|posted on 3-Oct-2002 2:09:26 AM by Trinity Star1323|
|Title: Midnight in a Perfect World|
Rating: R. Senseless killing and grotesque situations.
Disclaimer: The WB owns Roswell, the characters, and situations. Idea taken from “Series 7: The Contenders.” No infringement intended. Nothing is mine.
Summary: Complete AU. 23 year old Elizabeth Parker isn’t quite sure how she was picked to be part of a TV program that selects people at random to kill one another for the top cash prize, but she knows she has to make it, and fast.
The material of Liz’s black maternity dress clung to her still petite form as the wind whipped around her, lashing out at the trees and various surroundings. Her eyes darted around checking the immediate vicinity; the last thing she needed was to get killed so soon into the game. With her hand protectively placed over her abdomen, Liz cocked the gun, raised it in aim, and pulled the trigger.
One kill down, four to go.
Twelve days and fifteen hours had passed since a mysterious man had burst into her home, placed a gun in her hand and instructed her to get a move on, that is, if she valued her life. At first she had been scared and unsure of what to do, but then the world was in turmoil and the networks were doing anything for ratings, including killing people.
When Liz had first viewed the show she had been appalled. It was an example of just how far people would shamelessly go for fame. Six contenders were pitted against each other in a no holds barred, kill or be killed contest. She had speedily agreed with the other women of her haughty country club that she would never watch and instead boycott the forsaken show. Yet here she was three months pregnant, senselessly killing other people in order to save her own life.
But that was the objective of the show: kill or be killed.
Sometimes Liz wondered how she had gotten dragged into the show, though she had a fairly good idea. Everyone in the country club had enemies; who wouldn’t hate those who still had enough money for a warm home, food and the other luxuries of life? But didn’t the producers know who was who? Didn’t they know she hadn’t signed up for this, but someone had signed her up instead?
She watched the now lifeless body fall to the ground. For having just joined the show, Liz had quickly caught on. Luckily she had found a friend to give her a lesson or two on how to use a gun as well as a few tips on safety. Along with the tips, Willis had given Liz a bulletproof vest and as much cash as he had on hand. Upon seeing the fear and uncertainty in her eyes he had known that he had to help her in some way.
It was all over the news. The newest six contenders had been chosen and now it was time to watch and see who would win.
Replacing the handgun in her shoulder bag, Liz turned and stared off into the sunset, her heart slowly sinking with the sun. Killing wasn’t a part of her nature. She could hardly even get up the courage to kill the common house fly. At least she hadn’t had to see the body and blood up close and personal. The thought alone made Liz’s stomach wretch and churn.
With the knowledge that the others would soon find her, Liz opted to leave. With her body heavy with child she knew she had a major disadvantage compared to the other contestants, though she guessed each had their limitations, but she still had to get a move on. First she would have to find a phone and report her kill.
Report her kill. Liz was positive that those words would never enter her mind or leave her mouth, but this show was quickly turning her life upside down and causing her to do things she never imagined.
Quickly making her way to her car, Liz glanced back at Ed Harding’s dead body nearly twenty feet away. She could see the pool of blood forming on the outer edges of the green grass and perfect white sand crystal of the sand trap. Of course it would only be suitable for her to kill on her own turf. Unable to look anymore, Liz forced her gaze back to the front window, waited for the camera man to get his seat belt on, started her car, and took off as fast as possible. All the while she had only one thought in her mind:
What had she gotten herself into?
As Liz walked through the front doors of her best friends home she could immediately tell that something had happened. Willis was nowhere in sight, and the servants of the house had yet to be seen. Drawing out her gun, if only for protection from the bad vibes she was getting, Liz tiptoed through the mansion, paying careful attention to her surroundings; while it was unlikely that one of the other players had broken into Willis’ home, Liz knew never to underestimate the power of the other competitors. Each and every one of them was sneaky in their own way.
With each step taken, Liz could feel the knot in her stomach tightening. Sweat broke out on her brow and her breathing became labor; stress like this couldn’t be good for her baby, but Liz knew she couldn’t stop. Making her way up the stairs and down the hallway, Liz listened carefully, trying to follow any sort of sound. Finally she heard something.
Reaching Willis’ door, Liz cautiously stepped inside, only to stop mid-stride.
There were police officers all around.
Lowering her gun, Liz stared in horror at the scene before her. Didn’t even take heed as the officers slowly edged toward her, their guns raised.
“Miss, I suggest you lay your weapon on the floor and place your hands on your head,” one of the officers said in a calm and steady voice. His finger twitched as he watched the very young, pregnant woman. Her brow furrowed and for a moment he was positive that he saw tears.
When the police officer’s voice registered in Liz’s mind, she slowly turned and gazed straight at him. “I’m a contender,” Liz spoke shakily as she flashed her badge that the mystery man had given her that one fateful night.
Originally she had come to ask Willis for some more help. He was one of her closest friends; a golf buddy and a true friend. His wife, a woman of high stature at the country club had also been a friend of Liz’s, though never to the degree which Liz and Willis were.
“What happened?” Liz asked as she continued to look around, gun still in hand. She eyed the black body bag with an obvious body inside and immediately felt the bile rise in her throat. She had a pretty good idea of what had taken place, though she wasn’t read to admit it.
If the show had done anything for her thus far, it had made her a harder person. She was a shell of her old self. Before, Elizabeth Parker had been a free spirit without a care in the world, but now she felt as though she had aged well beyond her twenty-three years. It was as though ten years had passed in the expanse of twelve days. Had been shot at, attacked, and punched, but luckily each time she had escaped with her life still intact.
The officers instantly dispersed upon hearing the young woman was nothing more then a contender in yet another stupid reality show. Everyone knew about The Challenger, it was the hit television series that everyone followed. Numerous people had known that Roswell had been chosen as the latest city, but few had actually seen the contestants until now.
But now it all made sense.
“Ma’am, was Willis Green a friend of yours?” Another officer asked seriously. He eyed her, his body stiff with anticipation. It made perfect sense if he was a friend and had helped her. The game did not look kindly on those who helped a contestant. However he wondered how the game would look upon him if he were to ask for her autograph?
Swallowing convulsively, Liz nodded in affirmation.
“Oh Elizabeth, he’s dead! Someone killed him early in the morning,” Juanita, one of Willis’ top servants, choked out. Tears slid down her plump cheeks, staining her pristine white uniform.
“Oh god,” Liz murmured as realization hit her like a ton of bricks. Fear consumed her as the full ramifications of the game hit her. No one was randomly killed without reason. Willis’ had no enemies; he was a good man a king and gentle heart.
These people meant business.
Unable to respond, Liz muttered an unintelligible apology before backing out of the room and away from everyone before her. Out of the corner of her eye she spied the cameraman, and not for the first tie she wished he would leave her be. Why did the world need to see all of this?
“Elizabeth?” Juanita called out. The stout housekeeper took a step toward Liz. She knew the woman well as she had often dinned at the residence and had come to keep Willis’ company when his wife was performing her many country club duties.
But Juanita never received an answer. Instead she watched as Liz suddenly turned and fled with tears pooling in her eyes.
Max drove at a snail's pace through the prominent neighborhood of his cousin. He had just been called by the police and asked to immediately come to his cousin’s home. At first Max had been shocked and confused, but now he was just worried.
His eyes darted around trying to find his cousin’s home among the numerous homes. Part of the problem was that the homes were so large in size that they often did not have numbers on them. And seeing as Max had never visited his cousin at his home it was close to impossible to find it.
Willis and Max weren’t even blood relatives. They had met each other shortly after Diane and Phillip Evans’ had found Max and Isabel out in the desert. Once they had become accustomed to a semi-normal lifestyle, the newlyweds had immediately fought for adoption of the two children. And upon the granting of their wish, Diane and Phillip had promptly called together their family.
At first Max hadn’t taken to Willis’, but after spending some time with him, and learning a few some human characteristics Max couldn’t help but grow to like Willis, especially when his cousin was so nice. They had gone to school together and had been boyhood friends. It wasn’t until Willis’ left for Harvard that Max lost contact with his cousin.
At least until recently.
Willis had called up out of the blue saying that he was back and getting married. Max had been his best man. While he had not been fond of Willis’ wife, he couldn’t begrudge his cousin the happiness that seemed to come with marrying the woman of his choice.
A year had passed and Willis and Max saw each other sporadically. Usually they met in town and had a quick lunch or sometimes Max would come over and play a round of golf. But their friendship had dwindled over time and now Max wondered why the police would want him to come to Willis’ home.
Just as he was about to give up in frustration and call the police for better directions he spotted his cousin’s magnificent home. While he had known his cousin was quite well off and lived in an impressive home, he hadn’t been aware that Willis lived in such luxury. Especially when times were so hard. The world was at war and everything was going down the drain.
Sure enough police cars were scattered around the enormous parking circle, lights still flashing. They were a sharp contrast compared to the faultless white color of the mansion and the green of the grass. His eyes wandered over the grounds as he pulled in, his car barely even fitting in among the abundance of other cars.
With his eyes busy looking at the house Max never even saw the body dart out in front of his car. A flash of brown silk flashed in the corner of his eyes along with black material, but nothing else registered as he whipped his head around. He would have hardly even noticed had the scream not permeated the air and the thud reverberate off his vehicle. But what Max did know was that he had just done something that would most likely forever change his life, if only he knew how much.
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 7-Oct-2002 2:07:07 AM ]
|posted on 7-Oct-2002 2:06:42 AM by Trinity Star1323|
| Chapter 2 |
“Shit!” Max cursed under his breathe as he hastily pulled off his seat belt and threw the car door open, not even bothering to turn his car off. He ran to the front of the car praying that whomever he had hit was uninjured. Luckily he hadn’t been going that fast, but he was driving an old, clunky Jeep Wrangler. Maybe they balanced each other out. Hopefully whomever he had hit had simply fallen over from shock; the last thing Max needed was to be brought to court for running someone over in a driveway; hell the last thing Max needed was to be brought to court. Michael, Isabel and Tess would kill him if that happened.
He scanned the car as he made his way to the front. There didn’t seem to be any damage to the car, but he hadn’t reached the front yet. The usual dents and chips in the paint were present; luckily the person hadn’t slid up into the windshield or across the hood, then Isabel really would have been mad.
With his attention so drawn to the car and what Isabel would think, Max barely even registered the small unconscious bulge on the ground in front of his car. He could just hear her screaming at him, berating him for being so careless. Then Michael would tell him that he had endangered their lives and that he needs to be more careful.
However when Max moved to look at a small dent on the brand new chrome grill his feet became entrapped and he fell to the ground face first. “Double shit,” Max whispered in frustration. This was not what he needed. There were cameras all over and police were inside the house…
Police were inside the house and he had just run someone over!
The realization of what he had done hit him like a ton of bricks as he heard the soft groan behind him. Scrambling to his feet, Max turned and stared at the small bundle below him. A brown curtain of hair covered the face of the obviously pregnant young woman.
Pregnant! “Shit, shit, shit!” This time Max couldn’t stop himself from talking aloud as he jumbled toward the woman. He had hit a pregnant woman. This wasn’t good; this wasn’t good at all. There police all over and it was undoubted that they hadn’t seen it.
Glancing up toward the house, Max searched for anyone who might have seen, but he saw no one. Returning his gaze to the woman before him, Max carefully started to move her, only to stop when she once again groaned in pain. This wasn’t good, Max realized. Not only had he hit a pregnant woman, but he had obviously also hurt her.
Knowing that he had to get out of there, Max also knew that he couldn’t leave the woman; she needed to be brought to a hospital where doctors could fix her and make sure she was okay. Glancing around one last time, Max quickly jumped to his feet and moved around to the passenger side of the car. He opened the door and laid down the seat as far as it would go. He had to get out of there before one of the police saw what had happened.
Returning to the injured woman, Max carefully lifted her up into his arms. He noted that she was quite a bit lighter then she had expected, and much smaller then the bulky clothes made her seem. However the moment her silken brown hair slid away from her face Max froze. He stared down in wonder at the beautiful face before him. Never before had he seen some much beauty. It took his breath away.
Her brow was furrowed, and as Max gingerly placed her in the seat, making sure to try and make her as comfortable as possible, he couldn’t stop his hand from smoothing over the crease and sweeping away a few tendrils of hair. Her hair could only be compared to silk or velvet; it slid through his fingers and… and…
Oh Jesus Christ, what was he thinking? He had just hit this woman with his car and if he didn’t work fast then she would wake up and he would be in a world of troubles!
Running around to the other side of the car, Max jumped into his seat and was just about to drive away when he felt the back of the Jeep bounce slight. He turned and gasped as he watched a cameraman buckled himself into the back seat with his camera still rolling. “Excuse me!” Max exclaimed.
“She’s a contender,” the cameraman, named Mark, answered. He had gotten the whole thing on tape and so far his boss was very pleased, especially with the look the young man had given the contender. Mark’s boss had told him to follow the two no matter what and there was no way Mark was going to lose this job; it was too perfect.
“Get out of the car,” Max warned. He didn’t need this. Had this man seen and video recorded everything? If he had then Max knew he was screwed. Michael, Isabel and Tess would be beyond angry and this woman would have all the evidence she would need to…wait a second, did that guy say she was a contender? What the hell was a contender?
“No can do; I follow her where ever she goes,” Mark explained. “Its in the contract.”
Contract. Now this guy knew this guy was crazy. Why would anyone have a contract with some cameraman that let said-guy follow him or her around? It didn’t make any sense; unfortunately before Max could question the guy further, or throw him out, one of the policemen came out, radio in hand.
Without even thinking, Max backed the Jeep out of the driveway and quickly sped away from the house. He could always throw the guy once he dropped the woman off at the hospital. He hoped that she and her baby were okay.
Baby. Ah-ha, that was probably why the cameraman was following her around. She was probably some big movie star or she was on some television show and the station probably wanted to videotape her pregnancy. How sweet.
But where was the father?
Two hours later not a word had been spoken between Mark and Max, and Liz hadn’t woken up. Throughout the drive Max had continually glanced over at Liz. He couldn’t stop. She was so beautiful and captivating; unlike anyone he had ever met.
And while Max knew he shouldn’t look, he couldn’t stop himself. He was almost certain she was married; the hefty diamond ring on her ring finger pretty much gave it away. Though Max had known some woman who simply liked to wear nice jewelry, even on the ring finger. Yet Max could tell this woman was different, more traditional.
And that was another reason he had to stay away form her. No matter how attracted he was to her, it was just that: attraction. Max knew he had to get over her, otherwise he would become attached and when it came time to drop her off at the hospital he wouldn’t be able to, instead he would heal her himself.
Yet, somehow, despite all his reservations and knowing that it was wrong, Max still couldn’t stop himself. Something was drawing him to this slip of a woman and somewhere deep within his heart he knew that he knew her.
At first he noticed the small things about her, like the way her chest rose evenly with each breath, the way she gnawed on her bottom lip every once in awhile, and that even though she was pregnant and easily wearing four layers of clothing, she still looked small. Somehow she had cuddled into the seat, practically curling herself into a small ball.
But as time moved on Max began to notice other things as well, such as the scar over her eye, how her hair shone in the light every time they passed under a street lamp, the way she clutched her handbag to her body, the way she didn’t snore yet made the cutest little noise that Max couldn’t even describe, and how perfect she truly was.
The highway was dark and only a few signs littered the shoulder. Max had kept his eyes open for any sort of hospital. He hadn’t wanted to stop at the hospital in Roswell just in case someone recognized him when brought the woman in; Roswell was too small of a town. He was hoping to stop in Albuquerque, unfortunately there had been an accident on the off ramp and Max had been too scared to get off.
Now he was about 20 miles from Carlsband where he was sharing a cabin in the woods with Michael, Isabel, Tess, Kyle, Alex and Maria. If he didn’t get off at the next exit and take her to the local community hospital then he would have no other choice but to take her back to the cabin and heal her himself. And if he did that then Michael, Isabel and Tess would probably kill him.
But could he really leave this small, fragile woman in the hands of some doctors he didn’t even know? Maybe it was for the best that he took her back; maybe he had hit her with his car for a reason. Maybe this was fate stepping in the way. Maybe…
“You can’t bring her to the hospital; it’s against game rules.” Max turned and glared sharply at the cameraman, whom was still filming. What the hell was he talking about?
When Mark, and his superiors had seen that Max had been contemplating taking Liz to the hospitals they knew it was the wrong move. The producers of the show liked the chemistry they saw between the young man and their contestant, Liz. It was the way he continually glanced at her that made them tell Mark not to let him take her to a hospital. They wanted this thing to drag out as long as possible with Liz and whoever this guy was.
Maybe then they could drag her idiot of a husband into the picture and get him to actually put up a fight against the other contestants
Returning his gaze to the road, Max asked through clenched teeth, “What do you mean I can’t take her to the hospital? She’s pregnant and I hit her with my car.”
Mark had to think fast in order to answer. Luckily the producers and creative team whispered a few ideas into his ear through his secret earpiece. “It’s game rules. Besides, you didn’t even check her out when you first hit her; she could already be dead.”
“She was breathing when I picked her up and she is still breathing; besides, I wasn’t going fast enough to do any real damage,” Max ground out. He didn’t like some guy telling him what to do when it came to the angel sitting beside him.
“Hello, she’ pregnant! You could have hurt her baby!” Mark exclaimed. He was picking whatever came first at this point.
“Well I felt the baby kick when I picked her up,” Max insisted. Really he had secretly connected with her child and made sure no real damage had been done. While he knew he couldn’t heal her completely, he did know that he could never harm an unborn baby, and he would easily do anything to make sure that this woman’s baby survived.
“She’s only in her third month, so I highly doubt that.” Mark wasn’t so sure about that one, but he figured the people talking to him knew what they were talking about. “But it doesn’t matter, contest rules specifically state that no one can go to a hospital unless it is to actually deliver the child.” This part was completely true, if only for the contestant’s own survival. It was way too easy for one of the other contestants to break in and kill a helpless person.
That was why the producers and everyone on the Challengers team had agreed that they would make a special rule just for Liz. They hadn’t thought she would become pregnant, but when the host had come back telling everyone they had a problem, they knew they had to do something. After all, the baby hadn’t signed up, only Liz had. That, and if they actually let a baby die then the network was sure to get shut down.
Or get exceptionally high rating.
“Okay get out!” Max suddenly barked out as he pulled over to the side of the highway. He had had enough of this guy. At first he had played along and let the guy videotape this woman, if only for the sake of her safety and to show some of his innocence in the situation. But now things were different. This guy was right, he couldn’t take this woman to the hospital, but for different reasons: his heart wouldn’t let him.
“I can’t! Contest rules specifically state that I must stay with the contestant at all times,” Mark clarified. He could see the veins popping out of the man’s neck and he knew if he wasn’t careful then he might end up like Ed Harding had only a few hours ago; only Liz wouldn’t be killing him.
“Contest rules?!” Max nearly broke a gasket at that point. He had had enough. “What the hell are you talking about? What contest rules?”
Mark stared at Max in bewilderment. Was this kid joking? “Uh, you know, the television reality series, The Challenger…” Mark trailed off as he continued to see the look of disbelief and confusion on the man’s face.
Oh. My. God. This guy didn’t know about the television show. Mark nearly had a heart attack at that thought, as did the producers. Now they loved this guy even more! How perfect to throw this clueless guy who was obviously smitten with Liz into a world of murder and mayhem. The audience would love it!
Not only would the audience get their dose of murder from the other contestants, but they would also get a love triangle between Liz’s husband- hopefully- and this young fool of a man! Could things get any more perfect?
Taking in the camera’s man statement, Max mulled over his options. It was obvious this guy wasn’t going anywhere without the woman, and Max knew that he couldn’t leave the woman behind.
Without hesitation, Max reached back and grabbed the large camera from the man sitting in the back. He worked so fast that Mark was unable to react, and before he could do anything to stop the man, he watched as his camera was thrown onto the ground. A moment later he watched in horror as the man wildly drove over the camera a few times before pulling back onto the highway.
“What the hell?!” Mark inquired angrily. Boy oh boy were his producers going to chew him out for this. And right on cue he heard a bounty of voices filling his ears with angry cries and instructions on what to do. He had no way to respond as the microphone had been attached to the camera.
“You said you have to stay with her,” Max informed the man caustically.
“That was a multi-thousand dollar camera! You better be ready to…”
“And you jumped into my vehicle uninvited, so I think we’re even,” Max interrupted as he continued to drive. He knew Michael, Isabel and Tess would be angry, but something inside of him told him this was right. He needed to protect this woman from whatever she was involved with, and Max knew he was just the right guy to do it.
“Get em’… get em’!” Maria exclaimed wildly as she jumped up and down on the couch along side Alex and Kyle. In the kitchen, Michael smirked at his long-time girlfriend’s antics. Sometimes even he didn’t get her. However he did have to admit that she had great taste in television shows.
Alex sat back in his seat, a smug look gracing his face as he rested his arms behind his head. “I knew she’d make the first kill; those socialites are always the good ones; they catch on the quickest.” He quieted for a moment as a thoughtful expression took over his face as he watched the instant, slow motion replay. “Anyway, Ed was such a sleaze ball, he totally deserved to die first.”
“No way! Hank is the one who should be dead by now,” Maria argued. “Anyone who beats his their children should die.”
“Agreed,” Kyle added his two cents. “But I never though Miss Prissy would score the first kill. “
“But Ed used his kids to get what he wanted; isn’t that just as bad?” Alex pointed out.
“Definitely not. I mean, yeah its wrong, but using your kids and beating them are two very different things,” Maxria explained. Alex merely shrugged.
“And as for Miss Prissy, I told ya, its those rich folks who always win, and it cause they wanna get back to their posh lifestyle,” Alex clarified.
“It’s because she’s pregnant, dummy,” Maria protested.
“She’s still hot,” Kyle commented. This of course earned him a hard slap upside the head by Tess, his girlfriend.
“Pig!” Tess declared as she sat down on his lap and popped a piece of popcorn into his mouth.
“Hey, I just said she was hot; I didn’t say I wanted her,” Kyle insisted. “Anyway, why would I need her when I have you?”
“Aww, how cute; dumb and dumber are having a sweet moment,” Maria said sarcastically. She and Tess had never gotten along that well, but that was only because in the beginning Tess had insisted that humans and aliens did not mix. That of course only lasted until she met Kyle.
“Hey, didn’t we go to school with her?” Alex suddenly asked.
“With who?” Isabel asked as she came and sat beside Alex. Michael followed suit and dropped down beside Maria.
“Miss Prissy,” Maria answered for Alex. She too vaguely remembered the brown haired beauty, but she wasn’t certain.
“Yeah, for about five days in freshman year; she was shipped off to some boarding school in Vermont because her parents didn’t want her mingling with us commoners, and because she had to attend Harvard or Yale, or wherever,” Isabel explained. Everyone nodded and shrugged uncaringly.
“Wow, that’s sort of cool; we actually went to school with one of the contestants,” Kyle quipped, causing everyone to laugh.
“Speaking of cool, where’s Max? Wasn’t he supposed to be home awhile ago?” Michael asked.
“He probably got caught up with Willis’ house…”
“Or maybe he’s caught up in traffic cause little Lizzie killed Ed in that same area!” Alex proclaimed proudly.
“That’s right,” Isabel suddenly spoke. “Doesn’t she know Willis?”
As if one cue the commercial ended and flashing on the screen was none other than Willis’ home with a bunch of cops mulling about. Two ambulance workers were bringing a stretcher into the house with a body bag on it.
“Oh my god…” Everyone gasped in unison as they watched Liz run out of the house and straight into Max’s Jeep.
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 7-Oct-2002 2:27:14 AM ]