|posted on 18-Dec-2002 10:49:03 PM by blake|
|Title: A Roswell Nutcracker|
Disclaimer: Roswell is not mine, and neither is the ballet The Nutcracker.
Summary: A special gift changes Liz Parker's world.
Author's Note: My first attempt at a holiday fic, and probably my last, but I was inspired. Ballet is like that. There will be eight parts, at a part a day, so this should be concluded on Christmas if all goes according to plan. Please enjoy!
Banner made by Mia Nora...
A Roswell Nutcracker
ACT I: Scene I
It was one of those rare Decembers in New Mexico. Claudia Parker stared out the window at the Albuquerque airport, a slight smile on her worn face. Snow blanketed the ground as she gathered her luggage and waited for a taxi, and it continued to fall in wet clumps as the drive began. She sighed lightly and patted her bag, thinking of her little granddaughter. Lizzie would love her present…
14-year-old Liz Parker stared in dismay out the window of her family’s alien-themed restaurant. It was snowing. A rather unusual occurrence for the town of Roswell, and one she would normally delight in, but not today…
“What if Grandma can’t make it in time?” she asked, looking over at her older sister.
Tess smiled and shook her blond curls, “She’ll make it, Lizzie. She always does.” Liz frowned dubiously, but her sister went back to setting the tables that had been pushed together.
It was Christmas Eve, and the Parkers were having their annual Christmas party. There was a tree in the corner of the Crashdown Café, gifts peeking out from underneath the decorated branches. There was one for every person who would be present that night. They’d open that one tonight, and on Christmas day they would stay with their families and open others then.
But tonight was for friends. Liz’s parents were in the kitchen putting the final touches on the traditional elaborate dinner, and Tess was flitting about the dining area, making sure everything was perfect. She was a complete Christmas nazi, and Liz had been alarmed to discover that her friend Isabel Harding was taking after the older girl in that respect.
Speaking of Isabel, Liz was certain she could see the other girl’s long red scarf and ridiculous Christmas tree hat coming down the street at a brisk pace. An older man walked beside her, Izzy’s father, Ed, and behind them ran a boy with spiked hair, another of Liz’s friends, Michael Guerin, who appeared to be throwing snowballs behind him.
“They’re here!” Liz exclaimed. She jumped up and down in excitement, and then smoothed down her hunter green velvet dress. She didn’t want to mess it up, her mother had made it especially for tonight, and it was a much better attempt then that horrid cupcake dress Liz had been forced to wear in kindergarten. Liz suspected Mrs. DeLuca had helped her mom make it.
“Well go let them in,” Tess replied, laughing.
Liz gave a little laugh too and then pulled open the door to the Café, relishing in the little jingle of the bell and the burst of cold air. Mr. Harding nodded in thanks and stepped through, taking the position of door holder from her. Liz gave him a shy smile and went outside into the cold, hugging Isabel in greeting. The other girl squeezed her back and then they were suddenly bombarded by a small blond whirlwind.
“Maria!” the other two girls cried, welcoming the third girl into their embrace.
“Aw yuck,” came a disgusted voice, and the three split apart to glare at the four boys who were making faces at them. The parents were smiling indulgently as they made their way into the warmth of the restaurant.
“Maria,” Mrs. DeLuca called, “Play nice. And don’t hurt your brother or your cousin!”
“Mo-om!” Maria exclaimed, “Kyle’s not my brother!” Amy shook her head and smiled at her daughter before letting the door shut behind her. “And Sean deserves whatever he gets,” she muttered. Isabel and Liz giggled.
But it seemed that Mrs. DeLuca’s forewarning was necessary, for, at that exact moment, a snowball hit Maria right in the gut. She shrieked and stared daggers at her cousin, who was wiping snow off his mittens and trying to look innocent. “I saw you Sean DeLuca,” she shouted, bending down to gather snow.
“I was aiming for Parker!” he protested, looking alarmed now as his younger cousin began to expertly pack her snowball. Maria snorted and drew back her arm. Sean yelped and ducked behind Alex Whitman, who was gazing longingly at Isabel and hadn’t noticed the snowball fight that was about to ensue.
“Hey!” he cried as he got a wet one right in the kisser. He blinked his blue eyes rapidly, surprised, and then grinned his famous Whitman grin. “You’re going down DeLuca,” he threatened, scooping up snow and flinging it, but Maria scrambled out of the way and his snowball knocked Isabel’s silly hat right off her golden brown locks. Her expression was one of perfect shock. Liz dissolved into a fit of giggles as Alex rushed forward, picking up her hat and apologizing profusely, his face so hot the snow still sticking to it was melting off.
Isabel gave him a white wash.
And then a full-scale war began.
Alex went after Isabel, and Isabel after Alex. Sean and Michael teamed up to defeat Maria, though their success was minimal, as Maria was an army in and of herself. And Kyle chased Liz around, both chucking a few snowballs, laughing, and just having a blast.
“Children!” They froze and all looked over at the open door of the Crashdown, where Tess stood, smiling, hands on her hips. “Come in before you catch colds.”
The seven of them groaned, but trudged their way in, Maria, Sean, and Michael having a few last minute skirmishes before entering the diner. They took off their coats and hung them up, then went to sit at the table by the adults, faces red from cold and happiness, nursing mugs of hot cocoa with marshmallows.
The sound of a spoon clinging against a crystal glass caught everyone’s attention and Liz’s mom smiled. “Time to eat!” she announced, and Mr. Parker came through the swinging door with a large turkey on a large platter.
“But Grandma Claudia isn’t here yet!” Liz protested, and the other children echoed her complaint. Everyone loved Liz and Tess’ grandma. She always told the coolest stories of her adventures and brought the best presents. And Liz always got something special, something with a magical story attached to it. Liz always treasured her grandma’s gifts, ever since she was little and Grandma had gotten her that pendant, telling her of a love that would cross galaxies. Of a king whose soul mate was a very extraordinary girl with dark eyes and dark hair…
“You grandma called from the airport, “ her mom told her gently, “There were a few delays and she’ll be late, but she said to go ahead with dinner.”
That seemed to be enough for everyone else, and they dug into the delicious meal with relish. But Liz was feeling bereft. She always sat next to Grandma Claudia and gossiped during dinner. Now she was stuck next to her sister, who was cool, and Liz missed her when she was away at college, but Tess wasn’t Grandma Claudia.
She sighed heavily and Tess tugged a strand of her long dark hair. She looked up into her sister’s blue eyes, eyes that only Liz hadn’t inherited, and Tess smiled. “She’ll be here for presents, I asked Mom.”
“Promise?” Liz demanded, brightening.
“I promise,” Tess assured her, and then smiled secretly, “And you’ll love what she’s got for you this year Lizzie,” she confided, “It’s perfect for you, and the fairy-tale attached is absolutely enchanting…” she trailed off, a twinkle so similar to Grandma Claudia’s that Liz squealed, and bounced in her seat.
“What is it?” she asked eagerly.
“I’m not telling.”
“Please?” she begged.
“Pretty please?” Liz tried again, giving her sister puppy eyes.
Tess bit her lip, but shook her head. “No, you’ll have to wait until she gets here.” Liz gave a defeated sigh and slumped in her chair. If puppy eyes hadn’t worked, nothing would.
“Liz,” her mother’s voice called from the head of the table, “Sit up straight and pass the stuffing to Sheriff Valenti.”
She did as bid and then stared down at her plate, picking at her food. She was much too excited to eat. Liz tuned out the lively conversations around her, even Michael and Maria’s newest argument, which was quite a feat, and wondered about Grandma Claudia’s gift.
What could it possibly be?
To be continued...
Please leave feedback!
[ edited 4 time(s), last at 4-Jan-2003 8:51:34 PM ]
|posted on 23-Dec-2002 11:02:21 AM by blake|
|OKay everybody, it was not my fault this time! I haven't been able to get onto the site for the past three days and it was driving me insane! BUt now I can get on, so expect an update tonight unless my annoying little brother does something...*grumble, grumble...stupid Jason...*|
|posted on 23-Dec-2002 9:30:22 PM by blake|
ACT I: Scene II
“Present time!” Mrs. Parker announced, smiling down at all the kids. It was hard to believe her babies were all grown up. Tess was a freshman in college, coming home only once a month. And Liz…
Nancy sighed, Liz had just started high school, but she hadn’t lost any of her child-like innocence. Even when it was obvious to her mother that she had attracted the attention of both Kyle Valenti and Sean DeLuca in a more than just friends way, Liz only noticed them as the boys she had grown up with, the ones who both teased her and protected her. Liz was more interested in astronomy and fairy tales than gossiping over who liked whom and what the latest fashion trends were. Though Nancy had to admit she liked it better that way, still so naïve and carefree, untouched by the world. And she knew it was balm to her husband’s heart when Liz ran upstairs, fresh from school and kissed her father on the cheek. Jeff especially couldn’t stand the thought of his precious Lizzie growing up.
She sighed again as she watched as her two daughters pass out presents, both faces glowing with merriment. They were so different, and yet so alike.
In a matter of moments, the wrapping paper had been torn off the gifts in ecstatic glee and all eight kids were exclaiming in delight. The parents smiled as they watched them compare gifts, complimenting each other on the “coolness” of their individual presents. Slowly, they remembered the adults and broke away from each other to go hug their parents or guardians with a chorus of “Thank yous!”
Alex ran to his father, guitar in hand, and hugged him, not noticing Mr. Whitman’s wince when the instrument banged him in the back. “Thanks Pop! It’s just what I wanted!” He pulled back, grinning, a smile his father returned, and Alex hauled him over to the case where they both knelt down and examined the case and accoutrements.
Isabel had given her father a sweet kiss on the lips, and whispered thank you, both for her new sweater and for Michael’s new set of drawing pencils, which he was staring at in awe. He looked up and Isabel and her dad, his eyes expressing the appreciation he found hard to say. “Thanks,” he finally said gruffly, then went back to staring at his present, a blush betraying his pleasure. It was the nicest gift he’d ever gotten.
The Deluca-Valenti clan had trooped over to Amy and Jim. Maria granted her mother an excited hug and kiss and Jim an aloof word of thanks for her vials of oil. Sean was dying to try out the Swiss Army knife Aunt Amy had gotten him, so murmured thanks and was off. Kyle nodded at his stepmother and gave his dad a manly one-armed hug for the autographed football.
The Parkers were seated at the counter. Tess was standing, cooing over her new earrings and matching necklace, while Liz was seated on the counter, her feet in her daddy’s lap, her new book open in her lap. There was a smile on her pretty face, and a light of joy in her brown eyes as she blocked out the noise surrounding her, becoming so completely engrossed in the tale of the two star-crossed lovers that she failed to hear the bell on the door chime.
But she didn’t fail to hear the musical, “Honey bear!” Liz looked up immediately, her book forgotten as she jumped off the counter and into her grandmother’s arms. “Merry Christmas, Liz,” Grandma Claudia whispered, and then she stood, “Merry Christmas everybody!”
She was soon crushed from all sides by happy children and parents. Claudia had always been a favorite among the citizens of Roswell, and these people that had had grown up together, both generations of them, were her especial favorites.
“Ooh, enough!” she declared, laughing. She straightened her Santa hat and smiled around at her family. “Now, let’s see what I’ve got in my bag for everyone.” She winked at Liz, whose smile grew in anticipation of a treat.
For Alex there was a set of guitar picks, for Isabel a hand-knitted scarf. Michael got a drawing pad, Maria a four pack of colored body glitter, Kyle received a pair of cowboy boots, and Sean was given a cd he’d been wanting.
Grandma Claudia handed her eldest granddaughter an envelope with a wink. “A congratulations on making the Dean’s List,” she said. Tess nodded and tucked the envelope away in her pants pocket, knowing better than to open it in public. “And now for my honey bear,” she announced. Liz stood in front of her, hands clasped together, looking festive and sweet in her green dress with roses in her cheeks and sugar plums obviously dancing in her head. “Here, “she said, handing the gift to her favorite grandchild.
Liz gasped, taking the toy with a reverent gaze. She cradled it in her arms, a smile lighting her face. It was a Nutcracker, but one unlike any she had ever seen. It’s uniform seem strange, not the normal red soldier suit, but a black chain mail armor with a golden and red metallic sheen to it. There was a sword clasped in one gauntleted hand. Liz frowned and pulled out the pendant Grandma Claudia had given her a few Christmases ago. The same symbol was branded into the Nutcracker’s chest plate. She looked up at her grandmother, who smiled her knowing smile, and Liz looked back down, studying the Nutcracker’s face.
It seemed almost alive. There was a weary, battle-worn look to him, a look that haunted his realistic amber eyes. He wore no cap, but the hair on his head felt real, and Liz touched it gently, running her fingers over the soft, raven strands. A smile came to her face as she touched the slightly large painted ears, and then wavered as her fingers traced the tiny scar on his cheek.
No, her Nutcracker was definitely not a normal present, but then again… What was so great about normal?
She smiled up at her grandma as she hugged the toy to her tenderly. “I love it Grandma, thank you,” she said softly, her doe brown eyes giving more thanks that her words.
“I knew you would honey bear,” her grandma replied, “I just knew you would.”
To be continued...
Please leave feedback! If my computer's still working, I'll catch you all tomorrow with a new part on this, ADH, and Little Slayer.
[ edited 2 time(s), last at 4-Jan-2003 8:52:31 PM ]
|posted on 2-Jan-2003 11:28:18 PM by blake|
|Okay, due to event out of my control (viruses, holidays, etc) This fic was obviously not completed by Christmas as originally planned, so, we're gonna try and finish it by next week. Hopefully everyone will be alright with that.|
AN: Okay, do not be alarmed by the Zan thing. We're talking past life Zan rather than NYC Zan, and Max will come in later, okay? OKay.
My beautiful banner was made by Mia Nora, all praise her.
ACT I: Scene III
She wasn’t sure what it was that woke her up, but as Liz lay in that moment between dreaming and waking, she knew something was wrong. Her breath caught in her throat as she lay still beneath her covers. The wind blew softly into her room from her open balcony window, bringing the chill of winter to her. But it did nothing to mask the small sounds coming from downstairs.
She froze even more, not sure if she was hearing correctly, but as she continued to listen she became more and more sure that someone had broken into the Crashdown. Fear washed over her, causing her heart to beat faster in her breast, and she clutched her blanket to her as she sat up. Should she wake Daddy? Call Sheriff Valenti?
Her Nutcracker! A gasp escaped her as she remembered her new present, still standing tall and proud beneath the tree. What if the burglar stole him?
With that thought in mind, she leaped from the bed and ran downstairs, her Victorian style nightgown flowing around her as she crept quickly down the stairs into the back room of the café. She peered through the diamond shaped window and had to clamp her hand over her mouth at what she saw.
In the moonlit café stood a large group of people, all seemed to be waiting for something as they stared at an average sized man with blond hair. Liz didn’t understand what was happening, but her trepidation increased tenfold. What were they doing here? The cash register had been emptied and there was nothing in the Crashdown of value, especially around the now barren Christmas tree.
Except her Nutcracker.
The blond man in charge turned toward her direction in response to a question voiced by the boy standing beside him. Liz ducked, heart racing, and hoping to God that he had not seen her with those cold blue eyes of his. It seemed he had not, for there was no sound of footsteps coming toward her, and she had made up her mind to go wake her father, when a searing blue light emanated through the small window.
Curiosity suddenly getting the better of her, she pushed the door open slightly and peeked out, mouth dropping. Another person was there, a young man maybe a few years older than her, standing defiantly, the symbol on his chest plate glowing a gentle blue.
Liz’s eyes were drawn to that symbol, the color fading to the same black color as his armor. Armor with a red-gold sheen, and above that armor was a strong face, with a mop of black hair, and slightly large ears. There were also a pair of haunted amber eyes, guarded at the moment, but she could read the pain hidden in them.
“Did you think you could hide forever Zan?” the blond man drawled, his voice arrogant and demanding.
A small smile crossed her Nutcracker’s face and he placed his hand on the hilt of his sword. “I was not hiding, K’var,” he responded, his voice low and husky. It made Liz shiver with heat from her hiding place.
“May I remind you, it was not I who usurped a throne and caused my mother to panic into extreme measures.”
“But panic she did, Zan, and a throne you lost,” was the purring reply, “And I’m here to make sure it stays that way.”
“I’m surprised you dragged your worthless self across the universe for it, normally you leave such petty details to your mindless little minions.” The golden brown eyes switched from the blond leader to the boy beside him, and distaste became obvious, “Speaking of, how are you Nicholas?”
“Much better than you’re going to be,” was the haughty reply. The brown-haired boy snapped his fingers, and immediately half the group separated and took control of her Nutcracker. Her body made an involuntary move of protest as they forced him to his knees.
“Where’s the Granilith, Zan?” the one called K’var asked. Her Nutcracker, Zan, didn’t answer, he merely stayed on his knees, passive, and stared serenely back up at K’var, who’s lip curled back in loathing. “Nicholas,” he snapped tersely.
The boy stepped forward, and Liz could see the evil smile on his features as he put his hand to Zan’s head. After a moment a groan of pain escaped her Nutcracker, his face contorted as if he was being tortured. She felt his pain as if it were his own, and before she knew it she was leaving her secret location and running to his side. “No!” She pushed the Nicholas boy away as well as the people holding Zan down. Normally, she was sure it wouldn’t have worked, but they seemed in shock and fell away easily.
Her Nutcracker rose to his feet, his eyes registering just as much surprise as his tormentors at her appearance. She stared up at him, her body close to his, and she felt everything in her just stop as a sense of certainty rushed through her. A sense of rightness, and then it was interrupted as the assemblage of people regrouped, moving to take hold of both of them.
A ring of metal on metal was their only warning as one of the advancing men suddenly turned to dust. Liz stared at Zan as he pushed her behind him. “Let her go,” he ordered, “She’s human, she has nothing to do with this.”
K’var chuckled, a sound that grated Liz’s nerves. “But it appears she does Zan.” He took a step forward, and as Zan turned to meet his attack, two men and a woman grabbed Liz from the rear. A muffled shout of surprise escaped her and Zan spun, only to have his sword knocked from his hand as he was recaptured.
Tears stung Liz’s eyes as she watched him struggle against his captors, looking at her helplessly with those amazing eyes. Why wasn’t her family waking up? They needed help…
And then K’var was before her, looking at her with disinterest. “Who are you?” he demanded. Liz remained silent. He sighed, “Do not irk me with false bravado, little girl,” he said, “It tires me. Now, tell me what you have to do with our wayward prince here?” He gestured to her Nutcracker with the stolen sword.
“Nothing,” Zan spat out, fighting his subjugators.
“Nothing?” K’var repeated, one eyebrow raised. He turned back to Liz. “Do you have ‘nothing’ to do with him?”
She lifted her chin, and felt her pendent slip out of the loose ties at her neck. K’var grasped it before she could retort rebelliously to his inquiry. She drew her breath sharply as the chain it was on snapped at the back of her neck. Liz bit her lip to keep back a cry of pain as she was jerked back by her holders. K’var stared down at the pendant, and then back at her, a cruel smile on his handsome face, and then he turned back to Zan.
He opened his hand, and the pendant went dangling down. He waved it at Zan, the silver symbol, matching that on Zan’s armor, flashed slightly. “Does this look like nothing?”
He sent her a quick, searching look, his shock evident, but then he masked the expression and opened his mouth to give a scathing reply, when a cry of astonishment came from the rank of the groups and everyone turned to see a new group of men, all dressed in armor similar to Zan’s. “Rath?” Zan exclaimed, amazed.
The man, who reminded Liz vaguely of Michael, bowed. “Your Highness,” he said, and then, as if a silent signal had been given, the two factions descended on each other. Liz, suddenly free, was confused as men and women locked into hand-to-hand combat around her, and then Zan was there, urging her behind the counter.
She looked up at him as he knelt beside her. His amber eyes gazed into hers, and she felt her heart speed up again, only this time, it wasn’t from fear. “Stay here, you’ll be safe,” he commanded, and she nodded. He peered over the counter and the moved back to her, taking her hand and dropped her pendant into it. “We will talk when this is over, my lady,” he promised, and then he was gone.
Liz clasped the necklace tightly in her hand and looked over the counter herself. A battle was being waged in the middle of her parent’s restaurant. What amazed her the most was the fact that every time one of Zan’s soldiers triumphed, one of the others, K’var’s people, disappeared in a flurry of dust. She watched closely, noticing that Zan’s people always went for the back, a spot at the end of the spine. She bit her lip, thinking that she was dreaming, that this entire thing was not possible.
But then she saw Zan on the floor, K’var bearing down on him, and all rational thought fled. Her Nutcracker was in danger. Liz grabbed one of the thick soda glasses and hurled it at K’var, hoping all those years of playing pick-up softball games with the boys would pay off.
And it did. K’var dissolved on top of Zan in a flurry of dust and glass shards. And in a few more seconds, all the other attackers were gone and the man Zan had called Rath reached out a hand to help her Nutcracker up off the floor of the Crashdown. They stared at one another for a long moment, and then turned to her as she came out from behind the counter. They all bowed to her, except Zan, who took her hands and placed a tender kiss to both palms. “Your name, my lady?” he inquired, eyes locked on hers.
“Liz,” she breathed, “Elizabeth Parker.”
He smiled a heartbreaking smile, and did not release her hands. “Well, Lady Liz, I am Prince Zan of Antar, and you have just saved my world.”
To be continued...
Pretty please leave feedback!