it to Michael.

After eating and enjoying the comedian, they noticed that it was late and got ready to leave. The maitre’d came to personally escort them to their car where James was waiting patiently. “I hope you enjoyed yourselves and please come again,” the maitre’d told them.

The guys all looked at each other and shrugged. Shannon thanked him and they all climbed into the limo. On the way back to the hotel, they all discussed the comedian and the delicious dinner they had had. Michael, however, was quiet. Finally, he couldn’t stand it anymore.

“Ok, I want to know how you could afford to pay for a night like this when you can’t even afford to take a bus out of here!” he exploded.

The other three, who had been laughing at a joke, looked at him. Shannon turned bright red. “Michael, I told you not to worry about it, but if it’s bothering you that much, I’ll tell you. I didn’t pay for any of it! James was the driver for my former boss and he and I became friends when I worked with him. He’s driving us around tonight as a favor to me. You already know that I knew Scott, or Wolfman, rather, and when I mentioned him at the counter, I got the drinks free. I also knew one of the chefs at the dinner house, and he told the maitre’d that I was a big Hollywood producer’s daughter so dinner was free too. So now that you have seen that I’m really just cashing in every favor I had to show you guys a good time, I guess I’ll wish you a goodnight. You just ruined mine, thanks,” Shannon spouted off at him.

Michael was stunned, and Max and Kyle looked embarrassed for Shannon. They realized that they had arrived back at the hotel and she went storming off for her room, again taking the stairs to cool down her anger. Max and Kyle watched her go, mumbled a thank you to James and followed after her. They were to the elevator with Michael following behind them when Max turned around to face him.

“No, Michael, I don’t even want to share the same elevator with you right now. You’ve done nothing but make that girl feel like a burden since she came and she’s been anything but that. Now you’ve embarrassed her and us in the process. Now I want you to leave her alone while we are on our way home tomorrow,” Max told him as the doors to the elevator closed.
posted on 26-Sep-2002 9:06:39 AM
Do you want more?

Beth
posted on 26-Sep-2002 9:30:03 AM
Are you itching to know what's coming?
posted on 29-Sep-2002 10:23:57 PM
Part 5a

The next day, the guys and Shannon were all up early and checking out after the complimentary breakfast in the lobby. They loaded up the car and then discussed the seating arrangement. Shannon and Michael refused to sit next to each other. Max was driving so that meant that one of them had to sit up front with him. He was still sore with Michael so he offered Shannon the front seat and told Michael he could sit in the back for a while and keep his mouth shut. Kyle nodded his agreement and climbed in behind Max. Michael rolled his eyes and climbed in behind Shannon.

As they left LA, Shannon looked out of the side view mirror at the town that had been so cruel to her. She thought about everything that she had lost there and wondered what awaited her in Roswell. Seemingly reading her thoughts, Kyle asked her why she had decided to go to Roswell. Michael’s ears perked up at the question, as he too wanted to know the answer.

“I’ve always had an interest in aliens. I have wanted to go there for a long time but I’ve never had the chance before. Now it seems like just as good a place to start over as any,” she answered with a shrug.

Michael couldn’t say why, but he was sure she was holding something back in that answer. If she was working for Khavar, she had better look out. However, so far she had done nothing to really be suspicious. Michael’s feelings about her were just that, feelings, impressions, nothing more.

A couple of hours later, Shannon turned to Max and asked, “So what’s Roswell like? Will I be able to find a job and a place to stay do you think?”

Max shrugged. “I don’t know what to tell you. It’s a little town that is almost completely based on tourism. There’s a café that you might be able to find a job at if you wanted to work there. I know for a fact that it lost two of its waitresses not too long ago.” Michael coughed loudly, but Max ignored him. “As for somewhere to stay, I’m sorry to say that I hadn’t thought about that before now.”

Michael spoke openly at that. “She’s not staying with us. Let’s get that straight right now.”

Max glared at him. Shannon assured them both that she had no desire to stay with Michael. Max thought about it for a few minutes. Then he got an idea that he thought might work, one way or another.

“You should be able to stay with my sister and her husband for a little while, at least until you get on your feet. They have an extra room, and Isabel I’m sure would love to have some help around the house if you don’t mind as a kind of rent thing. If not maybe I could talk to my parents about letting you stay there, but honestly, I don’t think that would work,” he told her.

Kyle and Michael both looked at Max like he had lost his mind. Hanging around this girl for a couple of days and giving her a ride was one thing. Having her move in with Isabel was something else entirely. Isabel was not going to like him volunteering her like that. Michael smirked at the thought of the scene that was going to take place. Kyle thought about asking his dad if Shannon could stay with them, but after what had happened with Tess, he didn’t think that was going to be a good idea.

* * * * * * * * * * *

When they got into Roswell, it was around noon the next day and they were all tired. They dropped Kyle off at his house. He said a warm goodbye to Shannon and said he would see her around. She flashed him a warm smile that made him almost shiver and said she certainly hoped so.

Michael asked to be dropped off at their apartment, as he had to go to work at the chemical company that night. After leaving him there, Max took Shannon to the Crashdown Café. As it was Saturday, the place was packed and Max almost took Shannon to Isabel’s instead, but then he realized that he was hungry. Shannon declared she was starving and that was the clincher.

They sat down in a booth and Shannon looked over the menu. “Is this the café you were talking about? Cause it looks like they could use some help.”

“Yeah, this is the one. The owners are Jeff and Nancy Parker. I’m not sure you’ll want to use me as a reference here,” Max answered.

Shannon looked at him for a minute. “Let me guess, Jeff and Nancy Parker are ex-girlfriend’s parents right? She used to live here and work here and that’s how you knew there was an opening.”

Max squirmed in his seat a little bit. “Yeah, Liz is their daughter and she used to work here with her best friend and Michael’s ex-girlfriend, Maria. They’re both gone now though, and that’s why I knew there were positions open here.”

Shannon gave him half a smile. “That’s why you were in LA and Michael said that no girls were allowed. You were trying to get over the ex’s. I’m sorry I spoiled it all for you. I know Michael is a friend of yours. I don’t know why we fight like we do, but he just irks me for some reason.”

“Hey, it’s no problem. I’m kind of glad we ran into you. We got to do some things that we wouldn’t have if you hadn’t come along,” he told her.

At that moment, someone asked if they could take their orders. Max looked up and caught himself just before groaning aloud. Why did it have to be him? The smirk he got was not reassuring in the least.

“Well, if it isn’t Max Evans. How are you, Max? Who’s your new friend?” the man asked.

(Be right back with part b)
posted on 29-Sep-2002 10:25:25 PM
Part 5b

Shannon looked at this man closely. She saw that he was not exactly a friend of Max’s, but she saw pain in his eyes too. She guessed at who it was, but she didn’t want to assume and decided to play it nice in case he was who she thought. She flashed him one of her sweetest smiles and extended her hand to him.

“I’m Shannon McConnell; it’s nice to meet you, Mister . . . ” she left it off for him to fill in the blank.

The man in front of her was obviously at a loss. He didn’t seem to want to be friendly, but he had no idea who this girl was in front of him so he didn’t want to be hostile. He shook her hand politely. “I’m Jeff Parker. I own the Crashdown Café,” he answered.

So he was who she thought he was. Shannon was glad that she had decided to start off nice. She really needed a job and she liked this little café. It was cute. “Oh, great! Max told me that you could use some help. I’m looking for a job, if you’re willing to hire me. I just got into town,” she told him sweetly. “I really love this little place. It’s just so cute!”

Jeff looked confused for a minute. She seemed like a nice girl, but who was she? He decided to be direct. It had worked for him in the past. “Are you a friend of Max’s or a relative?” he asked.

Max jumped in quickly. “She’s just a friend, Mr. Parker. We met not long ago.”

Jeff’s look could have bored holes into Max’s head. “Didn’t take you long to replace her did it, Max?” he asked in a deadly quiet.

Shannon looked from one face to another. “Mr. Parker, Max is telling the truth. We’re just friends. I’m already out of high school, and I’m having a bit of bad luck lately, if you believe in luck. Is there anyway I can apply for a job?” she asked again.

Jeff studied her for a minute. “I don’t think it would work out for you to work here. Friend or not, I am not exactly on the best terms with Mr. Evans and it would be hard to have you working for me,” he answered.

Shannon gave him a disappointed smile. “Ok, Mr. Parker, I understand, sort of. Do you know of anywhere else I could get a job?” she asked quietly.

Max was upset. “Mr. Parker, could I talk to you for a minute?” he asked.

Jeff reluctantly followed him to the counter. He folded his arms in front of his chest. Max swallowed hard before trying to say what he wanted to say. “Mr. Parker, what happened to Liz is my fault. I loved her, but I think it was a little too late. She left to go to boarding school because of me, and I know that you don’t like me much because of it. I’m truly sorry because I really care about her. Please don’t punish Shannon for my mistakes. She’s just lost her job and her home and her fiancé. Her last boss was making inappropriate advances and fired her when she refused him. She lost her parents and her brother in a car wreck a couple of years ago so she’s on her own and she came here to start a new life. I’m not trying to hand you a sob story, but when I found her she was about to commit suicide. Please just give her a chance. I know you could use the help,” Max pleaded with him.

Jeff was torn. This young man seemed sincere, but his daughter had left her home to go to school at the other end of the country for a reason unknown to him but he knew that it involved this Maxwell Evans. However, Max was right; it wasn’t right to hold Max’s past against this girl. He made up his mind that he would give this girl a fair chance.

He walked back over to the table and looked Shannon in the eyes. “Ok, Ms. McConnell, I’ll give you a shot, but I need some help with some other things before you start waiting tables. During that time will be your trial period. Is there anything you refuse to do?” he asked.

Shannon met his gaze. “Not at all, sir, and you’ll find that I’m a hard worker,” she answered.

“I hope so. Come in Monday morning, and we’ll do all the paperwork and get you started. Now, would you like anything to eat?” he asked.

* * * * * * * * * *

After leaving the Crashdown, Max and Shannon headed for Isabel and Jesse’s house. Max rang the doorbell and Isabel answered the door with the phone to her ear. She gave him a big smile and held up her index finger to indicate that she’d be right with them.

“Yeah, mom, ok that sounds great. So we’ll meet at your house at 2 and go to the store from there. I know . . . I love you too,” she said. She clicked the phone off and threw her arms around Max’s neck in a hug. “Hey, you! How was Los Angeles?” Then she noticed Shannon coming in behind him. “Who’s this?” she asked.

“We had fun in LA. This is Shannon McConnell. She came back with us from LA,” he said. “Shannon, this is my sister, Isabel Ramirez.”

Shannon noticed that Isabel’s smile went from genuine to one that was just plastered on at the mention that he had brought her back from LA. She pretended not to notice. She held out her hand to Isabel. “Nice to meet you, Isabel.”

“Nice to meet you too, Shannon. Max, can I see you in the kitchen for a minute please?” As they headed for the kitchen, Isabel turned back to Shannon. “Please sit down. Make yourself at home.”

Shannon sat down on the couch and looked around the place. It was a cute house and had a lot of great potential, which Isabel seemed to be tapping into. She suddenly heard a shout from the kitchen of, “You told her what?” She sighed and wondered if she’d ever be accepted as a person and a friend again. Max Evans was the first person since her parents’ death that had made her feel like a real friend. Kyle was sweet, but he always got so tongue-tied around her.

She stood up as Isabel and Max reentered the room. Isabel had another fake smile on her face. “So I understand you’re going to be staying with us for a while. That’ll be nice. Do you have many things with you?”

Shannon looked at Max who looked uncomfortable and then back at Isabel. “Isabel, look, I know this is kind of last minute, and you probably aren’t thrilled about the situation. I promise you, though that you won’t even know I’m here. I will help keep the house clean and I can cook, and after a couple of paychecks I’ll even pay rent until I can afford to move out. I’m quiet and don’t need much space. If you aren’t happy after a month, I’ll move out, I promise,” she told her.

Isabel gave her a genuine smile now and her tone softened. “I’m sorry if I didn’t seem all that thrilled, but you have to understand that Max just sprang this on me now and after telling me that he just picked you up in LA. All right, we’ll give it a month. Lord, help me when I have to tell Jesse! Maybe I’ll just tell him that you’re a friend from LA that will be staying with us for a while. It looks like we have a roommate.”
posted on 30-Sep-2002 9:42:33 PM
Part 6a

“Michael, I need that order now! That couple has been waiting for ten minutes!” Shannon yelled into the kitchen at Michael’s back.

It had been three weeks since the guys and Shannon had arrived from LA. Shannon had already won over Jeff Parker. He put her to work doing inventory and restocking and reorganizing the shelves in the basement for two weeks. She had cleaned everything thoroughly while reorganizing the shelves so well that Jeff had to admit that he was really impressed. She had not only had all the labels facing out, she organized everything by purpose, weight and alphabetically. Michael had gotten a little more used to her being around as well and they weren’t arguing with quite the bite they used to.

Isabel and Shannon were quickly becoming friends. They had come to an agreement on Shannon’s room. She would be allowed to decorate it any way that she liked and if Isabel didn’t like it, Shannon would put it back the way it was and take the furniture that she bought. If Isabel did like it, Shannon would leave it as she decorated it as a sort of rent payment.

“So do you like it here?” Isabel asked her from the other side of the counter. “I mean, are you planning on staying here for a while?”

“Yeah, I really love it here, Isabel. For one thing, I don’t constantly have people looking down their noses at me. I mean, I won Mr. Parker over and already have friends in you and Max and Kyle. I don’t really know what to call Michael since we don’t seem to be such bitter enemies anymore. We still argue but now it’s more like joking around,” Shannon answered.

Michael rang the bell at that moment and placed the order she had been asking for on the ledge. “Order up!” he called.

“About time! I am not getting fired over your pokiness,” she chided him.

Michael answered by sticking his tongue out at her. She delivered the orders to the table and came back to Isabel at the counter. She stood beside her and looked at her in the face. “You know, you remind me so much of my best friend when I was little. That’s how I know that you have something to tell me,” Shannon said.

Isabel looked at her and smiled carefully. “I’ve really gotten close to you in the short time you’ve been here so I feel that I can safely say that Jesse and I would like to have the evening to ourselves if that’s possible. I mean, you can come home later but we would like to eat dinner and watch TV for a while. I hope I’m not hurting your feelings.”

Shannon laughed. “Not at all, Isabel. I told you to just tell me when you guys wanted that. I’ll tell you what. I get an hour break in a few minutes. How about I go home and cook you guys dinner to say thanks.”

“You haven’t had a break yet? It’s almost 6:30! I don’t want to take your time for dinner from you. Are you supposed to close or do you get off before then?” Isabel asked.

“Listen, I’m not that hungry right now and I can grab something here if I do get hungry. I do have to close but since we close early tonight because it’s Sunday, I’ll stay here and work on some things. I have a million things that I have wanted to do around here to try to improve service and this will give me a chance to do them. For now, I’ll go ask Mr. Parker if now is a good time for my break,” she told her.

A few minutes later, Shannon and Isabel were standing in the Ramirez’ kitchen and Shannon was pulling things out of the pantry and refrigerator. Isabel watched her with interest. She tried cooking over and over, but she just couldn’t get the hang of it and most of the time, when she was sure she was alone, she used her powers to make it edible. Sometimes even that didn’t help. Jesse and Shannon were always polite and never complained but they sure seemed to get full quickly.

“What are you making?” Isabel asked, looking over her shoulder.

“Spaghetti and meatballs,” Shannon answered. “There is some lettuce and things for a salad in the fridge and I also bought some fresh garlic for some garlic bread.”

Isabel’s stomach rumbled at her list. “That sounds great. The last time we had edible spaghetti was at my parents’ house. Do you know how to cook other things too?”

Shannon smiled. “Yeah, my mom taught me some things but to tell you the truth, I taught myself a lot of it because I just love food so much. I really love cooking now. My specialty is a stuffed salmon but you don’t have all the ingredients for that and I don’t really have the time to make it tonight.”

They finished putting the dinner together and just as they were putting the garlic bread in the oven to toast, they heard Jesse come in the front door. Shannon looked at Isabel and grinned. “Hubby’s home!” she exclaimed. Isabel smiled back.

Jesse came into the kitchen. “Something smells great! What’s cooking?” he asked.

“Spaghetti and meatballs. Shannon made it. Sit down and we’ll eat as soon as the bread is done,” Isabel told him with a quick kiss.

Shannon took this as her cue to exit. “Well, I’ve got to get back to work. I have a ton of things to do there tonight so I’ll be late getting home. Enjoy your dinner, you two,” she said.

Isabel followed her to the door and gave her a hug as Shannon opened it. “Thanks so much for everything, Shannon. You made it look so easy to cook spaghetti. I’ve never made a batch I could get off the pots and pans,” she told her laughing.

Shannon laughed too. “It’s the least I can do for you guys. You are quickly becoming one of my best friends, Isabel, and I don’t have many. Any time you need anything of me, just tell me. I know that I live here too but this is your home and I don’t ever want to do anything to ruin our friendship.”

(Be right back of part b)
posted on 30-Sep-2002 9:43:48 PM
Part 9b

“I am so tired!” Shannon declared with a yawn. “It’s too bad I can’t go home and go to bed yet. I would really just love to soak in a nice hot bath for an hour.”

“Why can’t you go home yet?” Michael asked her, wiping down the grill. He and Shannon were the only two left in the café.

“Isabel and Jesse asked me to be late tonight. They needed some time alone. I don’t mind except that I am so tired. I really need to find a cheap apartment as soon as I can. They haven’t been married that long and they don’t need a roommate around all the time,” she said. “How much is the rent where you are?”

“I’m working two jobs right now just to exist, but they are both part time and I don’t get tips. Maybe you could afford it better than I can. They do want first and last months’ rent for a deposit, though,” Michael answered.

Shannon sat down on one of the counters. She bit her lip thinking about the info that Michael had just given her. “Well, it will be a while then. I don’t know maybe I could pick up a couple of extra shifts in the next month and use that. I still have a little bit of money from selling my car. I hate being broke!”

Michael grinned at that. “You’re telling me!” He came over and sat beside her. As he did so, he heard her stomach rumble. “Hungry?” he asked.

“Starving is more the word we’re looking for here. I haven’t eaten anything except some cereal this morning and a quick hamburger this afternoon,” she answered.

“You want me to fix us something to eat? I haven’t eaten yet either and I don’t have to work my other job tonight,” he asked.

“You work your other job at night? What do you do?” she asked surprised.

“Security guard at a chemical plant. So do you want me to cook up something?”

“You just cleaned the grill and put everything away! Besides, you’ve been cooking all day. You don’t have to. We could go out somewhere,” she suggested.

Michael looked at her skeptically. “We were just talking about how broke we are. We can eat here for free. Besides I don’t think it would make that big of a mess to cook for just the two of us. What do you want?” he asked, jumping down from the counter.

Shannon jumped down too. “I’ll cook and give you a break. Sit down and I’ll surprise you. Is there anything you can’t eat?” she asked.

Michael started to protest but then he thought, ‘Maria never did something like this for me before.’ “Nope. I can eat anything in this place.”

She started pulling things out to cook with and as she heated up the grill she looked up at Michael. “So a security guard huh? I bet you look cute in your uniform,” she teased.

Michael rolled his eyes. “Please, I get enough of that from Maria.”

“Maria? Oh yeah, ex right? Max told me that she and Liz had left. Where did Maria go? I know that Liz went off to boarding school in Vermont. She’s called here a couple of times to talk to her parents and she seems nice,” she said.

“Yeah, Liz is ok. Maria went to New York to work with a music label but they were trying to turn her into someone she isn’t and so she quit. She went to Vermont to spend some time with Liz, who is her best friend. She’ll be back soon. I just hope that it isn’t too soon for me. I was going to leave Roswell a while ago but I stayed for her. Then a couple of months later, she dumps me saying that she doesn’t know who she is anymore and she needs some space. I just don’t get it. I wasn’t exactly Prince Charming but I don’t deserve that kind of treatment,” Michael said.

Shannon frowned. “How long were you two together?” she asked.

“Off and on for a couple of years. I would break up because I was afraid of being close to someone and getting hurt and then I’d hurt her because of that fear. We were always arguing,” he answered openly. Then he looked at Shannon. “I don’t know why I’m telling you all of this. We were fighting all the time up until a couple of days ago.”

Shannon nodded slowly. “I can see how your relationship must be if you have treated her at all like the way you were treating me. I can understand the hurt part and pushing people away. Did anything happen to Maria to make her suddenly decide that she needed to ‘find out who she is’ or that would make her leave Roswell?”

“Well, she, Liz, and Alex Whitman were all best friends but Alex was killed in a car accident last spring. It really shook them up,” he said, not meeting her eyes.

“That would do it. You’re afraid to get close to someone because of your past. Maria is afraid to get close to someone because she lost someone that she let close. Maybe she felt you guys were getting too serious and needed to take a step back. I can see that she might have felt trapped and like she was drowning here so she left for a while. If I’m right, she’ll be back and you two will be ok,” Shannon told him. She sat down two plates beside him with hamburgers and fries on them, and then she smiled. “You know, this is the first real conversation you and I have had. I like this much better than the standoffs we’ve been having. Why do you think we fought like that?”

Michael looked into her face. “Because I’m drawn to you and I don’t know why,” he answered sincerely.

Then on a hunch he leaned over and kissed her. The flashes came in a rush. He had never seen so much of his past before. He saw his childhood in an instant. He recognized Max, Isabel, and Tess, but there was someone else there too. It was his sister! He had a sister! With that knowledge came the realization that this girl that he was kissing reminded him of his sister. That immediately caused him to pull away from her.

Shannon looked at the floor with her eyebrows knitted together. She looked confused and hurt. Michael started to curse himself silently for ever starting this whole thing. He had obviously hurt her. Before he could say anything, however, Shannon looked back up at him and he saw something else in her eyes; could it be fear?

“Michael, I don’t want to hurt your feelings or anything but that was . . . well, that was like . . .” she said, stuttering.

“Kissing your brother?” he offered hopefully.

“Yes! Exactly! Whew! I’m glad you understand. I hope that you were just drawn to me as a friend. I’ve been told that I’m easy to talk to. I hope that’s all it is because I’m going to be honest and say that I never want to kiss you like that again,” she told him with a grin.

Michael grinned back. “Well, now that we got that awkward kiss out of the way, how about we agree to be friends and eat this food?” he asked.

“Agreed! Let’s eat and then we can talk more because I’m planning on having my mouth full until all of that food is gone,” she answered, her stomach rumbling in agreement.

They ate for a few minutes in silence. Then Michael looked at her and smiled. “This is really good. I admit that my burgers don’t taste this good but then too people won’t ever know that. What did you put in them?”

“You’re going to think I’m nuts but I put coca-cola and Tabasco sauce in the ground beef before I cooked them. The fries were an experiment doing them on the grill like that. I like them better in the fryer,” she told him.

“Coke and Tabasco huh? I think I’ll start cooking my burgers that way, not for the café but just for me. By the way, if you want to, after we finish these, we can go back to my place and you can take a hot bath and stay the night on the couch. I think Maria even left a bottle of bubble bath the last time she was over. I promise I won’t try anything,” Michael said with a genuinely warm smile.

Shannon smiled back. “Thanks, Michael, that would be really great.”
posted on 4-Oct-2002 9:34:55 AM
I hope to get another part out to you guys today or tomorrow at the latest. This one, unlike my other fics, is still a work in progress so it takes a while before I'm happy with the results.

Beth
posted on 6-Oct-2002 4:17:59 PM
Bumping my fic so that I can find it when I post later today. Thanks

Beth
posted on 6-Oct-2002 4:23:14 PM
Part 7a

“I still can’t believe that you kissed her, Michael! What were you thinking? Or were you thinking at all?” Max asked the next day.

“Max, can we focus on what’s really important here? We’re talking about another person out there, another family member,” Isabel told him from her spot on the couch.

Michael, Isabel, and Max were all gathered at Michael’s apartment and were discussing Michael’s flashes from kissing Shannon. Max can’t seem to get past the fact that Michael kissed her. Michael sighed and thought about the whole situation again.

“Yeah, Maxwell, I kissed her. However, if you listened to anything past that, you would know that I won’t be doing that again. I don’t know what’s going on in that brain of yours, or maybe it’s your pants, but Shannon does not belong to you. As I recall, she has even turned down several dates with you because she didn’t want to get involved. Now as for these flashes . . .” Michael said.

“So do you think that Shannon is your sister?” Isabel asked.

Michael ran his hands through his hair and started pacing again. “I don’t know. I mean, she didn’t mention the flashes or anything so I don’t think she saw anything. We’ve gotten flashes from everything from inanimate objects to people that we’ve just met. What do you guys think?”

Max looked at him. “We just don’t know for sure. Go over what you saw again. Did anything you saw lead you to believe that your sister is here on Earth?” he asked.

“I don’t know. All I saw was us, on our home planet as we were when we were younger. I saw Isabel and I together in front of an audience. I saw you and my sister . . . um, her name’s on the tip of my tongue . . . in front of that same audience looking at each other the way that you and Liz used to. Then I saw you with Tess and my sister was in my arms crying. I don’t understand any of it. I don’t remember what it means. I just know that this girl was my sister. She didn’t look like Shannon, but then you didn’t look like Max, and Isabel didn’t look like Isabel, and Tess didn’t look like Tess,” Michael answered frustrated.

“So now what do we do? Do we confront her and find out if she is Michael’s sister?” Isabel asked.

“No, as much as I like Shannon, I’m not going to risk exposing us. We’ve gone through way too much lately. For all we know, she could be the person that killed Michael’s sister. Then again, she could just be a person that reminds Michael of his sister. The only thing we know is that we all are drawn to this person and that can mean she’s dangerous. We have to be careful and watch our contact with her,” Max decided.

* * * * * * * * * *

“Crashdown, this is Shannon,” Shannon said, answering the phone. “Oh, hi, Liz, how are you? I’m sorry but your father isn’t here right now. I don’t know about your mom. Hang on a sec and I’ll go see if she’s around.”

Shannon puts the receiver down to go look for Mrs. Parker but Max overhears who is on the line. He goes over and picks up the receiver while Shannon goes to the back room, looking for Nancy. He’s nervous as he starts to talk to Liz.

“Liz? It’s . . . it’s Max.”

In Vermont, Liz almost drops the phone as Max picks up the other end. “Max? Hey, I was expecting to talk to my mom. Um, so how’s it going in Roswell?” she asked. She leaned against the wall and closed her eyes.

“Good. We miss you, Liz. I miss you. Are you coming home for spring break?” he asked.

Liz started to freak out at this point. Her hands start to shake and when she looks at them, they are “short-circuiting” again. She closes her eyes and answers after taking a deep breath. “I don’t know, Max. Spring break is still a month and a half away. Listen, I’ve gotta go right now. Would you just tell my mom that I’ll call her back later?” she asked.

“Liz, wait a minute. I want to talk to you,” Max told her.

“Max, I really have to go. I’ll talk to you later,” she said and quickly hung up.

Max sighed and hung up the phone. He looked up to see Shannon coming into the kitchen. She looks at the phone and then at him. “What happened to Liz? I was going to tell her that her mom’s not here right now.”

“She had to go,” he said and looked at his hands. Those were the hands that had saved Liz’s life, hands that had held her in his arms, hands that belonged to a man that had hurt Liz so many times that she had left him to go to a school on the other side of the continent.

As if reading his thoughts, Shannon came over to him and said, “It’ll work out, Max. I know it’s hard, but I know you two will work it out.”

Max looked up at her and shook his head. “No, you don’t understand. We’re just friends, really. In fact, I was just about to ask you if you wanted to get something to eat tonight after you get off. There’s a great Chinese place not far from here.” What was he doing? He had just told Isabel and Michael that they needed to keep their distance and here he was asking Shannon out again.

Shannon looked into his eyes, as if searching for something. She started to accept but then shook her head and looked away. “I’m sorry, Max. We’ve been through this. I don’t want to date anyone right now, especially you. You and Liz still haven’t resolved whatever it is between you two that split you up. Now get out of the kitchen; this is for employees only,” she told him with a soft smile. She gave him a friendly shove toward the door.

Michael came up behind her and put his hand on her shoulder as her smile faded. “Hey, you ok?” he asked her. He turned her around to face him and saw that she had tears in her eyes. “What’s wrong?”

She blinked a couple of times and her eyes cleared. “Nothing’s wrong,” she said, plastering a smile to her face. She started to pull away from him and head toward the door but he stopped her.

“Shannon, I know better than that. Do you really like Max? Is that it? Or is it that you are missing your last boyfriend, the one that cheated on you and had you evicted?” Michael asked her gently.

“Michael, I’m sorry but I don’t really want to talk about this right now ok? I just want to be left alone. You’ve been a really great friend but when I want to talk, I’ll talk. Please don’t try to force me,” Shannon said. She grabbed her orders from the counter and headed for the café.

(Be right back with part b)
posted on 6-Oct-2002 4:29:39 PM
Part 7b

A week later, Shannon and Michael were goofing off in the kitchen while it was slow out front. Max was working, and Isabel was at home, working on cleaning out her closet. Shannon was laughing and teasing Michael about something when they suddenly felt someone else in the room with them.

“Maria! What are you doing here?” Michael asked.

Maria was standing there with her arms crossed and a scowl on her pretty face. Her long blonde hair was pulled into a ponytail and she was wearing jeans and a light sweater. Michael thought he had never seen a more beautiful sight. Then she opened her mouth. “Who is this?” she asked sharply.

“You’re Maria? Wow! You’re even prettier than Michael described. I’m Shannon McConnell,” Shannon said, holding her hand out to Maria.

Maria didn’t move. “You’re Shannon? Liz told me that she had spoken to you a couple of times when she called here and you seemed nice. So why are you moving in on my boyfriend?” she asked.

Michael’s eyebrows went up. Was Maria jealous? He was flattered and furious at the same time. She was the one that had left. She was the one that had slept with him and then crushed his heart into a million pieces. What right did she have to attack Shannon that way?

Shannon too looked a little surprised. Then she laughed and smiled at Maria. “Trust me, Maria, there is nothing going on between me and Michael Guerrin. He’s just been a really great friend, that’s all. He’s told me so much about you and I was hoping we could be friends, Maria.”

Looking at the floor, Maria started to waver. Was this girl really just a friend? It looked like she was more than a friend when she had walked in a minute ago. Maria looked back up at her. Either way, it would be easier to keep an eye on her if she was her friend. She took Shannon’s hand and shook it and returned the smile.

“Well, I’m sorry but you two just looked like you were having such a good time and I have to say that I missed space boy more than I’ll ever admit to,” she said.

Michael’s eyes lit up. “Really? You missed me?” he asked.

Shannon looked from one of them to the other and smiled. She grabbed a damp towel and headed for the front of the restaurant. “I’ll just go wipe down a few tables and give you two a chance to talk.”

As Shannon left the room, Michael started to reach for Maria but he stopped himself. He had been hurt one too many times to make the first move. He did, however, start the conversation. “So how have you been, Maria?” he asked.

“Good, good. I’m glad I’m not the one who’s in boarding school, though. Liz said to tell everyone hello. How’s everybody here doing?” she answered.

“Good. Max, Kyle, and I went to LA a little while back to get our minds off of you girls and to have some fun. We met Shannon there and she came back with us. She didn’t have anywhere to go or anyone else to trust so Max felt sorry for her,” he rattled off. What was wrong with him? Maria didn’t need to know all that, especially not right now. That wasn’t what he wanted to say anyway. He stopped and took a deep breath. Then he looked at the floor, glancing at her face as he asked, “So why didn’t you call, Maria?”

Maria took a deep breath too. “Two words, Michael: pride and fear. I didn’t want anyone, especially you, to say ‘I told you so.’ Then too I was scared if I talked to you, I’d come running right back here to Roswell, and I didn’t want to do that until I was ready to come back, Michael. Ever since Alex died, I’ve been so scared. Then when you stayed here for me, I was terrified that we either wouldn’t work out or worse, that we would work out but some evil alien would kill you and take you away from me. I just couldn’t allow myself to lose anyone else. But you know what I realized, Michael?” she asked.

“What?” he asked quietly.

“It didn’t matter if I stayed away or not. That fear followed me and wouldn’t go away. I love you and I’d rather spend whatever amount of time we have together loving you instead of worrying that it will all be over soon. Will you forgive me and give me another chance?” she asked. Silently, she prayed that he would say yes. Maria had just spilled her guts to him again. If Michael turned her away, she didn’t know what she would do.

Instead of answering right away, Michael studied the floor for a minute. Then he looked up at Maria’s face. He saw that she was sincere and her face was full of hope and fear that he would turn her down. He smiled softly and held his hands out to her.

“Oh, Michael!” she cried as she threw herself into his arms.

She held him tight and he held her close and told her that everything would be all right now. He kissed her and they saw their relationship flash before their eyes. They pulled away and Michael caressed her face. “Don’t you ever leave me again, Maria DeLuca. I love you too much to let you go twice,” he told her before kissing her again.

“I won’t, Michael. I’m here to stay. I promise I’ll never leave again,” Maria said.

At the door between the kitchen and the café, Shannon was standing there watching the scene and smiling. At least that was one couple that was back together. She was happy for Michael; Maria seemed like she would be perfect for him. As she thought about Max, her smile faltered, however. She really did like him, almost as if a force that she couldn’t control drew her to him. It was too bad that he was only a kid and still stuck on Liz Parker. Would she ever be able to find real love herself, someone that really loved her for what she was? Maybe even despite what she was?
posted on 9-Oct-2002 8:41:38 AM
bumping my own fic again
posted on 9-Oct-2002 12:05:30 PM
Ok, I just have a little something to point out to all of my faithful readers. I noticed that fanfiction award nominations are up. I've never really posted much here on this board but I'm starting too. I don't want to tell anybody to go and vote for me on something but I would like to know how my writing style is. I'd like to know what you like about it, what you don't like, what I should change, add, what? Just be completely honest with me. If I should stop writing, tell me! Tell me I suck at it and I'll stop. Otherwise, tell your friends about these stories and see if they like them too. (Just a desperate writer that has no faith in her abilities.)

Thanks in advance,
Beth
posted on 10-Oct-2002 10:44:11 AM
BUMP
posted on 11-Oct-2002 8:07:13 AM
I am working as hard as I can to get new parts out on all of my fics. However, it is hard considering there are 4 that I'm currently working on. I'm trying to rotate them around so that all my readers get their updates. Thank you for your patience. I hope to have a new part out to Against My Programming today and a new part to this fic sometime early to mid next week. Thanks for all the wonderful feedback.

Beth
posted on 12-Oct-2002 1:32:36 PM
Sorry it's just another author's note but I just wanted to let you guys know that I'm working on the new part to this fic right now so I hope to have it posted by tonight or maybe Monday morning at the latest. Thanks for your patience.

Beth

(BUMP *bounce*)
posted on 14-Oct-2002 8:24:53 AM
Please don't kill me. I haven't had time like I thought I would to finish the new part. I will try my hardest to get it out today but it may be more like tomorrow as I'll still have to edit it. Sorry!

BETH
posted on 15-Oct-2002 10:08:32 AM
BUMP
posted on 15-Oct-2002 3:13:56 PM
I'm so sorry that I'm so late but the characters just wouldn't cooperate and I kept having to revise and, anyway, enough of that. Here it is finally. Thanks for the feedback in advance.

Beth

Part 8a

Shannon was gritting her teeth against the ache in her lower back from standing all day. ‘Just fifteen more minutes,’ she told herself. Just fifteen more minutes and she could go home and sit down for the rest of the night. She was tired and hungry and she was tired of cranky, bratty kids, especially ones that threw things at her. She needed a shower. As the thought crossed her mind, she groaned; that meant more standing. Maybe she could take a bath instead.

Michael came up to the counter. “You ok?” he asked Shannon. “You look like crap.”

Shannon glared at him. “Thank you so much! As a matter of fact, I’m exhausted, hungry and filthy. All I want to do is take a shower and vedge out in front of a TV. I hope Jesse is still out of town. I could really use a soak in a hot bath instead of more standing in the shower. He’s supposed to be back tonight but maybe he won’t be home until tomorrow morning.”

The phone rang and Michael disappeared behind the wall to answer it. He was back at the window as he said, “Shannon, it’s for you.”

Shannon leaned back with her hand at the small of her back, trying to stretch the protesting muscles. She’d just have to deal with those muscles when she got home. She entered the kitchen and picked up the receiver that Michael had laid down on the counter. “This is Shannon,” she answered.

“Hey, it’s . . . ah, Shannon, it’s Isabel,” came a voice on the other end of the line. Shannon rolled her eyes as it was apparent that Jesse had indeed made it home tonight. At least that’s what she got from Isabel’s heavy breathing. “Listen, I hate to ask this at such a short notice but . . .”

Trying to save Isabel the trouble of trying to explain that she wanted time alone with her husband, Shannon interrupted her friend. “Isabel! I was just about to call you. Listen I won’t be home until late tonight. I have some things I have to do after I get off. Is that ok with you?” she said. When she didn’t get an answer right away, she said, “Isabel?”

Isabel was immediately back on the line. “Oh, yeah! That would be great, Shannon. I mean, that’s fine. Jesse’s back so you don’t have to worry about keeping me company. Listen, I’ve got to go so I guess I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”

At the click and the dial tone that sounded in Shannon’s ear, she slammed the phone back on the cradle. She squelched the urge to scream. It was only fair that her best friend got a chance to have an evening alone with her husband when he had been out of town for a week, but was it too much to ask to have a bath and something to eat? She really needed to get her own place.

She turned around to find Michael smirking and chuckling at the grill. “What are you laughing at?” she asked him angrily.

“You, Isabel, the obvious fact that Jesse is home,” Michael answered. He turned his smirk at her. “And the fact that you obviously wanted to go home. You’re quite a friend to have volunteered to stay out of there with the day you’ve had. I’ve seen at least two kids throw milkshakes or pie on you. If you want, you can stay at my place tonight. You can even take a hot bath.”

Maria walked up at the last statement and couldn’t help the look of jealousy and incredulity that flashed over her face. It had been that way between Shannon and Michael since she had arrived. He was always looking out for her and doing things for her, and Maria couldn’t help how that made her feel, even though she loved Shannon to death now. She couldn’t help but like Shannon; she was sweet, cute, and had never really crossed any lines with either Michael or Max. However, she couldn’t help the fact that she knew that Michael treated Shannon better than he had treated her. Yes, he had stayed on earth for her and treated her better now, but that didn’t change how he used to treat her. Maybe his treatment of Shannon was just a part of the new Michael.

Shannon noticed the look that had flashed over Maria’s face, even though it didn’t last very long. She was quick to try to avoid a confrontation. She really liked Maria and didn’t want to lose a friend. “That’s ok, Michael. You might want to spend some time with Maria tonight. I can go somewhere for dinner or something and then go home after that.”

Maria realized that she was the reason for Shannon’s refusal and immediately felt guilty for her previous thoughts. Shannon had never even laid a hand on Michael. In fact, if Maria didn’t know any better, she would swear that Shannon treated Michael more like a brother. “Nonsense, Shannon! You can stay at Michael’s tonight. I trust you two. Just like I trust that Michael is going to let you have his bed and sleep on the couch or on the floor. Besides, he has to work tonight so he won’t be home long. I would let you stay at my house but I’m having some issues with my mother. She’s currently dating Jim Valenti and she and I are not allowed to have sleepovers on the same night. There are some things you should never know about your mother. At least they really care about each other. I really like Jim too. It would be a little strange to have Kyle as my stepbrother, though. Anyway, that was more information than you needed to know. Speaking of Kyle, however, why won’t you go out with him? I know for a fact that he has asked you out at least 3 times.”

Shannon sighed. Maria never tired of asking about Shannon’s love life, or more accurately, the lack there of. “I like Kyle, I do, but somehow we just don’t click. You know what I mean? He’s cute, he’s funny, he’s sweet, and he’s just not what I want. I don’t understand it any better than you do, Maria.”

“I think you’re a little hung up on one Max Evans. Why is it that every friend I have ends up falling for . . . uh, Max?” Maria finished lamely. Michael glared at her, as he realized what she had almost said.

“I’m not in love with Max Evans; I’m just attracted to him and it doesn’t matter because I’m not acting on that attraction. He and I are just friends and that’s how it’s going to stay. He just reminds me of someone I knew a long time ago,” Shannon insisted.

Maria snorted. “Honey, you are 19 years old. How long ago could it have been?” she asked.

“You’d be surprised,” Shannon muttered. She looked from Michael to Maria. “Maria, are you sure about me being over at Michael’s tonight? I can assure you that nothing will happen between us, but I don’t want to ruin our friendship when it’s just begun.”

Maria waved her off. “I’m sure. Don’t worry about it. I just can’t get over the new and improved space boy, that’s all.”

They finished up their shifts and Shannon left with Michael to go home after they made sure that Maria made it out of the parking lot ok. They made into the apartment and Michael declared that he had to go to work. Shannon insisted that she was sleeping on the couch and that Michael could have his own room. He was too tired to argue and running late for his shift so he quickly agreed. He left with a quick goodbye after changing into his uniform for the plant.
posted on 15-Oct-2002 3:15:57 PM
Part 8b

Shannon went into the bathroom and turned on the hot water and stopped up the tub. As the water started filling in the bottom of the bathtub, Shannon added some bath salts and bubble bath and took off her clothes. She pulled her long hair up on top of her head and secured it there before climbing into the tub. Then she sunk into the suds up to her chin. She grabbed the folded towel she had dropped onto the floor and placed it behind her head before leaning back and closing her eyes. She sighed deeply as she let the worries of the day melt off of her.

As Shannon had turned the radio in the bathroom on softly, she didn’t hear someone enter the apartment. She tapped her toes with the music against the other end of the tub and hummed with the song. She kept her eyes closed as she thought about her past and about the brother that she knew was out there somewhere.

Suddenly, the door opened and Shannon’s first instinct was to sit up straight as her eyes flew open. Then she realized who had entered the bathroom and sank quickly back under the bubbles. “Max Evans, you scared the crap out of me!” she snapped, her heart racing.

Max stood there staring at her. He couldn’t help the thoughts that flashed through his mind. She was beautiful, she was in a bubble bath, she was naked, and she was mad. As the last thought hit him, he hurriedly covered his eyes. “I’m sorry, Shannon. I thought it was Michael in here. I just wanted to ask him if he wanted some Chinese food I brought home. I’ll just close the door now.”

As he started to close the door, however, Shannon stopped him. “Wait! Max, you’ve already seen everything you’re going to, which isn’t much with these bubbles, thank god. Michael’s already left for his job at the chemical plant. What kind of Chinese food you got there?” she asked. Her face was red with embarrassment but she was in Max and Michael’s bathroom after all. Naturally, he would have thought it was his friend in the bathroom and not her. With the water running, he probably thought Michael was in the shower at that.

“I’ve got a couple of egg rolls, some sweet and sour chicken, and a cup of egg drop soup,” he answered. He looked down at his hands, as he didn’t want to stare anymore. Not that it would make any difference; the image of Shannon McConnell naked in that bubble bath in his tub, well technically Michael’s tub, would forever be burned into his brain.

“Um, sounds good. Do you mind sharing with me? I haven’t eaten dinner yet and I’m starving. Do you have enough?” she asked.

Max laughed. “If I had enough to share with Michael, I definitely have enough to share with you. I’ll just get it ready while you finish up in here.” With that, he fled for the kitchen, firmly closing the door to the bathroom behind him.

Shannon took a deep breath and blew it out of her mouth. She wondered what Max had been thinking. He had been staring, that much she knew. However, she wondered if he liked what he had seen. Where had that thought come from? As quickly as she had shaken that thought from her mind, another popped into her head that made her turn even more crimson. Would Max like to join her?

She took another deep breath and picked up the bathing sponge and quickly bathed herself. She got out of the tub and pulled the plug to the drain. Shannon dried herself off and pulled on the flannel shirt that Michael had given her to wear and then put the robe that he had also lent her on over that. The sweat pants that Michael had given her were a little big but she had put them on anyway and hoped that the shirt hid that they were about to fall off. She held them up as she made her way out of the bathroom.

Max was pulling paper towels from the roll when she entered the room. When he looked up, he forgot what he was doing and didn’t remember until Shannon started giggling. “Max, I’m not that messy,” she teased. Max looked down at his hands and realized that he had pulled off almost half of the paper towels from the roll. His ears turned red and he quickly pulled off two napkins and put the rest on the counter.

“Smells good,” Shannon told him, coming over to the table to stand beside him. ‘The food didn’t smell half bad either,’ Shannon thought to herself. She shook her head, trying to physically shake those thoughts from her mind. She needed to stop this. Where were those thoughts coming from anyway? What was it about Max Evans that kept affecting her this way?

“Yeah, it is good. Here, sit down. Do you want the egg drop soup?” he asked without looking at her.

Shannon shook her head. “Nah, you have it. I’ll be fine with some of the sweet and sour chicken and an egg roll,” she said as she sat down. Then she noticed that Max’s hands were shaking. “Max, are you ok?” she asked him.

“Uh, fine. It’s just that, well . . . um, you’re kind of . . . um, you’re wearing my shirt,” he stuttered, still not looking at her. She couldn’t have had any idea what seeing her in his shirt was doing to him.

Shannon looked down at the shirt she had on. “Michael gave me this shirt. He said that it was the only one he could find that was clean that I wouldn’t freeze in. I’ll have to talk to him about doing laundry once in a while,” she joked. “If you don’t want me to wear it, I can just go into the bathroom and take it off. I’ve got this robe and the blanket on the couch should be warm enough. Besides, I can always sleep in my uniform if I need to.”

“No, no! You misunderstood me. I really don’t mind you wearing it. I just wondered where you got it. I should have known it was Michael. He doesn’t have as many clothes as I do and I usually do his laundry because he doesn’t have much time to do it himself. I’ve just been busy lately. I’ll throw a load in the wash tomorrow,” Max told her. He had to swallow hard, trying to get rid of the vision of her sitting there in nothing but that robe on. He looked up and couldn’t help but smile at her. She was just so beautiful. What was it about her?

As they ate, they carried on light conversation. Shannon asked how his school was coming, and for some reason, Max hated that he was still in high school. He was glad it was a school holiday and that he had work to talk about instead of school so much. He asked her about working at the Crashdown and she told him about the awful day that she had had.

Shannon had finished her chicken and yawned as Max finished telling her about Brody. “I’m sorry, I’m just so tired now. I’ve worked hard all day, been on my feet, I’ve eaten and now I’m ready to sleep. At least I have the closing shift tomorrow so I can sleep in a little. I do have a lot of things to do but I need some real sleep tonight,” she told Max.

“Shannon, you can sleep in my room if you want. I’ll take the couch. My day wasn’t nearly as bad as yours and you’re right about needing some sleep. Go ahead and go to bed, and I’ll clean up in here,” he told her.

“Oh, no. I can help clean up first. I will take you up on your offer of the bed, however. I don’t have any energy to argue too much,” Shannon said, standing up and gathering her plate and glass in her hands.

Max reached over and laid his hand over hers. “Don’t worry about those, Shannon. I can handle them,” he insisted. Then his eyes looked down at their hands resting on the table together.

Shannon’s eyes followed his and she felt her heart rate go up. When she looked up, Max’s face was so close to her, she could feel his breath on her lips. Just a little closer and she would feel those lips on hers. She closed her eyes in readiness and anticipation. Before Max could cover her lips with his, however, she caught herself and pulled away quickly. She stepped back and looked at the floor.

“Max, I’m sorry. I just can’t do this,” she told him softly.

“Why not? Shannon, can’t you see that I’m attracted to you too?” he asked just as quietly.

Shannon looked up at him and there were tears in her eyes. “I’m so sorry, Max. I can’t,” she sobbed as she ran for his room and slammed the door. She sank to the floor and sobbed into her arms folded over her knees. As she heard him start cleaning up the remains of their dinner, she looked up and heaved a sigh. “Oh, Zan, what did you do to me?” she whispered to the air.
posted on 15-Oct-2002 4:06:08 PM
Thank you for your questions. I can answer that yes, Liz will be back from Vermont, eventually. I thought I would be able to cram more into each part but that's just not possible with the length problem I'm having. I promise all dreamers reading this that they will get their dreamer moment(s). As for the other questions, you'll have to keep reading to find out the answers! Thanks for the feedback!

Beth
posted on 20-Oct-2002 2:05:49 PM
Ok, everybody, I'm currently working on the next part of this fic. I should have it out soon. Thanks for your patience.

Beth
posted on 21-Oct-2002 2:37:24 PM
Part 9a

“Ding!” rang the bell on the counter top. “Tables 2 and 4 up!” Michael called from the kitchen. He looked up from the plates and couldn’t help the scowl that formed on his face. Those guys had been messing with Shannon all night!

Shannon detached herself from the group of college students and made her way over to pick up her orders. As she reached for them, Michael grabbed her hand to prevent her from walking away. “Are those guys aggravating you?” he asked her.

She grinned at him. “Michael, I appreciate the concern, really, but they’re just flirting. If you’ll watch them, you’ll see that they’re just a bunch of college boys home for the weekend and wanting a little fun. They’re harmless. Maria has been getting her fair share too, you know,” she told him.

“I don’t mind the flirting. You and Maria are two of the cutest girls I know; it’s the way that one guy just doesn’t seem to know where the boundary lines are. You can’t tell me you aren’t getting a little pissed that he keeps asking you out and won’t take no for an answer,” Michael accused.

Shannon looked away from his penetrating gaze. “Well, he is a little more persistent than the others, but he hasn’t tried anything or said anything I can’t handle. Besides, it’s Sunday and they’ll be leaving soon. Don’t be such a worry-wart.”

“What’s he so worried about now?” Maria demanded, coming up to them. She had just come in from her break.

“Nothing,” Michael said quickly.

“Those college guys,” Shannon said at the same time.

Maria glanced over at the subjects in question, who were currently in a coke guzzling contest. She giggled and turned back to them. “They are a little cute aren’t they?” she asked, teasing Michael. “Except for that one that seems hell-bent on getting a date with you, Shannon. He’s so persistent that his good looks are pushed to the background. He gives me the creeps. I don’t know how you keep dealing with him.”

Michael gave Shannon a look that screamed, “I told you so.” She responded by sticking her tongue out at him, taking the plates from the counter and walking away. She went over to the college boys and deposited one of the plates in front of the boy that Michael and Maria had been speaking of. As she started walking away to place the other order with its owner, he grabbed her arm and forced her to look at him. For the first time all night, Shannon was starting to be worried about this guy.

“Hey, Shannon, when are you going to quit playing hard to get and say you’ll go out with me next weekend?” he told her, his tone only half flirtatious.

“Listen, Charlie, I’m sorry but I really don’t want to go out with you. I’m sort of seeing someone right now,” Shannon lied. She tried to pull her arm from his grasp but he was stronger than she had thought.

“No one turns me down, Shannon. I’m not about to be turned down by some alien-dressed waitress!” Charlie growled at her, pulling her closer to him.

Just as Shannon was about to panic and do something she might regret later, she was pulled out of Charlie’s grasp and Michael was suddenly standing between them. Shannon had never seen Michael so angry. She was suddenly glad she wasn’t Charlie. She tried to think of a way to placate the situation before it turned ugly.

“I believe that Shannon made it clear that she doesn’t want your attention,” Michael ground out at Charlie.

Charlie was on his feet in a minute, not allowing himself to be intimidated. Instead of trying to stop the coming confrontation, the other college guys just moved further and gawked at the two young men standing face to face. Maria saw the situation and moved closer to the phone, in case she had to call someone to come and help. It was too bad that Jeff and Nancy were out of town for the weekend. They weren’t due back until Tuesday morning.

“I don’t believe that this is any of your business, grill-boy!” Charlie challenged back.

Shannon placed a hand on Michael’s arm. “Michael, it’s ok,” she said, to try to calm him down.

Without looking away from Charlie’s eyes, he stated, “No, Shannon, it’s not ok. It’s one thing to ask someone out, even more than once. It’s something else to grab a lady. Charlie, I do believe that you owe Shannon an apology.”

Charlie’s eyes turned dangerously dark. “What if I refuse?” he sneered.

“Then I guess, I’ll just have to teach you a lesson in manners and then throw you out physically,” Michael growled back, deadly serious.

Shannon looked at Maria for help, who looked back just as helpless. Finally, one of the young men sitting there watching, stood up and pulled Charlie a little away from Michael. “Hey, Charlie, man, it’s not worth it. It’s getting late and we’ve got to head back to college tonight if we’re going to make it to classes tomorrow. Come on, let’s go.”

Charlie pulled away reluctantly. He looked at his group of friends and barked, “You heard him; let’s get going.” Looking back up at Michael and Shannon he said, “They’re not worth the trouble. I’ve got at least ten girls back at school clamoring to go out with me. You’re lucky, grease-monkey, that I didn’t have to teach you a lesson in minding your own business.”

“Maybe next time,” Michael sneered. “Do everybody a favor and don’t come back here. If I catch you in here again, I’ll personally escort you out along with at least three friends.”

(Be right back with part b)
posted on 21-Oct-2002 2:40:55 PM
Part 9b

After the guys had left, Shannon collapsed in a chair. Maria rushed over into Michael’s arms. “Michael, are you ok? That was really intense. There really were too many of them for you to have been picking a fight…” Maria gushed out.

Michael hushed her and gently pulled out of her arms. He kneeled down in front of Shannon. “Are you ok? Did he hurt you? Because if he did…”

Shannon quickly reassured him. “No, Michael, he didn’t hurt me. I’m ok, just a little shaken up. I didn’t know what he was about to do. The guy just gave me the creeps. Thanks for your help.”

Michael gave her a quick hug and then the only other customers in the café, cleared their throats. Shannon quickly came to herself and jumped up from her chair. She picked up the order that she had sat down on the table and walked over to the older couple, wiping her hand over her face, trying to gather her thoughts together.

“I’m so sorry about all that, ma’am, sir, but here is your order. If it’s cold, I can send it back to the kitchen,” she apologized.

The couple looked at her with sympathy in their eyes. “It’s quite all right, young lady. We’re just glad that the cook stopped that young hooligan from doing anything to you. Are you sure you’re ok?” the older man said.

Shannon smiled at them. “I’m fine, thank you for asking.”

An hour later, the café was empty and Maria, Michael, and Shannon were getting things cleaned up to go home. The front door was locked, and Michael was working on cleaning up the kitchen. Shannon and Maria were dividing up the chores to get the café in order. They were filling up the condiment and napkin holders.

“I guess I need to take the trash out,” Shannon sighed. “I hate going out to that dumpster. I keep meaning to tell Jeff that that street light out there is out. There’s enough light to see ok by the other light but it’s not very safe.”

Maria jumped off of the stool she was sitting on. “I’ll take the trash out, Shannon. You’ve been through enough tonight. Besides, I seem to be making a huge mess trying to fill these containers. Where are the bags of trash?” she volunteered.

“Maria, you are a lifesaver. The bags are by the back door. I’ll finish all of these while you take those out,” Shannon said gratefully.

“No problem, chica. I’ll be back in a minute,” Maria said, pushing through the swinging door.

Shannon was putting the containers on the tables when she dropped the lid to one of the salt shakers. She bent down to pick it up and noticed that there was another bag of trash under the counter. Sighing at the fact that she would have to go out to the dumpster anyway, she picked it up and headed toward the back door.

Michael smiled at her as she started to pass through. “Everything done out front?” he asked.

“Yeah, I’m just taking this last bag out to the dumpster, and we should be ready to leave,” she said. “Isabel and I are supposed to see a movie tonight that’s coming on TV.”

As she walked out the door and headed for the dumpster, Shannon noticed someone bending over to study something on the ground. As she drew closer, she noticed that the thing on the ground was Maria. “Maria!” she yelled. The figure bent over her ran away, but Shannon had already seen that it was a male in his early twenties that looked a lot like Charlie.

She ran over to Maria’s crumpled figure and rolled her friend over to better see her. The first thing she noticed was that there was a lot of blood coming from a hole in Maria’s lower abdomen. Shannon tore open the top of Maria’s uniform and placed the palm of her hand to the side of Maria’s head. Maria moaned in pain and her head started to fall to the side.

Shannon placed her right hand over the hole in Maria’s body and her left to steady Maria’s head. “Maria! Maria, honey, you’ve got to look at me or I can’t help you. Please Maria, open your eyes and look at me,” Shannon pleaded with her friend.

Maria vaguely heard a familiar voice calling to her through her haze of pain. She struggled to open her eyes and as they fluttered open, the pain almost caused her to black out. She groaned again and tried to clear her vision. As she blinked, things started to come into focus and she found herself staring into Shannon’s eyes. Suddenly, she felt a warmth spread through her body from the hole in her gut and then the pain started to subside.

“You’re going to be ok,” Shannon whispered.

“Shannon?” Maria whispered.

Suddenly, there was a noise followed by a shout from the door to the restaurant. Shannon spun around to see Michael racing toward them. She jumped to her feet and ran as fast as she could into the night. She didn’t look back even as Michael started to chase after her and then gave up but still called after her.

Michael raced back over to Maria. He dropped to the ground and gathered her into his arms. “Maria, can you hear me? Max, I’ve got to get you to Max.”

Maria took great effort to push back so that she could look into Michael’s face. “Michael, find Shannon. She healed…she saved…” she tried to explain as she quickly lost consciousness.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Amy DeLuca came out of the hospital room and looked toward the group of young people sitting on the bench. Michael jumped up and looked her in the eyes, sorrow filled in his. “How is she, Ms. DeLuca?” he asked.

She sighed as she answered. “She’s fine, Michael. The doctor said that the wound wasn’t as deep as we had first feared. Apparently, Shannon had interrupted the guy who did this before he could do any real damage. She’ll be able to go home tomorrow. She wants to see you, Max, Kyle and Isabel. I tried to tell her that she needs her rest, but she won’t rest until she’s talked to you.”

Michael nodded at his girlfriend’s mother and gave her a quick hug, surprising her. Then he looked to Max and Isabel who were standing by with Kyle and Jim. He nodded toward his fellow extraterrestrials and Kyle and they immediately took their cue and followed him into Maria’s room. Kyle posted himself in front of the door so that if someone tried to open it, they would know and be able to stop their conversation.

Michael went over and took Maria’s hand in his. “Oh, Maria, I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have let either of you take the trash out. Tell me what happened. Why did Shannon run from me when I tried to talk to her? Did she do this to you?” he asked.

“Max, Isabel, Michael, Shannon is one of you. That guy Charlie is the one that stabbed me, but unlike what the doctor thinks, if Shannon hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t be talking to you right now. That girl saved my life. Michael, do you understand what I’m telling you? Shannon isn’t human! She healed me just like Max saved Liz. You interrupted her before she could finish,” Maria said in a frenzy. The rest of the people in the room looked appropriately shocked.

“How is this possible? Who is she?” Isabel questioned aloud.

“I don’t know but now that we know, if you don’t find her quick, she’s gonna bolt. She’ll probably skip town. Guys, you have to find her before she does,” Maria said firmly.
posted on 21-Oct-2002 4:51:52 PM
BUMP!!!
posted on 22-Oct-2002 8:58:55 AM
Shameless self bump!
posted on 23-Oct-2002 8:16:57 AM
Bumping for the past readers who haven't caught up yet. *tongue*

Beth
posted on 24-Oct-2002 8:56:22 AM
Bump
posted on 6-Nov-2002 7:01:55 PM
No one bumped this story while I was gone and it fell way down the line. *sad* Oh, well, maybe it was my fault for taking so long to write a new part. I've been busy though and I do have to work on my other fics too. I'm currently working on the new part for this one though and therefore, it will be posted soon. Thanks for you patience!

Beth
posted on 14-Nov-2002 4:23:23 PM
Here is the latest part. I'm so sorry about the delay but I've been really busy. Thank you to everyone who has been reading and especially those who leave feedback. I can't begin to thank you all enough. Now without any further ado I present the next part.

Part 10a

Not wanting to miss a minute, Max, Kyle, Michael, and Isabel bid Maria a quick farewell with her practically pushing them out the door of her room. Kyle and Isabel said they would head to her house to see if Shannon had returned there since she had run off. Max declared that he would check the bus station, while Michael decided to see if he could find out if any flights were leaving out of Albuquerque in the next two hours or so. He hoped that there weren’t many.

When Isabel walked into her home with Kyle close on her heels, she called out to make sure that Jesse hadn’t come home early from his case. He wasn’t due back until the next evening. Receiving no response, they hurried to Shannon’s room. The door was already open and it looked like a tornado had hit the small room. The closet door was open and most of the contents that were left were on the floor. There were empty hangers strewn all over the room floor and the covers to the bed were wadded in a ball at the end of the bed.

One thing was for sure, someone had been in here and they had left in a hurry. All of Shannon’s things, with few exceptions, were gone. Isabel started to cry in spite of her fear. Shannon had become like a sister to her, and she desperately didn’t want her friend to disappear like this. As much as past experience warned her to be careful of this new alien, her gut and her heart told her that Shannon was a person that she wanted in her life. She had been a true friend, and if she had wanted to harm them, she had had plenty of opportunity.

Kyle noticed a piece of paper on the dresser. He picked it up and read it out loud.

Dear Isabel,

I’m so sorry to have left the room such a mess. I will send you some money to compensate for it. Then too, you have the furniture and all the decorations I bought. I wish I could have said goodbye to you but something has come up suddenly, and I have to leave town. I’m sorry, as I feel that we became closer than sisters. Please forgive me, but I’m sure you’ll find out why I had to leave soon enough. I’ll always remember you and the friends I made in Roswell, and I am so grateful for your help in getting me back on my feet and hope revived in my heart.

Your friend,
Shannon

Isabel was crying openly. “Kyle, we have to find her! She has to be so scared right now. I know that Max said we should be careful because of Tess, but I just can’t believe that Shannon is capable of anything bad.”

Kyle pulled Isabel close to him into a hug and reassured her. “We will find her, Isabel. I don’t believe that she’s bad either. Now let’s call Max and Michael and find out if they’ve found out anything.”

* * * * * * * * * *

Michael had gone to the Roswell library, hoping that it would still be open. That just went to show how often he went to the library. It was Sunday night, almost Monday morning. The library wasn’t even open on Sundays, let alone this late at night. He swore under his breath. Looking to see what flights left out of Albuquerque would be a lot easier if he had a computer.

He had headed for the airport at first when he had left Max but then thought about it again. Airplane tickets were expensive and while Shannon, if she really was the alien that Maria claimed, could just change money into whatever amount she wanted, if she was the type to do that, she wouldn’t have been living on the streets before they had found her, and she wouldn’t have had to move in with Isabel. So if she was broke and probably not taking a plane out of town, why drive all the way to Albuquerque when he could just check online for any flight information? Besides, there probably wouldn’t be any flights out until morning.

He used his powers to disengage the alarm system and then unlock the back door to the library. He went inside and stopped, almost laughing out loud. This would be his first time ever stepping into a library outside of school or voluntarily. He looked around for where the computers were and spotted a row of them to his left. He went over and turned one of them on. He sat down as it booted up, and when a card catalog came on the screen, he searched the screen for access to the internet. Just then his cell phone rang.

“Guerrin,” he answered absently as he logged onto the internet and opened the browser.

“Michael, have you had any luck yet?” Kyle asked from the other end of the line.

Michael sighed. “Kyle, I haven’t had time to even look into the flight schedules. Try Maxwell and see if he’s found her yet; he’ll probably have better luck than me. Let me know if he’s found out anything.” He hung up and typed in a website where he could find flight schedules.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Max ran into the bus depot and looked around. Several of the lights were off so that it was dimmer than usual but it was still open. He found an elderly man in a uniform that was walking around the station and stopped him. “Excuse me, have there been any buses that have left in the last couple of hours?” he asked.

“No, young man, I’m afraid no buses run this time of night. The next buses to leave are scheduled to depart around 8. You’re welcome to wait if you’d like, though,” the elderly man told him. Just as Max and he turned away from each other, the guard turned back to him and asked, “What is it with you young people tonight? A girl just about your age is outside on a bench claiming she’s taking the next bus outta here no matter where it’s going.”

Max’s eyes flew open wide, and he quickly thanked the man and pulled his cell phone out. At the same time, it rang in his hand. He answered it to hear his sister’s voice. “Yeah, Isabel, I was just about to call you. She’s here. I just talked to a security guard who said that a girl about our age is waiting on the first bus out of town. Lucky for us, that bus doesn’t leave until 8 am. Call Michael and you and Kyle head over here. I’m not going to confront her until we’re all together. We should all do this together.”

As Isabel hung up the receiver at the Ramirez house, she turned to Kyle and said, “Max said she’s there at the bus station. She’s waiting on the platform for the first bus out at 8. He wants all of us there before he confronts her.”

Kyle took her hand and started pulling her toward the front door. “Then let’s go. We don’t want to take any chances that she might see him and make a run for it. It will be a lot harder for her to run from three of us than just Max alone.” He stopped in mid-stride, causing Isabel to bump into him. He looked at her and asked, “Did Max say whether he was calling Michael or should we?”

“Oh, I forgot that he asked us to call him,” she answered. She started to run back to the phone, but Kyle kept a hold on her hand.

“We can call him from the car, come on,” Kyle told her.

(Be right back with part b)
posted on 14-Nov-2002 4:25:25 PM
Part 10b

Kyle, Isabel, and Michael arrived at the bus station at the same time. They met Max outside the front of the building under a broken streetlight. Michael had called Maria’s cell phone but there was no answer. He hadn’t wanted to say anything on her voicemail about the situation so he had just left a message for her to call him as soon as she could.

“So what’s the game plan, Maxwell?” he asked now.

“Are you sure she’s still here?” Kyle asked.

“Yeah, have you seen her?” Isabel asked.

Max looked around to make sure that no one could hear them. “Yeah, she’s curled up on a bench around back. We need to talk to her without all these people around.”

Michael looked around at the people that were outside the building and then glanced in the window at the couple of people that were curled up on benches or checking the vending machines for money. The only one of them that looked like they might have a home to go to was the security guard that Max had talked to almost an hour ago. “Maxwell, even if these people heard us talking to them, nobody would believe a word that came out of their mouths. They’re all a bunch of drunks and homeless people.”

“Michael, may I remind you that at the moment, Shannon is one of those homeless people? I know that I’d believe anything she had to say. We can’t chance it, and besides, she won’t feel comfortable with anyone else around. Now I have a way that we can get her to a place where we can all talk,” Max said. He told them of his plan, and the others agreed that whatever the outcome, Shannon would have to pretty much agree to talk to them. They walked into the building to enact the plan.

Isabel moved towards the ladies’ room. Michael went over to position himself by the front door. Kyle headed towards a side exit that was opposite the restrooms. Max went out the front door and started walking around the building towards the back of the building to where he had seen Shannon lying on one of the benches. As he peeked around the building, he was glad to see that she was standing in front of the door to the building. It would make things easier if she was already on her feet.

As he walked in a wide circle around the back side of the building so that he was almost directly in line with Shannon and the door, he was careful to keep to the shadows so that she couldn’t see who he was. When he was positioned just right, he stepped into a stream of light and called out, “Shannon? Is that you?”

The question had the effect that he was expecting. Shannon’s head jerked in the direction of his voice and in turn his direction. Her eyes opened wide in terror and then darted in every direction, trying to decide the best route of escape. She finally decided that either direction outside was within Max’s reach after only moments. She went the only way she thought she might have a chance. She darted into the building.

Shannon scanned the building quickly and noticed that Michael was standing by the front entrance. She started for the side emergency exit but then realized that Kyle was standing at that one. Now in an open panic, Shannon wracked her brain for the next option. Guys! All the guys had come after her. She was pretty sure that Maria was still in the hospital and Isabel was probably just getting home. She took off at her top speed and dived into the ladies’ restroom, not noticing that her best friend was standing just outside of it.

Isabel moved into the restroom behind Shannon and the three guys quickly followed, careful that they weren’t noticed going into the wrong bathroom. Shannon hadn’t heard the door reopen and close behind her in her search for a way out. There was a small window at the top left corner of the far wall, but it was too small and too high.

“Shannon?” Isabel said softly. Michael made sure the door was locked using his powers.

Shannon whipped around to face her friends, people that she was now terrified of. She held up her hand and her eyes were filled with her internal terror. “Don’t come any closer, Isabel, any of you! I really like all of you a lot, but please don’t make me go to any drastic measures to get out of here.”

Michael raised his hand and said, “Listen, Shannon, you really don’t know who you’re threatening. We like you too, but we’ll do what we have to do to protect ourselves and our friends. Now what did you do to Maria?” he asked, although he already knew the answer.

“I just interrupted that guy before he could kill her. When you came out of the Crashdown, I didn’t recognize you, and I thought you might have been that guy that had come back to finish the job. I panicked and ran. Is she ok?” Shannon spouted out.

“Maria said that you healed her. She said she would have died if you hadn’t helped her,” Max told her quietly.

“You wanna tell us who you really are?” Michael asked gently. “I think you’ll find we’re on the same side.”

Fear was temporarily pushed aside for confusion on Shannon’s face. “What do you mean?” she asked.

“What my friends are trying to say is that they are like you, Shannon. They are also not of this earth,” Kyle told her dryly.

Shannon’s eyes flew open wide as realization hit her. “Oh my god! Why didn’t I see this before? You are the ones I’ve been looking for!” She looked at Michael. “Rath! You are my Rath! I can’t believe it. I knew I felt more than just friendship for you but not anything romantic. I thought you just reminded me of him!” She then looked to Isabel. “Vilandra, my best friend.” Finally she turned to Max, and her eyes filled with tears. “Zan? My Zan, is it you?” she whispered, looking into his eyes.

“We know who we are. Who are you?” Michael asked. This girl knew too much about them; he should be worried, but instead he wanted to protect this girl from whatever pain was causing her to cry.

Shannon looked him straight in the eyes and answered, “My name was Shauna. I’m your sister, Rath.”

As the declaration sank into Michael’s brain, Max spoke up. “I think we all have a lot of talking to do. This shouldn’t be done here. I suggest we all go to the apartment or, since Jesse is still out of town, we should go back to Isabel’s place. That way we can all lay our cards out on the table. Shannon, will you come with us and let us talk all this mess out?”

Looking at the floor, Shannon answered quietly. “I found my family. I’ll follow all of you wherever you go. I don’t want to be alone anymore.”

Isabel went over to her friend and put her arm around Shannon’s shoulders. “If we have anything to say about it, you won’t have to be.” Michael and Kyle nodded their agreement.
posted on 14-Nov-2002 6:48:55 PM
Shama, you have been a loyal reader and have left feedback all the time. Thank you! As for your question, you know how us writers think; we can't let the characters have too much peace. Shannon has some explaining to do. Who is she? How does she relate to Max and Isabel? We already heard her say that she's Michael's sister. Anyways, I'll try not to let so much time go by without posting another part again. Thanks again to all of you.

Beth *big*
posted on 18-Nov-2002 8:18:40 AM
Well, it seems that everyone is enjoying this fic. I know I am. You guys don't worry about Liz. She'll be just fine and will be returning from boarding school soon. First, though, we have to find out exactly who she is and why in the world she's here! *tongue*

Anyway, thanks to Shama for her constant reading and feedback as well as to roswellluver for always leaving feedback on all of my fics. And a very big welcome and thank you to rar1942! So glad to see I have fans of all ages. I myself am 23 and I love to write. Please know that I'm very easily bribed for the next part! (J/K) All you have to do is leave me feedback as often as possible or a bump every now and then. To everyone else, please don't forget to let me know if you're liking the story or even some suggestions on how to make it better. I consider all possibilities and suggestions very carefully. Y'all take care now and keep a look out for a new part to this story soon!

Beth (Southern girl to the end!)
posted on 19-Nov-2002 8:31:53 AM
Welcome aboard, AlienDreamer101! Don't worry your pretty head about Liz and Max, they'll work some stuff out. You'll get your dreamer moments but I can't promise they'll last. Thanks for reading though and for leaving feedback!

Same to you Candy*4eva, thanks for the feedback and I'm so glad that you are enjoying the story! I'm so happy that this is getting such a good response.

As for you Shama, patience is a virtue. I'm currently working on my other two fics at the same time so that I can get the next part to this one out faster. Do ya know how confusing it is to work on three different stories with all the same characters all at the same time. I thought about starting another fic but I'd never keep them all straight. I've already accidently called my character Leslie from Against My Programming Shannon by mistake! (Ha, ha!) *big* So just to let you know I'm working as fast as my schedule and my brain and fingers will allow! Thanks for bumping!

Beth
posted on 19-Nov-2002 12:53:45 PM
Oh my goodness! What have I done? Have I stirred up some conflicts? Good! That's what a writer should do! Welcome aboard, Kast, and thanks for leaving feedback. To address the dreamer moments, no it will be longer than 3 sentences, in fact probably longer than one part! Without giving too much away, I promise that everyone will end up happy! Even when I break up Jesse and Isabel. OOOPS! Did I just put that on paper? *big* (I'm such a tease!)

I don't want people to hate Shannon, she is Michael's sister, a part of a family that we learned nothing about on the show. Love is a complicated thing in fiction (Ok, in real life too but...) and people get hurt. You'll find out why I say that in a few minutes. Let me just point out that Shannon has done nothing to encourage Max in any way! Yes, she's attracted to him but she keeps pushing him away and will do it again and again in the future. (OOPS I did it again! Darn me! *wink*)

Bottom line: Shama, Kast, and everybody else, just keep reading and try to follow where I'm trying to take you. And for pitty's sake please keep the feedback coming! *bounce*

Beth
posted on 22-Nov-2002 1:58:51 PM
(Author pokes head out around corner to see if anyone is ready with rotten vegetables) Ok, everybody, I know I've promised to get a new part out soon and it will be soon but it won't be as soon as I had hoped. (Ducks as those rotten vegetables are hurled her way.) Please, please, I know that you guys have been patient but please know that I've just been so busy. RL has been a real pain and I have demands from people reading my other fics. I promise to have the new part out at the latest by next Friday but I'll work really hard to get it out by Tues. No promises, I'm sorry! Please don't give up on me! If my plans for Sunday don't work out, I'll get the next part out then. (Ducks back into her little hole in the universe.)

Beth *happy*
posted on 26-Nov-2002 7:43:46 AM
You guys are going to be so proud of me! I have almost finished the next part to this story and it is coming out very long. Maybe I'll make it into two or three and space them out over a couple of days. Anyways, I just wanted to let you know that I'll have something out either today or tomorrow guaranteed! Aren't you excited? *bounce* *big*

Beth
posted on 27-Nov-2002 2:42:48 PM
Ok, I'm so sorry for keeping you guys waiting but I hope it will be worth the wait. Here is the next part.

Part 11a

Max, Shannon, Michael, Kyle, and Isabel headed for Max and Michael’s apartment. Isabel and Kyle rode in Kyle’s car in silence. Max rode in his convertible alone and tried to pay attention to the road instead of the thousands of thoughts and questions running through his head.

Shannon had begged to ride with Michael on his motorcycle. She was scared of being in a car with Isabel or Max for that far, scared of what she wasn’t sure. With Michael, she enjoyed being able to know her brother was alive. The early morning air in her hair and face helped to soothe her nerves.

With the physical contact of Shannon’s arms around his waist, Michael was trying to search his brain for anything that would confirm or deny what she had told him. He found his answer there but even more strongly in his heart. He had no doubts whatsoever that she was in fact his sister. But why hadn’t he remembered her before now? Why hadn’t she shown up before now? What kind of person was she really? As if hearing his thoughts, she squeezed her arms around him gently in reassurance.

As they all arrived at the apartment and filed inside, the sun was just coming up over the horizon. Michael passed out Snapples to everyone and then passed around the Tabasco sauce. Kyle passed on it, but the others added it to their drinks. They sipped in silence for a few minutes, trying to figure out where to start.

Finally, Michael spoke up. “So you are my sister?” When she nodded a thought occurred to him. “So did you get flashes when I kissed you or was that just me?” he asked. Before she could answer, he realized what he had said. “Oh my god! I kissed my sister!”

Shannon just laughed. “I can just hear Maria now saying how that ought to teach you not to go around kissing anyone but her! Yes, Michael, I was…er, am your sister. My name was Shauna. I don’t know what flashes you saw, but I saw some of my favorite memories of us when we were younger.”

“Why didn’t you say anything about them?” he asked her.

“Because you didn’t say anything so I didn’t think you had seen them. I just thought that I got them because you reminded me of my brother, Rath,” she answered.

“Ok, so why are you here? Why…why…I don’t even know what questions to ask you,” Max said frustrated. He ran his hands over his face.

Sighing, Shannon looked up at the ceiling in thought. “Well, let me ask you guys this: what do you remember about your lives on Antar and Plutark?”

That caught everyone’s attention, and they looked at her in surprise and confusion. Kyle voiced the question that everyone had. “What’s a Plutark?”

It was Shannon’s turn to register surprise. “You mean you don’t…? Oh, boy, I guess we really do need to start at the beginning. Ok, the kingdom of Antar is made up of 5 planets. Each planet has a ruling family, but the ruling family of the planet Antar rules the whole kingdom. Are you with me so far?”

“So there are 5 planets that make up the kingdom of Anter and the main one also has the name Antar?” Max asked to be sure he had it correct.

Shannon nodded. “Yes, over centuries, Antar acquired jurisdiction over the other 4 planets by one way or another…” she tried to continue.

“Wait, wait, wait! Back it up a minute. What are the names of the other planets, and how did they come to be under Antar’s jurisdiction?” Isabel asked.

“The 5 planets, in no particular order, are Antar, Plutark, Winsel, Rodshar, and Cruslan. At first, Antar, Plutark, and Winsel were the only planets that were inhabited. Then Antar became overpopulated and colonized Rodshar, but they became too many for that Antarian ruling family to rule alone, so they asked a family that they were close to from Antar to rule over Rodshar. Then the people of Plutark started experiencing health problems. A plague killed off one-fourth of the population within two years. Antar gave them a cure and formed an alliance with them.

“A planet on the other side of our galaxy was dying years later, and Antarians and the people of Winsel helped to get most of them to the planet that became known as Cruslan and formed alliances with those people. Then through marriage alliances and treaties and elections, Antar became the lead planet or the ruling planet. Xan and Vilandra’s, or Max and Isabel rather, family were the rulers of Antar and therefore the whole kingdom. Rath and my family were the rulers of Plutark. Kivar’s family had at one time been the rulers of Winsel but they were overthrown by the people for their cruelty and insatiable appetite for power,” Shannon explained. The others listened carefully to their history lesson, which awakened vague memories of their past.

“So you and Michael are royalty too?” Kyle asked. When Shannon nodded, he looked at Michael and then asked, “So that makes Michael a king?”

“No, last I knew, our parents were still alive. Even if they weren’t, Michael isn’t the heir,” Shannon answered.

“You mean I have a brother too?” Michael asked incredulously.

Shannon rolled her eyes in exasperation. “No! I’m the heir or heiress rather. I’m the older of the two of us; therefore, I inherit the throne. Max is actually older than Isabel, not the other way around, so he is the king. Unlike Earth, the inheritance doesn’t go automatically to the firstborn son but rather simply the first-born.”

“Ok, so that would make you the queen when your father dies?” Isabel asked.

“Actually, the line is through my mother’s side. For some reason, the past 3 generations of our family had women born first,” Shannon said, winking at her.

“So tell us about ourselves and you and our relationships to each other,” Max demanded. For some reason, that seemed to be the most important part of the discussion.

(Be right back with part b)
posted on 27-Nov-2002 2:44:17 PM
Part 11b

She took a deep breath and then began anew. “Xan was the oldest of all of us. He was born and then me and then Rath and then Vilandra. Our families had always been close so they took it as a good sign that each couple had had one child of each sex. It further thrilled our parents when we became close friends, the four of us. Rath and I had always been close, and then Vilandra and I became best friends, as did Rath and Xan. The four of us were always playing together whenever possible. It didn’t seem to matter how much time lapsed between each time we saw each other, we never were awkward around each other. That is, until the year of my 21st birthday.

“Our families had decided to get together so our family came to Antar for an extended visit. We all four spent a lot of time together but for some reason, being around Xan was unnerving to me then. When he asked me to go for a walk in the gardens to talk, he revealed that something inside of him had become stronger and he realized that he loved me,” Shannon went on, now seemingly explaining from somewhere far away. “It was then that we declared our love for each other. I had always felt it but now it had a name, love. Xan said that he would do whatever it took to make me his wife. When we went to our parents with the announcement of our feelings, however, they told us that we were already betrothed. We ranted and raved and Xan threatened to abdicate which startled his father. With that threat, however, they couldn’t keep it to themselves that we were betrothed to each other.

“I’ve never been more happy in my life than I was at that time. Xan loved me and I loved him and we were to be married. Vilandra and Rath weren’t nearly as excited to find out that they were betrothed, but they accepted it, as they didn’t have anyone else in their lives. When the announcement was made to the entire Antarian kingdom, everyone was happy about it. I can’t tell you how many people told us how perfect a match it was. Two sets of best friends, two sets of siblings, all marrying each other,” she said. Then she stopped and closed her eyes, reliving the memories.

“Wait a minute. I thought that Tess was betrothed to Max,” Kyle stated. The others were just as confused as Kyle was.

Shannon looked at them questioningly. “Tess? I thought Liz was Ava. Is that not true?” she asked.

Max shook his head. “No, Tess was Ava. Liz is human,” he explained. Before Shannon could ask anything else about that, he told her, “We’ll explain everything when you’re finished.”

She nodded. “Well, months went by and our wedding was being planned. It was to be a really big affair with everyone on all 5 planets celebrating with us. Through communication devices, everyone had the opportunity to watch us. Rath and I had moved to Antar until the wedding could take place. Then it happened. I was so happy, and Vilandra and Rath were happy for us, and the King of Antar had to go visit the planet of Cruslan for some matters of state. He took Xan with him as a part of his training. I’ll never forget the day they returned. I was getting another fitting for my wedding dress when Vilandra came running in and gasped out that her father and brother had returned. I quickly changed out of the wedding dress and into my other clothes and ran to see them. I had missed Xan so much.

“I was told they were in the king’s study so I headed there, and after a brief knock, I opened the door and walked in. I found the king glaring out a far window with his arms folded and Xan was watching him with a strange expression on his face. They both turned to me as I entered, and Xan wouldn’t meet my eyes. I ran to him and hugged him but he stood stiff. I didn’t understand, but before I could ask anything, Rath walked in and welcomed them both back. That’s when Xan said we needed to talk. The king looked at me sympathetically, and for the first time in my life, I didn’t want to talk to Xan. I swallowed and nodded, and we went out to the garden,” Shannon’s voice caught in her throat and there were tears in her eyes. “He told me that he cared about me, but he had met someone on Cruslan. He said that he wanted to marry her, and he wanted me to let him go and to understand so that he didn’t have to ruin our friendship too. I searched his eyes and saw that the love for me was no longer there, and then I finally resigned myself to what he had told me. I didn’t meet his eyes as I told him to go and marry her with my blessing.”

“So let me get this straight, Max dumped you for Tess, then he dumped her for Liz, then he dumped Liz for Tess again, then he again dumped Tess for Liz?” Michael asked confused and angry.

Shannon continued her tale, however, as if she hadn’t heard him. “He kissed my forehead and said he hoped we could be friends. Then he was gone, gone to find her and make her his queen. I stayed out in the garden for a long time and hid from Vilandra when she came out to find me, but when Rath came out to find me, I couldn’t hide. He knew where I was and pulled me out of the bushes I was hiding in. I’d never seen him so angry. He threatened to beat Xan until he came to his senses and married me like he was supposed to. That’s when I couldn’t hold myself together anymore and I collapsed against him in tears. I cried for what seemed like an eternity and told him that I had to let Xan go. I loved him too much to force him into a marriage he didn’t want. Rath held me and tried to comfort me. Anyways, to make a long story a little shorter, I stood beside Xan and Ava as they married. Everyone was angry with Xan for breaking off with me to marry a commoner and an unknown one at that.”

“Ava was a commoner? By the way Tess used to talk, you would have thought that she was born to be queen!” Isabel snorted.

Michael had grown more and more upset during the rest of the story. “I don’t believe this! Maxwell, how could you do that to my sister?” he shouted.

Shannon jumped up and moved between them. “No, Michael, what I told you happened years ago. We are not the same people we once were. Max is not Xan, so don’t blame him for what happened on Antar. I can’t blame Xan for falling in love with someone can I? I fell in love with him and for a short period of time, I had his love in return. I treasure those memories.”

Max had felt bad for the girl in the story that he had just heard. His memories were fighting to come out but he only got brief flashes of that time in his past life. He couldn’t blame Michael for being upset, for he would feel the same way for Isabel had the tables been reversed. “Thank you, Shannon, for sticking up for me but I understand why Michael is angry.”

Kyle yawned. “Well, I for one am exhausted. I’ve gotten a total of 6 hours of sleep in the last 48, so can we call it a night and continue this discussion later?” he asked.

Isabel nodded in agreement. “I think we’ve heard enough for our tired minds to handle right now. We need some time to let it all sink in, and then we can continue this later today.”

“Why doesn’t everyone just camp out here? Isabel, you and Shannon can take my bed. Max and Kyle can share Max’s if they want and I can take the couch or one of you can take the floor,” Michael stated, calming down a little.

Isabel borrowed one of Max’s shirts and a pair of boxer shorts to sleep in. Shannon borrowed the same from Michael. Kyle declared he would sleep in his clothes. Before Shannon headed into the room to follow Isabel, Michael pulled her aside. “Listen, is there any way that just you and I could spend some time together in the next week or so? I would like to talk to you about our family, if that’s ok with you.”

She smiled at him. “I’d like that, Ra… I mean Michael. Forgive me if I slip from time to time and call you that. Shauna and her brother Rath were so close and I’d like for us to be that way again.” With that, they all went to sleep.
posted on 29-Nov-2002 10:17:19 AM
Moonbeam, I'm sorry that I have made you feel that way. I will explain Max's seemingly inability to make up his mind where the three girls are concerned. When I started writing this story, there was only one board, not four but the moderators or whoever decided to move it to the Conventional Couple board. I don't know how to move it. As I've already stated, Liz will be happy, Max will be happy, Michael and Maria will be happy, Shannon will be happy. Shannon is one of the good guys as you will see. I've even tried to redeem Tess a little in the future. However, I will openly admit that this is NOT a dreamer fic! There will be some darn good dreamer moments but a dreamer fic it is not. Shannon is nothing like Tess because she only wants Max/Xan to be happy. She let him go and pushes him away because she doesn't want him to be with her because he feels he should.

As for Maria, she has no idea that Max has some kind of thing for her too. She only knows that Shannon kind of likes him. How much and why, she has no idea. She also didn't get to say much about it because the subject got changed when she brought it up. If you look back to the part where Maria is debating her feelings about Shannon, you'll see that Shannon has done nothing to encourage Max's feelings in the slightest and Maria knows that she hasn't crossed any lines. As far as Maria knows, it's just a small infactuation a crush that everyone gets sometimes but since Shannon hasn't acted on it, why get upset?

Shama, thanks for sticking up for the story. I'm trying to explain everyone's feelings but it is hard to do with so many characters and due to length of parts. How am I doing so far? I'll try to explain deeper and better in the future but just for everyone to know Shannon will be leaving the podsters for a while. We will find out the truth about what happened to Vilandra and Kivar and Ava on Antar all those years ago.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 29-Nov-2002 10:18:32 AM ]
posted on 2-Dec-2002 8:11:22 AM
Hey, guys, just to let you know, I've already started the new part to this but it may be a little while before I'm finished with it. Meanwhile, hope you liked this part!

Beth
posted on 4-Dec-2002 11:12:50 AM
Ok, although I have started the next part to this fic, I have no idea when I'll be done with it. I've been doing some catch up/final work for school and it's due today so that leaves me free on Monday and Wednesday nights for a little bit. I'll try to get the next part out by this weekend but no promises.
posted on 9-Dec-2002 3:46:26 PM
It seems that I've lost some readers or maybe they are just waiting for another part. I need to know how much you care, people! *wink* Anyway, I started a new fic, since I'm kinda stuck on this one and my other ones. I just posted a new part to Against My Programming if anyone is interested. That is an Alex fic. I've also started a M/L fic called The League of Little Green Men Under the Scarlet Pimpernel. I'll be posting the prologue and part one either today or tomorrow on the dreamer board. (Aren't I terrible when it comes to plugs? *big*) Anyway, I am still working on this fic so don't give up on me.

Thanks,
BETH
posted on 17-Dec-2002 10:11:39 AM
I know, I know, some of you (Shama) are ready to kill me for keeping you waiting but I've been unbelievably busy. However, I promise not to let so much time go by without updating again. Thanks for your patience, your reading, and your feedback. (hint, hint *big*)

Beth

Part 12a

Shannon awoke around one o’clock in the afternoon. She looked around, disoriented, and found the source of the noise that had awakened her. Isabel was sawing logs like a lumberjack, and Shannon couldn’t help but grin at her friend. How did Jesse sleep with that racket in his ears all night? Then her stomach rumbled and she suddenly realized she was starving. She carefully crawled off the bed, so as not to awaken Isabel, and quietly snuck out of Michael’s room, pulling on a robe as she did so.

She padded in her socks to the kitchen, pulling her long auburn hair into a ponytail and yawned. She eyed the metal box that was supposed to be a toaster warily but decided that toast might be safer made with a little help from her extraterrestrial side. She pulled the bread out of one of the cabinets and immediately through it away, as it was several lovely shades of black and green. She threw a glare at Michael, who was sleeping soundly on the couch. She then proceeded to do an inventory of the kitchen, throwing out anything that had expired more than a year ago, smelled like a sewage plant, or had growths on it, which was quite a lot. When she was done, the only things left in the kitchen were the refrigerator, the eating utensils, the plates, the garbage can, the cabinets, a jar of peanut butter, two large bottles of Tabasco sauce, and several cases of Snapple. Even the questionable toaster was thrown away.

Sighing, she decided to go grocery shopping before everyone woke up and complained about having no food in the house. She went into the bathroom, refreshed her clothes with a little alien juice, took a shower and brushed her teeth, using an unopened toothbrush she found shoved in a drawer beside the sink. Shannon then grabbed the keys to Michael’s bike and quietly left the apartment.

When she got back, all hell had broken loose, and as she opened the door, she was immediately converged upon by everyone she had left sleeping and Maria as well. She almost dropped the bags she was carrying, but caught herself just before the carton of eggs hit the floor.

“Where have you been?” Max demanded.

“We’ve been worried sick!” Isabel added.

“And why did you take my bike?!” Michael yelled.

“Guys, if you’d stop yelling long enough to look at her, you would see that the poor girl just went to the store!” Kyle yelled over the shouting.

Maria had been strangely quiet and calm, which was not like her at all, but no one had noticed. Shannon walked calmly into the kitchen and put the bags down on the counter. That’s when Michael noticed that she had carried them from the store on his bike. Usually, he and Max went shopping together or Max went by himself because trying to deal with groceries on a motorcycle was just too awkward.

“How did you get those groceries here on my bike?” he asked.

“Simple, I bought a basket and attached it to the back to carry groceries in so you don’t have to borrow someone’s car or have someone else go to the store with you,” Shannon answered with a shrug and a smile. “Maria, I’m glad to see you’re feeling better. I can’t believe you allowed Michael to live like what I saw in this kitchen.” She pulled out a new toaster and placed it on the counter where the old one used to be.

“What’s that for? What was wrong with the old toaster?” Michael grumbled.

Shannon rolled her eyes at him and said in a voice very much like Isabel, “It’s for toast, Michael; I thought that would have been obvious. As for the old one, it was a fire hazard.”

“Why buy a new one? I don’t use it anyway,” he whined.

As if to conspire against him with his sister, Isabel reached into a bag and pulled out a plastic bag of bagels. She opened it and, after splitting one in half, dropped it into the new toaster. Michael just rolled his eyes and headed for the bathroom. Isabel and Shannon giggled to each other.

“Please tell me you got something better than bagels!” Kyle said, pulling the bags toward him. He reached in and pulled out a box of Krispy-Kremes and a package of bacon. “Yes! Real food!” he declared.

While everyone was busy fixing breakfast and chatting, Maria was standing quietly on the sidelines, watching the goings-on with growing anger and other mixed feelings. Finally, she couldn’t stop from shouting above all the proceedings in the kitchen. “Shannon, could I talk to you for a minute, please?” she yelled sternly.

Startled, it took Shannon a minute to realize what Maria had said. “Uh, sure. You wanna go into the bedroom?” she asked hesitantly.

They both headed for Michael’s room, Shannon giving Isabel a questioning look on her way. Isabel just shrugged and smiled. Maria entered the room and stood by the door as Shannon came in behind her and then firmly closed the door and locked it. Why she locked it, no one knew, but somehow it made her feel better.

(Be right back with part b)
posted on 17-Dec-2002 10:13:20 AM
Part 12b

“Ok, I have just heard a story that shocked me out of my socks, and I had thought nothing would ever be able to do that again. I figured you were an alien when you healed me, but another queen-to-be?! How could you not have told us that? How could you…how could you…ok, I admit that I have no idea what I want to ask you, but do you have any idea how angry I am with you right now?” Maria sputtered.

Shannon looked at her sympathetically and then gave her a small smile. “Yes, Maria, I believe I see just how angry you are with me, and I think I understand why,” she said softly.

“Then could you please explain it to me because I don’t have a clue!” Maria yelled, throwing her hands in the air.

“You’re upset because, one, you had thought that my relationship with Michael was a threat to you and now that you know I’m his sister, you know I’m not a threat to you. Two, you are worried that I’m going to start trying to steal your best friend’s boyfriend away, which I’m not. Finally, you’re angry because you almost died and you couldn’t stop it, and that makes you feel helpless. Am I getting warm?” Shannon answered.

Maria thought about it for a minute. “Yeah, but you left out something. I hated Tess right from the start. You, however, I was really liking, until I found out about this whole queen business. Understand that I’m not going to stand by and just watch my best friend get her heart trampled upon by another fiancée out of Max’s past,” she told Shannon, looking her right in the eyes.

Shannon nodded and sighed. “Maria, as I told Michael, we aren’t the same people we were on Antar or Plutark. I am not going to chase after Max. As for this Tess person, I want to hear all about her and what’s been going on with you guys. It got too late for me to hear your stories last night. Please don’t hate me, Maria. I really like you, and if you and Michael do end up together, we’ll be sisters-in-law.”

Maria just opened the door and walked out without saying another word. Shannon followed her to join the others. Everyone avoided looking at them except Michael. He immediately went up to both of them and looked at them in turn, asking, “Are you two all right?”

“We’re fine for now,” Maria assured him.

He looked questioningly at Shannon, who nodded. Then he handed both of them plates with bagels and donuts on them and motioned for them to sit down. They did so and Shannon decided to speak up.

“Ok, I told you a lot about me, now I want to know what’s happened with you guys,” she asked.

Isabel had a mouth full of donut so she looked to Michael and Max to start the story. Max’s leadership qualities took over, and he began to tell her everything from when they had come out of the pods to Liz getting shot to Tess showing up to her killing Alex to her leaving, pregnant with Max’s son, to Liz leaving for Vermont and Maria leaving for New York. When he was done, Shannon had several emotions whirling in her head. She was angry, sad, happy, and confused all at the same time.

“You mean to tell me that your parents don’t know about you guys? Mine knew from day one, and I was so glad they did because I needed their support so much. But there are several things that you’ve told me that don’t make any sense. First of all, why didn’t Michael help you heal those children at the hospital?” she asked.

“I can’t heal anything more than minor cuts and bruises. Max is the one with healing abilities, just like Isabel is the dream walker, and I’m Mister Destructive,” Michael explained.

Shannon shook her head. “No, I know that’s not true because I can do all of those things and so can you. Just because those are your strongest powers doesn’t mean you don’t possess the others. Boy, Tess and Nesedo really messed you guys up. They had you fooled into thinking that you were a lot weaker than you are.”

“You mean that we all have the same abilities?” Isabel asked. “We’ve never been able to mind-warp anyone.”

Instead of answering with words, Shannon pointed to a lamp sitting on the table beside the couch. “See that lamp? Watch this.” She then held up her hand and the lamp crumbled into a million pieces. Then just as suddenly, it rebuilt itself. Then Shannon closed her eyes and suddenly the front door opened, and a dozen or so men in army fatigues entered and demanded they all go with them. Just as suddenly as they had appeared, they disappeared again. Everyone turned to stare at Shannon, who smiled. “See, we all have the same abilities. You guys will just have to work on them to get them all to work.”

“Will you help us?” Michael asked instantly.

“Warn me not to be around when Michael starts blowing things up,” Kyle joked.

“One of the other things I’m confused about is Liz’s developing powers. She shouldn’t have them unless Max gave them to her,” Shannon said, looking at Kyle.

“What do you mean? Her hands crackle and light up every time she starts to feel a strong emotion,” Kyle asked.

“I’m saying that humans don’t get powers just because they are healed by one of us. If that were the case, my brother would have developed something because I healed a badly broken arm on him years ago. The only way Liz could have gotten those is if Max gave them to her; it may have been done subconsciously,” Shannon explained.

Max looked thoughtful. “So if I gave them to her, I should be able to take them away. But I tried already and I couldn’t,” he said shaking his head.

“The only way you could take them back is if you realized that they weren’t something that she had to be cured of, but rather something she had to be willing to give back and something you had to be willing to take back,” she said. “If on any level you or she weren’t sure of taking or giving those powers back, they wouldn’t come back to you,” she answered.

“That means I’m not going to start glowing in the dark! This is great!” Kyle yelled jumping out of his seat in joy.

“Me too!” Maria said. She looked at Shannon sheepishly. “That was another thing I was mad about. I didn’t want to change into a…” but before she could finish, she realized with horror what she was about to say.

“A freak,” Michael finished for her softly, hanging his head. Maria still saw him as some sort of monster. He had thought that they had moved past that but evidently not.

“Michael, that’s not what I meant. You know I love you, no matter what you are,” Maria tried to backpedal.

“So you love me even though I’m a freak!” Michael shouted, hurt and angry. “Like some kind of deformed animal, you feel sorry for me and love me because of it. How big of you!”

Maria was surprised at his words and tried to stop him, getting upset at the same time. “Michael Guerrin, that’s not what I said and you know it!”

“But that’s just it, Maria, you didn’t say it in so many words, but I can tell that’s the way you think of me. You’ve said so yourself many times that if it weren’t for us, none of you would be in this ‘alien abyss’, that Alex would still be alive, and that you could make a decision without having to consult a committee,” Michael yelled.

At those words, Maria couldn’t say anything because she had said those things, and worse still, she had meant them. But none of that changed how she felt about Michael; she loved him with every fiber of her being. How could she explain that to him, convince him that she didn’t think he was a freak even though she didn’t want to develop powers?

When Maria didn’t say anything, Michael waited for a minute. At the look on her face, he walked out of the apartment and slammed the door behind him. Maria started to go after him.

“Michael!” she yelled, racing for the door.

“Maria, I’ll go after him. I know what you meant and I’ll explain it to him,” Shannon said, running out the door.
posted on 19-Dec-2002 8:01:15 AM
Wow! Look at all the feedback! I'm so happy that you guys are liking it. Ok, I'm responding to all of your comments/questions/concerns. I just hope I can figure out how the "bold" command works on this site.

Jeremiah- I'm glad that you've decided to give this fic another try but I feel that I must be honest with you up front. If you read some of my previous notes on this fic, you'll see that this is NOT a dreamer fic. It will have long dreamer moments and everyone will end up happy but that's all I promise. So be ye forewarned! *tongue*

Shama- Don't worry, I feel the same way you do about the M/L situation. If someone is free, then they're free. But neither of them were true to themselves and that's wrong. You'll like the story, I promise! Just keep reading and bumping.

Enya- Thanks, and don't worry about M&M. Even after admitting feelings to each other, you know Michael's insecurities are going to surface now and again.

roswellluver- Thanks for reading and leaving feedback!

Thanks to everyone!
Beth

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 19-Dec-2002 8:04:46 AM ]
posted on 19-Dec-2002 2:21:50 PM
Dear jjjane I have consulted with a board moderator. They had put it on this board because of the other couples. I told them that it wasn't really a CC because of M/L but they were afraid to move it due to the fact that they might lose it or at least some parts. That's why I have tried to warn those who are die-hard dreamers that won't even think of giving another couple a shot at least a warning. I hope that it doesn't make people mad. I want people to like my stories. I hope that clears up why it's on this particular board. I'm sorry for any confusion. *happy*

Beth
posted on 20-Dec-2002 7:48:31 AM
AlienDreamer101- Thank you for your honesty and I'm happy to think that you're giving this fic a good shot even if it might make you ill. LOL! *wink* But I do like M/L pairings too. I just wanted to try something different. I have another fic that I wrote called Picking Up the Pieces that's a future fic where Max had gotten killed at the end of the alien war. He left his son in Liz's care and both of them in Michael's care. It ended up that Kyle and Maria ended up together, Michael and Liz ended up together, Sean and Serena ended up together and of all people to hook Isabel up with, I picked Brody. I had a lot of fun and tears writing the story. I'm currently working on the sequel. Therefore, it isn't an insult to dreamers because Liz and Max were together and married and happy but one of them died. Also I started that M/L fic on the dreamer board called The League of Little Green Men Under the Scarlet Pimpernel. I think you'll like that one.

For everyone else that was upset by this not being a dreamer fic, I'm sorry. I hope that my note that I added at the top of part one of the story helps to rectify the situation somewhat.

Thanks for reading and posting your feedback. I respect everyone's right to an opinion and their own tastes. Have a great day! *big*

Beth
posted on 24-Dec-2002 2:05:28 PM
Hey, guys, I'm working on a new part but I've been really busy, like most of you I'm sure. I'll try to have the new part out soon!

Beth*bounce*
posted on 28-Dec-2002 10:04:37 AM
Unfortunately, it may be a while before I get the next part out for this fic. I have been extremely busy with company and other things in RL. Thanks for your patience and please know that next Mon and Tues are my writing days so I hope to have new parts out for all of my fics.

Beth
posted on 1-Jan-2003 12:17:15 PM
A/N: Ok, I sat in front of the computer all yesterday afternoon and got this next part done. Please remember when reading it that I set this after Liz left for boarding school but before Jesse knew about the podsters. Feedback is always appreciated!

Beth

Part 13a

Shannon went down the stairs outside of the apartment and followed the feeling of Michael in the air and found him at the dilapidated playground at the back of the building. He was sitting precariously on a swing that looked like it would hit the ground at any minute and his head was in his hands. Shannon didn’t know whether to approach him noisily so as to alert him to her presence or softly, so as not to startle him. As she stepped on a twig and it snapped, his head snapped up with it and she didn’t have to worry about it.

“Oh, it’s you,” he mumbled, as his head dropped back down. “What do you want?”

“Boy, Maria wasn’t joking when she told me you were a real grouch when you woke up. I might just have to start calling you Oscar,” Shannon teased gently. As Michael stiffened at the mention of Maria, she decided to change tactics. “You know what I find funny?” Michael didn’t respond, but she could feel that he was listening. “How things have kind of switched between the four of us, you, me, Isabel, and Max.”

Michael raised his head slightly. What in the world did that have to do with anything? “What do you mean?” he asked grumpily.

“I mean, Shauna and Rath were so close as brother and sister. We were best friends too. I told Rath everything and visa versa. Vilandra and Xan were not nearly as close as we were. Now Max and Isabel it seems are really close and you and I aren’t. I mean if we were still on Antar or Plutark, you would be telling me just what the hell is bothering you!” Shannon told him, adding a slap upside the back of his head at the last words.

“Really? So our family was close then?” Michael asked, genuinely wanting to know with all his heart. He had a family once, a real family.

His sister noticed how his countenance changed and realized what had caused that change. Her tone softened and she smiled at him. “Oh, yeah. You, me, mom, and dad always were close. We always had time for each other, no matter what else was going on. It’s hard to be that way if you’re ruling 5 planets, I guess. It always seemed that Xan’s father, King Xan the second, never had time for his children. They turned out ok, but you and I always felt that we had it better,” Shannon told him.

He looked down at his hands. “That is funny because I do feel like things are the other way around. I wish I could remember the way things were there,” he added, looking up at the sky.

“You could if you wanted to, Michael. I could help you. For some reason, I think that you guys got cheated out of a lot of stuff, including who you used to be. We can do what’s called a memory sharing. It wouldn’t be the same as having your own memories back, but you would see what memories I have and maybe they would awaken your own,” Shannon suggested.

Michael looked at her in surprise. “You can do that? How?” he asked.

Shannon put her hands up in between them, palms flat and facing Michael. “All you have to do is put your hands against mine, lacing our fingers together, then you just let your mind flow with mine. I would see your memories and you would see mine. It was quite common on Antar, especially between couples who were planning on being joined. It showed trust and openness and gets the marriage off on the right foot. It’s also a really quick way to get to know why someone acts the way they do.”

At her first few instructions, Michael had lifted his hands and almost touched hers, but then she mentioned that she would see his memories also and he dropped his hands heavily. In their story of what had happened over the years, he and Max had purposely left out just how bad it was with Hank. They kind of glossed over that part, as well as any arguments that Michael had constantly started. He didn’t want his sister to know what kind of jerk he had been and a coward. He didn’t meet her eyes now and she noticed. Shannon took it the wrong way and thought that he didn’t want to share his memories with her because he didn’t trust her or care about her.

Sighing, she looked back towards the apartment. “Michael, Maria doesn’t think you are a freak. You know that, and I don’t know why you would say something like that unless that’s the way you feel about yourself. In which case, that would make Max, Isabel, and me all freaks too. In some ways, I guess we are when you look at it from a human perspective. That would also make every other species on this planet that isn’t human a freak too.” Looking back at him, she tried to reach him by almost pleading with him to understand. “Michael, you can’t help what you are any more than a rabbit can help what it is or a skunk or a wolf or anything else. You can’t change the fact that you are an alien. If we were on Antar or Plutark, humans would be the aliens or freaks but we aren’t so we’re the aliens. Accept it, embrace it as a part of you, but don’t forget that we are also part human. You can’t change what makes you who you are, but you can help to shape who you will become. Use your powers for good, not evil, Clark Kent, and you’ll like yourself just fine,” she finished. Then she grinned at him. “Now did that sound like something right off of an inspirational calendar or what?” she asked, laughing.

Michael rolled his eyes at her and grinned back. “Yeah, a little too much. But I get what you’re saying, and I know that I shouldn’t have said all that stuff to Maria. Now she’ll just be pissed off at me for the next 24 hours,” he joked. Then he sobered. “Listen, Shannon, I could feel that you were hurt when I pulled away from the memory sharing. I don’t know how I felt it but I did, and I want you to know that it’s not because of you. I have some things in my past that I don’t let a lot of people see, and some of it only one person has seen it other than me and that’s Maria. It’s just that you are my sister, I know that in my heart, and I have this weird instinct to keep things from you that would hurt you, and believe me when I say that some of the stuff in my memory bank would hurt you and scare you. Maybe we can do that memory thing later.”

Shannon placed a hand over Michael’s. “Michael, you are my brother and I love you. Your pain is already my pain just by default. The past is the past, and I don’t have a problem dealing with it or helping you to. Remember that you’re talking to somebody who lost two families, two boyfriends, a job, and several homes. I’m tougher than I look. I think we’ve both been through enough alone; maybe we should start leaning on each other, and just maybe we’ll discover just how strong we really are together.”

“Ok, we can try that,” he answered with a grin. Then he stood up and held his hand out to her. “Shall we go back inside and join the others?” he asked.

She placed her hand in his and stood too, smiling. “Let’s,” she said and they walked to the apartment, hand in hand.

The moment they both walked in, Maria jumped into Michael’s arms. “Michael, I am so sorry! I really didn’t mean that you were a freak. I love you just the way you are because that’s what makes you my Michael! I don’t…” she was stopped by Michael’s lips crashing down over hers. He kissed her until she was breathless.

“Now that I’ve gotten you to shut up for a minute, let me just say that I’m sorry. I know that you didn’t mean that. See I’m the one who thinks I’m a freak but my sister got it through my hard head that if that was the case, then Max, Isabel, and Shannon would be freaks too, and I don’t see them that way. I’m sorry, Maria. Will you forgive me?” Michael asked, after releasing her.

Maria pretended to debate about it. “Well…” she whined. Then he leaned down and whispered something in her ear. She blushed and swatted him. “Caveman!” she scolded, but she was grinning from ear to ear.

(Be right back with part b)
posted on 1-Jan-2003 12:19:11 PM
Part 13b

“Shannon, I think you and I should take your things back to my house and then have a nice long chat. Kyle, you are welcome to join us if you’d like. You too, Max; Jesse won’t be back for another day or so. We should leave Michael and Maria so they can make up. We can all meet up again later if you want,” Isabel suggested.

“That’s a good idea. I’d like to start working on our other powers as soon as possible. First, though, I think I’m going to go for a nice long walk. I’ll meet you guys in time for dinner,” Max said. He wanted some time alone to try to digest what Shannon had told them. Something had struck a deep chord within him, but he didn’t really know what it all meant.

“Great! So I get to spend the afternoon with two of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met, alone. I like this plan!” Kyle quipped, draping an arm around Shannon and the other around Isabel.

Michael smirked at Kyle and pulled Maria closer to him. “Yeah, but one of them is married and the other one isn’t interested in you,” he told his friend.

Kyle doubled over, clutching his stomach. “Ouch, that hurt, Guerrin! You didn’t have to point that out.”

Shannon walked over and draped herself all over Kyle. “Maybe I should work on that, Kyle. I mean we’re both single right? Maybe if we try making out a couple of times, I might develop a sudden interest in human high school students.”

“Over my dead body!” Isabel and Max declared at the same time. Then they both looked sheepish as everyone looked surprised, including them. “I mean, no one is going to use Kyle like that. He is a friend, after all,” Isabel backpedaled, not looking at anyone.

“Uh, Isabel, even I knew that Shannon was just flirting and trying to help save my handsome face,” Kyle teased.

They all went their separate ways and Isabel, Kyle, and Shannon went to the Ramirez residence. After putting Shannon’s room back in order, they all went out to the back yard where they had decided to help Isabel work on her powers. Shannon suggested that they start with blowing things up, since that seemed to be the easiest to try to teach. Isabel could do it but it took way too much concentration. They had just started to work out a technique that seemed like it might help out in working on all her powers when Max arrived for dinner, followed shortly by Maria and Michael.

“Oh my goodness! Is it dinner time already? I didn’t realize it had gotten that late already,” Isabel said, rushing inside to see what she had in her kitchen.

“Um, maybe we should help fix dinner. Isabel isn’t exactly the best at that sort of thing,” Shannon said, walking toward the door. The others agreed and followed.

“Well, I found some chicken that I put in the refrigerator to thaw out for yesterday, so it needs to be cooked. I also have some potatoes and some canned green beans in the pantry. How does that sound?” Isabel said from the sink, where she was washing off the pieces of chicken.

“Great! Max, you, Kyle, and Michael, start peeling potatoes. We’ll make barbeque chicken, mashed potatoes and of course, green beans. Is that good for everyone? I’ll even make my special barbeque sauce,” Shannon said.

“As long as I can get mine without Tabasco sauce, that’s fine by me,” Kyle stated. At the look of disappointment on all of his alien friends’ faces, he growled. “Ok, ok, a little Tabasco sauce but not too much. You E.T.’s can add more to your own food.”

“I found the green beans!” Maria called from the pantry, holding up three cans of French style beans.

They all worked together and put together a very decent meal. Isabel even said that she thought she would be able to handle that particular combo on her own. Shannon had a way of making ordinary foods just a little bit different. She attributed it to her Earth mother. She could see that Michael was eating the mashed potatoes slowly and thoughtfully. She grinned and smothered a giggle at the look on his face.

“These mashed potatoes are different. What did you put in them?” he asked a few mouthfuls later.

“Lots of garlic and also a dash of truffle oil,” Shannon answered, pleased that he had asked. “Do you like them?”

“Truffle oil? That’s what that great taste is? I never would have thought of putting that in mashed potatoes,” Michael exclaimed. At everyone else’s snorts and chuckles and looks, he shrugged. “What? So my sister and I share an interest in food. There are a lot of great male chefs in the world.”

“Yeah, but none of them would blow up a casserole that didn’t come out the way he wanted,” Kyle joked.

“Well, I guess they don’t have that luxury,” Michael answered back. Then he took a spoon full of mashed potatoes and flicked it at Kyle. Some of it landed on Isabel who was sitting next to Kyle.

“Michael Guerrin! You just got mashed potatoes in my hair!” she yelled. Then she picked up a piece of chicken and threw it at Michael but he dodged it and it hit Maria, who squealed.

“Food-fight!” Shannon yelled and suddenly everything went crazy. There was chicken, green beans, and mashed potatoes all over everyone and everything.

An hour later, when everyone had collapsed in their seats, gasping for air from laughing and screaming so long, Isabel looked around her kitchen and groaned. “This place is a disaster,” she moaned.

“Yeah, but it won’t take long to clean up with a little alien hoodoo,” Maria panted out, wiggling her fingers and her nose.

“And you have to admit, Isa, that was definitely some much needed fun,” Max said. “I’ll even admit that we needed that.”

“Well, let’s get this place cleaned up before it gets too much later. I’d like to get to bed a little earlier than we did last night, or this morning rather,” Shannon stated, standing up and picking some dishes.

They all loaded the dishwasher and then started to wipe down the counters and table. Then Michael and Max started at one end of the kitchen while Isabel and Shannon started at the other, and they all used their powers to wipe away the evidence of the food fight from the walls and everything else that wasn’t already cleaned. Everyone was so busy cleaning, that they didn’t notice that the front door had opened and Jesse had walked into the home. As the four aliens finished the clean up, all six people stepped back to survey their work.

“This place looks even better than before we had the food fight. You guys do house calls?” Kyle asked.

“Very funny, Valenti. I admit that it does look good. I’m just glad we could get it cleaned up before…” Isabel started but was interrupted by a voice from behind her.

“Before Jesse got home?” Jesse asked. Everyone whipped around and they all looked like deer in headlights.

“Jesse!” Isabel exclaimed nervously, rushing over to him and planting a kiss on his lips. He didn’t return it or move a muscle, except to follow her with his eyes. “How long have you been standing there?” she asked, pretending to tease him.

“Long enough to see that little circus trick you four just performed! What the hell was that and what the hell is everyone doing here?” Jesse roared. He was terrified of what he had just seen, not terrified of the people but terrified of what it might mean.

“Jesse, I think there’s something you need to hear about your wife and her family,” Max said stepping forward. Michael and Shannon stepped right up with him. They were a family and whether Jesse liked it or not, he was now a part of it, aliens, humans, FBI, alien hunters, and all.
posted on 2-Jan-2003 8:06:44 AM
WOW! That part definitely got some feedback! I'm jumping up and down in my seat, I'm so happy!! Ok, I want to take the time to respond to you guys so here goes.

Shama - My goodness girl! Keep your pants on! LOL! *big* Hasn't anyone ever told you that half the fun of going somewhere is the journey itself? Anyway, I'm so glad that I'm still living up to your expectations. Thanks, as always, for the fb and bumps!

AlienDreamer101 - Wow! I'm a first? That's so cool! *bounce* I always say that you should broaden your horizons. Try everything once, with the exception of things that will probably kill you! *tongue* I'm so glad you are liking this fic though! I have several fics where I have mixed up the characters a little. If you like my style on this one, might I suggest another? My fics are Against My Programming (a fic dedicated to Alex), Putting the Pieces Together (it is a sequel but if you think you might want to read it, I posted the link to the original on the opening part. It is a Mi/L fic but nobody is a bad person. I kept dreamers happy a little by having Michael be Liz's second hubby.), and The League of Little Green Men Under the Scarlet Pimpernel (A straight M/L fic.). They are all posted on this board but under the Dreamer fics. (Don't ask, long story!) Thanks again for the feedback!

Roswellluver - Well, let me just put it this way for you. I don't really like Isabel and Jesse. They just didn't seem to mesh well together for me. Anyway, as always, thank you so much for the feedback!

To everyone, let me just say that my schedule is changing again and I don't know how it will work out with the writing but I'll try to keep posting pretty regularly. Thanks for your time and patience.

Beth
posted on 12-Jan-2003 9:04:35 AM
Hey, everyone, I haven't abandoned you. This fic is next in line for a new part so keep an eye out for it sometime in the next few days or so.

Thanks for your patience!

Beth *big*
posted on 16-Jan-2003 2:06:22 PM
Ok, everybody, I've been working all morning to get this out today. I know where I want to go with this story but I'm having a hard time getting there. It's just taking so much longer than I thought. Anyway, I hope this guys will keep you happy for a while. Let me know what you think.

Beth

Part 14a

Jesse sat in his own living room with his wife and “family” completely stunned by the story that had just been told to him. Like with Shannon, the group had only given the outline of their story. There were many details that didn’t seem to be told in the first edition. Hearing the story for the second time, Shannon realized this and was tempted to ask about certain things. For example, why would the podsters leave Earth? What happened with Tess to make them want to go with her? Some things just didn’t add up. She remained quiet, however, because she knew that it was Jesse’s time to let the fact that his wife was “not of this Earth” sink into his very human brain.

“Jesse, please say something,” Isabel pleaded with him. He had been sitting in shock for the past 15 minutes, completely still and quiet.

“Would it help if I demonstrated our powers again?” Michael asked, trying to help her out. He knew that she was worried. They all were worried – worried about what he would say, what he would do, who he would call.

Shannon place a restraining hand on Michael’s shoulder and Max held up his hand to indicate that he wanted to wait. Shannon, Max, and Michael could feel Isabel’s fear of her husband’s reaction coming off of her in waves. They each said a silent prayer that things would work out.

“I don’t know what you want me to say, Isabel,” Jesse answered finally, deadly calm. “I’m kind of waiting for the punch line or the alarm clock to go off and end this nightmare.”

They had all heard the words he used. “Punch line” and “nightmare” were not good signs. Isabel’s shoulders sagged and her eyes filled with tears. Maria and Shannon moved to comfort her. She shook her head at them. She had been the one to bring him into this; she had to take whatever he handed out. “I’m sorry you feel that way, Jesse,” she told him quietly.

“What did you expect, Isabel? Any of you? I get told this outlandish story about royalty, other planets, civil wars, deaths and resurrections, that my wife and her brother and friends are aliens and I’m just supposed to say, ‘Great, Isabel! What’s for dinner?’ I’m sorry but it might take a little longer than twenty minutes to figure out how to react or what to say,” Jesse yelled, pacing the floor now. Then he stopped to look at her. Seeing that her head was hung in her feelings of embarrassment, pain, and shame, he looked at everyone else in the room. “Can we have a few minutes please?” he asked them.

“Um, sure we’ll just be heading home now,” Max told him. Then he looked at his sister and purposely said aloud, “Isabel, if you need anything, let us know.” She didn’t answer but nodded her head.

As everyone started to filter out the door to head for their respective homes, Shannon looked uncomfortable and asked Michael to wait a second. She looked over at Jesse and Isabel, neither of whom had moved. “Um, should I spend the night at Michael’s tonight or Maria’s? I don’t want to be in the way, but you might want someone else in the house to keep you from doing anything stupid too,” she asked gently. She really didn’t want to leave Isabel in the house alone when they didn’t know what Jesse would do, but if Isabel said to go, she would.

Surprisingly, it was Jesse that answered her. “No, Shannon, it’s ok. You can stay here tonight. I know Isabel will want a friend to talk to. I know I do but I don’t have anyone I can go to and talk about it. You can just wait in the other room.”

Shannon nodded and then walked the rest of the gang out the door. She promised them all that she would let them know what happened as soon as she knew. Then she went back inside and through the home to her room. As soon as she closed the door, she put on some music to try to distract her from her friend outside in the living room.

“Isabel, look at me,” Jesse told her. When she finally was able to lift her head to look at him, her eyes were swimming in tears and she was sniffling. “Isabel, first and foremost, you need to know that I married you because I love you,” he told her. “Now, I find out that I don’t know you at all.” He started pacing again. “Well? Do you want to tell me why you waited so long to tell me about all this?”

“Jesse, all I’ve ever wanted to be was normal, human, and I married you hoping that I could be that average all-American housewife. Telling you what I am would only make it that much more real,” Isabel tried to explain. She could never explain the fear that ran through your very core that someone that you cared about so much would betray you simply because of what you were.

“Isabel, that’s ridiculous. You aren't normal, never have been. That’s a weak excuse and you know it. How could you keep from your husband that you’re from another planet?! A good marriage is made up of several essential elements,” he said, the lawyer in him coming to the forefront. “You must have love, trust, communication, and honesty…” he listed off, stopping to look at her again. “A lot of those elements were not there when we got married, Isabel.” He took a deep breath and asked her quietly, “What else have you been keeping from me, Isabel?”

“Nothing, Jesse, I swear! I have no other secrets that aren’t related to what I am,” Isabel told him, pleading in her voice.

“Yeah, but that’s just it, Isabel! That is one big secret that led to a lot of little ones and you’ve been lying to me!” he said. Then he looked down at the floor and hurt filled his next words. “What hurts the most is the fact that you didn’t trust me enough to tell me that secret. What does that say about your true feelings about me?”

Those words made Isabel stop and think for a moment. She had never looked at it from that angle. Was that what it all came down to in reality? Was it not that she was trying to protect him or to make herself normal but that she really didn’t trust him enough to tell him the truth? She didn’t want to think so but it would take some time to get an honest answer to that question.

Her thoughts were broken when he came over and made her look at him. “Isabel, I need you to understand my next words. I can’t stay here right now. I need some time to think all this out and I can’t do it here. I’m supposed to leave with your father to go on an important case in Albuquerque in three days. I’m not sure how long I’ll be gone but when I get back, we’ll talk more about this.”

“Jesse, please don’t go,” she whispered, knowing it would do no good. The tears streamed down her face. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.”

He didn’t answer but went to their bedroom. He emerged a few minutes later with a suitcase in his hands. As he started for the front door, Isabel rushed over to him and collapsed at his feet. “Jesse, please don’t leave me. Stay tonight, make love to me one more time, and you can leave tomorrow. I just know that if you leave now, I won’t be able to take it,” she sobbed.

“Isabel, I can’t stay. Go to your friends and let them hold you together tonight. They’ve had a lot longer to deal with this,” he said. Then he skirted around her and opened the door. Just before he disappeared into the night, Isabel called once more to him.

“I love you, Jesse Ramirez,” she called. Jesse paused but didn’t turn around and he didn’t answer her. He quietly closed the door behind him.

(Be right back with part b)
posted on 16-Jan-2003 2:11:02 PM
Part 14b

Shannon heard a car start up outside and she looked out of her window to see who it was. She looked just in time to see Jesse’s car peal out of the driveway and speed down the street. Moving to the door to her bedroom, she waved her hand at the stereo and it shut off. Opening the door slowly, she heard a crash come from the kitchen. Someone was still home and someone had left; she could only guess which was which.

She debated on leaving Isabel alone, but when she heard a second crash and breaking of whatever had hit the floor, she thought better of it. She quickly pushed the door open the rest of the way and made her way to the kitchen, keeping her shield ready in case Isabel was throwing things. As Shannon reached the kitchen, she saw her friend with a bottle in her left hand, guzzling the contents every couple of seconds, a stack of plates sitting on the counter, and Isabel’s right hand grabbing one of the plates in between swigs of drink and throwing the plate to the floor with a loud crash.

“Isabel?” Shannon asked quietly.

Her friend looked up and smiled; that’s when Shannon saw what was in the bottle, Vodka. “Shannon, why are you shouting at me?” Isabel asked loudly. “And don’t stand there, lurking in the doorway; it’s rude,” she said. Then she laughed hysterically. “I love that line from The Little Mermaid. You know when the sea witch…”

“Yeah, I know the movie, Isabel. Are you ok?” Shannon asked trying to talk softly since Isabel’s senses were enhanced due to the alcohol.

“I’m great! Never better!” Isabel declared, smashing another plate onto the floor. “You know, Vodka’s pretty good. I don’t know why I haven’t drunk any before. Oh, that’s right…I’m not normal."

“How much of that have you had?” Shannon asked, concerned.

“Not nearly as much as I’m going to have,” Isabel answered flatly. Then she giggled again. “You should have seen Michael when he had too much to drink, he started floating, and he was in so much pain. Me? I feel light as a feather and much better, getting better as we speak.”

“Where’s Jesse?” Shannon all but whispered.

Isabel broke another two plates before answering. “He left.”

“Is he coming back?”

She reached for another plate but realized she had broken them all. “Damn, out of plates. Oh well, I’ve got plenty of glasses.” Isabel reached up into the cabinet and pulled out a drinking glass and dashed it to the floor.

“Isabel, is Jesse coming back?” Shannon asked again.

Shattering glass accompanied her answer. “I have no idea. He said he would. I hope he will, but I really don’t have a clue,” she said, smashing three more glasses. Then she gulped down another huge swallow of the Vodka.

Shannon was at a loss. What did you tell your best friend to comfort her after her husband just left because she’s an alien? Maybe Max or Michael would know better than she would. “Isabel, do you want me to call Michael or Max? I’m sure they’ll want to be here for you.”

“No, don’t call them just yet. Michael will just panic and want to go after Jesse. Max will call my drinking childish and say it doesn’t solve anything. He’s right of course but for now, that’s how I’m handling it,” Isabel answered, as if Max had already said the words. Then her eyes filled with fresh tears. “God, Shannon! He left, he really left. Why didn’t I tell him? Why?” she cried.

Shannon braced herself for walking over the broken plates and glasses in her bare feet and went over to her friend, pulling her into a hug. “I don’t know, Isabel. I’m sure you had your reasons, though.”

“Yeah, but were they the right ones? Were the reasons I told myself I wasn’t telling him the truth the real reasons? I love him and I don’t want to lose him,” she hiccupped and then pulled out of Shannon’s arms to drink the rest of the contents of the bottle. “Damn, that was the last of the alcohol in the house.”

“It’s just as well, Isa. You really are going to regret having that much but if that’s what you need, I’m not going to say anything else about it,” Shannon said.

“But Max didn’t get sick when he got drunk. I’m not sure about Michael, he didn’t say. I’m so glad you stayed, Shannon,” Isabel told her.

Shannon pushed the pain in her feet and the smell of the alcohol to the back of her mind and smiled at Isabel. “Me too, Isa.” They both knew that she didn’t mean just that night, but they were talking about staying in Roswell.

“You’re like a sister to me. I always was jealous of Liz and Maria’s relationship because I didn’t have a friend like that I could talk to. Then Tess came along and I thought that she was the answer to my prayers for another girl to talk to. Humph, I found out differently really quick when we found out she was an alien. All she talked about after that was how we were a complete unit and that she was supposed to be with Max and we had to find a way home. She didn’t understand that we were home,” Isabel babbled, slurring her words as the alcohol caught up with her brain. “Then you came along and I was so scared to trust you. You’ve been a better friend to me than anybody I’ve ever known. I really feel like we’re sisters.”

“We almost were, Isabel, in another life. I’m flattered that you feel that way, though. I feel the same way. As your sister, however, I think it’s time that you go to bed now,” Shannon answered with a smile.

“I’m not tired,” Isabel protested, yawning. Her eyelids were already beginning to droop. “Ok, maybe I am but I can just sleep right here.”

“Oh no, you don’t want to do that. Your senses are about to double in intensity and if you hit those pieces of plates and glasses, you’re really gonna be in pain. Now, come on, let’s get you to bed,” Shannon told her. She waved her hand to clear a path in the mess, berating herself for not thinking of that when she walked into the kitchen. She put an arm under Isabel’s and hoisted her higher into the air as she had started to sink to the floor. “Just out of curiosity, how many plates and glasses did you break?” she asked.

Isabel had already started to doze off standing up, but she woke a little to answer the question. “Ten plates, six glasses. Ten plates because ‘eight is too many, twelve too few’.” Isabel giggled, trying to quote another of her favorite movies.

“I think you mean, twelve too many and eight is too few,” Shannon corrected gently. “Sleepless in Seattle is one of my favorites too.”

However, Isabel was already snoring, having fallen asleep walking toward the bedroom. Shannon deposited her friend gently on the bed, ran her hand over the sheets to make them as soft as possible and fresh, and wrapped the covers around Isabel. She gave her sleeping friend a sympathetic look and turned off the light.

Making her way back to the kitchen, she repeated to herself that there had been ten plates and six glasses. She concentrated really hard, trying to remember exactly what the plates looked like. The glasses would be easier because there were still a few in the cabinet. She decided to start with the glasses. Waving her hands over the mess on the floor, she put the glasses back together and they floated to their places on the shelf. As they did so, she looked up at the other shelf and saw the dessert plates that matched the dinner plates Isabel had broken.

Now reminded of the pattern, Shannon waved her hands over the remaining pieces on the floor and the ten plates started to put themselves back together. A couple of the pieces she had to remove from her feet. She loaded the plates into the dishwasher and ran it as it was full. Then she walked over to the bottle that Isabel had dropped and threw it in the trash. Picking up the phone, she dialed Max’s cell phone.

“Isabel?” came Max’s voice, recognizing the number on the caller ID.

“No, it’s Shannon,” she answered. “We’ve got a problem.”

(Well? What do you think? Leave me feedback and let me know)
posted on 17-Jan-2003 10:42:49 AM
Thanks for the feedback y'all! Let me respond to it really quick.

Shama- LOL! Girl, you were the kid in the back seat of the car on road trips asking, "Are we there yet?" I'm gonna tell you the same thing your parents told you, "Not yet! We'll get there when we get there!" However, I like it that you're so excited about getting them together. Keep asking, I'll keep telling ya 'not yet' until we get there. Thanks for the feedback!

roswellluver- Jesse isn't as nice in this fic about this subject as he was in the show. I hope everyone can deal with that ok. I never really liked him much. Thanks for the feedback!

Beth
posted on 25-Jan-2003 7:20:07 PM
Hey, everybody! I just wanted to let you all know that I'm working on the new part for this story now so I hope to have it out soon but I'm not sure how soon because I don't know what my work schedule is going to be this week. I'll try to get it out by Friday but no promises. Thanks for your patience!

Beth
posted on 29-Jan-2003 11:34:23 AM
Thanks, enya, for your feedback and to everyone for your patience and all the bumps. This next part is a little slow but I felt that I had to put in a lot of detail to make it readable and for you all able to picture it. Let me know what you think!

Beth

Part 15a

When Isabel awoke, every part of her body hurt, including parts she didn’t know she had. It was so bright in the room, even with the lights off! As soon as that registered, then she felt her stomach turn over and she tried to get up to rush to the bathroom, every movement hurting like nothing had ever hurt before. She had made it to a crawling position onto the floor and tried to start moving toward the bathroom when her stomach betrayed her. She threw up for the first time in her life on her bedroom floor; it wouldn’t be her last.

As her stomach settled for a moment, she heard the voices coming from outside her door. What struck her was how well she heard them. She heard not only who was talking but she heard every word they said. It seemed that Kyle, Max, and Michael had come back. She wondered when they had and if Shannon had been the one to call them. She heard their conversation and realized that they were talking about what had happened between her and Jesse last night. Their conversation was soon forgotten as her stomach turned yet again. She reached for the trash can that was close by but it was just out of her reach. Isabel tried to use her powers to draw it closer to her, but instead it vaporized into a pile of dust with a loud “pop”.

Horrified, Isabel could do nothing but vomit all over her carpet again. She heard what sounded like a herd of elephants racing down her hallway towards the bedroom. The door was thrown open and she groaned as she vomited yet again. Just as Max and Michael rushed towards her with Kyle right behind them, Shannon grabbed them both by their sleeves. “Remember to whisper, don’t touch her, and whatever you do don’t let her use her powers,” Shannon whispered to them.

“Why are you shouting at them to whisper?” Isabel moaned, holding her stomach with one hand and trying to hold herself up off the floor with the other. Then she realized what color the vomit was. Everything that had come up was green. She groaned again. “Oh my god! What did I eat?” she asked, closing her eyes.

“Isabel, you have one whopper of an alien hangover,” Michael told her as quietly as he could. It seemed to her that he was screaming right in her ears.

“Hon, you’re senses are magnified with that hangover to astronomical proportions,” Shannon tried to explain. “That’s why it seems that we’re yelling when we’re really whispering. What was that pop that we heard?”

“I tried to use my powers to pull it closer but for some reason it blew up instead,” Isabel answered, sitting back on against the bed and holding her head in her hands.

Kyle came over and sat on the floor beside her. “Um, from what I understand from Shannon, it probably isn’t a good idea to use your powers for a while. You had quite a bit to drink last night and alcohol can make your powers a little…unpredictable,” he told her gently, putting his arm around her. He looked over at the pile of the contents of Isabel’s stomach and wrinkled his nose. “Uh, guys, could we do something with the pile on the floor?”

“Yeah,” Max agreed, coming over and waving his hand over the floor and cleaning it with his powers. Just as he finished, Isabel felt another wave of nausea hit her.

“Guys, I appreciate the concern but right now I have one really big one. I need to get to the bathroom and I’d like Shannon to help me. Please don’t say anything else right now; my head is killing me!” Isabel groaned.

Shannon gently pulled Isabel to her feet, knowing that it would seem painful to her friend. She escorted Isabel to the bathroom and closed the door behind them. The three guys heard heaving seconds later. They all quickly exited the room and went outside to discuss the situation.

“I say we go after Jesse and drag him back here on his rear end!” Michael said roughly, pacing.

“Calm down, Michael. We can’t just go grab him up off the streets. He’s out of town on business. He said that he’d be back, and he and Isabel would talk then. We just have to wait until he comes back to figure out what to do,” Max stated in his usual tone.

“Calm down? Wait? Maxwell, there is a man out there that knows what we are and what his wife is and he ran from it! What do you think he’s going to do? At the very least, he might not come back and that would break Isabel’s heart. At worst, he’ll come back with the military. I, for one, don’t want to sit on my butt waiting for the government to come and drag us off to do God knows what to us!” Michael panicked.

“I hate to say it, Max, but I think I’m with Michael on this one. I mean, Jesse’s leaving wasn’t exactly a good sign,” Kyle said, scratching the back of his head.

“He was going on this business trip before he ever found out about us. Jesse just decided to go a little early to think about this. We can’t begrudge him that. I just wish that we had told him earlier than he find out this way,” Max argued.

Shannon came out into the backyard to join them. “Isabel went back to bed for a while. I think that’s the only way to keep her from throwing up again. I made her lay on her side just in case. I heard the tail end of that conversation and I have to agree with Max. We can’t just go snatch Jesse up and make him come back here. Isabel told me in the bathroom that she doesn’t want to make him stay if he doesn’t want to. He still has a choice at this point. He won’t forever, but let’s give him a chance. Jesse is a good guy,” she said.

“Hey, you’re my sister; you’re supposed to back me up,” Michael grumbled, jamming his hands into his pockets.

“I’m your sister so I’m supposed to tell you when you’re wrong,” Shannon countered. “Meanwhile, I think that we should work on your powers. Who wants to go first?”

“I’ll stay here with Isabel; she’ll probably need a friend when she wakes up,” Kyle volunteered.

“Maybe Michael should go first. It will help him take his mind off of Jesse,” Max suggested. “I’ve got to go to work. We’ll all meet back here later. Michael, do you or Maria have to work tonight?”

“I don’t and I don’t think Maria does, but Shannon does,” Michael answered.

“Yeah, I have to be at the Crashdown at 4 and I’m closing. I can work with Michael on his powers until then. We can work on yours later. If Isabel or Michael want to later, they can probably help you too, Max,” Shannon said. Then she turned to her brother who was still pouting. “So do you want to go back to your apartment and work on your powers or do you want to stay here and pout?”

He rolled his eyes at her. “I guess; lead the way, Your Highness,” he drawled with a mocking bow.

(Be right back with part b)
posted on 29-Jan-2003 11:36:57 AM
Part 15b

“Michael, you have blown up every lamp, small appliance, and glass in this apartment and have yet to put any of them back together!” Shannon declared a couple of hours later, completely amazed.

“I told you I’m not good at much other than that!” he snapped at her, thoroughly frustrated.

“Dear brother, it is that attitude that is keeping you from achieving your goal. I can see that the techniques I used with Isabel aren’t going to work for you. She didn’t have all this self doubt to overcome,” Shannon said, not even a little bit phased by his words or their delivery. She thought hard for a minute.

“Well, describe how you use your other powers and I’ll try that,” Michael suggested. He really wasn’t sure that he could do this, but he was willing to give it all he had for her sake.

“I use all my powers the same way, Michael. It just comes naturally; it’s instinct, almost like breathing. You can’t think about it too much or it doesn’t work,” Shannon wracked her brain. “Ok, let’s try this. Maybe we just need to find your go word.”

“My ‘go word’?” Michael questioned. What did that mean?

“Yeah, a special word that allows you to clear your mind instantly. First of all, let’s look at this lamp that you destroyed,” she said, walking back over to the end table. She waved her hand over it and it put itself together. “Look at it really carefully. Remember just what it looks like. Now blast it again and this time, picture it together again after that.”

Michael nodded through her instructions. He held up his hand and sent a wave of power at the lamp, and it collapsed into a neat pile of pieces. Then he pictured the lamp as it was, but other pictures kept popping up in his mind. Isabel was one of those pictures, along with Jesse, Shannon, and others. The lamp remained as it was.

Shannon growled at him in frustration. “Your self-doubt is clouding your mind and making you unable to concentrate. You have to be able to completely clear your mind for those milliseconds that you have to use your powers. Like Max told Liz when he showed her how our connection works, ‘Just let your mind kind of blank out.’”

“But you told me not to concentrate too hard or it wouldn’t work. Would you make up your mind please?” Michael argued.

“Argh! Ok, what comes to your mind when I say ‘white’?” she asked.

“Um, the first thing that comes to my mind?” At her nod, he answered, “Clouds.”

“How about ‘black’?”

“Maria’s lacy bra that she bought the other week,” he answered immediately and then turned red. He had never been embarrassed over something he had said before, but his sister hearing about his girlfriend’s underwear embarrassed him now.

They went through several more words that Shannon hoped would make Michael stumble. However, all of them made him picture something. Finally, she tried, “How about the word ‘blank’? How about that?”

“Uh…um…I don’t picture anything,” he shrugged.

“Finally! That’s gonna be your go word. Now I want you to look at those pieces again. Put your hand up and gather some power together. Picture the lamp all put together. You got it?” she instructed. At his nod, she waited a moment before shouting, “Blank!”

A blast of energy left Michael’s hand and suddenly the lamp put itself together. “I did it! I put it together,” he exclaimed. “How did that happen?”

“That word is one that when you hear it, your mind clears and you think of nothing at all. In that brief moment, your instincts take over and you were able to use your other powers. Your self-doubt wasn’t allowed to rear its ugly head. Let’s keep practicing,” Shannon explained.

“Should we try something else, maybe healing?” he asked, truly impressed with his sister’s persistence and accomplishment in getting him to “work” as it were.

“Not yet. We should keep working on this until you get it down cold. Then we can move on to something else. I still can’t believe that Tess and Ed told you that you were human! They really messed with you guys. Yeah, our DNA was mixed with human DNA but that doesn’t mean that we’re human. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but somewhere in the back of your minds, you guys knew that wasn’t right and that translated into weaknesses for all of you. You had this mentality that you couldn’t do certain things,” Shannon ranted.

“You mean that humans are actually a lot weaker than we are? We’re supposed to be superior or something?” Michael asked. This didn’t sound like the Shannon he was used to.

“No, I’m not saying that. From what was learned from studying humans on Antar, they are a relatively young species. They haven’t reached their full potential yet. No one on any planet was able to discover, so far, just what humans were capable of. Think about all the advancements that the human race has made in the last 100 years, or even in the last 50. They are an amazing species but they still have a long way to go before they’re even using half of their brain capacity,” she told him. “Let’s get back to your practicing.”

They practiced for a couple more hours with Shannon shouting the word “blank” every time for the first little bit, but then, as Michael began to see how that was working, he could put the things he blasted back together again without her even saying “blank”. Finally, she looked at the clock and declared their practice session over. They had had one break for something to eat at around 1 and it was now 3:30.

“But I haven’t tried using any of my other powers yet,” Michael protested.

“Michael, it is 3:30 and I have to get to the Crashdown and change into my uniform. Once you get the hang of using this power, your self-doubt will, hopefully, disappear and you’ll be able to use all of your powers. Besides, we both could use a break. Would you mind giving me a lift to the café?” she asked.

“I can give you a lift,” a voice said from the kitchen doorway.

“Jeez, Maxwell, give us a heart attack why don’t you?” Michael scolded.

“Sorry, I didn’t want to interrupt. You’re getting really good, Michael,” Max told him.

“Yeah, well I’ve had a great tutor,” Michael said genuinely. He smiled at his sister who smiled back. Then he turned back to Max. “You don’t have to take her over to the Crashdown; I don’t mind doing it.”

“Maria has already left to go over to Isabel’s, and I know you want to see how she’s doing. I really don’t mind,” Max answered.

“Well, somebody take me over there soon, so I can start working and make some money,” Shannon said, heading for the front door.

Max started to follow her but Michael held him back for a minute. “Maxwell, you’re like a brother to me, but if you hurt Shannon…well, let me put it this way: If I were you, I would hide if something happens to her,” he told him. “Her feelings for you run deep, and I don’t want you to hurt her like you did in our previous life.”

“Michael, I’m not Xan. I’m Max and I don’t want anyone to hurt Shannon anymore than you do,” Max answered. At Michael’s nod, he turned and went to take Shannon to work.

posted on 29-Jan-2003 10:05:34 PM
Hello? Where did everyone go? I hope you didn't give up on me! I delivered the new part as promised and even two days early!

Beth
posted on 31-Jan-2003 3:26:59 PM
Thanks, roswellluver, for the feedback. I'm glad you're liking the story.

Beth
posted on 2-Feb-2003 4:10:21 PM
Glad you liked it, Shama! For all of you readers, I just want to remind you that Liz will be showing up soon. I'd say no more than two more parts before she shows up. Hope you aren't to impatient for that to happen! LOL!

Beth
posted on 6-Feb-2003 5:14:38 PM
How about we get Shannon and Max together first and then Liz comes and busts it up? LOL! I hope I didn't just give you a heart attack with that suggestion! Anyway, you'll just have to read to find out how I do it!

Beth *tongue*
posted on 11-Feb-2003 9:23:12 AM
Wow! I didn't realize it had been that long since I had posted a new part to this fic. Fear not, faithful readers and bumpers, I'm working on a new part and hopefully I'll have it out soon! Thanks for your patience!

Beth
posted on 14-Feb-2003 10:05:14 PM
Yes, the next part is finally out. RL has been kicking my butt lately and I'm almost burnt out on everything. However, on the up side, I have the new part ready. Shama, I'm dedicating this part to you for all your patience and bumps. Thanks to everyone for your patience. Now on with the story!

Beth

Part 16a

Max pulled into one of the parking spaces in front of the Crashdown and turned off the motor. Shannon started to climb out of the car, pulling her hair up into a ponytail at the same time. Max watched her movements appreciatively. She was so graceful and genuinely beautiful. Instead of letting her walk away to go work, he leapt from the car and called to her.

“Shannon, wait a minute,” he called. She stopped and turned, looking at him questioningly. He jogged over to her and took her arm, leading her toward the side of the building. Then he looked kind of sheepish.

“What is it, Max?” she asked. She studied his face, her memories of how Zan once loved her unexpectedly rising to the forefront of her mind. Forcing the memories down again, she tried to focus on the moment.

“Look, I just wanted to let you know that Michael told me about the memory sharing thing. I think it might be a good idea. I know that I’d like to know more about our past…my past,” Max said, finding himself drawn to her soul revealing eyes. He looked deeper into them and took her hands, as if he couldn’t help it. “Shannon, can we spend some time together soon? I’d like to hear more about Antar and you and everything. Please?”

Shannon stared back at him for several minutes, on the verge of tears. When would he stop tormenting her? Finally, she looked down at her feet, unable to meet his face anymore. “Um, yeah, I guess. We can talk about Antar and I’ll tell you more about what it’s like there and about your family and everything. How about day after tomorrow?” she said, her voice a little shaky at first.

He smiled at her. “Sounds great,” he said softly. He cupped her chin and pulled her face up to meet his, brushing his lips lightly over hers. It was enough for him to get flashes from her. He saw them both on Antar talking and he felt the love between them. He saw Shauna and she was beautiful, just like Shannon. Then he saw her reaction to his telling her that he didn’t love her anymore, that he wasn’t sure he had ever loved her. Zan had shattered Shauna’s heart.

Max wasn’t the only one to get flashes. Shannon saw the day that Liz got shot. She saw different moments in their relationship, including when Alex died and Liz and Max fought about it. She saw Liz show him her glowing hands and felt both of their fear. Finally, she felt Max’s pain at finding out that Liz had left for boarding school.

As they both pulled away, they each felt different things. Shannon knew that going out with Max, for any reason, was a mistake. He was still unsure of where he stood with Liz and they had been through too much for it to be over that easily. She also knew that she might be setting herself up for heartache all over again.

Max was floored by the overwhelming feelings that the flashes he received had brought up inside him. He didn’t know what it all meant, but he did know that he wanted to explore those feelings more. How to do that was the question. What if it turned out that he really did still love Liz and it broke Shannon’s heart? He would lose her friendship, her trust, and Michael as well.

“Well, I guess I’ll let you get to work,” he said, stepping back.

Shannon couldn’t speak so she only nodded. Then she walked away from him, calling to him over her shoulder. “Let me know if you need any help with either Michael or Isabel later,” she told him.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Brody Davis walked into the Crashdown and looked around. Not seeing Maria, he sat at the counter on a stool and waited, hoping she was just in the back or in the kitchen. He picked up a menu and began scanning it even though he would probably just get the usual.

“Hi, my name is Shannon and I’ll be waiting on you tonight. Can I start you off with something to drink?” she asked, coming over to Brody.

“Actually, I’m looking for Maria. Is she here? She usually waits on me,” Brody said nervously. He knew that Maria had left town but he had heard she was back and he needed to talk to a friend.

“Oh, I’m sorry but Maria is off tonight. She worked the day shift. Can I get you anything or can I give her a message?” Shannon asked him.

Brody’s face fell; he had been hoping to talk to her. “Yeah, can I get a Galaxy Sub with Pepper jack cheese to go please?” he asked quietly.

“Sure,” she told him. After placing the order with Jose, she walked back over to him and studied him carefully. “Are you ok?”

His head snapped up and he gave her a small smile. “Yeah, I’ll survive,” he answered. Then under his breath he added, “I always do.”

Shannon went to wait on a couple that had just walked in, keeping an eye on Brody. He seemed like a nice guy but she hadn’t seen him before. She wondered if he was a friend of Maria’s from New York. Seeing that his order was ready, she went to get it out of the window and brought it over to him.

“Here ya go. One Galaxy Sub with Pepper jack cheese to go. Did you want something to drink with that?” she asked, packing it into a bag with a piece of Men in Blackberry Pie.

Brody shook his head. “No thanks. Can you just give Maria a message for me? Can you tell her that Brody said that it’s happening again and I would really like to talk to her about it? She said that I could talk to her any time about what’s happening to me,” he asked.

“Um, sure. Will she know what you’re talking about?” she asked him. He nodded. “Ok, then, you are good to go, and I threw in a piece of pie on the house.”

He paid for his dinner and left, thanking her for the pie. Shannon watched him walk out, still curious about him. What made him walk like he had only hours to live? Who was he? How did he know Maria? What did he mean this had happened before? Shannon was just about to call over at Michael’s or Isabel’s to try and find Maria, but before she could, they were suddenly swamped with people.

(Be right back with part b)
posted on 14-Feb-2003 10:07:28 PM
Part 16b

Shannon took a deep breath and blew it out. It was 10 o’clock and she was beat. The crowd hadn’t let up until just a few minutes ago when the last two couples had finally left. She was now refilling all the condiment containers and she was the only one left closing with Jeff who was currently cleaning the grill.

“All right, Shannon, I’m finished in the kitchen. Do you need any help up here?” Jeff asked, coming out of the back.

“No, I’m almost done and then I’m headed home. You can go on up to Nancy, Jeff,” Shannon told him with a smile.

Jeff looked around the café. “No one is here to give you a ride home?” he asked surprised. Usually, Shannon got a ride home from Maria, Michael, Max, or Isabel. Even Kyle and Jim had given her rides from time to time.

“Um, actually, I was going to walk home,” she answered. She had forgotten all about calling someone for a ride and she didn’t want to disturb anyone now.

“That’s not a good idea, Shannon. It’s really dark and it’s a long way to where you’re staying,” Jeff said concerned. Shannon had become like a second daughter to him and ever since the shooting behind the café, he worried about his employees. “Let me grab a jacket and I’ll drive you home,” he told her, heading for the back room.

“Oh, Jeff, that’s really not necessary…” Shannon started to protest. But she didn’t get to finish because she was interrupted by a tapping on the front door.

All the shades were pulled down over the glass in the front so Jeff went over to see who was at the door. Opening the door, he ushered the person on the other side of the door inside. Max stepped inside. “Uh, I’m here to pick up Shannon,” he mumbled uncomfortably. He gave her a small smile.

Shannon smiled back at him and then smiled bigger at Jeff. “See, I told you that wouldn’t be necessary. One of them would have remembered to come after me. I would have thought it would be Michael, though. Thanks for coming to get me, Max,” she said.

Jeff studied her for a moment. “You know, you and Michael have gotten awfully close lately. He isn’t fooling around on Maria with you is he?” he asked.

“What?! No, that’s gross!” Shannon said, wrinkling her nose and sticking her tongue out in disgust.

Jeff laughed at her expression. “Good, because as much as I like you, Maria is like a daughter to me. I’d hate to see her hurt. So what exactly is going on between you and Michael?” he asked, curious. Max squirmed like a little kid. If Jeff would be upset at Maria’s heart getting broken, how must he feel about Liz’s heart being broken?

Shannon shrugged and smiled mischievously. “He’s my brother, Jeff,” she answered simply. She grabbed the last two sugar containers and placed them on the tables, leaving a stunned Jeff to head upstairs.

As she started stacking the chairs on the table, Max picked up a chair to help. “What are you doing here, Max?” she sighed.

“I’m here to give you a ride home,” he answered confused. He picked up another chair and placed it on a table.

Shannon snorted softly. “Right, give me a ride home. Ok, I give,” she muttered. Then she took a deep breath and looked at him. “Do you know anyone named Brody Davis?”

Max nodded at her. “Yeah, he bought the UFO center from Milton a little while after Tess arrived. Why?”

“He was in here asking to speak to Maria. He bought a Galaxy Sub with Pepper Jack cheese and gave me a message to give Maria,” Shannon recounted.

Max chuckled at that. “Yeah, he developed a little bit of a crush on Maria. He’s a good guy, if a bit strange. Did we tell you that one of the aliens at the summit meeting in New York used his body?”

Shannon’s head shot over to his direction. “What?!” she asked sharply. When Max repeated his words, she quickly put the last chair up on the table, grabbed her purse and started dragging Max out the door. “We have to go. We have to find Brody!” she insisted.

“Why?” Max asked confused.

They headed for his car and Shannon glared at him. “You are going to tell me everything that has happened since you four hatched and soon. I don’t know if you left out a lot of details for time’s sake, because you didn’t think they were important, or because you didn’t trust me. The bottom line, Max, is that I want to know everything, to protect myself, to protect you, to protect my best friend, to protect my brother, and finally to protect my people,” she ground out between clenched teeth. She jumped into the passenger seat, took off the antennae headband and threw it in the back seat angrily.

Max stood there staring at her in shock. Then he shook his head and jumped into the driver’s seat, starting the car. “What’s wrong? Why are you suddenly so angry with us?” he asked.

“Because you haven’t told me everything and I’ve held nothing back from you so far. I know that I haven’t had time to tell you everything that happened a lifetime ago, but you all had plenty of time to tell me everything that happened in the past few years since you saved Liz’s life. Who is the alien that takes control of Brody? How many times has he done it?” Shannon asked, switching back to the problem at hand.

“Um, Larek…Larek is the alien that uses Brody’s body. As for how many times he’s done it, I couldn’t say for sure. The last time we were trying to establish contact with home and tried to use him to do it, but we didn’t know what we were doing and almost caused his heart to stop,” Max answered. “Shannon, I’m sorry that we left things out in what we told you, but we only told you what we thought were the important things. If we do the memory sharing, you’ll know everything anyway.”

But Shannon hadn’t heard a word past the name Larek. He was alive and well! She closed her eyes against the tears of happiness at the news. She was so afraid that he would do something rash. “Larek is alive,” she said happily and aloud to reassure herself.

At the tone in her voice, Max looked at her sharply. What did Larek mean to her? Why did his chest tighten in fear at the thought that she might care about him? “You know Larek?” he asked.

“You knew him too, once upon a time. I’m glad he’s ok,” she said quietly. “I’m also glad to know that it’s him that is using Brody. He won’t overdo it and we can definitely trust him.”

Max wanted to believe her but this overwhelming sense of jealousy was clouding his judgment. For the first time since he had met Larek, he wondered just where his loyalties lay. Clearing his throat, he decided to change the subject. “Isabel wants to talk to you when you get home,” he told her.

“Is she feeling better?” Shannon asked, concern for her best friend rising to the front of her thoughts.

“Physically, yeah, but Jesse called earlier this evening, and she locked herself in her room for an hour afterwards, saying that she didn’t want to talk about it. Then she came out and refused to discuss it, claiming that she only wanted to talk to her sister. She said you would understand better than Michael or I would, which is probably true,” he told her.

“Well, I hope she won’t mind waiting to talk until after I get a shower to wash off all the food spills and smell,” Shannon said. “I feel disgusting when I get done working.”

Max looked over at her and looked her up and down. “I think you look beautiful,” he told her truthfully.

Shannon turned her neck to crack it a couple of times and then looked into Max’s eyes. He seemed really sincere. Rolling her eyes at him and grinning, she told him, “Then you have some strange tastes, Max Evans.” Before he could say anything else, she added softly and almost pleadingly, “Just take me home, Max.”
posted on 15-Feb-2003 6:29:43 PM
Thanks, roswellluver, for reading. Yeah, Larek is gonna play a bigger role later on as will Brody. Thanks for the feedback!

Beth
posted on 17-Feb-2003 11:40:49 AM
I'm posting this announcement on all of my fics. I don't believe that I will have a new part out to any of my fiction until after the move. You readers may be pleasantly surprised but that's the way it's lookin' right now. Thanks for your patience and I'll see you on the other side!

Beth *big*