Hey guys, sorry it took me so long to update, I had to get a new account because they couldn't remember my account or my password.

Why I Am Not Afraid

Disclaimer: Roswell and all of the characters belong to UPN, Jason Katimas, and all else who are involved. Dark Angel, and all of the characters, belong to Fox, James Cameron, and whoever else iz involved. (I wish I owned Zack, but, alas, I don’t. Sigh.)
Spoilers: Yeah, it kind of has some. It starts out being pre-ABJAC, and pre-Departure, and then explores the aftermath of both episodes. Yes, unfortunately, Tinga, Ben, and Alex are still dead. As for Zack…….I’ll leave that aspect alone to surprise you.
Summary: Liz is an X-5, hiding out in Roswell since the ’09 escape. Her only contact with any of her siblings has been with Kyle, and none of the others know her secret. What happens when the rest of her siblings arrive in Roswell, seeking her help?? Will her secret finally be blown out in the open??
(Note: The Roswell gang are all still the same age, ‘cept for Liz and Kyle, they’re 21, the two oldest in line after Zack and Tinga. As are the X-5’s, it’s just set in 2020, rather than 2001.)

Liz stared at herself in the grungy bathroom mirror, in the Crashdown Café where she and her best friend Maria Deluca worked. Only minutes before, she asked Maria to take over for her, as she ran into the bathroom to think. Gazing at herself, she slowly lifted her hair up to reveal a barcode etched into the back of her neck. There it was where it has always been. The damn barcode that had given her a designation, back at Manticore. It was ironic now, to think that for the first nine years of her life, a barcode was her name, and now she had a real one. X5-595, ironic. She found it surprising that the sorry excuse for Tac Officers never mixed up her designation with Zack’s. ‘Zack,’ Liz closed her eyes at the thought of her older brother. She hadn’t seen Zack since the escape 11 years ago. These last 11 years, it had just been her and Kyle, relying on each other, just the way they did before the escape. Even though she hadn’t seen Zack ever since the escape, she could still remember his protective nature, the way he always took the rap for them, whenever any of them got in trouble. She could still hear his voice, somewhere in the back of her mind, lecturing each of them to keep in line, before Lydecker got to them. Liz blinked back tears, she missed her family. Still, her favorite memory was the time they had given each other names. ‘Risika,’ Liz thought of her real name, and remembered Zack’s fleeting smile, after he agreed that the name suited her. Now only Kyle ever called her by her real name, and even then he had to wait until they were alone, and he had to whisper it, not wanting the others to overhear. The Parkers and Jim Valenti had adopted Liz and Kyle when they were ten, shortly after the escape. (Note: I know in the show, Max said he fell in love with Liz when he was eight, but work with me here okay??) The Parkers and Valenti however, had no idea of their children’s genetically enhanced transgenic status, and had given Liz and Kyle new names when they adopted them. Kyle’s name had been Ty, but only Liz ever called him that. “Liz!!” Startled, Liz snapped out of her thoughts. “Liz!!” Maria yelled again. “I need you to get your ass out here chica, we’re swamped!!” “Coming!!” Liz called back. Wiping tears from her eyes, she whispered, “Zack, all of you guys, wherever you are, I miss you, and I’ll find you again, I promise.” Liz exited the bathroom, never feeling more alone, than she had at that moment.


Unbeknownst to Liz, a young man around twenty four years of age, with blond hair and bye eyes, was watching the restaurant intently, from outside on his motorcycle. Zack watched the restaurant, his eyes darkening just slightly, as he saw Liz re-enter the dining area. Even from this distance, Zack could see, using his enhanced vision, that Liz had tearstains on her cheeks. As uncomfortable as he was with emotions, Zack still cared about his siblings, and wondered what the hell had broken his little sister down to tears. Through the last 11 years, without making himself be known, Zack had kept a close eye on his sister, and had watched her grow into a beautiful young woman. It was just luck, Zack figured, that kept Lydecker from discovering Risika and Ty’s location. In a sense, Zack was grateful that at least Risika had Ty with her, so that she wouldn’t be alone. Out of all of his siblings, Risika and Zack had been the closet, and he wished that he could let her know that he was there; watching her, protecting her, but it was too dangerous. Manticore had been a prison for them all, but, at least they had had each other. Snapping out of his thoughts, Zack abruptly slid on his helmet, and started the engine. Roaring away on his motorcycle, back to Seattle, where they would regroup on plans to storm Manticore, Zack only had one thought, ‘We‘re all here for you, Risa, all of us. And we need your help, little sister. Let’s go back to where it all began 595’

Chapter Two: An Identity Revealed

A few days later, Zack returned to Roswell, realizing that it was time that he let his younger sister know who he was. Zack had come into the restaurant on several occasions, simply ordering food in order to keep an eye on his sister and brother, who apparently, had took to dating his own sister to avoid raising suspicion among their adopted families. Zack snorted in disgust, the things his siblings would do for each other, just to obtain a normal life. Zack ripped off his helmet, and climbed off his bike. Strolling into the restaurant, Zack sat down in a booth, in Liz’s section. Liz arrived a moment later, order pad in hand. “What can I get you??” Zack leaned forward, placing both his hands on the Formica tabletop. With a hard edge in his voice, he replied, “I know who you are Risika.” Startled, Liz dropped her order pad; it fluttered to the floor by her feet.
Leaning closer to Zack, Liz said harshly, “what did you say??” Raising his voice just slightly, Zack replied, “I know who you are Risika.” Almost without a reflex, Liz had the stranger by the throat. ‘Humph. I guess old habits die hard.’ Covering her smile effectively, Liz turned on Zack and whispered, “Just who are you?? What do you know?” Smirking sadistically at his sister, Zack said, “Emotion is a weakness, remember soldier??” Liz’s eyes suddenly burned with recognition, “Zack??” Liz whispered in a strangled voice. Standing up, Zack nodded, “it’s me little sister.” Letting out a strangled gasp, Liz threw herself into her brother’s arms, and wrapped her own arms around him in a hug. She couldn’t believe that after eleven years of being alone, with only Ty out of her siblings for company, her older brother had finally found her. Memories of life at Manticore entered her thoughts just then, and she let them flash by.

The X5’s stood silently, side by side, as one, by one, Lydecker walked along their straight rows, bending down ever so slightly, to whisper in his kids’ faces. Suddenly he stopped, and bent down to meet Risika’s eyes. She looked straight ahead, and refused to even blink in Lydecker’s presence. “Remember this, soldier,” he whispered. “you will fall, and you will fail, but the weak links will be destroyed. Show your weakness, and the enemy will destroy you. Understand??” Turning her head, Risika said emotionlessly, “Sir, yes, sir!!” Executing a perfect salute, and about-face. “Good.” Lydecker smirked, “take 595 away, I think she needs to be taught another lesson in discipline.” The guards came forward, and grabbed Risika by the arms, she knew that fighting would make the torture, or ‘lesson’ as Lydecker liked to call it, that much harder to bear. Suddenly, Zack or 599 as Lydecker called him stepped forward, “Sir, the incident was my fault.” Turning his head, Lydecker replied, “What was that soldier, did you say, the previous incident was your doing, and not 595’s??” “Yes sir, the incident was entirely my doing.” “Very well, take 599 into the classroom; I think he needs to be taught a good lesson.” The guards released Risika, and turned to Zack, grabbing his arms, and dragging him across the floor. Risika turned and opened her mouth, ready to jump to her brother’s defense, but Lydecker stopped her. “I’m going to give you one more chance, 595, prove to me that you deserve to stand next to 599 as his S.I.C.” Saluting Lydecker, as well as Zack’s retreating figure, Risika said, “Sir, yes, sir, I will prove to you that, I am able to become 599’s S.I.C!!” Afterwards, Lydecker left, slamming the door after him. Risika immediately hurled herself onto her bed, with tears streaming down her face, as she prayed for her brother’s safe return. Later that night Zack had returned, with cuts and bruises marring his face, and climbed into Risika’s bed next to her. Risika’s face was stricken with remorse, but, lightened slightly with relief, that at the very least, her brother was okay. Throughout the night, Zack held his younger sister, as she cried, before slipping away into his bed, after she had fallen asleep.
*End Flashback*

Liz finally raised her head, with tears streaming down her face, and stared her brother in the face. “Oh my God, Zack, even back then, all you ever did was protect me, and I never thanked you for it.” Soothingly, Zack rubbed her back, and replied gently with, “It’s my job, Risa, I’m still your C.O., even after all these years, and I’m always going protect you, whether you want me to or not.” Liz hugged her brother again, whispering, “I’ve missed you big brother.” Swallowing the unaccustomed lump in his throat, Zack replied, “And I’ve missed you, little sister.” Gently pushing Liz back from his arms, he said to her seriously, “I’ve come to find you, after all these years, because I need your help Risa.” Confused, Liz asked, “How did you know I was here in the first place Zack??” Zack turned away from his sister, and said in a flat tone, “I’ve actually been watching you and Ty for almost ten years now, after I found out you two had been adopted, so I traced you here.” Liz took a couple steps back from her brother, and just stared at him. “Why didn’t you tell me who you were sooner, Zack??” “Why??” Zack turned to face his sister, his face a blank slate, but, his eyes were naked with regret, “I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you sooner, little sister, but, it would’ve been too dangerous for you, Ty and the others. I would have told you if I could’ve, you know that.” Liz relaxed her defensive stance a notch or two, and asked her brother another question that had been puzzling her. “Why do you need my help Zack??” Suddenly, Zack’s eyes became hard, bright, and ruthless. Staring his sister dead in the eye, he replied with a voice like steel, “We’re finally doing what we were born ready to do. Risa, we need the help of you and Ty to take down Manticore.”


Chapter Three: Discussion, Reluctance, and Secrets

Liz stared at her brother, momentarily confused. “Why now Zack?? Why’d you decide to attack Manticore, so long after the escape??” Zack signed, running his fingers thorough his blond hair. “I wasn’t going to tell you Risa, but, now, I think you deserve to know.” Liz grabbed her brother by the arms, “I deserve to know what, Zack??” Zack turned away from his sister, and replied, “Tinga and Ben are gone little sister, they killed Tinga.” Liz stumbled back a few steps as though she had been struck. “Tinga?? Those bastards killed Tinga??? Zack sighed, and lay a hand on Liz’s shoulder”I’m sorry little sister, they got to Tinga.” Liz finally raised her head, and looked her brother in the eye. Her face was a mask of practiced Manticore calm, although Zack knew that she was struggling with her emotions underneath. Zack knew his sister all too well, to know that she wasn’t used to putting her training to use, after having eleven years, of no reason to use it. A small tear formed in the corner of Liz’s eye then, and Zack gently wiped it away with his finger. “Go on, Risa, I know there’s something you want to say.” Liz looked Zack in the eye, intense hatred for the people who had taken her older sister away, simmering in her eyes. “What happened Zack?? What happened to my older sister, and our younger brother??” Zack sighed, “Listen little sister, I’d tell you if this was the right place, but, you and I both know it isn’t.” Liz’s eyes momentarily lost some of their stormy quality, as she suddenly thought of something she needed her brother to do for her. “Zack, I have a favor to ask, before we disembark on this mission, my first I might add, in eleven years.” Zack glanced at her, “Sure, go ahead little sister.” In a flat tone, Liz made her request”I need you to train me Zack.” Startled, Zack looked up. “What?? What’d you say Risa??” Liz looked at her brother”You heard what I said, Zack, I need you to train me.” Zack stared at his younger sister, noticing the old determined look of a soldier on her face.” Why Risa?? You’re one of the best you know that, I’ve seen you training with Ty.” Liz averted her eyes from her brothers’ questioning gaze. “The thing is Zack; do you know what happened to me on Sept. 15th??” Zack nodded, grimacing as he remembered. “You let yourself get shot, in order to maintain a normal identity, so Lydecker wouldn’t find you.” Liz nodded”I freaking got shot, and the idiot had to go and save me. Damn it, I knew I’d be able to take it, and he saved me anyway.” Zack snorted in disgust, thinking of the day Max saved his sister’s life. “That damn bastard. Because of him, you risked exposure, and Lydecker catching up on your tail. You fucking nearly got killed because of him!!!” Liz knew her brother was well over being pissed, and she knew if Zack ever saw Max coming anywhere near her now, he’d rip his lungs out, and proceed to dissect him like the precisely trained genetically enhanced killer that he was. But, the more she thought about it, the more she thought that she’d let Zack do just that. After all, Max had gotten almost gotten her killed on several occasions, and now he had completely turned his back on her, just because she did a fucking 360 on him, just to save the God-damn world.

Zack turned to face his sister the expression on his face was one she knew all too well. His face was an unreadable mask of practiced Manticore calm, but, in his eyes, Liz could see the fire burning, the volcano about to erupt, and all hell about to break loose. Despite being separated for eleven years, Liz still knew her brother well enough to know that, if Max Evans ever lay eyes on her again, Zack would casually eliminate him, the way he eliminated all threats to his siblings. The harsh, slow, and painful way that they were taught to dispose of enemies, and of prey. In some ways, she would happily grab a front seat to her brothers’ execution of Max, but, in others, she wanted to do that herself. The bitter, anger, dead, and cold feelings she felt inside of her, just made her hatred of him grow. She couldn’t believe that she once thought she loved him. Yet, she was able to admit to herself, somewhere deep down inside, below her animalistic instincts, and her anger, that she couldn’t blame it all on him. As much as she now hated and loathed him, she couldn’t blame all of what happened on him. Ashamed of her weakness, and her obvious neglect of her training, she was unable to look her brother in the eye, as he gently tipped her face up, and stared at her, his blue eyes analyzing her brown ones. “What’s wrong little sister??” Liz finally dragged her eyes up from the floor, and stared at her brother, her hatred of Max, and of herself radiating off in waves. “I was weak, big brother, I neglected my training, I let emotions cloud my judgment and I could’ve been killed for it!!! I ignored my training entirely, and made myself believe that I was falling in love with him. I let you down, big brother, and I should’ve died as payment. I’m sure the Colonel would’ve been so disappointed, X5/595, appointed S.I.C., showing signs of weakness.” Zack stared at his sister, choosing his words carefully, before replying to her statement. “You’re right little sister, you neglected your training, you were weak, you let emotions get the best of you, and that’s exactly what we were taught not to do. You tried very hard to have a normal life, but, you couldn’t, not with Ty around. All I ever saw you guys do was train, but, at the same time, like the others, all you guys wanted was a normal life. But you didn’t deserve to die for it Risa, I know where you’re coming from.”

Liz glanced at her brother questioningly, but Zack shook his head. “Not here, right now we have to get started on you training, soldier, we only have 5 days, a week and a half at the most.” Liz nodded quickly, “You’re right, sir, my training is the most important thing. I’ll go change.” Zack grabbed her arm before she could leave. “Feels strange calling me sir, doesn’t it 595?” he asked in a low voice. Liz nodded, trying to keep her face as blank as possible. Zack smirked, “Well looks like you’re going to have to get use to it 595, I am still your C.O.” Liz executed a crisp salute, then went to go change. After Liz came out, Zack glanced towards the back room and nodded at Liz. “You know what you have to do soldier.” Liz nodded, and Zack quickly drew an ‘X’ across his left wrist, indicating that time was limited. Liz went into the back room, and explained to Michael that she had to leave.

Shortly after Liz and Zack had left, Maria came into the back room, currently on her break. “Where’s Liz??” Michael shook his head, “I haven’t got a clue, she just said she had to leave, and she wanted you to cover for her.” Maria threw up her hands in exasperation, “Well, it was nice of her to let me know.” she intoned sarcastically. “Who was that monument of male perfection that left with her??” Michael flashed her a semi-hurt look, and Maria laughed. “Just joking Spaceboy, you know nobody’s as hot-looking as you. Seriously, though, who was that guy??” Michael smiled for a second, pleased at Maria’s comment. “I’m glad you think that. But, as for that guy, I have no idea who he is, but, I am going to find out. If he has any connections to us, I’m going to take him out, once and for all.”


(btw, my site is www.angelfire.com/ab5/zackzangel visit it and sign my guestbook!!)

Chapter Four: Bonding Together Despite Suspicion

(Note: Just to let you know, there’s probably going to be spoilers from SAR, later on. And two more things, for those of you who asked me if I was going to make it a Zack/Liz thing, vote in your reviews, whether or not you want it to go down like that, because I’m still kind of iffy on it. And when Liz asks Zack ‘the’ question, and he talks about Jessica, Jessica is a girl from my other fic, ‘Feelings That Heal’ Read and Review please!!!)

Anyway…………onward to the next chapter………………

After Zack and Liz had hopped onto his motorcycle and sped out of town, there was nothing between them except silence. Not that you could hear much of anything, anyway, over the roaring engine of Zack’s motorcycle. Liz still had a lot of unanswered questions she needed to ask her brother though. She needed to know why and how Tinga was killed, and about what was it that had befallen Ben, after the escape. After spending eleven years apart from the brother she had been closest to, finding out that he was alive, and that most of her siblings were still alive, made her hungry for any sort of information her brother would give her about the rest of her family. Still, she knew Zack, and she knew that he would only tell her what she needed to know, but not what she wanted to know, because of fear that, that would endanger both herself, and the rest of her siblings. Liz’s thoughts were interrupted, when Zack abruptly stopped the motorcycle and got off it, looking at her expectantly. “Well, little sis, we’re here, right where you wanted to start you training.” Liz snapped out of her thoughts, and gave her brother a brisk nod. “I wanted to make it clear to you, exactly what it is that I want from you Zack.” Zack just looked at her, his expression revealing nothing. Liz took a deep breath before answering the obvious question that Zack didn’t need to ask. “What I need from you is a full-scale reindoctrination.” Zack’s eyes blazed momentarily with anger, but cooled. “I don’t think you really know what it is that you’re asking me to do Risa.” Liz looked shocked, realizing that she hadn’t clarified to her brother, what it was that she really wanted. “Zack, I know that, back in that hellhole that we grew up in, being reindoctorinated, meant turning against your family, and having them break you to their will. But, that isn’t what I want from you big brother. I want you to make me into the soldier that I was meant to be. I want to be strong, I want to be ruthless, and I want to be able to turn my back and walk away from what makes me weak. You, of all people, know that I definitely forgot my training as soon as I got involved with Max.” Liz spit out his name like it tasted bad. “And that’s why I need your help Zack.” Zack nodded a determined expression on his face. “Okay, let’s get started on the mental part.” Liz stood up straight, and clasped her hands behind her back, like the way they were taught. Zack slowly circled her, examining her to make sure she still at least remembered how to stand like a soldier. “State your designation, soldier!!” Zack barked harshly in Liz’s face. Liz stared forward emotionlessly, and barked out, “X5-595!!” Zack stared at his sister hard, and shouted “That’s not good enough soldier, I want to hear you say it, like you mean it 595!!” As Liz continued to repeat her designation, Zack sighed inwardly to himself. ‘This is going to be harder than I thought.’


Maria sat in a booth, opposite Michael as they both waited for the dinner rush to start. Michael suddenly looked up from directly his gaze at the Formica tabletop, and glanced at Maria. “What?? What’s wrong Spaceboy?” Maria demanded, immediately catching the look on his face. Michael sighed, “Listen Maria, I’m sorry.” Maria looked confused, “Sorry?? What’re you sorry for??” Michael sighed again, “I’m sorry for the way Max treated you and Liz ever since Alex, uh, passed on.” Maria just smiled sadly at the thought of Alex, and shook her head. “Forget about that Spaceboy, it wasn’t your fault. Heck, you were the only one who was on our side after what happened. I blame Max for everything I mean, he was such an ass.” Michael nodded, “I hate to say it, but he was. The guy’s been my best friend, for like, forever, but, I admit, he had no right to treat you and Liz the way he did. I mean, God, he claims he loves Liz more than anything, but look at the way he treated her!! And getting Tess pregnant too, that’s just the last straw!!” Maria just kept nodding in silent agreement to everything Michael said, that is, until he got to the Tess comment. Maria threw up her hands in disgust. “I can’t believe he did what he did! All Liz did was stand by him, and stick up for him. For crying out loud, she almost died because of him!!! And this is how he repays her!!” Michael nodded grimly, “I guess Max wasn’t as nice a guy we thought.” Maria snorted disdainfully, “Ya think??” she asked sarcastically. Michael changed the subject back to the speculation that Alex’s death had been a murder, not a suicide, since Maria was getting worked up at the thought of Max. “I always thought I knew Alex pretty well, and I always thought that there was the possibility that some Skin killed Alex just to make us look weak, and break us apart.” Maria nodded, apparently to have calmed down some, after Michael’s not-so-subtle change of the subject. “Yeah, and that ass wouldn’t believe it.” Suddenly they heard the familiar chime of the door opening, and there stood Max, Isabel, and Tess. “Michael,” Max said. “The baby can’t survive here on Earth. So, Isabel and I found a way home. The three of us are leaving in a week, and you’re coming with us.” ***

Meanwhile……………back at the desert……………………

Liz dodged a kick that Zack had aimed at her head, and grabbed her brother’s leg, flipping him to the ground. Zack blocked Liz’s flying roundhouse kick, and did a back flip to get up. Things continued like this for a while, with both Zack and Liz each using their enhanced abilities to their advantage, before calling a truce between them. As Zack sat down on a rock, and motioned Liz to sit in front of him so he could clean her wounds, Liz hesitated to ask her brother the one question that had been bothering her since they left The Crashdown. Behind her, Zack applied peroxide to her cuts and scrapes on her back, and nodded approvingly. “You did pretty well for your first day, Risa, but, we need to work fast, we only have 5 days.” Liz nodded, pleased to have her brother praise her. Zack rarely complimented anyone, and when he did, it was usually toward her. Still, her brother’s compliments weren’t to be taken for granted, and Liz appreciated it. ”Zack??” Liz asked her brother hesitantly. “Yeah, what’s bugging you little sister??” Zack replied. Liz sighed, “What did you mean when, you told me you knew where I was coming from??”
Zack sighed,”I guess it’s time I told you.” “Almost a year ago, I attempted to destroy Manticore, with Zane, Maxie and Krit on my side. Apparently I was standing too close to the base itself when the explosives went off. So I was slammed into a tree, and knocked out. A young woman saved my life.” Zack sighed longingly, thinking of Jessica and how much he still loved her. “Her name was Jessica, and I fell for her, fell hard. We loved each other so much, and I could’ve easily seen myself spending the rest of my life with her.” Liz interrupted her brother with an apologetic look on her face. “Zack, was she like, human??” Zack shook his head. “No, she was like us. I can’t explain it. She had our abilities and everything, but, she wasn’t from Manticore. Every time I asked her who she was, she wouldn’t answer me. But, she didn’t have seizures though, it was strange. Just when I thought that I could finally be happy, and have a normal life, Jessica died.” At this, Zack’s voice cracked, and a few tears slipped down his cheeks. Liz looked shocked, “Oh, God, Zack I’m so sorry. What happened??” Zack swallowed hard a few times, and said, barely above a whisper, “She was killed in a car bombing. Apparently she had been a part of some top-secret government facility organization, and some of their enemies had planted the bomb. The one person who was an outsider, but who was able to understand what life was like for us, died. I loved her, and she died. I lost her, and there wasn’t anything I could’ve done to stop those bastards from taking her away from me.” Liz wrapped her arms around her brother, and silently sobbed with him, as he relived, in his mind, losing the one person that he loved more than life.

Meanwhile…………………back at the Crashdown…………

Michael stood up in a rage, as he glared at Max, full in the face. “What the hell do you mean I’m coming with you?? Since when do you make these kinds of decisions for me Max?? Did you really think that just because you fucked up and got Tess pregnant, that I’d follow you back home like a good little second-in-command??? Think again Max, because after the way you acted, I’m through listening to you!!! I have a life here, and I’m not going to let you ruin it!!” Max glared at Michael, his face an identical thundercloud. “There will be no discussion Michael, you’re coming back with us, and that’s it!!” Michael snorted, “I told you Max, I’m done listening to you! You’re just being selfish, you’re the one who fucked up here, and you want to drag the rest of us down with you.” Max just glared at Michael saying nothing. Michael turned to Isabel, who was standing behind Max, slightly apart from her brother. “Isabel??” Michael asked gently, seeing her torn expression. “Are you willing to let your brother push us around like this??” Isabel sighed brokenly, “I wish I could tell you that I’m not going to Michael, but, I can’t. There’s nothing really keeping me here now. I mean, Alex is gone, he’s gone and I can’t bring him back. It’s better if I just go home. Please Michael, I know that you don’t want to go home, I know you don’t, but, please, just do it for me.” Michael sighed, still glaring at Max. “Let me think about it.” Isabel looked grateful, although the tired and wary look was still on her face. “Thanks Michael,” she said, before turning and quickly exiting the diner. Max spit out to Michael angrily, “This isn’t over Michael, you are coming back with us.” Tess followed Max out the door, saying nothing, just clinging to his arm. Maria looked at Michael, the shock and pain, etched into her face. “Are you seriously considering going back??” Michael sighed, a deflated sigh, and collapsed into the booth across from Maria, and took her hand. “Maria, you know I love you, and I don’t want to leave you. I meant what I said, when I told Max I was through listening to him. But, I can’t leave Isabel, it’s obvious her brother couldn’t care less about her pain right now.” Michael flopped back against the cushions, silently contemplating what to do.

Upstairs in Her Bedroom

Liz sighed as she came out of the bathroom, brushing her hair. She couldn’t believe that her brother had lost the one he loved. It had been so heart-breaking, holding Zack as he cried, still mourning the one he loved. Liz knew better than anyone else, exactly how much her brother deserved to have a normal life, to have someone to love. But, to finally have that chance, and have it taken away from you so cruelly, was unbearable. Liz couldn’t bear to think what it was her brother must have went through, and wished with all her heart that she could’ve been there for him. Exhaling deeply, Liz climbed through her window, and sat on the blanket on the cold floor of her balcony, writing in her journal. She knew that her brother was nearby, watching her, making sure that she was safe. Suddenly, she heard footsteps coming up her ladder, and was relieved to see that it was Kyle’s familiar hair coming up the ladder. Relieved that is, until she saw his expression. Kyle looked betrayed and angry. “What the hell is going on here Risa?? You don’t return my calls, don’t tell me anything of what you’re hiding, and then I follow you out to the desert, to find you training with another guy, who fights like one of us. Who is he, Risa, what the hell are you keeping from me??”


Chapter Five: Letting One of Your Own In

(Author’s Note: Just wanted to say I’m sorry about not updating earlier, but I’m back now and it’s all good. Oh, and to the loyal reviewers of both “Dear Tinga” and “Dear Zack”, please, please, review “Dear Ben” as well, I know it might not be my best attempt, but please just review!!)

Onward to the chapter………………………………………

Kyle stood glaring angrily at her sister. “Well, Risa, I’m waiting, aren’t you going to tell me??” Meanwhile, Liz’s mind was spinning out of control. She couldn’t think of a clear way to tell Ty about Zack. The few times that she and Ty had actually spoken about Zack and the others over the years, Ty would abruptly cut her off, his eyes cold and closed at the mention of their older brother. The few rare moments that Ty would talk about Zack, he bitterly called Zack a cold-hearted son-of-a-bitch, for leaving them there, for not being there for them. He berated Zack constantly for not following through on his promise to protect them, for not being the older brother he was supposed to. Liz fiercely defended Zack to Ty, although she never told Ty why it was that, she protected Zack the way she did. The one thing that Ty couldn’t understand about his sister, was why she defended Zack against him, if anything, Risika should feel the same way regarding Zack. After all, Ty fondly remembered, just as he was sure all the rest of his siblings did, the days back in the barracks of Manticore, where Risika and Zack had been close, so close that, looking back, if he had been an ordinary, Ty would have sworn that they were lovers, despite not knowing anything about love way back when. What Risika couldn’t tell her brother, was that he had been wrong all these years to think that Zack had abandoned them. She could never explain it to her brother of course, but, before even knowing, just recently, that he had been watching over her and Ty for the last eleven years, she had always had this feeling that Zack had always been there, watching over them, protecting them, just like he promised. Somehow, Risika always knew, somewhere in the back of her mind, that Zack was there, always there, taking care of her, just the way he promised her, that night, eleven years ago, when they all escaped.

A sudden cough from Kyle startled Liz from her reverie. Kyle tapped his foot against the ground impatiently”Well, Risa?? Are you going to tell me?? What’s with you anyway, if it’s something related us, or to our brothers and sisters, why can’t you tell me?? We’ve never kept any secrets from each other before. So, tell me, Risa, just tell me already!!” Liz still hesitated, knowing full well how Ty felt about Zack, but, they were still brothers, and Zack made it clear to her, that they needed the help of both her and Ty to make the plan work. Luckily for Liz, at that moment, Zack, who had apparently been witnessing her exchange with Ty, and knowing her turmoil, climbed up the ladder and swung himself up gracefully to land on the roof. Looking at Ty square in the eye, he nodded to Liz to explain. Liz swallowed hard before turning to Kyle. “Ty, it’s Zack, he’s here, here to help us.” But, before Liz even got the words, Kyle knew. He knew that he was Zack, the guy who abandoned them, who didn’t look out for them the way he said he would. His eyes blazed with anger, as Zack stepped closer to him, and nodded. “It’s me, little brother, I’m here.” Without hesitating, Ty drew back his fist, and crashed it into Zack’s jaw.

Meanwhile, across town in his apartment, Michael sat on his couch, silently contemplating what to do about the situation with Max. He knew that what he told Maria earlier that day had been true. He loved her, he knew that well enough, and he promised her that he’d never leave her. But what about Isabel?? How could he selfishly stay on Earth, knowing that Isabel was suffering from the loss of Alex and her own brother couldn’t care enough to give her a hug, much less try and talk to her about what happened? All Max cared about these days, was Tess, and the baby she was apparently carrying. Michael’s blood began to boil as he thought about Max. He just couldn’t understand the guy. Maria had told him about what it was that Liz did, but still, Michael couldn’t understand Max. He understood that Max felt angry and hurt, betrayed by Liz’s actions. He understood that, really he did. But, that didn’t give Max any excuse to abandon his sister the way he did, or to treat Liz the way he did, either. He knew that Liz’s supposed betrayal wounded Max very deeply, but, that didn’t give Max the right to question Liz’s loyalty. Just because she no longer loved him, didn’t mean that she would betray the group.

Maria had told him about Liz’s feelings regarding Max, and quite frankly, he wasn’t surprised to hear of Liz’s feelings for Max. After the way Max treated her, Michael would’ve been surprised if Liz hadn’t called the FBI in to incarcerate Max. Liz fiercely hated Max with a passion, now and considered him one of her enemies. And the only reason Michael knew that Liz hadn’t completely turned against Max, was because of him and Isabel. Michael knew that in spite of everything that Max put her through, Liz still considered Him and Isabel good friends. And Michael, himself, intended to be there for Liz whenever she needed him. Michael had to admit to himself, that Liz had been a very good friend to him, always sticking by him, if not for Maria’s sake, then for his own, because he had helped her in the past. He knew that if he were in Liz’s position, it honestly would’ve been very hard for him, not to kill Max for what he had done. Honestly, he knew that even if Liz didn’t have the heart to kill Max, he’d gladly do it himself. Max had changed, twisted into someone Michael no longer knew, no longer had any desire to know. Max had changed into a cold, selfish, son-of-a-bitch, who cared about nothing and no one except himself, and that bitch whose child he fathered. Michael never let himself get too close to Tess, and although he wasn’t really sure why, he always had this feeling that there was something off about Tess, that she wasn’t to be trusted. Despite Max’s inability to believe it, and his cruel words to Liz afterwards, Michael believed that an alien killed Alex. After all, the Skins knew about the humans, and could’ve targeted Alex because they knew that Alex had been a close friend of theirs. Michael snarled a frustrated growl and hurled a glass across the room, where it smashed into the wall. He didn’t know what to do anymore, he couldn’t save Alex from what it was that took him from them, and he couldn’t mourn the loss of the brother he once thought he knew. Max was nothing to him now, maybe he never was. But, he could promise himself one thing; and that was to be there for Maria, Isabel, and Liz, whenever they needed him, at whatever the cost.


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