posted on 4-Oct-2001 11:04:23 PM
Title: Breathe
Author: gummibehrs
Rating: PG13/R
Category: Post-Dep; Alternate Ending
Disclaimer: Roswell isn't mine and I don't want it. Thanks to Fisher, amazing songstress and writer, for borrowed lyrics to the unreleased, beautiful song 'Strangers.'
Note: As everyone can probably see, I haven't posted anything since the summer. I haven't written anything since the summer, except for five chapters of this story. I'm having a massive amount of uninspiration and don't feel like writing at all. Because of this, I decided to go ahead and post the prologue and hope that maybe some FB might remind of everything and get me writing again, not only on this but on Love and War, Dorm 285 and about twenty (no exaggeration there) other fics I have in mind. At this point I have no idea whether or not this or anything else will ever be finished.

This might look familiar. I rewrote/revised and am completely morphing another fic I posted before, with about three chapters, under another nickname on the old board.

Special thanks to Kerry and Tay (not to mention the rest of the spoiler buds) for looking these parts over beforehand.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Breathe
Prologue


Inhale.

Exhale.

Breathe.

Inhale.

Exhale.

Breathe.

Inhale.

Exhale.

Breathe.

____________________


I keep having this reoccurring dream where I’m being buried alive.

I’m shut up inside this tiny coffin, enveloped in cold darkness. Eventually I begin to
hear a little thump thump as all these heaps of dirt are tossed on the lid. I
start kicking and screaming, but my legs won’t move and nothing comes out of my
throat because it’s too dark and too cold and it’s becoming harder and harder to
breathe.

In about three minutes I’m going to stop breathing all together, and no one’s going
to realize that they made a mistake, that I really wasn’t dead when they decided to
bury me.

Then I wake up. I never actually finish the dream, so I never know what happens. I
think I probably end up dying. I figure if I was saved, I’d dream it because it would
symbolize something important and also because you never actually die in your
dream. They say that if you do, then you’re dead in reality too.

Like those dreams about falling off a cliff. When you hit the rocky bottom -
bam - you’re dead. Just like that. Splat. Probably had a heart attack or
something.

I’m not always being buried alive, though. Sometimes I’m drowning. Other times
I’m hanging. There might be a pillow smothering my face, or a hand clamped tight
over my nose and mouth. Any way, I’m always suffocating.

Morbid, some might say.

I don’t, not when it’s really happening.

Sometimes I wish I’d end up dying in one of these dreams. Then I wouldn’t have to
wake up, here, with them watching me. Then I wouldn’t have to wake up,
here, and realize what’s happening, what it’s doing to me and how I’m most likely
going to end up dying anyway. If I just got it over with in one of these damned
dreams, then it would all be over.

I’m pretty sure the dream way is going to involve a lot less pain, too.

Maybe all of this is a dream. Maybe all of this is just one big nightmare.

Probably not.

I’ve thought about this more than once, and I never get my hopes too high, but I
can’t help to wonder. Especially since he’s here. He couldn’t be here if it’s real,
because he’s dead.

At least I think he is. I don’t really remember.

I don’t remember much these days. Not that it matters. I’m going to be dead in a
few more. I think.

It would be pretty much a miracle if I wasn’t.

I gave up on miracles a long time ago, though. I gave up on a lot of things. Him, for
one. I don’t think he ever gave up on me, but that’s not the point. The point is that
he completely betrayed me, just like that. Of course, I kind of did the same thing,
but that isn’t the point either. Maybe there isn’t a point.

He’s the one that caused all of this. Everything. This mess, this life, this thing.
This thing that’s growing inside me, this thing that’s keeping me alive day after
day. This thing that I loathe and despise with hate and rancor, with every fiber of
my being. I don’t care that it isn’t responsible. That doesn’t make a difference.

It only matters that it is going to look like him and it’s going to look like her
and I’d rather be dead than to see it. I know that’s one wish that’s going to
come true.

He’s probably looking for me. He probably has this great plan of action and
envisions finding me and bringing me home. Home, to Earth.

Too bad he’s going to be too late.

It’s too late and it’s too bad, but we’re strangers now.

And as hard as he might try, nothing’s going to change that.

Cause I’m remembering a time, where it was all right to smile, when our hearts
were never told to live in constant fear.

Days of innocence are gone, did they tiptoe out the door?

Only thing I know is I don’t talk to strangers anymore.


Five

Four

Three

Two

One...
____________________

Inhale.

Exhale.

Breathe.


***Cowgirl***Loyalist***


[ edited 5 time(s), last at 21-Oct-2001 5:20:50 PM ]
posted on 14-Oct-2001 10:01:23 PM
Author's Note: I just realized that I completely forgot to state whose POV this piece belongs too. ;) However, it did make things much more interesting to have you all guessing, anyway. Anyway, it's going to alternate between Liz's and Kyle's POV, but not necessarily in a constant pattern.

This chapter still doesn't reveal too much information, but things should be piecing together.

SciFiNut111: I'm going to try to finish L&W. I just need a couple of free hours where I can sit down to look at it and figure out what's next. It take awhile, but I really would like to wrap things up.

Thanks to the rest of my feedbackers, including: woodwinds, FehrBehr, Pegleg, Clay, NormaBates, Kerry, Tay, Alex, Crazy4Max and the ever-enthusiastic Dingoes. You had my head spinning with all your theories! ;)
_____________________________________________________________________________

Breathe
Chapter One

Inhale.
__________

Max, stop! Tess killed Alex. Tess killed Alex. Tess killed Alex.

It's true, I was there, I witnessed it.

Why didn't you ever say anything?

Because she mindwarped me!

You lived in my home, you were like my sister!

How long?

3 minutes. 3 minutes. 3 minutes.


3.00
____________

STOP
Breathe
Start Again
____________

2.59

2.58

2.57

Everyone out!

2.55

Max...

Now!

2.52

Did you kill Alex? Kill? Kill? Kill?

2.51

I didn't want to. I wish I hadn't, but I did. I did. I did. I did.

2.50

Why? Look Max, the-the clock's ticking, we don't really have time... time...
time...


2.48

Tell me why!

2.46

He would have told you what I did and I couldn't let that happen.

2.44

So you just, you just killed him? Killed? Killed? Killed?

2.42

I didn't mean to. His brain was just so weakened by the mindwarp, and... look,
none of this matters now.


2.40

Life matters Tess. My life, your life, his... Tess. Tess. Tess.

2.39

What matters is getting home, but you could never understand that could you? I
might have been able to teach you but that stupid bitch had you wrapped around
her...


2.37

Don't you ever call her that! Bitch, bitch, bitch...

2.35

See! Look how fast you run to her defense! Why couldn't you ever feel that way
about me? I'm your wife, Max! I'm carrying your child! Child! Child! Child!


2.33

This was all some kind of plan to get pregnant and go home, wasn't it? Home to
what, Tess? To Kivar? To our enemies? Enemies? Enemies? Enemies?


2.31

They're not my enemies, Max.

2.29

You made a deal with them, with Kivar.

2.27

No, Nacedo made a deal, 40 years ago.

2.25

What was the deal? Tell me!

2.23

To return home with your child, and deliver the three of you to Kivar.

2.21

And what would happen to us once you delivered us?

2.19

2.18

How did I ever fall in love with someone like you? How could I ever marry
you?


2.16

You were different-- you were a king! Now you're just a boy. A boy.

2.14

2.13

2.12

2.11

2.10

2.09

2.08

2.07

2.06

Max!

Max!


2.04

Liz, Isabel...

2.03

2.02

Max, we have to go, now! There’s not much time left...

2.01

You kill me, Max, you kill our son. Can you do it? Can you take a life? Two?

2.00
____________

STOP
Breathe
Start Again
____________

1.59

1.58

Max, please, we have to go now!

1.56

1.55

1.54

1.53

1.52

1.51

1.50

1.49

1.48

1.47

1.46

1.45

1.44

1.43

1.42

1.41

1.40

1.39

1.38

1.37

1.36

1.35

1.34

It can hold four people. We’re all going.

1.32

1.31

1.30

What makes you think we’ll give in so easily?

1.28

1.27

1.26

1.25

1.24

1.23

1.22

1.21

1.20

1.19

1.18

What did you do?
1.16

1.15

Look, Max, what we created is killing her! We can stay here, and she’ll die... or
we can go... and she has a chance.


1.13

1.12

1.11

1.10

1.09

Can you do that? Can you take a life, Tess?

1.08

1.07

1.06

1.05

I already have.

1.03

1.02

1.01

1.00
____________

STOP
Breathe
Start Again
___________

59

Max, please... please don’t do this... don’t let her win...

57

56

55

54

It’s you. I don’t have choice, Liz.

52

51

50

49

48

Max, yes you do! Isabel, please... talk to him!

46

45

We can’t just go with her... we can’t give in... she killed Alex! She’ll do it
again!


43

42

41

40

Max, what’s your decision? The clock is ticking... Tick, tock, tick, tock...

38

37

36

We're going.

34

33

32

31

30

We’re going.

28

27

26

25

24

23

21

20

19

18

17

16

15

14

13

12

11

10

9

8

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

0

____________

STOP
Breathe
Start Again
____________

Exhale.


[ edited 2 time(s), last at 17-Oct-2001 4:26:39 PM ]
posted on 17-Oct-2001 4:23:28 PM
Prizm, Julz & Thea: Hey, hey! Calm down! *happy* Kerry and Tay are just editing for me. I only thanked the rest of the SBs because, well, how could I forget you guys? I wonder if I should post this in the whorehouse... *wink*

Rostrin: I'm trying to update, I really am! If you're trying to make me feel guilty, it's working.

Cookiely: Glad to like. *big* I hope to see more of your theories coming in the confusing times ahead.

Norma & Alien614: So yo guys read this before, eh? Well keep your mouths shut on what's coming up!*tongue* Although, I have thrown in a bunch of new stuff too.

FehrBehr: Nice to see you back! Ready for a new part? *bounce*

Hope you all enjoy!
___________________________________________________________________________

Breathe
Chapter Two

Inhale
__________

My stomach feels like it’s trying to eat itself from the inside out.

From behind me I hear Maria’s tiny little squeak of “Oh god, Michael” and it’s not helping my situation. My intestines are involved now that I realize what I’m seeing is real, not some freakish optical illusion or after effects of alien-induced mind crap because she sees it too. Maria’s seeing and it’s real.

This is real.

My feet are practically stuck to the sand. I just stand there, dumbstruck, for what seems to be a couple of hours, as that rock starts to spew this metallic silver crap everywhere like a damn volcano.

And even though we’re a little less than five feet away from the lava stuff, I’m standing there like a moron gaping at the whole thing. Behind me, Michael shoves Maria down the hill, catching her a couple of times when she trips and I turn on my heel to follow them. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen someone as white as she is right now. Maybe that time when my grandfather had a heart attack. Maybe my dad’s face when I got shot. Maybe when we all found out Alex was dead. Maybe only a couple of hours ago, when Tes--

Aw, damn it.

I push her name out of my thoughts. This really isn’t a good time, since there’s liquid splashing all over the place. I bet all those creepy UFO tourists and FBI agents would have a field day out here right now. Hard to imagine that anyone would willingly induct themselves into the ‘I-Know-An-Alien-Club.’ I’d bet three thousand dollars that if everyone knew what I know, they’d want the hell out. Unfortunately for me and everyone else, once you’re in, you’re never out of IKAAC until you’re dead.

Much like Alex, member number three since 1999.

I look up just in time to see this missile thingy shoot out of the rock, followed by a string a gray smoke. For a minute it takes a clumsy little spin and I think it’s going to come crashing back down. But no - it keeps going and it’s out of view in seconds.

I really don’t want to acknowledge the fact that a couple of my potential friends might have gone with it. So that’s why, after staring at the mess before us for quite some time, when Maria’s whisper reaches my ear - “Are they...?” - I shake my head violently and answer.

“No.”

She nods. I don’t really know what that’s supposed to mean, and I don’t hang around to find out. Suddenly I’m tromping through the puddles of this silver stuff - most of it’s already evaporated into the ground or something - and it’s irritating the hell of out me, just by the way it looks.

I’m almost to the cave opening, but I really don’t want to look inside yet. I haven’t figured out what I want to see. What should I even expect? The four of them? Do I want to see all four of them? Fifty percent might cut it.

Never mind. I don’t know. I’m about to look, preparing for the worst - splattered blood, maybe, or mangley body parts - when Michael’s hand clamps down on my shoulder. He stares at me for a minute, the longest we’ve ever held any eye contact, and steps up front.

That probably makes more sense. He can go in first with his nifty alien powers incase something is in there that wants to eat us alive so he can blow up a few rocks or something. Whatever works.

I remember this ride at Disney World. I not too sure when I went, I must have been really little. Maybe four or five or something. Either way, the only reason I remember this at all is because my mother was there. It’s like an alien encounter. Something goes wrong when the aliens come to meet you, and transport this evil blood-sucking, brain-eating carnivorous thing with wings instead and it rampages around the audience.

If I had been about ten I probably would have thought it was the coolest thing in the world.

When I was five it freaked the hell out of me and I had nightmares for weeks.

My mother had told me it would be okay to go on this ride, because I was a brave little boy and I could take stuff like that. I spent years thinking that because I couldn’t handle it, that was the reason she left.

I never looked at Mickey Mouse the same way again.

At eighteen, when Michael disappears inside the cave, I’m half expecting this alien from my childhood nightmares to pop out and eat us all.

What greets us is much, much worse.

Absolutely nothing.

Emptiness.

There’s only a bit of evidence that anything of alien origin ever existed in this place, and it’s the large, deep scorch marks on the side of the rock and more of that silver crap.

I hate that stuff.

A drop of it slips off a crag on the wall, and all I can hear is the sound of it splashing in a puddle and ringing in my ears, echoing so loudly I’m sure my eardrums are about to burst.

So now there’s only one sure-fire thing I know:

By the end of all of this, IKAA will have turned into ‘I-Kick-Alien-Ass.’

And right now I’m really, really pissed at Max Evans.

__________

Exhale



[ edited 1 time(s), last at 17-Oct-2001 4:24:31 PM ]
posted on 19-Oct-2001 10:35:23 PM
Dingohito, Sueshellini, Mica, Cookiely, Jogor, Jeremiah, Crazy4Max, Rostrin and Woodwinds: Thank you all for the fab FB. I just adore reading everyone's theories.

Now, ready for some answers? I can say - you guys weren't too far off!

________________________________________________________________________

Breathe
Chapter Three

Inhale
_______________

Someone is here with me.

A hand pats softly at the side of my face. "Wake up, sweets."

I push my heavy eyelids open into slits, but his face blurs in front of my eyes. I can only guess who this must be.

“Sorry about this, precious, we just didn't know how you were going to react."

He starts unwinding the rope around my hands and rubs at the skin on my wrists.

White. Everything is white. I can't see a thing except this whiteness surrounding me.
________________

I'm kneeling just inside the entrance, straining my ears to hear what's going on inside. It's not that difficult to understand what's going on, they're both yelling.

I flinch when she calls me a bitch.

From behind me, someone puts a hand on my shoulder to pull me back, but I shake whoever it is off and only crouch lower, as if it would help my hearing.

What I find out is horrifying. To think, she was playing them the whole time? Pretending to be on their side? There's an unnerving silence, and after a moment without thinking I trudge forward, back into the chamber.
_______________

There's so much thunder in my ears the sound of his voice comes in an almost inaudible whisper.

He tucks his arms under me, lifting me up against his chest, one of my arms looped around his neck. Underneath my hand I can feel the thumping of his heartbeat beneath his shirt.

He starts massaging the kinks out of my back, whispering sweet nothings against my ear that I'm too tired to listen to. I can barely make out the light tickling of his breath against my neck as my own ragged breathing is difficult and strained.
_______________

I call out his name, and he whirls, his hand hovering over her head.

"Liz, Isabel..." he gasps in shocked surprise, and I realize only then that Isabel followed me back inside.

"Max, we have to go, now! There's not much time left," Isabel blurts out quickly, a frightened expression on her face. I wonder briefly if she heard what I did, too.

"You kill me, Max, you kill our son," Tess replies calmly, ignoring us and turning back to Max. "Can you do it? Can you take a life? Two?"

_______________

My stomach lurches in an explosion of pain and a whimper escapes past my mouth. He shifts me in his arms, kisses the tip of his finger and presses it against my lips.

"Shh, sweets, shh."

_______________

The granilith, still swirling and vibrating with life, beeps at two minutes. I stare up at the thing, hating it immensely. It ruined my whole life.

I turn back to Max, where is hand has dropped to his side and he has faltered. I knew he would. He wouldn't kill her. He's too much of a coward.

"Max, please, we have to go now!"

As soon as Isabel's words fly out of her mouth, the ground quakes and meets up with me very quickly. I shift a little painfully on the floor of the chamber where all four of us have been knocked down. The granilith hums again and the rock splits and groans as if we're all undergoing a Californian earthquake.

It settles down after a moment or two, and I push myself up. Fingers encircle my upper arm and haul me to my feet. I'm expecting to see Max's face next to mine, but instead I see him ahead, helping Isabel to stand.

"It can hold four people. We're all going," Tess's voice hisses by my ear.

_______________

I start coughing. I can hear his own sigh as he lays me gently back down against the sheets of the bed into the pillows.

He sets his palm flat across my stomach where I can still feel all that pain that won't go away. He smoothes his hand out over my skin and pauses.

I can almost hear the smile in his voice as he whispers, "My son."
_______________

"What makes you think we'll give in so easily?" Isabel demands haughtily, staring at Tess and me.

Max has this petrified look stapled all over his face, as if he thinks Tess could really harm me that badly in her current physical state. Maybe she can; I don't know.

She flashes a little trademark smirk their way. She bends over all of a sudden, as if in pain, and Max starts forward immediately to help, then stops, remembering.

She's not in pain, though. She pushes her hand against her abdomen and almost instantly the air around her fist begins pumping with a light, luminescent red glow. I stare at it, and before I can even comprehend what's going on, she slides her hand over to me and that glowing disappears inside my own stomach.

I gasp at all the pain that shocks through my limbs, and I can feel Max watching with wide eyes as the color flushes back in Tess's face almost as quickly as it drains from mine. Her grip becomes stronger by the second and I'm doubled over, the cracked earth shimmering in front of my eyes as I try to stay in control.

Max is standing there gaping like a fool. He never takes his eyes of me, but addresses Tess. "What did you do?"
_______________

He touches my hair, smoothing it out behind my ear and out of my face so I can see. I can't see, though, I've closed my eyes a long time ago. It's too bright, too white, everything's too bright and it hurts.

He's trying to make the pain go away, but as soon as he relieves it, it comes right back.

I don't know why he's trying. I thought he wasn't supposed to like us.
_______________

Tess ignores the question. "Look, Max, what we've created is killing her! We can stay here, and she'll die... or we can go... and she has a chance."

Max just stares at her and shakes his head dumbly. Finally the only thing he can manage to do is fling Tess's own words right back at her. "Can you do that? Can you take a life, Tess?"

Stupid question, Max.

"I already have," she responds lightly, jerking me roughly back to my feet. I refuse to say anything, let her know just exactly how much pain I'm in.

One minute. We're losing time.

I bring my gaze toward his and try to keep my voice as even as possible as I say anything for the first time. "Max, please. Please don't do this, don't let her win."

He can see the pain that's laced across my face, he can see it and he hates it.

"It's you. I don't have a choice, Liz."

"Max, yes you do!" I want to scream at him. I want to kick him and hit him. What the hell is that supposed to mean?

I can already see that his mind is made up and he's not going to change it. Instead, I whirl to face Isabel. She's the sensible one... sometimes. She's used to rebelling against her brother.

"Isabel, please... talk to him!"

She shakes her head, staring from me to Tess incredulously. "We can't just go with her, " Isabel stammers weakly, then in a stronger tone, "She killed Alex! She'll do it again!"

We wait. I can tell, with a sinking heart, that Max's mind is made up.

"What's your decision, Max? The clock is ticking..." Tick tock, tick tock...

He glances at me guiltily then turns his gaze to the floor. "We're going."
_______________

I can feel his hand graze against my forehead. I shake him off.

"Don't," I whisper raggedly. "Please."

I think I'm crying, but I can't tell.

His voice seems to have lost its compassion, leaving it cold and empty.

"Shh, sweets, shh," he repeats, this time in such a harsh tone it sends chills down my spine.

"It will only hurt for a minute."

He's lying.
_______________

I don't want to go. I don't want to go. I don't want to go.

I have never been so scared in my whole life.

With any last remaining strength I lurch myself out of Tess's grasp, but it does no good. She grabs me again and almost instantly I feel her fist on the side of my head and everything feels dizzy.

Max storms forward but Tess warns him off with a hand to my throat.

Just do it.

Max stops, drops his stare to the floor yet again. "We're going."

Coward.

Tess steps to the side, gestures for Isabel to go first. She does, placing her hand flat on the granilith glass and is sucked away inside before I can even blink.

Max sends me another long stare, but I don't look at him, before disappearing himself.

Tess snatches up my hand under hers and places them both against the cool glass.

The last thing I think again before everything goes black is that this damned thing ruined my life.
_______________

I grit my teeth, struggle away, but he's practically on top of me so I can't move, crushing me back into the mattress.

I will not show him pain.

I will not show him fear.

I will not let him see.

I suck in my breath as he moves his hand to my neck and the other against my forehead again.

I will not show him pain.

I will not show him fear.

Another little whimper slips past my throat in anticipation and I think my fingers are starting to shake.

I will not show him pain.

My whole life flashes before my eyes, and he steals the memories from me, one by one, grinning as the only thing I can hear is own self screaming.

Shh, sweets, shh.

_______________

Exhale


[ edited 2 time(s), last at 20-Oct-2001 12:08:14 PM ]
posted on 21-Oct-2001 5:15:38 PM
Author's Note

I forgot to mention this earlier, so I thought I would make a notice. There's probably more than a few of you out there who are aware of my Loyalist status *wink* but still prefer the Dreamer road. I'd just like to let you guys know that even though the two POVs are those of Kyle and Liz, this is not necessarily a Loyalist fic.

However, before I dig myself into a hole, that doesn't mean it's Dreamer material either. I do not have a specific couple in mind, but later on something might develop, I just don't know between who. I suppose it's just a matter of what mood I'm in.

I chose Liz and Kyle POVs because I'm a firm believer of their friendship, one that I think works well with this story particularly because of Alex's certain disappearance off the show.

Couple status can go either way, CC or UC. If and when I walk the CC road, let me just say that Max would have some serious groveling to do.

Anyway, I hope that does clear some things up! Part 4 should be out in a couple of days, depending on when I get my editing back. *happy*

<3 Katie

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 21-Oct-2001 5:16:50 PM ]