posted on 16-Jul-2002 1:01:35 PM by polarist
Title: Past Mistakes
Author: Polarist aka Nikki
Disclaimer: I don’t own anyone or anything dealing with Roswell. If I did there’d be a whole lot of polar nookie going on. ;)
Rating: ?? Not sure where this is going yet.
Summary: Michael and Liz meet up again.


Author Notes: The song in this part is I Care 4 U by Aaliyah. The song sounds a lot better with the music.

Hey sexy baby
There's no need to worry
Oh boy if you call on me
I'll come, I'll come in a hurry

She had closed her eyes when the three men were seated. She knew they were strangers to this town.

Can I talk to you
Comfort you (I love you)
Let you know (oh baby)
I care for you (I love you, yes I do)

The three men couldn’t take their eyes off her. She was as beautiful as her voice. The audience was moved by her song and by her movements. It was like she was telling a story, her story.

Can I talk to you (I wanna talk)
Comfort you (Give me the chance)
Let you know (I wanna let you know)
I care for you (Gotta let you know, that I love you)

The men at the table noticed she was looking in their direction. They smiled to themselves enjoying the singer's attention, continuing to concentrate on her song, her voice, her face, and her movements.

Hold on (Hold on)
Stay strong (Stay strong)
Press on (For me baby)
I care for you (I care for you)

She cleared her mind and continued to pour all her emotions into every word. This was the only way she knew to let all her emotions go without going stir-crazy.

Hold on (Hold on)
Stay strong (Stay strong)
Press on (Press on for me)
I care for you (baby)

One guy tore his eyes away from her. It was so easy to get caught up in her beauty. Her voice was hypnotic.

Can I talk to you (I wanna talk)
Comfort you (I wanna hold you tight baby)

She closed her eyes. The audience faded away and was replaced by one person. She sang her heart out to that person.

Let you know (I wanna let you know)
I care for you (That I care for you)
Can I talk to you (ohhh)

When she finished the last verse, everyone stood up, applauding. She climbed down the stairs swiftly to go sit at the bar. The three men followed her with their eyes.


“What would you like to drink?” The waiter asked when he approached the men's table.

“Just bring us a pitcher of beer.” The waiter nodded but was stopped before leaving. “I’d like a club soda.” He nodded again then made his way to the bar.

They were looking over the menus when they were interrupted by the sound of their drinks being placed in front of them.

“You guys are new here, aren’t you?” the waiter asked, receiving a nod in response. “Are you passing through?”

“Yeah. Our buddy here is getting married next week and this being his last week as a bachelor, he wanted to sow his wild oats.”

The waiter smiled in understanding. “Are you nervous? Or have you found the one? Oh, by the way, my name is Kyle,” he informed.

They all shook hands. “This is Max. He’s the one who's going to be a bachelor for life. I’m Alex, the one with the sense of humor. And the man about to give up his freedom is Michael.”

“Now that we're on a first-name basis, tell me about the singer. Is she dating anyone? Is she married? Does she have any kids?” Max queried.

Kyle laughed. “Just forget about her, man. She doesn’t date. She hardly even talks. The most words we get out of her is when she sings.”

Max nodded then asked, “So you’re saying you don’t know the answers to any of my questions.”

“What I’m saying is if you want to keep your ego intact, you shouldn't approach her,” Kyle said in a dry tone.

Max smirked. “Don’t worry. I can charm the skirt off any woman.” He stood up, heading to where the singer was sitting.

Kyle shook his head. “He’s going down. I forgot to tell him she’s a real bitch.”

Michael and Alex turned in their seats to watch the show.

“Hi, I just wanted to comment on how beautifully you sing.” Max sat down on the stool next to her. She took out a cigarette and lit it up. “My name is Max.”

She looked at his hand, then blew smoke in his face making him cough. “If I wanted to know your name, I would have asked for it.” She stood up, moving to the other side of the bar.

Max was greeted by barks of laughter from his friends and the waiter. “What? She didn’t look all that fine close up anyway,” he said as he sat back down at the table.

Michael rolled his eyes, then stood up. “Let me show you how it’s supposed to be done.”

“You’re practically a married man. You shouldn’t even be looking at other women,” Alex yelled as Michael walked over to the singer.

Michael stood in front of the woman, purposely blocking the view so his buds couldn’t witness his and the singer’s exchange.

The woman turned in her seat. She sighed. “Michael, what are you doing here?”

He smiled. “It’s good to see you too, Liz.”

[ edited 6 time(s), last at 1-Aug-2002 6:34:59 PM ]
posted on 17-Jul-2002 7:54:11 PM by polarist

AN: The song is I Refuse by Aaliyah

They both stared at each other until Liz turned back in her seat, breaking their eye contact. “What are you doing here?” she asked again. She took out another cigarette and placed it in her mouth.

Before she could light it up, Michael snatched it from her lips. “When did you start this bad habit?”

Liz glared at him as she stood up. “What do you care? Weren’t you the one who left?”

Michael sighed. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t you have a fiancée to go to? Why are you here?” she asked taking her eyes off him.

“I just wanted to see how you were. How --”

“It’s just me, and you don’t give a damn about me.” Liz laughed hollowly. She turned her back, heading for the stage.

He took hold of her wrist to stop her. “What are you talking about?”

“At least Isabel kept some of my secrets,” Liz replied.

Michael frowned. "What? What are you talking about?"

“I know why you’re here. You want to relieve that guilty conscience of yours. Well, there’s nothing to feel guilty about. So you can go home to your fiancée.”

Michael shook his head. “I have every right to --”

“Rights? You think you have rights?” Liz laughed again. "Michael, you don’t have rights to anything. We don’t have anything to connect us anymore. Nothing.” She sighed. “The chapter is closed on that part of your life.”

“Liz, I think we need to talk. There are things --”

“Talk, Michael? Since when do you talk?” She shook her head and sneered. You didn’t talk back then, so why start now?” She gestured towards the stage. “I have to go. I’m up.”

Michael watched her climb up the stairs to the stage.

Looking up, she nodded. The room darkened. The only light was illuminating Liz. She shut her eyes when the pianist started to play. She tried to submerge herself into the sound of the piano. When she opened her eyes, she was relieved that Michael wasn’t sitting at one of the tables directly in front of the stage. She started humming the melody, keeping the memories of her past at bay. She couldn’t think about the past, so she started to sing.

This is where I’ve got to draw the line
Cause I refuse to let you think you can play with my mind
Always seems that you think that I’m blind
Causes there always certain times when you’re hard to find
Your on the go, I’m on the go, were on the go
I can’t catch you no more, can’t see you no more
And it no longer can be ignored
Cause at once upon a time it was you I adored
You disappeared and left me here, out in the cold
And the absence of you is hurting my soul
Didn’t know there was an end of the road
It was so easy for you just to let it all go

Liz sang with all the hurt, anger, and loss in her heart. This was the only way she could release all the pain she had been holding in. For years now, she'd done nothing but cry. She was tired both emotionally and physically.

And I refuse,
I refuse to have one more sleepless night
I refuse,
I refuse to let a tear fall from my eye
I refuse,
I refuse to continue to try
I felt like I would die, if I could breakdown and cry
And I refuse,
I refuse to let you walk back through that door
I refuse,
I refuse to let you hurt me anymore
And I refuse,
I refuse to continue to ignore
The fact I fell to the floor, the day you walked out my door

Michael flinched at the lyrics. He couldn’t ignore the feelings he heard in her voice. It felt as if they were directed towards him. He thought back to the day everything in his life started to go wrong.


“Liz, baby, are you ready? We graduate in two hours.” The sound of the toilet flushing was his only response.

She came out of the bathroom, smiling. “I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.”

Michael picked up her gown from the bed and held it out to her. She slipped her arms in, smiling at him.

“So, counselor, are you ready to start on the path to becoming an established attorney? Next stop is Law school.”

Liz giggled and nodded. “As long as you’re by my side.” Their lips met in a soft kiss.

“Of course, we’re going to be partners. Remember, Parker and Guerin Law Firm.”

She nodded, smiling. “I know.” Her eyes glistening with tears, she looked up at him. “Michael, I love you so much.”

He cupped her face and brushed his lips against hers.


His reverie was interrupted by her voice floating to his ears.

It was your way
Or it was no way
And I couldn’t live that way
It was our call
Then it was your call
Cause I gave you my all and all

He swallowed, pushing himself off the bar he had been leaning on. He returned to his table, shaking his head to get rid of his memories. He was here to get closure so he could marry the woman who was waiting for him back in Boston. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t stop his memories from bombarding him.

And I refuse,
I refuse to have one more sleepless night
I refuse,
I refuse to let a tear fall from my eye
I refuse,
I refuse to continue to try
I felt like I would die, if I could breakdown and cry
And I refuse,
I refuse to let you walk back through that door
I refuse,
I refuse to let you hurt me anymore
And I refuse,
I refuse to continue to ignore
The fact I fell to the floor, the day you walked out my door


“What do you mean you’re pregnant? You can’t be pregnant.” He stood up and started to pace. “That wasn’t part of the plan. You have to get rid of it.”

“What? I can’t do that,” she choked out. “Michael, no. We can do this. Together we can do anything.”

Michael turned to face her. “No! The plan was to become lawyers, start our firm, then get married and have kids.” He started pacing again. “Kids were supposed to come later.”

“So what do you want me to do? What are you asking me to do?” Tears were falling down her face. She wrapped her arms around herself, slowly rocking back and forth.

“You either get rid of it or we’re over. It’s as simple as that,” he said, leaving no room for discussion. He stopped in front of her. Kneeling down, he held her. “We can have kids later, but not now.”

She stood up, shaking her head. “I’m sorry, Michael. I normally would do anything you want.” She shook her head. “I’d do anything for you, but...” She tried to swallow past the lump in her throat. “Just please don’t make me do this. Please.”

He came up to her and pulled her to him, stroking her hair.

“I love you so much, Michael. Just tell me we can keep this baby. Please, just tell me you’ll be here for me. Please.”

His hold on her tightened. “Shh...” he whispered in her ear. He led her to the bed and they lay together until Liz fell asleep.

When Liz woke up, she was alone. There was a note on Michael’s pillow. She stared at it for a few moments, afraid to touch it. With shaking hands she picked up the piece of paper. Her bottom lip trembled as she unfolded the letter. As she read the note, her shoulders shook. She laid her head on her pillow. Soon, her tears were replaced by heart-wrenching sobs.


Liz shut her eyes, fighting the tears that were blurring her vision. The pain from her memories were overpowering, making the rest of the song come out in soft whispers.

No way can’t I take it baby
No way can’t I take it baby
No way, but I refuse
To take it anymore

She couldn’t help but remember that several weeks after he had left, she lost the baby. Her grip on the microphone tightened to stop her hands from shaking.

I refuse (I refuse)
I refuse (I refuse)
And I refuse (boohoo)
And I refuse (I refuse)
I refuse (said I refuse)
And I refuse
Said I refuse to take it anymore

When she finished singing, she quickly left the stage and the building.
posted on 18-Jul-2002 11:34:06 AM by polarist

The lights came back on. People filled the room with friendly chatter, but Michael was oblivious to it all. He hung his head low trying to hide the pain, which still encased him, from his friends. He could only blame himself for the pain he was feeling. He ran his hand through his hair, sighing. He attempted to push the painful memories from four years prior away. He looked up, hoping the guys would distract him from them, but realized he was alone at the table. He looked for Max first since he already knew the areas where Max would be in search of his next female victim. He saw Max sitting at the bar with a busty blonde. Michael shook his head at how predictable Max was. He looked around for Alex, but there was no sign of him.

He picked up the check and took out his wallet. After tossing the check and the money on the table, he stood up. He was suffocating. He walked towards the doors to go outside for some much needed fresh air. As soon as the doors shut behind him, he closed his eyes, taking a deep breath.

Sounds drifted over to him making him curious as to where and who they were coming from. He opened his eyes and turned his head in the direction he thought they were. At first all he saw was a couple, but through further scrutiny, he recognized one of the forms as Alex. Since her back was facing him, Michael couldn’t get a good view of her.

Their heads were close together as if they were in a deep, private conversation. He approached them cautiously not wanting to disturb Alex, especially since he'd finally had the courage to talk to a woman he didn’t know. Alex had always been the shy one of the three friends. He never had the nerve to talk to women whenever the three of them went out as a group. When the couple stood up to hug, Michael stopped. That was when he had a glimpse of the woman who was with Alex. Michael’s jaw tensed and his fist balled up at his sides. It was Liz, his Liz. He backed away, hurt and feeling betrayed. He quickly turned around, walking back into the club to go sit at the bar.

“What can I get you, sir?” the bartender asked while wiping down the counter in front of Michael.

“Give me a Scotch and make it a double,” Michael demanded through gritted teeth. He didn’t understand how Alex could do this to him, but then he had never told Alex about his past or Liz. His motto had always been: never ask and never tell, which kept him from asking any of his friends about their past and gave him the excuse to keep his private.

The bartender placed a glass in front of him, then poured the brown liquor from the bottle into it. Before the bartender could take the bottle away, Michael grabbed the glass, drinking it in one gulp. He banged the glass down on the counter. “Another.” The man poured more Scotch into the glass. He was about to turn to leave when Michael said, “Leave the bottle.” The bartender shrugged, leaving the bottle in front of him.

After tossing several shots down, Michael laughed bitterly to himself remembering the last time he had been in this situation. The last time alcohol had touched his lips. It was the same night he'd walked out on Liz. He drank more of the strong liquor, hoping to dull the pain the same way he’d tried to do four years ago, but just like before, the only thing the alcohol did was intensify his pain.

Michael knew he couldn’t blame Liz if she never forgave him. In reality, he had never forgiven himself. At the time, he thought it had been the right thing to do. He had been scared to become a father. He chuckled, then slammed another shot down. He knew that wasn’t a good excuse. He also knew Liz deserved someone better. Even back then, he didn’t understand how she had chosen him over anyone else. She deserved someone who wasn't terrified of becoming the man he hated the most. He didn’t know what type of father he would or could be. The one thing he knew for certain was that he didn’t want to be the kind of father who would hit his own son for wearing a blue shirt instead of a green one. A man who’d beat the woman he loved for coming home late from working two jobs to support her deadbeat of a husband. Or the kind of father who'd nearly raped his own daughter just because she looked like his dearly departed wife.

A hand snatched the bottle away before Michael had a chance to pour more Scotch into his glass. He looked up, growling, “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

The bartender didn’t waver, but replied, “You had plenty.” He then took the bottle, placing it under the bar.

Michael shook his head. He tried to stand. “I’m a paying customer, damn it. I have every right to drink as much as I want.” He pounded his fist on the counter when the bartender ignored him. “Give me a fucking drink,” he yelled. “I’m the customer. You’re supposed to give me what I want.”

“If you want something to eat, I can oblige. But once you enter this establishment, we, the bartenders, can say when it’s time for you to stop. We only do this for your safety.”

Michael grabbed the man’s wrist. “Just give me a fucking drink.”

It was easy for the bartender to release himself out of his grip since Michael’s balance was off. “I’ll call you a cab. That way you can go home and cool off. If you don’t, I’ll have to get security over here.”

Michael wobbled on his feet, leaning against the bar to support himself. “Security? You’re going to call security on me?” He turned around when he felt a hand on his shoulder.

“Hey, man, calm down. Come on, let's get you to the hotel,” Max said with concern. He had never seen Michael this way. For as long as he’d known Michael he'd never seen him take even a sip of alcohol. He was always the designated driver, the one who hated alcohol and drunks.

“No,” Michael yelled as he turned back to the bar. “I want another drink.”

Alex and Liz walked in wondering what all the commotion was about. When Liz saw the security men approaching Michael, she pointed it out to Alex. Liz was close behind him as he walked over to Michael to try to calm him down. “Michael, man, let’s just go.”

Upon hearing Alex’s voice, Michael swung around ready to punch his friend. The friend who, in his eyes, was taking Liz from him. “Don’t,” a soft voice said, stopping his movement. He turned in the direction the voice was coming from. His eyes connected with Liz’s. He slowly lowered his arm, staring at his own hand still balled up in a fist. He couldn’t believe he’d almost punched Alex, just like his father had done to him every night he came home from the bar. He was becoming his father.

Liz saw his hands shake. She was compelled to go comfort him. She held onto Alex’s arm tighter to keep from running to Michael. He saw this and lumbered out of the club and into a waiting cab.

Liz bit the inside of her cheek to keep from crying for him. After all these years, she still loved him. She watched his wobbling figure leave, thinking back to the night she found out what kind of man Michael’s father was.


It was around ten o‘clock at night when Liz and her parents heard a loud banging at their front door. Nancy and Jeff went to the door cautiously, but when they saw Liz following close behind, Nancy held her back while Jeff opened the door. Michael was standing in the doorway with a shaken and pale Isabel in his arms. He gently pushed his sister towards Liz who quickly opened her arms to the taller girl. She’d never seen her best friend like this. She knew that Michael bringing her here at this hour meant that something bad must have happened. Liz watched as Michael’s eyes went to her father’s face as he quietly asked if he could speak to him and his wife alone. They nodded and told Liz to take Isabel up to her room. Liz wanted to object at first, but seeing her best friend on the verge of tears, she immediately obeyed. Isabel leaned against her as Liz led her up to her room.

Liz waited for Isabel to tell her what was wrong, but Isabel didn’t want to talk about it. Liz’s heart broke when her friend collapsed in a torrent of tears. Liz stroked Isabel's hair trying to soothe her, but all the while angry at the person who had made this strong-willed girl cry.

When Isabel finally calmed down, she asked Liz if she could get her a glass of water. Liz nodded but left her reluctantly. Liz went down the stairs to the kitchen. As she was about to go back up the stairs, she heard murmurs coming from the living room. She snuck around the corner so as not to be spotted and listened.

“If I didn’t forget my jacket...” Liz heard Michael say as his voice trailed off.

“Michael, of course we’ll keep your sister here. But what about you? You can’t stay there with him.” Liz heard her mother say.

“I’ll be alright. I have to make sure the old man doesn’t hurt himself. I just wanted to make sure Isabel was safe and out of his reach.” Liz heard rustling, indicating he was standing up. “I don’t want a repeat of tonight. She’s always felt safe here.” When Liz heard her parents stand up, she quickly went up the steps, wondering what had happened. She knew she couldn’t ask Michael directly. Her and Isabel’s closeness was the only reason he tolerated her.

When Liz entered her room, she found Isabel curled up into a ball in the middle of the bed. She sat on the edge of the bed, handing Isabel the glass of water. She watched Isabel slowly drink the water, then placed the glass down on the night table. Isabel lay back down. Liz leaned back against the headboard, then reached over gently laying Isabel's head on her lap. Liz stroked Isabel’s hair until she fell asleep.

Michael stood in the doorway of Liz’s room. He smiled at the scene before him. Liz could barely keep her eyes open, but she was staying up, watching over his sister. He knew this was the right place for her to be. If the Parkers were busy, he knew Liz would be there for her.

Liz turned her tired eyes towards the doorway. She saw Michael standing there watching her and Isabel. She could feel her cheeks warming up, so she quickly hung her head down, keeping her eyes trained on Isabel. When she heard him leave, she was a little disappointed that he hadn't said anything to her. She scolded herself for even thinking about Michael when it was her friend who needed her the most. She leaned her head back against the headboard and closed her eyes.

Liz was awakened by Isabel screaming and thrashing in bed. She tried to quiet her, but heard her mumbling, “Daddy, please. Don’t.” Liz tried to wake her up, but Isabel kept thrashing about with her arms flailing. When Isabel finally woke up, she started crying again, holding onto Liz tightly.

Liz was silently crying with her friend. She wanted to stay strong for her, to give her the support she needed, but after Isabel told her what had happened, she broke down, too. They held onto to one another tightly, each comforting the other.

According to Isabel, that night, her father had mistaken her for his wife who had died two years prior. He had grabbed her arm, pulling her into his bedroom. He had started undressing her, oblivious to her cries and protest. The only thing that had stopped him from assaulting her was Michael hitting him from behind with a hockey stick. If it hadn’t been for Michael coming back home for his jacket...


Liz couldn’t finish that last thought. She shivered. She was grateful when she felt Alex’s arm wrap around her shoulders. She looked up at Alex, attempting a smile although all she could think about was the way Michael had acted tonight and what could have caused him to act so out of character.
posted on 22-Jul-2002 2:33:10 PM by polarist

"I wonder what that was all about?” Alex asked as he watched Michael leave. Liz shrugged.

Max stood beside them, shaking his head. "What just happened? I mean, one minute he was yelling at the bartender for another drink and the next thing I know, he was about to hit you."

"But he doesn't drink,” Alex said, turning to his friend and frowning.

Max shrugged. "That's all I know." He tilted his head toward Liz. "What are you doing with her? Do you guys know each other?”

"We grew up together," she said curtly before Alex could answer.

"You mean you let me go over there knowing I was going to get shot down?" Max asked, feigning anger.

Alex chuckled. "You left before any of us got in a word edgewise." He glanced at Liz. "Do you want to join us for a drink?"

“Hmm??” Liz slowly turned towards Alex. “What?” She shook her head. Seeing Alex motioning towards a table, she said, “Oh, umm, sure.” Liz shrugged, following Alex to the table.

"So are you going to introduce us since she never did offer me her name?” Max had his eyes trained on Liz, attempting to charm her.

Liz rolled her eyes while Alex sniggered. "Liz, her name is Liz."

Max smiled. He extended his hand towards her. "It's nice to meet you, Liz."

Liz sighed, but reached for his hand when Alex elbowed her. "Likewise," she muttered.

Alex put an arm around her shoulders. "How's Isabel?"

Liz smiled at the mention of her sister's name. "She's doing great. She just recently got married."

"Really? How was the wedding? Did the guy she married deserve her?" Alex asked with a raised eyebrow.

Liz rolled her eyes. "Yes, he's great. He treats her the way she deserves to be treated.” She looked at her hands. "I didn't go to her wedding."

Alex's forehead furrowed as he asked, "Why? I would have thought you'd be the maid of honor."

Liz sighed. "I don't want to talk about it. She knows why and she understands."

"Who's Isabel?” Max asked, feeling left out.

Alex smiled. "Liz's sister, well, adopted sister."

Max nodded. "You two seem close. Did you guys date?"

Liz giggled while Alex spat out his drink. "No, we are just close," she answered, smirking when she saw Alex shake his head.

Leaning on the table, Max asked, "You and Michael looked as if you knew each other, too. Do you?"

Alex gave Liz a sideward glance, then rolled his eyes. "Why do you ask that? Is it because he was able to keep her captivated longer than you?"

"Actually, yes, I did, well, do know him." She felt them both staring at her. She picked up a napkin and started folding it. She glanced at Alex. "He's Isabel's biological brother."

Alex's face showed comprehension as he nodded.

Max, noticing this, said, "Wait. Let me get this straight. You guys have known each other throughout your childhood, right? So, how is it possible that you and Michael never once crossed paths?”

Alex shook his head, not understanding how that was possible either.

"Because when Michael and Isabel moved to Roswell, Alex and his father had to move away.” Liz turned to Alex. “Remember, Alex?"

"Yeah, but then how did you know about Isabel?" Max asked.

"I came back for Liz's High School graduation. That's when I met Isabel," Alex answered. "But I don't know how I missed him."

"That's because he signed up for the military instead of going to college." Liz sighed. "He was supposed to be back in time for his sister's graduation, but they kept him a little longer."

"Whoa, wait a minute. Michael was in the military?" Max looked at Alex. "How come I was never told this?"

Alex shrugged. "How am I supposed to know? Hell, I didn't even know he had a sister."

"He wasn't in the military per se. He went to boot camp, but because of his disrespect for authority, he got kicked out," Liz informed. She knew how much Michael hated being talked about. From just listening to Alex and Max discussing Michael, she figured out that he'd never told his friends about his past. She cursed herself for actually starting this conversation. Even though they were no longer together, she still loved and respected him.

"Oh man, I can actually see that happening." Max chuckled. "I can't wait to rag on him about that."

Liz stood up to leave. Michael was going to despise her more than he already did.

Alex placed a gentle hand on her arm. She looked worried. "Where are you going?”

Liz shook her head, but didn't answer.

Alex narrowed his eyes trying to figure out what was wrong with his cousin. "Max, I think you shouldn't mention this to Michael. You know how much he values his privacy. If he finds out that someone told you about his past, you may not be as lucky as me,” he said, looking Max straight in the eye.

Max rubbed his chin contemplating Alex's statement. "Okay, okay. I won't mention it to him. I'll just see if I can get it out of him before I rib him about it."

"You know, that mouth of yours is going to get you into trouble one day.” Alex shook his head, smiling at his friend. He turned his attention back to Liz. He watched her, trying to read her. She looked tense, as if she was ready to bolt at any minute. He didn’t know what had changed. In the past she had always been so open, but he noticed how closed off she was now. He took her hand, gently pulling her down to sit next to him. He leaned close to her to whisper, “If you ever need to talk, I’m always here for you.” He smiled, squeezing her hand. Her only response was a nod and a tight smile.

Alex wrapped his arm around her, pulling her close. “Max isn’t going to say anything,” he spoke softly in her ear. She sighed as she leaned into his chest. He had a feeling that there was more to her and Michael than she was letting on. "How about we meet you for lunch tomorrow? That way I can get reacquainted with my cousin. You and Michael can talk about Isabel. And maybe you can learn to tolerate Max."

Max frowned at Alex, but when he glanced at Liz he said, "That sounds like a good idea."

"I can't. I work during the day," Liz said, trying to get out of it.

"I thought this was your job. You have a day job, too?" Max asked.

"What do you do?” Alex asked.

"I'm a legal secretary." She shrugged.

Alex sighed. "What happened to your dream of becoming a lawyer? Why settle for being a legal secretary?"

"That dream died a long time ago, Alex." Liz stood up again. She turned to leave.

“Liz,” Alex said, stopping her. "Well, I know they give you time off to eat lunch. So how about we meet you?"

Liz sighed. "Fine, meet me at the Crashdown at noon," she said before walking out.
posted on 29-Jul-2002 4:25:43 PM by polarist

Michael fumbled for his wallet to pay the cab driver. After tossing the money in the front he stumbled out of the car and headed straight for his room. He turned the lights on after leaning against the door in an attempt to calm himself. He stepped in front of the mirror and stared at himself. All he saw was his father's face. The man he hated, the man he didn't want to become. After tonight he knew he could never hide from it again. He was his father. His eyes narrowed and his anger flared up in sudden violence.

With a force he didn't know he possessed, he punched his own reflection, shattering the mirror. The crashing sound around him fell on deaf ears, only mimicking the sound of his breaking heart. The falling glass reflected his life more than it could have ever done as a single sheet of glass, how one choice had made everything around him come crashing down. He pulled his arm back and stared at his deformed reflection. This was who he was, how could someone as pure as Liz love him if she knew who he truly was. The rage and disgust engulfed him again as he kept seeing his true form. He shoved everything on the dresser to the floor with the same power causing him to lose his balance and topple to the ground.

His anger dissolved into anguish, he placed his head in his hands and squeezed his eyes shut blocking out the sounds and images evoked by his own self criticism. He never hated anyone as much as he did himself at this moment. In a stupor of drunken anger, he'd almost harmed one of his only friends and in front of the only woman he'd ever truly loved.

He slid his hand in his inside pocket pulling out his cell phone. He dialed a number and let it ring.

"Hello?" a groggy voice answered.

"Isabel?" Michael responded.

"Michael? What's wrong? Have you been drinking?" she asked suddenly wide awake.

"I saw her."

"What happened?" she asked slowly. He sounded lost and it caused her heart to break.

"She's with someone," he answered sadly in a childlike voice.

"Are you sure?" Isabel shook her head knowing he couldn't see her. Her and Liz had kept in touch and just a few days ago Liz had told her she couldn't be with anyone else, that she was still single. So what Michael was saying didn't make any sense!

"They were so close. They seemed like they've been together for a while."

"Michael, you might have just seen it wrong. Liz has been single ever since that day," Isabel said trying to make the life come back into her brother's voice. It hurt her heart to know that he could have been in so much pain to even pick up a glass of alcohol.

Michael laughed hollowly. "Yeah, single. They seemed like they knew each other too well. And it was with my friend. Alex."

"Alex?" Isabel asked shaking her head again. "You have a friend named Alex?"

"Yeah. Alex Whitman."

If it wasn't for the seriousness of the conversation and the pain she heard in her brother's voice, she would have thought the very idea was absolutely hilarious. "Michael, it's not what you think. Did you talk to her?"

"Talk to her? She doesn't want to talk to me. I tried. She hates me Izzy," he said dejectedly.

"Do you blame her? Look what you did! Anyway you have no right to be mad at her or your friend Alex because correct me if I'm wrong --- but aren't you engaged? Didn't you propose to another woman?" Isabel loved her brother, but after witnessing the pain he caused her sister, her best friend, she couldn't help but resent his unwarranted outrage.

"I didn't propose to her. She proposed to me. I don't love her. How can I? Do you know how easy it is to tell someone you love them when you don't mean it?" Michael ran his hand through his hair, sighing.

"If you don't love her, than why'd you accept? You have to explain this to me Michael! I don't understand you. You left Liz because your career was more important, but now you're willing to marry a woman you don't love even before your career starts? Why?" She knew she was asking him too much at one time, but she also knew she had to take advantage of this situation because her brother would never willing open up to her. To anyone.

"Because I'm afraid I'll hurt Liz. I don't deserve Liz, I never did. Now Maria, she's a distraction. It won't hurt if I'm with her. I can't hurt her," Michael explained.

"You can't hurt her. It's not fair to marry a woman you don't love. Especially if she loves you enough to propose."

"It's not like that. She loves me as much as I love her. We're convenient for each other. I'm a future lawyer and in her eyes that's money and she'll keep the other woman away."

"Michael do you hear yourself? How do you know she doesn't truly love you? Women feel more than men do."

"Because I can tell." He shrugged his shoulders. "Just saying the words doesn't mean it's true."

"Is that why you left Liz? I mean really left her. She told you everyday how she felt about you."

"No. Liz not only said it with words, but she also said it with her eyes, with her touch, with her voice." Michael swallowed back his tears and said, "Did you know every time I woke up beside her I always caught her staring at me. It was like she was afraid to touch me," he sighed then switched the phone to the other ear. "I asked her why she did that and she told me that she'd always dreamed of lying beside me and the only way she could be sure we weren't a dream was to stare at me to make sure I didn't fade away. Do you know how that made me feel? She was the only person other than you who looked at me with so much trust and openness."

"Then why did you leave her?" Isabel choked out. She couldn't hold back the tears. To finally hear what her brother felt! She hadn't known his love for Liz was this strong. She never realized how thick that wall he always hid behind was until this moment, because there was so much feeling behind it that he never once showed to anyone. Not her. Not Liz.

"I was afraid," he choked out. "She trusted me so much, and sometimes I feel like there's this part of me that I can't control. That I'm my father's son. What if one day I can't control it and I hurt her or the baby? That would kill me more than anything. What if we had a little girl and I..."

"Michael, God, you're not our father. Our father was a bitter old man who could never be happy! Our parent's marriage wasn't based on love, it was based on convenience. Does that sound familiar? I know you couldn't hurt Liz. I know you can't," she sobbed. When her brother didn't respond she said, "Talk to her. Tell her what you just told me. Tell her you love her. After you left she stopped believing that you loved her. She thought you never loved her and that's what hurt her the most."

Michael could feel himself sobering up and started building his wall back up. "I gotta go."

"Michael just promise me that you'll talk to her. Promise me," Isabel implored.

"Bye, Izzy."


He hung up the phone. He placed his hand on the bed and pulled himself up, wincing at the pressure and glancing at his hand finally noticing he was bleeding. He went to the bathroom and took a shower. When he came back out in a pair of sweatpants he picked up the items that he had thrown on the floor and tried to clean up the blood as best as possible. Then he picked up the broken glass from the mirror and tossed it in the trash. The task was simple, he didn't have to think, just do. This had become a part of his life ever since he left Liz. He just threw himself into something that wouldn't cause him to think or feel. It was easier for him to become detached to everything and everyone.

As he started to lie down, the door opened. Alex surveyed the room and noticed the broken mirror. "What happened?"

Michael shook his head and turned his back to his friend and the world.
posted on 1-Aug-2002 6:26:29 PM by polarist

Alex was the first to wake up. He went into the bathroom and took a shower. As he came out, he saw Michael hanging up his cell phone and gathering his things together. “What are you doing?” Alex asked.

“What does it look like? I’m packing,” Michael snapped.

Alex was hoping to spend some time with his cousin so he asked, “Why?”

“I think we’ve been here long enough. It’s time to go back home,” Michael replied without looking at him. Michael felt horrible. His head was killing him and his hand ached. This place had brought nothing but pain to him, so he was going to do the only thing he was good at -- run.

“Home? But I thought we weren’t returning until the day before your wedding. What changed?” Alex was confused. He’d never seen this side of his friend. He had always been a loner, but he seemed different, more erratic, more unemotional. “Hey,” Alex said, trying to get his Michael’s attention. But when he didn’t, he asked, “Are you okay? What happened last night? How did …”

“What the hell happened to your mirror?!” Max said, barging through the door of their adjoining rooms.

Alex rolled his eyes at Max’s bluntness, then looked toward Michael, but there was no reaction from him.

“Why is he packing?” Max asked Alex. Alex shrugged and Max walked over to Michael. “What are you doing? We have a duty to the women in this town to show them the only way to have a good time is with me. I can’t deprive them of that. And believe me, man, after seeing the chicks at that club we went to last night, there are tons of sexy women here. Anyway, what happened to our plan?”

Michael turned his back to him and went to the bathroom. Max looked at Alex with a puzzled look and Alex just shrugged again.

Michael came back out with his toiletries and threw them in his bag. “We’re leaving,” he said gruffly, leaving no room for discussion.

“How about this?” Alex paused and glanced at his watch. They had slept in most of the day and it was almost noon. “How about we go get some lunch and discuss this so we can find out why the mirror is broken and why you want to leave?” Alex offered.

Max nodded and said, “That sounds like a plan.”

“We’ll eat, but there’s nothing to discuss. We’re leaving.” Michael glanced at them and then left the room.

“What the hell is his problem?” Max asked as he started to pace. “One minute he’s trying to punch you and now he wants to leave. What the hell happened last night?”

Alex shook his head and softly said, “I don’t know, but I have an idea what it might be about.”

Max looked at Alex trying to read him, but when he couldn’t come up with a reason he asked, “What do you think?”

“I don’t know, but we’ll find out during lunch,” Alex replied. Then he also left the room.

Max sighed and shook his head. He had no clue what was going on in his friends’ minds, but hopefully everything would reveal itself soon. He hated not knowing what was really going on.

The three of them arrived at the Crashdown a little before noon. Alex looked around to see if he spotted his cousin, but she wasn’t anywhere to be found.

When the hostess led them to their table, Alex slid into the booth that was closest to the entrance, to get a good view of the door. Max sat next to him and Michael sat across from them. Michael and Max stared at the menu looking for something decent to eat while Alex glanced at the entrance every so often.

Liz entered the building. She spotted her cousin and slowly approached their table. She had known Michael was going to be there, so she’d tried to prepare herself last night. When she saw him, she momentarily froze and closed her eyes. She didn’t expect it to be this hard. She slowly slid into the booth and sat next to him. “Hey,” she said softly. Both Max and Alex smiled at her.

“I’m glad you came,” Alex said, placing his hand over hers. She gave him a small smile without looking up at him.

The waitress came up to their table and smiled at Liz. “Liz, honey. I didn’t know you were here. Do you want the menu or do you already know what you want?” The elderly lady smiled at her.

Liz looked up and returned the elderly lady’s smile. She then gazed around the table to see if they were ready. Alex answered her unspoken question by placing his own order. Max and Michael followed suit. The waitress’s eyes fell on Liz again as she waited for her. “I’ll just have a cup of coffee. Thanks,” Liz replied.

The waitress looked at Liz with concern and said, “Honey, lately that’s all you’ve been ordering. All those long hours I’ve seen you work, you have to eat.”

Liz looked down at her hands and took a deep breath, trying to keep her emotions at bay. She didn’t want to cry here and show her weakness. She wanted to wait until she was home to let it all out. “I’m just not hungry.” She looked back at the waitress and smiled. “But thanks for your concern, Beverly.”

Beverly gave her one last look before going to the grill and handing the cook their order.

“So I guess you’re a regular here,” Max commented with a smile.

Liz shrugged, but didn’t reply.

“So you never told me how Isabel is doing. The only thing you said was she had recently gotten married. Are you two still close?” Alex asked, trying to get her to talk.

Michael shifted in his seat, accidentally brushing against her. He tensed, fighting the urge to touch her. This was torture for him. He hadn’t been this close to her in so long and he had missed it. He looked up at Alex and saw him staring at Liz with concern.

Liz had stiffened when she had felt his thigh brush past hers. When they were together and this close, she’d always had the urge to touch him. She wanted to touch him now. She allowed her hair to veil her face as her chin trembled. She knew she had to get control of herself. Even after everything that had gone on between them, she still missed him. All she’d ever done was love him and he’d walked out on her. Now the only man she had ever had feelings for, the only man she was ever going to love was getting married to someone else.

Alex turned his gaze to Michael. “So, we don’t have any say?”

Michael looked up at him and frowned. “What are you talking about?” he mumbled.

“I thought we were on this little getaway together. I’m not ready to leave yet,” Max answered.

Michael rolled his eyes and said, “There are things I have to do. So it’s time to go home.”

“I know you’re probably missing your fiancée, but I thought this was about us guys,” Max commented. He didn’t like the fact that Michael was taking control of their trip. Initially, Max hadn’t wanted to come to Roswell, but now that he was here, he wanted to stay as long as they had planned on.

Liz winced upon hearing the word fiancée. Her body became rigid, trying to fight the urge to run. She wanted to get as far away as she possibly could. She knew that if she left now, it would only bring more questioning from Alex. When she thought she had herself in check, she looked up at Alex and asked, “How’s Uncle Charles doing?” She swallowed, trying to steer the conversation away from Michael and his soon-to-be wife. “I heard from Isabel that he was in the hospital.”

That got Michael’s attention. He looked quickly at Alex. “Who’s Uncle Charles and how does Isabel know him?”

“He’s my dad,” Alex answered somberly. Then he looked at Liz and said, “I don’t know how Isabel knew about it.”

“I haven’t spoken to my parents in years.” Liz paused and took a deep breath. The main reason she had left Connecticut was to get away from the memories, because her parents wouldn’t let her. They loved Michael like a son, and when she had told them that she was pregnant, they had been overjoyed. They had been so happy to be grandparents, but they hadn’t understood why Michael hadn’t been around. So, she had told them that she left him, that she didn’t want to ruin his life. She hadn’t been able to tell them the truth. Michael thought he didn’t have many people who had cared about him, so she didn’t want to take that away from him. When her parents kept insisting that she should go back to him, that she should call him, she couldn’t take it anymore, so she left. She hadn’t spoken to them since. “From my mom.”

“Dad’s doing better. He had a stroke. He told me you sent him some flowers and a card. Thank you.”

Liz smiled and said, “He is my favorite uncle.”

“He’s your only uncle,” Alex replied, chuckling. He noticed how her eyes weren’t sparkling. He remembered when they were growing up, her smiles would light up the whole room. Now, it seemed to have lost its light. He made a note to himself to call his Aunt to find out what had happened. He knew he wasn’t going to get anything out of Liz.

“Wait a minute. You two are related?” Michael asked, sounding more relieved then he’d intended. That would mean that she was still single. Maybe his sister had been right, maybe he just had to talk to her.

Alex nodded.

Liz stood up, not liking the direction the conversation was taking and said, “Well, I’d better go. Thanks for inviting me, Alex.”

Alex pushed Max out the way and stood up to hug Liz. “I’ll see you at the club tonight, okay?”

She smiled and nodded. Alex stopped her before she could turn to leave and said, “Can you do me a favor?”

She looked at him curiously and said, “It depends.”

Alex chuckled and said, “Can you sing me a happier song tonight. It can be slow or whatever, but I want something happy. Okay?”

Liz tucked her hair behind her ear. “I’ll think about.” She waved at him and left the diner.

Michael watched her leave, hoping he’d have enough courage to talk to her before they left.

“So, who is Isabel to you?” Alex asked as soon as he sat down. “You sounded kind of protective when I mentioned her name.”

“My sister,” Michael answered curtly.

Your sister? Why haven’t you ever mentioned her?” Alex leaned his elbows on the table and widened his eyes. “So you’re her biological brother?” he asked, feigning surprise. “I can’t believe it. All this time I knew who her brother was and didn’t know it.” He shook his head. “Why do you want to leave so bad? Are you in that much of a rush to see Maria?”

Michael sat back and sighed. “I called off the wedding.”

“What?!” Max and Alex said in unison.

“I’m not getting married.” Michael looked out the window. “That’s who I was talking to when you came out of the bathroom.”

“And Maria is okay with that? You’re still alive. I’m surprised she didn’t reach through the phone to strangle you,” Alex commented with a smirk.

“Yeah, well, she doesn’t care.” Michael shrugged, looking back at them. “If you guys are so hell-bent on staying for three more days, then fine. We’ll stay, but be warned: I won’t be a happy camper,” he lied. He wanted to stay now to have a chance to talk to Liz and ease his conscience. He also wanted to see his kid and maybe, just maybe, mend things between himself and Liz. He’d always been at his calmest when he was with her and, right now, he needed that.

“Oh please, it’s not like we’ve ever seen you pleasant,” Max said, chuckling.