posted on 1-Jul-2002 9:07:01 PM
1-4-3
Pretty right?? Talena made it-thanks Jen, it's gorgeous!

Title: Petal of Hope
Authors:AngelBrunette10⊕aol.com-A Rose Is True Blue and mystasia⊕earthlink.net-Talena
Category: Crossover between Angel the Series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Roswell
Summary: Destiny has denied them of their love, Fate has given them another chance...
Dedications: We both agree to dedicate this to Gaudy, and hopefully she will be reading this even though it is M/L. Hey, if it makes it easier, pretend Max is Michael and vice versa...*big*
Authors Notes: We want to thank anyone reading this and just to remind everyone that we own nothing except the plot and any characters that you don't recognize...I mean we might occasionally borrow Angel, Michael, Kyle, Max, Alex, and anyone else that pops into our minds that we want to torture...hey pretend you didn't just read that.

On with the fic...

Hard times are fallin' on you
Even when you smile
I see the hurt come through

Prologue: Somewhere In Between


The sun's rays, bright and welcoming, showered the earth with its heat, promising warmth to all it touched. The passing breeze blew silently across the vast emptiness, bringing with it, voices and whispers from distant lands. Looking over the horizon, the brilliantly lit colors of the sky with warm hues of pink, yellow, orange, and red danced in the sun's magnificent glow. Warmth. So close, so very close, yet so far, so distant and unattainable to the one whom had the ability of warmth, who had lost the will of hope not so long ago.

The serenity and comforting warmth swarming around her did little calm her raging soul as she waited for the frostiness of the promising darkness to overcome.

The breeze had brought a sort of balm with its cool promise, that touched her soul, just for that one single moment, she could feel again, the calmness of the breeze made her feel something rather then numbness that had taken her life once the warmth had retreated in surrender.

These feelings, this new sense of darkness, the feeling of drowning had taken over life not more than a mere three days ago. The deafening silence was penetrated only with the memories of that night three days ago, and another night not more than a few weeks before. Two nights that had taken away from her the happiness which she had been cruelly blessed but had taken away on limb by Fate's cruel hand. So much had happened, so many words uttered, so many tears cried, so many hearts broken ten times over. The words of her love played in her mind as he took away the only thing she had left of him.

Her brown eyes shut as a new wave of tears hit her.

-Flashback-
"Hi."
"You said...you wanted to be friends...and I thought about it . And...I realized that...that I can't be friends with you because...I'm still hanging on...to you. To what we had. So...I decided to make a clean break. Here." He handed her the small gift she had given him. Tears welled in her chest as he spoke the words. She had hoped that he wouldn't of had to do that...that it wouldn't have turned out this way. But it did.
-End Flashback-


'You never know what you have until it's gone.' Some think the saying is true. And it is...for some people. The stubborn ones. But she knew what she had. She had realized it a long time ago. The person who spoke those words must have suffered some terrible heartache, something out of a Shakesphere play. But this was real life, not some stupid play.

-Flashback-
"Max, this is yours. I gave it to you last Christmas."
"I'm giving it back. I'm...I'm going to New York with Rath and Lonnie and...and Tess...to the summit." Max replied, his voice soft. I looked down at the knife, and clenched it in my hands. I tried to hold back tears rising, and keep my voice steady."Are you gonna come back?"
"I don't know. I can't think that far ahead."
When he turned to leave, I wanted to do something. Jump up and kiss him silly, or yell at him for treating me like I was some stranger. But I was...even to myself. Who was I?
"Wait, um, Max...um...when...when you're at the summit, the granilith, ok? It's powerful, and it could be really dangerous if the wrong people get their hands on it."
"What are you talking about? How do you know anything about the granilith?" Max demanded, turning quickly. His amber eyes glowed with curiousity, but also anger. I flinched and tried to find my voice. "Oh...I can't tell you. But I just...I know, and...please, Max. You have to trust me."
"I guess that's the problem, Liz." As he turned around again, I stood watching in shock. Those 6 words broke me. And I knew I had to get away..fast.
-End Flashback-


So here she was, Little Lizzie Parker, running away from home. Well, not really running, more like leaving for a while without telling her parents. But she needed this, the freedom to move around, the rush of doing whatever she wanted and whenever, the change of scenery, the new people. All in all, she needed to live. Without the fate of the world on her shoulders, without a life threatening secret to conceal, without Max Evans in her life. She had told no one of her departure, for if she had it would have defeated the purpose of her leaving in the first place. She couldn't have anyone tying her down. Well, she had sort of told someone, that someone being one Kyle Valenti.

-Flashback-
"Promise me you won't tell him about...well you know, not sleeping together. I need to know nothing will happen while I'm gone."
"What? Where are you going?" His voice rang through the phone, loud and surprised.
"I can't say. Please, just promise me. I can't leave if I'm not sure if it was worth it...if I lost him for no reason."
"What? What are you talking about? Liz tell me where you are!"
"I'm sorry." She whispered, tears streaming down her face. " I can't. Look, Kyle I gotta go. I'm so sorry."
"Wait! When are you coming back?!" His urgent question reached her ears just as she put the phone back on its cradle, answering his question softly, "I don't know."
-End Flashback-


She honestly did not know when she was returning. The whole puprose of this trip was to forget, to be a normal person and live a normal life for once in her life. To do so, she would have to forget. Forget Roswell, forget the Podsquad, most of all forget Max and her love for him. The last being the one thing she wasn't sure if she could ever do. So as she passed the sign stating Now Leaving Roswell, she felt sorrow build up in her because she knew that she would possibly never return.

A/N: The song is Faith Hill's Better Days. Give us Feedback. We crave it like...like...chocolate or something. LOL



[ edited 21time(s), last at 10-Nov-2002 12:41:55 PM ]
posted on 4-Jul-2002 6:18:10 PM
Hey guys, thanks so much for the feedback. Talena and I really appreciate it...the feedback keeps us going. I hope that you enjoy this next part... *happy*

Hard times are fallin' on you
Even when you smile
I see the hurt come through
And I know it feels like it's never gonna end
You say nothin's been right for a long time
And every step you take is an uphill climb

Chapter One: Revelations and Memories


Flashback
"Cordy, let's go outside and play jump rope." The ten year old's eyes shined with excitement. 'Cordy' flipped through the channels and put the remote down. "But it's really hot out today, and the last thing I need is to get burnt to a crisp by unwanted sun, Beth."

"I still don't know why you call me Beth, it makes me sound like a whole other person."

"Beth sounds better than Liz. It's all about first impressions. Take my name for example; Cordelia sounds elegant and classy but Cordy, sounds like a tomboy. When you say Liz...you think Lizard. When you say Beth you think-"

"Boring?" Liz finished for her with a smile. "Come on Cordy...don't turn into a girl on me. I know for a fact that you love playing jump rope. I mean unless you're afraid that I'll beat you or something-"

"Are you challenging me Liz?" Cordelia asked, grinning wildly. She showed off the white teeth that she had taken care of since she heard the word 'toothbrush'.
"You know me." Liz replied, twisting the jump rope in her hands. "So...?"

"So bring it on, Parker." Cordelia said, grabbing the rope from Liz's hands and running outside. She waited at the back door to glance at her cousin. "Well...come on! Grandma Claudia moves faster than you do!"
End Flashback.


"Sweet thing? Are you even listening?" Cordelia felt like she had been drugged and was being shooken to wake up. She massaged her forehead before looking at the speaker. "I'm sorry Lorne, I kind of...spaced out of there for a second. What were you saying?"

"I wasn't saying anything, I was singing. How you can space out during 'Over the Rainbow' is beyond me." Lorne picked his jacket up from the chair and stood. "Well this has been fun but I've got to go. It's 'buy one get one free' on drinks tonight at the club and I've got to make sure everything's in order." Lorne expected Cordelia to give him her usual smile, and goodbye wave, but when he didn't hear it he sat back down. "Are you ok?"

"Lorne...it's me, Cordelia," Cordelia replied with a little laugh, "I'm fine. Just thinking."

"Well whatever you're thinking about certainly has you distracted. Care to share?" Lorne leaned back into his chair, and tried to get comfortable. Cordelia picked up a framed photo and tilted her head, a small smile fluttering onto her face. She handed it to Lorne who looked over the two brunette girls. One was holding a jump rope, flashing a quick smile for the camera. The other was looking deeply towards the camera, her smile reaching her eyes and her arms on her hips.

"Cute, who's the one with the jump rope?" He asked, handing it back to Cordelia. She traced the faces with a finger before setting it next to stacks of papers on her desk. "That's Liz, my cousin. She's a few years younger than me, but we always seemed to connect. I told her everything, and we spent every summer together."

"How come we've never met her? Or does she not know about the whole 'working for a vampire' deal?"

"She doesn't know about vampires, period." Cordelia replied, a sad tone to her voice. "I was always different with Liz than anyone else. I mean, Angel's told you about how I was in high school right? The prom queen who ruled the school...whenever I was with Liz I was the exact opposite. I don't know. But you have to get to the club don't you?"

Lorne gave Cordelia a small smile. "How long since you've talked to her?"

"Before I came to L.A. Do you think I should call her?" Cordelia's eyes lightened up at the thought of getting to talk to Liz again. Lorne nodded. "Sure kitten, no harm in it." He stood up again, and reached for his jacket a second time. "You know, you're different. You seem alot nicer...I can't wait to meet this Liz."

The ringing of the phone interrupted Cordelia before she could reply. "Hold on Lorne." She said, wanting to thank him before he left. "Angel Investigations, we help the helpless." Her smile faded and she rolled her eyes. "I don't think we can help you get a date for your high school reunion pal...sorry." She hung up quickly and than turned back to Lorne. "I just wanted to say thank you is all."

"Anytime. Although, next time it will cost you." Lorne walked out of the Hyperion leaving Cordelia looking happier. She grabbed the phone and dialed the number she knew by heart. Angel owed her after all. Did he think those splitting headaches were free?

Cordelia nervously twisted the phone cord around her finger, her mind lost in the memories as the continuous ringing of the line echoed in her ears. She had really missed Liz and the last time they had talked, Liz seemed not there, really distracted. Cordelia, being herself, assumed that the reason for Liz's distracted nature was caused by a male, and even teased Liz about it, to which Liz had indignantly denied, but there had been a strain to Liz's voice. Before Cordelia could comment about it however, she heard a mysterious masculine voice in the background, and she heard the way Liz's voice seemed to sing sweetly to the other voice, and Cordelia had detected something she had never heard in Liz's voice before. Something she had constantly heard in Angel voice when he spoke of Buffy and vice versa.

It had been love, and Cordelia had never heard so much happiness in Liz's voice. However, Cordelia suspected that Liz had kept more from her than just the love of her life...something much deeper. Cordelia did not push because she knew they both had their own secrets. Secrets that were not meant to be revealed just yet, perhaps never.

Hi this is 745-3927 and you've reached...my voice.

Cordelia smiled when she heard Liz's laughter and heard the beep, she was about to leave a message when she heard the slam of the front door, signalling Angel and Doyle's return. They seemed to be arguing about something.

Doyle. Cordelia smiled at the thought of him. For a year she thought he had been dead, and mourned the loss of him. But she had been wrong. Doyle had never died. When he jumped onto the light, sacrificing himself, he was sent to Pylea, the home dimension of Lorne. A year later, when Cordelia was taken there, she found out from a fellow human, Fred, that an Irish man had been with her for a year too before he escaped. As soon as Angel came for her, she told him about Fred and her suspicians of Doyle. Luckily, Doyle had been hiding out close to where Fred's cave had been and had decided to come back to L.A. with Angel, Gunn, Wesley, and Cordelia. Not that he had a better choice of course.

"So what are you two fighting about now? And where's Wesley?" Cordelia stood to greet Doyle, and planted an affectionate kiss on his cheek.

"Doyle here, doesn't know how to read signals."

"Ah honestly, Angel, when you wave your hand for me to go right, at least wave it in the right direction." Doyle replied with a sigh.

"I was waving in the right direction, MY right. You almost got us both killed." Angel stated. He turned to Cordelia, "Wesley is currently at home resting up his arm, which was hit by an arrow thanks to Signal Boy here."

"Angel, Doyle...look at each other." Cordelia commanded, rubbing her forehead. They did as told, although they both glared at each other. "Do you see a dead person standing across from you, and Doyle yes or no works for you."

"We get the point, Cordy." Angel replied. He put the crossbow down on the floor and started for the stairs. "I'm going to go up and lay down for awhile."

"Tired, Angel?" Cordelia asked, picking up the crossbow and heading for the weapon's cabinet.

"No, just want to make sure I can still lay down after today."

"I'm sure you can." Cordelia replied as she walked over to Doyle with some bandages and treatment. "Don't forget to drink that cup of blood. Wouldn't want you going crazy and starting to drink other people's blood."

"I got it Cordy." Angel called as he started to make his way down the stairs. Cordelia tended to the wound on Doyle's face, and he winced away from the medicine.

"Hold still." She commanded and held his head in place with one of her arms.

"Ah Cordy, that stuff stings." Doyle complained. Angel called out to him, "Serves you right!"

"Boys!" Cordelia sighed agrivated, and the two dueling men looked down sheepishly, as if being scolded by their mother. It was a sight to see really, two ex-demons, grown and capable of using many deadly weapons being put in place by such a petite woman, seemingly weaker woman. "Angel go get some rest, and Doyle! Stay still...ahhh!"

Cordelia dropped the cloth she had in her hand, and started to clutch at her head, falling but never reaching the ground as Doyle's warm arms broke her fall. Angel came running back in, panicked.

Everything was a blur, the scene so undistinguishable. There was nothing, no voices, no sounds...nothing but silence. She felt overwhelming heartache, regret, guilt, but most of all a soul searing love. A flash of brown hair suddenly lit up the black and white scene. The scene became clearer and she saw countryside passing in a blur, heard crying in the background, a window, and in the window a petite brunette who felt oddly familiar. The scene shifted and she felt once again heartache, pain, guilt, and a sense of loss and confusion. This time she saw a grave, she couldn't make out the name, but it was a freshly buried grave. She saw a tree, two figures, and then the same grave, but a lone figure standing in the dark.
She let out a soundless scream, trying to warn the blonde. The blonde whirled around and grabbed the brunette's arm, the two struggle. She saw a flash of the knife once more, and a third figure not too far away, chanting. Suddenly a bright light engulfed the two struggling females, and when the light finally disappeared, the blade dropping to the ground, and the third figure, evil eyes and laughter, picked up the object.


Cordelia gasped and tears rolled freely down her cheeks. She opened her eyes slowly, as if expecting to see the evil eyes staring back at her. Instead she saw friendly green ones and she clung to Doyle. "Doyle." She cried. Angel was next to him, his eye filled with worry. "Cordy, are you ok?"

"It was horrible." She replied, remembering the vision. She shivered and hid her head in Doyle's neck. "I'm so sorry." He replied, shaking his head. Cordelia could sense the guilt radiating off of him. She looked into his eyes, "I can handle this Doyle, I'll be ok." She gave him a brave smile through her tears.

"Do you need something?" Angel asked, holding a glass of water in his hand. Cordelia took it appreciatively and gulped it down. "That was...so different from all my other visions Angel. I felt what she felt. She felt so sad, guilty, and confused. But I knew her...I think I knew her. She felt so familiar but I never saw her face really." Cordelia searched the vision for more that she could offer to Angel.

"I remember the country flying by. Not like country-country but California country. Near Sunnydale. Angel, and the girl was a brunette...she and a blonde were fighting. There was a knife too!" Cordelia reached for a pad of paper and a pen. When she pulled the picture of her and Liz came crashing to the floor along with all of Cordelia's paperwork.

"I'll clean it up," Doyle replied, already picking up the broken glass.

Angel nodded to Doyle and turned back to Cordelia concern pouring out from him in waves. Cordelia continued drawing, though conscious of the world around her, and she didn't look up when she scolded Angel.

"I said I was okay Angel. Please stop worrying."

But inside she wasn't okay, the visions kept coming back and the emotions were hurting her like they were her own. She sensed Doyle as he cleaned up the glass at her feet, and she felt Angel's eyes on her, but she kept drawing, trying to concentrate on the blade and not the evil eyes that were seeming to mock her. Her mind went to the two females, they had just disappeared. How could that be? No one could just disappear into thin air...okay they could, but something still didn't seem right about this. Added to all of that, her mind kept flashing to Liz, wondering how her little cousin was doing.

"Here." She handed the drawing to Angel. Doyle leaned around his shoulder to take a look at it too. "It doesn't look like something I've ever seen."

"It looks a like a normal dagger to me." Doyle said as he examined the beautiful etchings on the hilt of the knife.

"Maybe Wes has seen it before?" Angel suggested, and no sooner did he say that did he hear the front door open.

"Seen what before?" Wesley came in with Fred tending to him like a mother hen. Angel handed Wesley the picture, and Wesley grabbed it with his good arm.

"Hey Angel, how was Buffy?" Fred asked as she greeted Doyle and Cordelia with a smile.

Cordelia's vision flashed before her eyes, "OH MY GOD!!"

Everyone looked at Cordelia, and she looked straight at Angel when she exclaimed with no hesitation in her voice, "It was Buffy!"

Angel looked fearful and was about to say something when Fred suddenly spoke up, "Hey cool knife."

Everyone turned to her, and Fred noticed the silence. Looking up she asked, "What?"

A/N the song is Better Days by Faith Hill

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 6-Jul-2002 1:21:14 AM ]
posted on 6-Jul-2002 1:14:43 AM

Hey everyone! Man, Talena and I aren't getting as much of a respond to this fic as we thought we would. Well...for those of you who are reading this I hope you like it...and sorry for the M/T parts BUT Talena and I will make sure our dream couple turns out allright in the end. *Hope I didn't give anything away by that* Enjoy this part!*

Hard times are fallin' on you
Even when you smile
I see the hurt come through
And I know it feels like it's never gonna end
You say nothin's been right for a long time
And every step you take is an uphill climb
I see you're reachin' out
So let me tell you friend that

Better days are comin' around

Chapter 2: Home Sweet Home



His eyes devoured the familiar surroundings, having been away for what seemed like years, it felt good to be going home. Looking over at his companion, her eyes met his and they both nodded grimly as they continued back to the familiar building. Walking through the doors to his house, Max was greeted by a fierce hug from his mother, and a stern look from his father. He hadn't told them he was going to New York, and he had been gone for a little over a week now. Regret coursed through him when he saw the tears of worry in Isabel's eyes. Reaching over he grabbed her into a bear hug, and she mumbled inchorent apologies to him.

"Shh...it's ok." Max continued to murmur comforting words into Isabel's ears as she continued to weep. Finally, Isabel regained her composure, noticing for the first time, the scar on the side of his face.

"What happened?" She whispered, touching it. His eyes hardened, and he shook his head, signalling that now wasn't the time.

Isabel jumped when she heard his voice in her head, 'Get the others. We have a lot to talk about.'

Wide eyes met his as she silenty asked for an explaination as to why she could hear him when he hadn't even moved his mouth. He just looked at her earnestly, and Isabel, getting the message, went to call the others.

Sighing, Max grabbed Tess's hand and led her to his room where they both sat down on his bed. Looking over at her, he felt something in the back of his mind, and he gave her a light peck on the cheek, then a small one on her lips. A peck that turned into a full-blown kiss, meanwhile, the buzzing in his mind became louder and louder, as their kiss became more passionate. A throat cleared at the doorway, and the two broke away quickly. The buzzing in Max's head disappeared, and he was looking at the woman in the middle of his doorway.

"I..uh..guess I didn't realize how close you two were." Diane Evans said, with a nervous smile. She looked Max over and her eyes stuck to his scar. "Isabel said that you and Tess weren't going to stay for dinner?"

"Yea, Tess and I were going to head over to the UFO Center and grab something at the Crashdown. I'll eat breakfast here tomorrow though." Max replied, smiling at her. He felt guilty when a flash of hurt passed through his mother's eyes. "Oh, ok."

"Thanks for offering, Mrs. Evans." Tess said, speaking for the first time since they arrived at the house. "We should get going." She glanced towards Max and he nodded and stood. On the way out of his room he gave his mom another hug, "I missed you." And with that being said he disappeared out of Diane's view.

Without a word, Max climbed into the jeep next to Tess, frowning slightly. He didn't understand why he had suddenly kissed her, and thought it to be another one of her mindwarps, but then quickly dismissed the idea, knowing that he would have sensed her and knowing that she wouldn't try something like that again. She wasn't looking at him, but at the stars, looking thoughtful as she gazed at the 'V' formation in the sky.

"Do you ever wonder what or who's waiting up there for us?" Max asked, breaking the silence, thinking of the first question that popped in his mind and then added softly, "Do you think it's worth it?"

Tess had looked over at him to see him studying the stars too, and she shrugged, a bit sadden because she knew what 'it' he was talking about. He was wondering if it had been worth it to let go of Liz and to embrace his destiny. After all this time, and after all she had done, Max still loved her. Added to that, Kyle had known she was in love with Max, but had slept with her also.

That was probably what made her angry at the petite brunette. She seemed to have all these people who loved her, while she, herself had no one. Nascedo had been a poor substitute for a parent, never showing her any affection when she had needed it. But you're not alone. She reminded herself, you have the Valentis...and Kyle..what? Kyle what? She stopped her train of thought and pushed back those annoying little thoughts and the thumping of her chest. Once again telling herself that it didn't matter, that she was supposed to be with Destiny.

I don't know." She answered softly, "I don't know if it's worth it. But Max, your mom is up there, as is Larek, and a whole race of people waiting for us to come and save them. They're waiting for us, and so is Khivar. I don't know if it's worth it." She repeated softly, an image of Kyle flashing briefly in her mind before fading.

They waited in silence for Isabel to make an excuse to leave the house and join them. Finally, they spotted Isabel making her way over to the jeep. Once she was settled, Max took off towards Michael's apartment.

---
"OK, so what's this all about, why did you HAVE to have a meeting at my-" Michael stopped yelling at Isabel when he saw Max and Tess standing behind her. "Holy shit." He mumbled, before nodding to Max. "Maxwell...pleased that you could grace us with your presence."

"Michael, he has to tell us something. Can you let us in please?" Isabel snapped, walking past Michael. She saw Maria and nodded towards the girl, doing the same towards Kyle.

"Look, I realize all this alien mumbo jumbo is important and all but I do have a piece of normal life I'd like to keep...and missing every wrestling practice will get me kicked off the team." Kyle stated, putting his hands into his pockets. Michael shut the door after Max and Tess came in.

"Nice reunion huh?" Michael asks sarcastically. Maria snorted in agreement. Alex was standing by the window and glanced over at Maria, "I don't think now is the best time for this-"

"Now's a perfect time." Maria replied icily. Michael sat next to her on the couch, "Go on your Majesty. Tell us why you've returned to the place you had to leave so suddenly without saying goodbye."

"Wait...where's Liz?" Max asked, looking around at the group. Michael, Maria, Isabel, Kyle, Alex, Tess, himself...but no Liz. He looked around at everyone, searching for an answer in their eyes, but the only person's eyes he didn't meet were Kyle's. After all this time, Max hadn't forgiven him.

"I couldn't reach her." Isabel said off-handedly,"And her parents haven't seen her all day."

Max turned to Maria and Alex, "Have you guys seen her?"

"Look, I'm not her keeper ok? Liz is a big girl, she can take care of herself," Maria snapped, and got up to get something to drink, obviously upset about something. It was clear things weren't going well with her and Liz. If it had been, Maria would have been freaking out so badly that not all the cedar oil in the world would have calmed her down.

Alex sort of just shrugged and shook his head, his eyes betraying his worry about the disappearance of his best friend. "I haven't really seen her since..."

He let his words trail off, and he saw all the aliens plus Kyle stiffen. No one had really seen or talk to Liz since she had slept with Kyle. Not even Kyle himself, although he had been there to comfort her when she cried, if she ever cried. Max had avoided her, and Tess followed him, a little hurt, though she wouldn't admit it, that Kyle and Liz had slept together. Michael and Isabel had been angry at Liz for betraying their trust and hurting Max like she had.

Max cleared his throat and looked over at Michael.

"Hey don't look at me, she was gone before I came in for my shift." Michael shrugged showing that he really didn't care about what happened to Liz. She was probably out looking for another way to break Max's heart.

Everyone turned to Kyle. Something he hadn't want to happen. Oh why did he let them convince him to leave practice for this? Why? Clearing his throat, Kyle rubbed his sweaty palms together, his voice calm as he spoke the lie, "I haven't seen her."

Well technically it was true, he hadn't seen her that day, but he did talk to her. But they were asking if he had seen her, he hadn't seen her, but he had heard from her.

"As much as I like playing this game of 'Where's Liz?'," Michael interuppted rudely, "But can you get on with it? There's a hockey game on at nine, and I don't want to miss it to be yapping it up about Miss Perfect."

Once again Kyle and Alex winced at everyone's cruel treatment of Liz behind her back. Alex tried to keep the peace as he suggested, "Let's just get on with the meeting. I'll fill Liz in later."

"If she's available that is." Maria muttered loud enough for the others to hear.

"Max...you wanted to say something?" Alex asked, shooting a look Maria's way. "I have to get home soon or my mom will grill me about where I've been."

"Ya, and I gotta get back to wrestling if there's time left." Kyle said quickly, wanting to escape Michael's apartment as soon as he could. He could feel Max's glare on him the entire time he'd been in the apartment and that was the last thing he wanted; being glared at by an alien.

"Allright...Tess and I went to New York a little over a week ago with Rath and Lonnie-" Max began only to be cut off by Michael. "We know all that Max. Get to the good stuff...if there is good stuff."

"When we were there...at the summit we found out that Rath and Lonnie had killed Zan, and they tried to kill Max too." Tess snapped, glaring at Michael. Isabel's eyes widened and she looked at Max sharply. "Max...is that true?"

"Got a scar to prove it." He joked, indicating his own scar on the side of his face. Isabel's eyes filled with tears, "Max, it isn't funny."

"Where are they now?" Maria asked, her voice softer than it had been earlier although the annoyance was still in her tone of voice."

"Max killed them." Tess replied, saying something that Max couldn't face admitting yet. He had killed someone, and it was finally hitting home. Michael, and Isabel shared a look. They too, knew how it was to kill someone. "But, he got something in return."

"What'd you get a batch of cookies?" Michael asked sarcastically.

"Powers, Michael...I got their powers." Max replied. He held out his hand and in seconds a type of wall emitted from his hand. It was green, with a 3-d look, and separated him from the others. Isabel approached it and pushed a shaky hand against it. It never went through the shield, and she pulled her hand back quickly. "Michael shoot a blast at it." She suggested.

"Are you crazy?" Michael shouted, looking at the shield in annoyance. "It'll go right through that thing."

"No, it won't. Go ahead." Tess replied, smirking. Michael shook his head and stood, holding out his hand. A few seconds later a bright white light filled the room and you could hear what sounded like grease hitting a pan on a stove. Michael stood amazed, looking at Max, still holding his shield. "Who had that power?"

"Rath did." Max replied, putting his hand down willing the shield to disappear. "Maybe you can do it too."

"And what'd you get from Lonnie?" Alex asked, speaking for the first time since 'defending' Liz.

'Lonnie was more into things to do with the mind, seeing as how she was always playing mind games.' Everyone, but Isabel and Tess, jumped and turned to look at Max with wide eyes.

"Did you guys just hear that?" Maria asked, panicking, "How did we hear you Max? You didn't move your mouth! I saw you! Please don't tell me I'm hearing things and going crazy."

"Too late." Michael muttered sarcastically, somewhat freaked about hearing Max's voice in his head.

Michael looked up at her and smirked, but he didn't say anything. Maria fumed, "What? Are you deaf now too? I said...DID YOU HAVE SOMETHING YOU WANTED TO SHARE?"

Each word was pronounced slowly, but loudly causing Michael to wince. "Would you just be quiet for one second motormouth! All you ever do is talk and talk and talk..."

Maria pulled her hand back to slap Michael, but Alex intervened, "Maria, stop. Let it go. We have more important matters to talk about."

Turning to Max he asked, "How could we hear you like that?"

Max shrugged, "Those were Lonnie's powers. Like I said she was big on the mind games. I found out about it when I started hearing some of Tess's thoughts."

Everyone froze at that. Kyle looked over at him in alarm, "So you could like hear my thoughts? Oh Buddha, I didn't sign up for this. First Tess goes around the house doing her little alien voodoo scaring the shit out of me when she turned my hair green, and then now King Max can hear all my little private thoughts? What do I have to do to get some privacy around here? Become a monk?"

Tess looked over at him sharply, a little hurt by his words, while Isabel not so nicely told Kyle to shut up.

Anyway, as I was saying," Max glared at Kyle, "I sensed some of her thoughts, and I found we could communicate in our minds.

"So how did you kill Lonnie and Rath?" Michael asked, frustrated, "I know you're boring and all Maxwell, and listening to you talk about how much you love Liz and how you don't want to be an alien can kill anyone, I doubt you could kill anyone by doing a glowy wall thing with your hands and talking them to death in their minds. Although, Maria could give you a run for your money in that area."

Max was silent, he didn't know how to respond, but he had clearly remembered his anger before he had killed Lonnie and Rath. They had been bragging about how they had come between him and his family. Rath kept going on and on about how tight Liz's body was and how he was going to get some. That had angered Max to no extent, and he felt the power pulse through him as he listened to Rath talking trash about his Liz. The energy had pulled from him, and the bonds that had held him and Tess in place broke, and the energy had left him like a great blast of lightening, and Rath and Lonnie had disintergrated into thin air.

"Rath said some things...that angered him." Tess replied quickly, glancing at Max out of the corner of her eye. She had no idea how he would have answered that question.

"A.K.A. he insulted Liz." Isabel translated, sitting back down on Michael's chair. There was silence in the apartment until Kyle broke it. "Well...seeing as how I can't possibly be needed I'm gonna leave. Whitman, need a ride?"

Alex looked towards Maria who had brought him here before nodding. "Yup, let's go." He looked at the group once more before shaking his head sadly. Since when were they all about talking behind each other's backs? He walked out of the apartment and shut the door. He and Kyle each walked to the car in silence, only breaking it when they were inside. "Tough meeting huh?"

"Extremely. I don't know which is harder; wanting to choke Maria for acting...however she was acting or sitting there listening to all the alien drama." Alex lay his head back against the headrest and shook his head.

"What was with Maria tonight, she was pissed about something!" Kyle replied. Alex shrugged, "I don't know. She's been pissed at Liz since the two of you slept together for some reason. I think it's because Liz never talked to her about it."

Kyle groaned and started to drive even slower than he had before. He never knew 'sleeping' with a girl would cause so many problems. "So now everyone hates me and Liz?"

"Dude, I have no grudges against anyone." Alex replied firmly.

"Hey...uh Alex. Dude, I seriously gotta share some stuff with you or I will go psycho. I mean I will go PYSCHO." Kyle said, pulling over to the side of the road. Alex raised an eyebrow. "Okay, Kyle what's up?"

"Liz and I never slept together." Kyle said bluntly. Alex stared at him in silence. "So...what did Max see?"

"He saw me and Liz in bed together." Kyle replied. Alex rolled his eyes, "I'm sorry...I thought that you said you and Liz never slept together."

"Are you not listening? Liz called me and told me she needed a favor, so I said yes. I never figured the favor would be for me to jump into bed with her, to push Max and Tess together. How Liz knew he was coming, I have no idea. Maybe she invited him over or something. But in my defense she was wearing a towel." Kyle replied, sighing as though some weight had been taken off his shoulders.

"So Liz set Max up?" Alex asked, sitting up in his seat. "And she never told you why...just that she had to push Max towards Tess?"

"Well it looks like it worked doesn't it?" Kyle asked, before jumping into something else. "That's not all. Liz called me today, and she left Roswell." He waited for it...the explosion.

"She WHAT?" Alex shouted, his eyes filling with rage and confusion. There is was, the explosion. "Why the hell didn't you tell me sooner?"

What a sight to see, big and macho Mr. Jock extrodinaire, Kyle Valenti, shrinking away from the band geek, Alex Whitman. Well, to Alex's credit, he had become a lot more muscular, and was a pretty scary sight to see when he was angry. Damn. No wonder those three are the Three Musketeers. They're all scary as hell when they're angry. Kyle gulped, before regaining his composure, "Look man, Liz told me not to tell anyone. I couldn't say no. You should have heard her voice, she sounded so defeated and sad. I just couldn't say no."

Alex sighed, calming down a bit, but still angry that Kyle had kept information from him about Liz. "Did she say where she was going?"

Kyle nodded and told Alex of their conversation. After Kyle finished his narration, Alex sat back against his seat, slumping as he let out a low sigh. Everything was so messed up, everyone was at each others' throats, Kyle was having a nervous breakdown, Liz had left Roswell without telling anyone but a person who was having a nervous breakdown, and to top it all off, Isabel still just wanted to be friends. Well ok, the last thing wasn't as bad as the others, but hey. He was a teenage boy with hormonese, getting mixed signals from the girl of his dreams. Who wouldn't be frustrated?

"So what do we do?" Alex finally asked Kyle. Kyle looked over at him, his face dead serious. "Nothing."

"What?!" Seeing that Alex was about to explode again, Kyle calmly but quickly continued, "I figure that after all of this, Liz needs to get away. Recover and put her life back on track. Away from all this alien crap. I wish I had gone with her now that I think about it. Besides, the others don't deserve to know where she is. They couldn't care any less anyway."

"So you're saying that we just sit here and do nothing?" Alex asked exasparated.

"That's exactly what I'm saying." Seeing Alex's look, Kyle conceded, "Look man, I don't like it anymore than you do, but I figure Liz will be gone for only a few days, calm down, and come back. Besides, it isn't like she's alone or in danger."

Alex looked at Kyle after a moment and sighed in resignation, "I hope you're right."

A/N: The lyrics are Faith Hills' Better Days

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 6-Jul-2002 1:24:09 AM ]
posted on 9-Jul-2002 3:28:47 PM
angeleyes and roswellluver, Thanks so much for giving us feedback. We appreciate it! Keep it coming! *wink*

Hard times are fallin' on you
Even when you smile I see the hurt come through
And I know it feels like it's never gonna end
You say nothin's been right for a long time
And every step you take is an uphill climb
I see you're reachin' out
So let me tell you friend that

Better days are comin' around
I know you feel like
The whole world's gone and let you down but
Better days they're comin' for you
I know they will

Chapter 3: Forgotten Myths


The lull of the bus came to a stop, effectively pulling Liz out of her thoughts as she shouldered her bag, and stood up to get off the bus. It had been a long bus ride, but she was finally here, here to the one person who would understand with no questions asked. Stepping off the bus, she looked around, somewhat timidly, having never even been to this little town before. Heck, she didn't even know if her cousin was still even here.

Grasping her bag tightly, Liz looked around, not really knowing what or who she was looking for, but she looked around nonetheless. She probably wouldn't be able to find a room so late. Great. I should have called Cordy before I came out here. But she had wanted to surprise her cousin for some odd reason. Well, that wasn't such a great idea on her part, but to her defense, she hadn't exactly been all that sane lately, not since...well let's not go there, best to leave it buried. Liz sighed before exiting the bus station, and she began to wonder around in hopes of finding a motel or something.

Liz sighed, and ran a hand through her already messy hair. Spotting a Customer Service Booth, Liz practically ran to it, relief pouring from her. She approached the counter and sighed. Closed. That was perfect. How could a Customer Service Booth be closed? OK, so it was 2 in the morning, but weren't buses running 24/7. Liz mumbled something incoherent and sat down in an unattractive orange waiting chair. She put her head in her hands and pushed herself not to cry. If worse came to worse she would just sleep on the chair until the bus station opened again. Seeing how completely disgusting the place was Liz was praying for a miracle.

"Hi." Liz turned to look at the voice, hoping it wasn't some sicko. Seeing at who the voice was, Liz smiled back. "Um...hi."

"You look like crap and that you could use a ride." It was the bus driver that Liz had been riding with since Roswell. Liz offered a small laugh, as fake as it sounded, the bus driver smiled. "C'mon, you don't want to be stranded in this town during the night."

"Why's that?" Liz asked, grabbing her bag. She had to run to keep up with the robust woman, leading her to a Silver Sedan. "Nice wheels."

"I'm renting it. I don't live here, but I was staying for a couple weeks until I drove out to Roswell. I know of a motel around here unless you have a certain place you were going?" Liz shook her head. "The motel would be perfect, thanks."

"No problem. I hope you find whatever it is you're looking for. I'm Geri by the way." Liz looked at Geri, confused. "Looking for?"

"I saw the way you boarded my bus. You looked like you had lost something and were looking for it. I hope you find it here."

"Thanks Geri, but I think I left it in Roswell." Liz stopped talking and turned to look our the window, not really paying attention to the sights that Sunnydale had to offer.

"Want to talk about it honey?" Geri asked, causing Liz to smile bitterly and shake her head sadly, "Not really."

"Are you sure? Sometimes it's best to let things out. It can't be good to keep anything in, especially if it's hurting you. Negative energy isn't good for karma." Geri said gently, her eyes glancing over at Liz who was smiling sardonically. "What?"

Liz shook her head in amusement, a different feeling from the negative ones she had been feeling before, "It's nothing. You just sound like Kyle. He's a newly converted Buddhist."

The woman smiled at the younger girl, "So this Kyle...is he the reason you left?"

The question caught Liz off guard, but she recovered, her face becoming an emotionless mask and admitted softly, "He's part of the reason, but no, he's not the reason I left."

Geri nodded, understanding that the petite brunette did not want to talk. The rest of the drive to the motel was made in silence, and every so often, Geri would look over at Liz to see her staring at the night sky, a sort of wistful expression on her face, and she fiddled with something in her bag. On closer inspection, she saw it to be a beautiful knife. Liz was now staring at it, a sorrowful expression on her face, and her eyes had seemed to dim and lighten slightly with tears. It was obvious the girl was hurting, and even more obvious that her heart had been broken. She was suppressing, something that wasn't good for anyone. She understood it herself because she had gone through it when her husband had died. One day she snapped, and ever since then she had been with a support group, trying to get her life back together. Looking at Liz, she knew that Liz was at her last thread and it was snapping pretty quickly. She only hoped that before it happened that Liz would find whatever she had lost and began to mend her broken heart. Driving into the parking lot of the hotel, Geri parked the car and looked over at Liz who seemed to not notice that they had stopped.

"Liz."

Liz's head snapped up, and her expression cleared as she smiled weakly at the woman. "We're here."

Liz nodded in understanding and opened the side door, stepping out. Walking in, they both rented their rooms, and before they departed, Geri grabbed Liz's arm. Looking at her intently, Geri spoke softly, urgently, "Don't let the pain consume you Liz. It will be your end if you allow it to. You seem like a good person, and I don't want to see anything happen to you."

Liz lowered her head and nodded mutely, before Geri continued, "I hope you find whatever you're looking for. Follow your heart, and it will lead you there, I'm sure of it."

Liz froze and watched as Geri walk away, her words ringing in her ear.

Follow your heart.

Liz laughed hollowly, and turned away, walking in the opposite direction to her own room. She had followed her heart, and look where it had led her. To some old and rusty motel room with not only a broken heart, but also a broken will. Before settling in to sleep, Liz thought about what Geri had said. What had she been looking for? Was she looking for something? She had all she wanted, and she had left it all in Roswell, what could she possibly be looking for? As she fell asleep, a place in the back of her heart whispered the answer softly, and it was so simple. Peace. It was all she wanted. Peace.

----

"Hello? Yes. This is Liz Parker, is Cordelia there?" Liz asked politely into the phone, not recognizing the voice on the other end. She had been pretty sure she had dialed the right number. "No, not Delilah, Cor-de-lia Chase. No, not Delilah, Cordelia! Do you speak English?"

Liz sighed frustrated until a new voice came over the phone.

"I'm sorry miss, he doesn't speak much English. I'm Delilah." A woman's voice broke over the line with a thick French accent.

"Yes, I'm looking for a Cordelia Chase. Does she still live there?"

Liz listened become more and more glum as Delilah continued, "Yes....thank you so much for your help."

Hanging up the phone, Liz sighed frustrated. The woman did not know of a Cordelia. Sighing again, Liz grabbed her bags and returned the motel key at the front desk before she walked out into a strange and unfamiliar town in search of her cousin's whereabouts.

"Please tell me that says coffee." Liz pleaded, as she looked towards a cafe. Her feet hurt her like crazy, she had a headache, and felt like total and utter crap. Every place she went no one had heard of Cordelia Chase. How could they not have heard of her when she lived there her entire life? Liz thanked them politely, and said sorry for wasting any of the time she had taken up. One man had been rude enough to slam the door in Liz's face.

Liz walked into the cafe looking around. It seemed like a lot of people were there, maybe she would get lucky and one of them would know Cordelia. All thoughts of finding her cousin left her as she smelled the familiar smell of homemade coffee. "Black please." The attendant smiled at Liz flirtatiously. "New to town?"

"Actually, I'm really new...just visiting to find my cousin. I just got out of a really bad relationship with my girlfriend and I can't decided what to do..." Liz looked like she was ready to cry, and the guy quickly backed off. He handed her coffee as if she were a germ, and asked what the next person wanted. Liz rolled her eyes and continued to walk, the very last thing she needed was another guy on her hands, when she was already trying to wash them clean. She sat gloomily down next to a table of college kids, talking about the latest frat party. Growing sick of their talk she moved to a table in a small corner.

Should she call her parents and let them know that she was OK? Or maybe she should call Alex and Maria and try to explain why she left ... and she could casually ask if Max made it back from New York or not-NO! Thoughts like these were what made Liz start to fall apart. No contact with people from Roswell. They'd only want her to come back to them, which was something Liz didn't plan on doing...ever. Tess was supposed to be with Max now...it was their destiny.

Flashback
"If you are seeing me now, it means that you are alive and well. I take this form because it will be familiar to you, and it will help you to understand what I am about to say. You have lived before. You perished in the conflict that enslaves our planet but your essence was duplicated, cloned, and mixed with human genetic materials so that you might be recreated into human beings. My son, you were the beloved leader of our people. I have sent with you your young bride. My daughter, the man you were betrothed to, and your brother's second-in-command."

"Oh my God, Max. Our mother." Isabel whispered, looking at the holographic image of her alien mother. Her mouth dropped open slightly and she took a sharp intake of breath.

"Our enemies have come to the Earth. You will know them only by the evil within. Learn enough to use your skills, your knowledge, your leadership to combat the enemy so that you can come back and free us. And that I may once again hold you both in my arms. I live for that moment. Help us. I love you." The holographic image disappeared as quickly as it had come, leaving a deep silence in the room. Liz couldn't breathe. Nasedo had told her Max and Tess were destined, and this just proved it. Liz tried her best to hold back her tears as she looked up at the four aliens.

"Things will never be the same, but whatever happens, we have to stay together. It's the four of us now." Max stated, looking at Isabel, both of them silently communicating with their eyes. Isabel nodded and looked away, towards Michael. She frowned and shook her head.

"I knew this was meant to be." Tess said, smiling happily. She moved towards Max quickly, standing by his side.

"No," Max said, shaking his head at Tess. He stepped away from her and stepped towards Liz,"Look, everything I told you before is still true."

"Max, you do have a destiny. You just heard it. I can't stand in the way of it." Liz said, shaking her head slightly.

"But you mean everything to me." Max said, leaning down to capture Liz's lips in his own. Liz fought off tears and she took a shaky breath. She fought her hardest battle in the next few minutes and offered him a weak attempt at a smile. "Good-bye, Max."
End Flashback


For a fragment of a second Liz wondered what her destiny was supposed to be, if she was even supposed to have a destiny or not. Not even realizing it, Liz had tears running down her cheeks. Finally, someone sitting at a different table plopped a wad of napkins down, and walked away. Liz wiped away at her cheeks embarrassed. Here she was, trying to find some serenity and peace and all she can do is think about Max.

After gathering herself up as best as she could, Liz looked for the girl who had given her the napkins. She could at least say thank you to her. Liz spotted the blonde by a group her friends. Liz stood up and threw the untouched coffee away. As she neared the group Liz froze hearing one word, "Cordy."

Shock and elation filled her as her head whipped around. Finally! She was getting closer to finding her cousin! However, her joy was short-lived when she saw that the table they had been occupying was now empty. Just her luck. Liz was seriously considering screaming right then and there. Strange town be damned, she wasn't ever going to see any of these people again. She could do whatever she wanted. Besides she had saved them all. Turning her head back to the streets, her eyes widened when she saw the blonde female who had given her the napkins!

She quickly ran after the blonde, but as it seemed, destiny really wasn't on her side that day as people continued to get in her way. She pushed passed people muttering quick apologies as she ran. It was a fruitless attempt because a second later, she followed the blonde across the street, not noticing that a car was heading her way. Liz froze when she heard the horn honk and she turned around just in time to see a car coming towards her, screeching to a quick halt. The driver glared at her and she mumbled a quick apology, trying to calm her raging heart. Looking around, she saw no signs of the blonde or her friends. And with that, Liz Parker turned her head upward and let out a loud frustrated scream, right in the middle of the street.

Around the corner, a blonde and her friends turned at the scream curiously. The redhead looked at the blonde and asked, "Vamp?"

"No, it's sunny out. Probably just some psycho." With that, the group continued on their way to the old Magic Box located just a block away.

---

"Heya Giles." Buffy called, shutting the Magic Box door behind her.

"Oh..uh..hello." Giles called, glancing up from his book. Dawn groaned and glared at her sister, "I've been stuck with him for an hour and a half and all he's done is read about some knife or something."

"That's our Giles!" Xander replied, taking a bite out of the cookie in his hand. Anya came up from the basement carrying a heavy box. She placed it carefully on a nearby table and sighed. "I don't like Sundays."

"Why?" Willow asked. "It's part of the weekend. I love the weekend."

"Giles insists on closing the store on Sundays. Less money." Xander explained. Buffy grinned at her friends and stretched. "So...what about this knife we're hearing about?"

Giles took off his glasses and rubbed it with his shirt, almost absently as he spoke, "Yes, yes. The knife. Well it seems that there is a whole legend behind this knife."

Xander looked at the picture that Cordelia had sent them, "It doesn't look so special. It's beautiful, but doesn't look different from any other ordinary crafted knife."

"Yes, yes. But this blade is like no other. This came from the original light. This knife brought light to the world. Before only darkness prevailed." Giles explained before he flipped to a certain page with a words written in Latin.

"Ex umbris ei imaginibus in veritatem
Caelum videre iussit, et erectos ad sidera tollere vultus
Sub secreto, sub silentio, suo jure
Vide et credere."


"Can I be the first to say, huh?" Xander quipped as Giles finished reading the lines.

"It translates to:
From shadows and images to the truth
He bid them look at the sky and lift their faces to the stars
In secret, in silence, in one's rightful place
See and believe."


Giles translated the words carefully as the others took in the beauty of the words, "It is the story of the messenger of the Gods. He was named the Revelator, Ioannes. Or John according to Biblical text."

"Wasn't John an apostle?" Willow asked, leaning over Gile's shoulder.

"In Biblical terms, yes. John was the chosen one, the one who saw what was to come. Armageddon. He was the leader. In this myth, he was the one who revealed another world to his people. He brought the light to mankind. It's all the same in a sense. However, there is more. Ioannes became the protector of the knife, the chosen of the Gods to protect the world from the darkness. However, he was not immortal. This blade you see," Giles pointed to the picture, "Is the key between good and evil."

"Sort of like me!" Dawn quipped excitedly. Giles nodded, "It is more so though. This key takes unleashes the ultimate power source from the Light, or Council of Gods if you will. Whomever claims this knife and unleashes the power will have access to all the Gods' strengths. In the wrong hands, the power of darkness also."

"So how did it end up with that girl in Cordelia's vision. Unless this Iowa or whatever guy happens to be a ghost who decided to come back in the form of a girl then we're pretty much screwed there." Xander said as he thought about Cordelia's description of the knife's beholder. "Whoever it is also wants to kill Buff, so can we figure this out sometime soon? I like my Buffy breathing and preferably alive you know?"

"Can we please not talk about my sister's death." Dawn begged, having not recovered from her mom's death much less the thought that she could be killed if Glory got to her, and now with Buffy being threatened...she didn't know what to do. Fate must really not like Summers women. Buffy comforted Dawn by wrapping her arms around the younger girl, and glaring at Xander.

"No one is going to die. If someone would just wait, I was getting to that point." Giles glared pointedly at Xander.

"Ioannes protected this knife until his last breath. From there on, his daughter, Caelia a child born from the light was given the responsibility of the knife. She was just a young child, no defense nor powers, and tragically she was killed by a darkness. An essense demon who wanted her soul, hers was a strong and powerful soul, Ezekielis. His plan backfired because her spirit, with its last strength pulled him into the knife. No one knows where Ezekielis ended up, but some say that he was trapped somewhere near the power source. He was no threat because his power was taken from him before he entered. He died and has no way of recovering the power source. Legends say he knew nothing of the power source, only the strength of young Caelia's soul."

"Wait, there's more written in Latin." Willow pointed to the text beneath the story of John and Caelia.

Giles read over the text and looked up at thier expectant faces when he finished, "It is the last words her spirit spoke. The last words the Gods spoke through her body. With her death, they left the world to its own evil."

"Non omnis moriar
Frangar non flectar
Vivos voco, mortuos plango
Quam terribilis est haec hora
Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat
Gemini, unitas mirabile vinculum
Evinvere malum bono
Ex nihilo, filia Ioannes
Rara avis, Custos morum
Intrinsicus sunt cavi
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Sub secreto, sub silentio, suo jure
Vide et credere."


"Again, meaning what?" Xander asked exasparated.

"It is a prophecy of sorts but its translates easily to..."

"I shall not completely die
I am broken, I am not deflected
I call the living, I mourn the dead
How fearful is this hour
All wound, the last kills
Gemini, the wonderful bond of unity
To prevail over evil with good
From nothing, daughter of John
Rare, keeper of morals
They are hollow inside
Who shall keep watch over the guardians?
In secret, in silence, in one's rightful place
See and Believe."


"Whoa. Deep." Xander remarked, earning a slap from Anya. "Be quiet."

"And do we know when this bad guy is supposed to strike?" Tara asked, speaking for the first time since their arrival. Giles took his glasses off, and started to clean them. "From what my readings tell me," He put his glasses back on and looked at Buffy, "Tonight."

"Then we have no time to figure out these riddles. We have to find this baddie, whoever it is." Dawn said immediately. The thought of someone or something trying to hurt Buffy that night, and they had no idea who it could be, scared her...a lot.

"She's right. I'm going to patrol the local demon bars and see if they've heard anything." Buffy stated. "Xander, Willow, I want you and Giles to find out everything else you can about that knife...any clues to who might have it. Anya, watch Dawn for me. Tara, go to Spike and see if he knows anything." The others nodded at her words, but Dawn shook her head.

"Please, Buffy...let me come with you!" She begged, holding Buffy in a hug. Buffy sighed. "It'll be safer for you here. I have to go now." She left the Magic Box in a hurry. The sun would set soon...she didn't have much time.

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 27-Oct-2002 9:26:22 AM ]
posted on 15-Jul-2002 6:42:52 PM
Gaudy- Hey hun! How've ya been? Where were you today?? I really needed to talk to you. Ok...so I really wanted to talk to you! *big*

Crazy 4 Max- Thanks for the feedback! Hope you enjoy this part too!

tamira- Glad that you're reading! Oh c'mon, write a fic!!! I'll read it and leave feedback! *happy* And about the parts being so long...well when Talena and I get started we can't stop. Matter of fact we just finished this and now we're writing Chapter 5. hehe

RoxyGurl182- Thanks for your feedback! I love your signature! Daria cracks me up!

LuckyStar- Thanks for your bumps! About Tess...well for right now she is evil but she will turn good. And as for your other question (which had me rolling on the floor laughing) Maria doesn't have anything too big up her butt...LOL....she just is mad because Liz never told her about her and Kyle and she feels seriously left out.

Thanks for all your wonderful feedback guys!! We love you all!!! Even the lurkers -PLEASE POST FEEDBACK! *wink*


Hard times are fallin' on you
Even when you smile I see the hurt come through
And I know it feels like it's never gonna end
You say nothin's been right for a long time
And every step you take is an uphill climb
I see you're reachin' out
So let me tell you friend that

Better days are comin' around
I know you feel like
The whole world's gone and let you down but
Better days they're comin' for you
I know they will
'Cause I'll be right here makin' sure they do

And if your sky ain't lookin' the fairest
There ain't no reason to be embarrassed

Chapter 4: Surprise


"Cordelia...can I ask you something?" Liz asked, turning to look up at her cousin. Cordelia stopped braiding Liz's hair and folded her legs under her. She smiled and tossed her long hair back. "Go on."

"Am I pretty?" Cordelia wasn't expecting that. "Duh...you are my cousin after all." Seeing that Liz wasn't joking she sighed and laid on her stomach. "I've been through this. Which boy's got you thinking you aren't pretty?"

Liz flushed, and looked down. "Cordy...I like him alot right? He's...I don't know how to say it. But I know he likes me too. A while ago he said he wanted to take a step back-"

"I know exactly where this is going. You think since he took a step back it has something to do with you right? Liz, you're beautiful. The guy's just insecure or something else."

"But I still-" Cordelia cut Liz off with her hand. "I don't want to hear another word about it. This guy is going to realize how great you are and he's going to come groveling back. You are beautiful Liz, inside and out. Now enough with the mushy stuff." Cordelia groaned as Liz caught her in a hug.

"Love you Cordy." Liz replied, smiling happily. She turned back around so Cordelia could finish the job on her hair. "Love you too Lizzie...love you too."


Cordelia shot up from her desk. How long had she been asleep? Weren't Doyle, Angel, Wesley, Fred, and Gunn supposed to be here with takeout? She groaned and yawned. Then, she remembered her dream. She had to visit Liz, or else she would go crazy.

"Honey I'm home!" Doyle's voice rang through the hotel lobby, breaking the silence causing Cordelia to jump up in surprise and then rolled her eyes at her love's antics.

"Where were you guys? It doesn't take that long to get take out." She got up and walked to the front door to find everyone in shambles, clothing, hair, and everything else askew.

"We kinda ran into a little problem." Fred answered meekly as she rung dust out of her hair as Doyle went over to wrap his arms around Cordelia.

"Problem?" Cordelia immediately looked worried as she checked Doyle for any more injuries. He smiled at her attention before softly reassuring her, "Nothing we couldn't handle, eh Angel?"

Angel wasn't paying attention, actually he was staring outside into space, lost in his thoughts.

"Has Mr. Giles phoned yet?" Wesley asked as he walked over to the table and sat down to his research. They were researching the origin of the knife in Cordelia's vision and had not come across anything thus far. It was a fruitless search really, the knife had looked old and Wesley did not have all the books to his disposal. Fred and Gunn had been searching the Net in hopes of finding something about the blade, but had yet come across anything. They returned to their tasks and ate as they silently researched. Doyle kissed Cordelia's head before walking over to where Angel stood, ready to chat.

"Huh?" Doye's kiss snapped Cordelia out of her own thoughts as she looked over at Wesley, "What did you say Wes?"

"I asked if Mr. Giles has contacted yet." Wesley repeated, not looking up from his research.

"No." Cordelia replied, visions of two brown haired girls running through her mind. Looking up, she said without any conviction, determination flaming in her eyes, "We're going to Roswell."

The others looked at Cordelia as if she had lost her mind. "I'm sorry?" Wesley asked, pushing his book aside.

"I have to go to Roswell...I need to see my cousin." Cordelia said quickly, already getting excited at the idea of seeing Liz again.

"You have a cousin?" Angell asked in awe, finally snapping out of his daze. "Was she in Sunnydale or something?"

"No, no. I saw her every summer. I just haven't talked to her in awhile and I really need to see her I think. Just to check up on her. We can always do research on the way and rent a van. What do you guys think?" Cordelia looked hopeful, and Doyle ran a hand through his hair. "I'm fine with it Princess."

"I'm cool with a road trip." Gunn said. "Anything to get outta this place for a vacation."

"Fred?" Cordelia asked, turning towards the girl with a bright smile.

"I think it'd be interesting to see outside of L.A." Fred laughed. "When do we leave?"

"Great. Ok, I'll stop by my apartment and pick out some clothes. Wesley, you can rent a van or something and we'll meet back here in two hours."

"Cordy, you never asked if Wes or I wanted to go." Angel said, standing up.

"What else are you going to do with the rest of us gone?" Cordelia asked, hands on her hips. "You and Wesley could always go to Caritas and party hardy with Lorne singing karoake-"

"Two hours, right?" Angel said quickly. He shot Wesley a look before retreating to his room.

Cordelia looked over at Angel, seeing the look on his face and hers softened, "Angel."

Walking over to where he stood, she reached up and brushed his hair from his face in an affectionate sort of way, "I know you're worried about Buffy, and it's taking all you've got not to run to her now, but it'll be ok. Trust me. Besides. If you want to get anymore clues from me or visions, I need to go see Liz because otherwise I won't be able to concentrate on helping Buffy. I really need this right now, please Angel?"

Angel looked down at her and his face also softened before he relented, nodding, "You're right. We'll go, but you haven't asked Wes yet."

Cordelia looked over at Wesley who was still surprised by the fact that she had suggested going to Roswell. "You don't mind, do you Wes? Maybe you'll meet an alien or something and you can be the first man in history to write a book about them."

"Aliens don't exist Cordelia, but I'm up to it as long as we bring the books. I agree with Gunn, we do need a vacation." Wesley nodded, starting to gather all his things together before going to rent the van.

Cordelia smiled as she watched her friends get ready. She was going to see Liz again, and she was going to have all the people she loved with her. Life was good. Then she panicked. They were going to leave in a few hours and she hadn't packed yet!

---

"OK, remind me again why I'm not driving?" Angel growled as they sped over another speed bump. Cordelia rolled her eyes. "What is it about men always having to be behind the wheel?"

"I think it's because there are women out there who drive like you!" Gunn replied, holding onto his seat. "How did you get your driver's liscense?"

Cordelia shot a glare into the back. "Relax, soon we'll be leaving Los Angeles and then Doyle will be driving."

"So tell us more about Liz." Fred said, leaning forward in her seat. Cordelia had been jumping around the hotel hustling everyone to hurry and they hadn't heard a thing about the girl yet.

"She's a few years younger than me. I think she's a junior or senior now...but she's really great. You'll love her." Cordelia smiled. Thinking about Liz made her remember how Grandma Claudia made the best cookies, or how Liz always brought out the best in her.

"I like her already. Whoever can make Queen C. act this nice is ok in my book." Gunn smiled ignoring the death glare that Cordelia sent him. Fred laugh from where she was helping Wesley research.

"Anyways, Liz and I were always so close. She was like a younger sister to me. She's really intelligent, pretty, and always managed to bring out the best in me." Cordelia smiled reminscing.

"We would always go to Grandma Claudia's house. Grammy was an archeologist, and always had these neat things. Me and Lizzy would always get into her things and she would scold us, but we would do this cute little thing and in the next moment she would be offering us a cookie. I loved Grammy. We both did. She died last year." Cordelia became solemn as she looked ahead of her, not noticing that she was still running into bumps and potholes.

"Princess, you do know that you're suppose to go around those nice little holes in the ground, right?" Cordelia didn't hear Doyle as she continued, not noticing where she was going. "Then we would have contests with jumpropes."

"Really?" Angel asked, not really interested. Cordelia nodded and started babbling about her grandma again. "Doyle...please...do something."

"What am I supposed to do?" Doyle asked, throwing his hands in the air.

"Just...shut her up dude." Gunn replied. "If I'd of known that Cordelia would babble about her family like this...I would have never asked."

"You didn't, Fred did." Wesley said. Fred glared at him. "Leave her alone...besides Angel can always knock her out if things get really bad."

---

"Liz is a natural beauty. I tried to do make up on the girl once and it didn't work because she didn't need it. She's really smart too. I swear...she's a Junior and already she's probably in Calculus or something."

"Hey...uh...does that sign say 'Leaving the City of Angels'?" Fred asked, pointing behind her. Cordelia put the car to a screeching halt. "Really? I didn't realize that we drove through there so fast. Oh well...I'm getting tired anyways...who wants to sit up front and let me lay down?" Angel quickly jumped up, and sat in the passenger seat as Doyle got comfortable in the driver's seat.

"I owe you Fred." Angel whispered as they started back on their drive.

---

The night air was cool as a small breeze picked up, blowing wayward leaves around her, circling in the air as she walked through the strangely silent grave yard. It was ironic really, before she had no problems about going to this "scary" place because it had become a routine thing for her. Today, it was different, in fact since she had buried her mother in this very grave yard, she found it harder and harder to come here. Because each time she came, she would be hit in the face with the cold hard reality, her mommy was gone, and she was never going to come back. She would never see her mom's smiling face again, feel the comfort from her warm embrace, nor will her mom be waiting with a nice cup of warm tea after a hard and cold night of slaying. It was hard on her, and she had thought that with the months that had passed, things would become easier and the pain would ease.

She was wrong, so deadly wrong. The pain just came back more and more, destroying whatever sanity she had left. Her heart, however was not just aching over her mom, but also over a certain tall, dark, and handsome, brooding creature of the night. She had gone through half a year without him, trying to push her feelings for him back, and even succeeded when she started seeing Riley, but with Riley's departure and Angel's ability to know something was wrong with her. She was surprised to see him there, but then again she wasn't. Angel always came when she was in need of comfort. He had kept her from falling further into the abyss, but at the same moment, it had been his departure that made her fall of the edge in the first place.

Now with this new evil added with the old evil, Glory, it was all becoming too much for her, and it took all her strength to not pick up the phone and call her vampirick lover, to have him come and hold her, comfort her, love her. As she strolled through the cementary, the moon seemed to light up a path for her, and she knew where she was going without even thinking. She came here everynight to do what she couldn't do in front of others. Fall apart and cry. Walking towards the familiar grave, she placed the bundle of fresh white roses on the grave.

"Hey Mom." Buffy whispered, kneeling down. She fingered one of the petals on a rose. "I...uh...I missed you alot. I still do. Dawn does too. I think she might resent me, maybe. And maybe I resent myself. This is really hard to deal with because it's something I couldn't beat. And I think that Dawn is angry with me for not trying hard enough to find a way to beat it." Buffy looked up at the words on her mom's grave and a wave of tears came crashing down her cheeks. "I need you. Please Mom...please...I need you so much."

Buffy hugged the roses as she bent over and started to sob. She mumbled 'Mom' over and over until she thought her voice was gone. She lifted her head and mouthed one question, "Why?"

Buffy breathed in the scent of a fresh breeze and tried to pull herself together. The stars seemed to mock her, as if they were laughing as they shined so brightly. She looked back down upon her mother's grave and sighed. Her mom was gone. She was dead, and she wasn't coming back to take care of Buffy. Buffy had to take care of herself, and Dawn. Dawn needed her, and Buffy wasn't about to let some prophecy about some dumb knife take her away from Dawn.

She got up from the grave and blew her mom a kiss. Quickly, Buffy walked away from the grave and began her prowl of the graveyard once more.

The wind picked up until it began to howl mournfully, and a noise in the distance stopped her dead in her tracks. Standing next to her mom's grave, she felt somewhat protected as she looked around for the source of the noise.

----

Liz bundled her jacket tightly around her as she walked solemnly through the grave yard, knowing that she should be scared about walking in one at night, but not really caring. She had no where to stay, and could not remember where that motel from yesterday was. That added to the frustrating day she had, it was a wonder she hadn't screamed yet...wait...she had, and had received plenty of weird looks. She had walked around the small town all day, looking and searching for any signs of the blonde or Cordelia, but it was a fruitless search and here she was now. This wasn't exactly my idea of getting away. Liz thought sardonically as the wind picked up, making the air colder than it already was.

A soft weeping sound made her stop and look around for its source, she crept quietly through the graves, wanting to help whoever it was that was crying, but at the same time, not wanting to attract any attention if it was some crazy psychopath. Liz stumbled upon a heartbreaking scene as she watched a blonde female weep over a grave, flowers wringing in her hands, a few stray petals flying around her. The female kept whispering the word "mom" over and over, and the obvious pain was enough to make Liz's heart cry out to her. She looked down at the blade in her hand, her own pain coming through. Looking up she noticed the blonde about to leave, but then stop all of a sudden. She looked around her, and Liz looked too, trying to see what the blonde was trying to find. The stranger finally stopped looking and gazed at the grave once more.

Liz crept up to her, unaware that she still had the blade in her hand, and was about to grasp the stranger's shoulder to ask if she needed any help, but instead, found herself on the ground with the blonde on top of her. The blonde held her knife in her hand, and Liz struggled to get it back. It was all she had left of Max.

"Get off!" Liz shouted, struggling with the girl.

"Who are you?" Buffy asked smoothly, holding the girl's wrists above her head. "Stop struggling and tell me who you are!"

"Who the hell are you? I heard you crying and was trying to help out, and you suddenly attacked me!" Liz said in her defense. She glared angrily and focused on the girl. She gasped. This was who she had been looking for all day.

"Where did you get this knife?" Buffy shouted, feeling the urge to just knock whoever this was out, and and take her back to Giles and the others.

"It's mine!" Liz shouted, freeing one of her wrists and knocking the knife out of Buffy's hands. "Get away from me." She reached for the knife, and grabbed it just as Buffy did.

"Let go." Buffy warned, glaring. This was who was trying to kill her. She looked young, and scared but Buffy wasn't going to be fooled by appearances.

"It's MY knife, how bout you let go?" Liz spat. She had a horrible day and now someone was trying to fight her. Just great.

Someone chuckled in the background, but wasn't heard by the two fighting girls. He stood in the shadows, covering up his figure. Nothing about her has changed... he thought, resisting the urge to approach her. He spotted a glint of metal and his eyes lit up at the site of the knife. There it was. It was time.

"From ashes to ashes
Dust return to dust
The Warrior and Guardian
Destiny's hand broken
Pain and sorrow
Heed these words spoken
With past foes and triumphants
With this key to the source
Let not history be repeated
Darkness awaken and take thy vengeance
From ashes to ashes
Dust return to dust."


"Look, I don't know what your problem is but I'll take it that you're having a bad day, like I am, and needed to attack someone so how bout you give me back my knife and I leave?" Liz asked, her voice surprising calm even though she was screaming inside. Her brown eyes searched Buffy's hazel ones.

"I don't know what your problem is but I'm keeping this knife!" Buffy replied, her voice firm and confident. She didn't want to hurt this girl...yet. Not when she could just yank the knife away and leave the cemetary. So why didn't she? Buffy looked at the girl wide eyed when she realized she wasn't moving. "What'd you do?"

"Do what?" Liz snapped, yanking on the knife. She looked down and tried to yank again, "Oh God...what's going on?"

"What did you do?" Buffy repeated, freaked by the fact that she couldn't move or let go of the knife, not that she wanted to let go of the knife, but that wasn't the point.

"I didn't do any-" Liz's retort was cut off by the sudden blinding white light that suddenly burst out of the knife. Buffy and Liz's eyes both widened before shutting against the light. Liz's body felt like it was on fire, especially the fingers that was grasping the knife. It never did this before. She thought wryly, and suddenly the warm feeling left and her body was swept into a cold icy chill. Buffy's body too, began to shudder with the coldness. Soon their bodies began to convulse painfully as the light became brighter and brighter, a ringing and the howling of the wind echoed in their ears.

Then all at once, their bodies froze and became numb, the silence swept through, and the last thoughts on both of their minds were of their loved ones, as they finally succumbed into the darkness, and let themselves fall into the welcoming arms of oblivion.

The white light soon disappeared, and the grave yard was once again bathed in darkness, but the air continued to become more and more chilly as the lone figure walked quietly to the fallen knife. There were no signs of the struggling females, just the knife they had been struggling over. The hooded figure smirked evilly as the knife flew to his hand. His grey eyes flashed with a sudden darkness as he thought quietly, Soon the master shall be free.

---

"Guys, Kyle and I wanted to call this meeting because-" Alex put his hands in his pockets to keep them from shaking. He looked to Kyle for support, who put his hands up in response. "Dude, you wanted to call this meeting, I still don't think we should say anything."

"Say anything about what?" Max asked, looking between Kyle and Alex. He and Tess had been back not even two days and there was already more he had to deal with?

"Liz." Alex said quickly, looking towards Maria.

"What about her?" Maria snapped. "God, I haven't even heard from her in like two days...obviously she's busy, so why are we worrying about her?"

"I told ya, Alex." Kyle muttered. Tess looked at him, her held tilted. He had avoided her all of last night and still this morning. He caught her eyes and looked at her for a moment before blushing and looking away quickly. Tess jerked her head back up at his blush. What was that? Did Kyle blush because of me? Tess snapped back into the conversation at hand, but a small smile had crept to her face.

"Well that's the thing...no one here has-" Alex was cut off by the sound of a female squeal. He and Kyle looked over in shock as a tall brunette hurled herself at them. "My boys!" She cried, stepping back. "Oh my Gosh...you guys have grown so much!" She threw herself into another hug with the two and put her hands over her mouth.

Isabel stared at her in shock. Who was she? Why was she hugging Alex? She glared at the brunette and tried to hold back using her powers. She caught Maria's eyes but saw the same confusion there. Looking over towards any of her other friends, Isabel's eyes stood still on Tess, who was looking at the brunette with the same amount of hatred as Isabel.

Maybe I can mindwarp her into seeing thousands of snakes all over the floor and she'll get away from MY Kyle. Tess snarled and then stopped, shocked at herself. Did she just call Kyle hers? No...Max was hers. Kyle was a human. Kyle wasn't Tess's. Kyle...was so cute...

"Who are you?" Maria and Michael asked, simultaneously, both of their voices filled with envy, worry, and anger. They glared at each other after saying it, but soon turned to look at the brunette who had Kyle and Alex in her arms.

"Wow...what are you doing here?" Alex asked, ignoring the others for the moment. He hadn't seen Cordelia in a long time. His eyes met Kyle's as if asking a question, 'what is she doing here'.

Kyle shrugged in reply, content to be in Cordelia's arms for just a moment. He remembered how he had met Cordelia a few summers ago. Maria and Liz were planning to go to summer camp together, but Liz had gotten sick, and by the time she recovered, it was too late for her to go, and she had been so sad. He and Alex had tried to comfort her, but they could not replace the female bond Maria and Liz shared. One day they came over in hopes of getting Liz to go out with them when they had heard female laughter coming from Liz's room. Walking into the room they found Liz and another girl in the midst of a pillow fight, and they stopped dead in their tracks. The female's looks were extremely similiar to Liz's, and Liz was actually smiling again. Too lost in their muses, they didn't notice that the girls had seen them, nor the evil grins that had graced the girls' faces.

They didn't notice until they were hit on the head by two pillows and they looked up dazed, to see the girls collapsed in giggles. That was how they met Cordelia Chase, Liz's older cousin, and from that moment on they were inseparable until Cordelia left to go back home

Right now, remembering how close Cordelia and Liz was, brought both boys a sense of comfort as they held the person who was closest to Liz in their arms. It was like holding Liz in their arms. She was safe and sound and happy, and the feeling of peace swept through them.

Isabel and Tess watched the goofy grin on their boy's faces grow wider and wider, and each of them were thinking of how they could get back at this girl who seemed to have such power over them.

"Oi Princess, I didn't know you were a cradle robber." Doyle's voice floated into the diner, and everyone turned to see five figures huddled in the doorway, four handsome men and one shy looking woman.

Cordelia rolled her eyes at Doyle before turning back to Kyle and Alex, "I missed you guys so much! What's happening with you guys? Any girlfriends? Tell me everything!"

Alex and Kyle shared an amused smile before looking curiously at the people behind Cordelia. She noticed this and smacked her head, "Oops. Sorry, where are my manners?"

"Kyle Valenti, Alex Whitman meet Doyle, Angel, Fred, Wes, and Gunn." Cordelia pulled them forward as she rattled off their names, "Guys meet my cousin's best friends, Kyle and Alex."

Kyle and Alex nodded at the strange group standing in front of them before Alex turned back to Cordelia and repeated, "What are you doing here?"

Cordelia's smile became even more brilliant if possible. "To visit my two favorite guys in the whole world of course."

Hey!" Doyle protested, but Cordelia ignored him and looked at the group sitting behind Kyle and Alex with growing curiousity and then looked around confused, "Uh...guys, where's Liz?"

Kyle and Alex immediately froze, and then shuffled their feet as they looked at the ground. Cordelia's temper flared as her concern for her cousin heigtened as she repeated, "Where's Liz?!"

"Well...uh...see-" Kyle said, shifting on his feet. He looked to Alex who was in the same state. Cordelia raised her eyebrow. "C'mon guys...where is she?"

"I'll check upstairs." Max said, looking warily at the newcomers. What did they want with Liz?

"She's not upstairs." Alex said quickly. "She's not exactly in Roswell."

"What?" Maria asked, her jaw dropping.

"Alex...what do you mean 'not in Roswell'? Where'd she go? When did she leave?" Cordelia yelled, grabbing Alex's shirt. "Hey! She called Kyle, not me!"

Everyone turned to look at Kyle Valenti, who was now trying to make a smooth exit. He froze at his name and shot Alex a glare. "She didn't say anything to me, other than she was leaving. She didn't tell me where though. Alex and I kind of assumed she went with you."

"Me?" Cordelia asked. She gulped, and ran a hand through her hair...and froze. Liz had no idea Cordelia lived in Los Angeles now. She probably still thought she lived in Sunnydale. "She went to Sunnydale." She said. This time the Fang Gang decided to speak up.

"How do you know that Princess?" Doyle asked, putting an arm around Cordelia's shoulders. "Liz doesn't know I moved yet...she-" Cordelia whirled back around to face Kyle and Alex. "When did she leave?"

"Two days ago...maybe three." Kyle said. Cordelia's eyes closed for a second. Images ran through her head, mostly about Liz getting bit by a vampire or getting attacked by a demon. She has to be ok though! Three days...maybe she settled down to rest and has just been calling around. Cordelia refused to cry. In the past three days she'd been so upset about the vision she got about Buffy and the brunette-. No. There was no way. Cordelia's eyes jetted open and fear appeared like a fog in her eyes.

"What's wrong Cordy?" Fred asked, afraid of the expression on her friend's face. Cordelia remained unmoving, not even responding to Doyle. Everyone was staring at her, worried or confused.

"It can't be..." Cordelia whispered, and everyone had to strain to hear the words. "It's not possible..Liz would never, I mean...she just wouldn't. No! It's not her!"

Everyone's confusion and concern strengthened at Cordelia's babble.

"Princess? What's wrong?" Doyle shook Cordelia gently, his hand cupping her cheek, bringing her to look into his eyes, "Delia, please. You're scaring me."

A tear slipped from her eyes and trailed down her cheek, Doyle wiped it away gently, "It can't be her..."

Suddenly a mind numbing pain ripped through her mind, and she pitched forward into Doyle's arms.
"DELIA!"

"CORDELIA!"

"CORDY!"

The Fang Gang and Alex and Kyle surrounded Cordelia immediately, as the others looked on in confusion.

"What's wrong with her?!" Alex demanded as he tried to still Cordelia's writhing body.

"She's having a vision." Wes mumbled absently causing the Pod Squad to straighten up. Visions?

Cordelia's body stopped convulsing, but shivers were still running through her body but otherwise she seemed lifeless. Everyone waited with bated breath as Cordelia lay still in Doyle's arms. They didn't have to wait long because in the next instant, Cordelia shot straight up, a loud and pitiful wail escaping her lips, "NO! LIZZZ!!"
posted on 17-Jul-2002 12:59:42 AM
Lucky Star- Thanks! *Hopefully* Tess will get off her high horse (or stop driving her Destiny Bus--very cute) soon, and realize Buddha Boy is the one for her. *happy*

Kim_56Emotion- I'm glad you're tuning in, and leaving feedback!!

calphysics- Thanks for leaving feedback!!! You love it?!?! YAY!!!

Jane Lane- Thanks for the feedback!!

Transparent Clear- I love Doyle too, which is why I had to bring him back! He's just a really great character...and he's funny. Plus, I kind of don't see Cordelia with anyone else. I can watch and love her with Xander and Angel but Doyle just...I don't know. Doyle's Doyle! He's like my Alex. *wink*

Spicy trini1- *blushes* Talena...did you hear that?!?! We're mind stimulating and creative!! Thanks for the feedback! I'm really glad you found this again!!!

roxygurl182- Your welcome! *happy* This is one of your favorites?!?! *Jumps up and down*

cglenn- Wow. Thanks for your feedback! When are you going to post more of A New Life?!?! That's interesting and great too! Hehe

Tanky- I love Buffy/Angel/Roswell Crossovers too. As does Talena. Have you read her fic There Will Be Tomorrow? If not...you should check that out as well! *big* Yes, this is an M/L B/A. Talena loves B/A, as do I. Thanks for the feedback!

OK, just wanted to thank all of you for the wonderful feedback you've left Talena and I. We appreciate it so much and are working hard on Chapter 5. It's hard to do though, because we do it while we IM each other and we always say funny and crazy things and get off topic. Talena mentioned that she thought we should post a conversation so you all could laugh at how ridiculous we are! *happy* But, no worries, new part soon!

BTW- Want to know our motto? Just for giggles? Hehe...it's Great psychos think alike. Right. LOL, I'm going away now!

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 17-Jul-2002 1:01:51 AM ]
posted on 18-Jul-2002 7:24:17 PM
Thank for all the feedback guys! Dedicated to Lucky Star

Hard times are fallin' on you
Even when you smile I see the hurt come through
And I know it feels like it's never gonna end
You say nothin's been right for a long time
And every step you take is an uphill climb
I see you're reachin' out
So let me tell you friend that

Better days are comin' around
I know you feel like
The whole world's gone and let you down but
Better days they're comin' for you
I know they will
'Cause I'll be right here makin' sure they do

And if your sky ain't lookin' the fairest
There ain't no reason to be embarrassed
Ain't nobody in the world ain't felt
The rain from time to time
And just when you think it's all over and done
The night get easier one by one

Chapter 5: And the Secrets Out


Cordelia began to thrash around, trying to escape whoever was keeping her from her Lizzie. Doyle held onto her tightly though, as he whispered softly into her ears, "Shh. Delia, calm down. We can't help unless you calm down."

However, Cordelia could not be appeased easily, and she continue to thrash, tears coursed down her cheeks, and she was calling out Liz's name hysterically. She kept reliving what she had seen over and over in her mind, and each time brought more tears and fears into her heart.The Fang Gang watched helplessly as Cordelia broke down in front of them, none of them knowing what to do. Doyle was still trying to get her to calm down, but to no avail.

"Doyle, what's wrong with her?" Angel demanded, worried for the woman who was like a sister to him, but fear for a certain blonde lingering in the back of his mind.

"She's stuck in the vision, and if we don't get her out of there, it will kill her." Doyle whispered hoarsely, tears slipping down his own face as he watched his love.

"So you're saying we have to snap her out of it or she goes bye bye?" Gunn asked exasparated.

"Pretty much."

"Great, just great. How are we supposed to snap her out of it?"

"I DON'T KNOW!" Doyle yelled back his anger and pain mixing into that one helpless scream.

"Everybody, let's just calm down. We can't help her like this." Wesley ever the voice of reason stated calmly, though inside he was pacing back and forth wringing his hands in worry. Alex watched the desparate scene, his fears circling around him. First for Cordelia, and then for Liz. Whatever it was that was going on with Cordelia was tied to Liz, and if Cordelia was in this much pain now, then Liz could be in just as much pain elsewhere. He looked over at the Pod Squad and noticed their white face at the Cordelia's scream. An idea came to mind and his eyes connected with Isabel. They communicated silently, his eyes begging hers, and she nodded relunctantly. Tess caught the exchange and looked at Isabel.

"What are you doing?" Tess hissed, "You're going to give us away. We don't know these people! You don't know what they're capable of!"

Isabel stopped, conflicted, on one hand, she wanted to help Alex, but on the other hand she had a loyalty to Max and the others. She was torn. Kyle, for the first time ever, glared at Tess who looked at him taken a back.

"I don't care about that right now. All I care about right now is Liz. She's out there somewhere, possibly hurt, and only Cordy can tell us for sure. So either you help, or I'll personally hold all of you Czechs responsible for whatever happens to her. You and your selfishness was the reason she left in the first place!" Kyle fumed at them, not caring nor noticing the hurt expression that crossed Tess's face before it became a cool mask. With Kyle's words, Isabel wordlessly closed her eyes, and found herself slipping into the brunette's mind with a dreamwalk.

Pain. Coolness. Isabel gasped as they hit her, and she pushed herself away from them. Once free of the feelings, she looked around at her surroundings and suddenly she felt hot. She stripped her sweater off of her and continued to walk, calling out Cordelia and Liz's name everyone once in awhile. Then, she stopped and dropped her sweater. Liz was lying motionless next to...a lake or something. Isabel ran to her and tripped over a blonde in the process. First, Isabel made sure that Liz was alive, then she started to overlook her body for wounds. "Liz. Liz. Wake up!" Isabel shouted, tears running down her face. God, no! Liz was ok..she had to be ok.
Isabel then turned towards the blonde she had tripped over. Buffy. How she knew the name, she didn't know. She made sure Buffy was alive and breathing, and tried calling out her name as well but to no avail. Both girls were in a comatose like state, or so it seemed. Isabel looked around for something, anything to help her wake them. Water. She could try and throw water on them. But as she neared the water she was shocked at what she saw. Cordelia was staring back at Isabel. Isabel looked behind her, and then down at her hands. She was still her...so why was Cordelia standing in her place?
Isabel plunged her hand into the water, her own hand grabbing someone else's. She tugged and was thrown backwards as the person was pulled out of the water. In a slight daze, Isabel sat up and looked at the wet Cordelia Chase. But Cordelia wasn't looking at her. She was looking behind her. Isabel followed her gaze and glanced at the cloaked figure, trying to hear his words.

"From ashes to ashes
Dust return to dust
The Warrior and Guardian
Destiny's hand broken
Pain and sorrow
Heed these words spoken
With past foes and triumphants
With this key to the source
Let not history be repeated
Darkness awaken and take thy vengeance
From ashes to ashes
Dust return to dust."

The figure turned to them, and seemed to smile. Isabel didn't wait to find out why. She pulled Cordelia up and started to run, half pulling Cordelia with her. She then felt it. The hotness. This time she had her tank top left and she wasn't taking that off. Isabel kept running, as the cold and pain hit her hard. She felt sick and weak as she left the world of dreams behind, holding Cordelia's hand all the while.


Gasping, both girls awoke with a silent scream and fear in their hearts. Cordelia was immediately drawn into Doyle's relieved embrace. The Fang Gang hadn't seem to notice that Isabel had also meen in a comatose. Isabel was gathered into Max's arms as soon as she awoke. "What happened Izzy? What did you see?"

Isabel, for the life of her, couldn't respond, her throat was too dry, and she could barely breathe. Alex came back from the kitchen and handed a glass of water to Isabel who took it gratefully. Alex returned her weak attempt at a smile with one of his own before he looked over at Cordelia, worried for her also. He handed Doyle the other glass of water to which Doyle immediately brought to Cordelia's lips.

Finally when both girls seemed to get their breaths back, tears were streaming down their faces at the memory of their beloved cousin and friend. They shivered, remembering the darkness that had been swirling around the hooded man, his words echoing in their minds.

Angel was watching Cordelia with a worried expression on his face, anxiousness to know what she had seen nearyl ripping him apart. Everyone was too busy trying to calm the two girls down so that when Angel's cellphone rang, everyone jumped a mile except for Cordelia and Isabel who were now staring at each other.

"Angel speaking." Angel frowned when Gile's voice came through frantic and incohorent. "Giles...Giles! Slow down, I don't understand what you're trying to say."

At the mention of Giles, Cordelia let out another pitiful moan, knowing why he had called, and now understanding she couldn't deny it any longer. They had been too late. Liz and Buffy...

"What?" Angel felt the air leave his lungs as his legs gave out, he fell into the chair next to him, the cellphone slipping from his fingers.

Wesley picked it up, and glanced at Cordelia and Angel in concern.

"Mr. Giles? This is Wesley." Wes listened to Giles and his face became paler and paler. "Are you sure? Have you checked Spike's crypt? Angel's old mansion?"

Wesley listened, his face becoming more grim, "Have you spoken to Spike? You have? He hasn't seen her either. Of course. Yes, of course. We're in Roswell...visiting Cordelia's cousin...no, no. We haven't found anything about it yet...you have? Yes. Certainly. Yes, we'll be there as soon as possible."

Wesley hung up the phone before looking at the Fang Gang grimly, "That was Mr. Giles. He says that Buffy has gone missing and no one has seen her. They found the a bouquet of flowers at her mother's grave, and what seemed to look like a struggle. They're out looking for her right now. Spike is even at the demon's bar to ask if any of them had seen her."

"They won't find her." Angel's head snapped up and looked over at Cordelia who finally spoke up. She stared straight into his eyes, "They're gone. We're too late. Buffy and Liz are gone."

"What?" Angel asked, approaching Cordelia. "Gone where?"

"It was horrible." Isabel answered, still looking at Cordelia. "But I felt their pulse. They were alive."

"But for how long? You saw...it." Cordelia replied, not really knowing what to call the thing they had seen. Had it been a man or not? The presence of it didn't seem so.

"What did it say?" Isabel asked Cordelia, trying to remember herself. "Dust to dust..."

"No. From ashes to ashes-" Cordelia looked at Isabel, and the girls both said the lines together, not missing a word. When they were finished they collapsed against those holding them, but still their vision was locked.

"We have to go to Sunnydale." Wesley stated, still gripping the phone.

"We're coming." Kyle replied. He looked to the pod squad. "Unless some of you want to stay?"

"I'm coming." Maria and Alex said quickly, not pausing. Michael sighed and shrugged. "I'm with Maria."

"We're all coming." Isabel answered for everyone.

"Guess we'll need a bigger van." Fred joked. She saw the stricken look on the faces of those around her and sighed. These guys were a tough crowd. "Allright, I'll go look around for some vans I guess."

"Ya, me too." Gunn said, jumping up. He looked at the Roswell gang. "Any of you wanna help us around this town?"

"I will." Tess replied, hurt by how Kyle had talked to her. She shook her head as she looked at him again and practically ran out of the restaurant.

Isabel sighed as Alex ran his fingers through her hair. She had been frightened when she had seen the cloaked figure and just the thought of Liz being there with it made her want to sob until she was dried of tears. She gripped Alex's hand tightly and tried to focus on him being there for her instead of her being there with whatever it was. She glanced at Cordelia again to see the girl getting the same treatment from Doyle as she was getting from Alex. Cordelia looked over and her eyes said 'thank you.' Isabel knew they had to talk later. Was Cordelia one of them?

Those questions could be saved for later. The same thought ran through everyone's mind. Get to Sunnydale. Find Liz and Buffy. Max and Angel had remained stoic after Fred had departed. Angel was thinking of Buffy, and Max was thinking of Liz. Both their hearts were aching for their soulmates. Both wanted nothing more than to have their loves in their arms, where they could keep them safe and never let go.

Angel stood up and walked over the window, he leaned against his arm that rested on the surface of the window. The Fang Gang looked at him with concern, but knew that they should leave him be. He was brooding again, a common thing that came when he thought of or saw Buffy.

Wesley began to research the demon in Cordelia's dreams after getting a description from both her and Isabel. They had raised their eyebrows at Isabel, but said nothing, knowing that those questions had to be saved for later. Doyle was holding a sleeping Cordelia in his arms, trying to soothe her as she shook from nightmares. He remained fixated on her face, seemingly trying to take away her pain.

Kyle stared intently at Cordelia, his forehead etched with lines of concern, and his concern only deepened when he turned his head back to Isabel who sleeping somewhat peacefully minus the fact that she shivered every once in a while. Alex's arms however provided her with the warmth, and his heart provided the love as Isabel slept on, seemingly pulling his love to her allowing him to heal her. Michael was quietly speaking to Max, his gaze every once in a while switching to Maria who had laid her head against Alex's shoulder, his free arm wrapped around her as she stared forward, blankly into space. Tears were streaming silently down her face, and she seemed not to have recovered from the shock that her best friend was hurt somewhere, or even worse, dead.

"Do you think we can trust them Maxwell?" Michael asked, ever the paranoid protector of the group. His face was grim as the realization sunk in, he hand't been able to protect the one single most important part of their little circle. He could reason it to the fact that they had never been close, he and Liz, and he had not liked her from the beginning. But he would be lying to himself. She had proved time and time again to be a needed asset to their group, and he had begun to think of her as one of his closest friends, almost sister. His recent anger towards her caused only by the pain she had been inflicting on his love and bestfriend.

"We don't have any choice but to. Only they can tell us what's going on with Liz." Max answered, his voice hoarse with emotion, and he sounded dead. Even more dead than he did when he had first came back from New York only a few days before. Whatever spark of life that had been left in his eyes had all but disappeared with the news that his life, his only reason for living was perhaps gone. It left him empty inside, even worse than how he had felt before when she was away for the summer, even worse than seeing her in bed with Kyle. At least then, he still had hope that she would return. Now, perhaps because of his selfishness, he may never lose himself in her enchanting eyes nor hear her entrancing laughter again.

"Cordy's trustworthy. She loved Liz like she was a sister. They practically were," Kyle stated, glaring at Max and Michael. Max glared right back at Kyle, still not dealing with the fact of having to look at him and not see him and Liz together on her bed. "Liz trusts her. I trust her. Alex trusts her."

Alex looked up when his name was mentioned. He didn't know what to think right now. His best friend was in danger, he could tell by the way Cordelia screamed and how she and Isabel looked now. Their skin was pale, and every so often they would go still or start to convulse. "Look at them," he said, to Michael and Max,"Look at how they are. Something's wrong with Liz. And if you don't trust them, you don't trust us, and you don't trust Liz."

"What can we do to help?" Maria asked, her voice barely above a whisper. Red eyes looked into Alex's. "Tell me, and I'll do it."

"We need to figure out a plan. Our parents aren't going to let us wander around California, especially not when Max and Tess just took off to New York." Kyle replied.

"Tess." Maria stated. "She can mindwarp them. Make them think we're going somewhere else for school or something."

"Camping, or the caverns." Alex added. He squeezed Maria's shoulder in comfort at the sound of her dead voice.

"Do you think she can do it? I mean, mindwarp all our parents? Of course we won't have to mindwarp my dad. He should know where we are so that he could call if Liz shows up or something. But that does take a lot of energy, right?" Kyle babbled. It was a bad habbit of his. Whenever something happened like this, he would either go all Buddhist on everyone or babble so bad that it would give Maria a run for her money.

"I can do it. It won't take that energy. I'm just planting an image in their mind really." Tess whispered and everyone turned to see Fred and Tess enter, their faces grim.

"Gunn's outside, unloading our things and reloading them back into the other van. This one is more comfortable, you'll like it! There's even a TV, DVD, and CD player!" Fred exclaimed excitedly, and everyone smiled at her.

"I guess we better go get those "permission slips". I can make some on my computer." Alex said, relunctantly handing a still sleeping Isabel over to Max.

"I'll swing by your place and get your stuff Maxwell." Michael volunteered, and Max nodded his thanks, his concern now for his sleeping sister. Maria gave Max a weak smile despite her tears and placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. "I'll go with him. I love my spaceboy, but I don't think Isabel would like it too much if he went through her underwear drawer. Besides, knowing Michael, he'll pack all the wrong things and there'll be a Hurricane Isabel after him."

Max chuckled quietly at her small joke and nodded his thanks to her too. He watched as Kyle and Tess left to go explain the situation to the Sheriff, and he sighed as they were left alone. He watched over Isabel, asleep in his arms, another part of his heart holding onto a certain petite brunette.

Doyle watched as the group went their separate ways, and he couldn't help his growing admiration for this little group. He had seen in their eyes, the pain and scars from past trials and tribulations, and he had no doubt in his mind that they were strong and their friendships stronger. He had seen the loyalty and fierce protectiveness in them all, and knew that they would do anything to help his Delia find her Liz. Liz was truly blessed to have such a group of friends, although now it seemed they were at an odds. He wondered what could have broken up such a close knit group. Nothing he could think of seemed plausible. He only hoped that once everything was over and done with, that they would be able to love one another and heal. Looking down at his Delia, he knew that even though he didn't have the power of visions anymore, that better days were coming soon.

He kissed Cordelia's forehead, "Don't worry Princess, better days are coming, I'll make sure of it."

---

Buffy groaned, and put a hand to her head. What did she drink last night? She opened her eyes to meet brown shocked ones. The night came rushing back to her. The fight with the girl over the knife...but how did she get here? Buffy stood up, and stared in shock at where she was. She had never been the church going type of person but she could have sworn she had fallen into Eden. Trees surrounded Buffy, growing with rich fruit. She could feel the warmth of the sun on her face, a cool breeze blew back her hair. The sky was blue, and clear not like anything she had ever seen before. She could hear a rushing in the distance, assuming it to be a river or waterfall. The fact that Buffy might even see a waterfall amazed her.

"Wow." Liz said, also taking in the beauty of the atmosphere around her. Buffy was brought down from her cloud nine, as she looked Liz over. "Why am I here? What did you do?"

"I didn't do anything!" Liz insisted. Why did this...person think she did something to them? "What did you do?"

"Me?" Buffy asked, shocked. "I wasn't the one with some ancient knife in my hands."

"It was just a knife! It's not like I was going to do anything to you!" Liz cried out in frustration, a headache quickly forming as annoyance for the girl and the situation became stronger. "Besides, why are you blaming all of this on a knife? It's just a pocket knife I found a few years back!"

"You found it? Are you sure you didn't steal it?" Buffy demanded, her frustration already mounting also.

"No I didn't steal it! It was a gift for my boyfriend!" Liz sighed exasparated, not believing that this stranger was accusing her of stealing something. Then she realized what she had just said, and a defeated sigh escaped her lips. Ex-boyfriend. He wasn't hers anymore. He belonged to Destiny now.

Buffy watched as the annoyed expression faded away from the brunette's face and was suddenly replaced by a look she was all too familiar with, a look that had been present underneath the layers of masks she fronted every day. It was one of undying love but even more so, one of unending heartache and pain. It was at that moment, Buffy almost felt sympathy towards the smaller girl. Almost.

"How do I know you're not lying? What if you're some crazy psycho murder who escaped prison and was on your way to kill someone?" Buffy cringed inwardly at the stupidity of the comment, but then again she couldn't just flat out say, how do I know you're not some demon? It was possible of course, look at the vampires and Anya, they looked perfectly human, but were demons. In Anya's case, ex-demon, but that wasn't the point right now.

~+~+~+~+~+~

Anger...

...Pain.


Once easily disguised, but nothing could hide them in this world. They were strong and bright as magnificantly clear as the wonderous sky ahead. They reached out to him, and he grasped them hungrily, his darkened heart and feeding off their essense. His hunger was beginning to satisfy, and this brought a twisted smile to his features. Of course. It was time. He had felt them as soon as they had arrived in this majestic wonder, a haven for most, but a hellish prison for him.

Yes, it was finally time.

His ultimate revenge against the Powers that had imprisoned him here since the beginning of time had only just begun. He would take away from them what Fate had given. The Warrior and the Guardian were within his grasp, their essense shall be his, and the Powers shall lose their most valuable pawns as well as their source of Power. For once he was free from his bonds, he would find the source and use it to destroy all that was touched by the light.

Ezekielis smirked, already feeling the power he was receiving from their pain and he continued to feed off of them, thinking of the irony of it all. Fate's precious warriors were the ones who were setting him free, and soon it would be time for his ultimate glory. His Ascenscion. It was, after all, his Destiny.

~+~+~+~+~+~

Liz opened her mouth to retort to Buffy's earlier question, but suddenly stopped when she felt herself weakening. A pain so numbing froze her once more, and her body began to convulse. The last thing she saw before the darkness overcame her, was the fallen figure of the blonde who was also convulsing.

---

Max looked at the Magic Box before him. He sighed, and ran his hand through his hair. God he missed Liz. He missed her so much it hurt, and it killed him to know that his love, his soulmate was somewhere where he couldn't protect her. For hours they had been driving to California, meeting people who could help Liz. How...he had no idea, but it didn't cross his mind too often. His biggest concern was Liz. How he could find her. How he could help her. How he could tell her he was sorry.

"Stop." Isabel commanded, looking at the expression on her brother's face. Her heart ached for Liz as well. She knew that she had always been hard on Liz, but Liz had brought her Alex, friendship, and love. There wasn't anything that could make Isabel stop respecting Liz for the person that she was, but if Max broke down as well, all of them might follow. "We're all worried, but please...stop trying to blame yourself."

"Are you coming in?" Wesley asked, approaching the van. The group of teenagers looked at each other with sullen expressions and nodded. Alex was the first to step out of the van, holding his hand out for Isabel who followed. Kyle gave Maria another sympathetic look before leaving the van as well.

"Well?" Michael asked, Maria, holding her hair back. He placed a kiss on her cheek and lead her out of the van. Why it was so difficult for the group to leave the van was unknown to Fang Gang as they watched the teens. Max reluctantly closed the van door as he exited and put his hands in his pockets. Tess stood behind him and looked around warily. "Max?"

"Let's go in." Max replied, feeling a buzz deep in the back of his mind. He grabbed Tess's hand as they both walked, his mind still set on Liz. If something had happened to her, he didn't know what he would do.

---

Fear was running through Cordelia's mind. She kept seeing the look on Liz's face over and over again as she was dragged somewhere. The thought that Liz could have been the one who was trying to hurt Buffy was stuck in the middle of Cordelia's mind, even though she was positive that it wasn't so. Doyle held her hand the entire drive, comforting Cordelia, trying to ease her of her doubts. But, she knew that whatever was happening to her cousin, wasn't good, and that Liz would either fight, or die trying. And that wasn't acceptable.

"Cordelia." Her musings were interrupted by the soft, familiar and demure voice of the redhaired witch reached her ears and found herself in the girl's arms. Though she was upset beyond relief, Cordelia could not shield the surprise in her eyes as she pulled away from Willow's embrace. After all, they had never been that close, but looking into the redhead's face, she realized that the embrace wasn't just a sign of friendship. On Willow's part, it was also a way to reassure herself that things would be fine now that the Fang Gang were here. She watched as Willow went and hugged Angel, who surprisingly returned her embrace, but once again Cordelia understood. They were trying to overcome the overwhelming fear in their hearts for one Buffy Summers.

Xander walked up, his arms surrounding an upset blonde, who Cordelia could only guess to be Anya. She vaguely remembered meeting Anya in high school, but now seeing the love in their eyes, she was happy for Xander. He nodded his head at them, and motioned quietly for them to follow him, his eyes raising in question at the group of teens that were trailing behind the Fang Gang, but he made not move to comment.

As they walked further into the Magic Shop, they saw Giles sitting, his head completely engrossed in a book as he continued reading. Cordelia noticed an unfamiliar blonde sitting next to Giles, busy with her own research, and raised another eyebrow when Willow walked over to the blonde and the two clasped hands as they continued their research.

"Have you found anything Giles?" Angel asked, clearly anxious to know more about the whereabouts of his love.

Giles looked up, clearly startled at their seemingly sudden appearance. He took his glasses off and began to clean them as he stood up and walked over to greet the group. He and Wes shook hands, and he turned and Angel nodded a greeting. To his surprise, Cordelia threw her arms around him, and he embraced her just the same. She was after all, one of the Scoobies, and like a daughter to him. Turning to Angel, he opened his mouth to answer, but was interrupted by the loud voices suddenly filling the Magic Box.

"I'm serious Nibblet. You can't keep disappearing like that!" Angel tensed as did Cordelia at the familar voice, and they turned their heads to see the bleached blond vampire stalking in behind the youngest Summers.

"I didn't disappear! I was at mom's grave." Dawn shouted back in frustration, tears building up in her eyes. "I was looking for Buffy! She's always there. She doesn't know that I know, but she always visits mom!"

By the time she finished, her voice cracked and tears began to stream uncontrollably down her face.

"Bloody hell." Spike's voice and face softened as he pulled the girl towards him, trying his best to comfort her. "It'll be alright Nibblet. I promise we'll find the Slayer." As he comforted the girl, he noticed the rest of the people in the room. "Great, since when did Peaches arrive?" At the name, Dawn turned to look and relief flooded through her eyes as she left him and ran for Angel. He put his arms around her, and glared at Spike with a thousand questions in his eyes.

"Mr. Giles?" Wesley asked, bringing everyone's gazes from Dawn and Angel to him. "What have you found?"

Seeing Giles gaze go to the teens, Cordelia felt like she was going to explode. Her cousin and friend were in danger and they were worried about Liz's friends? She marched over to Giles books and pulled them towards her. "What does this all mean?" She shouted in frustration. "I can't read Latin!"

The others stared at Cordelia in shock. The Scoobies had never seen Cordelia like this, but the Pod Squad and the Fang Gang had just experienced earlier that night. Doyle walked over the comfort Cordelia, but as long as Liz and Buffy were gone she wouldn't be comforted. He wrapped his arms around her. "Princess...calm down. He'll tell you what it means ok?" Tears welled up in Cordelia's eyes. "But-""No buts- everything will be ok."

Willow raised an eyebrow at the scene. They knew more than the Fang Gang did about what was going on with Buffy, but all of the sudden she felt like she knew less. The teens stood watching the others warily, tears in their eyes as well. What had happened while Cordelia was in Roswell?

"I'll try to explain as best as I can." Giles replied, breaking the silence.

"Well who are they?" Anya asked, speaking for the first time. "And I don't even know some of them." She said, indicating to both the Fang Gang and Pod Squad. Her voice had a slight quiver to it, and she tightened her grip on Xander.

Cordelia looked between the groups, and bit her lip. How could she even explain, when she didn't know herself? She knew, trusted, and loved Kyle and Alex as if they were her own brothers, and she respected Isabel. The others she didn't know, but she would bet her life they could be as trustworthy as Alex, Kyle, and Isabel. There was still alot to be talked about. How would the others react when they found out about demons and vampires? There was a lot that needed to be explained.

Seeing Cordelia's dilemma, Doyle, ever her savior, took charge and stook his hand out to Giles, "I'm Doyle."

"Wait, you're Doyle? Cordelia's Doyle? As in dead Doyle?" Xander asked, his confusion apparent as he looked at Cordelia the back at Doyle, "You're not dead."

Doyle raised an eyebrow at the young man in front of him, "You must be Xander. You're right, I'm not dead, but that's a long story and can be told later."

Angel interrupted and signalled the best he could at Fred and Gunn, his arms still wrapped tightly around Dawn who had finally calmed down and was now staring at everyone with wide eyes. "That's Gunn and Fred."

"Winfred actually, but everone calls me Fred." Fred smiled and perusual with the hyperactive female, she began to babble, "Angel, Cordelia, and Wes saved me from Pylea. That's another dimension by the way. I was one of the human slaves there, but Cordelia freed me when she became the Queen of Pylea. Doyle and I were really good friends, and I was surprised to finally come face to face with the Delia he always spoke of. Long story short, Cordelia freed all the human slaves and we all got the heck out of there umph-"

Gunn clapped his hand over Fred's mouth, effectively stopping her babble. She grinned sheepishly and looked around to see everyone's reaction. The Scoobies were all staring at her wide-eyed, Giles looked quite interested about the mention of her dimension, Wes was cleaning his glasses, Angel was staring at her, Doyle was trying to calm a now hypervenilating Cordelia as she began to pace, and the group of teenagers were staring at her in confusion and wonderment.

Gunn removed his hand from Fred's face, and she realized that she had just spilled the beans, and another sheepish expression crossed her face and all she could say was, "Whoops."

"Wait! Wait just a second!" Kyle spoke up for the first time since they had arrived. He pointed to Doyle, "You were dead, but somehow you ended up in another dimension, and you were a slave of said dimension."

Doyle and Fred nodded, and Kyle continued, "And Cordy, our Cordy was Queen of this Pie-lie or whatever?"

Again they nodded, and Kyle nodded his head, "Great, just great. Not only is our friend missing, but we're dealing with a bunch of nutcases who believe that they were from different dimensions? Buddha help me, I never signed up for any of this!"

"Another dimension, but that's not possible!" Alex piped up and watched as Maria tried to calm a frazzled Kyle.

"What? Do you think I'm lying? I spent most of my life in this place as a slave!" Fred cried indiginantly. "Besides, how do we know you're not demons? How did Isabel see what Cordelia saw, if she wasn't one?"

"That's none of your business." Michael snapped, ready to guard his secret and family.

Cordelia felt her head began to spin as the teenagers and the rest began to argue about Lord knows what, and she felt the room suddenly spin as the floor collapsed underneath her. She couldn't do this. Not now, not when Liz and Buffy needed her. Doyle noted her distress, and caught her in his arms, steadying her as she wavered on her feet.

An piercing scream interrupted their little spat, and everyone turned to see Cordelia leaning heavily against Doyle, "Stop it! All of you! There's a reasonable explanation for all of this!"

They all stared wide-eyed as Cordelia nearly collasped, if not for Doyle's support she would have. "Just stop it! No more secrets! We tell each other everything..."

Michael made a move to protest, but Cordelia snapped at him, "Do you want to help Liz or not?! If not then all of you get the hell out of here because arguing will get us nowhere!"

Michael was silenced and just merely stared at her as did everyone else.

"I thought so. We'll go first." Doyle led Cordelia to a chair and made her bid her to sit. She nodded gratefully before beginning, "We-" She gestured towards the Fang Gang and Scoobies, "fight to defend this world against the evils..."

"By evils you mean?" Cordelia flashed Alex a brief smile before continuing, "You may not believe me, but we fight vampires and basically any demons. In fact, Buffy, the other girl is the Slayer. She was the one who brought us all together." She gestured to her friends.

"You've got to be kidding me. Do you really expect me to believe that you actually fight the things that go bump in the night?" Maria muttered disbelievingly, "Vampires or demons for that matter don't exist."

"You sure about that one Pet?" Spike spoke up from where he was standing by the window, a sly grin on his face.

"Of course! You've got to take me as some sort of fool to fall for that one..." The words died off her lips when Spike's handsome features suddenly morphed to that of a demon's and Maria, along with the rest of the Roswellian girls let out a scream. Michael and Max immediately raised their hands, ready to defend.

"William!" Angel's disapproving glare caused Spike to morph back into his normal features, a big grin on his lips.

"What? Pet asked for proof." Spike smirked, defending herself as he looked over to where Maria was sniffing her cedar oil like crazy.

"Yo-you! What are you?!" Tess shrieked, and Max tightened his grip on her hand, the buzzing feeling ringing in his ears.

"Spike is a vampire." Cordelia threw a glare at Spike who ignored it and opted to look out the window again.

"If he's a vampire then why aren't you guys like fighting him or something?" Maria babbled and decided that cedar oil, for once would not calm her nerves.

"Who Spike? He's been fixed. Couldn't even harm a fly." Xander smirked, loving the fact that he could get under Spike's skin. Spike turned his glare on him, "Watch it whelp, I might not be able to hurt you myself, but I have some people I can call who owe me a favor."

"Ohh, I'm shaking in my stockings." Xander shot back, and Cordelia interrupted their little dispute, glaring at the both of them. Seems like everyone really liked glaring today."Anyway, not all vamps are evil. Angel over there has a soul and helps the helpless in LA."

"You're a vampire too?" Kyle exclaimed, pointing his finger at Angel who only raised an eyebrow. Kyle turned to the humans, "Isn't it like your job to get rid of these guys?"

"Not Angel and I guess Spike too." Cordelia replied, her headache worsening, "Besides, I'm part demon myself."

"WHAT?!" Kyle and Alex both yelled, staring at their friend in shock, "Does Liz know about this?!"

"No she doesn't, and as for me being a demon, it's a new thing. Long story, get into some other time, ok?"

Michael turned remained in a defensive position and stared at everyone in the room, "Who else is not of the human status? I would like to know before my girlfriend dies of shock."

"Umm..I'm Willow, and this is Tara. We're..uh..both witches." The shy redhead spoke up and the blonde ducked her head.

"I'm Anya, ex-demon. I was a Vengance Demon, I use to help girls get revenge over the guys who hurt them. I would poison them, burn them, cut off their-" Anya was effectively cut off by Xander covering her mouth. All the males were squirming in their places, "Don't worry, Ahn doesn't do that anymore. I'm Xander and I'm as human as you can get."

"Ex-demon." Doyle nodded, and the podsquad stared at him in shock.

"I'm Dawn, and uh...I was a ball of energy that was put into human form by monks to protect me. I'm the key. They sent me to Buffy as her sister so that she could protect me." Everyone looked over at the young girl who had remained quiet throughout the whole ordeal, she had tears in her eyes, and everyone lowered their head in shame. Giles cleared his throat, "I'm Rupert Giles, an ex-watcher."

"What do you watch?" Alex quipped and a few weak smiles were what he received for his efforts.

"I train the slayer and guide her in her fight against evil." Giles continued and Isabel nodded, but then was confused. "What's a Slayer?"

"In every generation, a-" The Scoobies and Fang Gang groaned when Giles began his speech, and Cordelia interrupted, "The Slayer is basically a human female chosen by the Watcher's Council to fight the evils. She has enhanced senses and abilities. In this case, it's Buffy. I guess that's it for us."

"We told you our secret, now tell us yours. How did blondie over there see Cordy's vision?" Gunn demanded as he stared at the group of teens.


posted on 25-Jul-2002 10:41:12 PM
Chapter 6 following the Author's Note. And I know all of you will ignore the Author's Note and jump to the next chapter...but I did reply to what you all said! hehe *wink*

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 25-Jul-2002 10:50:10 PM ]
posted on 25-Jul-2002 10:42:12 PM
Razz214 I love Crossovers too!! As you can tell. Hehe. *big*

BellaDina We try to make Maria as Maria-ish as possible so tell us how we do!

cglenn I read the new part and loved it Corrin! *happy*

mrsjbehr Thanks for your feedback!

angeleyes I hope you like this next part!!

Tanky Yo, Jen! Someone likes our behind the scenes idea!!! *bounce* Thanks for all your feedback, and bumps!

Shama Thanks for finding our story! Jen, we're REALLY fishers. We got another one hooked.

RoswellLady I like the bumps!!! Hope you like this next part!

FreeFall Thanks for giving us feedback, that makes you awesome yourself!

Spicy trini1 The answer to all your questions waits in the next chapter. *big*

cglenn More bumps from Corrin! I gotta start bumpin your fic!

angeleyes Wow, you keep bumping this fic! Thanks so much!

Lucky Star
quote:
I know that Im terribly late leaving feedback and I apologise, but I have been away, so it's a valid excuse!
I've used that excuse myself, I know how you feel! Your welcome for the dedication, and Spike is so damn great (as you put it). He's really sarcastic and funny...you just gotta love him huh?
quote:
Hmm, Tess feels deeper for Kyle than she realises, can't wait to see the sparks fly when she does!
We can't have Liz off in another place and let Tess be with Max...that'd be bad. Plus, Kyle has got to get a girl!
quote:
I hope that Buffy and Liz can trust each other soon, methinks it will be the only way that they can get out of the hell that they are in.
You are right, they do gotta start trusting each other more, or else they will be in trouble deep. Glad you're hanging with us!!

Kim_56Emotion
quote:
that was great..I never really realized how many people weren't human on buffy...but now that I read this I realized that it's a lot...anyway...I absolutely love this...can't wati for the next part...
Hehe...ya I know what you mean about the whole demons on Buffy thing. Plus, we still have no idea what's wrong with Buffy (the fact that Spike can hit her)....

Dream Lover MerJ Hey! I know you! *big* You are NOT stupid!!! Don't think you are ok? I'm glad you found us!

KEmperor Pretty Good? Hey *big* THANKS!!! HEHE, Jen, we're pretty good!! Aw!

JEN!
quote:
Now as for this fic, thanks for those who are reading this, Erin and I appreciate those who are rating this fic. It keeps us going! *hint* *hint* *nudge* *nudge* Oops. *smiles sheepishly at Erin whom I accidentally pushed into the fish pond while nudging* Sorry Erin! LoL! (Why do I think there's going to be a retaliation??) *big* I guess being tired doesn't stop the insanity, go figure.
*Drags herself out of fishpond with something behind her hands* "Jen?" "Ya, Erin?" *Throws Crab at her, laughing evilly as the crab bites Jen* Hehe...gotcha back.



[ edited 1 time(s), last at 25-Jul-2002 10:45:22 PM ]
posted on 25-Jul-2002 10:56:53 PM
Hard times are fallin' on you
Even when you smile
I see the hurt come through
And I know it feels like
it's never gonna end
You say nothin's been right for a long time
And every step you take is a uphill climb

I see you're reachin' out
So let me tell you friend that
Better days are comin' around
I know you feel like
The whole world's gone
and let you down but
Better days they're comin' for you
I know they will
'Cause I'll be right there
makin' sure they do

And if your sky ain't lookin' the fairest
There ain't no reason to be embarrassed
Ain't nobody in the world ain't felt
the rain from time to time
And just you think
it's all over and done
The nights get easier one by one
So take my hand and hold on tight
And soon you're gonna find that
Betters days are comin' around

Chapter 6: Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered



"My name is Isabel!" Isabel said firmly, crossing her arms over her chest. She was scared. She had no idea who these people were, and the only one she trusted was apparently a half demon. She tried not to believe it, but how could she avoid it? Her senses were telling her to grab the others and run, but she stayed put. She couldn't run even if she wanted to, Liz needed her.

"Fine, Isabel, how were you able to see Cordelia's vision?" Gunn asked, correcting himself. Everyone was staring at her, making her feel uncomfortable. She looked at Max, their eyes meeting. The only thing she saw was worry. 'They told us their secret'. He said in her mind. She had almost forgotten his ability to do that, and she noticed that the others did too. 'We have to tell them'. Michael gritted his teeth but nodded once he looked at Maria's shaken face.

"We're not from around here." Max said slowly, the others biting groans.

"Well obviously." Spike laughed. Michael raised an eyebrow at the vampire. It was hard for him to even believe there were vampires... This vampire had scared Maria, Isabel, and Tess. He decided to give him some of his own medicine. Raising his hand, Michael pulled at the energy inside of him and put it into his blast. Spike went flying across the room, hitting a door and landing hard. He looked up in amazement, missing the slight grin on Angel and Xander's faces.

"We're aliens." Michael stated, not wanting to hear Max's speech. 'Smooth Michael. Real smooth.' Michael grinned at the approval of Max, not realising how much he needed it when it came to times like these.

"I told you!" Cordelia shouted to Wesley. Wesley was blushing as he tried to shush Cordelia. "Maybe you'll meet an alien, I said. And what did you say? There are no aliens!" She winked at Alex and Kyle, lightening up the mood.

"Aliens?" Gunn caught the gaze of Fred and the two started to laugh. "Good one."

"What about vampires and demons? Why not aliens?" Maria asked, getting some of her cool back. Inside she was running around screaming, but on the outside she was trying to stay cool. Breathe, Maria. Breathe deeply.

"Ok, let's say you are aliens. How did you get here? The crash was in '47 and you don't look older than 18." Xander said, holding Anya alot tighter after seeing that kid blast Spike across the room.

"We were in incubation pods." Isabel answered, not liking all these people knowing who she was. "Can't this wait? We have to-" Cordelia interrupted Isabel, "I know, but we did tell all of you what we were."

"But, not how you came to be a half demon." Kyle replied, looking at Cordelia sadly. He had thought they had no secrets between each other. But here she was, an entirely different person. He didn't even want to be around when Liz found out. Liz would be crushed. That is...IF Liz ever found out. Kyle erased the thoughts from his head, focusing on the others. As soon as everything was explained, Liz and whoever else could be helped.

Cordelia looked down, knowing exactly what Kyle was thinking, and for her part, she was hurt too. However, the sorrow she felt was stronger than the hurt. She was hurt that Liz had kept things from her, but at the same time she understood. Like herself, Liz had only been trying to protect her friends and Cordelia, herself from the dangers of the secret. She understood, yes, but it still hurt no less. She was also sad. It seemed that a lot had happened recently in their lives, and secrets were formed between them as was a chasm that had been created by those secrets.

She remembered their last meeting, how Liz seemed to be dazed and not there, battle worn and weak. She, herself probably sported the same look, yet neither dared to bring it up. Both content to just being with one another. Cordelia thought to herself. If Liz comes back, no! When Liz comes back, there would be no more secrets between them. No more barriers, she will be Liz's rock and Liz hers. They would help one another get through the pains of the secrets they held. They will help one another heal and protect the other. So when she looked up at Kyle again, the pain was still there, but was now lined with stronger determination. "Like I've said. We have no time to talk about this now. Liz and Buffy need us."

"Um.." Everyone turned towards Tara, and she blushed looking down. She wasn't used to being the center of attention, "I-I'm s-sorry f-for interrupting...but who's Liz?"

"Oh! She's Cordy's cousin. She's the brunette in Cordy's vision." Fred answered, happy to help, but she didn't notice Cordelia's face ashen. Cordelia closed her eyes, waiting for it.

"WHAT?!" That was Willow and Tara.

"Bloody Hell!" That was Spike.

"Come again?" Ah, there goes Giles.

"Your cousin is trying to kill my sister?" Dawnie.

"I must have heard wrong, but are you telling me that your cousin is trying to kill Buffy...and you're helping her?!" Xander shouted.

Cordelia's eyes remained closed as she rubbed her temples, waiting for the next onset of outbursts.

"HEY!!" That's Kyle, always starting things.

"What are you talking about?" Good ol' Alex.

"You've got the wrong girl!" Maria, Liz's other best friend. The girl was loyal, Cordelia could see that.

"Liz would never hurt anyone!" Max, his voice sounded familiar. She could have sworn she heard it before the meeting in the Crashdown.

Once again another argument broke out and once again, Cordelia screamed. "STOP IT!! What did I say?! All this fighting isn't getting us anywhere! We have to learn to trust each other, otherwise Buffy and Liz are doomed!"

Her words struck a chord in all of them. It was a funny sight to see the lone brunette spinning in a circle sending a glare at the people who were now standing, all with their heads down, like a mother scolding her misbehaving children.

"My vision was wrong, or at least I was! Liz would never have tried to hurt Buffy." Cordelia replied firmly. "Liz ran away from home," She was deep in thought thinking about her vision, missing the looks of sadness and guilt on the faces of the teens, "and she came here looking for me. Maybe she saw Buffy at her mom's grave and...I don't know. But I know that Liz didn't try to hurt Buffy. The knife had to be-"

"Knife? What knife?" Alex asked, his attention focusing on Cordelia, and Cordelia only. She looked around for the drawing she had sent the Scooby Gang. Finally, Giles handed it to her. Maria rushed over, to look at the picture, and gasped. "This isn't right. Max has this knife. Liz gave it to him for Christmas. You have it at home, right Max?"

She looked up, her green eyes meeting Max amber ones. He shook his head. "I gave it back to her, before I left for New York." Maria's eyes flared. "You gave it back? Max, no wonder she left Roswell! God!" She looked back down at the knife, tears welling in her eyes. "What's the significance of the knife?"

"That's what we want to know." Angel added. Too much had been yelled for the past fifteen minutes, and none of it helped them know where Buffy and Liz were. He had just seen her, held her, comforted her, and now she was gone, possibly dead. But he knew that the last one wasn't true. He'd have felt it, and Buffy was a fighter.

"Giles found out earlier that the knife is a sort of key. It opens and brings light to the world." Willow said, starting to explain the meeting from before. The knife's part of an ancient legend, involving Ioannes, messenger of the Gods, the Revelator. According to Biblical terms, he's the apostle John." Willow looked at the others to make sure they were still paying attention, and was pleased to see that they were hanging onto her every word.

"He was like Apostle, he saw what was to come...blah blah blah, he was a leader. Hence him being the protector of the light, and giving it to man. He protected the knife, the key between good and evil, and tried to stop the darkness and evil of the world. This knife gave you the powers of light or dark. Basically, you get the power of the knife and you're unbeatable. Unforntunately he wasn't immortal. Fast version; Ioannes died, but his child Caelia took over. Then, she died at the hands of an essence demon, Ezekielis. He was pulled into the knife because he underestimated everything...more of blah blah blah, and a prophecy." Anya looked up from her nails at the shocked faces of the others. "I was a demon...I knew my history! Plus, I listened to Giles."

"So what was the prophecy?" Alex asked, sitting on one of the steps. The history behind the tiny knife his friend had bought, had fascinated him and he wanted to know more about it.

"It was in Latin," Willow said, taking over again, "It said

"I shall not completely die
I am broken, I am not deflected
I call the living, I mourn the dead
How fearful is this hour
All wound, the last kills
Gemini, the wonderful bond of unity
To prevail over evil with good
From nothing, daughter of John
Rare, keeper of morals
They are hollow inside
Who shall keep watch over the guardians?
In secret, in silence, in one's rightful place
See and Believe.""


"So, what does it mean?" Tess asked. She caught Kyle staring at her during the prophecy and had missed some of the lines.

"That's the problem. We don't know for sure. We can make guesses, but prophecies are never clear." Willow answered, "It's like a riddle without a definite answer."

"Oh! Alex! Do you get it? You're good with riddles! Alex is smart! He can figure it out!" Maria exclaimed, her hopes soaring.

Alex nodded in agreement with Maria, "Yes, I'm good with riddles, but I've never tried to figure out a prophecy before."

Maria's face fell, but Alex continued, "But I can surf the net and look for more on this myth. I'm sure if we work together we can figure it out."

Maria's smile returned, albeit it was weaker than before, and Michael, sensing her distress, wrapped an arm around her, absently pressing a kiss to her head. Cordelia smiled at them and she felt Doyle tightened his arms around her, "That's the spirit! If we all work together, we'll figure it out and save Buffy and Liz!"

Everyone's spirit began to lift as everyone picked up a book and began to read, even the teenagers did. Alex and Willow surfed the net as Giles and Wesley continued reading about Ioannes and Caelia, hoping to find some clue about the prophecy. The aliens picked up some books and were leafing through them as Maria comforted an upset Dawn. Angel and Spike had gone out patrolling and searching for clues of Buffy's whereabouts.

As hours passed by, their hope began to dwindle as none of them found anything that might have been of use. Dawn had long past fallen asleep and Xander had laid her on the bed in the back of the Magic Shop, and was now helping Anya with inventory for the shop. As the night fell away, Cordelia kept glancing up at the door, crease lines on her forehead from concern.

When she looked up for the sixth time in the last five minutes, Doyle finally asked her what was wrong. Cordelia looked at him grimly, "It's been hours. The sun is almost coming up and I'm worried about Angel...heck I'm even worried about the Billy Idol wannabe!"

As the words escaped her lips, the door to the Magic Shop burst open, and Gunn and Fred came in with fresh food for everyone, donuts and coffee. Everyone murmered their thanks and all stood up and stretched before they sat down again to eat. They discussed their findings and Cordelia's vision. The sun had just came up, when the door burst open again and Spike and Angel ran in, smoke trailing behind them as they retreated away from the sun. Maria raised an eyebrow at them and turned back to her friends, "Is it just me or are they smoking?"

"It's not just you. Vampires tend to spontaneously combust whenever they receive too much sunlight. Kinda explains why they're so pale, huh?" Xander explained as they all looked at Angel and Spike who were huffing from their running.

Maria and the Pod squad exchanged glances and Maria nodded, pulling out her cedar oil, "Ah..I see."

Cordelia was up and out of her seat, running towards Angel. She threw her arms around him and cried out, "I thought I lost you too!"

The Scoobies were at a loss for words, especially when Angel wrapped his arms around Cordelia in response. He had only been that open with Buffy during the high school years of the gang, and even then they really weren't the PDA type. Seeing Cordelia show so much affection for the vampire was too unusual. During high school Queen C. had been chasing after Angel, dissapointment surfacing when she realized he was with Buffy.

Cordelia didn't know whether to beat Angel up with a stick or to never let him go. She had no idea whether or not Angel was dust that night and the worry that grew in her could have filled up an entire city. Now she knew why her mom and dad had always acted the way they did when she came home late from a party. She squeezed her eyes shut tightly, and gripped onto Angel, thanking the Powers that he was alive, safe, and in her arms.

"How come Peaches gets all the hugs?" Spike asked, acting hurt as none of the Scooby Gang came to welcome him back with open arms.

"Dawn's asleep, Captain Peroxide." Xander answered, a slight smirk on his face. His eyes lingered on Cordelia for a second, wondering who the heck she was. The girl in Angel's arms wasn't the Cordelia Chase he had known. The Cordelia he had known wasn't this close to Angel. She wasn't this much of a non 'Queen'. Then again, he thought back to what Fred had told the group earlier about her being made Queen in Pylea. Xander admired the new Cordelia, even if she wasn't throwing sarcastic comments his way.

Angel and Cordelia held each other for some time, more so on Cordelia's part since she wouldn't let go of him. Doyle watched his best friend and girlfriend, slowly raising an eyebrow, "Angel man, we're best friends and all, but get your own woman. I don't particulary like sharing."

Doyle's little comment made everyone laugh as the tense and extremely emotional moment came to an end. Cordelia grabbed Angel's hand and led him over to the others. She made him sit down and walked back to her own seat, but not before she smacked Doyle in the head, muttering something about not belonging to anyone.

"Ouch! Delia!" Doyle complained, holding his head while Cordelia smiled sweetly at him. Everyone watched the lover's spat with amused expressions on their faces. Doyle then leaned in and kissed Cordelia soundly on the lips before she could start spouting off. The pod squad watched on in amusement, with Kyle nodding in understanding.

"You're their version of Michael and Maria." He commented, earning a glare from the both Michael and Maria who then glared at one another. Alex laughed at the scene, and everyone else started to chuckle when Michael did the same thing Doyle had done before Maria could even begin to rant. Things were getting back to normal...well as normal as you can get with aliens, vampires, witches, ex-demons, demons, and such in the same room.

He looked around the room his gaze sweeping across every person in the room, each different in his or her own way, but all the same in the fact that they were loyal people who would do anything for the people they loved. His smile faded when he once again he noticed Liz's missing presence, it wasn't something he could forget easily. She was his best friend and almost sister after all, and without her here, the world seemed more dim, added to the fact that she was in danger only made his heart ache even more. She was out there, possibly hurt, no she was hurt, emotionally if not physically. He couldn't lose one of his girls, he just wouldn't know what to do if he did. Isabel seemed to notice his sudden somber mood because she quickly grasped his hand, hoping to transfer strength to him, and secretly, the love she, herself couldn't admit aloud just yet.

As the laughter died down, the tension in the air had all but disappeared and now everyone was talking aimably. Spike came back from whereever he disappeared to with two mugs. He was drinking from one, and handed the other one to Angel who took it gratefully and began drinking hungrily. Spike pointed a finger at him, "I'm not too keen on sharing Peaches."

Angel nodded in understanding, he didn't like sharing his blood either. "I'll get my own tomorrow."

Maria looked curiously at their mugs, and when Angel placed his on the table, Maria couldn't hold back her curiousity anymore as she leaned in and took a whiff at it. As soon as she did, she started gagging, "Ugh, what is that stuff?"

Spike looked up from where he was drinking his own mug peacefully, a grin spreading across his lips, "Tastes like Type O to me. What do you think Peaches?"

Angel glared at him in warning, but Spike paid no attention to him as Maria's face became confused.

"Type O? What does that mean..." She trailed off, suddenly understanding, as did the rest of the Roswellians. Spike's grin grew even wider when he noticed Maria's face becoming greener and greener by the moment and suddenly she burst up out of her chair, "I think I'm going to be sick. Where's the bathroom?"

Willow pointed to the back, and Maria made a beeline for it, her hand covering her mouth. Michael sent a glare at Spike who was now laughing his head off. His own face was ashen, and he felt sick himself, but Maria was his main concern now as he headed to his ailing girlfriend.

"Spike!" Cordelia snapped upon seeing the teenagers suddenly push their food away. Spike stopped laughing, but a smirk remained on his "innocent" face, "What luv? Pixie wanted to know what it was. I was just answering her question."

"Whatever. Angel." Angel's head snapped up when Cordelia's anger was suddenly directed at him. The others laughed at the look on his face. He looked like a deer caught in headlights as Cordelia stared at him, "Don't think I would forget about you. What part of being-back -before -the- sun -comes- up -or -bursting- into -flames, don't you understand? Where the hell were you?"

Angel's face became somber once more as his 'woe-is-me' expression returned to his face, "We were attacked by a legion of vamps and ran into a couple demons on our way back."

Willow's face ashened, "Do you think they know Buffy is missing?"

Angel grimaced and nodded slowly, "I think so. We can't be certain about it however. It might just be a coincidence. One thing is for sure though, there's something going on in the demon world."

"Peaches is right, something's brewing, and it isn't good. Those demons and vampires didn't just decide to party and come out of hiding. They know that the Slayer is missing. Something is definitely going on. I've never seen so many demons at Willy's before." Spike spoke up, his tone now more serious as grandsire and childe exchanged glances.

"Do you think they're planning another apocalypse? That's something we don't need right now." Willow added, her voice strained and her face ashen by the very idea of an army of demons ready to attack while Buffy was away. It was the perfect time to do so and succeed.

"It is a possibility, one we cannot rule out." Wesley added frowning, his books long forgotten.

"We also musn't forget that Glory is still out there and looking for Dawn." Giles added.

"So you're saying that not only do we have to find a missing Buffy, but we also have to save the world and protect Dawnie from a psycho Goddess bitch too?" Xander inquired with a huff.

"It would seem so." Giles answered, his own frustration mounting, "Even though Buffy is gone, we cannot forget our responsibilities."

"Don't worry about it pops, Granddaddy and I can patrol while the Slayer's away." Spike spoke up, a smile creeping onto his face at the mere suggestion of a fight.

"Yes, yes. Angel, Spike, and Gunn can patrol the streets at night and try to find some more information about the latest stirrings. The rest of us will be on alert to help. Willow and Tara can place protection spells on Dawn, and we will keep her with us at all times." Giles nodded, his mind already formulating a plan. The Roswellians watched in awe at the happenings around them, never experiencing anything like this before.

Cordelia turned her attention to Angel, "Did you find anything?"

Angel nodded, and silently pulled out a black cloak. He and Spike had found it laying near Joyce's grave. Isabel and Cordelia paled at the sight of the cloak, something that did not go unnoticed by the others.

"Th-that's-" Isabel stuttered, her face pale as a ghost.

"That's the cloak the demon was wearing in my vision!" Cordelia gasped out. She wanted to run away from it, or have Angel burn it, but she knew that was out of the question. She cast a glance at Isabel, both girls sharing the same fear.

"Demon?" Xander asked. "Why was no demon mentioned to us?"

"You had a vision? What was it about?" Willow asked at the same time. Cordelia froze, remembering it. She would have been stuck in it, had Isabel not have pulled her out. As if knowing what she was thinking, Isabel walked over to her, and grabbed her hand. As soon as their fingers touched Cordelia was pulled back into the vision.

The demon, chanting. A smile growing onto this evil face when he finished. His words sinking through her skin, as if striking her bones.

"The incantation!" Isabel yelled. "The demon was saying an incantation. It seemed like the text you read us before...deep."

"From ashes to ashes
Dust return to dust
The Warrior and Guardian
Destiny's hand broken
Pain and sorrow
Heed these words spoken
With past foes and triumphants
With this key to the source
Let not history be repeated
Darkness awaken and take thy vengeance
From ashes to ashes
Dust return to dust."


Cordelia watched the look of confusion on the faces of the Scooby Gang. The Fang Gang and Pod Squad had already heard it, wondering what it had to do with their loved ones. It was so hard to try to research this thing...knowing they were out there and possibly hurting. Alex paid close attention to the words, adding it to part of the riddle he had to crack. So far he understood the Warrior and Guardian. They had been mentioned before in the text. Alex was about to bring it up when Max held his hand out for the cloak. Angel handed it to him, not expecting the reaction Max gave him.

Max gasped as he was thrown into his connection with Liz. Images blew by him as he tried to gain balance in his mind.

"Get off!" Liz shouted, struggling with the girl.

She was blonde, and she had to be Buffy, the girl the others were missing. He felt a pain in his shoulder as if Buffy was pinning him down, instead of Liz.

"It's mine!" Liz shouted, freeing one of her wrists and knocking the knife out of Buffy's hands. "Get away from me." She reached for the knife, and grabbed it just as Buffy did.

Max felt Liz's frustration and pain as they fought over the knife. He watched with wide eyes, and tried to pull in as much of the scenery as he could, looking for any clues.

"Do what?" Liz snapped, yanking on the knife. She looked down and tried to yank again, "Oh God...what's going on?"

Why wasn't she moving? Max wondered. He stared as the girls looked at each other in horror and surprise. "Liz...move!" He yelled, waving his arms for her attention.

"I didn't do any-" Liz's retort was cut off by the sudden blinding white light that suddenly burst out of the knife. Buffy and Liz's eyes both widened before shutting against the light. Liz's body felt like it was on fire, especially the fingers that was grasping the knife. It never did this before. She thought wryly, and suddenly the warm feeling left and her body was swept into a cold icy chill. Buffy's body too, began to shudder with the coldness. Soon their bodies began to convulse painfully as the light became brighter and brighter, a ringing and the howling of the wind echoed in their ears.

Max felt like he was on fire. He tried to get to Liz, he tried to help her, but was blinded by the white flash of light. A sudden feeling on emptiness and terror crashed upon his body as he opened his eyes to see no one. No Liz. No Buffy. Just dirt. And a place where they had once been not a second before.

He didn't get a chance to ponder where the girls had gone before a cloaked figure suddenly swooped out from nowhere and picked up the fallen knife. He turned around and Max shivered when he saw the demon's eyes flash coldly. The evil was hanging in the air around him as he walked away, dropping his cloak along the way. He threw a glance over his shoulder and looked straight as Max, as if he could see him standing there. Max shivered once more. That guy had known they were coming. Who was he?

Before he could chase after the figure, he felt the world around him shift and he suddenly found himself in some kind of enchanted forest like atmosphere. Where am I? He heard a groaning from behind him and whipped around to see the blonde...(Buffy was it?) stand up groggily and then he registered the shock on her face as she looked around wildly. Then he heard the voice of an angel, his angel. He spun around to see Liz gazing around in absolute awe, and even in her disheveled appearance, she was breathtakingly beautiful to him.

He then watched as Buffy started yelling at Liz, and he could feel Liz's growing frustration and the pain her head as she retorted to whatever Buffy had said. He crept closer, and when he knew the girls could not notice him, he walked out into their sight and stood listening to their conversation.

"You found it? Are you sure you didn't steal it?"

"No I didn't steal it! It was a gift for my boyfriend!"


Max flinched at the hurt tone in her voice and even more so at the expression on his face, and he reached out to hold her, but his hand went through her as if she was air. Then he felt it. An all-consuming hatred and anger, it tore at him, but he knew it wasn't coming from Liz.

It was coming from another source, from someone else who was watching his Liz. Someone or something that was filled with darkness. Evil. It suffocated him, and as soon as it had come, it disappeared leaving Max dazed as he looked over at Liz. He watched in horror as she fell to the ground, and through their connection he felt the similar feelings from before. Numbing pain followed by sweltering hot and then freezing cold. He cried out as he reached for Liz, trying to keep her from falling, but once again she fell through his arms like air, and then nothing. The last thing her registered was his own tortured voice calling out into the sky, "LIZ!!!"


So, what did you think of the new Chapter? Ya, that was the end so hope you enjoyed it- *winces as Jen throws the crab back at her*

OK, fine....the rest of the chapter is in the next post due to length restrictions...we aren't THAT evil...haha, ok so we are. *big*


[ edited 2 time(s), last at 21-Nov-2002 5:59:35 PM ]
posted on 25-Jul-2002 11:02:41 PM
Rest of the chapter...hehe

~*~

"LIZ!!!" Max shot up from the bed, scaring the whits out of Michael and Isabel who had been hovering over his convulsing figure anxiously. Max looked around the room, trying to catch his breath as sweat trailed off his body in waves. Maria, Alex, Kyle, and Tess were just behind Michael and Isabel, and the Fang Gang and Scoobies were anxiously waiting by the door. "What happened?"

"What happened?!" Michael blew up in his best friend's face, "You fainted that's what happened! What the hell is going on Maxwell?"

"Did you see Liz? Is she ok?" Maria began firing off questions fear coursing through her as she remembered Max's tortured cry.

Alex took this moment to pull Maria into his arms as she began to weep quietly, her voice having trailed off in the middle of her questions. Alex looked at Max again and asked, "What happened Max? You were grabbing the cloak and the next thing we know is that you're on the ground writhing and burning up. What did you see?"

"I f-felt.." Max started, but stopped once more and took a deep breath, his love's fear and pain crashing through him like an unwanted memory.

"Spit it out Maxwell." Michael demanded and Isabel slapped him, "Ouch! Hey!"

"Shut up Michael, let him speak!" Isabel said in her best Ice Princess voice.

"I felt h-her...pain." Max finally managed, "I f-felt her."

"What?! How?!" Michael demanded, and once again Isabel shut him up with a glare. The Fang Gang and Scoobies watched on. It was their turn to be confused as the Roswellians began to talk amongst themselves.

"The connection. Your connection." Maria spoke up, her eyes wide, "It's still there? I didn't think it would be after-"

Maria trailed off and Max looked down as Kyle looked away causing some eyebrows from the Fang Gang and Scoobies to raise in curiousity. Max just shook his head, "No, it's still there. I felt her. I could feel her pain and her fear! Oh God, she's so scared!"

Isabel wrapped her arms around her brother, doing her best to comfort him. "It's ok Max, we'll find her. Everything will turn out ok. I promise."

"I don't want to interrupt this little moment," Xander spoke up, causing everyone to turn to him, "But what's this connection dealy you're talking about?"

"When Liz was shot Max healed her...and ever since they've had this connection between them. They know what the other feels at times. And when Max and Liz would kiss, she'd get flashes and so would Max." Kyle replied. "You know, flashes of the other's past. Sometimes Liz saw stars."

"Flashes?" Spike asked, disbelieving.

"Hey, I think it's sweet." Dawn stated. When everyone looked at her she rolled her eyes, "Then again I'm a 15 year old. I know nothing. Blah, blah, blah."

Tara wrapped an arm around her in comfort with a small smile. "So, when you had these f-flashes, what'd you s-see?"

"The demon, dropping his cloak, and Liz and Buffy arguing with each other." Max said, rubbing his hands over his face in an attempt to wipe away the feelings he had gotten from Liz. "There was so much anger and hatred coming from someone watching them, hurting them. One minute I saw them arguing and the next they were shaking on the ground."

The groups didn't bother holding back scared faces. Their friends were trapped in some other dimension of what seemed to be hell. The fear radiated off of the group in waves. Cordelia turned to Giles and Wesley. "Well...come on. We need to find them. You're ex-watchers...tell us what to do." Wesley and Giles cast nervous looks at each other.

"Cordy-" Wesley started out. Cordelia held her hand up quickly. "No, I don't want to hear an excuse Wesley. My cousin and friend are out there in some sort of pain. And if Buffy thinks that Liz is the one who's bringing her pain she'll react. Now, find something."

Dawn was shaking with fear and shock at Cordelia's words. They hit her hard, confirming the fact that Buffy was in pain. First her mom died, and now Buffy was suffering physically and emotionally. There had to be something they could do. "There has to be something we can do. Anya, can you tune into the demon world, find anything out?"

Anya looked at Dawn with pity in her heart. "I'll see what I can do Dawn." She gave her a friendly pat on the shoulder, and a warm smile.

"Why don't we just reverse the spell? We already know the spell that took them there, if we switch a few words around we should be able to figure out a way to bring them back. Then again, whoever sent Buffy and Liz away knew exactly where to send them so we'd have to find out where they are first. I'm sure we could locate them someway, I mean look at how Angel, Cordelia, Gunn, and Lorne found me and Doyle? Oh! Oh, we could call Lorne, maybe he-" Fred stopped her babbling as Willow's face brightened. "Fred, you're a genius!"

"I am?" Fred asked, uncertainly. Willow whispered her idea to Tara who nodded quickly, a similiar smile appearing on her face. "What'd I say? Calling Lorne?"

"No. Locating them! Tara and I could perform a location spell." Willow announced. The others seemed to relax immediately and Fred found herself in the middle of what she thought was a group hug.

"Anything you want. Anything, I'll get it for you!" Xander promised. Fred blushed, "Tacos would be great."

"Spike, get tacos. No blood on them would be great." Xander ordered. Spike rolled his eyes. "Sun. Up. Remember?"

"Right...put a hat on then." Tara shot the two of them a glare when Dawn started to shake. "Dawnie, we'll find Buffy. We'll get her back."

Spike took Dawn in his arms to try to reassure her more, and to let the other two get the spell going. Dawn pushed away from Spike a little, and pulled herself together. "I have to help get supplies or something."

"Pet, all you have to do, right now, is get some rest." Spike said, pulling her arm again. Dawn's flared, "Rest? How can I help my sister if I'm getting rest? Spike, I owe her this. How many times has she saved my life? Don't you think for once, I should help her keep hers?" Spike's eyes searched her own, "Go see what you can do Niblet. I'm not stopping you."

Dawn smiled at him graciously, as she walked towards where Cordelia, Tara, and Willow were standing, "How can I help?"

"I think we've got it here Dawnie. You can go sit down if you want." Willow offered. She was worried about Dawn the most. Not only was a hell god after her, but her sister was in some other dimension possibly dead. And to put the cherry on the whipped cream, Dawn's mother had died a couple weeks ago. Willow had loved Joyce Summers as did the rest of the Scoobies, and she felt a loss inside of her. Imagine one ten times that loss and that's what Dawn was feeling.

"Please, Willow. It's my sister. I need to help." Dawn begged. Cordelia shied away from the three, leaving them in peace. She noticed how out of place the Roswell group looked and she moved over to them. When she approached she forced her winning smile at them, "So, how you guys doing?"

Kyle shifted his feet and shrugged. "I don't know," Not one for being subtle he burst out, "Why didn't you tell us Cordy?" Her smile fell from her face and she looked away from his, aching with pain. Meeting Alex's gaze she saw the same thing. "How would you have reacted? Kyle, I didn't even like dealing with it. My high school graduation was something I was looking forward to. But you know what happened? The Mayor was a big snake who wanted to eat us all. And my graduation ended in flmes; literally. Tons of my friends and the people I had known, were killed in front of me and my high school was in flames. I ran off to L.A. So if I couldn't deal...how would my cousin, and my best buds?"

"Snake?" Isabel asked, shocked. Cordelia shrugged, "Long story. I'll fill you all in later."

"That must of...sucked." Alex replied, choking on a breath. So he was hurt, yes. But was he mad? No. He couldn't be mad at Cordelia when he was as guilty as her. She seemed to notice his thoughts. "And what about you guys huh? When were you gonna tell me you had made friends with E.T.?" She joked. Kyle traded smiles with Maria and Alex.

"Well...it all started when Liz was shot-" Maria began. She saw the worry in Cordelia's eyes and before Cordelia could start ranting she cut her off, "Luckily, Max was there and he healed her..." As the group talked, the Scoobies and Fang Gang observed.

"They're strong." Willow mumbled, pulling different items from the cabinets. Tara looked up, as she sorted through different gemstones. "To have to live your life a secret for so long makes you strong...but it makes you weak as well."

"What stones are you using?" Doyle asked, drawing his eyes away from Cordelia. Tara looked at him surprised. "J-just a few that will help W-willow and I. Give us strength and so forth, help the s-spell."

Dawn smiled and took over, holding each gemstone up as she spoke. "Amethyst for Meditation, Citrine for Awareness, Red Jasper for Energy, Smoky Topaz for Protection, and Turquoise for Friendship." Dawn handed them back to Tara, who gave her an encouraging smile. "I'm learning."

Giles smiled at her, proud of her. He'd watched Buffy grow into the woman she was now, and he'd do the same for Dawn. He was...and always would be the father she had never really had. Willow brought him out of his stupor as she announced to everyone that the spell was going to begin soon.

"So we get to watch?" Maria asked Cordelia, her eyes showing excitement. Michael looked at his girlfriend as if she was crazy. "I don't like the voo-doo stuff all right? Can't we get a burger or something, while they do this?"

"I'm with Michael, let's go." Kyle replied, looking at the door. Cordelia laughed. "Why are you two so scared? They aren't doing the spell on YOU. Besides, if it works, you'll be able to see Liz."

Her last sentence made every head in the Roswellian group snap towards her. Kyle cleared his throat, "Did I hear you right? See her? I thought it was just to locate her?"

Cordelia looked thoughtful for a moment before she brightened, figuring the best way to describe it to them. "Well, yes usually a location spell just locates their positition on the map...but since we're not sure if Liz and Buffy are on this planet or not, Wills decided to try a stronger spell, hence all the needed boost of energy. Basically this spell will locate them and show us where they are. Besides, it helps gives us some clues to where they are, not to mention we can keep tabs on them."

Kyle nodded his head as if he understood and then shrugged his shoulders, "If you say so."

As long as they could see Liz, then that was fine with him. Anything to make sure she was ok. The group of teenagers were pulled from their musings when Dawn came bounding up to them, obviously excited and much more happier. She would get to see Buffy soon, and she couldn't wait to get started. "They're ready! Come on!"

Dawn took Cordelia's hand and began pulling her towards the Fang Gang and Scoobies, leaving the Roswellians to look at each other before jumping up and following the two. Upon reaching the back of the stores, their eyebrows raised at the sight in front of them. Willow was sitting in the center of a large pentagram made from stones and chanting softly while Wesley and Tara were spreading herbs around her and the symbol on the ground. Giles was busy lighting various candles of different sizes and shapes around her and Spike was standing to the side, seemingly aloof, yet ready to attack if anyone tried to hurt the redhead witch. He smiled slightly at the sight of Dawn as she immediately started to help Tara. All in all it looked like a scene from some sort of weird horror movie. Except this was reality. This was reality, and they were in a room full of ex-demons, demons, witches, and vampires.

Yep, it's just another day in my world, Kyle thought wryly as he watched Willow pick up a mirror. When she started to glow, he began freaking out, "What the hell? I thought only aliens and horny girls healed by an alien glowed?"

"Kyle!" Kyle ducked all the slaps directed at him, courtesy of Maria, Cordelia, Isabel, and Tess. Cordelia rolled her eyes at him, "Shh."

Maria on the other hand was psyched. After years of studying and trying witchcraft, she was finally witnessing some real bonified spells peformed by real witches no less. Maybe they'll...

"Forget it Maria." Maria's head shot up at Michael's voice, an innocent expression on her face, "What?"

"Don't even think about asking them for any spells. Next thing I know it, I'll be serving you hand and foot with some weird hairdo." Michael muttered while Maria pouted cutely before.

"Oh! You got it all wrong Michael." Michael raised an eyebrow at her, and she continued, "I'm not going to waste my time on trying to find a spell that can help with your hair, I don't think all the black magic in the world can help you there."

Michael smirked in amusement before his face became somber again, "Seriously Ria. Don't even try anything. I heard Giles saying that all black magic requires a lot from the person and doesn't come without consquences. I don't want you to hurt yourself."

Maria's eyes softened at his display of affection, and she reached up and gave him a small kiss on the lips, "Love you Spaceboy."

Michael nodded, but didn't repeat the sentiment. Maria, however knew he felt the same way, even if he didn't say it aloud. Maria turned back around in his arms and watched Willow suddenly stopped glowing. Maybe she could get them to teach her a spell that would get through his defenses or something. It couldn't hurt now could it? Maria smiled at the thought of a spell that would let her know each and every thought that crossed his mind. Maria smirked, thinking of all the possiblities.

"The circle has been blessed. We're ready to begin, but we're still missing some things." Willow said, not even moving from her spot, "We need something with their essense. A picture works."

Dawn jumped up and raced back into the store and was back in the next few moments with a recent picture of Buffy and handed it to Willow who nodded her thanks, sending the younger girl support through her eyes. They turned to the Pod Squad, and Maria took charge as she stomped over to Max, and forced him to turn around. She reached into his backpocket, catching Max and Michael by surprise.

"Maria! What the hell?" Michael bellowed while poor Max was becoming more scarlet by the moment. Maria continued, unfazed, "Chill Spaceboy. I like your tushie better."

It was Michael's turn to blush as he stared incredously at his girlfriend while she pulled out Max's wallet. Max, still having not recovered could only stare dumbly as Maria shuffled through his wallet, pulling out a picture of Liz and handing it to Willow who was trying to surpress her giggles at the girl's antics. Maria then walked back over to Max and was about ready to put it back into his pocket, when Max finally shook out of his stupor, and quickly intervened, "I've got it!"

Maria smirked at the look of utter embarassment on Max's face, thinking he looked so adorable. The blush even reached to his ears as he backed away from Maria a little more, putting space between him as he tucked his wallet into his jacket pocket...just in case she decided she needed something else from it. Everyone was looking at Maria in shock and she shrugged her shoulders, "What? Out of everyone in this room, Max is the most likely to be carrying a picture of Liz. I'd do anything for my chica, even cop a feel on Romeo's tush."

Giles cleared his throat, "Yes. Right, do you have everything you need Willow?"

Willow nodded, "I'm ready, but I'll need everyone's help. I need everyone to concentrate on Buffy and/or Liz. It sort of helps the spirits track them down easier."

Everyone nodded and agreed as they closed their eyes and let their thoughts wander to their respective friend as Willow closed her own eyes and began the incantation and ritual.

"From spirits unto spirits, souls lost and found, I call forth the almight divinities." Willow began to chant softly holding her hand above the items in the circle. Tara watched from the side ready to intervene if need be.

"Gaea, Silvanus, Vesper, Mithras. We beseech thee, our saviours." Willow slowly begen to levitate off the ground, the air picking up around her until a soft wind began blowing the herbs around, but the candles remained strangely lit.

"Gaea, mother goddess of the fallen land, we beseech thee, guide us the lost." The jade earth crystal began to glow brightly as it too levitated off the ground and into Willow's hand.

"Now! Direct all your thoughts and energy towards Liz and Buffy! Do it now!" Tara commanded, and everyone began to concentrate.

Maria's mind was filled with the many sleepovers, pranks, and girls' nights that Liz, Alex and she had shared, and she could faintly hear Liz's laugther echoing in her mind. Her heart began to hurt, Please chica, come back to us.

Images of Buffy filtered through Dawn's mind as she saw pictures of herself and Buffy who was always comforting her while she cried. Through the loss of her kitten, the divorce between their parents, and now the death of their mother, Buffy had always been there. Even now she could hear Buffy's voice, 'I promise I'll always be there Dawnie. No matter what, I promise to be with you forever." Buffy, you promised...

Alex, too heard Liz's laughter, but he also remembered her tears and all the times he had held her while she wept.

Xander too, was remembering. His meeting with Buffy, his feelings for her, the realization he loved her yes, but only as a sister. The fear the first time she had died at the hands of the Master, the joy to have her back, the grief he felt as he watched her slip away in front of his eyes.

"Silvanus, keeper of the woodlands, open thyself to our plea." The mirror was slowly rising towards Willow as her eyes began to open, the glow only intesifying with the energy from the others' thoughts.

Love, Kyle was feeling nothing and remembering nothing but his love for Liz and her love for him. The joy he felt when she agreed to be his girlfriend, the confusion he felt while he dated her, the fear and irrantionality as he felt himself losing her to Max Evans, the comfort when she let him back into her life, and finally the realization that his love for her was nothing more than a brotherly love.

A daughter. It was something he had not thought of ever wanting until he had met Buffy, and from that moment on she had become his surgorate daughter, and her friends his very own children. He loved them as a father would his children, and they loved him as the only father they knew. Giles finally let hismelf break down as tears streamed one by one down his face, the reality of the situation finally hitting him in the face.

Willow reached out, and with a flick of her wrist, the mirror shattered into a million pieces as the crystal hit the surface. The pieces went flying in all directions, but none left the pentagram.

A sister. A part of his only family. Missing and without his protection, Michael felt himself growing more angsty at the thought of not being able to protect a member of his family. Especially an important member like Liz. He remembered the envy when he returned Liz's journal to her, and it had been then, he realized, that he had understood her love and devotion not only to Max, but to him, Isabel, and later on, Tess. He didn't need to read her journal to know that she would do anything to protect them and their secret.

For so long he had been alone, partly without his soul, and partly without company. Then he had found her, Buffy. He had grown to love the Slayer, maybe since the moment he had seen her. But walking away from her that Graduation day, was one of the hardest things for him to do. He had made her life painful, while she had made his joyful. Buffy's eyes made Angel feel as if the world was an ok place. And her smile...her smile made Angel feel as if his soul was never gone. He needed Buffy.

Respect. That was the one thing that Isabel knew would never leave her mind when it came to Liz Parker. For years she had fought for respect with Isabel, never knowing she had had it all along. Isabel was jealous of the friendship Maria and Liz had. She could never have a friendship with a human, because she wasn't human. Liz had proved Isabel wrong, by creating a relationship between the two. Liz stood by the aliens, protecting them with whatever she had, and Isabel loved her for it.

"Vesper, lord of the stars and moon, shine thy chosen path." Willow continued to chant as the pieces of the broken mirror began to shine brightly, an eerie silver light emitted from the mirror itself as the crystal lost its emerald light, glowing a soft blue instead. The wind began to strengthen, and this time, the candles began to flicker out, one by one until the room was bathed in darkness, the only light coming from the glass floating in the air.

"Mithras of the sun and day, lend thy shining light." The pictures of the two lost girls suddenly burst into flames, as Willow watched with red eyes as the embers turned their images to ashes.

Out of all the people in the room, she cared the least about Liz Parker, unless it was a battle of jealousy. So Tess was jealous of Liz...it was already known. She had Max Evans, and Kyle Valenti...yet she gave both of them to Tess on a silver platter practically. Liz had been courageous, even nice to Tess since she came. Yet Tess repaid her by trying to steal Max, and trying to get the best of Liz. Tears poured down her cheeks as Tess realized how she acted towards Liz. No wonder Kyle was so cold, Alex so distant, or Maria..so mean. Throwing all of her energy into Tess hoped that Liz Parker was all right.

The Slayer. The one person who Spike could never defeat, and the one person that he didn't want to. Drusilla treated Spike as her servant, Harmony as her love bunny, but Buffy treated him as a man. A man with fangs, but she treated him like a man. He saw the love in Angel's eyes for Buffy and ached for some of it himself. His first duty was to do as Buffy always told him; protect Dawn. And in order to protect Dawn, he had to protect the Slayer.

"For this purpose, with respect to this," Willow's eyes began to glow red as she continued and magic literally filled the air as her voice rang throughout the small shop. Without any conscious thought to what she was doing, Willow grabbed a piece of the broken mirror, and slit herself across the wrist. A blood sacrifice. The red liquid trailed down her arm, dripping onto the mirror that was now laying flat against the ground, the ashes from the pictures mixed with her blood and as they touched the surface of the mirror, bits of glass began to reform on its surface. "I give so that you give back."

Cordelia's mind was at a blank as she tried to think of everything she and Liz had gone through together. How could she sum it all up into one energy ball and send it Liz's way? Their slumber parties, their talks. They way they used to sneak into Grandma Claudia's basement and look through her stuff. They way they were themselves around each other. Cordelia gathered those thoughts up, and threw them towards Willow. She tried her best to send something of Buffy, but the only thing that ever happened between those two were the fights. They fought all the time, although the love and frienship was there.

Because it was you. The words rang throughout Max's mind as she focused on the picture of Liz, now in flames. He had told her that so long ago, and still meant it. If he had to, he would bend over backwards for her. He'd die for her, and he'd kill for her. The bond between Max and Liz was so strong...it had to be true love. For so long Max believed that the love he had with Liz was because she was his soulmate. Now, he realized after seeing her with Kyle, she was his heart.

"Reflect upon us those who have been lost!" The last words of the incantation came out as a loud, almost scream as the wind picked up even harder around Willow, blowing her hair left and right as the glow began to intensify around her small form. The strength and energy she was receiving from everyone was strong and almost overbearing as she channeled the energy into the now solidfying mirror. Piece by piece, the glass began to assemble in the frame, but the glass was no longer clear, but had instead turned a deep black, an endless oblvion and through the darkness of the clouded mirror. When at last the mirror was solid again, the winds died down, and Willow floated to the ground, landing softly on the floor.

A bloodied hand reached out to the small mirror, as she whispered softly in a voice not her own. The voice was unearthly and clear as it whispered gently in Latin, "Recolo." Reflect.

From the depths of the seemingly unending and clouded mirror came a beautiful soft silvery white light that traveled around the room, lighting up every crook and corner as an image suddenly appeared above the mirror. Everyone gasped at the sight images and reflections floating in front of them.

Yes, this is the REAL ending. Hehe, so what'd you think?
posted on 30-Jul-2002 4:30:28 PM
Authors' (Joint) Notes


*Watches as readers run away screaming*

Jen: Do you think it was something we said?

Erin: Hmm..maybe

*Erin and Jen blinks before evil...erm...angelic smiles appear on their faces.*

Jen: Who's first on our list of victims?

Erin: Readers.

Jen: What?

Erin: Readers, not victims.

Jen: (blinks) same thing.

Erin: We are having way too much fun with this don't you think? *looks at Jen and they say together* No....



*Jen reaches into black top hat and pulls out a slip of paper* And our first victim is...

Erin: Lucky Star! *smirks evilly*

Jen: First of all, thank you Lucky Star for the bumps!

Erin: And being a stalker. It's great! ;)

Jen: Now we know you said you weren't our stalker. But...

Erin: But...you really are so, we decided to give you a title. You know...being our first stalker and all. *big* So we decided...

Jen: (pulls out a sword from thin air as readers back away slowly) So we decided you needed a title. *holds the sword up and taps Lucky Star on shoulder, head, and other shoulder* We, the Queen Fishers, dub thee Lady Lucky Stalker. *happy* Congrats!

Erin: LLS for short of course!

Jen: Yes, but only because we're lazy. We hope you enjoy your title.

Erin: By the by...love how you loved our Warning: Insane Authors bit. It's the truth...besides if you get a fair warning you have no one to blame but yourself for reading our fic. *tongue*

Jen: 'Tis true. 'Tis true Erin. Also if you continue to read this story after this note, well...don't say we didn't warn you. [angelic]

Erin: Basically you've been warned twice.
From Lucky Star-
quote:
I loved when Michael sent Spike flying across the room, I thought it was apt Michael behaviour.


Jen: Erin thought so too. *happy* She was the one who wrote that part.

Jen: (continues) See? A nice sane and civil comment!

Erin: There are tons of sane and civil comments. None from us of course.

From Lucky Star-
quote:
So Tess missed a bit of the prophecy when Kyle looked at her huh? *happy* Looks like it won't be much longer before they're off trimming the lamp of wisdom!! *big* One can only hope!!


Jen: (singing) You're my only hope...*stops* Oops! Wrong fandom! Yep, methinks Miss Destiny is finally ready to get some Buddha boy loving!

From Lucky Star-
quote:
Doyle's great!!


Jen: (looking over to where Erin is squeezing the life out of Doyle with Cordelia glaring at her) Hehe I think Erin agrees with you. Right Erin?

Erin: *sigh*

From Lucky Star
quote:
Spike and Maria and the blood! Hee hee!


Erin: Yes, well...Jen wrote the part. You have no idea what it's like writing a fic with this girl. It's insanely amusing and great. The Spike/Maria scene was funny right? *wink*

Jen: Who me?? Insane?? *huffs* I think not...*pauses dramatically* I am not insane, I'm a fisher.

From Lucky Star-
quote:
I swear I just about fell off my chair laughing when I was reading this! Kyle rules!! I'm still laughing as I type this!

Maria is great now she's pulled that great big stick out of her butt! I loved when Maria was getting Max's wallet out of Max's pocket, especially Michael's reaction to it, so funny!


Erin: Join the club! Jen wrote the Kyle part...and the Max/Maria part. I supervised though!!! Tee hee.

Jen: (blinks) You supervised?? Really?? Then why the heck was I allowed to write that? *ponders* I think we need new supervisors! Hehe!

From Lucky Star-
quote:
The thoughts of everyone when they were concentrating on Liz and Buffy were amazing. I especially liked Tess', it shows that she's come a long way from the spoiled little bitch that she was.


Jen: She was bitch wasn't she?

Erin: Aw be nice. Tess was ok with Kyle. And without the 'D' word. You know... *whispers* Destiny.

Jen: (continues) Well that part was written by my very own partner in crime Erin! *stops to think* Wait...who else would have written it if it wasn't her. *smacks head stupidly*

From Lucky Star-
quote:
I think I've gone on long enough, but just because this part was so amazing doesn't mean you should be slack about getting the next part out! *happy* J/k, whenever you can is fine, I'll just go twiddle my thumbs and wait! *big*


Erin: Speaking of...I was going to say why a new part wasn't already out. Totally Jen's fault! Or maybe it's Tanky's. They both keep wanting the Behind the Scenes so much...I get distracted. LOL

Jen: Hey! Don't blame it all on me! You want the Behind the scenes just as much! *sticks tongue out*



Jen: (smiles and pats LLS on the head comfortingly) There you go sweetie, it wasn't that bad was it?? *smiles evilly* Ok! Next victim! *pulls hat out of thin air and pulls out a slip of paper* Shama!!

From Shama-
quote:
I am totally lovin this. Its amazing. Please post more soon.


Jen: (thinking really hard) Damn! I can't think of a way to scare her with this! Erin??

Erin: Me neither! Another sane and civil comment! *gulp* But...Shama...thank you for you're feedback and I'm glad you're lovin this! How about our little notes? Are those ok? *Watches as Shama looks awkward before babbling about having to go somewhere...and running off*

Jen: (watches as Shama runs away) I wonder what's wrong? *looks around at all the readers as they look at her, fearfully* What?

Erin: We'd better move on...



Jen: I agree...*hat appears, floating in the air* Ah! Nothing like a good dose of black magic. *slip of paper floats out of the hat towards her* angeleyes!

From angeleyes-
quote:
definitly awsome. I thought it was funny when Maria went to get Liz's pic from Max. I can't wait to read the next part. This story keeps getting better and better all the time. Keep up the great work.


Jen: Nothing there either!! *pouts* Erin? Anything? *hopeful look*

Erin: angeleyes...you're sweet! Are you sure you didn't mean to say crazier and crazier instead of better and better though? *OK...I can't scare her away*

Jen: Ok we'll keep angeleyes here with us. *smiles and offers chocolate* Welcome to our little club. You'll find it nice here. All the Maxes, Alexes (Erin: He's mine!!), Spikes, and Angels you can ever imagine! PS. Zan is MINE!!!

Erin: Hey..I'm keeping Kyle too. And Angel.

Jen: I get Spike! I get him!

Erin: We've still got Michael?

Jen: And Max. You can have Max too! Don't worry it's season one Max. Dumbass free!



Jen: Erin would you like to pull the next winner?

Erin: Sure *hat floats to her and slip of paper appears in front of her* And the next victim is...

Jen: *drumroll*

Erin: Jane Lane!!! Come on down!!

Erin: (continues) I feel as if I'm the voice for The Price is Right.

From Jane Lane-
quote:
Maria is hilarious! Come back I wanna know what they saw in the mirror!!! Post more soon!!!


Jen: (staring at the mirror in front of her) Mirror, mirror, on the wall....who's the weirdest one of all??

Mirror: (whispering in a chant) You are...you are...

Jen: Oh! Mirror, do you think we can show them what's in you?? Hmm??

Erin: *Bursts into evil laughter*

Erin: (Continuing) You'll find out in the next chapter...when there's a next chapter! *big*

Jen: (looks over at yawning Erin) Do you want to quit? *readers look hopeful*

Erin: *Yawns and looks at hopeful readers* Nope.



Jen: Ok then, let's move on. *ignores the cowering readers* Next victim is...KEmperor!!

From KEmperor-
quote:
Wow, that was pretty intense. Good part, good size too. Keep writing.


Erin: Hiya. *Slings arm around KEmperor's shoulder.*

Jen: Don't feel intimidated. *offers chocolate* We might keep you here too. Max is still available.

Erin: In answer to your reply...no worries. We'll keep writing those long parts. Like we could try and stop if we wanted to. We have SO much to say. *wink*

Jen: I think we can keep her here too, no? *looks at Erin* Max is still available.

Erin: *Sees KEmperor looking a little disappointed* We'll even throw in Shane West for you!! *big*

Jen: Yes, yes. *pulls out a book of spells* We can also duplicate the others. But no Zan. He's mine!

Erin: Or Alex!

Jen: Yes, yes. *puts the book down for later use* Ok next up!



Jen: *paper appears in her hand* Kim_56Emotion!

Jen: Kimmie, I can't do anything with your comment either. *sigh* Thanks for the feedback. *smiles and offers her Max with a box of chocolate* Welcome!

Erin: Yes, welcome. Everyone does care for Liz and Buffy...even if some of them *cough* TESS *cough* didn't show it in the past. But...now that everyone is working together things should get better. I said should...I didn't say would! [angelic]

Jen: (looks around at everyone) Hm..not many left. *ponders* I wonder why? Do you think it was something we said Erin?

Erin: Who us? *shakes head* no!

Jen: (shrugs and checks clipboard) Well, well, well. What do we have here? *dramatic pause*

Erin: Keep going...I'm just going to check and see if that pillow is as soft as it looks-(Instantly falls asleep*

A lurker: One down...one to go.

Jen: Hey! I can hear you. *Glares at readers who instantly shut up* Now...where were we? Aw, yes.
(Audience pauses with bated breath as Jen smoothes down her hair and fixes her clothes)

Jen: Hmm...maybe we should take a break?

Erin: Zzzz...

Jen: *stares at her* Yes, this is a little tiring and my muscles are beginning to stiffen. *stands up and stretches*

(Audience begins to move)

Jen: Hey! *chants an incantation* Stay and be good now. *smiles at the audience who are now frozen in their spots and walks of with Zan*

Erin: *Erin wakes up...looks at the frozen audience and no Jen* Jen?

(About 30 minutes later)

Jen: I'm back~

Audience: ....

Jen: What? No welcomes??

Audience: ...



Jen: Oh that's right! The spell! *chants and looks at clipboard again* Why..it's LLS! Sweetie, you came back!

Erin: *Smiles warmly at LLS* Hey! We missed you. You know...we really appreciate all of the bumps you give us. It means the world to us-*Sees Alex behind LLS, and pushes her out of the way*

(Audience watches as Alex gives Erin a massage)

Jen: (smirking as Zan rubs her neck) That feels better. Thanks. Yes! Welcome LLS! We missed you so! Thanks for the bump!

Erin: Allright...who's next?



Jen: Well...*checks clipboard* It's our dear Phoebe!

Erin: Heya Crashdown Gurlie!! Welcome. Mouths at Jen *Can we scare her off or no?*

Jen: (mouths back) It's Pheebs.. your partner in wearing me down until I agree about things for Just to be With You...*thinks for a moment* Yes we can scare her off...

From Phoebe-
quote:
JEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG, I'm so in love with this fic! I have to tell you I'm not the hugest fan of Buffy or Angel anymore (I kind of stopped watching after the Buffy/Angel break up) but I totally think this is great! Anyways, very nice twists, I like how you used the knife and turned it into a prophecy etc. It's a great idea and I can't wait for more!!! GIVE ME MORE!!! Thanks for writing you guys!


Erin: You aren't an Angel/Buffy fan? Eh...well you will be after this fic. Not guaranteed of course (nothing is *evil smirk*)...but you MIGHT be! We like the twists too...and the whole knife prophecy thing was Jen's idea! *happy*

Jen: Well Pheebs, we don't have the heart to scare you off. Who else will pester me with Erin about my fics? *smiles and offers Max with two boxes of chocolate and strawberries* Remember though...hands off da Man! *smiles as she snuggles against Zan*



Erin: *Grabs clipboard since Jen is busy* The next victim is.... Aw! Razz214.

From Razz214-
quote:
The end of the chapter, right? Right?


That was so good! PLEASE!! MORE!!


Ooooh please!!! I liked Michael so much in this! It was interesting with him and Kyle too!


Jen: (still in her Zan induced world) ....

Erin: (scratches her head) Well since Jen is a bit preoccupied, I'll be talking to you sweetie.

Erin: You're so sweet! Thanks for all your feedback and for sticking with this fic. *Scuffs shoe.* I don't think that I can scare you off! *big* Hey...we ran out of Max's...I think. But, we do have a good looking Josh Hartnett...what do ya say?

Audience: Gasps and glares

Jen: (Finally snaps out of Zan faze and looks warily at audience) Maybe we should move on?



Erin: *Waves the hat over instead of getting the clipboard, and pulls out a name. She smiles and looks up* Spicy trini1!! You're next!!

From Spicy trini1-
quote:
That was fabulous.

I completely loved that it was so long. Maria cupping a feel was so funny it almost had me in tears. While I was reading what everyone was feeling, I began to wonder about Tess. I wanted to know what she would feel since she had never really been Liz's biggest fan but her feelings were somehow expected but not really expected in the long run.

Everyone realizes what they had once it gone I guess that's how most people in this room are feeling.


Erin: *nods head* Yup. I agree...all of the group is starting to realize how important Liz is to them now that she's gone. And the Scoobies and Fang Gang have gone through the same thing with Buffy once. I wrote the Tess feelings...so I hoped that I was able to write her matching the good part of her character that the dang producers never managed to do on the show. *Deep breath* Jen?

Jen: (smiles as she looks at the ever expanding club) Sweetie, I think I speak for both Erin and I when I say, welcome to the club. Now you have a choice here, Max, Kyle, Angel, Spike, Michael, Shane West, and...*looks at list* Ok anyone you want except Zan and Alex.

Erin: Have fun!!! *giggles...now...who's the next lucky one?



Jen: (waves her hand in the air as a message appears) Hmm...it's tanky!

From tanky-
quote:
Next soon, bitte!!!!.....this is soooo goood.....when are we getting the "behind the scenes"?....I can't wait for that either!....BUMP!*bounce*


Erin: I think that we've lost our knack of scaring the readers. We haven't scared any since Shama I think...eh. Hey tanky! *looks at audience* Everyone...this is the feedbacker pushing for behind the scenes...

Audience:....

Erin: Which is taking time from the new part

Audience:Glares

Erin: But no worries! *Leads tanky to a group full of our beloved guys* You can have anyone you want. Hey...nevermind we'll give ya Johnny Depp! He's the one from your sig right?

Jen: (completely loves Johnny Depp) Well...you can have Johhny from Sleepy Hollow or From Hell...leave the one in your sig. behind.



Erin: Yes well...we should be moving on. *looks at the hat, and pulls out a name* Jeez! Lucky Star again!! Girl...you ARE stalking us!

From Lucky Star-
quote:
I swear I'm not stalking you guys, I just really love this fic and want more! Hee hee!! Just a friendly little bump while I wait (im)patiently!


Jen: (looks over Erin's shoulder) She's right! LLS is stalking us!

Erin: OK...we've given ya lots of treats! No more stalking! *wink* Allrighty..who's next?



Jen: Ok next. (hand glows again as a name appears, bouncing up and down in the air) Whoa...*follows the bouncing name up and down trying to read it* Up and down and up and down and up and down...*faints from dizziness as Zan hovers over, ready to heal*

Erin: Stay still! *points hand and the name stays still* RoswellLady! *checks on Jen and sees Zan holding Jen worriedly while Jen peeks out from one eye and winks*

Erin: You little...

Audience: Laughs until Zan shoots them confused looks

From RoswellLady
quote:
Want more now, need more when you can. Thaks!!


Erin: Hey RoswellLady! Glad that you like our fic! *Smiles and holds out chocolate* It may look bad right now...but it's much much crazier...I promise!

*RoswellLady grins nervously and takes the chocolate.*

Jen: Really...don't be nervous. We only try to scare you away once or twice. Hey you wanna guy? Everyone is getting them! We have plenty left- (By the time Jen was finished Max was already massaging RoswellLady's neck.)

Erin: *Turns to Jen* She's works fast.

Jen: *nods head in awe* Yes she does.

Erin: Well...uh we'd better move on. We only have one left.

Audience: Breathes in sigh of relief.



Jen: Zan...who's next? *Zan looks at the clipboard while massaging Jen's shoulders* Roxygurl182...I think.

From Roxygurl182-
quote:
I loved that part!! It was so funny when Maria reached into Max's pocket to get his wallet. Update soon. I'm dying to find out what the image was of. Also, is tess turing good? Or is she Evil still?


Erin: Roxygurl182!!! Hey sweetie! *Grabs her in a hug* I thought you had forgotten about this fic! Glad you remembered us. You can have any guy you want. Go ahead and pick. Just remember Alex and Zan are off limits. *big*

Erin: (Continues) Tess is Tess. The producers REALLY screwed her up with the whole evil thing. I like her. When she's not killing Alex or after Max. So...most likely she's gonna be Good. Eh...Jen did I give anything away?

Jen: (looks over) Nope, I think our readers are intelligent enough to figure that she would be good.

Erin: *Looks at watch* Holy. Mackenzie. We've got to end this! Ah...Jen and I need sleep...and you need a new part. We've got to get started!

Jen: (looks around at everyone with a lazy gaze) I think that's all for now. *yawn and kisses Zan on the cheek before turning to Erin* Let's bounce.

Erin: (drapes arm around Jen's shoulder) Let's.

(Jen and Erin begin to exit with Zan's arm around Jen's waist and Alex's around Erin's)

Audience: Sigh in relief.
Jen: (stopping all of a sudden, a wicked grin on her lips) Oh, one last thing...

Erin: (same expression) Not only are we good witches... *chants*

Jen: (waves her hand) ...and aliens...*all the guys disappear and reappear with Jen and Erin*

Erin: (grin widens) We're also...

Jen: (opens eyes as mindwarp disappears) Fishers!!!!
(Audience look around in alarm and find themselves suddenly with, not a floor beneath them, but a pond!)
Audience: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!
(Jen, Erin, and their guys float away, evil cackling in the air)

Jen: (echoing) See you next time!


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 30-Jul-2002 4:33:53 PM ]
posted on 30-Jul-2002 9:46:12 PM
worship We bow down to you readers!! Hehe *big*. You guys are so awesome. And we do realize we are crazy. But doesn't that make that fic that much more fun? Enjoy this next chapter. It was supposed to be longer but it's already 16 pages. So it will be split into two parts. Yes...I won't leave you off in the middle like last time...I figured the note was enough for today! *wink*


Hard times are fallin' on you
Even when you smile I see the hurt come through
And I know it feels like it's never gonna end
You say nothin's been right for a long time
And every step you take is an uphill climb
I see you're reachin' out
So let me tell you friend that

Better days are comin' around
I know you feel like
The whole world's gone and let you down but
Better days they're comin' for you
I know they will
'Cause I'll be right here makin' sure they do

And if your sky ain't lookin' the fairest
There ain't no reason to be embarrassed
Ain't nobody in the world ain't felt
The rain from time to time
And just when you think it's all over and done
The night get easier one by one
So take my hand and hold on tight
And soon you're gonna find that

Better days are comin' around
I know you feel like
The whole world's gone and let you down but
Better days they're comin' for you


Chapter 7: Memories of Old


A collective gasp was heard around the room as their eyes took in the beauty of what was before them and as their ears took in the familiar, yet unfamiliar sounds that accompanied the vision. The gentle babbling of liquid signified a source of water nearby, and sure enough, a vision of a wide and unseemingly endless lake appeared before their eyes. A soft gray mist covered the crystal blue waters, surrounded by the swaying of the weeping willows that stood all around the area. The winds blew softly through the leaves, and they could hear the rustling as the long limbs of the willow danced in the breeze.

They could hear the soft cawing as a raven flew by in the air, and the little footsteps and sounds of other creatures as they moved about their day. These soft sounds added to the whistling of the wind and the rushing sounds of what sounded like a waterfall blended into a enchanting song of nature. Above the skies were crystal clear and the sun was ever bright, warmth stretching like fingertips touching the ground.

Max, Isabel, and Cordelia's face ashened at the enrapturing sight, recognizing instantly the world from their vision. The others continued to stare, captured by the beauty of what seemed to be paradise. And just as sudden, the beauty faded when a piercing scream filled the air. A scream that was all to familiar to eight individuals.

"Liz!" And once again, the scene shifted and everyone watched in horror as both Buffy and Liz fell to the ground, clutching their head in pain. A black aura surrounded their bodies, and a soft silver glow that was coming from Liz and a golden one from Buffy was seemingly being pulled from their bodies.

Instead of staying with Buffy and Liz, the mirror followed the silver and gloden glow. As it drew nearer to whatever was pulling them, the group seemed to feel more vulnerable; weak. A laugh pierced the room, and if the glass hadn't been broken once the others would swear it could have breaken again. Max felt anger grow in himself as he looked at this thing that was hurting his Liz, hurting his dreamgirl. The emotion seemed to sweep right by Max, and right towards the demon itself. As it grabbed the emotion, everyone was thrown into a ride of flashes.

The memory was all too familiar to Max. It had been one he cherished among the others he shared with Liz. A smile crept to his lips as he watched her reaction to his explanation of his origins. He remembered it like it was yesterday. Her expressions, the shock, and for the first time, his wish was granted as her eyes shone lightly with what looked like love. It was a memory he would never forget. After all, who could forget the day their life officially began?
"Max, who else knows this?" Liz asked, her brows furrowed as she shot questions at Max.

"No one."

"What about your parents?"

"We don't tell anyone. We sorta think our lives depend on it." Liz noticed the sad tone of his voice, and
she nodded pitifully. "So when you healed me you risked all of this getting out didn't you?"

"Yea."

"Why??" How could Max answer that simply? The question was too hard. Because of her hair, because of her smile, because of her eyes. Because of the way she bites her lip when she's nervous, or the way she plays with her hair...

"It was you." A small smile crept onto Liz's face, and she looked at Max underneath long lashes.



As the scene between Max and Liz faded, Maria could faintly see herself and Liz standing next to one another in the girls' bathroom. She started giggling as she remembered this certain conversation. Her dramatics and Liz's naivety. Max would be sure to be blushing by the end of the scene. Maria's smile wavered a little as she thought of Liz's innocence and how the past year and half had all but taken it away. The scene became clearer and clearer until they could see Maria and Liz talking. Maria was holding a note in her hand and reading it aloud.
"Meet me in the 2nd Floor Eraser Room 6th Period, Max" Maria put the note down after reading it. "The Eraser room, huh? Liz, do you know what the 2nd floor eraser room means?

"Of course I know what it means... What does it mean?" Liz replied, sitting on the sink.

"It’s where Greg Coleman gave Marlene Garcia that hickey the size of a softball. It’s where Richie Roher
and Amanda Lourdes consummated everything..."

"OK, Maria, you know what? You’re just making this into something it’s not."

"Liz, I don’t think you should do this. OK? I mean, we don’t know what can happen. I mean, the guy touched you and you saw into his soul. How do we know what happens if he kisses you? How do we know what it is to be kissed by a Czechoslovakian? You don’t."

"OK, Maria, no one is kissing anyone here. I mean, Max isn’t even the least bit interested in me. You know, he said that things were just like they used to be before. Nothing’s changed. He said that."

"Oh my God, it’s not just kissing that goes on in the Eraser Room." Maria put a hand to her chest dramatically.

"She’s got that right." A girl mumbled, leaving the restroom. Liz rolled her eyes and turned back to Maria.

"The Eraser Room does two things: cleans erasers and takes our innocence. Do you know what I mean by "takes our innocence," Liz? The Eraser Room has taken some of the best of us."



Recognizing himself, Michael sighed. He was going to get his ass kicked later by Max, Maria, Alex, and Kyle for this. However, he couldn't help the smile that suddenly curved his lips as he saw Liz's shocked face suddenly appear in the vision. He remembered too well this conversation, and a part of him was elated to know that she remembered it too. For it was this particular conversation that started his friendship with her, and with her friendship came Maria. He didn't have to read her journal to know that she cared deeply for all of them, and once again he found himself envying Max Evans as the scene unfolded.
"What do you want?" There was annoyance and fear in Liz's voice. Michael smirked down at her.

"I want you to know it wasn't smart to write all those things down, Liz."

"Yeah...I know that now."

"I knew it a week ago."

"Excuse me?"

"That was the night I sat at the first booth. Maybe you remember."


*Flashback to a week ago*
"It was late like tonight and you were at the counter...writing."

"Homework?" Michael asked.

"Uh, yeah...a little bit." Liz replied, shying away from Michael, covering her journal.


"But it wasn't homework, was it?"

"No, it wasn't."

"You could have put us in an awful spot, Liz. Roswell's not exactly the town you want to be unique in, if you know what I mean. You have to know who your friends are."

"I had to know the risk...so I had to know what your journal said." Michael explained. Liz's eyes grew wide a saucers and her mouth dropped open. "You took it..."

"I never meant for things to get out of control...it's nice to know we have at least one friend in this town." Michael handed her her journal back, and Liz gripped it tightly.

"Does Max know that you...?"

"No...and you know what would be really great? If you didn't tell him."

"But why didn't you just destroy this, Michael? Because anyone that found this would know all about you."

"No...they'd know all about you, Liz."

"Thank you for giving me one more reason to envy Max Evans." Michael turned to leave, approaching the Crashdown doors. "And you might want to get better window locks...for when your criminals happen to be human."



The scene was soon replaced with another, and Alex found himself wincing at the memories of the way he had treated his best friend...no sister back then. He hadn't understood it at the time that she was only trying to protect him. He hadn't seen it because he had been hurt, and in his hurt, he had been willing to throw their friendship away. A decision he knew that he would have regretted. He needed Liz in his live, without her, he couldn't survive. He needed her just as he needed Maria, his sisters and fellow musketeers. He watched the scene, regret hanging over him.
"Alex." Liz begged, looking at him through the cell bars.

"Forget it, Liz." Alex snapped, leaning on the bed. He was in jail, and he was not happy.

"I'm really sorry."

"Don't talk to me, please."

"This is gonna be ok."

"Liz, will you shut up!" Alex groaned, and watched as the other punks sharing his cell with him were relieved, but he and Liz had to stay the night.

"Alex."

"Liz..."

"No, Alex, this is not as bad as it seems, I promise. Ok, we just...the 2 of us, we need to get our stories straight."

"Liz! I'm in jail, ok? I'm now in jail! I'm through lying!"

"Alex..."

"Alex...Alex...Alex, I just need to talk to you. Uh, I just want to..."

"Let me just ask you...did you arrange that whole Isabel thing?"

"What...what Isabel thing?" Liz asked nervously, biting her lip.

"You know, I mean, uh...her trying to seduce me into keeping quiet?"

"I don't know anything about that, Alex, I swear."

"Cuz it's...cuz it's just low, you know? I mean, she's just low. And I'm done. I'm done protecting you...or her, or anyone else you're associated with. Cuz I'm telling Sheriff Valenti everything. Verbatim. About replacing Max's blood at the hospital, discovering Topolsky was FBI, everything." Alex got the reaction he wanted. Liz gripped the bars with her hands.

"No, look, look, Alex...look, listen to me. You had just...you should just know all of the facts before you do something like this."

"Well, I thought you said it wasn't your secret to tell." Alex replied sarcastically. Liz's eyes were welled with tears.

"Alex, the reason that Isabel did whatever it is that she did is not that she's low, she's just...she's scared."

"Scared." Alex stated, mockingly. He rolled his eyes. "Yes."

"Scared of what?"

"She...she's scared of being different."

"Oh, come on. Save it." Alex replied, growing tired of the lies, and the act.

"Alex...Max and Michael and Isabel, they are different from us. They're different from us in a way that, if the wrong people found out, they would be in a lot of trouble."

"I know the whole drugs thing is a load of crap, Liz. I mean, why would the FBI be so interested in 3 kids into drugs?"

"No, Alex, listen to me. This doesn't have anything to do with drugs. Alex...Max, Michael, and Isabel...they aren't from around here."

"Where are they from?" Alex watched as Liz pointed upwards. He sighed in frustration. "What? Like, Wyoming?"

Liz pointed even higher, her hand and finger shaking. "Oh...ok, fine. Canada. They're Canucks. So what, you're saying the FBI is all over them because they're like...illegal aliens?

"Yeah, sort of. Listen, Alex...they're from somewhere else." Liz glanced around the holding cells, as if someone was listening. She leaned closer towards Alex.

"Liz, what are you talking about?"

"God, there isn't any way for me to say this, but to just...but to just say this, ok? Look, Alex...they think they were in the 1947 crash. Ok, they were like in these incubation pods for a really long time...like 40 years, and they came out in like the form of humans...and now all of these people suspect them. That's why Topolsky's here, and that's why Valenti arrested us, and that's why we're here because he knows that I'm involved. I'm really sorry, Alex, but...you're involved, too."

"Liz, are you ok?"

"Alex...you don't even understand. The past few months have been like absolute torture lying to you. I will never, ever lie to you again. I promise."


*The two teens emerged from the jail hours later thanks to Alex and his charm/wit*
"Alex, you were amazing."

"Well, yeah. Yeah, I was."

"Uh, so...um, how do you feel? You know, about what I said?" Liz started to twirl her hair. Alex caught her hand and put it down. "Well, part of me, uh...part of me feels like you've gone insane, and the other part of me feels like I want some of the massive doses of hallucinogens you've obviously been taking. But...I don't believe in aliens."

"Neither did I...you don't believe me, do you?"

"I believe that you believe. Leave it at that."

"Ok." Alex bent down to hug Liz, and she stood on her tiptoes to reach around him, a smile on her face.

"Get home safe." Alex whispered.

"You, too." Liz watched him walk off. As he got farther away he shouted, "See you at school."



Ice Bitch. Maria had told her she was one, and after seeing this how could Isabel not be? She flinched at the way she acted towards Liz, but watched the flashback, her head held high. The grass was still as green as she remembered, and Isabel and Liz looked the exact opposite of what they were...normal.
"So, um, what about guys? Cuz it kinda seems that you've got all these guys in school interested in you...like, practically every single one of them, but you kinda tend to keep pretty platonic." Liz said, glancing at Isabel only once.

"Have you been researching me or something?"

"No, I haven't been researching you. I just...I don't know, I was just kind of curious if there was a reason
you don't move forward with any of it. If it's because of the fact that..."

"Are you afraid...I mean, to let someone in? To let someone see who you really are?"

"Yeah, of course I am." Liz replied, smiling warmly at Isabel.

"Well, multiply that by about a million." Isabel said sarcastially. Liz looked back down to the polish in her hands. "Yeah, right."

Feeling badly, Isabel glanced over and saw the clear nail polish that Liz was using. She put her index finger on one of Liz's sandals. "Open your hand."

Liz complied. Isabel touched the nail polish and turned what was once clear polish, into a shade of blue matching Liz's sandals. "At least we can do cool stuff like that."

"So, what's going on with your little friend Alex?" Isabel asked.

"Yeah, he's pretty upset."

"Well, you've known him forever. What's the bottom line? Is he gonna cave?"

"I don't know. I kinda wish I knew what was going on inside of him." Liz sighed in frustration, and looked back down towards her now painted toes.

"I'll look into it."

"What do you mean you're gonna "look into it"?" Liz asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Nothing. Forget it."



Kyle felt the smile creep on his face. God, he knew this flashback all too well...it was the night he looked through Liz Parker's underwear drawer. At the start of the flash, Alex and Michael looked at each other, eyebrows raised, before turning towards a laughing Kyle, and a blushing Max.
"Kyle, what are you do...Max." Liz stopped in her tracks. Her blind date right behind her.

"Now, Liz, before you jump to any conclusion, I think you ought to know that we are really...really drunk."

"Who are these guys?" Doug asked, looking at Kyle and Max warily.

"We're the ex-es. The rejects. Actually, if you must know, we're here to win her back." Kyle slurred with a smirk.

"Kyle, what did you do to him?" Liz sighed, rubbing her forehead.

"Now don't you go and tell her anything I've been talking about tonight. It's private." Max replied, shooting Liz a smile and wink.

"Oh, your secret's safe with me, pal."

"Um, look, um, Kyle, anything that Max has told you or anything that you've seen him do tonight, is a lie. Cuz Max, um...he has this problem. He...when he's drunk he sort of has a tendency to make things up. Right, Max?" Liz flashed Max a smile, and her eyes pleaded with him to agree.

"But this is the first time I've ever been drunk." Max laughed.

"Would you two just excuse us, please for one second?" Liz asked, not waiting for a response as she pulled Max out of her room and onto her balcony.

"No, this is supposed to be..." Kyle stepped in Doug's way of following Liz.

"This is none of your business, Shallow. And you're looking at 160 pounds of varsity greco-roman wrestler who's gonna keep it that way."

"Yeah."

"Ha ha ha ha. No." Kyle pushed Doug slightly, his eyes laughing at the college freshman.



The last thing Tess expected was for there to be an image of her with Liz. The two girls were both enemies, wanting what the other had. Ok, so Tess wanted what Liz had, and Liz wanted what Tess was 'destined' to get...or maybe not.
"Hi." Liz said, standing in the doorway awkwardly.

"Well, you here for a reason, or you just rushed right over 'cause you sensed I might be experiencing some actual joy?" Kyle asked, aching to kiss Tess.

"Oh, uh, actually, I need to talk to Tess."

"We'll finish trimming my lamp later." Tess said to Kyle, when he shot her a look. "Right. I'll keep my equipment on the ready."

"Mmm. What's up?" Tess asked once Kyle had disappeared.

"I thought maybe we could talk."

"About what?"

"Look, Tess...um, I know that we got off to a bad start..." Liz stated. Tess cut her off with a roll of her eyes,"Look, I'm not into bonding."

"Well, neither am I, but... I want to help you with Max."

"What?" Tess's jaw dropped in shock. Was Liz Parker for real?

"I know Max, and I think I can help you with him." Liz offered.

"How...how stupid do you think I am? I don't know what your plan is, but I know you don't want to help me. You hate me. You all do. Don't you think I know that?" Tess snapped, on the verge of tears.

"Yeah, I'm not doing this for you. I'm doing this for Max. His future's you." Liz fought against the tears in her eyes, and the sobs in her throat.

"And you just came to this?"

"No, no. Look, I came to it that day in the desert when I walked away from him. Tess, I...I...I am sick of living like this, and I'm not gonna be free to move on unless I get Max to move on."

"Look, I don't need your help. If Max doesn't come around on his own, he can...he can go to hell for all I care." Tess's thoughts aimed back towards Kyle, who she was ready to give herself too a few minutes ago...and now Max was being placed upon her feet.

"Tess...it was really hard for me to come here. You can imagine, and look...I know that it's hard for you to admit that you need help...but you do. It's up to you."


The flash faded away, the mirror becoming black once again. A voice that 8 others would never forget came out from the mirror. "October 28th. I've missed a few days. But in my absence I've been thinking about some things, about life before Max Evans saved me, of how I used to pray for something to happen, something to just break the routine, you know, of school and work...something that would make a small town feel bigger, that would make a small town girl feel bigger, too. And ever since I got my wish and Max Evans patched a bullet hole 2 inches below my ribs, I realized one thing...that the bigger your world gets, the bigger your problems get, too."



The rest of this Chapter is continued in next post due to length restrictions!

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 30-Jul-2002 9:48:36 PM ]
posted on 30-Jul-2002 9:52:18 PM
Once again, the flashes started up, this time for the Scooby Gang and Fang Gang. Buffy was smiling in a classroom, next to Cordelia.
"Hi! I'm Cordelia." Cordelia smiled and held out her hand towards Buffy, who took it. "I'm Buffy."

"If you're looking for a textbook of your very own there's probably a few in the library."

"Oh, great, thanks."Buffy and Cordelia got up from their seats and headed out of the classroom. "Where would that be?"

"I'll show you, come on." Cordelia turned right, people making way for her to walk in the hallways. "So you're from Hemery, right? In L.A.?"

"Uh, yeah."

"Oh, I would *kill* to live in L.A. That close to that many shoes?"

Buffy laughs uncertainly, shooting Cordelia looks. "Well, you'll be okay here. If you hang with me and mine, you'll be accepted in no time. Of course, we do have to test your coolness factor. You're from L.A., so you can skip the written, but let's see. Vamp nail polish."

"Um, over?" Buffy guessed

"So over. James Spader."

"He needs to call me!"

"Frappaccinos."

"Trendy, but tasty."

"John Tesh."

"The Devil."

"That was pretty much a gimme, but... you passed!" She left Buffy in front of the Library, waving her off.

"Oh, goody!" Buffy mumbled sarcastically, before pushing her way through the doors.



Giles heart clenched as Buffy approached in the mirror. He crossed the line that was his top rule. Never get attached to the Slayer. You are a Watcher. You will train, and you will teach. You will not get involved. But Giles had gotten involved in his Slayer's life. He'd grown to love her as the daughter he'd never had.
"You wanted to see me?" Buffy asked, walking into Giles house.

"Yes. Thanks for coming. Can I offer you some tea?"

"Oh ... no, thanks." Buffy noticed a plate on the table by the sofa."Ooh, cookies. How come I rate the little cookie treatment?"

"Well, actually, I have something to tell you." Giles approached with the teapot, and the two sat down on the sofa.

"Actually, I have something that I'd like to talk to you about, too."

"Oh, well, you go first, by all means."

"No, go ahead."

"No, I insist."

After a moment Buffy spoke, "You haven't been my Watcher for a while," Giles stopped pouring his tea, frozen. "I haven't been training ... and I haven't really needed to come to you for help."

"I agree." Giles set the pot down, and a sad expression crossed his face.

Buffy got up, and started to pace. "And then this whole thing with Dracula ... it made me face up to some stuff. Ever since we did that spell where we called on the first slayer ... I've been going out a lot. Every night."

"Patrolling?" Giles asked, concerned.

"Hunting. That's ... what Dracula called it. And he was right. He understood my power better than I do. He saw darkness in it."

"I need to know more. About where I come from, about the other slayers. I mean, maybe ... maybe if I could learn to control this thing, I could be stronger, I could be better. But ... I'm scared. I know it's gonna be hard. And I can't do it ... without you. I need your help." Buffy paused, and looked Giles in the eye. "I need you to be my Watcher again." Giles smiled.




A smile crept over his ever passive face as Angel let his brooding expression go and replaced it with a softer more loving one as he watched the scene appear before him. He remembered this scene too well. It had been the day he had admitted to himself and Buffy of having feelings for her, but it had also been the day he realized that they couldn't be. The smile widened when he remembered how the scene played out, with his heart in her hands, and his soul at peace through her presence.
"Brought you some dinner. It's a little plateless, sorry." Buffy said, handing Angel a plastic bag full of food she had gotten from dinner. He accepted it, and looked at the food. "So! What'd you do all day?"

"Uh, I read a little." Angel shrugged, looking through the bag. Buffy looked over to her diary, and noticed it was out of place.

"And just thought about a lot of things. Buffy, I..." Buffy interuppted Angel.

"My diary? You read my diary?" Buffy moved to put it in a drawer. "That is *not* okay! A diary is like a person's most private place! I... You don't even know what I was writing about! 'Hunk' can mean a lot of things, bad things. And, and when it says that your eyes are 'penetrating', I meant to write 'bulging'."

"Buffy..."

"And 'A' doesn't even stand for 'Angel' for that matter, it stands for... 'Achmed', a charming foreign exchange student, so that whole fantasy part has nothing to even do with you at all..."

"Your mother moved your diary when she came in to straighten up. I watched from the closet. I didn't read it, I swear." Buffy looked at him in silence, before blushing. "Oh!" She looked down embarrassed and shook her head at what she had said. "Oh."

"I did a lot of thinking today. I really can't be around you. Because when I am..." Buffy looked down at Angel's words.

"Hey, no big. Water... over the bridge, under the bridge..."

"When I am all I can ever think about is how badly I want to kiss you." Angel finished, smirking.

"...over the dam..." Buffy stopped and looked at him, "Kiss me?"

"I'm older than you, and this can't ever... I better go."

"H-how much older?"

"I should..." Buffy approached him."...go... You said..." Before anyone else could speak, Angel's and Buffy's lips met as they kissed for several minutes. A smile crept upon Buffy's face and she put her arm around him.




Dawn relished in seeing her sister alive again. Even if it wasn't a good memory...it was still Buffy. For once, Dawn was glad that her life wasn't normal. If it was would Buffy have met the amazing people she knew today? Would Dawn even be with Buffy? She pushed the thoughts away, and concentrated on the spell that was being performed.
"I'm not like you, Buffy." Dawn had tears in her eyes as she entered the living room. "I don't have anybody."

"What?! Of course you do. You have me!" Buffy protested.

"No, I don't. You won't even look at me. It's so obvious you don't want me around."

"That's not true."

"Yes it is. Mom ... died, and it's like you don't even care." Dawn spat harshly, glaring at her sister.
Buffy was shocked. "Of course I care. How can you even think that?"

"How can I not? You haven't even cried. You've just been running around like it's been some big chore or something. Cleaning up after Mom's mess." Buffy slapped Dawn across the face, at her words. Dawn yelped and put her hand to her cheek, watching as Buffy put a hand to her mouth in horror.

"Dawn ... I've been ... working. I've been busy, because I have to-" Buffy's voice was a wreck full of shiver.

"No! You've been avoiding me."

"I'm not! ... I have to do these things, 'cause ..." Buffy started to cry. "'Cause when I stop, then she's really gone. And I'm trying. Dawn, I am, I am really trying to take care of things, but I don't even know what I'm doing. Mom always knew."

"Nobody's asking you to be Mom."

"Well, who's gonna be if I'm not? Huh, Dawn? Have you even thought about that? Who's gonna make things better? Who's gonna take care of us?"

"Buffy..." Dawn said softly.

"I didn't mean to push you away, I didn't. I just, I couldn't let you see me." Buffy wiped away tears and Dawn started to cry as well. "Oh god, Dawnie..."

The two sisters clung to each other, both sharing sobs. Buffy was the first to speak, "I don't know what we're gonna do. I'm scared."




God how he missed her. She was one of the most beautiful people in Xander's life. His relationship with Buffy had started out with him falling in love with her. Over the years he had grown to love Buffy as his friend, as his sister.
"The whole world in front of her, and she comes back to this dive." Xander joked. Buffy turned around and smiled when she saw him. "Xander!"

"Hey, Buff." Xander replied, as she gave him a one armed hug.

"Oh, when did you get back?"

"Couple days ago."

"You freak of nature. Why didn't you call me?" Buffy jabbed a finger into his chest with a smile

"Well I knew you guys were starting the whole college adventure and I didn't want to, um, you know... help you move. "

"I missed you. How was your trip? Is America nice? I hear it's nice."

"There's some purple mountains majesty, I'm gonna have to say." Xander admitted.

"What'd you do? What'd you see?"

"Well..."

"Tell me!" Buffy smiled.

"'Grand Canyon!'"

"You saw the Grand Canyon!" Buffy asked, astonished.

"Well, I saw the movie 'Grand Canyon,' on cable. Really lame."

"Hunh?"

"Basically, I got as far as Oxnard and the engine fell out of my car, and that was literally. So, I ended up washing dishes at 'The Fabulous Ladies Night Club' for about a month and a half while I tried to pay for the repairs. No one really bothered me or even spoke to me until one night when one of the male strippers called in sick and no power on this earth will make me tell you the rest of that story. Suffice to say I traded my car in for one that wasn't entirely made of rust, came trundling back home to the arms of my loving parents, where everything was exactly as it was except I sleep in the basement and I have to pay rent. How's college?"

"Male strippers?" Buffy raised an eyebrow.

"No power on this earth!" Xander grinned.

"Ok. College is good."

"Ok, uh, once more with even less feeling."

"No, really! I-I mean, Willow's in heaven and Oz has this really cool house off campus with the band." Buffy and Xander sat on a nearby couch.

"And you're sitting here alone at the Bronze looking like you just got diagnosed with cancer of the puppy."

"It's just... there was this vampire, and she took me down, and I just... I don't know how to stop her."

"Then where's the gang? Avengers assemble! Let's get it going!" Xander said, enthusiastically.

"No, I don't want to bug them. I mean they're just starting school, and they don't need this."

"Ok Buff, what's the 'what' here?"

"It's just, what if I can't cut it?" Buffy looked at Xander, her beloved friend who'd always been there for her.

"Can't cut what? Slaying?"

"Slaying, everything." Buffy answered slowly.

"Buffy, this is all about fear. It's understandable, but you can't let it control you. 'Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to anger.' No wait, hold on. 'Fear leads to hate. Hate leads to the dark side.' Hold on, no, umm, 'First you get the women, then you get the money, then you...' okay, can we forget that?"

"Thanks for the Dadaist pep talk, I feel much more abstract now." Buffy joked.

"The point is, you're Buffy." Xander replied, softer this time.

"Yeah, maybe in high school I was Buffy."

"And now in college you're Betty Louise?"

"Yeah, I'm Betty Louise Plotnick of East Cupcake, Illinois. Or I might as well be." Xander got up and crouched down in front of her. "Buffy, I've gone through some fairly dark times in my life, faced some scary things, among them the kitchen at 'The Fabulous Ladies Night Club.' Let me tell you something, when it's dark and I'm all alone and I'm scared or freaked out or whatever, I always think, 'What would Buffy do?' You're my hero. Ok, sometimes when it's dark and I'm all alone I think, 'What is Buffy wearing?'"

"Can that be one of those things you never, ever, tell me about?" Buffy groaned.

"It's a deal," Xander stood up and offered her his hand, "Let's put this bitch in the ground! What do you say?"

"I think I say thank you."

"And nothing says thank you like dollars in the waistband. Ok, what do we do first?"


They watched as the scene faded and just as quickly, another one replaced it, this time the forms of a redhead female and a dark haired boy was seen as the scene solidified. Spike saw the blue glow and groaned inwardly, knowing that his granddaddy would most likely beat the shit out of him and then dust him. As the words left Red's mouth, his smirk however grew as he thought about how this little mishap had, in a strange way, brought the two of them closer. Now that he thought about it, being engaged or even kissing Buffy was revolting. After all, she was like the sister he had left behind all those years ago.
Willow and Xander were sitting in her dorm room with Xander trying to calm and comfort an angry Willow as he tried to explain for Buffy. "Buffy's gotta find out what's up with those commandos. Right now she needs Spike."

"Well, fine. Why doesn't so just go marry him?" Willow huffed, crossing her arms as her eyes glowed a soft blue hue.

The scene faded away to Giles' apartment. Giles comes out of the bathroom, muttering under his breath to the two bickering in his living room, "If the two of you could remain civil long enough to-"

Giles stopped short upon seeing Buffy sitting in the chair that Spike had been occupying before, she was smiling lovingly at Spike who was on his knees in front of her, holding her hand.

"It's just so sudden. I don't know what to say." Buffy exclaimed, shock apparant in her eyes.

"Just say yes, and make me the happiest man on earth." Spike urged her as his grip on her hand tightened.

"Oh, Spike! Of course it's yes!" Buffy threw her arms around him and they met in a passionate embrace, kissing one another feverently. Giles resumed his trek forward, taking off his glasses to clean them. He wore a baffled expression and Buffy noted this as she turned to him cheerfuly.

"Giles! You'll never believe what's happened!"

The scene faded away and once again reappeared as the rest of her memory played out. Giles had a perplexed expression on his face as he talked urgently into the phone.

"Willow, it's-it's me. Something's happened. I need your help. I can't see very well. Everything's blurred." Giles grabbed his scotch as he continued, "I'm certain it's a spell of some kind, because.. well..it seems something else is going wrong.." Giles trailed off as he looked over to see Buffy bringing Spike a mug of blood and proceeded to sit herself on his lap.

"Here you go .. 98.6." They shared a sweet kiss as Giles continued, ".. horribly wrong."

Buffy, meanwhile was cuddling with Spike as a thoughtful expression appeared on her face, "There's so much to decide. Ceremony, guests, reception.."

"Well, first thing I'd say, we're not having a church wedding."

"How 'bout a daytime ceremony. In the park." Buffy suggested still cuddling closer.

"Fabulous. Enjoy your honeymoon with the big pile of dust." Spike retorted.

"Under the trees. Indirect sunlight, only."

Giles made his way carefully into the living room, the scotch still in his hand as he sat down on the couch.

"Warm breeze tosses the leaves aside, and again - you're registering as Mr and Mrs Big-Pile-of-Dust." Spike quipped.

"Stop it! This is our wedding and you're treating it like a big joke!" Buffy pouted cutely at him and a sappy expression crossed Spike's face.

"Oh, pouty! Look at that lip.. gonna get it.. gonna get it.." Buffy giggled as Spike captured her lips in a sweet kiss before Buffy pulled away and said playfully, "Oh.. stop.."

"Yes, please stop." Giles muttered as he downed his scotch.



Throughout her school years, Willow's only friend was Xander, and Jesse. Then Jesse was killed and Buffy had come along. She had befriended Willow even when Cordelia had advised her against. Buffy had saved their lives, and cared for them. Now, the roles were reversed and she was trying to help save Buffy's life. How wacky was life? Willow couldn't even comprehend the others around her as tears grew in her eyes.
The moon sprinkled the world with a soft glow as a lone figure paced back and forth in the night. Another figure was sitting not too far away, papers and books strewn everywhere.

Buffy looked over at Willow as she went through the papers, "Anything?"

"Ah! 'Introduction to the Modern Novel.' "A survey study of twentieth century novelists." Open to freshmen, you might like that." Willow said excitedly.

"'Introduction to the Modern Novel?' I'm guessing I'd probably have to read the modern novel."

"Maybe more than one." Willow admitted as she looked down at the papers again. Buffy nodded, "I like books. I just don't want to take on too much. Do they have an introduction to the modern blurb?"

"Oh! Short story."

"Well, that's good."

"Oh, no. It conflicts with Psych." Willow softly groaned.

"Maybe I shouldn't take Psych."
Willow stared at her, wide-eyed, "You gotta. I-It's fun, a-and you can use it as your science requirement. Anyway, Professor Walsh is supposed to be great. She's like, world-renowned."

"How do you get to be renowned? I mean, like, do you have to be 'nowned' first?"

"Yes, first there's the painful 'nowning' process. Wait! 'Images of Pop Culture.' This is good. T-They watch movies, T-TV shows, even commercials."

"For credit?" Buffy looked at her disbelievingly and Willow smirked. "Heh. Isn't college cool?"

"How'd I miss that one?" Buffy walked over to sit down next to Willow.

"Well, you did sort of wait till the last minute with your course selection." Willow replied in a scolding voice.

"Sorry, 'Miss I-chose-my-major-in-playgroup.'"

"That's an exaggeration. I just, you know, think it's good to be prepared. Don't want to be caught unawares." Willow protested, defending herself. Behind them a hand suddenly thrusts up and out of a fresh grave.

"Well I've been busy! It's been a very slay-heavy summer. I just haven't had a whole lot of time to think about life at UC Sunnydale." Buffy defended herself as she thought of just how busy her summer had been. Behind them, a head and shoulders emerge from the grave.

"It's exciting, though, isn't it?" Willow exclaimed, already excited about the prospect of college.

"Yeah! It's gonna be an adjustment."

"Yeah, it's like, five miles away. It's uncharted territory."

The vampire struggled to pull out of the grave, his face contorted as he struggled for freedom.

"Giles said I have to be secret-identity gal again." Buffy informed her friend.

Willow thought about it for a moment and then nodded in agreement. "That makes sense."

Once he finally frees himself, the creature of the night stalks towards the two unsuspecting girls, his face vamped out.

"It's gonna be tough, though... with a roommate." Buffy said thoughtfully.

"Yeah."

"I'm psyched about college." Buffy continues as the vampire creeps closer, a smile curving his lips. "Definitely."

The vampire stops short as he sees a weapons stacked up against the gravestone.

Buffy, meanwhile continued to chatter unaware of the evil's presence. "I just need to figure out how it's going to work with my extra-curricular activities."

The vampire looked at Buffy, his smile fading.

"I just can't let it take the edge off my slaying."

Shaking his head, the vampire stalks away, annoyed.

"I gotta stay sharp." Buffy continued and then she glanced at the fresh grave behind her, a frown of annoyance on her face. "Is this guy ever gonna wake up?"



Tara had never been to close to anyone before. She was shy...and scared. Who would love a demon like her? But Willow had...and she had brought her into the group making her a member of the tightknit group. When Buffy's mom had tied, Tara and Buffy bonded for a moment. And in that moment thier friendship blossomed.
Tara and Buffy were sitting next to each other in what looked like a hospital...it was. Buffy was staring at the ground as she began to speak softly, her voice weak and full of sorrow, "I'm sorry ... you have to go through all of this."

Tara was looking at her sympathetically as she answered, her own voice understanding and comforting, "You don't have to worry about me."

Buffy was still looking at the ground as she whispered, "Everybody wants to help."

Tara turned to her as she continued, "I don't even know if I'm ... here."

The lost tone in Buffy's voice caused Tara to look away and still Buffy continued, never noticing her friend's reactions to her words.

"I don't know what's going on. Never done this." Buffy paused before straining forward, "That's just an amazingly dumb thing to say. Obviously ... I've never done this before. "

A brief silence settled over them before Tara spoke up softly, "I have."

Buffy's head whipped to her in surprise and Tara smiled weakly. "My mother died when I was seventeen."

"I didn't know. I'm sorry." Buffy's face softened, and some of her own grief was forgotten as she watched her friends rehash her past.

"No, no, I didn't mean to ... " Tara sighed, trying to find the right words, "I'm only telling you this because ... I know it's not m-my place, but ... " She paused briefly, "There's things ... thoughts and reactions I had that ... I couldn't ... understand ... or even try to explain to anyone else."

She looked over at Buffy who was looking down again, a pensive expression on her face. Tara continued though, "Thoughts that ... made me feel like I was losing it ... or, like I was some kind of ho-horrible person. I know it's different for you ... because it's always different, but ... if you ever need...."

Tara trailed off, leaving the sentence the hang in the air as they stared at one another and then looked down again. After a few moments Buffy looked up at Tara again, "Was it sudden?"

Tara looked at her confused, "What?"

"Your mother."

"No." Tara replied, then paused again before shaking her head, "Yes." Another pause as she continues, sighing heavily and in a softer voice, "It's always sudden."


The image faded to black once more, everything silent. Everyone was wondering the same thing. Was it over? Was there more that they were going to see? Then, Liz's voice came over the darkness once more, her words scarring the hearts of the others. "It's funny how the world changes sometimes, how the streets you walked your entire life seem darker, colder. How the silence isn't so quiet anymore. How eyes you've barely even noticed now look at nothing but you. How the walk home every night is no longer routine, but a victory. And then you begin to wonder...maybe it's not the world that's changed. Maybe it's just you."



The end!!! Hope you all enjoyed. Just a question: Are the posts too long for you guys? If so, let us know and we can shorten them up!
posted on 31-Jul-2002 2:48:39 AM
Hey guys. It's like 11 at night over here. I'm tired but I wanted to thank you guys for your feedback so far. I was telling Jen how much I loved you all!! You're so great and supportive. So here I go....

quote:
OMG, you guys really are insane! lol. Anyways, I can't resist your offer...
Anyone who could turn down Max, two boxes of chocolate and strawberries...well, let's not go there. *grins evilly, I mean, angelically.**angel* Anyways, I had to love that author's note. But post more fic soon!!! And oh yeah, you're probably right about me liking Buffy and Angel after this fic, especially since Roswell is no more! *sad* *tear, tear* I'll miss my show, bring on the reruns! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, okay going into Roswell meltdown mode, please forgive me while I go and read endless amounts of fanfiction to heal my wounds...
hehehe
Luv ya,
Phoebe *happy*

Crashdown Gurlie Hey Phoebe. I know what you mean about Roswell. I know my dad loves the fact that it's over...I mean for one he never watched the show...and two he wants me to concentrate more on my schoolwork. *Rolls eyes* My mom on the other hand...loves the show just as much as I do and when Tess started going after Max I believe she called her a 'bleach blonde hussy'. Gotta love my mom for that! teehee. I'm still trying to figure out a decent show to watch and get hooked on. None will be like Roswell though *sigh*

quote:
Man, that was crazy. I think that was longer than some fanfic's I've read.

KEmperor Was it really? *looks shocked and then shrugs* Eh..when me and Jen start having fun we don't stop. It was crazy and fun at the same time. Hopefully you guys enjoyed it! *big*

quote:
*big**big**big**big**big**big**big**big*::::::::::::::::::::::: laughing hysterically! You both are funny! Can't wait to see what you both do next! LOL:::::::actually laughing so hard I nearly tipped over, but that might have been because I had a little nippy! ::::::LOL::::::::

Razz214 Thanks. I'm glad that we are funny! Hehe...always good to know. You nearly tipped over? So what should we do to really make you fall out of your chair?

quote:
Dude! How many parts am I going to miss?

My gosh!

Anyway, this is awesome. Very funny moments going on. Loving Alex and Kyle...Just b/c.

Can't wait for the next part!

Dream Lover MerJ *happy* My fellow Alex lover! HEHE! *Waves* Those are the only parts you are allowed to miss! OK? I missed you!!! Enjoy the fic!

quote:
First of all, thank's for the behind the scenes!, it was really funny....now, about the Johnny Deep pic...I just put that pic because of the movie and not because I really like JD...I rather have Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones....you know, with the wip and all...(kinky Tanky)...

About the new part, lemme tell you the thing with the flashes was great! (will the flashes continue?)...I always thought that if the scoobies, the fang gang and the I meet an alien club got together the right way to tell each other everything would be that...with a spell from Willow!!! (you put my fantasies into words)...

So...that's it. I'm really proud to be your feedbacker!!!
Keep going!....BUMP! *bounce*

tanky OK..no the flashes will NOT continue. LOL. Not because we don't like them...but me and Jen were groaning the entire time we did them. They were taken from transcripts and we have to take stuff like this:

Liz: Max has a cherry coke. What does Michael have?
Maria: I don't know probably coke with arsenic.

And then turn them into regular sentences. Very hard work. Especially with about 10 flashbacks. Aw...just shows how much we care about this fic huh? *bounce* Glad that you are liking everything we're doing!!! hehe

I know what you mean about Indiana Jones..whoo...Harrison Ford was so cute in those days. He still is...just in an older sort of way. Anywhoo...I was looking around and I found this pic. *shrug* Hope it shows up! It's BIG. And more of a cartoon-y movie poster. But it's still awesome! And his whip is there! *wink*
raiders2


quote:
this is a great story

angeleyes Aww..sweetie thanks so much!!!


Bye for now guys!
Much love-
Erin

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 31-Jul-2002 2:54:32 AM ]
posted on 31-Jul-2002 6:20:32 PM
Spicy trini1
quote:
This part was interesting to say the least. I really liked getting into the essence of Liz and Buffy and learning what they consider important or will remember forever.

I loved Liz's Memory of Michael and him thinking that everyone in their group was gonna kill him.

I'm glad you liked the flashbacks! Michael's was special, eh? Wait until Max snaps out of his 'Liz' funk! *wink*
quote:
I believe that Liz even in her moment of not being there is examing something that a lot of people in these groups don't want to think about... change! Maybe if they could all accept the changes that they have undergone within themselves then maybe the world wouldn't be so cold and unforgiving towards them.

Excellent theory. I love reading your responses because you see the different side of the story, that others miss. Thanks for reading!

KEmperor
quote:
Hehe, great part. Great scene selections too, especially with the Buffy ones, they're some of my favorite.

The Buffy scenes were harder to find, and pick out because there was such a huge selection. My personal fave has to be the one between her and Spike. LMAO. Thanks for reading. *happy*

Lucky Star
quote:
OMG I was nearly dying with laughter when I was reading the behind the scenes stuff, it was just too funny! And true, you did give us warning about the insane authors bit, but I was already suckered in by that stage!

Thankyou very much for my title, I shall cherish it always. *sniggers* Sorry, I think my grandma possessed me for a minute, but really I 'preciate it, and does it give me license to stalk as much as I want now?
Now you're never going to get rid of me mwuah ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!*big*

Now, onto the fb, which is of course why I'm here. (I think)*happy*

I loved the flashbacks, especially the one from Blind Date. Max and Kyle were so cute and funny when they were drunk, don't you wish you could just keep them like that to use for your own nefarious purposes?*wink*

I loved Spike thinking that Angel was going to dust him for the whole 'kind-of-getting-engaged-to-Buffy-even-though-it-was-a-spell' thing. hee hee!

I love the length of the parts, and I hope you keep them like that!! And I would love more of the behind the scenes stuff, it cracks me up! Then my mum look at me strange, like she thinks I've been into the plonk or something!*happy*

Good. We're keeping the length! *tongue* Hehe, thanks for reading LLS! We appreciate your feedback. And DO cherish your title!! *big* By the by, I love the Blind Date eppy. It's one where Max is just..how he's supposed to be; drunk and in love with Liz! *wink*

Omby
quote:
OMG! *bounce* I totally love this crossover story. I dont know how I could have missed it. Insane authors, hah *tongue* I bow down to your insanity. Lol I love your witty responses to the feedback. Please post more of this story soon. It just cant end there.

Omby*angel*

Thanks Omby!!! I'm glad you like our insanity. We try! *wink* LOL. It's really fun for us! I remember you from an old story on the old board. I think it was by Brenda F. It was a Roswell/LFN Crossover. Know if she ever finished it? It was really good.

Crashdown Gurlie
quote:
Hey guys! Loved that part, the flashback scenes were sooo great *happy*And the reactions that Liz and Buffy's friends had were really sweet!*big* Keep up the good work!
Oh and Jen knows I complain about the length of the parts, lol, but I wouldn't have them any other way!!!*angel* What else would you have me do with my incredibly boring life? hehehe *tongue*
Oh and Erin, I know what you mean about your Dad. My parents said the same thing, how silly of them... But they can't take away my reruns, or my tapes!!!! *Mua hahahahaha* (that was eveil cackling in case you couldn't tell*wink*)

I know. Parents ARE awfully silly. Like they could take Roswell away? *Shakes head* Thanks for all your feedback! *happy*

Starynight12312
quote:
Wow this is so amazing! I read the first 3 part some where under erins name and I was in the with it. So I had to go and serch for it everywhere! I finaly found it!!! YAY!
This story is really awsome and I think you guys are awsome writters. I wouldn't be suprised if later on in your lives you write a book and then they'll be as big as Harry Potter!
Well I hope you post more soon and I LOVE the long posts!
"From ashes to ashes
Dust return to dust
The Warrior and Guardian
Destiny's hand broken
Pain and sorrow
Heed these words spoken
With past foes and triumphants
With this key to the source
Let not history be repeated
Darkness awaken and take thy vengeance
From ashes to ashes
Dust return to dust."
Did you guys make that up yourselfs? Its really good. Oh some of things your writting seams really deep! I love it

Hey Becca!!! *waves and hugs her* Glad that you found this fic!!! *big* *blushes* I don't know about ME writing a book as big as Harry Potter. More like Jen. She wrote that spell *happy* Glad you're into this! Stay with us!! HEHE



And now....last but not least...and saving the best for last...NO OFFENSE TO ANYONER I MENTIONED BEFORE! Jen(Talena) made this fan art for me. It's A/I and it's so adorable, touching. I love it to death so she thought I could share it with you! Enjoy!
1-3-1



Bye guys! Much love, Erin!
posted on 2-Aug-2002 2:54:05 AM
Shameless Bump. *big*. I owe all of you who posted after my last author's note replies. It won't be long!
posted on 8-Aug-2002 7:40:27 PM
Hey guys. I'm really sorry about the wait for a new part. I just wanted to say hi, and let you all know I am still here, especially Jen...she's probably wondering where the heck I am. One answer; school. Yup...that's right, summer is over for me. It was my first day back and my school is def. poor. I mean, no AC in the halls, and believe me there are a million of them! I got lost so many times.

First period: Photography. I got so lost. The security guard kept yelling at me to go to all these different places and I was like, "Ah, please stop...I'm really lost here!"

Second: My teacher was pretty scary. I mean he was awesome, and he was like Ya, I was a stoner in high school. THIS high school so I know all of the places where you guys are going to ditch classes...and just know, I'll find you. I know where you'll be. And guys...I know these streets. I can find where you live! And I was like "Uh...that's kinda creepy." But he did make us laugh, and he seems fair. He told us that he wouldn't give us too much homework because he wanted some 'personal time' with his wife. *wink* I didn't need to know that but whatever.

Third: He seems all right....he's got a deep voice. Eh...lol

Fourth: LUNCH *big*

Fifth: Awe yes....the loveable P.E. Ya well...uh I have alot of friends in the class so it's pretty cool. We get to go swimming soon!

Sixth: I'm stuck with a bunch of immature guys. Nough said.

Seventh: I've got Algebra II. With a bunch of older people than me. I know NO ONE in the class. And my teacher talks. Alot.

After school: I was out in the hot air for 30 minutes.

LOL, believe me after reading this don't you guys believe I would have rather written Petal of Hope with Jen? *Sighs* Sadly, Jen isn't on right now. I'll watch Lord of the Rings (On DVD *wink*) til she decides to make an appearance!


posted on 15-Aug-2002 9:11:10 PM
*bounce* *jumps up and down* Guys!! Great news...we're finishing up the chapter tonight...which means *points to audience*

Phoebe: YES!!

tanky: About damn time!

LLS: Whoo!


hehe. you all crack me up. School was horrible of course, I had to run a mile in P.E. in the hot sun...it sucked. But, off of that...if there's o new part tonight, then definitely tomorrow!!! Hehe...just had to tell you.

Ok, bye...I'm going to work on it!
posted on 16-Aug-2002 1:32:12 AM
Hey guys! We are so sorry for how long this has taken us to post! It's been a real struggle for us to be on at the same time and to find time to write what with school starting. But, we've finished this. And we'll have a new part out soon. No matter what. Hehe. Just please be patient with us. Welcome newbies! We're so glad you found this fic! And, we're even more happy that you are enjoying it! *big* So we love you guys! And I'll write an author's note to those who reply to this part. I want to write one right now but I have no time! I still have Alegebra II homework to do. *Sighs miserably* I'm just glad you all have a new part! Bye, and enjoy!!!



Hard times are fallin' on you
Even when you smile I see the hurt come through
And I know it feels like it's never gonna end
You say nothin's been right for a long time
And every step you take is an uphill climb
I see you're reachin' out
So let me tell you friend that

Better days are comin' around
I know you feel like
The whole world's gone and let you down but
Better days they're comin' for you
I know they will
'Cause I'll be right here makin' sure they do

And if your sky ain't lookin' the fairest
There ain't no reason to be embarrassed
Ain't nobody in the world ain't felt
The rain from time to time
And just when you think it's all over and done
The night get easier one by one
So take my hand and hold on tight
And soon you're gonna find that

Better days are comin' around
I know you feel like
The whole world's gone and let you down but
Better days they're comin' for you
I know they will
'Cause I'll be right here makin' sure they do

I know what it's like
To have to face the fight
But I won't let you stand alone, no

Chapter 8: American Melody


Silence prevailed over the small magic shop as the mirror suddenly crashed to the floor, but it didn't shatter, rather just clattered like a pot falling from the stove. Time seemed to slow down as the mirror collided with the floor along with Willow as she fainted from loss of energy and blood. As soon as her body hit the ground, the world seem to unfreeze and time sped up again as Tara gasped, "Willow!"

Tara, Xander, and Giles were immediately at her side with the others closely behind them.

"What's wrong with Red?" Spike asked, his face impassive, but his voice and eyes laced with concern. Tara was looking Willow over, her hands trailing over Willow's body, trying to lend the witch strength, "She's lost too much blood, that cut was too deep and the energy that it took to perform the spell was too much."

"What happened with the mirror?" Maria asked, not wanting to sound insensitive, but her best friend was out there also in pain and unconscious.

"Willow is connected with the spirits who allow us to see the reflections. With her unconscious like this, the connection is severed." Tara explained and the podsquad all looked at each other and then to Max who was already making his way over to Willow. He bent down next to Tara, and motioned for her to let him help. She nodded relunctantly, wondering what on earth he could possibly do.

Max picked up Willow's wrist first, and the Scoobies and Fang Gang watched in awe as his hand glowed white before he moved it away, revealing unblemished skin. The cut was gone!

"W-what?" Xander exclaimed, wide-eyed at the sudden disappearance of the wound.

"Max has the power to heal." Alex explained as he watched Max began to check over Willow's body, his mind concentrating on finding anything out of the ordinary. Xander absorbed the information, an awed smile on his face. It was quickly replaced with a wry smile as he looked over at Giles, "Too bad we didn't have these kids on our side when Angelus came back, eh? The power of healing, huh? Would have come in handy then."

He didn't noticed the way Angel cringed nor did he see the glare Cordelia sent his way as she placed her hand comfortingly on Angel's shoulder. Before Cordelia could say anything though, a soft wind picked up around them, and they all looked over to see Willow waking up under Max's careful watch. They were too intent on Willow that they didn't see the images that suddenly filled the air behind them.

~*~

Time flowed on as morning became afternoon and afternoon became evening. The sun had just disappeared over the horizon, and one by one the stars began to shine their light. The white light contrasted against the inky black darkness of the night sky. The temperature had dropped and a slight breeze ruffled the waters as the little noises of the night began to fill the air. Another tranquil sight in paradise, but just as before, the quiet of the evening was interuppted by a soft groan as two figures began to stir.

Liz's body slowly came alive again as her hand twitched and then glided up her body to her face, covering it. Her eyes fluttered open as she let out another groan to match the waking blonde beside her. She lifted herself on one elbow and looked around, silently moaning inside her mind. She was so sure it had all been a dream! What happened? She wondered as her eyes darted around her. How could she have ended up unconscious twice in one day? Wait! That girl! She did something! Liz's head whipped around, her body protesting at the sudden jolt, her eyes were flaming as she screamed, "What the fuck did you do to me?!"

~*~

"What the fuck did you do to me?!"

The familiar voice and scream caused everyone in the room to freeze before quickly turning around to the image behind them. Liz was supporting herself on her elbow as she weakly screamed, her eyes were alive with anger, seemingly glowing a soft silver.

The Pod Squad's jaw dropped upon hearing those words come out of Liz's mouth. Never would they have thought words like that would come from Lizzie's mouth...well one word in particular, and we all know what word that is. Everyone watched as Buffy straightened her shoulder, her own eyes blazing angrily as she began to retort.

"Me? How is this my fault all of the sudden?" Buffy shouted, venom dropping from her lips. Her eyes started to turn a dark green, from her hazel, and her wrists were white from clenching them together.

"You attacked me!" Liz cried out her face was white from fury as she started shaking from fear and rage.

"I attacked you at the cemetary when you snuck up on me! Then you took us here...where I've happened to fall unconcious! This is not what I had on my list of things to do today...so quit being a bossy bitch and get me the hell out of here!"

Dawn's eyes widened as she looked from her sister to the sweet person she had seen in the flashes. If the two didn't calm down, they would both be in trouble.

"Snuck up on you? I made plenty of noise! I.Was.Trying.To.Help! And what are you talking about? I didn't take us anywhere! You were the one holding my knife when it started to glow! I didn't do anything. You did . So you stop being a bossy bitch and get me out of here!"

Liz's words were met with surprise as the Pod Squad watched Liz fire back retorts at the blonde. They had never seen Liz so angry. Where was their Liz? Kind and gentle Liz?

Buffy snorted, and flung her hands in the air. "Exactly! It was your knife. A knife that was supposed to kill me last night! And you so conviently, just happened to stumble upon me at the graveyard! How were you going to help me? Shove the fucking knife through my heart and end whatever you thought I was going through?" Buffy watched Liz's eyes flare. "Well you failed. I'm still alive and kickin!"

Tears welled in Dawn's eye. "Willow. Willow. Make them stop fighting. Do it right now." She pleaded, not turning away from the image of her sister.

"Kill you? How dare you accuse me of trying to kill anyone? For your information I did stumble upon you in the graveyard! Forgive me for trying to be a good samaritan! If I had known you were some irritatingly loud-mouthed psycho, I wouldn't have even bothered!" Liz shot back hotly, the blood in her beginning to boil with her rage.

Cordelia was at a loss of words as she watched her cousin and friend fought, and was vaguely aware of Doyle's comforting embrace and Dawn's soft cries.

"I don't know who the hell you think you are. But you should have stayed the fuck outta my town!" Buffy glared. "And as soon as you get me out of here, I'm kicking your ass out of it!"

"Forget kicking me out, I'm leaving as soon as you get me out of here. I'm not staying anywhere near a psychopath like you! I don't know how my cousin could stand living there if people are as bitchy as you are! Tell me something, do you just randomly decide to attack people who are trying to help?" Liz met Buffy's glare with one of her own as the two stared each other down.

"Do you always walk around strange cemetaries at night with an old knife?" Buffy snapped. She hoped this girls cousin was a Vampire. That way Buffy could throw her to the Vamps...and wait to dust her.

Liz let out a frustrated scream as she threw her hands up in the air, "You are so aggravating! What the hell does my knife have to do with anything?!"

Buffy looked her up and down. When the two had fought the girl had been stronger than Buffy would have thought, but not as strong as a football player for example. Someone else must have been the one in charge. Maybe this girl didn't know how to get out of here afterall. Buffy had attacked her, the girl was supposed to have gotten away right? Leaving Buffy trapped and alone wherever she was? Buffy groaned in annoyance. "Don't play fuckin dumb with me. You and I both know that's no normal knife," Seeing that Liz was about to say something Buffy stopped her, "You said you got it for your boyfriend...I remember. You're boyfriend happen to be some fuckin crazy psycho out to kill me?" That must have snapped something inside of Liz. Her eyes blazed and she took a step towards Buffy. "Shut up." Liz warned as she neared Buffy, looking up at her square in the eyes.

Buffy wasn't intimidated at all by her, so she pushed it further. "What'd your boyfriend do...dump you? Is that why you're trying to kill me? So that you'll do the job for him and he'll take you back?"

Liz's eyes flashed and for a brief moment Buffy thought she saw pain there, and once again she found herself softening, but Liz's eyes hardened again, her eyes blazing angrily as she grounded out in a soft voice filled with emotion. "I told you to shut up."

"Why should I?" Buffy challenged, feeling all the anger and resentment that had been building up burst forth and target the girl, "Is that why you won't take us back? You're afraid of disappointing your little boy toy? You're so pathetic."

What happened next left everyone in the Magic Box in frozen shock as the slap resounded through the air, ringing in their ears.

"Shut the hell up!" Liz cried out, feeling the tears welling in her eyes, but she wouldn't allow them to fall. "Just shut up!"

Liz backed away, a lonely tear falling down from her face, "You know nothing about me. Nothing. So just shut up."

Buffy stood still, her eyes wide in shock as her hand massaged her cheek. She barely thought of countering, she hadn't expected the smaller girl to do anything nor did she imagine seeing the emotions playing across the other girl's face. Liz turned around abruptly, "I don't know who you think you are, but you can't judge me. I don't have to sit here and listen to you accuse me of something I have nothing to do with. You seem to have problems of your own, and I frankly I don't care. I'm leaving, stay the hell away from me. We may die here, but I'd rather spend my time alone then arguing with you."

With that said and done, Liz shouldered her bag and walked away, leaving a still dumbfounded Buffy staring after her.

~*~

"What the bloody hell just happened?" Spike asked, being the first to speak, after the mirror had faded to blackness once again. The others were asking themselves the same thing.

The Pod Squad was in shock over how Liz had reacted. No one had seen that side of Liz...ever. Even when the FBI had gotten involved, she'd never been hostile. And Liz slapping someone? That was out of the question...much less Liz cussing like a sailor.

"I think everything just got worse." Anya replied.

"This is wrong...all wrong." Cordelia mumbled, her hands rubbing against each other, as if she was trying to clean something off of them. Doyle placed his hands on top of hers. "Princess-"

"No! Doyle...they are going to kill each other. I've never seen Liz like that. And she's never slapped anyone in her entire life. We have got to find out what the hell is going on."

"I think our next step would be to continue researching this more. Now that we've seen where the two girls are, we have a better chance of finding the place." Wesley stated. Giles nodded, and started to clean his glasses. "Wesley and I can go through some old Watcher Diaries. Willow, Tara, Xander, Anya...start looking through as many books as you can."

The others nodded, too much in shock to really protest. Tess looked at Max warily, guilt spreading upon her face. "How about Isabel and I go and get everyone something to eat?"

"Yea." Isabel added, with a hesistant smile. She glanced over at her brother to see him still staring at the blackened mirrror. Angel appeared to be in the same brooding state. No one was going to get them to be doing much that involved alot of concentration for awhile.

"We'll look down here for books, with Dawn." Maria replied, looking towards Giles. "Thank you." With that being said, everyone seemed to split up into groups as they left the back room. Max and Angel stayed behind, mourning and not really noticing the others presence. Michael, Maria, Alex, Kyle, and Dawn sat at the round table in the middle of the room, Spike sitting on the counter nearby, keeping a protective eye on Dawn.

Willow, Tara, Xander, and Anya slowly walked up the steel steps, while Fred and Gunn followed. To say that the groups were slowly breaking apart was an understatement. Everything was out of control. Cordelia was sitting in the corner with Doyle, as he tried relentlessly to ease her mind about her cousin, and friend.

The soft banging of the front door brought Max and Angel out of their stupor as they glanced at each other quickly. The same emotions were running rampart in their eyes as they locked gazes. Fear, love, but most of all helplessness as they thought of their loves. Angel looked away first as he walked towards a secluded area of the shop to brood on his own. Max then dropped his gaze before looking up once more and heading towards the front door and out of the shop to think, faint tear marks were seen on his cheeks.

From where she was sharing a book with Dawn, Maria watched as Max left the shop, tears welling up in her eyes when she noticed the tear stains. Her heart cried out for him, for Liz, and for their love. They had gone through so much to be together, and now it seemed like all the tears, sacrifices, and heartache was for nothing. Liz was somewhere out there alone and afraid, in another world no less! She could die...Maria shook her head feverently, No! She wasn't going to let Liz die. Max and Liz were going to have their fairytale ending! Even if she died from boredom from having to read these stupid books! A determined look, and she was once again back to her research, Michael clasping her hand tightly from where he was looking at his own book.

Alex and Kyle watched the scene, out of hearing distance from the groups. All of them seemed broken, emotionless, like machines. "Look at them." Kyle mumbled. Alex nodded his agreement, "God I feel scared for Liz."

Kyle looked up at Alex with his brows furrowed. "Me too. But...I don't understand this entire prophecy thing. Did Liz just get the shitty end of the stick having to be in this whole mess on accident? Maybe we should try and find the store that she bought it from...and we can trace it from there."

Alex nodded again, not knowing what else to do. Like everyone else he wasn't thinking properly, and the last thing on his mind was the knife and prophecy, which he was supposed to be de-riddling. Sighing, he ran a hand through his hair. "Ok, say that the prophecy has nothing to do with Liz...then someone else must be trying to kill Buffy. And maybe a dimension isn't that big of a thing away ya know? And what if they think that Liz is Buffy and something happens to her-"

"Dude...you really are NOT helping me out here." Kyle groaned. "I keep thinking about telling the others. You know...about that night in October. But then I keep hearing Liz in the back of my mind pleading with me not too...and I have to go with her, ya know? I can't betray her trust like that. But what if it helps?"

"What if? Kyle...we're way beyond the 'what if possibilities." Alex snapped. He winced afterwards. "Sorry...I don't know what's wrong with me."

"It's ok." Kyle slapped Alex's back. "Let's get to work."

~*~

Liz tripped over a large branch, and fell on the soft ground. Angry tears pushed it's way out of her eyes as she pushed herself up, and approached a stump. When she sat on it, the rest of her tears came out, and Liz started to gasp for air as she sobbed. Why was all of this happening to her? Wasn't she a good person? Didn't she get good grades? Wasn't she a good daughter and a good friend? Didn't she save the world? So why is she being punished? She was with someone who hated her, and she wanted to go home terribly. Even if iit meant seeing Max. Especially if it meant seeing Max.

A breeze flew through the woods, and Liz froze, shivering. She wasn't cold. That's not why she was shivering. She was shivering because she almost felt Max. As crazy as it sounded...she thought she had felt him...right next to her. As soon as she thought it, Liz started to chastize herself, and mentally started to beat her own ass. These days, things were different. Sometimes different was good, and other times it was bad. In everyone's lives each day makes a difference, makes a change for better or worse. It seemed as if better days were far out of Liz's sight, and the difference and changes of her days seemed to make others suffere inconsiderably.

She wondered about her friends back in Roswell, about her family. Did they even miss her? Isabel, and Michael probably wouldn't notice if Liz walked back to Roswell wearing nothing but a cute pair of sandals. They probably wouldn't even notice the sandals with Liz's lucky streak. And Max and Tess were probably on their way to Antar at this minute...away from Earth. Away from Roswell. Away from home. Away from Liz. Everyone was always away from Liz. She shook her head and wondered if Maria had tried to call her yet. Her parents must have gotten worried with all the calls they got from Maria and Alex, wondering where she was. Maybe, the police were looking for a Missing Teen.

Thinking of Alex brought even more tears to Liz's eyes. She thought back on the days that she, Alex, and Kyle would hang with Cordelia during the summer, acting dumb...immature...like themselves. Just sitting around laughing over the newest chick flick or comedy. Would Liz ever get to do that again? Would she ever step back into her world of normalcy? She already knew the answer. No. No matter what Liz wanted...her life would never be normal ever again.

~*~

The silence was once again deafening as everyone continued to research intently, even more determined to bring their loved one back. Maria and Dawn were now flipping through their own books, eyes scanning the page as Spike and Michael sat watching them, ready to be there in case of a break down. Alex was weaving through the web from site to site in search of any information about the myth while Kyle was hunched over his own book. They had been like this for the past half hour, barely moving.

Kyle was reading about vampires when he started to absently drum his fingers against his book to a familiar tune and Alex, upon hearing this joined in as he softly began to sing.

"A long, long time ago, I can still remember how that music used to make me smile..."

Kyle looked up in surprise as Alex's soft voice filled the air, and he realized then what he had been doing and joined in.

"And I knew that if I had my chance, I could make those people dance," Alex continued and Kyle finished for him.

"And maybe they'd be happy for a while."

~*~

Liz was staring pensively at the ground when she heard a soft drumming, and she looked up startled. Looking around, she searched the area for the source of the noise while another part of her mind recognized the tune. Soon a soft voice filled her ears, and she perked up. She knew that voice! It was Alex! Liz twisted around on the stump, half of her expecting to see the familiar face of her best friend. However when she was met with empty air, the smile faded from her face as she thought of her silliness. Alex wasn't here. He was nice and safe at home in Roswell, probably enjoying an orange soda. Besides, Alex singing American Pie? Yeah right.

Liz sighed softly to herself and it wasn't long before she started singing with the comforting voices that seemed to fill the air around her, and she lost herself in the familiar melody.

"Did you write the book of love and do you have faith in God above..."

~*~

Kyle and Alex stopped singing and the others who were listening did also when they heard a new softer and beautiful voice join in.

They all turned towards the mirror, an image was floating out to them. Liz was sitting on a stump singing softly to herself. Alex and Kyle's eyes widened. Had she heard them? Excited, the two boys ran over to the image.

"Mate how the hell'd she hear you?" Spike asked, looking at Kyle and Alex unbelieving. Alex shrugged, but his eyes lit up with excitement. Kyle picked up the mirror and waved his hand in front of it, "Lizzz...come in Liz. Can you hear me?"

Kyle grew frustrated and started to pound on it. "Say something. What, you turn into a mute or something?"

"Kyle...ya think she just might NOT be able to hear you?" Alex replied sarcastically, yanking the mirror out of Kyle's hands.

Alex placed the mirror back onto the table as a light emitted from it, creating a vision of Liz in the air and he repeated, "She probably can't hear us. Maybe she just started singing."

"But Alex, she was singing at the exact same time as you guys were. That's too uncanny." Maria protested, frustration already growing. Alex pulled her into a hug and nodded slowly, "Yea, but Maria, she's always had an uncanny connection to us remember? It's just a coincidence."

Maria nodded her head against him in understanding, but her voice soon filled the air as she sang along with her best friend, "If the Bible tells you so. Now do you believe in Rock 'n' roll and can music save your mortal soul?"

~*~

Max leaned against the wall, having not moved from his stance since he had left the store before. For the past half hour he had been thinking about nothing but Liz. He thought of everything that she had gone through, everything she had done for him and everything he had done for her. He thought of every embrace, every kiss, every smile, and every laugh that his Liz had graced him with, and his heart began to ache for her deeply.

He would get her back. He would risk his life if need be, just as long as his beautiful angel was there. Just as long as she was breathing, smiling, just as long as she was living. Even if she wasn't with him, even if she didn't love him. It would be worth it if she was happy and alive. Max paused in his thinking. For a moment he thought he heard her voice in his mind, but pushed it away as wishful thinking. Suddenly he had an overwhelming urge to sing. So he let himself forget now, and remember then as he sang to one of Liz's favorite songs.

"And can you teach me how to dance real slow. Well, I know that you're in love with him..."

~*~

Willow sighed, and shut the book tightly, replacing it with another. She opened it, and then closed it in the same manner. Finally, Tara handed her one from a different section. Willow mumbled a thanks, ashamed at how she was acting. She was always the one who kept their cool...and here she was loosing it when Buffy was gone. Willow lightly sang as she turned pages in the book, "'Cos I saw you dancin' in the gym. You both kicked off your shoes..."

~*~

Cordelia and Doyle had been sitting in the basement ever since Cordelia had started to break down. Now her back was leaning against his chest as they sat together. Doyle combed his fingers through her hair, singly softly in her ear. "Man, I dig those rhythm and blues. I was a lonely teenage broncin' buck, with a pink carnation and a pick-up truck..."

Cordelia smiled, and started to play with his right hand, "I knew I was out of luck, the day the music died."

~*~

Wesley was thumbing through the Watcher's journal trying to keep himself on task as he continued his search for whatever looked useful. His eyes scanned the page, but nothing jumped out at him as he continued to skim through sentences. From the corner of his eye he saw Giles sighed in frustration, and he sympathised with the other Englishman. Even though Buffy and he were not that close, he had been her Watcher before, and he still cared for her. If anything were to happen to her...Wesley went back to concentrating on what he was reading as he continued to search.

~*~

Giles sighed and got up from where he was sitting next to Wesley and began to pace. He took his glasses off and began to clean them as he paced back and forth. Back and forth, back and forth. Giles stopped, the pacing and everything else finally getting to him as he poured himself a glass of scotch. Taking a sip of the scotch, he could almost hear Buffy's voice in his mind. You have to lighten up Giles. I can take care of myself. I'm a big girl now.

The memory caused him to smile as he remebered the cheerful and teasing expression on her face as she bantered with him. He took another sip of scotch before he started to sing softly to the air, "I started singing. Bye, bye, Miss American Pie..."

At the sound of Giles singing, Wesley looked up bewildered to see the older Watcher singing and drinking scotch. He got up and walked over to Giles thinking that perhaps the pressure was getting too much and the poor man had finally cracked.

"Mr. Giles? Are you alright? How many of those have you had?" Wesley asked, indicating the scotch in the other man's hand. "Mr. Giles?"

~*~

Dawn listened to the others singing as she continued to read, wondering how they could be singing at a time like this. Buffy and Liz were missing, and now they had split up. Didn't they even care for their friend? Dawn wiped at her tears angrily. Well if they weren't going to do anything then fine. She was getting Buffy back.

Spike watched as Dawn wiped away her tears, wanting to comfort her, but knowing not to. She didn't need to be comforted now. She just needed to Buffy. However, he couldn't let her carry on the way she had been going lately. She would run herself sick if she did, and Lord knows what the slayer would do to him if he let something happen to Dawnie. He looked at her then at the three friends who were singing and grudingly started to himself, "Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry..."

Dawn looked up as Spike's voice joined the rest. She got up and stalked over to him. "What are you doing?"

Spike smirked at her, "Singing Little Bit. What else does it look like?"

"It looks like you're not helping me either! Buffy is out there all by herself! In some strange world no less! How can you be singing at a time like this?!" She demanded as she beat his chest. Spike did nothing and just let her until she calmed down and sagged in his arms as he whispered a question into her ear in response to her earlier question, "How can you not be?"

The words struck Dawn as she nodded her head in understanding. "And good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye..."

~*~

Continued in next post due to length restrictions *happy*.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 16-Aug-2002 1:52:25 AM ]
posted on 16-Aug-2002 1:34:40 AM
~*~

Buffy gasped at the beauty of the sight. For most of the night she had been searching for the waterfall and she had finally found it. Living in California her entire life, Buffy had seen waterfalls only in pictures. Now that she was seeing one face to water...she was astonished. She grinned and walked towards the water, testing how cold it was with one hand. She took her boots and socks off, and stuck her feet in the cool water. She splashed some water over her face as she started to sing, "Singing this'll be the day that I die.
This'll be the day that I die."

~*~

Tess groaned as another rap song came onto the radio. "Why do we have to listen to rap?" Isabel shot her a look. "I have no idea how to change it. Go ahead and be my guest."

Tess pushed past the Chinese food bags between her and Isabel, and static came on as she started to tune to other stations. She finally settled on an oldie station and left it at that. "Isabel...do you not like me either?"

Isabel looked up surprised at the other female alien. "Where did this come from?" True, Isabel didn't fully like Tess, but mostly because she made her brother unhappy at times. Tess shrugged, obviously not wanting to go into it. Isabel rolled her eyes, and turned right as Alex's favorite song came on. She turned it up more as she headed for the Magic Box. "I met a girl who sang the blues, and I asked her for some happy news."

Tess looked out the window and ran a hand through her hair, singing along with Isabel, not concious of what she was doing, or why she was doing it. "But she just smiled and turned away. I went down to the sacred store, where I'd heard the music years before."

~*~

Michael looked over at his singing girlfriend as she danced with Alex, laughter was floating from her lips as she and Alex sang. He closed his eyes at the sound. It had been a while since he had actually heard her laughter and he reveled in it. He glanced over at Kyle and saw that he was watching the dancing image of Liz. He, himself, looked over to see Liz twirling around as she sang with all her heart, a real smile curving her lips which only made his smile widen. It had also been a long time since he had even seen Liz smile, much less a genuine one. Although he was still fearful because after all, Liz had just basically ran off by herself, leaving her completely defensive to whoever was attacking the two girls. The thought alone sombered him but as he watched her and then looked over at Maria, his heart and himself couldn't help but sing also, "Where I'd heard the music years before."

Maria looked up at the sound of Michael's voice and smiled as their voices blended, "But the man there said the music wouldn't play."

~*~

Gunn watched as Fred placed yet another book onto the stack of books in front of her. Well, he watched as her small hand stacked another book in front of her. Her small form had long disappeared behind the books. He was having a hard time concentrating as he had been watching her from the corner of his eye. Now he was just full out looking over at her, not even concentrating on his research. He was never made to do the stuff anyway. Now fighting evil, that's something he had been born to do. Looking over he heard Willow singing softly with Tara. He stopped dead in his tracks when another voice joined the other two and a head popped out from behind the books and smiled at him. He blushed as he listened to her sweet voice blend with the other two.

"Well now, in the streets the children screamed. The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed."

~*~

"There's nothing." Xander grumbled, he and Anya off in their own corner upstairs. Anya hugged Xander sympathetically. "Hey...weren't you going to call into the demon world?"

"Yes...but so much has been going on-" Xander put a finger over her mouth to silence her. "Go on. Try now. I'll keep looking through these books." He motioned to a large pile behind him. Anya sighed in relief, and kissed his cheek. As she walked away she started to sing to the tune Xander was humming, "But not a word was spoken. The church bells all were broken."

~*~

The room was cold and dark. Perfect for a creature of the night. Perfect for him. His dark eyes stared into the emptiness as his face was forever set into what could only be called a brooding expression. His mind kept wandering back to Buffy and how utterly lost and tired she looked. Of course it did't show in her outer appearance, but he knew her better than that. Just like she knew him better than anyone else in his life. She was his soulmate, that much was obvious since the first time he had laid eyes on her. She was the warmth to his cold, the light to his dark, the happiness to his sorrow, and the redemption to his guilt. Without her, he was left only with the darkness and the cold. Unconcsiously, he started singing a song that she had sang once when they went patrolling together, "And the three men I admire the most, The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost..."

~*~

Liz stopped dancing to sit down, and cup her face in her hands. She rubbed her face, as if rubbing the tears that threatened to spill, away. As she pulled her hands away and opened her eyes, she started to sing again, "They caught the last train for the coast, the day the music died. We started singin'..."

~*~

Buffy stopped splashing in the water, all carefree thoughts having escaped her mind. Sighing, she knelt down next to the water, her hand tracing little patterns in the sand as her thoughts escaped to her friends. Were they ok? Was Dawn protected? Did Glory strike yet? The questions ran through her mind and yet again, she thought nothing of the danger of her current situation, her heart and mind thinking and worrying only for those she loved. What were they doing now? She wondered as she continued to sing softly, "Bye, bye, Miss American Pie, drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry..."

~*~

Willow looked around at the others, her shoulder slumping when she realized they hadn't found anything. Tara and Xander were at her side in an instant and together they comforted her, their own disappointment radiating off of them. Gunn and Fred watched their new friends, sympathizing with them and worrying for Angel at the same time. Anya took in the scene, and the normally eccentric ex-demon sang a little seriously, "And good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye..."

Xander smiled at his love and wrapped an arm around her shoulder, signalling to the others to go back downstairs. They trudged behind him in pairs, Tara still holding Willow's hand, and Fred smiling shyly at Gunn who grinned in return. When they reached the bottom step, they ran into Wes and Giles.

Wesley, after making sure that Giles hadn't drank too much, decided that the pressure had finally gotten too much, and Giles had cracked. As Giles continued to sing the song, sipping from his glass, Wesley had tried to continue looking over the journals, but after a while, he found himself singing too. They heard some thumping sounds and realized that the others were coming down so they went to meet them with hopeful expressions. However when they reached the younger group, their faces fell when they saw the others' expressions. Giles continued singing forlornly, "Singing this'll be the day that I die. This'll be the day that I die..."

Xander raised an eyebrow at that. Giles was singing American Pie? Giles was singing?? Giles knew American Pie?! Meaning he listened to Madonna?? He made a move to make a wisecrack, but Anya and Willow elbowed him before he could even say anything.

~*~

Doyle helped Cordelia stand up, and he gave her a smile. She grinned and leaned in to kiss his lips, to thank him for being there for her, like he always had been. When she pulled away, Doyle tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, and pulled her palm to his lips kissing it softly. "Come love, we've got to find Angel."

Cordelia mentally kicked herself for forgetting about her vampire-with-a-soul friend. How was Angel holding up? Was he doing ok? Thoughts and emotions ran wild in Cordelia's mind thinking of him. Doyle seemed to sense it as he led her out of the basement, and up the stairs. As they walked, Cordelia tightened her grip on his hand. She wanted to wake up. She wanted to wake up to a week before she got the vision. She'd call Liz up, and talk her into coming to Los Angeles where she would spill about her entire life...vampires included. And then, she'd call Buffy and tell her everything she knew about the knife so they could destroy it, before something bad happened. But sadly, Cordelia was awake. Wide awake.

They met Angel in the front of the store. A sullen look covered his face. Seeing it, Cordelia immediately walked towards him, her arms going around his neck. Angel closed his eyes and wrapped his arms around her waist, wishing that it was Buffy he was holding. As his eyes opened, they met the concerned ones of Doyle. Doyle clapped a hand against Angel's back in comfort. Cordelia let go of Angel, sniffling slightly. Her heart poured out to her friend, and she grabbed for his hand, and Doyle's. She started to lead the two of them towards the back room and the others. As they went they silently sang,"Bye, bye, Miss American Pie,
drove my Chevy to the levee-"

~*~

Isabel came to a stop in front of the Magic Shop, staring at it as the reality of the situation suddenly hit her once more. Looking over she saw Tess getting out of the car with the bags of takeout and made a move to exit the vehicle too. She grabbed a bag from Tess and the two began to walk into the store, still singing softly to themselves. Before she entered the store, Isabel felt a wave of sadness hit her and she looked over to the darken alley, knowing fully whose pain she was feeling. After all, they did share a connection. She motioned to Tess to head inside and the shorter blonde nodded, taking the bag from Isabel before she did so. Isabel made her way towards the alley, and she saw a dark silhouette that stood out against the other shadows, and she could barely make out the form of her brother.

She heard him singing softly to the same tune she had been singing, and a smile crossed her lips. She hadn't heard her brother sing since they were younger, and he had such a nice voice. It was then she heard the thickness of his voice and heard the quiet sobs that mingled with his voice. That was all it took for Isabel to be by her brother's side with her arms instantly wrapping themselves around him as he wept into her.

"Max. Max, look at me.." She whispered gently, and Max brought his head up slowly at the tone in her voice. Isabel's heart broke when she saw his face, tears trekking down his cheeks, his normal amber eyes were darker and redder, but the look in his eyes tore at her the most. He looked, for lack of a better description, like a lost puppy dog. "I'm not going to sit here and tell you it's ok because it's not. Our friend, your love is trapped somewhere by herself, well techinically not by herself, but she might as well be. So you can go ahead and cry. I can't promise you everything will be ok, but Max, I can promise to do everything in my power and I know the others will also, to get Liz back into your arms. But Max, we need you to be strong right now. Liz needs you to be strong right now."

Max nodded his head in understanding, his tears having disappeared as the meaning of his sisters' words struck him. He even managed a small smile as he whispered, "Thanks Is."

Isabel nodded, "What are sisters for? Now get up. Michael's probably hogging all of the Tobasco sauce."

Max chuckled at his sister's comment, and brother and sister helped one another stand. Isabel waved her hand over Max's face, making any traces of his tears disappear, and the two headed towards the doors to the shop, their hands linking unconsciously in the familiar gesture of comfort that they had adopted when they were younger.

~*~

Tess walked through the doors of the shop, singing absently as she struggled with the weight of all the packages. She was finally succeeding when she suddenly tripped over something and she let out a muffled scream, prepared to land on the floor with food landing all over her. When she hit something warm, her eyes snapped open and she watched in a daze as Kyle steadied her before grabbing most of the takeout from her, a small smile appearing on his face. Her dazed expression cleared and she felt a tingle run up her spine at the look he was giving her. It was a look she was familiar with, but never had directed her way. Until now.

It was the look Alex shot Isabel when he thought no one was watching.

The look that Michael had whenever he was "arguing" with Maria.

Most of all, it was the look Max always gave Liz whenever they were together.

Before she could say anything, he held his arm to her, and she smiled brightly, taking it. Behind them Isabel and

Max entered, sharing a look as they caught sight of the couple in front of them.

~*~

Maria and Alex were still singing when everyone started to gather in the main room. Maria's eyes were trained on the figures in front of her as she and Alex sang together. Maria brighten when she heard Max's voice along with Isabel's joining in, and Maria 'subtly' pushed Alex away from her. Alex, caught off guard fell back, hitting something soft as he did so. Looking up, he found himself staring into honey brown eyes as Isabel smiled at him. Alex's face was beet red as Isabel helped him up, but she didn't let go of him as she snuggled against him. Alex couldn't help the goofy grin that suddenly appeared on his face.

Maria watched from the corner of her eye, a sly grin on her face as she watched the interaction. Her grin became a full blown smile when he smirked at her, wrapping an arm around her, mouthing 'nice work'. She shrugged and continued singing out, stronger then the rest of the Roswell bunch. "But the levee was dry and good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye..."

~*~

Buffy sighed and stopped her drawings in the sand. As she turned, her feet hit the water sending a splash towards her. Once the ripples stopped, Buffy caught her reflection in the water. She hardly recognized herself. The circles under her eyes implied that she had been missing out on some much needed sleep, and the redness in her eyes showed her crying. If someone had shown her a picture of herself now, two months ago, Buffy would have laughed in their face and demanded who had altered the picture. But here she was, miserable, and feeling more lonely then ever.

Ever since she was little, Buffy had wanted the normal life. She wanted her parents to be married, and happy. She wanted her dad to be just that;a dad. Her mom was dead and her dad wasn't even there to comfort his daughters. Buffy drew her knees up to her chest, her gaze never leaving her reflection. If it wasn't for her friends, she didn't know how she would've survived. Angel, especially. Their relationship had been one from hell though. Literally. The things they went through wasn't anything near a normal relationship, which was what Buffy had always wanted; normal. Perhaps that was why she was so attracted to Riley, because he was normal. Growing up on a small farm, with loving parents. Angel was an entire different case. She had met him, and known that he was who she wanted. Then she found out he was a vampire and from then on, things weren't the best. Buffy gave him her virginity and Angelus had come out, pushing Angel back. Then Buffy had to kill him, kill Angel, the one person she had sworn her heart to. When he had left after her Graduation she knew it had to be over. But things turned around once her mother died, him being the one who turned them around for the slightest bit of good.

Buffy hurriedly wiped the tears away from her face, as she thought of her life. Although she wanted normal, she wouldn't have given up everything good in her life for the world, "Singing this'll be the day that I die..."

~*~

It was you. It was you. It was you. It was you. It was you. It was- Liz shook her head to stop the words running through her mind. But still, she couldn't forget them. Why was saving the world so difficult? Why was it so hard and painful? She did the best she could to keep everyone she loved safe, but in doing so it seemed she was forgetting about herself, about keeping her heart safe. She never loved someone before Max Evans had stepped into her life, and now that he was out of it, she felt the emptiness in her heart.

Leaving Roswell had been one of the easiest and hardest things for Liz to do. She didn't want to abandon her friends, she didn't want to hurt them, but staying in Roswell was like a constant reminder of the pain she had inflicted upon Max, and the hurt it had caused her every time she looked back to see the expression of shock, disbelief, and hurt on his face the day he had seen her and Kyle in bed together. It was like a part of her had died that day, along with the love Max had for her. "This'll be the day that I die."

~*~

The two lost girls' voices mingled and echoed around the small shop as they sang those two particular lines. The words leaving a chilling effect in the air as everyone focused on their respective friends. All but Cordelia, who looked from one girl to the other, her eyes tearing up as their voices touched each and every heart in the room.

Maria focused on her best friend's profile, and for the first time she saw what she had been too blind to see before. The overwhelming expression of pain in Liz's doe eyes. The pain was so raw and so very real, and Maria could almost feel it. So tangible. How could she have missed this before?? It was then the guilt seeped into her, shaking her to her very core, and Kyle sensing this, moved closer, taking Michael's place as the alien moved towards the others. Once again the group was split, the humans and the aliens as Alex, Kyle, and Maria held onto one another, all coping for the lost of their best friend. "We started singin.'"

As soon as Michael joined his fellow aliens, their hands all immediately linked, even Tess. Together they stared at the image of Liz in front of them. Correction, the broken image of Liz. She had sacrificed so much for them, and when she needed them most, they had been too blind in protecting one of their own to remember that she was one of them too. In their blind actions, they had broken the one person who deserved none of it. The one person who didn't owe them anything, and yet they owed so much to. Max lead the aliens in singing the next part, his eyes never leaving Liz's wistful face. "We started singin.'"

~*~

Angel's eyes were locked onto the image of Buffy, his soul aching to be with hers again. He felt a hand slide into his and he turned to see Cordelia at his side. Doyle nodded at him over Cordelia's head, before turning back to look at the blonde in the mirror. Tears poured down Cordelia's cheeks, and Wesley, Fred and Gunn joined the group, completing it. Fred's tiny voice sang alone, until the others joined in, all trying to give each other comfort. "We started singin.'"

~*~

Dawn watched her sister singing the lines that seemed to match her, in a morbid way. Tears gathered in her eyes, as she stood with the only people who truly knew her secret and cared for her, but one was missing. Giles wrapped his arm around her in a fatherly sort of comfort, and Dawn grabbed for Spike's hand. Willow was crying with Tara, Xander and Anya on her other side. The group looked on at the Slayer who they had grown to love, to care for, to respect, and now...to miss. Tara placed a gentle hand on Dawn's shoulder ans started to sing, "We started singin.'"

~*~

The four groups singing together was something of beauty. Their voices blended giving a sense of harmony, peace, and mourning out to anyone listening. Then again, if someone had been listening they would have asked why they were singing in the first place. But, the emotions pouring out of the group was strong, and even someone listening would have felt it.

Smiling from outside of the window, he rubbed his hands together. Then, he pushed one hand into his trenchcoat and pull it out. How beautiful it was. Yet still so small. But what made the knife better than it's beauty was that two were trapped inside, two that would never escape. He threw the knife into the air, and caught it, whistling along to the tune as he walked away.

~*~

The music stopped and the mirrors started to fade, the images growing closer and closer to black, until they finally turned pitch black and no longer was the mirror a sort of pool for the others to watch Liz and Buffy, but it was just a broken mirror, nothing special about it. The silence echoed in the room, and Maria shivered and rubbed her arms. Michael noticed and wrapped his arms around her. "Well...forget renting West Side Story...we seem to have the Musical part cut down pact."

As soon as those words left Michael's mouth, the light suddenly went out, causing Maria to freeze in his arms, a scream wanting to erupt from her lips, but she kept quiet, opting to tighten her hold on Michael's arms. Michael winced when he felt her nails digging into his skin but he said nothing as the a gray fog suddenly filled the room, and once again everything was silent. Quietly, the boys stepped in front of the girls, ready to protect them if needed. Just as sudden, loud fireworking sounds filled the air causing everyone to jump and Maria to scream. A spotlight appeared out of nowhere and landed on a spot right in front of the doors. A voice filled the silence.

"Ladies and Gentleman, please welcome our gracious and talented main act!"

Angel raised an eyebrow, the voice was familiar. The door opened, and the Fang Gang sighed in relief and disbelief, while the Scoobies raised weapons, and the Roswell gangs began freaking out at the sight before them. Because standing there in all his glory was none other than the talented Lorne, holding a microphone with a smirk on his face. "The fun has arrived!"



Hehe...ok so what'd ya think? Worth the wait? It's 13 pages size 10 font.
posted on 7-Sep-2002 12:41:52 PM
Hey guys! Jen and I are incredibly sorry about the long wait. School's just harsh! But, we will definitely have a new part out by September 11! *happy* Thanks for sticking with us guys, I'm workin on an Author's Note now.
posted on 22-Sep-2002 2:02:58 AM
Ok, guys...don't throw things! I know, that we said we would have an update by September 11, and it is now 10 days later. But there is good reason, trust me. Jen has been going through some real life issues, that has caused alot of emotional stuff, and we're trying our best to get a new part out. It's not that we're slacking off, because we are working on Petal. It's just so complicated right now. I can say that a new part will be out soon. And it's already 8 pages long...Jen's finishing it up. I hope that you all aren't mad. I just can't say how much we appreciate all of you hanging around and waiting for us! *big* You are all wonderful, and Jen and I are *extremely* sorry for such the long wait. We won't let it happen again!


Lucky Star: 8 repliesAw! You sweetie! I'm so glad that you are still around with us! Petal would NOT be the same without out you hun! *big*

Tanky: 8 replies TANKY! You've bumped this fic...repeatedly and waited for a new part even more patiently than Jen and I could expect! Thank you so much!! By the way, I love your signature! The Buffy/Angel picture is so cute.

omby: 4 replies You are a funny one! Your replies make me laugh!! Thanks for reading this! Hopefully you'll stay til the end!*happy*

roswell_lover_buffy: 4 replies I love your board name, by the way! *wink* I'm really glad that you like Petal. And the fact that you're hanging around while Jen and I figure things out, is wonderful!

CrashdownGurlie: 4 replies PHEEBS! Aw! Jen and I adore your feedback! (And you!) LOL. You are so sweet. Post more of My Karma Just Ran Over Your Dogma! I can't wait til You, Me, Jen, and Amy travel to Nowhere! I love you hun! *hugs*

RoswellLady: 4 replies It means so much that you've decided to read Petal, and that you're still bumping even after our disappearance. By all means, you are one of our favorites! *big*

Spicy trini1: 2 replies Ok, Jen and I call you our psychiatrist. You evaluate the fic, and the characters, and look at them differently then others. *happy* You know exactly what to say to us, and we salute you! Hehe, hang with us some more!!!

cglenn: 2 replies Corrin! Sweetie!!! I'm the one who's used to bumping your fic, and now it's weird to see you be bumping mine! *big* LOL, You get a new part out of A New Life, and we'll post! That's right guys, us posting is all on Corrin now! LOL j/k hon!

Razz214 Thanks for your feedback, even though we haven't posted as frequently you've still replied to Petal. *happy* You know, if you guys reply 100 more times, we'll post...100 chapters! Kidding, but...that'd be nice huh? Hey, don't start getting any ideas!! *wink*

roswellluver The American Pie song goes really well with everyone's emotions, is true! I love that song, and I think it came up that we would work it into the story because Jen was listening to the Madonna version, and I was listening to the Don McClean one...and we were like.. "Hey...here's an idea." Jen came up with it basically! *wink*

caitquel Hehe, yes you definitely gotta love Lorne! Your feedback is so sweet. 'Beatifully crafted writing'..well we do try! *wink* LOL, thanks so much for the feedback! Keep it coming sweetie!

Dream Lover MerJ My fellow Alex lover! Hehe... thanks for giving us feedback. We crave it, especially when we go through emotional whacks like recently. *big*

Tabasco Liz Whoo! Hehe, thanks for reading this! I get off track on alot of fics too...often my own, so don't even worry about it! I'm glad you caught up to us though!!! Thanks for leaving feedback! Your signature is cute!

katmcken I for one and so envious of you! I've seen the pictures of you in your signature with the cast members! *tongue* You lucky girl! Hehe, thanks for reading this and replying. And, yes...at some point the Roswell gang will find out about Future Max.

Kim_56Emotion I know what you mean! Lorne is my favorite guy too! I love his sarcasm! LOL, his character is so wacky, you can't NOT love him! *tongue*

Aussie_Dreamer Your first time posting here?!? YAY! Newbie! *big* Sorry, I got crazy over newbies, as done Jen! If you have AIM you'll have to come and chat with us soon. Pheebs, Jen-*wink*. You love this fic? That's so sweet! Aw!

DreaminFehr Jaime! I think you're one of the only ones who has emailed me feedback. It's so great to open up my mailbox and read 'I love your fic! You're a great writer.' Jen and I love writing this fic, and we WILL finish it! Thanks so much for your feedback!

KEmperor Ken! Our Alex! *big* LOL, you've been with us for awhile too, and you know how much Jen and I are working on Petal...and how crazy we are when we aren't! lol, thanks for sticking around!

angeleyes Hey hon! Thanks so much for bumping this fic, and reading it! We love your feedback! *big*

Norma Bates Thanks for the friendly bump! *bounce*


And that's the end of my ramblings! And long awaited Author's Note. I love you all! *kisses and hugs*

Erin
posted on 22-Sep-2002 3:26:48 PM
Just a bump for people to see the author's note!
posted on 6-Oct-2002 1:46:39 AM
Hey guys! I've got some news. Go here: viewthread?page=6&forum=dreamer-fanfiction&id=220036

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 6-Oct-2002 1:47:15 AM ]
posted on 18-Oct-2002 4:53:05 AM
Hey guys. Wow, I'm really glad that Hawk bumped this fic. (I'm even gladder [eh, is that a word?!?] that you all are sticking around with Jen and I) I'm just here to give you all an update at where we currently are in the fic. Jen and I have written 7 pages of Chapter 9. I've got this urge to really finish it. So, when Jen gets on at a decent hour..lol, why am I the one who always decides to stay on til 1:46?...I'll talk to her about finishing this part, and getting it out to you guys. I've figured that you've all waited quite some time... hmm?

It won't be as long as all the other chapters probably, but it will be a new part. By the way, I am so sorry this is taking so long. During the summer it was just so much easier for Jen and I to talk and write. *happy* We miss you guys! *hug* So, I'm off.

Much Love!
Erin
posted on 19-Oct-2002 2:54:59 PM
Hey guys! Wow, do I owe all of you a Author's Note or what? LOL, but I have absolutely no time, right now. I promise I will get one out. But, it was either Author's Note or Chapter 9. Yup, you got that right, Chapter 9. We have a new part out and are working on a new one as we speak. Jen says she's terribly sorry, and that just because she left Fanatics, doesn't mean she's quitting on Petal. We're still at it! *wink* So, enjoy!

Hard times are fallin' on you
Even when you smile I see the hurt come through
And I know it feels like it's never gonna end
You say nothin's been right for a long time
And every step you take is an uphill climb
I see you're reachin' out
So let me tell you friend that

Better days are comin' around
I know you feel like
The whole world's gone and let you down but
Better days they're comin' for you
I know they will
'Cause I'll be right here makin' sure they do

And if your sky ain't lookin' the fairest
There ain't no reason to be embarrassed
Ain't nobody in the world ain't felt
The rain from time to time
And just when you think it's all over and done
The night get easier one by one
So take my hand and hold on tight
And soon you're gonna find that

Better days are comin' around
I know you feel like
The whole world's gone and let you down but
Better days they're comin' for you
I know they will
'Cause I'll be right here makin' sure they do

I know what it's like
To have to face the fight
But I won't let you stand alone, no

Better days are comin' for you
I know it feels like
The whole world's gone and let you down but
Better days they're comin' for you
I know they will
'Cause I'll be right here makin' sure they do

Chapter 9: Another Side of You


A trash can rattled 10 meters up ahead of her. A yard behind her, a dog was sniffing the sidewalk, and five feet behind him was his owner, leash in hand. She ran a hand through her hair, and clutched her jacket tighter around her, trying to make herself as unnoticeable as possible.

His steps were the only thing letting her know he was still ahead of her, as she walked the darkened streets. Her feet were barefoot so she made no sound with shoes, her eyes trying to get used to the darkness of the night. The wind grew heavier and she could smell the rain. She loved the smell, loved every rain night there ever was, except this one.

He turned at the next corner, towards a bar. She knew what was in that bar. Her eyes narrowed, making them small green slits, resembling a cat. She stepped back into the shadows, as he opened the door to the bar, and looked around him. Demons pushed past him, out of the doorway and he let the knob slide through his fingertips as he watched them walk. She wished to close her eyes, and plug her ears but she found she couldn't move.

She watched his hand raise, before a bolt of light shot out and the only sound was the strangled cries of the three demons, as they became nothing more than air. He smirked and walked back towards the door, and turned in her direction, shooting her a wink. He disappeared into the bar and she stepped into the dim light of the alley.

His ways of killing, and destruction were sloppy and carefree. Unlike her own. And what she disliked most was sloppiness. She turned on her heel, ignoring the cold cement beneath her feet, and slung her hands in her pockets, walking a few feet before stepping into a bush. She held her breath and stuck her chin up, closing her eyes. She shut out the rest of her senses concentrating on her hearing alone.

Demons. Five of them were coming in her direction. One was a vampire from what she could hear. They were 20 feet away. She reached into her jacket and pulled out a sharp knife. 15 feet away. She crouched down low, ready and waiting. 10 feet away. Her eyes opened slowly, and immediately got used to the scenery. 5 feet away. She jumped out from the bush, slicing the throat of three, before any of the others could react.

The two left gave her one glance, fear in their eyes, before retreating. Probably back to the bar from wince they came. She let them go. She knew that they'd give him the message from her. And he wouldn't try to attack her again, he'd be too busy running. How far would he get before he would be found? She dragged the bodies into the bush where she had hid, before starting back the way she came. It was time to report.

***

Because standing there in all his glory was none other than the talented Lorne, holding a microphone with a smirk on his face. "The fun has arrived!"

He stood there, his arms spread out, his outfit screaming "look at me" as a grin spread across his face. Lorne tapped his foot somewhat expectantly, and when it seemed that he wasn't going to get any applause, his grin disappeared as he muttered wryly, "Apparently in front of the wrong crowd."

His frown disappeared as his grin once again appeared while his eyes took in the room around him, in one area stood his friends, in another stood another group of people, Buffy's gang he realized, and off to another side stood a group of teenagers. With a grin he walked towards one of the teenagers. Maria.

Her eyes widened as she backed up, and once again she was in her zone as what could only be described as Maria-babble escaped her mouth.

"This is so not happening. This is all just a dream, I am now at home snuggling up against my alien-not Spaceboy, my mom would kill me and let's not go there-dreaming my usual dream where Spaceboy has nice hair and serves me hand and feet...maybe this is a dreamwalk, if it is, this isn't nice Isabel! Get out of my head! There is no such thing as blood sucking vampires and things do not go bump in the night-unless it's those horny neighbors on a viagra high and eww they're soo old! Where was I? Oh yea! I am now not seeing a demon in front of me. The only little green men I know are not so green and do not have horns, and are annoying as hell, sweet as a pie, frosty as ice, and destiny spouting!!"

She pointed to Lorne, "You are just some weird kid with a skin disease of some sorts and those "horns" coming out of your face are glued on! Alex and Kyle probably put you up to this! Haha! Funny guys, really. You can take that junk off your face now."

Maria pulled on Lorne's horn and he yelped. Maria's face paled as she pulled again, "What did you use?? Super glue? Listen buddy, I know they paid you and all, but it's not worth gluing things to your head!"

"Can you please stop that? I really would like to keep that horn, it takes a while for them to regrow." Maria looked into his eyes and saw them glow a soft red and she shrieked as she scrambled behind Michael, "Oh. My. God!"

Her hand reached to the table behind her to grab her cedar oil, grasping it, she brought it to her face and took a sniff and immediately frowned. The aroma was strange. Looking down at what she held in her hand, Maria shrieked as she threw the blood to the floor.

"Hey! You waste it you replace it!" Spike cried as he looked down at the wasted blood. Maria took a look around the room, and everything in the past two days came back over her as she finally fainted. Michael rolled his eyes when her body hit the floor. Kyle looked around Michael and stared down at his friend, "I think you were supposed to catch her."

"I would have if she had really fainted." Michael replied wryly as Maria's eyes snapped open and glared up at him.

Kyle looked towards the demon in front of him. Two years ago, if he had seen some of the things he'd seen these past couple of days he wouldn't have believed it for the world. He closed his eyes as if expecting Lorne to be gone when he opened them.

But he was disappointed.

"Allright. This is just getting a little too weird! Sure Michael, Isabel, Max, and Tess are little green things but they at least have something to cover it up! Did you run out of makeup or something?"

Lorne looked towards Cordelia insulted before turning back to Kyle. He opened his mouth to say something but was cut off. "No, don't say it. Just, lie to me. Tell me you're in a play of some kind and didn't have a chance to change out of costume, so I can keep a tiny bit of my sanity!"

"I'm Alex. Human. Alive. And like staying that way." Alex stated, stepping between Kyle and Lorne, placing his hand out. Kyle looked at him wide eyed. He looked about to protest but Lorne placed his hand in Alex's. "Lorne's the name, singing's the game."

Alex nodded, and pulled his hand away. "The blonde who freaked is Maria, she does it all the time. You get used to it. The one who conveniently let her fall is Michael, this one behind me is Kyle...he doesn't usually act like this...scratch that, he does."

"The tall blonde is Isabel, the short blonde is Tess, and the one inbetween them is Max." Alex replied.

"You seem scared." Lorne replied. Alex shifted his feet nervously. "I don't see demons everyday."

"Welcome to the Hellmouth kid!" Lorne stated, slapping Alex's back.

The Scoobies stared slack jawed as the Roswellians spoke casually to the demon. Didn't they know that demons were the source of evil and usually lived to cause bodily harm to others, particulary humans?

Lorne chuckled as he then looked curiously over at the Scooby gang. He had heard much about them from Cordelia and Wes. Angel mostly spoke of a certain slayer. He crept closer but was met by an axe in his face as he stared into the weary eyes of the Watcher. The axe had seemingly come out of thin air.

Lorne gulped and repeated his earlier thought of wanting to keep his horn as he walked the other way and was met with the not so fierce gaze of two witches, both ready to attack as their auras were burning brightly. He really did want to be alive when this was all over so he walked towards the only ones who seemed less intimidating. Dawn and Anya. Xander immediately blocked his path and tried to use his manliness voice, which turned into a squeaky version of his actual voice, "Halt! Do not come closer!"

Lorne raised an eyebrow, but crept closer anyway, intent on seeing Dawn. Xander began to sweat as his hand groped around for anything that could help him. Finally he found something and grabbed it, pulling it in front of him as to ward Lorne off. Again, the eyebrow raised as Lorne took in the sight in Xander's hand. For sitting in Xander's hand was a nice fluffy white bunny, its nose twitching as if in question. Anya caught sight of the bunny and let out a blood curling scream as she bolted towards Giles.

"Its nose is twitching! Kill it! Kill it" She screamed as she hid behind Giles, trying to push him and the axe towards the little bunny. Everyone stared at Anya who was practically plastered against Gile's back as she looked around his shoulder and straight into the bunny's eyes. Its nose twitched again and she screamed once more, "Its coming to get me!"

With that said and done she launched herself away from it and straight into Spike's arms. He stared at her for a few moments before dropping her to the floor unceremoniously as he stepped around her. By this time Xander had put the bunny down and was torn between going to his love and protecting Dawn. He wasn't torn for long because the bunny decided to do some exploring and was heading straight to Anya who screamed and ran back towards Xander and into his arms. She burst into tears as she held him closer to her, muttering incohorent sentences. Xander helplessly comforted her, but his eyes widened when Lorne stepped closer, clearly trying not to laugh.

"Back! Stay back I tell you! Or I'll...I'll..." He looked around and his eyes landed on Spike, "I'll sic him on you!"

Spike glared at him, "Shut it whelp, I'm not your dog."

"With the way you follow Buff around, you had me thinking otherwise." Xander fired back, and Angel glared at Spike who was slowly beginning to anger.

"I said shut it."

"And I know Spike is a common dog's name. In fact, I had this evil dog who bit people all the time. He was completely white, but he died a while back. Annoying as hell." Xander looked at him, "Is he a relative of yours?"

Spike growled, and was about to change into his game face, but Dawn laid her hand gently on his shoulder. "Spike, don't fight." She turned to Lorne, and tilted her head. Every demon she'd ever come across had been evil, with the exception of Spike, Angel, Doyle, and Anya. "I'm Dawn." She mumbled quietly. Her eyes raised to meet his.

"I know." He replied. An eyebrow raised and her shaky voice replied, "You do?"

"That piece of beauty told me about you all. You all think I'd walk into Sunnydale intent on killing people, and immediately stop at the Center of Killing All Things Evil? I don't think so. I may be a demon, but I do have a brain." Lorne replied. He turned to Cordelia. "And you..."

"You can't get mad Lorne...I just couldn't resist their reactions!" Cordelia laughed, before quickly running into his open arms. "What are you doing here?"

"You think I could leave Bunches of Sunshine to brood alone?" Lorne joked, nodding at Angel. "Actually I'm here on a Mission."

"Tom Cruise type Mission?" Cordelia asked, hands on hips.

"A little more important, and well...who's cuter? Me, obviously."

"Wait!" Xander shouted. "You know him?" He looked between Cordelia and Lorne. "How do you know him?"

"Xander, relax." Willow replied, slowly walking towards Lorne. "A mission? Does it have to do with Buffy and Liz?"

"Buffy-cute Slayer, and Liz-beautiful brunette right?" Lorne smiled. "Sort of."

"You were sent here, weren't you?" Cordelia groaned. "When are the Powers going to learn that they can't just boss us around? Spill, Lorne."

"There's a Spy watching you. I can't say much, just a Spy's watching you." Lorne stated, crossing his arms.

"A Spy's watching us?" Giles asked, his voice asking for more.

Lorne nodded. "Yup, I believe that's what I said."

"No more than that?" Michael asked. "You have no idea if it's male or female, human or not? Just...a 'Spy is watching us'?"

"Basically."

"Lorne...please, give us something more than that." Cordelia pleaded, realizing that if she didn't say something there could be a Smackdown in the Magic Box. "My cousin and friend are trapped somewhere, and in pain. Tell me what you know."

Lorne looked at her sadly. He couldn't tell her what he knew. He had to tell her what he had been told to tell. Anything more than that was going to do damage. "I can't Sweetling. At least not right now."

Cordelia bit her lip, and nodded. "Allright, I understand."

Growing up with Nasedo, Tess had learned to keep her mouth shut, and to not ask questions. But as she watched Nasedo in Roswell, she learned that he had no control over her in front of the others, that the others were a sort of protection. No longer did he order her around, no longer did he yell at her if she didn't have her powers to the point of perfection. They had protected her. Max, Michael, and Isabel had protected her, and never even known it.

She turned to glance at Maria, Kyle, and Alex. Maria and her had never really talked. Maria was Liz's best friend and loyal to her til the end of time, Alex not close behind. But, Kyle had given her a home, and had been the first nice one to her. He had welcomed her to Roswell with open arms, even as Isabel, Michael, and Max hesitated. Even Liz, had tried to help Tess. She had given up Max, placing him on a platter, handing it to Tess twice.

Tess narrowed her eyes, Lorne knew more than he was letting off and she was going to find out what it was. "Look...you may be some demon from some crazed other dimension...but I don't care. I'm an alien from a planet undergoing 50 and more years of war. I'm NOT afraid of you. If you won't tell us anything, then I won't hesitate in using the powers I've been given."

"Talk about Push-y!" Lorne declared, giving Tess a once over.

The Pod Squad was staring in shock at Tess. This was Tess Harding. The alien who cared not about humans. This was the Tess who would rather have Liz on some other dimension then back with Max. This was the Tess who hated Liz. And this was the Tess who was standing up to Lorne, a demon, to try to help Liz.

"Someone...someone that..we...care about is in danger, and you're going to have to do a little better than 'a spy is watching you'." Tess continued.

"Look, I can feel more than anyone else in the this room, how much you all want your friends to be out of the dimension that they're in, but The Powers That Be don't let me choose what to tell. They choose what I tell, when I tell it." Lorne replied.

"I'm not buying that." Tess stated, through gritted teeth.

"You. Are. A. Teenager. It's not for you to buy." Lorne sighed. Tess glared at him before closing her eyes in concentration. She was inside Lorne's mind quickly, planting an image. As she pulled out of it, she saw the look on Lorne's face. His expression was one of horror, and he jumped quickly, and looked around as the image disappeared.

"What the-" He turned to Tess. "You."

"Me. The teenager." Tess smirked, and crossed her arms over her chest. "So?"

"She's not human." Lorne replied softly. "That's ALL you're getting out of me until the time is right." He said, firmly. His eyes met hers in an understanding and Tess nodded, before joining the Pod Squad once again. She could feel the eyes of the others on her and she turned to look at them. "Why is it so impossible for me to care about Liz?"

Seeing that the seven were going to be talking for awhile, Lorne turned towards the Scoobies, and Fang Gang, as they engaged in coversation, trying to beat more answers out of him.

"It's just...you never cared for Liz before." Maria replied. She raised her eyes to meet Tess's. "Thank you."

"For what? Getting the information out of him?" Tess asked, her eyebrows raising.

"For caring now." Alex said, putting a comforting arm around Tess's shoulder. She immediately stiffened before relaxing, her blue eyes meeting Kyle's. At that moment Tess felt good, and warm inside, something she hadn't felt in awhile. She finally felt as if she had belonged with the people around her. Kyle smiled and Tess returned the grin.

"Who is she and what has she done with Tess?" Michael quickly whispered into Kyle's ear. Kyle turned to look back at Michael, and simply shrugged. "Maybe she had an epiphany."

And with those words, he slipped into his mind, allowing the world around him to fade as he thought of this particular change. When he had first been drawn into the "alien abyss" as he liked to call the situation that he and his father had all but willingly been thrown into, he had felt out of the loop. He barely knew the Czechs as it was, and he hadn't been that close with Maria and Alex at the time. In fact, the only person he had been close to was Liz, and he had always thought it was because they had dated, when in all actuality it was because they had been friends even before he had asked her on that first date. However, Liz had been dealing with her own depression over the alien situation and he had not want to add to her problems.

But then she came along, an outcast in the tightly formed group herself. She had interested him ever since her arrival in this small town. Bouncing blonde silk curls and crystal clear blue eyes, the polar opposite of Liz Parker, and to him, that was exactly what he wanted. Someone that would help him forget Liz, but somehow he had lost once again to Max Evans. Tessa Harding was now one of the many after Max Evan's heart. He had been disappointed then, and any feelings he may have had upon seeing her vanished, or so he thought.

When he had found out from his father that they were allowing Tess to stay with them, he had been angered. First he had been forced to become a part of their group and now one of 'them' was staying with him? He couldn't get away from them, and as he and Tess grew closer, he found that he wouldn't have traded the past year for anything.

Not only did Kyle feel as if he had become a part of something, but that he had become a part of this incredible group of people. If not for Liz, Kyle would never have given the others a chance to get to know him. Michael Guerin- the criminal, Isabel Evans- the school princess, Alex Whitman- geek extroadinaire, Max Evans- the quiet school boy, Maria DeLuca- quick central, and Tess Harding- loner.

What got to Kyle was that he was drawn in not by his will, but by his dad's. His dad didn't seem to understand that Kyle needed time to try to figure out how he felt about knowing aliens, and he proved that by letting Tess Harding move into their house, even though it had been Kyle and his dad alone for years. And the thing that got to Kyle the most? He wouldn't trade the past two years for the world, along with the people mentioned above.

***

Maria could remember a time when she would have boxed Tess at any given moment. Liz was her best friend since she could remember, and any girl who moved in on her friend's guy, was practically moving in on Maria's own boyfriend. But, during the period of time when they town of Roswell had disappeared, Tess had proved that she wasn't the person Maria had made her out to be. Tess had saved Maria's life, giving no thought to her own.

Maria felt pity for the blonde haired girl. She lived a life always wanting, like Maria had. Always wanting for her father to come back and sweep her away out of Roswell. And Tess was left wanting the rest of her family, growing up with a cold hearted man. Liz had seen that before anyone else had. Now, Maria was seeing it as she carefully watched emotions fly across the girl's face.

She had figured that in New York Max and Tess had finally decided that they were going to be together. How perfect was that? Tess alone with Max without anyone around to tell them it was wrong? They had come back closer then when they had left, giving off the idea that they were officially together, and they had Maria fooled. But once again she was proven wrong by Tess as she saw the longing glances at one, Kyle Valenti.

***

She was his 'sister', bride of his King, and all that Michael felt for her was nothing more than friendship, and even that wasn't as much friendship that he shared with Lis Parker. He had been given a rough deal for growing up. Stuck with Hank, a drunk with no job, in a trailer with nothing to eat, Michael knew he had to leave one day...find more answers.

And then Tess and Nasedo had arrived, and once again Michael felt that he was the only podster who hadn't been given a break. Max and Isabel had found the perfect family to care for them, and Tess had lived with their protector, knowing so much more than Michael ever knew, and posessing powers that Michael wished he could posess. His one downfall to Nasedo was that he was the weakest of the the four, while Tess had continued to try to help him gain control of his powers. She knew the lectures Michael got, for she had gotten them herself when she was still very young, so she helped Michael along, and told Nasedo of his great progress.

All along, Tess had been struggling herself, trying to fit into the group that had never wanted her. She stuck with them through thick and thin, even though they turned her away more than once. Michael had simply thought she was being nice to him because he was Max's best friend, and if Tess was friends with Max's best friend...then Max would simply want her affection as well.

But Tess had changed along with the rest of them throughout the years. She had become more human, finally laughing if one of the group made a joke, finally able to enjoy human pasttimes, and holidays. She had changed and made herself one of them, and Michael couldn't be more proud of his 'sister'.

***

For years she played the role of the popular one, the one who had everything she wanted. Yet that was all it was, a role. Isabel hid behind it, shying away from anyone who wanted to get close to her. Throughout the years she watched Alex, Maria, and Liz form a friendship so powerful, she wanted it for herself. She was supposed to have everything, yet she had nothing near what she wanted; normal. When Liz had come into thier lives, knowing their secret, Isabel had been scared. Scared for Max, scared for Michael, scared for herself, and scared that she would never get the powerful friendship she had wanted with Liz, Maria, and Alex.

Isabel had been wrong. She did get the powerful friendship from the others. She got what she had wanted for so long. And when Tess had come into Roswell, looking, searching, for the friendship she had longed for all of her life, Isabel had shoved her away. Now, Isabel realized that Tess was the same as she was; just someone searching for a friend, a family. Yet, that had to be earned. Tess had hurt a member of the group, and Isabel disliked the way she hurt Liz and Max. Even though she was the only other female alien there was, Isabel felt closer to Liz and Maria than to Tess.

Yet when Tess stood up to Lorne, Isabel felt pride flow throughout her body as she watched the small blonde. Tess was a part of their group, a part of thier lives. And as much as Isabel might of disliked her, she was glad that she was an ally, and not an enemy. Tess Harding had finally proved to Isabel that she deserved a friend, and a family.

***

Alex wrapped his arms around Isabel, and whispered into her ear, "That was something I thought I'd never see." Isabel smiled softly, and kissed Alex softly on the lips, before pulling away and allowing Alex to wrap her in warm embrace. The thing about Alex that was different from other guys was that he understood girls. Being around Liz and Maria 24/7 for six to seven years really taught a guy something. He knew what they were feeling in one look. He knew what they wanted to hear when a guy was an asshole. He knew what movies they would feel like watching and what ice cream was the best for a bad day. And he knew how tough it was for a girl to be civil to someone she disliked so much that the tension surrounding them was thick enough to be cut with a knife.

There was pain in the blonde's eyes when she was rejected from the others when she first came into town. Alex could only imagine how it felt for her to realize that Liz had already stolen Max's heart. Alex also knew how Liz felt when she realized Max had a destiny that didn't include her. Liz and Tess immediately disliked each other from the get go, yet Liz managed to prove how strong she was when she was able to stand in Tess's presence, and offer Max to Tess on a silver platter. It took alot for Tess to stand up to Lorne, a demon, for a girl she detested, wanted to be more than anyone on this planet, or any other. And for that, Alex respected her.

***

Max could tell the others were all accepting the way Tess was now. He had realized in New York that she wasn't the person they had made her out to be, and he knew that she belonged in the group. But, Tess was not on his mind at the moment. He had noticed the looks the young brunette from the other group had been giving them. Longing, pain, understanding, confusion..so many emotions that Max couldn't even tell for himself. She had accepted Lorne as easily as the Pod Sqaud had, and it seemed that she wanted to talk to them.

Before Max could move to talk to her, Maria snapped him out of his daze. She sighed softly, and then placed a comforting hand on his arm. "Liz is the strongest person I know, or ever will know. She'll be okay. I know it. You do too." Max nodded, and then looked away. He felt Maria's hand drop from his arm and saw her walk away from him out of the corner of his eye.

***

"Dawn, why don't you take them into the back to keep a watch on the mirror?" Giles suggested, pulling Dawn from her thoughts. She looked up and nodded, wanting to get away from the future discussion that would take place about Buffy. Dawn didn't need to hear about what would happen if her sister was going to die. That wasn't an option. Buffy couldn't leave Dawn all alone, she just couldn't. Standing up, Dawn moved towards the Roswell gang warily, afraid of how they would be with her. Would they treat her like a little kid? Ignore her?

"We've been assigned to watch the mirror in case anything happens." Dawn stated. She almost cringed at the soft tone of her voice, and wanted to hit herself. Great, now they probably thought she was a weak mouse as well. Wonderful.

"Okay...I don't think that we've been introduced to you. I'm Maria, this is Isabel, Tess, Max, Kyle, Michael, and Alex." Maria replied, as the eight made thier way into the backroom.

"I'm Dawn, Buffy's sister." Dawn mumbled. She felt Maria wrap an arm around her comfortingly. The simple action sent Dawn into sobs. "God, she can't die. She can't leave me. Mom just died, Buffy can't. She can't."

The others eye's widened as they watched her crumble. Maria grabbed her in a hug and rubbed her back soothingly. "It's okay, it's okay."

"No, it's not. Buffy's never done anything wrong...it's...it's not fair!" Dawn cried. Soon her sobs became silent, the only evidence that she was crying was the shakes of her shoulders, and the sharp intakes of breath every now and then. Tears came into Maria's own eyes, and she looked up at Isabel pleading with her eyes. Isabel stepped closer, and kneeled down by the two. She whispered soothingly into Dawn's ear, and took over rubbing her back. As she did, she sent a small amount of power into Dawn, soon causing the girl to fall into a peaceful sleep.

Michael picked her up and laid her on a nearby couch, waving his hand over her face to take away the traces of tears. "Poor kid."

"I'm fifteen." Dawn mumbled, rolling over in her sleep, closing her eyes tightly. Michael cracked a smile, and turned to the others who were sitting down near the mirror. He sighed and joined them, silence floating over the group. "So, what now?"

"We wait." Max replied, speaking for the first time in awhile. "We wait."


posted on 5-Nov-2002 12:19:54 AM
Hey guys. Actually..I've got the real life drama now. LOL, I know. You guys can't get away from it. But...my Dad had surgery. Nothing big, he's doing just fine. I want to thank ALL of you for your bumps. You guys rock! *big*

Oh, and Paula...are you sure you didn't get a bmail?!? I was positive I sent one to you!

Erin
Much love guys, thanks for all the bumps. I promise a new part soon!