posted on 5-Nov-2001 7:11:46 PM by sugarplum17
Title: Broken Promises
Author: Sugarplum17
Disclaimer: None of it’s mine, I’m just borrowing, don’t sue me!
Summary: When Michael, Max, Isabel and Tess leave for Antar, their respective others promise to wait for them. Ten years later, when they return, they’re shocked to discover that their humans have moved on, with each other.
Author’s Note: Nehal’s challenge, Broken Promises. When I first wrote this fic, I was just starting out in the fanfic world and I wasn’t all that great a writer. I’ve improved some since then and I’m going to be re-writing it. It’s going to have the same outcome and plot, but I want to cut out some of the melodrama that I used before and just make it better.
- - -

It was so eerily silent in the dining area of the Crashdown Café that Max could swear if a pin dropped upstairs they’d all be able to hear it. They stood in a V formation. Max out in the front. Isabel slightly behind him and to his right, Michael and Tess slightly behind him and to his left and they waited for the reactions. He wished that they would say something. On any other day, if you looked into the window of the diner after closing, you’d see seven, sometimes eight happy friends laughing, arguing, and dancing with each other. However on this day, all you could see were four silent teenagers and one silent adult.

Just moments ago Max had dropped the bomb shell on them. Isabel was on the verge of crying, even though she’d already known about it and wasn’t surprised like the rest of them had been. Max, Michael, Isabel and Tess had been on edge all week and everyone finally knew why. They’d been discussing whether or not they were truly going to go and if so what they were going to tell everyone. Max guessed that they were all in shock. That shock was broken when Maria calmly got up from her seat and looked at them. She opened her mouth to speak and when nothing but a small squeak came out, she closed it and calmly turned around to walk into the break room. Minutes later, the distinct sound of sobbing could be heard filtering through to the dining area. Liz looked toward Michael to see what he would do and when he looked down at the floor, she got to her feet and without a word to the group she and Alex walked into the back room. Entering the back room they heard the it coming from the bathroom. It was a broken cry now, broken up by sounds of someone throwing up.

They found Maria knelt on the floor in front of the toilet. To her it felt like she was throwing up every organ in her body. Her throat was sore, partly from crying and partly the barfing that wouldn’t seem to stop. She hardly even noticed when Alex burst through the door with Liz following close behind. When she felt his hands sweep her hair back, she was startled and jumped slightly before realizing that Alex was holding her hair back for her while she puked. With his free hand he was rubbing little calming circles on her back in an effort to calm and comfort her.

While Alex was doing the comforting, Liz was preparing for the clean up. She went to the kitchen to fill a cup with water and wet a paper towel. When she returned to the bathroom, Alex was sitting on the floor with his back against the wall and Maria was curled up in a fetal position at his side resting her head in his lap while he gently stroked her hair as she cried.

“ sweetie, I brought you a paper towel and some water.” Liz said in a soothing voice as she knelt down next to her best friend.
“Thanks Lizzie.” She said sitting up and trying to force a smile. “You guys are so much better at dealing with the emotional stuff than I am.”
“No, we’re not.” Alex told her as he watched her wipe her mouth, take a sip of the water and swish it around before spitting it out in the toilet. “We’re just better at hiding it.”
Tucking her hair behind her ear Liz smiled sadly at Maria, “Our turn to cry and puke will come later on when everyone is gone.”
A week after Max dropped the bombshell, graduation happened. Nobody was sure when the aliens would leave so they all spent as much time together as they possibly could, both as a group and separately.

**Michael & Maria**
Michael was laying on his bed spooning Maria. They had been lying like that since she came in about three hours ago. He didn’t want to admit it, but he was really gonna miss her. He was going to miss the way they fought, they way they made up, the way she constantly challenged him, the way she made him feel, he was just going to miss everything about her.

“Michael?” She asked bringing him back from his thoughts.
“I want you to promise me something...” She started hesitantly.
He knew what she was going to say, but he decided to let her say it. “Depends on what it is.”
“I want you to promise me that you’ll come back to me.”
He sighed a heavy sigh. He knew it, he knew that’s what she was going to say. “Can’t.”
“Why not?” There was that all too familiar catch in her voice that let him know that she was on the verge of crying. He’d heard it many times before, when they fought and he’d gone a little too far and hurt her feelings. Tightening his grip around her waist he pulled her closer.
“I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep it.” He said as if it would explain everything. Hoping that it would explain everything so that he wouldn’t have to. Unfortunately, Maria needed more than that, and let him know it.
“I don’t know if I’ll be able to come back.” He elaborated for her. “I don’t want my mouth to write a check that my ass can’t cash.” He knew that wasn’t enough for her, but that was all she was going to get. He didn’t know how it was going to play out once he got up there. What if he got up there and he liked it? What if he got up there and in the heat of battle, he died? Michael Guerin was not one to make promises, unless he was absolutely sure that he would be able to keep them.

Feeling her body shake in his arms and hearing her whimpers, he knew that she was crying. He also knew that she was holding back, trying to keep it under control so that he wouldn’t be able to tell that she was. He wanted to smack her upside her pretty little head for getting to him the way that she had. For making him care about her. For making him want to take all her pain away. In a feeble attempt to stop her tears he whispered into her ear, “I can make some other promises though...”
“And those would be?” She asked sniffling.
He couldn’t believe that he was about to say this, it was such a Max, lovey-dovey, romantic mushy thing to say but he couldn’t stop himself from saying it. “I can promise you that whether I come back to this planet or not, I’ll always love you and that I won’t ever forget you.”

“You know. That’s just so typical of you Michael.” She said angrily, surprising him. He thought she’d turn to mush with his mushy romantic declaration of love. Turning around in his arms he could see that tears were trickling down her face and he hated her again for making him want to wipe them away and make them stop. “It’s just so typical of you to say those three magic words again right before you’re about to leave me. You have this whole love me and leave me thing going on.”

They laid like that for a few minutes, just looking at each other, before another word was spoken.
“I’ll promise that to you too, Space boy.” She said with a sad smile. “I’m also gonna promise you that I’ll wait for you to come back to me. Because I just know, you will.”
A playful but mischievous smile appeared on his face. “Oh you do?”
“Yup, you can’t resist me. You know you can’t.”

He wanted to tell her not to wait for him, to go on with her life because he might not come back. He might not be able to come back, but instead he decided to use the rare moment of peace between them to kiss her instead of fight with her.

I wasn't going to post this again on the main board but I thought, "Why not?" So I am.

[ edited 11time(s), last at 12-Jun-2002 10:05:23 AM ]
posted on 5-Nov-2001 7:35:41 PM by sugarplum17
Oh and I just wanted to let everyone know that this is NOT a post Depature fic. Well, I mean I guess it is but it still isn't at the same time. Because I wrote this around the time of VLV. Anyway, in my wonderful little world we can just forget that nightmare even happened! Alex is still alive, Max never slept with Tess so she never got pregnant and she never turned traitor on us.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 5-Nov-2001 9:11:35 PM ]
posted on 6-Nov-2001 12:56:28 AM by sugarplum17
- - -
Part 1a
- - -
**Alex & Isabel**

“So where exactly are you gonna be up there?” Alex asked, laying on his back and gesturing towards the sky with his hand in a sweeping motion. She studied the sky for a few minutes before turning her head to look at him, “I’m not sure.”

She studied his profile as he lay next to her, gazing at the stars. She could see, even from where she was laying next to him on the blanket that his eyebrows were knitted in thought, as if he were trying to figure it out for himself. “I’m gonna miss doing this with you Alex.”
He turned his head to her then, his quest to find the stars around the planet that she’d be on forgotten for the moment. “I’m gonna miss it too.” He said sadly. He watched her face, as she seemed to be fighting a private battle inside her head. Finally, she rolled over onto her side and propped herself up with her elbow, prompting Alex to do the same. They lay there on the blanket, staring at each other for what seemed like hours.

“I know this is bad timing on my part.” She whispered to him, even though nobody else was around. “Since I’m leaving and all. But seeing as how this could be our last night together I have to say what needs to be said.”

He opened his mouth to say something but Isabel placed a finger over it. If she didn’t say this now she didn’t know if she’d be able to later, and although he probably knew what it was that she wanted to say, she needed him to hear her say it. She needed to hear herself say it. “Don’t ok? Just let me speak.”

Removing her finger from his mouth she took a deep breath. “I love you Alex. I’m sorry for pushing you away after I found out about my destiny, I’m sorry about Grant and that guy in Las Vegas. I’m sorry for all the times I hurt your feelings and for all the time that we’ve lost and all the time that we’re going to lose.” She said in a rush. He started to open his mouth again but she quickly replaced her finger. “But I just want you to know; I’m coming back. When whatever it is that needs to be done up there is done, I’ll be on the very first ship back here, to come home to you.”

She removed her finger and waited for him to say something and when he rolled over on his other side and said nothing, she became confused. “Alex?” It was then, at that moment that she heard him sniffle and realized that he was crying. In all the time that she’d known him, he’d never, ever cried infront of her. Infact, she remembered Liz and Maria telling her that he never cried infront of anyone.

She gently pulled on his shoulder a little to try and get him to face her, but Alex wasn’t budging. She scooted closer to him and wrapped the arm that she wasn’t using for support around his chest and rested her head on his shoulder. “Alex, you don’t always have to be my rock. I can be yours too.”

He sat up then and faced her and she followed his lead. They sat like that for a little while, her drying his tears and trying to keep hers from spilling over, she had to be strong for him, they couldn’t both be crying.
“So then I guess I’ll wait for you.” He said grabbing the hand that was lovingly stroking his cheek. “If you’re saying that you’ll come back to me, I’m saying I’ll wait for you.”
They shared a brief but intense kiss before they returned to gazing up at the sky some more before they had to go home.

posted on 6-Nov-2001 2:33:05 PM by sugarplum17
- - -
Part 1b
- - -

The Valenti house was almost completely dark, with the exception of the living room light and the flicker from the television. The house was almost completely empty with the exception of the two teenagers that were sitting on the couch in front of the TV. Jim was out with Amy Deluca again, so the house was completely quiet. Tess sat on the other end of the couch watching the tv but not really watching it and wished that he was home. For all she knew, this was her last night on earth and she wanted to spend it with her “family”. Unfortunately Amy baked Jim some pie and she expected it to get eaten. She really didn’t even want to know what kind of sick little metaphor that was supposed to be.

“So when you’re up there, are you gonna have to marry Evans?” Kyle asked, startling her when he suddenly broke the silence.
“Why would I have to marry him?”
Not taking his eyes off of the TV, as casually as he could manage replied, “You know he’s the king and you’re supposed to be his queen...”
Interesting point. She’d never thought of what would happen if they got up there and she and Max weren’t a couple, but that was probably because she’d never thought that they wouldn’t be one. “I don’t know. I never really thought about that. They might want us to get married, but we won’t.”
“Why not?” He asked. His eyes still glued to the TV but unseeing of what was on it.

“He doesn’t want to be with me...” She said, her gaze on the TV faltering and then refocusing. His heart sank. “...and I’m not sure that I really want to be with him.”
“Really?” Kyle asked whipping his head from the TV to focus his eyes on her. She was leaning there, against the arm rest, her arm propped up on it and her head resting on the fist her hand was making. “When did this little revelation happen?”

She shrugged, as if it were the most natural thing in the world to say that Tess Harding did not want Max Evans, “A while ago.”
She sighed and then dropped her arm to dangle over the side of the couch and her head dropped back to lean against the cushion. “Whatever we had is in the past. I’ve got all these memories and impressions of someone else’s life...I need to make my own memories.”

‘With me?’ He thought to himself, he wanted to ask her so badly, but bit the question back. Asking instead, “Been talkin to Maria?”
“A little.” She shrugged again, as if were an everyday occurrence that Maria Deluca gave Tess Harding advice without hurling insults at her. “She just helped me realize that I’ve been spoon fed that whole destiny thing since I came out of my pod, and how much it really affected me. Nacedo trained me to love a man that I didn’t even know. I was never in love with Max, not in this life anyway.”
“So are you gonna come back?” He asked, allowing himself a glimmer of hope.
“I don’t know.” She said shrugging. “I don’t know if I’ll have anything to come back to.”
Before he could stop himself, he blurted out, “You have me...and my dad.”

“Yeah I know that.” She said rolling her head to the side to look at him. “But who knows where you guys will be in your lives when I come back, if I’m even able to come back. Jim could be married to Amy and they could have kids. You could be married with kids and there wouldn’t be any room for me in your lives.”
Her eyes followed him as he stood up and walked out of the room mumbling about going to meditate on something. When he was out of sight, she dropped her head back on the couch and closed her eyes thinking that it was absolutely hopeless.

“So what’d Buddha say?” She asked, sensing his reentrance 15 minutes later, not taking her eyes off of the TV.
“He said I should stop being such a wuss about this.” Kyle answered moving himself to stand directly in front of her, blocking the TV. She looked up at him with a mixture of curiosity and confusion, “About what?”
“This.” He said pulling her to her feet and kissing her. She broke the kiss and then reeled back in shock. Half of her was overjoyed that he’d finally done it but the other half was completely grossed out. He thought of her as a sister, that’s what he’d told her. “What was that?!” She asked wiping her mouth with the back of her hand.
“It was a confession...” He stated hesitantly. He was going to kick his own ass if she didn’t want him to kiss her. “When I told you at prom that I thought of you as a sister I was confused and...I lied.”

“I don’t think of you as a sister.” He continued. “And I don’t want to try to make myself believe the lie anymore. I...I think I’m in love with you.” He closed his eyes and waited for her to slap him, yell at him, make fun of him, or storm off in anger. But instead of hearing insults or the sound of retreating footsteps or skin slapping skin he heard her crying.

“Oh god, don’t cry. Please don’t cry. I don’t love you.” He lied trying to calm her down. “Just my luck, I confess my love and she cries.” He said under his breath.
“No, no, no.” She was really confusing him now. She was saying no and crying after hearing how he really felt about her and at the same time throwing her arms around his neck. Shaking his head, he wrapped his arms around her waist and hugged her, “I’m never gonna understand women.”

When she finally composed herself, she sat down on the couch and then pulled him down next to her. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to freak you out.” She said apologetically. “It’s just that I thought you didn’t feel the same way I do, and when you said you did the damn just kind of broke open.”
He nodded in understanding but the only thing he’d even heard was, ‘I thought you didn’t feel the same way I do.’ He saw her lips moving as she said the rest, but he didn’t hear any of the words that they were forming. When her statement finally stopped replaying in his head, he was able to refocus on what she was saying to him. “Which is why I was so gung-ho on getting Max to accept his destiny...but now...I know that Nacedo was wrong. The person we were searching for, my destiny, wasn’t Max. It was you.”

Leaning into him, she kissed him with all the passion that she had in her to give him and when he pulled back, she smiled at his dazed expression and the smile that he wore on the lips that moments before she’d been kissing. She thought he was smiling because she was smiling, she was completely unaware that the reason he was grinning like an idiot was because her dazed expression matched his own. “I’m gonna wait for come back. You will right?”
“I’d be crazy not to.”

posted on 10-Nov-2001 8:00:42 PM by sugarplum17
Author's Note: Thanks for the fb guys! *happy*
- - -
Part 1c
- - -

“Yeah Maria, it’s no problem.” Liz said into the phone. “Uh-huh, I think I’ll be here all night. Ok, love ya babe. Be safe.”
“Maria staying the night at Michael’s tonight?” Max asked as he swung his legs over onto the balcony. Liz nodded her head yes before crawling through her window and moments later pushing some blankets and pillows out. When she had finally cleared the window, Max made a sweeping gesture with his hand to the blankets and pillows that he had spread out. “Shall we?”

They shifted uncomfortably for a few minutes before Liz turned on her side and rested her head on his chest. They laid like that for a while, just enjoying the silence, both thinking about how they were going to live without each other. At least before when they had been separated, they’d still been able to see each other. This time, they were going to be separated by a huge distance, and might not ever see each other again. The road back to each other had been a bumpy one, but they traveled it, only to be told they had to be separated again. It wasn’t fair to either of them.

“Come with me Liz.” He asked as he gently stroked her hair. She knew it was coming, she would’ve been worried if he hadn’t asked but he already knew her answer.
“Max...I can’t. You know I can’t.”
“Yes you can. You all can. I’m the king, if I say that they have to take you, they’ll have to.”
“Ok, suppose we do go Max.” She said after a sad sigh. “Let’s just pretend that the ship is gonna take Maria, Alex, Kyle and me along too. How do you think those people, your people, will feel about that?”
After a lengthy silence he spoke, “They’ll probably love anyone that we love, and if they don’t who cares?”
“They’re probably expecting their once great king to be with their once great queen. They’ve been waiting a very long time for your return can’t disappoint them by bringing your human mistress into the palace to be treated like a queen while you treat the real queen more like a sister and watch as she makes eyes at a human.” She explained. “Somehow, I don’t think they’ll approve. They will care and if you’re going to be their leader then you should too.”

He knew that she was right. She was always trying to get him to be a better person, and he loved that about her. She was always telling him to do the right thing, even if it hurt them both in the process. Knowing that whatever else he had to say wouldn’t convince her he said the first thing that came to his mind. “You’re not my mistress. You’re the love of my life.”
“And you’re the love of mine, but to them I’ll just be the other woman. They know the love of your life to be Tess...or Ava, or whatever, not me.”

He wanted to debate the issue some more, but he knew that she was once again right. “Fine. I won’t go.” He knew what she’d say to him, but he had to give the possibility that she’d let him stay a chance. Even if he knew she wouldn’t, he had to try.
“You can’t. As much as I want you to, you can’t. It might be bad for both planets.”
“I know...I had to try.” He said with a sigh. “I’m coming back to you, the very first chance that I get.”
She closed her eyes wishing that he would, hoping that it would be true but she knew that he might not ever get the chance. That his people had long awaited his return and once they finally had him again, they might be like her and never want to let him go. “I know you will Max...and I’ll wait for you. Forever if I have to.”

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 10-Nov-2001 8:03:04 PM ]
posted on 13-Nov-2001 2:10:31 AM by sugarplum17
Author's note: And on with the show! It's 10 years later now. Thanks for the fb! Get ready my true ship colors are gonna show!
- - -
Part 2
- - -

**Liz’s journal entry**
You know life has one hell of a sense of humor. It’s all bad timing and not so funny jokes with life. You can wake up one day and find that the life you were living, life as you know it, is completely different. There you’ll be, waiting for this one specific thing to happen to you. You wait for years for it, and then one day you wake up and you find out that you’ve moved on, life has come along and something totally unexpected happened. And just when you’re getting comfortable with the fact that the one thing you were waiting years for is never gonna happen, life comes breezing along and it suddenly does happen, making everything change and become complicated.

Liz smiled to herself as she put the finishing touches on the cake and then licked the spatula. “Kyle, will you go round up the kids?”
“Yeah, no problem.” He said, jumping down from his perch on the counter and kissing her on the cheek before exiting the room. Walking into the main dining area of the Crashdown Cafe he was bombarded with shouts from all the kids. He thought it looked like a battle zone in there! Making his way to the center of the room was not an easy task. It was like playing dodge ball in gym class, only this time the balls were the little fleshy kind with hair and missing teeth.

“I’m gonna have a hell of a time cleaning this up.” He said as he pushed streamers and balloons that hung from the ceiling out of his way to see the face of his best friend. Alex smiled warmly at him before patting him on the shoulder, “Don’t worry Kyle. We’ll help.”
“I don’t know why Maria insists on going all out every single year.” Kyle mumbled before turning back to the battle zone and cupping his hands to his mouth. “ALL RIGHT LISTEN UP!”

He almost got scared when twenty little bodies stopped in their tracks. It reminded him of Children of the Corn or something like that when twenty little heads and twenty pairs of eyes turned in his direction to look at him. He waited for the confetti that had been stirred up from the floor of the restaurant to settle down before removing his hands and clapping them together. “CAKE TIME!”

For a fleeting moment he almost turned around and ran into the back room to hide when twenty little bodies rushed toward him. He sighed with relief when they turned and scurried to the tables that had been set up for them. Maria walked by, on her way to the back room to help retrieve the cake, covering her ears. “Gee, way to calm them down Kyle.”

Alex made sure that all the kids were sitting at the table before walking over to flick off the lights, signaling Liz and Maria. Maria walked out with the first cake, a small round one with a candle in the shape of a 9, baked especially for the birthday girl. Liz followed close behind holding the larger cake that she’d bought at the store. It was bigger than the one Maria held and had no candles but it was for the rest of the children. Maria started singing the Happy Birthday song as soon as she had entered the room, and everyone else had joined in shortly after. Setting the bigger cake on the counter Liz rushed over to the table and joined in. When the song had finished and the cake had been set down on the table, Maria leaned down and kissed the little girl’s head. “Happy birthday baby, make a wish.”

The little girl smiled and then closed her eyes to make the wish. Once it was made she took a deep breath and blew out her candles. Not breaking birthday tradition everyone began to clap and cheer loudly for the little girl, so nobody heard the bell above the door sound, but Liz did notice the light from the door. She couldn’t make out who they were but there were four figures entering the restaurant. Running to the light switch she quickly flipped it on and shouted over the noise, “I’m sorry but we’re...”

Her words trailed off as she turned around to see the party crashers. Here eyes were focused on only one of them but she heard Maria’s gasp and then Megan’s yelp of surprise. She turned her head long enough to see that Maria had yanked her daughter out of her seat and was now crushing the young girl to her body. Looking over to Alex and Kyle she saw nothing but shock written on their faces.
“A party for us? You shouldn’t have.” Michael said cynically.

The people in the entrance stood there, waiting for someone to say something and the people in the restaurant stood stone still, not knowing what to do or say. The children seated at the tables looked back and forth from their friend’s mother and her friends to the strangers standing in the doorway. “Mom, can we have cake now?” The little girl that Maria was crushing to her asked, quietly. Her question seemed to knock everyone out of their daze.
“Oh! Of course...Megan, sorry. Alex...could you cut the cake, please?” She asked releasing her grip on her daughter and turning toward Alex. He looked just as worried as she felt but turned away from her without saying a word to cut the cake.
“Thanks daddy.” Megan said happily, sitting back down in the seat that she’d been ripped from just moments ago. Alex froze. He was hoping that she wouldn’t say that, but she did. He ignored the two heated gazes that he felt on his back and cleared his throat saying still somewhat unsteadily, “No problem sweetie.”

Maria also avoided the stare that she knew she was receiving. Her attention focused on the little hand on Isabel’s leg. Craning her neck and squinting her eyes she caught sight of a sandy blond head of hair and a pair of hazel eyes. When she gestured to the little girl, who looked to be about a year or two younger than her own daughter, Isabel took hold of the hand clutching the material around her thigh and pulled her out in front for all to see. “This is Alexis. My daughter.”

Finally Alex had the courage to whip his head around and look at Isabel. After hearing the name Alexis, he’d thought for a brief moment that Isabel’s daughter might also be his, but she looked nothing like him and was far too young to be his. He let his gaze momentarily flicker to Isabel, who was looking straight at him, before returning them to the cake he was still cutting. Maria covered her shock, masking it with a smile as she walked up to Alexis and kneeled before extending her hand. “Hi Alexis, I’m Maria. Would you like a piece of birthday cake?”

Maria had to bite back her laughter as the little girl cautiously stepped up to her and took her hand shaking it vigorously before rushing out, “Yes please thank you.” And then looking back at her mother. It was quite clear that Isabel had tried to teach her daughter about manners on earth and how one should behave. Maria guided her to the table and took the piece of cake from Alex. She helped pass out the rest of the cake but couldn’t stop herself from watching as Alexis tentatively touched her tongue to the cake. She bit back another laugh as the little girl recoiled, looking at her mother with a horrified expression. It was then that Liz remembered the special sauce. She walked behind the counter and grabbed a bottle, smiling to herself as she walked back over to the table and set it down infront of Alexis. “Here sweetie, try this on it.”

Alexis looked to her mom for approval and then reached for the bottle when her mom gave her the ok. When Alex had passed out the last of the cake he exchanged looks with Maria, Liz and Kyle that said they needed to have an ‘I-Know-An-Alien-Club’ pow-wow, immediately. He motioned with his head toward the back room, and when the aliens were reluctant to follow he waved them back. Max immediately stepped up as leader of the pow-wow to voice what Michael, Isabel and Tess had been thinking. “It’s really nice to see you all again, we’ve missed you all.” He said looking in Liz’s direction, momentarily confused as to why she wouldn’t meet his gaze. “But soon as Lexi is finished with her cake, we’ll go. We don’t want to ruin Megan’s birthday.”

“No Max, it’s fine.” Maria said waving his suggestion off. “You guys are welcome to stay, but let’s just not do any catching up tonight. I know that it’s been forever and that we’re dying to know what’s going on with you and you’re dying to know what’s going on with us, but let’s save it for a time when we don’t have 20 kids running around. Ok?”
Satisfied with having everyone in agreement Maria stood there, smiling to herself. Liz’s quiet voice brought her back to the reality of the situation though. “So, um...should we set up a meeting or something?”

At the time it sounded good in her head but having said it, Liz felt incredibly stupid. A meeting? She wanted to set up a meeting to talk to the love of her life and her friends? How ridiculous was that? She kept her eyes trained to the ground and completely missed Max’s look of confusion. “Yeah, a meeting is good.” He had no idea why Liz wanted to set up a meeting, but he was just going to go with it. From the looks of it, things had changed while they were away. Maria was sporting a nice shiny rock on her finger and had a child with Alex, which left Max to wonder what was going on with Liz. She was all fidgety and nervous. He noticed her wring her hands a few times before sucking in a breath and shoving them in her pockets.

“Tomorrow?” He heard Alex ask. He had been so wrapped up in trying to figure out what was going on with Liz that he hadn’t even heard Michael ask them when a good time would be.
“At the Crashdown?” Tess asked absently. She was also trying to figure Kyle out. He wouldn’t stop looking at the ground, or take his hands from behind his back, the place where they’d been ever since they walked into the back room.
“No, my place.” Maria said walking over to the bulletin board. Taking off a piece of paper she quickly wrote down her address and handed it to Max. Recapping her pen she looked up at him, “Let’s say around two?”

When he nodded his head in agreement, Alex gently grabbed Maria’s arm. “May I have a word with you?” He asked pulling her to the bathroom. Tension and awkwardness settled over the occupants of the back room. Kyle rocked back and forth on his feet as Liz swayed from side to side, shifting her weight. If someone didn’t say something soon, she was going to blurt it out. She’d never been more relieved when Kyle absently said, “I wonder what the kids are doing?”
“We should...go and see...” She said pushing turning on her heel and exiting the back room. Kyle followed closely behind. Tess was the next one out of the room, followed by Max, Isabel and a reluctant Michael.
- - -

Alex and Maria entered the bathroom and stood there for a few minutes. He hadn’t turned around to face her, and his hand was still on the knob. “Are you going to tell him?”
“Not right now.” She sighed. “Not tonight, but I do plan on it.”
“I don’t think you should.” He said finally turning around the face her. “He might take her away. Like off this planet away.”
“He’s her father Alex...he has a right to know that-”
“He left her!” He hissed interrupting whatever it was that she was going to say. “He has no rights! Michael may have been the one to plant the seed but he is not her father!”

“He wasn’t the one to hold her in his arms and rock her to sleep after she came home for the hospital! He hasn’t been here to tell her bedtime stories or hold her after she wakes up from a bad dream!” He hissed in a hushed but angry whisper. “He doesn’t know that her first word was shit and that after she said it she wouldn’t stop saying it. Ask Michael what her favorite color is, I’m sure his answer won’t be yellow. Ask him what cartoon she can’t live without, I dare you. Watch him say Pokemon instead of Sailor Moon. He wasn’t there with the goddamn video camera recording her first step, and the first time she got on the bus to go to school. I was! He doesn’t know the important things that a father would know, I do!”

Finishing his speech he stalked over to the toilet that 10 years ago he’d watched Maria puke in and closed the lid in a fast angry motion before sitting on it and resting his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands. “It’s bad enough that I might end up losing you, please don’t take her away from me too.” He said in defeat before he started to cry.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 13-Nov-2001 3:29:55 PM ]
posted on 14-Nov-2001 5:02:04 AM by sugarplum17
Author's Note: So if you haven't figured it out, I'm 100% completely Groupie. Which is an Alex/Maria shipper. I'm glad that so many people are agreeing with me on the A/M pairing! Groupie-ism is makin a come back!
- - -
Part 3
- - -

Maria stood against the wall, completely shocked and unable to move. Her husband to be hardly ever raised his voice to anyone, or in the situation they were in, whispered in that tone to anyone, let alone to her. He rarely ever cussed and there were only a few occasions when he allowed himself to cry infront of other people! He didn’t even cry at his own father’s funeral until they were alone in the car. Before she knew what was happening, she was sliding down the wall to sit on the floor near the toilet. “Sit with me?” She asked softly.

He’d managed to compose himself but didn’t move to sit on the ground when he heard her soft plea. “Alexander Charles Whitman, come over here and sit with me.” Maria commanded from her spot on the floor, patting the spot beside her. This time he stood up and turned so that his back was against the wall. He slowly slid down it, looking at the toilet. He remembered the day he sat in the same spot Maria was sitting in and stroked her hair as she cried into his lap. Seeing that he was making no effort to get closer to her, Maria scooted over to him and took his bigger hand in her smaller one, resting her head on his shoulder.

“I know you love her like she’s your own, Alex.” She started. “I do know that, but she isn’t and I’m sorry but I have to tell him. I can’t let him go on with his life never knowing about the one that he helped to create.” She finished softly.
“What about me?” He asked looking away from their joined hands toward the toilet.
“What about you?” She asked indifferently. “You’ll still see her every day. She’s not going anywhere. You’ll always be her daddy, even if you’re not her biological father. When she looks back in 10 or 15 years and remembers her dad, she’s going to remember you lying in her bed reading her Rapunzel for the 225th time.”
“227th.” He corrected.

“Whatever.” She said with a smile. “The point is you’re the one that she’s going to remember that way. Not Michael. Believe me, if I know my daughter, she’ll warm up to him and think of him as her father, but you will always be her daddy.”
There was a brief silence before Alex turned his head to look down at their joined hands again and asked “What about you?”
“What about me?”

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, ready to hear whatever it was that she was going to tell him about their relationship. “I mean us. What about us?”
She knew that he had no intention of leaving her, and she knew that she had no intention of leaving him for Michael, but he needed to hear it. “Nothing changes everything stays the same.”
“Do they?” He asked skeptically. “I’m not so sure.”
“Planning on leaving me for a certain buxom blonde with a child?” She asked lightheartedly as she lifted her head up from his shoulder to look at him. “You really think that just because Michael shows up again, I’m gonna just throw you and what we have away like yesterdays paper?” His silence said it all.

“You know I should just smack you right now for that Alex.” She said with a sigh. “But since you’re so damn adorable when you’re jealous, you’re getting off easy.” She turned his head toward her and made him open his eyes so that she was sure he was listening to every word that she said. “I love you. I’m not gonna lie, I still love Michael, but it’s in a completely different way now. When I walk down that aisle in six months I don’t want anyone but you waiting at the end of it. You are gonna be stuck with me for the rest of our lives Alex. We’re getting married come hell or high water. Is that understood?” Her only answer was a deep and passionate kiss, another thing that reminded her of why she wasn’t giving this man up. Alex had been her first real, sturdy relationship. What she had with Michael had been so on and off that half the time she wasn’t even sure if they were dating or not. The only time it’d been strong and sturdy was in the weeks leading up to his departure from her life for the last 10 years. She used to tell herself that she would get bored with a sturdy relationship, that she wouldn’t be able to handle it, but those were lies she told herself to make her feel better about not having one.

- - -

When Liz entered the main dining area, she took her hands out of her pockets and slid the wedding band off of her finger. She would tell Max that she was married, but in her own time, at the meeting. She didn’t want him to see the ring and jump to the wrong conclusion. Well, technically the right conclusion, but she didn’t want him to find out like that.

“Could you pass me a cup Liz?” Kyle asked with a forced smile. She smiled a tight smile in return and then went to grab a cup. Looking down at her hand he noticed that her ring had been removed. She noticed him looking and reflexively pulled her hand back, the way that you do when you want to hide something. “Kyle...I-”
“It’s ok.” He said holding up his hand. “I took mine off too. I didn’t want her to...find out that way.” He added, glancing over at Tess.

- - -

Around 8 the party started to die down and parents started to come and pick up their children. Megan was completely pooped and nodding off to sleep in, what used to be Max, Michael and Isabel’s favorite booth.
“Maria, Kyle and I can clean up if you and Alex want to get Megan home to bed.” Liz offered.
“No, it’s fine.” Maria said waving her hand dismissively. “You guys just go on ahead and Alex and I will take care of everything.”
“Are you sure?” Kyle asked coming out of the back room and hearing the tale end of that conversation. “Because we can stay.”
“It’s fine, go. We’ll lock up when we’re done.” She said gathering up some paper plates and used up napkins. “But maybe if you guys wanted to help out you could take Meg home and put her to bed for me?”

Liz let out a sigh of relief and smiled at her friend. She really needed a distraction from everything right now. She knew that she and Kyle had some talking to do, but she couldn’t help wanting to put it off and focus on something else. Something that didn’t really have anything to do with their situation. Walking over to the booth she gently picked up the drowsy birthday girl with a small grunt. “Come on birthday girl; let’s get you home to your nice comfy bed.”

As soon as Megan gave Maria and Alex a sloppy hug and waved to Max, Michael, Isabel, Tess and Alexis telling them with a yawn that it was nice to meet them, they were on their way. Leaving the aliens to say their goodbyes, after Maria practically yelled that they didn’t have to help clean up and retreat to the Evans house for the night.

posted on 14-Nov-2001 8:42:55 PM by sugarplum17
Author’s Note: This is like three pages long in Word Perfect, so I’m splitting it up. Here’s some more groupie goodiness...kinda. The song is Tuesday's Gone by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
- - -
Part 4
- - -

At 1:30 on Tuesday, Liz and Kyle arrived at the Deluca/Whitman house, separately. Liz had insisted that they take separate cars incase one of them needed to leave early, but she found herself wondering on the ride over if that was really the case. They waited on pins and needles for the clock to strike two and when it did, they were not surprised in the least to hear a soft knock on the door.

They were welcomed into the home and looked around, noticing how nice and...unique Maria’s house was all at the same time. Photos were plastered to the walls. Photos of Liz, Alex and Maria as children, photos of Maria and Alex as children and adults. Photos of Megan as a baby doing all her cute little baby things. Liz was grateful that she got married in Vegas and there weren’t any wedding pictures for them to see.

Isabel managed to tell Maria that she had a nice house, to which both Maria replied, “Thanks, the ugly stuff belongs to Alex. I brought in all the cool stuff.”
Kyle had to stifle his laugh knowing that Alex was inwardly calling Maria a big fat liar. He’d brought in all the nice looking things. If he’d left it up to Maria to decorate, their kitchen would’ve been fire engine red with a pink tiled floor. And their living room would’ve been painted orange with that hideous abstract looking furniture. It was bad enough that they were keeping with Deluca tradition and she’d made him install the extra door knob on the front door.

Eight adults stood in uncomfortable silence in Maria’s living room, fiddling with their hands, or playing with their clothes, or just looking the place over. Finally Maria broke the awkward silence. “Before we start talking each other’s ears off, I need to talk to you Michael. Alone.”
He nodded stiffly and followed her into her bedroom where they stood for three minutes just looking at each other.

“It’s been a long time huh?” He asked some what self consciously.
“Yeah, it has.” She said looking him over. “You look good. I’m glad you finally got a hair cut. I always liked the spikes better.”
Running his fingers through his hair self consciously he thanked her. “You look good too. Different,” He said gesturing to her breasts, “but good.”
She looked down at her breasts and laughed a little. “A girl can stop growing anywhere from 18-20. Not to mention having kids makes them swell up like balloons.”

“Megan is a really beautiful child.” He said, quickly changing the subject. “I talked to her at her party the other night. She seems really smart.”
“She is, thanks.” Maria said, giving him a warm smile. “She’s yours you know.”
He was momentarily taken aback by that last comment. Had he heard right? Megan was his daughter? “What?”
“She’s yours. And mine. She’s ours.” Maria explained gesturing to the space in between them.
“How? I mean, I know how,” He asked collapsing in the chair in the corner of the room. This was a mind-blowing revelation, he’d convinced himself once he got back and heard Megan call Alex daddy that he’d lost Maria forever. Now he wasn’t so sure he had.

- - Maria’s Flashback - -
Pulling the Jetta into the driveway of the Whitman house she quickly turned off the car and threw open her door to get out. His parents weren’t home, like usual, and they wouldn’t have cared even if they were that she just opened the door and walked into their house, unannounced and without knocking. They loved her. Seeing no sign of Alex in the house, she walked out the back door, knowing exactly where he’d be. She heard him strumming his guitar and softly singing the lyrics to a song that they absolutely used to love as children.

“Train roll on, on down the line,
Won’t you please take me far away?
Now I feel the wind blow outside my door,
Means I’m leavin my woman behind.
Tuesday’s gone with the wind.
Oh my baby’s gone with the wind.
And I don’t know where I’m going.
I just want to be left alone.
Well, when this train ends I’ll try again,
But I’m leavin my woman at home.”

She’d managed to climb up the ladder that rested by the side of the house, completely unnoticed and smiled to herself at how wrapped up in playing and singing he was. Sitting down next to him, she smiled wider as he jumped and looked in her direction when she joined him on the chorus.

“Tuesday’s gone with the wind.
Tuesday’s gone with the wind.
Tuesday’s gone with the wind.
Tuesday’s gone with the wind.
Train roll on many miles from my home,
See I’m riding my blues away.
Tuesday, you see, she had to be free
But somehow I’ve got to carry on.”

“What are you doing here?” He asked strumming the rest of the song on his guitar after they’d stopped singing the chorus.
Turning her head to the stars she smiled up at them, “Just came to see you.”
“Lair.” He said turning his head as well, to look up at the sky. “You miss him don’t you?”
“Yeah.” She replied quietly, her eyes searching for something to let her know where he was up there but finding nothing.
“I know the feeling.”
“Oh I don’t think you do.” She replied skeptically, taking her eyes off the sky and looking down at the roof she sat on. “I really need him right now. It’s like my dad all over again. I just needed a dad and he wasn’t there. Right now I just need Michael and he’s gone.”

He frowned, tearing his gaze away from the stars and turning to look at his best friend. Abandonment rears its ugly head, yet again. But he could see, like only a best friend could that there was something more than abandonment issues going on with her. “What’s wrong?” He asked her while putting down his guitar, unable and unwilling to hide the concern in his voice.
“I’m...pregnant.” She told him in a voice that didn’t even sound like hers. “It’s his, obviously. And mom is gonna kill me.”
“No, she won’t. She’ll understand Maria.” He tried to sound comforting but even he knew that Amy Deluca was going to bust a nut when she found out that her only daughter was pregnant and alone.

Maria gave him a doubtful look before turning her head back to the sky. “I’m repeating her mistakes. She’ll say, ‘Well at least you graduated before you went and got yourself knocked up.’ But she’s gonna look at me with this...look. You know the one that a parent gets when they’re extremely disappointed in you?” She asked looking at him once again.

He nodded his head saying that he understood her. “Yeah well, she’s gonna think that Michael found out about the baby and split on me. She’s gonna just look at me and think, ‘Like mother, like daughter.’ And the one thing she never wanted me to do was to be like her.” Maria said wiping a tear from her cheek. “She never wanted me to know how hard it is being a young single mother, and the unsavory types of things that some single mother’s have to do just to put food on the table.”

On instinct Alex scooted closer to her and started to rub little circles into her back. “Everything is gonna be ok Maria. You’ll see.”
Shaking off his hand she pinned him with an angry look. “Alex, I’m going to disappoint my mother. You know how important it is to me not to disappoint her, she’s all I have. I don’t know what I’m going to do with the rest of my life and I have no idea how to take care of a baby!”

Putting an arm around her shoulder he pulled her to his side and leaned his head on hers. “Your mom isn’t all you have Maria. You got me, Liz and even Kyle and the sheriff now too. Your mom won’t have to be that disappointed and you won’t have to do this alone.” He said reassuringly. So reassuringly in fact that she almost believed him. “I’m gonna be there for you, every single step of the way. And we’ll just tell your mom that it’s mine. She loves me so she won’t be that mad.”

“Do you know how much it would take to pull that one off?” Maria asked him quietly.
He nodded his head as he told her “Yeah, and I’m willing to do it.”
“You are?” She asked with awe in her voice. She knew that Alex was a great friend, but she never really realized how great a friend he was until that very moment, sitting on his roof under the stars with her head leaning against his shoulder.

“You’re my best friend, of course I am. I know if something like this were happening to me, not that it would because I’m a guy, but if it was you’d do the same.” He said rubbing her arm with his thumb. “Besides, I know how you never wanted your kid to grow up without having a dad, like you did. I’ll love your baby likes it’s my own. I promise.”
Maybe it was her hormones, or maybe it was just the fact that she was deeply moved and touched that her friend would go to such great lengths to help her avoid seeing disappointment in her mother’s eyes. And maybe the reason that she was crying so hard now was because he was going to give her baby the one thing she never had but always wanted. A father.
- - End of Flashback. - -

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 14-Nov-2001 8:57:27 PM ]
posted on 15-Nov-2001 3:15:39 AM by sugarplum17
I wanna ease the will they won't they Dreamer jitters that you guys are having, but I'm evil and I can't. Maybe they'll end up together and maybe they won't. You gotta keep reading to find out. *happy* I know, I know. How evil is that? I just don't want to spoil anything for the people who have never read this before. The part that will answer all your dreamer questions would be part 10. So that's all I'm gonna say about that, for now. *wink*
posted on 26-Nov-2001 10:43:33 PM by sugarplum17
If the board really is up and running and this actually posts I'm gonna wet myself and then be back with more parts!
posted on 26-Nov-2001 10:47:40 PM by sugarplum17
Author’s Note: That last part was already like three pages long in word perfect, so I had to split it up, because it would’ve been like nine pages long! Which is pretty long. And I would just like to say that I'm so happy the board is back, and that I've never been so excited in my life!
- - -
Part 4 cont...
- - -

Maria sat on the edge of the bed, watching Michael. She couldn’t quite tell from the look on his face what it was that he was feeling and she knew then that things had changed. She used to be able to read his moods and feelings so well, by just looking at his face and his posture. Now she couldn’t tell at all.

“I’m really sorry Maria.” He said after a lengthy silence. “I never would’ve left had I knew. I never wanted you to feel...abandoned.” As he said the word, his heart constricted in his chest. He knew from the very beginning, all those years ago, that he could never promise her forever but that didn’t stop him from wanting to. It didn’t stop him from wanting her to never feel the way she did after her dad left her without so much as a glance back. In that moment it was clear to her that he’d changed. The old Michael never would’ve said that, he would’ve shrugged his shoulders and bottled it up.

“I want you to be in her life Michael.” She said, knowing that he knew the exact reason why. “Just promise me that you won’t take her off this planet. She was born right here on earth, and this is where she belongs.” He nodded his head in the affirmative before looking down at the carpet.
“Does she know about me?” He asked quietly.
“Yeah. She’s known for a long time now.” Maria answered.
“Does she...hate me?” He asked quietly. Afraid of what Maria’s answer might be. He jerked his head up when he heard her soft laugh.
“Why would she hate you?”
“For leaving her, for abandoning her...and you.”

“You didn’t even know about her when you left. I didn’t even know about her when you left.” Maria told him, “No. She doesn’t hate you.”
Looking down at the carpet he sighed heavily, “I missed everything. Her first word, her first step, her first day of school...I missed it all.”
Softening her voice, she stood up and walked over to where he sat, laying a hand on his shoulder. “It’s ok...Alex video taped everything. I swear, the camera was like permanently attached to his hand until she was seven and asked him to stop. You can borrow the tapes sometime.”

- - -

In the living room Alex stood next to the bay window peering out into the front yard, avoiding Isabel’s stare. Max and Liz had gone off down the hall not long after Maria and Michael. Tess and Kyle not long after Max and Liz. That just left Alex and Isabel standing in the living room.
“I thought you were gonna wait for me?” Isabel said breaking the silence. “I promised you that I’d come back and Isabel Evans never breaks a promise, you know that.”

“I didn’t know that I’d be waiting 10 years.” He said, focusing on the pink flamingo that Maria insisted they put in their yard. He knew that this was coming, and maybe in some small way he deserved it for breaking his promise to her.
“10 years? From what I gather you didn’t even wait a full month.” She said walking over to the fire place and looking at the pictures on the mantel.

“I waited 4 years.” He said with his back still to her.
Her eyes traveled over each of the pictures finally resting on one that was in a beautiful silver frame. The black and white image of Maria in a pair of overalls and a big floppy hat digging around in the dirt made part of Isabel want to cry. But at the same time she wanted to smile at the image of a smiling Maria looking over at a dirt-covered toddler in a white tee shirt and diaper as she held up a worm between two dirt covered chubby fingers and scrunched up her face in disgust. It looked like one of those pictures you’d find hanging on the wall at a professional photography studio but she knew that Alex had been the one behind the camera that day.

“Did you now?” She asked after clearing her throat and turning away from the picture. “Megan is 9 now, so that means that she was conceived sometime during the year that we left. It’s March and yesterday was her birthday so count back nine months and you’ve got the date of conception narrowed down to sometime during the month of June, the month that we left.”

“And what about Alexis?” He asked whirling around to face her. “She’s like what? A year or two younger than Megan? I’m not the only one who broke promises.”
“I never promised I wouldn’t get lonely and make a few mistakes. I wasn’t planning to have her, I got lonely and Michael was there and it just kind of happened.”
“Michael?” A stunned Alex asked her. He wanted to say maybe he got lonely too, but his brain completely wrapped itself around the Michael information, and he started to laugh.
“What’s so funny?” She asked defensively. She’d been worried for six years that he would be extremely upset by that fact because of the whole destiny thing. She hadn’t meant to let it slip out like that, she wanted to tell him a different way, but she just couldn’t stop the words that were flowing out of her mouth.

With her hands on her hips, glaring at him and taking on an annoyed stance, she waited for him to get himself under control. “I’m sorry.” He said after he’d composed himself. “Michael sure does get around doesn’t he?” At her confused expression he chuckled and then sat down on the couch. “I’m not Megan’s biological father.” He watched her face as the statement registered in her brain.

“I really did wait four years, Iz.” Alex said as he got up from the couch and walked over to stand next to her after she’d gone back to looking at the picture in the silver frame. She’d been so sure that the emotion she felt when looking at it was love that it was rolling off of the picture in waves, but as she looked at it she wondered if the emotion belonged to Alex or to Maria.

“I took that 6 years ago in the back yard when my little Meggie was 3.” He said pointing to it with his finger. “I know you don’t want to hear what I’m about to say, but this was the exact moment that the charade became real for me.” He said as he lightly touched Maria’s face with the tip of his fingers. “This is the exact second that I stopped waiting.”

When she turned around and took a few deep breaths to keep herself from crying, he felt bad for telling her what he did but he didn’t regret it. It was something that she needed to hear. It was the truth and he knew that she’d want it, even if it hurt.

Sorry gazers. I know this one's gotta hurt.
posted on 26-Nov-2001 10:49:53 PM by sugarplum17
- - -
Part 5
- - -
Walking into the room hesitantly, Liz waited for Max to get in before turning to close the door behind them. Shutting out everything that was outside, and leaving only the two of them standing in what used to be Alex’s bedroom before he moved into Maria’s. She stood there for a few minutes, her hand still on the knob and staring at the wood just thinking of what she was going to say. She didn’t have the slightest clue how to tell him. She knew that Max needed to know but she didn’t know how to say the words.

She felt herself being turned around and crushed to a hard body and realized that it was Max. She let herself be pulled into his embrace and by force of habit let her arms wrap around his waist, leaning her head on his chest. She shouldn’t have been surprised at how much she missed the feel of being in his arms. Or how much she missed the smell of his scent invading her nostrils. He wasn’t surprised at all by how much he missed holding her, or the smell of her hair. “God I’ve missed you so much Liz.” He said tightening his hold on her.

“I’ve missed you too Max.” She said quietly, before breaking free from his embrace. Stepping back, she looked him over. He looked so different, yet still the same. Starting at the top of his head, she noticed that his hair was shorter. Gone was the hair that sometimes resembled a helmet and in its place was a cut that looked similar to Michael’s old hair do, only much shorter than that. She decided that she liked it before moving down. His eyes were still the same, as was his face. He looked slightly older, and as her gaze traveled down she noticed that his muscles hadn’t really gotten bigger, but more toned and defined. “You look good Max.”

“So do you.” He said with a smile. “You haven’t really changed much.” He said noticing her long brown hair, it was the same length as when he left her, style the same exact way. Her face and body had aged slightly, but not by very much. He started to walk toward her, slowly but stopped when she took on the look of a deer caught in head lights. She’d seen the look in his eyes and she knew that his intention was to cross the room and kiss her. When he stopped in his tracks she felt both relieved and disappointed.

She stared blankly at him for a few minutes trying to decide how to tell him. Finally she concluded that she couldn’t bring herself to utter the words. She would have to show him. She crossed the room to where he stood, looking at her with concern and raised herself on her tiptoes to tentatively touch her lips to his. Immediately he responded to the kiss, deepening it after a few seconds. The moment that their lips touched, the connection was formed and to keep him from breaking it she held the back of his head to with both of her hands.

Images of the last 10 years flashed through Max’s mind one after the other, and then suddenly she pulled back and broke the connection. Turning away from him, she walked to stand by the dresser. Part of her was amazed that after all the time spent apart, the connection was still so strong.

He stood there staring blankly at her back. Images of Liz and Kyle in bed together all those years ago came floating back to the surface of his mind. He knew that it wasn’t real then, but it sure was real now. Liz had married Kyle. He was thankful that she had broken the connection right before he would see what happened on their wedding night. He didn’t want nor did he need to see that. He knew that Liz still loved him, he could feel it through the connection, but the only thing his mind would focus on was the fact that she was now Mrs. Valenti.

“Say something Max.” She said quietly, breaking the silence that had consumed them.
“What do you want me to say Liz?” He asked, his tone harsher than he’d intended. “Congratulations? Do you want me to tell you some sob story about how much I still love you? My soul mate married the one person on the planet that I would never want to see her with, ever. What would you like me to say?”
She sighed heavily, wrapping her arms around herself and staring intently at the dresser. If she’d married another man, any other man, Max would be hurt but definitely not as much. “You have to let that go Max. It was years ago and it wasn’t even real.” She said referring to the Future Max fiasco.
“But it felt real. The pain that I felt, that was real!”
“I know...”

“Did you even stop to think of me when you said yes? Did you even care how I’d feel when I got back?!” He yelled at her back.
“Please don’t yell.” She said meekly. “Of course I thought about you. I thought about you every day.”
“Really, you did?” He said mockingly. “I don’t think you were because thinking of me every day would’ve consisted in you NOT marrying Kyle Valenti, Liz!”

“I thought of you every day.” He said calmly. “Did you know that I was pressured to marry Tess from almost everyone up there? Even Isabel and Michael! But I didn’t Liz. I didn’t and we all know why. I was foolishly still pining away for you, counting the days till I could come back to you. What a mistake that was on my part. Had I know that you were getting cozy with Kyle I would’ve stayed up there and married Tess!” His words were so bitter and laced with so much venom that she flinched before whirling around to face him. She was not going to let him make her feel like she was worthless and in the wrong for doing what she did.

“Stop it Max!” She yelled surprising him. “How the hell was I supposed to know anything?! For all I knew you and Tess were getting cozy too! I spent seven long years waiting for you. I had no signs that you were ever coming back and I had to move on Max!” She yelled at him, defending her honor.

“I couldn’t sit there in my little apartment any more crying over you and wishing that you’d come back home when it was becoming perfectly clear that you weren’t! I couldn’t sit there pining after you with out any distraction from it! It just happened, while I was waiting life just happened to me!” She stood there, glaring at him while trying to get her breathing under control and calm herself down. She had no idea how their talk got so out of control, but it had and they’d ended up screaming at each other. It was a Michael and Maria thing to do, but there they were, Max and Liz, doing it. “The last three years have been good Max. A lot better than those seven years I spent being lonely and missing you. We needed to move on because we thought you and Tess broke your promises to us. After seven years with no word, we gave up hope that we’d ever see you guys again. So yeah we just upped and got married, just like that.”

She paused briefly to suck in a breath before continuing, “And don’t you dare expect an apology from me Max Evans. Because that is not going to happen, I have no regrets about doing what I did. You weren’t here and you don’t know how hard it was for me!”

“Like it wasn’t hard for me either?!” He fumed.
“Oh please, spare me! You had a planet to run Max! I’m sure that kept you busy enough didn’t it?!”
“Yeah it did, but that didn’t stop me from being lonely and missing you at night!” He said running his hands through his hair roughly.
“Are you trying to tell me that you spent 10 years without companionship? Because I really don’t believe that. I’m sure there were women up there who were only too happy to please their king.” She said crossing her hands over her chest. “You’ve got needs Max, just like I do!” She poked her finger into his chest, hard to emphasize her point.

“Whatever Liz, I can’t talk about this with you right now.” He said turning to leave the room. “I have to get out of here.” He was momentarily startled when he saw her jump over the bed and throw herself on the door.
“No, you stay and I’ll go!” She yelled throwing open the door and stalking out of the room.

Isabel and Alex turned their heads at the sound of a door being thrown open and someone stomping down the hall. Alex thought for sure that it was Michael coming to kick his ass and was surprised to see a very pissed off Liz emerge from the hall instead.
“Liz?” He asked, his face showing his concern. When she didn’t answer him, he said her name a little louder.
“I’m going home. I need to get out of this house and away from its occupants. No offense.” She angrily threw open the door and stepped out only to slam it behind her. Seconds later they heard a car peeling out of the driveway.

posted on 26-Nov-2001 11:06:40 PM by sugarplum17
- - -
Part 6
- - -

Kyle took Tess back to Megan’s room so that they could talk in private. Once they were there, neither one of them had the slightest clue what to say. Tess just wanted to kiss him, give him a proper greeting like she hadn’t done at Megan’s party, but for some reason she couldn’t. Maybe it had something to do with the way he was acting all skittish and jumpy around her, like he wasn’t quite sure what to do with himself.

“Um...I have something to tell you Tess. I think you should sit down.” There wasn’t any way to dance around the subject. If he was going to tell her, he was just going to have to come right out and say it. Figuring out how to phrase it was the tricky part. ‘Sorry honey but while you were gone, I married Liz.’ Probably wouldn’t go over too well. He wondered if he should try to ease into it. First saying how much he missed her and how some things have changed and then just slip it in there. Sort of like an ‘Oh yes, and by the way I got married. To Liz.’

“What’s wrong Kyle?” She asked cautiously, pulling him from his thoughts. She noted the way he was pacing around and thought to herself whatever it was that he had to tell her must be very important. Though she couldn’t shake the feeling that she already knew what he was going to say.

Finally after deciding that it wouldn’t matter how the fateful words were uttered, that her reaction would be the same no matter what he just looked her square in the eye and blurted it out. “I’m married.”

There was an awkward silence between the two of them for a few minutes before Tess looked down at the yellow carpet. “I knew it.” She said quietly. “I knew that you’d move on. I told you that I’d have nothing to come back to, that you’d get married. But no, you didn’t listen to me, you had to go and confess your love. You should’ve never told me that I’d always have you to come back to because you’d wait for me if you couldn’t keep your damn promise Kyle!”

Another awkward silence consumed them. He didn’t know what to say, he wanted to say sorry but it didn’t seem like enough. Moreover she was right, he never should’ve made the promise if he couldn’t keep it. Although at the time, he thought, he could handle it. He thought she’d come back in a few months, a year or two at the most and everything would be good between them. He didn’t know that he would have to wait ten long years to see her face again.

“Who is she? Do I know her?” Tess asked, standing up from the bed and crossing her arms. “Where’d you meet her? I want to know everything.”
She wasn’t going to be happy at all when she found out. Bowing his head he remained silent.
“Who is she Kyle?”
His voice was so quiet that she almost didn’t hear it. “Liz...”

He watched the emotions play out over her features. She stood completely still at first, as if she hadn’t even heard what he’d said to her. Then her bottom lip began to quiver and she looked like a little girl, lost in the mall without her mother. Before the tears could spill out of her eyes and roll down her cheeks she checked that emotion and steeled herself. Her features becoming hard.

“It figures it’d be Liz. She seems to have a thing for my left overs.” She said flippantly. “Somehow that little bit-”
“Stop.” Kyle said, waving his hand in the air in a cutting motion. He knew what she was about to call Liz and he didn’t like it one bit. She opened her mouth to speak but was again cut off. She turned her head to look at the wall as she registered Max’s voice coming through it loud and clear.

“Did you even stop to think of me when you said yes? Did you even care how I’d feel when I got back?” He sounded so hurt and angry. For the next ten minutes Kyle and Tess were unable to speak as they listened to the verbal fight play out in the next room. They listened as the yelling stopped and the door to the next room was thrown open, banging loudly against the wall. They listened as Liz stomped off down the hallway and then as the bedroom door slammed shut again, shaking the wall with its force. They listened as the front door was slammed shut and then to the sound of a car’s tires squealing on the pavement as Liz sped off.

“How did it happen Kyle?”

- - Kyle’s Flash Back - -
It was June 13 again. Liz, Kyle, Alex and Maria sat in the empty Crashdown. It was 5:00, the busiest time of the night, yet the place was totally empty with the exception of the four people sitting in their usual booth. Liz had convinced her father to close the restaurant, all day that day. He of course did so without argument. He knew what this day was. It was the anniversary of the Tuesday that his daughter became a mere shell of the girl that she used to be. She was once full of life, but now she was just mostly depressed. Her eyes were constantly bloodshot, red and puffy, rimmed with tears. None of them were the same anymore, they were no longer the kids that Jeff Parker had come to love almost as much as he loved his own.

No, now these kids were depressed. Maria and Alex held themselves up for their little girl. They weren’t as bad as Liz and Kyle. They had something to keep them going, a reason to get up every morning and live their lives. To Liz and Kyle it seemed that they didn’t, and that worried Jeff. It would be all too easy for them to give into the depression. Looking out from the diamond shaped window in the door leading to the break room just one last time, Jeff sighed heavily and then went upstairs. He’d let them have their anniversary party.
- - -
A small cd player was sitting in the middle of the table playing Everybody Hurts by REM. It was their ritual. Every year on June 13 the four of them gathered in the Crashdown, sitting at their regular booth and listening to depressing music and when they were of age, they brought in the alcohol.

Liz sat there silently; every now and then tears would slowly trickle down her face. She felt like shit. Looking down at her half empty glass she realized that the Vodka probably wasn’t helping matters much. She slowly looked around the booth, observing in her drunken stupor the faces of her friends. Kyle was drinking something at the moment, but she could tell that he was feeling exactly what she was feeling. Alex was staring at the table. He looked, to Liz’s surprise, somewhat happy and not really the least bit sad. Sure she was drunk, but she could see it. She could see it in the way he looked at Maria. He was becoming happy, becoming accustomed to his new life. A life without Isabel. He probably still missed her every now and then, but not as much.

Tearing her gaze away from Alex she turned it on Maria, who was staring off into space and idly rubbing Alex’s forearm. Even in her drunken state Liz could see that Maria wasn’t quite to the place where Alex was, but that she would soon get there. They weren’t surrounded by the same darkness that she and Kyle were. They were in the gray area, almost in the clear. Close enough to touch it if they just reached out.

She wanted to be there in that gray area, reaching out to enter the clear. She wanted to be out of the darkness. Her eyes darted back and forth from Maria to Alex when the realization hit her that they had never really been in the darkness, as she had. They’d always been one foot in and one foot out. Partly because they had each other and partly because they had Megan.

Liz wished that Max had left her a little something behind for her too. They’d gone all the way the same night that Michael and Maria had. The night right before they left. She figured it was just her luck that she wouldn’t end up with a beautiful child like Maria had. For Alex and Maria, Megan was a distraction. They loved her, of course but she was still a distraction. Something to take their minds off of everything for a little while, even if she did look like a mini-Michael. Getting up from the booth, she staggered around a bit before raising her glass to her mouth and finding it empty.

She could feel her anger starting to rise. She was always left wanting, always left thirst. It always seemed like whatever she got it was the raw end of the deal. She never got what she wanted or what she deserved. She couldn’t laugh about it and just brush it off with that old saying, bad things happen to good people. Because bad things were always happening to her and she thought she was a damn good person. Bringing her hand past her head she thrust it forward and watched as the glass flew out of her hand and broke against the wall.

Cocking her head to the side she looked at the shattered pieces of glass laying on the floor by the wall and wondered if that’s what her heart looked like. She hadn’t noticed everyone else in the booth jump when they heard the sound of glass breaking, and she hadn’t noticed them staring at her either.

“They’re not coming back.” She said. Her voice completely calm.
“They are Liz, Isabel promised she would. And we all know that Isabel Evans never breaks a promise.” Alex said getting up to comfort his friend.
She whirled around on him, smacking away the hand that was on her shoulder. “No Alex, don’t you see?! They’re not ever coming back. It’s been seven years and we haven’t seen or heard from them!”
There were a few minutes of silence, everyone thinking over what Liz had said before she started up again.

“Why is god doing this to me Alex? Is there even a god?” She asked laying her head on his shoulder. “I meet the love of my life, my soul mate only to find out that I can’t have him because he has a destiny and if we’re together the world will end. Then here’s the icing on the cake guys, he gets sent away to his stupid home planet right after we get back together! God gives me a taste of him again and then what does he do? He rips him right out of my arms...AGAIN!”

“Liz, this didn’t just happen to you ok? This happened to us too.” Maria said getting out of the booth and walking over to where her two best friends were standing. “Yeah, I’ll admit you had it rough what with that Future Max/world ending business but we all had to deal with Destiny. It wasn’t just you, so stop making about yourself because we’re all grieving too.” It was probably just the alcohol in Maria’s system that was doing all the talking but it was the alcohol that had given her the courage to say it in the first place. She was getting really sick and tired of Liz’s ‘It’s all about me, life hates me, god hates me, woe is me’ attitude.

“I think we better go before things are said that we’ll regret later.” She said turning to Alex. “We should go pick up Megan.”
“Yeah run away Maria, don’t deal with it. Go play house.”
Before Maria could respond, Alex placed a hand over her mouth telling her what a stressful day it’d been for everyone and not to say something that she’d regret later. Holding out his hand he turned to Kyle. “Give me your keys and I’ll take you home.”
Kyle shook his head no, but fumbled around in his pocket for his keys and then tossed them to Alex when he finally found them. “I’m gonna hang out here for a while.”

The second that Maria and Alex left the restaurant, Liz plopped down in the seat across from Kyle. They sat there for a few minutes, staring at the table before he spoke. “I believe you Liz. I don’t think they’re coming back to us either.”

Resting her elbow on the table, she leaned her head against that hand. “Do you believe in god Kyle?”
“I used to...but I’m with you now. There is no god; there is no Buddha, and if there is then he’s got something against us, doesn’t he?” She smiled at his attempt to be funny given the circumstances they were in.

“I know what you mean about Maria and Alex playing house.” Liz nodded her head and then laid both of her arms out on the table and leaned against it. He leaned in as well and before they knew what was happening their lips were touching. She didn’t break the kiss when he deepened it by sliding his tongue into her mouth, instead she sent hers into his. Eventually when the need for air was immediate, the kiss broke and the only sounds were the heavy breathing of two drunks. They stayed quiet until they managed to get their breathing under control.

Out of the blue Kyle took her hand in his and stroked the back of it with his thumb. “Let’s get married.” He said finally breaking the silence.
She laughed at first, thinking he was joking but then quickly became serious when she realized that he was not. “But...we don’t love each other. Not like we love Max and Tess...”
“I know but they’re not coming back remember?” He reminded her. “We don’t deserve to be lonely Liz. That’s why we should get married. We can help each other forget about them.”

He watched her face as she thought it over, very hard. Even in her drunken state she was weighing out the pros and cons of it. If she hadn’t been drunk, maybe she would’ve said no. She probably would’ve said that she promised him she’d wait forever, and forever is how long she would wait. She would’ve told him that nobody could ever make her forget about Max Evans, but instead all she said was, “Ok. Let’s do it.”
- - End of Flash Back - -

“And that’s how it happened.” Kyle said with finality.
Tess had taken a seat at Megan’s desk, her feet tucked underneath her. “Do you love her?” She asked.
“I grew to...yeah.”
Swallowing the lump in her throat she tried to steady her voice, “And you want to be with her?”
“I don’t know...I love her but when I saw you...old feelings resurfaced.”
Closing her eyes, Tess felt a tiny flame of hope burning in her heart. “So you love us both then? Well you can’t have both. You can only have one of us looks like you need to figure out which one of us you really want.”

He looked down at the floor and sighed, “It’s not that easy.”
“Meditate on it.” She said without a second thought.
“Tess...I don’t-” He started to tell her that he didn’t meditate anymore because he didn’t believe in Buddha anymore, but the look that she pinned him with stopped him from doing so.
“Just try it Kyle. It worked for you 10 years ago, and I don’t see why it shouldn’t work now. You shouldn’t have lost your faith because of this.” She said leaning in, “Maybe this will help too...”

She leaned in and pressed her lips soft and sweet at first, then growing more and more passionate. She’d had so much bottled up passion from her stay on Antar that she thought she was going to eat him alive. She was not going to just lay down and accept this. She was going to fight for her man. Liz Parker had ruined any chance she had with Max, a long time ago and she was not about to let Liz take another one of her men. She couldn’t and wouldn’t lose another one to Liz Parker.
posted on 27-Nov-2001 12:40:56 AM by sugarplum17
Author’s note: So I just made this part a lot longer than it originally was, but that’s alright. I guess we’ll all just have to live with it.
- - -
Part 7
- - -
Maria rose from her seat on the couch and stalked over to the basement door. Ignoring the red light she yanked it open. “He’s here!” She yelled down into the dark basement. Closing the door she turned on her heel and crossed the living room, throwing open the front door. Stepping aside she waved him inside and closed it behind him when he finally entered.

“She’ll be up in a minute.” She said, turning around to face him.
“What is she taking a nap? Because I could just come back later, or tomorrow or something.” Michael said as he moved toward the door.
“She’s nine Michael. She stopped taking naps at noon years ago.” She explained with a mocking smile. “She’s down in the basement helping Alex develop the pictures from her party.”

Moments later they heard light footsteps coming up the basement steps. Michael waited, holding his breath hoping that it was Megan coming up the stairs. He was really hoping that Alex would just stay in the basement so that the whole situation wouldn’t be awkward. He let his breath rush out of him when his smiling little girl appeared and shut the door behind her. He’d seen her smile at her birthday party, but at the time he hadn’t notice that the smile was his. “Hey honey.” Maria said bringing the little girl closer to her body for a motherly hug. “How’d they turn out?”

“Daddy-” She said before catching herself and stopping to glance at Michael gaging his reaction to her slip up. “I mean, Alex, got a really funny shot of Tiffany picking her nose.”
“And what are we going to do with this incriminating photo?” Maria asked trying to keep everything normal. She’d seen Michael visibly tense up when Megan called Alex daddy. They’d had a long talk the night before about calling him that in front of Michael. Maria had said that ultimately the choice was up to Megan what she wanted to call whom, and Megan had said that in front of Michael she wouldn’t call Alex daddy, so that she wouldn’t hurt his feelings.

“Hold it over her head for the rest of her life.” Megan said with a mischievous smile.
“That’s my girl!” Maria said ruffling Megan’s hair with her hand. “Now go and get your jacket.”
“But it’s warm outside!”
“I know that, but I don’t know where you’re going or when you’re coming back and it might not be warm later, and why am I even explaining this?” Maria asked putting her hands on her hips.
“Fine, I’ll go get my jacket. Just don’t go on another one of your ‘I’m the mom’ power trips.” Megan said as she rolled her eyes and exited the room.
“I do not go on power trips.” Maria mumbled crossing her arms.

“Tiffany is her best friend.” Maria explained turning to Michael and trying to fill him in on Megan’s life. “Tiffany Troy.”
Michael tried to act surprised but found it hard to do because he actually was surprised. He never, in a million years, would’ve imagined that the child of Maria Deluca could be friends with a child of Pam Troy’s. “It’s no surprise that she never got out of this town.” He said dryly.

“Actually she did.” Maria told him. “Aside from you, Max, Isabel, and Tess she’s the only one who did. Everybody expected Liz and Kyle to get out with scholarships to big colleges but Pam’s the only one who actually got out of Roswell. She moved away right after she got pregnant and then came back last year.”

He nodded at this piece of information and they fell into silence as he waited for Megan to come bounding down the hall, jacket in hand. Finally after five minutes she came out of her bedroom and down the hall entering the living room holding it up and waving it around.

“You ready to go?” He asked her quietly. She nodded her head and threw her arms around Maria’s waist, burring her head into her mother’s stomach. Maria hugged her daughter to her and kissed the top of her head. She knew that Megan didn’t really want to go through with this. It wasn’t that she hated Michael and didn’t want to get to know him but he was virtually a stranger. She’d only ever seen him in photographs and a few home made movies that Alex had made of the whole group one summer, and in those he hadn’t been the nicest guy seeing as how he hated the camera. He was always rolling his eyes and telling Alex to go away. Maria gave Megan a quick squeeze before releasing her and ruffling her hair. “Be good baby.”

She’d told her mother that she would and then headed out the door with Michael. He’d opened up her car door for her and Maria had watched them pull out of the drive way from the porch. When they’d disappeared down the street and she couldn’t see them anymore she sighed and went into the house, closing the door behind her. She had no idea when Alex had come up from the basement but she found him spreading out all the pictures on the floor.

Without looking up at her, he reached out his hand to her and waited until she took it before pulling her down to sit next to him and caressing the back of it with his thumb. “Which one do you like the best?”

- - -

Megan looked back as they drove down the street, and saw her mom standing on the porch watching them. She felt uneasy knowing that in a few short moments she wasn’t going to be able to turn around and see her mom standing on the porch of her house anymore and she’d be left alone with this stranger that sat beside her.

They drove in silence for a little while before Michael said uncertainly, “I thought it might be nice if I took you to the pod chamber? You’ve never seen it right?”
“I’ve been outside of it, but never inside.” She said quietly, looking out the window at the passing scenery.
“Do you want to see it?” He asked uncertainly.
“Sure.” She said still looking out the window.

A silence fell over them as they drove out to the pod chamber. Michael wondered why she hadn’t called him dad yet and if she was going to. Before he had the chance to wonder about anything else she’d spoke. “No...I’m not gonna.”

“What?” He asked, throughly confused.
“I’m not gonna call you least not yet.” She said softly, still looking out the window. “I don’t want to hurt your feelings...but my mom said that I didn’t have to if I don’t want to. And since I hardly know you and you’re like a stranger to me...I don’t want to, yet. We have to work up to the dad thing.”
He was hurt by what she’d said but he understood them, and so he nodded his head. “I understand.”

Another silence fell over them before he realized that he hadn’t asked that question out loud. He’d been thinking it. “Megan did you-”
“Yeah.” She said, turning to finally look at him. “Aunt Liz taught me how to control it. I can turn it off and on whenever I want to, but I hardly ever use it because my mom says that it’s an invasion of privacy and that I should only use it when I need to.”
“And you felt like you needed to now?” He asked softly, his eyes trained on the road a head of them.
“Yes.” She said turning her head to look out the window again.

Another silence fell over them before she spoke again. “And no offense to you, because Guerin is a really cool name and everything but I’d like to keep Whitman. If it’s ok with you.”
It wasn’t ok. She was his daughter, he gave her life not Alex, but still he forced himself to say, “Yeah, I understand.”
“It’s just that it took me a really long time to learn how to spell it and I’s the only name I’ve ever had...” She explained, looking over at the man who’d given her life.
“Yeah,” he repeated, “I understand.”

As he turned off the road and onto a dirt path, he stole a glance over at his daughter. He really did understand where she was coming from. Whitman was the only name she’d ever known, it was the name she’d used all her life even if she knew that it should be something else. He could understand the fact, even if it hurt him, that he was a stranger to her. A stranger she’d only ever heard about from her mom and seen in pictures and home movies. He was a stranger to her just as she was still a stranger to him. A little stranger, who bore a striking resemblance to him and whom he already loved in that unconditional way that a parent loves a child.

He wondered briefly if she’d turned her mind reading abilities off or if she still felt that she needed to use them. He wondered if she could hear him thinking how much he loved her already, even though he knew almost nothing about her or the life that she’d led before he crashed into it. He wondered if she could hear him thinking, as he glanced over in her direction again, who she would ask to walk her down the aisle when that day finally came. And he wondered if she could hear how he hoped that it would be him.

- - -

Liz walked down the aisle looking at the boxes lined up on the shelves, she didn’t know what she wanted. She laughed to herself, as she blankly stared at the boxes, unable to focus on them. After she’d stormed out of the meeting on Tuesday, she’d spent the rest of the week avoiding everyone. Including Kyle.

She’d gone home and cried for a little while and then Kyle had come home. They didn’t really talk to each other, he’d just stood in the doorway of whatever room she happened to be in and watched her for a little while before disappearing into the attic for hours. She didn’t know what he was doing up there and she didn’t try to find out. He’d been sleeping in the guestroom and that was fine by Liz. Because at that very moment, Liz had no clue what it was that she wanted.

She came to an abrupt stop and was ripped from her thoughts when her cart collided with someone else’s. Tearing her gaze away from he boxed food, she turned it to the cause of the crash. He met her stare, keeping silent. He almost looked surprised to see her there and she knew that he hadn’t run into her intentionally. He’d most likely been just as lost in thought as she had been.

They stood there looking at each other for a few short moments, unable to look away from each other’s eyes. The moment was broken, however, when Tess came rounding the corner and tossed a bag of carrots into Max’s cart. “Hi Liz. Haven’t seen you around much this week. Stole anyone else’s boyfriend lately?”

She seemed satisfied when a pained look flickered briefly across Liz’s face.
“Hi Tess, was nice seeing you both. Goodbye.” She said before maneuvering her cart so that she could go around them.
“That was uncalled for Tess...” He said giving her a stern look before turning the cart around to chase down Liz. He needed to take it with him, to have something to hold on to, he needed to use it so that he wouldn’t grab her and make a mad dash for any place out of Roswell, New Mexico.
“Liz...” He called after her. “I’m sorry...about what Tess said. She shouldn’t have been so rude.”

She hadn’t stopped, she’d just kept on pushing her cart down the aisle and he’d pulled up beside her, walking along with her. He watched her hair sway from side to side as she shook her head. “No, it’s ok Max. I deserved it.”
He hated it when she thought she deserved less than she did. When she doubted her worth.
“No, you don’t. Look,” He said reaching out and grabbing her arm to make her stop and look at him. “I’m sorry that I acted like that earlier this week. It was was a really big shock. I shouldn’t have yelled and treated you like I did.”

She watched as he released her arm and bowed his head, looking at the tiled floor. “No, you had a right to be upset Max. It’s me who should be sorry.”
Somehow they always ended up in this battle for blame. “You don’t have anything to be sorry about. It’s all my fault. I’m the one who left and put you in this position...and you were just...” Doing what you needed to do, he wanted to say. Moving on, another voice told him to say. But he couldn’t bring himself to say either, so he just let his sentence drift off as he kept his eyes on the tiles of the supermarket floor. They were remarkably shiny and clean. He could almost see himself in them.

“It’s not your fault Max. You had to go...I guess its nobody’s fault really.” Absently she tucked a piece of hair behind her ear and looked down to see his face reflected in the shiny white tile beneath their feet.

“Can we get together and talk? I mean...we can’t really talk in the grocery store.” He asked, looking at her reflection.
They’d just had a whole conversation in the grocery store. An entire, somewhat open conversation the same as they would have any other place but Liz found herself asking him if the next day was good for him, at the Crashdown around six, and she’d heard him answer yes.
“I’ll see you then.” He said as he turned his cart around to go and hunt down Tess, so that they could finish their shopping.

posted on 27-Nov-2001 1:27:43 PM by sugarplum17
- - -
Part 8
- - -
Isabel walked through the park hand in hand with her daughter. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in March and she wanted to show her daughter what Earth looked like, how pretty things could be on the planet. She showed her flowers and pointed out birds and animals. She’d let Alexis play on the play structure, although at first she was unsure of what to do so Isabel had to go and play with her, to show her.

They’d walked around the whole entire park, waiting for Michael to get back. He’d taken Megan out again today, this time somewhere to work on her powers. He’d discovered that she could mind read, but also that she could move things. That power was underdeveloped and she didn’t quite know how to control it, so she didn’t use it a lot. Isabel and Michael had decided to explain the whole Megan situation to their daughter once more, to make sure that she understood everything and since the park was the designated drop off spot for Megan, they’d come too.

Isabel looked down and smiled at Alexis, their clasped hands swinging lightly back and forth. It’d been such a good day. Coming off of a path, they saw Alex and Maria sitting on a bench. The path they had come off of was to the side and back, so they wouldn’t be seen unless one of them turned their head. She’d planned on going to sit with them to wait for Michael, but when they came into her line of sight she couldn’t do it. Alex sat there with his arm draped around her shoulders, Maria was leaning into his embrace, resting her head on his shoulder. He was looking down at her while she tipped her head back to look up at him, and they were talking. Isabel didn’t know what it was that they were saying because she was too far away to hear, but she saw Maria laugh and Alex smile.

Then as his lips made contact with Maria’s, Isabel turned her head and focused entirely on something else. She did not want to see Alex and Maria kissing. After a couple of minutes when she was sure, their kiss had probably already broken, she cautiously turned her head back in their direction and just stared at them, with a blank expression on her face. Alexis turned her head from her mother to follow her gaze, looking back at her mom again just one last time she turned her head away. She pressed her eyes closed and concentrated on her mom.

She looked at them, taken aback and blinked rapidly a few times. Moments ago, it’d been Maria sitting next to Alex on the bench and now it wasn’t. Now it was her, and she was kissing Alex. Then when the kiss broke it was Michael instead of Alex that she’d been kissing, and they had euphoric, happy looks on their faces. Shaking her head she looked down toward her daughter and sighed.
“Lexi...sweetie it’s not gonna happen.” She said before going into a min-lecture for at least five minutes about using her powers, and that was just how Michael had found them.

“Hey ladies.” Michael said interrupting Isabel’s lecture. “What’s going on?”
“I’ll give you one guess.” Isabel replied, fully irritated. “Alexis read my mind and then mind warped me.”
“Ok, ok, ok. So let me get this straight Alexis. You read your mom’s mind, without her permission, and then you manipulated her into seeing something?” He asked angrily, combing a hand through his hair. The only response he got from his daughter was the nod of her head. Her attention was focused, completely on something else. She was watching, with interest, as Megan’s parents interacted with her and each other and she knew that it was how families were supposed to act. How moms and dads were supposed to be. They were supposed to love her, and love each other.

She knew that they loved her, but she could hear their thoughts when she wanted too. And as Michael looked over to follow her gaze she heard him think to himself exactly what Isabel had thought when she’d been watching Alex and Maria on the bench. She heard him think, ‘That should be me.’

Releasing her mom’s hand she turned her angry, hurt eyes on her father. She knew just like she’d always known that she was an accident; a mistake and that they hadn’t meant to have her. And while she knew that they did love her, when they said things like that, or rather when they thought things like that it hurt her. Because if that was them, where would she fit into the equation? Or would she just not exist? She said nothing aloud about it because like her father, she had trouble expressing her emotions. So instead she rolled her eyes, crossed her arms over her chest and listened to her dad give her the punishment for using her powers on someone without permission. They’d explained to her many times that she was only to use her powers when she absolutely needed to. The same went for dream walking. When he was done, she gave him an angry mock salute and then turned away from them, stomping off to where she saw he’d parked the jeep.

She knew that if she were to speak up about how she was feeling, they would probably tell her that she was wrong, and then her dad would probably feel like ripping his heart out for making her feel like that. Because he hated it when people felt that way, when he made people feel that way. But she was not gonna say anything about it yet. She would give them a chance to realize it first.

- - -

Liz sat waiting in Max’s usual booth. Every time the bell above the door went off, she’d look up from her plate only to see that it wasn’t Max. Then she’d look at his food, which was getting colder and colder and then back at her plate. She did this 4 times before she gave up on it and just ignored the bell all together. When she finally looked up from her plate she jumped and dropped her burger. She hadn’t even heard him slide into the booth.

“Sorry I’m late.” He said looking down at his plate. “Thanks for ordering for me.” He looked around carefully to make sure he wasn’t being watched and then waved his hand over his cold plate when he was sure.
“’s no problem.” She said picking up her burger again and taking a bite. They ate their food in silence and when they were done and the plates had been cleared, they still said nothing.

“So...what-um what did you want to talk to me about?” She asked, looking down at the table and nervously tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.
“I-I...well’s not anything important.” He finally finished. “I guess I just wanted to apologize for acting like such a jerk on Tuesday.”
“’s alright.”

They grew silent for a few minutes before Liz moved to grab her purse. “Well, if that’s all...I guess I better get going.”
“No. That’s not all.” He reached out across the table and grabbed her arm, stopping her from leaving the booth. “I know...that it’s hard to answer this question but I have to know. I mean I felt it but I need to hear you say it. Do you...still love me Liz?”
He watched her think about the question, and as she looked down at the table. His lungs were burning with the breath that he wouldn’t release and he’d yet to let go of her arm. She seemed to take forever to answer the question, even though she’d answered it in less than five minutes.
“Um. Yeah...yeah Max, I do.” She said quietly. He finally exhaled and released her arm. “But Max I-”
“I know, I know. You’re with Kyle now and you love him too. I know all that. I just...had to hear you say it.” He said as he looked back down at the table and played with the wrapper to his straw.

“Are you going to stay with him?” His question seemed to hang in the air between them. He’d spoken it so quietly it had almost come out as a whisper, and she wasn’t even sure if she’d really heard it at all.
“I don’t know. I have to do the right thing and if Kyle wants to stay together then I should stay with him.” She said looking down at the table. “It wouldn’t be right if I left him because you just came flying back into my life. I took vows Max, because I thought that you weren’t coming back, and I can’t break them just because you did...”

“Screw doing the right thing!” He hissed, leaning over the table toward her. “You and I, we always do the right thing and look where it’s gotten us. I did the right thing and I left to save a planet that I didn’t even remember and look what happened. I don’t know about you Liz, but I’m sick of doing the right thing. I want to be selfish, just this one time.”

“I can’t.” She told him, her eyes glued to the table top. Why hadn’t she ever noticed what a messy eater she was? There were crumbs all over. “I can’t not do the right thing. I took vows Max, and they mean something to me, even if I didn’t love him at the time I took them.”
“You were drunk when you took your vows. Technically they don’t even count. You weren’t thinking clearly.”
“I’m sorry...”
He was silent for a long while, sitting there across from her and just staring at her. “’s ok. You need to do what’s right, because that’s who you are. I just want you to be happy...and if you’re telling me that you’ll be happy with Kyle, then by all means, be with Kyle. But if you’re gonna stay with Kyle just to make him happy then...”

“Then what?” She asked defensively, finally raising her eyes to look at him.
“Then...I don’t know.” He said standing up from the booth. “Call me when you figure things out.”
He tossed a twenty on the table to cover the bill and then turned on his heel and walked out, leaving Liz to stare after him.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 27-Nov-2001 1:47:13 PM ]
posted on 10-Dec-2001 4:02:46 AM by sugarplum17
I would already be posting part 10 right after this if my disk hadn't jacked it up. It supposedly "doesn't exist". Damn computer. I was really, REALLY happy with it too!
- - -
Part 9
- - -

She could feel his eyes on her as she sat in front of her vanity applying her make-up and knew without a doubt what he was doing. He was trying to size her up, trying figure out what she was thinking, and how she was going to handle everything that would happen later. In short, to see if she would leave him or not. He hated that she was going to dinner, alone with him, but what could he do? Impose on them? He would never do that. Especially when he knew, they had things that they needed to talk about.

“Alex!” Maria yelled throwing down her eye liner pencil and looking at him through the mirror. “Will you cut it out, please?”
“What?” He asked, holding up his empty palms and trying to act innocent. “What am I doing?”
“Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about.”
He followed her with his eyes as she got up and walked into the closet, leaving the door open while she changed her skirt. “I don’t.” He finally said, knowing how lame it sounded.

“Right.” She said zipping her skirt and then slipping into her sandals. “If you don’t want me to go, just tell me. We’ll stay here and talk about it in the kitchen or something.”
“No!” He yelled quickly jumping up from the bed. “I mean, I’m not jealous or anything Maria. You guys are just gonna go, and talk about Megan, and then you’ll come home to me right? So you should definitely go.”

She smiled warmly at him from the doorway of the closet as she grabbed her earrings off the vanity and began to put them in her ears. “I love you.”
Crossing the room he pulled her into a hug and buried his face into her hair and neck. “I know you do.”
She waited a few minutes after returning the hug and stroking his back to ask sarcastically, “What you don’t love me?”
“You know I do.” He said bringing a hand up to brush her hair away from her neck, before lowering his lips to it. He smiled when she arched her neck and told him that Michael would be there any second. “What time will you be home?”
“No later than nine.” She answered running her hand up his back to run her fingers through the hair at the nape of his neck.

As the doorbell rang, she felt his grip around her tighten. Pulling back, somewhat, she kissed the tip of his nose and then his mouth. “Don’t be jealous, baby.”
“I’m not.” He said before kissing her back. As if he were trying to prove that he wasn’t.
“Uh-huh, if you say so.” Breaking the embrace she walked over to the bedroom door, but stopped abruptly and turned around. “I’m going out with him tonight, but I’m coming home to you, you big stud.”

“Oh you’re damn straight you are.” He said possessively as he walked over to her and yanked her into his arms, crushing his lips to her in a passionate kiss that left her breathless. “Now go, you’re date is waiting for you.” He said, smiling as he turned her around by the shoulders and smacked her butt. Smiling at him over her shoulder, she walked down the hall and into the living room. Retrieving her coat from the coat rack, she opened up the door and stepped out, casting one last look in Alex’s direction and blowing him a kiss before shutting the door.

- - -

They drove along in silence for a while, lost in their own separate worlds, until Maria looked out the window and noticed for the first time that they were no longer in town. Instead of seeing stores and restaurants, she saw rocks and desert. She surmised that instead of pulling up in front of Senor Chows, they were going to come to a complete stop in front of the path to the pod chamber.
“Michael...where are we going?” She asked, knowing full well where he was taking her.
Shrugging he looked in her direction for a second before returning his attention to the road, “I don’t feel like eating.”

“I told Alex we were going out to dinner to discuss the Megan situation.” Maria said, looking at him pointedly. “We should do that; I don’t want to lie to him.”
“It wouldn’t be a lie if you didn’t tell him.” He said shrugging casually again. “And besides, we were supposed to spend this night talking about Megan, and that’s what we’re going to do. Just not at Senor Chows.”
He heard a quiet, mumbled fine and out of the corner of his eye saw her cross her arms over her chest and look out the window. He could tell that he was getting to her like he used to so long ago after Liz was shot. He was getting underneath her skin and all he had to find out now was if she still liked it.

Finally, they pulled off the road and drove until they reached the base of the rocks that sheltered his old pod. He turned off the ignition and sat there in his seat looking out of the front window. After a few minutes of silence he turned in his seat, grabbing the sides of Maria’s face and turning her head in his direction. Before she knew what was happening, his lips connected with hers. Stunned, Maria opened her mouth, not even thinking that he would get the wrong idea. And he had. He sent his tongue into her mouth immediately after she opened it and caressed hers with his.

Uncrossing her arms she put the palms of her hands on his shoulder and pushed him off of her. Wiping her mouth with the back of her hand. Too stunned to say anything, she just sat there, looking at him in confusion.
“I knew it.” He breathed out on a euphoric sigh.
“You knew what?”
He smiled, the goofiest smile that she’d ever seen him smile as he reached out to touch some of her hair. “I knew that you still loved me.”
Needing to make sure she’d heard that right, Maria cupped her ear. “Say what?”

“I said I knew that you still loved me.” He said moving in to kiss her again. Only to be halted by her hands pushing on his shoulders.
“Whoa, slow down cowboy. Why would you think that?”
“ opened your mouth...for me to deepen the kiss. You wanted it as much as I did.”
“Um, I’m sorry but I opened my mouth out of shock...”
“No, you didn’t.” He said, shaking his head vigorously in denial. “You opened it because you still want me.”

He leaned in, this time ignoring her pushing hands and brought his lips back to hers for another kiss, to prove to her what he thought he already knew. Except this time, he was roughly pushed away and smacked across the face. “Stop it Michael!”
The smack had caught him off guard and his head had been turned from the force of it. Letting go of Maria, he sat back in his seat and cupped his cheek. He was probably going to have a welt, or at least a red hand print.
“What is wrong with you?” She asked, fully turned in her seat and pasted against the door. She wasn’t scared of him, but at the present moment she felt the need to be very far away from him.

“...I’m sorry.” He said, idly rubbing his cheek and looking at the steering wheel with a blank expression. “I guess...I just thought that...”
“What? You just thought what? That you could come back here after ten years, kiss me and poof everything would go back to the way it was?”
“Well...yeah.” He said finally turning to look at her. “We belong together Maria. We understand each other. I’ve seen into you and you’ve seen into me.”

“Alex and I understand each other.” She said, relaxing in her seat somewhat. “Just because we can’t see into each other doesn’t mean that we don’t already know what’s there. And you and I do not belong together.”
“How can you say that?” He asked, trying to hide how hurt he really was by that comment. “After everything we’ve been through, and everything that we shared. We created a life together Maria, and now you’re going to try and tell me that we don’t belong together?”

Turning away from him, she closed her eyes and rubbed her temples. Wishing that she had some cedar oil with her right about now, she took a deep steady breath. “If you really believed that, you’d be with Isabel.”
“You’ve been through a lot more with Isabel than you have with me. You share a lot more with her than you do with me. You created a life with her as well as one with me.”
“They don’t have anything to do with this. This is about us.”

“There is no us, Michael.” She said dropping her hands to her lap and staring straight ahead. “I’m with Alex now and I’m sorry but I can’t change the way I feel.”
“Oh that is such a load of crap!” Michael said, his voice raising in volume as he pounded his fist on the steering wheel. “You can change the way you feel because you’ve already done it! You told me once that you would always love me, but you don’t anymore, you’ve changed the way you felt about me, so why can’t you change the way you feel about Alex? Why can’t you stop loving him and start loving me again?!”

“Okay, one don’t yell at me. Secondly, stop acting like a little kid Michael. You know that people just can’t turn their feelings off and on like a light switch. And thirdly, yes I did tell you that once, and it wasn’t a lie.”
“Oh really? It wasn’t?” He asked sarcastically. “Well enlighten me then Maria.”
“I never stopped loving you. It just became a different kind of love. I love you in the way that I love Liz and Kyle.” When he didn’t say anything, she continued. “You and I were never really good for each other anyway. I know that during the better times I always said that I was fine with how off and on our relationship was but I was young then. I thought it was exciting and I liked the drama, because as Liz has always said, I’m a total drama queen. But I’m older now and I want different things.”

“I can give you different things.” He said quietly, turning his head to look at her. “I can give you whatever Alex can give you, and more. Think about Megan here. Maria...think about how it would benefit her to see her parents, her biological parents together and in love.”
“I am thinking of her. She’s happy. If she hated Alex, it would be a whole other story, not that it would end the way you’d like it to. But the point is that she’s happy with things just as they are. And again, if you really thought like that, you would’ve gotten together a long time ago.”
“Whatever.” He said curtly, waving off any further comments from her. “Let’s just discuss what we plan on doing with Megan now. That was the plan anyway.”

She thought that was going to be the end of that, but Michael however, had other plans. Being a fiercely stubborn person, in his mind if she could go from loving Alex like a friend to loving him as something else, then she could go back from loving Michael like a friend to loving him how she used to. He was going to woo her back. He was going to take lessons from the master of cheese himself, study up on all the ridiculously romantic things that Max used to do for Liz, and he was going to win Maria back. He was going to rent chick flicks and he was going to study up on romance. He was going to reinvent himself into everything that Alex was, but more.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 10-Dec-2001 4:11:17 AM ]
posted on 10-Dec-2001 9:35:57 AM by sugarplum17
I was wondering where you disappeared to Veronica! You were MIA for a while there, didn't see you posting around the boards or anything.

I finally finished Home for the Holidays. *happy* Incase you wanted to pick up where you left off on that one.
posted on 12-Jun-2002 10:03:52 AM by sugarplum17
Author's Note!

Wow, it was kind of a shock to see this bumped up! Thanks cameramandc. *happy*

However, I stopped revising this. The whole story can be found on my site, which is the bottom link in my signature, in the My Fics section. The revised parts, which are here, and the old unrevised parts, are all there. *wink*

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 12-Jun-2002 10:08:55 AM ]
posted on 28-Nov-2002 2:35:23 AM by sugarplum17
LOL, everytime this fic gets bumped, I go into shock! I'm glad that you both enjoyed it. *happy*

This fic is so old, and yet it still (amazingly) gets bumped every now and again! For anyone who reads these revised parts and wants to read the whole entire thing, just go to my site, Aliens Ate My Life! and look in the My Fics section for it. *happy*

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 28-Nov-2002 2:43:29 AM ]