Title: The Red
Author: TrustCoFan86/Lola
Category: Large Max/Liz focus, medium focus on Michael/Maria, no real focus on Alex/Isabel, but large focus on Alex. This story is kind of Alternate Universe, kind of not.
Rating: PG-13/R. No NC-17.
Disclaimer: All Roswell characters belong to Jason Katims, Melinda Metz, and 20th Century Fox. “The Red” is a song by Chevelle.

Summary: The red is real.

Prologue

She was cold. She always seemed to be cold now. As she lay mute on her pink comforter, the color seemed to almost too bright and cheerful for her dismal thoughts.

Alex is dead.

Liz is dead.

Max is dead.

And now, Michael is dead.

Only three months ago they were happily enjoying their junior prom. Then Alex died in that car accident, almost instantaneously driving a drift through their whole group. It’s never easy losing a friend, but it seemed as though Alex’s death made everyone think.

Something they hadn’t done a lot of until that point.

Then came Liz and Max, both together. They had went for a drive to talk about Tess – who else? They never came back though. A drunk driver had sideswiped Max’s car killing them both instantly.

Both parents became shells of what they once were. The Evans’ still had Isabel, but the Parkers had lost their prized daughter and only child. For a month they walked around like ghosts before finally selling the Crashdown to the Deluca’s and moving to Florida.

Michael’s death was somewhat like the others. But a truck driver, who apparently didn’t see him, sideswiped him on his motorcycle.

Maria closed her eyes tightly and clutched her bedspread trying to stop the tears that were pleading to escape. One by one each tear won the fight and she couldn’t stop the sobs that came from her throat. She was like that for a while until the tears had stopped and all that was left to give were her dry heaves.

It was almost like there was nothing left of her. She had lost so much weight that her ribs poked terrifyingly through her skin. Under her eyes seemed to be a permanent shadow.

So now there wasn’t much of their friends left, just her, Isabel, Kyle, and Tess.

She wasn’t even sure if she could consider Tess to be a friend of hers. There was just something about her, something about the way her blue eyes twinkled when they visited the graves.

It just wasn’t right.

Maria clutched her head. She was getting another headache. The more she cried, the more headaches she got.

She closed her eyes fleetingly before opening them again and rolling out of bed to walk to her red IMac. She had finished her first song and she wanted to listen to it again. Listening to it gave her a sense of completeness that she feared would never come to her again in the physical world.

She opened the song and breathed in as the chords began playing a haunting melody and her voice came on.

I’m not here anymore/I don’t exist anymore right now/And now I can’t see the light/and it’s to tight for me to breathe/properly

Eyes shut, she hummed to herself as she listened to her desperate voice. Suddenly, a loud sound coming from her computer made her jump. She looked at the screen and saw a new instant message.

86709: Hello Maria.
MDeluca4: Um, Hi…Do I know you?
86709: No…not yet. But if you cooperate, you will.

Maria made a face at her screen, a bad feeling coming over her.

MDeluca4: What the hell is that supposed to mean? Who are you?
86709: Cooperate. Your life, their lives, it all depends on you.
MDeluca4: Stop playing games with me. Who are you? Tell me.
86709: Who am I? I am some one who could be a great alliance or a merciless enemy. You choose your fate Maria.

Maria shook her head, annoyed at this strange person. If this was a joke, she wasn’t laughing.

MDeluca4: I don’t understand. Is this a game?
86709: We will come and we will attack if you do not cooperate. The red, we are real.
MDeluca4: The red? What are you talking about?
86709 has signed off.

Maria started at the screen, moving her desk chair away from it slowly before getting up and climbing on her bed and lying down on her back. It was a joke she tried to convince herself. It was a game.

She stared blankly at the ceiling. “It was a joke.” She whispered.

* * *

So lay down/The threat is real/When his sight/goes red again…