|posted on 10-Nov-2001 7:38:27 PM by IfMaxWasMine|
|Title: Turbulent Minds|
Disclaimer: Roswell is not mine, nor will it ever be.
Feedback: Do a person needs air to breathe? Yes. Does a writer need feedback to keep writing? Most definitely!
Comments: This fic takes place straight after where Departure left off. I know, it has been done before, but I’ve been working on this for a while. If this fic is similar to some other post Departure fics, I apologise in advance to the writers – I have avoided reading any post Departure fics in order to minimise this similarity. This is not what you would call a traditional Max and Liz fic. It is more of Liz discovering that she doesn’t have to be with Max to discover who she really is. It will be bumpy. Dreamer ending, however, guaranteed.
For previous parts, go to: http://pub44.ezboard.com/fthespoilerslutsfanficwhorehousefrm6.showMessage?topicID=5.topic
A muffled thump out on Liz’s balcony awoke her from a light doze and she sat up, startled and instantly awake. Straining, her eyes tried to pierce the darkness, yet could see nothing but menacing shadows she knew looked more threatening than they actually were. Her heart began to beat rapidly, so fast, in fact, that she thought the sound would ricochet about the room, alerting the unknown person to her awareness of their presence.
The muffled sound came again and Liz’s breath caught on a quiet gasp. Her head swung towards her window and her body tensed. Liz couldn’t see the person, only saw the ominous shadow make its way across the balcony, treading upon silent feet.
Her eyes searched her room, her gaze seeking a weapon, any weapon before alighting upon the brick she had dislodged earlier in order to retrieve her journal. Crawling carefully off her bed, Liz winced when the bed springs squeaked softly in response, the sound loud in her ears. She kept her eyes trained upon the window as she made her way across the room, tucking her shoulders down in an attempt to make herself look as small as possible. When her journey was complete, her hand reached out to grasp the brick, its trembling evidence of her fear.
Her name was hissed, and she started, momentarily letting go of the brick she had just started to pick up. Her head swung around, noting that the person had moved closer, alarmingly close to her bedroom window. Swallowing her fear, she once again grasped at the gritty surface of the brick, this time hoisting it successfully.
Her name came again, its whisper menacing when pitched at its low tone. Liz gritted her teeth, her eyes narrowing warningly. Whoever it was, was not going to find her shivering underneath her bedspread. Her eyes lit on the window, widening slightly when she realised what she had to do.
Stealthily, she made her way over to the window, careful to keep out of sight and, once there, pressed her back against the wall as the figure loomed over the window, the objective of entering it clear.
Determined, Liz took a deep breath and, holding the brick high in readiness, watched out of the corner of her eye as the window was pulled open. It was as though she stopped breathing, her heart stopped beating as it inched open, slowly torturous.
A head poked cautiously through, and Liz shouted, bringing the brick down with all of her strength and striking her would-be assailant upon the head.
“Liz,” he managed to get out before he slumped forward, his body falling awkwardly half in the window and half out of it. Feeling the cold rush of fear wash away at the sound of her name spoken in normal tone, Liz gasped. The voice did not sound threatening at all. In fact…
Cursing underneath her breath quietly, Liz rushed over and turned her bedside lamp on, its light flooding the room and chasing away the shadows. Turning back to face the other side of the room, Liz groaned in dismay when she saw whom she had, in fact, hit.
“Michael?” she cried, hastening back over and pulling him the rest of the way through the window. She winced when she heard his legs meet the floor with a sickening thud and paled at his groan in response.
Placing him as gently as she could on the floor, her small frame shuddering with the effort, she tucked her hair back behind her ears as she lent over him, patting his cheek gently. “Michael, can you hear me? Michael? I am so sorry, I didn’t realise that it was you!” She combed her fingers through his hair, searching for, and finding, the lump that was already forming near the back of his head. She felt guilt wash over her when her fingers came away sticky with blood.
Rising, she hurried into her bathroom and dampened a towel, her fingers trembling as the previous rush of adrenalin she had felt ebbed away. Rushing back over to the sound of his groan, she dropped to her knees beside him and placed the towel against his head, washing away the blood carefully.
“Ow, Liz,” Michael complained, opening his dazed eyes. Pain made itself promptly known, the throbbing of his head increasing with the unconscious movement of his head he had accidentally made. Not wanting to risk an increase of pain, he carefully glanced around the room, using only his eyes, noting almost absently that he was lying on his back on the floor of the room owned by the girl whom he was sent to protect. Some protection, he thought snidely to himself, and sighed as Liz accidentally brushed against the lump on his head, causing waves of pain to wash over him.
“Michael, I am so sorry that I hit you!” Liz apologised, setting aside the towel in order to probe the lump more carefully with her fingers. “I thought that you were…” she swallowed, and left the sentence to hang thickly in the air.
Carefully, he sat up, shaking away her ministrations, ignoring the flash of irritation in Liz’s eyes at his rejection of her help. Warily, he felt at the lump with his own fingers and winced when he found it. “What the hell did you hit me with?” he asked gruffly, closing his eyes. He concentrated fiercely, remembering what Max had told him about healing and determined not to suffer from the pounding headache already looming. If he just concentrated…
“A brick,” Liz said sheepishly, and watched fascinated as Michael concentrated his power, his hand glowing brightly and in a way Liz was all too familiar with. Rising to her knees beside Michael, Liz checked the lump for him, brushing aside his hair as she did so. She grinned happily for him. Michael had healed himself perfectly.
“Good job,” she commented softly, sitting back once her task was finished.
“Thanks,” Michael said gruffly, rising to his feet. He held a hand up in order to help Liz, his eyes meeting hers.
“I really didn’t mean it,” Liz said softly, regretfully, catching his hand in her own and leaving the floor with a sudden bunching of muscles.
Pausing, Michael glanced at her in reassurance. “I know,” he answered, releasing her hand once she was on her feet. He forced a smile. “We are all a little jumpy right now,” he said. As we ought to be, he added to himself darkly.
Nodding her head, Liz pondered his words. Now that Khivar was on Earth, she assumed and her eyes widened in relief that it had only been Michael on her balcony that night. As soon as the thought occurred to her, Liz frowned and, bunching up a small fist, hit him as hard as she could on the arm. “Don’t ever scare me like that again!” she shrieked, the sudden rising of her voice reminiscent of Maria’s usual spats.
With one hand rubbing his stinging arm, Michael backed away slightly from the brunette, his eyes wide. “I’m sorry, Liz! I didn’t think…well, I just didn’t think, I guess.” He tried a tentative smile, its curve showing genuine regret.
Tersely, Liz nodded her head, accepting his apology. She moved over towards her bed and, once she had taken a seat, turned her expectant eyes upon him, watching as he paced shortly in front of her.
“Listen, are your parents here?” he asked abruptly.
Liz frowned at the sudden question. “No. They are visiting some friends and they will be gone for a few days. Thank God, or they would have been up here by now, asking what was going on. We would have had a hard time trying to explain this.” She paused, her head titled to the side as she watched him carefully. “Michael, what is wrong?”
Michael avoided her eyes for a moment. He would answer her question once he had gotten her safely to Maria’s house. “Liz, I need you to just come with me to Maria’s house – bring some clothes as we are going to have to stay the night.” He stalked towards the window, knowing that, despite his abruptness, her questions would be swift in coming.
Liz felt bewildered. “What? Why?” She stood, yet did not do as he asked.
Michael turned to her, shaking his head as he did so. “Liz, please don’t ask any questions – not yet. I will explain when we get to Maria’s house. Please, just trust me.” Liz looked unsure, her movements slow, and Michael knew that she was getting even more worried than she had been before. He needed to get her out the door with no more questions falling from her lips, and knew which card he had to pull. “Liz, Max asked me to do this.”
Liz opened her mouth only to shut it again without having said a word. Silently, she went to collect some clothes and a bag to put them in, her mind whirling with her curiosity.
“Okay, Spaceboy,” Maria started as soon as she had admitted them into the house. Her stance was belligerent, her tone insistent and she did not tell them that she was relieved to see them. Her mother was out on a date with the Sheriff and she had been all alone. It was something that usually didn’t bother her, but seeing that Khivar had made an appearance on Earth…In any case, she felt her lips quirk when she saw the look Michael had given her when she had opened the door and knew that he suspected how she felt. So much for being cool, calm and collected, she thought glumly to herself and inwardly shrugged her shoulders. Who was she trying to kid.
Watching as Liz followed her boyfriend in the door, worry hanging about her like a cloak, Maria continued, her voice rising slightly. “What is all this about? Max has been calling here every five minutes to find out if you had Liz had arrived yet.”
Michael waved Maria silent as he waited for Liz to return from placing her things in Maria’s room before asking them both to sit down. They did so, each exchanging worried glances. Maria was worried in particular, as she had never before seen that look of fear lurking beneath the cool façade of Michael’s eyes.
“Khivar has just raised the stakes,” he began quietly, walking over to where Maria sat next to Liz, her body tense with nervousness. Equally quietly, he explained the gruesome find Max and Isabel had discovered on their front porch, and Khivar’s note of warning. He grimaced when the girls’ faces leeched of all colour, worry being replaced by looks of fear.
In the quiet that followed, the phone rang, causing them all to jump, startled. Maria turned to her best friend, her voice somewhat shaky. “That will be Max. You might as well answer it – he will want to talk to you, more than he would want to talk to me.”
Liz nodded and, standing, began to walk over towards the phone, her pace unsteady. Her wide eyes were set within a pale face. Hesitating, Michael stopped her, reaching forward and grasping her arm lightly.
“Liz, I know that Max would have wanted to be here,” he remarked quietly, his eyes rising to meet that of Liz’s. “But I know that he would have wanted to protect his parents in case…” he trailed off, watching as understanding flooded Liz’s face. “He believes that he has to protect everyone.”
Liz nodded, knowing that what Michael had said was true. It was the Max that she knew so well, with his never-ending need to protect those that he cared about. “I know, Michael,” Liz answered. “Thank you.” She smiled reassuringly and, when his hand dropped from her flesh, turned and picked up the phone.
By unspoken agreement, after Liz had completed her conversation with Max and had hung up the phone, her reassurances that she was alright still hanging in the air, each had made their way into Maria’s room. Their weary faces lined with the revelations just past, exhausted yet they knew that there will be no deep sleep that night.
Hours later, Maria, lying slumped in the arms of Michael on top her bed, had only just dropped into a doze when Michael heard a noise outside. Instantly, he was on his feet, his movement jostling and waking Maria. His face grim, he strode over towards the stereo that emitted the soft crooning of a radio station deejay. With a sharp twist, the talk fell silent and, turning to both girls, he held his finger to his lips, ordering silence and smiled grimly in satisfaction when each nodded.
Stationing himself by the window in order to peer out of it, he absently noted Maria grabbing a nearby baseball bat that she always kept beside her bed, and Liz slowly rising, her fingers grasped around a thick and heavy text book.
Michael’s muscles tensed as the shadow of a person moved, his soundless footsteps bringing him closer to Maria’s window. His eyes narrowed as his breathing grew short, his entire being focused on the figure that was getting closer.
When he decided the figure had gotten close enough, and with his heart pounding violently, Michael gave his all in one concentrated effort. The result was a shimmering shield, a vibrant blue wall that erected itself in front of the girls and himself, protecting them from the unidentified foe in front of them. Preparing himself and knowing the full weight of responsibility for both Maria and Liz, Michael made ready to drop his shield and release one of his energy blasts, no questions asked.
The person flinched back, the shadows that had filtered across the figure’s face falling away as he exposed himself to the light.
Michael could feel a tug on his arm and he turned his head, his shield remaining steady. Liz was there, her face pale with her fear. “Michael,” she said calmly. “It’s Kyle.”
“Kyle?” Michael turned back to the window and felt his shield falter. He deactivated it completely when he saw the stocky young man wave tentatively.
“Dammit Kyle,” Michael raged, yanking the window open wider and pulling him through. “You scared the hell out of the girls!”
Now beside him, her hands devoid of the baseball bat, Maria poked Michael in the ribs with her elbow. She had seen his face drain white when they had each realised that someone was out there, their silent thoughts echoing the others in their belief that it could have been a Skin.
“I’m sorry,” Kyle brushed his palms against his jeans to dispel the dampness that was there. “When Max called, Amy was over at my house and my dad insisted that she stay. I thought that Maria was here by herself and I wanted to check on her.” He smiled sheepishly and shrugged his broad shoulders.
Watching as the two girls rushed forward to cluster around Kyle, their cooing whispers speaking of how brave the young man was, Michael rolled his eyes. It was he who had after all, attained at his first attempt, his shield. It was he who had protected them from…okay, so it was Kyle. It was he who was…getting jealous about a human!
Clearing his throat, he drew the three humans’ attention and glanced quickly at his wrist watch. “You might as well stay, now that you are here,” he said grudgingly to Kyle. He remembered Kyle’s close relationship with Tess and felt a small wave of sympathy. “I…assume Max has told you about…what happened?”
Kyle knew what had happened, yet the news was still to really sink in. He nodded, noting that Michael’s eyes were filled with sympathy. He drew his shoulders down and thrust his chin up. He did not take too well to sympathy, especially not from one whom emotion was a foreign language. “Yes, I heard,” he said, and was surprised that his voice did not crack. He felt a hand brush against his sleeve and looked down, unsurprised to see Liz level her comforting laze upon him.
Turning back to Michael, Kyle watched as he nodded and knew that he had picked up on Kyle’s unwillingness to talk about it. Instead, Michael turned to the girls and told them he was going to the kitchen. After checking with everyone to see if they wanted anything and receiving negative responses, he disappeared out the door.
Yawning mightily, Liz apologised to her friends for her tiredness and sat on the floor, her back settled against the wall. She blinked slowly, her eyes tired and unfocused.
Kyle smiled, and following her example, seated himself on the floor. “Look, she is falling asleep,” he remarked quietly to Maria, amusement tinging his voice.
Maria smiled as she reclined on her bed. “She hasn’t been getting a lot of sleep lately,” she told Kyle and watched as her friend’s head tilted back against the wall. They sat in silence briefly, each watching the steady rise and fall of Liz’s breathing, almost as though hypnotised.
“It looks as though things are getting serious between your Mom and my Dad,” Kyle said suddenly.
“I know,” Maria replied. She had thought at first that she wouldn’t be sure about what to feel over their blossoming relationship but that doubt had ended when she saw how happy her mother was now that the Sheriff was in her life.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if they make us step brother and sister before the year is out,” Kyle continued, sliding Maria a tentative smile.
Startled, Maria’s head tilted as she considered the possibility. “You think?”
“Yeah, I think so,” he answered, his eyes watching her carefully.
Maria felt a tinge of excitement that she would have died rather than reveal. “I…I always wanted a brother,” she confessed quietly, almost cringing at the fact that she was divulging so much to Kyle, of all people!
“And I always wanted a sister,” Kyle’s voice was equally quiet as they shared a smile. A wedding – something that they both thought that they would dread, would actually bring them something that they had always secretly wanted – a normal family with all of its trimmings.
“When it happens, just don’t hog the bathroom,” Kyle said, bumping gently against her with his shoulder, emphasising, “Sis.”
“I’ll try,” Maria grinned, returning the favour. “Bro,” she added, grinning widely.
They laughed, the happy sound appearing as though out of place due to the gravity of the situation.
A shadow fell over them and they both looked up to see Michael watching them both quizzedly, one hand clutching at a glass filled with water.
Sensing his time was up, Kyle stood and made good his escape to the other side of the room, muttering a quick, “Later.”
“Everything okay?” Michael questioned as he sat beside her, carefully placing the glass beside him before draping an arm across her shoulders in order to bring her closer.
“Fine,” Maria answered, snuggling into Michael’s embrace. “We were just deciding that marriage between my Mom and his Dad would not be so bad after all.”
Michael’s breath ruffled her hair and Maria squirmed closer, enjoying the security of his arms.
“So they are that close, are they?” he queried, feeling his muscles relax, melding into her until he wasn’t sure where she finished and he began.
“Hmm,” Maria hummed idly, feeling the wave of exhaustion suddenly sweep her. She was going to fall asleep, she just knew it but she wanted to ask one question before she did so. “Michael?”
“Yeah?” he replied.
She yawned, forcing the words out of a mouth that drooped tiredly. “Were you really scared that it could have been a Skin outside my window just before?”
Michael paused for a moment, his arms clenching tighter around her. “I wasn’t scared for me,” he answered finally. “I was afraid for you. An alien war was the last thing that I want to drag you through.” Shaking his head, he effectively muffled the protest he felt sure was coming and continued. “But I find that I’m selfish and I can’t let you go now.”
Listening to the conviction in his voice, Maria smiled into his chest. “I won’t let you,” she murmured quietly and left it at that.
Behind the trees whose shadows concealed his presence, a figure’s eyes gleamed into the darkness, their depths filled with malice.
Too many times before he had failed. This time he would not.
His own life depended on it.
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 4-Dec-2001 7:19:33 PM ]